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Too early for tomorrow... our pet project

Friday, March 11, 2011

A lot of GAS

I have been a student volunteer in this workshop on Indo-US research collaborations. And at the dinner meet yesterday they had set up a panel discussion. The discussion was supposed to bring forth something concrete. But instead all people said was "We should..." and "We could..." and "We need...". They spent a hell lot of money in organising the stuff. I guess they could have funded a small project with the money they spent.

And it was all restricted to the IITs. No one bothered (or ever bothers) about an India with potential that exist beyond the IITs. If the quality of the second and third tier institutes in India is on a constant decline, it is mostly because of the step-motherly treatment they get from the governments.

However, it is hard to change the system.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Judicial Activism

It is said that the 3 pillars of a democracy are the legislature, the executive and the judiciary (some also speak of the media as the 4th pillar, but the less is spoken about it in the Indian context, the better). It was also said that in India the pillars of the legislature and the executive are broken. What stands as a hope for the common man is the judiciary.

With much fanfare, Justice Balakrishnan was appointed the first dalit Chief Justice of India some years ago. And going by his tenure one could conclude that the last pillar of the Indian democracy is also broken. First it withdrew its stance on the OBC quota issue and gave in to the government. Next it did nothing when UPA I bought out support in the Lok Sabha after the left withdrew support. Predictably, this dalit ex-CJI's kins are now facing charges for amassing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

How about the judiciary's shoddy dealing of the Bhopal gas tragedy conviction and the Binayak Sen case?

Faith is slowly being restored to the Judiciary under CJI Kapadia. The judiciary under him is giving the governments a hard time: the CWG scam, the 2G scam, black money in tax havens, the Godhra train burning conviction, the Netai case, etc. The common man can once again turn towards the judiciary for justice.

Can all judgements passed under Balakrishnan's tenure be re-examined?

Read a related TOI article here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On the way to home

Came home for a one week mid term break. The journey by train was by and large uneventful this time as the train was bang on time.
There was this gentleman, however, who was on constant suspicion that the catering staff are not giving him his due. He deserved better food but the railways was stealing from him. Why was the railways overcharging him?
Mr. Gentleman, suppose you work in a government office. The office starts at 1000 hours and ends at 1830 hours. You go to office at 1130 hours and leave for home at 1700 hours. (Note that I am not, in the least, exaggerating.) You steal 3 hours of public time every day. 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 12 months in a year makes it 720 hours stolen in a year. If you can steal from the government without any scruples, can the government not steal from you?