Saturday, October 19, 2013

PM: I am not a lameduck!

Dear Fellow citizens, 

Our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has decided on the advise of  his core team ministers like Kapil Sibal, Pranab Daa, and his close colleagues from his cabinet, to interact with media on frequent basis and the first press meet was arranged with senior editors of five newspapers last week.

What questions were asked by the senior editors to PM is a matter of question but the PM briefed himself senior editors and all of them came out of the press conference with full satisfaction on whatever PM said. 

Kumar Ketkar when  asked by the electronic media how was the meet, he said it was good. Why was it good? Kumar Ketkar said, PM talked on all the issues and explained his side from LOKPAL BILL to 2G scams, and all other issues people are concerned about.

And what else did he say? 

Nothing much. But he spoke to all of us very frankly and assured us, all the issues our nation is facing for some reasons will soon be solved and solutions will be found.  Kumar Ketkar. 

So what was the message he wanted to give to the nation?

Nothing. He said everything is fine and nothing to worry and we also were convinced with his honesty to have a frank discussion with all of us.

So what the nation should understand from this hi profile meeting?

Well, everything is fine. Media is making stories with sensational Breaking News. So media must act more responsibly and not like gossipers. Kumar Ketkare said.

This is all a creation of media about Prime Minister`s silence on all the scams and so called exposes... which are all baseless and the PM assured all of us on corruption issues that the truth will surface soon from this dirty waters. We all editors felt relived with his assurances and enjoyed snacks and 10 course Buffet lunch arranged for us. The Buffet was delightful, personally PM had selected dishes for all the senior Editors. 

Now only last question to Kumar Ketkar.

Did honorable Editors got White Envelops from PM for being supportive? Hello!!! Kumar Ketkar!??? Where are you??? Please tell us how does section of media and few journalists are supporting Congress and running a prapoganda against BJP and Mr Modi???

Please tell us that.


A Letter to The Editor of The Hindu Daily.

This is a open letter written by Dr Mrs Hilda Raja, Vadodara, about MF Husain objectionable work that hurt sentiments of many Hindus. Aleeter addressed to Senior Editor Mr Ram, of The Hindu Daily. It is her perspective about the unnecessary bravado expressed  on the canvas by a well reputed Master of paintings and offended sentiments of many religious Hindus.  Was it all justified?

Ajay Angre, 
Author, Writer. Publisher.  

Dear Ram,
I have taken time to write this to you Ram-for the simple reason that we have known you for so many years- you and The Hindu bring back happy memories Please take what I am putting down as those that come from an agonized soul. You know that I do not mince words and what I
have to say I will-I call a spade a spade-now it is too late for me to learn the tricks of being called a ‘secularist’ if that means a bias for, one, and a bias against, another.

Hussain is now a citizen of Qatar-this has generated enough of heat and less of light. Qatar you know better than me is not a country which respects democracy or freedom of expression. Hussain says he has complete freedom-I challenge him to paint a picture of Mohammed fully clad.

There is no second opinion that artists have the Right of Freedom of expression. Is such a right restricted only to Hussain? Will that right not flow to Dan Brown-why was his film-Da Vinci Code not screened? Why was Satanic Verses banned-does Salman Rushdie not have
that freedom of expression? Similarly why is Taslima hunted and hounded and why fatwas have been issued on both these writers? 

Why has Qatar not offered citizenship to Taslima? 

In the present rioting in Shimoga in Karnataka against the article Taslima wrote against the
tradition of burqua which appeared in the Out Look in Jan 2007.No body protested then either in Delhi or in any other part of the country; now when it reappears in a Karnataka paper there is rioting. Is there a political agenda to create a problem in Karnataka by the intolerant
goons? Why has the media not condemned this insensitivity and intolerance of the Muslims against Taslima’s views? 

When it comes to the Sangh Parivar it is quick to call them goons and intolerant etc. Now who are the goons and where is this tolerance and sensitivity?

Regarding Hussain’s artistic freedom it seems to run unfettered in an expression of sexual perversion only when he envisages the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. There is no quarrel had he painted a nude woman sitting on the tail of a monkey. The point is he captioned it as Sita. Nobody would have protested against the sexual perversion and his orientatation to sexual signs and symbols. But would he dare to caption it as ‘Fatima enjoying in Jannat with animals’?

Next example-is the painting of Saraswati copulating with a lion. Here again his perversion is evident and so is his intent. Even that lets concede cannot be faulted-each one’s sexual orientation is each one’s business I suppose. But he captioned it as Saraswati. This is the
problem. It is Hussain’s business to enjoy in painting his sexual perversion. But why use Saraswati and Sita for his perverted expressions? Use Fatima and watch the consequence. 

Let the media people come to his rescue then. Now that he is in a country that gives him complete freedom let him go ahead and paint Fatima copulating with a lion or any other animal of his choice. And then turn around and prove to India-the Freedom of expression he enjoys in Qatar.

Talking about Freedom of Expression-this is the Hussain who supported Emergency-painted Indira Gandhi as Durga slaying Jayaprakas Narayan.

He supported the jailing of artists and writers. Where did this Freedom of Expression go? And you call him secularist? 

Would you support the jailing of artists and writers Ram –would you support the abeyance of the Constitution and all that we held sacred in democracy and the excessiveness of Indira Gandhi to gag the media-writers- political opponents? 

Tell me honesty why does Hussain expect this Freedom when he himself did not support others with the same freedom he wants? 

And the media has rushed to his rescue. Had it been a Ram who painted such obnoxious, degrading painting-the reactions of the media and the elite ‘secularists’ would have been different; because there is a different perception/and index of secularism when it comes to Ram-and a different perception/and index of secularism when it comes to Rahim/Hussain.

It brings back to my mind an episode that happened to The Hindu some years ago.[1991]. 

You had a separate weekly page for children with cartoons, quizzes, and with poems and articles of school children. In one such weekly page The Hindu printed a venerable bearded man-fully robed with head dress, mouthing some passages of the Koran-trying to teach children. It was done not only in good faith but as a part of inculcating values to children from the Koran. All hell broke loose. Your office witnessed goons who rushed in-demanded an apology-held out threats. 

In Ambur,Vaniambadi and Vellore the papers stands were burned-the copies of The Hindu were consigned to the fire. A threat to raise the issue in Parliament through a Private Members Bill was held out-Hectic activities went on- I am not sure of the nature and the
machinations behind the scene. But The Hindu next day brought out a public apology in its front page. 

Where were you Ram? How secular and tolerant were the Muslims?

Well this is of the past-  today it is worse because the communal temperature in this country is at a all high-even a small friction can ignite and demolition the country’s peace and harmony. It is against this background that one should view Hussain who is bent on abusing and insulting the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Respect for religious sentiments, need to maintain peace and harmony should also be part of the agenda of an artist-if he is great. If it is absent then he cannot say that he respects India and express his longing for India.

Let’s face it-he is a fugitive of law. Age and religion are immaterial. 

What does the media want- that he be absolved by the courts? Even for that he has to appear in the courts-he cannot run away- After all this is the country where he lived and gave expression to his pervert sadist, erotic artistic mind under Freedom of Expression. I simply cannot jump into the bandwagon of the elite ‘secularist’ and uphold what he had done. With his brush he had committed jihad-bloodletting.

The issue is just not nudity- Yes the temples-the frescos in Konarak and Kajhuraho have nude figures- But does it say that they are Sita, Sarswati or any goddesses? 

We have the Yoni and the Phallus as sacred signs of Life-of Siva and Shakthi- take these icons to the streets, paint them -give it a caption, it become vulgar. Times have changed. Even granted that our ancients sculptured and painted naked forms and figures, with a pervert mind to demean religion is no license to repeat that in today’s changed political and social scenario and is not a sign of secularism and tolerance. I repeat there is no quarrel with nudity-painters have time and again found in it the perfection of God’s hand craft.

Let me wish Hussain peace in Qatar- the totalitarian regime with zero tolerance 

May be he will convince the regime there to permit freedom of expression in word, writing and painting. For this he could start experimenting painting forms and figure of Mohamed the Prophet-and his family And may I fervently wish that the media-especially The Hindu does not discriminate goons- let it not substitute tolerance for intolerance when it comes to Rahim and Antony and another index for Ram.

I hope you will read this in the same spirit that I have written. 
All the best to you Ram.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja, Vadodara

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dear Prime Minister...

Is this government of the people
and for the people?

Dear Citizens...

The arrogance of ruling class is growing. The way their ministers are talking in public,
the cheap language they are using against Anna Hazare and other members of civil the
society is annoying.

The remarks by politicians like Kapil Sibal, Digvijay Singh, Renuka Chaudhari, 
Shaqil Ahemed and many others are utterly arrogant and uncivilized.
And that is why it is serious, unacceptable and condemnable.

If this government as it claims had serious charges against Baba Ram Dev, against
his team, his properties, his companies, businesses, his financial matters, it is entirely Govt.
business, the law of the land will decide how to deal with the guilty.

But the question today is different, and it is about fundamental rights of the people staging
peaceful protest. Let us not divert the issue in question this episode has raised.

Why should innocent citizens be beaten up to settle the score with Baba Ram Dev?

At 1 o'clock in the midnight? The people at the venue were all ordinary citizens and not 
terrorists nor gangsters. They were sleeping, not armed, and not  even a threat to law and order.

Why the spinal cords, skulls, legs, arms of the ordinary people were broken?
When it was not their fault?  And why the force of 5000 jawans from Rapid force was used
against innocent  men, women, old men, children and young girls ?

How is it justified? How Prime minister and Home Minister justifies this brutal action?

The fact is, Government had grand plans for using and misusing Baba Ram Dev
against Anna Hazare and his team to split civil society. And as a part of this plan, Baba was
given red carpet welcome at the airport by four senior ministers which was a well planned
political move to demolish Anna Hazare and his crusade against corruption because 
it was becoming increasingly difficult to deal with tough people on the team of Anna Hazare.

So the smart move was planned by few senior Congress ministers to demolish this whole 
movement and Baba walked in the Congress trap. Anna Hazare had warned Baba though.
But the bigger question is not about Congress playing game, it is about ...

After the brutal attack, 40/50 people got injured, some are serious and still struggling with
life in the hospital. But Delhi Police commissioner came on national TV channels and
denied use of excessive Lathee charge on the people when the live TV visuals cleary had
captured the brutal attack on the innocent people on
4th midnight. Camera's do not lie.

Then... what is this massive cover-up going on by the senior Congress ministers
of Manmohan Singh?


There is no regret felt at all ,not even by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. And in the
yesterday's press conference by Home minister, there was a crude attempt made to prove
how the police action was justified with some RSS stories. But the Home minister who
gave some intelligence reports from 2009, never explained the connection between the
reports and the beating of innocent unarmed citizens at 1 in the midnight.

Trying to justify the ACT of excesses on innocent people? Brutality on innocent ?
This government has become insensitive and arrogant.

Even British Empire was not so insensitive and had set up a committee against Gen. Dire
who was responsible for brutal firing on unarmed peaceful gathering at  Jalianwalah Baug.
The British administration did not spare Gen Dire in condemning his brutal, uncalled for act.

But then, Britishers were invaders and foreigners ruling over India. Today, in Independent
India, we are beaten up in our sleep, tear gassed, lathee charged, shot at, crushed by
our own elected government? By our elected representatives? And the act is justified too !!
What a shame??

Isn't it a mockery of our democracy? That few arrogant politicians have started thinking
this country is owned by few politicians, their families, their sons and daughters,
in-laws and ordinary people have no stake in the ownership, no rights whatsoever in the
governance and in ruling, once they get elected.

What a mockery of our democratic rights given by our constitution?

This is a dangerous situation and very similar to 1974 emergency when the same
Congress ruling class had reacted arrogantly and disrespected High court verdict against
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and emergency was introduced for enjoying political powers.

The same Congress who showed its fascists, ugly face in 1974, disrespected court
verdict then, misused intelligence and police. Arrested hundreds of opposition leaders like 
Jayaprakash Narayan and threw them in the jail. Throttled media by banning news broadcast
all over. Today, this Congress is telling civil society
shamelessly that you have fascist agenda?

Dear Citizens... Don't get sucked in.

Today. you make a mistake of misjudging, miss reading this political situation created
once again by same ruling congress,  who wish that, in this democratic independent India,
there should not be a word of opposition to their rule, no protest march, no Uposhan
against their miss governance, their corrupt rule, corrupt politicians, and their collective
loot of this country, YOU will be making a big mistake.

TODAY... Stand behind Anna Hazare firmly once again to protest against the assault
on our democratic and constitutional rights.
Make no mistake, Let the people's power be seen, heard and felt.

Ajay Angre
Author, Writer, Publisher

Air India, politicians and corruption.

 Air India, politicians and corruption

This letter reveals the inside Air India story : By Capt. RL Mathur

Why Air India is going into heavy losses and how corrupt politicians are looting public money.
Read the inside story…

There has been a lot of discussion in the media regarding foreign pilots (also known as “expat pilots”) in the aftermath of the tragic air accident at Mangalore.

The Minister of Civil aviation, many bureaucrats, airline officials and even a few journalists have gone to great lengths to explain how experienced foreign pilots hired by Air India and private airlines are essential to the Indian aviation industry.

 A retired spokesperson of Air India, who has no business to speak on behalf of Air India anymore, has been repeatedly appearing on television to painstakingly explain how important foreign pilots are to the company.

Clearly the air disaster at Mangalore with a foreign pilot at the controls has made a lot of powerful people worried .Very worried.

The point however is not whether foreigners should be allowed in Indian carriers or not. Some of them are highly experienced and respected professionals who have undoubtedly made a huge contribution to the Indian airline industry. This article is not about them.
It is about a shady scheme on gargantuan proportions, backed by government policy and a well oiled system that feeds on unimaginable corruption, on a scale that would astonish every innocent fare paying air passenger.
Air India is a government run Public Sector Undertaking and thus, it is assumed that rules applicable to other government institutions meant to keep corruption under check would apply to it too. The Ministry of Defense, for example has strict rules debarring the involvement of private middlemen or brokers in facilitating defense contracts.
Other ministries have strict guidelines on the recruitment of qualified personnel or consultants where a transparent tendering process has to be adhered to.

In the case of Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express, such rules do not seem to apply at all.

Some years ago, the ministry of civil aviation that ran erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines, cooked up unrealistic passenger growth projections and placed massive aircraft orders for Air India and Indian Airlines. Private airlines only too eager to float shares to rake in public money and capitalize on the hype jumped in the bandwagon. Overnight, hundreds of vacancies for pilots were created.
Air India began hiring foreign pilots in 2003.Other reputed companies like Singapore Airlines and various Gulf Airlines such as Emirates, recruit foreign nationals too but with great transparency. Foreign pilots hired by them are a part of the regular workforce and are directly hired, without involving middlemen, on local terms. European airlines do not hire non EU nationals.
In Air India’s case, no global tenders were floated for foreign recruitment firms and no advertisements in newspapers announcing vacancies for foreign nationals appeared. Bureaucrats and officials in Air India, hand in glove with their counterparts and politicians in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Labor, Home Ministry, Ministry of External Affairs and other agencies hastily cleared the proposal to hire foreign nationals and the policy of recruiting foreign pilots was established. Politicians of opposition parties were roped in and a cozy arrangement was made.
To bypass opposition from its own employees and to circumvent elaborate transparent recruitment procedures and various laws, a defunct subsidiary, Air India Charters Ltd was revived and used as the vehicle to issue foreigners contracts. Hence the hundreds of foreign pilots in Air India and Air Express are routed through Air India Charters Ltd through recruitment firms and then using a legal loophole, deputed to Air India and Air India Express.
Private firms comprising middlemen and brokers, with the respectable title of “Aviation Consultants” were approached and many of these, such as Rishworth Aviation, Parc Aviation and scores of others appeared out of the wood work. Overnight, new consulting agencies sprang up, some in murky tax havens like the Isle of Man and Channel Islands. All suddenly began to offer “experienced” pilots from all parts of the world. Many of these foreign pilots had and continue to have no clear track record. Some claim to have thousands of hours of flying experience in countries as diverse as Russia and Rwanda. Some of the airlines and countries (such as Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia) that these pilots flew in do not even exist anymore. No background checks are carried out by either Air India or the Indian Government. Strangely the agency of middlemen, or “consultant” supplying the pilots, is entrusted with this task.
Lucrative contracts were tailor-made to lure foreign pilots in droves. 
Decades of rules meant to harass Indian pilots such as stringent medical standards were waived off by the government for foreign pilots. Air India’s pilots who are Indian nationals, have to undergo a DGCA medical test known as a Class I medical examination and then are again subjected to an elaborate company medical test known as a Pre Employment Medical Examination (PEME).None of these apply to foreign nationals in India.
For example, an Indian pilot may not be allowed fly an Indian passenger aircraft wearing a pacemaker but a foreigner most probably would because the medical standards in his country allow it. There have been cases where Indian pilots who are permanently medically grounded by Indian authorities get foreign citizenship and foreign licenses and return to India to fly planes on “expat” terms. At least two such “foreign” pilots have served Air India on such a contract.
In fact foreign pilots flying Indian registered aircraft are not even required to have Indian flying licenses! All they had to do is produce “proof “of experience and a foreign license and the DGCA issues a “temporary authorization”. Such “proof” of experience could be a fake certificate or a fake rubber stamp but nobody carries out a background check.

A foreign pilot is not legally answerable to the Indian DGCA since he does not have an Indian License. The DGCA can neither revoke nor suspend his flying license. Technically, an Indian Co Pilot involved in a serious air accident may lose his flying license and his job; whereas the pilot, if he is a foreigner can take the next flight home and start life on a clean slate!

To prevent the foreign pilots from coming under the ambit of direct taxes in India, the pilots are “officially” based in foreign countries such as Dubai and not given “local” terms of employment. Every month Air India pays the foreign recruitment agencies the salaries of these pilots along with a commission or “consultancy fees” to foreign bank accounts. This is turn trickles back to the various politicians and officials who patronize the system.
Not surprisingly, a foreign pilot who recently approached Air India for a job recently was asked to route his application through a recruitment agency!
As a result ,hundreds of crores of income tax that would have normally gone to
the Indian Income Tax Department through TDS had these pilots been based in India, is diverted to foreign bank accounts in foreign countries
“Liaison officers” and “advisors”, meant to “facilitate” business interests, are regularly appointed by these foreign recruitment agencies to “liaise” with the various ministries and departments. Two of Air India’s senior most executives have retired in the past one year and have joined such firms as “liaison” officers. Another, a retired CMD, continues to show great personal interest in negotiating foreign pilots’ contracts on behalf of recruitment agencies.
Foreign pilots are provided more leave, sometimes up to ten days in a month – the justification being that they need to go home to be with their families. Indian pilots flying for Air India Express are made to go on postings for fifteen days at a stretch and given one day off at their home base. Ironically these Indian pilots spend three to four days every month with their families and the foreigners (who could be from neighboring Nepal or Dubai) spend more than a week to ten days every month on holiday.
Foreigners also get paid a higher salary and are entitled to five star hotel accommodations even when not flying. As a result, hundreds of hotel rooms are booked by Air India at exorbitant rates – a percentage of which presumably flows back to some officials.
This murky system in Air India of the past seven years has quietly gone unnoticed. As long as flights took off on time and passengers reached their destinations nobody really cared. Unions cried themselves hoarse- only to be drowned in the din of the money power of powerful lobbies and an ill informed media often hesitant to upset a mega industry that generates lucrative advertisement revenue 
The air crash at Mangalore need not have necessarily been caused by an incompetent foreign pilot. This article is not meant to disrespect the majority of foreign pilots in India. But the larger issue of rampant corruption and greed must be addressed immediately. Little wonder that all the officials in the dishonest food chain are now working overtime to cover up the issue. Sadly the one hundred and fifty eight innocent people that have been killed cannot speak for themselves anymore.

Therefore we, the rest of the nation, must stand up in one voice to demand a CBI enquiry to unravel the mess. We cannot afford to wait for another air disaster to prove the politicians, bureaucrats and officials wrong.
Because the next time a shady foreign pilot from strange country with a dubious qualification or medical history crashes a plane, you and I could actually be on it.
Capt. RL Mathur

Dear Prime Minister,

You will say, these are only allegations. Anyone can make allegations. You need to prove charges. Would you investigate these serious charges to expose the corruption in your government ?