Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Race to The Bottom

Truth of the matter is that its easy to blog, and try proving yourselves to be great analysts of the changing dynamics of the country, especially since most of the blogs are a result of second hand information being served sizzling hot by our new-age media houses. In the cold war era, do not forget the pain that disintegration of USSR had to go through, and in great part orchestrated by the west (read US) uncomfortable with the unmanageable rise of the soviet union. We as a nation have to show sanity not to go that way however unbearable corruption is or stinking politics of the country. Ppl like Anna and the entire team might seem god-send to free the country of the clutches of corruption, but bear in mind, we must not be carried away by the force thats being created by this team, however compelling. Who in the world is gonna ensure that we remain an integrated country is far bigger a question than the whirlwind that this lokpal thingy is creating. The western developed economies would love to see strife, agitation, and all of that in emerging economies as part of their economic recovery plan.
Most important, terming aging souls like Anna kingkong or mickey mouse is just another form of extreme reaction. Bear in mind, while proponents of the Lokpal have been debating that this bill has been awaiting clearance for 40 yrs, but that still does not become reason to leave just 40 days to act on a bill. Its almost like you sit on it for 40 yrs, but the passage has to happen in 40 days. Not the question of patience. Its more to do with prudence, and ensuring that the nation is close on the heels of politicians whenever they are elected, following their work or lack of it, through the media or otherwise, and not feel elated by pushing those politicians on the backfoot, thinking that finally in this democracy, its "by the people", cos at the end of it, the entire country will be made to look stupid, integrated or disintegrated, only time will tell.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Retail Therapy

While industry watchers and policy makers makers must be licking their fingers at learning the 51% approval being granted to FDI in multi-brand retailing, it is important to acknowledge the fine print of this business and the red herring. In the globalized and closely integrated economies of ours, this to happen was a given, sooner or later. I'm glad it happened later, as it has given ample exposure or localization expertise to our homegrown bulk retailers like Future Group, Reliance, Tatas, Bharti, Mahindra, et al. to cement their positions and can only grow stronger from here on. Govts. dragging their feet for years on policies like this, and faulted for being slow decision makers, or pandering to vested interests, eventually benefits the country and protects its interests hugely when seen in the overall context, certain groups or individuals benefiting greatly notwithstanding. And now that every one is being allowed in, wonder whats going on in the mind of those overseas retailers who must be gearing up with their India strategy. I'm sure getting a grip on prices, and milking the vast consuming class is the message their bosses would have sent out loud and clear. In an economic setup like ours, where the country is a net importer, despite the recent boom in IT, or manufacturing, textile businesses, the fact remains that we are dependent on some of the most essential commodities for sustainance from the rest of the world; that includes energy, fuel, food, and very soon nuclear supplies for power generation too.

So while we dig into other western economies snatching away their jobs, as a worthy cost effective destination for global businesses, it wouldn't be surprising to see those very economies making life difficult for us to enjoy that growth because of our high dependence on imports from them.

Something is expected to give way, either mellowing of rising salaries/GDP growth of our economy or a more supply constrained inflationary economics, where high premiums will be attached to key raw materials, commodities and all those essentials resulting in slowing of the Asian juggernaut.

Hope policy makers take a global view of all their decisions and not just a narrow domestic view, which perhaps worked fine in the years gone by; not any longer.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

RAOne Economics

Well the guy, SRK has made his money already, while you ppl try adding 2 and 2. :)
You all have to realize that the film was a first of a kind in Bollywood, with expensive animation, 3D visuals, and all thing high on technology that made it a heavy budget film. Commenting that the storyline was lousy, or that the dialogues were ineffective is all meaningless analysis. The Display Unit companies are preparing you for the next wave of content viewing, which is all-3D. Currently there is very less programming content in 3D, and so consumers will find it hard to graduate to 3D TVs from their current HD TVs or non-HD TVs. SRK need not worry about the success or failure of the movie content itself so far as he's well supported by the industry to push a certain product or concept into the market to increase mass appeal.
SRK, as a brand is going nowhere. It'll probably be faced with increasing competition with new artists, but he's reached the kind of dizzying heights that should keep his brand alive.

India Inc inspsiring govts to move from the humble "RATH" to "FORMULA 1"

Well...the F1 project is entirely a private enterprise, and we know what private enterprises are capable of, not just in terms of raising capital, creating successful businesses, but also the not so beautiful, such as evading taxes, swiss banking etc. Within the peripheries of the race circuit, which was officially the private space oh so beautiful, the outside, which was the motorway/expressway was so beautiful, again a pvtly developed space. A look at the public spaces, the administration and policing, well that tells you a different story.
Its all so well and easy to give away parcels of land to pvt enterprises at throw away prices to develop, and then entice the junta at market rates. The doubling and trebling of investments is just a means developed by the rogues to get you aligned with them capitalizing on your aspirations. No well meaning economics or great governance here.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Mayawati vs Assange - A contest I'd love to watch

Would Assange have ever dreamt of being on a collision course with Behenji; perhaps never, but it did happen a few days ago, and I'm mighty impressed with the swift response by the UP Chief Minister in her chaste Hindi addressing a press conference, letting her position known to all.
Would love to see both of them sharing the same dais, and contest the issue, and the validity of the claims, to put to rest genuineness of all that wikileaks puts out, and the levels of fabrication of their claims.
Weather or not she actually sent an official plane to get get herself choicest footwear or not is not something I don't wish to debate, cos she belongs to a league of CMs that have enabled an environment of some very visible and tangible changes atleast in western UP. The fact that, as a govt in power, you need to deal with babugiri, buffoons of all varieties, coarse and very rigid minds, Mayawati has been instrumental in many a change that the state has witnessed during her leadership tenure. Democracy, freedom of speech, and listening to everybody is OK in theory and practice, so far as you're able to take a lead in making steady, and authoritative decisions, to make things happen, instead of being cornered each time by opposition politics that ruling governments have to deal with constantly.
Despite the odds, the lady has surely led well, and while there might be plenty of Grey areas, one has to underplay that to some extent in the final analysis of the individual's overall performance report.
Leaders of Mayawati's pedigree could be key players when it comes to forming global perceptions of foreign policy positions, where some of our english speaking sophisticated politicians have been a let down all along, and only believed in playing west-centric appeasement politics; in the process, they have proved themselves to be very insignificant global leaders. The elusive success at being included as permanent members in the elite UN Security Council is a case in point, and I wonder if the diplomats and leaders know really how to stamp their authority and play the diplomatic global power politics of leading from the front when it matters the most.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Force Feeding a Govt. into Discussing

While there have been several anti-corruption campaigns and crusades in the past, what sets this apart from the rest is the sheer practical nature of the demands that've been put across, even though unconstitutional it might sound to the parliamentarians, but its never been said that the constitution itself cannot be amended, cos its "people first" in any democracy.
Anna as the cynosure of this demonstration stands out to the extent that he sure is reverberating with his thunderous slogans plucked straight from the bygone freedom struggle. Its my view, whats driving him is the vicarious thrills of reliving the joy of sacrificing by the great freedom fighters; the likes of Gandhi, Bhagat Singh etc. The fact that much of his inspiration and ideologies are Gandhian is a no brainer. Although Anna's role in the freedom struggle does not match the leagues of the big names, he sure wouldn't mind replicating the feat of the great freedom fighters. He aptly names it the second freedom struggle, to get that adrenalin flowing and thrills unlimited.
People might think its crazy that he's doing it for the thrills of sacrificing, but such is the nature of the feeling that one goes through when one is itching to be counted in the league of people who've made major sacrifices for the country, especially for someone who's seen the freedom struggle from such close quarters.
That apart, whether the govt accepts the bill, rejects the bill, or tweaks it, it is important not to brand the current govt. worthless, to the extent of giving the opposition parties an upper hand. Remember, no one is clean here. Its important to let the bill find its way till it becomes law, and hopefully, bring this same govt. back to power in the next general elections, to experiment the Lokpal on them like guinea pigs, and ensure the opposition too learns a lesson or two from this, and works harder and better to show its importance and worth to the people of this country. It has to be emphasized that for any democracy to work well, a strong and smart opposition is a must.
While the congress led UPA is being criticized of its handling and bungling, its actually not too bad that in such delicate matters the govt shows a bit of silliness or foolishness, cos making rigid and forceful decisions to show conviction and control can backfire, which they perhaps realized to some extent during Baba Ramdev's rally, to a greater extent on arresting Anna, and completely sealing it with their spokesman Manish Tiwari resorting to painting Anna black with concocted stories at a press conference.
Being indecisive and looking foolish is a better option here for the govt., as facing the wrath of the people would be the last thing on any govt's mind.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Fast Tracking Rules thro' Fasting

I've presented my view to several people to which the response is that I'm perhaps envious of what Anna is trying to achieve, and I feel a point of view placed against Anna's crusade should not be termed negative simply because there is popular support for it.
Simple case; Anna's attempt at using Fast-Unto-Death approach for a cause, as a means to first garner support and then force-blackmail the govt into agreeing to terms and conditions of the citizens lokpal bill is a path that smacks of rigidity, and lack of a desire to find common ground. Factually, the entire country has not been consulted through a referendum, the paradrafting of the citizens lokpal version, so no one individual or team can claim that they represent the citizen's group.
Just like Anna and supporters are using their democratic right to protest, the police and govt agencies are using their institutional rights to clamp down on them, as it almost seems fashionable to use the capital city as flashpoint for creating chaos, and disrupting normal life, for whatever cause.
The fasting and protest can very well be conducted 30Kms away from the capital, where the whole thing can be carried out in peace, unless playing to the galleries is one's intent.
Lastly, cant the team just hand over the citizen's bill to an elected, current, and deserving MP to represent the citizens and fight it out and debate in the parliament. Every one can see the live debates on LokSabha TV too.
As of now, it seems that one is just adamant to place one's terms and condition and force it down your elected representatives, absolutely ignoring and trashing the procedures, and thinking that this is the only time and method to bring about change and revolution. How can you just ignore the parliamentary democratic systems in place to get things moving. And if democracy is not what works well, then authoritarianism is best suited for a country like our's where people completely lose their freedom of all kinds and be dictated terms and conditions of disciplined living.
How about trying out the above method of searching for the most suitable elected MP and then wait for the whichever version to be passed and be made law. One can always protest, and demonstrate after that, as all laws can be subject to amendments if its well within reasonable logic and passed by the govt of the day.
One would say that the MPs would be bought over, but I say, the MP fighting for this cause can single handedly become a hero too, which will be incentive for him and boost his political cause for the future.