Monday, March 31, 2008

sometimes a picture can tell a thousands words. what the heck, a picture can tell how as a nation india is doing crucial things wrong.

one such picture was from hindu which profiled an article on the tamiraparani river pollution. to reproduce a few lines,
"While couple of heavy industries in Tirunelveli district let out their waste into the river without chemically treating it, the human waste from the residences is also allowed to mix up in several places as the river silently continues its journey from the Western Ghats to the Gulf of Mannar."

tamilnadu, needless to say, whose very origin was based on the rivers, whose very culture which orginated from the rivers and whose very language was nourshied by the rivers abuses its rivers in a big way. needless to say, tamilnadu increasingly gasps for good water as it abuses its own rivers.

let's turn back to the picture. as india zooms forward to 10% gdp, poverty kicked out for good talk by our finance minister, 50000 crore goodie for farmers but don't care how farmers came to this brutal state government - one thing remains constant. a huge lack of clean drinking water for majority of the rural population and this lack of water is a direct result of huge pollution of water bodies right from rivers to tanks to ponds to wetlands apart from misusing these vital resources.
(children in tirunelveli district of tamilnadu standing amidst polluted water!!!!. the crucial lifeline tamiraparani rivers runs abused every inch in tamilnadu as tamilnadu's politicians and officials turn a blind eye to all crucial river.)

there was a tough interview as usual from karan thapar last week with medha patkar. karan is a tough interviewer as we all know. in this specific interview he takes the side of development - and from the hollowness of the questions looks like he himself seems to be calling india's development a miracle - and tries to pin down medha.

funny thing is that karan calls dams and chemical hubs hotspots of development. we have to put karan thapar for one night in cuddalore or in eloor or in patancheru or in tirupur or in several other chemical hubs that is screwing up gujarat and many other parts of india. if we do that, i can bet that he wont call india's development in romantic way like most of india's media (which has increasingly gotten corporatist) does.

needless to say medha was firm in her answers and tackled the fake development talk of karan (which karan himself had induced so that he can be devil in his advocacy) was firmly pushed back by medha.

we come ya karan. we need your house in your ancestor village to build a dam and your posh house in the city to develop a dam office. you will be thrown out of your home and a royal compensation of 25000 rupees will be given to you. india needs to 'develop'. don't ya agree?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

you have to appreciate a man, who was former defence minister of india and who puts his heart in his sleeve for standing up. standing up when it comes to the crux.

read his interview with karan thapar in ibnlive. he calls china for what it should be called.

let us be very clear. china is a great country. it has great culture and tradition perhaps one of the oldest and one of the greatest. its people and its businessmen are hard working. its people are warm.

but the communist chinese government that treats each one of its citizen a suspect, that inspite of its huge might behaves like moral pgymy, that sniffs each and every packet that passes through its network, that scares itself to death when it hears the words human rights, democracy and tibet - is all together a different animal.

let's read how respected editor vinod mehta puts it. and lets read the shocking statement of china's handyman in tibet's words, " "The Dalai Lama is a wolf in monk's robes, a devil with a human face but the heart of a beast."

it is time to india to stand up to chinese government and face it. lets face the truth that india's economic, military, cultural and other pillars stand one on one with china. let india not be treated as a poor fearful cousin by the chinese.

americans have bowed and crawled in front of chinese government. india should not allow to do it as it is much closer to china and should demand and get respect from chinese government.

i don't agree with several things that george fernandes might have done when he was in office. but let us applaud the man for standing up to chinese and tell a spade a spade.

Friday, March 28, 2008

here was the letter i wrote to hindu on their utterly shocking editorial on tibet situation.


dear hindu,
i chanced to read your galling editorial on tibet. the link is

the shock of the editorial was a virtual threat in the following lines.
"The time has come for India to use the leverage that comes with hosting the Dalai Lama and his followers since 1959 to persuade or pressure him to get real about the future of Tibet — and engage in a sincere dialogue with Beijing to find a reasonable, just, and sustainable political solution within the framework of one China."

here is an very cultural and traditional land that has been run over by china and that has been cut out from the rest of the world and in this conflict has been virtually sealed to outside world with no genuine access to the true events happening. now your editorial goes and describes everything in first para as though your reporter was on the scene and had proof that 'riots' was broken loose by militiant tibetians and that was not a democratic uprising and chinese police and military was standing by watching without any firing or human rights abuse on their part.

if the violence in tibet was started by a few monks and by few rioters what prevents china, a mighty country but a moral pygmy, to allow full access to the situation there. only a scared men hide things.

i am not applauding the violence that has taken place. but one should understand if a state commits violence then it is okay and when protests break out it is anarchical. here is a leader of tibetians and their spiritual guru who is in asylum in india and who has never preached any violence or violent ways to attain his goals and yet we your shocking editorial goes one step ahead and virtually delivers a verdict that either he shuts up his mouth or india should use the leverage to shut his mouth. basically tell him to get real - shut up or pack out of india!!!!

if china has nothing to worry in tibet and if it feels confident in tibet, why not open it for outside world for free interaction. why cleanse tibet ethnically, why throw out whoever opens their mouth and utters the words democracy, human rights, etc. if china is so confident that tibet is theirs and they can defend it anywhere then why not invite the non violent dalai lama for talks and see what results can be achieved. why make dalai lama, who many tibetians considers as their guru, an untouchable.

to compare tibet with kashmir will be total stupidity. in kashmir, as the world knows, it is the gun wielding terrorists who are waiting to pump bullets and india's mistreatment of kashmiris has not helped. but the major angle in kashmir is terrorism whereas in tibet the word terrorism has no meaning. and in that situation, to tell that india 'understands' tibet situation because it is faced with same situation in kashmir is a huge surprise.

and to go one step further telling that china's economic growth and tibet economic growth is a major factor and all human, democratic and other needs take a back seat to this economic power (wherein the land, water, river and coastal regions of china are in super high state of decay just like india's are in name of fake development)

here is a massive country that is so insecure that it monitors every packet that comes through its routers, that monitors every email that is sent scanning keywords like democracy, human rights, etc, a country that has its major search engine filter out anything it does not like, a country that treats its own citizens lowly and feeds them only with information that the state deems fit, the list is endless.

economic prosperity is a must. but when that economic prosperity comes at huge cost of human rights, cultural cleansing, cutting of regions that has ethnic population not belonging to mainstream, beefing up military might at each and every turn, treating each one of its citizen a suspect is pure lunacy. and if pleasing such a country on each and its every turn means friendship, we better not extend our genuine friendship.

america has lots its moral right on democracy long back as it kept its mouth tight shut in nigeria, in darfur, in rwanda, for a long time in tibet and its naked irresponsible war and potential genocide in iraq. india has lost its moral authority when it kicks its own people in name of fake dams, disastrous mining projects, fake environmental clearances, allowing ghastly incidents such as gujarat genocide, etc.

now tibetians have no left except for politicians like pelosi to mouth some goodies and go home and turn on the 42" inch television (of course manufactured cheap in china). in coming days even those goodies statements will cease to exist.

india was once a land of buddha, gandhi and proper balanced hindu editorials. i am fast losing the respect of your newspaper on seeing such irresponsible editorial that tout as though it is delivering an solution to the tibet issue without even bothering to analyze the cause of the issue while writing a crucial editorial.

nancy pelosi is a smart lady. she has stormed the ultra charging male batsion of washington and is ruling at the peak of nasty politics of washington corridors.

but she is also a smart lady knowing what to tell when when it comes to issues. i would like to quote her

“Speaking for myself, I would say if freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China’s oppression in Tibet, we have lost our moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world.”"


does not pelosi realize that america won't do what it won't do. in rwanda, in darfur, in burma, now in tibet and its own unwanted war in iraq, america has LOST its position as champion of human rights.

of course yes, america still has small space for refugees as and when crisis happens but it will let happen the crisis and it will keep its mouth shut.

in china, america stake is huge. china consumers are so big that american administration will close its mouth with duct tape when it comes to human rights.

let me get one thing straight. american people are one of the nicest friendliest people in the world. but they have been fed with ultra cheap chinese goods, they don't simply have the interest to pressurize the american administration to pressurise the chinese and american companies are so big in china and their lobby is so effective, america just does not care about human rights. not in tibet but anywhere in the world.

of course yes, american politicians like pelosi will give nice words when they tour. but that's the end of it. with a massive china military might in its borders, has been virutally handcuffed into parroting china on tibet. add to that india's own 'development' craze, india's politicians have easily forgotten that human rights even exists for its own people.

what america won't do, it shouldn't speak. if pelosi realizes this soon, it will be better for all so that false hopes can be avoided for america has ceased to be the country of hope long back with the crowning jewel coming from its ill fated iraq war.

and shall we say even need to say to pelosi that america has long lost its moral authority to speak for human rights oppression?

Friday, March 21, 2008

as india moves relentlessely over 8 to 10% gdp growth, as the clueless indian government offers multi thousand crore package to farmers after sleeping on the very problem at which this money is being thrown at, one thing remains forgotten.

the hapless people of narmada valley dam project remain still displaced and not compensated. first we throw in a monster of a project at their families, stab them by throwing away from their homes and now just plain 'dont care' attitude of their plight.

former water commission chairman ramaswamy iyer puts it correctly:
Let right be done. If you cannot rehabilitate, do not displace.

may i add, "if you cannot bring true development at least dont bring monster destruction"

yep, ladies and gentlemen, it is confirmed. india's democracy, pluralism, secularism, religious tolerance, equality for all - has gone for a super 6.

like in 20-20, when balls are smashed all above parameters are smashed. if the previous bjp led government was outright communal and slept over gujarat carnage, this present congress led government sleeps softly with communal forces doing the same things the previous government did. and to make matters worst, the not-so-communist government in west bengal seems to be sleeping in the same bed that the previous government slept.

how else can we explain the plight of taslima nasreen. she has been hounded, abused, hidden and now sent packing in anonymity to europe. the land that gave gautama buddha and mahatma gandhi now hangs its head in shame.

every writer, every journalist, every citizen has to watch over his/her shoulders to make sure that all are happy, the fundamentalist communal parties are joyful and their writing satisfies everybody. genuine freedom and democracy in india means nothing when it comes to communal vote politics and fake development.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

away from maddening crowds in cities
away from the hip hop generation,
away from the endless talk of development,
away from india shining and rising

in our villages
in our forests,
in our rivers,
in our heartland

the loot goes on and on
land loot in name of growth,
resources loot in name of development,
farm land loot in name of sez

it does not matter at all
for the loot is all for development.
(farmers protesting the land loot in bidadi , karnataka. in name of sez, widespread land acquisition, most of the times forced is heaped upon rural areas. picture courtesy hindu)

we all know al gore. the ex vice president and almost president and now a global crusader against global warming. al gore was in india and participated in a function of jsw foundation.

you know that major corporations - especially that is not environment sensitive or care a damn about environment rules and laws - have foundations and this jsw foundation belongs to jindal group.

and al gore talked about how america is the biggest polluter and how india can leapfrog amercia. nice words from the man who is pioneering the global warming issue.

but couple of points gore perhaps forgot to notice: that india is one of the worst polluting country on its own natural resources. with most of its rivers dead due to pollution, pesticides ruling the roost on every inch of agriculture, government and industries that abuses the crucial environmental laws, the list end less.

and more importantly al gore participated as reported in hindu, in a function organized by jsw foundation. as far as i know, jsw is ruthless in exploitation in india. an example is their proposed bauxite mining in south indian state of andhra pradesh. a sample at

before big guys like al gore wants to attend function he might want to check the roots of the organizer. for india is surely leapfrogging america in disguising environmental abuse in name of doing good by installing foundations that mask the loot of environment and massive displacement of tribals and rural people.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

a topic not related to india. but very relevant to everybody.

looking at the subprime crisis unfolding in america where many big boys who have capitalism in their blood and who are lining up to the federal government of america for bailout, the latest being bear stearns (bsc), i could not help remember the following,
when big boys makes money mostly on others back, it is up, up capitalism all the way.
when those big boys are getting hit, it is down, down socialism all the way.

american sub prime crisis is a classic example of how free, unfettered, jolly make money capitalism will work much to the detriment of the entire country and potentially for the entire world.

Friday, March 14, 2008

gujarat pollution control board has issued closure notice to mega companies for polluting. some of the companies as per hindu businessline report are in below para

The companies include pharmaceutical majors such as Cadila Pharmaceutical Ltd, Wokhardt Ltd, Sun Pharma Ltd, textile units such as Narendra Textile Ltd, and chemicals majors such as Meghmani Organics Ltd, J.B. Chemicals and Amsal Chemicals Ltd, GPCB sources told Business Line here.

and funnily (what else to say!!!), some of the companies has been ordered closure already!!!!
This time, it’s mostly the large companies that have been ordered closure. Some of these companies were ordered closure more than twice in the past.

welcome to india ladies and gentlemen. indira gandhi once called poverty as india's worst pollution. nope. now pollution is the worst creator of poverty destroying india's agriculture, rivers, wetlands, breathing air and what not.

it is time to put these mega companies to task and ask them to install world class pollution control production systems and process. let shareholder take a small hit in their profit. let india breathe clean air and drink fresh water. a small percentage of profits being invested in ultra modern pollution control methods is not a big penalty. failing which, these companies has to definitely close. because for murder like abuse of our environment, nothing else will enough.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

i think our honorable prime minister lied. and he seems to have lied blatanlty and that too in parliament. no, i am not accusing our prime minister of corruption or anything like that, but in this case the lie flies in the face of the ground level situation. let me first quote our prime minister who during his reply to opposition remarks on the farm loan waiver bill.

In response to the criticism that the government remains directionless, the Prime Minister said “it is in the direction of inclusive growth, it is in the direction of empowering the poor and marginalised sections. It is in the direction of unleashing the enterprise and creativity that is inherent in every citizen”

whoah....there are several lies here. let us see them.
"inclusive growth"
"empower the poor"
"marginalized sections"
"unleashing enterprise and creativity"

i think it should read as
"exclusive elite growth"
"SEZ the poor and kick them in the stomach"
"mines, dams and more destructive 'developmental' projects for our marginalized sections"
"unleash enterprises on land grab and so creativity while dealing with accusations"

all this government in past 5 years is done is one mis step after another, all in name of increasing the gdp. the narmada's, the athirapally's, the SEZ's, the singurs and nandigram's and kalinganagar's and niyamgiri's, the dangerous many tens of nuclear power plant plans, zero progress on sustainable development, unending displacements in mineral rich states of india, mounting farmers sucides, debts and distress, the huge grant of 50 crores for tiger conservation, the list is endless.

this blog has captured lot of the above paragraph's events. i am not asking our prime minister to read my blog. but at least he can read the true situation of india much more correctly.

or perhaps he can get his facts right and stop lying about fake development that his government has perpetuated at all levels?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

i did not know this and neither might have you. our honorable finance minister has given a HUGE grant for tiger conservation.

yes folks and that money will save the tigers from the brutal assault it is facing on mining, tree logging, quarrying and other 'friendly' acts that our government is so fond and which are touted as 'development'. adding to this insult called development, we also have encroachment, poaching and other things that are 'too friendly' for the tiger.

now in order to become more friendly towards tiger conservation, our government in its budget has sanctioned a whopping monster of a money. yes folks it is 50 crore rupees.

well please don't stare at the monitor. a nation with a trillon dollar economy has just peanuts for tigers.

shame shame
on the wall
who is the most
shameful of them all.

well we know the answer don't we. one of leading hindu newspaper editor has expressed her rightful frustration on this meager breadcrumb for tiger conservation. she also illustrates the tribal bill angle from the view of conservationists.

she has chronicled neatly in a 1, 2 punch in following para's.
The tiger is up against more than just poachers. The Tiger Task Force report showed that about 80 per cent of India’s tigers live in the Western Ghats, Central India and the Terai. These are the very regions which have been “put up for sale” by the government under the guise of so-called development. Prime wildlife habitat and pristine jungles in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh have been lost to corporations which see land, forest, and water as resources to be exploited. It is the government’s handling of these regions that makes their intentions suspect not only for tiger or wildlife conservation but even for tribals.
The same tribal people that have been promised forest land were ousted from their lands in favour of Special Economic Zones, large mining companies, big dams, etc., thereby exposing policy inconsistencies towards tribal people.

lie lie
on the wall
who is the most
lieful of them all.
tiger, tiger
whatcha gonna do
whatcha gonna do
we are coming after you

we come and destroy
your living forests
we need development
we aint need no tiger

when we come
we come to kill you
we need development
we aint need any nature

tiger, tiger
whatcha gonna do
whatcha gonna do
we are coming after you

they called him mahapuru and he reached out breaking the security corridor and proclaimed himself to be the solider who is out to save forests - impressive words from the young man and potential future prime minister of india. and he also told he is against mining. quoting him,

"I am against the proposal of mining bauxite in hills in eastern Orissa by Sterlite Industries, an Indian ancillary of Britain's Vedanta Resources. Although I am not against industralization, but we should not overlook the harmful effects of it."

we are also against -
mining that pollutes indiscriminately,
mining that displaces tens of thousands of people,
mining that fleeces the land owners by paying pittiance,
mining that makes the rich mining companies more richer,
mining that exports the mined or so easily and imports expensive raw materials,
the mining policy that does not care even 1% about tribals, environment, forests and wildlife.
in total against fake development that caters only to tiny section of urban elite rather than a wholesome development of all sections of society.

rahul gandhi has made the correct statement in disapproving the proposed disaster in niyamgiri. will the young blood in him follow up with the concerned ministers and ask them to back off backing this dangerous project that can displace and brutalize tens of thousands of tribals?

he has spoken the correct word. but will he follow up?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

athirapally (athirapilly is another way of calling this perhaps), is getting hot.

financial express calls the local struggle against this monster project as 'green militiancy'
Energy demand growth has been so rapid that the state cannot afford to discount any resource in future,” state power minister AK Balan said. In another signal of desperation, the 163-mw Athirappilly project, a hydel plan stalled for the last 10 years due to green millitancy, too has been pushed to the frontburner. This year, its trusted hydel power reserves (average hydel generation 1,300 mw against peak load demand of 2,800 mw) too did not stand KSEB in good stead. As if this was not enough, the Centre snipped off 133 mw of the board’s entitlement from the central pool. A sore KSEB, thus, had no option but to put its non-hydel act together. Not surprisingly, out of the Rs 1,146-crore capital outlay for 2008-09, the board has set aside Rs 540.52 crore for the generation sector.

well if peaceful protests and satyagraha's and non violent camps are called 'militiancy', then i guess even gandhi was a militiant!!!! a very hard core militant at that since ahimsa was his life and blood.

a memo to the most powerful lady in india was also presented and local people are ranged against this destructive project that we blogged so extensively.

madness - another word is the athirapally hydel dam.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

as our businessmen, politicians and urban elite tom tom about the great 'development' taking place in india, one thing that everybody do not care or at least do not show to care is human safety.

this is more visible day to day on urban india's road where cars jostle for space among each other and where travelling in public transport is either very tough or very unsexy.

the oil leak from a transformer of tamilnadu electricity board (tneb) illustrates how careless and how dangerous commuting in chennai roads (commuting especially in 2 wheelers) has become.

it is time to crack down on unsafe transport in the city. it is time to crack down on heavy good movements that care a hoot about security. it is time to crack down on vehicles that carry one passenger and occupying huge road space. it is time to establish no car zone and no heavy truck zones and establish bus only zones and perhaps 2 wheeler only zones and walk only zones.

it is super high time urban transport is fully redefined in india.

so came our young indian politician and heir for the potential congress top post. he came on what is supposedly being alternated between 'discover india' tour and 'youth reachout' tour of india.

interestingly he came and he met the tribals of niyamgiri which is under assault due to proposed mining.

he came, he listened and he should by now known the truth that several thousands triabls are under huge displacement threat because of fake developmental policies pursued by his own government in center and by the corporatist orissa government at orissa.

will he tell the same truth he saw in niyamgiri to india? will he be the rajiv gandhi that rajiv gandhi aspired to be but could not be.

or will be an 'efficient politician' and throw the niyamgiri issue to the backburner and talk about india shining and india rising?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

"You are all working overtime to finish democracy", - thus spake our honorable lok sabha speaker.

members of the distinguished lok sabha felt that farmers of india are not getting their due and hence were protesting in the well of the house. i am not sure why suddenly our lok sabha members got excited about the sad situation of india's farmers.

when farmer's homes were submerged by a screwed many screwed up dams, there were no protests.
when farmer's were and are kicked in the stomach in name of fake SEZ's, there were no protests.
when farmer's suicide started mounting in thousands and thousands all across india, there were no protests.
when 'development' was the only mantra and all other things including agriculture is in dustbin, there were no protests.

but the speaker is right though. but he same time wrong. for he either does not know or does not show that india's democracy is already finished.

when farmers were ruthlessly crushed in narmada,
when farmers were brutally put down in singur, nandigram
when tribals were stomped out in kalinganagar,
when marginalised people are polluted in hell industrial zones across india,
and in many other instances, india's democracy has long been dead.

now democracy in india caters to the industrialists, urban elite and politicians who are working in joyful abandon touting 10% gdp growth that benefits only the few rather than real sustainable development.

richard brosnan, sir richard brosnan, that is was charmed by god's own country. before i dwell more, we need to ask who else is not charmed by the fascinating place.

from trivandrum to iduki each and every inch is soaked with tradition, culture and beauty. its sweet language and charming people adds icing to the cake.

given a chance, mr.brosnan, sir brosnan that is, would like to explore more on kerala. may we suggest he visit athirapally. may we suggest he visit eloor. may we suggest he visit manimalayar and pamba river. may we suggest he visit silent valley national park. may we suggest he visit iduki farmers and get to know the crisis. may we suggest he visit munnar and nearby regions which are fast turning into urban slums. may we suggest he visit western ghats forests in kerala and see the pressure in terms of rubber plantation, coffee/tea gardens. may we suggest....

well, it ain't matter. when our own politicians, industrialists and journalist treat sustainable development with disdain, it does not matter what we suggest to sir brosnan. for he will always be a businessmen trying to hit potential deals at local level wherever he goes. per se, he is not an outsider who does not care about kerala, but if kerala's own people especially its elite does not care about kerala how will brosnan care about crucial issues facing the amazing place.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

as the flow of the fake sethu canal project ebbs and flows, there has been some strong statements from people who know something about oceans and coastal areas.

unlike our city bred politicians who conceive projects sitting in comfortable a/c rooms, we can easily conclude that maritime officers and former navy commanders know more about oceans. their damning statement of this ridiculous project can be found here.

looks like the politicians who champion this project are keen to remove massive sediment that will get deposited every day rather than moving ships.

as retired naval officer mr.balakrishnan points out "“It is a fraudulent project,” Mr. Balakrishnan said. “As a mariner, it just does not make any nautical sense [to me].”

we totally agree sir. this project is an abusive, fake and an ecologically disastarous project. this project can rival the fake narmada dam in its money value, human scope and abuse.

shall we add, that sethu project is the crown jewel of how fake and abusive development in india has become.

how many of us know coastal regulation zone (crz). how many of us know how this easy to abuse law is being circumvented? how many of us know that how crucial is backwaters, rivers and coastal regions is important for people who depend on these places for livelihood?

well, the answer is. we know as much as crz as we know about zero. nada, nothing, zip and zero.

hindu had a small informative article on 'waterfront properties' and how to be careful about crz. in cochin, i have seen huge apartment buildings right bang a few meters from vembanad lake. i have seen 'river front properties' right close (not even a few meters away perhaps) right on the banks of river periyar in alwaye where periyar is toxically polluted due to the chemical effulents from eloor.

development means folks, that we don't care about important things. we care only about money things and fancy catch words.