Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Praveen Swami who has been following the Shopian case over the last year brings to the front real investigative journalism and a detailed analysis to expose the Shopian case for the sham it is. For those who have not followed this case, here's the primer. Two ladies were found dead under suspicious circumstances. The Kashmiri parties like PDP and others ran a shrill campaign that the ladies were raped and killed by "Hindu" fundamentalists.
The article analyzes the reports filed by the AIIMS and Forensic labs and exposes the sham act of protest without evidence by the Kashmiri politicians and the support shown by the Kashmiri Govt. doctors in their post mortem reports.
Inside the bodies of the victims, AIIMS forensic experts found several pieces of evidence suggesting drowning. Pin-sized petechial haemorrhages were found on the membranes of their lungs and bronchi. Larger patches of Paltauf’s haemorrhages — bluish-red areas found in the lungs of about half of all drowning victims — were also visible. Doctors also discovered accumulations of fluid within the alveoli, suggesting pulmonary oedema, another sign of drowning.
reathtaking incompetence may have played a role. Shopian doctors Bilal Hassan and Nazia Hassan ruled out drowning as a cause of death, claiming to have carried out a flotation test using samples of lung tissue from a victim.
All in all it exposes where the loyalties of the J&K politicians and Government officials and largely the incompetence of mainstream Indian media for not exposing the truth in this case. Kudos to Praveen and cHindu for their expose of this case.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
This piece critically analyzes the devious nature of how SPS Rathore of Haryana and his team manipulated the legal system to escape the case of sexual molestation of a child and only get 6 months in prison after close to twenty years in courts.
This article is commendable in many ways. It pieces together the various ways cops and politicians are working the system to ensure that the process of justice does not proceed. It also lists reasonable remedies to this problem like reforming the police organization to ensure its not a puppet of the government in power.
Lastly it does not shirk away from pointing the light inwards(at the media itself) for not shining the light on this case earlier. One hopes that pieces like this for which cHindu was famous for enables the common man in getting justice from (and cleaning up) a justice system which is like a venereally diseased behemoth.
One naively hopes that cHindu will enable Mr. Varadarajan to continue this article as a series to further focus on other areas of need in India's criminal justice system.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
"News" reports after August 30 and September 18 were fascinating in many ways. For one thing, there is not a single critical or negative line in any of them. Across hundreds of pages, the "news" consists solely of how wonderful particular candidates were, their achievements, and the progress of their campaigns. Nothing about the issues. Their rivals, people of fewer resources, did not exist in these newspaper pages except, perhaps, as fall guys.
I am surprsied that Sainath is "fascinated" by paid news. This has been rampant for the past 5-6 years - thanks to the cluttered market.However, what fascinates me is that a paper that sings paeans for China and and- to reuse Sainath's words- ensures "there is not a single critical or negative line" against China has no qualms whatsoever in lamenting the fall in journalistic standards. In a way, the paper in question is a pioneer in "customizing news" to please its masters.
It will be a classic case of missing the woods for the trees if one were to ponder whether the supplication is attributable to financial favours or ideological affinity.It appears that Sainath - and by extension his employers- are quite ok with manufacturing news if non-cash favours are returned. The paper in question regularly publishes "news" that consists solely of how wonderful China is and its achievements. Critics of Chinese policies, people of fewer resources, do not exist in its pages except, perhaps, as fall guys.Remember one Mr. Dalai Lama? What kind of coverage is extended to him? On what moral grounds can a veteran prostitute take offence to a young girl starting to sleep around to make a few quick bucks? Or is this a manifestation of a concern that competition is giving better bang for the buck (no pun intended!) ?
Double speak is nothing new for the paper in question. We read dozens of well written articles on human rights violation in Guantanamo Bay while precious little is said on Darfur or China's trackrecord on human rights, political and religious freedom. Not surprising given that the paper that swears by freedom of expression blacks out letters critical of its coverage and until recently did not even let readers comment on its stories online!
The LiC has on several occasions defended being a Chinese lapdog saying its his editorial prerogative and has sought to keep it beyond scrutiny. The editors of these Maharashtrian newspapers too exercised their editorial judgements and acted the way they have. Why then this sneering "holier-than-thou" posturing? It is shameful to misguide people. I hope the message gets across loud and clear to newsrooms not only in Maharashtra, but also in Chennai!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
In 1968, Amartya Sen invited me to join the Delhi School of Economics as a full professor, stating in a hand-written letter that my “gaddi was being dusted”. I, therefore, spent three months in the summer of 1968 at the Delhi School of Economics as visiting professor, before returning to Harvard with the intention of winding up and joining as professor of economics at the Delhi School. But I did not realise then that the Left triumvirate of Sen, KN Raj and S Chakravarty had in the three months discovered that I was neither ideologically neutral nor soft like Jagdish Bhagwati, but hard anti-Left and wanted to dismantle the Soviet planning system in India, besides producing the atom bomb. So, when I arrived in India in late 1969, this triumvirate scuttled my ascending the dusted gaddi.
...In the 1990s, after India ushered in reforms, Samuelson wrote me a letter expressing happiness that “at last, India has discovered economic growth”.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
“Until very recently, India seemed to pride itself on poking a finger in the eyes of rich superpowers, particularly the United States. Beginning in the mid-1950s, India was the leader of the group of poor, postcolonial nations that banded together in what they called the nonaligned movement, but which routinely tilted to the Soviet Union and bashed American imperialism. To Washington’s consternation, New Delhi voted against the US at the United Nations time and again.... Even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when India began to abandon Soviet-inspired economic planning, New Delhi retained a reputation for obstructing America at every opportunity.”
The two sides welcomed all efforts conducive to peace, stability and development in South Asia. They support the efforts of Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight terrorism, maintain domestic stability and achieve sustainable economic and social development, and support the improvement and growth of relations between India and Pakistan. The two sides are ready to strengthen communication, dialogue and cooperation on issues related to South Asia and work together to promote peace, stability and development in that region.
"...[S]omething on the order of a trillion dollars, or more, would be appropriate."
"The world's scientists and policy decision makers have publicly stated that this is the greatest risk humanity has ever faced," says Mr. Di-Aping. "Now if that's the case, it's very strange that $10 billion is considered adequate financing." Mr. Di-Aping deserves credit for taking the climate alarmists on their own terms and drawing consistent conclusions.
The Congress MP from Goa, Shantaram Naik, blamed Scarlett and the Russian victim for their plight. Scarlett Keeling is the British national who was found dead in Goa last year.
I am not expecting to see any pink chaddi campaign on this issue.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
In effect, this means that in case the actual damage and the cost of remedying environmental degradation exceeds the proposed ridiculously low cap of $450 million or any other sum, the government would have to bear the remaining burden. This would be directly contrary to the Supreme Court’s ruling that it is not the role of the government to meet the costs involved. The effect of a cap in reality would be to shift the financial burden of the consequences of the accident to the taxpayer. According to the Polluter Pays Principle that has been embedded in our jurisprudence, the liability and responsibility for compensating the victims of accident and remedying the environmental damage caused is that of the offending industry alone. No part of the liability can be limited nor passed on to the government.
There can be two views about the advantages or disadvantages of foreign investment in India in the nuclear energy sector. But there can be only one view: health well-being and protection of our people are paramount and must override dollar considerations. Foreign multinationals are not solicitors of the fundamental rights of our people. The Bhopal Gas case is a burning reminder.
Any legislation that attempts to dilute the Polluter Pays and Precautionary Principle and imposes a cap on liability is likely to be struck down as it would be in blatant defiance of the Supreme Court judgments. Moreover, it would be against the interests and the cherished fundamental right to life of the people of India whose protection should be the primary concern of any civilised democratic government.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The Hindu : Columns / Harsh Mander : Under the rubble
History bears witness, for instance, that Buddhism was violently crushed and wiped out from large swathes of India by Brahminical Hinduism; in that case, why should Hindu temples not be pulled down and replaced by Buddhist stupas?Shantanu has a detailed post (Part 1, Part 2) on this subject.
As Bulbir Punj says, Harsh Mander is one among the secularism's rage boys.
The ancestors of the contemporary population of China, Japan and other East Asian countries had migrated from India, according to a research study conducted by a team of scientists from 10 Asian countries.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
The survey also noted that as many as 5 percent of female college students were either mistresses or had sold sex during their period of education.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Recently the Swiss Govt. held a referendum banning minarets in mosques. Note this clearly, minarets aka those creepy towers not the mosques themselves. Did they ban the freedom of worship? No. Did they ask Muslims to pay a tax for practicing their religion? No.
What does our India media do about this, claim that it affects Indian Muslims who live far away. 99% of whom have never visited Switzerland, 90% have probably only seen Switzerland in movies.
The 2 main culprits are Mr. Vishnu Som of NDTV and our beloved Mr. N. Ram of The Hindu.
Vishnu in a response clearly aimed at self publicity shot this nugget out of his behind upon hearing that Islamic minarets were banned,
the ban of minarets in Switzerland represents a fundamental threat to Muslims here in India.
Then posted a few posts in his blog about secularism without giving any rationale behind his statements and has yet to detail out any level of cogent logic behind his support to the fundamentalists. Remember the ban aims at banning actions of fundamentalists who banned Satanic Verses, attacked Salman Rushdie and Taslima, attacked Geert Wilders and burnt Danish cartoons.
Mr. N. Ram in his editorial claims,
The ban, however, has nothing to do with forms of Islam or with whether minarets and domes are essential to Islamic devotional architecture; mosques without them exist all over the world. Instead the SVP campaign for the ban focussed on the burkha, on the Sharia law, and on the allegedly widespread oppression of women in Islamic cultures and countries.
The insanity of Mr.Ram is clearly evident when he states "allegedly widespread oppression". The word allegedly is not wrong, but it clearly whitewashes the pain of women in more than 20 Islamic countries undergo in oppressive societies without fundamental rights. As an editor of a leading newspaper, one expects him to know a little bit of general knowledge, perhaps reading what the Human Rights commission has to say about women's rights in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Indonesia ...
Have these leading journos Vishnu and Ram ever questioned why Saudi Arabia has banned temples, churches, gurudwaras, fire temples? Never. Have they asked about the pathetic conditions of minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh which border India? Never. But they are first to jump when a country thousands of miles away bans a few towers. The height of hypocrisy is ridiculous.
Hat tip to reader Xinhua Ram for bringing this up.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
That would have been bad enough at any time, but the visit was of unusual importance. It took place very close to the first anniversary of the Islamic terrorist assault on Mumbai, an attack for which Pakistan has only just begun to place some of its own nationals on trial. We are entering a week in which discussion of a new strategy on Afghanistan will become the dominant theme, and we are doing so having given the opinions of India and Indians one-millionth of the consideration awarded to a pair of trashy socialites.
These thoughts were released just before Mr.Obama's address about adding more troops in Af-Pak.
He hits the nail on the head when he clearly elucidates the double game played by the Pak military and ISI in promising to fight the Taliban and other minions whom they have grown over the last decade.
The enormous subventions given to the Pakistani elite in the "war on terror" are thus partly a subsidy to the very forces we claim to be fighting and partly a bribe to make them at least pretend to stop. Meanwhile, Pakistan's press and the remnant of its education system are virtual machines for the mass production of anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda aimed at persuading people that the real enemy is the democratic secular West. And on top of all this, the country's "national hero" A.Q. Khan for many years enjoyed state collaboration in the running of a nuclear black market that shared fissile materials with countries like Libya and North Korea. Yet the Obama administration, phrasing its strategy for the crisis, cannot get beyond the silly and limited abbreviation Af-Pak.
Stronger words on policy have seldom been said.