Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kashmir's economic dependence and trust deficit

The Hindu : Opinion / Leader Page Articles : Kashmir: youth bulge, peace deficit
foundations of an abiding peace will be laid not by words but sickles
and hammers; in farms and factories; by concrete and steel.
This is the kind of rotten justifications the sickle and hammer needs. On second thought, it might not be a bad idea to scrap article 370, pack all the communists and settle them in Kashmir so they can plant the sickle and hammer.

Praveen Swami bases his argument on the dependency ratio and economic opportunities. In 1987, Srinagar and Sopore had higher than normal dependency ratio. Without access to more detailed statistics, I can hazard a guess here. Such short-term, local imbalances can be expected. And Srinagar and Sopore are not the only places where it ever occurred. In other words, taken over a longer period of time and geography, Kashmir is not different from the rest of the country, which interestingly is reaping it as a geographic dividend. As it is often said, there are lies and bigger lies and then there is statistics. Praveen Swami is choosing his data for statistical analysis carefully.

Secondly, there is the other important aspect of what Praveen Swami is trying to hide from the readers. Kashmir is more prosperous than the rest of the country and it is bleeding India dry. It is time to ask, apart from terrorism what has been Kashmir's contribution to India. This is the time to stop appeasement of a violent minority.
J&K's dependency on Centre alarming - India - The Times of India
In 2009-10, J&K received Rs 13,252 crore as grants from the Centre, which constitutes nearly 60% of the state's total expenditure. In fact, for the past two decades since the separatist movement spread in the Kashmir valley, the centre has been propping up the state through similar doles. In all, J&K has received grants amounting to Rs 94,409 crore between 1989-90 and 2009-10.

For over a decade, from 1994-95 to 2005-06, the state received 10-12% of all grants disbursed by the central government to the states. In 2009-10, this proportion had dipped slightly to about 8%. This is way above J&K's share of India's population, which is a mere 1%.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Varadarajan's Questionable Nuclear Liability Claims about South Korea and Hungary

With the report of the Parliamentary standing committee recommending a change to the controversial clause 17(b) of the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill (my thoughts on the committee report can be read here), Siddharth Varadarajan has already fired his opening salvo against it today in this so-called news item. I say so-called because the author's sentiment comes across plainly in the text.

I have explained the issues with this provision in earlier posts (see here, here and here) and will not repeat them here. In support of his view that India ought to have retained that provision, he claims that "Globally, South Korea and Hungary provide the operators with a right of recourse against the suppliers in the event of gross negligence, regardless of whether or not the contract provides for it or not." As far as I know, this is simply not true - in my previous post, I had explained the position taken by the South Korean law which allows the contractual arrangement between the parties to prevail over the default position laid down by the enactment. Hungary is a signatory to the Vienna convention which explicitly limits the operator's right to recourse (under article X) if expressly provided by contract or the incident resulted from the act or omission done with intent to cause damage, i.e. in other words, provisions equivalent to cl.17(a) and cl.17(c) in the Indian bill.

Another Independence Day for our enslaved media

Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi get the credit for their leadership; the congress and the government, although under the same leadership, gets blame for corruption and ills. The disclaimer about the reputation of Manmohan and Sonia, who are lording over the rot, being intact is and indication of the extent of sycophancy.

Another Independence day has come and gone but these journalists can't seem to liberate their enslaved minds. They wonder at allegations related to CWG but can't come to terms with the level of corruption in their minds.

The Hindu : Today's Paper / OPINION : A Peepli Live Independence Day
The UPA-I's biggest asset was its leadership. Dr. Singh and Sonia Gandhi stood for decency in public life. Their reputations are still intact but a discomfiting odour has come to surround the government and the party they run. And there is a cocky arrogance about both. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the way the Congress and the government have brazened out allegations of corruption in the Commonwealth Games.

The Prime Minister has intervened at a time when it is common knowledge that thousands of crores have already gone into the bottomless CWG pit.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Fall of communism in China

How do autocratic countries collapse? History has always shown that the guiding principle of autocracy to subdue alternative philosophies and remove influential thinkers fails in the long run with the various subdued groups taking power often with violent force. China is currently in the same situation. The rabid growth of Islam and the underground churches sprouting like mushrooms have left the Government fighting to put down these groups. cHindu in this series by Ananth Krishnan attempts to do a circus act detailing the problems faced (or created) by the Uighur Muslims while detailing the opposition (help) provided by the Communist Govt.
The Chinese government has, however, blamed exiled separatist groups — as well as some local religious leaders — for fomenting the recent unrest. It has since launched a campaign against “the three evils” — terrorism, separatism and religious extremism. Xinjiang's mosques — and its worshippers — are now on the government's radar.

As usual the Uighurs blame the Government for all their ills, as usual for not giving them money or development priority and preventing them from practicing (spreading or violently converting) their religion.
The riots, Uighurs say, were the result of years of simmering tension between the two groups, exacerbated by what they see as Beijing's flawed developmental policies. The increasing migration of Hans has stirred local resentment; so have recent restrictions on local mosques. Uighur unemployment is on the rise, as is the income disparity between the two groups.

It will be interesting for India to see its neighbor China collapse slowly but surely and plan for the repecussions of what might happen in the future.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

cHindu's new Kashmir analysis

A writer known as "Maa-loony" analyzes the Kashmir situation and provides her analysis in this Leader page article.
As usual she starts off on the wrong foot by blaming the security forces for the problem.
Heartrending spectacles of teenage boys defiantly hurling rocks at the police and paramilitary personnel and of mothers weeping besides the bodies of loved ones killed in the indiscriminate firing by the security forces, playing out daily on television screens nationwide, have jolted us out of our collective complacence as regards Kashmir.

Her analysis clearly paints this as a political issue and absolves the Kashmiris of all blame.
The protesters on the streets, apart from the teenagers, are educated doctors and MBAs, frustrated at the lack of employment and economic opportunities. It is not hard to see where the frustration of the educated Kashmiri youth comes from. On the one hand, they are told that they are Indian citizens but they are shut out of the narrative of India as an emerging economic power.

What she fails to realize is the intervention of our friendly neighbor Pak's role in this whole brouhaha as evinced by the WikiLeaks episode in their interests in controlling the region through support of terror groups. Her asinine repetition of Indi-Paki bhai bhai statement shows cHindu's Paki sycophancy and treasonous position on international affairs.
The moral authority of India's actions in the Kashmir valley will be strengthened by a demonstrable willingness to work with Pakistan to find a permanent solution to the dispute over its status. It will help in large measure to heal the wounds and the angst of the Kashmiri people who feel they are hostages to a larger geopolitical wrangling.