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Showing posts from June 6, 2010

The importance of being Leela Naidu

Leela: A Patchwork Life Leela Naidu with Jerry Pinto Penguin Viking 180 pages Rs450 Thanks to the mass media, the last hundred years have seen an explosion of female beauty. Every woman you seen on screen is good-looking. Even the ones that are not. Some of them are natural-born beauties. Many are artificially enhanced beauties with doctored noses, filled up lips, and a socialist redistribution of body fat. And there are those who manage to pass themselves off as beautiful through the sheer force of their PR machinery. That great treasury of information on beautiful women, Wikipedia, lists 58 winners of the Miss India pageant alone. Leela Naidu happens to be one of those 58, having won the title in 1954. Like today’s winners routinely do, she too moved from beauty pageant winning to film acting. Her first film, Anuradha, released in 1960, when she was 20 years old. Her last, Electric Moon, was in 1992


B.RAMAN The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist-cum-insurgent organisation is dead. So is most of its leadership at the senior levels, including Prabakaran, its head. One cannot say with equal confidence that all its trained cadres----whether in insurgency or terrorism or both----have been fully accounted for----either killed or captured. Its dead leaders have not left detailed documentation of their set-up giving details of the number trained, the number of losses, the number still alive towards the end of their fight with the Sri Lankan Army, their deployment, their capabilities, weapons-holdings etc. As a result, it is difficult to assess with some accuracy the risks of a revival of the Tamil militancy in some form or the other in Sri Lanka as well as in Tamil Nadu. 2. One can assess with some confidence that there is little likelihood of the revival of a Tamil insurgent movement. The losses in trained personnel and capabilities suffered by the LTTE at th

India has learnt nothing from the Bhopal tragedy

June 11, 2010 17:04 IST With the June 7 Bhopal judgment, India [ Images ] has been reduced to a Fourth World country. This story of shame can only end if the government appeals against the judgment, gets proper criminal liability restored and seriously pursues the case against all the accused, notes Praful Bidwai. 2010/jun/11/praful-bidwai-on- the-bhopal-gas-tragedy.htm The victims of the world's worst chemical disaster abandoned hope of securing real justice a long time ago. As someone who covered the gas leak at Union Carbide Corporation's pesticides plant in Bhopal from an early stage and has probably written more on the issue than any other journalist, I would put the date at February 1989, when the Indian government reached an atrociously inadequate out-of-court settlement with Carbide for $470 million (about Rs 710 crore at the exchange rates prevailing in 1989), totalling no more than UCC's insurance cover plus interest. The Supr

[INDIA-US-DIALOGUE] How Anderson Was Allowed To Get Away by Sundeep Dougal default.aspx?ddm=10&pid=2244 Much anguish has been expressed about Digvijay Singh's remarks about American pressure in the release of Warren Anderson, as if he was revealing some state-secret. Bharat Desai in the TOI sums it up well: "Today, 25 years later, the entire media is unravelling the 'mystery' behind the release of the Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson five days after the disaster, as if it this is some piece of breaking news..." And what he goes on to say will not come as breaking news to anyone who followed the happenings in those days when the media may not have been all that pervasive, but the American pressure was an open secret: Chief minister Arjun Singh had apparently not consulted the caretaker Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi before ordering the arrest of Anderson on December 7. After the arrest, Rajiv Gandhi's powerful aide and cousin, Arun Nehru, telephoned Arjun Singh and told him that US President R

Criminal collusion

The Pioneer Edit Desk Who helped Anderson flee? 262024/Criminal-collusion.html La affaire Warren Anderson, who was the chairman of Union Carbide Corp, the American parent company of Union Carbide India Ltd when deadly methyl isocyanate gas leaked from its pesticides factory in Bhopal killing at least 15,000 people — many of them died during the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984; others died a painful, slow death over a period of time — gets murkier with each passing day. Anderson arrived in Bhopal four days after what turned out to be the world’s worst industrial disaster, apparently to see for himself the extent of death and destruction caused by the leak which had resulted from Union Carbide’s criminal indifference to safety measures at its hazardous unit in order to save money and increase profits. The police arrested him, and rightly so, but that action proved to be inconsequential. Anderson, instead of being carted off to jail, was taken to

Bhopal Tragedy: Corporate Liability for Mass Disaster

Guest Column by Kandaswami Subramanian (The views expressed by the author are his own) http://www.southasiaanalysis. org/%5Cpapers39%5Cpaper3854. html Ever since the long awaited judgment in the Bhopal chemical disaster case was delivered on June 8, there was not a single newspaper, national or international, which had not reported the case without anger or disgust. It happened on that fateful night of 2 December 1984 and more than a quarter century had to pass before a court in India could convict persons found responsible for the crime. All of them are Indian managers of the plant at the time of its blow up. Sadly, the punishment is so light and disproportionate to the magnitude of the crime, it is difficult for an average person to decide whether to cry or laugh. Not that he is not aware of the long and tortuous route which the case had to traverse over the years through the dark alleys and potholes of the judicial system and how, due to the lackadaisical manner in which the go