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Archive for October, 2007

Modi vs English media sepoys

October 24, 2007 6 comments

That Thapar’s interview was a setup to bait Modi is evident from the very start, what with Thapar making sure that a huge Hindu murthi was on display right behind him, his graphic objective being to convey the standard line of nominal Hindus — “While I am a Hindu not for me the Hinduism of…” Nominal Hindus (I need to trademark that) are those who have a Hindu name, peform pooja, arati and expect it to be the quintessential definition of a Hindu. Any deviations especially those that might be prone to controversy, confrontation or otherwise seeking to change the status quo are bound to be condemned as deviant Hindu fundamentalism. Nominal Hindus are largely missing when their religion is publicly attacked and trashed. While they love to tell their deviant Hindu brothers that their religion is personal, they do not dare to communicate the same blunt message to those who attack their religion in the public space, which they really ought to be doing since they profess to love having a behind closed doors relationship with their religion. Religion being a personal relationship with God is really laudable but the nominal Hindus do not achieve anywhere close to that by their selfish and cowardly standards.

Rajdeep Sardesai that other grinning twit, also came dressed cartoon-like in a saffron kurta to interview Modi at a Hindustan Times sponsored leadership summit, hoping to draw appreciative guffaws from his followers and seeking to put on display his Nominal Hinduism. A frothing Sardesai instead got ripped by an astute Modi, who managed to keep his cool despite Sardesai repeatedly waving his pen very near Modi’s face.

Coming to the main purpose of this article, calling or making oblique references as a mass murderer, a duly elected chief minister of a state could and should be challenged in a court of law as defamation, especially since no legal indictment have been delivered yet. The likes of Thapar, Sardesai, Gupta, Ram, Sanghvi etc can be brought to heel only by repetitive lawsuits.

Millions died during the partitions thanks to Gandhian/Nehruvian muslim appeasement, repeated riots erupted on Nehru’s watch. Bhagalpur riots created havoc under Congress rule in Bihar. Under former Gujarat Congress Chief Minister Madhav Singh Solanki in 1969, riots continued unabated for six months in Gujarat killing thousands. 4000 Sikhs perished under Rajiv in just a fews days. But these are simply shrugged off by the English media sepoys. Rajiv in particular was a cutie for the English media and had a tough time fighting off those clamoring for their rightful share of his footwear, and was a celebrated darling despite being a useless, corrupt PM. Half of those Sikhs were butchered by Jagdish Tytler who was minister till recently, but the Thapars and the Sardesais will not dare call Sonia or Tytler mass murderers.

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Vir Sanghvi’s “Hindu existentialism” on display again

October 14, 2007 Leave a comment

“Hindu existentialism” is the right term for the pseudo-liberal views of the English media. In an editorial titled “Two views of Hinduism” Vir Sanghvi tries to pass off his Hindu existentialist ideology as “liberal Hinduism”. Someone tell the Sanghvi’s of the world that “While we Hindus are liberal in the true sense of the word, not for us the liberalism of the mainstream English media”. Yeah, thats the flipped version of the pseudo liberal saying of the Hindu existentialists “We are Hindus but not for us the Hinduism of the Sangh Parivar”. Note that the Hindu version of the Sanghvi’s is simply existentialist Hinduism — they are simply nominal Hindus who are Hindus only so far as they can avoid controversy and confrontation. By Sanghvi’s reasoning, Hinduism being mainly a concept based way of life (which it truly is) should simply shrug off any attacks on its cultural symbols and become a “scientific” religion when those who seek to rubbish it demand so. Why if the Marxists and Christists demand it, Sanghvi will next say that no Hindu temples are needed at all since Hindus can simply imagine they are in a temple.

India hater Edolphus Towns voted for the N-deal!

October 13, 2007 Leave a comment

This USINPAC seems to be a joke of an outfit. To use this disastrous one sided “landmark deal” as a benchmark to compare it with the pragmatic Jewish lobby is a terrible joke. So Sanjay Puri brags that we haven’t heard from Dan Burton lately due to USINPAC’s phenomenal lobbying. But of course the Dan Burtons and Edolphus Towns can take it easy if this is the kind of lobbying that USINPAC can pull off. Glancing at how those with a visceral hatred for India voted for the abominable Hyde Act, its interesting to see that while Burton and Cynthia McKinney refrained from voting, Towns actually voted for the deal!

Forget the Israel Lobby. The Hill’s Next Big Player Is Made in India.

By Mira Kamdar

Sunday, September 30, 2007; Page B03

The fall’s most controversial book is almost certainly “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” in which political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt warn that Jewish Americans have built a behemoth that has bullied policymakers into putting Israel’s interests in the Middle East ahead of America’s. To Mearsheimer and Walt, AIPAC, the main pro-Israel lobbying group, is insidious. But to more and more Indian Americans, it’s downright inspiring.

With growing numbers, clout and self-confidence, the Indian American community is turning its admiration for the Israel lobby and its respect for high-achieving Jewish Americans into a powerful new force of its own. Following consciously in AIPAC’s footsteps, the India lobby is getting results in Washington — and having a profound impact on U.S. policy, with important consequences for the future of Asia and the world.

   

“This is huge,” enthused Ron Somers, the president of the U.S.-India Business Council, from a posh hotel lobby in Philadelphia. “It’s the Berlin Wall coming down. It’s Nixon in China.”

What has Somers so energized is a landmark nuclear cooperation deal between India and the United States, which would give India access to U.S. nuclear technology and deliver fuel supplies to India’s civilian power plants in return for placing them under permanent international safeguards. Under the deal’s terms, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty — for decades the cornerstone of efforts to limit the spread of nuclear weapons — will in effect be waived for India, just nine years after the Clinton administration slapped sanctions on New Delhi for its 1998 nuclear tests. But the Bush administration, eager to check the rise of China by tilting toward its massive neighbor, has sought to forge a new strategic alliance with India, cemented by the civil nuclear deal.

On the U.S. side, the pact awaits nothing more than one final up-or-down vote in Congress. (In India, the situation is far more complicated; India’s left-wing parties, sensitive to any whiff of imperialism, have accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of surrendering the country’s sovereignty — a broadside that may yet scuttle the deal.) On Capitol Hill, despite deep divisions over Iraq, immigration and the outsourcing of American jobs to India, Democrats and Republicans quickly fell into line on the nuclear deal, voting for it last December by overwhelming bipartisan majorities. Even lawmakers who had made nuclear nonproliferation a core issue over their long careers, such as Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), quickly came around to President Bush‘s point of view. Why?

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The answer is that the India lobby is now officially a powerful presence on the Hill. The nuclear pact brought together an Indian government that is savvier than ever about playing the Washington game, an Indian American community that is just coming into its own and powerful business interests that see India as perhaps the single biggest money-making opportunity of the 21st century.

The nuclear deal has been pushed aggressively by well-funded groups representing industry in both countries. At the center of the lobbying effort has been Robert D. Blackwill, a former U.S. ambassador to India and deputy national security adviser who’s now with a well-connected Republican lobbying firm, Barbour, Griffith & Rogers LLC. The firm’s Web site touts Blackwill as a pillar of its “India Practice,” along with a more recent hire, Philip D. Zelikow, a former top adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who was also one of the architects of the Bush administration’ s tilt toward India. The Confederation of Indian Industry paid Blackwill to lobby various U.S. government entities, according to the Boston Globe. And India is also paying a major Beltway law firm, Venable LLP.

The U.S.-India Business Council has lavished big money on lobbyists, too. With India slated to spend perhaps $60 billion over the next few years to boost its military capabilities, major U.S. corporations are hoping that the nuclear agreement will open the door to some extremely lucrative opportunities, including military contracts and deals to help build nuclear power plants. According to a recent MIT study, Lockheed Martin is pushing to land a $4 billion to $9 billion contract for more than 120 fighter planes that India plans to buy. “The bounty is enormous,” gushed Somers, the business council’s president.

So enormous, in fact, that Bonner & Associates created an India lobbying group last year to make sure that U.S. companies reap a major chunk of it. Dubbed the Indian American Security Leadership Council, the group was underwritten by Ramesh Kapur, a former trustee of the Democratic National Committee, and Krishna Srinivasa, who has been backing GOP causes since his 1984 stint as co-chair of Asian Americans for Reagan-Bush. The council has, oddly, “recruited groups representing thousands of American veterans” to urge Congress to pass the nuclear deal.

The India lobby is also eager to use Indian Americans to put a human face — not to mention a voter’s face and a campaign contributor’ s face — on its agenda. “Industry would make its business case,” Somers explained, “and Indian Americans would make the emotional case.”

There are now some 2.2 million Americans of Indian origin — a number that’s growing rapidly. First-generation immigrants keenly recall the humiliating days when India was dismissed as an overpopulated, socialist haven of poverty and disease. They are thrilled by the new respect India is getting. Meanwhile, a second, American-born generation of Indian Americans who feel comfortable with activism and publicity is just beginning to hit its political stride. As a group, Indian Americans have higher levels of education and income than the national average, making them a natural for political mobilization.

One standout member of the first generation is Sanjay Puri, who founded the U.S. India Political Action Committee in 2002. (Its acronym, USINPAC, even sounds a bit like AIPAC.) He came to the United States in 1985 to get an MBA at George Washington University, staying on to found an information- technology company. A man of modest demeanor who wears a lapel pin that joins the Indian and American flags, Puri grew tired of watching successful Indian Americans pony up money just so they could get their picture taken with a politician. “I thought, ‘What are we getting out of this?’, ” he explains.

In just five years, USINPAC has become the most visible face of Indian American lobbying. Its Web site boasts photos of its leaders with President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and presidential candidates from Fred Thompson to Barack Obama. The group pointedly sports a New Hampshire branch. It can also take some credit for ending the Senate career of Virginia Republican George Allen, whose notorious taunt of “macaca” to a young Indian American outraged the community. Less publicly, USINPAC claims to have brought a lot of lawmakers around. “You haven’t heard a lot from Dan Burton lately, right?” Puri asked, referring to a Republican congressman from Indiana who has long been perceived as an India basher.

USINPAC is capable of pouncing; witness the incident last June when Obama’s campaign issued a memo excoriating Hillary Rodham Clinton for her close ties to wealthy Indian Americans and her alleged support for outsourcing, listing the New York senator’s affiliation as “D-Punjab.” Puri personally protested in a widely circulated open letter, and Obama quickly issued an apology. “Did you see? That letter was addressed directly to Sanjay,” Varun Mehta, a senior at Boston University and USINPAC volunteer, told me with evident admiration. “That’s the kind of clout Sanjay has.”

Like many politically engaged Indian Americans, Puri has a deep regard for the Israel lobby — particularly in a country where Jews make up just a small minority of the population. “A lot of Jewish people tell me maybe I was Jewish in my past life,” he jokes. The respect runs both ways. The American Jewish Committee, for instance, recently sent letters to members of Congress supporting the U.S.-India nuclear deal.

“We model ourselves on the Jewish people in the United States,” explains Mital Gandhi of USINPAC’s new offshoot, the U.S.-India Business Alliance. “We’re not quite there yet. But we’re getting there.”

miraukamdar@ gmail.com

Mira Kamdar, a fellow at the World Policy Institute and the Asia Society, is the author of “Planet India: How the Fastest-Growing Democracy is Transforming America and the World.”