Friday, October 31, 2008
Why FREEsenSEX Shoots Up Amidst National Calamity? Our Superslave Chettiar gang has enough to cheerup the Week End Break as FREEsenSEX shoots up amids
Why FREEsenSEX Shoots Up Amidst National Calamity? Our Superslave Chettiar gang has enough to cheerup the Week End Break as FREEsenSEX shoots up amidst AFIRE INDIA! The REAL Faces of Indira Assasiantion Are Still HIDDEN! Muslim Hatred Campaign Reminds Me of Those SIKH Genocide Days!Indira led Third world resistance against USA But We Opposed her as She became Part and parcel of Soviet Socilist Imperialism! After Assam, It is Chattishgargh! My Country is Burning! But it is COPULATION and Seasonal Mating Time for the Politicians Playing with democracy and constitution in India!
Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams: Chapter 98
On the Net:
If Sadhvi Pragya Thakur is guilty, punish her, says Advani
Times of India - 3 hours ago
NEW DELHI: Reacting to the alleged involvement of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur in the Malegaon blasts, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani said, if the sadhvi is guilty then she should be punished.
SP terms BJP`s defence of Pragya`s links with ABVP baseless Zee News
BJP backtracks on sadhvi row NDTV.com
India Today - Sify - Hindu - Livemint
all 179 news articles »
Win or lose, Palin seen to be a political force
Reuters - 7 hours ago
By Ed Stoddard - Analysis DALLAS (Reuters) - Sarah Palin has emerged as the new darling of social conservatives, and this political capital could make her an influential vice president -- or propel her as a candidate for the prime spot in 2012 -- if ...
Palin says Obama incapable of meeting national security challenges TopNews
Palin not qualified for vice president post: US poll Times of India
Reuters India - The Associated Press - SINDH TODAY - AFP
all 1,690 news articles » ?????? ??? »
US election: Obama extends campaign into Republican heatland
guardian.co.uk - 1 hour ago
Barack Obama's team demonstrated its confidence of victory by today announcing it is to extend its campaign in the final days deep into the Republican heartland, adding to its target list even John McCain's home state Arizona.
'It's gonna get nasty' in final days before election CNN
Obama pushes for McCain territory BBC News
Los Angeles Times - New York Times - The Associated Press - ABC News
all 499 news articles » ?????? ??? »
McCain insists he can catch Obama
Los Angeles Times - 27 minutes ago
'We're coming back strong,' McCain tells supporters in Ohio, although an average of polls shows him down by 6 points nationally.
'It's gonna get nasty' in final days before election CNN
Presidential Candidates Enlist Marquee Names New York Times
BBC News - The Associated Press - guardian.co.uk - ABC News
all 479 news articles »
Indo-Pak peace process sould continue: Ban Ki-Moon
Hindustan Times - 52 minutes ago
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has expressed concern over the security situation in Pakistan. Ban, who was here on a two-day visit, said, "I am concerned over the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan.
Ban’s Indian connections Hindu
UN Secretary General lauds Indian democracy Sify
NDTV.com - Thaindian.com - Xinhua - Indian Express
all 64 news articles »
'US strike' kills 15 in Pakistan
At least 15 people have been killed in a suspected US missile strike in Pakistan, security officials said.
They said the attack hit a house in the village of Mir Ali, in North Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan.
Reports said the target of the attack was an al-Qaeda operative, but it was unclear if he was among the dead.
The US military has not commented. More details coming.
Cabinet clears bill for free education to kids between 6-14
31 Oct 2008, 1955 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: In a major boost to education sector, the Union Cabinet has cleared the long-pending Right to Education Bill, which promises free and
compulsory education for children between 6 and 14.
"The Bill has been considered at several levels by the Group of Ministers (GoM). The Cabinet has approved the text of the Bill," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters here today about the decision of the Cabinet which met last night.
Observing that it was an important promise to the children as education would become a fundamental right, he said that it would be legally enforcible duty of the Centre and the states to provide free and compulsory education.
Chidambaram said that the HRD Ministry would release the text of the Bill after consulting the Election Commission in view of the assembly polls in some states.
The GoM, entrusted with the task of scrutinising the Bill, had cleared the draft legislation early this month without diluting the content including some of the contentious provisions like 25 per cent reservation in private schools for disadvantaged children from the neighbourhood at the entry level.
Other key provisions in the Bill are no donation or capitation or interviewing the child or parents as part of a screening procedure.
The Right to Education Bill is the enabling legislation to notify the 86th Constitutional amendment, which gives every child between the age of 6 and 14 years the right to free and compulsory education. It was passed by Parliament in December 2002.
MONEY MACHINE is well FED and it Digests everything determining Life and Livelihood of Indian people! Thus, FREEsenSEX registers Turnaround ! Extending gains for the third day in a row, stock markets staged an impressive come back rally on Friday with the benchmark Sensex closing higher by nearly 750 points on brisk buying by funds.On the other hand, Beaten down and watching their wealth shrink, Americans are cutting back sharply on their spending, trimming it in September by the largest amount in four years! US Economy SHRINKS! The weakness in consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of total US economic activity, dragged the overall economy down in the third quarter. The gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, also fell by 0.3 per cent in the third quarter, the strongest signal yet that the country has fallen into a recession.
When the US government announced an emergency plan to buy bad loans and other troubled assets from banks and financial institutions, it was
hailed as the best solution to tackle paralyzed credit markets.
Nearly a month later, the plan remains under wraps and money managers say it could have a fundamental flaw – only a handful of the biggest investors are qualified to run the program.
When the plan won congressional approval on October 3, days after it was initially rejected, the Treasury Department said the program could be up and running within a few weeks.
It was designed as the core part of a $700 billion rescue package as it would root out toxic assets from the system, eliminating a key area of uncertainty for investors about when US and global credit markets would be cleaned out and resume normal functioning.
But so far, no asset managers have been announced, suggesting that the government is running into difficulty in finding the most appropriate money managers for the job.
In order to compete for the contracts to buy and sell mortgage-backed securities (MBS) under the plan, companies must oversee at least $100 billion in US dollar-denominated, fixed-income assets for clients.
Citing turbulence in the country's economy, British trade union GMB has opposed world's leading French fries supplier McCain Foods' proposal to outsource finance and administration-related jobs to India.
GMB, reportedly having about six lakh people as members, said in a statement on Thursday said it would ask McCain not to proceed with the proposal to offshore employments which would see "32 backroom jobs in five locations in England being outsourced to India".
Canada-headquartered McCain Foods is planning to export backroom jobs to India from five locations spread across England.
According to GMB, the company had informed that it is looking at a proposal to outsource jobs of finance and administration workers to India "to take advantage of much cheaper wage rates there".
The government's decision to table a bill in Parliament to hike FDI cap in private insurance firms was today hailed by industry chambers and insurers as a move to bring in much needed capital in the sector.
"The insurance sector being a capital intensive sector requires huge investments over a prolonged period of time, and therefore, there is constant need for capital infusion.
"A hike in the sectoral FDI cap to 49 per cent would further grow the insurance sector and bring in much needed FDI to the country," MetLife India Insurance's Managing Director Rajesh Relan said in a statement.
Confederation of Indian Industries, termed the bill as a much-awaited one, and said, that this bill "would further help in development of the insurance sector".
The industry body, which had played an active role in preparing the draft bill, hoped that it would find a quick and easy passage in Parliament.
MetLife's Relan said allowing more FDI would help achieve "increased coverage to the rural and social sectors, thereby providing protection and peace of mind to the people... also increase employment, develop tertiary sectors such as IT/ITeS and provide long-term investments for developing infrastructure..."
Ficci said, "We now hope that the bill would be cleared in Parliament and thereby provide an impetus for further growth of the insurance sector in the country."
The Union Cabinet, at a meeting yesterday, approved to table a comprehensive insurance bill, which among others, proposes to increase FDI cap in the sector to 49 per cent from 26 per cent now.
Forex kitty shrinks by USD 15-billion!
Forex reserves fell by a whopping USD 15.4-billion for the week ended October 24 to USD 258.415 billion as compared to USD 273.886 billion in
the previous week, the biggest fall in over eight years.
The reserves had fallen by USD 118-million for the week ended October 17 and by USD 9.937-billion in the preceedings week.
The fall in reserves comprised a USD 15.467 billion decline in the foreign currency assets (FCA)during the period, which fell to USD 249.394-billion from USD 264.861 billion in the previous week, Reserve Bank said in its weekly report on Friday.
FCAs expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the Euro, Sterling and Yen held in reserves.
During the week, the gold reserves stood unchanged at USD 8.565-billion while country's special drawing rights climbed USD 5 million to USD 9-million, the RBI data said.
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) further fell by USD 9-million during the week to to USD 447-million from USD 456 million in the previous week, the RBI said.
The risk of international conflict will increase in the next two decades as China, India and Russia become major powers and competition for resources grows, the top US intelligence official said on Thursday.
The next 20 years of transition to a new international system will be fraught with risks and challenges with the rise of emerging powers and a historic transfer of wealth and economic power from West to East, US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell told an intelligence conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
"Strategic rivalries are most likely to revolve around trade, demographics, access to natural resources, investments and technological innovation," McConnell said in a transcript of a speech provided by his office.
If current trends persist, by 2025, China will be en route to becoming the world's largest economy, a major military power and likely the world's largest importer of natural resources, McConnell said.
India and Russia would be close behind with more wealth and power, he said.
Economic and population growth will put increasing pressure on a number of strategic resources, such as energy, food and water.
"Just think about it: 1.4 billion people without these basic necessities will create significant tensions on the globe, tensions that world bodies and larger states will have to contend (with)," McConnell said.
Save the nation and adrees the long pending Issue of nationalities crushed hitherto with Military arms of the barahminical hegemony!
Security has been beefed up in the northern districts of West Bengal as the police apprehend a serious terrorist threat in the region after serials bombings rocked neighbouring Assam, officials said Friday.
“We’re apprehending a serious threat in the northern West Bengal districts - especially in Siliguri as it’s the biggest business centre in the region after Guwahati. We’ve implemented three-level security checking in our district to prevent any kind of subversive activity,” Darjeeling District Superintendent of Police Rahul Srivastava told IANS by phone.
He said Siliguri - a bustling town about 600 km from Kolkata - is also under serious security scanner in view of the Chhath puja, a major north Indian festival, which will be celebrated Nov 4.
“Since the men behind these subversive acts always try to strike at crowded places during religious occasions, we’ve sounded a high alert in Siliguri,” said Srivastava, adding that a huge religious conglomeration takes place in Siliguri during Chhath every year.
According to state intelligence sources, Siliguri has for long been a favourite haven for militants like the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).
Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar are the two districts in West Bengal that share a border with Assam.
Actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi has announced that his Praja Rajyam Party will support the formation of a separate Telangana state if the Centre came with such a proposal.
"It is for the Central government to take a decision on creation of Telangana state. If it comes up with such a proposal, our party will not be an obstacle at any cost," he told a gathering in this Telangana town during his road show.
Meanwhile,A group of non-resident Indians (NRIs) has asked the US to put Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on the "list of terrorist
organisations which are out to hurt the humanity".
"We requested the US department of state to put Raj Thackeray and his group Maharashtra Navnirman Sena on the list of terrorist organisations which are out to hurt the humanity," said a letter to US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice by the US-based NRI group called Humane Mumbai.
NRI Ravi Verma, who hails from Katihar in Bihar, formed the group Humane Mumbai.
"There are several Indians of Marathi origin who were among the first to join the group Humane Mumbai," Verma said over phone from California.
After the hue and cry in India in the wake of the attacks on non-Maharashtrians, the Indian diaspora is also not taking this lightly, he said.
"The Indian diaspora prays that there is never an insane (person) like Raj Thackeray in the US or UK who starts a US or UK Navnirman Sena and instigates attacks on the Indians living there," Verma said.
Verma said Humane Mumbai initiated the process of putting Raj Thackeray and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena on the infamous terror watchlist on Thursday.
Once Raj Thackeray is on the terror watchlist, they will be under surveillance by the US for their activities, he said.
Verma, CEO of Telecommand Software and Services in the Silicon Valley, said there was widespread dismay among Indians throughout the world over the persecution of people of north Indian origin living in or visiting Maharashtra.
Indians of Marathi origin are particularly embarrassed at the events back home, he said.
But the Colonial Super slave Rulers of this US Perpheri are least concerned! They do everything Antipeople to save the Corporates and the Capitalists! Genocide continues! My Country has become an Infinite KILLING FIELD!
The global slowdown will have an indirect effect on the Indian economy, finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram told reporters on Friday. He said however this would not result in massive job losses.
The government on Friday approved the much-awaited comprehensive insurance bill, which seeks to raise foreign direct investment cap in private sector to 49% from 26%, and said it would be tabled in the Parliament in December.
"The union cabinet gave its approval for introduction of the Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2008 for amendment to Insurance Act 1938, General Insurance Business Act, 1972, and Insurance Regulatory and Development Act, 1999, in the Rajya Sabha on the basis of recommendations made by GoM," finance minister P Chidambaram told reporters here in the morning.
However, the Bill is unlikely to be passed in this Parliament mainly due to lack of time, Chidambaram said while briefing on decision taken in the Cabinet on Thursday night.
The amendments, he said, will remove archaic and redundant provisions in the legislations and would incorporate certain provisions to provide IRDA with flexibility to discharge its functions effectively and efficiently.
The Cabinet also decided to introduce the Life Insurance Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2008 in the Lok Sabha, he said.
After Assam, it Is Chhattisgargh! My Country is burning! But it is COPULATION and Seasonal Mating Time for the Politicians Playing with democracy and constitution in India!
At least 17 policemen sustained minor injuries on Friday when Maoist guerrillas detonated a powerful land mine in front of their vehicle in Chhattisgarh's southern Bastar region.
The incident took place on a state highway in Narayanpur district, some 250 km south of capital Raipur.
"It was a huge blast but fortunately it missed the target. The mine exploded 10 metres in front of the mini bus with 25 policemen on board," Inspector General of Police AN Upadhyay said.
"The blast created a huge crater on the road, and flying stones smashed window panes of the vehicle, injuring the policemen," the officer said.
The injured men were rushed to a hospital in Narayanpur town, 18 km from the attack site.
On the other hand, Investigating agencies on Friday questioned over 20 persons as they probed a possible HuJI-ULFA link behind the deadly serial blasts in Assam which claimed 77 lives, while curfew was clamped in worst-hit Ganeshguri here after protesters went on a rampage.
The scale and planning behind the blasts have led the police to suspect local militants joining hands with terrorist outfits to carry out the coordinated strikes.
One person has been arrested in connection with the Assam serial blasts. Zulfikar Ali from the Nagaon district, whose vehicle was used on the blast, has been held!
The ULFA cadres are being trained by the jehadi militants and there is definitely a link between the two which is being investigated, he said.
While suspecting the hand of the Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul Jehad-e-Islami (HuJI) outfit, police claimed to have got clues that the blasts were carried out by people having local links. Thus the ULFA angle has come in, the official said.
Schools and educational institutions remained closed in Guwahati while a total shut-down was observed in Kokrajhar following a bandh call by VHP and BJP.
A team of NSG experts from New Delhi visited the blast sites at Ganeshguri, the deputy commissioner's office and Fancy Bazaar here to make an on-the-spot assessment of yesterday's terror strikes that left over 450 wounded.
"We are not taking seriously the denial by the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA-of being responsible for the blasts) because on earlier occasions also they have done so", a top Assam police official said.
Nation pays homage to Indira Gandhi! Indira Gandhi who had to face Nationwide Protest for his ways of Dictatorship! Yes, we also Opposed Indira Gandhi!But we were neither the socialist Oxides nor the Gandhian carbides. We were not the part of Pro US Movement led jointly by JP, RSS and the Left! Nevertheless, Indira remains the only leader who voiced Third World Resistance against US Imperialism. We oppoesed her because he became a part and parcel of Soviet Socila Imperialism!
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was the Prime Minister of the Republic of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She was India’s first and to date only female Prime Minister. Indira Gandhi was one of the most charismatic leaders of modern India whose ideas and activities touched different spheres of India’s public life and politics and left an imprint on world affairs, especially, the Non-alignment Movement. She was the Prime Minister for over fifteen-and-half years. She was born born on 19 November 1917 in the politically influential Nehru dynasty, she grew up in an intensely political atmosphere. Her grandfather, Motilal Nehru, was a prominent Indian nationalist leader. Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a pivotal figure in the Indian independence movement and the first Prime Minister of Independent India. Returning to India from Oxford in 1941, she became involved in the Indian Independence movement.
In the 1950s, she served her father unofficially as a personal assistant during his tenure as India’s first Prime Minister. After her father’s death in 1964, she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha by the President of India and became a member of Lal Bahadur Shastri’s cabinet as Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
It happens every Year when rest of the Country flooded, FREEsenSEX gets Meat.Despite Free Fall continuing in Newyork Wall Street and US Economy Shrink, Our Superslave Chettiar gang has enough to cheerup the Week End Break as FREEsenSEX shoots up amidst AFIRE INDIA! The REAL Faces of Indira Assasiantion Are Still HIDDEN! Muslim Hatred Campaign Reminds Me of Those SIKH Genocide Days!
Why the FREEsenSEX shoots up amidst national Disaster?
The question remains yet to be answered.
No Relief to the Common Man despite sliding OIL Prices but the MONEY Machine is well FED!
For the third time in as many months, state-run oil companies on Friday slashed jet fuel prices by over Rs 9,400 per kilo litre, or 16.8
per cent, a move that would ease the pressure on cash-strapped airlines.
The ATF prices have been slashed by about Rs 24,000 per kilo litre since September in tune with falling global oil prices. However according to available information, private airlines wanted to assess the total benefits before they think of passing on the same to air travellers.
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum cut jet fuel or aviation turbine fuel (ATF) price in Delhi by Rs 9,429.87 per kl to Rs 47,017.93 per kl, industry officials said.
The cut, which follows similar reductions on September 1 and October 1, would be effective from midnight tonight.
High prices of ATF had put airlines in a tight spot with leading private carriers, including Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airline, which had defaulted on payment to oil companies, demanding a bailout package from the government earlier this month.
During a recent meeting with civil aviation minister Praful Patel, along with airline executives, petroleum minister Murli Deora had come down heavily on private carriers for non-payment of astronomical arrears but agreed for a deferred repayment in monthly installments.
When contacted spokespersons of Jet Airways and Kingfisher said they are evaluating the situation before a decision is taken on passing the benefits of reduced ATF prices to air travelers.
In Mumbai, the home to India's busiest airport, ATF prices were cut by 16.8 per cent to Rs 48,656.59 per kilo litre from Rs 58,479.37 per kilo litre.
The third cut in a row has brought down jet fuel prices from Rs 71,028.26 per kl (ex-Delhi). They were first cut to Rs 59,650.17 per kl effective September 1 and then to Rs 56,447.80 per kl from October 1.
"We follow a very transparent system of fixing prices," IOC Chairman Sarthak Behuria said when suggested by some reporters that the company should have not cut ATF prices and use the excess money to make up for losses on sale of diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene.
"How can we do that? Whenever price move down we have to cut (ATF prices) and when they move up, we have increased them," he said.
Till now, the three companies fixed jet fuel prices once every month but from November they will fix them every fortnight - once on first and on 16th of every month.
Possible Huji-ULFA link behind the Assam killings is the appropriate COCKTAIL for One Eyed Doe Indian policy making quite detached with Nationality question!
Govt slams Assocham for job loss forecast which happens the ULTIMATE Truth for the DEVASTED Indian Economy!
Taking strong exception to industry chamber Assocham's forecast that a quarter of people in certain key sectors will lose jobs in the
next ten days, government on Friday said the economy is poised for the other way.
"The deputy chairman of the planning commission and my colleague Jairam Ramesh (minister of state for commerce) have taken serious exceptions to an Assocham report... The pace of job creation may slow down but that doesn't mean that jobs are being destroyed," finance minister P Chidambaram told reporters here.
The minister further said another industry chamber FICCI too had contradicted the Assocham study, which had said that in the next ten days or so about 25% to 30% employees are likely to lose jobs in seven sectors including aviation, information technology, steel, financial services, real estate, cement and construction.
Chidambaram further said that 7% growth rate, the lowest projection made by experts, would "create more job than was done in entire NDA regime, when the growth was only 5.8%. Why this question was not raised when the economy was growing at 5.3%?"
Replying to questions on the recent report on slowing of the US economy, the minister said, "when the world output slows down, the growth in developed countries slows down... it will have an indirect impact on India."
The ruling Hegemony launched an All Out hatred campaign against the Muslims linking the International terror chain and justifying Aggressive US Corporate Imperialsim! Why ULFA has a deep sypathy base amongst the Ahmia people, Universities and Intelligentsia, it does not bother the Demography Politicians of India. Why ULFA chooses Huji as its ally despite its demand to deport illegal migrants, GOI never considers. In fact, recent strategical change in ULFA stance exposed the vulnerability of the NON Assamese Indian citizens including resettled partition victim refugees in Assam. The faces of recent victims say so many things, but political players of mainstream India is not concerned a little bit.ULFA is marginalised. Anti Muslim HATRED targeted to OBAMANIA is the gist of this episode of National Calamity and the HATRED Festival is well reflected in FREEsenSEX mods! It is Pre Election Seasonal Mating Time amongst different organs of the Hindu brahaminical Ruliong Hegemony and Vote Bank Equations happen to be the Top Most Priority!
It is reminiscent of SIKH HATRED ignited by Indira`s Killings on this Day incidentally twenty four years ago! The REAL faces of Indira Assasiantion are still HIDDEN!
Muslim hatred campaign reminds me those days of SIKH Genocide Hollocaust nationwied. Mind you, at that time also, Fascism and Imperialism killed the SIKH Nationality. Once again it is out and out a Nationality Question, a question of AHAMIA Identity and Existence which have been subverted into intense Muslim hatred and linked with ZIONIST WHITE HINDU post modern Manusmriti Apartheid agenda!
I have written about my childhood days while I witnessed how two Brahmins of Kumaoon KC Pant and ND Tiwari encashed the plight of Black Untouchable partition victim bengali refugees. They were deprived of Reservation to maintain caste Hindu demography intact so Nainital remains a general Loksabha seat. Tiwari became UP chief minister three times and Uttarakhand CM once, he did nothing to ensure the constitutional rights of our people. meanwhile, thanks to Adwani and Brahmins of West Bengal, Pranab, Somnath and Buddhadeb, our citizenship is also endangered. Because we have a part of Kumauni Nationality and enjoy the support of local population and alaso, empowered ourselves to launch ressistance at any given moment, we never face an ASSAM like situation in Uttarakhand or UP!My father stood with his people in Riot Torn Assam in 1960 just after he led dhimri Block Peasants` Uprising in Nainital and Communist party led by GS PC joshi evicted him out of the party. Since then, my people befriended with Tiwari and Pant. We remained a Vote Bank intact for the duo which played miracle with the political career of the two. My father late Pulin Babu was the undisputed leader of his people who could put anything on stake for his people`s sake. I inherit the legacy of that struggle.
On October, 31st, Pulin Babu was a guest in the house of ND Tiwari, a cabinet minister at 3 Krishna Menon marg in New Delhi.
As soon as Indira was shot dead and brought to AIIMS, Pulin Babu rushed to the Hospitol and as he was capable of, went inside where Tiwari located him. They returned together.
My father witnessed the rampant MADNESS against the Sikhs in New Delhi.
I was working as the editorial Incharge in Dainik Jagaran, Meerut then. My son TUSSU was not born then. Sabita was ailing. We lived in a rented house in Naglabattu, in Mr KL Dutta`s House. I returned from the Press after releasing late Night Edition and slept sound. It remains the practice even today that I switch on TV very late, almost at NOON just after going through all Local and National News papers. No one wakes me.
The Peopn Rushed into KL Dutta`s house crying Indira Gandhi Killed.
I rushed to my office, 40 D Saket and we published Special Edition. Though Meerut well known for communal riots remained peaceful, we had been surrounded by a turbulant time when SIKHS were being singled out everywhere and Set ABLAZE live. The Ganges were flooded with Sikh Dead Bodies. We were getting updates of endless genocide every moment. Amidst the unprecedented Communal hatred, Loksabha Poll was declared and RSS supported Rajiv Gandhi, projecting him as the saviour of Hindutva. RSS then evicted SIKHs out of Hindu history and geopolitics! It happened quite ruthlessly. We remained helpless!
We had witnessed how RSS projected Indira as Goddess Durga while Bangladesh was liberated and Indira Gandhi crushed Agrarian Revolt in India, the Thundering spring with Military Power.
We witnessed in seventies how JP led the greatest Pro US movement in India subverting Naxalite Movement. Even the Marxists supported the Pro US Lobby to oust Indira Gandhi which happened the reality in Mid term Elections of 1977. Once again, the Marxists allied with US agents while the Left supported VP Singh Government along with RSS in 1989.
Thus, however different it may seem, the fact remains the ULTIMATE TRUTH, All Indian parliamentary Parties defend the same interests and now it happens once again the US interests worldwide.
Thus, the theme is Anti Muslim, Anti Black, Anti Untouchable, Anti Refugee, Anti Peasant, Anti Indigenous, Anti Aboriginal HATRED overlapping every thing in this world! We saw how mayawati was stopped. We know the history of DR Ambedkar who never won an election in Indepedent India as also Jogendra Nath Mandal. We have to see how the HINDUTVA, ZIONIST WHITE Galaxy Oder stops Barrack Obama Hussein!
Prime Minister Super Slave Manmohan Singh will visit Assam tomorrow for an on the spot assessment of the situation there following the serial blasts, which claimed more than 70 lives and injured about 450 others.
Singh, who represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha, is likely to hold a meeting with Governor Shiv Charan Mathur, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, his cabinet ministers and top civil and police officers in Guwahati to take stock of the situation following yesterday's serial blasts, official sources said.
During his day-long visit, the Prime Minister will also visit Guwahati Medical College hospital to meet some of the injured persons admitted there.
The US Slave is ceratin to ADD Salt to the Wounded ASSAM!
Strongly condemning the serial blasts, the Prime Minister had said the government would take all possible steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.
"We will take all possible steps to maintain peace and bring the perpetrators of such acts to justice," he said in a message.
"I am confident that the people of India will rise united against these attempts to disturb peace and harmony and destroy our social fabric," he said.
In one of the deadliest terror attacks in Assam, near-simultaneous blasts had ripped through Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Barpeta on Thursday.
The Leftist Ideological Hypocricy is Unabated even today!
The Left parties on Friday accused the UPA government of working to demolish the economy's strong fundamentals through acts like
approving an insurance bill that seeks to raise foreign direct investment cap in the sector to 49% from 26% now.
"Ever since the Left parties withdrew support, the Congress-led UPA is moving more and more rightwards. Despite the global financial crisis and its impact on India, the prime minister and the finance minister are determined to implement right-wing neoliberal economic policies," CPI national secretary D Raja said.
He said the prime minister and the finance minister have claimed in Parliament that the impact of the global financial crisis had not impacted the Indian economy due to its strong fundamentals.
"The strong fundamentals are due to our public sector banks and insurance companies. But the finance minister is destroying and demolishing the strong fundamentals by opening up the insurance sector to FDI," Raja said.
The CPM, the largest among the Left parties, said the increase in FDI cap would lead to the outflow of Indian people's savings to lubricate speculative profits.
It maintained that the Left had not allowed the UPA to take this decision for the past four years.
Raja said it was the same Congress party which had "shamelessly collaborated" with the BJP during the NDA rule to get a bill, which raised the FDI cap to 26%, passed.
The Union Cabinet on Thursday night approved the much-awaited legislation and said it would be tabled in the Parliament in December. However, the Bill is unlikely to be passed by this Parliament due to lack of time, finance minister P Chidambaram said.
Mkts see strong pullback; Metal, Oil, Bank indices up 7-10%
It was a spectacular session for the markets. Benchmark indices shot up quite sharply on the back of short covering on the first day of November series. This was the second consecutive day that markets have been jumped higher led by metal and oil stocks. Huge buying was also seen in banking, telecom, IT, auto and capital goods stocks.
The Sensex has touched an intraday high of 9,870.42, before closing at 9,788.06, up 743.55 points or 8.22% over previous close. The Nifty finished lower by 188.55 points or 6.99% at 2885.60. It has hit a high of 2921.35.
The November series started on a light note. Double digit gains seen on 25% of F&O stocks on low volumes. Nifty futures added 30 lakh shares in open interest and ended at a premium of 15 points. The series started off a very light note in stock futures as well, therefore hugh percentage open interest build up seen on lower base. IT, Oil & Gas and bank stocks saw fresh long build up.
Among the frontliners, Mahindra & Mahindra jumped over 23%. HDFC, Jaiprakash Associates, ICICI Bank, Sterlite Industries, Reliance Industries, Reliance Communication, Hindalco, Tata Steel, Tata Power, Tata Communication, HCL Tech, Cairn India and Idea Cellular gained 10-18%.
Market breadh was positive throughout the session; about 1768 shares have advanced while 1185 shares have declined. Nearly 237 shares remained unchanged.
The BSE Metal index outperformed other indices; shot up 10.20% or 496.73 points to 5,367.60. JSW Steel jumped 32.70%. Jindal Steel, Sterlite Inds, Hindalco and Tata Steel rose 12-15%.
Oil stocks like The BSE Oil & Gas Index was up 517.29 points or 9.11% at 6,195.62. Reliance Industries gained 13.81% and ONGC rose 3.04%. However, oil marketing companies like BPCL, IOC and HPCL lost 7.12%, 3.05% and 0.21%, respectively.
Bankex gained 336.90 points or 7.21% at 5,011.24. ICICI Bank was up 15.50% and HDFC Bank gained 8.25%.
Telecom stocks like Tata Communication, Reliance Communication, Idea Cellular, MTNL and Bharti Airtel jumped 5.5-18.5%.
Auto stocks ended in positive terrain. M&M jumped 23.09%, Tata Motors and Maruti rose 9.11% and 4%, respectively. Index jumped 161.22 points or 6.39% to 2,685.62.
IT Index was up by 156.17 points or 5.77% at 2,861.94. HCL Tech rose 14%. Satyam, Tech Mahindra, Wipro and Infosys were up 6-7.6%.
Power stocks Power Index moved up by 83.13 points or 5.54% to 1,583.37. CESC, Tata Power, Reliance Infrastructure, Power Grid Corp and NTPC were up 5-14%.
Capital Goods stocks like BHEL and L&T were up 8.72% and 5.53%, respectively. Capital Goods Index surged 333.90 points or 5% to 7,017.61.
The BSE FMCG Index rose 57.76 points or 3.32%, to close at 1,799.83. United Spirits, Dabur India, United Breweries, HUL and GlaxoSmith Consumer were up 4-19%.
Pharma stocks like Divis Labs, Glenmark, Ipca Labs, Opto Circuits and Sterling Biotech gained 6.5-12.7%. Healthcare Index was up 86.92 points or 3.23%, to settle at 2,778.64.
Realty stocks also participated in this rally. Anant Raj Ind, DLF, Peninsula Land and Ansal Properties rose 7-10.5%. Realty Index jumped 44.40 points or 2.3% to 1,978.24.
The BSE Midcap Index ended higher by 105.54 points or 3.41 percent at 3,200.02 and the BSE Small Cap Index was up 90.50 points or 2.46% at 3,765.11.
Among the midcap stocks, Core Projects shot up 38.73%. India Infoline, Mercator Lines, Advanta and Maharashtra Seamless gained 20-25%.
In the small cap space, Bannariamman, INEOS ABS, Greenply Inds, Eicher Motors and Kemrock Indus were up 20% each.
Volumes were very lower in today's trade. Total traded turnover stood at 52,895.42 crore. This includes Rs 12,230.39 crore from NSE Cash segment, Rs 36,959.23 crore from NSE F&O and the balance Rs 3,705.80 crore from BSE Cash segment.
On the global front, Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei went down 5%, as Bank of Japan disappointed the market by announcing modest rate cut of 0.2% versus expectation of 0.25%. Hang Seng fell 2.52% and Shanghai lost 1.97%. Straits Times fell 0.43%. However, Jakarta, Kospi and Taiwan jumped 2.6-7.06%.
Barclays will raise USD 11.8 billion from investors. BT Group tumbled 18% after saying Q2 earnings missed its targets.
European markets were trading weak. FTSE and CAC tumbled 1.8% each. DAX was down 0.64%, at 4 pm. Retail sales in Germany, Europe's largest economy, fell more than economists expected in September.
Dow Jones and Nasdaq Futures were down 1.69% and 2.3%, respectively.
Market gains for second consecutive day led by Metal and Oil & Gas stocks
Sensex closes up 743 points to close at 9788; Nifty closes up 188 points to close at 2885
CNX mid cap up 3.5%, Bse Small Cap up 2.4%
Bse Metals up 10.2%, JSW Steel up 33.7%, Sterlite Ind up 16%, Jindal Steel up 15%, Hindalco up 13.8, Tata Steel up 12.2%
Bse Oil & Gas up 9.1% , Reliance up 14.4%, Cairn up 12.2%
Bse Bankex Up 7.2%, Icici Bank up 15.4%, Bank Of India up 8.2%, Hdfc bank up 7.5%, Axis Bank up 6.8%
Bse Auto up 6.3%, M&M up 24%, Tata Motors up 6.1%
Bse Cap Goods up 5%, Bhel up 9.8%, L&T up 6.2%,
Index Gainers: Tata Comm up 18%, HDFC up 17.2%, Hcl Tech up 14%, Rcom up 13.4%
Index Gainers: Tata Power up 12.5%, Idea up 10.2%, Zee ent up 10%
Mid Cap Gainers: Core Proj up 39.4%, India Infoline up 26.6%, United Phos up 25.6%, Mercator Line up 20.4%, Dabur up 20%
Mid Cap Gainers: Suven Life up 20%, Tata Chem up 19.2%, United Spirits up 18.1%, Sterlite Tech up 18.1%, GE Ship up 16%, Balrampur Chini up 15.7%, India Cement up 15.5%
NSE Adv: Decline at 5:2,
Total market turnover at Rs 52895.42 crore versus Rs 69004.74 crore
NSE F&O Turnover at Rs 36959.23 crore versus Rs 54223.24 crore
Series Starts on a light note, double digit gains on 25% of F&O stocks on low volumes and high impact cost
Nifty futures adds 30 lakh shares, ends at a premium of 15 points
Started off a very light note in stock futures, therefore hugh % OI build up on lower base
IT , Oil & Gas and Bank stocks sees fresh long build up
Nifty 2700 Put adds 7.9 lakh shares
Nifty 2900 call adds 7.1 lakh shares
Nifty 2800 put adds 6.3 lakh shares
Nifty 2500 put adds 4 lakh shares
Oil & Gas : Reliance Ind , RPL, Essar Oil
Banks : HDFC , Axis bank ,
Misc : Bharti , Indian Bank , Infosys , Tata Motors
Short Covering: Hindalco, Core Project
Continued on page 2...
Brokers said besides a fall in inflation to below 11 per cent, anticipation of rate cut by the central bank revived invesotrs's interest in buying as they feel that both lower lending and inflation rates bode well economic growth.
Inflation has come down to 10.68 per cent for mid-October. Besides, US central bank Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan have massively cut rates, prompting many to believe that RBI will follow suit.
Rating agency Standard & Poor's reaffirming stable outlook for India also intensified buying support, they said.
Analysts said the bellwether index still recovering from the 23 per cent massive drop it has seen this month, the most on record, which saw the Sensex pluning below 8,000 level.
IMG decision to almost double borrowing limits for emerging markets and waive demands for economic austerity measures also helped turn around the sentiments on bourses.
The rally came after a day's break, when the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 9 per cent, after the US Federal Reserve cut interest rate by 0.50 basic points and agreed to provide 30 billion dollar each to central banks in Brazil, Mexico and South Korea.
Meanwhile, Little-known Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahideen (ISF-IM) claimed responsibility for the serial blasts that killed 77 people in Assam and warned of more such attacks.In an SMS message sent to local 'News Live' television channel, the ISF-IM claimed responsibility for Thursday’s blasts and threatened to carry out more bomb explosions in several parts of the country.
The message said, "we thank all our holy members and partners" for successfully carrying out the task. The SMS was received on the mobile of the channel's input desk from the number 0-98646-93690.
The mobile phone was subsequently switched off and security forces traced it to Moirabari in Central Assam's Nagaon district registered in the name of one Nazir Ahmed.
Police officials are investigating the matter. The outfit was formed in 2000 in Lower Assam's Bodo-dominated areas "to counter" the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) and NDFB militants, police sources said. The full text of the SMS is:
"We, ISF-IM, take the responsibility of yesterday blast. We warn all of Assam and India for situation like this in future. We thank all our holy members and partners.”
It was cracker of a Diwali at the Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday evening when the bourse registered a sharp 547-point rise bringing brought back some enthusiasm among investors after last Friday's bloodbath. As investors made token deals during the auspicious ‘muhurat’ trading for Samvat 2065, the 30-share barometer of Bombay Stock Exchange, buoyed by a bounce in global stock market, resumed the one-hour special trading session higher by 505.36 points or 5.94 per cent at 9,014.92 over its previous close, halting a four-day free fall in the market.
Extending gains for the third day in a row, stock markets staged an impressive come back rally with the benchmark Sensex closing the day higher by nearly 750 points on brisk buying by funds. Marketmen said slew of favourable factors boosted investor sentiment which was at its lowest ebb after sustained heavy selling in bourses across the world for about a month.
The 30-share index settled the day higher by 743.55 points at 9,788.06, after opening strong and even posted a gain of over 825 points during intra-day.
The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty also rose by 188.55 points at 2885.60.
A day after the deadly serial blasts which killed at least 77 persons in Assam, the police is investigating a possible Huji-ULFA link behind the killings.
"We are not taking seriously the denial by ULFA (of being responsible for the blasts) because on earlier occasions also they have done so", a top Assam police official said.
The ULFA cadres who are being recruited are being trained by the Jehadi militants and there is definitely a link between the two which is being investigated, he said.
Although the game plan was of the Bangladesh based Huji outfit, the police have got clues that it was carried out by the help of select individuals having local links and there the ULFA angle came in, he said.
The authorities had also pointed out Huji involvement because of the fact that except for one minority dominated pocket in Barpeta, all the other bomb attacks were carried out in general public places.
"The minority pocket was selected to mislead the people ....even the intensity of the blast was less", he said.
Stating that a handful of persons with criminal background have been picked up from various places of the state following the blasts, the police official said "vital clues have been gathered".
Refusing to divulge the details as it may hamper further investigation, he said the Huji along with the ULFA had planned a series of attacks after killing of seven Jehadi militants in Dhubri district.
"Of late, frequent movement of ULFA militants to Bhutan have been noticed which could also be a pointer to the plan to unleash violence", he said.
While there were unconfirmed reports of ULFA-Huji links since 1998, the nexus was proved in 2003 with the arrest of some Jehadi militants and their subsequent confessions.
Currently, at least 240 Jehadi militants are incarcerated in Guwahati Jail against whom cases have been filed.
Meanwhile, the Assam Public Works (APW), an organisation of ULFA kin, have demanded a separate jail for the Jehadis to make them isolated.
"Setting up a separate jail and launching army operation in riverine areas (which are minority community dominated) could go a long way in severing this unholy nexus", APW secretary general Abhijeet Sarma said.
Death toll touches 77
The toll in the serial blasts in Assam rose to 77 on Friday with 11 more people succumbing to their injuries overnight.
Principal Secretary (Home) and official spokesman Subhas Das said eight people died in Guwahati, which now alone accounts for 41 deaths.
Three others succumbed to their injuries in Barpeta taking the toll there to 15.
The number of deaths in Kokrajhar remained at 21, he said.
In the deadliest terror attacks in Assam, near-simultaneous blasts had ripped through Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Barpeta on Thursday, killing 66 people and injuring about 470 others.
Bangladesh-based HuJi militants along with other jehadi outfits are suspected to be behind the explosions. Although ULFA has denied its involvement in the terror attacks, police do not rule out the hand of ULFA behind the serial blasts with help from HuJI or jehadi elements.
Of the six blasts in Guwahati, RDX was used in two of the explosions, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said, adding a special task force has been set up to unearth the conspiracy behind the blasts.
Assam has witnessed massive ethnic violence since early 1980s and ULFA-sponsored insurgency but this is the first time that a terror attack in the form of serial blasts rocked the state in such a magnitude.
Curfew clamped down in Guwahati
Curfew was clamped today in worst blast-hit area of Ganeshguri, adjacent to the capital complex at Dispur, here as protesters went on a rampage forcing police to fire in the air.
The protesters had gathered near a flyover - a few metres from the blast site, shouting slogans against the government's alleged failure to provide security to the common people.
Deputy Commissioner Prateek Hajela said the protesters, turned violent and went on a rampage attacking the security personnel deployed in the area.
The police first resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the protesters but later fired in the air, Hajela said. Curfew was then clamped in the area, the site of three blasts on Thursday.
Ganeshguri had witnessed protests soon after the serial blasts with the mob torching a police vehicle, a fire tender and two ambulances.
They had also tried to storm the secretariat carrying two charred bodies in a push cart. The entry and exit road to the area has been sealed since the blasts and only a few vehicles were plying on the Ganeshguri flyover, which connects the Guwahati-Shillong road. All shops and commercial establishments have remained closed in the area since morning.
Nation pays homage to Indira Gandhi
President Pratibha Patil and Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari led the nation in paying homage to Indira Gandhi on her 24th anniversary of the Martyrdom here today.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi also paid floral tributes at Shakti Sthal.
Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards at her residence on October 31, 1984.
Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India from 1966 to 1977 and again from 1980 to 1984.
She was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1964 and also served as the country’’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the government of Lal Bahadur Shastri.
She is noted for declaring a state of emergency after a court struck down her election in 1975, and also for her handling of the ”Operation Blue Star” against Sikh militants.
Indira Gandhi was born in Allahabad in 1917 and was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’’s first Prime Minister and Kamala Nehru.
She was the recipient of India’’s highest civil award, Bharat Ratna.
PM’s Speech at the Indira Gandhi National Integration Award Function
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh attended the Indira Gandhi National Integration Award function in New Delhi today. Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust has been conferred the 23rd Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s speech on the occasion:
“I am very happy to be here today to participate in this function to give away the 23rd Indira Gandhi Award for National integration. I congratulate the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust for winning this prestigious award.
Shrimati Indira Gandhi ji was one of our tallest leaders. Her contributions to nation building and national integration were immense. Each year on this day we gratefully remember her. It is only befitting that a national award for national integration has been instituted in Indira ji’s name because those who further the cause of national integration are truly following the ideals of our beloved Indira ji. The award is a tribute to the memory of Indira ji. It is also a token of our appreciation and respect for the work of the awardee person or institution.
This year this event assumes special significance. The Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration is being awarded to a Trust which was established by Mahatma Gandhi himself in the name of Kasturba Gandhi. The life and work of both Mahatma Gandhi and Shrimati Indira Gandhi reflect the very best in our traditions of tolerance and respect for pluralism. Their contributions are of enduring significance not only for our country but for the humanity and the world as a whole. They laid down their lives for the unity of our country.
Mahatma Gandhi’s fight for our independence was also a fight for the reconstruction of Indian society and for achieving true national integration. The unity of all Indians professing diverse faiths and speaking different languages was a fundamental tenet of the mass movement Mahatma Gandhi created. The principle of non-violence which the Mahatma preached and practiced was, in his own words, learnt from his illiterate wife Kasturba ji.
Kasturba was an ideal companion. She lacked exposure to education. Yet the strength of her character and conviction was a source of education for no lesser person than Mahatma Gandhi himself. It was Kasturba ji who refashioned many of Mahatma Gandhi assumptions and refined the way in which he understood the wider dimensions of non-violence.
Gandhiji sent Kasturba ji to make a study of women in Champaran while spearheading his first Satyagraha movement in India in 1917. It was from that study that Mahatma Gandhi could understand the severe poverty, deprivation and exclusion suffered by Indian women in the area.
It is in memory of such an outstanding woman that Mahatma Gandhi founded the Kasturba Gandhi Memorial Trust to serve the women of rural India. Established with the resources of common people in 1945, the trust has rendered valuable services to empower women and promote the welfare of children. It has provided educational and health care facilities to women in rural areas and created employment opportunities for them. The work of the trust now covers the entire country, with more than 500 centres in 22 States of the Union. It also reaches out to people affected by communal violence and natural calamities. It has become truely a movement for national integration and fully deserves the prestigious Indira Gandhi Award.
Our national integrity is of paramount concern. Unfortunately there are forces in the country today whose politics, ideology and worldview are narrow and divisive. This goes against our inclusive and pluralistic traditions bequeathed to us by the founding fathers of our republic. There is a great need today for all of us to come together to defeat such forces and help in the process nation building. Organizations like the Kasturba Gandhi Memorial Trust are shining examples of what we can achieve through commitment and hard work. They inspire us to make efforts for the uplift of the weak and the underprivileged and to work for the unity and integrity of our nation.
I once again congratulate and compliment the Trust for winning the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. I wish the Trust all success in its various endeavors in the service of our people. I also hope that in the future we will see more such organizations working tirelessly for communal harmony, social uplift and national integration.”
Russia insists its nuclear arsenal is secure!S
Russia insisted Friday its nuclear arsenal is secure, angrily rejecting US allegations that tens of thousands of aging Soviet weapons may
not be fully accounted for.
The Foreign Ministry described US Defense Secretary Robert Gates' remarks on uncertainties about the old Soviet arsenal as being groundless "insinuations."
The ministry stressed that all nuclear weapons in Russia have been under reliable protection since the 1991 Soviet collapse, despite the nation's economic turmoil.
"Despite all the difficulties our country faced in the beginning of the 1990s, standards of security and physical protection of Russian nuclear arsenals remained high," the ministry said in a statement. "There have been no 'leaks' of nuclear weapons."
The angry statement reflected a growing chill in Russia-U.S. ties badly strained over U.S. missile defense plans, Russia's war in Georgia in August and other issues.
Gates spoke earlier this week at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, expressing worries that some Russian nuclear weapons from the old Soviet arsenal may not be fully accounted for.
“I have fairly high confidence that no strategic or modern tactical nuclear weapons have leaked'' beyond Russian borders, Gates said. “What worries me are the tens of thousands of old nuclear mines, nuclear artillery shells and so on, because the reality is the Russians themselves probably don't have any idea how many of those they have or, potentially, where they are.''
Russia for economic ties with China, India!
A key strategic plan prepared by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for Russia's foreign and economic ties in the next decade has identified
India and China as priority partners, with most of the top western nations headed for recession.
The government of Prime Minister Putin on Monday adopted a strategy to develop former Communist nation's foreign economic ties till 2020, in which the world's most dynamically emerging India and China have been identified as the priority partners.
According to an unnamed official, quoted by the state-owned ITAR-TASS news agency, most of the strategic plan adopted by the cabinet is highly confidential; few passages for public consumption mention India and China as the priority partners, albeit Moscow will continue to look at the currant focal partner European Union for hi-tech, energy investments and acquisition of European assets.
With European markets falling and the continent slipping into a long recession, Moscow seems to be willing to grant India, as its priority partner, wider access to its energy assets.
The acquisition by ONGC Videsh of London-listed Imperial Energy operating in west Siberian region of Tomsk is expected to be speedily cleared by the government.
Russia seems to be willing for greater mutual investments in the energy sector and the issue is likely to be on the top of the bilateral agenda of the annual Indo-Russian summit in the first week of December, when President Dmitry Medvedev is to pay his maiden visit to India.
Raj softens stand on 'Chhat' puja
Under attack for his campaign against north Indians, MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Friday softened his stand on 'Chhat' puja, saying that he was not opposed to the festival being celebrated in Maharashtra but warned against it being used as a show of political strength.
"I have never opposed Chhat Puja but only spoke against political 'tamasha' (stunt) associated with it....People from Bihar who live here can perform the religious rituals according to the customs. My party has never opposed it," he told reporters in Mumbai.
The MNS chief, whose detention under National Security Act has been demanded by some union ministers in the wake of attacks on north Indians in Maharashtra, warned that he would not tolerate disregard of the Marathi speaking people in the state.
The Chhat festival will be celebrated on November 4.
hackeray also asked his supporters to exercise restraint and accused the media of distorting his views and spreading falsehood.
Justifying the killing of a youth who had hijacked a bus in Mumbai, he said the police action was "proper" as no one knew from which state the youth came from.
"What if he had shot some commuters, then you people would have taken the police to task," he said.
Thackeray also downplayed the killing of a youth in a suburban train during a brawl with a group of youngsters.
"Even the Railway police are saying that there has been no involvement of any political party," he said.
Besides, he recalled that in an incident sometime back, four Marathi youths where thrown out on tracks by a group of people from other states. "But no one said a word about the incident," he said.
Thackeray criticised the Maharashtra government and Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for withdrawing his security and termed the move as "political vendetta".
"I had not asked for security in the first place. But, now it has been withdrawn which is clearly political vendetta. The government keeps changing and even I will have a chance," he said.
"There is a state level committee which decides on security according to threat perception and not on the number of cases against the person. After the Babri mosque demolition in 1992, security of political leaders against whom cases had been registered was also increased," he said.
Thackeray also ridiculed demands to book him under the NSA.
"When Lalu (Prasad) was the Chief Minister of Bihar, there were 1200 murders. But, there was no demand to book him under NSA. When Biharis were killed in Assam, there was no uproar," he said.
"A Goan minister opposed starting of Goa-Bihar railway by saying that the state did not want more beggars.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit also spoke against people of Bihar and UP. But, only when Raj Thackeray speaks, there is a nationwide uproar and Prime Minister has to intervene."
Lashing out at Deshmukh, Thackeray said he had no expectations from him. "What can you expect from people whose political survival is at the mercy of Delhi," he asked.
The MNS chief also said that he would not allow anybody to harm "Marathi identity".
"Political rivals who do not see eye-to-eye on several issues come together. But, it is also very unfortunate that 48 MPs from Maharashtra are mute spectators," he said referring to the delegation of Bihar politicians meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
We'll go to any extent to ensure safety of N Indians: Amar
The Samajwadi Party on Friday said it could go to any extent to ensure safety of North Indians in Maharashtra but ruled out withdrawing support to the UPA government.
“We can go to any extent to ensure safety of people from North India,” SP General Secretary Amar Singh told reporters in New Delhi.
On whether the party will withdraw support to the UPA government on the issue, he said there is no question of withdrawing support to the government.
He said the party still has confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Singh said Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and LJP leader and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan were unable to put pressure on the government to act tough.
Singh accused the administration in Maharashtra of extending support the Mumbai Navnirman Sena.
Huge Indian Ocean tsunamis occur every 600 years
The devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, which claimed more than 200,000 lives, was not the first of its kind to hit the region, according to new research.
The research also suggests that such huge tsunamis occur in the Indian Ocean every 600 to 700 years. The findings could be used to put statistical weight behind estimates of the likelihood of a future tsunami.
The research team led by Karin Monecke, former post-doctoral geologist at Kent State University in Aceh, Indonesia, found that the 2004 sand sheet preceded deposits of three tsunamis from the past 1,200 years.
Another research team working independently concluded that a tsunami of similar size struck the region between 1300 and 1400 AD, according to a Kent State release.
Each team analysed more than 100 sediment cores collected during fieldwork in 2006 and 2007, and found traces of several tsunamis that may have occurred during the last 2,500 years.
However, only the medieval event, whose age was determined by radiocarbon dating of organic material in the sediment, correlated between the two studies.
These results have been published in this week's edition of Nature.
AIADMK, DMK trade charges over attack on Amma
Arch rivals AIADMK and DMK traded charges over the attack on former chief Jayalalithaa's motorcade in Ramanathapuram district with both parties accusing each other of "stage managing" the incident.
Jayalalithaa accused DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi's Madurai-based son M K Azhagiri of being behind the stone pelting yesterday "under directions from his father", while DMK alleged that the AIADMK leader was rattled by the growing popularity of their leader and was therefore making such accusations.
The two camps claimed that the incident reflected the growing popularity of the respective parties. While Jayalalithaa claimed that the DMK was "unable to tolerate her growing popularity and clout," the ruling party shot back saying it was their leader, Karunanidhi, who was going up in the popularity charts, "thanks to his deft handling of the Sri Lankan Tamils issue."
The DMK charged that it was the AIADMK men who resorted to stone-pelting when their efforts to have a glimpse of their leader Jayalalithaa was foiled by the police. DMK leader and Revenue Minister, I Periyasamy said that Jayalalithaa was "taking to such diversionary tactics" fearing arrest.
While Jayalalithaa initially blamed the "attackers of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at Madurai in 1978" behind the incident where she had gone to pay homage to freedom
fighter, the late Muthuramalinga Thevar, she, however, did not point the finger of suspicion at anyone in particular.
But, she later alleged that Azhagiri was behind the attack.
Jayalalithaa has been of late critical of Azhagiri and levelled charges against him claiming he was running a "'raj' of his own" in the southern parts of the state and vitiating the entire political and public atmosphere there.
She alleged that his henchmen were brought in police vehicles and "the police were asked to arrest persons not connected to the episode." Asking her party cadre not to disturb the people by staging road-blockades following the incident, she said "we will face the attack by the DMK politically."
However, Periyasamy insisted that the AIAMDK cadre resorted to violence at the Pasumpon village also following "confusion" over Jayalalithaa's visit. She had reportedly rescheduled her flight schedule. "She is resorting to such diversionary tactics due to the growing popularity of Karunanidhi, especially with his deft handling of the Sri Lankan Tamils issue," Periyasamy said.
Five cops suspended in Orissa nun rape case
Orissa government suspended five policemen in the nun rape episode in Kandhamal district after a joint report was filed by the District Collector and Superintendent of Police.
"Five policemen have been placed under suspension for misconduct and negligence of duty in connection with the nun episode," Home Secretary T K Mishra told reporters.
The action was taken on the basis of a joint report filed by Kandhamal collector Krishna Kumar and Superintendent of Police Prabin Kumar.
Patnaik had on Wednesday a sought a report on policemen deployed at K Nuagaon in the district where the nun was allegedly raped during the Orissa bandh on August 25.
The policemen suspended with immediate effect were an assistant sub-inspector Rasananda Mallick, havildar major K N Mohapatra and havildars S K Hamim, J S Khan and B K Mohanty, official sources said.
With action being taken against these five, now the number of policemen against whom action has been taken in the incident stands at 6. Earlier, Baliguda police station officer in-charge K N Rao was suspended for failing to take steps after the nun lodged an FIR on August 26.
The move was aimed at restoring the confidence of the people, particularly in riot-ravaged Kandhamal district, the sources said.
From animated Romeos to graphical Ram
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Posted: Oct 29, 2008 at 1537 hrs IST
Mumbai, October 29: Around 200-250 film and TV artistes are doing voiceovers to animation characters - from Ravana, to an evil ant to playing narrator to Alibaba or even to a rich spoilt dog. Collectively, these artistes are involved in over 25-30 animation film projects slated for release in the next six years worth somewhere around Rs 250-300 crore. However, compared to Hollywood where they spend millions, in India budgets are modest. According to estimates, between 5 to 6 per cent of a film's total budget is being spent on the art of voicing.
Says Mahesh Manjrekar, who has done his first voiceover for Elecom Fiesta Entertainment's ‘Cheenti Cheenti Bang Bang’ budgeted at Rs 4 crore, "Money did not play a role in my decision in being a voiceover for the character of an evil ant. Animation is an altogether different experience that is to lend one's voice to characters who do not talk in the real world. I found giving a voiceover offers much more ease while performing compared to a live action film."
Lending one's voice for animation films involves a lot of money. Says producer N.D. Nagpal, "Aanjjan Srivastava charged Rs. 25,000 per day for my ‘Cheenti Cheenti Bang Bang’ while Mahesh Manjrekar charged as much as Rs. 1 lakh per day and he finished his work in seven days." It is reported that Akshay Kumar, his wife Twinkle and their son, while doing voiceover for an upcoming film ‘Jumbo’, charged as much as Rs 4.5 crores.
Rahul Bakshi, co-producer of the recently-released ‘Dashavatar’, in which Shatrughan Sinha was roped in as a narrator, said, "Since Dashavatar was an animation film of a given era, we wanted voices that would recreate the era. For an actor, to do a voiceover, becomes easy, they being in the business of drama. An actor can dramatise the voiceover and make characters sound real and believable".
A lot of artistes have either earlier or are currently doing voiceovers. For example in the just released Yash Raj Films' ‘Roadside Romeo’ we have Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor giving their voices to the characters in the film.
Similarly in Maya Entertainment Ltd's (MEL) ‘Ramayana-The Epic’, Manoj Bajpai plays Ram, Juhi Chawla plays Sita, Ashutosh Rana plays Ravan while Mukesh Rishi plays Hanuman. Says, Ashutosh Rana, "When MEL approached me through dubbing director Sharang Deo who also provides the music, I was excited to no extent. Since wanting to do an epic was on top of my wish list, I grabbed the role, though I asked Deo to show the scenes they had shot as well as the script. Once, I went though the script, I agreed to do the film."
Talking about his experience as a voiceover artiste, Rana avers, "Being from the NSD where we had done a course of voicing, the serial gave me a chance to explore what I had learnt. It was a lovely experience and I finished my part in four days flat spending two hours a day on the job." The job was not difficult either for according to the character artiste, "Any epic may it be Ramayan or Mahabharata, automatically gets into the thought process of every Indian and always keeps on playing in the subconscious mind of people. The same happened to me and it wasn't hard to play the character in a given situation."
Says Juhi Chawla, aka Sita, "I still can't figure out what made people at MEL consider of my voice for Sita. But, I felt honoured and lucky on being the chosen one to lend my voice to such a significant person from India's greatest mythological story. I am glad my voice will be recognised as Sita's in times to come. Ramayana is a story that every one of us has grown up listening to, but it's nice that youngsters today will get to see it in an animated form that they would love to watch."
Says Manoj Bajpai, "Chetan Desai approached me and talked about their intention to have my voice for the animated character of Ram and when we met and had a few trial recordings, things got finalised. On the answer as to why I was considered for this particular voiceover, the director would be the best person to answer." On his feelings of giving his voice to such an important mythological character, Bajpai says, "It's an achievement of a lifetime for me. I feel absolutely privileged! I have dubbed for countless ordinary movie characters but the feeling of lending my voice to the greatest Indian mythological superhero is very pleasing. Ramayana-The Epic is a movie for the present generation and am glad that have been able to contribute in a small way to get them acquainted to the rich culture of India. I am convinced and content about the fact that my voice will stay forever in the name of Ram."
AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa paying homage at the Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar memorial in Ramanathapuram/P Kumarapandian.Express News ServiceFirst Published : 31 Oct 2008 03:25:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 31 Oct 2008 09:22:56 AM
ISTRAMANATHAPURAM: “The same forces, which masterminded the murderous attack on former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1977 in Madurai, were behind the attack on me today”, AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa said, after inaugurating the annadhanam (free meals) at the community hall near the memorial of Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar here.
After paying homage to the Muthuramalinga Thevar on the occasion his 101st birth anniversary, Jayalalithaa who was invited to inaugurate the free meals session by Sridhar Vandayar of the Moovendar Munnetra Kazhagam, said that she would return to the memorial as Chief Minister next year.
Speaking from her car en route to the helipad to board the helicopter to Madurai, she said: “Evil forces have conspired to attack me today.
This is a planned attack orchestrated by the DMK party. The police were mere spectators and it was obvious to all the people present at the spot. The authorities have already been told about the threat to my life from supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) but still, there was no security. There is no security for anybody.” In Chennai, the former chief minister appealed to her party cadre to stay calm against any provocation indulged in by the ruling DMK party.
In her statement, Jayalalithaa said the Pasumpon incident was masterminded by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and executed by his son M K Azhagiri who used his thugs to carry out the attack.
As news of the attack on the AIADMK general secretary spread, party cadre staged demonstrations in several places across the state and courted arrest. In her appeal, Jayalalithaa asked her cadre to stay calm and fight the opponents politically.
Our country is burning
S. Mitra Kalita - Thursday, October 30, 2008 2:38 PM
I have made these calls before.
"Dharani Khura," I'll address my most all-knowing (read nosy) uncle. "Sap thikey aseh?"
Is everything okay?
A few weeks ago, they asked the same of me when Delhi burned--a series of calculated bombings across our city. Today, it was my turn, mostly to curse the phone when all the lines jammed, then try to track down all the land lines for aunts, uncles and cousins who live scattered among all 18 corners of the death trap created by militants in Assam.I tried to remember who works where - is Montu in District Court or High Court (it was latter)? What about Manju? (Sadly, it was former and she got some shrapnel in her foot and was profusely bleeding--but okay.) Is Dr Sharma Uncle still in Bongaigaon refinery or did he retire? Did Bhanu Pehi make it to school before they struck in Ganesh Guri--yet again? (She did and is in lockdown at the school conveniently on the same hill as the Kamakhya Temple so at least she can pray.) Did Nilakshi make it back to Chennai? (Yes, but the blast in Borpeta Road was right in front of her father's hotel and her cousin got some glass in his face.)
I recount this to friends inquiring and one e-mails me saying, "Geez, too close for comfort."
But hasn't it become for all of us?
As I write this, 58 people are dead, hundreds injured. The death count will surely go higher. Here, in my metro and yours, we might express horror and feel some solidarity for the Assamese are simply entering the state of lawlessness that has marked so many parts of this country over the last year: Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Orissa. But in Assam, the peace was shattered long ago, the Assam Accord a frail veil to cover all that really remained broken. Thanks for the IIT-Guwahati, but when oh when will industry and mass employment arrive?
We own a home about 5km from one of the blast sites. Its caretaker is a Bangladeshi rickshaw puller. No sooner was there the breaking news bulletin this morning than an adamant L.K. Advani linking the attacks to a Bangladeshi network. "Let Rahim stay inside tonight," I instruct my uncle. "Same for didi."
I call my father, staying with me in Delhi, to make sure he's heard. He's glued to another battle--Obama versus McCain--on CNN International. "Turn it on the local news," I said.
We enter that state where home becomes fluid once again: he, the Indian citizen, more concerned with his American dream represented by stocks and elections; and me, obsessed with the place he left and the downtrodden relatives who will never venture far enough to see his house, let alone mine in New Delhi. Why does this matter? It represents much of what this fight has been all about, doesn't it: Whose country is this? Who has the right to enter India? To share in its prosperity? Just who is an Indian? Who is an Assamese?
We carried signs, my father and I, when Indira Gandhi came to visit Ronald Reagan, in the summer of 1982. "We'll give you blood but not our oil" and "Assam's resources should stay in Assam." The bus ride down from New York to Washington is one of my earliest memories. A few years later, I learned slogans from my cousins and shouted that Indira Gandhi was nothing but a good old crazy goat (pagoli sagoli--it rhymes and kinda makes sense in Assamese, really) when the CRPF marched down and around and around my grandparents' homes.
Over the last few years, I have been invited back to Assam to speak many times--on investment, on opportunities, on soft skills, on living overseas, on living in Delhi. I am garlanded, celebrated, asked for solutions. I have none. But every few years, just when it looks like we can put this all behind us and create a great state, one with a blueprint that rivals Kerala in tourism and Gujarat in industry, "they" strike. And in some ways, I feel as helpless as that girl picketing outside the White House. I don't know who the enemy is.
"What do they want?" my father will tell me tonight. "It is politics and greed and money. There is no ideology anymore."
Back then, when he was a curly-moustachioed man interviewed by the local news about just why he didn't like Mrs GAN-dhi, as they called her, he believed in his homeland. Then the same people who said they'd fix the problem ended up becoming the biggest crooks of all. Now, I can see his generation giving up. My uncles say they never will see a prosperous Assam; for my late grandmother, the most prosperity she ever enjoyed came, ironically, under the British. I tell my relatives that if Assam fails, India has failed--to create employment, to hold together a diverse people, to foster development and entrepreneurship, to be the answer, not the victim.
Their answer is for everyone to leave. "Go get educated outside, in Bangalore, in Nagpur, in Kolkata," they say to my cousins. "Get jobs at TCS and Infosys and Reliance and Bharti."
I don't disagree. I can't disagree. After all, I don't live there. And I suppose I realize, really, that is is much easier to believe in a cause, in a dream ... from afar.
Assam blasts: SC warning as early as '05
31 Oct 2008, 0425 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: “Assam is facing external aggression and internal disturbance.” This comment from the Supreme Court came not after the serial blasts that
killed scores but more than three years ago on July 12, 2005.
It had issued an unambiguous warning to the UPA government at the Centre and the Tarun Gogoi government in the state: if massive illegal migration of Bangladeshis into Assam was not stopped immediately and foreigners not deported, the situation would soon go out of control.
Both the governments paid scant attention to the ominous signals that the Supreme Court read from the November 8, 1998 report of then governor Lt Gen S K Sinha, who had prepared it after a thorough inspection of border areas and districts, discussions with the Indian high commissioner in Bangladesh and talks with political leaders. What Lt Gen Sinha’s report brought out before the apex court in 2005 was the grim ground reality of Assam. His report stated: “The illegal migrants coming into India after 1971 have been almost exclusively Muslims... Muslim population in Assam has shown a rise of 77.42% from what it was in 1971. Hindu population has risen by nearly 41.89%.”
Expressing concern over Muslims attaining a majority in district after district, the then governor had warned against complacency. He had said: “There is a tendency to view illegal migration into Assam as a regional matter affecting only the people of Assam. It’s more dangerous dimension of greatly undermining our national security is ignored.” He added: “Pakistan’s ISI has been active in Bangladesh supporting militant movements in Assam. Muslim militant organisations have mushroomed in Assam and there are reports of some 50 Assamese Muslim youths having gone for training to Afghanistan and Kashmir.”
He had further warned against mixing religion and the state’s policy towards illegal migrants and said: “The dangerous consequences of large scale illegal migration from Bangladesh, both for the people of Assam and more for the nation as a whole, need to be emphatically stressed. No misconceived and mistaken notion of secularism should be allowed to come in the way of doing so.”
To protect the territorial integrity and prevent Assamese from being reduced to a minority, the SC had directed stringent measures to detect the illegal migrants and deport them, a direction which was blatantly disobeyed.
Email threat sent to Sonia Gandhi
31 Oct 2008, 1513 hrs IST, PTI
KOCHI: A youth, who has allegedly sent an e-mail threatening the life of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, is being questioned by police here.
The mail was sent to Rashtrapati Bhavan office about four days ago from an internet cafe at nearby Palarivattom, police sources said.
The mail also stated that bombs would go off in Delhi, Kochi and two other places, they said.
Initially the sources had said that the youth has sent a similar e-mail threat to President Pratiba Patil also, but later clarified that the mail only threatened the life of Gandhi and was sent to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan office.
DR Congo refugee camps 'burned'
Aid groups are struggling to help those who have fled the fighting
The UN says it has credible reports that camps sheltering 50,000 displaced people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have been destroyed.
Reports suggest the camps were forcibly emptied and looted before being burned, the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, said.
Aid groups say they are struggling to reach an estimated 250,000 people in the region fleeing fierce fighting between government and rebel forces.
Intense diplomatic efforts are under way to end the crisis.
A tense ceasefire is holding in and around Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, but aid agency chiefs say the situation in and around the city remains highly volatile.
Food and water are terribly scarce, and aid agencies have all but stopped work, says the BBC's Peter Greste in Goma.
Rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda's forces are positioned some 15km (nine miles) from the city.
See detailed map of the area
Gen Nkunda says he is fighting to protect his Tutsi community from attack by Rwandan Hutu rebels, some of whom are accused of taking part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
The Congolese government has often promised to stop Hutu forces from using its territory, but has not done so.
Gen Nkunda has also objected to government plans for foreign involvement in exploiting the country's vast mineral wealth.
The Congolese government has refused to negotiate with Gen Nkunda, calling him a terrorist.
The UNHCR said it was very concerned at reports that the camps in Rutshuru, 90km (56 miles) north of Goma, had been destroyed.
"There are some 50,000 people who were in those camps. We don't know where they would be, we're afraid that they may have just dispersed off into the bush, that they're on the run out there somewhere," spokesman Ron Redmond said.
Meanwhile, the desperate shortage of food and water in Goma is leading thousands of people who sought refuge there to leave, heading to the village of Kibati, about 12km (7 miles) to the north.
The BBC's Peter Greste says the road from the city is choked with human misery.
For mile after mile, it is full of families bent forward with their lives on their backs: stoves, food, clothes, bedding and children.
"The whole population in Goma, and around Goma are feeling extremely unsafe," Red Cross spokesman Marcal Izard told the BBC.
"They need food, water, shelter and, most of all, protection, [and] some sense of knowing that they will not be attacked."
A Congolese aid worker based in Goma, Godefroid Marhenge, told the BBC's Network Africa programme that some displaced people were without water or shelter, and "in desperate need of humanitarian assistance".
Pakistan has become an international migraine: Albright
Washington (PTI): Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has described Pakistan as an "international migraine" and argued that the South Asian country will be one of the hot spots that the next American president will have to contend with.
Albright, who served President Bill Clinton in his second term of office, said Pakistan gives you "an international migraine" with its range of problems linked to nuclear weapons, corruption, poverty, extremism and a weak government.
The former Secretary of State described nuclear-armed and poverty stricken Pakistan as one of the hot spots when she was asked on CNN to reflect on the challenges for the next President who will assume office in January 2009. "Pakistan. Pakistan has everything that gives you an international migraine," she underlined.
"It has nuclear weapons, corruption, poverty, extremism, a terrible financial situation, a government that's just come in that's not very strong, and it is in a location that is absolutely essential in terms of dealing with Afghanistan. So the kind of Afghanistan-Pakistan part, and then the Iraq issues and the neighborhood there," Albright stressed as she reflected on the challenges for the next president.
The former top US diplomat also highlighted the problems linked to nuclear proliferation in regard to North Korea and Iran. "I think we know what the really serious issues are. They have to do with nuclear proliferation, and Kim Jong-il and North Korea and whether those talks will really be carried out. What happens with Iran," Albright said in the interview.
Exodus as terror spreads
Q&A: DR Congo conflict
Country profile: DR Congo
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Gen Nkunda said on Thursday that he was opening a "humanitarian corridor" for people to return to their homes, and so that aid could reach those trapped between his forces and UN soldiers backing up government troops in the city.
Our correspondent said that instead of an open corridor, he found people hurrying back to Goma.
"Someone has been shooting at us," one breathless woman said. "We can't go any further."
But those who did reach Kibati told the BBC that they had more chance of getting food in the forests and bushes around the village than inside Goma.
Aid group Mercy Corps has begun to distribute water to the new arrivals.
Gen Nkunda has threatened to take Goma unless UN peacekeepers guarantee the ceasefire and security there.
Looting, killings and rapes were reported in the city on Thursday, much of it blamed on retreating Congolese troops.
Meanwhile, intense diplomatic efforts are going in a bid to maintain the ceasefire:
• The parliament in DR Congo has called on government to negotiate with Gen Nkunda, although President Joseph Kabila has previously refused to do so
• UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he is "deeply concerned" about the situation
• EU diplomats meeting in Brussels failed to agree on whether to send troops to back up UN peacekeepers. French FM Bernard Kouchner and his British counterpart, David Miliband, are preparing to travel to the country
• An African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council is to hold crisis talks at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa
Recession fears grip US consumers
US consumers are increasingly reluctant to spend money
Consumer spending in the US fell in September by the biggest amount in four years, the Commerce Department said.
Personal spending fell by 0.3% last month, despite a rise in incomes of 0.2%, official figures showed.
The drop in expenditure was the biggest since June 2004, and steeper than economists had predicted.
On Thursday, the Commerce Department issued figures showing the US economy shrank at an annualised rate of 0.3% between July and September.
Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of total US economic activity.
A number of US retailers have reported falls in sales for September, including department store JC Penny, upmarket rival Saks, high street retailer American Eagle Outfitters and online retailer Target Corp.
Low cost retailers Wal-Mart and Costco also failed to meet Wall Street expectations of sales for the month.
A drop in spending had been expected, although not as steep as 0.3%.
The spending report also showed that consumer inflation edged up 0.1% in September, or 0.2% excluding energy and food costs.
In a separate report, also released on Friday, the US Labour Department said wages and benefits of US workers rose 0.7% in the third quarter, the same increase recorded in the previous two quarters.
Concerns over inflation have abated somewhat prompting the Federal Reserve to seek ways to boost the economy, such as by lowering interest rates to increase borrowing.
On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate from 1.5% to 1%, as widely expected. The relative lack of inflationary pressure in the US economy means the Fed will be able to make further cuts should it wish.
Earlier in the week, Conference Board figures showed US consumer confidence at a record low in October, amid falling global stock markets, rising property foreclosures and increasing job losses.
The board said the monthly consumer confidence index fell to 38, down from a revised 61.4 in September and below analysts' expectations of 52.
It was the lowest since the board began tracking consumer sentiment in 1967.
McCain: Obama's economic policies swing far left
By MIKE GLOVER – 1 hour ago
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — The Obama campaign is expanding its ad presence into new states, including McCain's home state of Arizona.
Obama's campaign, capitalizing on his vast financial resources and a favorable political climate, announced Friday that it was going back up with advertising in Georgia and North Dakota. Those are two Republican states that it had teased with ads earlier in the general election campaign but then abandoned.
In what could be a final ignominy for McCain, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the campaign would also begin airing ads in Arizona, a state McCain has represented in Congress for 26 years. Plouffe said the race has tightened in Arizona, Georgia and North Dakota.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Friday called the economic policies of rival Barack Obama from the far left of American politics. In its hunt for votes for next week's election, the Obama campaign continued to tie McCain to the unpopular President Bush and promise a reversal of tax policies favoring the wealthy.
McCain was spending a second straight day touring economically ailing Ohio, a swing state with 20 electoral votes that McCain aides acknowledge is central to a victory on Tuesday. McCain was behind Obama in polls in the state.
"We're going to fight it out on the economic grounds," McCain told ABC's "Good Morning America."
"Sen. Obama's economic policy is from the far left of American politics and ours is in the center," McCain said. "He wants to raise people's taxes — that's clear."
Obama maintains that families making under $250,000 a year and individuals under $200,000 annually would not see any tax increase if he were president.
McCain was scheduled to campaign Friday in Hanoverton, Ohio, and then in Columbus with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Obama was set to spend the day on a campaign crush across the Midwest, with a quick stop home in Chicago to see his kids. He makes his first stop back where his run began, in Des Moines, Iowa, where he upset Hillary Rodham Clinton in the campaign's first contest.
Independent polling in Iowa shows Obama consistently ahead in the race for the state's seven electoral votes, but McCain's campaign maintains the race is actually tighter than it appears.
After stopping at home for Halloween, Obama heads for a rally in Highland, Ind., a town in Democratic-dominated Lake County where Obama hopes to run up the vote to offset Republican domination elsewhere in Indiana.
Sprinting into the weekend, Obama was headed to the West, hoping to claim Colorado and maybe more. McCain was flying to Virginia, usually friendly country for the GOP but another place where polls give Obama the edge. McCain aides said the Arizona senator was likely to swing west also, to play to his base. A recent poll from McCain's home state showed the two candidates in a statistical dead heat.
There was nothing complicated about their closing arguments to voters, with the economy the top concern. Obama focused Thursday on linking McCain to Bush and blaming both for the nation's economic woes.
"John McCain has been right next to George Bush," Obama argued. "He's been sitting there in the passenger seat ready to take over every step of the way."
McCain had hoped the election would turn on issues like the Iraq war, where he could use his military background to convince voters he's the best choice as commander in chief. But he effectively has conceded that it's all about the economy and people's financial struggles.
"Ohio is hurting," McCain said. "People in Ohio are having trouble staying in their homes, keeping their jobs. We have to get this economy out of the ditch."
McCain was missing few tricks, campaigning with Joe the Plumber, the Ohio man McCain has made central to his stump speech since he asked Obama about his tax plans. The plumber, Joe Wurzelbacher of Toledo, Ohio, has joined McCain for the final push — though he missed one rally, leaving McCain to ask: "Joe, where are you? Where is Joe? Is Joe here with us today? Joe, I thought you were here today."
When he appeared at a later event, Wurzelbacher told the crowd: "Vote for a real American — John McCain."
Obama has an edge in most polling, both nationally and in key states. His closing schedule reflected that, including a swing through Missouri and another full day in Ohio on Sunday. Ohio provided the margin of victory four years ago, giving Bush a second term.
The Emergency (India)
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See also State of Emergency in India
The Indian Emergency of [25th June 1975–21st March 1977] was a 21-month period, when President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, upon advice by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, declared a state of emergency under Article 352 of the Constitution of India, effectively bestowing on her the power to rule by decree, suspending elections and civil liberties. It is one of the most controversial periods in the history of independent India.
1.1 Political unrest
1.2 The Allahabad conviction
2 Declaration of Emergency
3 The Emergency Administration
4 Elections of 1977
5 The Tribunal
6 The Debate over its Legacy
6.1 Support for Indira's Decisions
6.2 Charges against the Government
7 In Fiction
 Political unrest
Opponents had long made allegations that Indira's party, Congress, had practiced electoral fraud to win the 1971 elections. The Gandhian socialist Jaya Prakash Narayan had been agitating in Bihar for a change in provincial government, and increasingly sought to direct popular action against the Central Government through satyagrahas.
Narayan and his supporters sought to unify students, peasants, and labour organisations in a 'Total Revolution' to nonviolently transform Indian society. Indira's party was defeated in Gujarat by a coalition of parties calling itself the Janata Party (People's Party), and even faced an all-party, no-confidence motion in Parliament.
 The Allahabad conviction
Raj Narain, who had been recently defeated in the parliamentary election by Indira Gandhi, lodged cases of election fraud and use of state machinery for election purposes on Mrs Gandhi in Allahabad High Court. On June 12, 1975, Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha of the Allahabad High Court found the Prime Minister guilty on the charge of misuse of government machinery for her election campaign. The court declared her election null and void and unseated her from her seat in Lok Sabha. The court also banned her from contesting any election for an additional six years. Ironically some serious charges such as bribing voters and election malpractices were dropped and she was held guilty on comparatively less important charges such as building of dais by state police and provision of electricity by the state electricity department and height of the dais from which she addressed the campaign rally. Some of these charges were in reality an essential part for the Prime Minister's Security protocol. Further one other point for which she was held responsible for misusing the government machinery was a government employee, Mr. Yashpal Kapoor, started campaigning for her before his resignation from government service was accepted. Because the court unseated her on comparatively frivolous charges, while she was acquitted on more serious charges, The Times described it as 'firing the Prime Minister for a traffic ticket'. However, strikes in labor and trade unions, student unions and government unions swept across the country. Protests led by Narayan and Morarji Desai flooded the streets of Delhi close to the Parliament building and the PM's residence.
 Declaration of Emergency
President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declared a State of Emergency upon the advice of the Prime Minister on 26 June 1975. In her own words, Indira brought democracy "to a grinding halt".
As the constitution requires, Indira advised and President Ahmed approved the continuation of Emergency over every six-month period until her decision to hold elections in 1977.
 The Emergency Administration
Elections for the Parliament and state governments were postponed. Invoking article 352 of the Indian Constitution, Indira granted herself extraordinary powers and launched a massive crackdown on civil liberties and political opposition. The Government cited threats to national security, as a recent war with Pakistan had just been concluded. It claimed that the strikes and protests had paralyzed the government and hurt the economy of the country greatly. Indira herself had the right to appeal to the Supreme Court of India and had no legal obligation to resign until then. In face of massive political opposition, desertion and disorder across the country and the party, Indira stuck to the advice of a few close party loyalists and her younger son Sanjay Gandhi, who had become a close political advisor.
The Government used police forces across the country to arrest thousands of protestors and strike leaders. J.P. Narayan, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, Jivatram Kripalani, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani and other protest leaders were immediately arrested. Organizations like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and opposition political parties were banned. Innumerable Communist leaders and masses were arrested and brutally tortured.
Indira attempted to re-write the nation's laws with the help of the Parliament, where the Congress controlled over a two-thirds majority. She felt her powers were not amassing quickly enough, so she utilized the President to issue "extraordinary laws" that bypassed parliament altogether, allowing her to rule by decree. She constructed a 20-point economic program to increase agricultural and industrial production, improve public services and fight poverty and illiteracy. Also, she had little trouble in making amendments to the constitution that exonerated her from any culpability in her election fraud case, declaring President's Rule in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu where anti-Indira parties ruled (state legislatures were thereby dissolved and suspended indefinitely), and jailing thousands of opponents. Many of the opposition leaders were tortured in jail, some till death. Slums were demolished at midnight and in heavy rains in Delhi, and when the people protested, firing orders were issued to police.
One of the causes of the Emergency era was that the Supreme Court of India ordered that, although the Constitution is subject to amendment (as used by Indira), changes that are ultra vires to its basic structure cannot be made by the Parliament of India.
 Elections of 1977
See Also: Janata Party, Jaya Prakash Narayan, Morarji Desai
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On January 23, 1977, Indira Gandhi called fresh elections for March and released all political prisoners. Emergency officially ended on March 23, 1977.
It is suggested that official intelligence sources told the Prime Minister that her administration was popular across the country. It has also been known that Indira feared that Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw, then Chief of Army Staff threatened to depose her if she did not immediately call elections, even though Maneckshaw denied any intentions in a later interview to The Times of India.
Janata movement's campaign warned Indians that the elections might be their last chance to choose between “democracy and dictatorship.” In the elections, held in February, Indira and Sanjay both lost their Lok Sabha seats, as did most of their loyal followers. Many Congress Party loyalists deserted Indira, who herself lost her constituency seat. The Congress was reduced to just 153 seats, 92 of which were from four of the southern states. The Janata Party's 295 seats (of a total 542) gave it only a slim majority, but opposition candidates together represented more than two-thirds of the Lok Sabha. Morarji Desai became the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India.
 The Tribunal
The efforts of the Janata administration to try government officials and Congress politicians for Emergency-era abuses and crimes were largely a flop due to a disorganized, over-complex and politically-motivated process of litigation. Although special tribunals were organized and scores of senior Congress Party and government officials arrested and charged, including Indira and Sanjay Gandhi, police were unable to submit sufficient evidence for most cases, and only a few low-level officials were convicted of any abuses.
The people lost interest in the hearings owing to their continuous fumbling and complex nature, and the economic and social needs of the country grew more important to them. An impression was created that corruption and political subversion stalled the process of justice.
 The Debate over its Legacy
Indira's emergency rule lasted 19 months, and its legacy remains intensely controversial.
 Support for Indira's Decisions
The Emergency was endorsed by Vinoba Bhave (who called it Anushasan parva or Time for discipline) and Mother Teresa. Pioneer industrialist J. R. D. Tata, and writer Khushwant Singh were among the other prominent supporters. Some have argued that India badly needed economic recovery after the 1971 Indo-Pak war had strained the exchequer. Indira's 20-point economic program increased agricultural production, manufacturing activity, exports and foreign reserves. The national economy achieved high levels of growth and investment, and as strikes were non-existent, productivity increased rapidly. Communal Hindu-Muslim riots, which had re-surfaced in the 1960s and 70s, virtually ceased, and initially the government seemed to be working with vigour. Police in cities had sweeping powers to destroy gang and syndicate structure
 Charges against the Government
Criticism and Accusations of the Emergency-era may be grouped as:
Wanton detention of innocent people by police without charge or notification of families
Abuse and torture of detainees and political prisoners
Use of public and private media institutions, like the national television network Doordarshan, for propaganda
Forced vasectomy and even castration of thousands of men under the infamous family planning initiative. Indira's son, Sanjay Gandhi, was blamed for this abusive and forcible treatment of people.
Arbitrary destruction of the slum and low-income housing in the Turkmen Gate and Jama Masjid area of old Delhi.
 In Fiction
The plot of the Indian film Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi revolves around the period during which the Indira Gandhi government declared a state of emergency . The film, directed by Sudhir Mishra, also tries to portray the growth of the Naxalite movement during the emergency era.
The book A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry takes place during the Emergency and highlights some of the abuses that occurred during that period.
The book Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie has the protagonist Saleem Sinai in India during the Emergency. His home in a low income area called the "magician's ghetto" is destroyed as part of the national beautification program.
Shashi Tharoor in his book The Great Indian Novel speaks of the emergency period and compares Indira Gandhi to Duryodhan who is considered as the leader of the evil forces in the Indian epic Mahabharat.
The Hindi novel Katra bi aarzoo, written by Rahi Masoom Raza, also tells a lot about the people in a small village who are greatly affected by the state of emergency.
The book Life of Pi by Yann Martel takes place during this time, and the Emergency is referenced in the plot.
The Judgement by Kuldip Nayar
This article contains material from the Library of Congress Country Studies, which are United States government publications in the public domain.
India Country Study
"Memories of a Father," a book by Eachara Varier, father of a student killed in police custody during the emergency
Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography by Inder Malhotra
Economic policy and political insights into the Emergency
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emergency_(India)"
Emergency -- Darkest hour in India's judicial history
V R Krishna Iyer
KOCHI, JUNE 26: Courts and judges played a significant role in the history of the Emergency. Two judges -- Justice V R Krishna Iyer and Justice Jag Mohan Lal Sinha -- were crucial to the imposition of the Emergency. Justice Sinha's (Allahabad High Court) verdict on June 12, 1975, declared Indira Gandhi's election to the Lok Sabha as void. Justice Iyer, then a vacation judge in the Supreme Court, decided on Indira's appeal. On June 24, Justice Krishna Iyer gave a conditional stay allowing her to remain a member of Parliament, but disallowing her to take part in the proceedings of the Lok Sabha. Indira Gandhi acted fast, the Emergency was declared on June 26. Justice Iyer, who is active in espousing public causes in his retired life in Kochi, looks back.
The era of Emergency, which was inaugurated by Indira Gandhi on June 25/26, 1975, was the darkest chapter in the democratic history of India (1991 to 2000 A D is the darkest economic decade). Several people are under the erroneous impression that my judgment in the stay petition following upon the invalidation of the Prime Minister's selection by the Allahabad High Court, is the `causa causans' of the mid-night proclamation of Emergency.Merely because one event follows upon another, you cannot read the former as the reason for the latter, that is the fallacy of linking up my refusal to grant unconditional stay of the High Court's order.
I gave the highest priority to the petition for stay, heard it without break on June 24 from 10 am to 5 pm and pronounced judgment the very next day at 3 pm. Simultaneously, I made copies of my order available free to every person who desired a copy. The Supreme Court staff did a blitz job in making a few thousand copies in the wee hours of the 26th morning. I refused the Prime Minister the right to vote in Parliament, I referred to the dharma of politics and insisted that equal protection of the law could not make a difference in favour of the Prime Minister, the great proposition being ``Be you ever so high, the law is above you.''
(Nani) Palkhiwala appeared for her and much later he told me when I met him as Ambassador in the US that Smt. Indira Gandhi was furious that I refused unconditional stay. A judge has to face crises and discharge his duty courageously. I did that and no more. Dharma and law, in the Indian context, have a common content. Being unhappy about the right to vote, the indignant prime minister apparently wanted to silence criticism or upheaval of opposition and in her myopic wisdom proclaimed Emergency, suspended Fundamental Rights and deprived the judges of even the highest court the power to protect the citizen against official violence and violation. Large numbers of people were taken into custody and detained in unknown places.
The Supreme Court heard arguments against the Emergency but the Attorney General Sri Niran De went to the extreme extent of justifying the Emergency. Even when a police officer maliciously shot dead an innocent man, the court had no power to interfere even in such a blood-thirstyoutrage. Alas, except Justice (H R) Khanna, the other four judges of the Bench upheld the Emergency with all its macabre implications. That was the darkest hour of the Supreme Court.
In the course of the arguments I was not on the Bench I happened to meet prime minister Indira Gandhi to request her to preside over the first V K Krishna Menon Memorial speech. She declined but agreed to sit through the speech of Jenney Lee, who came from England. I presided and in my address severely condemned the despotism implicit in the lawless proclamation. Some members in the audience later told me that she turned pale. In fairness, I must say that she sat through the meeting and made a brief speech without any critical reference to my condemnation of the eclipse of people's freedom. Later, I had occasion to criticise, by implication, the Emergency in my address at the Gandhi Peace Foundation which was well-received and copies of the speech went around the world.
In fairness to Indira Gandhi, I must say that when I met her for inviting her to preside (over the function), I told her how shocking the Attorney General's argument was that a man could be shot and the Court was impotent because of the Emergency. If the Dred Scctt case decided by the US Supreme Court upheld slavery, our court was in soulful company when upholding the Emergency. I reminded the Prime Minister about the mounting national tension and mentioned about Mujibur Rehman being assassinated in Bangladesh. I told her about the reckless detentions in Kerala and she told me she had a telegram from K N Raj to the same effect.
In the evening Om Mehta, the Home Minister, came to my residence at the instance of the prime minister to collect the names of persons who were unjustly detained. I gave the names of a few, including Kunjananthan (who worked in my chambers at Tellicherry and later was private secretary of EMS). I also mentioned the name of Gopalan Adiyodi, who was a simple lawyer and had a surgery just a week before. I later learnt that he was a RSS Sanchalak. Anyway, she complained against the unnecessary detentions in Kerala, and all the names I gave were set at liberty without delay.
Another shocking episode: Jayashuklal Hathi, a leading Congressman and Governor of Punjab and Haryana, mentioned to me how a chartered bus carrying professors for a seminar was diverted to a hospital and all the learned participants in the seminar were forced to undergo vasectomy despite their protest. These were orders perhaps from Sanjay Gandhi. The Governor was against it. Many women from villages fled to the hills for fear of the police carrying away people for sterilisation by force. There was a sense of terror throughout the country.
However, I did visit the Cannanore Central Jail during the Emergency and met the detenues. Few would have dared to do that at that time. Long later, when Indira Gandhi lost her election, I happened to meet her and she defended her son. I did not care to take part in that discussion because I felt that the court has blessed the Executive's order and the judges had nothing to be proud of vis-a-vis human rights.
A fitting finale of the Emergency was the stab on the independence of the High Court judges who were moved helter-skelter across the country. Perhaps out of vendetta but curiously with the concurrence, so I am told, of the Chief Justice of India.
Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.
Mainstream, Vol XLV, No 45
Indira Gandhi—An Outstanding International Leader
by M. Saleem Kidwai, 31 October 2007
October 31 marks the twentythird anniversary of Indira Gandhi’s assassination. As a tribute to her abiding memory we are carrying the following piece. —Editor
The charismatic and epoch-making personality of Indira Gandhi left her imprint not only in the affairs of her own country but also in international affairs. She belonged to that noble galaxy of great leaders who wielded extraordinary power. Indira Gandhi was an Indian to the core but at the same time her vision went far beyond her own nation and embraced the entire human race. By virtue of being the Prime Minister of India, the largest democracy in the world, she was able to make a significant contribution to the practice of inter-national relations. She enjoyed well-deserved prestige and profound respect on the international scene. An attempt is being made here to highlight her role as an international leader.
Indira Gandhi was introduced to international affairs at an early age. As the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru she was born and brought up in a family and environment where national and international politics were discussed all the time. Her illustrious father had taken care to educate her daughter about all aspects national and international politics. This was amply demonstra-ted in Nehru’s letters to her daughter from prison which were later on published in a book form. In all these letters world history and politics have been discussed extensively. Besides, during the Prime Ministership of Nehru, Indira Gandhi served as the official hostess to heads of states and governments at the Teen Murti House. She also accompanied her father in most of his foreign tours. As a result of all this she became quite familiar with international affairs. So after becoming the Prime Minister of India she hardly faced any problem in understanding foreign policy and was able to achieve success in this sphere within no time.
Indira Gandhi inherited Nehru’s mantle and was credited with carrying out the Nehru legacy in foreign affairs. Following Nehru’s traditions, she championed the cause of international peace, disarmament, anti-colonialism and anti-racialism. She used the platforms of the Commonwealth, NAM and UN effectively. She not only preserved the rich heritage of Nehru but made her own contribution. She took certain decisions keeping in view the prevalent circumstances that resulted in raising the stature of India at the international level. Under her dynamic stewardship India’s voice was heard with respect in various international oranisations and forums. Indira Gandhi had no articulated world vision but had learned from her great father to identify India’s national interest with independent decision-making in international affairs, economic development at home and the exclusion of India and its neighbourhood in Southern Asia from either of superpower’s sphere of influence. Her policies were pragmatic, her dealings with foreign leaders unsentimental. Her pride, her sensitivity to equal treatment, her political skills in overcoming adversity—all helped to keep her government from succumbing to American or Soviet pressures on specific issues. She had a clear-cut perception of India’s strategic and national interests. She knew that in international relations power counted more than personal influence and that the strategic interests of a nation were far more important than moral principles. She followed pragmatic policies and her relations with the leaders of superpowers were based upon cold calculations.
When Indira Gandhi came to the helm of affairs, that was a bi-polar world. One bloc was led by the US and other headed by the Soviet Union. The Cold War was at its height. The nuclear race was on. Some relics of colonialism and imperialism were still there. Racialism was prevalent in some parts. World peace was under a grave threat. In the circumstances Indira Gandhi followed the policy of non-alignment as laid down by Nehru. Very soon the international community recognised her as a leader who was committed to freedom and peace. Her role in the non-aligned moment was duly recognised at the Seventh Conference NAM when she was elected its chairperson in 1983 at New Delhi. This Conference was a historic one. The resolutions passed at the Conference reflected Indira Gandhi’s statesmanship and far-sightedness. Her most important contribution in the realm of world peace was the shaping of the NAM. Her able leadership provided a smooth sailing for the Conference. It also led to a better understanding of the common problems of freedom, peace and social justice for the people of the Third World. It was through this Conference that she made a major chunk of humanity feel important in the UN. Here she played a more dynamic role as a leader of mankind in the international arena. Her performance as the NAM Chairperson was superb and balanced, and it commanded respect not only of member-states but also of the superpowers. Her faith in the UN as the arbiter of inter-state conflicts and the most important centre for harmonising the actions of nations can’t be questioned. For, as she herself said, firm faith in the UN is central to the NAM. The aim is the same: to maintain peace by removing the sources of tension and to bring out the humanity in human beings.
Indira Gandhi symbolised the Third World’s regeneration. Under her leadership, Indian foreign policy matured from the conscious assertion of the rights and aspirations of newly free nations to a keen awareness on their part of their own responsibility in the global context. By refusing to sign the NPT she gained political credit for upholding India’s independence and for taking a principled stand against a discriminatory treaty. With Indira Gandhi at the helm, India re-emerged in the South Asian strategic stage and her India recorded its ability and willingness to grasp the opportunities of power politics in a regional context. She made a mark in the world as an unrivalled leader and a champion of the Third World.
INDIRA GANDHI not only influenced history but also made history. With her extraordinary skills she balanced the superpowers against one another. 1971 was Indira Gandhi’s finest hour in foreign and security affairs. Her skill lay in her intuitive grasp of the opportunity which the Pakistani rulers provided to change the geopolitics of East Pakistan. The Bangladesh situation gave her the opportunity to emerge as a military strategist and a diplomat par excellence on the regional and the world stage. With the clear and decisive victory India and Indira were established as a major power and force in the world. Indira Gandhi became the international leader. Her decisions and timings were applauded and hailed as perfect. As Henry Kissinger admits in his memoirs, Indira Gandhi outclassed and outmanoeuvred Nixon and Kissinger. It was a giant leap in international stature. The year 1971 represented the peak of her political career. She tackled Nixon on equal terms. Even her bitter critics were forced to admire her guts. For instance, Leader of the Opposition in Indian Parliament A. B. Vajpayee called her Durga. Another Opposition leader declared in Parliament: “Madam, you have created not only history but a new geography as well.” After the war Indira Gandhi acted with great magnanimity at the Shimla Conference. She put India on the international scientific map by exploding the country’s first underground nuclear device at Pokhran in 1974. This signalled India’s nuclear potential and its unwillingness to abide by the nuclear rules of the superpowers.
One of the important features of Indira Gandhi’s foreign policy was the close ties with the Arab world. It was during the Nehru period that the foundations of a sound and viable Arab policy were laid. The Indira Gandhi era witnessed an allround development of Indo-Arab relations. Indira Gandhi always evinced keen interest in the affairs of the Arab world. Under her leadership India felt emotionally and morally committed to the national aspirations of the Arabs to gain a rightful place in the comity of nations. She always showed an abiding concern for Palestine which forms the crux of West Asian problem. Consequently, in the UN and in its various forums as well as in different Afro-Asian and Non-Aligned Conferences Indira’s India supported the Arab stand on the Palestine issue. On her return to power in 1980 Indira Gandhi dumped the Janata Government’s pro-Israel policy into the dustbin and reverted back to the Nehruvian policy. She invited PLO leader Yasser Arafat to New Delhi and established formal diplomatic relations despite stiff opposition and strong pressures. She was called Gamal Nasser’s niece, King Faisal’s daughter and Yasser Arafat’s sister in the Arab world. She was immensely popular among the Arab people who called her Alsayyida Indira Gandhi.
Indira Gandhi reflected the restless spirit of mankind desiring to establish a world order free from human sufferings. She struggled for the creation of an essentially human order in place of one based on brute force. She was against all forms of domination and exploitation of one country by another. She opposed colonialism and racialism on the ground that these created tensions and hostility. She firmly believed that the adoption of non-alignment by a fairly large number of countries would automatically widen the area of peace and security. She advocated disarmament which alone could bring confidence and hope for survival among the peoples of the world.
Indira Gandhi was definitely successful in the international arena. She stood head and shoulders above the leaders of Third World countries in international forums and conferences. She was always in the limelight. Hers was the foremost voice for world peace in a tense and troubled world. She was successful in protecting India’s interests without succumbing to the pressure of superpowers. An increase in India’s economic and military strength during her regime made India an important regional power which none of the superpowers could afford to ignore. She made India strong and a leading country in the comity of nations, gave a clarion call to the world to save humanity from the nuclear holocaust, raised her voice against all kinds of exploitation. She displayed rare statesmanship in tackling international disputes. Indira Gandhi’s role in guiding the developing nations of the world and her personal contribution towards disarmament and global peace were duly acknowledged by the international community. The image of India as a country which had to be taken seriously was definitely her biggest contribution.
To sum up, Indira Gandhi was truly an international leader. As the Prime Minister of India and Chairperson of the NAM she exercised a profound influence on international affairs and made tremendous efforts for world peace, justice and equity among nations.
Dr M. Saleem Kidwai teaches at the Centre for Canadian, US and Latin American Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Indira Gandhi And The Tigers
By Alejandro Guevara Onofre
India is the home to Mahatma Gandhi and famous women such as Indira Gandhi was born there. From my point of view, I believe that Indira Gandhi was one of the most important ladies in modern Indian and Third World history. Daughter of political leader Jawaharlal Nehru (Prime Minister 1947-1964). She was born on November 19, 1917 in Allahabad.Indira governed for 15 years. In the 1970s, she had an autocratic government: human rights violation and corruption…
Once in power, she established good relations with Soviet Bloc. Mrs. Gandhi participated in numerous international conferences on population, health and women.Under her direction, the India annexed Sikkim, a Buddhist country. Her best friends were: Julyus Nyerere (former dictator of Tanzania), Forbes Burnham (former dictator of Guyana), Fidel Castro (currently dictator of Cuba) and Michael Manley (ex-President of Jamaica).
In 1984 she was assassinated by two men of her own guard. However, Many people loved her and hated her. Certainly, for many years, the politics of India have been dominated by the Gandhi family and their party. Without doubt, she is famous as Margaret Thatcher(former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) and Eva Duarte de Peron (ex- First Lady of Argentina). Since 1966 more 50 countries have had women presidents, Vice-Presidents and Prime Ministers, including Central African Republic, Taiwan, Ecuador, Jamaica, Uganda, South Korea, Vietnam and the ex German Democratic Republic (GDR).
She had a great passion and was a prominent advocate for animals rights. In the 20th Century many endangered mammals were killed in India for use in traditional Chinese medicines. Millions of endangered species of mammals were illegally exported to Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Macau and Japan. Certainly, Indian Jungle is the habitat of numerous wild animals like elephants, rhinoceros and tigers. Between 1910 and 1958, more than 57,000 tigers were killed by hunters.In the 1970s, there were 2,000 tigers in Nationals Parks.
With doubt, Indira Gandhi was an ardent Third World spokeswomen for the animals rights. She once said: “I would like to see my children have the opportunity to see tigers in their natural habitats…” In 1973, After the founded the “Project Tiger”, Indira Gandhi had strictly forbidden the hunting of tigers and trade of tigers bones. Like the gorilla in Rwanda (African country)… Lion in Kenya… Panda in the People`s Republic of China and… African elephant in Botswana, the tiger is the national symbol of India. In the 1980s, there were 4,000 tigers in many National Parks.
As Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi became the second woman Prime Minister in the British Commonwealth of Nations. For many years her personal ruled imposed a unity on India.The country has more than 800 ethnic groups and more 200 different spoken languages. Furthermore, India has one of the World's most oldest civilizations and is one of the largest countries around the world.
-Universal Encyclopedia Illustrated European-American Annual Supplement 1960-1987, Espasa-Calpe, Barcelona
-Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of Year 1977, 1981, 1984, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Chicago
-Guevara Onofre. Woman and Power, Cecosami, File, 2001
-Grimberg, Carl. Universal history: Century XX (volume 12), Editions Daimon Barcelona, 1969
-Report of the World-wide Conference of the Year of Woman DF (Mexico) of June-2 of New York, United Nation, 19, Mexico, the International July 1975, 1976
-Notice For Speakers th Advancement of Women, New York, 1995
-Rothstein, Robert. “Democracy, Conflict and Development in the Third World”, Magazine of Political Science, Bogota, 1991
-Uglow, Jennifer. The MacMillan Dictionary of Women´s Biography, The MacMillan, London, 1982
Alejandro Guevara Onofre:
I am a writer about Third World issues (human rights, biographies, culture, history, olympic sport, democracy, women's rights). I have many books (Mundototal, Power and Woman, and History of Women in the United States) and essays ("Dictatorship and Woman:The First Lady of the Cuban Revolution", "Taiwan:Democracy and Human Development", "Culture and Dictatorships", "Fidel Castro and Sport", "Pol Pot", "Robert Mugabe and Dictatorship", "Indira Gandhi and the Tigers" and "Alberto Fujimori:The Last Dictatorship". I have studied Journalism, Political Science and International Relations.
Interests and Hobbies: My hobbies and interests are writing essays, going to the gym, browsing the Internet, Foreign Politics, learning about cultures, reading (my favourite writer is Juan Gasparini from Argentina), cooking Peruvian food, listening to American and British Music (my favourite singer is Barry White). My personal motto is "the future is for those people who believe in the beauty of their dreams" by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alejandro_Guevara_Onofre
Indira Gandhi-The Empress of India
By: Abigail VanDerVeer
Indira Gandhi was known for many things, but her most prestigious achievement by far was becoming the Prime Minister of India in 1966. Indira was a kindhearted woman, and she helped her country a great deal. Indira had sometimes been called "The Empress of India", and when she died, India and the world lost an amazing woman. (Sabina, 3rd grade)
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917 in Allahabad, India, as Indira Priyadarshini Nehru. Born to the parents Jawaharlal Nehru, who was later the prime minister of India, and Kamala Kaul, even as a child Indira showed great independence. At an early age, she would run and hide, returning only when she pleased, and she was very curious about atlases and books of all sorts.(Indira Gandhi, Prime minister)
(for more about this click http://www.netsrq.com/~dbois/gandhi.html)
This love for knowledge at a young age just proved Indira was eager to be taught. She could read at an early age, and was taught her basic schooling at home until she began her education at "St. Cecilia’s School" in 1924. This school was run by a group of nuns, later Indira was to have said this about school, "Training of the mind and body, so as to produce a balanced personality." After her schooling at "St. Cecilia’s School", Indira became a graduate of Visva-Bharati University in Bengal. Later she was offered the choice of further education in either the United States of America, or in Great Britain, she chose Britain and studied at the University of Oxford. Through out her schooling, Indira learned a lot, including French, portions of different languages, and Hindi at home.
Indira was an only child of Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Kaul. Her father became the prime minister of India in 1947, and always tried to impart his teachings to Indira. While at school in England, Indira met her future husband, a young Parsee student, Feroze Gandhi. He was in England studying at a London school of economics, and he was a great admirer of Kamala Nehru, which helped him with his opinion as a journalist. Though Indira’s father was against it, in 1941 in India, they were married.
Indira went through many jobs in the next few years, one of the first was as a stewardess in her father’s home. In this job, she was called the "First Lady of India", because she was always seen on trips with her father abroad. Her mother never went, for she had died in 1936, eleven years before her husband, Nehru, came into office. Indira felt that it was good to work with her father as much as possible to gain an education into the workings of a democracy. Then in 1955, Indira was elected to the executive body of the Congress party. All the while, Indira had been working with her father to gain and education into the workings of a democracy. (Sabina 3rd grade) After four years as being part of the executive body, she was elected president of the Congress party, in 1959. In 1960, her husband of only 19 years was killed. (Current Biography, P114-115) Then in 1962, even after all of her hard work in other areas and the death of her husband, Indira coordinated a civil defense activities during the Chinese-Indian Border War. (Internet source found at: http://www.cncw.com/india/indira.htm)
During all of this, Indira’s father had been the prime minister of India. Young Indira was very interested in the independence movements, and it occupied most of her life. Her father, Nehru, had Indira learn of the struggle for freedom India had to face. When Nehru died in May of 1964, his successor, Lal Bhadur Shartri, took his place as the prime minister. This same year, Indira had been busy on her own. She had become the minister of information and broadcasting in Lal Bhadur Shartri’s government. Even in this job, Indira excels. She did many things to help the company to succeed, such as extending the broadcasting time, liberalizing the censorship policies, and approving a television education project in family planning. Then, after just two short years in office, prime minister Shartri suddenly dies in January of 1966. The Congress party leaders then chose Indira to become the prime minister of India, at the age of 49. (Sabina, 3rd grade- to get more from Sabina, click here) She had been elected to a five year term by the parliament members of the dominant Congress party. (Internet source: http://www.netsrq…)
Indira served as a great prime minister from 1966, until 1977. During this time she declared martial law in the 1970’s and this later caused her to loose the election in 1977. However, in 1980, she was overwhelmingly re-elected to the position. She established ties with the Soviet Union in the early 80’s and also wanted closer ties with the United States and other western countries. In 1982, Indira decided she would involve herself with the international scene to improve her image. She visited both Moscow and Washington to demonstrate her nonalignment. Then in 1983, Indira, Indira held a conference of nonaligned 3rd world nations. And she had diplomats from 101 different countries attend. (80’s Icons, Indira Gandhi) (for more on this click here)
Indira began to rely on her son Sanjay Gandhi more and more because she and husband, Feroze, had been separated for a number of years. Sanjay was Indira’s successor, and she was trying to teach him the political and social aspects of being the prime minister. She loved her son very much and loved teaching and being near him. And when Sanjay died in a plane crash in June of 1980, she was heart broken. Though she was sad, she knew she must find another successor and she turned to her older son Rajiv Gandhi, and soon began grooming him as her new successor. (Internet source: http://www.netsrq…)
Though she was very busy taking care of her family and training her son, she still had a country to run. After a tough decision, Indira decided to flush out some extremists. In 1984, Gandhi ordered an attack on Sikh nationalists, and moved vigorously to suppress Sikh insurgents, many Hindu’s and Sikh’s were killed and injured in the operation. (Indira Gandhi, prime minister) On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi was shot to death by Sikh members of her security, she was 62 years old. (80’s Icons; and Internet source: http://www.netsrq…)
Very shortly after Indira’s death, her son, Rajiv, was sworn in as the new prime minister, therefor keeping the Nehru dynasty in power. (Indira Gandhi, prime minister) He served as the prime minister until 1989, when he was killed in a terrorist bombing at and election rally in Madras on May 21, 1991. (Internet source: http://www.netstrq…) The Gandhi/Nehru family had ruled as prime minister for all but 5 of a 44 year independent existence. (End of a Dynasty? P1)
Indira had accomplished more in her life of only 62 years than many people ever will. She helped lead India into independence and helped carry on a tradition of the Gandhi/Nehru family. Her main slogan throughout her campaigns was "garibi hatao", which means "abolish poverty". Through this, the government began making more programs to help the poor, and raising money for them. (Prisoner of it’s Past, P2)
India and the Non-Aligned Movement
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India played an important role in the multilateral movements of colonies and newly independent countries that developed into the Non-Aligned Movement.
1 Origin of Non alignment movement
2 Early developments
3 In 1980s
6 See also
7 External links
 Origin of Non alignment movement
Nonalignment had its origins in India's colonial experience and the nonviolent Indian independence struggle led by the Congress, which left India determined to be the master of its fate in an international system dominated politically by Cold War alliances and economically by Western capitalism. The principles of nonalignment, as articulated by Nehru and his successors, were preservation of India's freedom of action internationally through refusal to align India with any bloc or alliance, particularly those led by the United States or the Soviet Union; nonviolence and international cooperation as a means of settling international disputes. Nonalignment was a consistent feature of Indian foreign policy by the late 1940s and enjoyed strong, almost unquestioning support among the Indian elite.
The term "Non-Alignment" itself was coined by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during his speech in 1954 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In this speech, Nehru described the five pillars to be used as a guide for Sino-Indian relations, which were first put forth by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. Called Panchsheel (five restraints), these principles would later serve as the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement. The five principles were:
Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty
Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
Equality and mutual benefit
Jawaharlal Nehru's concept of nonalignment brought India considerable international prestige among newly independent states that shared India's concerns about the military confrontation between the superpowers and the influence of the former colonial powers. New Delhi used nonalignment to establish a significant role for itself as a leader of the Third World in such multilateral organizations as the United Nations (UN) and the Nonaligned Movement. The signing of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation between India and the Soviet Union in 1971 and India's involvement in the internal affairs of its smaller neighbors in the 1970s and 1980s tarnished New Delhi's image as a nonaligned nation and led some observers to note that in practice, nonalignment applied only to India's relations with countries outside South Asia.
 Early developments
The movement had its origins in the 1947 Asian Relations Meeting in New Delhi and the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia. India also participated in the 1961 Belgrade Conference that officially established the Nonaligned Movement, but Jawaharlal Nehru's declining prestige limited his influence. In the 1960s and 1970s, New Delhi concentrated on internal problems and bilateral relations, yet retained membership in an increasingly factionalized and radicalized movement. During the contentious 1979 Havana summit, India worked with moderate nations to reject Cuban president Fidel Castro's proposition that "socialism" (that is, the Soviet Union) was the "natural ally" of nonalignment.
 In 1980s
Under Indira Gandhi in the early 1980s, India attempted to reassert its prominent role in the Nonaligned Movement by focusing on the relationship between disarmament and economic development. By appealing to the economic grievances of developing countries, Indira Gandhi and her successors exercised a moderating influence on the Nonaligned Movement, diverting it from some of the Cold War issues that marred the controversial 1979 Havana meeting. Although hosting the 1983 summit boosted Indian prestige within the movement, its close relations with the Soviet Union and its pro-Soviet positions on Afghanistan and Cambodia limited its influence.
The end of the Cold War left the Nonaligned Movement without its original raison d'être, and its membership became deeply divided over international disputes, strategy, and organization. During the 1992 Jakarta summit, India took a middle position between countries favoring confrontation with developed nations on international economic issues, such as Malaysia, and those that favored a more cooperative approach, such as Indonesia. Although New Delhi played a minor role compared with Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta on most issues facing the summit, India formulated the Nonaligned Movement position opposing developed countries' linkage of foreign aid to human rights criteria.
The early 1990s demise of the bipolar world system, which had existed since the end of World War II, shook the underpinnings of India's foreign policy. The Cold War system of alliances had been rendered meaningless by the collapse of the East European communist states, the dissolution of the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact), and the demise of the Soviet Union. In the early 1990s, most colonies had become independent, and apartheid in South Africa was being dismantled, diminishing the value of anticolonialism and making it impossible for antiracism to serve as a rallying point for international political action (India and South Africa restored full diplomatic relations in 1993 after a thirty nine year lapse). The Panchsheel (Panch Shila), peaceful resolution of international disputes, and international cooperation to spur economic development which was being enhanced by domestic economic reforms were broad objectives in a changing world. Thus, the 1990s saw India redefining nonalignment and the view of India's place in the world.
India also is a founding member of the Group of fifteen, a group of developing nations established at the ninth Nonaligned Movement summit in Belgrade in 1989 to facilitate dialogue with the industrialized countries. India played host to the fourth Group of Fifteen summit in March 1994. At the summit, Prime Minister Narsimha Rao and other leaders expressed concern over new trade barriers being raised by the industrialized countries despite the conclusion of a new world trade agreement.
"Library of Congress: Federal Research Division Country Profile: India, September 1995". Library of Congress Country Studies (All works are released in Public domain). Retrieved on 2007-11-06.
 See also
Foreign relations of India
Group of fifteen
 External links
India to play moderating role at 116-nation NAM
India reasserts firm commitment to NAM
India After Nonalignment
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TITLE: On the Eve of the Non-Aligned Conference
BY: Slobodan Stankovic
ORIGINAL SUBJECT: Foreign Relations
--- Begin ---
RADIO FREE EUROPE Research
This material was prepared for the use of the
editors and policy staff of Radio Free Europe.
YOGOSLAVIA: Foreign Relations
30 August 19 73
ON THE EVE OF THE NON-ALIGNED CONFERENCE
SuMmary: Between September 2-8 of this year the
fourth non-aligned summit will take place in
Algiers, with 75 countries participating (65
full members and 10 observers). President Tito
will head the Yugoslav delegation while Fidel Castro
will head the Cuban delegation even though his country
is a member of Comecon. Indira Gandhi of India and
Salvador Allende of Chile will not be present. The
Arabs will be represented by Sadat and Gaddafy,
together with Boumedienne, the Algerian President who
will open the conference. The Soviet press has been
trying of late to present the non-aligned countries
as the allies of the "socialist community" in the
struggle against imperialism.
The Fourth Conference of non-aligned countries will take
place in Algiers between September 2 and 8. From 2-4 September
the foreign ministers will meet to draft the agenda for the
non-aligned summit to take place between September 5 and 8.
According to a Yugoslav source, 65 non-aligned countries will
be represented with full rights while 15 countries will have
the status of observer. 
The first non-aligned conference was held in Belgrade from
1-6 September 1961 with 28 countries participating (25 full
members and three observers); the second conference took place
in Cairo from 5-8 October 1964 with 57 countries participating
(47 full members and 10 observers); and the third conference was
organized in Lusaka (Zambia) with 64 countries participating
(54 full members and 10 observers.) As can be seen, the number
of participating states has increased with each conference. The
Fourth Conference will be held at the "Palais des Nations"
conference hall, about 20 km. west of the capital. The hall,
located on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, is surrounded
by 80 villas where heads of state and other high-ranking
delegates will be accommodated. President Sadat of Egypt, Fidel
Castro of Cuba and President Tito of Yugoslavia will be the most
prominent heads of non-aligned states, even though Cuba is a
member of the Comecon.
How Non-Alignment Was Born
Yugoslavia's interest in the non-aligned world can be
traced back as far as January of 195 3, when Milovan Djilas, at
that time still one of the most powerful Yugoslav party leaders,
attended the first Socialist Conference of Asian countries in
Rangoon, Burma. This was two months before the death of Stalin,
with whom Tito had had to fight after the June 1948 expulsion
from the communist family. Since most of the former Western
colonies in Asia and Africa had received their independence
after World War II, i.e., after 1948 and in the period of Tito's
fiercest struggle against Moscow, what was more natural for the
Yugoslav communists than to seek and find allies among the
newly-liberated countries, most of whom demonstrated socialist
tendencies in varying degrees, while showing opposition to
Soviet or Chinese-style communism.
In addition, Yugoslavia's support for the newly-liberated
countries of Asia and Africa were aimed at bolstering Yugoslavia's
position in Europe, particularly in view of the fact that the
conflict with Stalin had compelled Tito to come closer to the
West and to adopt a more liberal course within the country itself.
An alliance with the neutral countries in Asia and Africa was
both important as a support for the struggle against "Western
imperialism" and against Soviet hegemony. In December 1954
and January 1955, Tito visited India and Burma just at the time
it was decided that the first Conference of Asian and African
nations should take place in Bandung in April 1955.
During Tito's stay in India he and Nehru signed a joint
statement on 2 3 December 19 54 explaining for the first time the
meaning of the policy of non-alignment. A section of the
Tito-Nehru statement read:
The President [Tito] and Prime Minister [Nehru]
proclaim that the policy of non-alignment adopted
and pursued by their respective countries is not
"neutrality" or neutralism and therefore passivity,
but is a positive, active and constructive policy
seeking to lead to a collective peace on which
alone collective security can really rest...The
President and Prime Minister therefore repudiate
the erroneous conception which has become prevalent
in some quarters of a "third bloc" or "third force"
of non-aligned countries. This is a contradiction
in terms because such a bloc would involve them in
the very system of alignments which they regard as
From the very beginning the neutrals Had trouble over the
name they should use for their "non-bloc bloc." Sensing a
certain aura of apathy or ambivalence in the word "neutral,"
they shifted to "neutralist," then to "uncommitted" and finally
to "non-bloc" or non-aligned" countries. As can be seen from
the Tito-Nehru statement they also coined the term "positive
neutrality" to disassociate themselves from what' they felt to be
the "negative", conservative and insufficiently anti-imperialist
variety exemplified by Sweden and some other countries.
Tito's role among the non-aligned countries has always been
very important, since Yugoslavia was the only European and only
communist country of the non-aligned group of states. Furthermore,
the newly liberated countries were full of internal weaknesses
resulting from the splitting of the forces advocating socialism
and the strength of the forces which opposed socialism. External
freedom for these countries has not been matched by the growth
of domestic liberties, still less of parliamentary institutions
after the western pattern. Only India, Cyprus and Lebanon at
that time could be described as functioning parliamentary
democracies, although they all could be described in varying degree
as "underdeveloped." Nearly all non-aligned countries receive
or have received aid from both the communist and non-communist
At the Bandung Conference (18-24 April 1955) the 29 Asian
and African countries represented tried to define more
specifically the notion of neutralism. The communists, represented at
Bandung by China and North Vietnam, were then backing neutralism
as well as supporting anti-imperialism. Countries like Ceylon
and Iraq, which at that time uncompromisingly took the Western
side, saw their governments deposed and replaced by neutralist
ones. And even Prime Minister Nehru, who several months before
signed the declaration with Tito which claimed that the concept
of a bloc of the non-aligned was "a contradiction in terms,"
became an ardent advocate of neutralism in Bandung, neutralism
which was suggestive of a third bloc.
The Big Six: Nehru, Nasser, Sukarno, Nkhrumah, Ben Bella and Tito
One month after the Bandung Conference ended Nikita
Khrushchev created a sensation by coming to Belgrade to apologize
to Tito for Stalin's mistakes. Tito's reputation was enormously
increased. Consequently the initiative for organizing and
coordinating the activities of the non-aligned countries passed
into his hands. He travelled through Asian and African countries
and won much sympathy for Yugoslavia and his kind of communism.
The Afro-Asian countries saw in the Yugoslav system a type of
communism which was hailed both by the American and West European
"imperialists," and even helped by them, while Tito, although
receiving aid from the "imperialist West," was recognized by
Moscow as an equal partner and a good communist.
Obviously, the Afro-Asian neutrals were impressed by
Tito's successes in playing the ends against the middle. This
game was possible simply because it appeared that the non-aligned
countries had a chance to play an important role in a situation
of tense relations between two great blocs headed by the
Soviet Union and the United States. On the other hand, it is
precisely this tension which is unremittingly attacked by the
non-aligned. Their ideal has been to have no major conflict
between Washington and Moscow, but also no too-close cooperation
between them, as appeared after Brezhnev's meeting with Nixon
in Washington. In the meantime, while China was gaining economic
strength it was actually creating a third bloc.
Although the Western powers in 1955 approached the conference
of Bandung with trepidation, their attitude toward a non-aligned
conference was more receptive. First, it did not become apparent
until six years after Bandung that communist parties would
expand under the shadow of the non-aligned governments; and
second, the three initiators of a large-scale non-aligned
conference which was to take place in Belgrade in September
1961 were three ambitious statesmen who had prospered on
international defiance: Nasser defied Britain, France and Israel over
Suez and survived; Sukarno created his empire by playing America
and Britain against the Netherlands; while Tito defied Stalin
and got away with it. These three dictators, claiming to be
"building socialism" following their own models, were rather
reluctantly. joined by the fourth non-aligned statesman, the
great mediator Nehru of India.
The September 1961 non-aligned summit in Belgrade was
disturbed by Moscow's resuming nuclear testing on September 1,
the day the conference began. The "Big Five"-- Tito, Nehru,
Sukarno, Nasser and Nkhrumah--were the leaders of the conference.
Tito provoked the Western powers because of his sudden
pro-Soviet attitude. He approved Moscow's nuclear testing even
though Nehru attacked it. The conference opened in an atmosphere
of shock, confusion and mounting indignation over the Soviet
nuclear tests. In the final analysis, the Belgrade conference did
not find ways to impose their neutralism more effectively on
the course of the cold war. Tito's turn-about at the conference
weakened his position among some of the participants, who could
not understand the Yugoslav claim that while non-alignment
was possible in foreign policy, there could be no non-alignment
in ideological matters.
As a result the initiave passed to Nasser who in October
1964 hosted the second non-aligned conference in Cairo (5-10
October 1964). Several days after this conference ended Nikita
Khrushchev was deposed in Moscow. Since Nehru died in May 1964
India was represented by Shastri, while Ben Bella represented
Algeria. In his speech Tito retained some of his pro-Moscow
ideological leanings. Sukarno at that time was moving closer
to Peking and in Cairo called for a struggle against all
imperialist powers. He simply dismissed "peaceful coexistence" as
fruitless. It was reported at that time that Tito was disgusted
with Sukarno's pro-Peking line in Cairo and, in private talks,
called the Indonesian leader "an Oriental Goldwater." 
Soon after the October 1964' conference it became clear that
it was much easier to be non-aligned between two blocs than
between three. In addition, changes within each individual
bloc led to conflicts between the internal forces of moderation
and those of militancy. In Yugoslavia itself the struggle between
"liberals" and "dogmatists" grew fierce and was followed by
loud voices demanding that Yugoslavia should stop playing a
megalomaniac role in the world, a role which assertedly was not
in accordance with the country's economic strength. In a rather
short time only Tito and Nasser survived out of the "Big Six".
Nehru died in 1964; Ben Bella was ousted in June 1965; Nkhrumah
was deposed in February 1966; while Sukarno's removal was
completed in March 196 7. Nasser barely survived the Middle East
crisis of June 1967 and died in September 1970, soon after the
third non-aligned conference in Lusaka ended.
Moscow vs. Non-Alignment
While Western powers after the Cairo conference saw no
reason to oppose non-aligned countries and their meetings,
Moscow and its East European allies took a negative attitude.
After Brezhnev assumed power in Moscow the Soviet line was that
the policy of non-alignment was a "farce." Similar views were
maintained by other East European countries, especially by
Poland. The Soviet and East European opposition to non-aligned
countries was particularly strong after the August 196 8
invasion of Czechoslovakia. A Soviet newspaper wrote in October
As is known, the Yugoslav leaders fight for a
"policy of non-alignment." But if one follows the
position of the leadership of the League of
Communists of Yugoslavia, it becomes obvious that this
is a position of alignment not with socialism,
but rather with anti-socialist forces in
Czechoslovakia and the whole imperialist chorus. 
In March 19 70 the Yugoslav press criticized some Polish
authors for having dubbed the policy of non-alignment "the
so-called policy." Yugoslavia's attitude toward the Warsaw Pact
invasion of Czechoslovakia was taken as evidence that Yugoslavia
was not a non-aligned country. The Polish views included the
claim that the non-aligned countries "can play the game of
nonalignment thanks only to the existence of the Warsaw Pact armed
The September 19 70 third non-aligned summit in Lusaka
(Zambia) was even less successful than the first two conferences
in Belgrade and Cairo. The main topics were Vietnam and the
Middle East. Tito made a speech in which he said that the
nonaligned countries "have to make joint efforts to oppose all,
manifestations of force and all forms of domination." He claimed
claimed that a "huge section of mankind, regardless of whether
someone likes it or not, has accepted the policy of non-alignment
as the only possible way to help the world to march along new
democratic roads." 
In the meantime Tito met with Brezhnev several times and
came to the conclusion that the Soviet leader had changed his
hostile attitude toward non-alignment. In an interview with a
Zagreb daily in February of this year Tito was asked about the
Soviet leaders' attitude toward non-alignment. Tito answered
that Moscow had "a positive attittude" toward non-alignment
and then continued:
I talked about this with the Soviet leaders, initially
with Brezhnev. He told me1 that they completely agreed
with the principles of non-alignment, that such a
policy had been useful in the struggle against
imperialism, against various attempts of aggression,
At this point the interviewer reminded Tito that "at the
beginning" the Soviet leaders had a hostile attitude toward
non-alignment. Tito answered that they "needed a little time"
and then added:
Today there is no difference in our attitude toward
non-alignment. The Soviet leaders consider this
policy useful, and realize that it is praiseworthy
that Yugoslavia has been among the non-aligned
countries, because they know that Yugoslavia has been
conducting an unselfish policy.
No doubt the Brezhnev-Nixon meeting scared some of the
non-aligned leaders, particularly the Yugoslavs. They have been
against the supremacy of the two "super powers," a notion similar
to that of the Chinese. This is why one should expect the
fourth non-aligned summit in Algeria to constitute a new challenge
to American-Soviet detente. In the meantime the Russians and
Chinese began polemics over the meaning of non-alignment.
Pravda said that China was trying to influence the upcoming
non-aligned conference in Algeria to oppose the "socialist
The Maoists would like to impose their platform upon
the forthcoming Algiers conference. The Chinese
leadership is exerting efforts to tone down the
anti-imperialist essence of this movement and to
oppose the non-aligned countries to the socialist
Pravda said that the non-aligned countries can attain
genuine national liberation and make a real contribution to
detente if they will come "shoulder to shoulder with world
In a TASS commentary of August 27 the commentator Sergei
Kulik denied that the Brezhnev-Nixon meeting is dangerous for
the non-aligned countries. Contrary to the historical f acts,
The Soviet Union and other socialist countries became
allies of this neutralist movement from its very
inception.... It has been its militant, anti-imperialist
line that has always been the main target of
international reactionary attacks on the non-aligned
movement, and the reason why the reactionary forces
tried to disrupt the unity of the socialist and neutral
countries...Attempts are being made to equate imperialist
and socialist countries, thereby casting a shadow on
the Soviet Union's foreign policy, and then to confront
the socialist and the non-aligned countries with each
It is highly debatable whether Moscow will really succeed in
turning the fourth non-aligned conference in Algeria into its
own instrument. President Tito is aware of the fact that he is
the only one of the "Big Six" to survive. But one should not
forget that Fidel Castro will be there and also Sadat with Gaddafy.
The currents within the non-aligned "bloc" may make it very
difficult for its members to agree on a firm stand. Large groups
within the non-aligned movement wish to avoid annoying one or
the other of the three super-powers (the Soviet Union, America
and China)9 which cannot but lead to various compromises, Indira
Gandhi and Senor Allende will not be present, while President
Boumedienne will play the role of the host. In view of the
forthcoming second phase of the European Security Conference in Geneva,
both the East and West will direct their eyes to Algeria between
September 2 and 8 to see whether the "non-aligned countries" will
succeed in remaining truly non-aligned.
(1) Borba, Belgrade, 22 August 1973.
(2) New York Times, 24 December 1954.
(3) New York Times, 18 April 1965.
(4) Pravda Ukrainy, 4 October 1968.
(5) Komunist, Belgrade, 26 March 1970. The Yugoslav party weekly
quoted the Polish Mala Encyklopedia Powszechna (Small General
(6)Vjesnik, Zagreb, 17 August 1973.
(7) Vjesnik, 23 February 1973.
(9) Pravda, 30 August 1973.
Current Trends in India-U.S. Relations: Hopes for a Secure Future
Strategic Insights, Volume V, Issue 4 (April 2006)
by Annpurna Nautiyal
Strategic Insights is a monthly electronic journal produced by the Center for Contemporary Conflict at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. The views expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of NPS, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
For a PDF version of this article, click here.
India's relationship with the United States has always been the subject of debate and discussion. Despite being the world’s largest democracy, India could never enjoy a smooth and non-controversial relationship with the world's oldest democracy—which means that sharing the same value system will not act as a glue to hold states together in the international politics. Until recently, India and the United States, due to their multifarious differences, were considered to be ‘estranged democracies’—but their recent agreement on civil nuclear technology has transformed their relationship, and made them ‘engaged democracies.’
The changing perception of the Bush administration about India's capabilities, and its desire for both states to work together for the maintenance of peace, security, and economic growth, has allowed India and the United States to move in the right direction for a better future. At this juncture, when India and the United States both are troubled by terrorism and nuclear proliferation concerns, the courting of India by the United States is also being seen as a strategy of balancing Chinese power and other axis-of-evil countries in Asia as well as consolidating India as a friendly country within the United States’ designs of global partnership. How far this relationship will go is difficult to predict; however, in view of past experience, India would like to move cautiously. This paper attempts to discuss the intricacies of the upward movement of the two democracies, and their future prospects.
There are many implications of the visit of President Bush, the sixth U.S. presidential visit since India's independence, in March 2006 to India and Pakistan, the two main countries of the South Asia region, such as the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal that was signed during the visit. The presidential visit, undertaken amidst tight security and hoards of protests, on the one hand reflected the anger of the people and the growing unpopularity of the policies of the sole superpower as a global policeman; but on the other, it opened a new chapter in the relationship between India, the United States, and Pakistan.
The focus of the presidential visit was to strengthen the strategic relationship between India and the United States for defeating terrorism; promoting democracy; improving economic ties, health, environment, and climate control; and nuclear energy co-operation. For Pakistan, it implied the testing of its commitment to fight terrorism and its restoration of actual democracy with democratic rights and liberties. The success of the visit is evident in the fact that both India and the United States could agree on the modalities of a civil nuclear agreement, and in addition to signing this important agreement, they also decided to work jointly for the promotion of agriculture, expanding ties to foster trade, innovation, knowledge, and global security. Due to the importance attached to this visit, it is being viewed by India as the opening of an entirely a new chapter in the history of relations between India and the United States, reminiscent of the earlier opening in the 1970s between the United States and China.
On the other hand, while praising President Musharaff for his role in tackling terrorism, and assuring him of the United States’ cooperation, the U.S. rejection of the request by Pakistan for a similar type of nuclear agreement, highlighting that India and Pakistan share different historical records and also indirectly indicating that extremists could be defeated in the long run by freedom, democracy, prosperity, and better education, clearly shows that the equation between these three countries is changing. It also suggests that the United States, despite referring to Pakistan as the most important ally and President Musharraf as a buddy, is not happy with Pakistan's track record in promoting democracy or controlling terrorism. As can be assessed from the statement President Bush made during his Pakistan visit that Islamabad was a modern state that respected and believed in the role of Islam with which the United States did not have any problem, President Bush had come to Pakistan to see whether Musharraf was as committed to its war against terrorism and bringing terrorists to justice as before. The United States’ disenchantment with Pakistan indicates that it’s just a matter of time before the future course of Pakistan's relations with the United States is decided.
Geopolitical Needs of the United States in South Asia
An historic look at present U.S. policies toward India and Pakistan clearly indicates a shift in U.S. policy towards India, and this is not totally unprecedented. For a long time the United States has been following a policy of either favoring India or Pakistan, or tilting both ways—depending on each president’s attitude, personal equation, and also geopolitical necessities, which has always helped Pakistan on account of its location between the Persian Gulf and East Asia, enabling it to be considered as a way to defend West Asia since the cold war days. There had been periods when the United States also felt the need to develop close relations with India, but on almost all other occasions U.S. policy has shown a preference towards Pakistan due to its geography as well as its willingness to cooperate with the United States in all its ventures. The United States has been following this policy for the last five decades, and in accordance with its national interests and geopolitical considerations, it has promoted and extended its support to Pakistan. India received its much-desired support from the erstwhile Soviet Union to ward off her worries about economic, military, and diplomatic support. The superpower politics of taking sides in the subcontinent’s affairs increased tensions and the hostility between India and Pakistan. With the end of the cold war and the collapse of the Soviet Union, new warmth was seen in the Indo-U.S. relationship, as was a new coolness in U.S.-Pakistan relations.
The disappearance of the irritants of the cold war era—India's relations with the Soviet Union, non-alignment, and close Pakistan-U.S. relations—paved the way for a closer Indo-U.S. relationship and for developing a fresh understanding. In fact, the trend of coming closer to India had started during the second term of President Clinton, who during the Kargil War of 1999 not only pressured Pakistan to withdraw its troops from Kargil, but also chided Pakistan for its role in promoting terrorism. During his March 2000 trip to South Asia, the first undertaken by any U.S. president after a gap of twenty-two years, President Clinton, while expressing his appreciation for India's democracy, in no uncertain terms expressed his displeasure with military rule in Pakistan by not meeting President Musharaff. Although India's refusal to sign the NPT and CTBT, nuclear testing in 1998, and the Kashmir issue had been a cause for India's deplorable relations with the United States during much of the Clinton Presidency, resulting in a call for sanctions by the United States, the phase of understanding one another’s outlook had also started to take shape. The NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government led by the BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party), sensing the changing times and the importance of good relations with the United States, initiated steps to engage in talks for controlling the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The many rounds of talks held between Jaswant Singh and Strobe Talbott stand as testimony of these initiatives.
During its first term, the Bush Administration had also indicated its desire for developing closer relations with India, especially the present U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, the then-National Security Adviser, had indicated this very clearly. The United States began to see India as an answer to some of the problems related to maintaining the balance of power in the Asian region, and not as a continued bothersome entity. From the beginning, the Bush administration aspired to develop a plan of action to stimulate U.S.-Indian ties, and decided to stop pestering India about its nuclear program.
The United States also started military cooperation and joint exercises with the three wings of the Indian Defense Forces, which is considered an important, and normal, aspect of a relationship between friendly countries. Military cooperation indicates that both are developing an understanding as well as the capability to work together effectively. India, by not insisting on the solidarity of the Third World or non-alignment, and adopting some pro-Western policy moves, exhibited its willingness to enter into a positive relationship with the United States and the West. By this time, Indian migrants in the United States who had acquired places of importance in scientific, business, and academic circles—and some in political circles—with their hard work, dedication, and devotion, had also started to play an important role in changing the attitudes and perceptions of America towards India and the Indians.
India also had taken various steps to liberalize its economy, integrate it with the global economy, and indicated though various policy moves that it supports the U.S. line of action. India presently is on the way to becoming the third largest economy in the world after China and the United States. With a growth rate of 8.1 percent; foreign reserves of over $100 billion; and growth in exports of manufactured goods, software, and competency in IT services; India, with a large number of English-speaking people and a fast-growing middle class, has emerged as a major consumer market for U.S. companies, and its cheap labor has also become an added source of attraction for big American companies. The United States, in the 1990s, had already accepted that India was one of the 10 most rapidly emerging markets of the world.
Moreover, India, by adopting new foreign policy moves like dropping its anti-Western paranoia, and establishing full diplomatic relations with Israel, not only got an important and dependable ally in the Middle East, and assurance from Israel for the supply of high technology like Arrow missiles, but this move also signaled to the Arab world that India could no longer be taken for granted or blackmailed for its energy-related needs. After a long dilly-dallying in adopting a clear policy towards Israel, India's decision to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel, by reversing its earlier policy, indicated its desire to go with the U.S. policy of supporting and considering Israel as an ally in the West Asia.
Besides realizing the importance of peaceful relations with neighboring countries, and expanding its economy, India also took important steps toward improving its relationship with China, and started economic and trade relations by putting the demand for the resolution of its boundary dispute on the back-burner. Successful attempts to open border trade, which was suspended since the 1962 Indo-China war, through a few border posts in Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, and also through Nathu La Pass linking Tibet with Aurnachal Pradesh, have been made. The movement of India and China in a positive direction toward expanding their relationship, despite the unsettled boundary dispute, is an example of their matured diplomacy. India has also embarked upon a look-east policy towards ASEAN to gain access to their markets, and also to counter the growth of Chinese political and military influence in this region. During the cold war, under the influence of Nehruvian idealism, India had ignored these states as dictatorial regimes dependent on American security assistance, and rejected the offer of membership in ASEAN made in the 1960s. Presently, although India is not a formal member of the organization, it has become a full dialogue partner. Such policy moves present India as a country with growing understanding for the finer points, a practical and realistic approach to foreign relations, as well as a nation with a capacity for handling partnerships.
9/11 and South Asia Policies of Bush Administration
President Bush, during his first term, continued the policies of displeasure and distance initiated by the Clinton Administration towards Pakistan by demoting it from the category of an ally to that of a rogue state because of its military dictatorship, support of the Taliban in Afghanistan, involvement in cross-border terrorism, acquiring nuclear and ballistic missiles from China and North Korea, and its suspected role in supplying these to other countries. But 9/11 and the U.S. war against terrorism and Al Qaeda forced the United States to reexamine its policies toward Pakistan because of Pakistan's geographical proximity to Afghanistan, and the extensive links which it had developed with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan, keeping in view the U.S. annoyance with its activities, to avoid any adverse action decided to extend its support to the U.S. war on terrorism in response to the U.S. declaration “either you are with us or against us in the war against terrorism.” India, which had already indicated its desire to go with the United States by supporting the U.S. resolution of going for a missile defense system plan even before its closest strategic allies backed it, by not opposing the U.S. abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty despite worldwide opposition, endorsing the U.S. position on climate change, and offering unconditional support and military bases for the U.S. war in Afghanistan after 9/11, was not found suitable—and Pakistan, on account of its geographical closeness with Afghanistan, became a valuable ally in this war.
This saw a new phase of a closer Pakistan-U.S. relationship, and a low time for India-U.S. relations. India was irritated that despite being a democracy and adopting pro- United States policies, the full United States’ attention to, and support of, its war against cross-border terrorism was being denied to it. This also witnessed a new wave of tensions between India and Pakistan, and a surge of terrorist activities in India. War clouds hovered over South Asia, with both India and Pakistan accusing one another and massing their armies on the border. In view of the nuclear capability of both the countries, the United States put pressure on both to diffuse the tensions and start a dialogue to resolve their disputes. India felt humiliated and disillusioned by the U.S. stand, and relations with the United States did not move further. India was worried, and dejected with the United States, because it was neither doing anything to discipline Pakistan, nor supporting India's candidacy for the permanent seat on the UN Security Council; rather, it gave Pakistan the status of the Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA). India also became apprehensive about the U.S. decision to deliver F-16s to Pakistan, which can carry nuclear weapons. India also did not appreciate the soft policies of the United States toward Pakistan, overlooking Pakistan’s role in cross-border terrorism, nuclear proliferation, pressure tactics for negotiations, and meddling in the region. There were differences between India and the United States in the nuclear proliferation issue, transfer of high technology, U.S. policy towards Kashmir, and terrorism. Despite the convergence of interests of India and the United States, the geopolitical needs of the United States obstructed the kind of closeness which should be natural among the democracies.
Balancing Act and Expanding Partnership
An analysis of U.S. policy makes it very clear that the United States’ policy towards South Asia and particularly India and Pakistan has never been consistent because of its ever changing interests. Therefore, whenever Pakistan was required for the furtherance of its national interests, U.S. policy was found tilting in Pakistan's favor, on some occasions it adopted the neutral stance, and a few times a policy of tilting both ways. Presently the United States wants to court both India and Pakistan simultaneously due to different reasons; therefore, it’s following the policy of tilting both ways. Due to this, for the first time the United States’ policies are not making the other party nervous because if F-16s are being provided to Pakistan, and the United States has also offered to sell F-18s to India and is seeking close relations with India also.
The U.S. policy of wooing both India and Pakistan also satisfies U.S. business and economic interests. In fact, working together with India and Pakistan and changing the perception of its pro-Pakistan prejudice has been the Bush Administration's top priorities, and to some extent the United States has been successful in working toward this goal by tilting both ways, and by prodding India and Pakistan to normalize relations. In accordance to this policy, while Pakistan is being patronized as a most important ally in its war against terrorism, the United States has also expressed its desire to help India emerge as a major global power in the 21st century so that the United States and India could act together as partners for global peace and security through the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP). India also seems to have accepted the reality that U.S. interests would not allow it either to adopt tough policy measures or to isolate Pakistan; therefore, it would be pointless to complain about its pro-Pakistan bias rather than playing a global role, earning respect as a responsible country, and sustaining the economic growth. As such, it would be in India’s interest to have normal and peaceful relations with Pakistan. The Indian Prime Minister, Man Mohan Singh, has many times repeated that India and Pakistan should move forward from their history, and do something new to improve their relationship. The recent offer of a treaty of peace and friendship with Pakistan by the Indian Prime Minister is not only timely and in accordance with these changing times and reflects positivism, but also indicates that it’s high time to get rid of the politics of hate and rhetoric. This suits the United States’ interests as well, as normal relations and peace between India and Pakistan would let the United States concentrate on more pressing needs, advance its interests in Asia, and play a balancing role. The present convergence of interests between India and the United States, India's growing power stature, and the United States’ desire for India to play a partnership role, also requires India to behave in a rational manner, and while looking after its security interests, to move beyond the Pakistan-fixation of its foreign policy.
KOCHI, JUNE 26: Courts and judges played a significant role in the history of the Emergency. Two judges -- Justice V R Krishna Iyer and Justice Jag Mohan Lal Sinha -- were crucial to the imposition of the Emergency. Justice Sinha's (Allahabad High Court) verdict on June 12, 1975, declared Indira Gandhi's election to the Lok Sabha as void. Justice Iyer, then a vacation judge in the Supreme Court, decided on Indira's appeal.
In view of India's growing place within the United States’ calculations and changing perceptions, the recent civil nuclear agreement with India is being seen as a step in right direction. The nuclear agreement is important due to the fact that the goal of the U.S. foreign policy—developing global partnerships to meet the challenges of globalization, radical Islam, and terrorism—cannot be achieved without the support and cooperation of some strong countries. Therefore, it wants other countries to also become strong. India is viewed as one such country with which the United States could develop a global partnership. To successfully carry forth this objective, Richard Hass has suggested a doctrine of integration for U.S. foreign policy with three dimensional goals: to create a cooperative relationship among the world's major powers, built on a common commitment to promote certain principles and outcomes; and developing effective arrangements and actions and to bring in other countries, organizations, and peoples to enjoy the benefits of physical security, economic opportunity, and political freedom. In Haas' opinion the integrated world, of many governments and organizations and societies, would be helpful in meeting the challenges of the modern era. In view of this theory, it could be said that the United States is keen to see India's integration and consolidation with the global order, so that it could extend its help in countering the challenges of terrorism, proliferation of nuclear weapons, and promotion of democracy. As no two countries other than India and the United States are threatened by terrorism, religious extremism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the rise of China; therefore the integration of India as a friendly nuclear weapons state into the evolving global non-proliferation regime is being considered as a most appropriate move by the United States’ foreign policy in the new era.
Closer relations with India would also permit the United States to ask India to share some of its burdens in Asia, and to work for maintaining a balance of power in this region. As Henry Kissinger, while appreciating and supporting the nuclear deal with India, has also pointed out, in a period of terrorism and a potential clash of civilizations, both India and the United States have parallel objectives in defeating radical Islam. He feels that the spread of the restlessness of radical Islam is dangerous for India as well, which is home to over 150 million Muslims, and that the United States is fighting some of India's battles. He has also accepted that the United States’ relationship with Pakistan is a special case, but that the United States needs to balance the role of Pakistan in the war against terrorism in view of the emerging partnership with India. However, the current moves of the United States policy towards India and Pakistan clearly show that United States is neither pro-Pakistan nor pro-India, but it has always been pro-America and it only works for the furtherance of its national interests.
Hence, the question of fighting India's battle does not arise at all, as India has been fighting the war against cross border terrorism for a long time, but the United States, following the policy of ‘my terrorist’ and ‘your terrorist,’ never felt the necessity of doing something about India's war against terrorism that’s being aided and abetted by Pakistan. 9/11 was a humbling experience, and allowed the United States to understand that terrorism does not belong to a country or region, but that it is the enemy of the mankind, and therefore needs to be dealt with through a global partnership and approach. Yet, despite this realization, whatever is being done by the United States in the name of the war against terrorism is totally in accordance to its national interests, and to advance its own global agenda, it wants to develop a global partnership by involving other countries.
In South Asia presently, U.S. interests demand friendly relations with both India and Pakistan, therefore the United States aspires to court both India and Pakistan so that both can be used according to its interests. Under such compulsions, while trying to advance its agenda the United States would naturally like to ignore the interests of the other countries. This could be understood from the United States’ pressures on India and Pakistan to withdraw from the Iran-India-Pakistan Gas pipeline project just because of its apprehension that it would encourage Iran to pursue its nefarious designs, despite knowing that this deal is essential for India to maintain its economic growth and to satisfy its energy needs and for Pakistan to make money to ease some of its economic problems as well as to try peace with India. In view of this, it would be worthwhile to mention that the current goodwill towards India is not out of any sudden love for India, but the result of the perception of the "neocons" of the Bush administration that see alliance with India as a key to maintaining balance in this region, and also for checking the undesirable moves of Iran and China in the long run.
Although the United States has denied that a closer relationship with India is directed toward any country or region, and India also does not favor participation in any such triangular or bilateral alliances, a large number of scholars believes that the United States is moving towards India because it has China in mind, and that India also has the similar interests. The intolerance of any emerging power bloc capable of challenging the United States’ interests and power in any region of the world has also encouraged the United States to develop good relations with India. The United States has still not abandoned its policy of searching for such allies which could be helpful in promoting its interests. In view of India's economic growth and military capability, the United States has started to see India as a global partner in dealing with future threats emanating primarily from China, terrorism, and the Axis-of-Evil countries.
Convergence of Interests and Changing Perceptions
Presently the similarity of threat-perception—of terrorism, religious fundamentalism, weapons of mass destruction, and the desire to develop close cooperation with India to confront challenges to peace and security—has allowed India and the United States, the two democracies, to keep their differences aside and walk together toward a better relationship. The Bush administration’s policies of favoring democracies—acknowledging India as a rising power, a responsible state with advanced nuclear technology—has provided a new outlook for the India-U.S. relationship in this new era.
Sharing common interests such as tackling terrorism, promoting peace and security, and supporting democracy and its value system, gives the two nations common ground to become close allies in the post-9/11 era. This marks a stark change in the United States’ perception of India's capabilities; therefore, the United States wants to make India not a regional ally, but a global partner, so that India may also be involved in advancing the United States’ global agenda. It is interesting to note that India has always been a democracy, but India's democracy never became a bond for a strong relationship between the United States and India; rather, the United States preferred military dictatorships, but presently due to the change in its priorities, the United States has found in India a natural ally. It also shows that for the United States, there are no permanent allies and enemies, as only national interests matter. Therefore, India is being preferred and courted just as China was in the 1970s due to the geopolitical and balance-of-power needs of the United States. India's democratic traditions, political institutions, economic resurgence, and its huge business and market potential, have all impressed the United States and its perception of India has now largely become favorable.
In view of this, it is not difficult to understand that the present phase of close relations with India is not driven by goodwill, but purely business and politico-security interests that have facilitated the process of coming closer. For India, too, its relationship with the United States is important due to its changing economic, scientific, military, diplomatic, and to some extent political, needs. The United States also wishes to gain access to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf, which is possible only with the collaboration and cooperation of India. America, therefore, feels that it is in its interests to convert India into a powerful regional force, which has also been a long cherished dream of India, and suits her very much. With this convergence of interests, both the United States and India have tended to become supportive of each other. Moreover, the attitude of the Indian people towards America is also becoming favorable and friendlier. Indeed, the statesmen and politicians have stopped referring to the famous ‘foreign hand’ as the source of India’s woes in the domestic and external arena.
In fact, after a long period of anti-Americanism in India, a gradual change in public opinion towards America is also being witnessed. This fact was highlighted in a recent opinion poll by Outlook magazine in its March 6, 2006 issue. Among the lower-middle class and higher economic strata in nine cities of India, the survey found that:
66 percent of respondents believe that President George W. Bush was a friend of India.
50 percent believe that America is closer to Pakistan than to India.
49 percent believe that the United States has not extended enough help to India in fighting terrorism.
55 percent believe that India can trust the United States for support in times of need.
72 percent believe that the United States is a global bully.
59 percent believe India has compromised on its foreign policy by getting too close to America.
However, 46 percent opined that they love the United States.
74 percent believe India should develop close ties with the United States on trade and business issues.
51 percent approve of India's two pro- United States votes against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency because they believed that it was necessary for improving relations with the United States.
But 64 percent want India to ignore America's objection and pursue the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline for fulfilling India's energy needs.
A survey by the United States-based Pew Research Centre in June 2005 also confirmed that India's middle-class strongly favors the United States as 71 percent in this all-urban India sample had a favorable opinion of America. It was the highest proportion among the 16 countries surveyed, as only 41 to 45 percent of respondents in most Western European countries held such a favorable opinion. In China, only 42 percent view America favorably, and in Pakistan this drops to 23 percent. This reflects a massive change in the perception of the Indian public towards the United States. The credit for taking positive initiatives, and providing the momentum to start the process of close relations with the United States, goes to the BJP-led coalition government (NDA) by Atal Bihari Bajpayee, who despite the various differences believes that being natural allies, a close relationship between India and the United States is imperative. He also saw close ties with the United States as a means to end India’s long economic, military, diplomatic, and scientific isolation.
This has historically been one of the factors resulting in India's problematic relations with the United States. In fact, India has most of the time been subjected to the United States’ sanctions and consequent denial of high technology because of its nuclear program, and its decision to remain out of the NPT. As India has developed most of its nuclear program indigenously, therefore, India has always opposed the IAEA guidelines on nuclear safeguard, control, and inspection systems in its nuclear plants. Being a non-signatory to the NPT, India lacked access to the IAE trade, and found it difficult to get the supplies needed for running its nuclear plants which have always been very crucial for India's energy needs.
Under the new civil nuclear agreement, India has agreed to separate its civilian and military programs and to put two-thirds of its existing reactors, and 65 percent of its generating power, under permanent safeguards with international verification, and in return the United States will supply nuclear fuel and technology to India. This is very vital for India, because one of the biggest constraints of the continuing success of its fast-growing economy is electricity shortages. Nuclear energy, which at present accounts for only about 3 percent of India’s total electricity generation, is an attractive alternative to coal and expensive imported oil and gas. India has therefore perceived the agreement as a means of fulfilling its energy needs, and the United States, on the other, hand has been viewing it as a tool to bring India under the obligations of the nuclear regimes. In view of India's energy-related problems, this agreement appears to have transformed their relationship; on the one hand, it would end India's isolation, help it acquire high technology, and reduce its dependence on oil from Persian Gulf; and on the other, it would bring India under the IAEA inspection and control system, and prove economically beneficial for the United States, too.
Interestingly, the United States now acknowledges India as a responsible state with advanced nuclear know-how, but it has very diplomatically avoided accepting India as the sixth nuclear weapon state. This also makes the nuclear deal noteworthy. America has agreed to help India acquire the same benefits and advantages as other states with nuclear weapons: India is to be granted full civil nuclear energy co-operation, such as fuel supplies and the transfer of technology.
The argument which is being made in support of this deal by the Bush administration is also quite fascinating. The U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a recent article, has given several for this agreement. She has stressed that India has a record of thirty years of responsible behavior on proliferation matters, and the agreement would make the world, and the future of India and the United States, safe. She has argued that India is a unique country, and therefore this agreement is also unique, as India is a democracy, with its government acting with transparency and accountability. She has stressed that other countries like North Korea and Iran who may also seek to develop their programs on the basis of this agreement do not fall in this category, because Iran is a state that promotes terrorism, and North Korea is the least transparent state, threatens its neighbors, and proliferates weapons. She has also argued that by satisfying India's energy needs, it would end its dependence on fossil fuels and ease the environmental impact of India's vibrant economic growth; and, on the other hand, it would also help the U.S. economy and enhance the employment and job prospects of the American people.
Issues of Concern
There is no denying that this agreement has opened new vistas of cooperation between India and the United States, but it cannot be denied that despite the hoopla, the pin-pricks and pressure politics are still present. The U.S. objections regarding the supply of nuclear fuel by Russia to India's Tarapur nuclear reactor is a cause of concern. The United States feels that any action should be taken only after India fulfills its obligations under the historic Indo-U.S. nuclear deal, which India has not done. India, on the other hand, has made it clear that nuclear fuel was required urgently to prevent shutting down the Tarapur plant, and that it did not violate any NSG guidelines or international law. India has also clarified that it had requested the United States to supply nuclear fuel, but as this is not possible under U.S. law, it requested this of Russia, which agreed—and that this issue was separate from the Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear deal. In view of this, it seems that in order to pursue its civil nuclear-related interests, India would have to accommodate the United States’ pressures, and without the United States’ consent, it would be difficult for India to get such supplies from other nuclear powers.
Many critics of this agreement, both in the United States and India, have expressed their apprehensions about it. They feel that India may not have signed the NPT, but that the United States—by signing the NPT—had also promised not to help other countries, and only those countries who have signed it could benefit from trade in civilian nuclear technology, and that allowing nuclear trade with India is bound to break this rule. It is also felt in some quarters in America that this agreement is more favorable to India and its military program than to the United States, as this deal allows India enough fissile material for producing nuclear weapons. They feel that this would be against America's worldwide nuclear non-proliferation agenda. In some segments of India as well, there is a feeling that the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government, in its enthusiasm to develop good relations and a nuclear deal with the United States, has compromised India's interests. Although India has been able to keep its military option open, it will now be under the constant pressures and vigilance of the international agencies, and in view of the past record of the United States with regard to such supplies, India would have to work with utmost caution.
The practical problem with this nuclear deal, which is being viewed as a win- win situation for both parties, is that without the approval of the U.S. Congress, it would be impossible for the United States to fulfill its obligations. But for the Bush administration to get the approval of Congress is a difficult task. Apprehensions have already started to find their expression among members of the Congress, many of whom think that this deal is more in India’s interest as India would be able to develop its military program without any problems, as India's prototype fast breeder reactors, which can produce significant amounts of weapons-grade plutonium, have been kept out of this agreement. There are also apprehensions that the deal would also encourage other countries to develop their nuclear programs, and this would harm the United States’ vital interest of preventing nuclear proliferation, lead to the spread of weapons-grade nuclear material, and also unleash a regional arms race in which China and Russia could be expected to do the same for Pakistan and Iran as the United States does for India. In such an atmosphere, it would be difficult for the United States to get support for sanctions against the countries known as nuclear rebels, such as Iran and North Korea. Another apprehension is that the United States’ failure at the recent NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) consultative group's meeting at Vienna to get the issue of allowing India to buy the nuclear technology from the world market included on its agenda for the Rio de Janeiro plenary session to be held in May, would make it difficult for the United States to convince the forty-five nation NSG, and particularly China and Japan, to change their policies to exempt India from nuclear export controls. This failure could also make the attitudes in Congress both hard and difficult.
India and the United States also had extensive dialogues on the nuclear issue during the period of the NDA government in India because the United States aspired to stop, cap, and roll back India's nuclear program. But when this did not happen, relations became strained. But President Bush, in accordance with his policy of developing close relations with India, preferred to avoid pressurizing India for this, and to instead adopt other methods to bring India under the nuclear regimes. The nuclear agreement initiated during Indian Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh’s visit to the United States in July 2005, and finalized during President Bush’s visit to India in March 2006, is exceptional as it is with a country which has not signed the NPT, and U.S. law prohibits entering into agreements with countries that have not signed the NPT, and that refuse to follow the guidelines of the IAEA.
U.S. objections to India's search for alternative energies are also noteworthy, as the United States wants to restrict India's attempts to develop the India-Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline. The United States believes that the nuclear deal will end India's dependence on the oil from Persian Gulf; however, despite being the pioneer in a field of nuclear energy, the United States is equally interested in maintaining a continued and unhindered flow of oil from the Persian Gulf for satisfying its own needs, which means the United States is free to look after its interests, but that India's hands would be tied. In view of this, it can be said that though the integration of India in the field of nuclear energy is a welcome move, that India needs to tread cautiously to protect its interests.
There are other issues of concern, such as the United States’ relationship with Pakistan, its policy of not supporting India’s candidacy for permanent membership on the UN Security Council, its policies toward Iraq and Iran, as well as pressures on India for supporting the United States’ moves against Iran, and the like, which have the potential to cause the two countries to drift in different directions. Indeed, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s request for $6.2 billion, in her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on State Department's foreign operations budget, to strengthen America’s GWOT coalition partners such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Kenya, and Jordan, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorism, is worrisome for India—especially as the highest amount proposed in this grant, $739 million, has been allocated for Pakistan, far greater than the $560 million requested for Colombia, the $154 million for Indonesia, the $457 million for Jordan, and the $335 million for Kenya. Keeping in view the past experience of such U.S. aid, and Pakistan's tendency of supporting cross-border terrorism, India's apprehensions are natural, and that despite the positive moves, the United States’ policy of patronizing Pakistan is intact, giving Pakistan the latitude to continue its policy of creating problems for India—and this has the potential to damage the relationship between India and the United States.
Although there are issues of concern that could, at any time, once again reverse the tide of the warming U.S.-India relationship, and make the whole exercise of the nuclear agreement, and forging closer relations, useless; hopes for a good relationship always underlie initiatives. The spirit of the move is undoubtedly noble, but its implementation is full of hurdles, and largely depends upon the United States. In view of the apprehensions being expressed by members of the Congress, and the rigid attitude of some members toward India, it is widely felt that securing the approval of the nuclear agreement will be difficult for the Bush administration.
In consideration of this prevailing atmosphere, and its complexities, the Bush administration has made it clear that if this treaty fails to get approval by Congress, it will be impossible to renegotiate it. In fact, the argument that this agreement is liable for killing the spirit of the NPT, is not valid—as North Korea, Pakistan, and China had been in the proliferation racket long before this deal was signed, and with full knowledge of the Nuclear 5. It was not India that encouraged the nuclear renegades, like Iran, to pursue their nuclear weapons programs despite signing the NPT. On the contrary, India has always supported the non-proliferation agenda, observed self-imposed restraints, and never indulged in its trade. India's vote with the United States against Iran’s non-compliance of the NPT, despite domestic opposition, can be taken as an example of this. If this deal legalizes, and helps to sustain, democratic India's nuclear program, this would not only be good for India's development and economic growth, but would also be in the interest of world peace and security.
Actually, with a biased set of policymakers and advisers mostly being governed by the closed mind set of the cold war in both India and the United States, no one believed that such a nuclear deal would happen one day, and that the two democracies could agree to work together. Such groups are shocked by this unprecedented, unimagined development, and the positive movement in the India-U.S. relationship, and therefore express their concerns in a manner markedly different from the present bonhomie. After so many years of an antagonistic relationship, the United States and India have found common ground to work with one another for the promotion of peace and security. As a consequence, these considerations should not be allowed to mar it.
However, in view of the dissimilarities between India and the United States with regard to their global power projections for protecting and enhancing their national interests, India needs to move forward cautiously. But nevertheless, there is no denying the fact that this is a major achievement for the India-U.S. relationship in the post-9/11 era, and certainly speaks for hope, and for a better future of cooperation between India and the United States.
About the Author
Dr. Annpurna Nautiyal is a Professor and head of the Department of Political Science at HNB Garhwal University in Srinagar, Garhwal, Uttaranchal, India. She is currently Fulbright Visiting Professor, at the Department of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University.
Her area of interest is international relations, but she also has a keen interest in the regional and national issues, and in particular the problem of women's empowerment in the hill areas of Uttaranchal. She has published several articles in reputed journals, and recently she has edited a book on Challenges to India’s Foreign Policy in the New Era (Gyan Publications, New Delhi 2006).
For more insights into contemporary international security issues, see our Strategic Insights home page.
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1. Zakaria Fareed, "Nixon to China, Bush to India; Thirty years of lectures on nonproliferation and sanctions have done nothing to stop, slow down or make India's nuclear program safer," Newsweek, February 27, 2006, 45.
2. Jim Vandehei and John Lancaster, “Bush offers Praise to Pakistani Leader,” The Washington Post, March 5, 2006, A1; also see Editorial Board, “A Message for Gen. Musharraf,” The Washington Post, March 2, 2006, A20.
3. Jeffrey E. Key, "Beyond Tilting Both Ways: A New Post Cold War South Asia Policy," Asian Affairs 25, No.2, Summer 1998, 116.
4. Ashley J. Tellis, "The U.S. India Global Partnership How Significant for American Interests: Testimony before the House Committee of International Relations," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, November 16, 2006.
5. "P.M. Offers peace and Security Pact to Pak," Hindustan Times, March 24, 2006.
6. Richard N Haass, "The Case for Integration," The National Interest, March 11, 2006.
7. Henry A. Kissinger, "Working with India," The Washington Post, March 20, 2006, A15.
8. Bidwai Praful, "A Global Bully as a Friend," Rediff.com, March 6, 2006.
9. Condoleezza Rice, "Our Opportunity with India," The Washington Post, March 13, 2006, A15.
10. "Russian Fuel for Tarapur within NSG Guidelines: India," Hindustan Times, March 15, 2006.
11. "Nuclear Proliferation: Dr Strangedeal," The Economist, March 11, 2006.
12. Glenn Kessler, "Nunn Urges Congress to Set Conditions on U.S.-India Nuclear Pact," The Washington Post, March 19, 2006, A9.
13. "N-Deal Will Set Table for N-Weapons Banquet," Rediff.com, March 27, 2006.
14. "N-Deal Suffers Setback at Suppliers Meet," Rediff.com, March 24, 2006.
15. "U.S. Vows to Develop Strong Ties with India, Democratic Nations," Rediff.com, February 16, 2006.
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The End Of Prosperity
By Stephen Lendman
Dealing with today's crisis requires big international rescue according to economist Nouriel Roubini. Called Dr. Doom for his gloomy views that today command worldwide respect. And whatever's done, America faces "year(s) of economic stagnation." After a deep protracted downturn. If as true as he forecasts, it signals the end of prosperity. A new age of austerity and world economies in extreme disrepair and needing an alternative model in lieu of a clearly failed one. Hugely corrupted as well
A Case Study Of Power And Media:
The Washington Post
By Max Kantar
Last week's unilateral attack on Syria and the subsequent coverage of the events by the mainstream US media give us an impeccable illustration of the prevailing ideologies that dictate how news is received, composed, and understood by respectable journalists and reporters
A Homeless March On Washington
By David Kendall
Nobody needs to leave job or home or family to participate in a "Homeless March on Washington". Communities must simply coordinate their interests, their efforts and their people to get the job done. This in mind, let's begin working together now to bring our leaders in Washington, DC, back to their senses, regardless of who gets elected on November 4. As Americans, we owe nothing less to ourselves, our families and communities, and to our country as a whole
Why I Am Supporting The Candidacy Of
By Lucinda Marshall
I have no doubt that many who read this have their fingers poised above their keyboards ready to ask how dare I risk the chance of a McCain presidency by suggesting a vote for anyone other than Obama. I urge them to read more closely
The Winter Of Our Discontent:
Provincialism And Terrorism
By Mustafa Khan
There is the winter of our discontent that has set in. The stock market is in doldrums, protests and violence in the streets, lynching and encounters in the financial capital of the country, war of words between states of the union, involvement of ex-servicemen and a serving lieutenant colonel in terrorism, the slide of the reputed Bhonsla military school of Nasik and Nagpur into the nadir of terrorism, and the bomb blasts in Assam, etc.
Multi Headed Hydra Monstrosity Of The Sangh Parivar
By Mustafa Khan
The kind of atmosphere built up over the last six months was such that it could have led to upheaval in the society on unprecedented scale. Amar Singh feared that Muslims might rebel against their repression and oppression on account of the innumerable arrests of many innocent members of the community. It is for such an eventuality that the RSS is training its cadres in arms and ammunition. They would take over the reign
30 October, 2008
Three Immediate Crises - Market Failure
And Green New Deal
By Bill Henderson
We face three crises each of which needs mitigation immediately- the economic crisis, the end of cheap energy and climate change threatening runaway global warming
World Tires Of Rule By Dollar
By Paul Craig Roberts
What explains the paradox of the dollar’s sharp rise in value against other currencies (except the Japanese yen) despite disproportionate US exposure to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression? Read on, here is the answer
The 2008 US Recession,Military Keynesianism
And The Wars In The Middle East
By Peter Custers
Nouriel Roubini, the Wall Street economist who has gathered world fame by predicting the current world financial crisis, has already warned that the US economy may end up as a 'war economy', just as happened during the 20th century world wars. Clearly, it is time economists catch up, and engage in debate on the military underpinnings of economic policymaking in the US and beyond
Marxism And The Economic Crises
By Rohini Hensman
It is possible to get out of this recession without allowing it to become a depression if enough people press for decisive action along these lines. Eventually, another crisis will come along, of course: that is the nature of capitalism. But we can deal with that problem when we get to it!
Twelve Reasons To Reject Obama
And Support Nader/McKinney
By James Petras
The intellectuals who, in the name of ‘realism’, support a politician who publicly and openly embraces new wars, billionaire bailouts and for profit, private sector-run health programs are repudiating their own claims as ‘responsible critics’. They are what C. Wright Mills called ‘crackpot realists’, abdicating their responsibility as critical intellectuals. In purporting to support the ‘lesser evil’ they are promoting the ‘greater evil’: The continuation of four more years of deepening recession, colonial wars and popular alienation
Obama The Stalker
By Joel S. Hirschhorn
No presidential candidate has ever used massive amounts of money to so effectively stalk voters. You cannot escape the Obama sales pitch wherever you are, whatever you watch, whatever you read. His campaign will go down in American history as the most successful advertising and marketing effort to sell a product
Israel Bars Visit To Father’s Grave
By Jonathan Cook
Salwa Salam Qupty clutches a fading sepia photograph of a young Palestinian man wearing a traditional white headscarf. It is the sole memento that survives of her father, killed by a Jewish militia during the 1948 war that established Israel.“He was killed 60 years ago as he was travelling to work,” she said, struggling to hold back the tears. “My mother was four months pregnant with me at the time. This photograph is the closest I’ve ever got to him.” Six decades on from his death, she has never been allowed to visit his grave in Galilee and lay a wreath for the father she never met
Execution Of 47 In Kafr Qassem Commemorated
By Jonathan Cook
In a conflict that has produced more than its share of suffering and tragedy, the name of Kafr Qassem lives on in infamy more than half a century after Israeli police gunned down 47 Palestinian civilians, including women and children, in the village
Neoliberalism And Hindutva
By Shankar Gopalakrishnan
Fascism, free markets and the restructuring of Indian capitalism
Repression Escalates: Reporter Pedro Matías
Kidnapped And Tortured In Oaxaca
By Scott Campbell
Pedro Matías, a well-known reporter who writes for Noticias, a local daily paper, as well as the national weekly Proceso, was kidnapped, beaten, tortured and robbed on Saturday night in Oaxaca
29 October, 2008
Just The Tip Won't Do: Expose The Whole Iceberg
By Kavita Krishnan
No longer can the Sangh Parivar and BJP ever disown its role in terrorism. A former firebrand ABVP leader and so-called 'sadhvi', Pragya Singh Thakur, has been arrested for her role in the Malegaon blasts of September 2006 as well as in the more recent Modasa blasts. Even more ominously, two ex-Army officers are implicated in the blasts, and it has come to light that an institution called the 'Bhonsala Military Academy' in Nagpur has been imparting arms training to the Bajrang Dal
Defending The Idea Of India
The two day national convention - Countering Fascist Forces: Defending the Idea of India, 25-26 October 2008- was attended by over 750 activists' and intellectuals from 18 states. Here is the political resolution passed at the convention
The Triumph Of Ignorance
By George Monbiot
How was it allowed to happen? How did politics in the US come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance? Was it charity that has permitted mankind’s closest living relative to spend two terms as president? How did Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other such gibbering numbskulls get to where they are? How could Republican rallies in 2008 be drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting that Barack Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist?
Running On Empty
By John Murphy
Even at this late date I could flood the local radio stations with advertisements for only about six thousand dollars. I could place an ad in the "Community Courier" for two thousand dollars and get into one hundred and ten thousand households. I could get out powerful progressive message and raise the consciousness of tens of thousands of people but this effort is of such little value that only a very few see it worth a contribution over two hundred dollars
Cleaning Up After Bush
By Niranjan Ramakrishnan
The day before 9-11, how many would have accepted a suggestion that seven years later, they would have been illegally spied upon, phones tapped and emails sniffed? That they would be entangled in two foreign wars? That New Orleans would disappear in a baffling act of incompetence and neglect? Or that their government would authorize torture? Or that fabled names in the financial industry would loot and cheat them, under the very eyes and noses of their own government? That insult would be added to injury by their being made to pay for a bailout of the very perpetrators of these same crimes?
A Few Outrageous Lies
By Timothy V. Gatto
I am totally amazed at the way the right continues to attack the left with misinformation that exposes them for what they are, barefaced liars. They aren’t worth the time it takes to counter them, but I have saved up a collection of lies so it may be worth the effort. The really sad part of all of this is that if people don’t call them out on their lies, they will continue to lie
Targeting Dissent: The San Francisco Eight
By Stephen Lendman
Support the San Francisco Eight. Demand their exoneration and release. Their struggle is ours
28 October, 2008
Messy Elections: Can We Trust
By Kevin Zeese
The U.S. can be the greatest democracy on earth, but rright now it is far from it
The Cost Of Slumber
By Dahr Jamail
We must each ask ourselves, during this week before the election, what, precisely, we will be willing to do to bring about the change necessary to end all the illegalities being carried out in our name. For this question shall, of course, persist long after November 4
War Or Peace?: The World After
The 2008 U.S. Presidential Election
By Richard C. Cook
With the presidential election only a week away, the financial crisis has been dominating the news, but behind it is an even larger question of war vs. peace
Confronting Presidential "Meltdowns"
By Robert S. Becker
If our democracy is to be made whole, we must find ways to return quality to government and government to the sovereignty to the people – and that, paradoxically, begins by returning greatness to the White House. Great nations cannot long suffer a train of mediocre leaders who cannot transcend their own parties or mindsets when problems are larger than both
By Mickey Z.
Mickey Z. observes some American priorities
Peak Oil And The Systemic Collapse Of
By Peter Goodchild
Systemic collapse has ten principal parts, each with a somewhat causal relationship to the next. Fuel, metals, and electricity are a tightly-knit group, since no industrial civilization can have one without the others. As those three disappear, food and fresh water become scarce. Matters of infrastructure then follow: transportation and communication. Social structure fails: government, finance, and education. After these ten, there is psychic breakdown: madness and chaos
Sticking It To The Man,’ 21st Century Style…..
By Jason Miller
An interview with Captain Paul Watson, animal defender extraordinaire, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and courageous practitioner of extensional self defense on behalf of marine animals
Girl Thrown To Dogs Was Pregnant
By Rauf Klasra
There is more to the bone-chilling account of the 17-year-old Taslim Solangi of Khairpur who was thrown to dogs — she was 8-month pregnant and was forced to give birth to her baby prematurely. The baby was immediately thrown into the nearby Ubhal Wah canal after her killer father-in-law passed a judgement that the child was illegitimate and did not deserve to be allowed to live
US Military Forces Attack
Syrian Village, Killing Eight
By Patrick O’Connor
A ground assault conducted Sunday by the US military on a Syrian village saw eight people shot dead, four of them reportedly children, and others wounded. The raid has all the earmarks of a calculated provocation by the outgoing administration of US President George Bush aimed at derailing moves by the European powers to normalise relations with the Syrian government
27 October, 2008
Stolen Elections And Media Blackouts
By Carolyn Baker
Carolyn Baker interviews Mark Crispin Miller. Mark Crispin Miller's 2005 book Fooled Again, impeccably documents the stealing of the 2004 election, and Loser Take All, a 2008 collection of essays on stolen elections incorporates the research of other investigators of election fraud such as Robert Kennedy, Jr; Bob Fitrakis, and Steve Rosenfeld
Warnings Of Deep Recession
As US Layoffs Spread
By Patrick O’Connor
Dozens of mass layoffs have been announced by American employers, both private and public, in recent days. The impact of the downturn has begun to spread well beyond the imploding financial sector and such depressed industries as automobiles, to the economy as a whole
By Ghali Hassan
The U.S. and its Western allies are sinking in deep recession. The bailout is a bogus solution and doomed to fail. However, there is an alternative based on the promotion of human community. Investment in productive activities to create jobs, build housing, schools, healthcare services and vital public infrastructure will lead to lasting economic recovery in a regulated financial system characterised by openness, transparency and accountability, free of greed and corruption. If elected President of the United States, Barack Obama should position himself to the left of President Hugo Chávez
Public Enemy Number One
By Stephen Lendman
With so many good choices, it's hard just picking one. But given the gravity of today's financial crisis, one name stands out above others - Alan Greenspan
Nicolas Sarkozy And Sovereign Wealth Funds
By Kavaljit Singh
Not long ago, the EU gave a call for “Global Europe” with much fanfare and avowed commitment to open economy. Why double standards?
26 October, 2008
Rep. Sherman Feels Heat For Reporting On
Threat Of Martial Law
By David Swanson
Congressman Brad Sherman said on the floor of the House that a few Congress members had been told there would be martial law in America if they did not pass Paulson's Plunder. Sherman has not retracted that statement. He has not suggested that the Congress members who had told him that didn't really tell him that, or weren't honest, or didn't take it seriously, or that it didn't influence their votes. But he has put out a statement to the media, clearly at the instruction of the leaders of his party, attempting to backpedal
Voter Surveys And Racial Bias
By Thomas Riggins
If this election, as have the last two, is stolen from the American people, you can be sure the media and the powers that be will be explaining that the illusion of an Obama victory was due to faulty polls and the "Bradley effect."
The Obaminations Of Barack
By Niranjan Ramakrishnan
No presidential contender I have seen, other than Bill Clinton, has run a better campaign than Barack Obama. If nothing else, one must hand it to him for the magnificent improbability of the effort – a guy whose last name sounds like 'Osama' and whose middle name is the same as Saddam's – running for president in America, where the average Joe (including the plumber, likely) doesn't know Madrasi from Madrassa – now poised, and in the view of many, on the verge of victory!
Iraq In The Times Of Cholera… And Occupation
By Sabah Ali
With all the tragedies that the occupation brought to Iraq, the last thing it needs now is an epidemic, the cholera which is spreading in big numbers
Can Georgia Do Right?
By David Morse
Is the legal system of the state of Georgia up to the task – when the task is to rectify the flawed trial of a black man accused of killing a white police officer? The world is waiting to see if justice can prevail. Fortunately, on Friday, October 24, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Georgia’s 11th Circuit issued a stay of execution that narrowly prevented accused cop killer Troy Davis from being put to death by lethal injection the following Monday
Tracking Your Every Move: ‘Enhancing’
Driver’s Licenses At The Cost Of Privacy
By Christopher Parsons
The potential for ubiquitous surveillance that emerges with Enhanced Drivers Licenses (EDLs) could only be imagined by the Stasi in Communist East Germany, but is a genuinely looming specter for contemporary North American democracies. Provincial and state governments in North America are proposing to 'enhance' driver’s licenses in coming years by including a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips in them
Venezuela: Between Assassination Plots
By Federico Fuentes
Talk of assassination plots and rising concerns about a high abstention rate have marked the beginning of the November 23 regional elections race
Peace, Non-Violence And Secularism
In Dalit Perspective
By Ratnesh Katulkar
Ignorance and negligence of Dalit ideology by the mainstream secularists and the upper-class Muslims are harming Muslims to fall prey before Hindu fascist and it is dangerous in building the real foundation of secularism in India
24 October, 2008
Chomsky, Zinn, And Obama
By Mickey Z.
Another Election Day approaches and veterans like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn endorse Obama for President. But Mickey Z. argues, " a vote for either John McCain or Barack Obama is—at best—an act of criminal negligence."
The Opium Of The Masses
By Max Kantar
This November, Americans face a choice. But the choice not between John McCain or Barak Obama; it is between submitting to the will of the corporate-military establishment or taking a moral stand in boycotting their rigged institutions of fake democracy
Taking Politics Seriously:Looking Beyond
The Election And Beyond Elections
By Robert Jensen & Pat Youngblood
We have nothing against voting. We plan to vote in the upcoming election. Some of our best friends are voters. But we also believe that we shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that the most important political moment in our lives comes in the voting booth. Instead, people should take politics seriously, which means asking considerably more of ourselves than the typical fixation with electoral politics
Is America Fascist?
By Sherwood Ross
Americans need to keep in mind that worse than anything President Bush has inflicted upon his own citizenry is what his wars of aggression have inflicted on innocent humanity abroad. A million dead Iraqis can't give a damn by what terminology you describe the United States. If the American people allow their government to make criminal wars to deprive innocent foreigners of their lives and liberties they do not deserve to enjoy either at home
By Michael Schwartz
What the good news from Iraq really means
World Food Day: Global Crises’ Double Standards
By Ramzy Baroud
Whether the American, European or any other government infused bailout packages rectify the financial crisis or not, chances are that 16 October 2009 will bring similarly devastating news about the plight of the world's poor and which is likely to remain that: mere "news" that requires little action, if any at all
Pardon Me, Congress?
By David Swanson
Jerry Seib, executive Washington editor of The Wall Street Journal said on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR last week that he expects Bush, Cheney, and their subordinates to be prosecuted for torture. This expectation is spreading
Seyed Mousavi: Guilty Of Being Muslim
In Police State America
By Stephen Lendman
In a climate of fear, Muslims risk harassment, prosecution and incarceration. Especially prominent ones like Mousavi. His defense will appeal and seek exoneration at the appellate court level. For now, he's incarcerated and subjected to dehumanizing treatment. For being Muslim in America at the wrong time. Only his inner strength sustains him. And the love and admiration of his family, friends and supporters. In today's disturbing climate, we're all Seyed Mousavis
Isn't This Hitler’s Tactic?
By Subhash Gatade
Terror and counter-terror have virtually laid a trap for Muslims, whereas some of the evidence points to the involvement of the Muslim-bashing Bajrang Dal and other RSS siblings. When it comes to this kind of evidence the law turns lame, writes Subhash Gatade
The Struggle Of Dalitbahujan For Their Identity
And In Quest Of Their Spiritual And Political Destiny
By Dr. Kancha Ilaiah
Speech delivered on the occasion of presentation of 'LISA Book Award – 2008 for 'Why I am Not a Hindu'
23 October, 2008
Pakistan Facing Bankruptcy As
World Financial Crisis Deepens
By Vilani Peiris
Wracked by political instability and hard hit by the global economic crisis, Pakistan is teetering on the brink of default. The country’s foreign reserves have dwindled to around $4.5 billion, equivalent to about six weeks of imports, foreign investors have fled the country in droves and the rupee has fallen sharply. The international credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, has downgraded Pakistan to a position superior only to the Seychelles, which has already defaulted
Will You Publish This Story?
By Nida Mariam
Lubna, a young woman from Baghdad, mother of four, stranded in Cairo, narrates her ordeals to Nida Mariam
The Challenger Disaster,Financial Collapse
And Viable Solutions
By Gary Corseri
An interview with Richard C.Cook
Why Accept The Endorsement Of A Liar?
Because He Has No Choice
By Maher Osseiran
Obama is not his own man, he is a persona, the creation of Zbigniew Brzezinski who sold him to the “old guard”, an amalgam of senior Republicans and Democrats - the ruling elite – the self appointed saviors of our nation from the clutches of the neo-conic evil. These guys are out in droves in support of Obama and they are all on message; Obama is what we need to rehabilitate our world image; a Hail Mary of sorts to recapture what George W. Bush squandered. Obama has no choice, he has to win and he has to accept the endorsement of whoever can get him there
It's Our Turn Now: Resistance
As If It Really Mattered
By Mike Ferner
It is not pleasant to conclude that, contrary to what you’ve learned all your life, the place you call home has become just another empire intent on enforcing its will on humanity. Our discomfort is trivial compared to the suffering of those living where our missiles land, but still there are days when the latest news from the colonies leaves you screaming with anguish and rage against the terror rained upon the innocent without end
Imagine: Media As A Sanctuary For Dissent
By Eileen Fleming
If the media were a sanctuary for dissent the candidates would have been grilled on America's record regarding the NPT; and why the silence about Israel's still un-inspected underground WMD facility and refusal to sign onto the NPT in light of the fact that we the people of America who pay taxes provide Israel with $7 million per day
Mammon, The God Of Excess
By Gaither Stewart
The last of Gaither Stewart's Definitions series
Heartland Of Darkness
By Adam Engel
A Review Of Jeffrey St. Clair's "Born Under A Bad Sky"
Revivalism Of Religious Rights Is A Challenge
To Democratic Secular Constitution
By Vidya Bhushan Rawat
The dirt in the name of secularism need to be cleaned first. Those who take shelter in the name of secularism need to believe in its perception and practice otherwise India is heading for a Afghanistan kind of a situation where we all will be speaking for our respective communities and not for those whose rights are violated and dignity challenged. It is a grave challenge and we must think it over
Whither India: Qualitative Change In Polity
By Ram Puniyani
Whether India will nurture the values of freedom movement and strive for human rights of all depends on us, as in no time in the past the very concept of democracy has been stifled as much as we are witnessing today
The Failing Idea Of India
By Shah Faisal
As old as the land itself, is perhaps that something called the "idea" of India. We may debate it, but it can not be refuted that this idea is as organic and alive now as the history had once sculptured it. But at the same time, it is no longer as inviting and impressive as it used to be once. The problem is not that the change is drastic but the problem is that the change is adverse. It seems as if heroes and villains of this land have swapped their places. Buddha personified this idea once but now bandits and barbarians have adjusted it to their own frame
22 October, 2008
The Theft Component
By Jeff Berg
The Republicans have gone to extraordinary lengths to steal the last two elections. It is truly breathtaking just how badly compromised America's election process has become. What has been perhaps even more astounding has been the American and Canadian media's lack of willingness to engage this story. Is this election beyond the reach of theft? One would like to think so. It is after all in the interest of the entire world that America begin to recover its democracy, and the integrity of the vote is as good a place as any to start. But.....
The Law Of Terror
By Harsh Dobhal
In the aftermath of the recent blasts in Delhi and other places there has been a concerted demand for a law that will help the state combat terror. Harsh Dobhal questions the logic of this anti-terror doctrine, the validity of its central tenets and the efficacy of its use
The Real Travesty
By Harsh Mander
Calling for a judicial enquiry into the Batla House encounter is a not a travesty. Denying the need for one is…
Stark Truths Of Hinduism
By Udit Raj
The Hindu Right fears not conversions but equitable society
The Children Of Gaza: Weaned On Fear And Trauma
By Samah A. Habeeb
Severe terror and traumas are de facto storms for children in the occupied territories, especially those who exist in the Gaza Strip. The ongoing Israeli military operations and violent retaliation induce psychological maladies and wretched conditions. The recent ceasefire in Gaza allows a temporary rest but not the cure for their fears and nightmares
This Time Is Different
By Stephen Lendman
America's economy is eroding. Government and Wall Street are orchestrating it. Maybe even willfully, and here's the legacy they're leaving. The nation "passing from democracy to oligarchy (and steering it is) a bipartisan financial kleptocracy" chuckling all the way to their offshore tax havens
The 21st Century American Revolution
By Timothy V. Gatto
If there is one thing I hate, it’s being patronized by educators that believe they have the final word because they work with “political theory” everyday. This time it’s Noam Chomsky that is doing it. Mr. Chomsky explains that we will be better ultimately (meaning the common man) under a Democratic administration. He suggests we vote for the lesser of two evils by insinuating that to vote for a lesser evil is still a vote against evil
More Reasons Not To Vote For Obama
By David Truskoff
I was shocked by the Obama statement that he would welcome Warren Buffet, the wizard of Wall Street, to be his Secretary of the Treasury. Now Obama has gone even further in welcoming Colin Powell into his administration if he is elected. It tells us who is pulling his strings. Powell didn't give Obama his endorsement without getting a promise of something in return
By Kevin Zeese
Wall Street Since the Bailout Shows No Signs of Changing and Washington is Not Forcing a Change. Not Even a Thank You or an Apology to the Taxpayers
‘No-Threat Feel’ In Handling Incidents Of Conflict
By M Shamsur Rabb Khan
How dangerous a speech Bal Thackeray, or his nephew Raj Thackeray, or Parveen Togadia makes, media as well as government takes it as ‘not-so-threatening’ to the unity and integrity of the nation, while the arrest of terror suspects (or even innocent) creates enough upheaval, as if the whole country will be defeated by a few mindless men
20 October, 2008
US Elections:It's Already Stolen
By Greg Palast
Don’t worry about Mickey Mouse or ACORN stealing the election. According to an investigative report out today in Rolling Stone magazine, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast, after a year-long investigation, reveal a systematic program of "GOP vote tampering" on a massive scale
Fool Me Once...
By Timothy V. Gatto
According to Greg Palast and RFK Jr., writing in Rolling Stone yesterday the vote is already being tampered with by the Rovian computer geeks. The Democrats must win by a large margin in order to override the GOP vote tampering effort. This is so totally wrong and deceitful, that I have a hard time actually writing these words
Powell's Endorsement: Redemption,
Race, Or Revenge?
By Mary Shaw
On October 19th, retired U.S. Army general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for president. I saw it as another step toward Powell's personal and political redemption
Planet Eaters: Chain Reaction,Black Holes,
Climate Change And Existentialist Philosophy
By Andrew Glikson & Emily Spence
The Sixth mass extinction is a novelty: For the first time in its history, the biosphere is in crisis through biological forcing by an advanced form of life, namely the activity of a technological carbon-emitting species
By Stephen Lendman
Hard and troubled. Racked by fear and uncertainty. For many trauma. Experts predict, speculate and conjecture, but no one knows for sure what's ahead. Key questions are whether we're in a protracted and severe recession. Or at the onset of another Great Depression. So much is unresolved. The problems have built for years and are immense. Maybe nothing at this stage will work and the best hope is for light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel
The Rising Body Count On Main Street
By Nick Turse
The Human Fallout from the Financial Crisis
The Cruel Boredom Of Pornography
By Robert Jensen
Pornography is relentlessly intense, pushing our sexual boundaries both physically and psychically. And, pornography also is incredibly repetitive and boring
Swedish Peace Activists Repeatedly
Break Into Weapon Factories
By Bill Quigley
Using hammers and bolt cutters, peace activists repeatedly broke into weapon plants and damaged weapons in Sweden. Activists from the Swedish group OFOG/Avrusta admitted damaging twenty high explosive grenade launchers as well as internal parts to a Howitzer 77. Five people were arrested. Two remain in jail
A Wednesday- Making Fools Of Us All
By Ashley Tellis
A Wednesday is the latest in a lengthening list of films that prove that the Hindi film industry is complicit with the Indian state in demonising the Muslim and producing amnesiac versions of Indian nationalism and 'terrorism,' says Ashley Tellis
I, The Convert
By Anand Mahadevan
My conversion was not a change of religion; it was a change of heart
Case Of Shahbaz Ahmed Arrested In connection
With Serial Bomb Blasts In Jaipur
A PUCL-PUHR fact finding report on accused in Serial Bomb Blasts In Jaipur
17 October, 2008
Fear The Coming Nature Crunch
By George Monbiot
This is nothing. Well, nothing by comparison to what's coming. The financial crisis for which we must now pay so heavily prefigures the real collapse, when humanity bumps against its ecological limits
Additional Thoughts On The Bailout
By Paul Craig Roberts
The bailout package is a result of panic and threats, not of analysis and understanding. Neither Congress nor the public knows the full story. If the problem is the mortgages, why does the bailout leave the mortgages unaddressed and focus instead on pouring vast amount of public money into private financial institutions?
How To Manage An Imperial Decline
By Aziz Huq
Do empires end with a bang, a whimper, or the sibilant hiss of financial deflation? We may be about to find out. Right now, in the midst of the financial whirlwind, it's been hard in the United States to see much past the moment. Yet the ongoing economic meltdown has raised a range of non-financial issues of great importance for our future
Toxic Asset, Tainted Milk
By Nazery Khalid
The financial bust-up in the US emanating from the sub-prime and housing market crises and the tainted milk scandal in China seem like two events a country mile apart. However, upon closer inspection, they underscore the interrelatedness between the two economies which are a lot more binding than it appears. While the two sorry episodes exposed the follies of two of the most powerful nations on earth, they also provide a fascinating study on globalization and the inextricable links and growing dependence between the two economic juggernauts on one other
The Forgotten U.S. War On
The Iraqi People
By Ghali Hassan
On October 3, 2008, the Washington Post reported that the Pentagon is paying $300 million to U.S. contractors to produce pro-U.S. propaganda for Iraqi audiences “in an effort to ‘engage and inspire’ the local population to support U.S. objectives and the puppet government”. The aim of this psychological warfare is to normalise the murderous Occupation and cover-up the slaughter of innocent Iraqi civilians
China’s Land Reform Will Deepen
The Gulf Between Rich And Poor
By John Chan
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a far-reaching new round of market reform at its Central Committee plenum on October 9-12. The meeting established the framework for peasants to freely trade their collective and state-owned land titles—a step toward large-scale industrial agriculture that will inevitably drive millions of small farmers off the land
Definitions: The Bourgeoisie
By Gaither Stewart
The third article in Gaither Stewart's "Definitions" series
Israel’s ‘City Of Coexistence’ Shows Its True Colours
By Jonathan Cook
Israel has been suffering its worst bout of inter-communal violence since the start of the second intifada, with a week of what has been widely presented as “rioting” by Jewish and Arab residents of the northern port city of Acre
Europe And The Middle East:
Will EU Be A More Just Mediator?
By Ramzy Baroud
Europe has showed greater willingness in recent months to play a larger part in the Middle East's most protracted conflict, that of Israel and Palestine. But willingness doesn't necessarily indicate readiness
Jamia Residents Foil “Encounter” Attempt
By Mumtaz Alam Falahi
The residents of Jamia Nagar today foiled a kidnapping/encounter attempt by some policemen in plainclothes in Shaheen Bagh area under the Jamia Nagar Police Station in Delhi
Chengara's Dalit-Adivasis Call
To Restore Their Fundamental Rights
By Vidya Bhushan Rawat
Chengara's land struggle is historical. It shows that people can not really depend on government dole out for land. Political parties in connivance with the defunct industrial houses are keeping people landless. New landlessness is on the rise. Courts are being used as an excuse to evict people. The marginalized have understood this and are ready to fight till end. If the government of Kerala think it is wrong, let it come out in open and say that they oppose people's movement for land right
16 October, 2008
Global Recession Takes Hold
By Patrick O’Connor
The financial crisis has brought to a head the underlying contradictions which have been wracking the capitalist system over an entire period. Notwithstanding the desperate hopes of policy makers in Europe, Asia, and other regions, a severe and protracted recession in the US will inevitably trigger a major downturn in the world economy
Financial Hurricane Batters World Capitalism:
System Failure And The Need for Revolution
By Raymond Lotta
This is a highly fraught situation. Things can change very quickly. The system is revealing much about its basic nature. Bigger jolts may come and outrage may suddenly grow and give rise to resistance from all kinds of quarters. We have to grasp the potential of the situation. We have to be out there bringing forward understanding and bringing forward a vision of a liberatory world. We have to rise to new political and ideological challenges in the belly of the beast
The Financial Economy And The Real Economy
By Justin Podur
Writers on financial or economic matters rarely see the need to explain the basics of the field or justify them at the best of times, let alone in the middle of unfolding crises. What are these “financial instruments” — futures, options, and swaps? What are they for, and how did they increase the dangers of what occurred? What is the relationship between finance and the ‘real economy’? What exactly is wrong with that relationship? Events move so quickly that stories discussing them rarely stop to explain the basics
Protecting Our Families And Future
In A Time Of Crisis
By Carolyn Baker
Carolyn Baker reviews Sharon Astyk's Depletion And Abundance
The Illusion Of Democracy
By Timothy V. Gatto
It seems like the citizens of this country should be enjoying the proceeds of the largest economy on Earth. Instead, 1% of the families in the United States own 54% of its wealth. This is up from 38% last year. Basing an economy on debt and then subsidizing the very people that profit from that debt is outrageous. One of the main reasons that we are in the predicament that we find ourselves in is that politicians in Washington rely on advice from those that have an inherent interest in the status quo
Reviewing James Petras' "Zionism, Militarism,
And The Decline Of US Power"
By Stephen Lendman
Every Petras book is important. So is this one at a time the most powerful Washington Lobby is assured that a new administration will continue and expand the current "Global Wars on Terrorism." Petras explains the dangers. The current disastrous foreign adventurism. America's economic decline as a result, and the calamitous global fallout overall. High-level officials won't read this book, but they should. To realize the dangers of their destructive policies. How they threaten the republic's survival and are heading the nation for insolvency and ruin
A Moratorium On Conversions: Who Decides?
By Joseph D’souza
So who decides on a moratorium on conversions? The RSS? The media? Those who come to the table and dialogue on this issue? Or the oppressed Dalit and low caste person in India? Dare we take away this final and most basic of human rights from the most dehumanized group of people in human civilization?
14 October, 2008
Does The Bailout Pass The Smell Test?
By Paul Craig Roberts
The authorities have blamed subprime mortgages for the crisis. Why then does their solution fail to address the problem of the mortgages? Instead, the solution directs public money into an increasingly concentrated private financial sector, the management of which is not only vastly overpaid, but also has escaped accountability for the financial chicanery that, allegedly, threatens systemic financial meltdown unless bailed out by the taxpayers
The October Surprise: Global Panic
By Stephen Lendman
Ordinary people are hit hardest. Millions will suffer grievously for years as a result of this totally avoidable crisis. Fraudsters who caused it are rewarded. Innocent homeowners, households, and workers are punished. Mercilessly
My Depression -- Or Ours?
By Tom Engelhardt
The Great Depression brought Hitler as well as Roosevelt to power. And if people are disturbed by the anger, the threats, the rage exhibited recently at McCain/Palin rallies, then hold your hats as things turn truly grim. So I sit here and worry. And I know I'm not alone
Forewarned Is Forearmed
By Timothy V. Gatto
"Forewarned is forearmed" Knowledge of imminent danger can prepare us to overcome it. But what is it that we should be prepared for? That my friend is the million dollar question, we are hurtling towards economic meltdown, our streets aren’t safe, the food we eat is altered, the planet is choking on carbon and the icecaps are melting. All of this is a lot to take in. Some people are doing their utmost while some are just biding time until everything falls to pieces
There Is No Quick Fix
By David Truskoff
I am amazed at how the pundits and so-called experts continue to offer opinions on how to fix the economic worldwide meltdown. No one seems to want to go back and see what started it or explain how it started. Trickle down economics does not work and never did, but no one is willing to admit that and so we keep hearing band-aid ideas of how to fix the problem
The Age Of Turbulence "Introduction"
By Thomas Riggins
The melt down of the world financial system is a good back drop for these reflections on the introduction to Alan Greenspan's 2007 memoir. His book THE AGE OF TURBULENCE is subtitled, “Adventures In A New World.” The “New World” that Greenspan now finds himself in is, however, not the world of his dreams but the old world found in the pages of DAS KAPITAL
When The Federal Government Fails The People
By Joel S. Hirschhorn
Things have turned so ugly that electing a new president and many new members of Congress will at best provide band-aids when what is needed is nothing less than what Thomas Jefferson wisely said our nation would need periodically: a political revolution
Why America's Democratic And
Economic Policies Are Failing
By G. Asgar Mitha
America, thanks to Bush, is no longer the democracy that he has lectured the rest of the world about. And Americans and west can thank him for an economy he has started to destroy, leaving behind mountains of debts for several generations to come. Can a nation addicted to gambling pay off those debts?
Study Censures Media For Its Reporting Of
Jamia Nagar Encounter
By S.K. Pande
Speakers at a meet organised by the Delhi Union of Journalists to release its interim report on media's coverage of Jamia Nagar encounter were unanimous in their opinion that the credibility of the media has touched an all-time low and the challenge before the media is how to regain this
Some Questions For The Delhi Police
And Embedded 'Journalists'
By Jamia Teachers' Solidarity Group
The last few days have seen the Delhi Police "returning fire" at the critics of the Jamia Nagar encounter. Pressured by the mounting skepticism about police claims, the Delhi Police have now responded with a new round of theories and stories, which nevertheless remain as riddled with holes, as their earlier version(s). Jamia Teachers' Solidarity Group responds to the latest Police claims
Talibanization Or Balkanization?
What Awaits Pakistan First?
By Safdar Jafri
The fact that in the next few years the map of West Asia is quite likely to change and that Pakistan will be at the forefront in this upcoming change makes the entire game of politics very interesting for the analysts. There will be growing choas, bloodshed, breakaway regions, militancy and above all, most certainly greater US presence in the region in the days to come
10 October, 2008
How To Save The U.S. Economy
By Richard C. Cook
The cause of the financial failure is that the producing and consumer economy is “maxed out” and is unable to repay existing loans much less new ones. This is because purchasing power in the U.S. has collapsed
Time To Create The Economy We Want
By Kevin Zeese
The rage over the bailout of Wall Street is still boiling. In fact, the boil is just beginning. Last week the bailed out massive insurance giant AIG had a party for their executives – the bill $440,000 – this, after an $84 billion tax payer bailout. After the party the Federal Reserve gave them $38 billion more!
Iceland Faces National Bankruptcy
By Jordan Shilton
Iceland’s entire banking system is in danger of collapse. On Wednesday Kaupthing Bank, Iceland’s largest bank, became the third financial institution to be taken over by the government, joining Landsbanki and Glitnir, Iceland’s second and third largest banks
The Trojan Horses Of Our Demise:
Reconnecting To The Moral Sense
By Gary Corseri
The Trojan horses of our demise: ignorance, arrogance, violence and greed. If we seek analogies for our financial collapse, Trojan horses are more instructive than horsemen of the apocalypse. Trojan horses internalize dangers—from the assassins crouching within their wooden hulls; to the gullible celebrants taking them into their fortress-city. In our blame-game culture, where and how we affix blame now is crucial to any possible restitution, let alone redemption. The glass is neither half-full nor half-empty; it is a looking-glass through which we may know ourselves
“Where Will The Money Come From?”
By Devinder Sharma
If only such ‘speed and sagacity’ was shown to tide over the terrible agrarian crisis sweeping throughout the country for over a decade now, thousands of farmers would have been saved from committing suicide. If only the RBI had stepped in to make more cash (or liquidity) available, the nation could have easily provided an assured employment to each and every Indian not only for 100 days but for all the 365 days in a year. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGA) can be easily extended to bring every unemployed Indian under its gambit
The Methane Time Bomb
And The Triple Meltdown
By Andrew Glikson
Recent reports of enhanced methane (CH4) leaks off the eastern Siberian coast (about 100 times the background level of about 1780 parts per billion CH4) and off Svalbard (Norway) have been overshadowed in the media by the collapse of the global credit bubble. At the root of both is a common thread, deregulation, including open-ended permits to pollute the atmosphere and the oceans, little-regulated financial systems and economic globalization, representing failure by governments to protect the life and welfare of their hapless populations
Why would The Public Ever Believe Me?
By Andrew Kishner
The danger, friends, is the region's public health enemy number 1, the Nevada Test Site. Allow me to remind you: the Nevada Test Site is still prepped for resumption of nuclear testing and there are those in the Defense Department who want (yes, want) to do more - to resume - testing. Then there are the horribly contaminated soils at the Test Site, the subcritical tests that have been the culprit for nations going-nuclear, the people downwind who have been horribly poisoned but never fully compensated, the public health effects that were never properly studied, and the winds
Israeli Best Seller Breaks National Taboo
By Jonathan Cook
No one is more surprised than Shlomo Sand that his latest academic work has spent 19 weeks on Israel’s bestseller list – and that success has come to the history professor despite his book challenging Israel’s biggest taboo.Dr Sand argues that the idea of a Jewish nation – whose need for a safe haven was originally used to justify the founding of the state of Israel – is a myth invented little more than a century ago
Another Israeli West Bank Land Grab Scheme
By Stephen Lendman
Israeli policy of land grab continues. All the while monitored by The Israeli Human Rights organization, B'Tselem. It just documented more evidence in its report titled "Access Denied: Israeli measures to deny Palestinians access to land around (West Bank) settlements." Its findings are discussed below. It details how authorities block Palestinians' access to areas adjacent to settlements through closure policies and de facto seizure. Land theft and displacement for greater settlement expansions
The Last Bastion Of Acceptable Prejudice...
By Bahija Réghaï
The elections on both sides of the Canada-US border have revealed that prejudices against Arabs and Muslims are the last bastion of acceptable prejudice in North America
Lies From The Corporate Political Parties
By Timothy V. Gatto
The real conundrum we have here is that none of the candidates we have running for the Presidency are worth a damn. If the people would demand that barriers enacted to stop third parties that have been put up by the corporate Republican and Democratic parties, we could see more candidates with ballot access
O.B.Cs Of J&K – Fighting For Their
Fundamental Rights Since Independence
By Ashok Kumar Basotra
Perhaps India is the only democratic country in the World where one has to fight for his/her Fundamental Rights enshrined under the Constitution. And the mockery is that one has to wait for ages even if the Apex Court directs for providing said Fundamental Rights within stipulated period of time. Same is the plight of O.B.Cs in J&K State
Dialogue: With Whom? Will The Real
Leaders Please Stand Up?
By Cynthia Stephen
Sr. Nirmala went to meet Naveen Patnaik and ended up giving his government a certificate. The venerable archbishops of the Catholic Church have already had a “dialogue” with the leadership of the BJP and issued a joint statement that “all efforts should be made to restore peace and a sense of security with the cooperation of the governments concerned and the leadership of the Hindu and Christian communities. Justice must be done to the victims of violence expeditiously.” But even as these statements are made, we see reports that violence in Kandhamal continue and has spread to other districts. So what is the value of the assurances given by the “Hindu” leaders to the Christians? Can we trust these “leaders” to deliver on their assurances?
Do You Need Something To Read ?
By Adam Engel
A review of Mickey Z.'s "CPR FOR DUMMIES" and an interview with the Author
08 October, 2008
Troops Deployed On U.S. Streets
By Naomi Wolf
The First Brigade of the Third Infantry Division, three to four thousand soldiers, has been deployed in the United States as of October 1. Their stated mission is the form of crowd control they practiced in Iraq, subduing "unruly individuals," and the management of a national emergency
“Invasion Of The Sea-Smurfs”
By Amy Goodman
3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team will be called the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive Consequence Management Response Force. Its acronym, CCMRF, is pronounced “sea-smurf.” These “sea-smurfs,” Gina Cavallaro of Army Times newspaper reports, have “spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle,” in a combat zone, and now will spend their 20-month “dwell time”—time troops are required to spend to “reset and regenerate after a deployment”—armed and ready to hit the U.S. streets
California Father Kills Family And Himself
By Kate Randall
Some time between Saturday night and Monday morning, Karthik Rajaram shot and killed his wife, Subasri, 39; his mother in law, Indra Ramasesham, 69; and his three sons—Krishna, 19, a business economics major at UCLA; Ganesha, 12; and Arjuna, 7. Rajaram was found dead in his younger sons’ bedroom, the gun still in his hand
A Futile Bailout As Darkness Falls On America
By Paul Craig Roberts
The same reckless leadership that gave us expensive wars based on false premises has now concocted an expensive bailout that does not address the problem, which will fester and become worse
All Fall Down
By Jim Kunstler
Some big questions for the week: will the Euro survive as a currency? Will the rush into the US dollar continue even as the US financial system dematerializes in a Fibonacci fever of accelerating de-leveraged infinitude? Will the remaining Big Boyz, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan succumb to the counter-party hemorrhagic fever? Will great rows of lesser banking dominoes now start clacking onto their faces?
The Trade Balance And The Limits Of
The Paulson Rescue Plan
By Dan Lieberman
The Paulson Rescue Plan prevents banking system nationalization but not economic catastrophe
Opportunity For China In Wall Street Distress
By Antoaneta Bezlova
The Wall Street fire-sale has prompted China economic pundits to call on Beijing to avail of the opportunity to acquire stakes in United States financial institutions and further its influence on global financial power
Voting The Fate Of The Nation
By Chalmers Johnson
Will economic meltdown, race, or regional loyalty be the trump card in election 2008?
Justice For Yemini Sheik
By Stephen Lendman
This time is different for Yemini Sheik Mohammed Ali Hassan Al-Moayad and his assistant Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed. On October 2, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed their unjustifiable convictions. More on that below
McCain v. Obama II: The Empire Strikes Back
By David Swanson
The first debate after the great foreign policy debate, which focused almmost exclusively on war, shifted to a discussion devoted in large part to foreign policy and specifically war. But it began with some other topics
The Debate That Made No Difference
By Timothy V. Gatto
Tonight’s debate between the two corporate candidates’ was predictable and superficial. If I were to judge the by the debates only, I would have a hard time differentiating between the two. Both Senator’s were very close to one another on most issues save healthcare which in all reality is just a “straw-man” issue that probably won’t be enacted in the next term of either candidate, but it makes good fodder for political discourse
The Parallel Streams Of Anger
By M.J. Akbar
Dr Manmohan Singh said, on his return from France, that incidents in Orissa had shamed India before the world. That is important, but far less important than the fact that the violence in Orissa has shamed Indians in India. I measure what Indians do not by the standards of France, but by the values of modern India, which strengthened the spirit of our freedom movement against western colonialism and were enshrined in that noble document called the Constitution of India. The Bajrang Dal has shamed India before Indians
Alienation Of Indian Muslims
By Mushirul Hasan
The extent to which the Indian society is getting polarised along religious lines is very disturbing. If this is the state of affairs almost seven decades after independence, what might happen a few decades later? This is not the time to attribute responsibility to different parties or communities. This is a moment for self-reflection and for finding out what gives rise to this mindless violence
06 October, 2008
America! Be Truly Afraid
By Rand Clifford
A truly frightening article, delineating a possible scenario about to be unravelled in America
A Consceince Encountered
By Dr Sandeep Pandey
The UP Police in a planned joint operation with the army is likely to kill two Kashmiri youth (obviously Muslim), already picked up and in their custody somewhere in Meerut , in an `encounter' with these `dreaded terrorists.' The drama would be enacted in the Lucknow cantonment area, the most plausible location for an anti-national to be encountered in. Two AK-47 guns, already bought from Nepal and brought through the Bahraich route, would be shown to have been recovered from these `terrorists.'
The Fleecing Of America
By Stephen Lendman
Now compounded by a deepening financial crisis of unknown magnitude. The potentially catastrophic fallout from it. Rescue packages for business alone, and millions of working Americans left to fend for themselves in a very uncertain environment. The result of fleecing America. Letting greedy bankers profit from it. Commit massive fraud and get away with it. Reward them for their crimes. Looting the national treasury to pay for them. Is public anger so surprising? Only that it hasn't boiled over on the streets of the nation's Capitol. Maybe in time as things keep worsening and Washington only worries about Wall Street
One Nation Under Capitalism:
It’s Time For A Crucifixion
By Jason Miller
Motivated by pain and by the realization that our system is ecocidal, genocidal, and morally reprehensible, we of the working and middle classes can finally redeem ourselves by nailing our depraved god of American capitalism to the cross and starting to forge a just, egalitarian, democratic and humane socioeconomic order. Good for us and good for the rest of the planet!
Wall Street Panic,Main Street Pain
And Policy Choices
By Ingo Schmidt
Major political reform is required to turn undo a state apparatus that is used to serve moneyed interests and build institutions of democratic self-administration. Such profound changes take time. In the meantime, labour and other social movements ought to fight against any attempts to put the burden of the crisis onto workers' shoulders
The Bailout: How Capitalism Killed Democracy
By David Sirota
We now face market forces uninhibited by democratic governance. The bailout is an aggressive attempt to trade democracy for autocracy
Palin’s Problem With Facts
By Greg Guma
Now that the Republican ticket is becoming truly desperate, the tactics will get increasingly vicious. The charge that Obama thinks so little of the country that he’s “palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,” leveled by Palin this weekend, is just the beginning. Truth? Facts? For Palin and McCain, they’ve become officially irrelevant
American Politics And The Gathering Storm
By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
In spite of evidence to the contrary, Israel and its lobby have continuously misled Americans into believing that Iran and its peaceful nuclear technology are a threat to Israel. But as Louis Nizer said: “When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.” In the same vein, American policy makers and candidates should understand that they must put America first
Alasdair MacIntyre And Holistic Marxism
By Thomas Riggins
Marxists can learn something from MacIntyre. I think his views on holism are useful, as are his remarks on the coherence of our ideas and their need for justification as well as his attempt to avoid relativism
Malegaon Bomb Blast: The Smell Of Blood
Is Still In My Head
By Mubasshir Mushtaq
Each Muslim mother in Malegaon is praying lest her son becomes a "suspect." Things will never be the same in this forsaken corner of Maharashtra but this much is certain: Indian Muslims will not allow India to become another Pakistan
A Wednesday: Cinematic Politics
By Kamal Mohammad
A critique of the bollywood film "A Wednesday"
04 October, 2008
Busted American Dreams
By Jonathan Franklin
American housing meltdown, a report from Hollywood, Florida, which may be representative of the general crisis felt across America
Bail Out The Homeowners!
By Paul Craig Roberts
The bailout is focused on the wrong end of the problem. The bailout should be focused on the origin of the problem, the defaulting homeowners. The bailout should indemnify defaulting homeowners and pay off the delinquent mortgages. Stopping the problem at its origin would restore the value of the mortgage-based derivatives and put an end to the crisis
US House Backs Wall Street Bailout
By Bill Van Auken
In its second vote in five days, the US House of Representatives approved a massive bailout package for the major banks and finance houses. The legislation, passed by a vote of 263 to 171 Friday afternoon, gives US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson virtually unrestricted powers to use at least $700 billion to buy up largely worthless paper assets from Wall Street using taxpayers’ money
We Had Alternatives
By Dennis Kucinich
Statement presented on the floor of The House of Representatives after Congressman Kucinich voted against the Wall Street bail out plan, H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
The American People Tsunami Against
A Wall Street Bailout
By Partha Banerjee
Thousands of ordinary, working-class Americans across the country woke up and staged a massive rebellion against the bill. Henry Paulson, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd, Roy Blunt or John Boehner didn’t anticipate the tsunami. Online chat rooms and street corner rallies alike were filled with people expressing their abomination and outrage at the elite’s attempt to let the Wall Street con artists off the hook
The Killing Horizon: Capitalism
At The Expense Of All Life
By Juan Santos
You decide who and what nurtures us all and who and what destroys us. You decide. Is it saner to hug a tree, a cold stone building on Wall Street, or a stock certificate? Look at it. You decide. Everything that matters to you depends on the nature of your decision
Grassroots Movements, Global Elites And
Political Economy In Times Of Panic
By Pablo Ouziel
The first thing we must all do is acknowledge that the financial panic we are facing is a lot deeper than what is presented through the media, and understand that the problem is systemic. The sooner we come to terms with this, the sooner we will be able to find real solutions. Developed countries are living way over their means and no matter how we try to prop it up, sooner or later the deck of cards is going to collapse. From my humble opinion, the sooner that happens the better, because with everyday that passes, the eventual landing gets much more painful
Life After Bush: Forecasting Peace In Palestine
By Ramzy Baroud
There are no signs that change, true change, is coming, regardless of who wins the White House and regardless of who rules Israel. The fact remains that the relationship that governs the US-Israeli love affair is much more convoluted, deep-rooted, and institutionalized to be affected by the exit of one man and the advent of another
Israel’s Army And Settlers Fall Out
By Jonathan Cook
The Israeli army officer in charge of the occupation of the West Bank, Gen Gadi Shamni, has lambasted extremist Jewish settlers, blaming rising levels of violence on the encouragement of their leadership and right-wing rabbis. It is rare for a senior commander to speak so critically of the settlers, many of whom themselves serve in senior positions in the army
Patriarchy With A Woman's Face
By Jorge Majfud
Millions of women who previously supported Hillary Clinton have gone over to the Republican side. The electoral market, like on other occasions, is nourished by the contradictions of its consumers: those women who passionately defend in the media and in the cafes their support for a woman as a strategic advantage for the feminist movement without caring that that woman represents the exact opposite, may signify for the more sophisticated a demonstration of false consciousness, of complete manipulation. Something along the lines of women's liberation through the consolidation of patriarchy, or the feminization of feminism
Malegaon, Modasa And Mehrauli Blasts:
The Hindutva Connection?
By Subhash Gatade
The latest bomb blasts in Malegaon have seen four deaths wherein a motorcycle parked near old SIMI office which was laden with explosives exploded killing four people on the spot. It was worth noting that the people living in the vicinity of the Chowk had informed the police about this unclaimed motorcycle standing there for hours together. But the police did not bother to turn up and reached the place only after the blast
Others Among Us
By Suroor Mander
We have forced a community to stand up and condemn every act allegedly done by their fundamentalists; expecting this from the educated, the literate, the clerics and the ignorant. However, we don't have any such expectation from Hindus against violence perpetuated by fundamentalists from their community
02 October, 2008
Senate Sells Us All Out
By David Swanson
The Senate has voted to spend money it does not have to give the executive branch powers it cannot safely be given -- all in order to dump OUR money on a bunch of billionaire bankers, all motivated by a bunch of fear-mongering lies and the legalized bribery of campaign contributions
Food Or Fuel
By John James
The biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what was intended: it is dramatically accelerating global warming, imperilling the planet in the name of saving it
01 October, 2008
Food And Markets: A Crisis Of Faith
By Adam W. Parsons
Unlike the crisis of 1970s stagflation that signalled the end for the Keynesian social-democratic model, the food crisis of 2008 could be marked down in history for setting in motion an opposite trend
Congratulations, Corporate Crime Fighters!
Coup Averted For Three Days!
By Michael Moore
Everyone said the bill would pass. The masters of the universe were already making celebratory dinner reservations at Manhattan's finest restaurants. Personal shoppers in Dallas and Atlanta were dispatched to do the early Christmas gifting. Mad Men of Chicago and Miami were popping corks and toasting each other long before the morning latte run
The Free Market Preachers Have Long Practised
State Welfare For The Rich
By George Monbiot
Bailing out banks seems unprecedented, but the US government's form in subsidising big business is well established
World Financial Crisis Reveals
Vulnerability Of Russia’s Economy
By Vladimir Volkov
Shocks throughout the world financial system, centered in the financial meltdown in the US, led by mid-September to a sharp fall on the Russian stock markets. The country is facing its greatest banking crisis since the default of August 1998, demonstrating the enormous vulnerability of the Russian economy to fluctuations on the world markets
How Forgotten Iraq May Elect The Next President
By Ira Chernus
Let's just hope the next president is wise enough and open-minded enough to hear us when we point out: One presidency was wrecked in the jungles of Vietnam, another in the sands of Iraq. Don't let a third presidency be destroyed in the mountains of Afghanistan or Pakistan, or over Iran. That danger alone should be more than enough reason to keep the Iraq War in the forefront of our minds as we decide on, and then usher in, a new presidency
By Q. Isa Daudpota
Muslim countries, which are being torn apart by jihadists from within and across their border, need to make this latest work by Fadl available widely in translation. Let it be studied in madrassas and discussed on the media. Who knows what reformation this could bring about?
By Shabnam Hashmi
Communal forces have invaded all spaces, including the minds of secular politicians
Here is a large collection of articles since the time countercurrents.org came online in 27th March 2002
About countercurrents.org and the people behind
Sikh Genocide in India
Thursday 10th of January 2008
Dr. Amarjit Singh, Khalistan Affairs Center
The world’s 25 million Sikhs ought to recognize the Sikh statistical genocide which is taking place in India and counter it
India drops five places, to 105th out of 127 countries surveyed, in the latest 2008 UNESCO’s ‘Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report’
Washington DC, Wednesday 09 January, 2008: While the Mumbai Stock Market Index has zoomed past the 21, 000 mark, making a few Banias very rich, UNESCO’s recently released ‘Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report 2008’, paints a grim picture of India’s masses and their literacy situation -largest number of illiterates in the world. In that report UNESCO has ranked India 105th out of 127 countries surveyed in 2008 as compared to 100th out of 129 countries in 2007 – a drop of five points in performance in just one year. There goes the ‘Incredible India’ slogan that the current United Progressive Alliance (Manmohan Singh) government never tires of eulogizing. Some future for India’s billion plus population!
The UNESCO report is based on six defined EFA goals. They were:-1. Expanding and improving comprehensive childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children; 2. Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to free and compulsory primary education of good quality; 3. Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills program; 4. Achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for adults; 5. Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005 and achieving gender equality in education by 2015; and 6. Improving all aspects of quality of education and ensuring excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy and essential life skills.
According to the above mentioned UNESCO’s ‘Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report 2008’ there are over 774 million illiterate people in the world. Of them, three quarters live in 15 countries, including eight high-population countries, namely Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan. Significantly, India has the largest number of illiterate people, a whopping 35 per cent of the total. Even the phony 2001 India census, in which the numbers were doctored (specially the literacy rate which was shown as having shot up from 44% in 1981 to 65% in 2001, despite a 20% increase in India’s population in that period – an unprecedented record improvement in education ever witnessed in any country in the history of the world) by the then BJP coalition government which was trying to put a shine to the ‘Shining India’ slogan. The Neo-Nazi BJP obviously believes in Hitler’s ‘big lie’ theory, spelled out in ‘Mein Kampf’ that, “The great masses of the people … will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.” Despite the shenanigans the doctored 2001 census had to admit that there were nearly 300 million illiterates in India in 2001. The actual figure on the ground was more like 600 million illiterates in India.
The shenanigans of the Indian Census Commission also proved the wisdom of a famous line from the 1924 Autobiography of the great American writer, Samuel Langhorne, who used to write under the Pen name of Mark Twain. The line reads, “There are three kinds of lies - lies, damned lies and statistics.” We have taken the liberty here of adding a few words to that famous line, by Mark Twain, in a left hand tribute to the Indian Census 2001 which should read, “There are three kinds of lies — lies, damned lies and the 2001 Indian Census and it’s statistics”.
The above mentioned infamous 2001 India Census is of special interest to Sikhs as it was doctored, by the then Neo-Nazi BJP (Vajpayee) government to, emasculate the minorities and put a ‘shine’ on the ‘Shining India’ slogan. The 2001 Census is also remembered by the 25 million strong Sikh nation (22 million captive in India and 3 million FREE in the diaspora) for the ‘statistical genocide’ of over three million Sikhs – who disappeared from the census figures. This genocide of statistics was challenged in this column, dated 8 September 2004, which was headlined, “Over three million Sikhs disappear from India’s census count,” which can be read by clicking at: ( http://www.khalistan-affairs.org/home/khalistancalling/2004/september08.aspx ) This column had, some readers might remember, trashed the 2001 India census in the following words:-“The Indian Census Commission released an obviously doctored and phony report in New Delhi, on Monday, on population numbers of religious groups in India. The Report, cooked up by BJP appointed Census Commission ‘Babus’, claims a Sikh population of 19 million, instead of 22 million - three million Sikhs just disappeared. It also claims that, during the decade 1991-2001, the Sikhs showed one of the lowest growth rate in India of 18.2%, ‘due to infertility’ implying Sikh males have become sterile. The doctored 2001 census is infamous for the fact that three million Sikhs disappeared from India’s census count with the object of making the Sikhs majority a minority in Indian occupied Punjab. The other side of the conspiracy ‘coin’ is that the total Sikh population of India has been made to statistically ‘slow march’ backwards. The Sikh population which has now dropped in the Indian Census books to nineteen million (19, 215, 730) - Rural Sikhs 14, 106, 481 & Urban Sikhs 5, 109, 249, according to India’s census 2001. The object is obvious. The rulers want to make the muscular Sikhs a minority in their Punjab homeland whose river water resources are coveted by non-riparian Hindu-majority states of Rajasthan and Haryana. The Christians in India are shown by the Census report to now number more than the Sikhs, at 24 million Christians, Buddhists number 7.9 million, Jains 4.2 million and those following ‘Other’ religions and persuasions are numbered at 6.6 million.
The September 8, 2004, Khalistan Calling went on to say that, “For a profile (breakdown) of the Sikh community in India, in different states, as the BJP appointed ‘Babus’ of the Census of India-2001 want us to see it. That doctored Census of India chart says that there are a little over nineteen million (19, 215, 730 Sikhs; Urban-5. 109, 249 and Rural-14,106, 481). Sikhs in India of which total the Punjab, the Sikh Homeland, the Census people say, has a little over fourteen million (14, 592,387) Sikhs. The non-riparian Hindu majority state of Haryana is next and has one million one hundred seventy thousand six hundred and sixty two Sikhs (1, 170. 662: 5.5% of the state’s population); Rajasthan is next with eight hundred eighteen thousand four hundred and twenty Sikhs (818, 420: 1.4% of the states population); Utter Pradesh (U.P.) is next with six huundred seventy eight thousand and fifty nine (678, 059: 0.4% of the population of the state); Delhi’s Sikh population, the Census people claim, has shrunk to five hundred fifty five six hundred and two Sikhs (555, 602: 4% of Delhi’s population); Maharashtra has 215, 337 Sikhs; the new state of Uttaranchel has 212, 025 Sikhs; Jammu & Kashmir has 207, 154 Sikhs; Madhya Pradesh has 150, 772 Sikhs; and Chandigarh has 145, 175 Sikhs who make up 16% of the city’s population. One million six hundred forty thousand and seven hundred and ninty nine Sikhs live in the remaining states and territories with six (just six) Sikhs domiciled in remote Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea off Kerala.”
The September 8, 2004, Khalistan Calling, ridiculing the 2001 India Census, had pointed out that, “In Indian occupied Punjab, out of a total population of twenty four million three hundred and fifty eight thousand nine hundred and ninety nine (Total 24, 358, 999: Rural-16, 096, 488; Urban-8, 262, 571), the Sikh community, the Census ‘Babus’ say, now numbers ONLY 14, 592, 387 ( Rural-11, 567, 437; Urban-3, 024, 950). Non-Sikh urbanites in the Punjab - who numbered less than half of the Sikh urbanites a few years ago - have overtaken the Sikh urban population with a total of 5, 237, 521. Even the Non-Sikh rural population numbers for Punjab show a similar pattern. The non-Sikh rural population has zoomed to nearly five million (4, 529, 051 to be exact) from next to nothing three decades ago thanks to the Indian government sponsored ‘Bihari invasion’ which has given an opportunity for the Census Bureau ‘Babus’ to cook the non-Sikh figures for Punjab.
According to the Encyclopedia Britanica - Book of the Year, 2003 - quoted in The World Almanac and Book of Facts-2004 published by the New York Times (ISBN 0-88687-911-6: page 612) there are nearly twenty three million (22, 961, 000) Sikhs just in Asia alone including India. This exposes the phony figures for Sikhs in India put out by the Indian Census. If one were to believe the Indian census-2001 figures, there are nineteen million two hundred fifteen thousand seven hundred and thirty (19, 215, 730) Sikhs in India. That means, that after subtracting the India census’s Sikh total in India from the Asia total of the more reliable Encyclopedis Brittanica-2003, there are three million seven hundred forty five thousand and two hundred seventy (3, 745, 270) Sikhs living outside India in the rest of Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Pakistan and Iran et al. We all know that is not true as the Asian Sikhs number in the thousands not in millions.
Abusing the integrity of India’s Census-2001 is a part of a broader tendency in the Brahmin-caste dominated Indian ruling elite toward eliminating civil liberties and scapegoating minorities. It is an aggressive effort to impose a unified sense of Hindu-fundamentalist nationhood on one of the world’s most culturally diverse - over a thousand languages and scores of religions - caste-ridden, socially intolerant and religiously divided societies. This imposition is reducing India (in which we Sikhs have been captive since 1947, when Imperial Britain left the subcontinent in haste) to the ‘deepest depths of tyranny and despotism’, to use the presciently 1930 words of that great statesman the late Mr. Winston Churchill when he described post-independence India.
We Sikhs, specially of the three million strong prosperous and FREE Sikh diaspora, MUST redouble our efforts to counter the genocide of statistics which has targeted the 25 million strong Sikh nation – three million FREE in the diaspora and twenty two million held captive, behind the barbed-wire Indian ‘Berlin Wall’ inside Indian occupied Punjab. For survival of our people, all Sikhs MUST work for a sovereign buffer state of Khalistan stretching from the Jumna river on the East to the Pakistan border on the West, Kashmir on the North and China on the North East which would act as a bridge of commerce and peace between South and Central Asia and Western China and South Asia. The very survival of the Sikh nation, its religion, its culture and its holy shrines depends on how the three million strong prosperous Sikh diaspora acts.
A renewed hate campaign
Anti-Muslim chauvinism gets a new impetus in Punjab, thanks to the activities of some fringe fundamentalist organisations.
AFTER the end of the Partition riots, no one at the Hall Bazaar Jama Masjid in Amritsar had ever felt the need for guard outside its gates. Until, that is, the morning of March 21. At 11-30 a.m. that day, half a dozen activists of an obscure communal organisation, the All-India Hindu Suraksha Samiti (HSS), burnt a copy of the Koran outside the building, and then pushed their way inside, throwing raw pork as they did so. HSS activists left behind signed pamphlets proclaiming that the attack was intended to avenge the slaughter of cows by the Taliban in Afghanistan, as part of sacrificial rituals after the demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas. The attack on the 150-year-old masjid was the most visible among half a dozen communal incidents in Punjab this summer, all but one of them directed at the State's tiny Muslim community.
In Amritsar, a scene on the road outside the Golden Temple - a file picture.
Punjab Police guards were soon posted outside the masjid, but a similar attack took place in Patiala. This time HSS activists set on fire a copy of the Koran at the crowded Arya Samaj Chowk. Again, HSS pamphlets were distributed to the crowd that gathered to witness the March 22 protest. On March 27, residents around Bhagat Singh Chowk in Jalandhar discovered more HSS pamphlets, wrapped in red cloth and left outside a local mosque. These called on Hindus to unite and avenge the sacrifice of cows by the Taliban. The Jalandhar incident constituted the fourth attack against Muslim institutions since January 14, when Hindu Shiv Sena cadre demolished a section of a mosque in Dhariwal near Gurdaspur. On that occasion a Siva idol had been installed amidst the ruins of the mosque.
Other communal organisations have been joining in. Amritsar almost saw Hindu-Sikh violence on April 1, for the first time in years. Cadre from Amritsar fundamentalist leader Surinder Kumar Billa's All-India Shiv Sena and the local Bajrang Dal set up a marquee for an all-night religious celebration on the road outside the Channi temple. Sikh leaders objected to the location of the marquee, pointing out that it blocked access to the Golden Temple. Billa, who controls one of the two groups responsible for running the Channi temple, refused to relocate the marquee. Almost a hundred Punjab Police personnel had to be posted there to prevent rioting, and negotiations to resolve the stand-off continued through the day. Billa finally agreed to relocate the marquee inside the temple, but not before scoring points among his constituency.
On the face of it, Punjab is an improbable location for anti-Muslim violence. Hatred of Muslims is entrenched among Punjab's Sikhs and Hindus, and this is propagated through popular literature and religious texts, but the ethnic cleansing carried out during the Partition riots left few Muslims behind to hate. Amritsar has an estimated Muslim population of just 70,000, while Jalandhar has 50,000 - the bulk of them migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Haryana. Bar the odd clash in Malerkotla, the only Punjab town with a significant Muslim community, the State has seen almost no anti-Muslim violence after 1948. Conflict between Hindus and Sikhs has been more common, particularly during the 1980s, but even the Khalistan insurgency failed to provoke any generalised confrontation.
Harish Sharma spends his time at his father's small, hand-operated printing press, tucked away in Amritsar's Chaurasti Attari area. Having secured bail just two weeks after the Hall Bazaar Masjid attack, the 27-year-old district head of the HSS is only too happy to hand over a lurid red visiting card, and to discuss what led him to commit the outrage. "When the Taliban leader Mullah Omar said they would sacrifice a hundred cows, we knew we had to retaliate." But why attack the Hall Bazaar Masjid? "Aren't they Muslims? The Muslims support the Taliban." What about the cows slaughtered for meat all over the world? "Whoever kills cows is our enemy. We will take action against them all."
While Hindu communalism in the old city area of Amritsar is rooted in the antagonism that preceded the Khalistan insurgency, Sharma's politicisation seems to have followed a different path. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a teenager, when the Khalistan conflict was all but over. Two years ago, Sharma says, he felt frustrated that the RSS "was not actually willing to take action to protect the rights of Hindus. They were cowards. I joined them because they brought down the Babri Masjid, but then their leaders pretended to have nothing to do with it." Around the same time he saw HSS posters calling on Hindus to take direct action to protect their faith. Sharma contacted its Patiala-based president, Sanjeev Bharadwaj, and then set up a cell in Amritsar. "Hindus are surrounded by enemies," he says, "and we were ready to do anything, even take up guns, to protect our religion."
MAULVI HAMID HUSSAIN QASMI has lived most of his life in the Hall Bazaar Masjid. "The real problem," he says laconically, "is that no one wants us. Those who wanted Pakistan have gone there. We chose to stay here, but people do not trust us." Qasmi believes that the series of anti-Muslim attacks that have taken place in Punjab this year form part of a larger process. Hindu and Sikh communal bodies, he argues, have been using resentment against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism to defame Muslims. "When the Indian Airlines jet was hijacked to Kandahar," he recalls, "hundreds of young men stood outside this masjid, shouting slogans against Pakistan. I would have liked to tell them, though I could not, that they would have been better off walking to the border, which is not very far from here."
Anti-Muslim chauvinism is driven by factors other than India-Pakistan conflict as well. In Amritsar, anti-Muslim and anti-economic migrant sentiment go hand in hand. Local jewellery artisans, for example, have faced competition from migrant craftsmen from West Bengal. Successful Muslim entrepreneurs in Amritsar who are active in the fruit, carpet, and shawl trades, are often subject to their competitors' jealousies. Then the growing rate at which land is purchased by Gujjar migrant herdsmen from Jammu and Kashmir, many of whom now live in Punjab through the year, has again seen economic rivalries take communal form. "Businessmen who trade across the border," notes Qasmi, "are the most vulnerable. They are sometimes given fake hundred rupee notes. If they get caught, the police here ask for bribes. Over a hundred are in jail now. I should not say this, but a Hindu never spends so much time in jail when he is caught with a fake note."
Border policemen are not the only ones in search of a quick buck. The demolition of the Dhariwal Masjid in January is widely believed to have been the outcome of a land feud. Local residents say that the Shiv Sena's local vice-president, Pawan Tandon, wished to take over the land on which the masjid stood, land adjoining his own. In mid-2000 the Sena had coerced village Muslims into not carrying out urgently needed repairs on the mosque, presumably hoping that it would fall of its own. And Hindus are not the only players in the cash-from-communalism game. On April 22, Sadiq Shah, the head of a Muslim shrine in Takhanvadh village near Moga, reported that a copy of the Koran had been set on fire. Punjab Police investigators later discovered that Shah had burned the book himself in order to discredit a competing group seeking control of the shrine.
It has been little noticed that the rise of Sikh chauvinism in Punjab was mirrored by a mushrooming of Hindu fundamentalist organisations. In 1983, a retired Punjab Police officer, Pandit Kishore Chand, proclaimed that the Hindu faith was in threat, and set up the Hindu Shiv Sena in Amritsar. Part of that organisation, led by Surinder Dogra, joined the better-known Maharashtra Shiv Sena last year, while another faction, led by Billa, formed the All-India Hindu Shiv Sena. Billa has had past affiliation with the Amritsar Congress(I), unlike other fundamentalist leaders based in the city who in general trace their political roots to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Meanwhile, in Patiala, another Hindu fundamentalist leader, Pawan Sharma, set up the HSS. Leaders of these organisations had past RSS linkages, but rejected the established leadership of the Hindu Right.
Feeding on fears fed by the growing power of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, bodies like the Hindu Shiv Sena and the HSS acquired financial support and media visibility wholly disproportionate to their actual extent of influence. Outside their base among the bazaar traders of Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala, these fundamentalist bodies had little mass support, and even less political legitimacy. Nonetheless, the new groups had at least two things going for them. First, the state apparatus, desperate for any allies against the Khalistan insurgency, often provided opportunistic support for these groups. Then, the local Congress(I) sought to use these groups to break the RSS' constituency among urban Hindus.
But, almost two decades on, the political uses of Hindu fundamentalism have changed. Most political analysts agree that there has been a sharp erosion in the level of urban Hindu support for the BJP. Hindus have been incensed by the Shiromani Akali Dal's (SAD) flirtation with the Sikh Right. The State government's soft treatment of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, who was arrested on April 11, has been the most recent of a series of incidents that has created bitterness. Zaffarwal's Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) faction was responsible for a series of communal killings, notably the massacre of six persons in Dasuya in January 1984. The BJP is blamed for its coalition partner's politics, and the alliance government's record of governance has not helped matters. The attacks on the masjid are clearly designed to bring about Hindu consolidation.
Sharma denies any connection between him and the RSS, or any political motive. "They only talk," he says, "they don't do anything. We have nothing to do with them, or the BJP, or the Congress(I)." But apart from his own RSS and Bajrang Dal background, Sharma's ideological position is indistinguishable from that of the RSS. RSS activists in Punjab are energetically pushing their Sikh front, the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, intended to bring about a Hindu-Sikh communal alliance directed against Muslims. Sharma, in similar vein, insists that "Sikhs are our brothers". "Some of them were misled by Pakistan, but our ties are deep. Our real enemies are Muslims who support Pakistan. They have no right to live in this country." He is acid about Billa's effort to create friction outside the Golden Temple, saying that "it undermines the larger struggle to protect Hindus."
Allied or otherwise, it is impossible to miss the convergence of Hindus between the HSS and the RSS. The SAD-BJP is acutely aware of the growing movement of Hindu voters to the Congress(I), and the consequences this would have for the formation's prospects in the Assembly elections which must be held before February 2002. Of Punjab's 117 Assembly constituencies 30 are in urban areas. Hindu votes are crucial to the outcome here. Another 35 are semi-urban, and Hindu voters again have a decisive say in who wins. On the record, politicians from Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal downwards have condemned the anti-Muslim violence. But the alarming regularity with which these incidents are taking place, and the ease with which Sharma and other HSS cadre have obtained bail, would seem to suggest that the SAD-BJP formation is not particularly unhappy with such events.
If there is reason for hope, it lies in the fact that many ordinary Hindus seem to see the new hate campaign for what it is. For the past 50 years, Tilak Raj Mahajan has made a living selling caps, belts and trinkets outside the Hall Bazaar Masjid. When Sharma and his cadre attacked the masjid, the 70-year-old Mahajan blocked their way, and held on to one of the HSS activists as long as he could. "They're just criminals," he says. "If I'd been a few years younger, I'd have given them what they deserved then and there." On the streets of Amritsar, there seems to be little sympathy either for the HSS or for their Sikh chauvinist counterparts. If this good sense holds until after the Assembly elections, the SAD-BJP could find that the seeds of hate it is sowing may never ripen.
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