Category Archives: National

Gandhi’s teachings changed America: Martin Luther King III

The civil rights movement in the United States was effective in changing the nation and its citizens’ lives since it was based on the philosophy of love and non-violence taught by Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King III said on Wednesday.

“We are thankful to Gandhi for what he inspires in us and our world,” King, the son of renowned civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jr, said in Mumbai [Images].
To make the planet a better one, it is necessary for the society to continue to embrace the philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, he said.

King, a civil rights activist himself, is on his second visit to the country and said that the journey had been a pilgrimage for him and had made him more committed to the philosophy of the Mahatma.

“Our goal is to cure injustice and to make sure that justice is available for all,” King, who was attending a function at the Indian Merchants Chamber, said.

On the November 26 terror strikes in Mumbai, King said he would like to pay tribute to all the people in the city, who had come together as a community to say that terrorism could not destroy it.

“All of us grieved and prayed for you during the attacks,” King added.

Source:, Thanks


Infosys: Narayana Murthy withdraws from Sri Lanka

NEW DELHI: The chief mentor of Infosys Technologies, Narayana Murthy, has declined the invitation of the Sri Lankan President to become the country’s IT advisor.


In a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Narayana Murthy thanked him for the invitation to be the IT advisor to the Sri Lankan Government and for the courtesy shown to him during his recent visit to Sri Lanka, Infosys said in a statement.

“He also communicated to the President that he has decided to withdraw from being the advisor due to personal reasons,” the statement added.

Initial reports suggested that Murthy had accepted the invitation. However, this did not go well with the certain sections in India who are feel that the Sri Lankan Government is persecuting thousands of Tamil civilians under the guise of fighting armed liberation fighters in the country. They urged Murthy not to accept the post.

Murthy had recently visited the island nation and the country’s Government, in a bid to increase investments into the IT sector, had decided to appoint him as the international adviser on information technology to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa made the appointment after inviting Narayana Murthy as the chief guest to the ceremonial launch of ‘2009-Year of English and Information Technology’ at the Presidential Secretariat here yesterday.

Speaking at the event, Rajapaksa said the great success of India in the field of Information Technology in the recent years has highly inspired Sri Lanka.


Tamil MPs want Indian intervention in Sri Lanka; Congress Party says “NO”

Pro-Tamil Leaders


New Delhi (PTI): Two Tamil parties, including a UPA constituent, on Wednesday created ruckus in Lok Sabha by seeking India’s intervention to stop the military offensive in Sri Lanka but the government rejected it even as it asked Colombo to seek a political settlement rather than military solution.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee made it clear in Parliament that India cannot force a sovereign government of another country to take a particular line.

Sri Lanka India

He denounced the LTTE, saying it had caused “much damage” to the Tamil community and asked it to lay down arms as there is a political opportunity after 23 years to restore normalcy in northern Sri Lanka.

Responding to concerns voiced by various Tamil members, Mukherjee said India is worried about the humanitarian situation and wants the conflict to end. He underlined the need for the government and LTTE to resume negotiations. He said India is ready to assist in reconstruction and development in north and eastern Sri Lanka even as he asserted that New Delhi has never given military hardware to Colombo.

Mukherjee made suo motu statements on the situation in Sri Lanka in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha but PMK, a constituent of UPA, and MDMK members expressed unhappiness over its certain contents and demanded its withdrawal.

“… Government of India has no instrumentality under which it can force a sovereign government to take a particular action. This is not simply possible,” Mukherjee said.

In the Lok Sabha, the PMK and MDMK members, wearing black shirts, forced two adjournments by vociferously raising their demands and rushing to the Well of House.

They finally walked out of the House to register their dissatisfaction even though Mukherjee expressed readiness to make “corrections” in his statement if there were any “discrepancies”.

In Rajya Sabha, Tamil members, including AIADMK’s V Maitreyan and CPI’s D Raja, sought certain clarifications on Mukherjee’s statement and asked the government to come clean on whether weaponry are being supplied to Lankan military.

Mukherjee responded by asserting that India has never given military hardware to Sri Lankan government and that it is buying it from elsewhere. He said India believes that there can be no military solution to the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka and a political settlement has to be found to it.

“Military solution is no solution. You have to seek political solution and to achieve this, you have to sit on the negotiating table,” Mukherjee said, adding this message has been conveyed to Sri Lankan government at highest level several times.

Mukherjee said Sri Lankan government should keep in mind the safety and human rights of Tamil civilians during its fight against “terrorists”, obviously referring to LTTE. “Fight against terrorists is one thing, but human rights cannot be denied,” the External Affairs Minister said.

Denying that India has given military aid to Sri Lanka, he said whatever assistance has been given was only for developmental work. He also said India cannot use “coercive” measures against another sovereign country. On the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka, he said India has been in regular touch with the international community requesting it to “put pressure” on Colombo.

He stressed the need for shifting of Tamil civilians to safe zones and rehabilitation zones as soon as possible. The minister said that since the last 30 years, India has been telling Sri Lanka that political solution is a must for ending the crisis there. “Tamils in Sri Lanka have every right to live as free citizens and India has been working since last 30 years to see this achieved,” Mukherjee said.

‘Night watchman’-led Govt failed on every front: BJP


New Delhi (PTI): Main Opposition BJP on Wednesday hit out at the UPA Government, stating that it has brought the nation to a pass where Taliban is at India’s door-step, economy “dressed up” in numbers and internal security compromised for “vote-bank politics”.

Describing the government report card in the President’s Address to Parliament as the “Dhobi’s list of achievements,” BJP leader Arun Jaitley said Congress considered Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a “night watchman” batsman when the nation needed a “decisive” leadership in the hour of crisis.

Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address, Jaitely said the government is functioning in a manner “where the Prime Minister is not the natural leader either of the (UPA) alliance or the (Congress) party. This one weakness has plagued this government”.

He said Singh was made to play a stand-by Prime Minister till the “heir apparent of a preferred family” is ready to occupy the highest executive chair in the country.

Jaitley said the government is in self-denial when the “worse is yet to come”. The Taliban, which have no respect for boundaries, are at a five-hour motorable distance from Amritsar, he said.

The government is in a denial mode on economic front as well, he said. The UPA which inherited a booming economy from the NDA has left the nation in debt and is dressing up the growth figures of seven per cent, Jaitley said.

26/11: Pakistan seeks custody of Kasab


Islamabad: Identifying Ajmal Amir Kasab as the “prime suspect” in the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan has formally requested India to hand over the lone gunman captured alive during the terror strikes to facilitate “successful” prosecution of other accused arrested in this country.

“The government of Pakistan has formally requested the Indian government to hand over the custody of Ajmal Kasab because he is the prime suspect and the rest of these suspects, they are abettors, they abetted the crime,” Deputy Attorney General Sardar Mohammad Ghazi said.

H-1B visa ban for bailed out US firms is irrational: Montek

Press Trust of India / New Delhi February 18, 2009, 17:51 IST


The government has termed as “economically irrational” the provisions that debar US companies from hiring people holding H-1B visas if they take help under $787 billion economic bail out package, which President Barack Obama has signed into law.

“I think it is an indication of protectionism and interestingly it is an extremely bad decision,” Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters last night even as several MPs demanded that the government take up the matter with Washington.

“The decision says that if you have a company that needs assistance it must not hire H-1B visa workers, which really means if you have a company that is weak and you want to assist it you are going to deny it the opportunity to hire cheaper labour. To my mind it is economically irrational,” Ahluwalia said.

“This is the beginning of what could be an irreversible slide into protectionism which happened in 1930,” he added.

Meanwhile, several parliamentarians led by MP and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industry V Hanumantha Rao wrote to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee requesting that the government intervene to protect the interest of Indian non-immigrant workers in the US who go there on H-1B visas.

Taliban plan to target India : Times of India


NEW DELHI: After Pakistan agreed to enforce Islamic law in large areas of its restive North West Frontier Province (NWFP), including Swat Valley, in a concession to buy peace in the region, intelligence sources on Tuesday confirmed the threat that Taliban actually poses to India which is not far from the Indian boundary.

Sources have revealed that the Taliban have plans to attack western cultural centres in Indian cities. However, no specific intelligence inputs on the nature of the threat, the specific target, the timing or the group have been received. In the view of current security situation prevailing in Pakistan, security has been increased in foreign mission and other places of interest of western countries in India.

United States on Monday said Taliban operating out of Pakistan pose a “common” threat to India and America besides the host country as New Delhi highlighted the grave danger to the world posed by terrorism emanating from there.

On his first visit to New Delhi to consult India on the situation in the region, the envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, met External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon in New Delhi.

During the meetings, the Indian side is understood to have told Holbrooke that terrorism operating out of Pakistan is posing a threat, not only to the region, but to the entire world. New Delhi underlined the need for the US and rest of the international community to realise this and take more steps to eradicate the threat, they said.

After the talks, Holbrooke told reporters that Taliban operating out of Pakistan is a “common” threat to India and the US, besides the host country. “For the first time in 60 years, your country, Pakistan and the US all face an enemy that poses direct threats to our leaderships, our capitals and our people,” said Holbrooke who was here to “listen” to India’s assessment of the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Taliban movement is headed by Mullah Mohammed Omar. Mullah Omar’s original commanders were “a mixture of former small-unit military commanders and Madrassa teachers,” and the rank and file made up mostly of Afghan refugees who had studied at Islamic religious schools in Pakistan. It operates in Afghanistan and the Frontier Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

Source: Times of India, Thanks

BJP campaign to extol Modi’s development agenda

modiImpressed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s achievements, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to use him as a poster boy in its campaign for “good governance, development and security” during the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Modi’s record has so impressed L K Advani, the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, that, of late, he misses no chance to praise him, be it at the election rallies or public functions.

Advani, writing in his blog recently, showered praises on Modi for getting Rs 12 lakh crore investment into the state in times of economic slowdown at the January 13 investors’ summit in Ahmedabad. “What accounts for Narendrabhai’s success? The answer is simple: he exemplifies the BJP’s commitment to good governance, development and security,’’ he said in the blog.

Speaking before the country’s top business leaders at a recent Ficci summit here, Advani made it clear that he wished to “develop all the states and entire India on the lines of Gujarat”.

A day before that, at a meeting of BJP workers and supporters, Advani linked his ambition of making every Indian computer-literate to Modi’s scheme. Gujarat’s 13,000 villages have been provided with broadband internet facility, while the remaining 5,000 villages would also get it soon.

Party sources said that Advani, while praising Modi at several inhouse meetings, had said that Modi’s achievement should not only be seen in terms of meeting development targets and launching of innovative schemes aimed at improving the living standards of people but also in being able to sustain his political stability by managing to win a landslide victory in the Assembly elections last year.

According to a senior party leader, Advani and BJP President Rajnath Singh had briefed them recently about the Modi phenomenon. “Modi’s way of governance is what the BJP should aim at in the rest of the country, we were told,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, echoing Modi’s line on Mumbai attacks, Advani today said in Parliament that they could not have taken place without local support.

Source: Business Standard. Thanks