Monday, May 29, 2006

Hindu temple cleansing in Malaysia


Apparently Malaysia, is one of those so called progressive secular muslim states (whatever that means). Well, once they are a majority thats what they do,progressive or not.



Hindu group protests 'temple cleansing' in Malaysia


ASSOCIATED PRESS
Posted online: Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 1404 hours IST




KUALA LUMPUR, MAY 23: A Hindu rights group charged that there appeared to be an ‘unofficial policy of Hindu temple cleansing’ in Malaysia after eight worship places were torn down or given demolition notices in three months.
The Hindu Rights Action Force, a coalition of 50 Hindu-based NGOs, urged Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to halt what it called local councils’ ‘indiscriminate and unlawful’ demolition of Hindu temples.

read rest of article here: http://www.financialexpress.com/latest_full_story.php?content_id=128069

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Still on the reservation issue, here is another beauty, this time from MJ Akbar, editor of the Asian Age.



Reserved for politics
- By M.J. Akbar

I wonder if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh realises how effectively he has maimed the legacy of Finance Minister Manmohan Singh by an ill-intentioned reservation policy that seeks to restore the primacy of political manipulation over rational economic evolution. The British protected their empire by the effective use of a Roman principle of political management: divide and rule. The British divided Hindus and Muslims in order to survive. Dr Manmohan Singh’s government is pouring acid on the divisions of Hindu society in order to protect its power.

Caste is a fact in India; casteism is an evil. There was early recognition of this evil when the basic structures of a modern Indian state were being established by the generation that won us freedom from the British. Coincidentally, I am writing this on the day Jawaharlal Nehru, a Brahmin who challenged the inequities of Indian society, died. Nehru understood the need for affirmative action. But none of these terms — caste, casteism or affirmative action — is a stagnant reality.

Nehru, and the Constituent Assembly, followed their leader and mentor, Mahatma Gandhi, and extended affirmative action to those who had suffered the greatest injustice, the Dalits. They did not raise the bar to the Backward castes. Was Nehru an enemy of the Backward castes? He dreamt of and founded the great institutions that have become the pride of India all over the world. Reservations were not an unknown concept: why didn’t Nehru, or his daughter Indira Gandhi, allot half the seats in educational institutions for select castes? You cannot accuse them of being indifferent to India or its realities. In fact, the inequity was much worse sixty years ago, and thirty years ago, than it is today.

But Nehru and Indira Gandhi knew that, if it is to succeed, social policy in a democratic polity must be held together by reason and consensus. When there is reason, policy is reasonable; when it is reasonable, there is consensus. Casteism, and the domination of the upper castes, was much, much worse in 1950 and 1967 than it is in 2006. But there was no anger when reservations were made into law in 1950. The upper castes that would not permit the shadow of a Dalit to cross their path suppressed their bloated egos and kept their mouths shut. Reservations were accepted as a necessary step towards a better India. Today, excess is on the verge of destroying the necessary. Reservations are now the interest — collected by pick pocketing the future of India — paid by politicians for loans from their vote banks.

Students and doctors are out on the streets not because they reject the need for social justice. They are out because politicians are stealing the future of the young in order to preserve the power of the old.

Does Dr Manmohan Singh understand why these young men and women have suddenly become so disillusioned with him? It is because Dr Singh gave them their most recent illusion. He promised the young release from the shibboleths and knots that had curdled India for too long.

rest of article: http://www.asianage.com/main.asp?layout=2&cat1=1&cat2=139&newsid=227570&RF=DefaultMain

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Here is an excellent article I found regarding the political indifference of the Indian Middle Class (probably the most politically inactive middle class in the world)and their inability to influence policy in the country, really sad if you think about it, the middle class votes should be the cornerstone of any democracy, if it is to move in the right direction.


The middle class deserves what it is getting

May 17, 2006


Use of 'reservations' as a tool for increasing political support base suffers from a dual paradox. One, even though 'reservations' is a populist measure, it doesn't bring new votes; but it might lose you votes.

Second, the moment a person is empowered, he will no longer be beholden to the party or person who empowered him. After all, isn't empowerment all about being able to exercise choice?

Indeed, once empowered, an individual and a community will not be satisfied with the sops given in the past; their demands will increase and political players will find it increasingly difficult to live up to rising expectations of the newly empowered.

This is why Bijli-Sadak-Paani (BSP) and issues like law and order are taking centre-stage in areas where once Mandir and Mandal ruled the roost.

Reservation: The economic factor

The politics of competitive reservations is useful only until the policy is implemented. Once reservations are implemented, they stop yielding any dividend to their advocates. Remember the Hindi saying; 'Bund mutthi lakh ki, khul gayi to khaak ki' (the closed fist is worth a lakh, but once it is open it is worth nothing).

Look at what happened to V P Singh. He is so rootless that he is reduced to trying to project himself as a messiah of the weak by protesting against eviction of slum-dwellers, and this, not in his local constituency -- which he doesn't have -- but in Delhi where he can't win a resident welfare association election.

The fate of 'leaders' like Human Resources Minister Arjun Singh, who have lost even the pretension of having any sort of a mass base among the electorate and yet continue to espouse anachronistic policies that they hope will make them relevant once again, will be no different.


read rest of article here: http://us.rediff.com/news/2006/may/17guest.htm?q=tp&file=.htm

Sunday, May 14, 2006

This article has really hit it on the head, I've always believed we totally underestimate the importance of sport in our nation, allocating peanuts to it in our budget. Its time for future govts to take this more seriously, since we cannot hide behind the "poor and underdeveloped nation" label anymore and 1 bronze/silver medal from a nation of a billion people is going to start to look more and more pathetic with every passing olympics.

When sports lift spirit of a nation
APARNA RAMALINGAM

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SUNDAY, MAY 14, 2006 12:00:00 AM]





NEW DELHI: Can soccer trigger a boom in the economy? Can cricket make you forget about insurgency in Kashmir or about your exam the next day? Can a win in a sporting event raise the morale of an entire generation?


Participants of the 2006 FIFA World Cup control more than 80% of the world’s economy and the winner is expected to have some amount of economic boost after the victory.



As the countdown for FIFA World Cup 2006 begins, history is replete with examples where the impact of a surprise win in a sporting event has gone well beyond the sports itself. For us, the watershed year was 1983 when Kapil and his devils beat the West Indies to lift the Prudential World Cup. From that day cricket became a national obsession and our cricketers achieved demi-God status.


A HSBC report pointed out that since 1966, stock markets of developed countries that have won the soccer World Cup have outperformed global indices by 9% on average, during the lucky year.



For Brazil, it was 1958 when they won their first soccer world cup. ‘‘That victory changed the face of the nation and the average Brazilian became more confident,’’ says Brazilian Ambassador Vicente Pimentel.


continued: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1528764.cms

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What the world is searching for?


Here is some good timepass from google:- http://www.google.com/trends as usual always one step ahead of the competition. Some interesting trends in there like 'sex' is searched the most by Pakistan followed closely by India, haha.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

With the Iran nuclear issue all hotting up and grabbing world attention, here is a brilliant but very long article on what is really at stake. Again be warned this article is really long but a very good read:-

Facing Down Iran
Mark Steyn

Our lives depend on it.

Most Westerners read the map of the world like a Broadway marquee: north is top of the bill—America, Britain, Europe, Russia—and the rest dribbles away into a mass of supporting players punctuated by occasional Star Guests: India, China, Australia. Everyone else gets rounded up into groups: “Africa,” “Asia,” “Latin America.”But if you’re one of the down-page crowd, the center of the world is wherever you happen to be. Take Iran: it doesn’t fit into any of the groups. Indeed, it’s a buffer zone between most of the important ones: to the west, it borders the Arab world; to the northwest, it borders NATO (and, if Turkey ever passes its endless audition, the European Union); to the north, the former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation’s turbulent Caucasus; to the northeast, the Stans—the newly independent states of central Asia; to the east, the old British India, now bifurcated into a Muslim-Hindu nuclear standoff. And its southern shore sits on the central artery that feeds the global economy. If you divide the world into geographical regions, then, Iran’s neither here nor there. But if you divide it ideologically, the mullahs are ideally positioned at the center of the various provinces of Islam—the Arabs, the Turks, the Stans, and the south Asians. Who better to unite the Muslim world under one inspiring, courageous leadership? If there’s going to be an Islamic superpower, Tehran would seem to be the obvious candidate.That moment of ascendancy is now upon us. Or as the Daily Telegraph in London reported: “Iran’s hardline spiritual leaders have issued an unprecedented new fatwa, or holy order, sanctioning the use of atomic weapons against its enemies.” Hmm. I’m not a professional mullah, so I can’t speak to the theological soundness of the argument, but it seems a religious school in the Holy City of Qom has ruled that “the use of nuclear weapons may not constitute a problem, according to sharia.” Well, there’s a surprise. How do you solve a problem? Like, sharia! It’s the one-stop shop for justifying all your geopolitical objectives.

rest of article here: http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_2_iran.html

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

This is a post I found a few months back on http://sidin.blogspot.com and I thought it was hilarious, read on :-

"The Travails of Single South Indian men of conservative upbringing" or "Why we don't get any..."


Yet another action packed weekend in Mumbai, full of fun, frolic and introspection. I have learnt many things. For example having money when none of your friends have any is as good as not having any. And after spending much time in movie theatres, cafes and restaurants I have gathered many insights into the endless monotony that is the love life of south Indian men. What I have unearthed is most disheartening. Disheartening because comprehension of these truths will not change our status anytime soon. However there is also cause for joy. We never stood a chance anyway. What loads the dice against virile, gallant, well educated, good looking, sincere mallus and tams? (Kandus were once among us, but Bangalore has changed all that.)Our futures are shot to hell as soon as our parents bestow upon us names that are anything but alluring. I cannot imagine a more foolproof way of making sure the child remains single till classified advertisements or that maternal uncle in San Francisco thinks otherwise. Name him "Parthasarathy Venkatachalapthy" and his inherent capability to combat celibacy is obliterated before he could even talk. He will grow to be known as Partha. Before he knows, his smart, seductively named northy classmates start calling him Paratha. No woman in their right minds will go anyway near poor Parthasarathy. His investment banking job doesn't help either. His employer loves him though. He has no personal life you see. By this time the Sanjay Singhs and Bobby Khans from his class have small businesses of their own and spend 60% of their lives in discos and pubs. The remaining 40% is spent coochicooing with leather and denim clad muses in their penthouse flats on Nepean Sea Road. Business is safely in the hands of the Mallu manager. After all with a name like Blossom Babykutty he cant use his 30000 salary anywhere. Blossom gave up on society when in school they automatically enrolled him for Cookery Classes. Along with all the girls. you can read the rest over here.

You can read the rest here: http://sidin.blogspot.com/2004/05/travails-of-single-south-indian-men-of.html

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