Tuesday, November 30, 2010

S.Rajendran a beneficiary in the land scam

Two striking aspects in this article by S.Rajendran:
1. The focus of the article is not about BJP's involvement in some scam. The headline calling BJP scam-struck is sounding more like an attempt to bring it on
par with Congress, which is wading from one scam to another.
2. Right through the article, S.Rajendran is suggesting a sinister motive behind BJP's investigation into corruption in the past. Alas, the spotlight is finally on the journalists and the readers are suspecting the motivations behind such articles, especially when they are written to favour the dynasty's party.
Curiously enough, one S.Rajendran, a journalist, was a beneficiary under the G category. My guess is that the CM who allotted it under his discretionary quota is not Yeddyurappa.
The Hindu : Front Page : Scam-struck BJP takes it out on Deve Gowda
Scam-struck BJP takes it out on Deve Gowda
To strike at Mr. Gowda, the government has used the ruse that it has
preferred a CID investigation, based on a High Court directive to the
Chief Secretary in a public interest litigation petition.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wikileaks Release: The Hindu Edits Out Key Parts of The Guardian's News Item

Today's lead news item in The Hindu is a verbatim reproduction of The Guardian's front page news about the Wikileaks documents. However the most substantive and interesting elements of the The Guardian's item dealing with Afghan corruption, Chinese perfidy, the Putin/Berlusconi relationship and of Saudi donors bankrolling Al Qaeda have all been removed. Here are a few paragraphs mentioned in The Guardian's item not found in The Hindu version:

  • Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government, with one cable alleging that vice-president Zia Massoud was carrying $52m in cash when he was stopped during a visit to the United Arab Emirates. Massoud denies taking money out of Afghanistan.
  • How the hacker attacks which forced Google to quit China in January were orchestrated by a senior member of the Politburo who typed his own name into the global version of the search engine and found articles criticizing him personally.
  • The extraordinarily close relationship between Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, and Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, which is causing intense US suspicion. Cables detail allegations of "lavish gifts", lucrative energy contracts and the use by Berlusconi of a "shadowy" Russian-speaking Italian go-between.
The Guardian's item reads "The cables name Saudi donors as the biggest financiers of terror groups...". The Hindu has changed that to read "The cables name countries involved in financing terror groups...". The reference to Washington's agreement with the government of Yemen to cover up the use of US aircraft to bomb Al Qaeda targets in that country has been omitted.

The omission of China and Saudi Arabia are easily explained but I am not sure about the rest.

Update: Thanks to Ananthkrishnan for clarifying on twitter that The Hindu has carried these facts (mentioned in the above post as being omitted) in its international news page. This is a link to that item taken from the New York Times.

Sidd V blasts corporate India - editorial on Radia scam

This blog has not been kind on Sidd V and we don't plan on being so anytime soon. However we do tip our hat every time there is a hard hitting post on the cHindu and it is our hope that they become the norm than the exception. So when Sidd Varadarajan hammers corporate India's ability to spin yarns on the Indian population by buying ministerships,spectrums etc. that is exactly the hard hitting article we wanted cHindu to publish a week back when the issue was hot.
In one of the tapes, an unidentified interlocutor asks Ms Radia, whose clients include both Mr. Tata and Mukesh Ambani, why “you people [i.e. the Mukesh Ambani group] are supporting [Raja] like anything ... when the younger brother [Anil Ambani] is the biggest beneficiary of the so called spectrum allocation”. “Issue bahut complex hai,” Ms Radia replies. “Mere client Tatas bhi beneficiary rahein hain (my client, the Tatas, have also been a beneficiary).”
Apart from telecom, the tapes also provide valuable insight into the gas dispute between the two Ambani brothers. This was a dispute in which Mukesh Ambani made skillful use of the “gas is a national resource” argument with a pliant media even as he used his influence with individual MPs to try and orchestrate a massive tax concession for his company from the same national resource, Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin natural gas.

The entire article strikes hard at the nexus between the various parties and companies involved to keep key players involved (or in the case of Marans excluded) to ensure certain benefits were accrued.
The key gripe here on this article is that it does not focus on the DMK infighting and involvement in the entire affair given A. Raja was the other key focal point. Lets see if there's going to be some follow up in the near future.

Interesting interview with Hurriyats Geelani on Kashmir protests

Check out an interesting interview by Nirupama Subramanian with Syed Geelani of the Kashmiri Hurriyat.
The key reason this is interesting more so from the aggressive questioning by Nirupama who does not really give way to the usual bluster shown by journalists when facing Geelani. His penchant for turning any interview into a propaganda session is quickly blunted by Nirupama to focus on the issues and puts him on the back foot. It is always difficult trying to interview a crazy zealot at his home, but Nirupama acquits herself and cHindu credibly with as incisive a session possible.
One does wish she couldv'e called out Geelani on the phony Kashmiriyat issue. But thats a topic for another discussion.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rahul Gandhi compares Modi to Mao

The charming prince compares Modi to Mao. This should automatically endear Modi to chindu, even though Rahul Gandhi called Mao "evil". But chindu just ignores it and, following in the tradition of sycophancy, gives the "cleanest" account of what transpired in Mr.Gandhi's meeting.
The Hindu : States / Other States : Rahul: Manmohan is ‘the cleanest man' in national politics
Asked about three “most honest and non-corrupt politicians” in the country, Mr. Gandhi after Mr. Singh named the Defence Minister, A.K. Antony, and the Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram.
The media was not allowed to attend any of Mr. Gandhi's meetings with the youth and student leaders held in Ahmedabad followed by similar sessions in Rajkot and Vadodara
So, lets get the original, un-scrubbed version of how the meeting went:
Rahul Gandhi compares 'evil leader' Narendra Modi with Mao - India - DNA
“Many an evil leaders have done great developmental work.” He then went on to compare Modi with Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
The interaction turned stormy when Rahul made some sharp remarks on Modi
Some of the participants of the students’ meet who were uncomfortable with criticism of Modi by Rahul then confronted him with questions about how justified was his effort to bring democracy within the Congress party, when he himself has risen to power because of dynastic politics.
Perceiving the mood of the audience, local leaders wound up the session in a hurry.
Some students also complained that the organisers snatched away mikes from them. Rahul made a swift exit without entering into a debate with the students over Modi.
The 700 students had taken their seats well before 8:30 am, but Rahul arrived only around 11:00 am, ostensibly because of a delayed flight. He addressed the students for about 40 minutes.
Most of the students were looking forward to a long interaction session with the Congress’s youth icon, but only three students could ask him question.
If you are wondering why the media was blacked out of Rahul Gandhi's interactive sessions with the youth, watch this video to get an idea:

Rahul Gandhi - Interacts with students in Darbhanga

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Setalvad caught in falsifying evidence 4 Gujarat riots

Karma is often a bitch, you reap what you sow. Setalvad and her "secular" cronies along with the Indian MSM have been trumpeting about how minorities were being hunted down and killed during the Gujarat Godhra riots following the train carrying Hindu pilgrims was burnt down.
Slowly revelations from various sources have come out about how Setalvad had falsified evidence, coerced witnesses, created and fed stories to the media.
Now comes more news about how she hacked the email accounts of one of the witnesses and fed stories.
To find out who was responsible for “manipulating” the affidavits, Mr. Pathan had reportedly requested the commission to direct the cybercrime police to retrieve his e-mail ID which, he alleged, was hacked by Ms. Setalvad. He claimed that he used to receive the “fabricated affidavits” of various witnesses from Ms. Setalvad, of which he took copies and submitted before the courts and commission.

Not only did she hack the accounts but paid off witnesses,
Mr. Pathan also alleged that Ms. Setalvad was trying to manipulate witnesses through use of money. As in-charge of CJP operations in Ahmedabad since 2002, he had been responsible for disbursing funds received by the CJP from various agencies for the benefit of the riot victims. But, he claimed, Ms. Setalvad gave priority to the witnesses rather than to the victims in payments. According to his affidavit, Ms. Setalvad paid Rs. 50,000- Rs. 1 lakh per witness, while the victims were paid only Rs. 5,000 each.

Of course some credit to cHindu for covering the incident, but where's Sidd V now? He who was shouting from the rooftops about how minorities were targeted based on stories he heard from people like Setalvad. Where is the humble response that he might be wrong? I'm not going to wait for that to happen.
However interestingly, it appears that Setalvad might've been separated at birth from another pompous person in the film industry, choreographer/director Farah Khan.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to spin Bihar results 101 by LiC

This is for anyone who thinks LiC has integrity, though being a biased journalist.
How does anyone honorable tip their hat if the group they ideologically support has been beaten, thrashed beyond the point of recognition in an election?
That's not the approach cHindu and its "fearless" leader LiC take when Nitish Kumar lead NDA alliance swept the Bihar polls. The margins of victory in all regions of the state across all communities was a surprise to most pundits. LiC however presents a biased view painting Nitish Kumar as some sort of "secular" hero of the masses.
In the place of the casteist vote-bank politics of Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal, he offered the people a new vision, the hope of economic growth and sustained development. Chief Minister Kumar spent the last five years trying to steer towards development one of India's most socio-economically backward States. At the end of his first term, he could report success in building infrastructure facilities, investing in school education, boosting medical care in rural areas, and cracking down on crime. For the people of Bihar, who endured 15 years of stagnation and deterioration of law and order under Lalu-Rabri rule, this was a welcome change. Not surprisingly, the 2010 election saw renewed voter interest, and a surge in the participation of women voters. Mr. Kumar not only cut into the support base of his political rivals; he also seems to have won over sections of the hitherto politically indifferent.

Of course managing the victory without taking potshots at the BJP was irresistible.
But the BJP, with its deeply divisive agenda, could also have been a serious electoral handicap. Mr. Kumar shrewdly kept his distance from controversial BJP leaders without damaging the alliance.

Any responsible journalist would have kept the focus on responsible governance and the failings of Lalu and company. Or for that matter the "leadership" shown by Rahul Gandhi and the Congress who were nearly wiped out in the state. But LiC chooses to gloss over these facts. Its sad that someone so experienced chooses ideology over ethics time and again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rasheeda Bhagat of The Business Line exposes media hypocrisy

During the whole #barkhagate or 2G scandal or Nira Radia imbroglio the Indian media has played it incredibly safe. Not wanting to move an inch against the key media members involved, most of the journalists perhaps held by some 'Omerta' or honor code or intimidation by higher powers have stone walled.
However in what is really a landmark initiative shown by vigilant citizens leveraging the power of social networking tools - Blogs, Tweets etc. have forced the media to cover this issue.
Props have to go to cHindu's Rasheeda Bhagat who writes for the the Business Line exposes the media hypocrisy in this article - Those living in glass houses….

Our TV channel debates are infamous for their high decibel levels and, on some channels, the anchors out-shout everybody else on the show. But all these channels, their anchors and expert commentators have gone into silent mode since the Radia tapes have aired in public the participation of some top-notch media personalities in animated conversations pertaining to the formation of the UPA-II government. The main hitch then, it may be recalled, pertained to the DMK demanding more than what the Congress was willing to offer. There were also issues pertaining to internal wrangles within the first family of the Dravidian party.

The entire article is written with a brutal honesty one looks for cHindu to provide. By giving more credit to Rasheeda here we would be praising someone for sticking up to their journalistic ethics which is wrong.
But it deserves to be recognized when her peers have chosen silence to exposing the truth.

Monday, November 22, 2010

cHindu-NDTV silence on barkhagate- Friends with benefits

Hat tip to KVSarma for identifying this unholy alliance and appropriately coining the phrase FWB.
The rooted silence on the barkhagate scandal, stoic defense of A.Raja, denial of any existence of Nira Radia, all leads to one question why? Simple answer the cHindu NDTV alliance. Its akin to 'Honor among thieves'. NDTV is the media "Godfather" and has collected many chips and its collecting them by means of total blackout (barring few non-consequential discussions) into this issue. In all likelihood it will provide some information to the JPC or whatever committee and in return be promised some minor slap in the wrist (no impacts to Government advertising).

Alternative Theory by Pilid (Which I have shamelessly copied from the comments)
The alternative explanation for cHindu's silence is the involvement of senior DMK figures. Perhaps it is some of both. Also senior folks in The Hindu have themselves acted as "conduits of information"; in fact Malini Parthasarathy defended accused journos on twitter on this ground. So the sympathy is understandable not to mention accusations would have amounted to the pot calling the kettle black. Also, the censorship is not unusual for The Hindu; most other major media outlets have not carried the item either. So the explanation for silence may lie in their loyalty to the broader fraternity of powerbroker/journalists.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Arundhati Roy refuses to apologize for her support to Kashmir jihadists

In what comes as no surprise as a reaction to the Sangh opposition to her comments, Arundhati Roy continues her quest to support the jihadist agenda of the Kashmiri separatists.
I have never said anything which I have not thought about,” Ms. Roy told journalists after attending a meeting on ‘Cultural resistance to war on people in corporate interest.They [Sangh Parivar activists] have rights to protest, and I have rights to speak and write.

Of course cHindu reports the whole article as though the Sangh activists were creating trouble at a peaceful meeting ignoring the larger context of Ms. Roy's statements. But who ever accused cHindu of being a fair newspaper?

In another article the "peaceful" leader of Sri Lanka again claims to look forward to growth and peace. He asks people to forget the past stating:
They must help us not to widen the gap between the communities but to bring them closer. The past is past; you don't dig into the wounds. We must think positively, not negatively.

CNN 2010 Hero of the year named

In a time of greedy politicians, irresponsible members of the media it is heartening to see there are people who are serving fellow human beings. Anuradha Koirala who leads an effort to fight human trafficking (Maiti Nepal) was from chosen among 10 heroes as the CNN 2010 Hero of the year. It is indeed a worthy cause to be supported.
There was a sizable online support by various sites for Narayanan Krishnan of Madurai who,
brings hot meals and dignity to India's homeless and destitute -- 365 days per year -- through his nonprofit Akshaya Trust. Since 2002, he has served more than 1.2 million meals.

If you want to get involved, check out the Akshaya Trust website and see how to help.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blame the process not Raja - LiC

Hat tip to reader Balaji for pointing this out.
If you read any cHindu article or editorial you will find some editorializing going on. Even if say a dog bit a old woman Bangalore, cHindu would probably tie it to the BJP government's lack of social responsibility. However in the case of what appears to be one of the biggest scandals in Indian Parliament history cHindu has staunchly supported the DMK and A.Raja ('A' standing for acidic, acerbic?)
Now LiC from his perch in Anna Salai comes out and blames the process of allotting the spectrum as the culprit and not any one individual. Its a bit like blaming the German judicial system for the Holocaust and not Hitler. Or Indian Army for losing the Indo-Chinese war of 1962 and not Nehru. It sets a wrong precedent
of future allotment of blame in such scandals.
The integrity of the process always determines the quality of the product that comes out of it. If a process is wrong, the product seldom turns out right. It is now a common conclusion that the procedure for the allocation of spectrum in 2007-08 for the second generation (2G) telecom services was flawed, and grossly so. When there were many more aspirants for the licences than there was frequency spectrum, and an auction should have been the obvious method to decide on the winners, the licences were handed out instead in a non-transparent, first-come-first-served basis and at a low price set seven years earlier.

Hindsight is indeed 20-20. Where is the issue of incompetence of A.Raja and his steadfast refusal to resign?
Or for that matter the kickbacks he received?
The Manmohan Singh government has no option but to take serious note of the glaring non-performance by these companies. Perhaps it was inevitable they would fail, because as the CAG discovered, many of these companies did not have any experience in telecommunications. Revoking their licences would therefore be a rational and appropriate response.

If this is a cover-up article aimed at fooling the reading public of cHindu, then LiC better start packing his desk.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CAG report on 2G scam lacks rationality

When was the last time a politician confessed to a crime? Why is N.Ram so keen to mention that A.Raja has denied any wrongdoing? If it is not obvious enough, N.Ram states that A.Raja has only followed a well-established policy. N.Ram has effectively passed the not-guilty verdict on A.Raja.
The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : Heed the call
While denying any wrongdoing, he has insisted that he was persisting with a well-established policy in handing out 2G spectrum on a first-come first-served basis, instead of taking the auction route. This is no doubt true but serious questions relating to procedural irregularities and revenue losses remain.
As if this wasn't enough, N.Ram now resorts to veiled attacks. The letters question CAG's intentions and some others conclude  that if A.Raja is wrong, then we are all wrong.
The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India's observation of presumptive loss allegedly caused by the irregularities in the allocation of 2G Spectrum in 2008 lacks rationality. It has resulted only in sensationalism. One wonders whether the CAG can review government policies.
The CAG report is based on perception and forecast with a lot of ‘if's and ‘but's.
Can we take action against the Food Minister for foodgrains rotting in government warehouses?
If A. Raja is to be punished for causing a great loss to the exchequer, the Finance Minister, the Petroleum Minister, and all other Ministers should take responsibility for the policies that cause losses to the exchequer and resign.
They give rise to doubts that some sections of the media, controlled by the upper class, are bent on maligning even Cabinet Ministers on the basis of their caste.
I would have thought the reference to caste prejudices was uncalled for.

As Kanchan Gupta said, most scams are in the order of crores but A.Raja's scam is in percentage of GDP. A. Surya Prakash said that 1.76 lakh crores is the price Manmohan Singh has made us pay just so that he may remain in office. And what do we hear?: "Dr. Singh comes across as a leader whose integrity cannot be suspected."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Krishna links Kashmir to Tibet and Taiwan

Finally an Indian minister (SM Krishna) tells the Chinese that if they increase their interference in Jammu and Kashmir, India would raise its voice on Tibet and Taiwan.
Drawing a dramatic parallel between the territorial red lines of both countries, India on Sunday told China that just as New Delhi had been sensitive to its concerns over the Tibet Autonomous Region and Taiwan, Beijing too should be mindful of Indian sensitivities on Jammu and Kashmir.

Having followed our foreign policy which has been pitiful in recent years, this is a welcome change that someone has grown a pair and tells China to mind its business.

Comparing Suu Kyi and Benazir

Some wise person said, "History is written by the winners". cHindu proves that a very insane short sighted media in the modern age is redefining how history is being written. Nirupama Subramanian in her piece Two daughters of the East, their different flight paths details a weird comparison of Nobel winner Suu Kyi and former Pak PM Benazir.
The larger context is vague, since anyone could make a comparison between two people like for example George Bush with Abraham Lincoln or Nehru with Lee Kuan Yew and so on. This article intends no disrespect to the dead but one should look at facts.
Nirupama has portrayed a very favorable impression of Benazir as a leader who tried to transform Pakistan into a vibrant democracy belied by the Army. She seeks to conveniently forget that this is the same Benazir who ordered the support for Kashmir militancy and increased funding to the ISI and growth of the Taliban in the 90s. Or the fact that her husband and current PM Zardari, has by most accounts, been the alleged lynchpin of corruption in the Pakistani Government (think his nickname was Mr. Ten Percent or something).
The expectation was that she and Gen. Musharraf would rule Pakistan together, she as the Prime Minister and he as President. That would have eased the world's conscience as it supported a military ruler seen by the West as essential to its plans in the region. He had become extremely unpopular in Pakistan but Benazir's democratic credentials were to come to his and the world's rescue.

Whats next Nirupama, comparing Rahul with Obama?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hypocrisy on freedom of speech

Let us look at 2 recent examples, one where a person lambasts an entire nation and another where a person questions the allegiance of one person. Guess where there has been a debate on freedom of speech?
There is very little equanimity in these cases. Sonia Gandhi has been an extra constitutional authority and has wielded significant influence over the nation's largest party without ever being honest about her past or current. Hell she has not even been open with the media, rarely giving interviews.
I understand the significance of libel, but when the media is acting irresponsibly capitulating on the Congress' holier than thou attitude it is incredibly annoying.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Different monkey same tune- cHindu presents Atul Aneja

Just when one thought all the tunes of the Obama visit were played and completed on the cHindu, starting with the US bashing, Indian servitude and moving on to cautious optimism but balanced support for China, Atul Aneja comes along and plays cHindu's longstanding view on the war on terror.
Theme 1:
cHinduism - War on terror is an imaginary war as there are no terrorists in the world.
While the two foiled plots out ofYemen are counted by many in the West as battles won, victory in the war on terror is nowhere on the horizon. On the contrary, the tactics in the counter-terror campaign are alienating and radicalising many Muslims across the globe, especially in West Asia and Europe.

Perhaps the author is not aware of the "peace" camps organized by LeT, Taliban, Al Qaeda across the border.
Theme 2:
cHinduism - America is the existential cause of terror.
Terrorism breeds on hatred of the American. Unless the animosity towards the U.S. is diminished, the threat of a grandiose and carefully planned terror strike that will sow fear and rage in the collective western psyche and further polarise a deeply divided globe cannot be ruled out.

Perhaps Atul should read terror plots and attacks in nations like India, Russia, England, Pakistan...
Theme 3:
cHinduism - America is still evil, but Barack Obama can magically create peace between the Islamic world and the radical America and its friends the Jewish nation of Israel.
Obama may have no choice but boldly re-engaging with West Asia, irrespective of the sweeping resistance he encounters from mainstream Israel and its neoconservative and Christian-Right allies in the U.S., who are so inextricably tied to the highly partisan but emboldened Republican Party.

Theme 4:
cHinduism - Muslims are driven to terror by America's wars and have no hate otherwise.
..his (Obama's) will not be easy to accomplish, as the psyche of the people in the region is still traumatised by the images of torture in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, and the horror stories emerging out of the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay.

After so many years again the same BS of fragile Muslim psyche driving them into terror is ridiculous. Why are we not seeing so many other people driven to violent behaviors attacking unrelated folks? Similarly the rabid support (by cHindu) of the radical nation of Iran which has demonstrated irresponsibly setting up a clandestine nuclear weapons program shows the hypocrisy of LiC and his cohorts.
Similarly the blind support for the terrorist groups of Palestine shows cHindu's bias towards Islamic terrorist networks who don't have any peaceful intentions.
Thus with great pomp, I hereby declare Atul Aneja for the Jackass of the week.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Koenraad Elst rebuts Guha's assertions on Ayodhya and others

Interesting article on how Koenraad Elst rebuts Guha's assertions on Ayodhya and others.
Guha's point being:
“At the height of the Ayodhya movement, the Sangh Parivar circulated, at vast expense, the writings of an obscure Belgian ex-priest which claimed that Hindus had been victimised for thousands of years by Muslims and Christians, and that destroying a mosque, building a temple in its place, and sacrificing thousands of (mostly innocent) lives along the way was the only way that this cumulative historical injustice could be avenged. This ex-priest had little training as a historian, and even less credibility. But unlike the other similarly untrained ideologues of the Hindu Right, his citizenship was not Indian, but Belgian. The hope was that the colour of his skin would trump the shallowness of his arguments.”

And Elst's response;
As for the colour of my skin, it is his own school that has been using its white connections for decades as an implicit argument of authority. It seems that white people on average are quite silly, for most of them have lapped up the version of Indian history propagated by India’s “eminent historians” whose eminence results from their toeing the hegemonic party-line rather than from a respect for the data in the primary sources. Anyone with normal intelligence regardless of skin colour can sort out their distortions by using proper historical method.
In the meantime, my position has been endorsed by the Allahabad High Court, the one reasonably impartisan institution that has held both argumentations against the light. After availing itself of the best archaeological expertise, it has ruled in favour of the old consensus, upheld until 1989 by all sources but denied since then by Guha’s circles, viz. that Ayodhya is indeed a case of Hindu victimization by Muslims through the imposition of a mosque on a Hindu sacred site in forcible replacement of a temple.

Its a very interesting dialogue to be followed. Do check it out and follow Koenraad's blog as well.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Coverage of Nobel Winner Liu Xiabo by Ananth Krishnan

Recently I was provided a few links detailing the coverage of Nobel Winner Liu Xiabo by Ananth Krishnan.

The last article is particularly noteworthy since Ananth provides a balanced coverage of both sides views on the issue and the plight of the Nobel prize winner.
Friday’s statement from the Norwegian Nobel Committee called on China to guarantee freedom of expression and human rights. While China had achieved economic advances without equal in history, and also broadened political participation, its "new status must entail increased responsibility", the statement said.

"Article 35 of China's constitution lays down that “Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration"," it added. "In practice, these freedoms have proved to be distinctly curtailed for China’s citizens."

One looks forward for more articles to be published in The Hindu and in particular by Ananth who has a unique position in being able to be on site to provide such viewpoints.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Haunted by Nehru

"(India was offered a permanent seat on the council 55 years ago, in 1955. But that offer, made by the U.S. and the Soviet Union, was declined by India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Nerhu said the seat should be given to China instead.)"

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Valuable news item of the day

This was reported in cHindu today.
An unidentified man on Saturday jumped into the sea from the Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge after throwing a suspicious object into the water, police said.

Talk about accurate news reporting.

Pompous braggart Siddarth Varadarajan is a US Citizen

Lookee here, the pompous braggart Siddharth Varadarajan with the cHindu who is always advising India to be vary of the "big bad wolf" US, but can be friends with "peaceful" Pakistan or "friendly" China (excuse my quotatations here, I'm following Sidd's journalistic style) is a US Citizen.
As per the Indian Press Information Bureau is:
The Press Information Bureau (PIB) is the nodal agency of the Government of India to disseminate information to the print and electronic media on government policies, programmes, initiatives and achievements. It functions as an interface between the Government and the media and also serves to provide feedback to the Government on people�s reaction as reflected in the media.

It has a news release which was pointed to us by an Anonymous contributor to this blog some time back --> http://pib.nic.in/rchieve/others/2008/dec/namewise.pdf.
This states that Mr. Varadarajan is a US Citizen.

Sitting on top of an ivory tower and spouting advice to the natives is apparently an easy job.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fear mongering and excessive quotations

Maybe Siddharth Varadarajan got dumped by a supermodel once, or perhaps dropped on his head as a baby. It might seek to explain his tactless rantings against the US moving towards closer relations with India. The whole article A partnership built on flawed assumptions is written like a movie on self loathing. The principal hero being an up and comer is approached by a out of his league girl and rather than build a relationship with the girl (knowing her motives and furthering his), he would try double guessing the principles of the girl. Not to mention the comic buddy who tries to point at the girl's flaws to make him fall for his ugly sister instead.
The U.S. sees the macro growth data and has a fair idea of where India will be in economic terms two decades from now. It sees the rise and wants to get in at the ground floor. This was the meaning behind the gratuitous promise, made during the presidency of George W. Bush, of helping India emerge as a world power.

Abysmal writing style
Anyone reading Sidd V's writing style knows that he's the master of using unnecessary super grandiloquent invectives akin to using a samurai sword where a butter knife would suffice. Now he adds a new tool to the arsenal, the super quotations. Believing that an article would have more depth if it had the needed sarcasm, almost every punch line has a couple of sarcastic adjectives. For example in this article,

For all its appeals to “shared values” like democracy as a counter to China
the development of capitalism in India than in the rest of the “free world”.
But India is not in need of that “help”.
They are also upset with India's reluctance to sign “foundational” defence
One test of the Indo-U.S. “strategic partnership” will be if it is able to survive an Indian refusal
While the “unreliability” of the Americans is not in dispute

You would have thought that anyone with a modicum of understanding of journalism would have the sense to temper the theme of the article without dousing it completely in unnecessary demarcated sarcasm where subtlety would've been effective.
So we award Sidd V the "Glorious writer of the week" award here.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Happy Diwali to our fellow bloggers and contributors

We wish our fellow bloggers and contributors to this blog (i.e. our readers who often give us the inspiration and insight I sometimes blatantly plagiarize :)) a very happy Diwali.
May the light of Diwali diminish the darkness of Indian media creeping on India.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Celebrating birthdays - super legal mind Krishna Iyer turns 95

I knew cHindu's favorite legal mind, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer was old.
But until CodeNameV pointed out, I did not know he was 95 years old.
His birthday was celebrated by a bunch of his legal cronies and chelas:
The birthday was celebrated by the Sarada Krishna Satgamaya Foundation for Law and Justice, named after Justice Iyer's wife who died several years ago, by launching the Justice Krishna Iyer lecture series at a public ceremony. The series was inaugurated by Chief Justice of India Sarosh Homi Kapadia. Justice Kapadia, who called Justice Iyer a ‘great son of India,' said he had never dreamt that he would one day be sitting with Justice Iyer.

If the Chief Justice speaks such rubbish one can only be scared of the verdicts he delivers on a daily basis. Sadly the article does not provide us any "enlightening" thoughts from the birthday boy ;)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

MKB on India-U.S. ties

M.K.Bhadrakumar showed more than keen interest in espousing China's cause on the pages of People's Daily of China. He plays the same tune while evaluating India-U.S. ties. Funnily enough, he doesn't realise he is playing up the imaginary threat of U.S. And he blames the pundits for not downplaying the near and imminent threat to India from China.
The Hindu : Opinion / Leader Page Articles : Time for reset of India-U.S. ties
China already figures in the U.S. cross hairs and India needs to carefully figure out when its turn might come.
The lobby of American arms manufacturers played up China's growing
diplomatic and military clout and the angst of our pundits poured out on
newspaper columns.

The liberal democracy of Saudi Arabia's new workplace rules

There are few nations which seldom disappoint in ensuring that their standing in the nations around are kept high (or in the abyss in this case).
Saudi Arabia in this case shows its fervent stand in ensuring workplace equality between men and women is imposed strictly per the law. Only that in this case, the law or Sharia states that women should not be allowed to work with men.
The official fatwa issuing body said “it is not permissible for a woman to work in a place where they mix with men,” said the news website Sabq.org.
“It is necessary to keep away from places where men congregate.
Women should look for decent work that does not make it possible for them to attract men or be attracted by men,” it said.The ruling was unambiguous, and signed by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, head of the Senior Scholars Council, and six other members of the fatwa committee.

Waiting for cHindu and progressive leader N.Ram to come up with an editorial praising the religion of peace.