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Archive for category India Hall of Shame

THE SIKH HOLOCAUST 1984 : RAPE OF SIKH WOMEN BY HINDUS IN 1984-1 : SIKH RIGHTS GROUP DECRIES “SILENCE” OVER 1984 VICTIMS

 

 

 

Banya will never accept a Sikh as a citizen of Bharat.Its his Bharatmata not of the Sikh Religion

THE SIKH HOLOCAUST 1984 : RAPE OF SIKH WOMEN BY HINDUS IN 1984-1 : SIKH RIGHTS GROUP DECRIES “SILENCE” OVER 1984 VICTIMS

SIKH RIGHTS GROUP DECRIES “SILENCE” OVER 1984 VICTIMS
SARABJIT PANDHER

Rights group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), while sending its “deepest condolences” to the family of the Delhi gang rape victim, has questioned the silence of the administration, politicians and the justice system over the rape of women of the Sikh community in broad daylight during the genocide that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.
“BUSES USED”

In a release, the SFJ said it shared the pain of the family who lost her for no fault of her own. During the November 1984 riots, Delhi public buses were used to transport squads that raped Sikh women in November 1984, it alleged.
Responding to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s statement that as a woman and mother, she could understand the protesters’ emotions, the SFJ wondered if she had conveniently forgotten the “vicious cycle of rape and murder let loose against Sikh women in 1984 at the behest of her husband.”
Why did she or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh never visit the hundreds of Sikh victims languishing in “Widow Colony” just a few miles from the Parliament of the greatest democratic country, it asked.
For the last 28 years, successive Indian governments had given open immunity to those who perpetrated violent crimes against Sikh women, it said.
Khap leaders’ remarks
Meanwhile, the Haryana unit of the CPI(M) has taken strong exception to certain utterances by the “so-called Khap leaders.”
They reportedly described most of the rape complaints as fake and consensual.
The party objected to their reported opinion that most of the rape complaints were made for extorting money from the accused persons.
State unit secretary Inderjit Singh, in a statement, expressed grave concern at such “outrageous” remarks, particularly at a time when the entire country was displaying its anger against incidents of rapes and sexual assault on women.
The party also took a serious view of the fact that while cases were being perpetrated unabated, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who holds the Home portfolio, was “maintaining an astonishing silence.”
Keywords: Rights group Sikhs for Justice, Delhi gang-rape case, 1984 anti-sikh genocide, Indira Gandhi assassination,

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Gambling against Armageddon by Amb.Munir Akram, former Pakistan ambassador to the UN

Gambling against Armageddon

By

Munir Akram, former Pakistan ambassador to the UN | 

 

IN an opinion piece last year, Henry Kissinger observed that over the next couple of decades a nuclear war was likely to take place between India and Pakistan. The nuclear factor was in play in four major and one minor India-Pakistan crises: in 1987, 1990, 1998, 1999 and 2002.
 
In 1987, when an Indian army chief launched the Brasstacks military exercises along Pakistan’s exposed desert borders, Pakistan responded by deploying its forces in the north where India was vulnerable. Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s agreement to a mutual stand-down no doubt also took into account the informal threat from Islamabad to bomb India’s nuclear reactors in case Pakistan was attacked. (After the crisis ended, the Pakistan-India agreement not to attack each other’s nuclear facilities was jointly formulated in one day.)
 
In January 1990, when the anti-Indian insurgency erupted in Kashmir and India threatened Pakistan, a conflict was forestalled by US intervention. The US acted when it learnt that Pakistan had begun to arm its nuclear-capable aircraft.

The operation of mutual deterrence between India and Pakistan is being eroded.


armageddon21During the night of 26-27 May 1998 — the night before Pakistan conducted its nuclear explosions in response to India’s tests — Pakistani radar detected unidentified aircraft flying towards its territory. Islamabad issued warnings of instant retaliation to India and relayed these to the US and Israel. This may have been a false alarm; but it illustrates the danger of accidental conflict in the absence of real-time communications.
During the 1999 Kargil war, the nuclear dimension was implicit, given that the crisis occurred a year after the India-Pakistan nuclear tests.
 
During the 2002 general mobilisation by India and Pakistan, the director general of the Pakistan Armed Forces Special Plans Division enunciated its nuclear ‘doctrine’ in a news interview. The ‘doctrine’ envisaged that Pakistan would use nuclear weapons if: it was being militarily overwhelmed; its nuclear or strategic weapons or facilities were attacked; and it was subjected to an enemy blockade.
 
The projection of this doctrine, including at a UN news conference by this writer in July 2002, sparked a fall in the Indian Stock Exchange, the evacuation of foreign personnel and embassy families from New Delhi and a demarche by Indian business leaders to prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, and reportedly led to the Indian agreement for a mutual drawback of forces.
 
The operation of mutual deterrence displayed in 2002, however, is being eroded by several developments.
 
One, the conventional military balance is becoming progressively unfavourable to Pakistan. India is engaged in a major arms build-up. It is the world’s largest arms importer today. It is deploying advanced and offensive land, air and sea weapons systems. Pakistan’s conventional capabilities may not prove sufficient to deter or halt an Indian attack.
 
Two, India has adopted the Cold Start doctrine envisaging a rapid strike against Pakistan. This would prevent Pakistan from mobilising its conventional defence and thus lower the threshold at which Pakistan may have to rely on nuclear deterrence.
 
Three, Pakistan has had to deploy over 150,000 troops on the western border due to its involvement in the cross-border counterterrorism campaign in Afghanistan, reducing its conventional defence capacity against India.
 
Four, the acquisition of foreign nuclear plants and fuel, made possible by the Indo-US civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, will enable India to enlarge its nuclear weapons stockpile significantly. To maintain nuclear balance, Pakistan has accelerated production of fissile materials. Both nuclear arsenals are now large and growing.
 
Five, given its growing conventional disadvantage, and India’s pre-emptive war fighting doctrine, Pakistan has been obliged to deploy a larger number of nuclear-capable missiles, including so-called ‘theatre’ or tactical nuclear-capable missiles. The nuclear ‘threshold’ is now much lower.
 
Six, the Kashmir dispute — once described by former US president Bill Clinton as a nuclear flashpoint — continues to fester. Another insurgency is likely to erupt, certainly if the Bharatiya Janata Party government goes ahead with its platform promise to abrogate Article 370 of the Indian constitution (which accords special status to Jammu & Kashmir). A renewed Kashmiri insurgency will evoke Indian accusations against Pakistan and unleash another Indo-Pakistan crisis.
 
Seven, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has obviously decided to adopt an aggressive posture towards Pakistan, no doubt to appeal to his hard-line Hindu constituency. The recent ceasefire violations along the Line of Control are an ominous indication of such belligerency.
 
Eight, India is reportedly involved in supporting the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and the Baloch Liberation Army to destabilise Pakistan internally.
 
Nine, India has terminated the ‘composite dialogue’ with Pakistan. Its precondition for talks — an “absence of violence” — is impossible for Pakistan to meet.
 
Ten, the US and other major powers evince little interest in addressing the combustible mix of live disputes, terrorist threats, conventional arms imbalance and nuclear weapons in South Asia.
 
During the parallel dialogue initiated by the US with Pakistan and India following their 1998 nuclear explosions, Pakistan proposed a ‘strategic restraint regime’ with India which would include mechanisms to resolve disputes, including Kashmir; preserve a conventional arms balance and promote mutual nuclear and missile restraint.
India rejected the concept of a mutual restraint regime.
 
The US at first agreed to consider Pakistan’s proposal. However, as their talks with India transitioned from restricting India’s nuclear programme to building a “strategic partnership” (against China), the Americans de-hyphenated policy towards Pakistan and India, opened the doors to building India’s conventional and nuclear capabilities and disavowed any interest in the Kashmir dispute. Currently, Indian belligerence is bolstered by US pressure on Pakistan to halt fissile material production and reverse the deployment of theatre nuclear-capable missiles.
 
If a South Asian Armageddon is to be prevented, it is essential to build a structure of stable deterrence between India and Pakistan and find ways to deal with Kashmir and other outstanding disputes. Reviving consideration of a strategic restraint regime would be a good place to start.
 
The writer is a former Pakistan ambassador to the UN.

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PAKISTANI PARENTS ALERT: Beyond Stanford: Silicon Valley foreign talent pipeline winds through little-known schools

Beyond Stanford: Silicon Valley foreign talent pipeline winds through little-known schools

Lauren Hepler
Economic Development Reporter-
Silicon Valley Business Journal

An overview of the number of F-1 international student visas issued for Silicon Valley colleges, ranging from expensive and elite Stanford University to schools with much less name recognition — and much murkier academic and legal positions.

 

VisaMillPic

 

 

It’s no secret that Silicon Valley is powered in large part by imported talent.
More than a quarter of a million college-educated, foreign-born workers are employed in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, according to think tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley.
But a new report reveals a disconnect between the stereotypical image of international Stanford computer science grads coding away on Google Inc.’s newest products and the day-to-day reality for many foreign-born students seeking their big break in Silicon Valley.
About 19,000 students, more than 10,400 from India alone, studied in the San Jose metro area on F-1 international student visas from 2008-2012, according to the new Brookings Institution report based on federal immigration records. That makes Silicon Valley the No. 9 market nationwide for F-1 students behind larger urban areas like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
However, three out of the top five colleges for international students — Sunnyvale’s for-profit Herguan University, plus San Jose-based International Technological University and Silicon Valley University — deviate from traditional higher education models, offering cheaper tuition and mostly advanced-degree programs driven by workforce demand.
“You see these schools that you haven’t seen before or heard of,” said study author and Brookings fellow Neil Ruiz. Ruiz found that most international students nationwide still end up at large, traditional schools like the University of Southern California and Columbia University. That makes Silicon Valley “an outlier,” he said.
Some of the under-the-radar schools in Silicon Valley have been linked to federal immigration investigations. 2012 tax filings for ITU also reveal operating losses and loans to now-departed executives. Silicon Valley University’s filings indicate atypical work arrangements and pay for board members and its CEO.
The question now is whether pending visa fraud charges against Herguan CEO Jerry Wang, along with inflamed immigration politics and spiking demand for tech talent during a tech boom will alter the region’s unique market for international education.
In the meantime, the economic stakes for the students — and Silicon Valley — are enormous.
Ruiz said that the nearly 20,000 international students that have cycled through the region on F-1 visas from 2008-2012 paid more than $600 million in tuition and local living costs (not factoring in financial aid). There are also international business ties to consider.
 it’s same thing with the financial hub in San Francisco (that) is well connected with Beijing and Seoul.”
Feeding the STEM talent pipeline
One city rises far above the others as the most common hometown for Silicon Valley’s international student base.
The No. 1 location of origin is the South Indian city of Hyderabad, which accounted for 2,826 students on F-1 visas, the new Brookings report found. No. 2 is Mumbai with 529 students, then Beijing with 447 students and Seoul with 440 students.
Past reports by Ruiz and others have established a similar pattern of Silicon Valley’s reliance on India, along with other Asian nations, for workers employed through H-1B visas — a separate legal area that has raised concerns from critics about underpaying workers or eliminating jobs for U.S. citizens.
Both H-1B and F-1 visas have been a target of Silicon Valley immigration reform lobbying efforts, which seek to raise the number of available visas and allow companies to hire more international workers.
The majority of students on F-1 visas, just under 10,000 individuals from 2008-2012, studied engineering or computer science, Brookings reported. About 4,700 students studied business disciplines, seeking an MBA or degrees in fields like marketing and sales.
How those skills actually translate to the region’s job market, however, remains up for debate. Silicon Valley ranks No. 50 nationwide when it comes to retention of foreign students, with just 35 percent staying in Silicon Valley after school.
While immigrant workers and their employers often argue that federal immigration laws make it difficult to stay in the country legally, the low retention numbers also raise questions about the real-world value of degrees completed by foreign students.
In the meantime, Ruiz is interested in figuring out what sorts of marketing American colleges are doing to attract foreign students, particularly in Southern India.
“I don’t know how they’re being recruited,” he said. “We need that story to actually see the link.”
Going to school for a degree or a visa?
The new Brookings Institution report isn’t the first to highlight inconsistencies in the educational opportunities available to international students in Silicon Valley.
As far back as 2011, the Chronicle of Higher Education detailed a system where colleges including Herguan University, “exploit byzantine federal regulations, enrolling almost exclusively foreign students and charging them upward of $3,000 for a chance to work legally in the United States. They flourish in California and Virginia, where regulations are lax.”
But that narrative has shifted with 2012 criminal charges against Herguan University CEO Wang and heightened demand for tech talent from large employers. And the three lesser-know schools attracting large numbers of international students in Silicon Valley occupy distinctly different niches.
Wang was indicted on federal visa fraud charges and is currently awaiting a November court date with a Northern California U.S. District Judge, court records show. That hasn’t interrupted the school’s advertising of its low-cost courses.
Herguan has also accumulated a handful of recent online reviews. They range from a one-star “Fake school do not go,” to a five-star review asserting that, “Classes are equivalent to Harvard and Stanford University.” Wang’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.
While Herguan is an unaccredited private school advertising classes starting at $295 per credit, Silicon Valley University does have accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. The school is not accredited by regional bodies that certify top-ranked state and private universities.
Silicon Valley University denied a charge in Wang’s indictment that it accepted transfer credits from Herguan, which was one stipulation of federal law that Wang was charged with violating. Silicon Valley University did not respond to requests for comment, but IRS records also show an atypical lack of compensation for board members and executives.
Three directors were listed as working zero hours per week and receiving zero compensation. The school’s president, Feng Min Jerry Shao, was listed in 2012 as working an average 20 hours per week and receiving zero compensation.
The same 2012 tax form notes that school administrators believed they had been “getting recognition in the Silicon Valley as one of the good training institute (sic) for high-tech professionals.”
Finally, there is downtown San Jose’s International Technological University, which in 2013 won a well-regarded accreditation after a 2011 San Jose Mercury News report questioned whether ITU, Herguan and other schools met federal standards for serving international students.
ITU has attempted a re-brand as it looks to disassociate from that field and expand its programming both online and in person.
“The same agency that accredits Stanford and the UCs accredits us,” ITU COO Rebecca Choi told me. “To be entangled with people who may be breaking laws… it’s just not in the same genre.”
But ITU’s financial records offer interesting data points: 2012 IRS records reveal that the school’s expenditures of $10 million outpaced revenue by $2.8 million. One now-retired executive vice president alone earned $385,000 in compensation and was loaned $1 million for the “purchase of IT.”
Though Choi said ITU spends little money on traditional advertising, the school has grown its enrollment in recent years from a low of less than 100 students a decade ago. Recent enrollment data provided by ITU shows that 1,838 students were enrolled this summer, including 1,545 full-time students — 1,400 of which were on F-1 visas. India, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam were the top countries of origin.
“They’re approved universities,” Ruiz said. “They may not be Carnegie ranked, but they do have a purpose”
Lauren Hepler is the economic development reporter at the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Reference

 

Sep 4, 2014, 7:16am PDT

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Indian RAW-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan

Indian RAW-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan

 

 

 

RAW-blog

On 9th June, I had to attend a briefing session and community resilience event of Counter terrorism Unit of British West Midlands police.  On the night of 8th June, I prepared well for the coming day’s deliberations without knowing that the country of my origin (Pakistan) was under attack.  Next morning, I reached the Police Training centre to attend the event. The news of the terrorist attacks on Karachi Airport shocked me to the core the moment I entered the Lord Knight suite (venue of the event).   The event was focused on British counter terrorism strategy as UK has also a substantial threat level of terrorism. However, the Karachi incident remained topic for discussion during deliberations. The delegates including Counter terrorism security advisors and senior police officials condemned this terrorist attack.

The recovery of Indian manufactured weapons from the site of the attack clearly indicates that the real problem is India which is manipulating the crisis in Pakistan. As identified by SH S Soharwordi in one of his articles, ‘Pakistan Army has numerous proves and witnesses that RAW agents were financing and supplying weapons to the Pakistani Taliban’.  The attack also reminded me of the April, 2014 statement of Indian Prime Minister Modi in which he talked about conducting operation on Pakistani territory. Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is now under direct control of Modi. Chief of the RAW is designated Secretary in the Modi’s Cabinet Secretariat which is a part of the Indian Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). RAW has expanded its budget to Indian Rs. 1500 crore, alternately estimated at 145 million US dollars. As indicated in a report by Federation of American  scientists ‘as many as 35,000 RAW agents has entered in Pakistan, with 12,000 working in Sindh, 10,000 in Punjab, 8,000 in KPK and 5000 in Balochistan’.  

The war on terror has concreted the way for RAW to conduct clandestine operations. These stealthy terrorist activities in Pakistan are being conducted in conjunction with Afghanistan’s Intelligence agency RAAM (Riyast-i-Amoor-o-Amanat-i-Milliyah) and Israeli Mossad. RAW is using Afghan soil for carrying out massive terrorist activities against Pakistan. Daily Dawn has also previously reported that the three arrested militants of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan namely Khurram Ishtiaq, Ghulam Mustafa and Shamim have disclosed that RAW has been funding suicide bomb attacks in Pakistan and that the Indian intelligence agency has channelled Rs680 million through its links with the Afghan secret agency, RAAM.

Webster Griffin Tarpley , an American correspondent in a TV interview  while responding to  a question said; “the Research and Analysis Wing of Indian intelligence, they are up in Afghanistan, recruiting crazies from there to bring them down and help them to engage in terrorism inside Pakistan. So the Indians have this real dirty aspect’.

RAW and RAAM supports insurgent groups in Balochistan. Pak-Afghan Zahidan border has been used for destabilisation of Balochistan. Shahgarh-Kishangarh Indo-Pak border is also under use to supply arms to terrorists in Karachi and Balochistan. There is a strong suspicion that the unrest in Balochistan and FATA region has something to do with the RAW’s presence in Afghanistan and the number of Indian consulates that are operating close to the Pakistani border. In this connection, one cannot ignore the observations made by renowned scholar Christine Fair of Rand Cooperation who said that “having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity. Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Kandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Balochistan.’

While deceitfully accusing Pakistan of terrorism, RAW has been indulging in terrorism in Pakistan since at a massive scale. Dozens of RAW agents killed and arrested in Swat, FATA and Punjab in recent times. The confiscation of Indian origin explosives, ammunition clearly indicates RAW’s involvement in concealed operations. Even USA has advised India to slender Indian consulates in Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif and Kandahar infamous for RAW’s clandestine activities against Pakistan.

On July 16, 2009; Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani met his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh in the Egyptian city of Sharm-el-Sheikh on the side-lines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit. The meeting concluded with the issuance of a joint statement in which both countries agreed to de-link action on terrorism. A reference to Indian involvement in Balochistan in the joint statement was also criticised in India. The then opposition and present Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), made such hue and cry that Manmohan Singh was forced to backtrack from the commitment made in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

RAW has also aimed to promote sectarian violence in Pakistan. It has fuelled the fire of sectarianism by killing religious leaders of one group and pointing it towards the other sectarian group.  The recent Taftan incident are the latest example of such activities in which 23 people have been killed and a number injured in a gun and bomb attack on Shia pilgrims in Balochistan.

RAW has also been criticised in Indian policy debates for its poor attention to domestic affairs to safeguard India’s security and territorial integrity. There is no doubt that RAW has had limited success in dealing with separatist movements in Manipur and Tripura in the northeast, Tamil Nadu in the south and Punjab and Kashmir in the northwestern part of the India. RAW obviously feel embarrassed that ISI has surpassed it in terms performance. Feeling outstripped and bested, RAW’s is intriguing against ISI.

The notorious RAW under Modi Government is trying to achieve the policy goals set by Chanakya (Kautilya) centuries ago in his book Arth Shastar. Knowing that engagement of Indian Armed forces in conventional warfare with Pakistan is no more a viable option; RAW has adopted indirect, unconventional warfare against Pakistan.

Author Spotlight

Dr Iqtidar Cheema

Dr Iqtidar Cheema
Dr Iqtidar Karamat Cheema, is an educationalist and analyst based in United Kingdom. He has earned his PhD in International Relations from University of Gloucestershire and authored 3 books and various research papers. He tweets @drcheema786

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Reflections on India by Sean Paul Kelley

Indians will find this one hard to swallow. And we Pakistani are working hard to become like them? If Nawaz Sharif Would Stop Focusing on Family Business & Focus on Pakistan,coming Train Wreck Pakistan could be averted.But,he is too busy stuffing incompetent Kashmiris into Govt Ministeries.

I thought Pakistan was terrible. But this beats anything on the planet

Indians will find this one hard to swallow.

But, one can’t deny the bitter facts… Can Indians Handle The Truth?

Is India a real super power?

 

The following comments are written by Prem Sagar, a Hindu.

Read them and open your eyes about great India 900 million people earn only 20 rupees per day in India. Out of which 500 million people earns only 10 rupees per day. Out of which 250 million makes only 5 rupees per day. Out of which 50 million people makes nothing. We have created the most heinous society in the history of human race. We 1 million Indians carry the toilet of other Indians every day. This is the greatest economical terrorism in the history of human race. We have 5 lakh villages without water. 34 families control 50% India – the greatest feudal  system ever. Our mataas and mothers in the villages do their toilet on the road side. We are topping in AIDS, Blood Pressure, Stress Level and many other ills and deceases. We have the largest ghetto in Bombay. And yet, we have all the time to attack Muslims. We have killed and massacred over 10 million Hindu female babies in the last decade alone by forced abortions. Every day, hundreds of Hindu women are being raped by other Hindus. Every day! When Muslims lost power in India, the literacy rate was 96%. When British lost India, the literacy rate was reduced to 12% and they left 160 million Indian poor and destitute. Today, that poor and destitute climbed to 900 million. Today, Hindus have created the greatest feudal System in the history of mankind. 34 Hindu families control 50% India. Out of 1200 million people, only 35 million Indians are full time employees. The rest is hopping one place to another. Out of which 1.5 million are employed in military, few lakhs in Banking, Railway and government. If anybody wanted to substantiate the above, please watch RAJIVE DIXIT SPEECH IN HYDERABAD 2010. Just cut and paste the capital letters on YouTube and enjoy the speech by this Pakka Hindu. Hindus are incapable to function as a society. When Muslims entered India, the country was divided into 200 mini kingdoms. They  always use to fight with each other. They demolish each other Bhagwans and deities statutes. It was a regular practice. Muslims provided stability. Bollywood today is the hub and powerhouse of prostitution. The producers and directors regularly rape the upcoming start up heroines. The branded heroines regularly sell their bodies for lakhs per night to rich people inside and outside India. India is becoming a superpower is nothing but hoax and false. Today, every city of India is filthy, dirty - they live like haiwaans (beasts)​ and animals.


 

 

Reflections on India

by

Sean Paul Kelley

Sean Paul Kelley is a travel writer, former radio host, and before that, an asset manager for a Wall Street investment bank that is still (barely) alive. He recently left a fantastic job in Singapore working for Solar Winds, a software company based out of Austin, to travel around the world for a year or two. He founded The Agonist, in 2002, which is still considered the top international affairs, culture and news destination for progressives. He is also the Global Correspondent for The Young Turks, on satellite radio and Air America.

If you are Indian, or of Indian descent, I must preface this post with a clear warning: you are not going to like what I have to say. My criticisms may be very hard to stomach. But consider them as the hard words and loving advice of a good friend. Someone who is being honest with you and wants nothing from you.

These criticisms apply to all of India except Kerala and the places I did not visit, except that I have a feeling it applies to all of India.

Lastly, before anyone accuses me of Western Cultural Imperialism, let me say this: if this is what India and Indians want, then, who am I to tell them differently. Take what you like and leave the rest. In the end it doesn’t really matter, as I get the sense that Indians, at least many upper class Indians, don’t seem to care and the lower classes just don’t know any better, what with Indian culture being so intense and pervasive on the sub-continent. But, here goes, nonetheless.

India is a mess.

It’s that simple, but it’s also quite complicated. I’ll start with what I think are Indias’ four major problems – the four most preventing India from becoming a developing nation – and then move to some of the ancillary ones.

First: Pollution. In my opinion the filth, squalor and all around pollution, indicates a marked lack of respect for India by Indians. I don’t know how cultural the filth is, but it’s really beyond anything I have ever encountered. At times the smells, trash, refuse and excrement are like a garbage dump.

Right next door to the Taj Mahal was a pile of trash that smelled so bad, was so foul as to almost ruin the entire Taj experience. Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai to a lesser degree, were so very polluted as to make me physically ill. Sinus infections, ear infection, bowels churning was an all too common experience in India. Dung, be it goat, cow or human fecal matter, was common on the streets. In major tourist areas filth was everywhere, littering the sidewalks, the roadways, you name it. Toilets in the middle of the road, men urinating and defecating anywhere, in broad daylight.

 

Fishermen search for offerings thrown in by worshippers in the polluted waters of the river Sabarmati in Ahmedabad

Whole villages are plastic bag wastelands. Roadsides are choked by it. Air quality that can hardly be called quality. Far too much coal and far to few unleaded vehicles on the road. The measure should be how dangerous the air is for ones’ health, not how good it is. People casually throw trash in the streets, on the roads.

The only two cities that could be considered sanitary, in my journey, were Trivandrum – the capital of Kerala – and Calicut. I don’t know why this is, but I can assure you that, at some point, this pollution will cut into Indias’ productivity, if it already hasn’t. The pollution will hobble Indies’ growth path, if that indeed is what the country wants. (Which I personally doubt, as India is far too conservative a country, in the small ‘c’ sense.)

The second issue, infrastructure, can be divided into four subcategories: Roads, Rails, Ports and the Electric Grid. The Electric Grid is a joke. Load shedding is all too common, everywhere in India. Wide swathes of the country spend much of the day without the electricity they actually pay for. Without regular electricity, productivity, again, falls.

The Ports are a joke. Antiquated, out of date, hardly even appropriate for the mechanized world of container ports, more in line with the days of long shore men and the like.

 

Roads are an equal disaster. I only saw one elevated highway that would be considered decent in Thailand, much less Western Europe or America and I covered fully two-thirds of the country during my visit. There are so few dual carriage-way roads as to be laughable. There are no traffic laws to speak of and, if there are, they are rarely obeyed, much less enforced (another sideline is police corruption). A drive that should take an hour takes three. A drive that should take three takes nine. The buses are at least thirty years old, if not older and, generally, in poor mechanical repair, belching clouds of poisonous smoke and fumes.

Everyone in India, or who travels in India, raves about the railway system. Rubbish! It’s awful! When I was there in 2003 and then late 2004 it was decent. But, in the last five years, the traffic on the rails has grown so quickly that once again, it is threatening productivity. Waiting in line just to ask a question now takes thirty minutes. Routes are routinely sold out three and four days in advance now, leaving travellers stranded with little option except to take the decrepit and dangerous buses.

At least fifty million people use the trains a day in India. 50 million people! Not surprising that wait lists of 500 or more people are common now. The rails are affordable and comprehensive, but, they are overcrowded and what with budget airlines popping up in India like sadhus in an ashram in the middle and lowers classes are left to deal with the over utilized rails and quality suffers. No one seems to give a shit.

Seriously, I just never have the impression that the Indian government really cares. Too interested in buying weapons from Russia, Israel and the US, I guess.

The last major problem in India is an old problem and can be divided into two parts: that have been two sides of the same coin since government was invented: bureaucracy and corruption.

It take triplicates to register into a hotel. To get a SIM card for ones’ phone is like wading into a jungle of red-tape and photocopies one is not likely to emerge from in a good mood, much less satisfied with customer service.

 

Getting train tickets is a terrible ordeal, first you have to find the train number, which takes 30 minutes, then you have to fill in the form, which is far from easy, then you have to wait in line to try and make a reservation, which takes 30 minutes at least and if you made a single mistake on the form, back you go to the end of the queue, or what passes for a queue in India.

government is notoriously uninterested in the problems of the commoners. Too busy fleecing the rich, or trying to get rich themselves in some way, shape or form. Take the trash, for example, civil rubbish collection authorities are too busy taking kickbacks from the wealthy to keep their areas clean that they don’t have the time, manpower, money or interest in doing their job.

 

Rural hospitals are perennially understaffed as doctors pocket the fees the government pays them, never show up at the rural hospitals and practice in the cities instead.

I could go on for quite some time about my perception of India and its problems, but in all seriousness, I don’t think anyone in India really cares. And that, to me, is the biggest problem. India is too conservative a society to want to change in any way.

 Mumbai, India’s’ financial capital, is about as filthy, polluted and poor as the worst city imaginable in Vietnam, or Indonesia – and being more polluted than Medan, in Sumatra, is no easy task. The biggest rats I have ever seen were in Medan !

One would expect a certain amount of, yes, I am going to use this word, “backwardness,” in a country that hasn’t produced so many Nobel Laureates, nuclear physicists, imminent economists and entrepreneurs. But, India has all these things and what have they brought back to India with them? Nothing.

The rich still have their servants, the lower castes are still there to do the dirty work and so the country remains in stasis. It’s a shame. Indians and India have many wonderful things to offer the world, but I’m far from sanguine that India will amount to much in my lifetime.

 

Now, you have it, call me a cultural imperialist, a spoiled child of the West and all that. But remember, I have been there. I have done it and I have seen 50 other countries on this planet and none, not even Ethiopia, have as long and gargantuan a laundry list of problems as India does.

 

And, the bottom line is, I don’t think India really cares. Too complacent and too conservative.

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