Sorted by :  March  2009
by Bhikkuni Ma Dhammananda on 31 Mar 2009 6 Comments

When we talk about conversion, we talk about change from one way of thinking and behaving to another. Conversion in religion is to give up one religion and take on another for better or worse.In my young age, the first conversion story I heard was that of my own mother. As a student, she attended Assumption Catholic School. She must have been an ou

by Sandhya Jain on 31 Mar 2009 44 Comments

On 14 March 2009, a lingering, insidious smear campaign against Sathya Sai Baba quietly fizzled out when Channel Nine MSN removed a biased anti-Baba broadcast from its official website. In response to ardent Sai defamer Robert Priddy, Baba devotee Joe Moreno said MSN  “would not have removed the video had there not been legitimate c

by Sandhya Jain on 30 Mar 2009 12 Comments

If politics is the art of winning power by convincing people that you have the ability to wield it wisely, then BJP may as well pack its bags. Having closed its ears to common sense and reason, the party has permitted an absolute non-entity to hijack its agenda and eclipse the persona of its prime ministerial candidate. Unless prompt remedial actio

by Virendra Parekh on 30 Mar 2009 0 Comment

If you can’t give them (Plebs) bread, give them the circus, rulers of ancient Rome used to say. Many people in India still go without bread. But the circus is here. Rejoice.With general elections round the corner, Indian democracy is on the move. It is alive and kicking. More kicking than alive, cynics would say. TV channels and newspapers go

by Frank Scott on 30 Mar 2009 0 Comment

Capitalism’s worst crisis in a generation has seen the personalizing of social problems proceed with a vengeance usually reserved for foreign leaders. While we have long had our collective consciousness shaped into despising individual alien monsters, like Hitler, Saddam, or Osama, the recent hit list of bad guys is composed mostly of America

by S V Badri on 29 Mar 2009 3 Comments

Mr. M. Karunanidhi and Ms. Sonia Gandhi have a lot to answer about their alliance partner in Tamil Nadu, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (Liberation Panthers Party, or VCK) headed by Tirumavalavan, an unrefined bedfellow of the brutal Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).Is this threesome a triangle, a tango or a tangle? Even a casual look at

by Al Chemist on 29 Mar 2009 0 Comment

A major research institution in Mumbai, India, has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest chemical element yet known to science. The new element has been named Governmentium. Governmentium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 partic

by Dilli Darbari on 29 Mar 2009 0 Comment

1. The Traffic Rule:If my side of the road has a traffic jam, then I can start driving on the wrong side of the road, and all incoming cars will be rerouted via Meerut .2. The Queue Nahin Rule:If there is a queue of many people, no one will notice me sneaking into the front as long as I am looking the other way.3. The Mind Over Matter Law: If a tra

by Ramtanu Maitra on 28 Mar 2009 2 Comments

The growing violence throughout Pakistan since the US invasion of Afghanistan in the Winter of 2001, the November 2008 attack on Mumbai, India, and many other smaller terrorist-directed killings in India, and the gruesome killing of at least 70 top Bangladeshi Army officers in a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed last month, wer

by Sandhya Jain on 27 Mar 2009 2 Comments

With the shine coming off his presidency with each passing day, Barack Obama must have been slightly relieved when the bosses of the now 80% Government-owned insurance giant AIG agreed Monday to return $ 50 million in bonuses, following a public uproar against the wanton use of taxpayer money for executive perks.AIG posted a loss of $ 61.7 billion

by Surjit Singh on 26 Mar 2009 38 Comments

If India is united and intact today, it is because of its military and in spite of our frenzied polity. I dare you to name a colonel or a general who is either communal or a zealot.Marching Shoulder to Shoulder On Republic Day, as they march down the Rajpath, the lay Indian can not tell the difference between the Army and the Police. And there is n

by F William Engdahl on 26 Mar 2009 0 Comment

Finally the US authorities have gotten ‘tough’ with the predator financial institutions. The world has been waiting for such decisive intervention since an unending series of Government bailouts of financial institutions began early in 2008 amounting to now trillions of taxpayer dollars. Now, with the world’s largest insurance gia

by Pratap Chatterjee on 25 Mar 2009 0 Comment

Want a billion dollars in development aid? If you happen to live in Afghanistan, the two quickest ways to attract attention and so aid from the U.S. authorities are: Taliban attacks or a flourishing opium trade. For those with neither, the future could be bleak. In November 2008, during the U.S. presidential elections, I travelled around Afghanista

by Sandhya Jain on 24 Mar 2009 4 Comments

As BJP president Rajnath Singh welcomed former Union Minister Dilip Ray and former Nationalist Congress Party leader Bijoy Mahapatra into the party yesterday, close on the heels of the entry of BJD Lok Sabha MP Archana Nayak (21 March 2009), Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik suddenly lost his aura of invincibility. Regardless of how BJP performs in the

by K Gajendra Singh on 24 Mar 2009 2 Comments

The world seems rightly preoccupied with ongoing events in Pakistan, but this is only part of a larger story unfolding in north-west of Pakistan, an ingress through which the whole of Hindustan awaits Asani Sanket (imminent danger!). History reveals that the Roman-Persian rivalry led to a series of wars between the Greco-Roman world and two su

by Michael Hudson on 24 Mar 2009 0 Comment

On the March 15 CBS show “60 Minutes,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke used a false analogy already popularized by President Obama in his quasi-State of the Union Speech. He likened the financial sector to a house burning down - fair enough, as it is destroying property values, leading to foreclosures, abandonments, stripping (for

by Sandhya Jain on 23 Mar 2009 1 Comment

Love, or infatuation, clearly took a beating when sacked Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan (re-christened Chand Mohammad after a hasty conversion to Islam last November) walked out of paradise, leaving Anuradha Bali (alias Fiza) helpless with rage. There can be little doubt, as Fiza alleged, that former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal e

by Shamus Cooke on 22 Mar 2009 0 Comment

Are Mexican drug cartels a threat to the United States?  This is an easy conclusion to make after reading most mainstream U.S. newspapers.  Hardly a day goes by without sensational stories about “broad daylight” gun battles, heart-wrenching interviews with weeping mothers, and praise for the Mexican army in its “war&rdqu

by Rick Rozoff on 22 Mar 2009 0 Comment

American Vice-President Joseph Biden at the Munich Security Conference in early February pledged to “press the reset button” with Russia. Since then prominent Washington officials have repeated their intention to reset, reboot and so forth relations with Russia but have, starting with Biden at Munich, not relented in any substantive man

by Eye Witness on 21 Mar 2009 2 Comments

[A group of persons including visitors, litigants and victims in the Madras High Court constituted ourselves as ‘Citizens for Justice’ with the sole objective of breaking the silence over the events of 17 &and 19 February 2009, which lay the onus for the entire sequence of violence squarely on the lawyers. We intend to calibrate our

by B R Haran on 21 Mar 2009 7 Comments

THE LAW: What the law saysTaking into consideration the fact that a particular section of lawyers have indulged in seditious actions in support of a banned organisation, and considering the events which unfolded from celebrating the birthday of the LTTE Chief inside the High Court premises in November 2008, to the major offence of burning the repor

by Ramtanu Maitra on 21 Mar 2009 0 Comment

At the time of writing, the lawyers’ protest march organized by Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been launched from the port city of Karachi [March 12]. Reports trickling in indicate that police clashed with thousands of protestors and many of them have been detained. Although the demonstrators are formally demanding th

by Grégoire Lalieu & Michel Collon on 21 Mar 2009 0 Comment

Many readers reacted positively to our Mohamed Hassan’s interview about the Hamas. A lot of people expressed indeed their need of clear, precise and contextual information. So we are going to make with our Middle East specialist a series of interviews “Understanding the Muslim world.” Our goal is to give you the keys to understand

by Matthias Chang on 20 Mar 2009 2 Comments

The Federal Reserve is bankrupt for all intents and purposes. The same goes for the Bank of England! This article will focus largely on the Fed, because the Fed is the “financial land-mine”. How long can someone who has stepped on a landmine, remain standing – hours, days? Eventually, when he is exhausted and his legs give way, th

by Scott Stewart & Kamran Bokhari on 20 Mar 2009 0 Comment

On March 5, the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad reportedly received threatening e-mails warning of attacks on Saudi interests in Pakistan. According to English-language Pakistani newspaper The Nation, the e-mails purportedly were sent by al Qaeda and threatened attacks on targets such as the Saudi Embassy and Saudi airline facilities in Pakistan. When w

by B R Haran on 19 Mar 2009 5 Comments

As the LTTE kept losing its bastions one by one to the advancing Sri Lankan Army and as chief Prabhakaran was on the run to save his life while young Tigers sacrificed their lives, the ethnic (sic) Dravidian politicians of Tamil Nadu started enacting different dramas of one-upmanship to project themselves as champions of the Sri Lankan Tamil cause.

by Vijay Oberoi on 19 Mar 2009 1 Comment

The November 26 terrorist attack in Mumbai and related events have brought into sharp focus the Special Forces (SF) of the nation. India fields a variety of SF, of which two - the Marine Commandos of the Navy - MARCOS and the National Security Guards (NSG) of the Cabinet Secretariat - operated against the terrorists at Mumbai. While the personnel o

by Virendra Parekh on 18 Mar 2009 16 Comments

“In the night, we stumble over the things and become acutely conscious of their separateness. But the day reveals to us the great unity which combines them all. Similarly, the man who is enlightened at once realizes the spiritual unity reigning supreme over all the differences of races, creeds and colours, and his mind, therefore, no longer a

by Reva Bhalla on 18 Mar 2009 0 Comment

The Obama administration is only one and a half months into the job, but between pressing “reset buttons” with the Russians, reaching out to the Europeans, talking about reconciling with the Taliban, extending invitations to the Iranians and rubbing elbows with the Syrians, this is already one of the most diplomatically active U.S. admi

by Sandhya Jain on 17 Mar 2009 2 Comments

It was unclear, at the time of writing, if Orissa Governor Murli Bhandare would concede the opposition demand for a fresh vote of confidence, following allegations that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ‘manipulated’ his 11 March 2009 victory by a questionable voice vote. Essentially, the vote count is meaningless as the tenure of the prese

by Matthias Chang on 16 Mar 2009 0 Comment

When I read the remarks of President Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown after their meeting at the Oval Office on March 3, 2009 and the speech of the latter to the Joint Session of Congress on March 4, 2009, I realized that a growing antagonism has emerged between certain factions of the ruling elites in the City of London and in Washington DC.T

by José Miguel Alonso Trabanco on 16 Mar 2009 0 Comment

Eurasia is currently experiencing serious problems derived from financial and economic difficulties such as unemployment, GDP negative growth, currency depreciation, overall economic slowdown and so on. Several members of both the European Union and NATO (Poland, Hungary, Iceland come to mind) are already dealing with a considerable deal of domesti

by Ramtanu Maitra on 15 Mar 2009 1 Comment

The Feb. 25 massacre, conducted by individuals wearing Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) uniforms, at Dhaka at the BDR headquarters, killed at least 70 senior Army officers; it is evident that it was an attempted assassination of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed. The killings were carried out at the order of Riyadh, with adequate support from London, and p

by Anthony Weiss on 15 Mar 2009 2 Comments

The Elders of Zion, the venerable and shadowy Jewish organization that controls the international banking industry, news media and Hollywood, has announced that it is disbanding so that members can retire to Florida and live out their golden years on the golf course.“We had a good run,” said one senior Elder, reminiscing over old photog

by B R Haran on 14 Mar 2009 7 Comments

After Islamabad’s peace deal which allowed Taliban to takeover Swat Valley, the latter took out a massive two-day rally, openly denigrating democracy and establishing Sharia. As a mark of things to come, a Geo TV journalist was murdered in the immediate aftermath of the takeover. While the connection between Al Qaida and Taliban is no secret,

by Terrell E. Arnold on 14 Mar 2009 4 Comments

The recent attempted defrocking of a Catholic Bishop on a charge of “Holocaust denial” brings to the fore once again the need to review the history of World War II in a properly detached fashion. A horrible truth is that more than 55 million people died in that war and the overwhelming majority of them were not Jews. That is the holocau

by Ajay Chrungoo on 13 Mar 2009 1 Comment

On 24 January, an Enforcement Directorate official, Saji Mohan, was arrested by the Maharashtra ATS for allegedly trying to sell heroin in Oshiwara. Saji Mohan, a 1995 batch Indian Police Service officer of Jammu & Kashmir cadre, was in-charge of J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab during his previous posting as Zonal Director, Narcotics Contr

by F. William Engdahl on 13 Mar 2009 0 Comment

US President Obama has sent a secret letter to Russia’s president Medvedev, suggesting that he would back down from deploying the controversial US missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Moscow would help stop Iran from developing long-range weapons, according to White House spokesmen. The New York Times reports that the letter to Medvede

by J Sri Raman on 12 Mar 2009 2 Comments

Terrorism in South Asia may take a long time to prompt formation of a regional task force against the threat, as officially proposed by Bangladesh. But it has already yielded many mystery thrillers. The Mumbai outrage of November 26-29, 2008, which claimed 173 lives, still remains unsolved on many scores. Even while cooperation on the case bet

by Stephen Lendman on 12 Mar 2009 0 Comment

After the 1929 October 24, 28 and 29 market crash, the weekly entertainment industry magazine Variety (on October 30) published its most famous ever headline: “Wall Street Lays an Egg.” In October 2008, history repeated, and since the October 2007 peak, equity prices plunged over 50% after the Dow and S&P (in February) posted their

by F. William Engdahl on 11 Mar 2009 4 Comments

Despite the problems of the ruble and the weak oil price in recent months for the Russian economy, the Russian Government is pursuing a very active foreign policy strategy. Its elements focus on countering the continuing NATO encirclement policy of Washington, with often clever diplomatic initiatives on its Eurasian periphery. Taking advantage of t

by Lauren Goodrich and Peter Zeihan on 11 Mar 2009 0 Comment

Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, Russia has been re-establishing much of its lost Soviet-era strength. This has given rise to the possibility - and even the probability - that Russia again will become a potent adversary of the Western world. But now, Russia is yet again on the cusp of a set of massive currency devaluations that could destroy

by Virendra Parekh on 10 Mar 2009 1 Comment

Stimulus indeed, but for whom? Barring a few crumbs thrown to the consumers through service tax cut, everything in the latest stimulus package is calculated to shore up the bottom line of corporate houses on the eve of the forthcoming elections. One would have to be really blind not to see the obvious linkage. Like the earlier packages, this one to

by Ramtanu Maitra on 10 Mar 2009 1 Comment

On Feb. 16, Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP) government and the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM), a Wahabi organization, agreed to implement Islamic Sharia laws in Malakand division, which includes the picturesque Swat and two other districts, Chitral and Dir. Malakand is situated northwest of Pakistan’s capital,

by C. I. Issac on 09 Mar 2009 7 Comments

The State of Kerala came into being in 1956, and Hindus then comprised 61.5% of the population. In half a century, this has swiftly declined and reached barely 55%. Meanwhile, the two other minority religions, contrary to the general trend of population growth, have grown drastically. The negative growth of Hindu population is a continuing phenomen

by B R Haran on 09 Mar 2009 3 Comments

As an expression of ‘solidarity’ with the agitating lawyers of Chennai, the legal fraternity in the rest of Tamil Nadu resorted to violence and arson on 19 and 20 February, forcing the Director General of Police to issue ‘shoot at sight’ orders. The district lawyers joined the boycott move and in some courts even hoisted bla

by B R Haran on 08 Mar 2009 2 Comments

The Chidambaram case, which was adjourned for 19 February, was numbered 60 in the list and hence expected to come up for hearing late in the afternoon. But as the boycott by lawyers continued, it was again adjourned to 25 February. It was not clear if the lawyers who attacked Dr. Swami on 17 Feb. were planning the same on 19 Feb. as well. Their sud

by Israel Shamir on 08 Mar 2009 0 Comment

My dear friend and my Italian translator Mauro Manno died after a long sickness. A jolly Neapolitan man, rotund (“my wife makes too delicious spaghetti”) and pleasant, he was a wonderful companion – together we travelled one glorious flowery-and-limpid-sky-abundant spring in Abruzzi Mountains, in Eastern Italy, from the charming p

by Michael Neumann & Osha Neumann on 08 Mar 2009 2 Comments

Following the example of Jean-Moise Braitberg, we ask that our grandmother’s name be removed from the wall at Yad Vashem. Her name is Gertrud Neumann.  Your records state that she was born in Kattowitz on June 6, 1875 and died in Theresienstadt.M. Braitberg delivers his request with excellent reasons and eloquent personal testimony. 

by B R Haran on 07 Mar 2009 8 Comments

'Brahmin Dog! Brahmin Dog! Subramanian Swami Brahmin Dog!Anti-Tamil Brahmin Dog! Subramanian Swami Brahmin Dog!Get away, get away! Rajiv killer get away!’ These were the slogans raised inside court room 3 of Madras High Court by a team of lawyers who threw eggs on Dr. Subramanian Swami, who was seeking to implead himself in support of th

by Michael T. Klare on 07 Mar 2009 1 Comment

The global economic meltdown has already caused bank failures, bankruptcies, plant closings, and foreclosures and will, in the coming year, leave many tens of millions unemployed across the planet. But another perilous consequence of the crash of 2008 has only recently made its appearance: increased civil unrest and ethnic strife. Someday, perhaps,

by Tom Mysiewicz on 06 Mar 2009 0 Comment

The sophists of ancient Greece were known for their ability to prove that anything - however demonstrably false - was true.  Today’s equivalents are the neo-conservative prognosticators.  Just look at their record in the run-up to the Iraq war:  from an imagined  “mushroom cloud over New York” to WMDs to a &ldq

by Sanjeev Nayyar on 06 Mar 2009 2 Comments

A friend sent me a mail giving details of funds received in 2006-07 from the Western world, primarily the Christian countries of USA, UK, Germany and Spain. That got me wondering! Why are these countries pouring thousands of crores into India? If it is because many Indians are poor, then are there no poor or afflicted people in their own countries?

by Nithin Sridhar on 05 Mar 2009 11 Comments

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry is ready to grant madrassah certificates, equivalent to those issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). This recommendation was made by the Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee, appointed by the ministry to review the status of minorities. These suggestions also find mention in the Pr

by Rodger Baker and Jennifer Richmond on 05 Mar 2009 0 Comment

Due in large part to fears of dire consequences if nothing were done to tackle the economic crisis, China rushed through a 4 trillion yuan (US$586 billion) economic stimulus package in November 2008. The plan cobbled together existing and new initiatives focused on massive infrastructure development projects (designed, among other things, to soak u

by Vinendra Gupta on 04 Mar 2009 3 Comments

Of all the myriad religio-socio-political issues that contemporary India has faced, none has polarized Hindu society as much as mandatory caste-based reservation. The fiercely divided pro- and anti-reservationists are currently locked in an uneasy stalemate. Intervention by the Supreme Court has kept the situation from spinning out of control. This

by Sandhya Jain on 03 Mar 2009 6 Comments

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye” - Matthew 7.3So deep is the disarray caused by insider accounts of sexual abuse and moral depravity in the Kerala Catholic church that the authorities have failed to come up with a coherent response even two weeks after &

by Ellen Brown on 03 Mar 2009 0 Comment

“Diseases desperate grown are by desperate appliances relieved, or not at all”– Shakespeare, “Hamlet”Moody’s credit rating agency is warning that the U.S. government’s AAA credit rating is at risk, because it has taken on so much debt that there are few creditors left to underwrite it. Foreigners have bough

by Come Carpentier de Gourdon on 02 Mar 2009 15 Comments

The Thesis: In recent years a few books have presented various facets of a hitherto largely ignored reality that seems to intrude into every aspect of our lives. I refer to the increasing likelihood that the forces at play beneath the spiritual, ecological, social, political and economic crisis that befalls us are hidden from view and remain i

by Virendra Parekh on 01 Mar 2009 2 Comments

My sister-in-law quarrels with me whenever we meet. The reason is too unimportant to matter. Quarrelling is her way of announcing that everything is normal. On rare occasions when she is sweet or reasonable, I feel apprehensive that something is wrong somewhere.Most people in the stock market and corporate world are feeling a similar sense of norma

by Eric Walberg on 01 Mar 2009 0 Comment

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill passed this week [21 Feb.] will define Barack Obama’s presidency. But it is really just the younger sibling to the Troubled Assets Relief Programme. To separate the now trillions being handed out to the banksters from the $800 billion being handed out to the lottery winners is to be ingenuous. The e

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