Tag: India

Gang of Four

Gang of Four originally meant Jiang Qing, Wang Hongwen, Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan who were powerful during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) in China. Anna Hazare spoke of Gang of Four in UPA government without mentioning names. One of them is P. Chidambaram. Second is likely to be Kapil Sibal. Who are the other two? Some talk of Digvijay Singh and Manish Tewari but they are not ministers.

Whoever they are the Gang of Four has succeeded in diverting attention from corruption. First there was attack on Prashant Bhushan ostensibly for his remarks on Kashmir. Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi did not agree with Prashant Bhushan. Then Arvind Kejriwal joined the august company headed by George Bush of people who were attacked by shoes. Then reports appeared about Kiran Bedi’s travel bills. When the first report appeared Arun Bhatia said Kiran Bedi should sue Indian Express for five crore rupees for defamation and give that money to her trust. However Kiran Bedi did not do that. Swamy Agnivesh accused Arvind Kejriwal of misappropriation. Two core committee members quit. Anna Hazare took the vow of silence.

It was not all doom and gloom for activists. NDTV conferred Indian of the Year Award on Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal.

On 29/10/2011 core committee met in Ghaziabad and decided to continue the fight for Jan Lokpal Bill.

China’s Gang of Four members lost power and went to prison. Anna Hazare and Yashwant Sinha have said that P. Chidambaram should be in jail.

Firecrackers and Pollution

Firecrackers cause air pollution and noise pollution. When firecrackers burst day and night over a month the damage is great.

Firecrackers are meant to be burst during joyous occasions. They are burst during marriages, feasts, when countries win matches and during the opening ceremonies of sports events. Candidates who win elections to Parliament or Legislative Assembly burst firecrackers. The bursting is limited to a day. Once an MP who had won four times consecutively had contested for the fifth time and had bought firecrackers in advance taking his victory for granted before the counting of votes. He lost that election. During Diwali season bursting is over a month. People are unable to sleep. Air pollution leads to coughing and causes asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. It can destroy forests. It affects animals. Noise pollution affects health and work performance. Lack of sleep affects health. How much damage is caused by the solids released into atmosphere is not known. Some of them may be carried outside India. Children and old people are more affected by pollution. For sick infants continuous burst of firecrackers can make a difference between life and death.

The law bans bursting of firecrackers after 10 p.m. but it is not much enforced. Bursting of firecrackers for Diwali should not be for more than 24 hours. Parents have a role to play. There are various types of firecrackers. Sparklers and firecrackers that do not make much noise are to be used.

Defence purchases

India is a nuclear power and wants to be a permanent member of UN Security Council yet imports warplanes, warships, arms and ammunition.

As per one report there is need of Armoured Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS). Israel Military Industries which used to supply that ammunition is blacklisted and a Russian company has quoted a price that is 400% higher. This is like Commonwealth Games scam where projects were not completed on time and goods were brought at high prices citing urgency. It is not clear whether Israel and Russia are the only countries with that ammunition. What is the urgency? India is not going to war with any country. If any country attacks India we can hit them with missiles and drop nuclear bombs on that country.

As per another report India has ordered 80 Mi-17 V5 helicopters from Russia. The delivery has to be spread over three years and there has been a delay. Previously there has been delay and cost escalation in case of naval ship Admiral Gorshkov.

India should have been self-sufficient in all respects of defence. USA, UK, Russia and France sell weapons. In India many years and thousands of crores of rupees were spent on developing main battle tank and light combat aircraft. There was talk of allowing private sector to manufacture what is required for defence but nothing seems to have happened. May be imports are a lucrative way to get bribes, commissions and kickbacks. Foreign companies may be allowed to manufacture warplanes, warships, arms and ammunition in India and India should buy only what is made in India.