Fishy Politics: Feb. 10th
Quote today is from The Economic Times in which chief aviation minister CM Ibrahim is interviewed. Ibrahim is responsible for general government interference in the aviation sector. A person who has been in and out of jail, on numerous criminal charges, Ibrahim is now using the political nexus to secure as large a fortune as possible.
India’s airline Indian Air, originally a Tata owned family company, was covetously appropriated by the Indian government in 1978 by then Prime Minister Morarji Desai. This was the beginning of the downfall of the "Maharaja" airline (The logo then was a cute bowing maharaja), and many airlines, including Singapore once regarded Indian Air as their model. Now the Tatas are trying to create their own private airline as a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, and predictably, the government minister of aviation, fearful of losing power (and bribes), has said "India needs foreign investment, but not foreign technology, or foreign management skills". On observing the plight of Indian Air, most people on the outside would say that privatization of Indian Air is the most urgently needed action.
Obviously, a politician with 100-year-old views, and 100-year-old arrogance is not likely to support privatization. It is not uncommon for the press to reveal the disastrous combination of greed and ignorance of criminal politicians such as Ibrahim. To wit:
"Recently some pundits from the information technology industry found themselves suddenly very much out of their depth.

Engaged in a tete-a-tete with the aviation minister, they were dwelling on various media possibilities, and discussing which medias Ibrahim controlled. Ibrahim boasted of his control over print, broadcast, and allied media, but even the experts weren’t prepared for his reaction to a question about whether he’d also like to take the Internet under his wings.

First of all, a polite negative; followed by a self-deprecating smile. Then No, not really’ said Ibrahim, that comes under the fisheries department...’ That really left his audience floundering.

Of course his ignorance is not surprising - Internet access is extremely limited. Technological skills are the domain only of a few politicians in today’s age. French prime minister Jacques Chirac recently was heard to ask "what’s the thing attached to the keyboard" (the mouse).