Thursday, December 20, 2012

Development wins elections???

So, Narendra Modi has won another election. But the question that whether he will be nationally acceptable still exists.

Interestingly, the chief minister who supposedly fought the elections on the plank of development, has lost Sanand (the auto hub made famous by Retiring Tata's Nano plant after the company left West Bengal) and Hansalpur (Maruti's plant was supposed to have come there). Both these areas have been prime beneficiaries of development -- land prices have shot up benefiting thousands.

But Modi's loss in those areas begs a question -- can Indian elections be won on the 'development' agenda? -- Remember BJP's India Shinning fiasco??? 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Dear Anna, Ramdev jee,

Why does everyone want to achieve the impossible ? -- Anna Hazare wants a Lok Pal that should be the most powerful body. Even the PM and Judiciary should be under it.

How many of us really think that it will happen? Importantly, why should it happen?
I have a simple belief. Even though I do not get great confidence from the existing PM, (and for someone who admired him for years, this is a sad reality) I am unwilling to let some weirdos from other parties to score a point by dragging him to some Lok Pal.

And the reason is practical: The moment the PM is dragged to some forum where his/her credibility can be questioned (and I don't mean the Judiciary here), the functioning of a government will come to a stand still. If someone wants to do it, there is a Supreme Court.
I strongly believe that there would be a number of people who will want to hurt the functioning of the government and Lok Pal will become a handy tool.

Same goes for the Judiciary. Yes, there are number of judges accused of misappropriation and facing charges. But I would rather have the courts decide this.

Yes, the Jan Lok Pal bill is required for the civil society. But I would rather have it govern the Municipality, Schools, Colleges, Hospitals, Police where the civil society faces maximum corruption. A Jan Lok Pal should have powers superseding the administrations of these institutions. Horses for courses, as they say.

Its orders should be allowed to be challenged in the Supreme Court only. This entire business of Sessions, High and Supreme Courts delays the entire process of law indefinitely. Make a strong Lok Pal. But don't aim for the moon is my belief.

For Ramdev, here's something for him to chew on. Rs 30,000 crore gold found in Kerela Temple, cash & gold being confiscated in Sai Baba's Ashram, and even he has been given donations of crores.

Whether he likes it or not, he has already helped thousands to convert black money into white. He may produce a balance sheet... but much of that is black money getting converted into white.
Please take money in cheque and give the devotee a receipt. Switzerland can come later on.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wake up call...

Almost a year, since I wrote anything. Not that I have many/any followers ;), but just lost interest. Recently, we are getting a weekly dose of controversy. To start with, Sania and Shoaib, then came Irda and Sebi and now the summer heat is on Lalit Modi and UPA (for phone tapping).

The good part about controversies is that they keep hacks busy. Paapi pet ka sawal hain. And most papers have done well. While breaks are breaks... regular follow ups have been decent as well. Just that, most of them went overboard.

But it's ok. At least, people are entertained. Once you reach home and put on the news channels, Mr Sardesai, Ms Dutt, Ms Ghosh are all yelling their heads off at all and sundry. An interesting observation by my mother: yeh rajdeep to jawab khatam hone ke pehle ki sawal karta hain...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Salary or job cut?

K U Rao of DNA recently opened up an interesting debate – should salaries be cut or jobs? According to Rao, jobs should be cut because one, a blanket salary cut demoralises everyone whereas a job cut helps retain the good talent.

This statement comes at a time when Times of India, NDTV, NewsX have already slashed salaries. Indian Express is unwilling to cut, at least for now. But like my friend in the Express middle-management said, “We are paid three times less than Times. So cutting our salary could be quite difficult.”

Well, in my view both cutting salaries and job cuts have their pitfalls. But job cuts have slightly more. And it is because when it comes to salary cuts, there is a sense of déjà vu because everyone is in the same boat.

Performers, who ideally (should) have a higher salary, get hit more because of more cuts. No-so performers or juniors get hit less because of lower cuts. Yes, if one goes by Rao’s argument ‘everyone is demoralised’. This, in turn, does not help the company because instead of a few discontented people, all are upset. Obviously, output suffers big time.

On the other hand, cutting out the deadwood helps the company in two ways. One, performers believe that the company has faith in them. So they try to do better. Also, there is a fear that they should not become expendable. Again, the result is more hard work and better performance. The company surely stands to benefit from this.

Only a small issue – who is expendable? And more importantly, who decides that X or Y is deadwood? Ideally, there are section or department heads who are given the responsibility to identify bad performers. But everyone knows that prejudices creep in.

Most of us have heard horror stories of employees, both male and female, being harassed by bosses (media is no different). We know of sexual favours being sought for promotions. And we also know how more-than-decent performers have suffered at the hands of bad bosses. Their copies have been blocked or story ideas rejected consistently and finally, hounded out.

Ours is a funny profession. My style of writing can be different from someone else’s. But unless I am making mistakes (both in English and facts), I need not be wrong. Like someone said, “Even Salman Rushdie can be rewritten.”

Given that there is no fool-proof system to judge performance, especially due to the numerous intangibles in our profession, an overall salary cut is preferable over cutting jobs. Is Mr Rao listening?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fear management - Politicians should take cabs and autos to offices

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP spokesperson – “There protestors (silent) are like terrorists. They put powder and cream on their faces and criticise politicians and democracy...”
R R Patil, NCP, outgoing home minister of Maharashtra – “In big cities, such small incidents happen”
Vilasrao Deshmukh, Congress, CM Maharashtra takes his son and producer Ram Gopal Verma to do some “disaster tourism” in the Taj...
BJP claimed to be united with the government in Mumbai while at the same time came out with a scathing advertisement in Delhi. Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje’s, BJP, has made terrorism an election issue.
As they say...Is hamam mein sab nange hain
Worse still, the celebrated journalist of our times Arun Shourie – someone, most of us have grown up admiring almost blindly, clinically dissects the government’s role in this mess by bringing out facts that how Shivraj Patil and co exactly knew what was going to be the modus operandi and yet, did not do anything. (Indian Express, December 1)
Perhaps, forgetting in his zeal that the Parliament attack happened under BJP’s leadership, and so was the hijacking of IC 814. – For sheer argument’s sake, the attack on the Parliament was much more audacious and showed larger failure of intelligence and systems than the “Mumbai Massacre”, unless Shourie wants to admit that they were caught napping. Or he speaks like former home minister Shivraj Patil – We knew there was a terror threat but did not know when or where it will happen.
I have a simple question. Politicians can be forgiven and they always are, for behaving in an abrasive manner. But should an intellectual, especially of Shourie’s stature be so insensitive? He was so busy putting facts together that he perhaps forgot that over 500 people were either dead or hospitalised.
Watching 24X7 television in the last few days has left many of us sick. I really wonder what democracy means? Does it create a “dog-eat-dog” society?
For me, it is as simple as this. I am angry. For now, I think every single politician should be stripped of every damn security cover and those bullet proofs cars. They should take cabs or autos to their respective offices. That will perhaps give confidence to the common man that our politicians are in the same boat. And force politicians to make sure that there is some serious security in our cities that protects them and their children.
Either they do that or we don’t vote for them. Is it possible?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stone pelting at the Karachi stock exchange...

Though markets worldwide have crashed because of the rise in oil prices, inflationary pressures and a whole lot of reasons, no other country has seen investors pelting stones and breaking windows of their own stock exchange (Bloomberg reported today that Pakistani investors smashed windows of the Karachi stock exchange to protest the worst fall). Indian investors, on the other hand, would rather down a quarter of rum (whisky is getting too expensive) or worse still, some idiots will try to hang themselves or throw themselves off the 30th floor of the building...