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March 2005

Modi is denied US visa

Predictably, there is a hue and cry over denial of visa by US to Narendra Modi. Modi and BJP are saying that denial of visa is an insult to the Constitution. As usual US was charged with hypocrisy:
In 1984, after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi, thousands of Sikhs were killed in Delhi and elsewhere. But the same USA accorded her son Rajiv Gandhi a red carpet welcome six months after he took over as prime minister.

Pakistan has been sending terrorists from across the border and is responsible for forcing Kashmir Pandits to flee their homes, but the same United States accords a warm welcome to Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf.

But Narendra Modi is denied a visa on grounds of religious intolerance.

What exactly is the point here? So, is Modi accepting that charge of religious intolerance is true but since similar others (such as Musharraf) have been granted US visa, he should be given one too? Is hypocrisy a more serious crime than discrimination against minorities?

I find it really funny that the people making the charge of hypocrisy against US are making case for granting US visa to Modi. Why don't they instead ask US to refuse visa to other culprits, such as Musharraf? The fact that police did not act against a few culprits is no reason to argue that others should be let go as well.

Modi argues that he won a free and fair election but so did Hitler once! So, what's the point? Maybe we should just drop the concept of criminal trial and just conduct secret ballot to decide if someone is guilty or not!

Update: Someone pointed out that many have called on US to refuse visa to others, such as Musharraf, on the grounds of religious intolerance!

I take it that those people will be calling on Indian Govt. too to deny visa to Musharraf! Or better yet they must have already called on Indian Govt. not to recognize Musharraf as legitimate ruler of Pakistan! Then how come Manmohan Singh met with Musharraf in New York? Or why did Atal Bihari Vajpayee invited Musharraf to Agra after the coup in Pakistan?

Before calling on US to do things shouldn't we atleast make sure that our own Govt. is following that logic? Lots of people in the World (or atleast India) are under the impression that US Govt. is answerable to them! May be it is time to focus on our own Govt. (which we elected).

Update 2: Our own Prime Minister is pretty upset over the denial of the visa to Modi:

“We respect the sovereign right to grant or refuse visa to any person. We do not believe that it is appropriate to use allegations or anything less than due legal process to make a subjective judgement to question a Constitutional authority in India,” Singh told the Rajya Sabha.

Really? I wonder what NHRC might feel about this!

Big Media crushes a blogger

Via Selective Amnesia, India's largest media group, Times of India Group, serves a legal notice on the Mediaah blog for allegedly defaming the Times of India publications. The notice asks the author to delete the "offending" 19 posts and refrain from writing anything similar and "defamatory". The owner, Pradyuman Maheshwari, has decided to cease the publication because he doesn't have the time, energies and monies to fight the biggies.

Various Times of India publications, such as FilmFare and even Times of India newspaper, also publishes gossips about the Bollywood. So, I don't understand why they are so pissed off about a small blog that gossips about the media.

This is really outrageous and I hope that all bloggers unite against this attack by the Big Media on Blogosphere!

Update: Sign the online petition. Also, Mark Glaser has an article in Online Journalism Review.

Another Update: Here is the other side of the story.

You know its a dictatorship when ..

Coyote Blog has tips on How to Spot a Dictatorship:
1. Michael Moore portrays the country as a kite-flying paradise 2. Jimmy Carter sanctioned their last election 3. The UN certifies that there is no genocide 4. They sign friendship pacts with other dictatorships (also here and here and here too) 5. They are a member of the UN Human Rights commission (not 100% foolproof but getting closer every year) 6. They were once a French colony, and/or France is opposing sanctions against it (also here too) 7. Their people are impoverished and they lag the world in economic growth