Posts filed under 'India'

Weekly round up of news and blogs

by Sunny, on 29th January, 2006

Should Indian (i.e. Bangladeshi) restaurants be employing Eastern Europeans to fulfil labour shortages? Too much cultural difference or are they just being racist?. Either way, restaurants are increasingly facing big labour shortages. [via Frank Jordans]

This week’s New Statesman has a cover story on India with accompany articles, so make sure you check it out. Commentary by William Dalrymple, Pankaj Mishra, Edward Luce, Ziauddin Sardar, Basharat Peer, Amit Chaudhuri and others [via Jay Singh].

Prospect magazine last week also featured a cover piece on India, focusing instead on why western philosophy remains so sealed off from eastern thinking and philosophy. A bit of intellectual snobbery perhaps?

Taking recent examples such as Kate Moss’ cocaine addiction and more recently attacks by the Murdoch press on Lib Dems, blogger Curious Hamster writes a brilliant piece on how the media has recently dealt with issues and agendas very selectively.

National Nitwit has written a satirical piece on Hamas naming a Minister for Car Bombs.

Baraka writes on delicious desi aunties (it’s a clean piece dammit), and laments the move towards a westernised ideal of skinny women.

Simon Barrow is keeping readers updated on developments and vigils for the four Christian peacemakers abducted in Iraq.

Bloggers in the middle east meanwhile are keenly watching an Israeli-Iranian summit. Hoder, an Iranian blogger based in Canada, has just landed in Israel to meet Lisa.

That’s it this week, Tim Worstall has his weekly britblog roundup, and keep sending in those links!

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Houston, we have a problem with Iran

by Sunny, on 26th January, 2006

While there is constant rhetoric over what to do about the “Iranian problem”, behind the scenes intense negotiations are taking place.

Russia and China (more so) are the main obstacles to America’s hopes of referring Iran to the UN Security Council and getting it to withdraw from its nuclear energy programme. While Russia has signalled a movement towards the US point of view, China has dithered.

Today it openly stated its opposition to sanctions, putting a spanner in the works for the US. Behind the scenes China and Iran are frantically talking, with the latter now signalling it may end up enriching its uranium in Russia.

That means the security threat is slightly less as Russia will continue to hold the technology in enriching uranium, making it all the more difficult for Iran to develop nukes, if it desired, without outside knowledge.

India is very much part of the equation since it needs energy from Iran (as with China) and has fairly good relations with it. The US recently agreed to share nuclear technology with India on the implicit assumption it could buy support on the Iran issue, and stated as much yesterday.

What they did not count on was Indian pride. Today, the US ambassador was summoned to Delhi and told that his comments were “inappropriate and not conducive” to US-India relations. Hah! Meanwhile, what is Iran saying? Errr… it just wants direct flights to the US for its citizens. Look, I see a pig flying!

Technorati tags: Russia, China, Iran, India

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Lads magazines ‘come’ to India

by Sunny, on 25th January, 2006

It promises Indian men “100 things you never knew about women”, and its sold 80,000 copies in ten days. I never knew Priyanka Chopra was that hot there. Anyway, the lads magazines have started arriving in India and no doubt a silly conversation will ensue about the growing degradation of culture.

“Where are the VHP protesters burning copies in the streets?” asks Maxim editor Sunil Mehra of the BBC. That’s a point. Where is the bloody moral police? Or maybe they’ll come when Playboy does.
I would have preferred Mallika Sherawat to be honest.

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Are the women to blame?

by Sunny, on 19th January, 2006

Ten days ago Rohin wrote about India’s 10 million missing girls, a result of India’s problem with female infanticide and foeticide. Talk of educating them is not enough, as the stats pointed out, because the problem was most prevalent amongst India’s relatively wealthy states and a problem with the global Indian diaspora. Who were the women in the pictures protesting against? Themselves maybe?

Shravan from Lucknow had an interesting take on the issue, saying:

I do not even believe that female foeticide is a problem. I believe that it is just a symptom. A symptom of a deeper mindset. A symptom of Dowry. A symptom of under-development to an extent that a child means two hands, and not one good brain. A symptom of the fact that the women always leaves home after marriage and goes to her husbands.
So what could be a way forward? As Rohin also pointed out, the problem is that the women themselves have persuaded themselves that they are less important and should follow the whims of the men. Shravan himself suggests:
Therefore, dear lady-with-the-banner, if you want to make a difference, do not try to fight female foeticide, because its only a symptom. Fight the issues that cause female foeticide. It will take time, but begin at home.

Stop celebrating lavish weddings where the bride’s family pays for all of it. Why, stop attending them. Stop having a silly “bidhai” ceremony where the bride is tearfully sent off to her husbands. Lobby hard for nuclear families. The older generation holds these mindsets, they should be effectively cut off from decisions of which gender of a child to be had.

Do Indian women need to be saved from themselves? And if yes, by who? Feminist men? Or maybe a million versions of Nisha Sharma?

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10 million missing girls (updated)

by Rohin, on 9th January, 2006

Asian women have a long, long way to go in the fight for equality. What’s more upsetting is that the perpetrators of crimes against females are often female themselves. Society has managed to convince men and women that females are inferior.

Just yesterday, a PP thread drifted onto the topic of female abortion in Asia. Today The Lancet published an Indian-Canadian study into the horrific practice in India. The Lancet requires a paid subscription for full access to articles, so I thought I’d add to the BBC summary. The study and an accompanying article by Dr Shirish Sheth will go to print next week.

The study, led by Dr Prabhat Jha and Dr Rajesh Kumar (Toronto and Chandigarh respectively), sought to ascertain the reasons for the unequal balance of females to males with specific reference to pre-natal sex determination and abortion. Across India the ratio stands at 933:1000, but is markedly more pronounced in certain areas such as Punjab, Haryana and Tamil Nadu. The study estimates that 500,000 female babies are aborted every year, for no other reason than their gender. However the study discovered that gender screening was most likely to be utilised when the family already had a daughter.

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Churchill: Let the fakir die

by Rohin, on 4th January, 2006
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Winston Churchill. The man millions of Britons voted ‘The Greatest Briton of All Time’ at the turn of the millennium, ahead of Newton, Shakespeare, Darwin and Brunel. The man who advocated gassing “recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment”.

The man who described Mahatma Gandhi as “a half-naked fakir” who “ought to be laid, bound hand and foot, at the gates of Delhi and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new viceroy seated on its back” [Link]. The man who is in the news again - although there isn’t too much coverage.

Hitherto unseen government documents have been released, which detail Churchill’s stance on several issues. The notes were recorded by deputy Cabinet secretary, Sir Norman Brook, and give the first detailed glimpse into what was discussed at the War Cabinet between 1942 and 1945. They’re open to the public just down the road from me at the Public Records Office in Kew, so I took a look. The rather difficult to read shorthand revealed some fascinating facts.

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Why Bangalore?

by Rohin, on 30th December, 2005

Pickled Politics was one of the first blogs to react to the Delhi blasts, but I thought I’d wait a little before talking about the Bangalore shooting, which took place on Wednesday, so that I might be able to collect some more information.

A college professor was killed by a gunman (gunmen?) who has escaped capture; four were injured. Bangalore has not been targetted in this manner before and the Indian Institute of Science, the location of the shooting, and the city have been taken by surprise. But warning signs were there.

Initial thoughts to explain the target of Bangalore centred around Lashkar-e-Toiba group, responsible for numerous previous attacks or less well known Bangladesh-based terror groups. Some thought the fact that notorious gangster Abu Salem’s arrival in BLR to face polygraph tests and questioning about his involvement in the 1993 Bombay blasts may be related, but authorities soon denied this.

Yesterday Karnataka’s chief minister, N. Dharam Singh, confirmed that the attacks were the work of terrorists, chiefly due to the discovery of sophisticated munitions found; an AK-57, AK-47 casings, an empty automatic magazine and four unexploded grenades were recovered from the scene.

It was subsequently revealed that the government of Karnataka received a warning of a terrorist attack, from the Intelligence Bureau, which had been monitoring LeT operatives in New Delhi. They also considered Jamat-e-Mujaheeddin a threat. However, no information obtained would have been useful in preventing the attack.

But why Bangalore and why the IISc?

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Being a romeo is risky business in India

by Sunny, on 22nd December, 2005

I have a short and slightly embarassing incident to relate. About ten years ago I was on holiday in India, enthusiastically exchanging saliva with my then girlfriend at a secluded area of a park. The ideal place of choice for a new generation.

A bloody policeman spotted us and decided that arresting us was the best course of action under the pretence of ’soliciting sex’. Wtf! I was persuaded by my gf that paying him off was a more sensible path of action than trying to use his stick to beat him. Anyway, we both escaped unscathed, though I was a bit poorer.

So why I am I relating this silly story? Well it happens all over India, but now the young populace has decided to protest courtesy of a TV sting that caught some unsavoury action in practice…

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