Friday, October 31, 2008

After other regions terrorism strikes Eastern India

When one looks at a map of India today, it is very difficult to pinpoint a state where terrorism has not struck. Now its Assam's turn.
Let us see the states struck, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, AP, TN, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Rajastan ....
I hate to beat statistics on this issue, but the tentacles have spread far and wide. However what was interesting was Chindu's response in what it termed as Terrorism: the gathering storm.
While using its vast network of resources and superior intelligence, Chindu's rationale comes up with this rationale for terrorism,
In India, too, jihadists have acquired unprecedented influence — in no small measure because of the abject failure of the Indian state and political system to check and combat Hindutva-led communal violence.

And beyond calling for the head of the Home Minister, it offers little in substantiative solutions to tackle the problem at hand.
It is time a change was made at the helm of the Union Home Ministry, if only to demonstrate that collective responsibility cannot possibly mean that nobody takes the rap for a system’s appalling failure.

Thanks for protecting the terrorists, we know whose interests Chindu and LiC have in their heart.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Anatomy of an interview with Mr.Rajapaksa

In recent times Chindu has pulled off some major coups by means of interviews with Advani, coverage of the Nuclear deal with key participants and now the interview of Mr.Rajapaksa the Sri Lankan President.
This is an important time in that country with the recent heavy fighting between the Army and the rebels. There are hundreds of thousands of civilians whose lives have been significantly affected by the fighting. While it is not possible to interview LTTE given the risks, Chindu has attempted the right step by interviewing the Sri Lankan President and the CM of the northern province. I would definitely give them kudos for that.
Before reading further, I would recommend you to read this interview of Mr. Rajapaksa by Chindu editor Mr.Ram.
After reading the interview, I'm not sure that the tough questions were asked. Please do bear in mind I'm not a journalist, just a blogger.
There are a lot of softball questions in this interview like,
How do you see the relationship between your government’s military operations in the North and the political solution?

Are you satisfied with the state of bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and India?

How do you view the concerns expressed in India and elsewhere over the adverse impact of the military operations on a large number of Tamil civilians in the Wanni?

The answer by the President Mr. Rajapaksa is again very politically correct but reports from numerous resources seem to differ.
The military operations directed against the LTTE are not intended to harass Tamil civilians or cause any harm or hardship to them. Our policy in this regard is very clear. We are making, and will continue to make, every effort to avoid civilian casualties.

One would've have expected a veteran journalist like Mr.Ram to bring out statistics and leveraged investigative journalism done in the past like the Bofors incident to provide international readers the perspective of the current issues from Mr.Rajapaksa than a set of statements which any spokesman would've spouted. Also the interview reads like a set of canned questions with really no follow up questions based on the answers provided.
As a reader I would like to see more interviews of the same, but the questioning pattern change.
Do read the article and let us know of your thoughts.

Chinese dumping welcomed by Chindu

Thanks to an anonymous reader for pointing this article.
Written by A. Srivathsan and Li Xinran this article goes on to laud the impressive quality in the imports from China.
“If you have a viable volume, China is a good place to shop for building materials. It is the manufacturing hub of the world and offers good price and an impressive range of choice,”says Chitty Babu, Managing Director, Akshaya Homes. On an average, Akshaya imports about 10 to 15 tonnes of building materials every two months.

There are several issues which come to mind.
How is China able to keep the costs so low?
When there is an obvious quality issue with the industry not certified, why does Chindu not raise that as an issue?
Why is there a double standard between supporting products from China against products from other countries?
What about the local competition and their thoughts on being sandbagged by cheap Chinese imports?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tacit acknowledgement of erroneous ways? I'm not sure

Happy Diwali or Deepavali to all our readers!
Over the last few months the comments from the Reader's editor of Chindu has been a source of mixed messages and at times entertainment for his analysis of the reader's comments about the newspaper. The recent incidents in Orissa and other parts of the country which were given the Chindu coverage apparently did not go well with lots of readers, even loyal ones.
However LiC's response to the questions raised was predictable,
We investigated and authenticated the details. FIRs had been lodged and there were eye-witnesses but the police failed to register a case until The Hindu’s investigative reporting made it a major issue and brought it on the national agenda. Our prominent Page 1 coverage and the meticulous follow-up has had a significant impact and there was greater pressure on the governments to act according to the law of the land and the canons of civilised conduct.

Sure but what about the larger issue of conversion of tribals by the missionaries? Why is your newspaper not investigating that? Perhaps it is because that would not be 'secular'?
The reader's Editor goes on to conclude:
Retaliatory violence is no solution and what has happened in Orissa and Karnataka is a matter of shame. If the forces behind such violence canalise their energies towards eradicating the social and economic causes that make some sections oppressed, the bogey of conversion may not be there.

Before making grand statements, it would behoove the newspaper to stop turning a blind eye towards religious conversion and show the balanced side of journalism by publishing details from the other side as well.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A tale of two mavericks

In someways the Indian political scene is setup in a way that we have similar incidents occurring in different states by people with similar political stars. The incidents I'm referring to are recent arrests of Mr.Vaiko and the arrest and release of Mr. Raj Thakeray.
Given that their political careers parallel each other eerily, from a meteoric rise within one party (DMK and Shiv Sena) under a charismatic mentor (Karunanidhi and Bal Thackeray) to a fallout due to nepotism anointing blood line successors (Stalin or Uddhav) to create their own niche.
I would be interested to see Chindu provide an analysis of how regional pride can be a strong niche, whether its Marathi manoos or being a 'savior' of Tamil rights in an era where the larger parties shy away from taking stands. Another irony is the support Ms.Jayalalithaa is providing Mr.Vaiko, when about a decade back she was the one arresting him. What we would like to see is for violence to end and innocent civilians be spared.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ideology conflicts

Perhaps I'm unable to comprehend Gandhi's ideology, but recent statements by our beloved President Pratibha Patil is a bit confusing. I'm open to clarifications from you. For example, President Patil makes statements like this
If there is any dispute it should be resolved through dialogue, Patil said adding violence "is not the way life" in India.

If the world is today enthusiastic to adopt Mahatma Gandhi's ideals, we in his land of birth have the first duty to abide by these principles,

Then she makes a 180 degrees turn when she praises the Army and makes bold statements like a hardliner here,
We will deal sternly with any kind of violation on our borders.

This picture alone speaks words,

If India were to actually adopt Gandhi's ideals should we not welcome the people who violate our borders. Or for that matter why do we need an Army when we have the greatest weapon which is non-violence.
I'm guessing that probably Mahatma Gandhi would disapprove of that picture.
Let me know of your thoughts.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Leader page article on ending the Afghan war

There are certain issues which have continued for extended periods of time without any resolution and will probably continue to do so. Issues like the Israel-Palestine conflict, enmity between China and Japan, Indo-Pak conflicts and so on. The conflicts in Afghanistan is another issue which has gone on for centuries. For more specifics do read this.
Now M.K. Bhadrakumar former IFS officer and now Chindu "Leader Page" contributor has come up with a brainwave article on how to end the war there and solve the crisis. In his attempt to wrap his brain about the convoluted issues and ground realities, MKB comes up with some really vague, unrealistic proposals which makes me wonder how he passed the IAS exam in the first place! Perhaps there is some quota for morons.
Jokes aside, some of his statements smack of ignorance,
One, do not allow political instincts to be smothered by spooks, strategists and soldiers who surround statesmen.

Sure, but without their inputs how would you get the information on the situation on the ground to make realistic decisions? By watching BBC or CNN?
Two, Taliban is not the problem and it can be made part of the solution provided its variant of “Islamism” is properly understood.

The Taliban have been real butchers of the civilian population with little to no tolerance towards minorities and women and one of the main reasons why the country is in such a mess.
MKB fills the article with anti-US propoganda like,
the U.S. has been proved wrong in believing that imperialism and hubris could trump nationalism.

Really, do you believe Al Qaeda is fighting for Nationalism, have you not read any of the transcripts of their communication or watched Al Jazeera?
The war provided a context for the U.S. military presence in Central Asia; NATO’s first-ever “out of area” operation; a turf which overlooks the two South Asian nuclear weapon states, Iran and China’s Xinjiang; and a useful toehold on a potential transportation route for Caspian energy bypassing Russia and Iran.

Seven, the war should not have been an American enterprise. Nor should it have space for the arrogance of power. Unfortunately, the U.S. uses the United Nations as a fig-leaf but pretty much decides on the war strategy.

There are some issues which MKB brushes like the importance of Pakistan's role in the war and the issues between the various tribes. However he places too much blame on the US and avoids the elephant in the room which is the presence of Al Qaeda and Taliban which are key ringleaders of most terrorist attacks in recent times and have made Afghanistan into a war zone.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chindu's open comments are met with fire, yes literally.

There are some topics the average person in Tamil Nadu does not take lightly, like imposition of Hindi, how Rajnikanth is still a Superstar, why do they complain about Cauvery water and lastly the LTTE issue.
As pointed out by a regular reader Reason,
chindu chief is crying that Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam in TN attacked his offices in Erode and Coimbatore following his anti-LTTE articles.

The article can be read here.
The liberal media is often under the misconception that only the right-wing Hindu groups protest with violence and the rest are civilized and cultured.
Little do they realize that they have been wearing rose colored glasses all along. The average educated person has little interest in working for political groups or NGO's unless there are some extraordinary reasons like say there is real money, opportunity for power and so on.
Hence most of these political groups are often filled with hired muscle, more likely your average street thug.
In a grandiose statement LiC rants,
In our considered editorial assessment, these chauvinistic, pro-separatist tendencies are deeply inimical to the interests of the Indian people. Hearteningly, the overwhelming majority of the people of Tamil Nadu, who do not want a replay of the propaganda campaigns and violent activities of the terrorist Tamil Tigers in one of India’s most peaceful States, firmly oppose these chauvinistic tendencies.”

If one were to read some of the statements of the "Tamil Nadu political arena", it would seem that they (DMK, ADMK, MDMK and so on) were in favor of the Indian Govt. stopping supplying equipment to the Sri Lankan army's offensive against Sri Lankan Tamils.
However LiC does not understand that or for matter of fact the systematic genocide of Tamilians which has been undertaken by the Sri Lankan army under direct orders of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa as has been documented by several media outlets.
It is indeed the sovereign right of Sri Lanka as it is of India to eliminate any terrorist organisation that poses a fundamental threat to its survival as a nation

If it can condone the actions of the Sri Lankans, then its statements about human rights violations in Kashmir smacks of hypocrisy.
What LiC and his cohorts think is that people do not remember whatever gibberish they spouted previously and that people's sympathy would be towards them as was the case when JJ sent the police into Anna Salai. However in this case they have seriously misunderstood the situation and the audience's sympathies.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ramar Sethu issue- Govt.'s illogical positioning continues

The Ramar Sethu issue is one which clearly exposes the UPA Govt's clear and defined attack on Hinduism and sentiments of millions of its followers. The Government decided to sign up to create a channel without realizing the strength of the people to fight it. The Supreme Court after going through the arguments by Dr. Subramian Swamy and others asked the Government for clarifications.
Apparently when hell freezes over, the Devil will start quoting scriptures.
In this case the UPA Government in a marked change from its earlier positions is now trying to quote versions of Ramayan to bolster its case.
The central argument being,
after returning from Sri Lanka upon His victory over Ravana, Lord Rama “took his heavy bow and with it made several breaches in the bridge so wide that nobody could pass over it on foot.”

This statement is quite ridiculous.
  • Unlike todays bridges which crack with a light storm or flood, the Ramar Sethu was build with layers of boulders and primitive cement (as per the ancient scriptures). Now if you take a jackhammer and try to make huge breaches so deep and wide that people cannot cross (say 4ft by 4ft by 10ft) it will take several days if not weeks to finish the task.

  • Secondly after the war and crossing the bridge, Lord Ram is supposed to have done a quick pooja to the Sea God and flown over to Ayodhya. (As per the same scriptures)

Another idiotic statement by Mr.Parasan, counsel for UPA Government,
“The religious texts relied [upon] by him themselves showed that the bridge had been built and had been broken by Lord Rama himself.” Mr. Parasaran had also argued that anything broken could not be worshipped.

Building any structure would mean that something else would've to be broken unless it exists naturally like Amarnath. Hence going by Mr. Parasaran's logic, Christians cannot visit churches as rocks were broken to build the church, same goes for Muslims too.
The Supreme Court should ignore these asinine statements and order a CBI and Income Tax investigation into the DMK leaders who benefit the most by the channel due to kickbacks from the construction and shipping companies.
For those interested, this article here details more historical evidence of existence of the bridge.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Noble but utterly useless
The hapless ombudsman is now limited to talking about journalistic profession and his own mistakes. Next, we can expect him to comment on his career, his personal life, canine food and cow excretions.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chindu announces its first canonization - St. Sonia

In a development which was hailed by most secular media, Chindu announced the canonization of its first Saint of this millennium St.Sonia Maino.
The process is expected to occur more frequently and involves thorough lack of investigation by Chindu agents.
In a discussion with LiC, he mentioned that
The most striking quality of her life is her love of God and Bharat. She was determined to live for God and Bharat from her childhood.

Her canonization was praised by secular media all over the world. In celebration of this glorious incident, PM and lap dog MM Singh declared this day a National holiday. With tears flooding his eyes, MM Singh claimed how he was one of those cured by St.Sonia,
I was bureaucrat and ex-finance minister with no ambitions, but Saint Sonia reading my inner ambitions cured my lack of ambition and greed and made me the Prime Minister. Hallelujah!

Just as she loved Bharat, she loved all Bharat-vasis. She forgave all those who criticised her without understanding the problems she was facing owing to mental illness. In fact, she accepted criticism and ill-treatment with patience and love. Sonia’s life indeed serves as an excellent role model for a life of love without losing faith and hope even in the face of unbearable suffering.
In celebration of this event, senior leaders like Arjun Singh, Sharad Pawar, Oscar Fernandes, Ambika Soni and Sheila Dixit used the Gandhian way of celebration by fasting between lunch and dinner, breaking in between for samosas with chai.
In a stunning recollection, Rahul Gandhi son of St.Sonia, mentioned the key incident in his mothers life when she went through deep tribulations, when
the left parties withdrew support to the UPA Government. That was the time he said,
She never lost faith in the fundamental makeup of politicians, that is greed. Her belief that God intended His rule over India and its primitive heathen public would not be shaken.

In a related incident, Mr. Zardari, President of Pakistan, requested LiC to nominate the late Benazir to be canonized next.

Chindu run by Church?

The "National" news section today (Oct 12, 2008) has a surfeit of news about the canonization of Sister Alphonsa (Annakutty). gives the meaning of the word "Saint" as:
  • any of certain persons of exceptional holiness of life, formally recognized as such by the Christian Church, esp. by canonization.
  • a person of great holiness, virtue, or benevolence.
  • a founder, sponsor, or patron, as of a movement or organization. (in certain religious groups) a designation applied by the members to themselves.
A few questions crop up in one's mind:
  1. Has The Hindu accepted the arbitrariness and onesidedness in the usage of the word "Saint" by the Roman Catholic Church? Is a person deemed to be a "Saint" only if he/she has been "canonized" to be so by the Vatican. One of the six articles boldly declares “First Woman Saint of India”, pray, what happened to Mirabai, Jana bai, Kannagi, Ahilyabai Holkar, Sharada ma, Anandamayi maa, Durgapuri maa, Gauri maa, Akka Mahadevi, Mata Amritanandamayi, Anandamurti guru maa, (who have/are lived/living a life of "holiness, virtue and benevolence.") Not only this, India has a rich tradition of having produced woman leaders (Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai, Jijabai, Ahilyabai Holkar etc.) hence the "first" ness of Sister Alphonsa doesn't surprise a lay Indian, but what surprises him/her is the time it took the church to recognise an Indian woman as a "Saint" (howsoever dubious the basis be.)
  2. Is The Hindu which has carried 6 items in its "National" section about the event, in consonance with the basis for the "canonization"? (that of "The miraculous cure of the club foot of Thomas Athiyalil wrought through her intercession") Has it gone into the facts of the case? In case it hasn't, I, Shrivathsa, hereby claim that I have raised a hunderd people from the dead, and have 6 people write articles about me to The Hindu. To be fair to me, The Hindu should publish such articles. Or is it that it won't publish them just because the recognition wouldn't come from the Roman Catholic church. Doesn't this show the newspaper in a poor light, a hangover from the colonial times of the native being overawed of the gorababu.
  3. Does The Hindu accept the implication from the act of canonization of Annakutty that the Christian religion which claims its existence for 1800 years in India has not been able to find a single "native" Female "Saint" till the canonization of Annakutty? Does it accept that this isn't an honour but a disgrace (howsoever dubious the basis for the "canonization" be)? Can it gather the courage to write an editorial about the insult that has been meted out to the women of India?
  4. Is The Hindu indeed a voice of the Christian church? Why does it carry so many articles on one day on almost a non event. What is the event after all? There was a woman who is claimed to have done a "miracle", that of curing a person with a club foot. The woman is "canonized" as a "Saint" by an organization (Roman Catholic church) which has a declared aim of christianizing India by 2020. (Ref.: Joshua 2 project site)
  5. The Hindu has dubious reputation of publishing only those letters to the editor which toe its line. This being the case, publishing six articles on a single day on the "canonization" probably betrays a belief in such practices?

Landed this video on youtube which summarizes the above article:

Bright heads behind NGOs

The NGOs and social activists in India are one of the most vocal groups. They take everything from riots to homosexuality in their hands and conduct themselves as if everyone else is out there to perpetrate misery on hapless and voiceless Indians.On CNN-IBN's "War of words" Naz foundation's Anjali Gopalan gave ample proof of her intelligence and depth of knowledge.

Sample this:

panelist 1 put across a strong point against homosexuality.
Anjali: How can something that happens between 2 consenting adults be illegal?
panelist 1: Adultery is between 2 consenting adults. Why is there a law against it?
Anjali(without batting an eyelid) : who said there is such a law

(someone prompts her that there is indeed a law against adultery.)

Anjali: (mumbles in the mic) : oh. there is some law is it? (continues in a strong voice) I am here only for article 377.I do not understand how you can equate adultery and homosexuality.Homosexuality is between 2 consenting adults

She should have either forgotten that this point is already made or her lack of knowledge should have rattled her into blurting something that has already been contested or she must be plain stupid.

Panelist 1 reminds her again that adultery too is between 2 consenting adults.

Anjali: Ok. You have a law. So what? Have you been able to stop adultery?

The absurdity of her argument shocked me. What is her point? Since the law couldn't stop adultery, scrap it?

Panelist 1: we haven't been able to stop robberies and murders. Shall we scrap IPC?

Poor Anjali understood she is making an ass of herself and did a Teesta like high decibel protest and managed to wriggle herself out of the mess.

Anjali Gopalan is not a non entity. She is the executive director of Naz foundation. If an ED can display such shocking naivete, I wonder whether all those NGO activists and the social activists who go around whining are in touch with ground realities.If they base their activities on half truths and half knowledge , they are not social activists they are anti-social activists.

These aren't isolated incidents. Days after the Nanavati commission tabled its first report on the burning of the Sabarmati express, I could hear Teesta howling on a TV channel about continued injustice. This report dealt only with the burning of coach S6 of the Sabarmati express. Where did Modi come in? Isn't he "alleged" to have come into action only during the riots (which of course is after the train burning)?I was wondering why Teesta was baying for Modi's blood at this stage.  Not content with the spontaneous combustion theory, Teesta and her ilk want us to believe that Modi hatched a conspiracy to burn coach S6 to instigate riots against the muslims. I only wish her stupidity stops here. 

The NGOs and the social activists must stop considering themselves as guardian angels. Under the guise  of "service" some of them are spreading half truths and are embarking on a misinformation campaign that even goes to the extent of sullying the nation's image. I am not for a moment advocating a clampdown on them. I am just advocating that their activities be regulated.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Krishna Iyer's insane rants continues

I was feeling a bit down with the market crash and in general news from the prophets of doom and gloom. Then checking the provider of 'real news' The Chindu lead me to a "fun" piece of work by Krishna Iyer about the need for law.
Sometime I wonder what realistic value does Chindu provide to the reader other than unintentional laughter provided by the nonsensical writings of said writer. For those who have not had the privilege of reading some of the works of KI it is like a part rabid dog, part mad clown, part insane geezer. The article is filled with the usual standard KI widgets like,

  • Unnecessary bombastic words ('Bedlam abiosis', 'obliterated the preambular emphasis', etc.) - check

  • Blatant Nehruvian socialistic pandering - check
    Will Bharat, when it wakes up, forgive Dr. Manmohan Singh for forgetting non-aligned Nehru, his allergy to imperial powers and his socialist perspective?

  • Multiple instances of US bashing - check

  • Anti liberalization propoganda - check
    Imports from the subsidised U.S. farmers are hostile to swadeshi. Why has pollutive industrialisation with aggressive profit-making become the cynosure of toxic state policy?

  • Bashing of any legal instrument the author does not understand - check
    Globalisation, privatisation, marketisation, Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights, Trade Related Investment Measures, Technical Regulations Information System and other deleterious international conventions, agreements, declarations and treaties signed or approved by the executive make Parliament impotent while it should be paramount.

  • A very unclear love hate relationship with MMS and Sonia Maino - check

The article fittingly ends with the quote of Maximilien Robespierre, about the need for a just law. Perhaps the author should read the history of the person before quoting him out of context.

Hilarious "Letter to the Editor"

Chindu indulges in excessive censorship on any views not in line with its own. On the other hand, even lunatic elements from the Left are liberally accommodated.
Who is living in denial needs to be explored quite honestly. Except this one, the other encounters are not genuine. Why conveniently single out this incident and try to portray all human/civil rights activists in a bad light?
- T. Rajendran, Nagercoil
The open letter is indeed a high order political communication and has served as a tool to get a clearer understanding of status quo.

The letter reflects the openness of the party and the quantum of freedom the Prime Minister enjoys in crucial areas. The mature advice of madam has rich value and content. Soniaji’s sense of commitment, non-self-centeredness, deep insights into problems and issues and transparency, are reflected with great sensitivity and concerns for nation building. The letter has touched the nation’s economy, every key problem and issues confronting us and ways to overcome without the blame culture.

Soniaji’s letter is most timely and appropriate.

- H.K. LakshmanRao, Chennai

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Fwd: A lead from the past

one of the pet peeves of chindu is the inefficiency of indian police.
chindu invariably puts the blame on police. if they are doing their
duty, it uses the human rights bogey. and chindu beats them to death
if it thinks the police are found wanting in any department. the
communists are human rights jhollawallahs use a standard blame game
tactic which gets annoying after the first few times. rarely do you
hear a word of praise for the police from these buggers.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Girish

Another breakthrough by India's unsung law enforcement guys


Since it had been established that the four explosive-laden cars used
in Ahmedabad and Surat were stolen from Navi Mumbai, the Mumbai Police
began by rounding up car thieves of the city known to deliver vehicles
to Gujarat.

One of those who was randomly picked up and questioned was Afzal
Mutalib Usmani (30). While he reportedly owned up to some recent car
thefts, he pleaded ignorance when questioned about the cars the police
were specifically tracking.

"When we were unable to establish the identity of the car thief we
were looking for, we went back to past records of the car thieves we
had rounded up. We noticed that in 1996 an offence had been registered
against Usmani at Shivaji Nagar police station for assaulting
video-parlour owner Mangal Prasad Pandey when he set up shop beside a
masjid. A co-accused in the case was a SIMI activist identified as
Amir Chougule. Once this SIMI link was unearthed, we knew Usmani
matched the profile of the car thief we were looking for. This was the
biggest lead in the case, and put us on the right track. We picked him
up from Mau district in UP while he was about to board a train," says
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

NHRC Report Debunks Claims on Salwa Judum

I found this on Lawandotherthings. An NHRC fact-finding committee (appointed under the directions of the Supreme Court) that visited the villages in Chattisgarh has just issued its report on the government sponsored Salwa Judum. It defends the movement and vindicates the state government demolishing in the process the numerous allegations made by the so-called human rights activists and their defenders in the media and the Left parties. Readers may recall that The Hindu has been at the forefront of this advocacy demanding an end to the Salwa Judum's alleged vigilantism - see this editorial calling it a 'roving, offensive formation' similar to death squads and this article by Siddharth Vararajan asserting that the effort constitutes a violation of the Geneva convention. It also contradicts similarly strong observations by the Chief Justice of India.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Will Zardari usher in change or eat crow?

Recently the new Pakistani Prez Mr. Zardari Bhutto decided to go on the offensive and declare the militant groups in Kashmir as terrorists.
He spoke of the militant groups operating in Kashmir as “terrorists,” the paper said, noting that former President Pervez Musharraf would more likely have called them “freedom fighters.”

This is a far change from the official Pakistan statements in the past when they have claimed the militants in Kashmir as 'freedom fighters'.
Chindu which has long promoted the illogical and radical theory of socio economic factors being the lead contributors to Kashmiri militancy is now left in the lurch. Hence the reporter covering Pakistan, the venerable Ms.Nirupama Subramanian decided to focus the issue towards the lack of response from the parties involved.
Zardari probably in some inebriated mood decided to break the ice by making more statements like these,
India has never been a threat to Pakistan. I, for one, and our democratic government is not scared of Indian influence abroad

The bigger question is will Zardari usher in change in the troubled relationships between the 2 countries or be forced to eat crow by the ISI and other people?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Christian missionaries can get away with murder

India is known for its hospitality towards guests, from allowing Mughals to rule to allowing the traders from Britain to loot to current day where Islamic terrorists bomb every major city and now apparently some of the Christian missionaries hiring goons to kill anyone opposing them and their conversion agenda. The murder of Swami Lakshmanananda in Kandhamal district on August 23 has taken a new twist.
The Maoist rebels have claimed the murder as he was "forcing" the tribals and Dalit Christians to "convert to Hinduism". Apparently the Maoists are now the hired henchmen of the Christian missionaries and can now threaten anyone,
Mr. Panda reiterated his party’s threat to eliminate 14 local leaders of the VHP/RSS and their allied organisations if they did not stop the violence in Kandhamal and end forcible conversion of tribals and Dalits. Tribals were not Hindus, he said.

Why are the Maoists angry when someone is converting to Hinduism?

Why did they not raise a ruckus when Hindus were being converted to Christianity?

Why is LiC not writing in depth about the nexus between the Christians and the Maoist rebels who are terrorists?

The statements below reflect the crazed mind of Mr.Panda in trying to cover up the nexus,
Noting that most of the cadre members and supporters in Orissa belonged to Christian community, Panda said, "It is a fact that Christians are in majority in our organisation.

and this,
We do not believe in any religion or are attached to any religious groups. We are not in favour of any religion

The irony here is that LiC demands multiple companies of the Army be deployed in Orissa, but what about those who are being killed in Assam by Bangladeshi immigrants? Or how about those people being killed in the various cities by Islamic militants? Perhaps LiC will come to his senses when an explosion occurs in his crystal tower in Anna Salai.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Biased coverage dominates Chindu

The writers of this blog have promoted discussions as a way to end all problems as Don Vito Corleone has long suggested. However the recent actions by the Chindu thirsting for vengeance against the mobs who attacked Christians in Orissa almost makes me puke on the screen.
Let us see the incidents by timeline,
  1. Swami Lakshmananda, renowned human rights activist and vocal anti conversion supporter is murdered under suspicious circumstances.
  2. Mobs riot and burn down churches and other institutions.
  3. State government tries to bring the situation under control but fails.
  4. Central government warns the State by issuing Article 355.
  5. Riots continue and the State is unable to stop the violence.
  6. LiC from his high horse in Anna Salai demands Navin Patnaik to protect the Chrisitans in an editorial.
Before we go any further, I would like to clearly state that the actions of the mob are not being defended by this blog.

The Chindu has provided expanded coverage to this situation treating it like a mini-Gujrat, perhaps to please its 'secular' bandwagon. There are at least 6 articles in yesterdays paper including the editorial which refer to this, like
CBI probe into nun's rape, Patil threatens Orissa State Govt., Two killed in violence in Orissa, Congess condemns violence and so on...

There are many questions which should be asked that are being swept under the rug questions like,
  • Why was Swami Lakshmananda fighting against anti-conversion? Who were the culprits who murdered him?
  • Why were the tribals and Dalits taken advantage of by missionaries to be converted to Christianity and where do the missionaries get their money from?
  • How is it that the Maoist guerillas who commit so many atrocities in that and neighboring states get away?
  • What are the ties between Sonia Maino and the Christian missionaries and their parent organizations whom she allows in so many states?
  • Why is the police being made the scapegoat for this and so many other recent incidents?
The Chindu lead by its inept LiC appears to be stuck in analysis paralysis.
It decides to jump to conclusions without doing proper analysis.
I would recommend thinking deeply about this incident and ask the proper questions.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Healthcare with a Communist Twist

Gouridasan Nair's op-ed on Kerala's modified RSBY health insurance scheme for the below poverty line (BPL) families was interesting to read. So what is this 'Kerala model' he talks about? Four things - expansion of the scheme to those above the poverty line for a higher premium, preference in contracts to government insurance providers, lower payment rates for procedures than suggested by the Center and incentives to government health personnel for bearing the 'additional burden' once the scheme gets going.

Expanding the scope of the scheme may not be a bad idea by itself though if I had to make that decision, I would probably have waited to for a couple of years to see how it works before doing that. The remaining changes are all debatable.

One of the purposes of an insurance scheme is to improve efficiency and cut costs through competitive bidding. If the government declares beforehand that the lowest bid will not necessarily be selected (as he says), it defeats the purpose. One of the big concerns about insurance schemes in the Left is that it will undermine government healthcare institutions. But government hospitals can still be empaneled even if the insurer is a private entity - in fact, he declares that the public health system will be the scheme's mainstay. Besides, 3/4ths of the cost is borne by the Center for this scheme; so its impact on the state's finances is relatively limited which means hospitals run by the state ought not to be significantly affected from the funding standpoint (unless Central disbursment of grants to the state get altered owing to the introduction of the scheme). In any case, so long as the poor are able to get the care they need, what does it matter whether it comes from the government or the private sector? That is a fundamental question to which I have not yet seen a clear answer from the Left.

The other idea seems to be to save money by cutting the rates prescribed for various procedures. If the rates are too low, the bid is unlikely to attract many interested parties.The government may be able to pressure the state insurers to compete but again, if it is turns into a losing venture, the health of these companies will be adversely affected who will have to be put on life support through state subsidies. If that happens, it simply weakens these companies without saving much either. I am not sure who gets to keep the money but my understanding is that the state will not be able to expand coverage to other districts on its own even using the resources it is able to conserve (if any). How this will play out though remains to be seen.

The same question applies to the hospitals which the government is asking now to accept more people. Will they actually gain if they are overloaded with patients from below the poverty line even if that means more revenue? Again the answer depends in part on whether the fixed rates are profitable or not. The other unknown is how all of this will impact efficiency. Outpatient facilites at district hospitals are often overburdened as it is; will this worsen matters to such an extent that the physicians are not even able to properly glance at the patient? Some of these places also suffer staffing shortages - doctors in some cases and paramedical staff in many instances.

If someone reports back in a year or two with an audit on how things are going, we might learn something about how it has worked.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

OBC Quota Hike

It appears that the Central government is all set to hike the income limit for the 'creamy layer' from Rs.2.5 lakhs to Rs.4.5 lakhs or Rs.37,500/month making a mockery of the income limit for eligibility under the OBC quota (here is an image file of the news item that appeared yesterday in Mail Today). This is a major step to undermine the Supreme Court orders in Indra Sawhney and the more recent Ashok Kumar Thakur judgments. The Hindu did not report this. Why?

Update: Today's edition of The Hindu does have a report on this. (Thanks to DD for sending the link.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Homosexuality and the Law

Yesterday's edition has an editorial on legalizing homosexuality. True to form, The Hindu comes out in favor of legalizing it. That is not itself the issue - almost the entire news media supports such a move on various grounds. The controversy here is about doing it through the courts. The law reads:

"Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine."

A previous verdict has established that homosexual sodomy comes within the ambit of 'carnal intercourse against the order of nature'. The editorial regrets that this is not a 'progressive' interpretation. But how else could one expect the court to interpret it? The law was formulated in the Victorian era where sodomy was a crime and had been so for a long time consistent with centuries of Christian teaching and practice which consider it a sin. Surely, upon introduction in India, it carried the very same meaning by implication.

Next it argues that the law has been used 'to harass those with alternative sexual orientations and is manifest as an intolerant symbol of the unacceptability of gay behaviour'. As a plain reading suggests, the law is aimed at a particular sexual practice, not a class of people. Yes, there have been instances of abuse but which laws cannot be abused to harass people especially in a country like ours where it is often said that due process itself constitutes punishment? It is not as if the paper consistently advocates fewer laws; it is only the laws that do not serve its own agenda - basically the creation of a strongly left-leaning Central European style liberal democracy - that it chooses to oppose.

The Hindu has seized on an erroneously worded line in the Home Ministry's affidavit that mentioned 'widow remarriage' as a crime having been brought 'under the purview of criminal justice'. While it does suggest that the document was not properly proof-read before submission in Court, the paper's depiction of its meaning is grossly unfair. The Additional Solicitor General (ASG) mentioned it while making the point that criminal laws mirror political and social morality and will undergo change as and when public opinion is altered; widow remarriage was mistakenly included along with some examples to illustrate this phenomenon such as dowry, child marriage, domestic violence, etc. which came about following active efforts by social activists (in all likelihood, he was referring to the positive change brought about by the Widows Remarriage Act, 1856 that was passed following reform by I.C.Vidyasagar and others).

It is true that the Naz foundation is seeking that this law be not annulled but 'read down' to only exclude private consensual sodomy between adults. The Hindu declares its full support to this legal adventure insisting that 'Anti-sodomy laws which explicitly or implicitly treat homosexuals as criminals have no place in a modern, liberal society'. Perhaps the law ought to be repealed but that is beside the point here. The question is whether laws can be read up or down by courts like this based on the whimsical demand of some NGO. I have heard of laws being struck down when they are unconstitutional but not 'read down' especially when their meaning and implications are not in question. It is one thing to argue that a ban on sodomy is unconstitutional but to suggest that some forms of sodomy but not others are constitutional? The notion is quite strange apart from seeming untenable.

That is not the only thing that is unusual about this case. Much of the argument has revolved around why a ban on sodomy is bad for HIV prevention and legal opinions and reports of foreign countries (The matter has attracted considerable interest and an update of all the proceedings to date have been posted here and here) neither of which is at all relevant to the question here. The law is the law for good or for worse. The fact that it may be harder to prevent HIV because of it is hardly a reason to strike down a statute. Besides, what do the conclusions of foreign courts divorced from their basis have to do with the status of a law in India?

Despite such flaws and a logic that on many an occasion flies in the face of common sense, it does appear that the paper's wish might well come true. The government which opposes this petition has done a poor job of defending its position. Also the judges have already made some adverse remarks against the other counsel B.P.Singhal and R.S.Kumar who are also opposing it. It would therefore not be all that surprising if the eventual judgment came out favoring the petitioners and the gay rights activists who have fought for this outcome for the last few years.

Crossed 1000 posts

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thank you all for your continued support. also please spread the word
around about media corruption and this blog.

as someone said it, a fool is better than someone who only reads
newspapers. and the media is mass-producing fools in our country.