Indian Interests

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sauravjha
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Postby sauravjha » 28 Apr 2008 16:57

apologies if posted before and apologies for posting here (nuke thread is closed).

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... id=googlep
this article gives us an indication of what might have happened if some crucial people had stayed alive.

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Postby JwalaMukhi » 28 Apr 2008 17:04

Self deleted.
Last edited by JwalaMukhi on 28 Apr 2008 19:04, edited 1 time in total.

sauravjha
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Postby sauravjha » 28 Apr 2008 17:08

on second thoughts, this really has as much to do with Indian Interests as with the history of our nuke program . It is an important signpost as it were. Of course if admins second your view , they can delete it.

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Postby svinayak » 28 Apr 2008 23:35


Rye
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Postby Rye » 29 Apr 2008 20:52

http://specials.rediff.com/news/2008/apr/28sld1.htm

Out of Africa: How man came to India
April 29, 2008
A recent television series on India has turned the spotlight on a seven-year-old scientific study on the migration of the early man. Late in 2001, a group of researchers announced that the first migrants out of Africa came to India some 70,000 years ago. They even claimed to have traced the descendents of the early migrants to a village in Tamil Nadu.

Rediff.com finds out how a random study, to understand tuberculosis better, played a role in finding the direct descendent of the first migrant family that came to India (This moron of a journalist has been explicitly told by the Professor that "first migrant family" IS THE WRONG CONCLUSION! effing DDM!), and consequently, in retracing the journey of man.

In 1996, Professor Ramasamy Pitchappan of Madurai Kamaraj University's prestigious Immunology Department was studying populations that were at a high risk of contracting tuberculosis. During his study, he found that a community of Thevars called Piramalai Kallars carried an allele that made them highly susceptible to TB.

He then looked at their history. "They were distributed mostly in two taluks of two districts. If a population has to occupy such an area and have such a high concentration, it has to have settled there a long time ago and be disturbed constantly by other migrating populations," Pitchappan said. After looking at various theses about the Piramalai Kallars, Pitchappan decided to sample the population to study them further.

He sent his students to collect samples from the schools and colleges of the two taluks. But Pitchappan had to go to Oxford for his annual visit and he forgot about the study.

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Postby SwamyG » 29 Apr 2008 21:38

ramana wrote:X-Posted.. Should be looked at from Indian POV.


I particularly liked the below insight offered:
This is because nationalism tends to grow in the first generation or two of middle classes, when you have an influential group of literate people who understand their country’s history for the first time in collective memory.


As people begin to stand up, apart from seeing the future they also look at the past and present. It is inevitable.

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Postby SwamyG » 29 Apr 2008 22:02

Rye wrote:English is similar to Tamil than it is to Devanagari, at least in the sense that there are no composite characters composed of multiple syllables.

I was not schooled in tamil, but I remember reading that composite consonants can be formed when vowels and consonants are joined together. I think they are termed as "uyirmeyi" ezhuthukkal. For example just like in Sanskrit/Hindi "na" and "ee" alphabets join together to form the syllable "Nee"; tamil's "na" and "ee" together form the "nee" . The "kombhu" on top of "na" does this for us to form the composite.

But maybe I am not understanding what you are saying. Can you elaborate?

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Postby Baljeet » 30 Apr 2008 05:02

if there was any doubt, the commies of India are traitors it is removed now. Here is the news from
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Top_Headlines/CPM_backs_demand_for_renegotiating_India-Nepal_treaty/articleshow/2995882.cms

KOLKATA: The CPM, a key outside supporter of UPA government, on Tuesday backed the demand for renegotiation of Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty and said there should be no treaty which is unequal.

If there were any areas in the Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty which needed to be renogotiated it should be done, CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat said on Tuesday.

"Yes, I think that demand has to be considered. Earlier also when the Indo-Nepal treaty was reviewed we had a detailed position," he told a press conference here after the party's politburo meeting.

"We have always said that big countries or small countries, it does not mean we should have treaty which will be unequal," he said.

Karat was replying to a question on the demand by the CPN (Maoist) in Nepal to scrap certain provisions of the 1950 Indo-Nepal treaty.


How much do these maoists want to sell themselves to china, ever since maoist victory in Nepal, this Indian 5th column is riding high thinking they will be able to repeat the same in India. Behind the guise of this peace and friendship treaty is India will provide protection against chinese agression, nepalese can come to india without any visa or passport, join IA, live here indefinitely no questions asked.

I guess maoists want to scrap the part where India will provide protection against china, hence giving free hand to china in Nepal. This is subtle encircling of India using democracy as tool to further the agenda of communism and chinese hegemony. Chinese plan is coming clearer by the day, have a hold in nepal, then move into Sikkim, finally annex Arunachal pradesh and Assam to access to siliguri sector in next 20-30 years. Bangladesh and Pakistanis are willing to do their part,while Traitor Indian Politicians are busy fleecing and sleeping to the future danger.
:x

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Postby Rye » 30 Apr 2008 05:34

SwamyG wrote:
For example just like in Sanskrit/Hindi "na" and "ee" alphabets join together to form the syllable "Nee"; tamil's "na" and "ee" together form the "nee" . The "kombhu" on top of "na" does this for us to form the composite.

But maybe I am not understanding what you are saying. Can you elaborate?


Not sure if this observation is any great shakes, but I was trying to explain the low level of character morphing in Tamil as opposed to Hindi (and other devanagari based languages).


The difference in the way the consonants are combined with vowels is that, in Tamil, extending the "a" vowel requires placing and additional character to the right of the consonant, i.e., there is no consonant+vowel combination that will result in a complex new character, but will be a collection of separate symbols. For example, the "o" sound (as in Go) is created by adding one vowel to the left and one to the right.

From the standpoint of keyboard complexity, (as in number of distinct keyboard symbols) the rules of combination are very simple for Tamil, unlike the rules for combining characters in Devanagari. For example, a simple backshift rule in Tamil (and hindi) "consonant" + "ee" equals "backspace"+"squiggle on top". Hope that makes sense.

The ultimate goal of technology in India must be to be language agnostic -- down the line it may be possible to write automated translators that can translate major works from one Indian language to another, so that Indians can read other language Indian classics in their mother-tongue. Even a babelfish like translator that may need additional work cleaning up the translation from one Indian lang to another would be a good start.

JMTs

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Postby SwamyG » 30 Apr 2008 06:18

Rye: Thanks for the clarification. As I have not typed in tamil, I defer the complexity matter to you.

I don't know if there is a thread in BRF where we can carry this on, so am writing here.
Even in Hindi, one needs to have the additional character to the right of consonant. There is no complex character creation. Even the "Go" would be placement of two characters - one to the right and one at the top. The top character might be different from the tamil in this case, but characters to the top or bottom is not new to tamil. Consider "Ni", "Pu". Consider the word "amma" in tamil, there is the dot on "ma".

Check out :Link

The above link talks about non-standard vowel-consonant combination not being in the official documents. My parents tell me that they have been all the time using those as standard.

my 2 cents.

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Postby Rye » 30 Apr 2008 06:25

SwamyG, thanks for the link. You are right, does not seem to be much difference between Tamil and Hindi in reality, except Tamil has fewer characters and much simpler rules for character combination. Does not make much of difference with respect to creating a rule-based system though.

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Postby shiv » 30 Apr 2008 07:49

Rye wrote:SwamyG, thanks for the link. You are right, does not seem to be much difference between Tamil and Hindi in reality, except Tamil has fewer characters and much simpler rules for character combination. Does not make much of difference with respect to creating a rule-based system though.


It has not been politically expedient to talk of similarities, I was taught Hindi- but learned Tamil in college - but never learned to read Tamil. Neither being my mother tongue, I was neutral to both, and I was fascinated by the similarity of certain Hindi and Tamil symbols and the use of a vertical line or two after certain letters to add the suffix "aa" after a consonant. Google for the Tamil and Devnagri symbols for "A", "K" and even "R" and you begin to see similarities that seem more than mere coincidence.

This is not mere fluff - the practical advantage this knowledge confers is the ability to interpret certain road-signs and signboards by recognizing one or two symbols in the middle of a word. But that also requires some basic knowledge of Hindi-Tamil differences - especially the "dual use technology" of Tamil sounds like "K" and "G"

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Postby John Snow » 30 Apr 2008 07:58

especially the "dual use technology" of Tamil sounds like "K" and "G"


Add to that the confusion in Tamil about 'Ha' and 'Ga' , this is almost annoying when you listen to Purandara dasa krithis, or the trinity written krithis ( Mahanu Bhava becomes Maganu bhava )

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Postby Rye » 30 Apr 2008 08:06

I have no proof/link for this, but there is no "Ha" in native tamil -- there is such a character now though, introduced this century by some state-sponsored linguists. Apparently, the character was borrowed much after the initial character set, something a Tamil pandit once mentioned. Any Tamil vidwaans here please correct if wrong.

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Postby shiv » 30 Apr 2008 08:11

John Snow wrote:
especially the "dual use technology" of Tamil sounds like "K" and "G"


Add to that the confusion in Tamil about 'Ha' and 'Ga' , this is almost annoying when you listen to Purandara dasa krithis, or the trinity written krithis ( Mahanu Bhava becomes Maganu bhava )


I am guessing that it is equally irritating for the Tamil speaker to hear the Telugu/Kannada addition of "oo" at the end of every word :lol:

As a Physiology professor taught me:
"Pavlovu created a conditionedu reflexu by training a dogu to respondu to a bellu"

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Postby Rishi » 30 Apr 2008 08:15

2 years in Bangalore also teaches one to use "aa" at the end of several strategic words... eg. "leftaa", "rightaa".. "Bisibellibatthaa"... 8)

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Postby SwamyG » 30 Apr 2008 09:35

Rye:
I am no vidhwan, let alone Tamil Vidhwan. But my 2 cents are below.

Many believe the "ha" came from the 'Grantha Tamil'. The earliest tamil script was Brahmi before the current vattaezhuthu script. Religious texts were in Sanskrit's devanagari script, but tamil pundits began writing them in tamil vattaezhuthu script. To accomodate the missing sounds, the grantha alphabets were introduced. It took care of the religious need. {As a side note, my grand mother used to read some selected prayers in grantha tamil - meaning reading Sanskrit slokas using grantha-tamil script}. 'Ha', 'Ksha', 'Sha' etc were some of the sounds that crept in.

Things in tamil are minimal compared to say Telugu or Sanskrit.

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Postby svinayak » 01 May 2008 17:51

ramana wrote:X-Posted.. Should be looked at from Indian POV.


While there, he met with the chiefs of the army and navy, the foreign and finance ministers, and numerous other officials, along with leading intellectuals and journalists. The word "Iraq" never came up in any of the talks, he said. One might expect, given the unpopularity of the U.S. adventure in Iraq, that the subject would come up in a foreign setting, but it did not.


Why should he be worried about Iraq in India.
India has a Iraq in Pakistan and does not have to worry about Iraq.

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Postby Arun_S » 02 May 2008 02:26

SwamyG wrote:
ramana wrote:X-Posted.. Should be looked at from Indian POV.


I particularly liked the below insight offered:
This is because nationalism tends to grow in the first generation or two of middle classes, when you have an influential group of literate people who understand their country’s history for the first time in collective memory.


As people begin to stand up, apart from seeing the future they also look at the past and present. It is inevitable.


I am sorry but when supposed experts open their musharraf with such incredible wisdom, I lose further apitite to gulp any more trash of such experts wisdom and stop reading. When basic facts are wrong the result of analysis built on the facts will be surely wrong.

Code: Select all

F(Garbage_Input)  = Garbage_Out ; {read as: Garbage In ~ Transforms to ~  Garbage Out}


Mr. Kaplan began by offering observations based on his recent trip to India, from which he had just returned. While there, he met with the chiefs of the army and navy, the foreign and finance ministers, and numerous other officials, along with leading intellectuals and journalists.

... . .. . That is because Bush, following on from the second Clinton administration, has been very pro-India. The U.S has sold the USS Trenton, a former amphibious ship, to the Indian navy; it has sold the Indians F-18 Super Hornets, it has replaced all their P-3 surveillance planes with P-8s, and there are constant bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Air Force and Navy and the Indian Air Force and Navy.

This the white man writes after he had strategic & intellectually gratifying meetings with Chief of India Army and Indian Navy. :twisted:

Wah wah kya buddhi hai 'Gore Husn Ki'!:P { Barvo to the white man for for his intellect, selling his wares to dark SRDE Yindu)

Buddhi Chyutya he is.
(Please: the second Hindi/Sanskrit word (meaning 'devoid of') not to be confused with a rhyming but popular abuse word in Hindi)

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Postby Gerard » 03 May 2008 18:09

10th anniversary of Pokhran-II not to be officially observed
Observing that the Pokhran-II tests had "demonstrated the capability India had", Raju said it had its "detrimental effects" also in terms of inviting sanctions "which have affected our strategic and important programmes that were of importance to the nation."

"So I do not see any reason why it should be advertised loudly about," the Minister said.

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Postby svinayak » 03 May 2008 18:46

Gerard wrote:10th anniversary of Pokhran-II not to be officially observed
Observing that the Pokhran-II tests had "demonstrated the capability India had", Raju said it had its "detrimental effects" also in terms of inviting sanctions "which have affected our strategic and important programmes that were of importance to the nation."

"So I do not see any reason why it should be advertised loudly about," the Minister said.

Will observing the anniversary go against the spirit of nuke deal which is in reality a CRE.

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Postby vsudhir » 06 May 2008 21:29

K Subramanyam interview in Paragti magazine, May 2008 (free PDF)

Good stuff. Almost a keeper.

KS talks about his life and times, evolution of national perspectives etc.

An excerpt:

Q:Looking back over the decades, what would you say
were the best and worst moments?


KS: One of the best moments was on 16th December
1971, when we achieved success in Bangladesh
and the other has to be split into two—18th May
1974 and 11th May 1998, when we conducted nuclear
tests.
One of the worst moments was on 18th November
1962. I was then working in the defence
ministry, when I came to know that Prime Minister
Nehru had written to President Kennedy asking
for American aircraft to operate from India soil
against the Chinese. This was when India itself
had not even used its own air force. The imposition
of emergency on 25th of June 1975 was the
second worst moment.


Talks about lessons frm 1962, the elimination of N-weapons etc.

Read it all.

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Postby putnanja » 08 May 2008 03:20

Speaking truth to rising power - Anit Mukherjee

[quote]Can India realise its future possibilities without knowing its past? Does it have the institutional capacities to fulfil its ambitions?

Anit Mukherjee


Indian strategists, ordinarily, should have been delighted at the recently concluded International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) conference held in New Delhi discussing the rise and apparent unveiling of India as the new global power. Except, Minister Kamal Nath in his opening remarks began by expressing his discomfort with the concept of ‘power’, a theme that dominated the rest of the proceedings. His reasoning, unsurprisingly for a trade minister, was based on economic grounds but it also reflected a mindset that looks confidently at the successes of the past and is hesitant of future challenges and opportunities. In some ways, this is disingenuous as the past, from an institutional perspective at least, is either misread or unknown. Moreover, in terms of institutional capacities, and this perhaps explains the discomfort with the concept of power, India has yet to understand what rising power entails. Finally, what the conference failed to capture was the ‘generational divide’, with rising economic and political ambitions of a young India.

One of the strangest ironies of the conference was witnessing foreign delegates hailing the rise of India as a new global power while Indian participants were quick to underplay this. To a student of Indian history, this should not be surprising — attaining independence in a ‘non-violent’ manner and suffering from years of colonialism, the Indian political and intellectual class has traditionally been wary of the concept of hard ‘power’. The internalisation of the non-aligned mantra — which essentially was a strategy of the weak to play a disproportionate role in global affairs while safeguarding India’s ‘strategic autonomy’ — cemented this pattern. Hence, despite Indira Gandhi’s liberation of Bangladesh, against the wishes of most global powers, India is still perceptually uncomfortable with the idea of power.

Possibly, part of the explanation could be what was told to Peter Parker when he reluctantly launched his career as Spiderman — “with great power comes great responsibilityâ€

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Postby svinayak » 08 May 2008 03:36

RaviBg wrote:Speaking truth to rising power - Anit Mukherjee
However, this mission is impossible unless we know who we are.

Only for a DIE , Even after 60 years
Last edited by svinayak on 08 May 2008 04:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby ramana » 08 May 2008 04:01

Wait a minute. Dont fall for a guy who quotes Thyucidides to Indians. He is writing for a Westernized audience. OK how many know how is Thyucidides? Its one of those lets rouse the Indians through other Indians genre of articles.


BTW he wrote the History of the Pelopennesian War that defined the Greek States.

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Postby ramana » 08 May 2008 04:35

From Hindustan Times, 7 May 2008



‘Pokhran-II timing prompted by Pakistan’s Ghauri test’ Brajesh Mishra was critical to the decision taken by the Vajpayee government to weaponise India's nuclear capability on May 11, 1998. Ten years on, in an exclusive interview with Amit Baruah of the Hindustan Times, Mishra, a former diplomat and the country's first National Security Adviser, talks about the tests and their implications. Excerpts:

Ten years after the Pokhran-II tests, do you think the decision has helped India?

Obviously, it has helped India from the point of view of security and playing a major role in world affairs and, I believe, in giving self-confidence to the people of India. You might remember it was also in 1998, when after major economic reforms, people began to talk about Indians enjoying prestige abroad, which was not there earlier.

I do recognise, of course, that the reforms were begun by the Narasimha Rao regime, but a boost was given by Pokhran-II and the economic policies of the NDA government.

Were the tests about India's status or defence preparedness?

It was about security. Status has followed it. It was not as if that we were going to undertake the Pokhran tests in order to improve our status. The idea was to improve our security scenario. One of the by-products was this (status).

When was the actual decision to test taken?

That was taken before the (NDA) government was formed. It was there in the (BJP) manifesto.

But many, including the Americans, didn't take the manifesto seriously…

The American intelligence system is not absolutely the best. If you remember, in 1996 when there was the 13-day government of Mr Vajpayee, there was an attempt to conduct the test. But time was too short. In 1997, one of the biggest things was CTBT, and BJP was totally opposed to it. We do believe that Mr (IK) Gujral heeded the voice of the opposition and didn't go for it (the CTBT). The decision was there for a long time.

Was there a precise day on which the top people concerned sat down and decided on a date for the tests?

I think it was the 7th or 8th of April (1998). This was after the Ghauri missile test conducted by Pakistan (on April 6)…I think the timing of our (nuclear) tests was triggered by the Ghauri missile test. This meeting at South Block was attended by Prime Minister, (APJ Abdul) Kalam (then DRDO chief), (R) Chidambaram (head of the Atomic Energy Commission) and myself.

Other than those who were present at the meeting, how many others knew the tests would take place on May 11?

I cannot speak with any confidence. PM Vajpayee never told me to whom he conveyed this. I presume he must have talked to the Defence Minister (George Fernandes), (LK) Advani, Jaswant Singh.

And was the decision of subterfuge - Kalam (known as Major-General Prithviraj) and Chidambaram donning military uniforms - taken at this meeting in South Block?

(Laughs). Kalam, Chidambaram and (K) Santhanam (chief technology adviser) took this decision themselves.

India went through a long period of isolation after the nuclear tests, there was also a lot of pressure on Delhi. Even the US and China issued a joint statement on our tests. How did the government cope?

Exactly one month after our tests, Jaswant Singh had his first encounter with Strobe Talbott. What was it about? Isolation or dialogue? Before the month of May was out, I was in Paris meeting President Chirac. Was that isolation?

The UN Security Council and the G8 passed resolutions…but at the same time the major countries they were trying to engage India in a dialogue.

So far as the isolation in the nuclear field is concerned, that was there after 1974 (the Pokhran-I test). India knew in 1968 when it refused to sign the NPT there would be consequences. But India wanted to keep its options open. And then exercise it.

What was added to it - the IMF and World Bank not giving this or that - was all gone within a year-and-a-half. In sum, I have never believed that India was isolated.

Do you think that the famous letter, which Vajpayeeji wrote to President Bill Clinton pointing at China as the justification for our tests, promptly released to the press by the Americans, was it a mistake?

The letter explained the reasons for why India tested. There were very cogent reasons. No one can deny even today that there was collaboration between China and Pakistan in the nuclear weapons' field. Madeleine Albright thought that she was being too clever by half by releasing this letter and spoiling our relations with China and then Clinton went off to China where they had the famous statement. Within one year, in June 1999, Jaswant Singh was in Beijing, talking to the Chinese.

I would not say that the Clinton administration moved away from their idea of capping and roll back (of India's nuclear programme), but when the Senate refused to ratify the CTBT in 1999, the American arguments made no sense. If you can't do it yourself, why are you asking us?

By testing in 1998, we ended the policy of nuclear ambiguity that India had maintained since 1974. Many believe that this was a mistake…

If were to become a nuclear weapons' state, which is what the BJP wanted, nuclear ambiguity had no meaning. Even during the second regime of Indira Gandhi, they tried to have tests. The shafts were dug, former President Venkatraman has said in his book that he went down the shafts. Narasimha Rao tried to have the tests.

Before that Rajiv Gandhi had already order nuclear weaponisation. Either in 1988 or in 1989.

So, you would say this was a policy of continuity rather than change between the Congress and the BJP?

Exactly. But we came out in the open. The tests were conducted on May 11, Prime Minister Vajpayee went and said we are now a nuclear weapons' state. And, we had these weapons. As I said, weaponisation was ordered by Rajiv Gandhi. But we had to test them.

The weapons could not have been made between April 8 and May 11. They were there, but they were not tested. And, the entire scientific community was saying that we have to test.

India's tests allowed Pakistan to test. What do you say to that?

Why don't we go back to AQ Khan's statement to Kuldip Nayar in 1987, when Khan said we have a nuclear weapon. Probably they didn't to test it because they were given a design by somebody.

Had we not tested, would be within striking distance of full civilian nuclear cooperation with the rest of the world?

If we had not tested, in order to get support from the major powers for our nuclear programme, we would have had to sign the NPT (Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty). If we had not tested, the conditions imposed upon us would have been quite different.

You remember, after the nuclear units at Koodanakulam, the Russians said we can't do any more. The French have been saying we can't do it. There came a stage when there was no possibility of India getting assistance - even getting uranium - without in one way or the other compromising on the NPT.

Now, the situation is different.



They should have asked him about Richardson's visit after the gauri test and what was his message.

Raju

Postby Raju » 08 May 2008 09:59

THE ALIBI GAME
By M.J.AKBAR
04 MAY 2008

Logic and politics are not necessarily incompatible.
If you live by the sword, you die by the sword. If you live by market forces you die by market forces. Inflation is the most logical face of market forces. It is the market that sets the agenda. It is the market that raises prices based on its assessment of supply, demand and profitability. The market has no loyalty, least of all to government. The market has no social conscience: no food-trader ever died of hunger in the famine, or emerged out of the crisis with his bank balance depleted. The market is loyal to one concept, profit.
The politician wants to win; the market wants to profit.

Their paths converge most of the time, but not all the time. When their interests converge they are the best of pals: see the width of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's smile when, in normal times, the Sensex booms across the skyscrapers of Mumbai. But that boom follows its own laws, and not those of the government. If profits can be sustained then the Sensex will boom even during a period of high inflation, at least temporarily, when there is still purchasing power in the market.

When the interests of politicians and the market diverge, they can be obstinate in the protection of their own needs. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi would dearly love to wake up one morning and discover that prices had levelled off or were even showing a downward trend. If they could order businessmen to do so, they would have done it, for a general election cannot now be too far away. But the businessmen who cozy up to politicians in the privacy of drawing rooms, doling out large bundles of cash, will not take such orders even at the cost of hurting their political friends.
It is, to use an apt phrase, a trade-off. The market should not cry when the politician lets it down. The politician must not weep when the market betrays it. In public life — and both the market and politicians are in public life — you need not only a thick skin but also a strong chin. You have to take the blow on the chin and keep standing. A totter is not a pleasant sight in public life.

Inevitably, if not wisely, politicians rush towards the false comfort of alibis when under threat. The Indian consumer does not want lectures on whether food prices are rising across the world; he wants to know what the government has done about it. In any case, this phenomenon was evident at the beginning of last winter, and that is already six months ago. What did Finance Minister Chidambaram, or his economics-professor boss, Prime Minister Singh, do about it last November and December? If they had taken the measures that suddenly seem wise to them now, things would have been under some control today. Instead, they were cooling their heals and heating the market. Now the market is cooling its heels and lighting fires under the government.

Alibis can be cruel. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has already blamed the changing consumption pattern of the Indian poor for rising prices. Sharad Pawar has never blamed the bloated stomachs of the rich for rising prices — ever wondered why? He believes food to be the natural right of the rich, and an unnatural right for the poor. He does not quite put it like that, because that would be too direct, but that is the foundation of his thought process.

Mr Pawar has now some help from the Lord Protector of the World, American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She too blames the rise of food prices on the Indian poor. Has she ever paused a minute to think about the consumption pattern of pets in American households? They consume food worth over fifteen billion dollars each year, enough to stave off hunger among Africa's poverty-stricken children. I know this is an unfair world, and I don't believe that pets should suddenly be cut off their feed. But at least we should be spared pomposity from the privileged.

Prime Minister Singh seems to have a strange, hands-off look these days, as if he is not really responsible for the mess that has collected beneath him. Indifference may be the last alibi left, but it is not an answer. When the mask of indifference is punctured by incidents like the exposure of help given by the Prime Minister's Office to a less-than-honest minister like the DMK's T.R. Baalu, the search for alibis reaches panic-station because the image of a clean Prime Minister must be preserved at all costs. The explanations trot out, one after another. The PMO letters were "routine". There is nothing routine about a Prime Minister's Office recommending that gas supplies be made available to the industries of a Cabinet Minister's son. There is nothing routine in the fact that a reminder was sent within five days, the first of seven. In government snail-mail the first letter would probably not have reached its destination in five days. A second in such a hurry is not routine. Oil and Gas Minister Murli Deora suggested that there was nothing in helping a colleague. Really? Even at the cost of rules and regulations? And if there is nothing wrong, why was nothing done? The answer is simple: the bureaucrats in the ministry did not want to break the rules. That is why eight letters were needed. Clever Mr Deora wants to have his cake and eat it too. Difficult.

The Indian in the bazaar has a right to ask how many letters the Prime Minister sent his Finance Minister on inflation.

The Prime Minister is a calm man who hides his stress under a self-imposed blanket of resignation. He was the surprise choice four years ago, and his personality aroused hopes at street and village level. All that remains of that once-promising reputation is the belief that he is personally incorruptible. But what use is his personal integrity when all around him there is rampant corruption and mismanagement. Is there a friend of his who can tell him that there are many kinds of dishonesty in public life?

Permitting Cabinet Ministers to feed from the corruption trough so that you may preserve your job also amounts to disservice to the people.

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Postby Keshav » 08 May 2008 21:46

ramana wrote:Wait a minute. Dont fall for a guy who quotes Thyucidides to Indians. He is writing for a Westernized audience. OK how many know how is Thyucidides? Its one of those lets rouse the Indians through other Indians genre of articles.


Funny enough, I've felt this same way about India for a long time and we have talked about it on BR before in our discussions about historical failures.

One of the hallmarks of Dharmic society has been the reluctance to be savage, which is certainly one of the easiest ways to "power" so I think he has a point.

Pakistan committed genocide against Hindus in 1971; Indira Gandhi handed over 93,000 well fed, well clothed prisoners of war. There is a big difference - but if Indians are as headstrong as he says, whose going to listen to him?

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Postby vsudhir » 09 May 2008 06:40


Raju

Postby Raju » 09 May 2008 15:25

Up, up and frittered away

Brahma Chellaney
May 08, 2008
First Published: 22:30 IST(8/5/2008)
Last Updated: 22:35 IST(8/5/2008)


As the country observes this Sunday the 10th anniversary of the nuclear tests that enabled it to gatecrash the nuclear-weapons club, India stands out as a reluctant and tentative nuclear power, still chanting the disarmament mantra while conspicuously lacking even a barely minimal deterrent capability against China. Given that May 11 also coincides with the 34th anniversary of Pokhran I, it is important to remember that no country has struggled longer to build a minimal deterrent or paid heavier international costs for its nuclear programme than India.

The history of India’s nuclear explosive programme is actually a record of how it helped mould multilateral technology controls. The 1974 detonation impelled the secret formation of the London suppliers’ club, the reshaping of the non-proliferation regime, and export bans on dual-use items. The test helped remake US policy, spurring major reforms in export policy, the passage of the 1978 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act, the attachment of non-proliferation conditions to foreign assistance, and the emergence of the sanctions approach. India’s space programme helped give birth to the Missile Technology Control Regime.

Had India done a test in the mid-1960s when it acquired the nuclear explosive capability, it would have beaten the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) trap. Had Indira Gandhi pressed ahead with weaponisation after Pokhran I, India would not have faced a rising tide of technology sanctions. Had Atal Bihari Vajpayee dangled a test moratorium as a diplomatic carrot post-Pokhran II, instead of gifting it away gratuitously, the US would have hesitated to slap an array of new sanctions on India. And had Manmohan Singh sought to plug the yawning gaps in capability, instead of pushing a divisive deal with the US that offers dubious energy benefits to insidiously neuter India’s deterrent, a more-confident New Delhi today would not have had to propitiate China or any other power.

India has always been let down by its leaders. The more India got hit with technology controls, the more it sank into its proverbial indecision, instead of doggedly pressing ahead. Almost a quarter century passed between Pokhran I and II, as a stock-still India masochistically put up with punitive actions. A decade after Pokhran II, the present leadership is more interested in deal-making than deterrent-building. Exactly 25 years after the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) was launched, New Delhi has announced its mysterious closure — without a single Beijing-reachable missile in deployment, and even as Pakistan has conducted countless missile tests since last year.

While China ploughs 28 per cent of its mammoth, rapidly growing military spending into defence R&D, geared to modernising its deterrent, India’s total annual budget outlays for the nuclear deterrent make up less than one-tenth of the just-announced $11 billion quarterly profit of one US company, Exxon-Mobil. Yet, India does not shy away from squandering several billion dollars annually in importing questionable conventional weapons. Consider some recent examples.

The Indian Air Force barely inducts the first batch of the British Hawk jet trainer — an obsolescent system in which India invested $1.8 billion ostensibly to help minimise crashes — and a Hawk crashes. No sooner the US had sold India a 1971 vintage amphibious transport ship junked by its navy than a gas leak kills an Indian officer and five sailors on board. The Defence Minister now discloses, nine months after the delivery date has passed, that Russia wants $1.2 billion more and another three years to deliver a refurbished Soviet-era aircraft carrier that India had agreed to buy for $1.5 billion in early 2004, although it had been rusting since a mid-1990s boiler-room explosion.

Is India seeking to build a first-rate military with strategic reach and an independent deterrent, or a military that will remain irredeemably dependent on imports and serve as a money-spinning dumping ground for antiquated and junked weapons? The defence of India is becoming an unending scandal just when new threats are emerging and chinks in the Indian armour are obvious. Even CAG indictments make little difference.

In peacetime, China is stepping up military pressure along the Himalayas, intimidating India through intermittent cyberwarfare, and warning of another 1962-style invasion through one of its State-run institutes, which in a Mandarin commentary posted on http://www.chinaiiss.org/ has cautioned an “arrogant Indiaâ€

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Postby ramana » 10 May 2008 00:41

Interesting article on 1857 celebrations or not by UPA.

Why did the 1857 celebration fizzle out?

IF thread on 1857. 1857 First war of Independence

Note date when it was started...

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Postby ramana » 10 May 2008 01:07

The PRC Sub Base news is having political fallout.

From Asian Age

[quote]
Red alert in blue waters
By Balbir K. Punj

The revelation of the naval headquarters that China has been developing a powerful nuclear submarine base in Hainan Island in the South China Sea should only add to the anxiety over the real intent of that country vis-à-vis India and the rest of Southeast Asia. The reports are that New Delhi is set to assess the impact of the subterranean nuclear submarine base there at the Cabinet Committee on Security level.

As usual the pro-China lobby in India is already trying to dumb down the alarm raised by Naval Headquarters. “After all Hainan Island is in the South China Sea. Therefore, China is entitled to do what it likes within its territory,â€

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Postby vsudhir » 10 May 2008 06:41

To PM< Sonia, Advani

KS in IE. Worth a read, IMO.

Raju

Postby Raju » 11 May 2008 11:33

WILL WE, WON’T WE?
By M.J.AKBAR
11 MAY 2008

One of the minor attractions of a foreign hotel room is the chance to switch on a strange television channel. The field is open; any country with a reasonable budget and a desire to be seen as an international player now has a state channel airing its version of events.

Predictably, the British thought of this wheeze first: very few know that 50% of the BBC's expenses are still paid by the British Foreign Office. In the heyday of Empire this was considered a legitimate part of national duty; and during wartime, the investment provided extraordinary returns. The logic had to be twirled around in the post-imperial phase, and the BBC repositioned itself as the international guardian of truth, democracy, liberty, freedom and whatever the British Foreign Office considered worthy and useful.

To its credit, the BBC was never as obedient as the government would have liked, which is why it discovered an international audience. There was a time when BBC radio was perhaps the most important source of news for much of the world. The BBC could even dare the government in wartime. It famously refused to describe British troops during Mrs Margaret Thatcher's Falklands War as "our" troops and called them "British" troops. At this distance this may seem a minor or perhaps even a trivial distinction, but for those in media who have to deal with nervous governments during wartime, there is nothing trivial about standing up for identity. Still the umbilical cord exists, and no one quite knows when mummy is tugging at the cord.

The American experiment in quasi-government media independence has been, shall we say, less successful. The Voice of America is only accurate in one respect: it is the Voice of America, with a modification – it is the Voice of the American Government. The VOA's spectacular spread is matched only by the spectacular failure of its inability to reach anyone.

Credibility cannot be purchased by dollars. Or by Euros, for that matter.

But what is good about European news channels broadcasting in English is that they offer you a different dimension of warzones like Iraq or Palestine. The American coverage, including that of non-government media, tends to follow some invisible consensus in which, for example, Israel can do little wrong and the Palestinians little right. The consensus does not extend to all aspects of coverage, but it certainly conditions reporting of war.

Even when you do not understand the language of television reporting, as for instance on Turkish channels, it is always instructive to see the images that are being broadcast. They are significantly different from the "consensus" images of Anglo-Saxon media. The great effort to take independent coverage to an international audience was made, of course, by Al Jazeera when it followed up its hugely successful Arab channels with an English version. The effort is brave; but the jury is still out on the quality of its impact. There is a sense of discomfort in English Al Jazeera, or perhaps the more accurate term would be uncertainty. It is never sure which note to hit. This grey confusion does not exist in Arabic, because it was always certain what it wanted to do. It was the first channel to report the Arab street, even when this caused great discomfiture to Arab governments.

Although Al Jazeera is owned by Oman's rulers, they have wisely kept a distance between their channel and their foreign policy.

Al Jazeera is hated by more Arab regimes that it would care to count. That is its strength. Perhaps its problem in English is that it wants to pander to its claimed audience, even when it claims the high ground of neutrality, instead of letting the news speak for itself. All audiences have biases, and it would be a foolish media person who ignored these biases completely; but media's true worth is tested only when it rises above the clamour of the audience on the few occasions when this is essential.

Perhaps the most interesting channel I have come across is the Chinese English channel. The last time I watched it, in a Singapore hotel, it was going on and on about the "indomitable" will of the Chinese people. It is a phrase that makes me nostalgic, almost taking me back to college and the good old days when anyone in Calcutta with any sense of adventure had Chairman Mao's Little Red Book in his pocket. (The Chinese were very kind; they sent it free.) They did go on a bit about the indomitable will of the Chinese people, and how it would inspire revolutions everywhere.

India was reserved by Chairman Mao for a prairie fire that would light up in different spots and then slowly join up to set this uppity, half-baked nation ablaze with red flames.

The prairie fire at my college, Presidency, was quite fierce for a while; but the one in Delhi's elitist St Stephen's College, I gather, went up in smoke. I shall not describe what kind of smoke it was.

Hearing about the indestructible indomitable will of the Chinese, in the solitude of my Singapore hotel, set me thinking about the kind of will we humble Indians have.

Is our will, in comparison, highly domitable?


What does domitable mean? Is it the opposite of indomitable? Is there a word called domitable? There should be, logically, but anyone who knows English also knows that logic has nothing to do with its grammar and phraseology. Ever tried to find what the opposite of "unbend" is? It certainly isn't "bend".

I suppose only a very domitable people accept the conditions we Indians do.

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Postby ramana » 12 May 2008 05:31

Another SLIME article by MJ Akbar. Get out of it the present dispensation does not represent Indian will domitable or indomitable.

One way of looking at the British Empire after 1857 as a battle between two men who were born within five years of each other and struggled for the next nine decades. One was Gandhi and the other was Churchill. The latter represented the British Imperial interests who created the mess in the Middle East to preserve their Empire and the former undid the Empire.

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Postby ramana » 12 May 2008 06:27

WOW!!!

Gandhi and Churchill


[quote]

Review
“Gandhi & Churchill is a powerful tale of the monumental clash between two of the giants of the twentieth century. Set against the backdrop of war and conflict, this brilliant dual biography of strong-willed visionaries locked in a struggle each believed in makes for compelling reading. Arthur Herman has written a masterful and superbly well researched account of the lives of two men who have had a profound influence on the world in which we live in today that will long stand as a testament to their legacy.â€

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Postby ramana » 12 May 2008 10:14

X-Posted from TSP thread...

SSridhar wrote:
Acharya wrote: What is interesting is that Jinnah in 1945 itself had the full picture of the great geo-political game being played between UK/USA and Communist Russia. No other leader in India had the full picture.

It is unfortunate that Indian leaders did not pay much attention to such extraneous issues that would have a profound impact once we got independence. The first that one knows of is the Asian Conference that Nehru presided over in circa 1947. However, even a cursory following of events across the region would have given our leaders a lot of insight as to what might be in store.

The Muslims were the foremost enemy of the British until the last vestiges of the Mughal empire were destroyed after 1857 by driving out Bahadur Shah Zafar and killing his sons. After that the British began to forge relationship with the Muslims, culminating in 1909 when Lord Minto, the second Viceroy after Curzon, declared to the elite group of Mussalman who called upon him that the Muslims of India “were descendants of a conquering and ruling raceâ€

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Postby shyamd » 12 May 2008 21:25

Sorry didn't know where to post:

‘Colonel Srinivas’ recalls N-day, Pokhran II tests
[quote]His eyes light up, and he reaches for a packet of cigarettes. For the man in charge of the Pokhran II tests, the 10 years since have done little to blur the momentous event in all its many details.

The shafts holding the devices for testing were so deep, they were sloshing with water. “There was water cascading about,â€

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Postby sum » 12 May 2008 21:37

K.Santhanam is a RAW man? Thought he was a DRDO employee who rose to be scientific adviser!!?? :-?

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Postby JE Menon » 13 May 2008 02:33

Yes. It is open source. Although his precise role may be incorrectly judged in the article...


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