Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spicejet on occasion of Holi, entertained and surprised  passengers of six of their flights by doing a Bollywood number " Balam Pitchkari" in cruising aircraft. Many passengers recorded this unique first time event in Indian skies and posted it on You Tube. DGCA immedietally took action by issuing Show cause Notice to Spice Jet and Suspending two Pilots of Mumbai-Goa Flight-Reason one Pilot had come out of Cockpit and was cought on camera clicking photos.
   This action of DGCA is surprising, more so as it is taken on the grounds of Safety of the Aircraft and Passengers. Spice Jet has replied that it had posted more Cabin Crew in view of this dance. Clearly DGCA instead of just accepting this novel way of celebrations with wry smile, is weilding lathi where there is no offence and aircraft was never in danger.
  Such dances are carried out in European and other airlines. Finnair did Bollywood dance jig in its flight on 26 January celebrating India's Republic Day.( Watch). One fails to understand DGCA's objections. Rather one doubts DGCA's ability to understand safety issues in this case.
  DGCA has objected to a Pilot being out of Cockpit and Clicking photos of the event. Now everyone knows that when Plane is in Cruising mode ( Almost always on Auto Pilot), Pilots can take their meals, One Pilot can come out to go to Loo. Pilots routinely come out if a passenger is misbehaving or too drunk and disorderly. They come and meet Politicians and Film stars. All this can be done provided at least one Pilot is in the Cockpit. So in Spicejet case where the safety of aircraft was compromised ?. Only one Pilot had come out and when he saw the dance clicked few photos before going back to Cockpit.
  DGCA has objected that atleast 25 Mobiles wore on and they were recording the event. DGCA rule is that Mobile should be switched off  when Plane is flying. This raises doubt about DGCA's technical awareness. Now it is proved that Mobile Phone communication does not interfere in Planes Navigation or Communication system. All airlines allow use of Electronics during flight. USA has passed law banning Moblile call during flight, to Protect other passengers privacy and right to quite peaceful flight and not for Safety. If Smartphone is in 'Airplane/Flight' Mode, all  wireless communication are shut off and passengers can use other functions,like taking Photos,Playing Games,Listening to Music etc.Crew,Pilots and Passengers would be more concerned about Plane's safety than DGCA. It is their lives  at stake.
  More absurd was the charge that  as many passengers joined the dance and this could have resulted in shifting of plane's Centre of  Gravity affecting stability. If this were the case then passengers queuing up for Toilets and together with crew and Food Carts at Tail section of the plane would have destabilised most of the planes in flight!

Mistake Spice Jet committed was that It did not inform and take permission of DGCA. To carry out this reveller y in air without informing DGCA is the crime. It's game of 'Protecting the Turf', No safety issue is involved.--PK

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Supreme Court Judgement re Sec.# 377

 Supreme Court on Wednesday passed judgement overturning Delhi High Court Judgement declaring that Sec 377 (Which Criminalises Homosexuality) is not unconstitutional. LGBT community which had gathered outside to celebrate favourable judgement was shocked,dismayed and angry. The ballons and placard were repainted in Protest Slogans.Political Parties jumped into fray. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi declared disappointment and promised to overturn the Judgement by either Curative or Review Petition in SC, or Changing the Sec 377 by amending it in Parliament or by Amendment.Other Political parties supported this except SP,which is vehemently opposed to amending it. BJP maintained complete silence.NaMo did not tweet anything about the judgement.They were taken by surprise as they believed-like everyone-that Delhi HC judgement will stand and they will not have to take call. Mr. Chidambaram said that with the judgement India has gone back 200 yrs. But there are certain points which are troubling.

If the Judgement were to be in LGBT community's favour and had opponent mounted similar vociferous protest than we would have told them to respect SC judgement and abide by it.

If SC judgement is to be overturned by Amendment than what is wrong with Rajiv Gandhi overturning SC judgement in Shabano Case ( Remember Muslims were protesting that it was against Islam and Shariat), Govt. bringing new law with retrospective effect in Vodafone case and Govt. passing a 'Nonsense' amendment re Criminals in Public life. If tomorrow aggrieved party mounts huge multi-city protest against SC judgement, will we amend the law? How this support to LGBT cause is not vote bank politics? TOI has hinted as such in it's Editorial,advising Congress to use it to regain foothold in youth voters.

In democracy we are governed by rule of Law. SC is highest judicial authority to interpret/arbitrate law or an Act. If we don't abide by the SC judgement than Democracy cant function. There will be Anarchy.

If Sec#377 is Archaic,please change it by bringing necessary amendment in Parliament,discuss it, and pass it after due deliberation. The argument that some political parties will not allow it to pass,is denying their voters democratic right to influence laws passed by Parliament. Taking shortcut to appear progressive is dangerous for our Democracy.

Disclaimer: I am absolutely comfortable with Homosexuality.I just accept it as sexual preference. I don't believe it is a disease. I dont know there is any cure or it needs curing.I am all for Gays and Lesbians to have live in relationships,get married,adopt children,divorce,face domestic violence and believe that they have equal right to be as miserable as rest of the society.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Is Suicide a Criminal Act ?

  News item that Suraj  Pancholi was arrested and remanded to Police Custody under Section 306 for Abetting Jiah Suicide has once again focused need to look at this section of IPS. Is suicide a criminal act? Suicide is committed by a person who is either severely depressed or has psychological disorder. He or she required counselling and treatment. Prosecute someone for Abetting is foolish. What the Abettor is suppose to do? Agree to whatever the person wanted? To prevent suicide by Jilted Lover, should one continue the relationship or get married? Then whom should you arrest for abatement when Failed student dies? Teachers or Examiners?  This week court awarded sentence of  Jail for 3 years,to a married School principal for abatement of suicide committed by his lover. He told his lover that he had permission from his wife to marry her. When she was told that wife has not agreed to this ,she committed suicide. Did  he want her to die? we dont know that from the newspaper report. Did he have any  motive to encourage her to commit suicide ? This law definitely needs another look.--P.K.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Match Fixing in IPL

   The uproar about Match-Spot- fixing in IPL among cricket fans is difficult to understand. All teams are Privately owned and even if I have lived or living in Mumbai, Membership to Club 'Mumbai Indians' is not open to me. It is Neeta Ambani's Privately owned club. I have no stake in club except that it is using name 'Mumbai'. What happens to club or its position in IPL tournament is or should be of no concern to me or any other Mumbaikar. mr. Lalit Modi has created IPL with only one  purpose- Entertainment. Thats why all this Glamour, Cheer Girls, Celebrities etc. but purpose is same. A place where cricket fans can spend 3 hrs enjoying cricket instead of going to a movie or Lounge Bar.

   Though model is based on Teams playing Football,Basketball,baseball in US, or  Football-Soccar- Clubs of  Europe, fans are not supposed to be part of the club (Team). They are merely paying Spectators. So, as long as there is Entertainment, one should not bother about which team wins a match or Championship as Loyalty to a team is not part of the equation.

   In this scenario  Match Fixing is of no consequence to Cricket Lovers. Police has to investigate as Betting is  illegal in India, but there is no Criminal act of cheating as far as IPL or Crickt is concerned. Did we bother about Dara Singh and Randhava ( Relatives of Vidu Dara Sing) winning all those wrestling matches against King Kong, and masked something or the other at Vallabhbhai Stadium near Haji Ali? We all knew that these matches were fixed as they are in WWF. It is for entertainment only. May be all these Reality Shows on T.V.  are fixed.  US producer of quiz show is on record in Court Case that these shows are for entertainment purpose only and are scripted to create sense of competition to increase TRP. Even in quiz shows answers are sometimes provided.

  In India, sport which has Legalized betting is Horse Racing.  Every now and then we come across news item that Horse is doped or Jockey has thrown the race by restraining favorite. police doesn't get involved. It is managed by Race Club. They have committee to investigate and punish the guilty. None go to Jail. They are merely suspended from Racing for few races or a season.

  Only thing this match fixing saga has achieved is to take away our attention from more urgent problems of Governance and Corruption. We are chasing shadows and Tilting at the Windmill.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

'Cooking' Problems

     My cook has given notice. Her only daughter has passed H.S.C. and joined professional course,  now she wants to reduce her workload and is quitting all 'cooking' jobs that she was doing. She will continue to work till we get new cook. So we started hunt for the new cook. As almost everyone in our society-67 flats- have cooks, i thought that it will not be difficult to get one, but a month has passed and we are still looking. It's not that we did not get cook. The cooks we got either  had problem with our set up/timing of 8-9 in the morning etc etc or we couldn't adjust to their timing of 1pm, their style of cooking,tasteless food etc.

    I always had cook. When i was young, we were in SoBo and my mother had Maternity Home. In those days we used to keep patients for 10 days after delivery and food,tea,nasta was provided by hospital. We had Rajastani cook( Maharaj) who prepared full meal twice a day in our home kitchen.On Sunday morning 'Feast' was served and no food in the evening. Food was good or atleast would taste good for few days. But we got used to it and i had no problem with eating in 'Guju mess' in KEM hostel. In mid seventy we closed the hospital and moved to 7 bunglows, Andheri. Now problem started.

  We looked for Maharaj. There were few working in JVPD,but they would not like to come to-then faaar away Versova. In those days there were very few societies in 7 Bunglows,4 Bunglows so it was really difficult to get cook. Problem was solved by our 24 hrs maid- who had to help my wife in cooking anyway. Now she was given additional charge of cooking besides looking after my daughter,jhadu-pota and washing utensils. She was good worker and was from my wife's 'maike ka gaon',so for entertainment she would constantly argue with my wife. But we were free from looking after home and children. She took good care of children and younger one was almost raised by her.Besides she was good cook. For those 8 yrs we could concentrate on our Hospital practice. She left us when her son got married and she had to take house in Dahisar for them. She wanted to relax and enjoy life with her grandchildren.

  By now our area was well developed one and one could get Marathi Bai as house maid who would cook as well. Few of them had graduated to do only cooking. One could get Bai to come and roll out 'Chapatis' - most difficult and tiresome part of cooking.( How i wish that we could get 'Rotis' or 'Chapatis' as in USA.). But we had got used to 24 hrs maid who would cook for us. This continued till mid Nineties when one day the maid left suddenly and we had to do ALL the work in the house. We had tough week or so as we had to do everything and also look after hospital patients. Then we decided to adopt policy of 'Divide and Rule'- i.e. divide the work. Have one person for only one job. So we had 24 hrs bai, another one  for Jhadu Pota, one for washing utensils and 'Maharaj' for cooking.

  There was one advantage with Maharaj. They knew cooking !! Taste was always good. They could prepare different dishes and cuisines. Now we could get all those Farsans-Dhokla,muthia,kachori,Samosa...- and Mithai prepared at home. He could prepare Chinese,Thai, Italian food BUT ONLY VEG. Jain yes but not even eggs. We couldn't  prepare eggs for breakfast if he was around. Disadvantage was that he wouldn't listen to Home Minister. He would prepare food as he knows it. You want different taste, then prepare yourself. He was always in hurry, so any additional item was pain for him. and worst thing, since his family is in Gaon, he would take long holidays 2-3 times in a year.He would give substitute Maharaj, but substitute Maharaj was doing this work in addition to his normal workload, there was severe time constrain for new Maharaj,who would simply not turn up at your place. This sudden disappearance would destroy our schedule for the day and we had to rush home to get cooking done from other servants-remember divide and Rule !!. besides each visit to Gaon would be preceded by 'Advance' which was to be deducted from his pay when he returns. This advance amount would slowly mount to a level when you know that now you are never going to get money and he may leave work if we demand often. Come the 21st Century and our Maharaj decided to go to Gaon for small family problem. From there he phoned that his Son is getting married and he is building new 'Home.' By this time we had also got tired of managing with 'Locum" Maharaj( He was 5th or 6th one in a year). Children had left-Daughter got married and Son left for US. We used to travel to US and stay there for extended period. Hospital was looked after by Daughter so we decided to change track.

 We had learned doing Household work in our private 'San Jose University-USA'( Son's Home). Now even i could make normal daily food. Since it was prepared by me,taste didn't matter. Wife is good cook. In US we got used to packaged cut Vegetables,Rotiland or Kawans Rotis and Parathas. So we asked our Ayah bai( Mausi) of the hospital to come home after her duty hours to cut Vegetables and roll out few Rotis. My wife would put masala or instruct her  what to add and wait till food is cooked. For variation we could always order from numerous restaurants in Andheri-west,where 'Free Home Delivery' is norm.

After five years of this bliss, now this 'Cook' has given notice and....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vodafone Case

Today I was watching 'Big Fight' on NDTV. it was on Retrospective amendment that the Govt. has brought after losing Vodafone case in Supreme Court. The retrospective effect extends to year 1962. One of the Panelist was Lord Swaraj Paul, MP from UK. He repetedly said that one must not bother about effect on one company. Govt. has right to amend Law with retrospective effect and all the Govts. of the World do so at some time or other. He misses an important point. It is not about the amendment.

I am born in Independent India in 1947. My entire life i believed that India is free and Democratic country. Preamble of our constitution says that Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are my Basic rights. Shorn of Legal Jargon what it means is that all the Citizens of India are equal and have Equal rights, whatever may be their Social,Political,Financial status.

In other words if I have a Dispute with Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, I have right to seek justice and I can appeal in the Court Of Law. Courts will decide the Case on Merit. If Supreme Court gives judgement in my favor, than it will be accepted by Rahul Gandhi and Soniaji ( I am sure they would) and that Judgement is binding on all the Citizens of India,All the Panchayats,all the Municipal Corporations, State and Central Govts.,Armed Forces and even President Of India who has appointed the Judges.

In Vodaone case, after receiving adverse judgement, Govt. amended the law & retrospective effect was to overturn the judgement of Supreme Court. This has Shaken my Faith and Pride that India is Democratic country where everyone is equal before the majesty of Law. I know many will say that it is Crap,BS. When I was in collage I had read ' In High Places' by Arther Hailey, which shows actual working of Govt. behind all these lofty slogans and phrases. But on this the nation works. These are all ideals but people stake their life for. Honor, Duty are also such phrases for which armed forces sacrifice their lives.

This year Govt. has once again reversed an unfavorable Judicial Verdict by stroke of Pen.
Indira Gandhi did it in 1975 after Allahabad High court judgement and imposed Emergency.
Rajeev Gandhi did it in 1986 after Shah Bano case judgement and passed Muslim Women Act. he lost the next election.
This Govt. has done it in Vodafone case after adverse judgement.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Do Indians have management Gene?

if you go anywhere in India, you will notice large number of people milling around. There is sort of chaos and everything appears to be in state of mess. If it's some official work then you will not have idea where to go for what. There will be disorderly queues in front of windows and one can see people just joining in anywhere. Near the window there will be jostling and 3-4 people crowding around the window-even in Bank Teller window. One misses the orderliness of Europe or US. Education has nothing to do with this. Bhaidas and Mangeshkar halls are main venue for Cultural programmes for Gujratis and Maharastrian elite in Mumbai Suburb. But jostling one faces to get Vada and Tea at these places during Interval is horrible. No one would stand in line but crowd around the counter shouting their orders!! But blame is due mainly to Management of these places as they are not strict about this. So much so that even Subway and mcDonalds have complete chaos in Mumbai against orderly manner in which they operate in US. There is some problem with Indian Psyche-may be we dont have this Gene in our system,. Why do i say this ? When I travel from San Fransisco to Mumbai via Atlanta or JFK- at San San Francisco airport there is orderliness. At Atlanta/JFK Indians wont follow instructions, form a queue before boarding is announced. would try to board when their rows are not announced and they are requested to step aside near the Gate. At European Airport this is so pronounced that lone Indian Ground air hostess gets exasperated and finally free boarding is allowed after Business Class/ Women-Children boarding. In the isle of the plane there is complete chaos.

Today was Voting Day for Local municipal Election. E.C. is independent and has conducted free and fair voting. But Electoral Rolls prepared by them are so full of mistakes. My address is wrong for last 17 years with 4-5 enumeration done by visits to my Residence by Enumerator ( Who is atleast High School graduate). Today I have voted in election, i stay in A wing of my building. My name was in B wing list and address noted was C wing/Flat No.**. Now how can a high school grad can prepare a Roll this way is beyond me. Most likely he doesnt care. He is doing this job as stop gap work till he finds some other good permanent job.So one finds news item that Film maker Gulzar's name is missing!! he should have gone through that entire booklet, his Name would be there is some other building or apartment complex.

we are spending crores ( billions) on Unique I. D. (U.I.D) number. Scheme developed by Infosys Nilanakani. For my Residence proof, I have give Ration Card as proof. Recently when I submitted same as residence Proof for cell Phone, I was informed that Ration Card and Driving License are no longer accepted as Residence Proof.! You need Electricity/ Landline telephone or Bank pass book as proof!. How strong is my U.I.D. if its based on ration card as proof.

so it goes on. When it comes to Implementation and setting a system,Indians fall short. We lack something and we cant do it properly as is done by Germans,Japs,Brits and even Uncle Sam.---PK