Divine Intervention – 3

Official apathy, corrupted systems of governance, criminal politicians, cussed cops and the odd judicial slip have harmed human psyche.

Could God be of help?

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Trying to generate hope, I have so far penned 2 pieces of fiction – to restore faith in divinity amongst humans.

The links:

Divine Intervention 1

Divine Intervention 2

In both the tales, God Almighty plays a subtle role and restores sanity and parity.

I have begun writing the third.

Here is the first instalment.

August 22 2017

Nungambakkam rail terminal seemed huge and imposing to the demure, dusky 22-year-old, Telugu speaking girl D Swathi at 5-55 a.m. that Tuesday.

Her namesake had been murdered in cold blood in that very railway station in June 2016. The perpetrator, stalker-killer – one Ram Kumar – had dropped dead in a prison under mysterious circumstances a few weeks later. Chennai’s corrupt cops had complicated the murder probe. Some among them had succeeded in getting sections in the media to cast aspersions on the character of the victim posthumously. Later, Kumar’s suspicious ‘suicide’ was hurriedly buried in the shallowest of graves.

She had other reasons to be afraid.

Fear in a male form, with rippling muscles, clad in a crocodile brand black “T” shirt and black trousers with a leery expression to boot had stalked her all the way from home located some 600 metres away.

Chennai is India’s 4th largest metropolis located on the right flank of the Asian subcontinent’s limp phallus shaped peninsula’s upper half. On a map, Sri Lanka, the island nation, seems like a drop of semen dripping from a flaccid male organ.

Swati had joined the very organisation where her namesake had worked before – Tata Consultancy Services [TCS] a few weeks back.

The firm’s offices were located in a distant suburb named Maraimalai Nagar – some 50 km due south of where she stood.

Juxtaposed to rail terminals, the names Swathi and TCS have an eerie ring. Way back in 2014, another girl by the same name had died when a bomb planted under her seat went off in a stationary train in Chennai Central Railway Station.

Hailing from a lower middleclass family, D Swathi stayed with her parents and younger brother in Choolaimedu, a nondescript district located within a km of Nungambakkam railhead.

The place is a beehive of criminals. Many of them are drug peddlers, eunuch sex workers and pimps. Most of them are stool pigeons. Policemen wink at this flotsam and jetsam of the underworld – under the guise of running a network of informers to solve more serious crimes. The shameful ruse rarely works.

Defenceless girls trudging to and from work and/or educational institutions are regularly kidnapped and handed over to rich, sexual perverts. Videos of the resultant sadistic acts are used to blackmail and force some of the survivor victims into prostitution. Less attractive girls were/are first raped, then slaughtered and flung by the wayside far away from the crime scene – where – more often than not – the bodies are not identified.

Such abominable crimes have become commonplace in almost every 3rd world city. India’s Chennai is no exception.

Small-timers operating in Choolaimedu were “service providers” for larger underworld outfits centred some 7 km northward surrounding the city’s Puzhal Central Prison.

Swathi’s killer Ram Kumar was cited as dead after biting into a live electric wire in a highly restricted and remote zone within Puzhal prison – which was off bounds for an under-trial prisoner. Kumar’s regular cell was almost a km away from where his body was reportedly found – an electrical control room. Cops trotted out a cock and bull story that Swathi’s killer had bitten into an electric cable and had died of a fatal shock.

Swathi’s initial ‘D’ stood for Damarla. It denotes origins in the neighbourhood state of Andhra Pradesh. On that very day – August 22 – in 1639, one of her forefathers – a small-time vassal of the Vijayanagar Empire – Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu – had ‘granted’ the land between 2 rivers – the first being Cooum and the second named ‘Egmore’ to the ‘Honourable’ East India Company to build a ‘factory’ and a warehouse. [1] The former has morphed into a huge gutter. The latter river isn’t even visible. The ‘factory’ served as the first seat of power of colonial British.

Fort St George is the seat of power in Tamil Nadu today. From 1744 onwards, that stockade served as the take-off stage of the career of colonial Britain’s worst specimen Robert Clive.[2]

When known as Madras, Chennai could boast of a uniformed fraternity that cared for citizens. Police commissioners like Parangusam Naidu in 1919 and Sripall [1980-1984] the citizenry enjoyed a sense of safety. The political rulers – like the late Chief Minister MGR were of better stock. Finally there were others like Mohandas – the legendary policeman of Tamil Nadu.

The situation had worsened since the turn of the century.

It had reached its nadir after the Swathi murder. Since then, the mismanagement of law and order southern India’s show piece is at its worst. In early 2017, cops had allowed half a million persons to gather at Chennai’s seafront called the Marina Beach – demanding the holding of the annual bull-taming festival that had been banned by the Supreme Court. The do had culminated in mindless violence. The cops blamed it on the sudden entry of ‘unruly, non-state, opposition sponsored so-called unknown violent elements. The vital question as to how such a huge crowd had gathered on a thoroughfare marked in the south by the state police headquarters and Tamil Nadu’s seat of power – Fort St George in the north remains unanswered. 

Swathi briefly ducked into a nationalised bank’s air-conditioned teller machine console, inserted her Andhra Bank debit card, punched her 4 digit personal index number [PIN], clicked the ‘savings account’ and ‘withdrawal’ slots respectively and typed 5-0-0. Unexpectedly, 5 crisp, hundred rupee notes came out of the dispenser.

A warning note in the balance slip informed her that she was below the Rs.1000 minimum limit in bank accounts.

“Mine is a Jan-Dhan account – and hence the minimum balance routine shouldn’t count,” she muttered under her breath.

The tall promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi didn’t matter to the shrewish females that manned Andhra Bank’s branch where her savings account was lodged.

“Those are our rules. If you think we are violating them, you can take your account and go elsewhere. The banks need to make a profit and pay its staff. You freebooter paupers keep draining our precious resources,” the school marm-like manageress had announced when Swati had tried to protest the other day. During that exercise, a diabetic subordinate of the man-eating tigress like manageress was ticked off for being a bit late in a highhanded and rude manner. His obvious chagrin caused the man to initially wince and then lurch unsteadily before he returned to his seat.

The likes of scofflaw Vijay Mallya who owed close to Rs.100 billion to high street banks in India were enjoying life abroad while the nationalised financial institutions’ decision makers that had illegally funded his shenanigans with people’s money played silly parlour games by pretending to auction the ill gotten wealth of the fugitive profligate. If the poor as much as whimpered a protest, the persons behind the counters shamelessly cited non-existent rules and barked threats – sending those whose money actually generated their salaries – scurrying for cover. Like elsewhere in the globe, the dice were loaded against the poor in India and its southern metropolis.

Swathi had needed the change. She entered a small shrine for the elephant headed Hindu God, Ganesh sitting virtually next to the ATM.

“Save me from the clutches of this cruel world, O Lord! Every day, this stalker chases me right till the station and I do not want to die like my namesake. I am afraid to go to the police because he may be part of a gang that regularly pays the cops. I am scared of losing my job. My family needs the money badly. The management will wash its hands off if something untoward happens. I get the heebie-jeebies about getting raped. Please save me, sir!”

Wiping tears from her eyes, Swathi hurriedly shoved a single Rs.100 currency note into the offerings’ box, joined her palms in prayer and ducked out of the shrine’s low threshold. As she ran up the stairs of the foot over-bridge towards the platform– the rowdy – leaning on a lamp post at ground level – whistled.

“The rhythmic movement of your behind stirs my loins and challenges my manhood! Why don’t you take an off and see a movie with me today?”

The rowdy’s cat call irked her. Pretending not to hear him, Swathi bounded up the stairs.

Meanwhile, another, similar devotee placed two plantains on the offerings’ box hurriedly and left. A hungry cow craned its neck and succeeded in grabbing the fruits. Swathi’s improperly inserted hundred rupee note slipped out and fell by the wayside.

I picked it up – knowing that it would come in good use a few minutes later.

Some 1 km to the north of the railhead is a small vegetarian eatery Subha Niwas that serves mouth watering fare at very competitive prices.

An obviously hungry beggar stood beyond the cash counter asking for a free cup of tea. The cashier was shooing him away.

“It is okay. Please give him the drink. I will pay,” I said as I entered.

“Hello! You are here after a long time,” the waiter said as he placed the cup of strong coffee on the table. A small stainless steel vessel containing sugar was placed helpfully next to the beverage. “You seem fitter than before,” the waiter added.

As the beggar finished his cup of tea and tried to enter the establishment to thank me, the cashier waved him away angrily.

A moment later, the rowdy who had stalked Damarla Swathi wandered in and devoured four idlis [spongy rice-cakes] in a jiffy.

The rowdy was obviously very, very, hungry.

Someone looking like his cousin parked his ‘Enfield Bullet’ outside and ambled in.

“You ready with the cash, Sengodan? The boss doesn’t like to wait. And the rendezvous is a long way off – close to Sriperumbudur – on the Bangalore highway,” the newcomer said.

“Yes…I have the Rs.1.5 lakhs in 2000-rupee-notes. I hope the brown sugar is of better quality this time. Last time’s supply had some silly, illegal additive. Clients got a better ‘kick’ but one of them dropped dead. Luckily none in the vicinity of the OMR [Old Mahabalipuram Road] – the IT corridor – where most of the stuff was sold – made the connection. A murder rap is the last thing I want,” Swathi’s stalker said.

“The boss has it all covered. He has huge influence in the police department – both at the state and at the centre. He invests the money earned from these shenanigans into real estate – building on lands acquired cheaply and at what are known as ‘competitive rates’. The money is very, very well hidden. Some 3 years ago, there was a building collapse in the suburbs that killed 61 chaps – all poor labourers from northern India. That makes it 61 murders and not even a single murder case was registered and/or pursued. The semi-high rise with 11 floors in question collapsed like a house of cards and yet none of those who had bought them seriously pursued the case. Whatever settlement had to be done, was perhaps done out of court. Don’t worry about murder and/or any raps. The boss will take care of them all. Talking of the drug OD victim, I heard that the boy died on the road. Someone cleaned out his purse, credit cards, wrist watch, gold chain, i-fone mobile and a lot more. That someone happened to be one of your flunkeys. So, cut the sanctimonious, self-righteous shit and let us get going.”

The duo settled the bill and left.

“You haven’t touched your coffee, sir,” the waiter announced standing next to the chair where I was seated.

“I suddenly don’t feel like having any. There is a bitter feeling on the tongue and in the intellect,” I said, settled the bill for the other man’s tea and my coffee with the Rs.100 crisp note I had picked up and emerged from the eatery. The beggar rushed towards me. I left Rs.20 and change in his bowl. I retained the Rs.50 note, for I knew it would soon find a use.

“Use the money for eating and not drinking,” I told the man and walked away.

O0o0o0o0o0o0o0oO

As she left her office around 6 p.m., Swathi called Veerabahu – her younger brother – a class 9 student.

“Come to the railway station in exactly one hour. That fellow was chasing me today morning also,” Swathi announced.

“I can do very little to that body-builder if something bad happens,” Swathi’s male sibling commented.

“Let us all hope that it never comes to that. There is a saying in Telugu – a male even if he is of the size of a palm – is protection enough.”

“Okay, I will come,” the boy grudgingly said.

It had been a hectic day at office.

Retired Director General of Police Durgaiyadimai Dheeran Thiruvachagam had addressed a select gathering of systems analysts in TCS. Swathi had been part of the audience. The man’s initials constituted the acronym DDT, an insecticide currently banned in many nations. [3]

“In more ways than one, my initials – DDT have serious similarities with the properties of the insecticide DDT. There are many who call me a ruthless, uncompromising demon who ends criminals’ lives with ruthless and cruel suddenness. I had served in the army and was known as a killing machine. More often than not, I shot the enemy-wallahs dead and never bothered asking questions. But, once I returned to civvy-street as a cop, I changed a few of my tactics. In one of the districts bordering Chennai – where I had been posted as a DIG, a retired colonel and his wife were robbed and killed by masked robbers. The killers had decamped with cash and jewels worth about Rs.60 lakhs. They were parents of one of my pals killed in action Kargil. The doctor who examined the bodies told me that they had died less than an hour ago. These gangs usually have about 10 or 11 chaps. We stopped all vehicles and the odd train leaving the area. In some 45 minutes, my juniors had nabbed the baddies. I asked my men to herd the villains into a nearby forest area sans any locals. The booty was found on them. Someone in the force who knew these types guessed that they all were hardened criminals who could be made to talk. But, recovery of stolen properties from past heists could well nigh be impossible as smart lawyers could delay matters in court. The chaps would eventually get bail, vanish and sooner or later…would commit the same crimes again, he said. I knew that the assessment was correct to the last punctuation mark. I asked the criminals to be lined up and took a hard look at them. Picking up a 303 rifle, I calmly shot all the knee caps of all the chaps and also their elbows – rendering them invalids for life. By then, the criminals were begging for mercy and said they would part with all their booty hidden somewhere in Andhra Pradesh – between the railway terminals of Bitragunta and Kaavali. The criminals were then forced to lie down on their stomachs. One of my boys ran the wheels of a police jeep on their injured limbs. We ensured that the chaps lived and dropped them off outside their village and came away leaving a note in Telugu behind – “Any and all those who wish to sample our welcoming party in Chennai are welcome. This wonderful treatment awaits you!” The number of masked robber gangs’ activities in TN has been vastly reduced. The villains, probably, are still alive but will never squeal to bleeding heart human rights’ defenders. They know my type never takes a chance. None of those gangsters can ever be sure as to what I would end up doing. In their warped mind they may imagine that I would lead a vigilante team of commandos and kill them all. Some of my batch mates actually did something like that in Maharashtra a few years ago. Nevertheless, there are cases of such gangs operating in AP. I admit that the methods I just described are not legal at all. Obviously, they are very, very cruel and inhuman. These days, such robbers have learnt a few more dirty tricks. The operators with different modus operandi come from other states too. Criminals’ heist planning quotient – has improved and larger heists have happened and are eluding the inevitable end. But, instances of masked robbers – hitting families in secluded homes in the edges of Chennai city have drastically come down. Is it only due to what I did? Perhaps not, I would carefully add. But, my tactics, sure as hell, must have contributed to the number of such instances coming down. I am like the DDT – illegal in many ways, but, have my useful sides as well,” DDT had said as his opening gambit. The listeners had giggled.

The balding retired cop advised the IT professionals to strengthen the arms of the central government by getting time allotted by the management to hack codes of secretive offshore banks that helped villains stash ill-gotten money in numbered accounts.

“These bastards stole from this nation … or … every one of you. You should help retrieve this stash and deposit it into the coffers of the Government of India, from where the baddies cannot get it back. The money will help India that is Bharat into becoming Bharat that is India. Emperor Bharat had sowed the seeds of proper, operative democracy and selection process of rulers strictly on the basis of merit some 4,000 years ago. It is well nigh impossible to do something as dramatic as that at this point in time. But, with better funding, the government can attempt doing stuff that will help the larger interests of we the people of this nation,” the former officer had stated during his 2 hour long presentation. During the tea break, Swathi had buttonholed the former officer.

“I am not sure whether the management here will allow such hacking. But, some of my friends could do this outside the office in our spare time, sir,” Swathi had told the man.

“Better be careful child. Your namesake was killed … I suspect … because …she was attempting something of this sort. Her killer Ram Kumar was a fall guy who was easily and shamelessly eliminated by corrupt elements in the police force to which I belonged sometime ago. In my opinion, a chilling message was sent to warn such covert vigilante groups – not to crack such codes and retrieve stolen stashes. But, I would say, continue doing it till the baddies find it too difficult to rob the common citizens of India. God only knows how many Ram Kumars are lurking and with what purpose,” DDT had opined.

“But sir, as you say, if some bad people from the police department are involved, what about our safety? Forget the stashes abroad. I am being tormented by a local stalker and am scared to seek help from the nearby cop house,” Swathi said bitterly.

“I played the role of an avenger while donning the uniform. Now, I can’t pull off such shenanigans. Times have changed. The way things are regressing, one can only pray to God! Who knows, God may still help,” DDT had said finally.

As Swathi got into the train at Maraimalai Nagar, her younger brother – a slender teenager lad set out from home, to accord his sister a modicum of security as she walked home.

To be continued

[1]

The factory and the warehouse were housed in what came to be known as Fort St George – from where the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu is being ruled … or perhaps more correctly … misruled.

On 22 August 1639, the piece of land lying between the river Cooum almost at the point it enters the sea and another river known as the Egmore river was granted by a junior member of the Damarla clan to East India Company after obtaining a permission to cede to the white man had been obtained from then Vijayanagar monarch whose first name was Venkatadri.

On this piece of waste land was founded Fort St. George, a fortified settlement of British merchants, factory workers, and other colonial settlers. Upon this settlement the English expanded their colony to include a number of other European communities, new British settlements, and various native villages, one of which was named Madraspatnam. The British named the entire combined city Madras to mark the occasion.

Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is one of the biggest cultural, economic and educational centres in South India. According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth-largest city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city and its suburbs that includes most part of Kanchipuram district, constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world. Chennai is among the most visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked 43rd most visited city in the world for year 2015.

The Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India.

Chennai attracts 45 percent of health tourists visiting India, and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists.

As such, it is termed “India’s health capital”

Chennai has the third-largest expatriate population in India. It stood at over 100,000 in 2016 as per census reports.

Tourism guide publisher Lonely Planet named Chennai as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015.

The metropolis is ranked as a beta-level city in the Global Cities Index and was ranked the best city in India by India Today in the 2014 annual Indian city survey.

 In 2015 Chennai was named the “hottest” city (worth visiting and worth living in the long term) by the BBC, citing the mixture of both modern and traditional values.

 National Geographic ranked Chennai’s food as second best in the world; it was the only Indian city to feature in the list.[23] Chennai was also named the ninth-best cosmopolitan city in the world by Lonely Planet.

The Chennai Metropolitan Area is one of the largest city economies of India. Chennai is nicknamed “The Detroit of India”, with more than one-third of India’s automobile industry being based in the city. In January 2015, it was ranked third in terms of per capita GDP. Chennai has been selected as one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission.

[2]

Sometime in June 1744, a rowdy element from England’s Shropshire called Robert Clive began life as a clerk and rose to become a general. Known to have terrorised those who studied in his home’s vicinity, Clive cemented the authority of what was also then known as ‘John Company’.

Clive ‘oversaw’ the dispensation of the ‘white man’s ‘justice’. The greed of short-sighted, egoist weak Muslim noblemen – Muhammad Ali and Chanda Sahib helped him. The insistence of blue-blooded Frenchman Governor General Joseph-François, Marquis Dupleix to fight according to rules aided the cunning former clerk with enormous chutzpah. Within the next half a decade, the authority of the French had decayed and that of the British flew full mast from Fort St George.

In the mid 1740’s, British Prime Minister William Pitt ‘the elder’ hailed Clive as a ‘heaven-born-general’ without any military training.

Clive returned to Great Britain at the age of 35 with a fortune of at least £300,000 filched from India plus an annual ‘quit-rentof £27,000.

Lord Macaulay praised Clive thus: “Clive gave peace, security, prosperity and such liberty as the case allowed to millions of Indians, who had for centuries been the prey of oppression. [Clive was better than] Napoleon [Bonaparte whose] career of conquest was inspired only by personal ambition. 

[3]

DDT or Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane is a colourless insipid odourless crystalline insecticide whose early form was created in 1874. Its commercial use was perfected by Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Mueller in 1939. Some 9 plus years later, Mueller got the Nobel for medicine as the poisonous chemical was effective in destroying harmful arthropods which are insects of the arachnid and crustacean variety. These beings constitute roughly 80% of the world’s animal population. Opinion about letting them live peacefully is divided. Known to cause several diseases in two-legged and 4-legged creatures, a section of humanity wishes to exterminate them. A larger group opposes this idea because the poor voiceless things help in pollination and thus spread of vegetation – the world over.

In 1962, marine biologist Rachel Louise Carson – whose interests centred around saving the world through conservation of multiple species authored the book Silent Spring. The book revealed that DDT also caused cancer among humans and was a serious threat to wildlife, particularly birds. The ‘Bald Eagle’ [national bird of the US of A] and Peregrine Falcon were 2 birds that had almost been rendered extinct by hunters and also by DDT. A decade later, United States of America banned use of DDT by accepting the ruling made under the auspices of Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Thanks to the ban, the 2 birds in question can be seen flying freely in the American continent. Nevertheless, DDT is still used in some nations as it effectively kills mosquitoes that spread fatal epidemics like malaria.

Is India’s Supreme Court Being Manipulated by Sinister, Criminal Bankers?

Is India’s Supreme Court being manipulated to suit evil designs of criminal wrongdoers – with special emphasis on the nation’s banking woes?

“The Judiciary is at loggerheads with the political establishment in a one upmanship game. But we need transparency and accountability in both institutions, not just Parliament,” is a comment published in the Times of India in September 2016 – some two months prior to the demonetisation move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Supreme Court asked the central government to reduce the inconvenience of the people of India, saying “you cannot have surgical strike” against the common public. “You (Centre) can have a surgical strike against black money but you cannot have surgical strike against the people of the country,” a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice D Y Chandrachud said, pointing to the long queues at banks and ATMs within days of the demonetisation move by the Modi regime, a report in the website jantakareporter.com quoted the judges as saying on November 15 2016.

But, is the Apex Court doing its duty to curb the relentless acts of India’s worst criminal banker TM Bhasin – that seek to destroy India’s financial sector? The man has been left untouched since May 2016, despite a matter having been filed in July 2015.

The case of Vigilance Commissioner and India’s only criminal banker TM Bhasin is curious to say the least.

Operative excerpts from a report published in The Times of India in May 2016:

The Supreme Court issued notice to the centre over a petition challenging the appointment of former banker TM Bhasin as Vigilance Commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

Bhasin , who is a former chairman and managing director of Indian Bank, was appointed as Vigilance Commissioner in June last year by the Selection Committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and including Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge.

According to reports, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, had sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a letter sent on in June,2015, to render Bhasin’s appointment null and void on the grounds of “moral turpitude”. Swamy had cited correspondence which revealed a previous CVC had recommended departmental action against Bhasin.

Swamy was referring to a 2011 complaint against Bhasin for allegedly “deliberately tampering” with the appraisal of a subordinate.

The earlier CVC had recommended that Regular Departmental Action should be initiated against TM Bhasin.

Since July 2015, the Supreme Court is seized of a serious matter against Bhasin.

Excerpts from averments in the public interest litigation [PIL] being heard in the Apex Court against Bhasin:

Bhasin was indicted in a detailed inquiry by the Central Vigilance Commission in 2013 for forging and tampering with appraisal report of Malay Mukherjee– a former General Manager of the Indian Bank.

The Central Vigilance Commission recommended action against current CMD of Indian Bank – TM Bhasin as early as August 2013 asking the Union Finance Ministry to comply.

Operative excerpts:

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has sought action against Indian Bank CMD TM Bhasin and former ED V Ramgopal for “high-handedness, arbitrariness and manipulation” of appraisal reports of Malay Mukherjee, a general manager in the bank, with a view to deny him a promotion.

The CVC also sought action against Shreya Guha [currently Secretary to Kalyan Singh, Governor, Rajasthan], a director in the ministry, for lapses in conducting enquiry against Bhasin and Ramgopal.

Seeking regular departmental action (RDA) against the two top-raking Indian Bank executives, CVC had told the finance ministry that Mukherjee’s performance for 2009 had been reviewed by the then ED A S Bhattacharya and M S Sundarrajan, who was then the CMD of the Chennai-headquartered bank. Bhasin and Ramgopal were not required to appraise Mukherjee for 2009-10 as he had not worked with the two executives, the report adds.

Despite this, Bhasin had “managed to get elected” as the Chairman of Indian Banks’ Association in 2014!

The missive from former Union Minister and currently senior member of the ruling party Dr Subramanian Swamy was strongly worded. It had been sent to the Prime Minister on 11.06.2015. It stated that charges against Bhasin were “very serious” and that the recommendation of the selection committee to appoint Bhasin as VC must be withdrawn on two grounds:

The first: “The finding of moral turpitude by CVC of Bhasin makes him unfit to keep the position of Vigilance Commissioner.

The second: Bhasin had allegedly collaborated with the nation’s enemy Dawood Ibrahim to ruin Bank of Baroda and thus destroy the Indian financial system.

Bhasin’s target in late 2014 had been reputed banker SS Mundra, who retired as one of the deputy governors in the Reserve Bank of India [RBI] recently. Bhasin had wanted the post Mundhra was scheduled to get as Bank of Baroda was larger and the position was more prestigious.  Bhasin had reportedly managed to keep Mundra waiting for several months.

Mundra’s elevation to RBI became possible after Dr Kamalesh Chandra Chakrabarty – another ex-Indian Bank head quit his RBI post 3 months ahead of schedule. Having spent most of his years in BoB, Chakrabarty has an impeccable record as a banker.

Bhasin took charge as the VC on June 11 2015.

In recent times, the Supreme Court has slammed the financial sector – with special emphasis on RBI.

“RBI is supposed to uphold public interest and not the interest of individual banks. We have surmised that many financial institutions have resorted to such acts which are neither clean nor transparent. The RBI in association with them has been trying to cover up their acts from public scrutiny,” said a bench comprising Justices M Y Eqbal and C Nagappan.

According to official RBI communiqués, the total write-offs in the 133 scheduled banks in India include a huge chunk of technically written-off accounts. The trotted out reason is: “After technical write-offs, there is no incentive for banks to pursue recovery.”

Rs. 1,14,000 crores worth ‘bad loans’ have been technically written off during the last 3 financial years (2012-13 to 2014-15). The write-offs exceed the previous nine years’ dubiously written off debts.

Of the total bad loan stock of Rs 4,43,691 crores in the banking industry, between 65-70 percent is linked to the corporate sector.

According to official RBI communiqués, the total write-offs in the 133 scheduled banks in India include a huge chunk of technically written-off accounts. The trotted out reason is: “After technical write-offs, there is no incentive for banks to pursue recovery.”

“We have to go after corrupt bank managements as well as corrupt promoters. There is no doubt that we need to do it. We do not have enough teeth. There are these promoters who have diverted funds. “Diverted fund” is a euphemism. I would say plainly that they have stolen the funds, and we cannot go after them. It takes too long,” so said Raghuram Rajan, former Governor of RBI, who is ill-disposed towards the demonetization process and is the blue-eyed boy of ace criminal lawyer P Chidambaram.

Even as all this was happening private sector foreign banks have ‘sold’ their bad debts of small borrowers to private banks in India. The buyer of such debts is a private bank – Kotak Mahindra. It has begun hounding those hurt by the financial downturn, despite its acts being in-congruent with India’s debt recovery laws.

If one takes a close look at how Satyam Computers morphed into Mahindra Satyam, one’s hackles would be raised!

Bhasin’s current protector-in-chief is Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley!

Removing Bhasin ought to be child’s play for the President of India on the basis of the above. Operative excerpts from the relevant rule book:

Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner shall be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be, ought on such ground be removed. The President may suspend from office, and if deem necessary prohibit also from attending the office during inquiry, the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court under sub-section (1) until the President has passed orders on receipt of the report of the Supreme Court on such reference. (3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the President may by order remove from office the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner if the said Central Vigilance Commissioner or such Vigilance Commissioners is and/or are involved in offences of moral turpitude.

[Emphasis added]

Excerpts from CJI TS Thakur’s thoughts on the functioning of the Apex Court:

The Constitution tells us that what would be the works to be done by the government. It has fixed the duties and responsibilities for judiciary, executive and legislature. “The judiciary has been given the duty to keep a watch that nobody crosses that limit. Any order which is against the Constitution, judiciary can set it aside to maintain the rule of law.

The obvious scofflaw Bhasin is being simply overlooked by the judiciary – and surprisingly even by the President – Pranab Mukherjee. Both have the powers to initiate action suo motu.

Yet, it hasn’t been done. Both Bhasin and his saviour Shreya Guha have been left untouched.

It is a matter of public knowledge that Bhasin is a favourite of FM Jaitley.

Jaitley also happens to be a senior lawyer whose spheres of influence encompass many rooms in India’s Supreme Court.

Jaitley’s utterances have embarrassed the PM on the demonetisation endeavour.

Banking sector is yet to rise up to the challenge of making life of the suffering common laity simpler. The likes of Vijay Mallya, of course make merry beyond the borders of India.

So, should India’s Apex Court judges look at themselves in the mirror and ask: “are we being manipulated to suit evil designs of criminal wrongdoers – with special emphasis on the nation’s banking woes?”

India’s Demonetisation Tale’s Untold Parts

Prime Minister Modi’s sudden demonetisation trashing Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes achieved many things.

The move successfully forced around Rs.8.5 lakh crores [US$128 billion] worth stashed ill-gotten wealth back into the economy.

Among other things, the step exposed the camouflaged meadow-snakes’ poison-dripping fangs.

The trashing of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes was the second surgical strike against Pakistan. Its singular success is the binning of the only flourishing business in Pakistan – printing of counterfeit currency – for the time being.

Reports reveal that Pakistan had pumped as much as Rs.20 lakh crores into the Indian economy to fund terrorism and cripple Bharat financially using diplomatic bags and human mules through Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa and UAE, to name just a few.

According to intelligence inputs, the illegal currency funded sabotage in the Kashmir valley and encouraged Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in Muslim pockets of Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Significantly, pro-Pak street protests in Kashmir have simmered down.

It also lined the pockets of what passes for ‘sections of the secular press in India,’ reports added.

Peeved at the loss and with nothing better to do, the anti-Modi channels are yelling blue-murder on the demonetisation issue.

Significantly, a huge cache of cash was being burnt in Uttar Pradesh. Some of the smoking embers have been recovered and sent for forensic tests to find links with Pakistani sabotage. This news disappeared from headlines almost immediately after it appeared for the first time. 

One probable reason is that the Modi regime does not want to give more credit to Pakistan than what has already been done. Further, such talk could trigger a run on Indian economy.

The cobra in the grass

My tweet early Wednesday: “Did anyone bother to notice [Union Finance Minister] Arun Jaitley’s silence on the surgical strike against black money?”

Operative portions of Jaitley’s mischievous response 10 hours later that has a lot of hidden meanings: [Jaitley’s statements are in a different colour for easy identification.]

“A lot of currency operating outside system will now have to get in to banking system”.

The unsaid part:

At least 48 hours before the demonetisation, there were serious attempts to turn some Rs.25,000 crores from black to white. Premiums amounting to 25% were on offer – in Chennai. This writer has personal knowledge of it.

Simply put, the ‘system’ is rotten, per se. And Jaitley propagates the rotten system.

“It will change the course of the way people spend and keep their money”.

Read between the lines:

Jaitley implied that moneybags would rethink on bankrolling the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP].

“The new step is also of significant advantage.”

The tricky double-Dutch

The significant advantage has been introduced already. Small-time shopkeepers and/or housewives and/or other individuals can shove money into the banks in minor tranches – from Rs.5 lakhs to Rs. 40 lakhs. It would result in at least 35% of the ill-gotten stash to change colour and crawl back into the crannies of the economy.

It doesn’t nudge the economy in the direction of a cashless economy, but, significantly pushes it toward one.”

The Houdini act – to escape criticism – the reality:

There are no 100% cashless economies anywhere in the world.

There are only hopes – to achieve this utopian concept, or so said the Harvard Business Review some 4 months ago. Operative excerpts:

Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are already considering it, while the European Central Bank is considering getting rid of large-denomination bills.

Cash, according to a recent MasterCard study, accounts for nearly 85% of global consumer transactions.

Some of Sweden’s neighbours, in response to EU’s increasing regulations on restricting cash usage, are demanding a “constitutional right to pay in cashfuelled by concerns around negative interest rates and a perceived loss of privacy that comes with digital money.

Mobile payments today account for over 70% of all e-commerce transactions in China due to wallet wars among three major players – whose acronym is BAT. They comprise Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.

Keeping ATMs stocked and working properly is a cost to banks. These ATM maintenance costs are disproportionately high in many parts of the developing world, such as sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America , with myriad security and infrastructure challenges, as well as in geographically large, sparsely populated countries, such as Canada, Russia, and Australia, where the logistics challenges are high.

The absolute cost of cash to consumers, based on average transit time and cash access costs are high in some of the world’s most populous countries: Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, China, and the United States. They are high in many of the major European countries, such as Germany and France, as well as in Japan. These costs are lower in several Scandinavian countries with relatively entrenched mobile payments systems, such as Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, as well as countries with rapidly evolving mobile payment systems, such as South Korea and Kenya.

Countries in the developing world tend to have a greater tax gap and a greater degree of uncertainty about the reliability of the estimate of the gap. Developing countries have the largest tax gaps, with their shadow economies as large as 30%-44% of GDP. In India, for example, the tax gap could be as large as two-thirds of overall taxes owed.

The following countries have the greatest potential for unlocking value by policy and innovation led migration to a cashless society: U.S., Netherlands, Japan, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic, China and Brazil. The U.S., for example, incurs a cost of $200 billion annually to keep cash in circulation; nearly a third of all store sales are still cash based despite its long history with plastic money

The second group that could go cashless in the long run includes parts of Eastern Europe such as Poland and Russia, and countries with large populations such as India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Egypt, and the Philippines. Cash imposes severe costs on consumers in India and Mexico as we detail in our Cost of Cash studies

New Delhi’s 11 million inhabitants collectively spend some 72 million hours per year chasing cash.

Mexico’s small businesses suffer a 21% incidence of cash fraud — nearly twice the rate faced by larger businesses in the country.

“The government’s decision has given a sense of satisfaction among honest tax payers.”

The hidden prose:

Suddenly the middle-class with cash available on their declared returns would be in demand and make a killing – by merely circulating the ‘available balance on their cash-books to help money change colours and thus help financial villains.

“Long term advantage to the economy is significant. We appeal to the people to bear the minor inconveniences for the short period of time.

It is a big feint for a future sucker punch.

Ground is being prepared through this guarded statement on short-term inconveniences to assail the PM in the future.

Post script:

Question:

Will this end black money?

Answer: NO!  Persons with leeway in their income tax returns will make a killing by helping cash change colour from black to white and then to black again. Help could come from sources that owe allegiance to – of all people – FM Arun Jaitley!

Question:

Will Pakistan stop its misadventure?

Answer: No. The ISI goons will try to counterfeit the newer notes

Verdict

One should view the demonetisation exercise in the final analysis. The longer term reactions will be the ones to watch.

India’s Banking Sector Needs A “Wash Basin” Visit

Is India’s public sector banks’ inbuilt statutory policing body – the Central Vigilance Commission [CVC] – by itself its biggest malaise?

Has such a sad state of affairs resulted in non-performing-assets [NPAs] rising alarmingly to the tune of roughly Rs.4.4 lakh crores [$66 billion]?

The answer to both the queries are in the affirmative – because of one man – TM Bhasin – the third in the CVC’s hierarchy – meant to safeguard the interests of the nation’s banking through effective policing.

Bhasin is occupying his post with the brazenness of a hardened criminal.

Bhasin took charge as the VC on June 11 2015.

The earlier CVC had recommended that Regular Departmental Action should be initiated against Bhasin.

The Supreme Court is seized of the matter against Bhasin since July 2015.

Excerpts from averments in a public interest litigation [PIL] being heard in the Apex Court against Bhasin:

  1. Bhasin was indicted in a detailed inquiry by the Central Vigilance Commission in 2013 for forging and tampering with appraisal report of Malay Mukherjee – a former General Manager of the Indian Bank. [1]
  2. Despite this, Bhasin managed to get elected as the Chairman of Indian Banks’ Association in 2014!
  3. Former Union Minister and currently a senior member of the ruling party Dr Subramanian Swamy had written a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister on 11.06.2015 stating that charge against Respondent No. 3 (Bhasin) is “very serious” and the recommendation of the selection committee to appoint Respondent No. 3 as VC must be withdrawn. He said “finding of moral turpitude by CVC of Bhasin makes him unfit to keep the position of Vigilance Commissioner.
  4. The Central Vigilance Commission recommended action against current CMD of Indian Bank – TM Bhasin as early as August 2013 asking the Union Finance Ministry to comply.
  5. Bhasin is being relentlessly exposed since 2011 from the time when he held the position of Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Bank. Besides the other offences mentioned above, Bhasin had allegedly collaborated with the nation’s enemy Dawood Ibrahim to ruin Bank of Baroda and thus destroy the Indian financial system.
  6. Bhasin’s target was reputed banker SS Mundra, currently a deputy governor in the Reserve Bank of India [RBI]. Bhasin wanted the post and reportedly managed to keep Mundra waiting for several months. Mundra’s elevation to RBI became possible after Dr Kamalesh Chandra Chakrabarty – another ex-Indian Bank head quit his RBI post 3 months ahead of schedule. Chakrabarty has an impeccable record as a banker.[2] He had spent most of his years in Bank of Baroda.
  7. The evidence against Bhasin has been piling since 2011!

Bhasin’s protector-in-chief are said to be Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and RBI boss Raghuram Rajan.

The results are there for all to see. The Supreme Court has slammed the financial sector – with special emphasis on RBI.

“RBI is supposed to uphold public interest and not the interest of individual banks. We have surmised that many financial institutions have resorted to such acts which are neither clean nor transparent. The RBI in association with them has been trying to cover up their acts from public scrutiny,” said a bench comprising Justices M Y Eqbal and C Nagappan.

The CVC and one of its mainstays Bhasin are systematically targeting banks and bankers who, it is believed, are on his hit-list. One of them is – Bank of Baroda!

Rajan is propriety personified in his public utterances.

“We have to go after corrupt bank managements as well as corrupt promoters,” Rajan said. “There is no doubt that we need to do it. We do not have enough teeth. There are these promoters who have diverted funds. “Diverted fund” is a euphemism. I would say plainly that they have stolen the funds, and we cannot go after them. It takes too long.”

What has it resulted in?

According to official RBI communiques, the total write-offs in the 133 scheduled banks in India include a huge chunk of technically written-off accounts. The trotted out reason is: “After technical write-offs, there is no incentive for banks to pursue recovery.”

Rs. 1,14,000 crores worth ‘bad loans’ have been technically written off during the last 3 financial years (2012-13 to 2014-15). The write-offs exceed the previous nine years’ dubiously written off debts.

The Union finance ministry and NITI Aayog have separately pitched for setting up a government-owned asset reconstruction company to take over banks’ bad assets. It could result in banks conducting non-banking commercial businesses – starting with dead losses! It could also wipe the dirty slates of bad borrowers clean!

Meanwhile, the RBI has asked banks to ‘clean up’ their balance sheets.

This could result in increasing the capital burden of banks increasing manifold.

Of the total bad loan stock of Rs 4,43,691 crores in the banking industry, between 65-70 percent is linked to the corporate sector.

During the current fiscal, the finance ministry has pumped Rs 20,000 crores to bail out banks facing a liquidity crunch. It simply implies that taxpayers’ money is used to bail out banks looted by crony capitalists.

Even as all this is happening private sector foreign banks have ‘sold’ their bad debts of small borrowers to private banks in India. Citi Financial sold its debts to Kotak Mahindra that has begun hounding those hurt by the financial downturn. Obviously, none is going to take a close look at how Satyam Computers morphed into Mahindra Satyam! Incidentally, close relatives of Ramalinga Raju of Satyam ill-fame have begun a business venture in Hyderabad. One of its mainstays is a man who had forged the Satyam fraud into the sweet Mahindra Satyam deal!

Operative excerpts from an earlier blog

https://tsvhari.wordpress.com/author/tsvhari/:

VV Lakshminarayana, now an ADGP in Maharashtra police, investigated the Satyam computers scandal. He had to wait for several months after being shunted out of the CBI as its Joint Director based in Mumbai. Made  the de facto Police Commissioner of Thane, the neighbourhood sister city of India’s financial capital Mumbai finally – he was ‘kicked upstairs’ to be made Additional Director General of Police – Administration as a real estate scandal was being probed by him.

High profile cases’ always ended in grief for the baddies when Lakshminarayana handled the investigation.

Some examples:

The 2G Spectrum auction can of worms in the great telecom robbery was opened by the tall Lakshminarayana.

The telecom majors’ brazen looting continues.

The press had gone gaga over the results produced by this officer.

Raju and the gang of criminal international accounting firms succeeded in extracting vengeance against Lakshminarayana.

Eventually, its sinister brain – Ramalinga Raju is having the last laugh.

Newslaundry.com has published a dubious list of defaulters.

The Supreme Court has sought details of large value loan defaulters from RBI in a sealed cover. The full list is not yet available. The question being asked is: what is so sacrosanct about the confidentiality given to the ‘rich and powerful’ bank loan defaulters?

Very easily, the CVC can crack its whip and initiate action against the banking industry’s bad boys and gals.

But, with the likes of Bhasin lording over the institution, expecting any meaningful action would indeed be a pipedream.

[1]

On Page 18, the Times of India’s Chennai edition dated August 31 2013 has a news item on Bhasin. It says:  

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has sought action against Indian Bank CMD TM Bhasin and former ED V Ramgopal for “high-handedness, arbitrariness and manipulation” of appraisal reports of Malay Mukherjee, a general manager in the bank, with a view to deny him a promotion.

While the finance ministry has not initiated action against the two executives, the CVC has also sought action against Shreya Guha, a director in the ministry, for lapses in conducting enquiry against Bhasin and Ramgopal. For the finance ministry, this the second embarrassment in less than a month as the watchdog was critical of the role performed by the Appointments Board in recommending M O Rego for the post of IDBI Bank deputy MD, the report further says.

Seeking regular departmental action (RDA) against the two top-raking Indian Bank executives, CVC had told the finance ministry that Mukherjee’s performance for 2009 had been reviewed by the then ED A S Bhattacharya and M S Sundarrajan, who was then the CMD of the Chennai-headquartered bank. Bhasin and Ramgopal were not required to appraise Mukherjee for 2009-10 as he had not worked with the two executives, the report adds.

[2]

Chakrabarty began his professional career in teaching and research at the Banaras Hindu University where he taught for almost five years before joining Bank of Baroda where he worked for twenty six years reaching the position of General Manager.

He has held these positions in his career:

Chief Executive, United Kingdom operations, Bank of Baroda between 2001 and 2004

Executive Director, Punjab National Bank in 2004

Chairman & Managing Director, Indian Bank between 2005 and 2007

Chairman & Managing Director, Punjab National Bank between 2007 and 2009

Deputy Governor Reserve Bank of India from June 2009

 

Is Arun Jaitley Mallya’s guardian angel in Modi Ministry?

Is India that is Bharat serious about forcing scofflaw Mallya to return to India and face punishment?
The answer is NO!
By aiding criminals like TM Bhasin – the vigilance commissioner overseeing India’s banking, Arun Jaitley is suspected of being in cahoots with those giving Modi regime its worst track-record.
If India needs to act before it is too late, should one take a closer look and stringent stand against the cause of Modi regime’s pock-mark – the nation’s Fin-Min – Jaitley?

The Finance Ministry committed several blunders by being totally shoddy in handling India’s most notorious fugitive bank-robber – Vijay Mallya.

Its biggest gaffe is the man called TM Bhasin – the Vigilance Commissioner overseeing India’s banking operations. Bhasin’s reported godfather is India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Bhasin has been accused of being in cahoots with Dawood Ibrahim!

Bhasin faces a serious case in India’s Supreme Court! It is believed that it is Jaitley who is shielding Bhasin.

Therefore, should Arun Jaitley, currently India’s Finance Minister, be replaced with someone else?

Should the reason to do so be hinted as the seriousness to bring the runaway playboy Vijay Mallya back from the United Kingdom?

The media, politicians, cops and bureaucrats – without exception – are misleading the gullible people of India that is Bharat over scofflaws like Vijay Mallya. Anti-Modi channels love Jaitley.

Notwithstanding the tall claims of Jaitley to haul Mallya back to India, the bitter truth is its exact opposite and sinister.

A report in the highly respected daily newspaper – The Hindu implies that scofflaws Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi will never be forced to undergo punishments in India.

Mallya is one of the 130 plus Indian fugitives who are ensconced in Britain.

Bringing Mallya back to India is as much possible as finding a dinosaur walking the streets of Lutyens’ Delhi. The reason: Politicians of every hue are in cahoots with the liquor-vending bank-robber gallivanting with gals in skimpy costumes on land, water and air. This was exposed in these columns 2 months ago.

Is there a way out to force Mallya on the back-foot and then drag him home?

YES!

The HOW part:

Dr Subramanian Swamy has a huge score to settle with Mallya. If anyone could make the moves to force Mallya to kneel – thanks to his connections with every power-broker in the world through his Harvard ‘old-boys’ network, Dr Swamy can.

Dr Swamy wants to be India’s Finance Minister.

        The WHY part:

The centre has been accused of having let Mallya slip out of India by its electoral ally Shiv Sena.

The man supposed to have had Mallya in chains is India’s incumbent FM – Arun Jaitley. Media reports suggest Jaitley slipped up wantonly.

So, what is Arun Jaitley?

Modi aficionados suspect the motives of Arun Jaitley.