December 25, 2008

India under Seige

When we talk of India under seige, who do we usually think of as our beseigers ? The obvious culprit are the various terrorist outfits operating out of Pakistan, next in line is the Peoples Liberation Army in Tibet and then you have the various terrorist outfits operating from Myanmar, Bangladesh and of course the LTTE in Sri Lanka -- who were the first to create a maniacal cadre of suicide bombers of whom one was used with devastating effect against Rajiv Gandhi ....


But if we think again, we will find the real culprits lurking -- or actually not lurking, but parading proudly in our legislative assemblies and in our administrative structure !

This has been reiterated once again with deadly effect in the murder of Uttar Pradesh PWD Engineer M K Gupta by the MLA of the Bahujan Samaj Party, the ruling party in the state ! And why ? because he could not provide Rs 50 lakhs for the birthday party of the state Chief Minister. With such enemies residing in our bosom who needs Kasav & Party for petty stuff like the Mumbai Mayhem ??

We all know that India is a most corrupt state ( Pakistan, Zimbabwe and others could be worse, but who cares ? I dont live there ... let bloggers there talk about their corruption ) and Uttar Pradesh is the most corrupt of all the states of India -- irrespective of who is in power there .. be it the SP, the BSP, the BJP or even the venerable Congress. We all know that anyone engaged in any economic activity has to pay money to survive .. but what has emerged from the current episode boggles the mind ...

First all government contracts are handed out to contractors chosen by -- or who are fronts for -- the various MPs and MLAs in the state. Next these contractors do not do any work and yet government officers -- who are of course no paragons of virtue -- are supposed to certify that work has been done and make the payments.

Which means that the taxes that you and I pay ( I presume that those who read my blog are not the kinds who can become MPs and MLAs ) is routed from the Central Government to MPs and MLAs through contractors for doing nothing but ensuring that the same MPs and MLAs are elected once again so that the drainage of money can continue !

Which makes me wonder why should I pay any income taxes at all ?

I am told by my more conscientious friends that I pay taxes for the services that I consume. In general I make direct payments for most services -- for example electricity bills, road taxes and municipal taxes for sewerage -- but for the sake of argument, I will agree that I do not directly pay for the police or the army or for any kind of security services. [ Some people pay for private security but I dont]

So I am paying income taxe for security but am I secure ? To an extent yes, I can sit in my house and not be molested as yet .. but the question is : Am I getting value for money ? Most people would say NO and I would agree.

Without going into the detailed breakdown about what happens to my money, I can see very clearly that if government funds are being (in)directly being paid to MPs and MLAs through their cronies then it simply cannot be that I am getting value for my money that I am paying as income tax.

This post is not about payment or non-payment of income taxe -- that is a side issue. What is amazing ( or rather disheartening ) is that our own so-called rulers are looting us while pretending to look after our interests.

From this perspective, the Mahmud of Ghazni ( Ghajini ?) or Nadir Shah were better ... they looted us but without being hypocritical about it. They were honest enough not to pretend that they have our interests at heart ... as our MPs and MLAs do.

And the worst thing is that there is nothing we can do about this -- except writing blogs like this.

December 23, 2008

The Real "Nano" car

While we wait for Mr Ratan Tata to come out and present us with the Nano here comes news of a real nano-car that has been built -- but is not quite on sale as yet.



These cars, created by Prof James Tour, Professor of Chemistry at Rice University, Houston, USA are approximately four nanometers across and includes a chassis with an engine, a pivoting suspension and rotating axles attached to rolling buckyball wheels, each made of 60 carbon atoms !

For more information see Computerworld or USNews for more details

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