Rise of Naxalism

Due to the IPL fracas, the news organizations in India have shown a certain laxity in the coverage of the Naxal attack on politicians in the Indian state of Chattisgarh. It is a dastardly attack, no doubts on that. But the event offers certain lessons the corruption laced Indian polity needs to remember.

Development and progress needs to be an inclusive activity to every section of the population. India being a developing country needs to understand that it is the fundamental right of every human being to avail the basic necessities of life- food, shelter and means to survive. Denying these would instigate the rudimentary attribute of every human being-one that of a beastly nature.

Today the Indian polity and media does a fantastic job of fooling the Indian society with the excreta of their misdeeds in the form of scams, scandals and loot etc. The middle class Indian enslaved to the idea of prosperity in the form of materialistic wealth and relentless consumerism, turns a pathetic deaf ear and a blind eye to this misdeeds. They are living in a make believe world. Just like the other side of a coin, the mighty Indian rich, polity and media should realize that their adversaries in the form of the downtrodden, poor and needy will not behave like their middle class counterparts.

The problem of Naxalism is a real one and a true one. If there is one thing that we can learn from the scams and scandals that plague every facet of the Indian society is that we are all adulterated with the same scum and filth. But this new found adversaries are much better than us, they are fighting for what we irresponsibly denied them and are feasting on today. That ugly battle is one we should learn to avoid as it is not a fight worth fighting for.

Image courtesy: http://www.instablogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/naxalism_j6o2t_2263.jpg

Dr. Manmohan Singh: Please LEAVE!

It is 2013 and India’s shame is still in office.

In the mid 90’s when the Congress party under the leadership of Narasimha Rao was booted from office, the current defence minister of India, AK Anthony wrote a famous report on the reasons behind that debacle. In that he explains the liberalization policies of the then finance minister was the main reason for the Congress defeat. As irony would have it, years later the author of the same report is part of one of the most corrupt governments India has ever seen, led by the same person, that report defiled.

Scams after scams have reduced India’s stellar growth story into a farce. The liberalization policies of Dr.Singh did help in heralding this growth, today his mis-governance is happily extinguishing the fire of growth, leaving a young nation in disillusionment and desperation. The bureaucrat turned politician is now being derided for his silence as his friends and foes around him, happily loot the country.

Home to a billion people of which a significant majority are young and restless, India needs a better leader and can do away with the likes of this incapable, stubborn and highly inefficient farce and it is a prayer that he retires or leaves office quickly than ever.

End the Oilsands blame game

Today while returning back from my work with a reputed Canadian oil and gas company, I chanced to hear on the radio, the news segment about the Keystone pipeline and the vitriolic opposition to the project. I felt that the rising and unwanted opposition to this pipeline deserves no merit and vociferous stand taken by the environmentalists and vested interests is nothing but a sideshow.

This article of mine is straight speak and I don’t wish to write another set piece with research links thrown in. Even though I did write my Master’s thesis using the same techniques, I believe that the time has come where there needs to be addressing of the issues using simple, plain language.

First of all, 80% of oil sands lie beneath the ground and is recovered using energy propagated through drilling. Here it is the same like any conventional oil drilling setup. The images of tailing ponds adhere to the 20% of the oil sands reserve. The former involves huge capital, but least visible environmental impact. The latter involves a visible environmental impact, but the issues are being addressed with the development of technology. At present, an alternate industry exists within the purview of oil sands industry where the issues of tailings ponds are being tackled fervently. Across North America and Europe, state and private universities are being involved in some really world class research just to address the issues of tailings ponds. The progress has been slow, but the issues are being addressed diligently. The culmination of this research would help mining operations not just in oil sands facilities but other mining operations (gold, potash etc.)

Why do we need oil sands? I say we need it because we need other unconventional forms of energy to supplement a burgeoning world population. The more sources of energy the better. There is definitely an environmental impact, but we cannot do anything about it. World population is increasing due to some excellent progress in the field of medicine and the way of life. If the environmentalists are so worried about losing the wonderful gifts of nature, first work with United Nations or other NGOs to tackle the main issue of increasing world population.

Oil sands development was accelerated in the last decade due to increasing demand. It is easy to say or shout that lets kill that demand by stopping the development of non renewable resources. Ok, we stop it, what do we do next? How will the world run? Do we need to go back to medieval ages ? How will the world feed its population? These answers needs to be provided by the so called environmentalists.

Renewable energy sources are a nice to have feature that would help the developed nations mitigate some of the high demand on non renewables. But that technology is at a very nascent stage. The so called environmentalists instead of wasting and fooling the time of the public, should retire to their schools and classrooms and work their way in optimizing the benefits of renewable energy.

The past decade when the oil prices peaked saw couple of wars being fought just to secure these sources of energy. When it became evident that no one was winning these wars, the development of shale gas and oil sands happened. These developments totally destroyed the myth of Peak Oil and gave an assurance that human progress is here to stay. The impetus now should be on unlocking and optimizing the maximum potential from these non renewable fuels and thereby steer the human race forward and not to go backwards.

If President Obama decides not to go ahead with Keystone pipeline and also deny opportunities for shale gas development, please be assured that the decline of United States that commenced a while ago will be complete. Asian giants like China and India will happily receive the oil from  oilsands for the growth and prosperity of their economies. The so called advocates of renewable energy please understand that all the raw materials for this form of energy (like solar panels etc.) come from China will be scrambling to address the energy issues that tackle the very progress of their nation.

Heard the following from an oil sands veteran recently: “Oilsands was written off three times in my lifetime and it is still going strong”. Oilsands is an idea whose time has come and no force on this earth can stop its progress.