Sunday, August 8, 2010

That's all, Your Honour!: Aug 1-6

1. A cloud burst in the town of Leh and adjoining villages in Jammu and Kashmir caused severe flash floods. Atleast 132 people are dead and more than 600 people are still missing in this tragedy. The Army, Indian Air Force, Indo-Tibetan border police, local people and even foreign tourists are all helping in the relief and rescue operations. The airport in Leh has been shutdown, and the region has practically lost it's connectivity to the rest of the world because of the damaged bridges and roads too. The Chief Minister is personally monitoring the sitation from Leh itself.

2. The other tragedy in Kashmir is being tracked in a separate blog piece
here. More than 1200 CRPF policemen have been injured in the stone pelting. About 45 civilians have so far died in the last 2 months. Curfew is being relaxed slowly in parts of Srinagar. And the delhi media is going gaga over the "independence" demand of these stone pelters; Sagarika Ghose of IBN even had a discussion on whether this whole "so called sacred-ness of kashmir's accession need reexamination?". Further more, she went on to enlighten us thus: "Kashmir's future shd surely be decided by the kashmiri people. Not by India's armed forces." I would strongly recommend that all of us read this piece by Chaitanya to understand why such "liberalism" in Kashmir is a fail. I repeat - must read!

3. So the Press Council of India prepares a report on "Paid News". This report has detais on which newspapers/channels resorted to the practice of "paid news". Now the members are divided on whether they have to publish the full report or not. No prizes for guessing which
majority prevailed? The one that did NOT want the full report published! Outlook has published the full report here, and the report has specific examples of complaints against newspapers/channels, big and small. However the report falls short of any concrete solutions for this menace. More importantly, look at how they voted in the meeting. Actually, look at the absentee list and the "non-commital" list. If politicians only back out like this, what hope will we have on reports coming out! (Outlook links via @vrsrini)

4. Remember the
Manipur blockade? Remember the relief felt when it was partially lifted? Turns out, it is a temporary relief, because the Naga groups are back to imposing the blockade for lack of proper response from the Central government! Adds another feather to the cap of this government really.

5. Now let's talk about the
Corruption Wealth Games. For starters, this detailed blog by Kanchan Gupta is a must read. Now, the President of the Indian Olympic Association, Suresh Kalmadi holds a press conference and refutes some charges, one of them being that he chose a firm to award a contract in UK, because it was recommended by the Indian High Commission in UK and produces an e-mail. Turns out that e-mail was doctored (no prizes for guessing who doctored it!). Keep wondering how a person at that position can be so stupid! A couple of days later, the Organizing Committee officials hold another press conference and try to clarify some more doubts (saying the Rs. 9 Lakh threadmill was designed by NASA, 100 rolls of tiolet paper cost Rs.4000 and not 1 roll as was projected etc!). In the meanwhile, as a face saving measure, 3 officials are suspended and one more resigns on "moral grounds". Another crucial thing to note here is the media's excessive concentration only on Suresh Kalmadi & co. All hungama about Shiela Dixit's government and Mani Shankar Aiyar's massive failure as Sports Minister in UPA-1 has been brushed under the carpet. You know what is the worst irony of these games - no one is actually talking about how our sports associations are gearing up the sportspersons for this event! The committee has promised $100,000 for training and we have no clue what kind of training our folks are undergoing! That's all, your honour!


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