Friday, November 30, 2007

as we embark on the final month of year 2007, incredible india rocks back to dark ages. dark ages of child labour, dark ages of throwing farmers out, dark ages wherein corporations have turned politicians into middlemen jokers, dark ages wherein rules and regulations care a damn.

sunita narain, again in her brilliant editorial, summaries it in a superb manner. as this blog has been pointed out repeatedly, in incredible, shining, developing, development-ing india, one thing is certain. it is the last line of the editorial: "It is people versus government and industry. Can we call this credible India’s incredible Indianness?"

rarely do i copy and paste sunita narain's editorial's. but this nov 30 2007 editorial is too good to be missed and it is below.

In credible India

Sometimes, a fortnight can mirror a year. With the year-end approaching, a flashback is usually in order. But recent events have made completely clear to me where we are and where we are headed.

This year, the world’s who’s who landed up. Our leaders basked in the floodlight of economic prowess. The prime minister spoke at a meet of the global consultancy company, McKinsey, and applauded the organization for helping India prepare reports on governance. In the same week, he addressed the Fortune Global Forum—a collection of the world’s power elite. The finance minister spoke to the Indian business glitterati in Mumbai, where he not only profusely thanked industry for taking the effort to turn around India but also said—to huge applause—that industry’s progress was despite government. In other words, growth was a private sector gift to us all. Then the Sensex touched dizzying heights, and we discovered the world’s richest man was our very own Mukesh Ambani. An incredible display of incredible India.

This same fortnight, some 25,000 landless farmers and tribals marched into Delhi. They had walked—many barefoot—for about a month, covering some 350 km, to say they were tired of being pushed around. They wanted their right to land; their right to survive. The only minister who met them was in charge of rural development—the subject of the so-called ‘other India’. They did not get an audience with the prime minister. What they got was a police barricade around the venue of their sit-in. The government tele-responded to their demands—a council on land reforms headed by the prime minister and a government committee to advise on what needed to be done. They returned home, I imagine, as desperate as they came.

Then farmers marched in to protest against the wrongs they were reeling under. The usual motley of Left-leaning leaders addressed them. Concurrently, Gujjars held a massive rally to demand reservation for their caste. The capital city complained—of traffic chaos. It is besides the point that the city’s traffic, even on a good day, chokes in the fume of its congestion. Clearly, incredible Delhi was fed up with ‘credible’ protest. This, while Naxalite violence spilled over in tribal districts; lives were taken, trucks carrying iron ore—that rich resource extracted from the poorest districts—burnt.

I find it strange that it took a multinational clothing giant to bring these two worlds together. A British newspaper reported that Indian children, many of whom were bonded labourers, were stitching clothes Gap Inc sold in stores across the world. The response was swift. Gap recalled the ‘slave’ labour blouses. The company head (a woman) said as a mother she was shocked. Child labour was abhorrent and their sub-contractor was to blame.

Incredible India’s response was incredibly equal to the challenge. Our commerce minister dismissed the incident as an effort to besmirch Indian industry and to put up non-trade barriers on exports. This is true in many cases; high quality standards are trade policy tools for the rich. But how can we deny the images we saw of children, working not in some far-off place but in the very heart of incredible India, posh south Delhi? Children were found working in the most horrible of conditions, working for hours without a break, being fed by the contractor, sleeping on the floors where they worked through the day.

It is too simple to say this is India’s reality. It would be stupid to deny these children have no alternative but to work and that even after they are “freed” they will go back to something as bad or worse. And it is definitely a travesty not to admit this is the way the globalized economy runs. The market today works on volumes and volumes require cheap labour and cheap raw material. It is equally true that the rich world’s economy, which on the one hand is thriving on the profits of cheap goods, is also groaning under fears of unemployment. Paranoia over the progress of China, India and all the other have-not economies is also screaming for attention.

But the one insistent truth this fortnight has revealed is that this India is now getting divided not just by class but also by politics. We may believe we don’t know this; we may not accept it. To me, in this final ascendance of middle-class India, we are seeing a country separated in its dreams, by its icons, in the media and by its politicians.

My postscript: what I read recently. Tucked away of page 16 of a daily newspaper in Delhi was a tiny news item. Some 40,000 farmers had stormed into the headquarters of local administration in a sleepy Orissa town. They were protesting against the government’s move to take away the water from their reservoir and to allocate it to the mining, aluminium and steel industries. They wanted this stopped. They said they would kill or be killed.

It is people versus government and industry. Can we call this credible India’s incredible Indianness?

—Sunita Narain


Thursday, November 29, 2007

the endosulfan tragedy in kerala seems to be never ending one. the hindu report on kerala section paints a sorry picture of the tragedy that has been slammed upon innocent villagers who happened to live near cashew plantations that was helicopter sprayed with endosulfan.

endosulfan, the pesticide industry will tell you, is a lovely pesticide which will good crop yield and improve farmers life. what they wont tell you is that this dangerous chemical is virtually banned in US and Europe and only exists in pitful third world countries where the pesticide industry uses its money muscle to push these kinds of dangerous chemicals as wonder drugs to improve yield of the crop.

kerala, with its progressive image, shockingly has allowed endosulfan wounds to pester beyond control and the sorry part is the aid that was supposed to reach the affected people has seldom reached them.

Though the State government had allocated Rs.50 lakh as relief to the affected families and distributed Rs.50,000 each to the families of the 133 victims who died till 2006, people say “it is too little and hardly reaches the victims.”

to be hit by a crime that you had no reason to be part of is the worst thing that can happen to anybody and in cases like this sordid endosfulan tragedy that is the precise thing that is happening to marginalized people of india who are getting slammed all in name of development and growth.
(Shruti, a young Indian girl whose village has long been exposed to aerial spraying of endosulfan (c) Mr Shree Padre. brutal face of india's fake development? an innocent girl affected by willful pollution. many such people face huge issues due to the utter carelessness of india's politicians, officers, businessmen and middle class which is hell bent on 'growth of their own'. )

when it comes to false data, fake statements and bogus actions, SEZ's (special economic zones) of india take the cake.

we hit the poor farmers in their stomach, grab their land at dirt cheap price, act as middlemen for wealthy industrialists who complain of 'sky high' land prices even after paying probably 10% of land worth (the land which should not be in first place taken away by force), talk of bringing beautiful job creating chemical and leather industries that western countries have kicked outside and finally tell that SEZ will aid india in increasing the gdp. yeah, the gdp of the rich of course.

the classic case is being played in mangalore where several hundred (and perhaps) thousands of farmland is being threatened by forced acquisition. as usual the project proponents tell all the goodies about the project and the 'wonderful' measure's they are taking on lands that are being forced upon farmers throats.

and when it comes to pubic hearings, it is the usual tricks to 'pass' it through. putting outsiders in the public hearing halls, giving eia reports that is not in native language, telling that this projects means 'huge' development for the local area.

one thing to notice is that in this fake process of development all the rules are faked right from talking about project, to environment clearances to public hearings. a thorough job is indeed done to make sure the fakism sounds truism.

abraham lincoln told "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

but when it comes to fake development in india, you can fool all the people all the time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ibnlive had a very painful program on sand mining in and around bangalore and the video showed ghastly pictures of agricultural land being mined for sand.

as our elected officers speak proudly of gdp and farmers attaining 'prosperity', the situation in ground level is galling. to see the ripped of agricultural sand along with dangers of buildings due to usage of that sand is absolutely shocking.

and what's more painful is the fact that this has been going in and around bangalore for several years potentially putting agriculture, ecosystem and lives (due to building collapse) all at risk.

fake development like this that tout rise of india's cities as growth is the last thing we want in pursuit of the new india. with unsustainable cities of india comes a huge cost. the cost being the death of rives, wetlands, agriculture and ecosystem.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

this blog has been following the mettur pollution by multi mega crore companies. recently the ngo's released their damning third report on the pollution and the chemplast company, as usual, came out with their own set of points in a press conference.

the company has been facing huge allegations that its wilful pollution during toxic pvc manufacturing has affected farmers in mettur region and is affecting river cauvery. the response from the management team at chemplast has been pathetic, to put it mildly.

we have a huge situation in which poor farmers is being affected and river cauvery the lifeline river of tamilnadu getting slammed. one would expect the highly educated management team to come out in open, be honest and work with the local community to make sure all things are taken care in terms of cleaning up, bring the manufacturing process to more stringent norms, paying farmers whose livelihood has been affected, taking care of medical needs of the people impacted by pollution, etc.

instead the company is doing shadow boxing by standing behind the press. when it comes to polluting industries, that care a damn about marginalized people and environment, the least said the better.

hindu had an interesting picture with cycle, children and nature theme. i reproduce it below.

when a nation has malnourished children in tens of thousands and perhaps in tens of millions, focus should be given at grass roots level to improve the situation. call this 'socialism' and i will be glad to accept it. unbridled capitalism which converts politicians into middlemen and cheap brokers is much worse than society based socialism.

the heading on the picture should read as "cycle of fake development". from the figures cited, should i need to tell that development is indeed weak?
(Cycling is a favourite sport of children in rural Kerala. The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) in 2005-06 found 46 per cent children aged below 3 years to be underweight against 47 per cent in1996-97. The study also revealed that nearly 4 out of 5 children in the age group of 6 to 35 months had anaemia.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

how low has india come to. how low that a country that boasts of a man with a single cloth who changed the world is stopping too. how low india's humanness has been plunged. how low its educated, well known leaders are 'defending' their situations.

the opposition leader says that the violence in nandigram is the worst he has ever seen. in his words "he had never seen this kind of terror in his long political career.". perhaps he forgot the godhra massacre by his own beloved party men in 2002. perhaps he has forgotten how his party used to whip religious emotions not too long back.

and our not so communist says it is unfair to compare nandigram to godhra. well mr.not-so-communist can we compare nandigram to other disasters in india. how about bhopal issue where your party is still sleeping over. how about vedanta mining issue where thousands of tribals are going to get royally screwed. will that satisfy you and 'elevate' nandigram to a more 'honorable' situation.

how low can india go in its reckless pursuit of growth of the select few?

we have seen repeatedly in this blog, about the communist party cpi(m) has been doubly dually dual in their dealing when it comes to development.

in their manifesto, in their day to day talk to their honorable cadres, in their breadth and talk and walk, they profess equality, democracy, welfare of the poor and marginalized, etc. but when it comes to real action they are in deep slumber as seen in bhopal issue, in narmada issue, in nandigram fiasco, in local issues where marginalized communities along with environment is taking a huge hit like athirapally dam issue, kali river pollution, sipcot cuddalore pollution disaster, in their double talk on nuclear deal, etc, etc. the list is virtually endless.

now their junior partner the cpi has feebly opposed the vedanta niyamgiri mining issue. in a statement its national secretary in a 'letter' has called for "parliamentary scrutiny into the recent environmental clearance granted to Vedanta Resources for bauxite mining in Orissa, at the “expense of tribal people, farmers and ecology of the Eastern Ghats.” "

except for the above strong quote which obviously calls for more co-ordinated pressure on the foreign educated manmohan singh and p.chidambaram government and the america returned orissa cm government (both of whom are pursuing reckless economic policies that abuse our environment and environment dependent people), there is deafening silence from both the not so communists parties.

in china, the communists have become closed eye capitalist long time back. in india, communists have come down one step with their eyes wide open. they are now brokers of capitalists who are ready to mortgage our ecosystem and marginalized communities.

Friday, November 23, 2007

the supreme court in a wise decision has barred the brutal mining giant vedanta on the niyamgiri proposal. the local tribals, ngo's and the central empowered committee have all recommended against this dangerous project.

the SC in its last month hearings seems to be inclined to clear the mining project provided some 'developmental' issues are sorted out. but in a reverse of that course, it clearly said it cannot take the risk of giving such an important national asset in hands of a foreign entity.

this is a welcome decision. but also a one that lurks in danger. if i am not wrong, it looks like SC seems to have postponed the inevitable. the inevitable being the approval of mining on basis that money can be deposited for tribal 'development'. this seems to be the line that the SC seems to be tagging along (the line that money can be used for mitigation of the harmful, deadly and irreplaceable effects of brutal open cast mining in a crucial area like niyamgiri hills on which depend thousands and thousands of tribals and significant wildlife) and they seems to have merely sounded that line again and left the field open.

although vedanta seems to be out for the next bid, its subsidiary sterlite (and any other foreign multinational or indian multinational), with its great reputation in tuticorin smelter factory, can bid by putting meager money on the table. and also the original concern that any area (forest, non forest, bio diversity rich, etc) can be opened for 'sustainable' mining under the pretext of the company 'committing' a few crores of pocket change still exist.

if the honorable, respected and learned SC had told 'guys, we cannot be mining all over india. we cannot be mining on crucial forest areas on which depends tens of thousands of people and vital wildlife, we cannot mine on crucial watershed regions' then it is a super welcome move since the SC is doing what the elected government has abysmally failed to do.

one important vertical in this decision by the SC is the fact that norwegian government pension fund has passed critical remarks on vedanta. the fact that the fund rejected and ejected vedanta out of their portfolio should be a strong example for indian government authorities to follow.

but the SC decision seems not so outright. we have to wait and watch on this story as it unfolds.
(the kondh tribals of niyamgiri area. instead of having sustainable people inclusive development, the orissa and central governments want to rip open the forests on which they depend to brutal bauxite mining. development as cases like niyamgiri issue shows, is 100% fake)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

want to hear about the true statistics that the government and 'development' mongers dont want to talk about. want to hear figures that are not fudged. want to hear about the majority of india that is under brutal assault of negligence, contempt and disregard.

well, you can find all this and more in india's farmers. as our honorable PM touts the 'achievements' of his government vis-a-vis the farming sector, p.sainath gives damning statistics of the sorry state of india's farmers and agriculture.

some quotes are below. guess the PM and FM of india needs some coaching on numbers and real statistics so that they don't push the brutal assault on india's marginalized and fragile ecology in name of benefiting a few businessmen.

some cruel statistics from the article are below. fake development that touts bloated gdp figure is indeed not the answer to india's sustainable growth.

Nearly 29,000 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra between 1997 and 2005, official data show. No other State comes close to that total. This means that of the roughly 1.5 lakh farmers who killed themselves across the country in that period, almost every fifth one was from Maharashtra — which saw a 105 per cent increase in farm suicides in those nine years. More than 19,000 of those farmer suicides occurred from 2001 onwards.

Professor Nagaraj’s study shows that of the almost 1.5 lakh farm suicides in India between 1997 and 2005, over 89,000 occurred in just four States: Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh (including Chhattisgarh).

It found that of the 17 lakh plus families covered, more than a fourth — that is, more than two million people — were “under maximum distress.”

let's see how our communist friends who run a people friendly pro people equality based government(s) fare in india.

the communists who have barely talked when sethu disaster unfolded, who barely budged when the narmada dam fiasco was unleashed by the communal gujarat government, who were and are in deep slumber when tens of thousands of farmers committed suicide all across india, are pretty busy causing mayhem in their own backyard in nandigram.

ousted by local people who protested a planned mega chemical (and eventually polluting and destroying industries) industrial complex are being brutalised by none other than our friendly communist west bengal government.

what happens when the state wages war against its own people. in medha patkar words, "Whatever happening in Nandigram is the struggle for survival against the war waged by the state. It is war. War is the forcible occupation of land and that is what happened in Nandigram".

as the communist cadres overran nandigram and booted tens of hundreds of people, our friendly neighborhood communist government was busy denying it. again in medha's words, "The proof for this is overwhelming -- arms, criminals and goons were assembled in a planned manner, police camps were removed..."

the word "shame" has no meaning in india when it comes to the talk of 'development' and when it comes to our real super people friendly communists this word does not even exist.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

as our 'farmer friendly' prime minster and his 'super farmer friendly and sustainable friendly' finance minister gloat over the 'growth' and 'sucess' of india's farming under their present government, their very government is bulldozing ahead with their mayhem in name of SEZ.

and this small story from hindu tells clearly how this SEZ mayhem has not spared anything from tuticorin to jammu and anything in between.

mangalore, with its strategic location, coastal access and vibrant culture is no doubt an attractive place for investment. but in the same place live tens of lakhs of people who depend on land for their livelihood.

damn them says the government. we want more SEZ's. we want more ambani's and tata's rather than millions of poor people because we have only one ambani and tata!!

and the sorry state is so bad that SEZ's are not supposed to come up in agricultural areas. in reality, it is the very agricultural land, like the article points out, that is under the sword.

well when we have such an agriculture and farmer friendly PM and FM, what more good things can we expect.

either our finance minister turned prime minister is very absent minded or he has forgotten the number logic totally.

how else can we explain his statement that "In the coming weeks, we plan to take further steps to improve the condition of farmers,” the Prime Minister said, while addressing the All-India Congress Committee session here."

he says he plans to improve the 'condition of the farmers'. what has his government been doing for past nearly 4 years as suicide rates amongst farmers zoomed into tens of thousands.

he says 'in coming weeks'. how can he try to address this huge neglected issue when his government and his not-correctly-left communists have been completely dozing off.

and he has surely forgotten about number when he says " after a long gap the country has achieved an average agriculture growth rate of four per cent in the last three years, and added that it would be the government’s endeavour to maintain this in the future."

hello...why is the prime minster talking about agricultural 'growth' in numbers when we all know the agricultural scenario under present government is stinking. and stats seems to tell that there is one farmer suicide every 30 minutes including the period under the present government.

and the prime minister turns a joker when he says sarcastically at previous regime's famous 'india shining' quote in this way: “All this was branded as ‘India Shining’. Shining for whom, shining for which region, shining for which class of people?”

well, we would like to ask, what is this government doing. isn't it telling that india is a developing nation firing on all right cylinders. isn't his pet finance minister telling that india is rising and doing good. isn't his party tell that india is zooming ahead. has his government ever acknowledged the mayhem that has been unleashed in name of SEZ's, polluting factories, flawed mining policies, screwed up economic policies that place value of money much higher than people and ecosystems?

somebody told, "you can lie sometimes but not all the times". but when it comes to giving fake figures and fake 'development' stories, i guess we can "lie all the times"
(an indian farmer. like his parched land, his future is also parched in the 'developing' india)

Monday, November 19, 2007

india, people love to say, i a country of countries - a subcontinent.
india, historians love to say, is a complex one with various cultures.
india, as this blog says, is a simple 2 country within a single country. one country is made of tiny section of rich people supported by skewed policies benefiting rich businessmen and politicians turned middlemen and another country is made of massive number of marginalized people depending on crucial ecosystems.

greenpeace has bought up this story eloquently to tell the fake point that india points out when it comes to global warming. india tells others that their per capita emission is far less than developed countries and so we are not bound by any carbon emission norms as it will hurt 'development' (of the rich indians of course)

but greenpeace report points out clearly it is the rich india that is causing majority of emissions probably on par with developed countries and the penalty is being borne by poor india.

development, unless otherwise made sustainable, green and equal, is always the development of the rich.

Friday, November 16, 2007

seldom do we realize that as we 'develop', 'grow', 'shine', etc, each one of our action has an equal and opposite reaction.

and as urban india ups its ante on the need to get latest electronics gadgets, this reaction becomes more toxic in terms of e-waste generated.

ibnlive had a small writeup on this. the e-waste problem in india is huge and it is huge due to many reasons some of which are,

a. zero e-waste awareness amongst urban elite who dump their electronics in garbage at the earliest chance of introduction of new gadget models
b. zero effort from the crucial, sleeping and almost dead ministry of environment (and forests)-moef- on the e-waste issue, which is an huge issue even in developed countries.
c. import of e-waste has any policing, regulating or correction mechanisms.
d. the big multi mega crore computer companies need to be pressurized at each and every turn to replace toxic metals in their computers with non toxic ones.
e. zero implementation of strong e-waste policies
f. virtually very few registered electronics re-cycler's to do the e-waste recycling.

by making india more 'developed', our businessmen and politicians are killing our ecosystem and brutalizing the marginalized people. by making ourselves more 'developed' in an irresponsible and 'me centric, all others to hell' way, we are adding e-waste fuel to the fire.

river cauvery is the lifeline river of south india and a very crucial river for tamilnadu, which is the lower riparian state.

previoulsy we would have sung in the glory of river cauvery as below as the river bought civilizations to tamilnadu and food to tamilnadu.

cauvery cauvery cauvery
run cauvery cauvery
flow like the smoothness
enrich with your tastiness

in your pureness
we bathe
in your gloryness
we take shadow
in your might
we are humble
in your plenty
we get bounty

but before we can go any further, we have to stop. these are modern times with 'development', 'gdp', 'india shining and rising' in focus. so we better change the song.

cauvery cauvery cauvery
run cauvery cauvery
die cauvery die cauvery
die die die

in chemicals we bathe you
in poison we treat you
in effluents we wash you
in toxics we clean you

we wanna get 'developed'
we will screw you for that
we wanna show 'growth'
we will destroy you for that
we wanna mint money
we will suck you for that...

this blog has been putting out the death of india's lifeline rivers. river cauvery heads the top of the list or rivers that has been poisoned, destroyed and made cancerous.

please don't call this 'development'. this is not the way to develop in any way.
(river cauvery at mettur in tamilnadu. dying, dead and doggone due to wilful industrial pollution from toxic companies based in mettur)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

there was a news article in hindu that i would bet 100% of the 'developed' india would have not noticed.

it is from the ministry of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. as per the report, they are working with Tata Energy and Research Institute (TERI) to develop this 'voluntary' system.

and the report interestingly quotes as below:
TERI’s Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) is a voluntary scheme that will evaluate the environmental performance of a building over its entire life cycle. The mechanism is based on inputs from the upcoming mandatory voluntary building codes being developed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, the Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources, Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Bureau of Indian Standards.

the idea is a very good one. develop building standards that are sustainable in the construction of the building itself but also in the day to day operations of the building. the report adds

the report also says that it will be based on the 'mandatory voluntary' (isn't the 2 mutually exclusive!!) building code being done by moef.

let us be clear on thing. no more voluntary business. in india even mandatory laws are treat voluntary and anything voluntary will be treated with disdain.

let us stop all hog wash and come with a scalable, sustainable and urgent green building code that does NOT pamper to the builders. let us go green for india sake and not for fake development sake.

western countries, with their devil-may-care-about-global-warming attitude can care less about the fancy buildings. but a resource starved, people intensive country like india cannot afford this luxury especially a luxury that is being enjoyed by a so few at a huge cost to fragile environment from which the resources come for the luxury.
(the skyline in gurgoan, india. with massive residential apartments having zero sustainable construction concepts, that act as housing but also big energy suckers, the elite and urban india is going in the opposite direction to that of sustainable living)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

one of the things we don't know in india is that we don't see it. meaning, we don't know because do not want to know. we'd rather be happy and merry on fake data rather than wanting to know the real data.

for instance, india's urban rivers (and most of rural rivers) are polluted and dead with sewage. the urban elite of india, a nation that is challenging america in 'development', does not care anything about why the rivers have been turned into sewage as its zips past the sewage pools in latest cars and fancy portable electronics gadgets.

because as urban elite, we do not care who does the dirty job apart from why it has become dirty. for instance, let's take the case of removing the human sewage, sewage clogs, cleaning up the sewage lines, etc, etc related to the sewage we flush everyday from copious flush toilets that flush a huge amount of water along with sewage.

this bbcnews story puts it eloquently how the caste system is playing brute fate on the lives of many people who are forced to continue scavenging.

i am quoting some lines from the story,

Most of these scavengers are Dalits - the lowest rung of Hindu society who continue to face discrimination and prejudice. And an overwhelming 80% of them are women.

"For the past 20 years I've been cleaning toilets because this is the only way I can feed my children. Everyone considers us dirty and stays away from us. If I was able to find another job, why would I do this?"

Visiting about 40 houses and working for more than 12 hours a day, they earn just $15 a month - barely enough to support their seven children.

Initially, I tried looking for a job in a school or nursing home, but no one would take me. The first question they always ask is your caste-system."

"There has not been a single prosecution for violating this law in India, so who will obey or implement this act? Most districts are not even aware [of the law]," Mr Wilson says.

"Because of the practice of the caste system in India, people have been forced to do such menial jobs. Focus should now be given on how to liberate scavengers from this."

and although manual scavenging is banned by law, the sorry tale continues daily. amdist talk of development, growth, gdp, india shining, india rising, one sad and brutal fact is that, the people who are in the lowest sections do not matter for they do not participate in the gpd that is being powered up by a tiny section of the society.

yo chappell, howdy!!!
hellohhhh chappell, how are ya!!!
helloohhh there mate, how you doing!!!

it has been a while since greg chappell tried to fine tune the super star membered indian cricket team and got fired as expected as the result of that. in india, like political parties or movie scripts, you cannot short the super starts, can ya???

but this is not about chappell's departure from indian cricket team. but this is about his remarks on the assault that happened to him during his orissa visit.

he is saying now and i quote, "Although there was a suggestion at the time that the lack of local representation in the Indian team was the motive for the attack, Chappell was not so sure. "Indians are very quick to complain about racism," he said. "There are plenty of Indian cricketers the guy could have attacked but he chose to attack me."

and he further says and i quote, "As I said to the BCCI in a letter, had it been one of the players who was attacked there would have been an outcry, but because it was me no-one seemed to care. The reply came back talking about my racist comments.

so chappell is basically complaining (and that's his right) that he has been abused and he felt it was racist because of the tepid response from our bureaucratic clerk driven board of cricket control in india (bcci).

how lame chappell. how lame can it go. didn't you know before coming to india, that we dont care about hard working persons, that we dont care about people who are genuine, that we split on crucial things that is in india.

look straight, we can kick in the stomach and throw tens of lakhs of people like happened in narmada and still tell we are the great democracy in the world ; look side, we can burn 2000 people in gujarat and coolly tell we are the most tolerant society in the world ; look afar, we can cause the worst industrial disaster in bhopal and even after 2 decades we wont compensate the people who get affected ; look inside, our politicians and administrators who run the country are in the pocket books of bis business who have a field day in brutalizing the environment.

wake up mate.. a belated welcome to india..

if you want play like the folks who are playing the 'development' and 'growth' card pampering to the super star businessmen (and cricketers) you are welcome. if you want to make genuine changes that can sustain the indian team in long run so that the common man can enjoy his team winning against quality opposition, you are outta india mate.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

global warming, needless to say, is a huge threat to india. as bush administration plays a dirty dance on global warming denying its existence, india is a wilful partner in the dance program.

meanwhile no studies worth its name is being conducted to see the effects on global warming on india's cities, agriculture, urban areas, rivers, coastal cities, fishing, etc.

let's take kerala and cochin's case for instance. i quote from hindu,
Kerala has a coastline of about 560 km and a good part of it is made up of low-lying areas. There are about 200 village panchayats, 19 municipalities and 4 corporations located along the coast facing the sea or backwaters. There are nearly 200 village panchayats, 11 municipalities and 4 corporations located along the coast facing the sea or backwaters and bout 30 per cent of the of population live in the coastal zone, which has a high population density. Any shift in the living and settlement patterns in these areas would have far reaching consequences, Dr. Kesavadas said.

with a coastal exposure like this, india and kerala should be in super front stage working aggressively on global warming issue because with raising sea level, kerala is under huge threat.

tell this to any policy maker or politician and they will laugh. for they are comfortably seated in posh government bungalows enjoying perks of being elected and talking with businessman on how to act correctly as middle brokers in order to 'develop' india.

for in there lies the tragedy of development as fakism and fake numbers rule the roost rather than real and sustainable things on the ground.
(cochin and many coastal cities of india face a huge threat due to global warming. the central and several coastal state governments are making zero efforts to get in front of this huge threat. the mantra still is: how can 'develop')

mining is crucial for any nation. mining for bauxite, iron, zinc, aluminum, etc are those metals that shape a nation in terms of infrastructure. it would be foolish to deny the fact that mining is vital for a nation's prosperity.

but it should also be noted in these mines lie our crucial forests, our lifeline rivers, our endemic tribals and tens of millions of marginalized people.

and also it should be noted that mining as an instrument of brutal profitability will mean direct brutalization of all the above crucial pillars of our society.

so our honorable minister for state for mines tells a new policy is coming, one strong point we all expect and should demand is to establish a balance between mining and sustainability.

in our mine rich areas live the most poorest people. so instead of ripping apart those people and acting as brokers for rich indian and foreign multinationals, we would expect the democratically elected government to listen to all sides and form the mining policy.

oh yeah right? this is 'development' of multinationals for god's sake and aptly the minister quotes "The new policy was likely to bring in less stringent norms for parties which opt for mining licences, he said.

“Those who possess a prospective licence will automatically get qualified for the mining licences,” Mr. Reddy said.

the above 2 lines should be read as
a. tribals who live in mine rich areas will be treated as dogs and thrown out.
b. indian and foreign multinationals will 'develop' india's mineral rich forests and tribal land and increase india's gdp
c. the rivers that originate in mineral rich areas will be turned into damp squib with wilful pollution
d. all minerals mined will be the property of the multinationals and the tribals who lived there for decades will be 'employed' as coolies in the mines.

welcome mining. welcome 'development'. india is truly under prosperous path....

Monday, November 12, 2007

montek singh alhuwalia, the deputy chairman of planning commission and one of architects of india's 'development' tells one thing correctly and after many months he repeats the same thing and after many more months he keeps on repeating the same thing.

he is an 'expert' on increasing the energy production of india in such a way india's fragile and crucial rivers are ripped out and dammed, india's core forests submerged, polluting mega power plants come bang in middle of fishermen communities of coastal districts, welcome dangerous nuclear power plants that american communities themselves have rejected for past 30 years.

but this is not about his 'expert' moves on the power situation. but this rather his not so 'expert' moves on commenting on the sorry t&d loss situation in india. i quote him,
The focus, he added, would have to be on increasing the efficiency of distribution system as currently the power utilities do not "collect revenues on something like 34 per cent of power that's pumped into the system because of theft and transmission losses".

this is the same thing he said like many months back on the power situation in india which the PM also repeated. and he now tells the same thing. you ask him after 6 months he will be telling the same thing.

and there is a small correction in the quote "power utilities do not "collect revenues on something like 34 per cent of power that's pumped into the system because of theft and transmission losses".

the fact is that out of this 34 (some estimates puts it at 40%), there is power loss in the way the power is transmitted, amplified, fed, etc before it reaches homes and business. because with maniac urgency to build unsustainable power projects our policy makers have failed to make sure the infrastructure is in place.

if this infrastructure to transmit and distribute power is in place, first of all, we wont even need many other new power plants. oh wait...then it wont add to gdp figures right?

Friday, November 09, 2007

one of the things that this blog has repeatedly pointed out, is the death of urban rivers, lakes, temple tanks and water bodies. and this 'development' of india's urban areas is one of the main reasons of the tremendous pressure on our far f lunged ecosystems in terms of polluting coal power plants, useless and fake dams, massive water pipes onto cities, etc.

chennai's porur lake is a classic example of this. situated just outside of chennai (with chennai expanding it is more like within chennai rather than outskirts), this lake is a vital one for ground water recharge and also a crucial source of supply to chennai.

but the real story is that it was encroached (now cleared) and now abused with garbage dump. and as crucial water bodies such as porur lake dies, so does sustainable development.
(the deteriorating lake bed of porur lake in outskirts of chennai with garbage dump and convered lorry parking lot - deteriorating 'development')

Thursday, November 08, 2007

praveen bhargav of wildlife first, argues eloquently the need to have contingous, viable, unfragmented forests of india and he shows a way in which finance can be secured to do this.

i reproduce from the article, "
Responding to the urgent need to stop the depletion in the face of diminishing political will, the Supreme Court is now enforcing compulsory levies on mining, power and other developmental projects that gobble up natural forests and intrude into wildlife habitats. A sum of Rs. 5,000 crore thus collected is now lying in a corpus fund with the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA)."

and as usual in india, this CAMPA funds is lying unused and a better way of putting it to action is to secure our forests in a viable way.

we have a finance minister who comes from agricultural hinterland of india, we have a prime minister who is a finance brain and we have funds for a particular cause. of course what we dont have is to see sustainable development, inclusive growth and clean environment.

when finance matches with sustainable development in a need fashion and not in greed fashion, we can see much more synergy in development rather than the brutal way it is developing now.

as cheap consumerism (not cheap consumers though!!) increases in the west - especially america and european countries - one thing it doees not care is that 'how come it is cheap'

and the cheap is often 'low cost economies'. apart from IT, these 'low cost economies' are often subsidized by poor environmental regulations, poor labor regulation, employing child labor, circumvention of safe work practises and many more things.

i am not trying to ride roughshod amongst businesses. any business that gives gainful employment is a huge plus for any society. but that employment should not come at the cost of environment, labour and children.

this is what precisely is happening in india when it comes to garments. many factories employ children as labourer to cut costs and throw away working conditions and the environment to dustbin.

of course this is 'development' and progress of economies. people, children and environment - oh yeah the devil may care.

in this case especially it is a famous apparal retailer in america - the gap inc - that is the culprit. of course they can tell that it was one of their partners in india who did it. but the reality is that there is no consumer education, green product lines, green clothing, consumer awareness on cheap apparels either by gap inc or by other american retailers.

as long as it is cheap, it is great.

and of course for our great indian minister this is motivated campaign on part of ngo and 'western governments' to 'malign' the 'developing' economy of india. for he travels in cool cars, stays in fancy hotels, does foreign tours and of course for him anything real about india is bad. just like the fake development.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

what happens when the india america deal is under pressure (very little for livelihood/environmental/sustainability reason and more for political reasons from our not-correctly-left communists).

all the important people come with guns blazing out. let's take our own diplomat first,
"By this deal, we would actually end our paralyic status. We would not benefit a lot in terms of locked relationship with the US. In fact, the Russians and the French to my best knowledge are looking forward to selling us the reactors in far larger numbers than American companies are willing to do," Tharoor said.

Hinting that any delay in implementation of the nuke deal will not help India, he said "it is unlikely that under a Democrat government in the US it is going to be about on the same terms in a year and mid from now. We are missing not quite the bus but certainly the rocket," Tharoor added.

shashi tharoor, the writer, poet and of course dipolomat tells we are missing the 'rocket'. perhaps he is mising how it will be living near a nuclear reaactor like say koodamkulam. perhaps he is missing the fact that there has been no single new nuclear plant in america in past 30 years. perhaps he missing that several american communities oppose nuclear plant tooth and nail.

oh well, going ballistic via rocket mode is important than plain old due diligence.

henry kissinger, the ex american diplomat says "Washington will be disappointed if the Indo-US nuclear deal were to be shelved at this stage. Kissinger also said that if the nuclear deal falls through, then it could affect India's chances of getting a United Nations Security Council seat and it will instill doubt towards India in the minds of US policymakers"

i think it is little bit of arm twisting isn't it?. you dont do what should be done, then it is not good for us. how about california mr.kissinger. can they take a new nuclear plant. or will you tell that america does not do relation with california since they dont allow polluting coal power plants and nuclear power plants? one rule for a green state of america and other rule for a desperately-should-be-green country like india.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

from when on sethu project became 'vital' to national security?. there was no sethu project for past i think oh yeah right 2000000000 years and india's security did not get compromised and now as per our honorable minister for shipping the sethu project is 'vital' to india's defence.

and oh yes right, those who oppose the fake sethu project are anti nationals. and we should not be surprised to see comments that "those who oppose belong probably to Pakistan's ISI or some kashmir groups or perhaps some naxalite groups".

when it is a fake project as this blog has repeatedly pointed out it is a fake project. fake has no other word to tell it is fake. to justify the fake sethu project, several things are thrown at namely, 'vital to national defence', 'development of india', 'india economic symbol', 'india's southern gateway'.

what is not being thrown at is the fact that environmental impact assessment (eia) was a fake one, tens of thousands of fishermen are seeing economic catastrophe because of impact on fishing in the gulf of mannar reserve, hundreds and hundreds of crores of rupees being pumped into a project that is a financial disaster....

the word fake has to be replaced by the word 'sethu project'. and sethu project along with the india america nuclear deal is the 'crowning glory' of a 'shining india'.