gfiles magazine

October 23, 2013

jignesh shah | Unfit and improper

nsel jignesh shah
Unfit and improper
Yet, ‘Operation Rescue Jignesh Shah’ seems to be in full force, orchestrated by his friends in high places
By Neeraj Mahajan

WITH the Rs 5,600-crore NSEL scam out in the open, the issue now is whether Shah should be given a ‘fit and proper’ certificate to run the spot exchange. If he does not get this certificate, not
only will Jignesh be unable to run NSEL, he will be debarred from running the MCX and MCX-SX too. But it seems that efforts are on to camouflage the scam and confuse the issue to such an extent that he gets the certificate. This will mean a victory for him, despite the unearthing of the scam that has rocked the nation. Clearly, if you are Shah, even Isaac Newton’s law of gravity –What goes up must come down – does not apply. Whatever the official stand, privately, everyone in the government, regulators and the investors do not want Shah to be harmed. The investors’ point of view is that, if anything happens to him, they might never recover their money. “Good or bad, Jignesh is an approachable face of FTIL group. If anything happens to him, BSE,
NSE and the brokers will be affected,” Sharad Saraf, the convenor of NSEL Investors Forum, told gfiles. Read More....

sanjay kothari | ‘Do what you can do, serve the people’

sanjay kothari secretary, administrative reforms & public grievances
‘Do what you can do,serve the people’
There was a time when government officials and the public, the rulers and the ruled, distrusted each other, but not anymore. Today, the government is taking great pains to change the typical bureaucratic mindset and churn -out young officers with a can-do attitude. All this is sure to change the perception about anything official, sarkari and red-tapism, says Sanjay Kothari, Secretary, Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances. Excerpts from an interview by Anil Tyagi and Neeraj Mahajan.

gfiles: What is the basic idea behind the administrative reforms that your ministry is
trying to implement?

Kothari: The basic idea is that whatever reforms or whatever steps we are taking should reach
the common man. For that we feel that there should be an attitudinal change. The Administrative Reforms Commission has given 1,200 very thorough and concrete recommendations on all kinds of subjects. About 1,000 of them have been accepted and 600 have been implemented. The main issue before us was, does the impact Read More.....

madhya pradesh | Fissures in BJP’s citadel

elections madhya pradesh
Fissures in BJP's citadel

While the BJP, as of now, looks likely to score a hat-trick in MP, the Congress seems to be closing the gap under the leadership of Jyotiraditya Scindia
By Puneet Nicholas Yadav

A decade after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) romped to power in Madhya Pradesh (MP), riding on a massive antiincumbency wave against the then Digvijay Singh-led Congress government, come November, the saffron party will defend its citadel in the face of a rapidly resurgent adversary. Pollsters in New Delhi have, as is evident from the various recently aired opinion polls, predicted a third consecutive, comprehensive win for the BJP—a second under Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan Read More......

jindal group | Chickens come to roost for Jindal

coal scam jindal group
Chickens come to roost for Jindal
Coalgate and other scams smear Navin Jindal’s white marble-engraved image, while putting a question mark on the rapid growth of the MP’s business empire
By Naresh Minocha

AGNI (fire) is pure and a great generator for all creations to happen. Just as adhering to the sanctity and sacredness of the holy fire can purify us from negative karmas, similarly, imbibing qualities like integrity and loyalty help us keep a self-check and do what is right,” says natural resources tycoon-cumparliamentarian Naveen Jindal’s flagship company, Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL). When JSPL gave a philosophical touch to the five elements of the Universe — Bhoomi (earth), Agni (fire), Aakash (sky), Jal (water) and Vayu (air) — to explain ‘The Jindal Way’ of doing business in its annual report for 2011-12, it hardly visualised that Naveen Jindal would face ‘agni pariksha’ to prove his corporate and personal integrity.

Kleptocratic India The enemy is within!

corruption mg devasahayam
Kleptocratic India The enemy is within!
The Supreme Court talks of the “unholy nexus between lawmakers, lawkeepers, and lawbreakers”, clearly indicating that a Statesponsored kleptocracy runs the country

THE existence of an octopus-like mafia in the financial arena is no secret. That it has gone to kleptocratic extremes has been vividly brought out in the gfiles cover story of September (Loot in name of the farmer). The ‘embedded bureaucrats’ listed in the write-up have been conspiring to sell ‘bloated air’ to fleece the farmers and small investors of their flesh and bones. It is extremely distressing to see that some of the names Read More...

Haryana Hooda | Reinless Hooda

Reinless Hooda
With Haryana assembly polls due next year, the focus is on the alleged corrupt land deals and nepotism charges against the Hooda government
By Narendra Kaushik

WILL Haryana Chief Minister Bhupender Singh Hooda go the Laloo Yadav way? The alleged rampant corruption and policies implemented to favour builders and business houses have cast
a shadow on Hooda’s image. The Indian National Lok Dal’s (INLD) Om Prakash Chautala and Ajay Chautala are in jail for the teachers’ recruitment scam, the BJP does not have much influence in Haryana, the Haryana Janhit Congress’ Kuldeep Bishnoi is trying to hold on to father Bhajan Lal’s legacy, and it appears that there is no major political threat to the Hooda regime as of now. This safe zone has allegedly made Hooda despotic in Haryana. Read More....

'Official language and literature are worlds apart'

v k baranwal
MOST Government servants tend to lose their sense of identity and passion after retirement because they have nothing better to do. This does not apply to VK Baranwal, who retired as Chief Commissioner, Income Tax (Mumbai). He is now doing something he always wanted to do but could never find time for: writing. He always loved creative writing but had to suppress his skills while in service. Now, of course, there are no restraints. Imagine an income tax officer writing three books on historical figures like Jinnah: Ek Punardrishti on Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Mahatma Gandhi and Sir Syed Ahmad Khan while in service! Though he got a President’s Award as a writer, the overall response in the service was not very good. But the reviews and comments by critics on TV channels and in the vernacular press more than made up for it. Read More...

Slovenia: Heritage of camaraderie

bilateral diary
Slovenia: Heritage of camaraderie
The role played by parliamentary delegations in building bridges of understanding between nations often goes unnoticed and unacknowledged since it is difficult to measure in pecuniary terms the impact of these goodwill visits on bilateral trade, commerce, culture and politics
By Devender Singh
GIRDLED by the Adriatic Sea, Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, Slovenia is a small nascent republic, carved out of the erstwhile Yugoslavia in 1991. Its riveting scenic landscape – the Alps, rills and rivulets, lakes, caves and castles – served as an ideal retreat for Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the formative days of the Non-Aligned Movement. He confabulated and conferred with Marshal Joseph Broz Tito here, which today is one of the five republics after the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Read More..

When the saints go marching in

all-india services (rajasthan) pensioners association
When the saints go marching in
By Shailaja Chandra
FOR as long as I can recall, retired officers have settled down in smaller cities like Jaipur, Pune, Indore and Bhopal. Even after apartment living became an option, smaller cities continue to hold charm; the prospect of a laid-back lifestyle, a garden dotted with winter flowers, and the enjoyment of eating homegrown vegetables sounds like a recipe for contentment. But, unforeseen by some, the need for support systems surfaces as the years pass. This article describes the challenges that older Read More...

A happy workplace is

workplace dalip singh
A happy workplace is
a healthy workplace
The differentiator is not IQ, but EQ – the ability to lead with empathy
YOUR emotional quotient (EQ) can make your workplace happy and healthy. Intrapersonal and interpersonal skills fall broadly under the domain of Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is not a fuzzy term anymore. People who know their emotions can manage their own disruptive emotions, understand the emotional underpinnings of other people and can use that knowledge to create better relationships Read More....

The myth called Narendra Modi

persona mk kaw
The myth called Narendra Modi
All authoritarian despots have historically started as strong men and ended as dictators. Let us not allow history to repeat itself!
THE media has always been powerful. Even in the past, there have been myths created by the media— of superhuman heroes with feet firmly rooted in the soil and head soaring high into the infinite azure sky. And for some time, these creatures of the media have fooled the masses. But, even in the past, it was realised that you can fool some people all the time and all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. Today, the media has become seemingly all-powerful. And, with the emergence of the electronic media and the internet and the social media, a David can be projected as a Goliath overnight. But there is one tiny snag with creations of magic. Read More...

Godmen also need some regulation

public interest amitabh thakur
Godmen also need some regulation

The very act of taking money or other financial resources from the people makes astrologers and Godmen some kind of professional entitiesmen and ended as dictators. Let us not allow history to repeat itself!

RECENTLY I, along with my wife, Nutan, filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Allahabad High Court, Lucknow bench, with a prayer to direct the Government of India to frame suitable policies, including forming a council or professional body, consisting completely of astrologers, at national, state and regional levels, to regulate and control their trade. The proposed body will evaluate their genuineness and fitness to practise Read More...

A stroll in the park

wildlife ranthambore
A stroll in the park
A day with the tiger family – father, mother and their three cubs – at Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan Text & Photographs: Shatabdi Chakrabarti
The father cools himself in a water tank built by the forest department in the Ranthambore forest (below). Known to be aggressive, the male tiger has been reported to have charged at vehicles that have gone too close to him. His three cubs roam around the forest in a group (left). The bond between the three is strong at this point of time although they have developed their respective individual streaks. The three cubs with their mother (bottom).

The cubs show their individuality at this water tank. The one standing (left) was seen to be spending time on his own during the day. Here too, he opted to leave the tank and sit in the shade of a tree nearby, trying to catch a butterfly Read More....

The grounding of Air India

corporate non-fiction
The grounding of Air India
By K Subramaniam
AIR India’s descent from the iconic status it enjoyed more than three decades ago to becoming a pale shadow of its former self, is perhaps unparalleled in the annals of the corporate world. The journey of Air India, the country’s first company with a global footprint, into virtual oblivion has not Read More...

Worship of the feminine

gender sadhguru
Worship of the feminine
THE worship of the feminine has been the most ancient form of worship on the planet, widespread not just in India, but in Europe, Arabia and large parts of Africa. Unfortunately, in the West, goddess temples were razed to the ground in a concerted attempt to wipe out all traces of so-called paganism, polytheism Read More...

Temporary cheer

dr gs sood
Temporary cheer
THE market greeted the youthful RBI governor with all-round cheer by showing an impressive rally of 10 per cent, the rupee recovering by a sharp 10 per cent, trade deficit recording its lowest figure in the past four months and so on, simply due to his sharp understanding of the economy and financial markets. All this probably got support from abroad with FIIs buying to the tune of US$2 billion worth of Indian stock backed by Read More...

Applicants and supplicants the way
 Applicants and supplicants
Posts in the Central Information Commission (CIC) are much in demand after the demitting of office by Chief Information Commissioner Satyanand Mishra. The CIC is short of five Information Commissioners. The jobs come with all the perks and status of Election Commissioners. Naturally there are a lot of claimants. And, for the first time, an Indian Information Service officer, Deepak Read More....

Hooda and chum the way
Hooda and chum
It has been observed that every Chief Minister runs his State with a coterie of confidant political colleagues. Haryana is no exception. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also runs his government with the help of his childhood friend and his officers’ coterie. Hooda holds charge of around 18 ministries, including those which deal with Country and Town Planning. It has been observed over nine years, that Hooda’s Read More...

Plum posting backfires the way
Plum posting backfires
Sometimes, bureaucrats dial a wrong number for getting a plum posting and that may result in a messed-up future. This recently happened to an IAS officer, who hails from the Punjab cadre. He wanted to get a good posting and he got it as a Joint Secretary in the Urban Development Ministry under the stewardship of Kamal Nath. But everybody knows Kamal Nath is a no-nonsense minister; he needs results and that too quickly. Patience is not his forte. Career bureaucrats work in their own style, which sometimes does not synchronise with the speed of  Read More...

Class of ‘80 the way

Class of ‘80
IAS officers of the 1980 batch will start getting postings as Secretary in the Government of India in October, or latest by November. No doubt, it is a very happy moment for a career bureaucrat. Having started their careers at the age of 22, it is no doubt the dream for all to become a Secretary in the Government. The paradox is that the 1980 batch will take the reins of power at a time when India is going in for five state assembly elections and a general election next year. At this juncture in time, Read More

Destiny’s child?

lines & signs
Destiny’s child?

roses all the way for hooda

THERE’S a saying that you can’t fight with fate. The classic destiny’s child is Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. He has been bestowed a life of roses. He is an accomplished man, whether in politics or with regard to his family. The one-time protégé of Ghulam Nabi Azad and Birendra Singh is now the all-powerful Congress Chief Minister of Haryana. He is in direct touch with Rahul Gandhi and all the powers that be in 10 Janpath. His proximity to 10 Janpath has made Hooda a changed politician. Many Congress party leaders are surprised at this, marvelling at the transformation since the days when he used to sit on a sofa for hours at a Mother Teresa Road house. Hooda has also shifted his loyalties.Read More....

Diamonds and Rajnath

lines & signs
Diamonds and Rajnath

a gift a day…

BJP President Rajnath Singh seems to be following Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, literally as well as metaphorically, since he announced the latter’s name as the party’s prime ministerial candidate. While Modi is enthralling his party workers around the country, the ‘wily’ (an adjective borrowed from Advani’s letter) Thakur has partymen and businessmen vying for his attention at home and elsewhere. The traders and saffronites are trying to curry favour with the BJP chief and they turn up with all kinds of ultra-expensive gifts, which may well draw tax sleuths to Singh’s door at a later date. A wrapped-up diamond plate, handed over to Singh by controversial diamond merchant Read More...

Joshi, the new patriarch

lines & signs
Joshi, the new patriarch

temporary bonhomie?
LAL Krishna Advani’s vehement opposition to Narendra Modi’s candidature for prime ministership has raised the stock of his bête noire, Murli Manohar Joshi, in the party. The former HRD minister was initially in sync with Advani on the issue, but changed his mind at the 11th hour. There is a buzz that the change of mind had to do with the patriarchal status the party bestowed on him in place of Advani at the time of Modi’s anointment. Joshi was in Varanasi on September 13. The party arranged a special plane to fly Read More....

Lalu squats to win over

lines & signs
Lalu squats to win over

ordinance troubles

IT seems nobody is better than Lalu Prasad Yadav when it comes to getting Sonia Gandhi on board in a dubious deal. The Bihar strongman apparently had a meeting with the Congress President, after which the latter fell in line with her government on taking the ordinance route to protect convicted netas from losing their seats. This was before Rahul Gandhi publicly tore into the ordinance at a press conference at the New Delhi Press Club. It transpires that the former railway minister squatted on the ground before Sonia and played the secular card to plead his case for the ordinance, now withdrawn. He told her that his possible incarceration in the fodder scam case would add to the BJP’s advantage in Bihar. The saffron party, Lalu warned Read more..