Monday, August 28, 2006

SATYAMEVA JAYATE..................

Today was my hearing with the state information commission. I had earlier filed a petition with the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad(MCH) regarding details of property tax collection in an area called prashashan nagar. I ran around MCH and the circle office for about 15 times. I complained to the commissioner(MCH) after 33 days. Still the same. Then i had no other option but to approach the state commission. Today was the hearing. It was supposed to start at 4pm. I went in at around 4.02pm. They were already waiting for me! MCH was represented by Deputy commissioner Koundinya and some additional commissioner. The state commissioner was K.Sudhakar Rao. I had to apologize for being late. Then i was asked put forward my points...here they go....

1. I filed the petition on 24th march. Then filed the first appeal on 27th april. Finally i appealed to the state commission on 2nd June. I received a reply only after some 95 days on 28th June. My application was rejected on the grounds that this would "disproportionately divert the resources of the concerned public authority". How funny......
2. They sent my application back and forth for about 20 times between the MCH head office and the circle 5 office. Each time i had to track the where my application was wasting my time. If this back and forth business did not disproportionately divert the resources, then i am very sorry at the functioning of the corporation.
3. There is no mechanism in MCH even to take the mandatory fees of Rs10/-. Every time i would ask them, they say not required. After all it is not their money.
4. I am very disappointed at both the way my application was handled and also the reply. If this is the way the so called hi-tech corporation of hyderabad operates, then i have no words to say.

Then started the fun....the state commissioner repeatedly asked the MCH ppl as to why was my application rejected. Neither they knew the law nor the section written that was used as an excuse to reject my application. Some intelligent guy in MCH suggested that the application can be rejected on these grounds and they blindly did so. They didn't read the act. They knew nothing about the act. All that they knew was to read from some letter which was sent to me as reply. The MCH authorities were like convicts sitting and me the victim. The judge started blasting them left and right....i was just happy to look at the fun...after all the discussions, a first warning was issued to MCH and here is the outcome of the hearing.....

1. MCH is severely reprimanded and an official letter will be sent to the commissioner,MCH in this respect.This is the first and last warning.
2. The requested information will have to be provided within 7 days from the day the order is issued.
3. The cost of providing information,(as they would surely be voluminous records) will have to be borne by the concerned authority.
4. That cost of providing information will be deducted from the salary of the concerned authority according to section 7 sub clause 6 of the RTI act.


I thanked them and came out. The MCH officials were still sitting in his cabin. may be trying to influence him. But whatever, the system which i strongly believe in has once again proved that truth prevails.....it is a victory of sorts....

SATYAMEVA JAYATE......

I am eagerly waiting for the information..........

Thursday, August 17, 2006

RIGHT TO EDUCATION 2 FREEDOM UNDER CONSTRUCTION???

How are both these related?May look weird....i will come to that point later....

The only silver lining of the reservation fracas was that after a long time, the focus shifted to education. Providing quality primary and secondary education. Then i was overwhelmed when i heard that right to education bill will be passed.Right to Education Bill that aimed to make education a fundamental right for children between 6 and 14. After all that crap about eqaulity,merit etc..finally sense prevailed. Why is this bill such a significant step?

A recent survey on education in INDIA suggests that 75% of the children study in govt schools. The dropout rates are high and it is only the lure of midday meals that is keeping these kids in school.

When there was this talk of merit etc, i had only one question to ask...Is merit inborn?Not at all..may be to an extent it is inborn, but beyond that it is where you live,how you are broughtup,what you read,what you see that shapes your merit. I will give you three simple examples and then you yourself decide on this senseless argument. Just look at the contrast....

1. 60% children of this country dont have a room to sit and study ,but the other lot who talk of merit dont even come out of the fourwalls. They step out into AC cars,AC class rooms and finally even one day into AC play grounds.
2. The first lot dont have books to read where as the second lot also cannot read because they are not in a position to decide on which publisher,which series to read.
3. The first lot always are worried about their next meal where as the second lot also resort to fasting because of their diets.

And they go on....you talk of merit,equality and all that crap. Dont look at the ideal world. Look at reality and then decide.

The present spending on education is abt 47000 cr. The draft bill(education bill) which makes right to education a fundametal right and that will ensure free and compulsory education to all children is being buried under the carpet and the states are being asked to come up with alternate plans. The reason "economically not viable". The additional costs would be round 36000 cr which makes the total spending abt 83000 cr which is much less than 99000cr(3% of GDP) of what the UPA has envisaged in its CMP. Arjun singh is in a hurry to push the reservation bill, but when it comes to education bill, it is ecnomically and politicaly not viable. And moreover the 17 crore kids that will be affected do not form the vote bank and they cannot vote.

And then comes FREEDOM UNDER CONSTRUCTION. We at BHUMI started laying the pillars on aug15th 00:00 hrs. A neverseen event before,overcoming all odds. YOu had to be there to experience what was it like.For me personally, this was an event that reinforced my faith, that turned hostility into confidence, a preview of what future holds for BHUMI. Just go to http://www.bhumi.in/ and experience. I was speechless that night,but as sun rose, i began to realize the immense responsibility that was put on us. Never before an indeopendence day was so special to so many people. This independence day impacted 700 kids....rest assured.....coming independence days will impact greater numbers and one day the entire one billion....

As our president said,

"August 15th,2006 will be a red letter day in the history of New India.It is not about patriotism or about history.It is about the responsibility and the fitting respect to the tri colour.Theatmosphere..the spirit,the energy and the will demonstrated has re-inforced my faith in the power of numbers. I
would like to tell every single one of you that i am extremely proud of all of us and the courage we demonstrated by taking the responsibility of New India in our hands.while it is a moment which calls for celebration..most of us understand that the only problem with victory is that it increases expectation,responsibility and commitment.It is exactly how i feel now...that we have a greater cause,responsibilty and essentiallity to keep the spirit alive. Freedom and Patriotism are strange things..they become insignificant if they are called on for one day in a year.We at Bhumi,need to believe that everyday is a challenge ..everyday it is the same India we talk about and see.It is everyday that this spirit needs to be cultivated and nourished.It is only then that the New India that we dream about...might come one step closer.And Bhumineeds all of you. I personally think all of us are assets in our own little way..with the honesty,passion and the will that we bring to Bhumi.
From Marketing to Publicity, Website to Ground Work ...it was a brilliant show guys! And imagine if our debut was a century..we can only get better. Let us make a collective promise and a commitment in our own capacity that we pledge ourselves to the cause of a Better India...let us pledge ourselves and remember everry day that BHUMI is here to stay....and it has become a movement now.It is now or never..let the momentum going !!! Proud of You Guys!!!"


And now to the relationship between these two. Right to education was a hope which was ruined by the stupids. But at teh same time, BHUMI started a movement which has replaced my anger with hope to bring about a change.

I wish to be the prime minister of INDIA one day.... turning all these strong foundations of freedom that we are constructing into a huge edifice that the world would be jealous of.............

And between all these, the first hearing of my petition to the state information commissioner is scheduled for 28th of august....the other side will be MCH...lets see what transpires

JAI HIND!!!
FREEDOM UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!
JOIN BHUMI for there will be no second chance to make history...................