SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
O P I N I O N S

Editorials | Article | Middle | Oped | Reflections

EDITORIALS

FDI and security
Finance Ministry clears confusion
The National Security Council is getting unreasonably cautious in trying to stop foreign direct investment from “countries of concern”. Such countries as identified by the Council are China, North Korea, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

New-look police
Implement Sorabjee report in toto
T
he Soli Sorabjee Committee Report presented to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has recommended sweeping changes in the 1861 Police Act which has failed to respond to the new challenges. If implemented in the right spirit, the proposed reforms will free the police machinery from the clutches of the high and the mighty, including politicians.



EARLIER STORIES


Dealing with Iran
Confrontation is not the way forward
I
ran, it seems, is preparing itself to go to any extent to realise its nuclear ambitions. Teheran’s missile tests for two days should be seen against this backdrop. Two days after the US-led six-nation naval exercise ended in the Persian Gulf, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards test-fired a number of missiles, including Shahab-3 having a range of 2000 km, to demonstrate Teheran’s military capabilities.

ARTICLE

Balance of power game
There is a lot to learn from China
by K. Subrahmanyam
T
HIS is the age of balance of power. No major power identifies any of the others as an adversary. They deal with each other politically, economically and strategically to maximise one’s own national interest in the international system. This point has been emphasised often by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

MIDDLE

They make it happen
by Anurag
P
erhaps a Chinese tradition”, Chancellor of Washington University said to himself when he received an invitation from Tsinghua University of Beijing celebrating its 90th anniversary. That was in 2001.

OPED

Madam Speaker
A woman Democrat emerges prime challenger
by Rupert Cornwell
B
elieve the Republicans, and a mortal threat faces the US House of Representatives next week. The threat comes heavily disguised in the persona of an elegant woman.

When the dil ke darwaze opened on the LoC
by Dinesh Manhotra

CHAKAN DA BAGH (LoC) – It was a historical event in Indo-Pak relations on November 7 last year across the Line of Control (LoC) when both sides opened the first frontier posts to provide relief to the victims of the devastating earthquake which rocked many parts of Indian sub-continent on October 8, 2005.

Chatterati
Time for laughter and music
by Devi Cherian
W
ith just the hint of a nip in the air, Delhi’s party season is in full swing. A stand-up comedian from UK, Nick Wilty, made the younger page-3 lot roll with laughter with his tongue-in cheek jokes and one-liners. This seems to be the latest technique now-a-days – most probably keeping in mind that in today’s hectic life styles one may not get enough time to just hang loose.

  • Daughters to the fore

  • Playing fair, IIC style

 

 REFLECTIONS

 

Top









 
EDITORIALS

FDI and security
Finance Ministry clears confusion

The National Security Council is getting unreasonably cautious in trying to stop foreign direct investment (FDI) from “countries of concern”. Such countries as identified by the Council are China, North Korea, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Investments of dubious kind are also feared from certain island countries. The NSC has called for a careful security screening of all FDI flowing into critical infrastructure areas like ports and telecommunications. The debate on whether or not India should allow FDI from such countries started after certain Chinese companies alleged discrimination. The PMO itself has objected to the presence of an Egyptian company in telecom. The Prime Minister’s Office has circulated the NSC’s concerns on security issues with regard to FDI to various ministries.

However, ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to this country on November 20, the Centre is hurriedly trying to sweep the issue under the carpet. Quite contrary to the confusing signals emanating from the PMO and the National Security Council, the Finance Ministry has responded rationally and opposed any curbs on FDI and pleaded for a case-to-case scrutiny in sensitive sectors. The issue should not have been allowed to linger for so long since it could have easily hurt the inflow of foreign investment. The colour of capital does not matter as long as it moves in the right direction. Curbs on FDI are often reciprocal and can boomerang on Indian investments abroad.

It is quite natural for security concerns to surface in a globalising world where development is led mostly by external investment. India should have foreseen such an eventuality and accordingly formulated broad guidelines for regulating direct foreign investment in sensitive sectors without discriminating against any country. In a world guided by trade, today’s foes can be tomorrow’s friends and vice versa. China is the world’s fastest growing economy and India cannot afford to put it on the negative list. The old mindset has to change. Security concerns are valid, but only up to a point.

Top

 

New-look police
Implement Sorabjee report in toto

The Soli Sorabjee Committee Report presented to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has recommended sweeping changes in the 1861 Police Act which has failed to respond to the new challenges. If implemented in the right spirit, the proposed reforms will free the police machinery from the clutches of the high and the mighty, including politicians. The panel suggests scrapping the constable rank in the civil police and its replacement by the Civil Police Officer (Grade II) who will be recruited only after a three-year graduation course at the police academies and training centres. The objective is to improve efficiency and behaviour at the lower rung of the police system. To give functional autonomy to the police, the report proposes a bipartisan police board, selection of the DGPs on merit and a fixed tenure to the DGPs and the SPs. It suggests earmarking dedicated personnel for investigating crime and dealing with civilians to encourage professionalism and enhance its credibility. It recommends a system of evaluating performances and creation of accountability commissions to investigate complaints against the police.

Significantly, one cannot view the Sorabjee recommendations with usual scepticism associated with the earlier reports, including the Dharma Vira Report. For, it comes close on the heels of the Supreme Court’s directive to the Centre and the states to implement police reforms. This ruling is identical to most of the Sorabjee panel recommendations. The Centre, states and Union Territories must file compliance reports by January 3. As the order will stay in force even after the Model Police Act is passed by Parliament, the Centre and the states will have to implement the reforms with a sense of urgency.

While examining the Sorabjee panel recommendations, the Centre must also take into consideration the apex court’s directive. Reports suggest that the Centre would first like to enforce the new Police Act (after its enactment) in the Union Territories and leave it to the states to adopt the same since policing is a state subject. Even otherwise, some Chief Ministers, who are reluctant to implement Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s suggestion for a fixed tenure for the DGPs and the SPs, will be bound to act upon it now following the apex court’s directive.
Top

 

Dealing with Iran
Confrontation is not the way forward

Iran, it seems, is preparing itself to go to any extent to realise its nuclear ambitions. Teheran’s missile tests for two days should be seen against this backdrop. Two days after the US-led six-nation naval exercise ended in the Persian Gulf, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards test-fired a number of missiles, including Shahab-3 having a range of 2000 km, to demonstrate Teheran’s military capabilities. The next day (Friday) it tested a few short-range missiles (Noor, Kowsar and Nasr) capable of covering a distance of 167 km, enough to reach the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman through which much of the world’s oil supplies are shipped.

Iran, perhaps, believes that the world would somehow adjust itself to the new reality when it cannot be wished away. The Persian Gulf nation has before it the latest example of North Korea. It is a different matter that the world may succeed later on in capping North Korea’s controversial nuclear programme, as the six-party talks on the issue are going to be held soon. Iran is skilfully exploiting the differences among the veto-wielding UN Security Council members over the question of sanctions against it for violating the resolution calling for suspension of its uranium-enrichment activity. Russia and China have expressed their reservations over the draft resolution seeking to punish Iran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that “the draft … goes far outside the framework of agreements” reached earlier in this regard.

A recent meeting in London between Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany on the Iranian nuclear issue underlined the fact that the big powers were not prepared to sacrifice their economic interests in their efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons technology. Both Russia and China have huge investments to protect in Iran, and hence their insistence on non-military, mild sanctions. Whatever is the reality, it continues to remain a challenge to international diplomacy.
Top

 

Thought for the day

The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting. — Fran Lebowitz
Top

 
ARTICLE

Balance of power game
There is a lot to learn from China
by K. Subrahmanyam

THIS is the age of balance of power. No major power identifies any of the others as an adversary. They deal with each other politically, economically and strategically to maximise one’s own national interest in the international system. This point has been emphasised often by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

However, sections of our political class are still unable to shed the shibboleths of the Cold War bipolar era. They continue to expect the major nations of the world to fall into black and white categories and the evolution of international politics on predictable ideological lines. While the bipolar approach to international relations almost puts a country on autopilot in the conduct of its foreign policy, the balance of power game demands independent scrutiny of each major development and determination of the country’s policy to maximise its self-interest.

In this respect there is a lot to be learnt from China whose President will be visiting India in the third week of November. There is an unnecessary debate on whether President Hu Jintao should be allowed to address the joint session of our Parliament. The issue ought to have been decided quietly in consultation with the Chinese establishment to the best of India’s interests. If the Chinese, who do not have a democratically elected legislature, would feel honoured to have their President addressing the joint session of our parliament that would be to India’s interest and should be done.

Indian Parliament is a part of India’s political culture and we should feel proud to show it to the visiting Chinese President as we do in respect of the Taj Mahal. The problem arises only when we interpret a dignitary’s address to the joint session of Parliament as endorsement of his democratic credentials. Since in India there is general acceptance of the view that democracy cannot be exported, there should be no expectation that heads of state or government invited to address the joint session should be from a practising democracy. That would be mixing up ideology with international politics, which is counterproductive in a balance of power system.

The essence of the balance of power system is how to leverage the relationships with other balancers to maximise the return from the major power we are dealing with. In other words, India should be able to leverage its relationship with China to enhance its returns from its relationship with the US and vice-versa. The US and China are not adversaries but rivals and, therefore, are capable of being handled in this manner. Mr Hu Jintao was in the US and at that stage concluded deals with the US worth tens of billions of dollars. Now during his visit to France, he has attempted to leverage that relationship with the French along with the sweetness of buying 170 Airbus aircraft over a period of time, to persuade French President Jacques Chirac to come out against the continuance of European arms embargo on China.

At the same time, China took a stand on the merits on the North Korean nuclear test and joined the other permanent members of the UN Security Council in condemning the test and on formal imposition of sanctions on North Korea. They did not take the line that they should not be seen to be towing the US and Western line on North Korea or even Iran. No doubt, their going along with the US is a nuanced move, but they are not afraid to go along with the US if they consider that it would suit their interests. They are keenly aware of the fact that a rigid anti-US policy, which will be predictable, will not give them as much leverage vis-à-vis the US, Japan or even Russia as a flexible policy in which decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis to serve China’s national interest.

Therefore, it does not make sense to have a non-flexible policy vis-à-vis any of the other major powers in the balance of power system — the US, the European Union and Russia, with whom India has a strategic partnership, and with Japan and China, with whom India is conducting a strategic dialogue with the hope of converting it to strategic partnership in the near future.

In the balance of power game where major powers have developed a stake in international stability, even internal weaknesses are often used as bargaining chips in developing relations with other major powers. China offers its concern for internal stability as an excuse not to push through certain reforms. Similarly, Pakistan too leverages its domestic vulnerability to jehadism to resist too much external pressure. Unlike China and Pakistan, India is a democracy and is in a better position to leverage its domestic pressures which are transparently visible to drive harder bargains with other powers interested in enhancing their relationship with India and in consolidating certain political preferences. In that sense, the lobbying of the leftists in India in favour of China can easily become an effective bargaining leverage for the Indian establishment vis-à-vis the US.

Similarly, India needs enhanced relationship with the US to bargain effectively with China. It is no coincidence that both Indo-US and Indo-Chinese relations have been progressing reasonably well over the last two years.

Gen Pervez Musharraf has understood the art of using leverages in the game of balance of power. Though there are many in this country who feel that in today’s international politics there has to be a choice between the US and China, General Musharraf has managed to be an all-weather friend of China, a beneficiary of its missile and nuclear weapon technologies, its arms supplies and its major projects such as the Karakoram Highway, Gwadar port and Chashma nuclear power plants and, at the same time, a recipient of large-scale military and economic aid from the US and an ally in the war on terror. His successful performance does not fit in with the ideological framework of those who argue that the beneficial relationship with the US or China has to be at the expense of the relationship with the other party.

In fact, during the fifties and the sixties, India successfully dealt with the US and the USSR and derived aid from both. Nonalignment was the balance of power in a bipolar world and a very useful strategy and instrument of policy. This basic rationale of non-alignment was lost and it degenerated into a nonflexible ideology in the last three decades. Now it is necessary to rediscover it and apply it in a more sophisticated manner in the multi-polar world.

Top

 
MIDDLE

They make it happen
by Anurag

Perhaps a Chinese tradition”, Chancellor of Washington University said to himself when he received an invitation from Tsinghua University of Beijing celebrating its 90th anniversary. That was in 2001.

Why 90th, why not 100th, remained a mystery to Wrighton until he landed at Tsinghua. A distinguished gathering of over 10,000 people, which included top academics from all over the world, heard the natives declare that “at the one hundredth anniversary Tsinghua University would be among the world’s premier universities”. The Chinese took this pledge in the presence of all the leaders of the Chinese government, from mayor of Beijing to the Head of State. What struck the audience was their collective impatience coupled with seriousness of purpose in striving for a world leadership position.

Take two: China has enlisted 37,000 part-time peasants and ex-servicemen to help produce rain in parched areas. Shells are fired from anti-aircraft guns or rocket launchers. Or they burn silver iodide on hilltops. Moisture in clouds collects around the chemical particles until it becomes heavy enough to fall. If a wider area needs to be covered, aircrafts spray the chemical from beneath their wings or fire chemical flares into clouds. Dry ice pellets are also used.

Scientists at meteorological centres in major cities monitor clouds through satellite and analyse their content. When conditions are ripe, local rain-making teams are ordered to assemble at their guns within a few minutes and they start blasting shells at passing clouds.

Gutian reservoir in south-eastern Fujian province has reported 24 per cent increase in rainfall during the past 12 years of testing. According to a Chinese news agency government rainmakers flew 3000 cloud seeding sorties during 2000-05 and triggered rainfall that dumped 275 billion cubic yards; enough to fill the Yellow River, China’s second largest, four times over.

Encouraged by the expertise and experience of 37,000 strong army equipped with 30 aircraft and 4000 rocket launchers in breaking up hailstorms, putting out forest fires and washing sand and grit down the streets of the sand-storm hit Beijing, the Chinese leadership has given them the highest test ever; making sure that Beijing stays dry when the 2008 Olympic Games open ceremonially. Working with the met office people, they will hunt water bearing clouds and pound them with rockets containing silver iodide, so that nothing disrupts or dilutes the pageantry. The whole world will be watching the ceremony and we must guarantee its success, gush the weather modifiers. China’s communist leaders want the Olympics to be a showcase for the country’s astonishing economic achievements. Most of them are engineers!

China keeps doing novel things. Some months ago they raised billions of dollars through IPOs of two of their banks. Inference: India too should be restless.
Top

 
OPED

Madam Speaker
A woman Democrat emerges prime challenger
by Rupert Cornwell

Believe the Republicans, and a mortal threat faces the US House of Representatives next week. The threat comes heavily disguised in the persona of an elegant woman.

Do not be deceived, warn Republican TV spots, voter mailings and campaign leaflets across the 50 states of the union, as America’s no-holds barred mid-term election campaign moves towards Tuesday’s climax. Nancy Pelosi is trouble – the epitome of wanton liberalism.

That might not greatly matter, were she not the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives. Should her party on 7 November make the net gain of 15 seats it needs for a majority, Pelosi would become Speaker, the first woman ever to hold the third ranking office in the US.

And this exalted position, “two heart beats from the Presidency”, would be entrusted to – not to put too fine a point on things – a tax-loving, gun-hating, gay-coddling, welfare queen-supporting, abortion-promoting, illegal immigrant-cosseting peacenik.

Republicans conjure up the vision of an America transformed into a giant Haight-Ashbury, the neighbourhood within Pelosi’s San Francisco congressional district that was home of the 1960s hippie movement. If Ms Pelosi had her way, the country would lie defenceless before the terrorists. Vice-President Cheney mocks her “San Francisco values”. The prospect of a Pelosi-run House, another top Republican contends, “is just plain scary”. Unfortunately, the dragon-lady description has a couple of serious problems.

For one thing, it’s not quite true. Yes, she represents a district that voted 85 per cent for John Kerry in 2004, based in what is probably the most Democratic city in the country apart from Washington DC. Yes, she voted against the Iraq war from the start (which it should be said, more than half the Republicans in Congress probably wish they now had done as well).

Yes, she is unarguably liberal, with a long record of fighting for abortion rights, for rolling back the Bush tax cuts, for providing welfare for legal immigrants, and for human rights. Even more important, however, she is an intensely disciplined politician, relentless in her pursuit of the one thing without which all political ideas are mere talk, and which the Democrats have barely tasted since Bill Clinton left office in January 2001. That thing is power.

“The Republican caricature of her is completely at odds with how she’s seen out here,” says John Arensmeyer, a San Francisco Democratic activist, says. “She’s serious, highly regarded, maybe not a visionary, but very good at the political game. She’s not ideological, but very pragmatic.”

The second problem is that the demonisation may be pointless. For, as poll after poll shows, Pelosi is simply not very well known - which makes it hard to align the projected image of her with the charming and rather glamorous woman she is in real life. One reason is that she appears relatively infrequently on television.

Nevertheless, as Pelosi told Newsweek recently, “Two-thirds of the public have absolutely no idea who I am, and I see that as a strength. This isn’t about me. It’s about Democrats.” So who precisely is Nancy Pelosi? Her father was Thomas D’Alesandro, congressman for, and then mayor of, Baltimore during the 1940s and 1950s.

Motherhood dominated the first part of her adult life - five children in the space of barely six years after her marriage to Paul Pelosi, a property investor whose $50m fortune makes his wife one of the 10 richest members of Congress.

Only much later did she enter the business of politics in her own right, first at a state level, before winning election to Congress in 1987, at the age of 47. She rose fast, becoming minority whip, in 2001 and minority leader in 2002.

That alone was achievement enough, making Pelosi the first ever woman to lead either party in either chamber on Capitol Hill. Now she stands on the brink of being “Madam Speaker”.

And if a Madam Speaker, why not a woman president? But that remains a matter of conjecture. What is indisputable is the change she has already wrought in the way Democrats do business in the House - not in terms of ideas, but in a new hard-edged approach to the daily political battle. Every Republican attack must now be instantly rebutted.

But come next January when, if the polls are right, Nancy Pelosi is installed as Speaker of the 110th Congress, the truly serious business begins. And then we will gain a first answer to the most searching question of all. Can this woman who has reached that high office thanks to her relentless opposition to President Bush and all things Republican make her hyper-partisan and dysfunctional part of Congress work?

Barring a landslide, any Democratic majority will be small. She knows full well that if her party, entrusted at last with responsibility for governing, makes a mess of it, the chances of a Democrat taking the supreme prize in 2008 could be damaged. For that reason she has virtually ruled out a move to impeach President Bush, as demanded by some on the left.

Maybe these two political warriors can make an uneasy truce. After all, she argues, “we’re both professionals. They have to do what they have to do. I have to do what I have to do.”

On this slender glimmer of pragmatism depends a semblance of good governance in the first two years of Speaker Pelosi, and the final two years of rule by Bush.

By arrangement with The Independent
Top

 

When the dil ke darwaze opened on the LoC
by Dinesh Manhotra

CHAKAN DA BAGH (LoC) – It was a historical event in Indo-Pak relations on November 7 last year across the Line of Control (LoC) when both sides opened the first frontier posts to provide relief to the victims of the devastating earthquake which rocked many parts of Indian sub-continent on October 8, 2005.

In all, India and Pakistan jointly decided to open three points on the LoC between November 7 and 10, 2005 to facilitate relief work in the wake of the October 8 quake which devastated both sides of LoC killing thousands of people.

It was heartening to see Brigadier A K Bakshi of the Indian Army shaking hands with his counterpart Brigadier Tahir Naqvi, while on the other hand Dr Jahangeer Abbas of Bandi Abbaspur (PoK) was hugging his cousin Mohammed Abbas Khan of Poonch whom he had met after a long wait of 34 years. Tears rolled down their eyes as both could not control their emotions.

Although the event was confined only to sending relief material through Kanchaman Post, hundreds of people converged on both sides to witness this historical moment that took place on the bank of Plust river. Poonch district, named after the Plust river, had been divided in 1947.

History was made on the banks of this river, when large numbers gathered on both sides of the Loc and some even managed to interact with their relatives on the other side. “We are tired. We want that the border should go away so that people from both sides can meet each other”, said Tahir Khan, a senior journalist of Pakistan, adding, “People should not be made hostages of Government policies.”

The event was summarily summed up by a sign board installed by the Indian Army on No-Man Zone “Hum Ne LoC Nahin Dil Ke Darwaze Kholey Hain”. The opening of this point has raised a ray of hope for those divided families that have been waiting for six decades to meet their relatives. Army officers of both sides shed decades of animosity, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries at this frontier point.

They first exchanged white flags and then hugged each other as hundreds of locals and scores of journalists converged on both sides of the divide for the landmark occasion. Not only people, some Indian and Pakistani scribes were also seen hugging each other and clicking photographs.

“It’s a good feeling,” Army officer Santanu Ghose said after shaking hands with Pakistani Colonel Ali Khan across the white ribbon marking the LoC. Terming the event as historical, Mr Sharma expressed satisfaction that physical borders being moving down while as mental boundaries are removing. Deputy Commissioner Po-onch of PoK also could not control his emotions. “57 year long wait has ended today”, Mohammed Farooq said, adding, “Let us pray on this occasion that India and Pakistan will jointly work for bright future of the people of this sub-continent”.

Much water has flown under the bridge since. Even as peace talks between the two countries tread the precarious thin line in a dynamic political environment, those on both sides of the LoC wait for the day when meeting their relatives will not be a much-awaited historic event.

— Charkha Features
Top

 

Chatterati
Time for laughter and music
by Devi Cherian

With just the hint of a nip in the air, Delhi’s party season is in full swing. A stand-up comedian from UK, Nick Wilty, made the younger page-3 lot roll with laughter with his tongue-in cheek jokes and one-liners. This seems to be the latest technique now-a-days – most probably keeping in mind that in today’s hectic life styles one may not get enough time to just hang loose.

On the other hand famous lyricist Gulzar and gazal singer Jagjit Singh had a long queue of guests, slightly older and dressed traditionally for the evening, with evident restlessness to get inside the auditorium. Can’t blame them for it is rare to have both of them coming together for a musical extravaganza. The formal speeches by Gulzar and Jagjit Singh were fit for a mutual admiration club. But they did not let their guests down at all, and that’s what matters.

Daughters to the fore

Poonam Mahajan
Poonam Mahajan

Rahul Mahajan may have tried to get into the political limelight by staging a demonstration demanding death for Afzal Guru last week, but his 26-year-old sister Poonam has already made her mark. When the BJP-Sena alliance threatened to fall apart early this month, she let it be known that she was involved in the peace process by talking to the key players, something her father would have done.

The “emotional” involvement with the party puts her in the “qualifying round” of politics. Poonam Mahajan joins a list of daughters in Maharashtra who have inherited the political legacy of their fathers. NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule entered the Rajya Sabha; Sunil Dutt’s daughter Priya is already in the Lok Sabha; Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s daughter Pranati is her father’s poll manager; and Congress MP Eknath Gaikwaid’s daughter Varsha is now an MLA.

From managing tribal schools in western Maharashtra to coordinating women self-help groups, Sharad Pawar’s daughter is connected with the grassroots and that would mark her ascent as a politician. Varsha Gaikwad is a PhD in mathematics and quit her job at Mumbai University to follow in her father’s footsteps. Her constituency is Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, where she’s rooting for free public schools for the poor and more open spaces. Education and health is what she is after.

Both sons Tushar and Varsha applied for Sushil Kumar Shinde’s assembly seat, but it was the daughter who was chosen. 25-year-old Pranati is the youngest of the crop. She manages poll campaigns for her father in Solapur, and with her fund-raising campaigns for cancer, is perhaps hoping to wipe off mother Ujjwala Shinde’s loss in the 2005 assembly polls with a thumping political debut.

All of them realise that while there’s no escape from the big shadow, the immediate aim is to find their own niche. Priya Dutt won the North West Parliamentary Constituency two decades after she joined her father on a peace march in 1987. The only son from Maharashtra, Milind Deora, son of Petroleum Minister Murali Deora and M.P. from South Mumbai, is sharp, articulate and does not feel he has any competition from the fairer sex at all.

Playing fair, IIC style

The trustees of the India International Centre had decided to deny membership to railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav for facing corruption charges, and now they have chosen to keep CBI director Vijay Shanker out as well.

Vijay Shanker, like many others, would have been an asset to the IIC. Several of his predecessors, such as R. C. Sharma, P. C. Sharma, Vijay Karan and prominent IPS officers like Ved Marwah, Nikhil Kumar, and R. S. Gupta are IIC members.

The general interpretation is that if the accused Lalu can be kept out, why not keep out the prosecution too? The matter fortunately is now being looked at afresh and hopefully better sense will prevail.
Top

 

Simply discard all thoughts of imaginary things and stand firm in that which you are.

— Kabir

There is sickness in their hearts, and God has made them sicker, and theirs is a painful torment, because they were in fact lying.

— The Koran

Burnt be the body which has forsaken the Name of God.

— Guru Nanak

Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |