MH370 (Kuala Lumpur to Beijing) is lost at sea

Let us hope against hope that some survivors can be found in time. This may or may not be connected to the ethnic disturbance that took some precious lives in Kunming recently (or given China’s rapacious record any number of discontents ranging from Burma to Kenya). Again let us hope for the best.

A search and rescue operation is underway after Malaysia Airlines said that a plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on board went missing en route to Beijing.

Radar contact with the aircraft,
flight MH370, was lost in airspace controlled by Vietnam in the early
hours of Saturday morning, China’s
Xinhua news agency said. The aircraft did not enter airspace controlled
by China and did not make contact with Chinese controllers, Xinhua

statement published on Facebook by the airline said : “Malaysia
Airlines confirms that flight MH370 has lost contact with Subang Air
Traffic Control at 2.40am, today (8 March 2014). “Flight MH370,
operated on the B777-200 aircraft, departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am on 8
March 2014. MH370 was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same
day. The flight was carrying a total number of 227 passengers (including
2 infants), 12 crew members.



Youtube ban proposed for Turkey

Youtube is already banned in Pakistan (due to the blasphemous movie that Google has been court-ordered to delete) and in China, Iran and Turkmenistan [ref. wiki]. The next stop is likely to be Turkey.

Turkey’s prime minister has threatened drastic steps to censor the Internet, including shutting down Facebook and YouTube,
where audio recordings of his alleged conversations suggesting
corruption have been leaked in the past weeks, dealing him a major blow
ahead of this month’s local elections.

In a late-night interview Thursday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
told ATV station that his government is determined to stem the leaks he
insists are being instigated by followers of an influential US-based
Muslim cleric. He has accused supporters of Fethullah Gulen of
infiltrating police and the judiciary and of engaging in “espionage,”
saying that the group even listened in on his encrypted telephone lines.
The Gulen movement denies involvement.

“We are determined on
the issue, regardless of what the world may say,” Erdogan said. “We
won’t allow the people to be devoured by YouTube, Facebook or others.
Whatever steps need to be taken we will take them without wavering.”  


Tears of a father

Poor kid, if he was just allowed to fall in love with a local girl (probably not too many desis in Amarillo, but how about desi matrimonial sites in the USA?) then he would have probably been alive. Instead we have one tragedy on our hands and a second one if/when the wife gets a life-term from the Texas jury. I would blame the father for setting up this train-wreck but that gives little satisfaction. 

In opening statement, assistant district attorney Jim Young said Bimal Patel, who had been born in India, “grew up basically an American kid” in Amarillo. He went to Texas Tech and moved to Austin, where he became involved in
business, but his father was a traditionalist and had pushed him to seek
a partner through an arranged marriage service in India, the prosecutor

Through this service, he submitted a resume and met
Shriya Patel, Young said. The two married, but it took about a year for
her to get her passport to come to the US, and she had only been in the
country a week when she decided to kill her husband, the prosecutor
 Shriya Patel’s trial began on
March 4 in Austin,Texas, with prosecutors accusing her of luring her
husband into the bathtub for a massage, dousing him with gasoline and
then setting him ablaze before shutting him in the bathroom. Bimal Patel, 29, died at the burn centre of the San Antonio Military Medical Center, nearly five months after the April 17, 2012, incident.  


Democracy against Brahmins

From appearances it looks like California now has a Brahmin (Asian) problem. Historically, the ancestors of Karthick Ramakrishnan have enjoyed their position at the top of the social pyramid in Dravida-Nadu.

Then came democracy (and more importantly the social justice movement) and the Brahmins (aka northern invaders) were driven away to the North, West, and Eastern corners of India, as a consequence of the (in)famous 69% reservation policy [ref. wiki]. The history of quotas and various arguments for/against are debated in this article. There is no doubt that reservations help seed a creamy layer in each category (which may or may not benefit the less well off people in the same categories). All in all about 80% of Tamil Nadu population are said to be protected by reservations.

Main Category as per Government of Tamil Nadu
Sub Category as per Government of Tamil Nadu
Reservation Percentage for each Sub
Category as per Government of Tamil Nadu
Reservation Percentage for each Main
Category as per Government of Tamil Nadu
Category as per Government of India
Backward Class (BC)
– General
Backward Class (BC)
– Muslims
only for Arunthathiyar)
Total Reservation

But the great northbound movement proved only to be a temporary respite. The quota battles spread out to the north as well, though settling at a lower level of 49.5% for now (more importantly enforcement was better than before, as Shudras and Dalits came to power on their own steam). The next (logical) step for many of these Brahmins was to move out from Sharat Bose Avenue (Kolkata), Ramakrishna Puram (Delhi) and Matunga (Mumbai) to the green(er) pastures of the West where (apparently) meritocracy still prevailed in California, enshrined via the equally (in)famous Proposition 209. Asians of many stripes (driven to excel by the Tiger Mother syndrome) managed to take advantage of race-neutral admission policies and savoured the model minority badge from the white majority (who used the MM stick to beat up the blacks/latinos).

However democracy has now managed to catch up with the super-castes in California as well. The game changer (as KR reports below) is that whites who resented preferences for blacks in the 1990s are now resentful of asians (mostly Chinese but I would imagine also Koreans and Indians) for the sin of grabbing too many university seats. The dreaded specter of quota being (sort of) tied to population percentages has been raised. Once that genie is out of the bottle it will not be possible to push it back. Even if the Asians manage to win a few battles they will surely lose the war (one problem is that Asians are not all equally doing well- Pacific Islanders and Laotians for example). The 10% will inevitably need to bow before the heft of the 90%. The logic of democracy is relentless (and it is how it should be). For the super-castes there will be now no more place on earth to run (and to hide). For folks like Karthick Ramakrishnan, the writing on the wall (and the desperate anguish reflected in his writing) is clear.

Is the debate on affirmative action versus race-blind policies mainly
about principle, or mostly about preserving narrow group interests? We
are beginning to find out in California.
A bill passed by the state
Senate and pending in the Assembly would put a constitutional amendment
on the ballot that would overturn portions of Proposition 209 to exempt
public college and university admissions from the ban on racial, ethnic
and gender preferences.

Interestingly, many of these fears are emanating not from
conservative white voters but from a few vocal Asian American
organizations. National advocacy groups such as the 80-20 Political
Action Committee, editorial writers in Chinese-language newspapers and
activists from Chinese-language schools have begun to bombard Assembly
members, urging them to vote against restoring affirmative action.
worry that Asian American students, who saw a sizable increase in UC
enrollment following 209’s ban on affirmative action in 1996, will see a
big drop in enrollment if affirmative action is restored.

Just as important, the focus on narrow group interests might also
change the opinions of white voters in California in surprising ways.When whites voted overwhelmingly against affirmative action in 1996,
the UC admission rates for whites and Asian Americans were roughly
equal, at 83% and 84%, respectively. Today, under the ban on affirmative
action, the admission rate for whites is 65%, compared with 73% for
Asian Americans.
These gaps may become relevant to the attitudes of white voters
confronted with a new choice on affirmative action. Experimental studies
of white voter opinion show that support for merit-based university
admissions drops significantly when respondents are provided information
about the high success rate of Asian Americans.
If the primary consideration in voters’ minds is the potential loss
or gain for their own racial group, we may indeed see a reversal in
voting patterns of whites and Asian Americans on affirmative action.
This is particularly true if group fears are based on the kinds of
erroneous or exaggerated claims we are already seeing.

For example, some ethnic media stories claim that affirmative action
would cap Asian American admissions to their share of the resident
Not only has this kind of quota been ruled unconstitutional
since 1978; such fears also ignore the fact that the Asian American
share of UC students was about three times their state population share
in 1995, when affirmative action was last in place.



The Muslims of Uttar Pradesh

may help determine who wins Election 2014. IMO the muslim vote will go for AAP in urban areas and BSP in rural ones. SP the current ruling party will be heavily penalized due to the Muzaffanagar riots. Thus Mayawati and Arvind Kejriwal will benefit from the muslim vote, even though NYT may have found isolated support for Modi. In Gujarat he has got plenty of muslim votes following logic #1 (see below)- If he looks like winning why waste your vote on someone else??

There is an old political saying in India that the way to Delhi goes
through Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.
From an American point of
view, Uttar Pradesh has it all: the electoral heft of a
California-Ohio-Michigan combination, the uncertainty of a Florida
recount, the political tricks of a South Carolina primary and the stark
community divisions of Mississippi.

Salim Shah was cooking egg and
chicken rolls on a dusty side street here when India’s most controversial
national politician flew to a nearby park in a red helicopter and addressed
hundreds of thousands of screaming supporters. Mr. Shah said that he and his
12-year-old son, who sliced boiled eggs by Mr. Shah’s side, were too busy to
attend the rally. But when asked how he intended to vote in what many observers
believe is the most consequential Indian election since 1977, Mr. Shah gave a
brief shrug. “I’m inclined to support Mr. Modi,” Mr. Shah said quietly. “It
looks like he’s going to win, and why waste your vote by voting for someone who
is not going to win?”

Disgust with the present government
and disappointment with the Gandhi political dynasty are so widespread that Mr.
Modi comes to the election with a huge advantage. But the scale of his success
depends in part on whether he can persuade Muslims like Mr. Shah to support his
candidacy, a difficult challenge. Muslims make up about 14 percent of the
country’s population, and they have been a crucial part of the support base of
the governing party, Indian National Congress, for years.

Mohammad Jaffar Ali, a 27-year-old stockbroker who
lives in a Muslim enclave in Lucknow, acknowledged hours after the rally that
Mr. Modi seemed to be a good leader. “But I think being a good human being is
far more important than being a good leader,”
Mr. Ali said. “I’m not voting for

A crowd soon gathered around Mr. Ali, a common
occurrence when politics are discussed here. Among the young men was Karim
Jafar, a 25-year-old medical product wholesaler and Muslim, who made a point of
saying that he was a “an Indian first and a Muslim second.”
Mr. Jafar said:
“I’m young. I don’t know much about the past, but I’m hopeful for a good future
and I think Mr. Modi could help bring that. No leader is perfect. I’m going to
vote for Modi and see.”

Mr. Modi’s call for a more business-friendly
government could also lure younger voters, many of whom are leaving school with
few job prospects. India’s economy must create more than 115 million additional
jobs over the next 10 years to accommodate the country’s youthful flood, a rate
of growth its economy is far from achieving.

Mohammad Shakeel, 44, said he remembered the past too well
to support Mr. Modi. Standing in front of about 70 caged chickens with fresh
chicken blood brightening his shop floor, Mr. Shakeel said that he voted in the
past for Congress, but this time would vote for a regional party. “There’s some
concern, even some fear, about what Mr. Modi will do to Muslims if he becomes
prime minister,” Mr. Shakeel said. “We don’t forget.”

“I prefer the company of women while drinking”

All the unpleasant stereotypes are confirmed, the grasping family, the (not so gentle) abuse of the golden egg, what is missing is a quote on the (absent) role played by her father. At least we should be thankful that due to the preference for “plump women” the ladies are not deprived of food and may not develop aneroxia etc anxieties. Small mercies in a cruel world.

To understand how popular Shakeela is down South, you have to
read the three-year- old autobiography of Surayya Bhanu. Bhanu, a
Chennai-born Commerce graduate, had developed a passion for cinema since
childhood. She ended up on the margins of the Tamil film industry as a
body double for porn stars unwilling to go completely nude. Like
Shakeela. Bhanu filled those ‘gaps’. She exposed her nude body in
bedroom and bathroom scenes in almost all Shakeela films. 

In the book,
Bhanu talks about the South Indian porn market’s crush on plump women:
Shakeela’s body type. Bhanu was slim when she began her career. Later,
on realising the popular demand for well-endowed curves and heavy
thighs, she put on weight and shaped herself to ‘industry standards’. It
gave her the chance to play Shakeela’s double.

Extracts from her autobiography:...I decided to
write this book on myself because people should know how a Shakeela is
formed and shaped..
…During an interview, a journalist once told me that I was the woman
who embodied the sexual desire of Malayalee youth. When somebody is
hungry, we have to give them food. Nothing else will make them happy….

I have no good memories of my mother. I never experienced love and
care from her. It was my mother who spoiled my life. I think my mother
did not like me since my childhood. She often ignored me and cursed me.
But one day, she appreciated my beauty. This was soon after my sixteenth
birthday. Then she informed me that a person would come to pick me up.
She asked me to go with him to a place where I have to ‘please’ a rich
man who would help rid us of our financial constraints. She asked me to
obey him, and do whatever he wanted me to do. I was shocked. I was grown up enough to understand what she was asking for. A stranger
came to pick me up, I had no choice. I accompanied him. We reached a
hotel room. That ‘rich man’, who was in his forties, was waiting there. I
was frozen with fear and sorrow. He undressed me, and raped me. But he
could not penetrate me due to my resistance. It was only a beginning. I
was forced to sleep with many such ‘rich men’ thereafter. I experienced
both pain and pleasure. I am not able to recollect when I lost my



“I have been too comfortable”

Hong Kong tries hard for democracy but China will not stand for it. Imposing democracy from top is a difficult exercise (as seen in India), it will take decades for the masses to catch on (if at all).

Still an imperfect democracy is better for people like us (we like to talk freely, we would like to talk even more freely but democracy constrains us), others may prefer the higher growth standards of autocracies (based on anecdotes it appears that the Indian middle and elite class – like Robert Young quoted below- heavily favor autocracies where the rights of the poor people will be even more curtailed than it already is).

As he lay on the tarmac of a central Hong Kong
street, gazing up at the skyscrapers, Chan Kin-man came to a
realisation. “I have been living a very comfortable life – up in an
office, writing articles, encouraging people to negotiate. Suddenly, I
have to prepare myself to go to jail. “It was a very striking
moment for me,” said the 55-year-old academic later. “I have been too
And at some point, Hong Kong people have to sacrifice
something to make people believe we are serious about democracy.” His
epiphany came during a test run for Occupy Central, a pro-reform civil
disobedience campaign that wants to see thousands take over Hong Kong’s
financial district – much to Beijing’s alarm.

On Thursday, one of China‘s
top leaders reportedly said that importing a western-style democratic
system to the region could prove catastrophic.
Zhang Dejiang, who heads
the leading group on Hong Kong affairs, said that copying a foreign
electoral system could “become a democracy trap … and possibly bring a
disastrous result”, Ma Fung-kwok, a delegate at Thursday’s closed-door
meeting, told Reuters.

showed little interest in developing democracy in Hong Kong until the
1997 handover to China loomed. Then, under the “one country, two
systems” framework, it negotiated greater freedoms for the region and a
commitment to eventual universal suffrage.

Authorities agree votes for all should be adopted when the region has a new chief executive in 2017, but want to ensue there are no unwelcome candidates. “It
is obvious that the chief executive has to be a person who loves the
country, loves Hong Kong and doesn’t oppose the central government,” the
region’s chief secretary for administration, Carrie Lam, has said.

complain that nominations will be channelled through a committee packed
with Beijing loyalists, and want the public to gain the right to put
candidates forward too. Unless Beijing shifts by the end of the
year, Occupy’s organisers say they will risk their careers and freedom
to press for change.

Chan and his co-founders – Benny Tai, another
academic, and Baptist minister Chu Yiu-ming – hardly appear rabble
rousers. Chan peppers conversation with references to the sociologist
Jürgen Habermas. The full name of the movement is the hippy-ish Occupy
Central with Love and Peace. Non-violent civil disobedience – modelled
on the activism of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi – would be the
last resort, after mass deliberative meetings that would form the basis
for negotiations by the opposition pan-democratic parties that are
backing Occupy.But opponents claim the campaign threatens chaos.

Chow Young, a television host and a leader of the pro-business Silent
Majority group, called the campaigners evil. He paints a graphic picture
of a paralysed city and plunging stockmarket, with law and order
breaking down. “Let us not let some dreaming, wild-thinking person
think they can be immortalised by doing something crazy. Why should we
suffer for them? What do we stand to gain?” he asked. “Nothing. What do
we stand to lose? Everything.”

A poll by the non-partisan Hong Kong Transition Project
(pdf) found that 54% were opposed to Occupy Central, and only 38%
supported it – though were Beijing to warn against participation,
campaigners would gain support.



Religion gets in the way of human rights

This is my sincere belief, religion should be used as a shield (to comfort the afflicted) and not as a sword (harm the powerless). Since this is not the way things are, it is desirable that religion (and religious doctrines) be banned from the public place.

I understand the difficulty of doing away with age-old traditions, but still the question needs to be asked: why does the Bheel community not cremate the (dead) bodies? Is it not a win-win situation, no unnecessary offense given to the majority, while satisfying criteria set by your own religion (presumably one cant escape by being an atheist). Finally cremation with assistance of electric furnaces are probably a better deal for the environment. Of course in extremis (and that will come for sure in a few decades time) the only possible options will be to convert or to migrate.

But that day, as Bhoro Bheel’s relatives were digging his grave, his
elder brother Moti Bheel says, “Some people warned us against burying
Bhoro in Haji Faqeer graveyard.” He says he was told that the cemetery
was reserved for Muslims and that the Shariah did not allow the burial
of non-Muslims in a Muslim graveyard.

As news of the problem over
the burial spread, many locally influential people, including the
Muslim landowner who employs Bhoro Bheel’s family as farm workers, got
involved. Together, they ensured that the burial took place.

as the Bheels were leaving the graveyard, says Moti Bheel, a few people
turned up and told him and his relatives to exhume Bhoro Bheel’s body
and bury it somewhere else. “They threatened us. They said they would
exhume the body themselves if we did not do so on our own,” Moti Bheel
tells the Herald. The next morning, the Bheels informed the local police
of the threats. This, however, did not deter the other side. “In the
evening, a member of the Bheel community informed us that some people
were digging Bhoro’s grave,” says Moti Bheel. “When we reached there, a
charged crowed of 300 to 400 people had gathered and Bhoro’s body was
lying outside the grave,” he adds.

The crowd had come together
through the efforts of one Qari Abdul Basit, the administrator of a
madrasa in Pangrio. Working through local mosques, he had distributed a
fatwa against the burial of non-Muslims in Muslim graveyards.
He also
had prayer leaders announce that those who had exhumed Bhoro Bheel’s
body had discharged their religious duty and had not committed any

Perhaps deterred by such massive mobilisation, Shaukat
Khatyan, the senior superintendent of the local police, did not take any
action against those who had dug up the body even though he reached the
graveyard immediately after the exhumation. Instead, says Moti Bheel,
he told the Bheels to bury Bhoro Bheel elsewhere.

For the next
eight hours, Bhoro Bheel’s body lay in the open because the landless
Bheels did not have any place to bury it. Their employer came to their
rescue again and donated a six-acre plot of land to them for a
graveyard. Some of the Bheels, however, say they do not know how long
their landlord will allow them to bury their dead in the donated plot.

months later, a similar incident took place in another part of Badin –
in Goth Yar Mohammad Lund in Tando Bhago subdivision – where a recently
buried body of a Hindu was exhumed because it was buried in a graveyard
said to be reserved for Muslims. The only difference, this time around,
was that the exhumation was undertaken by the dead man’s own family
under severe pressure from the local Muslim community.

Allah Dino
Bheel, an old Hindu man, had died in Goth Yar Mohammad Lund on December
23, 2013, and was buried in Bachal Shah graveyard, near Tando Bhago
town. The next day, Allah Dino Khaskhaili, a Muslim prayer leader at a
local mosque, approached Allah Dino Bheel’s sons – Laung, Ramchand and
Dano – and told them to exhume their father’s body and bury him
elsewhere. The prayer leader told them that the Islamic Shariah did not
allow the burial of non-Muslims in a graveyard for Muslims.
said his followers would exhume Allah Dino Bheel’s body if the Bheel
brothers refused to. With Bhoro Bheel’s example still fresh in their
minds, Laung Bheel and his brothers decided to retrieve their father’s
body and bury him elsewhere.

When Aftab Aghim, the deputy
superintendent of local police, received information about the
exhumation, he rushed to the spot and ordered the Bheels to stop. This
angered Khaskhaili so much that he called for a shutdown of Tando Bhago,
leading to the immediate closure of all local businesses, while some of
his supporters blocked all entry and exit points of the town. Aghim,
then, held prolonged discussions with the elders of both communities and
proposed to build a wall within the graveyard to separate the graves of
the Hindus from those of the Muslims. Luckily, say eyewitnesses, the
two sides agreed to his proposal and the situation was defused. 



High HDI peeps fight (fear of) extinction

The demographics of Kerala is as per this 2012 citation (may not be authoritative)

(Highest Population
(Lowest Population)
Decadal Population Growth
– 1.48
+ 1.70
– 0.32

Anyhow the actual numbers do not matter (as usual) it is the perception that counts. There are Christians who fear (or claim that fellow Christians feel this) that they will be swamped by Muslim population growth.

Accordingly, the St Vincent De Paul Forane Church in Kalpetta has presented an innovative plan to reverse population decline: pay every Catholic family 10,000/- for the fifth child.

This being Kerala the fight the extinction plan has a number of detractors within the flock as well as without. The comments were the least to say interesting (my response in bold). The most interesting comment IMO was from a Muslim who supported the initiative wholeheartedly.

(1)“The incentives are not going to help increase the population”:T M Thomas Issac ( Former Finance Minister of Kerala & CPIM central committee member)

– as he is in a party of non-believers so this may have biased him against the initiative. 

That said I actually agree that the incentive is too low and for too many kids (1 Lakh per child for 3 kids may be fine, the church can certainly afford it, also the incentive amount can be connected to family assets as well).

(2)  “Christian extremism is more intense than Muslim extremism”: Sister Jessmy (Former Principal of St Mary’s College)– 

I am quite orthodox in thinking when it comes to the number of
children in a family. I was born in a family of seven children. The more
the number of children the more the training you get. Not just from
your parents but also from your sisters and brothers. The argument for
reducing the number of children is that they can be given better care
and education. However, if you consider the money spent on counseling
the children of families having single or two children, we may conclude
it’s much better to have more children.

If there are more children, when they grow up and start working, it
would be economically beneficial for the entire family. But there is no
holy intention behind the church’s five children programme. Their only
aim is to increase the vote banks. They want to increase their
representation in the administrative system. This is an attempt to
reduce the Muslim influence too.

In Kerala Christian extremism is more intense than Muslim extremism.
Muslim extremism is visible from outside. The extremism and fanaticism
hidden inside Christians are more dangerous. Who were the worst? Those
who chopped off the hands of T T Joseph or those who kicked him out of
his job.

 – Here is a true believer who actually endorses the policy but raises important questions about intent. As an aside I agree with her that the Church was simply in the wrong to kick out Joseph (also when it claimed that it will use its muscle to ensure that the (Christian) fishermen killing Italians will go home free).

(3) “Increasing the population by paying money is anti religious”: Stephen Aalathara (KCBC spokesperson) 

– This is not the first time that the Church has encouraged families to have more children but they do not want to incentivize this. Why? It makes no sense??

(4) This is anti- democratic unified civil code needs to be implemented”: U Kalanadhan (State president, Yukthivaadi Sankhadana) ( Atheist Association)

Article XXX of the Indian Constitution confers certain rights to minorities. This is against the XIVth
article of the Indian Constitution that states that all individuals are
equally before law. The article gives right to the minorities to the
act against the constitution. For example take the case of marriage
among the Muslim population. According to Muslims there is nothing wrong
in having four wives. If you have five wives the child born out of the
fifth wife will have no right on their ancestral property. This has lead
to an increase in the Muslim population to a great extend.

The Christians are trying to compete with them by giving incentives
to have more children. The funding comes from abroad. Christians
recognize only monogamy and hence they have come up with this solution.

The only solution to this increasing competition among religious
groups is implementation of the universal civil code mentioned in the 44th schedule. But the politicians are not willing to implement this law as they are afraid of losing their vote banks.

 – Par for the course for spokesman of an atheist organization (in his manner of speech he can substitute for a member of any Hindutva group).

(5) “While farmers were committing suicide they were busy spending crores for constructing churches”: Lean Thobias (Creative Director, Panorama)

While I was working in Malayala Manorama, I had been to Wayanad to study farmer’s suicide over there. While talking to one family we realized that there were a few factors
besides agricultural problems that had caused these suicides. He like
many other farmers had to pay huge amounts to the church. His son was
studying in a private management school. 
 All these problems coupled
together led to the suicide of that person in that particular family.
While the suicides were being committed huge churches were being
constructed in that area.

I am a catholic believer and am quite active member of the church. I
informed the church about the distress faced by the farmers over there
no one was bothered…..

The present offer put forth by the church is 10,000 for that the 5th
child.  Can you imagine the problems the family will face once the
child grows up? I think this offer is made for increasing the fee in
Jubilee Medical College and the Christian vote banks. Poor men are
getting nothing out of any Christian institutions.

– This is a new angle on farmer suicides. While it is possible that anger is clouding his thinking, he raises some uncomfortable points (for all of us). The hopelessness will perhaps be felt more in high HDI societies like Kerala and that may be a causative factor behind the high suicide rate.

(6) No need to be afraid of an increase in population”: T Ariff Ali (Jammat- e- Islami Al Hind, Kerala President)

This is a very basic issue. Manpower can be seen in two ways;
Intellectual and physical. The people from Assam, Bihar, Bengal and the
like are pouring into Kerala. But here we don’t have anyone.  We are
exporting manpower to foreign countries.

All groups are afraid of the decrease in population. In the beginning
Christian society was afraid of increase in the population. Now they
are trying to correct it. There is no need to see any sort of
communalism in it. These reactions should never be considered communal.
According to Jamaat -e -Islami there is no need to be afraid of
increasing population.

– !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(7) “The aim is not to increase population but to encourage life”: Salu Mecherill ( St Vincent De Paul Forane Church Project Director)

The aim of the project is not to increase population but to encourage
life. There has been a drastic decline in youth population.  We intend
to rectify this problem. The aim of the project is to preserve life
until death.

The project couldn’t include other communities as the church can
conduct this project at present only in a small scale. We are part of
KCBC’s providence committee. We didn’t consult KCBC about this project.

These days women are reluctant to give birth to children. Many
couples are reluctant to have kids at all. In Kalpetta the rate of
farmers committing suicide are much less. The rate of increase of
population is much less than even the developed nations.

According to the central government, by 2030 Kerala would be a large
old age home. Hence it is necessary to have able youth that can work.
let other states do whatever they want.

There is nothing to be scared of. This is not meant for conducting
war or anything. Many countries in the world are carrying on with such a
project. It is not true that job opportunities are not increasing
according to the population.

– spoken like a true believer, refutes point #5 on farmer suicides, raises an important point of Kerala becoming an increasingly grey society, so some action must be taken. 

This is fine however IMO any incentives should ideally come from the govt and help out the most distressed communities.



HM and TTP – brothers (dis) united

No doubting the common bonds of religion, culture and most everything, however the goals are not aligned (the goal-posts have shifted) and even the playing fields have changed, all of this is causing unnecessary pain and heartburn amidst the brotherhood.

It is not even that one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter, it is one brother (freedom fighter) is denouncing the other brother’s actions as “anti-islam”. But why? HM is involved in a nationalist struggle (against Hindu dominated India) while TTP is engaged in a trans-nationalist struggle (against the secular state and for establishing Sharia). These objectives are at cross purposes only if an independent Kashmir plans to govern in secular prose and forswearing Sharia poetry. Someone (perhaps Arundhati Roy) should ask HM to clarify this point. It will be nice of her to remove all confusion, re-unite the brothers and get rid of the pain.

Upset by media reports linking a ‘militant commander’ from a tribal
area with it, the largest fighter group in India-held Kashmir, Hizbul
Mujahideen (HM), on Tuesday deplored what it termed an attempt to
tarnish its image. “Attempts to affiliate someone claiming responsibility for bomb
blasts in Pakistan with Hizbul Mujahideen to dent its credibility are
upsetting and painful,” said the group in a brief statement issued here,
in a reference to Major Mast Gul, alias Haroon Khan.

An earlier statement of the group mentioned Mr Gul by name, while
recalling that he had quit Hizbul Mujahideen before 2001. However, in a
revised statement, his name was taken off.
A section of the media had introduced Mr Gul as a Hizbul Mujahideen commander after he resurfaced in Miramshah early this month.

The Kashmiri fighter group made it clear that it deemed any militant
activity within Pakistan “nefarious and against the tenets of Islam”. 

“Hizbul Mujahideen is an indigenous freedom fighter group of
India-held Jammu and Kashmir and it is also a historical fact that the
Kashmiris hold Pakistan dearer than their lives,” it said….It paid tribute to the leadership and public of Pakistan for their
deep concern and moral, diplomatic and political support for the cause
of struggling Kashmiris. “Kashmiri people and fighters are also
prayerful for the safety of the people of Pakistan and stability of
their country.”