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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

West Bengal, Mamati-di and NO-NO

Posted by abyjain on August 31, 2008

So this whole Nano nautanki has been going on for a few days now and Tata’s have even asked the workers to stop reporting for work. Of course, these are high stakes games and one cannot predict how it will end and who will blink BUT …

However much you try reading in the mainstream media, there really isn’t any fair comment or on-the-ground news about what is right and wrong with both the sides. I’m a firm believer in “there’s another side to it” and I would like to know both. Also, knowing that Mamata is a politician and Tatas are Tatas, I tend to give the T’s the benefit of doubt.

At the end of the day, this fight against industry is NOT going to be very good for all these states. I understand that there might be genuine problems and there may be foul play by these very industries and the vested interest parties but why don’t we ever come up with an optimal solution?

Does anyone know of any articles or pieces available online which gives a fair picture of the situation on the ground in Singur?

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Posted in India, Investment, Politics, Progress | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Blame it on the … Chindians!!

Posted by abyjain on June 8, 2008

Highly opinionated! That’s what I am.

One of those opinions being – The west is too obsessed with itself, and knows too little about the rest of the world. What they think they know, is surprisingly inaccurate and misinformed.

Only to prove this point, the western media and the officials of Public or Private Service keep going on and on and on about how China and India are responsible for all the ills that the world is facing today.

On the Commodity pricing front – They keep going on about how the fast increasing demands of foodgrains and energy fuels is igniting the price of commodities all over. Of course, some bit of it is our contribution, but… but… but…

a) I am sure speculators and all these traders on energy and commodity exchannges have a HUGE part to play

b) Actually, per capita consumption of foodgrains is HARDLY going up in India, even in comparison to the US. Especially if they consider how much they are now converting into biofuel etc. Some big names, who keep passing the buck to Chindia like the man known as Bush, just love leading the public down false paths. Obviously he has all the information and all the data… but of course the American people like to hear that someone else is responsible for all the so-called misery.

On the energy and fuels front, of course there is growth in India, but does anyone BOTHER to check what is the per-capita consumption in the west and what it is in India. If not that, have they checked what is the TOTAL consumption of western economies or America as compared to India???

On the global warming and emissions front – has anyone checked what is the total emissions of the US against the total emissions of India? Forget per capita, that thing is not even worth mentioning. Every leader is convinced that the environment cannot be helped unless the “fastest growing” economies come on-board, but has anyone thought how much emissions can be controlled if the US emissions went down by 5% or 10%?

The west has been polluting and developing at this pace for the last 50 years. They are enjoying the living standards and the economic conditions for which the price has already been paid. Now they should be the ones making up for it. Give these new economies a chance to flower.

I would sincerely advise these leaders to stop misleading their vote-banks and take some hard decisions. Of course no one likes to say/hear the truth, but blaming it all on Chindia will not help. Even the most logical person will neither expect the Chindians to keep living like the scum of the planet and nor will the Chindians pay the price for all the havoc the west has wreaked on the planet. We will drive gas-guzzling SUVs too and we will eat junk food and becomes obscenely fat like American kids too. If you’re hurt that the government subsidizes gas prices, then you should read the fine print and know that they tax us back and make gas still MORE EXPENSIVE than it is in the US.

Stop crying babies! The real growth and transfer of power is yet to come.

Posted in Global awareness, India, Mindsets, Politics, Progress, World | Leave a Comment »

Crying, whining investors in India

Posted by abyjain on January 23, 2008

Mathematically if,

DD – domestic demand; FD – foreign demand; SP – stock price

then SP is in equilibrium with DD + FD.

SP = FD + DD (simplistically put)

When FD goes down, SP also has to go down unless DD makes up for it. But of course, we Indians are masters of “follow the leader” and when FD goes down, DD goes down by 1.5 times of FD. So what do we expect? Chidambaram should take care of the SP!!!! Crazy fools I say.

There are tons and tons of articles in the print media and on the TV about how families in Gujarat have been wiped out and how angry protestors outside the BSE were shouting slogans against the finance minister of India. I have a few points to raise to this:

a) When the Indian markets have been going through the roof for the past n number of months, how many of these protestors sent flowers or roses to the finance minister. Of course, none of these jokers was making money in the markets during all these days!! Most of the people I know closely are all still holding positive positions in their portfolios. So I would really like to meet the people who had a bad enough investment strategy to “wipe out their family” due to a correction which takes you back to levels seen just a few months ago.

b) Most sane investors would still have positive positions in the market if they have been investing regularly and not only in the last 6 months. The only real losers in the market today would be people who thought there was a quick and easy way to make money in the equity markets. These people were either leveraged (using money that was not theirs to risk) or foolhardy (jumping in just to make a killing). If these people do not understand that the markets follow a simple risk-reward philosophy then there is no one to be blamed.

c) Most of the stock prices will come back close to their earlier levels sooner or later. Investors who even invested at the lows of 22nd of January have also MADE a lot of money within this correction. The only stocks that will not come back to erstwhile levels are the ones where the most foolish people were treading. You cannot fault the SEBI or the finance ministry for that.

d) There is a lot of comment about how the FIIs come in to India, make money and leave! How crazy is that. If we used our own brains, and instead of selling stocks at moments like these, bought them and then sold them when the FIIs are back, then who would be the one making profit. We don’t lose money cos of the government or the FIIs, we lose it because we are following the FIIs in buying and selling instead of leading them.

I could go on and on, but the moot point is that the India story really is intact. Indian companies really are growing and no consumers income has gone down due to a stock market correction. Since all this demand is continuing to grow, Indian markets will keep growing. I would request our whining friends to stop making a political issue out of a worldwide correction and instead focus their attention on which are the right investment strategies for the future.

Edit:

US and Europe fell again after trading hours in India – Does this mean we’re in for another fall investing opportunity tomorrow?

Posted in India, Investment, Money, Politics | 1 Comment »

Gulfnews: The common man continues to suffer

Posted by abyjain on August 11, 2007

–> Gulfnews: The common man continues to suffer <– the root cause of this post

There’s a decently written article on the link above on how the “common man” continues to suffer in India after 60 years of independence. Sentences from the said editorial goes like this – “But why should all the sacrifice and suffering be the fate of the common man? He gave his all during the independence movement. What about those who wallow in luxuries in every regime and in every clime?”

My polite submission to the writer is… why are we assuming that the “common man” fought for independence? I’d believe that it was the uncommon and gritful man who fought… and for every other achievement of India/Indians or over the world… it is the uncommon man who does something. The plight of some many in India is such only because they choose to be “common” and carry it on their shoulders like a weapon. It is the common doctor in Indian hospitals who goes on strike because he is not paid enough for (not) working, it is the common hawaldar who asks for a bribe when you have already been robbed… and it is the common minister who makes sure the development of the masses just does not happen.

Of course I agree with a lot of stuff that is written in the article, but the author forgets that the privatisation and other recent evils that he talks about were absent till a decade or two ago. I’m sure India was doing much worse with the so-called Hindu rate of growth then. At least now I see myself moving forward economically and with my standard of living. And of course this is not a one-off statement. Who can deny that there is a sense of well-being and optimism all over the (urban side at least that I know of) country. A lot of things are wrong in the country, and a lot of us, including myself, have done precious little to make it better… but let’s just stop using the “common” platform as a weapon to get everything for free. If education will remain a low priority of the people, and if archaic belief systems that put whole families in debt will not be shed then the farmers that our high commissioner talks about will continue to die.

The “Common man” in India can not do well… he can not be prosperous, and hence can not be happy… at least not in the near future. The reason for that is simple… there are too many common men & women in our country. With the productivity levels that we have, especially on the agriculture side… prosperity is not possible for 1 billion+ common men. If one does not have the courage to be uncommon, then one should not complain… I think. After all… you’re doing as well as the average! And our population pyramid does not permit us to distribute freebies to such numbers. It is NOT, and I would repeat –NOT a crime for an Azim Premji or Sunil Mittal or anyone else to earn as much as they do… we perhaps forget the amount of jobs and careers that they have helped create. These gentlemen are perhaps far more helpful in building the lives of some of the common Indians than any politician who served s@%ewed India… or the ones who established the huge monoliths of public enterprise that not only suck in taxpayer money but also provide electricity or phone services or civic amenities at pathetic levels of competence.

Those who wallow in luxury in every regime and every clime (from the linked article) are precious few, if they exist at all. Everyone, I am sure, has had to fight for what they have sooner or later, whether it was Dhirubhai Ambani or the Birlas or Tatas. Let us not sell them so short and assume that just connections or simple bribery or some magic wand from Diagon Alley made them billionaires and they wallowed in the lap of luxury ever after.

Posted in Corruption, India, Mindsets, Money, Politics, Progress | Leave a Comment »

Jinnah must be rolling in his grave

Posted by abyjain on August 9, 2007

Jinnah must be rolling in his grave

I found a very interesting fact today while reading something totally disconnected with the issue – That Nusli Wadia is the grandson of Jinnah – the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah had only one daughter and she had stayed back during partition and married a Parsi, who later converted to christianity. Nusli Wadia though turned back to being a Parsi… and has had a pretty complicated life with the family, religion, politics and business. The article linked above on a Pakistani newspaper and more pages at Wikipedia and here at The Times of India speak about this affair. At heart is also the Jinnah property in Mumbai worth thousands of crores that Nusli Wadia’s mother is fighting for. This property was not declared “evacuee” property after the partition as the daughter did not go to Pakistan and as a goodwill gesture from Nehru.

History is so interesting.

Posted in History, India, Money, Politics | Leave a Comment »

India & Pakistan

Posted by abyjain on July 29, 2007

In spite of the fact that we share so much with each other, India and Pakistan have always been at loggerheads. Unlike the siblings who grow up to love and help each other through troubling times, we’re the estranged half-siblings who gloat at each stumble the other one takes. What we fail to realise is that each of these stumbles hurts the oneself as much as the other one. A weak or unhappy Pakistan is always going to be a problem for India and vice versa. Political instability, especially, is one of the biggest drivers of cross-border unhappiness. The reason is not difficult to spot – A weak government’s only hope of keeping itself alive is to divert attention to international issues (even when they may be non-existent) and then to either go to war or just generally raise the ante in the int’l arena.

Musharraf, has possibly, done his share of good work for the uplift of Pakistan. I am not a very enlightened person on whether this is all for good or not, but is it not strange that a Pakistan-born top man in India’s establishment and an India-born top man in Pakistan’s establishment can not bring India and Pakistan closer to each other.

In expat communities, it’s the Pakistanis who give company to the Indians and vice versa. We’re the same at heart, and we go back such a long way. A lot of us think how it would be if we had a single cricket team, or a single hockey team.

Distrust can only take you so far. For the amount of money we would have spent on the military, India and Pakistan could have been two very different nations if the same money had gone to development of the masses. We could be two different countries if politicians did not have the neighbour-bashing opportunity to divert our attention from the real issues that face both these countries internally. A lot of our people actually do believe in the evil-ness across the border, but then most others realise we are all humans, and India and Pakistan have too much in common for us to be too different from them. I think we should leave the past behind and move on to bigger issues. A strong and safe neighbour is good for both of us. Imagine, if a lot of the citizens are happy and content and building their own live with their families, then why would be have terrorism and fighting and finger-pointing. These are all gifts of unhappiness and illiteracy. Lets point our magic wands at them.

Couple of good articles:

http://gulfnews.com/opinion/columns/world/10142517.html

Posted in India, Politics | 1 Comment »