Sunday, 30 April 2017

Bahubali 2: Crtics reviews

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017) is an epic historical fiction film directed by S. S. Rajamouli. It is the continuation of Baahubali 1: The Beginning (2015).  The film was produced on a budget of Rs.450 crores & released in over 8,000 screens all over the world. Baahubali 2 had a sensational opening in India, and is expected to surpass the day one records of Sultan (Rs.36 crore) and Dangal (Rs.29 crore). Unconfirmed sources are saying the Hindi version has netted over Rs.50 crore, making Bahubali 2 the first Indian film to gross over Rs.100 crore on day one of its release. The total final run collections of the movie are estimated to gross over Rs.1,500 crores.

Rajamouli made the film engaging throughout with decent comedy, superb action sequences, rich visuals and intriguing plot. However, the movie fall flat in the second half with the predictable story line and also climax could have been more intense and gripping. Prabhas did a splendid job with his superb performance. Anushka stole the hearts of the audience with her beauty and she equally dominates Prabhas in screen presence.
  • The most awaited film of the year Bahubali 2 The conclusion.
  • Prabhas steals show all the way. He comes across as the perfect action hero, complete eye candy, and the biggest strength of the film.
  • SS Rajamouli  never fails to reach expectations. Bahubali 2 was a grandeur where the vision of the director was limitless beyond words, expressions and descriptions.
  • Prabhas’ performance and S S Rajamouli’s vision turn critics into fans.
  • Needs to be viewed in IMAX. Never a dull moment, no gimmicks. Seamless screenplay. Honest film making. 
  • A thoroughly entertaining action drama. Watch it for super amazing Prabhas and Anushka Shetty. Ramya Krishnan was at her best.
  • Don’t judge Baahubali. Just savour it. It is a visual extravaganza that India must feast on. 
  • Indian cinephiles must salute Rajamouli for he once again gives us our Benhur and Ten Commandments experience rolled into one. But Baahubali takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride. The romance between Devasena and Amarendra has the Titanic fervour. While the performances of the lead cast are all believable, it sets your spirits soaring.
  • When was the last time a Telugu movie, dubbed in multiple languages including Hindi, power into multiplexes around the world, shoving aside all competition? Never.
  • In some places the battle scenes and the hand-to-hand combat is choreographed beautifully.
  • Nothing in Part 2 seems to match up to that waterfall in Part 1. 
  • S.S. Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2 is pleasing to the eye, in particular with its costumes, lavish interiors and innovative stunts.
  • Yes, it is bigger, but it is not better. And it feels much louder. The background music is relentless, and the pitch at which the declamatory dialogues are delivered is deafening.
  • Everything in the film falls prey to the lure of excess. It has several flamboyantly mounted passages that drift in the hope that the ‘magic’ of the visuals would be enough to keep the audience from noticing the over-indulgent strain.
  • Even though Baahubali 2 is not a great film in terms of story, it is a must-watch for all the cinema lovers to experience the grandeur and superb performances from the lead cast. 
  • At the end of nearly three hours, the second part is not as satisfying or fun as the original. Together with lack of a plot interesting enough, Baahubali 2 comes off as too much sound and fury signifying little.
  • The animated hi-jinks that Rajamouli created were astonishing, both in terms of scale and setting and story telling. One will be blown away by the sheer confidence and the conviction of the film-making, ignoring the risible bits and pieces.
Baahubali: The Conclusion is a cocktail of fun stunts, attractive stars, grand settings, terrible acting, conflicted attitudes and closeted conservatism and yet is impressive. On the other hand, is absolute paisa vasool.

My View:
Not withstanding 'no failures' success story of Rajamouli, since 16 years, it is sheer madness to produce a film at a budget of Rs.500 crores. Marketing and creation of hi-pitch hype need not necessarily ensure success of a film. Any failure would have doomed his film career. The reassuring success of Baahubali2 broke all filmi records of all languages, despite it being primarily a Tollywood film. In the critical analysis, there are many drawbacks in the film but in the light of success they are all diminished. It is a must-watch film with absolutely no-regret. Never in the past the director was so much acclaimed for success of a film. Congratulations to Rajamouli garu & his team, hands down!

Populism and its Perils

  • Populists can be everything from militarists to libertarians. For populists, the people are paramount. 
  • Populism is a political strategy in which a charismatic leader appeals to the masses while sweeping aside institutions.
  • Populism is a thin ideology, that merely sets up a framework that of a pure people versus a corrupt elite. This thin ideology can be such as socialism, nationalism, anti-imperialism or racism, in order to explain the world and justify specific agendas. 
  • Populists are defined by their claim that they alone represent the people, and that all others are illegitimate.
  • Exclusive populism focuses on shutting out stigmatized groups. Inclusive populism demands that politics be opened up to stigmatized groups.
  • Populism is only an elaborate lie for getting into power. People are victims of populists.
  • Populism is not a political project as it is discursive political strategy. And there is the danger in populist politics. Trumpism, a reactionary nationalist populism, was a logical culmination of populist politics of Obama in 2008.
  • Populism is a form of political practice that speaks for the people and against the established power structures. 
  • Populism must be critically analysed as a discursive political practice independent of ideology or content.
  • Populism does not give power to the people, but rather to elites and individual politicians who use their so-called legitimacy of direct appeal to bypass the institutions of state and civil society.
  • Populism will always stand in tension with democracy.
  • None can protect the country from ruinous economic populist policies.
  • Stereotypical narratives belie the vague and often contradictory definitions of the concept of 'the people' and the motives of those who use populism as a political tool. 
  • Fragile political institutions allow populists to achieve power, while strong institutions confine them to the margins of political systems.
  • If populists have enough power, they will end up creating an authoritarian state that excludes all those not considered part of the proper people.
  • The notion of the people as nation is typically associated with right-wing populism, while the notion of people as a class is characteristic of left-wing populism. The people as sovereign implies a specific vision of democracy. 
  • Populist democracy is an illiberal vision of democracy because of its monolithic conception of the people, which implies that the popular majority is always right.
  • The populist leader has direct, unmediated access to the people’s grievances, and acts as the spokesperson of the vox populi.
  • Populism of fashion is a political tendency, which dare media being used frequently.
  • Populism is a stupid crap that sells well, yet would be a disaster if actually implemented.
  • Populism is an epithet elites resort to when someone else goes outside the rules and wins an election.
  • An election year is not a chance to educate the public mind rather than simply gauge it.
  • Modern democracies operate within a framework of rationalism. Dismantle it and the space is filled by prejudice. Fear counts above reason. Anger counts above evidence. Lies claim equal status with facts. Soon enough, migrants and Muslims especially, replace heretics and witches as the targets of public rage. Referendums amplify the danger. Liberal democracy depends on mutual respect, trust in national institutions, guarantees for minorities, and the checks and balances that underpin the rule of law. Strip them away and you are left with brute majoritarianism.
My View:
Modi fits into the almost all qualities of 'populism' and his actions are ruinous, undemocratic, authoritarian, irrational etc with no regard for institutions like Parliament, Supreme Court, RBI, EC etc. Charismatic leader he is, shamelessly propagates exclusive populism of making India a Hindu Nation, in opposition from its constitutionally proclaimed secular nation so far, alienating minorities especially Muslims. None can protect India from ruins until he collapses under his own weight which is several years away. India's distorted democracy is in peril.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Fiscal year Jan- Dec for India: Pros & Cons

  • While the exact reason remains unknown, the fact remains that most country's financial year differ from the calendar year.
  • In the absence of any world standard practice for accounting or fiscal year, any change to any other calendar would not result in India's aligning itself with the world.
  • January 1st is start of English calendar year. Indian calendar year starts on  Vaisakha / Ugadi / Gudipadawa which falls in April.
  • Changing India's financial year from April-March to any other combination would serve no purpose but causes a huge avoidable disruption at a big cost for the country's trade and industry.
  • It will mean a change in book-keeping, accounting software, taxation systems, human resource practices involving huge costs for both big and small industries. The change would give rise to issues such as extensive amendments to tax laws and systems, financial procedures relating to expenditure authorization, and other matters.
  • The budget will have to be presented in November. Parliament sessions will have to be reworked, along with changes in data collection and working of state governments.
  • Financial year has to be same as the tax year. The taxation period will just change to a new 12-month period.
  • The advantages from the changeover would be too minimal.
  • Fiscal Jan-Dec might be advantageous to some businesses in global trading, but disadvantages especially to agriculture sector far out weigh miniscule benefits it offers. Then why needlessly disturb the present Apr-Mar fiscal which we are all used to.
  • A change in financial year could upset collection of data from the markets, and it would take a long time before normal rhythm of the fiscal cycle is restored.
  • Our economy is predominantly agriculture related and the crop season in India starts in April and ends in March. All data is available for making budget decisions for coming fiscal year. January falls in between busy Rabi season with least data available for budget planning.
  • Nov and Dec are festival months. The inventory is very fast moving during this period and it would be difficult to close the books of accounts during this period. Also many employees availing vacation during this period makes it difficult to close the books during this period.
  • Even budget date shifting to Feb 1st, will be without accurate kharif crop actual data and rabi crop projections and budget proposals will be devoid of any merit based proposals for agriculture for next fiscal year.
  • Such a change of fiscal from Apr-Mar to Jan-Dec may not reform the budgetary process in India, and is no guarantee for improving the quality and efficacy of provisions/policies, especially for Rural India.
I don’t see the need to change the accounting period. What needs to be done is timely passage of the budget, so that the construction period is not hampered. In any case, for construction, the monsoon months are a lost period ... Pronab Sen, former chief statistician

My View:
British left us with English as widely used language in education, administration etc. Can we discard that with an executive edict?  If we are too obsessed with Hindutva and hatred for British, why do we speak English at most places and educate our children in English schools? There are a number of blows a body can bear before going into a coma. Failed demonetization was a major blow. GST implementation will be another. Budget advanced to February 1st and now fiscal change to Jan-Dec will only create chaos & confusion but will not increase our GDP or per capita income or government revenues or quality of living. Finally, why does Modi want discard British and embrace Americans? What for? With no tangible benefits changing fiscal year associated with expenditure, confusion, disturbances etc makes no sense.

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013

The term "Lokpal" was coined by Dr. L.M.Singhvi in 1963. The concept of a constitutional ombudsman was first proposed in parliament by Law Minister Ashoke Kumar Sen in the early 1960s. The first Jan Lokpal Bill was proposed by Shanti Bhushan in 1968 and passed in the 4th Lok Sabha in 1969, but did not pass through the Rajya Sabha. Subsequently, 'lokpal bills' were introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, and again in 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and in 2008, yet they were never passed. Forty five years after its first introduction, the Lokpal Bill is finally enacted in India on Dec 18, 2013.

The anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare forced previous UPA government to enact Lokpal Bill. Forty five years after its first introduction, the Lokpal bill got finally enacted in India on Dec 18, 2013. The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 seeks to provide for the establishment of Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for related matters. The act extends to whole of India, including Jammu & Kashmir and is applicable to “public servants” within and outside India. The act mandates for creation of Lokpal for Union and Lokayukta for states.

Modi government, which pronounces reforms at the fall of hat without even understanding what they are doing, has been dodging on the matter of appointing Lokpal on the silly pretext that the current Lok Sabha does not have a Leader of Opposition to sit on the selection panel, even after four years of passing the Act. 

On April 27, 2017, the Supreme Court of India told Modi government at the Centre that there was “no justification” to keep the enforcement of the Lokpal Act 2013 suspended. SC made it clear that the appointment of Chairperson or a Member of the Lokpal will not become invalid merely because of the reason of any vacancy in the selection committee. If, at present, the LOP is not available, the Chairperson and the other two members of the Selection Committee, namely, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India or his nominee may proceed to appoint an eminent jurist as a member of the Selection Committee.

Modi, in consultation with leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India (CJI), didn’t finalize the name of a full-fledged director for the CBI in advance when Anil Sinha retired on Dec 2, 2016. It is because his government is not on good terms with CJI, Justice TS Thakur. On Jan 19, 2017 Modi government appointed AK Verma, Delhi’s Police Commissioner, as Director of the CBI only after Justice T S Thakur retired on Jan 4, 2017

On Dec 18, 2013, Anna Hazare broke his nine-day fast shortly after Lok Sabha passed the Lokpal Bill. Looking a bit frail yet brimming with enthusiasm after the landmark bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, Hazare thanked all parties, barring Samajwadi Party, for their support. He had been crusading for anti-corruption ombudsman for long and had forced passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha in 2011. The 76-year-old Gandhian said mere enactment of the law would not serve the purpose "The law will be meaningless unless it is implemented and enforced properly..". Hazare thanked everybody who looked after him during the hunger strike, his fourth for Lokpal, chose not to make any mention of Arvind Kejriwal and others who played a role in building the movement.

In Aug 04 2011 when bill was introduces in Lok Sabha, BJP objected for exclusion of Prime Minister saying that when the PM does not enjoy immunity from prosecution under the criminal law and prevention of corruption Act, why is he being kept out of the ambit of the Lokpal. BJP also maintained that as per the constitution, everybody was equal and there is no immunity from IPC, CrPC or the Prevention of Corruption Act. The then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has himself said he wants to be within its ambit, but the Cabinet did not agree.

Ever since demonetization in Nov 2016, Modi talks about black money menace and elimination of corruption and orders IT, CBI & ED raids only on BJP opponents almost everyday, but shuns appointing Lok Pal & Lok Ayukthas for over 4 years, speaks volumes about his sincerity and reflects his no will to walk the talk. What he is doing now to fight corruption is - nothing, only 'headlines management'.

My View:
Modi suffers from worst possible type of corruption; an insatiable desire for personal glory at any cost; an extremely deep moral and spiritual corruption. Modi belongs to the line of autocratic ideologues rather than the western tradition of revolutionary neo liberalism, or marxist rationalism. He also represents the worst aspect of democracy: a demagogue who caters to an irrational populace’s cravings for self-identity and release from self-responsibility. He might not have taken any bribes in recent years but there is no way he could have risen to his position without having made massive and horrendous economic & moral compromises.
... as described by Jayant Bhandari in

Excess Profit is deeply immoral

  • Profit shows that entrepreneurs are welcome.
  • Profit proves that the economy is not a zero-sum game.
  • Profit is a moral concept, since without profit we will suffer from a misallocation of resources, a failure to provide the goods and services that the economy needs, the loss of tax revenue, a reduction in employment and the inability to provide for social need whether through the private sector or the public sector.
  • Profit is the surplus generated by individuals (or groups of individuals) putting capital at risk. It is the price of risk. Hence profit is also the reward for innovation and ideas. Without a reward for risk capital and innovation then the economy will not grow, provide for the needs of people, or create the wealth necessary for well-being.
  • Profit is not exploitation. Profit generally arises from transactions that benefit both parties. Profit actually represents the creation of wealth from mutually beneficial transactions. Unless wealth is created there is no investment, no employment and no opportunity for social good.
  • Exploitation is not a good thing and economic surplus may arise as a result of immoral behavior. The problem there is the exploitation, rather than the profit itself. 
  • The idea that the economy is a zero-sum game. If one party makes a profit, that must be due to another making a corresponding loss, and moral outrage against capitalism ensues. Once profit is generated it is simply removed from the economy into the hands of the already wealthy.
  • Profit shows that entrepreneurs are welcome. Entrepreneurs are the lynchpin of an economy. They are the creators and innovators of new ideas which then attract the capital investment needed. If entrepreneurs are not welcome, then an economy will stagnate. Entrepreneurs needed to be attracted by the prospect of profit, so that they will bring their ideas to fruition for the mutual benefit of all. An entrepreneur is not there to be squeezed (or even exploited) but for the economic and social good of society.
  • Profit generates investment and employment. However, beyond the rewards which are taken, without profit then there is no means of investment whether in capital goods or human capital; in other words, no profit, no new markets, no new production and no new employment; indeed to the contrary we are likely to see a reduction in both. Many business people see the provision of employment, not necessarily as the primary aim of a business, but one of the aims of the business enterprise.  
  • Profit provides the means for social transformation in society. Perhaps this is more controversial. If we take that position we damage the moral underpinning of the rationale for profit. Profit is a surplus. To argue that profit provides a basis for social transformation is not a statement that such transformation has to be achieved by the state.
  • Government has a role to play and the generation of wealth and profit and lobbyists influencing for abnormal profits. Profit also allows individuals to act. Distributing profits for the well-being of individuals and families. Similarly profit provides the means for philanthropy. Profit doesn’t seem so bad.
  • While profit is moral if earned ethically, morally, legally and in reasonable quantities, while excess profit is deeply immoral. The diving line is hazy.

The vice of capitalism is its unequal sharing of blessings; 
the virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. 

Whatever moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. 
And if it stops moving, subsidize it .... Ronald Reagan

My View:
There is no question that profit motivates entrepreneurs, boosts economy, creates jobs and boosts state revenues. Left view profit as exploitation. A company has profited at someone else’s expense. and that person stands exploited and hence profit is immoral. But unbridled profits arising out of monopoly or cartel forming or lobbying or consumer ignorance leading to abnormal profits is exploitation, immoral, illegal and crime. Excess profits also indicates that labour are underpaid and/or consumers over charged. Profits results in rich becoming richer while others remain as they are is socially unsustainable. All the above statements are true in a expanding economy but fails when economy is stagnating or shrinking. Excess consumption leads to wastage and ecological imbalances. Capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people. While capitalists desires to keep all profits to themselves they will come out with evil plans to socialise the losses. Capitalism only produces a small privileged rich who are beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor. Finally profit beyond certain point is immoral, exploitative and crime. 

      TRS Plenary attended by over 15 lakhs people!

      • It is sheer madness to mobilize lakhs of people and address them with political agenda and doling out false promises which will be forgotten even before getting down the dias.
      • No one takes these promises seriously.
      • No one comes to attend political meeting abstaining their daily work unless they are compensated much more than what they lose.
      • Even during pre-independence days for meetings addressed by Gandhi, Congress was under compulsion to provide transport facilities.
      • It is well known fact that the political party spends money for their transportation, provide food and pay them compensation plus middlemen charges. All this works out to over Rs.500 for ever attendee.
      • The TRS Warangal plenary claimed to have been attended by over 15 lakhs people must have costed Rs.100 crores for people mobilization alone and another Rs.100 crores towards all other expenses.
      • All service providers must have provided FREE services viz. flexi printers, advertising agencies, vehicle owners etc to TRS.
      • They will recover their investment as favors from government at least by 10 times.
      • All this Rs.200 crores must have costed contributing businessmen and industrialists to the extent of Rs.500 crores which they would recover in the form of concessions from Government or explosion of estimates or passing bills for substandard works done by them or even clearing fake vendor / work bills by over Rs.1,000 crores. 
      • And that is exactly the price paid by people of Telangana (Rs.1,000 crores) for the sense less extravaganza by TRS and KCR.
      • TRS leaders doing 'hamali' (hard labour) services for mobilizing funds for plenary expenses few lakhs in front TV cameras is just a drama for seeking cheap publicity.
      • Every TRS leader participating & contributing actively doesn't do this for no profit. Each one of them must have amassed a fortune of 50 lakhs each.
      • You see the win-win situation for TRS leaders, TRS politicians, Businessmen, Industrialists - all except the state and its people, who lost that much money.
      • In the books of TRS, it might have spend few lakhs as plenary expenses. All other money is in black, cash & corruption.
      • Ironically, all that attended the plenary are rural agricultural labour who must have abstained from work for 2-3 days impacting farmers during rabi harvesting season.
      My View:
      This madness must stop. While voluntary attendance is OK, mobilizing people with money, biryani & liquor is immoral, corruption, undemocratic and anti-national. This attitude is the chief cause of black money and its menace. This is utterly undemocratic and violates all principles of decency. You see how shamelessly, the organizers flexes their muscles about their capabilities which they have done with people's money, in most immoral ways.  Recollect, Modi addressing 200 meetings across width and depth of nation crisscrossing in chartered planes in 2014 must have costed at least Rs.10,000 crores. Who sponsored this kind of expense? Everyone knows. In return they borrowed huge amounts from public sector banks that are now saddled with Rs.700,000 crores of NPAs (almost all politically sponsored) and are sinking pulling down national economy. These guys makes us believe that they are now builders of modern India! Unless influence of money is eliminated in politics, we can't grow economically as a nation.

      How to evaluate people

      Although it’s an important skill, most people have a hard time making accurate judgments of person's character. It is a skill that can be learned, which helps you avoiding mistakes and make better judgments quickly.

      There are ten basic markers that will help you judge a person’s character.

      1. Talk time vs. Listen time
        Talking more indicates that he is very self-important, or extraordinarily nervous.
      2. A giver or a taker?
        If you feel drained after your initial meeting, don’t pursue any longer.
      3. How they tackle new projects
        Dislike change or who leap right in cheerfully tacking new tasks.
      4. Authentic
        Fake praise and flattery are indicative of someone sucking up.
      5. What are their friends like?
        The best way to find out about a person is by the company they keep. 
      6. How does he treat strangers?
        Whether he’s polite or rude to your receptionist.
      7. Struggle
        Some struggle to overcome makes a person more genuine and hard working.
      8. Leisure activities
        Unless they have a packed schedule, it means they’re quite uninterested in life.
      9. How would you feel if stranded?
        If it would make you uncomfortable, move on to another candidate.
      10. Self-awareness
        Is he really honest with himself about his strengths and weaknesses. 
      Purity of means are after all everything. As the means so the end. 
      End can't justify immoral means ... Gandhi

      My View:
      Evaluating people is probably the toughest thing. Work has two dimensions cost & quality in opposition to each other. While perfection is impossible, improvements are imperative. If a person hasn't improved over himself during past month/quarter/year, he is rotten. While end results are important, the means adopted are even more important. Finally, never evaluate a person of his biggest activities, which any would have been done with great care. Evaluate him while doing smallest deeds.

      Thursday, 27 April 2017

      Leadership and War: Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf

      Norman Schwarzkopf, a four-star General in US Army commanded Operation Desert Storm, successfully driving out Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991. While he was known to many as "Stormin Normin", the men under his command simply called Schwarzkopf "The Bear".

      Below are 10 quotes from Gen. Schwarzkopf that encapsulate his views on leadership and war.
      1. Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy.
      2. Any soldier worth his salt should be antiwar; and still there are things worth fighting for.
      3. The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in battle.
      4. When placed in command, take charge.
      5. It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.
      6. True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that's what courage is.
      7. The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.
      8. War is a profane thing.
      9. You learn far more from negative leadership than positive leadership. Because you learn how not to do it.
      10. Do what is right, not what you think the high headquarters wants or what you think will make you look good.

      Working from home: Pros & Cons

      There are many advantages and disadvantages of working from home.
      • Flexible work hours
      • No commuting
      • No dress code
      • Requires stamina and discipline
      • More time for home chorus than actually working
      • Improved work life balance & quality of life
      • More control over your stress level
      • You can't pass the buck. When you work from home, the amount of work you do is entirely your responsibility. 
      • Even if you are part of a virtual team, you're still the only team member around. It can get lonely.
      • A study found teleworkers are more productive and took less time off work, even when sick.
      • Home-based workers proved to be more productive, happier and less likely to quit. 
      • No workplace colleagues distractions of talking on phones or in meetings.
      • The only distractions are the ones that you bring on.
      • No pretensions to keep actively working.
      • Home office in a secluded space, free from any visual distractions will be helpful.
      • Home office working all the time, it is harder to form relationships.
      • For introverts, isolation is exactly what you desire for your day-to-day.
      • For extroverts, who eschew workplace camaraderie (interpersonal drama, office politics etc) in favor of going solo may find themselves with a feeling of dissatisfaction.
      • You will miss personal collaboration and social bonds forged in the workplace, which could lead to future opportunities and promotion.
      • The symptoms of isolation may be trickier to recognize, workplace burnout can happen.
      • It is more difficult to find out about new projects you might be interested in.
      • You’ll have more hours in the day to transition your career efforts.
      • By working from home, you just might be able work more the rest of the year to offset the lost hours or by working remotely from your holiday vacation.
      • Most people appreciate flexibility for more practical reasons: childcare, eldercare or simply the ability to be home when maintenance shows up.
      • There can be less distinction between work and personal life when you work from home and face the danger of overworking.
      • Might miss promotion opportunities compared to their office-based colleagues. 
      The advantages of 'working from home' far out weigh disadvantages. If you have the option to work from home occasionally, you should definitely take advantage of it. If you work remotely all the time, you’ll see both the pros and cons, as you would from working in an office. Whatever your choice of work, the best idea is to make the most of it. If you don’t find yourself socializing on the job, reach out to co-workers, join a lunch-time soccer league, or seek opportunity to collaborate. Chances are, there is an opportunity, and you should take advantage of it!

      My View:
      Working from home is definitely advantageous mainly with elimination of commuting time, improved work life balance and other issues are manageable. But more freedom comes with added responsibilities. A day or two in a week, working from home, you will miss nothing but derive benefits of most advantages. At the moment, most companies allow self-supervising people work from home, not all. 

      Wednesday, 26 April 2017

      Patriotism -- Standup Comedy by Kunal Kamra

      Loving your country means asking a lot of questions. Asking for peace, asking for better living conditions, asking for your right to voice your opinion if the taxes you're paying are not leading to the life you ideally want to live. 

      Patriotism & the Government | Stand-up Comedy by Kunal Kamra

      Patriotism is defined as love for or devotion to one's country.....

      Naxalite–Maoist insurgency

      The term Naxalites comes from Naxalbari, a small village in West Bengal, where a section of the CPI-M led by Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal, and Jangal Santhal initiated an uprising in 1967 leading to the formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist). In May 1967, a sharecropper near Naxalbari village was attacked by the landlord's men over a land dispute. On May 24, 1967, when a police team arrived to arrest the peasant leaders, it was ambushed by a group of tribals led by Jangal Santhal, and a police inspector was killed in a hail of arrows. This event encouraged many Santhal tribals and other poor people to join the movement and to start attacking local landlords. Mao Zedong provided ideological leadership for the Naxalbari movement, advocating that Indian peasants and lower class tribals overthrow the government and upper classes by force. A large number of urban elites were also attracted to the ideology, which spread through Charu Majumdar's writings. The Naxals are considered far left radical communists having no clear ideology, a mix of marxism, maoism, leninism.

      Kanu Sanyal made it clear that the Naxalite movement was “an armed struggle not for land but state power”. The party programme, adopted in 1970, made no mention of the struggle for the socio-economic uplift of the poor, and focused instead on guerrilla warfare. The issues of landless labourers and poor peasants were a plank for the Naxalites to build up a support system. Ever since, the Maoists have been operating as a unified force, setting off landmines, leading jailbreaks, assassinating politicians and resorting to other extreme forms of lawlessness and violence. They adopt practices like torture, mutilation and killings after trials in kangaroo courts or the Jan Adalats. They are a regular force with squads patterned on army platoons. In 2006, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), estimated that 20,000 armed-cadre Naxalites were operating in addition to 50,000 regular cadres. Naxalites follow a strict and discipline with well organized daily routine as: Rollcall: 6:40am; Exercise: 6.50am; Breakfast: 9.00am; Training: 9.30am; Lunch: 12.30 pm; Study Class: 2.30pm; Training: 4.30 pm; Bomb Training: 5.30 pm. They get most of their weapons by raiding police bases.

      These conflicts go back to the failure to implement fifth and ninth schedules of constitution that provide limited form of tribal autonomy with regard to exploiting natural resources on their lands, e.g. pharmaceutical, mining, land ceiling laws and distribution of excess land to landless farmers and labourers. The early 1970's saw the spread of Naxalism to almost every state in India, barring Western India. Then the movement was fragmented into disputing factions. By 1980, it was estimated that around 30 Naxalite groups were active, with a combined membership of 30,000. The Naxalites control territory throughout Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal states and claim to be supported by the poorest of the rural population, especially the Adivasis. The Naxalites have frequently targeted tribal, police and government workers in what they say is a fight for improved land rights and more jobs for neglected agricultural labourers and the poor. The Naxalites claim that they are following a strategy of rural rebellion similar to a protracted people's war against the government. But it is popular in the regions where it is present. A study of  The Times of India concludes that 58% people have a positive perception of the guerrilla, against 19 % for the government. The longevity of the Maoist rebellion is partly due to the local support they receive.

      In July 1971, Indira Gandhi took advantage of President's rule to mobilise the Indian Army against the Naxalites and launched a colossal combined army and police counter-insurgency operation, termed "Operation Steeplechase," killing hundreds of Naxalites and imprisoning more than 20,000 suspects and cadres, including senior leaders. The paramilitary forces and a brigade of para commandos also participated in Operation Steeplechase. The operation was choreographed in October 1969, and Lt. General J.F.R. Jacob was enjoined by Govind Narain, the Home Secretary of India, that "there should be no publicity and no records" and Jacob's request to receive the orders in writing was also denied by Sam Manekshaw.

      Operation Steeplechase was launched on Jul 1, 1971 by the Indian Army along with the Police to put down a Santhal tribal uprising in West Bengal. This was a culmination of the Naxalite movement that had begun in 1967 in Naxalbari. The Army had formed the outer cordon in Operation Steeplechase and the Police had gone in for the kill. Operation Steeplechase ended by Aug 15, 1971 and broke the back of the first Naxalite upsurge in West Bengal. The Santhal tribesmen armed with bows, arrows, dahs and spears were no match for the fire power of the Army or Police. The plain terrain of West Bengal with its well developed network of road communications is not ideal guerilla country. Hence the first Naxalite uprising was easily crushed. In the decades since, Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal and Kerala were three states that went the farthest to enforce land reforms. This, to a great extent, resolved the primary cause of the initial Naxalite rebellion and it withered away by the end of the 1970s. 

      The CRPF is raising 10 COBRA Battalions to combat this menace. So far, however the casualty ratio between the police and insurgents is a cause for concern. For the last three years, it has become adverse and tilted in favor of the insurgents. The world over, armies are employed to tackle insurgencies. While Terrorists target defenseless civilians, Insurgents usually target the police. Police is ideal to tackle terrorism, especially in cities, towns and densely populated areas, tribal insurgency in difficult jungle terrain needs the intervention of the regular Army. Andhra Pradesh Greyhound model of creating elite, specialized police forces has worked well in due to better roads & communication network in AP that enabled the police to gain the upper hand. 

      In 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the Naxalites the "Single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country. Deprived and alienated sections of the population forms the backbone of the Maoist movement in India". In June 2011, he said, "Development is the master remedy to win over people", adding that the government was "strengthening the development work in the 60 Maoist-affected districts. In 2010, Home Secretary, GK Pillai, acknowledged that there are legitimate grievances regarding local people's access to forest land and produce and the distribution of benefits from mining and hydro power developments, but claims that the Naxalites' long-term goal is to establish an Indian Marxist state. He said the government decided to tackle the Naxalites head-on, and take back much of the lost areas.

      Maosists guerrilla style killings of police and landlords haven’t solved the problem for 50 years. There is no concept of a ‘victory’ in such conflicts. The only achievement they can feel proud of is the number of deaths. Naxals do not allow the people in their affected areas to develop and prosper. They don’t seek education, infrastructure, jobs and development for the people they stand for. They instead destroy schools, railway stations, telephone exchanges, post offices, roads and all other forms of development. This ensures that the villagers/tribals remain poor, uneducated, cutoff, and dependent on them. So they can then blame Govts for their situation and project themselves as saviours. If tribals and villagers get educated and prosper, it will make the Maoists redundant. It has lost relevance now. White collar Naxal leaders ask for Freedom of expression, Human rights and Legal processes.

      Governments will continue to remain inefficient & corrupt. Every government is formed with inept people keep rotating but its overall character remains same. In any country, people in government positions or outside are all of similar nature. Isolated & violent movements cannot change the nature of governments. Only non-violent mass movements can bring a change for better governance and equality. Killings only give unbearable lifelong pain & suffering to the families of victims - naxals, police, security forces and villagers. These organisations and movements make the country weak and brittle. Neighboring enemies will easily fuel them to their advantage. Hope we see an end to these deaths and failed ideologies, and stay united to build a strong country by leading people for a change towards the better.

      Nowadays, Maoists recruits cadres, mostly rural poor illiterate, for salary at different levels who gets annual vacation to visit home. Most Maoist leaders visit cities in disguise for medical treatments and paid pleasures. They get involved in disputes & settlements for a fee, extortion, robbery, paid killings etc similar to that of goondas and mafia. All these activities are in opposition with principles of Mazumdar & Sanyal, the founders of the movement 50 years ago. It is said that demonetization impacted Maoists by Rs. 5,000 crores of notes not exchanged. 

      Today's naxalites are a confused group and is a extortionist and terrorist group resembling mafia. They are also used by political parties to settle their personal agenda. Police & Security forces failed to protect tribals from the Maoists. Maoists use tribals for their protection as human shields. None of the villagers was armed. The unanswered question mark in India’s democratic polity, Naxalism is not merely a law-and-order problem. It has to be addressed simultaneously on the political, security, development and public-perception management fronts in a holistic manner. But as the government grapples with the challenge, Naxalites strengthen their sway.

      The Modi government follows the same policy laid out by the Manmohan Singh government - "Development and police action". The centre considers that the Maoist insurgency is linked to under-development and lack of governance. Therefore it tries to improve governance as well as provision of health, education and infrastructure to the people. Simultaneously, the state police and central forces are used to fight the Maoists.

      As local population develops a permanent stake in the state viz. development, infrastructure, education, healthcare, good governance etc the Maoists will find it very difficult to recruit and mobilize. But this process is extremely slow and requires massive efforts  and investments over time but results will come slowly but surely.  

      Naxalites (or Maoists) are our own misguided brothers
      నక్సలైట్లు  మనవాళ్లె,  కాని  దారి  తప్పిన  తమ్ముళ్లు

      My View:
      Today, Naxalism and Maoism has transformed into a militaristic movement, more intent on terrorizing segments of population than on supporting people’s causes. There is little in common between today’s Maoists who indulge in unbridled and often gruesome violent acts and the erstwhile purist revolutionaries of the Charu Majumdar era. It did lose support among sections of the urban intelligentsia, but still resonates with ideologically oriented elements in universities and colleges and maintains a veneer of being true supporters of the poor and the downtrodden, especially the tribal people. It is only kept in check by a large security presence. It has a well-established arms trail to obtain state-of-the-art weapons from sources outside the country.

      Over the past decade, the Maoists seemed to have had the better of the exchanges with security forces/civilians in terms of casualties - averaging a ratio of three killed for every Naxalite. It suffers from a lack of tall leaders. It is still able to convey an impression that the Maoists are the ‘torch bearers’ of ‘an idea’ whose time is about to come. Human rights violations by police and security forces both on Maoists and their supporters is also a matter of concern.

      Government needs to recognise that the Maoist movement cannot be approached from the law and order perspective only. The phenomenon is much more than a mere militant movement. It partakes of an idea, pernicious though the idea might appear, which cannot be destroyed merely through a military-style setback. In the past half a century of its existence, the Naxalite (now Maoist) movement has weathered many such ‘setbacks’. Greater political will is needed to address these shortcomings.

      Tuesday, 25 April 2017

      Why does good things to happen to wicked people?

      This question is similar to its opposite: Why does bad things to happen to good people? Both questions refer to what seems to be the perplexing injustice we witness every day. Evil people live by their own rules, enjoying all the wealth and pleasures of the world and collecting riches. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. Then we witness the wicked people around us getting new possessions, luxurious homes, promotions, and beautiful clothes, while good people struggle financially. 

      Neighbor's prosperity is no concern of ours. In the end it doesn't matter! Our neighbors' fortunes are completely out of our hands. What is under our control is how we respond to it and, far more importantly how we handle what we have. Rather than gaze enviously at our neighbors' wealth, we should strive to be content. Having food, clothing, shelter and health, we should be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

      The pursuit of wealth is a path that is likely to end in trouble, unhappiness and destruction. In the sanctuary of God, wicked people find it slippery and swept away. Those who have temporary riches on earth are in reality spiritual beggars because they do not have true riches, eternal life. If we keep God's way, the blessings will come automatically, as God sees fit. Whether we prosper financially or not, we know that God has our best interests at heart. God will give us all that we could ever need if we keep our focus on righteousness. There we will find truth, contentment, spiritual riches, and eternal joy.

      It is that simple. Do good, trust God and don't worry! 

      Money is difficult to earn; Money is difficult to save; Money is difficult to preserve; 
      Money is difficult to invest; Money is troublesome all the way!

      He who wishes become millionaire in a year will get hanged in two years.

      My View:
      Money is not that difficult to earn. Look at the people who earn money effortlessly by connections and manipulations. Money is only difficult to earn ethically, morally & legally. Compromise in all these three, then money will flood you. God seldom gives riches to good people. Morality is generally incompatible with amassing wealth.

      Monday, 24 April 2017

      It does not matter what others think

      It can be really hard not to worry what other people think about you. Wanting to be liked, and approved of, and smiled at, and applauded is a fairly basic need among modern humans, especially those who have their actual basic needs already met. When you're getting all of those much-wanted things, it's fabulous. Those people who you know - love and support you, it will always be with your best interests at heart. It's okay to sometimes be at odds with the people you love. The only person you need to be true to in your life is yourself. 

      What you need to stop caring about is what the world-at-large thinks of you. Co-workers, party acquaintances, friends of friends, etc. It does not matter what these people think. They're perfectly entitled to their opinions, and you are perfectly entitled to not give a damn about those opinions. If someone wants to judge you, that's their problem. 
      1. The best way to get something done is to do it yourself.
      2. Sometimes people respond from a place of fear. Most people are uncomfortable with change, they’re not likely to be your biggest supporter. From this place of fear, they tend to nudge you back to their comfort zone. Be cautious of fear-based input.
      3. It doesn't matter what other people think of you because they don't have to live with you. You are the only person you need to be concerned with when you're making decisions, not your annoying neighbors. So prioritize what you think about you and forget everyone else.
      4. Others criticism of you is rarely about you at all. When someone judges you, their opinions are based on their perception of themselves and their own insecurities. You have no control over what other people decide to do.
      5. You shouldn't need other people to validate you. Often, we look outward for validation that we are enough and that we're doing a good job at existing. They're also mean, self-absorbed, judgmental and pretentious, so seeking validation from other people is futile and self-defeating. If you feel good then that's all the validation you need. 
      6. No one really knows your life. When people pass judgment, they do so from a very superficial, outside perspective. No one knows why you are the way you are or why you act the way you do. They don't know you. You know you.
      7. You have no obligation to hold onto anything that doesn't serve you. If something doesn't serve you, let it go. Hold onto things that make you feel good. It's your choice get on with your life and all the beautiful, positive things within it that make you happy.

      The best way you can serve other people is to take care of yourself first

      My View:
      Intelligent people learn from others experiences, mitigate risks and avoid disasters. Learning from own experiences is waste of time & resources and pull down emotionally.

      Muslims in India are second class citizens

      The song 'Sare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara' was an instant hit when Sir Muhammad Iqbal, or Allama Iqbal, wrote it in 1904. Late he became an ardent supporter of a Muslim homeland. Iqbal died in 1938, two years before the Muslim League adopted the resolution for Pakistan in Lahore in 1940, but he was honored as the spiritual founder and national poet of the new nation when it came into being in August 1947.

      In early 20th century Ottoman Empire was disintegrating. Muslims faced defeat and humiliation everywhere. Muslims in India have been suffering in many ways. Yet, they are proud Indians and love India as much as any other Indian community. Politics was only one facet of the man. Many Muslims feared that since democracy was about numbers, the Hindu majority would dominate Indian politics, culture and society and Muslims would be slowly marginalized and obliterated from India. If you objectively see the conditions of Muslims in India today, you will feel that is exactly what has happened.

      Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world. There were 1.6 billion Muslims in the world as of 2010 i.e. 23% of the global population. The world's population is projected to grow 35% in the coming decades, the Muslims are expected to grow by 73% to 2.8 billion in 2050. Majority of the Muslims i.e. 62% live in the Asia-Pacific region i.e. Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Turkey etc. Indonesia is currently the country with the world's largest Muslim population with 203 million (87% of population), but India will have that distinction by the year 2050, with more than 300 million Muslims.

      It is illogical & undemocratic to compare societal parameters in proportion to population. Yet the abysmal low shares enjoyed by Muslims in India, in all walks of life, cause heart burns and social unrest in future can't be ruled out. Muslims shares in India:
      • Population: 17.22 Crores i.e.14.23%
      • Armed forces: 3%
      • IAS & IPS: 3.65%
      • Bureaucracy 2.5%.
      • Central Organisations: 6.24%
      • Railways: 5%
      • Banking: 3.5%
      • Judiciary: 6.26%
      • Police Chiefs: 0.1%
      • Muslim convicts in jails 15.8% 
      • Under-trial Muslims in jails 20.9%
      • Per capita daily spend Rs 32.66 (Sikhs Rs 55.30, Hindus Rs 37.50, Christians Rs 51.43)
      • Illiteracy: 42.7% ( 36.4% Hindus, 32.5% Sikhs 28.2%, Christians 25.6%)
      • Below Poverty Line: 31% (SC/ST 35%, OBC 21%, OBC General 8.7%, Overall 22.7%)
      • Fair price shop licences: 6.94%
      • Antyodaya Anna Yojana Scheme beneficiaries: 1.9%
      • Low income houses allotted: 2.86%
      • Working people: 33% (Overall 40%, Sikhs 36%, Buddhists/Dalits 43%, Hindus 41%) 
      • Women working: 15% (Sikhs 15%, Jains 12%, Hindus 27%, Christians 31%, Buddhists 33%)
      • Rural land holding: 11%
      • Women divorced: 23.3% (Hindus 68%)
      • Men divorced: 12.7% (Hindus 76%)
      • Tractors owned: 2.1%
        Marginalization of Muslims in India is a harsh reality. Muslims are poorly represented in public employment, occupying only six per cent of state government jobs, four per cent in the central government, three per cent in the Indian Administrative Services and less than one per cent in senior bureaucratic posts. These empirical surveys and data depict how Muslims as a religious minority have been marginalized in the history of Indian formation. The issues of discrimination, exclusion and marginalization of Muslims in general and Muslim women in particular is complex but a serious matter of concern. But discrimination in every society exists and all people suffer discrimination in some form or other. In the communal–ridden society of India, most of the employers, industrialists and middlemen are Hindus, whereas most Muslims work as employees, workers and artisans. This ominous development has posed a great threat to the Indian Muslims and quest of survival. Muslim women in urban India are much worse off than their rural counterparts, in terms of their overall educational status compared to Hindu or Christian women. Since Muslim Indians share an economic and educational predicament with their vulnerable non-Muslim fellow citizens, therefore, economic and educational welfare are the predominant concerns in the process of democratization of Muslims.

        After 9/11, the West unleashed its 'War On Terror.' The victims were mostly Muslims. For over a decade now, there is a general mood of doom and gloom among Muslims. In India too, the rise of right wing Hindu nationalists have made Muslims uncomfortable. Riots, framing innocent Muslims in terror plots, encounter killings, ghettoisation etc, Muslims in India have been suffering in many ways. Yet, they are proud Indians and love India as much as any other Indian community. 

        Muslim leaders fought to get equal constitutional rights for Muslims and they failed. The Congress never accepted this idea of separate electorates on the principle that India would be a secular State and Muslims need not worry about it. Nehru's secularism and socialism stands defeated in India. The Congress's secularism turned out to be fake. During partition, the heaviest migration of Muslims that took place were from upper and middle strata of society. If Muslims have been a Congress appeased vote bank since 1947, why are they still backward?

        In India, Muslims face communal violence and risk political exclusion because of Hindu majoritarianism, which is gaining ground in the country. While Hindu nationalist groups are waging a concerted campaign against all religious minorities in their efforts to Hinduise India, Islamist forces are doing the same and even worse to religious minorities on this side of the border. After Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, Hindu domination is complete in India. The tokenism of Congress is over. 

        The ban on beef trading by Maharashtra government and closing of unauthorized slaughter houses in UP will disproportionately harm poor Muslims working in meat and leather industries. The spatial segregation of Muslims in urban areas makes them more insecure and vulnerable during communal riots. After the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, the state too has contributed to this sense of marginalisation by targeting Muslim men who face human rights abuses during siege and search operations carried out under the pretext of anti-terrorism operations, both within and outside the confines of the law. 

        Elite Muslims are comfortable in both countries. Like most poor of the world, it is the poor Muslims in India and Pakistan that face most of the challenges, from education to healthcare to job opportunities. With education & prosperity, all sorts of discrimination will diminish over time. Muslims in India need to work hard to better their lot, and not just blame the government for their pitiable state. Muslims must organize themselves in India and look after their needs, otherwise they will be forced to exist on the margins of society and will be forced to learn to live as second class citizens of the State.

        It is safer in India to be a cow than a Muslim ... Shashi Tharoor

        My View:
        Every person belongs to a minority group, with varying criterion. A Hindu Brahmin belongs to minority of castes. Telugu speaking people are a linguistic minority compared to Hindi speaking people. There are linguistic minorities in every other linguistic state. Since our society is primarily polarized based on religion, religious minorities gains significance especially at the time of elections. In Punjab, Hindus(38%) are minority with Sikhs(58%) are in majority. In India, J&K is the only state with Muslim population being majority at 68% whereas Hindus are 28%. But in Kashmir valley Muslims are over 96%. Minorities exist in all walks of life in all parts of the country. Hence it is the responsibility of the governments to protect minorities and ensure their well being. Social problems are born mostly by poorer classes and to some extent by middle classes where as rich are comfortable everywhere. Thus minority protection is a must as long as poverty & illiteracy are existing. Once poverty & illiteracy are eradicated all protections could be abolished and country can become a 'True Democracy' in letter and spirit with merit as the sole criterion and national achievements would be at its best.

        It remains to be seen if India’s democracy can withstand the religious and fascist forces that seem to reign supreme now. The benefits of education, health, employment and enterprise were yet to reach around 100 million Muslims and India as a country cannot grow if Muslims and other marginalised populations are left behind.

        Saturday, 22 April 2017

        Ease of doing business to economic prosperity

        Choropleth map of the World Bank's Doing Business index from "Doing Business 2017"
        The ease of doing business index is an index created by the World Bank Group. Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.
        • Economic activity requires a streamlined regulatory environment and transparent policies and accessible to all.
        • Entrepreneurial activity is a support to economic growth. Higher entry rate of new businesses cultivates competition and innovation. The entry of new firms into an economy creates jobs, contributes development of the private sector and economic growth.
        • Ease of doing business indicators are (1) starting business (2) registering property (3) dealing with construction permits  (4) getting electricity (5) getting credit (6) protecting investors (7) paying taxes (8) trading across borders and (9) enforcing contracts (10) resolving insolvency. 
        • Good governance is essential for businesses. Transactions costs are lower when regulations are simple, transparent and predictable. Entrepreneurs do not have to waste resources on red tape enabling anyone to do business without having to resort to connections or informal payments.
        • Ease of Doing Business has significant effect to economic growth.
        • In developing economies competition, growth and job creation are formed in the informal sector regularly because of too much bureaucracy and regulation. Informal sector firms lack access to the opportunities and protections that the law provides but even firms operating in the formal sector might not all have equal access to these opportunities and protections.
        • Since the introduction of the economic reforms in 1978, China has become the world's manufacturing center, where the secondary sector (comprising industry and construction) represented the largest share of GDP. In spite of its slowdown, mainland China is still a main driver of global GDP expansion, accounting for a larger share of world economic growth than the rest of Asia combined.
        • Dealing with construction permits and getting credit have negative effect to GDP. Registering property and trading across borders have positive effect. Getting credit has negative effect to GDP. Registering property has positive effect to GDP. Trading across borders has positive effect to GDP. 83% of the total variation in the economic growth can be explained by the changes in the indicators of ease of doing business specifically dealing with construction permits, getting credit, registering property and trading across borders.
        • Other indicators such as enforcing contracts, getting electricity, protecting investors, paying taxes, resolving insolvency, and starting a business have no significant effect to GDP. This implies that even if it is easy to do business under these indicators, it has nothing to do with GDP.
        • Singapore has the easiest to do business and has the best regulatory performance in doing business in Asia. China produces the highest level of GDP. 
        Ever since Modi has become PM in 2014, nothing much has happened for improving 'ease of doing business ranking' which was 130. India had been downgraded in the 2016 to 131. In 2017, India's ranked climbed to 130 out of 190 countries in the World Bank Group's annual report.  India has made a substantial improvement in some areas such as electricity connection, but slippage in other areas, including payment of taxes and enforcing contracts, prevented improvement on the rankings that is followed widely by global investors. The World Bank acknowledges several successes since Mr. Modi took office in 2014. Still, due to even-larger improvements in other economies, India’s ranking in several areas fell this year. On the ease of starting a business, it slipped to 155th from 151st. On dealing with construction permits, it stumbled to 185th from 184th. On paying taxes, it held steady at 172nd. The report’s authors acknowledge that the ranking doesn’t reflect all the progress India has made recently in improving the business environment. Lawmakers have recommended the implementation of a large number of reforms across all states, going beyond the scope of Doing Business. It takes Mumbaikars 14 procedures and about a month to start a new company.

        New Zealand tops this year’s ranking, dethroning Singapore to two. UK is ranked 7, USA at 8, Russia at 40, China at 78, Sri Lanka at 110, Egypt at 122, Pakistan at 144, Bangladesh at 176 etc indicates India has to long way to go for economic growth and prosperity.

        With in Indian states, AP and Telengana have jointly topped the 2016 ease of doing business rankings, while last-year's topper Gujarat slipped to the third spot. The rankings are on the basis of a 340-point business reform action plan and their implementation by the States for the period from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

        My View:
        India's current years credit ratings are just a notch above 'junk status'. Efforts to enhance ratings during 2016 due to higher GDP growth rate & lower inflation rates were brushed aside by Moodys citing huge national debt and fragile public sector banks with Rs.7 lakh crores NPAs which needs huge recapitalization for stay put into business. Credit rating enhancement is at least two years away. The demonetization debacle has further complicated matters. Modi embarking on high speed reforms like GST etc are likely to create confusion & chaos with high inflation in short run while long run impacts are uncertain. In short, India is experiencing uncertain future on economic front with Brexit, H1B visa issues, unencouraging FDIs despite invincible political authority Modi enjoys.

        YV Reddy's analysis of demonetization impacts

        The School of Economics, University of Hyderabad (UoH) organized a lecture ‘Indian Economy: New Challenges and Opportunities’ by Dr. YV Reddy, former RBI Governor on April 21, 2017. 
        • Demonetization as an unprecedented move by the government and the enforcement of stringent punishments will not decrease the flow of black money in the market. 
        • A billion people have been put to inconvenience for over nearly two months for no fault of their’s. It never happened in any country. Despite the collateral damage to innocent people of that magnitude, the public kept quite. That means people were disgusted with the system
        • The unintended and incidental consequence of the demonetization drive is the new-age digital economy of the country. 
        • The note-ban has helped a quantum jump in digitization and the follow-up provisions in the Budget have strengthened the regulatory powers of tax administration. There was strong and massive support from the public for reforms that address systemic problems that were once considered intractable.
        • There are downsides to digitisation, which demands higher degree of vigilance, they do not deter its benign impact on modernization of the economy mainly by formalizing semi-informal sector and reducing transaction cost.
        • Short-term economic impact of demonetization has been negligible so far. 
        • It’s direct and immediate impact on black money and corruption is similarly negligible. 
        • It is not a mere shock akin to a truckers’ strike but has systemic implications for the future.
        • Stringent laws are the most violated in our economy. 
        • A public policy can be effective only if the governance is effective. 
        • Punishments are not an analytical solution to black money. It can only appeal to the masses.
        • The inter-relationship between market and the government and the dynamics involved in it should be considered.
        • Goods and Services Tax (GST) needs a huge administrative, technological and logistical base, and its implementation would cause a short term inconvenience for the Indian economy.
        • When something good happens, advanced states grow rapidly. Thus, there is an unequal growth among states. Consequentially, compensation from the government to bridge this gap diminishes the scope for improvement. If both Centre and State fight for an equal headroom in regard to GST, the tax rates can go upto 40% from 28%.
        • The lawless globalization of capital and the public sector banks getting involved in business creating the menace of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in Indian economy. 
        • Capital infusion of public sector banks should not be done by government alone as it may give windfall gains to private shareholders. Taxpayer's interests are thus involved in any recapitalization. 
        • Major private sector banks do not have problem of capital adequacy despite non-performing Assets.
        Criminals are driven by the same desires as we are, 
        but they take disastrous shortcuts and end up in a real mess ... Colin Wilson

        My View:
        There is no question that demonetization 2016 has left with 'All pain & No gain' situation with Modi’s reputation as a sound economic manager taking severe beating and resurrection of fears that the ruling BJP takes policy advice from quacks. Modi's dreams to modernize India by 2019 has been shattered. Now he has to resort to age old political gimmicks of fake narratives rather than truths. This lousy technique will give some benefits up to an year and when economy goes out of control sooner or later, he will be the casualty where as the price will be paid the common man of India. In contrast, Congress with all its drawbacks, corruption & scams, always exhibited sanity of mind never to muddle with the livelihoods of poor & peasants and preserve institutional autonomies, where as this autocratic Modi dealt deadly blows to them in the name of demonetization with all faked objectives and autonomy of institutions destroyed.. In the process, rule of the law and institutional independence were severely compromised and at the same time giving rise to police raj with sweeping powers to tax men that is detrimental to democracy. 

        Friday, 21 April 2017

        VIP abuse must be eliminated everywhere

        Today VVIPs & VIPs in India exceed 5,79,092 and invariably all these use flashing beacon lamps on the top of their cars. Some criminals, businessmen and adventurous people use them unauthorisedly. Indians have long resented this VIP culture as a public nuisance. While the beacon light users consider it as a privilege and the ultimate status symbol, the use & misuse of the beacons has become a menace to society. 

        What Kejriwal (Delhi CM) & Capt Amarinder Singh (Punjab CM) has done away on day one, Modi as PM did so after three years - banning of red beacon vehicle top flashing lights, a symbol of VVIP status after enjoying the same for about 15 years as CM & PM. Union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Kiren Rijiju have never used them. While former four didn't get any publicity, Modi could generate extraordinary publicity, with no expenditure. Anyways, better late than never. The Supreme Court on Dec 10, 2013 asked government to trim the list of people who can use red beacons. After 3.5 years, BJP is trying to do politics and blow the trumpet of morality.

        However this is only a first step and much more needs to be done to eradicate this awkward VVIP culture that crept into society deeply, craved by most and resented by all. All citizens must be at par at all times and at all places, irrespective of any qualifiers. The only exceptions are humanitarian considerations such as senior citizens, pregnant woman, handicapped and sick persons. 

        Any person jumping the queues must be penalized heavily and willful repetitions must result in prosecution & jail sentence.

        Injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere 
        ... Martin Luther King Jr

        My View:
        These days every person with pocket full of money feels that he is a VIP and superior to others and is willing to manage or buyout priority treatment at the expense of others, shamelessly. VIP security is mostly false and over emphasized, which is considered an ultimate status symbol. Over 50% politicians are entangled in criminal cases. Why should government provide security to criminals facing charges or under trial? Government should revisit and revise norms to provide adequate security to genuine and deserving cases only in public interest. All charged with criminal offences should have their private security only. In case of others, the expenditure should be recovered from the so called VIP, where ever possible.

        VIPs abuse common man in every sphere of civic life. In govt offices, hospitals, temple queues and everywhere. Equating all people just in traffic alone is not enough. Everywhere this abuse must be eliminated. Modi, known for rhetoric, narratives, publicity & manipulations rather than sincerity of purpose, having got enough publicity may not walk the talk to eradicate this ubiquitous VIP culture in India.