Excuses, Excuses…!

Kirk (St Andrew’s) is the church we went to as long as we were in Chennai. It has always been my favourite church in the city – short and crisp sermons, sophisticated congregation, good choir and communion that is unique to Kirk.

I attended the service there this morning after nearly two years and it remains just as good.
The service was longer than usual because it had some extra components today.

A young group, Reverb, from Bangalore presented some gospel songs and I found them brilliant.

There was also a team from Gideon making an evangelical pitch.
The pastor spoke about the excuses people make for a range of failures, including not making it to church. 

A quote he pulled up stayed on mind – anyone who is good at making excuses is not good for anything else.

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Pakistan must do this, Pakistan must do that…Blah, Blah, Blah!

But what will India do? Just Talk and Blah, Blah, Blah!

An attack on India’s army base in Uri (Kashmir) yesterday by militants left 17 soldiers and four attackers dead.

This is a shame for India – if a country is unprepared for such terror strikes despite the recent escalation in violence in Kashmir that is evidence of a lack of wherewithal to deal with what is at stake.

Not surprisingly, the Indian political establishment and the Army came up with templated statements. Here is a sample:

  • Army: “We will give them a fitting reply.”
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh: “Pakistan is a terror state.”
  • PM Modi: “Attack will not go unpunished.”

Blah shh.jpg

When will Indian leaders stop talking and show their firmness through tough actions? When Mr Modi became Prime Minister in 2014 on a religious plank the nation was confident he was going to be the saviour who will deal both Pakistan and China death blows and make India the world’s supreme power.

All the country has seen is deterioration across all fronts, accompanied by some dramatics and misplaced faith that with the U.S. now on its side all of India’s woes will soon disappear.

U.S. will Always be a Partner No One Can Trust

This CNN report, with a blatant pro-Pakistan pitch, is an inkling of the kind of help you can expect from the U.S. or any of its entities, expect profusive expressions of support.

The report (written by some Mukhtar Ahmad, Rich Phillips and Joshua Berlinger) harped on the recent violence in Kashmir and on Mr Rajnath Singh not providing any evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in the Uri attack.

When I first read the report online it only had the names of the first two writers and the tone had a Pakistan slant. The third name was only added a little while ago, with some changes, including to the opening para.

Since it is a developing story it is bound to go through further iterations. Here is a screenshot of the current version.

cnn-name-calling-2

If all available tell-tale signs of Pakistani involvement are not enough for the CNN that only betrays the inanity and prejudices of the media.

Why the heck should the media be provided with details on sensitive issues?

Here is what I think India must do:

  1. Silence the Indian media first (including the jingoistic breed), keep them away from sensitive issues: The world knows how the Australian media scuppered India’s submarine deal recently. Journalists, whether in India or any of the democratic world, don’t care about issues that are sensitive to a country. All they want are scoops!
  • This does not mean freedom of expression can be sacrificed but it has to be curtailed in matters of importance to India’s security.
  • TV channels must not be allowed to air open TV debates on issues such as Kashmir, with armchair experts. The channels are so nuts that they also bring on foreign “experts”, including from Pakistan and the U.S.
  • Such discussions must be initiated by the Indian government and happen in a strictly confidential environment, with the media completely kept away from it.

2. Be a nation of action, not mere words: Stop dreaming and start to take strong actions without singing Mr Modi’s glory all the while – he has to demonstrate that he deserves the praises being heaped on him.

3. Stop Indulging in Religious One-upmanship and Win Internal Support: Keep people of all races happy, isolate the separatists first, try to win over those who go against the nation’s interests and if such efforts fail be ruthless with them. Don’t publicise the actions for electoral gains. The more secretive you are the greater your chances of success.

4. Don’t Imagine U.S. will be a Reliable Partner: Even if they are, India must have the self-sufficiency to deal with any situation. Support from the U.S. or from any other nation is ideal but reliance on that alone is buffoonery. Ties are getting stronger between the two because of the China factor. Every nation will keep its own interests first. India must gain self-reliant might!

G Joslin Vethakumar

My earlier piece:

https://joslinv.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/kashmir-is-burning-let-there-be-no-fiddling/

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Kashmir is Burning, let there be No Fiddling

Kashmir has always been burning, yesterday’s Uri strike is another ominous signal it is an issue that will continue to fester.

uri-map-by-india-today

Since I started blogging in May 2005, about eight years after I quit full-time journalism, I have been writing regularly about the ferment in Kashmir.

Photo: India Today

My first two posts were on Pakistan and China, two countries that are now inseparable partners in crime. And since terror strikes in India have been recurring phenomena I kept writing about them.

Audacious Shaukat Aziz: I was at an event in Singapore where Pakistan’s then Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz proudly proclaimed that his country “was all for peace. The outstanding issues could be put behind us if we handled them with courage, magnanimity and flexibility.”

In other words, he expected India to show all that while Pakistan would continue to pander to evil forces.

Arrogant and audacious, Mr Aziz even said: “being next door alone will not be enough for any boost in trade ties. There has to be a win-win situation for both sides. Otherwise, the whole world is open for us to tap for trade.”

He was merely demonstrating the common trait of South Asians – a big mouth!

It is only terrorism that the world can tap Pakistan for. Besides Bollywood’s mafia brigade!

Soon after Mr Aziz opened his big mouth in Singapore, the London blasts shocked the world and catapulted Pakistani terror into the limelight. The press meet in Singapore was four years after 9/11.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Intrusions at F1 Singapore…

Last year it was a British Indian, possibly clamouring for attention! … and at the F1 in Singapore yesterday this…a monitor lizard!

lizard-f1

And why not – for some fun diversion and extra excitement? After all, it was just one and it harmed none!

Recently, St Andrew’s Cathedral, around the F1 track (the church we visit), had some unusual visitors too – a romp of otters! Lovable, they too harm none!

Unlike the two-legged variety leaping unfettered! And who cares about the overpopulation in the country and the harm it does to Singapore!

otter-at-cathedral

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Modi Dreaming of Becoming China President?

The Congress losing Arunachal Pradesh is fine. But India has to see it does not lose Arunachal.

I don’t know why the BJP’s Sambit Patra is all glee in the photographs here, taken from a debate on NDTV on the political mayhem in te North-Eastern State tonight. 

At the might of the BJP to slay democracy and perhaps even sell India itself to establish Modi Raj everywhere?

Mr Modi may even be nurturing wild ambitions of becoming the president of China by ceding AP to the red giant! Since people in the Norteast have Mongloid features, he can have some vicarious pleasure breathing down their necks.

The BJP has engineered the defection of 43 of the 44 MLAs and you call this democracy? Even the journalists appear thrilled at how Modi mania is destroying India.

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Tit-for-Tat Violence in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu

The Judiciary Commands No Respect in India

The tit-for-tat violence the last few days in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the sharing of Cauvery waters appears to demonstrate that Indians cannot think beyond parochialism, regional one-upmanship and self-centricity.

The violence in Bengaluru, a city I hold dear, has brought the nation’s IT capital to a halt with widespread violence. It is a grim reminder of the sons-of-the-soil riots the city had witnessed in the 70s.

The insularity of some prominent people is coming out in the open in both the States. I don’t blame them as this is an emotive issue and they are simply going with the flow.

TN has “enough water”, court order “disappointing”

Mohandas Pai, a political commentator and former CFO of Infosys, says the violence is more in Karnataka because Tamil Nadu is the beneficiary of the recent Supreme Court verdict on water sharing. He goes on to say that Tamil Nadu has enough water, asserting the court order was wrong.

cauvery

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson of Biocon, says “the court order is very disappointing. But violence in Karnataka benefits Tamil Nadu.” It gives rise to the inference that if Karnataka stood to gain from the violence, she would give it the thumbs up.

But she did come up with an interesting Tweet that Bengaluru’s name should be changed to “Bandhaluru” (referring to the frequent strikes/shutdowns in the city). Not surprisingly, she came up for intense criticism for the Tweet, so much so she had to defend herself vehemently. “I am a proud Kannadiga,” she proclaimed.

I am not going to discuss the merits of the case. But it does appear to me the judiciary enjoys no respect among the people and leaders in democratic India.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Phone Sets Jeep Ablaze, Airlines Ban Charging on Flights

Risks Mount as Phones Become Multifunctional? Or is it just a Charger issue?

The more functions a mobile phone features the riskier it gets for those having one in their pockets, in cars or even flights.

Or so I think, I don’t care if it is just naïveté! It may only be an issue with the charger, but no harm exploring the other possible causes as well!

And it does not have to be confined to a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the risks can apply to iPhone or any other brand!

This week, an American saw his jeep go up in flames after a Samsung Galaxy Note7 he left in it is reported to have caught fire. It was sheer luck he was not inside the vehicle at that moment.

jeep-on-fireAnother man, at a hotel in Australia, has reported that his Note 7 phone exploded while he was asleep in the room.

These and a few other incidents have prompted many airlines to ban the charging of phones on flights. They include the Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Australia.

But what about the threat of phones going ablaze even when they are not being charged? As phones become increasingly multifunctional the dangers also appear to be multiplying.

WiFi on Flights – If Phones Can Go Ablaze so Can Laptops

If phones can explode, so can laptops. And with WiFi being increasingly available on flights, both laptops and phones are finding wide mid-air use.

I make it a point not to use any of that on a flight. I always have my phone completely shut down, without keeping it just on aeroplane mode, until I touchdown. But that is not on safety considerations. That is only to save on battery usage!

While bad news appears to be piling on Samsung, let us not be foolhardy in assuming that phones from other manufacturers are safer!

I hope we don’t see phones getting so smart that they can pose more risks to life and property. Safety First!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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