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Showing posts from October 21, 2012

Realty comes back to bite the Pawar family

  Intriguing tale of corruption if not tragic for the country...only if similar energy had been used for nation building Lavasa has put the spotlight back on Sharad Pawar and his daughter Supriya Sule. But there are three other equally scandalous realty projects involving the Sules where the family used its influence to illegally grab government land   By Ashish Khetan         IN A recent interview to a television news channel, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh spelt out what was until now an unwritten code in Indian politics. In a moment of candour, Singh said that the Congress never questioned the business dealings of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's foster-son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya, though it had enough reasons to do so. The personal fortunes of Bhattacharya, who had started his career as a management trainee with Oberoi Hotels, rose exponentially during the sixyear- long rule

India gears up for trilateral with U.S., Japan

Sandeep Dikshit TOPICS diplomacy international relations  The third India-U.S.-Japan trilateral discussions will be held here on Monday, just over a fortnight before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves for Tokyo, followed by a visit to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for the India-Asean summit.The trilateral meet will see the U.S. explaining its Asia pivot, while maritime security will be a major topic of discussion. In addition, officials from the three countries will touch on Afghanistan and Central Asia, efforts to embed India in the regional diplomatic architecture of the East Asia Summit, Asean Regional Forum and APEC. As the U.S. trilateral team chief Robert Blake's boss William Burns put it on Friday in a different context, the engagements would help "keep a very careful eye on less promising trends across the region, and the revival of old animosities that can quickly under


    B.RAMAN   Since the afternoon of October 26,2012, there has been a lull in communal rioting between the Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine State (Arakan ) of Myanmar. 2. The rioting broke out on October 21,2012, reportedly following demonstrations  by some Buddhists against allowing the OIC to open a humanitarian relief office in Yangon. The Rohingya Muslims wanted the office to be opened. 3. Despite opposition from some Buddhists, the Government of President TheinSein has continued to accept humanitarian relief from the OIC countries for distribution to both the communities.It has been reported that two planeloads of humanitarian relief material arrived at Yangon from Turkey on October 25. 4. According to Government sources, when the rioting broke out on October 21, the security forces found themselves to be inadequately numbered and had difficulty in controlling the situation.Reinforcements have since reached the State and th

Q&A: ‘Baloch Groups to Unite Against Pakistan’

By Karlos Zurutuza Karlos Zurutuza interviews ALLAH NAZAR, Balochistan Liberation Front commander. Baloch fighters at a location in Pakistan. Credit: Karlos Zurutuza/IPS. SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain, Oct 26 2012 (IPS) - Fighters in the Balochistan province of Pakistan will soon set up a common front to take on the Pakistani military in their fight for Baloch independence, a senior commander of the Balochistan Liberation Front tells IPS in an interview. "We are in full coordination with all Baloch resistance movements and we are soon to form a united command," Dr. Allah Nazar, a doctor turned guerrilla fighter tells IPS in the interview on the phone earlier this month. Divided by the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Baloch have their own language, and live across a land the size of France they call "Balochistan." The rugged terrain under their feet boasts enormous reserves of gas, gold and copper, and untapped oil and uranium. But this is also the most under


B.RAMAN   The fresh communal clashes  between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, which broke out on October 21,2012, have worsened despite the induction of security forces reinforcements by the Government. 2. While local Government sources have put the total number of fatalities so far at 20, a despatch of the Associated Press of the US has put it at 56. Local sources say that many of the latest fatalities seem to have occurred due to the security forces opening fire to bring rioters from both the communities under control.Arson attacks at nights have reportedly led to the destruction of nearly 2000 houses so far. 3. The areas worst affected by the violence and arson attacks areMinbyar,Mrauk-U,Kyaukpyu and Kyauktaw. Reports from the affected areas indicate that the security  forces, though inadequately numbered, have been trying to protect the Muslims by opening fire on rioting Buddhist mobs seeking to attack the Muslims. This sh

Gadkari and the business of politics

SREENIVASAN JAIN Hindu Oped 26X12   The BJP president's financial dealings reek of cronyism and conflict of interest, and could jeopardise his political career   The current shadow of controversy that hangs over Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari has its roots in the distinctive nature of Maharashtra politics, dominated by owners of sugar mills, cooperative banks, dairies, and educational institutions, sometimes by all four at once. It's a trend which might cause alarm elsewhere but which Maharashtra's politicians like to present with a benign spin, that there is nothing wrong with padding your political base and bank balances as long as it is also in the public good. Who knows, perhaps in its early years this formula might have made for a certain kind of progressive politics, absent in the cow-belt States. But 50 years down the line, those same cooper


B.RAMAN ShriNitinGadkari, President of the BJP, and Shri Naveen Jindal, Member of the LokSabha belonging to the Congress, are businessmen who have entered politics and have continued to be associated with decision-making relating to their business companies even while playing their political role. 2. Mrs.Sonia Gandhi, President of the Congress, which is in power in the Government of India, is the mother-in-law of Shri Robert Vadra, who has prospered in business after  marryingMs.Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. 3.Mr. Mitt Romney is a member of the US Republican Party belonging to a well-known business family of Massachusetts.He entered politics to become the Governor of his State.He is now contesting the US Presidential elections against President Barack Obama. 4. ShriGadkari has got involved in a huge controversy because of his continued association with his business companies when he was the PWD Minister in the Maharashtra Cabinet in the

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India Strategy Forum 2012

3rd Annual India Strategy Forum India Strategy Forum 2012 October 30-31, 2012, Hotel The Grand, New Delhi. Organised by   Institute for Strategy  -  A Global Think Tank of Strategy Experts from Top Global Business Schools / Universities and CEOs focused on Asia. MEMBERSHIP We are inviting membership, both Corporate and Individual, for the Think Tank. Highlights v    Comprehensive Agenda Developed by Top Global Experts. v    Targeted at Leaders and CXOs in India or those interested in India. v    Focus on Practice of Corporate, Business and Functional Strategy in India. v    60 High Profile Speakers consisting of Chairmen, CEOs, Managing Directors. v    Already Confirmed Participation by Senior Management from 300  Companies.

Why the U.S. Debate’s Silence on India? By Margherita Stancati Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images President Barack Obama greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the third and final presidential debate in Florida, October 22. In the third and final debate between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, India wasn't mentioned, not even once. By comparison, this is how often the following countries were mentioned: Iran: 47 times Israel: 34 times China: 32 times Syria: 28 times Pakistan: 25 times Afghanistan: 21 times Why was India left out? The bottom line, says Sadanand Dhume, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank, is that "India is much less central to U.S. foreign policy than many pundits in New Delhi would like to believe." Ouch. "India is a large and inward-looking country and i


B.RAMAN The Myanmar Government headed by President TheinSein is rushing Army reinforcements to the Rakhine State following  a fresh outbreak of clashes between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in different townships of the Rakhine State since October 21,2012. 2.So far, two Rohingya Muslims and one Buddhist have been killed in the clashes and about 1000 houses, mostly belonging to Rohingya Muslims, have allegedly been burnt down, thereby forcing the Muslim residents of these houses to shift to boats. 3. The fresh anti-Muslim campaign has assumed new disturbing features. Buddhist monks have revived their opposition to the Government accepting humanitarian assistance for the Rohingya Muslim displaced persons from the OIC member-countries. Following bitter opposition from the monks, the Government of TheinSein has reversed its decision to allow the OIC to set up a branch in Yangon. It has now stated that it will allow the OIC to have only a temporary set-up in Yan


B.RAMAN  The third andthe  last US Presidential debate, a fortnight before the polling day, was held on the morning of October 23,2012 (Indian Standard Time). 2. It was supposed to have been devoted almost exclusively to foreign policy, but economic issues kept intruding into the debate quite often and sometimes in a substantive manner. 3.Even before the debate, it was known that Mr.Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger, is weak on foreign policy issues. He did remarkably well in the first debate which was totally devoted to economic and social issues.He, therefore, kept bringing in economic issues in context and out of context and President Barack Obama found himself forced to react to him in kind. 4. On purely foreign policy issues, Mr.Obama did much better than Mr.Romney, but even then he could not cross the 50 per cent mark in terms of support from the sample voters ( 48 per cent) polled by the CNN after the debate. 5. After the conclusion of a

US seal on India’s key role in rebuilding Afghanistan

The 218 km road connecting Zaranj on the Afghan-Iran border to Delaram on the main Herat-Kandahar Highway at an estimated cost of $150 million and 130  lives  was clearly meant to be one of most expensive and visible symbols of India’s commitment to Afghanistan’s reconstruction. The road was completed in 2009. Within two years, Maulavi Abdul Rasheed, the provincial head Taliban effectively took control of this road link, which in turn allowed him to dominate the entire Nimroz province. With negligible NATO/ISAF relationship with Iran, the highway was of  little use to the US and its allies. Their personnel, concentrated in the two towns, Zaranj and Delaram, are largely serviced by the airfields in both cities. The Zaranaj-Delaram misadventure should be instructive to those who seek India’s “return to the center stage in Afghanistan after being relegated to the sidelines for two years.”   Rajesh Kadian US seal on India’s key role in rebuilding Afghanistan TNN  |  Oct 20,

Baloch people being treated like slaves: Akhtar Mengal

Watch Video : Pakistan has not just neglected Balochistan but has also discriminated against it ever since its army forcefully occupied the region in March 1948. The exploitation of the region’s natural wealth continues at the cost of lives of hundreds of Baloch political activists and nationalist leaders. There is no rule of law in Balochistan, which is facing the worst kind of human rights violations. " We have been occupied against our will. Balochistan was forcefully occupied by Pakistan and till now we have not been treated as equals. We are being treated like slaves." said baloch leader Sardar Mengal Sardar Akhtar Mengal of Balochistan National Party (BNP) is among many Baloch leaders who have been forced to live in self-imposed exile. He has been living in London for the last three years. He recently visited Islamabad to depose on the state of Balochistan before the Supreme Court and submitted a six-point plan that asked for a

Understanding China’s world view

Shyam Saran Delegates at the annual Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. THE Chinese will insistently demand and sometimes obtain explicit formulations from a friend and an adversary alike on issues of importance to their interests, but will rarely concede clarity and finality in formulations reflecting the other side’s interests. Thus, there is the recurring demand that India reaffirm, time and again, its recognition of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. In 2003, during Prime Minister Vajpayee’s visit, China conceded Sikkim as a part of India but this was not explicitly recorded in a written formulation. In 2005, during Wen Jiabao’s visit to India, China went a step further and handed over maps of China, showing Sikkim as part of India. Recently, some Chinese scholars have pointed out that the absence of an official statement recognising Indian sovereignty leaves the do