Friday, August 26, 2005

Homeo Sweet Homeo

Homeopathy doesn't work. Courtesy Express. I have been trying to tell this to people, including my dad, for ages, but they have refused to believe. And I know even after this study, they will continue to have faith in the system. It's that faith, that belief, which works. The medicine doesn't. It's a placebo effect that cures many of common diseases, that the body's immune system gets rid of anyway in a couple of days.

The doctors take credit. Homeopaths prefer treating folks with diseases that aren't life-threatening and mostly chronic and incurable ones. The diseases never get cured and they live off it. And homeopathic medicines never killed anyone, so it's a no-risk proposition.

It doesn't kill anyone, or cured anyone for that matter, because it's no medicine. On the face of it, the medicines are supposed be extracted from many sources, plants, animals, living and dead organisms. Till then there's evidence of a medicine. But then homeopathy believes in a weird system that dilutes the medicine to unimaginable levels. The most popular doses are like a drop in the Pacific Ocean. Now that's almost no medicine for the person who takes little sugar globules soaked in one drop from the one drop in the Pacific Ocean.

But homeopathy is booming here in India. Dr Batra's threatens to become a large corporation. People in rural areas with lack of primary healthcare system, like my village in Bihar, have doctors doling out doses to people. Some of them are cured. Some even die. And that's the tragedy. The homeopaths should make it clear that it's faith not the medicines.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Who wants Sarabjit Singh hanged?

Sarabjit Singh's impending hanging in Pakistan is touching an emotional peak here in India and the media coverage borders on plain jingoism. We see anchors pleading to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, we have seen Singh's family posing in front of a noose that they threaten to hang themselves with. There are reporters with OB vans broadcasting live from the native village of the man who has been rotting in Pakistani jails for over 15 years.

While no channel or newspapers has any idea about the merits of the case or the trial, every one presumes that Sarabjit Singh is innocent. And there is a sympathy wave sweeping the country.

I am not in a position to comment on the punishment, the truth is the truth hasn't come out and may never come out. In spite of hundreds of reporters being stationed in that small village in Pakistan, we still have no idea what this man did for living or how exactly he ended up in Pakistan in the first place.

What if he WAS a spy, what if he WAS involved in the low-intensity conflict that the two countries have been on for about their infancy? After all, Pakistanis are regularly caught here for sabotage and mayhem and murder and what not. We always blame the ISI for the explosions in out backyard. The Pakistanis reciprocate. They blame it all on RAW. And they accused Singh of being a RAW man.

Friday, August 19, 2005

God's Rottweiler sends mind to Germany, stays back in Italy

POPE Benedict XVI, lovingly called God's Rottweiler, has acknowledged that he was absent-minded after forgotting to bless the hundreds of pilgrims who attended his weekly audience at his Castel Gandolfo summer residence.

He said his mind was already in Cologne in his native Germany, where he was to travel to participate in the 20th World Youth jamboree.

AFP reports that the crowd gathered in the palace courtyard was surprised to see the Pope return to his window several moments after leaving after greeting pilgrims in several languages.

"I ask for your forgiveness, but I have forgotten the most important greeting, the greeting to the pilgrims in the Italian language," he told them.

He went back inside the palace, only to return again shortly.

"Today, I have forgotten the most important things. One can see that I am already in Cologne. I omitted the most important thing: the benediction," he said while smiling before giving his blessing.

Survey says Indian drivers are not aggressively incompetent. We say the surveyors are incompetent

It is time to protest against surveys. Since we like protesting against anything that undermines our supremacy in the world, I as a Delhiite propose a rally of car drivers in protest against a recent survey by the marketing company Synovate.

South African drivers are the worst road rage offenders in the world, an international survey has found." (Courtesy: BBC)

Fark says the article writer has obviously not visited Boston. I say the surveyors missed Delhi.

"South African motorists proved more fiery than their counterparts in Brazil, France, Greece, India, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, the UK and the US," says the report.

Bullshit. If the Delhi driver sees the Synovate guys on road here, he is gonna grab them by the collar and shout: "Idiot! Beh****od, Mad****od!"

India missed the top position because of milder cities like Bangalore, Pune etc. So why not protest against them too? Bringing shame to the country. We are f***ing fifth.

La-Loo-ta Raj

Some time ago, The Asian Age had a flyer saying Buta Raj is Loota Raj. Today's Indian Express hints it's a give and take."

Mr Buta Singh is too close to the Congress' blue eyed boy Laloo to be a bipartisan governor of a state now going for an election.

The governor's rule began in the state after Laloo's wife Rabri Devi couldn't win a majority in the assembly elections. Neither could the Opposition NDA. But when the NDA somehow managed to muster a majority by breaking a Congress ally, the Congress government at Centre imposed President's Rule in the state in an overnight development that shocked even Congress sympathisers.

Rabri Rule meant Laloo's Rule and the President's Rule is Laloo's Rule Redux. Apart from Laloo, Governor Buta Singh's son and daughter-in-law have been accused of running the state by proxy. Transfers are for sale, for cash and kind.

And that's where the give and take takes place. Express has exposed one.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

KaSi, it's crisper, simpler, Diddier!

Sean Combs is the man most likley to buy diamond-studded alloy wheels for his car. He makes a helluva lot of money and spends helluva lotter. The rapper/music producer/ex husband of Jennifer Lopez likes his cars, women and everything else new. Hell, he likes even his name to sound new all the time.

The man who called himself Puff Daddy, then Puffy, and later became P. Diddy, has now shortened it to a crisper Diddy. P. Diddy was nearly four years old. Over to Diddy.

"It's five letters, one word. The name is changed. We made it simpler. We removed the P. The P was getting in between us. We're entering the age of Diddy.

"A lot of my peeps in music been calling me Diddy, so it's not a drastic change for them. But people around the world didn't know what to call me. We was at (Madison Square Garden) rocking with Jay-Z. The last time I was there, half the crowd was chanting 'P Diddy', half the crowd chanting 'Diddy'. We gonna stop the confusion.

"'Diddy. Diddy, Diddy!' Simple. To the point and it sounds strong. It sounds like something is about to happen. It sounds like something is about to go down in history."

I have shortened my name to Kamlesh Singh, from Kamlesh K. Singh. K was literally coming between us.

The Bangla bomb

Some 400 bombs exploded in Bangladesh yesterday. Crude, home-made, not intended to kill many, these bombs are a signal to Dhaka that they may in future kill many. India has been warning Bangladesh for a long time to control the growing fundamentalism in the hinterland, but Dhaka has always been denying any such growth.

The ISI has been very active in Bangladesh and Nepal, trying to fan a new wave of Wahhabi extremism. Time, Dhaka cracked down on its backyard. It'll help the sub-continent and the most the People's Republic of Bangladesh, who the jehadis want to turn into the Islamic Republic of Bangladesh.

Andhra Update: Back to Square One

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S.R. Reddy has banned the eight Naxalite organisations including the CPI(Maoist). Last year, he had allowed the ban on these organisations to lapse, hoping the Maoists would sit down with him and discuss peace over tea. The Maoists had other plans and the year saw encounters, bloodshed, as policemen, Maoists and mostly innocent people died in the crossfire.

On August 15 this year, on our Independence Day, the Maoists fired indiscriminately at a public function and killed a senior Congress MLA C. Narsi Reddy. And suddenly, Union home minister Shivraj Patil, who had allowed the CM to let the ban lapse, assured him all help in containing Naxal violence and approved reimposition of the ban.

Here's Andhra home minister Jana Reddy: "Maoists misused the opportunity, and resorted to mindless killings." You should have know better, Mr Reddy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Modify this: Bloodbath okay, only if you allow us to make money

The BJP in Gujarat is in peculiar trouble. Narendra Modi is someone for whom the BJP has to apologise to the nation. And he is a blot on the party as the post-Godhra riots are on our recent history.

Former Chief Minister Keshu Patel is leading the pack of dissidents now ready to take on Modi. Trouble is Modi is a good administrator. I would take the risk of saying he is the best Indian states have got now. He is able; he has not been corrupted and keeps a close/tough watch on political and bureaucratic corruption. And people of the state are happy to see that. They are loving the fact that work gets done, with minimum fuss and palm-greasing. Something Keshu Patel can't count among his strengths. I had worked in that state during his regime, and I have had the opportunity to visit Gujarat under Modi's rule. Barring that horrendous 2002 blot and he cannot escape that responsibility, Modi has been responsible for many positive changes there.

He never had to pay for the 2002 riots. All of the party backed him; MLAs defended him or stayed mute. The bloodbath was okay for them and Modi was this leader who would reclaim the so called Hindu pride and revive the so called Garvi-Gujarat.

What he has to pay for now is a clean administration. Apparently his cleansing steps have meant politicians can't earn commission for every little project in their area. They will not share the spoils with bureaucrats.

We see the irony.

People's War? We need a war on War.

The honeymoon that never was between Maoists and the government in Andhra Pradesh is over. It's a weird sentence but weird things happen in this country. This blog has pointed it out more than once that the Andhra Pradesh government's move to declare a ceasefire in the war against People's War was misplaced.

The People's War consolidated while the government fumbled and mumbled. The red corridor has widened in the meanwhile. Now it looks like the Andhra politicians have been fooled.

A recent policy decision taken by the Indian governemnt says that India will not talk to terrorists who hijack planes. Instead, the hijacked plane would be shot down if the terrorists have some sinister ideas like crashing them into some building of importance.

What's People's War? It's a terrorist organisation. Ask the people living inside the red corridor. Even those who support War do it under duress. They have hijacked community development plans. They don't let us build roads or install means of communication. They collect taxes and run a parallel government. They feed off underdevelopment. They feed off poverty. The rapid pace of development of the 1990s and 2000s have not reached the people in the red corridor because Maoists don't want development.

You will say it's too simplistic and sweeping a statement, but sometimes it's the simplest that we don't take a look at. It's time we looked at the simple things and said no to terror, and terror doesn't always mean the marauders backed by the ISI. We have terrorists at home, the neighbourhood goonda included.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Rife is a four-letter word

Will Manmohan quit? Speculation is as they say rife that the man at the helm is too heckled to continue. The first Sikh Prime Minister of India cannot convince his party to take some action against those who directed mindless killing of Sikhs in 1984. It takes a Left to pressure the government into justifying the nomenclature of the ACTION TAKEN REPORT.
The Left made it easier for the head that wears the turban.

Riot wrong: Nothing happens to the big guys

The Central government has promised to probe Jagdish Tytler's role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots." If you thought that's good news, read between the lines.

It's been 21 years since over 3,000 people were murdered on the streets of the capital of India while the government watched. And the government has promised to probe, every time a commission of inquiry has recommended so. And people get another commission. Or another inquiry.

The government has not promised to drop Jagdish Tytler from the Union ministry, a step essential to an impartial inquiry.

This is the story of all riots in India. The best the law does in punish some minions. Sixteen years after the Bhagalpur riots, some people were handed out life imprisonment. None of them of any consequential political clout. Even the then chief minister of the Congress party has accepted the fact that the Congress politicians were responsible for the riots that went on for weeks.

In Gujarat, the process has taken the same old road. Blame it on the puppets, while the powerful puppeteers are let off. In Mumbai, in Meerut, in wherever, it's the same story with a morale for the puppeteers: Nothing will happen.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Only guarantee is some people are gonna make a hell of a lot of money

Mrs Sonia Gandhi is pushing for the job guarantee scheme she promised in the Congress manifesto. Good thing. The scheme, if implemented properly, can make a difference to folks in the parts of rural India where many don't get two square meals. In theory, it's a great scheme. Unfortuantely that's not how it works in India. Rajiv Gandhi once famously said that 80 per cent of the funds meant for villages never reached them. Some 15,000 crore rupees will go into this new job guarantee scheme, you can do the maths! Here's what will happen, courtesy the Indian Express.