People are using alternate payment portals to continue on – Neteller.com and MoneyBroker.com. It’s not clear though that how long all banks and credit card companies can keep their funds flowing to WikiLeaks.
- Mr. Thakur is of the opinion that the long standing convention of “thinking like criminals” has affected the police adversely, turning some of these men to be more dangerous than the criminals themselves
- He observes that there are two corruption situations to be dealt with separately, one that are of the grievous and serious kind with deep rooted problems – and the other that are notorious and on the street
- He observes how the police personnel are deprived of family life, living in harsh and mentally frustrating situations – and how all police men and women come to appreciate each other and develop a bond since they are victims of the same injury
- Another very important thing brought up was the fact that lower ranks don’t have a career path towards higher positions – the sepoy to inspector ranks are basically stagnant. This is the most serious issue with the system right now since it cuts off the most basic form of self-motivation.
NewsReporter: Mr. Gehlot, what’s the Govt. doing..
CM Gehlot: We’ve sent an inquiry and authorities will be following up.
NewsReporter: How much time before we can see the reports..
CM Gehlot: We just won the Panchayati elections, we’re celebrating that “arre abhi to uski khushi manaiye aap log, Congress ne kitna bhadiya..“
…err, cut it…
Seems like this bugger has more to celebrate than the newly HIV positive children.
The road from Hampi to Badami is kind of nice until you follow a state highway that leads you all the way until the last 35 Kms to Badami are left. This 35 Km journey was very interesting. The road is broken and slows you down completely. It’s a single lane road, meaning you can either come or go if you have the road for yourself. That doesn’t mean that there’s no oncoming traffic. Mini trucks would still ply there forcing you and themselves to go off the road on one side of the axles.
That ain’t all. It was around 7.30pm in the evening and I saw a bunch of folks walking towards Badami on the same road. The highway was converted into a single lane footpath-cum-road. It wasn’t until I saw the milestone with 35 on it (and the mention of Badami) that I realized that there was quite a bit of travel left. What geared me up was the fact that I was in a car, while these people were walking – in the dark – on a broken road for a journey as long as 35 Kms (around 22 miles).
There was ample time to wash down, since all I could do was a meager 30 Kmph on that road and I knew it would take me another hour or so. Thinking on these lines, it struck me, why was the 130 Km highway suddenly changed into a broken footpath? There’s a well paved out two lane road with cat’s-eye markers, 2 ft shoulders and signs that tell you to keep under 60 and suddenly it goes dud!
The slowdown angered me so much that I felt what the people living out there could do. There are only a couple of transport vehicles plying on the road because of the very condition of the road. Due to the bad condition, you cannot even ride a cycle there, the humps would break your knees. I wondered, what if they became violent one day in protest? Will that make a difference? Well, that’s what turns into naxalite activity. This very frustrating 35 Km stretch could well become a seed for naxalites there – people who fight for simple things and fight so hard that they forget what they were fighting for. Things Chhattisgarh, AP and Bihar are facing for a long time.
It’s not just Badami – the story is same for Karmala to Bijapur (MH), Lucknow to Bareilly (UP) and Shirdi to Aurangabad (MH). Bad roads are everywhere – and there are long ways to go.
Someone: Not the right time to talk on his allegations. 63 people died across the state so far some are heart attack and some are suicide cases.
Me: How can I be so sure that the person was shocked because of a certain death or any other ailment he had?
To take this further, shocks happen when you have absolutely no clue of the news and you suddenly get that “X” happened. In this case, there was a build-up of a missing helicopter for over 24 hours and hence any shock that someone is dead was not supposed to be a shock. If they were so concerned, they were closely following the news and probably already had the idea that the people are dead. That is not to say that people didn’t really get shocked, but it is highly unlikely. To get media attention, there might have been wrong reports and wrong attribution.
Someone: We are nothing to do with his newspaper and news channel and steel plants rather than some employment to the public.
Me: Why so? There should be a thorough investigation into where the money came from to start up a news channel. I am not able to build a bloody room for myself and people go setting up their own steel plants? If I stopped paying the taxes that is being used in ways I don’t know (leading to Naxalite activities), I could at least think of loaning my own house. That steel plant is profiting from your money. Everyone has the right of question.
This is not just about Andhra Pradesh or this particular incident. This is about how we go about justifying actions about anyone who is dead. Going to the deathbed doesn’t mean you automatically become an angel and escape scrutiny.
We really need to change this attitude – “blah opened up two hospitals and three schools” and so they must’ve been really nice. Come on, you can’t stay in power by just building elephant figures and your own statues everywhere. You have to achieve public work, and almost every politician achieves that by merely following what the bureaucrats tell them to (so that they remain in good books).
I don’t trust media’s conclusions – they are biased, tilted and most of them have a single source, so there’s no cross-verification. That doesn’t mean we all go out in our own chartered helicopters, but that we don’t form any judgments and always remain in this fuzzy state of stupidity where we really don’t know what the exact truth is.
I had this idea of creating a wiki to collect data on how we do things with the Govt. and stuff. So finally, here it goes:
In case you have any experiences to share or write up stuff there (or even if someone has a writeup I can point to from there), I’d be more than welcoming that.
I plan to keep it a text-only site and have a mobile version up soon (that would only send the body – no frills). It is just MediaWiki running there for now with the plainest skin available.
India’s answer to the US and European highways would be the Indian Railways. We don’t need to replicate what everyone is doing, we just need to have a way of our own to do it. Every Indian would use the Railways as efficiently as people use the roads or air travel elsewhere in the world. Instead of bailing out Air India, bloody shut it down and use all that money to make a new track between Delhi and Mumbai and Delhi and Calcutta. Just kill the Maharaja.
We have an excellent mesh of Railway network that just needs to be upgraded. There are hundreds of stations in just about an area of thousand kilometre square, which makes it the best point-to-point network that has ever been. More so, the Railways are an automatic way to reach from point A to point B, with minimum risk and fatigue. The advantages are way beyond what anyone could imagine. My point is, India needs a major infrastucture investment in the Railways and not the highways.
Consider this article from SCIAM. The article points to the fact that selfish drivers would do better in an environment of less convenience rather than in an environment that was better suited to their needs. The very fact that they tore down a highway between two points in Seoul and increased the traffic efficiency, is indicator enough of how things can churn out.
Consider the fact that India invests another hundred thousand crores on the highways. It would only add more pressure on the cities and that now the infrastructure is available, fuel prices would go up for want of use of the highways. Instead, let’s build more railway tracks. Here’s what we could do:
- Build more railway tracks – upgrade two lane tracks to four lanes between major junctions
- Upgrade all single tracks to a minimum of two lane tracks
- Re-enforce all bridges along major railway tracks or build alternate bridge routes with hard deadlines
- Increase the number of central stations that exist in a city – upgrade normal stations to central (or junction) status to de-pressurize the number of passenger boardings on central or city or junction stations
- Increase the number of general class coaches to a minimum of 10 coaches in short distance trains and a minimum of 5 coaches in long distance trains. Right now, there are at most 3 general coaches in both long and short distance trains.
- Reduce the number of classes – abolish coupe class, abolish AC first class, abolish First Class (2 tier sleeper)
- Do away with Pantry cars and catering services – focus on what we have to do – travel.
- Make mandatory electrified routes between all major stations: Delhi – Lucknow, Bangalore – Chennai, Mumbai – Pune (which doesn’t even have a train route yet), Bangalore – Hyderabad, Bhopal – Raipur, etc.
- Ensure that if there are more than 36 (half of the number of berths in a Sleeper Coach) waitlisted passengers, then all of them should be guaranteed a seat with extra coaches being added to the train.
- Run emergency trains to cater to any extra capacity required and increase the number of coaches/engines.
- Introduce Ultra-super-fast trains for long distances that would run on dedicated tracks and stop only at junctions
- Target run-time of such trains should be less than 24 hours. It is doable:
- From Jammu to Kanya-Kumari, the distance is approximately 3500 Kms
- If a train runs at an average speed of 180 Kmph (which is a doable speed on a new dedicated track), it can do the distance in 19.5 hours.
- Add to that any extra time taken for boarding/stopping/cleaning etc. and you have another 4.5 hours.
- If the train stops at 12 points for an average of 15 minutes at every point (which is extremely sufficient), it would have used only 3 hours out of those 4.5 hours.
There are a million other things to do. If even half of my above wishes see light, we would see a much better India in future.
As India matures to yet another line of thought: NDTV reports on the issue. Article 377 is the extreme, there in the constitution to appease religous sentiments. Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism – the religions followed by the majority, do not have any firm lines of thought on homosexuality. Extremists and fascists from these groups might have strong thoughts, but they are not based on any proofs of banishment of homosexuality in any of these religions. Though it is for sure that the BJP would disagree on this, I for one, do not care about them when it comes to this. Both Christianity and Islam have strict opposition to any kind of homosexuality. Nobody cares.
This is most unfortunate that the Indian constitution is being affected by hypocritic ideologies. Statements from Church officials say, “We know and understand the need of someone to be homosexual. What we do not accept is that they have sex.” Hey Mr. Smart A**, if you could write down the spelling of homosexuality, you would understand that it does have the letters “s”, “e” and “x” in it (in that particular order). So go and dig deep somewhere.
For the most part, the problem is not the church. The problem is the other half of our society that is still bothering with control on individual preferences and does not have any inclination to fix other extremely basic problems (related to the mother and child).
Scrapping Article 377 would be yet another police reform and rid the police of any extra annoyances they had to worry about.