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Archive for March, 2009

‘28th March 2009 had been declared as the D-Day for ‘saving Mother Earth’…or so they said…

‘The City will vote for Mother Earth’, they added…’

‘An “Earth Hour @ Kochi” initiative has been launched’ , they shouted at the top of their voices , for good measure…

Kochi’s venerable Mayor , who couldn’t and didn’t do anything to make Kochi a mosquito-free and garbage -free city , lost no time to get on to the band wagon and exhort the people of Kochi with appropriate ‘blah…blah’ , appealing to them to switch off all electrical appliances and lights from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm .

Some of the richie-rich public schools were also roped in to be a part of this much hyped ‘save earth’ campaign. Our ‘SMS community’ thrived and flashed messages right and left to grab a piece of the action. …All in the name of ‘preventing global warming’ !

Candles were bought by the hundreds and adorned the darkened house-fronts, to let all know ( that in fact indeed was the aim ) that the house owner has also been hooked. Not to be satisfied with this level of ‘participation’ hundreds of people were herded into a green public play ground in Kochi at night to light equally hundreds of candles during the dark hour , maybe to help the organisers to be in the lime light, or shall we say candle light, and to add CO2 pollution to the already intolerably polluted city skies. A number of candle merchants made a bumper sale of candles in the process…

All this as a part of the ‘global’ war against ‘global warming’, we were told… This ‘initiative’ ,as it was called , was apparently launched in 2007 as a one-day-in-a-year ritual , by some electrical power-hungry and high-pollution contributing cities of the world , first in Sydney, and then in cities like London, Hong kong, Los Angeles and some 80 odd others .These cities have hardly ever known what it takes to go without electric power daily for any length of time in all their lives ..Except perhaps when nature ‘whamed’ them with a severe blow in their solar plexus in the form of natural disasters like storms,  earthquakes ,typhoons etc. during which power lines get uprooted. So they can well afford an hour’s voluntary power outage.

Here in India, in States like Kerala, already the folks are tottering under forced power disconnects and have to suffer them daily . Involuntary power cuts by the Electricty Boards for no fault of the people… half an hour a day for the last one year or more. If what the ‘global’ blokes claim is true then this part of the Mother Earth should have gone into an ice age long ago , cold and freezing…

Any one who looked at the TV screen on night of 28th could have clearly seen the fallacy in the whole event. All the TV channels were blazing away at full speed with business as usual… except perhaps one that kept on flashing continuously an alert to switch off the lights. Apparently that too was not off the air. Apart from that, many street lights ( leaving those that were permanently fused and never replaced by the authorities ) as also the lights of many private and public establishments were ablaze for the whole world to see. Google Earth would have had a field day…. Is not the ‘Earth Hour’ applicable to them as well?

And all this drama just for one hour an year! At all other times monstrous traffic streams and  mamoth establishments that consume tons of electricity at peak times in the big cities go on spewing out dangerous gases into the atmosphere and nothing is done to keep in check the proliferation of the dangers from their operation. And yet we the ‘under-privileged (power-wise) as usual are exhorted to emulate (read ape) the Western World … just so some of the ‘highty-mighty’ moguls here can identify themselves with a ‘global cause’…

What the heck did we achieve by this blind yet pathetic ‘show of solidarity with so-called ‘the rest of the world’ ? Except perhaps adding more pollution to the Mother Earth that they were trying to cool? On the positive side of course the KSEB reportedly gained a saving of more than 500MW, 200MW more than what they were robbing us daily through their 30 mintues power cuts ! Going from there, if only the power guzzlers around the rest of globe accepted a 30 mintues power cut daily like we are undergoing now (some wit may even call it the ‘Kerala Model’ ) a lot more ‘cooling’ may have come out of it , who knows?…

In retrospection, it appears that we here in India usually suffer from a strong dose of the ‘so-called ‘Crillon complex’ in situations like this. “The Crillon complex is an urge to be present at the making of history. Those who do not make it often try to create parallel situations and some of them are indeed hilarious”… , wrote the veteran Journalist Jaibhoy Joseph sometime ago in Indian Express .

Nothing fits this description better than our own pathetic laughable show of yesterday

CLICK HERE… >>>Yet Another Hype…

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The City of Kochi had been reeling under many woes since long, a major one being the high volume of traffic that is has to handle every day, constrained as it is with many limitations. Narrow roads, poor maintenance, next-to-nil people civic sense, apathy of the Administration and oft-quoted lack of funds all could take credit for this glorious state of affairs. I have touched upon these in some of my earlier blogs also…

A few years ago a proposal was mooted by the Regional Transport Authority to construct a modern bus terminal in Vyttila on a piece vacant land owned by the Agricultural Department  and shift the present KSRTC bus shelter  there.   The Kochites breathed a big sigh of relief because  this could  ease the traffic congestion in the city since all long-distance buses need not then crowd into the city roads and create traffic jams.

The   Agricultural Department however fought tooth and nail the proposal  to prevent transferring of the land , citing some ludicrous reasons like having ‘elaborate plans’ to conduct ‘agricultural research’ there  . But a pathetically small shed was the only ‘elaborate research centre’ one could see there. Finally  they relented and  agreed to surrender some land to the District Panchayath for the purpose of constructing the bus shelter ….all that of course was a long time ago –  Many  many years , to be specific…

But it is now understood that these two have quarreled like warring kids and the whole project  has been dropped !  Just like that , after all those ‘hemmings’ and ‘hawings’… ! Inter-departmental and vested interest squabbles have nipped in the bud many good proposals in Kerala in the past . The way things are going now , this one is also sure  to go  into history   …. Unless of course the minister concerned  keeps up his promises to “look into it for an amicable solution”, whatever that may mean!

There is also a  possibility that the project will bite the earth since the District Panchayath guys  are now  mumbling darkly that the directives of the Centre on the issue of ‘misuse’ of agricultural land for ‘other purposes’ will also need some  looking into …

In the meanwhile,  KERAFED  had attempted to start a coconut milk powder factory there , for which a foundation stone had already been laid in December 2004 , Their efforts were  effectively thwarted by the Corporation who denied clearance for the factory  on some technical grounds. After that  KERAFED  started ‘looking into’ the possibility of setting up an agricultural farm there  and starting some serious agricultural research  themselves !
Thus many things were and are  under ‘active’ consideration…except  a  Bus shelter !

So keep looking, boyos, keep looking … Keep looking all you want . That is one sure way of not doing anything…

And Kochi’s traffic jams  in the meanwhile ? Of course, of course yes,  that too will need some
looking into !

CLICK HERE>>>vip-lookout

Read Full Post »

The City of Kochi had been reeling under many woes since long, a major one being the high volume of traffic that is has to handle every day, constrained as it is with many limitations. Narrow roads, poor maintenance, next-to-nil people civic sense, apathy of the Administration and oft-quoted lack of funds all could take credit for this glorious state of affairs. I have touched upon these in some of my earlier blogs also…

A few years ago a proposal was mooted by the Regional Transport Authority to construct a modern bus terminal in Vyttila on a piece vacant land owned by the Agricultural Department  and shift the present KSRTC bus shelter  there.   The Kochites breathed a big sigh of relief because  this could  ease the traffic congestion in the city since all long-distance buses need not then crowd into the city roads and create traffic jams.

The   Agricultural Department however fought tooth and nail the proposal  to prevent transferring of the land , citing some ludicrous reasons like having ‘elaborate plans’ to conduct ‘agricultural research’ there  . But a pathetically small shed was the only ‘elaborate research centre’ one could see there. Finally  they relented and  agreed to surrender some land to the District Panchayath for the purpose of constructing the bus shelter ….all that of course was a long time ago –  Many  many years , to be specific…

But it is now understood that these two have quarreled like warring kids and the whole project  has been dropped !  Just like that , after all those ‘hemmings’ and ‘hawings’… ! Inter-departmental and vested interest squabbles have nipped in the bud many good proposals in Kerala in the past . The way things are going now , this one is also sure  to go  into history   …. Unless of course the minister concerned  keeps up his promises to “look into it for an amicable solution”, whatever that may mean!

There is also a  possibility that the project will bite the earth since the District Panchayath guys  are now  mumbling darkly that the directives of the Centre on the issue of ‘misuse’ of agricultural land for ‘other purposes’ will also need some  looking into …

In the meanwhile,  KERAFED  had attempted to start a coconut milk powder factory there , for which a foundation stone had already been laid in December 2004 , Their efforts were  effectively thwarted by the Corporation who denied clearance for the factory  on some technical grounds. After that  KERAFED  started ‘looking into’ the possibility of setting up an agricultural farm there  and starting some serious agricultural research  themselves !
Thus many things were and are  under ‘active’ consideration…except  a  Bus shelter !

So keep looking, boyos, keep looking … Keep looking all you want . That is one sure way of not doing anything…

And Kochi’s traffic jams  in the meanwhile ? Of course, of course yes,  that too will need some
looking into !

CLICK HERE>>>vip-lookout

Read Full Post »

The 15th Lok sabha elections are around the corner…but I am at cross roads , as are many , I am sure, regarding the choice of whom to vote for.. There is little to choose from , despite the frantic show-casing by the various aspirants for the right to misrule…

Thinking about people like Shibu Soren, Pappu Yadav , Muralidharan etc.   makes me puke..Are we going to send again another bunch  of this genre into that beautiful round citadel of Democracy?

But then who else to select? If the guy is good he is in the wrong party and if the Party is good they have no good guys we can vote for .

Crores of rupees are spent on election propaganda both above and below the table ..for what? To get the coziest job going around…the People’s Representative ! Free Bunglows, free food, free drinks , free…  er…well , y’know !
They come with folded hands and that silly ingratiating smile on their lips to coax you to place the  “tick’’  against their names. Once done you are history…

I had not voted for quite some time now and I don’t think that , even if I had   , it would have made a world of difference to the mess that we have the gall to call ‘Governance’ , be it at the Centre or the States…

One of the national news papers is now busy exorting the so-called ‘youth’ of the country, especially the first timers ,  to come forward and  cast their votes without fail. They may well come – in fact many of the interviewed made a brave show of duty consciousness- but if at all they did  , do we have an impressive array  of names lined up for them to chose from other than some tainted,  crooked and self serving  renegrades. ?

One look at their credentials  and I am sure this is what would happen

CLICK HERE..>>>Between The Devil and the Deep Sh..!

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Roads everywhere  in the world are used for transportation of people and goods…but not in Kerala , the Gods Own Country…

Here, they appear to have been built  for an entirely different purpose – for political parties and other ‘aggrieved’ groups to show off their collective might . These people attempt to achieve this by blocking busy roads through the mechanism of an ‘indegenously’  developed   ingenuous  methodology called ‘Processions’ –also known as “Demonstrations” ,   equally deadly !  Perhaps that is one reason why the maintenance of the roads doesn’t rate very high in the our Government’s priorities. After all, they are not meant for people or vehicle movement…so why bother?

There are Processions and Processions. Some are ‘nano’-sized,  a few  numbers  in strength  and moving in a single file ,  mewing mildly as it were.  Then  there are ‘Mother of all Processions’ which comprise of hundreds or even thousands of people advancing belligerently and occupying entire width of roads, sometimes even  spilling over the edges.  They roll broad side on and like  “Godzilla”, raze everything in their path to the ground , leaving  behind mind-boggling  amounts of trash , waste and empty rum bottles…

Irrespective of their make up , political leanings  or their so called ‘cause’, they all achieve the same ultimate end….  block the roads and traffic movement for varying lengths of time ,  depending on the speed of their progress and  the whims  of their organisers  .

The progress of these Processions varies  from slow to dead slow.  And during their passage  the traffic and public wait stoically, albeit cursing silently. Most  Processions  follow the dictum:   “Maximum Inconvenience to Maximum People”. Of course, the hardships caused by them  to the general public may not be as severe as those caused by  ‘Bandhs ‘and ‘Hartals’. But they  clock  on the Richter scale for public life disturbance- had there been one – only a couple of notches below those of the latter  variety.

Slogans are an inseparable part of these shows of stage-managed anger…  They however appear to be of a standard format with ‘place holders’ where the words appropriate to the event being enacted are substituted. These slogans are chanted by the leader in a sonorous voice and repeated by the followers in a mindless drone with badly orchestrated body movements .

It  is a moot question whether any of those who mouth these slogans  really understand or care about what they say .  It is alleged that for the ‘heavy weight’ processions , bus loads of people are invariably  brought in from outside  with the promise of  food , drink and money . It has become just another job and  a means of lively hood for these ‘Professional Processionists’…

All  Processions  are invariably  organised on working days and at a time  when the office goers and school going kids are sure to get  hit hard.  Neither the Police nor the Administration seems to  be able to do anything about it. Violence is invariably a part and parcel of these events  which needs only a small catalyst to erupt . The police  stand as mute spectators  of these undemocratic manifestations-ostensibly for crowd control , instead of being elsewhere looking after other more pressing  law and order situations …

In Hyderabad , it was mentioned in the papers, there is a law banning rallies and processions, albeit in anticipation of the forthcoming elections… Here we fret and fume, Haplessly…Helplessly…

I sometimes wonder what really is achieved through these demos! Sorry… bad thinking!

Will the  people of Kerala ever get a respite from these ‘pain in the bottom’s ? From the look of things…..narry a chance!… Unless  we   organise an antidote for this nuisance .

CLICK HERE..>>Road blockers of the worst kind

Read Full Post »

Roads everywhere  in the world are used for transportation of people and goods…but not in Kerala , the Gods Own Country…

Here, they appear to have been built  for an entirely different purpose – for political parties and other ‘aggrieved’ groups to show off their collective might . These people attempt to achieve this by blocking busy roads through the mechanism of an ‘indegenously’  developed   ingenuous  methodology called ‘Processions’ –also known as “Demonstrations” ,   equally deadly !  Perhaps that is one reason why the maintenance of the roads doesn’t rate very high in the our Government’s priorities. After all, they are not meant for people or vehicle movement…so why bother?

There are Processions and Processions. Some are ‘nano’-sized,  a few  numbers  in strength  and moving in a single file ,  mewing mildly as it were.  Then  there are ‘Mother of all Processions’ which comprise of hundreds or even thousands of people advancing belligerently and occupying entire width of roads, sometimes even  spilling over the edges.  They roll broad side on and like  “Godzilla”, raze everything in their path to the ground , leaving  behind mind-boggling  amounts of trash , waste and empty rum bottles…

Irrespective of their make up , political leanings  or their so called ‘cause’, they all achieve the same ultimate end….  block the roads and traffic movement for varying lengths of time ,  depending on the speed of their progress and  the whims  of their organisers  .

The progress of these Processions varies  from slow to dead slow.  And during their passage  the traffic and public wait stoically, albeit cursing silently. Most  Processions  follow the dictum:   “Maximum Inconvenience to Maximum People”. Of course, the hardships caused by them  to the general public may not be as severe as those caused by  ‘Bandhs ‘and ‘Hartals’. But they  clock  on the Richter scale for public life disturbance- had there been one – only a couple of notches below those of the latter  variety.

Slogans are an inseparable part of these shows of stage-managed anger…  They however appear to be of a standard format with ‘place holders’ where the words appropriate to the event being enacted are substituted. These slogans are chanted by the leader in a sonorous voice and repeated by the followers in a mindless drone with badly orchestrated body movements .

It  is a moot question whether any of those who mouth these slogans  really understand or care about what they say .  It is alleged that for the ‘heavy weight’ processions , bus loads of people are invariably  brought in from outside  with the promise of  food , drink and money . It has become just another job and  a means of lively hood for these ‘Professional Processionists’…

All  Processions  are invariably  organised on working days and at a time  when the office goers and school going kids are sure to get  hit hard.  Neither the Police nor the Administration seems to  be able to do anything about it. Violence is invariably a part and parcel of these events  which needs only a small catalyst to erupt . The police  stand as mute spectators  of these undemocratic manifestations-ostensibly for crowd control , instead of being elsewhere looking after other more pressing  law and order situations …

In Hyderabad , it was mentioned in the papers, there is a law banning rallies and processions, albeit in anticipation of the forthcoming elections… Here we fret and fume, Haplessly…Helplessly…

I sometimes wonder what really is achieved through these demos! Sorry… bad thinking!

Will the  people of Kerala ever get a respite from these ‘pain in the bottom’s ? From the look of things…..narry a chance!… Unless  we   organise an antidote for this nuisance .

CLICK HERE..>>Road blockers of the worst kind

Read Full Post »