Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mumbai 26/11 Terror Attacks - What do we do next?

After the Mumbai terror attacks Indians and peaceful citizens in all countries are angry.

We have thought of different ways of protest, candle lit marches, not paying taxes, etc.

Yes, these do have their place but will they really make long term changes. No?

The only way to change things is to uproot the existing political system.

To jump start this, we can form a formidable force on the Internet. We need to have one place where people can congregate and even decide to vote a certain way.

We need educated, intelligent, committed men to enter politics. Its going to be a long road but somebody has to start somewhere. We need volunteers and we need to support these volunteers to help get them elected.

It is an extremely uphill battle, but we have to start somewhere.

Lets take the nation and the world back.

This is what we can have as a charter for politicians:
  • Protect lives of citizens at all costs. No excuse for killing innocents. NO linking of terrorism to issues.
  • Monitoring of all religious institutions for violent propaganda
  • Complete transparency in Governance
  • Zero tolerance of corruption
  • Secularism means equal treatment of all and no mention of caste, creed or religion. Immediate disqualification on use of religious material in elections
  • Transparency on transfers and postings of bureaucrats and police officers.
  • Concerted action to deport illegal immigrants
  • Tracking of people with secessionist views

We can start with identification of leaders who would be willing to volunteer their time in your immediate circle.

Suggestion of more issues are welcome but an effort is to be made to keep this list concise and focused.

Please invite as many people as possible to sign up for this post. Email all your friends.

Remember that unless we get involved in the democratic process and movements translate to votes, nothing will happen.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Follow up on Terror attacks in Mumbai on 26/11

After the Mumbai terror attacks, all of us as citizens of Mumbai, India and also others in the world who are fond of this city are wondering what is to be done.

We fear that after the same platitudes that the Government is used to giving us, things will get back to normal and nothing will be done. How do we change this.

We are also to blame because we are all arm chair critics and don't get involved. But how do we get involved? I have been thinking of this and I figured that the way to at least start the process is to hold the government responsible. To this goal, we can start monitoring what the Government is doing and also not doing in this respect.

Its been a really terrible tragedy, so lets not at least forget it this time. Let us get out of the slumber of 15 years after the '93 attacks.

I have a few issues that I can think of right off the bat:
  • Why did it take 9 hours for the NSG to arrive. Shouldn't NSG commandos be posted in all the important cities, especially a city like Mumbai. Why was the NSG plane in Chandigarh?
  • Why were senior officers summoned to go to the field rather than directing the effort from a control center?
  • There were warnings of a sea attack and granted there must be many such warnings but couldn't a pro-active approach been taken and the fishermen trained to spot and report strange happenings?
    When there is a warning in effect, shouldn't the disappearance of a crew (Kubera) be treated extremely suspicously?
  • Should the investigation of past attacks be handled by an agency other than the ATS? The ATS was too busy investigating past attacks where a few people were killed rather than keeping their eyes on future attacks
  • We have not heard of a single minister in the state or central government held accountable. The home minister was not even summoned to a meeting by the PM. Shouldn't he be sacked, since even the Government doesn't have faith in him any longer
Let's all keep a watch on the media and see what they do in terms of follow up.

Day 7 - India Today Group will follow up on terror war, so for now I can suspend this. Lets see what the India Today Group does:
www.indiatoday.in/war after 5 pm. today

Day 6 - CM resignation hasn't gone through

Day 5 - Maharashtra Deputy CM and Home Minister RR Patil forced to resign

Day 4 - CM Vilasrao Deshmukh makes mockery by visiting Taj and Oberoi with Ram Gopal Verma and his actor son.

Day 4 - RR Patil says 'These small incidents happen in big cities!

Day 4 - Chidambaram is Home Minister

Day 4 - National Security Adviser resigns but PM rejects resignation - But why?

Day 4 - Home minister Patil quits - Finally

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Professional Offices in Residential Buildings

In urban centers in India, lot of residential buildings have professional office or commercial shops on the ground floor.

Most of the residents object to this and though the objection to commercial shops seems to be valid due to the constant noise, flow of people and reduced access to the building, the same cannot be said about professional offices.

There are so many advantages of having a professional office below residential buildings. The main advantage is security.

In urban centers, there are so many violent crimes against senior citizens in the afternoon. This is because with able bodied people are work, the building is defenseless. If there is an office in the building, there are always people around and it would be difficult to target such buildings. Offices also generally have their own security which in turn protects all the building occupants.

The office will help maintain the building and gardens in the building and they may also be willing to contribute more towards the maintenance of the building saving the occupants money.

Offices in residential area will provide jobs to locals which also makes it a 'green' option since commuting is reduced.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Indian Budget 2008

Farmer Loan Waiver

It shows that the Indian democracy has a long way to go that 'pork barrel politics' where politicians spend the public money to buy votes has been accepted so easily by not only the politicians but also by the general public.

The government is doling out Rs.60,000 crore of public money to excuse bad loans by farmers. How does this really solve the farmer suicide problem? Just throwing money at the problem will not solve it. You have to figure out how to increase productivity.

Why can't the UPA government take a leaf out of the Gujarat governments page and increase the agricultural growth rate to at least 8% from the current 2% (Gujarat's is 12%). For obvious reasons, Gujarat doesn't have any farmer suicides.

What about the farmers who have honestly paid back the loans? What precedent is this setting. The government is encouraging people to be dishonest. How do banks lend to farmers in the future?

Even if the loans were to be excused, they could have wiped off the interest keeping the principal to be repaid back.

What about the people who take loans from friends, family and other private parties?

Actually this isn't a problem about borrowing money, the problem is agricultural productivity and lack of infrastructure.

Of course our learned Prime Minister blamed the farmers problems on the NDA government, but then what was the UPA doing for the last 4 years?

Funnily enough one of the constituents of the UPA, the agricultural minister Mr. Sharad Pawar said that this scheme would not stop farmer suicides!

The problem is that there isn't enough protest from the general public and the corporate houses seem to be falling over each other to please the Finance Minister.