Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dowry & RTI

Here is good news for ‘dowry’ seekers. The Delhi high court has come out with a ruling that ‘giving dowry under the fear that the proposed marriage may be called off, is not an offence’! The high court quashed the criminal proceedings against the bride and her family after they convinced the court that the dowry was given under pressure as the bride groom’s father had threatened to cancel the marriage. The court felt that bride’s parents were confronted with the unenviable situation either to concede to the dowry demand or face the loss of honor of their family in the society. They can not be faulted for giving dowry as they were victims of the circumstances.

By this judgment, court has proved that it does not consider ‘dowry’ as an offence and can be accepted/taken in the guise of threat or pressure. This should pave way for the disposal to several dowry harassment cases pending in the courts. All that the bridegroom & their family have to do is to ask the bride’s parents to concede in the court that they have done it under fear and honor of the family-‘Ghar ki Izzat’. And, hurray, the case shall be quashed. Now if you are one of the prospective dowry seekers, just ask the bride party of dire consequences because it is no more offence to receive dowry under threat even if they are giving it on their own. This threat will save the skin for any future backlash.

In another case filed before a metropolitan magistrate in Delhi, one RTI (Right to Information) activist has been accused of ‘domestic violence’ by his wife and teenaged daughter. This activist was chosen as the best ‘Citizen’ by a media group!  There are numerous such activists and awareness speakers spearheading their respective campaign on various social issues for a cause but their family life is shattered for some or the other reason including ‘preaching one thing, practicing the other’. These acts of writing, preaching, spearheading for the sake of name and fame only and not practiced by respective people in their personal life exposes them of their dual personality.

 While talking of justice, here is parting tailpiece with no comments-
Learned and highly religious Chief Minister of Karnataka Mr. B. S. Yeddyurappa has advised people to ‘chop the hands’ of officials who demand bribe to extend benefits of government schemes to the entitled family!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fifty Crores Bonanza

Come elections or ‘vote of confidence motion’, horse trading word gets momentum in political parlance. Now, Karnataka state is witnessing this melee.Both ruling and opposition parties are leveling horse trading charges against each other. If news report is to be believed, each MLA on sale is getting whooping 50 crores for cross over!

How come this word has come in to use in political field? In olden times, people used to carry huge amount of gold and diamonds on the back of a horse traversing miles and miles across the continent for trade & commerce purpose. So this word emerged wherever talks of trade arose. In politics it became a trade of MLAs and MPs. Now politics is no more a mission, it has become a trade where these so called people’s representatives are traded in plush resorts, sea side pools or in 5 star spas. These MLAs move in a group like (black) sheep and cattle.

Have you ever wondered how these 50 crores are traded? I have absolutely no idea but I just wonder if these are carried in a jute sack or in a suit case? Where are the godowns from where the supply is made? There must be a distributing point. Then again, where do they keep all these money? I remember, several years back there was a CBI raid on a Government official’s bungalow and crores of rupees were unearthed from his bed rooms. They were shoved inside the pillows and mattresses. Family members used to sleep over it. What a luxury without getting a sound sleep!
Recently there was TV news that currency notes were found flowing in a river. During our time, we used to read in textbooks that once upon a time India was so rich that milk used to flow like a river. But not any more, now milk is a scarce commodity and scary too for the heart patents. What a progress from Milky River to Currency River!

Coming back to the question, where do they keep all the ill-gotten money? They can not keep in bank locker because the moment sack is brought to the bank, cat would be out. A deposit in benami name is also ruled out as furnishing of PAN number is insisted upon. Any investment in real estate above 30 lacs requires reporting to IT officials. Yes, Gold can be one option despite soaring price. Gold bricks can easily be hidden any where even beneath the ground without any possibility of damage or erosion to the gold.

Sometimes I envy those ‘not so educated politicians’ whose sharp mind are able to find ways and means to amaze and hide in such a way that sometimes even the professionally trained investigating agencies are not able to detect any thing whereas ‘we the educated class’ can not even think of a place to hide our hard earned few thousands of rupees in our house which often gets robbed by white collared robbers or gets stolen by miscreants.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stray Dogs Vs Pet Dogs

While Bangalore is famous for its greenery, good climate, IT/Biotech industries, it is also famous for Monkey & Dog menace! It seems these monkeys also played in Common wealth games stadium in Delhi recently. The local authority BBMP has totally failed to control the menace of both these animals so much so that sometimes back the Karnataka Chief Justice of High Court had to tell that ‘NGOs & Dog lovers should keep stray dogs in their bedroom or bathroom’! This has deep rooted thought to be tackled by civic authorities.

Whenever the news of dog bites is flashed on the front page of any newspaper, BBMP just sends the van, round up 1 or 2 dogs and that’s the end. In fact I have seen them letting off these dogs in nearby next locality. They never visit again or go to the next street!  These dogs are so clever that the moment the van arrives; they vanish from the spot in no time. The dog catching van should come again and again at different times including night visit at least for one week in all the streets so that one time escapee dog is caught some other day.

The ABC (Animal Birth Control) programme initiated by health department has failed miserably. Mere ABC programme will not suffice. What about ferocious dogs which keep chasing and bites children and innocent people? What about those dogs which keep barking all nights. The role of so called Animal protection NGO’s is just reduced to oppose any move by BBMP to eliminate such dogs but they have done very little on their own to end this menace except feeding these menacing dogs whenever they come near their house! Unless some drastic steps are taken, people will keep getting terrorized by these unwanted pets.

BBMP & NGOs should also discuss the issue of ‘Pet dogs’ hitherto neglected. The household pet dogs are also adding to the menace by barking on the slightest pretext at odd hours causing disturbance to peace of other residents. It is strange that many a times the owners do not bother to find out as to why their dog is barking? If the dog is for security, is it not fare for the owners to come out to find what’s wrong and stop the dog from unnecessary barking. Owners of such pet dogs never realize that there are other residents also staying in their vicinity where an ailing person, senior citizen or students are being disturbed at odd hours. Another issue relates to the ‘Poo’ droppings on pavement in front of ‘YOUR’ house when the owner of the dog takes it for an outing. Of late, some people are raising their voices against this matter too.  

Just owning a pet dog and putting up a “Beware of Dogs” sign board is not enough. They also need good care, hygienic living, medical attention, timely food and outing and above all proper training to listen to the commands of the master. This is not happening in majority of the case. Like any human being they are also prone to become restless and depressed in absence of love & affection from all concerned.

And in the end, here is another bad news for dog lovers. BBMP is contemplating restricting the pet dogs to 3 but how are they going to implement and supervise, is a question they only have to answer. I am not ‘anti-animal’ but I love them in natural habitat. The problem being ‘social’ in nature needs to be debated and trashed out collectively by civic authorities, NGOs as well as Animal lovers together.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Recorded message to Voice mail

There was a time when only Post offices used to have a phone in smaller towns and a messenger used to come home to inform if some body wanted to talk from out station. People used to go to the post office and wait for the caller to give a ring again! Those days are gone when one used to interact with a person directly over telephone to get his or her complaint/problem redressed (with exceptions like Electricity/telephones complaints which are always engaged when needed most!). It was very easy to know the status as to when the complaint will be attended or what the reason for delay if any is. Any time one could call the number to get doubts cleared. Even one could get annoyed or shout at the person for any delay or deficiency in service. Not any more.

In due course of time direct phones were replaced by PBX system attended by telephone operators who in turn used to connect your call to the concerned person or department. There was no way you could directly talk to anybody if the telephone operator was not in his/her seat!
Today, be it a corporate office, government department, company’s service centre or helpline, you are made to listen to a sweet recorded voice of welcome followed by instructions to press buttons from 1 to 9 as the case may be. There is no guarantee that you can immediately be connected. Many times (most of the time) the phone keeps ringing for some time and stops thereafter. You will have no other option but to try once again from the beginning, that is, getting welcomed again by the same sweet voice.

The phones at the service centers, company help lines have voice recording facility wherein you are guided to record your message with phone number. You never know when these messages are attended to or heard at the other end. Even after recording the message, you are not assured that next day any technician would call on you to fix up the problem. Don’t be surprised if no one turns up because either your voice message has not been properly recorded or has got deleted due to technical snag. You can come to know of this only when somehow you manage to talk to a person of the service centre and not a recorder.

In the end, one finds that with the advent of the new technology, a person is spending more time over phone than before to get connected to the right person through recorded messages and voice mails.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

8th Grade Final Exam- 1895

In the very beginning, let me confess that this piece of post is not mine. Sometimes we all get mails from chain mails from unknown source and this one is from such a mail. The source and the originator of the mail are unknown to acknowledge but the knowledge spread through the mail is of immense importance therefore I am just sharing with you. As it is by way of cut & paste, the text matter is going beyond the text box, please bear with the inconvenience.
Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? and the new generation just laughed it out! Well, check this out. 

Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895? This is the eighth-
grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA .. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal..

   8th Grade Final Exam: 
Salina , KS - 1895 

Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications 
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie,' 'play,' and 'run' 
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation. 
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar. 

Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet Long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold? 
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs, what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs for tare? 
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals? 
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7percent per annum.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft long at $20 per metre?
8... Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods? 
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus . 
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States .. 
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas 
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion. 
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865. 

Orthography (Time, one hour) 
[Do we even know what this is??]
1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each. 
7 Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last. 
9.. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication. 

Geography (Time, one hour)
1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2.. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ? 
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America . 
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco . 
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each..
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude? 
9.. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Are they kidding??? This is hard to believe....Notice that the exam took five hours to complete. Gives the saying 'he only had an 8th grade education' a whole new meaning, doesn't it?! Also shows you how poor our education system has become and, No, I don't have the answers!