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India falteringly heads towards sustainable transport
2014.03.05 19:49:44

Almost every city in India is being choked today with traffic. There has been an automobile revolution since the economy was opened up and infestation of automobiles in Indian roads has progressively increased to an alarming extent. While before 1991 only a few thousand vehicles used to be manufactured, that number went up to 3.9 million in 2011. Almost all major producers have descended on the country to establish manufacturing facilities. Despite a claimed slow-down in off-take in the succeeding years a few more lakh vehicles must have been added in 2012 and 2013.

Tags: india

Hits: 9958 |

India's North-East needs separate time zone
2014.01.30 19:36:09

It is good to hear that the demand for a separate time zone for the North Eastern states of India has been revived. The proposal, it seems, is with the government and is in active consideration.  It had to be so, as no less a person than Tarun Gogoi, chief minister of the state of Assam, the biggest north-eastern state, has taken up the matter. In any case, regardless of what happens to the proposal, the Chief Minister is reportedly set on introducing the “Garden Time” in Assam soon. Introduced by the British tea planters over a century and a half ago for the tea garden workers it would be an hour ahead of the Indian Standard Time (IST).

Tags: north-east | zone | time

Hits: 8577 |

India could help save Sumatran tiger
2013.12.21 16:11:16

Looks like our escalating imports of palm oil from Indonesia will see the end of the Sumatran Tiger. While we in India would seem to be lucky in still hosting some tigers, we, however, might well be the reason for extinction of the tigers in Sumatra.


Tags: tiger | sumatran

Hits: 10428 |

Dreams sold by ad world
2013.12.13 18:48:39

The recent elections in Madhya Pradesh set off a veritable ad war. In making extravagant claims of accomplishments of the government during the last five years the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took recourse to exaggerations and bluffs. Photographs of green farms and silky smooth highways were picked up from the internet and passed on as achievements of the government. Keeping a keen eye, the men of the Opposition – the Indian National Congress –pounced at the opportunity screaming that the ads of the saffron brigade were a “collage of lies”. The Congress in the opposition has been quite bitchy even otherwise. This was election time and it lost no time to go all out to embarrass the party in power and unleashed a frontal attack.

Tags: lies | ads

Hits: 10048 |

Indo-Pak peace process -
2013.11.11 19:42:17

Why flog it when it is lifeless

Arun Jaitley, leader of the Opposition in the Upper House of Indian Parliament, very tersely said recently in New York that “terror and dialogue can’t coexist”. This was in the context of the Indian government’s keenness to continue Indo-Pak dialogue. Even as he was speaking infiltration bids continued on the Line of Control (LoC), the border between the two Kashmirs.

Tags: process | peace | pak | indo

Hits: 11480 |

A take on Indian politicians
2013.08.29 19:34:23

“I spoke to Mulayam-ji at 10.30 PM. Then I spoke to CM (chief minister) Akhilesh Yadav. And at 11.11 PM the Collector received the SDM’s suspension order – within 41 minutes the order came. This is the strength of democracy” thundered Narendra Bhati, a Samajwadi Party member, in a rally he organised at Gautam Budh Nagar in NOIDA  in the state of Uttar Pradesh on July 28, 2013.

Tags: politician

Hits: 11421 |

Abbottabad city of bin ladan?
2013.07.28 17:38:59

compoundAbbottabad is a city located in the Hazara area of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, 115 kilometres (71 mi) northeast of the capital Islamabad and 150 kilometres (93 mi) east of Peshawar . The city is well-known throughout Pakistan for its pleasant weather, high-standard educational institutions and military establishments.


Hits: 14202 |

Uttarakhand tragedy - 'development' wreaks havoc
2013.07.20 19:44:29

Any talk of “development” today sounds ominous and one tends to visualize the motives behind it that are sinister. Our political masters (mis) understand by the word development only growth and expansion that is mostly spatial in the context of a city. That there are other meanings also attached to the word, like improvement in quality, refinement or even an attempt to attain fullness, do not seem to occur to them.


Hits: 10376 |

The tiny kingdom of Swaziland
2013.07.03 19:51:38

The Swazi King Mswati III of Swaziland was in the news recently. Polygamous to the core, he wanted a 22 year old girl as his 14th wife. He got smitten by her when she was just 15 and kept making advances. Made of sterner stuff, she had no intentions of joining the millionaire king’s harem of 13 wives (with their individual palaces and luxury cars) several concubines. She, therefore, fled to Britain and currently living in Birmingham has sought asylum in the country. The 45 year old king lost a wife, his sixth, last year who escaped from his harem citing years of emotional and physical abuse.


Hits: 10039 |

Indians' craze for gold hurts their economy
2013.06.27 14:24:29

I found it rather odd that the Indian Finance Minister had to be beseeching people of the country not to buy gold. He has requested everyone not to buy gold for at least one year in view of the mounting current account deficits. Rising demand for the precious metal, he said, is met increasingly by imports which push up the trade deficit, impacting on balance of payments. The consequential mounting current account deficit is causing scarcity of dollars weakening the rupee. Lately the rupee has lost heavily against the dollar and is now pegged around 58 to 59 to a dollar.

Tags: gold

Hits: 11509 |

Fall of the Indian Rupee
2013.06.16 19:11:15

A report appeared recently of a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) study about the share in circulation of various currency denominations in 2010-11. The study effectively reflects how the value of the country’s currency unit, the Rupee, has gradually eroded. The erosion seems to have picked up pace since the economic reforms process began in 1990-91 and was, seemingly, accentuated since 2003-04.

Tags: rupee

Hits: 11958 |

'Amazing Thailand'
2013.06.12 15:02:28

The blurb of Tourism Authority of Thailand sells the country as “Amazing Thailand”. Thailand, indeed, amazes you. Endowed richly by nature and coupled with its cultural heritage the place offers all that makes an attractive destination. It has everything – beach tourism, adventure tourism, nature tourism, temple tourism and what have you. All those have been remarkably exploited to give tourists an unique experience. Welcoming as the Thais are one feels like going there over and over again.

Tags: thailand

Hits: 12024 |

Racism, Conservatism, and Low I.Q. Go Hand in Hand
2013.04.24 23:57:53

by Goal Auzeen Saedi, Ph.D.

This morning as I logged onto Facebook, I came upon this image. Having followed the Boston marathon and MIT shooting coverage initially, I lost some interest when it came down to the “hunt.” As much as justice matters to me, so does tact and class, and the sensationalism of manhunts always leaves me uncomfortable. I also knew it would be a matter of time before the political rhetoric would change from the victims and wounded to the demographic factors of the suspects—namely race and religion. And alas, it has.

Tags: Conservatism | Racism

Hits: 15993 |

Vote against Sri Lanka - India's muddled diplomacy
2013.04.20 14:40:38

News came in the other day that the already agitating students of Chennai are going to launch protest rallies when the internationally popular Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty-20 cricket matches take place at the city’s hallowed Chepauk ground. They have also decided to pressurise the Hyderabad Sunrisers, a participating IPL team owned by Kalanidhi Maran, brother of Dayanidhi Maran who represented Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a Tamil party, in the Union Government, to sack Kumar Sangakkara, a Sri Lankan cricketer.


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Boston - Attack Against Civilians
2013.04.18 22:26:32
Doesn't anyone else find it rather sickening to hear weak failures in office the likes of Ban Ki Moon and others parading their selective condemnations of attacks on civilians? Personally, I'm apalled and disgusted and have been for a decade at the way these people have failed abysmally to condemn attacks on civilians - vast and wholesale, insidious, callous, brutal (white phosphorous, fleshettes, cluster bombs). Let them rot in hell with Margret Thatcher and all her savage, torturing dictator friends whom they have dared not offend with a misplaced word. It is THEY who have no respect for the victims of Bostom.


Hits: 13810 |

The CIA Mind at Work
2013.04.17 06:53:24
The comments of "Former CIA Officer" Robert Grenier might make an interesting study in psychology. Interestingly, the "People who hate our Freedom and Democracy" now may be "Domestic Terrorists" with some sort of grievance against the government and the woven tale of far-fetched speculation pulls in imagery of the American Revolution and the national climate of discontent. How sad it all is. Guns are not the problem. The NRA is not the problem. Gun control won't calm the waters. No peace in the world. No Justice. No peace of mind.


Hits: 14162 |

Politics and the London Zoo
2013.04.15 21:00:38
Personally, I find it difficult to disengage or avoid politics, even on an outing with my children to the London Zoo. At King’s Cross Station I interrupted our journey to take my two boys to admire what I consider to be a rare and wonderfully imaginative innovation in Architecture and a marvel of modern engineering – the roof above Kings Cross Station. Of course, you can’t tell that to a child under 4, but I could get them to lie on their backs on the floor alongside the central column and get them to study the beautiful sweeping arches that hold up the enormous roof lattice above. A crowd was amassing with a high police attendance and someone was shouting with a broad Irish accent “Maggie Maggie Maggie! Dead Dead Dead!!” followed by a loud chorus of cheering and chants of “The bitch is dead!”. I asked one of the crowd what it was all about – “They’re protesting the cuts”. She was not impressed with my contention that unless there was a very large number of the British population willing to get serious they were wasting their time. She was less dismissive of this view when I reminded her that despite 2 million protesting in London against the Iraq war in 2003 we are still participating in wars all over the world; “Is this little mob going to make any difference?”. They just don’t give a damn about protest and they are militarising the Police and reshaping the law ready for the time when the world economy hits the fan and it all gets serious. While we conversed my 1-year-old son was pushing the double push-chair away and into the back of a group of police. As their alarm subsided I joked that it was probably the strongest resistance they would face all day. Meanwhile the “Maggie!” chants continued and I shouted back up the escalator shaft (at risk to life and limb) that if they didn’t have the balls to get rid of her while she was Prime Minister there was not much point raving now. At the London Zoo, wandering among the remnants of the procession of species disappearing in the wake of the human onslaught there were endless reminders of the FACT of Climate Change and the alarming rate of species extinction (which I first heard about at University more than 30 years ago) and efforts to persuade the masses that the loss of eco- and bio-diversity matters. As has been the necessity for some time, I fought off my rising anger and anxiety in order to present calm rationality for my day out with my boys; as best I could. On The Tube going back to King’s Cross an old lady (older than me) lamented the crowded conditions. I asked “What would things have been like if all the money spent on cars, petrol, motorways, traffic control and all the carnage of motor accidents had been spent on Public Transport?”. She agreed with my point and someone else joined the conversation. I told them that I had only recently come to understand, thanks to Monbiot, how we embarked on this madness. I had discovered that Dr Beeching, who had shut down the railways in the 1960s had been appointed by the then minister of transport, Ernest Marples - owner of the motorway-building company Marples Ridgway. I expressed the view that this was a criminal act of monumental consequence. Others tuned into the conversation and I began my usual rant about the psychopaths who currently run the planet and the consequent danger we are in with imminent environmental disaster due to Climate Change and economic disaster due to criminal mismanagement of the global economy. Once I began to see my folly I simply asserted that we are in deep shit and that all that was going to save us is conversations like this among ourselves leading to a broader awakening.

Tags: Public Transport | Margret Thatcher | Budget Cuts | climate change | Economic Collapse

Hits: 16918 |

SEX PISTOL John Lydon and Australian Takyvision
2013.04.11 18:48:01

I had very little to do with pop music generally in the SEX PISTOLS era, much less their music in particular, but I must say I was impressed with John Lydon's handling of the dim-witted, push-the-corporate-angle, Australian media in this interview: SEX PISTOLS: John Lydon Interview (sorry about the ad).

Tags: John Lydon | Politically Correct | sexism

Hits: 18698 |

Nobel Prize for Bradley Manning
2013.04.09 08:54:13

From: Allen Jasson [mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ] Sent: 25 March 2013 23:02 To: ' This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' Subject: Nobel Prize for Bradley Manning Dear Sirs and Madams of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, I write to urge you to give serious, positive consideration to the widely supported nomination of Bradley Manning for the Nobel Peace Prize. There are, in my view, at least three important reasons why Bradley Manning should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tags: Nobel Prize | Bradley Manning

Hits: 18610 |

Let's hope the dear lady rests among friends
2013.04.09 06:40:06
With the passing of the late Margret Thatcher all those who mourn her passing will hope that she will spend eternity among friends; so do the rest of us. Indeed, I personally hope that Mr Pinochet is the first to greet her; his table set with his best china to serve her tea and scones. Let us all hope you find the just peace you deserve for all eternity.

Tags: pinochet | Thatcher

Hits: 17648 |

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