Sunday, 25 January 2009

Mangalore pub attack: Saffron siege in Southern India

The shocking attack on women in a pub in Mangalore reflects that this malaise that had earlier afflicted North Indian states and Maharashtra, has now reached Southern India also.

The goons of a saffron outfit that ironically has the name, 'Sri Ram Sena', not just humiliated girls but also crossed all limits of decency and civility when they kicked, pushed and molested them.

Worse, the Sena leaders were unapologetic. A Sri Ram Sena leader said that he had no regret and the group did the right thing. He said that these girls were not acting as per the Hindu traditions and needed to be taught a lesson.

"On receiving the report that these women were consuming alcohol, which is not allowed in our culture, our workers reached the pub and punished them", he said. The Sena has earlier attacked Churches in various Cities of Karnataka including the capital Bangalore.

But the latest incident has once again proved that the Hindutva Taliban are ready to act as guardians of Indian culture and morality. In the name of safeguarding the tradition, they performed indecent acts and assaulted girls. The Bajrang Dal activists were also involved in this attack.

Sadly, the governments fail to act and as a result India is getting swept by such hooliganism.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

BJP in Disarray: Disgruntled leaders spoil Advani's dream

With Kalyan Singh again quitting the BJP and the party losing one of its most recognisable faces in Uttar Pradesh, the Saffron outfit suddenly appears faltering just at the last hurdle.

Everything was going on well for LK Advani and his party. After the Mumbai terrorist attack, the BJP hoped that its tough stand on the issue of terrorism would make it a natural favourite among the voters. But the results of the Assembly elections proved otherwise.

Now Bhairon Singh Shekhawat's rebellious pose and the exit of Kalyan Singh are likely to hurt the BJP. Though Uma Bharti had failed to make an impact in the Madhya Pradesh election, the 'parallel BJP' that is almost getting established outside the BJP, will eat into the traditional votes of the party.

The BJP can't hope to replicate its best performance. Currently it has just 138 seats in the 545 member Lok Sabha. It can't hope to improve its performance drastically and suddenly reach a magic figure.

At best, the BJP can hope that the Congress falters so that with the help of allies, it can form the government. But the situation isn't as rosy for its allies either, many of which are facing anti-incumbency in states.

With dissidents leaving the party and ganging up to defeat the official candidates, it will not be very easy for Lal Kishenchand Advani to become the Prime Minister of India though he must be expecting a miracle.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Can he become India's PM: No, This Bunch of Businessmen can't make Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

The voices in support of Narendra Modi have clearly grown louder in recent times.

But the top traders' (err...businessmen) declaration alone can't propel Modi to the post of India's Prime Minister (PM).

The sycophancy for which our society is known (the British were first to spot it and much before them the Mughals also did the same and exploited it) was at its most obscene display when at the Investors' Meet.

The so-called India Inc leaders or business honchos were trying to outdo each other in going to extra lengths and showering praise on Narendra Damodar Modi's administration skills and his support to the businessmen in Gujarat.

Yes, Modi has changed his state. There has been no major communal conflagration and now there is focus on development. Modi has also shifted his own agenda. But the turnaround is not exactly his work alone. Gujarati business acumen is known for centuries.

Upwardly Mobile Middle Class Can't Be 
Considered The Real Voice Of India

Further, six years is not a long time. Even sixty years can't wash away the past. Ask the Jagdish Tytler, who despite his comparatively lesser role in the Sikh riots, still finds it tough to live with his head high. Earlier, HKL Bhagat had an ignominious end to his political career.

Genocides are not poetry. When an elected government that has ministers swearing in for safety and justice to its citizens and commitment to the society, oversees a mass killing spree that resembled the Jewish holocaust and was worse that pirates did in medieval age, it is an unpardonable sin.

This government in the previous term had turned a blind eye and refused to act on rioters. Businessmen like Ratan Tata, Anil Ambani, Mukesh Ambani and Rahul Bajaj, who were pouring heaps of praise on Gujarat government and hinted that Modi should be the CEO (read Prime Minister) of India, hurt their own credibility with the statements.

Fascism may be fashion but can any businessman in Europe dare declare his support to the German regime of pre-World War era? The trading class is interested in its own welfare. It gets concessions, cheap land, easy loans, and it's happy.

But can its support decide truth and falsehood and redeem the tainted? Indian society may be changing but it has not changed so much that it would listen to the diktats of a bunch of some self-interested traders.

It will take years for the wounds of victims of Ahmedabad-Godhra riots to heal. In India, poor may not have anything but they do have the vote. Not every Indian belongs to the 'shining upwardly mobile Indian middle-class' which media often considers to be the real voice of the nation.

Morality and justice remain an issue with them. Though so-called leaders of the trading class and business community may not consider them an issue any longer.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Fearing jobloss young Satyam engineer ends life

A 23 year old young software professional committed suicide by consuming poison.

Vishwa Venkatasan, who was employed with the IT major at Chennai, was fearing that he would be sacked.

On way back home he had consumed poison while travelling in the bus. His family members took him to the hospital where he died. Just before his death he told police that he feared for his job.

It's a tragic story of a young man ending his life, because he feared that his career was in jeopardy. Satyam Computers is in the midst of the controversy after the Rs 7000 crore fraud that was detected recently. Its Chairman Ramalinga Raju has been arrested and sent to jail.

Monday, 12 January 2009

After Satyam, it's Wipro: Tough time for Indian IT companies

Just when India Inc was trying to recover from the Satyam Computers' fiasco after the arrest of it's former CEO Ramalinga Raju, the World Bank (WB) whip on another IT major Wipro has come as a shock.

The World Bank decision to debar Wipro and stall future contracts of outsourcing to the software company has left the IT industry bewildered. In all, five Indian entities have been taken to task which include Megasoft.

The reason cites is that Wipro violated the provisions and procurement guidelines and offered improper benefits to WB staff. Naturally, Indian Information Technology industry is feeling the heat, as also the share market.

Worse, the IT professionals are getting panicky. Wipro, which is India's third largest software company after Infosys and TCS, has held that it's business and revenue will not be affected due to the World Bank ban (for violation of 'fraud and corruption provisions' of the Procurement Guidelines) till 2011. The company head Azim Premji was once the richest Indian.

Satyam has already been banned for eight years after the Rs 7000 crore scam came to light and Ramalinga Raju had to go to jail for inflated balance sheets. Two other Indian financial firms Nestor Pharmaceuticals and Gap International have been barred from doing business with the bank for violating guidelines.

Still, all is not lost. The situation isn't as bad. Industry watchers say that it can't go worse. Government has already constituted a new Board for Satyam and offered a bailout package. Satyam's share is already looking up after the crash. Of course, the government now needs to keep an eye on the functioning of IT firms in future with the help of Industry bigwigs.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Assam blasts: Ominous New Year beginning for India

Just when we were praying that the nation would usher into a peaceful New Year after a series of terrorist attacks in 2008, the first day of the year 2009 brought bad news.

The serial bomb blasts in Assam took the lives of five persons and over 50 were injured. Though the initial reports suggested that Bodo militants were involved, it is now believed that the ULFA [United Liberation Front of Asom] was responsible.

Assam was targeted just two months back when 89 persons had died in blasts on October 30. The fresh attacks have once again shaken the confidence of the citizens. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi accepted security lapses.

The blasts occurred just before Home Minister P Chidambaram was expected to reach the state. So what about the intelligence agencies and the plans to do a shakeup that were made after the Mumbai terror strikes?

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