Does Sachin Tendulkar deserve a Rajya Sabha seat?

Sachin Tendulkar, Indian cricketer. 4 Test ser...

Sachin Tendulkar(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Has a seat of Rajya Sabha member been wasted because of its allocation to Sachin Tendulkar? If the nation would hear when Sachin will talk, does he really need the platform of Rajya Sabha to talk? And, if Sachin Tendulkar will be actively pursuing cricket, wouldn’t it be great injustice to the Rajya Sabha seat that has been given to him?

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Chennai Train Collision

Mamata Banerjee,IMG 0276

A major train collision near Chennai that has taken lives of 9 people (the expected figure to go up) and injuring 9 people. The accident took place when a passenger train was hit from behind by an Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) train. This is a third major train accident in a span of 2 months. It seems to me that the politics of West Bengal and Prime Ministerial ambitions of our Rail Minister (Mamata Banerjee) has resulted in a neglected Rail ministry. The sorry state of affairs of Rail safety shown in abysmal rail safety record this year is a reflection of “how cheap” is the life of an ordinary man in India.

The other two major disaster’s have been as follows

July 10, 2011 – Kalka Mail derails near Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh killing 70 people and injuring more than 300.

July 07, 2011 – A Mathura Chhapra Express train rams into a bus carrying wedding guests around 2 a.m. at an unmanned railway crossing in Thanagaon, Kanshiram Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh, killing 38 and injuring 30

I just hope this lust for power does not take precedence over safety of passengers.

India’s deepest humiliation

A representation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka...

Image via Wikipedia

I am a proud Indian. From the very first day the world realized that I could listen and speak, the word’s of ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Jana Gana Mana…’ were fed into my ears with religious delight. My parents, teachers, gurus, friends and everyone sang those words of praise for the country and its rich heritage as if they were nurturing their own child. Like a good son, good student and a good friend, I followed the social norms of patriotism. I grew older to learn about partition, corruption, Gandhis, communal riots, swiss banks accounts, black money, indifference towards terrorism, communism, naxalites, bofors, nandigram and a lot more. The same joyous chant over years became a chant of apathy at my own state, and despite the economic progress shown in the last two decades, my feelings towards my country don’t become any stronger. Although optimists may say, I can do my bit towards the country (which I am doing), the leadership, the entire bureaucracy seems hopeless. More than 100 crore were wasted in common wealth games, more than 50,000 crore was the loss in the 2G scam, more than 1500 crore was the loss due to Mayawati’s statue building spree. Can’t this money bloody feed the hungry? Can’t this be used for creating more jobs? Can’t this be used to settle the Maoists? Can’t this be used to provide more security to women? Can’t this be used in giving the goddamn bloody Indian some respect?

We as Indians have been humiliated by the impotence of leadership and the lust of politicians. They have brought to this country nothing more than shame and suffering. Like an average person looking to lead a respectable life, all I have got is tokenism. They show me progress by showing me IPL, they show me progress by showing me more TV channels, they show me progress by building roads. What they don’t realize is that the money of IPL does not come to me, it still revolves with the politicians, the money on TV Channels is still with politicians (Kalaignar TV, 2G scam), and building roads in 2 years that should not take more than 6 months is not helping me in any way. All I get is inconvenience when a politician’s car passes by, manholes in the road and a toll tax to pay (So that’s again from my pocket). Does an impotent politician deserve all that security, when his or her life is adding to shame. India’s deepest hour of humiliation was not when terrorists attacked Mumbai, but it is now when our leaders do nothing about it. Its humiliating because I know god is also blinded and will do nothing to the bad karma they have brought upon this great nation. Their bad karma will have to faced by us in the form of humiliation and disgust till the time an uproar takes place. The impotence of our democracy is right in our faces, the voice of our prime minister is still a rare sound bite, and corruption has seeped in to our blood through the lustful swords of the torchbearers of democracy. Ha! Our Democracy.

This independence day has to be a day of thinking and planning. We need to plant the seed of independence from this humiliation that has been brought upon us like the misfortune resulting from the bad karma of our leadership. They have filled the pure land of India with poisons of corruption, hatred, impotence and greed. Its time to take the path of reverting this karma. The nature of path (peaceful or violent) depends on you vision and karma. Each path will lead to a different outcome, but if the intended outcome is purity of this holy land, you need to work with a noble and selfless intent.

Godhra verdict: 11 get death

The Gujarat High Court, established in the yea...

The Gujarat High Court

11 convicts in the Godhra train burning case were on 1st march 2011 handed down death sentence while 20 others were given life imprisonment by a special court in the 2002 Godhra incident incident.

In 2002, the coach (S-6) of the train Sabarmati Express coming from Bihar (Darbhanga) destined to Gujarat (Ahmedabad) was burned in Godhra (Gujarat) . About 58 people were burned to death, which consists of mostly Hindu Pilgrims.

This event triggered a widespread communal violence in Gujarat that resulted in deaths of about 790 to 2000 Muslims and about 254 Hindus.

In the very first police FIR after the incident, the incident was viewed as an unplanned mob fury.

But, a special investigation team (SIT) of Gujarat state police put forth an argument that the act was pre-planned by a Muslim Group. It was said by the police that they had stockpiled about 140 liters of petrol a day before the attacks had to take place and the very purpose of these attacks was to kill the Kar-Sewaks.

In 2004, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav appointed Justice U C Banerjee to investigate Godhra incident.The Railways Ministry setup a commission that reported in 2005 that the fire was an accident. The Gujarat high court ruled the formation of this inquiry commission as “illegal” and “unconstitutional”. At present, all the reports of the commission by Railways stand invalid. Moreover, the outcome of this report has been questioned by BJP as politically motivated as its findings coincide with elections.

Special judge P. R. Patel considering this case as “rarest of rare” pronounced death penalty for 11 out of the 31 convicted in the case while 20 others were sentenced to life imprisonment.

“The court looking into their active role in the conspiracy and setting afire the S6 coach of Sabarmati Express train near Godhra, gave death penalty to 11 people,” public prosecutor J. M. Panchal said.

The court also slapped punishment on them under various other sections, which will be concurrent to their life term.

The prosecution had sought death sentence for all the 31 convicts, saying that it was a heinous act.

A special fast track court convicted 31 accused in Godhra train burning case.

Another 63 people were acquitted in the Godhra train burning conspiracy.

The special fast track court was appointed by Gujarat High Court after orders from the supreme court of India.

Mint Reports

Defence counsel I. M. Munshi said the convicts will definitely appeal against the punishment awarded to them.

“It (the punishment) is very difficult to swallow. Till we get the copy of the judgement, we cannot comment much,” Munshi said.

We definitely don’t what is more difficult to swallow – The killing of innocent people or the death sentence to those killed innocents. I think its the former.

Godhra Train Burning Results

Godhra verdict: Death for 11, life term for 20 – Economy and Politics – livemint.com.

Union Budget 2011: Tax Expectations

Pranab Mukherjee, Indian politician, current F...

Pranab Mukherjee

Union Budget 2011: Tax Expectations.

Our finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will have to walk the tightrope by curbing inflation and boosting growth while addressing concerns over black money.

There are indications that the finance minister will announce increase in tax exemption but at the same time increase service tax and excise duty on manufactured products such as cars and TV sets to plug the fiscal deficit.

There is an indication that to cushion the tax blows, he may help ease petrol and diesel prices a bit by announcing tax cuts on the fuels.

There can be a tax immunity scheme that could help draw out concealed incomes to turn them into something productive.

Mukherjee may have some good news for the salaried class, with the government considering a marginal rise in the income tax exemption limit to Rs 2 lakh per year from the existing Rs 1.60 lakh to give people more money to offset inflation.

Presently, the existing annual tax exemption limits stand at Rs 1.6 lakh for men, Rs 1.9 lakh for earning women and Rs 2.4 lakh for senior citizens.

Pranab walks the tightrope – Hindustan Times.

Union Budget 2011 : A precursor

Union Budget of 2011-12 faces many challenges. There three main problems that this budget will have to tackle and mold its strategy to are

  1. Checking inflation and enhancing agricultural productivity
  2. Lifting supply-side constraints to economic growth
  3. Executing the long overdue fiscal correction.

Moreover the current political situation will not help the government in taking concrete steps for uplifting the economy. Like Mamata Banerjee, the politics of appeasement is expected to show at the union budget.

In the politics of appeasement, there is going to greater allocation to Rural India. The FMCG sector appears favourably positioned to gain from the coming Union Budget.

Fiscal deficit – poor quality of fiscal consolidation in FY12 will follow owing to the political scenario.

The congress led coalition has seen a dip in its popularity and it will try to boost its reputation by appeasing the masses. It is all set to take the populist card, just like Mamata Banerjee in the Railway Budget 2011.

Read More on Railway Budget.

Rail Budget 2011 : Economic Focus with Human Face

Railway Budget 2011- Causes for Indian Rail financial crisis

Rail Budget 2011 : The financial issues

The future growth of Indian Railways is to be increasingly subjected to the discipline of the capital market, including those overseas, even as

This time, the railway budget promised a dividend of Rs4,104.50 crore in this fiscal. It is 26% lower than Rs6,608.46 crore proposed in Mamata Banerjee’s 2010 budget.

It did this partly by cutting the back money dedicated on maintaining tracks and rolling stock.

Another feature of this budget was that it maintained the passenger fares constant. It has been the eight such year when the budget has not touched upon the passenger rates.

Moreover the freight rates too were kept constant.

Where will the money for new projects come from ?

Railways is looking to the debt market to finance its new projects especially infrastructure related projects.

Rail Budget 2011 : Economic Focus with Human Face

Mint Reports

The budget documents showed the railways had lowered the money transferred to its depreciation reserve fund by Rs1,900 crore for 2011-12 as compared with Banerjee’s projection last year. The fund is used to maintain and replace its assets.

Other than a lower transfer to the depreciation fund, Sahai said revamping the product mix during the fiscal to capitalize on the increasing magnitude of coal imports into India protected its receipts. Typically, two-thirds of receipts come from freight, primarily coal.

The Long Term issues

This year’s capital spending is to be financed partly through some of the railways’ reserve funds. These funds have seen a significant decline in net accretions over the years.

Mint Reports “In 2009-10, the last year for which final numbers are available, the aggregate closing balance of all funds fell by more than two-thirds in a single year to Rs5,032.06 crore.”

This railway budget has been silent on the big projects such as the Dedicated Freight Corridor. It has not indicated where the money for it will come and how long will it take to complete it. We discussed the case of Dedicated Freight Corridor and the concerns about Indian Railways Financial Health

Railway Budget 2011 – Dedicated Freight Corridor Project

The proposed Plan

Mint Reports, “In the budget estimates for 2011-12, the Plan outlay of Rs57,630 crore is to be met from Rs20,454 crore of market borrowings, including Rs10,000 crore of tax-free bonds.

Railways is in a position where it can no longer fund its projects through internal accruals of cash flows. The market borrowings are to funded through Indian Railways Finance Corp Ltd and it will carry an unwritten sovereign guarantee.

Railway Budget 2011- Causes for Indian Rail financial crisis

The total receipts of the railways in 2011-12 are projected at Rs1.09 trillion.

The dividend proposed is Rs6,734.72 crore.

The operating ratio (ratio of working expenses to gross earnings) is projected to improve marginally to 91.1% from around 98%.

The budget documents show that Indian railways expects to increase its contribution to the depreciation reserve fund by 23%.

Mamata going to market for money – Home – livemint.com.