Sunday, November 29, 2009

El niño lobo de India.


So how did you go to school?

Some are dropped to school…

Some go running to school…

Some look for a ride…

And find innovative ways to reach school … Some can’t even dream of school…
And some carry bags and bottles of other children to school.



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Singapore Straits Times: India willing to cut gases

NEW DELHI – INDIAN Premier Manmohan Singh said for the first time on Saturday he was willing to commit his country to ambitious global carbon emission cuts, provided others shared the burden.

Home to nearly 1.2 billion people, India is the only major greenhouse gas emitting nation yet to announce figures on reining in its carbon output, with just over a week to go until UN climate talks start in Copenhagen.

‘India is willing to sign on to an ambitious global target for emissions reductions or limiting temperature increase but this must be accompanied by an equitable burden sharing paradigm,’ Dr Singh said in a speech, the text of which was released by his office in New Delhi.

Dr Singh gave no indication of any figures India might propose, or whether it would be an absolute cut, like those Europe and Japan have on the table, or a proportional cut like that offered by China.

India’s CNN-IBN and Times Now television networks, however, reported Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh was set to offer overall cuts of between 20 to 25 per cent, but a ministry official said she was unaware of any such commitment.

Dr Singh was speaking in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, where he was attending a Commonwealth summit. — AFP

Source: Straits Times, 2009


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Delhi celebrates Eid-ul-Zuha

Dressed in festive clothes, Muslims thronged mosques across the national capital Saturday to pray on Eid-ul-Zuha.

One of the main centres for the Eid festivities was the Jama Masjid where thousands of devotees gathered to offer prayers.

In keeping with tradition, people wore new clothes to celebrate the festival.

After prayers, the devotees will sacrifice goats and other animals. People also donate meat to the poor on this occasion of sharing and sacrifice.

“I have just come back after offering namaaz. Now I will celebrate with my family and will distribute to the poor and underprivileged,” said Khalid Mohammad, a resident of Jamia Nagar in south Delhi.

Eid-ul-Zuha, also known as Bakr-Eid or the festival of sacrifice, is one of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar. It commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son on Allah’s command. According to Islamic belief, Allah wanted to test Ibrahim and told him to sacrifice his son Ismail.

He agreed to do it, but found his paternal feelings hard to suppress. So, he blindfolded himself before putting Ismail at the altar on Mount Mina near Mecca. When he removed his blindfold after the sacrifice, he saw his son standing in front of him.

On the altar lay a slaughtered lamb. It is in honour of this test of faith that Muslims around the world sacrifice animals on the occasion to show their faith in God.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ireland Acts On Clergy Sexual Abuse. India Does Not Act On Sathya Sai Baba

More exposure of powerful, endemic cover up!  For convenience, I post below the full text of the UK Guardian newspaper’s report of yesterday.

No nation that fails to protect children can be deemed civilized. That so many around the world have left the Sathya Sai Organization, and why many former devotees have been prepared to withstand almost unimaginable personal attacks and defamation owes much to the fact of love for, and the desire for protection of, our young. One prediction can be made confidently – the Sathya Sai Organization, in failing to take responsibility for its great wrongs, and in its extreme lack of accountability and transparency, will be treated most adversely by history.

Any readers well acquainted with the great deal of documentation at sites such as this one, and: -

Sathya Sai Baba In Word And Action

Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Recent Research on the Claims of Sathya Sai Baba

Sai Baba exposé

Citizen Initiative (Work of an independent scholar) -

may well have a keen sense of  déjà vu as they read the piece on the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland and its vast cover up of sexual abuse, which continues to this day. Inescapably, one thinks of “the Secret Swami” (thus termed by the BBC) Sathya Sai Baba, and his key officials in the international Sathya Sai Organization and successive local, state and central governments in India. All the latter have have profoundly covered up in regard to both allegations of Sai Baba’s (and some of his servitors’) longtime, serial sexual abuse of boys and young men, killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993, and many other criminal acts.

Ireland’s Justice Minister, Dermot Ahern, appears determined to act strongly. The Guardian reports, 

“Ahern said there should be no hiding place for the abusers even if they wore a clerical collar. “The persons who committed these dreadful crimes – no matter when they happened – will continue to be pursued”

“Even if they wore a clerical collar”?!

One might have thought – especially if they wore a clerical collar. Tears may well be shed for all the good that the Church does. A common cry of Sathya Sai Baba defenders is: But look at all the good that he does! In no way must the doing of good be allowed to hide the doing of evil. Above all, by those of great power. In actual fact, by the way, it is his organized devotees who do practically all of the good.

What – announce the good, and cover up the bad? Not one of the many world leading investigative media nor agencies such as UNESCO have found other than extraordinary cover up by Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide organization.  To this fact I can attest from the vantage-point of having had a role – along with others, including former prominent former leaders in the Sathya Sai movement, in dealing with them. 

The Guardian states,

“The report, commissioned by the government, strongly criticises the Garda and says senior members of the force regarded priests as being outside their investigative remit. The relationship between some senior gardai and priests and bishops in Dublin was described as “inappropriate”

Like the Irish Catholic Church’s outrage, the story of Puttaparthi and successive Indian government, police and judicial cover up of the actions of Sathya Sai Baba and key servitors is an appalling one. It includes missing persons, documents being falsified, most of the media being muzzled, police investigators being being shifted far off and so on. Read of an Indian policeman, V.J. Ram, a Presidential Award winner, who won’t be shut up:

Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up

and of the former Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, V.P.B. Nair, who told the BBC that the deaths in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom were “cold-blooded murder:

Indian Ex Top Official Dogs Sai Baba On BBC. ‘Cold-blooded Murder’

Select Readings

Sai Baba’s very close confidante and Robert Priddy

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

The Unresolved, Covered-Up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s Bedroom Revisited

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings

New Zealand Lawyer Exposes Official Cover Up of Killings In Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom

Author admits genital oiling by Sathya Sai Baba

Hasty Cover Up Of Sai Baba ‘No bombs in India’ Blunder


The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory


————————————————————————- home

Irish church and police covered up child sex abuse, says report


Devastating report on abuse of children by clergy from 1975 to 2004 accuses church and Garda of colluding to cover up scandal

 By Henry McDonald. Ireland correspondent. Thursday 26 November 2009 17.44 GMT

Ireland’s police force colluded with the Catholic church in covering up clerical child abuse in Dublin on a huge scale, according to a damning report on decades of sex crimes committed by the country’s priests.

The devastating three-volume report on the sexual and physical abuse of children by the clergy in Ireland’s capital from 1975 to 2004 accuses four former archbishops, a host of clergy and senior members of the Garda Síochána of covering up the scandal.

It found that the “maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the church and the preservation of its assets” was more important than justice for the victims of sexual and physical abuse.

Four former Archbishops in Dublin – John Charles McQuaid, who died in 1973, Dermot Ryan, who died in 1984, Kevin McNamara, who died in 1987, and retired Cardinal Desmond Connell – were found to have failed to report their knowledge of child sexual abuse to the Garda from the 1960s to the 1980s. But the report added that all the archbishops of the diocese in the period covered by the inquiry were aware of some complaints.

The report, launched today by the Irish justice minister, Dermot Ahern, also concluded that the vast majority of priests turned a “blind eye” to abuse, although some individuals did bring complaints to their superiors, which were not acted upon.

The report, commissioned by the government, strongly criticises the Garda and says senior members of the force regarded priests as being outside their investigative remit. The relationship between some senior gardai and priests and bishops in Dublin was described as “inappropriate”.

Rather than investigate complaints from children, gardai simply reported the matter to the Dublin Catholic diocese, the report says. The Garda Síochána is accused of connivance with the church in stifling at least one complaint of abuse, and letting the alleged perpetrator flee the country.

Ahern said there should be no hiding place for the abusers even if they wore a clerical collar. “The persons who committed these dreadful crimes – no matter when they happened – will continue to be pursued.

“They must come to know that there is no hiding place. That justice – even where it may have been delayed – will not be denied,” he said.

He told a press conference: “I read the report as justice minister. But on a human level – as a father and as a member of this community – I felt a growing sense of revulsion and anger. Revulsion at the horrible, evil acts committed against children. Anger at how those children were then dealt with and how often abusers were left free to abuse.”

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre welcomed the report, saying it was “another acknowledgment of the abject failure of our society to take care of our children”.

The report states that senior clerical figures covered up the abuse over nearly three decades and that the structures and rules of the church facilitated that cover-up. It also says that state authorities facilitated the cover-up by allowing the church to be beyond the reach of the law.

The Murphy Commission of Inquiry into the abuse of children in Dublin identified 320 people who complained of child sexual abuse between 1975 and 2004. It also states that since May 2004, 130 complaints against priests operating in the Dublin archdiocese have been made.

The report details the cases of 46 priests guilty of abuse, as a representative sample of 102 priests within its remit. But it concludes that there was no direct evidence of an organised paedophile ring among priests in the Dublin archdiocese, although it says there were some worrying connections. One priest admitted abusing more than 100 children. Another said he had committed abuse every two weeks for more than 25 years, it said.

The report highlights the case of a Father Carney and Father McCarthy who it claims in one case both abused the same child. The abuse by Carney often occurred at swimming pools, sometimes when he was accompanied by another priest.

The report states that it was not until 1995 that the archdiocese began to notify the civil authorities of complaints of clerical abuse. The commission concludes that in the light of this and other facts, every bishop’s primary loyalty was to the church itself.

A move by the archdiocese to take out insurance against potential compensation claims arising from clerical abuse was, according to the report, an act proving knowledge of child sexual abuse as a potential major cost.

The report, running to hundreds of pages, details particular priests and the abuse perpetrated by them.

The Garda Síochána’s current commissioner, Fachtna Murphy, said the report made for “difficult and disturbing reading, detailing as it does many instances of sexual abuse and failure on the part of both church and state authorities to protect victims.”

Murphy apologised to victims who did not receive the response and protection they were entitled to.

Pope Benedict was challenged today to go to Ireland and apologise for his clergy’s behaviour.

A victims’ rights campaigner called on the pope to visit and say sorry for “the betrayal of children” by those who were meant to show them love. John Kelly, of Irish Survivors of Child Abuse, said only a papal visit would exonerate the worldwide church of culpability in the abuse scandals.


Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult


Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:



Răspunsurile de la quiz-ul de intrare de la ConQUIZtador (26.11.2009)

Cine este premierul Indiei?

R: Manmohan Singh


Cinematografie: În ce an a avut loc premiera filmului “Casablanca”?

R: 1942

Ce formaţie a lansat de curând compilaţia “Absolute Greatest”?

R: Queen


Aviaţie: În ce an a avut loc ultimul zbor al unui avion Concorde?

R: 2003


Exploratori: Care a fost primul european care a ajuns pe insula Maui?

R: James Cook


Atracţii turistice: În ce ţară se află Palatul Kensington, afectat de marele incendiu din anul 1666?

R: Marea Britanie



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give 100% to Your Work

Ram is working in a software company.

He developed a left shoulder back pain. I asked him whether he has any problem in the office. He replied that he has no role in the office and therefore, he is not working to his satisfaction.

The Message from his body is, “Because of your lack of interest, your contribution is less in the office. You are giving less than you are receiving. If you continue to do so, in the future you will get lesser appreciation. There may be a cut in the salary too. Even if you find a new job you will be paid less there. If you don’t want these things to happen then give 100% of your efforts”.  Otherwise your receiving will become lesser and lesser.

I asked him to affirm ‘I choose to find ways to give 100%. I stop resisting the present job. I accept it totally’.


The moment he committed, the body pain was reduced. Please note that there is no right or wrong here!


26/11 and India's response

It’s politics as usual in New Delhi, and no one seems to care

A year has gone by after the carnage in Mumbai that left over 190 people dead and hundreds injured.  In the immediate aftermath of 26/11, articles were written about the gaping holes in India’s internal security preparedness.

Recommendations put forth to the Indian government are all in public domain –  a tougher anti-terrorism law, a separate ministry for internal security, police reform, increasing NSG headcount and footprint, and enhancing India’s covert ops capability.  The Filter Coffee also presented recommendations in the wake of the 26/11 attacks.

Of the recommendations made, Manmohan Singh’s government chose to make the establishment of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) central to its response to the holes in India’s internal security preparedness.  To be sure, the establishment of the NIA was an important move, because it addressed Centre-State jurisdiction issues that hitherto plagued the CBI.

However, the NIA’s mandate notwithstanding, nothing in public domain indicates any significant activity in the NIA, until 11 months and two weeks after November 26, 2008, when the NIA belatedly sprung into action, based on inputs from the FBI on David Headley and Tahawwur Rana.

In addition, by virtue of design, the NIA mostly addresses post-incident investigation and forensics.  Manmohan Singh’s government articulated little by way of detective and preventive enhancements to India’s internal security preparedness.

The bigger picture that needs to be examined on the first anniversary of 26/11 isn’t necessarily about specific structural and organizational changes, but about the government’s willingness (confidence?) to make public aberrations in its response to the terror attacks and how these can be addressed.

In the year following the World Trade Center attacks in the US, the Bush Administration constituted the 9/11 Commission to examine aspects of US’s response to the attacks as they unfolded, and make recommendations on how the US should proceed, going forward.  The US Department of Homeland Security was born out of these recommendations.

India deserved its 26/11 commission with a limitless mandate to examine our response to the attacks in Mumbai. Key aspects of the events of 26/11 require independent review.

These include incident-specific issues relating to governance and leadership such as  (a) How long it took to notify key stakeholders, such as the Prime Minister, NSA, intelligence services and ministers of Home Affairs and Defense, (b) The time it took for the relevant stakeholders to coordinate and assess the situation, (c) How long it took to authorize deployment of anti-terror units to the scene, and (d) Crisis management — who was coordinating what aspect of India’s responses.

The second aspect of the commission’s review should have entailed structural and organizational changes and enhancements, including those previously discussed.  Sadly, this government does not have the gumption to constitute such a comprehensive review of its responses to the 26/11 attacks.  This isn’t an assailment of the the UPA administration, it is an indictment of India’s petty political environment.

There are critical aspects of the attack that require further analysis — aspects that India is still uncovering, including the roles of Headley and Rana — and questions that no one seems to be able to answer, such as how a bunch of semi-literate people alien to Mumbai, were able to negotiate their way through the city’s conspicuous and inconspicuous landmarks, without local assistance.

This cannot be accomplished by adhocism or through token responses, such as establishing the NIA and deploying the NSG in some cities. One would have thought that the time was ripe for such a bold response, faced as the UPA is, with an ineffectual, embattled Opposition. Sadly, barring a few cosmetic rearrangements, not much has changed in India, and no one, least of all Mumbaikars seem to care.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sarkozy Outshines Obama In MidEast Mediation

On 6 May 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy became the sixth person to be elected President of the Fifth and the 23rd president in French history. He is the first French president to have been born after World War II. Shortly after taking office, Sarkozy began negotiations with Colombian president Álvaro Uribe and the left-wing guerrilla FARC, regarding the release of hostages held by the rebel group, especially Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt.

In the two years since Nicolas Sarkozye became the French president he has launched a ‘Union for the Mediterranean’, pushed France to the forefront of international mediation in Syria, taken Europe’s most aggressive stance towards Iran, made friends with Israel, officially joined NATO in Afghanistan, and most recently flown to Saudi Arabia to convince the royals to support a Middle East peace conference in Paris. On 8 June 2007, during the 33rd G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Sarkozy set a goal of reducing French CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2050 in order to prevent global warming. Sarkozy’s Middle Eastern diplomacy is seen by the region’s pundits and politicians alike in stark contrast to the approach of the U.S. president, claiming him with “diplomatic activism”.

On January 5, 2009, Sarkozy called for a ceasefire plan for the Gaza Strip Conflict.The plan, which was jointly proposed by Sarkozy and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak envisions the continuation of the delivery of aid to Gaza and talks with Israel on border security, a key issue for Israel as it says Hamas smuggles its rockets into Gaza through the Egyptian border. Sarkozy approach towards Iran is more pro-Israel and more severe in his criticism. France is less moved by dependence on Arab oil than other European countries, like the Scandinavian countries, Spain and Greece. Sarkozy continually say that should the international community be unable to restrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Israel will strike militarily. This gives credence to the Israeli threat, which remains on the table, voicing the Israeli military threat much more vigorously than other European states, such as Germany. He also has a large Muslim minority in France, this is all a sort of diplomatic activism which Sarkozy believes will give him international clout.

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Six fold hike in Indian businessmen settling in New Zealand

IANS | Sun, Nov 22 | 11:32 AM

There has been a nearly six-fold increase in the number of Indians who have been approved residence through business categories in New Zealand, authorities said. As many as 53 Indians were among 689 people who were approved residence through business categories for financial year 2007-08 as compared to nine in 2002-03, said New Zealand’s department of labour. Yugraj Mahil, an Indian Businessmen in New Zealand, said that most of Indian businessmen have set up liquor store, dairies, farms and restaurants in New Zealand. ‘Ninety percent Indians, who have established their farms, belong to Punjab. Relaxation in restrictions in the business category would definitely encourage more businessmen from India to set up their business in New Zealand,’ he added.

India stood fourth among top ten nations in year 2007-08 for residence under business categories. Britain was at the top with 157, followed by China 150 and South Korea 140. In a bid to bring more investment in New Zealand, the government has loosened some of the restrictions in the business categories this year. The new investor Plus category now requires bringing only $10mn into the country for three years, compared to $20mn over four years under the old policy. The age limit has also been eliminated and there is no language requirement. Richard Howard, board director of the New Zealand Association for Migration & Investment Inc, said that entrepreneurial migrants are able to take advantage of a new Entrepreneur Plus category coming into effect from Nov 30.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (2005)

What makes Muslims (and Hindus) laugh? The quest for the answer to this question is the theme of the movie “Looking for Comedy in The Muslim World” (2005). The movie starring Albert Brooks, who played himself, is a low-key, simple story describing the US Government’s attempt to better understand the Muslim world by understanding what constitutes humor in the muslim world.

In the movie, Abert Brooks plays an out-of-work comedian who is sent to India by the US government to look for humor in the Muslim world. He is asked to spend four weeks in India and turn in a 500-page report on this topic. He eventually spends two weeks in India, trying to interview people on roads, doing a stand-up comedy show, and crossing illegally into Pakistan to meet with some ‘comedians’.  His efforts don’t help him learn much, but his naive remarks and actions do lead to an escalation of situation between India and Pakistan, two countries that have been at war since the British divided India into two countries.

I have to admit that the movie is not my favorite. It does not have a tight storyline and the humor was somewhat subtle. I do find it interesting, however, that I didn’t get many of the jokes in the movie till my American students or colleagues explained them to me. As the movie highlights, humor definitely is cultural-specific. The one cool thing about the movie is that we will be visiting several of the places shown in the movie- The Red Fort, India Gate, Taj Mahal (which Albert missed seeing because he was engaged in a heated conversation), Rajiv Chowk (where his Indian office was), and Old Delhi. (In fact, students who noticed a building called ‘Ambadeep’ near Albert’s office, will see the same building in Delhi when we visit Rajiv Chowk, the heart of Delhi’s tourist circuit).



The future of science is already here... and mostly Asian!

A young genius

His name is Pranav Mistry and he is the perfect model of new stunningly brilliant Asian students who are busy reshaping our future.  He is currently studying in the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT’s Media Lab.  Before joining MIT he worked as a UX Researcher with Microsoft. He received his Master in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT and Master of Design from IIT Bombay.

But, above all,  he is the inventor of SixthSense, a wearable device that enables new interactions between the real world and the digital world.

And now, he is developing an unbelievable number of new projects like a programming language for children or sticky notes that are understood by your computer…  You can find all this on his website :

In this jaw-dropping video, he tells us how we use objects in the real world and how we can create bridges between the real world and objects and/or data from the numeric realms. And how he was led to create his strange but true invention…

The Asian Gold Rush

I wanted to introduce Pranav Mistry to you, not only because he is one of the most brilliant and creative minds ever, but because he is the perfect illustration of a interesting phenomenon : Asia is sending more and more students to America.

The three major “sending countries are India, with 103,000 students (up 9 percent from last year); China, with 98,000 students (up 21 percent), and South Korea, with 75,000 students (up 9 percent).” (Source : Miami Herald, 21-11-2009).

From last year, “The total number of Asian students rose more than 9 percent, while the total number of Latin American students rose by 5 percent. The number of European students rose by 4.5 percent, including a 5 percent increase from Spain.”

More and more, highly trained and skilled students are leaving their Asian homeland to study in the US and contribute to the development of science and technology.

But this trend is also a good news for business because this stay in US of the most brilliant Asian students will facilitate future contacts between Asian and American companies and universities.

The other side of this story is that “the gap among developing nations is widening : While Asian countries are sending more students to some of the world’s best colleges, Latin American countries are lagging behind. (…) South Korea, with a population that is less than half that of Mexico, is sending more than five times more students to U.S. colleges than Mexico. And Vietnam, a poor but increasingly globalized Communist-ruled country with a population that is less than half that of Brazil, is sending more than twice more young people to U.S. universities than Brazil.”

Moreover, most of these Asian student graduate in science and technology.

The conclusion is this : Asian countries are investing in very high standards education while some other regions of the world are not focusing on the training of their new generation. On the long run, this will make the difference…

Thursday, November 19, 2009

India fight to save test after SL blitz - fourth day!

India were waging a grim battle to survive the first cricket test after Sri Lanka went on a record-breaking batting spree on the fourth day in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

The Indians, trailing by 334 runs on the first innings as Sri Lanka piled up 760-7 declared, moved to 190-2 in their second knock by stumps at the Motera stadium.

Gautam Gambhir was unbeaten on 74 and nightwatchman Amit Mishra was on 12, with India facing three tough sessions on the final day to avoid defeat in the first match of the three-test series.

Sri Lanka, who have never won a test in India, will bank on the spin duo of world record holder Muttiah Muralitharan and Rangana Herath to exploit a fifth day wicket that has so far proved a bowlers’ graveyard.

Virender Sehwag smashed a typically robust 51 with seven boundaries in a first-wicket stand of 81 with Gambhir, before he holed out in the deep off left-arm spinner Herath soon after tea.

Rahul Dravid, who made 177 in the first innings, put on 88 for the second wicket with Gambhir before he was declared leg-before to seamer Chanaka Welegedara for 38.

Earlier, Sri Lanka compiled the highest ever total on Indian soil before skipper Kumar Sangakkara declared the first innings 40 minutes after lunch.

Former captain Mahela Jayawardene hit a monumental 275 and wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene remained unbeaten on 154 after a world-record stand of 351 for the sixth wicket.

The pair broke the 72-year record set by Australians Don Bradman and Jack Fingleton, who had put on 346 for the sixth wicket against England at Melbourne in 1937.

Sri Lanka’s total surpassed India’s 676-7 against the same opponents in Kanpur in 1986, which was the previous highest total in a test match played in India.

Mahela Jayawardene batted for eight hours in his sixth double-century that was studded with 27 boundaries and a six.

He was dismissed in the third over after lunch when he shaped to drive leg-spinner Mishra, missed the line and was bowled out.

Sangakkara declared at the fall of Dammika Prasad’s wicket, caught in the deep off Harbhajan Singh, leaving Prasanna Jayawardene stranded at the other end.

India claimed the third new ball from the start of the day’s play, but it failed to contain the flow of runs.

Prasanna, who was on 84 overnight, reached his second test century by edging Ishant Sharma to the third man fence for his eighth boundary.

Mahela, the ninth-highest scorer in test cricket, completed 9 000 runs when he reached 253 with a single to long-on off Harbhajan.

All the four frontline Indian bowlers conceded over 100 runs with Mishra being the most expensive with 1-203 from 58 overs and Harbhajan going for 2-189 from 48.4 overs.

India had made 426 in their first innings after being reduced to 32-4 within the first hour of the match.

Contracting "US Companies" in Afghanistan


US Contract Companies are hiring 15 to 20 Third Country Nationals (Indians, Filipinos, etc) for every one American in Afghanistan. 10% of Americans out of work and DynCorps, Fluor, CACI, AECOM, KBR and all of these other “American” International Contract companies aren’t interested in hiring any of them.  Maybe they’ll hire some illegal immigrants as well.

They are keeping their bottom line in check with these moves.  Making millions of dollars in profit by stiffing the American worker.  DynCorps, KBR and Fluor can hire 20 Indians for the cost of hiring one US Citizen.  The US Government is awarding these multi-million dollar contracts to these “American” companies and they here 80-90 percent foreign employees.

What I think is even more humorous is that the US Government is making this concerted effort to break up large contracts such as the KBR LOGCAP II contract as well as others.  There are very few companies that can handle the logistics of these operations.  What ends up happening is that Company A wins the contract from the US government.  Company A then subcontracts to KBR (or whatever company) or a subsidiary of KBR.  The same company winds up with all of the contracts that they had before.  The difference is that there is now a middle man.  It’s all a shell game.  I guess Congress and the average American out there are idiots and are fooled by all of this muddling of facts and actions.

Another thing that Company B (KBR) does is form another company/corporation.  It looks like a separate company on paper but it’s indirectly owned by the same people.  They even hire the same folks from earlier contracts to run them.  Same PM, same DPM, same cast and crew.  On the surface, a new company is in business and winning contracts.  In reality, it’s the same group of folks making the same money.

And it’s easy to see.  Easy to investigate, but, the US government is too lazy or incompetent to see the obvious.  I’ve been laughing for 5 years.  Same crooks winning the same contracts and the same Congress and DOD/DOS getting scammed for more and more tax dollars.


It’s been the same story since at least World War II.  I bet that some of these companies can be traced back to the War between the States.  The US Government never learns.  They just open that check book and sign more checks.




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

लोग अपने से बात करते हुए पाठ अंतर्जाल पर पढ़ना चाहते हैं-संपादकीय

आज यह ब्लाग/पत्रिका की पाठ पठन/पाठक संख्या एक लाख को पार कर गयी। इस ब्लाग/पत्रिका के साथ इसके लेखक संपादक के दिलचस्प संस्मरण जुड़े हुए हैं। यह ब्लाग जब बनाया तब लेखक का छठा ब्लाग था। उस समय दूसरे ब्लाग/पत्रिकाओं पर यूनिकोड में न रखकर सामान्य देव फोंट में रचनाएं लिख रहा था। वह किसी के समझ में नहीं आते थे। ब्लाग स्पाट के हिंदी ब्लाग से केवल शीर्षक ले रहा था। इससे हिन्दी ब्लाग लेखक उसे सर्च इंजिन में पकड़ रहे थे पर बाकी पाठ उनकी समझ में नहीं आ रहा था। यूनिकोड में रोमन लिपि में लिखना इस लेखक के लिये कठिन था। एक ब्लाग लेखिका ने पूछा कि ‘आप कौनसी भाषा में लिख रहे हैं, पढ़ने में नहीं आ रहा।’ उस समय इस ब्लाग पर छोटी क्षणिकायें रोमन लिपि से यूनिकोड में हिन्दी में लिखा इस पर प्रकाशित की गयीं। कुछ ही मिनटों में किसी अन्य ब्लाग लेखिका ने इस पर अपनी टिप्पणी भी रखी। इसके बावजूद यह लेखक रोमन लिपि में यूनिकोड हिंदी लिखने को तैयार नहीं था। बहरहाल लेखिका को इस ब्लाग का पता दिया गया और उसने बताया कि इसमें लिखा समझ में आ रहा है। उसके बाद वह लेखिका फिर नहीं दिखी पर लेखक ने तब यूनिकोड हिन्दी में लिखना प्रारंभ किया तब धीरे धीरे बड़े पाठ भी लिखे।

उसके बाद तो बहुत अनुभव हुए। यह ब्लाग प्रारंभ से ही पाठकों को प्रिय रहा है। यह ब्लाग तब भी अधिक पाठक जुटा रहा था जब इसे एक जगह हिन्दी के ब्लाग दिखाने वाले फोरमों का समर्थन नहीं मिलता था। आज भी यहां पाठक सर्वाधिक हैं और एक लाख की संख्या इस बात का प्रमाण है कि हिन्दी अपनी गति से अंतर्जाल पर बढ़ रही है। मुख्य बात है विषय सामग्री की। इस ब्लाग पर अध्यात्मिक रचनाओं के साथ व्यंग, कहानी, कवितायें भी हैं। हास्य कवितायें अधिक लोकप्रिय हैं पर अध्यात्मिक रचनाओं की तुलना किसी भी अन्य विधा से नहीं की जा सकती। लोगों की अध्यात्मिक चिंतन की प्यास इतनी है कि उसकी भरपाई कोई एक लेखक नहीं कर सकता। इसके बाद आता है हास्य कविताओं का। यकीनन उनका भाव आदमी को हंसने को मजबूर करता है। हंसी से आदमी का खून बढ़ता है। दरअसल एक खास बात नज़र आती है वह यह कि यहां लोग समाचार पत्र, पत्रिकाओं तथा किताबों जैसी रचनाओं को अधिक पसंद नहीं करते। इसके अलावा क्रिकेट, फिल्म, राजनीति तथा साहित्य के विषय में परंपरागत विषय सामग्री, शैली तथा विधाओं से उन पर प्रभाव नहीं पड़ता। वह अपने से बात करती हुऐ पाठ पढ़ना चाहते हैं। अंतर्जाल पर लिखने वालों को यह बात ध्यान रखना चाहिये कि उनको अपनी रचना प्रक्रिया की नयी शैली और विधायें ढूंढनी होंगी। अगर लोगों को राजनीति, क्रिकेट, फिल्म, आर्थिक, सामाजिक तथा राजनीतिक विषयों पर परंपरागत ढंग से पढ़ना हो तो उनके लिये अखबार क्या कम है? अखबारों जैसा ही यहां लिखने पर उनकी रुचि कम हो जाती है। हां, यह जरूर है कि अखबार फिर यहां से सामग्री उठाकर छाप देते हैं। कहीं नाम आता है कहीं नहीं। इस लेखक के गांधीजी तथा ओबामा पर लिखे गये दो पाठों का जिस तरह उपयेाग एक समाचार पत्र के स्तंभकार ने किया वह अप्रसन्न करने वाला था। एक बात तय रही कि उस स्तंभकार के पास अपना चिंतन कतई नहीं था। उसने इस लेखक के तीन पाठों से अनेक पैरा लेकर छाप दिये। नाम से परहेज! उससे यह लिखते हुए शर्म आ रही थी कि ‘अमुक ब्लाग लेखक ने यह लिखा है’। सच तो यह है कि इस लेखक ने अनेक समसामयिक घटनाओं पर चिंतन और आलेख लिखे पर उनमें किसी का नाम नहीं दिया। उनको संदर्भ रहित लिखा गया इसलिये कोई समाचार पत्र उनका उपयोग नहीं कर सकता क्योंकि समसामयिक विषयों पर हमारे प्रचार माध्यमों को अपने तयशुदा नायक और खलनायकों पर लिखी सामग्री चाहिये। इसके विपरीत यह लेखक मानता है कि प्रकृत्तियां वही रहती हैं जबकि घटना के नायक और खलनायक बदल जाते हैं। फिर समसामयिक मुद्दों पर क्या लिखना? बीस साल तक उनको बने रहना है इसलिये ऐसे लिखो कि बीस साल बाद भी ताजा लगें-ऐसे में किसी का नाम देकर उसे बदनाम या प्रसिद्ध करने
से अच्छा है कि अपना नाम ही करते रहो।
मुख्य बात यह है कि लोग अपने से बात करते हुऐ पाठ चाहते हैं। उनको फिल्म, राजनीति, क्रिकेट तथा अन्य चमकदार क्षेत्रों के प्रचार माध्यमों द्वारा निर्धारित पात्रों पर लिख कर अंतर्जाल पर प्रभावित नहीं किया जा सकता। अपनी रचनाओं की भाव भंगिमा ऐसी रखना चाहिये जैसी कि वह पाठक से बात कर रही हों। यह जरूरी नहीं है कि पाठक टिप्पणी रखे और रखे तो लेखक उसका उत्तर दे। पाठक को लगना चाहिये कि जैसे कि वह अपने मन बात उस पाठ में पढ़ रहा है या वह पाठ पढ़े तो वह उसके मन में चला जाये। अगर वह परंपरागत लेखन का पाठक होता तो फिर इस अंतर्जाल पर आता ही क्यों? अपने मन की बात ऐसे रखना अच्छा है जैसे कि सभी को वह अपनी लगे।
इस अवसर पर बस इतना ही। हां, जिन पाठकों को इस लेखक के समस्त ब्लाग/पत्रिकाओं का संकलन देखना हो वह हिन्द केसरी पत्रिका को अपने यहां सुरक्षित कर लें। इस पत्रिका के पाठकों के लिये अब इस पर यह प्रयास भी किया जायेगा कि ऐसे पाठ लिखे जायें जो उनसे बात करते हुए लगें।

लेखक संपादक दीपक भारतदीप,ग्वालियर 

RBI Emphasizes on Managing the Economic Recovery, For Now :)

RBI emphasizes more on Managing economic Recovery


The Reserve Bank of India, country’’s Central bank, has said that managing economic recovery is now its focus area and the first phase of monetary tightening will arrest inflation without hurting growth.

RBI Executive Director Deepak Mohanty was found quoting  that at present, the focus around the world and also in India has shifted from managing the crisis to managing the recovery.

He said that withdrawing soft monetary policy, which was initiated to weather the financial crisis is the key challenge.

“The key challenge relates to the exit strategy that needs to be designed, considering that the recovery is as yet fragile but there is an uptick in inflation, though largely from the supply side, which could engender inflationary expectations,” he said.

Besides this, Mohanty said that the first phase of exit has been initiated by RBI in its monetary policy review in October 2009.

That was done mainly by withdrawal of unconventional measures taken during the crisis.

RBI, in its monetary review in October has raised the requirement for banks to hold portion of the deposits in cash, gold and government securities to 25 per cent.

Moreover, it had also done away with special liquidity provision for banks to provide money to mutual funds and others.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A mail Forwarded by a friend

very awesome mail pls dont miss it read it n just feel it Do not miss the concluding lines

Here’s what is happening in India :

The two Ambani brothers can buy 100 percent of every company listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) and would still be left with $30 billion to spare.

The four richest Indians can buy up all goods and services produced over a year by 169 million Pakistanis and still be left with $60 billion to spare. The four richest Indians are now richer than the forty richest Chinese.

In November, Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark Sensex flirted with 20,000 points. As a consequence, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries became a $100 billion company (the entire KSE is capitalized at $65 billion). Mukesh owns 48 percent of Reliance. In November, comes Neeta’s birthday. Neeta turned forty-four three weeks ago. Look what she got from her husband as her birthday present: A sixty-million dollar jet with a custom fitted master bedroom, bathroom with mood lighting, a sky bar, entertainment cabins, satellite television, wireless communication and a separate cabin with game consoles. Neeta is Mukesh Ambani’s wife, and Mukesh is not India ’s richest but the second richest. Mukesh is now building his new home, Residence Antillia (after a mythical, phantom island somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean ). At a cost of $1 billion this would be the most expensive home on the face of the planet. At 173 meters tall Mukesh’s new family residence, for a family of six, will be the equivalent of a 60-storeyed building. The first six floors are reserved for parking. The seventh floor is for car servicing and maintenance. The eighth floor houses a mini-theatre. Then there’s a health club, a gym and a swimming pool. Two floors are reserved for Ambani family’s guests. Four floors above the guest floors are family floors all with a superb view of the Arabian Sea . On top of everything are three helipads. A staff of 600 is expected to care for the family and their family home.

In 2004, India became the 3rd most attractive foreign direct investment destination.

Pakistan wasn’t even in the top 25 countries. In 2004, the United Nations, the representative body of 192 sovereign member states, had requested the Election Commission of India to assist the UN in the holding elections in Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah and Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan.

Why the Election Commission of India and not the Election Commission of Pakistan? After all, Islamabad is closer to Kabul than is Delhi .

Imagine, 12 percent of all American scientists are of Indian origin; 38 percent of doctors in America are Indian; 36 percent of NASA scientists are Indians; 34 percent of Microsoft employees are Indians; and 28 percent of IBM employees are Indians. For the record: Sabeer Bhatia created and founded Hotmail… Sun Microsystems was founded by Vinod Khosla. The Intel Pentium processor, that runs 90 percent of all computers, was fathered by Vinod Dham. Rajiv Gupta co-invented Hewlett Packard’s E-speak project. Four out often Silicon Valley start-ups are run by Indians. Bollywood produces 800 movies per year and six Indian ladies have won Miss Universe/Miss World titles over the past 10 years. For the record: Azim Premji, the richest Muslim entrepreneur on the face of the planet, was born in Bombay and now lives in Bangalore.

India now has more than three dozen billionaires; Pakistan has none (not a single dollar billionaire) .

The other amazing aspect is the rapid pace at which India is creating wealth. In 2002, Dhirubhai Ambani, Mukesh and Anil Ambani’s father, left his two sons a fortune worth $2.8 billion. In 2007, their combined wealth stood at $94 billion. On 29 October 2007, as a result of the stock market rally and the appreciation of the Indian rupee, Mukesh became the richest person in the world, with net worth climbing to US$63.2 billion (Bill Gates, the richest American, stands at around $56 billion). Indians and Pakistanis have the same Y-chromosome haplogroup. We have the same genetic sequence and the same genetic marker (namely: M124). We have the same DNA molecule, the same DNA sequence. Our culture, our traditions and our cuisine are all the same. We watch the same movies and sing the same songs. What is it that Indians have and we don’t?

INDIANS ELECT THEIR LEADERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And also to mention: They think of Construction of own nation, unlike other nations who are just concerned with destruction of others… Simple answer why the Indian fare better than the Pakis’.. They don’t focus on religion and neither do they spend time and money in devising ways to kill their own and everyone else over religion

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Packing for Pakistan

Art Malik - My pin-up Pakistani from my youth

What baggage am I packing with me on my trip to Pakistan?

I have been thinking about my visit to Pakistan for a few weeks now.  I have never been before – and I want to take a snapshot of my emotional response and limited perceptions of the country in advance.  Previous travel has revealed the how-wrong-I-was factor loud and clear.  So allow me to be ill-informed, naive, and for a moment – if only to pick apart my prejudice at a later date.

Although I haven’t been to Pakistan, I have been to Afghanistan and India and spent three years living in Sri Lanka, so I have had some experience of the region.  That said, living in Sri Lanka was as much preparation for India as Germany was for France.  Same same but different, one might say.

I know from books that Pakistan is a diverse land.  The Indus valley civilisation.  A busy commercial hub in Karachi. A Baluchistan that floods too often sweeping away cattle and livelihoods.  Devilish mountains bordering China that challenge its inhabitants and thrill European mountaineers. The notorious FATA region – much in the news of late, I imagine to be full of mountain peaks, hidden fortresses and secret tunnels.  And of romantic figures on horseback (not unlike 007’s friend Art Malik as a Mujahadeen Commander in The Living Daylights).  And everyone has an automatic weapon.

People are what gives a country it’s heart beat.  Having never been there my perceptions of the Pakistanis are cast by the diaspora community in Britain (including Mr Malik).  This diaspora was invited to the UK to work when Britain had a labour shortage in the 1950s.  This diaspora were offered refuge when the Mangla Dam flooded villages in Mirpur.  A community invited to settle. And increasingly the diaspora consists of professionals – doctors – offered a managed migration route to help the sick in Britain.   They number nearly a million in Britain – and yet how is it I know so little about Pakistan?

At the school I went to in Bristol, we never stopped to ask each other where we were from.  It’s only looking back and with greater knowledge of the world do I understand from given names that my school mates were likely Tamils or Muslims or Indian or African.  One of my first boyfriends was half Pakistani and half Scottish and equally proud of both – but this was unusual in inner city Britain in the 70’s and 80’s nobody seemed to wear their heritage on their sleeves.   Besides, we were raised not to question where someone was from, lest we view people as “the other” and offend, so of the many colleagues and friends I have spent time along side over the years, I have rarely asked them about their roots.  I feel slightly ashamed that I haven’t now.  Perhaps going to Pakistan will be a starting point for a deeper understanding of my diaspora friends.

Next week I will be tentatively dipping a toe in Pakistan.  It’ll be hand luggage only and I won’t go far, but it will be a starting point for what I hope will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with a country that I have longed to visit for years – and often wonder why I didn’t.  I’m happy to share my first impressions and better informed emotional response with you on these pages (as I have with Iraq and Afghanistan and even France).

Children's Day...Remembering Jawahar Nehru...and children love it....

Childrens Day in India marks the birth anniversary of Jawahar Nehru,,,the first prime minister of Independant India. Every year it is celebrated on 14th of november. It reflects the love and affection that Nehru had towards children. He had a special love and passion towards children though he was the first citizen of a nation and children reciprocated him with lots of love towards him….they called him Chacha. Even today the children celebrate this special day, enjoy and remember Nehru chacha and his vision…. of kids growing up to become mature and high thinking individuals where they come together and put hand in hand to build a dream nation. Nehru had a vision that proper and constructive idea’s should be sown in the minds of our children right from their innocent days of their childhood. This enables them to grow up with optimistic dreams and courage to fulfil them. This surely will form a strong foundation towards building a nation in all the fronts.

Children are like the flowers of the garden and all of us like to have these flowers blossoming for ever in the garden of our lives. No children….no life. We all have have a sweet innocent and a loving child in all of us…and we lose that child as we grow. We should all pledge on this day that we not only should care about children we have around….but also care about the child within us and keep it alive for ever. This enables us to live happily with whatever life gives us. We can keep ourselves off the unwanted stress and think positively towards a better future and a quality life. This is possible if we keep our minds clean and clear as that of a child.

We try to teach our children about a lot of things what they should do and what not always. But do we ever think in the direction of our children? Children now are very promising and many time those talents and instincts are either lost or we curb it when they are budding. Children of today’s generation are very talented much more than us as they are influenced by the effects of the pacing evolutions. The way they think and the way they act are totally different from what we or our ancestors used to do. We are either egoistic or are the victims of generation gap that we do not understand the visions of our children…might be that their ideas are too mature for us to understand. They are a different generation and we shall try to learn from them too in the process of teaching them. Lets be open and clear by minds and soul. When our children have the potential….why dont we try to channelize them in a proper way and aid them to better their lives…then what we are leading?

Every important day is celebrated with a hidden message. Often we either ignore or neglect it. We will take the message right from the childrens day…Childrens day is not only meant for the children. It is for us also. Life is a stream of thought process which need to be chanellised in various directions at various stages of life. We shall not limit the day for providing sweets to the child, giving speeches or preparing the children to speak about the importance of the day in a given time, telling stories of Nehru whom they have never seen. Rather we shall try to implement the qualities of those gread leaders in the life our children. We shall sit with them and speak out openly as to what they want. Its not that we should fulfil all that they ask for. But we can tell them that some things what they are thinking good is the otherway. If we convey it in a smoother way…and children can surely understand. We shall try to fill in the best colors so that the dreams of our children come out realistic….and its not different from our happiness….isnt it? Try not to curb or insult the thoughts of your child..however small and stupid they may appear…try to understand them…..value it….who knows tomorrow shall be theirs….and you will be proud of being there in their lives when they needed the most.

The rest of the thing is Childrens day…..and children love it…….Allow your children to enjoy and have fun along with their basics and education…keep them physically and mentally fit for the challenges of life. See your happiness in their innocent smiles…

There they are………….!!!!!! Arent their smiles beautiful……………………??????

Happy Children’s Day to all of you………….Keep the child in you alive……………..

Thursday, November 12, 2009

किताबों में लिखे शब्द दुनियां नहीं चलाते-व्यंग्य कविता (kitab,shabd aur duniya-vyangya kavita)

किताबों में लिखे शब्द
कभी दुनियां नहीं चलाते।
इंसानी आदतें चलती
अपने जज़्बातों के साथ
कभी रोना कभी हंसना
कभी उसमें बहना
कोई फरिश्ते आकर नहीं बताते।

ओ किताब हाथ में थमाकर
लोगों को बहलाने वालों!
शब्द दुनियां को सजाते हैं
पर खुद कुछ नहीं बनाते
कभी खुशी और कभी गम
कभी हंसी तो कभी गुस्सा आता
यह कोई करना नहीं सिखाता
मत फैलाओं अपनी किताबों में
लिखे शब्दों से जमाना सुधारने का वहम
किताबों की कीमत से मतलब हैं तुम्हें
उनके अर्थ जानते हो तुम भी कम
शब्द समर्थ हैं खुद
ढूंढ लेते हैं अपने पढ़ने वालों को
गूंगे, बहरे और लाचारा नहीं है
जो तुम उनका बोझा उठाकर
अपने फरिश्ते होने का अहसास जताते।।
कवि,लेखक संपादक-दीपक भारतदीप, ग्वालियर

यह आलेख इस ब्लाग ‘दीपक भारतदीप का चिंतन’पर मूल रूप से लिखा गया है। इसके अन्य कहीं भी प्रकाशन की अनुमति नहीं है।
अन्य ब्लाग
1.दीपक भारतदीप की शब्द पत्रिका
2.अनंत शब्दयोग
3.दीपक भारतदीप की शब्दयोग-पत्रिका
4.दीपक भारतदीप की शब्दज्ञान पत्रिका

India May Import 3 Million Tonnes Sugar In 2010/11

Hello Friends here we come up with the Latest Major Agri-Commodities updates from various parts of the globe.

India May Import 3 Million Tonnes Sugar In 2010/11

India, the world’s biggest consumer of sugar, may import 2.5-3 million tonnes of the sweetener in 2010/11 as domestic output is seen falling short of demand for a third straight year.

Raw sugar futures had rocketed to 28-½ year top on huge imports from the South Asian country, while whites hit a record earlier this year.

In 2009/10 season lower area and drought will keep India’s output at 15.3 million tonnes, a little more than last year’s output of 15 million tonnes, falling severely short of domestic consumption for a second straight year.

There is a margin of 200 rupees per quintal (100 kg) in imports.

So, provided the domestic prices remain firm, millers in Maharashtra would be interested in buying more raw sugar.

In Other major Commodities Updates we can see that World coffee output may fall in 2009-10

World coffee output may fall in 2009-10: Trade body

Global coffee production during the 2009-10 crop year may dip below last year’s level of 128.1 million bags due to bad weather in top three growing countries — Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia, according to the International Coffee Organisation (ICO).

If production falls are confirmed, the global coffee exports are also expected to decline this year.

Production in Brazil, the world’s biggest coffee producer, is estimated to be 39 million tonnes in the 2009-10 season, against 45.99 million bags in a year ago.

ICO said, however, production is expected to rise in Asia, Africa and Central America.

Note : For More Latest Industry, Stock Market and Economy News and Updates, please Click Here

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

¿Quién se juega la 'lotería' en los transportes indúes?

Creo que hasta ahora no os he comentado nada de los transportes de India… como ya sabéis el subcontinente indio es famoso por tener la línea ferroviaria más larga del mundo. Cuántas veces hemos visto en las películas la imagen de los trenes llenos de gente hasta la bola… Pero como siempre la realidad supera a la ficción.

Ya habréis oído hablar también de que los trenes van divididos por clases t yo tan sólo os puedo añadir que la sleeper class es una experiencia única… que aconsejo a todo el que visite el país, para conocer de verdad su forma de vida. (Arriba os he colgado un vídeo de uno de los trenes en los que viajamos durante 16 horas…). Pero no sólo los trenes son dignos de ver, la forma de conducir es algo insólita… y al principio he de decir que acojona bastante…

Ninguno de los tres que hicimos este viaje olvidaremos el viaje de 14 horas a Dharamsala en una tartana de autobús, por acantilados impresionantes y a una velocidad de vértigo, curvazos, frenazos… y para ponerle la guinda al asunto que se pinche una rueda en mitad de la nada y de noche.

En fin, nosotros nunca llegamos a tener ningún problema grave, pero la verdad es que muchas veces sentimos que estábamos arriesgando la vida. Y así queda demostrado, ya que el viernes pasado ocurrió un accidente en la misma ruta que nos hicimos a Dharamsala, en el que murieron 30 personas tras caer un autobús a un desfiladero… La causa, entre otras, podría ser la cantidad de gente que viajaba en el bus…

Como todo, esto es una lotería y le puede tocar a cualquiera…

More Summits - Less Solutions - More Inequality

Almost every month we hear of a summit or a meeting of states, but the actual progress towards resolution of issues and problems has been less effective and focused. There is just the resounding feeling that these are becoming more rhetorical and hollow than real and productive. The worst part is that inequality (gap between rich and poor) is showing a marked correlation with the number of meetings whose impetus for more summits has been on the increase. Reminds me of a quote that there is never enough time and summits to do all the nothing in the world. And then there are several jokes on meetings such as it is a phenomenon where a bunch of people get together and decide that the best thing to do is to convene yet another meeting. Or something on those lines. I did some research (read, browse the web) and came up with a quick self-explanatory chart…
(*) Inequality is defined as the income gap between the top and bottom 10 per cent of wage earners. The data is via World of Work Report 2008 – Global Income Inequality Gap is Vast and Growing. The numbers of course have been normalized to somehow limit axes overflow

    Hindsight is always 20/20 but this is hardly unexpected of course because if the leaders (and I use this term very loosely) of the world are jetting off to exotic locations for meetings, their countries are left to the dogs, which while better on one hand, is proving a detriment to general populace. It seems to me that this is a contagious disease. With politicians being in the Top-10 percent of wage earners, the sheer number of summits and thereby the taxpayers money they claim/guzzle to attend this nonsensical meetings is maybe, contributing to the inequality. Just me.

    cworks sriks6711, summits meetings, G8 G20 ASEAN SAARC, vast inequality, more problems, no solutions, hollow actions, calvin hobbes, never enough time, to do nothing, summit inequality correlation, income gap, rich poor, normalized numbers, hindsight 20/20, exotic locations, growing poverty, expense claims, taxpayers money, international labour organization, world of work report 2008

    Sunday, November 8, 2009

    A walk through the chaotic and charming Old Delhi – Jama Masjid

    Not far away from Red Fort, lies the famous Jama Masjid, the largest Mosque in India and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan. To reach there, I need to navigate through Chandni Chowk, a busy street full of vendors. And I got all the attentions everywhere I go. “Japanese? Korean?” this was how they greet me. 

    Guess what! I found a McDonalds here and ended up having a fish fillet burger as my first meal in India. I was just extrememly cautious after having a bad experience earlier on (touts at train station). And in fact, I can’t really find a place for a decent meal around here. So, don’t blame me for not being adventurous.

    Polka dots “pyjamas” for all the female tourists. They looked so adorable!

    Here, everywhere you go, you need a ride by cycle-rickshaw or auto-rickshaw. Auto-rickshaw is definitely faster. Faster means you doesn’t need to stay longer on the road. You don’t want to be on the road any second longer in Delhi I bet. Because the longer you are, the more you inhale the air, a cocktail of dust, sands, fumes from rubbish burning and car exhaust. I took a cycle-rickshaw ride………and caught in traffic jam…….

    The smiling face are fake! Once I reached the guesthouse, the first thing I did was to clear my nostrils. They were jammed. And in fact, it was my daily exercise in India.

    Karnataka political impasse continues

    The political uncertainty shrouding the BJP govt in Karnataka showed no signs of clearing, notwithstanding claims of CM B S Yeddyurappa that the crisis triggered by the Reddy brothers has been “resolved”.

    Yeddyruppa, who made a flying visit to the Vaishnao Devi temple near Jammu, returned to the national capital for another round of late evening consultations on Saturday with senior party leaders as the dissidents in Bangalore rejected talk of compromise and stuck to their demand for change of leadership.

    Senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after the late evening discussions with Yeddyurappa and other senior leaders that there would be no change of leadership and there would be a “happy conclusion”.

    He said the Chief Minister has extended his stay in Delhi by a day to greet senior leader L K Advani on his birthday on Sunday. He will also meet senior leaders.

    “There is no question of working under pressure. But if questions have been raised by colleagues, they cannot be brushed aside,” Naidu said apparently referring to the demands of the Reddy brothers and their grievances against the Chief Minister.

    But he declined to go into details of the any compromise formula. Nor did the Chief Minister saying anything mentioning that the central leaders have asked him not to speak anything political.

    In a television interview, he also wept saying for “selfish ends” he has ditched “Shoba and Baligar” under pressure from dissidents who are led by Tourism Minister Janardhana Reddy and Revenue Minister G Karunakar Reddy.

    He was referring to the transfer of his Principal Secretary V P Baligar and to the possible removal of his trusted minister Shoba Karandlaje.

    The discussions at party leader M Venkaiah Naidu’s residence in the evening are understood to be centred around a compromise formula.

    This involves the possible removal of Chief Minister’s trusted ministerial colleague Shobha Karandlaje, induction of Speaker Jagadish Shettar as minister into the Cabinet and rescinding the transfer of about 60 officials from Gadag and Bellary districts, the stronghold of the Reddy brothers.

    The Chief Minister is said to be resisting the demand of the dissidents for removal of Home Minister V S Acharya and four others.

    He is believed to have promised restructuring of the Cabinet and to take along all sides in governance.

    “I am thankful to the party national leadership for reposing faith in my leadership and resolving the present crisis. The government will complete its full term under my leadership in the state,” Yeddyurappa told reporters before leaving for Jammu.

    “I am returning to the state today and will continue to tour the flood-affected areas. I will also review the relief and rehabilitation measures,” Yeddyurappa said.

    Yeddyruppa, however, refused to talk about the details of the compromise formula.

    On Friday, he had said that in accordance with the wishes of the Reddy brothers he had already transferred his Principal Secretary V P Baligar and would be conceding some other of their demands.

    In Bangalore, Janardhana Reddy maintained there was no change in the dissidents stand and expressed hope that the party would take a “good” decision in a day or two.

    “In the interest of the party, betterment of the state and in the interest of BJP workers, I am confident that the party high command will take a right, correct and a good decision,” Reddy told reporters.

    Reddy, who came here from Hyderabad on Saturday morning after a series of meetings with BJP central leadership in Delhi, dismissed talk of any compromise formula to resolve the crisis.

    “We are not aware of any formula. I don’t know anything about it,” he said on reports from Delhi that a compromise formula was being worked out to resolve the crisis.

    To a question about the Chief Minister’s claim that the crisis has been resolved, he said that they have placed the demands before the high command.

    “We hope the party leaders will give a good leadership to Karnataka. I am 100 per cent sure they will take a good decision in this regard,” he said.

    The Reddy brothers along with their supporter and Health Minister B Sriramulu met Shettar.

    Saturday, November 7, 2009

    The Buzz: Ramachandra Budihal augments reality

    Photo: Ramachandra Budihal at TEDIndia, Session 7, “Power of Stories,” November 6, 2009, in Mysore, India. Credit: TED / James Duncan Davidson

    Session 7: Ramachandra Budihal clearly thrilled TEDIndia’s live audience — and also our webcast audience, who had plenty to say on Twitter:

    The 3D augmented device demoed by Ramachandra Budihal . Now I know how I can communicate folk stories to the future generation – ramkrsna

    Just watched a 500 yr old King resurrected – u can now experience ancient Indian history #TEDIndia for true innovation – mita56

    AAAAAAAAAAmazing!!! Ramchandra Budihal!!!!! #TEDIndia totally rocks!! – moneymunot

    We don’t enter the future, we create it. And we create what we imagine.” – Ramachandra Budihal – brainpicker

    What Budihal is describing, cannot be trapped into words. W-O-W! – TEDxShekhawati

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    जमाने की चाहत-हास्य हिंदी कविता

    सुनते हैं मरते समय
    रावण ने राम का नाम जपा
    इसलिये पुण्य कमाने के साथ
    स्वर्ग और अमरत्व का वरदान पाया।
    उसके भक्त भी लेते
    राम का नाम पुण्य कमाने के वास्ते,
    हृदय में तो बसा है सभी के
    सुंदर नारियों को पाने का सपना
    चाहते सभी मायावी हो महल अपना
    चलते दौलत के साथ शौहरत पाने के रास्ते,
    मुख से लेते राम का नाम
    हृदय में रावण का वैभव बसता
    बगल में चलता उसका साया।
    गरीब और लाचार से
    हमदर्दी तो सभी दिखाते हैं
    इसलिये ही बनवासी राम भी
    सभी को भाते हैं।
    उनके नायक होने के गीत गाते हैं।
    पर वैभव रावण जैसा हो
    इसलिये उसकी राह पर भी जाते हैं।
    पूरा जमाना बस यही चाहे
    दूसरे की बेटी सीता जैसी हो
    जो राजपाट पति के साथ छोड़कर वन को जाये।
    मगर अपनी बेटी कैकयी की तरह राज करे
    चाहे दुनियां इधर से उधर हो जाये।
    सीता का चरित्र सभी गाते
    बहू ऐसी हो हर कोई यही समझाये
    पर बेटी को राज करने के गुर भी
    हर कोई बताये।

    यह आलेख/हिंदी शायरी मूल रूप से इस ब्लाग ‘दीपक भारतदीप की शब्दज्ञान-पत्रिका’पर लिखी गयी है। इसके अन्य कहीं प्रकाशन के लिये अनुमति नहीं है।
    अन्य ब्लाग
    1.दीपक भारतदीप की हिंदी पत्रिका
    2.दीपक भारतदीप का चिंतन
    3.अनंत शब्दयोग
    कवि और संपादक-दीपक भारतदीप

    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    Color Commentary

    The Royal Habitat, I learned, had one of the nicest bathrooms I would find on my trip.

    I woke up to the thickest air I’ve felt in a while.  Hot, humid, dewy air must have infiltrated the room after the A/C unit mounted high on the wall shut off.  I didn’t just wake up because it was strangely warm though.  A man was calling something I couldn’t understand outside the hotel window.  ”pAAAAAAAAAYpah.  (pause)  pAAAAAAAAYpah.”  Dogs were barking.  I jumped when I heard a second voice: “mEEEEEEEEhlk.”  A new calling man joined the clash of sounds outside.  ”mEEEEEEEhlk.”  Hundreds of horns were sounding, indifferent to the fact I had just spent (pause for time difference calculation) 29 hours traveling: from Phoenix, to Los Angeles, diagonally northeast up and over North America, over Greenland, diagonally southeast over Europe and part of Russia, into the Middle East city of Dubai, then due East to India.  ”mEEEEEEEEEhlk.”

    This chorus of noise outside was enough to cause my nerves to snap to attention.  This was far more effective than a traditional alarm clock.  This was Bangalore’s good morning wake-up call to me.  And I was scared to death.

    “pAAAAAAAAAYpah!”  I couldn’t take it anymore.  I swear that guy was yelling that terrorists were coming and we were all doomed.  The dogs barking were probably communicating in dog language that very same sentiment.  *gulp*  I felt dizzy, hot, and completely disoriented.  Past news stories of the Mumbai terror attacks flashing through my head, I knew it was time to take action.  I woke up my brother, who was sleeping in the other bed.  (back story: we got in from the airport at 5am, Bangalore time, exhausted, after driving for at least an hour at no more than 35-40mph to the small hotel where James was staying.  In India, it’s not uncommon to share rooms with friends or family when traveling.  Besides that, the place was full, so we ended up sharing a room for the few hours we had… which I ended up being so glad about, because these noises outside were too much for my naive ears.)

    “James, what’s that guy yelling about?  Are we safe here?”  To which I got a muffled, polite but cautionary reply: “The world is not a safe place, Jenn.“

    I wanted to cry.  I was tired, hot, and facing certain demise.  I could envision him rolling his eyes at me, even though his face was smashed in a pillow.  Well, he would know.  He’s been around the globe.  As for me, I was always happy with my seemingly safe, clean little corner of the planet.

    I got out of bed, the clothes I wore on the plane, which I had fallen asleep in, were rumpled from the short nap.  My ears were able to start dissecting other sounds from the mesh of noise. Different dog barks.  Children.  Diesel engines.  Birds.  People carrying on strange, rolling-sounding conversations.  Hindi?  Probably not.  Most likely, it was Kannada, the language specific to Karnataka, the state in which Bangalore is found.  Aside from the language barrier, there was another challenge that I was not looking forward to, and I was standing in front of it: the bathroom.

    There was a shiny hose positioned dutifully by the toilet.  It looked rather imposing and purposeful in its deliberate location.  What was that hose for?!  Why was there a bucket?!  I unzipped my suitcase and dug for the 2 rolls of toilet paper I brought on recommendation from my brother.  Oh boy, this was going to be a long 3 weeks.

    . . . . .

    View from the terrace of "Royal Habitat"

    Funny though, 3 weeks went so fast.  Writing now at the end of my stay, I realize how quickly we can adapt to unfamiliarity – if we choose to do so.  In my case, I felt like I had very little choice, but a choice, nonetheless.  Which was good…no…invaluable for me.  I also realized my need to differentiate fear from unfamiliarity.

    I learned that the strange men calling out “paaaaaaaaaypah”  and “miiiiiiiiiiiiihlk” were not yelling about death and destruction.  They’re actually street vendors, who wheel carts every morning through the narrow back roads, calling out to residents that they have for sale the morning paper and milk.  ”Paper.”  ”Milk.”  I get it now.  And yes, when I learned that, I felt, at the very least, sheepish.

    I discovered that people in India drive by honking their horns.  A lot.  (more on this to come in a future blog)  I found out dogs are everywhere… and I actually met a young woman who makes it her mission to rescue street dogs and find them homes, when she’s not working at the country’s top business management university as an event coordinator.

    I also was schooled in the ways of Indian bathrooms: the bucket is for bathing.  People bathe from a bucket, as to not waste water.  The hose is stationed dutifully by the toilet, because over there, they don’t use toilet paper.  I do.  I did.  And just for your reference, in case you’re going to India anytime soon… 2 rolls is perfect for 3 weeks.

    Well, I am proud to share with you, reader, that this was one trip I am so grateful to have experienced.  My life is much richer, having seen so many interesting things, which I plan to share with you as I finish these half-written blogs of mine from India (the internet is rather dicey over there – deciding in the middle of my browsing sessions to simply quit).  That said, here’s to new experiences… and remembering to be thankful for the small, yet significant comforts we enjoy everyday.

    -Jenn Burgess

    Ponting Looks to Punk India:

    Who's your daddy now? (

    It’s SO friggin ON now.

    Series tied at 2-2 .  India brandishing the kangaroos in 2 games and laying the proverbial turd in the other games. What can be said about an Aussie team which has 43232 front line bowlers on crutches, wheelchairs, medication, and therapy, AND YET manages to win games against a seemingly stronger opponent (on paper atleast) away ?  Pretty Cool.

    So, while the stage is set for the big game in Hyderabad, Ponting comes out and plays the sympathy card:

    “If you consider everything that’s happened to us over the last couple of weeks, it would be an amazing effort if this group of players were good enough to get over the line,” Ponting said in the Age. “I think we showed the other night that if we play even somewhere near our best we’re a really good chance of winning the series.

    Yes sir, that is indeed pretty amazing.

    MSD, on the other hand, should be a little upset that the series is tied at this point.  While having the 2 awesome fearsome mirror images at the top order fire simultaneously would ease a lot of pressure on him, it hasn’t happened in the series yet. More worrying was the lack of Gambhir, who pretty much was on the Aussies like an evil diaper rash at the No.3 Position.  Dhoni did try to shuffle it a bit and send Kohli up front, but that move backfired in a pretty big way. Gambhir probably being back for this game would help.

    A good thought would be to send Harbhajan singh opening the batting. Bhajji of late seems to have perfected the art of bitchslapping the Aussies with the bat, while being underwhelming with the ball. His bowling has been a big concern for quite a while now. Frankly, after 10+ years of international cricket and being tagged the “premier” wicket tacker in your team, it should NOT be taking 4+ games in a 7 game series to get into your groove.

    Big Cajones of STEEL Predictions by MTJAG:

    1. Score set by the team batting first would be 270-280.

    2. Gambhir and Hussey will fail to contribute a  30+ score this time. Law of averages catches up with them.

    3. Sehwag starts out like the devil again, but fizzes away, after a 25.

    4. Sachin gets 70+ in this game

    5. Shaun Marsh will play well for the ‘Roos, and get a 50+

    6. Raina and Jadeja play very useful roles both with the bat and ball this time.

    7.  Hauritz grabs 3 wickets

    8.  India gets the lead here . 3-2.

    9. MoM :  Sachin.

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Hampered by Hampi

    Dear Ness,

    Shanti, Shanti (peace, peace).  I have been at the mercy of Hampi’s electricity/internet/phone line connection problems for the better part of 5 days now.  The last 3 days nothing.  Before that, I was able to get on 5-10 minutes at a time, then off-line, then back on, then the lights go out, then wait, back on, write some more, off-line–you get the idea.  I don’t know the reason for the internet connection problems but it doesn’t really matter when there is no power to turn the computer on.  I didn’t realize at first that Hampi shares it’s electricity with another neighboring village or two.  This means for blocks of hours throughout the day and night, Hampi is without.  You would think there would be a specific schedule to this, as in, the same hours of the day every day so one could plan their day accordingly, but this just isn’t so.  On top of that, there was also an accident involving a truck and a main electrical pole.  If you are lucky, some guest houses have back up generators but oftentimes deem the internet cafe’ 2 computers from the 90’s as non-essential.  How uncivilized.  At any rate, I am loving the updates from Costa Rica!  Congratulations on your sloth sighting!  The pictures add so much to the blog.  I really get a sense of what’s going on and how beautiful it is.   I have not been able to upload any pictures and I am so frustrated because I have some really good ones.  I have a mini USB to regular USB cord that I bought here in India but not one computer has recognized my camera.  I don’t know if my cord is just shit, the computers are just shit or it’s a combination of the two. 

    If you let it get to you, India could possibly be the most frustrating, ridiculously paradoxical place on the planet.  Of course, mishaps and differences  of cultures, etc…while travelling is part of the adventure and fun of it all.  I understand this.  But sometimes I am truly exhausted just from trying to get from point A to point B.   For example, to get out of Hampi you have to take a local bus to Hospet, the next biggest town, and then take another bus to your destination but there is no stand to buy a ticket.  Nor any information window/display/what have you of any kind.  You kind of have to know where you are going and what time the bus is and you just have to pay on the bus.  So trying to find out any information about the local bus out of Hospet in Hampi was damn near impossible.  I asked 5 different people, locals mind you (to include 2 different travel agents), what time the buses left.  5 different answers.  So I decided to splurge (double the price from 5 dollars to 10 dollars) on the “Deluxe Tourist Sleeper” bus from Hospet to Gokarna scheduled to leave 6:30 PM and arriving Gokarna at 5 AM.  I met an awesome German/Tunisian girl, Sarah, in Hampi, also traveling by herself who was up for the trip and we set off together to catch the rustbucket death trap on wheels deluxe sleeper.  Do you remember how in Korea stores would use advertising jargon just because it sounded or looked cool?  Like the store that had “24 HOURS” written on the window but was always closed.  India does the same shit!  I bought some mosquito repellent cream that basically promises an invisible shield able to dissolve mosquitos on contact.  Bullshit.  Anyway, off on a tangent but you get the picture–deluxe bus my ass.  We thought we had scored by getting the last two tickets for the overnighter to Gokarna until we realized this meant the back of the bus over the wheel axle where you feel every single little pebble and pothole for God Shiva knows how many kilometers.  The sleeper area is a chair that lays all the way back and clicks into place and a privacy curtain should you be foolish enough to try and sleep.  Sarah’s chair didn’t click and actually acted more like a trampoline catapulting her into the air several times after a gigantic pothole.   I though she might break her nose or suffer a concussion from hitting the roof of the sleeper above us.  Of course, I was concerned but it was funny as hell too and the more I tried not to laugh, the harder I had the giggles.  I seriously contemplated hitting up Tom, the British chap I met in Hampi also on our bus, holding a stash of Valium but decided against it.  You know I don’t do/have never done drugs so you can only imagine the deluxeness of this bus ride.  1 hour into the trip we broke down.  There was some sort of fuel pump problem but much to the driver/mechanic’s credit with a mini torch and minimal tools, we were up and running in a little over an hour.   Around 4 AM Sarah and I were dumped off at  some town trucker stop called Ankola 25 KM away from our intended destination of Gokarna.  Sarah and I, aside from the men sleeping on the floor in front of the hotel brothel, were alone with (for the fucking first time in India) not a taxi cab/rickshaw driver in sight.  After 5 minutes of terrifying myself with thoughts of getting gang-raped by Indian trucker men, Sarah and I just put on a brave face and waited for a rickshaw.  Of course, we had to pay a ridiculous amount of money (well, ridiculous by Indian backpacker standards–really I think it was a 10 dollar split) by the time one arrived around 5:30.  We did have a nice chai stop on the way to the edge of Gokarna after our driver informed us he hadn’t slept all night and almost killed us.  Very good chai actually.  After that, a further hike of 5 KM from Gokarna to Kudle Beach.  On the way, we met the unofficial town guide, Vishnu, who chaperoned us all over Gokarna.  We stopped at a beautiful ashram, passed the town bath and got a tour of a temple in a cave.  Such a wealth of a knowledge, and so cute with his broken English and weighing about 100 lbs, Vishnu even showed us a short cut through the jungle to a really cool place to stay called Namaste Yoga Farm.  Yeah, he asked for a donation, supposedly for some kids program at the ashram but I choose to believe it was for the kids and a little bit goes such a long way here so I gave him 100 rupees.  Nothing is for free here in India.  Nothing.

    I have read that people often explain India as an assault to the senses.  I can see why.  But I will have to explain further in another letter.  How the hell are you posting all the time anyway?  Don’t tell me you have been getting Wi-Fi?!?  I can’t even remember what a fast computer feels like.  Do you remember dial-up?  I wish I could stay here and write for another 2 hours.  I have so much to still fill you in on and people I’ve met, etc…I miss you a lot and wish I was able to have some Central American fun con tu y Anika.  I really hope we can meet up in Thailand at some point. 


    lil sweaty frustrated bobe

    Kayani takes McChrystal to task: Why ISAF abandoned from border posts

    By: RupeeNews | Moin Ansari

    Bang in the middle of the operation in South Waziristan, it was expected that Indian and Afghan and other terrorists would run to Afghanistan. In a tightly coordinated operation, it was imperative that the US continued to seal the Afghan border so that the terrorists would be trapped in South Waziristain. However when the Pakistani Army was conducting its operation the ISAF forces abandoned their positions which allowed some of the terrorists to escape into safe havens in Afghanistan (where the Taliban control 80% of the territory).

    Pakistani General Kiyani has taken up the matter of the abandonment of the broder posts by ISAF with General McChrystal

    Kayani raises ISAF border posts issue with McChrystal

    • Two officials discuss law and order situation in Afghanistan and Waziristan operation
    • RAW nest of Indian spies discovered in Kasur
    • Pakistan demands greater role in Afghanistan
    • More Proof of India’s involvement in terror against Pakistan
    • We don’t really trust your country: Pakistanis to Hillary Clinton
    • False ‘US claims on ephemeral Quetta Shura baseless’
    • Why Clinton is not getting through’ to Pakistanis-bad US policies
    • Truth from Pakistani people frustrates Clinton
    • Crafty Clinton’s Clueless Charm schemes crash in Pakistan
    • UK’s Chief of General Staff also meets COAS

    Uzbeks Tajiks surrounded in South Waziristan FATA

    Staff Report RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani on Monday took up the vacation of border posts by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops with ISAF Commander General Stanley McChrystal.

    Central Asia Tajikistan Pakistan: RAW trail of terror from Tajik bases to Indian Consulates in Afghanistan to targets in Pakistan. “They (the Indians) have to justify their interest. They do not share a border with Afghanistan, whereas we do. So the level of engagement has to be commensurate with that,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in an extensive interview with The Los Angeles Times, when asked about India’s building up its commercial and political presence in Afghanistan.

    A source privy to the meeting said the two officials exchanged views on the law and order situation in Afghanistan and the recent military offensive in South Waziristan. General Kayani briefed McChrystal on the operation. According to an Inter-Services Public Relations statement, the US general remained with General Kayani for some time and discussed matters of mutual interest.

    Separately, Britain’s Chief of General Staff David Richard visited Gen Kayani at the military’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and discussed professional, bilateral and regional issues. General Richard also laid a floral wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada. A Pakistan Army contingent presented a guard of honour.

    Sunday, November 1, 2009

    Charming countries revisited

    My most popular post this year, at least in terms of generating comments, was one on whether countries can launch charm offensives. This surprised me, because I thought that the concept of overhauling a poor reputation through better comms was reasonably well established.

    Instead, the idea that a national government can put its reputation in the hands of a PR agency sparked some interesting responses. None perhaps more succinct that Tom Crampton’s remark that, unless the country itself has a reputation worth communicating, any image campaign would amount to ‘lipstick on a pig’.

    Building on the debate, I’ve put together a feature for PRWeek UK that looks at this issue in a little more depth. Reputation of a nation puts six ‘countries’ under the spotlight – UK, US, China, India, South Africa and Dubai. Each suffers various problems in terms of how reputation issues are hampering the pursuit of specific goals. For example, China’s well-documented product quality crises continues to dog perceptions of its critically important manufacturing sector.

    Each country, I further feel, overcomes the ‘lipstick on a pig’ test. They are hardly pariah states; instead you can argue that the substance of reputational change is largely in place, but more sophisticated storytelling is perhaps required to effect a genuine shift. We did consider the example of Libya in the intro, but despite the country’s progress over the past 10 years, recent events call into question whether any change is more opportunistic than genuine.

    We also called in comms experts from each country to run the rule over what kind of specific steps could be taken. Perhaps the biggest frustration is that we could only feature six examples because, quite honestly, there are a host of other countries that would be rather interesting to examine in this manner as well.




    Any more terror attack from Pak will be retaliated: PC

    Taking a tough stance, Home Minister P Chidambaram has warned Pakistan against meddling in India’s affairs and said any more terror attack from that country will be retaliated “very strongly”.

    Chidambaram said he has been warning Pakistan not to play with India and that the Mumbai attacks should be the “last game”.

    “We have been gaining strength day by day to counter terrorism from across the border. I have been warning Pakistan not to play games with us. (I have told them that) the last game should be Mumbai attacks. Stop it there,” he told a public meeting in Madurai on Saturday night.

    “If terrorists and militants from Pakistan try to carry out any attack in India, they will not only be defeated but will be retaliated very strongly,” he said in his speech in


    Chidambaram said India would retaliate strongly against any attempt by Pakistan to send infiltrators into India and “we have strength to tackle any such infiltration”.

    He said he had been consistently warning Pakistan against meddling in India’s affairs but if they continued to do so, “we will deal with them strongly”.