Tuesday, December 17, 2013

175 years of Times of India

Times of India is celebrating its 175 years. This is how they reported about our freedom struggle calling it ‘flames of insurrection’.  
I am interested to know their reporting on Gandhiji, Paditji, Patelji and Maulana Azad. Please, let us have a look at what was reported. If not, just celebrate your existence since independence.

devi image coin

For the first time in the history of  secular, democratic republic a five rupee coin with the image of a devi has been released.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Who is middle class

The Times of India, Hyderabad of Saturday, November 23,2013 carries an article ‘India’s middle class awakes’ by Pavan K Verma. He writes, ‘If we take a strictly economic criterion of defining a middle class person as anybody who belongs to a household which has a monthly income of between Rs 20,000 and Rs 100,000 a month, the middle class starts to look very substantial. Estimates reveal that as per this criterion the size of the middle class in 1996 was a paltry 25 million. Today, it is in excess of 160 million’.

160 million sounds big, but it is just about 15% of our population. And the criterion is unconvincing.  May be that is the reason the word ‘if’ is used.
Census figures of 2011 are available in my post ‘ lest you forget’ in this very blog.
As a manager in a PSU my gross salary in 1996 was Rs.13774/-( IT deduction was Rs.3402/-;net was Rs.7619/-) in 1999 it was Rs.17770/-(IT deduction was Rs.2799/-;net was 7080/-). The purchasing power of Rs.7000/- that time gave me a least uncomfortable living.
The point is I was much below Mr. Verma’s middle class. Today at least Rs. 30000/- net carry home salary is needed for the comfort level that Rs.7000/- provided in 1996-99.

 My views on classification are as follows:         
Those whose income is 2 lacs a year and not liable to pay IT cannot be considered as middle class. They get around 16600/- a month.

Those who pay 10% IT beyond 2 lacs can be considered lower middle class. But we cannot compare life of those getting 4 to 5 lacs with those getting less than 3 lacs.

 Those who pay 20% IT i.e. with income between 5 to 10 lacs can be mid-middle class. Even here one cannot compare life style of someone getting 5 lacs with another getting 10 lacs. It is very painful to call all of them mid-middle class.

Then those getting 10 lacs and above are upper middle class. But ceiling of middle class can be for those getting up to 15 to 20 lacs.

 Beyond 20 lacs upper class can be divided into lower upper, mid-upper and upper.

There are rich and super rich who really matter in every field.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Belur temple

These sculptures are in Channakeshava Temple(1117 AD), Belur, Karnataka state in India.


A G Gardiner in his essay ‘on habits’ writes about what Sir Walter Scott(1771-1832 poet, novelist) told to Rogers (poet, banker) of his school days. Scott had a student in his class who stood always at the top. Scott observed that the boy, when a question was asked, fumbled with his fingers at a particular button of his waistcoat. In an evil moment Scott removed that button with a knife. Great was Scott’s anxiety to know the success of his removing the button. When again a question was asked the boy sought for the button, which was not there and the boy failed to answer. He never recovered.

Rahul Gadhi pushes up his sleeves very often while giving a speech. As it is he is not a good speaker, In case he is made to wear half sleeve kurta imagine what will happen. May be he will start using belittling words.

Asaduddin Owaisi, MP and chief of MIM, is a good speaker. But while speaking he closes his eyes for longer periods than he keeps them open. I rule out stage fear. May be he has excellent photographic memory and while his eyes are closed he sees the text of his speech and reads it out. I do not think he can speak as well as he does if he always keeps his eyes open while speaking.   

  Modi is a special case. If his speechwriter (may be he speaks off the cuff) drops all derisive words he may not be able to speak half as well. I think the applause and cheers he gets for using derogatory words is a stimulus. His audience is literate (I am not using the word educated) urban mid-middle and lower middle class.

It is not necessary that a public speaker is also an intellectual and a good worker.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Thanks TOI

Commissioner GHMC please walk on footpath from Lakadi ka pul to JNU incognito.
Commissioner of police please cross the road at the Zebra crossing opposite town planning office to reach PTI building incognito.
Developement in Hyderabad is just for 5% of the population.
Krishna and Godavari water is only for that 5%.
Thanks Times of India.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


This envelope is of the 'state of Travancore & Cochin'. This was posted from Secuderabad post office on 11-6-1973 and received at Warangal post office on 18-6-1973.

Saturday, October 19, 2013



Times of India ( Hyderabad edition of Oct.19, 2013 ) has a front page headline, “big dig: Peepli live in Unnao as Sarkar chases a golden dream” with sub headline “ ASI begins hunt for 1000 tonnes buried treasure”, reported by Shailvee Sharda.
Hunt is on following a dream of swamy Shobhan Sarkar. ASI’s excavation strategy is as per Sarkar’s dream.

 The same paper reveals that there is a PIL in SC for deputing a military officer and a team to supervise the excavation. Page 13 says, ‘GSI finds metallic contents’. And there is an editorial too. E-paper has four videos.

Deccan Chronicle too has reported. Modi is reported to have mocked UPA as ASI digs for seer ‘dream’ gold. He is reported to have said, “The whole world is mocking us. Some body dreamt and govt. has started excavation….” he is right.

There was a similar treasure hunt in Hyderabad in Feb. 2012 and was widely reported.
Hunt was opposite the A P Secretariat and for treasure worth  Rs 20,000 crores.
Archaeology Department received a sworn affidavit from nine prominent citizens led by Mr T.B. Raju, chief manager (personnel), Coal India Limited.

They said they got the information about two months ago but couldn’t muster enough courage to reveal it to officials concerned fearing the mafia.
Based on the affidavit, a team of officials from the Archaeology Department inspected the site on Saturday evening and decided to start excavating on Sunday morning in the presence of a mason, who will serve as a guide.
Sources said the mason was the first person to have gone inside the tunnel where he saw two almirahs full of jewels and precious stones..

Incidentally, the prominent citizens who had petitioned the Archaeology Department, have demanded that they be given their share — one-fifth of the treasure if it is found — under the Treasure Trove Act 1878. This was reported in Deccan Chronicle on 19th Feb.2012

The mega 'treasure hunt', which the archaeology department took up on Saturday, failed to yield any result till late on Sunday evening. Even after 28 hours of digging, the department could not find even a hint of treasure. The much enthused department officials have, however, decided to go ahead with the exploration as according to them, it is "necessary to ascertain facts behind the claim". Meanwhile, D S Raju, one of the petitioners, said that he had seen the treasure and is hopeful to find it. This was the report of Times of India of 20thFeb.2012

My questions then were:
Questions that come mind:
What happened to the masion who saw two almirahs full of jewels? Should he not be interrogated?
Mr. D S Raju had said he had seen the treasure and was hopeful to find it. If he saw he should show. Why he is not able to find the location now?
It is possible that the treasure is already with them.
Are officials of archaeology department so naïve that they started the treasure hunt without resistivity and magnetic survey?
I have my own doubts.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


 Selfrighteous are peculiar too:
Avoiding dishonest ways,
Which are recognizable.
But somehow they do indulge,
With unrecognizable walkways
Avoiding shadowy, dark ways.

They travel and ‘khule aam’too
And four days a week,
Saving all travel perks,
Comfort borne by visited honest.
Yes, in a way they are!
Strange are the honest talking of honesty.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


There are many anti tobacco advertisements by government on TV and in print media.
Advertisements are terrifying, showing visuals of tongue, throat and jaw cancer  patients.
Why the government does not ban tobacco cultivation  just as ‘ganja’ cultivation is banned?
No, they cannot afford to do that.
“The total revenue collected from central excise duty during the financial year 2011-12 (upto January, 2012) is about Rs. 1,14,046 Crore (provisional).
The total excise duty collected from tobacco products during the financial year 2011-12 (upto January, 2012) is about Rs. 14,804 Crore (provisional).”
This information is from Ministry of Finance27-March, 2012 18:13 IST
One can check from the following link.

“TOBACCO – India earned a foreign exchange of Rs.2,022.78 crore and Rs.10,271.55 crore as excise revenue in the year 2007- 2008. The exports of tobacco and tobacco products during 2007- 2008 were valued at Rs.2022.78 crore. During April-October 2008, exports of tobacco and tobacco products were valued at Rs.1952.43 crore. During April-October 2008, unmanufactured tobacco exports were valued at Rs.1623.10 crore and exports of tobacco products were valued at Rs.329.33 crore. Going by the current trend exports of tobacco and tobacco products are expected to cross US $ 600 million during 2008- 2009”.
One can check from the following link.

Why is the government spending on advertisements?


May 21 2014 : The Times of India (Hyderabad)
Tobacco exports touch new high in 2013-14

In a stunning performance, tobacco exports from the country touched a new record in the 2013-14 financial year. Tobacco exports surpassed all previous records particularly at a time when the country's economy was going through a downturn. For the first time, tobacco exports including flue-cured Virginia (FCV) and non-FCV products reached a peak by crossing Rs 6,000-crore mark in a financial year.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Majority appeasement?

Around the place I live there are many govt. and PSU offices. In every office premises there is a temple. Town planning office, MMTC office, Bank of India and even JNU Fine Arts College have temples maintained by them on their own premises. I am sure there are at least a few Christian and Muslim employees.

The PSU I worked for has a temple in every location. Every department has a specific place for pooja. When the pooja is performed work is at stand still. Prasadam is distributed. Muslim and Christian employees are silent spectators.
Ayudha pooja is a grand affair. Offices do not function because each instrument of work has to have a vermillion (kumkum) mark—computers and any other instrument of even Muslims and Christians are not spared.
Whenever I went for inauguration of a distributorship, I had to break a cocoanut before a photograph. If I happened to be at a location and pooja was performed there I accepted prasad in the way they accept—with right hand, left palm touching right forehand. On the occasions of Independence day and Republic day a garlanded picture of durga is placed on the pedestal where the flag post stands.

Once I was traveling with a senior. When he saw a temple on the roadside, he folded his hands, murmured some thing and turned to me and said he did the same whenever he passed by a durgah. Message was loud and clear.

Muslim officers, to realize their ambitions trying to please Hindu officers, tend to be harsh on junior Muslim officers.
When I was posted in Chennai, head of the plant summoned all managers who were to write confidential reports of their juniors. His advice was not to waste ‘outstanding’ rating on SC officers. His logic was SCs get the benefits anyway. I was shocked by his behaviour and thought he would be harsher on Muslims if I were not present.
  On personal level too a minority person has to please majority. If a Brahmin colleague visits my house, he puts forward many excuses to avoid taking anything including water. When I happen to visit his house, his wife, may be, washes those cups and saucers ten times or they have separate cups etc. for visit of minority people.
I had a telagu Brahmin friend in Bombay university hostel. Years later we happened to meet in Calcutta and he invited me with my family for lunch. My two-year-old son walked into their kitchen and the face of my friend’s wife (Tamil iyer) was worth watching.
A very interesting incident happened when I invited a visiting Christian manager’s family for lunch. They were in Hyderabad on a personal visit and I arranged IBP guesthouse. When I invited them for lunch his wife flared up. She said ‘ you people do not eat any thing in our house and why should we come to yours’. She thought I was a Brahmin.

Then there is informal reservation. Muslims and Christians are at the bottom of the heap when it comes to promotions in any organization. Reservation exists everywhere—in employment in private sector, admissions in private schools, promotions in public sectors and many other fields. I am talking of informal reservation.

Employment bias mars private sector – Study (NDTV) reporter Adhana Sharma
Saturday, October 27, 2007 (New Delhi)

 A study was released by the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies in collaboration with Princeton University. It reveals that in fact a person's caste and religion could be a hindrance in getting a job, despite equal qualification.

The study says that a dalit had 60 per cent less chances of being called for an interview, and a Muslim had 30 per cent less, as against their higher caste peers.

''Here in India, it is a routine practice for employers to enquire about family background and use it as a means for screening. This is an anti-thesis to what one expects in a merit based system,'' Professor Katherine S Newman, Princeton University.

We are in an officially/ constitutionally declared ‘secular democratic republic’ that guarantees equality. What should be the terminology for what it really is in practice?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lest you forget

The Telegraph Calcutta dated July 13,2013
Times of India of 14.3.2012

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


In a democracy judiciary, legislature and executive are independent of each other. Judiciary has the responsibility to ensure constitutional provisions are not violated.

Criticism of judiciary about coal scam is justified as the investigation was asked for by it. But judiciary wanting an affidavit by July 10 on making agency autonomous (reported in times of India of may 9, 2013) amounts to taking over the function of legislature.
Incase CBI has to be autonomous, who will appoint the functionaries? Should the functionaries be form the IPS, which is part of the executive? Or, as in case of election commission (which is autonomous) the president of India appoint them. IPS and state police force should have nothing to do with CBI. Is this arrangement possible? In my view judiciary should give comprehensive guidelines for formation of CBI as an autonomous body without infringing upon the independence of legislature and executive.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sunset on
mahavir road
Masab tank road
veg. vendor

Friday, April 12, 2013

Is it the way?

There are people who talk endless. You ask a question and the answer is given in disgusting minute details and the result is you forget the question you asked. They are not concerned if one is really listening to or just hearing.
I have suffered this kind of torture on many occasions. One incidence, that I am going to narrate, is just an example. In 1972-73 Deena Kumar was depot manager of Apsrtc at karimnagar and I was sales officer of IOC covering warangal and karimnagar districts. A visit every month was necessary as IOC representative.
On one visit I found his finger was bandaged and I just asked him how it happened. He said about a fortnight ago his mother wrote to him that she was visiting him. So he cleaned up the house and waited eagerly for the fortnight to past. At last the day dawned when his mother was to arrive. The train was to arrive at 6 am and he got ready to go to receive her. He reached the station to find the train was late by an hour. He just sat on a bench for some time. Then went to tea stall and had a cup of tea. Bought a cigarette and smoked. The train slowly moved in on the platform. He started searching for his mother. He started looking into each compartment and finally found her. After greetings he asked her where her luggage was. She showed him a trunk underneath the seat. He pulled it out. The edge of the trunk was sharp and that cut his finger.
I have not been able to do justice to his version. What I have described is just a summery of his lengthy narrative; which lasted for more than 15 minutes.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Justice delayed is justice denied

“In a heart rending plea, a person acquitted of rape charges has moved the Supreme Court seeking restoration of his lost dignity and honour.

The 2006 Mayapuri rape had shocked the capital as a hearing and speech impaired pregnant woman was sexually assaulted in a moving car. The petitioner, who was running a diagnostic centre, was in jail for more than four years before a trial court acquitted him”.

This news is from Times of India (

In 1960s BR Chopra’s film ‘khanoon’ raised a similar question. Actor Jeevan ia sentenced to  years in jail for committing a murder. The person murdered is alive. Jeevan after release from jail shoots the man dead. In the court room Jeevan questions the judge, “ can you punish a man twice for the same offence? And can you give back my years spent in confinement?” Solution is not given. Jeevan collapses in the witness box and is dead.