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Archive for the ‘Progress’ 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 »

Force India in F1 and the issue of the No. 1 driver

Posted by abyjain on January 11, 2008

There has been a little bit of a debate in places on

* Vijay Mallya’s acquisition of an F1 team

* Then calling it Force India

* Then getting non-Indian drivers

Just wanted to come out in support of this flamboyant personality who does what he does with style and also ends up making money in the process. As 1% of the 3 readers who read my blog would have noticed, I’m already ecstatic at this development. More so now, when Mr. Mallya has increased the budget of the F1 team from $70M to %120M. He says his aimis to be on the grid by 2010 when F1 should be coming to India. We’ll see about all that but the fact that he has this vision and that he can capitalise (I mean literally in $$$) on such an opportunity is brilliant. There are some people who have been commenting that calling it Force India and then packing it with International drivers makes it un-Indian. Obviously these people have little Idea about F1. F1 is a very intenational sport where teams are formed across nationalities. Yes, he calls it team India, and the ownership alone or even the name alone should be enough to make us get up and support it. If NK or KC were driving a McLaren any other F1 car I’m sure all Indians would support it as much and make it OUR team. Don’t go after Mr. Mallya, if he’s taking us another levl up on the international arena, let him do so in peace, if not with all our support.

Go Force India!!!

On the issue of the No. 1 driver – I really don’t know why people except for the teams at the top like Ferrari or McLaren (well – at the top by cheating) even think about the No. 1 driver. It’s not like it makes any difference if Adrian Sutil is No. 1 or Fisi… he should know enough that he’s not really No.1 at anything if all he could do was come to Force India after these seasons at Renault where Alonso made his career a goldmine. At all of these teams, people will anyway know sooner or later who the better driver is – its usually quite clear and then all this talk only comes back and bites you. So just drive, and stop this debate over who is the No.1 driver. If one is good enough, they will anyway get the opportunity to show it.

Posted in F1, India, Progress | 2 Comments »

F1: Spyker to be called Force India in 2008

Posted by abyjain on October 20, 2007

Originally uploaded by abyjain

And one more “Happy to be an Indian” moment has just come in for me, thanks to Vijay Mallya, who incidentally was also my host for the 2006-2007 New Years eve bash at his palacial residence in Goa.

As per the latest news, emanating from Brazil, Vijay Mallya wants to rename the Spyker team Force India in 2008. That is so amazing. I also wonder, that alongside his party/glamour side which seems to have taken Vijay Mallya into F1, it might even turn out to be a phenomenal money spinner for the beer man. The obvious thing is, there is so much ad-money available in India looking for suitable avenues to spend it on. Now with the whole India concept coming in to F1, with the track in Delhi coming on as well at the end of the decade, this will be a huge opportunity for advertisers.

On top of all this, if the team/Mallya can secure enough money and talent to make it one of the leading teams in F1 (I’d agree that the chances are remote), then I am willing to contend that F1 will only be second to cricket in terms of commercial success in India. The more I think, the more I am inclined to equate this whole operation with genius. It’s creating an opportunity of a lifetime out of nothing to start with. Well done Mr. Mallya – can I have some super VIP passes for your team-truck?

The original article where I got to read this news is available here.

Posted in F1, Formula 1, India, Progress | Leave a Comment »

Formula 1 : News Spyker bought by Vijay Mallya and gang, to be called Orange India – F1-Live.com

Posted by abyjain on September 1, 2007

Formula 1 : News Spyker – F1-Live.com

The news in the link above is AMAZING. Vijay Mallya, in his “personal capacity”, has bought the SPYKER F1 team in a joint bid. The new team will be called “Orange India”. Wowwwwww……. makes my heart swell with pride. Wish we had more people like Vijay Mallya. Flamboyance coupled with a little bit of India makes me feel so good.

Of course, a number of drivers will now be hoping to be a part of the team from India and I am sure a lot of Indian corporate money is going to flow into this team. Yippie! Here we come, F1 world. Any guesses on how long before we produce a world champion? I think that one is going to take some time….

From other news articles, like the one here, at business standard, it appears that the team could even be names Kingfisher Ferrari some day! And that Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandok could be frontrunners for the drivers seat. I am so sure that the money problems of the team are really going to be a thing of the past now. 🙂

Posted in Formula 1, India, Progress | Leave a 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 »

A Young Giant Awakes – 60 Years of Independence – TIME

Posted by abyjain on August 5, 2007

A Young Giant Awakes – 60 Years of Independence – TIME

It’s (the link above) a 7 page story in the TIME magazine’s Europe and Asia issues on how India is reclaiming it’s rightful (and historic) place as one of the hubs of civilization.

What’s interesting is how Rajiv Gandhi’s quote of Mera Bharat Mahaan changed to Mera Bharat Pareshaan and now to Mera Bharat Jawaan!

It is good reading. Makes me happy! And it is so true, so what if real estate prices are going through the roof and there is no place to park or drive… these are all signs of everyone doing well. Like everything else, the infrastructure will also come. Look at my Gurgaon post below 😉

Posted in India, Progress | 1 Comment »

NH-8, the big Gurgaon Highway

Posted by abyjain on July 29, 2007

I know NH-8 is not the big “Gurgaon Highway”, but for us, and for a lot of other people, this is the new lifeline for Gurgaon. I’ve seen it take shape from the nothingness that it was. I have seen places where we earlier went only on drunk nights become hot-spots. The office where I went last in Gurgaon, was totally OUT 5-10 years ago (right opposite 32nd milestone) but now is almost in the main frame of the NCR. Development is so amazing to watch. I’ve often thought – the person who owns 32nd Milestone would have seen his property appreciate a million percent over the years. If I were him, I would consider either selling it off or re-developing it completely, seeing how it sees little business throughout the year. Anyway, I digress… the plans for NH-8 look something like this from what I have read:

A completely new experience is being promised for commuters on the Delhi-Gurgaon highway once the proposed 32-lane toll plaza becomes operational. Slated to be the largest of its kind in India, the hitech plaza would assure speed, transparency and efficiency.

Spokesman of D S Constructions, Rafiq Khan, said, “The automated tolling system at the plaza would also have lanes for commuters where they would not have to stop and pay the toll if they already have toll tags on their vehicles. As it is expected that in the next few months the 27.8 kilometer stretch will witness a huge traffic flow Khan said the plaza has been designed to be flexible enough to be able to change at short notices. Besides 16 lanes per direction, another three special lanes have been planned on both sides to accommodate the slow moving vehicles. However, slowmoving traffic will not be allowed in the toll lanes.”

Significantly, out of the 32 lanes, four lanes in the centre would be `reversible lanes’. This means, according to the requirements of the volume of traffic flow, lanes on either side could be changed to the configuration of 18 lanes and 14 lanes per direction.

Khan claimed that there will be three different colour schemes for three different kinds of tolling systems. The lanes with orange signage would be for those vehicles which would have a smart tag attached on the inside of the windshield and expressway. These lanes will be unmanned and will be in the middle of the toll plaza. The lane with blue signage would be for commuters using a prepaid card called the Contactless Smart Card (CSC) with a transaction time of under 3.5 seconds. With touch and go technology, the commuter has to stop and manually swipe the card without worrying about carrying cash for paying toll.The lane with green signage would be the cash lane and the commuter would have to stop and pay cash at the counter.

Posted in Gurgaon, Home, India, Progress | 3 Comments »