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Sab's world
anti-national song ? 
before i post my political crap, just wanted to let you all know that i slightly re-organized the pictures section. classified it into albums with certain level of access rights to different people. i will be adding more albums during the weekend (if possible).

i had a chance to read many articles regarding the vande mataram controversy going on in india. one thing i really dont understand is that while every normal indian muslim can sing that song without any issues, why is it only syed bukhari (imam of juma masjid) and his cronies have big time issues with it ? if it is vande mataram today, who knows he will not come out tomorrow and say - oh, we dont want to sing national anthem jana gana mana because we dont have the concept of india as a nation ? will the same arjun singh and his congress come out and say sure, its not a problem, it is not mandatory at all for you guys (as long as you give us the votes) ? if ar rahman can sing/direct/product one of the best vande mataram videos, why not the rest ? or is ar rahman an anti-national ?

for those who dont know, it was rabindra nath tagore who gave the music to vande mataram !

this is sabs signing off ..
  |   ( 3 / 2370 )
colas - who is guilty ? 
here is an article which i read in economic times last week. this should be read in context with the much hurried recent banning of the two major colas (pepsi and coke) by the kerala govt.

Colas: The media are guilty too

Surprisingly, the dust may soon settle on the pesticides-in-cola issue. Sunita Narain of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said on Friday that she agreed with this newspaper’s editorial line, that cola drinks should not be banned but should be regulated using scientific standards that are credible and enforceable.

The cola companies then agreed to pesticide standards for soft drinks — which they had opposed for years, saying only inputs should be tested — subject to appropriate testing protocols and validation. New standards will hopefully be notified by next April.

This lowering of temperature seemed unlikely when CSE declared last week that it had found pesticide levels in carbonated drinks of Coke and Pepsi that were far higher than the proposed but yet-to-be-issued norms of the Bureau of Industrial Standards (BIS). Kerala banned the sale and production of Coke and Pepsi. Several states banned sales in government canteens and schools.

The cola companies insisted that their drinks were safe. The business chambers, Ficci and CII, protested that the arbitrariness of the ban was a threat to every industry, not just fizzy drinks.

The BIS standards in question had yet to be notified. How could action be taken for violating standards that had not been notified? Besides, how could a state close down industries without independent confirmation of an NGO report?

This is why the US undersecretary for international trade says the cola ban may hit foreign investment in India. Americans do not think MNCs are above negligence and dirty tricks. MNCs are regularly found violating various laws in the US, and regularly fined. Many CEOs have been jailed.

So, foreign investors are used to strict enforcement of standards. What worries them is arbitrary action (like Kerala’s ban) unrelated to clear rules (like notified standards) or conclusive evidence (like government testing to confirm CSE’s findings). It worries Indian businesses too.

My position has long been that colas are safer than alternatives. The biggest health risk comes not from pesticides but bacteria, which kill millions. Cola has far less bacteria than most alternatives, including plain water. That is why many foreign tourists and NRIs drink Coke, Pepsi or bottled water, and nothing else. Ironically, these three drinks are the very ones targeted by CSE as being unsafe.

Besides, the actual pesticide level, according to government surveys, is 3,080 times higher in milk, 69,700 times higher in vegetables and 111,600 times higher in fruit than in the proposed cola standards. The maximum permitted level for tea leaves is almost 60,000 times higher.

These are treated as priority items in diet, and so are permitted high levels, unlike colas, which are held to be inessential. But even if colas exceed EU standards ten times, they will have far less pesticides than milk or fruit juice.

If you ban colas, what will people switch to? Water, tea, cane juice and fruit juices. All of them have more pesticides than colas, and I refuse to be consoled by CSE’s information that they have more nutrition.

Banning colas will increase pesticide intake, not decrease it. Nevertheless, I support CSE’s case for imposing much stricter standards on cola than fruit juice. It is practical to take pesticides out of colas, but not out of fruit. The cost is entirely bearable for cola companies.

When I met Sunita Narain after the cola ban last week, I expected her to be in a victorious mood. To my surprise, she said she was depressed. CSE had had been fighting for three years to get standards notified and implemented, and she was sick of the interminable delay. She had hoped for an early notification, but now everything had been put on hold because the health minister was appointing another committee.

The bans were temporary political expedients that would not work. She wanted the BIS standards notified immediately, so that she could move on to other environmental issues. She said her aim was not to target MNCs, but to use the MNC issue to raise awareness of the need for higher standards across the board.

This is a perfectly good argument for subjecting MNCs to stiff standards. It is not leftist extremism. Why then does she have such a strong image as an MNC-basher? It stems in part from her own beliefs and writings, but also from the fact that Press has built her up to be a desi David battling foreign Goliaths.

She relishes the publicity, and thinks it will help her improve environmental standards everywhere. Yet the media do very little to highlight her other green campaigns. The media gives top billing to her criticism of MNCs while largely ignoring her criticisms of the government or Indian companies.

How serious is this media bias? To test it, I went back to the pesticides-in-bottled water issue in 2003. The public remembers this mainly as the start of her campaign against the cola companies, which also sell bottled water (Kinley and Aquafina). Yet CSE’s actual findings were not an anti-MNC tirade.

The highest lindane level (45 times EU standards) was found in a brand called Hero, followed by No 1 McDowell (43 times), Paras (31 times) and Volga (29 times). Chlorpyrifos levels was highest in No 1 McDowell (370 times), but also high in Bisleri (109 times), Kinley (109 times) and Aquafina (23 times).

The highest levels of organochlorines and organophosphorus were in Aquaplus (104 times), a Delhi brand favoured by the Railways. Bisleri came third (79 times), and Kinley further down (14.6 times).

The data make it clear that CSE did not target MNCs. It pointed fingers at all manufacturers, ranging from small local brands to the biggest. Yet the public remembers mainly the accusations against Coke and Pepsi, and perhaps Bisleri.

This is at least partly due to media bias in highlighting the big fish, as opposed to the worst offenders. So, if many states have stupidly banned colas, do not blame just CSE and cynical politicians. The media deserve part of the blame too.

this is sabs signing off .. for today ..

  |  related link  |   ( 3 / 2161 )
mumbai bleeds but ... 
mumbai witnessed another set of bomb blasts killing hundreds of innocent people last week. there is no doubt about of who was behind this ruthless attack on the people. but here is what a few had to say ..

mumbai police : "lashkar-e-toiba and simi (students islamic movement of india) are behind the attacks"

mulayam singh yadav (chief minister of UP) : "simi is NOT a terrorist organization"

prime minister manmohan singh : "mumbai terrorists were supported by elements across the border without which their cannot hit with such an effect."

his own HRD minister arjun singh : "attack on mumbai was masterminded by the RSS and not the jehadis"

isnt it time for the petty politicians to come up beyond their appeasement policies and tell unanimously that WE ARE INDIANS and ANY ATTACT ON US WILL HAVE SEVERE RETALIATION, WHOEVER YOU ARE ?? we need to learn from the united states how to step outside of party lines and be united when terrorists attack. we need to learn from israel on how to hit back real hard if any one tries to even pinch us. gandhism will not work anymore - take the enemy's both eyes out if they try to take one of ours. we need to .. well, whats the point .. we have already surrendered our spines ..

may GOD bless the souls of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks. may GOD give courage to their families to move on.

this is sabs signing off .. with a heavy heart.
  |   ( 3 / 1857 )
weapons of mass destruction 
got this from my cousin brother rajesh today morning. its funny yet conveys a deep message as to what/who is ruining india. it goes like this :

It was the day after India's Independence Day.

A thoughtful Tony Blair who had watched the celebrations on TV got onto the phone with his friend Bush:

"India!" shouted Blair.

"What about India?" asked a startled Bush.

"We English made a mistake George," said Blair, "I need to get India back as a colony!"

"You serious Tony?" asked a still more startled Bush.

"Yeah this is not the India we let go some sixty years ago," said Blair, "this is a colony we would be proud to have now."

"So whatcha plannin' to do?" asked Bush.

"Why George what we did to Saddam. Attack them."

"You sayin' we? You not hoping I'm goin' to join you are you?"

"I helped you in Iraq George, you forgettin' or sometin'?"

"Yeah but we had an excuse there Tony, we were lookin' for weapons of mass destruction, you remember?"

"So we do the same thing here George. We tell the Indians to give up their weapons of mass destruction!"

"I don't know whether we are doing the right thing Tony, India's a democracy you know?"

"I lied for you in Iraq George. Nearly lost the elections for you. I'm sure you could do this lil' favour for me. With India back as my colony, we'll be back as a world power! Britain rules the world! You heard that phrase George?"

"I thought it was America who was doin' the rulin' Tony."

"We'll do the rulin' together George. You and me will be equal partners once I get my India back. Come on George talk to that Manmohan feller, tell him to give up his weapons of mass destruction, or else..!"

"Okay Tony since you insist. Can call me back in five minutes."

"Shall I get my ships ready?"

"For what?" asked a surprised Bush.

"For war dammit," shouted Tony as he put the phone down and waited for Bush to talk to the Indian Prime Minister. He walked over to a little globe he had on his office table and circled India gleefully. The phone rang and he ran to pick it up.

"Tony it's me," said George, "how many ships you got ready?"

"Aye aye sir, the Royal Navy is ready for action!" said Tony, standing at attention.

"You can send them to India," said Bush.

"To fight?" asked Blair happily."

"No to pick up their weapons of mass destruction."

"Whatcha talkin' about?" asked a confused Blair.

"Manmohan said you would know 'cause it's your people who made them," said Bush.

"What weapons of mass destruction?" whispered Blair uncertainly.

"Their politicians, their MP's, their MLA's," said Bush happily, "Manmohan said you could take them all back to England where they were trained years ago by yer people to divide and rule..!"

at the same time, i read about the kerala chief minister's opposition to the smart city which would've been a great push for the 'yet to develop' IT industry in kerala. the chief minister v.s.achuthanandan is an 83 year old trade union leader who has not even passed the 7th standard ! and this gentleman (?) now decides the fate of IT industry in kerala. trust me, we would be having the world's first trade union in IT industry soon in kerala :)

this is sabs signing off for now.
  |   ( 3 / 1199 )
double standards .. cont'd 
finally i heard a voice of protest against the temple demolition which i mentioned in one of my previous posts (with the same subject line). as obvious as it can be, it came from an organization affiliated to BJP - the OFBJP. here is the article in its entirety..

Overseas Friends of BJP: PRESS RELEASE
June 20, 2006
OFBJP Rising Against Destruction of Hinduism in Pakistan

Reacting sharply on the news reports of demolition of Shri Krishna Temple in Lahore, in the early June of 2006, OFBJP held a protest meet in Sanatan Dharma Temple in Florida and prepared a memorandum to be submitted to the Pakistan Embassy.

OFBJP came down heavily on the Indian political parties for showing complete disengagement from the issues of concern for the millions of Hindus living in India and abroad and warned against the repercussions of such unconcerned attitude. OFBJP hailed the exceptional role of BJP who openly condemned the demolition and held various protests and demonstrations across India.

This official act of aggression against the symbols of Hinduism in Pakistan has a stark similarity with the Bamiyan Buddha Destruction under Taliban's and the occurrence of similar events in Pakistan is indicative of the increasing talibanization of Pakistani State. OFBJP calls upon the community of civilized nations to put a curb on states promoting and patronizing religious extremism, fanaticism, intolerance, particularly in South Asia.

It is obvious that the religious fanaticism in Pakistan is directed against the adherents of Hindu religions and India being a depository of Hindu religions is the natural target of such fanaticism, even tough the Congress led UPA Government of India could not even lodge a substantial reaction on the destruction of Shri Krishna Temple. OFBJP condemns the shameful role of UPA Government in this regard.

OFBJP once again condemns the destruction of Shri Krishna Temple by Pakistani Official authorities and urge the followers of Hindu religions to rise for the dignity of the symbols of their religion, faith and culture and ultimately for their survival as a civilization force.

Issued By
OFBJP Press Committee

this is sabs signing off .. in peace !

  |   ( 3 / 1736 )

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