Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fuckers on the Road

Has anyone seen buffoons recently? If not then please take a walk around the corner in Delhi and you will see them sitting in a funny contraption called E-Rickshaw looking for passengers. But what a pity we can only make fun of them and believe me no one can do anything about them. Ironically there are over 1,00,000 battery operated rickshaws in national capital but not even a single civic or law enforcement agency can do anything about them.

If you are the one who drives every day, then chances are that by now you must have become Captain Haddock shouting out billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles, every time you see such buffoons, some even have nightmares. They stop everywhere, they go anywhere, they take any number of passengers, they go in any lane, they never ever stop at traffic signals, worst of all they are not scared of policewalahs. I wish I had resources enough to buy a Holland & Holland double barrel rifle and shoot them through their asses. Of course, these rickshaws are a nuisance, and not being under any law means they neither have registrations, nor do the drivers have licences. But simply promising to not throw the might of the State at these vehicles does not give the Government any bragging rights. By now we all know how the powers that be function in this country. Most of these suckers are like a huge vote bank and no party can afford to annoy 1,00,000 plus drivers, their families, the owners, the manufacturers and so on. So fuck the law, fuck the court but let the vote bank be happy.

They can be seen jostling for passengers at all metro stations. Today they have become a standard mode of transportation post any metro journey. Well no one thinks twice before hopping into one. In fact it is hard to believe that they are just 3 year old phenomenon. Poor Dilliwalas have got so used to E-transport that they have forgotten how to walk down to their office even if their office is a few hundred meters from the main road. And not to worry on the health front they have their medical insurances, just in case.

Has anyone really thought about these so called environment friendly people carriers; has there been any research and if so where are the figures. We all know how big an eco-hazard is a lead acid battery is and they carry 4 of such locally manufactured power packs. Even if they don’t steal power to charge their rickshaws, they get benefits of subsidised electricity. It is high time someone thinks about them

Regarding safety you only have grace of god; rest is “babaji ka thullu”. Some days back a man was mowed down by an errant E-rickshaw driver. Poor fellow died; sadly this can’t even be categorised as a hit and run case. A two year old boy was burnt to death or rather boiled to death in hot sugar syrup, all credits to this unsafe mode of transport. As of now they are like cancer on the roads which has already reached 3rd or probably 4th stage from where there are little or no chances of recovery.

Above all a relative of central transport minister is into manufacturing this unregulated and unsafe mode of transportation. There is an old saying “khuda ki khudai ek taraf, aur joru ka bhai ek taraf”(everything else on one side and your wife’s brother on another, scale still tilts over); once you realise this very fact you will tend to co-relate them, even if it is just a coincidence.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Grow Up Mr Sainik

After their well known political party’s leader allegedly forced a fasting muslim worker to eat, they say why give it a comunal colour. God forbid anything like that should happen, but I would like to see their reaction when a hindu is forced to eat a chapati or for that matter meat during navratras. Those self proclaimed hinduvadi’s are sure to come out violently on the streets. I guess for them it is easy to say  that people are deriving political milage and maligning the party’s image, but very difficult to say sorry to that small pantry worker.

They claim to “respect all religions but will not tolerate if anyone tries to flaunt his religious affiliation for intimidation: and go on to profoundities like ” One should keep his religion in his heart and in his house”. Probably they have forgotton their parst and particularly their role between December 1992-March 1993. I sincerely hope when they say, ” One should keep his religion in his heart and in his house” they have burried their past and would stick to this statement in true sense. I can only hope.

They say "Was it wrong to question the injustice?. Was it wrong to question the catering contractor on the quality of food served there?” I hope they will raise their voice against all injustices, if not in India then in Maharashtra, and if not in Maharashtra then in Mumbai atleast. I hope they will atleast stop bullying their immediate neighbours. I hope they will now believe in equality for all irrespective of caste, colour and creed. I hope they will grow above comunalism and regionalism.  I hope the same rulle is applicable to all those in BMC or other establishments where they dominate.

"What is wrong if the chapati is taken to the mouth of the contractor and he was asked to eat it. It was not written on his face that he was a Muslim. It was just a coincidence. The contractor serves such chapatis that are difficult to break. How is one supposed to eat such food?" If this is what you have to say then probably Mr Sainik this is a very lame excuse. I think you need to personally and publically need to appologise to him for whatever you have done. Maharashtra Sadan is not your personal fiefdom also. And don’t be under false impression that you have made Marathi Manoos proud, rather you have shamed yourself and the community in particular.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Manmohan Singh reacts to Justice Katju`s charge, says ex-law minister explained everything

While the allegations of corruption in judiciary made by ex-Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju continues to raise the political temperature of the country, former prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Tuesday broke his silence on the issue and said that he had nothing more to add since his colleague HR Bhardwaj had already spoken on the same. 

"The then law minister HR Bhardwaj has explained everything. I have nothing more to add." Dr Manmohan Singh was quoted as telling a news channel. 
The reaction from Dr Singh came after the ruling BJP asked the Congress party to clear the stand on the issue....

Manmohan Singh reacts to Justice Katju`s charge, says ex-law minister explained everything

MH17: my error of judgment, by Sky News reporter

Colin Brazier on how he came to pick up crash victims' luggage live on air – and immediately realised he had crossed a line

Journalists spend most of their working days in familiar environments. For me, that mainly means the Sky News studio in London, following a well-worn routine: interviews, breaking news, discussions.
But our job also requires that we confront the unfamiliar and, occasionally, the unsafe. In my greener days that meant Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and many other places besides.
Now those forays into warzones are rare. One reason for that is my family circumstances. I have a large family, five young daughters and a son.
They have changed the tempo at which I work. Fewer breathless dashes to the airport, more school runs. They have also changed the way I do my job. Good journalism takes many things and the empathy I hope they have wrought in me is one of them. But so is understanding the boundaries of decency and taste. And from time to time, we screw up.
At the weekend I got things wrong. If there was someone to apologise to in person, I would. While presenting Sky's lunchtime coverage of the flight MH17 disaster, I stooped down to look at a piece of debris. It was a child's suitcase. I put my hand inside and lifted up a water bottle and a set of keys. As I did so my mental circuit-breaker finally engaged and I apologised instantly on-air for what I was doing.
Within minutes there was outrage on Twitter. Within hours the story had gone viral. I was accused of rummaging through personal belongings, contaminating a crime scene, desecrating a sacred site.
Certainly it was a serious error of judgement. I acknowledged that and so did Sky. My bosses issued an apology by tea-time. They were supportive and keen to stress that they understood the context of the gaffe.
And what was that context? What can mitigate the seemingly indefensible? I doubt many of my more roar-throated detractors on Twitter feel there can be any justification for such morally insolvent behaviour.
But, as we move into a world where excoriation comes quickly and explanations come slowly, I would like to offer another view.
The crash site of flight MH17 is like the set of a horror story. Except that movies are never allowed to show what we saw over the weekend. As I type I can smell the nauseating scent of death that clings to me still. I have seen burned bodies before – I was a 17-year-old football fan caught up in the Bradford football stadium fire – but nothing on this scale.
I have covered aviation disaster stories before too. In 2004, I reported from Lake Constance after a DHL cargo plane collided with a jet carrying a school party from Kazakhstan. Within hours police had sealed-off a sterile area and no journalists were allowed in, while forensic investigators and recovery teams went in.
The Ukraine situation could not be more different. There are no police to unspool tape and cordon-off sensitive areas. There are roadblocks manned by sullen-looking teenagers cradling AK-47s, but no meaningful law and order. It is a warzone and the men in charge carry guns and grudges.
So I, and many others, were allowed to walk around the crash site at will.
The sights were shocking. I could not comprehend what we seeing. Bodies and body parts everywhere. I phoned my wife. "It's a butcher's yard", I said.
Colin Brazier in the Sky News studio Colin Brazier in the Sky News studio Photograph: Justin Downing/Sky News
We began broadcasting. Not short reports, but long, thorough background pieces. Interviews with our correspondents in Moscow and elsewhere. Sky has pioneered this type of open-ended presentational outside broadcast. It is a journalistic high-wire act, but one which consistently delivers insights that anchoring from London cannot.
There is no studio and, at the crash site, no obvious frame of reference. We took an instant and simple decision to avoid pointing a live camera anywhere a corpse might be seen.
What about intimate belongings? They brought home the poignancy of the tragedy. They told a story of lives – swimming trunks, laptops, duty free, books – snuffed out in an instant.They provided the backdrop for me to ask why victims were being left to rot in the sun. Other journalists, some well known broadcasters, were handling belongings and speaking to camera. In a place without rules, I foolishly took that as a precedent.
And so during that lunchtime broadcast I stood above a pile of belongings, pointing to items strewn across the ground. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a pink drinking flask. It looked familiar. My six-year-old daughter, Kitty, has one just like it.
I bent down and, what my Twitter critics cannot hear - because of the sound quality of internet replays of the broadcast - is that I had lost it. It is a cardinal sin of broadcasting, in my book anyway, to start blubbing on-air. I fought for some self-control, not thinking all that clearly as I did so.
Too late, I realised that I was crossing a line. I thought aloud: "we shouldn't be doing this … this is a mistake", an instant apology that was only selectively quoted by those determined to see what I did as a powerful example of journalistic vulturism.

Bodies of all 24 engineering students from Hyderabad recovered

The longest-ever search operation to recover bodies of 24 B.Tech students, who drowned in River Beas in Mandi district on June 8, came to a close with recovery of bodies of two girl students.
With this, the bodies of all 24 students have been recovered and only a co-tour guide Pralahad is missing.
The bodies of Dasari Srinidhi and Kasarla Rishita Reddy were seen floating in the Pandoh Dam reservoir on Sunday and taken out by a search team, police said.
A co-tour guide and 24 engineering students, including six girls, were washed away when the Larji Hydropower Project authorities suddenly released water from the dam on the evening of June 8...

Bodies of all 24 engineering students from Hyderabad recovered | The Indian Express

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tale of 2 Missing Black Boxes

Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (also known as KAL007 and KE007 was a scheduled Korean Air Lines flight from New York City to Seoul via Anchorage. On September 1, 1983, the airliner serving the flight was shot down by a Soviet Su-15 interceptor near Moneron Island, west of Sakhalin Island, in the Sea of Japan. The interceptor's pilot was Major Gennadi Osipovich. All 269 passengers and crew aboard were killed, including Lawrence McDonald, representative from Georgia in the United States House of Representatives. The aircraft was en route from Anchorage to Seoul when it flew through prohibited Soviet airspace around the time of a U.S. reconnaissance mission.

The Soviet Union initially denied knowledge of the incident, but later admitted the shooting, claiming that the aircraft was on a spy mission. The Politburo said it was a deliberate provocation by the United States to test the Soviet Union's military preparedness, or even to provoke a war. The White House accused the Soviet Union of obstructing search and rescue operations. The Soviet military suppressed evidence sought by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) investigation, notably the flight data recorders, which were eventually released eight years later after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The incident was one of the tensest moments of the Cold War and resulted in an escalation of anti-Soviet sentiment, particularly in the United States. The opposing points of view on the incident were never fully resolved. Consequently, several groups continue to dispute official reports and offer alternative theories of the event. The subsequent release of KAL 007 flight transcripts and flight recorders by the Russian Federation has clarified some details.

Almost 31 years later Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 has been shot down in eastern part of Ukraine about 50 odd kms short of Russian border. Black box has been missing from the scene. There are almost no chances of this piece of equipment being exhumed as they are designed to withstand the impact upto 3400 g and survive water, ice and fire with little or no damage to the data.

Fingers are being pointed at pro-Russian rebels, but downing a passenger jet is no easy task atleast for non mainstream and unorganized group of fighters(unless they have acquired artillery or surface to air missiles or missile wielding fighter jets). Can they still be called rebels???

Another funny coincidence: MH-17, shot down on 17th July at about 1700 hours… Should we say Unlucky 17!!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Indian-Origin Steward On-Board MH17

KUALA LUMPUR: An Indian origin flight steward was among the 15 crew members on-board the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down over Ukraine Thursday, media reported Friday.
Acoording to Sanjid Singh Sandu's father Jijar Singh, Sandu was not supposed to be on MH17 as he had switched his shift with a colleague, the Malaysian Star reported.
His mother had planned to cook Sanjid's favourite dishes for him upon his arrival in Penang.

Sanjid was Jijar's youngest child and only son...

Indian-Origin Steward On-Board MH17 - The New Indian Express

Google celebrates Nelson Mandela's birthday with interactive doodle

"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." This has perhaps been one of the most famous lines of the modern times symbolising the end of apartheid.
He is the "father of the nation" for South Africa; but history remembers his also as the anti-apartheid crusader and the face of compassion and wisdom.
Born on this day, 96 years ago, Nelson Mandela's birthday was today celebrated by Google with an interactive doodle... 

Google celebrates Nelson Mandela's birthday with interactive doodle | Business Line

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Uttarakhand rivers in spate; hundreds of pilgrims stranded

Hundreds of pilgrims continued to remain stranded in Uttarakhand on Thursday with heavy rains lashing the hill state. 
The Char Dham Yatra to Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri has already been suspended in view of the heavy rains that have led to surge in major rivers across the state, with Mandakini and Alaknanda crossing danger marks. 
Landslides have also blocked many routes in Uttarakhand..Uttarakhand rivers in spate; hundreds of pilgrims stranded

For Narendra Modi, first BRICS trip a success

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his first major multilateral visit to a foreign country on Wednesday, having separately met China President Xi Jinping, Russia President Vladimir Putin, Brazil President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma over the last two days in Fortaleza and Brasilia.

In a breakthrough at the Sixth BRICS Summit, India got the presidency of the New Development Bank — the name that Modi endorsed in his departure statement in Delhi — that was launched with an initial capital of $50 billion on Tuesday after the leaders signed the Fortaleza Declaration. While China walked away with the bank’s headquarters, which will be located in Shanghai, New Delhi got Beijing to agree on equal shareholding rights for all members... .

For Narendra Modi, first BRICS trip a success | The Indian Express