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Media In India/elsewhere
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> We all know what goes on in entertainment business (prices for various heroines, specialities etc) - is this really going to change anything ?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
At least they will think hundred times before exploiting people. It is not a entertainment industry but it is everywhere in Indian society. YES. I can strongly say it YES. Whether it is I-TAX office or bank or telephone exchange or police station or working place same experience one can get being a girl, pervert will use all type of language and physical expression to show there pervert ness. At least one can try to make them scare. Rajat Sharma is doing a good job. Good luck to him. It is high time to clean society, expose them and throw these pervert to oceans, it is my wish.

They should show pervert daily on TV screen and give them public punishment as they do in Singapore. Make them clean street and public toilets and show punishment on TV screen and photo in Newspaper. This is the only way to clean society.
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Mar 17 2005, 11:49 PM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Mar 17 2005, 11:49 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> <!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> We all know what goes on in entertainment business (prices for various heroines, specialities etc) - is this really going to change anything ?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
At least they will think hundred times before exploiting people. It is not a entertainment industry but it is everywhere in Indian society. YES. I can strongly say it YES. Whether it is I-TAX office or bank or telephone exchange or police station or working place same experience one can get being a girl, pervert will use all type of language and physical expression to show there pervert ness. At least one can try to make them scare. Rajat Sharma is doing a good job. Good luck to him. It is high time to clean society, expose them and throw these pervert to oceans, it is my wish.

They should show pervert daily on TV screen and give them public punishment as they do in Singapore. Make them clean street and public toilets and show punishment on TV screen and photo in Newspaper. This is the only way to clean society. <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I wholeheartedly agree with Mudy. Exploitation without accontability is big India: Police, Courts, politicians, Income tax, Excise Tax, Commercial Tax offices. Every one abuses their power, authority and position. Let them expose and clean it up.
Man! Look at the spin by leftist COMMIE and India hating SCUM BAGS!
After the Jharkhand mess
By Harish Khare

It is incumbent upon the entire UPA establishment to infuse a new sense of purpose and priorities at the Centre.

THE UNION Law Minister, Hans Raj Bhardwaj, has the reputation of being a nuts-and-bolts man. Over the years he is believed to have sorted out the equations between successive Congress Governments and the judiciary, but he has rarely been credited with jurisprudential creativity or political insightfulness. He surprised everyone by his forceful intervention in the recent Jharkhand crisis after the Supreme Court's March 9 directive on how and when the vote of confidence was to be conducted in the State Assembly. Even though the United Progressive Alliance's political establishment was agitated over what was seen as the apex court's overreach, Mr. Bhardwaj was unequivocally against any confrontation with the Supreme Court. His contention was that Shibu Soren was hardly the cause for which to pick up a quarrel with the apex court. His reasoning was essentially political: he argued that a couple of senior Ministers within the UPA Government were interested in instigating a confrontation with the intention of weakening the authority of the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. He argued firmly and forcefully. Given the all round confusion and uncertainty, his "no-confrontation" line prevailed.

<b>Now the Bharatiya Janata Party has grabbed the baton. L.K. Advani and his comrades are trying hard to create a confrontation between the Lok Sabha Speaker and the judiciary. Somnath Chatterjee is a seasoned a parliamentarian and a knowledgeable a student of constitutional law; he can be trusted to frustrate this NDA design.</b>
At the same time he is rendering a useful service by reminding one and all that all three branches of the government — the executive, the legislature and the judiciary — need to be mindful of institutional boundaries.
Whatever its calculations, the BJP's sudden protestation of concern for the Constitution is a welcome development After all, here is a political party that had reaped electoral harvest by first cocking a snook at the Supreme Court (in the matter of the Babri Masjid demolition) and later by arguing that the courts could have no say in the matter of faith. And, later, when in power, it tried to rewrite the Constitution; it appointed a "Constitutional Review Commission." It was only public opinion and a vigilant President (K.R. Narayanan) that check-mated the BJP's design. Even if political expediency rather than convictions are prompting the BJP now, its invocation of constitutional values will deepen the polity's resilience.</b>

Irrespective of the ups and downs in the partisan political fortunes of the National Democratic Alliance, the Jharkhand, Goa, and Bihar developments have once again brought into sharp focus the lack of coordination between the Government and the Congress party. Curiously enough senior party leaders share this perception as do various politically tuned in Ministers; but there seems to be a marked reluctance to do anything about the problem. There is a feeling among the party leaders that the Government is merely "coping" and is not in charge of the nation's political agenda. The problem is structural: ways and means have not yet been found to work in an effective communication between the Prime Minister's Office and the Congress party managers.

After nearly nine months, the crux of the problem can be easily diagnosed: there are no designated interlocutors to keep the party and the Government on the same wavelength. The "Friday Core Group" arrangement continues, whereby the Prime Minister and four other senior Ministers (Arjun Singh, Shivraj Patil, Pranab Mukherjee, and Gulam Nabi Azad) meet with the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, and her political secretary, Ahmed Patel. But these interactions have failed to address the problem, because there is no structured agenda and no structured follow-up.

<!--emo&Rolleyes--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rolleyes.gif' /><!--endemo-->
(--- The genius identified the reason for the problem   of the bad publicity. NOT POWER HUNGRY SONIA and GOVERNOR. It is just communication issue. --)
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<b>Part of the problem is that the Congress president herself is extra cautious and does not want to give any cause for anyone to allege that she is crowding the Prime Minister. In fact, she has gone out of her way to show institutional respect to Dr. Manmohan Singh and his office. And taking a cue from the Congress president, her political secretary too has opted for an extremely low-key interactive relationship with the Government. Mr. Patel is even more reluctant than the Congress president to be seen as wanting to press for any kind of political priorities.</b>
<!--emo&Rolleyes--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rolleyes.gif' /><!--endemo-->
(---The genius found another problem. She is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NICEEEEEE and GOOOOOOOOOD. That is the problem.)
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On the other hand, the experiment to have a Minister of State in the PMO has not yielded the requisite results. Everyone respects the incumbent Minister of State, Prithvi Raj Chavan, as a very decent man but does he carry much political weight within the AICC hierarchy? Also, the Prime Minister and his senior bureaucratic aides are quite clear that they do not want to replicate the earlier versions of an omnipotent PMO. Nor is there any place for an M.L. Fotedar or an R.K. Dhawan in Dr. Manmohan Singh's scheme of things. The situation is further compounded by the fact that the Manmohan Singh Government does not know how to tell its side of the story. The Ministry of Information of Broadcasting has strangely become indifferent to the modern government's need to join the battle of perceptions. Another key player, the Union Home Minister, too, has yet to graduate to the byte-age.

More than an effective synergy between the Government and the party and more than a hands-on communication strategy, there is need for a re-affirmation of basic constitutional decencies and political niceties, which mark the Prime Minister apart from the other run-of-the-mill politicians. Perhaps the most serious loss in the recent political turmoil is the Prime Minister's USP as the man with nice and noble instincts. By total default the Prime Minister was seen as going along with baser calculations in Ranchi. <b>As the recent developments in Jharkhand have shown, an absence of prime ministerial guidance would encourage political operatives of the unattractive kind to ply their tricks of the trade. This reticence in fact eroded the Prime Minister's capacity to invite the nation's attention to the BJP's grab-the-MLAs strategy.</b>
<!--emo&Rolleyes--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rolleyes.gif' /><!--endemo-->
(-- Another problem: INCOMPETENT PM. DYNASTY is SOOOOOOO GOOOOD and Indian guy is incompetent)
<!--emo&Rolleyes--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rolleyes.gif' /><!--endemo-->

However, decency alone is not enough. Decency at the top is a desirable proposition in any governing arrangement, but in itself it is not a sufficient compensation for absence of purposive politics. After the bruising and inelegant political battles in Bihar and Jharkhand, it is incumbent upon the entire UPA establishment to infuse a new sense of purpose and priorities at the Centre. Mere sharing of power and the spoils of office among the coalition partners is the surest way to keep encouraging the unwholesome impulses, and individuals, that came into the play.

As the largest partner and the leader of the UPA alliance, the Congress has the prime responsibility for defining the larger purpose. It will mean enunciating certain operative principles and policies that will not be subject of constant bargaining and negotiations, either within the Congress or outside. The Congress leadership, in and out of government, has to find a more positive purpose to stay in power than to keep communal elements out of office at the Centre. As long as the UPA chooses to function only as a negative alliance, it will remain vulnerable to innumerable demands from within and from the supporting Left parties. Already the limits of this negative bonding are evident, with the allies flexing their muscles. Cumulatively the allies and the supporting parties have weakened the Centre's efficacy and in the process encourage the communal crowd to recover ground.

It is not that the UPA arrangement has run of out its political relevance or organisational steam. It is that the arrangement is not geared to maximise its advantages. The purpose of alliance politics has necessarily to be the creation of a new defining passion in the national polity. The national passion must invite — in fact, force — all to rise above sectarian distractions and petty obsessions. Secular leaders would do well to remember that communal voices and forces have gained ascendancy only when the Centre was seen to be indifferent to noble instincts and decent values. Six years of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led regime were sufficient to show that these self-styled nationalists did not have answers to correct our collective ills. Now another set of politicians has been give a chance to help the country discover a new collective passion. But this is the job for a leader, not an administrator.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Freedom Sprouts: An American soap opera
By S Nihal Singh

If war is the conduct of diplomacy by other means, spin has come into its own in the Information Age as the mother of all battles. Since the United States controls so much of information material in today’s world, its media empire has been pressed into service to fight the new war. The subject is Iraq and the new offensive is to sell the Iraq invasion and all the deaths and tragedies it has spawned as a salvation for the Greater Middle East of President George W Bush’s description.

The American media are relatively free. By the same token, the US administration in Washington sets their agenda by winks and nudges and through more direct means. As any professional knows, contradictions never carry the same weight as the original false story. Americans are not alone in realising the value of spin. Decades ago, as a foreign correspondent in Moscow, I discovered how successfully the Soviets used to plant stories by exploiting international news agencies’ hunger to be first with the news. In the beginning of the 21st century, however, the scales are heavily tilted in favour of America.

The new spin being put on events in West Asia is that President Bush might after all be right in illegally invading Iraq because “freedom” is sprouting in the unlikeliest places. And the sprouts are being showcased for the world to see: limited male-only municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, the Iraqi elections held under American and Iraqi guns, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak’s decision to grant a multi-candidate contest for the presidency and the massive anti-Syrian demonstrations in Beirut. Unfortunately, the last were aced by an even more massive pro-Syrian and anti-American demonstration.

Some American media have forsworn objectivity, the Fox television channel being the supreme example of partisanship. In the aftermath of the Iraq invasion and occupation, anchors of most US news channels sported the representation of the American flag as lapel pins and often spoke about American “liberators”. The Stars and Stripes became the rallying cry of all, and most newspapermen and television men and women were swept up in the tempest to prove their patriotism.

In view of President Bush’s travails in Iraq, the extreme reluctance of America’s traditional allies to help in the US adventure and the growing number of American war casualties — the vastly greater Iraqi casualties don’t count — reviving the national mood became urgent. Freedom and liberty had, indeed, become the leitmotif of President Bush’s declarations at home and abroad. But they sounded hollow and needed sustenance. And for the first time, there were the photo opportunities presented by well-heeled Lebanese demonstrators demanding the very things America wanted: the departure of Syrian troops from Lebanon — until the counter-demonstrations stole their thunder. The Iraqi election had earlier been painted as brave Iraqis exercising their democratic right for the first time, thanks to American benevolence.

There was enough material for the US administration to suggest that, guided by President Bush’s unpopular decision to invade Iraq, dictatorships and authoritarian regimes were inching towards the American paradise, however slowly and reluctantly. At home, the President was basking in the glow of approbation from a wider constituency than neoconservatives, and the media, ranging from such heavies as the New York Times to the flagship Time magazine, were spreading the good word around. The much-maligned “W” was right, after all.

America is by no means the first country to master the art of propaganda. Nazi Germany was no mean performer and the Soviet Union, as I have suggested, had found the advantages of spin. The difference is that the power and reach of American propaganda is unmatched, given US dominance of the Information Age. The Internet opens up avenues for dissenters and other nations but is no match for the reach of what has been described as America’s “soft power”, the mix of world publications, Holly-wood, popular music and lifestyle.

More and more, the world will hear of the “successes” of President Bush’s selfless dedication in taking the world to the bliss of American freedom and liberty; some neoconservative neophytes are already comparing W to President Woodrow Wilson. It is perhaps too early to deify him but one can discern the beginnings of a cult movement rather in the manner of what Chairman Mao was at one time. The American problem is the built-in set of contradictions.

The freedom crusade is selective in nature and the hard cynical nature of the exercise often shows up in W’s strategic doctrine of world dominance and the appointment of a UN-hater as the country’s ambassador to the world organisation. Besides, the US has met its match in the Arabic Al-Jazeera satellite channel, which is giving the Arab world an alternative view on America’s main battleground. No wonder, the channel provokes American ire and attempts have been made at suppressing and destroying it. Somewhat like Chairman Mao’s experiment of “let a hundred flowers bloom”, there are limits to America’s tolerance of freedom exercised by others, if US interests are affected.

Most Arab rulers have gauged the American plan for what it is: a lever to bend them to Washington’s interests. They also realise that W is cynical enough to instigate turmoil through local movements to bring them into line. Many of them know how to exploit America’s chinks, having worked with the American political system for decades, and can exploit the great fear: a more democratic West Asia would be far more anti-American than the authoritarian rulers it would replace.

The only answer the world can give to the supremacy of American propaganda is to fight it on its own ground. Al-Jazeera’s success is prompting others, particularly France, to launch English-language satellite channels to present their views. Al-Jazeera itself is planning an English-language channel, in addition to its existing website, to reach a wider audience. But the secret of success of any popular international channel is its ability to present both sides of a story, in addition to voicing its editorial opinions. It speaks of the nature of American society today that Fox, a channel that flaunts its partisanship, can prosper.

Meanwhile, we must tighten our belts for many more episodes of the American soap opera: how W, against all odds, conquered West Asia to bring the benefits of American freedom and liberty. It is the new White Man’s burden. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Expect DDM to start spinning already. This one aims at humanizing the butcher of kargil. DDM's mai-baap has obliged by sending his momma first.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A naughty kid, that was Pervez

NEW DELHI: The atmosphere in India is charged with a volatile mix of cricket and politics. On Wednesday, it was made official that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf would watch the Delhi ODI with the Prime Minister on April 17.

Musharraf has already begun his characteristic rumblings, but it is another guest from across the border that has given a new twist to the charged Indo-Pak atmosphere.

A month before her son's visit, Begum Zarin, Musharraf's mother has arrived in Delhi.

On Wednesday, the Begum along with Musharraf's son Bilal and Musharraf's elder brother, Javed, landed at the Indira Gandhi Airport. Javed is a retired civil servant and Bilal is an insurance analyst.

The new face in Indo-Pak ties has been a crucial factor in the General's life. But for Begum Zarin, Musharraf wouldn't have joined the army.

"Pervez Musharraf was committed more to sports and games than studies during his childhood. This was a matter of real concern. It was my idea that Pervez should join the army because of his fondness for sports and his physical appearance," she once told a Pakistani TV Channel.

She added, "I was really worried about his future. I never thought or dreamt that my son would become the country's President."

Pervez Musharraf never had an academic bent of mind. "Pervez Musharraf was naughty, didn't concentrate much on his schoolwork, but was an exceptional athlete," said her mother recounting her son's childhood days in Motherhood, a Pakistani magazine.

But the General had other fine abilities, one of which was decision making.

"Musharraf is a brave and bold person. He has an excellent ability of decision making. He thinks well before making a decision and always decides right. He always remains normal and calm. He always takes things in a positive perspective with a note of optimism," the Begum told the TV channel.

She also wished her son that he succeeds in negotiating a settlement of the long-standing Kashmir issue, "I wish the credit goes to him and I am quite optimistic."

She still has a tinge of regret over not having a daughter, but at the same time happy with all her three sons.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Rajat Sharma claims that he is doing these exposes only to bring to light the amoral activities in the film industry. He could be honest in his claims only if the following are true:

1) The female journalist posing as the aspiring artist ("the girl") contacted Shakti kapoor only once or twice. If the girl had been pursuing Shakti for a month, as shakti cliams, it is nothing but entrapment.

2) The offer for sexual favours came from Shakti and not the girl. If the girl first put the sexual favours on table (saying things like "i am ready to do anything.. please sir" etc), then it is again entrapment. Only a married man with a strong supporting family (by which i mean a loving wife, great children, social respect etc) would refuse such an unilateral offer from a beautiful and willing girl.

3) Shakti must have been in a position to influence casting decision. Or else, the girl approached him only for getting him caught. The fact is that producers/directors demand sexual favours for giving roles to newcomers and many of the hapless girls have to do those favours if they want to get the roles.

If Rajat sharma really wanted to expose the "casting couch" in the industry, I think he should have got his journalist to approach a big producer or director. But i dont think he has to guts to do that. So he had to go in for a irrelevant and over the hill (atleast not so hot) villian.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->his journalist to approach a big producer or director<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I think he is targetting big player but check there support system and they have already started coverup.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>After Shakti Kapoor, it's the turn of</b>...
Mumbai, March 17: After Shakti Kapoor its turn of TV host Aman Verma, Producer Pahlaj Nihalani and Rakesh Nath to be exposed in public by India TV.
Aman Verma admits meeting a girl at his house and is aware of the soon to be telecasted episode featuring him. Claiming all this as fabricated the actor has already met stars like Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt to seek support<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Somebody created mediaha! (with h left-shifted) and put all 19 exhibits in the link below. (Perhaps this is the source of the Viren post above)

Guys! Look at the blog! AROy wants US to invade India. This is what we have guys! A lunatic b1tch who wants India to be invaded by barbaric west and she is darling of news papers, COMMIES and secualrists ....



May 13, 2004
India really shines

"Will investors be able to continue to look forward to privatisation, deregulation and economic reform?" CNN's Richard Quest yelled at some poor reporter in New Delhi about an hour ago. The reporter didn't really answer the question, and so Richard started yelling more questions at him, but it was clear enough that the voting season is starting to ripen nicely. The 'world's biggest democracy', as we always say, has confounded all the pundits by voting out the ruling BJP and its combination of economic and religious fundamentalism (how can you have Hindu fundamentalism? there isn't even a fundamental text? I guess you're not on the block these days if you're a religion without a fundamentalism!). The centre-left Congress party has over 200 seats (272 needed), and is likely to form a government, with alliances that may include left parties. The new PM is almost certainly going to be the Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, who campaigned on including workers and the poor within India's prosperity. Hooray! Listen very closely and you just might hear the sound of mortality wafting through certain corridors in Canberra and Washington!
Posted on May 13, 2004 07:21 PM

I think Hindu fundamentalism essentially means bigotry. There is a good article on it by Rhada D'Souza, who is currently a lecturer at Waikato University. It's titled 'The Return of Hitler As Hero: The World Through Cracked Lenses' and appeared on ZNet. Not sure if it is generally available. If so it should be here.

It's main aim is to convert India into a religious Hindu state. Remembering that India has 12% Muslim population, it's pretty scary, especially as Hitler seems to be something of a hero.

There has been quite a bit of stuff floating into my consciousness about India's poverty being untouched by "India shining". Along with that the corruptibility of government by multi-national corporations.

I wish Sonja well!
Posted by: Brian Bahnisch at May 13, 2004 10:34 PM

Yeah, the stuff about fundamentalism reminds me of all that crazy stuff over the temple at Gujarat (if I recall correctly) a few years back... I also remember reading some Hindu fundie site getting their cranky pants on because the City of Campbelltown (NSW) had refused a building permit to some bod who wanted to establish some Hindu centre in Leumeah or thereabouts.
Posted by: Graham at May 14, 2004 12:44 AM

From memory, there was a mosque on a site which the Hindus claimed was the site of an ancient Hindu temple, thought by others to be probably spurios. The mosque was torched, I think.

The worst incident was in Feb 2002 where there was an organised attack and destruction of Muslim businesses and homes. About 2000 were killed. Police were said to be involved, or at the very least stood by.

There was a prequel to that attack when a train carrying Hindu faithful returning from a pilgramage was attacked by moslems. 69 I think died.

All in Gujerat, which was the original power base of the extremist BJP.
Posted by: Brian Bahnisch at May 14, 2004 06:49 AM

I dunno, I have very mixed feelings about this election result. Although the rise of the BJP did have a lot to do with hindu chauvinism, in the past couple of years, the national leadership had been pretty steadily attempting to disassociate itself from the extremist elements such as the RSS ... Vajpayee himself was a committed moderate.

The most recent campaign, as far as I can tell, contained a far more muted appeal to sectarian sentiment than previous campaigns. I wonder if the lesson of this for the BJP will not be that to succeed, they need to be more rather than less sectarian in its appeal.

The other aspect that worries me is that Vajpayee's government was unquestionably the most competent in India's history. It has taken India a long, long time to get on to the path of growth, and there is no guarantee that it will stay there. I am a huge admirer of Vajpayee personally, as much as I disdain some of the extremists with whom he rose to power.

Congress itself these days is a party whose raison d'etre is power and patronage ... it doesn't really stand for anything other than piecing together whatever coalition can hand it office, and rewarding its enablers when it does. And there is very little to indicate that Sonia Gandhi is qualified or competent to be Prime Minister.
Posted by: Mork at May 14, 2004 10:01 AM

the midle class electorates swung to Congress as much as the 'working class' ones.
you also need to take into account over thwe 100 odd seats won by 'other' parties.
Posted by: Homer Paxton at May 14, 2004 01:59 PM

Vajpayee was certainly not a fundamentalist. When I was going around India over summer, people I talked to regarded him as little different from his Congress opponents.

Others like Advani were the ones to watch. Vajpayee was a good Prime Minister by Indian standards, but he ran a very arrogant election campaign. The "India Shining" stuff started sometime late last year, and it was visibly a bad move. Like the Tories used to campaign on "You've never had it so good", and Keating claimed "This is as good as it gets".

Terrible strategy. Sonia will probably symbolically shift away from India's recent cooperation with Western security interests, but I'm sorry to inform you all that privatisation et al should continue (as Congress started it all).
Posted by: Steve Edwards at May 14, 2004 07:16 PM

India seems to be a wonderfully diverse place, with the super rich and sophisticated on one hand and "tribals" and "forest people" on the other. It throws up many anomalies. For example, the number of poor are said to number about 26% of the population (1.05b) or 273 million whereas the number of hungry is typically given as about 300 million. The existential reality for many seems pretty desparate as a couple of articles by Indian food policy analyst Devinder Sharma show.

For example you could take a look at his We are the cause of hunger, where he speaks of babies being sold for less than the price of a bottle of mineral water and grains being exported while Indians starve.

Of course poverty and hunger are conceptual constructs as well as existential realities. In The Algebra of Poverty: Only the Rich Should Become Richer he describes how 110 million poor were magically lifted from poverty by cutting the figures a different way.

From what I've heard in commentary (mostly on News Radio) "India Shining" left at least 80% of the population untouched. Expenditure on rural infrastructure, they say, has actually decreased in recent years. Even in industry, progress has been patchy beyond the glamour industries.

The most plausible reason I have heard in the last two days as to why BJP dipped out has been that there is a new pragmatism in India's voters. If their lives have not been improved on a local level, then they are inclined to tip the present lot out and take their chances with the other crowd.

I've heard no Indian expert criticize Sonia. They all reckoned she was up to the job. Given the new pragmatism, the focus on the local, and the apparent magnitude of the task, she may not be there long.

They reckon that she constitutes a move to the left. But I daresay Steve is right. The program of privatisation will continue. This may depend, however, on which parties she needs to join in order to form a coalition. The major left party is apparently so left it is communist. With 50 seats she may need them.

The leader of the communists said they will meet today to decide whether they were interested. He said they were looking for three things:

1. A reversal of recent "de-communalisation" policies.

2. An emphasis on public welfare as well as on corporate profit (he does not see these elements as either/or)

3. The reintroduction of a bit of morality in government.

Well, in the face of that the stock market has already taken fright. Maybe the US will seek to veto such an alliance. If Sonia goes ahead nevertheless they could always invade.
As Arundhati Roy said in her address to the 4th World Social Forum in Mumbai earlier this year (see Do Turkeys Enjoy Thanksgiving?) the US can find reasons to invade any-one. But "as long as our `markets' are open, as long as corporations like Enron, Bechtel, Halliburton, Arthur Andersen are given a free hand, our `democratically elected' leaders can fearlessly blur the lines between democracy, majoritarianism and fascism."

Roy gave plenty of reasons why the US should invade India. There is so much bad stuff that goes on in India that is missed by the mainstream press. So how can we possibly know why the voters opted for change?
Posted by: Brian Bahnisch at May 15, 2004 03:34 PM
This news came only in Pioneer.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Priest's wife gangraped </b>
Staff Reporter/ New Delhi
In yet another chilling reminder of how unsafe the city is for women, around 11 unidentified men allegedly raped a 30-year-old woman, wife of a Hanuman temple priest, in Bawana in north-west Delhi in the wee hours of Saturday. No arrest has yet been made.

The incident comes in the wake of constant claims by the Delhi Police of having worked hard to making the city a safer place for women. "We have launched a massive search and are confident of nabbing the rapists," said north-west additional DCP Manish Agarwal.

Police sources said around 3 am, the men entered the Hanuman temple premises on the Begampur Road in Barwala village. They had covered their faces with a cloth. The temple's 35-year-old priest Ram Prasad and his family were asleep. The men tied the priest with a rope and raped his 30-year-old wife Sapna (name changed) for over an hour. The victim has three children, including two daughters. While the first one is three-year-old, the youngest is hardly three-month-old. The men fled the spot before the daybreak. The matter was reported to the police around 8.30 am.
So far in this year, over 65 rape cases have been reported from the Capital. While 493 rape cases and 1559 incidents of eve-teasing were reported in 2003, 525 rapes and 2,084 eve-teasing incidents were reported last year.

Think how Media, secular HR, pinkoo and government would have reacted with this news, had she belonged to Dalit, Christian or Muslim. Tragedy, she is Hindu and Brahmin. She will just be statistics and will be ignored by everyone. This is true face of discrimination of majority and Brahmin in the name of secularism.
Prafool tries his best. Every one is immoral, bad, ugly except the ITALIAN B1TCH and CONmen and COMMIES.
Drama with no heroes
March 22, 2005
Such is the monumental ineptitude and tactlessness that the United Progressive Alliance demonstrated in Jharkhand that one is tempted to say it lost in 10 days a good deal of the goodwill it had earned in the preceding 10 months after humbling the National Democratic Alliance in the national election.

Mr Advani we understand your outrage

Mr Chatterjee's hour of loneliness

The Congress almost decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by refusing to negotiate an alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Left -- despite the handsome victory in 13 out of Jharkhand's 14 Parliamentary constituencies this had delivered.

Then, the UPA made its second blunder: of pushing its claim to power despite having only 33 seats (as against the NDA's 36) in the 81-member assembly. It was widely seen as having abused the governor's office. It failed to hold a vote of confidence and emerged badly mauled from the fiasco. It enabled the NDA to regain not just power, but a measure of democratic credibility.

Actually, neither alliance won the election. In fact, the NDA's vote declined from 36.8 percent last year to just 27.4 percent. This was fully 10 percentage points lower than the Congress-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-RJDS-Left's total of 37.6 percent. Despite this, and a marginal lead in seats, the NDA staked its claim to power -- because it was confident of inducing defections, allegedly buying up MLAs and spiriting them away.

The marauders of democracy

Such tactics -- and Chief Minister Arjun Munda'S strong-arm methods -- hardly speak of democratic credentials. But rather than let the NDA discredit itself, the UPA began competing with it. In the process, it allowed the NDA to emerge as a defender of democracy, one endorsed by the President of India and the Supreme Court. Large sections of the media, sympathetic to the BJP or manipulated by it, added greatly to the effect.

In reality, there were no heroes in Jharkhand. Every major actor played a questionable role, showing democracy in poor light and exposing weaknesses in institutional arrangements. One of the first villains was Governor Syed Sibtey Razi. For mysterious reasons, he decided that Shibu Soren would be better able to provide a viable government than Munda and swore him in. He could have credibly argued that such discretionary power is indeed available to him under the Constitution and backed his judgement with evidence, such as letters of support to Soren from non-UPA MLAs, etc.

He failed here and granted an unreasonably long interval to Soren to prove his majority. Meanwhile, Caretaker Chief Minister Munda rounded up MLAs such as Enos Ekka, Harinarayan Rai and Madhu Kora. Soon, the BJP despatched senior leader Ravishankar Prasad to help Rajnath Singh 'manage' the situation. Thus began the 41 MLAs' odyssey-under-duress from Ranchi, to West Bengal to Orissa to Delhi to Jaipur. No MLA was allowed to use the telephone or even to go to the toilet on his own. It stretches credulity to argue that these MLAs exercised 'free choice.'

Stop this nonsense about our democracy

Clearly, the NDA, unlike the UPA, proved highly effective in conducting a well-planned, elaborate, multi-state operation involving inducement, abduction and force. To argue that this established its democratic claim to power is to accept a grotesque parody of democracy.

Democracy is not just about winning elections or mustering majorities. It's also about an accountable system of political parties, which respect their members' choices of candidates or leaders, act in consonance with the popular mandate, and follow norms and conventions of political decency -- for example, of not conjuring up artificial majorities through bribery or coercion.

By these criteria, what happened in Jharkhand was not democratic. Going by the Westminster convention -- namely, that a ruling party which loses an election should not be the first to be invited to form the government even in a hung Parliament -- Munda should not have staked his claim. But crude forms of horse-trading were allowed to catapult him into power.

If Munda is no hero nor was Pro-tem Speaker Pradeep Balmuchu, who did little to implement the Supreme Court's directive to hold a vote of confidence on March 14, using the disruption caused by UPA MLAs as an excuse to adjourn the assembly. This rewarded mayhem.

<b>'The Congress has no role in this'</b> <!--emo&:rocker--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rocker.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rocker.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Mercifully, the Centre at last asked Soren to resign. But it must take some responsibility for going along with the governor's decision to swear in Soren without constructing a credible case. In general, the Congress leadership proved unconcerned about upholding democratic norms. No less unheroic was the BJP's brass which mounted a loud campaign against the UPA, fancifully evoked the Emergency, and yet indulged in coarse horse-trading and coercion while claiming democratic virtue. At the end, after Munda won the confidence vote, there still remains some ambiguity about the status of three MLAs!

Neither the BJP-Jana Sangh nor NDA has been better than the Congress as regards abusing the governor's office -- to install interlopers or scuttle elected governments. Sunder Singh Bhandari wanted Rabri Devi dismissed in Bihar in 1999 on bogus law-and-order grounds. He was overruled by President K R Narayanan. In 2000, Governor Vinod Pande swore in Nitish Kumar who patently lacked majority support and quit without a confidence vote. The Jana Sangh led the campaign in 1977 to dismiss all Congress-ruled state governments after the party lost the Lok Sabha election.

<b>For the BJP, democracy and the Constitution are largely instruments. It bears recalling that it wanted to alter the core of the Constitution by ushering in a highly centralised, unitarian, Presidential system through a commission appointed in 1998.</b>

<b>Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the Jharkhand story is the role of the President and the Supreme Court.[B] Under the Constitution, the President has no function in appointing a chief minister. This is exclusively reserved for the governor. Nor is the President the court of last resort in matters of justice.

Yet, President Kalam repeatedly, demonstratively received BJP delegations. He asked Razi to advance the floor test. This was beyond the remit of his authority. His office didn't once counter the false report that he received the NDA's 41 MLAs. [B]President Kalam didn't behave in an exemplary, nonpartisan way.</b>

<b>No less unfortunate were the Supreme Court's pronouncements while hearing a petition moved by Munda. </b>It said: 'If the averments of the petitioner are correct, then the action of the governor is a fraud on the Constitution.' The 'if' is all-important. The court shouldn't have made a harsh indictment without determining that Munda's allegations were true. This would entail scrutinising Razi's rationale in appointing Soren and going into merits, including likely support for the two alliances. This didn't happen.

The court also ordered that the assembly session must hold a confidence vote on March 11; the agenda would be limited to the trust vote; the proceedings must be conducted peacefully and without 'any disturbance' and the results must be 'announced by the Pro- tem Speaker faithfully and truthfully.'

There are several problems with this. First, it seriously interferes with the autonomy of legislatures and their presiding officers. Part VI of the Constitution mandates a quasi-federal structure and grants substantive executive power to the governor. Articles 122 and 212 are explicit that the courts have no jurisdiction to inquire into the proceedings of legislatures. Article 212 reads: '(1) The validity of any proceedings in the legislature of a state shall not be called in question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure. (2) No officer or member or the Legislature [empowered to regulate procedure]... shall be subject to the jurisdiction of any court in respect of the exercise by him of those powers...'

<b>Second, the court prejudges the governor's and the Pro-tem Speaker's guilt. And third, it confounds the latter's role with the Speaker's. The Pro-tem Speaker, by convention, has just one task: electing the Speaker, who alone can conduct the legislature's proceedings.

All this amounts to blurring vital demarcations between the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. Such separation of powers is a pillar of India's democracy. Just as the courts have no jurisdiction over legislatures, lawmakers are barring from discussing 'the conduct of any judge of the Supreme Court or of a high court in the discharge of his duties' (Articles 121 and 211). Absent these barriers, chaos will prevail.</b>

At stake is India's success as a Constitutional democracy, where each organ of power knows its authority and its limitations. We must have a clear, unambiguous resolution of the issues raised by the court's Jharkhand intervention. It won't do to shirk this on the ground that it will precipitate a 'confrontation' with the judiciary. On the contrary,<b> a Presidential reference to the court will clarify matters and help ensure that the BJP-NDA cannot exploit the court's unfortunate pronouncements as licence for irresponsible politics.</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Why Sonia Gandhi is a brand icon today

Way back in 1978, the ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi was entrusted with the task of creating the ad campaign for the Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher, aimed at the upcoming elections in Britain. The agency came up with the print ad showing a picture of a long line outside an unemployment office. The headline read,  Labour Isn't Working  .

The campaign directly hit the Labour Party on the plank of non-functioning and catapulted Thatcher to victory.

Cut to year 2004 in India. The Congress party led by Sonia Gandhi hired Orchard Advertising (a Leo Burnett agency) and Perfect Relations to handle its advertising and public relations campaigns respectively for the upcoming general elections. The combination of party's media cell and agencies' think tanks came up with a multiple ad campaign raising a single question Aam Aadmi Ko Kya Mila? (What did the common man get?).

The party's ad campaign promised Congress Ke Haath, Aam Aadmi Ke Saath co-relating its symbol of hand with the common man's need and aspiration.

The media was strategically apprised of the ground realities of the economy. The simple yet very effective campaign took the sheen away from the NDA government's high voltage 'India Shining' campaign. In the marketer's parlance, the seven-year young political brand Sonia Gandhi dislodged the over five-decade old political brand Atal Bihari Vajpayee from the market leadership position.

Gandhi's cleverly spent $6.5 mn in promotions established her brand superiority over Vajpayee, despite $100 mn being pumped in for promotions by the NDA in various ways. (The figures are based on market estimates). A political marketing consultant says, "Broadly speaking, there is a little difference between the brand values of Congress and BJP. The success of Sonia Gandhi is highly appreciable in such a situation."

The success of brand Sonia Gandhi inspite of her drawbacks including political inexperience and foreign origin is an enigma for the marketers. She has emerged as the third most powerful women (as per  Forbes  magazine) globally, ahead of names including Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. A film based on her life is also under production.

Talking of the strengths of the Sonia Gandhi brand, Nirvik Singh, chairman-South Asia, Grey Worldwide (the agency behind the India Shining campaign) says, "The brand Sonia Gandhi has many facets to it. The first one that comes to mind is focus - the ability to go through all the ups and downs and still remain firm. The other is the ability to adapt to the times - the Congress never had a policy of coalition earlier and the ability to invite people to come together is a sign of that.

The third facet is that as a brand she is inspirational and therefore commands a great deal of empathy. She appears to be warm and caring."

On the strategy behind the making of brand Sonia Gandhi, Dilip Cherian, co-founder & consulting partner, Perfect Relations, says, "The biggest advantage was that Sonia Gandhi was still a very 'new brand' (an unexploited brand as opposed to a somewhat played-out Vajpayee) in Indian politics despite spending six years (1998-2004) in it.

The mystique value worked to her advantage when she started coming into the open through her  jan sampark yatras  (mass contact programmes) and media interviews that were being carried out in a calibrated fashion. We always kept the weaknesses (foreign origin, lack of political experience, etc) in perspective while playing up the strengths."

Cherian believes that Sonia Gandhi has all the virtues of a leading brand as he says, "I think that Sonia Gandhi as a brand embodies all the core values of our nation such as the spirit of sacrifice, unity and diversity. India is quintessentially a woman. Sonia Gandhi represents a family that has sacrificed itself for the nation. Therefore, she has imbibed the values of courage and sacrifice. Brand Sonia was therefore, a modern day answer to the core issues that the Indian polity is facing."

But the big question is, did the strategic media exposure through advertising and editorial play the trick for her? Take this. "I don't think advertising can make or break a political brand. Only a small percentage of our population consumes media. I think it can influence people up to a point but as is clear even from the last elections, Indian elections are about caste, incumbency, alliances and what the party workers do or don't," says Singh.

Every brand has a life cycle. And the same applies to brand Sonia Gandhi. It will be interesting to watch out whether she has reached the peak of her life cycle already or she strengthens the brand (with the help of her spin doctors) before giving way to brand Rahul Gandhi. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The Jarkhand is over for 2 weeks. Suddenly CON woman's servants, boot lickers, a** lickers are coming out of every hole to bash BJP and praise ITALIAN MAFIA Queen.



Sonia has been correct to a fault

Archana Dalmia

The election results in Bihar and Jharkhand gave birth to "hung" Assemblies and the nation was once again witness to realpolitik of the kind we have grown accustomed to. The Congress did not get the expected mandate in the two states which, suffice it to say, any mature party can take in its stride. After all, you win some, you lose some. But simultaneously, dyed-in-the-wool saffron hacks went hammer and tongs against Ms Sonia Gandhi, almost as if they were waiting for this opportunity. "Avaricious, self-aggrandising, evil" were some of the shameful epithets used to describe her, showing the typical brotherhood of intolerance for a woman. Some people never learn.

The immediate cause for the shrill denouement of the saffron section of the media was the actions of the governors of Goa and Jharkhand. Questions of constitutional impropriety were raised in the dismissal of the Parrikar-led BJP Government in Goa and the calling of Mr Shibu Soren to form the Government in Jharkhand. Apart from the fact that the two governors were former Congressmen, there is no hard evidence to suggest that these worthies acted on the advice of the Central Government, much less of Ms Gandhi.

The conclusions of these journalists were based on innuendos that Ms Gandhi sanctioned the so-called "abuse of gubernatorial authority", reviving (horror of horrors) memories of the Emergency. Kanchan Gupta, an apologist of the BJP, called Ms Gandhi "evil" and "lacking the chutzpah" of her more famous mother-in-law. It is downright ludicrous to ascribe all the actions of a Governor on the whims of a single person. But then the hardcore preachers of the brotherhood style of democracy will believe anything.

It is an undeniable fact of coalition politics that allies who stick together in elections sometimes have friendly fights on their own turf in their respective states. The BJP did that unsuccessfully in Haryana with the INLD and with the BSP in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress won last year's election by successfully forging a national United Progressive Alliance coalition, for the first time in its 119-year history. In last month's State elections, the party fought against its own national allies.

In Ms Gandhi, the Congress has a leader who showed extraordinary tenacity and foresight in pulling off the amazing electoral coup against the NDA in the Lok Sabha polls. Despite all the ranting of the saffron brigade, she is much more democratic in her style of functioning than any of her predecessors. She consciously makes an effort to take everybody with her and delegate work with trust. When she assigns someone a task, she has the confidence that it will be carried out to its logical end.

As an answer to the people who faulted her strategy in the elections, every self-respecting party will want to widen its sphere of influence. Ms Gandhi can read situations very well. There are Congressmen who swear that her initial instinct about a given circumstance is often better than the one that results from the process of consultation.

In Jharkhand, Mr Shibu Soren is a trusted ally and the Assembly was split between two rival groupings by a number of one. Why blame Governor Sibte Razi when the call was so close? He faced a situation where both groups were claiming the votes of five independent MLA's on whom the fate of the Assembly hung. These Independents were involved in bargaining hard, first with the JMM and then the BJP, for power and pelf. In this game of open auction to the highest bidder, Mr soren couldn't manage the numbers. Conveniently, the BJP-JD(U) combine has had a memory lapse. It has forgotten Mr Nitish Kumar's backdoor entry in Bihar circa 1999.

There is another way of looking at this. Ms Gandhi's mandate for Jharkhand was threefold: One, to explore the possibility of forming a Government in the State without being "over-enthusiastic". Two, not to spend money on horse-trading. Three, to ensure that Mr Soren, a non-Congress candidate, was the combine's choice for Chief Minister.

In spite of the hue and cry by diehard BJP hacks, the truth is Ms Gandhi is correct to a fault. She has always underlined the need for respecting democratic institutions. She has very often advised party leaders against indulging in activities that would amount to violation of constitutional norms. Hence, the UPA smartly cut its losses in Goa, restored constitutional normalcy and proceeded to do just that in Jharkhand. But what of the saffron apologists? Do they have the grace to acknowledge this? Let's give credit where it is due.

If the Congress president says she was taken aback by the developments in Jharkhand and Goa, why should we doubt her? And she did advise those responsible in her party to restore constitutional balance. The UPA Government, following the enunciated principles of Ms Gandhi, restored status quo ante in these two states virtually overnight. Can the same be said of the prevaricating leaders of the BJP, who heaped international shame on this country by silently acquiescing in the gory deeds of Mr Narendra Modi.

Ms Gandhi doesn't need certificates from anyone on the moral strength of her character, least of all from those who preach hatred. She has demonstrated that she has the inner strength to confront evil. It is those with blinkered vision, like Mr Kanchan Gupta and his creed, who lack the moral clarity to see evil like it is, just like their political masters

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->MP sting: Govt notice for India TV
Posted online: Friday, March 25, 2005 at 0233 hours IST

NEW DELHI, MARCH 24: Its Bollywood sting may have grabbed all the headlines but it’s India TV’s purported sneak shots of three former MPs and a sitting Member that has prompted the government to serve a show-cause notice on the channel.

The notice, served two days ago, seeks an explanation from the channel for airing the programme Bhaiya Bhole, which was found to be offensive and obscene, said officials of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

“The operation on the MPs was also found to be unsuitable for unrestricted viewing,” officials said.

Telecast on February 27, the programme featured former MPs, Shish Ram Singh Ravi, Nawal Kishore Rai and Anwar Ul Haq, and sitting RJD Member Ubaidullah purportedly in compromising situations.

India TV chairman, Rajat Sharma, confirmed that he had received the notice. “I have submitted the reply for the consideration of the Ministry,” Sharma told The Indian Express.

The Ministry had served the notice under the Cable Regulation Act and the Uplinking Guidelines for news channels, asking why the channel’s licence should not be revoked.

The notice comes in the wake of a case filed in the Patiala House Courts by one of the former MPs featured in the programme, Shish Ram Singh Ravi, who has demanded a forensic investigation into the tape. At the time of telecast, Sharma had defended the programme by defining it as ‘‘new-age journalism’’. The Programme and Advertising Code for entertainment channels stipulates that channels will not telecast programmes that offend good taste or decency or contain half-truths and anything false, obscene, defamatory and suggestive. Uplinking guidelines state that news channels have to provide necessary monitoring facility at their own cost for monitoring of programme or content by a Ministry representative.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
any can post this, if relevant
'Husband of a Fanatic': Sleeping With the Enemy
Published: March 20, 2005
Amitava Kumar, an Indian Hindu who married a Pakistani Muslim, ruminates on Hindu-Muslim tensions in India and its diaspora.

the link needs registration!
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->any can post this, if relevant<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Here is link
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Mar 25 2005, 11:38 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Mar 25 2005, 11:38 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> <!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->any can post this, if relevant<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Here is link <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

'Husband of a Fanatic': Sleeping With the Enemy

Published: March 20, 2005

A DECADE ago, when I was living in India, a Jewish American woman described for me a Hindu boy who had enrolled in Hebrew lessons she was giving to members of Bombay's tiny Jewish community. When she had asked why he should join a class for Jews, he had replied, ''We share an enemy.'' I told the story to a group of Indian friends I knew were worried by India's growing communal discord. I expected them to shake their heads solemnly. Instead, they burst out laughing.


In ''Husband of a Fanatic,'' his challenging and at times eloquent rumination on Hindu-Muslim tensions in India and its diaspora, Amitava Kumar often summons the dark humor that South Asian secularists use to combat their sense that the battle is not going their way. He opens with his encounter with Jagdish Barotia, a member of the militant group Hindu Unity, who immigrated to the United States over 30 years ago and whose violence of feeling is absurd, even pitiful, because he is doomed to live among Muslims in a multiracial part of Queens. Kumar lets Barotia's grossness stand unadorned and thereby lampoons it. ''On the phone,'' Kumar recalls, ''he had called me a haraami, which means 'b@st@rd' in Hindi, and, after clarifying that he didn't mean this abuse only for me as a person but for everyone else who was like me, he had also called me a kutta, a dog.''

Soon enough, we learn the reason for Barotia's contempt; Kumar, an Indian Hindu who is a professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, has married Mona, a Pakistani Muslim. When they married, he says, he wallowed in a ''tepid tide'' of altruism and ''felt good about myself for marrying 'the enemy.' '' To understand the wider significance of his commitment as well as his own ''complicities and contradictions,'' he embarks on a tour of Hindu-Muslim strife and recalls wars between India and Pakistan -- ''Hindu-Muslim riots fought with tanks and fighter planes.''

At its best, Kumar's reportage has the immediacy and respectful attention to detail of a well-turned Granta essay (it is no surprise to see Ian Jack, Granta's editor, cited in the acknowledgments). <b>Picking his way through lives distorted or destroyed by hatred, Kumar alleviates his own -- and the reader's -- gloom by drawing attention to the fanatics' mordant eccentricities. In the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where Hindu nationalist cadres called kar-sevaks destroyed the Babri mosque in 1992, Kumar discovers that children now learn math by answering questions like, ''If it takes four kar-sevaks to demolish one mosque, how many does it take to demolish 20?'' He is dismayed that the nationalists have succeeded in making millions of Hindus feel embattled in a country where they form an overwhelming majority.</b> But he is painfully aware that he himself is the anachronism, one of a dwindling band clinging to the secular ideals of India's first prime minister, Jawarharlal Nehru.

<b>Kumar acknowledges his feeling of unease when he is among the devout, Hindu or Muslim: their language is an alien tongue for him. Nehru gleaned many of his beliefs from his days as a student in England.One senses the imprint of America's tradition of intellectual tolerance and its culture of candor on Kumar, especially when he discusses his own bogus conversion to Islam -- bogus, because he long ago abandoned the remnants of his adolescent Hindu faith, and has adopted Islam only for the purposes of appeasing the Pakistani authorities, who do not recognize marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims. </b>

Kumar's quest takes him from America to South Africa -- where he is heartened by examples of cooperation between Hindus and Muslims against apartheid -- but it is to Pakistan and India that he returns to confront his estrangement not only from the Hindu nationalists but also from Indian society as a whole. In his last chapter, dominated by his inquiry into police brutality in his native state of Bihar, he is discomfited by many of the people he speaks to, perpetrators and victims alike. They have sized him up as rich and well connected, and their confessions turn to supplications -- for money, for a passage to America, for husbands for their daughters, for a government vending license. Kumar writes of an encounter with a blind man and his two daughters: ''I resent being bullied by their father, but I also feel pity for the two. I take out some money from my wallet. . . . As I shut the door, I hear the loud, demanding voice behind me. 'How much is it -- how much did he give?' ''

And so, the door slams and Kumar leaves us with much but not one important thing, a proper introduction to the cause of all this soul-searching. Who, we want to know, is Mona? Kumar barely refers to his wife. The ''fanatic'' remains elusive, an ironic allusion in the title of a book that never quite answers the questions that it poses, and only intermittently lives up to the promise of its opening pages.

In part that is because Kumar the professor has an unfortunate way of intruding on Kumar the reporter. Thus he unnecessarily supplements his own neat description of Hindu political symbolism with the (borrowed) observation that televised Hindu epics had created ''a shared symbolic lexicon around which political forces could mobilize communal praxis.''

We learn much more when Kumar is describing small things impenetrable to outsiders, like the pungency of a communal slogan, the paradoxes and passions of South Asian cricket and the nuances of an Urdu story. Under the kitchen sink of his parents' home, one memorable childhood vignette runs, there was ''a dirty glass and, beside it, a ceramic plate that was white with small pink flowers,'' reserved for a tubercular uncle. ''The only other occasion when the plate and glass were taken out was when a Muslim driver who sometimes ate at our house needed to be fed.''

I know somebody has posted this link on this forum somewhere. But just to make sure. This is a good website. Wish there were one such website for each one of the DDMs.

Not sure which thread this belongs to but here it goes anyway... Apparently this appeared in some leading business magazine in india. [Look for 21 & 22]

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->1. U.F.O' were sighted even in 4000 B.C., as noted down in ancient Indian manuscripts, according to ufoindia.org.

2. U.S. Library of the congress, is the largest depositary, with 118 million volumes and a staff of 3000 persons. The British Library in London holds more than 62 million items, including prized manuscripts.

3. State Economic Freedom Index: : 1. Gujarat -0.40, 2. Andhra Pradesh -0.38 -------

5. Tamil Nadu--0.37 --- 11.Karnataka --0.31 -- 14. Bihar-0.26- 15 (last) )0.22

4. India has more places of worship than schools , colleges, hospitals and dispensaries combined.. 2.4 of the former, and 2.1 million of the latter. ( So what even if the figures are right--kvr )

5. Persons without completed formal education--- Charles Chaplin, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Wright Brothers, john D Rockfeller, Harry S Truman , Charles Dickens, Adolph Hitler, Al Pacino, Abraham Lincoln, George Bernard Shaw, George Washington, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein.

6. JOKES----- The laugh lab research was put through the computer;; every thing is- these days- One conclusion: jokes containing 103 words were thougt to be specially funny. -- Germans, strangely , found everything humorous.

A Good Joke-- Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner and a battle of wine , they retire for the night, and go to sleep. -Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his fathful friend, " Watson, look at the sky and tell me what you see." Watson replies, " I see millions and millins of stars , Holmes." And Holmes querries, " What do you deduce from that?"

Watson ponders for a minute, " Well, astronomically, it tells me that, there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I see the Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is , approximately a quarter past three. Meteriologically, I suspect, that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you Holmes?"

Holmes is silent for a minute, "Watson, you idiot!" he says. "Someone has stolen our tent!"


7, The most corrupt instituitions in india are; (a)Political parties-- perception of 41.2 %. (b) Education System--24.9 % © Police--12.8 % (d) Utilities --phone etc.--4.4 % (e) .69Medical Services--4.0 % (f) Courts 3.8% (g) Tax Revenue--2.1% (h) Business Licensing--2.0 % (i) Customs-- !.8 %

8. About 25,000 new products are launched in U.S. market every year. according to estimates some 94% of them flop. For products unrelated to a company's existing line of business , the failure rate is cose to 100%.

9. Thirsty Cat Bottled water was launched in the U.S. It flopped. Nobody wanted to pay $1.49 for a bottle of water for a cat. By contrast, Thr Thirst Dog Portable Pet water Bowl is a success. A bottle becomes a bowl. Use your own water.

10. The impact of internet on selected sectors in the next decade- in scale-10 for maximum impact and 1 for least.

(a) News organisations and publishing---8.46 (b) Education --7.98 © Workplacess--7.84 (d) Medicine and health care---7.63 (e) Politics and Government--- 7.39 (f) Music, literature, drama, fims, art, etc.--- 7.18 (g) International relations---6.74 (h) Military---6.53 (i) Families---6.24 (j) Neighbours and communities---6.16 (k) Religion--4.69

11. naukri.com -- Exclusive no.1, Indian career web-site, also helped NRI's, wanting to return to India.

12. Pornography is thriving on the inter-net, with sexually-rxplicit pages rising from 18 milion in 1998 to 260 million in 2003, hared by 1.3 million web-sites, according to internet filtering company N2H2. The cyber-sex industry generates some $1.3 billion annually.

13. Amrutanjan (inception in 1893) , the pain-balm, has a 40% share in the pain-balm market.

14. Business India's confession-- We tried to know, where these creative types got their ideas from. Today found, they turn to on-line resources such as Onine Sogan Generator. And when we fed in B.I. a couple of times this is what we got: " Choosy Mothers Choose Business India." And " Have a Break. Have a Business India".

15. Views on print media--- "Literature is what is read twice, journalism once." " Newspaper consists of same number of pages, whether there be any news, or not." " A good newspaper, is a nation taking to itself." " The freedom of the press works in such a way, that there is not much freedom in it."

16. Five tips to stay healthy : (1) Replace all your aerated drinks, with black or green tea. (2) Hungry ? Pass up on the buscuits, dough-nuts and french-fries. Reach for a small handfu of nuts. (3) Take 15 minutes off during your working day. Choose whatever suits you best: take a short nap. (4) Have at least one serving of a dairy product during the day. (5) Stop digging your nose. That is the quickest way to catch flu.

17. Powerful people do not sleep; they have power-naps. A Harvard University experiment using human subjects, shows that a short, 60-minute daytime nap, " Contributes to the consolidation of learning and improves performance of visual discrimination tasks."

18.In the new age of technology, a arge share of new jobs in the U.S. will be in occupations, that do not require a lot of education and pay below average. Of the top ten occupations, with the highest percentage growth, ranked by U.S. Federal Bureau of Labour Statistics, only four will require a bachelor's degree.

19. Sum population across indian cities, in millions :: Greater mumbai--6.24; Delhi-- 1.85; Kolkota--1.49; Chennai--0.75; Nagpur--0.73; Hyderabad-- ).60; Pune--0.53; Faridabad-- ).49; ----Jaipur and Bangalore --).35.

20. Major exports from India:: (Share in % ) Gems and Jewellery--18; Reday made garments--8; Basic Chemicals and pharmaceuticals--8; Petroleum Products--8; Cotton yarn and fabrics--4; Machine tools, Machinery and instruments--4; Iron and Steel 4; transport equipment 4; Plastic and Linoleum--3; Rest of exports--35;

<b>21. People who shaped civilization ( Most Influential Persons of all times)

Muhammad-- Founder of islam; Isaac Newton--Physicist; Jesus Christ--Founder of Christianity; Buddha--founder of Buddhism; Confucius--Founder of Confucianism; St. Paul-- Proselytiser of Christianity; Ts'ai Lun--Chinese inventor of paper; Johan Gutenberg--Inventor of printing press; Christopher Columbus--Explorer; Alber Finstein--Physicist; Lous pasteur-- Scientist; Galileo--Astronomer; Aristotle--Philosopher; Euclid-- Mathematician; Moses--Founder of Judaism; Charles Darwin--Biologist; Shih huang Ti--Chinese emperor; Nicolaus Copernicus-- Astronomer; Antoine Laurent Lavoisier--Modern Chemistry;

( Source: " The 100: A Ranking of the Most Infuntial persons in History" by Michael H. Hart . --India is out of the reckoning?)

22. World's Oldest Universities--Name and Year Founded in-- Nanjing,China--258; Al-Azhar, Egypt--988; Bologna, Italy--1088; Oxford U.K.--1096; Paris--1150; Modena--1175; Cambridge, U.K--.1208; Salamanca, Spain--1218; Padua, italy--1222; Naples, Italy--1224; Siena , Italy--1240; Coimbra, Portugal--1290; Complutense Madrid, Spain--1293; Rome La Sapienza, Italy--1303; Pisa, Italy--1343; Prague, Czech Republic--1348;

(Source: Wikipedia-- -- But Where is India ,That is Bharat).</b>

From pioneer

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->LTTE launches satellite channel

Agencies/ Colombo

The LTTE may now be having its own satellite channel. The Tamilnet website said on Saturday, that the National Television of Thamil Eelam (NTT) satellite channel would be beaming programmes from "an undisclosed location in North East Sri Lanka," from Saturday onwards.

To begin with, for two weeks, the NTT would be telecasting only a 15 minute news bulletin, and that too only for Europe, Tamilnet quoted a NTT official as saying.

The first bulletin would be relayed for European audiences by the Paris-based Tamil Television Network (TTN) at 18.00 hours GMT.

The telecast time would be increased in course of time, and the channel would expand its reach to cover Asia also, the NTT official assured.

It is not clear if the NTT has got the necessary clearance from the Sri Lankan Government.

But whether authorised or unauthorised, it is expected to cause a political storm in south Sri Lanka.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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