• Heard the News Yet?
    Jan 17, 2011

    Instead of representing and serving people, elected representatives, from the PM downwards, have become ‘rulers’ (Unblanking the Tapes, Dec 27). Would they take a few lessons from the mother of all Parliaments? In scrapping the UK ID card scheme, their home secretary said, “We propose to do government business as servants of the people, not their masters”!


    Mathew Thomas, Bangalore


    With corruption scandals running into lakh crores (1 followed by 12 zeroes), we need new numeric units to comprehend these humongous figures.


    O. Solaiappan, Salem


    A few ideas for new words to refer to large numbers: So 1,00,000 crore = 1 raja; 10,000 crore = 1 radia; 1,000 crore = 1 kalmadi. So Anilbhai’s home in Pali Hill will now cost Rs 4.5 kalmadi; ongc’s annual output is Rs 1.2 raja; India’s loss in the 2G scam is about Rs 1.7 raja; India’s total annual subsidy on kerosene is Rs 2 radia.


    Mukul Jain, on e-mail


    One thing is rather surprising. Given that the investigation was initiated on the basis of the allegation that Niira Radia “was an agent of foreign intelligence agencies” (as reported earlier), neither the home secretary nor the home minister had heard the tapes more than a year after they were recorded. Either these gentlemen consider matters of counter-intelligence unworthy of their attention or they are being extremely economical with the truth.


    Cdr Arun Visvanathan, Chennai


    Corporate social responsibility, Ratan Tata style. Get a spectrum licence worth Rs 8,000 crore for Rs 1,651 crore, spend Rs 15 crore on a medical centre for the poor in the telecom minister’s constituency. Tata gets accolades for social responsibility, and the minister is hailed as a benefactor of the poor in his parliamentary constituency, burnishing his image and ensuring his re-election. The net loss to the nation: Rs 8,000 crore — Rs 1,651 crore — Rs 15 crore = Rs 6,370 crore.


    Samir Rai, London



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