Some Quotes

"I will not say I failed 1000 imes,I will say that I discovered there are 1000 ways that can cause failure.......... Thomas Edison" "Believing everybody is dangerous;Believing nobody is very dangerous.......Lincon" "If you start judging people you will be having no time to love them....MOTHER TERESA"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Iran Elections: After Shocks Persist

EVEN a month after the decisive victory of Mahmoud Ahmadenijad in the Iranian presidential polls, his opponents are refusing to concede defeat. The two defeated candidates, Mir Housein Mousavi and Mehdi Kharoubbi have refused to acknowledge the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadenijad in the June elections. Without producing any convincing evidence, they continue to insist that the elections were rigged. The third defeated candidate, Mohsen Rezaei, had accepted the results in the last week of June. Though both Mousavi and Kharroubi have been urging their supporters to keep on protesting, the response from the street, since late June, has been lukewarm. But they have not completely given up.

The two leading personalities who have come out openly in their support, the former presidents, Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ahmad Khatami, have both been continuing with their criticism of the June elections. Khatami in the third week of July demanded that a referendum be held so that the Iranian people can give their opinion about the legitimacy of the newly elected government. Rafsanjani while addressing students at Teheran University called on the government to clear the “doubt” about the elections among the “great section of our erudite and knowledgeable people”.

Rafsanjani chairs the influential Assembly of Experts which theoretically has the right to remove the Veleyat-I Faqih, the Spiritual leader ---Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Interestingly, during the Friday prayers addressed by Rafsanjani, those supporting the government shouted “Death to America” slogans. This was countered by anti-Ahmadenijad supporters with “Death to Russia” and “Death to China” slogans. Russia and China were the first two countries to welcome the re-election of Ahmadenijad.



Most observers of the Iranian scene have concluded that after the dramatic events of June, the clerical establishment that has ruled Iran since the 1979 revolution is not as united as it was. For the first time, some important religious and political leaders have obliquely questioned the authority of the spiritual guide of the nation, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Though the Guardian Council, which has the responsibility of monitoring the elections, had ruled the June elections as the “healthiest” held since the revolution, many prominent “reformist” politicians and even some ayatollahs have alleged that the spiritual leader was biased in favour of his “protégé” Ahmadenijad.

Rafsanjani had played a key role in the appointment of Ayatollah Khamenei as the supreme leader following the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei. Ahmadenijad had angered Rafsanjani during the run-up to the elections when he accused him of propping up his rivals in the presidential elections. Ahmadenijad also publicly accused Rafsanjani’s family of amassing unaccounted wealth. When Ahmadenijad won his first presidential elections five years ago, there were dark murmurs about vote rigging even then. At that time, Ahmadenijad was relatively unknown but had come from behind to win the presidency, defeating among others, the venerable Rafsanjani.

But as the prominent Egyptian commentator, Mohammed Heikal pointed out in a television interview, all the candidates in the election were “children of the revolution”. Heikal said that he had no doubts about the victory of president Ahmadenijad. He went on to say that the political system in Iran was mature enough to resolve the current impasse. Mousavi had repeatedly said that the demonstrations are within the constitutional rights of Iranians. Most Iran watchers agree that the battle that was waged in June was one between two factions within the establishment.



But the West, which has relentlessly caricaturised the Iranian president, had started fantasising about regime change in Iran. There was frenzied talk of a “green revolution” materialising overnight in Iran, similar to the colour revolutions in eastern and central Europe. The “twitter revolution” which almost overthrew the newly elected Left government in Moldova in March was sought to be replicated in Iran. Now that the storm has subsided, president Barack Obama is being urged by both conservatives and liberals in the US to freeze the putative diplomatic dealings with Iran. Obama is the first American president to admit his country’s role in the toppling of Iran’s first democratically elected government in 1953 and was seen to prefer a more conciliatory approach towards Teheran. This was evident in his Cairo speech. It was in Cairo that an American president for the first time had addressed the country by its official name---the Islamic Republic of Iran.

However, after Obama’s statement “condemning” the Iranian government’s handling of the post-election protests and his praise for Mousavi, relations which had thawed slightly have once again frozen over. President Ahmadenijad asked for an apology from the American president for his remarks over the conduct of the elections. The Iranians have other reasons to be angry with Washington. The Obama administration is continuing with the destabilisation blueprint of the previous administration. USAID, which is under the US State Department, has earmarked $20 million this year “to promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Iran”.

Iranians have noticed that president Obama has not bothered to condemn the recent killing of hundreds of native Indians in Peru by security forces or done anything meaningful to restore democracy in Honduras, after the president there was ousted in a military coup.

According to the investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, the previous Bush administration had sought $400 million dollars to destabilise the clerical establishment. George W Bush had escalated covert operations against Iran in the last year of his Presidency. Reports in the American media also suggested that Washington was assisting armed guerrilla groups active among minority ethnic groups in Iran. In a November, 2006 article, Hersh wrote that the Penatagon had established “covert relationships with Kurdish, Azeri and Baluchi tribesmen and had encouraged their efforts to undermine the regime’s authority in northern and south eastern Iran”.



From the outset, it was only the western media pundits who were predicting a victory for the “reformist” candidate, Mousavi. There was no doubt that he swept the polls in Northern Teheran and other affluent suburbs in various Iranian cities. But the majority of Iranians, who continue to be poor, obviously preferred to renew their trust in the incumbent president. His supporters credit him with reviving the basic values of the Islamic revolution, the most important of them being caring for the poor. The high price of oil during most of his first term in office helped his administration to plough funds into hitherto neglected areas of Iran.

Every week he visited remote rural outposts to have a first hand look into the problems faced by the poor peasantry. Ahmadenijad along with his ministers has visited each one of Iran’s 30 provinces twice during the last four years. He cut out the bureaucratic red tape to ensure that the development funds he sanctioned reached their destination. Another populist move was to distribute billions of dollars worth of “justice stocks” (stocks in state run companies) to the poor. This was part of the government’s plan to build a more egalitarian society

Most of the pre-election opinion polls conducted since March showed that Ahmadenijad was a clear frontrunner. The only poll conducted by a western agency, on behalf of the BBC and the NBC, predicted a 89 per cent turnout for the election. The poll conducted by the independent Center of Public Opinion (CPO), which is backed by the Rockefeller Foundation, a few weeks before the elections revealed that Ahmadenijad had a nationwide advantage of two to one against his closest rival, Mousavi.

In the actual elections, the turnout was 85 per cent, with Ahmadenijad getting 66.2 per cent of the votes and Mousavi — 33.8 per cent. The western media had mainly covered the big rallies addressed by Mousavi in Teheran and other cities. Ahmadenijad had criss-crossed the country addressing hundreds of equally well attended rallies. In the 2005 presidential elections too, Ahmadenijad had got almost the same percentage of votes. His rival, Rafsanjani, had got 35 per cent of the votes.

Though the election process is not open to registered parties and is rigorously vetted by the clerical establishment, the Islamic Republic has a proud record of holding elections on schedule. Despite being subjected to war, terrorism and economic blockade, Iran has held thirty elections since 1979. The voting is supervised by school teachers, government servants and retired professionals. It is similar in many ways to the electoral process in India. The “liberal” Khatami won his first election in 1995 as president with 70 per cent of the vote when the interior ministry was under the control of the so called “conservatives”.

The political chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Yadollah Javani, had in fact warned the “reformist” camp just before Iranians went to the polls, against staging a “velvet revolution”. He pointed out that for the first time some groups have used “a specific colour” in the elections.

The Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who has experienced the machinations of the West first hand, said that Ahmadenijad had won the elections fair and square and condemned those “trying to stain Ahmadenijad’s triumph and through that weaken the government and the Islamic revolution”.

Article took from the :Peoples Democracy

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Budget 2009-10: Whom Does It Serve?

THERE are few who seem to believe that their expectations have been met by the budget for 2009-10 presented by Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. This is partly because for most sections of the population it takes away with one hand what it seeks to give with the other. For example, a marginal increase in the exemption limit and the abolition of the surcharge on income tax for personal income tax payers is accompanied by increases in indirect taxation that are bound to impinge adversely on this section. The abolition of the Fringe Benefits tax and a further extension of the tax holiday for export-oriented units, which must please corporations, is accompanied by a hike in the Minimum Alternate tax that would hurt a significant number of them. And the promise of inclusiveness for the poor has not been accompanied by outlays that match that rhetoric.

This lack of coherence implies that first responses to the budget are bound to be mixed and muted. But this is not the only reason why this budget disappoints. Its principal failure is that though the Finance minister gifts himself significant resources from non-tax sources, such as about Rs 35,000 crore from the sale of 3G spectrum and massive borrowing reflected in a 6.8 per cent fiscal deficit to GDP ratio for 2009-10, he has not done much to either spur investment or deliver benefits for the poor and deprived.

Consider the claim made by the minister that he intends reversing the recent economic downturn and restoring the buoyancy the economy has displayed in recent years. Though the increase in total expenditure in 2009-10 relative to the revised figures for 2008-09 amounts to 2 per cent of GDP, much of this increase is the consequence of previously committed expenditures. Prominent among these are the increased salary bill resulting from the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations and the increase in interest payments resulting from the larger borrowing in recent years. Little of it is due to new initiatives of the current government and much of it is non-plan expenditure rather than plan expenditures with long run effects. Thus, the budgetary support for the central plan relative to 2008-09 is projected to increase by just around one half of one percent of GDP. That much for the Finance minister’s claim that his budget seeks to stimulate growth and induce buoyancy. In fact, his speech is disingenuous when it claims that the difference between the actual fiscal deficits of 2007-08 and 2008-09, amounting to 3.5 per cent of GDP, constituted the purposively delivered fiscal stimulus to combat the downturn. Much of this was due to a pre-committed set of expenditures which have since been justified by the need to deal with the recession.

This is not to imply that the Finance minister does not have a “vision” as to how growth will occur. Query him about the insubstantial increase in expenditure on rural development in its various forms and he would refer to his promise to increase the flow of credit to agriculture (from the banks and not the budget) from Rs 2,87,000 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 3,25,000 crore in 2009-10. Ask him about the adequacy of the support provided to crucial infrastructure sectors in terms of additional public investment and he would point to the fact that the India Infrastructure Financing Company Limited (IIFCL) would provide banks refinance to the tune of 60 per cent of their exposure to infrastructure projects in the private-public partnership (PPP) mode. In sum, expenditure to stimulate growth does not come fully from the government but substantially from an ostensibly independent banking sector offering credit to the private sector.



The problem of inadequate financing is not limited only to growth. It also affects the promise of being inclusive and benefiting the common man. Consider, for example the Finance minister’s claim that allocations for a flagship programme like the National Rural Employment Guarantee programme have been hiked by 144 per cent. That is true when you compare the budget estimates for 2009-10 with the budget estimates for 2008-09. But, the fact of the matter is that since the NREGA is a demand driven programme, the allocation for it in the 2008-09 budget was just notional, with the promise that more would be provided in response to demand. Even with the still limited implementation of the NREGA, actual allocations in 2008-09 were much higher than budgeted for and rose to Rs 36,750 crore. Compared to this the budgetary allocation for 2009-10 at Rs 39,100 crore is just Rs 2,350 crore or 6.4 per cent higher. Assuming that implementation improves and states get their act together, this figure would be far short of what is needed.

There are many other examples of such inadequacy. The Rural Health Mission has been allocated only Rs 1730 (or around 1.2 per cent) more than what was spent last year, although the evidence shows that India is a country where private expenditure dominates total health expenditures and leads to indebtedness in rural areas. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court had ordered a few years back that the Integrated Child Development Scheme should be universalised, the increase in allocation for this still sparsely delivered scheme is only Rs 361 crore or 1.1 per cent more than earlier. While the Right to Education has been recognised, the increase in budgetary allocation for elementary education is less than Rs 200 crore. Above all, while the UPA has made much of its proposed Food Security Act (which will reduce allocations of rice or wheat to the poorest from 35 kg to 25 kg per month), the subsidy on food is expected to increase by just Rs 8862 crore, even though the minimum support price and, therefore, the required subsidy per kg has gone up substantially.

Put all this together and it appears that this budget is not merely incoherent and self-contradictory, but also inadequate to meet its own objective of higher growth with a human face. This, however, is not to say that this budget lacks direction altogether. One thrust in the budget is to sustain concessions offered to private capital in the name of the recession. As has been noted by many, a significant part of the government’s stimulus aimed at combating the downturn triggered by the global financial crisis was the sanction of large excise duty reductions that were expected to sustain demand. These cuts were seen as temporary. But this budget, despite proclaiming that the worst of the downturn is over, has chosen to stick with these reductions.

More than this, the budget pushes ahead with or promises to undertake further economic reforms that would please financial capitalists. One direction such reform has taken is a range of tax concessions that have been provided to investments made by the New Pension Scheme (NPS) Trust in private equity. Besides dividend tax concessions, these investments have also been exempted from the Securities Transaction tax. This would only encourage the diversion of savings in pension funds to the stock market in the hope of higher returns. This would benefit stock market operators, but would also increase the vulnerability of the life savings of middle class citizens deposited in the NPS. This implicit sanction for speculation of the kind that triggered the ongoing financial crisis has been strengthened by the abolition of the Commodities Transaction tax, despite the evidence that transactions in commodities markets have grown at a pace where they point to speculative trends that clearly need reigning in.



Finally, an important direction of renewed reform is the new drive for privatisation, which had been advocated in the Economic Survey released a few days back. While promising to sustain public control over public sector assets the Finance minister has made the case in the budget for creeping privatisation. To quote him: “The public sector undertakings are the wealth of the nation, and part of this wealth should rest in the hands of the people. While retaining at least 51 per cent government equity in our enterprises, I propose to encourage people’s participation in our disinvestment programme.” The privatisation agenda is now being promoted in the name of “people’s participation”. The idea ostensibly is to obtain resources for the budget through sale of public equity to the public at large. In itself, this is not merely shortsighted but, given the growing profitability of the public sector, irrational.

Moreover, the Finance minister does know that the truly common man does not invest in equity. The “people” he speaks of here are members of the small elite who directly or indirectly participate in trading in the stock market. The idea is to sell public assets to them, so that they can sell it on to higher bidders, leading inevitably to influence if not control by big private capital. It is these interests that the budget serves. But judging by the first response of the stock market even they are not impressed. And that possibly is because the Finance ministry, by converting Economic Survey 2008-09 into a pamphlet advocating accelerated reform of a kind that sounds irrational given the lessons of the recent crisis, created expectations of “reform” and liberalisation that it could not itself meet. This time around this could not be blamed on an intransigent Left that was unwilling to accept the reality of modern India. It is because the advocates of irrational neoliberal “reforms”, which restructure policies in favour of private capital, seem to be out of tune with what is feasible in actually existing capitalist economies – especially those that are functioning political democracies.

Note:This article took from the

Friday, July 10, 2009

Orkuts Story

A guy lost his girlfriend in a train accident....

but the girls's name nowhere appeared in the dead list. This guy grew
up n became IT technical architect in his late 20?s, achievement in itself!!

He hired developers from the whole globe and plan to make a software where he could search for his girlfriend through the web..

Things went as planned... and he found her, after losing millions
of dollars and 3 long years.........................

It was time to shut down the search operation, when the CEO of
Google had a word with this guy and took over this application,

This Software made a whopping 1 billion dollars profit in its first year,

which we today know as ORKUT.

The guy's name is ORKUT BUYUKKOTEN Yes its named after him only. Today he is paid a hefty sum by Google for the things we do like scrapping. He is expected to b the richest person by 2009..

ORKUT BUYUKKOTEN today has 13 assistants to monitor his scrapbook & 8 to monitor his friends-list. He gets around 20,000 friend-requests a day & about 85,000 scraps!!!

Some other Cool Facts about this guy:

* He gets $12 from Google when every person registers to this website.

* He also gets $10 when you add somebody as a friend.

* He gets $8 when your friend's friend adds you as a friend & gets $6 if

anybody adds you as friend in the resulting chain.

* He gets $5 when you scrap somebody & $4 when somebody scraps you.

* He also gets $200 for each photograph you upload on Orkut.

* He gets $2.5 when you add your friend in the crush-list or in the hot-list.

* He gets $2 when you become somebody's fan.

* He gets $1.5 when somebody else becomes your fan.

* He even gets $1 every time you logout of Orkut.

* He gets $0.5 every time you just change your profile-photograph.

* He also gets $0.5 every time you read your friend's scrap-book & $0.5
every time you view your friend's friend-list.

The Couple Photo...........

"Moral of the story"?
LOSE U R GIRLFRIEND AND MAKE BILLIONS !!!! hahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa...........

Friday, July 3, 2009

On Economic Survey 2008-09

The Economic Survey tabled by the Finance Minister in Parliament today suggests a policy direction, which is inimical to the national interest.

The survey brings out the adverse impact of the global economic crisis. It admits that the overall growth rate has fallen to 6.7 per cent in 2008-2009. In particular, the fall in agricultural growth rate by 3.3 per cent and that of manufacturing by 5.8 per cent is alarming. It also admits that the growth in per capita consumption has seen a sharp decline from 6.9 per cent in 2007-2008 to 1.4 percent in 2008-2009, reflecting a big squeeze in the purchasing power of the people.

But what are the prescriptions? At a time when the world is reverting back to various forms of regulation of the financial sector, the Economic Survey suggests opening up of crucial sectors of the economy to FDI and deregulation of the financial sector in the name of “revisiting economic reforms”. This includes FDI in insurance, banking, defence and even in the sensitive retail trade sector, which will directly hit the livelihood of crores of families. It also proposes to mobilize as much as Rs. 25,000 crores per year from sale of PSU shares. In contrast the Economic Survey fails to make any assessment, leave alone suggest measures to address, the human dimensions of the economic slowdown such as huge job losses, growing unemployment and declining incomes. Clearly the economic policy establishment has failed to draw any lessons form the global financial meltdown.

This becomes even more apparent when the Survey discusses such an important issue as rising prices of essential commodities and food security. It actually proposes a reduction in food subsidy for PDS outlets and introduce the failed system of food coupons. It also suggests further cuts in subsidies for gas cylinders suggesting it should be limited to only six to eight cylinders per family per year.

On the other hand the Survey is generous in its suggestions to give further tax concessions to corporates by doing away with several taxes such as FBT, STT, CTT etc. Thus it wants to shift the focus of revenue mobilization away from tax mobilization to selling off public sector assets. At a time when countries across the world are moving away from fiscal fundamentalism, a completely irrational proposal to introduce a new version of the FRBM Act with a zero fiscal deficit target is also contained in the survey.

Many of the proposals made in the survey, which are inimical to the interests of the people and the country were part of the UPA reform agenda for the last five years, which could be to a certain extent prevented by the interventions of the Left Parties. Any attempt by the UPA Government to revive the discredited neoliberal agenda of subsidy cuts, financial liberalization, disinvestments and privatization would be met with stiff resistance.

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