Wednesday, May 30, 2012

When did IPL become public ?

IPL is private cricket league game.  Yes, BCCI is the umbrella for all cricketing activities in India.  However, I have always thought that IPL is private.  The IPL owners have put in the money and hence reap benefits without getting taxed - and if this is not enough, the team in the story has a boss who smokes in public and struts around because he has money and the power.  We have heard about match fixing, drinking brawls and sleaze over the past week.  All this get front page.  Isn't that the story of IPL ?  Please correct me if I am wrong !!! I am not a cricket buff.  

The paper today put me off.  You have the chief minister of a state along with the governor celebrating the victory.  Ok.  The team is named after the city so, you are there for congratulating them.  But this is not a team representing the state - it is a team made up of people who are there to play after being auctioned.  If a victory for IPL is so important, then why doesn't any government show so much enthusiasm when their home teams win the Ranji Trophy ?  No top level official is seen conducting an appreciation ceremony, forget becoming the MC, the chief guest as well as joining in the dance finally ending in a lathi charge.

Whither are we going ?  Where is the wind blowing ?  And why do we follow blindly.

The above opinions are mine and mine alone.  I may be in danger but then, how are we as a people keeping quiet ?  What can we do ?  If we object, we will be called party breakers...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Spoilt Brat

The strike by pilots of the national career reminds me of a spoilt brat - no, not that of a child but an adult who has been indulged endlessly to the point of no return.

The last time the pilots went on strike, some of them were dismissed and then if I remember right reinstated.  This habit has made them so bold as to cripple the country, stranding thousands of passengers.  Every job comes with a certain amount of accountability and dignity.   This one is at its pits.  Not that I question employees rights to strike - it is necessary and essential sometimes.  However, going on a strike every six months and plunging the airline to more debts than what it is going through today is not justified.  The current reason given is the training being given to IA pilots for the 787 dreamliner.  When IA and AI have been merged into one entity, does your past still hold ?  Speak of mergers and acquisitions. 

If this is the attitude of the staff, why get us taxpayers to pay for it.  No wonder people try to evade tax.  Imagine, they are getting a 30,000 crore bailout and to top it they go on a strike.  Isn't this behaviour akin to a spoilt brat who goes partying when the family is plunging into debt.  Sometimes, it is better to cut the chord and hope that it will teach the child the value of security and the joy of spending something hard earned.  

I remember the last time I visited the Air India's office.  I had to cancel an international trip for a conference and thereby met the manager to ask him for cancellation procedures.  A gentleman walked in asking if he could get a discount on the ticket as someone known to him worked for the airline.  Another employee walked in asking that the manager's signature for a trip she was taking(I guess airline staff are entitled to trips, subsidised or free I am not sure - but they are which I gathered from the conversation).  All this was happening when the government was wondering how to bailout the airline from bankruptcy. 

Another time, a matronly woman had to be asked thrice by the lady sitting next to me for a blanket to cover herself up as she was feeling cold.  You should have seen the face of the matron. 

Would this have happened if it was a private carrier ? The staff's perks, such as the above would have been immediately cancelled and the expectation is that employees understand that a roof is better than pulling down the whole house.  Another airline in debt was allowed to sink  recently.  Then the question becomes, why not this one.  Just because it is a public carrier ?

It would have been understandable if the employees rallied around to save the carrier.  However, that is not what we as the public feel.  You never know when your flight will get cancelled - no surety.  A government servant is enough to cancel or delay your flight and no questions can be asked(the recent episode being the Maldives one where a plane was changed to accomodate a minister's family).  That is one reason why most people shift to private carriers.    

So, are we going to cut the leg and save the body or are we going to let it rot and stink with people around having to bear for it.  

(I know I sound brutal in places, but then this saga has been going on for too long.  Everytime there is talk of a bailout, parallely the staff go on strike as if it is their birthright.)