Growing political parochialism in India: A Tamil, Maharashtra paradigm

I have greatest regard for the immense contribution people from Tamilnadu have done for the nation. We have Rahman who delivers mindblowing music movie after movie , CV raman’s discoveries on scattering of light, APJ Abdul Kalaam’s contribution to Missile program , Mani Ratnam’s amazing movies ,Shiv mani’s precussions etc. The color of Indian fabric will be shorn of its liveliness if these contributors are removed. The mark made by their artists and scientists are immemorial and indelible.

If we turn our perspective to the damage to national harmony their politicians have brought about for their narrow gains we can stand shell shocked.

Tamil nadu probably is the only state in India where Supreme court ruling ” Reservations in any case should not cross 50% mark” is blatantly ignored. Probably its the only state which by its Ordinance shamelessly gave 75% reservation and continues to do so.  There doesnt appear anytime line inhorizon when these ghastly ordinances will be revoked. This primarily is to cater to voting population which gets swayed by it . Its worthy to note that middle class and upper class do not vote as much in India because of poll violence and long queues whcih are there on booths .The poor and unemployed on the other hand can be lured into voting for small sums of money/food/liquor/free conveyance to vote etc . They are less afraid of violence, sometimes they can be easily dragged out to vote. They have daily wage earning and narrow/ immediate  gains as their sole vision. Immmediate large scale reservation  in education is a bait which works for them. Just imagine giving them reservation to an emaciated Somali labor in World Wrestling arena without building his body or teaching him fighting tricks. Politicos know that education is one place where the downtrodden will be eventually crushed by their lack of preparedness to clear tests but in shame they will suffer without blaming them. A reserved student on an average spends 50% more time getting degree and on most times twice that of a general student. In Engineering I have seen reserved students spending upto 14 yrs and yet not getting a degree.   Its for this voting class that these dirty cards are played by so called emancipators.  Lamed by lack of mental muscle they wriggle far behind the general students whose toil make them swift horses galloping elegantly over all the obstacles which come in form of tests. The confidence of these struggling reserved students is shattered and they find it hard competing for jobs their more nimble and agile students easily corner. With deprecated confidence Govt jobs seem to be their only asylum. Now then there are vicious policies of even reserving promotions for them. The question, then is , are reservations meant to help them or make them lame for life ? Can compromising on competency at every step  expose them to real tests ever ? Can they ever become brave enough to stand on their own. Shamelessly, son of an MP ( who earns crores in 5 yrs tenure) claimed reservation to be a doctor and having become that went on to become a minister and now wants a reservation for his son in education.

Again take the case of resisting National language. Tamilnadu is the only state in india which doesnt communicate with the Central govt in Hindi. ( It has 2 language policy Tamil and English) . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_language#India Just look at the ploy in this again. The upperclass Tamils embrace Hindi (Rahmaan composes in Hindi, Rajnikant; Kamal Hasan also acted in Hindi movies. Hema Malini, Sridevi made mark as Diva in Hindi Cinema and so did Mani Ratnam and even P chidambaram. All the people from Tamilinadu who have embraced Hindi seem to have grown exponentially . All Officers and soldiers in armed forces from Tamil nadu speak very good  and even chaste Hindi. Those who embrace have prospered.  Those who could/ did not were relapsed to ignominy or regional success only. Recently, one recruitment manager from a major MNC based in Chennai told me that we face greastest challenge in attracting talent. No body from North wants to go even 1degree south of Bangalore. The job calls for Chennai are immediately trashed by all good professionals and the state is facing talent crunch. Bulk of the graduates passing are from one quota or the other and have never worked hard enough in life to get admissions or jobs. Add cultural closed doors and you have a fully naturalized ghetto in the country where only the disabled non domiciled would go. This brings to question , while the Politicos who exploit voting population with these  anti Hindi bashing/reservations to gain power, are  they not throwing their own supporters decades behind? This is like betraying the very people who helped them.

Denying the general students even 50 % seats would mean that brighter meritorious general students would migrate to other states rather than languish. The reserved students getting assured admissions would study less hard, thus reducing quality of graduates. Which would mean lesser pay. Overall the state and its voting population stands to loose in long term. While the middle class and upper class embrace other languages and reasonable judgements openheartedly ,its the downtrodden who are made to oppose this to their own peril.
The unfortunate part is , the devil has struck again, and this time in form of Raj Thackeray in Maharashtra. He is reusing the politically tried, tested and stinking means of Reservations and language war to throw the downtrodden in the state backwards. Only heavens will tell when this blood sucking politicking will end. The worst part now is that even some educated Maharashtrians are biting the bait and turning chauvnistic. award of reservations to Gujjars is one of the dirtiest game played by BJP in recent times. This may cascade into other states and the time is not far when there will be 80- 90 % reservation to gain electoral advantage. The general student and population will have to migrate to study. Its a shame that those who were descendents of Lord Krishna ( Kshatriyas) today take alms in forms of Reservation. I wonder how Bhartendu Harish Chandra today could have gone beyond ” Ha  Ha Bharat durdasha dekhi na jaayee” without using unparliamentary words

Fight with a global company for deficiency in service

Recently I wanted to get a window AC re installed at my home and ran into trouble with the company service department. Never to be satisfied with a shoddy job. I again took up a battle.   The letter to the service department is attached below : ( Can be reused as template for waging similar fights) and the result is at the end of it. Read on and enjoy one more consumer victory 🙂  

Sir,

        I had booked the a/m service call for installation of Window AC at my residence and am appalled at the unprofessionalism shown by your technician.The following are facts of this transaction. 

  1. The service call was booked on 10th Mar afternoon and I was told that the technician will reach on the same day. The person however arrived on 13th evening after 2 reminders.
  2. At home , he insisted on taking payment for visit (350) + Servicing charge wet (350) + installation charge (750) . This however after speaking to Mr  XXXX was reduced to Installation (750) + servicing (350). However on perusal of service rate list I discovered that  visit +service charge was mentioned as 350.. It seems the technician was bent on charging unfair.
  3. He didn’t bring sufficient material to do installation ( He neither had wood planks, nor cleaning material, nor packing and sealing material.
  4. After AC installation he tried to seal the AC using cardboard strip . When I questioned how can cardboard resist decay even in small rain. He stupidly argued that rain wont reach that place.
  5. Subsequently , I had to provide him insulating material ( Black foam) . He did a  slip sod job and left gaps at most places. On perusal and inspection next morning I discovered that he had left gaps all around.
  6. He didn’t have white clay for sealing the edges.
  7. He was most incourteous in demanding cleaning material and barked ” Karwana hai to karwao, nahin to jaane do ( If you want to get things done, oblige me.. or let me go “

 I fail to understand that if this is the slip shod work done by reputed company representatives , then the local electrician whom I paid Rs 350 for installation lat time did an outstanding job. Having experienced this , I have following options coming to my mind . 

  1. Inform it to you officially and seek redress.
  2. Send it to newspapers to highlight your Quality of service
  3. Put it on forums mouthshut.com  etc so that people know the standards you have.
  4. Inform your competitors so that they can highlight it in various forums.
  5. File a consumer case to seek penal damages for deficiency in service.
  6. Upload this on my Blog for the world to know what service you stand for.

Do let me know the level to which this fight needs to go.

The mail had a glavanising effect on the service department. On the following day 3 of the company top officials including Regional Service head came to my apartment to evaluate the degree of negligence by company rep. THey were convinced about the company fault. They offered the following :

  1. Reinstalling the AC.
  2. Using top end heat insulating PU material to do the sealing.
  3. Complete carpentry work to make new frame for AC.
  4. Paint work to match the color of wood to main window color.
  5. A free Wet service at the end of season ( Before rains set in)
  6. 6 months maintenance and repair holiday ( No charge defect repair)  
  7. An offer to sell a split AC at company prices ( less than dealer offerings)


So ended one more successful consumer fight.  So fight on

Consumer Fights

Imagine, you buy an expensive car ( For say Rs 1 million)… in normal usage( No accident, no crash) condition it breaks down in 6 months and fails to start.. You approach the manufacturer… he looks at it .. and realizes that the car cannot be repaired. He offers you a new car.. As a consumer you will be delighted to drive a brand new car as replacement and think that the customer relation is great … the company is very caring of its customer.. You will feel you made a great decision of buying car from that company… probably, you will go back home and tell all your friends and family about how good and responsible the company is…. More and more people hearing this, will be tempted to buy that car.. Probably this is not the best thing that can happen to you or your circle of friends…The replacement car again fails in approximately another 6 months and by that moment, initial warranty of one year is over (Rationally assume that you spent 2 months litigating your first replacement… You want to get it repaired.. you go the customer care.. The Company representative smiles crookedly, and says …Sir, your Honeymoon (Warranty) is over… now, can you forget about this car …. It cant be repaired.. “Well! I can be kind to you.. my dear customer.. I can give you a new car… But give me Rs 1 million for this replacement”… You feel cheated , dejected and zapped You wonder whether this manufacturer did enough design and testing before selling this car which he calls a miracle of design and the world is on its feet in its acclaim… You feel like fighting this company which fleeced you; which is a billion times more powerful (Financially) than you…or feel like giving up the fight coz you as professional do not have much time to wage a legal battle ..If you think this fiction … take a look … replace that car by an music player and Rs 1 million by Rs 10,000 and you would be surprised that fiction transforms to reality, the product and company which emerge are Ipod and Apple computers.. You start getting echo of numerous blogs across the globe –‘the biggest threat in this world after Bill Gates is Mr Steve Jobs’.. and this is a real incident which happened.. The customer thought, he could not possibly fight the financial muscle of this company.. but he could not fight his conscience too, which was preventing him from giving up… Peeved he thought of, writing blogs every where… sending his story to newspapers, filing a case in consumer redressal forum… send linked email to all his friends across the globe so that people get the right information about the so called great product… Or should he send it to rival Microsoft … and enjoy the mudslinging they do to each other (MS is currently pitching Zune against Iphone).. .

What he did was …. He sent this mail to Asia Zone manager of Apple.. Who finding it tough to handle, escalated the case to Australia. The company was shaken at the prospect of this story going to media and suggested that the customer speak on their two Toll free numbers.. The first number was accessible only by MTNL landlines(Which are like searching a needle in Haystack in this age of Telecom corporatisation). The other number he tried 12 times a day was always connecting to silence which only were adding to his STD expenses and futile efforts… He finally thought of giving up futile calls and requested the company to call him back instead. The company told him point blank that they do not have policy of making outbound calls to customers.

Frustrated, he knew pleading was not taking him anywhere and decided to file a case in Consumer Court on the following day…He also told the company about the same.. Barely , few hours had passed ,that company woke up to the threat of litigation and cost associated to it ..it called up the customer and said they were making an exception and promised replacement of his ipod without any cost .. even though it was outside the initial warranty. The ipod came delivered to him in 2 days flat.. So a great fight for consumer right once again had a happy ending. Hope , people reading this will feel inspired to take up big fights with great organizations when they think they can exploit citizens

Also a few conclusions from the story :

As consumers we should never let our expectations drop .
Consumer courts are the weapons in hand of people and empower them to give fight to company of any size.
There is enormous power in writing and possibility of putting explosive writing on huge display canvas drives the message to those who really need it.
You can use Media power to your great advantage.
The companies are very vulnerable to ‘Loss of credibility ‘ and would always break their own rules to protect their good will..

So when you feel , you have been wronged with.. take the fight to the Hilt ..and I am sure you will win , the way He did