Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

SBI should be split

There is a plan to merge SBI’s five subsidiaries with SBI. This is a bad plan. Arundhati Bhattacharya has got one year extension ostensibly to oversee the merger. The extension reflects poorly on the government and other SBI officials.
SBI has lost thousands of crores of rupees if not lakhs of crores of rupees due to bad loans. We do not know the exact figure because we do not know how much amount went into corporate debt restricting, strategic debt restructuring, and loan write-offs. There is recapitalization going on and this year SBI is to receive 7,575 crore rupees. It is to receive more amounts in future. Recapitalization means RBI printing notes and giving to banks. If SBI had been a small or medium bank the4 losses would not have been high.
State Bank of India is too big to fail. It should be split as per plan below.
SBI branches in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura will be State Bank of Shillong.
SBI branches in West Bengal and Sikkim will be State Bank of Calcutta.
SBI branches in Bihar will be State Bank of Patna.
SBI branches in Orissa and Jharkhand will be State Bank of Bhubaneshwar.
SBI branches in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand will be State Bank of Simla.
SBI branches in Jammu and Kashmir will be State Bank of Srinagar.
SBI branches in Punjab will be State Bank of Ludhiana.
SBI branches in Rajasthan will be State Bank of Amber.
SBI branches in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will be State Bank of Bhopal.
SBI branches in Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Diu and Daman will be State Bank of Ahmedabad.
SBI branches in Goa and coastal districts of Maharashtra will be State Bank of Konkan.
SBI branches in Vidarbha will be State Bank of Nagpur.
SBI branches in remaining districts of Maharashtra will be State Bank of Poona.
SBI branches in Karnataka will be State Bank of Adyapady.
SBI branches in Kerala, Mahe and Lakshadweep will be State Bank of Cochin.
SBI branches in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Karaikal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands will be State Bank of Madras.
SBI branches in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Yanam will be State Bank of Anantapur.
SBI branches in Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and abroad will remain State Bank of India.

Uri aftermath

On 18/9/2016 there was an attack on Indian soldiers at Uri resulting in 17 deaths that day and one more death next day. Most have called this attack a terrorist act and referred to 18 dead soldiers as martyrs. Some have said this is an act of war and not fair to call dead soldiers martyrs. As per most reports most soldiers died because the tents they were sleeping in caught fire. The four attackers were shot dead.
Pakistan denied it was behind the attack and said it was due to the unrest in Kashmir. Nawaz Sharif spoke about Kashmir when he addressed UN General Assembly. He compared Kashmir unrest to Intifada. India’s First Secretary responded by saying Pakistan is home to Ivy League of terrorism. Sushma Swaraj addressed UN General Assembly on 26/9/2016.
In India it is said about positions of political parties that where you stand depends on where you sit. That was the case this time also. When BJP was in opposition it wanted tough action against Pakistan when attacks took place. Narendra Modi spoke of 56 inch chest. Congress was measured in its response. Now BJP is in power and the response is measured while Congress wants tough action against Pakistan. Congress called Modi government the weakest government India had.
Different people have suggested different things about what should be India’s response to Pakistan. These include diplomatic isolation of Pakistan, sanctions against Pakistan, supporting Balochistan separatists, and stopping flow of Indus water. Some have suggested covert actions with deniability.
Diplomatic isolation of Pakistan is not easy. It has to start with India shutting down its High Commission and Deputy High Commission in Pakistan. Not many countries will be with India. USA and China will continue to deal with Pakistan.
Sanctions against Pakistan will mean end of trade and cultural and sports ties with Pakistan. It will affect both sides. There will be loss of business for India. Indian films will be banned in Pakistan.
Supporting Balochistan separatists can weaken Pakistan. Giving asylum to Brahudagh Bugti is part of that plan. India has to do it alone. China has an interest in Balochistan remaining part of Pakistan. Other countries will not support Balochistan separation.
Stopping flow of Indus water is easier said than done. India does not have dam capacity to hold Indus water. It will take years to build dams to hold water. Pakistani missiles and rockets can attack dams.
Covert actions with deniability mean terrorist acts. These are meant to deter Pakistan. India had agents who could carry out retaliatory terrorist acts. Inder Kumar Gujral put an end to those acts. After Manohar Parrikar became Defence Minister there was talk of having such agents who are referred to as assets. It was said it will take five years to put them in place. It is close to two years now. If India carries out retaliatory terrorist acts, it will hurt Pakistan in equal measure.
India has to fight its war alone. India should not expect help from USA because it assists terrorists in Syria and calls them freedom fighters. India’s TV channels should not call people who blame India and say attacks were a conspiracy. The situation in Kashmir has to be under control. Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed has proved to be incompetent Chief Minister. Perks and security to Kashmiri separatist leaders should stop.
In Pakistan army controls the government. Pakistan claims it has no control over terrorists who are non-state actors. Terrorists who attack India are abetted by Pak army and ISI and are not non-state actors. Killing Indian soldiers is an act of war. India should respond accordingly.

Voice of Punjab

Voice of Punjab
On 8/9/2016 Navjot Singh Sidhu his political front Awaaz-e-Punjab which means Voice of Punjab. With him were former hockey player and suspended SAD MLA Pargat Singh, independent MLA brothers Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjeet Singh Bains, and some others.
Sidhu Spoke against AAP, BJP and SAD. After he quit Rajya Sabha there was talk of him joining AAP. Sanjay Singh and some others had said Sidhu will join AAP. Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu had talked of him joining AAP. August 14 was to be the date. That did not happen. Sidhu attacked Arvind Kejriwal. He said Kejriwal was insecure. He wanted only yes men around him. AAP was like East India Company trying to win Punjab through divide and rule. He was a decoration piece earlier with BJP. Now AAP wanted him to be the same.
It was the first day of Kejriwal’s four-day Punjab tour. In Ludhiana there were protests by Akalis and Congress members and AAP rebels against the removal of Sucha Singh Chhotepur as Punjab convener. Sanjay Singh issued a rebuttal to Sidhu’s statements. He said Sidhu never said he wanted to contest elections.
Punjab Congress President had invited Sidhu to join Congress. He issued a statement on Sidhu’s front. “Their status looks like that of a confused and undecided couple who are not sure whether they should marry or just carry on with the relationship to keep all future options open.”
Sidhu said BJP wanted him to campaign for the Badals and he refused.
Sidhu attacked the Badals for family rule, drug meance and other things. Sukhbir Singh Badal asked “Does Sidhu want his family at the helm of affairs? Does he want his and his wife’s rule?” Navjot Kaur is an MLA and chief parliamentary secretary. She continues in BJP. It was first day of Punjab Assembly session. She attended joint meeting of SAD and BJP legislators.

Some years back there was a spoof on Sidhu. There was a poster in Amritsar. It mentioned its MP Sidhu was missing and anyone informed him will get 2,00,000 rupees award. A man goes in search of Sidhu. He goes to Parliament House. There he is told Sidhu may be giving cricket commentary somewhere. The man goes there. Does not find Sidhu. After that while watching TV he sees Sidhu in a comedy show and goes to claim his prize. There someone tells him “We also know he is there. We want him here.”
AAP, Congress and SAD-BJP are three fronts in Punjab. Sidhu has opened the fourth front. He is well known as cricketer, commentator and a participant in a comedy show. Those who are disgruntled with AAP, BJP, Congress and SAD can join him.
AAP has lost sheen in recent months. Sucha Singh Chhotepur and some other Punjab AAP leaders were opposed to making Sidhu CM candidate. After Chhotepur’s suspension following a sting operation showing him accepting money, many AAP members have revolted against Kejriwal. Anna Hazare has expressed disappointed with Kejriwal. AAP is damaged in Punjab. AAP began with talks of grassroots democracy and no high command culture. Both were dumped within months and are not there. Kejriwal’s autocratic and dictatorial attitude has made many admirers turn away from AAP.
In a four-way contest 27% of votes can get more than 50% of seats. The name of the front suggests Sidhu’s ambition is to become chief minister of Punjab. As elections near, many MLAs and other politicians are likely to switch parties. Sidhu is known for his choice of words and phrases known as Sidhuisms. The contest for Punjab is wide open.

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