Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to All

On behalf of the blog, I wish all our readers, my co-bloggers and contributors a very happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year. May it bring new enthusiasm to sustain and foster our role as media watchdogs in 2011.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beijing intellectuals enraptured by a neocon philosopher?

While the Congress plenary makes for a page 3 spectacle by parading one 'Category 5' moron after other on its runway, it's worthwhile to focus back at the real world. Columbia University professor, Mark Lilla, has an article on the strange fascination of Chinese intellectuals for the ideas of the German-Jewish philosopher Leo Strauss. Strauss's most influential idea perhaps is the constitution of a pool of elites who can help guide the society towards its own general good. While the article is for subscribers only, you can read it fully here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Comrade Yechury has a new stand up routine

Sometimes I wonder how Comrades Karat (Prakash and Brinda) and Yechury manage to speak such rubbish when they are supposed to be the educated bunch. Hearing rubbish from riff raff like Digvijay Singh or Lalu or Rajnath Singh is one thing. But this is hilarious,
Replying to a student's question as to whether China was free from the clutches of crony capitalism given the market-oriented socialist system adopted by it, Mr. Yechury said China was “extremely strict” against such practices and handed out “deterrent punishment” to detected offenders.

Guess Comrade thinks China is the left wing paradise where crony capitalism doesn't exist. Either he is incredibly stupid or thinks anyone listening to this BS is.
Mr. Yechury also said that there “may be failings” in Left Front-ruled States of West Bengal and Kerala since the “prevalent system [bred] in-house corruption and nepotism”, but added that “there [was] always an endeavour to rectify it as the party has zero-tolerance towards such practices”.

Yup and Rome was built in a day.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Some interesting reads in the Friday Review

Of most cHindu supplements I have found the Friday Review to be a decent read. A potpourri of articles covering various facets of arts and culture from Music to Dance to religious pursuits.
In particular two articles one about the dying style of classical dancing called Vilasini Natyam.
And the other about a analysis of a discourse on Azhwar literature with Velukkudi Krishnan were noteworthy in content.
Sadly though its the case of a great dessert with a shabby meal with the cHindu and its supplements.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wen cHindu celebrated

The arrival of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on his second state visit to India on Wednesday is akin to a return for 'Lord Ram' from the forests (or just King Ram for the rationalist morons) for the people of cHindu.
Even if a single accord worth Rs.10 is signed one can expect a huge hullabaloo from the LiC and his minions on how this turns the relations between the two countries and presumptuously world domination.
Already Sidd V has started the opening act of getting the readers ready for the onslaught by putting out a piece Time to reset the India-China relationship.
As usual Sidd V blames Indian politicians and military commanders for questioning the Chinese authority (how dare they!)
But the stridency of its assertions — especially its objections to Indian leaders visiting the north-eastern State — took the Indian side by surprise. On their part, some Indian military commanders muddied the waters by making irresponsible public pronouncements which have fuelled both the jingoism and insecurity of a hyper-nationalist media and middle class. The suggestion made on background by some Indian officials that China's claims to the whole of Arunachal Pradesh violated the “political principles and parameters” governing the boundary settlement agreed to by both sides (because of the reference there to due regard being paid to the wishes of settled populations) may also have pushed Beijing into a more assertive mode.

Currently Sidd V is the leader in this week's Jackass of the week award (to be published shortly).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

cHindu proves "Paid news" in Indian Media

This article proves how "Paid news" exists in Indian media. cHindu exposes how a large media corporation was "paid" by a particular country to write a favorable editorial on it. Read and weep.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

N.Ram ignores Nobel peace prize but readers upset

While we are yet to hear from N.Ram on the Nobel Peace prize, there is a general outpouring in the letters condemning the West! The main complaint is that these awards are given to dissidents. To counter this trend, China has introduced the Confucius award this year. It will be given to party loyalists. It is a different matter that this year's winner did not bother to turn up at the ceremony. N.Ram must be a prime contender for next year's award.
The Hindu : Opinion / Letters to the Editor : Nobel Peace
The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace for his “non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet,” which amounts to treason in China. Henry Kissinger got his Peace Nobel for his efforts to end the war in Vietnam which, in fact, was a classic case of making a virtue of necessity. The U.S. could have never won the war in Vietnam. China is justified when it says the Nobel Peace Prize has been reduced to serve as the human rights stick by a few western nations to meddle in other countries' internal affairs.

Descent of India into Oligarchy

For all his failings in the 2G Radia scandal, Vir Sanghvi hit the nail on the head when he said:
how the public will not stand for resources being cornered, how we're creating a new list of oligarchs

India descends into Oligarchy
Let us look at all our media barons, mining giants etc. A small fraction of industrialists with the help of politicians, a blind eye from the judiciary and not tacit assistance from the media have cornered the nations resources and ergo its wealth for their own personal piggy banks.
What is the difference between India and Russia then?
Probably the fact that a small fraction of the population is enabled in India to work on the technology, banking and automobile sectors. But its much closer than we think.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

cHindu continues on its anti-semetic tirade

Of the themes continuously carpred by LiC and his minions one theme consistently stands out that is the tirade against anything Israel or Jewish. In that series, LiC rants against Israel's ability to manipulate the US to get aid and weapons but not give Palestine terrorists their state.
In consequence, the talks that began with three meetings between Mr. Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in September are indefinitely stalled. The Palestinians are refusing to engage in further direct talks unless construction is halted; and Mr. Abbas is threatening to dissolve the Authority if an agreement for Palestinian statehood cannot be reached.Mr. Netanyahu will not be troubled by the stalemate or by criticism that he cannot control his Cabinet. That his Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, wants Israeli Arabs — about 20 per cent of Israel's population — compulsorily transferred to any future Palestinian state makes it easy for him to claim that his hands are tied.

The ridiculous nature of cHindu's rants are clearly exposed by reading any objective analysis of the situation which clearly puts equal blame on the Palestinian terrorist groups which pose as their voices which threaten a genocide that is tacitly supported by Iran (another cHindu favorite) who has been clearly exposed to be building nuclear weapons (wikileaks). But that's an angle cHindu will not touch. Hypocrites to the bone.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Deafening Silence on India's attendance at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony

While most of our criticisms of The Hindu are normally about items in the paper, sometimes it is worth commenting on something that does not find mention in it. I refer, of course, to the paper's deafening silence on the question of India's attendance of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony this year to dissident activist Liu Xiaobo in the face of China's call asking countries to boycott it. Several newspapers across the country have called upon the government to grow a spine, ignore the call and go ahead with its attendance. This publication which is usually at the forefront of providing unsolicited advice to the government in foreign affairs particularly where it concerns relations with the United States has been sitting it out editorially on this question. Even the op-ed columns have not mentioned anything about the matter. It is quite remarkable that a paper which regularly dishes out shrill rhetoric about the need for India to pursue an "independent" foreign policy and not back down before American pressure has chosen to stay quiet when the country is facing real pressure from a certain other powerful nation. No guesses why that might be so but I would still like to hear what the folks at the paper have to say.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Senile monkey Mu Ka blathers on Raja

If there's any doubt about Mu Ka (CM of TN) senility, it was removed with his statement Action against Raja if charges are proved .
The DMK believes that he has not committed any mistake. We are not prepared to abandon him until the charges against him are proved

Guess he wants an iron clad written document viewed and notarized and video taped with proof of blood sample witnessed by 3 reputable people (none from AIADMK). Where's LiC to make a statement on this ridiculous BS from Mu Ka?

Vidya on Radia tapes

Easily one of the best articles written by her, Vidya Subrahmaniam demonstrates that she has the ability. I am not going to pick any particular sentence to highlight. I strongly urge you to read the article in full.

And to Vidya and the brigade at chindu, I hope you realize that you are committing the grassroots media version of the same mistake.
The Hindu : Opinion / Leader Page Articles : The cosy world behind the tapes

Launching who the @#$% cares series

Often cHindu is guilty of publishing obscure articles which add no value of news or importance to 99.999% of its readers (you might make a case that every editorial is, but thats a different argument).
So to start of with who the @#$% cares here's the first article -
Chinese research ship embarks on year-long global voyage
I'm looking for your suggestions and hope to make this a quasi-regular post series.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Chellaney names corruption as security threat no.1

This is really a thought provoking article by Brahma Chellaney - Perils of becoming a republic of scandals
Corruption, No. 1 national security threat, is eating into the vitals of the state, enfeebling internal security and crimping foreign policy. India confronts several pressing national security threats. But only one of them — political corruption — poses an existential threat to the state, which in reality has degenerated into a republic of mega-scandals.

We will analyze and post our thoughts, in the meanwhile we will look to your thoughts on this.

Narayan Lakshman details links between Commies and Jihadists

Interesting article on cHindu on "China blocked U.N. sanctions against terror group at Pakistan's behest" as released by Wikileaks.

Until the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008, China, “at the behest of Pakistan,” blocked the United Nations Security Council from listing Jamaat-ud-Dawa, widely acknowledged as a front for the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, under the UNSC Resolution 1267. LeT has been held responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

The United States' frustration with China for impeding sanctions against JuD through the UN Committee on al-Qaeda- and Taliban-associated entities was made evident in a recent cable, classified as “Secret,” from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Thanks to Xinhua Ram for the note.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Wikileaks new site

You might have already noticed that the original wikileaks site is not accessible. It has moved to a new location. The New Delhi Embassy dispatches are here. There are not many now but hopefully, soon we will have the 3000+ cables. If nothing else, we will good fodder for conspiracy theories. I doubt whether it will have any meaningful political impact. For example, it says here about Rahul:

Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte [2] in 11 November 1991 revealed that Rahul was the beneficiary of accounts worth $2 billion dollars controlled by his mother Sonia Gandhi.[38][39]

Harvard scholar Yevgenia Albats cited KGB correspondence about payments to Rajiv Gandhi and his family, which had been arranged by Viktor Chebrikov,[40][41][42] which shows that KGB chief Viktor Chebrikov sought in writing an "authorization to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi" from the CPSU in December 1985. Payments were authorized by a resolution, CPSU/CC/No 11228/3 dated 20/12/1985; and endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers in Directive No 2633/Rs dated 20/12/1985. These payments had been coming since 1971, as payments received by Sonia Gandhi's family and "have been audited in CPSU/CC resolution No 11187/22 OP dated 10/12/1984.[40] In 1992 the media confronted the Russian government with the Albats disclosure. The Russian government confirmed the veracity of the disclosure and defended it as necessary for "Soviet ideological interest."[41][42]

Did it have any impact on the dynasty?

I read the below and wondered why Menon was discussing elections with Hoolbrooke.
Wikileaks Cable Viewer
Menon also offered that he did not believe the Mumbai attacks themselves would play a major role in India’s upcoming elections, because efforts to capitalize politically on such a heinous event would likely backfire on any political party.

Rajdeep cries lynch-mobs

Rajdeep Sardesai seems to be unable to make up his mind on this issue. His loyalties force him to support Barkha and Sanghvi. He is trying the usual tricks by trying to deflect an introspection of journalism by pointing fingers at corporate corruption. He is also calling those not steadfastly standing behind Barkha and Sanghvi as lynch-mob.

I have often pointed out that the media has been beyond scrutiny. The result is visible in the corruption in media. They have set such high standards of corruption that the politicians and corporates are struggling to cope up. While politicians are forced to resign when accused in a scandal, there is no retribution for journalists. Did you see anyone being hanged for paid news? The story was quietly buried. Even with barkhagate, the stalwart journalists are trying to frame the question in terms of corporate corruption. If it were really about corporate corruption, I wonder how many breaking stories did we hear from these stalwart journalists on corporate corruption?
It is also funny to see Rajdeep Sardesai contradicting his own editorial policies on trial by media. He accepts that the he did not live by the dictum of innocent until proven guilty but now wants the whole world to follow this principle for these two.
The Hindu : National : Post-Radia, a fierce debate on media ethics
Mr. Sardesai also remarked that the response in the case of Ms. Dutt and Mr. Sanghvi had been lynch-mobbish, with their being judged guilty without any reference to their journalistic track records. “The fundamental principle of jurisprudence, that you are innocent until proven guilty, has been reversed here,” he said, adding there was an element of professional jealousy in the chorus of voices raised against them.
IBNLive : Rajdeep Sardesai's Blog : Rajdeep Sardesai: Trial by media stings journos
But they certainly do not justify the kind of lynch-mob outrage that has accompanied their disclosure.
In recent times, the media has lived by the dictum of guilty till proven innocent. Guess the concept of trial by media has now come back to sting the media itself!

You can watch Sardesai's speech here: Part 1 and 2. What brazenness to say that the focus should not be on media ethics and that Barkha has done no wrong. He also finds that the only corruption involved in the tapes is relating to BJP changing the speaker! Incorrigible.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Alternate history - Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer as President

Hat tip to Sudhir for pointing this out.
In what is a nostalgic post about former President R.Venkatraman, Gopalkrishna Gandhi waxes eloquent on the noble qualities of the former President of India. One interesting plot twist was that V.R. Krishna Iyer (a fave writer who gets quoted on this blog) was nominated by the Communists against RV.
The Congress under Rajiv Gandhi nominated Vice-President Venkataraman as its candidate for the office being vacated by Giani Zail Singh. The Left fielded the esteemed Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer. “Iyer v/s Iyer,” the shallow wag commented.

In some alternate universe, its possible that VRK won that election, hell frozen over and Indian becoming a state of China (not that it might not happen in the future).
But its an interesting event none the less.