Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Few rapid fire questions I ask Mamta-
How can you qualify yourself as a responsible opposition who told -it doesn't matter if Tata may go.?

Singur protest continue.

Indian authorities deployed 3000 police at Tata Motors' plant in West Bengal as protesters defied a threat from group chairman Ratan Tata to scrap the factory for its US$2500 ($3600) Nano car unless demonstrations ended.
About 30,000 people demonstrated outside the plant on Monday, protesting against the taking of farmland for the factory.
At least 500 people were yesterday camped outside the site in Singur in West Bengal.
Tata said he may relocate the plant to protect employees from violent protests, jeopardising a 15 billion rupee investment. Delays in completing the factory may upset Tata Motors' plan to introduce the Nano this year and increase the project cost.
The Trinamool Congress, an Indian political party leading the protest, is demanding that 162ha of land is returned to farmers.
Amar Singh, leader of the Samajwadi Party, attended Monday's rally outside the plant. Amar Singh's party helped Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government win a confidence vote in July after communist parties withdrew support.

West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is willing to meet Trinamool Congress Party leader Mamata Banerjee to discuss the issues raised by her party, the Press Trust of India said, citing comments made by the chief minister.
Tata Motors is betting that its ultra-low priced Nano will entice first-time car buyers in the nation where more than 45 million people use motorcycles.
The 623cc Nano is crucial for Tata Motors, India's biggest truck maker, to boost sales as seven-year high interest rates and the fastest inflation in more than 16 years damp demand for vehicles in India.
Tata's sales fell 8.9 per cent in July.

I found Mamta Banerjee in a very new mood, I ask her few rapid fire question ,you can watch the complete interview on Saturday @6:30pm @ Star News & on 9pm @ Star Ananda

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tata says violence could force Nano plant to move

Accidentally today I'm in NewDelhi to attain Indian Art Summit 2008 @Pragati-Maidan. But with inputs from Tanmoy Chatterjee of HT Kolkata Bureau- this is an excerpt of Ratan Tata's fear

Tata Motors Ltd said it was prepared to move a plant to make the Nano, billed as the world's cheapest car, from its West Bengal site if violent protests continued, despite having invested $350 million in the project.
Tata Motors has faced protests and political opposition over the acquisition of farmland for the plant in the state, which have led to cost overruns and threaten to delay the car's launch.
"What has concerned us is the violence, the disruptions, that has led us to be concerned about the safety of our employees, our equipment and investment, and of the viability of the process," Chairman Ratan Tata told reporters in Kolkata, on Friday.
Tata said the Nano would be ready to launch in or close to October, but irrespective of the investment made so far, the safety of employees and workers at the site was his main concern.
"If anybody is under the impression that because we have made this very large investment of 1,500 crore rupees ($350 million), that we would not move, then they are wrong, because we would move to protect our people," he said.
"There is a concern about our people, a definite concern about not being wanted."
Industry forums called for a peaceful solution to break the deadlock.
"Any adverse development with regard to the upcoming Tata Motors Nano Plant in Singur, will irreversibly hamper the future in industrialisation in the state of West Bengal," Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general of the Confederation of Indian Industry said in New Delhi.
The Nano project has been billed as a key to the rejuvenation of industries in West Bengal, where the world's longest-serving democratically elected Communist government has changed tack after decades of focus on helping agriculture and poor farmers.
The unveiling in January of the 100,000 rupee snub-nosed Nano was hailed by the state's ruling Communists, but protests have since gathered steam.
Trouble began after the government took over 1,000 acres (400 hectares) of farmland for the factory. The government offered compensation, but some farmers with smaller land holdings have refused compensation, demanding that land be given back to them.
India's second-biggest private conglomerate which has interests ranging from software to steel, is known as much for his philanthropy as for being above the political fray.
"If there is a view, for various political reasons, that we should not be here or that what we are trying to do should be altered ... then we would necessarily face a situation, very reluctantly, where we would have to move," he said.
Shares in Tata Motors, India's leading vehicle maker, closed up 1.8 percent at 425.60 rupees in the Mumbai market that rose 1.1 percent.
The Nano has already encouraged other car makers including Renault, Nissan Motor, General Motors, Hyundai Motor to plan to make low-cost cars for India and other emerging markets.
Ratan Tata has said he expects eventual sales of one million units of the Nano in India, with exports also contributing later.
"It would seem that many people have a desire to not see that (launch) happen," he said on Friday.
"It's our desire to see that it takes place," he said, adding there "was no Plan B" for the roll-out of the Nano at this time.
Tata has said the plant at Singur, which was to have an initial capacity of 250,000 units, would be the first, but not the only plant to make the Nano.
The protests reflect a larger stand-off between industry and farmers unwilling to part with land in a country where two-thirds of the 1.1 billion population depends on agriculture.
The West Bengal government had started talks with the Trinamool Congress party, the main political opposition in the state, spearheading the protests.
"Everyone has a right to protest, but in a democratic and peaceful manner. I want them to keep their promise," Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, West Bengal's chief minister said.
Mamata Banerjee, the opposition party chief, wants 400 acres of farmland returned to the farmers, which the government says is not possible to do.

India hopeful about NSG status

Yesterday over chat I talk to Siddharth, Deputy Editor of The Hindu , the sense is very clear .Foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon’s special briefing in Vienna was generally well received by the NSG member states on Thursday, with some describing it as useful and constructive, but Austria, New Zealand and Switzerland continued to hold out on an unconditional waiver for India.
The representatives of these three wanted to know why India should be granted the waiver as they raised issues related to NPT and testing. "Some delegations gave approving statements, but others expressed concerns, and conditions will be tabled this afternoon," a European diplomat told Reuters.
Another report said the mood was positive. A German official said "the questions were constructive and technical, not personal." Germany is the NSG chair.
Mr Menon met some NSG representatives separately in groups, to reassure them India has put in place strict export controls to guard against transfer of dual-use technology or nuclear fuel to ineligible entities.
US ambassador to India David C. Mulford, now camping in Vienna, was busy meeting key members to forge a consensus on integrating India into global nuclear commerce after 34 long years.
As the NSG talks got under way, the US camp urged patience. Mr Mulford told NDTV that Washington thinks a consensus would eventually
be arrived at on the issue of a waiver for India, but
it does not know how quickly.
"This won’t be easy, we need to be patient," Mr Mulford said, adding: "It is quite early to say how the NSG talks will go." The US has, incidentally, said earlier it will act as India’s "sherpa" and work with the NSG members for a waiver.
A report in the Washington Post cited unnamed diplomats as suggesting that the US proposal has aroused scepticism from several members, making it increasingly unlikely that a deal will be reached immediately.
US state department spokesman Robert Wood told the Post "a lot of people have raised questions, and many people think [the India civil nuclear deal] does not fit into the non-proliferation framework. That is not our view."
Mr Shyam Saran, the Prime Minister’s special envoy for the nuclear deal, Mr Ravi B. Grover, director (strategic planning group) in the department of atomic energy, and certain other officials accompanied Mr Menon to the briefing.
The special briefing was held as India, which is not a member of the NSG, wanted to put forth its case directly before the mem-bers of the group that regulates international nuclear trade.
The NSG operates by consensus, so for India every member counts. The talks will resume on Friday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ping whiskey. (

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Plurk timeline

Monday, August 18, 2008

Musharraf step down

To answer the question : Will Musharraf's resignation restore democracy?
History of ImpeachmentThe news items regarding impeachment of Pakistani President Musharraf are gaining time and space in global media daily. In this regard, a charge sheet containing offences committed by military general turned president Musharraf during his long tenure is likely to be forwarded in parliament next week by the ruling coalition leaders, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. The initiative of Impeachment decision is taken at a time when Pakistan is passing through complex and worst kind of political, economic and security crisis.Let’s have a look how impeachment proceedings started in political history of nations and how many government officials worldwide were convicted due to which reasons.BritainImpeachment is a British invention that started from England in the 14th century.Warren Hastings: The impeachment (1787) and trial (1788-95) of Warren Hastings was among the last of the English cases. Warren Hastings was a British colonial administrator & governor-general in India. He worked for the English East India Company from 1750. In 1786 Edmund Burke introduced an impeachment process against him on charges of corruption; after a trial that lasted from 1788 to 1795, Hastings was acquitted. However, impeachment has not been used for over two hundred years (the last impeachment trial was of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville in 1806).Henry Dundas was a British political figure and a member of the India Board of Control. As its president in 1785, he was accused of abusing his powers of patronage by promoting sons of the Scottish gentry to lucrative colonial positions.Tony Blair: Tony Blair Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007 from Labour Party. On 25 August 2004, Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price announced his intention to move for the impeachment of Tony Blair for his role in involving Britain in the 2003 invasion of Iraq under allegedly false justification. In response Peter Hain, the Commons Leader, insisted that impeachment was obsolete, given modern government’s responsibility to parliament.In 2006, General Sir Michael Rose revived the call for the impeachment of the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair.USAUS Congress regards impeachment as a power to be used only in extreme cases. There have been 16 impeachments tried by the Senate and seven convictions. The House has initiated impeachment proceedings only 62 times since 1789 (most recently President Bill Clinton), and only the following 16 federal officers have been impeached.Three of the best-known cases, which did not result in conviction, were those of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase, President Andrew Johnson, and President Bill Clinton.Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States from April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869 was impeached in 1868 after violating the then-newly created Tenure of Office Act. President Johnson was acquitted of all charges by a single vote in the Senate.Richard Nixon 37th president of USA from January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974. In 1974 the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives voted to bring impeachment charges against President Richard Nixon due to Watergate scandal, but Nixon resigned before the House took action.Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States from January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2000, the third-youngest president, was impeached on December 19, 1998 by the House of Representatives on grounds of perjury to a grand jury and obstruction of justice. President Clinton was acquitted of the obstruction charge by a 50 to 50 vote in the Senate.William W. Belknap 30th United States Secretary of War (September 22, 1829 – October 13, 1890) was a Army general, government administrator, and United States Secretary of War. He is the only Cabinet secretary ever to have been impeached by the United States House of Representatives for allegedly having received money in return for post tradership appointments. He resigned before his trial, and was later acquitted.William Blount was a United States statesman and Democratic-Republican Senator from Tennessee (1796–1797). He was the first U.S. Senator to be expelled from the Senate and the only Senator expelled outside of the Civil War.Associate Justice Samuel Chase Samuel Chase (April 17, 1741 – June 19, 1811) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and was impeached in 1804 for allegedly letting his partisan leanings affect his court decisions. Chase was acquitted.Twelve other federal judges including Alcee Hastings a lawyer and judge in Florida and a member of the House of Representatives since 1993. In 1988, he was impeached was impeached and convicted for taking over $150,000 in bribe money in exchange for sentencing leniency and removed from office for corruption and perjury. He is only the sixth federal judge to be impeached and removed from office in American history.Dick Cheney, the Vice President of the United States: Dennis Kucinich introduced articles for the impeachment against Dick Cheney, 46th and current Vice President of the United. He charges Cheney with manipulating the evidence of Iraq’s weapons program, deceiving the nation about Iraq’s connection to al-Qaeda, and threatening aggression against Iran in violation of the United Nations charterGeorge Bush: Dennis Kucinich, also brought proceedings to impeach George Bush, the forty-third and current President of the United States for orchestrating the invasion of Iraq. On July 10, 2008, Kucinich introduced one article of impeachment against President George W. Bush for misleading Congress into war.It is highly noteworthy that polls in 2007 have shown public support ranging between 39% and 45% in favor of impeaching Bush, and between 46% and 55% opposed. The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has not considered the impeachment of President Bush, and the House of Representatives has taken no action to do so. The Democratic Party leadership has indicated that they have no intention of resolving to impeach him.RussiaBoris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.In 1995-1999, the Duma made several attempts to impeach then President Boris Yeltsin due to launching war in Chechnya, ordering shelling parliament in 1993, ruining the armed forces, waging genocide against Russian people through economic policies, but Communist opponents never had a sufficient amount of votes for the process to reach the Federation Council. President Yeltsin has easily survived an attempt by Communist opponents in the lower house of the Russian parliament to unseat him.Brazil: Fernando Collor de Mello, president of Brazil from 1990 to 1992 was impeached in 1992on the ground for confiscating money from bank accounts from the people and froze their savings accounts. This was viewed by many Brazilians as violation of their civil rights. Congress rejected his resignation letter when he resigned to avoid being impeached.India: No Indian President has faced impeachment proceedings. Hence, the provisions for impeachment have never been tested.Iran: Abolhassan Banisadr, was the first President of Iran, following the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the abolition of the monarchy. Banisadr was impeached on June 21, 1981 by the Majlis (the Iranian Parliament), allegedly because of his moves against the clerics in power specifically Mohammad Beheshti, the head of the judicial system at the time and removed from office. Banisadr fled to France and lives in Versailles, near Paris, in a villa closely guarded by French police. BanisadrRomania: President Traian B?sescu is the current President of Romania, inaugurated on December 20, 2004 and former Merchant Navy officer. He was recently impeached by the Parliament. A referendum was held on May 19, 2007. A large majority of the electorate voted against removing the president from office. B?sescu is the first president in the history of Romania who has been officially suspended.
Venezuela : Andrés Pérez Rodríguez was 55th President of Venezuela from 1974 to 1979 and again from 1989 to 1993. He was the first Venezuelan president to be forced out of the office on May 20, 1993 by the Supreme Court, for the misappropriation of 250 million bolivars belonging to a presidential discretionary fund.Lithuania : Rolandas Paksas is a well known politician in Lithuania and currently heads the Liberal Democrats Party in Lithuania. Paksas was convicted in 2005 by a District Court of Vilnius for disclosing classified information (state secrets) during his time in office as a president of the Republic. He is the first European head of state to have been impeached.Later on, the Supreme Court, on December 13, 2005, acquitted Paksas and overturned the verdict of the District Court.Paksas and his party are currently looking for ways to annul the Constitutional Court’s ruling since it prevents him from holding major public office again.PakistanTwo giant powerbrokers Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif are in efforts to collect ammunition for the impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf on the ground that he "eroded the trust of the nation". The Pakistan Supreme Court has previously declared the Yahya Khan and Zia ul-Haq dictatorships illegal. On both occasions, however, the decisions occurred after the two men had relinquished power.Political gains might be behind the impeachment drama but it would be a step farther towards establishing the rule of law in Pakistan that is ruled by military generals more than three times in its total life span.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Singh is Kinng

Few days ago ,i.e~ on last Friday, I catch weekend in a Mumbai's multiplex ,, & just after backing from the show I post a question on Facebook :"Can Singh is Kinng back my money?
And today according to a data [] ->"The Akshay Kumar-starrer Singh Is Kinng, which hit theatres on 8 August, has garnered Rs 595 million worldwide. Also, the film has emerged as the biggest Bollywood opener at the box-office overseas.
"While the film has grossed Rs 450 million in India, the overseas collections of Singh Is Kinng stands at Rs 145 million," said Studio 18 domestic distribution head Aman Gill.
"The film is definitely doing very well. Within three days at Cine max, the film has grossed approximately Rs 25 million, 35 per cent higher than all past records," added Cinemax VP marketing, programming Devang Sampat.
The film saw a simultaneous release in Trinidad and Tobago, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Mauritius, Fiji, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Australia and New Zealand, among other countries.
Distributed on 275 prints in these markets, Singh Is Kinng mopped up approximately Rs 120 million in its opening weekend.
Released with 112 prints in North America, including 28 in Canada, the film popped open to a response ringing up an estimated Rs 50.74 million.
In UK and Ireland, on 70 prints, it grossed Rs 5.04 million on its previews and notched Rs 34.74 million over the weekend, taking its cumulative to Rs 39.8 million and placing it at No.7 in the UK Top 10 chart.
The film was released on 33 prints in the Middle East where it has grossed approximately Rs 23.25 million.
The film has performed far better than any other movies, breaking the record of the other hits of the year, including Jodha Akbar and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.
As reported on earlier, Aamir Khan Productions' Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na grossed Rs 270 million in India and around Rs 50.8 million overseas within a span of ten days of its release while UTV's Jodhaa Akbar had garnered Rs 385 million during its opening weekend.
Singh Is Kinng, produced by Vipul Shah's Blockbuster Movies, features Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif, supported by Neha Dhupia, Om Puri, Kirron Kher, Sonu Sood and Javed Jaffrey. It is an Indian Films-Studio 18 release

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Abhinab~ the next Dhoni.

What else be news today?

Guess, may be a positive news: "A really glorious day in Indian history"

If Abhinav Bindra did it? Why not I?

I know that Indian Corporates are always approachable, but the problem lies in the root of system.

Isn't Abhinab Bindra next Indian Sports insulin ? like Tendulkar in Cricket

In India , there is nothing about Sports minus Cricket.With their son winning the first gold for India in the Olympics Monday, Babli and AS Bindra could not hide their joy, receiving congratulations from friends and relatives at their farm house near Chandigarh.
"My son has proved that 'Singh is King' in a real sense. He has brought laurels for the whole Sikh community and for the whole nation," said father AS Bindra.

My son has proved that 'Singh is King' in a real sense. He has brought laurels for the whole Sikh community and for the whole nation," said father AS Bindra.
The shooter's beaming mother Babli Bindra added: "I had talked to him briefly yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. He was determined to hit the bulls' eye this time. But still I was very nervous in the morning and was keeping my fingers crossed. Now I am trying his number but he must be busy as he is not picking the phone.
"We have not eaten anything except ladoos since morning as we did not get time to have our breakfast. Ever since the news broke that Abhinav won the first Olympics gold medal for India, all the phones at home have been ringing continuously.
"I had sent him an SMS in the morning, 'Abhinav you can do it, go for it', but I am sure he must have not seen it. On hearing the results, I was breathless and started screaming in joy,"

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympics2008. What India Can't ?

Answer my ? on Yahoo Answer
I believe that there is something India can't ,but China doing/did :"Breaching umpteen doomsday predictions, Beijing shimmered in a breathtaking display of fireworks, colour and cultural soiree staging a perfect opening ceremony of the Olympic Games at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing tonight (August 8). A veritable architectural wonder of interwoven steel, the national stadium on the outskirt of the Chinese capital witnessed an ethereal ceremony studded with a heady concoction of tradition and technology and a dazzling display of a combination of man and machine. The three-and-a-half-hour show, witnessed by a capacity crowd of 91,000 people here and over one billion viewers on watching it on television, kicked off right at 2000 hrs local time the choice of date 08-08-2008 at 8 pm stems from the Chinese belief that number eight is auspicious for them. China has invested $43 billion on the Games, including 100 million dollars on the opening and closing ceremonies, twice the money expended at the 2004 Athens Games, promising to host the best ever Olympic Games over the next fortnight. Talks of human rights violation, pollution or the veil of haze hanging over the city seemed mere bagatelle compared to the blockbuster that Beijing produced tonight. The Indian contingent, led by flag bearer Athens silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, looked every bit proud. Men were dressed in off-white sherwanis while women mixed and matched, some draped in the traditional sarees and some others in western outfits. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, in purple silk saree with golden border, waved at the Indian athletes with a broad smile. Sonia was accompanied by her MP son Rahul, daughter Priyanka, son-in-law Robert Vadhra and a grandson and a grand daughter, along with Sports Minister M S Gill, who appeared impressed by the proceedings. US President George W Bush and fellow movers and shakers of the world and commoners stood alike in awe as decks were cleared for a no-holds-barred battle among more than 10,500 athletes in 302 medal events over the next 16 days of fierce competition. The ceremony began with the beating of the ancient Chinese drum fou, followed by the display of Olympic rings and the Chinese national flag, as some 15,000 performers and thousands of fireworks gave the Games a sparkling start. Artistic performance formed the core part of the ceremony, projecting China's age-old civilisation and it's splendid modern face and it was followed by the theme song sung by China's Liu Huan and Sarah Brightman from Britain. The post-performance part of the ceremony comprised various Olympic rituals and traditions, including a declaration from Chinese President Hu Jintao opening the Games and a two-hour long parade of athletes. The huge stadium resembled a cauldron with a riot of colours as mind blowing fireworks illuminated Beijing skyline. Around 15,000 performers put up one of the most memorable shows ever. Delegations from 205 national and regional Olympic committees entered the stadium according to the order of the simplified Chinese characters. As is the custom, Greece was the first country in the march past and China, the hosts, came last. In between, 203 contingents passed, trying to outshine each other. With some 80 heads of states, including Bush, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, present at the extravagant show, it was staged under a thick security blanket. More than 110,000 security personnel were patrolling the Chinese capital where anti-missile barriers have been erected for the Bird's Nest stadium, the most expensive in Olympic history. The Games are expected to turn the global spotlight on the remarkable rise of China from a poverty-ridden and isolated nation to that of a emerging modern power as much as on the razzle-dazzle and its history of 5,000 years. Earlier, under the hazy skies, the final hours of the Olympic torch relay started in the morning at Zhoukoudian, a UNESCO heritage site in southwestern suburb, which has yielded many archaeological discoveries, including the remains of early human relative Peking Man dating to between 250,000 and 450,000 years. Weather has remained a big concern for the organisers but the Beijing Meteorological Bureau says heat and humidity will recede after the Chinese lunar-calendar autumn began yesterday. Four satellites are taking cloud images every 15 minutes, while 186 automated weather stations around the city gathering data every five minutes. Seven fixed Doppler radar stations and two mobile radar stations are also deployed. Olympic Games declared open by Chinese PresidentChinese President Hu Jintao officially declared open the 29th Olympic Games as triple gold medallist gymnast Li Ning lit the Olympic cauldron at the National Stadium, popularly known as the "Bird's Nest" in Beijing today (August 8).Jintao made the announcement in front of the capacity crowd of 91,000 at the National Stadium which staged a spectacular ceremony marking the start of the fortnight-long biggest sporting extravaganza on the earth.India is fielding a 56-member contingent, including Athens silver medallist shooter Rajvardhan Singh Rathod, and would be seen in action in various disciplines such as shooting, swimming, tennis, archery and boxing. However, India's eight-time champion hockey team would be missing the event for the first time in 80 years.More than 10,500 athletes in 302 medal events would compete for next 16 days. Delegations from 205 national and regional Olympic committees would participate in the quadrennial event.
I till be sorry to click(read as:blog) as an Indian;- since we easily recall the history about Mani-shankar Aiyar, Suresh Kalmadi? or more in a sense of Indian Sports without Cricket.

Olympic glamour:

As Beijing, China and the world prepare to embark upon the 29th Olympiad, sports haters scoff at all the fuss. However when looking at the ramifications ebbing off the Beijing Olympics only an ignoramus would claim it was a waste of time and effort. The important fact is that in the lead up to the Olympics many benefits have arisen justifying the mammoth expenditure.
Beyond the glitz and glam of mega projects in the capital like the Bird's Nest or Water Cube, vital infrastructure has been given a kick start such as the new subway system expansion opening lines 5, 10 and 8, and investment into public buses switching to liquid gas and electric models.
At the local community level we have paid witness to gradual improvements in our daily conditions. Apartment buildings have been renovated, ground entrance doors have had electric security doors fitted, trees have been planted and a general thorough clean up has been underway that has a profound and far reaching effect on people.
This hasn't taken place just on my street. I've noticed it occurring throughout Beijing and when I get a chance to visit other places around the country, I realise more investment and attention has been placed on improving public infrastructure-–which in many respects has a lot to thank the Olympics agenda for.
Positive outcomes have also been extended and capacity built in the areas of community health. Greater focus has been placed on preventing smoking. Increased attention has been paid on physical fitness helping to combat the rise in obesity. In part this has been leveraged by a new crop of Olympic related Chinese sporting celebrities. They offer healthy, globally successful role models that appeal to millions of aspiring Chinese. They make us proud.
Over the last few years the construction of sporting and gym equipment in local communities thanks to the China Lottery Commission has also occurred. Outdoor fitness centres have arisen in public parks, squares, schoolyards, and other locations across the country. It’s great to see so many people, so often the elderly, using these facilities and is something western countries could learn from-–where sadly such equipment is very quickly vandalised or the scene of anti-social behaviour committed by the young.
Without a doubt another positive stemming from the Olympics has been the intense interest from international observers concerning all things Chinese. Placed under the microscope there have been times to squirm but overall the nation has done a great job. The proliferation of Confucius centres is seeking to address this keen curiosity amid academics and a greater understanding between cultures of the world can only serve to improve future relations.
As China continues to offer a peaceful, civilised global agenda observers are beginning to question and see through prior prejudice.
Likewise an increased global awareness among Chinese has also mushroomed. We have seen millions striving to master the English language and for current and future tourists the adoption of English into menus and street signage is a much welcomed spillover from the Games. There is also a growing awareness now, particularly among cab drivers I speak to, who no longer assume all foreigners are American--that big noses can be from many places.
However, one fear among ‘China lovers’ is that beyond the closing ceremony, the nation loses this drive to constantly upgrade and that the attention that has been paid to public spaces over the last few years dwindles. Therefore rather than resting on our laurels and slapping ourselves on the back for a job well done, there are still huge areas demanding of an equally Herculean national effort--and a large proportion of this is environmental, energy and executive related.
In the lead up to the Olympics China has shown what it can do when it puts its mind to the task and sets a course of action for the nation to pursue. Beyond 08-08-08 we need to build upon this momentum and focus on new pressing goals.
This week an NGO called Climate Group reported that China was now the world's leading producer of energy from renewable resources and was on the way to overtaking developed countries in creating clean technologies. They also revealed that next year the nation will become the world's leader in wind turbines in addition to it now being the world leader in solar photovoltaic technology.
Their CEO was quoted as saying, "China's government is beginning to unleash a low-carbon dragon which will power its future growth, development and energy security objectives."
Underpinned by ethical decision makers acting in the public interest, the new generation of Chinese leaders coming up that have benefited from the last few years of stable growth, undoubtedly have a tremendous role to fill.
Let's hope as a nation, people and communities in this vast land continue to work together to solve these pressing challenges.
Beyond 08-08-08 the games are really just beginning.
Links here:<Beijing 2008 - Olympic Games >

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Kashmir burn. Politician can oxygen the violence.

Reigning in a socialist arena to begin with - i.e. in the initial years of self governance – India’s social and cultural turf has undergone a sea of change since the time we achieved venerated freedom at midnight on the 15th of August 1947.
With immense effort put in to eradicate the remnant mores of the colonial era, India has been commendably able to tackle most of the post-colonial anxieties that plagued every erstwhile colony, which had embarked upon the journey of self sustenance.
But is it too soon to go on a self-congratulatory spree, as India completes 61 years of its existence as a free republic? Yes it is. This success has been limited in many ways and the developmental graph has many a gradation that has hampered all round progress of the nation.
Few in India can with conviction deny the fact that we face a crunch of resources that threatens to derail the process of social, cultural and political development. With agricultural and farming sector on the back foot, more and more families in the villages are pushing in youngsters to go into urban hubs, seeking employment.
The resultant mass urban migration is adding scores by the day to the already burgeoning pool of unskilled labour - also creating an ethnic, social divide between the urban elite and a multitude of people seen as nothing but ‘parasites’.
This outward movement, from the rural strongholds towards the metros, is fuelling rising unemployment and adding to the existing woes of cities’ infrastructure, which is bursting to the seams and struggling to survive this continuous onslaught.
This degenerative socio-economic trend has at its root faulty governmental policies that are failing to find their mark, resulting in relief measures not trickling down to the masses, with lack of sustainable means forcing them to embark upon alternative routes of survival.
State governments are unable to provide adequate funding for social programs that might contribute to poverty reduction and population control. Unequal allocation of capital and available resources is aggravating existent problems. Consequently, the Urban-Rural divide, though seemingly bridged in the present modern times, is actually merely linked by the tenuous thread of one-way migration.
The malaise of corruption is another factor that has let down our social sector in a big way and it creeping into distribution channels of governing structures has ensured that justified and timely allocation of resources remains nothing but elusive.
Socio-cultural dilemmas
As India's life expectancy has doubled from 32 to about 62 in 50 years, and its infant mortality rate fallen dramatically, its population has grown phenomenally – consequently straining the available means all the more.
Fed by the market-savvy glitzy portrayals of elitist, ‘globalized’ lifestyle, this feeling of a limited reality creates tremendous stress in terms of rising middle class and working class expectations and what is actually possible for India's limited resources to deliver.
Though boasting of an immensely rich cultural lineage, Indian society is nevertheless left struggling in a continuous stream of internal flux. This owes to its incapability of easily coming to terms with rapidly changing ways of modern lifestyle.
Lack of seamless transition, fetters of cultural stereotypes, issues with changing notions of individual sexuality are just some of the many nagging tenets of our inherently problematic cultural ideology - which has stagnation and hostility to change hampering its full scale development.
Cultural ethos in India is synonymous with religious and regional identity. In a surprising development one can track the increasing and not so positive tendency of orthodox obstinacy that is creeping into these two social indicators. National identity takes a beating with religion and region taking the call, when it comes to commanding the loyalty of the masses.
This call for one to remain true to their roots is springing from the perceived threat of globalization; the argument propounded alleging it to be a subtle, stylized form of colonialism. Though, this statement might seem to hold some water when analyzed in detail, it still fails to provide justification for the trend we earlier categorized as religious and regional obstinacy.
The most recent in this series is the whole Sethusamudram Project and the Amarnath Land transferissue that has wreaked violent havoc on the Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir.
It has been brought to light by various researching bodies that this segregated leaning to is what makes the masses refrain from making intelligent and practical choices at times.
As Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi famously said, "You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist."
Porous pillars, shaky standing?
Though the governing structures, organisational grid and the reprisal systems in independent India have indeed come a long way since the time of independence and the politically volatile years that immediately followed it, herein too there is scope - nay urgent need - for improvement.
Indian judiciary and law maintaining bodies are begging strict, internal overhaul. In the face of piling irregularities, glaring lapses and unfathomable procedural delays – the public is fast losing faith in that much abused grip of law.
Law abiding citizens are increasingly turning to speedy means of vigilante justice. This can be envisioned in the alarming rise in the number of mob lynching cases, where angry hordes have beaten the defaulters to death. Viewing these instances as a sign of things to come, social anarchy is not far from becoming an everyday banal reality.
Admirable in its continued existence as a sustained democracy, our nation has yet to realise the ideal of a truly democratic entity. Our version of democracy is sullied by dirty political power games that get played out on a dangerously regular basis.
Most of the social problems of contemporary India are rooted in the policy of segregation and have not been addressed by strategies and initiatives launched since independence. And this makes the base on which we rest the assertion of being the ‘next big thing’ a bit wobbly to say the least.
Developing thought it is, India needs to reconcile social and economic growth in order to gain the leverage needed for it to transcend the developing nations’ category. A mechanism that will serve this end must be deliberately and consciously devised, so as to ensure parallel growth across various sectors of the Indian polity.
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