Is Gold a Good Investment?

Gold is women’s first love in India. Most of Indian families have some amount of gold in the form of gold jewellery. But very few people actually buy gold as an investment. Indians prefer real estate property over other asset class because of ever increasing population. But from last couple of years land, flats and other real estate properties are not giving any return. Also, this asset class has extremely low liquidity. Because of these problems small investors are looking for other assets.

Government is pushing public towards share market as it has huge disinvestment objective. Since last few months stock market is at its highest level even though economy is going down. Stock market can give high return but it is very risky and need lot of research to make money. That’s why it is better to enter in stock market through mutual funds and always buy on the advice of your financial advisor. To learn about mutual funds please read my blog by clicking here

Keeping money in banks is no longer beneficial due to high inflation. Your savings in banks will reduce with time due to inflation. Thus, to beat inflation, investment in gold is good idea. Gold has higher liquidity than real estate and less risk than equity. Gold can be a good investment if we invest smartly. Besides physical gold, there is several other option of buying gold. You can buy Sovereign gold bonds or you can invest in gold ETF (exchange traded fund) or you can even buy gold mutual funds.

While physical gold can have safety problem, purity problem and buying and selling problem, digital gold can be a better alternative.  Sovereign gold bonds are the best option if you want to invest in gold for longer term. Not only your investment will increase with increasing gold price, but also you will get 2.5% annual return on your gold bonds. You can buy these bonds from any public national bank and even from some private banks that too provides you with the facility to buy them such as ICICI bank.

Other method to investing in gold is ETF gold fund and gold mutual funds. For ETF gold fund you need a Demat and trading account. So if you do not have trading account and don’t want to open one, you can opt for Gold mutual funds which invest in Gold ETF funds. You should also invest in gold to diversify your portfolio. Invest 10-15% of your total investment money in gold. It will diversify your portfolio and save your money from inflation.

Abhinandan Ka Abhinandan on safe return to India

Our brave Pilot finally returned home safely. I am extremely happy. I was not able to sleep properly last night. I was concern about him as he was in Pakistan and any moment it might happned that Pakistan could change it decision. According to one news in Economic times, “A Pakistani citizen on Friday filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court to stop the imminent release of the captured Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinanadan Varthaman, saying he committed crime against the country and should be put on trial here.” Which makes me more worried.

Since morning I was watching news to get some more information about timing of his release. But our news channels are becoming useless piece of shit. You can find every baseless news, useless debates on religion and political drama but it is very hard to get any sensible information. Finally when I saw wind commander Abhinandan entering Indian Territory from Wagah-Attari joint check-post on social media video, I feel relaxed and happy like all Indians.   

We all must learn a simple lesson from this episode: when other party is willing to talk, we must first give “peace a chance”. Between two nuclear nations, war is not an option to solve any dispute. Learn from America and North Korea. America built enormous pressure on North Korea but never drop a bomb on its territory. I am not a fan of Donald Trump or USA, however, I this case; they definitely show the world that by using diplomatic pressure and talks, we can resolve issues. War is not a solution. It never was. Since WWII, we have not seen war between nuclear nations. Because, once you have nuclear weapons and striking power, you became equal to any mighty country in the world. No country can afford loss of entire city or its capital.

Muslims in India

I am an Indian Muslim. However, neither my nationality nor my religion is chosen by me. No one asked me, no one took my approval. Just based on my birth in a Muslim Indian family, I was tagged with this label. I was given a Muslim name and for everyone in my country, my name is enough for my religious identity. During riots, no non-Muslim mob will ask my ideology or my faith. My name is enough to kill me. 

When I was in secondary school, I realise that different religions have different morals, eating habits and even Gods. In my class of 60 students only 5 students were Muslims. However, to your surprise none out of five were friend together even though we come from same community. I had three best friends, all of them were Hindu. Being a Muslim is not easy though. My friends seldom embarrass me for my eating habits enquiring about what is in my tiffin. They were suspicious that I might have meat in my lunch box! Thanks to my mom, she was smart enough to give me only bread and vegetables.

When I compare that time to present time, I feel those were golden days. My parents and parents of my friends never taught us to stay away from someone because of religious differences. I used to visit my non-Muslim friend’s home and they visited my home. I never feel scared. No such thought ever came to my mind.

When Babri Mosque was demolished, I and my friends had a consensus that on disputed land government should build a hospital or school so that everyone will be benefited.

Slowly but steadily things changed across the north India. Communal forces succeeded in spreading communal poison across many states especially UP, MP, Maharashtra and Gujarat. RSS and BJP finally started gaining success in convincing Hindus that they are indeed in danger because of Muslims who are in minority. Inspired by Nazi ideology, they portray Muslims as culprit of every problem in India, whether it is over population or terrorism. However, fortunately, thanks to globalization and information technology, intellectuals are still against such ideology. Unfortunately, in democracy, only heads count not intellectual ability. Whether you are an illiterate or a graduate you can caste only one vote.

I do not want to pretend like I am victim. Certainly I am not. Even today, my constitution gives me more rights as a citizen of India then in anywhere in the world. I am free to speak and I am free to follow any faith or abandon it. I am happy to be Indian. Indeed, I feel indebted of my country. My country gave me an identity when I travel abroad. I am proud to be Indian. I know many countries where constitution is heavily influence by one religion and for others there is no space. Other people have to live as a second grade people. Sometimes even citizens belonging to the majority feel suffocated because of heavy dose of religion in constitution.

In my opinion, there should be a separation between religion and state. Religion is a private affair, whereas government is for public work. Let me give you an example. When you pray to god or give charity, you give it for your own rewards which you receive in your afterlife. However, if someone asks you to build a road or a mobile tower, you will be reluctant. If a religious person has to choose between making a school or a Mosque, surely he will choose to build a mosque. Because, mosque will fetch him more rewards in afterlife.

People already have enough motivation for religious deeds. But for secular things we need a government who can develop infrastructure, make policies without discrimination based on religion and caste and colour, open more school for scientific education, secure the national borders and to provide employment etc.

Coming back to Indian Muslims, ironically, Muslims are nomore important for any political party. Even in past, no political party didenough for them. Congress and other so called secular parties use them as avote bank. In last 50 years, even Muslim leaders fail to do anything forMuslims. Indian Muslims are living in very funny situation. On one hand theyhave to give proof of their patriotism and on other hand they have to balance their religious identity.

II. Is it true that India is the most dangerous country for women?


Social media, newspaper and news channels are full of Rape news. The Thompson Reuters Foundation, which ranked India as most dangerous country for women is based on the perception of over 500 “experts” and not on Indian citizens. It is a fact that in recent time, some of the most brutal rapes happened in India. Even minor girls are raped and murdered ruthlessly. However, if we go with statistics, India is not the most dangerous country for women. India is not among the top 10 countries having highest rape rate. Many developed country like USA and many European countries have highest rape crime. There are some other countries where such crimes remain unreported or even women are punished instead of male accused.

More than rape, heartless, cruel, inhuman, pitiless rape and murder accompanied with social movement to bring justice to the victim created such a hype about India being the most dangerous country. In India, women have freedom of speech and they can report the incident. There are various women organizations working for women empowerment and justice.

India is a big country with big population. There are villages, cities and metropolitan cities. No one should pass judgement for whole nation for localised incidents. In most of the areas, single women are living without any problem. We cannot ignore that Rape is a big problem in India. However, India is certainly not the most dangerous country for women.


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Did India rule by dynasty?  

Those who do not know the meaning of dynasty are trying to convince Indians that we are ruled by a Dynasty. However, they fail to name the dynasty! For very long time, India was ruled by one party not by one dynasty. Every Indian must understand the difference. If you look in the dictionary, below is the definition of dynasty :

A line of hereditary rulers of a country.

Nehru was the first prime minister of India. He had no son. Therefore, his dynasty ends with him. He was succeeded by fellow Congressman Lal Bahadur Shastri, whose 19-month term also ended in death. Then came the Gandhi dynasty which started with Indira Gandhi (w/o Feroze Jehangir Ghandy). Indira Gandhi, Nehru’s daughter, succeeded Shastri in 1966 to become the country’s first woman premier. Eleven years later, she was voted out of power in favour of the Janata Party, whose leader Morarji Desai became the first non-Congress prime minister. After he resigned in 1979, his former deputy Charan Singh briefly held office until Indira Gandhi was voted back six months later. Indira Gandhi’s second stint as Prime Minister ended five years later on the morning of 31 October 1984, when she was gunned down by her own bodyguards. That evening, her son Rajiv Gandhi was sworn-in as India’s youngest premier, and the third from his family.

Rajiv’s five-year term ended with his former cabinet colleague, V. P. Singh of the Janata Dal, forming the year-long National Front coalition government in 1989. A six-month interlude under Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar followed, after which the Congress party returned to power, forming the government under P. V. Narasimha Rao in June 1991. Rao’s five-year term was succeeded by four short-lived governments—the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee for 13 days in 1996, a year each under United Front prime ministers H. D. Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral, and Vajpayee again for 19 months in 1998–99. After Vajpayee was sworn-in for the third time, in 1999, he managed to lead his National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to a full five-year term, the first non-Congressman to do so. Vajpayee was succeeded by Congressman Manmohan Singh, the first Sikh premier, whose United Progressive Alliance government was in office for 10 years between 2004 and 2014. The incumbent Prime Minister of India is Narendra Modi who has headed the BJP-led NDA government since 26 May 2014 which is India’s first non-Congress single party majority government

Source: Wikipedia

Out of 70 years of independence, Nehru-Gandhi family ruled for 38 years intermittently, whereas for rest 32 years India was ruled by different political and Non Gandhi-Nehru so called dynasty. Both Congress and BJP are run by families. Congress is run by Gandhi-Nahru family and BJP run by SANGH Family (Pariwaar). However, none of them can be called dynasty.

Hence, India is not ruled by dynasty but by different political parties. Calling India a dynastic rule is wrong and must be avoided. However, some people want to generate political mileage by calling Congress-dynasty crook, which as you can see above is not correct. On one hand, BJP supporters call Sonia Gandhi Italian and do not allow her to became prime minister. On other hand they call Congress a Dynasty! If Sonia Gandhi, the ex-president of Congress party does not belongs to Gandhi family then how congress can be a dynasty?

Ethanol : Clean fuel for Future

India can save on its Petroleum Budget by introducing 20% Ethanol as additive in Petrol instead of present 5%.  Ethanol is a clean fuel but 100% ethanol (also termed as E100) cannot be used as a fuel. Due to its low freezing point it cause a problem in starting the vehicle during winter. But mixing 20% Ethanol does not make any such problem. Indeed it makes combustion better by supplying oxygen.

Presently Indian government allowed only 5% of Ethanol to be mix with petrol. If Government increase this limit to 20% then we can save a huge amount of money and Sugar cane farmers will also be benefitted. Now you might think from where sugar cane came into picture. Actually Ethanol can be produced profitably from sugarcane syrup. India is among top three sugarcane producing country in the world. Sugar cane are very good source to produce Ethanol. In Brazil, Ethanol is chiefly produced from sugarcane. Since the climate of Brazil is not cold, Ethanol is used as excellent fuel in automobiles.

E10 that is 10% Ethanol and 90% petrol can work for all automobiles which normally run on 100% petrol without any harmful effect on your vehicle engine. But for E20 or more Ethanol content fuel require compatible engines. E20 can cause damage to engine in long-term. So Government has to take steps in advance before regularised E20 fuel. It should not be done in the way as GST and de-monetization were done.  Slowly from E5 to E10 to E15 and finally E20 need to be implemented with automobiles companies making required modification in their engine to avoid any substantial damage in long run. But once we do it, not only we will be using renewable clean biofuel but also we will be able to cut our Petroleum budget as Ethanol is much cheaper compared to Petrol (Around Rs40 per liter).

Many countries are even using E85 fuel. But I doubt whether we can reach to that stage in India. Even today when we just started using 5% Ethanol in some of the states we are having shortage of supply. One reason for such a short supply is low buying rate by oil companies.Government already made it compulsory for all oil companies to blend 5% Ethanol with Petrol. But now govt. must increase limit to E10. With the huge demand presently and in future, processing Ethanol from row material is a profitable business. But it requires huge investment and skill. Govt. of India provides various benefits to those who want to start Ethanol production.India’s cabinet approved a 5 percent increase in the price of ethanol to ease pressure on suppliers. For a sustainable future and clean environment Ethanol holds a great prospective for India where sugarcane are grown abundantly.

Please share to make everyone aware about benefits of using Ethanol as fuel.