Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Billion Hearts Beating to WIN! INDIA World Cup 2011 Champions

A Billion Hearts Beating as ONE --- to WIN

And win we did, magnificently, with that towering SIX.

India beat a great,great Sri Lanka side to win by 6 wickets.
Dhoni hit that six to send India over the top.

Hindus Muslims Sikhs playing together under a foreign Christan Coach.

India -- Big on Democracy Big on the field.


So much to learn on the path of Ethical Democracy no matter when and where we play the Game of Life.

I loved Sri Lanka captain's concession speech. Sangakkara.

I admired the way Dhoni corrected blustering Ravi Shastri who was trying to be American by saying "You have had critics, now you can tell them to shut up and let your bat do the talking." So brashly, rudely Yankee and does Ravi think he has to be one?

Dhoni replying:

"No, in India that would be rude."

Love the combination of competence and humility of the India side, led by the great Mahi.

Let's hope we never lose that combination of competence and humility that we learned from Gandhiji.

What's left to say?

Open Letter to SEWA

Dear admirable, secular, democratic, SEWA,

SEWA, never make the mistake of considering the US Govt. your CONFIDANT or ALLY.

I was disappointed to read the statement of the US Consul-General re his alleged conversation with SEWA General Secretary Reemaben Nanawati.

I think such actions have implications for our unprecedented postcolonial, secular democracy.

Let me list the points I am trying to make:

1) I abhor the communalizing policies of the Modi Government. These policies should be exposed with actual case evidence collected from victims.

2) I admire the work of Vastanvi in Akkalkuwa. He has a really difficult job. Way to go Vastanvi! SEWA's leaders have something to learn from Vastanvi, maybe? Work together for the greater benefit of all.

3) SEWA leaders should take Modi to court if necessary for withholding reimbursements in Kutch or anywhere else. But don't involve the US.

4) SEWA should never consider the US as an ALLY on human rights. Just look at the Human Rights record of the US in every country it has destabilized, threatened, manipulated, bombed, droned, occupied from South America to Viet Nam. Please, SEWA leaders, do not be NAIVE about superpower politics, especially when they affect India.

5) The IAS bureaucracies (Mankad) should frame their language not in terms of psychological assessments. Is he a trained psychologist? Of course not. Why is Secretary Mankad psychologizing a POLITICAL tactic of the US Government?

Mankad should have said to US Consul Owen: "SEWA is an amazing organization. I am here to facilitate SEWA's reimbursements.
Consul Owen, this is an internal matter of India's domestic politics. You have no legal, and certainly no moral right to intervene.

Mankad looks defensive and whiny and makes the US look good when US is actually interfering in India's domestic affairs.

I hope this IAS dude Sudhir Mankad is not related to my cricket fave of yesteryear, Vinoo Mankad. Look up to your ancestor or your moniker, Sudhir. Don't let those USCIA bureaucrats bully you. More important, face up to Modi. That's what my taxes pay you to do -- to advance our unprecedented secular democracy by ethical means. Satyameva Jayate, remember? Is that part of the IAS oath of office? Hope so.

6) Bottom Line -- SEWA please don't make the huge tactical mistake of crying about your difficulties to official US authorities.

Instead use India's courts to get what you need.

Dr. Chithra Karunakaran
City University of New York [CUNY]

Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice

The Hindu Newspaper copyright
‘Gujarat tried to use SEWA for communal propaganda' Hasan Suroor
The organisation's general secretary told U.S. Consul General that it was facing the ‘wrath' of the State government for ‘resisting' pressure from

Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party Government in Gujarat tried to use the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), the respected Ahmedabad-based non-governmental organisation, as a “conduit to disseminate communal ideologies”; and when the group resisted there were attempts to “obstruct” its work by withholding grants, “ostensibly over financial irregularities.”

This is revealed in a United States diplomatic cable accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks.

The cable ( 41091: unclassified), sent by the U.S. Consul General (CG) in Mumbai, Michael S. Owen, on September 22, 2005, quoted SEWA general secretary Reemaben Nanawati as telling him that the organisation was facing the “wrath” of the State government for “resisting” pressure.

Mr. Owen wrote: “The general secretary of SEWA, a large and well-respected union and self-help organization for poor women, claimed that the GOG [Government of Gujarat] was hoping to use the group's reach and extensive membership as a conduit to disseminate communal ideologies. SEWA was resisting fiercely, the CG was told, and feeling the wrath of the GOG as a result.”

The State government, Ms. Nanawati alleged, was being “vindictive” and “obstructing” SEWA's activities in the Kutch region.

‘Withheld grants'

“The GOG was withholding grants for state projects being implemented by SEWA in the (Kutch) region, she said, ostensibly over financial irregularities…SEWA was resisting…since communal harmony among its members was an important factor for its success, she said. The resistance was making the GOG more vindictive and causing it to step up its pressure on the organization, she added. Due to lack of funds, over 12,000 extremely poor SEWA members have not received wages for over five months, Nanawati claimed,” Mr Owen said.

Ms. Nanawati said the State government was trying to project an air of “normality” after the 2002 communal killings, but “politically” it was still pursuing a “divide and rule” agenda: a claim, Mr. Owen wrote, he heard from a number of Muslim and Christian activists he met.

Mr. Owen's own take on the situation in Gujarat was: “peaceful on the surface, yet state government continues its policies of communalization.”

“In the longer term,” he added, “the state government's clearly visible attempts to marginalize the Muslim minority and its discreet attempts to further communalize public life can only increase the risk of heightened tensions and renewed bloodshed in a state with a history of communal rioting.”

Gujarat Chief Secretary Sudhir Mankad “lost his patience” when asked how many people had been convicted for their role in the 2002 riots, Mr. Owen wrote.

‘Why the obsession?'

“He asked the CG why the U.S. was ‘so obsessed' with the riots. ‘You always express concern about the riots, but look what else is happening in the world,' Mankad complained…Reps of other diplomatic missions visited Gujarat to discuss the economy, education or cultural issues. The U.S. was always different. ‘When I saw your schedule I asked myself why you need to talk to all these groups', he said, referring to the CG's NGO interlocutors…,” Mr. Owen wrote, adding that he “underlined the importance the USG attached to human rights, and said we would continue to follow this issue closely.”

(This article is a part of the series "The India Cables" based on the US diplomatic cables accessed by The Hindu via Wikileaks.')