Monday, April 21, 2014

“Amriki jasoosi (American spy)” must die

Issori, North Waziristan (for detailed map see below). A breathtakingly beautiful land being polluted by ugly foreigners and foolish locals.


This direct quote is the most poignant: “We have been caught between the earth and the skies,” says Sadat, who has rented a house for his grandparents in Bannu and struggles to set up a transport business there. “The Americans kill us by firing from the skies and men with ugly faces (militants) have made our lives miserable on the ground.”

The aam aadmi is at the mercy of ruthless beasts:  Young Taliban militants pulled him out of his shop and dragged him across the road. “Amriki jasoosi, Ameriki Jasoosi (American spy, American spy),” Sadat remembers the militants shouting as they dragged his friend. “Two of them held his arms and the other two his legs, and tied explosives around the whole body while my friend was screaming.” The tribesmen, including Deen Wali’s family members, gathered around but nobody dared to stop the Taliban militants. “The militants walked backwards, moving away from Deen Wali, and pushed the remote button. The explosives detonated, shredding him. His flesh and body parts flew everywhere.” The militants left the scene in a convoy of vehicles leaving behind the clouds of dust, despair and helplessness.
The local temperature (of hell) is: The tribesmen relate that every Waziristani keeps anti-depressant tablets in their pockets. Sadat takes his grandmother Bi Jan for psychiatric treatment every week.

1984 (no justice, only insults)

We have now counted more than a hundred articles (national, international) as to why Narendra Modi should not come to power (and we mostly agree with those justifications).

However the extent to which the liberal crowd will avert their gaze to prevent an immodest look at the injustices committed against Sikhs in 1984 is something truly shameful. Has a single person even suffered one day in prison for his crimes? Why have the top people (and they are well known) gone scot-free? How is this dereliction of duty possible in a modern nation where the wheels of justice, even if slow, must turn eventually in favor of the victims? It is already 30 years past, how long must the victims endure the slings and arrows of outrageous (mis)fortune?

Now we have insults adding to injury- clean chits being issued on behalf of monsters by unworthy people. It is a national disgrace and the hand of the liberals are bloodied by virtue of their acts of omission.

Will "jamai-babu" go to jail?

Usually politicians are a friendly lot cutting across party lines. On public platforms they may huff and puff (and even come to blows) they mostly get along very well. Atal Bihari Vajpayee's admiration for Indira Gandhi was legendary (Indira is India and India is Indira). In turn the communists had great respect for Vajpayee, especially as the left and right joined hands for a brief while during the genocide of Bangladeshi Hindus during partition II.

However if a Modi govt comes such traditions may be a thing of the past. Modi has faced the wrath of the entire Congress machinery for a decade, because they predicted (correctly) that this was one danger-man that can scuttle the chances of the "natural ruling party." So how will the response be in turn?

Our suspicion is they will not unleash the sword against Sonia (bahu) and the prince or even the princess. Indians are in their way touchy about these things and people still remain fond of Indira and her brood.

But the son-in-law is a different kettle of fish. He is a (non-royal) outsider and is a soft target. We suspect that people will not mind as much, especially the millions who have had to walk through airport security and observe that while all the VIPs who are allowed to pass unmolested are titled (Prime Minister etc.), there is only one (untitled) man specifically mentioned by name: Robert Vadra.
Notwithstanding BJP's assertion that there will be no witch-hunt if it comes to power, Uma Bharati has said that Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra will be in jail if NDA comes to power.

2 States- "conjugation minus coyness"

The critics were luke-warm but our friends who saw the movie (across age group) liked it very much. This is also great news since newbie director Abhishek Varman has succeeded in his first attempt, OTOH Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt will prolong the stranglehold of dynasties in Bollywood (we still wish them well).

In spite of the IPL fever, this film has been declared the biggest hit of 2014 so far. Trade Analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted about the film's success,"#2States all set to cross $ 1 million mark in USA-Canada in opng wknd itself. BIGGEST OPENER of 2014 there. Excellent!"

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The problem with the Hindu right

When self-appointed guardians turn thieves?

The report submitted by Gopal Subramaniam, amicus curiae – appointed by the apex court to assist it in the case related to the control of the temple, reveals organised pilferage of the temple riches. The 600-page report has put the Travancore royal family that runs the temple now under a shadow of suspicion. The report, prepared by the senior advocate after spending 35 days in the temple and interviewing scores of staff and others related to the temple, quoted a temple staff revealing one instance of smuggling out of 17 kilograms of gold concealed in earth. Subramaniam, a former solicitor general of India, himself discovered a gold plating machine inside the temple. This, he suspects, may have been used to replace original gold with fakes. He also came across large quantity of unaccounted gold and silver inside the temple. The amicus curiae also found an underground tunnel in one of the palaces around the temple and footpath over the vaults in which the treasures, which include rare jewels, stone-studded crowns, heaps of gold and silver coins and idols, are stored.
More here. Frankly I am surprised the loot wasn't more extensive. The usual suspects are involved...
Don't forget that these same people once thrived on the hatred towards South Indians in Mumbai.

I believe in the Tamil Nadu Model

Those who do not learn history...

Gujarat Model

Vishwa Hindu Parishad's (VHP) president Pravin Togadia sent temperatures soaring in Bhavnagar on Saturday evening with a hate speech that targeted Muslims for buying properties in Hindu areas. At night, Togadia joined a group of VHP and Bajrang Dal members on a street protest outside a house purchased by a Muslim businessman near Meghani Circle. While saffron groups have been regularly organizing 'Ram Dhuns' and 'Ram Darbars' to thwart such deals, Togadia went a step further by asking the protesters to take complete control of the house and put a 'Bajrang Dal' board on it. 

China on path to be largest Christian country

Officially, the People’s Republic of China is an atheist country, but that is changing fast as many of its 1.3 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied. Christian congregations, in particular, have rocketed since churches began reopening when Communist leader Mao Zedong’s death in 1976 signalled the end of the Cultural Revolution. Less than four decades later, some believe China is now poised to become not just the world’s No. 1 economy but also its most numerous Christian nation.

The Trojan Horse rolls into Birmingham

It all started with an anonymous letter. These days it is actually safer to put pen to paper since no electronic trail can be established and all the fancy govt spyware is for nowt.

The letter claims- boys and girls were segregated in classrooms and assemblies, sex education was banned, and non-Muslim staff were bullied. In one case it was alleged that the teachings of a firebrand al Qaida-linked Muslim preacher were praised to pupils.

This could be a massive hoax or it could be a careful plan by the Wahabbists to replace moderate leadership with militants in schools in Birmingham, Bradford and other locations. The Education Secretary Michael Gove is so worried that he has deputed a special Tzar to investigate the allegations. This has the appearance of an internal power struggle. The Salafists are late-comers to the party but they want all of the cake.
Twenty-five schools in Birmingham are now under investigation following 200 complaints received by the council in relation to allegations of Islamist "takeovers", according to the leader of the city council

Killed by ice, saved by ice

Filed under the truth is stranger than fiction category: the only men who escaped the (ice) cannon balls of the avalanche were under protection of a big wall of ice.

This is symptomatic of larger problems which need resolution through long-term planning and action. While Himalayas earn a lot of foreign exchange for Nepal, the high volume of thrill seekers - even so far as to creating a traffic jam at 29000 feet -  does not do any good to either man or mountain. The relentless pressure to ease access - there is actually a mad plan to attach ladders on mountains to make climbing easier (see below) - may lead to larger disasters. And now 13 Sherpas are dead due to avalanche (and they will not be the last to be killed).

Photos: Exploring Mount Everest

Boko Haram "not unreasonable"

Nigeria may be winning on the economic front (rated #1 in Africa ahead of SAfrica) but it is surely losing the hearts and minds of its own citizens. (Step 1) The Boko Haram terrorists recently kidnapped 129 girls from a boarding school (presumably imparting western education which BH hates). (Step 2) The govt is unable to do anything about it except make a piss poor announcement that most girls have escaped. (Step 3) Some 14 lucky girls do manage to escape, 115 more are still trapped in the forest. (Step 4) The terrified, poor (in all sense of the term) parents are now scouring the forests and have contracted the services of a vigilante group.

If all this does not suggest end of times, what does? Where is the outrage?? Apparently according to the (white) liberals (of the Guardian) the outrage should be directed at the Nigerian state for not having spread the (oil) wealth around (which is fine in our opinion), however, equally they suggest that Boko Harams' approach "makes sense" and the goal of enforcing Sharia is "not an unreasonable position."

It is beyond us to work out a therapy for this specific condition (liberalitis) but we humbly suggest that Simon Allison talks to the dad who is on record saying that he is willing to die so that his daughter may live. It may help focus the mind.

World of riches awaits (perfect SAT score)

He is a just a kid filled with dreams, but for now it is closer to reality with admissions to Stanford and Harvard. Another Indian who will do very well for himself in the USA (hopefully morning shows what the day will be).

However it will be great if he can come back and give something back to his impoverished nation. That "something" need not be idle money, but ideas about how to create jobs (he wants to be an entrepreneur), and develop algorithms that would help cut down waste and remove the stain of corruption from our daily lives (his preferred majors are maths and computer science).

Congratulations to Arunavha (and his family for support).
A 19-year-old boy from the city has received admission offers from seven top US varsities, most of them Ivy League, after achieving a perfect score in SAT, the standardized examination for admission to American colleges....Arunavha Chanda had applied to eight US universities and got through seven — Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, Cornelle, Georgia Institute of Technology and Dartmouth College. He has got prestigious scholarships from Columbia and Duke and financial aid from the rest as they do not offer scholarships at under-graduate level.