Category Archives: Opinion

Why the District Magistrate should be sacked

Newsroom24x7 Network

A video showing a District Magistrate’s tyranny and his brutal and unlawful behaviour towards the hosts and guests at a wedding function, when they had overstepped the time limit permitted under prohibitory orders for COVID, has gone viral on social networks and people are cursing the officer without end.

When a gentleman approached the District Magistrate seeking some degree of consideration in the most polite manner the officer asked of him “What time is the night curfew”. The gentleman replied “it is at 10 but the auspicious time is 11”.

The DM shot back saying “Then you do it at home inside a room. You please read 144 order carefully”. At this moment the District Magistrate suddenly went hyper and without minding his profanities said in the most hideous, uncouth and demeaning manner: 

“You seem to be an educated person. Don’t talk like a bloody villager and an uneducated person”. With these words, the District Magistrate even ended up casting aspersions and insulting all the villagers of India. For this one remark, he should be dismissed from service and made to serve a sentence.

It is important to note, when the gentleman politely said: “Don’t talk to me like this, I’m a surgeon”, the DM pulled him by his collar, manhandled him and ordered the police to “catch hold of the guy, adding he was “obstructing public servant on duty”.

When the doctor pleaded that it was his sister’s wedding, the DM blabbered “no, no, no, obstructing District Magistrate on duty. Arrest him. 353 Arrest him”.

The District Magistrate is seen ordering the arrest of even women. One wonders, whether or not the District Magistrate is aware of the law of the land. Does he not know that women police officers should be associated where women are arrested, that too, arrest of women between sunset or sunrise has to be avoided, according to National Human Rights Commission guidelines on arrest.

The District Magistrate in this video should be tried for misuse of authority, for taking the law into his own hands,  raising his hands on people who were not posing any threat to enforcement of prohibitory orders under CrPC 144. Question arises: Who made him a District Magistrate? 

5 Tripura MLAs write to state chief secretary demanding enquiry into the incident & immediate suspension of West Tripura DM Shailesh Kumar Yadav for his actions in marriage ceremonies at Manikya Court, Agartala

Chandrayaan 2 and the Houdini Act

Newsroom24x7 Network

There’s a facebook post by Tapan Misra, a distinguished scientist and a former Director of Space Application Centre on a writeup titled “Aliens demolished India’s Chandrayaan 2; New findings shock ISRO” by some Nirmal Narayanan and published by International Business Times.

The facebook post by Tapan Misra is self explanatory. It calls the bluff and exposes a lot. We are reproducing it below for the benefit of Newsroom24x7 followers

Houdini Act

There is a latest addition to Chandrayaan 2 lander Fiasco. Albeit it is a piece, dated 1st April, I am afraid that it will start getting credence among star struck commoners. There were so many conjectures about Vikram lander story that I feel myself as technically challenged.

There were initial stories of soft landing of lander, albeit inverted, in Garfield style. There was also an image to give credence to the theory. When the said image was referred to me, I found that the lander was greatly disproportionate to the NASA LRO imager resolution. I exclaimed that we must have sent Charminar in place of Vikram lander.

Then followed a month of many observations, consistent with Hisenberg’s proverbial cat in a closed box theory. It is there and it is not there.

Icing on the cake was one Techie, Shanmugam Subramaniam with his analysis of LRO data to identify all the debris of lander. His analysis was supposed to have been authenticated by NASA. He was being hailed almost just short of reincarnation of Vikram Sarabhai, by our eager and gullible media. His fame lasted for 24 hrs till I pointed out inconsistencies in analysis in my Facebook post. Both he and his publicity vanished for a toss.

That gentleman reappeared with an analysis of intact lander and rover theory from LRO data again. I understood that he is a mythical character created to torment some pious souls.

There were many happenings which just took my understandings for a ride. Just prior to launch, a leak in cryogenic engine was identified and corrected within a week. Great feat. I was stumped. Then Chandrayan 2 was launched one week late but it reached moon on time. Again a great feat. It is only possible if there is a great reduction in Chandrayan 2 launch mass. Then the life span of Orbiter was increased from 1 year to 7.5 years , supporting launch mass reduction theory and consequent availability of excess fuel. Something was greatly amiss.

Normally there are certain old hats of space science, who go to town with all the exaggerated claims and analyses. Surprisingly those experts were missing in action.

Now this new theory of extraterrestrials, though presented with tongue in check, may capture imagination of gullible masses. Looks like, Chandrayan 2 saga will keep tantalizing us. This Houdini Act appears to reveal less but hide more.

Rahul Gandhi’s tweet against Gautam Adani blown into smithereens

Newsroom24x7 Network

In this episode of Straight Talk Newsroom24x7 Editor-in-Chief Lalit Shastri blows into smithereens a tweet by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who takes a jibe at Business leader Gautam Adani only to score a political brownie point.

Elon Musk increased his net wealth by $128.9bn, Jeff Bezos by $78.2 billion. But Gautam Adani of India has surpassed both of them in wealth creation during the COVID pandemic.

It is not Adani alone, the wealth of Indian billionaires increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown and by 90 per cent since 2009 to $422.9 billion, ranking India sixth after the US, China, Germany, Russia and France, according to an Oxfam Report released in January this year.

In fact India’s top 100 billionaires saw their fortunes increase by Rs 12.97 trillion.
Worldwide, billionaires saw their wealth increase by a staggering $3.9 trillion between March 18 and December 31, 2020.

It is noteworthy that the Adani Group is a multi-sector enterprise engaged in diverse areas that include Renewable Power Generation, Solar Manufacturing, Ports and Terminals, Logistics, Agri Logistics, Industrial Land, Power Transmission, Power Distribution, Gas Distribution, Defence and Aerospace, Edible Oil and Food Products, Fruits, Real Estate, Financial Services, Housing Finance, and Airports.

Speaking at the “JP Morgan India Summit – Future in Focus” in September 2020, Gautam Adani had projected that Indian Economy will be on top by 2050.  For the GDP freaks, he rolled out figures and pointed out that the global GDP in 1990 was $38 trillion. Today, 30 years later, it is $90 trillion. In 2050 the global GDP is expected to be about $170 trillion with india, especially due to its geostrategic position and massive market size will have the potential of becoming the second-largest economy in the world.

We all know that there has been a very deep potential impact of COVID-19 lock-down on income levels and consumer spending especially in the unorganised and tertiary sector that left a huge impact on the consumer market worldwide in the initial months of 2020. The dark clouds have continued to hover across board even thereafter for small traders, and daily wage earners. 

We also know when markets go into spin under such special circumstances, they undergo massive corrections, and new leaders drive the next surge. In the era of post liberal economy, during the closing decade of the 20th Century, it was consumption that drove the markets to a new high. We entered the new millennium with the internet and worldwide web revolution and the IT giants pumping GDP and growth. This was followed by infrastructure, banking, financial services and insurance. Now since 2020, the COVID situation has altered the markets that are now increasingly driven by the potentially higher role being played by the service utilities, chemicals, rare earths and health sectors.

Rightly, Gautam Adani with a forward looking perspective, has pointed out that Democracy cannot take a cookie-cutter, meaning thereby a typical copybook socialistic approach, In his words, “we should accept that different nations will have their own flavour of democracy and capitalism”.

Addressing the commoners on the street and the countryside, who have suffered endless poverty under successive Congress regimes right through Independence, the former Congress President Rahul Gandhi targetted Gautam Adani, with a tweet on Saturday night- 13th March.

Rahul wrote: “How much did your wealth increase in 2020? Zero. You struggle to survive while he makes rupees 12 Lakh Crore and increases his wealth by 50%. Can you tell me why?”

With this tweet, Rahul has rubbished the potential of a successful enterprise to drive national economy during tough times. For his narrow political ends, he has even stooped too low by targetting a business leader who has beaten all competiton in the global arena. What Rahul has tweeted does not stem from naivety or lack of understanding of what drives enterprise, business and economy but a very diabolic mind.

“Tortoise on the pole” and Desi wisdom

Tapan Misra

Desi lingo, many a times, hides pithy wisdom. One such phrase is “Khambe ka Kachhua”, literally meaning “Tortoise perched on top of a roadside pole”.

Tortoise cannot climb a pole on its own. Tortoise is clueless about its role at high position. That poor chap has been elevated beyond its ability. Passer-by are clueless about the idiot who put it up, at the first place itself. However, life goes on below the pole unaffected as the clueless tortoise atop a pole, can hardly affect them.

In my younger days, I used to think that such characters were more of an exception. Now with a life with varied experiences, I now know they are quite common. You can notice them almost in every field. Our institutions, political parties, scientific organisations , academia, bureaucracy etc. have their own shares of such lofty characters. Their population is a good indicator of the stagnancy of institutions. If the numbers are large and their presence does not matter in the day-to-day work, then it only means that the work environment is mundane, routine, without any ambition and hence does not need leaders. Any pretension of leadership is okay.

Every initiative in such institutions is met with condescending advice, “Beta, tum se na ho payega” (“My son, you may not be able to accomplish the task”). This fatherly advice (sic) killed maximum possible initiatives in many generations. Children have been rendered risk avoiders, youth have become laggards, workers have been made unimaginative, factories became unproductive, institutions have been made hostile to change with time and technology.

It is very difficult to survive if you want to bring change and improvement in this scenario. If you do not heed to the collective ethos of the institution, the majority will easily turn to not-so-friendly-a-company. After all, those accustomed to shibboleth, are not going to seek any change in status quo. Newton’s first law!

Darwin also advised that only the fittest, meaning most adjustable, species can survive. Darwin’s theory never espoused that the best of the lot can survive! Once I faced this reality at my own peril. One of my senior colleagues, quite earthy, in approach and dealings, gave me the desi advice, “Musheebat ke wakt, gadhe ko bhi baap banana padta hai” (“In times of crisis, try to adjust to even a donkey”). I remember the time. Many of my senior colleagues were eased out for not heeding to basic principle of Darwin’s theory, for their enthusiasm to do something different. I heeded, camouflaged myself as one among them and survived to tell the story.

But just because you are forced to adjust to the environment, does not mean that you cease to make a difference. In a status quoist environment, you get many pieces of advice on why things will not work out. Had we listened to all the advices of caution, we would not have established critical technologies like SAR, hyperspectral imaging, HTS with tens of Gibits bandwidth, super resolution camera, miniaturized radars and sensors for interplanetary missions, hundreds of MMIC/VLSI chips/sensors and so on, on a very strong footing in desi environment, truly Made in India. We kept a motto, “Suno sab ki, karo khud ki” (“Listen to all, do what your heart says”). We never lost our conviction on the way to our long journey.

From my experience I realized two major learnings:

“Jugad”(“Frugal Innovation”) will bring you a solution in the short term. But if you want to make a lasting and flawless technology, quality in innovation is the key. Quality comes from three main ingredients: imagination, knowledge and perseverance. Just for the sake of “Jugad”, just because the phenomenon has been romanticized a lot, do not compromise on these three ingredients. “Jugad” is alien to our culture. Look at the beautiful architectures, sculptures, our ancestors bequeathed to us. Each of them is a masterpiece of aesthetics, art, science and engineering, icons of excellence. I feel pained that we forget that excellence is the lasting inspiration from our forefathers.

I get a firm conviction on ordinary Indian men and women. I stopped looking at colleges, they graduated from, and their marksheets. Many of them are like “Number kam hai, dimag nehi” (“Albeit a low scorer, but brainy”). Most of the hindrances to achieving quality engineering is mostly in the leadership. An able leadership sets a right example to inspire his colleagues to achieve seemingly undoable.

Perseverance distinguishes “Lambi dour ka ghoda” (“Quality horse, with long racing career”). Ten percent of right inspiration, from leaders with their own track record, can easily bring out ninety percent perspiration from his colleagues. We can achieve anything, if and only if, “Man lo to har hai, than lo to jeet hai” (“If you succumb to obstacles, you are a sure loser. If you are determined to overcome the obstacles, you are a sure winner”). I fervently wish, as a nation, we imbibe this desi wisdom, in our every sphere of life.

Tapan Misra is a distinguished scientist. He has headed the Space Application Centre and also served as Advisor Department of Space, Government of India.