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proloybagchi
A rape that shook India
2013.01.13 19:03:27

It was different; it was a different kind of gang-rape that shook not only the nation but also the Diaspora, besides evoking strong and sensitive reactions from abroad. It even prompted the Secretary General of the United Nations to write to the Indian Prime Minister for ensuring greater security for women. It was a different kind of rape in that it was not like the ones that are reported almost every day in the newspapers. It was different because it was an uncommonly and excessively brutal and beastly assault, which tore up the insides of the 23-year old bright and ambitious paramedic, eventually taking her life despite the best efforts of medicine men in the country’s capital and abroad.



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proloybagchi
The end of 'Indian Spring'
2012.11.27 19:27:14

Arvind Kejriwal, of the erstwhile NGO India Against Corruption, has made quite a splash since he went political. Even before he named his outfit as “Aam Aadmi Party” (AAP) he had commenced his campaign against the entrenched political establishment. His exposes, virtually like serial ‘bombs’, have already scorched Robert Vadra, the son in-law of Sonia Gandhi,  Chairperson of the ruling formation United Progressive Alliance, Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, the suave but loyal to the point of being a sycophant of Sonia Gandhi, Nitin Gadkari, the reigning president of the principal Opposition,  the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Reliance Chief and the richest Indian Mukesh Ambani, and, lately, sugar mill owners of Western Maharashtra, presumably targeting the Maharashtra strongman Sharad Pawar, currently Agriculture Minister at the Centre. The Ambanis came in for further treatment in Kejriwal’s accusations regarding their alleged unaccounted wealth in foreign banks details of which, though suppressed, were allegedly available with the government.



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proloybagchi
On the edge - the Great Indian Bustard
2012.10.14 22:38:00

With a rapidly growing population, increasing pressures of development and unconcerned public authorities wildlife in India do not seem to have a chance. A recent list of most threatened species of animals, plants and fungi jointly compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Zoological Society of London includes four Indian species. Questioning whether these are “Priceless or worthless” species and, therefore, whether we have the right to drive them to extinction the two organisations have surmised that humans seem to care more for economic benefits that certain species provide if they are conserved. The rest, it seems, could be left to their native ingenuity to either adapt to the ever-changing environment or to perish.



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proloybagchi
Radios of yore - an eulogy
2012.10.04 19:36:17

The other day while listening to a programme on the fm of Radio Mirchi my mind traveled back long years to 1948 when we got the first radio in our house. My late second brother got a first division in his intermediate examination. The examinations were held then by the Ajmer Board of Secondary education to which a number colleges in Rajputana, United Provinces, Central India, etc were affiliated. With thousands of candidates competing, getting a first division in those days in any board or university examination was no ordinary matter.  Elated by the distinction achieved by him, my father went and bought a radio as a gift for him – a small one, of five valves made by Phillips of Holland. Its price was Rs. 350/-, an amount that was more than my father’s monthly salary.

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timgatto
Ballot Access for Third Parties
2012.09.19 23:49:39

(With The Rocky Anderson Campaign)

By Tim Gatto with Ben Shaw

During radio show last night I had problems with the audio that were very suspicious. Every time my guest, Ben Shaw (who works with the Rocky Anderson campaign) tried to mention specific problems that the campaign faced on getting Anderson on the ballot in various States, the audio would become garbled to the point where it was very difficult to understand his speech. He would stop talking about these instances and the audio would clear up. This is the link to the show so you can hear it for yourself.



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proloybagchi
Dow denies succour to Bhopal despite new-found environmentalism
2012.08.30 19:32:10

Before the commencement of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the gas-affected people of Union Carbide, Bhopal and their several organisations mounted a protracted campaign against the Dow’s sponsorship of it. The Dow funded the £7 million wrap around the Olympic Stadium and also has negotiated a 10-year £100 million sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee. The Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) is now a subsidiary of The Dow Chemicals, the latter having bought it in the late ‘90s.

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timgatto
An Open Letter to Al Gore
2012.08.18 01:29:58

Dear Hon. Al Gore,

I faxed you a letter yesterday about making Current TV into a News Show. This nation desperately needs a venue where the truth is told instead of “sanitized” news that bolsters the government’s agenda. I’m serious about this and I’m not the only one that thinks this way. There are millions of people that don’t accept the pap that is delivered on the networks and cable stations. NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, and you station Current TV.



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timgatto
Tim Gatto, Uncut and Uncensored
2012.08.14 03:51:04

My radio show, Tim Gatto Uncut and Uncensored, is carried by Blog Talk Radio every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 PM EST. The show runs for two hours and brings listeners the best and brightest from the left side of the political spectrum. The show, originally called Liberalpro, has been on the air (off and on) for about five years. This year has been the most successful, garnering more listeners than all of the previous years combined.



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timgatto
What’s Wrong with this Picture?
2012.08.12 03:16:28

Today I learned something new. Not only did I learn something new, but I was also reminded that there is something inherently wrong with this republic of ours. Although I understand that no system of government is perfect, some aspects of democracy (at least what we call democracy in the United States) should be sacrosanct. One of these is the right of people to vote for the person of their choice.



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proloybagchi
Return of the "Darkness"
2012.07.28 19:24:19

Looking around one comes across a kind of darkness that seems to be descending on the country. It is somewhat like what the Nobel Laureate, VS Naipaul, described in his travelogue, “An Area of Darkness”, but, perhaps more forbidding as it is occurring in the second decade of the 21st Century.  Ominous, as it seems, the thought processes of our people seem to be consciously and unrelentingly heading towards the medieval ages. Although it cannot be reckoned as the sign of the times when serious efforts are under way to achieve material progress, yet many societal aberrations strongly suggest that regressive tendencies are getting free play.



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timgatto
Before the Collapse
2012.07.12 00:50:43

A few observations:

1.       The Media is controlled by the government and most of what you see and hear from it is a lie.

2.       The United States is engaged in wars all over the planet for resources.

3.       Sociopaths run our government.

4.       The U.S. government is attempting to destroy our basic civil liberties to consolidate their power.

5.       The Bankers are stealing America’s wealth.

6.       Our economy in America is collapsing.

7.       Anyone that is critical of the current policies is considered to be mentally ill, a malcontent or a “terrorist”.

8.       The U.S. is in an economic depression.

9.       There is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans.

10.   (Most importantly) Many people understand what is going on (and the numbers are growing larger every day) and the government of the USA had no this would come so swiftly.



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proloybagchi
Planet Earth close to tipping point
2012.07.04 19:53:11

Despite a dire warning issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) about the catastrophe that Planet Earth was headed for, the recent United Nations Rio+20 Conference at Rio de Janeiro on sustainable development proved to be a damp squib.



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proloybagchi
Indians will soon find survival difficult
2012.05.20 15:27:22

A time seems to have come when people should give up cooking. A recent report said that a domestic LPG cylinder is soon going to cost Rs. 996/- (around $20), virtually a thousand rupees, for those who have an income of more than six hundred thousand rupees ($12000 app.) per annum. The Standing Committee on the matters relating to petroleum ministry has made the recommendation indicating that those who are rich should not be supplied the subsidised LPG. For all one knows, the recommendation may even get accepted regardless of the fact that identification of those who are in receipt of the specified income is going to be a tough proposition. If implemented, only the salaried class would get trapped while others, who are professionals, traders and self-employed, etc. and have to declare their own incomes (which most don’t do entirely) are likely to continue to get subsidised LPG.



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gideonpolya
Oz censorship
2012.05.10 01:16:05

Internet censorship by the Australian Government-funded ABC and The Conversation.

Censorship is repugnant because it prevents basic human communication required for democracy and in particular short circuits risk management that is crucial for societal safety and which successively involves (a) accurate information, (b) scientific analysis and (c) informed systemic change to minimize risk.



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allenjasson
Trade Mission to Israel
2012.03.25 08:16:16

Attn:   The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Parliament House,
Canberra
ACT

Ref:    Trade Mission to Israel

Dear Mr Shorten,

I have recently read an open letter to you from fellow Australian Dr Vacy Vlazna, which I have included with this letter. I write to emphatically support the views expressed in that letter by Dr Vlazna. Your Trade Mission to Israel is an outrageous offence against human decency in general, against our often celebrated and ostensibly shared Australian values in particular and against the pride and, of special concern to me, proud of two grandfathers who (misguided as they were) risked their lives in European wars for noble values, the self-respect of all Australians. The obsequious flattery inherent in the statement of your mission’s objective (to “attempt to understand how is it that Israel-a country of 7.2 million people, a third of the size of Tasmania, sixty per cent desert, only sixty three years old, with limited natural resources-produces more start-ups than large, peaceful and stable nations like Japan, India, Korea, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.”) reflects either a startling ignorance or a willful blindness to reality and is utterly insulting to anyone who understands the truth.



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proloybagchi
A threatened Ramsar Site
2012.01.31 22:26:20

One can be reasonably sure that on the 2nd of February next the ministers concerned of the government of the Central Indian province of Madhya Pradesh will mouth some platitudes about conservation of the Upper Lake and its adjunct the Lower Lake which together constitute Bhoj Wetland. In practice however, the local officialdom is more concerned about its “development” and by that they mean providing means for attracting more and more visitors to its shores or to its close proximity. Conservation is a word which does not seem to figure in their lexicon in so far as this fantastic natural asset of Bhopal is concerned, particularly when it is a Ramsar Site – a wetland of international importance, the only one in the state.



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proloybagchi
Hunger and riches in 'incredible India'
2012.01.31 22:20:11

A national daily presented the other day two contrasting pictures of India. On its front page were the findings of a research indicating the extent of hunger and malnourishment in the country and in one of the inside pages was a report on the explosion on its roads with millions of private vehicles causing traffic jams in its urban centres.



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deboldt
The King of Love is dead
2012.01.17 03:18:37

On this Martin Luther King Day it is good to remember the unseemly truth behind the pompous posturing. All the inflated homage to the "I have a dream" secretly veils the real relief of our public officials who thank their gods that there remains no seer, prophet or revolutionary thinker left that can match the vision and the strategic intelligence of the man who called out the conscience of a nation and died at the hands of our government for his trouble. 



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proloybagchi
India - a subcontinental refuge
2011.12.23 15:04:58

A group of 140 overstaying Pakistani Hindus have expressed the desire to remain in India and make Delhi their home. They came to India from Sindh on tourist visa and for fear of being targeted are afraid to go back. With visas expired, they live in utter penury in Majnu Ka Tila in Delhi and have only one appeal for the Government of India that their visas should be extended. They would also like the government to provide them proper accommodation. These people from 27 families waited for years for their visas and were so desperate that once they got them they walked across to India. According to them they always felt unsafe in their own country and were subjected to discrimination. Not only they had no religious freedom, their children were ill-treated in schools, i.e. if they were allowed to join one. Always being told to convert to Islam, they would like to give up their home country and live in India, they said, just as numerous Bangladeshis, Nepalese and Tibetans live here.

They are mistaken if they think they are the only Pakistani Hindus who want to permanently make their home in India. Before them, hundreds and thousands of them came here with or without valid visas and never went back. And, all of them did not come only at the time of partition. Off and on, whenever, there were atrocities against Hindus, India would see an influx of Sindhi Hindus from Pakistan. A large number of them came after the 1971 War that resulted in dismemberment of Pakistan, arousing in it great antipathy for India and, of course, local Hindus. Even in normal times the process of ethnic cleansing has been continuing. Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are two states which seem to have been receiving them in large numbers. In fact, the two states have been welcoming them more or less with open arms, presumably, for political gains. They constitute a solid vote bank for the BJP. An August 2011 report said that around 3500 Sindhis who migrated more than a decade ago on long-tem visas and residing in Madhya Pradesh are still awaiting citizenship. If anything, this is a great under-statement. There are far, far more than 3500 Sindhis in the state. Many of them have merged with the local population without observing official niceties and have established themselves in business.

Those now camping in Majnu ka Tila are right when they say numerous Bangladeshi and Nepalese are also living in India. Hindu Bangladeshi refugees always made a beeline for India whenever they were subjected to atrocities. Their numbers were never accurately determined but it is estimated that a million came post partition, another million in 1950s and around 5 million in 1960s, most came after the 1965 war with India. During the struggle for independence in 1970-71 about 10 million East Pakistani Hindus crossed over to India to avoid a veritable genocide. Not all of them went back; around 1.5 million are estimated to have stayed back.

But there has been no respite for India even after Bangladesh came into being. Migration, in fact infiltration, into India has been continuing and, currently, 20 million illegal Bangladeshis, mostly Muslims, are reportedly in residence in India. There is practically no state in Upper India which does not have their colonies.  They have swamped several districts of Assam and border districts of West Bengal changing their demographics. In Assam as many as six districts now have Muslims in majority and in two in West Bengal. In Assam a violent socio-political movement was launched for their eviction.  While the porous borders have helped easy accessibility, poor enforcement and rampant corruption has ensured the illegal immigrants to avail of the benefits they are not entitled to. Their presence in large numbers, largely by design, especially in the states of West Bengal and Assam (where their number is reported to be 5 million out of 26 million) has given rise to fears of Islamic fundamentalism and consequential security threats to India. There have been frequent reports of these illegal immigrants promoting the idea of a “Greater Bangladesh” inclusive of the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam.

The case of Nepalese in India, however, is entirely different. They are here in pursuance of the Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty of 1950. Each, seemingly, fell into other’s lap out of fear on the emergence of the Red Dragon on their northern borders. The rise of Communist China in 1949 and its subsequent invasion of Tibet heightened their security concerns. Under the Treaty, Nepalese citizens in India have all the rights of an Indian citizen and they do not require visas to enter India, except a valid identification card while entering India by air. Both countries have also agreed to grant, on a reciprocal basis in each other’s territories, the same privileges in the matter of residence, ownership of property, participation in trade and commerce, etc. Curiously, however, while the citizens of Nepal have been exercising the rights granted under the Treaty Indians have not only have to have visas for entering Nepal but also are prevented under Nepalese laws to own and acquire property in Nepal. An estimated 10 million Nepalese are, as a consequence, residing and working in India, doing all kinds of jobs, including in the public and private sectors and in the Army, strengthening their country’s economy by remittances – largely informal – which amount to approximately 10% of its GDP.

Although the Nepalese find the 1950 Treaty unequal, strategic concerns apart, it appears to be highly unfavourable to India. The open borders between the two countries have allowed Nepalese to flood the country and take away from the locals millions of jobs in formal and informal sectors and share the resources that are increasingly becoming scarce. Besides, the open borders have been freely used by the Pakistani jihadists to spread mayhem and chaos in the country. While Nepal exports its so-called labour as a national policy, illegal Bangladeshis are plain and simple intruders having no right to be in India in such large numbers. Sadly, the Centre has hardly made any effort to prevent their ingress and has made, if at all, very feeble efforts to send them back. Even a rich country like the US adopts a very uncompromising attitude against those who breach its frontiers. Pakistan, on the other hand, is solving its communal problem by easing out its unwanted Hindus in hundreds and thousands. India, however has never taken up with Pakistan the question of crude treatment meted out to its Hindus even though President Musharraf during a press conference in Delhi had the audacity to make a comment about treatment in Indian Muslims. Surely he was aware that India hosted far more Muslims than Pakistan. He was, however, put in his place by one Maulana Madani who happened to be present at the meeting.

This is not all. Apart from millions of Pakistani Hindus, Nepalese and Bangladeshis, there are a few thousand foreigners including Pakistanis and Bangladeshis who have overstayed their visas having entered the country with valid documents. Add to that hundreds and thousands of Tibetan, Afghan, Sri Lankan and Burmese refugees to complete the picture. In India’s 1.2 billion people its neighbours have, thus, made the substantial contribution of close to 10%. Had the country – virtually a sub-continental refuge – not been weighed down by these foreigners, its economic profile perhaps would have been far different.



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deboldt
Moral Conservati​ve Zizek?
2011.12.09 07:34:40

For me the definitive pronouncement on Newt Gingrich was made recently by Slovenian philosopher, .  (Note: this is a transcript of a spoken conversation.)



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