Your vote is not enough

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In this timely and comprehensive book, a professional with rare experience in policy making reminds us that merely casting our votes is never sufficient, we must be constantly involved with the decisions which affect us in our daily lives, and the country.

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Security or Surveillance ?

Since our last major terror strike at Mumbai two years back , one of the major developments have been about security .  I feel strongly that since a lot of VIP’s died at the TAJ Hotel , a lot of ‘high octane’ drama was enacted both in the parliament , media and other public places .

Let’s do a quick check of what happened post our 9/11 ?

Where do we see most of the surveillance ? Airports , stations , five star hotels etc.  I have stayed in Taj Hotels in Bangalore to CROWN plaza in Delhi and many others. I visit a five start hotel every week to meet friends and visitors who stay in such hotels . Here is what i feel about the so called “over hyped’ security

We have been working for the elite who stay in hotels and travel by air . But still , security issues have not been addressed . Let me walk you through the security processes at display in all major locations

  1. You will find a metal detector ( by default ) at all major public places , and it beeps every time you walk past though it . You are required to take out your cell phone , keep it outside and then walk through it . I has asked at a five star hotel security person in Delhi . If my cell phone was having a bomb what can you do ?? You do not even scan it in the metal detector , i have to keep it in the tray outside the metal detector . The poor guy was doing what his security company had told him. He was blank and answerless.
  2. In every airport , the process is the same .
  3. Interestingly , i was at HYATT regency at Mumbai a day before yesterday. A person came , asked my driver to open the door , bonnet etc wiped the steering with a plastic and went back to the machine to read the plastic . Imagine , i was a terrorist , would i not get enough time  ( while the security guy is reading his plastic wipe !! ) to run my vehicle into the hotel and shoot or blast anything i wanted ?  can you call it security ?
  4. In the hotels , well dressed security chaps will say Namaste to you with folded hands , ask you to open the doors or frisk you. No one  even understands what the hell bonnet of the car looks like or does it have a bomb ?  i bet you that even if i carried an explosive , it would get in well past the entry point ! Like a convict who carried a pistol in Delhi court last week despite all the security !!

So the point i am making is that due to this security scare , dogs have got employment  ( my friend who is President with a reputed five star hotel  had once told me,  that these dogs can work with accuracy only when deployed for 20-40 minutes , but they are made to work for hours ).  So the point is that, it is all show of surveillance and not security . Intelligence and pro-activeness is lacking totally in our system. People standing at the security points are ill equipped , and there is no way that these guys can be alive to resist the attack, if terrorists strike !!

Last week , i took the security officer of Mumbai airport to task for allowing the so called VIP vehicles parked at the exit gate no 2. I informed him that the gate no 2 has only pick up and drop and is not meant for parking, and that the VIP parking had been created specifically a few meters away , but our arrogant VIP’s have taken it as their birth right to flash red light beacon  or VIP numbers and park vehicles posing a big security threat to Mumbai airport. I asked Asst. Police Inspector , Mr, Mane why he did not tow the vehicles parked on the gate 2. He was speechless , he tried to explain that the VIP’s don’t listen . There were at least 6 vehicles blocking the exit , and not a single driver was in the car …………….I wrote the same to the Chief Minister and the Home Minister …..i do hope that these guys act before a strike !!

We have as a nation failed before naxalites and we will continue to fail against terrorism , till we address technology proactively and pre-empt strikes . Current vigilance in the name of security is a farce wasting money and delaying the check-in in the hotel & airports

Hope the policy makers take the note and act

I have marked this to our Home Minister

Indian Pharmaceutical Industry is already controlled by US / Europe, and now it is Retail Sector’s turn – FDI round the corner

Dear Dr.Joshi,


I am sure that this finds you doing good.

Last  year i had detailed discussions with you on FDI and i sent you a note on not opening the retail sector to FDI. Till last year , you were the Chairman, Parliamentary Standing committee on commerce .

This year the issue is out again . It is shocking that UPA is even considering to open the Retail sector for FDI.  Just consider ;

Total retail market is Rs. 1.2 Lac crore. Isn’t that too tempting for recession hit economies like US/ Europe and U.K. to fight recession through markets abroad ? They cleverly call  us as an emerging / developing economy

To foreigners , this is a market but for us (Indians)  it is 40 % of our GDP.  You can expect that in the next few years , a good percentage of 40 % of our GDP will be in the hands of foreigners !!  . We have 15 million retailers , thereby directly employing at least 30 million people and indirectly 6 times more i.e. 90 million .

Only 4 % of our retailers have an area of 500 Sq. Ft.

Food constitute 70 % of our retail trade

The UPA’s discussion paper is a wrong start as it has by-passed the parliamentary standing committee’s report tabled in both houses in June 2009. Consisting of more than 40 Member of parliaments . The committee had taken into account the report submitted by ICRIER

British MP David Amess recently said that the Indian Government to tread”very carefully” if it opened up the multi-brand retail sector to FDI because the entry of companies like UK-based retailer Tesco would”literally change the fabric of life in India” by endangering small shops. Amess chairs the British All Party Parliamentary Group on Small Shops (APPGoSS).

The government is currently holding consultations on allowing companies such as US-based Wal-Mart, France’s Carrefour and Tesco to come in.  Critics have urged the government to insert safety clauses following protests from small independent retailers that potentially face closure.”Britain was a nation of small shopkeepers,” Amess.”All of that has changed and this is because of the supermarkets, led by Tesco. It is impossible for small shop keepers, who have so much to offer, to compete with the prices of the supermarkets”.

APPGoSS Secretary Bob Russell MP, added “the expansion of supermarkets in Britain has been to the serious detriment of small shops, there is no question about this”.

One in six small stores in Britain have gone out of business in the last decade, the group said.

Atul Patel, an Indian origin Briton who runs Pelican News, a small store in North West London. said his family-run business was now struggling to survive, with sales of meat, groceries and fresh fruit having dropped by at least a fifth  after Tesco opened a store hear his.

Largest Indian pharmaceutical companies like Ranbaxy and Nicholas Piramal have already changed hands and are no more with Indians . With the recent acquisition of Piramal with Abbott ,  MNC’s control more than 50 % of the Indian Pharmaceutical industry , and more acquisitions are likely to follow soon.

My personal belief is that, the when the large foreign retailers come in , the fight will not just be between large and small retailers but between  large and medium retailers . Small retailers will die for sure . Needless to mention , when the elephants fight , the grass ( small retailers ) gets trampled !!

Dr. Joshi , please take it up at the appropriate levels .

Recently , it was reported that acute poverty prevails in 8 Indian states ( 421 million people in Bihar , Chhattisgarh , Jharkhand , Madhya Pradesh, Orissa , Rajasthan , Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal which together account for more poor people than in the 26 poorest African nations combined ( 410 Million ), a new ‘multi dimensional’ measure of the global poverty said According to the MPI- Multidimensional Poverty Index , developed and applied by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative with UNDP support

Also, i hear that Economy is growing at approximately 8  %. I need to tell our Dr. Manmohan Singh, the economist that the literal meaning of Economy is “Community’s system of wealth creation” and not just growth of a few sectors, as is in the case of India and we call it Indian Economy ? So Indian “economy” is not growing , but a few sectors that are in a ‘few hands’ are growing !!

Dr.Joshi , you have profound knowledge of each and every aspect of history , culture and wealth creation and distribution , that is even acknowledged by Congress leaders in power.

Let’s work to change all this . I am hoping to meet you soon.

Thanks with best regards

Rajendra Pratap Gupta

Email :

Demystifying the Congress Report card

Clueless government

The 3G auction was expected to raise about Rs.32000.00 crore and it raised about Rs.69000.00 crore !! Normally , the statistical error is expected to be + or – 5 % , and that is the standard accepted level of error. If the government’s projections were left behind by a whopping 100 % , what do you call such a government ? Pranab da can rejoice , but not because of his colleagues or his planning !!

Same happens for inflation : Since the UPA government has taken over in May 2009, the inflation has touched double digits , Government talks like an astrologer that the inflation will come down in the next 6 months ( and this has been the talk for the last one year !! ). It does not tell why and how will the inflation come down ? Also, what is the government doing to bring the inflation down ? The government is heavily depending upon the divine intervention ( rain God’s ). When government launched the Maoist offensive , it was clueless that the entire battalion would be wiped off !! It just expressed its regrets !!

All this goof up when our PM is an Economist from Oxford, Home Minister from Harvard and Montek from World Bank  + we have a lot of professors from Cornell etc. ……………….All theory and no practicality !!

Education reforms : How many people in India actually use or even remember the knowledge of what they study from 10th class till their graduation ? I for sure , did not use my B.Sc degree ( except that for some weird reasons , since graduation was the basic requirement , i have done both the B.Sc and B.A. (Hon’s, Social Sciences ) and even M.A. Prev !! ). I talked to a good number of my ‘well placed’ friends, and they had the same response . That that qualifications did not matter or help them professionally . Majority of the Indian population study for the sake of getting degrees which finally , makes them either ‘highly qualified’ or ‘not with relevant experience’ category . We must look at mapping the ‘Knowledge gaps’ and ‘Skill gaps’ and then do the reforms in education . We are just manufacturing Degree holders and not creating any knowledge pool that has monetary value . Some degrees in graduation should be scrapped totally . We are wasting our time & killing our talent !! Time to understand what India needs ? In most of the company boards i sit , i find that my CEO / M.D. is not able to find the right ( competent ) talent at the lowest level for the job ? Because of this , all major companies lose out . On one side , we talk about unemployment and over a billion population , and on the other side , we are having acute shortage of skilled manpower ? Do we need educational reforms or ‘Skill development programs’ ? Countries like Finland , Israel etc with just a population between 5 to 7 million have more productivity per capita (PPC – sorry if you did not hear this word before !! I coined it in Indian  context ) than India . Unless , India addresses PPC in education reforms , churning out more degrees holders will just add to ‘Educated Naxalites’ in the next 5 years

Demystifying BPL or the Below Poverty line : According to Suresh Tendulkar committee report , poverty line for the rural areas is Rs. 15 and Rs. 19 in Urban areas. Whereas , according to Arjun Das Gupta , any one earning less than Rs. 20 per day falls below the poverty line ( Please correct me for my lack of knowledge ) What can you get in Rs. 20 per day per person ( Tea one cup Rs. 2 , Lunch Rs 10 , Tea evening Rs. 2 Dinner Rs. 10 ) This is the cheapest meal option ( Though ,i still have to find a stall that can serve you such cheap meals ).

Also , with this , i must highlight the following daily requirements:

1. Breakfast – 5 Rs.

2. Lunch – 10 Rs.

3. Evening tea and something to eat – 5 Rs.

4. Dinner – 10 Rs.

5. Clean water to drink , and taking care of the basic hygienic – 2 Rs.

6. Clothes to wear with washing Rs. 5 Per day ( atleast 1500 per year – two sets of an upper garment and an under garment and daily washing will need a minimum earning of Rs. 5 day )

7. Healthcare & Savings for unforeseen contingencies ( Rs. 5 per day )

8. Travel for going to take meals or get to work for earning the daily subsistence is not accounted for

9. Shelter to sleep, with bed sheet and seasonal clothing for winter and rain – 5 Rs / day

So, one needs atleast Rs. 37-50 per day to stay alive on the basics necessities of life On what basis the government calculates the PBL .

I think what C.K. Prahalad mentioned as the ‘Fortune at the bottom of pyramid ‘ , i will phrase it as ‘Unfortunate at the bottom of Pyramid’. The government’s basic responsibility is to create ‘Fortunate at the bottom of the pyramid, and than think of Fortunate and the fortune at the bottom of the Pyramid ‘

Our current Prime Minister is a typical case of good brand and poor performance !!

Time to think practically, and work more Dr.Singh  !!

Rajendra Pratap Gupta


Pakistan is a Schizophrenic Nation

Via Email with CC to Rahul Gandhi , Dr.Murli Manohar Joshi & Sonia Gandhi

Dr. Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister

Government of India

New Delhi 110001

Dear Dr.Singh,

This has reference to your initiative of the talks with Pakistan

It is a good thing that the talks will resume . The bigger question is , if this is good for something or good for nothing ?

Put three pre-conditions for the talks to start

  1. 1. Handover Dawood Ibrahim
  2. 2. Maulana Masood Azhar, Jaish-e-Mohammad leader
  3. 3. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed (LeT)

If Pakistan is sincere , it will hand over these three terrorists or else , it will continue its talk , shoot & blame the Taliban policy . And one fine day , we will be shocked to see that Pak nukes will be used against India and we might be wiped out of the map !! Pakistan will just blame the same on Taliban  and express regrets . Above mentioned three Pakistan agents cum terrorists are the key to end Taliban and its activities, and anything less than these three terrorists being handed over to India is a compromise with the security of Indians and underplaying the nuisance value of  Pakistan in future

Please do not take Pakistan on face value . You cannot expect a habitual offender to reform with just a dialogue . Pakistan is a schizophrenic nation

Diplomacy does not work with Pakistan . History has repeated and defeated itself when it comes to Pakistan

Take Pakistan seriously to avoid more troubles . I hope that you might not like to defend another 26/11 in the times ahead .

With best regards


Rajendra Pratap Gupta




view point

Talks with Pakistan resume

Recently , our economist turned Congress’s Prime Minister announced that the foreign minister level talks will resume with Pakistan . It is quite a shock knowing that Pakistan is not even sparing USA Why will it leave India ? I am worried that one day Pakistan will fire the nukes at India and express a sincere apology stating that Taliban did it and it was not a state sponsored / supported act .  It is high time that India asks Pakistan to hand over its most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim and then starts any talks . This will be the best proof of Pakistan’s commitment to India


All those who are looking forward to action on IPL scam are fooling themselves. This issue will die a natural death as lot many senior politicians of all major political parties are involved .

Loss of food grains due to poor storage

Sharad Pawar’s made a statement that India is wasting Rs.58000.00 worth food grains due to poor storage conditions . This is the second term as a Agriculture minister for congress led government . Have they not planned for the same ? Are we hinting something ? It is high time that opposition takes the government to task and arrests this wastage . The government must come clean on this loss to the exchequer and the resultant loss for the public

Rajendra Pratap Gupta

73 murders, One Mine blast – A tribute to our Home Minister

Naxalites kill 73 CRPF personnel:

It is a big loss for each family member who lost these innocent hard workers. My sincere heartfelt condolence and i do hope that our political leaders wake up to reality than making a show travelling in the high security areas. I also hope that the government has given the actual figure on the causalities .

73 CRPF personnel are not ordinary public without arms , if they get killed in such large numbers , it is a warning sign !!

I just need to comment on two points today

First  comment-  that our Home Minister made to the CM of West Bengal that the ‘Buck ends at the CM’. For the entire nation, the buck stops at the PM and his council of Ministers !! We need an answer that why these 73 people were killed ? What kind of democracy is this ? Gun salute that the Home minister has got has shown what it means for the future?

Imagine how the villagers must be living under the fear of guns – Naxalites? How many loots, rapes and murders these naxalites must be committing every day? No one has a clue as there are no officials or police stations functioning in naxals hit areas.

Second Comment : i recommend that  Vineet Jain (Managing Director, The Times of India)as the best fit for being the home minister of India. Reason – A reporter of the Times of India can reach the naxalites leader Koteshwara Rao and meet him whenever TOI wants, but not our force headed by the Home Minister!

Time to wake up friends!

Rajendra Pratap Gupta