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Ranking Moms Is Just So Bad An Idea

May 11, 2013 3 comments

Why is this British NGO so desperately putting down moms from Africa?

No mother is any lesser than any other. To try and show superiority ...|  Cartoon by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - May 10, 2013 via PoliticalCartoons.com

No mother is any lesser than any other. To try and show superiority …| Cartoon by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – May 10, 2013 via PoliticalCartoons.com

Wherever in the world it is, bringing up children is a job second to none.

Every mother and father, and societies that help them bring up a child deserve a lot of respect.

To see people scoring points likes this …

For Moms in Finland, every day is Mother’s Day. A new report from the non-profit Save the Children says that the Scandinavian nation is the best country on the globe for mothers to live.

Scandinavia is definitely a good place to be a Mom. Finland, which often places high on education and quality of life in other international lists, is followed by Sweden at no. 2 and Norway at no. 3. In fact, all but one of the top 10 countries where Moms are the safest are European, with Australia placing tenth.

The ten unsafest places for mothers are all located in Central Africa, with the Democratic Republic of Congo ranking worst. An estimated 98% of newborn and 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries where basic health care services are scarce.

Check out the top 10 best and worst countries for mothers below, and see the full report here.

Best:

1) Finland

2) Sweden

3) Norway

4) Iceland

5) Netherlands

6) Denmark

7) Spain

8) Belgium

9) Germany

10) Australia

Worst:

167) Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

168) Chad

1

69) Nigeria

170) Gambia

171) Central African Republic

172) Niger

173) Mali

174) Sierra Leone

175) Somalia

176) DR Congo

via 10 Best Countries for Moms | TIME.com.

Proof of the pudding

So, if these Western countries are so good for women and becoming mothers, how come women here don’t want to become mothers often enough?

Why are these top 10 countries having so few babies? Why are their populations shrinking?

Motherhood statements on Mother’s Day that don’t hold up?

Simple statements that these countries have lowest infant mortality, maternal mortality, etc would have been enough.

But if you try ramming in a truck through simple data like this, it looks awfully close to talking down to us in Third World?

And if you know, your own backyard needs fixing, why waste time in putting down other people? Like how children in Britain want a brother /sister more than any other gift for Christmas? Or how the State thinks that it has more rights in naming a child compared to the child’s parents?

If your social systems are so good, why try these kind of dubious tactics to score points over people in Africa, who are down right now.

Pointing fingers at others is …

Bad psychologically.

Bad in ethics.

Not to forget Bad Journalism


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US Medical: Workings of Private Hospitals and Individual Customers

May 10, 2013 2 comments

Would all those in the fan club of Yummrika’s ‘systems’ like to take a look at the US medical system? .

Around 20% of US residents do not have access to the US medical facilities on fair terms. This has been a long running racket in the US medical industry - and the US Government has made some ham-handed attempts at solving this problem.  |  Cartoon titled The Raft Of The Uninsured- By RJ Matson, The St. Louis Post Dispatch  -  11/21/2006 12:00:00 AM

Around 20% of US residents do not have access to the US medical facilities on fair terms. This has been a long running racket in the US medical industry – and the US Government has made some ham-handed attempts at solving this problem. | Cartoon titled The Raft Of The Uninsured- By RJ Matson, The St. Louis Post Dispatch – 11/21/2006 12:00:00 AM

The US Government recently passed laws ‘compelling’ hospitals to ‘reveal’ prices that they charge for uninsured individual customers – who are also not covered by employer medical insurance, or State Medicare, Medicaid system.

Yumm-Rika – The Promised Land

We recently also covered some tweets from some more knowledgeable people on how the US is the most consumer friendly.

But even in this backward country, India, private medical costs are easily and commonly available. And for those who can afford, there is vast network of private medical care. For those who cannot afford, there is the State-assisted medical hospital system, which provides, few questions asked medical services to any comer.

Uninsured & uncovered by Government Medicaid and Medicare  |  Image source & courtesy - turner.com

Uninsured & uncovered by Government Medicaid and Medicare | Image source & courtesy – turner.com

Cartels and Monopolies

One can quibble, one can cavil, one can whine and moan, but is there anything worse than a country-wide cartel of hospital systems that will not reveal heir costs to the consumers, upfront, openly and freely.

And this is the system that India trying to copy – and promote.

No wonder we have this new phenomenon that private insurers promise cashless medical insurance – and after the patient is admitted, after costs are approved, at the time of discharge, the hospital presents a bill to the patients, of costs that not approved by the insurer.

The Government bill, running into a reported 2700 pages has been challenged in the Supreme Court.  The current administrations point of view is that some solution is better than the rampant abusive cartelization that is presently the norm  |  Cartoon titled Obamacare Bike  By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune  -  3/27/2012 12:00:00 AM

The Government bill, running into a reported 2700 pages has been challenged in the Supreme Court. The current administrations point of view is that some solution is better than the rampant abusive cartelization that is presently the norm | Cartoon titled Obamacare Bike By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune – 3/27/2012 12:00:00 AM

Maya ahoy!

On with the story. American media is breathless with astonishment, when it took all the might of the world’s sole super-power, the US Government, to publish medical information on a Government website.

WASHINGTON — The actual cost of hospital care became a lot clearer for consumers on Wednesday when the Obama administration released the average prices charged by more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals for the 100 most common medical procedures.

The 2011 data, which shows wide cost variations at hospitals across the country – and in the same city or geographic area – raise questions about how treatment prices are determined and why the information has been so hard to get in the past.

Rates paid by private insurers and public health plans like Medicare and Medicaid are typically much lower.

The cost information is being released for the first time with the intent to “save consumers money by arming them with better information that can help them make better choices,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

“When consumers can easily compare the prices of goods and services, producers have strong incentives to keep those prices low,” Sebelius said.

Inpatient charges to treat heart failure in Denver hospitals, for instance, ranged from a low of $21,000 to a high cost of $46,000, while the same procedure ranged from $9,000 to $51,000 at hospitals in Jackson, Miss. Inpatient costs related to joint replacement ranged from $5,300 at a hospital in Ada, Okla., up to a high of $223,000 at a hospital in Monterey Park, Calif.

That kind of price disparity puzzled Jon Blum, director of the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. He said the cost variations could possibly reflect the health status of the patient, whether a hospital charges more because it trains future doctors, and even whether a hospital has higher capital costs that are passed on to patients.

But Blum added: “Those reasons don’t seem very apparent to us.”He said the charges “don’t seem to make sense to us from a consumer standpoint. There’s no relationship that we see to charges and the quality of care that’s being provided.”

Even though more than 40 states require or encourage hospitals to make their charges and payment rates public, the hospital association supports federal price transparency legislation sponsored by Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas.

Burgess’ proposal would require state Medicaid plans to ensure that states would pass laws requiring hospitals to make their charges readily available to the public and to provide information about patients’ estimated out-of-pocket costs.

via Prices for hospital care vary widely, even within same city, data show | McClatchy.

And who are these uninsured, the uncovered. There is fairly narrow range that the total number of the uninsured and uncovered was between 48-52 million legal US citizens and 10-15 million US residents who have not be legalized. To this add the fact that this data pertains to years 2011-2012. Due the current economic climate this number probably is closer to 65 million US residents. That would be around 65 million US residents. In a population of some 330 million. 20% of the US population.

Not surprising that vested commercial interests who have been running an opaque medical system, are spending massive amounts of money in lobbying with their law-makers. This lobbing in USA, in India would be called bribes subvert a solution  |  Cartoon titled Obama Care By Arend Van Dam, source & courtesy - politicalcartoons.com on 3/26/2012 12:00:00 AM

Not surprising that vested commercial interests who have been running an opaque medical system, are spending massive amounts of money in lobbying with their law-makers. This lobbing in USA, in India would be called bribes subvert a solution | Cartoon titled Obama Care By Arend Van Dam, source & courtesy – politicalcartoons.com on 3/26/2012 12:00:00 AM

And the Obama administration has passed a 2700-pages medical insurance law to cover these uninsured.

Three groups comprised the bulk of the uninsured in 2010, including foreign-born residents who are not U.S. citizens, young adults ages 19 to 25 and low-income families with an annual household income of less than $25,000.

The percentage of people who had health insurance through their employers fell to 55.3% in 2010 from 56.1% the year before, continuing a long, downward trend. In 2000, 64.1% of the population received health insurance through their employers.

The average health insurance premium for family coverage has more than doubled over the past decade to $13,770 a year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit which focuses on health care policy and issues.

With fewer Americans receiving health care coverage through their employers, government-funded programs like Medicare, Medicaid, military health care, the Children’s Health Care Program (CHIPS) and coverage offered by various states have had to pick up the slack.

In 2010, 31% of Americans relied on the government for health insurance, up from 24.2% in 1999.

Many of the new government beneficiaries are children, according to Gould. Still, Census reported that 9.8% of children under age 18 are uninsured despite the government programs targeting them like CHIPS and Medicaid, which is also open to their parents.

Adults without dependent children, however, are not eligible for Medicaid in most states under federal rules, said Rachel Garfield, a senior researcher on the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. It’s this group that accounts for a large portion of the increase in the uninsured.

Nearly one-in-four working-age adults are uninsured, said Gould. She said it won’t be until 2014, when Obama’s Affordable Care Act fully kicks in, that more people will be able to find affordable health care coverage.

Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, said the report is evidence that the Obama administration’s health care reform is already starting to work.

Citing a provision that went into effect last year that allows parents to keep their children on their health insurance policy until they are 26 years old, Sebelius noted that the percentage of young adults ages 18 to 24 who were insured increased to 72.8% in 2010 from 70.7% in 2009.

Number of people without health insurance in U.S. climbs – Sep. 13, 2011.

There are widespread expectations that the US Sureme Court may uphold a legal challenge to the latest Government proposal, on a rather simple count of a complexity.  |  Cartoon titled Death and Politics By Parker, Florida Today  -  2/2/2011 12:00:00 AM

There are widespread expectations that the US Supreme Court may uphold a legal challenge to the latest Government proposal, on a rather simple count of a complexity. | Cartoon titled Death and Politics By Parker, Florida Today – 2/2/2011 12:00:00 AM

After a year of bitter and partisan wrangling, the Obama administration passed a law that will enable coverage of these uninsured /uncovered.

If it survives Supreme Court scrutiny, the landmark overhaul will expand coverage to about 30 million uninsured people, according to government figures. But an estimated 26 million Americans will remain without coverage — a population that’s roughly the size of Texas and includes illegal immigrants and those who can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket for health insurance.

Millions Still Go Uninsured If Obamacare Survives.

The US Government itself recognizes a figure that varies around 50 million. This excludes US residents who have been living in the US for several years – and there is an ongoing debate on how to legalize these residents.

The percentage of people without health insurance in 2011 decreased from 2010. In 2011, the percentage was 15.7%, compared to 16.3% in 2010. During 2011, an estimated 48.61 million people were without insurance, a statistically significant decrease of 1.34 million from the estimated 49.95 million uninsured in 2010. (via Overview of the Uninsured in the United States: A Summary of the 2012 Current Population Survey Report.


Is This The Intellectual Depth Of Aam Aadmi Party?

April 26, 2013 2 comments

Aam Aadmi Party founders like @VinitaDeshmukh and @ArvindKejriwal derive inspiration from US governance. What lessons, if any, from the USA?.

Query to Vinita Deshmukh, brought no reply. Possibly, in her view, this message was axiomatic - what in Indian classical idiom will be called pratyaksh satya. | Tweet Text - My observation: Governance in USA revolves around Citizen Safety and Citizen Convenience. Just love it! | Twitter - VinitaDeshmukh- My observation- Governance ... 2013-04-26 10-02-32  | Click to go to original message.

Query to Vinita Deshmukh, brought no reply. Possibly, in her view, this message was axiomatic – what in Indian classical idiom will be called pratyaksh satya. | Tweet Text – My observation: Governance in USA revolves around Citizen Safety and Citizen Convenience. Just love it! | Twitter – VinitaDeshmukh- My observation- Governance … 2013-04-26 10-02-32 | Click to go to original message.

A very remarkable thing in India is the effect English has on Indian minds.

For instance, Arvind Kejriwal‘s Party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has looked to the US for every inspiration. This inspiration-by-the-US ideas are not based on study of the US – but on the propaganda by US media.

Out Of Our Minds

For instance corruption.

Just one scandal in the US, is bigger than all corruption cases that have ‘allegedly’ happened in the last nearly 70 years of independent India. The nearly US$8 trillion of unaccounted /partially accounted hole in the expenditure by US Department of Defense. US$ 8 trillion is nearly all the money that India has spent on defense in the last 65 years.

Yet a founder of the AAP tweets on US governance. Not surprisingly, it based on ‘optics’ – not on any critical appreciation of the US.

For instance, let us look at the US Supreme Court.

Slavery vs Freedom

In March, 1857.

About 1 month before India went up in flames, against the British Raj, the  Supreme Court of the USA (SCOTUS) covered itself in infamy. On  March 6, 1857 the US Supreme Court, in a complex judgement, upheld slavery (Dred Scott v. Sanford). This judgement closed the door of US judiciary and stopped any slave from approaching US courts for justice.

In March 1857, while Indians were preparing to battle the British for freedom and independence, the SCOTUS was busy finding new ways to keep slaves – stooped, shackled and in chains.

It took another 100 years of protests, assassinations of leaders like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, even a Civil War to change rampant discrimination in the US. But, above all, finally an acute shortage of factory labor and soldiers forced the US Government to withdraw its support to entrenched racism.

The SCOTUS just did not stop at slavery.

SCOTUS supported racism (United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, 261 U.S. 204 (1923)), segregation by Plessy v. Ferguson 1896.

This tradition has continued. Most recently, SCOTUS stopped a vote recount that would have declared Al Gore the President – but instead, George Bush became the US President for the second term. Books have been written, news journals regularly compile their ‘favorite’ lists of Worst 10 SCOTUS judgements.

Unlike the SCOTUS, the Indian SC has not allowed such unjust judgements to escape its portals. The Indian Supreme Court, in its’ short history has been a remarkable body in juridical operations.

But …

I could repeat big data here

  1. How the US imprisons more people than the next 10 biggest police States in the world.
  2. How 1 in 3 Black Americans are imprisoned
  3. How the US police are brutal force which tramples on US citizens’ rights, every minute, every day.
  4. How the US secret police is bigger than any police State ever in the history of mankind
  5. How the US prosecutes more than 1.4 crore people through its judicial system – which I have pointed out above is covered in tar.

If Arvind Kejriwal and Vinita Deshmukh of the Aam Aadmi Party will take a 2ndlook.

Having said all this, Arvind Kejriwal’s idea of a citizen police force for women safety is a step in the right direction. While the BJP, Communists were all clamoring for more police, more judges, more courts, more costs, Arvind Kejriwal differed.

We cannot have an expanding State. Do we want more and more brutal policemen.

Elections In Pakistan: Why Arresting Pervez Musharraf Is A Mistake

April 23, 2013 1 comment

How does removing a candidate from the election fray promote democracy?

Pakistan Electoral Alliances  |  Comic Wisdom - by Zahoor on December 3rd, 2012 – The Express Tribune

Pakistan Electoral Alliances | Comic Wisdom – by Zahoor on December 3rd, 2012 – The Express Tribune

Judicial vengeance is dish that is best served cold. It should never be served hot and steaming.

One Big Mistake

Pakistan‘s judiciary has made this, one fundamental mistake. Especially at a time, when restraint was needed. Remember, Pakistan is living up to the fact that for the first time an elected government has completed a full-term.

All the confusion in Pakistan is best captured by a confusing and ill-thought post in the WSJ.com. By my favorite journalist – Sadanand Dhume.

I especially favor him, because no other journalist of any globally or nationally relevant publication writes from a position of such ignorance and lack of understanding.

For one Dhume has not learnt that …

Well Begun Is Half Done

The post starts off with a contradiction.

How does removing a candidate from the election fray promote democracy?

The lesson from Indian democracy is that any one can stand for election. Dacoits, transgenders, actors, filmstars, mobsters – the full range of social strata.

Unlike most of the world’s democracies, especially in the West, that have just 2 parties.

It is only in India that the 2 main parties tend towards towards an arithmetic mean of 40%-60% of the parliamentary seats. The rest are controlled by various regional and fringe parties. Left, Right, Ruralist (Bharatiya Kisan Union), Urbanist (Shiv Sena)

This trend has become even more accentuated in the last 30 years. Remember that after 1980, no party has won an electoral majority on merit. Rajiv Gandhi’s 1984 electoral victory was clearly a sympathy vote.

This promotes a vibrant clash in ideologies, programs, values, actions. The resultant clamor leaves India’s English speaking urban chatteratti very dis-satisfied. Not to forget foreign observers.

India’s English speaking urban chatteratti would like to replicate 2-party system like the West.

Dhume asserts

Pervez Musharraf’s recent legal setbacks are Pakistan’s gain. Since Saturday, the country’s former military leader has found himself confined by police to a bedroom in his farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad. (via Sadanand Dhume: At Home With Pervez Musharraf – WSJ.com.).

What is it that Parvez Musharraf is accused of?

Like how George Bush subverted the SCOTUS which stopped the recount of votes that would have declared Al Gore as the President – and not GWB, Jr. Every Pakistani politicians (and in all other parts of the world) have at some or the other subverted the judiciary.

Appointing pliable judges; cooperative judges who were elevated; ideological conformity, would all count as subversion. Has any politician in any country of the world not done this?

Going by this standard, no politician would be qualify to fight an election.

A smug Dhume continues

He faces charges ranging from complicity in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007 to wrongful dismissal of judges in the waning days of his unpopular rule, which stretched from 1999 to 2008. (via Sadanand Dhume: At Home With Pervez Musharraf – WSJ.com.)

Being practical, since Musharraf was not going to win the election anyway, why not arrest him and throw the rule book at him? A sarcastic Dhume intones

Meanwhile, his quixotic hope of once again leading Pakistan was dashed after courts rejected his attempt to run for parliament. Pundits don’t expect Mr. Musharraf’s political party to claim a single seat in elections scheduled for May 11. (via Sadanand Dhume: At Home With Pervez Musharraf – WSJ.com.)

Have You Thunk Of This?

Is it a crime, for any hack with any US publication to dream of winning the Pulitzer? How is it a crime for Musharraf to dream of winning the election?

Misplaced or otherwise?

Dhume has ‘thunk’ about this. And he determines that

A two-week house arrest is far from the welcome Mr. Musharraf expected on his return to Pakistan last month after more than four years of self-exile. In a stream of tweets and Facebook posts, the former commando had painted a picture of a grateful nation waiting to sweep him back to power with a popular mandate. (via Sadanand Dhume: At Home With Pervez Musharraf – WSJ.com.)

The only delusions that exceed Musharraf’s are those of Western media outlets, who have written anything on Pakistan. All those well-trained, untrained, first-rate, third-grade journalists who have come, few have made sense of Pakistan.

Musharraf is not alone. Dhume repeats.

In addition to serving as a case study in political delusion. (via Sadanand Dhume: At Home With Pervez Musharraf – WSJ.com.)

More than Islam, the problem with elections in the Islamic world is the US of A.

Countless cases of US agencies, NGOs, diplomats have indicted, identified responsible for subverting election processes. Starting with the murder of Mossadegh in Iran to the latest cases where US NGO bureaucrats were arrested in Egypt.

A memory-challenged Dhume pronounces

Should next month’s polls go off as planned, Pakistan will join Turkey, Bangladesh and Indonesia as countries that have defied those who doubt Islam’s compatibility with democracy. (via Sadanand Dhume: At Home With Pervez Musharraf – WSJ.com.)

Does the US select mentally retarded people as generals, bureaucrats or Presidents. After 50 years of propping military dictators in Pakistan, Dhume thinks it is a lesson that US polity is yet to learn?

For the U.S., the general’s arrest should underscore a central lesson of the Musharraf era, that backing military leadership in Islamabad never pays off. (via Sadanand Dhume: At Home With Pervez Musharraf – WSJ.com.)

After stopping Musharaff from electioneering, after fixing the ballot by engineering cases, the Pakistani establishment gets support from Dhume.

Only when Pakistan’s politicians grow confident that they won’t be jailed, exiled or executed for crossing the military will they be able to decisively reorient their country. (via Sadanand Dhume: At Home With Pervez Musharraf – WSJ.com.)

Musharraf is an ex-general – and now a civilian politician. He deserves the same freedom that other politicians have, to contest elections.

House arrest for a once grandstanding general is one large step in this direction. (via Sadanand Dhume: At Home With Pervez Musharraf – WSJ.com.)

And in case, he wins the election, vox-populi, vox dei.(Voice of people is voice of Gods). In case, he loses the election, proceed with the prosecution of the case.

Judiciary Finding Its Feet

Judicial vengeance against Musharraf must wait. Just when Pakistan seemed to making this election work, they have gone ahead and shot themselves in their foot.

Pakistan’s judiciary and establishment must honor the promise of freedom that they gave Musharraf.

Any democracy that does not allow full freedom to contestants, is no democracy.

What is to stop other officials and rivals, tomorrow, from engineering cases against important (or otherwise) candidates.

Dhume seems to be clueless on how democracies are sustained. Instead of teaching, he should sit at the feet of some Indian Election Commission official.

And learn.



Hollywood Games In China

April 21, 2013 14 comments

Just like Shashi Tharoor was well-grounded in the West, son @ishaantharoor is learning how to push Western interests..

Po, the Panda confronts Shen the despotic  ruler of Gongmen city.

Po, the Panda confronts Shen the despotic ruler of Gongmen city.

Before we get to the main story, let us have the basics out of the way.

Back To Basics

What is India’s national bird? Peacock.

Where does the panda come from? China.

Which country was the world’s largest producer of gunpowder elements till 100 years ago? India.

How did India take advantage of its gunpowder production  to wage war, conquer nations, enslave people and loot? The British did that.

What about India’s export of steel in medieval and colonial eras? India’s Wootz steel to global markets.

For how long has India ruled over China, Tibet, Iran in the last 2000 years? Nil.

America’s Story For China

In May-June 2011, Hollywood released a much anticipated sequel to a successful film. The original film had grossed more than US$25 million in China alone. The sequel was expected to do much more – and finally grossed nearly a US$100 million (official figure – US$91.5 million) in China. Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, (an American from Korea) the sequel was named the most successful film made by a woman.

In ancient China

Here is the storyline.

Despotic Peacock Prince Shen, of the benign Peacock clan returns from exile, usurps the throne. Despotic Peacock Prince Shen expands armament production, disrupting military balance based on hand-to-hand combat.

Despotic Peacock Prince Shen plans to turn fireworks into war materiel, manufacturing cannons. Despotic Peacock Prince Shen would like to make his Gongmen city kingdom into an imperial force, threatening Valley Of Peace, home of Po, the Panda. Despotic Peacock Prince Shen soon after usurping the kingdom, captured all the metal and made it into large cannons and guns.

The film – Kung Fu Panda-II.

One of the Top 3 films in China for 2011 – grossing nearly a US$100 million in China. Made by Spielberg’s Dreamworks, released by Hollywood, let us see what this film is actually telling us.

This film shows the Peacock prince (India), as a historical oppressor. Prince Shen, misusing the Chinese ‘invention’ of fireworks-gunpowder for war, using metal and gunpowder for oppression of China. Po, the Chinese Panda battles and defeats the Peacock Prince (India).

The Plot Thickens

This imagery was probably the reason why this film evoked protests and boycott in China. Since Hollywood has such low traction in India, this film has not provoked any reactions in India. Or possibly since most Indians swallow Western propaganda hook-line-and-sinker, having an image of a benign West, drilled into their thinking.

Who’s funding Steven Spielberg’s movies? When it seemed that Dreamworks would fold!

Anil Ambani.

Who’s funding Anil Ambani’s  power plants in India. China. Will someone in Dreamworks pay for this gross insult? Wonder if Anil Ambani has been briefed about this ‘game’ by Spielberg?

Remember Spielberg’s story on how he lifted the Satyajit Ray script for ET. Some readers have traced Spielberg’s antipathy to India, as depicted in Temple of Doom, to being ‘caught’ out in this ‘inspiration’.

Maya’s Apprentince

Many among India’s leadership have links to Western citadels of maya. Many leaders today ensure that their children are well-grounded in Western culture, education, industry, media academia. These apprentices will then try and take over papa’s fiefdom.

These ‘prince-lings’ are being well-educated by Western ‘specialist’ in maya. Propaganda.

No wonder, even before the bombed street is released, clean in Boston, Ishaan Tharoor is outlining how America can blame Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran Korea, China, Syria – everyone, except US.

Or as can be seen by the tutoring being given to Ishaan Tharoor by a Western academic.

Is this not how the West wants to keep India & China apart, glowering at each other.

Is this not how the West wants to keep India & China apart, glowering at each other.

Beijing officials are increasingly worried about India’s ambitions. If you look at the writings of Chinese experts, they refer to Indian military posturing in the Indian Ocean and also to military partnerships India is developing with several countries in Southeast Asia and East Africa. In the public realm, Chinese Netizens’ views of India are very negative. You get the sense the Chinese never seemed to expect India to climb up to the ranks of the great powers. Now, as India attempts to make that leap, the Chinese are very worried of its impact on China’s primacy in Asia.

It wouldn’t first be open war. China and India are building up their interests in conflict-prone and unstable states on their borders like Nepal and Burma — important sources of natural resources. If something goes wrong in these countries — if the politics implode — you could see the emergence of proxy wars in Asia. Distrust between India and China will grow and so too security concerns in a number of arenas. It’s an important scenario that strategic planners in both Beijing and Delhi are looking at.

At the same time, India won’t let itself be drowned in America’s orbit. It’s important for India to have its strategic independence. It has a very long and historically close relationship with Russia, which in turn is close to China. So it’s a little more complicated. I don’t think the Americans have thought very strategically about all of this.

via China-India Competition: Is a Military Clash Inevitable? – TIME.

Adoration Of The West: Cannot Stop, Cannot Rest, Cannot End

April 18, 2013 4 comments

Yet no Indian leader gets the kind of respect that foreign leaders get in India..

X

Margaret Thatcher’s death unleashed a wave of grief.

Guess what? In India.

In the last 70 years, the Anglo-Saxon Bloc has gone downhill. From a position of absolute world power to being challenged by China – and now even India.

Yet no Indian leader gets the kind of respect that foreign leaders get in India.

Does it stop here?

Look at this twitter exchange here.

A simplistic reading of the tweet can be taken to mean, ‘FBI is the gold standard. And since FBI is taking time, NIA can also take time.’

Going by Praveen Swamy’s general tenor, it is not far-fetched to see what Praveen Swami implies. But for Indian chatterati, twitterati, FBookeratti, bloggeratti, hero worship of the West cannot stop, cannot rest, cannot end.

The last word.

 

Who are you? asks the Indian SC

April 15, 2013 1 comment

Who is it that the Indian elittes are closing the doors on? The ‘person on the road’.

In a space of one week (Apr. 3-Apr-8, 2013) three events, proved one thing. Unconnected,  well-covered by the media (specially in Mumbai), these three events had one thing in common.

Power corrupts.

And that is why in Bharattantra, power was dispersed, centralization was frowned upon, society was classified into the chatar varnashrama.

Slavery vs Freedom

In March, 1857.

About 1 month before India went up in flames, against the British Raj, the  Supreme Court of the USA (SCOTUS) covered itself in infamy. On  March 6, 1857 the US Supreme Court upheld slavery (Dred Scott v. Sanford).

In March 1857, while Indians were preparing to battle the British for freedom and independence, the SCOTUS was busy finding new ways to keep slaves – stooped, shackled and in chains.

In a complex judgement (Dred Scott v. Sanford), on March 6th, 1857, SCOTUS stopped any slave from approaching US courts for justice.

It took another 100 years of protests, assassinations of leaders like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, even a Civil War to change rampant discrimination in the US. But, above all, finally an acute shortage of factory labor and soldiers forced the US Government to withdraw its support to entrenched racism.

The SCOTUS just did not stop at slavery.

SCOTUS supported racism (United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, 261 U.S. 204 (1923)), segregation by Plessy v. Ferguson 1896. Books have been written, news journals regularly compile their ‘favorite’ lists of Worst 10 SCOTUS judgements.

Unlike the SCOTUS, the Indian SC has not allowed such unjust judgements to escape its portals. The Indian Supreme Court, in its’ short history has been a remarkable body in juridical operations.

But …

“Who are you?” the Chief Justice (Altamas Kabir) asked Swamy, who said he had moved the contempt application. “I am asking you, who are you?” the judge responded. “I am sorry you are not an advocate. You have no right to appear. You have no right to argue. What will happen if any person on the road comes and says I want to argue. You might have done it earlier, but we will not allow you.”

In a nation where “Do you know who I am?” is the ultimate assertion of power, that’s pretty much the mother of all insults. But Kabir wasn’t finished downgrading Swamy. He went on to order him out of the front row, which is “meant for lawyers, not for litigants. You have no right to sit there”.

via Supreme Court smacks down Swamy: “Who are you?” | Firstpost.

Subramaniam Swamy is a powerful politician – and at times he has been brave also. In any dispute between two powerful people, it is best that small people like us keep our distance. But, when Justice Kabir starts on ‘person on the road’ then I am angry.

Outraged.

Furious.

Corruption Is Not Only Bribes

Justice Kabir is not bigger than the ‘person the road.’ No one in this country is. The Biggest Man in this country is the ‘person on the road.’

Many a time corruption is also arrogance, Your Honour.

Of power over the lives of other people. Of being ‘above’ other people. This is probably a deeper form of corruption.

Less condemned, mostly not even recognized.

Image source & courtesy - afternoondc.in on Friday, February 22, 2013

Image source & courtesy – afternoondc.in on Friday, February 22, 2013

More Power Corrupts Even More

Second, was the Ajit Pawar urination disaster.

Under increasing pressure, Maharashtra‘s Deputy Chief Minister cracked.

Ajit Pawar was addressing a public meeting in Indapur tehsil in Pune district on Saturday. Referring to Deshmukh’s ongoing hunger strike, he said, “He is on fast for the last 55 days. If there is no water in the dam, how can we release it? Should we urinate into it? If there is no water to drink, even urination is not possible.”

via Ajit Pawar’s statement blackened face of democracy: Farmer – Mumbai – DNA.

From February 5th, 2013, between 50-400 farmers were on protest at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan. With increasing industrialization, Maharashtra Government had been prioritizing water for industrial use – depriving vast areas of water for drinking and agricultural purposes.

After days of protests, the government dragged its feet on earlier agreement to release some water for drinking purposes only – and not for agriculture.

With juicy footage looped for the next 24 hours across national television, Ajit Pawar ended up wallowing in his own filth.

MNS activists protest against Ajit Pawar's recent remarks on drought.  |  PTI Photo

MNS activists protest against Ajit Pawar’s recent remarks on drought. | PTI Photo

An apparently remorseful Ajit Pawar decide to go on a 1-day fast in atonement of his callous statement.

The State High Court went further and issued directions to the State Government to release water within 24 hours.

For old hands at the Chief Minister’s beat, this was not unprecedented. In a similar situation, Maharashtra’s earlier Chief Minister, Babasaheb Bhosale had made a similar remark.

Small consolation.

Unlike Babasaheb Bhosale, who got away with his arrogance intact, Ajit Pawar had to eat crow.

Kotak Presidium  |  Image source & courtesy - epaper.timesofindia.com

Kotak Presidium | Image source & courtesy – epaper.timesofindia.com

Three Strikes – You Are Out

Do you visit exclusive showrooms and restaurants?

More sensitive British traders in India labelled their premises as ‘exclusive’.

Who do you think they excluded?

Insensitive British officers went beyond exclusive, and displayed boards that read ‘Indians not allowed’ at various social and business premises.

This third element in the narrative is probably seen by most as harmless – which is why it is so dangerous.

It was a big advertisement by a prominent bank owned by a prominent banker, released in major newspapers like Economic Times, the Mint, etc.

Described as a meeting behind ‘closed doors’, covered by mass-media, it made me ask myself, one question.

The Supreme Court, these gatherings of financial muscle-men, who are these elitists shutting the doors on? Who are they urinating on?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind.

They are shutting the door on us. Pissing on us.

On us, the ‘person on the road.’



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