Voices

Voices That Matter

Indian farmers have had a rough time during the last decade. Farmers in India are poor inspite of high food price inflation. Food inflation is caused when there is a supply issue (failed monsoons, natural calamities, famine, crop destruction), when food produces perish due to bad weather, when there is damage while storing or during transport, due to centralised hoarding and black marketing by distributors. This causes an artificial scarcity of produce in the market. In these cases there is a food price inflation and customers pay more for food produce but farmers get no benefit from the price hike.

Whether there is an inflation or not farmers get only a fixed value for their produce which is called Minimum Support Price (MSP), which is fixed by the government, and a small bonus sometimes. The MSP does not allow for big margins. The condition is the same even when the procurement is made by private sales middlemen. So majority of the profit goes into the hands of the middlemen or processing or distribution companies and retailers. Farmers don’t get any benefit for the market price movements.

Many farmers avail loans and take credits for many things like buying seeds, fertilizers and irrigation equipments. Prices of seeds and fertilizers remain high even during drought conditions. By the time the crop is ready for harvest the farmer has to pay his debts. Most farmers don’t have the facility to store the produce after the harvest. He takes his produce to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee mandi. Here the farmers face transportation problems. The procurement infrastructure is much scattered and farmers do not have resources to bring their produce to mandis even when they are within 100 km from their villages. The farmers have to pay a transportation fee.

In the mandi the farmers are compelled to sell their produce to a specified buyer. The person in the mandi quotes a random price which is not acceptable by the farmer. Even in the government controlled auction centres officials and buyers conspire together secretly. Market is flooded with the produce and all the warehouses are full. The farmer is not able to do anything and he sells it at the price quoted by the commission agent in the mandi. Middlemen abuse farmers by buying their produce at low prices. Layer upon layer of middlemen mediate between the farmer and the consumer. The more the middlemen, the greater is the arbitrage and wider the gap between the price paid to the farmer and what the consumer pays.

Farmers struggle to sell their produce in the marketAgricultural Produce Marketing Committee prohibits the farmers from dealing directly with buyers and asks them to sell to licensed middlemen. The aim was to give India’s farming community a fair and consistent price for their produce. But over the years, the system has created several layers of intermediaries, lengthening the supply chain and increasing the opportunity for cartels to form, which in turn drive prices down for farmers and up for consumers.

Government announces MSP to insure farmers against any sharp fall in farm prices. The MSP is announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season on the basis of the recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices. The MSP is fixed by the government to protect the farmers against excessive falls in price during bumper production periods. At such times the supply is high and the demand is low. The farmers can always sell their produce at MSP. If the market price is above MSP then they can sell it at market price. If the market price falls below the MSP during bumper production then government agencies should purchase the produce at announced MSP. Only a few food grains are procured by the Government of India and hence fixing MSP for various agricultural produces has no meaning.

The food grains which come to the mandi are first made available to the private traders. Only when there is no buyer left to buy the produce the Food Corporation of India buys the grains at the MSP. MSP was started as a safety net for farmers through a guarantee that if their produce is left unsold in the market, it will be bought by the government. The procurement price is the price which the government pays when it buys food grains which is needed to maintain buffer stock or for Public Distribution System. Once the government has purchased the required quantity the left over produce can be sold only at MSP.

Food grains in the mandiThe MSP is always less than or equal to the government declared procurement price. Also the procurement price is always lower than the market price. MSP is announced before sowing the crop and procurement price is announced before harvesting the crop. MSP was introduced around 60 years back and now it fails to safeguard the farmers. Moreover government announces MSP for 25 crops only. 86% of farmers don’t come under MSP protection. MSP is not provided for fruits and vegetables.

Farmers are crying out for attention. The farmers are the majority voters in India but the government is not paying any attention to them. Only when the farmers are given pricing power farming will become a sustainable sector. What a farmer wants​ is a fair price for his produce. Who will fix it – the farmer or the government?

Marriage before the age of 18 is a fundamental violation of human rights. Many factors interact to place a girl at risk of marriage, including poverty, the perception that marriage will provide ‘protection’, family honor, social norms, customary or religious laws that condone the practice, an inadequate legislative framework and the state of a country’s civil registration system. Child marriage often compromises a girl’s development by resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupting her schooling, limiting her opportunities for career and vocational advancement and placing her at increased risk of domestic violence. Child marriage also affects boys, but to a lesser degree than girls. Despite modern times and a massive awareness program, child marriages continue to take place in Odisha.

Children who have resisted parental and societal pressure to get married before the legal age have joined hands to bring an end to the regressive practice in Odisha. As many as 33 boys and girls recently formed the ‘Odisha Child Marriage Resistance Forum’ and resolved to prevent untimely marriages and spread awareness among parents.

“As per the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)’s data released in 2013, Ganjam district has the highest number of child marriages in Odisha with 63 percent of girls getting married before 18 years,” says District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) Subodh Kumar Sarangi.

Pity conditions: 

In February this year, a 12-year-old girl of Chandanpur village under Golanthara Police station in Odisha’s Ganjam district was rescued by the Childline from being married off to a 21 years old boy. After the NGO stopped the marriage, the guy started threatening the girl’s family of abducting her and therefore the girl is now being kept at children home. She is one of five daughters of her parents. In a similar case, the NGO had, in June last year, saved a 12-year-old girl belonging to a tribal community from being married off to a 22-year-old guy in Jhagadei village of the district.

These two cases are among the many cases of child marriages being reported from Ganjam district.

Who decides?

The first question that comes to my mind is ‘Who is responsible when a girl is wedded before she turns 18 and becomes a mother — Is it the parents, the in-laws, neighbors, teachers, government or the child herself?’ Does anyone think on how marrying early and giving birth to a child at such a young age affects both the physical and mental health of the young girl?

Adolescent girls becoming mothers at an early age are most vulnerable to health problems and pregnancy-related complications. India has the world’s largest child population at 400 million. As per the 2011 census, around 253 million children in India are adolescents (in the age group of 10-19 years).

India also has the highest number of child brides in the world. UNICEF’s State of World’s Children 2014, ranks India 12th among 20 countries with a high rate of child marriages; India ranks first in absolute numbers though. Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have the highest incidence of child marriage. In Odisha, around 37 percent children marry before the legal age and this is rampant mostly in the southern districts.

Shocking numbers: 

 

Age

Married

Widowed
15 28,055(Boys-7,226, Girls-20,829) 1,473 (Boys-389, girls-1,084)
16 29,965 (Boys-7,940, Girls-22,025) 926 (Boys-251, Girls-675)
17 41,925 (Boys-8,319, Girls-33,606)       833 (Boys-270, Girls-675)

 

Source: Census of India 2011

Taking a stand: 

ActionAid, an international voluntary organisation, and UNICEF have come forward to support the initiative of these brave children. Odisha is home to 3,232 children aged between 15 and 17 who have lost their spouses; 66 percent are widows, most of whom, by anybody’s guess, will remain widows for the rest of their lives.Early marriage, besides its several ills, also poses severe health risks to young girls, with premature childbirth leading to death is the single biggest risk of all.

What can be done to eradicate child marriages?

Sarangi opines that child marriages can be eradicated if various stakeholders including Child Development Project Officers, Police, Anganwadi centers and Child-line take stringent action against any case of child marriage before them. “Similarly, the society needs to accept that a girl is also a citizen of free India and has equal right to live her childhood,” he adds. On the other hand, director of Child-line (Berhampur) Sudheer Sabat suggests that leaders of different communities should be made aware and sensitized regarding the disadvantages of child marriages.

“These leaders can play the major role in changing the mindset of the people in their communities as people would listen to them. Besides, the youth committees can organize orientation programs at Anganwadi centers to create awareness among people about different schemes of the government related to women and child development,” he says.

 

The ocean is becoming more acidic, but what does that really mean? On a pH scale of 1 – 14, 1.0 is strongly acidic and 14.0 is strongly alkaline or basic; typically ocean waters are slightly alkaline and fall around 8.0-8.1 on this scale. Over the past hundred years, the pH of seawater has decreased, dropping 0.1 pH units. This is due to ocean acidification, a process that occurs when seawater absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air.

Ocean acidification research till date has looked at the effects of elevated CO2 and reduced pH on those organisms that form calcium carbonate (CaCO3) shells and skeletons, such as corals, molluscs, and coralline algae.More than a quarter of the carbon dioxide we release by burning fossil fuels is absorbed by the ocean where it reduces ocean pH and alters seawater carbonate chemistry. If we do not act to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions, these changes in ocean chemistry could have a devastating impact on many shell-forming organisms, such as corals and some planktons, and marine ecosystems as a whole.

Ocean acidification represents a key threat to coral reefs by reducing the calcification rate of framework builders. In addition, acidification is likely to affect the relationship between corals and their symbiotic dinoflagellates and the productivity of this association. However, little is known about how acidification impacts on the physiology of reef builders and how acidification interacts with warming.

So what can be done about ocean acidification? The obvious solution is to slow and eventually eliminate carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and to develop approaches for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Unless there is a dramatic change in our fossil fuel use, projected human-driven ocean acidification during this century will be larger and more rapid than anything experienced by marine life for tens of millions of years. And the problem will be with us for a long time because it takes centuries to thousands of years for natural processes, primarily mixing into the deep-sea and increased dissolution of marine carbonate sediments, to remove excess carbon dioxide from the air.

Although there will be biological winners as well as biological losers, it is likely that the ocean of the future under high carbon dioxide levels will look quite different within the lifetimes of today’s children if we continue on our current course.

One of the most important topics that have come to debate in the recent past is the one where one’s culture is being influenced by the west. India is a culturally rich country having more than thousands of diversifying cultures which have their history dated back to the beginning , yet it has now fallen prey to the western influence. Thanks to globalization and education. In this forum I would like to bring to the reader’s notice that this has been written in a completely subjective note and hence it is merely voicing out my opinions.
The culture and heritage that we have inherited from our forefathers and ancestors have definitely created an identity for us, a one that has strongly established our existence in the world and making a stamp on everyone’s page signifying our importance and what we represent. There were/are some conditions and superstitions that we would question and yes we have succeeded in removing many forms of evil from our cycle. But at this junction right now, we are blatantly beginning to question the basic elements which are the roots of our culture. The questioning spirit brought about by the rise in intellectual knowledge has fuelled our inquisitiveness to an extent where we question our own identity (indirectly). Further the concept of the world as a global village has further reduced the proximity amongst the different nations thus bringing them closer. This has resulted in cultural interaction and learning one another’s culture. This interaction is very beneficial for all cultures as it educates the others and also increases their knowledge. It might also help them in a certain way to counter problems they face. However the people have now started blindly accepting the western culture without any basic questioning or logic. They have rather started to accept the culture largely because it is followed worldwide and is a pseudo trend. The world then believed that racially the westerners were superior to the rest of the world and now they believe that the lifestyle and culture of the westerners is the global standard for people and society. They however fail to realize that their own indigenous culture is the oldest and has some original meaning concealed in various layers and also it is the one which the world respects. Unlike the American culture which is borrowed from all over the world, ours is one which makes us proud.
We have seen people who forget their mother tongue to start conversing in English so that the world believes that they are educated and literates. We have seen people move on from dhotis and pajamas to jeans and t shirts. People have also moved on from roti and ragi to pizza and pepsi. Let us not forget our staple food is staple to us because it suits the climate and the weather and not because it is the only thing that we could afford. Let us remember that with questioning comes logical thinking and scientific reasoning. When 3/4th of the world respects India today, it is not because India is changing rapidly. Its because India has still managed to retain its vibrant culture even though so many centuries have gone past. Unlike what we do always we should not let our cultures go extinct and then try to revive it back. Rather let us set out on a path where we pay equal importance to all cultures and yet forget none.

safai

Safai Karmachari Andolan(SKA) is a movement to eradicate manual scavenging in India. Founded in 1994 by Bezwada Wilson along with S.R.Sankaran and Paul Divakar, it aims at total eradication of manual scavenging and rehabilitation of all scavengers for dignified occupations. Its mission is the liberation of manual scavengers from this caste-based, inhumane occupation which is spread across India. The Safai Karmachari Andolan focuses mainly on making the scavenger community aware of their rights and dignity. They also provide them with the advice regarding various legal issues.

Before having more discussion on SKA, we must first know

  • What is Manual Scavenging?
  • Who are Manual Scavengers?

Manual scavenging refers to the manual removal of raw and untreated human excreta from buckets or from the pits of simple pit latrines. According to Indian law 1993 the official definition of Manual Scavenger is:

“Manual scavenger” means a person engaged or employed, at the commencement of this Act or at any time thereafter, by an individual or a local authority or an agency or a contractor, for manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of, or otherwise handling in any manner, human excreta in an insanitary latrine or in an open drain or pit into which the human excreta from the insanitary latrines is disposed of, or railway track or in such other spaces or premises, as the Central Government or a State Government may notify, before the excreta fully decomposes in such manner as may be prescribed, and the expression “manual scavenging” shall be construed accordingly.”

It often involves using the most basic of tools such as buckets, brooms and baskets. Manual scavenging is traditionally done by the members of the Dalit caste, usually from the Balmiki or Hela subcaste.

As per International Labour Organization there are three forms of Manual Scavenging in India

  • Removal of human excrement from public streets and “dry latrines”
  • Cleaning septic tanks
  • Cleaning gutters and sewers

In the year 1993 under the leadership of Narshima Rao ,the Indian Government passed The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act”.  punishes the employment of scavengers or the construction of dry  latrines with imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of Rs 2,000.  

Then in 2013 Government passed another actThe Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013″. The broad objective of the act is to eliminate unsanitary latrines and prohibit the employment of manual scavengers.

Despite progress, manual scavenging persists in India. According to the 2011 Indian Census , there are more than 2.6 million dry latrines in the country. It is most prevalent in Gujurat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Indian Railways is the biggest violator of these acts.

Thus to support them SKA was founded in 1994 by children of Manual Scavengers themselves for liberation from this ghastly occupation and dignity. Since then, it has grown progressively to become a national movement spread over 25 states of India, with the national secretariat in New Delhi.

While the primary focus is the rights of manual scavengers, SKA is also committed itself to working with all those engaged in ‘unclean’ occupations who fall within the ambit of ‘safai karmacharis’. SKA was instrumental in eradicating manual scavenging in as many as 139 districts, as of 2009.

In 2003 SKA along with its convenor filed the Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court.It was a major step in the eradication of manual scavenging.  They interestingly got an ironical pattern in the government responses. First, a total denial of existence of manual scavenging, next partial admission when they produced photographic evidence. Also they submitted a survey to the Ministy of Social Justice & Empowerment.

By 2007, the SKA felt the struggle was going too slow. The legal process had put the onus on the victims to prove manual scavenging existed. So they launched Action 2010, by which they vowed to end manual scavenging by 2010 by simply asking those engaged in the practice to leave the practice and find alternative work.

Strategic intervention’ for Action 2010
Year one – 2008 – ‘Occupational violence against Dalit women’
Year Two – 2009 – ‘stark reality of untouchability’
Year Three – 2010 – ‘Violation of Human Rights’

After the successful implementation of Action 2010, they organized Bhim Rath Yatra.

The Bhim Yatra is a journey of intolerance of the violence, discrimination and violation of our constitutional and fundamental rights. The journey is to expose the hypocrisy of the leaders and the shame of manual scavenging which is still rampant in the 21st century. It simultaneously spread Ambedkar’s ideas of social justice, liberty, equality and fraternity while proclaiming his war cry ‘educate, organise and agitate’.They also carried out Samajik Parivartan Yatra.

The Planning Commission of India constituted a sub-group on safai karmacharis with Bezwada as its convenor. The sub-group has submitted its report.

For Further details contact

Safai Karmachari Andolan
36/13 Ground Floor,
East Patel Nagar
New Delhi – 110 008
Ph: 011 – 25863166, 9311234793
Fax:011 – 25751482
Email.:[email protected]
www.safaikarmachariandolan.org

 

On November 30, 2016, the Home Ministry issued the order under Section 3, The Prevention Of Insults To National Honors Act, 1971 about the new rule of standing for the National Anthem in theaters. This new step brought with it a lot of controversies. People claimed it as dictatorship governance. They said it is a restriction to their expression and a non-democrative move. There were a lot of debates and campaigns went against it. Their opinion is we love India and we respect our national anthem. There is no need to show it. But my question to all of them is, why? What is the problem in standing merely for 52 sec for your National Anthem. If you already respect it, why can not you show it by standing for 52 sec? How can your freedom get harmed by standing for your national anthem?

This step is not to show others that you love your country and are a patriot but to show yourself that you love your country. If you observe you will realize that every small move of yours affects you psychologically. I know you love your country but love for anything is like the waves of a river, the overall potential is always the same but the depth varies here and there because of the flow. In the same way our love for the country is always equal but it’s existence in our life varies. For example, no one will disagree with this fact that on Republic Day and Independence day or any other National day, we feel more patriotic when compared to other days. It is not that you don’t love your country on the other days but it is just that you get busy with your work that you seldom get time to remember your country. Some time it happens with your family also. You miss your family’s affection very much some time whereas you miss it less some other time but if you give two to five minutes remembering your family, consequently your love for your family increases.

So this 52 sec of mandatory is made to make you remember your country everyday. And in my view no one should have a problem in this. Remembering your country at a small interval or everyday will only increase your love for your country. Neither it will question your freedom nor your democratic governmental environment.

India has more than 3,345 engineering colleges. Every year 1.5 million engineering graduates are passing out of these colleges. Nearly 33% of them run the risk of not getting a job. And for those who get a job the entry level salary is pathetically low. Most graduates are unemployable , a tragic reflection of the state of our academic institutions.

The curriculum in most engineering colleges is far behind when compared to the curriculum in other developed countries. Application oriented skills and innovative approach have not been addressed by engineering curriculum. The colleges do not involve their students in active , in-depth learning activities. Colleges continue to teach outdated concepts. Exams force students to memorize with no comprehension of basic concepts.

Even after 4 years of education in engineering colleges most students never feel connected to the subject. Most engineering graduates fail when they are asked to apply basic principles to solve practical problems. They are not able to do it and they need to be trained. The rote learning method has made the engineering students unable to think. They are unable to shift from unquestioning learners to innovators in job market.

India ranks 66th in the 2016 Global Innovation Index. Global Innovation Index is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for innovation and also success in innovation. Sundar Pichai , Satya Nadella and Shantanu Narayan are Indians. Then why is India lagging in innovation ?. Indians are capable of innovation but some factors restrict innovation in India.

Most Indians have the mindset of fulfilling basic needs , having comfortable lifestyle and being monetarily secure for future. Most people in the society are glued to ‘comfort zones’ which has resulted in job oriented frame of mind to have a comfortable future. Parents fear failure. They encourage their children to have a stable career which provides a good income. As a result engineers , doctors and MBAs are produced with the purpose of earning money. An innovator is not appreciated till he/she becomes monetarily efficient.

We lack in innovation because we are too busy earning our bread and securing our future. Indian education system kills the spirit of innovation among students. Instead of churning out engineers the colleges should empower the students to be capable of designing , developing and be more innovative.

 

“WHY I THINK BURHAN WANI’S KILLING WAS EXTRA JUDICIAL” – Kavita Krishnan’s article came up on my news feed..

The first apparent reaction and the expression i had was unknown to me until now… My first reaction was me being confused and the expression that i deciphered later on was a mix of disgust, confusion, disbelief, laughter and a phased out one.

Now i wont quote instances of Dr Shah Faesal (IAS) whoose father was killed by the Militants but still went on to become the topper or the numerous slain Army Officers and Soldiers dying everyday to achieve peace in the Area or other famous stories but a small instance that makes me believe that why Burhan Wani’s killing was just and the Army should receive Accolades for gunning the HM Commander Down.
I remember back in 2009 my father was posted somewhere in the valley (Army) where he befriended a kashmiri small time carpet merchant, now his home was in the interiors of Srinagar. The merchant very well knew who my father was what my fathers credentials were. He took us to his home deep in the interiors as we were on our way umm not in the army vehicle, neither was my father carrying a firearm nor without a Protection team neither was he dressed in the uniform, my dad confidentiality drove our tayaji’s Innova which Btw had a Punjab number. We visited his home as he invited us over. We had a Daawat. The entire family scrambled in action to arrange for our comfort.
Not that i ever thought of it at that precise moment but when i look back that if he had been the likes of anti army anti india… He could have easily handed us over to the terrorists and then that situation could’ve become the biggest news ever of an Army Officer along with his family being held hostage.
He too was facing from economic disruption poor facilities… His house and his shop were right where a small affair would lead to a curfew and where his shops would see its shutter down till gods knows of what length. He like any other father wanted better facilities. He like other humans wanted to succed. He like all of us was annoyed by the policies and promises by the govt.
He probably would’ve made alot of money the militants would give him for such a nice fish.

But he didn’t… He didn’t raise a gun he didn’t inflict blood he didn’t. He respected my dad’s friendship even though its difficult to stay where you could be BOYCOTTED, MARKED and even KILLED by the militants for having any sort of association with the Army.
That was day i realized that why Burhan Wani Like Elements can never succed can never make affects. Because amidst all those people who visited his funeral to pay homage to the Militant and those young boys who were payed a sum of Rs50 to pelt stones at the Security Forces lies one small carpet merchant trying to survive and earn a livelyhood like any of us. And is more than annoyed with the protests and riots and curfews due to which they are denied from their basic monetry income. And is annoyed to visit these funerals because if not present they would be marked by the terrorists.

Burhan Wani picked up his gun and went on to destroy the ‘n’ number of lives of the children, youth who he recruited to be a part of this deadly façade. These people were not willing to rebel he rather preyed on their weaknesses some wanted money for his mother’s operations some wanted money for his fathers broken shop some wanted for the wedding of his sister and some angry discruntled kiddo who had to much of an Ego to not let go his father’s slap in front of someone. He recruited them misguided them and streamed them into his way of thinking and lining. He manipulated them and took advantage. He disrupted peace and took lives of soldiers who have no motive to fight there because its not their native land but they laid their lives because its their MotherLand.
Burhan deserved to be killed.

Dear Britain,

Should you have voted to leave the EU by the time I wake up – don’t worry – I have a solution that should relieve both remainers and leavers equally. A moment comes, which comes but rarely, when we step from the old to the new….I’ve cracked the #Brexit conundrum!

Cameron needs to immediately apply for Britain to become a Union Territory of the Republic of India.
Whilst historically speaking it seems only right and proper to give India a chance to rule Britain for a few hundred years – it actually makes a lot of sense for the British too!

Worried about jobs? India’s economy is growing 4x faster than Europe’s and will overtake the entire EU’s sometime in the 2030s – becoming twice the size of the EU economy by 2050.

In economic terms alone every young Brit should wish to replace their garish red EU passport with a classy blue Indian one ASAP.

Worried about the future of the NHS? India already provides nearly as many Doctors to the NHS as the EU does – and that doesn’t even include those of Indian origin, born or educated, in Britain. 25,055 Indian v 30,082 EU.

Worried about diversity? With over 100 different languages spoken everyday and adherents of every religion – even Britain’s favourite materialist consumption – there truly is something for everyone here!

 

Worried about being understood? English is one of India’s two official languages – which will be a huge relief for all those have struggled to communicate with their continental neighbours for all these years.

Worried about not being part of something bigger? India has more than twice the population of the EU. Half of which are under 35, so the bonus is no more worries about an ageing population!

Worried about where to go on holiday? The Himalayas are nearly three times the height of the Alps and thousands of miles longer – there are more sandy beaches along India’s coastline than all the Costas you can dream of – and India has tropical rainforests and even a desert too! Plenty of visa free inter-railing adventures as well on the world’s largest railway network.

narendra modi

Worried about not being ruled by an unlected bureaucracy in a far away land? We’ve got that covered as well! Nowhere on the planet has perfected the shuffling of paper and writing of rules better than New Delhi – what’s more India’s civil servants salaries are more than 10x lower than Brussels. Talk about getting more for less!

British MPs, the whole of Whitehall and even the Royal Family (subject to the return of the Kohinor) can all be pensioned off at the fast expanding and internationally renowned Best Exotic Marigold Hotel chain in Jaipur.

Which would free up the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and much of Central London to become a permanent Bollywood film set. With more viewers than Hollywood this is sure to help keep London’s tourist economy going – which within a decade or two will be mostly Indians in any case.

Embrace the 21st Century. Swap Brussels for Delhi. Say Goodbye to Little Europe and Namaste to Incredible India!

Yours in waiting,
An Immigrant of British Origin,
New Delhi, India

  • U.S. makes efforts to mend ties between U.S. and Pakistan. U.S. has sent a high level delegation to Pakistan to restore the relations.
  • Members of the delegation include Peter Lavoy who is the Senior Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the U.S. and Richard Olson who is the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • An official from The Foreign Office said that the agenda of the talks is to discuss issues pertaining to defense, done strikes and to negotiate on the Afghanistan issue.
  • The ties weakened due to divided opinions on Afghanistan peace issue. There views on India’s membership in NSG(Nuclear Suppliers Group) is also a cause of deteriorating relations between the two counties.