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Showing posts from May 18, 2008

The UPA’s Item Girl

Source: OFFSTUMPED Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has once again reminded us what a gutless wonder he has reduced himself to with these shameful remarks on Vasundhara Raje, BJP leader and Rajasthan Chief Minister. “Perhaps she (Raje) is shaken after the recent blasts and is saying anything that is not true. She should have avoided it (making the statement). She has just exposed her weakness,” Patil said. If Shivraj Patil has a different take on reality, he should have come out with his version of the facts, laying out the correspondence on paper for the public to see and draw its conclusions. But Shivraj Patil did not do that and instead resorted to some cheap machismo with snide references to Vasundhara Raje’s gender. Politically this must rank as the biggest blunder the Congress could have made in a State that has historically prided itself on the honor with which women are respected, even if they were wedded to one’s worst enemy. While the Rajasthan Congress must be counti

Gilgit-Baltistan The Laws of Occupation Ajai Sahni* & Saji Cherian^ From the very moment of its birth, Pakistan has made ‘Kashmir’1 a central pillar of its strategic quest, linked integrally to the fundamentals of its long-emergent and tenuous national identity. Across successive Governments, through ‘democratic’ and military regimes, a relentless ‘Kashmir policy’ – never modified beyond its most superficial and trifling elements – has been pursued through all instruments available: politics, diplomacy, international alliances, war, internal repression, propaganda, demographic engineering and terrorism. It is not the intention, here, to enter into an analysis of this broad and sustained policy, but to focus on one of its integral elements – Pakistan’s effort to de-link the ‘Northern Areas’ from the ‘dispute’ over Kashmir, and to treat the status of the Gilgit-Baltistan region as ‘settled’. It is an unfortunate fact of India’s diplomatic histor

Jaipur to Raipur

By Chandan Mitra From Jaipur to Raipur and beyond, India is under a siege within. While the political class has predictably fulminated against Pakistan and Bangladesh, the fact is that every heinous crime against the people of India has been committed by Indians, even if funded and trained by outside forces. For the ordinary citizen it comes as no solace to learn that something called HuJI has replaced LeT or JeM as the new face of terror in India. For the victims of terror, the jihadi terrorist remains an elusive, sinister figure irrespective of nomenclature. Periodically we are told that these shadowy organisations receive logistic support from yet another dangerous outfit, SIMI (or is it now called SIM?). Whether it is the Students' Islamic Movement that acts as the liaison agency for the executors of bomb blasts, it is quite inconsequential to the public at large. Jihadi terrorists have demonstrated their ability to strategise precisely, plan