Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Constable Tomar's tragic death

Constable Subash Tomar's death during the protests has created plenty of controversy. Frankly, I find the controversy wholly unnecessary. The usual suspects are trying to paint this as some sort of media conspiracy. This is bizarre, since we still don't know so many things.


This is what we know for sure:
- Two widely-distributed photos show Constable Tomar collapsed on the ground near India Gate this weekend. He is unconscious. Two civilians & 2 policemen are trying to revive him.
- Ct. Tomar was then taken to hospital where he died on Tuesday morning.
- Doctors say he bears no "major, external injuries" and attribute his death to cardiac arrest.

The two versions - not necessarily contradictory:
- The police claim Ct Tomar was beaten and died as a result. This is plausible - even in the absence of "major external injuries". How? I'll get to it.
- One of the civilians who helped him says he did not see Ct Tomar being attacked. He says the policeman collapsed in front of him. This is also plausible and does not necessarily contradict the police version. How? I'll get to it.

Possible scenarios that led to constable Tomar's death:
- The police are flat out wrong/lying and Ct. Tomar did suffer a heart attack from the strain of policing the protests. He wasn't attacked at all.
- Ct. Tomar was attacked earlier - as the police claim - which led to internal injuries. This explains the absence of "major external wounds". Perhaps the boy was not present at this time. It's possible Ct. Tomar did not realise the extent of his injuries and continued policing until he finally collapsed - which the boy did witness.
- The doctors have not yet released the autopsy report. We don't know whether Ct. Tomar suffered internal injuries. All we know is his body didn't have "major external injuries".

Let's hold off on the conspiracy theories for now. The autopsy report is the only conclusive statement on what happened to Ct. Tomar. Until it comes out, both the police and the young man's versions of what happened can only be seen as that: versions of the same story.

As for the media's part, these conspiracy theorists love to paint the media as stooges of the Congress. In this case, the Congress-led Delhi government has been fighting the Delhi Police over its handling of the protests. And it's the Police's version that people seem to have a problem with. Anyone see the problem here?









Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Tell-tale Email

So I got an email this morning from someone claiming to be my "new relationship manager" at HDFC Bank. Here's the problem, dear HDFC. 

This is NOT how you send emails from a relationship manager to a client. It's the third email of its kind that I've received in the past year. All used similar formatting. One even had pink fonts!  

1. The formatting is terribly unprofessional and the email is not even addressed to me
2. You change my relationship manager far too often. 
3. Thanks to the awful formatting, this actually looks like a scam than a legitimate communication from a relationship manager to a client.
4. If your team is not sending these emails, someone is running a scam in your name. I'll help you trace the person by forwarding all such communication I've received to date. 


Dear Sir/Madam,
Seasons greetings from HFDC Bank.

It is my pleasure to inform you that I have been appointed as your new relationship manager, as a part of our preferred program. It is a free-of-cost service provided by the bank to all preferred customers. Now onwards I'll be your one point contact for any queries, banking & investment requirements.  I am also attaching the list of benefits you are entitled to as part of our preferred program. Kindly intimate me an opportune time when I can meet you and briefly and formally introduce myself .
 

  • Dedicated Relationship Manager
    At HDFC bank it is our endeavor to nurture a truly personal relationship with you. After all, if you don’t deserve undivided attention, who does? We offer you your very own Relationship Manager who is experienced and professionally trained, and will cater to all your banking and financial services needs. So, whether you want expert advice on mutual funds or a demand draft issued, you can trust your Relationship Manager to get the job done.
  • Customized Investment Solutions
    Comprehensive Investment solutions include tax efficient investment avenues, buying and selling of shares, convenient tax payment options; all under one roof. You can also benefit from our extensive research across Equities, Derivatives, Debt and Mutual Funds, in addition to the expertise of a dedicated advisor to take care of your financial needs. Keeping your risk profile in mind we will customize an investment strategy for you, restructure your portfolio and allocate your assets optimally in order to realise your long term investment goals.
  • e-Broking
    HDFC Bank offers a gateway for e-Broking, via 
    HDFC Securities Trading account, to facilitate easy T+2 settlements at a special price. Enjoy the convenience and flexibility of buying and selling shares over the phone or the Internet.
  • Expedite Tax Payments
    Step into the nearest authorised branch and pay your taxes through HDFC Bank cheques and collect your challan immediately over the counter.
  • Relationship Pricing
    Get preferential pricing* across a wide range of financial products like 
    Credit CardLoansDemat accountsHDFC Securities Trading accounts, Forex, Gold Bars etc. Just ask your Relationship Manager for further details.
  • Business Solutions
    Along with your family's banking needs, we also cater to the financial needs of your business with Business Loans like Working Capital Overdrafts, Trade Finance, Commercial Vehicle Loans, Loan Against Property or Forex Services.
  • As a Preferred customer you also receive:
On-demand exclusive privileges including -No charges on NEFT
This stands for National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT). It is a system that facilitates an individual or company to electronically transfer funds from any bank branch to any individual or company having an account with any other bank branch in the country.
RTGS
It stands for Real Time Gross Settlement. It means that funds transfers happen immediately, in real time. Instructions are processed at the time they are received rather than later. 'Gross Settlement' means the settlement of funds transfers occur on an instruction by instruction basis. This is considering that the funds settlement take place in the books of the Reserve Bank of India, the payments are final and irrevocable.
transactions through Netbanking.
Free alerts on your mobile phone or in your mailbox by registering for our InstaAlert facility. 
Free registration for e-Age Banking - Avail of MobileBanking,NetBanking, or PhoneBanking.
Waiver of AQB
Average Quarterly Balance (AQB) is the average balance to be maintained in the account over a period of a quarter.
non-maintenance charges.
Free Preferred EasyShop Platinum Debit card with limit of Rs. 1,00,000 at ATMs and Rs. 1,25,000 at merchant establishments per day .
No charges for balance enquiries and cash withdrawals if you transact on non HDFC Bank ATMs (VISA/ MasterCard / Euronet/ SBI/ Andhra Bank) in India.
An HDFC Bank Credit Card which offers you exclusive and preferential benefits!*
Free "At Par" cheque book payable at any HDFC Bank branchacross the country, so you do away with the need to ask for demand drafts.
Locker facility at just 50% of the annual fee. (Subject to availability)
Demat Folio Maintenance Charges waived off for the first year. Differential Transaction Based Folio Maintenance charges from second year onwards.
Preferential Forex rates.*
Combined monthly statement for your Savings, Current and Fixed Deposit accounts for which you are the principal holder. This facility is also available for email statements.
Free Standing Instructions facility.
Cheque pick-up facility.
BillPay to pay all your utility bills and LIC premiums throughPhoneBanking and NetBanking.
  • Annual Service Charge Waiver
You are entitled to a waiver of up to Rs. 2,000* per annum on a host of service charges:Demand Draft / Manager's Cheque charges
Inter-branch funds transfer charges
Stop Payment charges
Cheque return / collection charges
DD cancellation charges
Hold Mail charges
Duplicate statement charges
Certificate of balance charges
FIRC charges
Recovery of old records charges







( For more information please feel free to call or mail undersigned or visit our website: http://www.hdfcbank.com/personal/hnw/hnw-detail/preferred-banking/gts8misp )

Thanks & Regards, 

******** *********** (name deliberately fuzzed out)
Relationship Manager
 
HDFC Bank Ltd 
 
Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon
 
9310******
(number deliberately fuzzed out)