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Showing posts from May 10, 2009

Election 2009: BJP got what it deserved

Radha Rajan 17 May 2009 When ambition overrode ideology Karan Thapar accurately summed up the election results in a telling one-liner – while both the Congress and the BJP faced a host of problems until three weeks ago, Congress’ problems dissolved into nothingness while BJP tripped over them. A truer thing was never said. What Karan Thapar did not say was that while all of Congress’ problems were external to the party, BJP’s problems were all from within. Behind Karan Thapar’s one line summary lurked a sordid tale of epic proportions. The BJP suffers from seven problems – Advani, Jaswant Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh; each one’s coterie expanding their personal agendas in an oceanic circle, some of them expanding across the Atlantic and the Pacific and then coming back to Indian shores as returning currents with ambitious jetsam and flotsam riding on their crests. Venkaiah Naidu for some reason opted out of the ra


B.RAMAN There has been a lot of discussion going on for the last 12 hours or more in the pro-Hindutva web sites in India and abroad about the stunning failure of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to do well in the just-concluded elections to the Lok Sabha, the lower House of the Indian Parliament, and the dramatic success of the Congress (I). The pro-Hindutva elements, which regularly visit these web sites and make their postings, are in an astonishing state of shock. There is more introspection already going on in these web sites than in New Delhi and State capitals and there is more loud-thinking than in the endless debates in our TV channels. It is more interesting and educative to read these postings in the web sites than to listen to the blah, blah, blah of the spokesmen of different parties and the so-called analysts who have congregated in New Delhi. 2. As one goes through these web sites, one is struck by the admiration of many pro-Hindutva elements over the way the Congres

Black money: Notice to 50 Indians with LGT a/cs

13 May 2009, 0056 hrs IST, M Padmakshan, ET Bureau MUMBAI: The government has made the first move to home in on individuals and entities who have stashed away black money in one of the offshore banks. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has sent notices to at least 50 individuals figuring among a list of Indians who hold accounts with the LGT Bank, Leichtenstein, a tax haven which borders Germany. “We have sent notices. Whatever action that can be taken under law would follow,” CBDT chairman SSN Moorthy told ET. The tax authorities have sought information on the source of the money lying in the overseas bank and whether the account holders have paid tax on the amounts. The list, provided by the German government, reportedly contain the names of some prominent Indian businessmen and industrialists. However, the Indian government is under obligation not to make the names public as they were provided under the Indo-German Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). The info

A battle is lost, but not the war

Kanchan Gupta Atal Bihari Vajpayee was given to moments of jocular frivolity at times of great stress, for instance on the eve of election results. At the fag end of the 1999 election campaign, a senior journalist asked him what would rate as one of the most banal, if not asinine, questions: “Mr Vajpayee, who do you think will emerge winner?” Without batting his eyelids, Mr Vajpayee replied, “Of course the BJP.” That was contrary to what opinion polls, including one commissioned by his party, were saying: The Congress, according to pollsters, had an edge over the BJP. Later that evening, I made a passing reference to the ease with which he was predicting a BJP victory in the face of a concerted Congress assault. Mr Vajpayee laughed it off and then said, “Nobody can predict the outcome of an election, never mind what politicians and pollsters say.” Placing three fingers of his right hand face down on his left palm, he added, “Any election is like a game of ‘teen patti’ (three-card game

BJP losing Youth: Thoughts on Election Results

-- N S Rajaram It is all wishfull thinking. How do old people like Advani answer to the aspirations of the youth and also how can they 'connect' to a grandfatherly figure when a much older figure like me sees him as an anachronism. Are you going to inspire the youth so that they will vote for Advani in 2014? I see it in simple terms: Manmohan Singh kept Advani engaged while the Congress youth brigade engaged the voters. This is a classic military tactic though I don't believe the Congress worked it out as a strategy. But that was the effect and people should learn from it and plan for the future. If this 'cultural plane' (or pub culture) were so effective in getting young people to vote for the Congress, why did BJP do very well in coastal Karnataka winning all the seats and split with the Congress in Goa in spite of its substantial Christian population? What worked in the 80s will not work with the voters today many of whom were not born the

BJP lost because of six big reasons -- Analysis

Nachiketa Tiwari Analysis of current results These results will change the direction of current Indian politics. Prior to rise of ABV government, Indian political parties were classified in two broad categories. These were: Congress, and anti-Congress. Post NDA government, the nucleation started slowly getting transformed into parties around BJP and parties against BJP. So, anti-Congressism yielded to Secularism (or p-secularism or anti-BJP_ism) . Look at the numbers. At the last count, compared to 2004, BJP has lost 15 seats, and Congress has gained about 55 seats. So, the extra forty odd seats have come at the expense of Left, BSP, SP, etc. This very important point, has been missed by most of the critiques of present election results. During the pre-NDA years, folks like Mulayam, Naidu, Left, Lalu, BSP, etc. were competing a group of voters (Dalit/OBC/Muslim) which overlapped with the Congress electoral base (Harijan/Forwards/ Muslims). With passage of time, Congress became

Why BJP lost : A view from David Frawley, a long standing friend of India.

David Frawley My message to BJP is the same as what I would give to any organization: don't bank on nostalgia. India is the youngest nation in the world. To them many voters, BJP like Advani, Shekhawat & Co are museum pieces . Present a youthful and vigorous image. Rajnath Singh said that BJP did poorly because it didn't have Vajpayee. Surely, you need more useful analysis. ---Quite right. Rajnath is another museum piece. I remember speaking at the BJP Central office in Delhi in 1999 and finding that they had 11 Vice Presidents all above the age of 75, several of which could barely walk. I asked them why they didn't put young people in the job to prepare them and make them better known. They said that their policy was to honor the elderly. I told them they needed younger people, they shrugged it off. Our books have succeeded because we can reach the youth. It is not just the message but how you frame it. Advani at 81 should not have run and the attempt to repacka

Use Of Soft Power In Counter-Terrorism---What I Wrote On

Use Of Soft Power In Counter-Terrorism---What I Wrote On November 17, 2007 By B. Raman (According to a despatch dated May 13, 2009, from Aziz Hanifa, the special correspondent of in Washington DC, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for the Af-Pak region, said: "Concurrent with the insurgency is an information war. We are losing that war. The Taliban has unrestricted and unchallenged access to the radio, which is the main means of communication in an area where literacy is around 10 percent for men and less than five percent for women. Radio is broadcast from the backs of pick-up trucks and motorcycles. These are low-wattage FM radio stations. We have no counter-programming efforts that existed when we took office. We don't have jamming, we don't try to override, we don't do counter-programming." In this connection, I am reproducing below an article titled "Use of Soft Power in

How Much the Balts Owe Russia?

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation Yuri BARANCHIK It took Latvia many years to calculate the damage that the nation suffered from the 'Soviet occupation', and in late April Riga officially announced that Moscow should pay Latvia more than 10 billion lats ($18,7 billion). How all this can be explained? A special 'counting commission' dealt with the issue for three years. They launched a database of Latvian citizens who were subject to forced resettlement on 25 March, 1949 (in all- 55, 580 people). The commission also focused on the damage to the Latvian economy in 1935 (?)-1940, when the country was under the Soviet rule, and also on the damage suffered from 1945 to 1990, when the Republic's economy was administrative. They also counted the demographic damage of 1940-1959. However, this part of the commission's report raises doubts and is very likely to be excluded from the final document as experts believe it does not reveal Europe's losses in WW II

"Pakistan Can Defy the Odds: How to Rescue a Failing State"

ISPU released its newest report on the future of Pakistan at a congressional briefing on Monday, May 11th on Capitol Hill. The briefing has been sponsored by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson. Complete Report available at: "Pakistan Can Defy the Odds: How to Rescue a Failing State" - Dr. Hassan Abbas Excerpt: Is Pakistan collapsing? How far are the Taliban from Islamabad? Can al-Qaeda grab the country’s nuclear weapons? These are the types of questions raised every day by the American media, academia and policy circles. And these are critical issues, given the nature of the evolving crisis in Pakistan. The approximately two dozen suicide bombings in 2009 so far, 66 in 2008, and 61 in 2007, all of which have targeted armed forces personnel, police, politicians, and ordinary people not only in the country’s turbulent northwest but also in its major urban centers, indicate the seriousness of the threat. A maj


B.RAMAN Afghanistan has seen a third Mumbai-style commando attack by suicidal terrorists on multiple targets. The previous two had taken place in Kabul and Kandahar. The latest---the third one--- took place in Khost in Eastern Afghanistan on May 12,2009. Three groups of suicidal bombers launched commando-style attacks on the compound of the local Governor, the nearby police headquarters and a municipal building. The multiple attacks, which began at around 10 AM ended only at 5 PM after US and Afghan security forces managed to eliminate the terrorists or some of them blew themselves up. Initially, the raiding Neo Taliban terrorists took 20 hostages, but the US and Afghan troops managed to free them. A Neo Taliban spokesman has claimed that the multiple attacks were launched by 30 of their men. 2.Eleven members of the raiding parties and nine members of the Afghan security forces and civilians are reported to have been killed during the seven-hour confrontation between the security f

Total Innovation : UK report

Total Innovation DOWNLOAD : REPORT Why harnessing the hidden innovation in high-technology sectors is crucial to retaining the UK’s innovation edge Foreword Innovation is vital to the UK’s future economic prosperity and quality of life. So it is crucial that we understand where innovation comes from, who does it, what stimulates it, and how it benefits our economy and society. In October 2006, we published the first in a series of reports on what we call ‘hidden innovation’ – the types of innovation that tend to be neglected by traditional indicators. We suggested that an ‘innovation gap’ had opened up between these indicators, the reality of innovation in the UK, and the policy intended to stimulate and support it. Much has changed since then: a new UK government department for innovation; a White Paper that explicitly recognises the importance of hidden innovation; and the announcement of a major new effort to measure innovation in ways that more accurately reflect the UK’s eco


B.RAMAN The Barack Obama administration’s policy of playing down the issue of the alleged violation of the human rights of the Tibetans in China has not had any impact on the US Congress. The Tibetan cause continues to receive the same support from both Houses of the Congress, despite their being dominated by the Democratic Party, as it was receiving during the administration of George Bush. This continuing Congressional support for the Tibetan cause on the same scale as during the previous administration is reflected in the budgetary allocations for the fiscal year 2009 and in the access enjoyed by various Tibetan non-governmental organizations to leading members of the two Houses, belonging to both the Democratic and the Republican Parties. 2. The budget for fiscal 2009 has allocated US $ 17 million for various Tibetan causes. The break-ups available are as follows: (a). Funds for educational and cultural programmes inside Tibet ---US $ 7.3 million. (b). Funds for T

IT investment outlook By Michelle Price | Published: 05 May, 2009 As the financial crisis forces banks and financial institutions to strip costs out of their budgets, it remains unclear how badly IT will suffer. The Banker surveyed the investment intentions of IT chiefs across the industry. Writer Michelle Price The global financial services industry has long-been notorious for its bloated IT budgets, which far exceed those found in the majority of other sectors. But as the global financial crisis renders resources ever-scarcer, the financial services industry's well-provisioned IT departments cannot hope to escape unscathed. Between February and April 2009, The Banker surveyed a group of 129 chief information officers (CIOs), chief technology officers (CTOs), IT directors and managers from across the banking sector in order to understand how their IT budgets have been affected by the downturn and how they intend