Happy New Year 2015


Monday, April 16, 2012

My Journal-6:

Due to health and other problems, I have not been able to keep my journal up to date.  My reading has also declined.  I have a lot of backlog to cover.  Probably concentration and willpower also have declined.  But I have not given up.  I am still fighting.  I am recording here a few passages from my reading which impressed me and which I thought should find a place in my journal.

"... Both countries (Pakistan and India) know the dollars are not aid, but charity.  And now, it is a bribe to let the CIA and private military contractors operate on Pakistan soil....

... most of Pakistan's ministers, MPs and judges don't pay taxes.  On an average, a Pakistani MP is worth $9,00,000.  The assets of its richest MP, Mahboobullah Jan of the ruling PPP, is worth $37 million, according to Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency.  Nawaz Sharif paid no income tax last year.  The International Centre for Asset Recovery of the Basel Institute on Governance, Switzerland, states Zardari and Benazir looted $1.5 billion from the national exchequer.... $200 billion of Pakistan's black money is stashed away in Swiss banks...

...This is the Pakistan the US views as key to stability in the subcontinent.  The butchers of 26/11 are roaming free in Pakistan, though many of Kasab's victims were Americans.... Unlike India, Pakistan is a parasite without pride.  The trouble is, parasites are known to destroy the host after sucking it dry."

- From "Pragmatic Parasite" by Ravi Shankar in The New Sunday Express (Madurai) of April 15, 2012.

"... An Israeli company, already under CBI probe, won a Rs.10,000-crore contract in 2009 by bribing an Indian middleman who, too, had fallen foul of the law and had fled India.  Obviously, Indian blacklisting is a joke to operators functioning from the shadows. When bribes determine things, preparedness becomes secondary....


Think of the irony.  We have a Prime Minister who is Mr.Clean.  We have a Defence Minister who is Mr.Clean.  We have an Army Chief who, despite the age controversy, is Mr.Clean.  This confluence of Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati should have given us a rare historical opportunity to cleanse the system and be truly prepared for any challenge.  Instead, the weaknesses of the politicians and the cunningness of the bureaucrats have combined to rob the country of a singular opportunity..."

- From "What did We gain by washing the Army's Dirty Linen in Public? We Lost Much" by TJS George in The New Sunday Express (Madurai) of April 15, 2012.

"...By definition, the political leadership is required to take risks and deliver.  The UPA has fine-tuned shifting of accountability and shirking of responsibility into a fine art.  Whether it is the state of defence preparedness or the state of the economy, the regime has no answers.  Governments are mandated to plan progress and resolve crises...."

- From "Who is afraid of the Economic Slowdown?  Not the UPA!" by Shankar Aiyar in The New Sunday Express of April 15, 2012.
"...The reality is that the good, the bad and the ugly exist in all fields, including the media.  The important thing is the system should be strong enough to ensure that the good prevails over the bad and the ugly!..."

- From "Leaked Letter Row is a Reality Check for Media" by Arun Nehru in The New Sunday Express of April 15, 2012.
"....It is a tragedy that political leaders are now taking democratic mandate as an unconditional licence to silence their critics and promote cronyism in their political outfits.  They expect others to either fall in line or fall by the wayside.  They will use any pretence in the dirty tricks department to destroy, defame and derail those who question their wily wisdom and baneful brilliance...."

- From "The Arrogance of a Few Leaders Threatens the Democracy of All" by Prabhu Chawla in The New Sunday Express of April 15, 2012.
"...In the UK, there is a "three strikes" rule that allows your entire family to be cut off from the Internet if anyone who lives in your house is accused of copyright infringement three times."

- From "The United Kingdom of Surveillance" - "Centrepiece" in The New Sunday Express of April 15, 2012.
Grateful thanks to Mr.Ravi Shankar, Mr.TJS George, Mr.Shankar Aiyar, Mr.Arun Nehru, Mr.Prabhu Chawla and The New Sunday Express.

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