Thursday, February 25, 2010

My take on the railways budget and Sachin...

...and in fact I'll start in the reverse order

He's done it again! Once again, Mr. Tendulkar has silenced his critics who say age is catching up to him and it's time to hang them boots (and I include myself in that list). A lot has been said already about this, so all I'll say is it's great that an Indian holds the record, and who better than the poster boy of Indian cricket to be one to hold it.

Railways budget:
I can do a really good impersonation of Cuba Gooding Jr from the movie Jerry McGuire, where he shouts and asks Tom Cruise's character to say "Show me the money". Which is exactly what I'd like to ask Mamta Bannerjee, show me the money, you short, loud-mouthed, obnoxious little bimbo! Where the heck is the money going to come from for all the new trains and the water bottling plants you've proposed while keeping the fares at the same rate and in fact reducing freight rates for certain commodities? And I don't even know much about economics!

Is this a precursor to the finance budget, where we, the middle class, the real aam aadmi, will have to bear the brunt? FYI to to the blue turbaned chap at 7 Race Course Road, in case you forgot, you just screwed us out of Rs. 65,000,00,00,000 last year - that's Rs. 65,000 crores., for those who'd go dizzy looking at the number of zeroes. And after the major screw up with the 3G spectrum, where prices were set at an extremely low price, you screwed us out of another Rs. 29,000,00,00,000 - that's Rs. 29,000 crores. That's a total of Rs. 94,000 crores that we're never going to see again. So I ask you, oh great PM, will I have to tighten my belt a little more so that you guys can continue to give sops to those who don't deserve them? Don't I deserve a break as well? Why is it that for want of remaining in power, you go around increasing the fiscal deficit, especially since you and your generation may not last beyond the next 10 years, but I and my clan of youngsters will have to reap the problems from the seeds you've sown today? You're supposed to be a good man with a clean image Mr. PM, start acting like one. Please.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My take on the fire and the Maoists

Bangalore Fire:
We'd had a fire in Bangalore, in the building that houses TGIF, Indi Joe, Corner house, and Bombay Post. Carlton Towers. Faulty wiring seems to be the cause. I was at the Bangalore Mirror office last evening when I was told about the news. And while watching it on TV, we also saw the first, unedited clips from viewers' cell phones of a woman falling, presumably, to her death. I mean we saw falls 4 stories or more down to the pavement, and splat. No movement after that. I know one thing for sure - when people are scared, they behave just like animals do. So much for the bunch who say we're better than animals. All that the folks had to do was break the glass around them and the smoke would have escaped.

I'm sure there will be fingers pointed at the builder for not constructing the building according to the regulations for fire safety. But I have a more basic point here: why wasn't anyone from the offices present there trained on how to use a fire extinguisher? Didn't the offices have a fire drill? I know my office does. We don't practice it ever, but we've been trained (every floor has 3 people trained to use the fire extinguishers and what to do in case of a fire; I'm one of the 3 from my floor). We keep harping about self sufficiency, why not do whatever little is possible from our side? In no way am I blaming those trapped inside and those who died as being responsible for their own deaths, but these are pertinent questions that need to be asked. If we don't remember the lessons of history, we're doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

The Maoist Menace and double standards of the UPA:
So now they attacked a camp in West Bengal, and the IG of the Eastern Frontier Rifles who said that the state administration hasn't done enough was suspended by the communist government (I'm sure they'd have wanted to kill him, being the communists that they are, but there'd been enough killing already). The Congress at the center was quick to seize the opportunity to rub it in, with Manish Tiwari making a statement that the WB govt. would be better off listening to the man and learning what to do, rather than muzzling him. That's rich coming from the Congress govt., especially since during UPA-1, a Major General V K Singh in RAW exposed a whole lot of corruption, and one that compromised the security of the PM himself, and Maj. Gen Singh was subsequently arrested! So let's not be so quick Mr. Tiwari, first put your house in order before you start making statements that can come back to bite you.

As far as talks go, it's pretty obvious we can talk with only the idealogues, and not the gun-totting maoists, who have to be taken out by force alone as we've exhausted all other alternatives.

Changes to the blog

From now on, Shetty's Take shall take a new path. Since there are way too many incidents about which I have strong opinions and precious little time to write ALL of them down, I've decided to write a couple of lines about some of the major events from the previous day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The security state

Another attack in our country, and almost a week after the blast, still no headway in the investigation. I'll openly admit that I've got inured to people getting blown to bits, or people being shot by Maoists because they are 'police informers', or for whatever flimsy reason people cough up to justify their actions. My only point is, what is it that we need to do, and the answer is pretty damn simple. However, implementing it will be difficult even for Hercules, so to suggest that it would be Herculean itself would be downplaying it.

After the 26/11 attacks, the UPA setup the NIA (National Investigative Agency) and it was supposed to be headed by a top police official and this agency would take the lead into all terror related acts and help with the investigations. I may be wrong, but didn't the CBI already have the best minds in the police department doing the same thing? Why make another agency and add more red tape when we already have one agency? Why not strengthen the existing agency? In any case, that's the secondary point in this unholy mess. Why are we focusing on an investigative agency to help build a case AFTER the attacks? Why not shore up and strengthen the intelligence agencies to PREVENT such attacks? Why doesn't Mr. Chidambaram do something about intelligence gathering, and clean up shop there rather than focus on what to do after an attack?

I fail to see the logic in this, and what really astounds me is the fact that no one in the government is thinking on these lines. I mean if someone like me can find this so obvious, I'm sure there would be at least one smart soul in the corridors of power who could have thought of this. Is it that the intelligence agencies are so messed up with politics that no one wants to touch them? I mean is this the sign of a super power? Or a wannabe super power? Screw it!

So when's the next attack Johnny? Oh, I'm sorry, you'd never know that, would you, so I'll rephrase - just tell me how many die in the next attack when it happens.
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