Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Please beg....rather than.....levy charges!

Meaningless "Charge levying" by Banks

I have opened a Kiddy Bank account in the name of my grand daughter in 2015 with our Rustumbada Branch. Actually, the Date of opening was 18-08-2015. 

For the last one year, I have not received a single SMS from 18-08-2015 onwards, regarding that account!

Suddenly, this message is received.
 "Rs.17/- is debited in a/c XX0797 on 13-09-2016 towards Qtrly SMS alert charges..........."!

I want to know--What & where is the justification for such charges?

The Bank launched "Mobile Banking Service" around 15 years ago, amid much fanfare & hungama, even when the Bank was only using LSI software. 

Under mobile Banking service, the SMS alerts were started only 7 years ago, after migrating to "Finnacle" which is limited to inform about any transaction in the account to the account holder. It was absolutely free.....till now!

The SMS alert is based on the Customer ID and all accounts with that ID are linked to that Mobile number. 

Then, why such charges are levied in one account, without any advance information to the clients?

I demand that the charges are reversed immediately and action be taken against those responsible for such state of affairs.

Do it now!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Never Invest with LIC


I was an insurer with LIC of India since 1973, obtained several number of policies (there was no alternative till recently!), but I am not exaggerating when I say, never under any policy I have received the maturity proceeds/money back on its due date without fuss or going to the extreme with threatening them with consumer's forum or something!

My last policy with them was obtained in 2009, under an annuity policy, the amount to be invested in "balanced fund", to receive a monthly pension from the date of "vesting". I have paid the yearly premiums on or before due date for the next four years also, the last being in 2013. The policy vested in 2014, from when I had to receive the pension amount monthly.

But 1. They changed the annuity rules during the currency of the policy that annuity is payable only if the fund value on maturity is more than Rs.1,00,000/-, without informing anyone.

2. They told the maturity amount only is payable on due date fully, if fund value is less. They did not, even send me the discharge form one month before due date, as usually done, and after several mails to them and personal phone calls to the branch manager did they send me one, after a month after due date! (The branch is located hardly 10 K.M. from our place).

3. After keeping 5,000/- for 5 years, 10,000/- for 4 years, 15,000 for 3 years, 20,000 for 2 years, 25,000 for 1 year in their fund, they have sent me a return of a meager Rs.729 + my investment of Rs.25,000/-!!! (If I had kept the amount in my own Savings Bank account with my Bank, I would have received a lot more, in interest! and being an ex-staff member, I would have received a lot-ter more!!  

I expressed to them my doubts about the Management of the Fund by them and asked them to send me a Statement of my policy account for the period from Start of the Policy till its maturity. They have sent me the following, by attaching to their mail--you can see from the Statement that my investment of Rs.5,000, every year, is not reflected anywhere  in it but they went on debiting their "Charges"of whopping amounts and never credited any dividend/benefit in the account!

(If anybody can decipher & justify the figures shown in this statement, I would not hesitate to present them with half of my Kingdom--if ever I form it; and marry my princess daughter to him--if ever I can beget one in the future--as reward!)

When I questioned them, they simply modified the statement, manually as admitted by them, correcting the amount paid by me every year to Rs.5,000 (instead of Rs.10,000 shown by them earlier) and keeping all the other figures "in tact", again justifying their claim that the maturity amount is calculated properly!

I have waited almost 1 full year, during which I have mailed even their head office, but no plausible reply is received from them till now, even after I have informed them that "I will be going public" with the facts!

See how thick skinned are they!!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Never Insure your Health with.......

Beware of Max Bupa (health insurance co)

I want to put on record that this Company is the Worst provider of Health Insurance. 

They did not settle my 2 claims until the Insurance Ombudsman has rapped on its knuckles! (The ombudsman himself was helpless to award the Token Compensation of Rs.5,00,000/- claimed by me for the wrongful denial of my claims, quoting the Act. Will the I R D A do something?)

Even after that, I was a fool to have renewed my policy with them in March 2014 but I have not received the original Policy & other related documents etc. till now, even after reminding them through several e-mails. 

Now they are feeling shy to issue their advertisements through their Official Web Site & their e-mail addresses!!

They are issuing advertisements through some "" etc.!!!

Please keep distance from such Companies & be safe from being duped!!!!!.

Friday, January 16, 2015


(This is an apt time for these—Excerpts from RICHARD DAWKINS—International Best Seller—“THE GOD DELUSION”—2006. Only Sentences underlined within brackets and the emphasis in Bold print are mine.)
“……..a particular case study, which tellingly illuminates society’s exaggerated respect for religion, over and above ordinary human respect. The case flared up in February 2006 – a ludicrous episode, which veered wildly between the extremes of comedy and tragedy. The previous September, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published twelve cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. Over the next three months, indignation was carefully and systematically nurtured throughout the Islamic world by a small group of Muslims living in Denmark, led by two imams who had been granted sanctuary there. In late 2005 these malevolent exiles travelled from Denmark to Egypt bearing a dossier, which was copied and circulated from there to the whole Islamic world, including, importantly, Indonesia. The dossier contained falsehoods about alleged maltreatment of Muslims in Denmark, and their tendentious lie that Jyllands-Posten was a government run newspaper. It also contained the twelve cartoons which, crucially, the imams had supplemented with three additional images whose origin was mysterious but which certainly had no connection with Denmark. Unlike the original twelve, these three add-ons were genuinely offensive—or would have been if they had, as the zealous propagandists alleged, depicted Muhammad. A particularly damaging one of these three was not a cartoon at all but a faxed photograph of a bearded man wearing a fake pig’s snout held on with elastic. It has subsequently turned out that this was an Associated Press photograph of a Frenchman entered for a pig-squealing contest at a country fair in France. The photograph had no connection whatsoever with the prophet Muhammad, no connection with Islam, and co connection with Denmark. But the Muslim activists, on their mischief- stirring hike to Cairo, implied all three connections . . . with predictable results.

The carefully cultivated ‘hurt’ and ‘offence’ was brought to an explosive head five months after the twelve cartoons were originally published. Demonstrators in Pakistan and Indonesia burned Danish flags (where did they get them from?) and hysterical demands were made for the Danish government to apologize. (Apologize for what?  They didn’t draw the cartoons, or publish them. Danes just live in a country with a free press, something that people in many Islamic countries might have a hard time understanding.) Newspapers in Norway, Germany, France and even the United States (but, conspicuously, not Britain) reprinted the cartoons in gestures of solidarity with Jyllands-Posten, which added fuel to the flames. Embassies and consulates were trashed, Danish goods were boycotted, Danish citizens and, indeed, Westerners generally, were physically threatened; Christian churches in Pakistan, with no Danish or European connections at all, were burned. Nine people were killed when Libyan rioters attacked and burned the Italian consulate in Benghazi. As Germaine Greer wrote, what these people really love and do best is pandemonium.

A bounty of $1 million was placed on the head of ‘the Danish cartoonist’ by a Pakistani imam (Reminds you of the BSP Rascal who offered Rs.51 crores to those who killed at Charlie Hebdo….doesn’t he?)—who was apparently unaware that there were twelve different Danish cartoonists, and almost certainly unaware that the three most offensive pictures had never appeared in Denmark at all (and by the way, where was that million going to come from?). In Nigeria, Muslim protesters against the Danish cartoons burned down several Christian churches and used machetes to attack and kill (black Nigerian) Christians in the streets. One Christian was put inside a rubber tyre, doused with petrol and set alight. Demonstrators were photographed in Britain bearing banners saying ‘Slay those who insult Islam’, ‘Butcher those who mock Islam’, ‘Europe you will pay: Demolition is on its way’ and ‘Behead those who insult Islam’. Fortunately, our political leaders were on hand to remind us that Islam is a religion of peace and mercy.

In the aftermath of all this, the journalist Andrew Mueller interviewed Britain’s leading ‘moderate’ Muslim, Sir Iqbal Sacranie. Moderate he may be by today’s Islamic standards, but in Andrew Mueller’s account he still stands by the remark he made when Salman Rushdie as condemned to death for writing a novel: ‘Death is perhaps too easy for him’—a remark that sets him in ignominious contrast to his courageous predecessor as Britain’s most influential Muslim, the late Dr.Zaki Badawi, who offered Salman Rushdie sanctuary in his own home. Sacranie told Mueller how concerned he was about the Danish cartoons. Mueller was concerned too, but for a different reason: ‘I am concerned that the ridiculous, disproportionate reaction to some unfunny sketches in an obscure Scandinavian newspaper may confirm that . . . Islam and the west are fundamentally irreconcilable’. Sacranie, on the other hand, praised British Newspapers for not reprinting the cartoons, to which Mueller voiced the suspicion of most of the nation that ‘the restraint of British newspapers derived less from sensitivity to Muslim discontent that it did from a desire not to have their windows broken’. (Probably learnt during their rule of India!)

Sacranie explained that ‘The person of the Prophet, peace be upon him, is revered so profoundly in the Muslim world, with a love and affection that cannot be explained in words. It goes beyond your parent, your loved ones, your children. That is part of the faith. There is also an Islamic teaching that one does not depict the Prophet’. This rather assumes, as Mueller observed,
                  that the values of Islam trump anyone else’s—which is what any follower of
                  Islam does assume, just as any follower of any religion believes that theirs
                  is the sole way, truth and light. If people wish to love a 7th century preacher
                  more than their own families, that’s up to them, but nobody else is obliged to
                  take it seriously . . .

Except that if you don’t take it seriously and accord it proper respect you are phyically threatened, on a scale that no other religion has aspired to since the Middle Ages. One can’t help wondering why such violence is necessary, given that, as Mueller notes: ‘If any of you clowns are right about anything, the cartoonists are going to hell anyway-won’t that do? In the meantime, if you want to get excited about affronts to Muslims, read the Amnesty International reports on Syria and Saudi Arabia’.

Many people have noted the contrast between the hysterical ‘hurt’ professed by Muslims and the readiness with which Arab media publish stereotypical anti-Jewish cartoons. At a demonstration in Pakistan against the Danish cartoons, a woman in a clack burka was photographed carrying a banner reading ‘God Bless Hitler’.

In response to all this frenzied pandemonium, decent liberal newspapers deplored the violence and made token noises about free speech. But at the same time they expressed ’respect’ and ‘sympathy’ for the deep ‘offence’ and ’hurt’ that Muslims had ‘suffered’. The ‘hurt’ and ‘suffering’ consisted, remember, not in any person enduring violence or real pain of any kind: nothing more than a few daubs of printing ink in a newspaper that nobody outside Denmark would ever have heard of but for a deliberate campaign of incitement to mayhem. (Strongly reminds us of Charlie Hebdo!)

I am not in favour of offending or hurting anyone just for the sake of it. But I am intrigued and mystified by the disproportionate privileging of religion in our otherwise secular societies. All politicians must get used to disrespectful cartoons of their faces, and nobody riots in their defence. What is so special about religion that we grant it such uniquely privileged respect? As H.L. Mencken said: ‘We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.’

It is in the light of the unparalleled presumption of respect for religion* that I make my own disclaimer for this book. I shall not go out of my way to offend, but nor shall I don kid gloves to handle religion any more gently than I would handle anything else.

* A stunning example of such ‘respect’ was reported in the New York Times while this paperback was in proof. In January 200, a German Muslim woman had applied for a fast-track divorce on the grounds that her husband, from the very start of the marriage, repeatedly and seriously beat her. While not denying the facts, judge Christa Datz-Winter turned down the application, citing the Qur’an. ‘In a remarkable ruling the underlines the tension between Muslim customs and European laws, the judge, Christa Datz-Winter, said that the couple came from a Moroccan cultural milieu, in which she said it was common for husbands to be at their wives. The Koran, she wrote, sanctions such physical abuse’ (New York Times, 23 March 2007). This incredible story came to light in March 2007 when the unfortunate woman’s lawyer disclosed it. To its credit, the Frankfurt court promptly removed Judge Datz-Winter from the case. Nevertheless, the New York Times article concludes by quoting a suggestion that the episode will do great damage to other Muslim women suffering domestic abuse: ‘Many are already afraid of going to court against their spouses. There have been a string of so-called honor-killings here, in which Turkish Muslim men have murdered women.’ Judge Datz-Winter’s motivation was put down to ‘cultural sensitivity’, but there is another name by which you could call it: patronizing insult. ‘Of course we Europeans wouldn’t dream of behaving like this, but wife-beating is part of “the culture”, sanctioned by “their religion”, and we should “respect” it.’ 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Awards & Judgments


I am very glad, at least some of the arms created by the Government through legislation are working satisfactorily.

This is my experience with the Insurance Ombudsman, Hyderabad :

I have purchased a health Insurance Policy from "MAX BUPA" health insurance company and the policy is in force. 

Unfortunately, I was hospitalised for irregular heart beat, and took treatment at Varma Hospitals, Bhimavaram, incurring sizable amount in bills & medicines.

I was advised to proceed to Bangalore, because of a surgery undergone by me at the end of the year 2003 there, to undergo further treatment.

I have admitted myself again at Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore, undergone a procedure and discharged after cure, again incurring sizable amount in bills & medicines.

Actually, Cashless treatment should have been allowed to me for treatment at Bangalore but in spite of the Hospital duly informing the Company, it was denied!

Later I have submitted my 2 Claims to the Company for hospitalization at Bhimavaram & Bangalore. 

After some days, a person called on me at my home saying he was from the Company. He did not bother even to introduce himself but asked me to produce the Xerox copies of the Bills. As the copies were left at Bangalore, I explained to him that the copies are not readily available. He told, without the Xerox copies, he could not verify the Claim. The bills may be spurious! Anybody can get bills as they wished!--he blurted. I asked him how could he verify the 'authenticity' of the original bills, seeing the xerox copies? He flared up and left saying he will see that not even a single rupee is paid to me by the Company.

I have immediately reported the matter to the Company CEO through their portal. I was advised that a particular person was allotted to look into the matter and the needful would be done. I have not received any communication from that person at all.

The Company indulged in prolonged useless correspondence. In reply to my mails to them, inquiring about the Claims, they used to send mails through their "do not reply" address, seeking my reply! They have marked me as a "pivotal customer" (whatever their meaning of the word be). Finally they denied both the claims. I have duly appealed to the concerned but after further prolonged correspondence, they confirmed denial of the claims.

So, I have filed my grievance with the Insurance Ombudaman, Hyderabad and he was pleased to proclaim his "award" and "allow" both the claims and ordered the Company to pay the entire claim amounts.

By now, I have received the due amounts through the Company's cheques.

I profusely thank the Ombudsman.

As I have written earlier, the Banking Ombudsman at Hyderabad did not know A B C of Banking and did not at least feel the necessity to go through the "Negotiable Instruments Act" (His Secretary and the Bank's Secretary were buddy-buddy on their personal name basis! They exchanged the Official Correspondence through their personal names!) before dismissing my complaint.

So, at least some arms are working properly!

May such arms be strengthened further.

Thursday, March 22, 2012



(Please read the following, a bit long, story--of which I have only written excerpts--and think how frequently you are witnessing such scenes on TV now-a-days.)

.....A reminiscence

An elderly grey-haired man in a safari suit, dishelved and looking dejected, with swollen eyes, was being led by a few burly men (also in safari), apparently from the CBI, towards the court room. A group of photo-journalists brought up the rear........

.......A TV News reader was talking of yet another sordid instance of fraud and corruption in high places.  Here it was a bureaucrat who was involved in a multi-crore scam.

I switched off the TV. I was angry and disgusted. Enough is enough. How many scams? How many crores of rupee going into the private accounts of evil men! 

Only that morning I had received a notice to pay up an additional amount of Income Tax. To be swindled and wasted by men in safari suits?........

.......Suddenly, it occurred to me that the haggard face on the TV Screen was not one unfamiliar to me. I had seen it before, many year ago. I waited for the morning news papers and I need no further confirmation that I had known this man before from my school days, some fifty years ago.


I recalled to mind the day when a new boy was inducted into our class........He was punctual, neatly dressed and his forehead shone with 'vibhooti' and 'kumkum'......We were quite friendly with each other as we were the only two boys who studied Sanskrit.........his father was a Government functionary with some influence.  There were rumours that his "sambalam" (Tamil for salary) was small compared to his "kimbalam" (the slush money) he collected..........

...........several years later, ......I was told that he had done extremely well, had a big job in the Government, and was a very important person in Delhi.


Years flew and I found myself in Delhi......I managed to talk to him on the phone, after I had given my bio-data to quite a few persons......."Do you remember me?.....Why don't we meet sometime?" I thought he was 

hesitant for a moment but then said, "perhaps we may. Please come to my office at 4.30 p.m. I may spare about fifteen minutes." 

I was a bit disappointed.....thought he would invite me to his house.......

......I had to wait for about an hour........ushered into a spacious chamber bigger than the flat I had in Mumbai, magnificiently upholstered. He was sitting behind a huge table, laden with all kinds of things, notably telephones in different colours. There were the inevitable files, heaps of them. He did not get up but showed me to a chair in front. I could not shake hands with him across the wide table.

I had a mild shock when I had a closer look at him. The man sitting in front of me could not have been the boy I had known. He was dressed in an expensive suit. He had that well-fed look which came with affluence. His hair had become thin and grey and his eyes were dull , with pouches under them, perhaps due to excessive drinking. He was puffing at a huge cigar, not in the manner of a man enjoying an expensive smoke, but as one who wanted to impress others. There was no kumkum or viboothi on his forehead.

(The conversation went on without the initial pleasantries, ending with "....the minister's wife would not dream of going to Dubai with out an escort....So they are all away, and I am alone".)

My friend butted in with an agonised exclamation, "Good Lord! We have been talking for so long that I forgot my appointment with the Turkish Ambassador. Please excuse me now."

I was about to say that "he" and not "we" were talking for a long time, but by then he had got up. I could not formally take leave of him.


...........I was in Delhi for some more time, but I was wise in not meeting my friend again. I learnt that he had prospered a lot by fair means and foul, more foul, perhaps. The newspapers were full of the news about the enquiries initiated against him. There were rumours that he was likely to be suspended. His appointment to the top slot being in jeopardy, he was reported to be making desperate moves to survive.

Some time after my return from Delhi to Mumbai, one day I read in the papers that he had been elevated to the top post and all enquiries against him had been dropped. Rumours were rife that he had bought his position with the connivance of a large industrial house and some ministers, whose interests he was willing to serve. He had fallen into a trap from which there was no escape - the trap of conspiracy and corruption.

My friend in his new avatar was making several visits to Bombay, as I could see from the press. He was also travelling a lot abroad. 

I remembered him only when I saw his face on the TV-the grey-haired man in safari suit being taken to the court.

My friend is not the only one to pay a heavy price for his greed and arrogance. There are several others, men who are powerful and wealthy. Their disregard of the law and indifference to the feelings of others are matched only by their ruthlessness, foolishness, and their faith in their infallibility. But when nemesis catches up with them, where are they all? - sons and daughtrs, wives and in-laws, mistresses and sychophants? Not within the dingy confines of Tihar Jail but in far away salabrious Switzerland or in luxurious Dubai.

.......I hope and pray that he would ere long be a wiser man, a repentant man and recover his lost soul.

--End of article--
*   *   *

Does the "person" seem familiar to you? If so, who do you think he is?

(The "source" etc. in my next post)

Monday, October 3, 2011

India after Independence

 A Review

(Please go through the article first)

ON THE POSITIVE SIDE: (Nine points are mentioned)


While launching Five Year Plans for raising the Standard of Living of our teeming millions, we failed to simultaneously plan for raising the Standard of Life.

Our population, in absolute numbers, is growing enormously - we will be one billion by the end of the century - and thereby all gains of progress are either being neutralised or our developmental plans are rendered ineffective.  The result is, with large outlays in the various sectors of the economy and their ineffective utilisation, a steep rise in the prices of commodities and services.

The number of people living below the poverty line, in absolute terms, shows no signs of any significant decrease.

Unemployment is increasing and it is compounded by the rise in prices, both contributing to the misery of the people.

We are getting deeper and deeper into a debt trap, the annual interest payment alone (Rs.60,000 crores) being as high as the fiscal deficit for the year 1996-97.

With no clear majority for any single political party in two successive national general elections, unstable governments at the Centre are left with the Hobson's choice of perpetuating themselves in power through money and even muscle power, playing a major sinister role in luring Members of Parliament from one party to another - the despicable phenomenon of Ayaram Gayaram; creating vote banks and exploiting the vile instincts of Communalism, Casteism, Linguism and Regionalism leading to endemic increasing social conflicts, violence and bloodshed.

Corruption, rampant and widespread, and, worst of all, loss of character, has robbed the polity of all values, particularly the most cherished of them all - Satya and Dharma, Truth and Righteousness.  The national motto, taken from the Mundaka Upanishad, Satyameva Jayate is mocked at almost every moment of our national life, in every segment of our society.  We have come to be looked upon as the biggest nation of sanctimonious humbugs and hypocrites.  What a fall my countrymen! 

*   *   *

Yatha Raja Tatha Praja: As the ruler, so the people. Has not the Indian leadership of the post independence era progressively failed, decade after decade, the people of this country?

The vital question is : How shall we guard the guardians?

- "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

Pitirim A. Sorokin, who fought Czarism shoulder to shoulder with the triumvirate, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, points out that "social reconstruction, animated by sincere sympathy, competently planned and systematically carried on, turns out to be more successful in curing social sickness and improving the well-being of society than hate inspired violent measures". Yet how much of violence and hatred are being generated by the general run of our selfish, power hungry, politicians? (Sorokin, disillusioned by communism turned into a great sociologist later--Foot-Note, abridged by me.)

"Every people get the government they deserve" is an age old adage. Are our leaders alone responsible for the reprehensible state of affairs of our mother-land? Are not we, the people guilty of dereliction of duty as responsible citizens? How many of us can absolve ourselves from the unenforceable charges of gross indifference, neglect and undue tolerance of patent misdeeds and mismanagement of national affairs by those whom we have voted to power?

............The prime Minister of the country has to give the lead, by precept and practice, in providing inspiring leadership to the people.

(Words in Block style are exactly as those in the original article) 

These are the exact excerpts from the article "Forty-ninth Swaraj Day Reflections" by S. Rama Krishnan, published in the "Bhavans Journal", Volume 43; Issue No.1 dated August 15th, 1996--also the journal's Annual number. Please debate, if the relevance of the points raised in the article has 'reduced' in any way, after another 15 years thereon or has the state of affairs deteriorated further!

Think & Act!