5/5/2009 1:24:00 AM
Pune with its heavy middle class population is literally choking with the Rickshaw strike.Why don't we opt for alternatives like southern cities Bangalore and Coimbatore.
In those cities "Call Taxis" cater to the needs of people of all strata who cannot afford to buy a four wheeler.
I ve always admired this organized "call taxi" system where you can book call taxis by calling the operators with their mobile number.Vehicle is at your doorstep before the specified time.They charge reasonably with a digital meter fitted which displays the amount and kms.As far as safety is concerned,Names of the Taxi operators and their Mobile Numbers are displayed on the body of the Taxi and traffic police note down the numbers when these taxis ply in wee hours.
Call Taxis are best suited for pick up and drop from Railway stations and Bus Stands ,where people have to carry heavy baggages.
I am surprised why pune has not opted for such a wonderful system. I vote for Call Taxi system to put a fullstop to Rickshaw Strike Menace.
3/26/2009 12:32:00 AM
Remember Nayak - where Anil Kapoor a.k.a Shivajirao, a white collared [or whatever collar the media insdustry boast they have] guy enters politics and changes the landscape of Mumbai and Maharashtra??He has no political background, no party flagship, no lobbies behind him; but just a will to do his job honestly and diligently.But then, that's reel-life where nothing's impossible.
The question before me tonight is - Can Arun Bhatia, already with an halo of Honesty over his head be the real life Nayak? My thought process on this matter has intensified since last week, when I had a chance to have a Q&A session with Mr. Bhatia through a video-con, arranged by my friends Sameer and Swapnali.
So, Shivajirao got to be a CM for a day, thanks to a legislative ordinance and also proved his calibre, integrity and honesty - whatever he did on that one day proved to be his USP for the elections, when he contested.
Now let me begin talking about Arun Bhatia with an analogy to this and thereby expressing some of the concerns which people have about him as a lok sabha candidate and Arun Bhatia's answers or my thoughts about it.Firstly, he hasn't been given a one day tenure to prove himself; he is directly contesting the elections, so we will have him as MP of Pune for five looong years. If he succeeds in keeping his commitments, he is a winner and so are his voters. If he doesn't, his voters are the losers.
Bhatia has declared an agenda for improving Pune within 8 months, else he is ready to resign after a year. This should make it up for those supporting to give him a chance [one year tenure as MP] and those who are concerned about what if he fails/wavers [resignation after a year].What would be more practical is if he quantifies his proposals, so that common people from Pune can judge his acomplishments and failures after a year. [Sorry, I know my mind has been infested too much with IT industry process fundas]
Moving forward, there is no ordinance in effect to make Arun Bhatia prime Minister over night, atleast not yet. He has already declared that he will not take sides during government formation. He will thus be just another MP, one out of the total 543. So, can he manage to get the required attention and government funding for Pune?If he gets ignored and sidelined, due to absence of any peers in Maharashtra govt and absence of any influential post at the center, Pune's future looks screwed up. Annual MP fund of 2.5 crores or his total annual salary would prove a meagre amount compared to the needs of Pune. With no lobby behind him, can he succeed in raising capital as and when required? [Kalmadi succesfully raised the required money for Commonwealth Youth games, and did this swiftly]To this, his answer is ready. Pune has got a 2500 crore rupees development fund planned. If this gets sanctioned appropriately, as and when required, there should be no shortage of funds for Pune. To make the government politicos and bureacrats sanction this development fund, is his responsibility and he is all poised up for the job.He believes the wide-spread media network and coverage in India can be put to use in this regards. If a government official or a politico delays or denies to release the funds, expose him/her in front of media; file a petition in Court; Make a media propaganda of the suit and ensure that the judiciary system gives their ruling within proper time.Sounds like some plan. Again, my only concern is yes the Judiciary system would not want bad publicity just because they are delaying some decision, and yes, the bureacrats would not want bad media attention; so, to avoid embarrasing situations, they will comply. But, what of the politicos? Will the people who have footage of their regular brawls in the assembly hall broadcasted on DoorDarshan daily give any damn to being questioned in front of media, about sanctioning funds for Pune? Ensuring that the politicos comply equally to his demands is the biggest challenge Arun Bhatia has to meet.Also worth mentioning, with all the UN experience he has, he is hopeful to bring in international monetary aids and fundings for development projects in Pune.
Talking about his calibre, integrity and honesty - those who are his followers worship him for that, those who are his opponents assume these qualities about him; but, nobody denies them. This is a major plus he has. This also highlights another challenge he has, and that is to keep up to his reputation and to people's expectations.One argument which was provided in this regards was that he has proven all of this, but as an administrator and not as a politician. Well, i would like to argue that if he stays the same way, away from political gimics, isn't it better for people? The question which should be raised here is, can he be a good leader? I have my own beliefs that he can be!!
That brings us to another argument put by those not supporting him - What if his life - personal and professional [as an MP] gets infested/impacted by the politics around him? Seriously, I mean, If we can have talks of IPL driven out of India and media all over the nation speculating this to be Congress's measure to 'cut-Pawar-to-size', wouldn't these big political banners attempt to always score politically over Arun Bhatia, whenever possible, wherever possible, however possible?
Even the reel-life Nayak had to suffer loses in his personal life due to villianish tendencies of politicos. I do not consider the extent of tactics in real-life to be as brutal or evil, but they can be equally cunning.And, even the reel-life Nayak had to play a dirty political trick to get rid of the Amrish Puri character. He also could not help getting infested with politics for personal use.So, can Arun Bhatia stay clean? and can Arun Bhatia stay immune from the tricks and tactics of fellow MPS and two governments - at state level and at center?
To answer the first question, for a person with 26 transfers for his 'demolition acts' - as everyone likes to refer them, entering parliament after his retirement, with his family members all earning well and good, the answer is simple. YES, he can stay clean. Whether he will, that is something, he has to prove by his conduct.As for immunity from tactics against him, he has already seen so many transfers and tasted the impact, though in a different sense, at a different level. But, we can always expect him to scale up on his endurance, considering that he is now entering a bigger arena and will have higher responsibilities.
But, i did raise this before him. If the trishankhu loksabha comes to a point where Arun Bahtia is among the 10 MPs needed to vote for deciding who will rule, what will be his criteria in selection of alliances? Does he have a political favourite already, due to what he has experienced in his life time? Because, we as common people will assume 10 more Sorens getting richer in this scenario.
His answer was simple - he will not vote during the process of government formation. This eradicates the question of whom he will vote for and why? This also maintains his immunity from c-virus [corruption].And after the government is formed, his vote for every motion will be on case-by-case basis, after accessing the pros and cons of the motion.
That raised another question in my mind. What if all the blue collared and white collared middle class population [the one which he hopes for to vote for him in majority] still thinks on similar 'typical' lines that there can be no end to corruption? They may be sure that Arun Bhatia will be a clean politician. But, with the fear that anyways, he wont accumulate enough votes and may never win, what if they don't vote? Every one is expecting a magic spell to work if Arun Bhatia is to win this election. Does he see this magic brewing around in minds of people? magic strong enough to get people away from their TV sets and make them vote on a holiday?For most of the slum-dwellers, the motivation for vote is simple - vote for a person who gave him/her 500 bucks or free drinks for last 5 nights or free biryani for last 10 days. Will Arun Bhatia's call against corruption, and of better governance be motivating enough for middle class and upper middle class [as we IT folks like to call ourself :-D]?
Nikhil Joshi, the campaign manager for Arun bhatia answered this.He described us the vibe that he can see among the various people and their readiness to fight corruption. He was very optimistic about the response of Pune population, and of all classes - people from slums to upper middle class, and to rich, influential folks.Bhatia further added that there are many people who have the will to do good. This election and the plan of governance through people committees offers them the chance to have the courage for doing good. So, they are already optmistic and motivated for voting. He also added that many of his activitists are from slums, they are good men and women and working with them, he has come to believe that the general perception that slums vote for money is not true in most of the cases.
While this discussion was going on, Swapnali asked Mr. Bhatia's opinion about preference to localites and the overall 'rights of bhumi-putras' campaign by Raj Thakre.His answer was one fo the most convincing and un-biased answers I have heard from a politico or political aspirant on this topic. 'In India, as per legislative rights, we cannot deny free movement of people accross regions. It is ridiculous to do so. Instead what we must demand, and strive for is to get the minimum wages act implemented strictly in the state. Once, the businessmen know that they have to pay a bihari or a marathi same wages for his one-days work, then its a fair ground. It is then upto the skillsets and readiness to work harder, which will win'. Also, if this gets implemented in Bihar as well, we can see lesser people migrating :-)
I know this sounds too idealistic to some, and again they will raise the same issue - how will a single MP get this mandate on minimum wages implemented? But, if you ask me, I am happy that someone is gauging this situation free from regional vote bank biases, and has a logical and not emotional solution and I would love to see this happening some day.
Resuming my questions, I asked - how would he ensure the induction effect of his acts and policies in the neighbouring constituencies and eventually through out the nation? Also, as the number of people ready to join him, and follow his ideals increase, how will he manage this growth? having 50 independent Arun Bhatias in Lok Sabha does not sound like a good solution. Is he planning to have a political flagship for himself and his associates?Arun Bhatia started with saying that even all 543 Loksabha members can be independents and there can still be someone who is Prime Minister among them, and the Defence Minister and so on. [I didn't find this practical, but then i guess so did he :-)]. He has already applied for a political party registration with the election commision - the 'People Guardian Party' or the 'Lok Rakshak Party' [don't worry, i don't think there is any communism idealogy involved in selecting this name :P] and this party will eventually open branch offices around the country for accomodating associates.
As for induction, even though this query was missed in my lengthy question, I feel it is more for voters to get induced, and demand a corruption-free representatives. I do not belong to Pune constituency, yet, I have my selfish motives in Bhatia's win. Firstly, to induce representatives in my home-town commit a similar corruption-free, better governance and development and secondly, to work in a better Pune.
All readers of this post may fall in same category as me, or may be voters of Pune constituency. I hope, they will give a serious thought to Arun Bhatia as a Lok Sabha candidate. Who knows, someday their single vote will transform into a molecule of celluloid and give Pune the real-life NAYAK!!
3/22/2009 4:38:00 AM
We know of a number of stars standing for elections...but how many of our stars have registered for voting? A quick survey on this from the Pune Mirror can be pretty interesting....
Are our bollywood stars on the electoral rolls, and do they cast their vote? This can inspire many in the youth to register too...
I know Lead India comapign has had a few famous bollywood stars to speak on this....but an article covering some statistics on this and a few opinions from them can probably help the voter community grow bigger and stronger. These bollywood star are afterall, (fortunately or unfortunately) role models for many.
3/18/2009 6:23:00 AM
Much emphasis is being laid on the decisive role that the youth is going to play in the elections of 2009 .This has come in wake of the terror attack in Mumbai which gave the youngsters a reason and a direction to vent out their unhappiness about a crumbling political society. They got the necessary attention to make themselves heard at a national level and a much needed boost from all quarters that thought that the time has come for a change. But how long will this fervor and spirit continue? I would just like to hope that the youth does not lose its interest in the governance of the country just as soon as these elections are over. We do not need a transient and short lived awakening of the new generation. Reformation of a society is a continuous process and can not take place in water tight compartments of time. This sense of responsibility and belonging has to carry on even after the polls. It is this generation ,that has to act as the watchdogs for the nation to save it from degeneration in terms of politics,economics and morles. Our role does not end with these elections this year... we have to keep working to realise our dream of a country we can be even more proud of.
3/17/2009 12:00:00 PM
Hi every one !
I am one of those punekars who has been badly hit by the encroached foot paths especially near slum areas !
I stay near Senapati Bapat Road and travel very frequently on road which goes from Senapati Bapat Road to Deep Bunglow Chowk. On this road, PMC encroachment department has taken actions on the shop owners who put ralings or shades outside their shops , but I wonder how they can't see the encroachment opposite side of the road i.e. on slum side. In the evening, it's really a difficuilt walking on this road ! There is no P1 / P2 system in existence on this road. I wonder when this road was ever widened since 1980's !
For your info. I am attaching alongwith one photograph of the place in the afternoon session , where in a person is walking on the road due to encroached foot path.
I would also appeal to the RTO authorities to look into the matter !! There is parking discipline at all on this road !
12/2/2008 11:18:00 PM
Instead of thanking God, I thank all those NSG commandos, army men, policemen and others who braved it through the sadistic terrorist attack on Mumbai.
And, without wasting a day more, I want the authorities to reach a solution to avoid attacks like these.
And this time, the solution cannot be the setting up of committees, meetings, invitations to diplomats and the usual nonsense.
Civilians, common people, aam janta, call them what you will, are unwilling listen to political blame. We want results.
That also reminds me of the 'so-called' chief of Maharashtra, Raj Thackeray, was nowhere to be seen. Whic h was sensible as the presence of politicians normally ruins things. However, now that the operation is finished, we believe he should take constructive action.
12/2/2008 11:17:00 PM
As the smoke and battle noise have now settled in Mumbai, stakeholders of our security should think about why India must combat the menace of terror each day.
With India facing multiple challenges in its internal security, a change in the union ministry or of the Chief Minister, will not yield any desired result, as substitutes are birds of the same feather.
Even though our security forces have delivered praiseworthy results in Mumbai, these terror strikes should become an eye opener for the guardians of our security.
With evidence mounting on the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and their continued financial support to the ‘India-centric’ operations, how can our country achieve stability and peace?
If Pakistan’s nuclear capability falls into the hands of these terrorists, willfully or accidentallyly, what would the repurcussions be?
India now needs to exhibit its will and capability to control its neighbourhood. Pakistan must learn to respect India’s strategic sensitivities and be mindful of the fact that India, as the predominant power in the region, can enforce its writ.
12/2/2008 11:13:00 PM
I am disgusted see how the BJP is trying to cash in on their position in the aftermath of terror strikes.
LK Advani and Rajnath Singh skipped the all-party meeting called by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi was heard trying to woo the family members of those who lost their lives fighting terrorism by offering compensation.
Yesterday Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan CM was seen on TV blaming Congress for the mayhem.
9/11 changed the USA’s perception of terrorism. I hope 26/11 does the same for India.
11/26/2008 8:49:00 AM
He was just 12 years old, wearing usually colourful and dusty t-shirts and a trouser of some chocolate or black colour with stitches appearing here and there. He used to wear a cheap China-made digital wrist watch given to him by somebody.
At 3:45pm daily with sweet sound of tea cups, he used to appear before me offering a cup of tea. His name was Dilip. He was working at a tea kiosk for a chaiwala and used to deliver tea in various offices located nearby the tea stall.
I once asked Dilip about the reason of doing the job. He told me that the financial condition at his home was not so good to provide him money for the education. He told me that he works in the morning and at night attends school. After providing tea to all the employees, Dilip used to observe my work by sitting besides me. Once I decided to teach him some tools of photoshop (a photo editing tool). I taught him five tools and the next day what I experienced was unprecedented for me.
He used all those tools exactly the way I taught him. After that I started giving him some time to play with Photoshop during tea time and this continued for a week. After a week Dilip told me that he was leaving the job and will not come to the office to offer tea anymore. I decided to gift him some books in the next meeting but after that he never appeared.
There are children who have good clothes to wear, good food to eat and everything they wish but still cry bofore going
to schools; and on the other side there are children like Dilip who don't have any comfort of life but still love
going to the school and are really talented...
12/21/2007 6:00:00 PM
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