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thoughtsnips
Sunday, June 29, 2003
 
Re: Trade thru Nathu La

As far as Ladakh route is concerned, according to some thinktanks, the Govt of India is willing.... but the border thing has to be settled first, which is also apparently considered negotiable by Delhi. Dunno abt Chinese reaction to all this.

--R

Saturday, June 28, 2003
 
Re: Trade thru Nathu La

>But how would, say, Uttar Pradesh?

Depends on the volume of trade. If its small, even Bihar will be unaffected. If large, then UP is closeby, and if transport is cost-efficient then there is scope for benefit. BTW talking of transport, Bihar is the only segment where the GQ project is stuck!

Added later: I wonder if a similar opening can be made from Laddakh. There used to be a prolific trading route from Laddakh to Yarkand earlier.

 
Re:Trade thru Nathu La
Eastern and NE states would definitely benefit from the trade thru Nathu La. But how would, say, Uttar Pradesh?

--R

 
Re:Trade thru Nathu La

>BTW, how would this help the laggards?!

I referred to trade opportunities for the northern & eastern states.

 
US SC and Indian cases

Social issues now...

This term, the US Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions this quarter:

In Grutter v Bollinger, it said that racial diversity can is a genuine ground for affirmative action. In India, we have reservations, which is a quota system, essentially different from the affirmative action. In Regent of U.California v Bakke decision, the SC decided that quota systems are illegal.
In India, in Indra Sawhney v Union of India, the Supreme Court of India said that caste or religion alone cannot be made a criterion in reserving seats. That decision called for the elimination of the creamy layer. Now, there is a demand for reservations for Muslims, given the fact that the literacy rates in that community is sub-par to SCs in many areas. On the other hand, even some liberals in India, like Kuldip Nayyar, have started demanding that reservations be eliminated. I would like to know ur opinion on this issue.

Another decision is the Lawrence v Texas, in which the SC struck down the sodomy laws of all 13 states, where they exist today. In India, IPC 370 is a very similar law, if not a more unclear one. Lately, many NGOs are complaining that this law has been preventing them from working with MSMs and WSWs (as gays are called in India) on issues like AIDS prevention. This issue earned India a reprimand from the UN Human Rights Commission year before last. Meanwhile, the Delhi HC has sent a notice to the Indian govt why it should not strike down that law as unconstitutional.

I wanted to see if any of u had any comments on how these judgements (or arguments on them) would apply to the Indian scene.

PS: Anybody tried using the Supreme Court of India website? Two words - B@$$ S%#&!!

--R

 
Trade thru Nathu La

Carl
Sure I agree that Nathu La should ultimately be opened. However, PRC's insistence on not recognizing Sikkim as a part of India troubles me deeply.
BTW, how would this help the laggards?!



 
Re: SEU and northern laggards
Re: Trade thru Nathu La

Opening up Nathu-la might be good for the economy of the east, especially WB. Depends on whether things actually get moving. Its possible that northern and eastern Indian manufacturers might actually have an edge in the Tibet-Xinjiang market over their competitors in eastern and north-eastern PRC. Only an increasing trade surplus vis a vis PRC can justify Vajpayee's hype.

 
Re: SEU

While I still hold that there is a cultural gap between the four states and the north, let me place another point forth and see if you would agree with me on that -
Remember - culture is more than music, dance and the language u read Ramayana in. More than all that is the general approach to enterprise etc.... the ethos we follow in day to day lives. With modernization, it is bound to change. Thus, u will see cultural shifts, and hence North-South differences. Thus, even if u deny cultural differences exist now, I am saying it would emerge later (in my original argument, I said it would sharpen).

--R

Friday, June 27, 2003
 
Re: SEU

Ramki, good points all. Only part I had disagreed with was bringing "cultural" factors in.

UP-Bihar, and even WB is being a pain to all. The splitting of bihar and UP to form Jh. and U-chal is part of the same strain. I think the economically dynamic (comparitively) Southern states have many more less-alarming options than dynamic states stuck in the north, like Punjab. What about them?

As you said, ultimately one hopes the more "progressive" states consolidate politically to create a political system where they have the clout to goad the laggards to shape up, a la the European Union.

 
Re: squashing bugs
Sorry Ramki, just some feel-good machismo once in a while. "dil behelAne ke liye khayAl acchA hai ghalib!"

But back to the real world -- Why the Indian economy lags behind China's
------------
Extract:
Perhaps no single issue excites Indian industrialists more than the subject of erratic power supply. Indian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the backbone of India's manufacturing and industrial employment, are now reeling under pressure from imports. "We do not want protection," says Y P Suri, secretary of the Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India, an apex body representing SMEs. "All we want is support in terms of infrastructure."

From padlocks to electrical appliances, Chinese goods have made a mass entry into Indian markets. Chinese electrical goods flooding the Delhi market have forced over 250 units in the capital to close shop. "How can you compare us with China?" asks Suri. "Can the Indian government guarantee us the same kind of power supply that Chinese SMEs get?"

With more than 3.3 million small-scale units spread across the country and with over 18 million people employed in them, SMEs are India's second largest employer...
-------------------

Compare our struggling SMEs to China's dynamic Township & Village enterprizes (TVEs) which spearheaded their economic growth. Abundance of subsidized electricity, land, etc reduces factor costs and makes them globally unbeatable. Importantly, the TVEs, etc ensure the participation of the masses of China and an equitable distribution of benefits of growth, whereas in our country we only hear of IT and other multinationals in our economic news. Hence our netas' BS theories about "trickle down effect", and "leapfrogging" using IT.

 
Re: Southern Economic Union

Carl

Let me expand on my argument a little bit. Let me try painting a picture, gloomy, yet not improbable.

1. As their populations keep exploding, with government that are inept, and absolutely incapable of getting capital into the state, the two big boys (UP and Bihar) keep sinking lower and lower. At the same time, the south keeps its current growth rate, prospering.
2. Soon, there emerges a cleavage in ethos between the states - a progressive south versus the laggard north. At the same time, the north seems set to increase political influence, due, essentially, to their failure to control their population, something that the south thinks deserves to be penalised.
3. The south begins to feel that the north, if given control over the Center, will just be a drag on it. I sometimes see a beginning of this scenario in those "give Bihar independence" or "trade Bihar for PoK" jokes (may be I am paranoid).
4. A kind of 80's Mumbai situation arises in the south - with migrants pouring in from the north, and there is a backlash from the native population. This would not be unprecedented - it happened in both Maharashtra, and gave rise to one Balasaheb Thackerey.

So, you see, it is not that improbable that SEU will emerge as some kind of loose political alliance between teh southern states, to essentially protect their political interests, and influence policy in Delhi. Hence, the right way, as I see it, is not suppression of SEU. Let it be formed, even as a political alliance. The right way is to put pressure on the north to reform and get their act together.

One more note. As for that first step to secession idea, well, I see that as a far shot. While it is true that the north will be a drag on the south soon (if they do not reform i.e.), the union is still good for the south. For one, the defence of south is also strong. For another, the southern states lack the economic primaries that are important for a viable economy - most importantly, a perennial river.

--R

 
Re: Lavakare's Article

Carl

> ...and then squashing it like a bug.

Urrrrggghhh...

-R


Thursday, June 26, 2003
 
Re: Lavakare's article

Sivaguru,
Nothing new in it. But Lavakare doesn't say what arm's length means. Engagement means keeping your enemy close to you. If he's not too huge, that's good. Also note how we're engaging other big powers too, in who's service Pak is a proxytute. So maybe Delhi's thinking of getting close to Pak, lulling her masters into friendship, weaning Pak away from their arms, and then squashing it like a bug.

 
Re: SEU

Ramki, some good points, like southern politicos forming a stronger lobby for more national influence. All power to them.

Will disagree with the "culture" color you're giving it though. Pure political cock and bull. Any idea how the Telugus keep their distance from Tamil "dravidianism", much less identify with them? Nobody likes aggressive chauvinism. OTOH, Telugus in northern Andhra regularly recite the Ramcharitmanas in Hindi. Also, there's plenty of petty contempt for Tamils in neighbouring Kerala. So this exclusive north-south divide is BS.

And you further say that Gujaratis might have "cultural and other" problems integrating into a southern econ union? There are hordes of Gujju and even HAryanvi businessmen in various cities and towns in TN, and they read write and speak Tamil better than many Tamils. Gujjus and Marwaris are ace businessmen. I've met many who speak over 4 Indian languages.

Let's keep imagined "prejudice" out of the discussion.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
 
Re: Southern Economic Union

Now, my take on the question I raised yesterday:

Do you think the economic union, which is now a purely bureaucratic interaction of the four Chief Secretaries, would grow into a stronger bond, and eventually, take political undertones as regionalism? If you think so, do you think it would be a positive development? If not, what makes u think it will not happen?
Yes. I certainly see that happening if the states can get over initial, essentially economic irritants like Cauvery. There are very many reasons for this:

* These states are linguistically similar and different from the rest of India - one strong basis for bonding.

* The states have one big threat looming over them - possible political marginalization in electoral arithmetic somewhere in the future. Let me explain this. If India had delimited its Lok Sabha constituency maps in 2000, as it should have, all these states, owing to their decline in population growth, would have had less constituencies, while the north would have had more. To handle this, the Parliament has, by 91st Amendment, froze the delimitation exercise till 2026. Already, such a freeze existed till 2000, meaning, the constituencies we have today represent the figures from the 1971 census - when none of us were evn born! This amendment's legality could still be questioned, based on say, the Baker V Carr case in the US (it will most probably be admissible as a precedent in Indian courts). If, one day, the SC rules that such freeze on delimitation goes against the constitution (as it happened in Carr case), we could be in trouble! It would mean that TN alone will lose 7 seats out of its quota of 39! And UP will gain 4 over its already humongous 81.

* WRT the economy, these states are among the fastest growing and modernizing states. Which means that they are going to demand in future that the north not pull them back in the name of equality. The only way they can do this is to come up with a united lobby - which is what I think this Union would become politically.

* Most leaders from the region are young people, possibly aspiring for bigger future in Delhi. A strong lobby like that would help boost their standing in Delhi.



Assuming this does happen, what do you think would be the response of other fast growing states like Maharashtra and Gujarat to this development? Do you think we will, say, have a Western Economic Union? Or do you think Maharashtra will gravitate towards the South?
Maharashtra is a tossup. It could decide that its economic fortunes would be better served if they go with the SEU. I think this would happen if say, NCP comes to power. Or, it could go with the culturally closer west/north. Frankly, it will depend on who comes to power in Mumbai. Gujarat going with SEU is a long shot. Besides cultural and geographical problems, Gujarat is far too conservative for the SEU.



Most interestingly, what do you think will be effect on the cow belt states to a challenge to their dominance over Indian polity from the South?
There would definitely be outrage to south's manipulation etc. Till date, neither Bihar, nor UP has done anything to modernize. And I am not going to believe that they would be nudged now.

In a related question, if you are a southerner, do you think the south has been prejudiced against in the Indian polity?
Oh yes! At least, when it comes to the Prime Ministership. Did I hear some one say rotating PMship among regions?


--R

 
There is a simple reply to the question Lavakare raises - to keep an arms length with our neighbor, he/she has to maintain the same with us. Indifference works only if it is a two way process.

What India is trying to do with Pakistan is called engagement - not wooing. Engagement is a legitimate diplomatic option... and trade is certainly one of the ways we can exercise that option. Now, friendlship would mean things like supplying arms or providing intelligence helpful to them (and not us!) etc. That is definitely not what the two nations are discussing.

I am happy that after a long while, Mr.Lavakare has realized that a 100 yard rush is simply not possible for India.

R

 
Aah! Finally! Sombody other than Carl, Chubs and myself!!
Welcome to the Blog Siva...

One note here: When u refer an article from an open site - one that does not require fees, please just post the links!

--R

Tuesday, June 24, 2003
 
Arvind lavakare asks "why not at arms length?". Your replies please.
Siva

http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/jun/24arvind.htm

 
Re: Southern Economic Union

I think I should clarify my statement on prejudice against sutherners a little bit: I am not talking abt prejudice in general. That will be there as much or, as little, as there is prejudice against, people of a different region in any country. It is natural that there is a bit of that and we just might have to live with it.

What I am talking abt specifically is the political structure's skew that leads to the election of only cow belt-wallahs as PMs.

While I am at it, let me also state that it is a fact that there have been more Presidents from the south than from any other region - seven - Dr.Radhakrishnan, Dr.Zakir Hussain, V.V.Giri, Neelam Sajivva Reddy, R.Venkatraman, K.R.Narayanan and Dr.Abdul Kalam.

I will visit this particular issue in my posting with my take on the questions.

--R

 
Vajpayee and China

What's it with our leaders? Why can't they get over the bhai-bhai rhetoric? You see it wheever they visit some place or whenever some other leader comes calling. A day after Vajpayee made those absolutely meaningless remarks abt there not being any basis for mutual suspicion between China and India, and inked a deal involving Sikkim-Tibet highway, the Chinese Foreign Minister says "Sikkim is an old and contentious issue that cannot be resolved overnight" - Beijing-sly for "we still do not recognize Sikkim as a part of India". With the new Sikkim corridor, this diabolical stance of China is quite threatening. If in future, some problem develops over Sikkim, Vajpayee these very statements will be quoted to berate the PM - a la the original bhai-bhai remark of Nehru.

India should NOT go ahead with the highway if China is not going to recognize our sovereignty over Sikkim.


--Ramki

 
Re: Southern Economic Union

Carl,

I certainly agree with you on the cooperation and policy consultation part. What I was interested is the poiltical ramifications of such a union. I would like to hear more from u on this specific issue.

As far as bias against southerners is concerned, let's face it... there is such a feeling among quite a few people down there. And not without reason... For starters, there have been two PMs from the south. The one similarity between them was that neither expected to become the PM. It essentially boils down to this - the nation has never consciously elected a southerner to the position of its chief administrator. The same could be said abt NE states (in fact, theirs would be a much more justifiable case!).

And do not even get me started on Hindi issue.... I still fall off my chair when I recall the learn-Hindi-if-u-want-investment comment a friend of mine made the other day.


I will post my own take on the questions raised by me tomorrow...


Ramki

Monday, June 23, 2003
 
Re: Southern Econ Union

A more informative article is here: http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=34746

I agree that cooperation and not unreasonable competition is the answer to faster and more efficient econ development. Read the above article for many points.

To give a recent example of how inter-state political rivalry (unreasonable competition and political pettiness) can stymie much-needed economic reforms, take the VAT issue. One of the reasons its implementation is being delayed is that different states are vacilating, or demanding inordinate compensation, etc.

Putting in place a political and bureaucratic instution for cooperation and policy consultation will create a more conducive atmosphere for mutually beneficial co-operation, with regard to economic policy, infrastructure develpment, etc. Moreover, the politicians in constituent states will be accountable to their counterparts in other states too now, and so they will have to moderate their obstructionist demagoguery.

Not sure of Maharashtra and Gujarat will form a western econ union. I don't see why their econ union has to be "Western". I'm not sure why at least Maharashtra is not being courted in this Southern initiative. That does raise a question or two.

What was that about prejudice against "southerners"?? Absolute BS.

Sunday, June 22, 2003
 
National Integration - the future of the Indian State

Wonder if u had heard about the Southern Economic Union being formed by the four southern states - AP, Karnataka, Kerala and TN. I would like some comments abt that.

Questions:

Do you think the economic union, which is now a purely bureaucratic interaction of the four Chief Secretaries, would grow into a stronger bond, and eventually, take political undertones as regionalism? If you think so, do you think it would be a positive development? If not, what makes u think it will not happen?


Assuming this does happen, what do you think would be the response of other fast growing states like Maharashtra and Gujarat to this development? Do you think we will, say, have a Western Economic Union? Or do you think Maharashtra will gravitate towards the South?

Most interestingly, what do you think will be effect on the cow belt states to a challenge to their dominance over Indian polity from the South?

In a related question, if you are a southerner, do you think the south has been prejudiced against in the Indian polity?

--R

Saturday, June 21, 2003
 
> Members can edit only those posts they started. You probably have admin rights to edit all posts.
Ah! The presumptions of the powerful!! :)

OK, since we cannot edit posts, let us go on like what we have been doing - just write out ur msgs as new posts and upload.


Ramki

Friday, June 20, 2003
 
Uh oh!! I knew we had not heard the last of Bush's stunt!!
:)

-R


Fernandes to discard kurta pyjama
for flying suit

June 20, 2003 20:53 IST

Defence Minister George Fernandes, who has refused to don formal suits even at his meetings with foreign heads of state, will have to discard his kurta pyjama in favour of a flying suit to undertake his historic fighter sortie on Sunday.
Fernandes, Indian Air Force officials said, would also have to undergo mandatory medical tests before undertaking a 30 to 45 minute flying sortie on board the IAF's frontline SU-30MKI from the Pune air base.
The defence minister will be flying on the SU 30 fighter of the IAF's chequered Number 20 squadron, which has won laurels during both the 1965 and 1971 wars.
Wing Commander A S Jamwal, the seniormost pilot of the squadron, would captain the twin seater fighter aircraft.
According to his tentative programme, Fernandes would as any fighter pilot get his pre-flight meals between 0600 to 0630 hours and then change over to a G-suit for flying.
For the next 90 minutes, the defence minister would be put through a rigorous cockpit familiarisation course followed by a brief rest after which he will undergo the mandatory medical tests. He will take to the skies around 1100 IST.
While the IAF was tightlipped about the kind of manoeuvres the Sukhoi would undertake, sources said complicated ones would be avoided.
The minister will utilise this opportunity to understand first hand the capabilities of this state-of-the-art fighter aircraft, an IAF release said on Friday.
Fernandes would interact with the personnel who fly and maintain it.
The SU 30 MKI, which is a generational leap in air power, was inducted into the IAF in September 2002.
With a greatly enhanced firepower, it has almost the same manoeuvrability as an aerobatics plane and is expected to fill the void of an Air Dominance Fighter (ADF) in the IAF.
The Defence Research Development Organisation and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited had developed many of the avionics in the Russian-designed aircraft.
The mission computer, display processes, radar computer and other avionics have been developed by the DRDO and HAL, the release said.

 
Ramki,
Members can edit only those posts they started. You probably have admin rights to edit all posts.

 
Kashmir came calling....

You must have heard of the truck driver from Columbus, OH, born in Kashmir, who was plotting to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge. Thoughts fellas?


Ramki
PS: Strange... I am not able to find out which part of Kashmir he is from - Indian or Pak. If it were the Indian part, and was an Indian, I think India needs to at least release a statement expressing shock that one of us has been trying to harm this country. Never mind these elements are as much against as they are against the US. A statement like that would help clear some air... at least among the common folk here.


Ramki

Thursday, June 19, 2003
 
Fellas

Sen.Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has suggested that copyright owners be given permission to destroy the computers of people who are downloading uncopyrighted software/music. Here's a followup - his comps need to be junked first!

Orrin Hatch, software pirate?

--R

 
An interesting article on how Canada has evolved into a liberal, plural society without much of the cataclysms that mostly accompany such change:
Gay Marriage Plan: Sign of Sweeping Change in Canada
By CLIFFORD KRAUSS in NYTimes

It is interesting to note that the author agrees with my long held belief that any positive, peaceful and lasting change in society could be brought around only by bringing around the conservatives to view it as questions addressing fundamental issues, such as privacy, individual liberty etc, which (with notable exception of GoPers of today) they have always championed.

I would love to talk here abt the massive role swapping that has taken place in the American polity in the past few decades, with GoPers taking over as the moralists, a role traditionally liberal, and Democrats taking over as guardians of individual liberty, traditionally an issue for conservatives. This change is most expressed in race relations of the parties. Due to paucity of time, I am passing this for now...

--R

 
Quick Ref for posting to this chalkboard (which is what it really is!)

As usual, click on Post to this BLOG on the main page.
Instead of typing out a new message, find the thread u want to append to in the lower frame of the posting page and click on the edit link next to it.
Now, u will see the message pop up in the upper frame. Just add a line to the end of the prev poster's msg and write below it.

DO NOT FORGET TO SIGN UR POST EXPLICITLY!

This is just a try. We may finally end up liking our current scheme.... upto u guys. May be we can consult on this after a while.


R

Monday, June 16, 2003
 
Re: Not much news about Marad

Kartic bhai, please be patient. So far only some Hindus have been murdered. That and more happens regularly in Kashmir, etc, but do you hear about it all the time? India is a large country and the media has many other things to report. Besides, you are always encouraged to look at the other side of the story. Kaleem Khwaja, a prominent US-based member of the Indian Muslim Council, who works hard for secularism and vigilantly works to "expose" the Hindutva govt of India in the US along with other "secular progressives" (like in the action against IDRF) writes regarding Marad:
------
"Kerala has long been an exemplary model for communal harmony," M.K. Rahman, the Secretary General of the Indian Muslim Council-USA said, " However, the past few months have witnessed a rise in sectarian violence in Kerala, including the attack on an American Christian missionary in January 2003 by the Hindu ultra-nationalist group RSS and the killings of four Muslims in an earlier attack on the village of Marad. The international community and the Indian government should take note and action against groups like the RSS who are trying to uproot India's secular fabric."
------
Remember, there is always a "root cause" behind all such incidents.

On another note, this must be the first time Indian police are taking over a mosque after finding explosives cache in it. Stunning.

Finally, to give due space to the RSS (which is the root cause here) it says that there is now religious cleansing in parts of Kerala. Alarmists probably.

Personally, I did hear from my Mallu friends that Muslims in Kerala, who once were its most backward community, are now increasingly noveau riche due to Gulf jobs. They're buying up real estate in many parts of the state (also in Chennai). That's just fine. The funny part is that there seems to be a pattern to this buying up spree. Northern Kerala has indeed been practically "bought up" by them. Then they make it a point to buy up ancient and prestigious Arangetrams in various towns and then promptly demolish the old structure and build over. Strange little anecdotes. Moreover, the Coimbatore Blasts and other terrorist happenings in Tamil Nadu are masterminded by Mallu-based fundamentalist groups like Al-Umma. Perhaps there is more than mere dinars that comes in with Gulf jobs.

Sunday, June 15, 2003
 
Hello...anybody home?

Anyway...here is a site that I chanced upon - a racial slur database. Moderator - if you think this is inappropriate, please feel free to delete this from the blog, no offense taken!

http://rsdb.fuck.org/

Saturday, June 14, 2003
 
Maraad Massacre
-----------------

Dear Fellow Bloggers...could someone please post an analysis of the Maraad incident. I never did find any substantial coverage on that event (surprise! surprise!); Rediff.com had a 10 liner on that event and I frankly stumbled on it during my occassional visits to the site. Today, I happened to read Rajeev's Mopla Rebellion - Part 2 (http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/may/09rajeev.htm) and am interested in knowing the gory details and more importantly, what is being done on the political front to bring the crooks to justice.

If Rajeev's observations on the metamorphosis of Kerala Muslims into Jihadi elements has an element of truth in it, then we must try our best to at least discuss a solution to battle the situation.

Thanks!
--Kartic

 
(Assam on verge of becoming another Kashmir: RSS )

Here is a scary prognosis from RSS re Assam and NE India!!!

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_277379,000900040001.htm

 
Guys....not to sound ignorant..but how do I edit a post like you guys have done? Ramki - may be you can post the instructions on your home page as a quickref.

--Kartic

Saturday, June 07, 2003
 

How worse CAN it get?!
Youth dies as OGH staff cut off oxygen for not paying bribe

R



Friday, June 06, 2003
 
THE NATURE OF DIVERSITY WITHIN A NATIONAL POLITY

It was a bad idea to begin an interesting topic like this with a rant by Varsha Bhonsle. So I'm starting afresh. For now I will simply state the main idea briefly:

In designing a republican form of government, the greatest threat to the underlying libertarian ideals was of the Tyranny of the Majority over some hapless minorities. As per the system, a majority opinion should conceive itself on an issue-basis, i.e. it rearranges itself based on the subject of national discussion. The political representatives should be forced by the system to use their legislative powers only in matters that distil the Common Good from the welter of particular group interests. In particular, it was desirable to avoid the existence of a pre-determined majority, based on criteria other than the mundane political issues.

Greater diversity meant a greater number of factions, and undermined the possibility of one pre-determined majority community. This forced the legislative body to make laws and act in a manner that was least likely to abuse the rights of a particular group in a prejudicial manner. This was considered a mathematically sound theory, and logically, the greater the diversity, the greater the effectiveness.

My contention is that this may not be as simple as this. IMHO, only a "soft" diversity is implied here, and not a more fundamental "hard" diversity. If a hard diversity (based on some ancient historical animosity for example) were to exist, then prejudice would run so deep, that mutual suspicion would stymie a healthy national discourse and cripple the nation from within. An unjustifiably significant proportion of the national energy would be spent addressing this internal cleavage.

It could corrupt the moral tone of the nation, and deprive it of moral clarity. Of course, this brings in the question of what exactly defines a nation in the first place.

This was what was in my head. As you can see, there is much to debate.
Cheers.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003
 
It's official: Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil


Tuesday, June 03, 2003
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
MultiCulturalism - continue thread by editing this article!!
Do not forget to add a signature at the end of ur piece.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Beware of Multiculturalism, says Varsha
Comments invited solely on the merits of the article, and not the author's persona ;-)
-Carl
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I would like to add this article also to this discussion. It's going to be good!!
Indians nationalistic, feel their superior culture needs protection
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
You know what? I read this article by VB.... I even started writing a response. But then, I decided that it is so much stupidity to counter her blind rage against anything that smells liberal that I gave up. I request Carl to tell me what point he sees in discussing this blather.
--R


Monday, June 02, 2003
 
I fell off my chair reading this headline in rediff today:

"Why can't we be original?: Anu Malik"

:))

Sunday, June 01, 2003
 
More on NEPAL:

quote from this article: Students in Pakistan picket KFC, McDonalds
-----
Nepalese protester Ali, a student of Islamic International University, said: "I think this is just a lack of public awareness."
-----
BTW, the conversion activity and the explosion of madrassahs in Nepal (from across the border in Bihar) has been well-documented in the last 5 years. Also, some major publications and TV stations in the Nepalese media are owned by Nepalese" muslims. One such TV channel was responsible for accusing Indian star Hrithik Roshan of making derogatory comments about Nepalese.

And then another article: ISI roping in Nepalese Maoists to destabilize India

To many its still news that the extreme left in India is in cahoots with pan-Islamists. The same police officer whom I had quoted regarding Naxalites had also made public the fact that intelligence agencies have noticed marked migration patterns of Muslims within India, toward a belt stretching through UP, Bihar and W.Bengal. This was reiterated a few months back during discussions about demographics and the Bangladeshi immigrant issue. Samastipur, Purnia (I think) and other districts have witnessed huge immigrations and now have a high %age of Muslims. My roomie is from Samastipur (Bihar).

 
re: Pak-India

Ramki, I didn't say we should throw pragmatism to the winds and mire ourselves in ideology. I made that clear in my previous post. But a nation is a moral fact. There are fundamental principles involved. What that fundamental fact is depends on which school of thought you belong to. A Communist might say it is merely an economic convenience. I personally don't fully agree with that.

Then there is the short-term and the long-term. Those monomaniacal ideologues who make wrong short-term moves that ultimately undermine the sanctity of the real object are simply stupid. They lack perspective. I didn't say we should sacrifice economics to jihad. Let the Pakis do that. Have you heard about the Monkey Trap theory? :)
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quote Ramki:
For one, if Jinnah were alive, he would have killed himself looking at Pakistan. His sense of class and civility are completely absent in today's Pakistan.
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This is a distortion repeated ad nauseum, and apparently you are regurgitating it. Jinnah was as slick as today's Paki elite -- the same guys orchestrating jihad and responsible for the murder of our women and children. Jinnah was the one who ordered "direct action" in the streets of India. Suhrawardy was also a suited and booted "civil mannered" person. Jinnah mocked Sardar Patel when Patel's view that Hindus/Sikhs could not be non-violent in the face of attack was silenced by Gandhi. What class!

 
Check this out - Google News India!

 
Pretty disconcerting....
Over Protests, Nepal Lets Chinese Force Refugees Back to Tibet
In Someone Else's Arms: The royal government's call to arms through an ad gives India reason to worry


R


 
IRAN:
I was reading this article in NYTimes abt Maureen Dowd - for once, nothing anti-Bush. It is abt the importance of organ donation. At one point she says that docs are considering offering financial incentives to encourage donations. And they have given one example. I must confess that I was a bit taken aback by the example. It is not a country of Western Europe... or P5 or G8. Indeed, it is not a country you would expect to have organ donation - if u cling on to the stereotypical notions. It was Iran. Turns out, the country wiped out its kidney transplant waiting list by offering rewards. Now, you start seeing why they say it is really a different case than Iraq or Saudi or DPRK.

--R

 
A superb article by Thomas Friedman is in today's NYTimes. Imay have my differences with him, but this man is a real inspiration for me :). You see a constant quest, and revision of ideas in his articles.

Ramki




 
Lemme see if the feminists in the list can be provoked into posting something with this:

"The Bible says curse be unto a woman who wears pants, and those who wear their husband's clothes. That is why the world is in such a state today,"
--King Mswati of Swaziland

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=857&ncid=757&e=10&u=/nm/20030530/od_uk_nm/oukoe_odd_swaziland_pants


--R


 
hey guys, I just found one thing - we can actually edit any posting any body has made. Waht this means is that we can actually edit some ones message and append (or prepend) our comments to it.

That way, each thread will be a message - and the blog would be much more manageable!


Ramki

 
Carl

First - We, both India and Pakistan, need to grow out of our obsession with Partition. Somehow, it seems to me that people are still looking for some vindication of the idea called India. To many, India and Pakistan, as fifty years back, still represent two conflicting ideas that are in competition. Whichever dies first, would vindicate the other. There are times when hsitory is better forgotten. European states are a good example. After millenia of fighting, they have been able to climb out of their hostilities, to try something more constructive. In some ways, I think Europe today represents what India tried to be fifty years back - an ideal in humanism.

Idealism apart, I think it is time we start looking at ourselves as a more normal state, one struggling to stay with its nose above the water level. We need that shift in paradigm to achieve any amount success in economy. To this day, political issues and ideas dominate our elections. How many people talk abt serious economic plans? How many actually propose and brain strom ideas like universal health care during the campaign? Zilch. Why? We look at things only from ideological perspective.

I hope u get the idea. Be pragmatic, forget the founding principles. For one, if Jinnah were alive, he would have killed himself looking at Pakistan. His sense of class and civility are completely absent in today's Pakistan. Simlarly, if Gandhi were alive, he would have killed himself. It is no comment on them... it is the way nations moves on.

That being so, why then talk abt their old ideas and spoil this day?

--R



 

BTW, about that FII query no one answered -- Let me get more specific: Is FII very 'mobile'? Can a Foreign Instt investor pull out his investment in a very short time? And what financial form exactly does FII take?

Carl, I am definitely not an expert at this... but I will try to answer in a little bit more detail tomorrow. But yes, FIIs can, under ideal open economy standards, can pull in or out funds as easily as domestic investors. The reason this is still not an emphatic yes is because there are circumstances where it is not an easy for any one to feed in or draw out funds from a particular investment. For example, there are restrictions on directors on board or majority stake holders, which are there as a protection for small stake holders. Other than that, they can.

However, it is to be noted that in no country has this completely open model been implemented - not in the US, not in Europe....

Talking abt globalization, u know, a few years back, there were lots of screams in developing countries like India abt WTO and GATT being tools of economic imperialism. Well, now it looks like the boot is on the other foot... now, ever since the loss of jobs in US, there is seen a serious erosion of industrial base in the US. Many industries relocated to Mexico, and then, moved from there to China. Thus now, there is opposition to WTO inside US now. The queer turns the world takes! :)


Ramki

 
Time to talk to Teheran
Oldish article. Excerpt:
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...the hawks in the Bush administration who share Israel's hostile view of Iran and place it high up on their geo-strategic "to-do" list. But they should take notice all the same. Iran is not an inherently weak police state like Iraq. It is not a friendless dictatorship. It is not a reckless, impoverished regime like that in North Korea. Nor will it be easily bought off or subdued.

Iran, or Persia, was a proud, powerful and resourceful nation long before America was ever thought of. And for Bush and his bully-boy pals, Iran would be a bridge too far. They should stop posturing and start talking.
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BTW, about that FII query no one answered -- Let me get more specific: Is FII very 'mobile'? Can a Foreign Instt investor pull out his investment in a very short time? And what financial form exactly does FII take?


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