The Chandi of Chandigarh

Brown Pundits Archive
Daughter of Lt Gen (retd) HD Panag and grand-daughter of Colonel Shamsher Singh (that is how you are introduced in India, no?).

Now Gul Panag plans to be an Aam Aurat from Chandigarh. In order to slay the (corruption) demon you need a Shakti (to bloody him) but also a Mohini (to dazzle him). Strongly recommended.


PS Dr Omar may want to comment about Colonel Shamsher Singh. After all the top military elites on both sides knew of each other quite intimately. This is what came up in a quick search.

Colonel Shamsher Singh was born during the First World War on July 8,
1916 in the Panag family of Mahadian village, Fatehgarh Sahib district.
After his schooling, he enrolled in the Mohindra College, Patiala, and
then began his career as an enlisted soldier with the Patiala State
Forces. Soon thereafter, he was selected for training at the Indian
Military Academy and was commissioned into 1st Patiala Lancers. As part
of the 1st Patiala Lancers, he participated in military operations in
the North West Frontier Province and World War II.

In 1946, he was transferred to 1st Patiala Rajindra Sikhs
Infantry Battalion. In March 1948, Col Shamsher Singh (a Major at that
time), then second-in-command, was made responsible for defence of Zoji
La and Gumri heights with a garrison of two companies. In spite of the
intense pressure from Pakistani troops who were desperate to capture
Zoji La so as to gain access to Srinagar and the valley, the Zoji La
garrison stalled the enemy advance and successfully defended the pass
from May to October 1948, after which the Indian Army re-grouped and
employed tanks of the 7th Cavalry to push the enemy back and open the
route to Kargil and Leh. The Sikh troops under Major Shamsher Singh
advanced to Kargil and picketed the surrounding heights thereafter.


Thanks Whats App

Brown Pundits Archive
Sometimes we worry that the generation that is growing up is turning out to be a bit more aggressive and insensitive than previously. Partly it comes from being chained to the (3) screens. Children nowadays barely have time to talk to older people- tech dinosaurs who dont really get what an app is.

BTW aggression is good if put to good use and in today’s world displaying the right amount of aggro is crucial. If you are seen to be a softy too many (cruel, ambitious) people will run over you.

But then how about civility? Should we not worry about teaching youngsters to be civil to others?  Bullying is a serious concern, lives are scarred (sometimes permanently) because of bullying.

My fear is that we are targeting the wrong crowd. It is the grown-ups..ourselves.. who need to be cautioned about our behavior, to lead (and demonstrate) by example. 

If children are found to be behaving thuggishly, focus on the vicious parents and penalize them. Leave the kids alone, let them watch and (hopefully) learn.

Finally, banning mobiles in school will be counter-productive. It is sufficient if mobiles are seen but not heard.
A day after a video showing two class VI students from Modern school, Vasant Vihar
(Delhi) bullying their senior had gone viral on social media,
the school
management on Thursday said that the offenders had been asked to
withdraw from the school.

“Those two students, who were the
aggressors, have now withdrawn from the school. They were asked to
leave. As we did not want to hamper the future of the children, we asked
their parents to kindly withdraw them,” said Ashok Pratap Singh,
Trustee of Modern School, Vasant Vihar.

A video showing the two
class VI students bullying and attacking one class VII student, while
two others were seen cheering them had gone viral on mobile messaging
application ‘Whats App’, leading to demands of strict action against
them by shocked parents.

Subsequently, in an open house meeting
of parents and school management today, it was announced that the two
students have been asked to withdraw from the school. Moreover, the two
other students who were seen cheering in the video have been given
strict warning.

Incidentally, students are banned from using mobile phones in the school campus.


Spy Games

Brown Pundits Archive
The news from the durbar is not pleasant these days (barbarians in the outer reaches are behaving despicably). But deep in the belly of the beast things are not so calm either.

The CIA is spying on Congress (shock horror), the Congress is spying back (fainted, pass the smelling salts), the White House is silent (as befits the leading from behind strategy). What possibly can go wrong?
digital pile was unwieldy, with no index or structure. Investigators
organized their searches around names of CIA prisoners, scanning for any
references to Khalid Sheik Mohammed and others who had been held at the secret CIA sites.

how the committee obtained that document remains unclear. Feinstein
said it was found on the shared database using a search tool provided by
the agency. “The committee staff did not hack into CIA computers to
obtain these documents,” she said.

“The firewall was breached,” said a U.S. official briefed on the matter. “They figured out a work-around.” If
true, that would represent an embarrassing lapse in security in the
computer system assembled by the agency. But, to agency officials, such a
breach and a concern about getting caught would explain why the
committee last year began asking for documents it already had. Committee officials flatly deny that the files were obtained through surreptitious means. The
dispute has exposed a thicket of potential conflicts. Among them is the
fact that the CIA’s acting general counsel, who Feinstein said is named
in the report more than 1,600 times, made the criminal referral about
committee staff to the Justice Department.

The fallout has also
focused attention on Feinstein and Brennan, revealing a deep rupture
between two of the most powerful figures in the U.S. intelligence
community that has the potential to spill into other areas where spy
agencies rely on Feinstein as an ally. Feinstein has been among
the most ardent backers of the CIA’s drone campaign, for example, citing
a deep confidence in the information that she and her staff have
gleaned from frequent and detailed briefings provided by the same agency
she has now accused of a pattern of misconduct and deception. Brennan
is widely respected for his integrity and deep experience in
intelligence work. But some congressional officials this week questioned
whether his indignation at the committee’s charges — and a tendency to
dig in his heels when challenged — had worsened the conflict.

this will be resolved will show whether the intelligence committee can
be effective in monitoring and investigating our nation’s intelligence
activities,” Feinstein said, “or whether our work can be thwarted by
those we oversee.”




Brown Pundits Archive
The new Emir is stirring up a shit-storm. It is unfortunate that all these wealthiest countries do not know of a way to gain stature except by stabbing their friends in the back (it is a different matter that their friends are not loveable). Why not for example invest in science and technology and have a plan to compete with Israel (bring in foreigners to help you climb the ladder quickly). Instead what we have is massive stadiums designed like lady bits. 

That said one can sort of admire Qatar playing on so many sides all at once. They host US troops and also the man who wants Americans pushed off into the sea. They host the BBC of the mid-east (Al Jazeera) known for speaking its mind (but not on Qatari affairs). Well played.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, met secretly in
Kuwait last month with foreign ministers from five neighboring
countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
According to two people with direct knowledge of this meeting, the five
foreign ministers had a simple message for the emir: Cut it out — we
know what you’re doing.

Qatar is a tiny country — a mole on the
back of Saudi Arabia — yet one that makes its presence felt in
disproportionate and often destructive ways. It hosts the forward
headquarters of U.S. Central Command, but also provides material support
to the Muslim Brotherhood, to Hamas (the Palestinian branch of the
Brotherhood), and to radical Sunni outfits in Syria, among others.

a few encouraging signals, the Qataris have returned to form, and even
expanded their portfolio of meddling in regional uprisings, providing
support to Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The support for the
Houthis was too much for Saudi Arabia, which engineered the ultimatum
delivered last month.

The reaction of the emir was predictable: He
denied everything, according to my sources. Qatar is not supporting the
Muslim Brotherhood, not supporting the al-Qaeda-influenced Nusra Front
in Syria and not supporting the Houthis. The foreign ministers provided
the emir with direct evidence, but the denials continued until the
meeting broke up.

After this meeting, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and
the U.A.E. all recalled their ambassadors from Qatar, commencing a new
stage in this Gulf cold war. Qatar has shown no sign that it is willing
to stop its support for radical groups; no sign that it will stop using
its television network, Al Jazeera, to cause problems for its neighbors
(while scrupulously avoiding criticizing Qatar itself, of course); and
no sign that it will prevent the region’s most important Sunni cleric,
the radical and radically dyspeptic Yusuf al-Qaradawi, from using Qatar
as a base to foment outrage on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt
and elsewhere.



The western frontier

Brown Pundits Archive
The powers that be need to find a way to prevent the fight in Syria from spreading to SAsia. Iran and Pakistan must engage in confidence building exercise, it will be a very nice gesture on behalf of Pakistan to get the (5) Iranian guards released safely and returned home. If the western frontier goes up in flames the suffering of aam aadmi in Baluchistan and elsewhere will reach a crisis point (if it has not already done so).

In the immediate aftermath of the kidnappings, the Iranian government
expressed indignation at the Pakistan government for its failure to do more to
curb the tide of Sunni Islamists in the country. Iranian Interior
Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli went so far as to threaten to send
Iranian troops into Pakistan to secure the border guards’ release.

This prompted Islamabad to respond by saying, “Iranian forces have no
authority to cross our borders in violation of the international law. We must
respect each other’s borders.”
It also added, “The government of Pakistan
regrets the suggestions of negligence on its part over the incident, especially
when Pakistan’s active support against terrorists groups in the past is
well-known and acknowledged by Iran.”

A more serious flashpoint between Pakistan and Iran is taking place farther
away in Syria. Specifically, numerous media outlets and private intelligence
firms have confirmed that recent Pakistani-Saudi Arabian defense cooperation
meetings have been aimed at reaching an agreement whereby Riyadh would purchase
military arms from Islamabad for Syrian opposition forces.
to the reports, Saudi funds will be used to purchase Chinese
shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank missiles
—among other
weapons—that will be smuggled into Syria via Jordan.

Such a deal would place Pakistan and Iran closer to direct confrontation as
Iranian troops and their Hezbollah allies have long been operating in Syria in
an effort to shore up the Bashar al-Assad government. Should Pakistani supplied
arms bring down an Iranian transport plane, for example, Tehran would be hard
pressed not to retaliate against Pakistan in some fashion.



“jab sab faansi par latkaye jaege”

Brown Pundits Archive

Right now the situation in India is desperate. Even in the so-called woman-safe Mumbai, ladies are being molested in broad daylight. We have all become passive observers even when injustice happens in front of our eyes, because we are deadly afraid of …what exactly? Death will come to all of us some day, it is really the fear of death that stops us from helping out a (wo)man in distress.

I am not in favor of death penalty because the system can always make mistakes and we should not have to lose even one innocent man. That said these folks deserve no mercy and should never again see the light of freedom.

The Delhi high
court on Thursday upheld the death sentence awarded to the four convicts in
the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl here on December 16, 2012
that shook the nation’s conscience and led to widespread protests.

A bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani confirmed the sentence of
Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh, saying the offense
committed by them falls in the category of rarest of the rare and upheld their

“Death reference is accepted. Death sentence awarded by the trial court is
affirmed. The appeals of the convicts are dismissed,” the bench said.

The parents of the victim were also present in the court at the time of
pronouncement of the verdict.
“We have got full faith in the judiciary. We had expected this verdict.
But the ultimate satisfaction will be when the convicts meet to their ultimate
fate,” the mother of the 23-year-old paramedic told the media outside
court room after the verdict was delivered.

“Hume pura nayay tabhi milega jab sab faansi par latkaye jaege (We will
get justice only when all of them will be hanged),” she said.



MH 370 horror story

Brown Pundits Archive
Where is that plane? It can be in Australia, Korea, Pakistan, anywhere? God this is scary.

investigators suspect the missing Malaysian airliner was in the air for
four hours after its last confirmed contact, and may have been diverted
to an unknown location, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

It said US aviation investigators and national security officials are
basing their theory on data automatically downloaded and sent to the
ground from the Boeing 777’s Rolls-Royce engines, which suggested the plane flew for a total of five hours.

The WSJ attributed the information to two unidentified sources
“familiar with the details”. Contacted by AFP, Rolls-Royce in Singapore
said it could not comment on an ongoing investigation.



Devyani and Sangeeta

Brown Pundits Archive
This may help (not likely) put a lid over the ugliness but India will need to watch-out about the other maid/victims who are off-shore with diplomatic personnel.  
The choice is to make them (Indian) govt employees with a special paygrade to avoid exploitation compalints, or even better …. get rid of the entire sordid arrangement.

Also, now that Sangeeta is free from both the clutches of both (uncaring) employer and (uncaring) husband, it is to be hoped that her new home-land will be able to provide for her (and her children) a rewarding and fulfilling future.
Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade whose arrest and strip-search spurred an
international flap had charges against her dismissed by a US court on

The US district judge’s ruling said that Devyani Khobragade had
diplomatic immunity when she was indicted on charges of fraudulently obtaining
a work visa for her housekeeper and lying about the maid’s pay

suggested they might refile the charges stemming from claims she exploited her housekeeper

In a new twist to the India-US row involving Indian diplomat Devyani
Khobragade, the domestic help, who was at the centre of the controversy, and
her husband have filed for divorce citing differences between them.

Philip Richard, the husband of Khobragade’s help Sangeeta, and their
children were flown to New York by the US Embassy in Delhi on trafficking visas
days before Khobragade was arrested on charges of visa fraud in December.

Speaking to The Indian Express over phone, Richard said he was disappointed
with what he called the way his wife started to lie to him and the couple
decided to part ways. They filed for divorce in January, he said, but added
that he would continue to defend his wife against Khobragade’s allegations.

“She stopped telling me where she is going and with whom. She started to
lie. She said something and did just the opposite. But I still support her in
the case against Devyani as I know she is not at fault there,” Richard said.



Kashmir: the avalanche season

Brown Pundits Archive

Official sources told The Hindu that Naik Vijay Pratap and
Dharmendra Singh of the Army were killed when their shed collapsed under
an avalanche at their camp at Batra in Drass area of Kargil. Three
Nepalese workers died when their stone quarrying site caved in near
Kargil due to heavy snowfall.

A Gujjar family’s hutment collapsed at Balsaran in Damhal Hanjipora
foothills of Pir Panjal mountain range, killing three inmates — Rashid
Gorsi (24), Talib Gorsi (12) and Altaf Gorsi. Nine members of the family
sustained injuries and were evacuated. Three women — Rehti of Manigam Qazigund, Jana of Badipora Chadoora and Fazi of Kansu Shopian —died when their houses collapsed. Manzoor Ahmad of Kadalbal Pampore, who was on his way from Ramsu to
Ramban, was killed in a landslip in Panthal on Srinagar-Jammu highway.

About 100 people have been evacuated from Waltengo Naar and other
hamlets of the Pir Panjal foothills to safer places in Kulgam, Anantnag,
Shopian and Rajouri districts. Sources said that over 200 cattle
perished in different incidents. 

Explosion felt like 9/11, earth-quake, World War II

Brown Pundits Archive
Total 8 dead, 60+ injured, and some people (numbers unknown) missing
The World War reference is likely from watching TV (the lady is only 30 years old).

What must be a minor miracle that a total of 15 apartments were wiped out and only (8) dead…yet. But also this, it is not common knowledge that gas explosions can be this lethal. 
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called
the incident “a tragedy of the worst kind” and warned a number of
people were still unaccounted for, raising fears of possible further losses.

Firefighters battled throughout the afternoon to extinguish the heavy fire
in East Harlem, where witnesses compared the scene of twisted metal, thick
white smoke and dusty rubble to a war zone.

The explosion sparked inevitable reminders for some New Yorkers of the 9/11
terror attacks in 2001 that brought down the Twin Towers. Other witnesses said
it felt like an earthquake.

There were 15 apartments in the two buildings that collapsed, de Blasio and
city officials told reporters near the scene at 116th Street and Park Avenue, a
mainly Latino community.
Around 15 minutes before the blast, energy company Con
Edison received a call from an adjoining apartment building alerting
maintenance staff to the smell of gas. The explosion struck around 9:30 am
(1330 GMT) and the New York Fire Department said firefighters were on the scene
two minutes later.

Four different hospitals told AFP
they treated a total of 63 patients, the vast majority with minor injuries.

A spokesman for Mount Sinai said 22 people, including three children, were
treated. Nineteen were discharged. One woman was “critical but
stable” with a head trauma and two other people were still being evaluated
in the emergency room, the spokesman said.
The New York City Health and
Hospitals Corporation tweeted that its Harlem and Metropolitan Hospitals
received a total of 30 patients who suffered a variety of injuries. A
spokeswoman for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital said that doctors received 11
patients, with 10 still under evaluation.

Jazzmen Arzuaga, 30, said she was at work at a hospital when her wife rang
to tell her what had happened. “She called me and told me ‘Oh my God, you
need to come home now, it’s like World War II, people are dying, there was an
explosion.’ I just literally ran,” she said.
The couple live across the
street from the blast. Arzuaga’s wife Jay Virgo, also 30, said she was lying in
bed when the blast threw her to the floor. “There was glass everywhere,
huge pieces of glass. It just looked crazy,” she said.

Con Edison confirmed that a resident reported smelling gas inside the
apartment building at 1652 Park Avenue. “Our crews are checking our gas
lines and working to isolate any leaks that they find and they’re working
closely with the FDNY to make the area safe,” company spokesman Bob McGee