Showing posts from May, 2008

Dragon Fire

The recent events in Tibet brought to my mind, memories of a book I had bought and read 8 years back. "Dragon Fire" by Humphrey Hawksley was published in 2000.

It was interested to read it again. The author is a BBC correspondent. The book is a futuristic work, that talked about events which would occur in 2007.

The novel starts with a Tibetan political prison being freed in a daring unauthorised operation by a Tibetan Special Force trained by Indian Army. In Pakistan, an Army General takes over the country in a bloodless coup. Infiltrators from Pakistan, shoot down a helicopter carrying Indian Foreign Minister. These events spark off a war in the region. The novel describes the progress of the war, and the climax is not pleasant reading for Indians!

The book is based on the premise that both India and China are trying to become regional superpowers of Asia. Pakistan is considered a rogue state. US and UK want to side with India, it being a democratic country in con…

The Modern Epic - Part II

A few days back I had written about the challenges of getting EPIC - the voter id card.

Subsequently, Election Commission allowed users to vote even without this card, so long as voters could produce an alternate card - like Drivers License, PAN card, Passport, etc.

On Saturday, 10th May, we had the Assembly Elections in Bangalore. While I'd my EPIC, my wife took her PAN card. Armed with these, we went to our polling both, a Government Primary School, walking distance from my apartment. It was 9 AM.

Various parties had set up their "booths" close to the polling booth. Here, they identified the "Section/Part" in the electoral roll, where the voter's name was located, noted it in a sheet. This sheet had to be given in the polling booth (so that there was no crowd in the polling booth to locate your name)!

The fun part started here. I had the EPIC. The challenge was to find my name in the list. All the available lists with the party workers were in Kannada,…

Womens Reservation Bill

It was not amusing to read about the drama associated with the introduction of Womens Reservation Bill in Parliament on Tue, 6th May. Yes, not amusing. The media reports were all about the strategy adopted by the Government, of sandwiching the concerned minister between various lady MPs, so that the bill could be successfully introduced.

Has the Parliament become a joke that Government has to resort to such strategies to move a Bill? And to add to it, the media finds it commendable rather than condemnable?

The very purpose of the Bill - to have reservation for Women in legislatures is debatable. If all parties were genuinely concerned about this, what is the need for reservation at all? They could easily ensure that 1/3 of the seats they contested were reserved for Women. If all parties did that, chances are that there will be more women MPs in Parliament than ever before.

The current issue which is causing opposition to the Bill is the absence of "quota" within the &qu…