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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pak & Taliban Truce...Huh What a Joke!!?

Events in Pakistan are fast approaching critical mass. Islamabad's deal with the Tanzim Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) has set off alarm bells from Washington to New Delhi. This is such a big no-no. Signing off on a pending measure to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan by 17,000, US president Barack Obama drew a clear link between the situation there and the rapidly deteriorating state of affairs in Pakistan. New Delhi has been unequivocal in its condemnation of the truce and NATO has expressed misgivings as well. They all have cause for concern. Islamabad's actions have raised a multitude of troubling questions which the no Civilized Govt. can answer.

Shown in the figure is the Afghanistan -Pakistan border, with areas colored in Red under Taliban Control & in Yellow under Taliban Threat as of 2004.

Trying to discern which of its multiplicity of voices represents the real Pakistan is the foremost of these. President Asif Zardari's admission that the Taliban are taking over the country seems like a powerless head of state's desperate gambit to impel US action. The truce, on the other hand, bears Rawalpindi's fingerprints. Some analysts believe that it is a tactical retreat so that another front can be opened against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Waziristan. A far more troubling possibility, however, is that some generals are giving the Taliban breathing space, still believing it an asset to be controlled even if it means compromising the integrity of the Pakistani state. 

Whatever it may be, the situation is close to crossing the red line beyond which the international community will have no option but to act. The Taliban is running a quasi-state stretching from east of Kabul to the western third of Pakistan with al-Qaeda elements finding safe haven in its territory. Threats have been made against India and there are indications of an eastward expansion by the Taliban into Islamabad. When US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said in Tokyo that the extremist elements in Pakistan posed a direct threat to the US, she was, if anything, understating the case. If the Taliban gains access to Pakistan's nuclear assets, it will be a game-changer for the world. 

In such a situation, India can do little save focus on the security of its western border and keep open lines of communication with the US, Russia and China among others. To assume that the Pakistani military would be willing or able to regain lost ground after the truce would be dangerous. If I am correct, it was precisely in this way that the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan commenced in 1994, with a populace weary of constant warfare welcoming it as the bringer of a tenuous peace, and finding too late that it was riding a tiger. In Pakistan, where the civilian government does not control the military, jihadi elements permeate both the military and the ISI and the generals still cling to disastrous tenets of 'strategic depth', the fallout is likely to be worse.

So is this a political drama or an intelligent move by "Bureaucracy of Terrorism", we just have to wait and watch. But to rather think that the truce would ease the tensions on the border is a farce proposition.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Religion & How is it different from GOD!!!

I am typically not shy from expressing my unrestrained views on a polarizing topic such as God and Religion but my friend Anoop had a tremendous impact on me when one fine day we were discussing this topic of God and it compelled me to comment and write some more.

God is a controversial topic. Actually its not....religion is...but in the middle of all the cacophony of religion, we forget the concept of God somewhere. 

I am not an atheist. I believe in God. I just don't believe in religion and irrelevant concepts around it. I don't believe in rituals ... but I believe in faith....

Similar is my theory of God. I do not know if God exists. But I believe that we create the thought of a God who controls everything so that we have hope in life. We like to have someone to blame when things go wrong, its always God's fault or fate's. When things are down, we like to believe that there is someone we can depend on. Some hope of things getting better by divine intervention. God gives us hope. Even if it is self created.

So by that logic, I don't know whether God really exists. To me, God doesn't really exist in reality, we keep Him/Her alive in our hearts to give us strength and hope....

I do believe that contrary to what most religions would like you to think, God (if he or she does exist) does not distinguish between good or bad (evil). Good and evil are purely human concepts which are not present across all living creatures and most likely embraced equally by God. Concepts of good and bad, morality and fate, etc. etc. are preached religions so that the sheep retain a sense of hope, restraint, and refrain from rebellion as they get mauled, eaten, and used by the wolves on a regular basis. Thus the wolves is sheep's clothing and some sheep allied with the wolves promote religion like a drug...

Don't be a sheep and don't count on the good shepherd to protect you from the wolves. The good shepherd may not exist, or worse, even if he does he may have equal affinity for the wolves and the sheep!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Talibanization of India? What Is Ram Sene...Trash Heads!!!

Fifteen-year-old Ashwini committed suicide because she felt humiliated. But the men who caught and thrashed her haven't been arrested yet. In the Mangalore pub attack earlier, right wing Hindu activists thrashed women publically. The men from Sri Ram Sene were bailed out within a week. So when Mangalore's reputation is under attack what do the authorities do? The Mayor presses charges against a Union Minister for calling the developments Talibanisation. 

Pub Culture is not a part of our culture and has led to unfortunate incidents like the one in Mangalore” BS Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka 

If St Stephen’s were to open a co-ed hostel, it would also be required to build a maternity house alongside” MS Frank, administrative head of St Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

“….one should not be so adventurous…” Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister of Delhi referring to a young lady journalist traveling home after work at 3am who was chased and shot point blank in her car. Saumya Vishwanathan is a producer with Headlines Today, English News Channel. She was covering Bomb Blasts in Malegaon and Gujarat and had to sit late to complete the assignment. She was done by 3 AM and was returning from her Jhandewalan Office towards Vasant Kunj, her home when she was shot in her own car.

"Our volunteers will check parks, hotels and restaurants and swoop upon young lovers found walking hand-in-hand," Vijay Tiwari, a Shiv Sena activist in Lucknow, said. "We are deadly against Valentine's Day," Sapan Dutta, a Sena leader, said. "We are for civilized love and affection." Bal Thackeray comments “Only those who are not patriotic and has a lot of parents' money to spend will celebrate the day”. 

India's Taliban is our very own elected government and politicians?? Last time I checked, I lived in a free democratic country?!?!! Please excuse me while I quit my job and go home to live within my 4 walls, covered from head to toe, saving the Indian/ Hindu Culture....

How Rubbish that in a Country like India, fascism of this sort still prevails. How disgusting to note today, that one voice that actually termed this whole incident as pathetic mauling and Talibznization of India, Mrs Renuka Chowdary, gets a notice for using the term Taliban against these unlawful proprietors from a NGO Activist. High time that the whole youth of India rise to thrash such farce and brutal acts of insanity.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Football Fanatics!!!

Football, as it is known to its billions of fans is the most beautiful game with breath taking skills and maneuvers from some of world’s greatest footballers. Remember my days from 12th grade, where I had a little story describing the fierce rivalry between Glasgow’s Rangers and Celtics, which struck me intrigued on the frantic behavior of fans. Rather amusingly I now accept that I do the same. In England and more so in Europe, more than in any other country or region, there is a tradition of supporters travelling en masse to away games.

I am assuming those football fans who regularly follow their team away from home will be familiar with the concept of a "face"; a person you regularly see but rarely know, someone you nod at without saying hello to who reminds you that you're in the right place. Such things do inspire and motivate a fan to travel thousands of miles to watch their team play.

So how big is football without the fans. It sure remains the most beautiful game, but I say not even one tenth of what it is today. Those on the pitch are merely transient, just passing through; incidental to the whole shebang when compared to those who were there before they arrived and will be there long after they've left. Football supporters refer affectionately to the team as "the shirts" because ultimately it doesn't matter a stuff who's wearing them as long as they do so with honor and pride; what's important is the people and place it represents.

Though very controversial, the whole transfer saga of Cristiano Ronaldo’s move away from Manchester United to Madrid is a shab. The fans in this case, did not want any other player but CR to wear the shirt with Number 7 behind it. They wanted him to stay, unlike many clubs where players come and go, Manchester United is more of a footballing dream rather than a mere club. So, why leave all those fans behind and irk for some extra dollars? And the saga continue, with Real’s interim president Boluda admitting that he is very confident of Ronaldo’s move to the Spanish Capital this summer.

A paucity of resources does not result in a poor performance. An under-strength squad does not equate to underachievement. So whenever another manager whinges about a small squad or a lack of finances, he should be confronted with Ranieri's record with Chelsea back in 2002-03. The more players he was missing, the more Chelsea achieves.

The shame is that those playing and running the game continually fail to realise this. Players become ever more remote, content to milk the adulation of the crowd for the duration of the 90 minutes, before insulating themselves from its members the rest of the time behind minders, gates and VIP areas. Nonetheless its members would do well to remember that ultimately there will be a price; not all supporters will have the limitless loyalty.