Reality Check India

Benazir Bhutto

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 28, 2007

Pakistan’s most popular leader, Benazir falls prey to terrorists.

A sad day for all of us. 

More  here.

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I was watching the coverage last night. I noticed something very weird. I also have a couple of observations about Musharraf.

1. Visuals showed many Pakistani forces hosing down the blast area with pressurised water just an hour or so after the blasts. I have never seen anything like that, anywhere. This is a crime scene, is it not ? Could they have completed their investigations so quickly ? I even saw smoking car parts, human limbs being washed away. Very very strange.

2.  I always believed that after the Kargil misadventure and the subsequent coup – things would start to slide downhill. What is the truth about Kargil from the Pakistani side ? What is the secret of Musharraf’s acceptibility to the west ? Is he responsible for the death of 3000-5000 of the most motivated and deadly jihadis in the Kargil/Dras/Batalik heights ? The Taliban is Pakistan’s problem, but Kargil and the attempts to hide what truly happened in entirely Musharraf’s.

3. There are a few in India who point out that Benazir is not India’s friend. She brought Kashmir into prominence, aided terrorist training camps, raked up Kashmir at every international event, etc. They are completely off the mark. Benazir was a popular Pakistani leader, not a popular Indian leader. She will, and others after her will, work to Pakistans benefit. What sets her and Nawaz apart from Musharraf is the how they go about it and whose help they seek. 

India must reinforce its borders in Kashmir and harden its stand (whatever is left of it) on Kashmir now.

Phrase of the year award

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 25, 2007

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The Reality Check 2007 Phrase of the Year award goes to :

“Inclusive growth”

A remarkably flexible phrase that can be adapted to any situation.  He makes his appearance in every CII conference as well as in socialist policy documents.  This phrase is a friend of both selfish anti-competitive corporates and socialist politicians. The phony capitalist types want to support “inclusive growth” in exchange for 5 hectare tax havens called SEZs, the socialists want “inclusive growth” between religious groups or to ensure even distribution of heart surgeons. There are even reports of bandits investigating whether this phrase can be adapted to their industry vertical. They are conducting field trials in central India to gauge its effectiveness in explaining bank robbery. After all, their bank accounts did not show the same growth as the banks balance sheet. “How can some bank accounts be so far behind others, given that our accounts were opened at the same time in the same branch ?. We need inclusive growth too” asks Mr Mao Rao.  We think Mr Rao is pushing the envelope here, but his arguments are hard to counter.  This just shows how powerful this phrase is.

Truly a worthy winner. 

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Some coverage in the media.

Prior winners congratulate POTY 2007 winner

PTII News Wire

Mumbai, Dec 24 2007

Mr Dream Budget, who is a former Phrase of the Year himself, called up Mr Inclusive Growth and congratulated him as soon as he heard the news. He is said to have welcomed him into the elite club.

Ms Fraternity, a former Ms India and Phrase of the Year winner in 1950, could not be reached via telephone for comment. She was hugely popular in the 50’s, even making daily appearances in the constituent assembly. Old-timers recall how the entire nation was mesmerized by her beauty.  Her family members who picked up the phone said she has been admitted to a private nursing home in Mumbai due to ill health.

Modi wins, but..

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 23, 2007

 The current favourite line of the media (all channels) is this.

It is a win for Modi, not so much for the BJP !!

WTF. Tell that to the lakhs on BJP workers on the ground.

Read offstumped for more.

My initial reactions. 

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Those who truly seek justice for riot victims, must now train their guns on people like Zadaphia. This is the right time to get these people who allegedly led from the front. Their crimes (if any) do not wash off if they join the Congress.  They have painted themselves into a corner by backing the wrong horse. This makes advancing the legal process against them much easier.

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Gujarat is different from the rest of India. The reasons are not what the media thinks.

1/ The free agent voters (not tied to arbitrary caste benefits) are much higher. So people do not rally around mere catch phrases.

2/ The social scene is backed by data that suggests an more equitable distribution of benefits under social justice schemes. The OBC /SC /ST populations are in line with the national average. This prevents major distortions like in TN (only 4-5% forward) vs WB (only 6-8% OBC).

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The media must restrain itself now in its attacks on Modi. The least they can do is to not invite him to a conference and call him a mass murderer in front of thousands of cheering delegates. The muslims of Gujarat can do without such help.

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The rest of the nation will wait for data (truth) to find its right place. This will deliver (a) true social justice to the really deserving, (b) snatch the magic wand from politicians to define, (c) force an examination of catch phrases like “communal party” and “secular forces”.

The wait is on.

No ST status for Rajasthan Gujjars

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 18, 2007

 

Today, the Justice Jasraj Chopra committee submitted the long awaited report on whether the Gujjars of Rajasthan qualified for ST status.

The verdict is in : The Gujjars do not make it because they do not meet the five criteria, which are :

1. Spatial isolation

2. Economic backwardness

3. Shyness of the tribe

4. Should be a forest dweller

5. Cultural primitiveness

The report admits that

“.. under the criteria for ST status in the constitution, prescribed 60 years ago, hardly any group will qualify today.”

Source: NDTV

So what are they saying ? The obvious question that comes to mind is the selective evaluation of communites against these criteria.  The Meena community is probably immune from this evaluation simply because they are already “in”. This can be extended to all types of groups who enjoy any type of quota in India. This peculiar system of preferential treatment forms the backbone of Indian politics.

To get over this problem, the report proposes something more radical. Special quota benefits outside of the “official” quota system.

Sources claimed the panel had not granted ST status to Gujjars but had recommended an incentive package pertaining to jobs, reservations in academic institutions and scholarships to community members. The sources, however, said the report was unlikely to be made public.

Source : TOI

Does the “incentive” package sound like an unofficial quota ? These special packages once introduced will spark similar demands from across the country. The right strategy is to evaluate every claimant against the same criteria. This must start from the south where the quota beneficiaries have advanced to a great extent.

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Earlier on Reality Check

14 Gurjars dead for want of data

Stop picking on Raje, it is much bigger than her

India Social Quiz

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 17, 2007

Question :

The Mandal commission had to specify which castes in each state were backward. To do so, it had to evaluate nebulous things like the extent of social discrimination,  and easy to obtain data like representation in elected local bodies, state services, etc. So, it sent out a questionnaire to each state asking for this data.

As recorded by the commission, only one state furnished information about representation of castes in local bodies, etc.

Which state is it ?

India ruling the world !!

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 14, 2007

Reality Check to media :

We told you not to go overboard on Vikram Pandit. You did just that. The country was subject to an interview of his gushing father and whatnot. Now, it appears you are ready to up the celebrations.

We have this headline :

Indian biz leaders top world, rival US firms.

You media types are really testing us, arent you ?

The greatness of America in allowing immigrants like Nooyi and Pandit to have a bright career, the greatness of America in building and maintaining institutions where hard work is rewarded, and finally the greatness of America in not ridiculing the Indian media on its sloganeering such as ,  “world at India’s feet”.

The corporate promotions of these brilliant Indian-American citizens points to the greatness of that country and maybe even the greatness of these specific private enterprises.

This does not mean all Indians can procure a US/EU Visa at the nearest fair price shop and emulate these people. Sorry to break your hearts, but they have only a very limited appeal as role models for your average Arun Kumar of 10 Std B Section.

The world is laughing at us when you print headines such as “ruling the world”.

They are just too polite to laugh to our faces.

American gets a promotion

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 12, 2007

An American citizen got an executive promotion today at work in his country.

 

Uh ! Well Sir, Congratulations ! I guess. Nothing more, nothing less.

Indian media please dont wet yourself, again, again, and again. We dont want to see his grand uncle interviewed live from Nagpur.

Reality Check :

1) If foreigners of Indian or even half-Indian origin succeed in the west : The whole country celebrates, the media first hypes it up and then cheerleads.  Its bhangra time !

2) If foreigners of Indian origin face trouble (SL and Malaysia) : Silence. You see they are on their own. If you technically consider the facts, they do not hold Indian citizenship. They are citizens of Malaysia or SL – therefore we do not have to share their agony.

Makes you sick.

Works of Prof Russell Hardin

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 10, 2007

I finished reading this excellent paper, “The Free Rider problem” by Russell Hardin.  He builds upon the ideas of the logic of collective action by the economist Mancur Olsen.

I found more great reading material at his homepage at NYU. Check it out.

http://politics.as.nyu.edu/object/RussellHardin.html

Ram placed in context

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 9, 2007

 

The communist leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee  recently made a highly secular comment about Ram. This comment was made in a highly secular meeting to mark the  15th anniversary of Babri Masjid.

.. Kobi tabo monobhoomi Ramer janmasthan Ayodhyayr cheye satya jeno (the poet’s mind is the birthplace of Ram which is more real than Ayodhya).

Source: Telegraph

After the meeting was through, he quickly backtracked

“I quoted the following lines of Rabindranath Tagore…. A section of the media has taken it out of context,” Bhattacharjee said.

I agree completely with the communist leader. He was indeed quoted out of context. Reality Check will try to put it in the right context.

Context : It appears that for the past 40 years, the communists have neglected the Muslims completely.  This fact was conveniently hidden until the Sachar report came out.  The Sachar report, far from being a rigorous exercise, is still a step towards the truth.  It is a sliver of light.

Like a deer caught in the headlights, the communists are immobilized by a flash of data. Nandigram, Taslima, Rizwan-ur, are all side shows.

Given this context, imagine being forced to address a meeting of a thousand Muslims on the occassion of the Babri Masjid demolition. Does that sound like a picnic to you ?  Survival instincts take over. You then throw some mud on Hindu gods in front of thousands of Muslims. The idea is to get out unscathed.

Karunanidhi’s attacks on Ram / Aryans/ theories based on the Java man/ Peking man/ are no different. Do you want to guess what social justice based on rational data will do to the Dravidian movement ?

Is everything in the right context now ?

Merchants of …

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 8, 2007

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Merchants of poverty

Fine purveyors of divisive spirits since 1947

Our merchandise is 100% guaranteed to be free of impurities like data. Over 200 million satisfied customers*.

* Figures do not include 300 million furious customers, 200 million who have purchased our product without knowing what it does, and about 200 million who are on the verge of finding out our trade secret.