Borrowing Dr. A P.J. Abdul Kalam’s words, “I have completed 28 orbits around the sun and have just entered the 29th. It is an insignificant event, compared to the dynamics of universe.”

Mera Bharath Mahan!

Recently, a colleague of my friend had visited the High Commission of India in London to obtain a Tourist Visa to India. To his surprise & shock, he found that one had to grease the palms of the visa officer with ten quid to get the visa stamped.

Accidents do happen

By hook or crook, I have been elected as Student Representative for the MBA – Distance Learning @ Durham Business School. I would get to represent my peers in the Board of Studies, which is the highest decision making body in the B-School comprising of academecians & other whos who of the university. Also, I have a voting rights when they put important decisions to ballot. This, I am sure would provide me good experience and lot of contacts. But, how did I get there in the first place? As I said before, … read the title of this post.

On the personal front, my wife would undergo a minor surgery tomorrow. It is nothing but wisdom tooth extraction but she has to be given anastecia since the last attempt complicated things a bit. I would be in the hospital lounge tomorrow and am planning to carry some books for company.

No more political posts.

Unless some important turnaround happens in India (as I write this, looks like there would be some surprises), I have decided not to talk about politics for a while. Not that I got bored of politics, I feel that I would be beating the same bush, time and again. There are lot many good things to talk about.

Outsourcing at its best

I got this mail forwarded by my friend. Thought that its worth sharing here.

Hello Friends,

As India begins its new thrust in outsourcing, it will become the first country in the world to outsource the job of a prime-minister. Perhaps US, UK and other European nations should learn a thing or two from us about job losses.

Vajpayee has just lost his job and to an Italian. But then, it’s his mistake, nobody asked to remain a bachelor, he could have married any of the presidential daughters. After all, what better qualification do you need to run a country than to be an xyz of someone special? He could have easily found a job elsewhere.

Seriously, I never hated the Congress party for anything, but now they have just destroyed the pride and the faith in the country. Economics, development and FDI’s and the rest of it – is all fine, deep down I strongly feel, India should be ruled by an Indian.

The trend is really worrying because, next Rahul could land up marrying his Colombian girlfriend and she could well be a future PM. It amazing, that great national leaders like Patel, Rajaji wanted to get rid of dynastic rule, a view strongly supported by late Mrs. Gandhi and now, this family that once opposed dynastic rule is caught in its own web.

I am neither a historian nor am I trying to be one. But to me, its really unfortunate that this trend looks well and truly imbibed in the Congress blood. This so called ‘knowledgeable’ Kapil Sibal once called Priyanka’s new born as the leader of Congress Sishu…. something. If Priyanka and Mr. Vadhera can produce national leaders at will, I think the congress should insist that they have more kids, without any further delay. This could solve many of their problems and also stop people like me from writing such mails.

Barring the Godhara incident, the BJP’s effort at the centre wasn’t bad by anymeans. Going by the Congress benchmark….

To me personally, it is really disappointing to see someone like Vajpayee leave the scene – this way. At the end of the day he did deserve something better.


Just another depressed Indian!

A challenge to begin with

Left parties have already fired their first salvo by demanding that the new government must cry halt to the Disinvestment process. Vajpayee government gave a real thrust to the process by creating an exclusive ministry for the purpose headed by Arun Shourie. Of all the ministers, Arun did a splendid job amidst trying circumstances. If Congress bows to this demand and scraps the ministry, it would be a sad end to the good work put in by Shourie and his men. As far as I could see, Congress & BJP doesn’t differ widely on the economic policy. Its the Left, which has diametrically opposite views. Lets see how Sonia handles this. Another thing of interest for me is the budget that would be presented down the line by Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Hot Pizza

So, the results are out and the game is over now. What was projected as a cakewalk for NDA turned out to be a disaster in the end. All the opinion polls & exit polls projected that NDA would fall short of majority or would get a slender majority, but none of them projected such a trouncing for NDA. Nevertheless, it is an anti-incumbency wave.

Though I am not an admirer of Gandhi Pvt Ltd Party, I feel that it is a good thing that Congress gained an upper hand over the so-called third front. Rather than having a ‘kitchdi’ government with guys like Mulayam, Devegowda, Harkishan Surjeet, Mayawati, Gujral & lot many ‘potential’ PMs clobbing for power supported from outside by Congress, it is better to have a party with a bigger number take the centrestage for there would be someone to account for. For in case, people are angry at the government, they would know whom to punish.

Apart from the foreign origin issue (yes, it does matter to me!), my worries about the new government stem from two factors –

1. Stability: Congress is going to form the government, but it hasn’t got a full mandate to govern. It would have to depend on its allies like RJD, DMK, PMK, MDMK, TRS and more importantly the Left against whom it was and still is fighting a bitter battle at Kerala & West Bengal. Given the track record of the turncoats, it would be interesting to see how long would these guys support Sonia? Also, given the background of Congress, it has never got along well with its allies in the Centre. Although this is the first time Congress is forming the government with the support from other parties, one couldn’t help remembering Chandrasekhar, Devegowda & Gujral episodes.

2. Governance: What kind of experience does Sonia has to govern a country like India? Would it suffice to be a spouse of a Prime Minister (His governance is a different story altogether!) to take up his job? Look at Rabri Devi and you would get an idea. Having observed Congress in the opposition benches, I have seldom seen any visionary statements from its leadership. But for guys like Manmohan Singh & P Chidambaram (though he is not in Congress, technically speaking), could you identify any other leader who could talk sense, let alone with vision.

Despite all this, I strongly believe that Congress ‘pizza’ would be far better than the United Front ‘kitchdi’. Lets see how long the Pizza remains hot.

“I took out few coins from my wallet and gave them the change but what they did afterwards made me agitated. While I was taking out the coppers, those boys spotted few more coins in my wallet and started asking for those as well. When I refused to part with them, they surrounded me and started begging with one of them falling at my feet.”

– Excerpts from my travelogue on my trip to Sri Lanka last year. Check out the report here and photos here.