Indo-UK: News & Discussion

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Indo-UK: News & Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 03 Aug 2007 08:36

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Postby m_bose » 03 Aug 2007 14:16

Glasgow Airport attack man dies

A badly burned man detained after the suspected terror attack at Glasgow Airport has died in a Glasgow hospital.

Kafeel Ahmed was one of two men held at the airport after a Jeep struck the terminal and burst into flames.

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Postby Philip » 04 Aug 2007 11:50

"British Raj" historian salutes India's resurgence! Let us only hope that our current rulers do not bring back the Nava-East India Company as they are trying to do!

India: the Empire strikes back
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 03/08/2007

From Raj to riches: as India celebrates 60 years of independence, acclaimed historian William Dalrymple salutes a country returning to its pre-colonial wealth

When I moved back to India with my family four years ago, I took a lease on a farmhouse five kilometres from the boom town of Gurgaon on the south-western edge of Delhi. From my road I could see in the distance the rings of new housing estates, full of call centres, software companies and fancy apartment blocks, all rapidly rising on land that only two years earlier was billowing winter wheat.

One of India's most historic sites: the Taj Mahal
The first time I lived in Delhi, in the late 1980s, Gurgaon was a semi-rural Haryana market town, with a single large Maruti car plant to one side; it was home to no more than 100,000 people.

Now it had become a city of several million; some said three million, some said more - the speed of growth was so enormous that it was difficult to obtain accurate figures. Either way, Gurgaon was now home to a population almost equal to that of my native Scotland.

Here an increasingly wealthy middle class had suddenly taken root in an aspirational bubble of fast-rising shopping malls, espresso bars, restaurants and multiplexes. These new neighbourhoods, most of them still half-built and ringed with scaffolding, were invariably given such unrealistically enticing names as Beverly Hills, Windsor Court, West End Heights - an indication, perhaps, of where their owners would prefer to be and where, in time, they might eventually migrate.

Four years later, Gurgaon has galloped towards us at such a speed that it now abuts the edge of our farm and the proudly-touted "largest mall in Asia" is arising a quarter of a mile from my house.

What was farmland and a pool for water buffaloes when I moved in is now a mass of cranes, flanked by billboards advertising the latest laptops and iPods. There are still no accurate figures but the population has probably topped five million.

The speed of the development of Gurgaon is breathtaking to anyone used to the plodding growth rates of western Europe: the sort of construction that would take 25 years in Britain comes up here in five months, even if, at the end of it, the "luxury" flats will probably only have electricity for a couple of hours a day and the water supply will be intermittent at best.

The speed of change in Gurgaon reflects that of the growth of the Indian economy in general: economic futurologists all agree that China and India will at some stage in the 21st century come to dominate the global economy.

The various intelligence agencies estimate that China will overtake America between 2030 and 2040, while India will overtake the US by roughly 2050, as measured in dollar terms. Measured by purchasing-power parity, India is already on the verge of overtaking Japan to become the third largest economy in the world.

Incredibly, India now trains a million engineering graduates a year (against 100,000 each in America and Europe) and stands third in technical and scientific capacity - behind the US and Japan, but well ahead of China.

Today India's IT sector alone annually earns the vast sum of almost $25 billion, mostly in export earnings. With an average growth rate over the last decade of 6 per cent and current growth of 9 per cent, it is little wonder that average incomes are doubling every 15 years: the number of mobile-phone users has jumped from 3 million in 2000 to 100 million in 2005; the number of television channels from one in 1991 to more than 150 last year.

It is a similar picture on India's roads: in the early 1990s, as India was starting to relax import and investment restrictions on foreign manufacturers, there were only six or seven makes of car.

More than 90 per cent of them were Hindustan Ambassadors, the Indian- made version of the 1950s Morris Oxford - effectively clumpy vintage cars. Now the new six-lane highways are full of sleek and speedy Fiats, Fords, Mercedes-Benz and even the odd Porsche and Bentley.

The 17th century Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who created the Taj Mahal monument
So extraordinary is all this to us today, particularly to those who knew the sluggish India of 20 years ago, that it is easy to forget how little of it would have surprised our ancestors who sailed there with the East India Company. The idea of India as a poor country is relatively recent: historically, South Asia was always famous as the richest region of the globe, whose fertile soils gave two harvests a year, and whose mines groaned with minerals.

Ever since Alexander the Great first penetrated the Hindu Kush, Europeans fantasised about the wealth of these lands, where the Greek geographers said that gold was dug up by gigantic ants and guarded by griffins, and where precious jewels lay scattered on the ground like dust.

In Roman times, there was a dramatic drain of Western gold to India. This is something the Greek historian Strabo comments on with great anxiety in his writings - an image graphically confirmed by the recent finds of huge Roman coin hoards around Madurai in Tamil Nadu and a large Roman coastal trading post near Pondicherry.

At the peak of the trade, during the reign of Nero, the south Indian Pandyan Kings even sent an embassy to Rome to discuss the latter's balance of payments problems. Even today, the English "pepper" and "ginger" are loan words from Tamil - respectively, pippali and singabera, testaments to the spice trade that was once a staple of this lucrative Indian export traffic.

It was similar legends of India's extraordinary wealth that drew the merchant adventurers of the Company eastwards. They came not as part of some Tudor aid project, or on behalf of a charitable Elizabethan NGO, but as part of a desperate effort to cash in on the vast riches of the fabled Mughal Empire, then one of the two wealthiest polities in the world.

What the Poles are to modern Britain - economic migrants in search of better lives - the Jacobeans were to Mughal India.

At their heights, the Mughal Emperors were really rivalled only by their Ming counterparts in China. The Great Mughals ruled over most of India, all of Pakistan and Bangladesh and great chunks of Afghanistan.

Their armies were all but invincible, their palaces unparalleled and the domes of their many mosques glittered with gold. For their contemporaries in distant Europe, they were potent symbols of power and wealth. The word Mughal (or Mogul) is still loaded today with connotations of this, even when it is divorced from its original Indian context.

In Milton's Paradise Lost, for example, the great Mughal cities of Agra and Lahore are revealed to Adam after the Fall as future wonders of God's creation. This was hardly an understatement: by the 17th century, Lahore had grown larger and richer even than Constantinople and, with its two million inhabitants, dwarfed both London and Paris.

"The city is second to none either in Asia or in Europe," said Portuguese Jesuit Father Antonio Monserrate, "with regards either to size, population, or wealth. It is crowded with merchants, who foregather there from all over Asia. There is no art or craft useful to human life which is not practised there. The citadel alone has a circumference of three miles."

It was, in terms of rapid growth, instant prosperity and unlimited opportunities, the Gurgaon of its day.

What changed all this was quite simply the advent of European colonialism. Following Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to the East in 1498, bypassing the Middle East and conquering the centres of spice production in South Asia, European colonial traders - first the Portuguese, then the Dutch and finally the British - slowly wrecked the old trading network and imposed with their cannons and caravels a western imperial system of command economics.

It was only at the very end of the 18th century that Europe, for the first time in history, had a favourable balance of trade with Asia. At the same time, the era of Indian economic decline had begun and was most precipitous in the region around the British headquarters in Calcutta.

As the 18th century historian Alexander Dow put it: "Bengal was one of the richest, most populous and best cultivated kingdoms in the world… We may date the commencement of decline from the day on which Bengal fell under the dominion of foreigners."

This was certainly the view of Edmund Burke, who impeached Warren Hastings, India's first Governor General, charging him with oppression, corruption, gross abuse of power and ruthlessly plundering India.

On February 13, 1788, huge crowds gathered outside Parliament to witness the members of the House of Lords troop into Westminster Hall to sit in judgement on Hastings.

Tickets for the few seats reserved for spectators were said to have changed hands for as much as £50. In the audience was Sarah Siddons, the great society actress (and courtesan), as well as Edward Gibbon, Joshua Reynolds, the novelist Fanny Burney, the Queen, two of her daughters and most of the ambassadors in London.

For all the theatre of the occasion - and, indeed, one of the prosecutors was the playwright Richard Sheridan - this was not just the greatest political spectacle in the age of George III. It was the nearest the British ever got to putting the Empire on trial and they did so with Edmund Burke, one of their greatest orators, at the helm, supported by the similarly eloquent Charles James Fox.

Hastings stood accused of nothing less than the rape of India - or as Burke put it in his opening speech: "Cruelties unheard of and devastations almost without name… crimes which have their rise in the wicked dispositions of men, in avarice, rapacity, pride, cruelty, malignity, haughtiness, insolence - in short everything that manifests a heart blackened to the very blackest; a heart dyed in blackness; a heart gangrened to the core… We have brought before you the head, the captain general of iniquity - one in whom all the fraud, all the tyranny of India are embodied."

When Burke began to describe the violation of Bengali virgins and their mothers by the rapacious tax collectors the British employed - "They were dragged out, naked and exposed to the public view, and scourged before all the people… they put the nipples of the women into the sharp edges of split bamboos and tore them from their bodies" - Mrs Sheridan "was so overpowered that she fainted and to be carried from the hall".

Hastings was in many ways the wrong target for Burke's Parliamentary offensive and, after a trial lasting nearly 10 years, he was eventually acquitted on all charges.

But it is worth recalling the damage that the Company undoubtedly did to the flourishing economy of India as the 60th anniversary of Indian Independence dawns amid unprecedented excitement at India's rapid rise towards its projected superpower status.

Today, academics, historians and economists are fiercely divided between those who believe European colonial rule brought great benefits to India and those who believe Britain put India into irreversible political and economic decline.

Given the complex and emotive issues involved, it is hardly surprising that there is little neutral territory in this politically super-charged debate: did Western mercantile-imperialism bring high capitalism and free trade to India, as supporters such as historian Niall Ferguson would have us believe; or did it irrevocably destroy millennia-old trading networks?

Did it bring democracy to a part of the world inured to despotism and tyranny; or did it remove political freedom of expression from lands with long traditions of debate and public expression of dissent, as argued by the Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen?

Did the British Empire bring in constitutional guarantees of the freedom of the individual; or promote slavery, exploitation, indentured labour and forced migration? Did the British bring just governance and irrigate the deserts, or did they plunder natural resources, drive a number of species to extinction and preside over a succession of famines that left many million dead while surplus grain was being shipped to Britain?

Most important of all, did the British promote religious tolerance, or did they instead sow the seeds of religious conflict with cynical policies of sectarian divide and rule - thus laying the scene for the politico-religious divisions we see around us and what Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntingdon would have us believe are today's civilisational clashes?

There are no easy answers to any of these questions. Looking back at the role the Europeans have played in South Asia until their departure in August 1947, there is certainly much that the West can unambiguously be said to have contributed to Indian life: the Portuguese, for example, brought that central staple of Indian life, the chilli pepper; while the British brought that other essential staple, tea, as well as the far more important innovations of democracy and the rule of law, along with the railways, all of which have helped India rise again to greatness.

In the light of so much post-colonial disapproval, it is also worth remembering the impeccable reputation Victorian rule in India (if not that of the Company) once enjoyed, even from Britain's fiercest critics.

Bismarck thought Britain's work in India would be "one of its lasting monuments". Theodore Roosevelt agreed that Britain had done "such marvellous things in India" that they might "transform the Indian population… in government and culture, and thus leave [their] impress as Rome did hers on Europe".

The French traveller Abbé Dubois extolled the "uprightness of character, education and ability" of British officials in India, while the Austrian Baron Hübner ascribed the "miracles" of British rule to its administrators' "devotion, intelligence, courage, and skill combined with an integrity proof against all temptation".

It is also true that factors such as cricket and the English language have been crucial to India's modern success, cultural indicators that in their different ways set Indian eyes looking westwards to the rising power of Britain, and later the US, and away from the declining Islamo-Persianate culture of Central Asia and the Middle East, a world that would go into ever greater cultural and economic decline as the 19th century gave way to the 20th.

In the days that followed the fall of the Mughals after the great Indian Mutiny of 1857, this turning away from the old cultural moorings and the reorientation of India towards the West caused heartbreak to the old Urdu- and Persian-speaking elites.

As the poet and critic Azad wrote: "The glory of the winners' ascendant fortune gives everything of theirs - even their dress, their gait, their conversation - a radiance that makes them desirable. And people do not merely adopt them, but they are proud to adopt them."

Yet it was the depth of that reorientation and adoption, and the ease which Indians can now cross the globe and work in either Britain or the US, that today has given the country's anglicised elite such easy access to the jobs and opportunities of the Western economy.

Nevertheless, for all this we British should keep our nostalgia and self-congratulation over the Raj within strict limits. For all the irrigation projects, the great engineering achievements and the famous imperviousness to bribes of the officers of the Indian Civil Service, the Raj nevertheless presided over the destruction of Indian political, cultural and artistic self-confidence, while the economic figures speak for themselves.

In 1600, when the East India Company was founded, Britain was generating 1.8 per cent of the world's GDP, while India was producing 22.5 per cent. By 1870, at the peak of the Raj, Britain was generating 9.1 per cent, while India had been reduced for the first time to the epitome of a Third World nation, a symbol across the globe of famine, poverty and deprivation.

Today in India, the dramatic increase in wealth that we see on all sides is less some sort of economic miracle - the strange rise of a once impoverished wasteland, as it is usually depicted in the Western press - so much as things slowly returning to the traditional pattern of global trade in the pre-colonial world. Last year, the richest man in the UK was for the first time an ethnic Indian, Lakshmi Mittal, and our largest steel manufacturer, Corus, has been bought by an Indian company, Tata.

Extraordinary as it is, seen from the wider perspective the rise of India and China is merely nothing more than a return to the ancient equilibrium of world trade. Today, we Europeans are no longer the gun-toting, gunboat-riding colonial masters we once were, but instead are reverting to our more traditional role: that of eager consumers of the much celebrated luxuries and services of the East.

William Dalrymple's new book, The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857, published by Bloomsbury, has just been awarded the Duff Cooper Prize for History.

PS:Dalrymple has splendidly put the "Raj" in its proper perspective,especially his warning to sentimental colonialists to put their "congratulations within limits".What is happening now is not an "Indian economic miracle" as he says,but the old world order of things returning to its proper balance.Jai Hind!

His quote of Edmund Burke at Warren Wastings' trial could also very easily be used against Bush and Blair at a future trial for their war crimes in Iraq.

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Postby NRao » 11 Aug 2007 07:48

Partitioning India over lunch

Partitioning India over lunch
Memoirs of a British civil servant never published until now show how much the partition of India was decided by just two men, the BBC's Alastair Lawson reports.

In a quiet village in the northern English county of Yorkshire, Robert Beaumont rifles through his father's archives.

The various and somewhat tatty pieces of paper he unearths are no ordinary collection of paternal memoirs.

They are the thoughts and reflections of his father, Christopher Beaumont, who played a central role in the partition of India in 1947, which resulted in arguably the largest mass migration of peoples the world has ever seen.

After the death in 1989 of Mountbatten's Private Secretary, Sir George Abell, Beaumont was probably not exaggerating when he claimed to be the only person left who "knew the truth about partition".

'Bending the border'

It is estimated that around 14.5 million people moved to Pakistan from India or travelled in the opposite direction from Pakistan to India.

In 1947, Beaumont was private secretary to the senior British judge, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who was chairman of the Indo-Pakistan Boundary Commission.

Radcliffe was responsible for dividing the vast territories of British India into India and Pakistan, separating 400 million people along religious lines.

The family documents show that Beaumont had a stark assessment of the role played by Britain in the last days of the Raj.

"The viceroy, Mountbatten, must take the blame - though not the sole blame - for the massacres in the Punjab in which between 500,000 to a million men, women and children perished," he writes.

"The handover of power was done too quickly."

The central theme ever present in Beaumont's historic paperwork is that Mountbatten not only bent the rules when it came to partition - he also bent the border in India's favour.

The documents repeatedly allege that Mountbatten put pressure on Radcliffe to alter the boundary in India's favour.

On one occasion, he complains that he was "deftly excluded" from a lunch between the pair in which a substantial tract of Muslim-majority territory - which should have gone to Pakistan - was instead ceded to India.

Beaumont's papers say that the incident brought "grave discredit on both men".

Punjab 'disaster'

But Beaumont - who later in life was a circuit judge in the UK - is most scathing about how partition affected the Punjab, which was split between India and Pakistan.

"The Punjab partition was a disaster," he writes.

"Geography, canals, railways and roads all argued against dismemberment.

"The trouble was that Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs were an integrated population so that it was impossible to make a frontier without widespread dislocation.

"Thousands of people died or were uprooted from their homes in what was in effect a civil war.

"By the end of 1947 there were virtually no Hindus or Sikhs living in west Punjab - now part of Pakistan - and no Muslims in the Indian east.

"The British government and Mountbatten must bear a large part of the blame for this tragedy."

Personality clash

Beaumont goes on to argue that it was "irresponsible" of Lord Mountbatten to insist that Beaumont complete the boundary within a six-week deadline - despite his protests.

On Kashmir, Beaumont argues that it would have been "far more sensible" to have made the flash-point territory a separate country.

According to Beaumont, the "formidably intelligent" Radcliffe "did not get on well" with Mountbatten.

"They could not have been more different," he writes.

"Mountbatten was very good-looking and had a well-deserved history of personal bravery but, to put it mildly, he had few literary tastes.

"Radcliffe... was very quietly civilised. It was a relationship so like chalk and cheese that Lady Mountbatten had to use all her adroitness to keep conversation between them on an even keel."

Beaumont died in 2002 but his son Robert remembers his father with great affection.

"He was also a man of supreme honesty, who spoke out on numerous occasions against the official British version of events surrounding partition without in any way being disloyal to his country," Robert Beaumont recalls.

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Postby Tilak » 12 Aug 2007 23:48

UK to scan non-EU students
4 Aug 2007, 0430 hrs IST,IANS

LONDON: Britain will roll out a new security vetting scheme later this year for all non-EU students, including those from India, who want to study in universities here in specialised areas such as biochemistry and nuclear physics.

The involvement of Indian PhD student Kafeel Ahmed in the attempted car bomb at Glasgow airport has added a new twist to Britain's efforts to ensure that the thousands of international students who come here for higher studies do not pose a security risk. :rotfl:

The scheme is called Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), and is part of Britain's wider security efforts to ensure that knowledge in universities here is not misused in the backdrop of concerns over proliferation and terrorism.{a convenient excuse} :oops:

The 'proliferation-risk' subject areas that will be closely monitored for foreign PhD students include biochemistry, electrical engineering, nuclear physics, microbiology, chemical engineering, aeronautical dynamics and material sciences. Several Indian students have been coming to Britain to study in these areas. A government official said the scheme would essentially target a small number of PhD students.

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Postby Philip » 13 Aug 2007 10:21

Disturbing news of the exodus,as fighting (Islamist) terrorism worldwide is the top priority for nations like India,UKetc.,which are severely threatened by the ungodly.Itis also the attitude at the top which is forcing loyal staff to leave,as seen in India,politics overrides fundamental security issues.The recent books by former intel officers in India is a case in point.

Exodus of officers hits war on terror
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 3:10am BST 13/08/2007

The military's ability to fight global terrorism is being hampered by an exodus of officers from the Intelligence Corps, with 20 per cent departing in the past three years, defence sources have disclosed.

British troops in Basra. The Army is suffering significant losses of soldiers who have been lured into lucrative security jobs

The use of a key weapon in fighting the Taliban and Iraqi insurgents, as well as Islamic terrorists, has been undermined by more than 100 officers being lured into highly paid private security jobs or becoming disillusioned at the way intelligence is handled, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

Senior officers are also deeply concerned that the fall in numbers has resulted in people being posted to jobs above their rank, for which they do not have the experience or training.

"The corps now has to operate with people they would not normally fit into a post," a defence source said. "Majors are being put into a lieutenant colonel's job they are not up to right now.

"To sustain what the Intelligence Corps is doing, losing 20 per cent of officers is pretty hard. To some extent they can no longer fill posts that they wish to because they just don't have enough people. They have to give the jobs to non-specialists."

The defections to the private sector come at a time when the Armed Forces are fighting increasingly bloody battles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

advertisementLast week it emerged that the military was on course to lose more troops in Iraq this year than in 2003 - when the invasion took place - after suffering 41 fatalities since the start of the year compared to the 53 who died four years ago.

In addition, a report by the Commons foreign affairs committee warns today that President George W Bush's plan to restore peace in Iraq by introducing a "surge" of 33,000 extra troops is likely to fail.

And yesterday it was announced that another soldier had been killed fighting in Afghanistan, bringing the total number of British servicemen killed in action in the past week to six.

The serviceman, from 1st Bn The Royal Anglian Regiment, was killed when his patrol base in the volatile Helmand province came under attack from small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

The Army is already suffering significant losses of experienced soldiers who have been lured into lucrative security jobs, earning up to £500 a day in Iraq or Afghanistan.

In particular, Special Forces are suffering with dwindling numbers as troops are recruited into the private sector. Only last month, the commanding officer of 22 SAS left a promising career for a well-paid civilian job.

The retention crisis has meant that the Army is 3,500 soldiers under strength, many of them experienced and senior NCOs.

There is a major worry that the loss of personnel from the Intelligence Corps will impact on operations against terrorists. A plan to prevent further losses from the pool of about 500 officers by offering a £50,000 bonus for three further years' service is under consideration by the Ministry of Defence.

Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said there was an indication that the Intelligence Corps was "so over-stretched that it may mean operations are compromised".

He said: "They are being sent on a very high number of deployments but without intelligence we are working in the dark."

He added that there had been a "complete failure" to understand the importance of intelligence, and the situation had not been helped by MI5 and MI6 "poaching" Intelligence Corps officers.

Defence sources said retaining experienced Intelligence Corps officers with the rank of major or lieutenant colonel was difficult and "there simply are not enough".

International security companies are poaching them with offers of £125,000, tax-free, for a year in Baghdad including three months' leave. By contrast, a major in the Army would earn around £47,000.

"Military intelligence just cannot compete with salaries that are three times those paid by the Army," a defence source said.

An MoD spokesman admitted it faced challenges of "recruiting and retention" in all the Services and was "trying hard to resolve them".

While civilian contracts are attractive, officers have also become increasingly disillusioned with the way intelligence is being handled. Despite the massive failures of the 2003 Iraq invasion and the subsequent Hutton and Butler inquiries, there is huge frustration that some commanders do not appreciate the specialisation.

The role of the Intelligence Corps, particularly in defeating the IRA in Northern Ireland, has been recognised as crucial in the fight against terrorism.

Today their job at home and abroad has become important enough for the corps to be expanded to 2,000 personnel - about the same size as MI5.

At the high end of operations its officers and men work alongside Special Forces providing them with vital information to carry out missions.


White Flight out of UK

Postby Raju » 13 Aug 2007 18:36


Immigration is rife, but thousands are quitting Britain

Sunday August 5,2007
By Michael Knapp, Home Affairs Editor Have your say(32)
BRITAIN is facing a mass exodus of people looking to escape the crime and grime of modern living.

The country’s biggest foreign visa consultancy firm has revealed that applications have soared in the last seven months by 80 per cent to almost 4,000 a week. Ten years ago the figure was just 300 a week.

Most people are relocating within the Commonwealth – in Australia, Canada and South Africa. They are almost all young professionals and skilled workers aged 20-40.

And many cite their reason for wanting to quit as immigration to these shores – and the burden it is placing on their communities and local authorities. The dearth of good schools, spiralling house prices, rising crime and tax increases are also driving people away.

Obtaining a visa to live abroad can cost as little as £1,500 for the right candidates. Plumbers, electricians, construction workers and doctors are famously in demand. The only obstruction to emigration from the UK is a criminal record, poor health, advancing age and being a “third country nationalâ€

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Postby sanjaykumar » 13 Aug 2007 19:37

But why not go to Northern England, Wales or even Scotland if they will have you? If Britain is such a great place why come to Canada? Or is it because the Polish plumbers and Indian doctors provide more competition than you can handle?

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Postby surinder » 13 Aug 2007 20:32

Philip wrote:"British Raj" historian salutes India's resurgence! Let us only hope that our current rulers do not bring back the Nava-East India Company as they are trying to do!

India: the Empire strikes back
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 03/08/2007

Hastings stood accused of nothing less than the rape of India - or as Burke put it in his opening speech: "Cruelties unheard of and devastations almost without name… crimes which have their rise in the wicked dispositions of men, in avarice, rapacity, pride, cruelty, malignity, haughtiness, insolence - in short everything that manifests a heart blackened to the very blackest; a heart dyed in blackness; a heart gangrened to the core… We have brought before you the head, the captain general of iniquity - one in whom all the fraud, all the tyranny of India are embodied."

The British hide behind use of elitist flowery language. It gives them a veneer of elite humble sophisticated civilized society, but behind this is a tendency no more civilized than Chengiz Khan. Their sh** smells no better.

Today, academics, historians and economists are fiercely divided between those who believe European colonial rule brought great benefits to India and those who believe Britain put India into irreversible political and economic decline.

That there should be even a debate about whether the British were good or bad is itself an indication of how badly the British traumatized India. 60 years after getting independence, Indians are still not clear. They should rename the Stockholm syndrome as India syndrome.

there is certainly much that the West can unambiguously be said to have contributed to Indian life: the Portuguese, for example, brought that central staple of Indian life, the chilli pepper; while the British brought that other essential staple, tea, as well as the far more important innovations of democracy and the rule of law, along with the railways, all of which have helped India rise again to greatness.

While I like Chili powder and tea, my question is simple: Is it not possible that India could ahve imported Chilli and Tea without the British rule? If we could, how could such a simple inane thing be thought of as an achievement? Was not India able to import Carbonated drinks without the being raped by the British? Maybe, just maybe, we could have gotton those things without the British too.

It is also true that factors such as cricket and the English language have been crucial to India's modern success

Can someone explain how cricket contributed to India's success? Could the Indians not have been able to learn English on their own?

Yet it was the depth of that reorientation and adoption, and the ease which Indians can now cross the globe and work in either Britain or the US, that today has given the country's anglicised elite such easy access to the jobs and opportunities of the Western economy.

The Chinese also effortlessly emigrate and prosper in the West. In fact, there are more of them in the West. That is just a poor argument to explain Indian success in West.

In 1600, when the East India Company was founded, Britain was generating 1.8 per cent of the world's GDP, while India was producing 22.5 per cent. By 1870, at the peak of the Raj, Britain was generating 9.1 per cent, while India had been reduced for the first time to the epitome of a Third World nation, a symbol across the globe of famine, poverty and deprivation.

Paul Kennedy also gives similar figures in his book on Rise and Fall of civilizations. Any one who eulogizes British rule must first explain these figures.


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Postby sanjaykumar » 13 Aug 2007 20:45

The White man's burden is a fig leaf to conceal the utter depravity of colonialism. If India develops antimatter weapons rather than muskets and a nuclear shield, will the debate shift to how beneficial Indian cuisine would be to Australia?

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Postby Philip » 24 Aug 2007 18:27

The untold secret of THE GREAT INDIAN HOLOCAUST! ... 24,00.html

1857 mutiny revisited

L'Estaffette, French newspaper: "Intervene in favour of the Indians, launch all our squadrons on the seas, join our efforts with those of Russia against British India ...such is the only policy truly worthy of the glorious traditions of France."

India's secret history: 'A holocaust, one where millions disappeared...'

Author says British reprisals involved the killing of 10m, spread over 10 years

Randeep Ramesh in New Delhi
Friday August 24, 2007
The Guardian

The battle of Cawnpore - the entire British garrison died at Cawnpore (now Kanpur), either in the battle or later massacred with women and children. Their deaths became a war cry for the British. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty

A controversial new history of the Indian Mutiny, which broke out 150 years ago and is acknowledged to have been the greatest challenge to any European power in the 19th century, claims that the British pursued a murderous decade-long campaign to wipe out millions of people who dared rise up against them.
In War of Civilisations: India AD 1857, Amaresh Misra, a writer and historian based in Mumbai, argues that there was an "untold holocaust" which caused the deaths of almost 10 million people over 10 years beginning in 1857. Britain was then the world's superpower but, says Misra, came perilously close to losing its most prized possession: India.

Conventional histories have counted only 100,000 Indian soldiers who were slaughtered in savage reprisals, but none have tallied the number of rebels and civilians killed by British forces desperate to impose order, claims Misra.
The author says he was surprised to find that the "balance book of history" could not say how many Indians were killed in the aftermath of 1857. This is remarkable, he says, given that in an age of empires, nothing less than the fate of the world hung in the balance.

"It was a holocaust, one where millions disappeared. It was a necessary holocaust in the British view because they thought the only way to win was to destroy entire populations in towns and villages. It was simple and brutal. Indians who stood in their way were killed. But its scale has been kept a secret," Misra told the Guardian.

His calculations rest on three principal sources. Two are records pertaining to the number of religious resistance fighters killed - either Islamic mujahideen or Hindu warrior ascetics committed to driving out the British.

The third source involves British labour force records, which show a drop in manpower of between a fifth and a third across vast swaths of India, which as one British official records was "on account of the undisputed display of British power, necessary during those terrible and wretched days - millions of wretches seemed to have died."

There is a macabre undercurrent in much of the correspondence. In one incident Misra recounts how 2m letters lay unopened in government warehouses, which, according to civil servants, showed "the kind of vengeance our boys must have wreaked on the abject Hindoos and Mohammadens, who killed our women and children."

Misra's casualty claims have been challenged in India and Britain. "It is very difficult to assess the extent of the reprisals simply because we cannot say for sure if some of these populations did not just leave a conflict zone rather than being killed," said Shabi Ahmad, head of the 1857 project at the Indian Council of Historical Research. "It could have been migration rather than murder that depopulated areas."

Many view exaggeration rather than deceit in Misra's calculations. A British historian, Saul David, author of The Indian Mutiny, said it was valid to count the death toll but reckoned that it ran into "hundreds of thousands".

"It looks like an overestimate. There were definitely famines that cost millions of lives, which were exacerbated by British ruthlessness. You don't need these figures or talk of holocausts to hammer imperialism. It has a pretty bad track record."

Others say Misra has done well to unearth anything in that period, when the British assiduously snuffed out Indian versions of history. "There appears a prolonged silence between 1860 and the end of the century where no native voices are heard. It is only now that these stories are being found and there is another side to the story," said Amar Farooqui, history professor at Delhi University. "In many ways books like Misra's and those of [William] Dalrymple show there is lots of material around. But you have to look for it."

What is not in doubt is that in 1857 Britain ruled much of the subcontinent in the name of the Bahadur Shah Zafar, the powerless poet-king improbably descended from Genghis Khan.

Neither is there much dispute over how events began: on May 10 Indian soldiers, both Muslim and Hindu, who were stationed in the central Indian town of Meerut revolted and killed their British officers before marching south to Delhi. The rebels proclaimed Zafar, then 82, emperor of Hindustan and hoisted a saffron flag above the Red Fort.

What follows in Misra's view was nothing short of the first war of Indian independence, a story of a people rising to throw off the imperial yoke. Critics say the intentions and motives were more muddled: a few sepoys misled into thinking the officers were threatening their religious traditions. In the end British rule prevailed for another 90 years.

Misra's analysis breaks new ground by claiming the fighting stretched across India rather than accepting it was localised around northern India. Misra says there were outbreaks of anti-British violence in southern Tamil Nadu, near the Himalayas, and bordering Burma. "It was a pan-Indian thing. No doubt."

Misra also claims that the uprisings did not die out until years after the original mutiny had fizzled away, countering the widely held view that the recapture of Delhi was the last important battle.

For many the fact that Indian historians debate 1857 from all angles is in itself a sign of a historical maturity. "You have to see this in the context of a new, more confident India," said Jon E Wilson, lecturer in south Asian history at King's College London. "India has a new relationship with 1857. In the 40s and 50s the rebellions were seen as an embarrassment. All that fighting, when Nehru and Gandhi preached nonviolence. But today 1857 is becoming part of the Indian national story. That is a big change."

What they said

Charles Dickens: "I wish I were commander-in-chief in India ... I should proclaim to them that I considered my holding that appointment by the leave of God, to mean that I should do my utmost to exterminate the race."

Karl Marx: "The question is not whether the English had a right to conquer India, but whether we are to prefer India conquered by the Turk, by the Persian, by the Russian, to India conquered by the Briton."

L'Estaffette, French newspaper: "Intervene in favour of the Indians, launch all our squadrons on the seas, join our efforts with those of Russia against British India ...such is the only policy truly worthy of the glorious traditions of France."

The Guardian: "We sincerely hope that the terrible lesson thus taught will never be forgotten ... We may rely on native bayonets, but they must be officered by Europeans."

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Postby Philip » 01 Sep 2007 11:08

Criminal! Britian secretly tested chemical weapons on Indian soldiers 10 years before WW2!

Military scientists tested mustard gas on Indians

· Hundreds of soldiers used in experiments
· Illnesses caused by carcinogen not tracked

Rob Evans
Saturday September 1, 2007
The Guardian

British military scientists sent hundreds of Indian soldiers into gas chambers and exposed them to mustard gas, documents uncovered by the Guardian have revealed.
The Guardian understands that the British military did not check up on the Indian soldiers after the experiments to see if they developed any illnesses. It is now recognised that mustard gas can cause cancer and other diseases.

Many suffered severe burns on their skin, including their genitals, leaving them in pain for days and even weeks. Some had to be treated in hospital.

The trials have been thrown into the spotlight by newly discovered documents at the National Archives which have shown for the first time the full scale of the experiments.
The Indian troops were serving under the command of the British military at a time when India was under colonial rule.

The experiments took place over more than 10 years before and during world war two in a military installation at Rawalpindi, now in Pakistan. They were conducted by scientists from the Porton Down chemical warfare establishment in Wiltshire who had been posted to the sub-continent to develop poison gases to use against the Japanese.

The Indian tests are a little-known part of Porton's huge programme of chemical warfare testing on humans. More than 20,000 British soldiers were subjected to chemical warfare trials involving poison gases, such as nerve gas and mustard gas, at Porton between 1916 and 1989.

Many of these British soldiers have alleged that they were duped into taking part in the tests, which have damaged their health in the years after the trials.

The reports record that in some cases Indian soldiers were exposed to mustard gas protected only by a respirator. On one occasion the gas mask of an Indian sepoy (a private) slipped, leaving him with severe burns on his eyes and face.

The tests were used to determine how much gas was needed to produce a casualty on the battlefield.

In 1942 the Porton scientists reported that there had been a "large number" of burns from the gas among Indian and British test subjects. Some were so harsh that they had to be sent to hospital. "Severely burned patients are often very miserable and depressed and in considerable discomfort, which must be experienced to be properly realised," wrote the scientists.

Other soldiers were hospitalised for a week after they were sent into a gas chamber wearing "drill shorts and open-necked, khaki, cotton shirts" to gauge the effect of mustard gas on their eyes.

The trials had started in the early 1930s when Porton scientists wanted to find out if mustard gas inflicted greater damage on Indian skin compared with British skin. More than 500 Britons and Indians were exposed to mustard gas.

Alan Care, a lawyer representing British troops tested at Porton, said: "I would be astonished if these Indian subjects gave any meaningful consent to taking part in these tests, particularly as they were conducted during the days of Empire. No one would have agreed ... if they knew beforehand what was going to happen."

Porton officials have argued that trials took place in a different era, during a conflict, and so their conduct should not be judged by today's standards.

The Ministry of Defence could not say whether the Indian soldiers were volunteers in the experiments. It said: "The studies undertaken at the Chemical Defence Research Establishment in India included defensive research, weapons research and physiological research. These studies supported those conducted in simulated conditions in the UK in a different environment."

Chemical warfare

Porton Down, founded in 1916, is the oldest chemical warfare research installation in the world. Until the 1950s Porton developed chemical weapons such as mustard gas and nerve gas. In the 1940s and 1950s Porton also devised biological weapons, chiefly anthrax bombs.

Today Porton's primary task is to develop defensive equipment to shield the armed forces against chemical and biological weapons. Porton believes that the British armed forces are equipped with some of the best defensive equipment in the world.

Porton has always recruited members of the armed forces to take part in experiments. The most controversial resulted in the death of airman Ronald Maddison in 1953 when liquid nerve gas was dripped on to his arm. An inquest in 2004 found that he had been unlawfully killed.

Last year the government paid compensation to three servicemen who had been given LSD without their consent.

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Postby gauravs » 02 Sep 2007 22:42

Why is this not getting the importance it deserves. If it were upto me I'd break off diplomatic relations till the UK comes clear and pays up to the descendants of the soldiers, and publicly appologizes and agrees to Indian probes into HR violations by these British scientists/military officers.

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Postby JCage » 04 Sep 2007 22:06

Anand K
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Postby Anand K » 04 Sep 2007 22:31

>>NBC testing on us darkies

IIRC there was an article in India Today about a decade ago.... it was about immigrants in the UK being used as guinea pigs for nuclear (medicine?) tests. Of course they had signed some documents but they weren't told of the true nature of the tests. There was one Desi test subject, on an old woman (now a cancer patient) who distinctly remembers a curt Gora nurse injecting some "medicine" and then feeding her a "strange tasting bread".
Well, evil old plutocrats sending whole columns of their own soldiers into still warm testing grounds won't think twice before sending unwashed immigrants into their Mengele Memorial Medical Institute.

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Postby sanjaykumar » 04 Sep 2007 23:02

Virginity testing (by Christians!) is one thing but the above seems farfetched-more detail please.

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Postby bala » 04 Sep 2007 23:15

Britain in top-secret work on n-warhead

British scientists are secretly working on the design of a revamped nuclear warhead at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire, near London, a leading daily reported on Tuesday.

"The new device, designated the High Surety Warhead, is the British version of the Reliable Replacement Warhead programme which started more than two years ago at the US military's California and New Mexico nuclear laboratories."

In fact, the top-secret project is being run in conjunction with the American efforts to build a range of modernised 'failsafe' nuclear firepower for its own submarine-launched Trident missiles, the unnamed sources said.

"The aim (of the project) is to produce warheads which contain fewer degradable components, giving them a longer shelf-life, and to make them so dependable that none would have to be detonated in an underground explosion that would contravene the worldwide test ban," the sources said.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the British government is in the process of investing almost 2.2 billion pounds in the Aldermaston site to equip it with a state-of-the-art Cray supercomputer codenamed Larch and a laser codenamed Orion to help model nuclear explosions in place of live testing.


Postby cbelwal » 05 Sep 2007 00:05

There has a lesson to be learned. As India's economy grows and it retains its rightful place, India will be attacked again, as it has always been in the past. If we havent learned our lesson we will fall again this time as victims to another colonial power.

What the British did in India has to made part of school history especially in the highly anglesized school board called ICSE, who's history books still potray that the British did a favor by raping India.

sanjaykumar wrote:The White man's burden is a fig leaf to conceal the utter depravity of colonialism. If India develops antimatter weapons rather than muskets and a nuclear shield, will the debate shift to how beneficial Indian cuisine would be to Australia?

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Postby shyamd » 06 Sep 2007 16:26


It appears that they were approaching NATO covered zone guarded by the RAF. Russia says they didn't approach British aerospace. The same jets were also intercepted by the Norwegian air force. It occurred this morning.

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Postby gauravjkale » 06 Sep 2007 16:47

everytime the british or other NATO planes intercept these russian planes russians must be learning a great deal about the radars and other things about these planes.

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Postby Philip » 12 Sep 2007 13:17

MI5 and MI6 to be sued for first time over torture ... 08,00.html

Vikram Dodd
Wednesday September 12, 2007
The Guardian

A British man who was held in Guantánamo Bay has begun a civil action against MI5 and MI6 over the tactics that they use to gather intelligence.
The suit has been brought by Tarek Dergoul, 29, who claims he was repeatedly tortured while he was held by the US, and that British agents who had also questioned him were aware of the mistreatment.

He wants a high court ruling that will ban the security services from "benefiting" from the abuse of prisoners being held in detention outside the UK.

If Mr Dergoul wins, it would mean that MI5 and MI6 could not interrogate British nationals while they are being held and tortured abroad.
A British citizen, he has been awarded legal aid for the case, and papers will be lodged at the high court today. They were drafted by the Rabinder Singh, QC, a leading human rights barrister from the Matrix Chambers.

According to court documents seen by the Guardian, Mr Dergoul alleges that agents from MI5 and MI6 repeatedly interrogated him while he was held and tortured in Afghanistan and then Guantánamo, and were thus complicit in his treatment. In the 13-page document to be lodged at court, he says he suffered beatings, sexual humiliation, insults to his religion, and was subjected to extremes of cold. He was released back to Britain in 2004 without charge.

Britain says it does not carry out or condone torture, but it stands accused of benefiting from inhumane treatment meted out by other countries.

Mr Dergoul is seeking damages for "misfeasance in public office" by the security services and the Foreign Office.

The court papers state: "The British government and its officials knew that the claimant was being subjected to mistreatment amounting to torture and inhumane and degrading treatment because he told them so...Accordingly the British government and its officials unlawfully sought to benefit from mistreatment of the claimant. It is averred that either the British officials knowingly unlawfully interrogated the claimant or they acted with reckless indifference to its illegality."

Mr Dergoul said he was picked up in Afghanistan in 2001 by local warlords who "sold" him to the US for $5,000.

He denies involvement in fighting or terrorism and says he went to the region to study Arabic. He was held for a month at the prison in Bagram then spent three months in Kandahar before being sent to Guantánamo Bay.

He says one week after his arrival at Bagram, British agents first questioned him, identifying themselves only by their first names, "Andrew" and "Matt" and was questioned in front of an armed US soldier. He says he was kept in a cage with 20 others and saw horrific acts of torture inflicted on prisoners.

"They would be severely beaten, often with baseball bats, when they collapsed from exhaustion. The claimant also observed two or three men being hung by their hands with bags over their heads. The claimant also heard gunshots and screams," the papers say.

Mr Dergoul says he was moved to Kandahar, suffering more torture and denial of medical treatment that led to a toe being amputated. Again he says he was visited and interrogated by the British. One of the officials was 'Matt' whom he had previously seen at Bagram and the other man was in his early 40s and short."

In 2002, hooded, drugged and shackled Mr Dergoul was taken to Guantánamo, where he says UK agents questioned him five times, at intervals of every four to five months. In Guantánamo the Briton says he suffered more abuse and torture, which he says he told UK officials about.

"The claimant complained that he was being beaten and was being sexually assaulted by having his genitals touched during searches. The claimant also complained that he had been repeatedly attacked..., that he had been placed in freezing conditions in isolation without access to a toilet, water or soap, that he had had his facial hair forcibly shaved."

The government is expected to fight the court action.

Last night Mr Dergoul said: "This action comes at a time when people all over the world need protection from torture and abuse by governments which say they represent and uphold human rights."

The government confirmed last night that security service agents had interviewed Mr Dergoul and other Britons held in Guantánamo "about the UK's national security" adding "it was important that we got as much information as possible. They were arrested in unusual circumstances. British officials who visited them acted with the highest degree of professionalism."

The Foreign Office said: "The UK unreservedly condemns the use of torture. The British government, including its intelligence and security agencies, never use torture for any purpose, including obtaining information, nor would we instigate actions by others to do so." It said it could not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.

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Postby Singha » 13 Sep 2007 11:24


Super-Rich Tax Breaks Help Drive London's Economy: Matthew Lynn

By Matthew Lynn

Enlarge Image/Details

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- What's Europe's biggest tax haven? Monaco, perhaps? Andorra or Liechtenstein? No, it is the U.K.

Under an obscure piece of British tax legislation, anyone who lives in the U.K., but wasn't born there, can opt for ``non- domiciled'' tax status. That means billionaires such as Lakshmi Mittal, born in India, or Hans Rausing, born in Sweden, need only pay tax on the small amount of money they bring into the country every year, and not on their worldwide earnings.

In effect, that has made London a tax haven for everyone from Russian oil tycoons to international investment bankers.

Now that's coming under increasing attack and presenting a tricky political problem for Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The trade unions are gunning for the loophole. So are politicians from the governing Labour Party and, more surprisingly, columnists for conservative newspapers.

They have a point. It doesn't make much sense for a highly taxed country -- the top income-tax rate is 40 percent -- to exempt a small group of wealthy people. That doesn't seem fair on the native population.

The trouble is, it's too late to change it now.

London, and by extension the rest of the British economy, has become dependent on the mega-rich. It would make as much sense for Saudi Arabia to shut down its oil industry or for Seattle to attack the software business as it would for the U.K. to abolish the ``non-dom'' rule.

112,000 People

There is no denying the impact it has had, or the growing debate about its consequences. According to figures compiled by the U.K. Treasury, there were about 112,000 people claiming non- domiciled status in the year through April 2005. Although they reported a total of 9.8 billion pounds ($19.9 billion) a year in earnings, their wealth from overseas income would be much more.

That's a lot of people with a lot of money. Monaco has a population of about 32,000, Andorra has 70,000, and Liechtenstein about 34,000 people. So it is no exaggeration to describe the U.K. as Europe's biggest tax haven.

Some people aren't happy about that. In a report last week, the Trades Union Congress, which represents 7 million workers in 66 unions, argued that closing the loophole could help raise the 4 billion pounds the government needs to meet its pledge of halving child poverty by 2010.

Others agree. The Liberal Democrats, Britain's third-biggest political party, have called for stiffer rules for ``non-dom'' residents. So have Labour politicians.

Newspaper Protest

``The reputation of Britain as a tax haven and the concern being expressed by tax authorities in the United States is something that must be addressed,'' Labour Member of Parliament Jim Cousins told the House of Commons in July.

Even on the right of the political spectrum, there have been rumblings of disquiet. Readers of Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph or Rachel Johnson in the Sunday Times would have seen attacks on the unfairness of the ``non-dom'' rule in recent months. When even the Times and the Daily Telegraph, two conservative, free-market newspapers, say people are paying too little tax, something is definitely up.

``I am not convinced that the financial-services industry is dependent on tax breaks for a handful of individuals,'' Adam Lent, the Trades Union Congress's head of economic and social affairs, said in a telephone interview. ``After all, many of them are City workers, and both they and the businesses they work for have deep roots in the U.K. Where else are they going to go?''

In a world where people and capital are increasingly mobile, and where multimillionaires are being minted by the second, the attraction of ``non-dom'' status in the U.K. will only grow.

Sleepy Monaco

Other tax havens are wacky, obscure little places: Monaco is the only one that is really livable, and even that is pretty sleepy. But London is one of the most exciting, vibrant cities in the world. It is a great place to do business. Why pay punishing taxes in Paris, Munich, or Stockholm when you could be paying virtually nothing in London?

The City, as London's financial district is known, has come to rely on the U.K.'s status as a tax haven. It is one of the reasons it is so successful. If you get rid of the rule now, business might start to drift away to Zurich.

Likewise, London gets a boost from ``non-dom'' residents in powering its turbo-charged economy. They keep house prices high, create jobs and attract new business. Anything that damages London's standing in the global economy will hurt the country.

There is certainly a good case to be made for lowering taxes for the native British. If the U.K. had a flat tax of, say, 15 percent, there would be fewer complaints about how little the super-rich were paying.

Whether by design or accident, Britain has chosen to be the service center for the global plutocracy.
So far, it has worked out pretty well for everyone. Throwing it into reverse now would be a blow to the economy.

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Postby sanjaykumar » 17 Sep 2007 05:40

Funny how they leave out the corruption angle to these plutocrats and Britain's enlightened self-interest in benefiting from these fat-cat capitalists.
Further, the oh-so-civilised Swiss are essentially profiteers of drugs, scandal, corruption, African blood diamonds etc, etc. Yet not a peep from the British Economist on Europe's continueing economic corruption. In contrast to the bleating on the penny-anny corruption in places like India.

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Postby sanjaykumar » 17 Sep 2007 05:43

India, British joint exercises in Ladakh ... 170323.htm

Are Indians crazy? What business do they have to interject Brtish troops into Ladakh? So the Brits can relive their role in the handing over of Gilgit? Do the Indians have any sense of history?

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Postby vsudhir » 23 Sep 2007 17:36

Rocking the land of Poppins By Chan Akya (Asia times)

I wrote in a recent column [1] about the dysfunctional nature of Group of Seven (G7) financial systems. Reading that article again, I am myself astounded by how "nice" I was in focusing merely on the interbank system rather than the wider implications for depositors. When G7 countries start facing good old-fashioned bank runs, it is the time for every central banker around the world to stand up and take notice.

This is especially true for Asia, which supplies much of the capital that allows G7 governments to rescue their banks from time to time. [2] To state the obvious, the region must not expect similar favors from G7 countries should local financial systems ever lurch into disaster mode. Indeed, we should instead expect to hear the usual homilies about "rigorous market discipline", "robust checks and balances" and other such reasons any financial crisis is a problem for Asians and not something with which G7 countries should help them.

I don't want to dwell too much on the obvious hypocrisy of G7 countries that helps them to adopt a holier-than-thou attitude while scrumptiously helping their own banks avoid troubles. The 50-basis-point cut of the US Federal Reserve this week falls into the same category.

And this likhney ka andaz is funnee onlee

Queues outside banks that stretched for several streets. Angry depositors who got into scuffles over queue-jumping by those late to realize their savings were in trouble. Banks imposing daily limits on withdrawals and increasing penalties for breaking fixed deposits. Rumors on every street corner concerning the next bank to fail. Central bankers who literally sweat under the spotlight. Government ministers calling up the head of the central bank to appear before an urgent committee where said banker was reprimanded quite severely. Satirical magazines that have steered clear of their usual beat around politics instead to make fun of bankers and depositors.

The above scenes were not from Thailand or Indonesia in 1997 or South Korea and Russia in 1998. Rather, it was in the staid old world of the United Kingdom, where the stiff upper lip apparently gave way to quivering bouts of sentimentality.

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

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Postby Philip » 05 Oct 2007 16:35

British guards 'assault and racially abuse' deportees ... 028727.ece

By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor
Published: 05 October 2007
Hundreds of failed asylum-seekers deported from the United Kingdom have been beaten and racially abused by British escort teams who are paid to take them back to their home countries,

The scale of the alleged abuse has been uncovered in a joint investigation by The Independent and a group co-ordinating the representation and medical care of failed asylum-seekers.

A dossier of 200 cases, collated by doctors, lawyers, immigration centre visitors and campaign groups over the past two years, has unearthed shocking claims of physical and mental mistreatment of some of the most vulnerable people in our asylum system.

Many of the claims include allegations of physical and sexual assault and racist abuse which took place during the long journey from Britain to their home countries.

One of the cases of alleged abuse is that of Armand Tchuibeu, a Cameroon national who claimed asylum in the United Kingdom in February 2000. His application was refused last year. He was then arrested and prepared for removal.

On 29 January 2007 he was collected from Tinsley House removal centre in East Sussex by four escort officers who drove him to Heathrow to catch a 9pm flight to Cameroon, as pictured on the front page from CCTV footage inside the van.

He claims handcuffs were applied to his right arm. Mr Tchuibeu says he told the guards that there was no need to handcuff him as he had no intention of obstructing his removal. But he alleges that officers started to manhandle him and, while his arms were held, one of the officers punched him in his ribs and on his neck and told him words to the effect "You will go to your ****** country today, we will ****** show you what illegal people deserve in our country". Another officer is alleged to have held his head down so they could apply a leg strap.

Eventually, Mr Tchuibeu convinced the escort officers he had been injured and the deportation was aborted. Mr Tchuibeu was taken to the Hillingdon Hospital where he was examined and treated. His knee was placed in a cylinder cast which he wore for four weeks.

Mr Tchuibeu, who is being represented by the London solicitors Birnberg Peirce, is now bringing a civil claim for assault against the security company.

The authors of the 200-case dossier accuse the Government of turning a blind eye to the abuse in order to meet arbitrary targets for the forced repatriation of asylum-seekers.

They say some of the cases they are investigating are worse than the torture and abuse the refugee suffered before making their asylum claim in this country.

In nearly every case, the allegation of mistreatment is made against private security contractors employed by the Government to carry out enforced removals of asylum-seekers.

Mr Tchuibeu appears to be far from an isolated case.

Milton Apollo Okello, 25, who was tortured by the Ugandan security services, claims that, after his asylum claim was rejected, he was frogmarched on to a plane and tied to his seat by British guards.

But when word came through that he had won an eleventh-hour reprieve, Mr Okello claims he was taken to a van and beaten and racially abused. Mr Okello said: "The driver opened the sliding door and I was pushed into the middle of the seat. Two of the officers got on one side of me and the others came in on the other side. Officer A then punched me hard in the face and he said "These black monkeys don't want to go back to their country ..."

A 24-year-old man who escaped to Britain after being imprisoned and tortured in the Republic of Congo claims that when he refused to sign a document presented to him by his escorts, three of them forced both hands backwards. One of the escorts is said to have told him: "This is the key to going home."

A doctor who later conducted an examination of Mr A, wrote: "The fourth metacarpal of the left hand has undoubtedly suffered a fracture. This is highly consistent with excessive use of force during or after a failed attempt to remove him from the UK."

Dr Frank Arnold, a volunteer doctor with the Medical Justice Network, who has examined more than 100 detained asylum-seekers, says many of the injuries suffered during removal are not taken seriously enough by the British immigration authorities.

He said: "Some of these injuries have been so bad that police officers who saw them appear to have been genuinely shocked. But it is my experience that medical staff who examine asylum-seekers when they are taken back into detention have greatly underestimated the severity of the injuries, including fractures and nerve damage from forcible traction on handcuffs."

In the past two years government figures show that 1,173 attempts to remove failed asylum-seekers, such ase Mr Tchuibeu have failed.

The majority of those are due to the disruptive behaviour of the detainee on board the aircraft or because of an eleventh-hour judicial intervention. But others fail because of injuries suffered or the deterioration in the physical or mental health of the asylum-seeker during the removal process.

Last month Mr Tchuibeu was returned to the Cameroon. After a police investigation, no one has been charged with an offence. The company denies the allegations of brutality made against its staff.

A spokesman for the Border and Immigration Agency which contracts the security companies to help carry out the removals said: "Any allegations of misconduct are thoroughly investigated and all allegations of physical and racial abuse are referred to the police."

Three security firms are on the Government's approved list for the forced removal of failed asylum-seekers. They are Group4Securicor, International Training Academy and GEO, an American company

A spokesman said Group4- Securicor was aware of complaints made but said they had never been proven – adding the company would condemn any such action. GEO and International Training Academy both declined to comment.

Terror of Flight 101: An echo of Orwell

The flight leaves Heathrow airport's Terminal Four, every Wednesday bearing the number KQ101. The echo of George Orwell's Room 101 is unhappily appropriate. On this Kenya Airways jet, many asylum-seekers' worst nightmares do come true. KQ101 is the deportation flight chartered by the British Government to return refugees to Africa. According to human rights groups, this flight carries out the most Africa-bound removals of unsuccessful asylum applicants to the UK. It has also become a flight that has attracted allegations of abuse by guards. From Nairobi the detainees are flown all over Africa where they are handed over to security and immigration authorities.

Last night the Home Office said it had a number of contracts with airlines for scheduled and charter flights which involved the removal of failed asylum-seekers. A spokeswoman from Kenya Airways confirmed it had a contract with the Government to fly failed asylum seekers to Africa. "We have not received any complaints about these flights," she said.

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Postby Karan Dixit » 06 Oct 2007 13:35

What savages that Brits are!

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Postby Philip » 12 Oct 2007 10:40

Here is the British scheme to gag former diplomats in similar manner to which ex-R&AW,IB,etc.,officers of Indian agencies will be dealt with.The view of a former British ambassador that George Bush was "Al Qaida's best recruiting sergeant" is such a jewel that demands a freedom of expression for former govt. servants especially in India,where the truth is most often swept under the carpet or filed along with the other zillions of skeletons in cobwebbed closets. ... 53,00.html

Foreign Offfice gag on memoirs angers former diplomats

Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
Friday October 12, 2007
The Guardian

A former British diplomat yesterday denounced a lifetime confidentiality agreement demanded by the Foreign Office as "unworkable and draconian", and has refused to sign it.
Sir Ivor Roberts, a former ambassador to Italy, said demands by the Foreign Office that "obligations of confidentiality" should continue even after diplomats retire were a "dramatic ... over-reaction".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "A note came round from the Foreign Office inviting us to sign up and I declined. I thought it was a wholly unreasonable change to the conditions of service I had signed up to when I joined the Foreign Office 40 years ago."

His remarks followed similar complaints in the New Statesman, by another ex-diplomat, Edward Clay, who said the rules amounted to a "legally dubious gag".
"Irritation is no justification for governments to breach the rights of individuals," Mr Clay wrote. "The severely restrictive terms of the revised FCO regulation are an infringement of the right to free speech of former crown servants."

The confidentiality rules were changed in March 2006 by Jack Straw, then foreign secretary.

He extended restrictions on serving Foreign Office officials to apply to retirees, who would have to obtain permission to write their memoirs "before entering into commitments with publishers; and to submit texts for clearance".

The change followed the publication of a book by Sir Christopher Meyer, a former ambassador to Washington. The book, DC Confidential, gave an account of talks between Tony Blair's government and the Bush administration in the months leading up to the Iraq invasion.

Officials said the Straw rules simply brought the Foreign Office into line with the rest of Whitehall. One official pointed out that the regulations had not prevented other ex-diplomats speaking out on foreign policy issues in the media, but added that without some confidentiality controls, "the functioning of government becomes impossible".

But members of the former Blair government have been publishing a string of memoirs, most recently the former Downing Street spokesman, Alastair Campbell. Mr Blair is also in the process of writing his own.

The Straw rules have yet to be tested in court and could be challenged in the European court of human rights, as an infringement on freedom of expression.

Sir Ivor, who is now master of Trinity College, Oxford, caused uproar in 2004 with leaked remarks calling US President George Bush "al-Qaida's best recruiting sergeant". After more outspoken remarks in his valedictory memo on retiring from Rome, the practice of farewell statements by outgoing ambassadors was stopped by Sir Peter Ricketts, the permanent secretary at the Foreign Office.

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Postby Gerard » 14 Oct 2007 23:59

Jihad Calypso

"Come Mr. Taliban, come give me Kalasnikov. Come Mr. Taliban, come bomb England... before the daylight come, you wanna see Ten Downing Street.

Come Mr. Taliban, come implement Shariah. Come Mr. Taliban, come bomb England before the daylight come, Insh'Allah, it will be done.

Hey Mr. Taliban, come kill the dirty kuffir, get rid of the haram, because we want halal.

Hey Mr. Taliban, boom, boom, boom, come bomb England before the daylight come. Insh'Allah, it will be done.

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Postby Philip » 29 Oct 2007 15:31

Latest news from the Diana inquest and allefations of an MI6 plot by renegade spy Richard Tomlinson. ... a-reality-


TARGET: Diana's driver may have been blinded by a strong flashlight

Sunday October 7,2007
By James Murray and Gordon Thomas Have your say(13)
RENEGADE spy Richard Tomlinson will tell the Princess Diana inquest that he believes Ritz hotel security chief Henri Paul met an MI6 handler on the night she died.

Today we also reveal a French spy chief allegedly seen chatting to Paul on the night of the crash is refusing to give evidence at the inquest.

Mr Tomlinson, a former MI6 officer once jailed for leaking Government secrets, will make sen­sational claims via a videolink from his bolthole in France to the inquest in London.

He is refusing to return to Britain to give evidence in person because he fears he will be arrested and jailed.

Cambridge-educated Mr Tomlinson, 40, will give evidence supporting the claim by Harrods tycoon Mohamed Al Fayed that there was an Estab­lishment plot to kill Diana to stop her marrying his son, Dodi, a Muslim.

Private testimony that Mr Tomlinson gave earlier caused ructions within MI6, leading to him being closely monitored by the British security services. Mr Tomlinson told the French examining magistrate Herve Stephan that a Frenchman working in the security department at the Paris Ritz was on MI6’s books.

He added: “I cannot claim that I remember from reading this file that the name of the person was Henri Paul but I have no doubt with the benefit of hindsight that it was he.â€

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Postby Philip » 31 Oct 2007 11:20

Shouts of 'murderers' and 'torturers' greet King Abdullah on Palace tour
By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor ... 112811.ece

Published: 31 October 2007
One of the most controversial state visits to Britain of recent times began officially yesterday with a royal welcome, set against a backdrop of protest placards.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was officially welcomed by a guard of honour with the Queen at Horseguards Parade. Gordon Brown, Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, and the Foreign Office minister Kim Howells joined dignitaries on the dais. The King then lunched with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in the Bow Room at the Palace before being shown a specially created exhibition of Saudi items from the Royal Collection.

Beyond the gates of the Palace, however, the growing outcry continued. Protesters calling for the reopening of a corruption inquiry into a multibillion-dollar arms deal for Typhoon fighters from the UK jeered the Saudi King as the Government rolled out the red carpet to greet him. Scores of protesters shouted "murderers", "torturers", and "shame on you" at King Abdullah as he passed by in a gilded horse-drawn coach.

As the Prime Minister welcomes the King to No 10 today, Labour MPs are planning a demonstration outside the Saudi embassy in London.

Vince Cable, the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, who is boycotting events during the visit, said Mr Brown should answer a list of questions including whether he has sought an apology over the arrest and torture of the British expat engineer Sandy Mitchell by the Saudi authorities. Mr Mitchell is expected to be among the protesters.

Mr Cable said Mr Brown should raise with the Saudi King five causes of civil rights abuses in the country – gender discrimination, the death penalty, cruel punishments, the wholesale use of torture and the ill-treatment of homosexuals.

On corruption charges, including alleged "backhanders" for arms deals, Mr Cable asked: "Why is it that the UK has dropped the investigation into Al Yamamah deal in the same year that the US has opened an investigation into the issue? Will Mr Brown reopen the investigation by the SFO into BAE Systems and alleged corruption with regards to Saudi Arabia?" Would Mr Brown give his backing to the release of the National Audit Office report into the Al Yamamah case – which is the only report conducted by the NAO which has never been released?

He said Mr Brown also needed to say whether the Government was giving full co-operation to the US Justice Department, or whether he believed the US action compromised international security. Would he co-operate if the US charges were brought against British Government officials? Mr Cable asked.

More than 30 MPs and celebrities have also signed an open letter protesting at the visit. One of the signatories, the comedian Mark Thomas, 44, who helped the group Campaign Against Arms Trade organise the protest, said: "It's really important to show opposition to this disgusting hypocritical state of affairs where governments, rules of law, human affairs and democracy are cast aside to worship a barrel of oil."

Another signatory, Clare Short, the former secretary for international development who resigned from the Blair government, accused the Government of an "absolutely craven foreign policy" towards Saudi Arabia. "It is not just that the Saudis have a terrible record on human rights at home. They are exporting an extreme fundamentalist form of Islam. We should not be giving a state visit to this regime," she said.

The human rights activist Peter Tatchell said it was "incredible hypocrisy" for ministers to condemn the Burma and Zimbabwe while saying nothing about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. He said: "It just shows oil and arms sales seem to have bought the Government's silence."

Peter Kilfoyle, a former defence minister, and a string of trade union leaders such as Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Britain's biggest union, Unite, were also among the signatories. "We believe that there is a conspiracy of silence about the human rights abuses being perpetrated by the Saudi regime," their letter said.

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Postby Gerard » 01 Nov 2007 05:11

I wonder if King Abdullah knew what music the British Guardsmen were playing as he arrived at Horseguards parade ground?

The Imperial March (Darth Vader's theme) from Star Wars.

Abdullah looked like Palpatine himself as he climbed those steps.....

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Postby Singha » 01 Nov 2007 05:52

oh boy the Brits sure know how to subtly rub it in :rotfl:

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Postby vina » 04 Nov 2007 06:49

AoA Birathers.. Peace in Londonistan, I assure you.. Soon will have the biggest Mosque in all of Eurabia, courtesy Tablighi Jamaat birathers.

[quote]The New York Times
Printer Friendly Format Sponsored By

November 4, 2007
A Battle Rages in London Over a Mega-Mosque Plan

LONDON — Disputes over mosques have broken out across Europe. Residents from Belgium to France to Germany have expressed unease at minarets competing in the urban landscape with the spires and stones of centuries-old cathedrals.

But the fight raging over an abandoned lot in London’s East End is of an altogether grander scale. A large and secretive Islamic sect proposed building what would have been the largest mosque in Europe, smack at the gateway to the 2012 Olympic Games, and within sight of London’s financial district.

That plan was sent back to the drawing board to be scaled down, but not before raising a furor of equal size and discomforting questions about the right of Britain’s Muslims to take up a public space commensurate with their growing numbers.

This summer on the Web site of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, more than 250,000 critics of the proposed mosque supported a petition initiated by a backer of the conservative British National Party. Some of them said a large mosque had no right to exist in such a prominent place in a Christian country.

When, around the same time, Karen Armstrong, a historian of religion, wrote an article in the liberal Guardian newspaper commenting favorably about the mosque, the paper’s Web site was deluged with complaints.

In Newham, the borough where the mosque would stand, Alan Craig, the leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance Party in the East End, started a one-man campaign against the mosque a year ago that has grown and gained national prominence.

He began by emphasizing the size of the mosque. But now he focuses on its sponsor, Tablighi Jamaat, a worldwide evangelical Islamic group based in Pakistan with millions of followers that professes to encourage Muslims to be more loyal to their faith.

American and European law enforcement officials say Tablighi Jamaat’s simple message masks a fertile recruiting ground for terrorists. Two of the suicide bombers who attacked the London transit system in July 2005 had attended Tablighi Jamaat gatherings, British security officials said.

Tablighi Jamaat “is a separatist organization,â€

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Postby ashish raval » 09 Nov 2007 16:17

Singha wrote:oh boy the Brits sure know how to subtly rub it in :rotfl: ... 132sC?p=87

I think next time when Brit Queen visits India she deserves the same treatment. We need to remind them the history of India plundering.

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Postby kshirin » 16 Nov 2007 19:14

Singha wrote:oh boy the Brits sure know how to subtly rub it in :rotfl:

This had me and every Brit sent to in total fits bu tthey dont seem to know about it -did they really do this? Total class man.

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Postby Prem » 19 Nov 2007 10:14

Britain As India's Colony
19 Nov 2007, 0000 hrs IST,Ken Livingstone ... 550865.cms

India and Britain inhabit a world changing so rapidly that to bring out its character let's deliberately put it in stark, even 'provocative', terms.

In 20 years time, only three people are guaranteed a place at the top table of the world's affairs - the presidents of the US and China and the prime minister of India. By then, the world will have shifted so much that if there were to be war between Britain and India, Britain would be more likely to end up as a colony of India than the other way round.

Fortunately, for everybody concerned with humanity, has progressed to the point where colonies no longer exist and war, while not eliminated, has diminished. But such facts show the intensity of current transformations.

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Postby svinayak » 20 Nov 2007 04:22


[quote] Wooing India, Welsh style out of Cardiff ... 371100.htm

Hasan Suroor

Wales trying to catch up with England in claiming a piece of the Indian action.

You’re not likely to find many Indian faces on the streets of Cardiff — the dour maritime capital of Wales — but in the corridors of power, minds are very much concentrated on India as the Welsh Government tries to catch up with England and Scotland in claiming a piece of the Indian action.

Rhodri Morgan, the feisty First Minister who heads the Welsh government, admits that his country has been rather late in recognising the importance of India as a new “megaâ€

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Postby svinayak » 23 Nov 2007 22:14

An Indo-European extravaganza

The Delegation of the European Commission and the European Union Member States’ embassies in India in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations are hosting the European Union Cultural Weeks in the run-up to the eighth EU-India Summit in New Delhi on November 30.

As part of the EU Cultural Weeks, the European Commission is organising an ‘Indo-European Fusion Music Concert’ at Shri Satya Sai Auditorium on Lodhi Road on November 28. The concert will symbolise the perfect symphony of the two great musical traditions of Europe and India. Through the universal language of music, the event will highlight elements of friendship that have blossomed between the two continents over the centuries. The fusion extravaganza will be portrayed through the tunes of the sarangi, tabla, cello and sitar.

A European choreography performed to the music of the classical Indian instrument sarangi will further emphasise the merging of cultures of the two continents.

The EU Cultural Weeks concept was conceived originally by the EU Delegation as a series of cultural events staged by the EU missions in India in the run-up to the fourth EU-India Summit in New Delhi in November 2003.

This was repeated successfully in the sixth EU-India Summit held in New Delhi in September 2005.

The European Union and India, each in its own way, bring together in a vast geographical area a great diversity of people and cultures and the EU Cultural Weeks represents a unique opportunity to celebrate the multi-faceted relationship between these two global actors.

The overall objective of the Cultural Weeks is to reinforce the cultural component of the EU-India relations.

This will be done by presenting to the Indian audience the European Union as a dynamic and contemporary entity comprising member States with much shared heritage and culture, in addition to their own distinct cultural identity and traditions. With activities ranging from Jazz concerts to talks, the Cultural Weeks will hold something for everyone.

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Postby Laks » 25 Nov 2007 09:54

English Archbishop while being dhimmi is fine with UQ's colonial loot. ... 937068.ece
[quote]Williams suggested American leadership had broken down: “We have only one global hegemonic power. It is not accumulating territory: it is trying to accumulate influence and control. That’s not working.â€

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