My Power Quote !

A good book on a rainy day is happiness for me - Ruskin Bond

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

GOVT. SECTOR BANKS STILL BACKWARD IN SERVICE DELIVERY

 ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) completely changed the landscape of  Personal Banking in  recent years.  But without attentive human intervention, they remain as dumb machines or you could aptly call them as Autocratic Teller Machines !!

The other day I desperately tried  to draw cash from my bank's ATM  on  pay day.    Like other earlier countless occasions, it shamelessly  tittered  with 'NO'.  I luckily saved my situation by taking cash from   nearby ATM of a private bank where there seems to be no dearth of  cash on any given day.

Here is a world of difference in the functioning of private & public sector banks.    I  am at a loss  to  understand why the govt. sector banks especially my bank  deliberately failed to keep adequate cash  when they very well know that  sufficient cash needs to be kept  especially on  pay days or on  festival days.    Doesn't it amount to failure of service delivery?

There seems to be nobody listening to the plight of low-end customers like me.    Imagine,  I am in a  remote village where  there is no other ATM and I have to return empty handed.    It is acceptable if there is any technical glitch in the ATM occasionally.   But  will the careless act of not filling the machines with cash on needy days amount to  criminal negligence ?   Who is to be blamed ?   What sort of action needs to be taken to avoid such problems ?   These are unreplied questions hunting my mind.

It is only attitude that matters a lot.  A sense of responsibility to provide service with a smile helps a lot  to  overcome the problems of  such  nature.     An  inner reform should come in the minds of these responsible govt. servants to act upto the expectations of customers.   Further  the functioning at micro-level needs to be kept under scanner.

At macro  level,  the top management should oversee the  service delivery  mechanism periodically  with a secret written customer feedback  to evaluate the functioning of  each branch .  Based on such feedback, the performance of it's managers should be assessed.

A world class delivery could usher when self-introspection rules their minds !

Saturday, August 20, 2011

FITNESS MANIA

 In a world of restless ambitions, physical fitness is so vital not only to embark higher goals in life,  but  remain cheerful, disease-free, all through that journey. The daily dose of motivation to carve out sculpted bodies easily comes for celebrities, especially film personalities. Since they are under constant public gaze,  they get the unparalleled thrust to do the fitness regimen compare to their poor cousins in ordinary folks.

We have Salman Khan before us who now a days make others to raise eyebrows by coming to shooting spot on bicycle. The reason: he uses every opportunity to sculpt his body. Likewise, Kareena reduced her weight by simply following weight loss tips of Rujuta Diwekar who has written an epic book  Don't lose your mind : Lose your weight. The obvious reason for some film stars to maintain slim bodies  in such a short span is their being in limelight. As obesity adversely affect their career, they cannot take the risk of going into oblivion.

Body weight disproportionate to height will have its own set of maladies as well. Physical fitness directly relates to mental health. In nature, except men, no other animal puts on weight. They strictly follow the nature's cycle for intake of food whereas, man being endowed with high intellect but driven by impulse put himself in serious troubles.

A daily dose of physical exercises- aerobics, yoga will heal all possible health related problems we face in daily life. The food we eat factors a lot. Spicy food weakens the digestive track and taking lunch and dinner at irregular intervals will also have its toll on body.

Health experts say that we should follow the body's wisdom with regard to food. Beyond a comfortable point, don't follow the tongue, rather ask the body which helps to say what is ideal.

We may get inspiration from film personalities of our age group to do our work out. This way, we can maintain ideal weight so that peers, colleagues and relations will not pass adverse comments on our bodies.

NEED FOR STRONGER CENSOR BOARD

 The recent ban on screening of  film 'Aarakshan' (Hindi) in some States like Uttar Pradesh  has created some furore.   Though the film has been cleared by Censor Board, some State Governments citing possible law &  order problems have banned the film in their respective States which amounts to denial of freedom of  expression.

The moot point here is how  State Governments can ban a film when it is cleared by Central Censor Board which is a statutory body.  If anything objectionable is there,  it is the look out of Censor Board and  a blanket ban by  State Governments on the pretext of law & order problems has no merit.   This led the producers went to  Supreme Court which cleared the decks for release of film in  Uttar Pradesh.

On one onside, our Courts are overloaded with large pendency, but we are forced to knock the doors of judiciary for such petty cases which need not require court intervention when the films are cleared by an autonomous body like  Censor Board.   Of course the  ban on the screening of 'Aarakshan',  has helped producers to  get some wide  publicity for their film.  But the  whole episode reflects one fact that a over-cautious Govt would have to bear the brunt of public anger.

To avert such situation in future,  we  need to  consider some amendments in the Censor Board Act  which should have some sweeping powers  with regard to film certification so that this kind of flimsy grounds  don't force the litigants to  approach higher judiciary.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

HOW TO DEAL WITH MONSTER CORRUPTION

 The 2G Spectrum scandal and irregularities in awarding contracts for Common Wealth Games not only dented our image but brought one core issue to centre stage: CORRUPTION.   

This is first time in India that a Minister  and top level bureaucrats including an MP and some businessmen were put behind bars for their role  and the highest judiciary  kept its vigilant eyes on the investigation.   So we are in the midst of  turbulent times.

Whenever any big scandal is surfaced, common man  feels helpless and insecure.    Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev at their individual capacities desperately tried to bring a  movement in people on the issue of corruption and black money earlier,  but they got only limited success due to one reason or other.    But the 2G scandal and Common Wealth Games Scam changed the landscape and a huge sudden outpouring of public anger helped Anna Hazare  to  galvanize support from middle class  with a slogan to bring  legislation on LOKPAL   which was  otherwise gathering dust for the last 42 years.  The issue helped to unite all social activists like Kiran Bedi, Baba Ram Dev,  Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Santhosh Hegde and Arvind Kejriwal etc. to fight corruption unitedly.   So the movement spread like a wildfire and Anna Hazare's protest programme at Jantar Mantar became a huge success  as  Government climbed down to announce immediate tabling of Lokpal Bill in the winter session of Parliament

Now the Lokpal Bill was introduced in Parliament and was referred back to Standing Committee.   The bill will have wide deliberations for  possible  insertions and deletions in the existing draft and the process will take some more time as it involves  consultations among all political parties .   The  so called Civil Society representatives at this stage should not struck to their demand  to introduce  only their version of Lokpal Bill i.e. Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament.   They could give suggestions to the Standing Committee which will be considered on merit.   There should not be any apprehension at this stage, because it will get Parliament nod only after a thorough discussion in both Houses of Parliament and there is ample scope for improvements in draft stage.   The much contentious issue of inclusion of Prime Minister could also be amicably resolved.  But the  Team Anna is trying to seize the Govt.  and insisting to  introduce only their version of Lokpal Bill which is not correct.

Let us see, why anybody becomes corrupt ? What drives any person  to  indulge in corruption ?   I think it is greed in dangerous proportions and  absence of  moral values  which corrode the person.  The craving for material possessions  blinds  a person  to indulge  into  this  mess.  So the first reform should start at home.  At government level, the Administration should be transparent, especially at higher level and decision making should not be left to  any single individual.

When there is no corruption in higher echelons of  power,  lower level bureaucrats can't  venture into it.

The core issues that need to be addressed in the Lokpal Bill are timelines  set  for basic citizen services  like issue of  Ration Card,  Death/ Birth Certificate, Approval from nearby Municipality for approval for house plan, electrical connection, driving licence etc.   The Act should  explicitly mention the  kind of action  being taken for failure to deliver those services ?

It is appalling that these issues are not covered in the Govt. version of Lokpal Bill.  Th Lokpal Bill of Govt. version is very light and it  can not bring an effective legislation.  The recent Karnataka episode where Chief Minister Yddurappa had to submit his resignation for his indictment in mining irregularities is a grim reminder to consider the inclusion of Prime Minister in the Lokpal ambit.     Since we are not putting lid for improvements in the proposed legislation, it is not wise to scream panic at this stage.

It is a peculiar Indian syndrome. we explode  and seep our energies in the mindless arguments or agitations  cornering the contentious issues.  So it is the need of the hour to low down our emotions and allow the things to happen through consultative process.

After all,  we are a matured democracy and we should act responsibly.  Otherwise,  we will end up as a laughing stock before the world.   

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

JUNGLEE NO MORE


Kapoor Generation's third  iconic actor after Prthviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor is  Shammi Kapoor  who did not get success initially for some years.

He is a man of incredible energy. He is called as Elvis Presley of India. He has a unique style of dancing by moving the whole body, injecting youthful energy into his songs.

With regard to his dancing style, he tells that he doesn't buy the idea of choreographer composing steps for his songs. Instead he takes extempore dancing and don't repeat the same steps if he was asked a retake.

He has very cordial relations with industry. There were memorable hits to his credit. His debut film is Jeevan Jyoti in 1953.  After that  he went on to deliver hits like Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho,Junglee, Dil Tera Diwana, Professor, China Town, Rajkumar, Kashmir Ki Kali, Janwar,Teesri Manzil, An Evening in Paris, Bramhachari, Andaz and Vidhaata.

He received the Filmfare Best Actor Award in 1968 for his performance in Brahmachari and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for Vidhaata in 1982.

He passed his retirement years in a very fruitful way. He is  a gadget freak and technology is his passion.

Condoling his death, veteran actor Amitabh Bachhan termed him as " the flamboyance and joie de verve of the Industry .

His movie 'Junglee' in 1961 has brought him laurels and an entire decade reeled under its colourful impact.

While sharing secrets for his colourful songs, the actor confessed that he literally made Md. Rafi to change his voice to suit to his tongue.

He lived his full life but died of kidney failure on 14th August, 2011 at Mumbai.

Anybody seeing his energetic songs would become junglee in true sense.

Monday, August 15, 2011

THREE MANTRAS FOR SERENITY

 
Amidst innumerable pulls and pressures of daily life, it is quite natural to drift away with rising blood pressure, offending our bodies to an irreparable level. Sometimes, it looks that the whole wisdom accumulated over the years take a frantic ride and raw emotions overpower us. The sole culprit is our  externality of mind obsessed too much with worldly affairs.

The anger when it swells out of proportion , causes considerable damage in relationships. We loose sheen in daily pleasures of life like listening to a favourite song, watching a good movie or chit-chat with family/ children.

To overcome this kind of malady and rejuvenate our mood, we need to set apart some time daily i.e morning and evening to absorb into solitude for atleast 30 minutes to bounce back with serenity, clarity and vitality.

Like-wise certain time should be allocated to commune with Nature. It may be our backyard garden or nearby green patch. Extol the Mother Nature by watching sun rise or sun set. If you are close to sea-shore, go there and listen to the sounds of ocean or water stream or simply smell the scent of a flower.

In fact, our happiness is grabbed by our expectation that certain things, people should behave according to our desired pattern which would never happen. Once we don't get the desired result, we wrangle with everybody, thereby negativity prevails everywhere. This animal impulse can be curbed by remaining non-judgemental. It means that we must stop inner chattering. Further we have to insulate ourselves  from the mood swings and act according to matured way. This way, we could bring equilibrium from hustle and bustle of daily life and walk towards the path of happiness.

Friday, August 05, 2011

TELANGANA ROW

Development is key to any problem. When people are deprived of basic facilities like roads, drinking water, sanitation, education, irrigation and communication , naturally the seed of discontentment sprouts which may cascade into mass movement. The Naxal problem and Telangana row are latest examples of problems on socio-economic front brewing the country. Unless, we take the problem head on, it will become intractable.

Before, I actually dwell on the Telangana tangle, let me make it clear that neither I am pro nor against for a separate Telangana State. I am simply concerned to the socio-economic development of the region with political empowerment so that the people are not felt isolated in their own land.

Considering the magnitude of problem, Govt. of India set up a committee headed by retired Justice Srikrishna to submit a report after consultations with all stakeholders. The Committee submitted its extensive report in December, 2010,  but political parties in Andhra Pradesh are at logjam guarding their own narrow political interests sliding consensus a distant possibility, even after six months.

As suggested by Srikrishna Committee report, the best possible solution is creation of a Telangana Regional Council with enough teeth to ensure equi-development. I am fully agreed with such set up with special emphasis regarding allocation of funds district wise rather than sector-wise so that the most backward district will get a glaring attention. For 10 to 15 years, the Council should be provided with special funds under the aegis of Planning Commission to increase the literacy, infuse growth on all parameters like roads, sanitation, irrigation, employment etc so that regional disparities are completely wiped out.

I strongly feel that development can be ensured by close monitoring of implementation mechanism at gross-roots to achieve the stated objective. Till a consensus is reached among the political parties, an administrative decision to create a separate Department of Telangana Affairs could save the situation  with a Minister from that region  as in charge of that Department. The issue may die down once the development overtakes the politics.

We are a Great Democracy. When we were able to tackle the Kashmir problem with development as a buzzword, why not Telangana ? Once we take steps at nano level with  District as a coherent unit and allocate funds and special funds based on the district’s development index, I think nobody will rise a dissenting voice.

After all economics will certainly overtake politics.
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