Thursday, August 13, 2009

Corruption in Nepal Child Adoption Business




*Authors' Names Withheld on Request


We are the adoptive parents expecting a baby from Nepal. Nepal adoption process has been much delayed due to what happened recently. Several parents already withdrew from the process and switched to Ethiopia adoption program because they are tired of waiting (They had waited 3 years). We are still hanging in there, and we hope things will move forward in Nepal, and we really adore Nepali children. We are just wondering what is really going on with "Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare". Are you familiar with this organization (www.mowscsw.gov.np)?




They are responsible to process all international adoptions from Nepal, and we are under the impression that one of the key positions in the department remains vacant, and nobody is really doing anything right now. If you know anything about current situation of this organization, We'd appreciate your help if you share your knowledge with us.




The parents adopting from Nepal are getting very desperate, rumors are circling around... We really don't know who to believe.  We are not supposed to get too much insider information during adoption process, but our fear is building up due to increased uncertainties. We hope all the children in orphanage are being properly cared, and the situation in Nepal will get better.




We are better off than many other parents adopting from Nepal. Lots of them have waited for over 2 years. We stay busy at work just to keep our mind off the adoption, because there is nothing we can do now to accelerate the Nepal adoption process. One of the other adoptive parents is flying to Nepal soon to personally find out what is really going on, I am afraid he is going to waste his effort, because situation will not change just because he is there.




We know Nepal government has a lot of other more important projects rather than taking care of international adoption. Whatever happens, we hope it will be the best for your people.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

India Votes 2009: Billionaires' Polls: Hindutva, Islam, & Democracy

india_polls_2009


By Dr. Abdul Ruff



I



Essentially the billionaire' poll going on in India to make way officially for the rich people among others to enter Parliament as people's representatives is indeed a mockery of democracy. On the one hand the poll is being imposed on unwilling Kashmiris as the freedom leaders have announced a boycott of the Indian poll in an alien Jammu Kashmir now under hegemonic and brutal Indian occupation.. One other, the crucial issues of Babri Mosque reconstruction and surredering of Kashmir soverignty have not been raised in the campign, but the nation has to resolve the issues at the earliest.



Biggest joke is Indian polls being “free & fair”, while the opposite is true. Power of money and muscle as well as blackmail politics is the hall mark of Indian poll and politics and Muslims are the sufferes. India is being literally ruled by the billionaires and other varieties of multinational industrialists by keeping a regime of its liking. They finance national and regional politics, polls, cricketism, nuclearism, terrorism and many other activities both openly and hidden. Earlier these "special" category of "democrats" used to employ politicians as candidates for polls both for the Parliaments and state legislatures, but now many of them have popped up themselves as the prospective Parliamentarians for the next Parliament. Many of the today’s candidates for Parliament to make law for the Indian nation have criminal records, some of them alarmingly serious ones.



Indian billionaires and multi-nationals and other big industrialists are holding a poll to reelect a regime to pursue their global interests with the help of political outfits in the country through a properly constituted election commission to support their cause. Major issues like Kashmir and reconstruction of grand Babri Mosque destroyed during the Congress regime in 1992 are not at all raised in the poll in consensus efforts by all politicians-bureaucrats-intelligence with a view not to appeasing the Muslims in any way but only use them just as the usual vote banks. It means, the Hindus consider Muslims as fools of the worst category and Muslims also seem to admit that.




II



Both Hindu Congress and Hindutva BJP have same or similar agenda in India and one uses the other to stay in politics while the Hindutva elements control both these national parties. Destruction of Grand Babri Mosque was indeed a joint agenda of both and the operation was meticulously engineered by entrusting the Congress premier Narasimha Rao to “do the job” and he did by using the Hindu terrorists, military and polices forces to pull down the historic Mosque in Uttar Pradesh. No party, right, centre or Left, now talks about the Hindu agenda of Babri Mosque and Indian Hindus think the matter is closed for now. Indian premier pledged before Indian nation that the Mosque would be reconstructed at the very site where it stood, but till date Indian government has not done it. Congress is using BJP & co to save its skin. They only threat to pull down some more Mosques.



Israel is used by the USA and Europe as a regional weapons depot to transfer arms to the needy customers in the Third world. India has emerged as one of heaviest purchasers of Israeli arms. In order to track Muslims in India and Kashmir Indian leaders, both Congress and BJP, entered into military contract with Zionist Israel for weapons worth thousands of crores of rupees in which many party bigwigs get lucrative commissions. The BJP regime went for a 5,000 crores for “Barak missiles” and when the Congress came to power a CBI enquiry was instituted on the contract and bribery, but the congress recently signed a contract with Israel for 10,000 crores of weapons, obviously to kill Muslims in the region, and asked the CBI to get out of sight. That is Congress and BJP and their Hindutva links against Muslims and Islam.



As it was expected when offered the premiership to him, Manmohan and the likes have been serving the multinationals in the country and west. A recent report highlights the fact that now many of the aspiring Parliamentarians are billionaires themselves, but the political outfits who float them now rather boldly as the best stuff for the Parliament also claim they want people to elect them to serve the ordinary people. An old Joke? Can mafias, criminals, terrorism financiers, frauds and the likes offer any better governance? Indian Muslims are least bothered about all this, they just want their "favorite party" to win by all "means" and they are satisfied with a few coins offered by the Hindu leaders for their "services". They don’t mind if the Congress-BJP combines pulls down some mosques and keep the Muslims fully terrorized.



III




A vote for Congress party by a Muslim in India is a vote against Mosque and, hence, against their religion Islam and fellow Muslims. Both Congress (and BJP), the Hindu parties, are using some Muslim agents to use internet to mischievously make them vote for Congress automatically just by opening their dirty emails. If one opens the dubious email your vote is automatically cast for UPA- Congress. Though it is only a joke and does not mean anything in reality, still such dubious means being employed by Congress and BJP and other Hindu parties without even raising the issue of Babri Mosque and Kashmir problem is illegal and immoral. It is shameful that Muslims, unable to make Congress recommit itself for the reconstruction of Grand Babri Mosque still, shamelessly canvas for the Hindu forces that destroyed the Babri Mosque on false notions and annexed Jammu Kashmir and killed thousands of innocent Muslims in Kashmir as well as in India.



Congress is a party with hidden agendas against Muslims in India and around and the BJP which s a byproduct of Congress, just support them. Destruction of Babri Mosque and other historic mosques in India has been the target of Congress party but it uses BJP to achieve that object. Muslims cannot deceive themselves and their religion or insult their beliefs by voting the Congress or BJP. It is not to suggest that others parties are better, they all are one and same rotten stuff but they are not directly involved in the ghastly destruction of Babri Mosque and invasion of Jammu Kashmir, however, they also don’t demand the reconstruction of Babri Mosque and vacating the Jammu Kashmir converted by terrorist India as a terror zone.




In projecting BJP as the big threat to Islam and Muslims, Congress has taken Muslim support for granted. Similarly, the Communists and other Third front parties have ensured the bulk of votes of the Muslims sandwiched between Congress and BJP extremist dramas. Congress, a covert Hindutva party, is using, by usual secret arrangement, the Hindutva BJP as a threat to woo the Muslims to vote for Congress which in fact is also a terrific threat to Islam. By just ignoring the calls for vote to these anti-Islamic political outfits, Muslims would in fact honor their religion, their God ALLAH and dignity of Muslims, without fear of backlash form these Hindu outfits, because worst has already been done to Indian Muslims all spheres.



IV




Most Muslims feel they have no proper choices and India has created all possibilities to elect only those the Indian regime offer to them. Muslims have, thus, have a choice among those who destroyed the Grand Babri Mosque, those who created the opportunity for the ghastly demolition by the Hindu terrorists and those who indirectly support tit and never opposed it or asked Indian regime to rebuild the Mosque as promised. The power-cum-benefits sharing tactics of Muslim League and other similar outfits have indeed harmed the Muslims genuine interests and emboldened the Indian state to honor the commit to the nation and world on Babri Mosque.



Grand Babri Mosque was pulled down in 1992 (on the false information supplied by the former Indian rulers from UK) by Indian Hindu terrorists with the backup of state and security forces. Politicians, essentially anti-Muslim, rule India on behalf of industrialists who finance their campaigns. After this poll, many industrialists would become ministers and occupy important positions. Can a poll meant to retain the billionaires in power through a government help the common people, especially the hapless Muslims in a basically Hindu India? Hindu parties and their governments have been fooling the Muslims for decades now. Muslims have to get away from their pressure tactics and ponder over their pathetic existence as well as threat plight in India at least while voting, if at all they choose to vote. Once Muslims begin to think one can expect a basic shift in Indian politics, for, Grand Babri Mosque would be back at its original site; Kashmiris will obtain their sovereignty back from an arrogant and hegemonic India. Muslims will get their legitimate dues in national development, hitherto denied by "secular & democratic" India.



V



As a strategic partner, India is like Israel and USA with hidden agendas to reduce the population of global Muslims and defame Islam by projecting it as a religion of terrorists and killing Muslims by branding them as terrorists, including suspected ones. India, basically ruled by Congress party and its allies, is employing all tricks to marginalize and terrorize the hapless Muslim population in the country. Indian industrialists once elected, don’t require the political MPs for advancing their interests around the world and now even get their own representatives as ambassadors and high-commissioners and other high officials abroad and indoors. Now elections are due shortly and many billionaires, private terrorists, criminals, national pick-pockets, liquor & other mafias and international frauds would reach the Parliament to make laws for “secular & democratic” India. They would use terrorism plank to loot the nation.




In fact, it does not matter who will be the next premier in India which has not so far produced any normal premier- let alone good or great with a vision- who is fare-minded and would take decisions independent of Hindu pressure groups and other capitalist lobbies, and capable of tracking Hindu terrorists and other trouble-shooters for minorities firmly.



The moot issue, therefore, is not which party or alliance would secure more seats and who would be the next premier. In fact, it does not actually matter whether a soft Hindutva regime led by Congress or an extremist Hindutva alliance led by BJP or even a third or fourth front without any program would form the government. But the real issue would be whether the Indian leadership would at all shed its anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim mindset first and then think about the genuine interest of Muslims including the Babri Mosque! Indian façade of democracy and secularism is fake is used to fool the world, but the leaders keep confusing the world with these concepts.




(PS. This is not my personal issue, but an issue concerning Islam and the Muslims across the globe)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

European Scene: Poll & Crisis in Moldova



Map


By Dr. Abdul Ruff 

I



Moldova or Moldavia, a former Republic of the Soviet Union and now a part of “democratic” Europe, however, remains, like the Central Asian states that also once formed the parts of the USSR, one of the pro-communist dispensations. Moldavians went to the polls on April 05 to vote for a new parliament that will in course choose a replacement for President Vladimir Voronin, the only Communist leader in Europe and the former Soviet Union. Voronin, in office since 2001, cannot stand for a third consecutive term but has made it plain that he wants to remain close to power by taking another senior post in the manner of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Russia.

The final election results released on April 08 showed the Communist Party with 49.5% of the vote, winning 60 parliamentary seats. That is one seat less than the number required for the party to control the presidential election. Three other parties are more amenable to working with the Communists, and they may pass the 6 percent of support needed to gain a seat in the parliament. The Communists need 61 seats if they want to vote through their candidate for the presidency. No candidate has been named so far. The Communists gain much of their support from the older generations and civil servants.


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has already congratulated Voronin on his party's election win, and the Foreign Ministry said Russia was deeply concerned by the events in Moldova.  The Moldova parliament elects the president, and the Communists appeared very close to securing the 61 seats they need in the 101-seat assembly to secure victory for their chosen candidate.  Voronin's Communists, who held 56 of the 101 seats in the outgoing parliament, are far ahead in a field of 15 parties, with support of 36 percent. Three opposition parties, broadly favoring closer ties with Romania and the European Union, lie far behind. Voronin did not rule out forming a coalition in the parliament, saying, "It would be good for as many parties to get in ... then there'll be someone with whom to create a coalition."



Opposition leaders said the election result was fraudulent. Moldova's president has since called for a full recount of disputed elections won by the ruling Communist Party, bowing to a key demand of protesters who stormed the parliament. Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin said in an official statement: "I am convinced that a complete recount of votes will become a major argument for maintaining political stability, peace and mutual trust in Moldova".


Meanwhile, about 10,000 demonstrators massed for a second day in the capital of Europe's poorest country to denounce the vote as rigged. The opposition called for ballots to be recounted or the vote to be re-held. Most of the protesters are students who see no future if Communists keep their hold on the former Soviet republic of 4 million people -- located on the European Union's border but within what Russia sees as its sphere of influence. They hurled computers into the street while police took cover behind riot shields. Moldovan protesters ransacked the president's offices and the parliament on April 07in violent protests over parliamentary elections that President Vladimir Voronin said amounted to a "coup d'etat, referring to opposition leaders." RIA-Novosti reported that the authorities and opposition leaders agreed to a recount of votes cast in Sunday's parliamentary election, which was easily won by Voronin's Communist Party. Voronin said in a television address that opposition leaders had embarked on a "path to the violent seizure of power." He said the authorities "would resolutely defend the state against the leaders of the pogrom."

Some of the protesters had carried Romanian flags and called for the unification of Moldova with Romania, its bigger neighbour and even shouted "We are Romanians".  Protesters overwhelmed riot police protecting both the president's office and the parliament -- located opposite each other on the capital Chisinau's main boulevard -- and poured into both buildings through smashed windows. They heaped tables, chairs and papers onto a bonfire outside parliament, and fires could also be seen in some of the building's windows. Some people gathered to demand the release of the 193 people reportedly arrested. Vlad Filat, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, called the demonstrations "a spontaneous action by protesting young people". He said the opposition had tried to prevent excesses.


II

Protestors indirectly sought to end communist regime and also seek better ties with neighboring Rumania. They however did not demand the resignation of Voronin. The leaders of three opposition parties that won seats in parliament spoke to reporters after emerging from talks with Moldova's president and prime minister in the aftermath of protests that caused serious damage to government buildings. They sought to stop violence. "We must stop this violence, secure the right to a recount of all the votes. And we demanded the right to stage peaceful protests “Dorin Chirtoaca, leader of the Liberal Party and mayor of Chisinau, said. Vlad Filat of the Liberal Democrats said the opposition, which stands broadly for closer ties with neighboring Romania, was demanding the right to check all electoral lists.. "As a result of this, I can assure you that the elections were rigged and we will organize a new election."



Opposition leaders called for a halt to the protests and said they were pressing for a recount of all votes cast. Moldovan state television said one young woman choked to death from carbon monoxide poisoning in the parliament building. It cited a senior doctor at Chisinau emergency hospital as saying 34 other protesters had been injured, including two in a serious condition in hospital. Some 80 police officers also received treatment for injuries, it said. Some demonstrators were seen chasing police away after seizing truncheons and riot shields

Officials in Moldova and Russia accused Romania of fomenting the riots, but witnesses said they were spontaneous. Moldova's president has accused neighboring Romania of stoking the protests that erupted into violence in the capital Chisinau. Romania has rejected the accusation as a "provocation". Vladimir Voronin, a communist, was quoted by Russian agency Interfax saying: "We know that certain political forces in Romania are behind this unrest. The Romanian flags fixed on the government buildings in Chisinau attest to this." He ordered that Romania's ambassador be expelled, recalled the Moldovan envoy from Bucharest, and said Romanians would in future need visas to cross into Moldova. But Romania's foreign ministry said: "This accusation is a provocation aimed at the Romanian state." It is "unacceptable that the Communists in power in Chisinau shift the blame for internal problems in Moldova onto Romania and the Romanian people", the statement added.



III


International observers said the vote appeared to have been fair. The EU sent an envoy to Moldova to mediate in the dispute between President Voronin's Communist Party and the three centre-right opposition parties. Observers from the European security body, the OSCE, concluded that the vote had been generally fair, but opposition parties and many students accused the authorities of fraud. A report by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s vote gave a mostly positive assessment of the poll. But the BBC in Moscow says that any Romanian connection with the uprising is to do with economics, rather than politics. EU foreign policy Chief Javier Solana called on all sides to show restraint and to refrain from violence and provocation..


Moldova is one of six former Soviet states with which the EU is due to launch a new program of enhanced ties at a summit in Prague next month. Moldova, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, is the poorest country in Europe, where the average wage is just under $250 (£168) a month. The people speak Romanian and the country shares many cultural links with Romania. However it was annexed by the Soviet Union in World War II and gained independence in 1991. There remains an unresolved conflict with the breakaway region of Trans-Dniester, which has run its own affairs, with Moscow's support, since the end of hostilities in a brief war in 1992.


President Voronin, in power since 2001, is governing a country where poverty has pushed a quarter of adults to work abroad. Voronin has overseen stability and economic growth since 2001 but has been unable to solve the rebellion in its Russian-speaking breakaway region of Transdnestr, where Russia has had troops since Soviet times. The region, like in previous elections, boycotted Sunday's vote. With little mineral resources, Moldova's economy depends on agriculture, including wine production, and remittances from the hundreds of thousands who left the country to work in EU states. The global economic crisis threatens to aggravate Moldova's poverty as workers' remittances dry up.


As it stands now, Moldova's liberal, pro-Western opposition on April 14 dismissed as a "trick" a planned recount of the recent disputed election won by the ruling Communist Party and said it would take no part in the process. Opposition parties demand a new election and say they expect no new results. They say their concern is fraud with voters' lists, which they allege contain the names of dead voters and Moldovans working abroad.


Word of the demonstrations was spread by text message, via the internet, and on social networking tools. Moldovans can see the success that Romania has enjoyed since throwing off communism and joining the EU. On average, Romanians earn five times as much as their Moldovan neighbours. The conclusion that many young Moldovans have come to is that a return to communist government and close friendship with Moscow has brought them nothing. Needless to state that the Western powers are instrumental in the post-poll troubles in Moldova but their merits or otherwise cannot be diagnosed here. Voronin is due to step down, having served the maximum of two consecutive terms.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Student Elections in Nepal University: How Free Are Free Stduents’ Unions


nepal-students-clashPast Practices Breaking Hand Bones New Aim Breaking Backbones


By Divas


Nepal’s elected body of Free Students’ Union was established in 1979 after a nationwide students’ protests against the then royal regime called Panchayat System. I don’t know how the student bodies in other countries work, but from what i learn from the news i think Nepal’s as well as Bangladesh & Pakistan's student unions function the same way. Well, my guess is based on the violence reports that come during the campus elections in Nepal, Bangladesh, & Pakistan. The Bahun student chiefs of Nepal have already warned their rivals of not only beating in the polls, but also of breaking each other’s backbones.


The phrase ‘Free Students Union’ itself is a misnomer, since although they call themselves the Students’ Union, all contesting groups in fact are student wings of the major political parties – hence they work more in the interest of their mother parties than for the academic needs of students. The two major political streams of students unions, the Nepal Stduents’ Union (NSU) affiliated to the Nepali Congress party and the various factions of left wings All Nepal National Free Stduents’ Union(ANNFSU) worked against the King’s Rule until a Multi-Party democracy was established in 1990. Since then the NSU & the United Marxist-Leninist (UML) affiliated ANNFSU have been contending against each other bitterly until the last election held in 2006.


If you’d ask me why the left wing student union ANNFSU dominated its rival NSU in all past elections, I’d ask you to compare the NSU and the ANNFSU Websites. When the NSU website unfolded before my eyes, the first thing l noticed was the jolly picture of their grandfather Girija Prasad Koirala. Suddenly I was happy that I did not vote for any NSU candidate in the last election. And if you’d compare the photo galleries of NSU and ANNFSU websites, you’ll suddenly realize why most students chose the ANNFSU in past elections. However, there’s a dilemma this time – there are new kids in the Campuses – the Maoist Party affiliated Revolutionary Union.


However, it seems that ethnic issues would be most influential in determining the outcome of this year’s student elections which is slated for 20th of March. The student bodies of an ethnic group Limbu in the eastern mountains, the Limbuwan Students’ Council (LSC) have vandalized the Panchthar Multiple Campus and forced to put off the election until next notice. The Limbu students demand for a proportional election system in their stronghold areas covering nine districts. Even if the elections are held in other campuses, I’m sure that the only basis for choosing the representatives this time would be the cultural & ethnic one. The Madhesi students in Terai would choose Madhesi candidates, Newars in Kathmandu would choose Newar candidates, and so on.


As for me, i hate breaking any bone, and i’d boycott the NSU, Brahmin & Chhetri, & the bone-breakers and choose among the rest.


UPDATE on March 19: I’m boycotting this year’s student election to protest the continued violence and even more politicization in the campuses. However, I’m aware that someone from the contesting student groups would vote for me – hey losers, if you suspect poll-rigging and are demanding for re-polling, check the voters’ list to make sure if a voter with my name has voted or not – if you find that I’ve cast my vote then be sure that your rivals were more clever this time. For, i’ll be absent in this year’s campus election.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Identity Politics in Nepal Terai: Madhesi, Pahadi & Tharu Conflicts




Finding Your Face in the Figures?




Why not Find Here?


By Divas


Nepal has been geographically divided into three regions: the Himalayas (Himal), the Hills (Pahad), and the plains of Terai(Madhes). Madhes based parties have been demanding for making the whole southern terrain bordering with India as a single Madhes state. Madhesi leaders define Madhesis as original inhabitants of Madhes that include all those who are not of Pahadi or Himali origin. This definition seems to be based on the general perception among Pahadis in identifying Madhesis as the people of the terai region or of recent India orgin. The hill people traditionally have been calling the people living on the plains as Madisey. But, there was no official definition or claim regarding who the Madhesis are or who are not Madhesis until recently. With the demand for a single autonomous Madhes State and ‘wholesale’ inclusion of Madhesis through reservation in all state organs surfaced the controversy on the definition of ‘Madhesi’.


The Tharu communities strongly protest against the Madhesi demand of ‘Whole Madhes, One Single State’. Tharus identify themselves as the original inhabitant of the plains, and differentiate themselves with the Madhesis. Tharus, who mostly have Mongolian features, see Madhesis as either recent arrivals from India or people sharing culture with the India side of the Indo-Nepal border. Some Tharu groups have even warned of armed struggle against the government’s recent listing of the Tharus in the Madhesi community. The government had recently issued a notice listing the castes & ethnicities who would qualify as Madhesi - to address the Madhesi concern against selection of two Pahadi candidates by the Public Service Commision(PSC) in Madhesi quota. While Government’s list addressed the Madhesi concern, it raised more concern among the Tharus for being labeled as Madhesis.


The issues of identity, representation in the state structures, and demarcation of federal lines among the states are more complex than they appear. The candidates selected by PSC who were withdrawn later were among the thousands of Terai inhabitants whose forefathers had migrated from the hills to the plains. Hence, ethnically and culturally, they are Pahadis, but geographically they are not Pahadis. Tharus and Rajbansis claim to be older inhabitants of the plains than the Madhesis or Pahadis. Moreover, there are Muslims, Christians, Limbuwans, & Khambuwans who have been increasingly asserting for separate federal states.


My Impression: Tharus are not Madhesis – if Madhesis need a separate state, Tharu demand for Tharuwan state sounds equally logical, and so on for other tribes, races, ethnicities, and cultures. Forget who came from where in Nepal – all are refugees here, and until a new discovery proves otherwise, all human animals descend from their African ancestors. But, again, you can not claim African land or identity.


BTW, have you any idea where were you and what was your identity just a year before you landed on this planet? Here’s a close up picture of what you looked like then:






Boorchodikey… :D





UPDATE on March 02 : Nepal’s ethnic bodies, including Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) and Tharu Welfare Council (TWC), have claimed that the government’s categorization of Tharus as Madhesis violated the ILO 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal People. “This is either a conspiracy of the Maoists to divide and rule the indigenous people or a tactics to appease the Madhesi leaders to prop up the falling government” President Pasang Sherpa and General Secretary Om Gurung of NEFIN said on Saturday.


UPDATE: Three persons, including one policeman, were killed in Chitwan as the general strike called by Tharus continued in the districts stalling the whole southern Nepal .

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Indo-US Economy: Economic Stimulus May Bypass Poverty Eradication?



Obama Injects Stimulus: But will it work?

Economic Stimulus May Bypass Poverty Eradication?


Prof. J. George and Ayushya Mohan George




The announced economic package is primarily aimed at avoiding bankruptcy of a few at the cost of neglecting poverty eradication. The 836 million ‘aam adami” appears to have lost relevance with this spectrum of economic activities targeted as the main recipients.



Public service delivery mechanism as domestic demand stimulant, hence, attains exceptional significance when global meltdown in market fundamentals leads to loss of confidence along with depression. A close reading of Paul Krugman’s columns in the New York Times should convince any hard core sceptics.



Poor people in particular should not despair if appropriate economic stimulus as public expenditure is stepped up. Or will fiscal prudence driven public expenditure protocol make a mockery of even recent enactment of the social security law for the unorganised sector? Fiscal profligacy, though, will accelerate movement towards mocking the poor people.



It is extremely momentous, however, to ensure modest mechanism to access basic public services like health care, sanitation, drinking water and education; and access to meaningful political participation (73rd and 74th amendments to the constitution), respectable work and modest security in addition to adequate access to income to steer the stimulus package indeed towards a sustainable and real social protection.



The Indian Constitution and the millennium development goals (MDGs) has mandated to ‘Take Action’ to end poverty and inequality. Did we succeed in either? Should not poverty/BPL be such an emotive issue today as well? Why does it not keep popping up in a typical Gresham’s Law fashion every day in the media?



A plausible explanation is available if we cared to revisit Nobel Laureates Amartya Sen and Eric Maskin or the 2008 commemoration theme of the International Day (17 October) for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP), namely, ‘human rights and dignity of people living in poverty’.



Income is essential to acquire material personal effects in this consumer driven world. The famous 17th century philosopher Immanuel Kant posited that whereas material possessions are replaceable, dignity of the human beings is distinct and hence irreplaceable.



Prof. Amartya Sen is very categorical in stating that all development agenda must underscore ‘dignity of human beings’. His treatises on famines and social security, etc. are prime examples suggesting protocols for practicing such precepts.



Eric Maskin through his “theory of mechanism design” has demonstrated that to attain a given goal, suitable and appropriate mechanisms need to be designed.



UN (Division of Social Policy and Development) maintains poverty as “a human condition of deprivation of resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights”.(42 words)



The bottomline is to move away from exclusionary to inclusionary platform of actions and deeds. The interdependence of three factors, namely, access to income, basic services and level of people’s participation makes or mars goal attainment, albeit with people’s dignity, of the economic stimulus package.



The received global wisdom and thesis is that faster economic growth is the only remedy to come out of poverty. The Planning Commission and all international development finance institutions subscribe to this flawed obsession and theory. In tune with the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) objective of faster and inclusive economic growth, some states, Haryana for instance, has added now a ‘social revolution’ spin.



The average year to year economic growth, such as in Haryana, during the period 1999/2000 to 2007/08 has been estimated to be about 8.67 per cent. The derived per capita income surely is higher than the notional poverty line. Under these economic circumstances consumption will soar to raise the volume in the own tax revenue kitty. This and other associated steps in public expenditure control template advocated by the Bretton Woods institutions lead to the much celebrated fiscal governance outcome of actions diligently taken under the fiscal responsibility and budget management (FRBM) circuit in the country.



The immediate question that will follow is at what cost to the society. The bitter truth, however, is that recently one in every four households in Haryana has been officially declared to be poor. Hence the nagging concern that the economic stimulus will impoverish more than ameliorate the targeted as well as the general masses.



Can it be mere neglectful that this new poverty estimate is different from the Planning Commission reckoning? Is this contradiction valid given the economic prosperity ushered in by the new ‘growth story line’? Should rise in poverty follow rise in income? Will current economic slowdown adversely impair all good work expected out of the social security law enactment or enhanced public expenditure?



This is grossly undesirable and yet a practical contradiction witnessed in a fiscally prudent and high economic growth state. If we consider attainment levels in the 18 targets of the UN millennium development goals (MDGs) the emerging social regression sends chill down the spine. How does one justify the feasibility of this paradox?



The paradox is made feasible due to the limitations inherent in the income measure of poverty. A poor delivery mechanism across programmes invariably explains the reality. It is explained also by the crucial interlocking mechanism between poverty reduction and human rights. Both are issues of societal rights and obligations rather than mere welfare or selflessness of the public institutions’ service delivery dictum. This query attains frightening dimension right across developing countries that is growing slower than the Haryana state economy.



A foolproof, transparent and painless mechanism to ensure comfortable access to basic public services is the answer. The social construct, for instance,does not follow a narrow and beaten path of ‘ceteris paribus’ so wantonly used in the economic growth calculations.



The social profile in liaison with the economic milieu does provide useful and crucial insights to the paradox. In a more functional term, however, current status of mechanism to access the delivery of myriad public services by the states vindicates feasibility of this inconsistency.



A more cerebral explanation to this absurdity is found in the ‘capabilities’ and ‘functionings’ treatise of the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. Capabilities are tangible and intangible resources or endowments with the household, while ‘functionings’ are the activities, operations or performance rooted in the capabilities of the household.



Thus higher income should encourage better access (demand segment) to basic services and better functioning (supply segment) of the public delivery institutions. Latter has not happened and the former, given a chance, forcefully get articulated at the hustings. The economic stimulus package must address this dichotomous challenge. The interim budget of the central government did make a beginning by raising the threshold support level to the rural employment guarantee scheme and the rural infrastructure flagship scheme called “Bharat Nirman”. The urban renewal missions too see a heightened support along with a number of soft social sector schemes and programmes in health and education. Increased and higher budgetary support will only be one part of the stimulus package. The other part will be the triology of accessibility mentioned earlier.



Be that as it may, the apex 16 member expert group constituted recently (August 2008) in the union ministry of rural development must be seized of the quibble over numbers in all seriousness. Their task however has been made easier and feasible with the groundbreaking recommendations of the National Commission for Enterprises in Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) headed by Prof. Arjun Sengupta. NCEUS has estimated vulnerability of at least 836 million ‘aam adami’ spread across rural-urban spaces to livelihood and food security concerns in India. Cavil over numbers, in comparison, will merely serve the livelihood security of a handful of number crunchers.



We must recall here that the erstwhile PRSP intervention of the World Bank suggested that poverty data can and must be ignored. The current World Bank flavour, District Poverty Intervention Programme (DPIP) also suggests the same bold inference. The flawed enthusiasm for poverty data per se alone hence is misplaced and motivated. Hopefully, the 16 member committee appointed by the rural development ministry will not fall into this precipice.



At the recent UN meet fears were indeed, expressed about funds shortfall to successfully meet 2015 deadline for the 8 Millennium Development Goals. The current financial crisis sweeping the world is certain to heighten worries of donor agencies and the poor alike. Besides, paradox of increasing capital flow from south to north has already led to new belt tightening procedures in the development financing approaches. Market failures and abdication by the state of her leadership in the public service deliver domain is the intimidating backdrop.



Given the contemporary discourse, corruption in the delivery of public services must top the agenda. For example, imagine that the front level functionary disbursing the old age pension sum of say, Rs. 500 per month illegally demands Rs.100 per month as part of the rent for delivering the service. In a year the same person is deprived of Rs.1200/- on account of a miniscule proportion of the poverty reduction programme.



The Indian Constitution’s 11th Schedule lists 29 functions for rural and 18 functions for urban development. Each element has a number of subgroups, either exclusively or in association with others, making engagement with poverty reduction challenges. The myriad and opaque procedure to access these functions only enhances rent seeking premiums.



The stimulus packages and high stakes do not necessarily yield automatic stimulus to basic ‘poor-performance’ services delivered by the public services system. The leadership, depth and spread of delivery by public agencies, it may be recalled, have no parallels and cannot be matched by private operators. Keynes and George Stigler demonstrated this a long time ago.



The West Bengal Governor firmly recommended that ‘Land cannot be treated as a dematerialised share certificate’ to ‘swing in tune with the Sensex’ as many poor people eke out their livelihood in dignity using diminutive ‘capability’ and ‘functioning’s.



The deprivation index based new approach of the Planning Commission may appear promising provided explicit measures to factor in access to education, healthcare and other basic services emerge in the public domain. We know that even the half measure outlay-outcome attempt by the state can bring relief to the poor.



The key challenge therefore is to figure out transformation pathways for public service delivery functions and functionaries. SAARC development goals makes a fervent plea towards this direction.



The bureaucracy and members of the local bodies will be necessary evils in any strategic measure attempting to engage with worrisome issue on poverty eradication. Their partnership in pelf must give way to progress for poverty eradication. Concentration on three entities - ‘competent authority’, front level functionary and their standard operating protocol - become imminent.



A partnership with sensitive civil society grassroots bodies has enabled a few of the ‘competent authority’ to transform the public services delivery mechanism. The authority specific SEA – service efforts and achievements – can be mapped to clearly correct a number of ‘service delivery disabilities’.



The functionary strength deficit has been mounting since 1995. The norms for these cadre level public servants are based on the 1951-55 vintage community development block days. At these dated norms the current deficit may range upto 40-50 per cent in most of the states. The concerted drive towards ‘outsourcing’ and ‘rightsizing’ have, albeit, worsened the situation.



The poor equity and efficiency observed in the public service delivery is fully explicable by the dearth of LOADS, namely, leadership, ownership, accountability, decentralisation and sustainability. Absence of LOADS, for example, explains why many high income growth states have high incidence of manipulation in the poverty reduction programmes; social regression far surpasses economic growth, implementation is mired in corruption. A poor service delivery protocol is the general outcome across India.



Increasing vulnerabilities in the society, ‘targeted growth fixation’ scenario amid market failure episodes have imparted a new spin of uncertainty to the delivery of basic services. These vacillations need to be now taken gravely because ‘aam adami’ will decide livelihood and food security issues of many people except the babudom and the number cruncher. This handful should not be allowed to tread on the dignity of people living in poverty.



When push comes to shove, public services must ensure easy mechanism to access. Failing which even the less than 2% of GDP demand (Rs. 58,000 crores) put forth by NCEUS as a bailout package may not suffice.



[The first author teaches and consults on Strategic Economic Management in Delhi and the second is an avid student of public economic analysis.]



Click the link to Download the doc file :economic_stimulus_may_bypass_poverty_eradication.doc

Monday, February 16, 2009

What Nepalese Dream to Achieve in Ten Years By 2020

kathmandu-_2020

Kathmandu in 2020: No Load Shedding!

nepal-airlines

Nepalese too can dream of manufacturing airplanes

nepal-railways

East West Nepal Railways: Taplejung to Darchula Underground Rail Service

nepal-seaport

Sea Port in Nepal: Mulghat Port at Dhankuta

nepal-terai-train

Mechi Mahakali Terai Super Express Electric Train Service


pokhara_2020

Tourist Town of Pokhara in 2020: Annapurna Himalayas in Background

nepali_film_sindoor_2020

A 2020 Remake of Nepali Film Sindoor at a Kathmandu Cinema Hall





i received a pdf file in the mail and enjoyed reading it. Would Nepalese be able to develop their country this fast? Or is this mere another Maoist propaganda? Anyway, a really creative job I must say.

Click on the link below, download the pdf file, and read…then comment if you feel like it.

new-nepal-development-dream-2020.pdf

WARNING: All the Images are PROJECTIONS in Future Tense, they do not represent Present Tense REALITY.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Nose Based Leadership Change in Nepal: Replace all Brahmin Leaders



Nose Size Matters in Nepal Politics: They're Bahun & That Corrupt is also Bahun
By Divas

If you’d go through Nepal’s popular dailies including those I scrutinize everyday - the Kantipur, The Himalayan Times & The Kathmandu Post, and make a racist evaluation of the contributors, you’ll find that more than 80 percent of the authors there belong to Brahmin caste. Not only the authors and editors, most of the letter to editor writers are also Bahun. Scan the profiles of all high level government officials, the same statistics holds true there too. Bahuns consider the field of academics and scholarship as their innate profession. The same is true in politics – even the tirades against Bahunbad (Brahmanism) in politics have now become clichés. Many point at the irony that Bahuns hold the key posts even in the Maoist party which led the movement against Bahunbad in Nepal.

The Bahun halimuhali (hegemony) in Nepali life is sickening. I’m increasingly getting intolerant of Bahun leadership in everything in Nepal. To tell you the truth, I hardly read any article written by Nakchuchche (pointed nose) Bahun or Chetri caste – except if it’s by a Bahun physician writing on some health related issue. I do not even watch television these days fearing I might have to see the Bahun or Chetri faces of political leaders. So much so that, I even judge a roadside restaurant by its owner – I don’t want to eat anything from an arrogant Bahun or Chetri with pathetic culinary sense.

Some concrete reasons behind my Bahunallergy (Bahun Allergy). The election fever is getting its hold on the students of Nepal’s largest public university, the Tribuvan University (TU). Lekhanath Neupane who is a Bahun and also the leader of Maoist affiliate student union issued a warning a few days ago that they’d break the backbones of anyone opposing them like they did before. Bahun Lekhnath was countered by another Bahun Pradip Poudel of Congress affiliated student union who said that they’d also break the bones of anyone attacking them.

Instead of showing some examples of good governance by controlling corruption in politics & bureaucracy, the Bahun Prime Minister of Nepal Prachanda, Bahun Finance Minister Baburam, and Bahun leaders of Maoist Party CP Gajurel, and Dinanath have been warning of revolt unless they’re not allowed to govern. On the other hand, the Bahun Kangessi opposition leaders of the like of Shushil Koirala and Govinda Raj have begun counting the days for the downfall of the government. And please, don’t even mention the Bahun names like Jhalanath Khanal and KP Oli. Power seems to corrupt the Bahun more than others. The chics & bellies of Bahun swell very fast once they begin enjoying state coffers.

My argument is that the Bahuns & Chetris should voluntarily hand over the leadership to the people of other castes & races – that’s what Gyanedra’s retirement from monarchy symbolizes. The air is simply not in favor of Nakchuchche in Nepal these days. Go abroad, do some business, become professionals but please don’t show your names and faces on televisions and newspapers.

And if you’re choosing your leaders, whether in the upcoming student election, or in the Nepali Congress & UML Conventions, or in the local bodies, don’t believe in their official policies, for no one makes bad policies, look at their nose, and vote for a non-Nakchuche, or a Madisey.

Incidentally, I myself happen to be a Nakchuche…but do read this crap anyway … Boorchodikey :D


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