Telangana supporters unleashed mayhem on the streets of Hyderabad on 10th March, vandalising statues of eminent personalities, similar to the destruction of ancient Buddha statues at Bamiyan by the Taliban
Friday, 11th March, was when Japan was shaken by an act of God. But on 10th March, Hyderabad was witness to a 'Million March' called by agitators fighting to carve out a separate state of Telangana—but the damage that they caused was more shocking and even more saddening than the tsunami that now has Japan on its knees.
The pro-Telangana agitators unleashed mayhem on the streets of Hyderabad. Apart from attacking the press and politicians (those who were not sympathetic to the bifurcation-or possible trifurcation-of Andhra Pradesh), these 'agitators' (many of them appeared to have been hired goons) chose to vandalise statues of eminent personalities from southern India's largest state. According to reports, one of the statues was dumped into the Hussain Sagar lake.
At this stage, it is a little too late to go into the details of the actual 'proceedings' of the day. However, over the weekend, Moneylife was inundated with messages from not just denizens of Andhra Pradesh, but also a number of other concerned Indian citizens who have rightly called this incident a "crying shame" not just for Andhra, but for the whole nation.
When you compare the disgusting 'agitation' with the sagacity with which the Japanese have handled the quake (their head of state has called it 'The biggest tragedy since World War II'), one can only wonder-shouldn't all of us at least get together and spare a moment of silence for the icons whose images have been so brutally vandalised?
Incidentally, all these statues were erected by the late Telugu bidda (son), NT Rama Rao (NTR), who ruled the state for two consecutive terms. And the sheer irony is that the memorials to PV Narasimha Rao, another Telugu bidda (AP's first and arguably one of India's most astute prime ministers) and NTR have been built at the banks of the Hussain Sagar lake. And the mob thought it fit to dump the statues of these icons into the very same lake.
One of our readers has sent in the link to a blog which has captured these photographs: (Please click: http://serious--fun.blogspot.com/2011/03/cultural-tragedy.html). Some of these photographs are very disturbing.
The link to a report in Eenadu (in Telugu) is http://www.eenadu.net/archives/archive-11-3-2011/panelhtml.asp?qrystr=htm/panel1.htm).
We have been receiving a number of responses from Moneylife readers, and we shall be carrying a few of them today.
Government confirms blast; says inner container housing fuel rods still intact; allays fears of massive radioactive leak
TOKYO: A hydrogen explosion erupted at the earthquake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan today, troubled second reactor, injuring at least three workers, Japan's nuclear safety agency said. Seven people, six of them soldiers were missing.
The Press Trust of India reported that Japan's Kyodo news agency quoted chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano as saying that the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co had confirmed the blast did not damage the container of the No 3 reactor. He tried to allay fears that the blast may have caused a massive release of radioactive substances.
"According to the plant chief's assessment, the container's health has been maintained," Mr Edano said. "The possibility is low that massive radioactive materials have spattered." He said that the blast which blew away the roof and the walls of the building housing the container was similar to an explosion on Saturday at another reactor of the plant, 240 km north of Tokyo. Some media reports said that the explosion was heard even about 40 km away.
The explosion happened just after prime minister Naoto Kan went on television to tell the nation that the situation at the 40-year-old Fukushima nuclear plant was "alarming" and that the authorities were doing their best to prevent the damage from spreading. "We have rescued over 15,000 people and we are working to support them and others. We will do our utmost in rescue efforts again today," he said.
The government sought to play down fears of a dangerous radiation leak, saying the reactor's inner containment vessel, which holds the nuclear fuel rods, was still intact following the blast, which was caused by a hydrogen build up. Engineers have been working desperately to cool the fuel rods, mainly with seawater, after coolant water levels fell following the quake. If they fail, the containers that house the core could melt, or even explode, releasing radioactive material into the atmosphere.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the radiation level had not significantly risen. The radiation at the plant's premises today rose over the benchmark limit of 500 micro sievert per hour at two locations, Kyodo reported. The hourly amounts are more than half the 1,000 micro sievert to which people are usually exposed to in one year. The maximum level detected so far around the plant is 1,557.5 micro sievert, which was logged yesterday, the report said.
Reuters news agency reported a Japanese official said before the blast that 22 people had been confirmed to have suffered radiation contamination and up to 190 may have been exposed. Workers in protective clothing have used hand-held scanners to check people arriving at evacuation centres. It also said that US warships and planes helping with relief efforts moved away from the coast temporarily because of low-level radiation. The US Seventh Fleet said the move was precautionary.
Japan's nuclear agency had declared a state of emergency at another nuclear facility at Onagawa after excessive nuclear radiation was reported there. The International Atomic Energy Agency said it was continuing to liaise with the Japanese authorities and monitoring the situation as it evolved.
SEBI has also flagged the need for concerted efforts and better coordination both at the operational as well as the surveillance level between various regulators to protect the interests of investors in this increasingly complex world of financial products
Mumbai: If the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has its way, wealth managers will have a tough time going forward as the capital markets watchdog is in the process of coming out with stern measures to regulate the relationship managers in particular and wealth management firms in general, reports PTI.
SEBI has also flagged the need for concerted efforts and better coordination both at the operational as well as the surveillance level between various regulators to protect the interests of investors in this increasingly complex world of financial products.
In fact, SEBI executive director KN Vaidhyanathan, who heads the investment management department that oversees foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and mutual funds (MFs) at SEBI, was very vocal at a seminar over the weekend here. "We can't remain silent. We need to come together and address how to regulate the wealth management sector which straddles across different jurisdictions," he said
"The markets are far too advanced now. The wealth managers of today straddle across products that cut through banking, capital markets and insurance regulatory frameworks.
We need to integrate across regulators, not just at the policy level, but at the operating and surveillance levels too," he stressed.
The strong pitch for co-ordination and firmer control on these nascent areas of the financial system assume critical importance in the light of the recent Rs350 crore wealth management fraud, which took place at the Gurgaon branch of Citi.
In the fraud, Citi's relationship manager allegedly used fraudulent documents to lure high networth individuals and companies such as the privately held Hero Investments, an arm of the country's largest two-wheeler maker.
Further, pointing fingers at the relationship managers at wealth management firms, he said the risk in the wealth management business lies with the relationship manager, as his remuneration is not completely aligned with the interest of the customer.
"Relationship managers are the key risk in the wealth management business from an investor's point of view. His remuneration is not fully aligned with the interest of the investor," Mr Vaidhyanathan said.
"The institution guards its risk by getting certain documents from the customer, so the risk of the relationship manager is actually borne by the customer. Therefore, we regulators should better address the issue of regulating the relationship manager," he added.
When contacted, Karvy Private Wealth Management chief executive Hrishikesh Parandekar said, "Such regulatory steps will definitely help the industry in a regulated manner so that another bad name can be avoided."
"At Karvy, we have a multi-layer screening process of our relationship managers and wealth managers, plus a long induction programme. Having said so, no authority on earth can prevent a person from committing a crime if he/she is hell-bent on committing it," he said.
The domestic private wealth management sector is pegged at round Rs2 lakh crore and had been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 25%, Mr Parandekar said.
Another private manager said while it will be easier to work under one umbrella regulation instead of having different regulators for different products, it will increase the cost of operations for firms, as they would have to put in place new systems and infrastructure to comply with new norms.
It can be noted that following the fall of the Lehman Brothers and the resultant global financial meltdown, the government has set up a super regulatory body called the Financial Stability and Development Council, with the finance minister as the chairman and the Reserve Bank of India governor as deputy chairman.