Lavanya Selvaraj's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘INDIA

 There are two photographs that hang on my office wall.

Every day when I enter my office I look at them before starting my day. They are pictures of two old people. One is of a gentleman in a blue suit and the other is a black and white image of a man with dreamy eyes and a white beard. People have often asked me if the people in the photographs are related to me.

Some have even asked me, “Is this black and white photo that of a Sufi saint or a religious Guru?”
I smile and reply “No, nor are they related to me. These people made an impact on my life. I am grateful to them.”

“Who are they?”

“The man in the blue suit is Bharat Ratna JRD Tata and the black and white photo is of Jamsetji Tata.”
“But why do you have them in your office?”” You can call it gratitude.”

Then, invariably, I have to tell the person the following story.

It was a long time ago. I was young and bright, bold and idealistic. I was in the final year of my Master’s course in Computer Science at  The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, then known as the Tata Institute. Life was full of fun and joy. I did not know what helplessness or injustice meant.

It was probably the April of 1974. Bangalore was getting warm and gulmohars were blooming at the IISc campus. I was the only girl in my postgraduate department and was staying at the ladies’ hostel. Other girls were pursuing research in different departments of Science. I was looking forward to going abroad to complete a doctorate in computer science. I had been offered scholarships from Universities in the US. I had not thought of taking up a job in India.

One day, while on the way to my hostel from our lecture-hall complex, I saw an advertisement on the notice board. It was a standard job-requirement notice from the famous automobile
company Telco (now Tata Motors).

It stated that the company required young, bright engineers, hardworking and with an excellent academic background, etc.

At the bottom was a small line: “Lady Candidates need not apply.”

I read it and was very upset. For the first time in my life I was up against gender discrimination. Though I was not keen on taking up the job, I saw it as a challenge. I had done extremely well in academics, better than most of my male peers. Little did I know then that in real life academic excellence is not enough to be successful?

After reading the notice I went fuming to my room. I decided to inform the topmost person in Telco’s management about the injustice the company was perpetrating. I got a postcard and started to write, but there was a problem: I did not know who headed Telco. I thought it must be one of the Tatas.
I knew JRD Tata was the head of the Tata Group; I had seen his pictures in newspapers (actually, Sumant Moolgaokar was the company’s chairman then).

I took the card, addressed it to JRD and started writing. To this day I remember clearly what I wrote. “The great Tatas have always been pioneers. They are the people who started the basic infrastructure industries in India, such as iron and steel, chemicals, textiles and locomotives. They have cared for higher education in India, such as iron and steel, chemicals, textiles and locomotives. They have cared for higher education in India since 1900 and they were responsible for the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science. Fortunately, I study there.

But I am surprised how a company such as Telco is discriminating on the basis of gender.”

I posted the letter and forgot about it. Less than 10 days later, I received a telegram stating that I had to appear for an interview at Telco’s Pune facility at the company’s expense. I was taken aback by the telegram.

My hostel mated told me I should use the opportunity to go to Pune free of cost and buy them the famous Pune saris for cheap! I collected Rs.30/- each from everyone who wanted a sari. When I look back, I feel like laughing at the reasons for my going, but back then they seemed good enough to make the trip.

It was my first visit to Pune and I immediately fell in love with the city. To this day it remains dear to me. I feel as much at home in Pune as I do in Hubli, my hometown. The place changed my life in so many ways.

As directed, I went to Telco’s Pimpri office for the interview. There were six people on the panel and I realized then that this was serious business. “This is the girl who wrote to JRD,” I heard somebody whisper as soon as I entered the room. By then I knew for sure that I would not get the job. The realization abolished all fear from my mind, so I was rather cool while the interview was being conducted. Even before the interview started, I reckoned the panel was biased, so I told them, rather impolitely, “I hope this is only a technical interview.” They were taken aback by my rudeness, and even today I am ashamed about my attitude.

The panel asked me technical questions and I answered all of them. Then an elderly gentleman with an affectionate voice told me, “Do you know why we said lady candidates need not apply? The reason is that we have never employed any ladies on the shop floor. This is not a co-ed college; this is a factory. When it comes to academics, you are a first ranker throughout. We appreciate that, but people like you should work in research laboratories.”

I was a young girl from small-town Hubli. My world had been a limited place. I did not know the ways of large corporate houses and their difficulties, so I answered, “But you must start somewhere, otherwise no woman will ever be able to work in your factories.”

Finally, after a long interview, I was told I had been successful. So this was what the future had in store for me. Never had I thought I would take up a job in Pune. I met a shy young man from Karnataka there, we became good friends and we got married.

It was only after joining Telco that I realised who JRD was: The uncrowned king of Indian industry. Now I was scared, but I did not get to meet him till I was transferred to Bombay. One day I had to show some
reports to Mr. Moolgaokar, our chairman, who we all knew as SM. I was in his office on the first floor of Bombay House (the Tata headquarters) when, suddenly JRD walked in. That was the first time I saw “appro JRD”.

Appro means “our” in Gujarati. This was the affectionate term by which people at Bombay House called him. I was feeling very nervous, remembering my postcard episode. SM introduced me nicely, “Jeh (that’s what his close associates called him), this young woman is an engineer and that too a postgraduate. She is the first woman to work on the Telco shop floor.” JRD looked at me. I was praying he would not ask me any questions about my interview (or the postcard that preceded it). Thankfully, he didn’t. Instead, he remarked.

“It is nice that girls are getting into engineering in our country. By the way, what is your name?”

“When I joined Telco I was Sudha Kulkarni, Sir,” I replied. “Now I am Sudha Murthy.”

 He smiled and kindly smile and started a discussion with SM. As for me, I almost ran out of the room.
After that I used to see JRD on and off. He was the Tata Group chairman and I was merely an engineer. There was nothing that we had in common. I was in awe of him. One day I was waiting for Murthy, my husband, to pick me up after office hours. To my surprise I saw JRD standing next to me. I did not know how to react. Yet again I started worrying about that postcard. Looking back,I realise JRD had forgotten about it. It must have been a small incident for him, but not so for me.

“Young lady, why are you here?” he asked.

 “Office time is over.” I said, “Sir, I’m waiting for my husband to come and pick me up.”

JRD said, “It is getting dark and there’s no one in the corridor. I’ll wait with you till your husband comes.”

I was quite used to waiting for Murthy, but having JRD waiting alongside made me extremely uncomfortable.

I was nervous. Out of the corner of my eye I looked at him. He wore a simple white pant and shirt. He was old, yet his face was glowing. There wasn’t any air of superiority about him. I was thinking, “Look at
this person. He is a chairman, a well-respected man in our country and he is waiting for the sake of an ordinary employee.”

Then I saw Murthy and I rushed out. JRD called and said, “Young lady, tell your husband never to make his wife wait again.”

In 1982, I had to resign from my job at Telco. I was reluctant to go, but I really did not have a choice. I was coming down the steps of Bombay House after wrapping up my final settlement when I saw JRD coming up. He was absorbed in thought. I wanted to say goodbye to him, so I stopped. He saw me and paused.

Gently, he said, “So what are you doing, Mrs Kulkarni?” (That was the way he always addressed me.)

“Sir, I am leaving Telco.”

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“Pune, Sir.  My husband is starting a company called Infosys and I’m shifting to Pune.”

“Oh! And what will you do when you are successful.”

“Sir, I don’t know whether we will be successful.”

“Never start with diffidence,” he advised me. “Always start with confidence. When you are successful you must give back to society. Society gives us so much; we must reciprocate. I wish you all the best.”

Then JRD continued walking up the stairs. I stood there for what seemed like a millennium. That was the last time I saw him alive.

Many years later I met Ratan Tata in the same Bombay House, occupying the chair JRD once did.
I told him of my many sweet memories of working with Telco. Later, he wrote to me, “It was nice hearing about Jeh from you. The sad part is that he’s not alive to see you today.”

I consider JRD a great man because, despite being an extremely busy person, he valued one postcard written by a young girl seeking justice. He must have received thousands of letters every day.
He could have thrown mine away, but he didn’t do that

He respected the intentions of that unknown girl, who had neither influence nor money, and gave her an opportunity in his company. He did not merely give her a job; he changed her life and mindset forever.

Close to 50 per cent of the students in today’s engineering colleges are girls. And there are women on the shop floor in many industry segments. I see these changes and I think of JRD. If at all time stops and asks me what I want from life, I would say I wish JRD were alive today to see how the company we started has grown. He would have enjoyed it wholeheartedly.

Sudha Kulkarni Murthy, wife of the software genius and industrialist N.R. Narayana Murthy, is also the sister of the popular astrophysicist, Shrinivas Kulkarni. She is best known for her social work and her plethora of stories.  

Her Initial Days and Early Career

In her early days, Sudha Murty was a computer scientist and an engineer. She was born in the year 1950 in the district of Shiggaon in Karnataka.

Sudha Murty scored the highest marks in SSLC (Xth grade) in 1966 from New Education Society Girls English School, Hubli .

Sudha Murthy did her engineering degree from BVB College of Engineering in Hubli. Placed as a topper in the state of Karnataka, she went on to get a medal from the CM for her accomplishment. After completing her Masters in the subject of Computer Science from IISc, Bangalore, she repeated her feat and topped her class, to receive yet another medal from the Engineers Institute.

Sudha was the first computer engineer employed by the company Tata Motors. She also initiated a bold move to introduce computer and library facilities in all schools in Karnataka. She taught computer science and started writing fiction with her first book ‘Dollar Sose’. This book was written in Kannada and later translated to English, and it was even converted into a television serial in 2001 titled ‘Dollar Bahu’.


    • Worked at TELCO as a Development Engineer in Pune, Mumbai and Jamshedpur and later joined Walchand Group of Industries at Pune as Senior Systems Analyst.
    • Involved in the development of Infosys Technologies Ltd., in various capacities & worked as HoD for Computer Science in a reputed college of Bangalore University
    • In 1996, started Infosys Foundation & till date has been the Trustee of Infosys Foundation & a Visiting Professor at the PG Center of a reputed college of Bangalore University
    • Written and published 13 books – out of which, two are travellogues, two technical books, six novels and three educative books.

Awards To Name A Few

    • Gold Medal from the Indian Institute of Engineers, India for having secured the I Rank in MTech of all the branches of Engineering
    • Silver Medal from the then Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri Devaraj Urs, for securing the highest marks in BE of all the Universities of Engineering in Karnataka
    • Cash award for having secured the highest marks in SSLC
    • C S Desai Prize for standing first in the University Exams of Karnataka
    • Youth Service Department Prize from Government of Karnataka, for having been the outstanding engineering student of Karnataka
    • Best Teacher Award in 1995 from the Rotary Club of Bangalore
    • National Award from Public Relation Society of India for outstanding Social Service to the Society
    • ‘Attimabbe’ award for her technical book in Kannada (Shalae Makale Gagi Computer – meaning computers for school children)
    • Award for Excellent Social Service by Rotary South – Hubli
    • ‘Karnataka Rajyotsava’ State Award for the year 2000, for achievement in the field of literature and social work
    • ‘Ojaswini’ award for excellent social worker for the year 2000
    • ‘Millenium Mahila Shiromani’ award
    • Voted as Woman of the Year by RadioCity [Bangalore FM station] on International Women’s Day [2002]
    • Raja-Lakshmi Award 2004 in recognition of her contribution to social work.

Sudha Murthy and Her Books

Being a fiction writer as well, Sudha Murthy has written quite a few stories, which have mostly been released by the renowned publisher Penguin Books. These stories generally have a theme of general and common life in India, and her ideas regarding donation, realisation and hospitality. Some famous stories written by her include:

  • How I Taught My Grandmother To Read
  • Old Man and His God
  • Gently Falls The Bakula
  • The Accolades Galore

In November 2004, Sudha Murty was awarded the Raja-Lakshmi Award by the Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation (based in Chennai) for her exemplary efforts in contributing to the society. In the year 2006, she was given the prestigious Padma Shri award, an award of great honour from the Indian Government and she also went on to receive a doctorate from the Sathyabama University in Chennai . Her stories have also been converted to Assamese by Anjan Sharma.  

Her Personal Life

The couple, Sudha and Narayana Murthy are blessed with two kids, Akshata and Rohan. Her daughter Akshata married Rishi Sunak, her batch mate from Stanford. Akshata was previously working at a firm dealing in venture capital, Siderian Ventures, and Rishi is a British citizen with Indian roots. He partners a hedge-fund involved in charity in the UK.

I have never seen such a woman, who have dare to act against injustice when normally women accept the things as they are………Sudha comes across as a teacher, engineer, writer, philanthropist, Mother, Home maker and corporate—all rolled into one…………..

I also admire Mrs. Sudha Murthy for handling different roles efficiently and have million dollar question, How she learned to fit into different shoes ?????????

The essence of success in every role has been universal, says Sudha. ‘‘Whatever you do, do it to your best.” At every job, my motto has been the same—to be honest and sincere to your profession when you are a subordinate and when you are boss, be professional but care for your subordinates. As a mother, be there when your children are home and you are needed.’’   

Only after reading about Sudha Murthy, I learnt Women have that extra quality of adaptability…………


Article sourced from:  Lasting Legacies

(Tata Review- Special Commemorative Issue 2004), brought out by the house of Tatas to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of JRD Tata on July 29, 2004.



துள்ளி வரும் தென்றலே
துவண்டு விட்டோம் உன் செயலால்
காலில் ஜதி பாடி, ஸ்ருதி சேர்க்கும்
உன் அழகை அணை என்னும்
திரையிட்டு மறைத்தல் நியாயமோ???

கரை புரண்டோடும் காவிரியே!!!
உன் வருகைக்கு
கதறும் மக்களின்
கண்ணீர் சேர்த்திருந்தால்,
தமிழகம் தனி நதி அமைத்திருக்கும்…

உள்ளம் மூழ்கடிக்கும் 
பெயரில் பெருமை கொண்டு
செயலில் சிறுமை காட்டுவது
உன் பிழையோ…

தாயும் நீயும் ஒன்றே என்று
உன் இணையில்லா அன்பை
இலக்கியம் போற்றக்கண்டேன்
அதை மெய்ப்பிக்கும் நேரம்
நீ சொல்வாயோ…












நேற்று கர்நாடகம்
இன்று கேரளம்
நாளை ஆந்திரமோ???

தோழமை மாநிலங்கள்
தோற்கடிக்கும் எண்ணம்
கொள்ள காரணம் 
உயரும் நீர் மட்டமா???
தாழும் மனித நேயமா???

திட்டங்கள் பல தீட்டி விட்டோம்
வெறும் திட்டங்கள் சட்டமாகும்
சரித்திரம் இங்கில்லை…


லஞ்சம் கொடுத்து
லோக்பால் மசோதா அமல்படுத்தும்
அரசியலமைப்பு இங்கிருக்க,
சட்டசபை அரங்கேறா
நதி நீர் திட்டங்கள்
நிஜமாவது என்றோ?

நதியால் மொழியால்
சிதறிக்கடக்கும் நாம்
சகோதரர் என்ற உணர்வால்
இணைவது என்றோ?

இயற்கையின் முன்
இதர சக்திகள் சிறிதன்றோ…



நதிகளே இனியும் தயங்காதீர்!!!
காவிரியும் கங்கையும்
கை அசைக்க!!!
மகாநதியும் நர்மதையும்
மையல் கொள்க!!!

பாரதி கண்ட கனவாம்
நதி நீர் இணைப்புத் திட்டம்
மொழியால் மாறுபடினும்
இங்கு இந்தியர் என்பதை
உணர்த்திடு நதியே!!!


                                       – லாவண்யா செல்வராஜ்


அனைவருக்கும் என் இனிய பொங்கல் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!!!


தமிழகம் எதிர்நோக்கும் வாழ்வா, சாவா பிரச்சினை முல்லைப் பெரியாறு மாத்திரம் அல்ல

கர்நாடகத்துடன் காவிரி நதிநீர் பிரச்சினை, ஆந்திராவுடன் பாலாற்றுப் பிரச்சினை, கேரளாவுடன் முல்லைப் பெரியாறு பிரச்சினை இவற்றுடன் அண்டை நாடான இலங்கையுடன் கச்சத்தீவுப் பிரச்சினைஎனத் தமிழகத்தின் எல்லைகளுக்கு அப்பால் நிலை கொண்டுள்ள பிரச்சினைகளின் விளைவாக தமிழக விவசாயிகள், மீனவர்களின் வாழ்வாதாரம் பெரும் நெருக்கடிக்குள்ளாகி வருகிறது. தமிழகம் தனது நியாயமான உரிமைகளைப் பறி கொடுத்து வருகிறதோ?

காவிரி நீர் : வருமா? வராதா?

கர்நாடகத்தில் குடகில் உற்பத்தியாகும் காவிரி, சுமார் 800 கிலோ மீட்டர் நீளமுள்ளது. கர்நாடக  மாநிலத்தில் 350 கி.மீ. தூரமும், தமிழகம் மற்றும் புதுச்சேரி பகுதியில் 450கி.மீ. தூரமும் பயணம் செய்து வங்கக்கடலில் கலக்கிறது. கர்நாடகத்தைவிட அதிக தூரம் தமிழகப் பகுதியில் பாய்கிற  காவிரியாற்று நீரில் தமிழகத்திற்கு உரிய பங்கு என்பது அந்த மாநிலமாகப் பார்த்து நமக்கு அளிக்கிற பரிசோ, பிச்சையோ அல்ல.  அது தமிழகத்தின் உரிமை. ஒரு நதியின் மீதான உரிமை அது உருவாகும் மாநிலத்திற்கு மட்டுமல்ல, அதன் மூலம் பாரம்பரியமாகப் பாசனம் பெறும் பகுதிகளுக்கும் உண்டு என்பது சர்வதேச அளவில் ஏற்றுக் கொள்ளப்பட்ட ஒன்று. இதற்கு Riparian water rights  என்று பெயர்.

1924ம் ஆண்டு, ஆங்கிலேயர் ஆட்சியின்கீழ் இருந்த சென்னை மாநிலத்திற்கும், மைசூர் அரசரின் ஆட்சியின்கீழ் இருந்த சமஸ்தானத்திற்குமிடையே காவிரி நதிநீர்ப் பங்கீடு தொடர்பாக ஓர் ஒப்பந்தம் கையெழுத்தானது. அதன்படி, காவிரி நீரில் தமிழகத்திற்குரிய பங்கு 427 டி.எம்.சி. தண்ணீர். 50 ஆண்டுகளுக்குப் பிறகு, உபரிநீரின் அளவைக் கணக்கிட்டு, அதை மறுபரிசீலனை செய்ய வேண்டும் என்பது ஒப்பந்தத்தின் ஒரு பிரிவு. அது ஒரு பிரிவு மட்டும்தான். ஆனால், அந்த ஒப்பந்தம் 50 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு மட்டும்தான், அது செயலிழந்துவிட்டது என்று திரிக்கத் தொடங்கியது கர்நாடகம். இதனால், 1971ம் ஆண்டு உச்சநீதிமன்றம் சென்றது தமிழக அரசு. உச்சநீதிமன்ற உத்தரவுப்படி காவிரி நடுவர் மன்றம் ஏற்படுத்தப்பட்டது.



1991ம் ஆண்டு காவிரி நடுவர் மன்றம் இடைக்காலத் தீர்ப்பை வழங்கியது. அதில், ஒவ்வொரு ஆண்டும் தமிழ்நாட்டிற்கு 205 டி.எம்.சி. தண்ணீரை கர்நாடகம் வழங்க வேண்டும் என்று தீர்ப்பளித்தது. இதில் தமிழகத்தில் விவசாயவேலைகளுக்கு ஏதுவாக, ஜூன் முதல் செப்டம்பர் வரை மட்டும் 137டி.எம்.சி. தண்ணீரை தமிழகத்திற்கு அனுப்ப வேண்டும் என்றும் தீர்ப்பில் கூறப்பட்டது.

ஆனால், இடைக்காலத் தீர்ப்பை கர்நாடகம் ஏற்க மறுத்து விட்டது. ஜூன் முதல் செப்டம்பர் வரை தமிழ்நாட்டில் மழை கிடையாது. அப்போதுதான் குறுவை சாகுபடி நடைபெறும். குறுவை சாகுபடி மூலமாகத்தான், விவசாயிகளின் வாழ்க்கைக்குத் தேவையான பணம் கிடைக்கும். காவிரித் தண்ணீர் முறையாகக் கிடைக்காததனால் குறுவை சாகுபடி பெருமளவு குறைந்துவிட்டது.

2005ம் ஆண்டு நடுவர் மன்றம் தனது இறுதித் தீர்ப்பை வழங்கியது. இடைக்காலத் தீர்ப்பில் 205டி.எம்.சி. என்று கூறிவிட்டு, இறுதித் தீர்ப்பில் அதைவிடக் குறைவாக 178 டி.எம்.சி. என்று கூறியுள்ளது நடுவர் மன்றம். அதையும் கூட ஏற்க மறுத்துவிட்டது கர்நாடகம்” என்கிறார், தமிழக உழவர் முன்னணியின் ஆலோசகர் கி.வெங்கட்ராமன்.

நடுவர் மன்றத்தின் இடைக்காலத் தீர்ப்பு, இறுதித் தீர்ப்பு ஆகிய இரண்டையுமே ஏற்க மறுத்த கர்நாடகம், ‘தமிழகத்திற்கு ஒரு சொட்டுத் தண்ணீர் கூட தர முடியாது’ என்றும் சட்டமன்றத்தில் தீர்மானம் நிறைவேற்றியது. இறுதித் தீர்ப்பை எதிர்த்து கர்நாடகமும், தமிழகமும் உச்சநீதிமன்றத்தில் மேல்முறையீடு செய்துள்ளன. வழக்கு நிலுவையில் உள்ளது.



அப்படியானால், இப்போதும் சில நேரம் காவிரி நீர் தமிழகத்திற்கு வருகிறதே அது எப்படி? தமிழகத்தில் மழை இல்லாத ஜூன், ஜூலை மாதங்களில் தண்ணீர் வருவதில்லை. அக்டோபர் மாதம் கிருஷ்ணராஜசாகர் நிரம்பியதும் அணை திறக்கப்படும். அதாவது, தண்ணீர் திறக்கப்படாவிட்டால் அணை உடைந்துவிடும் என்ற அச்சத்தில் வெளியேற்றப்படும் நீர்தான் தமிழகத்திற்கு வருகிறது. சுருக்கமாகச் சொன்னால், கர்நாடகத்தின் வடிகாலாகத்தான் தமிழ்நாட்டை நடத்துகிறது கர்நாடகம்.

ஒப்பந்தங்களை ஒரு பொருட்டாக மதிக்காத கர்நாடகம், காவிரியின் துணை நதிகளான ஹேமாவதி, ஹாரங்கி, கபினி பகுதிகளில் அனுமதியின்றி அணைகளைக் கட்டி, காவிரி நீர்முழுவதையும் தேக்கி வைக்கிறது. 1991ல் நடுவர் மன்றம் தீர்ப்பு வழங்கிய நேரத்தில், கர்நாடகத்தின் பாசனப்பரப்பு 11.2 லட்சம் ஏக்கராக இருந்தது. தற்போது 25 லட்சம் ஏக்கருக்கும் மேல் அதிகரித்துவிட்டது. ஆனால், தமிழ்நாட்டின் பாசனப்பரப்பு முன்பிருந்ததை விட வெகுவாகக் குறைந்து கொண்டே வருகிறது. முப்போக சாகுபடி செய்து வந்த நிலங்கள், தற்போது ஒரு போக சாகுபடி நிலங்களாகச் சுருங்கி விட்டன.

தமிழகத்தில் ஆட்சிக்கு வருகிற அரசியல் கட்சிகள் காவிரியில் தமிழகத்திற்கு உரிய பங்கைப் பெறுவதற்கு, உரிமையை நிலைநாட்டுவதற்கு உறுதியான நடவடிக்கைகளை எடுப்பதற்குப் பதிலாக, விவசாயிகளுக்கு மாற்றுப்பயிர் திட்டத்தை அறிமுகப்படுத்தி வருகின்றனர். அதாவது, காவிரியில் நமக்கு உரிய பங்கு கிடைக்காது என மனதளவில் முடிவுக்கு வந்து, மாற்று வழிகளை யோசிக்கத் துவங்கி விட்டன.

பாலாறா? பாழாறா?

வடிநிலப்பரப்பிலும், தண்ணீர் அளவிலும் காவிரிக்கு அடுத்தபடியாக இருப்பது பாலாறு. கர்நாடகாவில் கோலார் அருகே நந்தி  மலைத்தொடரில் உற்பத்தியாகும் பாலாறு, கர்நாடகத்தில் 93கி.மீ.தூரமும், ஆந்திராவில் 33கி.மீ. தூரமும் கடந்து தமிழகத்திற்கு வருகிறது. தமிழகத்தில் 222 கி.மீ.ஓடி, சென்னைக்கு 100கி.மீ. தொலைவில் கடலில் கலக்கிறது. கர்நாடகத்தில் இது கண்ணுக்குத் தெரியாமல் பூமிக்கடியில் ஓடி (அதனால் இதற்கு குப்தகாமினி என்று கர்நாடகத்தில் பெயர்), பெத்தமங்களா என்ற இடத்தில் பூமிக்கு வெளியே வருகிறது. கண்ணுக்குத் தெரியாமல் ஓடுவதாலோ என்னவோ, கர்நாடகம் இதில் பிரச்சினை செய்வதில்லை. ஆனால், ஆந்திரம் தகராறு செய்கிறது.

தமிழகத்தில் பாலாற்றுப் படுகையின் பரப்பளவு 11,000கி.மீ. இப்படுகையில் வாழும் மக்கள் குடிநீருக்காவும், விவசாயத்திற்காகவும் பல நூற்றாண்டுகளாக பாலாற்றைப் பயன்படுத்தி வருகின்றனர். பாலாறு மூலமாக, வேலூர் மற்றும் காஞ்சிபுரம் மாவட்டங்களில் மட்டும் 2 லட்சம் ஏக்கர் பாசன வசதி பெற்று வந்தன. காவிரி டெல்டா பகுதிக்கு அடுத்த படியாக தமிழகத்திற்கு அதிக நெல் விளைச்சலைத் தருவது பாலாற்று வடிநிலப்பகுதி. ‘அதெல்லாம் ஒரு காலம்’ என்று சொல்லும் அளவுக்கு இன்றைக்கு நிலைமை மாறிவிட்டது. பாலாற்றில் தண்ணீருக்குப் பதிலாக கானல் நீரை மட்டுமே இன்று காண முடிகிறது. பாலாற்றின் மூலம் தண்ணீர் பெறுகிற 317 ஏரிகள் இன்று வறட்சியை நோக்கிச் செல்கின்றன. பாலாற்றில் இருந்து செல்லும் 606ஆற்றுக்கால்வாய்களின் நிலையும் அதோகதிதான்.

1802ல் போடப்பட்ட ஒப்பந்தத்தின்படி, சென்னை மாகாணத்தின் அனுமதி இல்லாமல் இரு மாநிலங்களுக்கு இடையே உள்ள நதிகளில் புதிய அணைகளோ, நீர்த்தேக்கங்களோ, நீர் அமைப்புகளோ ஏற்படுத்தக் கூடாது. பாலாறு உட்பட 15 முக்கிய நதிகள் அந்த ஆவணத்தில் குறிப்பிடப்பட்டுள்ளன. ஆனால், ஆரம்பத்தில் இருந்து இந்த உடன்படிக்கைக்கு மாறாக கர்நாடகம் செயல்பட்டு வருகிறது.

பாலாற்றின் மூலம் தமிழ்நாட்டிற்குக் கிடைக்க வேண்டிய தண்ணீரின் அளவு 77 டி.எம்.சி. ஆனால், பாலாற்றில் இப்போது கனமழை காலங்களில் மட்டுமே தண்ணீர் ஓடுகிறது. கர்நாடகத்தில் பல அணைகளைக் கட்டி, ஏராளமான தண்ணீரை அம்மாநிலம் எடுத்துக் கொள்கிறது. 45கி.மீ. தூரம் மட்டுமே பாயும் ஆந்திரப் பகுதியிலும் ஏராளமான தடுப்பணைகளை ஆந்திரா கட்டியுள்ளது. போதாக்குறைக்கு, தமிழகத்தின் எல்லைப்பகுதியான குப்பம் அருகே  250கோடி ரூபாய் செலவில் 160அடி உயரத்தில் தடுப்பணை ஒன்றைக் கட்டுவதற்கு முயற்சித்துவருகிறது ஆந்திர அரசு. இதன் மூலமாக ஆந்திரப் பகுதியில் 120கிராமங்கள் பயன் பெறும் என்றும், அங்கு புதிதாக கால்வாய் வெட்டப்பட்டு, சித்தூர்-திருப்பதி ஆகிய பகுதிகளுக்கு குடிநீர் கொண்டு செல்லப்படும் என்றும் தெரிவித்துள்ளது ஆந்திர அரசு. தமிழகத்தின் கடும் எதிர்ப்பு காரணமாக, ஆந்திர அரசின் அணை கட்டும் முயற்சி தற்காலிகமாக தடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. ஒருவேளை அங்கு அணை கட்டப்படுமானால், தமிழ்நாட்டின் பாலாறு பாசனப் பகுதிகள்  நிரந்தரமாக பாலைவனமாக மாறிவிடும்.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          –  ஆ. பழனியப்பன்

Courtesy:                    Puthiya Thalaimurai

Edition:                        29.12.2011

Cover Story:               பறிபோகும் தமிழக உரிமைகள்?

Page No:                      8 – 15

For E – Magazine:

They are the best in their business, and feature in the Forbes Richest list year after year. So where do you think India’s top CEOs, corporate honchos and business magnates did their business studies?

Top CEOs in India

Ratan Tata
Chairman, Tata Sons

Tata graduated from Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai, did his Bachelor of Science degree in architecture from Cornell University in 1962. Then he went to the US to do Advanced Management Program by Harvard Business School in 1975. This Management course at HBS is designed for someone already in the field who wants to better their prospects.

Ratan Tata is also the chairman of Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata Tea, The Indian Hotels Company, Tata Chemicals and Tata Teleservices. During his tenure, the group’s revenues have grown nearly 13-fold.

Mukesh Ambani
Chairman and MD, Reliance Industries

Mukesh Ambani studied in The Scindia School, Gwalior. He is a chemical engineer from the Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai. Mukesh pursued his MBA at Stanford University, USA.

With a personal wealth valued at $29 billion by Forbes Magazine, Mukesh Ambani is world’s fourth richest and Asia’s wealthiest person.

Rahul Bajaj
Bajaj Auto

After attending St. Stephen’s College Delhi for his BA Economics, and the Government Law College Bombay for LLB, Rahul Bajaj went to the US to do his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1964.

Being awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2001, Bajaj was listed twentieth on the Forbes India’s Richest in 2010.

Anil Ambani
Chairman, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group

Anil Ambani completed his Bachelor of Science from Mumbai University. He went to the US to do an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

It is the same university that later honoured Dhirubhai Ambani with the Dean’s Medal for setting an outstanding example of leadership. Anil Ambani is the fourth richest man in India, according to Forbes.

Anand Mahindra
Vice Chairman and MD, Mahindra & Mahindra

Anand Mahindra graduated from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts and completed his MBA from Harvard Business School, Boston. He is Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra.

After Anand’s entry, Mahindra & Mahindra started the Kotak Mahindra Bank and Tech Mahindra. The IT section acquired Satyam Computer Services Ltd and renamed it Mahindra Satyam following the 2007 scandal.

Adi Godrej
Godrej Group

Adi Godrej did his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the family business.

One of Indian’s richest men, with a net worth of $3.3 billion, Adi Godrej is credited with modernising his family’s business.

KV Kamath
Non-Executive Chairman, ICICI Bank

Kamath was ICICI Bank’s Managing Director and CEO from May 1996 to his retirement in April 2009. Now, He is the Chairman of Infosys Limited, the second-largest IT services company in India.

After completing Higher Secondary and Pre-University from St Aloysius School, Kamath joined the Karnataka Regional Engineering College for Mechanical Engineering. Then, in 1969, he joined the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad for his Masters in Business Administration.

Last but not the least, here comes the business magnate Dhirubhai Ambani.

Dhirubhai Ambani was an Indian business magnate and entrepreneur who founded Reliance Industries, a petrochemicals, communications, power, and textiles conglomerate and the only privately owned Indian company in the Fortune 500. Dhirubhai has been one among the select Forbes billionaires and has also figured in the Sunday Times list of top 50 businessmen in Asia. His life has often been referred to as a true “rags to riches” story.

Where he did his MBA?





Harvard Business School?







Stanford University?







Indian Institute of Management?







The Educational Qualification of Dhirubhai Ambani is just 10th pass

Is it necessary to do MBA to be a Business Magnate…..???

Does any degree in the world has more value than Self confidence & Hard work…..???



By refusing to take bribes, the Madurai collector has earned 18 transfers in 20 years, a modest house and bank balance and lots of respect.

On a hot summer afternoon, on Madurai’s busy main road, the district collector, U. Sahayam I.A.S, saw a young man talking on a cell phone while riding a motorbike. He asked his driver to wave the man down, got down from his car and meted out instant punishment: plant 10 saplings within 24 hours. Somewhat unconventional justice, some might say. But that’s how Sagayam works.

‘Lanjam Thavirtthu, Nenjam Nimartthu’ (Reject bribes, hold your head high), says a board hanging above Sagayam’s chair in his modest office. That’s the code he lives by, even if politicians are incensed they cannot bend him their way—he’s been transferred 18 times in the last 20 years—and has made enemies of both superiors and subordinates. “I know I sit under a dangerous slogan and probably alienate people,” he says. “But I have been the same Sagayam from Day 1. Standing up against corruption is not for a season. Nor is it a fad. It’s forever.”

Two years ago, as district collector of Namakkal, he voluntarily declared his assets: a bank balance of Rs 7,172 and a house in Madurai worth Rs 9 lakh. Once, when his baby daughter, Yalini, who had breathing problems, was suddenly taken ill, he did not have the Rs 5,000 needed for admitting her to a private hospital. At that time he was deputy commissioner (excise) in Coimbatore and there were 650 liquor licenses to be given out. The going bribe for each was rumored to be Rs 10,000.

Sagayam started cleaning up Madurai the minute he landed here. The main bus terminus at Mattuthavani looked more like a bazaar, with shops all over the bus-shelters and no waiting place for passengers. Even a police outpost had been turned into a shop.The system was well-oiled with haftas to local politicians and policemen. Sagayam quickly went through the rulebook, cited the relevant clauses and cleaned up the entire area. But didn’t it hit poor shopkeepers who lost their livelihood? “A violation is a violation,” says Sagayam, “but we will help them rehabilitate.” Nageswaran, a taxi-driver and one of Sagayam’s many fans, says, “He’s strict and hasn’t taken even ten paise in bribe during his career”.

He’s like the upright collectors they show in some films, a real hero with integrity.”Sagayam’s masters degrees in social work and law come in useful in his role as an administrator. He knows the rulebooks in detail and is not afraid of using them, however powerful the opponent. No wonder then that Sagayam’s career is marked with the scars of countless battles.

When errant village officers ganged up to get Sagayam transferred, people protested and the order was rescinded. When he was in Kanchipuram as revenue officer, he took on the sand mafia, ordering them to stop dredging sand from the Palar riverbed. Large-scale
dredging had made the area flood-prone. The mafia sent goons to assault Sagayam, but he did not budge and would not take back the order. He also took on a mighty soft-drink MNC when a consumer showed him a bottle with dirt floating in it. He sealed the bottling unit and banned the sale of the soft drink in the city. In Chennai, he locked horns with a restaurant chain and recovered four acres valued at some Rs 200 crore.

Given such credentials, it wasn’t surprising for him to be picked by the Election Commission to oversee elections in Madurai, as famous for its temples as its political gods. During the last polls, Sagayam took on M.K. Azhagiri, the local MP and son of former CM and DMK supreme M. Karunanidhi. He conducted voter awareness campaigns in colleges; the DMK petitioned the court twice, seeking to end what it said was an attempt to influence voters, but the court demurred.

Sagayam’s wife Vimala has stood by him all these years but she was rattled by some of the threats during the elections. “He always says if you are right, nobody can hurt you,” she says. “But sometimes it becomes difficult.”

Sagayam takes a hands-on approach to his work. He holds a Monday ‘durbar’, at which anyone can meet him with their complaints. During tours of the district for review meetings and inspections, he will suddenly stop a school bus to talk to children or duck into a school to take a class. When students tell him they want to be IAS or IPS officers, he asks, “It’s all well to say now that you’ll be honest, but will you remain unbending about not taking bribes throughout your career?”

Some months back, while driving to a village, he found a 92-year-old woman cleaning rice. She said she had to work in order to eat. He immediately sanctioned Rs 1,000 as old-age pension for her. When 60-year-old Vellamma met him during a tour of Uthappanaikkanoor village this week and asked him to grant her a pension, he said, “I can do that. But do you want me to send your son to jail too—for abandoning you?”

He said it with a smile, as a joke, but he has in fact taken action against children who don’t take care of their aging parents.

“I believe, as Mahatma Gandhi said, that India lives in her villages,” says Sagayam, who also idolizes Subhash Chandra Bose. His years as a collector—he has slept overnight in village schools many times—have convinced him to better the lot of villagers by strengthening the village administrative officer (VAO) system.

Many VAOs have never visited villages and often stay miles away from where they should be, in cities. In Namakkal, his action against errant VAOs had them ganging up with politicians to get him transferred. Over 5,000 villagers protested, saying they wouldn’t let Sagayam go. The politicians had to retreat.

Sagayam says he learnt honesty on his mother’s knees. He is the youngest of four sons of a farmer from Pudukottai.“Our adjoining field had mango trees and my friends and I would pick the fallen fruit,” he says.  “But my mother made me throw the mangoes away, saying I should enjoy only what is mine.” Now his daughter Yalini wants to become a collector. When she has an argument with her brother Arun, she asks her father, “Is he really your son? He just told a lie!” Both of them are proud of their father.

Recently, after a long time, the Sagayam family went on a vacation to Kullu in Himachal Pradesh. While visiting a gurudwara, a stranger came up to their father and asked him, “Aren’t you IAS officer Mr Sagayam?” Yalini and Arun have not stopped beaming.

The Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen’s ombudsman Bill) is a draft anti-corruption bill that would pave the way for a Jan Lokpal, an independent body like the Election Commission, which would have the power to prosecute politicians and bureaucrats without government permission.

The bill has been drafted by Shanti Bhushan, former IPS Kiran Bedi, Justice N. Santosh Hegde, renowned advocate Prashant Bhushan, former chief election commissioner J. M. Lyngdoh in consultation with the leaders of the India Against Corruption movement and the civil society. The bill proposes institution of the office of Lokpal (Ombudsman) at center and Lok Ayukta at state level. Jan Lokpal Bill is designed to create an effective anti-corruption and grievance redressal systems at centre and to assure that effective deterrent is created against corruption and to provide effective protection to whistleblowers.

The Lokpal Bill drafted by the government is pending to be passed in the Rajya Sabha since 42 years.The first Lokpal Bill was passed in the 4th Lok Sabha in 1969 but could not get through in Rajya Sabha, subsequently, Lokpal bills were introduced in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005 and in 2008, yet they were never passed and its pending.

1.  An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up

2.    Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.

3.    Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.

4.    The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.

5.    How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.

6.    So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.

7.    But won’t the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won’t be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.

8.    What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.

9.    What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.

10.  It will be the duty of the Lokpal to provide protection to those who are being victimized for raising their voice against corruption.


1)      Anna Hazare is an Indian social activist and a prominent leader in the 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

2)      He is an Ex-Army man (Unmarried). He fought Indo-Pakistani war of 1965.

3)      He contributed to the development and structuring of village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra. This village is a self-sustained model village. Energy is produced in the village itself from solar power, biofuel and wind mills. In 1975, it used to be a poverty clad village. Now it is one of the richest villages in India. It has become a model for self-sustained, eco-friendly & harmonic village.


4)      Anna has been ranked as the most influential person in Mumbai by a national daily newspaper.

5)      He spent his spare time reading the works of Swami Vivekananda, Gandhi, and Vinoba Bhave.

6)      Anna Hazare was awarded the Padma Bhushan – the third-highest civilian award – by the Government of India in 1992 for his efforts in establishing this village as a model for others

  Right to Information movement

  • In the early 2000s Hazare led a movement in Maharashtra state which forced the state government to enact a revised Maharashtra Right to Information Act.
  • This Act was later considered as the base document for the Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI), enacted by the Union Government.
  • It also ensured that the President of India assented to this new Act.
  • On 20th July 2006, the Union Cabinet amended the Right to Information Act 2005 to exclude the file noting by the government officials from its purview.
  • Hazare began his fast unto death on 9 August 2006 in Alandi against the proposed amendment. He ended his fast on 19 August 2006, after the government agreed to change its earlier decision.


 (1) Mahatma Gandhi inspired millions of people world over to take the path of non-violence and civil disobedience. 5 world leaders who got Noble Peace prize viz. Martin Luther King Jr. (USA), Dalai Lama (Tibet), Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar), Nelson Mandela (S. Africa) and Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina) have acknowledged the fact that they were influenced by the philosophy of Gandhi. Yet, Mahatma Gandhi; the man who inspired these Nobel Peace Prize winners, never got a Noble Prize !

It is a loss for the Noble – the prize; not for Gandhi – the man who is above all prizes.

(2) Gandhi spoke English with an Irish accent, as one of his first teachers was an Irishman.

(3) During the freedom struggle, he wore nothing but a loin cloth, but for years he lived in London and used to wear a silk hat and spats and carried a cane.

(4) He was educated at London University and became an attorney. But the first time he attempted to make a speech in court, his knees trembled, and he was so frightened that he had to sit down in confusion and defeat.

(5) As a lawyer in London, he got nowhere at all. He was practically a failure there. Years before, when he first came to England, his Irish teacher made him copy the Sermon on the Mount, over and over again, purely as an exercise in English. Hour after hour, Gandhi wrote “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. . . . Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God,” and these words made a profound impression on him.

(6) Later, he was sent to South Africa to collect some huge debts; and he tried to apply there the philosophy of the Sermon on the Mount. And it worked. Clients flocked to Gandhi because he settled their claims peacefully out of court and saved them time and expense.

(7) His income during those days in South Africa touched fifteen thousand dollars a year! Something still a dream for most Indians!

(8) However, despite this worldly success he was not happy. On seeing the untold misery of millions of his fellow countrymen; on seeing thousand of them dying of starvation; the worldly success seemed cheap and unimportant to him. He gave up all his money and ‘took the vow of poverty, and since that time, he consecrated his life to helping the poor and the downtrodden.

(9) On seeing the hopeless condition of one tenth of India which was living in a hungry and half-starved state, Mahatma Gandhi pleaded with them to cease bringing children into a world filled with so much misery and want.

(10) Mahatma Gandhi experimented with diets to see how cheaply he could live and remain healthy. He started living principally on fruit and goats’ milk and olive oil.

(11) Mahatma Gandhi got inspiration of Civil Disobedience by reading a book of an American! He had been greatly influenced by the teachings of an American by the name of David Thoreau. Thoreau was graduated from Harvard University ninety years ago, and then spent twenty-eight dollars building a cabin for himself on the lonely shores of Walden Pond, in Massachusetts. He lived there like a hermit, and refused to pay taxes; so he was thrown into jail. He then wrote a book on Civil Disobedience, saying that no one ought to pay taxes. People didn’t pay the slightest attention to his book then; but, seventy-five years later, Gandhi read that book, away out in India, and decided to use Thoreau’s tactics. He felt that England had not kept her promise to give India self-government; so, in order to punish England, Gandhi urged the people of India to go to jail rather than pay taxes, and he also urged his followers to boycott English goods. When the British placed a tax on salt, Gandhi led his follower to the sea and they made their own salt.

(12) Mahatma Gandhi never visited the US, but he had many American fans and followers. One of his more unusual admirers was Henry Ford. Gandhi sent him an autographed charkha (spinning wheel) through a journalist emissary. During the darkest days of the Second World War, Ford, who was struck by the charkhas “mechanical simplicity and high moral purpose,” would often spin on “the symbol of economic independence that Gandhi had sent.

(13) He had a set of false teeth, which he carried in a fold of his loin cloth. He put them in his mouth only when he wanted to eat. After his meal, he took them out, washed them and put them back in his loin cloth again.

(14) The great Scientist Albert Einstein once said about Gandhi:

“Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one as this (Gandhi) walked the earth in flesh and blood.”

He also once said,

” I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.”

The more I read about Gandhi, the more I become humble to the greatness of this man who was seeking nothing for himself but was willing to die in order that others may live.

(15) Gandhi was also a prolific writer. For decades he edited several newspapers including Harijan in Gujarati, Hindi and English, Indian Opinion while in South Africa and, Young India, in English, and Navajivan, a Gujarati monthly. He also wrote a few books including his autobiography, An Autobiography or My Experiments with Truth.

Sources: Little known facts about well known people by Dale Carnegie


All Date is always ripe to do Good

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