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Showing posts from December, 2006


Sometimes the reason for jubilation, even if it is emphatic, is kept under fold lest it angers the nay-sayers. This is perhaps the best way to define the reaction of the Indian government when the landmark nuclear deal was ratified by the both the American Senate and the Congress with an overwhelming majority. Coming a long way from the days when India took pride in being a proponent of an obscure NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) whose efficacy and existence was at best irrelevant for the rest of the world. We for long meandered naively through the dark woods of geo-politics, suffered from a sense of identity crisis and saw many of our compatriots, who were behind us on every front, literally gate-crashing to almost catch up with the First World countries, while we kept languishing. We probably missed every opportunity that made South East Asia what it is today, that made China and South Korea what they are today. And then, by default, we boarded the software bus and started a journey on a n

Three wrongs don’t make a right. Why the left, the tatas and mamta are all wrong...

When the Left came to power about 30 years back in West Bengal, the then Finance Minister of West Bengal Shri Ashok Mitra had said that “we will give the capitalists sleepless nights”... That may not have been the most appropriate thing to dream about but then that’s what the Left was supposed to be. At that time a sceptic who didn’t believe that the communists in India are that dedicated had written a poem stating that in this regime, capitalists will make so much money that they will obviously not be able to sleep in the nights, busy counting their money! As Budhadeb Bhattacharya goes on to say that he is the middleman of all capitalists (of course for the benefit of his people), that sceptic must be having the last laugh… So what is the issue? Well, Ratan Tata, certainly a good hearted gentleman wants to give India a Rs one lac car – against all market realities (all researches point out that such a car doesn’t have a viable demand in India). Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, our new face of

With DRDO on your side, national defence is no less than a national offence

Last night I watched Rang De Basanti again, and as usual the film ended leaving my eyes moist. Ironically, the film might be fiction but the death of Flt. Lieutenant Ajay Rathore is not. For, there are numerous such Ajay Rathores who had to sacrifice their lives (and are risking lives even today) because our so called premier research organisation the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) could not come up with a replacement for the ageing MiG-21s in the last 23 years.The third generation LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas is at best a technology demonstrator, and would take another three to four years for completion with full weaponisation and an indigenous engine. For all the tall claims of making India self-sufficient in defence production, it is quite a shame that the three prototypes being flown right now, fly with engines given by American company GE (General Electric). And probably all the 20 LCAs that are now on order from the Indian Air Force would fly with GE en

Had jessica been a dalit, Ram Jethmalani would have had it easy

Last week, a leading media house organised a conclave in which the who’s who of Indian Polity, Civil Society and global leaders came and spoke on what they think about India’s future potential. They also talked of how eventually India is going to tread on the path of becoming a major economic and military powerhouse, while remaining a democratic (ahem!!), secular and truly sensitive society (sigh!!). It was indeed inspirational as the global leaders showered adjectives like ‘Super Power’, ‘Knowledge Superpower’, ‘melting pot of politics, culture and ethos’ etc., for India. All that is fine, but I wonder as to which India were they referring to. And I fear that we are increasingly thinking about, and building & taking only a miniscule part of urban India towards the growth trajectory, whereas the majority of rural India is being comprehensively neglected and calculatively forgotten. It is hypocritical that amidst all the developments that we boast of, we forget that it is the same n