Left opposes performance-linked salaries

Left opposes performance-linked salaries

Finally, the veil is off…(I think it was never there..we were dumb enough to believe all this social justice crap) :

 Reacting angrily, the unions said any move to this end would hurt the interests of employees at lower levels of the hierarchy.
“The proposal of performance-linked salary for a government employee is illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional. Basic salary cannot be linked with performance. There can be a performance bonus, as prevalent in some industries, but that should not be a part of the salary,” said Gurudas Dasgupta, general secretary, All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), which is affiliated to the Communist Party of India (CPI).

I have never heard such an insane argument from anyone. I believe I would be insulting the intelligence of my readers if I try to explain why this is such nonsense.

Commies need help…seriously !

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“those who oppose the nuclear deal are enemies of progress.”

That was apparently our Godmother, Sonia ji …I did not get to read her original speech, so will refrain from further comment on the speech itself.

 What piques my interest is this clarification from the congress party on the speech:

After senior Left leaders reacted to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s remarks on the Indo-US nuke deal during a rally in Haryana, the Congress party has clarified that the remarks were only in the context of the political situation in Haryana.

Someone, please explain to me how it is possible that “those who oppose the nuke deal are enemies of progress” only in the context of the political situation in Haryana and under no other circumstances !

India are champs…Part 4…social repurcussions…

This was bound to happen:

Irked by the “step-motherly treatment” meted out to the Indian hockey players by the central and four state governments, when compared to the sops given to cricketers after their win in the Twenty20 World Cup, the team members have decided to go on a ‘hunger strike’.

Isn’t it ridiculous that the government decides that it can take the taxpayers’ money and do whatever it wants with it ? Look at this, for example. The state governments think nothing of pouring 5,10, even 21 Lakhs into these players.

It is not a question of whether these players deserve to be rewarded or not. The point is, the taxpayer is not supposed to foot the bill for this largesse from the government. India Uncut makes this argument far more compellingly:

If Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sheila Dikshit wish to use India’s victory to make a statement, they should spend their own money. All poor people in this country, from maids to chaprasis to cycle-rickshaw drivers, pay taxes every time they buy anything. It is ludicrous that their hard-earned money, coercively collected by the state, should be spent on cricketers with endorsements that are worth crores.

Well, that is point number 1.

Point number 2 is that Indian Hockey needs to get a life. You cannot spend the careers of thousands of promising hockey players begging for attention, begging for recognition from the government. It is not because the general public has some aversion to hockey that we are in this state today. The coaches, the players et al have to look at the way the game is run, at the way the players are selected.

If there are no stars in the Indian Hockey team, it is because the IHF treats the players like dirt. “Where is Dhanraj Pillay” is a good question to start the search into why hockey is a forgotten sport in India.

Point number 3: I have written before, on this blog, that the job of the government is to provide infrastructure, to put the framework in place, so to speak. We do not want the government to get into the nitty gritty of everyday life. We do not want the government to manage our lives (read “run our lives”) for us.

The job of the government, here, would have been to put the infrastructure for cricket, hockey, badminton, tennis etc in place (the stadiums, the training facilities, the support staff etc) and get out of the way. Let the market economies decide which sport gets top billing. (If it so turns out that cricket outshines every other sport in India, it is just plain unfortunate. You have to accept it and move on. You cannot force the public to watch such and such a game, just like you cannot force-feed such and such movies to us.)

The unfortunate point is that cricket is the star of the show. The government needs votes. So, it will go after the star…never mind the fact that it has hardly done anything for cricket either. (rewarding players with cash does not help the game. However much you bring in the “incentive” angle, I will not agree to that) . It is vote-bank politics at its best (worst ?)

Asking the government to give cash to achievers in other sports is not the answer. Hockey should ask for better facilities, better administration. In fact, hockey should ask the government to leave them alone so they might improve !

Related Posts:

Ongoing “India are champs” series:

India are champs…Part 5…that fateful last over…

India are champs … Part 3 … questions..

India are champs … Part 2 ..Shoaib Malik’s comments

India are champs … Twenty20 Final Highlights

India are champs … Part 1

‘Nobody has proved that Ram did not exist’

Excerpt from an interview with Pravin Togadia here:

What do you say to people who say that Ram is a mythical character and that he never existed?

According to rationalists, anything that cannot be proven does not exist. Therefore, since God’s existence has not been proven, he too does not exist. I want to ask them: Has it been proven that God does not exist? So, why are you so eager to believe that God does not exist? To compare the history of Islam or Christianity to that of Hinduism is not fair. Those are products of fairly young civilisations, not like Hinduism, which is a product of the oldest living civilisation in the world.

This is the tactic that we have mastered so well as a nation. Probably, this is the reason most of our “initiatives” go nowhere.

I am referring to the tactic of broadening the scope of an argument so much that there can be no conclusion. Then, in a frenzy of violence, people give up and forget what the original argument was in the first place.

The whole thing started with a simple question: Is it ok for the government to go ahead with the dredging, in view of the fact that this would damage the so-called “Ramar Sethu”. The points to be considered here: Is there any evidence to prove that “Ramar Sethu” is a man-made formation.

If it is, then it probably classifies as a national heritage (note: this still doesn’t have anything to do with the much wider debate of who built the sethu itself. We are only asking if some “being” built it ‘coz, if that is the case, then it is a part of our historical footprint as a nation; comparable to the numerous historical monuments across the rest of the nation)

When the ASI researches it and says that “Ramar Sethu” is a natural formation, that is that ! No body is asking if Ram existed or not, or if the Ramayana is just a myth. Nobody has any business getting into this argument ‘coz this is purely academic and nothing to do with the core issue here.

(There is a sinister argument at play here: If we agree, for the time-being, that Ramayana did actually happen, then the natural formation must be the “Ramar Sethu”. That is like jumping the gun. There is a whole of lot of difference between co-relation and causivity. Just because two events follow each other chronologically, it doesn’t hold that one caused the other.)

Coming back, at the time of the affidavit being filed, the only question being asked was : Is the “Ramar Sethu” a man-made formation.That was the only question that needed to be answered by the affidavit. It did not need to go into whether there was any evidence of Ram’s existence.

The affidavit tried to answer too many questions. The Hindu right-wing picked up all the juice offered by the affidavit and launched into the government.

At this point, I am ashamed to say, our government decided that scientific findings can be thrown out of the window in favour of votes.

Now consider this statement from the CM of Tamil Nadu:

Refusing to withdraw his remarks on Lord Rama, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi on Thursday said that as per Ramayana’s author Valmiki, Rama was a drunkard. “I have not said anything more than Valmiki, who authored Ramayana. Valmiki had even stated that Rama was a drunkard. Have I said so?” Karunanidhi told reporters. Challenging Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani, he asked, “Is Advani ready to discuss Ramayana with me in the same platform after going through Valmiki Ramayana fully?”

This is an example of people answering the wrong (irrelevant) questions, coming up with outrageous (sensational) statements etc to stir up their vote banks. Does it make any difference to the Sethu project whether Rama was a drunkard or not ?
Who suffers in the end ? Well, we the know the answer to that question, don’t we ?

This tactic makes sure we do not complete any of the projects we start. Perhaps that is in the interest of most politicians. If we completed everything, why would we need to support this humongous monopoly called “government” anymore ?

P.S: It is symptomatic of our cultural ethos that the only angle that is looked into is the religious (or is it political ?) one. See here for a more rounded look at the project and why it may not be all that great for this nation.
  

Policemen in trouble for hugging Sanjay Dutt

Seven policemen are now in trouble for hugging Sanjay Dutt after his release from the Yerrawada jail.

That is a little strange. If you want to sack govt employees for this kind of thing, maybe you want to see what should be done about people like Priya Dutt and Kapil Sibbal (both MPs, mind you)…story here:

Priya Dutt said her family was exploring the possibilities of getting relief for Sanjay, who was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for six years by a special court in Mumbai after being convicted for illegally possessing an AK-56 rifle and a 9mm pistol.

“We are seeing what could be the best legal recourse for him. Our main focus is to see what we can do to get relief for him,” Priya told reporters.

Union Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said the Congress party should stand by the Dutt family at this time of “stress and trouble.”

“Sunil Dutt, Sanjay’s father, was a staunch Congressman and he symbolised and epitomised what Congress stands for. The party should stand by the Dutt family,” he said on the sidelines of a function in Delhi.

Sibal said he would not comment on the merit of the case and there was no difference in the party regarding the support to be given to the Dutt family.

That is what we Indians need: MPs who are more bothered about getting convicts out of jail than getting them arrested.

Yes. That is surely in the national interest !

Did you say double-standards ? What double-standards ? Shouldn’t you be dead in a bomb-blast somewhere ?

India vs China

Two stories from TIME magazine:

China’s ME Generation and A Young Giant Awakens — 60 Years of Independence

timemegeneration.jpg

… The one subject that doesn’t come up — and almost never does when this tight-knit group of friends gets together — is politics. That sets them apart from previous generations of Chinese élites, whose lives were defined by the epic events that shaped China’s past half-century: the Cultural Revolution, the opening to the West, the student protests in Tiananmen Square and their subsequent suppression. The conversation at Gang Ji Restaurant suggests today’s twentysomethings are tuning all that out. “There’s nothing we can do about politics,” says Chen. “So there’s no point in talking about it or getting involved.”

That’s the story from China. Now consider this:

time-indiachargesahead.jpg

True, India, a noisy nation of over 1 billion voices, can’t match the hyper-affluence of Singapore or China’s titanic boom, but it shows that hearing those voices is the best long-term strategy. “Attila the Hun was great for his country’s GDP also,” says Akbar, “but the future of the world is not just about growth rates. It’s about the principle of human equality.” India is neither East nor West as Kipling saw it, but in its diversity and exuberance a reflection of something universal. It is, as Akbar concludes, “the first modern nation of the emerging world.” A nation where, more than anything else, democracy rules.

I do not know how much of this is truth and how much of it is the mere perception of a western journalist (or the over-simplification of ground realities, or stereotyping).

It does, however, provide the contrast between the two nations that most folks from the western hemisphere do not realize exists.

We have to ask the question, though: how much of an advantage is democracy to India and does it really matter in the long run ?

Only time (no pun intended !) will tell .

Dawood is not in Pakistan

Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar is not in Pakistan.

Yes that is right. And the same holds true for Maulana Masood Azhar. These gents are either not in Pakistan or they are not terrorists. Somehow, with all evidence to the contrary, the Pakistan government finds it easy to make these statements.

We live in a funny world; there are so many things that are obvious,, but somehow these politicians are able to deny them. With a straight face too !

I ran into this piece by Dilip D’Souza yesterday on how to deal with the Kashmir issue. I am a fan of Dilip for the simple reason that he offers a different viewpoint to every situation. I like the simple way he thinks and, more importantly, expresses himself.

Coming to the piece, there were points which I just could not digest.:

You might say, this is a state desperate for change, desperate for good news, desperate for peace, desperate to find a way to unlock its great potential. How will Kashmiris find their own optimism and new confidence?

Fresh thinking, new ideas, that’s how. I believe that we have held on to old baggage in Kashmir for just too long. It has left us the bloody stalemate that state has suffered for years now.

Time for a change. Time, I believe, for a simple thought that the singer Sting once expressed like this: “If you love someone, set them free.” With Kashmir, put it this way: “If you want to keep Kashmir, set it free.”

Less eloquent than Sting, but it works. Meaning, the way to keep Kashmir is to give Kashmiris the choice to leave.

The idea that Dilip proposes is to allow a referendum in Kashmir (both Indian and Pakistan held parts) and let the people decide.

The problem is, we have this simplistic view of “Kashmiris”. I do not know who this term refers to these days: does it refer to the Hurriyat and its band of brothers? does it refer to the seperatists (LoT, Jaish-e-Mohhamad et al) supported by Pakistan ? does it refer to the majority muslim populace living in the state, or does it refer to the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, the Sikhs and other such ?

The last 60 years of strife in the state have so clearly drawn the battle lines here that it is almost impossible now to go back to square one. In a way, Dilip is right. The conventional solutions (peace talks,confidence building measures etc) do not offer a permanent solution. At best, they offer a temporary cease-fire.

We have to find ways to trust our neighbour, a difficult task after six decades of mutual hostility; but while we work at that, we use the weight of widespread public opinion to verify that they hold up their
end of the bargain. We use that opinion as we never have before: as a skillfully wielded weapon to win hearts in Kashmir and around the world.

It is this para that brings the Dawood story to mind. The US and the UN have declared him to be a terrorist. The US has evidence that he is in Pakistan. So, what is the delay ?

The point is, if we cannot use “widespread public opinion” to force our neighbor to hand over a terrorist, how can we trust this opinion on something as important as Kashmir ?

I do not know if I have a better idea or a better solution to the Kashmir situation. I am wondering, though. How can long can this neighbor of ours be in denial ? When will it emerge from its inherent contradictions ? It is sad that our future, our safety, our very lives are tied so closely to that of our neighbors. Sad, but inescapable.

Now deal with it.