May 19, 2012
Experience, International Relations, Politics, Society, Sports
Cricket, EU, Football, Ford Figo, Hollande, Honda Brio, Indian Automobiles, Indian Cars, Liverpoolfc, Obama, Politics, Sports
Doing a bit more than normal has led to me not updating my once in two days blog. I am planning to update it a couple of times in a week from now onwards. Once on a Weekend and once on a Weekday.
A couple of issues made me sit up and take notice of things.
1. Hollande Wins. Well that was not unexpected. However i did notice a piece of news where he would be meeting the “Socialist” Obama in the White House. Jeez he makes Obama seem like Sarkozy.
2. Greece elected a sizable number of far-right MP’s. They seem to make LePen’s FN look like bunnies. My Advice: EU beware. Don’t discount the democratic deficit in your organisation.
3. IPL and drink driving seems to be the major news story in India. Indian Premier League is a Premier League for that silly game where people stand at one place, like baseball, and think its a sport. Anyways we had incidents of owners throwing a tantrum, organisers throwing a tantrum and players well acting like players. I wouldn’t bore you with details except suggest you google IPL. It will make for an exciting weekend.
4. Disaster – Kenny Dalglish sacked. What do Americans know about football ?
5. I have been reviewing cars lately. I have been specifically looking for a hatchback. For drivers be sure to look at the following when choosing your car. Ford Figo Diesel with its excellent handling and solid feel and Honda Brio for its sexy Engine and Gearbox.
May 5, 2012
India, Indian Parliament, Indians, Politics, President of India, Sangma
The two traits which i look for in an Indian President would be
a) Understanding Constitutional proprietary - I don’t want the Indian President be to media savvy. I want the President to be measured and reserved in his or her comments. The person should have an academic understanding of the constitutional duties of the Indian President so his or her tenure can be controversy free. The person should not be prejudiced towards any political idea.
b) A symbol of India – The President of India should symbolise the Republic of India. I want that one person to reflect the people of India in terms of their feelings, hopes, aspirations etc. I would want that one person to reflect the hopes and feelings of the tribals of the North East, the disaffected youth of the Kashmir Valley, the aspirational class of Bombay ( I was born when it was called Bombay and no Thackeray is going to make me call it Mumbai), the sensitivities of the Tamils of Madras ( If I am going to call Mumbai - Bombay then I better call Chennai- Madras).
So if a Pranab Mukherjee can do the above two or a Narayan Murthy do the above two I will support them. But they need to reflect the above two points before they get elected.
So do I have a candidate who I wish could become the President of India ? If I had the choice I would support PA Sangma. He is a Garo tribal from the North Eastern state of Meghalaya. Coming from a region , and i am including the entire North East, which has seen a lot of violence he would symbolise the “Unity in Diversity” concept of the Union. He would be a positive role model for various communities with their unique identities on how to live with the contradictions of India. He would be able to represent disaffected youth from all parts of the country. He has been a top parliamentarian in the prejudiced madhouse of Delhi – this shows he is aspirational and a trailblazer. He has been one of the best speakers in the Lok Sabha and was considered to be tough, fair and balanced. Thus he would in my opinion reflect the image of Current Day India as well have an understanding of the constitutional duties of the President.
May 2, 2012
Abdul Kalam, Corruption, India, Indians, Legeslation, Lok Pal, Politics
Ex Indian President, His Excellency, APJ Abdul Kalam’s views on the Lok Pal Bill is something which i agree with. This man of vision, fair play and hard work has also shown he understands the psyche of India and its people. His assertion that the Lok Pal Bill is just going to fill up jails and not clean up corruption in the Government machinery is absolutely correct. He asserts that it’s the kids of today who would decide if India becomes a less corrupt society or not. He implies that the values of Indians as it stands does not discourage corruption. There seems to be a consent in Society that corruption will happen. Until we don’t bring a change in society which would change us from a country ” where there is someone always willing to sell his mother” to a country ” where corruption and corrupt people are treated as equivalent to murders and murderers” we wont reduce corruption. I don’t not mean to equate the two crimes nor do I mean to suggest that the punishment should be equivalent but I am suggesting that people from all parts of India should treat those who take bribes or offer bribes as equivalent socially to murderers. If this attitude is encouraged in the kids of today only then would we change as a country in the future. And this needs to be a national mission as corruption methods/standards differ from state to state.
April 25, 2012
Centrist, Elections, Left Wing, News, Political Parties, Politics, Right Wing, Views
Politics is discussed in newsrooms and dining rooms using the popular left-right model. Left Parties are generally Socialists with liberal view, Centre Left Parties are Moderates with a left-wing bias, Centre Right Parties are again moderates but with a Right Wing Bias and Right Wing Parties are free market oriented with a social conservative message. This unfortunately is incorrect as you can have various combinations to determine your politics. You could be Socialist Leaning with Conservative views a.k.a Reagan Democrats,Most Political Parties in India etc. You could be a free market supporter but completely liberal in relation to your social views.
I have attached an outcome from Politcalcompass which has devised a test which helps you to determine your political views. However please be aware that this has primarily been designed for a Western Audience and as such may not be an appropriate tool for a person from the Non-Western World.
The various parts of the X and Y axes can be defined as:
Left – Socialist/Communist from an economic viewpoint at the extreme with views moderating as you move towards the centre.
Right – Free Market – US Style Capitalism at the extreme with views moderating as you move towards the centre.
Libertarian – Liberal attitude towards life and governance at the furthest point from the centre.
Authoritarianism – More Dictatorial as you move away from the centre.
Thus you could say that Hitlers Nazi’s were a left-wing party due to its economics but completely an authoritarian party due to its governance style. It may be said that Thatcherites are right-wing when it comes to Economics and slightly authoritarian when it came to dealing with Unions, IRA terrorists etc. The Scottish National Party is a Centre Left Party because of its continued commitment to Social Issues,Community etc when taking economic decisions but due its desire for Scottish Independence can slightly lean towards authoritarianism due to its nationalist political view. It could be suggested that the Green Parties in Europe are left-wing when it comes to economics and Liberals when it comes to governance style.
It could be suggested that politicians like the last few US Presidents and British Prime Ministers have decided to make the Centre-Right philosophies the bedrock of their economic policies with different shades of authoritarianism due to the various terror threats and strategic issues faced by their countries. Some readers could say that all Indian political parties including the so-called Right Wing BJP are different shades of Centre Left in terms of Economic Policies due to income inequality in Indian Society and different shades of authoritarianism due to the social conservative and patriarchal nature of Indian Society.
This proves that branding a political party as left, right, centre etc leads to confusion and does not provide a clear picture. I would suggest it would be better for political pundits to discuss the standings of political parties on important issues without defining it as Left wing, Right wing, Libertarian or Conservative. As such they may not get surprised, at times, with the results of elections.
April 19, 2012
Breivik, Europe, Far-Right, Multiculturalism, News, Norway, People, Politics, Terrorism, Terrorist
For the past three days i have been diligently looking at the coverage of Breivek’s trial by looking at the live updates from The Guardian, a British Newspaper. Generally i don’t like following the Guardian for such important issues but they have got it spot on by being completely factual. Ill be honest, his testimony has given me goosebumps.
In the past, I have spoken with a white British National Party Voter and i have spoken with a Muslim from Bradford, who does not support intermingling of communities and races unless its for work purposes. The gentleman supporting the BNP was primarily a protest voter who felt that Muslims were allowed to live a separate life and as such did not attempt to integrate and thus did not like them (He was more of a Islamaphobe than a out and out racist). The Muslim gentleman was British Born but was not comfortable speaking in English. He believed that the UK was a much better place twenty years back for some reason !!! However when i spoke with either of them i never felt anger,sorrow etc. I just took their views as just a couple of opinions. They were civil,polite and did not scare me. Both of them seemed to be having stable family lives and were just worried about earning a good living and living a happy family life. This shows i am particularly capable of accepting diverse political opinions and thoughts .
So what scares me about Breivik ?
Its his views combined with the action he took and the “out of box” thinking to achieve his purposes. He might have committed a perfect political crime by murdering so many people as this may probably lead to a Europe reaching a crossroad with loads of opinions being thrown at it and any decision the countries of Europe take would probably change the way Europe functions as we know it. Here is my reasoning -
1. His Views – He believes that many immigrants, primarily Muslims, are refusing to integrate with the values of their adopted homeland. In fact quite a few of non-Muslims, who themselves are immigrants , also believe the same thing. He believes that this has been caused by Multiculturalism and the lack of backbone shown by established political parties across the spectrum. He feels he had been disenfranchised as there was no political outlet for his frustrations. He feels that no political party recognised or understood his views. He believes that the media has had a role to play as it has helped to stifle debate on issues such as multiculturalism and mass immigration. He feels frustrated at the change he is seeing in his society and the feels powerless at trying to control it. Have i heard these views before ? Yes a lot of people have these views. ( I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with this viewpoint.)
2. His Objectives – He states that he wanted to be a martyr towards his cause of militant nationalism. He felt if he carried out such an act European Countries would want to reduce the possibility of fissures in society by further driving the concept of multiculturalism. This he felt would make a lot of nationalists, both from the left and the right, more militant in a few years time as the political consensus in the short to medium would not represent them. This he felt would drive more people towards his cause.
3. His Actions – His actions were simple. Bomb blasts outside buildings of authority and once he survived he wanted to attack a gathering of journalists but decided that would not be possible due to various reasons. He targeted a Labour Youth Party meeting as the Left leaning parties have been the biggest supporters of the concept of multiculturalism.
So why am i worried about the future ?
In mature,established countries there is a tendency to act as one during a crisis which impacts society. For eg: every politician jumped on GW Bush’s Plan of Action after 9/11. This time all the choices seem be between the devil and the deep sea. Lets take an example of all parties adopting the concept of multiculturalism a lot more. As more parties shift towards this concept and adopt it with more rigour it will lead to more on the extreme right losing hope and tempting some of these individuals to follow in the footsteps of Breivik. If the political parties decide to move away from this doctrine there is a chance of creating left wing terrorists as well as group of AQ influenced solitary Muslim terrorists as these elements could easily refuse to accept the changes.
In conclusion is there anyway that you can avoid potential bloodbaths and periods of upheaval in Europe ? Yes there is. What is needed is an honest,tough, open,politically incorrect debate on the way Western European Countries want their society to develop. Do i think it is possible ? I am not too confident. I don’t think the Western European Establishment as well as the media is capable of having such a debate which would involve all communities from the segregationists amongst the immigrant population to the Neo Nazis.
April 6, 2012
Army, India, Indians, International Relations, Politics
In a humourous way i had asked Indians to resist “Chest-thumping” about our so-called future superpower status(See April 4th Post). In this article an experienced AF officer has also rubbished the claims from a strategic perspective. Bottom line is that it will only happen if we change our attitude about loads of things including , as he specifies in his domain, the way we conduct our foreign policy which obviously will need to be tied into our defence establishment similar to how the US/Uk/France or Russia have tied their international goals/foreign policy to the way their forces are structured. I know Russia is still modernising its force structure but its on its way back.
April 5, 2012
Army, India, Indians, News, Politics
The story has even touched a raw nerve in my family as i come from an Army Family.
But I think people are missing the key point – The level of mistrust between the Army and the Civilian establishment is so high that any “suspicious” movement by any army unit at that moment of time looked like a possible coup to the Babus running this country. I am not going to judge the merits of the story yet as i feel this is not the last i am going to be hearing about this. I reserve my comments till then.
March 30, 2012
General VK Singh, India, Indian Army, Indians, News, Politics
The saga of the Chief of the Indian Army and his issues with the Government have become the one of the most hotly debated topics in the drawing rooms of India. Without going into much detail, as its probably one of the most popular topics in the media now a days, I would have loved to ask the Chief a few questions about his statements -
Q1 – In regards to your age row why did it become such a public issue even before it reached the Supreme Court ? Couldn’t you have just refused to discuss it with the media or with any retired officers of the Army who would then go an blurt out on your behalf in the print and electronic media ?
Q2- Why did you not give the full facts of the alleged bribe offered to you when you gave an interview ? Why did you give only half of the information ?
Q3 – Why did you give consent to General Suhag to become an Army Commander if you doubted his integrity ?
Q4 – Why did you accuse General Tejinder Singh of offering you a bribe and then not file a FIR against him ? Aren’t you a Government Servant ? Why did you have to accuse him in the media rather than in a Police Station ?
Q5 – Do you think your efforts to change the army and civil-military relations in the blaze of media attention rather than behind closed doors will make people more resistant to change and if no, why not ?
Q6 – Having publicly accussed previous Chief’s, Retired and Serving Generals aren’t you risking cementing factions within the army which is detremintal to the Unity of the Officer Corps of the Indian Army ?
Q7 – Do you agree with General VP Malik, former COAS’s assertion, that Generals should be very sensitive on how they deal with the media as it could be “double edged sword” ? If yes do you think you adhered to that thinking ?
Gurvir Singh Dhillon
March 29, 2012
Army, India, Indian Army, Indians, Politics
Governance Please – Jaswant Singh
An excellent article on the shenanigans of the Defence Minister and the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. Jaswant Singh is a retired Capitan as well as the ex Foreign Minister of the Indian Republic.
March 28, 2012
Death Penalty, India, Law, Politics, Punjab
A lot of people in India especially the English Language Media are demanding to know why the Rajoana, Beant Singh’s assassins’s partner in crime, is not going to be executed on the 31st. They are demanding to know whether as per the sentence given would he be executed and if not is it because of politics of a particular state ?
I would like them to go nearly a century back in world history to the 1916 Easter uprising in Dublin. Till then a lot of Irish Catholics did not support the IRA. Most of the Irish Catholics supported the British State in the sense they wanted home rule with loose connections to London similar to the relationship which Australia, NZ, Canada had with the U.K. They supported the British Army as a lot of their brothers and sons were dying on the battlefields of France and Belgium for Queen and Country. So what changed their opinion ? After the uprising was put down a lot of Catholics still felt that the IRA were bunch of idiots raking up trouble when there was a World War on. However they started the process of changing their opinion within hours when the ringleaders were executed by firing squad. This was then exploited by the Republicans to generate more support for the Irish Republic.
So what does the Irish/British experience have to do with India ? Well if you inflame passions in Punjab by hanging Rajoana, or in Kashmir by hanging Afzal Guru you will give political space to the opponents of the Indian Union to exploit people’s opinion on such an issue and heighten a chance of further rebellion in these states. Thus if you want to preserve the Union of India in the long run you must pray that the government does not hang this lot.