Showing posts with label Arms Race. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arms Race. Show all posts

Monday, April 22, 2013

While I was gone... Part 2/3 [April 2013]

Violence in prison is not a bedtime story. While there is no honor among thieves, prisoners live by an unspoken code of conduct. Politicians and Bollywood bad boys enjoy the premium cuts, rapists and mass murderers fall at the very bottom of the food chain here.

The past week saw another Delhi-16 rapist/animal experience the hospitality at Tihar. Fellow prisoners broke the arm of the bastard who starred in the most publicized gang rape in modern India. While I'll elect to send this bastard back to his misery, Indian women aren't celebrating yet. Any surprise why?
Men continued to abduct, rape and torture. Not necessarily in that order. Age no bar. Mental condition no bar. Bar no bar. Our women continued to be gang raped and depending on how many parts of their body needed to sewn up, our rapists would have raped atleast 2 children and 10 women by the time you've finished reading this post.

When we heard the gory details of December 16, we cringed. Misogynous men and certain women claimed it was because of the dress the women wear and the way they tempt. They theorized it is physically impossible to rape if the girl does not cooperate. Not so! We said. Technically, it would have made sense. But how can a girl keep her chastity safe when she is being spread apart by men with a singular mission to 'cover the face, f*ck the base and forget the case'. And so we cringe every time we read a lady is abducted and gang raped

But how do you explain when men rape children as young as 4 years old? What is the pleasure that these mother f*ckers get when they penetrate and destroy a defenseless child
How did that child tempt you?
Who do you trust your children with anymore?
More importantly, can the victims ever live a healthy life ever again?


Our politicians have the uncanny talent of churning out scams and scandals so fast that rapes and atrocities against women and children are mere commercial breaks before the next billion dollar scam. Indians in India might be forgiven for letting them off the hook but not our foreign minister

And in related rape news, Dharampal who raped and then mercilessly killed the victim and her family while on parole will be hanged. Way to go, Prez!
Another tourist was raped and killed. Thankfully, not by a lecherous, sex-starved, repressed Indian male but by another tourist who was caught fleeing. That's fodder for another episode of Banged Up Abroad!


And if you wondered why victims haven't been reporting crimes as often as they should, the ordeal a 10 year old faced when she approached the cops must convince you why we have such dismal numbers. 

Self defense doesn't work either. 

So while we are grappling with the sudden media spurt of gang rapes in India, in the good ol United States of America, girls as young as 12 will have access to 'morning-after' pills. Well, if they can't beat it, might as well celebrate it. While women's groups are hailing this landmark judgement, I can't fathom why young girls must be expected/allowed to have sex and why young boys/men must be expected/allowed to impregnate girls this young.
A recent survey revealed 60% of 8 - 12 year olds in the US have STDs. I am sure their parents are a proud lot.

An ex-Thomson Reuters employee sued his former employer over alleged discriminatory practices. Having worked in the company myself, I'd say this is not the only instance of discrimination that I've seen within. Corporate bullying, unethical managerial practices and undue favoritism are just some of the regular sins but I've said enough already. 


Tax evasion by major companies saw the Income Tax department breathing down their collars.

Death is all around us and strangely the DoT (Department of Telecom) just woke up to the realization that they should not be installing high-powered cell phone towers near residential areas. While this can be rude awakening to the risks it poses, I don't see anything changing. The DoT will continue to allow mobile operators with deep pockets to install towers in and around densely populated cities and town in India. Who cares?

It was a fortnight of famous deaths too. The Iron Lady passed away and United Kingdom was not so united after all. 

Robert Edwards, pioneer of IVF died after a long illness. Besides providing a way to procreate, he also made it possible for millions of Vicky donors around the world.

Savitha's inquest dug up a whole lot of muck and religious goo. At the end of it, I doubt if Ireland will change their laws for the sake of one dead pregnant Asian.

From car-chases, it appears that Americans have suddenly acquired a taste for guns.
In Georgia and Boston.

The United Axis of Evil delayed a missile test to avoid pushing the North Koreans over the edge. Gee! And they just realized that now?!
Thankfully, China - America's moneylender - has promised to talk to the lil Kim on a peaceful solution. Why the Americans didn't restrain themselves in the first place baffles me.



America is a funny nation.
They are neck deep in debt. Nine out of ten families live hand to mouth, millions don't have jobs or houses, nearly all of them live their entire lives on credit cards and yet they will spend trillions of dollars in military and financial aid. To add sauce to our kachori, they even increased the amount of aid they will provide to Pakistan. Yet inspite of all this, Pakistan will still remain one of the poorest countries in the planet.  Just incredible, I say!
So while your relative/friend is working their capitalist butt off in the US, you can be sure his/her tax dollars will end up fattening the next Pakistani ruler's wallet.

Talking about Pakistan, Mush came like a knight in shining armor, only to get stuck, caught and strung! The man clearly has the combined IQ of a hair comb.

Some unexpected money for Malya Senior, as he won a settlement of Rs 1.5 crore. For a man as wealthy as he is, this loose change would be enough to fuel his exotic car collection but not enough to restart his sick airline.

Hairy Baba cast his vote for the BJP. With the deluge of support for the BJP, the coming elections are looking more lopsided than any in recent history. While I don't support the countless good PR that Modi has been getting on facebook and else, if Modi is half as good as the millions say he is, then we are all in for the ride of our lives.

Some welcome news when our Pradan Mantri proposed to scrap the rule where judges get to pick their successors. Long overdue, this change I'll say. Because the recent plethora of inane and silly laws did point to a rot at its roots. 


A member of the SEAL team that captured and killed Osama was allowed to testify why he sent confidential documents to Wikileaks. His motive was simple- To expose the American military's "bloodlust" and disregard for human life in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I thought that fact was adequately established. How naive of me!

In the past many weeks and in many parts of India, thousands of people have lost their homes. No, its not because they defaulted on loans, but because the government knows it is more convenient to displace them than to disappoint construction moguls in search of prime land. Spare a few minutes and sign the petition.

No Sunny, no. We don't want vulgarity in our songs. We just want to see you gyrate and moan in absolute ecstasy. And so we were promised that there is nothing in any of her songs. Good



Didi came, she walked, she whimpered back. I've said this many times before and I'll say it again. She is the political equivalent of Rakhi Sawant - loud and uncouth. Maybe she should change track and take some lessons from Nitish.
It looks like the former CJI Katju forgot his medication, again. This time he wants the Prez to pardon Bhullar. Why the senile old man won't give up baffles millions. I have one word for you - Bengay!

Sreeshanth: Cry baby.
..and a baby who will make you cry.

I have friends and relatives working in Infosys. Until a couple of years ago, a job there would have meant you've arrived in your career. Settled. Time to get married, buy a house, sell your stocks and retire in peace.
Not any longer. Infosys's fall from glory is a lesson in corporate money management. Infosys lost much of its shine and so did Gold.

A Boeing 737 overshot the runway and landed at sea. Human error or equipment failure, what is appalling is how most of the passengers didn't remember how to deploy the life jackets during emergency. So much for those safety lessons after boarding.

So it's proven that we love lists. In the past fortnight, we had Mila Kunis top the list of the '10 most f*ckable celebrities'. But honestly, why would we need to know that?! Are any of those who voted going to get a chance at it? You wish!
And while Hollywood would love such tags, our desi actresses who gyrate half-naked wonder aloud why the sexy tag has stuck


Another politician got his ugly over-sized feet in his mouth. He repented. Welcome to the club!
After Katju helpfully pointed out how we vote like much cattle, Jairam Ramesh, added substance to what we've been suspecting for a long time - We don't choose our leaders for their intellect. Gee! You really think so!

Online, there was much excitement and argument.
Psy released his second video - Gentleman. It sounds (and looks) like a sequel that pokes fun at his country(wo)men. By the time, you've read this post, the video would've got another 100,000 likes. Personally, I think this video lacks the punch its predecessor had but hey! those pelvic thrusts are way easier to copy and spoof.


A video that did cause a lot of uproar was of a pair of (under-aged) Keralite kids whose over indulgent parents allowed to take their million dollar Ferrari and Land Rover Vogue out for a quick spin.
While you can clearly hear how the kids have made their parents mighty proud by their driving skills, I wonder why the cops have not made an example by arresting the kids and their wealthy parents. Obviously, they might have 'bought off' every minister and cop in a 100 km radius but it is parents like these that result in a nation where children don't know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. I shudder to think how many times and what else these parents have allowed their children to do what is wrong from any angle and every culture.

Natural disasters turned many parts of the world into a pile of rubble - Iran, China.

In all that has been happening in India over the past several months, this is clear - What nature left untouched, we succeeded in destroying. As news of how in-laws of a bride destroyed a two month old fetus because she didn't bring in enough dowry, the officials sprung into action. We all like to say how dowry is evil publicly, but behind closed doors the girl is sold pound for fair-skinned pound. 

About 2 years ago, when I was about to marry my then girlfriend, my mom and relatives lectured me on how it is suitable for me to expect and demand dowry from my 'to be' in-laws. On our engagement, I was again 'counseled' by my mom first and several of my 'aunts' on how dowry is necessary so that the girl's family will be held in high prestige because they gave a sizable dowry. Not that my family needed the money. I was appalled. I refused.
This is quite the predicament for any Indian man when he refuses to accept dowry for the right reasons.
You could be a political prisoner or a prisoner of your principles. Our human rights record is not something we can be proud of either.

The Sanjay Dutt mega serial continued. Why must we even negotiate anymore? Can't we see that Munnabhai actually has no intention of going without a fight? If you ask me, the Court should've just picked him up and thrown him into prison 3 weeks ago. What we got instead is 4 more weeks of this drama. Argh!

About a year ago, Samsung lost a high profile patent case in the US, it is back in the news again. For all the wrong reasons, apparently. Clearly, business ethics were given the smack-down.


Bangalore went Bang Galore!
When an IED exploded near the local office of the BJP, everybody ran like headless chicken. Foot-in-mouth politicians had their own colorful theories and we all had a good chuckle. Even as I write this post, there hasn't been a single arrest though there has been plenty of clues.
Boston -1. Bangalore - 0


And that's the way the cookie crumbles!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

While I was gone... Part 1/3 [April 2013]

You've got to admit it - the last 10 days have been as colorful as India could be on Holi.
Journalism is a strange bed-fellow. Virile, youngish men and women burn their midnight oil to write utter garbage.
But this I say 'Journos, we are no longer shocked by anything that Indian men will and can do. Atleast not after the litany of "brutal" crimes against women since December 16, 2012. We know Indian men will do everything (in)humanly possible to any women they can lay their eyes on. We cried 'No More' and we got more'.

But I will make a difference. I will not talk about how a dozen young men forced themselves into the house of a 21 year old lady, and beat her family up. Nor will I talk about how 2 minors were confined and raped. or how a man raped his own aunt over a property issue.
But this I will say, for all you girls who were wooed by young men with raging hormones, don't break up with them or you may get kidnapped, raped, tortured and even splashed with some acid of choice. This advice is also for men who could get raped like this poor fellow.
There begins a lifetime of therapy.

While the victims are sentenced to a lifetime of shame and pain, the accused will be treated and feted by our tax rupees.
Isn't it strange how the accused always threatens the victim(s) of 'dire consequences' if reported to the police. Isn't getting abused and violated, dire consequences of being a women in itself?

More food for thought - What can men who throw acid on women possibly gain? While I won't fight for Death to rapists, I will definitely lobby death for acid-throwers. About 90% of the rapes in India happen at the spur of the moment. Not too many rapes are elaborately planned or premeditated. While this won't absolve them of their crime, killing them is far too easy a punishment. On the other hand, men who throw acid in retaliation plan their crimes in great detail. They are aware of what acid can do to human flesh and do it to put 'her in her place'. They want to destroy her. They want to 'teach her a lesson'. What lesson are we ready to teach the two unidentified men who threw acid on 4 sisters?
At the other end of the spectrum, a brave victim at Patna delivered justice to her rapist. While I laud her courage and determination to do this, I wouldn't want the people to take the law in their hands. An eye for an eye will only make the world blind. We need to resuscitate our justice system and we shouldn't rest until she is up.

Last year, couple of legislators with plenty of time on their hands decided to check out mankind's best reason to use the internet, and the nation erupted. While the country has been strangely bereft of any sex scandals (of the consensual, non-violent kind) one young BJP legislator in the southern State of Karnataka decided to end the drought of no sex. While I haven't seen the hidden sex video yet, I wouldn't hold my breath either. Naked hairy Indian men are no fun to watch.

Last month, it was Cadbury. This time, it was Nokia. Looks like our IT dept just put up the 'Hunting Season' boards.


In 'End of the World' news, North Korea rattled with rhetoric. Russia and China, one time allies of the war-torn economy, warned the West against pushing Korea's buttons. The strange thing about rhetoric like this neither the US nor the Koreans will survive a full blown nuclear war. Korea can move their missiles any bloody way they please, but the truth is no one likes the barrel of the gun pointing at them.

Over the course of the last 10 days, it has shut down its only link with the South and has forced foreign embassies out. Did someone say Chernobyl? Gee! You think so! 

The pattern is evident.
The Americans who are daring the Koreans to fire the first missile have themselves invaded and devastated economies when it profited them. Case in point- Iraq, Afghanistan. No one found any evidence of the 'weapons of mass destruction'. Instead what they left behind was an economy in tatters. Am amazed at how the Americans now think that only the Koreans are engaged in bellicose rhetoric yet have indulged in plenty of bellicose rhetoric themselves. No ones the wiser.
The North Koreans have, on the other hand, had cozy alliances with countries that have been selling nukes for the right price. For all that we know, the Koreans may have a missile that could wipe off South Korea, Japan and the East Coast but lets hope the 'experts' are right when they say 'the Koreans can't possibly have nukes or the weapon systems'.

Financially and otherwise, a war between the two could suck the whole world in. For the Americans, this could be Vietnam 2.0 and for the rest of us - the end of human civilization as we know it. The Koreans aren't exactly looking at winning this war, but to just prove a point. What surprises me is not how the North has been behaving but how US has been cornering them. Despite their treaties, the Americans and the South Koreans have been taunting them with war exercises in the years since. The war cries don't seem to die and I have the funny feeling that we are headed towards the plunging end of a waterfall. Any last wishes?

The Indian Army announced an 'ambitious' programme to upgrade its entire fleet of 2000 infantry combat vehicles plus equipment. Rough 'back of the envelope' calculations brings the cost of such a massive upgrade to a couple of trillion greenbacks. Russians, Europeans and the Americans can now wipe the drool of their chins. Here comes another gazillion dollar scandal.
Maybe we should have privatized our Army and let our companies equip them. Atleast that's how our young IT companies have been arming our Maoists. Do the people who run these companies have any conscience?

The desi version of CIA, NIA announced with much fanfare that it was going to probe and punish the Italian marines. Italy twitched. I can almost hear the phones ringing at #7 Race Course. Sonia, where's your patriotic duty?!

Cyprus is sinking, but in a glimmer of rare hope thousands of prisoners donated their savings to help keep a voluntary clinic open.

Our lawmakers can probably take a clue or two from Washington when it put 2 fifth graders on trial for a foiled attempt in raping and killing a female classmate. They stand trial as juveniles. No ugly marches, no candle-light vigils and no 'castrate/hang the bastards' placards. What divides us from US, is how they trust the law to take its course.

India switched itself to Poll Mode, with BJP and Congress announcing their lists of candidates. In the next couple of weeks and months, we will get to hear of liberal dollops of freebies in the Indian version of the 'Joy of Giving'.
After his hectic 'Free Sanju' campaign Katju, helpfully pointed out how 90% of Indians vote on caste lines, like cattle and sheep. Well, what's wrong with cattle and sheep? Don't we travel cattle-class already?

Kerala, God's Own Country, continued to be in the spotlight after one of its more colorful State Minister was charged of domestic abuse, adultery and everything that his wife could possibly think of. What followed provided fodder for an entire society that has been fed on sleazy soap opera dramas.

While we are allowed to watch Sex and the City, watch what you tweet. Your David Dhawanisque joke could land you on your butt.

Big blow for big Pharma. Indians can now afford to get cancer after the country's apex court struck down a lengthy patent battle for Novartis AG's cancer drug Glivec

Uncle Sam wasn't happy about this.
Pope washed the sinner's feet, and raised the eyebrows of conservatives and orthodox Catholics around the world. 
Malya came, he tried, he lost. The flamboyant liquor baron lost another battle to stop his creditors from selling his crown jewels.
While our economy is in doldrums, we can rest assured that our apex bank is secure. A Keralite was arrested and detained for trying to enter the Reserve Bank of India. All this for publicity. What a Loser! Doesn't he know Poonam at all?

Yesteryear actress and all-round hottie Manisha Koirala is still the really beautiful lady that she was. She is back! No catchphrases, no ads, no tacky wristbands. Only sheer grit and determination. You go girl!


So while Mrs Koirala has been finding work and doing better, another Bollywood actor has been bed-ridden and forgotten. May we beg of your largesse here, please?
In other Bollywood news, Sanjay Dutt had a change of mind after his tearful PR exercise and filed a review petition. Bollywood and even a former Supreme Court justice threw their collective weight around the 'Free Sanjay' circus trailer.

I want you all to take a good long look at this- This is what ails India.
In a country that has been plagued with terrorism since its Independence, when its highest legal authority passes a verdict that is beyond review, what makes influential people think they can campaign for freedom and arm-twist the government (and the court) to reverse it? Is the justice system different for the common man and for those in the limelight? Dutt deserves to go to prison if for what he has done. Lesser mortals are thrown into prison for lesser crimes. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Not for me, not for you, definitely not for Mr Dutt.

India's poster boy for Boxing faced the music and had to give some of his hair and blood samples.  People in sport denying doping allegations are becoming old. I think we need sportspeople who will dope and then admit it. That would be something new and refreshing. See, in about a few years from now, Vijender will fail a dope test and then admit taking drugs. So why not save us all the drama, confess and join Bollywood.

Bad news for criminals starting this year.. our President, Judge and Executioner in Chief Mr Pranab Mukherjee had a busy day signing, and we all got a new Criminal law. So, unless you really want to live in prison for a long time, either get into politics or get a new career. And oh yeah. Stop whipping your d*ck out because he also signed a new anti-rape law.

For Obama, From Australia. With Love.


So until I'm back with more wonderful news of the incredible times we live in, here's some pearls of wisdom:
Women- Please electrify your undies.
Indian Men- err.. Nevermind.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

When I was gone: Part 1/2 [March 2013]



The first half of March saw a torrent of 'Breaking News'. So much that I'm doing overtime just to get my head around this.
Here's Part 1 of what you missed.

As domestic airlines sold millions of cheap air tickets (with fine print), another MNC came under the scanner for alleged malpractices. Cadbury was found to be using an 'nonexistent factory' to avoid about $46 billion in taxes. While it has already been under investigation over its $19 billion takeover of Cadbury, this couldn't have come at a worse time. As India tries to rein in its yawning fiscal deficit and a last chance for the ruling party to fatten some of their own wallets, this may not be the last of such news.

Talking about news, Manmohan roared. Yes, you read that right! Delayed as it is, Manmohan 'the bonecrusher' Singh took a bite off the leader of the main opposition party, LK 'the lamb' Advani by pointing out how the Congress is still in power and the BJP is not. Well, seeing as how Modi is sharpening his pitchfork, Manmohan roared so late and too soon.

The world celebrated another Women's day and sticking with 'tradition', Indian men gang-raped women like it was going out of style. Handicapped or not, any vagina is fair game. So we raped women who were going through troubled marriages and touristy villages. There was some brouhaha and seeing how the cops rounded up the dicks who raped the Swiss tourist, I am positively certain the Swiss may have threatened to not return any of the money that our politicians have in their banks.
Women who were not raped where killed. Right in their mother's wombs. It was the same shame story of female infanticide and we are talking about just one Indian state. What happens in Maharashtra stays in Maharashtra.
India as a society is simply incapable of keeping its promise to end violence against women.
The problem is within our psyche. A few years ago, an email that did the rounds spoke about how emotionally strong Indian women are. While I won't deny our women are made of sterner and nobler stuff, I wonder why we are hell bent on 'taming' them.

Over the past couple of months, I can sense a collective pall of gloom, fear and loathe that has fallen over our women. Violence and abuse is not the stuff of raunchy Bollywood movies anymore. They are real, with every women. Every day.
The sheer magnitude of abuse will shame even the most holiest of us. If every victim were to register a complaint against every instance of abuse, I doubt if our justice system can wrap their heads around it. Our crocodile tears, our phony marches and empty promises must stop. Our customary banal celebrations of Womanhood and our wild accusations must cease. And we need to act soon because inspite of our best advertisements, our nascent tourism industry is about to die a premature death.
Official statistics from any Indian State is a mere fraction of what the real body count is. It is however a clear indication of how lawless our administration really is and how our country is littered with individuals with vested interests and contradictions.
As a signatory to the CEDAW - Convention of Elimination of All forms of violence Against Women, all the violence that has been allowed to happen in India, sounds like a cruel joke. So is when self-appointed guardians of the society decide to lend their weight towards the worthy cause of the guilty. 


Whilst the country was still haggling, one of the men who has been accused of raping Jyothi in the now infamous 'Delhi gang rape' was found hanging. My guess is that he decided to save all of us some drama (and show the way to the other five) by hanging himself. The country erupted. Most national newspapers spent reams of newsreel on him and autopsied his life in glorious public view. His former neighhours and villagers got their 15 minutes of fame and everyone forgot about the agony that Jyothi faced. While his lawyers said he was happy in jail, his family members helpfully pointed out that he was handicapped and hence incapable of hanging himself. Raping a defenseless girl? Yes. Hanging? No way! Ofcourse, we all know that his fellow prisoners could have raped him but then I doubt if he was unhappy about having the favor returned.

Korea's evil twin flexed its muscles, again. Fired a few missiles and got on the last nerve of Uncle Sam. My questions are:
1) Why do countries that say they have nothing to fear, still do things out of fear? Aren't they reaping what they sow?
2) How do countries like Korea and India have so much money to spend on arms and ammo that won't do jackshit in feeding their hungry millions? And how is it that their missiles 'fail' miserably when tested?



SRK was in the news again. In a convoluted show of misogyny, he declared that women in all his movies will have their names appear first. The problem is not the order of names in the credits of the film. Credits merely show the pecking order.
If he really wants to show respect to the women in his films, he will give her a meatier role in his movies. Ofcourse, directors like Srinivasan in the South have produced, directed and acted in movies where the female protagonist has a much more powerful role then the male. Does SRK have it within his over-inflated ego to make and act alongside a woman who has a better role than himself? I highly doubt if he would have been happy acting as Vidya Balan's onscreen husband in Kahaani.

Bitti, the Rapist, was found safe and secure working in a nationalized bank. After being on the lam for six years, an anonymous tip-off blew his cover. The story of how he raped, jumped bail, reinvented his life with a new identity, and landed a cushy job in God's Own Country will someday be the plot of a blockbuster Bollywood movie. Moral of the story- Well, there is none.

She may have never acted in a single movie yet, but that could not stop Poonam from celebrating her 22nd birthday by taking another well publicized bath, this time in the Ganges. Well, Americans have their Kim Kardhashian and we have our Poonam.

So talking about the much married Kardashian, she stayed in the news by expressing her indignation at accusations made by her former 'Made for TV' quickie-husband Kris Humphreys. For those who came in late, Kim and Kris were like two peas of the same pod. I am surprised they didn't have a love-child together. 

Worry not, for she has quickly and effectively corrected that mistake by having a baby with her current squeeze Kanye West. Touche`

India showed rare resilience and bravado when Italy announced it was not going to send its marines back to India to be tried. Dr MS bared his fangs and so did his puppet mistress Mrs G . Both of which surprised and humored us. Our courts followed with an encore and Pakistan might have felt good that we don't go through all this theatrics every-time they kill a few of our javans. The most India was known to do is cancel cricket matches. Call it the Italian Connection. Howwzat!
But don't let any of this make you believe that we are kind or caring towards any of our foreign guests


Congress washed its hands, both literally and otherwise, off its famous son-in-law and that was that. And the US of A saw another Bush rising


Our Catholic cousins got a new Pope. And online journal Cobra Post caught our banks with their gloved hands deep inside the cookie jar in what is arguably the most organized network of money laundering in the world. Our newspapers barely gave it any coverage. And as I write this post, RBI has already given the banks a clean chit.

So all in all, this was a really exciting month! Hurray!


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

From Russia, with Love [284/365]

Overly-patriotic Indians and retired (and semi-retired) military men celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The rest of us were busy reading about how DLF gave some pocket money to Robert Vadra.

Before

So while we were all busy seeing hastily put up montages of out-dated Sukhoi's and MIGs that haven't fallen off the sky yet, there was one tiny bit of news that went ignored- Russia pushed the delivery of the refitted Admiral Gorshkov aka INS Vikramaditya by another 11 months.
Reason: The 45,000 ton aircraft carrier failed its extensive sea-trails. The boilers in the refitted aircraft carrier failed and the vessel could not accelerate to its maximum speed. Gee!

For the uninitiated, the Soviet Union era Gorshkov which was formerly known as Baku was decommissioned eight years after it was commissioned in 1987. Strangely, the reason why it was decommissioned was because of an explosion in the boilers and it was considered too nonviable to recommission the massive carrier. Deja vu, anyone?! It was put up for sale in 1996. And eight years later, Russia managed to sell the Gorshkov to India. 


This would be the start of years of retrofitting and repairs as both India and Russia began to haggle over the price.
Finally, after years of negotiation, in 2004 it was decided that India would pay Russia $2.3 billion which was thrice the original price of $947 million.

...and What could be

Now, the funny part- India would get the ship free while paying for the $800 million for retrofitting and upgrading the ship and an additional billion for aircraft and weapon systems, like 12 single-seat Mikoyan MiG-29K 'Fulcrum-D' and 4 dual-seat MiG-29KUB aircraft (with an option for 14 more aircraft) at $1 billion, 6 Kamov Ka-31 "Helix" reconnaissance and anti-submarine helicopters, torpedo tubes, missile systems, and artillery units. Today as news of the delay came, it was rumored that Delhi will have to pay $4 billion for the second-hand aircraft carrier.

Now, call me a stingy Indian or a cynic, but if agreeing to pay 6 times the original price of a product isn't foolish enough, then irritating cost escalations because of delayed delivery is beyond the realm of common-sense. The simplest analogy I can think of is if you are agreeing to buying an apartment to be delivered at a mutually agreeable date and price, then any delay to deliver it on time can and should attract penalties or a revocation of the contract. While we may never know the real cost of the INS Vikramaditya, I doubt if we will need an aircraft carrier that costs as much as the Gorshkov has.


Back to present day, India's defense minister Mr AK Antony did some politi-speak. Ahead of high-level defense ministerial meetings, Delhi warned that it would penalize Moscow five percent of the contract value for any further delays. Yeah right!
I am pretty sure the Generals at Kremlin would be rolling on the floor laughing at how they have 'sold' the Gorshkov to the Indians.

Cliched as it sounds, for a country that lacks basic infrastructure, education and employment, will the INS Vikramaditya ever pay for itself?
For a hand-me-down, it sure is an expensive deal. But we are like that only. We like to brag at how we got a great deal even if we got a dud. 


And in the meanwhile, here's a message from Russia; To India. With Love


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Freeze! [115/365]

source: The Telegraph
It's just April and we've got a full deck of exciting things happening.
While it appears like we'll have a full show at the Olympics which is just 100 days away, we are already having a race of another kind happening. An Arms race.

So, India decided to go ahead with a missile that can reach any part of China.
China, being the cry baby it is, first declares the missile is nothing compared to the ones it has but later declares the missile could actually go further than it was announced.
Predictably Pakistan, not used to being ignored by both India and China, has test fired it's own 'India missile', a modified version of the Shaheen. (Read the explosive news here)

If the threat of a nuclear war was not frightening, this would have been the stuff of standup comedians.
Pakistan was the target of our fear and hate psychosis until a few years ago. And then we tested our nukes, intimidating our western neighbor. All we wanted, was to scare the Pakis just enough to keep them on the edge but not push them over that they attack us. But they did and when the world reacted in aghast against Pakistan, we achieved our first moral victory. Our victory at the battlefield mattered less. Gradually, we lost our interest in Pakistan and trained our bofors at another troublesome neighbor - China.
For many years, and since the latest Indo Sino war, China has been restructuring itself. She has been quietly yet consistently growing. Organically and otherwise. Into an economy that the world cannot live without. Today, over 80% of everything manufactured or processed is Made In China. They build 15 fully equipped cities in a year while we struggle with a over-bridge for 10. I know I sound cynic but the proof is in the pudding.
Our government fumbles with every single infrastructure project and corruption is so deep rooted that it's slowly desensitized us.

So if you can't reach them, scare them.
Enter Agni 5. (Read my earlier post commemorating death)

But here's what I'm thinking.
Why do we need to annihilate a country that we can stand to gain a lot, if only we are friendly.
We needed 5 versions of a missile before we could build one that could reach all of China?! What did the first four versions reach? Srilanka? Andamans?

If you ask me, I think the Pakis had the missile a long while now. It's just taken them some time to translate the Chinese manuals.
Why Pakistan still finds India a threat is something I find disconcerting. With all the thaw that has been happening between the nations, a missile test like this puts a freeze on our bonhomie. Maybe we could test our 'Pakistan missile' again. Just to remind them that we already have a missile that can reach any spot in Pakistan.

What are we trying to achieve with all these missiles?
Intimidation is one of them.
While both the countries have showed how they can push each other's buttons really well, I think it's time we stop all this posturing.
Deep down, we desire to live together.
When we are the same culturally, geographically and ethnically, why can't we learn to live together as well?
We may not be able to beat China alone, but together we can achieve a super- economy that is unbeatable.

Perhaps our political fathers have been frightened at the prospect of having us work in harmony. Maybe they just want to keep our twin away.
And a missile is a wonderful way to do that.


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