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To my young railway officers!

Dear my young friends in railway service,

I did not want to write first but after reading the anguish filled self-questioning coupled with seeking constitutional institution based protections etc in the letters posted by young officers, at the google site, felt it is necessary to contribute in the interest of the youngsters, in whose place I was decades ago and equally angry with the system.

The only difference is while many a senior cooled down from hot lava state to simple cold wax state after 30 years of "service", I remained same hot angry man in the year of my retirement, as Cabinet Secretary himself mentioned in a personal one to one meeting at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan in 2004, called because of my letter to the Prime Minister as a lowly MD of a PSU. I must have been the singular exception of a serving officer filing to CBI a complaint against a Ministry!

How did I survive? Why the system allowed me to pass through? Or did it?

Let me admit frankly, without concern either f…

Mario Miranda

He passed away at 85years of age today. Memorries of evenings I spent at his ancestral home on beachfront in Loutolim village with his graceful wife hosting flood my mind.
Such a gentle person and saw humour in the way we think and live. I think finally that is the way God sees in whatever we do struggling to prevail over one another.
I got him to travel throughout Konkan Railway and provide me with illustrations of various scenes for a cultural integration of the entry of Konkan Railway in to Goan life and I am happy the book Konkan Nama published by Konkan Railway received special welcome by tourists in Goa.
His illustrations were reproduced on walls of Margao station too.
Unassuming and graceful couple I recall fondly. My condolences to family who will miss him & his typical comments in conversation on everything we see around.
May his soul rest in peace.

26/11 : it does hurt

When we have an accident in railways, we have to stand without rest or sleep day and night, till the injured are taken care of and the line is restored back to safety. We cannot say, we have to adjourn the activities for a day or two days later availing week end etc.

A doctor on emergency duty cannot leave the patient on operating table and go for a break.

But why our courts need all kinds of breaks and try to remain blind folded to delay justice as much as possible- particulalrly in case of 26/11 terrorist case.

How procedure has become more important then the substance is what is wonderful.

On 27/11 all evidence was readily available, the court comprising of three judges ordered on emergency basis should be mobile and visit with cameras recording the audio-visual evidence, allowing the so nominated defence lawyer as well as the prosecution too to present their oral presentation in real time, move in a mobile media cum recording van, interview also the culprit in jail in full video recor…

ADHAR & ACD

ADHAR and ACD:
On return from US sought from internet how to get ADHAR in Hyderabad. Sent an email to some nodal guy ans was pleasantly surprised it was responded to. Generally emails are ignored. EVen more surprising that as I was struggling with their so called help line, a call is made directly to my mobile, if I find some problem, to come directly to their headquarters and the needful will be organised. Even more surprised. I only sent my passport images in the email earlier and my ex-govt or railway connections were no where mentioned. Was surprised that as a common citizen so much attention was given.

Well, I and my wife took an auto , made the trip, costed us Rs 250 but ok. Patiently our pictures, the finger prints etc were recorded, verified against our passports and we left the premises, with good feelings.

But still wondered at the unusual treatment we received by the young man who met us and did everything needed, a stranger for us.

While we were still wondering why some stran…

Fukushima and Koodunkulam

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Why RTI activists should die?

Why a citizen should risk his life to do public service? To merely collect information, if one seeks to use the RTI, so long as it is well sanitised, the government releases the same. You do not know what you did not get.Really sensitive information will be hidden. If too much pressure arises, then life itself is taken.
There are cases when really damaging information comes out under two sets of circumstances: 1. When a group of persons or an organisation operates through some court process and some one in the government is willing to cooperate 2. When the government itself in a planned pre-meditated manner, create such document duly marked secret, but release at the right time under RTI to achieve own internal agenda of setting right a rogue political colleague, whom they are otherwise unable to handle.
So RTI is either misused or abused.
The basic lacuna in the ACT is you do not what to ask for , and do not know how much more the government is hiding while giving some information. It co…

Is poverty a patented feature of any religion?

[ In reply to a senior respected person]
Sir,
I do not know if only muslims live in ghettos. Others too do.
In my childhood, I lived with muslim class mates who were my close friends in as much as some class mates going through the evening RSS classes, but all of us were living well and also in engineering college and in IIT too. Never had any inkling that they were poor or living in ghettos. That way as many or even more non-muslims too live in ghettos. That includes brahmins .
For example AR Rehman had become Muslim by choice, though he belonged to the Iyer community, one of the most revered brahmin community in Tamil Nadu. The poverty and the inability to look after parents and family attracted him to adopt. But I respect and enjoy his music. We similarly honour Bismillah Khan. We do not have any prejudices in reality.
Poverty does not favour one religion. Actually in my home town , the richness of muslims increased manyfold, with money flowing from Dubai. The Hindu businessmen for …

Barbarians vs Civil societies

It is a historical fact: barbarians start as barbarians to win over soft civilised societies, weakened by own civil and high thinking and living habits, and then once pinnacle is reached, they themselves become civil, soft and start high thinking and high living, become ripe for another emerging barbarian groups to attack leveraging the civil behaviour of the opponent to own advantage. The in built tolerance of the civil society itself is used by these forces to survive and destroy the civil society.
Perhaps the only exception to that cycle is , may be Afghanistan. After Genghis Khan winning all over, still, the country continued to live in highly volatile manner. Not becoming civil could be the best stable option?

Kurukshetra war is a symbol of that need for good people ultimately to pick up the weapons of destruction to establish back civil society.
The new barbaric groups amongst Islam , can cause doom to the societies in a similar manner, if they continue to apply their civic laws …

The dangerous times of fiscal instability ahead..

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe--bilmes-war-cost-20110918,0,1598244.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MostEmailed+%28L.A.+Times+-+Most+E-mailed+Stories%29

"Ten years into the war on terror, the U.S. has largely succeeded in its attempts to destabilize Al Qaeda and eliminate its leaders. But the cost has been enormous, and our decisions about how to finance it have profoundly damaged the U.S. economy.

Many of these costs were unnecessary. We chose to fight in
Iraq and Afghanistan with a small, all-volunteer force, and we supplemented the military presence with a heavy reliance on civilian contractors. These decisions not only placed enormous strain on the troops but dramatically pushed up costs. Recent congressional investigations have shown that roughly 1 of every 4 dollars spent on wartime contracting was wasted or misspent.

To date, the United States has spent more than $2.5 trillion on the wars in Iraq and …

Cockroach, ACD and Indian Railways

Of late I have started watching old Vithalacharya movies ( 40-50 years old), telling stories of cruel wizards kidnapping beautiful princess and then a brave prince rescuing after a fight over two hours after realising I am after all expected to live like a simple cockroach and attempt no serious heroics. Without any opinion from my side the various stages verifiable by records of railways, let me narrate the story of ACD.Only matters of fact I would list below, how ACD arrived in railways and seems to be creating needless problems to the Ministry.1. March 1999- A single page concept paper I sent to Board while grieving hundreds of lives lost in quick succession on railway collisions and level crossing collisions.
2. Shri SM Vaish (Member Khanna Safety Commission) said spend some money and demonstrate a prototype.
3. First prototype demonstrated to Shri VK Agarwal CRB on 15th Oct 1999.
4. First filed runs demonstrated to Members Khanna Safety Commission, Expert team from RDSOcomprising of…

A friend sent me the story of how Anna Cap made a difference in Delhi!

You may have read about the experience of the retired army officer who met a lot of people at Ram Lila Maidan where Anna Hazare was on fast. Here is something experienced by my cousin who happened to be in Delhi that time. "I was in Delhi to attend a meeting in the Planning Commission's Office. When I got out of Delhi airport, some youngster approached me and gave me a small national flag to pin on my shirt. This is something which I could obviously not refuse. Then they gave me a white cap with "I am Anna Hazare" written printed it in. I decided to wear the cap, got into a taxi and told him to take me to my lodging. On the way there was a police check point, and the cop peeped into the taxi and waved us on. The cabbie seemed to be happy. and said "Aap ki wajah se bach gaye" (Escaped, thanks to you). When I asked what I had doen to save him, he said 'Every day, these police guys make us pay 100 rupees to pass this point, and if someone does not pay he …

Reflecting on Chris Hedges: A decade after 9/11: What we loathe

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Requires courage to write such an article. But for some reason he is not willing to consider the entire spectrum.(Ref: Write up attached below).
Had US taken to the alternative route of diplomacy, would Afghanisatan under Taliban at that time cooperate?
While the war on Iraq was totally uncalled for, focused change of regime to facilitate capture of the culprits in Afghanistan would have served the purpose.
Iraq even to day daily loses double digit lives with the way the society is fractured.
Of course entire Arab world is in a state of destabilisation.
SO is the world economic order too. What is a the root of all these events occurring in a quick succession too in the last decade?
The 9/11 triggered more than what meets the eye.
Nostradamus prediction that a man in green makes fire come on New York like city has proven right?
We can only conjecture but nevertheless, the suffering is real when the incidents really happen.
India did not go and attack like US nor indulge in any violence again…