in deep existential crisis..

A Journal by Sara

The key is to disband and dissolve….

Long way we have come, since the need for civilization felt few millennia ago. Countries rose and fell through it but none as to the discomfiture faced like India. What is even more debasing is people of India’s ignorance on their culture, and its glory, or at the least its sheer presence! Spiritual leaders arose, as and when darkness showed illusory light for Indians, or when their copious mind lead them to think in various ways and what they are really up to by leading this life?

It took an Adi Sankaracharya, to walk the lengths and breadths of this land and explain people about the immensity of the doctrines of this land and the primal history of the holy breath that filled this space for centuries. It took a Raja Raja Chola to reign supreme and protect the piece of land and its sumptuousness from invader’s assault. These residues protected in egg shells all years long by these spiritual and political leaders is what been passed on to us as a glimpse of our past and the responsibility of Protector from more damage.

But it is a recorded history, that time and again people take contentment in plunging to darkness themselves, and then looking out for an extended arm to salvage them from misery. This has been a shameless journey throughout the history of India, but strangely successful in its attempt to remain alive.

After the last few decades, I am afraid to think that the abundance in which these spiritual and political leaders filled this earth helping the people out of misery is gone but history. People are now left in the lurch fighting their own demonic ignorance and living in a deep existential crisis. The tolerance which Indians practiced as a virtue struck them brutally hard, left them in tatter to rediscover their glory for generations to come, and now, presumably looks tough and impossible.

Regional aspirations overran the pan-India sentiments and the political leaders created and exploited it to the maximum. Sect, caste, race, conversion, became assets and the properties, of the leaders. These leaders preached it to people who followed them with blind faith. This, in turn, overwhelmingly separated people from religious and pan-India sentiments. This overcrowd of divisive feelings combined with poverty for lifetime never gave way for serenity and peace in the common man’s mind.

It had been a really long debate since twentieth century in western countries whether the state and the church are effectual to operate as the co-ordinates. But, India, altogether in a different plane of its own, doesn’t face the problem of existing in accord, but even more awful situation where the state is hell bent on demolishing temple and its personality.

Evolution in the last century has been painlessly excruciating for the people of India that, from the stages of seeding to the gigantic growth, the work of annihilation, never showed face in public and is surreptitiously known to carry out underground work. The danger is least known in the external world but for only some handful people among this Himalayan population of India.

Most of the time, Indians are left to support and fight for their annihilators; a strange link in the food chain where prey invites the predator. If this is what the tolerance they read in their spiritual elements, silly, but it is a total misunderstanding of its facts.

In this construed democracy, with the mock elections and bogus leaders, India has grown an old man since the years of stepping into this darkness. India had been left in modernity in the mid of twentieth century, as a conventional and old school country. It had a chance to bring back the system which brought them endless prosperity and wisdom in their past, but we had our thugs called leaders who held in store otherwise. Hooligans perpetuating their clan sold the country to their benefits. With compliance, they are looked upon as paradigm for living and prototype for worshipping by people of India. A meek surrender of people at these thug’s feet is merely symbolical of the ignorance which has grown to gargantuan proportions without even bothering to think a moment.

Few could comprehend more, than allowing foreigners again to rule over this historical land which was for its good part ruined by foreign invasions. But as I had told you, we are happy and more than ready plunging to darkness anytime and enjoying the deceptive light in darkness. It is an irony we carry a pride that one-sixth of the human souls that inhabits this earth is orbiting here, but we could not recognize one leader to show us light or least the direction to light.

Sometimes one is led to the feeling that still we have remnant of slavery left in our veins and that we dutifully not ask questions and bound to live within our self-destructing assumptions. But as in any chemical reaction, a by-product is obliged to be produced, akin, there developed a ray of hope for India. There were intellects who could see through this prism of forged truths and beliefs and, identify the darkness around them and find light at the end. It was their morality to extend that same arm to salvage people of India from their misery. It was the same morality which had uplifted a deluge of people in innumerable cases as in the past.

They did as usual but strange this time, people of India not only refrained to hold on to that arm but trying to pull them too into the same misery and further under them. It was derogatory, and simply wicked to indulge in such heinous acts, but it is darkness everywhere and we cannot blame these people for not seeing through darkness. Insane, you might call, but it has been the order of the day and democracy, for India. This month it has been given a fresh lease of another half-decade. It has been said that Behold the ‘Eternal Law’, but again the same has also said that ‘Dharma is in decline’.

These protectors who extended their arm to people are living in self-denial about the nature of these people in the misery. In my strong perspective, I would say that stop extending arm to these people, dissolve this group of Protector and stand aside. Do not sit in the opposition and scream from the bottom of your throat, as this gives the people a chance to enjoy the supply of these Protectors to use in the worst case, and smack you off now in the current pretext of governance and its governors.

The Protectors should come face to face with people and say, we are satisfied with the current affairs of the governance and the needs are extinct to keep this group of Protector alive and get it dissolved. Lest you think that would be the end of this grandeur India, no, not be mistaken. For once and all, allow the people of India to think and live in this kingdom of iniquity. In such situations, this realm by its nature is bound to show its true character in spite of burying all truth and reality. People of India would then crave and long. They will quest for a savior, leader, and prophet. Then alone could the jury see the value of these Protectors and what they have in store to offer!

Only if people of India assess the tenets of its age old practices, it would come in concord with the group of Protector. For that, people of India should now be allowed to operate in their own self-destruction mode. I say this to not show the resentment of their ignorance, but for all intents and purposes, allowing them a free will. As that free will alone would allow them wander into every corner of their comfort zone and then go weary. After growing weary, they would be left with questions.

Questions alone would lead them to the Truth and in turn to the Protectors who currently preach the Truth.

May 27, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian General Elections 2009, Issues, Policy/Strategies, Politics | 2 Comments

Yashwant Sinha – Indian General Elections 2009

Oh! What an interview! One of the best I have read in the last few weeks, check this out!  Yashwant Sinha at his best here.

May 12, 2009 Posted by | Economics, India, Indian General Elections 2009, Infra Structure, Issues | Leave a comment

To Vote – The Choice is Ours | Indian General Elections 2009

Since twentieth century, the imperialism lost its firm hold and started to give way for transition, leaving the colonial countries at their own freedom.  With the advent of Industrial Revolution, countries across the world became largely conscious on their efforts of nation building. United States, with its capitalistic model, had adopted the best of strategies and became the leader of the pack. Nation like South Korea, despite its continued tensions with North Korea, had supreme plans for its economy and infrastructure. It is now a developed economy and still the fastest growing. Japan, despite receiving the nuclear bombs on its face, worked in unison to build its nation to show the world, how to create a Japanese model of building a nation.

Many European countries moved forward, even the smaller countries started sensing the opportunity and tapped their best of potentials. India, at the same time, was agonized by the colonialism which led to people uniting to fight for their liberation. In result, 540+ princely states were united to form a grand India, glorifying the freedom attained.

India had a chance to build a nation from the scratch. India had a chance to build a nation from its 10,000-plus year old glorious civilization. India had a chance to implement the India, which stood before its continued invasion for centuries, holding at that time one-third of the world’s GDP. India had a chance, to build an India which was swept through the accolades and praises from every observer of her, in the past.

Instead, we chose the dreadful path. We mixed the system of law and governance, the model of economy and a host of others devised by various countries which suited them best. It suited their culture, it suited their people, it suited their needs, and it suited their shortcomings. Is the adoption, a result of India’s thought, that it is a land of empty, or perhaps they need to build even people from the scratch? Result, we have the chaos in front of us, which keeps hitting us on the face even if we choose to move away from it.

When the system is framed, it never took various ethnic people of India into account, their varied caste, religion, language, local interests, beliefs, comfort etc. MK Gandhi called for the dismantling of congress, as he said this party was adopted because it helped in the process of gaining independence, but now, as we have attained it, the requirements of ours is really not going to be catered by this Congress. As Congress tout, MK Gandhi as their favorite, one and only Baapu, did they listen to him in this context?

The congress committee unanimously voted for Sardar Vallabhai Patel as the first Prime Minister of India. But, MK Gandhi chose Nehru instead. Patel became Home Minister. Patel, with his steely grit, made every princely state accede for a single entity, called an imposing India. Jammu & Kashmir accession was a blunder with India failing to hit back the advancing troops of Pakistan into Kashmir. Vallabhai Patel and Menon waited for the orders from PM Jawaharlal Nehru, which surprisingly never came. Nehru again failed to save the strategic Kashmir, instead took the issue to United Nation’s court, going by Mountbatten’s word. But after taking to UN, English sided with Pakistan making it an agony for India. Result, India created a permanent wound on its head of her own efforts, which bleeds until now. It would only continue.

Nehru successfully messed the border issue, which is in every might important for India. After all, a safe and secure ally would be of strategic interest to any nation. After having messed with the security and border, he imposed his own fascination on India, bothering least on India’s needs. Needs, which are in multitude of factors. One such foremost and glaring disaster of his toy-with-India attitude is his fascination towards Soviet Union. As is the case, if he likes something and is approved by none other than himself, the country has to like it too. His fascination towards Soviet’s socialistic model had been the destiny of India in various aspects.

Let’s study a close comparison between India and its rival neighbor China. China by no means lesser to India, in terms of facing destruction before finding its feet. Japan ravaged China in the Second World War. It had its own insurgency and internal problems in the same time when India was also in the planning stage.

China, of course, is a communist country. China, of course, bore the brunt of being communist. Still, it is only China, as the years progressed, understood the real need of the nation and promoted investment of foreign funds and development of private sectors. The trade was freed up and government interventions were vastly reduced. Special Economic Zones are created as a mini no-socialism-allowed-inside zone and the development thrived. It reorganized itself as a mixed model, with communism for the governance (with its top-down approach), and the capitalistic model for building its economy. Since last 25 years, china’s growth rate is double digit and has vastly improved its physical, social and IT infrastructure. China’s success owed to its consciousness on nation building.

Flip the coin here, Nehru adopted Socialism in India. By end of 1950’s, most of the enterprises, industries, banks and every dozen others were nationalized. He introduced central planning economy with 5-year plans. His state controls and regulations impaired productivity, quality and profitability. It failed to deliver growth for common people.  India got struck to the growth rate of 2-3 percent consistently for decades up till 1990. The standards of living of destitute people never improved.

Corruption ran amok in this economic model and something of the order of anti-vigilance was never ever set-up in India to control it. Bureaucrats grew stronger demanding bribes and complacent to work fair. As the infra-structure was also nationalized, the growth in infrastructure in the successive decades is better not explained.

Even, after his loving model failed to show results for decades, he continued with his abysmal economic policies turning a blind eye to the Everest growth of the capitalistic economies around the world. His blunder never stopped with these, his policies for appeasement of specific religion, caste etc. has only succeeded in people growing divisive. Later, his daughter succeeded the throne, as the nation is always considered theirs, and went even a step stronger in creating more ties with Soviet Union. Even she failed to take a retrospective approach and encouraged her father’s ineffectual policies. The trades were largely improved with Soviet Union, and the imports were huge. This all happened with a continuous 30-year unchallenged rule, similar to the stability of an autocrat, dubious that people failed to change it.

And, when they tried to change it, Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency on India when she lost Allahabad court verdict that debarred her from parliament for six years. Media was scoffed, leaders were arrested, and the hands of the people were tied. But, that did not stop people from voting her out of throne when at last emergency gave way to democracy after 2 years. Again, in the next 2 years, people got her back, such are our surprising citizens of India, and you would always fail to judge their pulse right.

Then, came group of Gandhi’s namely Sanjay, Rajeev, Sonia, and not to mention the dozen other Gandhi’s in waiting, to tightly hold on to the kingdom created by their family legacy. The dire needs of reforms are largely ignored, and whatever reforms happened till date is also reactive instead of any pro-active measures. Until now, we had the Gandhi & Co pampering with India, through its tight hold on a Private Limited Company called Indian National Congress Pvt Ltd. What baffles me really in the past few days is the latest statistics which say, new set of 55 million people added to the ‘Below Poverty Line (BPL)’ in the last 5 Years. In my view, this is a colossal failure of the government which rules us for 50+ years.

A nation’s importance always stresses on basics remaining strong. In my view, Strong security, talented workforce, surge in employment, controlling prices, a world class infrastructure, state-of-the-art medication and alleviating poverty should be the pillars of a prosperous country. And, Congress has never given any thought to it, let alone building it.

Hence, there arises a genuine, desperate and emotional call for a new party and new government for development of India. The only party to have stayed for a full term apart from congress is BJP. During its tenure, it pushed for reforms, extensively in telecom, created a new ministry called ‘Ministry of Disinvestment’ to review and sell off the failing or failed PSUs, did test nukes and empowered our defense and security, especially safer with hostile neighbors like ours. BJP started the ambitious Golden Quadrilateral Infrastructure project which had a grand vision to connect India by world class roads and surprisingly for the first time in India, the announcement of plans is followed up with actions. The work progressed with amazing speed, that they laid 33000+ km of roads in their tenure. It is good that BJP understood the business and employment would pour only in cities which have a world class infrastructure and their planned approach towards this goal was well received among the people. To beef up the internal security, tough laws were framed namely ‘Prevention of Terrorism Act; and many failed to notice that, apart from terror strikes in their early part of the regime it was almost non-existent in their second half of rule, where the tough anti-terror laws showed fruit. And, all this achievements was done in just a single term of rule.

Everything, what I mentioned in the above paragraph was halted or reverted, including the NHDP for highways development with abysmal progress in the last 5 years, where Congress government in existence.

The age old notion among public of India that there is no alternative to Congress, had been brutally dealt with and been crushed under the roller. Certainly, it should make every Indian proud.

I sincerely, feel the power to BJP for an extended period, alone would fuel the growth of economy of India and would help us achieve inclusive growth for every citizen; BJP would make us forget the dreadful vision and failures of the past, and show the path for progress in the future, which had already started showing up in the BJP governed states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh etc. Hence, a chance in the parliament would only be helpful for BJP to extend that development all over the nation.

But, the choice is ours.

We think that none of the electoral candidate deserves to win our vote (of confidence). We also confirm that even if cast, a single vote of ours isn’t going to be decisive in the formation of government. We can wait for the utopian world that would fall closer to our reach, where the governors of people would offer perfect solutions catering to our perfect needs.

The wait is, presumably, endless. The solution, painfully, is non-existent. There would come none to raise the curtains of perplexing governance of this disordered India, giving us a glimpse of the idealism par excellence, if there really exists even one in the reality.

Your vote carries millions of meaning, and just don’t abstain from voting, the high polling percent in elections would only make government, politicians and bureaucrats to think of the growing number of people participation in nation’s cause and would push them hard to cater to every voter’s needs. The poor polling of the past has made the governments to discard the non-voters and appease the voters alone. Please, go out and vote, by doing which you get the satisfaction of having a say in your Indian Politics. That would go a long way, in caring for your concerns.

Vote BJP! Vote for the much needed change!

Again, the choice is ours.

May 1, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian General Elections 2009, Issues, Policy/Strategies, Politics | 1 Comment

Navin Chawla – The Congress Election Commie!

Congress have started reaping benefits for their far-sighted thinking. They have finally managed to keep a check on fair Elections in India with their staunch supporter Navin Chawla promoted to the top post today. (Links here) And, we have many of the innumerable duties in queue which he is expected to perform for congress with utmost sanctity from now onwards.

Yesterday, the rehearsal itself went fine for Navin Chawla. He turned down a plea (2-1 in his favor) to appoint an enquiry for the case of disqualifying Sonia as MP after she accepted the Belgian award in 2006.(Links here)

A CEC says Yes, and the other two who work under him says no! And we know what’s next? Now, it is forwarded to the President of India’s table for decision. An appointment which again shows the far-sighted thinking of Congress. Now, we can all safely forget this plea.

April 21, 2009 Posted by | Indian General Elections 2009, Issues, Policy/Strategies | Leave a comment

PM says Mumbai will turn a global city

 

Manmohan Singh, for much of the hype to his stature, is no wonder slowly learning the art of politics as a toddler. I came across this piece in Rediff, MMS saying “We have invested in creating world-class public transport in Mumbai.”We want to build world-class infrastructure to make Mumbai a truly world-class city” in the wake of election ’09 campaign.

He added further, “We will build Mumbai into a truly global city. It is at that dream that the terrorists struck (but) they will never succeed but Mumbai will,” Noting that those living in Mumbai are concerned about the quality of urban life, Singh said, “Our government has launched the Urban Renewable Mission with a special focus on improving the quality of life of those who live in slums.”

PM says they have high hopes of building a truly global city out of Mumbai if they are voted to power, but they said the same, to be specific, said the same in his 2004 election speech for much applause. “When we talk of a resurgent Asia, people think of the great changes that have come about in Shanghai. I share the aspiration to transform Mumbai in the next five years in such a manner that people would forget about Shanghai and Mumbai will become a talking point,” the prime minister said in 2005. Links to his speech here (the entire article itself is worth a read)

Prime Minister, has definitely kept his words, when he said “People would forget Shanghai and Mumbai will become a (s)talking point”. Especially with dozens of events like 26/11 and other massacres. You have to read between the lines to understand a supreme intellect like our PM. Between, Did I miss a point?

Has Mumbai now changed into Shanghai?

Tell me if you know!

April 13, 2009 Posted by | Indian General Elections 2009, Infra Structure, Issues, Policy/Strategies, Politics | Leave a comment

Akamai’s Rankings of Internet Broadband Speeds and Penetration

Uhmm, I stumbled upon this piece in Rediff about the top internet speeds across the world. The list crowns South Korea as the leader of the pack with the average connection speed of 15Mbps. Bro, it is 15 Mbps, arghhh! How dumb I am all along, I never thought the connections existed beyond top speed of 5Mbps in any part of the world. But, here not even the top speed, but it is the average speed that South Korean government is dishing out to its citizens. Oh my God! A HD movie which could be downloaded in say 10 minutes, a torrent worth a huge video file in 15 minutes, a HD webcam transmitting without having to pause for ages and I can dream on for tons of possibilities. Bull crap, we might think, but in fact it is accessible just somewhere in this part of the globe. And the countries which are proud leaders in this segment are taking initiatives to bring even higher speed connectivity, including Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). Also, mind you, the average connection speed of the globe is 1.5 Mbps.

South Korea is also ranked first in terms of higher broadband connectivity with its majority of the subscribers (69%) getting at least minimum speed above 5Mbps. But, it is understandable the success of the broadband penetration given the relatively smaller and highly denser population of South Korea.

Who else? Japan ranks second with 54% connections above 7 Mbps, Hong Kong at third with almost similar average speed of Japan, Romania fourth with 5.7 Mbps joining closely with them is Sweden at fifth position, followed by Swiss over speed of 5 Mbps, but only leading the seventh seeded Netherlands marginally. Belgium, Slovakia and Norway occupy the last three spots with an average of 4.5 Mbps.

Oops! No wonder that girls of Romania and Slovakia are regulars on webcam sites. You can’t help but admire the great benefits of such high speeds.

akamai_soi_4q08_51

I could largely see a pattern associated in this graph, which is all the nations at the top are relatively smaller in size and population. Though, that cannot be the reason for incompetency of other 203 countries in the list barring few hopeless countries we at least have 100 countries still left with .

Expectedly, India comes almost last in that 100 country with Rediff quoting that we are dismal with the average Internet connection speed of 772 Kbps. Excuse me; 772 Kbps? Average speed in India? I beg to differ with this stat, when I last heard the Internet Penetration in India hovers somewhere around 2.5% of the entire population. i.e the number of users stand somewhere around 30 million. It’s also a fact, according to the India Online 2007, that only 37% of the users come from top 10 cities. Hence, a staggering 63% of the available users are from rural households. This is contrary to my belief that 90% of the subscribers come from top cities.

Let’s first have a look at these urban Internet users. If we agree, the speeds such as 2 Mbps or more is largely consumed by the corporations and enterprises with majority of the individual users having either 256 Kbps or 512 Kbps keeping in mind the price to utilization ratio. If we consider the rural areas, they don’t even have the options of 1 or 2 Mbps connection available for them. Already the urban’s average falls between 256-512 kbps, put rural majority also into the mix, which would bring that average connection speed miserably further down even, roughly leaving us around the figure of 300-350 Kbps as an average net connection speed. Keep in mind the another horrible fact that of the 30 million subscribers said above only 2.5 million use Broadband or superior connections, which even brings my figure to its nadir somewhere around 60-80 Kbps. Refer here to the TRAI’s 2007 telecom report. I think the average Internet Speed of 772 Kbps (half of the global average Internet speed) is a far cry for us, with our hopes still rooted to the ground.

Oof! Ironically, did you know that Congress Government declared 2007 to be the “Year of Broadband”? This is one among their innumerable promises and their constant stressing on how they are pro-reform and pro-development striving government. May be they thought that India would be much better off without people having instant access to the information they seek.

At its best, India managed to inch ahead of Nigeria in Broadband penetration.

Forget about the Broadband, India stands nowhere as far as even the Internet is concerned. But that’s another story reserved for another day.

P.S: Between I checked my Broadband speed and I am jubilant enough that I get 14 Kbps more than my subscribed speed and it stands beamingly at 270 Kbps. Check for yourselves below.

net-speed-mine1


April 8, 2009 Posted by | eWorld, Information Technology, Infra Structure, International, Internet, Issues, World | 2 Comments

BJP – Road to Victory?

Nearly a decade back, BJP who was in power at the centre, sensed the need of world class roads for the rapidly developing Indian economy. They drew up the National Highways Development Project with several phases of which the cost of first phase was set to Rs. 54,000 crore, world’s biggest infrastructure project then.

It aimed at linking the North, South, East and west; as well as the four metros with eight-lane world-class expressways that were expected to put India on the fast lane to growth. These were to be supplemented with same quality links and bypasses that were to be created by upgrading existing highways.

With the making of world class infrastructure in place, still NDA could not convince the voters of India, as the twists and turns of politics brought the Congress-led UPA to power and saw Manmohan Singh take oath as PM. And one of the first things that National Highways Authority of India, the government’s custodian of arterial roadways, did after the regime change was to order all skyboards redone to remove Vajpayee’s picture at a cost of about Rs 1.8 crore.

Till 2004 — and a little later — people started realizing that motoring from Delhi to Chandigarh or Jaipur; or Mumbai to Pune was a breeze. Any drive along the highways linking the four metros of Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai was bustling with construction workers.


Now, after years later, the scene on the ground is different. The activities are more sluggish — you barely see progress at sites where a bridge is being built or the road is being widened even if you cross it at a year’s gap. Nearly all flyovers and stretches of highways and roads that have been “inaugurated” or come into operation were started during the NDA regime.

Times Of India has come out with its interesting analysis on its Chennai edition dated 4th April. If you have a look at the graph below, you could see it for yourself that number of kilometers of road laid by legendary congress in its 50+ years of rule is 36,013 Kms where as the BJP has laid 31,271 Kms in just 5 years. Figures don’t lie.

Graph. Courtesy: Times Of India

If this is not a startling observation, what else would be? In terms of construction of roads, if BJP in its only term has roughly done 95% of what congress is trying to do in a whole stretch of 50 years, I could see with whom the fault lies and who has firmly put India on the road to victory in infrastructural development.

Somewhere I read recently which asked, if Pro is opposite of Con, then progress is opposite of what? Yes, I have the answer, and you?

April 5, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian General Elections 2009, Infra Structure, Issues, Policy/Strategies, Politics | Leave a comment

IT Shows in the Agenda of BJP & Congress

 

In the term of 1999-2004, BJP rewrote the conventional portfolio to include a revamped ministry called ‘Ministry of Communications and IT’. NDA’s IT reforms took the IT & ITES sectors on an upward swing and it started realizing its potential. A refreshing journey was on course at almost the final stages of NDA rule which peaked in the succeeding government after 2004.

As we had a well endowed gentleman as Prime Minister in post-2004 rule, we took a cold shower relaxing that finally the academics has met politics and things would only emerge brighter, leaving all speculations to rest. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, as we have witnessed in the last 5 years of despotic rule.

Most of the people I engage with political debate keep undermining my statement saying that how much the Goddess of Knowledge is residing in every UPA minister’s mind, but I beg to differ with the stark contrasting reality of Congress and UPA government.

If UPA is looked upon as a knowledge powerhouse, if it is the most visionary and if it is the one which has invariably best of literates as their advisors, where is a well thought-out election manifesto, a greatest of great vision for its country India? At least a few among the innumerable ideas they have for the prosperity of Indians and to counter the economic recession and to stop the freefall of IT sector. Where are the details of it? Has congress even thought about one? Has Manmohan Singh & Co. even feel the need for it?

By absolute contrast, BJP has a document called IT Vision released by LK Advani which runs to 30 pages and is definitely a set of documented ideas practically feasible in its implementation. On the release of it, LK Advani said “A future NDA Government, if elected to office in the coming parliamentary elections, would give high priority to the realization of this vision, which would help India overcome the current economic crisis; create productive employment opportunities on a large scale; accelerate human development through vastly improved and expanded education and healthcare services; check corruption; and make India’s national security more robust.”

The highlights of the IT Vision document are as follows,

  • Multipurpose National Identity Card (MNIC) with unique Citizen Identification Number (CIN) for every Indian citizen in 3 years; to replace all other identification systems.

§  I could immediately think of the benefits this move would fetch; as one of the foremost issues on national security we face now is the lakhs of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh pouring into India. This would keep a check on it and would help identify most of them. I am also reminded of, a news I read few months back, How a chief-level officer in RAW was dismissed after they found that he is not an Indian but an illegal immigrant from Bangladesh.

§  Next benefit would be the major face lift the government offices would get especially with the first hand information on their desk and also with the disposal of strenuous paper work involved by both bureaucrats and the citizens. Efficient bureaucracy at last seems a little possibility.

§  The benefits are enormous; the cost savings that would make to the Government, the easy handling of Information in terms of Defense and Internal security measures; easy representation of Information for Police and Judiciary; easy handling for the election commission preventing fraud in electoral process, prevention of false interpretation of any information (most of the civil & corporate frauds) and it would be endless.

§  But if all information of yours is integrated, the next ominous question that strikes the mind is the security and efficiency of handling this information. BJP has to come forward with their detailed plan of how they would set to protect the information in this regard and chalk up their tight security plan.

  • 1.2 Crore (12 million) new IT-enabled jobs in rural areas.

§  Though I am unaware how they arrived at this figure, but I firmly say it has the potential, if the government reforms computer-deprived offices of its own and the other subsidies thereby setting up a huge wave of new jobs. As this domestic market is still untapped and is a sleeping giant.

  • 1 crore (10 million) students to get laptop computers at Rs 10,000. Interest-free loan for anyone unable to afford it.

§  This is a strange development unlike the India we know which throws only freebie at people and never cared about the money spent. I would say this is much better opportunity provided where I guess should benefit most of the rural students to a greatest extent.

  • National Digital Highway Development Project to create India’s Internet backbone, and Pradhan Mantri Digital Gram Sadak Yojana for last-mile access even in the remotest of villages.

§  NDA had walked the talk earlier with its famous Golden Quadrilateral project in its last term. The project with its ambition of connecting all the important highways of the country with multi-way lanes, implemented with remarkable success. Hence, it should be a safe bet to reckon that the Internet backbone would get quite a bit realistic.

  • Broadband Internet (2 Mbps) in every town and village, at cable TV prices (less than Rs 200/month).

§  I think it is too ambitious to even think of it, when the internet connection speed of even the major cities has not been ramped up to that level and the prices comparably is still large and not easily affordable.

  • All schools and colleges to have Internet-enabled education.

§  Especially, this needs to be done on a fast lane, when we think of taking our education infrastructure to world class level. It is high time we provide desktops and laptops to the students with internet enabled.

  • 100% financial inclusion through bank accounts, with e-Banking facilities, for all Indian citizens. Direct transfer of welfare funds, preferably to the woman of the house.

§  Even if right actions are initiated towards achieving this goal, if not fully completed, still that would go a long way in restructuring our citizen’s economical identity, and in establishing transparency in bureaucracy. That would see a major shift in strategies of the banks and would be an ideal launch pad for its rural penetration and its customer base.

  • Every BPL family to be given a free smart mobile phone, which can be used by even illiterate users for accessing their bank accounts.

§  This is the continuation of the above point, to provide people with access to the e-Banking through a cheap smart mobile.

  • Number of mobile subscribers to be increased from 40 crore at present to 100 crore in five years. Internet users to equal mobile subscribers. India to equal China in every IT parameter in five years.

§  Telecom is already been proved a huge potential market and it would only improve the connectivity of more people with more and more users laying hand on the device. Internet users in India are usually very small compared to the mobile subscribers and this avenue again provides a great growth opportunity.

  • Video conferencing to be made affordable and universally accessible.

§  Thorough implementation of IT reforms across India and the excellent infrastructure if built for IT & Internet would make all these easily follow suit.

§  You can see the other points below, most of them self explaining.

  • Primary Health Centre in every village to be linked to the National Telemedicine Service Network. Basic health insurance scheme for every citizen, using the IT platform. Cashless hospitalization.
  • India’s ranking in the United Nations’ Human Development Index, which is currently 128, to be improved to 50 in five years, with the long-term objective of bringing India within Top Twenty by 2020.
  • Massive expansion in the use of IT in agriculture, rural development, SMEs, retail trade, and informal and unorganised sectors of the economy.
  • National e-Governance Plan to cover every Government office from the Centre to the Panchayats. The ‘E Gram Vishwa Gram’ scheme, launched by Shri Narendra Modi in Gujarat, to be implemented nationwide.
  • Government spending to be made corruption-free. A former Prime Minister had once said, “If I put Rs. 100 in the pipeline in Delhi, only Rs. 15 reach the end beneficiary.” In contrast to Congress governments’ Leaky Pipeline, the BJP’s IT Pipeline will ensure 100% benefit to people. Those who misappropriate public funds will be punished.
  • All post offices to be converted into IT-enabled Multi-Service Outlets. All telephone booths to be upgraded to Internet kiosks.
  • Citizens will have a simple 1-800 BSNL Toll Free Number, which will be accessible 24x7x 365 days of the year, to contact their Member of Parliament.
  • Unlimited VoIP access to all
  • e-Bhasha: National Mission for Promotion of IT in Indian Languages.
  • Special focus to bring women, SC/STs, OBCs and other weaker sections of society within the ambit of IT-enabled development.
  • Use of IT for the protection of India’s priceless cultural and artistic heritage.
  • Government to standardize on ‘open standard’ and ‘open source’ software.
  • Domestic IT hardware industry to be aggressively promoted to minimize dependence on imports.
  • Domestic hosting industry to be promoted to minimize international bandwidth charges.

Finally an independent body, Digital Security Agency (DSA), to be set up for cyber warfare, cyber counter-terrorism, and cyber security of national digital assets.

April 2, 2009 Posted by | Economics, India, Indian General Elections 2009, Infra Structure, Issues, Policy/Strategies, Politics | Leave a comment

India sleepwalks to Total Surveillance by GoI

 

The IT Act 2000, one of the crucial laws for security actions against cyber crimes, the first in Indian history was passed by the NDA government. NDA government also set the parameter stating as the cyber crime is highly dynamic and often complicated in nature, it would set up the panel to update the law to keep it relevant.

The amendment for the aforementioned bill, called as The IT Amendment Bill 2006, was passed by UPA government. The amendment was passed in a hurry on the December 22 2008 in less than 5 minutes without any debate which is regarded as one of the most controversial laws to have ever been passed in the nation India. Let me put it in simple terms, the amendment allows the government to intercept messages from mobile phones, computers, and other communication devices to investigate any offence, not serious offence of the grade of terrorist attacks, but any silly offence that you might negligently commit.

As one website puts it in more detail of the whole amendment,

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Any email you send, any message you text are now open to the prying eyes of the government. So are the contents of your computer you surfed in the privacy of your home.

Around 45 amendments have been made to the original Act, which now treats both publishers of online pornography and its consumers on equal footing. A law so sweeping in its powers that it allows a police officer in the rank of a sub-inspector to walk in or break in to the privacy of your home and see if you were surfing porn or not. It’s the personal morality of the official that will decide whether the picture/content you were looking at was lascivious or appeals to prurient interest.

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More info here.

March 31, 2009 Posted by | Economics, India, Information Technology, Internet, Issues, Policy/Strategies, Politics | Leave a comment

MR. Manmohan Singh!

No wonder, when elders said during my childhood, constitution of India is quite complicated and you have not grown enough to understand that. Quite bemused I am, standing along with millions and millions of Indian today, trying to understand a novel concept; leader who not elected by even a single citizen directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly, up close or remote leading all the way to a full term of prime minister and digging another. Manmohan Singh is a nominated leader and not an elected leader. Yes, you and I have not brought this up on ourselves, but someone decides which results in someone heading us.

In all his life, Singh has contested only one Lok Sabha election and he suffered a heavy defeat against BJP’s Vijay Malhotra. Countries like United States of America are following the presidential democracy where they even go to an extent of setting up a one-on-one debate among the leaders whom they wish to choose and see it all on their own helping them decide who fits the bill and who not.

It is perfectly appreciated, when LK Advani today called Singh for the TV debate second time in the month. It came no surprise when the man and his party, who had already decided upon the second time back door entry as nominated representative (Rajya Sabha) , turned down the offer and lamely trying to criticize the subject.

If Manmohan Singh, as looked upon as the man who resides in people’s heart, let him go to the people’s constituency, prove a worth or two there, and show that he really not a PM who safely chooses Rajya Sabha route. Else, as his party men around who keep playing foul since morning that Advani is not Obama, let him fill his presence on the screen. Let him sit opposite to LK Advani on a TV debate and talk his report card of 5 years and the disasters of BJP as his party perceives.

We, at the mercy of politician’s goodwill, are yearning for such debates, which would in all glory and honesty, drill both contestant into bits and offer a platter in front of us to choose upon. Wouldn’t that be a great offer for, we Indians, who would love to vote for our leader!

Manmohan neither goes to the people nor accepts to the debate with his rivalry, then how would he prove that he is fit to assume charge of the highest office of India as a man called Mr. Prime Minister.

As the above title says MR. Manmohan Singh it doesn’t stand for Mister but a Misunderstood Representative!

March 28, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian General Elections 2009, Issues, Politics | Leave a comment