All posts tagged: India

2nd Day of Power Failures Cripples Wide Swath of India

NEW DELHI — The world’s largest blackout ever crippled roughly half of India for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, sending officials scrambling for an explanation. The power failure spread across 22 of the country’s 28 states, an area whose population is nearly 700 million, almost 10 percent of the world’s population. Hundreds of trains stopped across the region and, in Delhi, the subway system stalled, and massive traffic jams collected as traffic lights stopped functioning.

Think Again: India’s Rise

Is the world’s largest democracy ready for prime time, or forever a B-list player on the global stage? BY SUMIT GANGULY   “India Will Be the World’s Next Great Power.”   Not so fast. The dramatic opening of India’s hidebound economy, substantial improvements in India-U.S. relations, and rapid, sustained economic growth for well over a decade have led most analysts and policymakers to conclude that India will easily emerge as one of the world’s great powers in the 21st century. In 2010 while visiting India, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “India is not just a rising power; India has already risen.” And just a few weeks ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called India a “linchpin” in the U.S. “pivot” to Asia, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the U.S.-India tie as a “critical bilateral relationship.”

For Pakistani women, dupattas are more than a fashion statement

The long scarves that many wear with traditional shalwar kameez outfits are laden with religious and cultural significance. For some it’s a sign of Islamic modesty, for others a cumbersome relic. February 23, 2010|By Mark Magnier Reporting from Karachi, Pakistan — Seeking a competitive edge, fabric designer Vaneeza Ahmad spent hours on the phone to China but couldn’t find anyone to make her new line of dupattas, the omnipresent scarves that Pakistani women drape over their arms, head, chest. China may be the world’s factory floor, but its scarf makers aren’t equipped for something that can be more than 8 feet long. Ahmad fretted, until, after much wrangling, she found a solution. “I’ve located a curtain maker who could do it,” she said triumphantly. “They’ve got the only machines big enough to handle our dupattas.” Essence of femininity, grist for film and literature, political statement, cultural icon, albatross, these few ounces of cotton or silk fabric have woven their way across Pakistan’s shoulders, history and fashion runways, morphing from protest symbol to political must-have to sometimes-burdensome accessory …

“Why does Pakistan hate the United States”- Christopher Hitchens

Give credit to the Vice President: He really does enjoy politics and “can’t see a room without working it,” as a colleague of mine half-admiringly remarked last Wednesday morning. We were waiting to enter the studio and comment after Biden had finished his interview with theScarborough/Brzezinski team, in which the main topic was Afghanistan. Exiting, he chose to stop and talk to each of us. Not wanting to waste a chance to be a bore on the subject, I asked him why he had mentioned Indiaonly once in the course of his remarks. Right away Biden managed the trick—several good politicians have mastered this—of reacting as if the question had been his own idea. Of course, he said, it was vexing that Pakistan preferred to keep its best troops on the border with India (our friend) rather than redeploying them to FATA—the so-called Federally Administered Tribal Areas—where they could be fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida (our enemy). My flesh was pressed, and it was on to the next. The newspapers that morning revealed that Pakistani authorities showed no …

Pakistan ; A Failure of Intellectuals

By azhar aslam & shermeen bano Every Identity has a history and so does that of Pakistan. It is short but tumultuous, although some say it was born with the conversion or settlement of the first Muslim in India. In truly modern sense though India was only itself born, when British firmly established their rule from Afghanistan to Burma, by 1890s. In the process of doing this however, they sowed the seed of national consciousness in the minds of Indians. British influence moulded Indian nationalism by omissions and commissions. However it inevitably also laid the seed of communalism, as different regions and nationalities in the sub continental melting pot, woke up to the British rule and demanded their rights. Without going into the details, Muslim consciousness evolved from being Pathans, Mughals, Punjabis, Sheikhs, Bengalis etc ( term quam was used for all these), to a Muslim nation living in Hindustan. The two main definitions that competed for the attention and eventual adoption by Muslims were those of Azad and Deobandis on one hand and Sir …

Quaid’s Islam; Quaid’s Pakistan

Today is 25th December, the birth anniversary of the founder of the nation Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Such days are always meant for reflection. 63 years after the creation of Pakistan where do we stand. Crisis upon crisis engulfs us, to the extent that people are questioning the very viability of the state. The core of the problem is failure to achieve and define the Identity of Pakistan. Like it or not ‘Islam’ is the crux of the matter. The word in context of Pakistan ignites fiery passions and debates. There are two main groups. People who claim that Islam makes the basis of the creation of the Pakistan and therefore they want to impose their version of Islam/ Sharia upon us. The opposing group is led by progressive Muslims who claim that Pakistan was never meant to be a theocracy. Both groups can quote enough examples of speeches by Quaid to support their stance. So what is the truth?

Post-American scenarios in Afghanistan

By Ilhan Niaz After three decades of turmoil, violence and killings, Afghanistan is still at war. A powerful foreign occupation force continues to hold in place a local collaborationist dispensation with few roots and even less demonstrable competence. Democratic development has replaced despotic Islamic rule which earlier replaced a socialist paradigm as the slop of the day dished out for public consumption. The Islamic warriors who blunted and frustrated the armies of the ‘Evil Empire’ are now the ‘evil doers’. The other great enemies of the ‘Evil Empire’, namely the United States and its allies, once the benefactors of today’s terrorists have replaced the Soviets as the occupying force. As guns and drugs boom, the writ of what is generously called the Afghan government is practically non-existent outside Kabul. Warlords, mafias and insurgents control 80 per cent of the territory and feed off the presence of the occupation forces. The reality is that a failing occupation is trying to prop up a failed state.