Thursday, 28 April 2011


This is only a paid and sponsored campaign by some rival company that manufactures costlier pesticides. Shame on all that are taken in by it!
The people of Kerala are being taken for a media ride again, as with the Manchium, goat farms swindles, and the false rosy publicity about the Smart City and other cities.

Disaster happened in Kasargode only because the Plantation Corporation owned by the government, kept on spraying the pesticide indiscriminately from the sky from helicopters, for decades together. Why they did so is clear; they acted at the behest of the helicopter leasers. This is/was an act of biological warfare by the State against its own citizens. PEOPLE WILL SUFFER IF IT IS MERE TALCUM POWDER THAT YOU SPRAY DOWN DAY IN DAY OUT FROM THE SKIES; NOT TO SPEAK OF PESTICIDES.
The pesticide is produced mostly by the public sector HIL and not by any private company alone. Some private interests are trying to dislodge this PSU from the field. For once, Pawar is being fair!

The media, politicians and the paid intellectuals are all acting under vicious influence. That the power to ban a pesticide is within the State government's jurisdiction from 2006, is very pertinent; and calls the lie on the LDF.

Sunday, 24 April 2011


Sree Bhoothanaathopakhyaanam was the first ever work to be printed about Ayyappa Swami, in any language.

Published in 1929, this Malayalam Kilippaattu brought the story of Ayyappa to popular attention for the first time in literature. It is from this work that the traditions and procedures of the pilgrimage came to be followed.

The author Kallaraykkal Krishnan Kartha died in the late 1930s and the book was not available in print after 1947.

The Ayyappa Documentation Project of the Sabari Sharanasramam Trust followed the book up and managed to obtain a copy of the 1947 edition. The book is now reprinted by them and copies are again available for the first time after 1947.

The status of Sree Bhoothanaathopakhyaanam Kilippaattu as far as religion and spirituality are concerned, is the same as that of the Ramayanam and Bhaagavatham Kilippaatu by Ezhuthacchan. Those works brought Sriram and Srikrishna to the popular mind in Kerala. Sree Bhoothanaathopakhyaanam did so about our own indigenous deity, the Ayyappaswami.

In his Foreword to the new print edition, Sri. Kummanam Rajasekharan has exhorted devotees to use the book for daily reading in temples and at home. He has also asked that the holy Vrischikam month be observed henceforth as Sree Bhoothanaatha Maasam.

The book is priced at Rs.100/-.

For copies:

Phone: 04842355575, 9447105579, 9567904159


Postal address:
Sabari Sharanasramam,
Pulleppady Road,
Kochi 682018


From: "R.Sajan"
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2011 11:20:37 +0530
It creates doubt in the minds of HDFC borrowers about your integrity, after you find HDFC to be an ethical company. They are the masters of thieving recovery in India.
I recently came across HDFC, advertising that their Cochin office had taken over some properties for non-repayment. The majority of the cases had total outstanding balances of less than Rs. 1.75 lakhs, to read from the advertisements. Considering that even a Cent of housing property in Ernakulam district is worth more than Rs. 2 lakhs, this seemed to be over enthusiasm for some reason on the part of the lenders.
It was seen that these loans had all been taken around 2002-2003 when the interest rates were around 7 or 8%. Within a few months however, rates began to climb. Currently, this particular lender charges 12.5%. The extra interest on each defaulted EMI is 18% additionally. The pathetic situation of the non-wilfully defaulting borrower can be imagined. The initial rosy interest rates offered are called Teasers; to tease the innocent public with!
In the current scenario, the borrower would have to again pay at least Rs. 5000/- extra per lakh for each year of the loan, to get his title deeds back in the end even if agreed instalments are regularly remitted. This is because interest has been raised to 1 ½ times arbitrarily after getting
the borrower to sign for the loan at 7 to 8% interest. If it be a twenty year loan, he ends up paying Rs. 1 lakh additionally for each Rs. 1 lakh borrowed, over and above the originally agreed repayment. If three instalments are defaulted, the loan becomes an NPA and within 6
months of continued default, this lender moves in under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 [SARFAESI], no questions asked. This draconian law was put in place to hide and shift from bank officials, accountability of deliberate bad loans. The take-over of property draws attention away from official misdemeanours in processing, sanction and conduct of the bad loans. The fixing of NPA at the end of three months is even anti-Indian when we admit our slow pace of national life.
The RBI has laid down that a defaulting borrower should be advised in advance of the lenders’ intention of deeming him a wilful defaulter; his objections to it should be called for and heard.
This is not done by the Company or for that matter, by most banks. It might be that the default is due to temporary issues like illness or loss of job. What the non-wilful defaulter receives out of the blue at the end of six months of default is a Notice telling him that his property would be
taken over if he does not remit the entire dues and costs within 60 days. Till recently, the borrower had to first remit 75% of the dues if his petition against re-possessing was to be even admitted by Courts. Even now, the waiving or fixing of such remittance is left to the discretion of
the Judge. While the Act requires the Notice to be issued only by an authorised officer of the financier, HDFC gets a top lawyer to issue it. The charges of Rs. 5000/- for that small notice is immediately loaded into the loan dues.
At the end of the 60 day period, the Company would make a request to the Collector. The lower officials would then be properly met by the Recovery agents of the Company and assistance of the Revenue and Police officials are immediately made available for possession of the house by the lender.
And no Keralite would ever default on a housing or gold ornament loan unless it is his suicidal only option. No middle class borrower can fight the financier in Court because of the financial might of latter to get the costliest lawyers.
I enquired about why the final dues in the aforementioned cases were less than Rs. 1.75 lakhs and yet such drastic measures were employed. I was astounded to hear that the actual dues are even less! And this is how it happens.
RBI has instructed that if the dues are Rs. 1 lakh or less, coercive measures of recovery should not be used. Such dues are to be only settled on arbitration. To overcome this difficulty, the Company has ways of bringing the balance to above one lakh. The intended possession of the property is advertised in all the editions of the biggest newspaper of the Company’s choice. Advertising costs come to around Rs. 50000/-. Each demand call by the Recovery officials is charged to the borrower at a minimum of Rs. 750/- per visit. Expenses of recovery procedure at the government official levels are at least Rs. 25000/- and may go up to any amount. Thus even if the loan dues is only Rs. 20000/-, the amount claimed for recovery is easily boosted to above Rs.1 lakh. There is no mechanism anywhere to check costs of such recovery procedure. Neither government nor the law comes to the poor innocent defaulter’s aid. In the cases we talked about earlier, the actual dues were only around Rs. 75000/- to Rs. 90000/-.
The Company’s Recovery officers who engage the Recovery agents etc have vested interests. It is known that the Officers receive Commission/kickback for all services acquired as part of Recovery. I was told that the same group of buyers purchases all the property put to auction by the Company, in different names. One might suspect some collusion here. HDFC officials are NOT bothered about any social commitment. They advise the borrower to sell the property and offer to find buyers. Imagine a borrower in temporary difficulties being thus coerced into selling his 10 cents with house so that a Rs. 10000/- or Rs. 20000/- of overdues can be normalised in the Company’s books.


Excerpts from Interview with Home Secretary GK Pillai, published in Business Standard on 14.2.2010:

1. What is the situation today? If a policeman is recruited on merit, he is good at his job. But if he pays money to get recruited, he spends the rest of his professional life looking for ways to get back his ‘investment’. So, recruitment has to be fair, and it has to be transparent.

2. Every political party thinks it owns the police and can use it to get people to vote for it. There are four police training schools in Jammu and Kashmir, but training there is virtually nil. Bihar has no training school at all. As a result, a policeman gets into the force and is thrown into the deep end. He learns on the job how things are done. He learns how not to file first information reports (FIRs) and how to write FIRs so that he doesn’t have to exert himself too much. Take a simple thing like cyber crime: Even a deputy superintendent of police might not know how to use a computer, let alone how to solve cyber crime – in his 35-year career, there is only one spell of training. How can he track new developments in this area?

3. Let me give you an example of shortages. In an area as sensitive to left wing insurgency as Dantewada (Chhattisgarh), there is only one police station, in Antagarh. Until a year ago, its sanctioned strength was 11. At a given time, six-seven policemen used to be present there. They were given no arms because there was a danger that the Naxalites would snatch their arms. The Naxalites were, of course, happy about this as overpowering the policemen would have taken them 40-60 minutes. Now, the strength has been increased to 30. We’ve deployed the Border Security Force there as well.

4. Transfers are governed by the Police Establishment Board. In UP, for instance, the average tenure of a superintendent of police (SP) is two months. They land in the district not knowing what it is all about. Before they can find their feet, they are moved out. Subversion is the easiest thing.

5. I can say without hesitation that in this matter, AK Antony, to whom I was a special assistant when he was the chief minister, was exemplary in his conduct. He refused to interfere in appointment of policemen. But if anything went wrong, the SP was held responsible. On the other hand, if the SP is beholden to a particular MLA for his appointment, he has to become a servant to that MLA. This happens all along the line.

6. West Bengal is a classic case. When the Lalgarh operation (against Naxalites) was on, we posted the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) there, but the force was not familiar with local operations and language. So, we got the police station reinforced by policemen from Kolkata. One weekend, we found the police station was deserted. So, we made some enquiries. We were told that the policemen had left for Kolkata — they belonged to the CPI(M) union and observed a five-day week.

7. In West Bengal, if you have to file an FIR, the police will direct you to the CPI(M) area committee office. The first thing you will be asked is: Are you a member of the party. If you’re not, the chap there will say: ‘I’m sorry, I can’t help you’. If you are, you will be given a chit and asked to go back to the police station, where your FIR will be registered.
So, West Bengal has no law and order problem because the party has solved them all.


Right from the 1950s, scientists have identified the seashores of Kerala as one of the greatest hot spots of background radiation on Earth. Subsequent surveys have established that Karunagapalli taluk of Kollam district has the highest background radiation in the world. Around 750 new cancer cases are registered every year from the 12 panchayaths around Karunagapalli. The most concentrated deposits of radioactive Monazites are found along the 55 km stretch of coast from Neendakara in Kollam district to Purakkad in Alappuzha district.

It is a pity that popular administrations have not bothered to raise the issue in international forums or seek help from agencies like the WHO to tackle this risk. The 55 kilometre stretch should be declared as a radioactive risky area forthwith. Government employees working there should demand and be given special risk allowances.

Pending such initiatives, Kerala government can immediately publish the area as the world’s only radiation tourism spot and try to sell it to foreigners.

Termites eat up Rs 1 crore at SBI branch in Uttar Pradesh

Barabanki (UP), 2011 April 21: Currency notes worth over Rs 1 crore were reduced to dust in the chest of State Bank of India (SBI) in Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district, officials said on Thursday. The mutilated notes were found in the chest on Wednesday. Apparently, termites ate the stacks of notes. The officials at the bank remained non-committal about the amount of cash destroyed. However they estimated that the loss of currencies could be worth over Rs 1 crore.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been informed about the incident and anti-termite treatment was underway at the branch. Branch Manager Sunil Dwivedi said, "I am not sure where the termites came from, but as you can see this building is quite old. Anti-termite treatment is now underway."

Lucknow, April 22: Though the exact amount of loss arising out of termites eating up currency notes inside a steel chest at a State Bank of India (SBI) branch in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh is yet to be quantified, it will be borne solely by the SBI itself and there would be no loss to the public at large. This was stated by Amarendra Sahoo, regional director of Reserve Bank of India, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal.

Talking to FE, Sahoo said that the joint team of senior RBI and SBI officials, which had visited the bank in Barabanki, has found that though mutilated, most of the notes eaten up by the termites had their numbers intact. “Those notes in which the numbers are intact, will be replicated by the RBI while the fate of those which have been mutilated beyond repair will be adjudicated once the investigation is complete,” said Sahoo, adding “there would be no loss to the public. The bank will bear the loss, if any.”

It may be mentioned that in an almost outlandish case, aghast bank officials on Wednesday found termites to have made a hearty meal out of currency notes worth approximately Rs 1 crore kept inside the strong room at a SBI branch in Fatehpur block of Barabank district near Lucknow. A team of senior officials of the SBI and RBI visited the branch on Thursday to investigate the matter. SBI AGM Geeta Tripathi, who headed the inquiry team said after the visit prima facie it appeared that the notes in the currency chest had been damaged by termites as the branch was housed in a very old building which was ridden by termites. Cases of files and furniture being damaged due to this malice had already been brought to the notice of the management and efforts were on to relocate the bank at some other place.

The SBI, had in a press release late on Thursday night clarified that “no discrepancy has been detected in the currency chest except that some notes have been found to be slightly damaged. We don't expect any loss arising out of this and all corrective measures have been taken”.