On a visit to a Western nation, we Indians find Westerners different from us. Our nature is to share food with strangers, allow neighbors’ friends and relatives into our homes, invite strangers for a cup of tea, help stranded occupants with a broken vehicle, keep elderly family members with us in our homes, and live simply with minimal fuss.
The day was the 20th, the month October, and the year 1962. Prime Minister Nehru stated, “a powerful and unscrupulous opponent, not caring for peace” had thrust us into a war. He was referring to China and its invasion of two locations, thousands of kilometers apart: one, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh district’s east theater; another, near Tawang in the Arunachal Pradesh state more than 2000 kilometers further east.
He was born 143 Octobers ago as Mohandas K. Gandhi and came to be known as Mahatma, a great soul. According to him, his father was a "truthful" man and his mother the vow-keeper.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his supporters are singing “Walmart is Comin’ to Town” just like the old Christmas tune (You better watch out, you better not cry… Santa Clause is comin’ to town). And like Santa, Walmart is preparing to hand out the goodies. The mega-corporation is going to hire lots of Indians and promises to sell Indian made goods, both perishable and nonperishable, at “Always Low Prices, Always” (Walmart’s old slogan). However, before one joins in Singh’s carol, one needs to examine some of Walmart’s practices.
Lately, some politicos in India have been considering the establishment of a new political party. Many question the validity of this, since there are currently so many political parties in existence.
After we gave our nation an anthropomorphic form, India became Bharat Mata, Mother India, and ever since, we have been referring to her as such with great reverence, like the veneration one uses toward one’s parents.
On July 19, 2012 a fight between illegal aliens from Bangladesh and Indian citizens belonging to the Bodo community in the Assam state led to a killing of over 40 people. Many were injured, scores of homes were burned or razed, and thousands are now in shelters. The area has been a hot bed for violence for years.
The village of Jajjal is near Bhatinda city in the state of Punjab, and many of the people living there are dying from cancer. Villagers have indicated that pesticides used by farmers are leaking into the water wells, poisoning the drinking water and causing cancer.
Long ago Indian media dubbed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi “Odd Couple”. Are they?
Stubborn inflation and sputtering economy are giving Reserve Bank of India a headache. The central bank in past three years raised short term interest rate 12 times expecting the demand for money to decline, the economy to cool, and the inflation to die. The economy has slowed down but the inflation persists. Now, it appears that Reserve Bank is nervous about the weak economy, so last month it lowered the interest rate to spur the economic growth.
It made many cry, wrenched others in pain, and caused still others to shake their heads in disbelief when they heard about what happened to Anant Gupta. He was a truck driver who was beaten to death in the presence of bystanders in daytime, presumably by an assistant regional transport officer (ARTO) for refusing to pay the officer a bribe. The incident took place in September of 2011 at Chandauli, near the state border of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The Planning Commission of India reports that the nation’s poverty rate has dropped by seven percentage points in five years, from 37 percent in 2005 to 30 percent in 2010. How did this hard-to-believe steep decline come about? Perhaps, it occurred by lowering a benchmark the commission uses to count poor people living below the poverty line. Last year the Singh government lowered the amount needed per day to live to Rs.32 (US$0.64) or less in city areas and Rs.26 (US$0.52) or less in rural areas. Earlier these amounts were Rs.35 or less and Rs.28 or less respectively. Thus, thousands were removed from the poverty statistics.
Voters in five Indian states elected candidates for state assemblies from among at least 15 political parties and more than 80 independents. The states of Goa, Punjab, and Uttarakhand will have a coalition government, and Manipur and Uttar Pradesh will have a single party government.