Poor man’s Banker

Muhammad Yunus
Nobel Peace Prize 2006

The connection between poverty and peace.The connection between womens empowerment and peace. The connection between mutual trust, accountability, participation, creativity – the four pillars of the Grameen Bank and peace. Long overdue but still one of the best Nobels ever. Because credit is a human right. Because every single individual on earth has both the potential and the right to live a decent life.

67 Responses to Poor man’s Banker

  1. October 19, 2006 at 3:50 pm #

    BVN,

    What is the point you are trying to make?

    -> Capital punishment is barbaric, whatever may be the crime.

    -> The victim was not given a chance to defend himself?

    If your answer is the latter, Tell me do you really think he is not remotely connected with the planning/execution of the crime.
    If thats the case I have nothing to say and i completely agree with u. Otherwise it amounts to a crime(whatever maybe his part) which calls for the highest punishment because the attack was on Republic of India. A case of treason is indeed a rarest of rarest case amounting to capital punishment.

    If its the former, it really needs to be debated.I believe there is so much scope for capital punishment in this world.eg. You must have heard about the case against a sex-maniac who raped & killed a 2 year old girl in kerala. That person was sentenced before also for similar offence on a 10 yr old. Such ppl really dont deserve a place on earth atleast for the sake of all little ones. Do you think by keeping them in isolated conditions inside the jail and letting them eat bread with our money makes them reformed?.

    Capital punishment actually is too soft on them. They should be treated like what they did in Nazi concentration camps.

    The lines just above are a result of my frustration.In Afzals case, do you really sympathise with him or with the family of security forces who died in the attack?

  2. October 19, 2006 at 3:50 pm #

    Those who work as advocates of Afzal’s life must not forget that TERRORISTS have killed many innocent people for whom nobody like you shed tears.Out of 100 terrorists killed or hanged if a couple of them are innocent,it should not be used as a shield to save remaining 98 or 99 !!!Let Afzal be hanged as early as possible.

  3. October 19, 2006 at 5:25 pm #

    I dont believe in the death penalty, even if he was connected to the crime he should be put in jail and maybe given a life sentence.I have to agee with you.

  4. October 20, 2006 at 1:53 am #

    Anand, I understand the emotion man..and sure you make sense.

    But one thing I’ve felt *you know its a personal blog* is that man is the most important thing in this world – above all other vanities like religion,caste,nation – everything.

    Treason sure is a big offense – but you and me respect the indian constitution and the republic. Afzal guru – the Kashmiri has nothing to do with it – he opposes the indian republic that torments his beautiful people. Bhagat singh did not respect his majesty – but that was not treason – was it ?

    Bhagat singh was directly involved in the crime and was hanged for good or bad. But hanging his friends or sympathisers is against law – its not justice.thats all i’m saying.The courts rule based on the evidence produced – its this evidence that is under question here.

    I do sympathise with the armed personnel who defended the sanctum sanctorum of indian democracy – my prayers are with their families. But if i sympathise with Manorama Devi who was raped and killed by our security forces in manipur,is it treason ? if one of her own kills a soldier – is it treason – should he be hanged till he dies ? Were any of those soldiers hanged ?

    man,tell you what – the attack on parliament strengthened our morale, our republic – the rape and atrocities we do in Kashmir,manipur and assam weakens it.

    then again rome was a mob and that was its undoing.hope it does not happen in india.

    thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  5. October 20, 2006 at 1:56 am #

    manojsir, if the one innocent was your brother or father – would you say the same sir ?

    my inderstanding was even if 99 terrorists escape not a single innocent shud be killed.

    upto you :)

  6. October 20, 2006 at 1:57 am #

    starry, you are too nice a person to think otherwise :)

  7. October 20, 2006 at 5:05 pm #

    b v n, we have come a long way with peace in the kashmir struggle. I am not too sure on the “he couldnt defend himself” part, but why would we hang a person without allowing him to defend. thats a fundamental right. so i have to get back to you on that after my own research. But let me tell you this. We are a non violent nation, and even the Mahatma has said that non violence should not be seen as a weakness.

    We need to put our foot down on somethings.

    The greater good, kutta, the greater good. always.

  8. October 20, 2006 at 8:52 pm #

    Well, you might differ but If you are questioning the credibility of the evidence submitted by the Delhi police, i guess our SC is smart enough to understand that – just like what they did in the case of Geelani & others .Though it raised a finger of suspicion at the lecturer, the court was quick to add that ‘suspicion alone, howsoever grave it might be, could not be the ground for the conviction of anyone’. The SC in this judgment showcased to the international community about the Independence of Indian Judiciary. I shudder to think how the americans would have reacted, if such an attack was made against Capitol Hill or the white house

    I do have a lot of reservations on the judiciary esp regarding the corruption which has creeped into it of late, but I am confident about the correctness of their verdict in this case atleast( esp after geelani episode)

    If the court had found an iota of suspicion about afzal guru’s involvement, afzal would had its mercy. In the initial judgment the SC correctly states

    “The act of the accused persons of hatching a conspiracy for attacking the Parliament House with the intention to kill the prime minister, the home minister and taking hostage the entire legislature cannot be looked upon in isolation.
    Terrorists not only kill innocent persons, but the spectra of terror also paralyses the social and economic fabric of the society. The attack on parliament sent tremors throughout the country. “

    The sad scene is that in India, life imprisonment is commuted after some years. Even though life imprisonment means imprisonment for a lifetime, it is usually 10-14 years and mostly ppl get away early with ‘good conduct’. Again they are out free , and history repeats making a billion ppl vulnerable & thinking.

    As rightly quoted by a reader to a newspaper regarding the debate on Afzal issue -> Mark Twain says about clemency to criminals and murderers in Adventures of Tom Sawyer: “This [Injun Joe's] funeral stopped the further growth of one thing — the petition to the governor for Injun Joe’s pardon … Injun Joe was believed to have killed five citizens of the village, but what of that? If he had been Satan himself there would have been plenty of weaklings ready to scribble their names to a pardon-petition, and drip a tear on it from their permanently impaired and leaky water-works.”

    The last thing i want is to make afzal a martyr out of this.

  9. October 20, 2006 at 9:29 pm #

    Appu, Where are we a non-violent nation ? Kashmir,North East,Gujarat, Mumbai,against the naxals ?. How far have we come on Kashmir – a state that still has its own national symbols and shudders at the mention of India ?

    Why was there no public inquiry into the attack on parliament ?

    And as I said before, on avery selfish note – do we make this guy a martyr or keep him to rot in prison.

    as you said, greater good man greater good !

  10. October 20, 2006 at 9:51 pm #

    Anand,

    On the political side as you said,
    “You will be making him a hero for centuries to come …you are giving a massive weapon to the separatists in Jammu and Kashmir,” – says the pro-Indian ex-CM Farooq Abdullah.

    In Priyadarshini Mattoo case, the trial court judge had said “I know you are guilty – but I’m helpless with the evidence provided” and he let the rapist go. That is Indian Judiciary.

    two legal opinions on Afzal,

    1.The defence of Mohammad Afzal, the key figure in the state- sponsored story of conspiracy, suffered the most. With great difficulty, Geelani’s defence managed to produce some witnesses; Afzal had none. He had no legal defence in the period between his arrest on December 15, 2001 and the filing of the charge sheet on May 14, 2005; in other words, no counsel had studied the complex case.

    2.Afzal Guru was denied any worthwhile legal assistance at the trial court – the most crucial stage where evidences were produced and examined, and the Supreme Court of India has rejected the confession that is the basis of his conviction in the trial court. Furthermore, the prosecution, has accused him as a facilitator and not as one directly perpetrating the said crime. And the case of the prosecution stands entirely on “circumstancial evidences”. Consequently death penalty, in any case, is grossly disproportionate in this case.

    I’m not sure where you are from – In kerala we had a similar figure – Madani – who was implicated in the Coimbatore bombings – he still rots in prison without even a chargesheet being filed.

    There is so much of confusion around Afzal, if a whole lot of ppl feel that there was no free trial. why not give him a chance for that ?

    If we kill him and in a few years the “real” story comes out – the republic will stand naked.

  11. October 21, 2006 at 4:17 pm #

    Our judiciary functions solely on evidences, mostly circumstantial – thats the way jurisprudence is. Agreed there are so many lapses in the Indian Judicial system. But there are many factors which influence a verdict, esp in national senstitive cases like this.

    You said Kashmir would erupt, if Afzal is hanged. What do u think will happen if Afzal is set free – the rest of india would erupt?. I am sure the collective conscience of the nation would take a beating. So will the morale of all our security personnels.

    Ok. Fine. If you think Afzal was denied any worthwhile legal assistance at the trial court, let him get another fair trial. If still the court finds him guilty, will you agree upon capital punishment on him?.

    If his involvement proves beyond suspicion, what verdict do you suggest should be given on him if you are against death penalty?.

    And yes I come from kerala. Yeah i am against keeping a person in jail without giving a chance to defend himself or even without a chargesheet filed.But i guess our executive has very solid reasons to keep up a person like this. I have heard some of madanis speeches. God , a couple of persons like him and our kerala will burn. Somehow madani never caught my sympathy.

    I know its ur personal views. And I am not being argumentative. I just love sharing thoughts & ideas.
    Cheers!

  12. October 24, 2006 at 6:17 am #

    Anand, see here we are agreeing on a lot of things.

    i dont care abt capital punishment – but what i’m uncomfortable is a nations outcry and thirst for blood.if after a fair trial dude is guilty – give him the normal sentence – whatever it is.

    Even in Gandhi assasination, savarkar wasnt hanged rite ?

    i too heard madani a coupla times and dont agree to him anywhere. But i do beleive we are mature enough to let him speak.

    Neways those were some nice thoughts from yr end. dont you have a blog ? btw

  13. October 24, 2006 at 7:38 am #

    A very well written , balanced post.

  14. October 24, 2006 at 8:43 am #

    Your defence of Afzal was disturbing , to say the least. This of a person who was found guilty by the Supreme Court twice ( trial and review petition ).The same Court acquitted Geelani even though it commented that ‘his conduct during the period was very disturbing’. To take just one line from the judgement ( re ‘Collective conscience of society’ ) is neither fair to the judiciary nor to the learned judges. In another case , the Supreme Court has recently ruled that a person who has been found guily and convicted by 3 different courts cannot claim that he did not get a fair trial – this is what has happened in Afzal’s case.

    Your point that we should not hang Afzal as otherwise this will give an impetus to terorism in Kashmir is tantamount to blackmail. The stories in media or the strikes in Kashmir, or pictures of his young son should not sway the majesty of the law.

    You speak disparagingly of the Delhi Police in the Jessica Lal and Priyadarshini Matto cases – would we even be aware of their shameful investigations if they had not been exposed by this same judiciary. The Constitution of India provides for the Supreme Court as the highest court of appeal. Let us not undermine the prestige of this court by indulging in a trial by media.

  15. October 24, 2006 at 10:33 pm #

    Sachin, Welcome and thank you :)

  16. October 25, 2006 at 4:17 pm #

    Dispassionate and balanced and i echo your sentiments “Isn’t it time that the insurgents realize they are fighting for a cause lost somewhere in the cacophony of interests in the valley
    Very true…but we are talking to men who have become deaf to reason and immune to feelings.

  17. October 26, 2006 at 5:31 am #

    Silverine, kashmir isnt exciting anymore after the nuke bomb, nobody cares really…its like we have kashmir and we’ll never let it go.

  18. October 28, 2006 at 8:55 pm #

    Sachin,

    If you found the post disturbing, know that – thats exactly why it is here. Rest of it I have replied in previous comments.

    And it might be funny – only 2 kinds of people want Afzal to be hanged now – the militants in Kashmir who want a martyr and the cowardly hindu fundamentalists.

  19. October 29, 2006 at 6:33 pm #

    Sad…more so when you consider Gujarat is the birthplace of the Mahatma.

  20. October 29, 2006 at 6:34 pm #

    bvn , Well well well..no prizes for guessing what category I come in under your classification…not sure what makes me so cowardly though…theres a difference between us alright ..and not just in our opinions…I repect your right to state an opinion which may be unpalatable to me…wish could say the same for you.

    Cheers,

    Sachin.

  21. October 30, 2006 at 1:35 am #

    Its sad ,yes.

    but then mid-east is the birth place of Jesus christ.Doesnt help :(

  22. October 30, 2006 at 1:47 am #

    Sachin, hey..i was just quoting an editorial from express. you shudnt have called yourself a hindu fundamentalist and I didnt mean it.

    I do have respect for conflicting opinion, thats why I publish the comments rite :)

    btw, chk out this article in outlook – you mite have seen this before

    http://outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20061030&fname=Cover+Story+%28F%29&sid=1&pn=1

  23. October 30, 2006 at 1:51 am #

    http://outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname
    =20061030&fname=Cover+Story+%28F%29&sid=1&pn=1

  24. October 31, 2006 at 2:07 am #

    bvn…no offence meant and none taken :)

    Cheers,

    Sachin.

  25. November 1, 2006 at 3:55 pm #

    Only worry I have about our Mr.Clean is that he should declare his resignation at UN assembly address or something like that stating that Prez.Mush..questioned his intentions.
    I hope atleast this time he do justice to the role.He is like Sharuk Khan any role u give..it will be that king Khan that u will be seeing.I want a mohanlal frm him this time….

  26. November 1, 2006 at 7:39 pm #

    This is more funnier – only two kinds of people cry for afzals’ freedom – his family ( which includes the global militant family) & the brave, outspoken, liberal people who have human rights running in every ounce of their blood and label themselves as sole custodians of truth & justice all over the world.

    Vide reference to your above mentioned link,If the Indian Judiciary were to function like what Arundathi Roy want, I think every case will have to be adjourned till infinity or closed down because nobody would be carrying a camera around waiting for criminals to make a public announcement before each crime.

    The Judiciary is what I consider as the most important pillar of Indian Democracy & the one which I have the utmost respect for out of the other two.

    Me yet to own a blog. But I read them and came across yours through Soorya’s blog :-). You always have some point to make. But quite a nice page. Different thoughts, opinions. Some of them really kept me thinking. Good work.

    Nice knowing u :-)

    Cheers,
    Anand.

  27. November 2, 2006 at 4:36 am #

    Good point Neermathalam…One of my everlasting memories about Mr Antony will always be the story that he carries a letter of resignation in his pocket wherever he goes.

  28. November 2, 2006 at 5:12 am #

    I do hope he is good for the country and keeps his clean image.

  29. November 2, 2006 at 11:01 am #

    Neermathalam, if you meant skindepth *tholikatti*…i would say Tilakan :)

    Sachin, true :) but surely better than karu-chandy types

    starry, me too :)

  30. November 5, 2006 at 5:34 am #

    @neermathalam

    hahahah….rolling around on the ground in laughter.

    bvn, timely post.

  31. November 6, 2006 at 5:59 pm #

    Anand, sorry for replying late :( and there is no reply…this time i’ll let you have the last word :))
    and wud love to read yr thoughts if you start posting. great meeting you too.

    cheers !!

  32. November 8, 2006 at 10:50 pm #

    I like your blog title: Good Night and Good Luck. I saw the movie and really like it. I know what you mean by “because we are not descendant from fearful men” :-). Keep up the good work!

  33. November 9, 2006 at 1:01 pm #

    Salute BVN!
    That was indeed a treat.

    Excellent editing and wonderful writing style. You got me! Expect a frequent visitor.

  34. November 12, 2006 at 5:08 pm #

    Reservations inherently create inequalities by further emphasising the disproportionality.

    Reservations alone will not work.

    I do not see the need in asking a persons caste or religion for an application to a school or a job. Why not remove that column?

  35. November 13, 2006 at 6:54 am #

    good post man…wonder what can be done to solve it but u rightly pointed out the big factor, education…a big problem is that poorer muslims are showing a tendency today towards religious education rather than the mainstream education…education is a fundamental right…but enforcing education will make it all look like another case of minority bashing…what an irony!

  36. November 13, 2006 at 7:02 am #

    Alex, reservations do emphasize the unequality, but affirmative actions have produced results for OBCs and SCs in India. the stats dont lie like politicians and media :)

    Jiby, very true. the madrasa system will have to be replaced.Muslims shud retain the right for religious education, but more public schooling facilities need to penetrate the muslim majority areas. the govt and the community leaders have a responsiblity to do this.

  37. November 13, 2006 at 7:53 am #

    Even before trying to overhaul the existing Islamic systems like Madrassa, what we need is a change in the thought process of the majority.

    Living in Mumbai, I have often found myself being asked if I am a muslim while looking for an accommodation. In majority of the places a Muslim is not allowed to buy/rent an apartment even if he/she can aford it. Even when I was renting out a place, the broker assured me each time that that was not a Muslim area.

    The saddest part is that most of my friends from North speak of them as if they are the outcasts or the most disgusting part of the society. Once an IIM MBA+PhD lady told me , she has a fnd who is a muslim yet a good guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If lack of education is the problem of the ailing community, the access to it is the problem of the majority outside.

    ~NJ

  38. November 13, 2006 at 7:59 am #

    Nina, You are there at the crux of this issue. i didnt want to write this here somehow. yours is not a first experience..i have heard of this over and over again..many times.
    Your kind of understanding is lacking even in highly educated people. every word you said makes sense !
    safest thing in world politics is be anti-bush, the safest thing to do in India seems to be anti-muslim.

  39. November 14, 2006 at 2:31 pm #

    BVN
    Social statistics can always be bend to to drive home one’s point.
    “Muslim is missing from the corridors of power, from the civil services, from the judiciary and from land ownership.”
    There are other professions also.There are traders,There are businessmaen.
    Before sticking to this statistics it would be worthwhile to track the statistics of the funds our muslim brothers are having.I am not speaking against them anyway.but when you quote statistics to comment on a social issue it becomes a kayamkulam vaal.
    Yes muslims in this country are illtreated,so is the case of hindus in bangladesh.In today’s world the justice is victors justice, the history is victor’s history.
    From that perspective I dont think Indian muslims are ‘ill treated’ in our so called ‘secular’ setup..
    They are just not missing dear.;)

    off topic:
    Nice discussion topics you are posting here…

  40. November 19, 2006 at 5:18 am #

    I can identify with NJ ( anon’s comments ). A close ( do I need to add Muslim ? ) friend had the same problem when he went house hunting in ( liberal ? ) Bangalore. But to just characterise this behaviour as anti Muslim is being too simplistic. I had problems finding a house in Chennai ( 1. I was a non-veg and 2. I was a bachelor ).Being a Hindu didnt help there ;)

    Personally , I think the whole Sachar committee thing is not fair. I subscribe to neermathalam’s point of view there. You say that population of Muslims is over represented in jails because of lack of education. What if I were to use your own statistics and claim the over representation of Muslims in jails just pointed to their criminal bent of mind.( note that this is just a rhetorical argument ).Statistics cover much more than they reveal, and so can be bent to suit anyone’s arguments.

  41. November 19, 2006 at 9:15 pm #

    Neermathalam, sorry abt the late reply to the comment. the sachar committee looked into Muslim representation in the public and private employment and the reasons for their low representation. If our muslim brothers have hidden “funds” as you put it, that needs to be looked into. It could be a new economic paradox that they have these “funds”, but remain one of the most impoverished sections of our society.

    ill-treatment of hindus in Bangladesh or Pakistan is their issue not ours. AND what was our victory ? getting the nation divided in 1947 ?

  42. November 19, 2006 at 9:26 pm #

    Sachin, You or me dont have the stats abt this country. the elected govt of india set up a panel to find out these stats abt Muslims. This is their report – not mine. We can lie but stats cant.

    your argument that muslims have a crminal bent of mind may find some supporters. In the USA the same argument is often reported about blacks.

    i’m saying muslims are missing in higher education,civil service and private sector because of lack of education. you may use the same stats to point out that Muslims are not fully evolved human beings and their brain is not fully developed. its all yours to measure :)

  43. November 20, 2006 at 8:23 am #

    man can i put a link..frm my blog to here…

  44. November 20, 2006 at 4:35 pm #

    “the elected govt of india set up a panel to find out these stats abt Muslims”…just the fact that it is elected does not confer legitimacy to a govts action…The Rajiv govt of 84-89 had 400+ MPs. They used this brute majority to overturn a SC verdict on the Shahbano case…that might be held to be the prerogative of an “elected” govt as you say..but I dont buy that argument…

    I dont share neermathalam’s concerns for the Hindus in Pakistan or Bangladesh. like you say thats not *our* problem….but reg his argument about funds , I can point you to several IB reports about how money is getting routed to various extremist organizations in Kerala through the Gulf. This has been widely reported in the press. That these reports have not been acted upon by any “elected” govt should not take away from the gravity of the situation.

    I had clearly said that the argument that Muslims had a criminal bent of mind was rhetorical. I was just trying to illustrate how you can draw a different set of conclusions from the same set of stats. Agreed the illustration I chose was not appropriate but that was the only mistake I made…Iam not that bad a human being also yaar ;)

  45. November 22, 2006 at 4:38 am #

    @sachin/bvn

    I also dont hav any passionate.. concerns about anyone..even outside my house or close circle..(that i stand up and fight against..).
    I just quoted the plight of hindus in bangladesh to..(“lajja” jus came to my mind..unknowingly)…to substaniate the fact that “In today’s world the justice is victors justice, the history is victor’s history”….
    Yes it is a fact..power and money is steamrolling the weak.every one of us hate that..still we need to accept the fact that is the order of the world..From that point we need to think what can be done for the betterment..
    Empowerment of weak at the cost of strong is not just feasible…

  46. November 22, 2006 at 7:53 pm #

    Neermathalam, I do agree here “Yes it is a fact..power and money is steamrolling the weak.every one of us hate that” – Very true. But accepting it or being silent about it is like being in bed with it. The strong should be able to bear some of the cost, isn’t that why we call them strong. As you said, we need to look for ways of bettering the situation.
    & abt the link…my pleasure dude :)

  47. November 22, 2006 at 8:11 pm #

    Sachin,

    “just the fact that it is elected does not confer legitimacy to a govts action” – Yes it does !! Nothing else has legitimacy in India but an elected govt.

    Shah Bano Case – Indian mainstream opposed this not because it was concerned about muslim women ? was it ? lets not go there

    “I can point you to several IB reports about how money is getting routed to various extremist organizations in Kerala through the Gulf” – I havent seen any IB reports and how do you know they havent been acted upon by the govt- were there any media reports? what is police and IB doing then ?

    I know you are not a bad human being and your arguments are good. What I dont agree is your upper-class contempt for democracy and its institutions. what do you want , an oligarchy with an all powerful judiciary. Dream on dude :)

  48. November 23, 2006 at 7:40 pm #

    bvn…maybe my use of the word ‘legitimacy’ was tenuous. Of course in a Democracy where Parliament is Supreme ( as it should be , since it is the only body directly accountable to the people ) , its deeds or actions cannot be but legitimate – but they need not be necessarily right. In the present day coalition era democratic India, any party with 20+ MPs can hold the country to ransom. ( Karunanidhi’s opposition to NLC disinvestment is a case in point…pls dont get me started ).

    re the Shah Bano case, I take it you belong to the school of thought that advocates that all reforms should come from within..ie if there are any deficiencies in Muslim Civil law ( or Hindu or Sikh or XYZ for that matter ), it should be addressed by those within the community?

    I dont have any contempt for democracy. I believe that it is the system best suited to a country as diverse as ours. I have voted in every election since I attained 18 , and am proud of the fact. There are people who cant be bothered to go out and vote and then just go bitching about the system. Dont count me among them. This however does not mean that I will take everything Parliament spews out as the Holy Grail. The all powerful judiciary is getting more powerful only because the other arms viz Executive and Legislature refuse to do their duty ( The Delhi sealing drive for instance ). This is my stand and I intend to stick to it :).

  49. November 27, 2006 at 5:53 pm #

    @bvn

    Excellent post and great timing. My two cents:
    Reservations are bound to be misused. Even after 50 years of reservations for people in the lowest socio-economic classes, we haven’t been able to change their situation much. Now applying that ineffective band-aid solution to religion is an even bigger mistake as people can so easily choose their religion in contrast to their socio-economic background. This is also going to further endanger our meritocratic system. I say, stick to the current basis of applying reservations on a needs-only basis. Any other proposal is just a way for politicians to garner the Muslim vote without being concerned for their condition.

    @NJ and Sachin
    Your comments are eye-openers. I didn’t realize these attitudes ran so deeply in our society.

    This problem has to be treated in the same light as minority disenfranchisement. It is a complex situation, driven by no active government policy to reach out to Muslims and the self re-inforced alienation by Muslim communities. For example, in Kerala, I have noticed many private schools run by Christian and Muslim organizations. It has been widely accepted to teach religious classes on a voluntary basis in these schools as well as provide a house for worship. That is why to some degree, religious schools, including madrassas, are absent from the Kerala scene. I think someone has to come up with a public school model that actively incorporates various faiths and their teachings to ensure:
    a) students can pursue their religious education within a school
    b) students from different backgrounds interact freely

    Of course, these religion classes have to be dealt with an academic treatment and not the pedagogical, fanatic treatment that endangers and alienates any community.

  50. November 29, 2006 at 8:22 am #

    What crap of a report

  51. November 29, 2006 at 7:08 pm #

    Sachin,
    Thats a good one ! the beauty of democracy lies in the fact that 20 MPs can hold the nation to ransom :)

    the changes should come in from within communities.you are correct,thats my point of view…but there can be external motivations too. (do you want a legislation from Delhi asking women to be permitted access in Sabarimala ?)

    and Yeah, we have a very efficient Judiciary..which proves itself time and again. where do you live ?

  52. November 29, 2006 at 7:30 pm #

    Abhishek, thank you for the comment!
    your second para on education is exactly what was in my mind.the climate we have achieved in kerala is through empowerment of minorities and removing their alienation. In kerala you dont ask a christian to join the mainstream,nor a muslim…they are the mainstream. UP has a muslim population equal to xian population in kerala…but still they are alienated. educationis the culprit there. Reservations, i do agree is along shot and there are limitaions to affirmative action.

  53. November 29, 2006 at 7:32 pm #

    appu, we need to bury this report dude…just like sreekrishna commission report :)))

  54. November 30, 2006 at 2:27 pm #

    as far as i see the situation is lost…even if the dems come the paranoia that iran with nuclear weapons is a danger for us interests will not recede. iraq was the latest misadventure that america got into…seems like they need a vietnam and an iraq happening every 30 years to keep them reminded of how vulnerable they are.

    man, watch this video…it is an uk MP blasting the us senate
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=2W1FZWML6wA

  55. November 30, 2006 at 2:27 pm #

    True.

    The conquest for power will never cease to be..sadly..

    Great write up!

    Oil means power.

  56. November 30, 2006 at 2:27 pm #

    bvn…completely agree with you. If the Americans had any sense ( a debatable point ) they would be talking to Iran now. Personally I feel Iran is much more dependable than the Saudis or the Pakis . Even Bush wouldnt be fool enough to nuke Iran ( or would he? ) . That is one of the the plus points of the Democartic victory in the US Congress and Senate. Bush will no longer have the blank cheque to conduct his cowboy diplomacy.

  57. November 30, 2006 at 2:27 pm #

    bvn..I live in Bangalore..sorry cant be more specific else will have to kill you ;)

  58. November 30, 2006 at 4:57 pm #

    You make many good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

    I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

    If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armements”

    http://www.rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com

    The Pentagon is a giant,incredibly complex establishment,budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Adminisitrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

    How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. to be – Mr. Gates- understand such complexity, particulary if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

    Answer- he can’t. Therefor he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

    From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

    This situation is unfortunate but it is ablsolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

    This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen unitil it hits a brick wall at high speed.

    We will then have to run a Volkswagon instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

  59. November 30, 2006 at 5:58 pm #

    :-)

  60. December 1, 2006 at 4:30 am #

    Jiby, that was a power address by Galloway !! Neat.
    chk this out,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svxNPHWvGoc
    Maybe its a reminder for the US, but 100,000 people are dead because they were Iraqis, 2800 soldiers are dead because GW lied !!

    Alex, Bill Clinton did not invade any country, Vajapayee didnt, Hu Jintao didnt…peace is not an aberration. Bastards are !

    sachin, you agree ???? !!!…:))) I do agree that Iran is more dependable than any other country in the middle-east.

    Rose, great viewpoint !! I have got confused whenever i’ve read about the Government-military-industry-intelligence complexes…its so HUGE…i couldnt get hold of the article but :)

  61. December 1, 2006 at 6:58 pm #

    Wonders never cease, hey bvn? ;)

    Check out an Iraq post I wrote.
    http://sachin-ki-story.blogspot.com/2006/10/you-broke-it-you-fix-it.html

    Disclaimer : unlike yours mine doesnt offer any solutions.

  62. December 1, 2006 at 6:58 pm #

    :)

  63. December 1, 2006 at 11:40 pm #

    Sachin, did you see the link Jiby has given above..chk that out…its kinda summary of yr post in an emphatic way !

  64. December 2, 2006 at 4:13 am #

    Thanks jiby and bvn for the two video links. I had read the transcript of Galloway’s speech at the US Senate before, but boy, watching it on video was something else.

  65. December 4, 2006 at 4:43 pm #

    http://www.chomsky.info/books/dissent01.htm

    The link might make an interesting read.

    NJ

  66. December 11, 2006 at 3:52 pm #

    Like credit rating..there should be a trust rating for countries…
    and i would like to see how world nations will fare…
    The trust factor is missing between Iran and US.
    And neither of them are comaparable military powers..US going for talks with Iran..even for the sake of peace will be at the expense of its elephant sized Ego.I dont know how correct is to comapre nations to individuals.Does nations have Ego..??
    But in the case of Iran the letter was indeed a news for me..
    That also..I would liek to see in another perspective..Is the legacy theory right..Why are so much jews..in wall street..?Is it not thier..enemity to arabs, for which they give an economic angle..(brilliant minds find..great reasons for stupid moves…)and pushed…middle east to burn.
    Without proofs we can only speculate…
    but i think socio-religious sentiments weigh far more than economic equations when..corporations also look for short term gains..
    World do lack a visionary…and elephat sized ego rule this roost which we call world..

  67. June 24, 2007 at 6:58 pm #

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