Tag: 2009 (last 300)

IAF Turns 77

(IBN) Indian Air Force Day Parade pictures, Hindon Ghaziabad. The 90-year old 5-star Marshal Arjan Singh was guest of honor. Mirages, Sukhois, Jaguars, Migs, plus IL-76 AWACS with Israeli radar, helicopters, skydivers, aerobatics, gallantry awards.
Previously: iaf, air force day 2009

Indian, French Ships in ‘Varuna 2009’

(Marinebuzz) Before Bastille Day, the Indian Navy ships Delhi, Brahmaputra and Beas, plus escorts, exercised with French ships including the nuclear sub Casabianca in waters off the coast of Brittany in Varuna 2009. (Varuna is the Vedic God of Sea and Sky.)
Previously: india, france, varuna 2009

Are We All At Sea?

(Dailypioneer) Both India and Bharat have lived in denial about water shortage for decades. It may be time to look seriously at Israel’s success in desalinating seawater for agriculture, and develop Lakshadweep’s indigenous desalination method for the mainland.

Irony and the 4th Gen Dynast

(HT) Once politics becomes a family business, peasants choose between various feudal aristocrats. One of the great ironies of Indian politics is that a dynast, Rahul Gandhi, is doing more than anyone else to democratize the Congress. (Vir Sanghvi column)

A Tale of Two Elections

(Outlook) “Despite important differences, there are remarkable parallels in the recent electoral victories in the US and India." Indeed, India’s 2009 elections may be no less transformational than US 2008 elections. Thoughtful essay by Mona Mehta of UChicago.

A New Deal for India

(HT) Make state structures outcome-oriented. No politics in security, law enforcement. Hire 100K new judges; appoint Judicial Review Commission. Implement debit cards for cash transfers; establish social security; dept of veterans affairs; nat’l ID card.

Silicon Valley engineer now Indian MP

(WaPo) Janardhana Swamy, a 41-year-old engineer (Sun, Cisco and Dell), was elected MP from the BJP after returning from the Bay Area.

F- Churchill

(Newsweek) Zakaria: ‘India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the equator,’ said Churchill. Churchill had a sorry track record on India.

Singh names cabinet picks

(WaPo) Mamata Banerjee gets railways, Antony gets defense. Many others retain their positions.

Indian elections bigger than ‘Idol’ :)

(WaPo) Some 400 million voters, or about 60 percent of the electorate, participated, making the election the biggest ever staged in the world.

11 Indians On Everest

(DNA) Eleven Indians in 2 different teams scaled Mt Everest today 5/21, in 50th anniversary year of the first Indian expedition. In a separate team, Krushnaa Patil of Pune, 19, became youngest Indian woman on Mt E, with US, German, Austrian climbers.

Tharoor’s campaign staffed by expats

(WSJ) The Left accused Tharoor of being a Zionist polygamist foreigner outsider intellectual. He shot back that, like millions of others, his family left because Kerala never developed.

Economists, biz happy over Congress win

(NYT) Economists predicted the Congress win would narrow India’s gap with China. Infrastructure isn’t built not due to lack of money, but due to red tape, poor design and corruption.

The animal spirits come out

(Marketwatch) Bombay stock exchange up 17% on Congress victory. Trading suspended for entire day.

Modi like Romney crossed with Jesse Helms

(Wonkette) Wonkette decodes the Indian elections. Modi is like Romney crossed with Jesse Helms, a mini-Hitler. (ht: @kerim)

Election slogans from movies

(WaPo) Congress supporters ate hand-shaped ice pops and shouted ‘Singh is king.’ Congress benefited from rural work guarantee. Mayawati ‘promised to decrease crime rates and then began recruiting criminals.’ Rahul Gandhi sipped tea with lower castes.

Congress chants Rahman hook

(Bloomberg) Exultant Congress workers in khadi cloth chanted ‘Jai ho’ over the party’s election victory. The home minister narrowly won (thanks, P-I).

Goo-goo eyes for votes

(Globalpost Vid, Apr.) Studio Prem puts the naughty in campaign photos.

Indian election results

(Eciresults) Live results from the Indian election here at 8 am 5/16. Yes, the page uses the scroll tag :)

Cash checkpoints in Indian election

(NYT) India cops set up checkpoints and seize cash meant for buying votes in the election, which has cost more than the last major U.S. one.

US Envoy Meet with Indian Politicians Triggers Row

(IBN) Implying that US Charge d’Affaires Burleigh sought influence government formation; CPI-M: “gross interference in internal affairs". With the Left opposed to Nuclear Deal, there is concern in Washington about Communists in the next government.

Election banners don’t come free

(WSJ) Political parties may have spent more on the Indian elections than the official stimulus package did.

Millions vote as Indian elections finish

(WaPo) Millions voted in the final phase of Indian elections. Congress was narrowly ahead of the BJP in the polls.

Ignoring the seamy underside

(WSJ) Indian officials crow about a vibrant democracy but ignore reform, letting criminals run for Parliament. It’s like how self-appointed guardians reacted to ‘White Tiger’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire.’

Sri Lankan war is campaign issue

(WSJ) Rahul Gandhi distinguishes between Tamils and LTTE, mindful of his father’s assassination. Congress’ opposition calls for a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka.

Sunitha take the wheel

(Aljazeera) Delhi’s only female rick driver, Sunitha Chowdhury, is running for Parliament with a women-only party. More: [via]

Shaker vs. Shotgun

(WSJ) Talk show host ‘Shaker’ Suman is running vs. actor Shatrughan ‘Shotgun’ Sinha in Patna. MP Govinda rarely showed up in Parliament and allegedly gave cash to voters. Out of 5 starlets doing voting PSA’s, 4 didn’t vote. Vid: [via]

Low turnout in Kashmir

(WaPo) Kashmir election turnout is low this time around. In November more than 60% turned out, dealing a blow to separatists.

Chai and democracy

(NYT op/ed) Tea and car parts companies ran ads linked to the Indian elections... Only 43% of townies in Bombay voted. Rich Indians command more powerful means to influence politicians than votes. (ht: Shashwati)

India’s creaky legal system

(WSJ) The Indian coalition government has failed to implement a single judicial reform during its 5-year term. Reform seems only to be crisis-driven.

The Professionals Party: out of touch

(WaPo) After 11/26, more middle-class professionals are running for office in Bombay. But the poor are missing the basics: running water, bathrooms, cleared drains to avoid massive floods.

Those bodyguards are buff

(Reuters Photos) Bollycelebs arrive at the polls in Bombay (ht: AK).

The baby doesn’t need to see that

(DNA) Another Bombay voter shows her middle finger to the camera, marked with indelible ink.

Bombay records dismal turnout

(BBC) 11/26 only turned in to an election issue for urban elites. Bombay had only recorded a turnout of about 30% by mid-afternoon. (ht: SB)

What’s the symbol for the Internet?

(Twitter) At Indian polling booth. Mom says the health conscious should vote for the banana symbol, cricket lovers for the cricket bat. Some independent party needs a laptop symbol.

Triad election

(WaPo) In UP, a don is contesting the election from his cell, on trial for a dozen murders. Criminals adopt Robin Hood images by fixing low fees for things like doctor visits. [Similar M.O. as Taliban — step in where gov’t doesn’t work.]

Heat wave depresses Indian turnout

(WaPo) Turnout slowed as summertime temperatures touched 111 degrees. The intense heat caused the death of one election official and hospitalization of another in Orissa.

Seth agrees with Anand G.

(WSJ) On the campaign trail in Gujarat, politicians focused more on how much flesh they could press than on saying anything worth listening to... Congress rallies are in Hindi, BJP in Gujarati.

Indian parties get theatrical

(WSJ Video) Many Indian political parties put together street theater showing the failings of the status quo.

India’s Oldest Living Female Conjoined Twins to Vote

(Hindu) Their brother said that they had cast their votes a number of times, both by stamping on the ballot papers as well as through Electronic Voting Machines. (Presumably only once in each election cycle. OK, twice.)

Swing vote

(BBC) On 30 April, 7 people will travel into the forest to pick up the ballot of Guru Bharatdas Darshandas, who looks after a temple in Gir forest (Asiatic lion refuge) in Gujarat. He is the only voter at the station.

Bulletproof Nehru jackets

(WSJ Video) Indian political candidates are donning bulletproof Nehru jackets, hiring armed bodyguards and traveling in blast-proof vehicles.

The Zapf Dingbats election

(DNA) The Indian election is getting to be like a captcha. Indie candidates get symbols for illiterate voters: banana, cake, carrot, coconut, ice cream, comb, frying pan, frock, rad roller [?]. No dosa grinder? Anil Kapoor’s hair?

Beware Mayawati

(WSJ) Mayawati wants caste reservations in the private sector, making companies hire the underqualified. This is the nightmare that the next elections could bequeath to India.

Poll pix

(BBC) More photos of the elephantine Indian election. (ht: Ennis)

India vote begins

(WSJ) Photos of e-voting machines and massive polling tents in India-wide elections.

Another shoeing

(NYT) $5M in cash had been seized in Andhra, meant to be handed out to voters. Some of it was found stashed inside car tires... Someone threw a shoe at BJPer L.K. Advani but missed.

High security in Indian elections

(WaPo) Troops fanned out across India a day ahead of elections. Thursday’s voting is the first of 5 phases over a month. 714M are eligible to cast ballots.

Pray for crisis

(NYT) Despite 9% growth, the Congress Party has slowed structural reform, even highway building. Some argue only in a crisis like the one prompting ’91 liberalization will the Indian gov’t be motivated to seriously reform.

Indian Citizens Abroad Can’t Vote

(Hindu) Ordinary Indian citizens abroad, registered voters at home, still do not have the right to vote by proxy or in person at consulates. However, bureaucrats and diplomats do. A bill to enfranchise citizens overseas has yet to become law.

Internet Jaago Re

(WSJ) Internet penetration in India is too low for elections to be influenced Obama-style. But Jaago Re (Wake Up) and No Criminals have done a good job organizing voter reg and an ethics campaign online.

The importance of being secular

(WSJ) This year, Taslima Nasrin was informed that she could stay in India only if she refrained from press and public. She left for a fellowship in the U.S.

D’oh! in Kannada

(BBC) A Karnataka minister fled an election rally when he realised he was addressing Congress workers and not his own party, the BJP. [Because Indian election signs are oh-so-subtle.] (ht: S)

Shoe lobber wins

(Sify) After his involvement in the ’84 anti-Sikh pogrom was brought to the fore by the shoe tosser, Congress Party member Jagdish Tytler pulled out of the elections. (ht: Sikander)

Indian reform candidates face uphill battle

(WSJ) Reform parties are having a hard time in India without handing out rupees or beer. The Professionals Party promised to field 100 candidates but only attracted 2.

Indian youth vote rising after 11/26

(WaPo) After 11/26, dozens of new and youth political parties have formed to fight terrorism, stem job losses and fix infrastructure... BJP: ‘Our goal is to offer a buffet of technology. We want to be the party of Facebook.’

Indian election portals

(Techcrunch) Google, Yahoo launch India elections sites where voters can confirm reg, get poll location.

Meera H Sanyal runs from South Mumbai

(Meerahsanyal) Meera H. Sanyal, India Country Manager for ABN Amro, is running for Parliament from South Mumbai. Strikes me as unusually articulate, idealistic without being unrealistic, and tough as nails. Claims Mumbai pays $19B taxes, gets only $600M in services.

India redistricts, first time in 30 years

(BBC) Indian parliamentary districts were redrawn for the first time in 30 yrs. Gurgaon is officially classified as rural despite the malls and gated communities.

Habib Jalib awarded Nishan-e-Imtiaz on Pakistan Day

(App) Revolutionary poet Habib Jalib (1928-93), a strident opponent of the Ayub and Zia military regimes, whose poetry inspired the recent civil society movements, was awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civilian honor, on Pakistan Day, 3-23-09.

IPL Moved Out of India

(NDTV) The Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches for 2009 will not be held in India. The original schedule had overlapped with the Indian Elections. The foreign venue for the matches could be South Africa, but this has not been confirmed.

Exploding Cherries

(Outlook) I was desperately hoping that Imran Khan’s prediction about a popular backlash [against militants attacking cricketers] would turn out to be true. There is a backlash, but it’s not directed at the attackers [Md. Hanif essay on Lahore terror].

Musharraf Speaks at India Today Conclave

(Intoday) ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, the Army and the ISI are for peace with India. Believe it or not!’. 13 part video. Candid Q&A.; [Also: Irshad Manji, Sharukh Khan, Abhinav Bindra, Priyanka Chopra, MJ Akbar, Garry Kasparov, Dominique de Villepin, others.]

Pakistan Rules Out India Hand

(Hindu) Rehman Malik, Interior Ministry,said there was no evidence to suggest either LTTE or Indian involvement in the Lahore attacks. Pakistani officials desperate for a breakthrough have rounded up 250 suspects including Nigerians, Uzbeks, Afghans.

Congress Party Buys Rights to ‘Jai Ho’

(BBC) Congress’ Tiwari: achievements of the government deserved to be saluted and the song best explained that. BJP’s Javdekar: ‘This song will remind every Indian that millions of people still have to stay in slums because of faulty Congress policies.’�

Abhinav Bindra Padma Bhushan

(NDTV) Along with Thomas Kailath of Stanford, BB Rath of US NRL, Sam Pitroda, Isher Ahluwalia, Ramachandra Guha, 24 others. Nuclear Scientist Kakodkar gets Padma Vibhushan, 9 others. Ashok Chakra: Karkare, Kamte, Unnikrishnan, Salaskar, Singh, Omble.