Showing posts from July, 2013

Why Muslims should confront the IM :

The Hindu


July 31, 201

Why Muslims should confront the IM :

The Indian Mujahideen are for real, and investigators have more evidence about them than they would have us believe :

There is an overwhelming body of evidence available with Indian investigative agencies to show that between 2003 and 2008, a group of Muslim extremists who called themselves Indian Mujahideen (IM) went about bombing temples, trains and marketplaces, even as the police across India kept implicating dozens of innocent Muslims in these incidents.

Thirteen Muslim youth, mostly from the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), were falsely implicated in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts. About half-a-dozen SIMI activists were implicated in the Jaipur blasts of 2008. More than a dozen were framed in a series of blast…

A mountain strike corps is not the only option :

The Hindu


July 29, 2013

A mountain strike corps is not the only option :

Instead of pouring money into raising a force that can hardly address the Indian Army’s drawbacks at the border, our decision makers should have focussed on addressing China’s weaknesses in the Indian Ocean.

In the history of Indian strategic thought, the decision to create a mountain strike corps against China will remain a landmark. While the file on the subject has apparently been circulating for a while, the absence of open discussion on so momentous a decision is deeply disappointing. Some commentators are of the view that the Chinese incursion in the Depsang plains swung the decision decisively in favour of the strike corps. If so, it doesn’t make much sense, for, where is Depsang and where is Panag…

What India can learn from Fukushima :

The Hindu


July 30, 2013

What India can learn from Fukushima

Noted nuclear metallurgist, Siegfried Hecker, is one of the most sought after nuclear scientists in the world. He headed the key American nuclear weapons design facility, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, for over a decade till 1997. He continues to be an emeritus director and is simultaneously a professor at Stanford University. During a recent visit to India, he told Pallava Bagla why he admires India’s nuclear programme, what its failings are and how both India and the U.S. can benefit by cooperating in nuclear energy. Excerpts from the interview:

You once said Indian atomic energy scientists were better than those in the U.S. Do you still believe that?

The unempowered Asian :

The Hindu

Opinion » Lead  
  July 25, 2013

The unempowered Asian :
     Pulapre Balakrishnan

Despite overtaking Japan as the third largest economy, India has lost its leadership role in the continent because, unlike its eastern neighbours, it has ignored its poor

India’s founding fathers had a clear idea where it was to stand in the comity of nations. They were quite sure that India’s place was in Asia. There was nothing parochial to this vision. It sprang from a certain understanding of world history and Asian culture. As they saw it, at the end of Second World War, almost all of Asia had been at the heel of the Europeans for close to two centuries. While acutely aware of this, they saw the sloughing-off of the colonial yoke as the mere beginning of a meaningful journey. The continent’s nation-builders set themselves the far more ambitious task of building an As…

Those who care for the future of the religion should valorise the work of reformers who rid an ancient, ossified faith of its divisions, prejudices, and closed-mindedness :

The Hindu


What Hindus can and should be proud of :

A bhadralok friend of mine is of the view that the Government of India should celebrate every December 16 as Vijay Diwas, Victory Day, to mark the surrender in 1971 of the Pakistani forces in Dhaka to the advancing Indian Army. My friend argues that such a celebration would take Indians in general, and Hindus in particular, out of the pacifist, defeatist mindset that he claims has so crippled them. The triumph in Dhaka represents for him the finest moment in a millenia otherwise characterised by Indian (and more specifically Hindu) humiliation at the hands of foreigners.

I was reminded of my friend’s fond fantasy when reading about the posters in Mumbai recently put up by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party. These carry portraits of a prominent BJP leader, with two accompanying slogans: ‘I AM A HINDU NATIONALIST,’ in English, and ‘Garv sé Kaho Ham Hindu Hain’, in Hindi. The latter slogan needs …

When Leelabai runs the farm :

The Hindu

July 17, 2013

n a region of poor yields, a gritty woman farmer succeeds even in years of crop failure. But high costs are depleting Vidarbha’s success stories :-

“I am the farmer, he did no farming. He only moons over his cattle, he loves those cows (even if they yield just a litre of milk each). Men hang around the village, women are in the fields.”

Leelabai is speaking of one of Yavatmal’s most famous farmers, Ashanna Totawar. He is something of a legend, a man credited with record yields in cotton and soybean even in years of major crop failure in Yavatmal. Ashanna is a gentle, experienced man who has closely observed farming in the Vidarbha region across 50 years. He is also Leelabai’s husband. The couple live in Pimpri village adjoining Panderkauda town, a major cotton market in Yavatmal district, Maharashtra.

Leelabai holds her husband in great respect and affe…

The poisoned plate :

The Hindu


July 18, 2013.

The fatal consequences of having a routine midday meal for at least 22 children in Bihar’s Saran district expose the chronic neglect of school education in a large part of India. That governments cannot find a small piece of land for a school and are unable to store food materials without the risk of contamination is a telling commentary on their commitment to universal primary education. The Bihar horror clearly points to the absence of strong normative procedures for the provision of infrastructure, even for a new school. Such inefficiency and indifference is deplorable, considering that the Centre has been levying a cess on taxes, part of which is given to States to strengthen the Mid Day Meal Scheme; the collection stood at Rs. 27,461 crore during 2011-12. If the preliminary evidence pointing to food poisoning and ingestion of yellow phosphorous — which is used in fertilizers and as rat poison — is confirmed as the cause of the tragedy, it…

Life on road is full of ups and downs, NH 17 proves: K. A. MARTIN

National Highway 17 has turned into a stretch where rude surprises in the form of potholes await motorists. Photo: H. Vibhu

Pothole-ridden NH stretch between Edappally to Kottappuram bridge, which carries around 25,000 vehicles a day, breaks the back of motorists
As the cloud of dust wafts up, motorists on the approach road to the Edappally railway overbridge on its north end squint their eyes and buckle up for a rollercoaster ride that seems to last for ever.If the rains had turned the rail overbridge into a nightmare for travellers, the sun that shone on Sunday made things worse. The mud that washed up on the bridge in the rains has dried up and turned into a clouds of dust in the face of heavy vehicular traffic.
“We take about 10 minutes to pass a 500-metre stretch,” says driver Sulfiqar, who works with a private bus service between Ernakulam and Guruvayoor, about the stretch of the National Highway 17 between Edappally Bypass Junction and Kunnumpuram.
Some other stretches on the Natio…
The Hindu

July 13, 2013


The help


It’s bad enough that we exploit our domestic workers. It’s worse when we employ children.:

I was riveted and moved by an extraordinary novel The Help by Kathryn Stockett, about black women domestic workers in an American small town in Mississippi in 1962. The civil rights movement to end racial segregation and discrimination, which rocked the U.S., was yet to alter the unequal social relations between races in this small conservative Southern settlement. Stockett observantly recreates the segregation, distrust and disrespect that coloured women workers routinely endured while working in middle-class white households. In the novel, three women lead a secret rebellion by the unique device of anonymously writing about their experiences with their employers.

What troubl…

No more tree-huggers :

The Hindu :


July 6, 2013

No more tree-huggers :

Waiting and watching...The residents of Simli Village watch the Pindari in spate. These people lost their fields and homes in the recent disaster. Photo: V.V.Krishnan

While talking of pilgrims affected by the Uttarakhand tragedy, spare a thought for the local communities who have made the mountains their home.

They are still looking for the missing and counting the dead. The tragedy of the Uttarakhand floods continues to haunt. It stares at us daily from the front pages of newspapers and from television footage.
Yet these compelling visuals hide other realities of that land, as Ravi Chopra highlighted in his prescient article in this newspaper (The Untold Story of Uttarakhand, June 25). While the media reports told us about stranded pilgrims, we forgot the people of the State who have been stranded not only by this natural disaster but also by decades of disastrous developmental policies.

The c…

The untold story from Uttarakhand :

The Hindu:


June 25, 2013.

While the focus is on pilgrims, nobody is talking about the fate of boys and men who came from their villages in the Mandakini valley to earn during the yatri season :-

t is one week since Uttarakhand’s worst disaster in living memory. Flash floods resulting from extremely intense rainfall swept away mountainsides, villages and towns, thousands of people, animals, agricultural fields, irrigation canals, domestic water sources, dams, roads, bridges, and buildings — anything that stood in the way.

A week later, media attention remains riveted on the efforts to rescue tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists visiting the shrines in the uppermost reaches of Uttarakhand’s sacred rivers. But the deluge spread far beyond the Char Dhams — Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath — to cover the entire State. The catchments of many smaller rivers also witnessed flash floods but the media has yet to report on the destruction there. Eyewitness accounts be…


Recent Himalayan Floods:-

These sanyasees set a very bad example, instead serving the suffering people in the heights, they themselves start complaining about their care and welfare.

Sanyasees are renounced the worldly comforts, but these men in saffron is very funny, demonstrate totally non-sanysam ways, their protests, and Dharnas with the supports of various political parties who take political mileage 'this situation.'