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FDI in retail: an unfinished debate

Posted by [email protected] on May 8, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (1)

Thomas Mathew: I think all this'romanticism' around 'small retail businesses' is hog wash, these so called'small retailers' are not as 'small' as they project themselves to be, they arethe biggest tax evaders,in fact hardly pay any tax, their employees are paid apittance, a lot of times they employ child labor, their practices includeextensive use of counterfeit brands, widespread adulteration and what not. Iflarge retail brands come up they are certainly going to offer better wages,better working conditions for laborers. So, my take on this is : BRING ITON......Nothing Walmart would do would be worse than what these smallbusinesses have been doing in perpetuity for the past 6 decades.


Tauqeer Alam: ‎Thomas Mathew very nicely put. I understand that these big stores will wipe out manysmall shopkeepers. But the question is what Reliance and Big Bazaar are doing?They are also big stores so what is difference if Wal-Mart or any other storescome? But this opposition seems like opposition of IT that computer will eatpeople's job. I am confused regarding FDI bill.


Surajit Dasgupta: Tauqeer's argumentis analogous to the question as to why our freedom struggle was never awidespread phenomenon. It wasn't because the indigenous rulers had been no lessatrocious!

If you are“confused”, Tauqeer, ask yourself a simple question: Whom should you side with-- a few lakh grocers and brokers OR 100 crore consumers and farmers?


Rohan Sharma: http://www.scribd.com/doc/64934718/Disadvantages-of-FDI-in-Retail


Anil Gupta: देश के किराना बाजार में विदेशी निवेश को मंजूरी, आज से देश कामालिक वालमार्ट..... जय हो

Tauqeer Alam: desh ka maalik Reliancefresh, Big Bazaar ho to Wal-mart ko bhi mauqa deke dekhte hain. warna sirf desikirana store. I understand some of the the concerns of left parties against FDIbut what is the difference if walmart and tesco make money instead of relianceand big bazaar?

Congress isbringing this bill is understandable. Communists are against it -- understandable.One thing which I dont understand is opposition from the BJP. Can any one tellme some logical concerns from the BJP which is other than opposition for thesake of it?


Mrinal Das: bjp : opposition inliteral sense not ethical. unproductive hypocrites.


Surajit Dasgupta: Now that we knowthat 'kirana' stores continue to thrive even in areas where Reliance Fresh andBig Bazaar came up more than three years ago, the coming ofWalMart/Carrefour/Tesco shouldn't be the indigenous grocer's concern. Asuspicion, therefore, arises: Are the protests being sponsored by Mukesh Ambaniand Kishore Biyani (to stifle competition, of course)?


Amitayu Ayu Sengupta: http://epaper.hindustantimes.com/PUBLICATIONS/HT/HD/2011/11/29/ArticleHtmls/Pranab-justifies-retail-FDI-timing-00000000000000.shtml?Mode=1

"pointingto the sliding SENSEX and tumbling Rupee, MUkherjee told HT "Except thispolicy announcement, can the Government address this issues?"

all thosearguing vociferously that FDI in retail is going to benefit Indian consumers,farmers, the cows in the fields or the crows in the sky please note...theFinance Minister has no illusions about why exactly FDI in retail is 'needed'!


Thomas Mathew: ‎SurajitDasgupta, Congress gets mostof its funding from big business, the communists owe their bread and butter tosmall retailers from the states in which their cadre is strong....So it alldoes add up, where your money is there your heart will be. Having said that, Ithink the same arguments that we hear today is nothing more than thosere-hashed from the 90s when the economic reforms were introduced.


Amitayu Ayu Sengupta: allowing FDi inyour economy essentially makes you subservient to their interests..now to keepthem in good mood, we need to allow FDI in retail..tomorrow god nows what eslewe have to sell off to them...and eveytime we have to sell something, we willhave all such grand arguments about how wonderful the whole thing is going tobe!! pathetic!


Thomas Mathew: ‎"allowingFDi in your economy essentially makes you subservient to their interests."Its Deja Vu!


Surajit Dasgupta: ‎Amitayu AyuSengupta,

This is howthe issue you have raised can be dealt with. This may explain the government haste:

1. Politicsand corruption:

Theconspiracy theories may be true.

2. Policy:

The UPAGovernment wants to counter the impression of its "policy paralysis".


(i) Indiabadly needs a big inflow of dollars in the wake of the rupee hitting anall-time low exchange rate of 52 for a dollar.

(ii)Fighting price rise.

What Thomas Mathew and I support is not the corrupt deal that might have happenedbackstage. What we support is plain economic sense. At a time when the peopleare struggling to make the ends meet due to skyrocketing food prices, isn't itjudicious to do away with the seven odd levels of brokerage charged by themiddlemen between the farmer and the consumer, thus offering a higher price tothe former and a lower to the latter?


Amitayu Ayu Sengupta: if thecorporates actually do that, i would label them bigger fools than those whobelieve such will happen! what you will have in all probabilities is thecorporates eating up the entire brokerage charged by a handfull of middlemenall by themselves....they might streamline the delivery chain, but why on earthwill they be inclined to pay more to the farmers, or charge you or me any less?


ThomasMathew: Better prices tofarmers, better value to consumers, Better LABOR CONDITIONS, Amitayu AyuSengupta should be very happy with that. Have you seen the conditions ofworkers in these small retail shops? Ever asked them how much they arepaid?....These retail chains will probably pay then 10 times than that andbetter working conditions


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: while we are atit


now I amsure we will have some wonderful arguments of how this is going to be so goodfor us Indians!! and some more deja vu!

ThomasMathew, wishful thinkings arealways so wonderful! fully sympathise with you


ThomasMathew: ‎Amitayu AyuSengupta, Lets talk about thefacts. When the markets were first opened in the 90s, folks on the leftpredicted Apocalypse. I would concede its been a mixed bag, but I'd like tohear you make the argument that we'd be better off with a closed economy.


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: i am not talkingabout a closed economy...i am talking about the right to taking sovereigndecisions...I decide when I need FDi in any sector. I do not prefer beingamrtwisted by FDI to open up newer sectors or face flight of funds that willdestabilise my economy.

As for theclaims of FDI in retail resulting in higher returns to farmers etc, walmartcareffour etc operate in many countries across the world..they have no suchdubious track record, thanks to their efficient managerial skills that aredevoid of daydreamings!!!! corporates are here to earn profits, they are nothere to play good samaritans!


ThomasMathew: ‎"corporatesare here to earn profits, they are not here to play good samaritans!"Thats exactly what small retail shops do too......So why are they goodSamaritans who need protection from competition?


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: one step at a time...letus first denounce the grandiose ideas that bringing FDi in retail is going toget the farmers higher prices, and us consumer lower rates!


ThomasMathew: ‎"one stepat a time" What step is that?. I dont understand the difference in thecolor of the money and its causal implications to farmers prices, consumerrates etc that reliance brings in to what wal-mart would bring in.


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: ‎"Betterprices to farmers, better value to consumers, Better LABOR CONDITIONS"..iwas referring to these illusions!


ThomasMathew: Not illusions at all,in fact in the 90s if someone had predicted that mobile phones would be verypopular in rural India by 2011, you'd be asked to take a reality check. TheFACT is the free markets gets better value to everyone. It simply seems to workthat way.


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: yeah..itcertainly did for the OWS supporters :D we can discuss freemarket andcapitalism at theoritical, philosophical or even metaphysical levels isrelevant threads..please let us discuss about FDI in retail in this thread forclarity




ThomasMathew: You cant use a studyin the US and apply it to India. In India, nothing that walmart would do interms of wages, working conditions and so on can be worse than what these smallretail shops have been doing all these years. The wages that walmart offerswill be extremely lucrative compared to any small retail or even large retailchains could ever offer. Its apples and oranges, yes, in the US Wal-mart offersthe bottom of the pitcher wages but their labor standards are very high.


SurajitDasgupta: ‎Amitayu AyuSengupta,

If a producethat the farmer sells at Rs 5 a kg reaches us at Rs 70 a kg because of someseven levels of brokerage in between, there is no reason why the farmer can'tbe offered Rs 25 for the same amount and it reaches us at Rs 35. If you thinkthat the MNCs will gobble up all the brokerage and the product will continue tobe charged at Rs 70 for the consumer, what will then be the MNCs' USP, giventhat the 'kirana' stores will continue to coexist in the competition (becauseof a distinct purchasing pattern of the Indian consumer*)?

* [FromPandav Nagar in Delhi to Sector 17, Gurgaon, wherever Reliance Fresh exists,the 'kirana' stores do brisk business, too. The former is good for customerswho purchase a month's grocery in bulk; the latter is good for those who needto fill depleting kitchen stocks by buying a few 100 grams of variousproducts.]


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: the point is notthat they can't be offered..the point is they won't be offered..in your entirehypothesis, you miss the point that these kinara shops are dependant on themiddle men for their supplies..if MNCs succesfully remove the middlemen, theycan automatically choke out the kinara shops by killing their supply chain.


SurajitDasgupta: Which means thatyour heart bleeds for a motley group of brokers and not crores of consumers!

>>>theycan automatically choke out the kinara shops by killing their supplychain...<<<

Why didn'tthis happen when Reliance Fresh chain was set up? Indeed, it's your assertionthat is a hypothesis. Mine is a recount of real-life experience.


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: i expected betterunderstanding from you atleast!

bringing FDIin retail has 3 components to it..




to analysethe impact of FDI inclusion< please try to see the picture in the sense ofwhat impacts it will have at each stage of operation, and its interlinkages


SurajitDasgupta: The arrival of bigcompanies in retail will also ensure:

1. lesswaiting time for farmers to sell their produce;

2. bettercold storage and transportation facilities, making food reach us fresher.


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: how much didreliance fresh chain invest in these operations? just compare the scale ofcorporatisation we are talking about, and what we have now!


SurajitDasgupta: Mine is theconsumers' perspective. Whether Ambani's wallet swells or shrinks is none of mybusiness.


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: less waiting timeis an illusion, the waiting time of farm products are determined by theperishibility of the products, unless farmers have cold storage provisions oftheir own, they have no bargaining power in this regard...

mine is aneconomists perspective..i see the nation's economic as a whole, where we allare interlinked!


SurajitDasgupta: Unfortunately, thisthread cannot accommodate a powerpoint file. Or else I could have shown you allhow it works.


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: what you refer toas consumers perspective is what is known as class position in social scienceliteratures :P


SurajitDasgupta: ‎>>>isee the nation's economic as a whole<<<

Thesocialist/communist perspective (of trade unionism) has always sought tosafeguard the interests of a motley group in the organised sector at theexpense of a much larger population that operates in the unorganised sector. Inthis case, the Sanghi swadeshi lobby is behaving no different from you.


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: ‎"Theformer is good for customers who purchase a month's grocery in bulk; the latteris good for those who need to fill depleting kitchen stocks by buying a few 100grams of various products."

there inlies the whole point..in a situation where you used to buy everything from thekinara shops, you have shifted to buying the bulk from malls and the marginalfrom the kinara shop, thereby shifting the bulk away from the kinarashop...now, how many kinara shops can survive by loosing the bulk business iswhat many are worried about


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: in a country likeours where employment oppurtunities are limited...many kinara shop owners haveno option but to try running their shops, this is akin to destitude selling offarmers..and i simply donot support that

The issue oforganised and unorganised labour sector and their representations (and thechallenges thereby) are topics that warrants a seperate discussion byitself....

Jairaj WSanand: I think in all thesecomments people are forgetting the main issue here with any Foriegn"investment".

They takeaway the profits.

Why are wedoing that at the cost of the local kiryana shop.

If you takea look at foreign countries where Walmart reigns you have to buy what they sellyou. Almost all their goods are mainufactured in China. That is why there areno jobs for americans.

Its hasalways been the case when the americans learn the truth and are discardingthese multinational and are creating coops and farmers markets where they getaccess to healthy food GMO-FREE food. Chemical free food.

We Indiansare adopting the western ways.

Same thinghappened with Nuclear energy, Same thing happened with Fast food, Same thinghappened with so called health foods Like soy(which is actually bad forhealth).

What wediscard, ie. yoga, ayurveda, vedic knowledge and science the West is adopting.

Why BJP isopposing the same reason they threw out Coca cola in 75. They are alwaysswadeshi.

Is there nomoney in India to invest why should they allow FDI.

Another bigreason which is not accepted and is bordeline conspiracy is that the dollar isgoing to collapse very soon and Foreing companies want to invest in the nextbest currency.

The rupee isvalued more but it is these forces that are deliberately keeping the rupeedown. There is evidence of the GOVT deliberately keeping the rupee down. Sothat exporters(IT especially) profit and the major reason being FDI.(andindirect investment. They get more value for their investment.

Once all ofthis is over and they have invested enough money in such economies they willlet go of the dollar and it will crash.

Again thecommon man suffers the common man of america will be driven to poverty.


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: and please doread the articles that i have pasted..they are not manifestos of CPIM orBJP...please do read the impact of walmart on local economies....simply wishingit away doesnot work!


SurajitDasgupta: >>>there inlies the whole point..in a situation where you used to buy everything from thekinara shops, you have shifted to buying the bulk from malls and the marginalfrom the kinara shop, thereby shifting the bulk away from the kinara shop...now,how many kinara shops can survive by loosing the bulk business is what many areworried about<<<


That the kirana shops have survived and are also thriving in this competitionis a reality.



>>>in a country like ours where employment oppurtunities are limited...manykinara shop owners have no option but to try running their shops, this is akinto destitude selling of farmers..and i simply donot support that<<<


To look after a motley group of kirana shop owners -- or their MNC competitorsfor that matter -- is, anyway, with no prejudice towards my argument above, nota billion consumers' responsibility. Why should we billions turn our livesmiserable to keep a few thousand people in good humour?



>>>the issue of organised and unorganised labour sector and theirrepresentations (and the challenges thereby) are topics that warrants aseperate discussion by itself...<<<


It is very much relevant in this discussion. You are taking undue advantage ofthe fact that we, a billion consumers, are not organised while the brokers andbaniyas are.


MukulKanitkar: Just FYI- maybe thisis the reason for the hurry - http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3045walmart_iowa.html

The governmentclaims that the FDI in retail will help farmers. Here is an analysis how far itis true?? http://expressbuzz.com/biography/Indias-retail-sold-wholesale/337135.html


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: guess US does nothave billions of customers like we do!


MukulKanitkar: I would prefer tolook at my fellow countrymen as HUMANS rather than customers. The question ismore related to food security and the way of life rather than any soundeconomics.


Jairaj WSanand: ‎Surajit Dasgupta I doagree with you on many points. That is why I have no spoken about protectingthose Kirana shops as such.

Mukul Kanitkar has posted a link which is also the main reasons for themto look here.

So the mains issue is the foreign firms investing in India where India caninvest. they take away the profits.

I think we should tell the airline industry to sell hive of their entireinfrastructure to developing african countries and invest in the retail.

Mukul Kanitkar Wellsaid. could not have said it better >> The question is more related tofood security and the way of life rather than any sound economics.

USA has become a victim and that is what I mentioned in my earlier commentsthey are looking at the small farmer and grocers

Even whole foods and traders Joe are corporations that are redefining organic.In the end the human would have no option but to eat what is convenient forthese corporation to sell and grow and what is more profitable to them.

They even sell pharma drugs to benefit from your health consequences :-)


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: contract farmingand corporate retail is a heady mix for disaster..if the second is allowed, theformer will come in more strongly....we are already at par with some of thepoor African nations in terms of nutrition and other HDR parameters, very soonwe will beat them at it


MukulKanitkar: Here is anotherinstance of who are the real beneficiaries of the POLICY- http://www.thehindu.com/business/article2673818.ece


AmitayuAyu Sengupta: billions of blueblistering........consumers!!!


दीपकजोशी: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature/layer_embedded&v=lClGnaf2xVg


SurajitDasgupta: All the argumentsmade above since I logged out conveniently bypass the factor that the US andIndia were not identical economies when each, at separate points of time,opened retail to big companies.


‎>>>I would preferto look at my fellow countrymen as HUMANS rather than customers.<<<


And for people of this school of thought, baniyas are the only humans. The restof Indian society is cannon fodder. They must buy the garbage dished out by thebaniyas just because they happen to share the same nationality! What aconvoluted sense of patriotism!!!


ThomasMathew: Well, if the US was sobanking on this decision by India, if the Indian government had the BALLS(forgive the misogyny in the analogy for a moment), they should have demanded aquid pro quo with the opening up of the US agricultural sector for Indianfarmers...But this current administration would'nt have the guts to put forthsuch sensible demands ever


Jairaj WSanand: Retail chains arecurrently dishing out garbage in the USA. They are only going to serve worsequality products in India.


SurajitDasgupta: Response to SGurumurthy's article:


>>>That it will endlessly damage the huge 1.2 million strongcommunity-run retail business in India is undisputed.<<<


Far from it! Small-time Indian retailers continue to thrive in the competition.


I quote: "All those who expect big retailers like Walmart to come in anddevour small kirana shops should pause and think. Can Big Retail really dothat? Just look at what the average kirana store offers the average Indianhousehold. Firstly, it is just a stone’s throw away. So anytime the familyneeds something, it is easy to just stroll over and get it, even if it is aspaltry as a loaf of bread. Secondly, there is the trust about all the itemsbeing fresh and reasonably priced at the friendly neighbourhood kiranawalla.Thirdly, there is free home delivery, usually on a bicycle, for the regularmonthly supplies, colloquially called “ration”. And fourthly and mostimportantly, there is credit. Since the shopkeeper knows the families in thevicinity well enough, he can actually extend credit based only on the jottingsmade in a tiny pocket-sized plastic-covered notebook.


A vast majority of middle class India still shops from one of the millions oftiny kirana stores for precisely these reasons." [http://indianeconomy.org/2006/11/29/kirana-will-still-rule/]



>>>A total of 58.8 million of small and marginal farming families,that is over 32 crore rural people, live on farming in India. Their farm sizeis 5 acres or less. In contrast, in Canada, it is 1798 acres; in US, 1089acres; in Australia, 17975 acres; in France, 274 acres; in UK, 432 acres. TheUS farm size is 250 times larger than the Indian; the Australian farms, 4000times! Therefore, Farm Gate to Walmart supply chain that works in the US/Westcannot be imagined here.<<<


If really so (if the Wal-Mart model really does not work in India), what thenis the cause of your concern? Or, are you worried about Wal-Mart's health aswell?!



>>>The SMFs in India farm about 34% of the cultivated area, butproduce 41% of food grains; their productivity is 33% higher. Replace smallfarms by large ones. Nation’s food production will instantly fall by 7%.<<<


This mathematics is not convincing. Nor is the geography in it. Extensivefarming (EF) has globally produced better results than the intensive variety(IF), and has also offered better standard of living to an average farmer.


1. While IF significantly increases yield per acre, per person, and per GBP, itlimits and destroys the natural habitat of most wild creatures, and leads tosoil erosion.


2. While food should become more affordable to the consumer as it costs less toproduce, this does not happen in India because of seven levels of brokersbetween the farmer and the consumer.


3. While, in IF, the same area of land is able to supply food and fibre for alarger population reducing the risk of starvation, the mindless use offertilizers alters the biology of rivers and lakes (The hypoxic zone in theGulf of Mexico as being encouraged by nitrogen fertilization of the algaebloom).


4. Pesticides kill useful insects as well as those that destroy crops. Use ofpesticides have numerous negative health effects in workers who apply them,people that live nearby the area of application or downstream/downwind from it,and consumers who eat the pesticides which remain on their food.


5. On the one hand, IF leads to a reduction in anthropomorphic carbon dioxidegeneration (resulting from removal of the sequestration afforded by woodlandsand rainforests). OTO, large amounts of energy is wasted to produce, transport,and apply chemical fertilizers/pesticides. The chemicals used may further leavethe field as runoff eventually ending up in rivers and lakes or may drain intogroundwater aquifers.


In case of EF, ...

1. Mechanisation can be used more effectively over large, flat areas.


2. Greater efficiency of labour means generally lower product prices.

Animal welfare is generally improved because animals are not kept in stiflingconditions.


3. There are lower requirements of inputs such as fertilizers.


4. Local environment and soil are not damaged by overuse of chemicals.

[this section, courtesy: Wikipedia]



>>>SMFs produce most of the 100.9 million tons of milk.<<<


What we get is synthetic milk, which in fact is no milk at all.



>>>A less known, stunning truth about rural India is that more than60% of India’s food production does not enter commercial stream at all, butgets distributed, consumed within the villages. It is retained or stored byfarmers for consumption, payment of wages in kind to farm labour; and for useas seed and feedstock for animals; for sale within the village.<<<


Contrary to the assertion of the author, subsistence agriculture is not at alla desirable scenario. Rather than seeking pride in it, India should be ashamedof not being able to offer the farmer a deal better than his having to consumethe little crop he has produced, leaving nothing to be sold and earned from.



>>>Even if a small part of the 60% un-marketed food production isdrawn into the market through supply chain which Walmarts will establish, thatwill mean urban pricing in rural areas.<<<


That urban pricing -- much less than today's urban pricing that takes intoaccount several intermediaries -- will still leave the farmer with morepurchasing power, as he has already got a better price from the big retailerthat the broker who so far used to buy his produce never offered him.



>>>The Konkan people see, but don’t eat Alfanso but only export it forhigh prices<<<


The government, and not any private company, is responsible for this senselessexport policy. One may consider the case with tea also in this regard. What weconsume is tea dust; tea leaves are all exported.



>>>Now, by its retail FDI policy, the UPA government expects Walmartto go where the Planning Commission Working group had asked the government togo!<<<


The PDS has been a complete disaster because of corruption within the ranks ofthe government. The situation is aggravated by the scene of grains rotting inFCI warehouses. How can such a government, whose bureaucrats exact bribes fromration shopkeepers who hoard, be considered patriotic? And how are bigretailers encroachers or traitors of the nation if the leakages, wastages andsiphoning are effectively stopped by them?


MukulKanitkar: I totally agree thatthe Kirana will still rule. I am not opposed to FDI for fear of anything on thecontrary I am against it because it will not be of any benefit to Bharat. Itwill totally be counter productive. We do not need the False Capital fromoutside, we need internal liberal policies to free the real Capital blocked inour society. The concept of Capital generation through foreign investment is awell preserved myth. It is only an outflow.


SumitKeshwani: The vote ofparliament should be must to pass such laws.


Sumit Keshwani: 'Walmart:turnover $400 billion,employs 2.1 million people.Indian retail:turnover $400 billion,12 million shops employs 44 million.


Vijay Jamwal: aisa kon sa chamatkar wallmart karne jaa raha hai jo hum bhartiya nahi karsakte the,

kya sarkar hamen vaisi suvidha deti jaisi vo wallmart ko de rahi hai? kya humbhartiya itne ayogya hai ki retail shop bhi dhang se nahi chala sakte? kya yetarakki ke nishan hai, ye kaisi tarakki jo hamari kabiliyat ke bina hai?


SurajitDasgupta: ‎>>>I totally agree that the Kirana will still rule... It willtotally be counter productive.<<<


Counter-productive for Wal-Mart. Let Wal-Mart worry about that. Why are youworried, given the fact that you agree the kirana stores will continue tothrive in the competition?



>>>The concept of Capital generation through foreign investment is awell preserved myth. It is only an outflow.<<<


That we earn such amounts in salaries and profits which we couldn't imaginewhile we were children, dependent on our parents who used to earn in thepre-1991 era far less than what we earn post-1991, is a myth?


An LDC's salary pre-1991: Rs 800 per month

An LDC's salary post-1991: Rs 11,000 per month


A top bureaucrat's salary pre-1991: Rs 3,500 per month

A top bureaucrat's salary post-1991: Rs 96,000 per month


Even after a great decline in the value of the rupee and 6% inflation perannum, that is a substantial gain. Children of middle class families no longerhave to wait for years together to get their demands met by the parents.


I love such 'myths'! :-)


Anshuman Nirvana: The double standard of BJP on FDI in retail is simply appalling.When they ruledunder the banner of NDA they were prophets of free market economy and now theyare posturing like the left parties.Atleast they should be a constructiveopposition and not disrupt parliament in this way.We deserve better from ourelected representatives.Are we as a country ready to look beyond this partieswho have lost all credibility in our eyes.


Sumit Keshwani: BJP was never in favour of 51% FDI in multi brand retail or 100% FDI in singlebrand retail. They were only contemplating 26% FDI.


BJP is not disrupting parliament, govt is disrupting it by not allowingadjournment motion which is a constitutional right of opposition. andopposition her eis not just BJP.


Rajeev Khare: ‎Thomas Mathew, Who is allowing the small retailers to indulge in malpractices ? Thegovt. So the govt needs to get it act together and get them to behave. Thatwill keep the national wealth within the country. Or else it will fly out. Wewill keep on arguing and someone else will take the booty out.


SurajitDasgupta: ‎Rajeev Khare,


How can a machinery where all jobs are permanent, where there is no incentivefor performance and no punishment for non-performance "get its acttogether"?


Jairaj WSanand: Again SurajitDasgupta You are totally arguing on this out of context. Ok you are rightwith the kirana argument. I totally agree.

Lets talk about the point Mukul Kanitkar put forward.>>>We donot need the False Capital from outside, we need internal liberal policies tofree the real Capital blocked in our society. The concept of Capital generationthrough foreign investment is a well preserved myth. It is only anoutflow.<<<

What do you have to say about this. I think this is the real issue we shouldnot be allowing FDI.


ThomasMathew: ‎">We do not need the False Capital from outside, we needinternal liberal policies to free the real Capital blocked in our society"You wanna go back to the 80s, is what you're saying...


AnkitKumar Agrawal: Entry offoreign players in retail will most definitely disrupt the current balance ofthe economy; will render millions of small retailers jobless by closing thesmall slit of opportunity available to them. Primary task of government inIndia is still to provide livelihoods and not create so called efficiencies ofscale by creating redundancies. It may have lot of benefit but in today'sscenario India is not in position to allow FDI in retails.


ThomasMathew: ‎"Primary task of government in India is still to providelivelihoods and not create so called efficiencies of scale by creatingredundancies" This is Keynesian economics at its best, dig a hole all day,next day fill it up, as long as everyone's getting paid, its all good...

I dontunderstand this whole argument of 'Capital from inside' and 'Capital fromoutside'. The ambanis, Tatas, Birlas, Mittals etc are all 'insiders' suddenly?They probably spend less time in India than some foreigners do.


Ankit KumarAgrawal: ‎Thomas Mathew pleaseclear your stand, what u want to say. Is FDI in retails should be allowed ornot?


SurajitDasgupta: ‎Jairaj Sanand,

I did not elaborate on my counter-argument to the above when I explained howthe salaries of middle class people increased dramatically after the economywas liberalised to a great degree in 1991 (because I thought everybody knewabout the cause-effect phenomenon).

If an LDC's salary increased from Rs 800 a month to Rs 11,000 a month and asecretary's income went up from Rs 3,500 a month to Rs 96,000 a month, it wasbecause of competition. At first the MNCs hiked the salaries to hithertounthinkable levels. To compete with them and stop the flight of humanresources, the Indian blue chip companies hiked their salaries to comparablelevels. Finally, government employees demanded that they be treated on par,resulting in the Fifth and Sixth Pay Commission recommendations (ignore theargument for a while that the government is not a baniya store generating comparableprofits against which higher salaries can be demanded by its 'helpers').

As for the tirades against "foreign" companies, is "vasudhaivakutumbakam" merely a slogan? Of course, they will demand some profitagainst the benefits they generate in the areas they invest in. But aren't thebenefits for us substantial enough to justify this demand by the MNCs? I thinkthey are.


ThomasMathew: ‎"Is FDI in retails should be allowed or not?" My personalopinion is all barriers to the free flow of capital are the biggest impedimentto progress, so I'm all for it. My only grouch is government not playinghard-ball with the US by demanding a similar opening up of the American farmsector to Indian farmers


MukulKanitkar: The myth in this post1991 era boom is that it is because of the foreign investment. The fact is thatthe libaralization in 1991 opened the internal economy and this freedom of ourown domestic entrapraneurs is the engin for the growth demonstrated by you.

The largest growth of our economy was during the post Pokaran era when therewere economic sanctions but domestic openness. We not only survived but weboomed during the sanctions hence the world had to come rishing to Bharat. Thesanctions were lifted without our signing CTBT.

The present PM has a myopic vision as far as economic issues are concerned. Wecan deal from our position of strength.

FDI in any sector has been counterproductive for our people not the MNCs. Sowill it be for our economy in retail sector.

We are seeing two types of things 1 in the name of FDI - the dirty money (notonly tax evasion generated black money but corruption, drug and terror money)stashed away is allowed to get back. This benefits only the corrupt section ofour polity and corporates.

The second phenomenon is equally dirty. The foreign money pumped in the stockexchanges has been manipulating the Sensex for their benefit thus robing thereal investers. Ups and downs in the share market in last decade must bethoroughly invested.

Before we open the economy to the world we must deal the internal isuues.

1. Participatory notes to be bannned and the past transections to investigated.

2 Total open economy within the country. No disparity due to state policies.This can be achieved by curtailing the government control and not by measureslike CST.

3 In fact logical taxation is another reform that is needed.

4 Inflation to be controlled by removing the government controlls and totallydisbanding the '' comodity Market''

5 Black money generation, movement and storage to be stopeed by effectiveaction.

Once we organize internal economy, we can open it 100% but not in the presentstate of affairs.


AnkitKumar Agrawal: ‎Thomas Mathew In youroutlook,for free flow of capital India government should abolish all the Customduty, entry tax, safeguard duty, anti dumping duty etc etc..


ThomasMathew: Yes...Absolutely.....Iam a free-market libertarian who wants to see a federal government reduced tobare minimum


SurajitDasgupta: ‎>>>The fact is that the libaralization in 1991 opened theinternal economy and this freedom of our own domestic entrapraneurs is theengin for the growth demonstrated by you.<<<

Well then, why is it that the only addition to the well known names of tycoonsin the pre-1991 era -- the Tatas and the Birlas -- is the Ambanis besides somereal estate giants? And could the real estate boom be sustained withoutincreased purchasing power of Indians realised through the process explained byme in the comment above?


>>>The largest growth of our economy was during the post Pokaran erawhen there were economic sanctions but domestic openness.<<<

The sanctions applied only to sectors pertaining to defence preparednessincluding, obviously, space science.


Ankit Kumar Agrawal,

All your queries have been dealt with already in this thread. Please go throughthe debate right from the first comment onwards.


AnkitKumar Agrawal: ‎Thomas Mathew But asper my opinion In today environment Indian Industry are not competent enough tohandle the pressure from foreign companies.


SurajitDasgupta: How then have theyhandled it after the introduction of Reliance Fresh and Big Bazaar in the pastthree years?


MukulKanitkar: No Thomas - pre 1980there was no domestic liberalization. I am taliking about post 1998 era ofeconomic sanction which allowed the domestic economy to grow without theforeign manipulations in Capital market.


SurajitDasgupta: ‎Mukul ji,


Could you furnish statistics to substantiate your claim, please?


Jairaj WSanand: ‎Surajit Dasgupta Firstoff companies who pay high salaries are the ones who sell goods and services ata high price.

I remember growing up in a hostel that had some 80 medical representatives andmanagers.

Merck and pfizer paid the highest salaries, But their tablets were 6 timescostlier than local companies.

In that sector I have seen salary increase from 5000 to 9-10k. But never incomparison to 15-20k that MNCs could offer.

Even if they pay double salaries their sell products at 6 times the cost.

I think salaries is not a benchmark of development.

In USA there are no generic drugs Pfizer and Merc (with another handfulcompanies) Rule. Without insurance a common man cannot afford medical treatmentin USA.

Why do you think there is a rise in medical tourism.

Coming back to the point I don't think increase in salary is any measure.

Salary has to increase with inflation too so the increase in salary is anatural phenomenon.


ThomasMathew: ‎'Indian Industry' What is 'Indian industry'? An industrial house with anIndian at the head?. You think the Tatas, Birlas, the Mittals deserve some kindof safety cushion against foreign competition?


The only reason why theIndian IT industry has boomed is because its very tough to put trade barriersand regulate it, all you need is a telephone line and a computer.....Its theprime example of how free trade can produce immense wealth


MukulKanitkar: ‎''inter capital'' does not only include ambanis and Tata that is mere18% of our idomastic Capital. I am talking about our small investors andcommunities like Nadars contributing the 60% of our capital generation.

The total share market generated capital is only a marginal factor in The greatIndian story. Bharat is growing in its own typical way.


AnkitKumar Agrawal: Government firstneed to improve infrastructure, low-cost utilities, competitive interest ratesand trade facilitation. Once these reforms bring down the cost of ourmanufacturing goods, we can expect global retailers to source domestically. Inthe absence of these reforms, international retailers will be selling theproducts of low-cost economies, leading to an adverse setback to our alreadychallenged manufacturing sector.


ThomasMathew: ‎"I am talking about our small investors and communities like Nadarscontributing the 60% of our capital generation." All forms of capitalshould be welcome, entrepreneurship cannot thrive if its shackled byregulations of various kinds.


SurajitDasgupta: ‎Jairaj Sanand,

I am with you on the question of pharmaceuticals. For one, I look down uponhypochondriacs for whom devouring allopathic pills is a normal way of life, andmanufacturers who whip up this frenzy.

Nevertheless, I doubt the faux need created by the pharma giants is the solereason for their ability to offer higher salaries. In any event, Indian genericdrugs sell more than the patented originals made by the MNCs, and that isprecisely why our drug regime irks the international innovators.

Further, Indian operators do not display scruples either. To escape the net ofthe drug control regime, they claim many of their medicinal compounds to benutritional supplements!

The need of the hour is to sensitise people about the price and qualitydifferentials. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, a UnionGovernment body under the Ministry of Chemicals, is working on it. This is aninitiative Y4D could take up for public good.


AnkitKumar Agrawal: Foreigners getloans at 4% interest. Indians get at 12%. How can we compete.China had wipedout their traders so they need.


SurajitDasgupta: Then ask thegovernment to change the interest rate. You are barking up the wrong tree.


MukulKanitkar: Yes surajit,

I will as soon as I get to my Laptop. Right now in train to Chennai.

2. The post pokaran sanctions were total economic sanctions by US, Europe andJapan. The sanctions in space and nuclear and other Hi-Tech sector weretechnology transfer sanctions.

To meet the Forex demands the goverment had issued Bonds for NRIs which wereover subscribed by the patriots abroad.

3. It is media spl the financial press which is responsible for our knowingonly a few tycoons. Old one like Tatas and new one like Murthys. The realsheros like Dr Courien of Amool ans S K Nadar, and many unknown non baniyacommunities like Ramgadhiya Luhars in Punjab who are the real enins of Indiangrowth.


AnkitKumar Agrawal: Thats why i amsaying that first government should promote competitive environment then onlyintroduce FDI in ratail.


SurajitDasgupta: ‎>>>Foreigners get loans at 4% interest. Indians get at12%.<<<

But the divide is not strictly on the foreign-versus-indigenous lines. In SEZsacross the country, Tatas get even machineries in subsidised rates while otherbusinessmen have to buy the same equipment at market rates.

Ankit Kumar Agrawal and Mukul Kanitkar ji,

The swadeshi lobby lacks credibility. While it has chosen the convenient wayout of howling in protest against corporatisation at any hint of Coca Cola andWal-Mart, it wets its pants while contemplating just a word against the likesof Ambanis, Tatas and Mittals.

Ambani kare to chamatkar, Walton kare to balatkar!


AnkitKumar Agrawal: In our country,we have had business and businessmen since long and they have the ability tocompete and in the present scenario one has to give three four times more thecost of capital as they (foreign companies) bring low-priced capital so nocompetition can take place. By bringing the retail bill, our industries will berooted out


I am notconcerned about Tata & Ambani who works on so called SEZ, EOU, EPZ etcetc... We are concerned about the small one which now a days growing in modest.


SurajitDasgupta: I doubt you are notconcerned. I suspect you live in mortal fear of Indian corporate giants.


AnkitKumar Agrawal: doubt whatever ucan... and suspect you are an agent of walmart.


SurajitDasgupta: I am reminded of aninteractive session that Outlook editor Vinod Mehta had with a batch of freshgraduates from a journalism school some years ago.

A student: Sir, how come you never take on the might of the corporates?

Mehta: Why? We are always up in arms against Coca Cola!

Student: What about the desi corporates: Ambanis, Tatas, etc?

Mehta: mujhe apni dukaan band karwani hai kya (do you want me to shut shop)?


MukulKanitkar: ‎@ Thomas - Totally agree with you on complete open, unshackeld economywithin. When we put our house in order we can open it up conpletely to theworld.

Again agree on the point of No government or as less as possible in all theactivities except security external and internal.

@ Surajit - Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam is not Vassudhaiv Aapanam. Universal familynot market.


SurajitDasgupta: ‎>>>suspect you are an agent of walmart.<<<

I am an agent of 120 crore Indians minus a few lakh baniyas.


>>>Universal family not market.<<<

"Market" is not a bad word.


AnkitKumar Agrawal: i think u arejealous of baniyas.... And anyone who care for intrest of 120 crore Indianswill always support there intrest.


Protect nationalinterest. Just because the whiteman has money it does not mean we should importforeign bridegrooms.


MukulKanitkar: I dont know about theswadeshi lobby but as I remember the biggest protest against Relliance freshwas led by them. Uma Bharati burnt down one Mall.

I am not speaking on behalf of any lobby. But the biggest protest by farmers [email protected] regim was led by Bharatoya Kisan sangh. Dattopant Thengadis speech onthat ocassion is available on Youtube. It is great policy statement pn realBharatiya way of dealing with economy



SurajitDasgupta: ‎Ankit Kumar Agrawal,

I am not jealous of, but a victim of, baniyas. I have been through thehardships your ilk heaped on the people of the country in the pre-1991protectionist era. I have stark memories of that dark epoch of Indian history.And I do not want to return to that life where I will be forced to buy every shitthat you throw at me because I wouldn't have a choice.

But yes, I also pity baniyas. As Shekhar Gupta wrote in his latest article, abaniya has never been offered the highest rank, a preserve of Brahmins, inBharatiya Janata Party. Perfect Manuvadis!!!


AnkitKumar Agrawal: only becauseonce u become so called victim u are staking the interest of 120 crores Indians


VivekGupta: ‎100+comments and I think we have still not discussed one important aspect of thisKirana shops. The black money! Yes, these kirana walas (including other similarsmall businesses) hardly contribute anything to our tax structure. Why shouldwe bothered about those who hardly pay any tax and all the money turns intoblack money.


SurajitDasgupta: ‎>>>only because once u become so called victim u are stakingthe interest of 120 crores Indians<<<

Their interest lies in being able to have and exercise CHOICE. And you areanti-choice. You are a monopolist.


MukulKanitkar: FDI helps the socalled Corporate Giants. So India inc, CII were first to welcome the cabinetdecision.

Likes of Malya and Byani are desperate for FDI to bail them out of theirsituation.


SurajitDasgupta: Farmers support ittoo.

An ET report:


Large farm lobbies are backing the government's decision to allow foreignsupermarkets to set up shop in the country, saying it will shorten the supplychain and get growers a larger share of the final selling price.

Most farmers, however, want the government to go a step further and make itmandatory for retailers to buy 75% of their produce directly from farmers,bypassing the restrictive 'mandi' auction system.

"Traders and middlemen are sucking our blood. But no political party istalking about our interest because we are not organised like labour unions, norhave deep pockets like traders," said P Chengal Reddy, secretary-generalof Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations ( CIFA).

"India has 600 million farmers, 1,200 million consumers and 5 milliontraders. Both farmers and consumers are benefited by FDI in retail," Reddyadded.

Last week, the government allowed 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) inmulti-brand retail and also raised FDI limit in single-brand retail to 100%.The move, however, stirred up political dissent with parties such as the BJP,CPI(M) and TMC demanding the government drop its plan as it would cost millionsof jobs.

But big farmers are all for retail reforms. Bharat Krishak Samaj, a farm lobbywith more than 75,000 members, said it supports FDI in retail on the conditionthat direct procurement from farmers is made mandatory. "Till it is a law,nobody is going to follow it. Everyone is bothered about shopkeepers,"chairman Ajay Jakhar said.

Farmer leaders say the stranglehold of middlemen and traders is at the root ofrural poverty and India's food inflation.

CIFA's Reddy said farmers' biggest problem is marketing. "Farmers declareda crop holiday in Andhra Pradesh because they couldn't sell. Cotton farmers inMaharashtra committed suicide because they couldn't sell," he said.

"FDI in retail will open alternative avenues of sale for us," Reddyadded.

He said the mandi system does not favour farmers because they lose 5% of thevalue in transportation, 10% in broker commission and 10% in qualityparameters. "Direct purchase by large retailers will solve thisproblem."

The thumb rule of price rise from a farmer to a consumer in perishables such asfruits and vegetables is 1:2:3:4, said S Baskar Reddy, joint director(agriculture & rural development) at Ficci, an industry body. What a farmersells for 1 is sold at the mandi at 2, which becomes 3 at the mandi at theconsumption centre and 4 when it reaches the consumer through a retailer.

Farmers near urban areas are already finding ways to circumvent the mandisystem and reach the consumer directly. For instance, 23-year-old farmer SChandrasekhar drives 10 km every Sunday to sell fresh vegetables to joggers andwalkers on Chennai's Besant Nagar beach. Some 1,160 km away, Shriram Gadhave,president of All India Vegetable Growers Association, organises buyer-sellermeets at Thane and surrounding areas to facilitate better price recovery."FDI in retail will give us an instrument to get better prices and helpconsumers as well," Chandrasekhar said.

///end of quote


AnkitKumar Agrawal: The government'sclaims that the entry of large retail led by transnational firms would not makea difference to net employment and would, in fact, augment it substantially arequestionable. They exaggerate the direct and indirect employment that largeretail would create and ignore the number of jobs they would displace. Therequirement that the foreign investor should bring in a minimum investment of$100 million implies that the FDI being sought is in units that are moretechnology- and less labour-intensive. On the other hand, the attempt to temperthe adverse impact on employment by restricting entry to cities withpopulations exceeding one million is without substance. It does not change thesource of the competition (giants like Walmart, Carrefour, Tesco and Metro) northe locations in which such competition is most likely to be faced.

Yet, the Commerce Minister's claim is that the policy has a “unique Indianimprint” that would make its impact here very different. This is a poor effortto obfuscate issues. Consider one aspect of the unique imprint: the requirementthat 30 per cent of manufactured or processed products sold should be sourced fromsmall and medium enterprises. This requirement based on a process ofself-certification that is to be monitored would be difficult to implement evenin India. But it becomes meaningless because it applies to such producers fromanywhere in the world. As a briefing paper from the Commerce Ministry notes, inorder to ensure that there is no violation of World Trade Organisation norms,“30 per cent sourcing is to be done from micro and small enterprises which canbe done from anywhere in the world and is not India specific.” This would beimpossible to implement and will only encourage international sourcing at theexpense of domestic producers.

AP The playersdisplaced would consist of not only smaller retailers but also medium and largewholesale dealers who would be rendered irrelevant by the ability of largeconglomerates to contract with and procure directly from producers. File photo

With deep pockets and international sourcing capabilities, global retail chainswill outcompete domestic players, displace jobs, and undermine livelihoods.

In predictable fashion, the Manmohan Singh government chose to ignore voices ofopposition and implement its agenda of permitting foreign investment in theretail trade. While Parliament was in session, the Cabinet met to approve thehitherto prohibited foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, with a capof 51 per cent on foreign equity that ensures majority ownership.Simultaneously, the cap on foreign equity investment in single-brand retail hasbeen enhanced to 100 per cent, offering sole ownership rights to foreigninvestors.

Large international retailers are bound to use the opportunity to get a shareof the large Indian market. Foreign sales have been an important source ofrevenue for many of them amounting in 2007 to as much as 74 per cent in thecase of Ahold of Netherlands, 52 per cent for Carrefour of France, 53 per centfor Metro of Germany, 22 per cent for Tesco of the United Kingdom and 20 percent for Walmart of the United States. Walmart's 20 per cent too has to be seenin context: with $379 billion of revenues in 2007, it stood way ahead ofCarrefour, which came in second with $123 billion in the global league tablefor revenues.

Power of the chains

The power of these chains has been amply illustrated in other contexts, wherethey have been in operation. With deep pockets and international sourcingcapabilities, they exploit economies in procurement, storage and distributionto outcompete and displace domestic intermediaries in the supply chain. Thisoccurs not in one or a few centres, since each retail chain tends to establishprocurement, warehousing and distribution facilities across regions and cities.Once the smaller middlemen are displaced, we have a few large firms and theiragents dealing with a multitude of small, medium and relatively large producerson the one side, and a mass of consumers, on the other.

The relationship with producers is that of an “oligoposony,” with a few buyersand a large number of sellers. With consumers, it is one of an “oligopoly” withfew sellers and a large number of buyers. Structurally, this provides the basisfor an increase in margins at the expense of prices paid to producers orcharged to consumers. The new “middlemen” appropriate these higher margins.That a part of the margin may be shared with the producer or consumer toincrease retail volumes and market shares does not take away from the fact thatthe distribution of power within the supply chain benefits the largeintermediary. In the medium term, it is the dominant position of these largeplayers that would influence the size and direction of margins.

Thus, on the production side, the danger is that the prices paid to and returnsearned by small suppliers, especially in agriculture, would be depressedbecause a few oligopolistic buyers dominate the retail trade. Given theprecarious viability of crop production even at present, that shift couldseverely damage livelihoods. On the other hand, once the retail trade isconcentrated in a few firms, retail margins themselves could rise, withimplications for prices paid by the consumer, especially in years when domesticsupply falls short.

Within the supply chain itself, it is to be expected that the players displacedwould consist of not only smaller retailers, stretching from kirana stores tostreet vendors, but also medium and large wholesale dealers who would berendered irrelevant by the ability of large conglomerates to contract with andprocure directly from producers. The immediate and direct effect would be asubstantial loss of employment in the small and unorganised retail trade aswell as in segments of the wholesale trade displaced by the big retail chains.

The potential significance of this impact can be judged from the role of theretail and wholesale trade in generating employment in the country. Accordingto the National Sample Survey Office's survey of employment and unemployment in2009-10, the service sector category that includes the wholesale and retailtrade (besides the much smaller repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles andpersonal and household goods) provided jobs for 44 million in the totalworkforce of 459 million.

It is no doubt true that the impact of foreign-invested retail would berestricted to the urban areas since entry as of now is permitted only in citieswith a population of more than one million. But this is where the employment intrade would be the highest. Twenty-six million out of the 44 million employedin the sector are located in urban areas. Many of these workers find themselvesin the services sector (especially in the retail trade) because of inadequateemployment opportunities in agriculture and manufacturing. Out of 71 millionjobs in services in the urban areas, around 36 per cent are in the retail andwholesale trade and repair services. In sum, from an employment point of viewthis is a sector that is central to livelihoods, however precarious some ofthose jobs can be. It is a poor substitute for the missing social securityprogramme.


SurajitDasgupta: ‎>>>The players displaced would consist of not only smallerretailers but also medium and large wholesale dealers who would be renderedirrelevant by the ability of large conglomerates to contract with and procuredirectly from producers.<<<

Right. But we are under no obligation to keep them rich by rendering ourselvespoor.


AnkitKumar Agrawal: Criticising thedecision to approve 51 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brandretail, Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said the opening up themarket to foreign investors would harm Indian industries.

"In our country, we have had business and businessmen since long and theyhave the ability to compete and in the present scenario one has to give threefour times more the cost of capital as they (foreign companies) bringlow-priced capital so no competition can take place. By bringing the retailbill, our industries will be rooted out," said Swamy.

"Secondly, optimum utilization of the black money would be made if the retailbill is brought and that is why I oppose it," he added.

The political upheaval over FDI in retail failed to subside today despite anall-party meeting, with a united opposition, joined by UPA constituentsTrinamool Congress and DMK, stalling proceedings by remaining adamant on theirdemand for a rollback.

Last Thursday, the Cabinet approved 51 percent FDI in multi- brand retail, Asper this move, many global retailers like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco canopen outlets in India.

The Cabinet also decided to remove the 51 per cent cap on FDI in single brandformat under which companies in food, lifestyle and sports business run stores.Owners of brands like Adidas, Gucci, Hermes, LVMH and Costa Coffee can havefull ownership of business in India.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) or foreign investment refers to the net inflowsof investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterpriseoperating in an economy other than that of the investor.

It is the sum of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, other long-termcapital, and short-term capital as shown in the balance of payments. It usuallyinvolves participation in management, joint venture, transfer of technology andexpertise. (ANI)


Jairaj WSanand: ‎Surajit Dasgupta Readthis link http://www.indiaresource.org/

And this


Now tell me what has Ambanis done that coca cola have done to humans all overthe world?

Your arguments are not profund. Its just why are we not catching Ambanisneck...because they did not murder people like cocacola does.

They did not bribe the police and lathi charge them and none of the media evenreported it.

This is a very superficial argument


SurajitDasgupta: The posturing of theswadeshi lobby is for no reason other than the fact that traders are theirbiggest financiers. The lobby is 'contractually' bound by their funders.


AnkitKumar Agrawal: ‎Surajit Dasgupta pleasehave a look of the above 2 site suggested by Jairaj Sanand.


SurajitDasgupta: ‎Jairaj Sanand,


Read"The Polyester King", if you can procure this banned book fromsomewhere. For a real-life check, run your car on fuel from a Reliance pump andsee how long the engine lasts.

Ankit Kumar Agrawal,


For corroboration of claims, I only trust university theses and lab reports.And Jairaj Sanand knows this pretty well.


AnkitKumar Agrawal: Changes whichmay end up hurting domestic interests are really counter-reforms. The time forallowing FDI in retail sector in India has still not come.

Systemic Change: Maintaining Decorum in Legislatures

Posted by [email protected] on April 21, 2012 at 3:55 AM Comments comments (1)

We propose a measure to bring back order in the organisation of every verbal debate in the country.


There should be only two microphones in the hall -- one with the Speaker of the House and the other, on a sound-proofed, closed, glass podium, next to the Speaker's seat. Any member, whose turn it is to speak, will have to walk up to the podium to address the house from the podium (like in the conferences of the UN General Assembly). Nobody will be allowed to speak -- let alone scream -- from his seat. Even if an MP does so, he/she cannot outshout the person with the mike (who anyway cannot hear the shouts from inside the sound-proof podium). The microphone circuitry shall be connected to a voice detector and programmed to switch off automatically after the minutes for which the speaker has allowed the given speaker to speak. This way, no MP can cross his time limit.


Finally, some human intervention will still be needed. Any member who monkeys around (in the rows between the seats while someone else is speaking from the podium) has to be physically dragged outside the House by hugely built marshals without needing the Speaker to order them to do so.


After about a year or so of this new system being in vogue, MPs will come to terms with it and no one will have to be pleaded with or forced to maintain the decorum of the House.

Systemic Change: Science & Technology

Posted by [email protected] on April 21, 2012 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (1)

What systemic changes would you like to see in the field of science & technology?


Why has no Indian won a Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, biology or mathematics since CV Raman won it decades ago? If you say the Nobel is not a good yardstick to measure innovation, what about patents? Why is our tally in securing international patents so poor? What the hell are the IITs doing?

Here's our idea of transformation of the said domain:

  1. The best of our heritage in mathematics, medicine and astronomy must be revived. A thorough study is to be instituted to unearth the positive practices of the gurukul system of Kerala and the respective epochs and geographical extents of influence of Aryabhatta, Brahmagupta, Bhaskara II, Sushruta, Charaka et al. Adequate care will be taken not to incorporate the evil practices of the past, such as untouchability. Research & Development centres for ayurveda should be established nationwide.
  2. Another study will explore the changes in government policy adopted by the United States after it was repeatedly getting surpassed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic in the domain of science. We will find out what made the US lag till the 1950s and suddenly leapfrog to future from the late 1960s onwards. Whatever models therein suit the Indian conundrum will be adopted.
  3. It has already been studied and concluded that all scientifically advanced nations have an open-door policy for brilliant scientists of various nationalities. We shall create a political environment to facilitate citizenship offers to promising scientists from across the world. If they are found reluctant to practise in India because of lack of adequate infrastructure, the issue will be addressed in right earnest. People of Indian Origin working in reputed institutes of technology overseas will be allowed to retain their Indian citizenship; one born of PIO/NRI parents of singular citizenship (not of India) can apply for an Indian passport; the application will be treated favourably.
  4. The world is moving, perhaps not consciously but certainly, towards convergence of science streams. The future of science lies in dismantling of the compartments created by the British governments in India. Radiology, for example, cannot be a domain exclusive to physics or biology. History, for instance, is incomplete without the studies of archaeology, anthropology and geology. Union Government-aided institutions named, say, School of Integrated Sciences should be established through the length and breadth of the country. The IITs, AIIMS, IISc, etc must work on more and more mutually collaborative projects.
  5. Ivy League universities will be requested to set up study centres in India.
  6. We shall explore the feasibility of merging the Ministry of Human Resource Development with the Ministry of Science & Technology to ease the processes described above.
  7. It is an irony that the pharmaceutical industry should be governed by the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilisers. Since the said industry deals mostly with human lives, all chemicals used to treat human and animal diseases must be brought under the governance of the Ministry of Health. This will ensure better ethical practices by players of the industry.
  8. Recruiters in the government and semi-government sectors will give priority to international patent holders. The remuneration for patent holders will be substantially higher than their colleagues.
  9. Reasearchers and practitioners of rural India-oriented technology will be compensated adequately both in terms of salaries and perks.
  10. At least a hundred universities offering BSc and MSc in agriculture should be set up in the hinterlands, with 49% seats reserved for local students.
  11. The Union Government's policy documents pertaining to science and technology dated 1953 and 2003 have remained mere words on paper, witnessing gross underperformance in implementation. They are not meant to remain archive material. Matters agreed upon by former Cabinets should be implemented within another 10 years.

Debate on the topic on Facebook:

Prasanna Veeraraghavan: Primarily I cannot accept the fact that Indians have not won Noble in science after C V Raman. Chandrasekar and one more individual whose name I can't remember have won since then. May be they have not claled themselves Indian when they won it but the roots are always there.

I believe our institutions are not technically advanced to create an atmosphere for research. May be it has got to do more with the COLLEGE education we get here and the UNIVERSITY education that is being practiced elsewhere. Primarily this was good for the newly free India but at the same time on the long run it was not free.

Also the concept of the riches helping the poor especially in education is not an avenue that has yet found itself in India and even what little we bequeath goes more into primary education and not into research fields.

We should give more impetus financially and technically for research. I have often read and many of my IIT friends have told that its better to go for a well paid job than pursuing research in India as research is not a well paid job.

I believe better streamlining financially, technically and also increasing the facilities would surely make a good change atleast in the patent part of the research. (21 August at 10:37)

Surajit Dasgupta: I'd not accept the Nobels received by NRIs as essentially Indian. Had they stayed on in this country, they might not have succeeded. (21 August at 10:41)

Prasanna Veeraraghavan: Had they not stayed in this country who knows what would have been their positions? I cannot accept that they went elsewhere to make it big. The platforms were laid here and they pursued for betterment elsehwere. (21 August at 10:50)

Surajit Dasgupta: The "platform" here is only capable of producing clerks. The few who make it big are those open to ideas coming from the West, primarily the US. (21 August at 10:53)


Sanket Sunand Dash: I will try to reply to four separate questions: 1- Has India produced any Noble laureate in Science other than CV Raman 2- Why is India's standing in research so bad 3- Is there a link between patents and scientific publications 4- What is India's position in patents?

‎1- Subramanium Chandrasekhar, Hargovind Khurana, and Venkataraman Ramakrishnan did their doctoral studies in the US/UK. More importantly, they did their Nobel-prize winning research outside India. And none of them is an Indian citizen. Hence, they are not Indians.

2- The state of scientific research in India is due to:

1- Mother tongue is not the medium of scientific instruction

2- High discrepancy between salary of researchers and salary of corporate professionals

3- Low social status of researchers as they are neither wealthy nor powerful

4- Research and education are divorced in India

3- The link between number of scientific publications and number of patents is not very strong. Japan is ranked number 1 in terms of new patents granted and number 3 in terms of new scientific publications. South Korea is ranked number 3 in terms of new patents granted but probably does not feature in the list of top 10 countries by number of scientific publications. UK is ranked number two in terms of new scientific publications but is ranked number 9 in terms of new patent applications.

‎4- India is not ranked among the top 20 countries in terms of number of patents granted. However, India finds a place among the top20 countries by patents filings. Ominously,most patent fillings in India are by non-residents (mostly MNCs) and non-resident filings are increasing while resident filings are Decreasing. (21 August at 16:40)


Nitya Shastri: ‎Surajit Dasgupta, Prasanna Veeraraghavan, I grew up for 18 years in a community where 90% of the people were scientific researchers (Bhabha Atomic Research Center) who did extensive research in India as well as traveled widely to foreign lands for post-doctoral research. I had extensive interactions with the scientific community. Many of the scientists confessed that their quality of research was inferior within India than during their own tenures abroad. According to their viewpoints, they decried the "culture of sycophancy and favoritism", "regionalism (south versus north and language divide) ", "boss-servant style of management where boss steals all the credit", these were listed as significant morale killers within India while overseas they were free from such kind of daily pressures to their morale. Besides that "lack of funds" to get the latest equipment was also cited as an impediment (in case of experimental fields more than for theoretical fields). I do believe that scientists need complete freedom from mental pressures to produce quality work and this can be more possible abroad where individuality is celebrated more than "groupism" and "senior boss-takes-all the credit" culture is very rare.

Besides from experience in both environments, the Western society overall has a very STRONG tradition of "Sharing Credits" while our society seems more "boss-centric" ....( as a momentary digression from topic, if u have seen the Oscar awards where the credits mentioned by the winners go on forever ad-nauseum) . Getting credit for their work is extremely important for gifted people in most creative fields including research. There were cases where scientists committed suicide in BARC due to harassment by Boss or stolen credit for their hard work.

Such factors lead to decline in morale and quality.

Scientist suicides in India was not a random occurrence but a annual feature in BARC and mental harassment at work was cited as a factor in overwhelming majority of cases. These suicides were not financial (not surprisingly) by any means. Couple of years ago an Indian-born American scientist (Nobel-Chemistry) angrily refused to be called as Indian because he said nobody bothered to care about his work when he was in India. (21 August at 22:45)

Surajit Dasgupta: ‎Sanket Sunand Dash,

In your comments on patents, I hope you have taken into account international patents and not domestic ones. There are hundreds of Indian patents, for example, that cannot pass international scrutiny. (22 August at 09:26)


Sanket Sunand Dash: The data was from the wikipedia article on number of patents by country. Wikipedia data is sourced from WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). (22 August at 11:19)

an idea exchange on Facebook

Debate unleashed by Prashant Bhushan

Posted by [email protected] on October 23, 2011 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Sudesh Verma

We in Y4D condemn violence as a means to resolve differences. However, we also feel that those who think India to be a nation of nationalities should debate rather than provoke people by giving final statements. More so, when these people have occupied public space due to some other movement and using the new found status to forward a different cause.

Surajit Dasgupta

I wonder why Prashant Bhushan is blaming Sri Rama Sene for the attack (source: rolling caption on Star News). On Facebook, on the other hand, a member of this group, who says he is a member of some outfit named after Bhagat Singh, is claiming 'credit' for the assault, much as we couldn't see him in the footage above. Who is speaking the truth? And why should there be ambiguity about the organisation behind the attack?


Thomas Mathew

First of all, in no ambiguous terms this act should be condemned. But I have a small query, considering the kind of people Mr Bhushan has defended in court in the past, can he now appear on behalf of the folks who assaulted him? Look, I am asking this as a citizen frustrated by the complete lack of qualms criminal lawyers display in defending the worst kind of miscreants, I mean should'nt they be consistent in what they say they stand for?


Sudesh Verma

‎Thomas Mathew has ht the bull. Liberalism demands that there should no vengeance. Let them show their magnanimity. After all they are not terrorists who kill people without provocation

‎Gopal Rai

कश्मीर तो केवल बहाना है , असली मकसद भ्रस्टाचारियों को बचाना है!

भ्रस्टाचार विरोधी आन्दोलन से सबका ध्यान हटाने की अंग्रेजों वाली चाल कौन चल रहा है ?


जब पूरा देशवासी मिलकर भ्रस्टाचार मुक्त भारत बनाने की लड़ाई लड़ रहे हैं ऐसे समय में अन्ना टीम के प्रशांत भूषण पर हमला करके कश्मीर के मुद्दे पर देशवासियों को हिन्दू -मुस्लिम में बिभाजित कर भ्रस्टाचार विरोधी आन्दोलन से सबका ध्यान हटाने की अंग्रेजों वाली चाल कौन चल रहा है ? कौन है जो देश को अंग्रेजों से भी ज्यादा बड़े पैमाने पर लुटने वाले भ्रस्टाचारियों को बचाना चाहता है .कौन है जो भ्रस्टाचार मुक्त भारत नहीं बनने देना चाहता . कौन है जो शहीद भगत सिंह के नाम की आड़ में युवाओं का दुरपयोग कर अपना मकसद पूरा करना चाहता है ? कौन है जो शहीद भगत सिंह, अशफाकुल्ला खान की साझी शहादत को कलंकित करना चाहता ? जरा ठन्डे दिमाग से सोचें ! और अपने आस-पास आन्दोलन को कमजोर करने वाली किसी भी गतिबिधि का रोकने का प्रयास करें . युवाओं से विशेष निवेदन है कि जज्बात में कुछ करने से पहले शहीद भगत सिंह के विचारों को गहराई पढ़ने समझने की कोशिश करें . जय हिंद ! इंकलाब -जिंदाबाद

Surajit Dasgupta


Gopal Rai, आप के वक्तव्य में दो तथ्यात्मक दोष हैं --


(१) यह मुद्दा तजिंदर और उसके साथियों के हिंसक प्रदर्शन से नहीं उठा, प्रशांत भूषन के बयान से उठा है.


(२) भारत के मुसलमान पृथक कश्मीर के न तो समर्थक हैं और न ही कश्मीरी मुसलमान व भारत के शेष मुसलामानों के बीच कोई बहुत ज़्यादा सांस्कृतिक लगाव या मेल है. अलगाववाद के मुद्दे को इस्लाम के साथ जोड़कर आप मुसलामानों को बदनाम कर रहे हैं जो कि सर्वथा निंदनीय है.

Indian Muslims do not support the idea of Kashmir's separation from India. Nor do they share much cultural affinity with Kashmir's Muslims. Any insinuation to that effect is mischievous. Gopal Rai must explain why he is up to maligning patriotic Muslims of this country.


As for the facts, the demand for plebiscite in Kashmir -- "referendum" is a vague term that Prashant Bhushan used -- can be disputed academically. And easily so. It is only some individual or outfit that is intellectually challenged -- like the one Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga belongs to* -- that will resort to violence to counter the hollowness of the clamour for Kashmiri self-determination.


* [He does not belong to the Sri Rama Sene to the best of my knowledge. I wonder what motive Bhushan has in misleading the people about the identity of the organisation that is responsible for the abominable act.]


The demand was first made through the United Nations Security Council Resolution 47, adopted on 21 April 1948. It begins with the instruction to Pakistan to restore the territory to its pre-invasion position militarily as well as demographically. Only after that condition is fulfilled does the obligation rest on India to honour its part of the agreement. Since the first never happened, there is no question of the second happening. End of the story.


Having stated the above, lawyer Bhushan's knowledge of history and international law can be ridiculed and he can be made to look like an ass. Where is the need to manhandle a man who can be thus discredited and snubbed?


Sudesh Verma

This is problem with those people who have failed to accept the unity of diversity India concept because they failed to read the NCERT books during school. When they grew old they came to study something else that spoke about India being a nation of nationalities. The concept of plebiscite ridicules Indian democracy that ensured repeated elections in Jammu and Kashmir there and public participation as well. Are people like Prashant Bhushan questioning the legitimacy of Indian democracy in J and K? If yes, he should decide the law he is violating.



When I was raising questions about the intent and position of Prashant Bhusan on Kashmir many friends of IaC countered me saying it's his personal stand and not endorsed by IaC.

Now after the " PunchGate", shanti Bhushan ( a prominent Member of TeamAnna and IaC) supported the points made by PB on Kashmir.


So it's high time other prominent members should clarify their stand on Kashmir wrt PB comments.


They can not fool around saying it's their personal stand while doing so in disguise of popular support for JLP.


People gave their support *** to fight against corruption , not for their personal agenda which is coming out of closet.


***Disclaimer: The SUPPORT offer is Valid for Fight Against Corruption/ JLP only, not transferable to any other case.***


By the way Mr Bhushan should not be pressing charges against those who punched him.

Bhushan has advocated the mercy plea of Afzal Guru. Doesn't he?

Sudesh Verma

Great argument. You should be a lawyer fighting against Bhushan. They had said gherao netas. Time to gherao them on what they said and are practicing.

I entirely agree with Surajit Dasgupta. None of my friends who is a Muslim supports this separatist call. Saying anything to the contrary would insult those friends I cherish. The issue is job and security and not a fight over territory. Those who imagine that Kashmir can ever be alienated from India are living in a fool's paradise. We are all Indians or Bharatiya and all nationalists. Integral boundary of country also is a way to define nationalism.


Sanjay Bharatha

Bhaad me jaaye corruption, Kashmir is infinitely more important to us. To hell with Prashant Bhushan.


Sri Ram Sena people beat up Prashant bhishan yesterday. Well done this fellow should be thrown out of Anna Team or we all should bycott team anna. Enough of this tamasha. This fellow has made indias position embarrassing in front of world community. If team Anna doesn't remove Bhushan from their team we should welcome team Anna with slippers wherever they go.


This damn scoundrel is going on and on in all TV channels and supporting about plebiscite in kashmir and calls those who want to deal harshly with separatists as hitlers abs he calls Hindu grips as equal to hitler and being fascist. this scoundrel is openly accusing india of violence and says that Kashmir will be made into another afganistan if we do not give away Kashmir. He asks Kashmir pundits to leave india if they do not support his freedom of speech. I watched it just now on TV. We all should boycott team Anna if they still continue to keep him in his team. We should welcome them with slippers.


Freedom of speech does not mean, we speak whatever comes on once tongue in public. Parliament proclaimed that entire kashmir... incl POK is part of India... how can this person just like that say something which hurts everyone.


I think Prashant Bhushan has not learnt his lesson by being trashed.


Bhaad me jaaye corruption Kashmir is infinitely more important to us always. To hell with Prashant Bhushan.


He is going on and on in TV accusing india and Indian armed forces of committing atrocities in Kashmir and wants the special forces act removed from Kashmir accusing Indian army of atrocities and asks Kashmiri Muslims to leave india If they cannot respect his freedom of speech.

This scoundrel is so much hurt that his freedom of speech is not being respected did he ever think about the millions of Kashmiri pundits who were mercilessly driven away from their homes and were asked to leave their women folk in Kashmir to be enjoyed by Kashmiri muslims? Do those Kashmiri pundits not have any freedom? This scoundrel needs to be taught a lesson of his life.


Kiran S. Patnaik

अमीक़ ज़मी का लेख पढ़ा. आपने अपने अनुभवों को साझा किया है. शुक्रिया... लेकिन ये लोग काहेके "हिंदू" और काहेके "हिंदू राष्ट्र"?? ये सभी दरअसल बिके हुए लोग हैं. ..इन बदमाशों ने आज तक किसानों की आत्महत्या के विरोध में गुस्सा जताने के लिए किसी मंत्री-नेता पे हमले किये हैं?? जबकि मरने वाले नब्बे फीसदी किसान "हिंदू" ही हैं.!! आर एस एस का मुख्यालय जिस विदर्भ की धरती पे है, वहीं लकाहों किसानों ने आत्महत्याएं कर लीं, लेकिन इन नकली देशभक्तों ने कभी कोई बड़ा आन्दोलन चलाने की जहमत उठायी? नहीं. क्यों?? ये असल में आम जनता का ध्यान असली और मूल मुद्दों से हटा देना चाहते हैं..क्यों?? क्योंकि ये बिके हुए लोग हैं. ...ये नकली देशभक्त हैं..ये भाड़े के लोग हैं.............


Chandra Vikash

Till about an year back, I was as ignorant as Prashant Bhushan to have believed that no hell will break lose if Kashmiris opt for seperation. It's only after understanding how deeply in our veins integral humanism runs and after talking to Kashmiri Pandits, I am enlightened today that it's the terrorists who must be taken to task and shown the door.


‎Utpal Sarma

I don't know what did Prasant Bhushan say, but on my part from the bottom of my heart I believe in the doctrine "unity of diversity" in India.. J&K is, was & will always be an imseparable part of India........

Chandra Vikash

The reason why Prashant ji got thrashed, as I can say after looking at the incident video is b'coz of his arrogance and not his ignorance. I did have an hour long chat at his residence couple of months back where he served me all that along with a glass of water and some namkeen. Y4D founders Sudesh and Surajit are well aware how he refused to come to our seminar b'coz Vineet Narain ji was also a speaker. A few weeks later, Prashant ji shamelessly faces him and gets humbled for his past record as Vineet ji holds the mirror for him. This is at a TV debate by headlines today. I did my cameo bit to save Team Anna's day, when they were cornered by 3 Congress stooges falsely and Vineet ji genuinely. The video is here: http://headlinestoday.intoday.in/headlines_today/programme/public-debate-on-lokpal-bill/1/141755.html My cameo bit is in part 8 at 3 minutes.


I'm in no way justifying the attack. Yet, I do believe that people are not so much hurt by ignorance as they are by arrogance.


Sanjay Bharatha

Prashant Bhushan has proved himself to be a arrogant traitor who thinks too much of himself. He should be kicked wherever he goes our in public until He apologises. He should be taught a lesson.

I don't care whether it's ignorance or arrogance but to say such a thing so loosely can't be excused. Even a school kid would not say so. I was actually more shocked after seeing his interview where he heaped Accuses against Indian govt and army and he said that if Kashmiri pundits don't respect his freedom of speech they should leave india. How dare he say that. This fool is worried and hurt that few people hit him what about millions of pundits who had to leave their everything overnight even their women in some cases. And this joker wants them to go away from this country. If we don't teach this fellow a lesson shame on us.



I am more surprised to hear him say, situation of Kashmir will become like Afganistan. What is the problem of this dude!

He is a big personality now so a punch will keep anybody under non bailable warrant | I am sure everyday indian jails vl be filled completely at this rate of implementation of law :)

Sanjay Bharatha

Such idiots shoot their mouths just because people like you and me bear with their arrogance. Once we start to put them in place. Then they will think before they speak.

Even police understand and support those who trashed him. Not only police but all people who love this country will support them. They did this because he crossed the limits in the name of freedom of speech but what about the freedom of Kashmiri pundits?

Asif Naseer

This is the problem with enlightened India. My way or highway.

The school kid whom you are talking about has been taught right from the beginning that tolerance is equal to cowardice.

Just care about millions of Kashmiri Pundits and ignore tens of millions of others. Termination of AFSPA is demoralization of army, no matter what are the ill effects. Surely Muslims of India are not inspired by what separatists chants, but that does not means they will ignore everything in the name of nationalism. And Anna and his team mates are accepted until they speak anti-Congress. Else, Traitors! Time will prove this.

Jai Ho!


Sanjay Bharatha

The people who were staying in Pakistan and Bangladesh abd spoke and thought like you pr rajeshwari before the partition of india were either murdered or had to run for their lives when the reality dawned on them. Bit it was too late. Even Gandhi days that partition over my dead body. But what happened? So time will anyway tell nut please look back and see what it has already said. Jai jai jai ho. God help people like you.

Surajit Dasgupta

Arrogance वगैरह कुछ नहीं है यार. इन लोगों को भारत के टुकड़े करने के और हमें विश्व के समक्ष लांछित करने के पैसे मिलते हैं कई यूरोपीय देशों से.

Deepak Kothari

Kashmir was,is n will remain integral part of india.


Utpal Sarma

Anna Hazare is fighting to form a corruption free India & we, the Indians are in support of him.. Prashant Bhushan is no doubt a member of team Anna, but his comment was his personal view.. Some people are trying to accuse whole team of Anna ji for it.. But, I think it is meaningless..

Who is Prashant Bhushan, if God itsel passes an order to separate Kashmir from India,then even we, the Indians will protest against it..

Kashmir is always an imseparable part of India..


Sanjay Bharatha

It's glad to hear that Anna has distanced himself from Prashant Bhushan. Hope his will will prevail and prashant Bhushan will be thrown out of his team.


Julius Tongbram

Right to self determination.Thats what Bhushan promoted.Just because some blind, biased, chest-thumping morons go around shouting slogans in support of "Bharatmata " wont change the truth about Kashmirs stand.Bhushan was right to say so. If one cant digest it, its merely an egocentric attitude which rejects that goes against the so called "national interest" or "colonial interest". The fact tht Kashmir was n independent state is unquestionable.So why do people find it hard to swallow,I wonder.

Let Kashmiris decide their fate, Muslims and Pandits. Period.

Kishan Bailey

‎Julius Tongbram, the Brits still do sing ‘God save the Queen’ despite their borders seeing neither sunrise nor sunset.

The Americans sing ‘America, America’ even though it is they who perpetrate wars on foreign lands based on flimsy grounds.

The Russians still evoke the emotions of their ex-super power status when fighting Chechnyans or their proxy terrorists.

So what do you suggest? That everyone give up their identity, wilt to defeatist mentality and cave in to cynicism!

Likewise, law has been unable to contain crime. So I bet your wisdom would opinionate that it too should be done away with.


Every nation that considers itself relevant has a national cause and interest to protect. They don’t treat it as a venue for a rave party wherein every junky would probably propose that the paramour be shared amongst the other folks of a similar mindset.


All states as provincial kingdoms were independent. The letters of accession was submitted without any duress during the formation of the union. Kashmir included.

That forms the union of India and it stands unquestionable.


I wonder how your grand idea of two pence incorporate the Pandits who have undergone a clinical genocide right from a thousand years to a grand finale 22 years back fit into this equation.

Following this example, another state would probably purge a group ‘X’ and then seek a referendum for secession.

Does your courtesy extend to all the states in India or only reserved for a few, I assume for who your mind has already contrived prejudices and biases on an equal scale?

Julius Tongbram

Kishan Bailey, patriotism doesn't qualify for hooliganism.did you come across the word "right to self determination"That embodies the spirit of democracy and equality.in simple words,let the people decide at their own freewill and not under coercion and force.Thankfully,you admit that most kingdoms were independent states considering there was no India until Gandhiji.Most of us dont even like to accept the fact that almost each of the current states in India were actually an independent states.But,each one of these states willingly joined the Indian state?seriously?

Talking about persecution and genocides.kashmiri pundits aren't the only one to have faced that,society undergoes lots of unfair changes,so lets not stick to just one issue.lets talk about persecution of tribals in Tripura and MP by the non tribal population,and that is only the beginning.Maybe they can all go back and set up a referendum and rethink it over and decide who wants to be under the Indian state and other issues that plagues the society.simple.to cut it short,my point being,if u want a successful democracy,you cant force it.simple.Everything else is just a matter of circumstances.Democracy transcends nationality and the so called national interests.

Julius Tongbram

Sanjay,your religious intolerance and calling a religion anti human negates your right to support democracy. having a hard n difficult debate is one thing.tht gentleman goes ahead and insults religion!

Sanjay Bharatha

If nor tolerating such doctrines which promise heaven to only their followers and eternal hell to all others, irrespective of however much kind and good and generous or nonviolent they be, is facism. Then so be it.

It is a joke when someone who supports such ideologies which create elementary differences in humans on the basis of beliefs but not on the basis of deeds, speaks about religious tolerance.

I don't know to which country you belong, you don't teach us what democracy is because traditionally we were always a democratic and tolerant society. We never invaded any other country or kill all of it's population or build up colonies and then switched to democracy when it is convenient to us. Now even this democracy is being misused and manipulated at many places. It can't survive on it's own. It needs people with broad and inclusive mind set and those who are not so have no business to benefit from gifts of democracy and at the same time work for replacing it with some religious doctrine. Tolerating such sections is not helping democracy but destroying it. And to say that Kashmiri Muslims democratic rights should be respected we are doing that more then they deserve. They lost all claims to democracy and it's rights when they drove away most intolerantly and violently millions of pundits from their ancestral homeland. So stop lecturing us. And about tribals etc we would have solved all their problems if christian missionary activities had not transformed them from simple peace loving folk to being intolerant and hate mongers by changing their very traditional relationship with rest of the society.

Julius talks about the self determination of Kashmiris. But what about the rights of pundits? As far as I am concerned they lost the claim to all self determination the day they drove pundits away. And what about the self determination of 120 criers of Indians. It's combined self determination that matters not that of a handful hate mongers and murderers. Is some sections in Delhi feel that they need to have right for self determination and that they want to separate from Indian union, do you think we should agree to that.? Is this non sense possible in any country? Will china, Russia , USA or any other country agree to this?

Surajit Dasgupta

The right to self-determination as a philosophy or policy applies to such territories that are normal, where years of ethnic cleansing, militancy and insurgency have not vitiated the atmosphere and rendered a plebiscite untenable.


Utpal Sarma

Hum bhi bhrastasar mukt Bharat chahte he.. Lekin, bhrastarar k khilaf ladne ke liye press walo ko corrupted tarike se kharid ne ki kosish karna jaayaj he kya?


Surajit Dasgupta

Contrary to the claim of Prashant Bhushan, it is an independent Kashmir that will be yet another Afghanistan.


My 2008 article on the issue. [click on the hyperlink]

Core committee

Posted by [email protected] on October 23, 2011 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The Youth for Democracy (Y4D) Core Committee was formed on 9 October. It comprises the following members:

Arif Mohammad Khan, Ved Pratap Vaidik, Maloy Krishna Dhar, Maulana Junaid Ahmed Banarsi, Mohammed Seraj Ansari, Rambahadur Rai, MG Devasahayam and KN Govindacharya.

The core committee will guide Y4D in creating awareness about the need for a better system of governance and administration and mobilizing people for this cause.

Govindacharya is the chairman of the core committee. Y4D president Sudesh Verma is the convener. The committee will meet on a monthly basis.

Y4D's opinion about Team Anna

Posted by [email protected] on October 23, 2011 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

1. To say that the Congress or the Union Government led by it is trying to engineer a split in Team Anna is illogical. No ne asked Prashant Bhushan to give his controversial statement on Kashmir.

2. Instead of supporting someone in Hisar, Arvind Kejriwal should have contested the polls. When about 5 lakh votes are polled against the winning candidate, it cannot be said to be a victory for Team Anna, more so if INLD, a much maligned party, gets close to 3.5 lakh votes.

3. There is a need for the team to work together rather than allow someone or the other to manipulate.

4. It is time for Team Anna to think in terms of forming a political party. It is only through politics that substantial changes can be brought about in the corruptible system that runs this country.

Memorandum to VC, Delhi University

Posted by [email protected] on September 1, 2011 at 4:40 AM Comments comments (0)

1 September 2011

Prof Dinesh Singh

Vice-Cancellor, New Delhi

Delhi University, Delhi


Respected Sir,


When injustice happens in the campus, we feel duty bound to bring it to your notice. We suspect that there is some connivance somewhere between the lower staff at the Dean Students Welfare Office and powerful students lobby.


Otherwise it was not possible that the ID Card that was considered valid while accepting nomination of Ms Bhawana would be considered invalid during submission of draft and affidavit. The issue at stake is whether a simple girl from First Year BA (Prog) will be denied her right to contest just because of vested interests operating in the campus.


Bhawana has not been issued a computerized ID Card from Swami Shraddhanand College and the temporary ID card issued in the form of payment receipt is considered valid for all practical purposes. But the DSW office considered it invalid at the last stage.


Youth 4 Democracy (Y4D) is working overtime to create awareness about democracy and to find out ways to fight corruption at all levels of government and administration. A number of students of Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia have joined us for the national cause.


We strongly feel that there is a need to bring all campuses in India out of the clutches of vested political interests and hooliganism that paint these universities in bad light. We want that students should learn to protest silently when their rights are denied, fight against corruption peacefully wherever possible and fully concentrate on studies.


That is why we had decided to contest on only post of President. We wanted to give a strong statement that genuine and simple students should come in student politics and not those who are nominees of hooligans sitting outside.


Y4D comprises senior journalists, professionals and leading opinion makers of the country and we are not affiliated to any political organization. We would appeal to you to intervene and look into the case.


Thanking you,



Meena Dabas

General Secretary

On behalf of Bhawana and other members of Y4D from Delhi University

Anna's fan denied right to contest DUSU election

Posted by [email protected] on September 1, 2011 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Statement by presidential applicant Bhawana

I am a student of first year BA Pass at Swami Shraddhanand College, University of Delhi. I came in touch with Youth for Democracy (Y4D), an organization working to create political consciousness among the youth and fight the corrupt.

Inspired by the ideals of my colleagues, I decided to contest Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections as its president. My organisation wanted to give a statement that dadagiri and gonndaism could be fought against by peaceful means. After all, Y4D had participated in a big way in the anti-corruption agitation launched by Anna and his team.

On 29 August I submitted my form for all the four posts (president, vice-president, joint secretary and secretary). Before the submission of form, we are supposed to get the signature of the Principal of the college. In the college, they checked my identity (ID) card and signed.

My ID Card was checked by the DSW office and nominations were found to be correct. On 30 August I was supposed to deposit a draft of Rs 500 and an affidavit as per the elections guidelines.

When I entered the DSW office and tried to deposit the draft, I was told by a certain Mr Durga Prasad that my ID card was not valid. When I sought an explanation, he said that was not how an ID card looked. I objected, saying that it was the same ID and my college had not issued its replacement till now. He would not listen. My pleadings fell on deaf ears.

I spoke to my seniors over the mobile phone from inside the DSW office; they said I should get a written statement from them that they would not accept the ID issued by my college as valid. When I asked Mr Prasad for the written statement, he said he could not oblige. I asked other people also but none would listen to me.

Fifteen minutes before the deadline of 3 pm, a Ms Usha Rao entered the cabin and said this was not possible. I reiterated that most students of my college had the same ID card.

On insisting for my rights and trying to record the proceedings inside the room using my mobile handset, they snatched the equipment away from me and I was asked to leave the cabin. Still I managed to record the audio of a part of the conversation.

I suspect that there is a connivance of some staff members with some powerful student lobbies that were scared that I might upset their political calculations due to the support of my organizations. I feel gross injustice has been done to me and I would request you to highlight my plight.

I hail from a rural background and I may not be as ‘smart’ as the city-bred, but I must tell you that it must have taken a lot of courage on my part to break the conservative background of my family and decide to contest.

I am inspired by the ideals of Anna Hazareji who showed that the formidable power of the state could not deter his rustic simplicity.

I may not win, if finally allowed to contest, and many people tell me that I am not the right candidate for the President’s post. Yet I think that my right to contest should not be curtailed. I suspect that there is connivance of some staff members at the DSW (Dean Student Welfare) office with some powerful student lobbies. I have reasons to say so and I want justice to be done. My right to contest cannot be denied just because a few people in the system may think I am a rustic and do not deserve to contest.

I will fight for my right and not bow down before such insensitive people in the authority.

Systemic Change: Bureaucracy

Posted by [email protected] on August 28, 2011 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

What reforms do you want to see in BUREAUCRACY?

Surajit Dasgupta: ‎1. End of job security;


2. Performance-based incentives and punishments;


3. No government quarters;

... (10 July at 20:48)


Diksha Rajput: No govt. quarters?..why? (10 July at 22:17)


Vinit Kumar Upadhyay: No government quarters will create issues as bureaucrats will become inaccessible. (10 July at 22:19)

Surajit Dasgupta: Whaaaaaaaaat? You access bureaucrats at their homes rather than their offices? kyon bhai? kyaa deal karne jaate ho unke ghar pe? :-P (10 July at 22:20)


Diksha Rajput: ‎^^^ lol..arre Surajit..sarkari quarters milne main kya buraai hai? (10 July at 22:20)

Surajit Dasgupta: ‎No govt. quarters?..why?


Thanks to the Sixth Pay Commission, they are now being paid on par with the corporate sector, which they had demanded. Why cannot they now afford houses at market prices, be it rent or purchase? (10 July at 22:21)


Diksha Rajput: Agar sarkari quarters main aap ek baar reh liye toh re dharamshaala ya sarai main bhi reh lenge.....!And no, our salaries are nowhere near the corporate sector guys. (10 July at 22:23)


कर्ण सिंह: Before getting recruited in armed force, police check our social background. Why not for bureaucrats? Scrap criminal's right of election nomination (10 July at 22:23)


Diksha Rajput: How about compulsory military training for all bureaucrats?..I would second that (10 July at 22:25 · Like)

Surajit Dasgupta: ‎Diksha,


Why should such vast areas in every city be booked for government quarters permanently and thus rendered unavailable for any other creative/constructive purpose? If this model of housing is so just, why are developed countries not following it? Why do their bureaucrats live in rented accommodations like private citizens? (10 July at 22:27)


Vinit Kumar Upadhyay: ‎Surajit Dasgupta, imagine a situation where DM/SP is not accessible after a massacre or bomb blast at midnight. (10 July at 22:27)


Diksha Rajput: What creative/constructive use would you put the govt. residential accomodation to? (10 July at 22:28)

Surajit Dasgupta: ‎Vinit,


I guess you are hypothesising on the basis of the bygone era of physical mobility and terrestrial telephone connections. ;-) (10 July at 22:28)


कर्ण सिंह: ‎@diksha not only military, special training on how to speak? Proper hindi (10 July at 22:31)


Diksha Rajput: Ab ye proper Hindi bolne ki zaroorat kaise aan padee? (10 July at 22:31)


Vinit Kumar Upadhyay: No, I am taking prevailing culture of bureaucratic stalking in the account. This will give them a reason to not visit rural hinterland as they will argue that they live at some distant place and are unable to commute to distant places. Please take rural Indian into account. Tele-density is still an impediment there. (10 July at 22:33)


कर्ण सिंह: dont you listen to what and how they speak? (10 July at 22:35)

Surajit Dasgupta: ‎our salaries are nowhere near the corporate sector guys.


You forget the multitude of other privileges. Subsidised electricity is one. The average bill amount at my father's quarter used to be Rs 12 a month in peak summer and Rs 5 a month in the winters!


I am sure even in this age you do not pay the Rs 8000 odd that I pay on electricity against every bill.


My father went around in an Ambassador car and a Mahindra jeep, for neither of which he ever spent a penny.


He had three domestic helps -- all at the expense of the exchequer.


And these are just a few privileges out of many!


Now answer a simple question: Why should my tax subsidise your electricity bill, driver's salary, cars' maintenance and fuel costs, domestic helps' salary and all? (10 July at 22:35)


Diksha Rajput: I don't deny that there are many privileges that a Govt Servant is entitled to..but let me tell you..i don't get my House Rent Allowance if I stay in a govt accomdation....n my bijli ka bill is anywhere near 5,000/- (10 July at 22:38)


Vinit Kumar Upadhyay: We should discuss cost-benefit of bureaucratic spending in an impersonal way. certain things should be definitely done away. Colonial housing spaces (mostly rendered useless due to the condition of upkeep) should shrink to apartments. Each spending item can be evaluated on the basis of cost benefit analysis, but not on the basis of commonsensical understanding of non-professionals. (10 July at 22:44)


कर्ण सिंह: pointless to explain. Anyways. Why not do something to make them answerable directly (10 July at 22:45)

Surajit Dasgupta: i don't get my House Rent Allowance if I stay in a govt accomdation


That's hardly a compensation to the remaining taxpayers. The government-determined HRA is unrealistic when compared to the market prices of the kind of houses you live in.

BTW, my three points are lesser problems. The greater ones, those dealing with misgovernance of the country, will hopefully be dealt with by Sudesh.

This will give them a reason to not visit rural hinterland as they will argue that they live at some distant place and are unable to commute to distant places.


It's too presumptuous to say that trouble will erupt always close to the place where a DM/SP lives. He/she anyway has the option of renting a house within the area under his/her jurisdiction. (10 July at 23:13)


Sudesh Verma: replace the colonial bureaucracy with a people friendly one. Let them be out of tendering and purchasing. Let there be lateral entry and let there be independent citizens' panel in each department to look into complaints against them (other than Lokpal). Let experts take position of secretary of different departments such as agriculture secretary should be an expert on agriculture. More such innovative things are needed after studying the systems elsewhere. Let bureaucrats not hijack the system the way they have done till now.


Dont assume them to be people from different world. A simple graduate after cramming some facts becomes a bureaucrat and assumes the role of civilizing the natives since he is a member of the British Bureaucracy. they have their own clubs, the best of systems, and the entire government to please them. I am talking of IAS. When they increased their salary to Rs 80,000 per month they have a matching revenue saving by doing away with the jobs of permanent clerks and replaced them with adhoc ones. Every thing in the country has to move along them. So it is time to have experts from outside in senior bureaucratic positions. This will stop the floodgated of IITs.IIMs appearing for IAS and wasting national wealth, they can join later. Experts try to become generalists since it gives them power. It is sad that servants in this country are more powerful (bureaucrats) than rulers (people) who pay tax to pay salaries of these elites.

Two ARCs' recommendations have not been implemented since they do not like and they can have their ways with politicians. They would not allow the Lokpal since it will tackle joint secretaries and above level officers. Lord ACton said power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This applies to these bureaucrats who have created a system for themselves.

If you want more details on how these bureaucrats operate, let us have a meeting to know how bad these insensitive people are. (10 July at 23:50)


Sahana Singh: I think the Civil Services Exam in its current form should be scrapped - it only produces people who are well versed in history, geography and blah blah. Instead, like in Singapore, the future administrators should be selected on the basis of specialised tests which test their personality and ability to think logically, innovatively and respond to various situations. (11 July at 06:08)


Namit Kothari: the job security offered by govt should be removed (at all levels). jobs should be on contract basis (11 July at 09:18)


Navin Kumar: this is the field where i can expect not suggest. (11 July at 11:18)


Ajit Phape: ‎@ Namit, Job security forms the crux of Government Job.... Accountability comes with job security and job in government is all about accountability. (11 July at 12:29)


Surya Prakash Loonker: Public Services Guarantee Act should be implemented in every state. Bihar, UP and Delhi have already passed it. (13 July at 03:09)


Harun Al Rashid: Bureaucrats shouldn't enjoy unhinged job security. (06 August at 19:21)

Systemic Change: Intelligence

Posted by [email protected] on August 28, 2011 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Reforms in INTELLIGENCE gathering and ANTI-TERRORISM apparatus:

Harun Al Rashid: Musalmanon par bharosa kijay aor hamaray naojawanon ko police mayn dakhila dilwaiyay. kam az kam hamari bastiyon mayn say aaindah koi dahshatgard nahin niklayga. police mayn Musalmanon ki tadad itni kam kyun hay? (06 August at 19:14)


Nitya Shastri: ‎Harun Al Rashid also cops should stop arresting youth based on flimsy evidence but take the entire community into confidence to get proper information and provide witness protection. (07 August at 08:04)


Souvik Mishra: Dear Harun.......... do u know dere is always a debate dat there r less muslims in defence forces n police n majority of muslims think dat this is bcoz dey cant be trusted..............see i don know abt police dat much but our defence is a secular organisation which never discriminates on the basis of cultural differences............. if one applies for it n gets it then no one certainly will allow him from not gettin into some thing like police or army...........how many muslims apply for police or defence jobs n how many get it is wat matters...... (07 August at 08:51)


Souvik Mishra: der r some who doubt a muslim's love for our country but they r not huge number i suppose................... n dat also bcoz certain few elements in muslim community have done such gruelsome acts dat the whole religion is blamed which is pitiful (07 August at 08:55)


Harun Al Rashid: I am not complaining about discrimination by the Indian state. I also do not want reservation for my community either in the police or in the military. However, there is an oft-heard complaint about Muslims that when terrorists set sleeper cells in our neighbourhoods, we do not report the matter to the police. They say if we did, the terrorists could be caught before they could inflict any damage.

This insulting charge against us is flimsy too. Policing is a special skill that comes with proper training. Neither a Muslim nor a Hindu can otherwise detect terrorists from average looking faces. It hurts to learn of the non-Muslim perception of all Muslims as traitors and helpers of terrorists when the fact is that Islam exhorts us to be faithful to our country. Why can't the state instead train us in the requisite skills so that we know how to detect a Pakistani sneaking into our houses as an ordinary tenant?

This has happened twice in the locality I live in. Some suspected terrorists were caught and then the landlord was harassed for months together despite the fact that he had abided by the law by submitting duly filled police verification forms at the area's police station when those miscreants sought the house on rent. If the documents submitted by those tenants were fake, why couldn't the police detect the forgery? It means that the police verification procedure is just a formality that is not taken seriously by the police themselves while innocent Muslims have to bear the brunt for the state's own dereliction of duty. (07 August at 22:25)

Systemic Change: Police

Posted by [email protected] on August 28, 2011 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

What reforms do you want to see in the POLICE?

We are pressing for the implementation of the recommendations of the Supreme Court, which were:

# giving statutory status to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)

# the CVC to exercise superintendence over the functioning of the CBI

# selection for the post of the Central Vigilance Commissioner to be done from outstanding civil servants and others of impeccable integrity

# selection for the posts of Director CBI and Director Enforcement, each with a minimum tenure of two years, to be done by a Committee headed by the CVC

# declaring the Single Directive, which required the CBI to seek permission from the Government before undertaking any inquiry or investigation against senior civil servants of the rank of Joint Secretary and above, null and void.


The debate:

Prasanna Veeraraghavan: Primarily I would like to have the duty of the police covering up for the security job for our leaders be removed and there exists a separate force which will be utilized as security alone for them. (10 July at 19:39)

Surajit Dasgupta: Do you want it to continue to be a wing of the state government? (10 July at 19:40)


Prasanna Veeraraghavan: No. (10 July at 19:41)


Diksha Rajput: ‎@ Surajit..do we need to reform ourselves, as well? (10 July at 19:42)

Surajit Dasgupta: That's an अवस्था, not a व्यवस्था! ;-) (10 July at 19:47)


Diksha Rajput: hmm..par vyavastha chalaanewaley to hum hee sab honge naa? jab avastha hee theek nahi hogi, to vyavastha kaise durust hogi? (10 July at 19:48)


Parvin Baishkiyar: I Agree with Prasanna Veeraraghavan, but I will prefer it to under provinces only. Center/World should only be a watch dog, and fix it if there anything wrong, according to global laws. Complete stop of Breaking of LAW by police, there are not judges and should not do anything like encounter killing, brutality. They are servant of Public and should not order civilians to do stuff, where possible they should step in and not cause common public harrasement. If they become witness in court, all their wordings should pass Lie Detector Test. They cannot use any force which can kill anyone, they should use gun which immediately make a person immobile, but they cannot use Guns, or anything which can cause bodily harm under any case. Any deaths/injury in police custody the police should be suspended frrever and criminal case brought against all the involved person. (10 July at 19:59)


Sukrut Patel: Anyone know that POLICE is an acronym for Protector Of Life In Civil Establishment.


better training and equipment for a start. (10 July at 20:27)


Prasanna Veeraraghavan: Primarily police must be controlled in a different way and they must not be controlled by the politicians. They must only coordinate with politicians. (10 July at 22:39)


Sudesh Verma: What we are talking of is the malaise but we are not suggesting reforms. My argument runs thus: The thana system was evolved during the British to make it compatible with revenue collection system. Why should the ACR of an SHO not be written by an agency outside the police say a forum of senior citizens which often act as the moral force. Why should an FIR not be lodged if a person goes to file a complaint. Why should police not be asked to be decent? The answer will come in lack of education, lack of training in behaviour with citizens and their own inhuman condition in which they work.... (11 July at 00:06)


Komal Shah: Being at the right place at the right time & doing the right thing... (11 July at 14:56)


Surya Prakash Loonker: Online FIR. Police to be arrested and put in prison if they fail to perform their duties which includes thing like not reaching a place of accident or incidence in less than 10 minutes. (13 July at 03:12)


Harun Al Rashid: jab ham say yeh wardi walay beech sadak mukhatib hon to tameez say pesh aayen. filhaal itni mehrbani kaafi hogi. (06 August at 19:20)


Chaitanya Kakita Satya: Most basic reforms needed are transparency in appointments and promotions,security of tenure for higher officials,separation of investigation and law enforcement duties.So many committees have studied the issue and made many recommendations. Even if there is will on the part of union governments ( irrespective of party in power) to implement them, state governments are in no mood to free police departments from their stranglehold. In this one case,judiciary needs to play a more proactive role.Some time back SC wanted to know the status of police reforms in India but nothing was heard in recent time (06 August at 21:10)


Ravi Kirti: ‎1)Protection to complainants / witnesses


‎2) Make it easy for people to file an FIR, introduce online FIR filing facility; 3) A mechanism to address complaints against the police and its officials 4) Stronger internal vigilance against corruption 5) Courtesy/manners to be included in their training (06 August at 21:37)


Vivek Nair: Increase salaries of the police by atleast 100% (09 August at 10:55)


Sumit Kumar: following are suggestion from me: 1). enhance training level they should get the same training as army or CRPFgets. 2). a national DATA GRID for information sharing which could be accessed from any where by police as per the access level of the concerned officer. 3). better arms and communication system. 4) lodging of FIR should be made easy as others said, online access to this facility with inbuilt legal intellisense included in any such portal. (09 August at 12:37)


Siddharth Ranjan: Independent Police Commission! (09 August at 20:24)


Priyanka Singh: dey shud b less of "petu" crimes gonna reduce wen dere bellies reduces as well, nd dere greed oh god! its sad our responsibilities on such irresponsible n phisically opressed, n frustratd ppl! (09 August at 21:06)


Vineet Singh: ज्यादा कुछ करने की जरूरत नहीं ........ प्रकाश जी पूर्व महानिदेशक बीएसएफ की रिपोर्ट पढ़ और अमल में ले आयी जाये ... बहुत कुछ बदल जायेगा (09 August at 23:32)


Kishan Bailey: I am only wondering why the armed services are far less corrupt and far more accountable.

One possible reason is that they have the distinction of having a head who reports to no one but the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, the President. So can a police force also restructure in a similar manner and have one supreme commander, say an Inspector General? I know that it would involve much more numbers than an army can accommodate and would therefore be that much more complex. But it would remove the unwanted interferences which the police today face, right from every state level minister to a political party worker.

But the drawback to this could be that it can be politically wielded to suit the center like the CBI currently is. (09 August at 23:39)


Harun Al Rashid: ‎Kishan Bailey, the army is no less corrupt. There corruption happens mostly in the non-combatant departments. (13 August at 16:29)

Surajit Dasgupta: We should have city police like NYPD, LAPD, etc rather than state polices. (13 August at 16:41)


Nirmal TS Kumar: I prefer the current operational set up. The police and the military should always be under civil control. that we're not able to elect good politicians or have effective or clean legislative bodies is our fault. We shouldn't create super powerful police or military capable of interfering in domestic affairs unless expressly mandated by our elected representatives. That's inviting a police state.

The Police ought to be given turn around times for all their activities, all cases including those that're subjudice but aren't closed to public by the judiciary till closure should be completely public. (13 August at 18:37)


Ambuj Verma: why can't there b separate investigation section and a separate section to apply force............so that there can be a better public relation and a more managed investigation. You can't expect people who also apply physical force to be polite at the same time. There can also be a less corrupt system because of accountability, time limit and clarity in approach. (13 August at 23:57)

Surajit Dasgupta: Nirmal,


We are advocating a city-based police reporting to a citizens' council (rather than the Superintendent of Police and then the state's Police Minister), not an autonomous police. (14 August at 09:18)

Memorandum to Team Anna

Posted by [email protected] on August 21, 2011 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Memorandum to India against Corruption:


Youth 4 Democracy (Y4D) firmly believes that the country is poised for a giant leap for comprehensive reforms in the system. When on 15 August, Gandhian Anna Hazare gave a call for reforms in the system to provide succour to the ordinary citizens and declared that the Jan Lokpal Bill was not the end of the struggle for justice, Y4D was jubilant since this is what we have been saying all through.


Even after 64 years of independence, the country is groping in the dark in a bid to make public authorities more accountable. Mahatma Gandhi called it trusteeship and wanted that such holders of public offices be transparent and accountable. In the present Indian set-up, people have to run from pillar to post for getting small things done. Even an FIR is so difficult to be lodged in most parts of the country unless the complainant has enough money or is ‘well-connected’.


The system of government and administration has been hijacked by elites in business, bureaucracy and politics. Since problems in the system do not affect them, they are not bothered about the plight of the common man. The suffering masses keep waiting for deliverance.


Anna has struck the right chord with the majority of population by talking of comprehensive reforms in the system.


About the Jan Lokpal Bill, we feel that Shri Anna Hazare should beware of those who argue for dilution in the original stand on inclusion of the Prime Minister’s Office and the judiciary in the Jan Lokpal. One only needs to talk to the man on the street to understand the state of lower judiciary in the country. There have been numerous instances of inappropriate behaviour on the part of some judges in higher judiciary as well. While a lot has been spoken about the Judges’ Accountability Bill, we strongly feel that it needs to be studied vis-à-vis the Jan Lokpal Bill to figure out which is better.


Jan Lokpal with decentralised structures at district levels under different nomenclatures is the right approach. Now it is for Team Anna to hold on to the original position and persuade the parliamentarians to present the Jan Lokpal Bill and let the Standing Committee make amendments to this. For transparency of operation, it is pertinent that the deliberations of the standing committee on this issue be made public. It will help people know the stand taken by various political leaders inside the committee. It is essential to explore if the committee that will study the Jan Lokpal be made more broad-based to include representative sections of the civil society.


Anna has created hope for reforms and we salute him for that. People have come out in large numbers to pledge support to him. Now it is for Team Anna to translate this mass upsurge into a nationwide movement for positive change.


Y4D strongly believes that if reform is the agenda, those talking of it should not practice untouchability, which is also a form of corruption. Mahatma Gandhi never practiced it in public life. All those desirous of joining this movement should be welcomed with open arms irrespective of ideological differences.


In this connection we would like to refer to the movement launched by Swami Ramdev to bring back black money stashed in tax havens abroad and the other by Sri KN Govindacharya who has been talking of change in the system for delivery of justice to the poor and the needy. Anna should bring all of them under his leadership and plan a strategic war against corruption.


Y4D volunteers have courted arrest in support of Anna, volunteered for the movement when most of Team Anna leaders were arrested and mobilised youth, particularly college students in and around Delhi, in favour of the movement. We hope Team Anna will take into account the issues raised by us.


Fighting corruption is an ethical issue, and therefore the war must be waged on the political plain too. It requires the purest form of morality — be it dealing with the political parties or religious and social leaders. ‘Civil society’ should not be perceived as some persons’ propriety. It should appear to represent the entirety of society. It cannot be a cherry-picked group of persons that fails to represent India as a whole. To that end, intense reforms are needed in the attitude and conduct of Team Anna too.




Meena Dabas

General Secretary

Grand alliance of 50 political parties

Posted by [email protected] on June 25, 2011 at 11:27 PM Comments comments (4)

Sudesh Kumar Verma

Former member of The Statesman bureau and ex-political analyst, British High Commission in India


SEEDS of an alternative to the oppressive system now represented by the Congress-led UPA Government (II) were laid on 25 June when various groups and individuals fighting against corruption formed a new grouping called the Save Democracy Front. More than 50 such organisations and their hundreds of supporters unanimously elected political thinker and social activist KN Govindacharya as its chairman after a marathon debate of seven hours.


Even as it proved to be one of the most democratic elections of any leader, it also represented a mosaic of Indian social life. While former Union Minister Sanjay Paswan moved the motion of chairmanship of the front; former union minister Arif Mohammad Khan, who had resigned Rajiv Gandhi government on the issue of Shah Bano case in 1986, seconded it. This was followed by an overwhelming endorsement of the motion by the audience of about 300 workers from the 50 assembled organisations.


Khan, who had become an overnight hero asking for reforms in the Muslim personal law in the 1980s, said that Govindacharya was one of the few political leaders in the country who had not lost his credibility and hence the natural choice to lead any such movement. “We can resolve ideological differences during the movement but if a person has no credibility, he would use such differences to create hatred”, he added.


Govindacharya clarified that any fight against the system must be a political one. What SDF would press for is systemic change rather than mere change of government. In the last six decades, change in the government has failed to change the mindset of those in power, he said. Corruption was eating into the vitals of democracy, he asserted.

The newly elected chairman said that soon the new front would build its base across the country by laying down people-centric programmes. He said the people had lost faith in established political parties and were looking for real alternatives. The need was not merely a change of government but a government that could bring systemic change. Since the last 60 years people were awaiting deliverance but a corrupt bureaucracy and political class and inept government machineries were not allowing benefits of governance to reach the poor, he said.


Members from India against Corruption belonging to the Anna Hazare camp and those of Baba Ramdev’s Bharat Swabhiman also attended the convention. They all expressed hope that their identified leaders would band together to expand the fight against corruption.


Today’s alliance materialised after months of struggle that saw many of these groups fight together on the streets. The latest was the silent march of citizens on 18 June to oppose the midnight police crackdown on Ramdev’s followers on the wee hours of 5 June. The silent protest that saw people tying a black band on their mouths was something unique in the form of protest. The police panicked, stopped the march and people courted arrest in protest. They were taken to the Daryaganj Police Station from where they were released later. But Govindacharya had already demonstrated that he would organise people for just cause, irrespective of the repressive government.


The police was ready with water canon and tear gas vehicles installed at vantage points and could have turned violent if marchers had refused to abide by the withdrawal of permission to the march that was earlier granted. Govindacharya, an expert in crowd management, ensured that none turned violent.


Later, on 20 June, Govindacharya approached the National Human Rights Commission to register a protest against the police on two counts: the police crackdown on 4-5 June and the refusal to allow the silent peace march. The memorandum submitted to the NHRC questioned if India had already become a police state where dissent was not being allowed for political reasons.

Bid to unite all - I

Posted by [email protected] on February 25, 2011 at 11:22 AM Comments comments (2)

Surajit Dasgupta

Journalist, Researcher, Activist

AFTER getting a positive response from business houses friendly to West Bengal's Left Front dispensation for a new, independent media venture during this writer's recent visit to the state's capital and parts of its hinterland, last evening I had had the opportunity of interacting with members of the Jago Party and the greater Andhra Pradesh-based Loksatta Party. The latter also happens to be a founding member of the NGO, 5th Pillar, that, among other activities, had put to practice the ingenious idea of offering every bribe seeker a '0 rupee' Indian-currency lookalike, which had successfully ridiculed and put to shame about 25,000 corrupt people across the country.

This is over and above the moral support of the founder of the Right to Recall Party, Rahul Chimanbhai Mehta, who happened to contest against the BJP's LK Advani in the last 2009 elections for the Lok Sabha seat of Gandhinagar, and garner a decent 7,500 odd votes. This writer met him in December 2010.

Over the past few years it has been noticed that several well-meaning individuals and small outfits are registering protests against all sorts of wrongdoings by local, state as well as national administrations. However, they haven't had the kind of impact necessary to change the country's dilapidating system. A natural human tendency one notices here is that anybody who happens to be struck by an idea wants a kind of intellectual property right over it, and wants that particular idea to score over the competing (but otherwise equally well intentioned) ideas. And then there is the malaise political observers are well aware of: one's own ambitions, which often come in the way of forging unity between disparate political groups.

So, a few other friends and acquaintances, with the strength of the group perpetually increasing began trying to bring all these groups together on the ground of the bare minimum concerns they share.

The next two political parties we approached are the JD(U) and the TDP. This is besides our interactions with the members of the Freedom Team of India.

It must be noted in this regard that members of the Youth for Democracy (Y4D), separately or in unison, may not agree to one or more agendas of any of the political parties they are trying to bring together. However, these differences -- some of them quite serious -- must take a backseat for the moment and the primary focus has got to stay on ousting the current thoroughly corrupt regime.

That brings us to a questionable aspect of a recent show of strength by 'concerned' citizens -- many of them eminent like Kiran Bedi and Ram Jethmalani -- in New Delhi. In course of this demonstration, no politician or political party whose hands are seemingly in the till were named in the speeches delivered by the prominent personalities. Some efforts to do so by a few members of the organising committee were thwarted by the bigger names in the panel (this includes tearing apart posters shaming the alleged masterminds of the 2G and CWG scams before they could be put in public view).

While the organisers of the 30 January demonstration could argue that they would rather demand something substantive in the form of a legislative measure like the Lokpal Bill, there are reasons to be disappointed by the action of forwarding this agenda at the cost of others. For one, the Lokpal newly powered by the proposed act could turn out to be a Frankenstein's monster! And then, their hesitation, reluctance or fear to wage a real, all-out war against the corrupt does not catch public fancy, which, for all its failings, is the need of the hour.

The movement led by Anna Hazare indeed turned out to be a sponsored show: sponsored by the very class that India against Corruption purportedly and publicly was up in arms against.

We are equally at odds with prominent opposition parties that, despite raising a hue and cry over the present dispensation's incompetence and corruption, have shown no intention of toppling the UPA-II Government right now. We are not convinced they are actually bothered about the financial costs of a mid-term poll. Practically, they are just not ready to offer an alternative by bringing in a No-Confidence Motion in the parliament and then fighting elections afresh. Of course, there could be spoilsports like the Samajwadi Party who would always be ready to pitch in with its support in case an ally deserts the UPA. But that cannot be an insurmountable challenge. We would like to know, therefore, the other causes of their inhibition. And we shall come to know of them through direct interactions with the parties concerned rather than speculate about the factors through armchair journalism.

Meanwhile, we are planning a massive political event, the details of which will be made public in due course.

On 22 February, members of the Y4D met Supreme Court advocate Ashok Arora, a gentle soul who left a thriving practice in law to take up the cause of the have-nots. He has assured us of legal guidance that may be needed when we take on the might of law out there in the streets. Mr Arora has for long been involved in sensitising the youth towards the crying needs of society.

The next meeting was with JD(U)'s KC Tyagi. He has assured us of logistical support as and when we would organise a Delhi-bound rally from Bihar's Champaran district.

Another capital-bound rally is being planned from the Sabarmati Ashram, Gujarat.