The Way Forward

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If any good has come out of 26/11 it has been the government’s announcement in principle to have a federal agency on terror (though I believe that similar ideas have been floated before and then consigned to the dustheap of public memory). Now the only thing that remains to be seen is how this federal agency is staffed, what kind of counter-terrorism equipment provided, how much political interference the agency has to put with and the extent to which the powers provided to this agency will be misused to settle personal scores and spy on political opponents.

The most important thing in the way forward is how India handles the issue of  Pakistan and its role in 26/11. The wrong way to go about things is to get into a press battle with Pakistan by making public statements hinting at having conclusive proof of  “foreign involvement” and leaving it at that. Unfortunately this is exactly what India has done. To be honest, India will always find it tough to win the international media war despite being the victim because 1) the Indian government does not invest in lobbying as much as Pakistan does. Which is why you will see Pakistani diplomats on CNN and not their Indian counterparts and 2) Indian expatriates, despite being a wealthy constituent of US society and a significant source of campaign cash for both parties, lack the patriotic enthusiasm of the Cuban or the Chinese diaspora when it comes to using their financial might for the homeland.

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Some More Thoughts

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1. When a news program has the punchline “No bias no bull” , you can be assured there is only bias and bull. Wolf Blitzer’s prime time coverage of recent events was as full of bias and bull excreta as one can fear for. The predominant theme that WereWolf Blitzer kept harping on was these attacks were most probably committed by agents inside India (needless to say the full moon gives him visions of truth) and that Pakistan is innocent (but Al Qaeda, an agency that has no connection with the Pakistani administration may be connected).  What India is saying is irrelevant as India’s knee jerk reaction is to blame Pakistan —however the US blaming Taliban (the then-government in Afghanistan) for 9/11 within hours was not knee-jerk of course. They know better.

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India's Nine Eleven

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[Warning: long post]

Is this India’s 9/11?  There is no doubt that what we have seen today is as much an act of war as 9/11. Foreigners have breached the nation’s borders (with consummate ease may we add). Not through the snowy slopes in the mountains. We are used to that. Not through the porous borders of Bangladesh. We know of that. But through the coastal waters of India’s biggest, supposedly most secure, city. The waters of which as a route for narcotics smuggling should theoretically have been under heavy government surveillance. Or perhaps it is the very lucrativeness of the clandestine water traffic (after this this is D-country) that makes the local authorities not look too closely.

However will this the proverbial last straw on the camel’s back that will ultimately make national security the number one national agenda? Will this change India as 9/11 changed USA fundamentally? Though I would like to hope so, I have too much faith in our so-called “resilience” to be more than a bit pessimistic.

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Some Thoughts

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{Updates being added}

It’s difficult to put down my thoughts with much coherence right now after the incidents of the last few hours. I had originally planned to start the blog back up by telling you, in detail, what happened to the blog and me for the last few days. Now the trifling troubles of a vaccine shot gone wrong, days of 104F fever and a horrible webhost  seems suddenly very insignificant.

So here are the initial thoughts.

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Dostana—the Review

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To all you desi professionals who are in varying stages of your Green card proecessing for years on end and more importantly those who are contemplating going through the process, I bear happy tidings.

According to the big Bollywood release of the week “Dostana”, you could get your residency in one year.

Yep you heard that right.

Only thing, you have to be in a gay relationship.

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The Terror Of Hypocrisy

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What Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Lt. Colonel Purohit have done (if they were indeed involved in the heinous attacks they have been accused of) is that in addition to dragging the name of the One and True God Prabhuji into their agenda of hate,  they have handed to the apologists of Jihadi terror, Pakistani media and the Arundhati-Sabrang crowd a Diwali-and-Christmas-gift-for-all-eternity-rolled into-one which will keep on giving for years on end.

The involvement of Hindu right-wing elements in planned acts of urban mayhem will now be used, ad nauseum for years to come to support the central thesis of their arguments—-all acts of terrorism in India are done by Hindus and blamed on innocent Muslims and on Pakistani agents. The presence of an armed force officer in the list of accused is the proverbial icing on the cake, providing great potential to be spun as the shadow of a darker government conspiracy, sure to throw Arundhuti Roy into paroxysms of delight and the Arabic media, which once accused the Indian and Jewish government of having triggered the tsunami, into absolute hate-filled delirium.

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Soft Victory

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In an effort to put all speculation to rest as to whether he can still keep it up as the captain of the team, Ricky Ponting has announced “I haven’t gone soft” (headline: “I haven’t gone soft, declares Ponting“). A certain man in India who once kissed Ricky Ponting because “he is a great captain and our culture is to kiss him” must be able to go to bed in peace after being thus reassured of Ponting’s ever-enduring rigidness.

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