Friday, 24 April 2009

Rahu Ketu to blame for Varun Gandi's predicament?

“Why did a courteous, poem-penning, educated young man threaten to tear the secular fabric of a country that his great grandfather and grandmother have so diligently woven into a united whole? Did he get carried away by his debut political address? Ganesha says it's the diabolical Rahu-Ketu effect that fanned the embers in Varun's brain.”


If you want to know more, do click here.


Link via “It’s Not Varun Gandhi’s Fault

Death due to lifestyle disease more likely than any other reason

“The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that death from diabetes and heart disease alone costs India about $210 billion every year, and it is expected to increase to $335 billion in the next decade.


So the average person is more likely to die from a lifestyle disease then from an automobile accident, or infectious disease such as pneumonia.”


The above information is lost somewhere in this debate on veg v/s non-veg debate.

“Maoist victory”

“The West Bengal government’s decision to relocate 40 polling booths near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district — as per the demands of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities, supposedly backed by the Maoists — has the obvious advantages of allowing elections to be held in the troubled area as well as keeping the tribals happy by precluding police presence near their homes. But the compromise worked out by the state government, the Election Commission and the People’s Committee is also the official acknowledgement of the extent of administrative failure.” 


An editorial in the Indian Express claims “Maoist victory”

Economic aid to Pak linked to its "ability to confront extremism"

“Stating that the rapid expansion of the Taliban in Pakistan is very "disturbing", the US on Friday said the Obama Administration's proposed economic aid to Islamabad would be directly linked to its "ability to confront extremism.”


“While announcing the new Af-Pak policy last month, Obama had said that Pakistan should no longer expect blank checks from the US and thatIslamabad would be made accountable for the money it would receive from the US.”


The US administration is clearly worried about the developments in Af-Pak, as perthis article.

Update: It's the terrorism, stupid; not India: US message to Pak, vide this article.



Crisis in SL

“Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Thursday that both LTTE and Sri Lanka were not paying heed to India's request to end hostilities but felt Colombo was "more at fault" as it thought military solution could end the strife.”


"It is not against the Union Government or Congress. It is for stopping the hostilities there in that country." He said it was wrong to say that the Union Government did not take any steps to stop the hostilities in the island. Read the whole article here.


With Tamil Nadu on the boil over loss of Tamil lives in the Sri Lankan fighting and political parties calling for either a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities, the Government decided tonight to send National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon as early as tomorrow to Colombo to convey Indian concerns, as per this article


And in an editorial, “Nonetheless, strong words streamed in. Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee echoed many of his counterparts around the world, including from the United States, when he pointed to the LTTEa’s barbaric practice of holding civilians hostage and also called on the Sri Lankan government to honour its responsibilities to its citizens.’

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Shiv Sena getting tech-savvy!

“The over four-decade old saffron outfit, founded by Bal Thackeray, is reaching voters through telephony, internet, mobile SMS and also plans a full-fledged studio to help meet needs of the electronic media.

The Sena has started a toll-free number 1800222772 on which people can register their grievances to the party over phone. Their complaints would be recorded and addressed by the party leaders.”


Shiv Sena is embracing the new technologies in order to get closer to the Gen Next vote bank. Do I hear anyone tell me that all this is western influence and against our ‘Hindutva’ culture?


Monday, 13 April 2009

I miss you, Sir APJ Kalam!

Don’t you think every citizen has a responsibility? I believe a person who has been educated, has a responsibility towards his nation. That is why I used to say every individual should be a good member of a family. Every individual has to be a good member of the society. Every individual has to be a good member of the nation. Every educated individual should be a good member of the planet earth. The question is how to make the individual into a good member? Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation there is peace in the world. Who will give us that righteousness in the heart? Our parents, our teachers in a spiritual environment.

India’s 11th President, A.P.J Abdul Kalam, speaks about his ideas, his vision for the country and the youth.


O! How much do we miss you, Sir?

The BJP's " extraordinarily irresponsible" in Kandhamal

Their relief camps are shutting down and they have to return to houses that are, in large part, still burnt-out. They’re mostly without election ID cards and quite some distance from the towns where they’re registered. Where responsible politics would heal these wounds, the local — and, unfortunately, the national-level BJP as well — has taken on the task of pushing things in the other direction. Yet another step backward for the BJP in this campaign.”


From an editorial in The Indian Express

Samajwadi Party wants to phase out machinery and substitute humans

Among things that the Samajwadi Party officially opposes are fancy English education, computers, farm machinery, stock-trading, and shopping malls. If this stuff is seriously meant, it reveals the SP’s intellectual vacuity and disconnect with the outside world. If it is a text merely meant to rally the faithful (with no bearing on actual governance), it is shocking in its condescension to the people.

Mulayam Singh’s plan involves phasing out computers wherever human labour can be substituted — a plank that even the Left has left behind, because of its patent absurdity. Warming over a centuries-old man versus machine debate, the manifesto also pushes for some prelapsarian past where farmers would directly cultivate the land. India’s biggest global advantage has been its IT-competent, English-speaking population — a segment that more and more young people openly aspire to — and the SP’s manifesto essentially promises to send his imagined constituency spinning away from that orbit.

More at

An interview with JK Dutt who commanded the anti-terrorist operations in Mumbai on 26/11

Shekhar Gupta in an excellent two part discussion with J K Dutt, former Director General of the National Security Guard, under whose command the siege (Mumbai Terror Attacks at the Taj, Oberoi and Nariman House on 26th Nov 2008) “was brought to a logical conclusion and a bloody one. “


The first part is here and the second part is here.


Please read both the parts in full.

HC verdicts "obeyed more in breach than in compliance"

The Delhi High Court, through various public interest litigations (PILs), has issued several orders over the last few years that intended to make sweeping changes in the Capital. The issues ranged from monkey menace to the stray cattle problem, saving the Yamuna to nursery admissions, and subways beneath the India Gate hexagon to Blueline accidents. All decisions, however, exist on paper only, after taking up valuable time of the already overburdened court. The judges’ verdicts have been “obeyed more in breach than in compliance”, Justice R S Thakur had once described the trend

KRISHNADAS RAJAGOPAL lists some of the cases

" When the NDA was ruling at the Centre, they had sent Lord Rama for 'vanvaas' "

"When the NDA was ruling at the Centre, they had sent Lord Rama for 'vanvaas' (exile). Now they have again raised the issue of constructing a Ram Temple at Ayodhya," the Union Agriculture Minister said at a gathering here.

Sharad Pawar, while campaigning for the Cong-NCP candidates from Dhule, Dindori (ST) and Nashik parliamentary constituencies.


To be fair to the NDA, the allies during the time the NDA was in power ensured that the mandir would not be built. But it does seem that the mandir issue is dusted and presented only during election time. If the mandir is built, then the BJP would lose an election issue, won’t it?

"EC asks parties to behave"

The Commission underscored that it expects that “all political parties, their leaders, workers and supporters as well as their candidates shall scrupulously observe the Model Code of Conduct in letter and spirit”.


And that “it sincerely hopes that they will be guided by the advice of the Honourable Supreme Court of India in conducting their electoral campaigns and set high standards of electoral morality.”


“Violations of the Model Code of Conduct and, in several instances, the law of the land, seem to be turning into something of a trend, which if unchecked, is bound to seriously damage the election process and set a deplorable precedent for future elections,” the Commission warned.


The entire article is here.

"Congress stands for nothing, BJP stands for something pernicious"


"...the Congress stands for nothing, while the BJP stands for something pernicious. The BJP has, in its DNA, the politics of divisiveness. It is true that the Congress has also played such politics, but out of convenience, not belief. That makes their acts no less heinous, but, in my eyes at least, it makes them slightly less dangerous because there is less chance of things going wrong, of a repeat of 1984 or 2002.

And ya, it burns me up that I need to decide who I support on the basis of who is less dangerous. That totally sucks, but such it is, so there we go."


That's Amit Gupta at talking about what Tytler and Sajjan tell him about the Congress party


Thursday, 9 April 2009

Mallika Sarabhai has some questions

After visits in and around the Gandhinagar constituency, my list of "Why?" keeps increasing every day...
- Why is there no PHC in Jalund village?
- Why is there no ST service in Moti Adraj?
 - Why are there  no toilets in Borij?
 - Why has a tank in Ghatlodia - that is said to have cost Rs. 60 lakhs- never had a drop of water?
 - Why are there only 32 polling booths for 2 lakh people in Juhapura?
 - Why are there no gutters in Borisana?
 - Why is NREGA not applicable in Sonawada?
- Why do villagers in Gokulpura have to walk a 15 km circuitous route when a 3 km road could ease their transport problems?

It would be too simple to answer all these questions with "Its because the local authorities are inefficient". Of course, there is a certain level of inefficiency that is only too obvious to those who talk to villagers around Gandhi
nagar. But the answer to these questions goes beyond issues of the local authorites being inefficient, to asystem that is inherently flawed. A system that once aware of such inefficiency can choose not to address them!

Mallika Sarabhai, independent candidate from Gandhinagar, thinks its time for a new leadership that revels in taking new risks and making new mistakes. Her blog is here.


Jarnail Singh a Panthic hero?

A report in the ToI says,

“Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee likened Jarnail Singh to a Panthic hero and offered him a job in case he lost the one he has now. It also offered to bear his legal expenses if he's booked and need to fight his case. “


As per the Indian Express, The govt has also asked CBI “Why clean chit to Tytler, why no copy to us?


Spurred by concerns raised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, CBI director Ashwani Kumar was asked to provide the facts of the case and the report that his agency submitted to Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate last Thursday giving a clean chit to Tytler. The case comes up for hearing tomorrow.


Sources said Kumar is learnt to have told the government that since it had been asked by the court in December 2007 to file an investigation report after questioning Jasbir Singh, it was duty bound to submit it “only” to the court.”


The ToI also reports that


“The fate of Congress leader Jagdish Tytler's nomination from Delhi North-East is hanging by a slender thread. With the "shoe throwing" protest by journalist Jarnail Singh triggering sharp reaction among Sikhs, Congress leadership is seriously considering to dump Tytler to secure its prospects in Punjab


My post on the shoe throwing incident is here.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Amar, Azam and Mulayam

Alka Pande & Ravish Tiwari in the Indian Express give the low down on the Amar and Azam saga.

Behenji for PM?

“As I see it, the two most probable candidates for Prime Minister are Mayawati and Rahul Gandhi. If Mayawati manages to win over 50 Lok Sabha seats she could be unstoppable. Fifty is not too difficult a target when one considers that Mayawati's home state of Uttar Pradesh has 80 parliamentary seats and all other parties and alliances in UP, even the uneasy SP- Congress coalition, seem to be on a much weaker wicket.

 Coomi Kapoor provides a “A guide on probable, possible, and not impossible Prime Ministerial candidates

 I’m scared. Very scared.

Lalu booked in two cases, arrested in a third

“While the Kishanganj administration booked him for his verbal attack on BJP leader Varun Gandhi, the second FIR was filed at Garhwa town in Jharkhand over his chopper skipping the helipad and landing at the venue of his rally. His arrest came in a similar offence - landing his helicopter at the venue of his meet in 2005 - but he was released on bail.”


Election update 8th April 2009

1. “Promises, more promises and no mention of any local problems daunting the biggest parliamentary constituency in Karnataka, Chithradurga. This is how one could sum up the brief 20 minute address of the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate, Lal Krishna Advani at Chithradurga on Tuesday.”


2. LJP releases manifesto, favours creation of smaller states

"The party believes that for better administration and development of neglected regions, formation of smaller states is necessary," party chief Ramvilas Paswan said, while releasing the party manifesto here.

“The LJP also promised to provide reservations to women and OBCs in government jobs and the judiciary for which 50 per cent ceiling imposed by the Supreme Court would be removed through appropriate legislation.”


3. RJD releases poll manifesto

“The RJD poll manifesto is a mix of the UPA government's claims -- rural employment for at least 100 days at Rs 100 per day, strengthening of the Right to Information Act besides the populist move of providing rice at Rs 2 per kg and wheat at Rs 1.5 per kg to BPL families. It also promised to amend laws to treat and deal with terrorism and communal forces. RJD also promised to amend the Constitution to provide for 10 per cent reservation for poor members of upper castes. It promised land reforms and encouragement to small-scale industries in the country.”


4. TDP releases poll manifesto

“Ensuring economic, food and health security would be top on the agenda of TDP if voted to power in this month's poll," TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu said while releasing the manifesto at the NTR Trust Bhavan here.
On Telangana, the TDP leader said they would take all required legal and political steps for creation of a separate state.”


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Facebook site hacked again!

The "Consortium of Loose, Forward and Pubgoing women" group on facebook has been hacked so many times, I wonder whether Facebook has any security worth the name. A quick search through google confirms that so many sites have been hacked with such regularity, its a surprise Facebook is not doing anything about it.

At this rate, Facebook will soon a lot of such groups leave and join other SNS forums. Another quick search (whatever would we do without Google) confirms that Orkut accounts have also been hacked.

Any tips on how to prevent facebook groups from being hacked, please leave your tips and suggestions in the comments section

Nitish rules out sharing dais with Modi. And 100% Bihari, says Suman.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ruled out sharing stage with his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi during the campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls. "Not at all. Why should I?" Kumar said when asked if he would share a dais with Modi. Check this article for full details.

" I am not a hardcore politician. I know what not to do in this field so I won't give anybody a chance to pull my leg. I want to change the image of cine stars who become ' Eid ka chand' after winning the election', says Shekhar Suman. In the same article, he asserts “I am 100% Bihari”

AIADMK, CPI(M) reach seat-sharing agreement

“Besides the two currently held constituencies, Kanyakumari (earlier Nagercoil) and Madurai, the CPI(M) will contest from the Coimbatore constituency.”

“The AIADMK is continuing talks with the MDMK, the only ally with which it is yet to reach an understanding on sharing of seats.”

The article also claims that “The talks between the two parties were prolonged because the CPI(M) insisted on the Tirupur constituency. It, however, agreed to settle for Coimbatore.”

38,670 people went missing from the national capital in the past three years!

“The largest number of people who went missing from the capital during the period were above 18 years accounting for 19,709, including 8,369 women. Out of this, 1,534 missing people are yet to be traced.”

That’s more than 35 people who go missing each day!

And 15% of the missing people are yet to be traced!

If this is Delhi, wonder what the national figures are.

5 questions for Mr. Lal Krishna Advani

Mallika Sarabhai has five questions for L K Advani today as “he has been our (Gandhinagar) MP for the last 20 years"."My first question is how many and what kind of questions have you raised in the Lok Sabha about Gandhinagar in the last five years," Mallika asked Advani. She wanted to know what efforts were made by him towards opportunities for education and livelihood generation in the rural areas of Gandhinagar constituency. She asked why he had not spoken out against violence and atrocities against women in Gujarat and specifically in Gandhinagar. She demanded to know that despite being MP fo this constituency, why have Advani not shown any concern towards local issues of the constituency as well as the state. Raising question about MPLADs scheme she asked "have you used your funds under MPLADs scheme to benefit the deprived and underprivileged in your constituency?"

From : Mallika Sarabhai invites Advani for open debate

Candidates and their websites.

I will try and post candidate's websites in this link. Some of our candidates in the LS 2009 elections have really hit the IT bandwagon
Mr.Krishna Byregowda's(Bangalore South) has his own website and you can even join his community forum to show your support.

Hat Tip : Lavanya Hebbale Anand

Ms. Meera Sanyal (Independent candidate from Mumbai South) has her own website

Nafisa Ali switches from Congress to SP

(Nafisa) Ali has her own plans to enhance Lucknow, which includes developing it as an IT hub and a tourist destination besides improving health care and sewage facilities. "I also want to build the Nargis Dutt cancer hospital in Lucknow and help Sanjay realise his dream", the SP candidate said vide an article here.

In the same article she also says ""Amar Singh's forthright approach is what I liked the most. Initially I was to be the Congress candidate from Lucknow and when I asked Singh if he would support me even if I was a rival candidate he suggested I join the SP instead."

Incidentally she was fielded by the Congress in the last LS elections from Kolkata and had lost.

Laloo is not impressed by Varun

"Yadi main home minister hota, uske chhati par roller chala deta"

Laloo mentioned this after the filing of nomination by RJD candidate and Union minister Taslimuddin for Kishanganj Lok Sabha seat.

The full article is available here.

Looks like the above has also invited the ire of the the Kishanganj district administration which has filed its complaint against Lalu Prasad at the Kishanganj police station in the morning, police said. As per the report here.

Mayawati at an election rally in Gurgaon and Faridabad

"Jab woh satta mein nahin the, unke chacha bhatija desh chala rahe the"

Behejni addressing a rally in Gurgaon or Faridabad (the article is not clear about the location where she made the above remark).

'' We have brought the deprived Muslims under the reservation category. We will bring all other castes and even Dalit Christians , who have been neglected and deprived by the 'capitalist' governments, under this umbrella,'' she said, reading out from a prepared speech.

The BSP chief also spelt out her plan to introduce reservations across several services, including judiciary, if the party was voted to power. '' We believe in delivering what we promise to people. Don't go by the manifestoes of Congress and BJP. You never got cheap food, you did not get jobs. They could not do anything when they were in power ,'' she appealed to the crowd.

After saying all the above, she said she can't comment on the issue of the water supply from the Agra Canal as "there is a model code of conduct in place,''. However, Mayawati assured the crowd she would find a solution once the election was over.

Angry scribe flings shoe at Chidambaram

Looks like this kind of protest has really caught on. An Indian scribe apparently infuriated at the clean chit given to Jagdish Tytler over his role during the 1984 Delhi riots has resorted to this sort of protest.
Watch this space for more details.

Update : Later, speaking with CNN-IBN, Jarnail Singh said he did not regret his action. "How can he (Chidambaram) happy when one community faces injustice? They were stopping me from talking. I don't think I have done the right thing but the issue called for it". From

election Lok Sabha 2009 and facebook

I had been posting several election related news on a discussion thread on The Consortium of Loose, Forward and Pub going women, but this particular forum has been subject to several attempts to bring it down. It seems that some people are not really happy with this concept.


In an attempt to provide election related information to those interested, I will be posting the same info on this blog too. Readers are encouraged to comment on the same. Treat this as a test post as I'm trying to post this directly from my email client.