Saturday, May 30, 2009

Racism and Australia

Racism is a touchy topic, and rare is the country that has no issues with racism at all.
Australia and racism in Australia has recently hit the headlines in India, following the series of attacks on Indian students studying there.
Some of the attacks might be copy cat types and others might be opportunistic preying on a vulnerable section. But the undercurrent of racism in all this has been dismissed by the Australian police. This I find appalling. Its almost as if they are saying "What? Racist and us? You must be joking".
Well if you don't believe those Indian students were attacked because of the color of their skin or their accents, maybe we should check in with the Aborigine's about the Australian attitudes towards racism. Maybe Muralitharan the Sri Lankan spinner who has been given a horrendous time in Australia each time he plays there can testify.
My aim is not to malign all of Australia, but when racial prejudice results in Physical violence , it is probably time to examine attitudes to racism within the country.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Let Vick Play

Michael Vick former the Atlanta Quarterback, who has done jail-time for involvement a dog fighting operation, is now out, and knocking on the door for NFL reinstatement.
Its not entirely clear how long of a suspension he'll have to serve if he is allowed back or for that matter it isn't quite clear if he'll b allowed back. My hunch is economics will eventually get him a look-in.
What Michael Vick did was appalling and he has served time for that. There will be a lot of people who will want to see him banned completely. I am sure the level of passion n the anti-Vick side will be a lot higher than any fledgling pro-Vick side.
I couldn't care less if he ever played again.But there is an element of natural justice that would be violated if he weren't allowed to play. After all once a man has served his time, shouldn't e be rehabilitated in society? We extend that courtesy to people accused of crimes including murder.
So why deny Michael Vick the right to earn a living?
There are no guarantees, but chances are he can do a lot more good to society thought the value he generates on the field rather some other profession.
So in conclusion Let Vick Play.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Upon further review - General Elections 2009

  • Yes Conress and the UPA has won big, but I do not believe this is a ringing endorsement for their governments performance, its a case of the other guy doing worse(like the left in Kerala and W Bengal) or a convenient proxy undercutting the main opposition(like the PRP in Andhra and MNS in Maharashtra.
  • Hats of to Rahul Gandhi for putting in the effort he has in reviving the Congress organization. The proof is in the pudding and if they do end up winning 20 seats in UP, its hard not to give credit to Rahul Gandhi.
  • The BJP screwed the pooch in Rajasthan, it would be hard for them to recover the ground they lost in the last assembly election, and they never did.
  • I guess getting black money from Swiss bank accounts as a point on the manifesto is more philmy than evocative after all.
  • I think the Congress missed a trick by not projecting Rahul Gandhi as PM(don't be shocked if Manmohan Singh , quits midway due to health concerns). It would have made quite a contrast to the octogenarian Advani.
  • Cosying upto Kalyan Singh wasn't such a brilliant plan now was it , Mulayam?
  • Whatever happened to big bad Mayawati? I guess building massive parks and statues dedicated to yourself and Kanshi Ram , did'nt impress the electorate after all.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thougths on the early trends Indian General Elections 2009

Here are some quick thoughts based on the leads information currently available.
  • Congress is holding its own in Andhra Pradesh, looks like the Chiranjeevi factor bit the TDP in the ass more than the Congress.
  • Congress leads big in Kerala . the Vijayan vs Achutanandan ugliness is hurting the Left big time.
  • Rasjasthan looks like its swinging for the Congress. I'd like to think it was the Gujjar agitation.
  • The UPA seems to be holding its own in Tamil Nadu, which means the Vijakanth factor took a big chunk of anti-DMK votes.
  • Looks like the exit polls were not too off the mark this time.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Born Again Virgin

India the world's largest democracy(yes a democracy's size is actually measured by the number of people eligible to vote) is reaching the end of its 5-phase election that spanned 6 weeks.
The principal coalitions doing battle are the "secular" UPA and the "communal" NDA.
There are possibly another dozen regional parties that represent various caste groupings.
So why the unusual title?
The Congress party the principal constituent of the UPA has taken upon itself the Divine right and duty to issue "secular" or "communal" certificates to all and sundry. The absurdity of such classification is , that groups who have been allies of the BJP(the "communal" party which is the principal opposition party) in the past , are courted just us vigorously as any other party.
So the if you are with the Congress you are secular and you are communal if you are against it.
Its the absurdity of concept of a born again virgin. If you've lost your "secular" virginity to the BJP, going back to the congress can give it right back.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

India no threat says Zardari

I get a bitter sweet feeling on hearing that one line. Actually more bitter than sweet. After the carnage in Mumbai, one would hope that the Pakistani establishment would at least consider the possibility that India would not hesitate in taking military action if the culprits of 26/11 were not brought to book. But the Pakistani establishment has quite smartly recognized the Indian establishment's reluctance (some might call pusillanimity) in striking at Pakistan.
So why is it sweet? India ever since its indepence has had to reassure a hysterical Pakistan, that India was no threat to its existence. Pakistan on the other hand has evolved in the manner it has, as a response to the percieved threat from India.
The Military which has ruled Pakistan for the majority of the time since Partition, has acquired its power an pelf by shouting from the rooftops, that it was the only institution that stood between Pakistan that beacon of hope for the Islamic world and the Kafir Indian's who threatened the nations very existence.
Hardline Islamic groups were encouraged to be used as a weapon against India.
If Pakistan is on the verge of being a basket case , its because of the Military and the Mullahs, who in turn achieved their power by labelling India as the bogeyman.
And its only now that finally wisdom dawns on the Pakistani's that India is not a threat.
Ironic would'nt you say? And somewhat sweet.