Sunday, December 14, 2008

Its probably because I'm about to join an organizatin known for its debt ratings that this idea took shape in my mind, but it sure desserves further development.
Issuing ratings for political parties in India? Some criteria could be:
  • Avalibility and willingness to share data related to sources of funding
  • Utilization of funds
  • %age of funds spent on social work and community welfare
  • %age of funds spent on advertising and promotion during elections and otherwise
  • Availibility and willingness to share detailed resumes of all MPs and MLAs detailing education, work experience, and other verifiable achievements
  • %age of election manifesto projects delivered as promised when the party formed goverment.
  • Effect of programs (of the party's elected goverment) on key macro indices like per capita income, HDI, literacy, population, electrification penetration, etc
The list surely isn't comprehensive and needs more detailing.

The ratings issuing body could be certified by a non-partisan body like the election commission or so and a political party should be forced by law to display its ratings in all communication whether positive or adverse.

Surely, the idea can be developed further by the folks on jagore or others itching to "do something for the country".

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Increasingly, a kind of therapeutic introspection seems to be the national mood, goaded on by electronic media; Surely a good idea to do some soul searching on what we could do to improve our country. But self improvement cannot be a substitute for good governance. How can it possibly be wrong to expect our government to do its duty and be held accountable if it fails to do so? Aren't we accountable to our employers in our jobs? Failing to confront the problem without regard to political correctness is the need of the hour. Jehadi terrorism and the even more grave issue of our state and central governments (especially congress led) failing to act against it fearing supposed electoral backlash from muslim voters are the gravest of threats our nation faces. Please dont dub me a hindu fanatic or a right-winger just yet; Please hear me out. My world-view is devoid of any consideration to people's belief/regions/beliefs etc, I stand for total and absolute equality of all humans of all regions, beliefs, and persuasions etc. I feel deeply shameful and angry when i hear of muslims being refused apartments in mumbai. I am disgusted to my very core when I see bias and bigotry against muslims and anybody else. Unlike what our politicians may believe, most muslims hate jehadi groups as much as the rest of us and would be happy to see our government act against them.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A goldman sachs analyst shared his expectation the other day on cnbc of realty prices correcting 30% or more across much of india in general and in mumbai suburbs and bangalore in particular. In nutshell - he expects a 30% drop from current levels and doesnt see a quick recovery (likely 3+ years). Had been on a "housing tour" last weekend with a couple of friends who recently bought apartments here in borivali; at prices ranging from 6000 to 6170 per sqft. So if we are to believe the analyst, we could see prices dipping to 4200 in borivali in a year or 2. As a one of the friends pointed out that day, banks are currently requiring about 40% equity from home-buyers a sharp increase from the comfortable 10% till only an year or so back. (I remember 10% of the apartment price + stamp duty was all it took to buy a house in 2004 in an all-white transaction). How many middle-income fellas have that kind of cash to put on the table? Not too many i would imagine; especially with many people's funds "blocked" in the present sensex sub-9000 equity market.
Watching our apalling news channels; while the aaj taks star news and zee r busy peppering terror footage with graphics and "danger music", sagarika CNN-IBN ghose is as usual frothing at the mouth asking a bjp leader "will bjp exploit this event to communally divide this country like it always does?" The choice of news channels rt now pretty much boils down to utterly juvenile bullshit on one end of the spectrum to a neatly programmed but heavily biased coverage where opinions are being pushed facts - Are we ever going to get a neatly packaged, sensible, politically unopinionated/centrist news channel?