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  • Dozens dead in Ahmedabad blasts

    by Rumbold
    26th July, 2008 at 8:10 pm    

    Ahmedabad, the state capital of Gujarat, has been hit by a wave of bombs. At least 29 49 people are dead, with many more wounded. A terrorist group, Indian Mujahideen, has claimed responsibility for the blasts. They previously claimed to be behind blasts in Mumbai and Jaipur. The explosions come a day after multiple bombs killed two people in Bangalore. Gujarat has experienced intra-communal violence over the past few years, and it is thought that the bombs were an attempt to stir up tensions between Hindus and Muslims in the state. The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narenda Modi, was implicated in the anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002, and one can only hope that he does not try and exploit this tension, but instead diffuse it.

    Update: A plot to blow up trains in Tamil Nadu on August 15th has been foiled.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Current affairs,India,Terrorism

    38 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Nav — on 26th July, 2008 at 8:20 pm  

      Why are these people in India?

      If they’re not happy at the way they’re being treated because they’re Muslim when being in India… move to Pakistan?

    2. Benelux — on 26th July, 2008 at 9:03 pm  


      Are you suggesting that the Hindus of Gujarat should sit back and take it?

      On the contrary, as Nav has said, all Indian Muslims should be deported to Kuwait, or some other place more conducive to their lifestyle.

      History bares witness to the fact that the Muhammadans are unable to co-exist alongside any community unless they are the ruler (read oppressor).

      One can only hope that Modi destroys Islam in Gujarat once and for all.

    3. persephone — on 26th July, 2008 at 10:03 pm  

      ‘spose one would be called an islamophobe to say that this type of thing is what is scary

      Do you think the families of those killed will want Modi not to “exploit their tension?”

    4. Nav — on 26th July, 2008 at 11:50 pm  

      Look, don’t get me wrong: there are many Muslims in India who are proud to be Indian and love India as much as I but what I’m saying is that if these people are motivated by what they see as oppression against them in a largely Hindu country, then they can move- no one is stopping them.

      Of course, they won’t because they use community divisions to further their own selfish causes and want to create a Muslim India as they don’t care about bombing mosques to further their cause.

      If you don’t like it- leave, because we really don’t need them there.

      But that does not condone reprisal attacks against innocent Muslims who- just like their Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Jain etc. etc.- neighbours are trying to get by in life and don’t give a shit about causing trouble because not everyone agrees with their religious outlook.

    5. S — on 27th July, 2008 at 7:42 am  

      It would be unfair to say that all muslims are bad. One cannot judge that all apples are bad by seeing one rotten one. The fault does not lie with only the muslims. Some of us Hindus are also responsible for the bitterness which has set in the minds of some Muslims who later on get brainwashed into committing such terrorist acts. Many of them have suffered atrocities during the riots. Violence is never a solution for any problem. I think its time that both Hindus and Muslims realised that.

    6. Desi Italiana — on 27th July, 2008 at 9:31 am  

      “The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narenda Modi, was implicated in the anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002, and one can only hope that he does not try and exploit this tension, but instead diffuse it.”

      That’ll be the day.

      Speaking of which, when he is going to pay for the 2000 deaths he caused in Gujarat, targeting Gujaratis who were Muslim?

      Some mass murderers get away with bloody hands- all because they are politicians and reportedly, the economy is going well!

    7. Desi Italiana — on 27th July, 2008 at 9:37 am  

      Tehelka expose on Gujarat killings in 2002:

    8. Benelux — on 27th July, 2008 at 9:53 am  


      This thread is not about 2002. Unless you are using the 2002 to justify the bomb blasts? In fact, it looks exactly like that is what you are doing.

      Or perhaps you are just pointing out that behind every action there is a history. If so, you would do well to read the history behind the 2002 ‘pogrom’: one thousand years of Islamic Imperialism.

      The Muhammadens will suffer greatly for their transgressions against humanity.

    9. El Cid — on 27th July, 2008 at 9:58 am  

      Some of you hindu nationalists seem a little scary. I hope you realise that.

    10. persephone — on 27th July, 2008 at 12:39 pm  

      @9 touche

      @ 6 & 7. How far back do we go & who decides who was ‘to blame’ originally anyway? This line of thought will be never ending & futile. It needs to stop now. What are we going to do in the present?

    11. Nav — on 27th July, 2008 at 12:43 pm  


      No one is saying that those responsible for these cowardly crimes won’t pay or that they are justified but we must bring all those responsible for slaying innocents- be they Sikh, Hindu or Muslim- to justice.

      If Modi can be implicated then he should pay for the deaths of innocent Muslims- simple as.

      I don’t, as a Sikh, ask for fellow Sikhs to commit attrocities no matter how bitter I feel about Operation Blue Star and refuse to be held to account for the actions of, for example, pro-Khalistani terrorists, so why should your average Yusuf Bloggs in Hyderabad be asked to share the burden of blame for terrorist attrocities carried out by people who call themselves Muslims?

      It’s not fair and is not what India is about.

    12. Raul — on 27th July, 2008 at 2:42 pm  

      Th tragedy is not the bombings and there have been many, the tragedy is the indifference masquerading as resilience of the system and people. This is the 14th bombing since July 2005.

      To those who accuse India of discrimination against muslims you have no idea about how the Indian state operates, it discriminates against everyone who is not part of the administration or the well connected equally, and its not even discrimination, that’s too much work and the Indian state is not capable of that level of coherence, its utter and complete indifference, they just don’t care beyond themselves.

      The state is a self sustaining mechanism that only supports itself, look at the VIP security costs in India, for a so called poor country its obscene for any low level functionary to be traveling in convoys of cars with ambulance in tow, and hundreds of public functionaries and police fussing over them. That’s the only thing the administration is worried about, VIPs and their needs and the entire civil administration and system is geared for while the press is preoccupied with political gossip. Resources are squandered not only on politicians, but their extended families, friends, relatives, its out of control. And this permeates to all aspects beyond security. There may be elections but there is zero accountability or the sense of urgency to address any problems, how many problems has the Indian state solved or even tried to solve beyond paying lip service? Things moving in auto mode while a group of kleptocrats dig in for generations in a country of over 1.2 billion and growing rapidly cannot be good.

      Most of the people responsible for addressing issues and terrorism is one of the things are busy enriching themselves or currying favour with VIPs by drawing up elaborate plans to protect them. Before the blasts the cops are clueless, a few hour after they have ‘all the details’ and are probably arresting and beating the shit out of innocent people to extract confessions and save their arses.

      To some people this is discrimination against muslims but that’s too simplistic, they just don’t get it, its not about muslim or hindu; its about the state protecting its ass, they would willingly do it to anyone as they routinely do.

      Cases of abuse for instance of lower caste women being raped or harassed and then being given the run around by the local police because of influential upper cases are routine and until that breaks in the press nationwide there is some token action and then public memory is short. Cases of serious human rights abuse and indifference are routine. The police and wider administration right from junior to seniors pay money or peddle influence to get posted, there is a whole system to get placed in particular areas that are ‘lucrative’. What do you think they do after paying money to get their preferred posting, do an honest job? Are they capable? There is no scientific process, the police forces still operate on third world standards of torture and abuse to solve crimes if they are interested. They are far too busy being corrupt, harassing common people and sucking up to the politicians.

      For islamists this is an ideal environment to thrive and exploit disenchantment because too many people are poor and suffering, how about a bit of divide and rule here by convincing muslims them their religion and state discrimination is to blame for their condition, ignoring the millions of hindus and others who suffer due to state apathy and incompetence.

      Hindu bigots, lower caste forces operate on the same principle to create vote banks to power themselves into office to do what? Guess, ya, enrich themselves. And now there are bigots within bigots with even narrower sectarian causes like ‘standing up for maharashtrian rights’ for vote banks and harassing so called ‘outsiders’ in Mumbai, ya right you are an ‘outsider’ in your own country’. If this isn’t ‘treason’ against the idea of India then what is? And all these forces are tolerated, so why be surprised to see islamic forces of bigotry make their presence felt when they are active worldwide.

      The end game is too many people, too much poverty, too much corruption, too much disparity, too much incompetence and too much suffering and a state that is not geared by any benchmark to administer with any degree of competence. 70% living on less than rupess 20 or $.50 a day, slumming it on all UN human development indices with sub saharan africa, no access to basic resources and no active plan beyond cliches. What sort of consequence do you think this will have as water, electricity and other basics become scarce for even those who have them now? You can’t get away with this level of incompetence, corruption and neglect for 60 years, there will be a price to pay and the majority of India has been paying that price.

    13. Nav — on 27th July, 2008 at 3:02 pm  

      Great post, Raul! :D

    14. Sunny — on 27th July, 2008 at 3:41 pm  

      Muzumdar / Benelux - fuck off.

    15. persephone — on 27th July, 2008 at 4:30 pm  

      who is Muzumdar on this post?

    16. persephone — on 27th July, 2008 at 4:47 pm  

      @ 12 agreed good post, brings some balance

      1) Question is does India tackle the long term, deeply enthrenched, issues upon issues that it has before resolving such terrorism?

      Especially since India has been operating along these lines before independence & colonialism.

      2) If India’s state is to blame then you must take into account that bombings have also taken place in the UK, USA with their (I like to think) more democratic, meritocratic etc states

    17. Suckerpunch — on 27th July, 2008 at 5:30 pm  

      Has anyone seen this one???! Love to hear our wizened and pickled politicians on this site commenting on this jewel….

      HFB calls for probe into UK charities funding terrorism in the wake of Indian bomb blasts

      The Hindu Forum of Britain has asked the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, to escalate investigations into reports about British charities suspected of sending funds to terrorist groups in Pakistan and other countries. The HFB appeal comes immediately after 45 people were killed in a serial bomb blast in the Indian city of Ahmedabad by suspected Islamic militants, styling themselves as the ‘Indian Mujahideen’. Indian authorities have stated that the Indian Mujahideen seems to be a front for terrorist organisations operating out of Pakistan.

      “India has been suffering from terror attacks by Islamic militants for many years. The Ahmedabad blasts that killed 45 people yesterday are not isolated. There have been several other blasts that have taken place recently in Jaipur, Bangalore and other places,” said Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain. “But what is of great concern to British Indians is that there have been several reports of British charities sending money to Pakistan that are being diverted to terrorism against India”

      According to Tahseen Ullah Khan of the National Research and Development Foundation, a Peshawar-based NGO that promotes madrasa reform, militant funding also comes from donors in the UK. In a statement, she had earlier said. “If I go to the UK as a cleric and tell people that Islam is under attack, I can come back with lot of funding.”

      Two years ago, investigators in Pakistan believed that £50million was siphoned off from genuine relief groups for terrorists. Intelligence services had tried to trace the cash which came from several British charities. After a call for investigation into funds sent by British charities, the Charity Commission had said, “We take the issue of allegations about charities and terrorism very seriously. We are aware of the speculation suggesting links between UK charities and the bomb plot. ”

      “However our community need to be reassured that enough is being done to prevent siphoning of charity funds to terrorist causes,” said Ramesh Kallidai. “In light of the continuing loss of human life in India by Islamic militants, the British government has a moral obligation to increase its efforts in tracking such charities. We hope the Home Secretary and intelligence agencies in Britain will take note and do something about it. This is particularly important because we do not wish to have the sub-continental issues spilling over into Britain and affecting community cohesion and good relations here in our country.”


      For more information contact Sanjay Mistry on 07810 368 772 or Ramesh Kallidai on 07915 383 103.

      Editor’s Notes

      1. The Hindu Forum of Britain is the representative body for British Hindus with a broad-based membership of over 300 Hindu organisations comprising national bodies, regional umbrella organisations, religious establishments, temples and community and youth associations.

      2. The Hindu Forum of Britain has conducted some of the largest community consultation activities on behalf of the Hindu community to influence Government policy and runs a number of projects for Hindu youth, women and temples.

      3. At the core of the Forum’s activities is a strong belief in the richness and diversity of the Hindu culture, its value system that encompasses respect for all beings and faiths, and a cultural heritage that facilitates community cohesion and coexistence. Further information, please visit the HFB Website:

      Note on Charities and terrorism

      1. One of the British suspects detained in Pakistan as part of the investigation into the alleged plot to blow up planes flying from Great Britain to the U.S, is Rashid Rauf. His wife and her sister run Darul Uloom Madina, one of Pakistan’s biggest and most hardline seminaries, with some 2,000 students, in Bahawalpur. A charity called Crescent Relief founded by the Raufs’ father, Abdul, which collected money for last year’s Pakistani earthquake relief effort transferred money into three accounts in three separate banks in the Mirpur region of Kashmir. The accounts were thought to have belonged to suspects arrested in the U.K. and Pakistan.

      2. The charity Sanabel Relief Agency (Charity number 1083469) which also operated under the name Al-Rahama Relief Foundation Ltd, and had branches in Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Manchester and London, was designated by the Uniteds States Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control as a sponsor of terrorism. The Treasury stated that Sanabel Relief was a front for the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). The charity continued its work until arrests had been made of one of its directors, 44-year old Tahir Nasuf, accused with six others of sponsoring and plotting suicide attacks in Iraq.

      3. A BBC documentary by John Ware claimed that the UK charity Interpal had raised money for charities which were fronts for Hamas. The documentary also claimed that one of its senior members, Mohammed Kassem Sawalha knowingly raised money for Hamas “charities”. Sawalha is a senior figure in the Muslim Association of Britain and has links with the Muslim Brotherhood.

      4. On August 22 2003 Interpal was designated by the US Treasury, who said: “Interpal, headquartered in the UK, has been a principal charity utilized to hide the flow of money to HAMAS. Reporting indicates it is the conduit through which money flows to HAMAS from other charities, e.g., the Al Aqsa Foundation, and that it oversees the activities of other charities. For example, the Sanabil Association for Relief and Development represents Interpal in Lebanon. Reporting also indicates that Interpal is the fundraising coordinator of HAMAS, a coordination point for other HAMAS-affiliated charities. This role is of the type that includes supervising activities of charities, developing new charities in targeted areas, instructing how funds should be transferred from one charity to another, and even determining public relations policy.”

      5. Since March 2002, the US and Saudi Arabia jointly designated several branches of Al Haramain for terrorism support and sponsorship, including Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Somalia, and Tanzania.

      6. On August 13 last week, the US designated the Philippine and Indonesian branch offices of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) , for fundraising for AL Qaeda. The Saudi-based organisation, founded in 1978, has branch offices in 20 other nations.

      7. Islamic Relief Agency or Islamic Relief Worldwide, based in Birmingham, had been given money by Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens, which led to the singer being barred entry into the US.

      8. Arutz Sheva reported that Israeli authorities detained a UK citizen in May last year. Iyaz Ali admitted transferring funds and assisting Hamas institutions and groups, including Al Wafa and Al Tzalah, both of which are officially illegal in Israel. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “Incriminating files were found on Ali’s computer, including documents that attested to the organization’s ties with illegal Hamas funds abroad (in the UK and in Saudi Arabia) and in Nablus. Also found were photographs of swastikas superimposed on IDF symbols, of senior Nazi German officials, of Osama Bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as well as many photographs of Hamas military activities.”

    18. Tu S. Tin — on 27th July, 2008 at 7:00 pm  

      “How far back do we go & who decides who was ‘to blame’ originally anyway? This line of thought will be never ending & futile. It needs to stop now. What are we going to do in the present?

      I’ve been saying that for 3 years!

      But what is the point of us looking at what goes on in other countries and trying to solve their problems and arguing over what they do to each other and why?
      Politically, anytime someone does step in - the conspiracy theories start so how do you win?

    19. Desi Italiana — on 27th July, 2008 at 8:39 pm  

      People, I brought up the 2002 murders because we were talking about Modi in this post, and I wanted to remind people of what happened in 2002. Maybe I am a bleeding heart, but I don’t think it’s right to kill innocent people. And killing 2000 people because of their religion is not something to gloss over. It’s not because I am playing the ‘blame game’ or “justifying” these bomb blasts; it’s only to point out that the more people feel disenfranchised and oppressed, and justice is not served, the more we will see stuff like this happen.

      BTW, we have not seen any substantial evidence who the perpetrators were.

    20. El Cid — on 27th July, 2008 at 10:18 pm  

      Seems the Turkish wing want to get in on the act:

    21. Cover Drive — on 27th July, 2008 at 10:34 pm  

      Desi Italiana,

      Please get your naive logic straight. It doesn’t matter if the Gujarat riots happened or not - bad as they were - India will always face the threat of jihadist attacks because it has a neighbour in Pakistan. Pakistan’s ISI has sponsored and continues to sponsor Islamist militant groups in India and Afghanistan. At a time when the US is turning the screws on Pakistan to act on its militant proxies in the Afghan-Pakistan region it suits Pakistan fine to give the green light to its proxies in India.

      In a country of 1.2 billion people, there are bound to be some jihadist sympathisers within India’s Muslim population (150 million). It only takes a tiny handful of sympathisers to carry out attacks like the ones we’ve seen in the last few days. Are India’s Muslims persecuted? I hardly think so. As a minority they may face some discrimination but their numbers are increasing and, unlike Hindus in Pakistan, they do not face serious hostility in carrying out their religious and cultural activities.

    22. Sunny — on 28th July, 2008 at 1:37 am  

      I wonder if there is Pakistani hand in this though… in the sense that the bombs were so unsophisticated that they could have easily been made and financed from India.

      Are India’s Muslims persecuted? I hardly think so. As a minority they may face some discrimination

      Well, they do face a lot of discrimination, but as Raul pointed out above, that really applies to most people in India incl Sikhs at some levels. India is not a very meritocratic society.

    23. Desi Italiana — on 28th July, 2008 at 2:22 am  

      Cover Drive:

      “Please get your naive logic straight. It doesn’t matter if the Gujarat riots happened or not - bad as they were - India will always face the threat of jihadist attacks because it has a neighbour in Pakistan.”

      Yes. And your logic is not naive at all.

    24. Gaurang — on 28th July, 2008 at 9:22 am  

      Imagine this:
      Someone sneaks into my house since years,breaks a tv or some valuable and kills a kin…and for years I’m discussing ways to deal with these guys!!
      That’s what terrorism is doing to India and that’s how we are responding to the menace…!!
      We’ve got to be VERY angry..
      We’ve got to be VERY upset,
      We’ve got to be VERY alert,
      We’ve got to be VERY vigilant,
      We’ve got to be VERY united
      Its someone less fortunate today..Imagine if its your turn tomorrow.
      The politician are immune,both to the threat and to the people’s plight!
      Are we going to sit in front of the tv year after year,watch debates,thank God its not us and get busy with out favorite ‘time-pass’ of making money and surviving!
      We have made ourselves into a nation of IMPOTENTS. Any 2 bit organization can hold us at ransom. This attitude of ours will harm us more than a few bombs!
      Wake Up,guys!

    25. Cover Drive — on 28th July, 2008 at 10:15 am  

      Desi Italiana, you can carry on apologising for Islamist terrorism as long as you like while sitting quite comfortably in front of a PC in a liberal Western democracy. The fact is the same number of civilians who died in Gujarat in 2002 have been killed in Pakistan in recent times due to jihadist attacks. The situation there is actually becoming increasingly difficult even for the Pakistani authorities to control.

      Recently US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen travelled to Pakistan on an unannounced trip, where he presented Pakistani military officials with evidence of the ISI’s involvement in attacks in Afghanistan. The government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai has accused the ISI of supporting a growing Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. The insurgency is now threatening to spill over into the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. In the wake of the attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul, India’s army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor accused the ISI of masterminding the attack, and New Delhi’s National Security Adviser MK Narayanan said that “the ISI needs to be destroyed.”

      With growing international pressure to rein in on its notorious intelligence agency, Pakistan announced 26 July that the ISI would come under the control of the Interior Ministry. After just ten hours Pakistan reversed that decision. Whatever happens, it is unlikely to make any significant improvement in the functioning of the ISI because nothing short of a complete overhaul will rid the agency of the many militant sympathisers it currently has.

      India is not a very meritocratic society.

      Maybe but name me any country that is trully meritocratic. India currently has a Sikh prime minister, a woman president and an Italian born Roman Catholic as another centre of power. India also has had Muslim and Dalit presidents in the past. Despite the odds, the fact that India actually survives as a liberal democracy at all is an achievement because governing India is a very difficult job as the country is split across geographic, economic, linguistic, cultural, religious, political and ideological lines.

    26. ashik — on 28th July, 2008 at 10:23 am  

      Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are artificial countries born as a result of colonialism.

      It’s really amusing to see Indian nationalists waxing lyrical on this thread.
      Their conception of India as a united and forward looking country fighting down Islamists is a minority one.

      Indian Muslims are not the only dissatisfied group in India. Practically every Indian state has a group fighting for autonomy or outright independence from the central govt. The Indian army is involved in at least half a dozen low intensity guerrilla conflicts eg. Assam & Kashmir.

      It is arguable whether India would remain a country if it’s constituent parts were given free and fair referendums. The same is true for Pakistan and perhaps Bangladesh.

    27. douglas clark — on 28th July, 2008 at 11:03 am  


      I’d hazard a guess that every nation under the sun is a consruct. And that that construct runs it’s own story of national identity. What I don’t like is that national identity being based on belittling other folk. Which seems to be all too common. Especially minorities. Blame them, and damn the excoriation of yourselves…..

    28. Nav — on 28th July, 2008 at 4:52 pm  

      Desi Italiana: you’re way out of your depth trying to argue this point.

    29. Roger — on 28th July, 2008 at 5:45 pm  

      “The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narenda Modi, was implicated in the anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002″
      As he got the job because of his anti-muslim views and actions, am I being excessively cynical if I wonder whether he also decided to supply a reason for more pogroms? Is there an election soon, perhaps?

    30. Sanjay — on 28th July, 2008 at 7:15 pm  

      Even though I am Indian, I still believe that you cannot blame all Muslim. Islam is a good religion that has good values but it is the extremist that have to be stopped. Than we can think about living peacefully. Also, the Hindu extremists have to be stopped.

    31. Desi Italiana — on 28th July, 2008 at 8:13 pm  


      “Desi Italiana: you’re way out of your depth trying to argue this point.”

      Don’t worry hon, you are too.

    32. sonia — on 29th July, 2008 at 9:01 am  

      “To those who accuse India of discrimination against muslims you have no idea about how the Indian state operates, it discriminates against everyone who is not part of the administration or the well connected equally, and its not even discrimination, that’s too much work and the Indian state is not capable of that level of coherence, its utter and complete indifference, they just don’t care beyond themselves.”

      good points and they are pretty obvious ones.

      to the person who asked why dont indian muslims go to pakistan. because Pakistan won’t have them!

      there is like so much immigration tension between these countries, that to even get a visa to get into each other’s countries if you are indian/pakistani/bangladeshi is a great difficulty, with much nonsensical bureacracy. of course it is much easier for british citizens to get into all 3, there’s the irony.

    33. sonia — on 29th July, 2008 at 9:08 am  

      27: douglas clark, that’ is so well said, i am going to simply have to post it on my blog and flag it up as seriously wise thinking. *hugs*

      india is truly meritocratic, i almost fell off my chair laughing. and Indira Gandhi being a prime minister is somehow an example of being meritocratic? Right…like being from a powerful Family dynasty did nothing to aid her. Of course any woman from the village can be a prime minister!!

      you cant even get into university in India with 100% marks without a bit of bribery here and there, really has Cover Drive ever set foot in India? This is very amusing indeed. We could have a comedy show based on some of the ludicrous claims made on this thread.

    34. sonia — on 29th July, 2008 at 9:14 am  

      anyway, why is there only focus on this sillily termed ‘inter-communal’ violence in india? there is Soo much violence in that country, do we not care if its not ‘inter-communal’?

      bottom line: indian subcontinent is a highly xenophobic and discriminatory place, that we should all have figured out by now. have none of you read a suitable boy?

    35. Cover Drive — on 29th July, 2008 at 11:44 am  


      I’m not claiming India is truly meritocratic. I was just pointing out some obvious examples of people who HAVE made it to the top despite the odds. Doesn’t that show it is sometimes possible to rise to the top in India? I didn’t even mention Indira Gandhi. The current president of India is a woman and she doesn’t come from a dynasty.

      Not even Western countries are truly meritocratic. We live in a country dominated by free markets, which isn’t a bad thing but it does have its side effects. What about the increasing gap in western countries like the UK between the rich and the poor? Working-class children in Britain are less likely to climb the social ladder than in any other developed nation. Do you think Britain or any other European country will have the black equivalent of an Obama for the foreseeable future? I don’t think so.

      We could have a comedy show based on some of the ludicrous claims made on this thread.

      This does sound like you’re descending into familiar sub-continental mud slinging. After all, isn’t it the raison d’etre of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to prove each one is better than the other?

    36. Anil — on 29th July, 2008 at 2:22 pm  

      To all esp the picklers -
      I am an Indian and I would like to know a couple of things from the erudite picklers:
      For one, I am a little taken aback to see the vitriol against India. I know that INdia is probably not the best among a bunch of countries but we seem to simply ignore the gazzillion contradictions that make up this country. As someone pointed out, the very fact that it exists as a liberal democracy that can justifiably be proud of certain achievements is a miracle in itself.
      But I digress - my point is about the bomb blasts and India’s reaction to the same.
      I see that there is a lot of resentment against teh US style of intervention and reaction to terrorist attacks. Look at India meanwhile - we have faced some rather serious killings in our cities for as far back as we can remember. Even if we take the small window of the current govt we have seen horrific attacks against innocent people. And what has been the Govt reaction? Absolutely nothing. Not even a frigging law that has some teeth far less any action against anyone.
      So judged against a US precedent this is tame stuff. So if anything, i would have expected that India is showing the other side of a reaction i.e. Restraint against the gravest of provocations. I would have thought that erudite picklers would probably contrast this approach with the US one and have words of sympthay at least. But but…the general tenor seems to be that somehow this is our karma catching up and we should just lie back and bear it. Well…thats what we are doing but lets be clear that the alternative to what the US does is simply appeasement and at least with these terrorists - gets us nowhere. I wonder how many more need to die before we realise that.
      As we speak 11 live bombs were defused in Surat another industrial hub in Gujarat. Methinks people have paid a whole lot in Gujarat already.

    37. Cover Drive — on 29th July, 2008 at 6:50 pm  

      I think restraint is probably the best approach and try to bring the guilty to account. Clearly the bomb blasts were intended to inflame communal tension as well as political tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi. If any chaos ensues then the more chances the militants will have to exploit any grievances Indian Muslims have and thereby increase their support base. This strategy has been fairly unsuccessful in recent years and if the public don’t overreact now then they would have failed again.

      However, I expect the nationalist BJP to take advantage of these bomb blasts. They will inevitably ratchet up the rhetoric against the Congress for being soft on terror. It remains to be seen if BJP leaders will be responsible enough not to incite another communal riot like the one in Gujarat in 2002.

    38. S — on 1st August, 2008 at 3:56 pm  

      The Congress *is* soft on terror. There’s no denying the fact.

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