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Showing posts from March 26, 2006

Economic Nationalism and the Steel Industry: Mittal's Bid for Arcelor

In January 27, 2006, Mittal Steel, the world's largest steel producer, put forth a hostile bid to purchase the second-largest steel firm, Arcelor SA, for US$22.4 billion. If the deal succeeds, the resulting enterprise would account for approximately $70 billion in sales and 10 percent of world steel production, nearly quadruple that of the closest competitor, Japan's Nippon Steel Corp., and would employ 320,000 workers on four continents. Luxembourg holds a 5.6 percent share in Arcelor, which is a major employer in France and Spain. Conversely, Mittal is based in Rotterdam, operated in London and largely owned by the India's Lakshmi Mittal family. As such, both Paris and Arcelor's C.E.O. Guy Dolle suggested that Mittal is "too foreign." Arcelor shareholders have called on Mittal to surrender two votes for each share he will own. According to the January 27 offer, Mittal's family will control 50.7 percent of the merged company and possess nearly two-third

Will BJP support the economic disaster?

Gurumuthy writes on full Rupee convertibility Will BJP support the economic disaster? If the RBI follows Manmohan Singh's advice, the Bombay Stock Exchange will sneeze whenever Wall Street catches cold, writes S Gurumurthy Big bang for financial reform, Bigger bang for the Indian rupee." This is how the pink media has welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's shocking advice to the RBI to revisit the issue of complete convertibility of the rupee. Within hours the RBI has begun working on it and in four months the advice will be actualised, the pink papers say. In simple terms, full float of the rupee means that Indians can handle, say, the US dollar or Swiss franc almost as freely as they handle the rupee. They can buy dollar stocks in New York, like they buy rupee stocks in Mumbai. Indian banks can access dollar funds abroad as freely as rupee funds here. Global interest rates will beat down the rates here. Global games will b

Steve Farmer caught trying to infiltrate a Hindu yahoogroup

Steve Farmer caught trying to infiltrate a Hindu yahoogroup (HC yahoo group) Steve Farmer can't spell Hindu name correctly but he want to write California text books. He thinks his IQ is better than Hindus. Even every CDE meet he made fool of himself but still continue his anti Hindu campaign. Read below his lies when he got caught. Cheers. ___________________________________ We recently received the following request: > Hello, > > My name is Raja Chadra. I'm a high school student and live in San > Diego, California. I don't have my own phone. I grew up with my mother who is American but my father was born in India. I don't know much about that part of my background and about a year ago I started > reading up on the Web. I joined the IndianCiv List but then it closed so I joined here too. I don't have a blog but i think I'll start one soon.; > > Raja A request for information was szent to the reply-to address, which was sudha900@gmail.c

Attack on Afghan consulate condemned

QUETTA, Mar 26 (Pajhwok Afghan News): The Afghan Consul General in this provincial capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province Sunday condemned the attack on the Afghan consulate and said the local police had failed to protect the office. About 400 angry protestors, said to be relatives and sympathisers of those 'Pakistanis' allegedly killed by Afghan forces a few days back, pelted stones at the consulate building and chanted slogans against the Afghan government. Afghan Consul General Ali Ahmad Babak told Pajhwok Afghan News in Quetta, the security officials did not contact them so far. He said the law-enforcement agencies had prior information about the demonstration but they did not adopt steps to avert it. Rejecting the protestors' demand regarding handing over of the killers to the Pakistani government, Babak said they had launched investigations into the incident to ascertain the real cause. Participants of the Saturday's demonstration, on the other hand, c

Musharraf's own goals

Musharraf's own goals Irfan Husain 27 - 3 - 2006 By embittering his foes and alienating potential allies, Pakistan's president is diminishing his room for political manoeuvre, says Irfan Husain. One would have thought that being a soldier as well as president of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf would avoid opening multiple fronts, and create alliances rather than making new enemies. Far from heeding these lessons from military history, he seems bent on starting new fights and spurning potential friends. Politically, he has never been more isolated. Militarily, his troops are heavily engaged in Waziristan on the Afghan border, and in Baluchistan where his paramilitary units are fighting Baluchi insurgents. His partnership with the six-party religious alliance, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) – the natural support-base of military rulers in Pakistan – has collapsed due to his crackdown on Taliban elements in Pakistan's fractious "tribal areas&quo

Sonia: run away lady

Sandhya Jain Contrary to the assertions of her spin doctors, this is actually the fourth time Ms. Sonia Gandhi has run away from an uncomfortable situation in her life in India. The first was in 1977 when her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi lost to the Janata conglomerate. Panicked at a possible post-Mussolini scenario in this land, Sonia Gandhi dragged her pilot husband and two children to the Italian Embassy for refuge; newspaper pictures of her sour countenance remain etched in my memory. Sonia returned home very reluctantly after the entire Gandhi family persuaded her to see reason. No doubt her countrymen (she was still an Italian national) also advised her that Indians were not vindictive and her personal safety was not in danger. The second time the lady fled a difficult situation was in 1999 when, after ruthlessly ousting the then Congress president Sitaram Kesri, she found Sharad Pawar and P.A. Sangma questioning her authority, particularly her desire to

All Indian ministers in my pocket - Quottrochi

Ministers in Q pocket’ New Delhi, March 26: Controversial Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi and his wife Maria, who had direct access to the Prime Minister’s House when the late Rajiv Gandhi was in power, had also established a powerful network among top Congress leaders and ministers. This was revealed in statements made before the CBI by the drivers who used to work for the Quattrocchis. These statements, recorded by the CBI, went on to claim that the Italian businessman had often boasted that “all Indian ministers were in his pocket.” The statements, attached as annexures, have been summoned by the Supreme Court from a trial court on the basis of a public interest litigation case moved by advocate Ajay K. Agrawal. It was through the Gandhis that Ottavio Quattrocchi reportedly gained access to the corridors of power in New Delhi, if the statements made by the personal staff of the Quattrocchi family are any indication. Mr Quattrocchi, one of the key accused in the Rs 64-cro

Delhi's options beyond Iran

By Robert M Cutler When US President George W Bush was in India this month, he caused a flurry of commentary, especially in the Indian media, by appearing to lift long-standing American objections to the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan to India. "Our beef with Iran is not the pipeline," he said in Islamabad. "Our beef with Iran is the fact that they want to develop a nuclear weapon ... We understand that you [Pakistan] need to get natural gas, and that is fine." Yet as recently as mid-January, the United States had reiterated once more its opposition to an Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. A week later, US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman was in Islamabad to offer clarifications. The US continued to have "serious reservations" about the project. "Other pipeline projects are very good and we are ready to help." If this was not clear enough, a White House National Security Council spokesman added: "As we stat

Politics of Dalitism: creating Dalits among Dalits By R.Upadhyay The attempt of some of activists of Dalit movement in India to internationalise the issue in World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) concluded in the first week of September and follow up actions have created an impression that there is something basically wrong in the ideological orientation of the movement. The word Dalit was coined in post-colonial India by the disciples of Ambedkar. They did not accept the word Harijan (Men of God) used by Gandhi for the untouchables in Hindu social order because of their aversion against him. The word Dalit therefore, became the vernacular terminology for the oppressed classes, with a wider connotation for electoral sociology in the democratic polity of the country. Mahatma Gandhi & Dr. Ambedkar: If we look to the history of Dalit movement, it is as old as the birth of the concept of untouchability, which was the darkest spot in Hindu social structure. Though, Hindu reformists trie


The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: by B. Raman The late R. N. Kao , the founding father of the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), India's external intelligence agency, was my mentor as an intelligence analyst. 2. In July, 1967, as a 31-year-old Police officer, I started my intelligence career under him in the Intelligence Bureau (IB). He was, inter alia, in charge of external intelligence. On September 21, 1968, when the R&AW was formed by bifurcating the IB, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, appointed him its head. I moved over to the R&AW along with other officers, who were serving in the external intelligence division of the IB. 3. I was close to him not only throughout my career as an intelligence officer, but also after my retirement-----almost till the day of his death in January, 2002. I had a feeling t