Troubling the trouble – Part 2

I explained my father Hanlon’s Razor the other day. He owns a BSNL sim card which had validity of 6 months. So far he has been adding only top-ups. He asked me to recharge his mobile account through BSNL website and I obliged. To my surprise the BSNL web site has no option to recharge prepaid accounts you can only top up. So my father went to a mobile shop and tried to recharge his phone. He tried several denominations but none of them worked and each time the account was top-uped. Frustrated he said this is a ploy by BSNL to steal our money. On that statement I explained him the Hanlon’s Razor which says

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

I think there should exist an inverse as well. It should be something like

What you might immediately attribute to stupidity or incompetence might have a larger malice and planning behind it.

What Kapil Sibbal has tried to do might appear as his usual incompetence. Please understand that Mr. Sibbal is a Supreme Court advocate, he is a Congress Spokesperson.  A corrupt party like Congress needs country’s best smoke screen makers as their spokesperson. Mr. Sibbal has done his job well, every now and then he has created artificial controversies and news and has managed to divert the attention of media and public to non-existent issues. For example during 2G scam he not only claimed that there was Zero-Loss instead he tried to fabricate previous NDA ministers into it, he brought up the issue of VSNL land which eventually boomeranged into him. When he realized that Team Anna effectively used Social media and SMS to raise awareness how quick was he on implementing DnD rules and other restrictions on social media.

There is much deeper side to what Mr. Sibbal is trying to do with JEE and why he will have his way. A person with Sibbal’s intelligence (or cunning) knows very well that the reason why students get stressed has nothing to do with the exam/s but the utter “lack of supply” in higher education. That “reducing student’s stress” is the smoke screen that Mr. Sibbal is creating for much greater malice in his brain.

Congress party has systematically controlled almost every institution in the country. Income Tax department, check, CBI check, Indian Council of Historical Research check, Human Rights Commission check, CBSE check, NCERT check and the list goes on. The party and it’s leaders keep their cohorts in control of this important bodies. As long as these cohorts continue to serve the interests of the leaders they stay in the position and vice-versa.

There is a side effect to this kind of control. With time the people understand that these institutions are not credible. They stop affected the public psyche for which the government gave them so much importance. For example our syllabus generally hails Jawaharlaal Nehru as a visionary. However my parents generation has seen through that lie. Most of them have realized that he is to be blamed for a lot of problems we face today most important being that of poverty. No amount of verbal gymnastics by NCERT can change that reality now. Same is the case with CBI or ICHR. Have you seen Romila Thapar on television these days ? Many of us probably will have to do a Wiki search to know who she is.

There were few institutions which stood the test of time despite their imperfections. Indian Institute of Technology -X were some among them. It is always wrong to paint all IITs in same color because they vary in their character by a great degree but the public image of these institutions is same for all. These institutions were looked upon as factories that produced world class engineers. These engineers were then hired by large corporations and they all flew abroad. Occasionally we heard about few of them making a lot of money abroad. The decade of 2000 saw the rise of people like Nandan Nilekani who got rich in India itself. Many of then quietly built billion dollar businesses on outsourcing model. How many non CS IITians have set up billion dollar companies in India ? Can you name one?

Now a days reach of technology has increased. Government can not stay immune to that fact anymore. I am sure each one of us have cursed the government whenever we tried to book a ticket through IRCTC. Even the politically illiterate crowd is now getting so much information from all sides that  it has no option but to shed it’s apathy. For decades the government so successfully covered the dark secrets of Gandhi family but now due to Facebook they are getting shared viraly.

If people like Kapil Sibbal have to stay in power, they have to control technology. If they have to control technology they have to make laws that do so. To make laws they need to create necessary background. This background is best created by controlling those institutions which can manipulate and form public opinion about technology. IIT-Bombay supports government’s new IT laws etc. headlines is what Kapil Sibbal wants.

Besides if you read TheMovingFinger’s comments on the article on Hindustan Times

you are missing the point: the common exam is just the thin end of the wedge. It will be followed by various dilutions and / or reservations. It is not about the smart getting in, it is about the unsmart getting in because that is exactly what is sought to be achieved. Non-IITs are not being pulled up, but IITs are being pulled down. It is also about debasing the currency of the IITs. Why is that thousands of engineering college places in TN and Maharashtra had no takers last year? Because, New Yorkers, it is a debased coin and no one wants it. Gold is gold, copper is copper and each is weighed and valued differently. Dont mix them up; else, they both will become as valuable as iron.

If Kapil Sibbal behaves in this fashion there is nothing surprising but why are all IITs so silent. Why they have bent before the minister ?

The reason is simple. Kapil Sibbal controls many people inside IIT. A large number of faculty are those who are simply resting on their past laurels. They do have good degrees and so on but they are now saturated. They have not done any new research, they dont find time to upgrade themselves yet they want to promote themselves as the visionaries. They have found friends in MHRD. MHRD sponsors them to visit conferences abroad, MHRD creates phony “research” projects so that these professors gets a steady stream of money. Awards are given to each other, speeches and exhibitions are made. They praise the ministry, ministry praises them.

Don’t get me wrong. IIT Professors are not some masked criminals whose objective is only to steal public money. Some of them actually believe that MHRD is doing all these phony projects for good, some of them pretend to believe so. In any case they are happy once they have one such project in hand. Now if they speak against the ministry these projects might get cancelled, even worse they will get subjected to much strict audits.

At this juncture I kind of feel cheated. There is not doubt that IIT Bombay is a great institution with some wonderful people and faculty. But to look closely it is not really holier than all. Soon there will be a convocation, we will be told that were are the great alumni of this institution and we will have to go out and set high standards in whatever we do and so on but then who will ask them if they have practiced what they are preaching ?

I am beginning to understand that it is perhaps lot more simpler to become and engineer than just stand for what is right! Hope better sense prevails or else karma is a real bitch.

Shehar Sunsan Hai Kidhar Jaye?

Khosla ka Ghosla remains one of my favorite movies. But the reality behind that happy ending story is certainly not a happy one. Land being a scarce resource in India is at the root cause of several crimes and corrupt practices. But what makes me frustrated is the plight of the average person willing live by the law. He apparently has no saviour.

Looking around I can only see a forest of people, Jana-Aranya. Just like the one portrayed in Satyajit Ray’s classic (all his movies are classic isnt it?) The Middleman. almost every profession today and especially the government service has become corrupt to the core. injustice seems to be the only thing that is assured.

From education to software industry, from politics to media, cricket to bollywood. The truth behind Armani suites and khadi remains so stark that it instills fear in my heart. An average person in Mumbai plays exorbitant rent for one room devoid of even basic facilities such as toilet and bathroom. He travels in the most celebrated and uncomfortable travel arrangement called local trains. These trains are better only because road transport sucks.

We can not deny that Indian middle class has struggled a hell lot. In fact the struggle of this class during the socialist regime of nehruvian politics is simply unbelievable. But that struggle for survival has killed so many good things about the middle and poor class. 80% of India’s  population remains middle and poor class.

The middle in last few decades tried hard to survive and raise its level above their past. They tried to acquire education by all means. Traveling hundred kilometers to get a better college staying hungry to save money. Their parents worked hard so that their children could study. The government had to build only schools. Provide transport and infrastructure to its people and people would have figured out rest. In fact people did. The government however did exactly opposite. IT mindlessly controlled education and milked this cow for its political benefit.

Just as the middle-class of my parents generation had discovered that education is their only salvation. The political class discovered that education can be exploited to keep people ignorant and less aware. Hence they controlled education just as British did. Quality of this education was kept very low and access was made extremely difficult.

Education leads to jobs was another belief that the middle class had. Government controlled even that. License quota raj ensured that no new jobs are created and if created only the chosen once would get entry. The middle class in its desperation and helplessness did not leave any stone unturned to get a job. Today we see the result. Getting a government job means paying bribe to those who offer a favor. It also means after you get a job you are free to rape, ripe and squeeze your position as per your will.

Today it is not possible to move an application without giving away your hard-earned money to some one who does not deserve it in the first place. What scares me is the attitude that the average man has developed for this phenomenon of corruption. He is the “Sahib” he has to take bribe, after all he has paid lakhs to get the job, he has to get return on his investment. I was told by a driving school agent.

When I visit malls, shopping complexes, multiplexes, Mac Donalds and KFCs I see that a lot of so-called youth is hanging out there. A lot of middle class families come there to enjoy. Certainly as it would appear from outside the Mango Man of this country has come a far away. He has raised himself above a level he was 20 years back. He has worked hard for it. But while doing so he has paid a big price.

Behind all that glory and glitter of Malls and Multiplexes lies a sad truth. All this has come up with a price. That price is , all of our systems have become corrupt and in-efficient. Not just these systems are going to suck our blood and money over a period of time, they are also going to ensure that we remain in that exploitive bracket so that we remain an easy prey  for that system. If you want to get out of that bracket you will have to turn yourself into an exploiter. A person willing to survive by fair means has no place left here.

There are some important characteristics of corruption. It is rationalized by instincts to survive and it is driven by greed. It initially breeds on money but later it’s survival and growth demands larger sacrifices. Hence it spreads its tentacles through guns and goons. They suck so much that nothing more remains to be sucked up. They rely on the average man’s ability to rise above all odds. They figure out every possible way to screw a helpless and poor man. Most important casualty in this process is the freedom. A look at city life will assure you that freedom of speech, trade,right to property come with several illegitimate caveats.

There is little difference left between exploited and exploiters. It all about lick above and kick below stuff. But while all these things are true about corruption. There are other truths as well. While we feel that all is well and we are progressing. Behind this progress we are digging our own grave in which one day we will fall with a catastrophic destruction. This catastrophe will come uninvited and unanticipated. It will swipe not just corrupt but also those at the bottom of this exploitation pyramid.

For optimists there is another hope also. Someone will rise against this and will single handedly turn the wheel. He will be the messiah for religious minded. I dont belive in Superman either.

 

 

Trust Vote: Trust Lost and Gained.

 

Needing something is sometimes like a parachute. You need them only once and if they are not there for you at that time, you never need them again. – Dilbert

 

The nation and media is debating if UPA will survive or not. They call it a Trust Vote. Trust? Isn’t it ironical to use that word with our politicians and system?

 

The trust vote is called to prove that the PM and his cabinet has faith of majority of MPs who claim to represent the people of this nation. Majority MPs => Majority people.

 

Forget about majority. Do we really trust our government? For last 60 years the system that we have developed, is it something we can put our trust into? How many of us run to Government Hospitals if we can afford a good private one? How many of us send our children to government schools?

 

We fear our on politicians, police and judicial system. The system that was meant to protect us and especially the poor class has turned into a system that won’t change and give encouragement to oppression and crime.

 

A system that encourages reservations under the name of equal opportunity, protects fundamentalists under the name of minority, allows Bangladeshi to settle in our land for personal gains.

 

A system that has failed miserable in having good educational infrastructure for our bright minds, to give us chaos free roads, planned cities, water safety is a far away while we struggle to provide water even in cities.

 

Look at our PM. He is defending himself against a trust vote. But what does he stands for? Congress is not even considering him as PM candidate for next elections, Rahul will be their candidate. The party itself doesn’t trust him.

 

Our country has reached to a point where the system and politicians have lost trust of the most important part of democracy “The people”.

 

After this trust vote many will become richer by a few crores. There will be a hell lot of ‘what if’ analysis. The common man will get back to work on his scooter next morning. And the people in pune will have to face the load shading as usual.

 

Walking on Mumbai Road? You might disapear.

The super efficient Mumbai Municipality is irritated with US. The US consulate has failed to admire all their work for monsoon season. May be US is jealous that they are building a statue of Shivaji bigger than that of Liberty.

The US consulate gave a advise to its citizenary that the Mumbai Muncipality sometimes keeps the manholes open , unmarked and unattended. The municipality got angry over this statement. I am unware why exactly they were angry, in my opinion they should be angry because it was responsibility of the municipality to issue this kind of warning. Us has merely reduced their work.

Like all government offices, BMC also denied that the problem exists in the first place. That is a smart strategy, deny that the problem exists and put the ball in other persons court. BMC has emailed their disappointment over the statement to US consulate. Said the Municipal commissioner Phatak. I am happy that BMC knows that system like email exists.

The US consulate however did apologize and added one line to the original statement.

“The manholes are sometimes marked by Tree Branches”

This is a tight slap on face of BMC commissioner if he has nay shame left. The Commissioan further said that only 10+ people have died till now by falling into manholes. 10+ deaths is such a small number as long as they do not belong to the family of MR. Phatak, Sharad Pawar, Or the Thakarey’s.

Mayor Shubha Raul, too, wrote to the consulate today. “I have sought an explanation for insulting Mumbai,” she said. She is probably not aware that governments duty is to protect its citizens and US is doing just that. It she who owes and explanation and not US.

They are building a 300+ feet statue of Shivaji in water and saying that it will be bigger than statue of liberty in US. While the statue of liberty marks US’s accomplishments in developing their civilization, the state of shivaji marks wastage of public funds. Shivaji was a king who fought to build a fear free maratha empire. DO our leaders think that the statue of Shivaji will scare the Smugglers coming through Sea route? Is that statue going to scare the terrorists carrying out bomb blasts in locals? Is the statue supposed to serve the purpose of some scarecrow or clown we usually see in fields?

BMC has no shame in telling only 10+ people died. This 10+ is a municipality figure. Imagine a situation. Person X falls in a man hole. Once the person goes in he gets drawn the the drainage pipe which than leads to some final destination. The sea. These pipe systems are interconnected so in which direction the body goes is uncertain. Also at some places the pipes are broken and open so its impossible to determine the location of the body.

So now the people who saw X falling may or may not bother to report it to officials. Given the way officials respond they will not bother to report. If they know X they will rather tell X’s family about it. They will report in Police and tell the BMC workers. The BMC workers are busy (anything but working). They will come and wait for the rain to go and water level to go down. Most of the times they will just wait at the other end of the pipe for the deadbody to arrive.

If the body is found the family will be so distressed that they will give some bribe to BMC workers to avoid post mortom etc etc and take away the body. So there is no official record that the body got drained. Even if such incident is reported then it means the death was caused by criminal negligence of BMC for which the police should take action against them, the DENY THE PROBLEM strategy comes handy. The BMC officials will claim that the person died himself opened the manhole and jumped into it. Or the body got drained for unknown reason and somehow reached the seavage pipe.

For proof: http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Two-persons-die-after-falling-into-a-manhole/317160/

Despite of all this there are still 10+ official deaths. Which prompts any smart Indian to think that there will be many more deaths that occur. You divide it by the total population of Mumbai and your probability of dieing such death will be negligible.

The US cares so much about its citizens in a alien country while the BMC is not bothered about its citizens in its own country.

It is a high time that the BMC and similar government bodies wake up. They can deny problem for a long time. Visit every website that published this news and check out every comment that readers wrote below. Everyone has supported US. An Indian government body doesn’t get any support from its own citizens whom it claims to represent, while a foreign institution that makes comments against India gets full support from Indians netizens. What does it mean????

NOTE: Mumbai citi’s glorious tradition does not keep count of single digit deaths. Bone fractures are to be ignored in totality. only 10+ deaths find place in official documents.