MH370: what the chinese are so angry about?

China is repeatedly voicing its anger against Malaysia on lack of information and slow progress of investigation. While the anger and frustration of families is understandable, the Chinese government is fueling these sentiments by instigating the family members to hold rallies and storm Malaysian embassy in Beijing.

Malaysia is a small country and is doing everything it can with its limited resources to investigate the matter. As far as misinformation goes, Chinese too had played their part when they first reported satellite sighting of the plane debris which led into wasted search efforts as the images were found to be useless.

But in this situation every bit of information needs to be looked into seriously and so when initial search efforts were concentrated in wrong area, Malaysian are not to be blamed as at that time, leads were pointing in that way.

China is just playing politics over the lives of its own people who were trapped in this unfortunate plane, otherwise instead of blaming Malaysia they could have taken the investigation in their own hands and led the search efforts. World’s second largest economy and a country which has sent spacecraft to moon surely could have acted in a more pro-active way, at least when its own citizen are involved in the tragedy.

Why it is taking so long to locate MH370

It is now almost 2 weeks since the plane has vanished from the face of the earth. It seems almost impossible that in this politically active region, surveillance technologies of various countries have not tracked this plane. USA and it’s allies like Australia have a very strong surveillance network in the area which includes satellites, radars and underwater surveillance assets. These are needed to keep an eye on China and India. Can anyone believe that they have not noticed any unnatural behaviour of MH370?

These countries and even Asean countries are reluctant to share information available with them as in turn, it will expose their surveillance capabilities or in-capabilities. With an aggressive country like China, most would not like to share their sensitive data.

It is entirely possible that MH370 could have been shot down if it was found to be approaching Australia in a threatening way. This could be similar to one of the 9/11 planes which was approaching White house and supposed to have crashed in Pennsylvania due to so-called struggle between passengers and hijackers. Here too, the plane could have been shot down by US military and then they coloured and camouflaged the incident with tales of passenger bravery, struggle etc.

It was possible to reduce the area of search using Inmarsat ping data which was available for at lease seven hours. But again Inmarsat is a British company and has not shared it’s data and it’s interpretation completely.

Unfortunately Malaysia, a tiny country with limited resources and technical capabilities, is caught between these political necessities of nations and has to face anger and frustration of victim’s families.

Quality of debates on Indian television

The debate season on our television is fully on. There are debates on every channel with ‘expert’ panels and even ‘bigger (?) expert’ debate anchors.

Mostly these debates (there are one or two exceptions) look like shouting matches between the panelist or even between the anchor and panelists. On some TV channels the anchors  even insult the panel members who meekly accept the insult. This could probably because these expert panel members are paid by the channel for their time and thus to ensure that the channel keeps on inviting them they accept to participate in such meaningless and at time insulting debates.

Most of the anchors have a pre-decided conclusion of the debate and steamroll the panel in that direction. They also have a pre-decided question list which they must complete without bothering to obtain balanced views for the questions from the panel members.

The panelists are a special breed too. Many of them, especially from political parties, think that the louder they shout and the more un-civilised they behave, better it is for their position. At times these debates resemble  a school debate where kids think that louder they shout (they are seldom insulting though) more they have a chance to win the debate.

The TV channels would do a great service to their viewers (assuming that the debates are conducted for the benefit of viewers), if they would watch debate programs like ‘Dateline London’ or ‘Hard Talk’ on BBC or ‘Anderson Cooper 360″ on CNN. This will give them some insight into how to conduct a debate to ensure that it remains meaningful for viewers and does not become a platform for fulfilling agenda of either the anchor or some panel members.

The large number of  jokes circulating on the net regarding anchors and their debates are an indication that public at large too does not take these debates seriously. This is a very unfortunate situation given to the fact that TV is a very powerful medium to reach the public and build a public opinion. There  is thus an urgent need for a proper training for both anchors and panel members on first, how to conduct a debate and then how to constructively participate in it.

Russia and USA (and it’s European stooges)

The entire western media tried to downplay the success of winter Olympics held at Sochi Russia. They tried their level best to create a fear psychosis by devising imaginary stories about terrorist threats and repeatedly painted a picture of poor facilities at the games. In the end however they grudgingly had to accept the success of the games.

They have now launched a similar propaganda drive regarding the Ukraine situation. Hillary Clinton recently compared Putin with Hitler stating that his actions of putting Russian forces inside Crimea on the pretext of protecting the lives of the 60% Russian speaking population there are similar to what Hitler did in 1930s. She conveniently forgets that by giving exactly similar reasons and creating a false threat perception of (non existing) Iraqi WMDs, USA invaded that country and left it in a mess after decades of looting it.

The only difference this time is they have to deal with Russia. After antagonizing Russia while USA can watch the fun from a distance, European countries cannot. France has deep business links with Russia on defense matters, Germany depends on them for gas and Britain has selfish economic interests. And no country including USA can take any military action against Russia, like they did with Iraq and Afghanistan.

Western countries cannot threaten Russian in any meaningful manner as they need its support over many other matters like Syria, Iran and North Korea. Moreover Russia with its oil and gas wealth is no more a poor country it was during the Brezhnev era.

Only spine-less countries like India, can tolerate enemies at their border. Russia is a different ball game and it will have its way with Ukraine like it had with Georgia and Chechnya.

Are our defense forces equipped to do their job?

First the MIG21s, dreadfully called the flying coffins and now accident prone submarines! What is the state of our defense readiness? I wonder if there are dud missiles/ammunitions, rusted and useless field guns and likes hidden in our army’s cupboard too?

Admiral Joshi has resigned taking the moral responsibility. He has done the right thing but is it enough? By resigning he has claimed the moral high ground but what about his responsibility for not taking timely or effective corrective actions. Or what about similar responsibilities of other service chiefs, of Army and Airforce? A leader is not only answerable for the final results but also has full responsibility for sustainability of the organisation under his control. Have our service chiefs fulfilled this responsibility during their tenure? Why non of the service chiefs have thought of resignation on the issue of their inability to prevail upon government to improve safety and effectiveness of equipment under their control?

We all know the worth of politicians in our country and utter disregard they have for the lives of our brave soldiers but our service chiefs? They surely must have some feeling for their own men who get killed due to faulty equipment, poor maintenance and spare part quality? Unfortunately the non action by our senior defense officers does not speak well about their commitment to men under their command.

There is a media clamour about the need for resignation of the defense minister. Even if this comes through, though highly unlikely, it will be a useless gesture as another politician will occupy the chair and the game will just go on.

The situation can only improve if our service chiefs unite and speak in one voice and press government to take immediate remedial actions. Do we expect our soldiers to win wars with junk equipment while our politicians and bureaucrats collude to get more and more freebies and benefits for themselves? If our borders are not secure, non of the social welfare schemes like ‘food security’ or ‘right to education’ will have any meaning.

Why speakers of both houses act in subservient way ?

Conduct of speakers of both the houses is simply disgusting. They have no respect of MPs and all they do is to keep on begging for order in houses.

Why this happens? Do speakers have no authority? Do they need permission from  someone to do their job?

Not at all. Speakers of both houses have all the authority they need to conduct the houses in an orderly, disciplined manner. They can even take steps to throw out unruly members using house marshals and they can dis-qualify members.

But they do not take any of these steps. The reason, they have political aspirations of becoming President, Vice President or occupying other high offices once they retire and for that they need support from members of the houses from all parties. This is the root cause of the problem which leads to their acceptance of obnoxious behavior of MPs, making it almost acceptable norm of both the houses.

The example of Mr. Hamid Ansari, the current RS speaker is well known. Opposition parties foiled his presidential ambitions citing his partisan behavior during Lokpal debate. This can and will happen with others in future and hence the possibility of such aspirations has to be nipped in the bud by law.

In many countries speakers are banned from accepting any political position post their retirement and so they are under no obligation to tolerate bad behavior from MPs. If people occupying high offices in our country do not have guts to do their job properly and are themselves looking for favors to meet their selfish interests, we too need tough laws like other countries.

Seldom there is a person like Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, who does justice to the post of speaker of the house without fear or wanting favors.   We need many more such people and till the time we find them and have to live with mediocre, subservient people to fill these posts, we need laws to make them accountable and prevent their misuse of the post to fulfill their personal ambitions.

Gutter culture of our elected representatives

One of our elected reps carried a knife and a pepper spray in Parliament today. Fortunately the guy used only the pepper spray creating some discomfort to fellow MPs and not his knife otherwise we could have a situation of a few fatalities in Parliament today, which even Pakistani terrorists during their attack on parliament could not achieve!

Pepper sprays and knives are terrorist weapons which are expressly banned even in aircrafts but who will stop our MPs from carrying them, after all they are special and privileged people!

This is a complete failure of democratic system in our country, a system which is constantly touted as something great and unique. Our elected representative are  infested with criminals and their ways have been amply demonstrated time and again and today’s case is just another face of them.

This also a complete failure of the speaker of the house. In fact when one looks at the way speakers of both the houses conduct themselves one cannot help but to remember  beggars at signals or temples. Both speakers being ruling party puppets, have no control or ability to control unruly members. Mr. Somnath Chatterjee was the only speaker in recent times who had shown some spine and self respect and controlled the parliament in a meaningful way.

MPs and MLAs are always at the forefront to demand more and more facilities and doles for themselves. Where are any rules to demand expected work from them? Why are they allowed to disrupt parliament and waste people’s money? Why there is no disciplinary action against them? In fact why there are any special rules for them at all? Rather than getting special treatment on all fronts, these guys should be subjected to separate penal code which punishes them far more severely than a common man for similar crimes because they occupy position of influence and power.

Once they get elected, they consider the 5 year period as time to rampantly use and abuse power vested in them. Even if they are defeated after their tenure, a 5 years time is sufficient to make enough money to last a few generations! Obviously this system is not working in people’s favour and now time has come for people to find out other ways for themselves to ensure that the elected reps behave and do their job. Or else ………..what?

This needs to be answered by the youth of the country who is now becoming a major force cutting across party lines.

Chai Pe Charcha

untitledMr. Modi has launched this program yesterday, demonstrating to the nation how modern technology can be cost effectively used to connect with people. As things progress, this program will become increasingly error free and sleek. Skeptics of Mr. Modi will talk about the ‘kharcha’ for this program and that it is merely a gimmick to fool people. If this initiative connects Mr. Modi to rural India even to a small extent all the ‘Kharcha’ for the program will be justified.

While campaigning through social networking might have worked in USA for Mr. Obama, in our country due to limited penetration of internet, it’s effectively is doubtful. But television and mobile phone technology have deeply penetrated our country and a campaign based on these two technologies will help connection with a very large population especially in rural areas at  a reasonable cost.

Since the program is about connecting with common man, there is no point in talking about big policies like how to tackle inflation, global warming, foreign relations etc. What will connect with people is a dialog by Mr. Modi on their day-to-day problems. Mr. Modi apparently has prepared himself well on these lines as his response to one of the questions on ‘whether policies of our nation’s great leader like Shivaji, Toradmal can work today.’, demonstrated. His response was very balanced and spoken in a manner which a common man can understand and relate to.

AAP could connect with Delhi people not by talking about national policies but local issues and that is how people will get attracted to a party or a personality. Of course Lok Sabha constituencies are far bigger than Vidhan Sabha and hence one cannot have that close relationship with all the electorates but one can always address common local issues like local corruption, in-discipline, price rise, eduction, health care etc.

Mr. Modi has brought a fresh breeze of novel campaigning style which other leader of BJP should learn fast otherwise they will continue to be left in shadows and people will loose interst in them.

After many yeras BJP has found in Mr. Modi a leader with great people connection abilities, who can effectively use technology and who even after 12 years of chief ministership can still talk to people in their own style and as a common man.

USA warming up to Mr. Modi ?

From the latest news circulating around Mr. Modi, it appears that USA has finally joined the line to appease Mr. Modi. This is after EU and Britain had a convenient  amnesia about their stand against Mr. Modi and lined up to mend relations with him.

Mr. Modi has never needed a visa for USA. If business community in USA smells business potential in Modi’s India, their country will roll out the red carpet to him. As far as connecting with his audience in the USA is concerned, Mr. Modi has effectively done so using technology, sitting right here in India.. So by making this gesture of warming up to Mr. Modi, USA has only shown that it is their need to be on the right side of the person who is expected to win the 2014 elections.

While The British, Europeans and Americans are going gung ho about Mr. Modi, we must not forget that these countries had put India on long years of sanctions after Pokharan atomic tests and have consistently supported Pakistan over India. All they are now doing is to show to the world where they expect the future seat of power will be. And it will not take them even a blink of an eye to reverse their stand wrt Mr. Modi in future, if things turn out to be different.

BJP and Mr. Modi has rightly responded – by not treating this move by USA as anything special.

Mr. Rahul Gandhi and his first TV interview

Finally BJP has succeeded in it’s strategy to draw out Mr. Rahul Gandhi and made him face tough questions from the media. More than how Mr. Gandhi fared in the interview, BJP’s success lies in building up constant pressure on congress party, which so far has been shielding Mr. Gandhi from media glare, to throw caution to the wind and put Mr. Gandhi to a task for which he was ill prepared. Now congressmen must be feeling that Mr. Mum-mohan Singh (or Maun-mohan Singh) did a far better job by keeping maun vrat and not facing media than a blundering Mr. Gandhi.

Another favour Mr. Gandhi did to BJP was to bring the issue of 1984 riots out in open. For whatever reason BJP or even Akali Dal did not rise this issue while taking constant falk from congress and other parties over 2002 riots. Now the table has turned and congress party is busy defending itself over the issue of shielding congressmen involved in fomenting rioters.

All congress bolbachhans like Aiyers, Choudharies and Singhs have vanished from TV screens and once again thanks goes to Mr. Rahul Gandhi and this time from we the people.

One thing definitely goes for Mr. Gandhi. It is very easy to have a monologue in news media when you are not questioned on your views but it is definitely tough to face live interview. Mr. Rahul Gandhi has shown this courage which many seasoned politicians will not be willing to emulate (may be that is why they are called ‘seasoned’).

BJP in all honesty should extend thanks to Mr. Rahul Gandhi for all his help!!

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