Monday, December 28, 2009

Lord Jagannath Getting Richer

Fund-starved temple places donation box in Bhubaneswar

Devotees of Lord Jagannath in Bhubaneswar have started contributing generously to the temple fund than ever before. The “donation box” of Jagannath Temple of Puri, also called “Jagannath Hundi” and placed in front of the state secretariat at Bhubaneswar, has received about Rs one crore in just one month.

“This is the highest ever collection since the Hundi was set up in 2007,” expressed Ashok Kumar Meena, chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple. A temple official, who monitors the counting of donations, said we collected about Rs 96, 61,045 in November. “Earlier we used to collect Rs one lakh or less on an average per month. But now it has hugely gone up. We received about Rs 1.70 lakh on the very first day.”

These donation boxes, set up in different places of the state, have now emerged as major sources of income for this 12th century shrine. The very idea of donation boxes was first initiated by the Jagannath Temple administration after it faced financial crisis. At that time, the temple was getting an annual allocation of Rs eight crore from the Orissa government. But that was not enough. Its expenditure runs into nearly Rs 20 crore every year. On an average, priests perform 108 rituals for Lord Jagannath every day and the temple itself pays for the various rituals. Unlike other temples, there is no entry fee. For centuries, donations have been the only source of income for Jagannath temple, but when it started drying up, the administration started looking for innovative ideas. In 1983, a Hundi in the temple premises was placed. Initial collection from this donation box was not encouraging; only Rs eight lakh came in 23 years. But now things have changed. Lakhs are raised every day. A senior priest of the temple told TSI, “We received a sum of Rs 32, 45153.00 from the Hundi in the temple on November, 11, 2009. This was the highest ever collection since the Hundi was established in 1983.” And the amount is increasing day by day. It is all Lord’s mercy.
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IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

Saturday, December 26, 2009

We’ve turned Earth’s thermostat up…

Science writer and geologist Kate Ravilious insists that there is enough proof to warrant action... NOW.

Global warming: it is a term that conjures up an unfortunately cosy picture. To those of us living in the higher latitudes, or in mountainous regions, global warming doesn’t sound too bad. A rise in temperature of a few extra degrees would reduce the heating bills, make winter much more bearable, and spare us the need to travel somewhere hot for a summer holiday. But of course, there is much more to global warming than a rise in the average temperature. The extra energy contained within hotter oceans and atmosphere will fuel more extreme weather events – floods, droughts, tornadoes and tropical storms. Meanwhile, oceans expand as they warm, and combined with melting glaciers and icecaps, sea levels will rise, flooding vast areas of land.

Already we are starting to see evidence that global warming is for real. The latest measurements show that sea level has risen more than five centimetres over the last 15 years, 80% more than predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2001. This rapid rise has already claimed a number of low lying islands, the first of which was the uninhabited Pacific Atoll nation of Kiribati, in 1998. By 2006, the first inhabited island disappeared beneath the waves. Once home to around 10,000 people, Lohachera Island, part of the Sunderbans, is now populated by fish, seaweed and shells. Above the waves, the summer melting of Arctic sea ice has been unprecedented in recent years.

On land, the total surface area of glaciers (excluding ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctic) has decreased by around 50% since the beginning of the 19th Century. And satellite measurements show that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are both melting fast.

Meanwhile, over the course of the 20th Century, the average global temperature has risen by more than 0.7°C, with the majority of the warming occurring in the latter half of the century. The last decade has been warmer, on average, than any other decade in the previous 150 years, and 2005 was one of the hottest years since records began.

It is impossible to connect specific weather events with global warming, but evidence is growing that extreme weather is becoming more common. Such events include this year’s unusually destructive typhoon season in South East Asia, the summer heat wave across Europe in 2003 (estimated to have killed over 35,000 people), persistent droughts in South West Australia and the Mediterranean, and heavier rainfall in places like the UK. All this is irrefutable, but it still isn’t enough to convince some people that global warming is for real.

Recently a large number of emails were illegally hacked from the Climate Research Unit in the UK. Since then the carefully selected phrases from these private email correspondences between eminent climate scientists have been leaked out to the media, aiming to demonstrate that climate change scientists have been manipulating their data, and that the whole idea of climate change is one big hoax. It is incredible that the climate change sceptics were able to find only a smattering of comments amongst the thousands of emails they trawled (dating back to 1996) to provide some support to their view.

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IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

IPS officers in short supply

108 positions against the sanctioned strength of 207 lie vacant

Shortage of Indian Police Service (IPS) officers in Orissa is scuppering the state government’s effort to root out Maoists. Besides, there are fears that officers' shortage in the police force can result in poor law and order situation. State home department sources confirm that Orissa is running short of 108 officers. Some 57 per cent of these vacancies are in the direct recruitment quota.

To fill up these vacant seats, the state government has asked the Centre to allot eight officers every year. But till date, the Union ministry of home affairs has allotted only four IPS officers from the 2009 cadre. Due to this, the police force is facing an acute manpower crisis. The administration is facing difficulties in filling up vacancies at the SP level.

Reshuffling of SPs in the Maoist-hit districts like Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada are on the cards. The problem has been further compounded with the state government giving promotions to IPS officers of the 1995 batch. This means that SPs of the crucial districts like Berhampur, Puri and Bolangir will get senior positions. Though all these districts need dynamic and young IPS officers, the Director General of Police has a limited pool to pick suitable top cops from.

Earlier, the shortage of IPS officers had forced the state government to post officers of Orissa Police Service (OPS) as SPs in other nine districts. “Scarcity of IPS officers has become a problem for the police administration. Filling up these posts is imperative to combat Maoist extremism in Orissa,” said former DGP B. B. Mishra.

Above all, “central deputation” has contributed greatly to the ongoing crisis. According to the state home department, 19 direct recruit senior IPS officers of Orissa cadre are now serving outside the state under the Central government. Realising the gravity of the problem, chief minister Naveen Patnaik has put an end to further deputation. Figures updated on November 11, 2009, show that there are some 99 IPS officers in Orissa against the sanctioned strength of 207. “Many IPS officers opt for Central deputation. And when they are not given posting of their choice, they lobby in the administrative circle of New Delhi to serve the Central government. But for Orissa, the absence of 19 senior officers matters a lot,” said a senior state home department official on the condition of anonymity.

This crisis can be managed if 48 sanctioned posts for promoted IPS officers are filled up. “Unfortunately, all these promotion posts are lying vacant and the state government has not taken a decision to recruit Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSPs) directly. Discontinuation of the direct recruitment of DSPs through Orissa Police Service Examination since 1976 has resulted in the reduction of promotional quota of IPS officers over the years,” said a senior officer. Things look grim even at the national level. Around 700 posts are lying vacant. Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh are also facing the same problem as that of Orissa.

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IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rekha Dahiya, Intl Wrestler

When Rekha Dahiya went to Russia, she had a huge responsibility on her shoulders. The biggest of them was the struggle to prove that she was not second to any. Rekha Dahiya is the member of the Indian international wrestling team and fights in the toughest and most competitive weight category of 48 kg. When TSI caught up with her, she was so shy that her team members, both boys and girls, helped her recount her achievements. But when it came to practice, it was the same Rekha who was leading their skill training session from the front. What makes the achievements of this girl even more remarkable is the surrounding from where she has risen to be a wrestler. She belongs to Haryana, which has the most skewed sex ratio in the country. It is noyt a place where girls are encouraged to chart out their own course of life. Rekha’s practice arena will put her struggle in the right perspective. The place is full of mosquitoes and the ceiling is broken at many places. Her coach, Ishwar Dahiya, is obviously immensely proud of her. This daughter of a farmer is waiting for her moment of glory on the podium.

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IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lieutenant General Punita Arora

She is the first woman to have held a lieutenant general's rank with three stars in the world. She may have retired from the services in May, 2006 but she is still busy looking after patients. She is a bundle of energy and inspiration. When the TSI team met her at her residence, it was late in the evening. But as soon as we entered, she infused in us the same positive energy. She was gleaming with happiness as she had been able to help her patient deliver a normal baby which was otherwise a complicated case and chances of survival of the two were grim. She said proudly, “It is the Army which has given me this much of stamina and endurance that I can work continuously.” Lieutenant General Arora joined the Army way back in 1963 and since then has been a fully devoted soldier. Even a mere mention of word “service” charges her up and she considers country first before anything else. “We should educate our children not just for a mere degree. Values are important in life too. Also, we should learn the example of working like a cohesive unit from the armed forces as this will help every citizen to contribute to the growth of the nation,” said Lt Gen. Arora. According to her, everyone should be given a chance with no prejudice or pre-conceived notion because only then a person, whether a man or a woman, will be able to give the best. “Every man and woman should get the same social, emotional and professional atmosphere. God has given us the same brain and thinking power.” She said. “As for the forces, there is a system of Annual Confidential Report and annual assessment. Give chance to every man or woman, the choice of stream and then those who don’t perform can easily be weeded out irrespective of their gender. But, to decide that one is not fit or cannot do justice to a role at the outset is wrong. The first Indian woman to become a part of the Army was in 1942 and we are still busy over the discussion of man vs woman. This is regressive,” were her strong words. She has designed a bracelet herself with a map of India and the religious symbols of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism joined together with the help of a chain. For her, work has been the biggest motivation that made nothing difficult or stressful.


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IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

IIPM News - CRISTIANO RONALDO

“This is the start of a new career”

Marc BeaugĂ© in Madrid Since the Champion’s League final night in May, where Manchester United lost to Barcelona, Cristiano has been busy, becoming the world’s most expensive, most in-the-news, most beleaguered, most loved, most hated, and most paradoxical player. The current holder of the Ballon d’Or (European Footballer of the Year Award) looks back on a season that made him the world’s most expensive player as he left Manchester United for a new beginning at Real Madrid

Are you settled in Madrid?

Life is great for me here. Really. It’s almost like being in Portugal. The food, the fact that it’s almost always sunny. It rains sometimes, but I never notice. I feel at home. And the language is easy for me as well.

Have you bought a house in Madrid?

Yes, I live two or three minutes from here. It’s a quite neighbourhood, a fair way away from the city centre. My mother loves it. She comes to see me much more regularly now. Everything’s easier here. Except for going into town. I’ve been living here for two months now and I know nothing, absolutely nothing, about the city. What have I seen of Madrid? My house, the stadium, the training ground! It’s incredible! But I have time. I’ve signed for six years; obviously I’ll have time to get to know Madrid.

Since your transfer, you seem to be more of a fixture in the star system than ever. The paparazzi follow you around now …

In the beginning, they did. There were photographers, journalists. But that’s all over and done with now. They know where I live, they know where my house is, but they don’t bother me. When I close the front door, I’m safe. I’m at home. I live comfortably with my family, my parents, my friends.

Media pressure isn’t a problem. But it’s true that there’s a bit more pressure here than there was in England. Over there, there were places I could go if I wanted to be left alone. The English aren’t like the Spanish. They keep their distance, even with people who are well-known. They’re more discrete. But I got used to playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world. When you have a career like that, when you score goals and win trophies, people take an interest in you. It was already like that at United. I knew that people were interested in me. Here, it’s just a little more intense. After training sessions, there are dozens of fans outside waiting for autographs and photos. Sometimes you can spend a little time with them. Sometimes you can’t. When there are too many people you can’t give all of them what they want. But I do my best. At United, there were never any fans at training sessions.


Do you feel more pressure here? From the supporters, the media …

Yeah, I guess there’s more pressure here than at Manchester United. There’s always something going on around the club. The press are always there. The supporters are always talking. They say that we have to win this trophy, that trophy. You feel more pressure. But where’s the problem? I’m a professional footballer. I like pressure. Not too much. But a little, for sure. It encourages me.

Is the pressure that comes from being the world’s most expensive player hard to deal with?

No. I don’t care about that. You know what? I’m glad I’m the most expensive player in the world. Very glad. I consider it a fantastic honour. But, today, I’m just doing my job, at a huge club, with incredible players. What do I have to complain about?

Isn’t playing for Real Madrid very different from playing for Manchester United?

The problem is that I played for Manchester United for six years. You get to know your teammates pretty well in six years. We understood each other better and better every season. At Madrid, it’s only the beginning. In a few months, we’ll be a real team. We’ll play like a team. There’s no reason to be worried.

Which suggests that Real Madrid isn’t a team yet…

Of course we don’t play like a team yet. We have a lot of work to do. But we’re on the right road. Everyone’s working hard. The atmosphere in the dressing room is good. In a few months we’ll have improved.

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IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative



Monday, December 14, 2009

Hopeless in Baghdad

Iraq’s so-called secular coalitions contesting January polls are nothing but inconsistent & rag-tag groups of sectarian and confessional political entities that have run out of ideas, says Saurabh Kumar Shahi

International affairs become a tricky business when you try to see a country with a perspective that you have drawn from a separate nation with completely different guiding principles. For example, an Indian scribe can never understand why Iraq, a country whose population can be compared with just a couple of Indian metropolises, has a total of 296 registered political parties.

And mind you, almost none of them are redundant and all of them are contesting at least one seat each. And there are very few countries where the number of political parties in the fray exceeds the number of seats (275) being contested for. But then, how many countries are on the verge of Balkanization to the extent of Iraq? And that explains the quagmire of the upcoming Iraqi elections. “Iraq exhibits an extent of political division generally found in first time multi-party polls, nevertheless hardly ever seen subsequently. Even the figure of broad-based coalitions — minimum six, as of today — suggests profound fragmentation,” says Marina Ottaway, an Iraq expert with Carnegie Centre, while speaking to TSI.

So, why this fragmentation? Does it reflect the aspirations and thought of common Iraqis? Unfortunately, yes. There are numerous aspects that explain the systematic division of the Iraqi political fabric. But nothing is more serious than the legacy of the struggle against Saddam Hussein. Explains Amr Hamzawy, a Cairo-based expert, while talking to TSI, “A large part and section of Saddam’s resistance was planned along confessional lines. Political exiles in several countries came up with their own groups that used to attract flesh and blood as well as finances from different organisations and countries. The present political system is a mere manifestation of the same.” Fair enough. But that only explains that things have changed for worse. When Baghdad fell in 2003, none of these rag-tag groups could take the credit of having “liberated” the country. Consequently, the subsequent elections in 2005 threw a profoundly fractured parliament, aggravating the quandary.

So what have western backed indigenous institutions come up with to deal with it in the up-coming elections? They have opted for an electoral system that not only reflects a lack of imagination but is also playing to the gallery. The “Proportional Representation” that they have come up with, is expected to further disseminate the division. They have failed to devise a mechanism to reduce the number of coalitions and parties. Worse, this will also fuel intra-party struggle on sectarian and regional lines and further implode several coalitions. Clearly, the institutions have shown sheer lack of knowledge in dealing with the task they were entrusted with.


Many western analysts still maintain that all is not wrong with the country and assert that the present elections are being fought on a “non-sectarian” base, or at least a diminished sectarian base than the previous polls. It gives a false impression that sectarianism and confessionalism is on wane in Iraq. It is far from it.

The truth is as complex as the political scene. If you leave aside Kurds, other pre-poll coalitions are indeed rainbow alliances that draws from a set of political entities, intelligentsia and ethnicity. But it is hogwash at the best. All the parties that form these coalitions have drawn strength from a particular group or sect or ethnicity. And it is something that is predominant, not a one off. “If you really want a confessionalism-free democracy, the process should reach the very roots. A non-sectarian coalition made up of confessional political entity is just a laughing stock,” explains Amr. And if that was not enough, in each of these alliances the biggest coalition partner holds a sway, which automatically means that the confession it represents will have a larger say in the affairs and agenda of the coalition.

Thus, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Rule of Law Coalition is dominated by Dawa, a significant Shia group, and some of the largely insignificant Sunni and Kurdish factions. Similarly, the Iraqi National Alliance, which comprises major Shia factions is also luring groups from other sects but remains essentially a Shia alliance. Therefore, on the face of it, an alliance that binds major Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties, is non-existent. The only possible exception is the secular Iraqi National Movement (INM). The coalition boasts of a rainbow of well known intellectuals and lawmakers from both the Shia and the Sunni sections, including Iraqi Front for National Dialogue chief Saleh al-Mutlaq, former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani. However, it can merely be termed as an “alliance of convenience”. There is no set of principles that all of them agree upon. Whether or not will it survive the post-poll tensions is anybody’s guess.

And as if it was not enough, last week, Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi vetoed the proposal asking for more representation for 2 to 3 million expatriate Iraqis—mostly Sunnis—who fled following Saddam’s fall. He, along with Kurdish groups and President Jalal Talabani, called for Article One of the election law to be amended to allow 15 per cent of the seats to be reserved as “national seats”.

Although Iraq’s top judicial body has termed the veto illegal, a further delay in January’s elections seems unavoidable as lawmakers were still arguing the nuances of the law and decision.

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IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative



Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Scripting a turnaround

The pleasant personality and soft voice are misleading. IPS officer DP Singh is the Additional Superintendent of Police (industries), 24 Parganas, West Bengal.

A tall, fair and handsome man, he doesn’t speak too much. But he can charm the birds out of the trees. An average student in school, he worked hard for four years to get through the UPSC examination. He scored 59 per cent marks in his Intermediate, but went on to script a remarkable turnaround.

“I am not the only one,” he says. “There must be many who have achieved success in life despite not performing too well in school and college exams. On my part, I was always confident that I would be able to overcome obstacles.”

Singh says he was inspired by the example set by his seniors at Sainik School, Lucknow. “Many of them did not do particularly well in their class 12 exams and yet broke into the IITs and the National Defence Academy,” he says. “I think the trick lies in planning systematically and pursuing one’s goals single-mindedly.”

Once you are in the field, says Singh, success depends on how quickly you can think on your feet and take decisions. “Professional success has little to do with mugging up for exams,” he adds. If proof were needed, look no further than DP Singh.

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IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative



Monday, December 07, 2009

The beginning of the end….

The 2012 prophecy might have its core in South Asia

An interesting aspect of the increasing Chinese intrasigence and the Naxal violence is that they have gone up hand in hand with the increase in turmoil in Pakistan and its inability to contain the homegrown jihadis from becoming a Frankenstein. So, is it a mere coincidence or there’s a strong correlation between the two? It goes without saying that for long Pakistan armed forces have been armed, trained and incubated by the Chinese. Therefore it isn’t surprising that much of the Pakistani military nuclear and missile launching capabilities have a Chinese connection, sometimes direct and often routed through North Korea. Now that Pakistan is getting entangled in its own quagmire, chances of it getting disintegrated in the future are not that distant any more. And if that nightmare ever comes true with a federal government (however weak it might be) being replaced by psychic warlords with access to nuclear warheads and support of some sections of Pakistan Army, apocalypse in India would just be a matter of time. And indeed it would be India before anyone else (not even the US) who would be hit first. Therefore chances are high that India might even work in tandem with the US to bring some kind of normalcy in Pakistan and might even help the establishment over there to fight out the rogue elements. Already the common man over there is finding much commonality with his Indian counterpart in his increasing disgust and hatred towards this mindless violence by some rabid war mongers in the name of pure Islam who are no more sparing the Muslims either. And if this common hatred eventually ends up bringing India and Pakistan together, then even though it would surely help in diffusing one of the world’s most dangerous melting points, it would definitely give sleepless night to many others. And the leader among that pack would surely be China.

That India would be the biggest competitor of China in future in terms of emerging as the next military and economic giant is no more a million dollar prophecy. For long, Pakistan was a wonderful way to contain this, slow but steady, rising elephant. Add to it, the success of democratic institutions in a semi-literate country and its increasing proximity to the US is an eye sore to many. But the chain of events in the post 9/11 scenario changed it all. China perhaps never had calculated the fact that a 9/11 like incident can ever happen and that the heat of the US would force Pakistan at gunpoint to destroy all seeds of poison that have been incubated painstakingly. And China’s frustration can be gauged from the rather shocking comments emanating from Chinese establishments that India perhaps has forgotten the lessons of 1962. For the intelligent, this is good enough to give an inkling of the shape of things to come. The real issue here is whether India is in a position to contain the external and internal threats if they erupt all at the same time? And chances are high that such a thing can happen any time. So imagine if there’s a massive terror attack akin to 26/11 while at the same time a Kargil type scenario also emanates in Kashmir, while China, typically in the 1962 style, crosses over to Arunachal, while the Naxals start their final military assault to topple the Indian state. Is India in a position then to face all of it at the same time? Would it then just remain a local skirmish? It’s better to have sleepless night now than to wake up to this rude reality one fine morning. 2012, in any case, isn’t far away. Remember the Mayan prophecy?

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IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative


Friday, December 04, 2009

"IIPM News" - Nukes under fire

But the military says the weapons are safe and they are not allowing access to any foreign entity or state

Seymour M Hersh’s 7,000-word investigative article “Defending The Arsenal” published in The New Yorker magazine had a chilling effect in Pakistan, especially in the military establishment that denied its contents. It also prompted the academia and the media to enter into a debate arguing to what extent Pakistan’s nuclear assets are in safe hands.

“Seymour Hersh’s article reflects the continuing concern about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons that continues to be entertained in the semi-official circles and the think tanks in the United States,” Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi, Pakistan’s top defence analyst and scholar, told TSI.

“This thinking also runs into lower echelons of the official circles who write briefs for the policy makers. Therefore, his article does not reflect the official US perspectives,” he said. “However, it definitely shows that there are circles close to the American government that continue to toy with the worst case scenario of the terrorists getting access to Pakistan’s nuclear weapon-system and fissile material,” he added further.

“On April 29th, President Obama was asked at a news conference whether he could reassure the American people that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal could be kept away from terrorists.

Obama’s answer remains the clearest delineation of the Administration’s public posture. He was, he said, ‘gravely concerned’ about the fragility of the civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari,” wrote Hersh. “Their biggest threat now comes internally,” Obama said. “We have huge… national security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable and that you don’t end up having a nuclear-armed militant state,” Obama added further, according to Hersh.

“A senior Pakistani official, who has close ties to Zardari, exploded with anger during an interview when the subject turned to the American demands for more information about the arsenal,” wrote Hersh.

“Why are you not afraid of India’s nuclear weapons?” Hersh cited Pakistan’s unnamed senior Pakistani official as saying. “Today, he said, ‘you’d like control of our day-to-day deployment. But why should we give it to you? Even if there was a military coup d’etat in Pakistan, no one is going to give up total control of our nuclear arsenal. Never. Why are you not afraid of India’s nuclear weapons?” the official asked, according to Hersh. “Because India is your friend, and the longtime policies of America and India converge. Between you and the Indians, you will f*** us in every way. The truth is that our weapons are less a problem for the Obama Administration than finding a respectable way out of Afghanistan,” the Pakistani official has been cited as saying.

Hersh’s article was prominently published by Pakistan’s national media and generated a debate. However, the American apprehensions were refuted by Pakistan’s military establishment. In a terse statement, Pakistan’s chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee General Tariq Majid called The New Yorker’s report “absurd and plain mischievous.” Said he: “As overall custodian of the development of our strategic programme, I reiterate in very unambiguous terms that there is absolutely no question of sharing or allowing any foreign individual, entity or a state, any access to sensitive information about our nuclear assets.”

It seems Hersh’s article was a feeler to assess the reaction in Pakistan about American concerns as to what extent its nuclear assets are in safe hands and how the largely anti-American people in Pakistan would react if the Americans intervene militarily in time of a crisis.

“It is not very difficult to conclude that the Americans are very seriously concerned about the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan,” Dr Syed Jaffar Ahmed, chairman, Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi, told TSI. “On one hand, high officials of American Administration, including a person no less than the secretary of state says that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is in safe hands, but other segments of the administration have reservations in this regard. Hersh has indicated that some Americans have apprehensions about a coup within the army that can go against the Americans,” he said.
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IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative



Thursday, December 03, 2009

Are the green shoots here to stay?

Signs of recovery are looking good but structural bottlenecks and fall in agriculture threaten the sustenance of India’s economic growth, says Deepak Ranjan Patra

It may be very unconventional, non-scientific and inappropriate to judge India’s economic recovery in the following manner, but it certainly shows a difference. Just look for the news pieces that talk about companies bagging orders and you will find while there were almost none during the early part of this year, there is a flurry of such news over last couple of months. This clearly indicates that whether technically right or wrong, recovery has already made inroads into the minds of many. Erstwhile, Chairman of the Reserve Bank of India, Bimal Jalan, tells The Sunday Indian, “I do not see any big problem in India’s recovery. Investments are picking up, IPOs are once again visible and the signs are absolutely positive. Whether it is 5.5 per cent or 6.5 per cent, we are showing one of the highest growth rates in the world. So the recovery is also coming faster.”

Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has shown his optimism by stating, “There are clear signs of an upturn in the economy. Like other countries we resorted to a significant stimulus and we will take appropriate action next year to wind this down”, during the recently concluded India Economic Summit. What is interesting in his statement is the fact that here he almost gave a relative deadline for removal of stimulus indicating that the government thinks the economy will be back on track by 2010. But the question remains, are these alluring green shoots sustainable?

Going by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), India has definitely moved a step away from the dire situation that it was in last year, if not recovered completely. IIP has grown a healthy 6.5% year-on-year (y-o-y) during April-September period of the current fiscal as against growth of mere 2.8% during financial year 2008-09. In the months of August and September, industrial production has clocked growth rates of 10.9% and 9.1% respectively, which by no means is a small achievement. But then it’s the reviving demand, especially in the urban areas, which is providing the required thrust. As per Nikhilesh Bhattacharyya, Associate Economist, Moody's Economy.com, “Rebounding demand in urban centres, and inventory restocking have helped to support production, as has a recovery in external demand, led by emerging economies.” But then he attributes this rebound in demand to the fiscal stimulus provided by the government. That actually raises the question that what will happen when the government cuts back the stimulus packages?


In the meantime, while spurt in demand has made many happy, it has taken a few by surprise too. As per the latest data available with Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, in the month of October domestic sales of passenger vehicles have recorded a whopping 33% growth. While this has forced manufacturers to push production up, they are hold back by shortage of auto components. As per industry bodies, after a poor growth of 0.31% in car sales during FY08-09, many of the players had cut back their capacity and kept themselves prepared for a single-digit growth, but what came in their way is growth of over 20% in September and 30% in October. This completely caught the component manufacturers unprepared. Had they been prepared, the industry production of passenger vehicles could have grown better than 22%, which they achieved in October, 2009.

But it’s not only the auto sector that is looking resilient; the other sectors too are gaining ground. Bhavin Desai, Manager – Derivatives, Motilal Oswal Securities avers, “In Indian context second quarter numbers for many sectors viz. cement, banking, FMCG & pharma have been way ahead of expectation leading one to believe that we may be out of the woods.” Even the problem stuck aviation sector looks upbeat as Dinesh Keskar, President, Boeing India avers, “Despite the turmoil we still have a healthy backlog of 3,200 aircraft. Though we have witnessed limited order deferrals globally but our business in the Indian market hasn’t been affected much.” Impact of these positive outlooks is quite visible at the market place as Indian companies have started attracting the Foreign Institutional players (FIIs). The giant global investors, who withdrew their money from India during first 3 months of 2009, have been net buyers of over $7.5 billion during September and October. No doubt, these positive sentiments have allowed the Sensex to sustain at a high of around 17,000 despite the talks of a correction buzzing around.

However, this optimism is just one side of the coin. The other side, which is critical for the country’s real recovery, is still posing a threat. With more than 52% of the country’s work force dependent on agriculture, low farm output for the current fiscal is set to play spoilsport. Already the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has lowered its growth forecast from 7.2 per cent to 6.9 per cent, stating, “The decline in the growth is a result of decline in agricultural output." NCAER has projected the agricultural GDP to decrease by 1.5 per cent. Expressing similar concerns, Sherman Chan, Economist, Moody’s Economy.com avers, “India’s battle against downside risks is far from over… agricultural output is bound to tumble in coming months.

As the primary industry is hurt, the rest of the production chain will experience the flow-on effects. For instance, a sharp decline in farm output is expected to reduce demand for transport and storage services, and the supply for exports could also plummet.”

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

IIPM :: News - AFSPA terror - A Woman versus a State

Her fight for a cause has taken a toll on her frail frame but her spirit is unbreakable

Shakhi Devi

Irom Chanu Sharmila’s mother who has stood by her all along


Irom Chanu Sharmila is my youngest daughter, and she takes up such a big issue and fights the world. She began her fast nine years ago, on November 2, 2000, after Assam Rifles forces killed 10 young men, all of whom were civilians, following a bombing of their convoy by militants. She refused to end the fast even after being arrested, being force-fed through her nose all these years, and being kept away from the people she loves. She refused to compromise even when the Prime Minister offered a set of cosmetic changes to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958.

We, mother and daughter, have an understanding: we do not see each other because if she sees me, Chanu may cry and it may weaken her mind. I support her despite the pain and suffering she goes through, because it is for a cause, as the AFSPA has resulted in a reign of terror. It is because of atrocities by security forces that many of our women staged a protest in the nude in front of the Assam Rifles headquarters in July 2004 holding up a banner asking the Indian Army to rape them. According to Justice Jeevan Reddy Commission, the AFSPA “has become a symbol of oppression, an object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high-handedness”. Nothing, of course, has helped change things.

There is now an iron curtain around Chanu and Manipur, with the state not being able to face up to her struggle. The government sent her back from Delhi in 2006 as she had become an embarrassment after Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ibadi declared her support for Chanu’s struggle and what she stands for. Lately, the government of Manipur has done everything to keep people away from her. as people from across the country, along with many from around the world, began to talk about the atrocities by security forces in the name of fighting insurgency in the North-east, especially Manipur.

At least 200,000 people have died and suffered in the shadow of the Act in Manipur since it was imposed 50 years ago. The atrocities continue, with the government looking away, making false promises and doing its best to hush up cases. Every election, our political leaders come promising to fight the Act; once the elections are over, all is forgotten. The recent killing of former militant Chongkham Sanjit in cold blood only shows what security forces here do routinely. In the past, there have been cases such as the rape and murder by the Assam Rifles of Thangjam Manorama in 2004. In the 1980s, there was Operation Bluebird in Oinam in the Ukhrul district of Manipur, again by the Assam Rifles. Operation Bluebird has gone down as one of the worst cases of human rights violations by security forces in not just the country but the world. The victims of the operation have received nothing but harassment at the hands of the government. Noted writer Mahasweta Devi, who was here recently, wasn’t allowed to go near Chanu. But do not take Chanu lightly—she is steely in her determination. I support her. She must win.
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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative



Tuesday, December 01, 2009

IIPM News - Special home at Jantar Mantar

Shahid Jeelani has a special home at Jantar Mantar. Ask anybody about Jeelani’s abode and he’ll direct you towards a car. One can easily see his belongings peeping out of the car that is parked here.

Shahid Jeelani is no pauper. A resident of the posh Meera Colony in Jodhpur, Jeelani owns 300 acres of land. But his quest for justice has made him come to Jantar Mantar. An ICWA by profession, Jeelani alleges that his in-laws killed his wife and usurped his properties worth crores. His in-laws, in cohort with the police, allegedly implicated him in his wife’s murder and threw him in jail in 1996. But he kept on writing petitions after petitions to the President asking for justice. He was lucky enough that his voice was heard and on the President’s insistence, his case was transferred to a special court. The court later found him not guilty. He is now waging a battle to bring his wife’s killers to book.

He has once even attempted suicide in front of Jodhpur High Court. He has continued to seek the President’s intervention since then. “In the last four years, I have spent most of my days at Jantar Mantar. Whenever there is some order from Rashtrapati Bhawan, I carry it to Jodhpur. When it is stopped, I come back to Jantar Mantar,” he says.

Jeelani has had a brief tryst with bureaucracy too. He even managed to clear Preliminary and Mains exams of the Civil Services entrance. However, being an inmate, he was not allowed to take interview. “I was freed later but I would have been an IAS if it had not happened at the first place,” rues Jeelani. Now he asks government to give him the regular salary of an IAS officer and a beacon-fitted car.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative



Monday, November 30, 2009

IIPM News - Joota Maro Andolan

Machendranath Suryavanshi
Joota Maro Andolan

Machendranath has become an idol for people who either throw or approve of throwing shoes at corrupt babus and despotic leaders. When the Iraqi journalist hurled shoes at President George W. Bush months ago, a detachment from FBI flew down to India to question Machendranath as to whether he was any way connected to the incident or had inspired the Iraqi journalist. A resident of Latur district in Maharashtra, Machendranath started it when a corrupt official asked for money to transfer in his name the land that has been allotted to him. In no time, Machendranath started getting nationwide acknowledgement.

To give it a rather all-India feel, he shifted to Jantar Mantar in April, 2006. He has continued his crusade against corrupt bureaucrats since then. His demand is dismissal of corrupt officials. “When I came to Delhi three years ago, I was alone. Today, many organisations and individuals have lent me support and are in some ways or other associated with me. People who come to protest in Delhi offer me moral support,” says the man.

He has a future course of action prepared. “I am currently preparing a list of corrupt officials. And it will be followed by a shoe-lobbing spree,” he says rather candidly. Well, babus better watch out.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative



Friday, November 27, 2009

More Fireworks!!!

India is still not ready to fight fire at large scale

The pink city of India was engulfed by fire on October 29. Thanks to the fire that broke out at the Indian Oil fuel depot. This massive fire at IOC’s Sitapura unit killed more than eleven people (the death toll is expected to rise, as search for the bodies are still on!) and led to a direct loss of Rs 500 crore. Not only the factory but the nearby areas also felt the heat. The fire was so intense that even the fire-fighters were unable to reach the ground zero and limit the loss. So much so, that the temperature of the site and its vicinity rose by staggering 7 degree celcius. Horrifyingly, neither the IOC’s fire fighting system nor the state’s fire-fighters were able to minimise the blaze.

This incident is not one of its kinds but actually is in line with numerous similar incidents that occurred in the recent past. Fire outbreak is not any jaw-dropping phenomenon but is actually an annual affair. To put things into perspective: how can one forget fire that enveloped the Haldia Petro’s naphtha plant in July this year resulting to a loss of over Rs 300 crore! Last year, more than 2000 shops were reduced to ashes at a wholesale market (Nandram market) in Burrabazar, Kolkata. The fire lasted for nearly a week despite the efforts by 300 firefighters. Almost every year, Burrabazar witnesses similar fire events. In another incident, in July 2005, number of people died due to fire outbreak in Mumbai High. A devastating fire at the ONGC platform at Mumbai High destroyed the Bombay High North platform, which used to produce 80,000 barrels of oil every day - boils down to 1,27,17,600 litres of oils every day!! As per industry estimates the financial loss was upto the tune of Rs 35,000 crore. Beside these major incidents, numerous other fire hazards happen round the year. Be it a fire explosion at cracker factory or the infamous fire at a Kumbhakonam school (killing 75 children) or oil pipeline blast in Assam or similar other events. Most of the accidents that happen are a result of human error and ignorance. Thus, in spite of state-of-art fire fighting techniques, these bizarre incidents takes place every now and then across the length and breadth of the nation. To minimise losses due to fire hazards, we must ensure that population are kept well outside the vicinity of these units - especially outside the vicinity of oil related units. But then, above all we must ensure and put in place a highly and comprehensive (encircling all possible units/departments of a company) fire fighting system to reduce the probability of such human-error-based-fire-hazard! Furthering this initiative, government must make these laws mandatory and legally abiding as well. Other wise many more similar incidents will lead to many more unwanted fireworks!

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative



Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chicken scam busted

Chicken traders involved in multi-crore tax rip-off

Chicken may become dearer in Kerala after the officials busted the multi-crore Nadupunni tax evasion fraud. The authorities cancelled registration of some 12 chicken traders after coming to know that they were issuing fake cheques towards advance tax in the guise of pay orders.

This will have an adverse impact on the local chicken market, resulting in spiralling prices. Kerala is the only state where tax is levied on chicken and they are mostly transported from Tamil Nadu.

The number of vehicles carrying poultry has been reduced after the Kozhinjampara incident. The police seized some trucks that were transporting chickens from Tamil Nadu through by-routes without paying taxes. The seizure was part of an operation to root out corruption at Naduppuni checkpoint on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border in Palakkad district and the Muthanga checkpoint in Wayanad. Some chicken traders, officials and fake document makers were involved in the tax rip-off.

The modus operandi was simple: Cheques were issued in the guise of pay orders and were handed over as advance tax for vehicles transporting chickens from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to Kerala. After that they were forwarded to the Treasury from where they were presented at State Bank of Travancore (SBT), Chittur, and then sent by post to Palakkad.

From there they were parcelled to the clearing house and then to the issuing banks. The process was cumbersome and would take 30- 45 days. This was exploited by the fake cheque mafia. Official sources say the SBT is to pay around Rs 16 crore to the government. The loss incurred by Muthanga checkpoint is reported to be Rs 8.5 lakh. The branch manager of the Chittur branch of State Bank of Travancore has already been suspended for not releasing cheques on time. Some 30 officials have been suspended.

Learning a lesson from the fraud, the government is now busy putting in a foolproof mechanism so that tax evaders can by fixed. Hoping to rectify their mistakes, the government has again introduced demand draft system for transportation of chickens through checkpoints.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Delhi set to charge the maoist Red rag

Operation Tri-Junction to involve 7,000 commandoes, pramod kumar reports

P Chidambaram is known for maintaining a regular report card of the ministry he is concerned with. More often than not, they reflect the real situation in the ministry. Therefore, it is not surprising that last week during a Cabinet meeting on security, he admitted that in the last three years, Naxalism has made its presence felt in as many as 20 states and 223 districts. Their spread runs through the jurisdiction of nearly 2,000 police stations. Calling it “a matter of grave concern”, the Union home minister also added that it will take anything between 11 and 30 months to considerably lessen their influence. In good measure, while complaining about non-cooperation from certain state governments, he also confirmed the finalisation of a new strategy to deal with this problem. It has been curiously named “Tri-junction”. The strategy includes planned deployment of Central forces in the affected region.

In the meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was of the belief that strong-arm tactics alone will not work in this particular case. There is more to this matter than mere law and order or security, he added. Singh stressed that the Adivasis did not find themselves benefiting from the developmental projects and the trickle down effect has gone missing. This has led to a massive imbalance in the developmental index. He also inquired about the status report on the implementation of the provisions of Forest Rights Law. He was promptly told that the respective state governments did not take the matter as seriously as it was ought to be taken.

For example, as many as 2.5 million tribals from all over the country had asked for ownership right over land. Three years have passed from the day the demand was raised. Only half a million tribals have got ownership rights. The data coming in from West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh is startling and appalling at the same time. The Prime Minister was of the belief that if the state governments implemented the provisions of the law positively, it would help in considerably blunting the angst that tribal have against their respective state governments. It will, at least, make them view their governments as non-hostile entities. A meeting of all chief ministers has been called to discuss the nuances of the matter as also the roadblocks in the implementation process.

According to the minister of state at the PMO, Prithviraj Chauhan, the PM has directly intervened in matters concerning escalating incidents of violence by the Maoists. Talking to TSI, Chauhan stressed that on the matter of Maoism, the PM advocated a clear-cut strategy that is two-pronged. “He has made it amply clear that only policing won’t do and we need to make sure that tribals benefit from development. If tribals are happy, it will become extremely difficult for Maoists to lure them,” he said.

As far as the Centre is concerned, it has kickstarted the “Tri-Junction” programme which will include intense combing of the Naxalite-affected areas of Andhra-Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh, Orissa-Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh and West Bengal-Jharkhand-Orissa. Apart from the 40,000-odd personnel of Central forces, as many as 7,000 commandoes, specially trained by the Army in jungle warfare, will be deployed.

Heeding the special demand by the state governments, the Union home ministry has agreed on a sum of Rs 153 crore that will be used for modernisation of police forces. Chidam-baram has suggested to the chief ministers of West Bengal and Orissa to ask the Maoists to first renounce arms and then come forward for talks.

Former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh has also sent some suggestions to the PMO, citing his prior experience as a chief minister. The suggestions include amendment in the Forest Act of 1927 that will allow tribals to put their trees as mortgage items against loans. Another suggestion is amendment in the Mining Act of 1957 that will allow a share to the real owner, apart from the royalty rights of the current owners. Third and the most important is the change in the Land Acquisition Act that will assure regular monthly payment for few years to the tribals whose land are acquired. This is besides the lump sum payment they will receive as compensation. Talking to TSI, Singh confirmed that the Prime Minister has taken his suggestions positively and has forwarded it to the ministry concerned. Singh also stressed on strengthening of local bodies in the tribal belt.

On the other hand, CPM’s Mohammad Salim says that it will be callous to single out the West Bengal government for a dressing down. According to him, these incidents stem out of disenchantment and all the state governments have to work closely to deal with the situation.


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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Use of force a cardinal mistake

The govt has walked into the Maoist trap, writes dr. Sharit K. Bhowmik

The incidents in Lalgarh bring to light the chaotic situation created by the government in trying to control a handful of Maoists. The modern State is the most powerful institution because it controls all aspects of its citizens' lives. Moreover, it has the monopoly over the use of coercion. The State is therefore expected to provide a peaceful atmosphere where its citizens can live and work with freedom. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different.

The bloody outcome in Lalgarh confirms what I had feared in an article in the Bengali edition of this magazine just when Operation Lalgarh began. The State’s violence, I had written, would push common people into the Maoist fold. The State beats up, arrests and punishes people who may not be Maoists or even support them. Following their experience, they invariably start hating the State. The State walks into the Maoist trap.

Unfortunately, Left-ruled West Bengal looks after affluent people alone while its benevolent role towards the working poor becomes increasingly invisible. The State is oppressor to the toilers. In urban areas, slum dwellers and vendors know of the State and its officials as entities that extort money from them or frequently deprive them of their dwellings or their livelihood.

Over the years, especially post-liberalisation, the state has withdrawn from areas where it should have intervened. West Bengal is no exception. The public health system is in shambles as district hospitals do not have basic facilities. Poorer patients from the districts flock to state-run hospitals in Kolkata. The parallel private hospitals remain inaccessible to the working poor.

The education system has witnessed similar degradation. Government-run schools are in a mess. Most schools in rural areas do not have infrastructure, including school buildings, classrooms, furniture or even books and blackboards. Teachers are mostly appointed on the basis of their political affiliation. Imperatives like provision of drinking water, agricultural inputs to small farmers, irrigation facilities and land redistribution to the rural poor are shelved.

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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative


Monday, November 23, 2009

State-less in west bengal

The Marxists have dissolved their own governance, says T. Bhattacharya

How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died? The answer, for once, is not blowing in the wind. This bout of pessimism stems from a figure close to 300 – the number of political killings in West Bengal since parliamentary elections were held this year. The last cases reported were from Khanakul in Hoogly district and Sashan in North 24 Parganas.

In fresh clashes in Nanoor in Birbhum district on November 3, where armed cadres of CPI(M) clashed with villagers in their bid to seize lost political control, scores of houses have been torched and at least 22 persons grievously injured. On November 4, while this magazine was going to the press, there were reports of fresh violence from Arambagh area of Hoogly. This culture of violence that has engulfed the state is unfortunately the contribution of the largest constituent of the Left Front state government, the CPI(M). Used to overarching hegemony for close to 32 years, during which the CPI(M) penetrated nearly every professional class and every sphere of people’s lives, the party simply can’t come to terms with the electoral reverses in this year’s polls. And like in the case of Singur and Nandigram, armed cadres are busy doling out retributive ‘justice’ to people who did not vote for the party. If the bullets of Nandigram had their effect on the Lok Sabha ballot boxes, the forecast for the 2011 Assembly elections is abundantly clear. The party, for the first time, is afraid of political disappearance from the state. The irony is that by sticking to desperate use of brute force, it is making a reappearance bid all the more difficult. The party satraps at AK Gopalan Bhavan may dabble in dialectics to substantiate the Marxist-Leninist character of the party but the cadres have taken to Mao. In the villages of West Bengal, CPI(M)’s ‘power comes from the barrel of the gun’.

For 32 years, the party had reaped benefits from politicising the state administrative apparatus down to the village level. But now, things have turned turtle. The administration is slipping wherever the party is losing ground. This has made the Maoists’ task easier. The CPI(M) party workers in Junglemahal (Bengal-Jharkhand-Orissa border) are today scared to carry out political activity. Resultantly, the administration has ceased to exist except in certain pockets.

Effectively, the region north of Siliguri town, i.e the Darjeeling Hills is not governed by the state government. The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha controls nearly all aspects of political governance there.

The most dangerous moment of an arbitrary system arrives when it tries to reform itself. And when it even fails to acknowledge the need for reforms and, instead, forces itself upon people, it withers away. West Bengal is a classic example in point - the State-less state of the State of India. Karl Marx had laid down the philosophical principles for withering away of the state. Marxists in Bengal have realised it in practice.

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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009


An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative