Thursday, November 19, 2009

India's 100 richest worth 25% of the GDP

The Billionaires Club of India almost doubled from last year to 54 members up from 27, aided by a rebounding stock market that gained two-thirds in the past year and an economy growing at six percent. According to Forbes Asia magazine, the country's 100 richest people have a combined net worth of USD 276 billion, which was almost a quarter of the country's GDP.

Last year, there were only 27 billionaires on the India Rich List. This year, the number has almost doubled to 52-two short of what India had at the peak of the stock market boom in 2007.

The top 10 richest in India are:

1. Mukesh Ambani $32 billion
2. Lakshmi Mittal $30 billion
3. Anil Ambani $17.5 billion
4. Azim Premji $14.9 billion
5. Shashi & Ravi Ruia $13.6 billion
6. K.P. Singh $13.5 billion
7. Savitri Jindal $12 billion
8. Sunil Mittal $8.2 billion
9. Kumar Birla $7.8 billion
10. Gautam Adani $6.4 billion

It would be interesting to know what these people have done, or plan to do for the society, which has given them this wealth. India is a nation where still about 300 million (30 Cr.) people are below poverty line. unless we try to bridge this gap it will be hard to even think of a developed India by even 2050 leave alone the vision of 2020.

The World Bank's definition of the poverty line, for under developed countries, like India, is US$ 1/day/person or US $365 per year. As per this definition, more than 75% of all Indians are, probably, below the poverty line!

As per the Government of India, poverty line for the urban areas is Rs. 296 per month and for rural areas Rs. 276 per month, i.e. people in India who earn less than Rs. 10 per day. As per GOI, this amount will buy food equivalent to 2200 calories per day, medically enough, to prevent death. At this level of earning, even in a poor country like India, survival on Rs. 10 per day is a nightmare! This actually translates to Rs. 3650 per year or US $ 75 per year.

And at the end what about Swiss Bank A/c, Politicians, Gangsters, Smugglers of fake currency network? Do they also a/c for another 25% of GDP? When we say India is 86th corrupt nation, does raise the eye brow of some people. What were the bench mark tools used to calculate the corruption index. We think India and Pakistan should be in the top 10 list of corrupt nations.

Sachin and Thackeray

Sixty two years of freedom, liberty and enfranchisement have not done any good for our country, with disintegrating forces out to ruin it. The nation showers its praise on cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar who expressed pride in being an Indian and claimed that Mumbai belongs to every one of us. The words used by the Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray, against him in Saamna — asking Sachin to stick to cricket and dare not tread into the realm of politics — exposes his skewed mindset. It is time the state marginalised such voices, thereby preserving the fabric of unity in diversity.

The Shiv Sena and the MNS seem to stop at nothing to woo the Marathi-speaking voters. They do not hesitate to speak or do anything that is against the unity and integrity of the nation. To meet their ends, they exploit people’s sentiments. Maharashtra, however, is not the only State where the politics of language or religion is played. It is the same in Uttar Pradesh, where caste is a major electoral issue, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and other States. It is futile to expect our leaders to change their ways. We must make a beginning by casting our votes for the right persons.

When Sachin plays, he plays for India. All his records bear the name of India. He is proud of being an Indian. And by saying so, he has made all Indians proud.

Mr. Thackeray has the habit of hogging the limelight by making controversial statements. He has done it many times in the past. But what Sachin said is really encouraging and worth emulating. His assertion that he is an Indian first sends a fitting reply to secessionist forces across the country.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Youth icon: Sachin Tendulker

I am 24. I havent even followed the whole of the Great man's career. But I am sometimes proud to say that I started following cricket only because of Sachin Tendulkar. And also most of the things I have learned about the game is by watching him on the field. Around 96-97, All of us were so excited to watch him score centuries one after another. I dont agree that India loses when he makes a 100. Statistics support me. What he has done is, he has held the belief and expectations of a whole country on his shoulders before some match-winners stood up. And he has delivered most of the times. I also agree there are players who can be compared with him. But he has achieved more than anybody under more pressure. I am not sure of the tests, but I can surely say his oneday records will remain for many years to come. I am happy that I could watch this man play all those gem of innings'.

It is blissful to watch the little colossus firm up and drive through a packed off-side field, often reducing it to an audience. No other person is perhaps such a household favourite — urban or rural — as is the master blaster. He is the favourite of children and the elderly, men and women. No wonder all our casual and earned leaves were consumed by cricket matches in which Sachin played. The nation has been entertained to its ecstatic best by the near-perfect cricketing hero of our times.

What has kept Tendulkar going for two decades is his amazing passion for the game. He is the ultimate role model.

To remain unfazed and focus on the game, undeterred by the odd wrong umpiring decision, keep out of controversy and fulfil the hopes and aspirations of millions of countrymen is a task lesser mortals are incapable of. When Sachin bids goodbye, it will be the saddest day in Indian cricket.

I pray he goes on and on. And lastly I want Sachin to win the world cup for India.