Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Working conditions in China you'd not hear about in cHindu

cHindu praises cHina as much as artists praise the Mona Lisa (maybe this is not the right analogy).
However a spate of recent "incidents" in cHinese factories have caused concern there. Most recently in factories where the iPhone and the iPad were being manufactured. But this would not bother cHindu from being balanced and reporting the concerns. After all those are activities a Left-wing newspaper would do, being bothered with the working conditions etc.
The massive Foxconn factory in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen is known for assembling famous electronic goods like Apple's iPhone and iPad. But in recent months it has gained a darker image, as a place where distraught workers regularly throw themselves to their deaths. The latest fatality came on Tuesday morning, when a 19-year-old employee died in a fall in the company's Shenzhen compound, according to the state-run Xinhua news service.

The article details the pitiable conditions some of the workers are forced to work in,
Working conditions at Foxconn's factories have been under scrutiny for years. The attention was heightened in 2009 when 25-year-old employee Sun Danyong, who had been accused by management of losing an iPhone prototype, jumped to his death from his apartment in Shenzhen. Chinese press reports said Sun, who grew up in a poor village in Yunnan province and attended the top-rated Harbin Institute of Technology, might have been physically abused by company security guards searching for the missing device. The company pays most of its assembly-line workers in Shenzhen the city's minimum wage of $130 a month, and many work significant overtime hours in order to maximize their incomes.

Somewhere LiC is sipping cHampagne with his cHinese masters....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

N.Ram supports Jairam Ramesh on China

N.Ram can't resist from displaying his loyalty to China. There is a reason why this Chennai-based rag is called China's national newspaper.
The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : Drift, dissonance, disappointment
On relations with China, Union Minister of State for Environment Jairam Ramesh spoke out truthfully, if a little too candidly, against the Home Ministry being “overly defensive” in dealing with Chinese companies that wished to do business in India.

The dam on the great bend

All those dorks in chindu who were violently articulating about the peaceful rise of China told us about how China was building only small hydroelectric projects and not any dams. As more evidence of China's water wars emerge, there will not be any more reporting on this matter by chindu.
Chinese engineers propose world's biggest hydro-electric project in Tibet | Environment |
Zhang Boting, the deputy general secretary of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering, told the Guardian that a massive dam on the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo - the Tibetan name for the river - would benefit the world, despite the likely concerns of downstream nations, India and Bangladesh, which access water and power from the river.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

S.V. sees no wrong in the Dynasty and UPA rule

Siddharth Varadarajan seems to be keen to emulate Harish Khare, who used to praise the dynasty endlessly until he was rewarded with a plum post. The disastrous economic policies, the social reengineering or the runaway inflation pushing about a 100 million people into poverty do not seem to affect Varadarajan's assessment of the UPA rule.

Notice how he finds the nuances of governance in UPA and absolves Rahul Gandhi's group, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh of all failures. The other two groups are the culprits. Why is this not surprising. And he also tells us that such groupism is a good sign of internal contestation! So, there you go -- it is all good when it happens in the Congress.

He stops short of pleading, weeping and begging for Sonia Gandhi to lead from the front. He might achieve a fastrack to nirvana by emulating the act put up by the congress worker when Sonia Gandhi returned from a meeting with APJ Kalam.
The Hindu : Opinion / Leader Page Articles : A year of living indecisively
Many of the problems the NDA regime ran into sprang from the sangh parivar's assertiveness. In contrast, the UPA's problems arise from Ms Gandhi's failure to lead from the front.

Media malady, UPA's Nehruvian penalty

The maladies afflicting our media are so deep. Also, there seems to be an unwritten code of conduct that one media outlet will not expose another.
The Pioneer > Online Edition : >> The secret diary of Hamid Mir
That in the process all norms of decency, dignity and discretion were rudely trampled upon, and editorial caution that should have been exercised was thrown to the wind, matters little to our television channels.

It would be perfectly in order to ask how can a media group that has die-hard Islamists with links to terrorist organisations vehemently opposed to peace with India in senior positions be a trans-border peace partner. It would also serve some purpose if we were to be told as to why the Jang group was selected over other newspaper groups or independent dailies like the Daily Times, which has played a leading role in exposing and outing Hamid Mir. Chinese whispers are not exactly reliable. But there could be some truth to the story doing the rounds that it was neither aman nor asha that prompted the partnership between the two media groups.

Creating a culture of dependency and entitlements -- this is what is fundamentally flawed with the policies of UPA, be it the economic or social. Economic policies like the NREGA, Food Security Act etc, and social policies based on religion and caste are all creating a culture of dependency through the short-term lure of entitlements. Keeping in line with Nehruvian penalty, this fits in well with the Congress agenda of keeping the people poor.
The Pioneer > Online Edition : >> Complacent UPA ignores voter rage
Its economic focus is to create a culture of dependency and entitlements

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Raja gets to explain his case in chindu

The 2G scam is so big its size is measured as a percentage of the GDP -- the loss to the exchequer is about 2% of India's GDP. It is astounding that A Raja could pull off this scam and continue in office in the government. Our "honest" PM Manmohan Singh and the media outlets including chindu have been silently overlooking the events. This when Daily Pioneer and Headlines Today have put forward the documents and tapes proving the extent of the scam.

Have a look at the documents here while they are still accessible.

Chindu has steadfastly refused to mention the extent of the scam. There is no editorial from N.Ram demanding action. Even in yesterday's editorial N.Ram mentions about the 2G auction nonchalantly. Of course, the documents point to Prakash Karat's involvement in the lobbying cartel. And now, we get to hear A.Raja's version of the story, where he obviously projects as if no damage has been done. The interviewer too seems to be keen to establish A.Raja's innocence.

What a fall for chindu. Can't believe this is the same paper which led us to the smoking gun in the Bofors scandal.
The Hindu : Opinion / Interviews : ‘I am no friend of any operator'
... because they say your policies on 2G spectrum led to serious losses to the exchequer. They are basing this on the 3G auction prices…

Thursday, May 20, 2010

cHindu celebrates Pak banning computers

cHindu celebrates the 1 day anniversary of Pakistan banning computers. The ban extends to sites like Facebook and Youtube.
Social networking website Facebook has been blocked in Pakistan for the rest of the month following a court order in the wake of protests over an ‘Everybody Draw Mohammad Day' contest.

Paki-lover SV said, no one should bother about Facebook as long as cHindu's website is available.

Friday, May 14, 2010

cHindu proves photos of Neanderthal-human union results

In what can be claimed as an incredible scientific breakthrough investigative journalists at cHindu proved what many could only conjecture. Answer the question of did Neanderthals and modern humans interbreed?
Researchers compared DNA sequences of Neanderthals obtained from bones found in different locations with those of five present-day humans — from southern Africa, West Africa, France, China, and Papua New Guinea. Though there is evidence of gene flow from Neanderthals to modern humans, the level of flow is relatively low. According to the researchers, the low level of gene flow indicates that interbreeding may have been “very limited.” However, there is no evidence of a reverse flow.

Giving photographic evidence below, cHindu claimed,
We now know they shared ancestors — and that Neanderthals resembled present-day humans more closely than was believed.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Future of Indian bureaucracy acknowledges cHindu for guidance

Sad state of affairs when one of the toppers of the Civil services exam has to read cHindu for "knowledge".
But the most important factor in my preparations was thorough reading of The Hindu, which provided a proper insight into current affairs, national and international developments.

Somewhere LiC, SV and company are laughing their a$$ off.
Perhaps she should have said that she reads cHindu for comic relief and how to analyze national politics from news reported by a biased newspaper.

High Court clarifies conversion by Marriage

Interesting news about the Allahabad High Courts view of conversion which defines "love-jihad":
The Allahabad High Court has held that a Muslim man's marriage to a woman of another religion shall be considered void and against the tenets of Islam if he fails to get her converted to the religion before wedlock. In its order, a Division Bench comprising Justice Vinod Prasad and Justice Rajesh Chandra also ruled that remarriage of a Muslim man shall be held void if he abandons his first wife without divorcing her and fails to treat children born of the marriage in a fair and just manner.

Can we have a uniform civil code now?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

SC Rejects Creamy Layer Exclusion for Political Quotas

In one of the last constitution bench judgments headed by the outgoing Chief Justice K.G.Balakrishnan, the Supreme Court pronounced today in D.K.Krishna Murthy and Others v. Union of India upon the question of constitutional validity of caste quotas in local bodies enshrined by the 73rd and 74th amendments. It is a short opinion available on Judis (link not yet available) and The Hindu news item is here. The gist of it is that these provisions being only of an enabling nature, they are facially valid but the different quanta of reservation provided in different states may be challenged in the respective high courts with appropriate data. Reservation in political bodies is different from that in education and employment and neither the principles laid down in those nor the data pertaining to them automatically apply here.

All of this is more or less to be expected save the court's view on creamy layer exclusion. The court explained (para 33) why creamy layer need not be excluded where political representation is concerned:

It must be kept in mind that there is also an inherent difference between the nature of benefits that accrue from access to education and employment on one hand and political representation at the grassroots level on the other hand. While access to higher education and public employment increases the likelihood of the socio-economic upliftment of the individual beneficiaries, participation in local-self government is intended as a more immediate measure of empowerment for the community that the elected representative belongs to. The objectives of democratic decentralisation are not only to bring governance closer to the people, but also to make it more participatory, inclusive and accountable to the weaker sections of society. In this sense, reservations in local self-government are intended to directly benefit the community as a whole, rather than just the elected representatives. It is for this very reason that there cannot be an exclusion of the ‘creamy layer’ in the context of political representation. There are bound to be disparities in the socio-economic status of persons within the groups that are the intended beneficiaries of reservation policies. While the exclusion of the ‘creamy layer’ may be feasible as well as desirable in the context of reservations for education and employment, the same principle cannot be extended to the context of local self-government. At the level of panchayats, the empowerment of the elected individual is only a means for pursuing the larger end of advancing the interests of weaker sections. Hence, it would be counter-intuitive to exclude the relatively better-off persons among the intended beneficiaries from the reservation benefits that are designed to ensure diversity in the composition of local bodies. It is quite likely that such persons may be better equipped to represent and protect the interests of their respective communities...

In essence, the court is saying that the better off deserve quota benefits so that they can protect the interests of their respective communities. Apparently, the court does not subscribe to the belief that individuals chosen to serve in public office are supposed to serve the entire community regardless of caste, religion or other sectarian identity. Instead, it holds that individuals are understandably narrow minded and caste diversity itself is therefore a compelling state interest because when different castes are represented by their prominent, wealthy and influential members in a political body, they will ensure that the interests of their respective castes are thus protected. This view has long been held in political circles but coming from the Supreme Court, it is a first and is remarkable as much as it is shocking.

This logic stands the entire creamy layer argument on its head. Of course, the same thing could be said in education and employment too. For example, if children from wealthy and influential families are given quotas in medical courses, their parents can later also set up nursing homes or hospitals for them where they can employ other members of their caste and thus contribute more in relative terms for the upliftment of their community. Likewise, a wealthy individual with the money to set up his own enterprise which employs many others is likely to benefit more from work experience than someone without the same means who needs the job more. If this is the court's preferred route towards upliftment of the weaker sections, why not then just abolish the creamy layer there as well?

The other irony is the 'substantive equality' which the court lays great stress about. Equality, we are normally taught, is about all members of a society having the same right to something and every individual is supposed to be entitled to it without having to depend on anyone's kindness or charity. Substantive equality, as the court refers to, is about the use of affirmative measures to ensure such equality. But what the court is promoting here is not equality of any kind; rather, it is supporting the empowerment of better off members of different communities with the anticipation that their benevolence will promote the interests of weaker sections. This sounds an awful lot like feudalism where the powerful shall rule and the weak can seek refuge from them.

Finally, these better off members are under no obligation to uplift the weaker sections of their own communities. In fact, the strength of their influence may very well depend on keeping the rest of their community disempowered and dependant on their munificence. Not only can they use their power to expand their affluence but now, with the court's endorsement, they can also leverage their own caste status to capture and retain that power. Any suggestion that this move to round off the money-power-quota circle will promote broader social equality is delusional at best or casuistry at worst.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jihadists are driven less by theology than by rage against the societies: N.Ram

The stereotypical elements - poverty or indoctrination in madrasas - had no role to play in Shahzad's life. This stereotype was in N.Ram's mind. The rest of us knew jihad had more to do with an ideology. But he built his theories on this failed hypothesis. Now that his pet theory is turned on its head, he is utterly confused here. So here is the new theory from N.Ram: Jihadists are driven less by theology but by rage against the societies around them.

Political discontent, cultural dislocation and sexual anxieties are problems faced by all immigrants. Even within a country, people moving from rural areas to a city face these culture shocks. How many of them turn to terrorism? Some of them turn to crime, may be. But terrorism? Only members of a certain community seem to think of terrorism as the solution.  And these members are called jihadists because they derive their inspiration from theology which goes by a name beginning with "I" and ending in "slam". But look at how N.Ram blames the society for a holy war waged in the name of an ideology.

Further, he goes on to blame Hindu and Sikh diaspora of having a similar streak of fundamentalism. This is outrageous and totally uncalled for. What is the basis for such insinuation? The Hindu and Sikh community are a highly prosperous and well-respected diaspora and have left a positive impact on the societies. In his overeagerness to justify jihad, N.Ram seems to have crossed the
line of decency.

The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : Figuring out Shahzad
Many diasporic jihadists are driven less by theology than by rage against the societies around them. Researchers have found this rage to be made up of an inchoate mix of political discontent, cultural dislocation, and even sexual anxieties. Unfortunately, hundreds of young diaspora Indians, among them Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh, have been drawn to the diverse fundamentalisms of the homeland their parents left. The seduction of young people by extremists reflects the failure of immigrant communities and political institutions to tackle the problem at its roots.

3% of China's publications shut down

chindu better buckle up or face the axe from its handlers in China. As one reader pointed out, chindu lost about 400,000 readers. It is surviving not based on market efficiencies but by dole handed out from China.
Over 360 Chinese newspapers to be shut down -
Over 360 newspapers or periodicals in China - or 3% of the nation's total publications - would be shut down over the next three years. "We are determined to close those publications with potential insolvency
and poor development abilities," Liu Binjie, director general of the
administration, was quoted as saying Sunday by Global Times.

Rahul Gandhi slams CPI(M), chindu whimpers

The Hindu : States / Kerala : Rahul emphasises importance of internal democracy
In Kasargod, Mr. Gandhi played on sensibilities of Youth Congress workers of Malabar by criticising the Communist Party of India (Marxist). He told the Youth Congress workers to be wary of the CPI (M)’s attempts to incite violence during the local bodies’ elections and to remain steadfast on the path of peace and democracy. - Rahul Gandhi slams CPI-M for its 'politics of violence'
Taking on the CPI-M in its bastion, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today slammed it for indulging in "politics of violence" and asked Youth Congress workers not to get provoked by it ahead of civic and Assembly elections in the state.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Selective battles

The author Jagmati Sangwan does not make sweeping generalisations. She recognizes that khap panchayats are pockets of parallel administration; they do not have legal sanction; and they often act in order to establish a feudal order. So far so good. But voices of dissent consolidating under organisations like AIDWA? These communist losers live in a world of self-importance. And chindu is their go-to newspaper to publish their self-congratulatory messages. It is also interesting to see how AIDWA picks its battles.

The maoists have their parallel administration system and a not so peaceful way of dispensing justice. But did you ever hear of AIDWA speaking in support of the victims of maoist violence, unless the victims are CPM cadre as is happening in Bengal of late. The discourse is entirely different when it comes to the maoist menace. These "democratic voices" become "leading intellectuals" and champions of the poor -- the very poor who are more than happy to drive their saviours away.

The case gets curiouser when it gets to Sharia and the imposition of Islamic justice. Unlike maoist kangaroo courts, sharia has acquired legal status in Kashmir. The status of women under Sharia is well-known. I am very interested to know what AIDWA, the women's wing of CPI(M) did to fight for rights of these women oppressed under Sharia. But then I am asking for too much. The communist goons and their henchmen in chindu bully the hindus and ignore far worse crimes by the muslims and maoists.

The Hindu : Opinion / Leader Page Articles : Khap panchayat: signs of desperation?
The voices of dissent are also getting consolidated under the umbrella of organisations like the AIDWA and other democratic forces.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

SC turns soft bans polygraph, brain mapping

Perhaps the justices of the Supreme Court need a lesson in National Security.
In a major blow to investigating agencies, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held unconstitutional and violation of the ‘right to privacy' the use of narco analysis, brain-mapping and polygraph tests on accused, suspects and witnesses without their consent.

A three-Judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices R.V. Raveendran and J.M. Panchal, in a 251-page judgment, said:
“We hold that no individual should be forcibly subjected to any of the techniques in question, whether in the context of investigation in criminal cases or otherwise. Doing so would amount to an unwarranted intrusion into personal liberty.”

Saturday, May 01, 2010

cHindu criticizes aggressive Chinese development

We have been critical of cHindu for being a Chinese party organ newsletter for long. However a recent article by Ananth Krishnan has subtly stated the price of Chinese development.
The context is the dichotomous development of China with the Western provinces left out of the overall growth of the Chinese economy and how China's attempting to get the people in those region involved in the new economy. What is different is Ananth's balanced coverage of the problems faced by the farmers in the development process.
But the rapid development push is bringing with it a host of new problems too. Large-scale infrastructure projects, which the government says are crucial to development, are dislocating thousands of farmers. Rising inflation is threatening to squeeze out an ever-growing section of the populace from the benefits of growth.

Is there a financial meltdown which is about to happen in China?
But rising incomes are only one part of the development story. The massive pumping in of money may have left impressive growth statistics, but it has also left local governments with spiralling debt. To make up for the shortfall, they are swallowing up farmers' lands with increasing vigour, looking to promote expansive real estate developments to attract big industry and Chengdu's rich. Central laws limiting the acquiring of farming land are often violated, with developments loosely characterised as being “in the public interest.”

Communism is alive and well, as a mask on capitalism.