Those good ol’ days



I recently chanced by an old email I had written to a friend which happened to be an explicit narrative on a day in my life as a first year BMM student. Since the front pages of all newspapers are crammed with SSC/HSC and various other abbreviated exam stories, I thought I’d be real nice and give a heads up to all those newly inducted freshers who are straightening their locks and buying checked shorts in hope of celebrating the wild, joyous, carefree ride of collegedom.

Here is an excerpt of my mail, reproduced without several foul expletives. (Warning: This mail contains graphic content that could be disturbing for first year newbies. Parental discretion advised)

You know what the definition of a bad day is? Let me enlighten you since I have had FIRST HAND experience of what constitutes a BAD DAY.

(1) You sleep at two in the morning with two project submissions due the next day and you haven’t even started on one of them because your stupid friend’s friend who APPARENTLY knows how to use Photoshop…well…DOESN’T. So you go to bed with that terrible burden on your fragile shoulders.

(2) You get up at 7 in the morning, stare blankly at the computer screen which glares at you in a mocking way so as to say “look loser I ain’t got no dark circles like you have because I had my beauty sleep!” (Sometimes computers aren’t that user friendly as they’re made out to be.)

(3) Whilst still staring at the screen, the dratted dust particles in the air suddenly decide that since they have nothing else to do but float around, why don’t they just creep up your nostrils and hang around there for a bit. So as you stare at the sneering screen, which is now starting to pull dirty faces at you, you get a sneezing fit of approximately 32 sneezes per 5 minutes.

(4) Then realizing that in no possible way can your limited grey cells grasp the amazingly complicated software that is Photoshop (which technically should be called HARDWARE because it’s so damn tough) you decide that it’s time to turn to someone else and burden them with your problems.

(5) As luck would have it, that one person who you know knows Photoshop…well his family decided it would be a great idea to stay in MALAD. (Why don’t you just travel to Saudi Arabia and do your project there? It’s nearly the same distance, and you might even catch a belly dance or two.)

(6) So you travel to Malad by the most comfortable, hygienic mode of transport available i.e. the friendly western railway, in the friendly company of 550 million other lovely, damp, buxom women who think that this is as good a time as any to play ’smell my smelly armpit’  with you.

(7) Then from 10 am to 5 pm you find yourself staring at another computer screen far, far away in a galaxy called Malad whilst your friend tries to shred together the few dregs that is your ad design project.

(8) On your way to college you get a call from the professor who wears a hair band that went out of fashion during the dark ages. She says that she is no longer willing to accept your project today since it is very late. So you can give up the project next Wednesday but to pay for your heinous crime of coming late to college she will cut your marks. (Why, she might as well just cut your throat and serve it as supper in the staffroom.)

(9)So you tread back home, defeated but not dead. You try out the CD which your most helpful friend burned your entire project on it. Turns out he, the clever one, has burnt an audio CD with some groovy Tamilian tracks on it. Maybe the knob called brightness in his brain wasn’t functioning.
Or maybe fate is playing the famed local train game of “smell my smelly armpit” with you today.

AND THAT, MY IGNORANT FRIEND, IS WHAT EXACTLY CONSTITUTES A BAD DAY.

Next lesson – how to poke someone’s eyes out without getting blood on yourself.

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  • http://arambhusal.sulekha.com Aram

    I thought copy-paste is a simple enough solution in college!!
    I remember once my whole batch of 200 people submitted the same copy of the software assignment which the topper had made :D
    I think if the audio CD was pop songs u wud have enjoyd more :P ;)

    [Reply]

    Tasneem Reply:

    haha…we had quite a few isntances of rip offs too. unfortunatelly our topper refused to share her notes, let alone her project!

    [Reply]

    Medha Reply:

    This was such an entertaining post! :) First time here. Hi! :)

    All the comments here make me want to experience college life in India. Because everything is so different abroad. Especially when it comes to assignments. Plagiarism is such a serious issue here (in australia) and in other places too I think. That’s why sometimes i feel as if I should be in india where I can just copy the assignments from others and get an easy A! Haha. Though uni life is a lot of fun here in Australia nevertheless! :)

    BTW, you look familiar! I think we have a common friend, cos’ I might have seen you in a friend’s birthday album or something. Unless I am totally talking about someone else! Hehe.

    [Reply]

    Tasneem Reply:

    hey medha! welcome :)
    Yeah plagiarism is a certified learning/studying technique in India :)
    I have a friend in an Australian uni and he has a crrrazzzzy life too…im talking snakes in dorm rooms crazy!
    but on a serious note – is everything ok wid you down under..I mean with the spate of racist attacks and all?

    well it would help me if you told me which friend’s FB album did you think u saw me?!
    cheers

    Medha Reply:

    OMG..snakes in his dorm room?!!! Haha tasneem that is freaky!! Thank god I dont have that problem.

    Everything is okay where I am, i.e. Perth. No such problems here. So life is pretty much good here considering whats happening in Melbourne/Victoria. Thanks for asking. :)

    And that common friend would be Priyo? I think it was in fact you in his birthday pics. :)

    hemant Reply:

    The topper of our class, at finding out that we used her notes, slid little chits under our desks saying, “You don’t even exchange pleasantries with me throughout the year and yet somehow i see you using my notes during exams. Pretty shallow and selfish I must say.”

    [Reply]

    Appleman Reply:

    Hey Good One. It remainded me of my MBA days…we used to hav a Prof. who always ask us to throw the profect report ( mind it…its a stick – file) , thru the ventilator window in his room, if his room found to be locked. Once i went to submit my report. Found his room to be locked. Thought of coming again later, but some how decided to throw the project report thru the ventilator window (its just above the door and some 8-9 foot high). Did throw it and went back to my class.

    Got the report valuated from him. He had wrote a comment there in the last page which read “before throwing the report please knock the door”.

    Atlast i found the answer why my professor was with a band-aid in his head for a week :)

    [Reply]

  • samantha

    your absolutely right tasneem college is way too exhausting.Although my course in engineering is far too different from BMM but the conditions are equally bad or worse.With six subjects and almost six long assignments to submit every week along with studying and three hours of tutions ,three-four times a week and all this after attending college from 8am to 5pm.
    Thankfully my first year is over and I hoping the remaining three years go by as swiftly as this year.
    But I am not entirely complaining because this is the course that I chose and I will go through it willingly

    [Reply]

    Tasneem Reply:

    samantha i am sorry to say this, but ive heard of a more than a dozen engineering students who dropped out in the third year and opted for BMM !!
    I hope you survive the ordeal unscathed! good luck:)

    [Reply]

  • Shobhit

    Lovely article…

    I totally caught with my college times and I kind of did figure out the expletives wherever needed :P

    Its been almost 3 years since I left college and I imagine now I have a 100 things to worry rather than my assignments or the terrifying semesters..why the EMIs , why the promotions, why the future , why a car, why a flat…why…and why not the ‘jholachaap’ bag, why not the cricket, why not the lazying on library stairs, why not ..WHY NOT!

    [Reply]

    Tasneem Reply:

    haha i know…those times seem like a cakewalk compared to the **** we have to deal with now!
    i actually had a semi-nervous breakdown in class because of BMM porjects and went bawling down the corridors hysterically !!! how i misss college!!

    [Reply]

  • Vipul

    Well its rather ironic that i find this peice of work well written yet sometimes rather too unreal in some matters…believe me for im doing engeerning and im into such trades… :P
    all wat is written is just another height of exaggeration :D

    [Reply]

    Tasneem Reply:

    believe me vipul…nothing here has been exaggerated….all characters and events are realistic and any resemblance to a living being is purely factual

    [Reply]

    Medha Reply:

    I was talking about facebook btw.
    Forgot to mention this! :)

    [Reply]

  • Ankit

    too good,it reminds of those horrible submission times.regardless how hard you try there will always be some bits and pieces which will be left for the very last moment ,when you are just about to present the **** in front of the professor.even today it breaks hell out of my mind when i remenber..:-)

    [Reply]

    Ankit Reply:

    I remember in one of my marketing assignment I had simply ripped the last page of my friends assignment that the Prof had signed; it came back 2 days later with the Prof’s sign on the second last page and an ‘A’…… :)

    [Reply]

    Tasneem Reply:

    haha ur a fellow BMM-ite i presume. believe me sometimes we were so unprepared that we lied abt misplacing documents and hard disks crashing and sometimes we actually got away wid it! it was an exciting life i have to say!

    [Reply]

  • Dylan

    *waiting patiently for next lesson*

    [Reply]

    The MALAD Friend Reply:

    I didn burn u an audio CD..
    Cheapo!!! first u make me out to be “deep throat” and now you crucify me for doing a great job on ur AD project?? Why Hotty Why???

    [Reply]

    Tasneem Reply:

    awwwwwww russsy…u actually read my blog??? no u did burn me a wrong CD…i swear i remember. and i wont deny u did a fab job on my ad design project but i got like horrrrible makrs for it..which truth be told i was very shocked since i really liked my…err…your….errr…our project…
    it was just a bad day russy! and i will never forget your generosity! for some reason all i remember is your dad coercing us to stay for dinner and I was veyr impressed that he was offering us alcohol to go along wid it!!! and your sis and you had this HUGE fight!! hehehe….fun it was now that you think about it!

    [Reply]

    hope Reply:

    Indeed you have reminded me of the good old days. For examples, once during my college days I fooled my professor with an act of being sick & walked straight out of the class as if I could not resist puking . As soon as the prof moved out I entered the class room with a sigh of relief & the whole class was giving me a nasty look for getting a day’s extension & the guys were all laughing when they discovered my new talent.

    [Reply]

    Tasneem Reply:

    whoaa…nice one!!! most of the time, i didnt have to pretend like i wanted to throw up cuz I actually did feel like!!!

    [Reply]

    Tasneem Reply:

    watch kill bill

    [Reply]

  • Mayank dixit

    Very true..For students in hostel ,day begins after 10.00 pm. It reminds me the night ,when india were struggling with england in natwest series final 2001. And i was fighting with mechnaical engineering chapters for next day semester exam, As i was very crazy abt seeing cricket so could’t concentrate on my study despite i opened that book first time in that semester.
    When india was 64-4 , i played one gamble and said to myself, if india wins that match . i will get fail in tomorrow’s mechanical engineering subject,otherwise not to worry, i will make it successfully.
    But god was laughing on me and india won the match which thrown me in deep shock.It was the only match in my life in which i wanted india to loose.
    (most of the time my intutions were true in my life so i got scared).

    And nightmare starts when light have gone (at that time i was living with one of my dad’s friend house)
    then i thought how to say to them that “abhi to meri padai start honi hai”. but somewhow i asked my aunty to arrange a petromax. and that night she must me abusing me for burning full kerosine of her petromax. she shocked seeing me studying till 7.00 am.However somehow i wrote the exam with red eyes and sleepy mind.And my efforts took me to the boundry(40% marks while only 15 % of the students got passed in that subject in that semester).

    those were the enjoyful days. and i leaned a lot how to work under pressure.

    [Reply]

  • Mayank dixit

    Tasneem,

    You have done it again :-)

    Do u have any personal grudges with me :-)

    [Reply]

  • Anky

    Tasneem,
    that just what going on with me.
    Pursuing my last year in BMM, you remined me abt my one of the many such incidents. This ones odd as i had avaoided my presentation and submission even with the hard copy and ppt right in there in my hand.
    reason: My Oh! so great, hardworking” group membars didn’t feel liking presenting it”, it felt disgusting to work overnight and not present it on the D-Day just because those good for nothing Group members mood desnt fit in.
    Still see their fate, they have found a place in my Sweet n Sour BMM memories

    [Reply]

  • angellica

    m gonna b in 1st year this year and u r scaring me already…..

    [Reply]

  • deepti

    hey very true..
    i just finished 3rd year of engineerin..n totaly knw wat u’v been thrgh..
    bt i guess hostel lyf rocks..its d only place where ur frnds wld teach u one day b4 wen u hav no clue abt ur subjects..at dt tym one feels wreaked bt its al fun..

    [Reply]

    Shrinidhi Shetty Reply:

    Yeah
    Reminds me of a final presentation at college.The CD burnt on one of my friens comp, was not recognised. No back up. I was like what the …. After a terrible night out, the CD goes blank. Awesome rite!!

    [Reply]

  • Nishtha Bhasin

    lol….

    well…..i am just about to start my college, and,actually, i have had my own share of such experiences in school itself.

    It was an inter school science exhibition and we were supposed to present our projects through Powerpoint presentations.
    We were a group of two, chosen by our teachers, and yeah, we were not the ‘best of friends’…..
    So after countless days of bickering, arguing, missing classes, and discovering powerpoint, we managed to come up with, i don’t want to sound pompous, but, we did manage to come up with a pretty impressive project!…

    So the D-day arrives….we are on the stage and BanGGg….our beloved CD decides its not in a mood to work; that very day. After convincing everybody that we are some ’stone age fools’ who can’t burn a CD, we come up with plan-B, the divine Pen Drive comes to our aid!!!!!

    But it was the devil’s day……the pen drive goes haywire and can you believe it, we return to our school without even getting a chance to show our presentation!

    So i think i can completely imagine what you must have gone through….n what greater perils await me in college!!…:P

    [Reply]

  • Nishtha Bhasin

    n yeah…..this is the first time i visited your blog….and i really like it!!

    hope you will reply….tc…cheers! [:)]

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    Whatever paul…i too stay in usa for last 12 years and u are absolutely wrong. The single biggest reason for low food inflation in usa is Walmart’s every day low prices and highly efficient technology and logistics efficiency and smaller mom and pop thrives here too. There will be always be small nbr of haters of a company due to their vested interests…you cannot change their mindset. India needs to remove the 5 to 10 touch points between Farmers and consumers. The baniyawalas and trade mafiya unions have been making lot of profit by not paying the farmers and then making consumers asking high price to customers with low quality stuff this has been going on for last 60 years…. In case you do not know 40 to 50 % of india’s vegetables and fruits are damaged before reaching customers. I accolade this FDI opening rule change…this is the best change indian farmers and customers will have…competition is always a good thing. Do not make it far fetched by connecting walstreet demos to these…. You are correct this will be a big inflection point for india…but for good though…

    [Reply]

    Paul Reply:

    ratz,

    You argue that small farmers will benefit from large corporations. Could you tell me how many small farmers or for that matter family farms exist or are profitable in US? The biggest players in Agriculture market continue to be other corporate farms who have been taking over family farms. I live in an Agricultural state and have seen this first hand. The Agriculture subsidies is a s/ham and finally Americans are waking up to the reality.
    I am no socialist but at the same time want a captalist system that that is fair and open.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    paul,
    You are mixing Apples and Oranges. The FDI opening rule is for FDI in retail frontend and not for taking farm land from farmers !! In USA for generations it has been big land owned family farmers. I believe this fdi opening is fair and open and will benefit both in the increase of jobs for workforce in future and also improve our supplychain logistics.

    [Reply]

  • Ram Singapore

    Bhaiya you are right Congress party and NCP honcho Sharad Pawar are behind this game. All this policy has done has confirmed they have done backroom deal with BIG FDI retailers and Indian corporate and mid term elections are around the corner. Congress LADLA Rahul GANDHY and Ms,Sonia are making HAY while Govt is stil in their hands KAL KA KAUN JANTA HAI!

    [Reply]

  • Alexmon

    i feel i will be benfitted by the move to allow foreign direct investment since i will be able to get quality products at a cheaper price. iam sure that farmers will get better price for the products. also wastage of food grains will be considerably reduced

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    Eventually this will turn into a farmers vs corporations battle with the govt. on the side of the corporations. This battle is in a advanced stage in America, with the corporations close to winning. See this:
    http://www.healingtalks.com/health/decades-of-suppressing-and-now-criminalizing-of-raw-milk-sales/

    [Reply]

  • Alexmon

    sir,

    the middle man and the small time traders are also not into the bussiness of helping the so called aam admi

    [Reply]

  • hh

    if u eliminate the intermediate 3+ retailer, u are talkin about complete collapse of economy of atleast 30% population, plus the economy of population{doctors, small hospitals, nursing homes, CAs, lawyers, almost all other smaller professional services, esp in smaller cities} which is dependent on this very 30% population….

    [Reply]

    Sughoshbansal Reply:

    Right now we are talking of just 53 cities whichi is less than 10% of the cities in the country and you say that about 100 stores in these 53 cities shall ruin the 30% economy of the country. Wherefrom are you coming with these ideas?

    [Reply]

  • Rohit Sharma

    There seems to be another way of stalling parliament for the Bharat Jalao Party! And another criminal waste of money for another day, after the whole of last week was wasted! and that means Rs 8 crores of the nation was lost due to ruckus by BJP in parliament. There are 54 bills pending to be passed in parliament!! and there are only 17 days remaining!! but BJP has not allowed parliament to function, because they are true to their aim of being a political party in India- that is, to not allow progress in this country!! They are basically a destructive force like the Al Qaida! Firstly, there is already multi brand retail in India, for the last 10 years!! And this has not threatened the indian retailers. In fact, it has only thrived because of the increased number of products available. People didnt stop going to the kirana store, just because there is a mall around corner. The whole idea of a bogey of multi brand retail smacks of the same kind stupid swadeshi talk, that was present when MNCs were allowed for the first time in India after the 1991 reforms started by Manmohan Singh, as finance minister then! India completely changed and started growing leaps and bounds after those reforms. And made India the third biggest economy in the world and currently proceeding towards being the second biggest economy by 2050! Not surprisingly, that Swadeshi movement against economic reforms after 1991, was led by the BJP with their sick minded extremist cronies RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena!! And when the positive effects of those reforms started showing effect. The BJP that came to power in 1999, not only speeded up those reforms, but started a ministry called disinvestment to dismantle sick public sector units!! led by Arun shourie!! And funnily enough, even the multi brand retail opening up for foreign players, as a policy decision, was initiated by the NDA govt back in 2001!! So the whole opposition to this policy by the BJP is just plain HILARIOUS! The ways and lengths to which the BJP will go to stop progress of this country, just to score a political point over the Congress and try to show them in poor light, at the cost of national interest in unbelievable!! The media which usually has sh i t loads of coverage about rhetoric and provocative material, should now start acting a responsible corporate citizen! It needs to grill the opposition members who are not allowing parliament to function, and not allowing 54 bills to be passed!! and effectively stalling the progress of this country!! The policy paralysis and the onus of resurrecting it, should now clearly put in the opposition’s court!! THIS STALLING OF PARLIAMENT PROCESS CANNOT ALLOWED TO BE CONTINUED! Its a freaking shame!!!

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    The logic applies to Congless too, my bengali friend. Congress is the original Baniya party, and they also get hafta from shopkeepers, more so than any other party. So your informed analysis, is really, just a pile of dung.

    [Reply]

    P K Ganguli Reply:

    Offcourse Congress gets hafta too. It had to weigh pros & cons of vote gain vs. hafta loss. The others have nothing to gain.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    Eventually this will turn into a farmers vs corporations battle with the govt. on the side of the corporations. This battle is in a advanced stage in America, with the corporations close to winning. See this:

    http://www.healingtalks.com/health/decades-of-suppressing-and-now-criminalizing-of-raw-milk-sales/

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    Eventually this will turn into a farmers vs corporations battle with the govt. on the side of the corporations. This battle is in a advanced stage in America, with the corporations close to winning. See this:
    http://www.healingtalks.com/health/decades-of-suppressing-and-now-criminalizing-of-raw-milk-sales/

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    guys this is a post by somebody from australia from another news blog

    prakash234 (Sydney Australia
    13 mins ago (09:06 AM)
    You are a fool if you believe that opening up the Indian retail sector will create 10 million jobs. The multinational retailers may employ these many people but it will render many times more unemployed. The biggest losers will be small business owners and ever bigger losers will be the growers and small manufactures. These giant multinational retailers will squeeze the local growers and have no interest in dealing with small to medium manufactures who cannot supply them at the scale and prices these multinationals will get from China. This will render tens of million of small manufacturers out of business while further blowing out India’s already precarious current account deficit. It is true that these multinationals will employ many people but these shop assistants and cashiers are the lowest paid workers how have no further career prospects. A many large business moguls had started their career from a corner shops. Shop assistants and cashiers will not get any opportunity to become the future entrepreneurs. It is pity that the Indian Government did not have the courage to stand up against the tirade of these multinationals. The whole country will pay the price for this timidity for generations to come.

    [Reply]

    Sughoshbansal Reply:

    Just ask the farmers who adopted the contract farming for Pepsico in Punjab and you shall realise how wrong are you and your analysis.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    YOU GUYS SHOULD ABSOLUTELY CHECK WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FARMERS IN THE US.

    Farmers in the usa are now practically slaves to Walmart and Target.

    [Reply]

  • Rodsamuel

    Your comments though correct but are out of context. Where is question of government control or socialism exist in retails sector in India? The retails market in India is driven by private sector and based on market forces. India also has few big retailers- reliance, etc. The issue is of allowing foreign companies. If you think US model is so good then why US is facing unemployment and stagnating economy. It is for these reasons that US is pressuring India to allow its companies to set up shops and boost US economy. The Indian SME sector will suffer as these retailers can and will easily import. Benefits to farmers is unknown at this stage but definetely harm the self employed retailers. New job creation is doubtful rather it will be shifting of employment from small stores to big retailers.

    [Reply]

    Guest Reply:

    If we are serious about getting the market controlling the prices, then let it be a free market with competitive pricing, who can reduce more middle man that the others.
    Reliance or Walmart or Metro everybody an Corporation they look after their own profits , how come reliance be good and the others are bad. Also the cold storage infrastructure are not developed in india yet.
    US unemployment is because of housing market where they had too much supply of houses between 2003 -2007 and not because of Walmart or Target.
    To tell a benifit of this big retaliers the price of a loaf (pack) of bread 7 years back was 79Cents and now also you will find bread for 79Cents. Can we say about the price of our staple food Rice?
    Self employed will still have their space.This benifit will be consumers who will have more choices and competitive pricing and fruits or vegetables which will otherwise gets rotten will be preserved

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    I don’t think any country’s model is good or bad. I do know that the free market should set prices. Capital should flow to wherever it is used most efficiently. If this means individual retailers will lose jobs, or small farmers will suffer, then that is what it will be. I’m sorry, but people should acquire new skills and make themselves more competitive. I’m not sure where you are going with the US pressuring anyone. The US has been a market to all countries and has allowed all producers to sell their products. In return, what have the other countries given? A whole boat load of protectionism. If now the US asks a country to open a market in return, what is the issue? If this whole process exposes India’s sub par productivity and underemployment, so be it. It cannot be sustained forever.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    Check this out why indian states need to participate in Retail modernization otherwise only those states people will be doomed when they look back at other states which welcomed this….
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/services/retailing/fdi-in-retail-to-immensely-benefit-states-like-up-says-cii/articleshow/10894881.cms

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    1. CII is a lobbying body. Their statements are self serving. They don’t give a sh*t about the small retailers in India.

    2. All this is happening just to allow walmart a foothold in India.

    3. Small retailers and farmers are not equipped to handle competition from companies like walmart.

    4. Efficiency won’t increase magically by just hand waving. There’s nothing walmart can do that we can’t do ourselves.

    5. When Walmart begins to have lot of stores and thus more clout in India, they will become a MONOPOLY. Then they will start to pay farmers LESS. This is what happened in USA. It will happen here.

    [Reply]

    Sughoshbansal Reply:

    You are right that we can do all what Walmart is expected to do. Then why, in all these years, no one had come forward to do this? Even reliance, with all the might behind them, had not beeen able to implement an efficient logistic system to reduce wastage of perishable goods. Why? We feared in 1991 that MNCs would eliminate Indian companies. That never happened. On the contrary Inidan companies went ahead of becoming MNC. Are we so incapable that we fear that Walmart shall become MONOPOLY and we shall not be able to resist it?

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    So farmers did get a higher price? Sounds like farmers did get benefits. It takes time for things to trickle down. Once 3-4 big players become dominant, it will put downward pressure on prices. On the specific question of apples, more data is needed to determine causality. There may be other factors in play. But, one the whole, small farmers and small retailers are inefficient users of resources and are a cost to the economy. I get the moral argument. But, inefficient resources should find a way to get new skills, or be simply left behind. Yes – the world is cruel, I get it.

    [Reply]

  • Rparvind

    My god, what a amateurish piece. How can multi-brand companies control the entire supply chain and dictate prices ? At best, this modern trade will contribute to 30-40% of all produce, and this may take a decade or more. As long as consumers and producers benefit, the middle men and traders can take a walk. If people cannot compete, perish

    [Reply]

  • NITYIN

    Very aptly put Chetan. I too have apple farms in Kotgarh area of Himachal Pradesh. Adani is the main buyer in the area followed by Mother Dairy. Some things from a farmer’s perspective I have observed are:

    1) Marginal farmers are at a loss when selling to Adani. Firstly the reason being the quality. Having low produce, they cannot cover there losses in another lot of good quality as the produce is limited.

    2) It is mainly the bigger farmers who sell to Adanis. Now one would ask why?Main reason is that Adani does not procure apples packed in cartons. The produce is plucked and transported in cartons. With shortage of labor, bigger farmers are the main suppliers to Adanis who do not have means to grade, pack and transport apples to the market

    3) Pricing is again a bigger issue. Adani opens it prices in the 1st-2nd week of August. By this time, the plucking in lower and half the middle belts in the region is almost over. So these farmers cannot sell to Adani. Once Adani declare prices, it is 3/4 or 1/2 of the prevalent marked prices. This has happened in past year when the overall production was quite less. In a way, Adani is asking small farmers to not sell to them and only seeking bigger farmers who have no option as stated above to sell to them.

    Small and marginal farmers will be at a big loss once MNCs step in. It is ok to say that they will procure directly from the farmer but at what cost? Adani’s experience has not been good for average farmers. But the biggest threat for apple farming will be what if these MNCs start flooding Chinese apples in Indian market. This would be a death knell for our farms here in Himachal.

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  • Abu Ahmed

    Pragmatism is good – and you do not have to break the egg for being a pragmatist as there are various ways of having an egg – like boiling it instead of frying it. So neither the Congress nor the BJP can ignore the historical ties that India has with West Asia – the BJP went out of its way to bypass all old West Asian friends and make freinds with Israel and paid the price for it in the 2004 elections. So have the egg without breaking it – boil it first – be friends with Israel without being an enemy to others – even the American Jews are getting sick of Israel and its extremists, so why are you intent upon licking the Zionist shoe?
    People voted out Bush because they had fallen sick of him and brought in Obama in the hope of a fresh perspective. Obama could not do much for India as India never figured highly after 1947 in the US’s scheme of things. Now that the Yankees are suitably disillusioned with Pakistan, both the democrats and the republicans would like India to join hands with America for containing China, that is why Obama allowed australia to sell uranium to us.
    The american president, either republican or democrat, would act in the interest of his own country – nobody would support India for altruistic reasons. Bush loved India as he was hated throughout the world. Obama started twisting our arms as he had to sell defense and other things to us. Moral of the story – we have to proceed on our own path without breaking old ties the way the Yankees do. The Yankees can afford to break hearts because they have the money – we can’t as we don’t have that kind of resources.

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    Arnab Mitra Reply:

    Several countries, including many in the Arab world, have ties with Israel while supporting the Palestine cause. Why should India do things differently?

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    Arnab Mitra Reply:

    It’s a quid pro quo… India has to decide: what does it want… and what price is it willing to pay for it…. for this, the govt will have to do a hardnosed cost-benefit analysis to decide which positions it can give up and what it wants in return.

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    Abu Ahmed Reply:

    Exactly – the West Asians not only absorb millions of our work-force, they are also a very big market for our products; its another matter that we are not pushing our products there as much as we should. And we are also dependent over their oil. What more quid pro quo status are u looking for? Do u realise how much US$ we are receiving from our work-force based in the West Asia – all white money, hard-earned and squeaky clean. Israel is dependent over us for its defense products – we are not dependent over Israel for anything at all, apart from pleasing the Americans Jews and following an anti-Muslim line. Don’t fool yourself, it won’t take u any further – whereas West Asia is the place where we can export our labour as well as agro- industrial products.

    Sunil Reply:

    Its all very well being anti-Israel, but you give it away in your reply, when you say “anti-Muslim”! Muslims the world over hate Israel because as far as Muslims are concerned Israel should not exist, just like all non-Muslim countries should not exist. The difference between Israel and the rest is that Israel is able to keep the Muslim world at bay and has the determination to do so. This is what Muslims hate. Indians (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains) can choose their friends without the need to please Muslims. After all Muslims are responsible for the partition of India and wanted a Muslim homeland, but more Muslims like in India then in Pakistan. Why is that? If you do not like our politics and the friends we decide to have you always have the option to go to Pakistan or Bangladesh.

    Abu Ahmed Reply:

    I am definitely interested as a Muslim in having good relations with the west Asian countries as Indian Muslims have to go on pilgrimage to Makkah & Madina! That does not mean that we have to be enemies with Israel, not at all. Israel is a foreign policy arm of the USA – when it goes to war, it is akin to the USA being at war with Israel’s imagined enemies. Iraq or Iran were never and will never be any threat to the US – but it destroyd Iraq and is now at the verge of launching a war against Iran – all in the name of defending Israel! Whereas the easiest route for Israel to keep peace in the neighbourhood is by accepting the Palestineans rights and allowing them to have a state of their own. However, the whole point of creating Israel in the middle east is altogetherly different, with which we have nothing to do. The Arabs and Muslims have lived in peace with the jews since the advent of Islam all over the middle east, whether in Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, algeria, Morrocco, Turkey… u name the Muslim country and there you would find Jewish people. Whereas Jews were persecuted all over Europe throughout history and were finally kicked out and sent to a newly-created state of Israel as good riddance. It is the extremist Zionists who in their quest for power, are creating mischief and trouble in that part of the world. Arabs and Muslims have no fear of neither the Zionists nor the RSS, we can easily take care of any challenge – the need is to balance things in India’s favour and that requires having best of relations with West Asian countries without licking the zionists’ boots.

    TSarkar Reply:

    The West Asians are also not doing us a favor. They just have an untrained population and they want the work done cheap. Their economies will collapse without Indian labor. That arrangement was convenient for the dictators (and still is for extreme dictators in Soudi and Bahrain) and the new democracies currently don;’t have a choice. If they could, they would not used Indian labor.. Yes, they are also taking care of their own interests and we should too.

    As far as Barak Obama’s position on Pakistan is concerned, it could not be more friendlier for India as he is publicly disagreeing with Pakistani narrative. As far as China goes, one needs to look at the inside story of the growth and the centifugal forces in their society… it is not a al all a pretty picture….too many people are falling for their propaganda.

    Anonymous Reply:

    India should never go on muslim line India should support isreal , then to support terrorist muslim nations

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  • JJJackxon

    1. I agree that US Republican economic nostrums are crazy but Republicans have a global vision which places India near the epicenter (including a Japan-India-Australia-US alliance of democracies). India can really use US support to slay its own demons, for example, the politically paralyzing fear of China and of FDI in retail and to move toward a strategic alliance with Vietnam and yes, Taiwan.
    2. As long the US is kicking *** with Pakistan, Pak will try to make nice with India. The moment that stops, Pak will be back to its hate-India, terrorize-India institutionalized habits. Indian policy should be to quietly build offensive military and anti-terror capabilities and encourage the break-up of Pak. After so many years and so many wrong turns, there simply is no other way.
    3. India does not have to match China’s military power at every point but it does have to do so at the BORDER and in the NAVY. China does not want to occupy India; their policy is to cow India into psychological submission so India does what China wants without the Chinese having to attack India. Strengthening the border must include capabiity or offensive retaliation as well as political and military readiness to liberate Tibet (dont scream). As Indians and Chinese see that India is serious about defending itself, China will begin to accept India’s rise and Indian citizens will become less hysterical re Chinese intentions.

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  • Psaxe

    Thanks for taking this viewpoint Arnab. It is something our politicians who are still stuck in a pro USSR, anti USA mentality are still stuck with, notwithstanding that there is no USSR anymore, hasn’y been for 20 years, but India’s foreign policy has still to take cognizance of it.
    The most important thing we can do to ensure our survival in the new geopolitical reality is Agni V with a 5000+ km range, the second would be to make a trans himalyan road and rail network to rival China’s to ensure access for our military to the border.
    The third would be to revise the Indian army’s Pakistan centric stance and raise a Mountain command with 3-4 Corps along the China border. We also need to engage Nepal proactively to establish diplomatic ties.

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  • slapme

    As some one living in the US and watching its politics over two decades tells me that this time around the republicans does not have strong candidate to field against Mr. Obama. Let us take the front runners Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Romney. The first one is full of narcissism and many of his ideas are just an idea. He even faces stronger disapproval from the very people he was leading when Mr. Clinton was the President. Simply said he is just too toxic and does not have temperament to be the President. Mr. Romney has his problem and a too long public service with lot of hidden things in his closet. Should he be the chosen one, some of it come to light during the general elections. Last but not the least his Mormon religion does not sit well with other Americans and this could come out in open should he be nominated. As for others in the list, the less said better. In the final analysis Mr. Obama is stronger and at the end of the republicans has to offer a credible plans to how they are going to help this country out of the morass that it is in. As of now none of the candidates have offered anything meaningful other than usual tax cuts for the top earners that we know does not trickle down. I will give Mr. Obama another 4 years knowing what I know today. As for economy it will take another 5 to 8 years to fix it and if republicans are telling you otherwise do not believe them.

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  • Swbb88

    I get it this is only based on your views for your own self interest. If Mussolini was good for the outcome of your country you would want him voted in regardless of what it does to that country. Its an extremely short sighted view which is fine for a 2 yr. old with an attitude of selfishness and wanting only what is better for themselves but not an adult who is trying to articulate a world view. This shows all throughout the article with ridiculous quotes like , ‘ higher taxes vs the American way of life’. So the 70-90s in America wasnt the American way of life? We are simple trying to return to a tax rate based on those years which does nothing to deter our American way of life.
    FYI if Bachmann became president simple saying god help us all. That is a paranoid, simple minded candidate that isnt fit to shine my shoes let alone run the country. The ‘anybody but Obama’ moniker is simple short sighted with the crop of candidates who are running against him.

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  • Gt12563

    Both Democratic and GOP have same policies towards India and whoever wins in next election will not make much difference but most probably Mr.Obama will win because GOP does not have any strong candidate.Regarding China we have to take care ourselves on eastern border by strengthen our armed forces with latest weapons and modern infrastructure and ballistic missiles with nuclear weapons.America always thinks her own interest first and there is no permanent friendship with any nation in their books and generally do not change its foreign policy easily.What Mr.Bush did it was good for both countries and not alone for India.My guess is Obama adminstration was disappointed when India decided not to buy 126 fighter planes and change his adminstrations attitude to wards India but it may change soon.

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    db Reply:

    Excellent analytical viewpoint Arnab. Some well established international astrologers are already pointing towards Republican comeback. India needs to modify its outdated approach towards many internal and global issues. China is a serious challenge to us.

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  • Desi

    Arnab?… Who?… Mitra?….
    Really who is you? you whether one likes it or not including dysfunctional GOP (add Dems to that phenomenon to that too)…

    No one has a clue on how to put country back to where they want… because undoing of this country goes back to Nixon and Senior Bush when they gave more than Chinese desereved…

    And now for having to change fundamental ways, like Japanese did to themselves after A-Bombs!!!…. Americans are basically too entitled, previledged and lazy to change themselves… White Empire is on the demise and Chinese on the rise… question how fast it will be before there is a break point…. And in getting to that… ‘O’ had no hand even though he genunely tried to get country back on track… but America is stupid enough to not rally behind a black president… and neither did ‘O’ had charisma of Clinton to make it happen…

    So once again… Arnab?… Who?… Mitra?…. no one wants to know what you think…

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  • Rchmb72

    Dear Arnab,

    Finally a columnist who said what I always preached in my friend circle. Bush was good to India and I find no reason why Indians should be against him.

    Mukul

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  • Anonymous

    This is perhaps the stupidest article I’ve read this month. The best corrective to the flawed nostrums about the true nature of the Republican Party is to be found by watching any of the dozen of the debates among the Republican candidates. Almost without exception, their number one priority is to side with Israel to the exclusion of all other foreign affairs. And they have been vocal in their intentions to start war with Iran if possible. They propose doubling down on Bush’s disastrous economic policies and deficits for as long as the eye can see, which needs must cause a drastic retrenchment of any US activities in the Pacific theater. Put very simply–and entirely from an Indian perspective–if you were to side with Republicans, you would lose medium-term certainty of an American alliance (surely you remember that China holds much US debt and may not continue to bankroll its own entrapment) and you would probably also lose attention in the short-term, since they are much worse at prosecuting the wars to your west THAT THEY STARTED IN THE FIRST PLACE. If all the treasure rests between Israel and Iran, you’re only lucky that Obama is ending the Iraq war now so that maybe there can be some oxygen and political capital to tend to the Indian-American alliance.

    Just remember: the mountainous debt problem that the US finds itself in was incurred because of Republican policies. That, and the expensive and distracting wars that the Republican war machine started in Southwest Asia has weakened America’s financial (and thus, military and diplomatic) position, exposed it to weakness via China, and distracted America from more determinedly cultivating relationships with partners in South and Southeast Asia. Note that the spiralling debt under Bush was enabled by China and the contours of that relationship allowed China to keep their currency low and embark upon a decade of economic growth by exporting to America. Thus, to the extent that Obama is able to reverse all of Bush’s messes, India and America may very well be brought into closer harmony. (You will remember that without a war in Afghanistan the Pakistan-American partnership would not have gotten so much play over the last decade, especially as India was liberalizing and could have served as a more preferable economic trading partner to China.)

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    Sameer kasim Reply:

    Arnab loves India so much (more than the rest of us) that he doesn’t mind if India plays second fiddle to Israel. Israel does not need any arab countries (apart from Egypt) in order to thrive. Sure, they tom-tom to the rest of the world about how they have to manage in a tough neighbourhood but their economy is based on hi-tech medicine and defence industries and is export oriented. These find ready markets in European countries which willingly makes them partners in trade, research, politics and military cooperation whilst paying homilies about the need to treat the palestinians humanely.

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  • Marc Levy

    Why would you “love” Obama? He’s owned by the same private central banks he decries in his two-faced bs speeches. He’s taken more rights from Americans than Bush ever did with indefinite detention. He’s caught red-handed running guns that were used to kill police officers, and who knows who else, to Mexican drug lords; then has the nerve to use it as pretext to take more rights away from Americans. If you can’t see by now that Obama is not the swell guy he poses as for the fools, you’re a fool. He needs to go, and Ron Paul is the only choice that isn’t cosmetic and insignificant. The ONLY choice.

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    Tsarkar Reply:

    Oh man..you really are creating a spin on Obama the way some guys did on Clinton. Have you seen Ron Paul’s economic plan? If you have, you still want to vote for him?

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  • Adolf

    Your one biggest problem I see is becoming a fan of a politician. You don’t ever become a fan of a politician because they don’t deserve it for a very simple reason, THEY LIE. Anyone who can’t be honest with you and you still become their fan then there’s a fool written all over you. Now you might want a republican to win the white house so India can benefit from it but remember Chinese rise came during republican regime so it is not guaranteed it is going to happen and if you so gungho about it then you being naive. If India wants to benefit from American technology then there is only one way to do it, become their ally in every respect including a member of NATO. If India wants to have independent policy then it is going to be pretty tough road ahead of them. As you mention India is about 15 years behind China but I think it is lot more than that and if retail FDI the way it is designed now is approved then India’s de-industrialization will be at much rapid pace and that 15 year time frame will increase to 25 to thirty years due to massive trade imbalance with China. I think FDI should be open to all the major technology giants e.g. Boeing, Lockheed and all other major producers of arms in India. Secondly FDI should be encouraged in building of infrastructure and all the major highways should be tolled to pay for them. Third FDI should be invited to build massive storage houses instead of wasting most of it what India grows. India should sign defense treaties with Australia, Japan and the rest of smaller players in that part of the world. Andaman & Nicobar should be developed into a major Indian Navy base with capabilities of serving NATO countries. But end of the day we have a bigger threat to India than from China and that is home grown criminals those who have pocketed trillions of dollars illegally and made India much more vulnerable but then Indians don’t even care about their country then who else going to.

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  • Adolf

    Your one biggest problem I see is becoming a fan of a politician. You don’t ever become a fan of a politician because they don’t deserve it for a very simple reason, THEY LIE. Anyone who can’t be honest with you and you still become their fan then there’s a fool written all over you. Now you might want a republican to win the white house so India can benefit from it but remember Chinese rise came during republican regime so it is not guaranteed it is going to happen and if you so gungho about it then you being naive. If India wants to benefit from American technology then there is only one way to do it, become their ally in every respect including a member of NATO. If India wants to have independent policy then it is going to be pretty tough road ahead of them. As you mention India is about 15 years behind China but I think it is lot more than that and if retail FDI the way it is designed now is approved then India’s de-industrialization will be at much rapid pace and that 15 year time frame will increase to 25 to thirty years due to massive trade imbalance with China. I think FDI should be open to all the major technology giants e.g. Boeing, Lockheed and all other major producers of arms in India. Secondly FDI should be encouraged in building of infrastructure and all the major highways should be tolled to pay for them. Third FDI should be invited to build massive storage houses instead of wasting most of it what India grows. India should sign defense treaties with Australia, Japan and the rest of smaller players in that part of the world. Andaman & Nicobar should be developed into a major Indian Navy base with capabilities of serving NATO countries. But end of the day we have a bigger threat to India than from China and that is home grown criminals those who have pocketed trillions of dollars illegally and made India much more vulnerable but then Indians don’t even care about their country then who else going to.

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  • DannyAU

    Very well written. However, your contention lacks consideration of India’s internal factors. Many Indians, the silent majority, are peasants. The peasant mindset has been proven much harder to change in India than China. With that in mind, how can India hope to catch up with the industrialization of China?

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  • Vox Populi

    Unimaginative and ill-informed. The real strength of any Country lies in its People. Mannourished, stunted, ill-educated, ill-informed populace is hardly the prescription for any country to progress with or without support of others. We are going to outpace China in population with a land-mass that is a third of China. Any foreign policy that is unfriendly to its neighbours is fundamentally flawed.

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  • Lejardin

    Utterly moronic!

    You write:
    “Bush had, indeed, done all of the following:
    * Attacked two sovereign nations, Iraq and Afghanistan, without sufficient cause;”

    Really?!? Afghanistan wasn’t sufficient cause? You’re almost alone on that one, junior. And, if your #2 point is correct, then I guess the presence of WMD would have qualified as sufficient cause for Iraq as well… leading to my 2nd point:

    “* Lied to the world (whether intentionally or as a result of incorrect inputs from the CIA, we will never know) about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq;”

    Dumb-***! If it wasn’t “intentional” then it wasn’t a “lie”! Idiot!

    “* Committed/commissioned acts, which his critics said, brazenly violated international law;”

    You have got to be kidding me. No comment… well, OK, here’s a comment… he should get several medals for that alone. International law is a joke.

    “* Waged wars that led, willy nilly, to the deaths of thousands of civilians;”

    As opposed to wars that left all the citizens alive?? Um, you mean like World War II? Franco-Prussian? Which war was that, exactly?

    “* Arrested, jailed and tortured thousands of innocent men and women in illegal prisons without access to due process of law;”

    Who says they were innocent? Who says thousands were tortured? Only Amnesty International.

    “* Pursued neo-liberal economic policies that caused, or at least contributed to, the global financial crisis.”

    “Neo-liberal economic policies”???? Monkey-man, the financial crisis was brought about by banks giving credit to bad risks (i.e., mortgages to poor black people) because the government forced them to!

    In terms of loving Obama… WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU, BOY?!?

    NEVER love a coward! He may say ALL the right things on Monday, but when the wind shifts on Tuesday, he’ll be trading spit with your worst enemy. Confused? Here’s an example — the greatest — of a NON-coward: Winston Churchill, who would never abandon or compromise on a principal. Obama? Changes his tune at every stump speech… whatever he had to say. But has he ever sacrificed a single thing for anyone in the world in his whole useless life? Did he ever lead, even a small company, a football team, an army squad? No, no, no, and no. A “community organizer”. In Chief!

    You have got to have been a complete sucker to ever believe in the false bill of goods known as The Obamanation. I truly hope you’ve learned SOMETHING!

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  • guest3

    It would appear that along with the author everyone else too believes that India is a giant in size only.Otherwise it is no different from all the other weaker and smaller nations who need to follow and be allied to ‘a power’ to safeguard and promote their respective interests total well-being and persona.In that grouping of followers they expect India will be highly stationed in the pecking order. Implied acceptance in this fatalistic thinking is that after the British who ruled directly and controlled India’s internal and external affairs the new India still needs a new power to give it leadership externally plus protection while internally it manages it’s affairs. Of course a price or prices has to be paid for this arrangement and the ‘power’ it allies with will extract as per it’s needs. The British when they ruled directly took all that they wanted including priceless jewels and Indian pride as well. Fortunately for all of India the GOI does not think the way the writer and some of the commentators seem to have fallen into.The GOI leadership believes in India’s greatness and it ’s future as a world leader in it’s own right that can set it’s own goals and direction. The writer sounds naive at times and contradictory at other times. On one hand he says ‘India cant get there without american support’ Get where? Earlier to that he says’If countries of the region accept India as it’s leader,the world will follow’. Does he mean the rest of the world outside the region controlled by the Americans ,the Europeans and the Russians. how would that happen if (as he wants or is promoting) that India be a follower and ally of the Americans who also dominate NATO. It is indeed confusing and lacking constancy.More bewildering is his pride in India having been or having played the role of “jewel in the British crown’..

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  • SuperMJ

    If I were the author of this piece, I wouldn’t quit my day job just yet. Does he really believe that a significant difference exists between the two parties on foreign policy? Even if there was such a divide, does it extend to policies towards India? Finally, have you seen the Republican presidential nominee line-up? They are just as devoid of logic and reasoning as this article.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DLQATMMACSKP7ZAHYWR7BDSHMI Bharat

    On the balance of things, President Obama is likely to win the next Presidential term. This article has too many suppositions, assumptions, and presumptions. Even factually, everything may not be correct!

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  • Nikhil

    Arnab,

    You have to learn to skin your own catch. India needs to get off depending on someone else. Dependency eventually leads to weakness.

    India’s main problem today is political. It is not a united country. It does not move at the speed that it needs to. It does not take its own defense seriously (e.g. its airforce and navy are basically not even equipped to its basic needs). In fact it seems to be backtracking its way to its old “Hindu” rate of growth. Until it fixes these, it will not be a player anywhere.

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  • R.Kannan

    Arnab Mitra is assuming too many issues. India – US relations reached their nadir during Nixon (Republican) presidency. George Bush inherited good relations from Clinton (Democrat). The assumption that Bush always supported India has also been laid to rest with the amount of military aid that was given to Pakistan despite evidence of same having been diverted to sponsor terror attacks against India. The real issue is not US position – Obama has also expressesd the hope that India gets ready to take on China & promised support for the same – but of Indian political leadership. Indian leadership has always been timid and this reflects in current lack of strategic intent in the government. Unfortunately, the entire political spectrum , including the Communists,BJP & all other parties, share almost the same thinking in foreign policy matters. The problem is not economic or military strength – India could easily sign a pact with US to counter a China specific aggresion – but unwillingness to take a stand & the resultant leadership role. India’s unwillingness to counter Pakistan’s terrorism by reasonable strong arm tactics – as opposed to its perinial pleadings to the International community top pass meaningless resolutions – is the reason why thousands of Indians have died in terrorist attacks every year for the last several decades. When India , at long last, found a Home Minister who took his job seriously, we find all politicians baying for his resignation. PC has easily been India’s most effective Home Minister, in the last 3 decades, and we see attempts being made to make CRPF & other para military organisations more responsive to internal security challenges. Yet , instead of allowing him to do the job, political parties are more concerned about how to dislodge him. China will be happier with this than with who becomes the US president.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A34THPGSJZOZVPEDR3O2JYV7VM edward poe

    Please give the whole neo con agenda the proper salute that it merits. Flush the toilet and go on with your day

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