Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Thing or Two about Taxes

TWO: Why do we pay taxes?
Me: For our nation's development.
TWO: Can you be more specific when you say "nation"?
Me: Its you and me and the people around; the road, medical care, education et all.
TWO: So, its for human resource and infrastructural development within a particular invisible man-made boundary... right?!
Me: Perfectly put!
TWO: You pay for education and health for HRD and lay roads, telecom, transport et all for infrastructure development... right?
Me: Yes.
TWO: Hmm... Didn't you pay a hefty sum as school and college fees?
Me: Yes, but education is expensive yet not as high as they pay in private institutions.
TWO: Wasn't education supposed to be free especially if it is compulsory?... Now, haven't you paid the money demanded in private hospitals?
Me: Yeah... But then its not that expensive in government hospitals.
TWO: "Not that expensive" is a good line... so there is still a cost involved. However, then why weren't you there?!
Me: Well...
TWO: Aren't you all paying toll charges for the road(s) you travel on though you have already paid road tax, life tax, vehicle tax et all? Aren't you paying taxes on things you buy with an income that has already been taxed?
Me: Yeah right!
TWO: By the by, did you know that the total amount of black money deposited in foreign banks by Indians is estimated at 7,280,000 Crores and the total scam money in India is Rs. 73000000000000 and did you know that this too is a tax payer's money and if the government took some effort to bring these Gandhi notes in, we might actually be able to get tax holidays and be able to handle inflation easily(?); did you also know that each hour of functioning or rather non-functioning of the parliament costs Rs. 25 lakh, this would mean a loss of Rs. 2 crore on a day even when no business is transacted... add up every day our babus find a reason to not work than use the time to do some work... and now that too is tax payer's money. Besides your tax also pays the police who wait for thieves to fall into their hands, the navy who can't defend our fishermen, the airforce who have never used their flights, with no need to bomb, and we spend a whooping 41.3 Billion US$ on military when our expenditure on education is 11.45 Billion US$ and our per capita expenditure on health is about US$ 32 in India, while it is around US$ 4590 in rich countries (more than 140 times). We still have schools without blackboards and teachers and hospitals with no doctors and syringes and villages with no electricity so far... all this after almost six and a half decades of independence.
Me: (coughing)
TWO: And now... Why do we pay tax?!

Nanjappa, Vicky (31 March 2009). "Swiss black money can take India to the top". Retrieved 23 May 2011


Monday, February 27, 2012

Spiritual or Religious

Me: So, are you a believer?
TWO: What do you mean?
Me: Well, are you a religious person?
TWO: No, I am plain spiritual.
Me: hahaha! Don't start again... whats the difference?!
TWO: Its like choosing to take a path or taking a pathless path. I just walk.
Me: So do you or don't you believe in the concept of "God"?!
TWO: hahaha! I just wonder why those who say they do, don't...


Friday, February 24, 2012

How To Become Rich In A Day

Now for another out of proportion stats:

THE ECONOMIST's Big Mac index is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity: in the long run, exchange rates should adjust to equal the price of a basket of goods and services in different countries. This particular basket holds a McDonald's Big Mac, whose price around the world was compared with its American average of $4.20.

McDonald’s doesn’t even sell Big Mac in India because it’s made of beef which is not acceptable to Hindus. So, The Economist has instead looked at the price of the Maharaja-Mac burger (its equal substitute), made of chicken which sells at 84 rupees. Which makes it quite a simple observation in the global scenario that a man to have a dignified burger a day for which he labours (just for himself without taking into account a family he might have to feed or probably share this single burger with), which is a globally available product, priced taking into consideration the various criteria in economics, like many others across the globe, might require Rs. 84 in India to buy that burger.

Now lets check this out...

The Cause:
The Planning Commission of India has accepted the Tendulkar Committee report says that 37% of people in India live below the poverty line(BPL).
The Arjun Sengupta Report (from National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector) states that 77% of Indians live on less than INR 20 a day (about $0.50 per day).
The N.C. Saxena Committee report states that 50% of Indians live below the poverty line.
A study by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative using a Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) found that there were 650 million people (53.7% of population) living in poverty in India, of which 340 million people (28.6% of the population) were living in severe poverty, and that a further 198 million people (16.4% of the population) were vulnerable to poverty.
421 million of the poor are concentrated in eight North Indian and East Indian states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. This number is higher than the 410 million poor living in the 26 poorest African nations.

The Effect:
The World Bank estimates that India is ranked 2nd in the world of the number of children suffering from malnutrition.
The UN estimates that 2.1 million Indian children die before reaching the age of 5 every year – four every minute – mostly from preventable illnesses such as diarrhoea, typhoid, malaria, measles and pneumonia. Every day, 1,000 Indian children die because of diarrhoea alone.
The 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report ranked India 15th, amongst leading countries with hunger situation.

Made in India for you...
Planning Commission chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia submitted new price data that pegged the urban poverty line as consumption of Rs. 32/day per person in urban areas and Rs. 26/day in rural areas, a revision that would immediately lower India’s own measure of its poor from 37% to 32% of its population. Behold: 60 million people, suddenly not poor.

India did it again!!! Now I can have that fcking burger and smile "I'm luvin it!"

By the by, things you can do with Rs. 26:
buy 1 lettuce
buy 6 eggs
pay for (almost)... a 2-way ticket by local transport
a 1 1/2 km ride by taxi
can buy a ticket to the movies if everything is sacrificed and money saved for a week
can buy a Levis 501 if everything is sacrificed and money saved for 78.84 days
buy 370ml of petrol
buy 810ml of milk
buy 2 litres water bottle
have less than half a cup of your regular cappuccino
buy around 650ml of cola
and ofcourse have 30.95% of that freakin burger...

In the mean time, In a supplementary budget tabled in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, a whopping 26 crore rupees has been allocated for providing security to Chief Minister Mayawati. The money, sources say, will be used to buy Ambassador cars and ten jammer vehicles. Another 20 crore rupees have been earmarked for the upkeep of two state government bungalows allotted to the Chief Minister in Lucknow.

Indian government approves 200% MPs’ salary hike , Still some MP's are unhappy.
TOTAL expense for a MP [having no qualification] per year: Rs.60,95,000
For 534 MPs, the expense for 1 year: Rs. 325,47,30,000
3254730000 X 5 years = Rs. 1627,36, 50000 ( One Thousand six hundred crores plus..)
Now that's a lot of burgers!

"It's official: 37 pc live below poverty line". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
"Report on Condition of Work and Promotion of Livelihoods in the unorganized sector.".
"Country Briefing: India, Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) At a Glance". Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.
"8 Indian states have more poor than 26 poorest African nations". Times of India. July 12, 2010.


Revolution or Evolution?!

Thus read the NEWS... "Chennai, Fb 23 : Five people, including a Former Engineering Student, who were involved in the twin bank robbery in the city, were shot dead in an encounter by the police, this morning."

I wondered... if only these people had used their energy to fight against the injustices in the society, used their strength to fight for the vulnerable, used their minds to give voice for the voiceless, used their power to protect the poor and the often abused, they would have become revolutionaries. Instead they chose to follow our great toppied babu's and entered into making easy money
in the footsteps set forth by them, looting and scamming money that is never their own; thus have evolved...

Evolution and Revolution all in one's hands.



Take It

TWO: So have you been reading anything lately?!
Me: Not much, just those regular mags , classifieds and just for laugh sections.
TWO: So have you stopped writing then?!
Me: NO!
TWO: Then how do you write if you don't read?
Me: Whats the connection???
TWO: Writing is like a magician's hat... I have read, only when you put something in can you pull something out...
Me: Got it.

(Me and TWO walked to the nearest bookstore)


So You DO Think That Someone Reads Your Blog?!

Percentage of people who use the internet in the world: 32.7 %
Percentage of people who use the internet in India: 10.2 %

Indian literacy rate grew to 75.06% in 2011 from 12% at the end of British rule in 1947 (with a slight change in definition though)...

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has drafted a definition of literacy as the "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society." Wow! thus making it not just an end yet a continuous sustainable process.

The National Literacy Mission of India defines literacy as "acquiring the skills of reading, writing and arithmetic and the ability to apply them to one's day-to-day life." Thus simplified it to a certain point of vagueness making the controversial mad man in the street who could draw figures resembling letters of his name and count himself in a "literate" in Indian standards. Target achieved! India can dream on...

To take time to think a little off-beat, with just one tenth of us sitting on the internet, we all might know that most of us use the Net for checking our emails, many to just google, and most to get a glimpse of the often forbidden... that leaves just a fraction of the human lot to blog. And you and I think that we have reached a "lot" through our posts enh?! Duh!

Source:, December 31, 2011

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Great Indian Tamaasha

Yesterday night as I watched my child's face while he was sleeping I felt an immense need to thank the Great One above for keeping him safe... safe from caste-related violence, religious violence, religiously motivated violence, corruption, the mafia, political scandals, the Kala Kaccha Gang, murderers, bandits, burglars, muggers, thieves, robbers, (and thus reminded of) the politicians and their politically motivated violence, hit-men, paid-criminals, hit and run speedsters and road ragers, kidnappers, ransom seekers, drug traffickers, gun runners, money launderers, extortionists, poachers, human traffickers, sexual abusers, sexual harassers, physical abusers, emotional abusers, mental abusers, people who neglect their duties, drug abusers, terrorists, abductors, rapists, bribe-seekers, bribe-givers, con-men and women, confidence tricksters, fraudsters, auto and taxi frauds who over charge, pick-pocketers, bag snatchers, chain snatchers, cyber criminals, poachers, wildlife traffickers, arms traffickers, illegal drug traders, people who indulge in domestic violence, infant killers and abortionists, dowry seekers, dowry givers, terrorists, the corrupt system that cradles it and the law enforcement who hide it all.

I was glad that I was not part of the 5361 convicts in Tamil Nadu and the 123941 in India, I was particularly glad that I didn't have to die in these prisons as was the case of 65 others in Tamil Nadu and 1430 others in India. It was nice to know that I was not part of the statistics that reported 16561 suicides in Tamil Nadu and 132226 in India reported every year. It was great to be home safe unlike the 32153 who died over a decade's time in an accident in Tamil Nadu and 373917 others who died across India. I was glad that the rowdies in khakhi (a.k.a the police man) neither received a complaint against me nor was a case registered unlike 43373 in Tamil Nadu who were framed just like the 1426718 others throughout India. I was particularly glad that I did not have a pending case to brood over unlike the 20 million (accounted for till the end of 2002) pending court cases country wide, which makes me not part of the 1 million persons in jail waiting for a fair trial (accounted for till the end of 2002) because the conviction rate of court cases is only around 1 percent. I was glad that I could get past all this and be there to watch my child smile.

I was also glad that the great nation where I live wishing to be safe where 1,700 people died instantly in Bhopal on 2-3 Dec 1984 from the Union Carbide gas leak and 22,000 people who have died since Dec 1984 from its after effects and 570,000 people who continue to suffer from varied diseases affecting respiratory, reproductive systems as a result since 1984 and still my mighty judicial system has remained impotent in rendering justice yet wants nuclear power stations established in rural parts yet again even if it is over the dead bodies of people who know that prevention is better than cure and object it, the same way tribals are killed in other parts of my country to get them off their natural habitat rich with natural resources to allow the rich man and the white man to set up his mining industries. Meanwhile, the dark streets sleep unworried through the deliberate hourly power-cuts as it celebrates a politician's birthday(s) announced in larger than life cut-outs through its corners for dogs to mark their territory thus shower them with the honour they precisely deserve as men in white with retarded colonial reminiscence of master-slave imagery running all over their nerves bend over, completely surrendering their arses nevertheless their dignity, respect and pride along with as the unheard moaning pain of the man on the street submerge dies as he moves past this tamaasha knowing that his voiceless voice just as his fate, glooms over his will to live, like a ghost that haunts him in his nightmares as he curses himself for being born and not being able to die, just as having to vote with none to vote for.

I was glad. Glad to see my son's smile as he sleeps without knowing all this; trusting that the world that I brought him into was safe, nice and happy. Smile my sleeping child! life is but a dream.

The Hindustan Times

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why Does Gandhi Still Smile?!

Tamil Nadu complains of power cuts. Not those regular cuts which lasts for 2 hours that the urban rich don't bother about; these are those cuts where the electricity lasts for just 2 hours with the frequency and the timing unannounced and unknown; especially in the 3 southern districts Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari. Reason: Accept Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (Which the people have objected siting safety concerns) or suffer.

Many commissions have come with pre-typed reports sanctioning its safety from the central-level and the greatest betrayer being the president who asked us to dream... yeah, dream on. These commissions will keep rolling in till the will of the people get crushed, the fighters against this get crushed along with it and the government runs the plant over the dead bodies of people who object it.

Now why all this kolaveri?!
1. The plant basically hangs on the tip off the coast and news reports claimed that the walls had "just" cracked during the tsunami... wow! how safe!
2. There is absolutely no protection for people especially the fishermen who are frequently attacked by the neighbouring island-nation (who by the by, got our solemn support to destroy one of its "grave internal threats" recently yet we "must" believe that the congress nor the family which runs it had any reason for ensuring revenge). We have no navy, nothing to protect our coasts or the people who use the coastline for livelihood. In the event of an attack from some crouching tigers and hidden dragons, this time from the South instead of the usual North, we will watch like total muffs the plant as well the entire Southern blow into smithers (which the Northern-political arena cares a damn about anyway) to regret later. We will be probably left with dead bodies to cry for dead bodies.
3. The ghost of the previous national tragedy in Bhopal has taken so many years and yet we have delayed and deprived justice... what bloody nerve do these toppied mongrels have, to push one more endeavour against the will of the people with this kind of demonstrated efficiency?
4. Democracy means for the people, by the people and of the people, why this bitchy plant when it destroys the very essence of democracy?
5. Do we really have to show that we have enough nuclear power plants running in our country to keep our upscale hideous nuclear power status even if it has to be built upon the dead bodies of those who protest against it and brush the dirt of our inefficency to curb real issues like political vandalism, diplomatic nepotism, caste favouritism, family-run politics, theft and crime from the parliament running into the stinky streets, misleading media and gross human rights violation happening at every nook and corner of our great country? Why are the hungry getting killed instead of hunger? Why are the poor getting killed instead of poverty? Why does Gandhi still smile in our currency notes watching all these corrupt minds in political suits and behind bureaucratic tables whose palms have to be buttered with cash to get them to do the things they have to even otherwise, every time, every single time?

Now who to go to for justice?

1. We have an amma at the state who did not miss a chance to nick name the previous government "min-vettu arasu" (power-cut government) and now how well does she (the almighty) fare?!
2. We may rush to the government again ruled by a step-amma who wears the mask of a prime minister in silence mode who instigates this abuse in the first place and so what's the point?!

Now for the equation:
1. We elect the AIADMK + BJP (the alliance at the state, presently ruling) = we get what we get now, abusive power-cut government
2. We elect DMK + Congress (the previous state and the present abuser at the central) = we get what we get now, abusive power-cut government

So, there we have it, its a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Leaves me to ask just 3 things:
Do we have a reason, to vote for?!
Who do we have, to vote for?!
3. I know my vote would make a difference yet where is the choice I have to vote for?!


Friday, February 10, 2012

It Happens Only In India (Part III of III)

Steps to ensuring a Goonda Raj:

Step 1. Do something against the will of the people

Step 2: Most spineless humans will not make even a meek cry against it, some gutless humans will discuss this in tea stalls, coffee tables, bars and probably in seminars and conferences yet not lift a little finger to do anything about it… ignore them

Step 3: A few desperate ones will rise to protest. Silence them. First try threat, then try bribe, then try to include them to your side (Tempt them), if you still can’t succeed accuse them of divulging foreign funds and the presence of foreign “terrorists” in their mission. If they still don’t crack, accuse them more, call them "grave internal threat", abuse them and threaten them more with the ever prompt CBI enquiry which has not been able to crack the bofors case so far (Oops! Did I mentioned it again?!)

Step 4: Cut basic amenities, electricity, water, gas and whatever (paid services) you promised to provide while shamelessly begging for votes (that once in five years occurrence)

Step 5: If all the above do not succeed, try death threats before actually killing the main rebel, after all don’t we know that to scatter the sheep all that you have to do is kill the shepherd?! And lay that “Nice” road and maybe charge a toll fees as well… all for the welfare of the country! Duh!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It Happens Only In India (Part II of III)

Thus reads the preamble of our great constitution… “We, the people of India, have solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic and secure to all its citizens: Justice, Liberty, Equality and promoting above them all Fraternity” yeah right!

This is a land that claimed Gandhi… lets face it. Probably the Brits aimed at only looting us like they recently did in their own streets recently. We killed Gandhi not the Brits. Now with all these non-violent satyagrahas and ahimsas especially in the form of hunger-strikes (I deliberately resist calling it a “fast” and insist on referring to this as a “hunger strike” the former is for internal cleansing and the other for deliberating control or as in this case maybe for external cleansing… I deliberately resist calling it a “fast”. It is a “hunger strike” and there is a difference) what are we trying to prove? Children go for hunger strikes to force their parents into something. It is not something great that adults do. Hunger strikes are sadomasochistic and the ones who are for it and extend support and push a person to carry on are just plain sadistic who find pleasure in the suffering of another, just one more irony of recent times. Just think. Gandhi, a simple teetotaler, an inspiration to bring forth dry states and dates would be smiling to see his personal belongings resting in the house of one of India’s richest and flamboyant liquor baron. Can we Indians be described with a bigger ironical figurative than this?!

The complacent and unaffected rich seldom question and the issues and concerns of the poor who do dare to question get crushed to silence with brute political and police force thus ensuring silence in the goonda raj. Aren’t we all watching the same drama being enacted over and over and over again by the topied baboos?!

(To be contd.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It Happens Only In India (Part I of III)

In the stroke of the mid-night hour when the rest of the world sleeps my India wakes up to whimsical fiscal changes, fraudulent finance, scammed economy, political malfunctioning, curtailed civil liberties, manipulating media, privatization, illegal mining, hunger, malnutrition and rising prices of essential commodities. The great depression seems to repeat itself as the great recession of recent times; the Bengal famine repeats itself with the incidence of farmer’s suicides alongside market meltdowns, political uncertainties and silent revolutions being silenced silently, crushing the will of the people to survive nevertheless live with dignity on rights rationed otherwise.

Meanwhile, the aam-admi is subsequently fed up… fed up watching guns and lathis aimed from the shoulders of the politicians charged at the poor rather than poverty, firing at the hungry, the deprived and the vulnerable rather than eliminating hunger, food wastage and discrimination. The one’s who resist destruction of freedom are labeled as “a grave internal threat” rather than deal with real terror from external forces; we are amazed at the way the ministers we trust and elect to power get drunk with power and act nothing less than the drunk barbarian on the streets who in a state of intoxication abuses everyone passing by. The crimes that the law makers and protectors of the iron hand of the legal system accuse the citizens are dissent, disrespect to law and authority and blocking roads towards the paths of development which usually refers to building factories, setting up nuclear power plants and mining (even if it against the will of the people). Yet, the citizen is not always a fool as expected to be. The rebellion we see around whether Gandhian or Subhash Chandra Bose’ian, whether by ahimsa or weapons, it is obvious that there is a generation of people fed up and boiling beneath the skin. The crimes they are accused of are true; yet, these are derivative crimes born out of greater crimes committed against them. Remember that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal at his times and what Gandhi did in Africa was illegal.

(To be contd.)