Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Northeast - the epicentre of the second Green Revolution !

Here is another interesting article on Agriculture.…/story-jzP7Hsb9n5Swhzdb6jvt9…

Mr. Mukesh Aghi, President of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) will host a meeting with US Department of Agriculture under-secretary for farm and foreign agricultural service Michael Scuse, to discuss about ushering the sequel of the GREEN REVOLUTION to ensure long term food security for India.

Sadly the article has no mention of the Northeast. Northeast, despite its enormous potential for agricultural growth, has sadly remained absent from the green revolution of the sixties as well — largely due to sustained apathy from the Centre and lack of enterprise on the part of its state governments. 

This mindset has to change.

Northeast is liberally endowed with deep fertile topsoil, copious water and plentiful sunlight. The eastern zone of the country for instance, possesses nearly 46% of the country’s entire water resources but uses only 3% of that for crop irrigation. We have seen positive changes in recent years. As per some news reports, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh seem to have turned to food surplus regions. 

Can the Centre make Northeast the epic-centre of the second Green Revolution especially for high-volume low-value commodities such as rice, and high value citrus commodities. The north-western zone (Punjab, Haryana etc) and parts of the South are facing dwindling water reserves and are not ideal for high-volume low-value commodities like rice and wheat. They can instead focus on low-volume high-value crops. The sooner this policy shift takes place, the better it will be for balanced agricultural growth in India.

We, in Assam, should therefore raise our voices, write articles and form lobbies to bring in the second Green Revolution to Assam and the Northeast.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Are Bangladeshi Muslims in particular and Islam in general, significant problems in Assam?

Assam is being gripped by a fear of existentialism.

It is being widely perceived and discussed that the Assamese identity is in question, and in a few decades Assam will not belong to the Assamese. The biggest perceived threat being the immigration of Bangladeshi Muslims and their reproduction rates. One learned Assamese gentleman told me yesterday that "he knows a Muslim family with 22 children". He further adds that "'their' grandfathers and grandchildren become fathers at the same time, in the same hospital. We are getting outnumbered and at this rate, we won't survive another 15 years".

This is becoming a significant public belief and explains why the BJP is gaining traction in the traditional Assamese bastion. With a record 7 out of 14 MP seats in the states, BJP is busy making it the most significant political problem. Leaders from the largest and the most respected student organisation, AASU - that had given birth to the regional political party AGP, are now joining the BJP. RSS and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad are gaining popularity in the grassroots creating Hindu awareness along with fundamentalism and 'Muslim hysteria'.

The fear of existentialism and of the diminishing Assamese identity is leading our societies into a socio-political paranoia, where societies are getting polarised and religion is playing the role of a colonial power dividing the mostly ignorant masses; where propaganda rules the minds and rationalism is booted out of the door. It goes without saying that it benefits the power centres and the 'rich' that powers the power centres.

The tragedy is that religion is so intrinsic to us that it overwhelms reason and analytical thinking.
  • It does not matter that it will take 200 years for Muslims to catch up with Hindu population with the current Hindu - Muslim growth rate in India, by when India's population will be 5 times the current global population!
  • It is not discussed that the Muslim growth rate has declined in the last decade and that the total fertility rate (no. of births per woman) of Muslims is lower than the illiterate and the poorest fifth of the Indian population (National Family Health Survey). Or that the annual growth rate of Muslim population is slower than the growth rate of Bihar as a state.
  • We do not get to read that Bangladesh with more than 90% Muslim population has a total fertility rate (TFR), which is not only lower than India, but also lower than India's Hindu population.
  • The year on year growth rate of Muslims in Assam is similar to India, and shows no sign of the supposedly humongous Bangladeshi infiltration that is becoming the most significant issue in Assam overwhelming all other concerns that the state is crippled with.
The tragedy is that Assam is becoming blind to its real problems. Assam today represents a unique juxtaposition of backwardness amidst plenty. The per capita income in Assam in 1950 was higher than that in India. It became 40% lower than that in India by the year 2000-2001. We the Assamese people are not bothered that the growth rate of the economy of Assam has always been lower than the national average. During the 6th Plan period, Assam experienced a negative growth rate of -3.78% against a national growth rate of 6%.

There is a complete lack of a manufacturing sector. There is no private sector, or an environment that promotes the private sector creating jobs for the youth. There is severe power shortage in the state and that puts businesses at a disadvantage. Out of the requirement of around 1400 MW, Assam produces around 260 MW only.

Youths are dropping out from their studies after completing class XII to either join ITIs or to just despair over uselessness of a graduation degree. Almost every other family has lost money giving bribe to secure jobs for their wards. There is a large scale urban migration where Assamese graduates are taking up unskilled jobs like security guards, waiters and factory labour outside of Assam. Needless to say that the best and the brightest minds are also moving out in search of suitable jobs, probably faster than the others. Parents are encouraging this mass exodus with a belief that their children will have a better life outside Assam.

This is creating a knowledge vacuum in the state, which is therefore unable to leverage economic opportunities presented by the globalised world economy in terms of easier trade and information exchanges. None of the new business booms - outsourcing, IT, pharma, FMCG, could even start in Assam. All this is leading to a complete collapse of work culture and a lack of faith that it is possible to achieve a good life in Assam among the Assamese.

Unfortunately, Assam is primarily worried about Bangladeshis, Muslims and their apparent threat to Assamese identity. For argument sake, let us assume that Lord Mountbatten had not agreed to Mohd. Ali Jinnah's two nation theory, and Bangladesh stayed as East Bengal and an integral part of India. Then the Bengali Muslim of East Bengal could have freely come to Assam for better livelihood, or for whatever other reasons. What would have happened to Assamese identity then? Going by the present day Hindu logic, Assam would have become a Muslim majority state by now. It seems that Assamese culture and identity is so fragile that we are surviving only because of what Lord Mountbatten, PM Clement Attlee and the then British Government did 68 years back in 1947! The reality is that Assamese culture and identity has developed and survived over centuries and would have survived the last 68 years as well, if Bangladesh remained as East Bengal. The creation of Bangladesh is largely immaterial to the fate of Assamese identity. In fact, it may only prove to be beneficial.

Bangladesh as a country is doing phenomenally well in terms of economic growth and human development. The real growth rate adjusted for inflation of Bangladesh is 6.1% against 3.2% of India. It is now known as a textile capital of the world. In terms of purchasing power parity as a % of GDP, Bangladesh (9th) ranks higher than India (16%). (A nation's GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States. This is the measure most economists prefer when looking at per-capita welfare and when comparing living conditions or use of resources across countries.)

If we look at measures of human development such as life expectancy, child survival, proportion of girls to boys in secondary education, Bangladesh comes out ahead of India. As Christine Hunter, UN representative says, “Gender equality is good for economic growth and good for human development. That is really part of what explains the quite remarkable achievements in Bangladesh”. 88% of women are literate in Bangladesh, compared to 68% of women in India, even though the overall adult literacy is lower in Bangladesh (59%) as compared to India (63%). Around 36% of women were in paid jobs in Bangladesh in 2010, up from just 14% in 1990. By comparison, female employment in India has gone backwards from 37% in 2004-5 to 29% in 2009. (ILO data)

I wonder what the Hindu juggernaut in India has to say about such improvement in women development and gender equality in a Muslim country!

If VISA rules are relaxed in Bangladesh for Indians (VISA on arrival for instance), I won't be surprised if Assamese flock to the textile factories in Bangladesh for daily wages. Going by the current statistics of development, it may not be so unrealistic to assume that there will be reverse migration to Bangladesh from Assam.

Even if we assume that the Muslim population is a threat to the majority mainstream Assamese population, however absurd it sounds; then we have to discuss the solution to the threat by understanding the cause of the shift in population trends. We will find that the root cause is again a lack of a work culture (problem of plenty), Assamese leadership (brain drain) and the empty paddy fields lying un-used by the mainstream Assamese population. What we need is socio - economic leadership along with political leadership mandated by the election process. Socio-economic leadership in the field of economics, trade, manufacturing, culture, language et al will keep alive the mainstream Assamese identity and bring in automatic conversions among the masses from the other identities.

In my world view, therefore, Bangladeshi Muslims in particular and Islam in general are not the most significant problems facing the state of Assam. The most significant problem in Assam is the complete and continuing lack of economic progress. A stronger economy increases disposable income, and which in turn patronises culture, language and religion. Unless we create a agricultural cum manufacturing revolution in Assam creating jobs for the youth, improving per capita income and bringing in a positive outlook towards life, Assam will surely face tough times ahead.

A poor economy always faces increasing pressure in terms of supply and demand of essential products and services. Religion, caste and tribal differences brew in such a poorer economy. Fragmentation and feudal behaviour are imminent dangers in a poor economy. Businesses and trade gets controlled by richer societies from across the borders.

Unity is the casualty. Peace becomes the martyr. Culture is long dead by then.

All of us residing in Assam should immediately pledge to have a single focus - to revive the economy. Even a small retail shop contributes to the economy. We have to become entrepreneurs, leverage Assam's advantages and natural resources to start businesses and kickstart the private sector. We must forget the Bangladeshi problem for a while to take Assam into the xonali (golden) path of development, progress and peace.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Death Penalty can kill, even you.

I was a bit disturbed after reading this Indian Express article on our NSA Mr. Ajit Doval's lecture where he defended the 'Death Penalty'. I had tweeted a few of my observations which I want to share in my blog as well.

Click here for the Article

Mr. Ajit Doval, who decides what is in the larger interest of the nation. You may have killed rightfully, the right person, but 1/n

Mr. Ajit Doval, somebody else may misuse death penalty to kill enemies. If the penalty didn't exist, Bhagat Singh would have been alive. 2/n

Mr Ajit Doval, if the penalty wasn't there, the prisoners of sepoy mutiny would have survived. They were bombed by canons in an enclosure 3/n

Mr Ajit Doval, Bhagawat Geeta refers to killing in the battle field. wasn't condemning the killings in Gurdaspur or Myanmar 4/n

Mr Ajit Doval, since you spoke of scriptures, no scripture mentions about 'unjustified tolerance'. You did. In fact tolerance makes us human 5/n

Mr Ajit Doval, anything an American President says is not necessarily right. We are the keepers of our own conscience. 6/n

Mr Ajit Doval is trained in security. They are brainwashed to have no feelings about killing an enemy, if he is told who is the enemy. 7/7

NSA Ajit Doval, death penalty has no religion and no parties. It can come to every religion and every party depending on who is in power.

Please comment or visit my twitter profile if you agree with my analysis.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Like mother, like son - Varun Gandhi's arguments against Capital Punishment.

I had to copy this brilliant article arguing against capital punishment from Outlook. It is written by Former BJP General Secretary Feroze Varun Gandhi, MP from Sultanpur, UP.

Three points that clearly came out of arguments that support banning of capital punishment are as follows:

  1. Capital punishment is not a deterrent. It is rare, takes a long time to implement and has no statistical relation to crime rates relating to terrorism, murder etc.
  2. Judges are not super computers programmed to deliver justice following a fool-proof algorithm. They are normal human beings with socio cultural baggages and orientation. They can never be objective and consistent in choosing a particular punishment for a particular degree of crime. 
  3. So there are potent opportunities that capital punishment can be used to take revenge, or kill enemies. Like the Romans killed Jesus Christ. Like Sepoy Mutiny prisoners were bombed in 1857.
I support banning of capital punishment in favour of alternative punishments that the criminals need to experience and therefore abhor.

The Article:

The Noose Casts A Shameful Shadow.
Do away with the death sentence. It’s vengeance legalised.

The death penalty has historically enabled tyranny. King Hammurabi of Babylon (1800 BC) codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes, omitting murder. By the 7th century BC, the Draconian code of Athens offered death for every crime committed, while the Roman Law of the Twelve Tablets codified it, crucifying Jesus Christ by 29 AD. Britain, influencing its colonies, encouraged hanging from the gallows, while beheading was acceptable for the upper classes. Under Henry VIII’s reign, 72,000 people were put to death—either boiled, or burnt on a stake. By the 18th century, 222 crimes—felling a tree included—were punishable by death. In 1857, when the British retook Kanpur, the soldiers took their sepoy prisoners to the Bibighar and “blew them from the cannon”. The ina trials of Shahnawaz Khan, Gur­baksh Singh Dhillon and Prem Sahgal (1945), held at the Red Fort, sought death for waging war against the king. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were sentenced to death in the Lahore conspiracy case on March 24, 1931. All through history, there have always been tyrants, murderers and regents, and they have sought invincibility through death.
Indian courts sentenced 64 people to death in 2014, ranking it in the top 10 of 55 countries where such sentences were handed out last year. Ever since the Supreme Court ordered in 1983 that the death penalty be used only in the “rarest of rare” cases, India has imposed a near-moratorium on capital punishment. In India, a man can come undone  waiting for capital punishment. Our institutional machinery for death is plagued with delays and arbitrariness. Of India’s 300 people on death row, many have ‘waited’ for years. The utility of the death penalty is proving quite anachronistic.

How rare is rarest?

The hangman is a disgrace to any civilised country. Beyond its ethics, a basic unpredictability makes capital punishment a social evil. Take the “rarest of the rare” principle. India’s criminal justice system lacks a critical definition of what constitutes the rarest of rare cases, leaving it to the discretion of the judge’s conscience and socio-political beliefs. The endgame is a lethal lottery. Consider the Harbans Singh versus State of UP  case (1982), in which three persons were awarded the death penalty, with appeals going before three different benches of the Supreme Court and each bench pronouncing a dramatically different sentence. This rationale of rating the proportionality of the crime and its aggravating circumstances cannot be objectively decided. A state of contradiction and confusion surrounds the jurisprudence of the death penalty in India.
We cannot guarantee accuracy in judgements. A study by Columbia University of 5,760 cases (between 1973-1995) reveals an error rate of 70 per cent in capital punishment verdicts. In India, an erroneous “condition precedent” has been established (Ravji alias Ram Chandra versus State of Rajasthan) leading to further sentences being capital punishments that, in spirit, ran contrary to the dictum of ‘rarest of rare’, which is the cornerstone of capital punishment in India (as established under the Bachan Singh versus State of Punjab case). This humongous mistake was acknowledged when former judges of the SC and HCs wrote to the president to commute the death sentence of 13 convicts, as the punishment was accorded on a flawed application of the law. With the ethical principle of in dubio pro reo (when in doubt, favour the accused) compromised, mistakes could become the norm rather than the unacceptable exception. In India, custodial abuse is widespread, and wrongful convictions are not impossible. The irrevocability of the capital punishment allows for no correction of wrongful convictions. Human error will not be undone.

The tilt in the scales
Capital punishment can have a socio-economic bias too. In the US, 56 per cent of death row inmates are black or Hispanic. Although racial minorities comprise half of all murder victims nationwide, 77 per cent of the victims in capital convictions were white (Death Penalty Information Center). In India, 75 per cent of the convicts on death row belong to the socially and economically marginalised classes; 94 per cent of death row convicts are Dalits or from the minorities. The poor consistently get the short end of the legal stick. The death penalty is a consequence of poor legal representation and institutional bias. The gallows remain a poor man’s trap.

Achieving Deterrence
With so few actually hanged, the death penalty’s rarity has essentially failed to achieve deterrence. Research has consistently failed to establish direct correlation between the death penalty and deterrence. A National Research Council study (2012) finds that 88 per cent of criminologists believe that the death penalty is not a deterrent. The conviction rate for rape in India is 27 per cent, assuming the case makes it to trial. When the certainty of punishment is so low, a death penalty at the end of a long and tedious process is no deterrent. In a landmark judgement in January 2014, the Supreme Court noted that an “undue, inordinate and unreasonable delay in execution of the death sentence amounted to torture’.
Albert Camus put it this way: “For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. Why? Because the instincts that are warring in man are not, as the law claims, constant forces in a state of equilibrium.” Historically, the threat of punishment by death (during Roman and British colonial times, for example) has not prevented determined men from committing violence. For such men, death is only “a momentary spectacle, and therefore a less efficacious method of deterring others, than the continued example of a man deprived of his liberty.”

On Social Morality
The Dhamma leaves no grey areas around capital punishment. Buddhism's first precept advocates that individuals should abstain from killing or injuring all living creatures. Hinduism and Jainism, with belief in karma, encourage non-violence towards human beings, animals and even insects. The Italian jurist Cesare Beccaria (On Crimes and Punishment, 1767) theorised that there was no justification for the taking of life by the state, with the death penalty “a war of a whole nation against a citizen, whose destruction they consider as necessary, or useful to the general good.”
George Bernard Shaw said the idea that society must punish and exact vengeance is incorrect. This primitive idea of justice is essentially legalised revenge, and expiation through sacrifice. To compensate for injustice, provide closure to the victims’ kin, suffering should ideally be inflicted on the wrongdoer for the sake of its deterrent value, so goes the argument. But this utilitarian approach corrupts the whole justice system. The shedding of blood cannot be balanced by an equivalent of guilty blood. In the US, the death penalty is sought in two per cent of intentional homicide cases, with actual award occurring in just one per cent. Out of that, in nearly two-thirds of the cases, the penalty is reversed on appeal. Thus, just 0.33 per cent of total intentional homicide cases lead to execution after an average gestation period of 12 years. Even for those victims’ kin who support the death penalty, the small proportion of conviction associated with long gestation periods postpone closure and only add to frustration (Gerber & Johnson).
In any case, frequent punishments are a sign of weakness or slackness, in our social fabric and our government. There is no man so bad that he cannot be made good for something. No man should be put to death, even as an example, if he can be left to live without danger to society. Condemning a terrorist to death is an easy path to take; but it creates martyrs. Keeping them in life imprisonment makes the cause less attractive and increases attrition. Their fame is diminished. Propaganda for jailed heroes is less potent.

Abolish it!
The monopoly on violence in India ought to be held by the State. However, society can be protected from miscreants, criminals and terrorists through less disproportionate means that preserve our dignity, values and institutions.
The worldwide trend towards abolishing capital punishment continues. Globally, 140 countries have abolished the death penalty in law and practice, while the European Union (EU) has made “abolishing the death penalty” a prerequisite for membership. In December 2014, 117 countries voted for a moratorium at the UN General Assembly; 37 voted against and 34 abstained. Even the US is staying its hands—Nebraska recently became the 19th state repealing the death penalty. China’s executions have declined from 24,000 in 1983 to 12,000 recently, resulting in a shortage of organs for transplanting. Our neighbours too are on the downward trend: 357 await execution in Sri Lanka, 400 in Bangladesh and some 8,000 in Pakistan. Abolition is an inevitable international trend, signalling the broad-mindedness of civilised countries. It’s also an international obligation.

Better Alternative
There are multiple alternatives to the death penalty. Longer prison sentences, with a lengthy guaranteed minimum sentence before parole can be considered, and have been utilised in the US for decades. Commutation is another. In India, after the award of the death sentence by a sessions (trial) court, the sentence must be confirmed by a high court to make it final. Once confirmed, the condemned convict has the option of appealing to the Supreme Court. If rejected, he can submit a mercy petition to the President and the governor. Over the last decade, while 1,367 death sentences have been handed out, 3,751 sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. Certainty, and not severity, remains a bigger deterrent to crime. Lifelong imprisonment with no chance of bail or parole remain a better socio-political alternative. It may be achieved either by constitutional amendments (as in case of Mexico, South Africa and other abolitionist countries) or through use of the concurrent list (Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India).
As a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) (1966), India is committed to phasing out the death penalty. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recommended in 2000 that India abolish death penalty to juveniles. In 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) recommended that we establish an official moratorium on executions and move towards abolishing the death penalty, besides commuting all death sentences to life imprisonment and ratifying the second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR.
The Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab case in 1980 was successful in limiting the scope of capital punishment, but yet again, the constitutional validity of the punishment was upheld. The case established the provision of the “rarest of rare” dictum, which even after 35 years, still remains India’s unchanged judicial position. The arbitrariness of the “rarest of the rare” doctrine, laid bare by an Amnesty International and PUCL study called ‘Lethal Lottery: The death penalty in India’ (2008), should force us to rethink if the death penalty makes sense in the absence of uniform criteria and an objective evaluation of legislative thresholds.
India, as one of the 58-odd countries where death penalty is retained, needs to recognise the changing global scenario. The death penalty is not just a remedy available at the disposal of the law, but a human rights issue, beyond the pale of law. For the largest democracy, the death penalty is an anomaly. It needs correction. Many that live do deserve death. And some that die deserve life. One must not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Honesty is the best policy!

When we were in school, there were a few proverbs or phrases that were engraved on our minds through constant usage. One such phrase was 'Honesty is the best policy'. In our hostel, if someone did something deceitful, or had told a lie, the repartee used to be, "remember, honesty is the best policy". 

This maxim used to mean that if we maintain honest behaviour in our day to day life, it will reveal our good character and sincerity, and will bring honour and happiness in the long run.

As a kid, I used to rationalise that human beings are perhaps inherently dishonest, for us to have felt the need to parrot such quotes deep into our minds. As an adult today, my rationale sort of stands verified with experience and observation. Indians, in general do not have the strength to be honest and truthful. They don't have faith in honesty to yield a happy life. It is a confused or partial faith in honesty that gets compromised easily in day to day living of our lives. It is unlike the developed western economies where we can say that only people in particular are dishonest. Overall, they do not feel the need to be dishonest.

Personally, I have always had a deep relationship with this phrase. I thought and still think that it is an universal truth. Honesty benefits our life and make it beautiful. Unfortunately, the trend seems to be going the other way. Our societies are becoming dishonest and deceitful by the day. It is irrespective of the fact that the density of temples or mosques or churches are increasing. To common logic, places of worship should increase the incidences of honesty in a society. In contrary, it seems that rising dishonesty is the reason why worshipping places are mushrooming in every banyan tree possible. It seems that we are becoming a society of sinners to our own conscience, and we need worshipping places to placate our conscience, to seek forgiveness from our Gods. It is easy to say sorry to our Gods, as we do not have to deal with Him in our day to day business. Some of us who deal with God everyday, whom we call the Pujaris, are even dishonest to their Gods. They take money to take 'the sinners' to God faster with minimum hassle.

Our society was never like this. Temples were made and maintained by kings and rulers. General public used to visit those temples (or work of art and magnificence) during special festivals. Instead, societies used to have customs and rituals that they used to practice during births, deaths, marriages, full moon, eclipses etc. Perhaps, we didn't feel the need for so many temples, mosques and other places of worship.

I do not completely understand why and when we started losing faith in honesty. However, I have a theory that originates from my studies about oppressed societies. Societies oppressed by rulers and colonial powers, often face scarcity of resources that they have to fight for to exist. During times of extremes, basic instincts to survive over-rules concepts of fairness and honesty. It becomes a situation of him vs me, or his family vs mine to acquire the bare necessities food, shelter and protection. The rich becomes richer and fewer. The poor becomes poorer and more in numbers.

India have had British oppression for 200 years, in which period the even the Industrial Revolution in Britain was financed by de-industrialisation of India. India weavers, textile merchants, and even agriculture was affected. India’s share of the world economy by the time the British arrived on its shores was 23 percent. By the time the British left, it was down to below 4 percent. India's trade share in textiles was 27% which was down to 2%. We have had British PM Winston Churchill leaving us to die during the Bengal famine, as late as 1940s, when he had diverted essential supplies from Bengal to pile food reserves for the British.

There is another think tank that believes that oppression of India had begun much before British arrived. If we agree to that part of history, India had had over 600 years of oppression.

It is perhaps this oppression that has evolved or rather, spoiled our character to such depths in our collective minds that seven decades of independence have made almost no difference to India's character in terms of our belief in honesty. Just like our economic size in relation to the world has not changed after independence. Six centuries of colonial ravages cannot be undone in two decades or seven.

From my life, I have enough evidences that honesty has a direct relationship to long term happiness. Dishonesty, unfairness, lies and deceit have a direct relationship to long term sadness and misery. If we look closely at any corrupt family over a period of twenty years, my theory about happiness will be prima facie proven right.

Worshipping places do not make a society honest and fair. It is at best an escape from the turmoils of being dishonest. The worst consequence of too many worshipping places is a divided society with a false sense of security.

We need to restore our faith in honesty and in being good. It is the only way to rise from our perils and lead a happy and content life. Honesty and fairness can also bring economic progress distributing wealth equally in terms of the amount of hard work being put in by the society. It will create a feasible business environment and eco-system that will enable all of us to do fearless business with minimum risks.

I re-affirm with full belief that honesty is the best policy, and believe me, it will prove itself to be so in your lifetime, if you belief in it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

There is hope and there is time.

I was connecting my Lumia to my Onkyo home theatre system to listen to one of my favourite mix of MixRadio, when a particular raw nerve in my brain connected me to my life when I was in class V. I was depressed about not having a cassette player at home then.

I remembered going to my mama's (maternal uncle) house with a hope to get their walkman which was lying un-used. Ignoring my shame, I remembered asking for that walkman. I remembered getting a naked speaker from a friend and buying a big bellied earthen pot for five rupees. I remembered fixing the speaker to the earthen pot to get better bass. I was unhappy, but I had hope.

When I was graduating in Economics from Cotton College, there were motorcycles all over the place. Cheap 2-stroke Japanese bikes had flooded the market after 1991. I didn't have the fortune to ride one though. I had made a deal with one of my bike-owning friends that I would introduce him to one of the girls that he liked, who was incidentally my good friend. Luckily the deal worked and I had got the opportunity to ride a Yamaha RX100 twice - once inside a cricket field and once on the road. I had become a 50% biker. After that day on the road, my riding had to wait for another 3 years.

I once had asked my relative to let me learn driving his car. He had refused. I requested their driver. He too had refused.  I was sad, unhappy, anxious and perhaps depressed. But I had hope.

I kept working at whatever came my way with limited short term expectations. Neither did I have big ambitions, nor was I devoid of little hope. I was walking through life, giving the best I could.

Today I am 17 years past my first job. I am about to be 39 years. I have all the materialistic comforts that I never thought possible in my lifetime. 17 'only' years changed my life forever to the better in terms of what I earlier didn't have. It was completely unexpected. My limited short term expectations never could reach such heights.

Our lives are long, really long. Anything can practically happen. An ordinary man, Mr. Narendra Modi becomes the Prime Minister. Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, another ordinary citizen and an aspiring civil servant, becomes the Chief Minister of Delhi with a new political party in little over 3 years of his political career.

There are times when one feels that there is no ambition, and there are times when one feels there are too many things to do without a sense of focus. In both the scenario, one must take a long breath and think again. Moments when there seems to be a lack of an ambition, there are daily work that may need immediate attention such as getting the shoe polished. Doing your day to day jobs also give you a sense of accomplishment which will ready you for the bigger ambition.

Moments when you feel confused with multiple options, a long breath will help you realise that there is time to do all of them sequentially one after the other. If we take business ideas, a small business idea needs a minimum of 2 years to stabilise, and one can do 5 such business ideas in 10 years. It is another matter that you may be happy getting stuck to the first business idea that you had initiated.

My life mantra is that there is hope and there is a lot of time in one lifetime. Let us be genuine, be good, work hard at whatever life gives and life will give you what you hope for.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Why aren't there many women in Positions of Power in Assam?

It is perceived, and perhaps correctly so, that women in the Northeast have more freedom as compared to some of the other states in India. However, there aren’t many women holding positions of power in the Assam of today. Why is it so? This question was asked while addressing a successful women entrepreneur in one of the meetings I attended today. She regretted that she had no answer and the quorum had no justifiable answer as well. I tried answering but I was terribly bad at expressing myself today. I was intervened. And I ended up being misunderstood.

Let me try and answer this question in writing, while alone and in a more relaxed environment. I am thinking of dividing my analysis into a few constructs. I have neither studied history, nor sociology to give a theoretical analysis. So my analysis would be based on my observations and experiences.


Parenting is a media that brings in traditional thoughts and actions into the future. It is also a process that builds attitudes and behavior traits into the mindset of the children. Traditionally, at least from the past few hundred years, the society sees the women performing a certain role in the family, and that can be broadly called ‘the housewife’. The family is the smallest unit of our society and that unit appreciates a woman if she nurtures the family, cooks, cleans and rears the children. 

Parents, being the head of a family unit brings in these values into a girl child. She is supposed to bring a glass of water to the guest of the house, while the boy child gets to sit with the guest. She is supposed to cook, clean the utensils, and know the culture and traditions of rituals such as marriage and other festivals. She is not allowed to mingle with people outside the immediate family, and as a result she becomes shy and becomes comfortable about the works inside the comfortable confines of the family. She may even become the Lion - the power center of the family, but she is meek when it comes to the outside world.

She neither gets the opportunity, nor gets the time outside of her household responsibilities to think of a career outside of the family that may have got her into a decision making socio-political or economic role.


In the last decade or so, liberalization, access to media that brings the world into our drawing rooms and access to education have managed to change mindsets of the parents and therefore the girl child to a significant level. Parents, especially the mother of the house, realized that their daughter is as capable, perhaps more capable than any boy of the neighborhood, and that she should become independent unlike her, by being financially independent. The girl child growing in the environment of nuvo-parenting is not encouraged to do any cooking, cleaning and such traditional ‘women duties’ in a family. She is now getting educated to get financially independent, to get a job. 

This trend had somehow left no choice to the girl children of such nuvo-parenting families, about the kind of life she had really wanted. They started feeling inferior if they weren’t earning like her many friends, or like her mother expected out of her to. Housewife became a skeptical; derogatory term for this set of nuvo-women.

Worse was the way the boy child was being raised in the same families. He was not brought up in the similar culture of accepting an earning life partner, where he had to share the household task of cooking, cleaning and rearing the child. He was ironically brought up to marry a ‘housewife’.

This gave rise to two new trends that had the potential of going against women becoming leaders having decision-making powers. Firstly, the women had started having dual roles. She started managing the house and work for a livelihood as well. The husband continued to be the primary earning member of the family. Secondly, the average marriage age of working women started increasing; leading to late pregnancies and longer child rearing cycles.

This, I feel, severely affected the probability of a woman become a leader with decision-making capabilities. She simply had too much to do in her prime years. Although, this started as a metro phenomenon, it percolated down to other cities, towns and villages faster than it should ideally needed to. 


If the majority of the feminists in a society are women, it acts against the purpose of the movement of feminism. It only increases gender-divide. It tends to polarize the society. Gender equality is about equal respect and dignity. We as a society are confusing it with Gender Role Equality. The feminists are yet to take the men along with them in their fight for equal rights.

The fight for equal rights for women is not a fight against men. It is actually a fight against customs and a deep-rooted mindset within both the genders. The woman of the family is perhaps more subjudiced in her acceptance of her role as a housewife, or as a caretaker of the husband and her children. She perhaps takes pride in her role as a nurturer. Feminism is not about saying women are better. But it is about showing the relevance and benefit of women being in the role of leaders in decision-making capacity to both the genders and to the whole world without any age or other biases.

Feminism is also about paving a researched strategy for the women to do what they would really want to do. For instance, it is the universal truth that only women of the species can bear a child to take the species forward. If we accept that and encourage women to perhaps have children earlier in the lives to get free from maternal responsibilities, to do what she really wants to do, then it is possible that we may get more women leaders to guide the society into a better standard of living. 


There are a whole lot of other reasons that I can think of. But I believe these three thought constructs are critical to understand why we don’t have enough women leaders in Assam and the country today.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Say it with shame, I am an Hindu!

In the 'The Parliament of the World's Religions' on 11 September 1893 at the Art Institute of Chicago, Swami Vivekananda had said, "Say it with pride: We are Hindus".

He had started his speech saying, "Sisters and Brothers of America, it fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the mother of religions, and I thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects... I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth".

Swami Vivekananda had stressed that he belongs to a religion that is the epitome of tolerance and respect, and that he firmly believes that all religion are equally true and practical.

Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speeches, has eulogized him and his ideals, multiple times, to make India the teacher of the world in terms of tolerance and accepting of all religions and faiths. Having heard Modi ji's speeches, it comes as a rude shock that Delhi's next door neighbor Agra witnessed one of the most intolerant religious act of conversion. The Muslim residents of Vednagar slum in Agra were told by Hindu activists from Dharam Jagaran Samiti that, under a development programme of the Modi Government, if they attended a 'Havan', they would get ration cards and other basic amenities. Around 250 people attended the ceremony. When the ritual was over, the participants were told that they had all become Hindus! Second fact to note is that Dharam Jagaran Samiti is affiliated to the RSS which shaped Mr. Narendra Modi as a politician. Even Bajrang Dal (the same Dal who gave Assam Bandh on a fabricated unsubstantiated news of Mr. Ajmal of AIUDF supporting terrorism) was part of this 'Ghar Wapsi' programme in Agra.

Which self respecting Hindu can stand with his head held high after hearing of such an intolerant immature act? Surprisingly, the opposite is happening with the newly powerful, self proclaimed guardian of Hindu religion, culture and traditions, the Sangh Parivar and its crony institutions. They want this shameful 'Ghar Wapsi' to be a even bigger agenda across the country. Even if one assumes that Indian Muslims were once Hindu, there should be a civil debate on this issue taking cognizance of history, religion and other social theories with experts from various parts of the country. Before embarking on a programme like 'Ghar Wapsi', there should have been attempts to understand the reasons why a sizeable percentage of people left the 'ghar' in the first place. Was there any issue with the 'ghar' that made living conditions unbearable, un-respectable to a certain section of the society? Is it imperative that we need to first build and repair the 'ghar' before asking those people to come back? Instead, these institutions want to leverage the majority mandate of the BJP Government at the centre to compel the Muslims to convert by either exercising power, or by promising Government benefits as bribes.    

I call these people at the helm of these institutions ignorant, shallow, brain-washed adrenalin junkies. The ancient Hindu ideology of selfless sacrifice, magnanimous humanity and tolerance that Swami Vivekananda had preached in the early twentieth century has no relevance or relation to the Hindutva being preached and practiced by the right-winged aggressive politics of the present India.

to be contd..

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Hopeful Thinking..

After independence, India has being shaped by politics and the power it yields.. yet, the most popular sentence about politics is 'Politics is the last resort of scoundrels'. This paradox, or irony is the reason why our standard of living in India is so pathetic, discriminatory, corrupt and hopeless.

AAP is a flicker of hope that might finally make the latter meaningless to an extent. Finally perhaps, good educated efficient simple people would join politics to serve the nation without the perks and addiction of power. It will be surely be very tough.

But there is a hope. With the kind of human resource that makes India, natural resources that builds India, and intellectual resource that ornates India, I can say with certainty that if politics become selfless, educated, benevolent and rewarding for goodness, India will be the best place to live our lives in this entire universe.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Vivekananda, Islam and Hinduism

This blog post is inspired from an article written by the Mr. Padmalochan Nath, which originally appeared on Asomiya Pratidin on 12th of January 2015. I am putting his thoughts to the best of my abilities, for the benefits of all who can't read Assamese.

Fundametalism is an enemy of the Hindus as well as the Muslims.

After British imperialism had successfully established its stronghold and they had started giving stress on modern education in India, which was then available to the upper class influential Indians, a new historically significant phenomena had got created. With modern education, these newly educated youths had developed a certain sense of inferiority on the matter of Hindu religion. They were growing up to a belief that Hindu religion was all about superstitions and archaic socially destructive traditions. A majority of these young Indians who had the fortune of British education were from Bengal, as Calcutta was the Capital of the British empire. The first institute of higher eduction, Hindu College (later renamed Presidency College) was established in the year 1817 at Calcutta. It was during this period of time Raja Ram Mohan Rai had started creating a  strong public opinion against 'Sati-dah pratha' to abolish and ban the inhuman tradition of a wife being compelled to jump in the funeral pyre of her husband, in the name of Hindu religious customs. It was around the same time when the Principal of Sanskrit College, Calcutta, Mr. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar had started the social revolution against child marriage and for remarriage of the widows who had lost their husbands at a young age.

There were two significant waves of social reforms in Bengal then. One was led by Raja Rammohan Rai, Keshub Chandra Sen and Debendranath Tagore with their monotheistic reformist and renaissance movement called Bhakti Movement, and the other was led primarily by the students/alumni of Hindu College with their radical free thinking Young Bengal movement, started by a young teacher of Hindu College, Henry Louis Vivian Derozio.

Raja Rammohan Rai was fluent in Arabic, Parsi and English. He had studied and researched Islam and Christianity, and had formed an opinion that the strength and positivity of Persia's Islam and Christianity of the West came from their institutionalized one Supreme God theology. As a result, Rammohan Rai stopped the idol worship of numerous Hindu Gods and Goddesses and started worshipping the form-less Brahma as the whole and sole, reforming the ancient Hindu religion to create the 'one-formless-supreme God' dharma called the 'Brahmo Dharma'. On the other hand, Head Master of Hindu College Henry Louis Vivian Derozio - a great scholar and a thinker, started influencing a group of intelligent boys in the college to think freely, to question existing religious beliefs and not to accept anything blindly. It started a new wisdom based on hardcore logic and atheist ideology. It was in the same period, when a Hindu College student and a son of an influential rich family of lawyers, Madhusudan Dutta stood against the illogical caste led atrocities, blind beliefs and customs prevalent in the Hindu society of the 19th century Bengal, denounced Hinduism and got converted to Christianity. He was expelled from Hindu College. This expelled student of Hindu College later became one of the greatest poets of Bengal literature and the father of the Bengali sonnet, Michael Madhusudan Dutt.

It was in such a juncture of ancient and modern times in the 19th century of Bengal, Narendra Nath Dutta was growing up in a affluent Kayastha Bengali family to be known as Swami Vivekananda later. He was sensible and an extremely intelligent student. Initially, he was influenced by the Brahma movement started by Raja Rammohan Roy and Devendranath Tagore. However, very soon the short-comings of the Brahma Samaj became evident to him. Brahma Samaj was essentially a fraternity of the rich and educated, and did not have any effect on, or relation with the greater general public of Bengal. In his search for answers, Narendra Nath finally met the renowned priest of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple, dedicated to the Goddess Kali - Ramkrishna Paramahamsa. Being a Brahma Samaj follower, Narendra Nath initially opposed idol worship, polytheism and Ramakrishna's worship of Kali. As he grew ready to renounce everything for the sake of realizing God,he finally accepted Ramakrishna as his Guru. Ramakrishna taught him the ideals of 'Jata Mat, Tata path' through the teachings of the Vedanta. He showed him the path of unity in diversity and confluence of differing thoughts. Narendra Nath later took monastic vows and ascended to Swami Vivekananda. Irrespective of that, he was not too convinced and happy about the ideologies of the Vedas. He could not find social solutions to the existing problems of the present material realistic world. Vedantic teachings were all about Gods, spiritualism, renunciation, sacrifice and death. Therefore, Swami Vivekananda started to define and describe the glory of ancient Indian philosophy, keeping the 'present' of that period of Bengal. He devoted himself to express 'Advaita Vedanta' as a religion of the general public. He brought out neo-vedantic teachings to preach Hinduism in a new light which was above all the narrow-mindedness and doggedness of Hinduism. He presented Hinduism with the ideals of the upanishads, without the social evils based on superstitions to the whole world, and gave Hinduism a new meaning and stature. In the 'The Parliament of the World's Religions' opened on 11 September 1893 at the Art Institute of Chicago, Swami Vivekananda, in reference to the perceived inferiority complex of the Hindus said, "Say it with pride: We are Hindus". Having said that it should be noted that 'that pride of being Hindus' did not have even an iota of ill-feeling or dis-respect to other religions. According to Swami Vivekananda, if one religion is true, then the other religions are true as well.

Indian subcontinent is an union of innumerable religious, linguistic, ethnic, historical and regional diversities. That is why, Swami Vivekananda did not present India as a country of one religion. When he said, '.. we are Hindus', he didn't mean it as a religion. He meant it as a civilization. He presented it as the land of the wisdom of the Advaita Vedanta - the blessed land of virtue where humanity has attained its highest towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness, and above all, as the land of introspection and of spirituality. He had immense respect for Islam. On his speeches about the prospect of Advaita Vedanta becoming the future religion of humanity, he maintained that although India was fortunate to be ahead in knowing about the theories of advaita, yet it was the Arabs who were first in propagating its practice through their religion of Islam. He very clearly said, "if ever any religion approached to this equality in an appreciable manner, it is Islam, and Islam alone". He was upfront in appreciating the equality that Islam had in both theory and practice. As for India, he stressed that the religion of renunciation to attain ultimate salvation is not as good as the real religion of being in this real world and working towards removing poverty, illiteracy, social evils like untouchability, caste differences and diseases. It is not advisable to run away from the material world, but to bravely face the problems and challenges of the material world. Swami Vivekananda had always stressed that the British imperialism always feared the unity in the diversity of India. They feared the power that emanated from the peaceful co-habitation of the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and other religions of India. That is why, British imperialism always tried to use the existing fallacies in the Indian societies to divide us and continue their rule.

With western education, when a section of upper caste philosophers and writers started feeling inferior about being superstitious and started demeaning the viability of the concept of Hindu Rashtra, a new political concept of Hindutva nationalism started gaining foothold. It influenced a significant number of freedom fighters of that era as well, who were biased toward one religious way of life, i.e., Hinduism. In the midst of all that, there were Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das and Bal Gangadhar Tilak who believed in religious unity and found ways and strategies to promote the strength of Hindu-Muslim unity in India's freedom struggle. Mahatma Gandhi was very fond of both these leaders. He had said, "His (Chittaranjan Das) heart knew no difference between Hindus and Mussalmans.." Bal Gangadhar Tilak once said, "Religion and practical life are not different. To take sanyasa (renunciation) is not to abandon life. The real spirit is to make the country your family work together instead of working only for your won. The step beyond is to serve humanity and the next step is to serve God". However with the untimely death of both these leaders, their philosophy of Hindus and Muslims fighting for India's independence together could not be sustained. In the subsequent times, India saw the steep rise of zingoist Hindutva led political efforts to label Indian Muslims as non-Indians in the fight for independence. In reaction to that, the concept of 'Pakistan' for Muslim self-rule started to get public acceptance, and it marked the arrival of the divisive communal politics during India's freedom struggle. The freedom movement led by the Congress was not that significant and strong then that it could have curbed the advances of these two divisive political ideologies. The leadership of the freedom movement had fallen into the divisive trap of the imperialist British raj. Mahatma Gandhi became helpless. As a result, India was divided into two countries in the name of Independence. Lakhs of Indians died in the ensuing riots and migration to and from Pakistan. What's worse, even the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi had to lay his life to the same jingoist Hindutva brigade.

Swami Vivekananda's idea of independent progressive India that was blessed by the wisdom of the Vedanta was not this. He wished for brotherhood, mutual respect and fondness between the followers of Hinduism and Islam. For a developed India in the future, he wanted a progressive unity between these two great religious ideologies. He had said, "For our own motherland, a junction of the two great systems - Hinduism and Islam: Vedanta brain and Islam body is the only hope". Swami Vivekananda wanted to nourish and nurture 'Indianhood' by conjoining the Vedanta brain and the Islam body. However, it is quite the opposite picture that the present Hindutva politics is painting in the name of development, in the name of Swami Vivekananda. They are even trying to negate and erase the contributions of Islam to the history and heritage of making of India. The term 'Hindu' of Hinduism was coined by the Muslims from Persia, when they couldn't pronounce 'Indus'. The word 'Hindu' neither has its origin in Sanskrit, nor is it found in any of the vedic / ancient literature. Hindu was not even a name given to a religion. First Greek and then Muslim invaders referred to the region of civilization by the banks of the Indus river as 'Indus' and 'Hindus'. So, the name on which the political concept of Hinduism rest, had come from the followers of Islam. Isn't that a contribution?

It was during the times of Buddha and Ashoka, the influence of the culture and traditions prevalent in the region of the present day India had spread all across Asia. That is the reason Gautama Buddha is also called the 'Light of Asia'. When the word Hindu had started getting acceptance as a religious identity, history does not have any mention of any Indian crossing either the Himalayas, or the Indian Ocean for culture and traditions to travel outside. Megesthenes from Greece and Hsuan-Tsang from China had come to India. There is no historical evidence of any Indian going to either Greece or Germany. The Indian religions of today, starting then, have lost their dynamism and somehow are busy preserving their status quo through, at best, reactionary strategies. If effect, religions are nurturing a fundamentalist extremism, rather than doing the opposite. As a result, the ordinary common man of each of the religions are facing various hardships, atrocities and deaths. The worldly Hazrat Muhammad's teachings had unified the whole of Arabia and civilized the various barbaric tribes and sects. Before his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam, and he had united Arabia into a single Muslim religious polity. Islam slowly became one of the major religions of the world, giving rise to wealthy powerful civilizations across the world. However, the present day Taliban, ISIS, Boko Haram and other such terrorist organizations are bringing these progressive Islamic civilizations back to the barbaric period. The wordly Saint Hazrat Muhammad had advised one to even travel to China for education and knowledge. However, Taliban is shooting innocent girls in their heads for they had wanted to get educated. In India as well, a certain set of religiously blind fundamentalist Hindu leaders are trying to portray the killer of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi as a patriot, and want to building a temple in his name. They are trying to eulogize and give public respect to the first fundamentalist Hindu terrorist of Independent India, by building a memoribilia in his name.

According to Swami Vivekananda, the primary objective of religion is to inspire or awaken the positive energies within an individual. He meant to use this positive energy to kill or weaken all the negative energies. The key notion of a civilized world is good-will for each other and spirit of tolerance for well-being of all. According to Swami Vivekananda, the religion (or religions) which cannot impart tolerance and peaceful co-existence of all is not a religion in reality. Like Islamic fundamentalism is an enemy to the common Muslim, Hindu fundamentalism is also an enemy to the common Hindu. It is the time when we - the Hindus and Muslims of India, have to come out of the blinds of our religious fundamentalism to realize the dream of Swami Vivekananda of a progressive united India where all of us unitedly struggle to remove poverty, to provide education and health facilities to the teeming poor of our country.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Explaining AAP online donation system..

We, as responsible global Indian citizens, need to understand how money travels in case of online payments. Aam Aadmi Party is the first political party in the world which have thought and designed an online donation module which is transparent and secure and regulated. We need to encourage such systems of funding elections to better our democracy, to reduce corruption.

To understand the supposed scam by AAP as alleged by the BJP, you have to read the following few paragraphs.

It is one of the top priorities of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to regulate various modes of online payments; be it airtel money, paypal, mobile wallets and other online payment tools. That is the sole reason why Paypal was not allowed to do business in India for quite some time, as it had a risk of money laundering.

Let us understand how AAP gets funded through their online donation module.

  1. People with credit cards, debit cards, INR saving accounts, INR current accounts, mobile wallets like Airtel Money only can donate to AAP. This practically negates the misconception that foreign funds are coming to AAP.
  2. AAP has payment gateways that can only accepts payment instruments like the above mentioned list which are Indian Rupee based. AAP payment gateway cannot accept an American or European or a Saudi Arabian credit or debit card.
  3. So, we should understand that AAP can receive money from Indian Bank Accounts only. Now India has one of the best KYC (know your customer) policies in the world. It is so foolproof that it even acts as a barrier to opening accounts in rural India because identity and address documents are sparsely kept in rural India. So when a customer or a company opens an account, both these identity and address documents have to be provided. It is the onus of the banks to check the veracity of these documents so that a criminal or a scam company does not get to enjoy banking facilities.
  4. When a donor is making an online donation, there are three or more banks involved in the transaction. Let us take a case of 3 banks. The bank of the donor, the bank of the payment gateway like billdesk, CCAvenue etc and the bank of the receiver (AAP in this case). Money flows from the donor bank to the AAP bank account via the bank of the payment gateway. We need to note that the interbank money flow is via secure RBI RTGS servers. RBI RTGS servers can only be used by Indian Banks dealing in Indian Rupees.
  5. RBI has fixed a maximum time limit of T+2 days for the settlement process of these online transactions. Two donations given in two consecutive days may come to the bank account of AAP in one single day. That is not a discrepancy. It is simply the settlement processes that banks have.
  6. Important to note that when AAP receives money through the online module, it does not get to know any detail about the donor. At most, it may get the account number and the bank name in case of net-banking transactions. As for credit and debit card payments, AAP does not even get to know the card numbers. There are strict privacy laws against disclosure of such information to third parties. So, effectively, AAP has to depend on whatever the donor declares in the donation form just before going to the payment gateway webpage for payment. The donor provides his or her name, his or her mobile phone number, his or her email ID, and his or her state/city of domicile. The donor may give his name as 'BARACK OBAMA' and AAP has to accept it as such. There is no verification possible. As long as the money is coming from a legitimate bank account via a legitimate channel, AAP has absolutely nothing to worry or hide. 
  7. AAP cannot ask for account numbers, card numbers and such details as that would violate privacy laws. These details are only filled in the webpage of the payment gateway service providers, which are registered with the Reserve Bank of India after due diligence and regular audit processes.
  8. So AAP has minimum available data to do any cross verification of the donors. The primary responsibility of verifying the donors lies with the banks, as they are the customers of the banking system with strict KYC laws.
As for cheques, banks offer a cheque collection service for account holders with sizable number of incoming cheques. As part of their service, the bank provides an MIS (mostly excel) with all cleared cheque payments which can be uploaded into the AAP website by giving them transaction IDs.

I have tried to explain the AAP online payment of donation system to the best of my abilities. If there are any questions, please ask and I will answer each one of them.

Thank you.

Please vote for AAP.