Wednesday, April 29, 2015

on traditional architectural memes


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michel Danino


Third article in the weekly SandHI series published by Financial Chronicle:

 

House of commons

By Koumudi Patil & Joy Sen 

http://www.mydigitalfc.com/indian-knowledge-series/house-commons-195

 

Links to previous articles can be found here:

http://www.mydigitalfc.com/panelview/47392

 

Regards,

 

Michel

 

 




--
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fwd: U.S. Japan unveil new Defence Guidelines+Xi’s South Asia Policy – implications for India+When China rules the world+How India should handle the Ghani visit? plus lot more


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sanjeev nayyar
Date: Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 10:52 PM
Subject: U.S. Japan unveil new Defence Guidelines+Xi's South Asia Policy – implications for India+When China rules the world+How India should handle the Ghani visit? plus lot more
To:

1. Is this Dalai Lama the last in newsweek by sidney burris  http://www.newsweek.com/dalai-lama-last-324680
 
2. Dhanush Gun clears Army trials, ordinance factories to build 114 by ajai shukla 28/4/15 http://ajaishukla.blogspot.in/2015/04/dhanush-gun-clears-army-trials-ordnance.html
 
My take – when will the private sector be given orders, build up capacity and then allowed to export.
 
3. U.S. Japan unveil new Defence Guidelines by xinhua 28/4/15 http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0428/c90777-8884411.html
'Under the new guidelines, revised for the first time since 1997, Japan will have the rights to exercise collective self-defense, therefore being able to defend other countries that may come under attack, said the U.S. Defense Department in a news release. It also allows for increased regional and global cooperation in the U. S.-Japanese alliance. Fang Yan, a Chinese political commentator in New York, told Xinhua that the new defense guidelines will allow Japan to expand its military force and to get involved in global issues. "It not only aims to contain the influence of China but also seek to defend hegemony of U.S.-Japanese alliance in East Asia," he said. "It will also help U.S. in its military existence across the world."
 
4. Also read earlier headline in Japan Times http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/04/28/national/u-s-japan-announce-new-defense-guidelines-for-global-japanese-role/. 'The guidelines reflect a changing world and mean Japan could shoot down missiles heading toward the United States and come to the aid of third countries under attack.
 
5. Has India lost the Afghanistan game to Pakistan? by aimal fazi 28/4/15 http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/04/india-lost-afghanistan-pakistan-150426051958020.html
 
6. How India should handle the Ghani visit? by m k bhadrakumar 27/4/15 http://www.rediff.com/news/column/how-india-should-handle-the-ghani-visit/20150427.htm
'Or, to put it differently, the quality of that relationship -- its verve, its swagger -- does not have to reflect their respective ties with Pakistan. It has an intrinsic worth and a vast, largely untapped potential of its own. To my mind, the respect and understanding India and its people will show to the Ghani couple will be unique in this region, and it is bound to make a big impression on them as they get to know us better and better. Relationships born out of mutual respect, unalloyed sincerity and directness and transparency have always been an integral part of Afghan culture. In a nutshell, the salience of Ghani's visit is already pre-determined with Rula Saade's arrival in India ahead of her husband. It should be that an excellent chemistry is established at the personal level between the two leaderships.'
 
7. Are China's credentials in the Indian Sub-Continent anti Indian: A strategic audit by dr subhash kapila 27/4/15 http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/1764
 
8. Xi's South Asia Policy – implications for India by d s rajan 27/4/15 http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/1763. VERY GOOD READ
 
9. When China rules the world by Air Cmdr P C Chopra 26/4/15 http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/when-china-rules-the-world/ VERY GOOD READ.
'Building multiple power coalitions as a complement to engaging China and deepening the strategic partnership with the US will strengthen India's independent role in the security of Asia. China is worried about the growing US, Japan, Australia and India relations, thus surrounding it and circumscribing its influence close to its borders. Chinese view Japan's re-emergence from its US umbrella and its self-imposed isolation as a major threat. India must not ally too strongly with the US. India has to develop its own modus vivendi with China, buy time to catch up economically and militarily.
It is the area from Upper Subansari to Kibutu that is likely to be the Chinese main thrust axis. There is a lack of infrastructure on the Indian side with no major rail or road head.
 
10. China prempts India's use of Gilgit Baltistan card by B Raman 1/5/2013 http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/china-pre-empts-indias-possible-use-of-the-gilgit-baltistan-card/. READ.
China's Credentials in Indian Subcontinent Anti-Indian: A Strategic Audit - See more at: http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/1764#sthash.WnL9moQY.dpuf
China's Credentials in Indian Subcontinent Anti-Indian: A Strategic Audit - See more at: http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/1764#sthash.WnL9moQY.dpuf
 
 
 
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
https://twitter.com/sanjeev1927
To unsubscribe write back



--
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

India Responds to Nepal Quake

Immediately following the massive earthquake which has devastated Nepal and shook parts of northern India, Indian PM Modi has quickly orchestrated a massive aid effort. Indian Army was the first to bring massive assistance, and even RSS is working there through local branches:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Nepal-earthquake-RSS-deputes-senior-member/articleshow/47076471.cms





As the deathtoll passes over 4300, the inability of many Nepalese to get adequate assistance from their own govt in dealing with this crisis will probably result in a backlash in the next election, and a subsequent change in govt. Nepal's communists may be the likely beneficiaries.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-28/nepal-earthquake-survivors-frustrated-by-slow-govt-response/6426282

It's interesting to note that Nepal is pointedly rejecting offers of international aid from Taiwan:

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/nepal-turns-down-taiwan-s/1809428.html

Taiwan's offer of aid is the only one that Nepal has refused.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

michel danino interview in Times of India, Chandigarh, on the Sarasvati


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michel Danino


Taking the liberty to attach an interview published today (not available on the Net, it seems). 

 

Regards,

 

Michel

 

 

 




--
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Quick notes: Ceausescu eulogy, Seismic risk...

  • What’s Left, Comrade Yechury? Yechury wrote a glowing piece about Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, following a visit to Romania where he had met the tyrant who used toilets made of gold. A few weeks later, Ceausescu was ousted in a democratic uprising. The CPM leader also embarrassed himself when he appeared on Doordarshan to welcome the aborted coup of Gennady Yanayev against Mikhail Gorbachev.


  • Heinous crimes: Cabinet clears proposal to try juveniles accused of heinous crimes under laws for adults


  • Himalayan Seismic Risk: Although a major plate boundary with a history of large-to-great sized earthquakes, large earthquakes on the Himalayan thrust are rare in the documented historical era. Just four events of M6 or larger have occurred within 250 km of the latest earthquake over the past century.


  • Restoring the Los Angeles River: What Los Angeles is building is more like a monument to rivers—artificial, in perfect LA style, but constructed on ecological principles. A once-hostile environment will be terraformed into a hub of human activity. “This is the beginning of a golden time for the LA River”.


  • Sri Rajendra Singh a.k.a Waterman:




  • Wooden Bike:

Friday, April 24, 2015

India Puts Ford Foundation Under Watch

The Ministry of Home Affairs has put the Ford Foundation on watch, citing national security grounds because of violations on use of funds by recipient Sabrang Communications, run by Teesta Setelvad:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/ford-foundation-put-under-mha-watch-list-in-national-interest-and-security-of-india/articleshow/47026189.cms




The Ford Foundation has in the past been linked to the CIA:

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/ford-foundation-and-its-alleged-cia-connections/541720-3.html

One wonders why the previous Congress govts never took a similar decision. Presumably it's because they never felt the Ford Foundation was a threat to their political agenda - like Subhash Chandra Bose, for instance.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Land Bill Being Shelved

The Modi govt is shelving the Land Acquisition Bill after political opponents have pounced upon the issue and raised increasing outcry over it.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/modi-land-bill-rising-anger-farmer-suicide-rural-india/1/431827.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-32408549

http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/why-the-debate-on-land-bill-must-move-past-industry-vs-farmer-115042300106_1.html

I feel that the Modi govt should have taken the approach of handing over more control of land policy to the states. Then states with a more forward and progressive outlook could move to develop themselves faster, while states with a more regressive outlook (bimarus) could be left to lag behind. The states more amenable to change would reap the rewards sooner, while the laggard states would suffer the consequences and feel more pressure to catch up.

Modi has often spoken of empowering the states and involving the states, but on the land issue he seems to have conspicuously ignored his own advice. Maybe his rock-concert-tours abroad have misled him into believing that he can change India purely through the force of personal charisma, but he is now receiving a rude dose of reality. He does not have the personal force to just hoist up the entire country and raise the Titanic in one heave. UPA govt created this issue with its 2013 land act, and Modi should have sidestepped this trap just as was done with MNREGA. With over 55% of the population getting subsistence through farming, this powerfully large interest group should have been seen as a dangerous Kumbakarna to awaken.The govt had better figure out how to up its game before it completely loses momentum and gets bogged down by an obstructionist opposition who are as unscrupulous as Taliban spreading fear and lies against polio vaccinations.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Future Predictions for US & the World

A pair of international experts, author Peter Zeihan and Prof Joseph Nye give their predictions on the future shape of the world, and America's place in it - worth a listen:



China Gambles $46 Billion on Pakistan Corridor



China has announced that it will invest $46 billion in developing an economic corridor through Pakistan to link with the Middle East and Africa, developing and transforming Pakistan's infrastructure as part of a bid to reshape the region:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32377088






How successful this venture will be remains to be seen.

I'd like to ask - how will this new direction impact the Shanghai-Five cooperative agreement? Since that organization was formed to keep the rest of the world out of Central Asia, then how does China's goal of opening up Pakistan then impact such policies - or are they all being discarded?

If Pakistan is going to embrace China's new initiative and shun Islamic extremist militancy, then how will it exert leverage over Afghanistan and the Durand Line? What if Northern Afghanistan finds it doesn't like Pashtun domination and decides to secede? What will Pakistan do if jihadi militias are no longer an acceptable tool of Pakistani foreign policy? Let's remember that this new China-Pak corridor is conspicuously bypassing the dangerously unstable NWFP, so Pashtuns won't be big stakeholders in this project or deriving significant benefits from it. The corridor terminates at the remote Gwadar port located on the coast of Baluchistan, another province where separatist militants are active. Just as China boldly ventured into Sri Lanka only to see India pull the rug out from under it there, it's clear that China's new venture into Pak is exposed to major vulnerabilities that India can easily exploit if it desires. Maybe it's better to let China waste significant blood and treasure in Pakistan first, before pulling the rug on them.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/editorials/For-China-It-will-be-a-Corridor-of-Risks/2015/04/23/article2777653.ece

The Atlanticists are of course quite happy:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/23/opinion/chinas-big-plunge-in-pakistan.html

Quick notes: Nuclear risk, Solar grill...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Quick notes: Beef and slavery, Helicopter parents...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Quick notes: Tax day, Bicycle highway...

Sunday, April 12, 2015

on devadasis, a storify stream

i suggest they were neither courtesans nor nuns, but like geisha.

both geisha system and devadasi system were perverted by white people's morality and christian rapaciousness.

https://storify.com/RajeevSrinivasa/on-devadasis

--
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: A Splendid Gesture by PM Modi - his visit to the Indian War memorial in Neuve Chapelle, France


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jay 


Every passing day, I am finding it more and more difficult to unconditionally applaud what our Prime Minister Narendra Modi does. Admittedly, he is in a vastly better and higher league than that unmentionable MMS fellow, but his rate of descent is increasing. 

However, NaMo's decision to honour the brave and indomitable Indian soldiers who died in Europe during WW 1 is an eminently praiseworthy gesture. Well done, NaMo. These poor soldiers were not fighting for the British Raj or to protect British colonialism in India. They fought and gave their livesfor their "paltans" and for their own honour. They were cannon fodder, undoubtedly,  for the white man, but they also earned the undying respect of the Western world, including, grudgingly,  the British rulers of India.  

                                       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG4a5VNiog0  

                                       (I prefer this to the second clip below, from NDTV, in which the dolt Vishnu Shome and an unbelievably 
                                        moronic correspondent of NDTV in Paris keep prattling nonsense. Also, you can hear their camera                                               persons speaking). 

                                       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TLzoC-_01g  (Avoidable, except for some of the footage).

 And this is the tribute to the fallen Indian soldiers from one of the greatest warriors in recent times - Marechal Foch (Marshal of France) and also Honorary Marshal of Poland and Honorary Field-Marshal of Britain)  : 

Discourse by Marechal Foch on the occasion of the inaugural of the Memorial in Neuve Chapelle, France, for the fallen Indian Soldiers in WW1

 "Return to your homes in the distant, sun-bathed East and proclaim how your countrymen drenched with their blood the cold northern lands of France and Flanders, how they delivered it by their ardent spirit from the firm grip of a determined enemy; tell all of India that we shall watch their graves with the devotion due to all our dead. We will cherish above all the memory of their example. They showed us the way - they took the first steps towards final victory."

ORIGINAL 

Le maréchal Foch déclare en 1927, à l'occasion de l'inauguration du mémorial érigé à la mémoire de tous les soldats indiens tombés sur le front occidental lors de la première guerre mondiale :

« Rentrez chez vous, dans vos lointains baignés de lumière orientale, et clamez bien haut combien vos patriotes ont maculé de leur sang les froides landes nordiques de France et de Flandres, comment ils les ont délivrées, grâce à la vivacité de leur esprit, des griffes de l'ennemi déterminé. Dites à toute l'Inde que nous devons regarder leurs tombes avec la dévotion digne de tous nos morts. Nous chérirons par-dessus toute la mémoire de leurs exemples. Ils nous ont ouvert la voie, c'est eux qui ont fait les premiers pas vers la victoire finale »

P.S.       A French air warrior friend of mine, General Henri Switzer (once posted in Delhi as the French military attache) wrote to me that the French respect the fallen Indian soldiers so much because the poor Indian soldiers came to France as defenders and friends of France, and not as conquerors and invaders like the Germans and the English.
___________________________________________________________________________________________


NB :       The rendering of Jana Gana Mana by the French military band is impeccable

              The desi thanedar-type babu who holds an umbrella for the PM and makes an ass of himself must be shot. Typical 
              feudal mentality of the Delhi functionaries. 
_______________________________________________________________________________________________






--
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Quick notes: Rafale bungle, Google battery...

  • 36 fighters are neither here nor there: If India signs a contract for 36 Rafale fighters, Dassault will be in a commanding position to negotiate favourable terms for the remaining 90 fighters. If India doesn't agree to Dassault's terms, it would be left with two squadrons of Rafales, with no indigenisation.

    It makes little sense to have an air force that already has seven different fighters - Sukhoi-30MKI, MiG-29, MiG-27, MiG-21, Mirage 2000, Jaguar and Tejas LCA - create spare part stocks, depots and maintenance infrastructure for just two squadrons of yet another fighter type.


  • Modi's "compulsion": Swamy takes on Modi, calls new Rafale jet deal a 'case of arbitrariness'. "There are two major issues with the Rafale aircraft deal which would embarrass the BJP government".


  • Rafale vs Sukhoi T-50/PAK-FA: For New Delhi, the issue is that "the money does not exist to have both the Rafale and T-50 (Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft) programmes and, if you choose one over the other, you are making decisions that have long-ranging effects".


  • Google Gets Into Battery Arms Race: Dr. Ramesh Bhardwaj’s group is trying to advance current lithium-ion technology and the cutting-edge solid-state batteries for consumer devices.


  • CO2 capture: Clay could be used for inexpensive carbon capture


  • Crotalus Horridus! A homeopathic experiment gives hope for treatment of AIDS 


  • Drug Resistance: Link between antibiotics for livestock and infections in humans


Friday, April 10, 2015

Nehru Snooped On Bose Family

Worried that Subhash Chandran Bose was actually alive and posing a potential political threat, the Nehru govt conducted extensive surveillance on his family for a period of 20 years:




my rediff column on iran nuclear deal and benefits to india

my firstpost column on iran, yemen, and india's profile in region

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Quick notes: Rafale twist, Uber rickshaws...

  • Rafale twist? Under the new proposal, the entire process for procuring 126 combat jets would be scrapped. A new government-to-government contract is likely to be negotiated to buy around 60 Rafale jets in flyaway condition from France.


  • Meet DJ Patil: Obama’s Big Data dude


  • Uber rickshaws? UberAuto for hailing auto rickshaws in New Delhi.


  • This land is your land: Farmers are inextricably tied to their land. Deprived of it, they have little else to fall back on for their livelihood


  • Delhi pollution: "Diesel fumes cause damage to the lungs, brain and can cause even cancer. The situation is so alarming that medically people have been even advised to leave Delhi".


  • Prof. Dinesh Mohan:  Policies that are less car-centric are needed in order to improve India's urban environment
http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/dinesh-mohan-dealing-with-pollution-in-our-cities-115040400713_1.html

Canada Eager to Do Business With Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive a big welcome from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as Canada seeks business opportunities in India's growing economy:

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/04/08/harper-modi-combo-bodes-well-for-canada-india-relationship.html

http://www.macleans.ca/news/world/a-modi-miracle-in-india/


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Saudis Want Pak Troops in Yemen

The Pakistan govt has revealed that Saudi Arabia has requested Pakistan to send troops onto the soil of Yemen as part of Saudi offensive operations there:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/07/world/middleeast/saudis-seek-pakistani-troops-for-yemen-campaign-official-says.html?_r=0

It will be interesting to see how Pakistan responds to Saudi demands. Given Saudi Arabia's heightened anxiety over Iran's future acquisition of nuclear weapons, it might be more politically expedient for Pakistan to appease Saudis with commitments to offer them its own nuclear weapons, even while refusing to supply them with troops for a conflict that Pakistan is loathe to get bogged down in.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Taxpayers Foot Bill for Separatists Lifestyle

Separatist live lavish lifestyles off the backs of Indian taxpayers:



Saturday, April 04, 2015

Quick notes: Kerala unions, New Malibu...

  • Mafia Unions of Kerala: "This is a testament to the unions in Kerala and what they do to business and how they destroy business in this state."



  • Church steals temple land: Devotees confront the administration.


  • Govt against consent of tribals for displacement: The NDA govt is on the verge of passing executive orders that would do away with the veto powers of tribals that protect their fores tlands in most cases.


  • New Malibu Hybrid with Volt drive train: : Unlike her predecessors, who brought mainly financial backgrounds to the job, Mary Barra, the current CEO of GM, is a qualified engineer and a car geek, fully cognizant of the qualities that Malibu must possess to compete effectively.


  • Daimler Unveils SuperTruck: : 12-MPG Semi is more than twice as fuel-efficient.


  • Diesel fouls up Delhi air: In 1995, suspended particulate matter in Delhi had hit a high of 409 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre). In 2000, two years after the CNG verdict, scientists measured the tinier and virtually invisible RSPM for the first time and found the level at 191 µg/m3 — it fell to 161 µg/m3 in 2007.

    Then, as sharply as a sudden gasp, from 2008 to be precise, the levels begin to rise and rise. And rise to the current 316 µg/m3, nearly 16 times what is considered healthy by the WHO, and nearly twice that of Beijing, the next most-polluted city in the world.

    “Pollutant levels increased for 3 reasons — increase in diesel vehicles, mobile towers which had diesel generating sets, and small scale industries”.


  • Keep commerce out of medicine and education:


Friday, April 03, 2015

Cdre Bhaskar on Iran Deal

Commodore C. Uday Bhaskar comments on the Iran nuclear deal:



ICHR keynote on vedic astronomy, philosophy by david frawley

http://ichr.ac.in/Foundationday_text.pdf

--
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Rapists Were Bangladeshis

The criminals who robbed a church and raped a nun there have been arrested - it turns out they were Bangladeshis:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-32143051

No word from Christian sectarianists on whether they plan to apologize for blaming RSS.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Nuclear Deal with Iran

US President Obama has just announced that a deal has been reached with Iran over its nuclear program, whereby Iran will agree to forego nuclear enrichment in exchange for relief on sanctions:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/03/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-talks.html

So what are the implications of this deal, particularly for India? Well, oil markets have reacted with prices dropping, since more Iranian oil will be able to reach the market. That's good for India. Also, India may not receive as much pressure over its dealings with Iran as in the past, which is good. If the fence-mending  helps to contain ISIS, then that might be of some marginal benefit as well.

The Iranian revolution and the souring of relations with the United States is of course one of the key reasons Pakistan became much more strategically valuable for the US from Zia's time onwards. Uptil then, the US had relied much more on the Shah as their lynchpin ally in the region, and Pak was seen as more troublesome and thorny, due to its conflict with India. After ties with Iran broke in 1979 then Pak became much more important, but will we now see US-Iran relations mending to the point where they diminish Pak's importance? Unless and until that threshold is crossed, then Pak's strategic maneuvering room isn't really impacted so much.

The Saudis and Israelis will not be happy at all - will they somehow upset the cart by moving to launch airstrikes against Iran? Israel's capabilities for this might be overstretched, and certainly the Saudis couldn't do anything alone, other than continue support for ISIS.

China will certainly move to take advantage of the new opening, and India should too. We have good relations with Iran, including both trade and strategic cooperation. We would benefit from supporting Iran as an access route to Central Asia and its natural resources, since oil prices are expected to rebound in 2016.

On the other hand, if Iran later reneges on this nuclear agreement down the road, expect oil prices to go sky high in a nuclearized Middle East, and also expect that Saudi will start buying bombs from Pakistan. Saudi strongly opposes this Iran deal, and sees as inevitable that Iran will later renege and go for the bomb. In which case, Saudi won't wait for that last moment to respond, and would likely start engaging Pakistan through backdoor channels right now, to secure its access to the Pak Bomb. Are we therefore now preparing for the implications of this? Will Pak and its nuclear arsenal become increasingly bound to conflict in the Middle East? Will this give Pak new levers against us? If so, then which ones? Will we become hostage to other geopolitical dynamics?