Monday, October 10, 2011

Twelfth Five Year Plan

The five year plans were started during the Nehru era. Based on erstwhile USSR five-year planning. There is a division under Central Government called Planning Commission headed by Deputy Chairman(Planning Commission). The Deputy Chairman reports to the Prime Minister. Currently, Montek Singh Ahluwalia is the Deputy Chairman.

The Approach Paper for the twelfth Five-Year plan has been made after consultation with about 950 civil society bodies and after getting responses in The twelfth Five-Year plan has been criticized for focusing on GDP growth. The core issue of poverty and inclusive growth of all sections of Indian society has not been taken care of.

Now, firstly planning is done by the government in a communist setup. India currently is neither communist nor capitalist. A department like Planning Commission cannot just be wished away. Even though Planning Commission serves the aspirations of would be IAS officers by supplying Yojana magazine, this is not the purpose for which Planning Commission exists. It has to plan meticulously and plan for the poor as USSR would have done. Doing so is the duty of Planning Commission. It has failed to do so.

The focus is on increasing GDP of India and expecting that growth in GDP will result in removal of poverty.  The growth in GDP is being planned by increasing market of India. The argument of UPA govt. is, the increase in GDP will give funds to other plans like employment guarantee and food security and thereby poverty can be eradicated. Here, one must not forget that only a fraction of money meant for poor actually reaches them.

As far as I am concerned the poor are undernourished. The farmers have been isolated from the rest of the society. They are given free/subsidized electricity and are allowed to sell at a fixed minimum price. This  makes the farmer lazy and ignorant and is not involved with the market. A plan giving direct support to the undernourished and to poor farmers is the call of the day. They need to be directly helped.

Whatever be it, the government at the center wants to wash its hands off most of the well established systems. Agreed that Planning is planning and no action is guaranteed, but the least expectation was that Planning should not have been so arrogantly purposeless.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


People moving slowly, so it seemed
And I walking along, as if in a dream
Twenty years of togetherness will go away
My brother's leaving;his career, his own way.

Separation is not easy, it is a pain
Expecting his return soon will be in vain
He is looking at his future; that's fair
I too must do the same; should take care.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Gandhiji - Birth Anniversary

Today is October 2. The birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. A national holiday.

Needless to say Gandhiji was born in Porbandar on October 2, 1869. Every Indian knows it  by heart. Also there is no need to mention that Gandhiji said "Truth and non-violence are my weapons".

It may be necessary for interested Gandhians or those who want to follow Gandhigiri in their personal life as to what Truth and non-violence may mean. Of course I have no idea as to what Gandhiji meant by those two words and I have learnt Gandhism from school textbooks only.But having a great respect for the great leader and being an accomplished blogger it may interest a few visitors to my site as to what truth and non-violence means to me.

The easier one first. Non-violence. I read in the papers what Baba Ramdev said before he began his protest fast in Delhi. He said,"I create no fear. I have no fear". I have absolutely no idea in what context he was talking. But the statement attracted me. I began to wonder. Then after a few minutes I realised that to me non-violence is "I create no fear. I have no fear.". It made logical sense. If you are non-violent you do not have to fear. You do not kill anyone or pain anyone. So you are free from fear. And secondly you do not create fear. Because you believe in it.

Truth. Truth is a difficult one. It may have meant God to Gandhiji. God is truth. Makes sense. Assuming it is true, then I look out for what God meant to Gandhiji. There is another thing that Gandhiji said. He said, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness.". So maybe being clean is Truth. Quite a far fetched one!!

Anyway when talking of cleanliness it is important to talk about excreta. Human excreta. How do you handle it in your mind. My advise is excrete thoughts of excreta. Do not think about it. Just let it go as you do in the toilet.

Gandiji was a great leader. I wonder whether he would have been happy with the state of affairs in our country. I doubt it.