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Archive for category Shining India

Behind the Shinning Veil

Behind the Shinning Veil
Ishaal Zehra

 

The year 2019 started off as a promising year for Pakistan who ecstatically outdid her neighbouring countries in a phenomenal way in terms of happiness and patriotism. Interestingly, Pakistan came out as the most patriotic nation in Asia in the World Index’s latest report. Also, despite being the direct affectée of GWOT and a war-stricken country for many years, Pakistan yet managed to outwit its neighbour, the self-proclaimed Shinning India, big time with a stark difference in the happiness ranking which came as a big surprise to some emerging market observers.

 

 

The ranking puzzled the observers as India’s economy has been outperforming Pakistan’s in a number of metrics, like world competitiveness, GDP size and growth, and inflation rates. So, what have Pakistanis done better than Indians in the pursuit of happiness? It’s hard to say. The World Happiness Report combines quantitative data (such as per capita GDP growth) and qualitative data (such as social support, freedom to make life choices, and perceptions of corruption) to rank 156 countries. Where most of the variables included in the calculations are qualitative, and therefore, prone to specification and measurement errors. Still, the gap between the rankings of the two countries is too big to be ignored.

The report ranks Pakistan in the 67th position, and India in the 140th position nearing her to the bottom of the list of 156 countries included in the survey. Most notably, the gap between the two countries has widened compared to two years ago, when Pakistan ranked in the 80th position, and India in the 122nd position.

Udayan Roy, Professor of Economics at LIU POST, suggests that it might be other metrics, like income inequality and poverty that matters more than per capita GDP when it comes to the well-being of the masses. While in India the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

His take comes consistently to the World Inequality Report 2018 which asserts that India’s top 1 per cent earners’ share of the country’s income rose to 22 per cent meanwhile the income share of the bottom 50 per cent earners declined to 15 per cent over the last four decades. Similarly, as per the Standardized World Income Inequality data measured by the Gini coefficient of income inequality, India’s income inequality is much higher than that of both Pakistan and Bangladesh. Besides, poverty rates are higher in India than they are in Pakistan and Bangladesh, according to the World Bank.

Wait, there’s more.  It’s called economic freedom. Published by the Heritage Foundation, the Economic Freedom report measures such things as trade freedom, business freedom, investment freedom, and the degree of property rights protection in 186 countries.  Though the two countries have ranked closely in the last couple of years, Pakistan’s ranking has consistently beaten India’s over longer periods. In fact, a closer look at the ranking components of the two countries reveals that Pakistan has fared better than India in the area of government spending, which matter a great deal when it comes to providing on welfare programs. Simply put, Pakistan has been getting ahead of India in spreading the wealth to the masses.

These statistics are from a country commonly referred to as the worlds’ emerging market. The figures actually bust the myth of Incredible and Shining India by exposing the extremely grim situation at home. India has an estimated population of about 1.2 billion people. As per SOS statistics, More than 800 million people in India are considered poor. 68.8 per cent of the Indian population lives on less than $2 a day. More than 200 million people including 61 million children don’t have a sufficient amount of food to eat thus making India one of the world’s top countries with regard to malnutrition. Such poverty and hunger lead to severe health issues. With 2.7 million Indians being HIV positive; about 220,000 of them are children, the tendency is on the rise. Moreover, statistics from the World Health Organization claims that India accounts for more than half of the leprosy cases which are reported every year in the world.

There’s worse. Debt and drought continue to overwhelm farmers all around India. As per recent figures, Four hundred thirty farmers and farm labourers committed suicide during last year in agriculture-rich Punjab alone. As per the Guardian report, nearly 60,000 Indian farmers and farm workers committed suicide over the past three decades. In 2015 alone, about 12,602 farmers committed suicide across India. The suicides cases are on the rise in Indian Army also with the recent 2 suicides reported 4 days back when only a day after a Sub-Inspector of Indo-Tibetan Border Police committed suicide in north Kashmir, another trooper of the paramilitary force shot himself dead in Srinagar on the next morning.

With such a miserable state of affairs, no wonder the Modi led BJP government in India needed some staged shows like border escalations with Pakistan with overt and covert hate messages instilling war hysteria in masses. This was all done in order to overcome the not so supportive statistical data at the time of elections which are scheduled from 11 April to 19 May. In the same course, a new flattering but factually questionable biopic Bollywood movie on Indian Premier Narendra Modi has recently been released. The film which portrays Modi ji as some sort of superhuman with divine powers is taken as political propaganda by the critics, with the primary intent of influencing the voters. This is the 3rd consecutive movie in the run-up to elections, glorifying the BJP party rule eras, ratcheting things up to a level haven’t seen before. Though his actions in the last five years as prime minister proves otherwise still the effects of such gimmicks on a common Indian will be seen as the elections ensue.

 

 

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India’s Nuclear Scientists Keep Dying Mysteriously by Joseph Cox

India’s Nuclear Scientists Keep Dying Mysteriously

Indian nuclear scientists haven’t had an easy time of it over the past decade. Not only has the scientific community been plagued by “suicides,” unexplained deaths, and sabotage, but those incidents have gone mostly underreported in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian nuclear scientists haven’t had an easy time of it over the past decade. Not only has the scientific community been plagued by “suicides,” unexplained deaths, and sabotage, but those incidents have gone mostly underreported in the country—diluting public interest and leaving the cases quickly cast off by police.

Last month, two high-ranking engineers—KK Josh and Abhish Shivam—on India’s first nuclear-powered submarine were found on railway tracks by workers. They were pulled from the line before a train could crush them but were already dead. No marks were found on the bodies, so it was clear they hadn’t been hit by a moving train, and reports allege they were poisoned elsewhere before being placed on the tracks to make the deaths look either accidental or like a suicide. The media and the Ministry of Defence, however, described the incident as a routine accident and didn’t investigate any further.    

 

This is the latest in a long list of suspicious deaths. When nuclear scientist Lokanathan Mahalingam’s body turned up in June of 2009, it was palmed off as a suicide and largely ignored by the Indian media. However, Pakistani outlets, perhaps unsurprisingly, given relations between the two countries, kept the story going, noting how quick authorities were to label the death a suicide considering no note was left.

Five years earlier, in the same forest where Mahalingam’s body was eventually discovered, an armed group with sophisticated weaponry allegedly tried to abduct an official from India’s Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC). He, however, managed to escape. Another NPC employee, Ravi Mule, had been murdered weeks before, with police failing to “make any headway” into his case and effectively leaving his family to investigate the crime. A couple of years later, in April of 2011, when the body of former scientist Uma Rao was found, investigators ruled the death as a suicide, but family members contested the verdict, saying there had been no signs that Rao was suicidal.   

Trombay, the site of India’s first atomic reactor. (Photo via

This seems to be a recurring theme with deaths in the community. Madhav Nalapat, one of the few journalists in India giving the cases any real attention, has been in close contact with the families of the recently deceased scientists left on the train tracks. “There was absolutely no kind of depression or any family problems that would lead to suicide,” he told me over the phone.

 

If the deaths of those in the community aren’t classed as suicide, they’re generally labelled as “unexplained.” A good example is the case of M Iyer, who was found with internal haemorrhaging to his skull—possibly the result of a “kinky experiment,” according to a police officer. After a preliminary look-in, the police couldn’t work out how Iyer had suffered internal injuries while not displaying any cuts or bruises, and investigations fizzled out.   

This label is essentially an admission of defeat on the police force’s part. Once the “unexplained” rubber stamp has been approved, government bodies don’t tend to task the authorities with investigating further. This may be a necessity due to the stark lack of evidence available at the scene of the deaths—a feature that some suggest could indicate the work of professional killers—but if this is the case, why not bring in better-trained detectives to investigate the cases? A spate of deaths in the nuclear scientific community would create a media storm and highly publicised police investigation in other countries, so why not India?

This inertia has led to great public dissatisfaction with the Indian police. “[The police] say it’s an unsolved murder, that’s all. Why doesn’t it go higher? Perhaps to a specialist investigations unit?” Madhav asked. “These people were working on the submarine program, creating a reactor, and have either ‘committed suicide’ or been murdered. It’s astonishing that this hasn’t been seen as suspicious.”

 

Perhaps, I suggested, this series of deaths is just the latest chapter in a long campaign aiming to derail India’s nuclear and technological capabilities. Madhav agreed, “There is a clear pattern of this type of activity going on,” he said.

INS Sindhurakshak (Photo via)

The explosions that sunk INS Sindhurakshak – a submarine docked in Mumbai – in August of this year could have been deliberate, according to unnamed intelligence sources. And some have alleged that the CIA was behind the sabotage of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Of course, the deaths have caused fear and tension among those currently working on India’s various nuclear projects. “[Whistleblowers] are getting scared of being involved in the nuclear industry in India,” Madhav relayed to me. Their “families are getting very nervous about this” and “many of them leave for foreign countries and get other jobs.”

There are parallels here with the numerous attacks on the Iranian nuclear scientist community. Five people associated with the country’s nuclear programme have been targeted in the same way: men on motorcycles sticking magnetic bombs on to their cars and detonating them as they drive off. However, the Iranian government are incredibly vocal in condemning these acts—blaming the US and Israel—and at least give the appearance that they are actively investigating.

The same cannot be said for the Indian government. “India is not making any noise about the whole thing,” Madhav explained. “People have just accepted the police version, [which describes these incidents] as normal kinds of death.”

 

If the deaths do, in fact, turn out to be premeditated murders, deciding who’s responsible is pure speculation at this point. Two authors have alleged that the US has dabbled in sabotaging the country’s technological efforts in the past; China is in a constant soft-power battle with India, and the volatile relationship with Pakistan makes the country a prime suspect. “It could be any of them,” Madhav said.

But the most pressing issue isn’t who might be behind the murders, but that the Indian government’s apathy is potentially putting their high-value staff at even greater risk. Currently, these scientists, who are crucial to the development of India’s nuclear programmes, whether for energy or security, have “absolutely no protection at all. Nothing, zero,” Madhav told me. “Which is amazing for people who are in a such a sensitive program.”

@josephfcox

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FUNNY VIDEO : Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade arrested in New York for Nanny Fraud

 

Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade arrested in New  – YouTube

  1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=04FMiZ-l_60

     
    Dec 18, 2013 – Uploaded by Taiwanese Animators

    The United States has greatly annoyed India after arresting and Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade arrested in New York for Nanny fraud  you by THE Taiwanese Animators behind the infamous Tiger Woods animation.

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Illinois USA Lawyer Ethics Commission Accuses Indian Lawyer Reema Bajaj of Trading Sex for Office Supplies

Some stories just won’t go away. Consider the tale of Reema Bajaj, the attractive Illinois attorney who pleaded guilty to prostitution last June. Reema keeps coming, and coming, and coming.

After the story climaxed with her guilty plea, we expected it was all over. But then Bajaj thrust herself back into the headlines by suing one of her former lawyers, along with other attorneys, alleging that they shared nude photos of her around the courthouse.

And now Reema Bajaj has been hit with ethics charges from the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (IARDC). The IARDC’s most salacious allegation: that Bajaj traded sex acts for office supplies.

What would Reema do for a ream of printer paper? How much toner to access that taut, toned body?

 

After Bajaj’s guilty plea to prostitution, we asked Michael S. Frisch, ethics counsel to the Georgetown University Law Center and an editor of the Legal Profession Blog, whether her plea to a a single misdemeanor prostitution count would cause Bajaj to lose her law license. Professor Frisch suggested that her plea, standing alone, would not result in substantial discipline.

But it appears that the IARDC is hot and bothered over more than just Bajaj’s plea. The commission also cites alleged misrepresentations by Bajaj related to her prostitution activity in support of its request that her case be referred to an investigatory panel for further factfinding.

Here’s a report on the IARDC ethics complaint from the Chicago Tribune:

The complaint filed and made public last week against Reema Bajaj, 27, by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission contains the first detailed account of what led to criminal charges being filed against her in DeKalb County in 2011 — including that she allegedly had sex in exchange for supplies for her law office.

Between 2005 and 2008 — before she became an attorney — Bajaj posted online ads under the name Nikita and accepted money from two men in exchange for sex, according to the complaint. The first man paid her $200 for sex at a DeKalb hotel, then paid her $100 per meeting for about 25 encounters they had over the next three years, the complaint alleges. A second man paid her between $25 and $70 in cash or an equivalent amount in DVDs or gift cards for sex on at least 15 occasions between 2007 and 2011, according to the complaint.

Say what? Bajaj allegedly performed sex acts for $70 or less — and not even in cash, but in DVDs? Do people still use DVDs? And one can only imagine what she’d do for unlimited Netflix.

But wait, there’s more. Here is the “sex for office supplies” allegation:

That same year, she had sex with the second man in exchange for about $70 worth of office supplies for her legal practice in Sycamore, according to the complaint.

It’s hard out here for a solo practitioner. Seventy dollars won’t buy you three red Swingline staplers.

You can access the complete complaint at the IARDC website (via the Legal Profession Blog). The complaint has three counts:

  • Criminal conduct and misdemeanor conviction for prostitution.
  • Making false statements in connection with a disciplinary matter.
  • Making false statements on a bar application.

The second count seems straightforward. The complaint alleges that Bajaj lied under oath to an IARDC administrator in September 2012 when she was asked about her alleged prostitution acts. According to the complaint, Bajaj denied charging for or being paid for sex, even though she acknowledged her June 2012 guilty plea to prostitution. From paragraph 17: “I guess I’m saying I pled guilty to it [prostitution] and I do not believe that he paid me for sex.” Strange — last time I checked, a guilty plea was supposed to have a factual basis.

My favorite count is the third count, which is overreaching in a humorous way. The IARDC charges Bajaj with making false statements on a bar application, to wit:

26. Respondent’s answers to the questions, “Have you ever been known by any other first, middle or last name?” were false, because Respondent used the name “Nikita” during the period of at least 2005 and until 2011.

According to the complaint, “Nikita” was Bajaj’s nom de whore on Adult Friend Finder. I’m not sure that’s what the question about “be[ing] known by any other first, middle or last name” is going for. Are bar applicants required to disclose their handles on OkCupid or Grindr? Doubtful.

Also part of count three:

30. Question 16 of the questionnaire, described in paragraph 24 above, required Respondent to provide [information about self-employment].

31. In answer to questions 25 and 16, described in paragraphs 29 and 30 above, Respondent did not disclose her self-employment wherein she accepted cash and other monetary items in exchange for sex acts from [two men].

Going after Bajaj for failing to disclose her prostitution work as “self-employment” seems like a stretch. But given all the publicity Bajaj’s case has received, and how going easy on her could undermine respect for the IARDC as a disciplinary body, one can understand why they’re riding Reema so hard.

Still, it seems to me that Bajaj should be pitied rather than prosecuted. Remember: she allegedly traded sex acts for DVDs, gift cards, and office supplies.

UPDATE (8/9/2013, 10:45 a.m.): Reema Bajaj has agreed to a three-year suspension of her law license(fourth item).

If the IARDC allegations are true, how difficult was it to get sex out of Reema Bajaj? I leave you with the slogan of Staples:

 

In the Matter of Reema Nicki Bajaj [Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission]
Reema Bajaj Bar Complaint [Legal Profession Blog]
Ethics Charges Filed In Reema Bajaj Matter [Legal Profession Blog]
Lawyer who pleaded guilty to prostitution faces state disciplinary board [Chicago Tribune]
Complaint Alleges Lawyer Had Sex for Office Supplies [NBC Chicago]
Lawyer accused of lying about claimed ‘self-employment’ as prostitute and name used in online ads
[ABA Journal]

EarlierReema Unchained: Attorney Who Pleaded Guilty To Prostitution Sues A Slew Of Local Lawyers

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TWO KICKS FOR ONE : GET A METH HIGH ON INDIAN BASMATI RICE!

 
 
Pest check uncovers major drug haul in Australia
 
One of the largest seizures of ephedrine in Australia, Australian authorities uncovered 274 kilograms of the stimulant during a pest check on a shipment from India in July. With enough of the drug to manufacture 200 kilograms of crystal meth, the haul is worth up to US$188 million.
 

Inline image 1

Pallets of rice in a warehouse which contained ephedrine. Australian authorities today said they had uncovered a 274 kilo haul of the stimulant ephedrine, used to make crystal methamphetamine, during a pest check on a rice shipment from India. (AFP/AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE)

 
SYDNEY: 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Pest check uncovers major drug haul in Australia
 
One of the largest seizures of ephedrine in Australia, Australian authorities uncovered 274 kilograms of the stimulant during a pest check on a shipment from India in July. With enough of the drug to manufacture 200 kilograms of crystal meth, the haul is worth up to US$188 million.
 

Inline image 1

Pallets of rice in a warehouse which contained ephedrine. Australian authorities today said they had uncovered a 274 kilo haul of the stimulant ephedrine, used to make crystal methamphetamine, during a pest check on a rice shipment from India. (AFP/AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE)

 
SYDNEY: Australian authorities Wednesday said they had uncovered a major 274 kilogram (600 pounds) haul of the stimulant ephedrine, used to make crystal methamphetamine, during a pest check ona rice shipment from IndiaThe seizure is one of the largest of ephedrine in Australia, with enough of the drug to manufacture 200 kilogrammes of crystal meth — also known as ice — worth up to A$200 million (US$188 million), Customs said. The crystalline substance was scattered throughout bags labelled “basmati rice” which arrived in a 3,600-packet consignment in Melbourne in July, and were physically checked for pests by a biosecurity officer.
 
“The officer who did the inspection was really on the ball,” Agriculture Department first assistant secretary for border compliance Tim Chapman said. “He realised that the powder that was in the bags of rice that were tested wasn’t just residue from the rice, there was something different about it.” Three people — two Canadians and one Australian — were arrested and charged over the alleged importation and intended distribution of the ephedrine after the bags were delivered to their destinations in Sydney and Melbourne.
 
An Indian national, allegedly responsible for organising the ephedrine and sending the consignment to Australia, was also detained in India by local police. Australian Federal Police national manager for crime operations Ian McCartney said the seizure had dismantled a multinational syndicate. Customs and Border Protection compliance and enforcement director Karen Harfield said hiding the drugs in rice was an unusual method and forced her staff to laboriously sift out the substance from the white grains.
 
– AFP
“The officer who did the inspection was really on the ball,” Agriculture Department first assistant secretary for border compliance Tim Chapman said. “He realised that the powder that was in the bags of rice that were tested wasn’t just residue from the rice, there was something different about it.” Three people — two Canadians and one Australian — were arrested and charged over the alleged importation and intended distribution of the ephedrine after the bags were delivered to their destinations in Sydney and Melbourne.
 
An Indian national, allegedly responsible for organising the ephedrine and sending the consignment to Australia, was also detained in India by local police. Australian Federal Police national manager for crime operations Ian McCartney said the seizure had dismantled a multinational syndicate. Customs and Border Protection compliance and enforcement director Karen Harfield said hiding the drugs in rice was an unusual method and forced her staff to laboriously sift out the substance from the white grains.
 
– AFP
 

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