Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Gender wage gap?

  • The gender pay gap is the average difference between a man's and a woman's wages or salaries.
  • The Constitution of India guarantees the right to equality and prohibits discrimination, and the 1976 Equal Remuneration Act reinforces this without prejudice to special measures like maternity leave. But laws are rarely enough.
  • Gender wage gaps begin at home. In fact, early feminist posters would state that women have to do twice the work men did to earn half as much.
  • We value anything that men do more than anything that women do. 
  • Men work in sectors that are better organized, better regulated and better paid. 
  • Women in India earn 27 per cent less than men in most places;
    If a man got Rs 100, a woman can expect to get Rs 73, for the same job.
  • In the United States, in 2015, women working full time typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 20 percent?
  • At every level of academic achievement, women’s median earnings are less than men’s median earnings, and in some cases, the gender pay gap is larger at higher levels of education. The gender pay gap is worse for mothers, and it only grows with age.
  • Unequal pay for equal work is only one explanation for why women earn less.
  • Poorer childhood nutrition results in poorer health lifelong and lower productivity.
  • Lack of access to educational opportunities lock women into low-skilled or unskilled jobs, which, by definition, pay less.
  • Society keeps women from acquiring more than functional literacy locks them into poverty.
  • With poverty comes vulnerability to displacement and exploitation.
  • In a crisis or downturn, women are the first to lose their jobs and the last to receive compensation. 
  • They rarely own assets and, lacking capital, struggle to raise money for entrepreneurship. 
  • Patrilocal marriage means they start adult life without the social capital men have that enables them to find work, raise credit or identify mentors.
  • In India, women make up only 28 per cent of the labour force.
  • On an average, women work 537 minutes a day and men 442.
  • 66% of the work women do is unpaid as opposed to 12% in the case of men.
  • The ILO estimates it will take 70 years to close the gender wage gap.
  • Society expects that women will put household and family needs above their professional growth. Girls often make educational choices that reflect this limitation.
  • Women make up only 15% of those who work in the area of research and development.
  • Throughout their careers women are likely to take time off to have and raise children or care for family elders. Anticipating this, they are offered less money and less responsibility at every stage.
  • Women make up only 10% of publicly traded company board memberships.
While unmarried women earns almost equal to men, marriage and unequal work division at home effects their earnings and career growth. Motherhood and subsequent child care compels women to commit less time to work and that effects their salary. Children are particular in damaging woman's career. The causes of the gender pay gap are complex. In the past, a substantial proportion of the gender pay gap was due to factors such as differences in education, the occupations and industries that men and women work in, or the fact that women are more likely to work part-time. The majority of the gender pay gap is now driven by “unexplained” factors impacting negatively on women and differences in men’s and women’s choices and behaviors.

The most important obstacle to wage equality, however, lies in our attitudes. When women value themselves enough to fight for their due, and when society values all human beings equally, the gender wage gap will cease to be an issue.

My View:
Pay parity and lack of presence in leadership roles are issues worldwide, not just in India. Every where in the world, women are underpaid at work and unpaid for their domestic work. A lesson in the textbook in Chhattisgarh in 2015 claimed that “working women are one of the causes of unemployment” in the country indicating regressive mindset prevalent in the country. Women carry out at least two and a half times more unpaid household and care work than men. The invisibility of such women workers is essential for the survival of society and provides a huge and unnoticed subsidy to the formal economy. SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya says that few women get to the top because for most, it’s almost determined at entry that they would quit midway through their careers to take up responsibilities at home. If women could participate in the economy on an equal footing with men, India could add $2.9 trillion i.e. 60% of the $5 trillion GDP by 2025. Even if India manages to match the best country in the region on this measure, it would add $700 billion to its economy and increase its growth rate by 1.4%. 

To be Smart or To be Nice!

  • One tends to use big words, when insecure and to appear smarter! It is usually has opposite effect.
  • Smart people have good vocabulary. Using thesaurus in emails, one may be guilty of boosting intelligence perception. But smart writing is usually simpler and easier to understand.
  • Intelligence is associated with clarity of expression.
  • Smart people use long words in their writing but their is aim is to write clearly.
  • Any cue associated with wisdom - thick book, fluent speech, grey hair, wearing glasses - may give rise to impression of smartness.
  • Persons having good sense of humor show really higher intelligence. So men can use humor as an easy and honest, hard to fake, cue of intelligence.
  • If people find some one attractive and an authentic smile tends to enhance attractiveness, they are inclined to assign other good qualities to them, like intelligence.
  • Most of our daily interactions with others are short and superficial. However, we are less easily fooled during prolonged or repeated interactions.
  • Good eye contact means the other person is responsive to what you are doing or saying. If he is not responsive, either you are dull or he is dumb. Conservationists who maintain good eye contact are rated higher than those who avoided someone's gaze.
  • Alcohol beverages lower perceived intelligence levels. People holding wine or beer are judged less intelligent than those holding soda or mineral water.
  • People will like you not because of your smartness, but because of your warmth and kindness. Besides liking, there is also respecting which is based on intelligence. When you want other to like you, present yourself as a person who is nice rather than smart. But if you want others to respect you, present yourself intelligent rather than nice.
Be honest, be nice, be a flower not a weed ... Aaron Neville
It is nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice ... John Templeton
Treat others as you wish to be treated. Don't just be nice, but be kind to other people.
That can be so rewarding ... Mary Lambert

My View:
Usage of jargon usually goes over the head of listeners and is of no use. Using simple and effective words is the best way of verbal communicating. However written communications which has to be clear can be long and contain appropriate jargon. Smart people are viewed by other with suspicion. It is better to be nice rather than smart or intelligent. Smartness results in rat race, where the winner is still a rat. Smartness may make you successful & rich, but nicety will make you live a rich life.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Gentleman's code

  • Prosperity should come not with dishonesty and burning conscience but with sweat from hard work.
  • Never comprise conscience under any circumstances.
  • Be honest by impulse.
  • Discuss only merits of own proposition. Ability to sell on that basis will get you repeat orders.
  • Never solicit business on the basis of friendship, courtesies or bribes which is sour.
  • Never sell a product you aren't sold on yourself.
  • Never oversell under any circumstances. A salesman who overloads his customers is a poor salesman than the man who doesn't sell at all. At least the latter hasn't created enemies.
  • Consider 'honor' the biggest word in the dictionary. Word is as good as a bond.
  • A 'gentleman's code' is something to live up to.
  • Fight to the finish to get an order, but within the rules of the game.
  • In long run, gentleman's code always works. One can enjoy doing business and can enjoy living with own self.
  • Were it not for the unshaken integrity of the mass of people, how could 95% of the world's business be done on credit?
  • Labor today is better off than at any time in the history of civilization.
  • Capital sees its responsibility in growing measure and shares, according to its enlightenment, with its workers and its public.
  • Business firms lean over backward to deliver honest goods. Customer can get his money back. Rigid inspection all through the process of manufacture eliminates the shoddy and faulty.
  • Motor industry is pace setter in USA producing incredibly efficient and honest to the last bolt and washer. At the same time prices were kept to a minimum consistent with quality and a modest profit.
  • There is no disgrace. Wealth accumulates, but men get it and give it away sharing their fortunes to people. And universities, hospitals, libraries, charitable institutions etc are benefited.
  • Gentleman's code is evident in widespread interest in putting service before profit.
A gentleman’s code is a complex system. Some traits are: He gives others the benefit of the doubt. He treats women with respect. He is a good guest and a good host. He talks to people, and not just about himself. He is well-informed on the events of the day. He is well-groomed. He lives with a degree of modesty. His possessions are tasteful. He steps up to help those who need help. He is patient with children. He donates to charitable causes. He can find common ground with anyone for conversation. He leaves every person he meets in a better, or at least no worse, situation than he found them. He believes in encouragement. He is trustworthy and can be relied upon.

Being a gentleman is a matter of choice.
A gentleman puts more into the world than he takes out ... George Bernard Shaw
A gentleman is one who does not what he wants to do, but what he should do.

Art of Public Speaking

  • Effective speech is not for exhibition but for communication.
  • The technique of effective speech is unobtrusive and disarming.
  • Speech is effective in proportion to the intrinsic worth of the speaker.
  • Impressions of the speaker are derived largely from signs of which the audience are unaware.
  • The matter to be communicated is the all important thing.
  • Audiences listen because they hope to learn something.
  • If the speaker has nothing worth saying, he is guilty of obtaining time under false pretense and deserves indictment. But if a speaker does have something worth saying, he may still fail wholly or in part because of some remediable mannerism of the body, voice or personality.
  • Some are excellent speakers but their gestures adds nothing to their effectiveness but detracts.
  • Some speakers deserves a hearing, but their gestures makes hearing less pleasant. 
  • A most exasperating habit of some speakers is to address part of audience and neglect the rest.
  • Audiences want clear enunciation, enough volume, but they can dispense with "oratory".
  • A story which is really apt is often welcome. It can serve as a relief from reforming the universe before breakfast. But funny stories are rare and speakers who know how tell them in funny way are rarer.
  • Brevity is a virtue greatly appreciated by audiences, but all too seldom practiced by speakers.
  • The man who can be relied on to say what he has to say, forcefully and interestingly, and then sit down can count on return invitations.
  • Public speaking is an art. It can be learned.
  • Gestures are part of natural, sincere, emphatic speech.
  • Vocal acrobatics are alright too, if they grow naturally out of the speaker's message and personality and are not strain on audience's patience.
  • Be utterly natural, utterly sincere, utterly absorbed and versed in your subject.
  • We all have unfortunate mannerisms of which we are unaware, we should go to some pains to discover and correct them.
  • It is a valuable experience to see ourselves as other see us.
  • It would pay any person who speaks often in public to commission a candid friend to tell him the blunt truth about his platform mannerisms. And not get angry if the friend say something disagreeable! Failure to see ourselves as the audience sees us ruins many a carefully prepared speech that could have been very effective.

In presentations or speeches less really is more.
A good speech should be like a woman's skirt; long enough to cover the subject 
and short enough to create interest ... Winston S. Churchill

My View:
Public speaking seem daunting and scary but is rewarding and fun too. It is a new skill and can accelerate your career. If you are a first time speaker you have no pressure to deliver a revolutionary speech. Speech without preparation is pale and confusing. Create a draft and road test it. A title for the speech and brief outline helps you to focus on key points you want to communicate. Never think you have to be expert to present something new. Passion for the subject and a personal perspective will always be of interest to audience. It is a good idea to speak out loud that ensure your messages are clear and well articulated. To improve take anonymous feed back. Next time you get a chance to speak, don't miss it.


Everyone experiences anger. Anger is an intense emotional state induced by displeasure. 

Anger could be stratified into three modalities: cognitive (appraisals), somatic-affective (tension and agitations), and behavioral (withdrawal and antagonism). A person experiencing anger will also experience physical conditions, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline.

Aristotle felt that anger or wrath was a natural outburst of self- defense in situations where people felt they had been wronged.
  • Most people experience anger as a result of "what has happened to them".
  • People feel angry when they care about has been offended.
  • The behavior of angry person warns aggressors to stop their threatening behavior. 
  • When a man becomes angry, he has no shame, no fear of evil and is not respectful in speech. 
  • Anger triggers part of the fight. Anger is expressed in awkward facial expressions, body language etc.
  • Anger activates aggression, it is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for aggression.
  • Anger impairs to exert cognitive control over their behavior.
  • Anger is used as a protective mechanism to cover up fear, hurt or sadness. 
  • Anger is a conscious behavior to stop the threatening behavior of others.
  • Anger negatively affects personal or social well-being. An angry person loses objectivity, empathy, prudence or thoughtfulness and cause harm to themselves or others.
  • An angry person sleeps poorly, destroys his health, wealth and status. Relatives, friends, & colleagues avoid him. 
  • A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves a thousand moments of regret. Anger begins with madness, and ends in regret.
  • Anger makes people think more optimistically, dangers seem smaller, actions seem less risky, ventures seem more likely to succeed, and unfortunate events seem less likely. Angry people are more likely to make risky decisions, and make more optimistic risk assessments.
  • The display of anger can be feigned or exaggerated. Anger is a strategy of social influence and goal achievement.
  • Angry people are less likely to suffer heart disease and more likely to receive a pay raise compared to fearful people.
  • People tended to be more flexible toward an angry opponent.
  • Showing anger increases the ability to succeed in negotiation.
  • Without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes unchecked. Therefore to be angry is not always an evil.
  • We worship God by expressing our honest anger at him.
  • Women's passive nature is due to their lack of power compared to men. 
  • Physical altercation occurs with prior expression of anger by one of the participants.
  • Anger can boost determination toward correction of wrong behaviors, promotion of social justice, communication of negative sentiment, and redress of grievances.
  • Anger always results when we are caught up expecting the world to be different than it is.
  • An internal infection can cause pain which in turn can activate anger.
  • Anger is the fume of an irritated mind. It is caused by the thwarting of desires. It feeds the limited ego and is used for domination and aggression. 
Thinking before speaking, expressing frustration in a mild way, daily exercises, short breaks, identifying solutions, not holding grudges, use of humor (not sarcasm), relaxation skills and seeking timely help are some techniques to control anger and keeping cool. 

You need to accept that life sometimes is unfair, then you can pursue positive purpose. You can work constructively against injustices you find, transforming your anger into passion. Or you can pursue fulfillment in spite of the unfairness that exists.

These days in India, ferocity of mob threats and crowd size indicate the authenticity and depth of the grievance. The management of staging of spontaneous popular anger is a key political technique in contemporary India. Only a spontaneously angry crowd gets taken seriously, if it is Hindus. Any Muslim crowds will be routinely dismissed as 'staged' or 'instigated' by dark, hidden forces. In reality mob violence was rarely prosecuted as a crime. Shiv Sena which practiced threat of mob violence in day to day politics was always helped by police standing by and never ever booked and prosecuted.

Anger gets you into trouble, ego keeps you in trouble.
Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding ... Mahatma Gandhi
Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame ... Benjamin Franklin
Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy ... Aristotle

My View:
After passing through several decades in life I realized that anger was never worth it. It spoils communication and relationships and pushes you into isolation. Situations deteriorate and restoring normalcy is another nuisance activity. Anger communicates nothing where as silence is golden. So better follow age old advice ... when you are angry count ten before you reply. Not so easy.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Illusions of recovery

  • The growth of China and India at 6.9% and 7.3% are unsustainable because of their dependence on debt.
  • G7 economies are growing at meager 1.8%.
  • US growth is distressing with personal consumption growth of 0.3%.
  • Indian banks with over 10% lending in stressed and non-performance assets, the growth rate is unsustainable.
  • China's total debt by record 237% of GDP far above emerging-market counterparts raising the risk of financial crisis or prolonged slowdown in growth.
  • While Trump promises fiscal stimulus, he does not have a concrete plan to ensure that this does not result in a substantial widening of the fiscal deficit. Then it is unlikely that Trump will win support of fiscal hawks in his own party. The result would be obstacles to implementation.
  • Europe is still in the throes of crisis or vulnerable and its leading economy Germany is slowing.
  • The dependence on debt makes boom in India and China unsustainable and when downturn occurs in these countries, deleveraging will accelerate the fall and make recovery even more difficult. So making these countries as growth poles is unwarranted.

My View:
Worldwide, middle class and lower classes [Over 95% of population] income remained stagnant during the past 25 years. Only upper middle class and upper classes incomes have shot through the roof. Middle & lower classes remaining stagnant and their consumption remaining low, how can the economy grow? The growth of China and India are superfluous without adjusting the impacts of debt burden, ecological destruction and pollution impact corrections. The growth of advanced countries like USA, Europe and Japan which are between 1-2% are real. During past one year our electricity consumption which hitherto recorded 6-8% compounded annual growth, has recorded negative growth of about 4% which is reflected in no load shedding, backing down of thermal generation & coal imports, piling up of coal stocks everywhere, reluctance of power buyers to sign long term PPA's in preference to spot cheaper purchases etc. How could India register economic growth of over 7% with reduced energy consumption? Every economic parameter is looking south while growth is looking north - strange. Fudging of economic data is not ruled out, which China did during the past 15 years. Indian, a asset rich and cash poor country, indicates asset value bubbling might burst anytime. But for the crude oil prices remaining low for consecutive three years, what would have happened to our economy with adventurists like Modi at helm.

Friday, 26 May 2017

3 years of Modi: Where we stand?

Modi will be celebrating completion of 3 years as PM soon. Celebrations why?
  • His Gujarat riots legacy is still intact.
  • He seeks to overturn the past associated with the era of the Congress, which had an overlay of liberal and Left thought.
  • His larger than the life personality cult in BJP is so dangerous that without him BJP would be reduced to a ragtag outfit.
  • Winning the elections with rightist anti Muslim narratives leads us to nowhere. 
  • It could be very well destructive, with Kashmir [with 96% Muslims of 9 million population] totally alienated and their desire to remain with India is close to zero. Thinking that brute force will be enough to hold back Kashmir and integrate it with India will be futile. No effort was made to win their hearts or engage people of Kashmir politically and economically. Our mighty Army can at best can kill few thousands of people but nine million Kashmiri's can't be liquidated.
  • Ironically, BJS/BJP founder Syam Prasad Mookerjee was Nehru's minister in 1949, when Article 370 was finalized granting special autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir which was never implemented in letter and spirit.
  • The BJP’s landslide victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections has only fortified Kashmiri's fears and its alienation. Modi will not change into appeasing Muslims or minorities and it is a matter of time we end up losing Kashmir. 
  • Much hyped Swachh Bharat has become more a advertising tool and reality on the ground remained same with near total planning & implementation failure. So is 'Make in India' campaign which achieved nothing except visual publicity for Modi.
  • India's per capita income is under $1700 per annum. To become a developed nation this has to grow to at least $12,000 per annum which will take several decades, if all goes well. 
  • Even to reach China's present level of $4,000 per annum, it will take more than a decade.
  • At this nascent stage embarking on a political campaign with festival like celebrations and campaign of Modi's achievements is nothing but mocking the poor.
  • The realities to day are:
    - unemployment is at its highest.
    - banks remain on the edge of collapsing.
    - farmer's suicides continue unabated.
    - the less talked about education & healthcare it is better.
    - whole sale inflation is low or negative but retail inflation is pinching poor.
    - the reasonable price situation is attributable to low crude oil prices only.
    - foreign relations are at its worst.
    - the demonetization 2016 got simply busted and its objectives grounded.
    - so far government has failed to release any official details of its impact.
    - to accept and adopt to 'cashless transactions' and pay its charges.
    - live with harsh and ruthlessness of bank-men and tax-men.
    - our ratings remained at 'baa' [near junk status] with excessive national debt.
  • Stock markets, fueled by sentiments during the past three years, its indices have reached phenomenal levels enriching investors to the tune of Rs.50 lakh crores. Only rich became further richer.
  • After demonetization, tax base is gradually expanding and govt is becoming richer. That is fine. The informal sector which creates most jobs especially for unskilled & unqualified and operates on wafer thin margins are seriously impacted and causality is its jobs. 
  • The intended or unintended consequence of the GST will be that informal businesses will be punished and compelled to wind up.
  • While GST and 'one nation - one tax' slogan appears impressive, it seriously undermines the autonomy of the states and its freedom and violates the federal spirit enshrined in constitution. The intended or unintended consequence of the GST will be that informal businesses will be punished and and pushed out of businesses. States will have to beg central government for every financial need and relief amounts needed due to calamities. Centre gives guarantee for a period of five years to make good any losses but its past performance in this type of matters is not encouraging. While consumers might not get any immediate benefit and the imagination that benefits will follow from 2nd year on wards might very well be a myth. Our business houses are notorious for their propensity to retain advantages and pass on the disadvantages to consumers. Even our governments does the same to its citizens. The low crude oil price benefits were retained by central government to the extent of 80% and consumers got only 20% during the past 3 years.
  • Young people haven’t found jobs or economic opportunities. The middle class is listless with the economy in doldrums, more due to the sluggish world economy. 
  • The business class is unhappy as Team Modi hasn’t done anything substantive to further the ease of doing business in India.
  • More than comfortable pile of foreign reserves of $370 billion is not a cause of exultation any longer.
  • The BJP’s victories are its own, and opposition can mourn their hopelessness, but the country has a life of its own. The question is whether the Modi government has managed to change the nation’s affairs for the better in the past three years. The answer is big 'No'.
  • Gujarat’s transformation under then chief minister Modi for over a decade between 2001 and 2014, is based on perception rather than facts. The development is based on economic statistics rather than the parameters that reflect well being of lower classes. There was no critical scrutiny of the claim by the independent economists. The harsh truth is that his claims of success as Gujarat CM were overly exaggerated.
  • In his maiden speech in the Lok Sabha in June 2014, Modi said that the Gujarat model could not be universalized, and that India being a vast country, there was a need for many different models. 
  • The hyped interactions by Modi with foreigners and his meetings were just photo-opportunities and didn’t translate into any worthwhile business deals.
Modi government completes three years in power with the realization that India and the world are complex places, and there is no way to change things with a wave of the Modi's magic wand. The Modi government has to got down rhetorical claims to stand on the ground and face the reality of the economy and India’s position in the world. The motive of these three year completion celebrations appears to be to create media hype for the next round of state elections, going into the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its 
weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest .... Cardinal Roger Mahony

Read Illusions of Recovery

My View:
Modi's electoral victories are more due to opposition failing to provide themselves as viable alternative and traditional Congress tainted with scams & corruption. Other than Hindu fundamentalists, no sane person subscribes to Modi's philosophy of alienating minorities especially Muslims. His insatiable desire for publicity portraying failed schemes as successful schemes reflects his mythomaniacness.  While so far Modi & BJP appear to be scam & corruption free, their lavish styles doesn't qualify them to be sincere and honest people of India. The way BJP spent money in 2014 elections and in UP and Delhi elections etc, the estimates are mind boggling. Modi's 'populism' tendencies relegating rationalism to back and practicing authoritarianism is perilous to the principles of democracy. He has waylaid institutions like Parliament, Supreme Court, RBI etc that are bulldozed, media manipulations and CBI & ED raids limited to their political opponents is pushing democracy in India into peril. Job addition during 2016 was a meager 2.30 lakhs against one million aspirants added to job market every month. However India has time again proved its resilience and survived external & internal aggression's on its democracy and this too will pass away. No dictator ever lived forever.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Kashmir: Total Alienation

  • Kashmir's youth come out on street in support of militants and challenge Indian security forces with stone pelting etc, indicates their feeling that state is insensitive to their concerns.
  • Ministers and senior politicians had themselves abandoned the area.
  • Militancy is not the challenge but break down of law and order is, in which people get involved and put up resistance that will result in civilian causalities.
  • The recent Srinagar lok sabha by-poll witnessed less than 7% voter turnout, lowest ever recorded. During 2014 elections voters turnout was 65%. Low turnout and violence on polling day indicates people's disaffection with state and disconnect with politicians.
  • Militants are more connected with people and attracts  crowds to defend them.
  • In 2016 security forces trying to quell the protests resulted in killing of over 100 people and use of pellet guns injured over 1000 leaving many blind.
  • Use of brutal force by security personnel, with Delhi's sanction, is only complicating the matter. This only led to increased support of people to militants especially youth.
  • Situation had worsened so much that even girls are coming out and throwing stones at police and security personnel.
  • Young people pelt stones at police & security forces know that it will not bring a solution but it is only to express frustration and hitting back.
  • One of the narratives in Media and by BJP is that stone pelters are Pakistan paid agents.
  • Kashmiri youth, 70% of population under 30 years, in the absence of political leadership which way they will be going is matter of deep concern. The anger of youth, unless harnessed to higher goals, can take unpredictable turns if society fails to apply the needed salve, if political leaders cannot summon wisdom.
  • The violence and its impact on the minds of the youths over last two decades have contributed to a belief that nothing is going to change.
  • 90% of families are angry that over 63% of families are affected directly by violence.
  • Massive militarization and with impunity, armed forces indulge in killing civilians and human right abuses unabated. 
  • Centre declaring that stone throwers will be dealt with sternly only forces Kashmir youth to rebel and revolt.
  • Doctors say that suicides have grown 400% and 58.69% of youth have experienced trauma of facing gun fire and violence. The influence of religion increased significantly in past 20 years.
  • A feeling of living under siege in their homeland, economic deprivation and denial of participation in democratic process has led to dejection.
  • A fake encounter by Army personnel killing three youth allegedly to get rewards and promotions in 2010 triggered prolonged unrest that resulted in killing of 120 civilians.
  • The alarming thing is that youth are not listening to parents any more.
  • Who ever pelts the police with stones is a warrior and who ever gets killed by police is an martyr, in Kashmir today. This type of social sanction makes it amply clear how the situation has unfolded.
  • Blocking of social media has only proved counter productive.
  • Stone pelting during Nov 2016 was stopped not due to demonetization but due to acute winter. The connection between terrorism and fake currency was overly exaggerated.
  • The surgical strikes of Sept 2016 and subsequent media hype have resulted in escalation of border tensions and increase in civilian casualties.
  • What ever is happening in Kashmir is not law & order problem any more. It is result of continuous denial be New Delhi of political engagement. Mehbooba Mufti's continuous pleadings to reach out to Kashmir has no avail. The iron handed methods used there with no concern for people is getting stronger and at the end the human cost would be enormous.
  • Syama Prasad Mookerjee was vociferous in the cause of the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India terming the arrangement under Article 370 as Balkanisation of India. On Feb 4, 1953 Sheikh Abdullah reminded Syama Prasad Mookerjee "This arrangement (Article 370) has not been arrived at now but as early as 1949 when you happened to be part of Government". SP Mookerjee was minister in Nehru's cabinet between 1947-50 and later founded Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951. In a way, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, BJS/BJP are equally responsible as Congress for Article 370. Having made constitutional provision it must be honored in letter and spirit until revoked or amended.
  • Nearly 96% of population in Kashmir are Muslims. With Hindutva nationalism rising, Kashmir Muslims are frightened and their desire to remain with India is weakening. It is difficult to face growing fear in the minds of Kashmir people. One can't deal with imponderable sentiments. It is clear that we can't hold Kashmir valley with force of arms alone. If the people there don't want us to remain, we have no case left and we can't continue for long. This is RSS contribution to Kashmir issue.
  • Weak law and order situation in Kashmir in all likelihood will lead to war between India and Pakistan. That would be catastrophe for both the nations and in particular to people of Kashmir. 
  • Kashmir situation was never so bad in the past mainly due to squandering of opportunities to find solutions by Modi government. The resentment and anger against centre among the Kashmir youth is so rampant that even Kashmir girls are coming out in open and engaged in stone pelting. Driven by hopelessness youth are coming into streets and are prepared to die. Yet our Modi government doesn't realize that this is political problem and iron handed action is the only solution that will only worsen the situation.
  • At the time of independence, the autonomous kingdom Kashmir was neither interested in joining Pakistan nor India, despite persuasion by Lord Mountbatten to join India. Only invasion by Pakistan's tribal army compelled Kashmir's Raja Hari Singh to sign 'letter of accession' joining India and Indian Army saved remaining Kashmir. But people of Kashmir had apprehensions with India and Pakistan, both.
  • There is one way to move forward in Kashmir: Talk, talk and keep talking. But Modi & BJP committed to senseless nationalism are adamant not to initiate talks with Kashmir and militants playing into hands of Pakistan is now total.
  • Alienating 20% minorities completely, BJP will never get legitimacy to rule the nation, even if they win elections.

The earth belongs in usufruct to the living. 
The dead have neither powers nor rights over it ... Thomas Jefferson

My View:
Not withstanding past and history, today Kashmir is very much integral part of India without any questions. But whether people of Kashmir were treated fairly and their pari passu rights respected or not in India, is a million dollar question? Article 370 is largely in statutes but in reality it is doing no good to Kashmir people. It is neither honored and nor implemented in letter & spirit. The reality today is that due to suppression by authorities, people of Kashmir see militants as liberators from oppression and are ready to sacrifice their lives to save them. People are also fed up with status quo in which they are trapped for 70 years in general and last 30 years in particular. With no political activity Kashmir people are deprived of their rights & fruits of democracy and this situation can not last indefinitely. Kashmir valley with population of nearly 9 million of which 96% are Muslims, who are alienated totally, sees no future with only stern orders and reinforcements from Delhi are set up for protracted struggle. The mighty army at best can kill revolutionaries and insurgents but the causality will be Kashmir. In case of war with Pakistan, which seems likely, the Kashmir population might have no option except to support and shelter Pakistan and it will be 'from frying pan to fire' for Kashmir people. Unless Central Government rapidly restores process of democracy in letter and spirit quickly and engages people of Kashmir politically, we may very well end up losing Kashmir. With stubborn Modi at Delhi, people of Kashmir are destined for prolonged struggle, uncertainty and suffering.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Noble Prize: Innovation from tragedy

For more than 100 years, the Nobel Prizes have recognized the finest in human achievements.

In 1864, Alfred's younger brother Emil and several other people were killed in an explosion at one of their factories in Sweden. The disaster encouraged Alfred to try to find a way to make nitroglycerin safe. Finally, in 1867, Alfred Nobel found that by mixing nitroglycerin with diatomaceous earth, the resulting compound was a stable paste that could be shaped into short sticks that mining companies might use to blast through rock. Nobel patented this invention as "dynamite".

The invention of dynamite revolutionized the mining, construction and demolition industries. Railroad companies could now safety blast through mountains, opening up vast stretches of the Earth's surface to exploration and commerce. As a result, Nobel — who eventually garnered 355 patents on his many inventions — grew fantastically wealthy. Dynamite, of course, had other uses in warfare. 

Nonetheless, he found out what others thought of his invention when, in 1888, his brother Ludvig died. Though some journalistic error, Alfred's obituary was widely printed instead, and he was scorned for being the man who made millions through the deaths of others. Once French newspaper wrote "the merchant of death is dead". The obituary went on to describe Nobel as a man "who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before."

Nobel was stunned by what he read, and as a result became determined to do something to improve his legacy. In 1895, one year before he died in 1896, Nobel signed his last will and testament, which set aside the majority of his vast estate to establish the five Nobel Prizes, in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine which were first awarded in 1901.

Superb Speech by Mr. Ratan Tata given at Symbiosis, Pune

Don’t just have career or academic goals.

Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.

There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup.

There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts.

Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.

Don't take life seriously. Life is not meant to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here.

We are like a prepaid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends.

Do we really need to get so worked up?

It's OK, bunk few classes, score low in couple of papers, take leave from work, fall in love, fight a little with your spouse... It's OK... We are people, not programmed devices..!

"Don't be serious, enjoy life as it comes"

Do share it with all the good people in your life....

30 Second Speech by Bryan Dyson – Former CEO of Coca-Cola

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. 
You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the Air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. 
But the other four Balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. 
If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. 
Give the required time to your family, friends and have proper rest.

Value has a value only if its values is valued.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

AP students tops Telangana EAMCET 2017

  • In Telangana almost 25% of people has AP roots and in Hyderabad city it is over 30%.
  • Due to historical reasons, AP people are way ahead of TS people who were ruthlessly suppressed during Nizam regime.
  • Due to lower land valuations in TS there was continuous migration of people from AP to TS along side the border.
  • Due to some kind of democracy since 1920 prior to independence AP people were conversant with govt rules and procedures and were way ahead in exploiting opportunities both legitimately and illegitimately.
  • Due to irrigation facilities people of AP were much richer than Telangana people.
  • After 1973 land reforms, agriculture saw dead end in AP for farmers and they quickly exploited opportunities in education, jobs, real estate and private sector. In the process millions of people migrated from villages to towns and cities more importantly to the then capital Hyderabad and prospered.
  • Prior to Telangana separation in 2014, slogans shouted to send back all AP people from TS back to AP for arousing emotions, much against the constitutional guarantees. Except politicians and government employees all have stayed back in TS. Even today most of politicians and government employees retained their residence in Hyderabad and are only shuttling between capitals of AP & TS.
  • After 3 years today in 2017, one will discover most top notch positions in education and public life are still with people of AP origin either through local eligibility and/or non-local 15% quota and through innovation, excellence, entrepreneurship & investment in non-govt sector. This trend is likely continue with no end in sight.
  • Reorganization impacted politicians and govt employees directly and residents of Hyderabad in particular in 2014. Now after three years hard feelings have subsided and nothing has been lost by people of AP and nothing has been gained by people of TS. But AP+TS combo has witnessed massive increase in administrative expenditure, synergy lost in utilization of shared resources like river water, power etc and overall Telugu people have lost their political influence in Delhi and else where.

It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than 
for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.

The ulterior motives with which you absorb and 
assimilate Evil are not your own but those of Evil. 

My View:
The way AP Reorganization bill was passed by LS by the UPA government in 2014, at the behest of Sonia Gandhi [with ulterior motive of winning elections and installing worthless Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister] is blatantly in violation of constitution, disregarding democratic traditions and conventions which were hitherto binding, and gross injustice meted out to the people of AP with most state assets gone to TS and most state liabilities to AP. While TS is celebrating festivities with surplus budget, AP is reeling under revenue deficits with little help from centre despite provisions of the Act. This is an atrocity by central government on its own people of AP, in the largest democracy of the world. For its selfish deeds, Sonia Gandhi paid bitter price when Congress was trounced completely in AP and mostly in TS in 2014 elections.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Muslims are not terrorrists

  • Every time an act of terror or shooting occurs, Muslims closely watch the news with extreme trepidation praying that the suspect is not Muslim. This is not because these terrorists are likely to be Muslim but rather because in the instances where they happen to be, we see amplified mass media coverage and extreme unjustified hatred towards Muslims.
  • By far the vast majority of victims of terrorist attacks over the past 15 years has been Muslims killed by Muslims.
  • According to FBI, 94% of terrorist attacks carried out in the United States from 1980 to 2005 have been by non-Muslims. Jewish acts of terrorism in the United States were more than Islamic. Since we cannot blame the entire religion of Judaism or Christianity for the violent actions of those carrying out crimes in the names of these religions, we have no justifiable grounds to blame Muslims for terrorism.
  • There have been over one thousand terrorist attacks in Europe in the past five years. In less than 2% of incidents Muslims were involved as terrorists.
  • There have been 140,000 terror attacks committed worldwide since 1970. Even if Muslims carried out all of these attacks, those terrorists would represent less than 0.00009 percent of all Muslims. To put things into perspective, this means that you are more likely to be struck by lightening in your lifetime than a Muslim is likely to commit a terrorist attack during that same time span.
  • The same statistical assumptions being used to falsely portray Muslims as violent people can be used more accurately to portray Muslims as peaceful people. If all Muslims are terrorists because a single digit percentage of terrorists happen to be Muslim, then all Muslims are peacemakers because 5 out of the past 12 Nobel Peace Prize winners (42 percent) have been Muslims.
  • A study carried out by the University of North Carolina showed that less than 0.0002% of Americans killed since 9/11 were killed by Muslims.
  • There is no denying that terrorism is a real threat. However, it is extremely incorrect to associate the words “Muslim” and “terrorist” when literally all the facts implore otherwise. The only way that Americans can defeat terrorism at home and across the world is by accurately targeting its root causes. There have been 355 mass shootings in the United States this year and falsely blaming Muslims for every shootout will do nothing to address this serious problem. It is time to address terrorism on an educated and factual level.
Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that ... Martin Luther King Jr.  

My View:
In India, Muslims are not terrorists but most terrorists are Muslims. In the backlash, killings of Muslims were very much in large numbers compared to terror victims. Being minority, always they were losers, never winners, especially post independence. In early 20th century Ottoman Empire was disintegrated and Muslims faced defeat and humiliation everywhere. Muslims in India have been suffering in many ways. The Hindu majority dominated Indian politics, culture and society and Muslims were slowly getting marginalized in India. 

Sunday, 21 May 2017


Simplicity is defined as the state of being simple, uncomplicated, or uncompounded; freedom from pretense or guile; directness of expression; restraint in ornamentation; the state or quality of being plain or not fancy or complicated; something that is simple or ordinary but enjoyable; directness or clearness in speaking or writing.
  • In some uses, simplicity can imply beauty, purity, or clarity. In the context of human lifestyle, simplicity can denote freedom from hardship, effort or confusion. Specifically, it can refer to a simple living style. 
  • Simplicity is a theme in the Christian religion. God is infinitely simple. Simplicity involves the simplifying of one's life in order to focus on things that are most important and disregarding or avoiding things seen as least important. 
  • We are loaded with external good, and miserable in spiritual life. We have in abundance that which we can go without, and are infinitely poor in the one thing needful. 
  • Simplicity is a state of mind. It dwells in the main intention of our lives. A man is simple when he is honest and naturally human. This is neither easy nor impossible. It consists in putting our acts and aspirations in accordance with the law of our being.
  • Simplicity and lowly station, plain dress, a modest dwelling, slender means, these things seem to go together. No class has the prerogative of simplicity. No dress, however humble in appearance, is its unfailing badge. Its dwelling need not be a garret. There are people who live simply, and others who do not.
  • The benefit of simplicity is that it provides more peace in your life. Simplicity assists you in creating clear goals, focusing on your actions, and getting more done. These factors help in eliminating the clutter and stress produced by undefined goals or purpose. It provides peace and tranquility in your life.
  • The benefits of simplicity are under-reacting, self-care, better health, more engaged relationships, hope, massive freedom and benevolence. When we free up resources, need less to be happy, and have time to consider what matters most, we simply become more loving, caring, and giving. These tangible benefits are the secret behind being more with less. Just a taste of the inner workings of simplicity inspires us to go after even more simplicity. We naturally want less of the meaningless stuff and more of what really matters.
  • The economic benefits of simplicity can manifest themselves in many ways. Simpler communications were more likely to be read improve the relationship between the institution and the customer. Those who receive the less complex documents are more likely to believe the institution values and acts in the best interests of its customers. They will find the institution to be easy to do business with, and they are more likely to remain with the institution over time. 
  • Voluntary simplicity is less about doing without certain things, and more about having just enough. Voluntary simplicity means different things to different people and in different situations. Your level of simplicity depends on your responsibilities to other people. It does not mean abandoning legitimate commitments or imposing your values on other people.
  • The first step towards a voluntarily simple life is to gradually begin paring your life down to basic essentials - the things, activities and relationships. The goal here is to unburden yourself of possessions and activities that lock you into the “rat race” of earning more and more money to pay for more and more things you don’t really need; and to free up more time, resources, and energy for things that add real quality and meaning to your life. 
  • Simplifying your life and letting go of what’s not important and what you can’t control, without being distracted by worries about what happened earlier or what might happen next. It’s the worry and the desire to be elsewhere that makes people unhappy not what they are actually doing. By clearing out the clutter and distractions, you create (and enjoy) the life you truly want.
  • Simplicity leads to life of contentment with desires no more than housing, clothing, food, health and relationships. Simplicity breeds honesty. No ulterior motives. No hidden meanings. Absence of hypocrisy, duplicity, political games, and verbal superficiality. As simplicity, honesty and integrity characterize our lives, there will be no need to manipulate others.
  • We can't take anything with us when we die. So, don't allow possessions to anchor you to an unfulfilling life. Live life while you have a life to live!

That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest ... Henry David Thoreau
Rich people do not deserve to be rich, poor people do not deserve to be poor. 

My View:
Simplicity in its truest form makes others understand us properly, communicate effectively, increases inter-dependability and saves vast spiritual resources in dealing with each other. In contrast modern way of communicating that never allows other person know us accurately, is another strategy for en-cashing opportunities and maximizing business profits. Extraordinary profits being deeply immoral, simplicity is best way to live life that is free of guilt and burden.

Story: Would you call it smart?

A local Primary school was visited by the Government School Inspector who was there to check that teachers were performing well in their respective classes.

She was very impressed with one particular teacher. The Inspector noticed that each time the class teacher asked a question, every child in the class put up their hands enthusiastically to answer it. More surprisingly, whilst the teacher chose a different child to answer the questions each time, the answers were always correct.

The inspector was accompanied by the school Principal, who got struck by surprise. Because he knew that the class has average students whom he sure would not know the answers for all the questions.
But how did they answer every time? The puzzle Principal asked the teacher and got stunned by his smart thinking.

The children were instructed to ALL raise their hands whenever a question was asked. It did not matter whether they knew the answer or not.

If they did not know the answer, however, they would raise their LEFT hand.
If they knew the answer, they would raise their RIGHT hand.

The class teacher would choose a different child each time, but always the ones who had their RIGHT hand raised.

🙂 Moral: Would you call it Smart?

Story: Generosity pays back

A true story, happened in 1892 at Stanford University:

 …most of us only think “If I help them, what would happen to me?” The truly great people think, “If I don’t help them, what will happen to them?”

An 18-year-old student was struggling to pay his fees. He was an orphan, and not knowing where to turn for money, he came up with a bright idea. He and a friend decided to host a musical concert on campus to raise money for their education.

They reached out to the great pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski. His manager demanded a guaranteed fee of $2000 for the piano recital. A deal was struck and the boys began to work to make the concert a success.

The big day arrived. But unfortunately, they had not managed to sell enough tickets. The total collection was only $1600. Disappointed, they went to Paderewski and explained their plight. They gave him the entire $1600, plus a cheque for the balance $400. They promised to honour the cheque at the soonest possible.

“No,” said Paderewski. “This is not acceptable.” He tore up the cheque, returned the $1600 and told the two boys: “Here’s the $1600. Please deduct whatever expenses you have incurred. Keep the money you need for your fees. And just give me whatever is left”. The boys were surprised, and thanked him profusely.

It was a small act of kindness. But it clearly marked out Paderewski as a great human being.

Why should he help two people he did not even know? We all come across situations like these in our lives. And most of us only think “If I help them, what would happen to me?” The truly great people think, “If I don’t help them, what will happen to them?” They don’t do it expecting something in return. They do it because they feel it’s the right thing to do.

Paderewski later went on to become the Prime Minister of Poland. He was a great leader, but unfortunately when the World War began, Poland was ravaged. There were more than 1.5 million people starving in his country, and no money to feed them. Paderewski did not know where to turn for help. He reached out to the US Food and Relief Administration for help.

The head there was a man called Herbert Hoover — who later went on to become the US President. Hoover agreed to help and quickly shipped tons of food grains to feed the starving Polish people.

A calamity was averted. Paderewski was relieved. He decided to go across to meet Hoover and personally thank him. When Paderewski began to thank Hoover for his noble gesture, Hoover quickly interjected and said, “You shouldn’t be thanking me Mr. Prime Minister. You may not remember this, but several years ago, you helped two young students go through college. I was one of them.”

The world is a wonderful place. What goes around comes around!

Aadhaar issues

  • The Unique Identification project was initially conceived to provide a unique identity number for each resident across the country and would be used primarily as the basis for efficient delivery of welfare services. 
  • It would also act as a tool for monitoring of various programs and schemes of the Government.
  • The objective was to eliminate pilferage and corruption in public distribution system and distribution of subsidies.
  • The first UID number was issued on Sep 29, 2010 and 111 crore Aadhaar numbers were issued to the residents of India.
  • The Aadhaar enrollment process is designed to allow anyone to get an Aadhaar without any documents mainly because Aadhaar is meant even for those sleep under the flyover.
  • Aadhaar is premised on the infallibility and security of an individual’s bio-metric data is a myth. Debates focused on privacy concerns, security of the database and on the legality of making Aadhaar mandatory are unanswered so far. 
  • Aadhaar is not an address proof, since the same was not verified and the entities that uses it as an address proof knows it but chooses to remain silent about it.
  • Aadhaar is not a proof of citizenship, but can be used to either apply for a passport or obtain other identity documents that can then be used to apply for a passport.
  • Aadhaar card can be downloaded and printed and can be considered “original”. UIDAI expects entities to authenticate the Aadhaar number based on OTP or bio-metrics by connecting to the UIDAI system, prior to usage.
  • If UIDAI fixes these problems, they run the risk of Aadhaar's reduced usage and becoming irrelevant in public life. If they stay silent, they run the risk of something may go wrong at a large scale in the future.
  • The Supreme Court reaffirmed that Aadhaar can only be a voluntary decision of the individual and that as long as a person is eligible to avail benefits and subsidies, the government cannot deny them those benefits and subsidies because one doesn't have an Aadhaar card. Despite this ruling, the central government decided to push through with these moves.
  • The Aadhaar Bill was introduced as a money bill in the Lok Sabha which means that the Rajya Sabha could merely make suggestions and that passage through the Lok Sabha would turn the bill into an Act. This matter is being heard by Supreme Court.
  • A survey conducted by Andhra Pradesh government saw 48% respondents citing Aadhaar issues as a reason for them missing out on subsidies and benefits. 
  • India deals with frequent cyber attacks from China and Pakistan. Hacking the Aadhaar database would be an easy way for other countries to create disruption within India.
  • There are many positives that a system like the Aadhaar will have for India. Aadhaar does make managing benefits easier for India but making it mandatory to avail benefit makes the Aadhaar database a prime target for exploitation. Forcing Aadhaar to be mandatory to file taxes opens up an argument on privacy rights. And the government’s argument of privacy not being fundamental does not help assuage any one.
  • Since there is no room to verify whether the bio-metrics have been recorded correctly or not leaves scope for fraud of replacing a person’s bio-metric identity, by the enrollment operator, by uploading someone else’s bio-metrics of another person. 
  • The bio-metrics is a changeable entity for reasons of ageing, manual labour, injury, illness, etc. and requires periodic update. There is no means to ascertain whether one or more of the bio-metrics is due for update or not until an authentication failure occurs. 
  • Authentication using mobile OTP, as an alternative to bio-metrics failures, is an antithesis to bio-metric identity, as it essentially considers a person’s mobile no. to be his unique ID. In banking transactions OTP is another layer of security for transactions.
  • There are many ways to commit an Aadhaar-enabled fraud. The potential gains from Aadhaar related fraud are huge, so we should expect people to invest their time, effort and money to stay ahead of the system.
If King disrespects the law, so will his subjects.

My View:
Aadhaar should be issued to resident citizens with validity of ten years. Foreigners resident in India could be issued Aadhaar with different color and validity of one year. Illegal immigrants must never be issued Aadhaar. The issuing criterion and procedure should be made stringent and infallible like passports & driving licenses. The original Aadhaar card with security features should alone be allowed to be used as ID proof, and address proof should be correlated with a recent document like utility bill or post office issued address proof document. Otherwise the intended objectives achievement failure is likely. In this society ruled and administered by crooks & rogues, fraudsters will always find a way to evade taxes and more and more procedures will only end up in harassing honest and gullible citizens. The recent demonetization is a classic example. Aadhaar is a very good idea, badly designed and even more badly implemented.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Road accidents caused by driver's negligence

  • There were 1.25 million road traffic deaths globally in 2013.
  • About 4.6 millions more sustaining serious injuries and living with long-term adverse health consequences. 
  • Road traffic crashes are a leading cause of death among young people, and the main cause of death among those aged 15–29 years.
  • Road traffic injuries are currently estimated to be the ninth leading cause of death across all age groups globally, and are predicted to become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.
  • Lower gas prices and and increased motor-vehicle mileage combined with risky activities like speeding and driving while texting is proving deadly for American drivers in 2016, 6% more than 2015.
  • The cost of motor-vehicle deaths, injuries, and property damage in 2016 was more than $432 billion, including losses in wages and productivity, medical expenses, property damage, employer costs and administrative expenses.
  • Driving is a safety concern. But that hasn't stopped many from speeding, texting, or driving while impaired by alcohol, prescription medication, or marijuana.
  • In India, Over 1,37,000 people were killed in road accidents in 2013.
  • One road accident death every 4 minutes.
  • 16 children die on Indian roads daily.
  • Drunken driving is one of the leading causes of road fatalities.
  • 1,214 road crashes occur every day in India.
  • Two wheeler's account for 25% of total road crash deaths.
  • 377 people die every day, equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every day.
  • Top 10 Cities with the highest number of Road Crash Deaths (Rank –Wise): (1) Delhi (City) (2) Chennai (3) Jaipur (4) Bengaluru (5) Mumbai (6) Kanpur (7) Lucknow (8) Agra (9) Hyderabad and (10) Pune.
Top ten causes of road crashes:
  1. Distracted Driving: The number one cause of car accidents is the distracted driving. A distracted driver is a motorist that diverts his or her attention from the road, usually to talk on a cell phone, send a text message or eat food.
  2. Speeding: Many drivers ignore the speed limit. Speed kills, and traveling above the speed limit is an easy way to cause a car accident. The faster you drive, the slower your reaction time will be if you need to prevent an auto accident.
  3. Drunk Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol causes car accidents every day, that can be avoided. Always use a designated driver if you go out and drink.
  4. Reckless Driving: Reckless drivers who speed, change lanes too quickly or tailgate before causing a car accident. Reckless drivers are often impatient in traffic so be sure to take extra care around aggressive drivers.
  5. Rain: Car accidents happen very often in the rain because water creates slick and dangerous surfaces for cars, trucks, and motorcycles and often causes automobiles to spin out of control or skid while braking. To avoid a car accident, drive extra careful when it rains.
  6. Running Red Lights: Drivers that run red lights, run the risk of causing wrongful death because they often cause side-impact collisions at high speeds. To avoid a car accident, look both ways for oncoming cars as you approach a green light.
  7. Running Stop Signs: Stop signs should never be ignored, but when they are, serious car accidents are often the result. Each year, thousands of car accidents occur because one driver ran a stop sign. Many rollover accidents and side-impact car accidents result from drivers that run stop signs. You should always look both ways when proceeding through a stop sign.
  8. Teenage Drivers: Teenagers aren’t often known for their carefulness. When teen drivers hit the roads they don’t always know what to do and that lack of experience ends up causing car accidents.
  9. Night Driving: Driving at night nearly doubles the risk of a car accident occurring. When you can’t see what’s up ahead you don’t know what to anticipate as you drive towards it. As the sun goes down, your awareness of the road and cars around you must go up.
  10. Design Defects: No product is ever made perfectly, and cars are no different. Automobiles have hundreds of parts, and any of those defective parts can cause a serious car accident. Many automakers have had problems with design defects in the past and rollover accidents and unintended acceleration results in crashes.
AP Minister Dr P Narayana’s son Nishith, 23, and his friend were killed when their SUV crashed into a metro rail pillar in Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad in the early hours of May 10, 2017. Police said that it was a very high-speed crash as the front portion of the white Mercedes Benz SUV crumbled due to the impact. Nishith and his friend Raja Ravi Chandra apparently went out for a late night ride after heavy showers accompanied by high speed winds lashed the city. Police said that the mishap occurred near a bend on Jubilee Hills 36 where the SUV rammed into Metro pillar number 9. They suspect that the vehicle could be travelling at around 140 kmph even though the indicator in the speedometer reading after the accident pegged the speed at 205 kmph. The duo were wearing seat belts and the air bags opened up but could not save their lives. The Mercedes G63 AMG is an expensive SUV priced more than ₹ 2.03 crore and comes loaded with some of the world's best safety features including dual front, side and window airbags, pelvis bags, ABS, brake assist, ESP, adaptive brake, hill start assist and many more. Since the vehicle was at high speed and heavy, its momentum was very high causing severe impact. The speed of the vehicle, the curve of the road, poor visibility, heavy rain and drowsiness could all be the reasons. They were not drunk, postmortem report revealed. Who ever is the driver, is totally at fault, and nothing else.

My View:
In 1960's road accidents death rate was extremely high in US and people used to subscribe to 'fatalistic attitude' philosophy. The committee headed by Surgeon General dismissed the 'fatalistic attitude' as unacceptable non sense and recommended 20 year action plan with budget of $20 billion ($200 billion at today's PPP) to be spent towards education, awareness creation, increased safety measures, increased safety features for vehicles, stringent driving license norms and many more. Thereafter road accidents death rate gradually got reduced to less than 1/10th of 1960's levels. In India, at the present pace of improving our safety norms, we will able able catch up to US levels only after 50-60 years. Until then people have to protect themselves against their own mistakes, bad roads and adventurous & ill educated drivers and bear with avoidable deaths resulting in agonies to families.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Money is important in life. But how much?

  • We need money to make a living. 
  • Between life and death the only inevitable thing which makes you keep running all your life to fulfill your wishes, your dreams, desires is money.
  • But as you move higher up the pyramid, money plays a lesser and lesser role in satisfying one's needs.
  • Money is important in person’s life but money can’t buy you the most precious things like happiness, love, family etc.
  • We live in a society where money is honored most. We are tend to believe that all daily struggles will be solved by higher financial status.
  • Money is important as long as it helps you survive and grow. Besides that, what is important is how you manage to be happy.
  • Money can make your life better by providing you comforts only.
  • Some amount of money to fulfill our basic needs is absolutely essential. But beyond a point it does not add any value if the other aspects in life like emotional support, family and friends are in disarray.
  • How much is the "need" and how much do we actually "want"?
  • Money is important but it is just a means of living not the life itself!
  • Wealth is a personality multiplier. If you're cruel and unkind, then being wealthy will make you even more cruel and unkind and vice versa.
  • Learn to be happy before becoming wealthy. Learn the skills that lead to inner peace, inner joy and compassion. These skills which made you happy when you're middle class, and will make you even happier when you get rich. Without these skills, the most likely outcome of wealth is misery.

Money has no utility to me beyond a certain point .... Bill Gates

Money is difficult to earn; Money is difficult to safeguard; 
Money is difficult to invest; Money is difficult to spend; 
Money is troublesome all the way.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Swachh Bharat fails but touted as success

As of 2011, 53% of 246 million households don't have latrines. Half of the households i.e. half of the population, defecate in open. As of 2015, 564 million people i.e. 50% of population still defecate in open. 65,000 tonnes of uncovered, untreated faeces were being introduced into environment every single day. Swachch Bharat Mission makes it a major objective to completely eliminate this open defecation by 2019. This is enormous, noble and admirable goal. Next comes hygiene and sanitation. Door to door collection of garbage and process the inorganic trash for power generation and organic waste to covert into manure is another task. Between 1990-2015, 394 million people stopped defecatinhg in open, but overall situation remain dismal.

  • Launched by PM Modi on Oct 2, 2014, with objective of “A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019.”
  • He roped in every layer of India’s vast government—from the cabinet, through the ministries and state and district administrations, down all the way to individual urban authorities and village panchayats.
  • A cess of 0.5 percent on all taxable services to help raise money for the campaign. 
  • On the second anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission came the proclamation of one of its most touted successes. They declared that Gujarat, Modi’s home state, had eradicated open defecation in all urban areas. The minister M Venkaiah Naidu, hailed this “interim gift” to Gandhi. 
  • As part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Gujarat government has declared that all of the state’s urban areas, including Ahmedabad, have eradicated open defecation. Yet the practice continues in Maninagar, an area in Ahmedabad that thrice elected Narendra Modi as its MLA, and in other parts of the city too—belying the government’s claim.
  • Apart from constructing latrines, sanitary systems maintenance and disposal of sewerage captured are even more important and nothing is being done in these matters. Whole of the money is spent on publicity and construction of latrines which serves no purpose.
  • The ending of manual scavenging was not given much thought or importance in any of the schemes of Swachh Bharat Mission, speaks volumes about the apathy of Modi administration. They do only visible things that garner them publicity.
  • The CAG report stating that less than 3% of Gujarat Municipalities have sewage segregation systems in place,  none of its municipal corporations have segregation rates more than 18% and none of the state's municipalities have working sewage treatment facilities - speaks volumes about what Modi has done in this direction during his 14 years as CM of Gujarat.
  • In his unreleased book 'Karmayog' of 2007 published by GSPC, Chief Minister Narendra Modi writes that scavenging was an 'experience in spirituality' for the Valmikis. Modi describes scavengers assigned role in the caste order as a "job bestowed upon them by Gods". This blatant casteism outraged Dalit groups, is another matter. Under Modi's instructions Gujarat Information Dept withdrew the book from circulation. Poet Nirav Patel asked bitterly: “Why didn’t it occur to Modi that the spirituality involved in doing menial jobs hasn’t ever been experienced by the upper castes?”
  • Unless overall governance at grass root level improves, mere deployment of resources may not have any significant impact.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission failed to make any impact for people living on margins of society especially in rural areas, due to lack of conviction down the line and meager resources spent mostly on publicity and campaign.

My View:
Habits won't change with edicts. People change when others change and they find benefits, over time. Education and awareness are the keys. Like any other scheme, Modi announces and publicity reverberates in all corners spending hundreds of millions of rupees. BJP troll brigade makes sure that social media carries all publicity. And when the truth surfaces later, Modi & Co maintains stoic silence. He never answers parliament where reply must straight and point by point inviting supplementary questions. But he responds in public meeting or televised address which carries whatever he wants to say, usually blatant lies and abusing past regimes i.e. Congress & Nehru family. Imagine a nation's prime minister telling blatant lies and distorted truths to its people, all the times!