Wednesday, June 30, 2010


“Give me a white man whose blood is white
Give me a Black man whose blood is black
You would get whatever you want
If you can give me in return”
(Jonab Fakir of Bangladesh)

The song reverberated from the voice of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika of Assam long before Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in America. Dr. Hazarika was a true disciple of the great Saint Sankardeva of Assam and was later influenced by the philosophy of the greatest cult singer Paul Robson of USA. He transcended the walls of his classroom at the University of Gauhati, India in fifties of the last century and took the high road to various corners of the world. He traveled the world from Arunachal to Chicago, from Ottawa to Austria. He spoke of Gorky while sitting at the grave of Mark Twain. He not only acquired degrees from Guwahati, Benares, and New York (Columbia University), but learnt from the streets of the world. Calling himself a gypsy, he moved from place to place not in search of a dream house but to spread the message of happiness of life to humanity. He always spread the message of universal fraternity, brotherhood, and emotional understanding.
I met Bhupen Dada, for the first time, in 1955 at Calcutta Movietone Studio. He was in Calcutta those days to score the music of “Piyali Phookan”, a film directed by another giant Phani sharma. I was brought to Calcutta by Lakshydhar Chowdhury to act in his film “Nimila Anka”. From that day onward I became a fan of Bhupenda and our association lasted till date.
To many people in India he is a great singer. To some people he is a wonderful film maker, to some he is an excellent lyricist. For some he was a dear and respected teacher. But to us he has been a cult figure who empowered our generation with his voice, deeds and writings. Whenever the country is in turmoil he has been there to raise his voice for the upliftment of the downtrodden. He is a humanist per excellence. The lyrics are his bullets and his voice is the machine gun. He has inspired several generations in India through his lyrics, songs, films and writings. Even in his late seventies, when his comrades in arms like Hemanta Kumar, Salil Chowdhury and Naushad sahib retired as musician, his “Dil Hum Hum Kare” took India by rage. Unknowingly people started humming the song from slums to palaces. His greatest weapon is his system of communication. He can communicate with everyone of every age and can persuade to his point of view at ease. The mother and the daughter, the father and the son are always competing with one other to have a share of Dr. Hazarika’s vocal tonic, companionship and friendship. He was an amazing personality. Dear to every one. Anuradha Sharma Pujari once wrote that Bhupen Da was not very happy of his statue erected at the southern fringe of Dighali Tank., Guwhati .He would have been happy if the statue could be remade,as told by Anuradha.
It was his eightieth birthday celebration at Guwahati in the year 2003. A lot of his admirers attended a function atop a steamer on the mighty river Brahmaputra. On that day my poem, especially written on Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, was published by Homen Borgohain in his daily newspaper Ajar Asom. The distinguished novelist, playwright and dramatist Arun Sharma called me and said that he wanted to recite the poem that evening. It was a matter of great pride to me that one giant was paying respect to the other all-time-great through the conduit of my poem. I told Arun Sharma that it would be an honor for me as well. After the poem was recited, Bhupen Da started his speech. As he completed his speech a few people went up to the dais to congratulate Dr. Hazarika. We were sitting in the audience that included Pradip Baruah of Prantik, Pulak Lahiri, Ishan Barua and many others. A young boy of around 12 years came to us and asked:
“Hello Koka, (Grandpa) can I be excused?”
“Yes my son, tell me what do you want?” quipped, Pradip Baruah.
“I want to get ahead a bit and…”, the child told
“And where do you want to get to?” Pradip asked.
“I want to meet “Bhupen Dada.”"
We were not surprised. Always Bhupen Hazarika had remained Dada. He has retained eternal youth. Even a child can communicate with him as Dada but we have become “grandfather”. Though biologically we were almost nineteen years younger! This is the charisma of Dr. Hazarika. In1956 his radio play “ERA Bator Sur” was broadcast through All India Radio. Bupenda selected me do a role in the radio play. Later when he made a film out of it, Mridul Baruah played the role instead of me! In 1977 when the Gramophone Company of India brought a record of Assamese recitation the responsibility was given to me. I requested Bhupenda to score the music of “Saptarshi” and to recite a poem. He readily agreed and never charged a fee. At that time he was the most sought after singer of Calcutta. “Moi Ek Jajabar” was all over the country then:-
“I am a gipsy
I scour the ends of the earth
But wouldn’t look for a home
From Luit to the Mississippi
I marveled at the Volga
From Ottawa through Austria
I made Paris my own.”
(Moi ek jajabar)
Often we marveled at how he managed his time. He was sought after by the communists in West Bengal, the Congress always wanted him and the BJP asked him to come to their side. But Bhupenda always remained with the mass. No Bihu celebration was complete in Assam without Bhupendsa and no freshman social was a resounding success in Bengal. In Calcutta all the employees associations of merchant offices wanted Dr. Hazarika in their cultural shows. On many occasions I was approached by the McLeod Russell cultural association to put a word to Bhupenda so that he can accept the invitation to their cultural bash. Bhupenda always obliged. One day I asked him where from he got so much vitality. He replied through a lyric of his:
“The raging storm questioned
Tell me your due
I boldly opened the door of my mind and said
“Give me your prowess”
The thunder roared:
“Tell me your desire”
I said- “Give me your powerful free voice” ( Prasanda Dhumuhai Prasna Korile Mok)
Perhaps Nature did accede to his demand for it bestowed him his powerful voice. It came naturally to him. Whenever there was turmoil in Assam, nay in the country he raised his voice:
“Let my songs be
A profound assurance
Against the pervading lack of trust.
Let my songs be
A hymn to truth
Against false imaginings”. ( Mor Gan Hok)
His songs empowered us to raise our voice. We were motivated to fight back against corruption, terrorism and social degeneration and poverty. Dr. Hazarika is taking life easy now. He is mostly in Bombay in the loving care of Kalpana Lazmi. He feels reassured there. But his mind always travels to Assam. He keeps visiting the state to meet his admirers and his sisters and brothers. His sense of humor and wit are as strong as before. Physically he feels sometime weak but mentally as strong as steel. Long live Bhupenda!, our cult figure from Assam. Bhupenda is as iconic to Assam as Rabindranath is to Bengal and Robert Burns is to Scotland, Tolstoy to Russian and Mark Twain to America. He is a phenomenon which arrives once in a blue moon in a society. I was asked by a Bengali journalist friend of mine to identify the best song of Bhupen Hazarika. I replied that to us all his lyrics are excellent because he spoke the language of humanity. But to me his most outstanding song is: “Bimurta Nishate”…
“This my ethereal Night
Is a blue scarf
Woven of silence
In its folds
Tender breathing
And live warmth”.
This is the song Bhupen Da also loves most. He loves all his creations. But this song appeals to him the most.He was 86 years young man in 2010 but remained romantic. He has been young at heart all the time. Perhaps he does not sing in concert now yet his creativity continues. He wrote a poem sitting in his home at Guwahati during the month of June 2010. It is almost impossible to bind Hazarika’s personality to any dogma. He is free as a bird yet he would always like to live amidst the humanity like Wordsworth’s Cuckoo. It is not important where he lives now. But for whom he stands today? The answer is simply he wants to live for the wellbeing of humanity. Every Assamese loves him and wants him back in Assam but is there anyone to willingly take full responsibility of his cerebral food, mental agony and physically incapacity? Yes, there is one who is an admirer of his from her childhood. Kalpana is misunderstood by most, but is admired by Bhupen Dada. She is now a friend philosopher and guide all combined together. Despite opposition of a section of well wisher Bhupenda admires her relations with him. Let Bhupenda pass his days with a sense of pride and happiness. That would be a real tribute to his personality who made world his home.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

India is NRI's destination for Investment

The Economic Growth for next decade is for emerging economies and for markets of the developing world. The BRICK countries (Brazil,Russia, India and China) are front runners in this march of Economic Growth. After recession of 2008 India, China and Brazil have recovered faster than America and European Countries. It is a fact that Greece, Portugal and Spain are still not out of the wood. European market community are trying to find out strategy how to help Greece and Portugal. The Economic growth of U.K. is also not as good as it was during the last decade. In such a scenario India has recovered from Economic turmoil and is expected to grow faster in next decade. The return on investment is expected to be higher in our country.Hence lot of FII are flying into our market for investment for much higher return. In such a situation whether our own children residing abroad should participate in Indian market and take advantage of higher return?

With increasing opportunities for work cropping up worldwide, more and more Indians are opting to migrate to other countries in the search for greener pastures. However, being Indians we still feel the need to stay connected to the place of our birth and therefore, we try to make investments in India through different avenues. Let’s take a look at how Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) can make investments in India. It is understood reliably that after Greece it is Spain which is feeling thepain and pressure of governmental Debt. Spain has declared ,for the first time in the half a century, 5% cut in all wages and salaries of Government employees. This has created turmoil. yet the financial condition is not expected to improve . Some of the economist feel Euro currency might get disintegrated and the4 situation could be salvaged if some of the countries goes back to their own independent old currencies system and can devalue their currencies to improve balance of payments. Under the circumstances it is expected though Indian share market would also fall with European and American market yet in the longer run Indian browses would provide better financial results..

Many of our readers have asked us whether their NRI children can participate in Indian market? The NRIs can make investments in all the investments options which are available to Resident Indians. However, Persons of Indian Origin can only make investments in non-agricultural businesses in the country. One of my friend ,who was Vice Principal of Rodean of girls School of England. She is frok Assam and was a NRI. She started investing through standard chartered Bank, Guwahati since 2004 and by 2008 she got 40% return. Ultimately units were redeemed with profit and was taken back in terms of Pound sterling. This is the exact position how our NRI children can be benefited by investing in India ,Assam. But investment must be for longer term.

It is a fact that even NRIs can invest in shares and stocks by directly subscribing to shares and debentures of Indian companies on a repatriable or non-repatriable basis,through the Portfolio Investment Scheme and through government securities, certificates and units of UTI through remittances from their domestic accounts or remittances from abroad

Many people have asked from which account their children can participate in Indian market ?

An NRI needs to use either a NRE Account (Non-Resident External Rupee Account) or a NRO Account (Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee Account) beside FCNR Account (Foreign Currency Non Resident Account)

It should be clearly understood that the 24% Scheme allows Indian companies, except those engaged in agricultural activities, to issue up to 24% of their shares and debentures to NRIs with repatriation benefits.

Similarly, the 40% scheme allows for purchase of equity, preference shares and convertible debentures not exceeding 51% of the face value of each issue. Repatriation of upto 40% of the new issue is allowed. Under this scheme, NRIs can invest in new projects or in expansion and diversification projects of existing companies.

Jugal Kakoty, a resident of Shillong, have asked as whether his children living abroad can participate in banks deposit and market investment?

We need to explain that NRIs can invest in:Bank Deposits as well as in Secondary markets through Portfolio investment in equity shares/convertible debenture. They can also invest in Mutual funds provided that amount is invested out of NRE/FCNR/NRO account or by inward remittance. They can also invest in Domestic (NRO) funds through deposits in Indian companies (including Non Banking Finance Companies if they are registered with Reserve Bank of India) on non repatriation basis upto 3 years subject to certain formalities to be completed by the concerned company. All the NRI can buy Immovable property provided that the amount is not invested for the purchase of agricultural land, plantation property or farm house and investments are made from fresh inward remittance or existing non resident account .

There are tax benefit for NRI also as under:

* Bank Deposits investment in shares, units of Mutual Funds etc. are exempt from wealth tax in India
* Interest earned on NRE and FCNR accounts is completely tax-free.

It now appears that in case Our NRI children want to earn higher return compared to Europe and America it would be prudent to invest in Emerging market rather than in develop countries. Despite all the rosy picture during next decade in India I would recommend not to invest their entire money in emerging market. It would be prudent to invest only 25% of their surplus money in emerging market like India and balance could be kept invested in the country where they live.It is always easier to handle wealth where they live rather than at a distance place even that is their parents place of resident


Bishnu Prasad Rabha:An iconic cult figure from Assam

“Tejore Komalapati porobhate Nindo
Teri chando Mukho Pekhno,
Uthore Gobinda,
Porobhate Nindo !
Rojani Bidur dixo dhoboli boron
timiro phariya baze robiro kiron
Soto patro bikoshito bhromor uraei
Brojo badhu dodhi mothe
Tuwa Guno gaei ”
This was a Bargeet (a great devotional song) by Srimanta MadhavDev and was favourite of Bishnuprasad Rabha. To some he was ideologically a communist (indeed he was member of RCPI once) but we feel he was more of a great social activist and an iconic reformer. Unlike most communist he was not an atheist. He was indeed a spiritual person. In the year 1937 he sung this song in Calcutta and a disc was cut in this city when he was only 28 year old. This Bargeet sung by him is not easily available today. Perhaps it would be appropriate to begin this presentation with his song sung 72 years ago in this city of culture:

(The song can be played here)
An icon of Universal Brotherhood:
Bishnu Prasad Rabha, was a genius born in Dhaka of undivided Bengal of an Assamese parenthood in 1909. He was initially raised in Dhaka till primary school stage but later settled in Assam. His persona could not be limited to a particular territorial segment. Though he belongs to Assam , loved Assam but he was a world citizen. During the time when he was raised every educated persons of India was referring to the territorial culture and Heritage. Rabha Dangoria broke open the conservative mould and talked of “Rhythm of World”.
He sang: (Biswar Chande Chande Mahanande…Anande Nacha…
Nacha Tomohoro deu Nacha .
Bonde Bonde aji Xoto bhokoto Brinde
Bonde Tobo Chorono Kamolo Bonde )
This reflected his mentality of Universal brotherhood. Many describe him as revolutionary, some felt he was a great singer, musicians and actor per excellence yet some described him as a social & anthropological philosopher. But to our generation he was an iconic cult figure who loved his state, country and the world. His philosophy was universal brotherhood and emancipation of Noro Naryan ( Human GOD) through all round developments of society. To us he was an iconic cult figure who wanted to emancipate society from suffering. The Art, dance, music and acting were really means to achieve this end only. He died in his 60th year in 1969, but created a spirit of Universal brotherhood all around .
Mission of emancipation from poverty:
His Sole mission of life was emancipation of people below the poverty level. He was rightly compared, by a few intellectual, with that Che Guevara of Argentine revolutionary. Like Guevara he stood up against any kind of oppression on humanity. He raised his voice long ago against Human right violation by state machinery.
He lived and was raised in a tumultus time when country was fighting for its freedom. In his younger days he took part in freedom movement influenced by Gandhi ji ( never was a member of congress)but later turned a revolutionary ( was a member of Revolutionary CPI). He was a freedom fighter not in narrow sense of the term. He fought for freedom of timing millions. To Him freedom did not mean political power but emancipation from poverty and education of mass. He renounced a big estate of 1500 bigha land, bequeathed to him by his father Gopal Rabha in favour of the tenant farmers and went on wandering from one place to another like a nomad. He was a true organiser of the people. His service in mobilising the rural masses during the freedom movement was really matchless

Direct communication with Mass:
Bishnu Prasad was an exemplary person. He always parasitized what he felt correct and preached There was no dichotomy in his philosophy of life .Bishnu Prasad was a true revolutionary and dedicated his life for the persons below poverty level. He was kind and compassionate and helped poorer section of society always. People also responded to his love , affection and magnanimity in great measures. In fact it was the people who celebrated his wedding after selecting a bride once He was truly the Soul of humanity. Bishnu Prasad did not believe in narrow power politics. He was beyond corruption. He was once a member of Assam Legislative Assembly but left politics as he found it too difficult to adjust to the system of running Government from the confine of Assembly. He felt confined parliamentary politics was not suitable for him. He rather broke open the barriers and started communicating directly with poor people of the society He devoted his life for social emancipation through social and cultural empowerment of people.. His strong stand on the unconventional principle of social developments made him enemy of the power that be. It was only at the instance of the Tezpur citizens towards the fag end of his life that he decided to fight from within the system. By then his health had deteriorated a lot. Rabha Dangoria , during his life time was darling of mass not of class. Infact intellectual realized his great philosophy rather too late.

Dance, Art and culture were tools of his philosophy:
BishnuPrasad was a versatile genius. His dancing prowess mesmerised the audience and even great artist like Uday Shankar was an admirer of his. He was bestowed the title Kalaguru by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan at Varanashi following a recital of the Tandava dance there. He was the embodiment of Nataraja, the heritage of Assam. I am told that the concept of Nataraja was a contribution of Assam to Indian civilisation. Till date there has not been a better exponent than Bishnu Prasad of the Tandava dance. Even Uday Shankar was fascinated by his recital and wanted to learn the same from him. The concept of Tandava was as if ingrained in Bishnu Prasad. He wanted to demolish everything bad in the society, which was the message of Tandava dance.
Bishnu Prasad was rally marvellous as an actor. I met Bishnu Prasad Rabha, through the countesy of Bhupen Hazarka when he was making his legendary film “Era Bator Sur”. His rustic personality impressed me so much that I became fan of his. His music influenced me a lot. Unknowingly his concept found expression in our writings. I also saw his acting when as a yong boy I visited Tezpur to my Aunty’s place.The Baan theatre of Tezpur saw his genius aplenty. He ably assisted Jyoti Prasad in the making of the first ever Assamese film Joymoti. He started painting during his youth. He did not take painting as his profession. It was an weapon in his armoury to spread his p-hilosphy of life. He had choosen the medium of art only as a tool for spreading this message. ( A few paintings can be displayed here) .His paining of Saraswati was a class by itself even when compared with Raja Ravi Verma and M.F Hussain. The painiting not only reflected the natural beauty but the intellectual prowess through the shuttle stroke of his brush
His relations with Bengal and his seeds of spiritualism :
Bishnu Prasad was Born in Dacca when his father was working there as a police officer. He started his education in Bengali and learnt Assamese after his family shifted to Tezpur. He started his highschool education in Assam and again his college education was in Calcutta. He completed his intermediate sceience examination from St. Paul mission College and studied for Bachler degree in Rippon College. He friends from Bengal were great artists, singers, dancers and revolutionaries too.
Calcutta was his favourite place for art and culture. He was a good singer. He was a revolutionary but at the same time he was drawn to vaishnavite culture indeed. He learnt bargeet composed by saint Srimanta Sankaradeva when he was staying at Barpeta with his sister.
He was not an atheist like fellow communists. He was a believer in God, Whom he saw in the heart of timing millions. The philosophy of Vedanta was reflected in his vision. Like Swami Vivekananda he also felt that religion is the expression of divinity in the heart of humanity.

Ethnic culture and his book:
He was a serious academician too. In fact he was the first anthropologist of Assam. His book Bano-Kobang is a nice work of anthropological study based on field work. The observations as well as materials compiled therein remain invaluable source of information about the ethnic groups in this State. He wrote several books of great values. This aspect of Bishnu Prasad has largely been ignored by the conventional scholars and the public get to know him only as a performing artiste. This is because most of his writings were published only posthumously and they were ignored by the mainstream critics of Assam. But ultimately Bishnu Prasad, along with Jouti Prasad are remembered as the symbol of Assamese culture though during their life time they were ignore by intellegencia! His other works include Mising Coneng, Sonpahi, Axomiya Kristir Samuh Abhash, and Atit Asom.
Apart from being a well-known poet, dramatist, musician, dancer and actor from Assam, Bishnuprasad Rabha owns great pride in fact in being an eminent fighter of Assam too. Sonpahi, Asomiya Krishtir Somu Aabhas, Mishing Koneng, etc are some of his literary works displaying his extreme talent and calibre. A genius, with revolutionary ideas and a bohemian lifestyle, constantly mingling with the people at the grassroots is how Bishnuprasad can be ideally described. Bishnuprasad also composed a number of songs which are now known as ‘Rabha Sangeet’ and have become popular as ‘Kalaguru’. It is indeed worth mentioning that most of the cultural music competitions of Assam feature Rabha Sangeet that is related to Bishnuprasad’s compositions, lyrics and verse. He is deeply respected for his work in that the state government of India has also instituted an award in his honour for achievements in the cultural/music world of Assam

An indomitable cult figure of modern India:
Bishnu Prasad had a revolutionary concept that greater Assamese culture was a product of tribal heritage instead of Aryan heritage. It is because of this basic difference of approach to cultural study that Bishnu Prasad was once ignored by the so-called intelligentia of Assam till the other day. The revival of interest in him since the last three decades is Praiseworthy.. He encouraged the citizens of Tezpur to face the Chinese aggressors in 1962, whereupon he was taken into custody by the then government t! Bishnu Prasad was not just a man from tezpur, an Assamese or Indian as many puts it. Infact to me he was a world citizen with the concept of universal brotherhood. I feel , along with many others, that Rabha Dangoria had some similarity with Dr Ernesto Che Guaverra. I must congratulate Assam Sahitya Sabha for celebrating the day as measure of respect to his genius. The sabha would do well if a fullfledged biography of the great genius could be compiled, after full and detailed research work, with the help of corporate sector of the State .(Conclude with O mor Apunar Desh-1937 sung by Rabha Dangoria)

Friday, June 18, 2010


P. E. Shankar was a Journalist per excellence working in Guwhati in early Fifties during the last century. When he landed in Guwhati to take charge of Reuter-PTI combined office of the News agency it was Lion Heart visionary of Assam RadhaGobinda Baruah requested his Assistant Editor of Assam Tribune to help him settling down in the town. Satish Chandra kakoti was the Assistant Editors then who received him at Gauhati on his arrival and helped him not only to settle down but to feel the pulse of Northeast and its culture. Both became great friends and their friendship lasted till Kakoti’s demise. Both the family maintained the family relations till today. Shankar died on 17th June 2010 at Chennai at the ripe old age of Ninty, leaving his two daughters and a son.

Shankar brought in the concept of News agency reporting into Assam . Assam Tribune and Natun Asomiya became one of the earliest customers of the Reuter- PTI combined. In early fifty the relationship between Reuter and PTI has broken down and PTI took over the entire operation in India. It is Shankar who presided over the smooth transfer news agency operation in Northeast.

“In September 1952, PTI ended the news-sharing arrangement. Reuters was suddenly left with just two correspondents and half a dozen stringers in India. Its heydays in this country were seemingly over”., according Naresh Rajkhowa who was journalist of Assam Tribune then.

Shankar was the Head of the newly formed PTI Bureax at Guwhati and tought the importance of “Objective Reporting” in modern India. Shankar became a wellkown face of Journalism in Assam. He took an office in M.C. Raod and it became a place of pilgrim for senior politicians of North East India. Then Congress office was in Happy villa, near PTI Office, and most of the front ranking leaders used to visit Reuters office including former Chief Ministers B. P. Chaliha, Devkanta Barooah and K. P. Tripathy whenever they visited Guwhati.during those days.

It was Shankar who trained up a few Assamese teleprinter operators , for a Journalistic career, like Pulin Bihari Barthakur, Kartick Kumar Baroowa, who became later years famous Journalist and Media Persons . Bartakur became Director of Government of India ‘s Information Department and Baroowa became head of Press Trust. Of India’s Bombay operation.

Shankar was not only respected by elder statesman of northeast and intellectuals of the region but was loved by even the children of Uzanbazar for his amiable behaviour, where he lived and worked. Dilip Kakoty, formerly Chairman of Higher secondary Board,( eldest son of S. C . kakoti )used to call him as “Reuter Mama” and we all his class mates and neighbour found it convenient to call him by the same name. We were in our teen’s then .At later years I joined PTI and learnt about his idiosyncrasies. He used to visit temple on the Bihu Days as it was also their “Bishu” the day of New Year. He used to distribute sweets to his staff on the occasion.
Shankar had left Guwhati to take over the charge of Tiruvantpuram office when P.M. Balan took over his place. Shankar retired from PTI in 1980 as the Head of the South India operation. His wife Parvati predeceased him . She was a great lady who brought up her to daughters Shanti and Jayanthi and only son Raja as responsible citizen. Shankar lived a full life and died on second week of June. Perhaps modern journalist of Assam might not have heard of him but older generation must be remembering his yeomen service to the Northeast. We salute to the noble soul and pray almighty to give strength to his children to bear the loss..


Saturday, June 5, 2010


Many of our readers have been asking which are the best Mutual funds to subscribe . Whether money invested should be redeemed when market gets into recession? I have not been answering the questions for there were no reliable analysis so far. Recently Jim Cramer (host of Mad Money show), an Alumnus of Harvard reveled his research work that seemed prophetic to me. Investment in equity could be done directly in stock and through mutual funds. There are many Mutual funds which have done very well for some time in India . But on a sustained basis not too many have done very well. A recent study by a National Business Newspaper brought out results which are amazing and to great extent reflect the spirit of Jim Cramer research... The results seem to be reasonably true, when translated to Indian mutual Funds. The analysis supports our views that in longer term Equity provides better return. In most of our articles we have written that investment in equity mutual fund, if kept for ten years would provide decent returns( 15 t0 20%) provided Mutual Fund Schemes are carefully selected. For investors of Northeast we had recommended Mutual Fund route initially rather than direct equity route of Stock.

A lot of investors probably wanted to give up after 2008's market losses. The year before last was the worst 12 months for stocks since the Great Depression. But Dr.Cramer would argue against throwing in the towel. Downturn or not, high-quality dividend-paying equities are still the best-performing asset class over any 20-year period. So the people who bail out would lose out.

An analysis of returns of equity mutual fund schemes, which have been into existence for over 10 years reveals that these schemes have greatly enriched investors to stay put for a longer period. The MF industry today has about 39 diversified equity schemes that are over 10 years old and average returns by these schemes over this 10-year period is about 20.6% CAGR (compounded annual growth rate).

However top ten best performers are as under:

1. SBI Magnum Contra. It has given annualized return of 32.80% for last ten years (2000 to 2010). No other asset class has given higher return than this. This return is despite the fact that during 2008 there was almost 50% erosion of Value. The investment of Rs 10,000 in the year 2000 has become today Rs!,70,857.80.

2.Reliance Growth. It has also given annualized return of 32%.. In last ten years Rs10,000/- has become Rs1,59,990?-

3.Reliance Vision. It has given 29% return despite a very slow return during 2007. Rs 10,000/- has become Rs1,33,674?-

4.Birla Sun Life Basic Fund has given a return of 28.5% clocking Rs1,25667 /- in last ten years from an investment of Rs 10,000 on year 2000

5.HDFC Equity has given a return of 28.3% return. The return of Rs10,000/- brought inRs1,21,044 in ten year’s time.

Beside above five funds other five high performers have been HDFC top 200, Franklin India prima, Templeton India Growth, Franklin India Blue Chip and Franklin India Prima Plus All gave excellent returns of above 24%. However it should be noted that in mutual Fund Industry there is no guarantee that past performance would be always achieved. But Long term sustainability proves that those funds could be relied upon. All the above funds were five star funds from time to time. Some of them fell from the grace occasionally but recovered later. Franklin India blue chip is one such fund that dominated the Mutual fund sector for a long time and eclipsed for a while before returning back to fame.

Beside above funds there are a few funds that are shaping up well. Those are funds which opened their doors recently but remained consistent players like IDFC premier Equity, DSP Black Rock equity fund etc. It would be prudent for investors to check up the list of Value research before starting investment. One thing must be kept in mind that equity investment is not meant for risk adverse person. It is meant for bold and patient person. The speculation is the greatest evil in money market field. Patience is the great virtue if someone wants to make money. Recently Dr. Cramer of Mad Money revealed that market down turn should be faced boldly for it is the recession that provides big money in future.

Our advice to our young readers is to listen to the advice of Dr. Cramer. The risk averse senior citizen can avoid Equity after reaching the age of Seventy years and devote time in Debt instruments. Here is the advice of Dr. Cramer to his beloved investors. Read carefully and follow his ethics of investment.

According to Jim Cramer, a Harvard Alumni ( Popularly known for his Mad Money show in CNBC) “Stocks are an investor’s best shot at upside, and there’s plenty of academic research to prove it. These market corrections – or at times, crashes – though, are a part of the package. If you want to enjoy the profits, then you have to steel yourself to the inevitable losses. After all, there are only two kinds of investors who had lost money, and those who will. So ,you should expect corrections rather than fear them. That’s rule number one if you want to stay in the game. There will come a day when your portfolio’s forward motion will come to a sudden halt. That’s no excuse to quit. If anything, you’ll get the chance to buy great companies at lower prices, setting up the chance for even greater gains when the market turns back up.”, advised Dr. Cramer to young investors. Yes, we feel Dr. Cramer’s advice is prophetic for our investors too.



Many people have their grievances against bank and insurance companies. On many occasions insurance companies take time to settle the genuine claims of their clients. Similarly many account holders of bank remain dissatisfied with the imposition of rules arbitrarily. Some bank some time fails to satisfy their account holder even in genuine cases. Most of the account holders feel helpless most of the time. They feel aggrieved but do not get Justice from their own bankers. But there are ways and means to get justice from the insurance companies and banks. Reserve Bank of India have placed a system of Banking Ombudsman and IR-DA has placed insurance Ombudsman for redresses of grievances of account holders and policy holders. in all genuine cases they can get justice through these forum. Beside the system of Ombudsman people can approach also consumer court from time to time. Here are few example how clients of the bank approached Banking ombudsman and got satisfactory redresses.

Jatin chowdhury, a wellknown architect of Guwahati, misplaced his cheque book . After a through search when he did not find the cheque book he informed his banker of the incident. The Bank, an intrnational giant, took note of his request but informed that the last cheque drawn by him was honoured a few days before his request was received and amount drawn was Rs 50,000 only. Mr.Chowdhury was surprised to note that an amount of Rs fifty thousand was withdrawn from his account without his knowledge. Mr. chowdhury denied writing a cheque of the amount mentioned by the banker. He visited the bank and found confronted the manger of releasing money without his issuing any cheque. The banker brought out the instrument an it was found that the cheque in question was from his cheque book and signature looked almost similar. the banker insisted tat it is his signature whereas chowdhury felt it was not his signature. Banker remained adamant and did not reverse the entry. Chowdhury was at a loss what needs to be done in the instant case. He was under stress. His relation with th bank was long standing yet the banker refused to oblige him.Banker told him to keep the cheque book insafe custody was his responsibility and the signature on the cheque book was that of his as per bank's record.

On the advice of a friend chowdhury visited the office of the Banking Ombudsman and narrated the story.The secretary of the office directed him to to write a letter once more to the bank since he was, so far, having discussions on the subject verbally. In case the bank did not reply him within a month or if he was not satisfied with the reply received he can approach the Banking ombudsman to redress his grievances. As expected the bank replied to him informing that the cheque issued by chowdhury was from his cheque book and that the signature on the cheque is that of his and that of none other.

The case came up for hearing and ultimately the matter had to be referred to the handwriting expert to determine whether the signature is actually that of the account holder or of someone else. After long proceeding it became apparent that the signature was
copied by someone else and withdrawn the money. The bank failed to verify genuineness of the signature as the cheque was present in rush hours. The verdict went in favour of chowdhury and ultimately the bank had to reverse the debit entry by crediting his account.

The case was an eye opener for chowdhury and to his family. It revealed that though the bankers has enormous power under the statue now a days it cannot take unilateral decision in respect of client. Many banks charges high interest to client if they fail to repay loan amount for sometime. The bank has all power to realize the loan and interest. But in case they charge enormous from the client amount the decision could be disputed. on many occasion the bank can make one time settlement in case client is genuine and trustworthy.

There are two ways to tackle a banking dispute. The first one is that an aggrieved person can approach Consumer court for getting justice and the second one is to approach the banking ombudsman which is much faster. Generally no advocate are allowed to repsnt the client similarly bank also need to handle the case departmentally without the assistance of an outsider or consultant. There are limitation of the amount so far as Banking ombudsman is concerned.This amount may change from time to time. Hence it would be prudent to find out the limit before banking Ombudsman is fomrmally approached. It is not necessary that all the cases get rsolved as soon as Banking ombdusman is approached. But most cases get resolved if grievances are genuine. Ity is prudent to approach Banking Ombudsman for any dispute related to the Bank. The banking ombudsman tries to resolve the issue at first through the process of conceleation. In case this approach did not yield any result betwen the waring partis than he can adjudicate the case and can deliver a verdict, after giving opportunities to present their respective views. The verdict delivered by the Banking ombudsman is binding. But this can be appealed. In most cases views of the ombudsman are accepted by the parties and in rare case only it goes to the higher court.Since the banking omkbdusman is an in- expensive and quick in redness always the matter could be taken up by individual client through this process.

Beside banks even matter related to insurance could be also taken up with the Insurance Ombdusman. there are instances that some of the insurance company refuses to pay the health related insurance claim under the clause of pre- existing sickness without proper verification. These verdict must be challenged by the client. recently a case came to light that a senior citizen took up a travel insuranc policy , after due verfication by the insurance company, before he left abroad from a Nationalized Insurance company. unfortunately the clent had a massive heart attack while travelling abroad. He was hospitalisd and saved. When he prefered the claim it was not paid on the ground of pre existing sickness, which was incorrect. The client wrote to the insurance company number of time that he had no pre- existnig sickness and he had gone through all the procedural examination before taking the policy as per the rule of the company. But insuranjce company did not reply to him for seven month. the claim was that of Rs Twenty lakh. Ultimately h refered the matter to the Insurance Ombudsman with a copy to the Managing Director of the Nationalized Insurance company. Within a month the matter was settled even before Ombudsman could intervene on the matter.

So it is appropriate to take advantage of the system of redress whenever you feel that bank and insurance companies are not genuinely helping you. There are very good banking norms and most of the bank try to help the customers always. But in some cases it fails to see reasons it would be better to approach consumer forum or respective ombudsman.