Friday, February 27, 2015

Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis : Somebody give this man a Nobel prize!

Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis : Somebody give this man a Nobel prize!


.."What's at issue really is a class war. It's not so much Germany versus Greece, as the papers say. It's really the war of the banks against labor. And it's a continuation of Thatcherism and neoliberalism.

The problem isn't simply that the troika wants Greece to balance the budget; it wanted Greece to balance the budget by lowering wages and by imposing austerity on the labor force. But instead, the terms in which Varoufakis has suggested balancing the budget are to impose austerity on the financial class, on the tycoons, on the tax dodgers. And he said, okay, instead of lowering pensions to the workers, instead of shrinking the domestic market, instead of pursuing a self-defeating austerity, we're going to raise two and a half billion from the powerful Greek tycoons. We're going to collect the back taxes that they have. We're going to crack down on illegal smuggling of oil and the other networks and on the real estate owners that have been avoiding taxes, because the Greek upper classes have become notorious for tax dodging.

Well, this has infuriated the banks, because it turns out the finance ministers of Europe are not all in favor of balancing the budget if it has to be balanced by taxing the rich, because the banks know that whatever taxes the rich are able to avoid ends up being paid to the banks. So now the gloves are off and the class war is sort of back."..

Well, all of a sudden the position of Spain, for instance, is, wait a minute, we're in power, we're a Thatcherite neoliberal party. If Greece ends up not going along with austerity and saving its workers, then Podemos Party in Greece, in Spain, is going to win the next election and we'll be out of power. We have to make sure that Varoufakis and the SYRIZA Party is a failure, so that we ourselves can tell the working class, you see what happened to Greece? It got smashed, and we're going to smash you if you try to do what they do; if you try to tax the rich, if you try to take over the banks and prevent the kleptocracy, there's going to be a disaster.

So, obviously, Greece and Portugal want to impose austerity on–Spain and Portugal want to impose austerity on Greece. And even Ireland now has chimed in and said, my God, what have we done? We have imposed austerity for a decade in order to bail out the banks. Even the IMF has criticized us for going along with Europe and bailing out the banks and imposing austerity. If SYRIZA wins in avoiding austerity in Greece, then all of our sacrifice of our population, all of the poverty that we've imposed, all of the Thatcherism that we've imposed has been needless, and we didn't have to do it.

So there's a whole demonstration effect, which is why they're treating Greece almost as a symbol for–the class war as a symbol for labor saying, wait a minute, we don't have to impose austerity, we can collect taxes from the tax dodgers.

Remember a few years ago when Europe said, Greece owes 50 billion euros in foreign debt? Well, it turned out that the central bank had given to the Greek parties a list called the Lagarde list (for Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF) of all of the tax dodgers, Greek tax dodgers who had Swiss bank accounts. Well, the Swiss bank accounts that the tax dodgers had ended up to about 50 billion euros. So Greece could pay off the debt that it's borrowed simply by moving against the tax dodgers.

Well, this has infuriated the banks, because it turns out the finance ministers of Europe are not all in favor of balancing the budget if it has to be balanced by taxing the rich, because the banks know that whatever taxes the rich are able to avoid ends up being paid to the banks. So now the gloves are off and the class war is sort of back."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sibel Edmonds : the most classified woman in U.S. history

Just came across an exciting source to get to know more about what's happening in the world. This in the frame of US Geopolitics, and suppressed truths about key global events. This also becomes yet another addition to my growing list of amazing women who are bringing forth a better humanity with levels of courage that breaks all records.

Sibel Edmonds : "the most classified woman in U.S. history"

Sibel Edmonds is the editor of Boiling Frogs Post and founder- director of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award. Ms. Edmonds worked as a language specialist for the FBI where she reported serious acts of security breaches and cover-ups, and for that she was retaliated against and ultimately fired. Court proceedings were blocked by the assertion of the State Secrets Privilege, and the U.S. Congress has been gagged and prevented from taking up or even discussing her case through retroactive classification issued by the Department of Justice.

"What I find so remarkable is Sibel's persistence in trying every avenue and possible outlet in trying to get the truth out. When going up the chain of command in the executive branch and Inspector General internal mechanisms for investigating fraud, waste, and abuse went nowhere, she sought judicial remedy by filing lawsuits only to be improperly gagged by "state secrecy privilege". Along the way she also sought congressional assistance, testified to the 9-11 Commission, and engaged with various media and other non-governmental organizations. It's somewhat ironic that Sibel herself demonstrated such enormous energy and passion throughout this decade quite the opposite of the "boiling frog" idiom she uses for her website as a warning to others. If her book can inspire readers to summon even 1/100th of the determination and resolve she has modeled, there's hope for us!" -- Coleen Rowley, Retired FBI Agent & Time Magazine Person of the Year, 2002


Came across this while reading through this article that explains how Western media is so pro-war.. a very important article in itself:
(note: this source is an independent blog, not a corporate-funded big newspaper like NYTimes or Washington Post)

And I saw this some weeks back.. a book called "Bought Journalists" published by a senior journalist, blowing the whistle on massive lying to the people that he too was a part of and now wants to expose as he's only got a few more years left to live. I'd consider this to be on par with "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" (and look up that if you haven't already!).

Excerpt: "No German mainstream journalist is allowed to report about the book. Otherwise he or she will be sacked. So we have a bestseller now that no German journalist is allowed to write or talk about. More shocking: We have respected journalists who seem to have gone deep sea diving for a long time. It's an Interesting situation. I expected and hoped that they would sue me and bring me to court. But they have no idea what to do. The respected Frankfurter Allgemeine just announced they will fire 200 employees, because they're losing subscribers very rapidly and in high numbers. But they don't sue me. They know that I have evidence on everything."

Note: Why I'm sharing this even in groups that might claim they hate seeing this and it doesn't involve India (you can always just press Delete my lord) : There is a growing chance that Indians might get led into joining this global conflict, on the wrong side, with full patriotism that too. Our large population of youth might get tossed into this as cannon fodder, and all their energies might end up being used to increase the sum total of bad things in this world. The same reckless development paradigm causing the problems in other countries, is also pushing us to inflict genocide : both direct and structural, upon our own brothers and sisters, and already we viciously attack those who dare to show us a mirror exposing this. There is a raging fire in the neighbour's house, and only an idiot with all senses blocked can continue sleeping peacefully. We have a responsibility towards our planet to keep and a role to play in this world, especially in promoting peace and nonviolence. We need to educate ourselves and own up to it, else soon our society too can unravel and fall apart the way other people's has. If we do not help others, there will be no one left to help us either.

On the flip side, there is a growing global movement for truth, peace, nonviolence and justice. People are shaking off all the old psychological boundaries that separated them all these centuries, including the separation of nationality, and uniting against tyranny as citizens of Planet Earth. Even a movement like AAP is just one part of a much wider global awakening. Cross-border collaboration of humanity is a natural and necessary thing, not a "foreign hand". It is time to embrace it, not shun it as "not applicable to India". India is not another planet floating elsewhere in the solar system; she is an integral part of planet Earth and always will be.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cleaner Air in cities like Delhi

We should consider the fact that clean air isn't a factory produce and so we ought to treat it a bit more holistically than.. say, roads or mobile phones. One cannot get more clean air by commissioning more man-made machines.. in fact the opposite happens.
So it's necessary for us to step out of our regular industrialized, monetized, macho, merit-based paradigm and get a little more feminine, holistic when it comes to environmental factors like air. Just putting that on the table, in case underlying assumptions were ignoring it.

Here are some measures I've come across, and these would not just improve the air quality but also help stabilize Delhi's temperature (there is a reason why it's so extreme hot and extreme cold right now) and reduce the incidence of widespread flooding of roads that happen immediately after rains: Of course, these measures apply equally to Pune also, esp for people who have to pass through junctions like Swargate daily.

1. Smart Greenery:

Rooftop solar panels laane se pehle green roofs laane chahiye! Cheaper. easier to implement, abundant cheap labour availability to get it done at mass scale, and giving so much more benefits. And no need to bother watering them... simply plant and let monsoons supply the water, let it dry off in dry season.. that will in turn contribute biomass for heating / gas / feedstock.

2. Going the whole nine yards and actually putting serious taxpayer money into promoting and enabling bicycles, cycle-rickshaws, electric rickshaw. Bike-share program had been started in DU areas.. pushing that further. Govt buying cycles and distributing to all mohalla sabhas / RWAs. If they lie idle then let them.. some poor chaps will buy them second-hand, or steal them in some months time and start using them! Bringing in unions, benefits like pensions, healthcare, group insurance for cycle rickshaw drivers. Parisar, CSE and other groups' analysis of how large sections of transport budget have been dedicated to the minority car-users in the city, can contribute a good deal to these efforts by making a case that if we don't mind spending Rs.1000 cr to help car users get to work 20 mins faster, then we should honestly have no issues whatsoever with spending Rs.50 crore on 1 lakh good quality bicycles. Take a look at the budget book : you'll find Rs.50 crore spent on seriously useless things. Can simply redirect. And remember : scams and pilfering can only happen in centralized, high-value high-margin expenditures like cement roads and flyovers and computers. With bicycles, it's physically impossible for govt babus / netas to do any sizeable scam. Aur reselling agar hoti bhi hai, at least someone will use the cycles and not emit pollutants in the process! Objective achieved.

3. Innovative ways of curtailing car use. In Paris, for example, cars with odd or even numbered plates aren't being allowed to use certain areas on certain days of the week. Here in Pune we have P1-P2 system for parking.. imagine extending that to number-plates! Other than that, the ongoing Happy Streets initiative in Pune is a great way to build collective support for car-free zones.

4. Import replacement : If you don't know what this term means, better read up! It's going to be key to transitioning to sustainable urban models, and work on it can start from now itself. I would apply this first and foremost to food.

5. Urban agriculture:
Delhi having an inherently spread-out nature with mostly low-height buildings, there's huge potential for urban agriculture : both on vacant plots as well as rooftops. Food grown closer to the kitchen translates to lower diesel consumption, lower pollutant emissions. Plus, the plants absorb particulate matter. Result : a double improvement in air quality while taking care of part of food needs for many families, hence having a net effect on food prices through dampening of demand. For a place that has a persistent presence of monkeys, any urban agriculture initiative will have to be decentralized and widespread, so that loss to monkeys per plot is reduced. On the lawmaking side, lessons can be learnt from Cuba and Venezuela on how some ingenious legislation can make vacant plots of land available for farming by local residents even if they are owned by someone else, as long as citizens can prove that the plot isn't being used by the owner. The only crunch for Delhi is water supply (not for Pune, note!).. rainwater harvesting, man-made ponds/lakes and low-water-consumption edible plants will be the way to go.

6. Man-made lakes / ponds:
The most no-brainer thing that the people of the lake cities of Rajashthan know from centuries ago : Bad ecology? Too hot in summer and roads flooding in monsoons? Then dig a big hole in the ground! Analyse your city's topography, figure out the lowest lying areas. Dig them even further. Create man-made lakes, ponds, with boundaries made of the natural mud that you excavated, not of cement, mind, so that nature can get to work at the edges. Note: There has to be dignified, just relocation of the occupants of the low-lying areas (typically these are slum settlements as they're flood-prone areas) Do a Venice if nothing else possible. There is a reason why you feel the air is so nice whenever you go to a lake or river (that isn't cement-lined, mind!)

7. Absolute ban on burning of dry leaves or any trash
Stop burning eco-gold! Just dig a hole, dump them in and cover them with a plank yaar. Or any other ways to return leaves to the soil. #CommonSense

The good part about holistic solutions is that when you go to solve one problem, you end up solving 10 other problems too. Contrast that with the typical fragmented, industrial-mindset problem-solving that creates 10 other problems when solving one.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The guy who wrote AAP's Manifesto (and did a bunch of other stuff)

Shared by Roshan on FB:

He's a great writer.. You can read his blog on:
..and connect with him on:

Pasting his FB post here:
The events of the past week have been overwhelming. Pardon me for I
have just been able to compose myself to get my metaphorical pen on

If I thought my job was done with the manifesto and white papers for
the Aam Aadmi Party, I was mistaken. I had the tiresome pleasure of
managing the emergency helpline for 60 hours non-stop till 6 pm on 7th
February 2015 where we fire fought across the city in an attempt to
stop the distribution of alcohol and money; promotion of violence and
illicit means to swing votes away from us from Badarpur to Badli, from
Babarpur to Bawana. We sat in anticipation for the verdict that the
citizens of Delhi would deliver to us, which could sound the war conch
for positive politics or the death knell to the first true political

And then, the magic happened. The political party that won a clear
majority at the Center under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit
Shah had been rejected and held back by a diminutive ragtag force of
volunteers from every class, caste, religion, gender and region of the
world. And how! 67 seats in the legislative assembly out of 70! It was
an unprecedented victory, broke the record books of Indian electoral
politics and left me stunned. Even the most conservative Fermi
guesstimate would have pegged the number of hugs and screams I let out
on 10th February 2015 at a few thousand.

I had returned to New Delhi after a few years of graduate school at
Stanford to work for a political party that was at its nadir and a
leader whose life, work, integrity and strategy at being the first
true viable alternative in Indian politics was being questioned and
ridiculed. June 2014, the month that I joined AAP, was not the best
time to openly declare yourself as an Arvind Kejriwal fanboy or fight
for the Aam Aadmi Party or as it was known in AAP-bashing circles:
"The Socialist Naxalite Communist Marxist Leninist Sexist Racist Aam
Aadmi Party." And yet every bone, muscle and tendon in my body wanted
to do it. And I did.

While some courteous and kind friends and relatives applauded my
decision as fearless and respectable, I knew that a majority thought
me to fit to be checked into a mental hospital, assumed I had received
poor grades and/or had a criminal history that I wanted to hide from
the United States. I chuckled and moved on. I was ready to slum it out
for the ideals of the man I respected and fight for the moral ethos
and genuine alternative that the Aam Aadmi Party espoused even if it
meant fighting with just a few MLAs that the Modi Wave would have left
us in Delhi. I had returned to work with a handful of MLAs and now we
have a government and 67! I was simply astonished. Hyperboles also
known as Ravi Shastri similes, for the first time, weren't enough.

My personal journey within the party has made me meet some of the best
humans and selfless individuals I've met till date on whom books
should and will be written and grown my skills in media
management/briefing, policy research, manifesto writing, data
analytics, psephology, and most importantly getting a better
understanding of the problems and solutions of the city I call home.
Somehow through a series of fortunate events that included positive
politics, coherent campaigns, mindful media management and kudrati
karishmas, we ended up winning the first battle of Delhi through the
Aam Aadmi Tsunami.

And yet it hadn't sunk in. The victory was full of joy and laughter
and incredulous looks and screams and more of all of that on loop
every hour everyday. But there was some emotion that was missing.
Something that hadn't been triggered.

And then, 14th February 2015 happened. The Aam Aadmi Party government,
nah, the Aam Aadmi was sworn in to power with Arvind Kejriwal as its
Chief Minister. 100,000 people were in attendance with millions more
in their homes and in front of their TV screens. And then Arvind
Kejriwal came and said:

"Main Arvind Kejriwal Ishwar ki Shapath Leta Hoon"

And the floodgates opened. I wept profusely for the first time in
years in what can only be described as a potpourri of emotions. I was
hugged and consoled and loved by the many selfless souls I mentioned
above with jokes and by revisiting funny moments of the campaign. And
then I slipped away to the side and wept silently for some more. For
all their jokes, even my most cheerful colleagues had a tear on their
eyelids. For months, an Aam Army had fought with a singularity of
purpose and that mission had been fulfilled. Unbelievable. For a love
story that had gone astray on 14th February 2014, Delhi received its
most beautiful reunion as a Valentine's Day gift on 14th February

The impossible had happened. And there is a lot more impossible yet to
do. My childhood dream of bringing Anil Kapoor's Nayak to life from
SET Max has gotten a start. The second half i.e. Office begins
tomorrow. To those of you still reading through this stream of
consciousness, I thank you once again for entrusting the reins of
governance in Delhi to us at the Aam Aadmi Party. We are incredibly
humbled and almost scared by the immense responsibility that you have
placed on our shoulders. However, you are also our source of strength
and we are confident that, along with your continued support and
blessings, we will make Delhi the corruption-free world class city
that you will be proud of.

Godspeed You! Aam Aadmi :)

Photo: No weeping pictures here. I share a picture from a happier
moment on 10th February 2015. That moment when even CNN-IBN, Zee News,
India TV had called my boss, Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of
Delhi. He hugged me and said "Ab yeh jo Manifesto mein tumney likha
hai, usey karna bhi padega"!

Why I refuse to bully MSG #MavericksRock
About the maker of the movie "MSG : The Messenger"

[note: you have to read the article linked if you want to read the
post below. Go.]

My opinion : Mavericks are any day welcome over bores. Especially when
all their maverick actions are only aimed at increasing the sum total
of goodness on this planet, and if they are doing things by example
instead of by coercion. This guy seems to be a product of radical
unschooling (and duh no, there's no standardization in radical
unschooling so check the assumption that all radically unschooled
people must be the same, yo). I'd choose him over the likes of [insert
names of several veteran Indian political leaders here] any day.

So I'll take a look at the movie some time. Anyways it cannot possibly
be worse than several bollywood/hollywood movies I've had to endure
lately. Something not made by the same profiteering production studios
might just be a little different. And no, I'm not going to joint the
army of self-appointed liberals/intellectuals/atheists that are
bullying it as if it's an insult to their liberal / intellectual /
atheist religion. Why? Because I'm not religious/dogmatic about being
a liberal / intellectual / atheist, lol!

I *love* the costumes I've seen being lampooned so far ~!~ And, I'm
somewhat the opposite of a Fashion Nazi.. people's clothes have never
really offended me. You should try that way of looking at the world
sometime.. might be a huge load off your shoulders.

In criticizing, we get into very dangerous territory when the people
who take a dismissive stand do not even see it fit to investigate what
they are dismissing, to do any verification at all like actually
talking with the people living around the issue in question. Very
often I see otherwise educated folks dismiss something absolutely
instead of being intelligent and selective in what aspects of a person
to disagree with and what to agree with. I call it "wholesale
criticism" and see that the practice goes very easily into dogma.

To certify these guys (yo it's always a team.. let's grow up and stop
fixating only on singular persons eh?) as completely worthless, would
require that you do the effort to prove that each and every assertion
that has been made is an absolute lie. And mind, exaggerations are not
lies; they are exaggerations. So if a group has done benefit for
10,000 people and then claiming it has benefited 1 lakh, then that
does not make the group a non-benefiter (they would have to benefit 0
people for that). If that is not the case, then you cannot be allowed
to do the complete-dismissal routine. You have no choice but to switch
into acknowledging-what-is-true mode and spreading whatever is good
and beneficial to everyone.

It goes into how were are violent or non-violent in our criticisms. Be
non-violent in your criticism. Be relativistic instead of absolutist.
Be aware of the bigger fish you're giving a free pass to while
grilling the little guy. Be appreciative of efforts made in a
direction, knowing how much more important they are in a world where
many social ills exist merely as result of not enough people making an
effort to solve them. Do not be judgemental about sincere efforts that
don't make it big. Please remember to not allow your criticism to
destroy the cause.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dear Punekar, Please stop asking for more garbage bins in your locality

One fact we stumbled upon during a participatory process in the 6 administrative zones of Pimpri Chinchwad : Vast majority of people-who-own-laptops (sorry but using this demarcating factor as it is convenient) have absolutely no clue about the massive change in sanitation policies, and the shift to a more sustainable one, that is being undertaken by most countries in the world in the domain of waste management.

One is that any sustainable model of handling waste must include the segregation of dry and wet waste at source. The wet being all bio-degradable waste.. all food waste. Even burnt toasts. The dry being all paper, plastic, metal, etc. Even if the paper or plastic is soggy, it is to be counted under dry waste. Advisable to first rinse and dry the plastic bag before throwing.
Any policy on waste management has to make this as the starting point. Only if the waste in an area is segregated with dry and wet collected separately, is there any hope at all of processing it sustainably. Otherwise, all mixed waste goes into somebody's back yard, into somebody's lungs or intestines or uterus.

For decades, villagers like those at Urali Devachi have suffered the injustice of having Pune's "educated" housing societies sending all their garbage to their farmlands. Believe it or not, it all started without any formal arrangement. Trucks just showed up one day, emptied their contents into community property and left. Today, with practically every family member there cursed to die a painful death from disease or cancer, with miscarriages and birth defects rampant, with foul air to breathe all day, the usual soundbites I hear from "educated" Punekars that "we are providing them with water tankers, education etc na.. why are they being so ungrateful?" is very painful. I wish those people would try going and spending just one day and one night near the landfill site. And economically : who would buy any food grown in such an area? Pune has destroyed their livelihood too. This is defined as "structural violence".

Now, after very long struggles they are being able to make a stand and refuse to take any more garbage from Pune. In the past years, everytime their struggle suffered a setback, Pune rejoiced. Our papers wrote about how Punekars can heave a sigh of relief now that the villagers' protest has dwindled down and our trucks are free to go through and dump there. I've grown up reading and hearing this all.

And I guess that leads to the issues we have about garbage in our locality. Pune at present has run out of places to throw its garbage in. In all likelihood, some beautiful forest area in our vicinity is going to be converted to a landfill soon.

The solution to Pune's garbage issues is not to resume dumping in Urali Devachi, or any other area. We are living in a part of planet Earth that is plentiful; there is a local native population living everywhere, and practically no real "wasteland" to be dumping our garbage in.

The popular mental impression that we have of Western countries and Singapore and all having public garbage bins everywhere and therefore being so clean and civilized.. is, I'm afraid, mathematically unsustainable. They export majority of their garbage to Asia, Africa and South America. India also receives a huge chunk of it. The round-planet limitations kick in: We do not have any more poor continent left to be exporting our garbage to.

Plus, our garbage is.. fortunately in a way.. mostly wet-waste. Our economy is already geared to recycle most dry waste, IF IT IS LEFT UNSPOILT BY WET WASTE.

Americans might throw away their newspapers, cardboard boxes, tin cans, shoes, lights, tires etc.. in India each of these has a value and we recycle them. Most of the garbage reaching our landfills is predominantly wet waste.. if it is not so intertwined with plastic etc, large part of it can be turned into biogas and manure.

Europeans have been proactive in bringing segregated public garbage bins to their city areas. But getting every citizen to do that is still dicy in India. Available empty area is a factor. Here we have more people living in a city than they have in one country. Their solutions aren't designed for high population density areas like those in India, or where the waste is predominantly wet.

The solution that has been adopted by our governments, which is more suited to Indian context, and which takes into account the fact that we have more (wo)manpower than money or materials, is door-to-door collection of garbage, and at-home segregation. It translates to a much higher dignity of labour for wastepickers, as they can look into your eyes and demand that you segregate your waste before giving it to them. The collection system can track exactly who is mixing their waste and can get them to change their behaviour. Rather than having to spend all day sifting through anonymous people's garbage. All of this requires that we REMOVE ALL PUBLIC GARBAGE BINS, as these promote irresponsible mixing and unaccountable generation of waste, and it all has to be trucked out to a landfill. Many citizens are still blissfully unaware that there is a national policy decision to remove these.. that today one success indicator of a municipal ward is a zero-garbage-bin status (not too hastily done of course!).

As citizens, it is not our birthright to mix waste and throw it here or there. It is not our birthright to demand that the government make our mixed waste disappear from our surroundings, only to dump it into someone else's fields. It is our duty to segregate our own waste and ensure that all our neighbours are doing the same. The idea is to pass on an India to our children that doesn't have this or that waste lying around, because it was all processed and recycled back into the circle of life.

This is difficult to get done by everyone, but it is the sustainable, cheaper, just (no more Urali Devachis!), more dignified way among the methods presently available. The garbage in your area will stay properly segregated after collection only and only when majority of the residents in your area commit to segregating wet and dry waste at home and are consistent in their action. One would think of this as a challenge... but it is actually a low-cost, decentralized, easy solution. Behaviour change doesn't require Rs.1000 crore worth of bricks and cement and expensive engineering.

One very sad thing happening right now in Pune is that there is a constant, non-stop attack on local government authorities from the "educated" classes to destroy this sustainable model and resume polluting lands of more villagers, through restoring the large garbage bin culture. And, of course, everyone wants the bin placed such that it is within walking distance from their home, but still it should not be visible from their balcony/window/gate or within smelling range. Try feeding these parameters into a supercomputer loaded with Pune's street level and residential data, and it will crash. It is possible for a few people but not everybody. City authorities have to do things for everybody, not for a few. The task at hand to cover all households with door-to-door collection is a slow and long-drawn one, and is a work in progress in Pune that has already gone a long way ahead of other cities in the country. We are even well ahead of Mumbai in this.

At a location, after removing public garbage bins, there is a flux period when the residents / workers in the area continue tossing garbage out on the road where the bin used to be (let's call it nostalgia) instead of waiting for the door-to-door collection or ghantagadi to arrive. If this is not happening, then the solution is not to re-install garbage bins.. there is a very important reason why they were removed in the first place! The solution is to campaign for more complete coverage of ghantagadi / door-to-door collection, and to make all the residents of that area to STOP tossing the garbage out.. to segregate it, collect it and wait for the waste collectors to come and take them. Flats, houses and societies are supposed to start composting bins or pits where their wet waste can decompose without being a threat to anyone. The logical aim of a sustainable waste management policy is that wet waste must not be carried by any vehicle.. it has to be composted as close to source as possible.

There is often a chicken-and-egg problem : citizens say no one comes to collect trash so they throw on the road. Wastepickers and govt officials say that majority of people are not giving them any trash when they try to collect, or are refusing to segregate their waste into wet and dry. Some communication, synchronisation between the citizens and those who serve them, must happen. But in any case, a sincere request to not bombard your local ward officer with more requests for public garbage bins.


Apologies if this offended anyone.

Nikhil VJ
Resident of Pune.
Related links:
National Mission for a Sustainable Habitat, GoI :
The Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation(CPHEEO) :
PMC contact list:
Phursungi and Uruli residents live with stink, poor health
Video: Pune Garbage Dumping Crisis: Uruli Devachi & Phursungi Residents Problems-TV9 /part1
Villagers stop trucks yet again, Pune stares at garbage problem
Villagers around Uruli Devachi shunned by family over water woes

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fwd: Please Help crowdfund the National Organic Farming Convention, Chandigarh, March 2015


I've chipped in Rs.500 for this event. I'm not attending this time but many of my friends are. I know the organizers and can personally vouch that they'll use the contribution sincerely. Requesting you to contribute a little too.

Personal note: In a country where lakhs of farmers have committed suicide, no organic farmer has committed suicide. I personally know organic farms that are making much better money than equal-area chemical farms, that too in zero-debt models where they don't have to fork over a major portion of their earnings as interest. Against all big corporate/government propaganda and big institutional bullying, these people are working hard to bring forth the success models, spread know-how and bring safe, nutritious and cost-effective food to every Indian family's kitchen along with restoring dignity and profitability to agricultural sector. Please do your bit to help them in this journey. Please forward this to your friends too.. anyone you know who would prefer to eat organic food over pesticide-laden food. (and yes, organic can actually be cheaper than chemical food! Please help the sector grow and consolidate so it happens!)

Read Claude Alvares's more detailed note in the below.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

A Personal Appeal from Claude Alvares
The Organic Farming Association of India (India's only organisation of organic farmers)
Dear friends and supporters of organic farming,

For the last five decades, the use of chemicals in agriculture has led to increasing quantities of chemicals in your food, air and water, leading to a general state of ill-health. Which human body can tolerate indiscriminate and almost routine consumption of deadly poisons?

For thousands of years, people across the world grew huge quantities of nourishing food without choking their soils with artificial fertilisers made out of petrochemicals. How did they do that? Can't we do that all over again, and perhaps better?

Would you like to support this major endeavour? Read further.

From 28 February to 2 March 2015, a sizeable segment of India's amazing organic farming community will assemble in Chandigarh – the heart of the green revolution States of Punjab and Haryana – for a national convention. They want to change forever the way we grow our food: without chemicals, without pesticides, without genetically modified seeds, without destroying all the life in the soil. 

It's how you are going to contribute to this event that will indicate how really serious and committed you are to the idea of producing (and consuming) food grown without poisons. And supporting those who do.

The truth is that yields from organic farming – which avoids the use of synthetic chemicals altogether – are usually as good as those from chemical-based agriculture – and sustainable as well. The current model of chemical agriculture is ecologically and economically unsustainable and also a major contributor to global warming. Soil fertility and water tables have declined everywhere and farmers' production costs have simply spiralled. So now lakhs of debt-ridden farmers have been driven to despair and suicide.

No organic farmer has committed suicide. 

It is simply a grand myth that organic farming yields are lower and cannot be adopted on a large scale. The real fact is, where knowledge is effectively available to farmers – and Government policies are supportive – organic farming is known to yield better and healthier produce. 

A great example of this? Starting with just 12 villages in 2004, an innovative no-pesticide system of agriculture has today reached one million farmers managing over 3.5 million acres of land in Andhra Pradesh. As a result, a single village is now saving Rs 60 lakh every year, since its farmers no longer need to purchase expensive pesticides. Consumers are benefitted, because they can confidently access food not laced anymore with poisons. Farmers in these villages are coming out of debt, the happiness quotient has risen. Not only is the food safe, pollution of waterways is reduced and the public exchequer needs to spend less on doctors and hospitals and on fertilizer subsidies.

The Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI) is organising the Chandigarh convention as a part of civil society's movement to expand the scope and reach of such wonderful farming innovations. 

The 2015 Convention of OFAI and its partner organizations (NITTTR, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture and Kheti Virasat Mission) is being designed to bring about huge and large-scale sharing of practical experience, techniques and ideas among about 2000 people – organic farmers, agricultural scientists, policy makers, consumer groups and others. Chandigarh, Punjab, is the venue. Once considered a model of agrarian prosperity, it is now reeling under the highest indebtedness per capita, depleted soils and ground water, and increasing incidence of cancer and illness caused by pesticides.

The Convention will be held from February 28 to March 2, 2015. This could be the largest convention of organic farmers ever held in India and will directly and indirectly benefit lakhs of farmers and consumers, held re-orient agricultural policies and also impact positively on international trade.

The expected fund requirement for this mega-convention is estimated to be in the region of Rs 70 lakhs. We are depending on government and humanitarian agencies and are hopeful that about 50% of this will come through these channels. Since the convention days may face unexpected rainy days, we have had to spend extra on rainproof pavilions for the main events. We also need money to enable needy farmers to travel.

Already over 1,600 organic farmers have registered for the event and eventual number will cross 2,000. A major parallel conference is being held alongside, with farmers and scientists on the science of organic farming. There is also an organic food festival, for Chandigarh citizens; a huge seed festival with over 250 seed savers from across the country including Assam. 

All participating farmers are paying their own way and their own registration (approximately 100 get travel subsidies because of people sending money to the crowdfunding site). We are charging a mere Rs.350 for women farmers for food and accommodation all 3 days. A mere 700 for organic farmers for the same. We are not organising this event to earn money, but please help us not to lose too much!

It is not fair to burden the farmers attending the convention with the additional costs of putting up open air platforms, toilets and other facilities relating to the convention. 
As it is, they do more than enough: producing safe food while keeping the soil intact and healthy. We are therefore approaching people who stand to benefit from access to safe food to dip into their pockets and ensure that no organic farmer who wishes to attend this convention will be deprived of the opportunity.
So please help. Go to the crowdfund site below. It's easy. Put in your contribution: 1,000 or 2,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 or more. When you get up tomorrow morning you will find yourself feeling good and you won't notice really that anything went out of your account. If you don't give, your bank will loan your money to some corporate to create more nuisance. Better it go to assist those trying gallantly to provide you safe food.

Crowdfunding for the Organic Farmers Convention can be accessed at:



Math formulae using geometry

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

Creative power unleashed through AAP's election campaign

Keeping aside the other arguments (yes, so my lovely nit pickers, kindly keep your restrainers on), I'm totally loving the unleashing of creativity I'm seeing, in art, technology, processes, crowdsourcing, etc. I foresee these going a long way and having positive impacts long after this election season ends, irrespective of electoral result.

24/7 Web Radio channel:
Getting to hear so much details that are being censored by mainstream media, mixed in with good music, citizen's testimonies, etc. Did you know that lakhs of voters entered in Delhi voters lists have been found to be repeating in neighboring Haryana and UP voters lists? Or that by stopping all VAT raids and inspections during the 49-day govt, traders in Delhi voluntarily contributed Rs.1000 crore more tax than before or after that period? Or that this excess collection easily funded the ~Rs.300 crore total subsidy cost of water-lifeline and 50% electricity bill reduction doled out that was being roundly criticized as "waste" of taxpayer money? We must seriously ask ourselves why even these small 5-min clips that are freely available on youtube also, are being not covered at all by Indian TV news channels. Why are they so afraid of running the actual sentences spoken by the people they're reporting about? Anyways, glad to see the first such thing starting up in India; hoping it stays on and continues with live phone-in programs after this election.

5 Saal Kejriwal by Vishal Dadlani
Aam Aadmi Aaye Hai by Deepak Rathore, Swastik Band

..there's many more, but these two I've found the most catchy and uplifting. Aam aadmi ka aam aadmi saharaa..

So many new ways of communicating large amounts of data effectively are being explored. 

Data visualization:
Superb work by a few coding gurus, particularly a terrific team comprising a 44 yr old and a 22 yr old. This has set a global benchmark on the levels of transparency in funding and up-to-date accountability (15 mins versus several years!) a political party can achieve. If you want to show any youngster what kind of national-level impact just one 22-yr old can contribute to, please show them this website.

Dynamic timelines:
This puts various events, articles, videos in a cohesive chronological order, letting us connect the dots and see things in a long-term perspective. Awesome resource to share to bring someone who hasn't been tracking this, up to speed.

Innovating fundraising: : put your pic on a large mosaic of contributors.

Flash mobs:
Dance for Democracy AAP flash mob on '5 saal Kejriwal'

Delhi Dialogue : a first-in-India process of crowdsourced Manifesto creation and vision-setting for 2020, with 12 focus areas and several domain experts, researchers, scientists, civil society members invited. The website continues to have an open form at the bottom of each sector where anyone can chip in with their opinion or information on that sector.
The output is some of the most far-reaching citizen-centric action points prepared that can serve as a valuable list of demands for citizens groups across the country. Its value goes beyond the party manifesto part. And for those still stuck in the populism-causes-deficit worldview, I'd like to remind you that this "populist" party collected Rs.1000 crore MORE revenues in its last stint.
See the resulting 70-point action plan, copy-pasted for easy viewing, here:
Full manifesto :

An animation explaining Delhi Dialogue:

>> All of these still being done by unpaid volunteers btw!

Hijacking of phrases:
"Mufflerman Returns", "AK-49", "AAPtard", "team without a captain".. all these phrases that had previously been liability and taunts, are now being reused to turn the tables around. With AAP volunteers embracing them and joking about these themselves, their previous negative impact is evaporating into thin air. The volunteers this time are really proving the age-old wisdom that people who can take a joke are way more resilient than people who can easily get offended. (Readers kindly take the hint!)

PS: I know how to create those timelines! It's deceptively simple.. all you need is an excel sheet listing the events, with links to the article or youtube video or so. Check out

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Open challenge to political parties to meet AAP's level of transparency and proactive disclosure in funding

Open challenge to BJP / Congress / Shiv Sena / Maharashtra Navnirman
Sena / Samajwadi Party / Trinamool Congress / Socialist Party... ANY
other political party that plans to contest ANY elections in all of
India, to replicate this level of transparency and citizen-friendly
proactive disclosure in funding.

#IFundHonestParty #IFundHonestPolitics

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What happens when the criminals are in charge of the proceedings

llustrative of what happens when the criminals are in charge of the proceedings. Excerpt:

"The UN has pulled endless stunts on Syria's Ambassador, with the obvious intent of distorting reality and prolonging the proxy war on Syria.

Ambassador al-Ja'afari maintains that he is routinely assigned the worst translators, to convolute his message. "Every time I speak at the Security Council (SC), they choose a bad interpreter who is not able to fully interpret what I am saying," he said. On one occasion at the SC, the Syrian Ambassador said he saw a staff member signal to the interpreters to switch the adept interpreter for the inept. "I saw it with my own eyes. They changed the interpreter to a poor one."

Ambassador al-Ja'afari is one of the only—if not the only—ambassadors to the UN to repeatedly over the years have his microphone and/or video feed cut when he speaks.

Correspondent Nizar Abboud has been an invaluable source of footage of the Syrian Ambassador's speeches otherwise unavailable thanks to cut UN feeds. Abboud says the cuts are not due to "technical problems," but instead often done "by senior officials at the United Nations." Of one such incident, Abboud said: "The journalists were furious about it, they wanted to hear what the Ambassador was saying and suddenly he went off air."

Monday, February 2, 2015

Interesting links for January 2015

Revisiting the legend of Niyamgiri - ASHISH KOTHARI
"The rules laid down by Niyam Raja, the spiritual source of the territory, included the protection of forests and rivers, common custodianship of resources rather than individual property, and sharing of labour and its fruits. In such a situation, major incursions like mining and big roads and factories were simply taboo. Leaders like Laddo Sikaka and Dadhi Pusika were also clear that they did not want Niyamgiri to go the way towns like Muniguda and Bhubaneshwar did, where the water cannot be drunk and the air cannot be breathed without falling sick, where houses have to be locked when people go out, and where women face harassment on a daily basis. Building roads through the territory, they knew, would only bring exploitative forces in. And having realised that getting individual plots under the Forest Rights Act could encourage individualisation and more deforestation, the community has demanded that the entire territory be recognised as a habitat right under the Act, with a single title in the name of Niyam Raja."

Cows, hens, frogs, ducks and earthworms-these are only some of the 'workers' helping C. Srinivasan to convert garbage into gold. Srinivasan, who appeared on the Don't Waste Your Garbage episode, spoke about the 'Vellore model' of solid waste management which involves both animals and human beings in reusing and recycling waste. After the show, people from all walks of life approached him to learn more about handling waste responsibly. He us tells us more here.

Top 5 Most Positive Stories of 2014 | Light at the End of the Tunnel

A top German Journalist and Editor Dr. Udo Ulfkatte has just gone public with some shocking admissions. He basically admitted what all of us who read the alternative media such as BeforeItsNews have known for a long time - the entire mainstream media is totally fake! He went into a very detailed talk in this video and spilled the beans about everything! He talked about how the CIA gets control over all of the major journalists.

[Kerala] To make State fully organic by 2016
The government has initiated efforts to promote organic farming in all Assembly constituencies.
Minister for Agriculture K.P. Mohanan said here on Thursday that the initiative was designed to encourage farmers to switch over to organic methods of cultivation, under a project to convert Kerala into a fully organic State by 2016. Kasaragod district had already switched over to organic farming in the pilot phase of the project.

Who is really offended with 'PK'?

About DRACOs.. a type of medicine developed by MIT in 2011 that can kill any viral infection while leaving the body's normal cells alone. But also about the timing of the Ebola scare, how it was mysteriously dropped from most media coverage recently, and why the government's attention is mainly on expensive and dangerous vaccines when cheaper, more effective cures are already around. (The Ebola GM vaccine was pushed into fast-forward more during the scare.. why did solution like DRACO get forgotten?)
This is not just about Ebola.. EVERY virus outbreak (Swine flu, H1N1, SARS, Polio..) could potentially be resolved by these solutions that are being ignored.

"1. You have the ability to transform boundaries into horizons"...

A great question to think about: Did our planet come equipped with authorities and policies preventing food from being transported where it is needed or [preventing] land to be freely inhabited or farmed according to need? No, no and no. 
"I don't believe that focusing on merely controlling population growth is very constructive if we don't change the way the population operates on this planet."

"Let's ask ourselves, how comfortable are we with this, how safe are we, how happy living in this world, and how fair and rational has it become? Maybe, we have no real reasons to worry, argue and ask awkward questions? Maybe the United States' exceptional position and the way they are carrying out their leadership really is a blessing for us all, and their meddling in events all around the world is bringing peace, prosperity, progress, growth and democracy, and we should maybe just relax and enjoy it all? Let me say that this is absolutely not the case." - Putin

The youth have to come forward because they have no money. They have no voting rights. But they have got something that no one else has, and that is the moral authority. That is the future. And the obligations we naturally feel towards our own children, towards children we love, they all come to the surface when we can-- when we actually speak to youth about the future they face.

Major parallels between 1930s and now

Skeletons of remains of giant humans predating the Native Americans in North America destroyed in early 1900s by Smithsonian.. stories of coverup and evidence destruction done by archaeological institutions in order to protect the simplistic evolution theories.
Related : Huge cemetary discovered in Egypt, carrying around 1 million bodies, including red-haired and blonde-haired people:

A mysterious phenomenon has been affecting the waters of the Jordan River in Eastern Israel, near its junction with the Yarmouk River. Thousands of dead fish and aquatic animals have accumulated on the shores of the river over the last hours, as the color of the water has turned to an eerie blood red and began emanating a strong sulphurous smell.

Weird and mysterious... and relating to the UFO cases of animal mutilation documented by Linda Moulton Howe.

Finite and Infinite Lovers: Changing the Game of Love

Photo-story of a man who turns 100 this year, who begs on the streets not for himdself but for collecting money for orphanages.

Understanding the Fibonacci Sequence and Golden Ratio. The second video there gives a great, simple explanation of the spiral / fibonacci system used by plants and animals in growing.
One new thing I learnt : Center of Gravity : maintaining the sequence during shell or horn growth, or leaf /branch sprouting, keeps the center of gravity at the same place. So, nautilus and rams can support their shells/horns in the same posture even when they grow bigger and bigger; trees stay erect and do not lean or fall to any side as they grow.

Awesome 3D popup greeting card made using HTML5. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

A climate change insight : it is not the absolute quantum, but the nature of rainfall that is changing; that is getting more extreme and causing damage:
 "After the first rains, rainfall disappeared for 15 days, then there was one very heavy bout and then again nothing for nearly a month, which was again followed by a heavy bout. And that was all. There was nearly no retreating monsoon showers which are so crucial for the rabi crop. The heavy intense rains didn't help crops, nor did the long dry spells." 

Marathi language monthly magazine on meaningful economics, based in Pune

DAISY : An ebook format developed for visually challenged but it has far-reaching applications. Synchronizes individual lines with audio, so a user can navigate it like a book, insert bookmarks, browse to chapters, etc.

Earth map rendered on 3d globe.. so beautiful...

Smal, fast application to browse maps on despktop

A gold mine for people wanting to learn more about HTML5, web servers etc. I'll recommend this to anyone who wants to learn things in computer science, particularly web-based applications.

games made using HTML5!

Economic Collapse a Mathematical Certainty - Top 5 Places Where Not To Be : vid made in 2011. Radical? Yes. Prescient? Yes. 

David Icke Exposes the Difference Between Judaism and Zionism, Between War and Genocide, and Between Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism
I'm only noticing this right now : Obama did not bring any other people of colour in his staff. All the main positions are held by people nearly identical to Bush's administration. Including people who are publicly steadfasts zionists. It's just been a nominal black-placement in the President's seat. If a genuinely multiracial regime had come to Washngton, as people believed at the 2008 US elections, we'd be seeing a totally different kind of administration in Washington.

How algorthms in Facebook, Google search etc are making the internet even more censored / bubbled for most people than mainstream mediums were

Scholarslip: A documentary about the student debt crisis

The Most Worthless College Majors
Taking out a 50,000 Dollar loan to....

Facebook timeline cleaner : you can delete all your account activity, posts, etc

Are Elections in India free and fair?

A wonderful article comparing and contrasting Satyagraha and Terrorism

"Mr. Obama will be forgotten while Sharmila's acts of conscience prompt us to rethink history."

"Our terrorists and our security discourses seek only dominance and control, not understanding. The discourse that Mr. Obama spouts shows little understanding of the evils enacted by the U.S. Narendra Modi shows little sense of the suffering of the North East. In fact the term North East is itself a violence to the diversity of communities in the area. The women of Manipur are asking for the gift of normalcy, the right to everydayness which allows a citizen to pursue life and liberty."

"As I sat and wrote this article on a cold winter's day, while roads all over Delhi were blocked in a display of efficiency, I wondered who would survive as history; who would be the greater exemplar of politics and the politics of hope that democracy creates.

Would it be Narendra Modi and his dreams of India as Prussian state? Was it Mr. Obama, the President, who promised so much and offered so little, desperate to create a few crumbs of history by clinching a nuclear deal with India? Or would it be Irom Sharmila and her craft of peace, seeking normalcy, an ordinariness in a society which prefers the state as a constant spectacle, and where politics is a continuous act of conspicuous consumption in terms of security, luxury and the pomposity of power? To me, the quietness of Sharmila wins over the noise of the Modi-Obama political machine.

As a satyagrahi, I am sure Sharmila would have liked to send them a greeting card, inviting them to come to Manipur. I think it is the Irom Sharmilas, the Mahasweta Devis and the Ela Bhatts who have to colour the imagination of India and take it beyond the triteness of state politics. The storyteller has to return to narrate these events, for what goes as news today is a travesty of peace and history."

Full text of interview with Arvind Kejriwal, 31 Jan 2015

AAP's Blueprint for Delhi, an outcome of Delhi Dialogue, an initiative to conduct a comprehensive study of the problems that plague Delhi and take stock of the aspirations of its citizens. This was used to create a concrete, feasible and long-term roadmap and vision for Delhi.

Preamble Flash mob on 26th Jan 2015

From: Aamaadmiparty Pune 

On Republic day, to create awareness about Indian constitution and it's values, AAP volunteers performed 'flash mob dance ' at various places in city including FC road, Pantloon, Chaturshrungi, railway station, shaniwar wada, SGS mall. The Preamble of constitution was read after the flash dance performance to spread awareness about constitutional fundamentals like Justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. (photos attached) 
This was performed at 10 places and around 3000 handbills with Preamble were distributed! 
'प्रजासत्ताक दिन' निमित्त भारतीय संविधानाविषयी जाणीव जागृतीच्या उद्देशाने आम आदमी पार्टी च्या  युवक कार्यकर्त्यांनी शहरात फर्गुसन रोड , मेरिअत,चतुर्श्रुंगी , शनिवार वाद , रेल्वे स्टेशन , SGS माल आदी ठिकाणी  'मॉब फ्लैश डान्स केला . त्यांनतर भारतीय संविधान उद्देशिकेचे वाचन केले गेले.भारतीय लोकशाहीची न्याय, स्वातंत्र्य आणि समता- बंधुता या मूल्यांची जन-मानसातील जाण वाढवण्या साठी केलेल्या मॉब फ्लैश ला तरुणांकडून चांगला प्रतिसाद मिळाला. 

AAP Pune Desk
Facebook -

So you're saying you're against free markets?

"So you're saying you're against free markets? So you're against freedom and democracy? So you're for dictatorship? " 
>> I am actually disputing the assumption that the present economic system is a "free market" one. 

I believe that what we presently have is not a free market system at all. It is actually:

- a state-subsidized (free or near-free land post forceful acquisition, free freshwater in unlimited quantities with no obligations to replenishment, low-interest loans and govt-backed insurance through taxpayer bailout, indefinitely extended tax holidays, reduced or non-enforced obligations of adhering to labour rights and environmental standards) ,

- and state-protected (through police force cracking down on protests on behalf of the company, or stopping factory/land takeover by the local citizens, hence dropping the neutrality of the state in favour of the company) ,

- corporate monopoly (spurred through legalizing hostile takeovers, mergers and acquisitions, zero-cap ownership concentration) 

- coupled with strangulating and obstructive regulation and artificially higher costing (through higher interest rates, full costs for land and resources, etc) for any potential competitor to the reigning oligarch. 

I'm against corporatocracy, but you might end up believing that I'm against the free market system and democracy which you may erroneously assume is in operation.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

AAP's 70-point action plan for Delhi

1.  Delhi Janlokpal Bill: Aam Aadmi Party resolves to legislate the Delhi Jan Lokpal 
Bill after coming to power. This will ensure a time-bound investigation in matters of 
corruption. The Delhi Lokpal will have the power to initiate investigations and 
prosecution against those charged with corruption. A Citizens' Charter shall be 
introduced in all government offices in Delhi. Whistleblowers will be provided 
protection and awarded for their contribution toward creating a just system.

2.  Swaraj Bill: Aam Aadmi Party will legislate the Swaraj Act to devolve power directly 
to the people. Decisions affecting the local community will be taken by citizens and 
implemented by their Secretariat. A Citizen Local Area Development (C-LAD) Fund 
will be given to every Mohalla Sabha and Resident Welfare Association, ensuring 
funds and functions in the hands of the community. 

3.  Full Statehood for Delhi: Acting within the constitutional framework our
government will use its moral and political authority to push for full statehood for 
Delhi. This will ensure that institutions such as the DDA, MCD and Delhi Police will 
be accountable to the elected government of Delhi. This way land will be made 
available for the common man, there will be greater synchronization and shared 
purpose among civic services with regard to service delivery and the law and order 
machinery will be accountable to the citizens. 

4.  Electricity Bills to be reduced by half: An Aam Aadmi Party government will keep 
its promise of reducing electricity bills by half. A more efficient, transparent and 
accountable system to regulate and audit the power generation and distribution 
companies is the need of the hour and AAP will do everything within its command to 
achieve that. Discoms should purchase power from economical sources and wriggle 
out of expensive and unsustainable Power Purchase Agreements. AAP will take 
measures to provide relief from rising power bills, namely generating cheaper 
electricity, improving transmission efficiency, fixing billing defects and correcting 
meter defects.

5.  CAG Audit of Power Discoms: We will conduct a comprehensive performance 
audit of discoms by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Discoms shall 
also be brought within the ambit of the RTI act. We will ensure that the citizens of 
Delhi do not have to bear the burden of soaring power tariffs. Initially we will provide 
subsidy that would go not to the power discoms but to Delhi Transco, a state-owned 
transmission company which has unpaid bills of Rs 3,500 crore to be paid by the
discoms. This money will help Delhi Transco upgrade and augment its transmission 
capacity, which is in a bad state at present. The lack of funds at Transco's disposal 
is one of the main reasons for the frequent power outages in the state.  After the 
audit results are tabled in the assembly, power tariffs will be restructured. 

6.  Delhi's Own Power Station: We will put up Delhi's own power station at the 
pithead and comprehensively solve Delhi's electricity problem in the long run by 
being able to meet peak power consumption of 6200MW. We will also ensure that 
the Rajghat and Bawana plant are efficiently utilized. 

7.  Introduce Competition Amongst Discoms: AAP reiterates the promise made in 
its December 2013 Delhi manifesto of providing consumers the right to choose 
between electricity providers. We will introduce competitive distribution, which will 
provide better services and lead to lower tariffs. 

8.  Delhi To Be Made A Solar City: AAP will facilitate a phased shift to renewable and 
alternate sources of energy. Incentives will be given to households, housing 
societies, enterprise and industry to gradually switch over to renewable energy. We 
are committed to ensuring that 20 percent of Delhi's energy needs are met through 
solar energy by 2025. 

9.  Water As A Right: AAP will provide Water as a Right. It will provide universal 
access to clean drinking water to all citizens of Delhi at an affordable price. The 
Delhi Jal Board Act will be amended to make clean drinking water a right of the 
people. AAP will make a time bound plan of action for covering all residents of Delhi 
with piped water and sewage network in all parts irrespective of their legal status. 
There will be no discrimination between planned/non-planned; authorized/ non-authorized; 
regularized/ non-regularized; city or village. Within five years piped 
water connections will be made available to as many as 14 lakh households (50
lakh people) in Delhi that do not have a piped water connection at present.  

10. Free Lifeline Water: AAP will ensure free lifeline water of up to 20 kiloliters (20,000 
liters) to every household per month through a Delhi Jal Board's (DJB) metered 
water connection. This scheme will be extended to group-housing societies.

11. Fair and Transparent Water Pricing: AAP will provide universal access to potable 
water to all its citizens of Delhi at a sustainable and affordable price. The mandatory 
annual 10 percent hike in water tariffs will be abolished and any further hike will be 
made only after due consideration.  The AAP government will abolish the C-1A (B)
category to provide relief to households that run small shops from their residence 
(less than 100 square feet) for their livelihood for which they are charge commercial 
rates in spite of the fact that they are not using water for commercial purposes.

12. Water From Munak Canal: AAP will ensure the firm implementation of the High 
Court order that says Delhi is entitled to extra raw water from Haryana in the Munak 
canal, an issue on which the BJP government in Haryana and at the Centre have
been dithering.

13. Augmenting Water Resources: Our government will preserve and replenish local 
and decentralized water resources, will initiate schemes for rainwater harvesting, 
recharge of wells, watershed development and soil-water conservation. AAP will 
revive Delhi's water bodies like lakes, ponds and baolis, among others, by rainwater 
recharging and maintaining them in partnership with Mohalla Sabhas.

14. Crackdown On Water Mafia: AAP is committed to clamping down on Delhi's 
powerful water mafia working under the patronage of political leaders. AAP will put 
in place a transparent tanker water distribution system by implementing state-of-the-
art techniques. The schedule of tankers operating in different localities would be 
made available online and on mobile phone. Private tankers will be allowed to 
operate under the guidelines framed by our government. This will protect the 
consumers from exorbitant pricing and illegal practices of private tanker operators.

15. Revive The Yamuna: The Yamuna River has been part of the collective memory of 
Delhi for a long time but this lifeline is dying. We will ensure 100 percent collection 
and treatment of Delhi's sewage through an extensive sewer network and 
construction of new functional sewage treatment plants. Discharge of untreated 
water and industrial effluents into the river Yamuna will be strictly prohibited.

16. Promote Rainwater Harvesting: The AAP government will throw its weight behind 
rainwater harvesting and strongly push it in a top-down manner. Families that adopt 
rainwater harvesting shall be termed water- friendly families. The government will 
provide incentives to families who do so. 

17. Build 2,00,000 Public Toilets: AAP will build two lakh toilets across Delhi: about 
1.5 lakh toilets in slums and JJ clusters and 50,000 toilets in public spaces, of which 
1 lakh toilets will be for women. These toilets will be concentrated in public spaces 
and slum areas. We will construct eco-toilets to save water. 

18. Better Waste Management: AAP will adopt and encourage the use of good
practices in waste management techniques from across the world. We will 
encourage recycling by segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste 
at the household level. Littering or disposal of construction debris in public places 
will attract a heavy fine.  We will enforce the ban on plastic bags in the city. 

19. Five Hundred New Government Schools: AAP will build 500 new schools with a 
special focus on secondary and senior secondary schools to ensure that every 
Delhi child has easy access to quality education. 

20. Higher Education Guarantee Scheme: Students who wish to pursue any diploma 
or degree course after finishing Class 12 from any school in Delhi will be given bank 
loans with the government standing as a guarantor. Students will not be required to 
furnish any collateral and the scheme will be universal in nature regardless of a 
student's financial background. The loan will cover both tuition fees and living 
expenses. The loan repayment schedule will carry a moratorium period covering the 
years required to finish the course and one year thereafter to find a job. Under this 
scheme no loan request will be rejected. 

21. Twenty New Degree Colleges: AAP will open 20 new colleges under Delhi 
administration on the outskirts of the city in partnership with the villages of Delhi.
Further we will double the existing seat capacity of the Delhi government 
administered colleges including Delhi's flagship university, the Ambedkar University. 

22. Regulate Private School Fees: We will regulate private school fees by publishing 
the fee structures and accounts online. Capitation fee will be abolished. 

23. Transparency in Schools Admissions: AAP will bring in complete transparency in 
Nursery and KG admissions. To streamline the admission process, we will use a 
centralized online system for nursery admissions, removing avenues for corruption.

24. Ramp Up Government Schools to Provide Quality Education: AAP is committed 
to improving the standard of government schools so that all citizens of Delhi have 
access to high quality of education. Every school will have sufficient functional 
toilets built, especially for girls. A sufficient budget will be given at the discretion of 
the principal for lights, fans, blackboards and other essential infrastructure. 
Teaching and learning infrastructure including computers and high-speed Internet 
connectivity will be made fully functional in every school. Number of DTC buses will 
be increased in order to service private schools so that it cuts down on the wait 
times at regular DTC bus stops. Seventeen thousand new teachers will be hired to 
maintain full staff strength at government schools.

25. Increased Spending on Education and Healthcare: Education and Health will be
AAP's top priority. The total budgetary allocation will be increased accordingly. 

26. Expand Healthcare Infrastructure: We will create 900 new Primary Health 
Centers (PHCs) and 30,000 more beds in Delhi hospitals, out of which 4,000 will be 
in maternity wards. We will ensure that Delhi conforms to the international norm of 
five beds for every 1000 people. 

27. Quality Drugs For All At Affordable Price: Pharmaceutical drug and equipment 
procurement will be centralized to ensure zero corruption. Generic, affordable and 
high quality drugs will be made available to the public.

28. Adequate Street Lighting: Seventy percent of Delhi's streetlights do not work. Unlit
streets become scenes of crimes particularly against women. AAP will ensure a100
percent lighting of streets across the city so that no miscreant or anti-social activity 
goes unnoticed.

29. Effective Last Mile Connectivity: AAP will provide effective last mile connectivity 
in Delhi's public transit system, which will play a role in reducing the number of 
crimes against women. An effective combination of shared autos, metro feeder 
services and e-rickshaws will be used to provide efficient last mile connectivity by 
fixing and delimiting routes. This will be synced with metro and bus timings so that 
there is a working connection to each neighborhood from nodal points.
30. CCTVs in Public Spaces and Buses: AAP plans to install CCTV cameras in DTC 
buses, bus stands and in crowded places as a deterrent against crime. AAP will 
ensure that women can go about their jobs in the city free of stress while travelling 
by public transport.

31. Speedy Justice through 47 Fast-Track Courts: AAP will strongly push for the 
creation and completion of fast-track courts, which are dedicated to handling cases 
of sexual assault and other crimes against women. AAP will operationalize 47 new 
courts that it had commissioned in January 2014 to ensure speedy justice. If 
required, the courts will be run in two shifts so that the cases involving crimes 
against women are heard and trials completed within six months.

32. Empower Delhi Lawyers and Judiciary: New judges will be appointed. We will 
make provisions for affordable housing for government counsels and lawyers 
practising in lower courts. The government will streamline existing government
medical schemes to ensure maximum coverage of legal functionaries. 

33. Women's Security Force: AAP will set up Mahila Suraksha Dal or Women's 
Security Force made up of a 10,000 strong Home Guard who are currently forced to 
work as servants, drivers and cooks at the residences of senior officers and 
ministers. AAP will also use 5,000 bus marshals to prevent and deter crime on 
public transport.

34. Suraksha Button: Our government will provide a Suraksha/SOS button on every 
mobile phone. We will work towards its connectivity to the police, nearest PCR van, 
relatives and volunteer community.

35. Governance On The Mobile Phone: All government services and forms will be 
made available online and on the phone. Data on government projects, 
performance, accounts and personnel will be posted online. This will bring 
transparency and accountability in governance.

36. Delhi's Villages To Receive Special Attention: Decisions regarding the
development of Delhi's villages will be taken by Gram Sabhas, which will be granted 
special untied Village Development Funds to be utilized according to their priorities. 
Those engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry will receive incentives and 
infrastructural support as is done in neighbouring states. We will provide sports 
facilities in villages to encourage young adults to pursue sports. Connectivity to rural 
Delhi will be enhanced through increased bus and metro services.

37. Pro-Farmer Land Reform: Section 33 and 81 of the Delhi Land Reform Act, which 
put unjust restrictions on farmers' rights over their land, will be removed. No land 
will be acquired in Delhi's villages without the consent of the Gram Sabha. Strong 
pressure would be exerted on the Central government to remove unnecessary 
restrictions regarding land use in villages.

38. Wi-Fi Delhi: We will make Wi-Fi freely available in public spaces across Delhi. 
Citywide Wi-Fi can help in bridging the digital divide. It will also provide an impetus 
to education, entrepreneurship, business, employment, and also tie in with women's 
safety initiatives. 

39. Delhi To Be Made A Trade And Retail Hub: AAP will formulate trader-friendly 
policies and streamline rules and regulations for setting up and running businesses. 
We will simplify compliance and licensing for traders and put in place a system of 
single window clearance. We will also ensure that starting a trade or business in 
Delhi takes a maximum time of one week. As vital stakeholders the participation of 
traders in the framing of trade policies will be encouraged. 

40. No FDI In Retail: Our government will continue with its decision of not allowing FDI 
in retail in Delhi. 

41. Lowest VAT Regime: Delhi will have the lowest VAT regime in India. We will 
simplify VAT and other tax structures. One portion of the VAT collected from every 
locality and market will be used for the maintenance and upgradation of that market 
to foster business and trade.

42. End of VAT Raids And Inspector Raj: We will put an end to raid culture and 
inspector raj. Only under exceptional circumstances will a raid be permitted with the 
prior approval of senior officials. 

43. Simplifying VAT Rules: AAP will simplify VAT rules, processes and forms. The 30 
page long VAT form will be crunched into one page for traders. All communication 
with the concerned department will be online. Licenses will be applied for and 
received at home. 

44. Delhi Skill Mission: AAP will promote vocational education and skill development 
of Delhi's youth in schools and colleges, to bridge the real skill gap in Delhi. We will 
create the first ever Delhi Skill Mission to train and enable one lakh youth per year 
for the first 2 years, ramping up to five lakh youth per year for the next 3 years.
45. Create 8 Lakh Jobs: AAP will create eight lakh new jobs in the next five years. 
AAP will facilitate innovative and private startup accelerators to provide support to 
entrepreneurs. We will create an ecosystem that enables private industry to create 
more jobs.

46. Delhi To Be Startup Hub: The government will encourage startups by setting up 
business and technology incubators in universities and colleges. As a pilot project, 
we will also create three million square feet of affordable business incubation space.
47. Contractual Posts To Be Regularized: AAP will fill 55,000 vacancies in the Delhi 
government and autonomous bodies of the Delhi Government on an immediate 
basis. 4,000 doctors and 15,000 nurses and paramedics will be made permanent. 

48. Emphasis On Social Security: AAP will implement a flexible and fair labour policy. 
Our policy will ensure social security for workers in the unorganized sector; regulate
wages, services and working hours of domestic workers and improve work 
conditions of rag pickers. Local Mohalla Sabhas will provide licences to street 
vendors and hawkers in designated spaces. 

49. Reducing Pollution: Delhi Ridge, the lung of the city, will be protected from 
encroachment and deforestation. Environmentally appropriate afforestation would 
be carried out in all parts of Delhi in collaboration with the local Mohalla Sabhas. We 
will acquire mechanized vacuum cleaning vehicles to clean the city. Public transport 
will be improved to reduce the number of cars on the road. Additionally, incentives 
will be provided for low emission fuels like CNG and electricity. Government will 
encourage car-pooling and will crackdown on fuel adulteration to reduce pollution. 

50. Unified Transport Authority: AAP will formulate holistic transport policies for all 
forms of transport including the metro, buses, auto rickshaws, rickshaws and 
e-rickshaws. A 'Unified Transport Authority' will be established for this purpose.

51. Large Scale Expansion in Bus Services: We will expand bus services in the city 
on a massive scale, adding at least 5,000 new buses to the city fleet in five years. 
This will reduce the cost of transportation and pollution in the city. 

52. Just And Fair Policy For E-Rickshaws:  E-rickshaw drivers of Delhi spent many 
months mired in confusion. They lost their livelihood for months due to the BJP's 
policy paralysis. AAP will formulate a clear policy and standards for the ownership 
and operation of e-rickshaws, keeping safety aspects in mind. 

53. Metro Rail 2.0: We will collaborate with the Indian Railways to extend and develop 
the Ring Rail service in Delhi. AAP will also work towards large-scale expansion of 
the Delhi metro, especially in rural areas. Senior citizens, students and persons with 
disability will be provided concessional passes on buses and in the metro. 

54. Fair Arrangement for Auto Drivers: The number of auto rickshaw stands will be 
increased. We will facilitate fast bank loans for the purchase of auto-rickshaws. 
Special trainings will be conducted for auto drivers to improve their overall conduct. 
The interests of commuters will be protected by taking strict action against auto 
drivers in case of violation of laws or misbehaviour. At the same time, we will 
prevent harassment of auto rickshaw drivers by the police. 

55. Freehold Of Resettlement Colonies: The Aam Aadmi Party proposes a simple 
solution of conferring freehold rights to resettlement colonies. Original allottees will 
receive ownership of their plots for just Rs. 10,000. Those who are not original 
allottees will get the ownership rights of their plots for less than Rs. 50,000
depending on their plot size. The cumbersome multi-page form will be simplified 
and condensed into a single page form.

56. Regularization And Transformation Of Unauthorized Colonies: We will provide 
registration rights with regard to property and sales deeds in resettlement colonies. 
Further, we will provide water and sewer lines, electricity, schools and hospitals in a 
systematic and phased manner. Multi-pronged action to make available these basic 
necessities is the only way of empowering unauthorized colonies, which is 
something that has never been attempted by the BJP or the Congress. Within one 
year of our government formation, these unauthorized colonies will be regularized 
and residents will be given ownership rights.

57. Affordable Housing For All: We will construct affordable housing for lower income 
groups. Over 200 acres of land is currently lying vacant with the Delhi Urban Shelter 
Improvement Board that can be used for affordable housing. 

58. In Situ Development of Slums: Slum dwellers will be provided plots or flats in the 
same location as the existing slums. If that is not possible, they will be rehabilitated 
in the closest possible location. The Mohalla Sabha will plan the rehabilitation 
process and monitor its implementation. Until such rehabilitation is completed, the 
slums will not be demolished under any circumstances. Facilities for drinking water, 
sanitation and cleaning of sewage canals will be provided in all slums. Streets and 
lanes in slums will be repaired and converted into pucca roads.

59. Taking Care Of Our Senior Citizens: The government will initiate a universal and 
non-contributory old age pension system immediately. A minimum dignified amount 
indexed to inflation will be provided. Delays in disbursement and arbitrary decisions 
regarding pensions will be eliminated. 

60. Controlling Price Rise: In the retail and wholesale business, stringent measures 
will be taken to prevent hoarding and profiteering. Our government will use the its 
full strength to stop black market operations, hoarding and speculative trading to 
curb the rising prices of vegetables, fruits and other essential commodities. Ration 
shops and the public distribution system will be corruption-free and shield the Aam 
Aadmi from rising costs.

61. Drug-Free Delhi: AAP wishes to make Delhi a completely drug-free state. We will 
prevent drug trafficking by means of tight monitoring and ensuring strict punishment
for the guilty. The number of de-addiction centers shall be increased and mental 
and psychiatric support for rehabilitation purposes will be provided. We will also 
ensure that effective counseling is easily available in schools for adolescents.

62. Empowering The Disabled: We are committed to protecting the rights of Persons 
with Disability (PwD), and hope to make Delhi an exemplar for the rest of India. AAP 
will ensure implementation of the 3 percent reservation for persons with disability. 
We will strive to make education truly inclusive by hiring special educators in 
government schools. AAP will help children with disability get admission into 
schools and colleges and ensure financial support to institutions working especially 
for their needs.

63. Justice For Victims Of Anti-Sikh 1984 Carnage: The 1984 anti-Sikh carnage was
one of the lowest points in the history of Delhi. Those responsible continue to roam 
scot-free. The Aam Aadmi Party understands the feeling widespread in the Sikh 
community that they have been denied justice. Further, the fact that the BJP-led 
government at the Centre still feels the need to constitute a committee to decide 
whether an SIT is needed or not on this issue is mystifying. We promise to notify the 
SIT that we had ordered in January 2014 to reinvestigate the 1984 anti-Sikh killings, 
particularly the involvement of high profile Congress leaders. Cases where 
investigations were not carried out properly or witness testimonies not recorded will 
be reopened. 

64. Respecting Our Ex-Servicemen: Delhi is home to a large number of ex-servicemen 
and women from the Armed Forces. AAP will stand by the nation's ex-servicemen in 
their fight for "One Rank, One Pension". We will ensure the existing quota in 
government jobs for ex-servicemen is filled up. 

65. Development And Equality For All Minorities: The recent communal tension 
witnessed in Delhi is totally out of sync with the social fabric of the city. We stand 
firmly against attacks on places of worship and inflammatory speeches across 
Delhi. Upholding the spirit of Swaraj, Mohalla Sabhas will set up peace committees 
to ensure harmony in their respective neighborhoods. We will bring transparency in 
the functioning of Delhi Waqf Board and ensure that encroachments on Waqf 
property by private parties as well as the government are removed.

66. Dignity To The Safai Karamchari: AAP will end contractualisation in "safai 
karamchari" posts and will regularize existing employees. Workers who enter 
sewers will be provided with protective gear, masks and appropriate equipment. 
Like fire fighters, they will receive medical insurance. To help in their career 
advancement, safai karamcharis will be provided assistance in education and 
training. On the death of a "safai karamchari" on duty, Rs. 50 lakh will be given to 
the bereaved family. 

67. Ensuring The Rights Of The Marginalized: We will ensure that policies of 
reservation concerning the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other 
Backward Caste sections are enforced in Delhi government jobs. Entrepreneurs 
from Scheduled Castes will be provided zero or low-interest loans to set up 
businesses. Procedures for obtaining caste certificates will be simplified. We will 
take steps to end the discrimination against and harassment of denotified and 
nomadic communities in Delhi. The long neglected transgender community will be 
provided access to health, education and appropriate identity cards that will ease 
their engagement with institutions.

68. Promote Sports Culture: We will create new sports facilities, improve the existing 
infrastructure and provide coaching assistance to sportspersons. We will open for 
the youth Delhi's sports stadiums and complexes that at present are lying 
underutilized. More than 3000 government school playgrounds will also be made 
available to the local community after school hours.

69. Promoting Punjabi, Sanskrit And Urdu: We will provide second-language status 
to Urdu and Punjabi. An adequate number of teachers will be employed for teaching 
Urdu and Punjabi. Research in Urdu and Punjabi shall be encouraged in various 
Delhi state universities. Study and research in Sanskrit will also be encouraged. 

70. Preserving Our Heritage and Literature: The Delhi Public Library Network, which
presented a vibrant public space accessible to all and encouraged a culture of 
reading and curiosity about one's social context, will be enhanced. A public library 
or community-reading space will be created in every constituency of Delhi.  

Your comments on the points' specific details? Maybe just the points covering your work domain? (And not your abstract overall commentary on the whole thing, or your personal speculation on whether it will get any votes, please..)
Related Posts with Thumbnails