Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pakistan 1947 - 2009: From Cut & Paste Nation to Failed State

Both Pakistan and Israel face an ethical dilemma of origin.

Pakistan has had an ethical dilemma from the very beginning of its creation as a Muslim state. So has Israel in its creation as a Jewish state. Both are fragile, if not completely untenable propositions.

Modern sovereign nation-states cannot be securely established and indefinitely maintained on the basis of religion or ethnicity or any ONE factor because the PEOPLES of the world are globally interconnected, multiethnic, multireligious.

Where are the non-muslims and the non jews in these two nation-states? Are they to remain forever faceless and nameless?

More on this with a special focus on the years 1947 (birth of Pakistan) , 1948 (birth of Israel) & 2008 ( 11/26 and 12/28 Israel's attack on Gaza),

Both Pakistan and Israel raise vexing questions for the trajectory of ethical democracy. The end cannot justify the means. Ethical Democracy is not possible in either Pakistan or Israel. They are comparable.

Karnataka Journalist Hounded by Hindu Fundamentalists

B. V. Seetaram
Chitra Publications

arrested and handcuffed in Udipi

I'll be following this story as it unfolds in the courts.

India internal terrorism by the Hindu right is a danger to the fragile development of ethical democracy in India

Delhi Fog Toxic Cocktail Prepared by Capital Bureaucrats

"Thick Fog Hits Delhi" is a misleading newspaper headline in The Hindu January 6. It particular misleads young readers

Why? Because fog in Delhi is not a naturally occurring phenomenon. It is a direct byproduct of unrestricted unregulated air pollution.

Isn't Delhi Pachauri's backyard? What is TERI doing about this costly mess?

I have more thought to develop on this subject at a later time because my blog is now traveling in India.

But it seems to me airlines using Delhi International airport should try to recover losses from fog days. When international passenger and air cargo carriers deliver a blow to the Delhi civil aviation government pocketbook, that maybe (I'm not holding my breath even in the unacceptable Chennai air while writing this entry), when Delhi bureaucrats may shake off their own lethargy (which is not fog -induced), and they may perhaps sit up and take notice.

The failure of Delhi to invest in mass public transit has directly contributed to the air pollution that produces the toxic cocktail called Delhi Fog

An ethical democracy has to protect its vulnerable citizens against toxic pollutants.

Elephants, Tigers & Ethical Democracy

In these Blog pages much of my focus is on India's path to Ethical Democracy. It is both a process and a destination. Given the unequalled and unprecedented example of Maulana Azad and Mohandas Gandhi, India can do no less. India is at a remote distance from both the process and the destination towards ethical democracy but it is reasonable to state that India has started on that path which it began at least 2500 years ago. I say this because Democracy is not a western invention but a universal human impulse towards fairness, which in its ultimate analysis is an evolved behavior that we share with certain mammals especially the great apes.

Recently there were two separate but obviously related news articles in the Indian press, one on protests against the establishment of a Tiger Reserve in Mudumalai and another, on "marauding wild elephants" allegedly 'wreaking havoc" in North Eastern India.

I don't have time (will do so later) to develop the points raised by these two articles, these points being 1)balancing livelihood needs with animal protection and 2) habitat loss

It is clear that a humane and vigorous policy of protecting and increasing wildlife as part of a larger longterm policy of increasing and exploiting biodiversity resources for purposes of furthering health and employment opportunities have to be seen as keystones to ethical democracy. Demonizing wildlife, causing habitat loss and promoting livelihoods that don;t provide returns on investment in employment are faulty cost ineffective pathways to irresponsible governance. None of these quick fix options that are inimical to wildlife conservation will help build ethical democracy in India. Nature and Culture are inextricably interrelated.