Archive for December 4th, 2009

Is China India’s greatest security threat, or not?

4 December 2009

The relationship between India and China has in recent months become, as the cliche goes, the cynosure of all eyes. Border roads and dams; military incursions; a row over the Dalai Lama; illegal Chinese workers on Indian soil, Google™ maps, all have become milestones in the steady escalation of tensions.

The media has been at the centre of the dispute, and there is a feeling that “sections of the Indian media” (in other words, “anti-China media”) have been inclined to ratchet up the volume, ostensibly at the nod of their American, capitalist masters.

But could the opposite also be equally true? That “sections of the Indian media” (in other words, “pro-China media”) have been inclined to play down the tensions, ostensibly at the nod of their Chinese, communist masters?

Some proof comes from the manner in which the Lowy Institute for International Policy‘s survey of Chinese attitudes about their country and its place in the world is being reported.

# Exhibit A, above, is from the December 2 edition of The Indian Express, New Delhi, whose Delhi-based correspondent avers that 40 per cent of Chinese think India is their country’s biggest threat “after the United States”.

# Exhibit B, below, is from the December 4 edition of The Hindu, Madras, whose Beijing correspondent reports that environmental issues are perceived to be the biggest challenges facing their country. “60 per cent of Chinese did not view India as a threat…, only 34% viewed India as a threat an the rest were non-committal.”

For the record, prime minister Manmohan Singh said during his recent State visit to the United States that he could not understand the reasons for China’s recent “assertiveness”.

Turned on its head, is China India’s greatest threat? Or not?

Newspaper facsimiles: courtesy The Indian Express and The Hindu

Also read: Is India right in barring foreign media?

Censorship in the name of “national interest”?

CHURUMURI POLL: Most exciting batsman today?

4 December 2009

Virender Sehwag‘s dismissal for 293 in the first hour of play on the third day of the third Test match at the Brabourne Stadium erased hopes of his becoming the first batsman ever to score three triple centuries or of becoming the first Indian to reach 400.

Nevertheless, that should not deflect attention from a key truth: the Nawab of Najafgarh in full flow is a breathtaking sight on the cricket field. Cruel, carefree, uncluttered and total paisa vasool. As the chairman of the selection committee, K. Srikkanth, puts it, only Viv Richards was more brutal.

That said, smaller boundaries, terrific bats, ridiculous rules, unimaginative bowlers, not to mention one-day cricket and Twenty20, have resulted in a surfeit of Sehwags around the cricket-playing world. So, the question: who is the most exciting batsman to watch today?

‘Hinduism is in a crisis; there’s a civil war within’

4 December 2009

Kancha Ilaiah, professor of political science at Osmania University, Hyderabad, and author of Why I am not a Hindu, in The Times of India:

“Hinduism is in a state of crisis, facing a kind of civil war within. The primary reason for this is the stranglehold of the varnashram system which keeps 750 million Hindus subjugated and humiliated. These are the Dalits, tribals and the backward classes. Hinduism has failed to convince them that they are part of it, despite the fact that they were the carriers of all science and technology for centuries.

“Hinduism is the only religion that has failed to negotiate and engage with reason and science. No social reformer, except [Jyotiba] Phule and [Babasaheb] Ambedkar, challenged the caste system. Other religions are now competing to win over these people hence there is an imminent explosive crisis.”

Read the full interview here: ‘Edit all spiritual texts’