Sunday, December 15, 2013

Strengthening Democracy

The results of the assembly polls held in December, 2013, in four states are as follows:

Total Seats/
Seats Obtained
Majority Seats Required/
Vote Share Obtained
Madhya Pradesh230116

Two observations:

[1] No party has obtained 51% of the vote share in any state.
[2] In Delhi, no party can form an effective government, given that it is difficult for BJP, AAP, and Cong to form a coalition government [going by statements made as this was written].

It is ideal and desirable that the ruling party has 51% of the vote share in a state and a hung assembly is made impossible.

Two amendments in the law are required to ensure this:

[1] The number of total seats in a state should be an odd number.
[2] If any single party does not have 51% of the vote share and 51% of the seats, then retaining the seats obtained by the top two ranking parties, the rest should be declared vacant, and a re-election should be conducted in respect of those seats, closing nomination for all except the top two parties.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Venus, Australia, Moon and Earth

An article titled "Did Venus Give Earth the Moon? Wild New Theory on Lunar History" has been published recently at  Earth's moon is suggested to be a present from Venus.

My thoughts on the theory.

By some ancient accounts, the Moon was positioned between Rohini and Revathy constellations.  It was always 'full moon', bright and shining, probably a planet whose orbit was between Earth and Venus.

About 40,000 years ago, massive volcanoes must have erupt on Venus in the Ishtar Terra region, blowing a mass the size of Australia into space. Let us call this mass as 'Australia' - it impacts Moon driving it closer to Earth, as a result of which the Moon is captured by Earth's gravity.

'Australia' also orbits around Earth for some time and then crashes into Earth, east of Japan around the equator. 'Australia' settles down as Australia covering Earth with dust and debris for at least 1000 years.

Entry impact from north ...
skids and settles down

This catastrophic chain of events is very well recorded in Indian puranas and texts.

The Shiva Purana portion dealing with Daksha Yagam narrates how the Moon was wedded to Revathy and Rohini, and then later 'cursed' to spend equal time with other wives, the 28 constellations, and also to wax and wane as a punishment. For a brief spell, Moon turned completely dark and later settled down in its present orbit around the Sun, along with Earth.

'Australia', orbiting Earth, is probably described as 'Tripura' – the third.

It may also be the 'Kurma' - the boar shaped one that emerged anew on the face of Earth after the great deluge.

The debris from Venus impacted several parts of Earth. The bits which fell in India are sanctified and preserved intact as 'Shakthi Peetams' till date.

Venus is recorded to have a 'beard' or 'horn' that is not observable today. The Venusian horn must have made its way to Earth – as a gift to admirers here, knocking Moon into its present orbit on its way!

[1] has images of Ishtar Terra and details of volcanic activity on Venus. Ishtar Terra appears quite flat and resembles Australia.

[2] “Why are Things the way they are”, G. Venkataraman, 'Height of Mountains' pp. 62-67

[5] The Chronicle of Mangadu Temples, Dr. P.S. Somasundaram


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bay of Bengal - A pristine water resource

Ian Morris, in “Why the West Rules – For Now” predicts that South India is likely to face serious water shortages by 2025. It is not too wrong to say the shortage has already arrived in 2013 itself – starting with Tamil Nadu. Three suggestions to improve availability of potable water in India.

View of Bay of Bengal from Chennai

[1] Make Bay of Bengal a fresh water storage body:

The Bay of Bengal is the largest bay in the world. This bay occupies an area of 2,172,000 KM². A number of large rivers – the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna and Kaveri flow into the Bay of Bengal. It is estimated that the annual run from the rivers into the bay is about 8,000 KM3. The average depth of the bay is 2.5 KM. Then, the total volume of water is around 2172000 x 2.5 = 5,430,000 KM3. If there is no salt water incursion into the bay, it would be the largest fresh water bay in the world as well.

A few studies have revealed that a saline 'pump' near Sri Lanka adds saltiness to the water by circulating waters from the Arabian Sea into the bay. If the 'pump' is managed, then in due course, the bay will turn into a natural fresh water resource.

As such, the salinity peaks 50m below the surface. Even if 10m of the fresh water floating on the bay surface is utilizable, 217200 KM3 of fresh water would be available. It is the fresh water floating on the bay that promotes the monsoons. Salinity in the bay should be carefully measured and monitored to convert the bay into a pristine water resource.

[2] Pipe river water from North to South:

Since there is very sizable runoff into the bay, it would do no harm to distribute water from the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Godavari, Mahanadi and Krishna to the South. I doubt it is practical to “network” and “link” the rivers in any fashion. The only practical approach may be to carry water in closed pipe lines like the Veeranam line supplying 180 million litres of water daily to Chennai. The pumping lines could be laid parallel to railway tracks for easy construction, networking and maintenance.

Chennai Metrowater sells per load of 10M3 of water at Rs. 670/- A load of divine Ganges water drawn straight from Haridwar might fetch premium prices in the south.

[3] Prevent Pollution:

This is easier said than done.  Pollutants are often let into water bodies, as there is no other drain into which it could be let into. An extensive drainage system should be built so that the pollutants can be streamed into it, processed and recycled. The drainage stream ought not to be allowed to run into rivers, canals, bay or the oceans.

The shortest river that empties into the bay, is River Cooum – about 64 KM long with its estuary near the Chennai harbour.  Until 1960s, this was a fresh water river. This river is now virtually used as a drain. No river should be used to drain wastes. The real test to check if pollution control measures are working correctly is to find potable water in the Cooum.


[1] 'Why the West Rules – For Now', Ian Morris
[7] In re Networking of Rivers,