Happy New Year 2015


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Letters-81: Live-in Relationships

(Regarding the observations of the Supreme Court on Khusboo's petition about premarital sex and lived-in relationships)

Is there adequate protection in law for those involved in such relationships in case of a break-up? Has our society matured enough to accept a single-mom? There are plenty of social and legal issues that have been overlooked. Premarital sex and live-in relationships have never been illegal. The court should have held that against the case and should not have stepped ahead to give legality to such relationships - S.Balaji, Chennai.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Trichy, March 27, 2010.

Grateful thanks to Mr.Balaji and The Hindu.

A Thought for Today-336:

One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Picture of the day-157:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Eyecatchers-146: Disaster Management

...Bangladesh lost more than 500,000 people during Cyclone Bhola in 1970. It subsequently built 2500 cyclone shelters on elevated concrete platforms and trained more than 32,000 volunteers to help in evacuations. When Cyclone Sydr struck in 2007 with an enormous sea surge, the death toll was less than 4000.

Cyclone Nargis, a similar event in unprepared Myanmar in May 2008, cost 140,000 lives.

Cuba weathered four hurricanes in 2008. It sustained $9 billion of physical damage but very few lives were lost.

The evidence is overwhelming. Yet the lessons of these disasters are forgotten with depressing speed. Many governments have failed to follow through on the practical measures Hyogo proposes. (The Hyogo Framework for Action, a 10-year plan to make the world safer from disasters triggered by natural hazards, was adopted by 168 governments in 2005).

Some states argue that they cannot afford to embrace the prevention model. I say no country afford to ignore it.

We know prevention actually saves governments money in the long run. When China spent $3.15 billion on reducing the impact of floods between 1960 and 2000, it averted losses estimated at about $12 billion.

Similar savings have been recorded in Brazil, India, Vietnam and elsewhere.


Excerpt from "Do not wait for disaster to strike" by Ban ki-moon, Secretary General, United Nations, in The Hindu, Trichy, March 27.3.2010.

For reading the Full Text of
Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015:
Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters (HFA)


Grateful thanks to The Hindu, U.N.Information Centre, New Delhi and UNISDR.

India Watch-17:

1. All India Radio is the world largest public service broadcaster.

2. All India Radio has grown from six stations at the time of Independence to 233 stations covering the length and breadth of the country.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Trichy, March 27, 2010.

Grateful thanks to The Hindu.

Letters-80: China's Rise in Science

1. The results of unfettered developmental activity behind the Great Wall are slowly trickling out for the rest of the world to observe, study and emulate (Editorial, The Hindu, March 26, 2010). Notwithstanding criticisms of human rights violations along the road to progress, the Chinese have demonstrated their almost supernatural commitment to hard work, scientific research and patriotism, all of which have ensured tremendous economic growth rate - Sunil P Shenoy, Bangalore.

2. China has indeed travelled a long way. The New Scientist's assessment that "China's emergence as a scientific superpower can no longer be denied" should be an eyeopener for the Indian science and technology establishment. We boast of having the largest pool of professionals in the field of science and technology. But when it comes to original and innovative works, our record is dismal. Not a single science and technology organisation figures in the top-hundred list of quality institutions in this arena (as per the Shanghai index). NASA and companies in the Silicon Valley employ a significant number of Indian professionals. This means that given the opportunity, our scientists can compete at the top level.

It is high time we seized the initiative of channelling our pool of professionals while simultaneously improving the existing institutes - Subodh Kumar, New Delhi

Courtesy: Letters to The Editor, The Hindu, Trichy, March 27, 2010.

Grateful thanks to Sunil P Shenoy, Subodh Kumar and The Hindu.

A Thought for Today-335:

You must be true to yourself. Strong enough to be true to yourself. Brave enough to be strong enough to be true to yourself. Wise enough to be brave enough, to be strong enough to shape yourself from what you actually are - Sylvia Ashton-Warner

Picture of the day-156:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Eyecatchers-145: TN to have more FM stations

Good news for music lovers! The Hindu reports that Tamil Nadu will soon get 53 more FM stations quoting the Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Mr.S.Jagathrakshakan.

Courtesy: The Hindu, Trichy, March 27, 2010.

Grateful thanks to The Hindu.

Letters-79: Reservation for Muslims

1. The Andhra Pradesh government's plea for quota for Muslims is purely vote bank politics and not for the uplift of backward Muslims in the State. Providing reservation on the basis of religion, which is not allowed under the Constitution, is nothing but dividing the people - Jetling Yellosa, Nizamabad.

2. The Supreme Court order, if validated by the Constitutional bench, will lead to further reservation on religious grounds and cause an exodus of people seeking the benefits of such quotas to those religions. It would be most welcome if the Constitutional bench decides to do away with any such privileges on religious lines - Padmakumar G.Nair, Ahmedabad.

3. Islamic scholars maintain that all Muslims are equal. When this is the case, how can a section of Muslims be categorised as backward class? Some parties want to divide the people on the basis of caste and religion just for the sake of votes. They are adopting the 'divide and rule' policy the British followed to rule India - A.Srikantaiah.

4. The Supreme Court has only removed the Andhra Pradesh High Court's stay on reservation for Muslims. A review of the constitutional validity of the quota is pending. A similar case regarding the validity of Haj subsidy has been pending for more than three years. The court should dispose of both these cases without further delay - N.Ramamurthy, Chennai.

Courtesy: The Letters to the Editor, The Hindu, March 27, 2010.

Grateful thanks to M/s.Jetling Yellosa, Padmakumar G.Nair, A.Srikantaiah and N.Ramamurthy and The Hindu.

India Watch-16:

1. 1.4 millions people are working in the Indian Railways.

2. The Govt of India has a stock of 558 tonnes of gold.

3. The salary of the President of India has been reduced to 1.8 million rupees per annum.

Courtesy: Ananda Vikatan, Tamil Weekly (March 3, 2010)

A Thought for Today-334:

Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future - Charles F. Kettering

Picture of the day-155:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Thought for Today-333:

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning Ivy Baker

Picture of the day-154:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Thought for Today-332:

You have to sow before you can reap. You have to give before you can get - Robert Collier

Picture of the day-153:

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A Thought for Today-331:

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much - Helen Keller

Picture of the day-152: