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Archive for the ‘Corruption’ Category

What Young India WantsWhat Young India Wants by Chetan Bhagat
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A difficult book to review. It covers a wide variety of topics. Many of them sensitive and controversial. It is obviously not easy to agree with the author and at the same time not disagree on many topics. Most of them are related to what problems plague India and some solutions on how they can be weeded out.

Most of the solutions are not wrong, but many of them are wishful thinking. They are not strong solutions. Unfortunately it is unlikely any of them are going to bear fruit in the near future.

One solution that has not been talked about in the book is a social revolution leading to Uniform Civil Code which is fair and just to both genders, all religions, and all castes.

A decent read, nothing earth shattering.

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Chinese WhiskersChinese Whiskers by Pallavi Aiyar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book is about the lives of two kittens adopted by a foreigner in China. One female, Tofu, from the streets and the other a male, Soyabean, is adopted from a litter of kittens of a cat that is living with an old man and old woman. The old woman has a son whom the cats do not like as he likes to torture them. Both of them live a protected life in the foreigner’s house. It is a world of difference from the one that they lived in their mother’s place.

The brother of Tofu from the streets visits them and tells them that he has joined the gang that has been formed by the brothers of the one who was born to the cat in the old man’s house.

The old woman’s son visits the foreigner’s house and Soyabean is selected to appear in an advertisement for cat food manufactured by the Chinese. The ad is a big success and Soyabean gets enamored with himself and ends up watching himself on the TV. He becomes an icon. The Tofu’s brother warns her that the cat food that is being promoted is not good.

A epidemic strikes China and it is attributed to the cats. The neighbours want to kill the cats and the animal inspectors are going round the town rounding up the cats. Tofu gets caught by the animal inspectors and is taken off. But she is saved by a good Samaritan who forces the inspectors to release the cats.

She finds herself with the dog from her neighbourhood at the site where they building the Bird’s Nest for the Olympics. Here she overhears the old woman’s son describing how they are using a cheap poisonous substance in the cat food and how they are profiting from it. She and the dog are adopted by worker’s at the site and she lives with them for sometime. Her brother has started looking out for her. He and his gang locate her and lead her back to her house much to the delight of the household.

Soon the epidemic dies and the cats are safe, but the cats being fed the cat food made my the Chinese are dying and ill health. Tofu tells her about the substandard cat food. They think about how to inform the world about it, but are unable. The ad featuring Soyabean is selected for an award and the cats make a plan.

Read the book to see what the plan is and if it succeeds.

There are some very quotable quotes in the book. The first one is by the old lady “Don’t you think its better to like what you have than have what you like?”. The second one is also by the old lady “What is the value of money when it can so easily be used up?. Learning can never be used up. Wisdom is never depleted. Fill your head rather than your pocket and you can never be robbed”. Speaking about corruption “Money can turn black into white in this dirty world”. Again the old lady “White wine turns a man’s face red, yellow gold turns his heart black!”. And the last one again by the old lady “The taste of a dumpling can’t be judged by how well it is folded”.
Wonderful quotes.

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Ambani & SonsAmbani & Sons by Hamish McDonald
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A decent book portraying the grey shade of the Ambanis. The book is bold enough to bring out the dark incidents the silver lining in this dark shade. The Ambanis adopted the principle that if there corrupt officials and politicians, who are ready to favour us, given the right amount then why should we not exploit the person to get passed rule and regulations by which we can benefit more and more.

Provides a good insight of what one can achieve if one has a decent intelligence and is willing to be unscrupulous in ones dealings with the corrupt officials.

A must read for people who wish to know more about corruption in India, the License Raj and about the Ambanis.

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The image has been copied from the Rediff article Is this cartoon obscene?

The picture above shows it all (pun intended)
Here is the blog of Satish Acharya for more cartoon

I am not a very big admirer of Gandhi. But there are certain aspects that I cannot help admire. Here is one of them. Read the link for more details.


How true each one is. Nobody will doubt it. But I doubt if many follow it. Very relevant in today’s world filled with corrupt politicians who only claim to be followers of Gandhi. The only connect, if at all they have, is the cap popularized by Gandhi.
Read the book given below. Extremely candid autobiography of himself. Not many would admit to things that he has admitted in this book.

First it was Ramdev and now it is Anna Hazare. The Government of India has left no stone unturned to weed out any opposition against itself and the against the charges of corruption against it.

It is a well known fact that corruption  is rampant in India and more so in all Governmental organizations. It starts from the top and percolates down to the lowest level. Unless one greases the hands of the right official with the right amount or keep the right weight on the file to be moved things will not happen.

Even if you have no criminal record if you want a police clearance you need to pay the police. Every aspect of the life of an Indian is influenced by corruption and bribes. Starting from getting a Birth Certificate issued from the local Municipality or the relevant local authority to issual of Death Certificate by the same authority to burning of the mortal remains or burial of the mortal remains one needs to bribe the authorities that be.

Despite this, this government wants to come down with such a heavy hand on Anna Hazare. What if the Prime Minister comes under the lok pal bill. It will only enhance the image of the Prime Minister. In any case the ones in power have ways and means to wriggle out of any uncomfortable situation by virtue of having the ability to pay unlimited amount to the right persons.
It only goes to show that the government has people who are scared to death of being investigated. Everybody has something to hide and so they are hiding behind the fig leaf that Anna Hazare is doing something that is illegal. They are trying to run a smear campaign against thim. It like the pot calling the kettle black. It is in a ridiculous situation that we are in today.

It is very saddening to see a person like Dr. Manmohan Singh supporting and defending the actions of the Government. One can understand a stupid, idiotic person like Kapil Sibal to support the government and make irrelevant and irreverant statements, but it is really disheartening to see Dr. Manmohan Singh doing what he is doing. He should distance himself from such a set of people.

What is Mr. Rahul Gandhi doing? The one who is being touted as the next Prime Minister of India wants to take every opportunity to show that he is with the people. In this he has shown least interest. He has not even made an attempt to talk to Anna Hazare. May be he scared that skeletons will come tumbling out of his family cupboard if we becomes the PM and the lok pal bill covers the PM under its ambit.

All in all it is a shameful affair. If the ministers feel they are so uncorrupt they should not shy of public scrutiny.

It is also disheartening to see the limited support on ground for Anna Hazare. The public, including yours truly, have stayed away from supporting Anna Hazare openly. Very few have dared to join him in his quest for justice and removal of corruption. It is time we wake up and join him in his crusade. All of us are not leaders, but since we have one let us atleast follow and support him.
Somebody who has been convicted by the court for killing another human in cold blood is released on parole, apparently because his mother is sick and he has shown good behaviour. What do you expect such a person to do? Go to mama and take care of her? Stay out of further trouble? No. See what such a person does. and this
Partying in a Night Club and getting into tiff with with others in the party.
This is our India. Where the mind is not free, but people with money are free and run amok with absolute disdain of morals and ethics.
Where our politicians feel they should allow such persons pardon, because their parents made a big donation to their party for the elections, or got their favourite good-for-nothing relative a paying job.
Tagore wanted a free India where the Indians could walk with their heads held high. Which Indian go with her head held high when such happenings are becoming common?
One more celebrity goes scott free, even after being convicted by a court. Firstly it took all of nine plus years for the conviction to come through. This is an insult to the victims. To add injury to this insult if has just taken nine months for court to overrule this ruling.
Firstly the case was drawn so long that the witnesses were either compromised or were just exhausted. Secondly in all probability the right set of people were bribed.
Admiral Nanda the father of the accused can spit venom against the people “maligning” his son, but just look at the circumstances:
1. Son of a rich person
2. Driving a BMW at a time when in whole of India we may have had only a handful of them
3. The accused was drunk and this much was conceded by both courts.
Perfect recipe for disaster. And it happened. One should be surprised if such disasters do not happen on a regular basis.
If drunken irresponsible driving deserves to be punished only with a two year sentence one starts thinking, what sort of justice is this.
For all we know, very soon we will have the accused Mr. Sanjeev Nanda zipping around, this time probably in a Mercedes or a Lexus (so that he is more safe and does not get injured in an accident) or some other stronger SUV gifted to him by his father dear father on his having successfully finished his term in the cooler in Tihar jail.

Post Script
If anybody is already seeing Mr. Sanjeev Nanda zipping around in one of the dream cars, do not be surprised, Tihar is known to leak when you have the right connects and a deep pocket. Remember the exploits of Charles Shobraj in Tihar?