The Role Of Faith In American Politics And The Slow Erosion Of Separation Of Church And State
“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”
America is a country which is always in a perpetual state of election campaigns and faith has now become the most important part of American politics particularly with the Republican Party. According to my observation some candidates try to outdo each other when it comes to who is more conservative and a devote Christian. When I see politicians like Bobby JIndal, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum who I think will be running to get the Republican nomination for the office of President of the United States in 2016 scare the hell out me. The way they talk sometimes, it feels the day is not too far when there will be no separation of church and state which is the American foundation and its thriving democracy. But one thing is certain if America becomes a theocratic state, rest assured the Second Amendment which is right to bear arms will stand resolute.
To get elected for a political office in America, politicians have to stand in queue for getting endorsement from top Christian leaders and it seems the road to 2016 for the White House depends who is more Christian. When politicians have to prove they are more religious then the other guy it is time to call it a day because competition in religious believes never has a happy ending. There is nothing wrong in being religious but in America it just getting out of hand. If we look back in history I think many great American leaders were more spiritual rather than religious. George Washington who led Americans to their freedom and whose names upon which the American capital is named was a Christian but was he religious or he just used Christianity as a spiritual guide.
In the present environment in American politics, Thomas Jefferson could be called a heretic with his own Christian believes and the bible he wrote with many rightful omissions would have rendered him unelectable in the current environment. Thomas Jefferson was chief architect of the United States constitution, declaring the separation of church and state why America went on to become the world’s greatest democracy. Even Abraham Lincoln who defined Democracy was someone who never publically displaced his faith which is still a matter of great public debate in America. Regardless, Lincoln was known to be a deeply spiritual man and had great knowledge of the bible which he often quoted and in my opinion he did so to reach out to the public. But was he religious in the true sense I do not think so.
So what has changed? The answer is simple, President Ronald Regan administration. Now I am not going to call Regan a rightwing religious despot but his biggest crime was to bring the Anglican Church into mainstream politics. This might sound unfair but Ronald Regan is to American politics is Zia ul Haq to Pakistan. Now this is just a comparison on certain aspect of their political decisions. Both politicians joined hands with religious figures and their sole purpose was and is the promotion of their religious agenda. It is safe to say various American Christian denominations have the most powerful lobby in Congress.
So what happened?
Why this sudden pandering for religious approval?
Shouldn’t religion not be a personal choice?
Does it really matter how often a politician picks up the Bible and do they go to Church regularly?
Why politicians in America and particularly in the Republican Party have to holler on top their lungs to prove there christianess?
The answer to these questions lies in the weakness of the American people. I have never travelled to America but it is clear they can easily be manipulated with religion which can be said about India also. But India is more complicated than that. Even though there are many Christian denominations the American foundation was Judeo-Christian. I keep reading and watch political leaders like Sarah Palin saying wanting America to be more conservative the need to go back to the fundamentals and renew the pledge made by the founding fathers. However they fail to see the very men who created America kept their religious believes personal unlike many political leaders right now who wear it in there sleeve.
Americans must need to ask themselves why Thomas Jefferson wrote his own bible? Because he knew what harm religion can cost to the idea which is called America.
The cartoon sketch which appeared on the New York Times editorial depicting India as still a country of cow herders clearly implied to many that India still do not belong into the elite club of countries who have achieved success in space exploration. This caricature stuck a cord with many people and due to this unexpected reaction from so many quarters, New York Times apologized which does not happen that often.
In their apology their Times Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal said that the idea was not trying to “impugn India.”
I accept the apology but do not ask for it, nor am I ashamed of my past. My ancestors did own cows and buffalos which at times they used for travel. But then again my sentiments will not be shared by many of my jingoistic and overtly sensitive countrymen.
So one can say the ship has sailed a long time back for an apology, the damage done. However I do feel the apology was genuine and came rather expeditiously which is rare. I am as liberal minded person as one could possibly be in India or any part of the world and did not feel offended at all by this cartoon which was both artistic and humorous, I give full marks. Kudos!
But on second thought maybe the cartoon sketch was “Dim Witted” and hit home harder since it was conceived by an Asian. But that is the nature of satire. I think Alexander Pope put it aptly “Praise undeserved, is satire in disguise.”
I, for one, think the depiction of an Indian next to a cow or a buffalo knocking on the door of the “elite space club”, resonates the story of the hare and the turtle. ISRO can never be a NASA, but we managed to reach Mars on our very first attempt and cheaply if I may add. So NYT think about that…
However there are many in India and all over the world who may not share my sentiments. Stereotyping is common and we all do that. We watch a movie and create a perception and presumption of culture we do not understand or have any knowledge.
I for one was guilty of thinking the Vietnamese were the villain, the proverbial bad guy who hated America the Land of the free and the home of the brave. I rooted for Rambo and I rooted for all the action films which portrayed Americans as the good guys. Come to think of it, with age, knowledge and rising above ignorance, I realized it was all the action, gun fight and the explosions.
But with time I changed, not that I have a very low opinion of America, it just that I now have the capability and understanding to distinguish between right and wrong, black and white including the gray area.
Instead of being offended, I am glad people like cartoonist, Heng Kim Song are still coming up with such ideas. To me it only motivates us to do better. In the movie the Transformers there was scene, when the American forces were under attack by the Decepticons and when they weretrying to connect to their home base the call got connected to an Indian call center. Now I am not going to get into details of that scene, but for me it was very funny.
I am not offended when jokes are made on the expense of Raj from the Big Bang Theory a very popular sitcom in India. I do not mind the character of Raj eating Beef or telling his friends he does not want to go back to India because it is too crowded.
I do not mind Indians being characterized as Appu from Simpson, because this beloved cartoon character has achieved legendary status in the world of satire. I have never heard of Heng Kim Song until his cartoon got published in NYT and it gave me the opportunity to look and genuinely enjoy his work. His satire is not directed towards any one race, religion or culture. He has equally drawn sketches on almost every topic which has given the human race better understanding of what is happening around the world thanthose thousand word articles. He has never been selective when it comes to his work.
We may not be the land of Snake charmers anymore like Mr. Modi said when he was in the US, but we still have a long way to go. So I say, to fulfill everyone’s need for closure, let’s just call this cartoon maybe in poor taste and end this nonsense.
Is it true that Islam has taken a hit from all four corners in the last 20 years? Yes, but one has to look from a different perspective and then judge Muslims who are facing some of the most visceral hatred in many parts of the world.
This hatred has now got compounded with the advent of ISIS and this group has taken the interpretation of Islam to such levels, even Al Qaeda thinks they are too violent. Now this has to be the height of Irony where a terror group responsible for many an acts of terror and violence cannot stand the atrocity of its scion in the Middle East.
Many Muslims all over the world have already publicly condemned the actions of ISIS without being afraid of backlash and I do not know what more they should do. Should they take up arms and go to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS?
But to paint and portray an entire religion of Islam as vile and repugnant and equate them to Mafia is uncalled for. Yes there are problems in certain quarters of Islam, but if we check, problems exist in all religions. It seems America does not have any problem when Saudi Arabia the home to the harshest form of Islam beheads people. Why, they are allies and as long as the oil flows, all is well.
The response given by Hollywood Star Ben Affleck to what Bill Maher and author Sam Harris was totally justified and must be applauded. The comments made by the host where racist although Muslims belong to several races all over the world but the term Racist fits right.
Bill Maher is a very good standup comedian and an atheist and I enjoy his brand of comedy very much. Especially when he takes dig into many rightwing American politicians who are known for their hypocrisy and bigotry towards black, immigrants and women.
He often rips apart the American foreign policy and former President George Bush who has been the butt of his jokes and political satire many times and I do not mind. He also comments about leaders and heads of state of other countries and gives valuable insights with his humorous commentary. But his all out offensive against Muslims and using profanity was beneath him.
Now he may disagree with me, but if I am not an expert in American politics and the American society in general, then he is not an expert in judging more than 1.6 billion people who belong to the religion of Islam. I am a better expert because I live in India which is home to nearly 200 million Muslims of different denomination.
Does Bill know how many denominations in Islam exist and the different school of thoughts which people all over the world follow? I am finding it very difficult to give him the benefit of doubt.
But the ranting which he gave on his show proves he may lack some crucial information. I say this because I am Indian, a Hindu who works with Muslims and have friends who are Muslims.
How many Muslim friends Bill Maher have?
We in India are home to perhaps all the Muslim denomination and the different school of thoughts which guide our Muslim brothers and sisters.
Yes there have been problems in our country but somehow we have always managed to work out a balance and live in harmony because all humans are inherently kind and full of compassion be it any religion. We understand this in India and this is something America is fast losing.
I am not saying Mr. Maher cannot criticize the actions of some Muslims just as he has the right to criticize and poke fun at the Christen right in America. But does it give him the right to accuse all Muslims just as it is not ok to hold every Catholic priest responsible for molesting children.
By many accounts Islam was and still is one of the fastest growing religions in the world and most who convert do not prescribe to violence. On the other hand more people have died under tyrants who were allowed to rule because it suited American Interest. How many people have died because of American interest? The current problem is the direct manifestation of American actions in the Middle East.
The reason which might have prompted Bill Maher to get so extreme is because ISIS has taken terror to whole new level and it is simply not easy to digest anymore. Bill Maher is a good man I am sure he has never hurt anyone in his life but I think he has taken this whole Islam bashing to a level which is only expected from the Rightwing.
In many ways Islam is going through a change, call it a Renaissance. Muslims living in Islamic countries or anywhere want the same thing as Americans or Indians. They want jobs, security and a peaceful life to see their children grow. There will always be a fraction in every religion which only expresses its wants and need through hatred and violence.
Just as all Italians are not Mafia, all Muslims are not ISIS who only believes in killing and pillaging. This outpouring of blind ignorance is not going to do any good for anyone.
Pakistan as a nation was conceived partly out of ideology and part fear has definitely reached cross roads. The very existence of this nation depends upon the decisions its leaders will have to take in the coming months. With so many changes happening in international relations in the wake of Prime Minister Modi meeting various heads of states, it is possible Pakistan could want another Kargil.
And if we are caught unaware this time, then it would be a matter of National Shame and who knows if we will be as successful as the last time.
The debacle of Pakistan delegation in the United Nations is still fresh and the success of PM Modi’s visit to America is now a major concern for them. So what does people or countries do when they are faced with overwhelming odds, they react the same way they have reacted in the Past. Start a conflict with a touch of nuclear flashpoint scenario and with Pakistan it’s all about “Muscle Memory.” I think Pakistan suffers from Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and constantly creates fracas to achieve this objective.
Back in 1999 the Pak army under the leadership of Parvez Musharraf conceived the idea to occupy Kargil on the Indian side of Kashmir which led to a serious confrontation and things got so out of hand the same man who is the current PM of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif had to run to the US and seek help from Bill Clinton. This happened because the army did not want peace.
There were reports of the Pak army deploying nuclear tipped missiles to attack India just in case things got out of hand. Matters became more interesting when many experts thought the operational control of nuclear missiles was in the hands of field commanders completely negating the nuclear launch protocols. You do not have to be an expert to conclude that the nuclear trigger and the authority to launch does not reside with the Pakistani Prime Minister.
But Kargil happened 15 years ago and a full fledge nuclear war was averted. But somehow it seems history might repeat itself again and there could be another Kargil like situation created this time to draw attention. Already since Narendra Modi has taken the office of PM, the incident of unprovoked attack on our border posts and on the civilians at the Line of Control has increased.
And the question is how long this will continue?
How long can Pakistan sustain it?
What end result are they expecting?
- Pakistan cannot continue these border theatrics for long and this is just a ploy to bring India back to the negotiating table and then sell this as a victory.
- If Pakistan wants to keep attacking Indian post at the LOC, then it will eat away precious munitions which they will need to fight the Pakistan Taliban. Also if India intensifies its response at the border by no means PM Modi will back away from a fight and even if International pressure is applied, I am afraid it is Pakistan which will have to sound the retreat.
- The end result will not be what Pakistan envisions. America will not intervene, China has its own problem and poking India would only create problems for them.
The last time India and Pakistan came close to achieving friendly relations was again in 1999 and the Delhi-Lahore bus initiative was the right way forward. But the threat of peace would mean no more free meal from America. The army will lose its single greatest enemy which is counter to the Pak army’s business interest. This time the relations have worsened and now Pakistan could be facing more isolation.
In reality the world and more importantly America has released, Pakistan is a very deceitful partner. On the one hand it takes aid earmarked for development but instead diverts the money to buy military hardware and every month presents a bill to America for all the spending it had done against fighting terrorist.
Since 9/11 America has given over 11 billion dollars in aid to Pakistan and this is public knowledge and most of it was used to buy weapons to counter Indian threat. It is now clear to everyone when Osama Bin Laden who was caught living right in the heart of Pakistan military establishment both the ISI and the army were oblivious to this fact, it is safe to conclude and it is extremely probable they may even know the whereabouts of Ayman al-Zawahiri.
But if all the major players are killed or captured, America will not have any reason to keep funding Pakistan. Hence, it is in the best interest of Pak army to portray India as the number one enemy and give clandestine support to terror organizations for keeping the wheel rolling.
The current fighting at the Kashmir border between Indian Security forces and Pakistani Rangers and army will not serve any purpose for them and only hurt their economy. Right now in Pakistan there is outbreak of Polio, a decease which no longer exists even in third world countries except for Nigeria and Afghanistan. But these are perhaps a non issue for the army whose solders are probably inoculated against polio.
With America seeking more partners in Afghanistan and all attention are being given to fight the Ebola virus and ISIS, it’s possible they might stop paying Pakistan lunch money. With so many problems Pakistan faces internally and at international level, this unfounded and blind hatred and fear against India must come to an end. So it is quite possible that Pakistan in order to get attention would need another front and India is the prime candidate and a Second Kargil war looks quite likely and India should be ready.
Since time whenever mankind has made any invention or discovery, we have used the new acquired knowledge to hurt others or hurt ourselves. The human impulse to act stupidly centuries after centuries continues even till date. It seems mankind does not have the sense to learn from past mistakes. Now this article is about the sensitive photos stolen from mobile devices of Hollywood actors, supermodels and reality stars.
But before we dive into this whole issue of privacy violation, let us try to see some of the mistakes we have made as humans. They say technology has made our lives more comfortable but it is the same technology which we have used to hurt others. Man invented airplane and we used it to drop bombs and have sex in toilets. One has to wonder who the first couple was to have sex in an airplane because there has to be some record of who was the first pilot to drop a bomb and somewhere. We have developed an uncanny ability to use invention to cause pain. Facebook and twitter is used to bully people and sometimes people upload photos of their former partners as “Revenge Porn.”
The examples are many where humans have acted foolishly to hurt someone or themselves with technology. Prometheus gave mankind fire i.e. knowledge and we have used it against each other ever since. What is the need for someone to take nude pictures of themselves using a cell phone camera which can easily be hacked and then cry about it? Why people lose all senses while taking “A Selfie” in the nude and how dumb one can be to post it online accidently or have no clue their email account could be hacked easily?
The people who have been affected by this hacking are actor Jennifer Lawrence, sports illustrated swim suit model Kate Upton and singer Celina Gomez and many more. It is being said that the iCloud accounts containing the photos of personal nature of several other celebrities could still come out in the open. Have they not learned from the News of the World scandal where phones and computers of several victims of crime and celebrities were hacked? Do these people who claim that their right to privacy have been violated have no idea that once any photos are uploaded into the World Wide Web, even sometimes when you delete it, it stays there till Armageddon.
Never mind there have been several sex tape leaked to public which have been seen by many and even after court orders instructing the removal of these videos from online, any person with average search skills could still view them and these images were taken from mobile phones.Is the hacking and posting of nude photos online a clear violation of someone’s privacy? Yes, and is it wrong to take pictures of you with your boyfriend or husband in the sanctity of one’s home? No, but if it is meant for private viewing, simply either remove the memory chip or just down load it into your hard drive which should not be connected to the internet. Otherwise the chances of hacking increase tenfold.
Now this hacking issue has taken a whole new turn with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in full swing to capture the individual responsible for leaking all these photos. May God help the idiot who uploaded the photos online!
Ebola is probably the single greatest threat for all mankind right now. It is more dangerous than ISIS because this virus has the capability to destroy nations and economy which is fast interdependent on each other. This virus is already out of control in Africa and experts estimate, it will hit Europe and the Americas soon. In Western Europe, America and Canada the response to this virus will probably be very efficient but what happens if this deadly virus hits Asia the most densely populated place on earth.
Are we prepared to deal with this pandemic and is our National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) prepared to deal with this problem. Already Indian health services are not the best in the world and the lack of coordination in our bureaucracy is world renowned. Already one person has died in America and who knows how many more are infected. In Europe the threat of Ebola looms large and no matter what precaution any country will take it is still very much possible this virus will sneak in.
Ebola Virus Disease causes hemorrhagic fever when someone comes into contact with a person or even animals. This virus, unlike other is communicable disease, hence once airborne it is very difficult to stop. Anyone who has read the Wikipedia would know, this virus’ typical symptom isvomiting, diarrhea, and followed by rash. This virus also decreases the function of the liver and kidneys. Once this starts one really comes to find out why it is called Ebola hemorrhagic fever because those who are affected people may begin to bleed both within the body and externally.
To watch a person suffer and die can bring a profound change insomeone’s life and in India this could be the beginning of the end. If this virus hits our land, millions will die and it will not differentiate between rich and the poor. Prime Minister Modi has pledged 12 million dollars. But this is not sufficient and more has to be done. We have no experience in dealing with such outbreaks and call it “Cruel Irony” this is an opportunity for our response team to learn firsthand how to handle and set up infrastructure in India.
We need to send our doctors and epidemiologists, laboratory scientists and medical practitioners can help support the fight against Ebola. Yes they will be at risk, but it is worth taking. The experience will help us in the long run. This outbreak has already claimed over 2000 lives and has left many more in danger of contracting this decease. Many think we can stop this virus during immigration but that has provided not very effective and now the western governments have realized the true threat and making preparation in case there are any reports and cases of Ebola.
The 12 million dollars in aid to Ebola affected nations pledged by India makes us the top 5 countries helping to stem this disease. However we must do more and start thinking about sending our military just like America and they would not only help the people but also help prepare our forces for any future contingency.
We use our Military extensively during natural disasters and they have performed admirably every time, but this Ebola outbreak is like fighting “Nature’s Germ Warfare” and the experience and knowledge could one day help us here in India.
There is a new business which has seen a sudden boom in the market and that is retirement homes. It used to be called old age home a while back and anyone living there was looked upon with sympathy and despair. But that is not the case anymore, retirement homes are no longer a taboo subject for parents or their children. Today these new age retirement facilities for many of our senior citizens are a place for peace and serenity.
Only a few years ago the very thought of old age home to an elderly person was a heartbreaking news. These places were looked upon as the “destination of abandonment” of one’s parents; a sad and final bon voyage to a life spent taking care of one’s children and many times grandchildren. Old age home became a place for abandon destitute of a sad group of people who came to this place just to wither and die. And this was true to many old people who had no choice but to spend the last remaining days, lonely and sad because traditionally in India it is expected by the parents that their children especially the son will take care of them in their golden years. But many times it did not happen and parents are left at these places for many a reason.
So many young Indians left our shore and set up new life in a new country and when the time came either they did not want their parents to be part of a their new life or the parents did not feel comfortable living in a foreign country where it can get very lonely for them. Anyways, no matter what the reason was, old age home was a word tantamount to sacrilege in Indian society and anyone who had to live there for any number of reasons always were looked upon with sad eyes.
But somehow over the last decade a change has taken place and old age homes were rebranded as retirement homes, a place where senior citizens can live a life of serenity in a tranquil environment. Maybe this concept has gained acceptance due to the fact that people who were in their 30s and 40s during the liberalization boom in India during the 1990s were able to make a considerable savings and are now accustomed to a lifestyle which might be getting cramped by living with their children. Or it’s just that as most of us who, living in cities, prefer to live in apartments and are finding it very difficult to have more than 3 or 4 members living in the same house because of space and privacy.
I remember living with my parents and grandparents under one roof for years and did not have any problem with regards to space or privacy. But one cannot blame the current generation who are now in their 30s and 40s who have taken full advantage of India’s economic growth and children of the millennial who do not know life without the internet.
This is now not only a very viable option for many people, but this is in fact fast becoming a booming business and the prospect of making money is very high. Everyday news of a new retirement facility being constructed with attractive offers hit the market and it is going to be the next big venture for various realtors and construction companies.
Now days the old age a home are no longer dreary but looks more like a resort facility where senior citizens are kept engaged with various activities which keep them engaged. Photos of vibrant and joyful senior citizens can be seen on newspaper ads or the internet. In such places one does not have to worry about cooking or cleaning and doing laundry.
Everything is taken care for them and people who live in these facilities do not have to lift a finger. This whole retirement facility has now become a concierge service.
Money can buy almost anything in this world; however there is sad and dark side to all of this. It seems they could reject application for some people who are not keeping that well because they want healthy old people and they do not come that often. They may tolerate basic ailments like back and knee problem and other problems attributed to old age, but anyone with a condition which requires consistent medical checkup will likely face difficulty due to return on investment by the service providers.
None the less the joy of spending your golden years with your family is no substitute to living in a retirement facilities no matter what comforts one may enjoy. But this does not mean the importance of living in a retirement facility is bad and all the comforts which come along with it. In the end, if the option of going to a retirement facility is a genuine choice but not compulsion, then nothing like it
It’s a business, plain and simple for many people who run Non-Government Organisation (NGO) and for many being associated with an NGO is a fashion statement. A place to go and eat snacks and gossip. But the real intent of helping those who are marginalized in our society, those in need of help the most is sadly forgotten. But that does not mean all NGO’s and people who are associated with it are not doing their job. Many people have dedicated their lives helping others and fighting for those who cannot fend for themselves. But something has to be done about some of the NGO’s who are in it just for the money. Even the Honorable Delhi High Court has called for toughening of licensing norms for NGOs observing that 99% of them are "fraud" and "merely money making devices" back in 2013.
The High Court Bench headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog said “Most private run so called philanthropic organizations do not understand their social responsibilities. 99% of the existing NGOs are fraud and simply moneymaking devices. Only one out of every hundred NGOs serves the purpose they are set up for”. If this is not an indictment of the state of affairs of how NGO’s function and run in this country then there is no other explanation required.
If someone wants to open an NGO, first the most important thing in this entire process is how well are you connected? The motive and the particular cause for which the NGO is created are last. Getting an NGO registered is not a difficult task and if one has a competent lawyer an NGO can easily be established. The main purpose to set up an NGO is to get a tax exemption because in India the NGO’s are exempted from corporate income taxes of the income of certain NGOs carrying out specific types of activities, with unrelated business income being subject to tax under certain circumstances which is used as a loophole.
Also since it is very easy to register an NGO, people set up multiple organizations with no infrastructure to support it. One does not even need a starting capital because NGO is one business which required no investment. As mentioned in the beginning if someone wants to be successful, they must ensure they have proper contacts. Usually, a local politicians or a senior bureaucrat retired or otherwise will be handy. In India, almost all politicians have an NGO’s which helps them keep in social light and the day to day business is taken care of by a close relative or “Man Friday”.
Too many people owning an NGO is a status symbol and in this line of work, the accountability of the person who is running the institution is also very less. In the name of helping people, one can earn and spend money in money ways.
- Buy a motor vehicle registered in the name of your NGO.
- Buy property registered under the umbrella of NGO
- Show personal travel expenses as work-related and go on holiday under the pretext of conference
- Receive funding for program with falsified and manufactured data
- Under staff your organization and have relatives work for you
All this can make the life of an NGO owner very rosy and in India, we just love to leave an inheritance for our children and one can understand if this is property or jewelry, but NGO’s are also transferred from father to son. According to Societies Registration Act 1860, societies might be formed by a memorandum of association by any seven people associated as long as there is no blood relation among the board members. However, we are a land of finding loopholes in our laws and in many NGO’s some of the key positions within the organization are held by close relatives.
Resistance to change
There has been in recent times a moment to bring about change in how an NGO is registered, who should be allowed to register and what is the true motive behind establishing an NGO. Those who are genuine and want to help and make difference in the lives of others and also seeking transparency in how many of these so-called NGO’s perform are having their efforts throated by vested interest. Because running an NGO for the betterment of society was not the true motive. Easy money with almost zero accountability has made many people afraid of any laws which will bring more transparency which means the end of the business.
Why do we need NGO’S?
All is not lost because the organizations which are truly involved in improving our society and help the socially marginalized have gained trust and momentum. We need NGO’s in our society who are helping sex workers and their children, counseling rape victims and help bring more accountability in our political system. NGO’s keep society honest and brings forth issues which we have no idea are happening around us. Our effort must be to force our government to make the registration of NGO’s very strict and proper audit and compliance should be put in place. In India many people who are in need for help have received a lot of support like education, giving training on various trade and providing small loans to start businesses. If we take all this into consideration one can conclude and decide which NGO one should support and which ones should simply be ignored.
This rampant spawning NGO’s started by people in the name of helping our society is mushrooming all over our country like someone opening a tea stall on the roadside without a license must be stopped and action needs to be taken.
With the dawn of new companies in the Indian smartphone market, big brands like Sony, HTC and Samsung have had to change their strategies to stay in the game. Every other smartphone company is trying to offer full featured phones at cutthroat prices. And the buyers, being Indian are not minding the lessened brand value till they’re getting big screens, fast processors and good cameras. Henceforth, to maintain their stature and capital, bigger companies are settling for lower priced phones with decent specs too. Sony recently launched its Xperia T3 which is a slim smartphone with a balanced set of specifications on paper. However, it is still priced a little above that other smartphones with almost similar specifications.
Look and Feel
The phone has been given with Sony’s Omnibalance design that debuted with the Xperia Z series of smartphones. Since then the brand has been incorporating the well received design in most of its smartphones. The phone sports a matte plastic back panel and a stainless steel rim that runs along the sides of the phone to give it a premium look. The Sony Xperia T3 is available in the usual Sony palette of Black, White and Purple.
Probably the slimmest Sony smartphone yet, the Xperia T3 measures 150.7x77x7 mm and weighs 148 grams. Neither shockproof nor water resistant, the T3 flaunts thick bezels around its already huge 5.3 inch display that actually help make the phone easy to handle.
The right edge is pretty crowded with a power button, volume rocker and a dedicated camera key. The left edge has slots for SIM and microSD card. The rear doesn’t come off and features a loudspeaker grille and the primary camera along with flash.
The Xperia T3 is powered by a quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with integrated Adreno 305 graphics and sports a gigabyte of RAM. The phone comes with 8 GB of internal storage and can support microSD card of up to 32 GB of capacity, which comes as a downer.
The display of the T3 is a 5.3 inch screen with a resolution of 720p and pixel density of 277 ppi. The Mobile Bravia Engine 2 ensures rightly saturated colours and the screen looks quite sharp. The primary camera is rated at 8 megapixels and can shoot videos at 1080p. There is a 1.1 megapixel front camera onboard that is capable of shooting at 720p.
On the connectivity front the Xperia T3 sports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 along with NFC. The Indian variant of the smartphone is incapable of connecting to 4G, however 3G is available. The phone is backed up by a large 2,500 mAh battery.
The Xperia T3 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The phone comes with a Sony skin on top which is different than what has been mostly seen on Sony smartphones. There are loads of apps and bloatware which is a bit annoying.
The phone is priced at Rs. 27,990 which feels a little disappointing. There are other smartphones available in the market with similar specs and lesser cost. However, if you absolutely love Sony and you need a great camera and battery life, this handset can be considered.
Looking down the major celebrity stalking menace and other privacy outrages
Like all those feats of grandeur that are in all probability never easy to achieve, lustrous reputation of fame too comes at a great price. And this non-monetary price of loss of personal space confronts these stars at many points of their fun-filled careers and sometimes even after they have turn towards seclusion by taking a recluse from their art, it still continues to haunt them.
As they say that true happiness and contentment come with the acceptance of truth, still many of us would find this fact extensively difficult to accept and contemplate about that how fond we have become of feeding our drained brains with the personal and private as well as social aspects of the lives of our favourite celebrities. This frenzy is mostly fed and satisfied basically on a monthly basis by the hoodlum of these semi-naked covered celebrity magazines and blogs which have their well equipped army of paparazzi. Keeping the crazy paparazzi stories aside which are nothing in intensity as compared to the constantly fuelled passion of these stalkers, these stalkers sometimes choose to take insane measures to become a, even though temporary, part of the existential circle of these celebrities, sometimes claiming themselves to be star hubbies and sometimes even God. Holy molly!
But unlike those behind-the-lens camera hawking photographers, these attention cravers don’t really mean just their usual everyday business. To them it mostly is their ultimate ambition of life. The one for the fulfilment of which they are well prepared to risk their very social and professional fronts of life and even go to prison and have their social image tarnished forever. Although they say that any publicity is good publicity yet the names of these stalkers are mostly short lived and are easily forgotten by the world in time.
Many experts have remarked that such unchecked obsession has a scientifically explainable psychological side to it. It roots mainly from some childhood experiences in the life of the subject that he or she moves on from in his or her adult years, mainly through constant looking up to these celebrities and from prolonged exposure to their work. And then a point of time comes in the life of the subject, which I choose to call the “crazy fan threshold”. Just before the subject reaches this scale division, he can be termed as a big fan or the self-proclaimed biggest fan of the celebrity but as soon as he saturates himself and moves on to the next part of the scale, he enters the realm of less vulnerable and crazier “stalk-ism” which sounds like and actually is more of a religion, less of a fashion.
Let’s have a look at few of the most shocking and disturbing top ten celebrity stalking incidents of all times, some of which even ended up in the death of either the celebrity or someone else important.
- John Lennon
Without needing a detailed introduction to this giant of a musician and songwriter from England, let’s move towards the fact that on the night of December 8, 1980, then 25 years old fanatic fan, Mark David Chapman, killed Lennon in the front of his own apartment building in New York by shooting him not just once but four times in his back. At that time Lennon was about to enter his apartment with his wife Yoko Ono. Lennon had given Chapman an autograph on his own album that Chapman had with him on the same evening. Later when interrogated Chapman confessed that it was the mere obsession for the legendary artist that later took the form of his successful wish to assassinate him. To this date Chapman is counting his last few remaining days in the Ohio State Prison.
The Kill Bill star too had her separate share of stalker adventure and that too from her own high school batch mate, Jack Jordan, who had a crush on her since then. In 2008, then 37 years old Jordan was convicted of endlessly stalking the star by secretly trying to sneak into her house. When he was repeatedly refused to be entertained, Thurman received a gift card from him that showed a bride with her head detached from her body. Taking it as a serious sign, Thurman reported the matter to the police and got a restraining order issued against him which he again later violated in 2010 and got arrested and when the court found him to be mentally challenged he gave up his freedom my not signing the court papers. I guess that is why they call true love might make you go crazy.
What happened with the Silence of the Lambs star is probably one of the highlighted and talked about stalking incident from the darker side of Hollywood. From her incomparable role of a teenager prostitute in Taxi Driver, which also starred the great Robert De Niro as its protagonist, Foster earned a unique once in a lifetime fan, John Hinckley . This man got so obsessed with this role that Foster played that he tried to enact the act of De Nero, which was of shooting down the president of the United States, to impress Foster. For this purpose, he first made an attempt on the life of Jimmy Carter but failed. Then he successfully shot down President Ronald Reagan. He later got arrested and is still imprisoned in a mental hospital in Washington D.C. Politics had to pay a heavy price for the passion of these stalkers.
If you have ever looked into the hidden trend of the satanic rituals then you must be familiar with the idea of the Illuminati. The Avatar director was stalked and embarrassed by one of his “anti-fans” for the claim that he and his wife, Kate Capshaw, had been involved in following a satanic ritual of ‘soul catchers’ which they used to control people for their own wishes. This stalker was a woman named Diana Napolis. Not to everyone’s surprise, later, Diana was judged to be mentally ill and in great need of some good psychological help and was also issued a restraining order of ten years to make her stay away from Mr. Spielberg.
- Mel Gibson
Gibson directed The Passion of the Christ, impressed a then 34 years old, Zack Sinclair, so much so that he started stalking Gibson to the church he used to worship at and also sent his a good number of letters aimed at convincing the renowned actor to pray with him. Evidently the actor chose his pray-time solitude over this wish of his crazy fan. Sinclair was later admitted into a psychiatric centre along with the gift of an at least 3 years jail term.
Your coffee can be harmful for your peace of mind. Well, this can happen only in case if you carry the equivalent fame and charms of Jennifer Aniston and you are a regular Starbucks goer. The then 24-year stalker, Jason Peyton, was nabbed by cops for waiting for the actress with life threatening objects and some psycho love verses at one of her regularly visited spots. For the love of the Almighty, Peyton couldn’t make it for her on time but so he did for prison.
- Serena Williams
Never ever...ever...disclose your live location on twitter...if you are a world renowned tennis grand slammer like Miss Williams. But to her own dismay she did that and attracted the attention of her stalker Patenema Ouedraogo, who kept himself up to date with her whereabouts and was ultimately arrested during his terrible attempt at breaking into her house to express his love for the player. But this time surprisingly the player had not tweeted. Hallelujah.
The stalker of this evergreen pop sensation had more pain than love in his life as while trying to trespass her property, Robert D. Hoskins was shot down by Madonna’s angelic bodyguards. Though he survived the lethal shot, still later he received a 10 years long prison sentence.
With no need of any introduction, this pop goddess was accused by one of her English fan cum stalker that she was not the real Beyonce, as according to him the real Beyonce had already been killed by this Beyonce. So had he been true, this face could have lead this Beyonce to be a faker Beyonce. Sounds messed up. Well, tell me about it.
- Justin Bieber
The teen pop sensation could have lost his family jewels to a already imprisoned Mexican gangster, Dana Martin, who in turn ordered his free accomplice, Taner Ruane, to castrate Bieber so that to present him such a souvenir which he could never lose. The plot could never taste success as Tanner was arrested on time.
If you can then thank the lord for making you a common man and giving you so much sense to not stalk the celebrities you love.
There is a call from the new caliphate which was formed recently in Iraq and Syria for all true Sunni believers to come and join the fight for Islam. Call like this has been made earlier also in different parts of the world and Afghanistan is one country where fighters from Middle East and Central Asia came to fight for Al Qaeda. But in all this fighting and incessant loss of life and destruction of communities, a new call of duty has emerged. It is called the Islamic Brides for Jihadists who are part of Islamic State (IS).
Let us be reasonable and try to understand the perspective of all the men who are fighting in Iraq and Syria in the dream of creating a perfect and pious Islamic state. Sex is a natural human urge which is built-in from the moment we are born and the desire to procreate is perhaps the strongest human emotion of all. To achieve this objective one would need a woman (hopefully a willing participant) and in the battlefield presumably there will be shortage, hence the call for Muslim women to serve god and become a wife of a Jihadist.
So how to fill this shortage, the answer is to make a genuine call for all the Muslim women who will have the honor of becoming the wife of a jihadist and in the process serve God and Islam. This call of duty has attracted many women who have surprisingly come from the west which must have baffled experts. West is the cradle for women to break boundaries and have equal footing with men, then why would these girls; many of them in their teens left a life of freedom and choice to become a wife of a man who most probably suffers from morbid suicidal tendency and considers martyrdom as the ultimate gift for God and Islam.
Let’s face the facts, the condition of women under the Taliban was no picnic but the jihadists in Middle East have taken brutality to new levels which even Al Qaeda thinks is too extreme. So if this is the case why would anyone want to be part of this madness? Why and especially women would voluntarily join them? These questions are very difficult to answer, but one thing is clear these Jihadist sure know how to use Social Media to attract these females.
Many of these girls are in an impressionable age and suffer from identity crises of faith and culture and the campaign which the IS is running is just about right to reach these maladjusted young women. Come to think of it, the strategy is not that dissimilar to the one which helps them get so many fighters from all over the world. This Holy War gives them purpose and many of these girls who are lost not knowing what their purpose in life is and find this environment appealing.
It is ironic that the so called Jihad Brides volunteers do not come from any of the Islamic countries and the reason for that is very simple, they know what is stored for them. The women will probably never see any combat and the priority will always will be to serve their Husbands Needs which many women who live in Middle East or else where are already fulfilling. They probably know what fate would greet them if they decided to become a Jihad Bride and also ifthey ran away from home they will be summarily executed by their own family. Because good Muslim girls do not run away from home.
Hence the drive to get women from the Europe and America who would be better suited for this purpose. These girls will serve Allah by marrying the ISIS fighters and bear children which is their primary duty. So what happens when a fighter dies, will his wife be remarried to another fighter or will she also have to blow herself in a suicide mission? Probably she would be married off to another fighter to serve his need and bear his children (why waste). At this rate a women could end up marrying several men because of the occupational hazards of becoming a wife of a jihadist and give birth to several children from different men which is biologically good but physiologically has to be traumatic.
Since the interpretation of Islam by IS is as twisted as a pretzel, there are many legal means within Islam wherein a man could enter into a temporary marriage and in the Sunni version it is called the Misyar or traveler’s marriage. This is practiced in Sunni majority countries, specifically Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria. But even this form of marriage has rules which would be conveniently forgotten and will be used as a legal justification to have sex, since fornication outside of marriage is forbidden. Wonder how the jihad bride would feel when she could be wife to several men in a short period. Perhaps the Misyar will come into play since it is simple and legal. Get married have sex for few hours or days and then the man divorces his so called wife and off he goes on his merry way for martyrdom by blowing himself.
Also what sort of people are these men who call themselves true Muslims, who capture helpless and hapless Yazidi women or any non believer and forcefully convert them to Islam or sell them into sex slavery for money. The men who fight for IS are nothing but human traffickers, who profit from selling flesh all in the name of religion and by committing this crime bring disrepute to Muslims all over the world.
The men who die fighting for Islam will be granted 72 virgins but what happens to the women who die for the love of Jihad? It is very simple she will become the queen of all virgins i.e. her husband will still get his cake and eat it too. How undignified is this whole believe system that even in afterlife women are still sexual objects and the sad part is nowhere in the Quran this concept of 72 virgins is mentioned.
But the irony is many Jihadi brides think it is ok for their husbands to have sex slaves because they are following the path of the Prophet himself and it is permitted in Islam on the grounds of “Sunnah” or the teachings of Mohamed. I wonder what will be the plight of these Jihad Brides be because sooner or later the noose will get tighten around the neck of IS fighters and it is possible the same courtesy which the IS extended to so many women could very well be extended to these Jihadi brides.
The last few months must be counted as one of the lowest periods for Pakistan’s diplomacy and the military which controls it. Nawaz Sharif, in my opinion, is a leader who genuinely wants good relations with India; however he is also bound to pay obeisance to the Pak Military who controls the foreign policy and other national security matters. And in this regard the Pakistani military is pathologically myopic. They simply will not give up power and stop interfering in matters which do not involve them.
The last two weeks which saw tension rise at the international border and what really caught the Pak military and their policy makers by surprise was the aggressive response which they are habitually not used to. The Indian army was always capable of giving fitting reply, but being professionals have always yielded the order given by the democratically elected government.
But this time around the idea to start tension and escalate it to levels which would then force India to start a dialogue has not happened. This entire exercise has backfired and has left no avenue for the Pakistan military or politicians to maneuver and get some support from the international community. India will not start bilateral talks until the guns are silent on the border and a concrete step is taken to stop cross border terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
The only good news from last week for Pakistan was Malala Yousafzai being awarded the Noble Prize for Peace. This sadly did not go very well with the Pakistan Taliban and they think it is all just a publicity stunt. Now many people have spoken about this momentous occasion of our two countries winning the peace prize and think now is the right time to start talking.
Now the question is how long India can ignore talks and how much longer Nawaz Sharif is forced to to be a Pakistan military puppet which to a certain degree is true. However he did take a lot of risk in coming to India for Mr. Modi’s inauguration when the army told him otherwise. Also what followed was also very promising start for the new Modi Administration. Then probably due to the army intervention the talks with Hurriyat went ahead and since then it has been one diplomatic disaster after next.
- First his speech at the UN General Assembly was not his usual confidence self. Instead it felt as if he was peddling a message which even he did not buy. Instead of focusing on other problems faced by Pakistan, Kashmir issue became the essence of the speech.
- No one would buy that terrorism was planted in Pakistan and it the true victim.
- Modi had already met with Chinese President Xi Jingpin and several things were discussed because China can do business with India and invest because of safe environment.
- The border violation on the International border also did not pan out and the very fierce Indian response came as a surprise.
- Having nuclear weapons is deterrence, but to use it as a threat to bring India to the table for talks is a very feeble and desperate attempt.
- The United Nations has other fish to fry and has again given cold shoulder to Pakistan request for mediation in Kashmir.
When we see all these points, one thing is clear, no one is taking Pakistan government seriously and the credibility of Nawaz Sharif is deteriorating quickly and the whole idea to revive the economy has taken a back seat. After a long time a democratically elected government has come to power and the transition was peaceful. But this new found recognition that it may still be possible for Pakistan to be a responsible nuclear power is fast eroding. The constant nuclear threat which is a “Last Resort Weapon” in the hands of the Pak Army is losing its sheen.
When the Aam Admi Party won the majority of seats in Delhi neither the Congress nor the BJP could articulate their feelings and when they did find their voice, it was condescending and patronizing at best and the response from BJP was “we lost the Delhi Assembly election but we will win the General Election” which they did. But the fact of the matter is they simply could not digest the loss and the reason is simple, Indian Politicians suffer from a disease called “Entitlement”. To them it was more hurtful and insulting to lose to APP, a rank outsider contesting their first election then to congress. How can that be? We had Modi and the Modi wave will sweep the BJP into power. But that did not happen, but what is happening is, by some way or the other, BJP wants to form government in Delhi without the prospect of fighting another election.
Since Mr.Modi took office, he has been busy with the economy which was stiffer than a corpse. It seems the brilliant mind of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the entire congress leadership suffered from Rigamortis and simply refused to function. But since Mr. Modi has been holding the office of the PM things have improved. The economy is slowly coming back to life and the stock market, after a long time has stopped giving heart attacks to stockbrokers and has seen a sturdy rise. So then how come BJP has been performing poorly in almost all by-elections which have been held so far?
Experts say no Modi!
True, but slight problem. He is right now somewhat preoccupied with reviving the economy, strengthening our defenses, improving ties with neighbors which had been ignored far too long and going on summits to create an international stature for our country.
Modi cannot always be BJP's perpetual leader for election campaign.
Yes if he campaigns it will help as it has in Maharashtra and Haryana but his main job as PM will suffer and this would hurt the BJP on the long run. But can election be won by Junior Varsity? Yes, but it comes with certain conditions and more importantly some class. No one can say that only Modi can be the most effective campaigner in BJP, there are other who equally have the same oratory skills as Modi and maybe even better.
But what happened was, they lost their way in Utter Pradesh. When leaders like Swami Adityanath are allowed a free hand to go and say whatever idea which pops in that brain of his could only prove as a setback for BJP. This whole issue of Love Jihad has done nothing but made a mockery of all the hard work for which the BJP should be reaping dividends, instead causes more harm to Modi’s hardwork.
Sorry I will get Back to Delhi, please allow me a sentence or more.
To lose in a state like Rajasthan, where the BJP won by near landslide both during the assembly and general election talks about the “Intelligence of the voters” and their duty towards checks and Balance. What I mean is when BJP gets into issues which have no relevance except pander to the right, the people make a check of it and vote the other party for balance. The BJP can spin this loss anyway they want, but the outcome of these elections will be milked to the full by the opposition in the upcoming election in Maharashtra and Haryana and all those who stayed away and did not vote will come out of the woodwork.
The BJP high command must have at least admitted privately, this so called Junior Varsity is just not up to it because they suffer from Foot to Mouth decease which they managed to hide so brilliantly during election, but unfortunately this decease does not have vaccine and Modi cannot be around all the time.
But let us come back to Delhi and ask the question, why BJP does not want elections.The Answer
The people know that the APP made a huge blunder when they surrendered their stake in the name of moral responsibility. The problem was they should have lived to fight another day. Because the longer they would have stayed in power, the more little problems which plague this city will have been solved and frankly people give more attention to small issue then “Lokpal”. Which by the way is very important? But this could have been achieved at a later date. But let’s not cry over spilled milk.
Right now the APP has more dissention within their party and congress is facing its worst crisis of unity as more and more people are speaking up against the leadership. But still BJP does not want an election and the answer is “Politics is Local.” The BJP was right when it said we lost Delhi election but we will win the finial and they did.
But those who won in the recent general election have a century to their name and no need to “Bat” for the next five years. However, those politicians who did win their assembly seat do not want to Bat again, because it was a hard-fought victory for many of them. Several stalwarts won with the skin between their teeth and they just do not want to be in the same situation.
The people of Delhi want an honest and clean government which they clearly know the APP can deliver. Even after the APP’s shenanigans the people of this city still have faith on APP and know if given a second chance it can deliver. Surely Arvind Kejriwal is not dumb enough to repeat the same mistake again.
Yes he made a mistake by forsaking power, but after sometime he did something which the people of this country have never experienced or accustomed to before. “HE APOLOGISED”! When was the last time a politician has apologized for making a mistake or saying outrageous things which is not expected of a politician? My guess is in the last 10 years, never. Even when they do, they never own up.
After the brazen murder of a Manipuri by a bunch of illiterates back in July, again yesterday two boys from North East were badly beaten. Awang Newmei who is 22 and Alato Chishi 23 hail from Nagaland and both were beaten to every inch of their life in Sikanderpur area which is near Gurgoan. It is about time we start thinking of others and how we treat some of our own citizens as outsiders.
In the last few years we have seen an increasing level of intolerance towards our brothers and sisters from north east part of India. We call them names which I am not going to dignify in this article, because frankly it makes me physically sick. I am South Indian have been living in Delhi throughout and I have shared my own level of indifference in this city, but never such level of apathy.
I want to make one thing clear, I love Delhi and the diversity in which I grow up which has made me a better person, but how in god’s name did we become so intolerant and violent towards our own people and how long we will have to brave this outrage and let “Hate Crime” this “Indian Racism” flourish in the capital of India.
First the senseless murder of Shaloni, a BPO worker in Kotla Mubarakpur area, again highlighted the problems faced by people coming from North Eastern part of India back in July this year. I am not indicting the entire people of North India when it comes to racial insensitivity; we all have been guilty of saying something derogatory or stay silent and frankly those of us who are silent are the ones who are letting this madness out of control. This is not a one-off incident and reports of attacks on North Eastern students and BPO staffers have been on the rise for a long time and the inaction on the part of Police and civil society is making matters worse.
Also girls from Northeast are harassed on a daily basis for their looks and how they dress. But I must concede girls are harassed all over Delhi. period! And we even have the good sense not to discriminate when it comes to that. However the life of an ordinary girl from Northeast who is either studying or working is no walk in the park, which many of us do without fear.
Why this is happening and what steps have been taken to prevent such attacks in the future? Delhi Police have started a special helpline numbers for Northeastern students and those who work in Delhi NCR. But is this a solution? I do not think so. WHY? They have equal rights under the law and by dialing 100 they should get the same response time as any other person living in Delhi. If there is a special hotline number (1093) for them and I stress the word “Them”, than we have successfully managed to segregate them and have put them in a category. If this helpline number helps them, fine I am very happy, but does that mean the emergency police number 100 has no relevance? In a state of panic I am sure most people will dial 100 and not any specific hotline number created for a group of people who look different may forget at time of grave emergency.
The memory of a young Muslim man being beaten to death in Pune is still fresh in our minds. He was killed because of a particular appearance, so should we go ahead and create a special hotline number of Muslims and then what about the Sikhs, they look conspicuous, should we create a number for them? I promise one thing, the list is endless.
The people from Northeast are law abiding, taxpaying citizens of India and their rights are no less than the next Indian. It is understandable if there is special hotline number for women, but this number 1093 will become a symbol for people from Northeast. We might well ask them to wear a band on their arms with the number 1093 like the Nazis did with Jews by making them wear the Star of David. We must all be treated equally and the word “They and Them” should not be used.
We are all Indians for god sake.
What are we trying to achieve here? Are we trying to send them all packing home? Or we do not want them to be part of India and if that is the case China is more than happy to comply with our wishes. They already have sights set on Arunachal Pradesh, why not the entire states of Northeast. We already equate them to the Chinese and use a very derogatory term to describe them. Imagine if this really happens. Will India become a better country or a weak country?
"Weak" is my answer.
As an Indian we have the right to travel study and work anywhere in India without being discriminated or intimidated by anyone. We cannot tolerate this decease which is spreading in Delhi or any other part of our country and must take steps to improve. Also tougher sentences should be levied on those who perpetuate hate crimes. Those who have been arrested and for a change very quickly by the Delhi Police for this senseless murder of an innocent person should be made to realize the gravity of this situation and it must sink in deeply how they have managed to destroy their own life.
Muhammad Iqbal once famously wrote an Anthem “Sare Jahan se Accha Hindustan Hamara”, which we still sing, but sadly it is no longer the case and if this circle of indifference continues, it will soon be “Sare Jahan se Accha North, South and West Hamara, because we will one day completely alienate our own countrymen and women from the Northeast. So before that happens, let us kill this decease of hate and indifference, let us boycott our own apartheid and be one again.
When Jawaharlal Nehru became India’s 1st Prime Minister in 1947 he used to reside at Teen Murthi Bhawan which was originally built by the British as the residence for its highest military officer in India. Now after independence this sprawling piece of real estate became the official home of Pundit Nehru and when he died in 1964, it became his mausoleum.
Each house or bungalow in the Lutyens Zone is a real estate paradise for anyone and when you can get your hands on it for free which seldom happens for many of our politicians, it would be insane for them to give it all up. I mean just look how centrally it is based with 24 hour water and electricity and the best security one could hope for all at the expense of poor old me, i.e. Indian citizens.
Now after Nehru died this 30 acre land became a temple and overnight this magnificent building which has the capacity to be the office of Prime Minister was turned into a museum. Why? Because we like to devote edifices to our beloved leaders. So why Lalu yadav and Ajit Singh be any different! So he lost an election, and Lalu Yadav was convicted for corruption. What right do we have to ask them to evict. Though after much drama Ajit Singh did leave but Lalu Prasad Yadav is politician of different caliber. However this time he just might lose because he simply has no excuse. His health is fine and I am sure his grandchildren will get admission in good schools in Patna.
So if this is the trend then give one bungalow to Kanshi Ram, after all he managed to start a political party from scratch and became a great leader on his own right. But then again Mayawati as already did enough for him and by the looks of it for herself.
So, how about M.G. Ramachandran the matinee idol from South and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu?
How about N.T. Rama Rao as this man was practically a “Demi God” in Andhra Pradesh? Next Mulayum Singh Yadav, well he is not dead but let’s not waste any time and book a bungalow in Lutyens right now.
What about Atal Bihari Vajpayee?
And then there is Sonia Gandhi. The 10 Race Course Road is the official and permanent residence of the Nehru Gandhi Clan. The house Indira Gandhi was assassinated is also a mausoleum. So, technically the said family owns the largest piece of real estate in the most prized location in our capital.
The question is when will this madness end? Are our politicians not happy with all the money which they have stolen from us? Now they want to hold on to this imperialistic relic which was built on the blood and sweat of our ancestors who were robbed of everything that they had. The money for these “Blood Bungalows” surely did not come out of the pocket of the King of England, but some poor farmer who died of famine.
And our politician hold one to them shamelessly, clinging like rotten limb which should be severed. Funny thing is they do not even have to pay for its upkeep. Also many of our poor politicians do not pay any electricity or water bill because it would be a sin for any money to come out of their pockets.
The British are gone but our leaders conveniently adopted their life style of everything that is fine on the expanse of the poor masses. Ajit Singh was asked to vacate after he lost reelection and he did after much fanfare and Lalu Prasad Yadav who after being convicted for corruption still somehow managed find it impossible to vacate government property and got an extension for over year using his political influence over the last government. It seems for people like Ajit Singh who is perhaps still smarting because he was forced to vacate and Lalu Yadav giving to give up such bungalow is simply not in their pathology. To them it the last vestige of power that they once had and a symbol of authority where they once held court ergo there monument and mausoleum. Bottom line they are freeloaders and if Lalu yadav has an iota of self-respect he must vacate immediately otherwise he is nothing but an illegal squatter and squanderer of our valuable tax.
Who will challenge Hilary Clinton in the 2016 general election from the republican isle is still not clear. Perhaps by naming Hilary as the Presidential candidate for 2016 is presumptuous because Vice President Joe Biden could also be a very strong candidate. But the question is who will be the Republican Party nominee for the White House because in America the politicians are always in a perpetual motion to fight elections, especially the congressional candidates. Every two years they have to fight elections and it is hard enough to keep the other party candidate at bay but also fend off potential candidates from within the party can be very exhausting and very expensive. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on elections from congressional to Senate races and the mother of all elections, held every four years. It is hard to believe that Americans are poor because the amount of uncontrollable money which is spent during the time of elections can perhaps be used for nobler purpose. But then again, what can be nobler than to grease the wheels of democracy. Bottom line, the American primaries and elections is one good yarn.
But I am deviating from the main topic and the question still remains who will challenge Hilary in 2016. This is as far as I am concerned, is merely an academic exercise, but an interesting one at that. In 2012 the Republican Party had to go through a very difficult and long primary during which a number of candidates threw their hats in the race and some of them were smart and some borderline comical, like Texas Governor Rick Perry (who by the way has recently started wearing glasses to look smart), Michele Bachmann a former congresswomen from Minnesota who has no sense of history, former Senator Rick Santorum, business man Herman Cain ending with Congressman Ron Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. I believe Donald Trump also thought about jumping in but decided not to. How fun that would have been? But the eventual winner was Mitt Romney who simply outspent all the other candidates. Would 2016 be the same? It is quite possible.
But let’s just get back to 2014 and check some of the promising Republican candidates who are vying to get the Republican Party nomination. The people who are most likely to contest are Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman and 2012 Republican Vice president Nominee Paul “Iron Man” Ryan, Senator Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and quite possibly Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. From someone who has never been to America this is my honest assessment of possible candidates from the Republican Party.
I do not have access to most American news networks on television except CNN and from what I read online from the leading news websites like the Huffington Post. But one thing is certain, there will be no women candidate who will win the republican nomination for 2016.
No Women Candidates
Let us just assume for a moment that a women candidate has won the Republican Party nomination for2016. But, who shall it be?Michele Bachmann, current governor of South Carolina Nikki Haleyor Sarah Palin who just recently launched her own internet channel “The Sarah Palin Channel”.
At present I do not see any woman within the Republican Party, matching the intellect of Hilary Clinton.The women mentioned above do not stand a chance against Hilary. However Sarah Palin has grown as a politician and will run in either 2020 to 2024 because she has time and more importantly she is not in active politics right now, hence when the time will come she can say that she is an outsider. But right now she will not pick a fight with Hilary because she will not last a single round. With regards to Nikki Haley she does not have national appeal and Michele Bachmann needs a serious lesson in history. So we can rule out any women candidate winning the Republican Nomination.
Though this article is about the possible candidates for GOP Ticket for the office of the President, but somehow I find it impossible not to mention Hilary Clinton. Imagine if Palin or Bachmann would have to debate her. Frankly, she is just out of their league! She is a remarkable speaker and has brilliant analytical mind. She is more than capable when it comes to talking about the domestic problems and when it comes to internationalaffairs, it is safe to assume very few people will be able to match her in the Republican Party, male or female.
Fracture, fractions and why extreme ideology will not work
If we look at the Republican line up, the party is divided into two factions, the establishment i.e. the Grand Old Party (GOP) and then there is the Tea Party which has many members leaning a little too close to the right which has a huge potential to ruin the party’s chances. It is as if there is no place for a moderate Republican within the party anymore. I think almost all the candidates are against issues like immigration, gun control, abortion and same sex marriages to name a few.
In my opinion it will be very difficult for a Republican politician to take an extreme stand and win the Presidential Election because this is for the highest office in America and the idea is to bring people of all walks of life together. The hard stand against emigration, gun control and gay marriage has taken its toll. Also America as a nation is becoming more liberal in its mind set and the aversion to same sex marriage is slowly diminishing.
Just over 50 years ago, the democrats in South were staunch segregationist also known as Dixicrats and were for segregation. But then The Democratic Party simply changed after John F Kennedy became president. But the Republican Party has only become more conservative from a religious stand and when politicians like Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz taking extreme stand against abortion which is important to women without even a reasonable compromise or a dialog, they lose votes. Also moderate conservative republican politicians who have served loyally for years like Senator Lindsey Graham are marginalized and support for aspiring politicians with extreme views are gaining ground. Bottom line the Republican Party at present is suffering due to polarization and its blind Predisposition to Religion.
How to deal with Hilary
Who-so-ever will face Hilary better be prepared with issues which matter. There are few Republican politicians who have some good idea and if implemented to policy can do well for America. But if attacked at personal level she will not show any mercy. She rarely shows her claws but since this will be her last ditch attempt at the White House, she will not spare any tricks. One would have to stick to policy and decisions made by her and the Obama Administration because mistakes have been made. The Republican will not forget Benghazi and the failed Obama care website (but it now seems to be serving its purpose). Since she is part of the Democratic Party, it will be very interesting how she gets herself away from the current administrations mistakes because no rival will talk about the others achievements.
They should wait and pounce on mistakes that she and her campaign make because this election will be bigger than ever. It has often been said if only men voted in election in America the Republican Party will win all the time. The Republican Party has to target women and has to take stand where one can reach a common middle ground. She is also very popular with the young and the minorities so they need to be targeted.
The Republican Party must be very weary of Hilary Clinton who has for so long persevered under tremendous domestic problems due to her husband’s extracurricular activities and still emerge stronger and adamantly focused. However the upcoming midterm election will be the signal of how the 2016 presidential elections fares
In the last 3 months the new government headed by Narendra Modi had one victory after another against Pakistan. But the question is how long we can push it? Is it in our best interest if Pakistan becomes a failed nuclear state? Is that our objective? Because if that is the objective, we will be putting ourselves at great risks.
Yes, politicians like to say things which can stir up nationalistic fervor and gain crucial political points and sadly this is what many of the politicians are doing on the other side of the border. But in India we are starting to get a little bit out of control. We all like to win, but no one likes a winner who gloats too much and this could definitely prove to be a good thing for Pakistan and we do not want that because not all statements deserve a reply.
Pakistan still is trying to stir the pot on the International border to get attention and every time that has proved futile. India must respond strongly but by action and not by words. People forget who hit who but words echo for a long time. The comments made by our defense minister Arun Jaitley when he said "When Pakistan used to fire, we always had a shield in our hand. This time we also had a sword," will help him score major points with the public, but in the long run we do not want it. Now I am not saying the defense minister should not have consolatory comments towards Pakistan and I am sure he and the BJP government want to start a dialogue soon, but under an equitable climate.
Maybe we need to tone down a bit. We have won this round and should remain alert not vocal, empathetic and not belligerent. Remember a cornered beast is most dangerous so it would be good to remember what San Tzu said “The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” In the long run, the path chosen by Pakistan will not be in its favor because they do not have what it takes to sustain themselves and we can. It is always unwise to discuss ones strength openly and parade the weakness of the enemy in public. Bold statement will give us pleasure but it will motivate them, and who knows what they might do when totally disparate.
Since the BJP came to power it has still somehow managed to get an extension on its honeymoon period, especially in foreign affairs which are rare because sooner or later there is always a cock up. But this has not happed thus far and there may be arguments against this, but so far BJP has won every session. So it would be prudent to continue and just for posterity we will have to carry Pakistan for few more rounds because if we knock them down they will disintegrate which is not in our best interest, so we must wear them down. Use the same tactic against them. A test match only lasts for 5 days but in this case BJP have 5 years and it’s still a long way to go.
Ever since Narendra Modi has taken over the office of Prime Minister, he has set a record of travelling to foreign countries. He has had successful visit to Brazil, Bhutan, Nepal, Japan and America, so far. He also plans to visit Myanmar, Australia and china by the end of this year. This makes Mr. Modi one of the most travelled Indian Prime Minister in a span of just over five months after taking office and there is still two months to go. Also he has managed to win crucial state election in Maharashtra and Haryana and also he had to face two natural calamities, one in south east and one in the volatile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Now critics can take a fine comb and go through all the decisions Modi and his cabinet has made and come up with several mistakes and yes mistakes have been made, but nothing drastic to stop the momentum of ending the “Honeymoon Period.”
But first let us look into the foreign policy side.
Narendra Modi has taken active foreign policy to new levels which we have not pursued in a long time. India as a nation has lot to offer and by travelling to all these nations, most of which are our neighbors gives a strong signal of a resurgent India. He has also received heads of state of two very influential nations, China and Australia and has managed to negotiate complex deals and agreements.
No one can call Modi a backwater politician because he has proved his foreign policy credentials or he has the good scene to listen to experts. A politician may be highly educated and well versed in international diplomacy but still require policy advisors and it seems he is clearly listening to them. It is always important to talks to major powers, but the attention given to India’s long neglected neighbors was perhaps the most important domestic foreign policy decision he has ever made.
The visit to Bhutan and Nepal was more important than any other visit elsewhere because China was gaining significant track in all these nations and ignoring them would have costs us dearly.
They say politics is perception and when people see a young American President climbing stairs quickly, it gives people hope that their leader is vibrant. Modi some may argue is not be as swift as Obama, but if that is the case he has more than compensated it with his suave. He has managed to generate new energy into the country which has given the people a renewed optimism which was not there in the last five years. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is man more intellectually gifted then Mr. Modi and no one will ever contest that. But what we require now is a real politician and Modi has done exactly that or he has managed to portray that. Either way it has worked.
The defeat in the by-elections is now but a memory and the thumping victory in Maharashtra and Haryana has again proven he is still carrying his momentum from the general election victory. How long this will continue totally depends on how well he manages his political underlings and how much non partisan politics he will commit himself to.
What a day for Paksitan when Malala Yousafzai was announced as the 2014 joint recipient of Nobel Prize for Peace shared with India’s Kailash Satyarthi. This is indeed a tremendous achievement for a girl who did not back even an inch from that crazy Pakistan Taliban. Ever since she recovered from her head wounds, she has been a passionate and outspoken crusader of girl education in Pakistan and all over the world.
And then there is Bilawal Bhutto Zardari the son of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and former President Mr. 10% Asif Ali Zardari. This man was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and when he turned 21 inherited a political party. Usually it is a trust fund for the rich but for Bilawal Bhutto as he is known now received the family inherence of the Pakistan People’s Party which was founded by his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Both Malala and Bilawal are young, but when we see how they conduct themselves, it is unimaginable how this Oxford educated nincompoop could one day become the leader of Pakistan and Malala a girl who is still only 17 years old would never be able to accomplish this task. The reason is very simple; she is pragmatic and would not hesitate to speak against injustice happening in Pakistan supported by her father who receives so little credit for his efforts as an educator.
On the other hand Bilawal who is led by the nose by his father Asif Ali Zardari also known as Mr. 10% is nothing but another self entitled brat who has made it to the top because of the money which has been usurped by his family for since the creation of Pakistan. The difference is palpable even when it comes to parents and the only common ground Mr. Zardari and Mr. Yousafzai have is they are both responsible biologically for the existence of these two people.
Here is a 17 year old girl who can speak with such eloquence it could make many grown men feel shy in her presence and on the other hand is Bilawal who is a grown man and if anyone would listen to his speeches would simply die laughing. Bilawal Zardari should learn from Malala when it comes to the intricacies of the art of speaking. When he screamed on top his voice and declared he would get every inch of Kashmir from India, people laughed.
His latest antic of getting a million people to march from Trafalgar Square to 10 Downing Street for the Kashmir cause was an utter disaster and people started throwing bottles and tomato. Bilawal Zardari’s call to a million people to raise the Kashmir issue “fizzled faster than an aerated drink.” On the other hand Malala has been creating ripples all over the world with her eloquence speeches and her humbleness of her achievements. In that rally Bilawal had to run for his life and it is perhaps the only experience he shares with Malala. But even then it may be not close to comparison when it comes to life and death situation.
There are many admirers of Malala in Pakistan and it must be a very proud moment for them, but the haters are also in large numbers calling her a lackey of the west. But she is exactly what Pakistan need and not someone like Bilawal who is least bothered about the advancement of his country, rather fills his coffers.
Yes, Bilawal had congratulated Malala for being awarded the Noble prize for peace and he also had asked her to join to help improve education in Sindh. But what he really needs to do is not to make any political hay, but instead work towards the betterment of the people of Pakistan who still do not have access to medical care, education and still are considered personal property of the landowners. So one can safely conclude that Malala is a rare anomaly in Pakistan and Bilawal a natural process of political ascendency and they could be indeed be called a Paradox of Pakistan.
31st October is a date which will always be remembered as the day when for the first time in our history a Prime Minister was assassinated who also happened to be the first and only women PM we had since. What followed was one of the darkest chapters of our history and a permanent stain on our democratic and secular ethos. Indira Gandhi was perhaps one of the most charismatic leaders this country had ever seen because she was bold and at times very decisive, unlike so many of her contemporaries. When everyone thought she was finished, she would rise to the occasion and prove everyone wrong. But sadly on this day 31 years ago, men who had sworn to protect her gunned her down and then the circle of violence started against the Sikh community and the reminiscence and echo of that shameful chapter could still be felt all across New Delhi and the families who lost their loved ones.
It is not important to get into the politics and the reasons why Indira Gandhi was assassinated, but what we need to look into is why did the state watched and let so many of its citizens be raped and murdered, their property looted and destroyed. It was a day when the “State Stood Still” which is tantamount to committing the crime itself. Mobs were organized and instigated by highly influential people some of whom have already died and some still alive but would never see the darkness of prison cell because of politics. What transpired after 31st of October in simple words was a carefully planned “State Sponsored Genocide” which is something we in India are all used to. But to drag other instances would take away the importance of this event, not that other events do not have any significance but the idea is not to lose singular focus regarding 1984 Sikh riots in Delhi.
The security forces were not only instructed to stand down, many actively participated and took their pound of flesh that day. No Police Officer till date has been convicted for dereliction of duty for allowing unbridled atrocity on our own countrymen relentlessly for 10 days. But in this period of great confusion, loss and turmoil there are stories of courage and compassion which proved that ‘not all of us cruel and vindictive. Many Sikhs were saved and people did their best to protect their property. But more importantly lives were saved and a message was sent to the people who led the charge to seek revenge and personal vendetta, it would take a lot more to kill our humanity and kindness for our fellow brotherin.
The newly anointed Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi who was the first son of Indira Gandhi did nothing and allowed the carnage to continue in Delhi for days. Only after things got really out of hand and enough blood had been shed to douse the anger of congress party supporters and its leaders did the carnage come to ignoble end. Rajiv Gandhi was also sadly killed in one of the most tragic and brutal way seven years later and it would be barbaric to call that poetic justice. But in the heart of all those people who lost a father, husband, son, wife, sister, mother maybe it was poetic justice. Perhaps in their hearts the misery of seeing a loved one burnt alive is too much to forgive but somehow the very people who were wronged are still waiting for justice with quite dignity.
Several commissions had been set up over the years and the eye witness accounts are innumerable, yet not one of the senior congress ministers went to prison. In other words it was one of the greatest cover-ups this country had ever seen. Files and police records were destroyed and eyewitness account falsified, a deflated figure of number of people killed was put forth. Voices were muffled and lives of people changed forever. The scars of those 10 days in November can still be seen in the eyes of many Sikh families in Delhi and other parts of the country.
What precipitated after was a direct manifestation of the riots which took a huge toll on the hearts and mind of the Sikh community and the dawn of a long and bloody terrorism which took the lives of so many people. It was bad enough to destroy the Golden Temple, one of the holiest shrines of Sikh religion but the failure of the state to give protection and also actively participate in rioting was a dark mark in our democracy and people are yet to regain their faith.
The Delhi High Court in verdict said “Though we boast of being the world's largest democracy and Delhi being its national capital, the sheer mention of the incidents of 1984 anti-Sikh riots in general and the role played by Delhi Police and state machinery in particular makes our heads hang in shame in the eyes of the world polity.” That was just the courts observation but the victims and families of over 3000 people killed in Delhi in 1984 Sikh riots still await justice and in doing so many an eyes have long past and many a youth and innocence destroyed
The article in Times of India about China placing their submarines in Sri Lanka is certainly huge concern and security problem for India and with Chinese submarines patrolling the strategic Palk Strait this has now turned into a National Security problem. This bold act of defiance by Sri Lanka is a clear and direct manifestation of poor oversight in our foreign policy in the last five to six years under the congress government headed by Manmohan Singh. This has occurred because the alliance headed by congress was more concerned about maintaining its alliance at the center, rather than cause rift with its partner the DMK in Tamil Nadu headed by M Karunanidhi which has led to Politics over National Security.
China first helped build ports and other infrastructures in Sri Lanka and now it has submarines docked in them and this has happened because the congress politicians had put Politics over National Security. The submarines which are right now docked in Lankan ports are first strike weapons and carry with them Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM) which has the capability to hit any target with minimal or no warning. These subs are designed to stealth and when docked or allowed to patrol so close in our waters they pose a direct threat to our Navy and other important strategic military installations. If we allow the Lankans to let China use its ports and waters, we would be faced with same problems as America did in 1962 during the Cuban Missile crisis.
Now an argument could be made that the recent overture by India to its south east neighbors like Vietnam was the cause of this action from China. But even if we back out all the deals, both economic and strategic with Vietnam, what guarantees we have China will not back down and would never allow its submarines so close to India. The answer is Zero, China has no compulsion or obligation to back off. For them this is a huge victory and why would they give back this strategic advantage. They are clearly set their hearts in dominating the Indian Ocean and do not want any competition in South China Sea.
Our Navy is very strong, but our Achilles Heal has and for the time being will be a very old outdated submarine fleet. Most of our subs are no match to the advanced Chinese subs and we only have one nuclear attack submarine on lease from Russia. We do not have SLBM capability and it is still under development stage which means our strike capability is limited. Sure we have long range nuclear payload carrying capable ballistic missiles, but they are land based. The advantage of launching a ballistic missile from a submarine is tenfold compared to land based missiles because you absolutely do not get any warning of incoming attack which leaves us blind and vulnerable.
Now Sri Lanka has given us assurance that it will never allow China to use its territory or waters for military purpose, but it is not very convincing and this is all due to poor diplomacy guided by local politics. We have allowed this to happen not because China has powerful military, but our politicians are hell bent on keeping their seats in Parliament. It was very refreshing and the right way forward by the current BJP led government to actively engage our southeastern neighbors and develop more closer ties because let’s face it they need us. But what is perplexing is even after India told the Sri Lankan defense minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa brother of the current Lankan Prime Minister of its displeasure they have gone ahead let the Chinese anchor a nuclear submarine at their ports.
India had played the diplomatic game by abstaining from a UN sponsored resolution over mass human right abuses by the Lankan military against Lankan Tamils and this was just to placate them. India should have gone on to support this resolution because massive scale of Human right violation did occur and it was simple case of revenge. The government of Mahinda Rajapaksa clearly wanted to quench its lust for ravage and India abstaining was a move for both which according to logic was a face-saver. But in doing so we have allowed a nation in which we should have more influence run into the arms of our biggest security threat. One must also point out that the Pakistan’s notorious Inter Service Intelligence is running strong networks of agents to plot terror attack fashioned on the Mumbai 2009 attacks.
With so many problems emanating from Sri Lanka, India must surely use the leverage of close proximity to make the Lankans make policy correction. We need to engage them diplomatically and make them understand that their long term interest lies with India and their future is guaranteed on our national security.
On 2nd November 2014 the city of Kochi a very beautiful and old city in gods own country Kerala something happened which no one could ever think of in India. It was the day the “Kiss of Love” movement came crashing on us. Authorities were ever vigilant to stop these crazy people who have started a movement contrary to our beliefs but as one of the protesters was being dragged away the eternal words of Pablo Naruda aptly summarized the day “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep the spring from coming.”
A new spring is coming but on its way are the custodians of Indian morals the self-styled vigilantes of Indian society the Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and Sunni Yuvajana Sangatana workers. But these goons who want to save the country from this bunch of shameless, devoid of any moral sense are the one which we could happily do away with. This was a call against the growing tide of moral policing which has brought hurt to a lot of people. Who can forget how brazenly the supporters of Pramod Muthalik leader of Rashtriya Hindu Sena, the parent organization of the Sri Ram Sena attacked hapless boys and girls in Mangalore pub attacking young boys and girls for bring disrepute to Indian culture. But the country just watched and no action was taken against them.
But how easily the organizers and supporters of this movement were arrested and packed like sardine in police vans were taken away. Why do we never see such thing when the moral police of India in their full crescendo go out and hurt people and property, government and private? The answer will be a strong yes. These peaceful protesters had had enough of bullying from these goons whose mindset is not that different from Taliban and can the police lay claim that the Kiss of love protesters damaged any property? They have not hurt anyone, nor have they indulged in vandalism, but then why the authorities and police acted so swiftly to apprehend these people? Why the police never react when we actually need their help? It is because they are under the thumb of people who crave noting but power and re-election.
Kerala has the highest percentage of literacy rate in India and always had a very progressive and open mind set. But somehow over the last few years they have allowed subversive groups to thrive in that state that generally never had a foothold. These “Storm Troopers of Morality” are only interested in subjugating us to their beliefs and medieval mindsets. It is comforting to see when fringe elements of our religious right who are generally at each other’s throats in the matter of religion always seem to forge an alliance to fight these immoral people.
America in all its infinite wisdom believes in one and one thing only, it is always right, it has always tried to proselytize nations that are unwilling to accept their thinking and no impediment will be tolerated on the pursue of American way of life. The blunt admission by the Pentagon the American Military Nerve center of the support given by Pakistan to various terror groups which operate in Afghanistan and India to undermine security is not surprising by any means. This is one open secret which they knew but never publicly admitted because for over ten years Pakistan was the launch pad for the logistics to fight terror groups in Afghanistan and now that they have decided to leave it is very clear that the once non NATO partner has been kicked to the curb and the implicit admission of direct collusion with various proxies has now taken the form of explicit admission.
The Pentagon’s report to the US congress was precise and substantiated and was a long time due, however as the old euphemism goes it did not blow anyone’s skirt. In the report it is clearly mentioned that how Pakistan uses proxy elements to sponsor terrorism. In its six monthly report to the congress the Pentagon said “Afghan - and India - focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability. Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India's superior military."
Two questions come to mind.
Why admit now Pakistan’s role in destabilizing Afghanistan and use asymmetrical warfare tactics against India?
To answer the first question we must look at the historical relationship post 9/11 between America and Pakistan and how on the one hand Pakistan allowed its land to be used to fight terrorism and at the same time provided material support to Taliban, Al Qaeda, Haqqani Network and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Pakistan was on a downward spiral after it tested nuclear weapons and in return America imposed sanctions which greatly affected its already fragile economy. But 9/11 was a blessing in disguise for Pakistan as it bought lot of goodies from the US. From military hardware to other financial endowments going into Billions of dollars were given to Pakistan and it secretly and deceitfully used it against India.
Why publicly berate Pakistan and fall short of calling it a terrorist sponsoring state when America and its allies who have packed their bags and are now leaving?
The investment made by America is not working out and all the money spent in building a stable Afghanistan looks very bleak. The amount of Opium produced each year is not going down which in turn is funding the terror network. Also America now needs to focus more on Iraq and fight ISIS and the threat from the Khorasan group. Interest in Afghanistan was long lost with the people of America, Bin Laden is dead and President Obama has other domestic and international problems to deal with.
A lot of people in India were very happy when this 100 pages report was published and called it a vindication of our truth and the problems that we have faced over 20 years of Pakistan sponsored terrorism. But instead of rejoicing we need to think, in the eternal words of the Godfather Don Corleone “why we deserve this generosity?” Why this report should make us happy and what will be the outcome of it? It is not as if Pakistan will change overnight because everyone knows there is no communication between one hand to the other. The other hand i.e. the Army and the Inter Service Intelligence does what it thinks is in their best interests and India cannot expect Détente anytime soon.
By 2016 all foreign troops would have left and it will not take too much time for ISIS to spread its influence over this beautiful land called Afghanistan. Pakistan, especially the Army will always have and always will try to maintain its hegemony over its western neighbor and continue to use now the famous term “Non State Actors” which has now been debunked publicly and the veils lifted. There was and still ample evidence of the direct relationship between the ISI and various terror networks who have carried out direct terror actions against India and Afghanistan and the 26/11 attacks stands out.
All news papers and news network had field day with this news and experts were called to break every bit of this report and analysis were made. But to what use and propose, America had always advised India to show restrain and asked us to be patent but it had always acted by its own rules which sadly it creates as the situation demands. This is something which India has been shouting over the roof for god knows how many years. This report gave our foreign ministry the ammunition to fire and the ever so eloquent official spokesperson in External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said "It manifests a growing acknowledgment in the international community of the extent of Pakistan's involvement in international terrorism."
The question is where was this acknowledgement which we deserved years ago and now since the dynamics of US Pak relationship has changed it is so easy to blame Pakistan. America was on the sidelines for a long time and 9/11 changed all that. For America it is “either you are with us or against us” policy. America needs India more than ever because China is running wild and they need a stable partner to counter that and so do we. But India must ask what about a nuclear and politically unstable Pakistan and its military which would neither let talks happen or relent from supporting terror organizations. This report was an open secret made public and can be called the old American Habit of Coming Clean Late, however it can be safely presumed Pakistan will not heed.
Call it a cruel Irony or a simple twist of fate, it is now clear that America with all its military might just does not have what it takes to degrade and defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria without taking help from Iran. The letter sent by President Obama to the Supreme Spiritual leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in which he says ISIS is a common enemy and Iran and America must work together to end ISIS dominance in the Middle East. This is an acknowledgement and a long delayed step in renewing relationship with perhaps the most sensible regime in the Persian Gulf. Citing anonymous U.S. officials Wall Street Journal reported "Mr. Obama stressed to Mr. Khamenei that any cooperation on Islamic State was largely contingent on Iran reaching a comprehensive agreement with global powers on the future of Tehran's nuclear program by a Nov. 24 diplomatic deadline."
Already the effect of this letter is being felt in Washington and now the republicans who control the Senate and congress, President Obama will have difficulty conducting this foreign policy. Already in a joint statement Senator John McCain and Lindsay Graham said ''The consequences of this ill-conceived bargain would destroy the Syrians' last, best chance to live in freedom from the brutal Assad regime.''
Now if we look at their point of view then yes Assad’s regime in Syria was the cause and rise of ISIS due to its cruel practices against the Sunnis. But if Iran agrees to the Nuclear Accord then this would be a significant foreign policy victory for Obama and America. Iran will be allowed to develop their nuclear program for energy only and it will cut back on its number of centrifuges enriching uranium and redesigning a planned heavy water reactor so they cannot produce plutonium which is needed for nuclear warheads.
All hell broke loose just 35 years ago when angry protesters stormed the US embassy which then led to a hostage crisis which lasted well over a year. But that was then and now the situation demands Iran and America must work together. This letter has already created domestic problems and not to mention diplomatic conundrums with Israel with whom it can be said the relationship between both allies are at their lowest ebb. Also other Sunni Dominant state, especially Saudi Arabia will not be pleased, but if they have any sense they must realize this is the only way out. Anyway America and Iran are already fighting ISIS in their own way.
This will lead to an immediate easing of sections which has crippled the Iranian economy. Also Iran has one of the highest literacy rates and no restriction on woman’s education. Iran as a nation is still haunted by the mistake made by America in the 1950’s when it toppled the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed the Shah who was eventually overthrown. Also the level of support given by America to Iraq under Saddam Hussian is still fresh in the minds of Iranian leaders.
The problem is America cannot have its cake and eat it too. It wants a nuclear free Iran and it also wants the Assad’s regime to fall. Also America wants to destroy ISIS and to do that relations have to be forged and past grudges have to be overcome. America’s Middle Eastern partners must realize the eventuality of a future diplomatic relations between Iran and America is inevitable depending upon who will take over the White House in 2016 or may be President Obama could accomplish this task before his tenure ends.
Whenever Pakistan cries it is a victim of terrorism there is no taker for that and in the next 2 to 3 years it could end up as the next Syria and Iraq. Attacks are being carried out with impunity within Pakistan and almost on a daily basis both civilians and security officials are dying. Also a large number of Pakistanis mindset is not that different from the values of ISIS which believes it has divine providence to attack all non-believers, imposition of Sharia law and create an Islamic state. The recent burning of a Christian couple in Punjab for alleged blasphemy is the perfect manifestation of how minorities in Pakistan are living in constant fear of being killed or have their girls kidnapped and forced to marry someone outside their faith. This has quite eerie resemblance to ISIS.
Now if reports are to be believed which were published in Times of India, ISIS the most powerful and richest terror organisation in the world is now planning to spread its wings in Pakistan. If Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not too wounded or dead if reports are to be believed the next call by the Caliph would be the call of arms in Pakistan. The Dawn Newspaper has reported on its website that the 'secret information report' dated October 31 states that ISIS has claimed to have recruited a massive 10,000 to 12,000 followers from the Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kurram tribal district. Also report from the Home and Tribal Affairs Department of Balochistan says “It has been reliably learnt that Daish has offered some elements of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ) to join hands in Pakistan. Daish has also formed a 10-member Strategic Planning Wing.”
If these reports are factual then Pakistan, a country which is already suffering from bad economy, rampant corruption, no job prospect for young and to top it all a weak government controlled by the India centric military will be a perfect ground for ISIS. Everyone would agree when there is no development of infrastructure and a majority of populace is in perpetual poverty, it is not very difficult to attract them and give them Jihad as an outlet for all the anger and disentrancement which they feel.
Now just a few days back a Pentagon report submitted to the US Congress, categorically stated that the Pak military and its intelligence wing the Inter Service Intelligence was completely involved in promoting terror in India and Afghanistan. This was always an open secret but the admission does help. Now if ISIS comes to Pakistan and it will easily find many supporters who share its ideology, then the minorities will have no place to run except to India or Iran or face death and slavery.
Al Qaeda is a group which is on the downward spiral because America systematically destroyed its ways and means by either capturing its leaders or killing them. The Al Qaeda has pledged its allegiance to Mullah Omar of the Taliban who was proclaimed as Amir al-Mu'minin Commander of the Faithful, but for how long? Yes money has been raised by cultivating Poppy for Heroin, but they do not have the same level of financial backing and social networking platform like ISIS. Plus there are other Jihadist groups who have no allegiance to the Taliban and its leaders have their own plans. These are the groups which ISIS will get hold of and fund their operations.
Pakistan is the only Islamic country which has nuclear weapons and if nothing else attracts ISIS this surely will. Also a military which has been radicalized for decades is the most fertile ground for recruitment. Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri was the body guard who shot and killed Salman Taseer who was Governor of Punjab and he now sits in a prison and knows it would take a very bold step on the part of the government to punish him. People like Qadri have so much influence at present he runs for political office he would win.
If we take all these factors into consideration plus the many groups who share the puritanical ideology, in few months Pakistan will face its greatest test yet and its military its greatest opponent. They will have to fully concentrate on fighting its own people which will lead to more resentment. Any idea of pointing ISIS towards India will only prove more dangerous and could lead to serious confrontation. The policy of giving support to non state actor’s to wage asymmetrical warfare in India and Afghanistan will prove to be its greatest threat yet and probable civil war in Pakistan. ISIS will be defeated in the Middle East and all the swaths of land under its control taken back but Pakistan could very well prove to be the “place for ISIS” and make Pakistan a Perfect Cesspool for ISIS to Grow.
What prompted a group of students to kiss publicly is what everyone is asking and many in our country who for their lack of awareness think this is insane. However the reason why this Kiss of Love is springing in autumn is very simple. Unbridled and uncontrollable vigilantism by the political rightwing of this country who firmly believe it is their right to protect the culture of this great nation. Now it seems when it comes to cultural and moral policing all rightwing group of all religion tend to join forces that are generally on the opposite spectrum often due to religious issues. But enough is enough we the people must take a stand and fight for our rights and not allow these goons to dictate how we should live our lives. This Kiss of Love Movement is a direct manifestation of the sick grip rightwing groups have over this country and the impunity in which they are allowed to flourish.
Now let us see how different the kiss of love protesters behave and how our moral police behave. Has there been even a single incident of violence and destruction of public or private property attributed to them. The answer is zero. Whenever our friendly neighborhood moral police go out on petrol duty, they brazenly indulge in violence and attack young boys and girls and justify their action as it is their sacred duty to protect women and our culture. They will attack newspapers and news networks if anything is written or spoken against them and call it a liberal conspiracy or call it Pseudo Secularism which ever suites then at that juncture.
Couple of days back the Kiss of Love movement stuck the nation’s capital were students from JNU decided to protest in front of the RSS headquarters which isthe Bastian of protecting Hindu Culture.Now there is nothing wrong in protecting ones culture and heritage but with rightwing organisation like the Hindu Sena, Bajrang Dal, VHP the only response is violence which is sadly encouraged. Now the same goes for all religious rightwing group of all religion.
Usually those young and upstanding boys who take part in this unlawful civil action led by an elder are not that educated and can be easily manipulated. Also they are socially awkward and have difficulty communicating with women which in reality they want to do. They also want a girlfriend to go out and watch a movie and then enjoy a meal in a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. But since most girls have the right sense to ignore such boys, they get frustrated and the outcome is violence.
Why such movements make these narrow-minded delinquents so nervous? These young boys and girls are not going to destroy this nation. They are not going to sell state secrets. Then why this hostility towards these believers in free speech and non violence. All they ask is to live their law abiding life on their terms. Who gave these social contractors of morals the right to dictate their will by means of violence and threats and why no actions are ever taken against them? Just check the internet and one would find cases after cases of violent acts committedby such groups.
One thing is certain the rightwing groups are overly sensitive and anything could stirrup emotions. Be it a film or paintings by an artist and books which are thought provoking. Their sensitivities always get hurt very quickly and the only way of expression is through uncontrolled violence which is often supported by our politicians regardless of which party they belong to for their own gain. The liberal ideals on which this country was formed is being slowly but surely hijacked by these bottom dwelling Neanderthals who show no respect for life, liberty and freedom of expression.
The Stock Market closed at an historical high and the Shiv Sena and the Congress party held the governor of Maharashtra hostage and the poor man in the process even got injured for which 5 congress MLA’s have been suspended. However after the BJP led by its new Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis managed to defeat a no confidence motion in the Maharashtra Assembly, former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan called the entire trust vote a black day in democracy. But in the end the biggest loser to emerge from all this is the Shiv Sena headed by the fickle minded Uddhav Thackeray. Because of this, the Shiv Sena has lost a very big opportunity to play a major role in state and national politics.
The inability to gauge the public mood and the momentum which Narendra Modi has still managed to sustain after winning the general election will prove as a definitive and detrimental cause of this party’s fall from grace. It would not come as a surprise if a few Shiv Sena MLA’s jump ships, both at state and maybe at the center.
In all this confusion the NCP (Means to an End Party) has emerged as the unlikeliest winner by supporting the BJP from the outside and bamboozling Shiv Sena and isolating congress in Maharashtra. The NCP and its core leadership of Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar and Praful Patel are one of the most opportunistic politicians who will get into bed with just about anyone to retain power or escape from investigations for mismanaging the economy. The NCP will genuflect to anyone, to them it is a means to an end and neither do they feel nor see any shame in it. But still managing to become the third largest party in Maharashtra after having had the pleasure of making some of the most crude, snide and insensitive comments by its leaders over the hapless farmers of Maharashtra is an achievement. Ajit Pawar should be singled out for coming up with most obeisance comments about the plight of farmers! The man really knows how to touch the hearts of the people.
Even before the elections the congress party was the anointed loser in Maharashtra and now to cry and call the winning of the Trust Vote by the BJP as illegitimate is a clear sign of a sore loser. But it is the Shiv Sena who has lost ground in a big way. They threatened BJP, cajoled BJP, threatened again and finally it became comical. If Raj Thackeray managed to make himself a political pariah, Uddhav has done even better. With over 60 MLA’s and 18 members of Parliament he just could not out maneuver Modi and Amit Shah. Did he not get the memo when the BJP only offered one cabinet birth and would not budge?
Let’s be clear Uddhav Thackeray Simply lacks the political acumen of his late father Bal Thackeray and has made a hash of things. Uddhav’s undermining and insulting Modi during the elections was never really forgotten, but when a man keeps sending signals of dissent and support clearly did not fool the BJP leadership. They knew he was desperate for power and if he had accepted the BJP’s terms, maybe in the future during an opportune moment Uddhav Thackeray could have negotiated a better deal. Now he could face a bit of a rebellion in his party with members hoping to get a cabinet position in the new government. If this happens by the time the next elections will be held in this state, the Shiv Sena could be as marginalized as his cousins, the only leader of MNS.
As of now there is nothing the Shiv Sena can do and a word for caution for the BJP is how they will manage a fickle NCP. Will they be investigating all the corruption cases against them and now as they are in power how they plan to pass bills. The overwhelming defeat of Congress and NCP was a clear mandate by the people, but what they want most is good governance and if it comes at the cost of taking support from NCP, so be it.
For the common man, business has picked up, stock prices rising, fuel prices going down and a get on with business government at the center which is the need of the hour. The BJP has definitely won this session but this is Test Match and a lot more surprises, twist and turns and political intrigue still remains to be unfolding in Maharashtra.
Is female genital mutilation practised in India? Wait till you get to the last paragraph to find the right answer.
Trust our authorities to make totally uncalled for and utterly irresponsible and reprehensible statements and cause tsunamis when there is not a ripple in the calm waters of academia and everything seems to be hunky dory between the student community and the faculty. Sometimes it is about how female students should dress and sometimes about how harmful a cell phone is to their own safety and security. Only the other day, some college authorities in Bengaluru hit upon the revolutionary idea of asking female students to fill out a questionnaire which probed into their personal space by asking questions like their before-and-after-college-hours-contacts. When confronted by the Media about the propriety of taking such action, the authorities surprised one and all by enlisting the support of the parents of the very same female students whose basic right to privacy they had tried to violate; the parents, they would have us believe, wanted the college authorities to keep track of the movements of their female wards even after college hours! Hence their attempt to put a tab on the hapless girls. What would they think of next? Implant a chip on their body? Carry out frisking and cavity search, maybe?
In the latest of this season's funny shows, restrictions have been imposed on access to a library in the premises of Aligarh Muslim University by its female students. The rationale behind such a unique move has been the apparent apprehension of the university authorities that female company on the portals of the library would be detrimental to the advancement of the male students' academic excellence! So, give the dog a bad name and hang him! Or should I say her?
When it comes to telling women of our country what they should do and what they should not, there is a virtual stampede of men, falling over each other, vying to profer unsolicited advice regardless of their own credentials or locus standi to address the issue at hand. Women don't have to think for themselves or take decisions regarding their own lives. It has all been so very thoughtfully and conveniently outsourced to the menfolk. Never mind the question of women's empowerment or human rights which constitute but a trivial matter to be relegated to the realm of mere statistics in our scheme of things.
So what if India lags behind sub-Saharan States in matters such as mortality rate or malnutrition of female children? Proud inheritors that we are of arguably the most ancient civilization in the world and a very rich culture which dates back to the hoary past of Ramayana and Mahabharata, where is the question of our being compared with some unheard of African countries? Such a comparison would not only be unpatriotic or demeaning but even tantamount to an act of sacrilege. The world had better take note that we are a nation of worshippers of goddesses, We are, as such, the rightful guardians of the typical Indian value system and women's morality. In any case, how we treat our women is nobody else's business, innit? Discussion over.
When are we, as a nation, going to, if at all, grow out of the warped mindset bequeathed to successive generations by a procrustean patriarchal society which betrays no sign of slackening its stranglehold on women who are equal stakeholders, just as men, in the country's inexorable march to economic development and the withering of social disparity? If centres of higher learning are not going to set an example to the rest of the nation by treating their female students on an even keel with the male ones, and continue to behave like glorified khap panchayats, as they have been doing from time to time, it would not only be a case of meting out insult to our daughters as correctly pointed out by HRD Minister Smriti Irani, but also one of gross violation of human rights and natural justice. All right thinking people should ask themselves as to how different curbing a female student's access to library is from the barbaric practice of committing female genital mutilation. Woe betide a country which refuses to desist from committing the folly of discriminating against one half of its society and allowing male arrogance and dominance flourish and thrive!
A Vicissitude of thought process is taking place with just two years remaining in President Barack Obama’s term. He may have lost the midterm elections and the congress to an uncompromising and often over the top Republican Party, but he now has full control over foreign policy and he will make the most of it. The loss in the midterm elections could perhaps be a blessing since his hands were tied due to domestic constraints and the politics associated with it. But now he is not bound by any commitment. Not to the Republicans or the Democrats who distanced themselves from him.
It seems he now has plenipotentiary over his foreign policy without oversight like Bush did back in 2007 and by sending a letter to Iran Mr. Obama has perhaps gambled the most dangerous foreign policy initiatives.
To prove it, he has already sent a letter to Ali Hosseini Khamenei the current Ayatollah and defacto leader of Iran who will decide upon the yet to be signed nuclear deal on 24th November which created a huge uproar in the political circle. Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said we can’t accept at all to have a decorative, caricaturistic nuclear industry which might suggest how things will unfold on 24th of November 2014. But is the nuclear deal more important than defeating ISIS. Yes It is a highly combustible issue and one could debate till the cows come home about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But surely the stability of Middle East has to take higher priorities. It is not like Iran is like North Korea. Anyway Iran needs the easing of sanctions against her more than anything because it crippling its economy so it is quite possible a equitable compromise could be reached.
Yes this will create huge discord with its partners in the Middle East and already at home Senators John McCann and Lindsay Graham said ''The consequences of this ill-conceived bargain would destroy the Syrians' last, best chance to live in freedom from the brutal Assad regime.'' Also now there is rumbling and whispers of sounds that the US will send more troops to Iraq to fight the menace of ISIS. It may not be Lock Stock and Barrels like in 2003 or the surge of troops in 2007. At present the American forces in Iraq are a shadow of their past and are Emaciated, hence not potent to directly challenge ISIS. But it could very well change soon.
They have already sent an extra 1500 troops as advisors and are involved in a very powerful and precision air campaign which may have either injured or perhaps hoping against hope killed the Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. If the latter turns out to be true, it will be a huge psychological and political victory for Obama over his detractors. Already General Martin Dempsey has said he might be recommending that American troops fight alongside Iraqi forces to tackle ISIS and retake the city of Mosul or border areas with Syria from ISIS militants. Several experts in strategic affairs and former military officers have written that without proper coordinated ground attack by the Army ISIS cannot be defeated.
Already Iran is deeply involved in this conflict and its top Para Military leader Genral Qasem Soleimani the head of Qods Force until August 2014 is fighting alongside the Kurds Peshmerga forces. Qasem Soleimani is an Enigma which the West is yet to figure out. He is a highly experienced fighter and covert operative and peripatetic believer of Iran’s revolution and the teaching of the Ayatollah. If he is directly involved in the fight against the ISIS, then it is beyond the shadow of doubt how much Iran is invested in this conflict.
In terms of foreign policy shift the letter which President Obama sent to Iran is as significant as the trip by Richard Nixon to China back in 1972 which ensued the beginning of diplomatic ties between these two giants. This letter would have bound to give a conniption fit to America’s allies in the Middle East, Particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia. Tirta Parsi president of the National Iranian American Council rightly wrote an article titled “pen-palling ayatollah” in which he said, Obama has no obligation to seek approval from Israel or Saudi Arabia to send a letter to Iran to advancing America’s security and interests in that region.
In another article Emad Kiyaei Executive Director at American Iranian Council in an article published Foreign Policy blog titled “Americas last best hope for defeating the Islamic state is Iran nuclear talks” wrote that for over 35 years Israel and Saudi Arabia and other regional allies have played spoil sport fearing any “normalization of relations with Tehran will be at the expense of their own strategic relations with Washington.” Also in that article he says “Obama's request to Ayatollah Khamenei for closer cooperation on the fight against IS is an effort to fill that strategic gap -- and indicates a realization that without Tehran's, help the coalition will almost certainly fail.” Plus once relationship established with Iran America can as Iran to leverage Syria and talk to Assad regime as he continues to point out more eloquently.
Iraq’s Shia population is more than the Sunni and that itself is enough for Iran to run to the support of their brethren. Obama has realized this fact which others may disagree and hope for a regime change in Syria and in Iran which has been dream since 1979. But this is not going to happen, at least with Iran. Any deal signed by the US and Iran may get dissolved by the Republican Congress and Senate, maybe that is why Obama is in a hurry before the next session of congress under Republican leadership takes charge. It is quite possible a friendly Iran is not quite Palatable to many influential Americans and Israel has no cause for worry, because their relationship with America runs very deep and let us not forget their powerful lobby.
ISIS is a threat which will spread to other parts of the Middle East. Already news of ISIS’s head rearing in Egypt and Pakistan which is Perfect Cesspool for ISIS to grow and frighteningly close to India with a 200 million Muslim Population could easily be vulnerable to terror attacks and let us not forget Europe. Also ISIS’s ideology is not that different from Saudi Arabia and its cohorts who have been responsible for spreading their brand of Wahabi Islam with their funding.
America and Iran may never fight ISIS side by side for appearance but the inevitable truth is America needs the Involvement of Iran to Fight ISIS and also put more boots on the ground. Also they should take this opportunity to start a dialogue and genuinely try and establish diplomatic relations with each other which would be in their best interest moving forward. Let us not forget Russia under Putin is smarting due to the disintegration of the Soviet Empire. There was a time not long ago when the Russians controlled Persia, who knows if America and Iran establish relations two birds could be countered by one stone.
The fiercest and the most sinister terrorist organisation of our times, namely Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), previously known as Islamic State of Iraq, Syria and the Levant (ISIL), stands reduced in its name to Islamic State (IS). Its terror import has, however, only grown more and more along its bloody course of increasing notoriety as its marauding troops go about committing the most heinous crimes on humanity in the name of God and religion. A ragtag outfit of mercenary foot soldiers from Central Asia, Western and Eastern Europe, the US, Australia, and let us say, practically from all over the world, most of its inductees, estimated to be 80,000-100,000 strong, are wayward youngsters who have gone astray and symbolize the flotsam of the churning of conflicting cultures and contemporary liberal lifestyles in the face of a procrustean value system; the rest of the motley crowd is constituted by hardcore fundamentalist elements. There is also a miniscule minority of wide-eyed greenhorns who have stumbled upon the concept of an apocryphal political, religious and cultural system, a throwback in time and a far cry from today's realities and have pledged their lives to rediscovering the buried and forgotten theological high.