In India, we have this ridiculous tendency to paint most international news stories with a desi brush. From NASA space missions to Egyptian protests to insider trading cases; it’s horrendous to read stories that begin with the headline “NRI man,” “Indian-origin woman.” That’s a spin that doesn’t need highlighting the way it is.
The succession war within the Bhartiya Janata Party has intensified as senior leaders are questioning the party's decision to reward those who should have taken the responsibility for the humiliating defeat in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls. After Jaswant Singh, another former foreign minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha wrote a letter to the BJP president and blamed the top leadership for ignoring grassroots leaders like him.
Tired of the escalating infighting in the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) over the leadership issue, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has decided to take the matter of deciding the next Leader of Opposition (LOP) into its own hands. According to sources, the Sangh has formed a committee under the leadership of its senior leader Madan Das Devi to select L K Advani's successor. Other RSS leaders who are in the committee include Shrikant Joshi, Madhubhai, Suresh Soni, and Indresh Kumar.
The Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, General Sarath Fonseka, has confirmed that LTTE chief Prabhakaran's body has been found on Tuesday morning by the Lankan troops. The terror chief's body was found by the 53 Division troops led by Major General Kamal Goonarathne, Sri Lankan military sources said. A Lankan military spokesman also said that Prabhakaran was in uniform and there were bullet wounds on his head.
The Congress party on Thursday served a legal notice to The New Indian Express for publishing what it called "wild allegations and sly insinuations" on the educational qualifications of party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi. "Deeply distressed by your wild allegations, sly insinuations and self-serving innuendos, all premised on complete falsehoods and steeped in malice, a notice is being issued," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters at the AICC headquarters in the capital.
The world, including India, maybe facing a severe economic crisis but it seems that the Indian political parties are immune to the global economic slowdown. According to a recently released survey of Centre for Media Studies, around Rs 10,000 crores (USD 2 billion) will be spent on Lok Sabha Polls 2009. This does not include the cost of conducting assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. What is surprising here is that the amount to be spent (USD 2 billion) is more than what US President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates spent on their campaigns.
Does it appeal to reason that against Rs. 700 crore of investment the nation should pay over Rs. 24,000 crore? If such are the rates, it will be better that Govt make lumpsum payment to the contractor by levying another cess of a rupee or two on every litre of petrol/diesel sold in the NCR to defray these expenses.
Bharatiya Janashakti Party leader Uma Bharti declared last week that she wholeheartedly supported BJP leader L K Advani's bid to become the next prime minister. In a letter to the veteran BJP leader, Bharti wrote that in the context of present political scenario, internal and external challenges that India faces, he is the best suited person to lead the country.
There are different views on the Indian policy towards China and the Tibet issue. I will write more on that some other day. I have reproduced here the letter written by then Deputy Prime Minister of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on November 7, 1950 on Tibet issue. The letter throws light on the thought process of the Indian government vis-a-vis Tibet and China in the initial years after the independence.