Wednesday, October 1, 2014

माझा घास, तुझा घास!

माझा घास, तुझा घास!
ज्वारीच्या कणसांनी लगडलेल्या
ताटव्यांवर बिचारी पाखरं
भिरभिरत होती दाण्यांच्या मोहानी
जवळच्या बुजगावण्याची भीती
आता मिटली होती पोटातल्या
वखवखलेल्या आगींनी
त्यांच्या त्या चिवचिवाटानी
आसमंत ही मोहरला होता,
पण शेताच्या धन्याचा राग
पुरता उसळला होता,
चाणा वरुन त्याने
नेम साधला, गोफणीला
गरागरा फिरवून त्याने
तीक्ष्ण दगड भिरकावले
क्षणार्धात दोन चार
पाखरांचे बळी पडले,
त्याचे ही खरे,
पाखरांचे ही खरे
दोष कोणाचा आणि
आपण तो कोणाला द्यायचा?
आपला घास दुसर्‍याने
लुबालडला हीच फक्त
जाणीव ज्याची त्याला.
आणि मग त्याने त्या
पाखरांनाच आपला
आजचा घास करून टाकला.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jaylalitha in Jail but many others in queue!

Jaylalitha in Jail but many others in queue!
So finally we have seen a senior politician in jail after Laloo who is out on bail. The case took 18 years to come to this stage. There are many other politicians who are facing corruption cases for years.
This is one of the most glaring problems and weakness of our democracy. We have a good election system. Our Election Commission must be one of the best in the world. Holding free and fair elections in a country like India is no mean task! They have done it repeatedly.
Frankly our judicial process has let us down. With almost 3 crore cases pending in various levels of the judiciaries we have failed ourselves.
There has to be a system to fast track cases of corruption against those in power. Supreme Court has rejected this idea recently. Jaylalitha’s case was filed 18 years back and during the trial she was allowed to rule a state for many years. This is not correct. Why couldn’t this case have been heard on daily basis and finished in six months or so. Even now this is not the end. She will go in appeal and who knows how many years it will be finally till the SC judgement will be delivered?
Some things the court does is baffling to many of us. When SC gives death sentence to a criminal why does the same court keep giving stay on the actual hanging? Why are the courts increasingly encroaching on the powers of judiciary? What business do they have to tell the Executive what policies it should follow? Why the SC not have control over the delay in cases?
Courts are also very lenient in granting stays. Just today the court has stayed Vijay Mallya being declared a Willful Defaulter. This has been done by lenders and the law allows them to do this. Why should the court interfere at all? Everyone can manage to get a stay and delays the whole process.
The judgement of today is most welcome. I hope many other cases against politicians of all parties are speedily decided. Let’s not have criminals ruling us just because courts are not hearing the cases against them in time bound fashion!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Circus of Maharashtra politics!

Circus of Maharashtra politics!
So on the auspicious day of Navaratri two alliances were broken. Now new possibilities will emerge. Yesterday’s friends will become bitter enemies and foes of yester years will be sought out friends post election Unless BJP read Modi carries the day again and BJP gets absolute majority with friends.
So what are the possibilities? One BJP and Sena fight separately but come together in election as Congress and NCP did in 1999 elections. Both will be magnanimous and more so BJP since it will call all the shots as it definitely will be largest party and will claim the post of CM. Sena will join the government to fulfill the wishes of Balasaheb and for the good of “Marathi Manoos.” But it will be treated not as equal and will have to accept BJP as the Boss. But this may be better than sitting in opposition for another five years and may be longer!
Congress and NCP coming together post election does not seem feasible simple because they will be way short of majority even jointly!
The third scenario is BJP falling short of majority and NCP filling in the void is Modi decides to teach a lesson to Sena once and for all! Pawar is a master of politics and he may wish to be in power in Maharashtra the only state where his party really has a sizeable presence. I will not be surprised if he is made a Minister at the center as well. This scenario suits him perfectly. Remember Pawar had Cabinet Minister status under Vajpai’s NDA as man in charge of creating Disaster Management blueprint! Local BJP leaders will be uncomfortable with this as they had targeted Ajit Pawar as the most corrupt person! But then his uncle is considered the most corrupt man on whom no cases are filed ever! In 1995 Munde had said he had evidence against Pawar and had also accused him of having links with Dawood, but nothing came out of it. Khairnar of BMC had also boasted that he had truckful of evidence against him, something that never was revealed.
The fourth scenario which seems remote and unlikely is that NCP and Shiv Sena form the government. But I do not think they can reach the magic figure of 144.
However if Maharashtra does not get a stable government then it will be very bad for the state. I hope the voters make sure that we have a stable government.
In these elections like never before, the top post of CM was more discussed than anything else. I just wonder if Maharashtra CM is so powerful that parties were willing to part ways on this sole issue just 20 days before polling!
I believe these elections may deliver a verdict that will be against Congress and Shiv Sena the most. Congress in line with what happened in May and Sena for not accepting Modi as the Supreme Leader of India!
So relax and enjoy the acrimonies for the next 1 days but on 15th October make sure you go out and vote and then hope that we have a god government for sake of Maharashtra!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Success in Space- failure on ground!

Success in Space- failure on ground!
Indian space scientists and engineers have shown over the years how successful they can be in development of new technologies and at the same time beating the whole world on cost. It is a tremendous achievement which only noticed only when an event like yesterday’s takes place and is then quickly forgotten. We as a nation only love to celebrate everything so we were over the moon or may be mars yesterday! Have we learnt anything? Have many kids in India got motivated to become innovators? Has Indian industry motivated to pursue excellence? Will they invest in R&D and develop new products at low cost? Many corporate like L&T and Godrej to name just two have been involved with ISRO for years, but what about others?
I am absolutely confounded by this contrast! We conquer the space technology that is complex, we are the cheapest option for launching of satellites, but we cannot make quality products of daily use at low cost! ISRO is manned by Indians who are educated here in our own educational system and still they deliver. I am sure many of them are not even from IITs. And the corporate India which is full of IIT, IIM passed outs cannot match them?
Ironically today the PM arranged a conference for Made in India initiative. How many corporate honchos are really serious about this? Why do they need governmental support for everything? Where is the initiative from their end? Except for RIL which has invested majorly in India many of them are more interested in investing abroad and interestingly many of them have gone into serious trouble for being over ambitious.
The trade bodies always keep saying that India must concentrate on manufacturing but their Presidents and Chairmen are major importers from China! They want everyone else to take the lead and are busy only manufacturing labels to stick to products imported from China!
It is time the industry captains do some soul searching and see if they can do things differently. Their argument that we get cheaper products in China is fine for their businesses but then they should stop preaching others at least.
Let’s hope that MOM’s success will spur our scientists, engineers and mainly entrepreneurs and capitalists to innovate to make quality products at affordable price for mass consumption at least!


Saturday, September 20, 2014

My first Webinar experience!

My first Webinar experience!
I was extremely skeptical when I was offered this opportunity. I cannot really imagine conducting class when there are no students present! Here the students could see me but I could not see them. I could not even hear them. They had to write their responses to my questions or their doubts!
I have done video conferencing before but that was different as I had some students present and I could see and hear others. This was weird and time confusing. It is very unnerving as one cannot see the expression on the faces of the class and for me that is very essential to know whether I am making sense or not. My students will of course say that I hardly ever make sense!
However I decided to take up the challenge and at the end of three hours in spite of all the short comings I really enjoyed this experience! I don’t yet know if the students liked it or not. They were too polite not to say anything adverse!
What I fear is in the coming years this may become the norm. For me the charm of a live classroom debate cannot be replaced by anything. Video conference is a more agreeable platform for me.
May be the coming generations will not have to go to a college physically at all and the teachers will teach from the comfort of their home! May be I am getting old, and am unable to give up good old methods of teaching. However I think as long as I am active in this profession I should try these new things and not close this option!
Keeping my fingers crossed!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Some questions based on Ex-CAG Rai’s disclosures.

Some questions based on Ex-CAG Rai’s disclosures.
Mr. Rai’s recent interview did not really tell us much more than what we have known since the CAG reports came out. We know that Manmohan Singh did not act to stop the misdeeds that happened under his watch. What was new was what Kamalnath has said publically. All this give rise to some questions.
If coal allocation since 1993 is irregular as the SC has said, why did no CAG report till recently point his out? We have had several governments of different parties and combination in the last 20 years and they all followed the same policies. So are they all guilty? Is allocating blocks to power plants bad policy as long as the coal from captive mines is used only for power generation and the coal from these is not sold to the third party. Is there any mention of the role of state governments where these mines are located? Every ministry has a consultative committee to oversee its working comprising of MPs from both the houses. Did this committee raise any objections on this allotment ever?  If not are these committees are also not responsible? Since the CAG has estimated potential loss to the nation due to this discretionary allocation of mines, have they calculated what would have been the price of power if blocks were auctioned?  Surely if loss can be calculated then the price of power to end user can also be calculated?
All allocations made to companies that are not eligible have to be cancelled and these allocations must be probed and the guilty must be quickly prosecuted and punished. I am also surprised the report does not seem to have anything to say about the affairs of CIL. The Coal mafia is a fact in the Easten Indian states and the theft of coal is a routine affair. Why that part is not covered by the CAG? Is this not hurting the national interests year after year?
In 2 G case the court has already cancelled all licenses and auctions have already taken place. However the legal process of prosecution is taking ages. The cases need to be fast tracked. It is also strange that the consultative committee of this ministry also does not seem to have found anything wrong with allocation of spectrum for years. In this case the fact that Raja changed the rules of the game at the last moment is very clear. It is strange that no aggrieved company went to the court against this!
If CAG does audit every year then all these facts should have come out much earlier. So is the CAG audit not being conducted in time? In our enthusiasm to only blame Manmohan Singh for all the mess, should we not be also looking at the other checks in the system that seem to have failed in these incidences. It will serve the nation much better if we do not over look this fact. We have to make sure the system functions the way it must and if it is not we need to correct it.
Let us now demand quick action on legal front and punish all those who have failed the nation.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

काबू अस्वस्थतेवर

काबू अस्वस्थतेवर
समोरच्या दोन डोळ्यात
ओळखीची चमक दिसली
चेहरा पहिला पण
कुठलीच निशाणी ओळखीची
नाही जाणवली.
हसलो तरी मी
तो ही हसला मिश्किलपणे
आणि म्हणाला
ओळखत का?
मी ओशाळून नाही म्हणालो,
तर तो जोरात हसला
म्हणाला मी तरी तुला
कुठे ओळखतो पण
पाहून तुला म्हणल
हसाव की थोड
कारण चेहर्‍यावर तुझ्या
खिन्नत भासली,
म्हणून हसलो आणि
मग तू ही तर हसलाकी
आता ती खिन्नता कमी
तूही असच करत जा
काय जाणो कुणाला तरी
बर वाटेल थोडा वेळ!
एवढं बोलून नाहीसा झाला
पण मग मी ही आता
तसच करतो
स्वस्थ दिसणार्‍या चेहर्‍यांकडे
बघून मी ही हसतो
आणि त्यांना फरक पडतो का
माहीत नाही पण माझी
मात्र अस्वस्थता काबूत राहते!