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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wanted! A Training Course In Corruption?

Scam after scam! The marathon is not willing to stop. Adarsh Society, 2G Spectrum, Kickbacks for Loans, Land Grabbing. You name it!

What all these prove? One thing only. Everybody is bent upon making the extra buck—by hook or by crook as we have said earlier in this space. Corruption has taken deep roots in our hearts. It is fast becoming a culture. And why not! Jobs are being sold and bought in most of the places. If one buys a job or career for a hefty price s/he would first like to recover the cost very quickly. Salary recovery will be very slow. So, corruption gets ingrained into it.

Considering the widespread acceptability a foolproof training course in corruption is the need of the hour. This is bound to help one and all. Besides, this will also help prevent scams to surface.

The course should have two modules. One—How best to take Bribes. Here three basic factors would come into contention.

Greed: There will be again three varieties. Plain Greed, Greed with intelligence and Greed with power. The first one is the weakest, the second allows lot of negotiating discretion and the third can simply dictate. This one is from the point of view of the bribe taker. Example—Adarsh Society scam.

Exchange of Incentives: This involves both bribe givers and takers. Can be decided on a mutually beneficial basis. Example—2G Spectrum scam.

Level of Desperation: This involves the bribe giver only. The more the level of desperation the more the amount that can be ejected by the taker. Example—Kickbacks for Loans scam.

The second module should be How not to get Caught. This will be very complex. Most experienced corrupt experts would be needed to prepare this module. So, let us set the most essential qualifications for experts:

  • Must be suspended at least 10 times during his/her career.
  • Must be in jail for at least 50 days.
  • Must get at least 100 interrogations or summons.
  • Must have extensively intensive contacts and links.
  • Must be in position of authority for  some part of service career.

Give a thought to developing this training course that would help millions of needful souls!  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lucky Oye!

One day stopping my car at a busy traffic signal a lottery ticket seller came up to me. He was gesticulating displaying a whole bunch of tickets for my kind consent. Never a believer in my lottery luck I politely declined. Disappointed, the seller kept the bunch on my car bonnet and began rearranging them. Then he moved forward. But, moments later he rushed back pointing to a ticket lying on the car bonnet. He picked it up looking at me very meaningfully and waved the ticket towards me saying, ‘This ticket belongs to you, Sir! Don’t let this opportunity slip away!’  As the signal became green and I drove forward slowly furious thoughts invaded my mind. Was that a good omen? Should I have bought it? Damn it! Now it's gone and lost!

A few days later the same incident happened again and I seemed to recognize the seller boy too. This time I noticed one ticket left behind on my car bonnet and observed him closely. He took a few steps away and then suddenly stopped, sorted out the tickets and seemed to miss something. Same time I honked for him. He came back, picked up the ticket and asked me to slide down my window glass. He began pestering me to buy the ticket, because that belonged to me along with the millions written on it.

As I drove forward I was sure this time. No coincidence, no good omen! That was a marvelous piece of salesmanship. They act and enact to make you buy a ticket. The first incident was no longer a riddle. I could not help laugh out loud! 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Adarsh, Action and the Corruption Exchange!

As expected, action was initiated moments after President Obama left India for Indonesia.

Prithviraj Chavan was appointed new Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Prithviraj Chavan who had been a central minister in Delhi has been enjoying a clean image over the years and there are exemplary stories about his efforts at his native town and constituency Karad. He was sworn in at a simple ceremony and he ordered all posters of him removed from all places of the state.

The central Environment Ministry had served notice on the Adarsh Society as to why it should not be demolished. Now the extreme step of demolition becomes extremely likely and why not; corruption must be rooted out.

But, at the same time, something else had also happened. A media channel showcased a veteran politician who made a sensational offer of exchanging most corrupt with less corrupt so that status quo is not disturbed.

You are familiar with telephone exchanges, stock exchanges, traffic exchanges or foreign exchanges. It is bound to take time to realize the full potential of this path breaking offer of a corruption exchange. At the moment it is open only for politicians. Developers must work on it earnestly so that it becomes immediately available for tainted bureaucrats and army officers of the Adarsh Society Scam. ‘Adarsh’ means ‘ideal or model’. This is the time for making it the most ideal exchange for all time to come.

Of course, you can definitely have an exchange of thoughts on this Exchange.

Monday, November 8, 2010

President Obama: Mumbai Taken By Dance!

Mumbai waited with bated breath for the huge event. US President Barack Obama's Air Force One landing at the financial capital Mumbai to start the President's  maiden visit to India. Amidst unprecedented security arrangements and Diwali celebrations in full swing almost everybody in town was intensely focused on Obama.

Yes, the Chief Minister Ashok Chavan did indeed receive the biggest guest possible on earth at the airport and presented him an illustrated book on Maharashtra. Of course, the Chief Minister avoided attending the CEO Business Meet at Trident Hotel or other functions at Taj Palace Hotel for obvious reasons.  The Chief Minister along with some of his cabinet colleagues were invited earlier by the US Consulate for the Meet asking them to bring the invitation letters and identity proofs  for entry!  The Consulate did indeed finally apologize citing security concerns. The most powerful people within the state had enough reasons to be rightfully offended. Coincidentally, Internet servers were down in many localities of the city from just before Obama landed to just before he left!  Was that for security too? Well, many Mumbaikars, living particularity in areas surrounding Taj Palace Hotel, would rather agree; because they lived like prisoners for three days not able to move in or move out or not able to invite guests or not able to celebrate the festival of lights. 

The Media was following Obama like mad, concentrating on what he said and concentrating more on what he did not say. Most of the news channels started jumping to conclusions that President Obama spared Pakistan for strategic reasons and that he came to India only to take and not to give. They conveniently forgot that this part of his tour was not at all on the political platform; that he was yet to meet the Prime Minister or that he had yet to reach the political capital Delhi. Possibly all the foreign affairs experts available in India got a chance to chatter continuously on the channels. 

Mumbai was moved by the positive energy oozing out of the US President and the First Lady Michelle Obama. They won hearts wherever they went. The very first day the First Lady proved what a perfect dancer she was! While BaracK Obama talked hard business Michelle Obama danced away to a perfect tune with handicapped children.
And lo! The most powerful man of the world danced too, literally, giving in to the lively rhythm  of  Marathi fishermen folk songs along with his perfect dancer wife at a school that the couple visited to celebrate Diwali the second day. 

Meeting the future generation at a city college President Obama interacted healthily answering difficult and awkward questions with amiable sincerity.  

Moments...lively moments....Mumbai would remember and relish forever. Good Luck, Mr. President!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scam, Diwali and Obama!

Yes. all the shades are there! The Adarsh Society Scam of Mumbai is raging with the Chief Minister of the state of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan in the dock and many others in the ministerial cum ex-ministerial cum top bureaucratic hierarchy deeply involved.

A Society building  in a plot supposedly belonging to the Indian Army, a society building supposedly for the widows of martyrs of Kargil, a society building supposedly to be a six story affair soaring to 31 floors eventually and a society building decidedly in the richest and poshest locality of India. Even if widows would have been given the flats how on earth could they have maintained themselves in the costliest neighborhood!

And so, over the decade every famous and powerful managed themselves one or more flats. Today in the Times of India, a national newspaper that exposed the scam, one top retired bureaucrat belligerently justified his two flats, ' You see, my father was an army officer and so my mother deserved a flat, then my daughter being the granddaughter of my father deserved one too!'

Things are in a heap with Diwali, the festival of lights, starting on 5th of November and..dear me...US President Barack Obama arriving in Mumbai on 6th on his three day visit to India. Obama is looking forward to celebrating Diwali in this sparkling city and unprecedented security arrangements are being made. Maybe for this twin big reasons the Congress party high command is delaying the decision on Chavan's offer of resignation. While the State Chief should indeed receive the huge profile guest the opposition parties  are clamoring for disallowing a corrupt chief to do so! 

Anyway, Happy Diwali to all! Let the lights clear the doubts. And, let us all try to announce 'ALL IS WELL!'
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