Shashi Tharoor work overload                                                           24 October 2009


Mr. Shashi Tharoor would be in his milieu as United Nations envoy or as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, SAARC or other such organizations. Mr. Tharoor may mean well but his utterances are at odds with government culture and hurtful to many ordinary citizens who cannot aspire to his lifestyle nor have the privilege of being elected and selected for a Ministerial portfolio as a first time MP.  Mr. Tharoor does not seem to fully understand that even though he is a Minister of State for External Affairs, he is an Indian minister and should respect the sensitivities of the common man ("Aam aadmi"). He may have more time for his work if he tweets less and it would also prevent his irreverent wisecracks from further alienating a growing segment of the public. Mr. Tharoor has eloquently stated in his memoirs that “India matters to me and I want to matter to India” and that should be the case and not one where India wonders “what is the matter with him”.



Indefensible Defense                                                                            27 October 2009


India, land of the Mahatma and his principle of Ahimsa (non-violence), has finalized defense contracts totaling billions of dollars with a ruthless regime (whose leaders have been accused of war crimes in the Goldstone Report) that has a history of using unprincipled violence to attain its objectives (“the end justifies the means”).  Even if the (im)morality of the defense agreement was ignored, there can be no justification for India’s armed forces to purchase AWACS planes (billion dollars each) when hundreds of millions of Indians live on less than two dollars a day.  The AWACS planes will ostensibly be used to either deter or detect and deflect China from conducting any hostile action.  China is decades ahead of India by most indices and is focused on its global economic preeminence not on military domination of India.  Indian politicians are using nebulous external threats to add to India’s military arsenal, which is already more than enough to handle any threats from internal and regional militant groups - the actual sources of any potential threats to Indian society.  It is not the artillery but the raw intelligence that needs to be reinforced.  There are many unanswered questions surrounding the expedited and secretive financial arrangements resulting in a flurry of defense contracts awarded to Israel, supplanting India’s traditional defense suppliers.