"The Hindu" editorial is a part and parcel of CAT preperation. but to my surprise i didnt find any thread which discusses the difficult words in the editorial and discuss abt their contextual meanings..
So as a starting effort and im putting forward my analysis of the editorial...
"The Hindu" editorial is a part and parcel of CAT preperation. but to my surprise i didnt find any thread which discusses the difficult words in the editorial and discuss abt their contextual meanings..
So as a starting effort and im putting forward my analysis of the editorial of 28th June '05.
You Can also find this stuff in my blog.. i update it daily..
The author of this editorial is Mr.V.K.Krishna Iyer.
The link to the editorial is
Some of the words/phrases which can cause confusion are:
I have left out some words which i could not comprehend the meanings..
so kindly u can fill those for me...
1.> Everest of the Indian Bar.
Here it means that Mr. Fali Nariman is at the peak of the indian judiciary.
2.> Under the auspices
at the occasion of
3.> To bring to light
to enlighten others on that topic
4.> Curial Process
Curial meant cure pertaining to priests..
5.> Intrigues ( Beyond intrigues )
beyond intrigues meant beyond doubt.
6.> inalterable and unamendable paramountcy.
inalterable means which cannot be altered and paramountcy meant the highest rank or authority.
7.> Without a tear.
Withou considering it.
8.> Expounded Another riddle-ridden doctrine.
Expound means eloberate or set forth, riddle means puzzle, doctrine means principle.
9.> Latifundist, feudalist, strangling of agrarian reform.
Latifundist is derived from latin.. Latus means Spacious Fundus means farm.. agrarian means relating to agriculture.
10.> sip every flower and change every hair
Phenomenon of finding valuable things not sought for.
12.> Vague, Vagarious, Jurisprudentially
Vagarious means unexpected change, Jurisprudence means branch concerned with law and principles.
Lacking in interest or significance.
14.> ipse dixits
an assertion without support or proof.
15.> seared by possible authoritarian anti-socialism.
hidden or secret.
19.> Judicial Ukase.
20.> Curial Invention
21.> Statutory exercises becoming a vanishing point of jurisprudence.
The state of being sensitive.
23.> Kesavananda Vagary.
Vagary means unexpected change in something.
24.> Judicial Riddle.
Strong liking for something.
26.> Grant a holiday
27.> Tragic obiter
A brilliant and notable success.
30.> Judicial Imperative.
Imperative is something which is essential.
Something desired as a neccesity.
Here anathema means seperated or set apart.
reveal in private, tell confidentially.
36.> Was our wont.
Why there were no good guys in 2003
In the week marking the 10th anniversary of the illegal United States and British-led invasion of Iraq, a BBC TV Panorama programme carried material to the effect that six months and three months before the March 2003 invasion, two high Iraqi officials separately told the CIA and the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6 that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) — but the information was never passed on to the politicians. The invasion and its aftermath were riddled with procedural and institutional failures and gross illegalities, but the greatest political failures were the inability and unwillingness of the relevant representative assemblies, the U.S. Congress and the British Parliament, to perform their constitutional duty of scrutinising their respective executives.
The procedural failures themselves arouse suspicion. The Panorama programme, made by Peter Taylor and aired on March 18, says the first Iraqi source was Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, who, the then CIA station head in Paris learnt, hated Saddam Hussein for murdering his brother. The second was the head of Iraqi intelligence, Tahir Habbush Al Tikriti, who initiated contact and met a British agent. Yet the notes the CIA officer, Bill Murray, made in New York and posted to be typed up in Washington had their introduction modified, and then seem to have disappeared; a Senate inquiry said it could find no trace of them. As for the Habbush material, MI6 never passed it on; it apparently thought Saddam Hussein had designed it to mislead.
Taylor recognises that Habbush’s approach may have been an attempt by Saddam Hussein to forestall an invasion — but Habbush was telling the truth, and was in fact saying what the United Nations weapons inspectors had been saying publicly for several years already. Neither the CIA nor MI6 seems to have tried to investigate the truth of either set of statements. On the other hand, bad intelligence, as Murray himself told Taylor, reached the top very quickly; that included the fantasies peddled by Ahmed Chalabi and by a contact called Curveball, an Iraqi-born and German-settled chemical engineer named Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi.
The latter, according to Martin Chulov and Helen Pidd of the Guardian , pulled off one of the “greatest confidence tricks” in the history of modern intelligence by keeping up the deceit for six months; the German government passed his fictions on to Washington before deciding he was lying. Al-Janabi was shocked to hear many of his own lies repeated by Secretary of State Colin Powell in the now infamous speech to the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003.
The failures by the security bodies were compounded by the way sections of the U.S. and British press created a climate favourable to the war. A 2003 Cardiff University study on British broadcast news for the first three weeks after the invasion found that the BBC displayed the greatest “pro-war” bias among the four main British broadcasters. In that period, 11 per cent of its sources were from the Iraqi coalition government or of military origin, and the corporation used government sources twice as much as the commercial broadcasters ITN and Channel 4 News. Secondly, Channel 4 used independent sources like the Red Cross three times as often as the BBC, and even Sky used such sources twice as often. The BBC also placed “least emphasis” on Iraqi casualties, mentioning them in 22 per cent of stories on the Iraqi people, and it was the least likely of the four stations to report on Iraqis who opposed the invasion.
In addition, some of the BBC’s own staff seem to have accepted government statements without question. David Cromwell notes in Why Are We the Good Guys? (Zero Books, 2012) that the corporation’s current affairs superstar Jeremy Paxman has said he himself was convinced by Mr. Powell’s U.N. speech; he thought Mr. Powell had had access to all the relevant information, and he assumed that such an eminent person would not lie over this matter. As Carl Bernstein has written elsewhere, that is precisely what the mainstream U.S. press had thought 30 years earlier about the officials who tried to cover up the Watergate scandal. Paxman also later admitted to having been “hoodwinked” by the then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Furthermore, as the investigative journalist Nick Davies shows in his book Flat Earth News (Vintage Books, 2009), the U.S. and British security services repeatedly planted fabricated stories in the mainstream media, which the latter, under commercial pressure to achieve sales and audience ratings, did not cross-check. Media gullibility and collusion with the political establishment over Iraq are well known; the New York Times later published an apology for not scrutinising the Bush administration’s claims better.
Yet several institutions of state are also implicated in what amounted to failures of democratic processes and institutions. For example, the then British attorney-general, Lord Goldsmith, revised his earlier analysis and said the invasion would not breach international law, but he did so because the chief of military staff Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, now Lord Boyce, doubted the legality of the invasion enough to ask for a fresh legal opinion.
Lord Boyce even said that if he was going to end up in the dock of the International Criminal Court, he wanted to see ‘other people’, which he later admitted meant Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, indicted alongside him.
There were, of course, staff in the CIA and in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office who resigned over the fixing of intelligence to serve the politicians’ purposes and over the neglect of analyses questioning the legality of the invasion. Those resignations, however, do not obviate the implication that some of the seniormost staff in the CIA and MI6 had themselves decided, like Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair, that Iraq had to be invaded irrespective of the evidence.
For the United Kingdom, an even greater problem is that neither the main executive body, the Cabinet, nor the representative and sovereign assembly, Parliament, so much as saw the complete text of Lord Goldsmith’s 13-page document, dated March 7, 2003, which contained inter alia the attorney-general’s doubts that the invasion would be legal without a further U.N. resolution. Secondly, the former Cabinet Secretary, Lord Butler, has said he was not aware that MI6 had the information Naji Sabri had given the CIA, but that if the CIA had provided that intelligence then “perhaps” MI6 was not permitted to share it with other British bodies. Lord Butler, in effect, has accepted that the CIA can pool information with MI6, a British body, but that the United Kingdom as a body politic has no right to that information. Despite Mr. Blair’s documented subservience to the U.S. — something which may also have been driven by a fear that the opposition Conservatives would call him soft on terrorism — this constitutes a serious abdication of British sovereignty.
Worse still, Lord Butler told the Panorama programme that the British public has “every reason” to think it is the body which was the most seriously misled. This is crucial. Neither the media failures nor those of the professional public-service bodies would have mattered if the United States Congress and the British Parliament had scrutinised their respective governments properly. Steven Zunes notes inTruthout that Congress — members of which have large bodies of staff and are far better funded than many other legislators around the world — had many months to investigate the Bush administration’s claims about Iraq. Mr. Zunes adds that “large numbers” of scholars, Middle Eastern political leaders, and former U.S. officials advised members of Congress that an invasion would probably cause a bloody insurgency, and a rise in Islamist extremism and sectarian violence.
As for the ruling British Labour Party, it had 368 MPs and a majority of 167 in the House of Commons at the time; in the end 139 Labour MPs, 15 of the opposition Conservatives, and all 63 Liberal Democrats, voted for an amendment stating that the case for war had not yet been established. The amendment got 217 votes and was defeated by a majority of 179; yet the Commons had never been given the full legal arguments.
Much is already known about the lies, deceptions, and institutional failures which made the invasion of Iraq possible, and detail has emerged about the effect on the Iraqi population of the invaders’ chemical weapons and depleted-uranium ammunition. Yet the central assemblies of the two countries which led the invasion bear the heaviest responsibility. They failed to question their political executives, failed to use the powers they rightly hold, and failed to remember what they owe to the voters who legitimate their very presence in an elected assembly. They betrayed representative democracy itself.
The unwillingness of the U.S. Congress,
British Parliament and media to question their political executives was the greatest
democratic failure that led to the Iraq war
The Hindu(April 19, 2013)
4th March: The Hindu
The mystique that stock markets seem to hold for lay people and policymakers alike gets magnified several times over in budget season. There is, most certainly, no rational basis for this. Though devoid of real significance, the share markets’ verdict on the budget in the minutes and hours after the Finance Minister’s speech continues to be extremely important to policymakers. This has been amply demonstrated again by the urgency shown by P. Chidambaram and his team in allaying concerns over a provision in the Finance Bill that seems to cast doubts on the validity of residency certificates that benefit investors routing their investments through tax treaty centres such as Mauritius. On budget day, the sharp decline in share indices was attributed to just this single provision. The fact that the concerns are confined to foreign investors and tax havens used by them says it all. The broader market and the government are explicitly acknowledging the importance of these investors. It is, therefore, not surprising that in his budget speech, the Finance Minister gave his proposals relating to the broad category of foreign investors pride of place among financial sector announcements. None of them — and virtually none of the financial sector announcements — made reference to financial outlays but are nevertheless important for the policy direction they reveal.
In moving towards internationally accepted definitions of foreign institutional investment (FII) and foreign direct investment (FDI), the government is facilitating larger foreign inflows especially in sectors that have an FDI cap. Foreign investors may not have got their entire wish list. The much-anticipated announcement to expand the role of FIIs in the debt market did not materialise. But the package for them looks very impressive when contrasted with what is available for domestic investors, especially the retail ones. There has been once again a proposal to simplify the procedures for small and medium enterprises to access their dedicated exchange. More significant, in the context of infrastructure funding, is the proposal to start a dedicated debt segment in the stock exchanges. The facilities being accorded to foreign capital can be justified in the current macroeconomic context of the widening current account deficit. Yet the economy needs domestic investors too, not just the large ones but retail investors, who should ideally be the backbone of any well developed capital market. The ambitious disinvestment target next year, of Rs.40,000 crore, brooks no delay in enhancing the retail participation in the markets.
Idea sentence in both the para??
It was a reference to the Renaissance man, who Sartre exhorted for possessing fraternal as well as revolutionary ideals.
this line in the above link seems grammtically incorrect to me. ""who" should be replac...
It was a reference to the Renaissance man, who Sartre exhorted for possessing fraternal as well as revolutionary ideals.
this line in the above link seems grammtically incorrect to me. ""who" should be replaced with
correct me if i am wrong.
The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), signed in 1960, took 10 years to negotiate, primarily because of the thorny issue of balancing, on the one hand, the reasonable expectation by India that it could use the hydroelectric potential of “Pakistan's rivers” (the Ch...
As has often been recounted, the IWT worked well for decades, even through periods when India and Pakistan were at war. But the truth of the matter is that the Treaty was not really under stress until India started (quite appropriately, in my view) building hydro power plants across the Himalayas, and, in particular, on its side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. The first case, where the Indian and Pakistani Indus Water Commissioners were unable to resolve their differences, was the one of the Baglihar hydro power project on the Chenab. At Pakistan’s request, the World Bank appointed a Neutral Expert to evaluate the claims. After two years of work the Neutral Expert returned his verdict. The essence of the verdict was that the Treaty allowed for new knowledge to be taken into account, that new knowledge on sediment management meant that modern dams should be able to flush sediments through low-level gates and that this element of the design of the Baglihar dam was therefore acceptable. What the Neutral Expert completely ignored was that this change essentially meant eliminating the “limit live storage” provision of the IWT, a provision that was at the very heart of Pakistan’s acceptance of the Treaty in the first place. Since there are a large number of hydro projects on the drawing board in Indian-held Kashmir, and since the cumulative storage on the Chenab alone has been estimated to be about 40 days, this essentially left Pakistan with no protection against unintentional or intentional harm from Indian manipulation of the dead storage they were now allowed to build.
Which brings us to the Kishenganga case. The far-sighted Indian and Pakistani engineers who drew up the IWT had foreseen the Kishenganga case quite specifically and had dedicated a whole section to this specific case. Annexure D para 15 states “where a Plant is located on a tributary of the Jhelum on which Pakistan has any agricultural use or hydroelectric use, the water released below the plant may be delivered, if necessary, into another tributary but only to the extent that the then existing agricultural use or hydroelectric use by Pakistan on the former tributary would not be adversely affected.” While lawyers might, à la Bill Clinton, ponder the meaning of “has,” it is clear to most that since there was no “then existing use” by Pakistan, India was well within its rights to build Kishenganga.
In my opinion Pakistan should never have taken this case to the International Court of Arbitration (ICA), because there was, in my view, no chance that they would win the case. Another Pakistani loss after Baglihar would have several consequences, all negative for Pakistan. First, they would have wasted a lot of resources paying for high-priced lawyers. Second, they could be spending their scarce human resources on more productive areas, like improving the management of water in Pakistan. And third, as the press headlines in both India and Pakistan trumpet “India wins, again,” this would reinforce the Indian claim that “victories” over both Baglihar and Kishenganga showed that India was playing by the rules while Pakistan just wanted to harass India on these projects.
But, as the Christian Brothers told me when I was a boy growing up in South Africa, the Lord works in mysterious ways. In this case there is no doubt that India has won the battle, but I think that it has, in fact, lost a far more important war.
What is my reasoning? The battle is about Kishenganga. The decision of the International Court of Arbitration will, indeed, mean a loss of somewhere between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of the generation capacity at Pakistan’s Neelum Jhelum project, an economic and electricity cost which Pakistan can hardly afford. But this is a one-off case — the war is about the large number of projects which India plans to build on the Chenab and Jhelum. And here it is the finding of the ICA on allowable manipulable storage which is the key issue. The Baglihar decision would appear to have provided India with a green light to build these projects with as much live storage as they chose (as long as they classified it as “for sediment flushing”). What is enormously important is that the ICA has, according to early press accounts, addressed this issue head-on and, de facto , concluded that the Baglihar finding in this regard undercut the central compromise of the Indus Waters Treaty, was wrong and should not be applied to future projects. The ICA has, apparently, specifically ruled that the design and operation of Indian hydro power projects on the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum cannot include more live storage than allowed under the IWT, even if the justification for such storage is silt management.
A final word. While it is good — in the view of this observer — that the ICA has put humpty-dumpty back together again, this is not enough. It restores the status quo ante Baglihar, but that is an uneasy and unproductive status quo. Without a change, of course, Pakistan will continue to object to every project on the Indus, Jhelum or Chenab in Indian-held Kashmir (and now, armed with the ICA conclusion on dead storage, Pakistan is likely to win). This will discourage investors from investing in these vital plants on the Indian side, and will escalate the tit-for-tat response (already patent) of India trying to impede needed international support for the construction of hydropower plants in Gilgit Baltistan, which lies on the Pakistani side of the LoC. What is needed is to use the resetting of the terms by the ICA for India and Pakistan to start out in a new direction. This should be one in which there is a search for joint benefits (such as hydropower plants built in the best possible sites, with power sold both ways, and with operating rules which benefit both parties built into the project). As a long-time student of this dynamic in the subcontinent it remains my conviction that the first step in breaking the long-standing vicious cycle must come from sustained, high-level, political leadership from India. I am confident that Pakistan would respond positively to such an overture. And I am equally sure that if this great strategic issue is left in the hands of mid-level bureaucrats, the future is likely to be more of the bad-for-both-sides past.
(John Briscoe served as Senior Water Adviser for the World Bank in New Delhi. Now at Harvard University, he was recently the lead consultant for the Water Sector Task Force of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan. The opinions in this piece are his own. The photograph is of theKishenganga hydroelectric project in north Kashmir.)
While allowing India to build the Kishenganga project, the International Court of Arbitration has de facto ruled that the Baglihar decision was wrong and should not be applied to future projects
Questions for Mr. Nilekani
The Hindu EYES WIDE SHUT: Retaining biometric efficiency of data on a large scale does not seem to have been analysed while queries on privacy have not been addressed.
The architects of the unique identification scheme are yet to provide satisfactor...
Questions for Mr. Nilekani
The Hindu EYES WIDE SHUT: Retaining biometric efficiency of data on a large scale does not seem to have been analysed while queries on privacy have not been addressed.
The architects of the unique identification scheme are yet to provide satisfactory answers to concerns about data security
The Aadhaar scheme of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is to provide India’s billion-plus people with a unique identification number. Enrolment is not mandatory, though it was mentioned that it would be difficult for people to access public services if not done. The scheme requires individuals to provide their photograph, fingerprints and iris scan along with documentary personal information for data capture by outsourced operators. It is meant to bypass the corrupt bureaucratic system and deliver government subsidies and grants to the poor, and bring them into the banking system. Sceptics argue that it is an effort to capture the funds of hundreds of millions of micro- and nano-investors who are today outside the banking system, to bring them into the credit economy.
The scheme was introduced as a pilot project in Karnataka’s Mysore district. The poor and those who survive on daily wages were not enthusiastic about enrolment, because it meant losing four or five days wages, to stand in queues, to fill up forms, to produce documents, to provide biometrics, etc., and, later, to open bank accounts. The UIDAI overcame the initial reluctance by wide advertisement of the benefits of enrolment. When this too did not achieve the target set, the local administration informed the public that PDS ration and LPG supply would not be available without the Aadhaar number. This resulted in serpentine queues right through the day at enrolment centres, at the end of which the UIDAI could claim that 95 per cent of Mysore district’s population had enrolled itself into the scheme.
Media reports indicate that commencing January 1, 2013, MGNREGA, the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana (RGAY), the Ashraya housing scheme, Bhagyalakshmi and the social security and pension scheme will be linked with Aadhaar in Mysore district. This linking, with rights like salary and pension, and important entitled benefits and services, has raised some hackles because enrolment is not mandatory.
It has led to questions on whether salary and pension rights, and benefits like PDS ration and LPG supply can be denied just because an individual does not possess a unique Aadhaar number. Today, teachers in Maharashtra and government employees in Jharkhand cannot draw their salaries. Apart from pro-poor projects like MGNREGA and RGAY, even jobs, housing, provident funds and registering a marriage now require enrolment. From being not mandatory, the “poor-inclusive” Aadhaar scheme appears to have quietly metamorphosed into becoming exclusionary and non-optional.
The UIDAI’s own Biometrics Standards Committee stated that retaining biometric efficiency for a database of more than one billion people “has not been adequately analysed” and the problem of fingerprint quality in India “has not been studied in depth.” Thus the technological basis of the project remains doubtful.
Criticism from the top
However, the severest critic of the entire scheme has been the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance (PSCF), which deliberated that the Aadhaar scheme is “full of uncertainty in technology as the complex scheme is built upon untested, unreliable technology and several assumptions.” It found Aadhaar to be “directionless” and “conceptualized with no clarity.” But the UIDAI shelters under the Prime Minister’s protective wing and continues to stonewall not only public queries and criticism, but also the unequivocal verdict of the PSCF.
Possibly even more serious is data security, and the consequent threat to privacy. The UIDAI claims that access to its database will be secure from intelligence agencies. This claim is hollow, because the Aadhaar project is contracted to receive technical support from L-1 Identity Solutions (now MorphoTrust USA), a well-known defence contractor. Contracts are also awarded to Accenture Services Pvt. Ltd., which works with the U.S. Homeland Security, and Ernst & Young to install the UIDAI’s Central ID Data Repository. It is impossible to ensure database security when technical providers are American business corporations, and U.S. law requires them to provide information demanded of them, to U.S. Homeland Security. But the UIDAI is in denial.
If biometric data and other personal information fall into the hands of unauthorised agencies, privacy is unequivocally compromised. Compromising an individual’s personal data affects only that person, but when the personal data of many millions of people is involved, there is potential for a national disaster. The fact that the UIDAI is silent on or evasive about these security concerns does not inspire confidence in the capability of the UIDAI or the Aadhaar system to maintain the right to personal privacy.
Though the Aadhaar project is “not mandatory,” enrolment by threat of exclusion from availing benefits and services, and threat of denial of rights like salary or pension makes it non-optional. This kind of deviousness is unbecoming of a democratically elected government. Coming on top of many huge scams, the present government may suffer electorally if it persists in using unethical, extra-legal coercion to impose the security-defective, technologically unproven, very expensive UID Aadhaar scheme on the public.
a person who habitually doubts the authenticity of accepted beliefs
a person who mistrusts people,ideas, etc, in general
a person who doubts the truth of religion,esp Christianity
serving as an experimental or trial undertaking prior to full-scale operation or use:a pilot project.
of,characteristic of, or resembling a serpent, as in form or movement.
Raise one's hackles:
to arouse one's anger:Such officiousness always raises my hackles.
not equivocal; unambiguous;clear; having only one possible meaning or interpretation
absolute;unqualified;not subject to conditions or exceptions
tending or seeking to evade; characterized by evasion
force or the power to use force in gaining compliance, as by a government or police force.
OP-ED article 'Questions for Mr. Nilekani' published in The Hindu, today ,seriously poses some questions for AADHAR.Author has elucidated with example how AADHAR is making some gover...
OP-ED article 'Questions for Mr. Nilekani' published in The Hindu, today ,seriously poses some questions for AADHAR.Author has elucidated with example how AADHAR is making some goverment employees NIRADHAR by making them difficult to draw salary just because they have not enrolled for AADHAR.As UID act explicitly mentioned that AADHAR is not mandatory,I think it is unconstitutional to force people to enroll for it.
@djsunny said:Why is this thread dead???Cmon lets bring this alive...lets Bell the Cats and Dogs together... \m/
As a professional sportswriter, I am sick of hearing the question over and over and over again. I find it almost nauseating. If there are tens of millions posing the question, then, over the four decades that I have spent in the profession, there have been tens of hundreds of answers, from serious commentators and sports critics down to lay persons.
Why does a nation of over 1.2 billion people end up with just a few pieces of bronze and silver every four years in the most celebrated event in sport?
Psychologists often talk of something called paralysis through analysis in life. When you think too much about something and ratchet up your anxiety levels, the performance is bound to dip. When it comes to this clichéd question, this very much seems to be true.
While, some might believe they have the right answers/solutions, we have been left in such a confused state that there is no single ‘right’ prescription for the malaise.
But if you chose to leave aside all serious analysis as to why Indian track and field athletes, swimmers, gymnasts, hockey players and other Olympic participants fail to live up to our — and sometimes their own — expectations and came around to zeroing in on a rather reductionist, and surely controversial, viewpoint, the answer might be simple.
For, this question raises its ugly head for only about two weeks every four years. The rest of the time — for three full years and eleven and a half months — we are obsessed with, worship and shamelessly pay obeisance to a sport played with any degree of seriousness by eight-and-a-half nations.
Let us, then, accept the truth. We are a one-sport nation. And even a toddler would tell you what that sport is.
So, let us forget the London Games. In a few weeks, the Indian cricket team will be playing in the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka where the conditions will suit Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys to the hilt.
Another wild parade
Let’s look forward to another wild parade through the streets of Mumbai with the boys peacocking from an open-top bus. Let’s unabashedly hail their heroics, throw fresh flowers and encomiums at them even as my fellow professionals try to pull out every adjective in their vocabulary to celebrate the great achievement.
Meanwhile, Mary Kom would probably be running from pillar to post to find a cooking gas cylinder in Manipur, Yogeshwar Dutt would be walking to the nearest tea stall in his hometown, unmolested, his stellar achievement long forgotten.
The peerless Viswanathan Anand’s fifth world chess title would be a distant memory and he would be preparing for yet another tournament that nobody cares about even as Jeev Milka Singh tees off somewhere that nobody has heard of. Birdie and eagles…well, we haven’t been to a bird sanctuary in a while; should make it a point to visit one.
That’s who we are. That is what we are. That is India. Say all you want about how mediocre Indian sportspersons — cricket is advisedly left out of the description of sport because it is no longer a sport and hasn’t been in quite a while as it is on a par with things religious — are but we simply do no care for them for the most part.
We let them down
And when the Olympics come around, we are saddened, angry and aghast that we are not able to revel in reflected glory. We are ashamed that countries with one millionth of our population pick up gold medals. These guys have done us in, we say. We believed so much in them and they have let us down.
But the truth is, it is we who let them down. For, we don’t care about them for three years and eleven-and-a-half months. We don’t care about their impecunious circumstances, their heroic struggles, their fight against-the-odds and battles with cynical, self-serving sports administrators heading often corrupt sports bodies.
Instead, we spend sleepless nights over whether Chennai Super Kings would make it to the final of the IPL or whether a mediocre also-ran cricketer really did take recreational drugs at some rave party in Mumbai; or whether Yuvraj Singh is dating the latest Miss India or some other starlet whose only claim to fame is that she was seen with a cricketing superstar on a night out.
My dear readers, let us get real. We have failed the Koms and the Yogeshwars and the rest as much as we seem to believe that many Indian athletes have failed us. They don’t owe us as much as we owe them.
We need to follow their careers, cheer them from grassroots up, care about how they are treated by the administrators, worry about how they are ignored by the big corporate giants who would readily part with $10m for a 15-second TV ad campaign featuring a Sachin Tendulkar or a Gautam Gambhir. But we don’t.
We simply don’t give a damn most of the time and then bemoan their lack of success at the Olympics once every four years.
Believe me, it is not easy being an Indian and trying to achieve world-class feats in most sports, barring cricket, with its superb infrastructure public and corporate support and unmatched financial clout.
This is not to belittle what the Gavaskars, Kapils and the Tendulkars have achieved. But, tell me this: why is nobody canvassing for a seat in the upper house for Anand, why isn’t anyone talking about a Bharat Ratna for the genius of the 64-square game?
The world chess champion is an Indian — chess, my friend, chess, where the grey matter matters more than in any other game — and that should make us prouder than any other achievement by any Indian sportsman or team.
But forget it. By the way, when is India’s first match in the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka? I bet Harbhajan will be back with a bang. What a fighter the man is!
Nothing reflects our unity in diversity — and is a greater tribute to it — than our national obsession with cricket.
Sorry Mary, we forgot about your gas cylinder and the constant problems with power failures in your little house. But that is who we are.
'To rank third in the medals table this time, beaten only by superpowers US and China, is an achievement that simply does not square with the loser-ish self-image we have spent decades cultivating.' Illustration by Simon Pembe...
The finish line is in sight. After two weeks of exertion, of triumph and dejection, of glittering victory and head-down defeat that have been the focus not just of British attention but of the gaze of the entire world, the London Olympics of 2012 will soon be over – and the reflection will begin.
In truth, the reflection has been under way from the very start, from an opening ceremony that did not serve up mere spectacle but asked its audience, particularly its British audience, to think. Danny Boyle's spectacular, so beautifully executed and ingeniously conceived it lingers in the mind even as the closing draws near, stood apart from its predecessors thanks not only to its humour and eccentricity, but also because it had something to say.
It presented 1948 as the pivot year in the history of modern Britain. That was the last time London played Olympic host, but also the year that saw the founding of the National Health Service and the arrival of the Windrush, the ship bearing the Caribbean migrants who would change the face of Britain.
Both those themes – an ethos of public service and ethnic diversity – would be amplified in the ceremony and, more importantly, in the Games themselves. But that reminder of late 1940s Britain suggests another thought, too.
For those immediate years of post-war austerity and exhaustion, still on rations as we watched our global empire unravel, birthed a national narrative that endured, with the odd interruption, for more than six decades. It is the story of decline, of Britain as a has-been nation, once glorious, now reduced to a tired marginality, bobbing around in the Atlantic stuck between Europe and a superpower United States. Somehow the story seeped into our bones, expressed in our best-loved sitcoms – with their tales of frustrated men, from Captain Mainwaring to David Brent, made ridiculous by delusions of grandeur – and by a brand of newspaper whose unspoken daily message is that the country is going to the dogs.
Then along came London 2012 to change the script. Despite all the familiar fears of failure – of traffic snarl-ups, botched security arrangements and dreadful weather – we have surprised ourselves by staging a global event of infinite complexity with near-perfect success. The new venues, including an architecturally gorgeous velodrome and stadium, were built ahead of time and have worked flawlessly. The locations that were not new but old places put to new use – whetherbeach volleyball in Horse Guards or showjumping in Greenwich – showed the capital in a fresh and telegenic light, the London of a Richard Curtis movie. Not only have the athletes and bigwigs travelled to and fro without a hitch, so has everyone else. Spectators – once, admittedly, they had negotiated an online ticketing system apparently designed to induce collective rage – have filled late-night trains, sleepy with awe and delight at what they have seen. London did not fail or struggle. Instead the sun shone and the city hosted an Olympic Games of wonder.
But if the backroom organisers showed that Britain could still excel, the country's athletes delivered an excess of proof. Team GB did better than at any Games since the first hosted by London in 1908 – back when the judges and umpires were all Brits and plenty of the sports were only played by us anyway. To rank third in the medals table this time, beaten only by superpowers US and China, is an achievement that simply does not square with the loser-ish self-image we have spent decades cultivating.
The effect, of both these organisational and sporting triumphs, was a national good mood so unaccustomed in many it prompted suspicion and unease. Some wondered if all this patriotism was healthy for our collective soul. But most grew hoarse, cheering at the TV for the man or woman in the now-familiar all-blue union colours to row or pedal or run just a bit faster.
And so perhaps historians might record this strange, heady fortnight as the moment when we finally laid to rest a national myth that had dogged us so long, concluding a narrative that began with one London Olympiad and ended in another: the age of decline, 1948-2012.
Here too the opening ceremony set the tone, suggesting that we should love the country we have become – informal, mixed, quirky – rather than the one we used to be. That both it and the Games have enjoyed such a consensus of support is a surprise, because all of this is much more contentious than it appears. To see that, look no further than the clear losers of London 2012.
Atop that uncelebrated podium stands reactionary Britain. Its face belongs to Aidan Burley, the Conservative MP who tweeted his fury at the "multicultural crap" he saw in Boyle's extravaganza, but behind him are all those who nodded at the Daily Mail's denunciation of the "plastic Brits" swelling Team GB's ranks. The Burleyites took a thorough beating at these Games, watching as not just Guardian-types but the nation exalted in the success of a team as diverse as any British city. On that golden Saturday night, when Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah won and won and won, Twitter was cracking a joke that turned on how much we had changed: "A ginger, a mixed-race woman and a one-time Somali refugee walk into a pub – and everyone buys them a drink."
There will be others who need to alter their message after these Games. BBC bashers, emboldened after the jubilee pageant debacle, will surely hold their tongues for a while, after the corporation served up the kind of consistency, quality and quantity that perhaps only a publicly funded broadcaster is capable of. Andrew Lansley has had his warning, via Boyle, about the NHS: it is treasured not just as a valued service but as a core part of Britain's national identity. And Alex Salmond cannot easily claim the union has lost its emotional pull, not after he's seen the ease with which so many Britons, including Scots, draped themselves in its once terminally unfashionable colours.
Of course it cannot last, not at this pitch at any rate. Already, like the holidaymakers who know they are due to fly home in a couple of days, the sense, even the dread, of a return to normality is looming. False dawns are frequent, in sport especially. Witness the victorious French football team of 1998 that was meant to hail a new, racially inclusive future for that country: it didn't quite work out that way. As today'sGuardian/ICM poll shows, most Britons are not going to let the Olympics shift their views on immigration: those Somali-born asylum seekers unblessed by Mo Farah's gifts will not be applauded as they walk into the pub. Our problems haven't gone away just because the news bulletins have barely mentioned them for two weeks. While we were studying the medals table, new figures showed the economy flatlining. We still live in the age of austerity, facing unpalatable cuts, governed by institutions many of which we no longer trust. Even the immediate weather forecast is unsettled.
But that does not mean we have to cast aside what we just lived through. For we got a glimpse of another kind of Britain. A place which succeeds brilliantly, not least by drawing equally on all its talents, black and white, male and female. A place where money and profit are not the only values, exemplified by the 70,000 volunteers who made the Games workand showed the world a smiling face while they were at it. A place that reveres not achievement-free celebrity, but astonishing skill, granite determination and good grace, the land not of TOWIE but of Bradley Wiggins, Nicola Adams and Laura Trott. A place where patriotism is heartfelt, but of the soft and civic rather than naked and aggressive variety; a place that welcomes visitors from abroad and cheers louder for the Turkish woman who came last in a 3,000m steeplechase heat than it did for the winner.
This is the Britain we let ourselves see these past two weeks. It will slip from view as time passes, but we are not condemned to forget it. We don't have to be like the long-ago poet who once wrote: "Did you exist? Or did I dream a dream?"
Global higher education must recommit to traditional academic values to root out corruption within
A spectre of corruption is haunting the global campaign toward higher education internationalisation. An overseas degree is increasingly valuable, so it is not surprising that commercial ventures have found opportunities on the internationalisation landscape. New private actors have entered the sector, with the sole goal of making money. Some of them are less than honourable. Some universities look at internationalisation as a contribution to the financial “bottom line,” in an era of financial cutbacks. The rapidly expanding private higher education sector globally is largely for-profit. In a few cases, such as Australia and increasingly the United Kingdom, national policies concerning higher education internationalisation tilt toward earning income for the system.
Countries whose academic systems suffer from elements of corruption are increasingly involved in international higher education — sending large numbers of students abroad, establishing relationships with overseas universities, and other activities. Corruption is not limited to countries that may have a reputation for less than fully circumspect academic practices, but that problem occurs globally. Several scandals have recently been widely reported in the United States, including the private unaccredited “Tri-Valley University,” a sham institution that admitted and collected tuition from foreign students. That institution did not require them to attend class, but rather funnelled them into the labour market, under the noses of U.S. immigration authorities. In addition, several public universities have been caught admitting students, with substandard academic qualifications. Quality-assurance agencies in the U.K. have uncovered problems with “franchised” British-degree programmes, and similar scandals have occurred in Australia. A prominent example is the University of Wales, which was the second-largest university in the U.K., with 70,000 students enrolled in 130 colleges around the world. It had to close its highly profitable degree validation programme, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of institutional revenue.
With international higher education now a multibillion dollar industry around the world, individuals, countries, and institutions depending on income, prestige, and access — it is not surprising that corruption is a growing problem. If something is not done to ensure probity in international relationships in higher education, an entire structure — built on trust, a commitment to mutual understanding, and benefits for students and researchers — a commitment built informally over decades will collapse. There are signs that it is already in deep trouble.
A serious and unsolved problem is the prevalence of unscrupulous agents and recruiters funnelling unqualified students to universities worldwide. A recent example was featured in Britain’s Daily Telegraph (June 26, 2012) of an agent in China caught on video, offering to write admission essays and to present other questionable help in admission to prominent British universities. No one knows the extent of the problem, although consistent news reports indicate that it is widespread, particularly in countries that send large numbers of students abroad, including China and India. Without question, agents now receive millions of dollars in commissions paid by the universities and, in some egregious cases, money from the clients as well. In Nottingham’s case the percentage of students recruited through agents has increased from 19 per cent of the intake in 2005 to 25 per cent in 2011, with more than £1 million going to the agents.
Altered and fake documents have long been a problem in international admissions. Computer design and technology exacerbate it. Fraudulent documents have become a minor industry in some parts of the world, and many universities are reluctant to accept documents from institutions that have been tainted with incidents of counterfeit records. For example, a number of American universities no longer accept applications from some Russian students — because of widespread perceptions of fraud, document tampering, and other problems. Document fraud gained momentum due to commission-based agents who have an incentive to ensure that students are “packaged” with impressive credentials, as their commissions depend on successful student placement. Those responsible for checking the accuracy of transcripts, recommendations, and degree certificates face an increasingly difficult task. Students who submit valid documentation are placed at a disadvantage since they are subjected to extra scrutiny.
Examples of tampering with and falsifying results of the Graduate Record Examination and other commonly required international examinations used for admissions have resulted in the nullifying of scores, and even cancelling examinations in some countries and regions, as well as rethinking whether online testing is practical. This situation has made it more difficult for students to apply to foreign universities and has made the task of evaluating students for admission more difficult.
Several countries, including Russia and India, have announced that they will be using the Times Higher Education and Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai rankings), as a way of determining the legitimacy of foreign universities for recognising foreign degrees, determining eligibility for academic collaborations, and other aspects of international higher education relations. This is unfortunate, since many excellent academic institutions are not included in these rankings, which mostly measure research productivity. No doubt, Russia and India are concerned about the quality of foreign partners and find the rankings convenient.
Several “host” countries have tightened up rules and oversight of cross-border student flows in response to irregularities and corruption. The U.S. Department of State announced in June 2012 that visa applicants from India would be subjected to additional scrutiny as a response to the “Tri-Valley scandal.” Earlier both Australia and Britain changed rules and policy. Corruption is making internationalisation more difficult for the entire higher education sector. It is perhaps significant that continental Europe seems to have been less affected by shady practices — perhaps in part because international higher education is less commercialised and profit driven.
The Internet has become the “Wild West” of academic misrepresentation and chicanery. It is easy to set up an impressive Web site and exaggerate the quality or lie about an institution. Some institutions claim accreditation that does not exist. There are even “accreditation mills” to accredit universities that pay a fee. A few include pictures of impressive campuses that are simply photo-shopped from other universities.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
With international higher education now big business and with commercial gain an ever-increasing motivation for international initiatives, the problems mentioned are likely to persist. However, a range of initiatives can ameliorate the situation. The higher education community can recommit to the traditional “public good” values of internationalisation, although current funding challenges may make this difficult in some countries. The International Association of Universities’ recent report, “Affirming Academic Values in Internationalization of Higher Education,” is a good start. The essential values of the European Union’s Bologna Initiatives are also consistent with the best values of internationalisation. The University of Nottingham, mentioned earlier, provides transparency concerning its use of agents, supervises those it hires, and in general adheres to best practice — as do some other universities in the U.K. and elsewhere.
Accreditation and quality assurance are essential for ensuring that basic quality is recognised. Agencies and the international higher education community must ensure that universities were carefully evaluated and that the results of assessment are easily available to the public and the international stakeholders.
Governmental, regional, and international agencies must coordinate their efforts and become involved in maintaining standards and protecting the image of the higher education sector. Contradictions abound. For example, the U.S. Department of State’s Education USA seeks to protect the sector, while the Department of Commerce sees higher education just as an export commodity. Government agencies in the U.K. and Australia seem also to be mainly pursuing commercial interests.
Consciousness-raising about ethics and good practice in international higher education and awareness of emerging problems and continuing challenges deserve continuing attention. Prospective students and their families, institutional partners considering exchanges and research, and other stakeholders must be more sophisticated and vigilant concerning decision-making. The Boston College Center for International Higher Education’s Corruption Monitor is the only clearinghouse for information, relating directly to corrupt practices; additional sources of information and analysis will be helpful.
The first step in solving a major challenge to higher education internationalisation is recognition of the problem itself. The higher education community itself is by no means united; and growing commercialisation makes some people reluctant to act in ways that may threaten profits. There are individuals within the academic community who lobby aggressively to legitimise dubious practices. Yet, if nothing is done, the higher education sector worldwide will suffer and the impressive strides taken toward internationalisation will be threatened.
India should throw its weight behind the aspirations of the Palestinians and stop subsidising the OccupationThe Arab Spring changed the political topography of the Middle East. Stalwart regimes of the old order gave way to democratically elected governments. Sinc...
India should throw its weight behind the aspirations of the Palestinians and stop subsidising the Occupation
The Arab Spring changed the political topography of the Middle East. Stalwart regimes of the old order gave way to democratically elected governments. Since 1979, these old regimes have provided an element of “stability” that favoured the aims of the United States and its local subsidiary, Israel. Despite the deprivation and the prisons for the populations of the region, oil continued to flow and Israel remained unthreatened. Indeed, an annual subsidy from the U.S. exchequer to the Egyptian army provided the monetary gesture for Egypt to uphold its peace agreement with Israel. Absent a threat from Egypt, the Israeli armed forces enjoyed an asymmetrical military advantage over Lebanon (with invasions by Israel in 1982, 1996, and 2006) and over the Palestinian lands (with a sustained occupation of its rump territories since 1967).
No such decisive advantage remains, since a popularly controlled Egyptian army of the near future might not allow Israel such carte blanche. On July 25, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak signalled the shift with a call for confrontation with Iran, “The events of the Arab Spring, which have gradually evolved into an Islamic summer, show that at the ultimate hour of decision we can rely at the moment of truth on ourselves alone.” The old pillars have fallen. The U.S. may no longer be able to bribe Israel’s neighbours to uphold a one-sided peace. Israel seeks new allegiances, including from far-off India.
In the U.S., another Spring blossomed several years ago. After the 1967 Arab-Israel War, a section of the Jewish American population offered its unadulterated support to Israel. This bloc provided the mass base for Washington’s Israel Lobby, which put pressure on the government to back Israel regardless of its occupation of the Palestinian lands. Peter Beinart’s The Crisis of Zionism (2012) shows that a new generation of Jewish Americans refuses to give Israel such an unquestioned commitment. A survey sponsored by the old guard found that young Jews want an “open and frank” discussion of Israel’s policies, that “young Jews desperately want peace” and that “some empathise with the plight of the Palestinians.” They now see that the road to peace does not travel through the West Bank Wall, neither via Israel’s violation of the 4th Geneva Convention with the settlement activity.
The shift in attitudes came alongside the coming of age of a young Arab American population, soured by the racism that followed 9/11 and the wars in the Arab lands. It had an ear for the developments in Occupied Palestine, where the Israeli armed forces had ratcheted up the violence from 2000. A conference at Berkeley in 2001 repeated the Palestinian call for “boycott-divestment-sanctions” against Israel. As Omar Barghouti, one of the Palestinian leaders of this movement, noted, it was time to “besiege Israel’s siege.” The BDS campaign flourishes, growing out of the enclaves of the Left into the mainstream. It has begun to pressure U.S. lawmakers on an issue that was seen as settled, namely their loyal support for Israeli policy.
India’s historical support to the Palestinian cause was dampened in the 1990s when the government sought a new equation with Israel as part of the general pro-U.S. foreign policy tilt. Under the BJP-led government (1998-2004), relations between Israel and India hardened, with intelligence cooperation and arms sales as the cement. By 2006, India registered a record purchase of $1.6 billion of defence equipment from Israel. The head of Israel’s Foreign Defense Assistance and Defense Export Department Major General Yossin Ben-Hanan told the Economic Times in 2007 that India was Israel’s biggest customer. Over the course of the past five years, India continued to buy Israeli equipment, although both governments are chary about releasing data.
Israel’s flagging economy has been buoyed by its arms sales sector. The government-owned Israeli Arms Industry (IAI), the Israel Military Industries and the Rafael Arms Development Authority anchor Israel’s 150 defence firms, which collectively employ 60,000 people and earn revenues over $4 billion. India has been buying missile systems, radars and early warning systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and field guns from Israel. On March 8, 2012, the Indian Ministry of Defence banned the Israel Military Industries for 10 years over a 2009 bribery scandal, where Israeli bribes opened doors at the Ordnance Factory Board of India. Selling arms is central to the Israeli economy, and selling arms to India has become essential at any cost.
A new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute shows that India remains the world’s largest importer of weaponry. It estimates that over the next 15 years, India will spend $149 billion to buy arms. The U.S. remains the largest arms dealer. The projected increases in India’s arms buying have set in motion frenzy in Israel’s arms sector.
As India increases its purchases from Israel, it underwrites Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian lands. The volume of India’s imports helps Israel’s government-owned arms industry more cheaply manufacture weaponry that is essential for the Israeli army as it smothers Palestinian dreams of freedom in the moth-eaten Palestinian territories.
At the fourth BRICS summit in March 2012, its Delhi Declaration publicly entered the fray regarding Middle East peace. It called upon the countries of the region and the U.S. and Europeans to move toward a settlement of the conflict based on “the universally recognised international legal framework including the relevant U.N. resolutions, the Madrid principles and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
India is torn between the Israeli-U.S. game plan for the Middle East and the BRICS potential. It is, on the one side, trying to distance itself from Iran, building up new alliances with Saudi Arabia and increasing its arms and intelligence links with Israel. India has backed the U.S. policy to isolate Iran, with Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao indicating that India is to adhere to its path of cutting off oil imports from Iran. As the Israelis and the U.S. move to war with Iran, the Indian public response has been anaemic, notwithstanding the six million Indian nationals who reside in the region (and the untold suffering to Iranians in the event of a war on that country). Seventy per cent of Indian oil comes out of the Straits of Hormuz, and any war on Iran would be cataclysmic for India and for the Global South’s potential to weather the turbulence of the global recession. India has also intimated an affinity with the West’s orientation toward the dangerous situation in Syria.
On the other hand, India tried to work with the BRICS agenda on Libya (it abstained on the U.N. Security Council resolution 1973, authorising force against Qadhafi’s regime). India proposed a U.N. draft resolution on February 18, 2011 that called the Israeli settlements in the occupied lands “illegal” (the first resolution vetoed by the Obama administration). India also participated in the lead-up to the diplomatic conference in Ramallah (West Bank) on illegal settlement activity. On August 5, 2012, the Israeli government refused to allow the delegations from Algeria, Bangladesh, Cuba, Indonesia and Malaysia to enter Ramallah for this conference. As a consequence, India and the other Non-Aligned Movement members boycotted the conference. Hanan Ashrawi, on the executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, said in response: “Israel is trying to not just lay a physical siege but also a political siege. We need to be able to move, to breathe, to act as a member of the community of nations. We cannot constantly be under the boot.” The issue of settlements returns to the U.N. in November.
India’s is a hard dance to sustain. It, however, makes sense given the national interests of the ruling sections in India. Their global ambitions move them in the direction of the U.S. and Israel, but the values of the freedom movement and of the non-aligned period of Indian foreign policy, not to mention the question of Indian national interests, pull in another direction. There is no easy arithmetic in the world of international relations, which is precisely why it is necessary for India to stay clear of the binding association with the ossified policy agenda on the Middle East of the U.S.-Israel. As the document Nonalignment 2.0 put it, India should avoid the “escalating rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia,” with the latter aligned with the U.S. and Israel.
India needs to join the new spirit of the Arab lands and throw its considerable weight once more behind the aspirations of the Palestinians. That India subsidises the Occupation is morally indefensible. It is imperative that more pressure be brought on the government to reconsider its web of arms purchases and intelligence agreements with Israel. The largest democracy in the world is ill-advised to stand on the side of colonialism.
(Vijay Prashad is the author of Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (New Delhi: LeftWord Books, 2012) and is on the advisory board of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Prabir Purkayastha is with the Delhi Science Forum and the Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.)
The author's views are anti colonialism but I believe he fails to back it up with more vigor. The Holocaust cannot be forgotten when it comes to discussing about the Jews. I completely sympathize with the Palestinians. The land dispute is another example of the lack of administration o the part of the British. A fair division of the land could have abstained the sufferings for millions of people in the region. I appreciate the author's stance but it could have been more convincing.
An uproar over FDI in multi-brand retail trading (MBRT) can be expected in the monsoon session of Parliament.
On the one hand, the Union Government appears determined to notify its Cabinet decision of November 29, 2011, allowing 51 per cent FDI in MBRT. On the...
FDI in retail will benefit all
Make no mistake about it. The decision of the Anna Hazare team to abjure the path of extra-political agitation against corruption and to fight the scourge by using the electoral system is certain to sound the death knell of the anti-corruption campaign in this country.Brie...
A wrong turn by Anna
Make no mistake about it. The decision of the Anna Hazare team to abjure the path of extra-political agitation against corruption and to fight the scourge by using the electoral system is certain to sound the death knell of the anti-corruption campaign in this country.
Briefly, corruption — basically meaning giving money-power the means to effect public decisions — has become endemic in Indian society, the implication being that nothing short of a shock treatment will be able to check the menace.
It follows from this that fighting the ailment from within the system is fraught with serious disadvantages.
Indeed, one may not be wrong to suggest that, with Team Anna’s decision to opt for the political path, the struggle has already ended, so to speak.
To some this may appear to be a defeatist point of view, the brunt of the argument being that it will be unfair to write off the campaign even before it is given a chance to prove itself.
WORKING WITH DISHONESTY
Point taken, but what is the use of giving the new approach an opportunity to prove itself when it has been proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the political process in the Indian republic has been toothless in the fight against corruption in public life. There is no political party — national or regional — which has not made reduction of corruption an important plank in its manifesto.
And yet, over the years, no progress whatsoever has been made in the direction. The question to ask is, why has this been so?
D. Raja, the CPI leader, has been quoted as having said that “denigrating all politicians and abusing all parties does not help. Now Team Anna will realise that law-making is a complex process.”
The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ambika Soni, has declared that the team “will realise what are compulsions, what are responsibilities. Particularly, working with honesty is not easy.”
Such statements point to the fact that there are built-in restrictions which politicians have to face when they are targeting corruption, the inference being that, perforce they are forced to go slow and adopt a step-by-step approach.
But then, the gradualist approach has brought no good results for the country over the past decades. Secondly, as stated earlier, the need of the hour is to follow the shock-treatment route in the fight against corruption, which politics in India — rooted in the practice of gradualism — just will not deliver.
One must remember that whatever has happened to the Lokpal movement till now has been the result of the “mass” agitation begun by Anna Hazare and his team, which was nothing if not shock treatment.
That the impact of the movement has waned substantially in recent times cannot be denied, but does it mean that whatever little has been achieved by Hazare and his supporters will not stand the country in good stead in the years to come?
Essentially, the decision by Hazare to follow the political path is being welcomed by the political class because it reduces the pressure on them to react “now” to a campaign which, incidentally, good and honest politicians support in their heart of hearts but which none of them can push beyond well-defined limits.
Every politician must of necessity be enmeshed in wheeling and dealing, balancing contrary interests so that he or she can survive, which in reality is a form of corruption itself.
Thus, one cannot but wish the political experiment of Team Anna all success, but the nagging thought is that it is doomed to failure.
In a feeble attempt to avoid any kind of association with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Samajwadi Party is insisting it has nothing to do with Shahid Siddiqui, who interviewed the BJP leader for his Urdu newspaper Nai Duniya. The SP's desire to distance itsel...
Too clever by half
In a feeble attempt to avoid any kind of association with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Samajwadi Party is insisting it has nothing to do with Shahid Siddiqui, who interviewed the BJP leader for his Urdu newspaper Nai Duniya. The SP’s desire to distance itself from Mr. Modi, on whose watch the 2002 pogrom against Muslims in Gujarat took place, is understandable, but not its effort to disown Mr. Siddiqui, who rejoined the party in January 2012. In appearing to castigate an editor for running an interview, the SP is betraying not just intolerance but a certain insecurity about its own support base. The Backward Classes and Muslims have long been the backbone of the SP vote bank in Uttar Pradesh. In the interview, Mr. Modi, who refused to apologise for the 2002 riots, said he should be “hanged in public” to serve as a lesson for others if his government had a role in the violence. The Gujarat CM’s remarks in the Urdu daily were targeted at a Muslim readership, and the SP may be worried by the political consequences of the interview. However, distancing itself from Mr. Siddiqui in this reflexive manner does the SP no credit. Muslim voters have stayed with the party despite the alignments it has forged in the past with saffron stalwarts like Kalyan Singh and Sakshi Maharaj. Mr. Modi of course would be a bridge too far, but one interview by Mr. Siddiqui in which the Gujarat Chief Minister does not exactly emerge in flying colours is hardly likely to alienate the SP’s canny support base.The political immaturity of the SP, however, should not detract from Mr. Modi’s studied refusal to show remorse for the riots, and his deviousness in displaying an air of injured innocence. Leaving aside the question of his role in orchestrating the riots — the courts have yet to take a final call on this — it is very convenient for him to say “hang-me-if-I-am-guilty” when he has done scant little as Chief Minister to ensure speedy justice to the Muslim victims of the 2002 killings. Indeed, without the intervention of the Supreme Court, all of the major riot cases would have ended in acquittals. Clearly, Mr. Modi is attempting an image makeover. But words floating in the air without any organic link to actions can only have a limited, temporary impact. Nothing that he says is going to change his unacceptability as a prime ministerial candidate for the BJP’s allies in the National Democratic Alliance. Mr. Siddiqui’s political career has been a chequered one and is unlikely to suffer permanent damage as a result of this latest controversy. Mr. Modi, on the other hand, believes his star is in the ascendant. If only he knew that all the perfumed interviews of Arabia will not sweeten his political hand
As many as eight States in North India suffered their worst power outage in a decade when the electricity grid collapsed in the early hours of Monday. Though essential services were put back on stream in a few hours, it took more than half a day for the authorities to fu...
Delhi is powerless
As many as eight States in North India suffered their worst power outage in a decade when the electricity grid collapsed in the early hours of Monday. Though essential services were put back on stream in a few hours, it took more than half a day for the authorities to fully restore supply to Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chandigarh. Worse, the northern grid, along with the grids of the east and the northeast, buckled again on Tuesday. Like other parts of the world, India has experienced major power outages before. But unlike elsewhere, where grid collapses are usually caused by freakish acts of nature, the latest darkness at noon in India is the result of poor long-term planning and abysmal lack of grid discipline. Several reasons have been attributed for the sudden collapse, but the most likely seems to be the perennial problem of overdrawing by one or more States. On Monday, the authorities had to requisition power from Bhutan, and draw from the western and eastern grids to maintain essential supplies in Delhi for instance. That it should have failed for the second consecutive day is shameful.
A three-member panel has been set up to get to the bottom of this mess and will report back in two weeks. But the broad reason for the breakdown is not a mystery. The Power Grid Corporation has consistently been complaining about the lack of discipline among States in the northern grid. However, beyond the immediate mechanics of getting States to share the electricity shortfall during peak times lie two problems that can only be solved in the medium to long-term. States have to do a lot more to augment their baseload generating capacity. Some 10,000-20,000 MW of nuclear power may become available by 2020 but conventional thermal will have to bridge the gap in the near-term. At the same time, we need to augment our peak-load generation â€“ the lack of which, at this time of reduced rainfall, contributed to the latest grid collapse. This means accelerating the commissioning of gas-fired thermal stations and ensuring adequate supply of gas, as well as giving a big push to nonconventional energy sources. State governments need to understand that they should either find the funds to invest in power generation, or make it worthwhile for the private sector to set up new plants that can feed into the grid in order to cope with rising demand. Unfortunately, most of the power-deficit States have been delinquent in expanding their generating capacity and in cutting down transmission and distribution losses. These are long-term issues that India ignores at its peril.
One can't point out Anna Hazare for the Lokpal Bill being sent to the cold storag. It is the government and the congress party responsible for not implementing the lokpal . It is a good move by Anna Hazare and team wanting to beco...
it shows how mills laid a good platform for ghana and with the opportunities it has ,in the coming future there is lot of pressure on the new president to utilise them efficiently
Growth or Price Stability?
This has been a question at the fore for some time. With the SLR cut, RBI has done two things. It has induced more liquidity into the market to reign in inflation and through that has indicated ...
it clearly shows how modi wants...
it clearly shows how modi wants to make an image over by saying statements like " hang me if iam guilty"...he was clearly involved in 2002 killings.nothing is going to change his unaccessibility to prime ministerial candidate for BJP and nothing will affect siddique's political career.,,,,things would remain the same ...guys iam wrong anywhere tell me ...:) pour in ur views ..http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/article3700209.ece
The killing of 200 people in the village of Tremseh has confirmed the depth of the Syrian crisis and the dangers it poses for the region; it has also exposed major problems for international institutions. In Tremseh, one of the bloodiest episodes since the uprising started in ...
The killing of 200 people in the village of Tremseh has confirmed the depth of the Syrian crisis and the dangers it poses for the region; it has also exposed major problems for international institutions. In Tremseh, one of the bloodiest episodes since the uprising started in 2011 occurred on July 12 when, according to United Nations observers, heavily armed government forces targeted rebels and defectors. A week later, a suicide bomber killed defence minister Daoud Rajha, his deputy Assef Shawkat, who was also President Bashar al-Assadâ€™s brother-in-law, and former defence minister Hassan Turkomani; a fourth victim, national security chief Hisham Ikhtiar, died later from his injuries. That the attack took place at the National Security Bureau in Damascus is a huge blow to the Baâ€™ath regime. Fighting continues in Damascus, and thousands of civilians have already tried to take shelter in a Palestinian refugee camp at Yarmouk, a southern district of the city. In a further key development, Russia and China have for the third time vetoed a Syria-related U.N. Security Council resolution, with Russia rejecting sanctions and military intervention; Moscow also accuses the western powers of blackmailing it with threats to block the renewal of the U.N. Supervision Mission unless it collaborates over Syria.
The violence there, which has claimed 17,000 lives so far, is itself terrible, but the inability of the international community to reach any kind of agreement means the crisis will almost certainly escalate even further. That Mr. Assad is in deepening trouble is not in doubt. Senior-level defections from his regime are becoming more frequent, and the rebels now hold five border crossings, four to Iraq and one to Turkey. Nevertheless the prospects for post-Assad stability do not look bright. The United States, in the person of its U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, says it will work outside the Security Council to put pressure on the regime; this is ominously reminiscent of the prelude to the illegal Iraq invasion in 2003. Second, there is increasing evidence of tension among the rebels resulting from the increasing involvement of extreme Islamists sponsored by West Asian Sunni-majority states, which have also provided sophisticated weapons of western manufacture. None of the external players is showing any motivation beyond self-interest. If Russia and China are concerned about the fate of the Assad regime, the U.S. and its allies are not willing to draft a balanced resolution that pushes regime opponents towards talks. Unless the big powers give up their games, Syrian civilians will continue dying by the thousand.
Often enough in much of Assam, all that it takes to set alight the sub-surface nodes of volatility is a mere spark. Now, an ethnic-communal spectre looms over the western parts of the State once again. Confronting each other are violent elements among the Bodos and Muslims. Gang...
Often enough in much of Assam, all that it takes to set alight the sub-surface nodes of volatility is a mere spark. Now, an ethnic-communal spectre looms over the western parts of the State once again. Confronting each other are violent elements among the Bodos and Muslims. Gang violence that started in Kokrajhar spread to more districts including Chirang, Dhubri and Bongaigaon, claiming some 40 lives. The rioting and torching has triggered an exodus. Over 1,70,000 people belonging to both the affected communities, as well as others, in the four districts have taken shelter in relief camps. The trigger was the firing on two student leaders of the All Bodoland Minority Students’ Union and the All Assam Minority Students’ Union in Kokrajhar. Thereupon, four former Bodo Liberation Tigers cadres were killed; that led to further attacks and counter-attacks. With the Bodos’ nationalistic assertion forming the historical backdrop to the tensions, aggressive elements from the two communities have clashed sporadically. The confrontation has been labelled ‘ethnic,’ but economic and even educational anxieties are as much at work as the desire to preserve socio-cultural and ethnic identities. Insecurities relating to land, forest rights and a shrinking job market have created a combustible mix.
The immediate task is to contain the violence and tackle the serious humanitarian crisis. Those who have had to abandon home and hearth should be enabled to return. Transport links with the rest of the country need to be restored; thousands of passengers remain stranded in railway and bus stations. Talks between the adversary organisations should be quickly facilitated. The administration failed to react quickly after the first signs of trouble on July 19. Considering that there was a build-up of tensions over the past few months, vulnerable areas ought to have been identified and adequate forces deployed. It has been pointed out that in many of the places overrun by violence, the security forces were not visible at all. The deployment of the Army seems to have come too late in the day. The mapping of stress-spots on the basis of adequate intelligence inputs should be a priority at least from now. The long-term goal, obviously, is to re-envision Assam as a place where ascriptive identities do not disrupt civic relationships. The state needs to keep working on achieving the right balance of development activity. The key to this will be restoration of mutual trust. This should be based primarily on systematic measures to address fears over loss of ownership and right to land, and concerns over denial of access to resources, development, and means of livelihood.
Excerpts from Business Line Hindu dated 27-July-12Graft fighters should avoid Goebbelsian trap-By BS RagahavanI am getting to be sick and tired ofthe camps of Anna Hazare, BabaRamdev and Subramanian Swamyfouling up every bit of space in thepublic domain with all manner ofwild charges against all manner ofpublic figures. They seem to be walkingstraight into the Goebbelsian trap.What is meaning of Goebbelsian trap?
Graft fighters should avoid Goebbelsian trap-By BS Ragahavan
I am getting to be sick and tired ofthe camps of Anna Hazare, BabaRamdev and Subramanian Swamyfouling up every bit of space in thepublic domain with all manner ofwild charges agai...
Here's the link..
Can refer this.
P.S - I want to b dedicated to one thread instead of referring to so many alike threads.
@asa said:www.thehindu.com/opinion/edito... Above is link of editorial page from the Hindu pls explain me meaning of last line. "The presumption that all human beings are potentially suspect is tantamount to governance by a doctrine of Original Sin. "
Expln. of Last Sentence : It wants to convey the idea that all human beings have a tendency to do the wrong thing, it equates(tantamount) the idea of Police/Govt. suspicion towards the commoners to the christian idea of Original Sin.
More on Original Sin http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/beliefs/originalsin_1.shtml
the communications data bill according to the author is based on the presumption that all the british citizens are suspects.this is quite near to the doctrine of original sin which says that since adam committed the original sin so all his descendants are too stained with it and are equally likely to faulter.