Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Twin Bomb Blasts in Twin Cities

Twin bomb blasts rocked the twin cities on Saturday 25th of August 2007. The two bomb blasts happened with a gap of about 15 minutes begining at 7:45 pm at Lumbini Park Laserium. Thereafter at about 8:00 PM a bomb blast happened at Gokul Chat Bhandar, one of the famous eateries in the twin cities and a heavily crowded place on Saturday. Over 40 people were killed and more than 100 injured in this disastrous act of terrorism which shooked the twin cities completely and everyone including the Police Commissioner were taken by surprise.

The blasts at Lumbini park happened in a laserium with about 300 people. It was a bomb made out of Ammonium Nitrate ( which is an explosive since I have used it in our Chemistry lab once for testing some cations). The second blast happened in Gokul Chat which is one of the favorite chat spots in Hyderabad. At any point in time there would be atleast 50 people standing in Gokul chat. The explosion in Gokul chat could have been done by a suicide bomber or a gas cylinder and there is no evidence yet for that and investigations are in progress.

These incidents are third in the series starting from the Mecca Masjid bomb blast which happened on a fateful friday on 18th of May this year. It has been a very tumoltuous year for the goverment as well as the Police officials in the state and they are struggling to keep up with it. There is a bangladeshi terrorist group which has been quite active in the city from sometime and is the main cause of trouble.

Very recently the police commissioner issued orders to the IT companies to conduct a background check for each and every employee within the company since there was a report that a few of the terrorists are actually working within the IT companies. Moreso on one of the friday's we got a hoax call which stated that a bomb has been planted within our premises.

Last Sunday, due to heavy rains lashing the city the flyover bridge over the Punjagutta road collapsed partially killing more than 5 people and injuring a few others added to destruction of the property. It was a horrific incident and it actually went into the minds of individual and created an adverse impact with respect to safety and security. This incident added to the bomb blasts actually created a panic situation in the city which has forced most of the people to stay indoor on the weekends as well.

Yesterday and day before, we went for a drive to a few places which normally would be full of people. But to our surprise, the roads are wearing a deserted look and there is no one to be seen around. Most of the restaurants are empty and the most happening places in the city are absolutely crowdless. This is the first time when I am seeing a Saturday evening to be so quite. Again on Sunday we went to Nagarjuna Sagar, which is about 160 km from Hyderabad and is one of the most famous weekend destination here. On a weekend one can easily find couple of thousand people out there. But to my surprise, the road which was leading to Nagarjun Sagar as well as the Launch were completely out of people. There were a handful of people scattered across and it was raining very heavily all the time.

The incidents in the past few months have created a feeling of jittery in the minds of the people. Everyone is scared to come out of their homes. Whether it is driving under the flyover or visiting a temple. The security has been tightened considerably across every place of gathering and in the times of Ganesh Pooja its really difficult for the Police to manage the crowd. But inspite of all this people enjoy and spend their time with their loved ones. Although there is fear but then as someone has said. The show must go on.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

India @ 60

Today India celebrated its 60th Birthday. At the outset let me wish the country and my fellow citizens a very happy Independence day. Its a momentous occasion and when I look ten years back, the amount of enthusiasm and spirit has doubled thanks to the explosive growth of the media and communication.

Exactly ten years back, I was still in Kendriya Vidyalaya whereas my counterparts had already moved into junior colleges. My school at that point in time was one of the finest schools in Hyderabad and only one of the few KV schools to offer 11th and 12th in CBSE syllabus. I still remember the long preparations which underwent as part of the 50th I-Day celebrations in our school. There were host of cultural programs including some of the fascinating regional dances and parade. Sweets distribution used to be one of the major part of I-Day celebration in our school or for the matter of fact in any school. The snack pack as I can call it was also really good and matching the occasion of 50th I-Day. All in all it was probably one of my last day's in School and hence the importance of this day was more for me.

Thereafter when I was in college I never ventured out on 15th August and tried to stay indoor for all the four years. When I went to TAPMI to pursue my MBA once again the flavor of I-Day caught up in the campus and for consecutively two years we had some or the other celebration in our campus.

This year is special in its own terms. Its the 60th Independence day and it becomes equally important to go back into the past and see what we achieved together with an outlook into the future and what we wish to achieve. Numerous television channels took this as an opportunity and invited eminent personalities from different fields to talk about achievements of India. Its definitely very difficult to point out one single event in the history of last 60 years which would stand out but certainly there are a few which everyone of us remember it extremely well.

I would like to remember the victory of Kapil's Devil over the mighty WestIndies in the 1983 Prudential World Cup. Even Omkar Goswami rates this as the most important event in the last sixty years. The abolishment of the License raj in the year 1991-92 by then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh stands as the most important economic reform carried out till date in the history of Indian economy. Before this reform, we had just enough foreign currency to manage imports worth of two weeks. Such was the condition of Indian Government.

Reliance coming out with an Initial Public Offering in the year 1978 was also perhaps one of the landmark events in the history of India. This was the first time that a private enterprise was allowed to raise money from the public. Its said that Reliance shares helped some people in the marriages of their daughters and sons.

Some of the events like emergency in the year 1977-78 and the babri masjid demolition in the year 1992 together with the stock market scam by Harshad Mehta stand as negative moments in our history. The dot com bubble bust in the year 2000 together with the Asian currency crisis of 1997 also caused a havoc in the Indian economy. 9-11 would also remain a black mark in the history of India as well as the world.

Inspite of all this, there are a lot of issues in which India still needs to focus. Infrastructure is one of the biggest issues which can hamper the growth of India in every possible way. Political instability which can be seen from last few days on account of Nuclear treaty with US. Increasing population as we look very close to surpassing China. Scarcity of knowledgeable workforce. Rise in the rupee since it has risen close to 8 % in the matter of 2 months which can be extremely bad for the exports.

I shall touch upon each of the above areas in the coming articles. Lets see how India prepares to look forward to 2067.