The Scratch Pad

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Indian Air force… truly Indian?

Today morning a Sukhoi 30MKI of the Indian Air force was roaring in the sky. Since childhood, I love to see the MIGs, Jaguars, Mirages and Sukhois leaving smoke trails in the sky, the noise, the speed and the arrogance with which these mean machines rule the sky is so awe-inspiring. For the first time today, I was not pleased at the sight of the Sukhoi.

Today corporate India is reaching heights no one had ever imagined, our car manufacturers are churning out new models when the western manufacturers are filing for bankruptcy. Our financial institutions, infrastructure companies are doing better than their counterparts in the west even in these testing times. If we are so capable of achieving these feats, why do we have a dismal performance when it comes to fighter aircraft manufacturing?

World over, the major fighter aircraft manufacturers are huge corporations which produce machines for their countries and also export them to their allies. The US has Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin while Russia has Mikoyan Gurevich, Sukhoi, Ilyushin, Tupolev and Yak as their primary manufacturers of aircrafts. We are so happy to spend billions to buy flying machines from Russia, France, UK, Israel and the western world but we shy away from mass producing them in India. The LCA project by the HAL has been delayed; they will be inducted in the IAF only by 2012 (considering no further delays). Why can’t the government trust the corporate India to design and manufacture fighter jets? When we can trust the west, why can’t we trust fellow Indians? What if in coming years, Russia becomes friendly with our foes and gives them more advanced aircrafts and training than what we have?

I am not against HAL but I definitely think that they should have someone to compete with in the arena as their monopoly is hurting us. The design, manufacturing and exports will be strictly regulated by the government but there is a need of aggressive policies, deadlines, competition and bold decision making which I believe only corporate India can bring to the table.

I hope to see a day when an Indian pilot flies an Indian fighter and sends chills down the enemy’s spine.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Minority Report(card)

Often I read articles in the newspapers which highlight the sorry state of Muslims in the country. It is said that they are the most backward community. Illiteracy is very high among Muslim youth… Unemployment is on rise… So on and so forth… The only solution that the policy makers nowadays suggest is RESERVATIONS!!! It is like a magic potion which can uplift the downtrodden.

A question has been troubling me for a while… We have umpteen minority communities in the country today. All of them... Christians, Parsis, Sikhs, Jains, Jews, etc. are doing very well and are not facing a problem like the Muslim community is facing today. In fact most of the minorities are better off than their Hindu counterparts. So what exactly is the issue with Muslims?

Unbiased introspection will prove that this problem faced by the community is homegrown. The clerics are leading the community to a new low every day. Madarsas are further polarizing the young minds.

Final Comment: Basic modern and scientific education, independent RATIONAL thinking and a modern outlook is what is required to uplift the community.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Munnabhai and his Gandhigiri

“Gandhigiri” is like a new found love for Indians. The press, media and the youth feel that its a solution to each and every problem that the country faces... People say that they can very well “Connect” to the movie. Really??? I beg to differ. I can neither connect to stripping in front of a corrupt official nor washing those yucky “paan” stains.

Gandhigiri will never solve any problem for anyone. I think it will rather magnify the existing problems. In the past many of our people used this tool , the result was that the country started facing never ending problems. Nehru went to the UN to solve the Kashmir problem using his Gandhigiri, the results is a problem which does not seem to have solution.
One has to understand that to live in this world we have to constantly fight. This war never ends and we have to fight our war on our own.

Monday, February 13, 2006

India’s IAEA vote and Communalism.

The Samajwadi party and the leftists are acting like stupid band of school boys. The self-appointed messiahs of the Moslem community in India are criticizing the govt. over the Indian stand on the Iran nuclear issue. India has voted against Iran at the IAEA. In their bid to appease the Moslems in UP, West Bengal and Kerala they are ready to sacrifice national interests. If Iran develops nuclear arsenal, then there will be a constant threat to India’s security as there is always a chance of these weapons falling in the wrong hands. If India’s foreign policy is also painted in communal colors then I am sure that our future will be painted in black.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Jyllands-Posten: Muhammad Posters controversy.

A Danish newspaper published twelve posters portraying Prophet Muhammad on 10th Sept.2005. The posters are in bad taste and are far away from being any healthy satire. This has outraged Moslems all over the world as even depiction of Prophet Muhammad is blasphemous. This is not the first time that such things have happened in the west. Some designers had designed undergarments and customized toilet seats, which had the photos of Hindu gods and Goddesses. The Hindu community in Europe and US had lodged protest with the respective governments and urged them to take action. Some designers apologized for hurting the religious sentiments of the Hindus. I accept that freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right of people but we should also learn to act responsibly and not hurt any sentiments under the pretext of this right. Though I am totally against legal censoring of expressions and actions but some self censorship and restraint should definitely exercised by everybody and especially by the media.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

“Flying Coffins”: Let them be for the Enemy.

The Aamir Khan starrer film Rang De Basanti is based on a Real life Incident of Flt Lt Abhijit Gadgil. He was a pilot with the IAF with an impeccable flying record. Abhijit died in a MIG-21 crash in Suratgarh, Rajasthan on September 17, 2001. In a letter that his family got days after the inquiry, the Air force officer blamed Abhijit for the crash. This enraged Abhijit’s family which has a tradition of serving the armed forces. His mother Mrs. Kavita Gadgil took an initiative to put up a relentless war against the establishment, his family maintained that the crash occurred due to a snag in the war-bird and not due to Pilot error as mentioned in the inquiry report. Their efforts finally paid off when the Defence ministry finally (and formally) accepted that the crash had not occurred due to Abhijit’s fault. Mrs. Gadgil has formed Abhijit Air Safety Foundation which campaigns for the safety of IAF pilots.

Aviation experts are divided over the actual reasons for the frequent crashes of the MIGs especially the MIG-21.

  • Cheap Spare Parts – Russians have accused India of buying low grade spare parts from Ukraine and East European Countries. Indian experts countered this argument by accusing Russia of quoting exorbitant prices for the spares. Some opined that it was a desperate Russian attempt to save Mikoyan Gurevich (MIG) from getting a bad name.
  • Bird Hits –Due to the expansion of cities, there are a lot of residential localities and even slums in the vicinity of the Air force Bases, this in turn increases the number of scavenger birds in the area. Maintaining a bird free environment is a major challenge for the IAF.
  • Advanced Jet Trainer – The IAF has to train its freshly commissioned officers on the MIG-21s due to absence of the AJTs. There is a long felt need for an AJT without which there is a great rift between getting trained on subsonic trainers and handling a full fledged super-sonic Flying machine like the MIGs. India presently has subsonic Kirans and Intermediate Jet Trainers (IJTs) in its inventory.
  • Design of MIG-21 - These are single engined aircrafts and world over the accident rates of this type of aircrafts are more. Some modifications have to be made in them to suit the Indian climatic conditions.

Whenever a MIG crashes there are some knee jerk reactions by the politicians and bureaucrats. Some call for immediate grounding of the MIG-21s, some term them as “flying coffins” and “Widow Makers”. Such reactions which demoralize the Men in Uniform should be avoided

The MIG-21s constitute a major chunk of IAF Flying machines, so grounding them abruptly is not a viable option. Some officers have even praised the MIG-21s for their airworthiness so an urgent and pertinent solution to this problem should be adopted.

  • The spare parts that we import and the arms deals should be thoroughly scrutinized by the agencies.
  • Airfield Environment Management Committees which have been setup by the government should recommend the steps to be taken to counter the Bird menace. These recommendations should be implemented strictly.
  • India has inked a deal with the British Aerospace Systems (BAE) for purchase of 66 Hawk AJTs. This deal also includes training, transfer of technology and building of infrastructure. This was a much awaited decision that was taken. The AJTS should be commissioned and used for training without a delay.
  • The IAF and the HAL should work together to solve all the pending issues and to make India a Super-Air-Power.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Paratha Vs Idli

I remember my school teacher asking my friend to describe India in Minimum words, his answer was” Unity in Diversity”. The teacher was really pleased to hear the answer and so were we. Now almost 10 years after that episode I realize that we had a false impression about our motherland.

Living in a so called cosmopolitan city of Bangalore I have realized that we heterogeneously live together but we are not united. Many north Indians don’t like the south Indians as according to them they have inedible food, they lack “taste” and they are not friendly. On the other hand south Indians feel that their culture has been contaminated because of the heavy influx of the “Outsiders”. The root cause for this issue is the difference between the two cultures. When these very people go abroad they fall in love with the alien culture there, to the extent that they start transforming themselves to be what the foreigners want them to be.

We are magnanimously tolerant to alien cultures but when it comes to adjusting to regional Indian cultures, we crib. Parathas and Idlis, both taste great, let us not argue which is better.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

“Out of the Box” Solution.

The Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf has offered India an “Out of Box” Solution for the “Kashmir issue”. He said that the entire valley should be de-militarized as the first step towards peace. After giving such a lousy Solution honorable President expects India to accept this proposal.

The Pakistani Media in general is accused India to be “Narrow minded” and “Secretive” in approach when we rejected their proposal. I am sorry to say this, but the Pakistanis seem to live in a fool’s paradise where they think that their politicians have all best intentions in their minds and Indian politicians all cruel and wicked. How can India accept such a stupid proposal given the dubious record of Pakistan in reciprocating peace initiatives taken by India?

1. The Delhi-Lahore bus service was responded with a full scale intrusion in kargil, batalik and drass sectors in Kashmir valley.

2. The return of the dead Pakistani army soldiers with military honour after Kargil war (though Pakistan didn’t accept their own soldiers bodies) was reciprocated by return of heavily tortured and mutilated bodies of six Indian Soldiers including Capt. Saurabh Kalia.

3. The release of 90,000 Prisoners of war (POWs) by India after 1971 war was reciprocated denial of 53 Indian POWs who are still languishing in Pakistani dungeons.

Pakistan will have to prove that it is trustworthy and serious about their intentions before India to accept any proposal.

I also want to highlight topic concerning sincerity of Pakistan regarding the well-being of Kashmiris. More than often Pakistan screams about so-called “human rights violation” by Indian armed forces in Kashmir. They are the self-appointed messiah of the “oppressed kahmiri brethren” as they call them. If they are so sincere in their efforts, they wouldn’t have oppressed the citizens of Pakistan occupied Kashmir. In POK, the citizens do not have the basic rights of freedom of speech; the puppet government (headed by a puppet Prime Minister) is installed by the Pakistani establishment. This government acts as per the wishes of Pakistani government (Read army). The most striking feature is the gifting of a part of Kashmir occupied by Pakistani forces to China this move by Pakistan is actually anti-Kashmir, they don’t have any right to cut off a portion of Kashmir and give it to China. They also have never objected to illegal occupation of Chinese forces in Ladakh which is a part of Jammu and Kashmir, this region is called Aksai Chin. Their motives are clear, they won’t dare to say a word against China as they are the major arms suppliers and supporters of Pakistan, isn’t this hypocrisy?

Pakistan should first give clarification over these issues and then point fingers at India.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


The sting operation carried out by News channel Aaj tak and a internet website is hurting each political party equally. Though its not the first time that such an operation has stripped our shameless politicians but there is a difference this time. The tainted MPs are not from any single political party, the sting executors have shrewdly selected chunks of MPs from all the major national political parties. The approach these parties will adopt to target other parties when their own integrity is in question would be worth watching.

The sting executors should be declared as public servants and a part of tax that citizens pay to the government should be paid to them as salary because its actually social service what these brave men are doing risking their lives for a better future. These operations should be intensified and their scope also should be widened to encompass all the facets of corruption. The scale of these operations should be so large that even a greedy thought will be petrifying.

I am posting this article on 13th December, it was on the same day four years before that 9 security guards laid down their lives for the safety of these very MPs who were sitting in the Indian parliament after it was attacked by Pak based terrorists. I think every MP sitting there has betrayed the martyrs and the spirit of Nationalism. I hope that they prove in times to come that the sacrifices made were worth it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Small things...Big issues.

“Small things in life hurt more. You can sit on a mountain but u cannot sit on a pin”

When I first heard this quote I laughed but after sometime I realized that it’s a fact. Small things in life can make u cry and they are actually the ones which can ruin your life. I have seen best of friends fighting each other for a petty reason leading to bitterness in the minds. Relationships can also fail if we accumulate small drops which can actually turn into a devastating tide.

I have a simple funda in life… I like to clear any small issues that bother me. Its better to speak about it and clear it off rather than keeping them in mind and then risking any relationship. This is a simple way to keep life hassle free.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Saw the movie Apharan yesterday… Though initially I found it to be interesting, it turned up to be a boring and predictable after an hour…. I was actually expecting more from Prakash Jha… I had loved Gangajal and I wanted to see some good stuff related to the Bihar-UP Mafia…

Bollywood was mainly focused on the Mumbai underworld…but recently there were a couple of good films concentrating on the North Indian Mafia…”Sehar” was a good movie based on a similar theme but sadly it didn’t do well at the box office. I would like to see more and more films on the topic.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Irrational Bias

Are the sacrifices made by the soldiers during peace time less than those made in the war time? At least the Indian Government feels so. The compensation paid by the government to the families of the soldiers who die or get injured during peacetime is much less than those who die in a war. This discrimination done against a group of soldiers can lower the morale of the men in uniform.

Today when the army is finding it hard to attract people to join the forces, these irrational policies will scare away the potential aspirants.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Reservations against Reservations

Union HRD minister Arjun Singh is on an appease-the-minority spree. His idiotic plan includes giving Muslims reservations in premier Engineering Institutions (IITs) and Management Institutions (IIMs). God forbid but if he is successful in doing so, it will be the first time in India that there will be reservations based on religion. I am supportive to steps taken in direction of educating more and more Muslims but reserving seats in premier technical and management institutions will just benefit a handful few among the community. If the government really wants to uplift the whole Muslim community then it should do it at the grass root level. It should modernize the Madarsas where generally maximum Muslim children get educated. As it is an open secret that the most of the Madarsas polarize the young Muslim minds, they all should be brought under a common governing body which should be headed by the Muslims scholars and not clergy. This will make all the students more open minded and rational.

I am against any kind of reservations for any caste or religion. Reservations should only be provided to people from the Economically Backward Class because a poor Bramhin is as under-privileged as a poor Dalit or Muslim. The documents provided for the same should be meticulously scrutinized and only then the student should be allowed to avail the benefit.

Government seems to be in no mood of reducing the existing levels of reservations as was suggested by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Instead it is now planning to include Muslims in the beneficiary list and also extrapolating the reservation domain to the private sector. This is surely going to hinder the economic growth of our nation.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

In the name of honesty

The murder of IOC employee and IIM graduate Manjunath is disheartening. This just displays how the voices of crusaders against corruption are silenced brutally. Manjunath had closed down a petrol pump on the charges of adultery. The owner and his employees took their revenge by killing him ruthlessly.

This is not the first time that India has seen such killings. Whenever anyone stands up against injustice, the perpetuators either strip all his powers or kill him. If this continues then our democracy is heading towards a grim future where all the power will be incarcerated in the hands of ruffians.

To stop this mayhem the punishment rewarded to these murderers should not be restricted only to hanging but they should be tortured first and then hanged in public so that anyone with such motives will think twice before acting.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dark Devils

I confess that I love chocolates like majority of people on this globe do. I love pouring lots of chocolate sauce in my coffee and milkshakes but the heavenly taste it gives with ice creams is blissful.

I still remember how I used to eagerly wait for my relatives to return from abroad just to have loads of chocolates. Now my craze for imported chocolates has reduced to a very few varieties. I relish toblerone and ferrero rochers but my favourite are the liquor filled chocolates especially the ones filled with scotch and rum. As soon as the teeth stab the chocolate chunk for the first time, the liquor oozes out and forms a creamy homogeneous mixture, this lethal combination which is sure to satiate the taste buds. I am waiting for the day when chocolate manufacturing companies in India will start making these Dark Devils!!!