Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts

Sunday, August 11, 2013

While you were gone: August 2013 [Part 1 of 3]

The past week, politicians felt foolish.
I said 'Go with the feeling'.

A 22 year old JNU student did a Freddy Krueger and killed himself. And that's how urban legends are born, thank you.

And it looks like one of my wishes came true! Smarting from the accounting frauds at Satyam a few years ago, the government finally signed into law The Companies Act, 2012, which makes it mandatory for companies among other things to be involved in Corporate CSR. Now, the real work should be in the details. The Act should specify who and what could be the benefactors of this largesse.

If you thought you've achieved everything in life after you've settled into that expensive new home that you will be slogging your butts off to pay the mortgages for the next 20 years, think again. This family left their home and returned to find a pile of rubble. No earthquake this. All in a day's work for land sharks and petty politicians.

Snowden settled into Russia. O said Snowden is no patriot and cancelled his meeting with Putin. How mature!
Okay, so he promised more transparency into such surveillance, but that was not what he originally said, was it? By defending his government's classified programs to monitor people and their communications, he has inadvertently eroded much of the goodwill and trust that his people and his allies had on his country. The truth could be that common Americans are either too terrified or too busy to bother. But let's face it - 20 years after the Cold War, Russia is still that speck in Uncle Sam's eye.

Iran got a new puppet. While Mr Rouhani has a lot on his plate, one thing is sure - Its all uphill from here.

Indians (the ones who didn't have much else to fight about) still fought over Durga like a bunch of hyenas. She got the support from her fellow bureaucrats.The SC spoke. Mrs G put in a word. But I think this is ironic on so many levels mainly because she is named after a Hindu goddess. Brush aside all the noise, it is clear to see how all of this is just a diversionary tactic, a sleight of hand that will cover up other scams  that happen. Khemka, anyone?

Doctors revolted. For a profession that promises to serve selflessly, I am surprised why we are even allowing them to protest.

A few years ago, when I was flying to Srilanka, a co-passenger next to me was filling up the transit form when he had to mention which port he was going to disembark at. He paused for a few seconds, and then wrote 'Airport'. Well, obviously he didn't expect to land at a seaport, or was he just referring to some of our Indian airports that become flooded? After Delhi, it was Kochi.

While some of Micromax's ads peddle the Canvas smartphones, the owners of the company are living the credo when they were caught bribing. Say it with me, folks - You Can Do Anything!

For better or worse, Yahoo has decided to shed its skin. Maybe they should set they inflated egos aside and sell themselves to Microsoft already.

And in the main byte of the week, Indian soldiers got ambushed and killed (yet again) by terrorists and men in Pakistani army clothes (WOW!).
India: 'This is unacceptable'. Pakistan shuddered.
Our Defense Minister suffered from verbal diarrhea and ended up with more spoiled fish-moilee curry than he could've imagined. The Opposition pounced on shortie like NFL players trying to block the touchdown. Antony ate humble pie. Apology accepted and everyone went home a happy man.
To the question- When are we going to grow some balls and retaliate, the answer is - When hell freezes over and decides to ban chicken tikka masala from its menu.

Our politicians are intellectually and politically impotent to strike when the iron is hot. And I have a theory (albeit a borrowed one) about why -
When a country like ours (nuclear armed yada yada) strikes first, it loses its morality and pity factor. Unlike the US, no matter how right we are we are too scared to be 'in the bad books'. Instead what we love doing is wait for our neighbors to strike us and strike us hard so that we can enjoy the outpouring of support, both financially and logistically, that our NRIs and the West are known for. Surely, a first strike will hurt but the rush of support that we will end up getting is something that our neighbors are wary of.
So as long as Pakistan fires a few thousand shells, kills a couple of soldiers here and there and doesn't wipe the Deccan Plateau clean, they know it will be okay with us.

But just in case you were wallowing in self-pity and remorse, Mr PM reminded us that we are one of 6 countries in the world that is capable of destroying other countries. Enter INS Arihant. Mr Singh finished his quota of words for the month of August and shall not speak until September. Theek Hai.

'Dawood Ibrahim is not in Pakistan'. Yeah, and I suck at English.
Hafiz Saeed wished India Eid Mubbarak in his special little way. We shuddered. Now, imagine if he actually comes marching towards Delhi.

Bad year for the Kardhashians? Actually not. Any news is good news for a lady (and siblings) whose only claim to fame is a 'leaked' sex tape and 'made for TV' marriage.

Buy your Samsung Galaxy phones while they are still around. Judging by the way, Apple has been hunting Samsung down, I think we are heading towards Armageddon. Or you could simply switch.

Chennai Express.
Couple of things are clear-
SRK is on his way out. And how!
Deepika really needed the money because I don't know why else she would still be acting.
And the makers of this movie might have really hated the pair. In the 2 plus hours that you are trapped in the theater, you are wondering what atrocity SRK and Deepika could have done to Rohit Shetty and Co. that he deliberately wanted to screw them both. And they actually smiled through the promotions?!
Deepika, let me give you the same sane advice I gave Ms Leone. Get into an acting class. Date a rising star and get married. Stop acting. It isn't working for us.
If we ever had anything like the Razzies, Chennai Express would sweep all the categories unanimously. Absolute and Total Trash. Avoid it like the bubonic plague.

Salman K became the most searched celebrity online. Take that, Poonam Pandhey.
Paying tribute to our ideals of beauty and wanton materialism, we crowned the best dressed celebrities. Take a bow!

And here's something else to chew on- Our national bird, CBI didn't break free and for good reason. Hindi is not our national language and Hockey is not our national game. Aren't we great!

'When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro'  - Hunter S. Thompson.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

While you were away: July 2013 (Part 2 of 3)

Confession time!
We, Indians, have a unique way to whitewashing our sins - We simply rename our cities.
Bombay became Mumbai, Calcutta - Kolkata, Madras - Chennai, Bangalore - Bengaluru.
What was wrong with the original names? But when cities change their names, their airports follow suit. The Bengaluru International Airport became .... (drum rolls)... (wait for it)....  Bengaluru Nadaprabhu Kempegowda International Airport. Even its acronym is a mouthful.
So why do we love Indianizing our cities so much? Because 60 odd years after we fought the British off, we still don't have a soul that is truly ours. We copy and paste ideas and solutions from the West (and sometimes from the East) and end up with crap that we didn't sign up for.

BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Mr Modi compared his situation to how helpless he can be when he is backseat of a car that runs over a 'son of a dog'. Well, Mr Modi, my questions are as follows:

  • As a Chief Minister, what the effing hell were you doing in the backseat? Not taking a nap, I hope
  • Muslims! What the heck are you all doing? He just referred to you as 'sons of dogs'.
If he was anywhere in the Middle East, we would have presided over his public hanging last Friday. But he isn't and we love forgiving just as we love haggling for bargains. So we decided to settle for a lawsuit instead. I am surprised only one person in a billion thought of filing one.
I honestly dread the day when Modi will be in power, or in the backseat of the car (called India). He will drive right over the sons of dogs, cows, and chickens like nothing ever happened. Collateral damage, anyone?

Ottavio Quattrochi died. I am pretty sure he and Rajiv are having a massive chuckle right now. Ahh! the ones that got away.

Infy showed first signs of recovery. That said, the company has lost a lot of ground but better late than never!

The Justice system failed logic and a million Americans as George Zimmerman went scot-free in the murder trial of Trayvon Martin. The fact remains that loss is irreplaceable. Unfortunately, this also opened a pandora's box wide open. While I don't know the intricate details of the incident, I can also say trial by popular uprising can also be fatal. Many previous cases of the innocent being incarcerated often for decades before the actual suspect was charged must be a lesson that we all must learn.

We have our Pakistan/China, the US has Russia, Koreas have each other and Israel has Iran. If Iran is closer to a nuclear bomb, that is because you have one yourself and you have been crapping on their plates for a very long time now. Muslims, Christians and Jews have a lot of common history. We rever the same ancestors, have similar religious practices and yet we are at each other throats.

That brings me to China. Our government, in all its wisdom, decided to add half a lakh soldiers along the Indo-China border. We can't afford to feed our poor millions but 50,000 troops? Great, just what we all needed!
More troops = More of our tax rupees down the drain.

And talking about feeding the poor, we managed to feed couple hundred of our kids insecticides. Suddenly we cried hoarse and demanded that the largest Mid-day meal program in the world be scrapped. Really?!

Nelson Mandela hit 95. Happy for him! I hope he is blissfully unaware of the way people are fighting over his corpse. Happy International Mandela Day, Mr Mandela!

Paypal sneezed and made an ordinary Joe the richest man in history. I definitely hope HSBC sneezes in my direction and makes me one too. And no, I won't pay off the national debt, I'll just buy the BCCI.

So, folks. Those were the headlines. The rest of this post is just a boring repeat of what has been happening for a while now.
Putin toyed with Snowden, a little more. The man without a country has several fighting for him.
India is struggling to keep atleast the Rupee well-fed.

Keep those smiles in place. That could be the only thing you have that won't be taxed.
See you all in 10 days.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Calling the bluff [51/365]

And the obsession with Iran continues.
The West threatening Iran with punitive sanctions while its business as usual in Iran. I wonder why all the posturing when it is obvious that we need the Iranian oil as much as they need our petrol-dollars.
Amidst the war cries and the many claims, Iran defiantly went ahead and processed nuclear fuel. (Read the startling news here)

Call it modern age propaganda or just the result of the West's influence on the media, Iran is a very progressive nation.
Unlike the Cubans, Russians, Iraqis or the Koreans, Iran has managed to make huge strides in infrastructure. With a GDP close to a trillion dollars, its economy is something that only a handful of nations can match.
Being one of ten most tourist worthy places in the world, I had the wonderful chance to visit the country a decade ago.
I noticed how broad the roads were, how friendly the people were and the enormous respect that its citizens had towards Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran.
With all the war-mongering going on, I was surprised at how peaceful you feel on the streets.
Their emphasis on protecting culture and history is a lesson that India can truly learn. Iranian cinema and musicians had been quietly gathering accolades for themselves for a while when I had visited. Sport is taken seriously, both as a recreation and as a career, which is much more than what I can say for other countries with the resources but lacking the will.
Many of us tend to confuse Iran with its poorer Asian neighbors. But their ingenuity, perseverance and almost limitless ability to excel inspired me.

Today as the war cries reach a crescendo, I recall how my perception about Iran changed. Iran is indeed the West's favorite punching bag. Today, I realize why the West and more importantly the US cannot bear an empowered Iran.
The same reason why the US could not stand a powerful Russia. 

More power to Iran.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Dire Straits or Dead Traits [1/365]

For folks in the Middle east, Iran is to the ME what China is to India.

Tenacious and formidable, while most of the Arabs would like to torpedo Iran into oblivion, you gotta love the way they have stood their ground (and their food).

While I believe in the power of non-violence, I also know that we cannot use a 'one-size-fits-all' approach towards people/nations that harm your interests. Throughout history, we have seen how a submissive approach towards oppressive regimes can actually corrode every bit of your nationalism. 

On the 2nd of Jan, 2012, India lodged a 'strong protest' against the way one of it's diplomat was treated while in the custody of Chinese authorities. (Read article)
On the same day, Iran concludes its 10 day naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz, by successfully test-firing the latest of it's long range missile- Qadar. (Read article)

While we can debate endlessly on how a diplomatic approach is better than a military approach, we can also see how the truth is actually as far as the east is from the west.

The demure Indian approach of registering protests and compiling dossiers even when the proof is in the pudding, is ineffective. 
On the other hand, Iranian brinkmanship is proving to be expensive and tiresome. 

When are our leaders going to wake up and grow some balls of their own?
Our colonial hangover makes us resort to diplomatic posturing that is intended to scare, designed to satisfy but ultimately achieving nothing. 
The uniquely feeble way that we've treated every terrorist (nation) in the past is proof of the diplomatic impotency that we've inherited from the days of the Raj. 

Why can't Iran have nukes? 
When the government and its military leaders have managed to keep Osama and his motley bunch out of the country, keep her borders secure, all while keeping her citizens happy and prosperous and it's economy stable, I don't see why the West is constantly scared about Iran creating or having a nuke. Again, if China can have it, why can't Iran? 
And if I were to presume that Iran already has one, then it earns brownie points in my book for the way it has not threatened it's neighbors or the West, the same way the US of A did with the Russians back during the Cold War.

So while the West have been obsessed about 'Weapons of mass destruction', they forget about the billions of aid that have flowed to a nation like Pakistan (a.k.a former home of Osama)

Double standards, anyone?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Oil: You gotta have it!

Part 2

Second of a 4 part series about events that are changing our world

While Japan struggles to grapple with Nature's arm, a couple of clicks away Libya is in a power struggle.

With US as the friendly neighborhood Super-Cop, you can be sure that help is only a revolution away. And it helps if you are in the Middle East, because that's where Uncle Sam refuels.

With half of the ME on the home team, is it any wonder why Bin Laden and his radical bunch of cronies flourish.
Why must the West intervene and almost always decide that War is the only way?

Lucrative weapons sales and Oil aside, the West must realise that they've done business with the very dictators that they are hunting down now. This brings to my mind a line in the George Clooney movie 'The Peacemaker' : 'Are you surprised that the worlds greatest terrorists - the US administration -educated half the world's terrorists ?'
The scriptwriters might have inadvertently stumbled on the single most honest truth in the history of mankind.

The West (read: US) first sell you the weapons, then the training. Then they sell it to the 'rebels' (read: 'New' Clients). They'll put in a fighter jet or two as a bonus Add-on.
The Middle East are a bunch of unruly brats. Correction: Rich unruly brats. However, left to their own short squabbles and longer bonhomie, I believe they can truly mind their own business. They have neither invaded (barring Iraq and Israel) another country or send their troops on guard duty to invade / help invade another country.

The West should leave the Middle east for good. Any intervention only muddles the next problem up so bad that they'd wish they had minded their own business.

Why can't they 'fix' China? Well, that because if China shuts down then Americans might as well fall dead.
Why can't they fix repressive regimes like Sri Lanka or the North Korea?
Apart from the fact that neither of these regimes are major producers of Oil, meddling in these countries would not always guarantee that you'd get the military contracts that keep the governments running. They are careful spenders and choose their 'Vendors' carefully.

They couldn't get to Iran. Well not yet. Hence US in a carefully choreographed move is making sure that all the other dysfunctional countries around is either on the home team or has been blown to smithereens before they arm twist Iran into submission.

The UN sanctions are but a joke. As a rubber stamp for the West, the line between the UN and the US is a blurry one at that.

The US must understand that all the war posturing isn't going to do them any good because someday, they have to get out of all that protective cover they are in. And that's when being an American will begin to suck. (Or has it already?!)

Power is a lousy seductress. She can get you anything at a price. Anything but peace.

The World has slowly but surely become a ticking time bomb. The US with its despotic yet selective urge to control Oil. Good Luck, Rest of the World!

I pray He comes soon.

Jump to the other parts here:
Apocalypse, Freedom, Evil

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