The Payment Bank news of today is quite revolutionary. Payment Banks could do to banking what mobile telephony we did to telecom in India - make it accessible and affordable to all.
I distributed solar lamps in memory of Papa (Thakur Hareshwar Dayal Sinha alias Bhaiyajee) at the high school in my native village Narsinghpur Pathra in Jharkhand. It was a great learning experience and a source of great satisfaction. I got to learn many things about the constraints under which the village school works. I am feeling truly blessed.
The Gandhi Maidan stampede at Patna on the eve of Dussehra is an avoidable tragedy of unimaginable proportions. Based on inputs of public spirited friends in Patna and newspaper reports, I managed to gather some facts about it.
India and Japan have very deep cultural similarities. At the root is Buddhism, the religion of the majority of the Japanese and also the family values that both Japanese and Indians have. One could argue that India has not been a Buddhist country for several centuries. However, the underlying value system is very much the same.
I spent the last week in Tokyo. This was my first visit to Japan. It was a rather hectic official visit. However, since I was meeting senior Japanese people, I got plenty time to interact with them and observe them very closely, both in office and outside office.
The elections are over and it is the time of wait before the results. Our newspapers and TV channels are busy projecting election results, which all seem to agree that Narendra Modi will be in power. They are also projecting that Bihar will be contributing good number of seats to his victory.
Bihar electorate gave a thumping mandate in 2010 rising above caste and narrow sectarian consideration to the political dispensation which showed it hope and was doing a truly great job on the development front. Old shibboleths which had kept Bihar tied to poverty and backwardness were getting broken and people were starting to see rays of a new sunrise. So clear was the mandate that all caste equation theorists were shown their place by the savvy voters of Bihar.
"All the accused were born and brought up in Mumbai": Mumbai Police Commussioner
When one of the criminals in Nirbhaya case happened to be born in Bihar, media went in overdrive publicizing Bihar all over. Not a mention of the origin of the others, nor even that the so called Bihari had moved to Delhi at a young impressionable age. It put into jeopardy the safety and livelihood of lakhs of poor Biharis working in different parts of the country. I would keenly watch how the National media handles this one.
Times of India has chosen to comment editorially on Bihar's demand for special status (Link). It is quite sad to note the level of ignorance prevalent among the editors of the national press when it comes to Bihar and its economic or, for that matter, cultural and political landscape. Editors are opinion leaders. Whatever they write is read with great interest by millions and helps shape opinion. It would be better if they familiarize themselves with some basic economic and political history of Bihar before writing such editorials.
By now, most people are aware of Brahmeshwar Singh, the leader of Ranveer Sena. His killing has ignited a lot of passion and has polarised Bihar as very few things have. The poison of casteism, which had started to wane, has got rekindled. His killing provoked massive outpouring of emotions first at Arrah and then at Patna on the day of his cremation when virtually the entire city was shut down for the entire day.
I once had a correspondence with a gentleman who though of Bengali origin had spent considerable part of his life in Bihar and identified himself both as a Bengali and a Bihari. Though it is about four years old, I think it is quite relevant for many of us.