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Archive for category Shining India

American female student discovers ‘Incredible India’ – ‘Traveler’s heaven, woman’s hell’

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American female student discovers ‘Incredible India’ – ‘Traveler’s heaven, woman’s hell’
Sexual harassment in India: ‘The story you never wanted to hear’

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By Daphne Sashin and Katie Hawkins-Gaar, CNN
August 23, 2013
(CNN) — Michaela Cross, an American student at the University of Chicago, has written a powerful account of her study abroad trip to India last year, during which she says she experienced relentless sexual harassment, groping and worse. Upon her return, she says she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and is now on a mental leave of absence from the school after a public breakdown in the spring. Cross, a fair-skinned, red-haired South Asian studies major, titled her story “India: The Story You Never Wanted to Hear.” She posted her account on CNN iReport under the username RoseChasm.


What action should be taken to combat sexual harassment to agamjd@gmail.com

Her story has struck a chord around the world, racking up more than 800,000 page views as of Wednesday morning. It quickly found its way to India, where many readers sympathized with the story and men felt compelled to apologize for the experience she endured. Others called for greater perspective and warned against making generalizations about India or its people.
Reaction: Indian women feel sorrow, anger at U.S. student’s harassment claims
India’s deadly gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi happened a few days after Cross left India in December, and she said that helped others understand what she and her classmates went through. The country has continued to see several high-profile cases of rape and sexual violence cases since then, and the government has introduced tougher laws and punishment for sexual crimes. Keeping chivalry alive in India: Men respond to rape crisis On her return, Cross struggled to find a way to talk about a cultural experience that was both beautiful and traumatizing, she said in her essay.
She writes:
“Do I tell them about our first night in the city of Pune, when we danced in the Ganesha festival, and leave it at that? Or do I go on and tell them how the festival actually stopped when the American women started dancing, so that we looked around to see a circle of men filming our every move? Do I tell them about bargaining at the bazaar for beautiful saris costing a few dollars a piece, and not mention the men who stood watching us, who would push by us, clawing at our breasts and groins? When people compliment me on my Indian sandals, do I talk about the man who stalked me for 45 minutes after I purchased them, until I yelled in his face in a busy crowd?”
“How it feels to be a woman in India”
Later, she writes: “For three months I lived this way, in a traveler’s heaven and a woman’s hell. I was stalked, groped, masturbated at; and yet I had adventures beyond my imagination. I hoped that my nightmare would end at the tarmac, but that was just the beginning.” A university spokesman confirmed Cross is a student at the school and would not comment on her mental leave. He said the school is committed to students’ safety at home and abroad. Cross said she didn’t say anything to the professors on the trip until things reached “a boiling point” — what she called two rape attempts in 48 hours.
Should solo female travelers avoid India?
Dipesh Chakrabarty, a University of Chicago professor who was in India for the first three weeks of the session, told CNN that he was unaware of Cross’ situation. He noted, though, that the university tries to prepare students for what they might encounter while abroad. The Civilizations Abroad in India program was based in the city of Pune, but the students traveled to other areas during the semester. “Both faculty and staff in Chicago and our local Indian staff counsel students before and during the trip about precautions they need to take in a place like India,” Chakrabarty said in an e-mail. “Ensuring student safety and well-being is the top priority of both the College and staff and faculty associated with the program.”
The university provided this statement to CNN:
“Nothing is more important to us at the University of Chicago than caring for the safety and well-being of our students, here in Chicago and wherever they go around the world in the course of their studies. The University offers extensive support and advice to students before, during and after their trips abroad, and we are constantly assessing and updating that preparation in light of events and our students’ experiences. We also place extremely high value on the knowledge our students seek by traveling and studying other civilizations and cultures, and we are committed to ensuring they can do so in safety while enriching their intellectual lives.”
From India: A different view
Her story sparked a wave of reaction online, with scores of Indians responding, many with sympathy to her plight and pointing out that Indian women also experience high levels of harassment and abuse. Arvind Rao, a media professional in Mumbai, was moved to post this comment on her story: “It thoroughly disgusts me to be known as an Indian male … An apology is extremely meager for all the trauma you’ve gone through.” He expressed hope that politicians would “wake up and implement stricter laws against crime and sexual harassment on women.” “Every time my girlfriend goes out alone, I pray that she comes back home safely,” wrote a commenter using the name Jajabar. “Being an Indian male, I apologize.”
Others, however, observed that sexual harassment was by no means confined to India, and Indian commenter Sam1967 warned against condemning his home country when so many others failed to protect the women living within their borders. “I accept what happened was definitely an embarrassment and a cause of trauma for her that might haunt her for the rest of her life. But this has happened in many other countries or places and therefore it may not be the right thing to single out India.”
‘She could have been me’: Action urged after Delhi gang rape
‘Traveler’s heaven, woman’s hell’
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American college student Michaela Cross struggles to describe her time studying abroad in India. She says it was full of adventures and beauty but also relentless sexual harassment, groping and worse.
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Graffiti found on the streets of Pune, where the India study abroad program took place.
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Cross, a South Asian studies major at the University of Chicago, studied in India for three months in the fall of 2012.
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Cross shared this photo taken after the Ganesha Festival during her first night in Pune.
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Months after returning from India, Cross was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and said she took a mental leave of absence from school. She plans to return in the fall.
Part of complete coverage on
Violence against women in India
August 14, 2013 — Updated 1121 GMT (1921 HKT)
They’re called the Red Brigade, a group of teenagers who are facing sex pests head on, vigilante-style.
August 23, 2013 — Updated 1549 GMT (2349 HKT)
A U.S. student’s experience of sexual harassment in India triggers more anguish and sympathy from women in India.
August 23, 2013 — Updated 1811 GMT (0211 HKT)
American student Michaela Cross says during a three-month trip to India she experienced relentless sexual harassment, groping and worse.
August 15, 2013 — Updated 1029 GMT (1829 HKT)
Months after the brutal rape of an Indian woman on a bus, have measures to address violence against women worked?
March 7, 2013 — Updated 2147 GMT (0547 HKT)
New Delhi is known as the crime capital of India. CNN’s Sumnima Udas talks to women there about what daily life is like.
July 16, 2013 — Updated 1106 GMT (1906 HKT)
There’s one clear observation from the outcry to India’s rape crisis: some of the voices belong to India’s men.
January 16, 2013 — Updated 1906 GMT (0306 HKT)
‘Top Chef’ Host Padma Lakshmi weighs in on the New Delhi gang rape case and shares her experience living in India.
India has been painted as a dangerous jungle for women but one CNN staffer found otherwise.
January 3, 2013 — Updated 1841 GMT (0241 HKT)
The director of Amnesty International, India, says that execution “would just perpetuate the cycle of violence.”
January 16, 2013 — Updated 2355 GMT (0755 HKT)
The Delhi police bore the brunt of criticism for a December gang rape, but now they say they’re changing their ways.
January 4, 2013 — Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
The fatal gang rape of a young woman sparked weeks of angry protests and heated debates about sexual violence in Indian society.
January 3, 2013 — Updated 2340 GMT (0740 HKT)
It has taken an attack that lies nearly outside of comprehension to prompt demonstrations, but the outcry has begun.
January 3, 2013 — Updated 1853 GMT (0253 HKT)
The New Delhi woman who was gang-raped died with her honor intact; her rapists will live in ignominy, actress Leeza Mangaldas writes.


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Indian power shortage is Achilles heel of economy

Indian power shortage is Achilles heel of economy

By Victor Mallet in Noida, India

Indian electrical supply workers fix a faulty cable in the outskirts of Kolkata©AFP

Electricity, 24 hours a day, is a service taken for granted in industrialised economies. But not in the industrial zone of Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi – and especially not in the baking heat of summer.

“We hardly get 50 per cent of our requirement,” says S. Singhvi, finance director of Ginni Filaments, a textiles and clothing company with 5,000 employees across India. “Compared to last year, it’s getting worse.”

With daytime temperatures reaching nearly 50C, and householders and farmers demanding ever more power for air conditioners and water pumps, he complains that Ginni’s Noida garment factory must deal with repeated power disruptions and run its own generators to produce electricity at five times the cost of the supply from the grid.

Averaged over the year, the Noida factory – where workers with high-tech sewing machines are making shirts for Benetton and other international brands – is supplied with electricity 80 per cent of the time.

 “The remaining 20 per cent power is a very costly affair,” says Mr Singhvi. “We can’t stop the production. We have export commitments, so we have to go by the commitments, and even after spending a lot on the alternate power, we carry on our business.”

On Friday, the government is expected to release gross domestic product data for the last quarter of the financial year that ended in March showing that theIndian economy grew about 5 per cent in 2012-13, the lowest for a decade.

Of all the problems blamed for the slowdown over the past two years – recession in Europe, lack of skills in India, burdensome labour laws, port congestion, corruption and bureaucracy – the electricity shortage is now regarded by government and business alike as among the most serious.

“We used to think roads were the most important thing,” one government minister confided this week at a reception. “But it’s power, power, power.”

Economists who study the Indian economy – which has probably just overtaken Japan to become the world’s third largest measured by purchasing power parity, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – say that one of itspeculiar weaknesses is the small size of its manufacturing sector.

Given the low level of wages and availability of manual labour from its population of nearly 1.3bn, India should be competing fiercely against countries such as China in the export of manufactured goods. The fact that it is not doing so is partly down to poor infrastructure, including electricity.

“The power sector is extremely crucial for India’s economy,” says Anil Razdan, a former power secretary in the central government, noting the shortage of generating capacity, electricity distribution problems, arguments over pricing and a lack of domestic coal mined by state-controlled Coal India for the country’s power stations

The strains on India’s electricity network was brutally exposed last summer when the grid collapsed for the best part of two days across north India, leaving more than 600m people in the dark in an incident that became notorious as the world’s biggest power cut.

But even the southern state of Tamil Nadu, once a favoured destination for carmakers and other industrial investors because of its skilled workforce and reliable electricity, now suffers crippling power cuts for hours every day.

Standard & Poor’s, the credit rating agency, said this month that an inability to increase electricity supply would be one factor in any decision it made to downgrade India in the next year.

We have daily power cuts for two to three hours. Not only we, every single business, it runs on electricity and gets hampered if there is no electricity.

– Hitesh Tandon, design and print workshop manager

The Indian government is not standing still. It plans to add 88,000 megawatts of generating capacity – equivalent to about 100 regular-sized power stations – over the next five years. But the population continues to expand, and the average Indian to grow richer (even with anaemic GDP growth). That makes it hard to keep pace with the extra demand, let alone cope with the backlog of previous years.

Some cities and states, including Mumbai and Gujarat, boast of consistent electricity supplies even in the heat of summer, but the peak in demand from May to August spells misery for much of the rest of India – even if many homes and businesses have standby generators and uninterruptible power supply systems to keep critical machines running for a time.

“We have daily power cuts for two to three hours,” says Hitesh Tandon, who runs a design and print workshop in New Delhi. “Not only we, every single business, it runs on electricity and gets hampered if there is no electricity. Everyone has got alternate supplies for power, but again that doesn’t solve the problem entirely.”

Delhi, he says with envy, should be like Mumbai. But then he adds philosophically: “There are a lot of places that are even worse than Delhi – for example Noida.”

Additional reporting by Jyotsna Singh



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Denigration of Women: India, corrupt to the core — rapist haven and glorification of rape in Indian films

Looks like India is a rapist and pedophile haven.  And CBC is white 
washing it, I guess as not to offend the criminals. 


What is not in the above CBC/CP propaganda feed is that the cop was out 
of shape.  Really wasn’t fit for the job. 

The PMs son had some woman hate speech statements about women not in 
Canadian’s censored news, a sure indication about how the degenerate 
member of parliament was raised yet with this in mind, anyone believe 
the lies from his father the PM? 

Gets better.  Look at how quick the cops arrest women for a out of shape 
fat cop yet dozens of gang rapes have occurred since and not many 
arrests.  Duh? 

These are not ordinary rapes.  Lots of witnesses and no one sees 
anything.  Poor woman in above has been in critical condition ever since 
and needs organ transplants including intestines.  Sounds graphic?  Yep, 
this was torture-rape. 

Gets even better, two cops have been suspended and government is not 
saying why.  Did they participate, or just let the perps go leaving the 
woman to die? Amazing how witnesses disappear in corrupt India. 

India also overlooks under age brothels. 

But no arrests.  This rabbit rat brained Indian government 
don’t give a ***t about their women, sisters, mothers….low life human 
garbage runs the show over there. 

But the PMs son does show the attitude and why nothing gets done.  Just 
more liar politicians. 

India, you are disgusting. 
Liberal-socialism is a great idea so long as the credit is good and 
other people pay for it.  When the credit runs out and those that pay 
for it leave, they can all share having nothing but debt and discontentment. 





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AJAI SHUKLA: Wake up, generals!


Parvez Khokhar said…

A very telling report..well known, but seldom reported with such candour. Army House is probably ‘over-stocked’ by zealous surbordinate generals, not only out of sychophany, but more so to justify the many privileges that they can bestow on themselves, with moral justification. Which rule/law permits them to get free service from such a large retinue of staff, while the junior officers must pay to hire a single private helper?
However, the more profound statement that you have made, is about the need to study our defeats more critically than our victories. Both hold important lessons, but to ignore the latter can only be done at one’s peril. In a recent TV interview, a former Air Chief categorically stated that there were no lessons to be learnt from the 1962 debacle. This shocking statement reeked of intellectual hollowness of an unparalled degree. This is also the result of promoting mediocrity/sub-mediocrity to the highest aechelons of military ranks. In the Army and IAF, the peer seniority is determined by the ‘service number’ decided on at the time of commissioning and no cognizance of the service rendered over the next three decades can change that. Though elevation to the top most rank by virtue of this service number is most uncontroversial, but it it does not necessarily put the right man in this job. The accusation of ‘lobbying’ with the dhotiwala and babu for the top job, if ‘deep selection’ becomes a reality, also has merit. But if a candidate is aware that a quirk of his date of birth and his service number are the only criteria to make it to the top, this culture will continue to flourish.






Wake up, generals!

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 30th Oct 12
The Indian Army fish is rotting from the head. Memories are still fresh of the bruising confrontation earlier this year between the politically ambitious General VK Singh and an inept government that had precipitated a civil-military firestorm over the army chief’s quest for an extra year in office. Now, as Broadsword reports (see article above) another aggrieved general is going to court in his quest for the top job.
The current chief, General Bikram Singh, who took over from the divisive General VK Singh in June, has singularly failed to apply a healing touch and to undo the partisanship his predecessor unleashed. Most new bosses, even sports coaches, are expected to provide a new direction. In five months on the job, General Bikram Singh’s new direction consists only of orders that officers must greet each other with the salutation of “Jai Hind”, instead of merely giving each other the time of day. The new chief also wants meetings to end with everyone chorusing “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.
Intelligence reports have not yet confirmed that the Pakistani and Chinese militaries are quaking in their boots.
Let us be charitable; perhaps General Bikram Singh needs more time. His arrival in Delhi was traumatic and uncertain, since his predecessor assiduously sabotaged his elevation in the internecine fighting that now seems to be a part of the game. Once in Delhi, the new chief’s priority was to set himself up in the five-star style that now defines our culture of generalship. In his first days in the hallowed office of legends like General KC Thimayya and Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, the new chief and his staff busied themselves with putting together a retinue of a dozen waiters, cooks, dhobis and assorted tradesmen to sustain life in Army House.
Called upon for retainers, a bevy of army formations milked out these retainers from combat units, where tough young officers and the legendary Indian jawan have learned how to make do with the dwindling resources that their own generals leave them. At least two senior flag rank officers personally screened the men who would serve their chief, knowing that a spilt drink or over-salted soup could reverberate unpleasantly in their own careers.
The chief will naturally deny this since none of these tradesmen are officially posted to Army House, his tony residence on New Delhi’s leafy Rajaji Marg. Conveniently, this entourage is on “temporary duty” with army units in the capital. But any visitor to Army House would find them working there, just as visits to many army posts and picquets would find combat soldiers cooking and washing instead of training and patrolling, simply because their cook or dhobi is languishing in Delhi.
This travesty faces no resistance from subordinate generals, many of whom are hardly angels themselves. Lieutenant General Nobel Thamburaj, who headed the Southern Army, was arrested by the CBI for gross irregularities concerning defence land. Two army chiefs, Generals Deepak Kapoor and NC Vij, along with several army commanders, received illegal flats in Mumbai’s infamous Adarsh Housing Society. Lieutenant General Shankar Ghosh, the Western Army commander until June, had his medical category downgraded last year, entitling him to disability pension. But when General VK Singh’s confrontation with the government made dismissal a possibility, Ghosh (then the senior-most army commander) upgraded his medical category to be eligible for a move to Army House.
If the generals believe that these shenanigans go unnoticed by junior officers or the rank and file, they are mistaken. The recent face-offs between officers and enlisted men in military bases near Samba, Amritsar and Leh suggest a decline in the ironclad faith that the army jawan has always had in his leaders. Today’s culture of entitlement at the top, where funds, resources and manpower are poured into supporting the five-star lifestyles of a few dozen senior generals, threatens to seep downwards poisoning the entire system. It is difficult to remain idealistic, motivated and dead straight — the defining characteristics of young Indian officers — when so much wrongdoing is evident at the top. Even honest officers are inevitably corrupted by a system in which outright financial dishonesty is condoned as “perks and privileges of office”.
As worrying as the corruption is the lack of intellectual direction that generals provide the army’s young leaders. This was evident from the recent flood of chain emails between mid-level and junior officers, expressing outrage that the army was being blamed in the media for the 1962 debacle. In the intellectual desert that the generals have made the army, every red-blooded officer has bought into the “Haqeeqat myth”, in which gallant soldiers, badly deployed by incompetent politicians and bureaucrats, mowed down hordes of Chinese before laying down their lives. While this is true in several cases, there are many more cases of entire Indian sub-units fleeing from strong defensive positions into waiting Chinese ambushes. Any professional military studies its defeats even more deeply than its victories. But professional study is not on the army’s agenda. The generals believe that officers and men must be busy with creating the illusion of command success, howsoever transient. With no time to read or guidance and inspiration from the top, human development is merely a buzzword.
Preening incongruously amidst this crumbling edifice, General Bikram Singh has taken his media managers’ ill-considered advice that controversies are best dealt with by avoiding the press. General VK Singh’s mistake lay in seeking out the media say the same advisors who had advised the previous chief. But with controversy increasingly swirling, the army’s leadership can no longer deal with its growing image problem by sticking its head in the sand.

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DRDO’S ACHIEVEMENT: India’s Cruise Missile: 7 years in making, cruise missile fails test: Dhoopay Rakhsee Fer Tuus Karsee

7 years in making, cruise missile fails test



NEW DELHI: The much-hyped stealth ‘Nirbhay’ cruise missile, in the making for at least seven years now, failed in its maiden test on Tuesday. The over 1,000-km range missile, which can carry nuclear warheads, in fact, had to be destroyed in mid-air after it deviated from its flight path along the coast in [COLOR=#0000FF !important]Bay of Bengal[/COLOR].

However, DRDO took pains to emphasize that the first test of Nirbhay (fearless) — touted to be in the same class as the famous American Tomahawk missiles and an effective answer to Pakistan’s Babur land-attack cruise missile (LACM) — was not an abject failure.

“The missile was successfully launched from [COLOR=#0000FF !important]the Chandipur launch complex[/COLOR] off [COLOR=#0000FF !important]the Odisha coast[/COLOR]around 11.50 am. It met the basic mission objectives successfully. After travelling approximately midway, deviations were observed from its intended course at a waypoint. The missile was then put in the self-destruct mode to ensure coastal safety,” a DRDO source said.

“The missile flew for around 200 km, proving 90% of [COLOR=#0000FF !important]the critical technologies[/COLOR]. We will analyze what went wrong, undertake corrective action and then conduct another test,” he added.

All this does not detract from the fact that the failure of the sub-sonic missile, which flies at 0.6 to 0.7 Mach, is [COLOR=#0000FF !important]a serious setback[/COLOR] to India’s ambition to soon brandish a long-range, nuclear-capable LACM.

The strike range of the already-inducted BrahMos cruise missile, while supersonic with a speed of Mach 2.8, is just about 300 km. Moreover, neither is BrahMos as “highly-maneuverable” as Nirbhay is designed to be, nor can it “loiter” before homing into the target.

But on Tuesday, the two-stage Nirbhay, which was being tracked by radars, warships and even a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter, developed snags in its “inertial navigation and control systems” just over 15 minutes after being launched from a road-mobile launcher.

The armed forces have been demanding nuclear-tipped LACMs, with strike ranges over 1,500 km, for a long time. While ballistic missiles like the Agni follow a parabolic trajectory, terrain-hugging cruise missiles do not leave the atmosphere and are powered and guided throughout their flight path.

Capable of evading enemy radars and air defence systems since they fly at low altitudes, even at tree-top level, cruise missiles are also much cheaper as well as more accurate and easier to operate than ballistic missiles.

Nirbhay, which deploys wings and tail fins to fly like an aircraft after being initially launched with the help of a solid-propellant booster rocket engine, has been designed to be a “universal missile” like Brahmos. That is, it’s capable of being fired from land, air, warships and submarines.

“Since Nirbhay flies at a slow speed at low altitudes, enemy radars can mistake it for a bird over land or a wave over sea. After separation of the booster motor, the main missile flies like an unmanned aircraft… it can fly at tree-top level and maneuver around hills,” the DRDO source said.

A military officer, however, said, “Nirbhay still has a lot of foreign components… its turbofan, for instance, is imported. It’s still five-six years away from becoming fully operational.”

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