Archive for the ‘US’ Category

Was President Barack Obama’s speechwriter an Indian MP? His speech in Parliament was liked by the politicians and one can well understand why. It had references to Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, UN Security Council seat for India, 26/11 attacks, terrorism, Pakistan and even the Panchatantra! I am surprised he didn’t quote from the Vedas, Ramayan and Mahabharat! Or did he?

So just like the finance minister’s usual ‘please-all’ budget speech every year in Parliament, Obama too seemed intent on pleasing everyone. When the MPs who usually show their displeasure by either walking out or ‘rearranging’ the furniture in the House, were all praise for the speech, it could only mean one thing – that it was a truly political speech. And except for the Leftists, who anyway seem nowadays to subsist in a cocoon, everyone loved it. Were they expecting Obama to praise the Chinese?

Obama also made all the right noises. He rapped Pakistan and demanded they bring to book the culprits of 26/11. But please note, he did not tell the Pakistanis to hand over the perpetrators. He also praised the Indian Constitution which of course, made the parliamentarians very happy. Never mind, if they usually tear it to bits on most days during the proceedings and don’t care a hoot about Dr Ambedkar, except during election time.

Even the BJP, after the initial idiocy by Rajiv Pratap Rudy, fell in line. I, for one, couldn’t understand Mr. Rudy’s displeasure at Obama’s speech at a purely unofficial event at the Taj Mahal Hotel. I think Obama spoke well and recognised the bravery of those who were involved in the rescue attempts in Mumbai. Why should he politicise the event by dragging in Pakistan? And, anyway, why are we so hung up on forcing world leaders to spell out P-A-K-I-S-T-A=N every time one of them comes here. What purpose does it serve?

Every time a big-ticket leader from the West comes to India and utters the P word, the media and political class here get a virtual ‘high’. It’s almost as if Pakistan has been nuked! Then some idiotic copy editor writes the headline “US names Pakistan”. It makes one wonder whether they’re being blamed or knighted! So let’s stop behaving like five-year-olds who go crying to papa because someone ate their lollipop. And Papa admonishes the culprit gently, because after all, he is dealing with five-year-olds. Then he goes back to reading his newspaper! Let’s grow up.

Does Pakistan care? Heck does even the US care? They’re sending our neighbours billions of dollars in cash and weapons, most of which is used against us. Look how the President fumbled when a kid at Xavier’s asked him about why US was hesitant to call Pakistan a terrorist state. What a way he hummed and hawed, before giving an answer that would have made any civil servant proud. Wake up and smell the coffee. Pakistan is important in their scheme of things. By their virtual presence in the sub-continent the US is keeping China’s territorial ambitions in check. Russia is no more the power it was, and never will be. China is the only country that can challenge the US, both economically and militarily.

The other thing we keep reading about is India in the UN Security Council. The media ask very pointed questions on India’s hope for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and then ‘interpret’ the answer. Take a look this: “In the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed U.N. Security Council that includes India as a permanent member” followed by “The Obama administration wants to ‘send as clear a statement as possible’ that the United States sees India as a ‘rising player’ on the international stage” followed by “the US is ‘not getting into’ details about the time frame” followed by “the administration will let the key details be ‘hashed out’ by the United Nations itself.

Do any of the remarks make “as clear a statement as possible” that the US has or will support India’s bid? The Americans have very cleverly worded each statement leaving it open to conjecture and interpretation. Basically India could keep reaching for the sky, but all it will get is a fistful of cloud – and little or no help from the Americans. And that it could happen anytime between day after tomorrow and the next century – if it happens! But the Indian media has already decided that US “has backed India.” Let’s not forget that before that happens we have to cross the biggest hurdle – China. And knowing China’s love for political chicanery, our chances look pretty bleak. But that’s another story.


My former colleague and good friend, Candice, now a marketing manager at Vodacom in far away Dar es Salam, believes I should rename my blog “Mohan Sinha ko Gussa kyo aata hain!”

I shouldn’t be ranting and getting mad, she feels. There should be self-expression. She thinks I should be writing on Aloo tikki! I guess, that’s self-expression for her! I thought I expressed myself in a pretty lucid manner sometimes, a little too lucidly for my comfort and that of others around me! Ok Candice, this one’s for you!! No ranting, just some good-natured and light-hearted ‘self-expression’ about a few things!

A colleague told me (I am assuming, in jest), that I should not pen any posts criticizing the US government or the Americans. The reason, she explained, was that someone in the US Government might be trawling the web looking for anti-American sentiments by people from these parts and they might file my blog post away for future reference. So when I go to the US embassy for a visa, they might pull out my post, wave it in my face and accuse me of giving the US the middle finger! In other words I would never be allowed to board a plane for New York or wherever.

My take is, since US Immigration has already issued me with a multiple-entry business visa, which doesn’t look like it is EVER going to be put to any use, except to wipe my nose, I have no such worries! And if the Americans ever ask me why I said all those nice things about them, I am just going to say “BOO!” Hopefully, the US Marine who stands at the entrance of the Embassy on Warden Road in Mumbai would only have me evicted and not arrested for showing them my middle-finger.

On their previous visa application form they even had a question (thankfully removed later), which asked the applicant if he/she had ever indulged in terrorist activities against the US or intended to! So now you know how all the 9/11 hijackers got into the US. They lied through their gold capped teeth. So they learnt it from the masters of the game – the Americans themselves. Look at the way they’ve been lying about Headley, from the time they supposedly “arrested” him. Even a mentally challenged person knows by now that Headley is an American stooge and to allow some other country to interrogate him would be hara-kiri.

Which brings me to the Greeks….Remember this line? “Do not trust the Horse, Trojans / Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even bearing gifts.”. Every time some American official lands up at our door with news and tidings from the ‘Great One” I can’t get over the apprehension that they have some nasty surprises hidden up their sleeve. A few weeks ago one US official told India that they would be given access to Headley. Then a couple of days ago another official did a 180-degree turn! And at the same time we hear that the Americans are talking to the Pakistanis about a civilian nuclear deal.

They are even chatting up General Kiyani, who, to the Americans and the rest of the world, is the man holding the reins in Pakistan. This also makes it more than obvious, that the elected government there is nothing but a sham, and survives because it pleases the Pakistan Army establishment to tell the world that it is a ‘democracy’. The fact that the Americans are speaking specially with Kiyani is proof of his importance in the scheme of things.

God knows where Obama gets his moments of inspiration from. Right now, even a lot Americans don’t seem to be too enthused by their President. I hope for the sake of the sub-continent at least, He knows what he is up to. And I mean Him as in The Almighty. A lot of people believe that right now if a nuclear-armed Pakistan would pass into the hands of the Taliban, it would resemble a monkey with a loaded gun in its hands. You never really know how and who they’ll use it against. So where the Americans got this idea from to give civilian nuclear power is baffling. This is as crazy as the good Taliban and bad Taliban justification by the Americans! I wonder what happened to that, considering the fact that Pakistanis are experiencing a bomb blast a day.

So why do the Americans play these games and why do successive Indian governments fall for it? That’s a question only the Indian government can answer. But my take is, it bodes well for both the US government and its industries to keep the hysteria alive. The American weapons industry can continue to do roaring business with both governments, which is already in an advanced state of paranoia, while the US keeps up the pretence of brokering peace between the two warring neighbours.

We know the Pakistanis are never up to any good, so we are always wary of them. But we tend to trust the Americans and usually get taken for a ride. That is why I distrust them more than I do the Pakistanis. And that’s why I compare the Americans to the Greeks!

I wish that holding talks, peace marches and candlelight vigils at India Gate or the Wagah border could solve the problems between Indian and Pakistan. But since it can’t and never will, let’s get real.

Today at the South Asian Youth Peace Meet (SAYPM) at the Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication in Lavale, Chintamani Mahapatra, Chairman, Centre for Canada, US & Latin American Studies and Professor at the School of International Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, narrated a very interesting incident about the attitude of the members of a Pakistani delegation during a conference to discuss the problems between the two neighbours, held somewhere abroad.

During that conference, the Kargil fiasco erupted and the Pakistanis began to celebrate. Their mood would oscillate between fury and joy as they kept hearing about the developments. And these were people who were there for a peace meet!

One well known editor of a Pakistani newspaper came up to Mahapatra at the same conference, puffed up his chest and announced loudly, “Tell your government not to get too adventurous, Pakistan now has the bomb.”

Mahapatra reminded him that in the event of a nuclear war, lots of Indians might lose their lives, but looking at India’s population, millions will still survive. In Pakistan’s case, even that was doubtful! Incidentally, the conference was organised at Dr Mahapatra’s request, which goes to prove that good intentions, don’t mean much to the Pakistanis!

What I and, I’m sure, many others like me would like to know, is how a country, supposedly on the verge of bankruptcy half the time, and in the throes of anarchy, the other half of the time, can repeatedly tell its more powerful neighbour to F*** OFF, every time they are asked to arrest the people who plan terrorist attacks on Indian soil? My apologies for using the F word here, but there is really no other expression that fits so perfectly what the Pakistanis have been telling us to do for the past so many years.

See how the Pakistan Army hosts Hafeez Saeed at an Iftar, when they should, in reality be arresting him for his terrorist acts, or see the contempt with which the Pakistani foreign minister treats each dossier he receives from the Indian government. For that matter, see how easily Pervez Musharraf admits that the funds and weapons which were given by the US to fight the Taliban, were used against India. Even more ironical is A.Q. Khan stating that he had sold nuclear secrets to China, Iran and North Korea. Have you noticed any signs of surprise or outrage against any of these actions anywhere, except in India? I find it difficult to believe that the Americans didn’t know what Pakistan’s Dr. No was up to?

Take the case of Dawood Ibrahim. Indian Intelligence officials have given Pakistanis every single detail about the underworld don, but the Pakistanis simply junk it claiming that it’s not adequate. What else do they need – his underwear brand name?

Could the Pakistanis have done any of this without tacit backing of the Americans or Chinese? Don’t you find it strange that despite all the dirty tricks Pakistan indulges in, the US and Chinese continue to fund it? The Americans first castigate Pakistan for, “not doing enough” and then promptly send them a couple of billion dollars of funding to fight their “war on terror.”

A few days earlier, also at the SAYPM, well known reformist Asghar Ali Engineer, had me smiling when he said that wherever in the world there’s unrest and strife, there’s a US hand! A man after my own heart, this Mr Engineer!

The Indian sub-continent is becoming a very dangerous place, thanks to the Americans. They are running riot all over Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and no one can do anything about it. Things are slowly and surely spiraling out of control and the weak-kneed Indian government is busy sending out dossiers to all and sundry or flying out its ministers to meet God (read Obama) and complain to him about our unfriendly neighbours.

Just because Mahatma Gandhi told us to show the other cheek, must we take it so literally?

The 10 worst corporations of 2008

Posted: February 5, 2009 in US

Here’s something that I picked of the www, and which will definitely make you smile. A list of the ten worst corporations of 2008 in the US. There are names that you would usually have thought are the last word in corporate excellence. Some of them have tie-ups with some of our big names. Of course, I am not drawing any comparisons. I’ll leave that to you….Click here to read the list