Wednesday, July 31, 2013

आज की फुहार अखबार से चलता है स्‍पीड का पता 31-07-2013

आज की फुहार
अखबार से चलता है स्‍पीड का पता

एक पत्रकार रोडवेज़ की एक बस में सफर कर रहा था। उसने सोचा क्‍यों न ड्राईवर का इन्‍टरव्‍यू ही ले लूं। वह सब से आगे ड्राइवर के बराबर की सीट पर बैठ गया जो खाली थी। उसने ड्राईवर को कहा कि आपके साथ सफर कर बड़ी खुशी हो रही है। उसने बताया कि मैं एक पत्रकार हूं और आपका इन्‍टरव्‍यू लेना चाहता हूं। पत्रकार ने पूछा कि बात शुरू की जाये\ पर ड्राईवर ने कोई जवाब नहीं दिया। पत्रकार ने अपना प्रश्‍न फिर दोहराया पर फिर भी कोई ध्‍यान नहीं दिया ड्राईवर ने। उसने अपनी इच्‍छा तीन-चार बार प्रकट की पर ड्राइवर मस्‍त अपनी गाड़ी चलाये जा रहा था। कुछ दूरी पर कण्‍डक्‍टर सवारियों की टिकटें काट रहा था। पत्रकार ने उसकी ओर देखा। कण्‍डक्‍टर समझ गया उसने सीटी बजा दी। उसके बाद ज्‍यों ही पत्रकार ने ड्राईवर से प्रश्‍न किया तो उसने उसके अभिवादन का जवाब दे दिया। पत्रकार ने पूछा कि आप पहले मेरे साथ क्‍यों बात नहीं कर रहे थे\

ड्राईवर ने कि जब मैं गाड़ी चलाता हूं तब मैं सिर्फ कण्‍डक्‍टर की सीटी सुनने के बाद ही कुछ करता हूं। उसने कहा कि आपने जो कुछ पूछना है अब पूछो।

पत्रकार ने कहा कि ड्राईवर साहिब, मुझे आपकी गाड़ी का तो स्‍पीडोमीटर ही ख्‍राब लग रहा है।

ड्राईवर ने कहा, ''हां, यह तो कभी चलता ही नहीं''।

पत्रकार ने पूछा, ''तो आपको कैसे पता चलता है कि गाड़ी कितनी स्‍पीड पर चल रही है\''

''यह तो बड़ा आसान है। स्‍पीड का पता तो हम सवारियों के आव-भाव से ही जान लेते हैं'', ड्राईवर ने बड़े आत्‍मबल से हंसते हुये कहा।

पत्रकार ने कहा, ''मैं समझा नहीं। यह कैसे सम्‍भव है\''

''देखो पत्रकार साहब, यह तो बहुत ही आसान है'', ड्राईवर ने समझाया। ''जब तक तो सवारियां हंसती-खेलती, गप्‍पें मारती रहती हैं तो हम समझ जाते हैं कि स्‍पीड 40-50 ही है।''

''जब स्‍पीड इससे बढ़ जाये तो\''

''जब कोई सवारी अपनी माला जप कर ईश्‍वर को याद करना शुरू कर देती है। जब कोई बूढ़ी यह कहना शुरू कर देती है कि भगवान् मेरी रक्षा करना, अभी मुझे एक बेटी की शादी करनी है, तो हमें पता चल जाता है कि स्‍पीडोमीटर की सूई 100-110 को लांघ चुकी है।''

''और जब इससे आगे निकल जाये तो\''

ड्राईवर ने ठहाका मारा और कहा, ''इसका पता तो लोगों को अगले दिन अखबार पढ़ कर ही पता चलता है।''

(एक बार बस में चल रही एक सीडी में सुना था)

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Speaking My Mind

That every other day the Congress Party has to declare that it "disassociates" itself from what its official party spokesman said during an official briefing and interaction with media explains that the party has fallen short of talent for the purpose. Sometimes it has to declare that it was not the party position but the "individual or personal views" of the official spokesperson of the Party.
The latest was the gaffe the party spokespersons very eruditely said about the cost at which one can have a hearty fulsome nutritious meal. One said it could have had at `5 in Delhi, the other said it could be had at `12 in Mumbai. The Union Minister Farooq Abdullah who had chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir for pretty long went much further. He said one could fill one's stomach with just `1. All these statements and claims were not just ridiculous but these also went to ridicule the poverty and poor people of the country whom Congress claims to be the nearest to its heart. The redeeming feature was that all of them withdrew their words.


It is also a great ploy too. By saying one thing our politicians please one section of society and by later withdrawing or explaining the same, they try to soothe the tempers that may have been ruffled with such words. It acts as a double-edged weapon.

I am reminded of an incident narrated to me by a friend from Punjab. Decades back there was a political tussle between the then Punjab chief minister Partap Singh Kairon and his home Minister (who later became a chief minister himself) Darbara Singh. A signature campaign was launched by the two groups against each other. One MLA Chaudhary Sunder Singh was very close to Darbara Singh but the latter came to know that the former had signed a petition against him. After a day or two when Chaudhary Sunder Singh came to Darbara Singh's room instantly Darbara Singh burst out at him for having signed a petition against him. Very calmly Sunder Singh said: Why are you shouting at me like that? Calm down. I have signed in your favour too.
That exactly is the same the Congress Party seems to be doing. First it allows its spokespersons to say something and later disassociates from it to soothen the frayed tempers of others.


Since Congress-led UPA came to power in the country, there has never been one voice on what constitutes the population that lives below the poverty line. It has failed, so far, to come out with a specific income or expenditure criteria that divides the below and above poverty line, even in the Supreme Court of India. One government committee reports that more than 65 percent of India's population does not spend more than ` 25 per person per day. Only on July 23, 2013 the Planning Commission disclosed that Poverty in India declined to a record 22% in 2011-12

"Over the last decade, poverty has witnessed a consistent decline with the levels dropping from 37.2% in 2004-05 to 29.8% in 2009-10. The number of poor is now estimated at 269.3 million, of which 216.5 million reside in rural India" stated the Commission.

It is worth noting that Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, is the Chairman and his close confidant Montek Singh Ahluwalia the Vice-Chairman of the Planning Commission. Yet, Manmohan Singh's own Law & Communitions and IT Minister Kapil Sibal has challenged the method used by the Planning Commission to calculate poverty. "If the Planning Commission said those who live above ` 5,000 a month are not at poverty line, obviously there is something wrong with the definition of poverty in this country. How can anybody live at `5,000?" Sibal asked.
On the Congress Party side too, there are diverse voices. The Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, otherwise considered close both to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandh, tweeted on July 27, "I have always failed to understand the Planning Commission's criteria for fixing the poverty line. It is too abstract. It can't be same for all areas". (

It is time the UPA government and the Congress put their house in order, have an open discussion between themselves and come to a uniform and one voice on the issue. Otherwise, it will end up being a laughing stock of the nation and hurting the sentiments of the poor.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

No human right to his opinion to Mumbai eatery owner

Speaking my mind
No human right to his opinion to Mumbai eatery owner
Youth Congress enforces its law & diktat

When certain organizations and groups disturb Valentine Day celebrations, when they chase away a couple in amorous positions in public places, when they vandalise exhibitions of paintings by late renowned painter M. F. Hussain, our liberals, intelligentsia, secular media and human rights organizations cry hoarse at what they call "moral policing".  They denounce it as an outrage against personal/individual freedom of opinion and expression.  They dub it as an attempt to muzzle the freedom of speech and expression of opinion guaranteed under the Constitution in the Indian democracy.

So far, it looked the Congress which had so far been castigating Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Sena etc. for vandalism in similar cases, is now trying to emulate those it condemned severely. Still more surprising is the so far silence of the so-called liberals and human rights organizations. Are our human rights activists and organizations are, intriguingly, maintaining a dubious silence only because the owner of the eater does not appear either to be a terrorist or a hardened criminal, like those in the Ishrat Jahan 'fake' encounter case?

To have a full grasp of what and why it happened, it would be interesting to go through the stories carried by almost every daily in the national capital. This is what The Statesman carried in its story headlined "Storm in a tea cup" on July 24:

"A plain jibe printed as a small footnote on a bill or receipt by a restaurant owner that takes a swipe at the United Progressive Alliance questioning the fiscal sense behind levying surcharge on air-conditioned hotels provoked a humourless protest from hordes of Youth Congress activists yesterday afternoon that finally forced a busy eatery, Aditi Pure Veg Restaurant, to shut down until further “orders” from the YC protesters.  
The owner, Mr Srinivas Shetty, says it is his right ~ since “India is an independent country” to have his say and express it openly. The hotel bills issued over the last fortnight carried a footnote that read, “As per UPA government, eating money (2G, coal, CWG scam) is a necessity and eating food in an A/C restaurant is a luxury.” He was protesting against the surcharge which the owners as a rule pass on to customers. His point of argument was that a cup of tea at his hotel costs Rs 12, but a customer is charged extra if he sits and sips the brew in an A/C hall.  
Angry YC activists did not see reason in Mr Shetty's argument. They bluntly told him that they have been instructed by their leaders in Delhi to force a shut down. One of the activists said that last week, on a visit to the KEM Hospital, across the street, some of his fellow YC members noticed the “derogatory” message printed on the bill. The issue, according to protesters, was referred to Delhi, seeking advice on how to tackle the insult. The missive from Delhi was clear: shut down the eatery, claimed the agitators. The YC men were led by local MLA Mr Kalidas Kolambkar and activist Mr Ganesh Yadav. 
After forcing the shut down they marched to the nearby police station to file a defamation complaint The cops say they have registered an NC (non-cognizable) offence under Section 501 of the Indian Penal Code that pertains to printing defamatory material for public display. 
The protesters warned the owner, Mr Shetty, that they would not allow him to resume business unless he gives an apology and withdraws the objectionable bill-book. Mr Shetty has no option but to accept the rude diktat. He has to print new bill books now. The Association of Hotels and Restaurants, or AHAR, has cold-shouldered the Aditi owner, saying it was a dispute between two parties. Nevertheless, Mr Shetty claims he has managed to successfully drive his point home." (

The above story raises many pertinent questions:
Does the owner of the restaurant have no right to express his views and opinion in this kind of democracy we have under UPA? If the restaurant owner has violated any law of the land, who will take cognizance of it – the police, the investigating agency, the courts or would the Youth Congress workers act as the complainant, investigator and the court, all in one?
Under what law of the land the YC workers have the right to force a busy eatery, Aditi Pure Veg Restaurant, to shut down until further “orders” from the YC protesters?
What is more demeaning is the claim of the YC leadership that they referred the matter to Delhi to "seek advice" as to how to tackle the situation. "The missive from Delhi was clear: shut down the eatery". Under what authority can the Congress leadership order and force the restaurant to "shut down"? Are we heading towards a rule by hooliganism? Are we witnessing the revival of once infamous jungle raj in Bihar?
Astonishingly, it is not against the YC workers who took the law into their hands and forced the eatery to shut down, but the owner against whom a non-bailable criminal offence has been registered.

Clearly the Congress leadership has one law for itself and quite the opposite for others.                                                                                                          ***

हास-परिहास उसकी पत्नि मेरे पास आ जाती है 25-07-2013

उसकी पत्नि मेरे पास आ जाती है

एक व्‍यक्ति आफिस में बड़ा उदास, बुझा-बुझा सा रहता था। कारण, उसकी पत्नि के उसके बॉस के साथ अनैतिक सम्‍बन्‍ध  हो गये थे। उसे कुछ सूझ नहीं रहा था कि वह क्‍या करे। एक ओर पत्नि और दूसरी ओर बॉस। एक ओर घर-गृहस्‍ती का सवाल तो दूसरी ओर नौकरी का। वह इन दोनों ही पहियों के बीच पिसा जा रहा था। उसके दोस्‍त भी उसकी इस मानसिक हालत से परेशान थे पर कुछ कर नहीं सकते थे।

एक दिन जब वह आफिस आया तो सबने देखा कि वह बड़ा खुश था। एक अतरंग मित्र उसके पास आया और आहिस्‍ता से पूछा, ''भाबी के साथ सब सुलझ गया लगता है''।

''नहीं यार'', उसने ठहाका लगाते हुये उसके कंधे पर ज़ोर से अपना हाथ मारते हुये कहा, ''मैंने आज से अपना नज़रिया बदल लिया है।''

''क्‍या मतलब\'' दोस्‍त ने हैरानी से पूछा।

''आज से मैंने यह समझना शुरू कर दिया है कि वह मेरे बॉस की पत्नि है जो कभी-कभी मेरे पास आ जाती है।''

(किसी ने सुनाया था)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fleecing the consumer on false promises A criminal act by all counts

Fleecing the consumer on false promises
A criminal act by all counts

by Amba Charan Vashishth

Every producer of consumer goods has a right to promote his/her goods. But can that be on the basis of false claims and promises?

Every other day we come across advertisements in the print and the electronic media with a particular company coming out with very enticing promotion programmes. Buy a particular good and, the advertisement announces, scratch on the item and be "lucky" by grabbing fabulous goods as 'gifts' –one of  your numerous dream cars, hundreds of laptops, scooters/motorcycles, refrigerators, coolers, watches, cookers and what not, worth crores of rupees.

The consumer gets allured. He purchases goods which, at times, he didn't need at once or even at all, but only to grab the lucky chance. It is a gamble for him. But an overwhelming majority of the buyers scratch only to discover dismay. If anybody gets, it is only a petty gift which one could afford to live without.

It is true that companies are not legally bound to pack every good with a costly gift. But, at the same time, they have the responsibility to  honour their commitment to distribute these costly gifts worth crores of rupees. If not A, or B, or C the Z must have got it. Companies never come out with an announcement as to who exactly were the lucky winners of 10 lucury cars, 50 scooters/motor cycles, 30 laptops, and a number of refrigerators and the like.
Some companies are smart enough to announce in print or electronic media that A from Mumbai, B from Kolkata, C from Delhi and so on has won it. But who exactly is this A or B or C? It is very easy to befool the consumer with such announcements because you cannot locate A in Mumbai or B in Kolkata and the like. Since the purchaser is made to give his full name, address with phone numbers and e-mail address, the same should be displayed so that others can be sure that the so-called promised 'gifts' have actually been distributed.
Otherwise, it all amounts to cheating a consumer to part with his money on false promises – a criminal offence.

Why should the Ministry of Company Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and those concerned with protecting the consumer rights and preventing unhealthy practices and allurements, not rise to the occasion and make it mandatory for the companies announcing such alluring 'gifts' to publish the complete list with full address? They should not be allowed to get away with because of the laxity of the government agencies.

It is time the Government stumbled out of its slumber to protect the rights of the consumers not to allow unscrupulous manufacturing companies to get away with duping the customers.   

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Congress has turned CBI its greatest political ally

Congress has turned CBI its greatest political ally

Whether CBI is, in the words of the Supreme Court of India, a "caged parrot" or the Congress Bureau of Investigation, as the opposition, particularly the BJP prefers to call it, the fact remains that it speaks the language Congress prompts and acts the way it teaches them to do.
If the Congress is using the administrative machinery to browbeat its opponents, it is only following the footsteps of its British predecessors in indulging in repressive measures the alien administration had been letting loose against the freedom fighters who wanted them to leave the country independent. At the same time, the Congress equally mastered the British art of showering generous favours on those who go out of their way to realize its political designs by hook and crook. If you look at the pictures of the alien rulers and police/army unleashing brutalities and cruelties on those demonstrating against the British rulers and the present ones in independent India, you will discern that nothing has practically changed except that the rulers are not whites. In cases, the present democratic administration appears to be more barbaric against its opponents than did the alien British government. Even women and children do not get spared.
In fact, the energies of the arms of administration – the police, crime investigating agency, income tax department, Enforcement Directorate, CBI, IB, even the National Investigating Agency (NIA) – seem to be concentrated on realizing  the single objective to promote and protect the interests of the ruling party, to whitewash the black spots on the face of the ruling class and to harass all its political opponents who stand as a hurdle in catering to the whims and caprice of the rulers at whatever cost to the nation.  In fact, the present rulers have come to make its own narrow political and electoral interests synonymous with those of the nation. 
The ruling party administration spares the rod and spoils the ruling party recalcitrants who get pampered to indulge in more wrongdoing, crimes and corruption. The arms of law get shortened when the person belongs to the ruling dispensation but get longer if it is the non-Congress parties and individuals. They get more cruel and ruthless. The truth in this respect is all pervading.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal leveled charges of more or less the same nature against both the then BJP national President Shri Nitin Gadkari  and Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, though  in latter's case the charges were much more serious because these involved favouritism by some Congress-ruled States. In Vadra's case the UPA government and Congress instantly dismissed the allegations as frivolous, baseless and motivated. The government lost no time to issue a certificate of "innocence" to Shri Vadra.  The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) expressed its inability to ”order a probe in business dealings between two private entities". But that was equally true in the case of allegations against Shri Gadkari too.  Later, the PMO claimed that "while the Right to Information Act aims at creating transparency to contain corruption and increase accountability, it also seeks to ensure that revelation of information, in actual practice, does not harm or adversely affect other important public interests which include efficient functioning of the governments, optimum use of limited fiscal resources, and preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information." (


The allegations against Shri Gadkari too constituted "business dealings between two private entities" to which the PMO claimed that it could not order investigation. When Shri Nitin Gadkari was likely to file his nomination for another term of office as BJP President on January 23, 2013 the Income Tax Department conducted a raid on Shri Gadkari's business concerns on January 22. After that both the IT Department and the Government have gone silent. Nobody knows the outcome of the raids and investigation. According to a Sunday Guardian report, nothing incriminating has been established against Shri Gadkari. 
In fact, CBI seems to be burning midnight oil to function as the defence counsel for those belonging to the ruling party can and a diehard prosecutor bent upon somehow or the other to involve those opposed to the ruling party.
CBI conduct in the investigation into cases concerning the 2002 Gujarat riots and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots is a case in instance. It presented closure reports in cases against Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler though it failed to realize the ruling party's objective when the court refused to oblige. When after 29 years the court handed out a verdict of not guilty against Sajjan Kumar it took more than two months for the CBI to file an appeal against the judgement in the higher court. Case against Jagdish Tytler has been reopened under court orders.
But in Gujarat, all CBI energies are concentrated on framing the BJP leaders. Its anxiety – and of Manmohan Government – in the Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter seems nothing else but only to somehow or the other to frame Gujarat CM Shri Narinder Modi and other BJP bigwigs.
Criminal cases of assets beyond known sources of income against former UP chief ministers, Ms Mayawati and Shri Mulayam Singh have not been taken to their logical conclusion during the last 9 years. CBI stand on these gets fluctuated with the change of stance of these leaders towards the Manmohan government. In a similar case where Shri Lalu Yadav and his wife were acquitted, CBI did not, deliberately, for understandable political reasons, file an appeal in a higher court obviously only because he remains steadfast to prove himself as the savior of Congress government at the Centre in times of crises.
The CBI case against Shri Lalu Yadav in the fodder scam continues to hang fire for the last over a decade, courtesy again of CBI, although similar cases against officials have been decided long ago and the guilty punished.
Another stark contrast is the CBI dilly-dallying the investigations and prosecution of cases concerning 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games, Adarsh Housing and Coalgate scandals. Except for the intervention of the courts, no minister responsible for the scams has been brought to book.  The investigation into these cases is moving at a snail's pace.
Latest is the case involving the Railway Minister Pawan Bansal. Instead of being made a co-accused, he has been made a witness. Nobody today, as a person remarked, is willing to offer even a cup of tea if he doesn't expect a return favour. But CBI in this case, makes people believe that an individual of the rank of a general manager of Railways was so foolish as to strike a Rs. 10 crore bribe deal and to part with Rs. 2 crores initially without being certain that Bansal's nephew would be able to get from the minister what he wants.
Actually, it is proving true the old Hindi saying: jab saiyyan bhaye kotwal to dar kahe ka" (When the kotwal is our benefactor, why should one worry?) It is also providing credence to the widely accepted notion that CBI is the greatest political ally of the UPA.
When the Supreme Court directed the UPA government to take steps to make the "caged parrot" free, all it seems to be trying to do is to free it from the cage with freedom restricted to fly only within a room closed from all sides under UPA supervision. It has claimed its right to monitor, a synonym for influencing, the course of investigation in "politically sensitive" cases. That betrays the real intentions of the Congress.                                                                       ***