Sunday, August 31, 2008

Women burried alive

5 Women were buried alive in Pakistan because they wanted to choose their own husbands

"A Pakistani lawmaker defended a decision by southwestern tribesmen to bury five women alive because they wanted to choose their own husbands, telling stunned members of parliament this week to spare him their outrage."

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Saturday, August 30, 2008


The secular elites obsession with Modi is beyond me. TOI,IBN and NDTV have reported that US government has "denied" Narendra Modi a US Visa.

First of all I am not sure what the big fuss about this whole Visa is? When I last checked, I thought you denied someone a Visa if and only if someone applied for it in the first place. The democratically elected Chief Minister of Gujarat has NOT APPLIED for USA's visa, so what are they denying at all?

A handful of Commies and Congress Non-resident Indians, who have formed forums in USA have been lobbying against Modi since last 5 years. And if you ask me, he cares a damn about USA or visiting it.

Modi has been duly elected as a leader, not by those handful elites, but by people of Gujarat. There have been allegations but no convictions against him personally. So I am not sure of the grounds of this so called denial. I always thought Rajiv Gandhi, one of the most popular leader of India, who's implicit and complicit involvement in killing of innocent Sikhs of New Delhi and Punjab and who clearly justified the killings of people should have been denied Visa if at all there was a case of such instance. (Although I would have opposed that too)

But anyways, barking dogs keep barking, and Elephants move on their path. Gujarat is moving at 15% GDP and it's people are happy with their efficient, resourceful and productive leader.

So sulkers and whiners can whine all they want to... no one really cares for your stupid Visa. Boooo to u.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Presidential Race

By all accounts the Obama vs McCain race is amongst the most interesting political races of last few decades. McCain today picked up Governor of Alaska - Palin, for his choice of Veep. After Democratic nominee, Barak Obama, gave a stirring speech last night, one of his best I have heard, it was McCain camp's time for hogging some spotlight and remove some wind out of Obama's storm.

By announcing a female conservative women as his VP nominee, McCain has to some extent taken out the thunder out of Obamania. But will this be enough?

This race is interesting because to an extent both candidates are not run-of-the-mill nominees. This race is "colorful" (no pun intended). McCain has gone against his party's line of thinking a few times and Obama seems to at times talk pragmatic politics over partisan one. Both candidates do not come off as hard core ideologues to me, but what do I know?

Obama looks to have the momentum, energy and lead at this time. But this could be deceptive. There may be a build up of groundswell for McCain in rural America, which will show up in polls only later in the race. Who knows? One cardinal rule of Election analysis is to "never under-estimate the force" (As Sunny Deol once said)

If Obama wins this race ultimately though, it would be a historic moment for America and even for the world as we know. A pre-dominantly white country electing a semi-Black man, to it's most powerful post, will be monumental and infinitely appealing. USA will once again lead by action and not mere words. To that effect Obama's win can go a long way in lifting the sagging image of USA around the world.

But is that what it is all about? Image? What even if USA's image improves, as we think, it will? Will it be enough to counter the growing domestic issues , some real , some perceived. The important question the US voter needs to ask to herself or himself is who will make a better president?

As a non-citizen and an outsider, I am more interested in how the America of today will tackle this question? I have limited stake in who becomes the president. In a lot of ways it does not affect me one way or the other. My interest is more out of curiosity to see how this functional democracy responds to a significant moment in it's history.

I don't really buy into the Democrats blame game of "more of the same" if McCain comes to power. I think his term, if it happens, will be qualitatively different from Bush's. I also do not buy Republicans argument that Obama will be a disaster on foreign policy and his perceived lack of experience will be bad. Both these arguments don't stick as far as I am concerned. Both candidates, at least on paper have a potential to bring some freshness to the governing. And that is what I am interested in. Will Americans trust with their country's faith with a Harvard educated, suave, and eloquent speaker or will they hand it over to a veteran of a war. What America decides can have a rippling effect outside it's shores.

The race is too close to call currently and I think, it will unfold in coming weeks, what approach is taken by each side. I have a feeling that negative campaigns won't fly with general public. If a candidate focuses on other sides negatives and keeps harping about it, he won't make any substantial gains. John Kerry's democrats did that mistake. They kept on attacking Bush so hard and on so many occasions, they lost the focus on what alternative were they offering to the people. People want to know, what is that, that you bring to the table. They already know so and so is bad. So don't keep reminding them that.

McCain and Obama both should learn from the badly executed campaign of Kerry. Criticize your opponent but don't make "attacking other side" as your campaign's base theme. Tell clearly what you are offering instead.

If I was a campaign manger I would create a 70-30 model. 30% negative attack, 70% positive alternative. The 30% of attack is important because, you don't allow the other side to run over you in politics and keep it guessing where the next one is coming from. The 70% +ve is for the people, who want to listen to the solution you are offering and not bothered about how bad other candidate is.
You can only hope and not ensure winning election by default. Meaning- "the other guy is so bad, you should elect me to keep him from coming to power. So elect me by default." This does not work, even if you hope. And hope is not strategy. It is an abstract emotion.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Edurance unlimited

Even as the Beijing 2008 Olympics came to an end, there's no doubt in my mind that it meant many things for many people around the world.

For people who keenly follow geo-politics, it was no less than a Chinese "statement" announcing it's grand arrival on world stage with a bang. No where was that statement more underlined than at the opening ceremony of these Olympics. There was an unmistakable machismo associated with that sensational exhibitionism and show of grandiose on Day 1.
2000 young Chinese men shouting out their lungs and beating drums marked the ARRIVAL of China on world stage, like never before.

It was never in doubt that China was going to use these Olympic games as a showpiece event. And China spent a whopping 43 billion USD to do what they finally did. (The London Olympics budget is 1/3rd of this even 4 years from now). Just shows how much these games meant for the 1.3 billion people of China. The People's Republic did not let it's people down. Brand China came out as the ultimate winner of these games.

If the opening and closing show was spectacular, the Medal tally of Team China was nothing less than a miracle. 51 golds, 21 silver and 28 bronze medals, a whooping 100 overall medals left little doubt in the sporting world, who was the next ogre. China finished in style.
It picked up about half it's golds only from 3 events - Gymnastics, Diving and Weight Lifting. Tells you of their incredible strike rate. It was a well planned effort. They focussed on events that would have highest returns.

If China's medal tally was story 1, story 2 would have to be Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps. If the Jamaican thunder bolt, made a mess of all records in athletics, Michael Phelps made a mockery of all previous swimming records. When Phelps left Beijing, he had broken 7 world records out of the potentially 8 he could have. Usain Bolt on the other hand was part of 3 record breaking efforts. These two are super humans. Phelps with 8 golds had more than 20% of total US gold medals.

Great Britain put a neat overall performance and came close 4th only behind Russia in medal tally. Coming ahead of teams like Germany and France would be specially sweet for the Brits.

Another story for me was the silver medal win by Afghanistan. Rohullah Nikpai's of this war torn country won it's country's first ever medal in Taekwondo . Truly a great hero.

I had a lump in my throat when Abhinav Bindra stood on the podium and India's national anthem was played. But Vijendra and Sushil Kumar's win were no less sweet for 1 billion Indians.

In the end, Olympics is about breaking new barriers of human endurance. Both mental and physical. How long, how high, how deep can you push the human envelope. At what point, would it break? If 9.69 seconds in 100 meters is not good enough, what is? Are we going to see some one break that record soon? May be Bolt himself.

Just as Bolt completed his 100 meters race, a thought struck in my mind. What if half of the humanity became half as fit as Bolt - wouldn't we solve the world energy crisis :) ? Think.

I would also like to mention that one of the reasons I got hooked to this years Olympics is a well packaged presentation by NBC. The other day I read a report in Hindustan Times, about how India's Doordarshan had messed up it's Olympics telecast big time. A cousin, in India, I spoke to told me the same. He said no one was really following Olympics there.
Luckily NBC is pretty professional and if I was from Chinese government, I would send across special thanks to NBC for being agents of these games promotion for the North American audience. Not only did NBC focus on sports, it took us to various facets of Chines culture. It was truly fascinating.

I am going to the Gym now. Hope this Olympic fever does not fade out soon. I will be resting my bums on the couch a little less.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Kashmir Fatigue

India has a choice again on Kashmir, as it had in 1947,65,71 and 98.

Great articles by M.J Akbar and Swapan Das Gupta

Superb analysis at The Acorn- here and here

Sushil and Vijendra

I would put grappler Sushil Kumar's and boxer Vijendra Kumar's achievement's at Beijing no less than Abhinav Bindra's

They both won bronze for the country and we owe them big.

And if UPA politician Suresh Kalmadi is not too busy blowing his own trumpet at bird's nest, the Indian Olympics Association would do well to recognize the brilliance of these two great heroes.

This is the best performance by Indian contingent at the Olympics ever and it is no thanks to IOA or MS Gill (who congratulated himself when Bindra won). In fact India won three medals not because of IOA but INSPITE of it. And that is a tribute to individual spirit of persistence and hard work.

The three medalists have given lot of us hope and lot of positives to take away from 2008 Olympics. As a country we owe them all a royal salute.


P.S : I would like to see all politicians not hog the limelight for once, when Indian Olympic team is felicitated. This disgusting scenario we saw on the podium in Mumbai, when Dhoni's team India was relegated to back rows when all khadi clad Sharad Pawar led politicians hogged the limelight after the WC-T20 win. Please spare us this time!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Microsoft picks Seinfeld

Microsoft needs to re-brand itself. We all know. Mac (and specially it's new ad) has taken the wind out of the software giant. But to choose Seinfeld as brand Ambassador!!!
Nah...not cool.

Just for the record I am huge fan of Seinfeld's. I can't stop talking of this guy's genius whenever I get on it. But the combination of MS and Seinfeld looks far fetched.

Also for the record I am not anti-MS or pro-Mac. I would actually want Microsoft to combat Mac in a fair way. I come from the Java world and here, even hinting at supporting Bill Gates and Microsoft is plain sacrilege. But I usually stick my neck out in wrong direction. So be it.

Microsoft need to be "cool" again, alright. But how does it do it by roping in Jerry Seinfeld, a 50 year old living in Hamptons, who probably all his life used "geeks" and "gadgets" as fodder for his stand up?

Not a big fan of this new marriage... nah.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Stockholm Syndrome and Roy

Arundati Roy is one of the best examples of Stockholm Syndrome

While she is not worth discussing (I hate even putting her name on my blog), the fact that this syndrome affects most Indians is worth discussing. The Indian mind set has now been conditioned to "surrender" easily. This may be because of 1000 years of constant state of submission to external rulers. We now feel it's comfortable to deal with a situation from a position of defense rather than offense.

"Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger (or at least risk) in which they have been placed. "

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vande Mataram

India completes more than 60 years of it's "independence" from the British this August 15th. I have seen more than half of that "freedom" now.

What have these last three decades meant to India? A view from eyes of a middle aged Indian. (I hate to call myself middle aged. But that's a reality now)

Let's start with the 70s.

1970s: Was a very crucial decade for independent India. Politically and socially it was a period of turmoil. Lot of people say, what we see happening in India today, has it's roots in the 70s. The degradation of Political System and the extra ordinary corruption, bureaucratic or otherwise, the State prevailing its might on hapless people, the seeds of which were laid in the 1970s. The ruling party led by a ruthless leader had monopolized all institutions; had undermined the Supreme Court and other key Democratic Institutions of the nation and was riding high on a Single Party rule with an impotent opposition. There were only pygmies willing to stand up to her, and Mrs Gandhi with one shot of "Emergency" bull dozed any hint of rebellion with ruthless iron hand.
The only silver lining in all this turmoil was the Indian Army. Had Indian Army fallen from it's duty and aligned with Mrs Gandhi, India would have been worse in 1970s than Musharaf's Pakistan today. But for Army's "apolitical" stance, India survived. India won the Bangladesh war of 1971 and Mrs Gandhi was the Hero. But she squandered away all the goodwill by making a mockery of Democracy on 26th June 1975; when she declared India as being in "state of emergency".

In 70s the World was dealing with Cold War, Pol Pot,Drugs and Hippie culture. It was an era of Bell Bottom pants where being "REBEL" was cool for the better off but for the not-so-better-off of India; those that were reeling under Nehruvian penalty of Cut-Copy-Paste Socialism and it's byproducts of unemployment and suffocating opportunities the Angry young men of movies like Deewar, Kala Pathar, Gharonda, Mere Apne were getting angrier and movies like these were making a social comment on the state of the nation in the 70s.

But it was not all DARK. For the first time in free India, a non-Nehru-Gandhi family and a non-Congress government came into power in 1978. This was a positive sign as India was showing it's political maturity. Or atleast giving some one else a chance. Although the Janata Party did not last too long, India had finally given democracy a voice. The very essence of democracy after all is to allow opposing views to flourish and be heard. India did part of it at least. That of allowing other side to be heard. The other side sadly said a lot but delivered none.

70s was the era of Ajit Wadekar and Sunil Gavaskar and lot of Test cricket. It was a decade when India's greatest movie star, the tall lanky, Amitabh Bachchan, would take the whole nation by storm. And it was an era of Sholay. Arguably India's greatest movie EVER. For me Sholay is India. A rural rustic setting, loaded emotion, drama and lot of action. It was an era of Radio commentary and Amin Sayani's Binaca Geet Mala. Television was still a distant privilege for 98% of the nation.


1980s : If 1970s was about "angry" India, 1980s was about a slightly happier India. An India about to start taking those first baby steps towards embracing Globalized world. 1980s was about Asian Games (Asiad'82), about Rakesh Sharma going to Space and saying those golden worlds .. "Saare Jahan say Achcha".. about Doordarshan and Ramayan and Mahabharat and soap operas.

Punjab was India's headache in 80s and it soon engulfed into terrorism. Indira Gandhi became a victim of her own politics as terrorism struck in Nation's capital. Rajiv Gandhi took over the nation's hopes and with it a lot of expectations. The blue eyed boy of India's first family, promised a lot, but sadly delivered only on a few fronts.

Amongst some sad things that happened in 80s, the Bhopal Gas leak was the most tragic. Bofors case showed that corruption can happen at the highest level and after that no one was surprised by PM being corrupt. IPKF's failed mission in Lanka was another blot.

Amongst India's greatest achievement was the cricket World cup victory at Lord's England. Nothing united the nation more than the picture of Kapil's devils lifting the silver cup on the Lords Balcony. That was when Cricket unofficially uprooted hockey as India's national sport. It became a passion and obsession more than a sport.

Around the world - Gorbachev's Perestroika was about to become the unintentional force for dismantling the mighty Soviet union and in a way ending the Cold War. This had a direct effect on India, close Russian ally. The fall of Berlin War in 1989 was a triggering point for the collapse of the Eastern Bloc.

Around end of 1980s a new political force emerged in India. The OBCs. Led by likes of VP Singh, Mulayam, Lalu etc, the OBCs would go on to dominate India's politics thereafter. In 1989 Congress lost the power again only to land India with another mess called the Janata Dal.

If TV in 80s was about Buniyaad, Rajni, Hum Log, Ramayan, Mahabharat, the movies took a turn towards Romance after the heavy doze of intense 1970 movies. Amir Khan became a rage in 1988 following QSQT and this chocolate hero trend would continue well into the 1990s.


1990s: Politics of Ram and Mandal sent the nation into a tizzy. Two powerful social groups, the upper cast Hindus and the OBCs amongst the Hindus, started making efforts for that political space. Early 1990s was a very difficult period for India as India was finally coming to terms with a very powerful social force. A force that would not ask but demand Reservations and force itself into every aspect of national mainstream.
Rajiv Gandhi was tragically assassinated in May of 1991 while campaigning for elections. In early 1990s terrorism in Punjab was receding but a more deadlier version was taking it's roots in Kashmir.
1993 saw the bombing of Mumbai followed by a retaliation of the worst kind in form of riots. Bombing of Bombay Stock Exchange was a symbolic event; signifying that the new enemy of the nation was not only going to target Army,Policemen or other groups but common office goers, places of economic significance and other un armed Groups.
Following bombings of Indian cities, aggressive Hindu nationalism would be the counter effect and have it's root stronger.

1990s was also about opening up of Indian economy to the world. Narasimha Rao would lead that effort even as BJP the opposition party would give him tactical support to pass all those bills. In 1996 Vajpayee became PM for 13 days and lost the trust vote by the magic figure "1". Soon Vajpayee again became PM and ruled for 13 more months before Madam Jayalalitha played tantrum with nation. The days of Single Party rule were officially over in 1990s

1990s saw India's 3rd war with Pakistan when Pakistani troops under the evil designs of General Musharaf, sneeked into Indian territory in Kargil. Again the whole nation would come together to provide that moral support to Indian troops under Vajpayee's leadership.
India successfully defeated the external threat but somehow became immune to internal one as terrorist activities and bombings of places became common.

World: Early 1990s witnessed momentous event as Nelson Mandela was released from jail after 25 years. South Africa finally saw an end to Apartheid. The collapse of Soviet Union officially ended the cold war as splinter countries aligned with the West. Germany was unified after almost 4 decades. Saddam Hussien fingered USA by brazenly hijacking Kuwait, before falling to Scud missiles. CNN became a household name over the world as Kuwait war became the world's first 24x7 live war.
1990s saw Bill Clinton and India come closer but only to drift away after Pokhran blasts.
India slowly discovered the power of IT in late 1990s as an entire generation of Engineers migrated towards Computers.

In sports, Sachin Tendulkar became a phenomenon. Vishwanathan Anand made history.

Cable Television changed the middle class values more rapidly than anything till date and ended the monopoly of Doordarshan. Coke,Pepsi and SRK became brand names of monstrous proportions in middle class India. DDLJ became an inflection point in bollywood as candy floss took over the Indian cinema.
Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai exploded on peagent scenario and help spawn a multi-billion dollar cosmetic modeling industry in India. Amartya Sen won a Nobel Price for Economics.

New India post 2000 :

Y2K was a huge deal in India as the world needed computer skills to deal with a messy date format. That mess was what the doctors ordered for millions of young Indians who flocked to "greener pastures". But that was just the beginning of a new generation of India getting exposed to West. Either via IT or Call Centers or other MNCs working culture. The new India that would order Pizza instead of Dosa or eat burger instead of Wada Pav.

But that's not all of India. That's a fraction of India that is now more visible thanks to MTV,IBN and NDTV.

Last decade has seen more and more terrorist attacks happen on Indian soil. Earlier it was only Kashmir, Punjab and north East. Now it is spread out. No city big or small is off limits. While economically India is having a high GDP growth rate, there is a lurking feeling that polity of India is degrading. The middle class value system that held Indians together under severe stress from different forces is fast dwindling into low levels each passing year. The generation that got exposed to everything fast - fast cars, fast food, fast talk - seems impatient with everything including the past. But blaming west for all ills and changing culture would be naivety of highest order. We need to look into our own mirrors. Why are we picking up only wrong things? What about work ethics, civic sense, the attitude of giving space, nationalism and just general community living?

Sometimes the coming India paints a scary picture. The cynic in me becomes a Casandra, thinking we are doomed. Future is dark. If we somehow conquer Islamic terrorism in next decade, there will something else to deal with. May be an increasingly powerful Dragon just right next door on East, will pull some of it's levers. Who knows?

But the optimist in me feels we have seen worst. We have seen a massive partition, we have seen 1000 years of plundering and rule by "outsiders" and the worst is behind us. The new confident generation is ready to MOVE ON and more importantly TAKE ON. And that is a huge thing on 62nd re-birthday of India.

I purposely put the words "Independence" and "Freedom" at the start of post in double quotes. Independence will have real meaning when we DO NOT have to depend on west for our economy (service industry oriented economy), on middle east for our OIL, for a vote from China to get a Security Council membership. But more importantly, domestically we are free of poverty, free of worshiping one Powerful family and allowing it to keep ruling this country directly or indirectly for another 60 years, freeing ourselves from suitcase politics of Amar Singhs of the world, freeing ourselves from the constant want to imitate America and American way of life, freeing ourselves from China dumping cheap goods on our borders and destroying local industries, freeing ourselves from need to get our talents certified from Harvards and Stanfords, and freeing our selves from the "Gora" complex for ever.

Vande Mataram!

Yang Peiyi

BBC says China defends it's decision. (Rather lame. One expect's more from BBC's rhetorical brilliance)

"Yang Peiyi's looks are OK," Lin Hui reportedly said.
"In my opinion, she's not ugly. She looks cute."

Quite frankly I find Yang Pieyi equally cute if not more and she looks more innocent.

So much for the FACE VALUE.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Yes Yes Yes ...

It took us more than a century.. but it is an awesome feeling. India finally won an Olympic individual Gold.

Congratulations Abhinav Bindra. You have made a nation starved of true sporting heroes, look for that glimmer. Thanks for that. You did this when the well fed and well looked after Indian cricket team surrendered tamely to Sri Lanka in a Test cricket and on the day when Sania Mirza (India's medal "hope") pulled out of Olympics due to injury.

We owe you, dude.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Take that France

I have never jumped off my couch after a 4 X 100 swim relay. But at 10:30 in the night today, I did just that as Team USA beat the shit out of the arrogant French team.

"The Americans? We are going to smash them. Thats what we are here for" .. The french relay team was quoted as saying. This was all over the French daily news. Now who's talking, France?

Australia started off with a cracker but as it happens more often than not, the leaders are left behind in relays; the pattern continued.
Americans had already broken the World Record in the preliminaries but the final was a different ball game. The ecstatic screaming of Phelps was so infectious even as America edged out the stunned French team. They surely had the last and the loudest laugh.

I am already loving it. Yesterday it was the "Redeem Team" making a mincemeat of Chinese team; a team who's every move was being cheered lustily by home crowd.

Swapan puts it Best

"And like the tortoise, there are reasons to believe that blundering humans will eventually prevail over super-humans without souls."

Whoa... that's vintage Swapan Das Gupta for you.

"So, is China naturally better than us? Has Hu Jintao finally demonstrated the fallacy of the theory that robust economic development is inevitably preceded by democracy? Has competitive politics sapped India's national will to the point that we are now incapable of organising the proverbial piss-up in a brewery?"

And here's that inescapable comparison...

"When it comes to organising spectacles, dictatorships always do it better. Hitler came to power in January 1933. Yet, in just three-and-half years, he put together a great show in Berlin."

Whoa ..whoa..whoa...

Friday, August 8, 2008

'Broker of Disrepute'

Ha Ha Ha... this one is funny.

Lot of us know that "The Hindu" , India's "national newspaper" (ahem...ahem..) prostitutes for it's bosses in Beijing. But it takes courage to spell it out loudly.

Here's a good one from Aadisht (He calls himself disreputable broker)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Olympics predictions

1] China: highest total number of Golds and over all tally
2] USA: distant second followed by Russia.
3] Russia : Used to be consistently #1. The dragon will replace it.
4] India: Hoping against hope for a miracle.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pune..Way to go!

Things work when cooler heads prevail. Pune slowly but surely worked it's way out of the incompetent State government's apathy towards Power issues in Maharashtra. (Just for the record, the Vilasrao Deshmukh government that has ruled Mah. for 8 years now has not taken a single initiative to deal with power woes)

Pune has shown in a small but effective way that you don't have to Shout through your lungs, breast-beat, take out Morchas, call for Bandhs to get things done. Pune is one of the key industrial hubs of Maharashtra and gets extremely affected by load shedding.
So people of Pune, the Corporate houses of Pune and some NGOs came together and brought about a simple and effective solution to power problem. Pune now as 24x7 power.

Where there is zero accountability of Government, intelligence has to rise a few notches. Article here in Indian Express

Superb article in Khaleej Times

Although I am no big fan of MJ Akbar, I have always felt he is very articulate and well meaning. The other day when he was opposing the nuclear deal on a TV program conducted by the high-pitch-high-decibel Sargarika Ghosh of CNN-IBN, never did he once loose his temper. His arguments were crisp and to the point.

As an Indian muslim, MJ Akbar has shown common sense and high level of maturity. He has shown his utter disgust at the current government's callous behavior towards dealing with terror. We need more articulate muslim voices like these and less and less excuse makers (Read Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar et al)

In a brilliant article published in Khaleej Times, MJ spells out almost perfectly what is ailing the current Indian rulers. Kudos MJ.

On a side note: I have had a couple of email conversations with Mr. Razi Azmi in the past and will be posting my thoughts on that soon. Azmi is a Pakistani journalist of repute who writes for Friday Times. He is currently on a sabbatical.

Friday, August 1, 2008