Showing posts from December, 2013

Aurora Borealis – Christmas Edition

A happy new year to all !!

Suspended IAS officer Sharma gives Snoopgate transcripts to Supreme Court

Suspended Gujarat IAS officer Pradeep Sharma has submitted to the Supreme Court the transcripts of a taped telephone conversation to bolster his case that Chief Minister Narendra Modi kept him and a woman under "all-pervasive" and "intrusive" surveillance.  The transcripts, which run to 90 pages, are part of the affidavit Sharma filed in the apex court recently.  The affidavit alleged that Modi wanted to keep him in jail after framing him in false cases as he apprehended that Sharma possessed information which could "damage his electoral prospects".   The court is hearing a batch of petitions filed by Sharma seeking a probe into circumstances under which five criminal cases were slapped on him by the Modi government.  He has also sought a CBI probe into the alleged violation of the woman's right to privacy and the Indian Telegraph Act by Modi. Sharma has alleged that he was suspended and framed in the cases between 2010 and 2012 because of

Muzaffarnagar riot victims forcefully evicted from camp; take refuge at bus stand

Muzaffarnagar:  The Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh Government has done everything abominable when it comes to riot victims temporarily living in relief camps.  In a fresh move, the government officials have evicted over 70 families from a relief camp in Muzaffarnagar. They are now forced to live in a bus stand with no electricity, water or toilet.   After being evicted from Loi relief camp allegedly without any compensation, the families have taken shelter in the bus stand at Neem Kheri village.  It was the last batch of families evicted in the last three days from the Loi camp, where over 300 families had taken shelter after the communal riots killed over 60 people and displaced more than 40,000 in September.  When contacted, Moumin, a riot victim living in relief camp, says some sort of pressure is being exerted on those who run the camp. For the first time, they are telling us to leave.  Moumin along with his sister, Moumina, had to leave the camp after government official ex

CHAITANYA KALBAG - Has the media lost the plot?

It was a year bracketed by the Delhi gangrape and the  Tehelka  train wreck, and you would be hard put to find another period since our colonial masters departed when journalism was in worse odour in India. It is not just the mediocrity of information assaulting us that is of concern; it is also the titillation, ignorance and bias to which our attention-deficit audiences are subjected. Every sensation is momentary and can obliterate objectivity, balance, common sense before we move to the next bit of Broken News. Sober inquiry is rare, and rarer still is level-headed follow-up. Even when our media “adopts” a seemingly just cause, as in the Nirbhaya case, the embrace is overpowering and even menacing. As much in that story as in the hysteria over the Tarun Tejpal episode, or the Aarushi murder verdict, or at year’s end the Khobragade ‘humiliation’ in New York, we have been assailed by the certitude of media judgement. Woe betide the person who comes under attack via Twitter and Facebo

JAVED IQBAL on the killing of Sai Reddy - Murder and Maoist rationalisations

The Quiet Man: Sai Reddy (1962-2013) The murder of the man who kept quiet, for reasons best known to him, reasons we could only guess; killed for reasons that are not justifiable in accordance to any decent human law. The second killing of a journalist this year by the Maoists in Bastar is further revealing a pattern in arrogance, hypocrisy, and a roaring of silence over endless streams of noise.  See  Collateral damage? Maoists say sorry for killing Bastar journalist One doesn’t need to be a state apologist to find something extremely perturbing about just another murder of an unarmed man. Nor does one need to be a Gandhian, or a revolutionary, or an armchair intellectual drowning in anxieties about growing fascism. A man was killed again, an oft-repeated sad truth of Bastar, and there must be a further engagement with the idea of killing informants: which the Maoists use as their own justification of murder, as the state would do with ‘national security,’ or ‘development’.

Jonathan Derbyshire - Heidegger in France: Nazism and philosophy

One of the distinctive features of French intellectual life in the post-war period has been the influence of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976). Heidegger’s standing among French philosophers, especially those working in the phenomenological tradition (who are more numerous in France than anywhere else in Europe, let alone the Anglophone world), contrasts dramatically with his reputation in the country of his birth, where his legacy is tainted irredeemably by his political compromises with National Socialism in the 1930s. The precise nature and extent of those compromises remain a matter of controversy—not least in France, where the murky subject of Heidegger’s political affiliations convulses the intellectual class roughly once a decade. Last week, Nicolas Weill, a journalist at  Le Monde , wrote on his  blog  that the latest volume of Heidegger’s complete works (the  Gesamtausgabe ), which will be published in Germany in March next year, promises a definitive answ

HAIFA PEERZADA - China and the Great Game

The conflict in Afghanistan is becoming more complex by the day, spreading beyond its borders into south Asia. There are four main parties: the US, Pakistan, Afghanistan itself and the Afghan Taliban. Others, previously remotely involved, are increasingly drawn in—the most prominent being China. China’s growth rate of close to 10 per cent per annum makes it a global economic hub with which to reckon, second only to the US. This may not however be socially sustainable as it  perpetuates inequality  in income, heavily concentrated in China’s southern coastal area. Moreover, the country’s ethnic cohesion is uncertain: apart from minority tensions, the Han majority is itself fractured among ethno-linguistic communities which have experienced sustained segregation. Fear of becoming a target of non-state actors has put the authorities in Beijing on their guard. That fear was exacerbated by the recent  violent attack  in Tiananmen Square, allegedly by members of the Muslim Uighur communi

मोदी जी ने फिर किये झूटे वादे – महाराष्ट्र केंद्र शासन दे जवाब

मोदी जी ने फिर किये झूटे वादे – महाराष्ट्र केंद्र शासन दे जवाब * सरदार सरोवर की बिजली मुफ्त नही | हजारो करोर पूंजी हजारो हे | * ज़मीन आदिवासी का त्याग एवं विस्थापन की परवाह नही करते मोदी जी | मोदी जी, एक मंच पर बहस करे ! मुंबई कल (22 दिसम्बर) के रोज़ आयोजित विशाल जन सभा में नरेन्द्र मोदी जी ने फिर सरदार सरोवर (नर्मदा परियोजना) की बात छोड़ी और अपने झूटे दावो/ वक्तव्यों पर आधारित राजनीति का परिचेय फिर एक बार दिया | यह बात भी समझने लायक है की उन्होंने नर्मदा किनारे बडवानी जिले में मध्य प्रदेश चुनाव के पूर्व हुई उनकी सभा में जो सरदार सरोवर का ही प्रभावित क्षेत्र है इस पर परियोजना का ज़िक्र तक नही किया नाही कोई दावा सरदार सरोवर से महारष्ट्र और मध्य प्रदेश को मुफ्त बिजली देने का | कल मोदी जी ने पुन और भोपाल में हुई सभाओ के वाही फिर दोहराया के सरदार सरोवर से महारष्ट्र को 400 मेगावाट तथा मध्य प्रदेश को 400 मेगावाट मुफ्त मिलने वाली है लेकिन राज्ये के मुख्यमंत्री (श्री चौव्हान) और प्रधानमंत्री ही रोड़े दल रहे है | यह सरासर झूट बात मोदी जी दोहरा रहे है क्युकी महाराष्ट्र या केंद्र शासन

Genocide is a foreign term, says Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate // Text of International Covenant on Genocide, December 9 1948

In her petition challenging the ' clean chit '  given by a special investigation team to Narendra Modi and others in the  Gulberg Society killings ,  Zakia Jafri  had used the expressions "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide". On Thursday, Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate B J Ganatra dismissed both "foreign terms" as not applicable while rejecting Zakia's petition. NB - For the benefit of the magistrate, here is the foreign term ethnic cleansing  used to describe the plight of Kashmiri Pandits: And here are the contents of the international convention on the foreign term 'genocide' (ratified by India in 1949) Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genoc

Madagascar's forests vanish to feed taste for rosewood in west and China

Blood-red sawdust coats every surface in the small carpentry workshop, where Primo Jean Besy is at the lathe fashioning vases out of ruby-coloured logs.  Besy and his father are small-scale carpenters in Antalaha in north-east Madagascar , and are taking advantage of a recent resurgence in demand for wood from the bois de rose tree, prized for the extraordinary coloured streaks that weave through its centre. "It's easy to sell because the wood is so famous," said Besy, whose skin glistens with red powder. "People from [the capital] Antananarivo come here [to buy goods]. They like it because they can sell it to foreigners."  The father and son pair are just the tip of the booming trade in bois de rose, one of the world's rarest trees, even though the   logging and export of rosewood from Madagascar is banned . The wood is being smuggled out of Madagascar at an alarming rate, said Randrianasolo Eliahevitra, regional director of the church-based developmen

BABAR SATTAR on Pakistan's relations with Bangladesh - Bigoted and smug

OUR National Assembly has condemned Abdul Quader Molla’s execution (Bengali citizen, Bengali political leader, hanged after trial before the Bangladeshi International Crimes Tribunal and after appeal and review before Bangladesh Supreme Court). It has “demanded” from Bangladesh “not to give new life to matters of 1971 and close all cases against the leadership of JI [Jamaat-i-Islami] in Bangladesh”. We have just proved that not only are we still unapologetic over the horrific crimes we perpetrated in ‘East Pakistan’ but are also smug about such bigotry.  Three historical facts are now well documented. One, we treated Bengalis so poorly from 1947 to 1971 that it caused the majority of Pakistanis to seek ‘independence’ from the minority in West Pakistan through a violent struggle that resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. Two, whether it was Awami League zealots, India trained and nurtured Mukti Bahini, or Bengalis within the military, paramilitary and police who rebelled against