The net has now been cast wide from Kazakhstan to the north to the Southern Indian Ocean near Perth, Australia. The main suspect are now the two pilots (and other crew). The co-pilot is known to be a ladies man who has on an earlier occasion entertained passengers in the cockpit.
The plane was confirmed to be flying for seven hours after contact with civilian radar was lost.
Malaysian police have begun searching the home of the pilot at the helm of
the missing Malaysia
Airlines flight MH370, after the country’s prime minister confirmed that
the Boeing 777’s communications were deliberately disabled by “someone on
the plane”. Police officers arrived at 53-year-old captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s home on
the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur shortly after the PM, Najib Razak, finished his
dramatic press conference, during which he told reporters new satellite data
indicated that MH370 last made contact roughly seven hours after it vanished
from civilian radar one week ago.
While the raw satellite footage has helped investigators determine that the
plane was still flying long after it lost contact with air traffic control at
1.22am on Saturday 8 March with 239 people on board, it could not discern the
aircraft’s exact location, Najib said – putting it anywhere along two possible
flight corridors: a northern corridor stretching from Kazakhstan, in central
Asia, down to northern Thailand; and a southern corridor stretching from
Indonesia towards the southern Indian Ocean.
authorities had initially focused their investigation on the missing plane on
four possible explanations, including possible hijacking, sabotage, or the
personal or psychological problems of the crew or passengers, the “new
information” that had come to light was forcing investigators to rethink
their strategy, Najib said. “In view of this latest development, the Malaysian authorities have
refocused their investigation into the crew and passengers on board,” he
told reporters on Saturday.
The satellite data indicates that the plane was flying far longer than had
been initially believed, and is likely to instigate what may be the biggest
hunt ever for a missing plane. Some 14 countries, 43 ships and 58 aircraft are
already involved in search and rescue efforts, but the two new flight corridors
will necessitate the assistance of the countries underneath those corridors –
including, possibly, Burma, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, China,
Nepal, Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
The hunt for the plane will therefore require military and diplomatic
co-operation as investigators attempt to piece together, through civilian,
military and satellite data, what the exact fate of the missing jet may be. It is unclear if police had also begun searching the homes of the other 11
Malaysian crew on board, including co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, who is known to have entertained passengers on board a previous flight
in the cockpit during a Phuket-Kuala Lumpur flight in 2011.
Another report emerged on Saturday indicating that MH370 may have turned
south towards the Indian Ocean, where it is believed to have last been
identified some 1,000 miles west of Perth in Australia, according to satellite
“pings” that recorded the plane’s data, Bloomberg reported.
While it is not clear how much fuel the Boeing-777 was holding, there would
have been enough to fly it at cruising altitude to its scheduled destination,
Beijing, a nearly six-hour flight. It is believed, however, the missing jet may
have been flying at a higher altitude, which would have allowed it to carry on
The news is likely to fuel further speculation over suspected terrorism
although no person or group has come forward to disclose why the plane may have
been hijacked, or if it even was. For some relatives of those missing, however, the news the plane was still
flying at 8.11am last Saturday is an indication that there may be hope for
their missing loved ones. “It means there’s still a chance my parents are alive,” Eric Chen
Zhi Yang, 15, told Malaysia’s New Straits Times. Both his mother and father
were on board MH370.
Now with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) rejecting alliance with the Congress (both at the state and national level) there will be considerable heart-break.
Not only this is a disaster in the short term, but in the long term Congress will lose what was a few years ago its most loyal base (stayed with Mrs Gandhi even after the emergency horrors in 1977).
TRS is perhaps making a calculation that an alliance with the BJP may provide them with much needed Central bounty as the partition moves forward.
Not to worry, in the next election these fair weather friends will find a way to meet up again (in response to the demands of the people). Another day in the wonder that is political India.
BTW this is a background map illustrating how the southern states (Karnataka shown with deep blue borders) were formed through reorganization of the British ruled and Native ruled states. The new Telangana state is in the North-East corner. The new Andhra state is shown in sky-blue.
In a severe setback to Congress in Telangana, TRS dashed its hopes of an
alliance for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the region.
“There will not be any electoral alliance with Congress. Let’s see from
tomorrow if TRS MLAs will join the Congress or the reverse will happen,”
Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao said addressing his
party workers at the Telangana Bhavan here. KCR’s remarks appear significant amidst indication that two former women
ministers were all set to quit the Congress and join the TRS in a day
Congress, which seeks credit for the role of the Congress-led UPA
government at the Centre in the carving out of the new state out of
Andhra Pradesh, has been seeking at least an alliance after TRS ruled
out a merger with it. There are 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana whose assembly strength is 117.
Referring to remarks made by AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh on
TRS’ refusal to merge with the Congress after the creation of
Telangana., Rao attacked the Congress, asking, “They say KCR betrayed
them but what was the betrayal.”
Rao said they had proposed merger of TRS with Congress to secure
statehood for the region and prevent suicides by hundreds of youth. “But now, people are against our merger and hence we are going by their wish,” he added.
He recalled that many of those who committed suicide for a separate state had named the Congress for their act. “Now the Congress started a drama saying it will give tickets to kin of those victims in the coming elections,” he said.
It was a point of pride for the left in India that they are the true secularists as well as above dirty caste politics (the left will at best acknowledge that class is caste). The left was (as usual) mainly ruled by the super-castes – EMS Namboodiripad belonged to the cream of the cream (the Kedarnath shrine in the Himalayas can have only Namboodiri priests. But there were also powerful leaders from so-called backward backgrounds as well, including the formidable VS Achuthanandan, the prince of the Ezhavas.
Good governance in the rule-book of the left used to mean no communal riots and (in earlier times) no corruption. But then the left in India became part of the ruling class and became corrupted. This had been predicted by the left’s own theoreticians who preferred to usher in the red revolution. Unfortunately revolutions aka “radical social transformation” is hard work, you have to kill of millions of people, deport others to gulags, and re-educate all the peasants. And after all the hard work they may still dump you for the promise of a nice pair of jeans.Shameful ingratitude indeed.
As the masses have abandoned the left, all one can do now is to cry over split milk and sneer at the “low information” voters. This is the tragedy of the left in India and elsewhere.
game-changing equation is being suggested here: that even those who do not
explicitly endorse majoritarian Hindu sentiments will vote for Hindutva—all
thanks to the new agenda of opposing vote bank politics, fighting corruption,
what goes around in the name of say good governance.
Here we can do well to recall Praveen Togadia’s tweet that Hindutva followers should not
be too opposed to Modi ordering the arrest of Bajrang Dal activists (they were
arrested on August 20th, 2013, by Gujarat Police after they had vandalized an
art exhibition in Ahmedabad which included art exhibits from Pakistani
artists). The reason Togadia provided: ‘Let him add secular votes’.
The RSS functionary’s views assumes a particular understanding of the Indian
voter for whom fighting vote bank politics and pitching for good governance
becomes more important than fighting the dangers of Hindutva politics. This
points to one emerging affinity in Indian politics today: that the wider agenda
of good governance and anti-corruption is compatible with Hindutva, that, for
example, fighting corruption is in sync with supporting Modi’s Hindutva. The
mainstream fight against corruption today might deliver itself at the feet of
How is this possible? How is it possible that Hindutva’s communal
polarisation often leading to communal riots and breakdown of the rule of law
becomes compatible with good governance? We get some answers through a close
reading of the recent riots in Muzaffarnagar (Sep 2013) and in fact its (non-)
resonance in wider Indian politics.
Muzaffarnagar pointed towards a new kind of riots. The strategy there seems
to follow from the ‘lessons learned’ from what ‘went wrong’ in Gujarat 2002,
where the high number of Muslims killed (790) attracted enormous press and
civil society attention around the world, and created a political albatross
that dogs Modi to this day.
Hence keep the number of actual killings low and
instead compensate for that by increasing those displaced and uprooted from
their land and homes—clearly the pattern in Muzaffarnagar riots, where the
thrust was on displacing Muslims (50,000), shattering their economic base and
means of livelihood, rather than on killings per se (‘only’ 37 Muslims killed).
The trick: keep communal polarisation low profile or low intensity and keep
chanting the mantra of development and governance!
Now many, among them ardent secularists and leftists, welcome this new
agenda of politics while opposing Modi/BJP. They think of good governance as
rightly taking us away from divisive issues and communal or vote bank politics
and open the way towards a more enlightened, rational politics based on genuine
issues of development and governance. A Muslim as much as a Dalit or an upper
caste Hindu or a jhuggi dweller all want basic amenities like water,
electricity, good schools—they all want good governance, don’t they?
So if only we could stop Modi or the BJP from coming to power, this agenda
is in itself very positive! It is by dint of this logic that scores of
secularist or left-leaning activists and academics have joined AAP which in
many ways is spearheading the good governance crusade. And yet in terms of its
articulation, effects and ramifications, the new agenda seems already set in
its affinity with communal politics. This is reflected in, say, AAP’s coyness
when it comes to talking about communalism. Their insistence that they are not
about vote banks so often seems to be a way to duck communal issues, a
hesitation to take on communalism—and definitely overlook its affinity with
Here we notice a major structural shift in Indian politics. This means that
Indian politics’ umbilical cord with communal politics and riots is magically
rendered invisible by the cunning discourse of good governance, transparency
and anti-corruption. Only a politics of radical social transformation can
dislodge this bonhomie of good governance and communalism.
Utsave Vyasane Chaiba (he is with me during festivals and good times)
Durbhikshye Rashtrabiplabe (….and during famines and mutiny)
Rajadware Shmashane Cha (he gives me company in crisis and in death)
Jah Tisthati Sah Vandhavah (the man who stands by me is a true friend)
When Akhilesh Yadav (son of “mullah” Mulayam Yadav) came to power with a robust majority it was hoped that a new generation was rising and would bring with it the promise of good governance (with technology acting as disinfectant). That promise has not been kept, even the muslim vote-bank of the Samajwadi Party is disillusioned because of the many many riots (and more importantly the cavalier, callous govt response to the riot victims).
The general attitude of secular parties is “there is no alternative for muslims.” However taking muslims for granted may not be possible any more. The “muslim faces” that have functioned as bridges with the community have lost their trust and will need serious effort to earn it back (if ever).
The way things are right now, it looks as if it will be tough going for the (B) team as well.
Doctors’ strike, riots, bad law & order and a scolding by your father…
Netaji (Mulayam Yadav) is both my leader and my father. If he says something, I have
to pay attention. Though sometimes I also get confused as to whether he
is talking to me as a leader or a father (smiles).
Azam Khan is a discredited figure and many believe you make a mistake in projecting him as the Muslim face of your party.
Azam Khan and Netaji go back to the Babri Masjid days when firing
was ordered on the kar sevaks. They’ve seen and felt a lot together.
Now netaji wants to be PM.
This election is about choosing a PM. If Jayalalitha and Mamata
Banerjee both want to increase their strength by saying they will be PM,
it is a good thing. Shows the pluralism of our country.
But most believe Modi is more likely to be the PM?
Whose voice is Modi’s voice? Crores of people of Uttar Pradesh and
Bihar are responsible for the prosperity of Gujarat that he talks of.
Thousands of cadres of the RSS are working for him.
But secularism is in crisis and the kind of secular politics your party plays has also led to the growth of the BJP.
It is easy to be communal. Secular hona mushkil hai (it is
difficult to be secular). UP is being circled by communal forces. What
happened in Muzaffarnagar was a great tragedy and we did what we could.
But we were not playing politics with that issue. The BJP and BSP did.
Look how it has been done. One TV channel close to the BJP announces
that warm clothes for Muzaffarnagar refugees will be collected in the
Ambience Mall in Delhi three months after the riots. And look how the
VHP has been actively stoking trouble all over in Jhansi, Faizabad. And
every clash or incident is now described as communal.
You are not putting up candidates against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.
When the Congress is in trouble, then we are its closest friends. There will be no SP candidates against the Big Two.
Do you support reservation for Jats?
I do not want to say anything about reservation as it is a sensitive issue and we have to take decisions as a party.
It appears that the great hope of the (secular, liberal) middle class, Shri Arvind Kejriwal-ji aka AK-272 is the re-incarnation of Nehru (who himself was the great hope of secular, liberal folks).
Our first PM wanted to hang all corrupt businessman from lamp-posts. AK-272 will merely imprison all members of the media. And this is from a man who rose up from the ranks through the good-will of the media. Not a very good idea, to bite the hand that (for most of the time) feeds you laddus.
Kejriwal found himself embroiled in a raging controversy on Friday
after a surprising comment by him threatening to send media persons to
jail for allegedly promoting BJP leader Narendra Modi for monetary
considerations went viral. The controversy could well signal the end of
the Aam Admi Party’s already fraying honeymoon with the media.
video of Kejriwal’s diatribe against the media at a fund raising dinner
in Nagpur on Thursday saw him promise an inquiry against media persons
if AAP came to power. “If our government comes to power then we will set
an inquiry into this. And along with media people, all will be sent to
jail,” he said.
The video marked a shocking and sweeping attack
on the media for allegedly hyping up Modi while airing negative or
critical news about AAP and immediately sparked off a furious spat
between the party and its political opponents with BJP and Congress
leaders condemning Kejriwal’s comments as reflecting a dictatorial and
Though Kejriwal denied the remarks saying, “I
didn’t say that. I didn’t say anything. How can I be upset with you
(media),” his senior party colleagues Dilip Pande, Ashutosh, Sanjay
Singh and Ashish Khetan stuck to charging TV and print media with
targeting AAP and promoting BJP.
This prediction from the richest man in the world- the 76 Billion dollar man. The message- the world has never been a better place for me (of course) and you (???).
The interesting thing is that his parents bought him an encyclopedia and his knowledge of the world proceeded in an alphabetical order (why?).
There is only one fly in the ointment: “20
years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially
lower. I don’t think people have that in their mental model.”
This is actually the problem, people are able to visualize this. We will all be replaced by robots that Microsoft may or may not be able to build.
“We’re on this rising tide that’s not recognized. It’s overwhelming how
prosperity is spread around the world,” the ex-Microsoft CEO who is the
world’s richest man said in a conversation at the American Enterprise
Here’s more on his prediction that there will be almost no poor countries by
Today 45 countries that are still in that low-income category. And what I’m
saying is that, by 2035, there should be less than 10, and they’ll mostly be
either places like North Korea, where you have a political system that
basically creates poverty, or land-locked African countries where the
geography, the disease burden, the disparate ethnicities mean that they haven’t
been able to bring together a government that in terms of education,
infrastructure, health does even the most minimum things for them.
He says people tend to be irrationally pessimistic: The Steven Pinker example, one of my favorite books of all time, is that if you
ask people, “Is this one of the most violent eras in history?” they
will say yes. Overwhelmingly, Americans say yes. Well, it’s overwhelmingly the
least violent era in history. And so what it means is your disgust with
violence actually increases, and that’s partly why we take steps and why within
our own society and the world at large it’s come down so dramatically.
And here’s more on the world getting better in ways not captured by economic
data: You know, buying encyclopedias, you know, I bought it — my parents bought a
World Book. I read it. You know, I had to learn the world alphabetically. Very
weird way to learn things. You know, now, every kid who has Internet access has
Wikipedia. And so whether it’s in the area of technology or medicine or various
things, you’re — there’s a lot of a qualitative nature that’s not captured in
those things. So whether the gross number goes up or not, the rate of
improvement in livelihood, you know, I think will be very rapid in the future.
Continuing the tradition of posting Dr Hamid Hussain’s occasional emails about Indian military history (and very sad at having lost the previous posts that were in the old Brown Pundits):
But you do have to admire the craziness. It is a craziness that only those living in the lap of luxury can afford. It is the craziness of the old badshahs and maharajahs and emperors who could put up a thousand folks on the gallows in a fit of displeasure. Many centuries later (after the oil has disappeared) you will still probably find them well settled back in their bedouin life.
PS what is the probability that Taliban will pick up on this and we will have new naming regulations in SAsia?
PPS People are having a lot of fun with this. Now that Rama is banned what about Rama-dan?
Rama banned so try Dasharatha-nandana or Lakshmana-bhrata. Maya is Amitabha-mata.
There are one million versions that can be tried out and the Saudis will not be any wiser (they will have to learn Sanskrit first what is the chance of that?).
My own (lame contribution): A popular Gandhi quote is “Aram haraam hai (laziness is a sin).” Now people in his native land may no longer care for his message but Saudi has honored Gandhi’s words by banning Aram (see list). Imitation is the best way of showing your (halal) devotion.
Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry has banned 50 given names including
“foreign” names, names related to royalty and those it considers to be
The names fit into at least three categories: those that offend perceived
religious sensibilities, those that are affiliated to royalty and those that
are of non-Arabic or non-Islamic origin.
A number of other names appear that do not necessarily fit into any category
and it is therefore unclear as to why they would have been banned. Names such
as Abdul Naser and Binyamin are not found to be particularly offensive to
Muslims. Binyamin is believed in Islam to be the son of Prophet Jacob (Yaqoub)
(PBUH) and the full brother of Prophet Joseph (PBUH), but it also happens to be
the name of the Israeli prime minister. Abdul Naser, similarly, is the name of
the famous Arab nationalist ruler of Egypt, who was at odds with Saudi Arabia.
Names such as Abdul Nabi and Abdul Hussain, common among Shiites and some
Sunni Arabs, are controversial because of the multiple ways in which they can
be interpreted. Abdul in Arabic means “worshipper of” or “slave of”, while Nabi
means “prophet” and Rasool means “messenger”. Those who oppose such names argue
that Abdul means “worshipper of’ and is therefore forbidden as only God can be
worshipped. Most Muslim names with Abdul carry one of God’s 99 Islamic names.
Abdul Rahman, for example, comes from the name Al Rahman.
The full list of forbidden names:
Malaak (angel) Abdul Aati Abdul Naser Abdul Musleh
Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin)
Naris Yara Sitav
Loland Tilaj Barrah
Abdul Nabi Abdul Rasool
Al Mamlaka (the kingdom)
Rama (Hindu god)
Maline Elaine Inar
Basmala (utterance of the name of God)
Jibreel (angel Gabriel)
Abrar Iman Bayan Baseel Wireelam
Nabiyya (female prophet)
Nareej Rital Alice
Lareen Kibrial Lauren
In the Kaziranga national park/forest the rhinos are getting killed by China backed poachers.
As far as the rhinos are concerned, serious question, why do we not present a few baby rhinos to China (just like they loan their pandas) for a few million dollars so that THEY can saw of the horns periodically and leave the few rhinos back in the jungle in peace.
since 2008, 34 of those only in 2013. Mumbai’s Aarey colony lost three children
and two women to leopards in the last two years even though the forest
department has trapped two dozen leopards in and around the colony since 2004.
rhinos is not a new idea. Namibia was the first country to dehorn its rhinos in
1989. But it also invested heavily in anti-poaching infrastructure during the
1990s. In the absence of effective security, dehorning alone does not help. In
Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, for example, most of the dehorned rhinos were
killed within 12-18 months of dehorning in the early 1990s. Dehorning has not
worked in South Africa either, where 350 rhinos were poached in 2013 alone. The
Kenyan Wildlife Service took a stand against dehorning and lost 37 rhinos in
2013. Zimbabwe kept faith and lost six newly dehorned rhinos during
January-August 2011 in the Save Valley Conservancy.
First, one cannot remove the whole horn without mutilating the rhino like
poachers do. After veterinarians saw off the horn, the stump remains rooted
deep inside the tissue and is enough to lure poachers. Secondly, like nail,
horns grow back, making dehorning necessary every 3-4 years. Huge expenses apart,
it requires frequent sedation of rhinos. Unfortunately, one in every 20
immobilisation attempts kills a rhino. Thirdly, the horn serves key biological
purposes, from selection of mate for breeding to defending calves against
predators. Altogether, absence of the horn does not make the survival odds
significantly higher compared to the threats of poaching. Then there is the
issue of the chopped horns, valued in gold in the international market.
While Assam plots a loss of face, Maharashtra is
suffering from a loss of reason. It is
possible to trap and shift every leopard sighted in Aarey Colony. Only it will
be a never-ending exercise. The leopards of Aarey are part of the population
that lives in Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and will keep showing up,
unless all leopards are removed from SGNP itself. That too may not solve the
problem as leopards are known to move into SGNP from other parts of the state.
If nothing short of extermination will free the Aarey colony of leopards, how
can the residents escape conflict? The forested stretches around the
settlements should be avoided, especially by children who often take short-cuts
through bushland because the BMC dragged its feet over launching a bus service
to the nearest school 5 km away. It is unclear why the forest department or
NGOs failed to move the city transport department for over a year or run a
school bus themselves. The area should be cleared of garbage piles that attract
feral dogs and pigs that in turn draw leopards. More toilets should be
installed so that residents do not have to squat in the open and be mistaken by
leopards for prey animals. Mumbai’s many civil society groups take pride in
garbage collection drives or awareness campaigns but have so far failed to tap
into government or voluntary schemes to offer any permanent solution to either.