Sunday 24 February 2013

British Apology for old Carnage?

David Cameron paid his respects at the site of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar.
He said, ‘This was a deeply shameful event in British history, one that Winston Churchill rightly described at that time as monstrous. We must never forget what happened here.’
In contrast, on a visit to Amritsar in 1997, Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip had said that the shooting toll was ‘vastly exaggerated.’ There was no apology, but David Cameron was the first UK Prime Minister to express regret.

Picture this. On Baisaki, the Punjabi festival on April 13, 1919, about 20,000 people gathered at Jallianwala Bagh. Protesters defied a ban on public meetings and gatherings ordered by the British rulers. As speeches denounced the British, Brig-Gen Reginald Dyer decided to crack down on them. He lined up riflemen, Gurkhas and Baluchi troops, at the Bagh as the gathering watched. Within 30 seconds after full deployment, Dyer ordered firing. There was no warnings, no shots fired overhead. 50 Lee Enfield bolt-action rifles were aimed directly at protesters. In all 1,650 rounds fired. Troops didn’t stop firing until they exhausted their ammunition. Historians differ over how long the shooting lasted. Some say six minutes, others say 20 minutes. Official death toll given was 379 and 1500 wounded. Indian historians put the toll at about 1,000. The Bagh, a park is the size of three football fields, surrounded by tall houses. The Bagh had only two narrow entry and exit points. British forces blocked one, the other, a narrow iron gate, was locked. After the firing stopped, Dyer refused to help the wounded. 120 bodies were later fished out from a well in the complex.

Dyer justified his conduct saying the meeting was illegal and his men were outnumbered. A court of enquiry ruled against him. Relieved of his command, he was forced to resign.

David Camerons’s comment at Jallianwala Bagh revives the old debate on the politics of remorse. On asked why he didn’t apologize. He said, ‘I don’t think the right thing is to seek out things you can apologize for. I think the right thing is to acknowledge what happened….to show understanding for what happened. That’s why the words I used are right: to pay respect to those who lost their lives, to learn lessons….to learn from the bad and to cherish the good.’

Tuesday 19 February 2013

From doom to gloom, to boom?

Everyone is talking about China and India as the next big global markets. India’s growing economy has made it one of the most important markets. The world focus is now on Asia.

About six months ago, the UPA government was seen as hopeless and stuck with policy paralysis. It was accused of being a lame-duck government, whose survival depended on unpredictable allies. But since Pranab Mukherjee went on to become the President, it seems to have had a rippling effect. And since Chidambaram became Finance Minister, the same government has started looking energetic reformer, that means serious business. The Finance Minister must be applauded for having immediate goals such as stabilization of the rupee. Though he ventures to tackle the economic meltdown, inflation and the tax regime, he must also restore the confidence of foreign investors.

Fearing loss of face in Parliament, FDI in multi-brand retail has been pushed through. Rail fares have been hiked, diesel prices are going to rise every month till the burden of subsidy disappears, a cap has also has been put on LPG connections, and foreign investors have been assured on general anti avoidance tax measures. Economists and financial experts are wondering if this sudden transformation and bold decision has sound footing of figures and facts. Will Chidambaram be able to pull off successfully?

With Pranab Mukherjee going on to become the President, Sonia Gandhi and other top leadership in Congress were convinced, Chidambaram be given the responsibility of the new approach. And it seems to be working. Foreign investors have brought in $7.8 million in the last two months. The rupee has strengthened. Despite a increase in diesel price, the wholesale price inflation has fallen below 7 per cent with some indications of consumer prices following suit.

Things have eased a bit, but a lot needs to be done. Many hurdles still remain, however the mood has changed from what looked like doom, to gloom to hope of a better 2013-2014, to possibly boom? The new economic push looks to stay for the rest of the UPA’s term. But will this make over and positivism guarantee election victory for UPA is to be seen. Certainly it does predict a better outcome than seemed likely in the troubled days of mid 2012.

All eyes will be on the Finance Minister and his impending budget for 2013-14. Chidambaram is expected to satisfy the common man, the business community, corporates, his UPA allies and also the international business world.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Bullish India & Successful Indians

Mukesh Ambani

Asia’s second wealthiest man, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries, whose net worth is close to $21 billion according to Forbes magazine, cited that his confidence in the Indian growth story stemmed from the country’s billion consumers moving to make their lives better.

Despite of all the negative talk by economists and adverse opinion by experts showing concern about slowing Indian economy, the nation’s wealthiest man, Mukesh Ambani is bullish on the India story. He has a very positive outlook on the Indian economy.

‘India has had some slow growth but I am really very optimistic on India.’

‘I am very bullish on India, because it’s really the aspirations of the billion people. And ours is a country where all the billion count. And they have aspirations.’

‘India is really a bottoms-up story. It’s not a top-down story,’ Mukesh Ambani told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, who, like him has his roots in Mumbai.

‘In 30 years, the opportunities that were provided by the country have enabled us to create wealth for India. So, we’ve created millionaires just by investing in Reliance out of ordinary Indians. And that is the process o creating wealth for the country. Once you create opportunity, wealth comes,’ he added.

Successful Indians in Gulf:

Micky Jagtiani
The findings of the Indians Rich List published by Arabian Business, speaks about Indian enterprise and hard work abroad.

  1. Micky Jagtiani – of Landmark Group founder worth $4.5 billion.
  2. Feroz Allana – Food magnate worth $4.3 billion.
  3. Ragu Kataria of a Dubai-based investor worth $2.5 billion.
  4. Yussuf Ali – Managing Director of Abu Dhabi-based EMKE Group worth $2.2 billion
  5. B R Shetty – CEO of Abu Dhabi-based New Medical Centre Group worth $1.9 billion.
The highest ranked woman on the list is Jumbo Electronics boss, Vidya Chhabria. She occupied the 8th place with a wealth worth of $1.4 billion.

Wednesday 6 February 2013


Some of you may not be aware of the following facts about India. These facts were published in a German magazine some years ago, which deals with WORLD HISTORY.


·         India never invaded any country in the last 1000 years of history.
·         India invented the Number system. Aryabhatta invented 'zero.'
·        The world's first University was established in Takshila in 700BC.
More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied 
more than 60 subjects. 
    The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century BC was    
one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
·         According to the Forbes magazine, Sanskrit is the most suitable
         language for computer software.
·         Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans.
·         Although western media portray modern images of India as poverty  
         striken and underdeveloped through political corruption, India was   
 once the most prosperous and wealthiest empire on earth.
·         The art of navigation was born in the river Sindh 5000 years ago.
·         The very word "Navigation" is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH.
·         The value of pi was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained
the concept of what is now known as the Pythagorean theorem. British
scholars have recently (1999) officially published that Budhayan's works
dates to the 6th Century, which is long before the European mathematicians.
·         Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India. Quadratic equations were Devised by Sridharacharya in the 11th Century; the largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106, whereas Indians used numbers as big as 1053.
·         According to the Gemmological Institute of America, up until 1896
India was the only source of diamonds to the world.
·         USA based IEEE has proved what has been a century-old suspicion
amongst academics that the pioneer of wireless communication was
Professor Jagdeesh Bose and not Marconi. 
·         The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra.
·         Chess was invented in India.
·         Sushruta is considered the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted surgeries like cesareans, cataract,fractures and urinary stones. Usage of anaesthesia was well known in ancient India.
·         When many cultures in the world were only nomadic forest dwellers,
over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu
Valley (Indus Valley Civilisation).
·         The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in
100 BC.  

Sunday 3 February 2013

Know your Presidents

History of the Presidency in India
Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963)
Term of Office: January 26, 1950 to May 13, 1962
First President of Independent India. A freedom fighter, Rajendra Prasad was the only president to serve two terms of office as President.

Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975)
Term of Office: May 13, 1962 to May 13, 1967
A prominent philosopher, writer, a Knight of Realm who held the position of Vice -Chancellor of Andhra University and Banaras Hindu University. He was also made a Knight of the Golden Army of Angels by Pope Paul VI.

Zakir Husain (1897-1969)
Term of Office: May 3, 1967 to May 3, 1969  
He was Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and a recipient of Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna. Husain died before his term of office ended.

Shri Varahagiri Venkata Girl (1894-1980)
Term of Office: May 3, 1969 to July 20, 1969 and August 24, 1974
The only person to have the distinction of serving as both acting president and president of India, V V Giri was a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, and his previous positions included Minister of Labour and High Commissioner to Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (1905-1977)
Term of Office: August 24, 1974 to February 11, 1977
A veteran politician, he held various cabinet posts including food and agriculture, education, industrial development, etc. He died in 1977 before his term ended, and was the second president to have died in the office.

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy (1913-1996)
Term of Office: July 25, 1977 to July 25, 1982
N S Reddy was the first CM of Andhra Pradesh. He was the only MP from Janata Party to get elected from Andhra. He was unanimously elected speaker of the Lok Sabha on March 26, 1977 to become the 6th President of India.

Giani Zail Singh (1916-1994)
Term of Office: July 25, 1982 to July 25, 1987
Zail Singh served as Punjab CM and later as Union home minister in the Indira Gandhi government.

R Venkataraman (1910-2009)
Term of Office: July 25, 1987 to July 25, 1992
A former freedom fighter, he first served as a minister of finance and Industry and later as Minister of Defence 

Shankar Dayal Sharma (1918-1999)
Term of Office: July 25, 1992 to July 25, 1997 
Sharma had been Chief Minister of MP, and then Union Minister for Communications. He also served as governor of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra. As Vice-President, broke down in the Rajya Sabha while witnessing ugly row by the members.

K R Narayanan (1920-2005)
Term of Office: July 25, 1997 to July 25, 2002
India's first Dalit President. He served as India's Ambassador to Thailand, Turkey, China and the US. He was regarded as an independent president who set several precedents and enlarged the scope of the highest constitutional office.

A P Abdul Kalam (born 1931)
Term of Office: July 25, 2002 to July 25, 2007
Eminent scientist and visionary, who played a leading role in the development of India's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes. Kalam also received the Bharat Ratna and has authored 4 books.

Pratibha Patil (born 1934)
Term of Office: July 25, 2007
Prathibha Patil is the first woman to become the president of India. She was also the first woman Governor of Rajasthan. In 2009 Prathibha Patil followed Kalam's precedent and flew in a fighter aircraft. 

Present President:
Pranab Mukherjee