The Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House of Parliament is made up of 250 members. Most of these are elected by the political parties and are supposed to represent the various States of the country. It doesn’t matter even if you don’t live in a State, you can be their representative in the Rajya Sabha. Our former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh represented Assam for several terms in this manner. Continue reading
The frenzy of the finals is over. Germany, deservedly in my view, won the recently concluded FIFA World Cup 2014 played in Brazil. The first thing I did as we approached the dates for the World Cup dates was to find out the difference in the time zones between Brazil and India, where I live. I watched most of the matches on TV, they being played, as per Indian Standard Time, at 7.30 p.m. ( which was fine), 9.30 p.m. ( which was fine, too) and 1.30 a.m. (which was fine, depending upon who was playing!). Continue reading
This article from Forbes highlights the fact that more employees are prone to “disengagement” than perhaps ever before. I quote from the article, ” Research claims “disengagement” (burnout, boredom, lateness, lackluster performance and workplace conflict) affects as many as 9 in 10 employees. Turning the equation around saves millions of dollars, to the tune of perhaps as much as $50 million for a company of 500 employees.” Continue reading
Yes, it’s early days yet as after all the NDA Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office only two weeks ago. What’s been encouraging is that they seem to have hit the road running as they say. Today addressing the Parliament, President Pranab Mukherjee laid down the economic approach of the new Government. This is summarized in this article in the Economic Times. Continue reading
From time to time, one comes across stories of ordinary folk who overcome life’s obstacles and succeed despite the odds being against them. In some cases, they have done what was never done before in their families or immediate society. In many cases, the lack of education and skills is what keeps them in poverty. For a large country like India which has its share of the poor, education is the prime driver for social and economic advancement. There is no other option. Doles won’t help in the long run. The Government must help people help themselves by increasing their skill levels and making them more employable. Continue reading
Yesterday was a momentous day as we watched with excitement the results of the long drawn out General Elections in India pouring in. The results astounded many supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) including me, which fought the campaign under its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. I had expected the BJP to do well predicting that it could get 265 Lok Sabha seats on its own and about 320 seats with its allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA.) Continue reading
What a difference internet and the electronic media have made to India! We saw in 2002 how terrible incidents like the riots in Gujarat were literally brought into our living rooms. One shuddered to think of the people who suffered because of the riots. The riots by themselves were not a new phenomenon. Gujarat has had its share of riots, like many other States in India, for many decades. In fact for all the criticism against Narendra Modi’s Government, Gujarat has had no riot since that one in 2002. That’s not the topic of my post, however. I ask today why a section of the media and some NGOs go on relentlessly about the Gujarat riots of 2002, but don’t speak of (with even a fraction of the intensity and passions they show for Gujarat) on the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits from their homeland in 1990? Continue reading
One politician tries to bring the poison of communal passion into the hallowed portals of the Indian Army, another declares her wealth to be far less than one would imagine considering her stature over the decades, and the third was slapped by one of his own party men, not the first time either that this has happened. The General Elections 2014 are already here and indeed some parts of the country many of our huge population have already exercised their franchise.
Last week, I was saddened to hear about the demise of one of India’s most prolific writers and editors, Mr Khushwant Singh. For many like me who grew up in India, he remained a larger than life figure who was known to be outspoken, firm on what he stood for (though not everyone may subscribe to his views) and often controversial. These perhaps hid another part of his life which was that he was a prolific writer who covered a variety of subjects over the decades by way of his published work. Some knew of him as a historian, with his History of the Sikhs being a top-notch contribution to the story of that illustrious race to which he himself belonged to. Others remember him for his novels, including that moving story, “The Last Train To Pakistan.” I read this decades ago but I still remember the story quite vividly. Yet others may remember him for his fund of jokes bordering on the risqué which he published in book form.
Last week, I posted “My View of India’s General Elections” and covered the period 1951 to 1977. The objective was to share thoughts of major events that took place at the time of the General Elections. 1951 was a natural year to start since I happened to be born in this year and the First General Elections took place then. Continue reading