Showing posts from May, 2016

From the Viewsroom: Rein in Swamy

From the Viewsroom: Rein in Swamy : Indulge the maverick in him, but stop the mischief-maker... Listen, please Excerpts: "...But equally, he can turn against his own party, score a few self goals and cause lethal damage. Those to whom he was once close and then fell out with only to hunt or bring them down includes Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sonia Gandhi and Jayalalithaa, among others. His party knows this and is, therefore, wary of chastising him even when he flirts with indiscipline. That partially explains the kid gloves treatment he’s been getting from senior brass in the wake of his destructive campaigns against RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan."

No country for the old?

No country for the old? : His concern must have caused a collective sigh of relief for the 87.6 million people aged above 60 in India, as it drew the attention of a nation almost obsessed with its ‘demographic dividend’ to a... Needed, Political will In my article “The Last Resort”* published in April 2009 issue of ‘Be Positive’ I had observed asunder:  “As regards the resources necessary to meet this challenging effort, only the lack of political will to canalise the men, material and money now being engaged for purposes like luxurious celebrations (mentioning here the examples of the efforts to find the beginning of universe or scientific research in uninhabited parts of planet earth or in space or development of weapons for massive annihilation  may divert the discussion to controversial areas, which is not my purpose!) and wars towards creative and positive purposes at least until the basic needs of every inhabitant of mother earth is met is standing in the way. Agreed,

The irony of the white powder routine

The irony of the white powder routine : Every morning, millions of women across South India do a ritual, the origins of which stretch back several centuries — they clean their front yards and adorn the ground at the entrance with an elaborate... Excerpts: " Kolam for all How do we turn this tragedy into a celebration? By embracing the idea of a daily kolam not just for our own houses, but for the community at large. Stop regarding the exterior as something that exists simply to provide you with an outlet for your needs, but as a valuable part of your existence. When Chennai was flooded last December, people reached out and helped one another — and yet, each day when we pass by rubbish piled up high and do nothing, we undermine that very spirit of community that defines living in an urban environment. So tomorrow, as you get ready for your next kolam adventure, take a few minutes and help clean up your street along with your neighbours. While you may compete on who has the bet

The history of humanitarian intervention and its ground rules

The history of humanitarian intervention and its ground rules : Sitting in his presidential palace in 1991, Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein and his Culture Minister Hamad Hammadi drafted a letter to Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Union of Soviet Socialist...

Straydom: Ode to a nameless friend

Straydom: Ode to a nameless friend : There is something about stray dogs that always haunts me. Their faces are so expressive, almost an indictment of one’s presence and privilege. Yet they demand so littleand live on even less. I sat... My VIEW: Read this wonderful poem in prose with great interest. One is first tempted to appreciate the selection of words and the skill with which the writer conveys his thoughts. The writer dwells on ‘straydom’ with the ease of someone who has experienced it! World over, ‘stray’ humans, in thousands, share life with stray dogs, and that too bereft of a ‘level playing field’. Pets along with the luckier humans live their lives in castles, totally unaware of the anxieties and uncertainties outside, except when occasionally someone from outside trespasses their ‘boundaries’ or one among them ventures out in search of fresh air.  The  celebration and the embarrassment in the pizza story narrated are real and  accurate in description. Wish some who

Below the Line: New grazing grounds?

Below the Line: New grazing grounds? : The whispers are growing louder of Piyush Goyal, MoS for power, coal and new... Excerpts: " Raghuram Rajan isn’t just being backed by top corporate honchos but also by the   aam janta . A campaign to renew the RBI governor’s term is gaining ground; in the forefront is , a platform for public campaigns funded by the likes of Bill Gates and Richard Branson. Emails are already doing the rounds asking people for suppport to retain Rajan. This must be the first time an RBI governor is being seen more as a rockstar than a signatory on currency notes." Please use the link to read full article. M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram

Obama offers tribute but no apology

Obama offers tribute but no apology : “71 years ago, death fell from the sky and the world was changed,” Mr. Obama said of a bomb that “demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself”.“Why did we come to this place, to Hiroshima... Excepts from Obama's speech at the Peace Memorial "My own nation’s story began with simple words: All men are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Realizing that ideal has never been easy, even within our own borders, even among our own citizens. But staying true to that story is worth the effort. It is an ideal to be strived for, an ideal that extends across continents and across oceans. The irreducible worth of every person, the insistence that every life is precious, the radical and necessary notion that we are part of a single human family — that is the story that we all must tell. That is why we come to Hiroshima. So that we migh

Barack Obama at Hiroshima: World without nuclear weapons!

Barack Obama at Hiroshima : As expected, U.S. President Barack for dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. But such is the power of personal presence that by the simple act of laying a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial... My VIEW: WORLD WITHOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS The gesture by the outgoing US President in recognising Hiroshima as mankind’s demonstration of its power to destroy itself and acceptance of the responsibility of collective leadership to ‘pursue a world without’ nuclear weapons need to be understood in right spirit. Humanity need to pursue nations to destroy the huge collection of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear arsenal gradually, but in a time-bound manner. First, major powers and even smaller countries which possess nuclear weapons need to be transparent about the stock and safety measures. Second, world organisations like the United Nations need to deliberate and convince nations like US and Russia that even if they have to own nuclea


WEEKEND LIGHTER: GOVERNANCE BY CONSENSUS (May 28/29, 2016, No. 22/2016)* Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to *Posted on May 28, 2016 from Thiruvananthapuram. I Opening Remarks Governance by consensus During this month (May 2016), I was in Kerala and had opportunity to watch the fierce election campaign in close quarters. I had some leisure and was able to go through some books and articles I had collected during the last few decades. I believe, the Indian democracy and the political system is fast maturing during the 21 st Century. The leadership provided by Modi, Kejriwal and Dr Raghuram Rajan in their respective work areas has been helping this process. Common man or the ‘citizen’ has to play his role proactively to ensure that the momentum of development is sustained. In several areas, including literacy, legislative and economic reforms and financial inclusion,

Kamadenu: Tvameva sharanam. #watercolour #krishnafortoday 

Kamadenu: Tvameva sharanam. #watercolour #krishnafortoday  : Tvameva sharanam. #watercolour #krishnafortoday KUMBHEENDRAN POY THRIKOOTAAJALASARASI MUDAA PANDAGASTHYSYA SHAAPAAL...

RBI move on updated pension benefits quashed

RBI move on updated pension benefits quashed : The Bombay High Court on Monday struck down the circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) withdrawing pension updation benefits for its employees. The judgment was passed while hearing a petition filed by a retired RBI employee in the... Excerpts: " Employees are of the view that the pension issue could have been resolved amicably since its update requires Rs 10 crore only, while the corpus of RBI employees’ contribution fund itself is Rs 4,500-5,000 crore, according to   banking  sources close to the development. RBI updated the pension scheme in 2003 for pre-November 1997 retirees, aligning their basic pension with the basic pay prevalent at that time. The decision was taken by RBI’s central board in the presence of nominees of the Centre. Incidentally, the RBI’s pension fund is self-sustaining without any contribution from the exchequer and the Fifth Pay Commission for Central Government employees had stipulated that aut

Govt not averse to giving RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan a second term

Govt not averse to giving RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan a second term : However, the government has not taken a final call and is yet to inform Rajan... Being posted 'to complete records'...This reportappeared during the second week of May 2016. M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram

Pinarayi Vijayan, the turn of the strongman

Pinarayi Vijayan, the turn of the strongman : The political drama that was expected after the LDF victory, as a result of the rivalry between the two stalwarts of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), former Chief Minister , did not... Excerpts: " Kerala needs a more dynamic Left-leaning government, one that harmoniously accommodates both industrial growth and social welfare. Retaining power in Kerala is more easy than regaining it. Mr. Vijayan would do well to remember this as he readies to govern this politically conscious State." Use the link for reading full article. M G Warrier

A V Rajwade: Will Rajan get a second term?

A V Rajwade: Will Rajan get a second term? : The RBI governor set inflation targeting as the single-point agenda. Is there a conflict between the single-point agenda and the RBI's role as banking supervisor? My VIEW: Dr Rajan’s tenure This refers to A V Rajwade’s article “Will Rajang get a second term?” (Business Standard, May 19).Yes. Dr Raghuram Rajan is likely to be appointed for a five year term from September 2016. So far, on all occasions with the exception of two or three out of 23, GOI has shown a mature approach while appointing RBI Governor. My personal view is that we can safely discount Dr Subramanian Swamy’s enmity to Dr Rajan and open comments mostly for the consumption of media. His earlier suggestion to replace Dr Rajan by appointing Vaidyanathan and the present campaign after Swamy’s own entry into Rajya Sabha gives an impression that the learned economist-turned-politician doesn’t differentiate between appointment of state governors and RBI Governor.


WEEKEND LIGHTER: A PAGE FROM HISTORY (May 21/22, 2016, No. 21/2016)* Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to *Posted on May 21, 2016 from Thiruvananthapuram. I Opening Remarks A page from history* “Even if we could suppose that it were practicable without the aid of a single native to conduct the whole affairs of the country both in the higher and in all the subordinate offices, by means of Europeans, it ought not to be done, because it would be both politically and morally wrong. The great number of public offices in which the natives are employed is one of the strongest causes of their attachment to our Government. In proportion as we exclude them from these, we lose our hold on them, and were the exclusion entire, we should have their hatred in place of their attachment, their feelings would be communicated to the whole population, and to the native troops, and would e

Pinarayi Vijayan: Steeled by a life of relentless adversities

Pinarayi Vijayan: Steeled by a life of relentless adversities : He was V.S. Achuthanandan’s trusted lieutenant when he took on and decimated what used to be known as the ‘CITU lobby’ in the State CPI(M) at the Palakkad State conference in 1998. He was elected to...

Mitali Saran: To the Indian National Congress

Mitali Saran: To the Indian National Congress : There's one vowel between you and irrelevance... Relevant excerpts: " But, dear INC, if where you are today isn’t giving you night terrors enough to prod you out of introspection and into action, you’re going to be recast as the Indian Notional Congress for a few election cycles yet." Read on using the above link... M G Warrier

Time for governance

Time for governance : While the results of polls in five states vary widely, the common message is the voters’ desire for growth and development... Excerpts: " The underlying message from the voter in all these States, though, is clear. Voters have signalled their impatience with the endless cycle of scams and corruption scandals gripping the polity. Instead, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of ‘achhe din’ — better days of faster growth and better governance — which has resonated with the electorate and driven the surge in the BJP’s popularity. The five new governments assuming power in the States need to absorb this message, as does the Modi government at the Centre. The time for promises is over. It is time now to deliver." Read full text using link provided above. M G Warrier


VISHNUSAHASRANAAMAM I loved the following dhyaanashloka quoted in the Sahasranaama stotra bhaashyam (Sanskrit) written by ‘Aryavaidyan’ S R Iyer, Special Officer, Aryavaidyasala, Kottakkal (Kerala) published in 1982. Thought I should share with you. The English meaning has been accessed from website(Google search!) M G Warrier bhUH pAdau yasya nAbhir-viyada-suranila-candra-sUryau cha netre karNa-vASaH Siro-DyauH mukhamapi dahano yasya vAsteyam abdhiH antas-stham yasya viSvam sura-nara-khaga-go-bhogi-gandharva-daityaiH chitram ramramyate tam tribhuvana-vapusham vishNum Isam namAmi. [   I bow to Lord vishNu who has the three worlds as His body. The Earth is His feet, and the sky His navel. Wind is His breath and the Sun and the Moon are His eyes.  Directions are His ears, and the Heaven is His head. Fire is His face and ocean His abdomen. In Him is situated the universe with diverse kinds of Gods, men, birds, cattle, serpents, gandharvas and daityas  (demons)- a

Live: Red wave sweeps Kerala

Live: Red wave sweeps Kerala : Barely two hours of counting and the trend already emerged. The LDF has wrested power in Kerala. The BJP-led NDA has consolidated its position. The party has won Nemom and has come second in some...

Parthasarathi Shome: Compassionate

Parthasarathi Shome: Compassionate : There is a wide gap between demand and supply in India... Excerpts: " As in the UK, the Indian experience is a tale of tenacity of enthusiasts, Indian and foreign - in taking forward the thinking, policy making, and application of palliative care. Yet it is astonishing how little the willingness of the Indian medical profession is in incorporating it in medical practice, leave alone allocating financial or human resources for it. The outcome is chaos at end of life moments reflecting an ingrained unwillingness and, thus, stark inability of the medical profession to impart compassion or palliation due to a gaping lack in training." read full article... M G Warrier

Choosing a dignified exit

Choosing a dignified exit : Modern medicine has advanced a lot — which is indeed a boon to humanity. Even a limb severed in an accident can now be stitched back by doctors under certain conditions using modern techniques... Excerpts: "It is true that we cannot always fully control the disease and pain of our loved ones, but we can certainly mitigate their level of pain through palliative care options." My VIEW: Better awareness created through bold and frank sharing of thoughts likethis will bring about change in the attitude of people who have to take tough and uncomfortable decisions in situations like those mentioned in the article. M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram

Out of court

Out of court : This refers to your editorial, ‘Mediate, not litigate’ (May 16). This is a timely suggestion. Indian courts have over 30 million cases pending, but the existing infrastructure and manpower can handle only a fraction of... Also see previous post "Mediate, not litigate" M G Warrier

'Banks need to change their lifestyle'

'Banks need to change their lifestyle' : S.S. Mundra, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has indicated that banks need to improve risk management and reduce large concentration of loans to a single borrower. He spoke to . Excerpts... Rude analogy This refers to the excerpts from the interview given to Manojit Saha by RBI deputy governor S S Mundra (The Hindu, Banks need to change their lifestyle, May 16). I wish, Indian Banks Association (IBA) and Indian Medical Association (IMA) seriously study the context and content of the rude comparison made and the terms used by Shri Mundra to make his point that the health of Indian Banking System is in bad shape. Asset Quality Review as the three words indicate can at best be termed a diagnostic tool. The deputy governor says, ‘RBI termed the AQR a required surgery’. Words like ICU, patient, surgery, operation table, sick and doctor are used in the answers given by the deputy governor with ease. The Indian Banking

Mediate, not litigate

Mediate, not litigate : Disputes can be settled outside courtrooms if there is a willingness among businesses to try alternative mechanisms... May 16, 2016 Out of court This refers to HBL editorial ‘Mediate, not litigate” (May 16). This is a timely suggestion at a time courts in India are burdened with over 30 million pending cases across the country with inadequate infrastructure and manpower to handle even a fraction of them during the current decade. Recently, while referring to unfilled vacancies in courts and helplessness due to shortage of hands to handle pending cases at various levels, the Chief Justice of India became emotional on a dais where Prime Minister Modi was also present. For a moment even the Prime Minister must have been shocked which made him search for words and make a guarded official statement that ‘if constitutional barriers do not create any problems, then top ministers and senior Supreme Court judges can sit together to find a solution to the is