Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Western Media’s last Hurrah and Buddhist China

I guess if you have been born to believe that you have a God given mandate to rule te world – and for the rest of the minions to be consigned to pats on their backs, or be out sourcers for your cheap goods at home, or somewhere to flood the market almost forcibly sometimes (WTO and the Opium Wars earlier) with your goods, then you could be forgiven for a bloated sense of your own importance. Long after it has become irrelevant. So with Western Media where they try to belittle China’s stunning acheivment at the Olympic Games by constantly harping on the killing by a psychopath of the father in law of one of the coaches of the US basket ball team. Or a bomb explosion on the Chinese borders of Afganistan and Ladakh. Or the latest reports on the cost of the opening ceremony in Beijing on an (oh so poor) China, or the level of pollution in Beijing . Excuse me, the only major enterprise that the US has to show for itself in the last 10 years is the Iraq War – which cost a 1000 times more that the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic games, killed more people and caused more pollution that can be even imagined.

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Stunning opening to the Beijing Olympics

The opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics was the greatest show on Earth that will be hard to beat. It was the best of art, choreography, design and technology combined to create what could be one of the greatest live events ever presented on this planet. Kudos to the Chinese and if this is the way the Olympic games are going to be, it will turn out to be one of the best ever. To me it was a live spectacular with the aesthetics of the great Chinese film director Zhang Yimou (Hero) and artists like Chai Guo- Qiang, who made his name in pyrotechnic art. Simply put – creating art through gun powder and pyrotechnics in the sky. Chai had a brilliant installation at the Guggenheim in New York untill about 2 months ago. And guess what – both of these brilliant men have created the opening ceremony together. I am told that Steven Speilberg was supposed to do the show but pulled out in protest against absence of civil liberties in Tibet. I appreciate his honesty and commitment to a cause, but do not believe that he would have been able to create a spectacular of such aesthetics, for it was so Chinese !

Ahmedabad Blasts, who do YOU blame ?

Heard the term ‘Nero fiddles while Rome burns’ ? Well, replace Nero with the Indian Politicians and Rome with an India that is descending into chaos. While the Indian politicians play games with the lives of the people and horse trade between themselves to somehow, anyhow, at any cost, keep themselves in power. This year Jaipur, then Bangalore and now Ahmedabad.. I heard the Home minister Shivraj Patil say something strange on TV like ” this is not time to blame the police, or the government.” Excuse me sir ! But when you lose your loved ones, who are you going to blame ? Who is in charge here ? Someone must teach the politicians that with power comes RESPONSIBILITY. Well, I guess for our politicians power means not responsibility, but cash. OK, lets hear everyone’s voices here – who do YOU blame ?

Other people on our blog ?

I have long struggled with that. Not that I wish to be the only voice, but because blogging requires commitment. If I am going to invite someone else, then they should commit to us that they will be regular. For we begin to look forward to their entries, and we look forward to discussing them amongst ourselves. My web administrator was totally against it – but I have convinced him that we should include other voices on this blog. Sonya Dutta Chowdhary writes regular book reviews for many papers and magazines, runs a book reading club in Mumbai and teaches reading and writing skills to children. She has committed to writing regular reviews on books and about authors etc. under something called “Desert Island Lists”. Welcome Sonya.

Are speculators deliberately bringing the global economy to the brink ?

The last time this happened was during the Asian Currency crisis, when all the then so called ‘Tiger Economies’ were destroyed by speculation in their currencies. Who were these speculators ? George Sorros was definitely one of them. Who are these people that in the name of return on investment actively go out to destroy the livelihoods of millions of people ? With the rise in food prices all over the world leading to food riots, and now the sudden rise in oil prices that will completely hamper food distribution, the world is heading to the brink of economic turmoil. Both the rise in food and oil prices have not been caused by sudden shortages. They have been caused by immense speculation and trading in commodity futures. Remember that trading in commodity futures, rather than easing price fluctuations as economic theory teaches you, actually creates artificially high prices.

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Should the Dalai Lama go to the Beijing Olympics?

Yesterday the Times of India asked me to comment on the possibility of the Dalai Lama going to the Beijing Olympics and of course, journalism being what it is in India, outrageously misquoted me. I said that the Dalai Lama should go to the Olympic, because if he did, the people of China would embrace His presence and that could start a non confrontational political dialog that could give some kind of autonomy to Tibet. Of course the Times of India misquoted me as saying that his presence at the Olympics would ’embarrass’ the people of China into provoking a dialog. A little bit of difference between embarrass and embrace, wouldn’t you say ?

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Politicians squabble, strut, do photo ops over the bodies of dead children

So even as families are searching for their loved ones in Jaipur. Even as the nation is in a state of shock (if they can get their minds off cricket), and the grief of mothers that lost their children is not over, the Politicians have stepped in. The Rajasthan Chief Minister is claiming that the intelligence reports were deliberately vague, like ‘weather reports she said’ and advised Sonia Gandhi not to try and come to the state to do photo ops for political mileage. But of course the top brass of the BJP was there, doing immense amount of photo ops for their own political benefit. I hope and pray that the people pf this country see these political acts for what they really are. Our politicians often turn into parasites on the miseries and grief of their own people.

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Terrorists strike in Jaipur

Will we never be free of this ? Innocents being killed in the name of political or religious gain. How does this killing of innocents help anyone ? Who was probably killed ? Families that went shopping, or to pray in the temples, or tourists that came to Jaipur from all over India. Having saved for this one holiday with the family. Not once thinking that they were just walking into a terrorists bomb. Lets just pray for the families and the bereaved ones. At this moment I hear over 40 people are dead. I just hope and pray the count does not go up by the morning.

Will McCain decide between Obama and Clinton ?

Have you noticed how the Democratic party has shifted from ‘Between Obama and Clinton, who will be the best next President of the United States’ to ‘which one of them can beat McCain’ ?? Senator McCain has (as I previously predicted on this blog) come in from behind and taken advantage of the political bickering between Obama and Clinton. The two are acting as if the is not a race for the Presidency of the United States, but a high school election. Personally I think the world outside would love to see Obama as the next US president- for it gives a great message that the US is going to once again open it ‘liberal doors’. I would love to see Obama as president
However, given the economic situation in the US, the war in Iraq is no longer the major pre-occupation of the people of the US…..

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Priyanka visits Rajiv Gandhi assasination accused in prison

I was really surprised and would say moved when I read the Priyanka Vadera ( nee Gandhi) went to visit Nalini in prison- one of the accused in the assasination of Rajiv Gandhi. I have never met Priyanka nor do I know what transpired except that Nalini has made statements of how much she now respects the Gandhi family. Apparently Sonia Gandhi herself had asked for clemency against the death sentence on Nalini because of her (then) five year old baby. Priyanka apparently went to get closure for herself on her father’s tragic and brutal death. I guess I find this act of forgiveness and redemption not only very moving, but also that there was absolutely no attempt to make political capital of this visit from India’s most political family.