Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Comments on the Gujarat textbooks / Dina Nath Batra scandal

Anyways we've been laughing at our textbooks all these decades; no difference now. This thing is so obviously stupid, it seems like yet another diversionary tactic to distract from the more seriously problematic things the new govt is doing. 

Running away from a constitutional obligation to hold elections in Delhi (what's next, come 2019 and they'll say the national elections are too much of an ordeal and should be avoided?). 
Giving blanket approvals to wiping out of the nation's natural resources. 
Branding people's movements as a threat to development. 
Imprisoning anyone who dares to offend the supreme leader. 
Putting a man having serious criminal charges as the president of the ruling party.

I think this textbook stupidity news is there to distract us from the more serious issues.

What happened last time

One thing the new central govt SHOULD be putting into our history textbooks : the stories from the Emergency period, how democracy was summarily flushed down the toilet under the garb of visionary leadership and strong, disciplined governance; how a nation was abused under the pretense of building a strong and united country. All while those who were supposed to defend it, obligingly looked the other way.

Those who forget their history, are doomed to repeat it.
In the years of our parents' youth, the ongoing slogan was "Indira is India and India is Indira". 
Another quote from the era, "You (journalists) were asked to bend and you crawled."
What's it going to be this time?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Worked out on a farm after such a long time

Fully tired yet energized by a day on a farm where 2 friends with similar stories as me are doing various farming experiments. Fully in rain and slushy, sweet smelling mud, we plucked weeds in the rice bed. We tried out some natural farming ideas, like tossed seeds over an area covered with grass, then chopped the grass so it covers the seeds. All in experimental mode. Had a great time talking with the group of 6 people on n number of topics, getting to know each other and finding out again that yes, being a little bit different than normal folks is ok, is good.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Open letter from Jewish body to demand end of Gaza massacre

In this time of tremendous suffering and fear, from Jerusalem to Gaza, and from Hebron to Be'er Sheva, we reaffirm that all Israelis and Palestinians deserve security, justice, and equality, and we mourn all those who have died. 

Our unshakeable commitment to freedom and justice for all compels us to acknowledge that this violence has fallen overwhelmingly on Palestinians. And it compels us to affirm that this violence has a root cause: Israel's illegal occupation. 

We are united in our belief that: 

The denial of Palestinian human rights must end. 
Illegal settlements must end. 
Bombing civilians must end. 
Killing children must end. 
Valuing Jewish lives at the expense of others must end. 

Only by embracing equality for all peoples can this terrible bloodshed end.

Jewish Voice for Peace : Israelies and Palestinians. Two peoples, One future

The Most Important Message For A 20 Year Old

The Most Important Message For A 20 Year Old - from Charles Eisenstein

Your secret suspicion is true.
1. The world is supposed to be much more beautiful than what has been offered to you as normal.
2. You have a magnificent gift to give, and the purpose of your life is to give it. And if you don't know what it is, then the most important thing you can do is to find it. Which might mean doing nothing for a while. Maybe you have to get out of the habit of doing things that are not your gift, in order to discover what that gift is, because it's been suppressed.
3. Something tremendous is supposed to happen to you. That big thing that you've been expecting? It is suppose to happen. 

The status so far of ab ki baar

Sharing a post by a friend on FB:

# A Chidambaram budget through Saffron lips of Arun Jaitley
# Key Ministries to 'Yes men'
# No action on Rapist Minister
# Appointing an encounter specialist as Party Head with complete disregard to morality.
# Corruption at public dealing points has gone up.
# Inaction on Inflation
# Fresh produce prices have shot up.
# Tolls on highways have shot up (Delhi by almost 50%).
# Continued encouragement to VIP mentality laal battee culture.
# Law & order on the ground is still the same - as bad or worse.
# Unwanted effort to saffronise education
# Fringe Party politicians taking centre stage through divisive talks.
# No action on Black Money (Electorate waiting for 150 days tall claim)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Declaration of Interdependence

When In the course of human events, it becomes increasingly necessary
to recognize the fundamental qualities that connect us,

then we must reevaluate the truths we hold to be self-evident:

That all humans are created equal and all are connected.

That we share the pursuits of life, liberty, happiness, food, water,
shelter, safety, education, justice, and hopes for a better future.

That our collective knowledge, economy, technology, and environment
are fundamentally interdependent.

That what will propel us forward as a species is our curiosity, our
ability to forgive, our ability to appreciate, our courage,

and our desire to connect...

That these things we share will ultimately help us evolve to our
fullest common potential.

And whereas we should take our problems seriously,

we should never take ourselves too seriously.

Because another thing that connects our ability to laugh...

and our attempt to learn from our mistakes...

So that we can learn from the past, understand our place in the world,
and use our collective knowledge to create a better future.

So perhaps it's time that we, as a species, who love to laugh, ask
questions, and something radical and true.

For centuries, we have declared independence.

Perhaps it's now time that we, as humans, declare our interdependence!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Generic Medicines app

This is to inform you that medicines are prescribed (by our great doctors) by brand name & not by the generics (Ingredients). Hence we end up paying more money for the same medicine.

Follow these few steps to know more & start saving on your medical bills.

1. Simply download HEALTHKART PLUS software on your Android device (

2. Search the medicine name

3. Type the medicine name which you are using (e. g. Lyrica 75mg (Pfizer company)

4. It will show u medicine company, prices and Ingredients

5. Now main point CLICK ON 'SUBSTITUTE'

6. Don't be surprised to see that same drug is available at very low cost also. And that to by other reputed manufacturer. 
e. g. Lyrica by pfizer is for Rs. 768.56 for 14 tab (54.89 per tab)
& same drug by Cipla (Prebaxe) is available ONLY @ Rs. 59.00 for 10 tab (5.9 per tab) 

Let the move by Supreme Court benefit everyone...

There was a big lobby by Pharma companies to stop generic medicines. But court kept the interest of common man and the medical need.

"Kindness Costs Nothing"

Greenpeace's "Dharnai Live" -first solar-powered micro-grid in Bihar kicks off

Today was a proud moment for us when we formally inaugurated the micro grid in Dharnai village in Jehanabad district of Bihar. We issued the following press release in Bihar & national media. GPI issued  the International PR simultaneously. Please check for IPR 


Press Release

Bihar village declares independence from darkness and anonymity

Greenpeace's first solar-powered micro-grid in Bihar kicks off with village ceremony

20 July, 2014, Dharnai/Jehanabad: Even as more than 300 million people still wait for electricity in India,  Dharnai in Bihar declared itself energy-independent today with the launch of Greenpeace's solar-powered micro-grid. The 100 kilowatt (kW) micro-grid currently provides quality electricity to more than 2,400 people living in Dharnai village in Bihar's Jehanabad district.

"While India was growing leaps and bounds, we were stuck here for the last 30 years, trying everything in the book to get electricity. We were forced to struggle with kerosene lamps and expensive diesel generators. But now I can proudly say that Dharnai is a leader in innovation. We have established our identity as an energy self-sufficient village and can compete with the country in its race to growth," said Kamal Kishore, a resident of Dharnai.

Costing Rs. 3 crore, the solar-powered micro-grid is a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind enterprise that provides 24x7 electricity to more than 450 households and 50 commercial establishments. This includes 70 kW for electricity generation and 30 kW for 10 solar-powered water pumping systems of three horsepower each. Built within three months and on a test-run since March, the quick-to-install micro-grid also takes care of 60 street lights, energy requirements of two schools, one health centre, one Kisan Training Centre (Farmer Training Centre) and 50 commercial establishments. It gives the village the mandate to not just a better life but also an ambition.

A quarter of the global population without access to electricity comprise the poor in India, where more than a third of the rural population lacks access to electricity. The decentralised, expandable and sustainable approach of the micro-grid provides that critical catalyst to power the new growth centres of India like Dharnai as well as bridge the deficit in urban areas. It is also a solution that can plug into the current government's focus on using solar power for energy access to every household by 2019.

"Even as the government is preoccupied with blaming the civil society for stopping energy projects, here is a village that has created its own energy pathway through an alternate model of sustainable energy. The coal-fired and nuclear-fired power plants of the country will not be able to reach the Dharnais of the country. Nor will they be able to address global climate concerns and India's commitments towards those concerns. India needs to seriously reconsider its energy strategy and prioritise renewable energy for social and climate justice," said Samit Aich, Executive Director, Greenpeace India, at the launch of the micro-grid attended by more than 3,000 villagers and community leaders from 25 villages. Also present at the launch were representatives from partner organisations CEED and Basix.

The micro-grid is operated in association with BASIX, a livelihood promotion institution as well as CEED, which is a network of NGOs and think-tank organisations in Bihar to support renewable energy development in the state.

The micro-grid has been set up with the approval and conformity of the people of Dharnai. So while it is a 100 kW system as of now, it can be expanded to meet the advanced requirements of the people.

"The micro-grid intends to be the answer to the intense policy and vision paralysis that India's energy sector faces today. The towns and villages of Bihar have been deprived of energy for decades now and we feel this is where the micro-grid can be the connect. We urge the Bihar government to follow and replicate this model," said Naveen Mishra of Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED).     

Greenpeace appeals to the government of Bihar to recognise decentralised renewable energy systems (DRES) like the Dharnai model for replicating and upscaling to provide energy to the dark villages of Bihar and create adequate regulatory structure for promotion of similar models.


For more information on the micro-grid, please visit

For the briefing paper on the micro-grid,

For a detailed manual on the micro-grid,

For the fact sheets on the micro-grid,

For photos please visit,

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chemtrails justification : typical abuse culture logic

In response to a video:

It's the typical use of short term existential threats to justify even more long term damage. Happens in every abuse scenario, and needs to be called for the bluff that it is. Snowden may have gotten the info from inside the lockers, but he hasn't done the task of critically evaluating and thinking through this part; that's our job. The opinions of the secret American programs need not be the ultimate truth on the matter. If the chemtrail programs are stopped, then the consequences will be super-duper disastrous? Like how if a constantly abused wife spills the beans, the children's lives will be ruined? Heck no, truth is always less harmful than lies. The culture of abuse we live in has conditioned us to take instant inconveniences too seriously, while hiding the real dangers from view. Rather, we should thicken our skins, grow up and embrace the inconveniences needed to transition to truth. Also, thinking through the matter and questioning basic assumptions is necessary, specially the ones that trick us into believing these doomsday scenarios.

Consider what you shared about the Dust Bowl of 1930s. The American agriculture techniques were not adapted to the American climate. Lack of dryland farming techniques. Famines happen when agriculture doesn't adapt to limited-resources conditions. But there ARE ways to grow food and survive non-plentiful conditions. Switching over to more resilient agricultural practices is a far better option than the chemtrail program, duh! The basic assumption that the current system of agriculture is the ONLY way to grow food is flawed, and that throws the chemtrail justifications out the window.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sainath : revenues foregone in 2013-14 could fund the rural jobs scheme for three decades

P Sainath on Corporate Bailout #Rs. 36.5 trillion #Budget 2014

July 13, 2014 1:35 pm·

The revenues foregone in 2013-14 could fund the rural jobs scheme for three decades or the PDS for four and a half years.

By P. Sainath,

It was business as usual in 2013-14. Business with a capital B. This year's budget document says we gave away another Rs. 5.32 lakh crores to the corporate needy and the under-nourished rich in that year.  Well, it says Rs. 5.72 lakh crores  but I'm  leaving out the Rs. 40 K crore foregone on personal income tax since that write-off benefits a wider group of people. The rest is mostly about a feeding frenzy at the corporate trough. And, of course, that of other well-off people. The major write-offs come in direct corporate income tax, customs and excise duties.


If you think sparing the super-rich  taxes and duties worth Rs. 5.32 lakh crores  is  a trifle excessive, think again.  The amount we've written off for them since 2005-06 under the very same heads is well over Rs. 36.5  lakh crore.  (A sixth of that in just corporate income tax). That's  Rs. 36500000000000 wiped  off for the big boys in nine years.

With  Rs. 36.5 trillion  –   for that is what it is  –   you could:

  • Fund the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for around 105 years, at present levels.  That's more than any human being could expect to live. And a hell of a lot more than any agricultural labourer would. You could, in fact,  run the MNREGS on that sum, across the working lives of  two generations of such labourers. The current allocation for the scheme is around Rs. 34,000 crore.
  • Fund the Public Distribution System for 31 years. (current allocation Rs. 1,15,000 crores).

By the way, if these revenues had been realized, around 30 per cent of their value would have devolved to the states. So their fiscal health is affected by the Centre's massive corporate karza maafi.

Even just the amount foregone in 2013-14 can fund the rural jobs scheme for three decades. Or the PDS for  four and a half years. It is also over four times the 'losses' of the Oil Marketing Companies by way of  so-called 'under-recoveries' in 2012-13.

Look at some of the exemptions under customs duty.  There's a neat Rs. 48,635 crore written off on 'Diamonds and Gold.' Hardly aam aadmi or aam aurat items. And more than what we spend on rural jobs.  Fact: concessions on diamonds and gold over the past 36 months total Rs. 1.6 trillion.  (A lot more than we'll spend on the PDS in the coming year).  In the latest figures, it accounts for 16 per cent of the total revenue foregone.

The break-up of the budget's revenue foregone figure of Rs. 5.72 lakh crore for 2013-14 is interesting.  Of this, Rs. 76,116 crore was written off on just direct corporate income tax.  More than twice that sum (Rs.1,95,679 crore)  was foregone on Excise Duty. And well over three times the sum was sacrificed in Customs Duty (Rs. 2,60,714 crores).

This, of course, has been going on for many years in the 'reforms' period. But the budget only started carrying the data on revenue foregone around 2006-07. Hence the Rs. 36.5 trillion write-off figure. It would be higher had we the data for earlier years. (All of this, by the way, falls within the UPA period). And the trend in this direction only grows. As the budget document itself recognizes, "the total revenue foregone from central taxes is showing an upward trend. "

It sure is. The amount written off in 2013-14 shows an increase of 132 per cent compared to the same concessions in 2005-06.

Corporate karza maafi is a growth industry, and an efficient one.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Death : Life's change agent

Steve Jobs on "Death"

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help
me make the big choices in life.

Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--
these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you
have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there.

And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent.
It clears out the old to make way for the new."

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Arvind Kejriwal's hangout / video message to Maharashtra volunteers

Just watched the 21 min video, and must say I'm so GLAD with everything that Arvind has said.

I'm sure there are going to be many disagreements and disappointments. While this message might make a lot of people leave, I have a feeling that it will encourage a much larger number of people who had left much earlier, or who hadn't joined because they didn't like the direction and attitude then, to come to AAP.

If we keep aside everything and really go back to the beginning, then there's clarity. We have to be a people's movement, do work for the people, and then the people have to compel us to stand for elections when they see it as the most efficient way to get their problems solved. Not the other way around! I'm feeling happy to see this message put loud and clear, feeling happy about this course correction. There can be infinity-squared blamings on what has happened so far ("if like this then why did we do this this and that", "then they should not have this and should have that" etc), but for the way forward, I think this is much better.

This chimes in with the model of the new AAP-like political party that's emerging in the US from the Occupy movement.
It co-incides also with the model of the Five Stars Movement in Italy, again AAP-like, and they now have 100+ people in the Italian Parliament. And with so many people's movements across South America where they are blooming after over a century of corporate oppression.

There's a book i would recommend for clearing confusion :
It covers a lot of topics like separation vs interbeing, the temptation to control, the dangers of being ruled by the fear of failure.

Gift Economy

Would you like to show your appreciation for this work through a small contribution?

(PS: there's no ads or revenue sources of any kind on this blog)

Related Posts with Thumbnails