Monday, October 31, 2005

itunes: stanford lectures as free podcasts

oct 31st

this is a good initiative. there are a bunch of free podcasts of stanford lectures available now on itunes. you can download and listen to these on your mac or pc free of charge (no need to own an ipod or other mp3 player).

i haven't listened to any of these lectures, but a cursory look at them shows it includes stuff that looks interesting.

link thanks to the san jose mercury news: http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/13044066.htm

CARDINAL ALLIANCE: Stanford University has announced an agreement with Apple Computer to produce free podcasts of lectures, student music, play-by-play of its football games and more.

There's already a ton of content in the iTunes store, including lectures from the Technology Ventures Program. (Note: You apparently can't gain access to the Stanford content directly from the iTunes store. You have go through the Stanford iTunes site first.)

Educators in many places have embraced podcasting to make their lectures more easily accessible. But Stanford's initiative seems the most ambitious.

The Apple agreement includes two sites: a public site, targeted primarily at alumni, which will include Stanford faculty lectures, learning materials, music, sports and more. A second site will be access-restricted for students, delivering course-based materials and advising content.


Diwali, by Vikram Seth

oct 31st

happy diwali to you.

this poem by vikram seth is heart-breaking for an exile. "rest then, disquieted heart".

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rajeev Srinivasan <rajeev.srinivasan@gmail.com>
Date: Nov 10, 2004 9:50 AM
Subject: Diwali, by Vikram Seth
To:

I send this poem out every year at Diwali time.

I would like to share it with you this year for the festive season.

"And when an alap of Marwa
Swims on slow flute-notes over
The neighbours' roofs at sunset
Wordlessly like a lover

It holds me-till the strain
Of exile, here or there,
Subverts the trance, the fear
Of fear found everywhere. "

Happy Diwali to all of you who are "abroad abroad" and "not at home at home".

Here's a toast to all of us exiles.

Rajeev Srinivasan

===========================

DIWALI --- Vikram Seth


Three years of neurotic
Guy Fawkes Days-I recall
That lonely hankering-
But I am home after all.

Home. These walls, this sky
Splintered with wakes of light
These mud-lamps beaded round
The eaves, this festive night,

These streets, these voices...yet
The old insensate dread,
Abeyant as that love,
Once more shifts in my head.

Five? Six? generations ago
Somewhere in the Punjab
My father's family,farmers,
Perhaps had a small shop

And two generations later
Could send a son to a school
To gain the conqueror's
Authoritarian seal:

English! Six-armed god,
Key to a job, to power,
Snobbery, the good life,
This separateness, this fear.

English: beloved language
of Jonson, Wordsworth's tongue-
These my "meridian names"
Whose grooves I crawl along.

The Moghuls fought and ruled
And settled. Even while
They hungered for musk-melon,
Rose, peach, nightingale,

The land assumed their love.
At sixty they could not
Retire westwards. The British
Made us the Orient.

How could an Englishman say
About the divan-e-khas
"If there is heaven on earth
It is this; it is this; it is this."?

Macaulay the prophet of learning
Chewed at his pen: one taste
Of Western wisdom "surpasses
All the books of the East,"

And Kalidas, Shankaracharya,
Panini, Bhaskar, Kabir,
Surdas sank, and we welcomed
The reign of Shakespeare.

The undigested Hobbes,
The Mill who later ground
(Through talk of liberty)
The Raj out of the land ...

O happy breed of Babus,
I march on with your purpose;
We will have railways, common law
And a good postal service-

And I twist along
Those grooves from image to image,
Violet, elm-tree, swan,
Pork-pie, gable, scrimmage

And as we title our memoirs
"Roses in December"
Though we all know that here
Roses *grow* in December

And we import songs
Composed in the U.S
For Vietnam (not even
Our local horrors grip us)

And as, over gin at the Club,
I note that egregious member
Strut just perceptibly more
When with a foreigner,

I know that the whole world
Means exile of our breed
Who are not home at home
And are abroad abroad,

Huddled in towns, while around:
"He died last week. My boys
Are starving. Daily we dig
The ground for sweet potatoes."

"The landlord's hirelings broke
My husband's ribs-and I
Grow blind in the smoke of the hearth."
"Who will take care of me

When I am old? No-one
Is left." So it goes on,
The cyclic shadow-play
Under the sinister sun;

That sun that, were there water,
Could bless the dispirited land,
Coaxing three crops a year
From this same yieldless ground.

Yet would these parched wraiths still
Starve in their ruins, while
"Silkworms around them grow
Into fat cocoons?", Sad soil,

This may as well be my home.
Because no other nation
Moves me thus? What of that?
Cause for congratulation?

This could well be my home;
I am too used to the flavor
Of tenous fixity;
I have been brought to savour

Its phases: the winter wheat-
The flowers of Har-ki-Doon -
The sal forests - the hills
Inflamed with rhododendron -

The first smell of the Rains
On the baked earth-the peaks
Snow-drowned in permanence--
The single mountain lakes.

What if my tongue is warped?
I need no words to gaze
At Ajanta, those flaked caves,
Or at the tomb of Mumtaz;

And when an alap of Marwa
Swims on slow flute-notes over
The neighbours' roofs at sunset
Wordlessly like a lover

It holds me-till the strain
Of exile, here or there,
Subverts the trance, the fear
Of fear found everywhere.

"But freedom?" the notes would sing...
Parole is enough. Tonight
Below the fire-crossed sky
Of the Festival of Light.

Give your soul leave to feel
What distilled peace it can;
In lieu of joy, at least
This lapsing anodyne.

"The world is a bridge. Pass over it,
Building no house upon it."
Acceptance may come with time;
Rest, then disquieted heart.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

n ram exonerates natwar singh over iraq oil-for-food scam

oct 30th

oh, that settles it. now that china's best friend in india has said natwar singh is innocent, let us all cease worrying about the matter. darn, we were all worried for nothing.

oh, and manmohan singh has given natwar singh a 'clean chit' too. that totally settles it.

moreover, the CPI(M) thinks natwar is innocent. then how could anyone else ask any questions?

small matters like treason are the CPI(M)'s forte, of course.

let us forget this like we all forgot bofors and mitrokhin.

thanks to reader g.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: thehindu@web1.hinduonnet.com < thehindu@web1.hinduonnet.com>
Date: Oct 30, 2005 1:16 PM
Subject: Article from The Hindu: Sent to you by

Source: The Hindu (http://www.hinduonnet.com/2005/10/31/stories/2005103113980100.htm)
Front Page
&nbsp;&nbsp;

Political targeting, says Natwar Singh



N. Ram





Chennai:

In a telephone conversation with me on Sunday, India's External Affairs Minister, K. Natwar Singh, expressed outrage and anger over the Volcker Committee naming him as a "non-contractual beneficiary" of Iraqi oil sales in 2001 to Masefield AG on the basis of "no evidence" at all &#151; and with no one talking either to him or to the contracting company to ascertain the truth relating to him in advance.

"Let me make this absolutely clear," Mr. Singh told me, "I have had nothing to do with this affair. Nor has my son [Jagat Singh, against whom there has been a whispering campaign]... I saw the Prime Minister and he has given me a clean chit and stood by me," pointing out that there was no evidence offered against him in Table 3 of the report. India's Foreign Minister also called attention to the statement by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which spoke of the political bias against those who were opposed to the "brutal sanctions" Iraq suffered for more than a decade; and to the official Russian position that the Volcker Committee report was based on "forgeries."

...

sandhya jain on mau incidents

oct 30

once again, on the money

Organiser-23 October2005

Mau reflects cultural intolerance

Sandhya Jain 

 

The unexpected outbreak of organized communal rioting in the Mau district of Uttar Pradesh, leaving 12 dead and several dozen injured in over four days of uncontrolled violence, despite the organizers of the Bharat Milap procession cancelling the 13 October show in the interest of social harmony, indicates a cultural intolerance that does not bode well for India. Political parties would do well to consider if this is part of a concerted strategy to enhance the growth of minority conclaves in India by driving out native populations through the systematic use of terror, a weapon used in Assam and other states.

 

Political parties wooing Muslim votebanks through the promise of 5% reservation benefits may also consider how far they can rise by encouraging the growth of such communal poison in the country. For sooner, rather than later, voters of their own core caste-based constituencies will be victimized and deprived of their lands and livelihoods, and there is no way that minority votebanks can compensate for the loss of Hindu votes, though the presence of minority bloc voting certainly facilitates victory. But as Congress is learning in Assam, Muslims are quick to desert the political ladders they climb once they perceive they have the numbers and power to do without them. Assam's 2006 elections will expose the direction of religion-driven politics, the outcome of which can only be lethal.

 

So slow was the UP Government to respond to the riots that dozens of residents fled to adjoining districts of Ghazipur, Gorakhpur and Azamgarh in apprehension of fresh violence. Hundreds are seeking security in numbers by clustering together in makeshift shelters in fields and near railway lines, preferring the open spaces to their homes in the old congested bylanes of the town.

 

It is said that violence began when Muslims observing Roza protested at loudspeakers playing Hindu devotional songs on the occasion of Bharat Milap. This cultural intolerance that is regularly displayed on the occasion of Hindu festivals, even as Muslims spill over on to public roads and footpaths for the Friday namaaz, needs to be confronted. It bears noting that currently in Bangladesh, the rapidly depleting and terrorized Hindu community agreed to make itself publicly invisible on festive occasions, in order to placate the aggressive Muslim majority. Clearly the Muslims of Mau wanted, through a display of extreme bigotry, to force Hindus to not celebrate auspicious dharmic functions and surrender their community identity for the sake of a false communal harmony. This is what Mahatma Gandhi called the peace of the grave.

 

It is high time we called a spade a spade and examined the link between burgeoning ISI activity in UP and other states and the growth of fundamentalist intolerance. The courts must also consider, when riot related cases come before them, why a local Muslim MLA was allowed to prevent police action against rioters for four whole days, before media coverage compelled action.

 

Shops and establishments were looted with impunity, and a Dalit colony attacked in the early hours of the morning and jhuggies set on fire, which clearly indicates premeditated action on the part of the assailant group. A temple was set on fire in the Kamaria locality, and we need to have a public debate on whether modern India is willing to countenance once again the medieval-style iconoclasm and vandalism of its holy places.  

 

            Local independent MLA Mukhtar Ansari, who was finally booked for inciting the riots, shamelessly blamed the Hindu Mahasabha for tension in the city, even though police officials told the media that it was he who prevented them from taking firm action to bring the riots under control in a timely manner. Ansari, who has 36 criminal cases and a TADA conviction against him, moved about the city in an open Gypsy van, accompanied by armed henchmen, despite curfew and shoot at sight orders. Naturally, the mobs owing allegiance to him had a field day.

 

            Much damage was done by the time Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav finally moved to suspend the Divisional Commissioner, Deputy Inspector General of Police, District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police for failure to quell the rioting within 48 hours. But the fact that Mukhtar Ansari is known to have close links with Mr. Yadav, and that this acted as a dampener on the police officials and district magistrate in the initial days of the violence, has done irrevocable damage to the Chief Minister's prestige.

 

End

sandhya jain on us fuss about caste in india


oct 30

sandhya is on the money as always

Organizer-23October2005

US Dalit hearing simply scandalous

 

Sandhya Jain

 

Successive Indian governments have failed to protest America's propensity to misuse human rights issues for politically motivated calumny against nations it seeks to undermine to serve its foreign policy objectives. Shamefully, large sections of the Indian elite also betrays unseemly desperation to report against the nation to US human rights committees, usually as quid pro quo for funds for their agenda-driven NGOs.

 

Yet, even by the standards of its normally invasive diplomacy, the US Congress' decision to appoint a sub-committee on "India's Unfinished Agenda: Equality and Justice for 200 Million Victims of the Caste System," is simply scandalous. Not only does it construe a gross interference in our internal affairs, it is also an attempt to influence the Indian Supreme Court hearing on reservation rights for Dalit converts to religions like Christianity, which admit that they discriminate against Dalit adherents!

 

In these circumstances, the silence of the Indian government, remote-controlled by the Roman Catholic Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, is disturbing. So is the silence of major political parties, especially those that claim a special affinity for Dalits. In fact, the Indian political spectrum as a whole would do well to evolve a consensus on the issue of external interest in India, if the country is serious about being considered as a candidate for the Security Council. In this regard, it would be instructive to see how the Chinese government gives America tit-for-tat in the matter of its highly slanted human rights reports.

 

Actually, America has much to hide regarding its human rights record, particularly vis-à-vis the Native American population (what is left after the genocide by White Settlers) and the former slaves imported from Africa. The shocking delay in providing relief to Katrina hurricane victims hardly needs recalling.

 

China, however, does not stomach America's supercilious ways. When the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China recently released its annual report, Beijing condemned it as "wanton interference" in its internal affairs and presented its own report on the human rights situation in USA. The document is voluminous (the Chinese are thorough), but even a few cursory examples suffice to show how self-respecting nations protect their honour. The "Human Rights Record of the United States in 2004," released by China's State Council on 3 March 2005, shows the dark side of the Statue of Liberty.

 

China points out that American society is notorious for rampant violent crimes, and that there is little security of life and liberty in that country. It cites a report of the US Department of Justice (29 November 2004) that in 2003, citizens aged 12 years and above experienced about 24 million victimizations. Giving statistics of several cities, China said America has the largest number of gun owners and gun violence increasingly takes a toll of innocent lives. About 31,000 Americans are killed and 75,000 wounded by firearms each year, which means more than 80 people are shot dead each day. Police violence is an equally serious problem.


            China has made a fascinating observation! In the past decade America spent US $ 7 billion annually to build new jails and prisons. California got one college and 21 new prisons after 1984! This is because jails are a lucrative business, with a combined staff of more than 530,000, they are the second largest employer in America after General Motors. There are over 100 private prisons in 27 states and 18 private prison companies. As a result, the value of goods and services created by inmates surged from $ 400 million in 1980 to $ 1.1 billion in 1994.


            As for jail conditions, in many states inmates are routinely stripped in front of others before being moved to a new prison. Male inmates are often made to wear women's pink underwear as a form of humiliation. New inmates are frequently beaten and sometimes made to crawl. The conditions of women prisoners are naturally worse. Sexual harassment is common. New York Times reported last October that at least 13% of inmates are sexually assaulted in prison (12 October 2004).

 

The Chinese government has made a detailed analysis of the political manipulation by the rich in the electoral process, the astronomical costs of elections, and the resultant favours to corporations as a result of election funding. Most poignant among the flaws in the US election system is the newly adopted Help America Vote Act of 2004, which requires voters to produce a series of documents such as a stable residence and thus effectively disenfranchises thousands of homeless people. America refuses to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights and is home to poverty, hunger and homelessness, in spite of being the world's richest country. From 1970 to 2000 (adjusted for inflation), average incomes of the bottom 90% stagnated but those of the top 10% experienced an increase of nearly 90% (The Baltimore Sun, 6 July 2004).

 

Racial discrimination is of course very deeply ingrained and Black murder victims are five times White victims; Blacks affected by AIDS are ten times Whites (National Urban League, 24 March 2004). The number of Black people living in poverty is three times that of the Whites. Apartheid is still rampant in schools (Schools and Lives Are Still Separate, The Washington Post, May 17, 2004).

 

            The situation of American women and children is hardly reassuring. FBI Crime Statistics show that in 2003, there were 93,233 rape cases; virtually 63.2 in every 100,000 women are victims of assault. The number of abused women treated at First Aid Centers exceeds one million every year. More than 1,500 women in the US are killed every year by their husbands, lovers or roommates; nearly 78% American women are physically victimized at least once in their lifetime. Sex crimes are on the rise in military as well. Women soldiers have been raped or sexually harassed in Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and other military bases.

 

As for children, every year nearly 400,000 children in the US are forced to engage in prostitution or other sexual dealings on the streets (The USA Today, 27 February 2004). Then, there are scandals about clergymen molesting children. Actually, the list is endless.

 

End

 

 

Fwd: Volume 2:9, September 30, 2005.The Hague

oct 30th

from the mailbox.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Global Human Right Defence Newsletter <info@ghrd.org >
Date: Oct 27, 2005 8:20 AM
Subject: Volume 2:9, September 30, 2005.The Hague
To: Rajeev.srinivasan@gmail.com

 
Volume 2:9, September 30, 2005.The Hague

 

How YOU can help
How to donate to GHRD?
 
Update
Bhutan: Human Rights Report for the month of October 2005
 
Sri Lanka on the Outlines of Human Rights by Justice C.V. Wigneswaran
 
Bangladesh: EU cancels funding of Dinajpur project
 
Bangladesh: Militants threaten journos, renew vow for Islamic rule
 
Bangladesh: Rabindra Ghosh of GHRD along with another assaulted
 
Mr. Nizaad Bissumbhar an office bearer of GHRD giving press briefings in the National News Port. 
Opening speech "GHRD" Congress by P. de Klerk
 
New website
During the first day of this conference AME gave a presentation of the new website, which is based on the AME software framework (web-tools).
Link to GHRD website
 
The Web-tools software will enable GHRD to circulate immediately and globally news messages, reports and photographs of human rights violations. This website is user friendly and has a strong search engine to make information easily reachable and offers Global Human Rights Defence the tooling to publish, update and maintain all reports in a structured way.
Link to GHRD website
 
Head Office
Javastraat 58
2585 AR The Hague
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 70 345 69 75
Phone: +31 70 345 34 11
Fax: +31 70 392 65 75
Cell: +31 6 164 94 311

Bank relation:
ABN AMRO 417 943 024
The Hague
The Netherlands
NL69ABNA0417943024
BIC : ABNANL2A
Give us your opinion !
 


GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENCE REACHES TOWARDS THE FUTURE!
The stalwartness of GHRD to defend the rights of the minorities is now geared up to public and individual benefit.

The assembly of lawyers, educationists, human rights activists, journalists, religious figures and women representatives from almost all the countries of South Asia, Malaysia United Kingdom and USA, 35 of them, gathered in The Hague for three day discussion that gave GHRD a momentum of statutory support for its strategic defence mechanism and human rights activities.

Addressing the opening session, the Mayor of The Hague city, Mr. W.J. Deetman called the gathering to be resolute to their defend for the rights of the minorities worldwide and appreciated the initiatives of the Chairman, Mr. S. Sital in making ways to do this collectively.
 
The Mayor of The Hague city, Mr. W.J. Deetman
 
He opened the Headquarter of GHRD located in the centre of Hague, a office block within a house of other human rights organisations, offered with rental concession. Dutch Human Rights Ambassador attached to the ministry of external affairs, Mr. P. de Klerk, addressing the gathering emphasized to build up the recognition of identity of minorities as a mechanism to protect their rights and freedoms.

GHRD, defending human rights, particularly the rights of the ethnic, religious and or linguistic minorities including those of the tribal and marginalised
groups is now fortified with operational accessories and regular recruits in The Hague, as well as representatives in the field where GHRD is already active in.
 
The Dutch Human Rights Ambassador Mr. P. de Klerk
 
It is now considering expanding its coverage in more countries.

The three day congress overwhelmingly supported the statute and principles of operations of GHRD that would eventually qualify it to the status of a Co-financing organisation and to operate in an international standard.
Unsubscribe from this newsletter.
 

fascinating science fiction on google semantic web

oct 30th

interesting. maybe even eerie.

can google really pull off something like this?

http://www.ftrain.com/google_takes_all.html

Fwd: More on Conference on National Security and Economic Development in India -- Nov 16, 2005

oct 30th

interesting conference

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: R

Economic Development and National Security: The Case of India


The Westin Grand Hotel
2350 M Street NW
Washington, DC

November 16, 2005

Hosted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the US-India Institute (USINI)

TO REGISTER CONTACT:  INFO@USINI.ORG


10:00 am Welcome Remarks - Carlos Magarinos, Director General, UNIDO

10:10 am Opening Remarks - Armeane M. Choksi, President, US-India Institute


Session I

Moderator: Armeane M. Choksi

10:20 am "Security and Development" Professor Madhav D. Nalapat, Professor of Geopolitics &UNESCO Peace Chair,
Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India

11:00 am "The US and India: The Emerging Strategic Relationship" Dr. Thomas Donnelly, Resident Fellow in Defense and Security Studies, American Enterprise Institute

11:40 am "Extremism and Development" Dr. Alex Alexiev, Vice-president, Research, Center for Security Policy

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
12:30 pm Lunch

Session II

Moderator: Demetris Papageorgiou

2:00 pm "Current Issues of Indian Economic Reform" Professor T. N. Srinivasan, Samuel Chase Professor of Economics, Yale University

2:40 pm "Foreign Investment and Economic Development in India" Dr. Surendra A Dave, Chairman, Center for Monitoring the Indian Economy, Former Chairman, Securities and Exchange Board of India

3:20 pm "Poverty and Economic Development in India " Dr. Surjit Bhalla, Chairman, Oxus Fund Management

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
4:00 pm Coffee Break


Special Session

Moderator: Carlos Magarinos

4:20 pm "The Bush Administration and India" Dr. Ashley J. Tellis, Senior Associate Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Session III

Moderator: Carlos Magarinos

5:00 pm "Economic Development and National Security in India"

Round Table Panel
Participants

Professor Madhav Nalapat, Professor of Geopolitics & UNESCO Peace Chair
Dr. Ashley J. Tellis, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Dr. Alex Alexiev, Vice-President Research, Center for Security Policy
Dr. Surendra Dave, Chairman, Center for Monitoring the Indian Economy
Dr. Surjit Bhalla, Chairman, Oxus Fund Management


6:00 pm Closing Remarks Carlos Magarinos, Director General, UNIDO


The US-India Institute gratefully acknowledges the generous sponsorship of this conference by:

Atlas Economic Research Foundation
Hudson Fairfax Group

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

from the mailbox: example of great 'planted' story

oct 29th

how to go around planting tear-jerker stories!

the truth comes out, though: the missionaries are exploiting the poor natives, destroying their culture, living in luxury (apartheid???) amongst them, and surreptitiously stealing their mineral wealth, says the report itself.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: V
Date: Oct 29, 2005 11:04 AM
Subject: Amazon Tribe Wonders Why Missionaries Who Help Them Are Being Expelled From Venezuela...
To: rajeev.srinivasan@gmail.com

Rajeev,

check this out...
http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGBHZL15EFE.html






__________________________________
Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
http://mail.yahoo.com

From the mailbox: pseudos' reaction to delhi blasts

oct 29th

regarding the delhi blasts.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: S
Date: Oct 29, 2005 2:27 PM
Subject: no petition this time
To: rajeev.srinivasan@gmail.com

http://specials.rediff.com/news/2005/oct/29sld3.htm

meanwhile, top secularists beat their chests and sign a petion to stop Delhi police from investigating into Geelani's links with jehadi terrorists:

http://www.mail-archive.com/sacw@insaf.net/msg00282.html



---
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iraq oil scandal and natwar singh: explosive stuff!

oct 29th

now we know why lantos called natwar "brilliant". it is because natwar has made many millions (and so has the congress party) from the oil-for-food scam in iraq. this report is written by paul volcker, who has no vested interest in india. it is likely that it is quite accurate.

no wonder natwar has been so keen on supporting saddam hussein and probably the iranians.

see the following url, thanks to a friend.

this is the second shoe to drop, the first being the mitrokhin archive.

reasonable conclusion: the congress party has been selling india to a) the marxists and b) the muslims.

corollary: the congress party commits treason and is anti-national party. it ought to be abolished

second corollary: since the indian media is mum about both these scandals, the indian media is also sold out to a) the marxists, b) the muslims. the mitrokhin accusation that the media was controlled by the KGB must be accurate.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: A

http://www.iic-offp.org/story27oct05.htm

has the Volcker report. Go to
Table III to see Natwar Singh's name and that of Congress Party.


Friday, October 28, 2005

from the mailbox: The church walks it to Mandir

oct 28th

of course, this is part of 'embrace, extend, exterminate'.

in trivandrum, i have seen a christist school whose big billboard advertisement says 'asato ma sadgamaya'. and what exactly does that have to do with christism?

the best bet would be to return the favor: add jesus christ as a small, minor deity in the hindu pantheon alongside other demi-gods such as indra. then christists can become a minor sect of hinduism.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: A
Date: Oct 25, 2005 5:47 AM
Subject: The church walks it to Mandir
To: rajeev.srinivasan@gmail.com

Hi Rajeev

You may like to read this. How our culture is slowly being hijacked. I
am confused
whether this is a good thing as it will alienate Indian christians
further away from Vatican
and bring them closer to Hindu culture, or whether this is bad in that
it will eventually hijack our Hindu culture.

Any thoughts?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1273956.cms

Regards
--
/

economist: what's to stop india and china

oct 28th

a rather vague, hand-waving sort of article.

http://www.economist.com/printedition/displaystory.cfm?story_id=5084621

in fact, the atlanticists have no good ideas about how to stop india and china.

they are trying their darndest. i loved the story in the pioneer that chamed ahlabi forwarded. great stuff, wonderful plant: divide and rule, eh? ROTFL. next it will be china saying it will support india if it drops japan. (why, china did say that just today. i saw it somewhere!)

yeah, right. and i have a rather large bridge in san francisco i'd like to sell you if you believe this.

US may back India for UNSC if it exits G4

http://www.dailypioneer.com/indexn12.asp?main_variable=front%5Fpage&file_name=story1%2Etxt&counter_img=1?headline=US~may~back~India~for~UNSC~if~it~exits~G4

economist: global R&D funding

oct 28th

somewhat surprising. are these companies getting the bang for their buck? surely not the likes of ford and gm?

http://www.economist.com/printedition/displaystory.cfm?story_id=5090481

economist: on india's stalling reforms

oct 28th

for a change i agree with the economist. the reds are screwing india, again, along with the nehruvian stalinists.

and he is right about manmohan singh, whose 'reactions are often depressingly bureaucratic'. he is a sarkari economist and was a dirigiste statist for most of his life. i think he gets too much credit for the 1991 liberalization, he was probably just taking orders from pv narasimha rao. rao was by far the cleverest of india's leaders, but he committed the unforgiveable sin of not being born into the dynasty, so he is being written out of india's history even as we speak. (shades of what was done to trotsky et al by the soviet writers of the history-du-jour).

but simon long's views on fdi are conventional wisdom. first, the chinese exaggerate their fdi flow, and quite a bit of it is round-tripping. second, india undercounts its fdi. but still, the fact is that investment flows into india are low.

the reds want investment in bengal, after having screwed it so badly it'll take a hundred years to recover even if all the reds magically disappeared today. remember that bengal (the brahmaputra delta) and tamil nadu (the kaveri delta) used to account for almost 25% of the *ENTIRE WORLD'S* manufacturing output as recently at 1750!

the other thing i have a serious disagreement with all these experts is the insistence that there needs to be factory jobs to take care of the unemployed. i think agricultural jobs -- in particular agro-based food processing industries -- are india's best bet, not nasty, polluting heavy industry. just look at the industrial belt around cochin: the once-pristine periyar is a sewage dump now.

finally, simon long is being a little coy when he says the infrastructure improvements are on track. no, the golden quadrilateral project has ground to a halt. after all, it was not named the 'rajiv gandhi national highway network'. since it was an NDA initiative, it has to be killed off.

i was amazed by the picture of palm meadows in bangalore. yes, it does look like an upscale silicon valley neighborhood. i wonder what those houses go for. i suppose it is a gated community. any ideas on pricing? bangalore house prices have gone through the roof, so i suspect these little beauties go for like rs 1.5 crore. that is a lot of money in dollars too!

http://www.economist.com/printedition/displaystory.cfm?story_id=5081267

Thursday, October 27, 2005

economist: rosa parks obituary

oct 27th

puts rosa parks' act in perspective.

and also points out where civil rights has failed: because it has become a handout-kind of program, rather than one that encourages blacks to improve themselves.

sound familiar? this is what the kancha ilaiahs (the buffalo man), the udit rajs etc. indulge in in india. instead of improving the lot of OBCs and dalits, they want to grab a bigger piece of the pie through agitation. i am sure these worthies are well paid by the christists. after all their best friend is john dayal, the arch-bigoted christist fundamentalist.

this is where sri narayana guru's inspirational message is so relevant: improve yourselves. this is also where evr ramaswami naickers dk movement is so wrong, too. nihilism and thuggishness is what the 'dravidian' movement is all about, so in the end it will turn on itself. i have always been amused at the fact that dmk people have temples set up to naicker, annadurai, mgr, et al. the height of irony!

http://www.economist.com/printedition/displaystory.cfm?story_id=5080964

for bangaloreans: ROOTS Program on 26th & 27th November 2005

oct 28th

this sounds like an interesting program. i am forwarding it as i received it, i have no further information about this group.

the attachments are not being forwarded.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: YUGAYATRI INDIA <yugayatri@yahoo.co.in >
Date: Oct 27, 2005 9:05 AM
Subject: ROOTS Program on 26th & 27th November 2005
To:

YUGAYATRI

an organization working for the national reconstruction of Bharat based on her cultural ethos

Invitation for a weekend camp

ROOTS

…a Cultural Exploratory Initiative

YUGAYATRI is organizing a weekend residential camp for working professionals from 25 th to 27th [Friday evening to Sunday evening] November 2005.

ROOTS why ?

Indian youth always have a desire to discover their cultural roots, to know a little more about the basic tenets of Bharateeya culture, know its origin, appreciate its multifarious rituals and symbols manifesting in the form of temples, art, dance, music and festivals, have a glimpse of the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavadgitha, Yoga, Meditation and so on.

To cater these long felt needs of our youth, ROOTS program was launched in 1996 in Bangalore. ROOTS is a weekend residential camp for initiation to the exploration of our roots.

 

ROOTS camp When? Where?

YUGAYATRI is organizing the "ROOTS" program in the last week of November 2005. This residential weekend camp (25 th to 27th November 05) will be held in the outskirts of Bangalore, in a serene atmosphere of Prashanti Kuteeram, Vivekananda Yoga Kendra, Jigani (~34 km from IIMB). This camp is open for all working professionals like software engineers, doctors, lawyers etc. [To and fro transport will be arranged to Prashanti kuteeram from a common point in Bangalore.]       

 

The camp includes

*      Introduction to Yoga, Meditation, Sanskrit etc.

*     Practice of Pranayama, Simple asanas etc.

*     Lecture & demonstrations on music, dance.

*     Specially prepared audio-visual tours & presentations.

Close interaction with scholars, social workers & scientists.                  

 

Some of the possible Speakers

*      Dr. Nagendra - former NASA scientist and IISc faculty.

*      Prof. NVC Swamy, former IIT Chennai Director

*      Prof. Mahadevan, Faculty, IIM B.

*      Dr. Shatavadhani Ganesh, Linguist & Scholar

*      Dr. R. Nagarathna, Famous Yoga therapist

*      Dr S V Subramanyam [ Former Principal N D A , Pune]

Many more eminent Speakers will be participating in the discussions

 

Some of the Topics to be covered

History of Bharat – High points of Indian civilisation.

Essence of Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita.

Bharateeya paradigms of management, politics, economics, ecology & administration.

Dharma and its social relevance, Understanding today's Bharat.

Gods and Goddesses, pooja, prayers, festivals and their significance.

Contributions of Bharateeyas in the fields of humanities, science & technology.

Stories of great Indians, epics and scriptures.

For more details visit :   http://yugayatri.blogspot.com/

 

Registration

Please send the completed registration form to YUGAYATRI, along with the DD for
Rs. 800/- favouring "YUGAYATRI" – payable at Bangalore.

 

YUGAYATRI, 21/B, 9th main, Shankarnagar, Mahalakshmipuram, Bangalore – 560 096

Ph : 080-23578292,

 

For more Details contact any one of the following.

 

Santhosh

94488 91472 / 98860 33940

yugayatri@gmail.com

yugayatri@yahoo.co.in

Radhakrishna Holla

98801 41722, 5766 5679

radhakrishnaholla@krify.com

Kiran C B

9886250309

kirankumar_cb@yahoo.com,

 

 

 

 

 

 

: || ROOTS  || :

a cultural exploratory initiative

 

Date: 25-November, Friday 5.30 pm to 27- November-2005, Sunday 5.30 pm

Venue: Prashanti kuteeram, Jigani, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore

REGISTRATION FORM

 

Name

 

 

Contact address

 

 

 

 

Age (Years)

 

Sex (M/F)

 

Occupation / Company

 

 

Telephone

 

 

Off.

 

 

Res.

 

 

Cell

 

Email

Personal

 

Official

 

Interests and Hobbies

 











 

Donation of Rs. 800/- is paid by Cheque / DD payable to "Yugayatri, Bangalore".

( Cheque / DD no.                                         Bank :                                                               )

 

I undertake to abide by the rules of the camp and cooperate with the organizers to maintain the dignity, serenity and overall quality of the camp.

 

With regards,

 

(                                               )

 

Note:

1. Fees include dormitory accommodation, food and other facilities.

2. Please send the filled registration form with DD / Cheque to the below address:

 

YUGAYATRI,

21/B, 9th main, Shankara Nagara,

Mahalakshmipuram, Bangalore-560093

Ph : 080 – 2357 8292


Enjoy this Diwali with Y! India Click here


wired news article on ajax, microsoft

oct 27th

interesting article that suggests that ajax has been around for some time and that microsoft invented it :-)

of course they have a new and improved proprietary alternative :-)

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,69316,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3

the AT&T brand will live on; miers withdraws

oct 27th

glad to hear that sbc will take on the name AT&T and probably keep the 'T' symbol on the NYSE. so that icon goes into that good night, but remains as a brand.

harriet miers withdraws her nomination to the supreme court. bush is getting bloodied all over, isn't he? now that 2,000 american soldiers have died in iraq, his presidency is at it nadir.


From the mailbox: What NGO Charity Hides

oct 27th

we have NGO-raj in india these days, which is no better than goonda-raj.

also, if you look closely, western NGOs prefer to bring in christists as their chiefs as alleged below. this is because most NGOs are fifth columnists, usually of christists, and otherwise of china. our favorite NGOs, AID and ASHA fall into the latter category.

an example of the totally destructive recipes pushed by NGOs is the recent 'domestic violence against women act'. this is grossly skewed, in that it assumes a priori than men are always at fault in domestic disharmony. it allows *only* the female spouse to sue. this is gender discrimination, which is unconstitutional. furthermore, it explicitly prevents females such as mother-in-law, sister-in-law etc. from being able to sue under this provision. thus it is a unilateral device that pre-judges all men to be monsters.

which means this is another act that will be used by rich urban women to settle scores with their spouses, just as the infamous 498A provision for dowry harassment is now increasingly being use by femi-nazis to harass men. 498A is a charade now: urban women use it as a weapon. the poor rural women who are actually suffering from dowry and domestic violence do not get to use it.

this 'domestic violence' act has the fingerprints of american femi-nazis all over it. it has been pushed by the usual suspects on the shadowy national advisory council or whatever: shabana azmi, teesta setalvad, aruna roy, that whole jholawali brigade.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:
Date: Oct 25, 2005 1:02 PM
Subject: What NGO Charity Hides
To:


What NGO Charity Hides

The popular model of NGOs, non-governmental organisations, in the country evolved in the Christian west. In India, fiercely so with states like Kerala, this sector is almost totally controlled by the Christian church, international Christian donors and their allies. Some of them have budgets mounting to several crores with their beneficiary list across India reading like a 'who is who' of Indian society. This list ofcourse also include hard-core church agencies involved in conversion. They make inroads to respectable NGO movements mostly through surreptitious means. Money has its lure and many succumb and do their bidding later. There is an army of people involved in this most subtle divisive activity in today's India.

Many 'secular NGOs' are actually secretly aided by these people. Some of them quite famous. Those trying to eek out a separate identity in the NGO sector will find it difficult. Despite setting up of agencies like CAPART (Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology) by the ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India, the promotion of secular NGOs in development sector has been minimal. While the Hindu groups have tried to organise these, lack of professionalism and exposure to the resources become a handicap. Thus these very same agencies succeed in getting the government funds as well. Over and above the international church aid they have. To the ordinary people the 'generosity' come from the local Christian priests and that in concrete terms and they follow them.

The Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana(SGSY) of the BJP government, launched in 1999 for rural uplift, did not foresee this background and resulted in the Hindutwa government's undoing. SGSY, which followed the old Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) of the Congress government, aimed at promoting village organisations and since the NGOs meeting the various criteria were almost all from the Christian segment they began getting government funds. They also got a new stamp of acceptability and became the government itself to the villagers. With their professional and team approaches they accessed the government funds set aside for the purpose, developed good rapport with 'result' driven beurocracy and made an empire of sorts. Huge numbers of rural poor became captive to their whims and fancies. More important they became victims of Christian propaganda.

That is what matters in elections, as subtle messages against a political party shall be immediately absorbed by the innocent rural folks who consider these saviors with eyes of worship. In Tamilnadu where SGSY was implemented with great success some of these NGOs caused traffic blocks in cities like Madurai. The Self Help Groups of women they formed in villages run to thousands and when they come for a meeting the entire city gets jam-packed. These are the core areas of Indian psyche and the Christian NGOs managed to enter there. That with state sponsorship. Yes, BJP's SGSY programme with its nationalist fervor must have improved the quality of life in villages is certain. But it also indirectly became its undoing.

Many of these NGOs are already quite powerful and wield might in rural interiors. They have liberal funds and the staff hiring terms is as attractive as any corporate giant. It is the antithesis of the Hindu concepts of 'Sewa' and 'Tyaga'. Though some of these activists generously supported by these sources wear, often worn out, Indian dress (what the development circuit calls the 'NGO uniform'). They travel luxury class and stay only in star hotels though. Since they have got used to the 'comfortable' life they do anything for a price. Many of the secular intellectuals of India are these paid workers. Since the operations are discrete it is near impossible to trace their links. A famous river valley protection movement later was penetrated and they are now allegedly supported by the same sources. Some Christian priests in the game from Kerala, who now decide things, have dropped their priestly dress and the `father' prefix in name when in the north of the country.

In time these NGOs can be dangerous as they are building up a parallel system of governance rooted in the villages and people's movements. Which can eventually weaken the centralised government mechanism of today. With their indebtedness to the external donors they are extremely vulnerable to pressure tactics. How one often finds some individuals with Hindu names seen attacking the Hindu movements. They also support academics in various research programmes and international tours and they also fall in line, are also at their beck and call. Since the battery of donor agencies is spread over various countries, mainly Europe and USA, also elsewhere, it is too difficult to trace them down. They also belong to a mosaic of Christian faiths some of them enemies of each other in their own regions. With liberalisation their roads are smooth as NGOs can now access funds without much government monitoring. Not many know about these gray areas of Indian polity.

P R J Pradeep

From the mailbox: US enabling India procure more Uranium to help strategic missile program?

oct 27th

a somewhat bizarre story.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:
Date: Oct 25, 2005 4:40 PM
Subject: US enabling India procure more Uranium to help strategic missile program?
To: Rajeev

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/GJ26Ak03.html

Rajeev,

US might want to cap, rollback and eliminate but will
they erase cold war mindset and actually help India.

They are facing a resurgent China! and have a reason
to feel insecure...



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From the mailbox: Shankaracharya's case moved out of TN

oct 27th

small mercies. so shouldn't we be agitating for jayalalitha and manmohan to resign?

clearly the attack on hh the kanchi swamiji is religious oppression of the worst kind. he is one who has been very friendly to shudras and harijans. i have personally interviewed him and observed him. the reason he has been targeted is that he has been preventing the christists from meeting their conversion targets.

it is a red herring that swami jayendra sarasvati is a brahmin. in a state full of 'dravida' zealots like t r baalu who proclaim how much they hate hinduism, only the brahmins have kept hinduism alive. it is bullshit to say that no hindu rioted in the streets because the swami is a brahmin. hindus should have been rioting in the streets, but unfortunately we are too civilized for that.

in fact, if the state attacked mata amritanandamayi, who is of fisherman origin, then too hindus won't riot in the streets. it has nothing to do with caste. it is just that unlike semitics, hindus do not kill for religion. this was remarked upon with great wonder by alberuni many centuries ago.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:
Date: Oct 26, 2005 11:17 AM
Subject: Shankaracharya's case moved out of TN
To: rajeev

Rajeev,
The Kanchi case has been moved out of state! Please note the observations of the SC bench. Did you read that in any major English publication!! These same shamless subverts (*&^%$#@) conducted a media by trial when the seers were implicated!!
Here is a link to kanchi-sathya site for more information.
Please give this publicity in your blog, if you think it is appropriate justice.
Sincerely,
P.S.S



From the mailbox: request for an artcile on use of Ethanol

oct 27th

there was a lot of talk about bio-diesel a while ago, and i also happened to see a diesel locomotive sometime which had a sign that proudly proclaimed that it was using bio-diesel.

i agree with the sender that there is room for several alternate energy initiatives. brazil has done quite well with ethanol-equipped cars and 'gas' stations.

in india the problem may be that the petroleum/energy minister is more interested in helping pakistan (via the iran pipeline) and china (via a regional grid) than india itself. after all, he is a marxist (who according to his own brother raised funds for the *chinese* in 1962) married to a mohammedan. and he spent some years in pakistan.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:
Date: Oct 25, 2005 10:41 PM
Subject: request for an artcile on use of Ethanol
To: Rajeev.

 
Hi Rajeev,
 
I am regulaer reader of your articles in Rediff.com and am very much moved by your unbiased, logical and clear thinking.
I am using this opportunity to bring one more issue to yourforfront.
 
This is about broader use of ethanol (costing only Rs 20 per litre) to be mixed up to 24% in petrol. It will bring down cost of petrol by over 15%,  reduce the oil import bill for petrol substanitially , benefit local farmer and industry and more importantly save enviornment. The world over (i.e. Brazil) tests are already done to use ethanol up to 24% they why in India it is not used in such a large scale? Prima facie it seems that our Oil companies  and the govt are not very much intersted beacuse of some vested interest.  Earlier BJP govt tried to push ethanol mixing in phased manner but that is too stalled.
 
This ethanol mixing upto 24% is like getting ready made 24% more oil resources (currently india's domestic production of oil is able to meet only 35% of oil demand) for which our ONGC and other companies are fighting worldwide
 
Think over it and please try to come out with great article after your research.
 
 
Thanks,
Rajeev,
Pune

From the mailbox: Onion story

oct 27th

interesting mail from my inbox.

i didnt know india is importing onions from pakistan. the onion scare a few years ago brought lots of calls for the NDA to resign. why not call for the UPA to resign over this?

also, i am told there is torrential rain in both bangalore and chennai that has brought those cities to a grinding halt. i talked to friends and relatives in both places. chennai has had 20 cm of rain in one day, a record.

bangalore, likewise flooded. bangaloreit.com must be  in bad shape this year especially with all the pre-conference controversy.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sandeep
Date: Oct 27, 2005 3:54 AM
Subject: Onion story
To: rajeev

Hello rajeev srinivsan
i am big fan of ur blog i am suprised how
u missed the onion story .When again the onions have become scare in northern
india for whom i think unlike us south indians onions forms vital part of diet this manmahon-devi sonia govt
has decided to import onion from pakistan !!! ok fine but should they have checked it out from karnataka farmers
of belguam region whose have problem of plenty and whose onions are starting to rot !!! maybe sonia needs pakistan musharff more than AAM Adami or the kisan
of karnataka whose Congress-JDs Govt is killing bangalore in name of rural development i am sorry for not sending the link check out deccanherald issue couple days back you will find it out
cheers



--
sandeep

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

lantos and natwar, revisited

oct 26th

remember tom lantos saying that natwar singh was 'brilliant' and 'dense' and a 'stalinist'?

brilliant? based on explicitly what action of his?

dense? ahem... we shall remain diplomatically silent on this one.

a stalinist? hmmmm... i should claim copyright and prior art. i have been calling a whole lot of people 'nehruvian-stalinists' for a long time. although it is true that i never explicitly called natwar singh one.

stalinism includes a personality cult, complete control of the economy by the state, endemic corruption, the tyranny of an anointed elite, and the abuse of history as a tool to brainwash.

it is true that there were no gulags in india, but as a couple of commenters said, genocide takes many forms. surely the genocide of the kashmiri pundits is as complete as though they were all carted off into gulags? and isn't the trap of hopeless poverty and the endemic suicides of all those farmers a stinging reminder of the way millions in india have been forced to hang on in quiet desperation?

stalinists everywhere form governments of stalinists, for stalinists, and by stalinists. stalinism takes many forms, too.

balbir punj on chavez, cuba, marxist-mohammedan axis etc.

oct 26th

i tried to go to the webpage; but it told me, haughtily, that it could only be viewed in IE. so i decided not to give you guys the url and just cut and paste :-) i am not going to fire up IE just to satisfy some silly webpage :-)

Communist Wastelands

The Asian Age India | Balbir K. Punj

The current issue of Reader's Digest (October 2005) has a poignant article titled City of Smoke & Mirrors by Benoit Aubin who recently visited Havana, Cuba.

It is a sombre illustration of how Castro's socialist dictatorship in Cuba and America's resultant trade embargo have reduced beautiful Havana into a cesspool of squalor, poverty and hopelessness. "The Socialist revolution has been a failure," Aubin quotes a political dissident named Raul Rivero, "and everybody knows it, but nobody says so publicly, so we keep pretending." The Cubans are a gagged up and coerced people; they have no right of freedom of speech and expression; no right to interact with foreigners posted in the city or visit hotels.

Political dissidence could earn one 28 years in prison through summary trials. They can't afford to smoke Havana cigar or drink rum-and-mint mojitos popularised by Ernest Hemingway in his books. Most Habaneros smoke cheap cigarettes and rinse their throats with brown rum.

Even Leftists find Castro a case of defending the indefensible. But they will be prompt to point out a quasi-Marxist in Caracas who is doing "wonderful work for his people." He is the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who is following an ambitiously populist agenda and generally enjoys a good press abroad (except the US). But as a Venezuelan who posted his opinion on BBC News website, Chavez's fan-following is amongst foreigners rather than his own countrymen.

Reactions of other Venezuelans seem to agree on the website. His admirers, I found, were mostly Canadians or US leftists. Chavez is a die-hard anti-American. He was recently the only head of state who positively opposed America and supported Iran on its nuclear programme at the International Atomic Energy Agency meet in Vienna recently.

His romance with the Islamic Republic of Iran goes beyond this. A person so inspired by the famous 19th Latin American revolutionary Simon Bolivar (he had prefixed "Bolivarian" to Republic of Venezuela), he strangely finds similarity between ideals of Bolivar and the Islamic revolution in Iran. The truth is that Bolivar (1783-1830), born in Venezuela, was a nationalist, who despite being of elite Spanish ancestry, brought freedom to Venezuela, Columbia, Panama and Ecuador from Spain's imperialist yoke, while bigoted cleric Ayatollah Khomeini disavowed the rich pre-Islamic history of Persia to reaffirm the Arabic yoke of Islam. Chavez brings the latest proof of Marxist-Islamist collusion.

Chavez, unlike Castro, whom he holds in high esteem, is an elected President but yet a demagogue. He is no friend of open and democratic societies, completely marginisaling the middle class and corporate sector promising to benefit the poor. Venezuela being the fifth largest oil producing country in OPEC, has petrodollars as an asset, yet, poverty in Venezuela is actually on the rise as government policy undermines individual initiative and private property. Freedom of speech and expression is curtailed and those opposing his rule are coined as traitors and villains.

I was happily surprised to read that Assocham Eco Pulse study has placed Left-ruled West Bengal in league with performing states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, UP and Tamil Nadu in terms of growth of gross domestic products between in 2001-02 and 2003-04 (Economic Times, October 12). A major reason for this achievement has been the contribution of the service sector that includes banking, insurance, finance, real estate. Mahendra K. Sanghi, the president of Assocham, said, "Globally well known companies like Infosys that are keen to set up software operations in the state, speak volumes about the pace with which West Bengal is moving under the current chief minister."

The Left trenchantly opposes any move towards disinvestment and FDI at the Centre. But the Left Front government is following a more market-friendly and capitalist policy in West Bengal, once India's most industrialised state that they ruined through their dogmatic policies. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee goes from Italy to Japan to woo foreign investment, and has kept the IT sector of Kolkata out of the purview of bandhs and strikes. Thus, while at the national level we are witnessing a climbdown to "shortage economy" of the Congress era, a relative turnaround is discernible in West Bengal.

The revelations by Mitrokhin Archive II titled The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World on India, much to the embarrassment of Congressmen and Communists, are too well known to be repeated here. But the same volume also reveals that the first elected Marxist President of the western hemisphere, who has been portrayed as a martyr in a CIA-backed coup, was actually a KGB agent. Salvador Allende was President of Chile between 1970 and 1973, before he was killed in an Army coup led by Auguste Pinochet that overthrew his government on September 11, 1973. The event got etched into the psyche of Latin America as its "Bloody Tuesday" 9/11, although the CIA never openly acknowledged its support to the coup.

Mitrokhin Archive reveals that the tenure of Allende, who was heavily financed by the KGB in his election campaign, was a boon time for Soviet secret activity in Chile. Under Allende, Chile turned into a jumping-off place for the secret services of the Soviet Union and its Communist allies. Their instructors prepared insurgents of Marxist terrorist groupings from all over Latin America on the Chilean territory. This has been corroborated by John Keller, the veteran CIA man who had worked in Berlin and Bonn (and later assistant and communication director under President Ronald Reagan) who had written the book Stasi: The Untold Story of East German Secret Service Police.

According to John Keller, "Within several days after Allende's coming to power, tens of Stasi experts on sabotage and guerrilla war arrived under diplomatic cover in Santiago. Besides these, experts from other Eastern European states arrived, including officers from Czechoslovakia, which were stationed in a camp near Valparaiso (a city in the central part of the country, West of the capital). Weapons and modular small houses arrived in Chile from the USSR." Stasi employees also helped many Communist leaders, socialist leaders, outstanding figures of Allende government and family members to escape to East Germany after the military coup.

Counterbalanced only by the euphoria over socialism, living standards in Chile had sharply declined under Allende's rule. There was severe deficit of food and other essential commodities. Allende's niece and famous authoress Isabel Allende who now lives in San Francisco has given a humorous description of those days in her memoir My Invented Country (HarperCollins India, 2003): "The shortages were so severe that people spent hours waiting to buy a scrawny chicken or a cup of cooking oil, but who could pay bought anything they wanted on the black market… Soon there was a psychosis of shortages, and as soon as three or more people were together, they automatically started a queue… There were professional line-standers who got tips for holding a place; I understand that my own children rounded their allowance that way" (P. 152). Does this not remind us of days of rationing in India?

She further writes, "One Peruvian artist who arrived for a visit during that period asked, amazed, why Chilean women dressed like lepers, lived in doghouses, and ate like Fakirs." (P.155)

Although Communism professes its belief in distribution of wealth, it ends up distributing poverty. The common historical experience has been that Communism has curbed people's progress and freedom of expression. Seldom in a Communist country have people had adequate means, and hardly ever adequate happiness.


© 2005 The Asian Age