Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fwd: Secular Qatar

this is the paradise m.f.hussain was seeking and our secular establishment was praising. m.f.hussain was coming under pressure from indian income tax authorities for tax evasion. he had a strong reason to renounce indian citizenship and sacrifice his artistic freedom. but our secular establishment led by n.ram is fighting for someone who doesnt care a bit for his own freedom.

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

The Qatari government has forced out the moderate leadership of a popular Islamic Web site and plans to reshape it into a more religiously conservative outlet, former employees of the site said Thursday.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SV's search for systemic remedies begins with fabrications

The Hindu : Columns / Siddharth Varadarajan : Your riot was worse than mine
The debates on Mr. Modi over the past two weeks have been so incredibly divisive because neither the Congress nor the BJP is interested in a discussion on systemic remedies.
I bet Siddharth Varadarajan would not have gone on endlessly repeating fabrications like "more than 2000 muslims", "genocide of muslims", "Newton's laws", etc if he were looking for systemic remedies. What he is looking for is propogating his version of history in utter disregard to facts. By trying to sully BJP and Modi, he is endearing himself to Congress and hoping to get a "Padma" award in return. Even in this article, he takes excessive liberties while talking of BJP but leaves Congress alone. Sample this:
  • In keeping with his party's (BJP's) fondness for technology and Islamophobia,
  • Paternity for the ‘riot system' belongs to both the Congress and the BJP, even if the sangh parivar managed to improve upon the technologies of mass violence
  • Gujarat 2002 should go unpunished because Delhi 1984 never saw justice, says the BJP.
  • ‘No SIT ever interrogated Rajiv Gandhi so why is Mr. Modi now being interrogated?' is the party's self-serving refrain.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Excellent analysis by B.Raman on cHindu family saga

Shri B.Raman's analysis of the cHindu family saga nails the issue of media hypocrisy when it comes to transparency of operations and governance.
While they have every right to do so, many of the Indian media houses and journalists are themselves not role models of probity, intellectual integrity, transparency and selfless service in the cause of journalism. There are many instances of wrong-doings by media houses and journalists, but the public does not become aware of them because of the reluctance of our newspapers and journalists to report on each other, however grave their failings may be and even if knowledge of such failings be in public interest. Their reluctance to report on each other and their tendency to cover up failings inside their profession have been creating cynicism in growing sections of the public about the ethical standards---or the lack of them---in the media world.

Will LiC listen?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Updates on cHindu family saga- corporate governance issues

Things took an interesting turn with the other side (aka N.Murali, N.Ravi and Malini P) deciding to voice their side of the story. They claim
the imminent retirement of Ram “as agreed by him in September 2009” and implementation of the succession framework as decided upon by board members earlier. The succession plan included N. Ravi taking over as editor-in-chief after Ram’s retirement and Malini Parthasarathy taking over as editor of The Hindu.

Apparently N.Ravi is pushing for corporate governance norms on this archaic family run newspaper, but the board members afraid of losing their power have back-pedaled.
According to Ravi, he, along with Murali, had prepared a document that outlined broad corporate governance norms and circulated it among the board members on 18 February and the details were yet to be filled in. He said other board members “wanted time” to study the proposals.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Now LiC wants to sue IE for defamation.

In response to the airing of the dirty laundry of cHindu by IE (and lots of our readers who brought this up to us) LiC has taken matters in his own hands. Which means he cowers back to the courts to fight it out than explain matters to the public.
has decided to launch defamatory proceedings, civil and criminal, against Archna Shukla, Senior Editor, The Indian Express, the Editor-in-Chief, Editors, and Publisher of The Indian Express and The Financial Express and others responsible for the publication of “highly defamatory material.” This relates to news stories published in The Indian Express and The Financial Express of March 25, 2010 purporting to be reports on Mr. Ram’s role and actions in relation to developments within the newspaper group and the company.

It does not deny the change in the power centers.
Mr. N. Murali has been re-designated Senior Managing Director of the Company and will have the responsibility and supervisory powers of the department of Circulation. K. Balaji has been appointed Managing Director of the Company with effect from March 20, 2010.

Well lets see how this battle plays out...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A bitter battle among cousins for control of chindu

Battle for control breaks out in The Hindu very divided family
A bitter battle has broken out among family members for control of one of the country’s oldest and most respected media companies, Kasturi & Sons Ltd, the publisher of the 132-year-old English newspaper The Hindu and business daily The Hindu Business Line.

At the heart of this battle is the proposed retirement of publisher and the group Editor-in-Chief N Ram and his decision to dig his heels in.

The first casualty in the battle is N Murali, Ram’s younger brother and the company’s managing director. He was divested of his powers this week and replaced with K Balaji, a member of the extended family and also a board member. According to people close to the developments, the board is split, one group supporting Ram and the other seeking his retirement.
Thanks to Arun for the link.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Civil Nuclear Liability Bill II: A Response to Rajeev Dhavan

For those interested, Rajeev Dhavan has written an op-ed in Mail Today outlining a series of defects in the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill, 2010. I have posted a rejoinder to this here.

Chindu's false reports on SIT summons to Modi

The Hindu : Front Page : SIT summons Modi in Jaffrey murder enquiry
The Hindu : Front Page : SIT summons to Modi evokes mixed reactions
The Hindu : Front Page : ‘Gujarat cooperating in probe'
The Hindu : New Delhi News : Modi will exercise his legal rights, says BJP

Angry reactions from readers on Modi and celebrations that justice is being delivered.
The Hindu : Opinion / Letters to the Editor : Road to justice

This correspondent goes a step further with the acknowledgment receipt in his pocket.
The Hindu : Front Page : Modi yet to respond to SIT summons
Although Mr. Modi acknowledged the summons issued to him to appear before the SIT for questioning

Neena Vyas jumps into the fray.
The Hindu : National : Modi praised
Despite the summons issued to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Thursday
Finally, we have the stamp of authority coming from N.Ram himself that Modi was summoned by SIT on March 21.
The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : The long road to justice
The Special Investigation Team tasked by the Supreme Court of India to enquire into the communal violence that shook Gujarat eight years ago has summoned Chief Minister Narendra Modi to appear before it for questioning on March 21.
This is a very good example of truth by repeated assertion. And it also shows the deep hatred the media holds towards Modi. As Modi says, this is an act of instigating people.

CM unravels the truth about supposed SIT summons in his letter to people.

CM unravels the truth about supposed SIT summons in his letter to people.

Dt: 22.03.2010

My beloved countrymen,


I am constrained to write to you with a deep sense of anguish. Since last eight years canards have been spread against me. For the past one week if we analyse the allegations leveled against me, then the truth will become evident. Truth cannot be suppressed. It is now my duty to place before you the facts that brings out the importance of understanding what the truth really is.

After the 2002 Godhra incidents, I had categorically said in the Vidhan Sabha and in public that no one is above the Indian Constitution and the law, even if he happens to be the chief minister of a state. These are not mere words. My actions have reflected this statement in its true spirit. I assure you that this would be my stand in the future.
In spite of that, some vested interests without losing a single opportunity and with malicious pleasure and without bothering to ascertain the truth based on mere whims and fancies have been tarnishing the good image of Gujarat, my government and me.
Recently a systematic campaign to defame Gujarat through propagation of false reports titled “SIT summons Narendra Modi”; “Narendra Modi did not appear before SIT” and “Modi has shown disrespect to Supreme Court and SIT.” Such baseless allegations are being leveled once again against me to defame Gujarat.
I am therefore compelled to place the facts before my countrymen.


· As soon as newspapers began reporting that Modi has been summoned by the SIT, the government spokesperson immediately said that Shri Modi is bound by the law of the land and the Indian Constitution. He has always extended his cooperation to every procedure of law. And he is committed to do so in future.

· It is a matter of grave concern and needs investigation as to why and who started spreading lies that “SIT summons Narendra Modi on March 21, 2010”.

· The purveyors of untruth failed even to think that March 21, 2010 happens to be a Sunday and a public holiday.

· These purveyors of lies even did not once bother to check whether the key SIT officers, who are appoited by the Supreme Court, were present in Gujarat on March 21, 2010.

· SIT had not fixed March 21, 2010 for my appearance. To say that I was summoned on March 21 is completely false. I shall respond to the SIT fully respecting the law and keeping in view the dignity of a body appointed by the Supreme Court.

· The date of 21st March 2010 was invented by some vested interest and as a part of their effort to interfere in the due process of law. They wanted to paint me as a person who refused to respond to the SIT. This country has in the last twenty four hours witnessed a campaign of disinformation in which a section of the media became an instrument of the disinformers. I hope this section will now take corrective steps.

My beloved countrymen,

The people of Gujarat and this country have identified those who are defaming Gujarat continuously since 2002. But I want to tell the truth that spreading falsehoods has only one single purpose and that is to instigate people. It is a sinful action which will harm the working of a democratic state. Seen in the backdrop of events in the last 24 hours it shows that there is a nexus among the vested interests in spreading lies against me in order to defame me. This machination has come unstuck and the people have seen through this charade.

Government of Gujarat has always honoured and cooperated with the investigative agencies, commissions and Supreme Court looking into Godhra and post-Godhra incidents. And that is why I never thought of giving a public statement on this issue. Despite unbearable pain, I decided to maintain silence in the belief that due process of law would take its own course.

But now as the lies reach a crescendo as never before I am compelled to bring the facts before the countrymen. I also consider it as my humble duty.

I hope the truth is not twisted by the purveyors of untruth to misguide the investigation. And I expect that the media would bring my deep pain and despair to the notice of the people.


Narendra Modi

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bait Modi, get rewarded

The Pioneer > Online Edition : >> It’s official: Bait Modi, get rewarded

Javed AkhtarFiled a petition in the Supreme Court that put the Narendra Modi Government on the mat, by raising a stink on all encounter killings in the StatePadma Bhushan
Teesta SetalvadHer petition filed in the Supreme Court laid the foundation for reopening of riot cases, shifting of trial outside Gujarat in several cases and protection to witnessesPadma Shri
Mallika SarabhaiWas vocal in her criticism against Chief Minister Narendra Modi after the Gujarat riotsPadhma Bhushan
VN KhareFormer Chief Justice of India castigated Modi Government for failing its “raj dharma”Padma Vibhushan

Siddharth Varadarajan must be aiming for a Padma award and that is why we see him repeatedly gunning for Modi.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

B.Raman on N.Ram's Headley assessment

Raman's strategic analysis: HEADLEY: FROM OBAMA WITH LOVE
8. The "Hindu". the other daily of no credibility, has come out with its own gem. Says N.Ram, the precious son of the Tamil soil and our own unique contribution to the world of Indian journalism: " Barring death penalty enthusiasts, no one has any reason to bemoan the Plea Agreement".

9.Oh,oh.oh,oh Mr.Ram. It has got nothing to do with death penalty. It has got everything to do with Pakistan's continued use of the LET to kill hundreds of innocent Indians. Our investigation into 26/11 runs on two parallel tracks----- the responsibility of the LET, which the Pakistanis project as a non-State actor with which the State of Pakistan has nothing to do and the responsibility of the State of Pakistan. What the US has sought to achieve through the choreographed plea bargain is that while India will be able to highlight the responsibility of the LET, it will not be able to establish the responsibility of the State of Pakistan. The Obama Administration wants the world to perceive 26/11 as the crime of a non-state actor as claimed by Pakistan and not the crime of the State of Pakistan. That is the real issue here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Civil Nuclear Liability Bill: Its Rationale and Related Issues

The Civil Nuclear Liability Bill (hereafter the 'bill') which the government was planning to introduce in parliament recently but later postponed on second thoughts has turned out to be quite a controversial issue. Reading newspaper articles on the subject, I got the feeling that a lot of people do not really understand it well enough to appreciate the rationale of this legislation. So I am writing this post in part as a '101 for dummies' on the subject and in part to provide my perspective on prominent aspects of the bill.

1. The first question is whether India ought to build a nuclear industry. This is a separate but related issue with many opposing the idea for several reasons (high cost of power, prospect of catastrophic disasters with long term and widespread consequences, etc.). If one believes that answer is no, a lot of the criticism being heard about it make sense. This discussion is beyond the scope of this post and it suffices here to simply note that the government believes that building this industry is in the national interest.

2. If we accept the government's contention, the next question is whether we need to create a statutory arrangement to deal with possible future nuclear accidents. Such occurrences are infrequent but can be very expensive to deal with which raises important issues of who should pay and how much towards cleaning up and compensating victims. Those responsible for the damage may not be able to adequately pay for the effort even if all their assets are utilized. Countries all over the world have devised various systems to deal with these challenges; efforts are also underway to create an international fund to assist in such instances. All of this argues in favor of a statute rather than allow matters to be dealt with by the general tort law. The argument that we did not and do not have such a law until now and therefore do not need one in the future strikes me as absurd; making up an ad hoc arrangement after the fact may not lead to an optimal allocation of resources for any concerned party or ensure speedy and adequate compensation to victims and hardly qualifies as a justification to oppose this bill.

3. That brings us to the next question which is what the principles of such a statute ought to be. To understand that, we need to step back and ask what arrangements are usually made to deal with sudden, unexpected and heavy expenses. The answer is obvious: we take out an insurance policy. Everyone probably knows how the system works. Actuaries calculate the premium to be paid as well as the ceiling limit for coverage based on the size of the covered population, the risk involved, the anticipated size and frequency of claims, etc. Nuclear power plants, faced with a similar prospect, would be expected to do the same thing. In fact, this legislation would require them to do so (bank guarantees and investment in capital markets are alternatives and this bill allows for those options; in practice, however, they are not considered feasible).

4. The general principles of any insurance set-up also applies to the nuclear business but the market conditions are different. Firstly, unlike the automobile or health care sectors, there is only one customer here - the government which operates the nuclear plants (if private players are allowed in at some future point, we would still have a handful of customers as the case is in some other countries). The government does own and operate multiple nuclear plants and if each of them were to operate independently, you could count them as separate entities but given their total number in India, the count would still be small (relative to a country in the West relying on nuclear power). Secondly, what a plant can afford to pay as premium will depend on its revenue which in turn is determined by its electrical output as well as the price charged to its consumers per unit (Note that this is different from what a plant may have to be charged as premium in order to be covered which will depend on the safety features of the reactor, history of its operation, etc.). Higher the policy cap, higher will be the contribution of a plant which in turn will translate into higher cost of electricity for consumers (Prithviraj Chavan mentioned this in his interview). Thirdly, insuring each plant independently will greatly limit the amount covered for obvious reasons: much like providing automobile coverage to a homeless man living in his car, if there is an accident, the plant's chief asset - the reactor itself - is likely to be damaged and potentially useless for compensation purposes. What many countries therefore do is pool the resources of all the nuclear plants so as to create a much larger asset base thereby allowing for higher coverage. That may very well be a system India could adopt as well. However, the total size of the asset pool will continue to be limited by these factors which means the overall insurance limit will still be finite. This is universally the case but in India, it is particularly a concern because existing plants are all small with megawatt outputs and even with the addition of more reactors, neither the number nor the capacity is going to come anywhere close to say what the US (104) or Europe (135) has. (Foreign countries likewise have their own asset pools but efforts to create a common global insurance pool have not been successful so far. This feature is different and separate from national insurance companies purchasing reinsurance in global markets). For that reason, it is important to be wary of comparisons with numbers randomly drawn from the literature about foreign countries.

5. The previous point explains why there is going to be a limit to the insurance capacity of the nuclear market. An important and relevant question that has been raised in this respect is the distinction between plant operators and suppliers. Foreign suppliers provide reactors and other parts whereas the government owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is expected to operate the plant. It is alleged that this bill, by channeling all legal liability to operators, intends to protect foreign suppliers at the expense of the national NPCIL which would have to bear the burden of compensating for their liability.

6. To answer that, let me repeat that anyone facing a big liability of this nature is going to have to purchase insurance be it the supplier or the plant operator. Foreign suppliers have only a limited ability to purchase insurance outside India. This is again for obvious reasons: (1) much like the functioning of an automobile depends on how well its owner has maintained it and how carefully it has been driven, the safety of a reactor or any part will depend on the plant operator as well (2) since foreign insurers or for that matter, any insurer has never been involved here, India is an unknown market with uncertain risk involved. But since the supplier's product is known to them, they can still get limited coverage in certain instances as for eg., the ANI insures up to a maximum limit of $50 million (with the limitation that any payment under such a policy further reduces this limit) for prescribed markets (presently excluding India but that could change if this bill passes). It does not follow that availability of a foreign insurer implies efficiency of the arrangement - a national insurer with better knowledge of local conditions may be able to offer a better deal than a foreign company without the same exposure.

7. Secondly, any insurance premium paid by either the supplier or the operator adds to the overall cost of business which translates into a higher price paid by either the government of India to set up the plant or the general public which buys the electricity. Suppliers and operators taking out separate policies therefore offers no intrinsic advantage to a third party (i.e. the disaster victims) if they are both going to be drawn from the same pool and indeed might be disadvantageous owing to the higher cost of claims processing particularly if there is overlap in coverage; alternatively, if they were to be insured through separate pools, risk and assets would also get distributed reducing the coverage limit for each of them. Channeling of all liability to a common source thus makes practical sense. From the same standpoint, it would also make better sense to have legal channeling (i.e. parties other than the operator cannot be sued) rather than economic channeling (i.e. all parties can be taken to court but compensation is ultimately collected from a common source) so as to minimize cost of litigation which is what this bill provides for (with the exception of cl.17(b) which I discuss below).

8. The criticism of this arrangement is that suppliers are being subsidized (some argue that it is only a 'potential subsidy') and are being let off easy without their true costs being internalized. Perverse economics leads to a moral hazard as for eg., there is no incentive to develop a safer reactor in the event of a catastrophe. That is true and the problem is usually sought to be dealt with through regulation but just as with the recent banking crisis, the entire approach can be an ideological flash point and usually yields very different responses from people across the political spectrum.

9. A policy maker would have to take into account other practical considerations as well. Firstly, a nuclear disaster is a big affair and can easily lead to immediate bankruptcy of the supplier under a general tortious liability system. But even seizure and liquidation of the entire assets of a supplier may not be sufficient to meet the needs of victims though it could, to some extent, reduce the burden on other parties. Secondly, as the government argues, that daunting prospect could keep suppliers from entering the Indian market; the counterpoint being made is that this holds only for American suppliers which are private entities and not to state administered French or Russian firms, a charge the government rejects saying those countries too have been equally insistent about the need for liability protection.

10. My view is that the government claim is valid. Nuclear reactors are manufactured by large firms and are an important source of business to any country; so it is natural to expect any government to defend their interests. If the US government is willing to protect private shareholders from the possibility of lawsuits and liquidation, France and Russia can a fortiore be expected to do the same to protect state property and tax payer money. As Chavan pointed out, France and Russia did not mind either a law or a treaty arrangement. We do not know what the recent Indo-Russian agreement contains since the content has not been made public. Furthermore, even if a liability arrangement has not already been entered into, it would be naive to expect French or Russian companies to simply roll over, accept huge liabilities and fork over any compensation we demand. Their governments will surely step in and ask for an agreement in line with international practice which almost universally shields suppliers from liabilities and India, faced with pressure from a 'friendly' government with veto power in the U.N.Security Council, will have limited room to maneuver. Rather than go for bilateral treaty arrangements which may be uneven and contain clauses hidden from the public, it might make things more straightforward and transparent to have a uniform law applying to all parties. This legislation would achieve that.

11. A curious and related aspect first raised by Siddharth Varadarajan is cl.17(b) in the bill which makes a provision for the operator to seek damages from the supplier where "the nuclear incident has resulted from the wilful act or gross negligence on the part of the supplier...". As he notes, this provision is not found in the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (hereafter CSC). The term 'gross negigence' is not defined in this context and will probably end up being determined as a question of fact by the claims commission (since courts of law are excluded under the scheme of the bill) which means that suppliers will probably have to seek insurance as well up to the operator's liability limit. A generally accepted rule is that all parties which may be held liable should be indemnified for that amount (known in legal parlance as the 'congruence principle') to avoid default but the Indian bill only requires that of the operator (cl.8(1)). This provision also deviates from the channeling principle. Further, as he points out, if India joins the CSC, the convention upon coming into force, could allow Indian third parties and the GoI to sue in foreign courts seeking enforcement of damage settlement terms laid down by an Indian court against supplier firms in those member nations though in practice, I doubt that such lawsuits will be successful in the absence of a pre-existing contract to that effect (enforcement is only possible provided the judgment is not contrary to the public policy of the enforcing state, a condition which will be difficult to meet because the CSC itself explicitly holds that the operator alone may be held liable for any such damage). All in all, this is an anomalous inclusion inconsistent with the overall scheme of the bill and it would be better to either define it clearly or remove it altogether. From a political standpoint, the latter option may be difficult to do. Opposition parties which are already up in arms would scream bloody murder if any such move were made.

12. So far, I have explained why caps on the operator and the supplier make sense. That brings us to the third question of total liability. The bill caps the government's own liability at 300 million SDR, the minimum figure mentioned for state liability in the CSC. Soli Sorabjee objected to such an 'inflexible cap' arguing that the extent of damage of any nuclear accident cannot be reliably estimated ex ante and it is better to frame appropriate guidelines and allow the rest to be determined by a judicial forum. There is considerable force in this suggestion. Another question follows from the provisions of the CSC. An important benefit of joining the CSC (assuming this law is an enabling instrument to do that) is that upon coming into force, it will require all contracting states to contribute funds when the compensation amount exceeds 300 million SDR (or a greater amount specified by a state prior to the incident) according to a prescribed formula. If India caps total liability at 300 million SDR, in effect, it rules out the prospect of obtaining assistance from other countries whereas the reverse would not be true. Also, unlike cl.6(2) which allows the government to alter the operator's liability by notification, cl.6(1) has no such provision. Unless someone can explain how this makes sense, I fail to see how this cap is meaningful. The government could do one of several things: (a) remove the cap and do nothing else (b) remove the cap and incorporate a particular amount as a guideline (c) limit the state's compensation to a particular amount while leaving the liability itself uncapped (d) add a proviso allowing the Center to modify the amount. There may also be other alternatives.

13. Lastly, questions have been raised about the constitutionality of some provisions of the bill. It has been alleged that they are inconsistent with art.21 jurisprudence as laid out by the Supreme Court. Evolution of the strict and absolute liability doctrine in the Indian context is briefly explained in this Frontline article. As Chavan explained, these decisions signified improvisations in tort law by the Supreme Court in the absence of specific legislative guidance to deal with novel situations. This bill does incorporate the no-fault liability (while not excluding tort liability which may be pursued separately) and the 'polluter pays' principles. The chief distinguishing element is the liability limits and a constitutional challenge under art. 14 (equal treatment of nuclear disaster vis-a-vis other disaster as pertinent to compensation for third parties) and art.21 (denial of adequate compensation amounting to violation of individual right to life and liberty) will have to be determined afresh in light of the 'reasonable, just and fair' standard enunciated in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India 1978 AIR 597 as and when a challenge is considered by a superior court. This is a vague and arbitrary standard and the outcome is likely to be determined based on a variety of subjective and political factors. A review of comparative laws and relevant judgments in prominent foreign courts (such as the US Supreme Court's decision in Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Environmental Study Group, 438 U.S. 59 (1978)) could be an important factor in swaying judges. In recent years, the Court has repeatedly stressed the need to balance the case for development with concern for the environment though what that ideal balance is or ought to be remains unclear and very contentious. Making an educated guess, I would predict that protection of suppliers and the cap on operator liability will be upheld. As for total liability, it is harder to say how it will play out. A facial challenge based on hypothetical concerns could yield an outcome different from an applied challenge when faced with the exigencies of a post-incident situation.
14. Cl.35 barring civil courts from jurisdiction over matters pertaining to the Claims commission has rankled many political parties and commentators who have described it as unprecedented. It is quite unusual to see something so dramatic and I am inclined to think that the primary motivation is to reduce delays. As we all know, Indian civil courts have been plagued by the problem of overflowing dockets resulting in lengthy delays in case resolution. Creating specialized tribunals and limiting the appeals process are two ways to deal with this problem. Usually, the downside would be that denying multiple levels of review increases the chances of error and removing the supervision of the highest court could end up creating bad law for the country. In India's specific case, I am not sure either of these necessarily holds true. A specialized forum devoting all its time to one kind of cases will likely have more time to deal with them and more importantly, far more experience dealing with the issue than a High Court or Supreme Court which deal with a variety of issues. Routine matters of claims resolution are no doubt different from questions pertaining to statutory interpretation which ought to normally belong in the domain of the superior courts but in our system, absent judicial reform, there are probably not a lot of advantages to this demarcation either. All of this is nevertheless largely theoretical; the reality is that the Supreme Court is extremely aggressive in defending its prerogative of judicial review which it sees as near absolute. In the 2007 case I.R.Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu and Ors., the court did not hesitate to effectively nullify a provision incorporated through the First Amendment in 1951; only last month, in The State of West Bengal and Ors. v. The Committee for Protection of Democratic Respondents Rights, a challenge to the jurisdictional authority of High Courts in calling for CBI investigations failed despite clear statutory language and an explicitly circumscribed constitutional mandate. The odds are therefore excellent that even if the final version of this bill contains this provision, it will be struck down if and when challenged in court.
14. In conclusion, overall, the proposed bill is not just consistent with international practice but also delineates a pragmatic approach taking into account domestic limitations. Specific provisions such as the total liability cap under cl.6(1) and operators' right to recourse against suppliers under cl.17(b) may be disputed and should be reconsidered. Amounts prescribed for the liability caps are debatable too. Others such as cl.35 which may not pass judicial muster are preferably redrafted or dropped. More issues may well come up as the debate goes forward.

SIT questioning Modi on riots

One of the good things about SIT questioning Modi on the Gujarat riots is that guys like Siddharth Varadarajan will drop their regular catch phrases (eg: genocide of muslims, etc) and get into the details.

Basically, SIT does not think Modi commissioned the crime. You would think that such a leader could not directly commission a crime. Not if you look at the history of Congress leaders. Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler, etc directly lead rampaging mobs during Sikh massacres and were duly rewarded by Congress.

SIT wants to explore angles of ommission by Modi and his government. This line of questioning is fundamentally flawed but is also the one which gives enough latitude to arrive at predetermined conclusions.

- First and foremost, it acknowledges that SIT does not have a strong case against Modi. This is what we have suspected all along anyway.

- Given that we are talking about crisis management over a large administrative area, it is hard to conclude with some degree of confidence whether an incident was an administrative failure (arising out of any of endemic inefficiencies within our system, poor capabilities to handle such
situations, overstretched resources, etc), or an act of ommission by responsible authorities. There must be hard, compelling evidence to prove that there was a deliberate act of ommission by the authorities under direct instructions from Modi to put the blame on Modi.

- Has our record of handling of riot situations been far superior than that witnessed in Gujarat to suggest that what we witnessed was an aberration?

- Worldwide Crisis management record including developed countries is not very comforting. New Orleans saw an administrative collapse. Chinese government had trouble controlling (or orchetrating?) the anti-Japanese riots in 2005. The muslim riots in France in 2005 led to a three month "state of emergency". Are we assuming that India has the best record in the world in the matter of riot control along?

Reasonable actionswere taken for the VHP bandh call. The paramilitary was deployed on the next day of Godhra and the army was put on alert. The day after, 13 columns of army was
. Parading dead body to burial ground is a hindu ritual, isnt it. In hindsight, it could have been done differently. But the parade effect couldn't have been felt across Gujarat as the parade was not across Gujarat. Does the SIT have evidence to prove that the bodies were paraded beyond the usual norms?

I am only trying to illustrate that the SIT must provide compelling evidence to prove there was a motivated campaign by the administrators to target muslims. Otherwise, there are several questions that SIT could raise but they dont necessarily mean anything other than proving the benefit of hindsight. I am sure that just like Baneerjee, who was given a mandate to produce a theory on spontaneous combustion, the SIT will find "evidence" that will please the seculars. And we will have to brace ourselves for more breast beating by Siddharth Varadarajan.

The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : The buck must stop at the very top
The petition asks whether senior police officials told the Chief Minister or higher officers in writing about the likely repercussions of parading the bodies. Why was no preventive action taken when a bandh call had already been given by VHP? Why was the Army not called out immediately and why was there a delay in its deployment when it finally reached Ahmedabad? By themselves, none of these questions implies the commission of a crime.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Praise for the Gadkari's team by LiC?

Am I dreaming or has the LiC gone soft on BJP?
(Thx to sudhir for pointing it out)
In allocating generous space to women at various levels in the party hierarchy, the BJP has shown that gender justice need not become hostage to legislative battles. Team Gadkari also scores in bringing a blend of experience and youth to the table. Old hands expectedly dominate the party's parliamentary board while a fair sprinkling of young people, drawn from diverse social backgrounds, have made it to the lower echelons of power.

There's a lot of praise for Arun Jaitley,
In the event, Mr. Gadkari has proved that he has a better grip of politics and party affairs than most of the veterans. The confidence has begun to show — especially in Parliament where Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj have emerged as formidable team leaders. It was at Mr. Jaitley's instance that the Women's Reservation Bill came to be debated before being put to vote in the Rajya Sabha. His speech in support of the Bill reflected bipartisanship of a kind sorely lacking in Indian political discourse. More importantly — without prejudice to what this newspaper thinks about the BJP's disintegrative political programme and ideology — it came across recently as a sober party capable of making its point skilfully, without resorting to drama and bad behaviour.

Of course any praise to the "right wing" BJP must be tempered with criticisms of the RSS and it brings the pinata out for trashing as usual. But all in all, a reasonably balanced editorial by LiC, compared to previous standards.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CPI(M) training to sit in opposition

No kidding. CPI(M) is training its cadres in West Bengal to be a good opposition. But I wonder if there is enough number of people left in the party to fill the training rooms.
Has CPM already conceded defeat in West Bengal? -
The West Bengal (WB) assembly election is next year, but the CPI(M) appears to have already conceded defeat. The CPI(M) is training middle- and lower-level leaders and cadres in the state to be a good opposition.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Media insecurity over new media

Agent Provocateur: Don’t block the ‘Internet Hindus’
Usual Suspects: Virtual jihadis threaten www

Both Kanchan Gupta and Swapan Dasgupta came out with their views on the newly coined term 'Internet Hindus'. While Kanchan Gupta is more accommodative, Swapan seems to have gone overboard liking it to 'virtual jihad'. But the bottom line is, irrespective of the ideological orientation, the media persons are getting worried.

We have often discussed how the leftists control the media. On a few occasions, we discussed about the absence of right-wing intellectualism in all but the internet space. So why is the media getting worried about this miniscule presence of rightists and nationalists? In fact, I would go on to say that a lot of the internet activity is driven by national interest rather than an ardent support for BJP. It is only incidental that BJP happens to the party which is more aligned to our national interest and the rest of the parties are various shades of anti-national parties. A gross generationalisation but I can live with it.

What the media is terming as 'Internet Hindus' is actually 'Internet Nationalists'. The survey results which Kanchan Gupta refers to also points out to this. But because the leftists want to indulge in ritual hindu bashing, they picked this convenient term. Whatever terminology they chose, it wont matter because they just cannot moderate the internet space and they cant withstand the rising tide of public resentment towards media. Coming back to the question, why is the media upset by national activists on the internet?

Our journalists, who are shaping public opinion, have a certain set of motivations and limitations:
1. Ideological blindness: First and foremost, guys like N.Ram just dont bring any great value to the discussion table. If we cut the prose, there is hardly any political insight they bring. I am not saying they lack the ability; it is just that they are ideologically blinded to give any fair and balanced evaluation of events.

2. Insecurity: Journalists need to worry about job security. They need to stick to a certain slant in reporting if they are to survive in the industry dominated by leftists.

3. Lure of sinecure: Most media outlets work as an extension of the ruling government for fear of reprisal. But some journalists sell their wares in expectation of a sinecure job. For example, Harish Khare did this by endlessly praising the dynasty and he was duly rewarded by the congress government.

4. Lack of talent: Journalism was not a good career choice for long. Things might have changed significantly now but it failed to attract talent. So barring a few exceptions, there is pervasive mediocrity in the industry.

5. Poor understanding of technology: Most media people are trying to understand and catch up with technology but they are not still not quite comfortable with it. While this in itself may not be a problem, they are definitely holding some suspicion towards the internet because it is disrupting their existing business model. They are also trying to carry their vast understanding of the traditional industry to relate to the new medium. Unfortunately, this is not how you approach  a disruptive technology.

Let me pause for a moment and address Swapan Dasgupta's suggestion to moderate the internet to cut off the poison keyboards. I have great regard for Swapan and I have repeatedly stated this on this blog. But, I have to point out that this suggestion by Swapan betrays suspicion or old style tactics to a disruptive technology. Sorry, Swapan, you got it all wrong here.

6. Accountability: Media has long been acting with hardly any accountability. This is still the case in traditional media. When the media is trying to embrace the new medium, suddenly there is an extraordinary demand for accountability.

The internet audience is working beyond these boundaries. They are challenging the journalists in a level playing field. Our mediamen are not used to their views being questioned. Remember Vishnu "Minaret" Som? And they are not ready for a debate because it means they have to get out of their comfort zone.

The internet audience is demanding enlightened national interest. They are demanding more accountability. Most of them are already highly successful in their careers. They are not dedicating their time as activists for a few bread crumbs or some perks to pep up their lifestyle.

But here is what I think upsets the accomplished journalists the most. The highly successful among them have worked hard, established good networks and built a reputation in the old media industry. But when moving to the new medium, they find that all their past has come to nought. Because on internet, eventually it boils down to ideas. Name can only give a good headstart.

Wrong ideas will invite censure from the faceless readers. It is silly for the media people to lump the readers (another example of old media habits) as "internet hindus" and try to deride them. This is reactionary and definitely not the right approach. Just as a good number of these peoples participate in various discussions on the internet,  a more diverse worldwide audience is likely to indulge in debates on Indian matters. And then, this title "internet hindus" will sound as ridiculous as that other communist hallucination called "hindu growth rate". It is important to look beyond such artificial categorizations and recognize the internet for what it is.

Internet is more participatory than the old media industry. This is a huge difference from old style when you consider that the rules of engagement are vastly different. Our media people have failed to recognize and understand both these aspects. They are realising that uncensored reader response is not as flattering. And they are getting upset that their tried and tested tactics are not working here to good effect.

To me, it appears as if this issue is not about "internet hindus". In many ways, our media people are stumbling along their way to the new reality. They are not liking the ride and hence complaining. The hard-wired leftists as usual are blaming it on hindus.

Imam solemnises marriage to transgender

Chindu is protesting against an Imam. My guess is, because the Imam is a strong supporter of Mamata Banerjee. Otherwise, this news would not have passed the secular filters of chindu.
The Hindu : National : Protest against Kolkata Imam
Significantly, Maulana Barkati is close to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and is regularly seen at the party's functions. He was instrumental in garnering support of the minority population for the party in the panchayat and Lok Sabha elections in the last two years.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Uphold journalistic principles of truth-telling : N Ram

Exhorting his young audience to uphold journalistic principles of truth-telling, freedom and independence, justice, humaneness and social concern, Mr. Ram said that young journalists .....

N Ram could have given examples.

Example of Truth telling : Reproducing Xinhua stories
Example of Independence : Going on a Chinese sponsored trip to Tibet and "reporting" on religious freedom

Friday, March 12, 2010

One more from N.Ram on his pet theme

The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : The long road to justice
What N.Ram wont tell you is that the Secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace, Teesta Setalvad, was caught forging documents submitted to NHRC and lying to our Courts. Citizens for Justice and Peace has hardly any credibility left to be taken seriously. In fact, Citizens for Justice and Peace should be de-registered as a Trust and criminal proceedings be initiated against Teesta Setalvad. But our secular establishment wont be doing anything to upset their constituencies. So, we will have the spectacle of secular henchmen like N.Ram asking for justice against Modi.
Chandan Mitra once called Teesta Setalvad an overground terrorist. N.Ram is acting like her accomplice. Both Teesta and N.Ram are trying to take good mileage out of Gujarat riots.

Coverage on Bareilly riots

Fresh tension in Bareilly following release of a Sunni cleric -
Leader of Ittehad-e-Millat conference Maualna Khan, who was arrested on Monday last on charges of inciting a mob leading to communal clashes, was released last evening, they said.
Maulana Khan offered 25 crores to anyone who undertook the "holy mission" to assassinate Bush during his visit to India. Given his impeccable secular credentials, it is not surprising that SP and Congress have come out in support of him. SP, Cong try to make political buck over Bareilly riots.
Chindu barely covered the Bareilly tensions, which ran over a few days. In matters of such nature, as is often the case with chindu, a "Special Correspondent" filed the report and followed the "secular template". After mentioning the riots, we are told about the SP and Congress version of the story who are more than keen to play politics.
The Hindu : Other States / Uttar Pradesh News : Tension over Maulana's arrest
His arrest has been condemned by the Samajwadi Party and the Congress.
In a joint statement ... slammed the Mayawati Government for arresting the Maulana on
“flimsy charges”.
Condemning the arrest, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said here on Tuesday that while Mr. Khan had been arrested no action had been taken against the BJP, RSS and Bajrang Dal volunteers who allegedly stoned the procession.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Manmohan's nuclear sellout

Under the din of the Women's reservation bill, Manmohan Singh has tried to surreptitiously pass the nuclear-accident liability bill. You can tell there is something terribly wrong with our "honest" PM. Brahma Chellaney points out the failings of the nuclear deal (and our "honest" PM). Excellent article. Highly recommended.
India's nuclear-accident liability law: An anti-market bill that weakens safety
The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill is an unparalleled piece of legislation: It aims to make foreign builders of nuclear reactors in India immune from legal action, however culpable they may be for a catastrophic accident. And it caps their liability at a ridiculously low Rs500 crore ($109 million) despite the billions of dollars in profit they are set to make. Yet, the government set the parliamentary process for the Bill’s consideration in motion under unusual circumstances—it circulated it to members on 8 March when Parliament was in turmoil over the women’s reservation issue.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Women's Reservation Bill: Interpreting Its Passage and Predicting Future Implications

Now that the Women's Reservation Bill has passed in the Rajya Sabha, there is a good chance that it will pass in the Lok Sabha as well and will soon become law. Given that this is now going to be reality, it is worth reflecting upon what it means and what its consequences may be.

1. Besides the argument that this enactment will empower women, there is also another truth: passage of this bill is itself a sign of their empowerment and the enormous influence of groups that fought for it. Women's issues have gained a great deal of recognition, legitimacy and support over the years and this is only the latest manifestation of that fact.

2. We have a had a freedom versus equality debate upon this issue for some time. Most recently, P.B.Mehta and Kanchan Gupta have weighed in on the issue among others. Skepticism voiced by these commentators has had virtually no support amongst the political leadership. Even parties opposed to the bill have been speaking in quota terms, not freedom. This is not very different from the earlier Mandal/OBC quota debate. There too, political support for students fighting the OBC quota whether in employment or education came only behind the scenes and in subtle ways, not publicly and openly. This bill only reiterates the fact that identity politics remains the mainstay of Indian political discourse and political parties of all hues tailor their messages to suit this framework. Only a paradigmatic shift in this discourse can bring salience to a non-interventionist agenda; barring that, contrarian sentiments will remain limited to the blogosphere, think tanks, academia and other watering holes in the political wilderness.

3. The bill expires after 15 years but as everyone knows, such sunset clauses are rarely meaningful. Those who support it point out that it will increase representation of women in the legislatures and more generally, women's participation in politics. Critics argue that what we will get is mainly the 'biwi-beti-bahu-behen' brigade remote controlled by powerful men and will not represent true empowerment. My guess is that there will be some of both. MPs who are leaders in their own right will successfully ensure that their family members or close and trustworthy aides will get nominated. A significant proportion of less prominent MPs who lack such a dominant advantage will likely lose their seats to women activists from their own parties.

4. Jaithirth Rao makes some excellent observations in today's IE op-ed. On his main point, I fully agree. Caste calculations have been integral to the politics of this issue. OBC and minority groups face sharp disparities between men's and women's education and employment levels - reservations have disproportionately benefited men - and these groups will have a harder time finding suitable women to step up to responsible political positions. It will not be entirely surprising if their numbers go down in future elections in which case, the demand for OBC/minority subquotas will grow louder over time.

5. Studies of the impact of women's reservations in local bodies (ushered in through the 73rd and 74th amendment acts) show that women who gain entry into politics through a quota do find it difficult to get reelected without it though the exposure gained through political participation may enhance their chances of subsequent victory. The rotation system will also make enduring gains harder to achieve. Esther Duflo's study showed that prejudice about women's competence diminished when villages witnessed their performance and a similar change might also provide a push towards gender parity in political representation.

6. Studies in other countries have yielded some albeit disputed evidence that women take more liberal policy positions than men. I doubt this finding carries much relevance in the Indian system where individuals are constrained by party diktats and political correctness is the universal norm.

7. It has also been suggested in the Indian context that women have different political priorities as for eg., in local bodies they prioritize potable water over building roads or educational facilites. This has been an important expectation of women's organizations in supporting this bill. Government priorities, however, are to a large extent determined by many powerful interest groups and whether the person in office is a man or a woman probably makes only a marginal difference at best. Nevertheless, the power of a large contingent of women MPs should not be underestimated: Opinion makers in women's organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, in collusion with the media drive agendas these days and these non-descript, greenhorn women MPs, though having limited impact individually, can collectively be very influential supporters prodding the government and their respective parties to adopt their positions. Therein lies both an opportunity as well as real danger.

Legislation such as the sexual harassment at workplace bill, the assisted reproductive technologies bill, amendment to the immoral traffic act and other bills which cater to particular women's interests which have all been gathering dust for the last several years could get a real push in a new parliament with many women. Extreme views of these organizations could also end up being shoehorned into law and legitimate interests of other groups could potentially be blocked or undermined if they are so much as remotely perceived to be contrary to women's interests. For example, anti-harassment legislation allowing men to be jailed for vaguely defined crimes such as 'mental harassment to a woman' (whatever that means) and provisions providing daughters-in-law a veto over the privacy and property rights of their husband's families in domestic conflict cases by invoking theories of vicarious liability could become law. On the other hand, any attempt to change the penal code allowing women to be charged with adultery (presently only men may be so charged) might be blocked.

8. Courts and the criminal justice system are likely to come under a great deal of stress in the coming years in women's rights cases. Judicial decisions have already steadily undermined defendant rights in certain categories such as rape cases over the last several years. My fear will hopefully be belied but with more uproars such as in the Ruchika Girhotra affair probably getting even more magnified with women MPs publicly pressuring the government, maintaining a measure of equanimity in the government and a modicum of fairness in such trials, preventing ad hoc interventions, frivolous prosecutions and witch hunts could become a real challenge.

Why Article 370 Can be Abrogated

A.G.Noorani repeats an argument he has made before in the latest edition of Frontline that 'Article 370 cannot be abrogated or amended by recourse to the amending provisions of the Constitution, which apply to the other States'. Well, why not? I quote the relevant portion of his article here:

The BJP must remember that Article 370 cannot be abrogated or amended by recourse to the amending provisions of the Constitution, which apply to the other States. Article 368 has a proviso that says that no constitutional amendment “shall have effect in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir” unless applied by order of the President under Article 370. That requires the concurrence of the State’s government and ratification by its Constituent Assembly.

Jammu and Kashmir is mentioned among the States of the Union in the First Schedule as Article 1 (2) requires. But Article 370 (1) (c) says, “The provision of Article 1 and of this Article shall apply in relation to that State.” Article 1 is thus applied to the State through Article 370. What would be the effect of its abrogation, as the BJP demands?

When Kashmir’s Constituent Assembly was “convened” on November 5, 1951, the State government lost forever its “interim” power to accord its concurrence. When it dispersed on November 17, 1956, after adopting the State’s Constitution, there vanished the only authority that could cede more powers to the Centre or extend any Central institutions to the State.

I cannot make much sense of this reasoning. Art.368 grants parliament the power to amend any provision of the constitution of India including art.370 (This remains generally true barring some unclear limitations imposed by the Supreme Court in case of provisions that violate an undefined 'basic structure' but that is a separate discussion for another day). The provisions of the Constitution of India have been extended with some modifications to Jammu and Kashmir under art.370(1)(d). The Constitution Order, 1954 issued by the President in exercise of this power has a proviso to art.368 which prevents constitutional amendments from taking effect 'in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir unless applied by order of the President under clause (1) of article 370'. If art.370 is abrogated, this constitution order itself including this proviso as well as the President's need for concurrence of the State government will cease to be operative. Only the general provisions of Art.368 will apply to J&K as they do to the rest of the country. Of course, in the hypothetical instance that any Central government does this, it would surely design such an amendment Act to ensure that the legal transition from a distinct constitutional system to assimilation with the rest of India is smooth.

Replace all Krishna temples with Shiva temples

What a lot of tosh this paper is churning out. Repeatedly, it tramples upon hindu sentiments using false statements.
If it were a norm, can the author Aparajita give a few examples where temples were so "replaced". And this process of replacement, did it involve desecration and destruction of the old temple and building a new one over its ruins?
The Hindu : Open Page : Ayodhya and a true Ram Rajya
In those days, it was almost a norm that if a Shiva worshipper won a battle with a Krishna worshipper, then the former would replace all Krishna temples with Shiva temples. That can never justify a reciprocative action today.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Manmohan, The prince of inequity

Udayan Namboodiri is another good columnist on Daily Pioneer to go along with the likes of Swapan Das Gupta, Kanchan Gupta, Sandhya Jain and Chandan Mitra.

The Pioneer > Online Edition : >> The prince of inequity
“We cannot save people from inflation if we follow all along populist fiscal policies”. - Manmohan Singh

Singh had held every important economic office — Prime Minister’s economic adviser, RBI governor to Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission — before the denouement of 1991

Naturally, as the man who has shaped India’s economy for the major part of the past two decades Dr Singh must bear the cross. When the Arjun Sengupta Committee, which he formed under pressure from the Left in the early days of UPA-1, reported that over 394.9 million workers, who make up 85 per cent of the working population, live on incomes of less than Rs 20 a day and that 88 per cent of the SC-ST-OBC and 85 per cent of Muslims make do with not even that, one had hoped that Singh would chart a truly inclusive course. But ‘inclusivism’ is like the original Congress bad-joke: “Garibi Hatao”—it boiled down to Garib Hatao.

In 2009, the Indian Statistical Institute reported that that since 2004-05, Singh’s first year as Prime Minister, rural poverty has grown 20 per cent.
Congress historians will tell you that India's economic growth story started with Rajeev Gandhi and its architect is Manmohan Singh. But as Udayan points out, apart from that blip when he was acting under P.V.Narasimha Rao's instructions, his own contributions to Indian economy have been cruelly destructive.

"Populist" policies like NREGA and farm loan waiver, which he personally has pushed for, had disastrous effects:
- It created fiscal imbalance.
- It pumped enormous liquidity into the system.
- It also increased wage inflation at the rural level.
- It benefited the privileged class of Congress workers through an organized and corrupt form of cash transfer.

The net result is inflation and inequality

The government could control overall inflation by fiscal measures. But the populist schemes introduced a dramatic increase in rural wage inflation and this is now being reflected in food inflation, which still hovers around 18%. Our economist PM's fiscal measures are not having much impact on food inflation and this is more or less expected. He can only hope that eventually the market will stabilize at the new levels. In the meantime, a few hundred million more will be pushed into poverty and the income disparity will increase. He has already overseen the growth of rural poverty by 20% and I predict that by the end of his tenure, this number will triple.

So, if you look at Manmohan's overall record, it is dismal. He has inherited a vibrant economy and introduced large income disparities and pushed millions of people into poverty. Udayan rightly calls him the prince of inequality.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Monkeys celebrate impending coronation of Stalin

Note LiC with his Nazi pose in image below already showing obeisance
A motley gathering of supporters of Stalin (Mu Ka not Red) "celebrated" his ordeals during Emergency.
“When he went through the ordeal of Emergency, languishing in jail, he did not think that one day he would achieve the present position. His commitment to the ideology was so firm, he never expected anything in return,” said Mr. Veeramani, who was the first person to meet Mr. Stalin in Central prison, Chennai.

Hmm the Emergency mustv'e impacted his highness so much that he took it out on the common man/women on the streets.

LiC in his sarcastic remarks said,
People with no political experience were promoted because they were born into a political family, but this was not the case with Mr. Stalin. Stating that Mr. Stalin was a link between the new and the old generations of the Dravidian Movement he had never lost touch with his roots.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Manmohan's Saudi visit

B.Raman's article on PM's Saudi visit is quite interesting. Did chindu comment on this visit?
Raman's strategic analysis: INDIAN EGGS IN SAUDI BASKET
Manmohan Singh
- pushed India into becoming an American vassal by getting into the nuclear deal with US
- screwed our energy security by destroying our relationship with Iran
- is trying to woo Saudi Arabia for energy security and to reign in Pakistan but the two are joined at the hip
- is destroying our long-standing relationship with Israel, who has been our steady partner

It is a tough choice between this "Yes Prime Minister" and our "First Prime Minister" for the worst leader of our country.

How is it that Pakistan gets it equation right - then with Khalistan and now with Kashmir? Why does India end up getting the stick?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Welcome Response to the Karnataka Protests

It is a pleasant surprise to see The Hindu come out strongly against the violent protests in Karnataka that began with the publication of a translation of one of Taslima Nasreen's article. I am inclined to believe that this editorial is a response to all the sharp criticism of the mainstream media's double standards - sympathy for M.F.Hussain but silence with respect to Taslima. I see this as a positive change and welcome the fact that the newspaper is being responsive to its critics' arguments.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Blame Taslima for rampaging muslim mobs

So, we have the rage boys of the Religion of Peace stretching their muscle. What does chindu do? In its characterestic style, it blames the article for being "religiously insensitive and provocative". That justifies the muslim violence stretching over 3 days in two districts, doesn't it.
The Hindu : Front Page : 2 killed in Shimoga, Hassan violence
The article is a translation of an essay by Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen on wearing of the burka by Muslim women, and contains remarks that could be considered religiously insensitive and provocative.