Pass it on..

A good leader is one, who doesn’t always leads from the front, but when the time demands he is ready to operate from the back as well. Those leaders, who are insecure about their position never wants to relinquish his frontal space, as they always have a doubt in back of their mind that if they will give up the position now, then they will never be able to regain it in future. Robert Mugabe, present president of Zimbabwe could fall in this category. He was the one of the chief architect of the independence of Zimbabwe from British Rule. Yet, when England freed Zimbabwe in 1980 to till now, he is holding the office, just as a dictator. I can give the example of “power grip” from Indian domestic politics also, but that would have made this post political. Anyway you all know it, Won’t you?

One more special quality of the bet of the leaders is that they never take credit to the achievements rather they pass it on to those who worked under their guidance. Now I would like to give a very fresh and recent example of this.

India has just secured a spectacular diplomatic achievement by sending its one of the Jurist, Dalveer Bhandari to International Court of Justice (ICJ). The International Court is the prime judicial branch of the United Nations (UN) which settles the legal disputes between the various states. Such as the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav. The victory is sweet because India wrestled the seat from one of the P5 member i.e. Britain, who once colonized it for more than 150 years or so.

Social Media was on buzz. Everyone congratulated each other. But what made me feel good is the response of three personality which were directly or indirectly involved in the process. One is Prime Minister, other was the External Affairs Minister and the last  but most important was the Permanent Representative of India at United Nations.

When the result became evident Prime Minister gave credit to the External Affairs Minister and each and every staff to MEA.

Then what did External Affairs minister do, she pass the credit to Syed Akbaruddin by  mentioning special reference of him

And lastly the permanent representative shared a tweet along with his team who tirelessly worked to achieve this feet.

This is how team should be lead where each and every one should feel that they are part of the story.

What Say…?

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The Cost of Sunday

Today, it’s neither 15th of August nor 26th of January. Yesterday, India also hasn’t registered any spectacular victory in a Cricket match over its arch rival, western neighbor. More than one year has been passed, when Indian Armed Force conducted a Surgical Strike in terrorists’ safe heaven. Can I discuss something patriotic today?

Good Morning friends, I have asked above question based on my two experiences. One, my experience suggests me that Patriotic zeal in our nation remains/remained full on display on the specific occasions which I have mentioned and on other days it remain lukewarm, if not absent. Two, in recent time whenever someone raises the topic of patriotism there is a tendency in public discourse to label him as Hyper-Nationalist/Ultra-Nationalist. Be it, advocating the position of standing for 52 seconds when national Anthem is played or singing Vande Matram, a song which inspired the generations of freedom fighter. I just don’t want to be dragged in that controversy hence I have asked a simple question, can I discuss something patriotic today?

Since it’s one way traffic, I can’t take the permission from all of you as long as my article will not be published. Hence, I drew the inspiration to publish my view, from article 19(a) from the Indian Constitution but at the same time when it will be in public domain you can let me know your views.

Okay enough of the background now coming directly to the topic.

Do you know Madan Lal Dhingra? Many of you would surely know him, at least the name, isn’t it? I enquired from you just because the name is not so familiar in the echelon of conspicuous Freedom Fighters. This fact is can easily be gauged as we have seldom heard “Madan Lal Dhingra amar rahe”, even on the special occasions which I have discussed earlier.

Embed from Getty Images

Recently, I was reading a book and came across a touching quote from him and from there I drew the inspiration to share it to my WordPress Friends.

Let me very briefly introduce Him, before introducing his quote.

  • Madan Lal Dhingra (8 February 1883 – 17 August 1909) was a revolutionary activist.
  • He assassinated a British Official named Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie, in England where he went on to study Mechanical Engineering in University College, London.
  • This was the first revolutionary act of 20th centaury and that too in the home of the colonizer.
  • His father, who was a civil surgeon and Chief Medical Officer of Amritsar at that time, had disowned him for his revolutionary activity and he was so furious of his son’s decision that he went on to advertise this decision in local newspaper.
  • For his act of assassination the British Official, he was sentenced to death by British Court, and on 17th of August 1909 he was hanged.

Now the quote of him which prompted me to write this piece:

“….Neither rich nor able, a poor son like myself can offer nothing but his blood on the altar of mother’s deliverance…may I be reborn of the same mother and may I re-die in the same sacred cause, till my mission is done and she stand free for the good of humanity and to the glory of the God….”

Have a great Sunday Friends, the best day of the week. A day when we can enjoy our FREEDOM most without bothering the price of it, as for the price, it has already been paid by someone else.

 

P.S. – If you have time, It’s my humble request to read Wikipedia page on Madan Lal Dhingra, especially the section where he presented his view point in the Court during his trial, I found it very inspirational. You find appealing, don’t restrict it to yourself, rather share it to others as some story of history needs to be propagated by the citizens as the government in power may have vested interests in writing History.

 

She shines

Who motivates us?

When someone achieves some extraordinary feat, even when they face a lot of hurdles and pains in their way, in my opinion, those persons motivate us. Isn’t it?

But, it is true that this is not the case for all of us, as many claims that they are self motivated. Many argue that no humans can be their motivation as they are only motivated through divine aspect of the nature.

Have you ever been in any situation in your life where you have felt that you are alone amidst the mob? Yes, No.

Anyway, Skip this question and face a new one.

Have you ever been really alone and secluded, where no one is besides you and the closet person are physically situated miles apart from you? I think most us wouldn’t have experienced this kind of situation.

Six girls decided the fate that they are going to place themselves in the same situation and that too willingly. They are Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi , Lieutenant Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lieutenants P Swathi, Vijaya Devi, Payal Gupta and B Aishwarya.

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Credit: Internet

Do you know them? Yes, No. Doesn’t matter, even I were oblivious of them till recently.

I think they are worth knowing. That is why I decided to write about them.

All of them, whose name I have mentioned, are officers of Indian Navy and they have decided to circumnavigate the earth without any assistance of their male counterpart. This means that all women crew, for the first time in the History of India, have decided to have a complete a circle around the earth in a ship called INS Tarini. They have already started the journey and has reached the first leg of it.

 

 

 

The mission is termed as Navika Sagar Parkirama. This mission was flagged by, first full time female Defence Minister of India, Nirmala Sitaraman.

Few facts about the mission:

  • INSV Tarini is 55 foot sailing vessel built indigenously in India by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa.
  • The expedition will be covered in five legs, with stop-overs at 4 ports Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa) for replenishment of ration and repairs as necessary.
  • It will circumnavigate globe in approximately 165 days and is expected to return to Goa in April 2018.
  • The ship will promote Make in India, as it is indigenously built.
  • The crew will check and collect the data for marine pollution.

Many of you would be aware that in ancient time, Indians were not supposed to cross over the oceans, because it was termed as inauspicious. That was the day and this is the day, when only women crew has started a voyage to break the shackles of the idea that women are subordinate to men and they can’t venture alone in life. Imagine the journey, it will not be easy. There will be dark nights, and that too in ocean. There may be no humans in their sight for miles. The sound of the ripples of the ocean may be horrific.  Some waves will be huge. They may encounter some pirates in their journey. The ship is not too big and waves and thunderstorm may test their mettle in mid way. But they are prepared for it. They have already faced the waves of prejudice and subjugation by male dominated society, probably their voyage will be easier than the voyage that women has had over the centuries in India. They have decided to lost in joy of the journey, and when they will return back to Indian Coast, probably many Indians will discover a new perspective.

These all  girls inspired me, and I hope they will also inspire you!!!

 

 

Propaganda of Petroleum Price

In India, petroleum price has always been used as political weapon by oppositions. The reason is very simple because it is easily understood by the people and it directly affects them. In democracy, no party will always remain in power; hence this tool has been utilized to wedge dissatisfaction against the government, irrespective of political ideologies by the opponents.  So either it’s right or left or even those who are having centrist ideology, if they are in opposition, they will vehemently oppose any price rise in petroleum products in domestic market.

vajpayee
In 1973, Vajpayee Ji arriving in Parliament in bullock cart, to show protest against the price rise in Kerosene and Petrol.

 

Recently the same noise has been reverberated in the news channels. Opposition argues that the oil price has been plummeted in the international market, but the government is not forwarding the benefit to the people and charging excessive custom and excise duties. They say, and rightly so, the price of 1 barrel of oil was approx $ 120 in somewhere around 2013-14 and now in 2017, due to various international dynamics, this is hovering around $50 per barrel. But the price paid by the Indian citizen for one liter of petrol/ diesel has been kept same or rather has been increased despite the steep fall in the oil price in world market.

At very naïve stage, the argument of the opposition seems very plausible and rational. But again the economics come in to play. In economics, what is obvious to the eyes may not be in reality. Let me present you a different narrative, which is based on economics and not on rhetoric.

India is a net importer of petroleum product. A significant amount of foreign exchange is spent purchasing Oil from various countries (contribution Gulf Countries in the significant in this regard).

Sometime economy of a country should be looked as whole and not as individual entity. The methodology to look economy of a country as whole is known as “Macroeconomics”. Government needs money to run various schemes and projects, such as building infrastructure, providing food security to the marginalized community, providing healthcare to those who can’t afford, building power stations to generate electricity, giving grants to educational institutions and students, providing subsidies to the farmers, (now they are also waving the loan off, which in my view is not a prudent choice), purchase of defence equipment etc. Many of these activities run by the government is performed which will not result in revenue, rather it put constraint on the limited resources. Our country performs this task as it is believed to be a welfare state.

So for running welfare scheme and building infrastructure money is needed. Government generates this money through taxation. But as you might know only 1% of the Indian Population pays taxes. Hence government resorts to indirect taxation. Excise duty and custom duties fall under this category of taxation. Even though indirect taxes are considered as regressive taxation system, but since our tax base in narrow (only 1% as mentioned earlier) government has imposes it. But the fact of the matter is that even after imposing indirect taxes each year government experiences Fiscal Deficit. Fiscal Deficit in simplest of words “occurs when the revenue generated is less than expenditure incurred.”

Now in case of India, as we all know tax generated is less and the government has huge responsibility, so every year it resorts to borrowing and other means to meet the expenditure. But borrowing to meet the consumption expenditure is not regarded as good policy and it is even true in our family, isn’t it? We can borrow for purchasing a home or a car but if we borrow to have food and cloth, then certainly our family economy will not be construed in good shape. Same is true for a big family called “India i.e. Bharat”

So what government is doing by taxing high on petroleum product is that it is generating additional revenue which is plugging the gap between revenue generated and expenditure incurred. This can be understood through a pictorial graph that how the current government is doing in terms of improving the Fiscal Deficit of the country over the year in comparison to the previous government.

FD
Fiscal Deficit over the recent years

Apart from improving on the Fiscal Deficit front, high taxation on petroleum products has many additional advantages and some of them are very vital. Since I have already bored you with this lengthy article hence I will keep short in explaining the additional benefits of high taxation on Petroleum Products in detail.

High taxation in petroleum product results in :—-

  1. Judicious Consumption of Petroleum Product
  2. Low burden on government Foreign Exchange
  3. Lower Pollution
  4. Boost to Public transportation
  5. Search for alternative energy which is Eco-Friendly
  6. Inflation Control

If you find any doubt in understanding any of these benefits which I have highlighted, just let me know in comment section, I will try to answer your query.

I hope this will help in develop some understanding related the price mechanism of Petroleum Product and high rate of taxation. Now imagine a situation, if the price will rise in international market and commensurately government will increase the price of petroleum product, the same opposition will started making noise and will term government as anti poor and all for raising the price. So next time someone will give any illogical argument to you, you may say “No Ullu Banawing..No Ullu Banawing..”

Last but not the least “today’s opposition will run tomorrows government and vice versa” 🙂

Chalo, bye bye…. 🙂

 

Image Credit: Google Image

Blunders at Birth: 1

No, I am not talking about the blunders which I, You or We made at the time of our birth, (any way, we did not have any cognitive sense to decide at that moment and most of them is committed in full consciousness :-P) rather the blunders which our politicians and policy makers did before, during and after the birth of India as Nation State. To call it a blunder may also subject to a contentious debate, but still I am not shying away to call it some of the decisions as “Blunder”.

If time will permit me, I will be writing a series of articles on the same topic “Blunders at Birth”, varied in different spheres be it economic, geo-strategic, defence or even cultural. Today I am limiting to only a single aspect of a economic decision, which was taken by the policymakers at the time of independence, which crippled our development and we became underachiever in economic realm.

When we became Independent, we chose “Industry” as a “Prime Moving Force” for development. What does it mean? It means that industry will play a significant role in the development of the nation and government’s focus and heavy investment will be in the Manufacturing or Industrial Sector, which in turn, will eradicate poverty, will make us self reliant, enhance our economic might, would give us the prestige so on and so forth.

Pandit Nehru was a votary of this idea and many termed him visionary for this.

A reality check:

With the hindsight, we, now after seventy years of Independence, can asses that decision, to make Industry as “Prime Moving Force” for economy and to give “over emphasis and significant budgetary allocation at the cost of other sector” (agricultural sector per se) was not a wise decision and rather a debilitating impact on our economy.

Why making “Industrial Sector” as “Prime Moving Force” was not a wise move?

  1. We did not have the infrastructure to support: Industrial Growth is highly depended on the infrastructure of the Nation. Mainly three infrastructures are must to develop a cluster of Industrial Belt and i.e. Electricity, Transport and Communication. Even after 70 years of Independence we don’t have comparable infrastructure with many developed countries and some developing countries, what to speak of at the time of Independence. If infrastructure was not there how one can expect to grow industries.
  2. Insignificant presence of Infrastructure making Industry: Infra making industries are iron and steel, cement, crude oil, refineries industries etc. All these industries was almost absent baring few such as Tata Iron and Steel Company, in Jamshedpur.
  3. No capital to invest: Industry demands huge sum of money for thriving. Our economic condition was in great disarray, because of the severe exploitation and drain on wealth by British. Private capital was not enough; neither the government has enough to spend.
  4. Lack of Technology: Industry needs sophisticated technology which we hardly had any, at the dawn of independence.
  5. No Skilled Manpower: To get employment in technical industry, first human resource needs to be trained, because of the technical nature of the Job. But even today less than 10% of the people in India are technically trained and even those who are trained such as huge chunk of engineers, majority of them are unfit to be called as technical. Imagine the India of 1947!
  6. Market was unavailable: For working of economics one prime criterion is the availability of market. Majority of the people were very poor at that time. Do you expect them to consume the products which were made up in industries?

So I have listed out some of the reasons which suggest that  we should not have focused on “Industry” too much during the nascent stage, but rather we should have focused more on agriculture at that time. When we would have become self sufficient in it and could have developed infrastructure, investible surplus capital, market then we could have focused on making industry as the driver of economy.

Many would argue that why Pandit Nehru would have given so much preference to industry. At that time it was a wide belief that if a nation has to grow, industry has to be given preference and adopting agriculture as chief source of economic progress was considered backward looking. Many nations of Europe, erstwhile USSR and US have replicated the model successfully. So he copied the idea from there.

But mere coping is not enough and one should always be aware of the ground realities. Even though it was considered backward looking, China has made agriculture, their prime moving force after 1949 and became a cash surplus nation. When it had sufficient wealth it started focusing on infrastructure, skill development and now we can see how much that idea is successful. From the threads of kites, to smart phones, from colour in Holi to lights in Depawali all belongs to China.

We failed as manufacturer and even till today our Farmers commit suicides in thousands. This means our agriculture policy is also is failed. We neither became and industrial state nor developed a sound agriculture base

Wasn’t it a “Blunder at Birth”?

Hope this post was informative. Don’t forget to let me know about your views…

 

Whats happening in US

Hello friends!

Diversity brings different ideas on table, different tastes in food plates, different festivals to celebrate and different cloths to wear and so on so forth. But, if it is not nurtured well, it also brings myriad conflicts, hostilities and divides in the society.

Diversity in India is well known. Diversity in India, in terms of culture, religion, castes, language, ethnicity, food, dressing sense etc. is incomparable in world. But at many times we hear, these divides causing much of the disturbance in society. Some time the disturbance due to these divides is comprehended at such an extent that a prominent Actor in Bollywod was told by her wife to “settle in other country as intolerance is on rise in India”!!!

America is seen as the paradise by many Indians. The democratic values, personal liberty, freedom of press, secularism and tolerance have attracted many of us to that place. One of the prime motive or desire of many, if not all, software engineers working in IT firm is always to have an onsite opportunity in US!

But the ideals are not practical. Recently some of the events in US have suggested that their society, although having less diversity than India, is also grappling with some serious issues related to ethnicity, communalism and racial discrimination.

Charlottesville, Virginia incident:

US
Image Credit: Google Image

If you are having a close or even a partial eye on world news affair, you may have came across Charlottesville incident, where a white supremacist (A philosophy according to which white is supreme) rammed his car on a peaceful African American demonstrator against Confederacy Symbols. In that incident a woman got killed and more than 20 incurred major and minor injuries.

What is Confederacy Symbol and why African Americans were protesting against it?

To explain the story, you have to travel with me in history and to the American Civil War!!! I assure you, travelling in history will not be as boring as you may think.

So, American Civil War, a watershed moment in the history of US, has started in 1861 and ended in 1865. Abraham Lincoln was the president of US at that time. He had proposed a legislation, according to which the slavery (most of the slave were African American) would be annulled and  be termed as illegal and hence punishable. But many of the southern states of US were not happy of this decision. They have a certain notion that white is supreme and blacks are meant to be slaved. Apart from this there were some economical factors were also associated with their discontent. Slaves provided very cheap labor and hence profitable businesses. So 11 of the southern state formed a confederacy and revolted against the union. They seceded from the union in 1861. After that, a civil war had started in US, which finally got ended in 1865, with the victory of the union over confederacy and they were again merged with the union.

So the racial difference between the so called Nationalist American and the African American is deep seated in history. Now after the civil right movement in America, Blacks were legally brought on par with the Whites, but the prejudice is still prevails in American Society.

After the elevation of Mr. Donald Trump as 45th US President, whos is also seen as Right Wing nationalists and pro whites, simmering discontent gets the expression through various means.

One of the demand of the African American people is that in all the southern states, where they got legal protection by law, but the presence of Confederacy Symbols such as monuments, statue, declaration of public holidays, name of the park, name of the streets are on the name of White Supremacist, is not helping the cause of assimilation of the African American in mainstream as they reminds them the suppression by whites.  Naming all these places after white, glorifies their act of brutal repression. These symbols (such as statues) who glorifies the white oppressors, should be removed for once and all.  But the white population thinks that they all were the part of their cultural heritage which they cherishes and they are their source of inspiration, hence it can’t be removed.

So there were protest and counter protest held in Charlottesville. In one of such protest by African American, a White Supremacist, in his 20s, attacked the crowd with his speeding car which resulted, as I mentioned earlier, in killing of a lady and injuring several others.

So the point which I wanted to bring here is that, no country is paradise or perfect. Every country has their own sets of problem. It doesn’t matter that they are developed or developing, western or eastern, above the equator or below the equator differences will be there. So even though we hear so many negative news about the divides in India, we should not get carried away by negativities rather we should bring and use all the means which will bring the peace and harmony in the society.

 

Calmness

India is home of nearly all the religions of the world. Four major religions i.e. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism find its origin in this land of Bharat. Such diversity in religion tells you about the tolerance of the country. Tolerance in the sense that those who inhabited this part of the world, were able to digest the divergent point of view on God irrespective of having differences.

Even before advent of Christianity and Islam, Buddhism and Jainism had found its place here nearly somewhere around circa 600-500 BC!!!

If you read the tenets of these two religion, you will be surprised to know how elaborately and sophisticatedly the philosophy of life has been dealt and many of them, if not all, is equally applicable in recent times as well.

Word Buddha means “Enlightened One”. Life and teachings of Buddha attracted many in that time and even today. Its impact was so lasting that even though it virtually wiped out from Indian Subcontinent, the place of its origin, yet it continues to thrive in Parts of China, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Sri Lanka etc.

Today I am sharing you one anecdote from the life of Buddha, which is very interesting as well as we can apply it in our life as well.

Buddha’s physique was very strong and he used it perfectly. He used to travel nearly 20-30 KM everyday by foot to give his sermons to the different parts of the contemporary India.

Even though he was highly revered among his followers, but since Brahmins of that time had a grip over cultural and devotional aspect, he had to face severe criticisms and backlashes during the propagation of Buddhism.

On one such occasion, while he was preaching, an adversary of him came and started a scathing attack on his philosophy and personally abused him. Followers of Buddha became very perturbed on seeing the attack on their master, but Buddha was, as always, calm amidst tempest. He let that person speak for as much as duration of time until all his evil words to Buddha found some expression.

Then Buddha, who until now was listening peacefully, asked a question from that person.

Buddha -“What if someone is willing to present a gift to the other person, but the other refuses to accept it”.

Person-“It will remain with the same who is presenting the gift”.

Buddha quipped “I am not accepting your abuse!!!”

So in this way he defeated him by his calmness and sheer brilliance of his presence of mind. In our life we also face similar situations especially as we grow up and with that growth comes the false ego. Teaching of Buddha can be a guiding lamp in this regarding.

Thank You!!! Have a Great Weekend!!!

Image Credit: Google Image