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Monthly Archives: February 2008


BRIC Nations

BRIC or BRICs are terms used in economics to refer to the combination of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
General thinking is that the term was first prominently used in a thesis of the Goldman Sachs Investment Bank. The main point of this 2003 paper was to argue that the economies of the BRICs are rapidly developing and by the year 2050 will eclipse most of the current richest countries of the world.
Goldman Sachs predicts China and India, respectively, to be the dominant global suppliers of manufactured goods and services while Brazil and Russia would become similarly dominant as suppliers of raw materials. Cooperation is thus hypothesized to be a logical next step among the BRICs because Brazil and Russia together form the logical commodity suppliers to India and China. Thus, the BRICs have the potential to form a powerful economic bloc to the exclusion of the modern-day G8 status. Brazil is dominant in soy and iron ore while Russia has enormous supplies of oil and natural gas. Goldman Sachs’ thesis thus documents how commodities, work, technology, and companies have diffused outward from the United States across the world.”
Source: Wikipedia


The concept of Bhoomiputra (son of soil)

When years back Bombay was re-christened as Mumbai, I felt a sense of pride. It is justified to restore the original native name instead of the one which was imposed on us by ruling Britishers, was my take on this. Soon Madras was named Chennai and Calcutta as Kolkatta and I relished those events. I still do and wish that there were many takers for the demand to re-name Faridabad, but apparently people are too busy in that bustling satellite town of Delhi to take any note of the fact. Anyway, let us not side-track!

It all started in Mumbai a few weeks back: Non-Marathis (North Indians) were being targeted there. ‘They were not sons of the soil (Bhoomiputra)’, was the argument and that because of them, local or native people were left behind. ‘Mumbai has been exploited and looted by outsiders’ were the sentiments being echoed. These kind of arguments were spearheaded by Raj Thackeray (of Balasaheb Thackeray clan)! This was more of a political issue and I am sure common people cared little about it, but a controversy was, nevertheless, generated! Then Kolkatta also sprang a surprise when local politicians criticized Marwaris as they too are kind of outsiders, in other words, are not sons of the soil!

So this is our India for us! Outsiders verus locals! I used to think that only Moguls and Britishers were outsiders for us who ruled us, exploited us and converted some of us! I have never thought that outsiders live ‘within us Indians’! Thanks to the petty Raj that these sentiments surface once in a while. The very fabric of our country seems vulnerable when petty politicians talk this and misguided people join the fray! I was looking for words when I came across a hard-hitting article by Tarun Vijay. An excellent summation of feelings of being Indian and yet our vulnerability to these kinds of events. An article worth reading: Is Being Indian not Enough?

New Government in Pakistan

The general elections held in Pakistan on Feb 18,2008 have thrown a mixed verdict for political parties there. Slain leader Benazir Bhutto’s PPP and Nawaz Sharif’s PML- N have bagged enough seats to cobble up a government and this is the most likely scenario which is emerging. The Prime Minister will be from PPP as it has larger share of seats.

This has not unnerved President Parvez Musharraf, though! His political party lost badly in these elections and there is a good possibility that if the opposition is able to add up a few more conglomerates, it may be in a position to impeach the President or take up other constitutional measures to unseat him. A peaceful exit for Mush is a more viable idea though, provided Mush himself realizes this!

If that happens or even with a weak President facing the wrath of the his political opponents at the helm of affairs, things will not be easy for Mush. US seems to be losing a “trusted ally”. Is it time to say good bye to a military dictator -turned -civilian President? Will the government in a partnership (PPP and PML- N) be stable? Will the elected government deliver! Will the impartial judiciary be re-instated? What kind of approach the new government take towards India? The coming months will tell us the answers!

Lodge Your Grievance online with GOI

I was viewing the website recommended to me by TLS Bhaskar (He recently formed a Telugu Diaspora: http://telugudiaspora.com/). The organization is “Association for Human Development” run by Dr Srinivasa K Rao (New York). The following useful piece of information is being reproduced:

“Dear Friends,
Here is the opportunity to speak to the government for a better India.
Government of India has an online Grievance forum at http://darpg-grievance.nic.in/

The government wants people to use this tool to highlight the problems they faced while dealing with Government officials or departments like Passport Office, Electricity board, BSNL/MTNL, Railways,etc.
So use this grievance forum and educate others who don’t know about this facility. This way we can at least raise our concerns instead of just talking about the ‘System’ in India.
Invite your friends to contribute for many such happenings.

Spread this message if u want our India to change.”

Right to Credit: A Fundamental Right

2007 Nobel Peace prize went to Muhammed Yunus (Bangaldesh). He introduced the concept of micro-credit to bring out rural people from abject poverty. His statement that “access to credit should be a right” sums up his philosophy. In this interview in Worth magazine, one gets a good insight about him and his simple but effective mantra of tackling poverty and hence enhancing peace. The link…

Whaling Museum in L. I.

Whaling Museum in Long Island, NY. Whale is a protected species now. At one time, it was an object of killing for monetary benefits. A whale hunting expedition would be of course a mammoth project, given the size of the mammalian sea creature. The museum is a useful trip for kids. The web-link is: http://cshwhalingmuseum.org

More Than Tomorow (MTT) Project

In India only 2 % of all schools have computers. Working to bridge the last mile of the “Digital Divide” is the US-based not for profit “More Than Tomorrow“.

Its founder Marshall Krinitz is an affable personality who is passionate about his mission. A chance meeting with him at the local swimming pool got us to know each other. MTT Project is aimed at helping villages to acquire computers. As the brochure says: “The guiding principle is the belief that if we partner with people, especially people in poor, rural areas, and provide them the cutting- edge tools with which to enhance their lives, we can initiate a new dynamic.” It is a humnle beginning on his part, but given his commitment, I am sure the organization will be a great help to the needy people.

Started in mid- 2007, the Organization is mainly working in rural areas of Dharamshala, HP.

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