Dr. Manmohan Singh wins lifetime achievement Oscar for acting as India’s Prime Minister


Dr. Manmohan Singh did India proud by bagging the Oscar for Lifetime Achievement for acting as the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to present.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science said Dr. Singh’s Irving Thalberg Memorial Award was given to “a mild mannered and soft-spoken economist whose body language reflects a steadfast commitment to keeping up appearances of being in control and operating in silence, which in turn has spawned a plethora of behind the scenes state and non-state actors”.

It was of course more than a coincidence that on the night honoring one of the greatest practitioners of silent acting, ‘The Artist’, a silent movie, won 5 Academies including the best picture award. French star, Jean Dujardin, who won the Oscar for best actor in a leading role for portraying a fading film star of the silent movies era, acknowledged the mountain of debt he owed the Indian Prime Minister.

In stark contrast to the commonplace black ties and ubiquitous strapless gowns on display, Dr. Singh graced the red carpets attired in an elegant bandgala and spoke in a well rehearsed, flat tone without betraying any hint of emotion during his acceptance speech.

Read more here

 

 

UIDAI and the textbook case study of how not to do it, one for the business schools


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By- David Moss

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) came under attack. Its very existence was threatened. Naturally enough, UIDAI decided to defend itself.

It’s worked. UIDAI survives for the moment.

But theirs is a Pyrrhic victory. The UIDAI defence could undermine the credibility of every public authority in the world which has nailed its colours to the mast of biometrics – which is most of them – and could destroy the multi-billion dollar mass consumer biometrics industry.

The job of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is to use biometrics to identify every resident of India and to issue them with a unique corresponding number, a so-called “Aadhaar number”.

“Aadhaar” means foundation or support and the idea is that, once everyone has an identifying number, it will be easier for the various arms of government to build systems on that foundation to provide social security benefits, for example, and to facilitate national security. And beyond government, the banks will supposedly find it easier to authenticate payments.

UIDAI is not without its critics:
The Standing Committee on Finance (SCoF), a committee of the Indian Parliament, has considered the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010. That Bill would establish UIDAI on a statutory basis if it was ever enacted, but it hasn’t been. Meanwhile, UIDAI is operating under executive order only. It’s not operating very well according to the SCoF report and it’s about time UIDAI came under the control of Parliament.
And then there’s the Ministry of Home Affairs. They’re a properly constituted body and not just a creature of the Executive. And they have a competing identity management scheme, NPR (the National Population Register). Result – a turf war, Aadhaar v. NPR.
SCoF and the Ministry of Home Affairs pressed their case with the Prime Minister but UIDAI proved too adept for them. The Chairman threatened to resign, which would be embarrassing for the prime Minister – good move no.1. Good move no.2 – UIDAI arranged some convenient PR with the compliant Economist magazine. And then they published not one but two reports making unprecedented claims for the reliability of the biometrics used in Aadhaar:
Role of Biometric Technology in Aadhaar Enrollment
India boldly takes biometrics where no country has gone before
Oops. Bad move. There are five problems here:
Both reports are produced by UIDAI only. There is no sign that that they have been audited by any independent expert body.
Both reports quote reliability figures. No other public authority in the world does that. Not operational figures – figures measuring the reliability of biometrics in the field, at the border, for example. They should. But they don’t. Now, thanks to UIDAI, they will all come under pressure to quote independently audited figures themselves, figures for reliability, to justify their investment of public funds. It is likely that the public are going to be shocked at just how unreliable the biometrics are, that their governments are using. The public will at last understand why their governments have been so reluctant for so long to quote any figures.
Why is that likely? Because the figures quoted by UIDAI are hundreds of times better than anything anyone else has ever claimed following tests of biometrics. Hundreds.
The second report says that (a) Aadhaar uses flat print fingerprinting and iris scanning, (b) the two biometrics are fused to form one composite biometric, so-called “multi-modal” biometrics, and (c) UIDAI use not one matching algorithm, but three of them. Any large-scale identity management scheme that doesn’t do the same, they say – (a), (b) and (c) – is doomed to “catastrophic failure”.
The suppliers of biometric technology have never had to give public warranties before. Now they will have to.

Read more here

 

Dr. S. P. Udayakumar sent a legal notice to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh


English: A screenshot from a Video posted by w...

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28 February 2012

Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi. 110 011

Sir:

Under instructions from my client, Dr.S.P.Udayakumar, 27, Isanganvilai, Mani Veedhi, Parakkai Road Junction, Nagerkovil 629002, I address you as under:

My client was shocked to see a news item in The Hindu (City Edition : Chennai) dated 25 February 2012. The caption of the news item in the front page of The Hindu reads “Centre pulls the plug on three NGOs: Action follows PM’s statement that some US based NGOs are behind Kudankulam stir”. Paragraph 1 of the news item reads:
“Close on the heels of the publication of Prime Minister’s Manmohan Singh’s assertion in an interview in the latest issue of Science that some United States-based NGOs are behind the agitation against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, … …”
Your interview appeared in the online edition of “The Hindu” dated 24 February 2012 is noteworthy :
“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has criticised non-governmental organisations that receive support from abroad for stalling the use of genetic engineering in agriculture and leading protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.
In an interview published in the latest issue of journal Science, Dr. Singh pointed to the potential of biotechnology, saying “in due course of time we must make use of genetic engineering technologies to increase the productivity of our agriculture.”
But controversies had arisen. “There are NGOs, often funded from the United States and the Scandinavian countries, which are not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces.”
Then, referring to the protests at Kudankulam, he said: “the atomic energy programme has got into difficulties because these NGOs, mostly I think based in the United States, don’t appreciate the need for our country to increase the energy supply.”
Asked whether nuclear power had a role in India despite the Fukushima disaster in Japan, he said, “Yes, where India is concerned, yes. The thinking segment of our population certainly is supportive of nuclear energy.”
My client on seeing the above news items verified the veracity of the same with your interview published in “Science” (Vol 335 : 24 February 2012) under the caption “India’s Scholar-Prime Minister Aims for Inclusive Development”. Your interview runs thus:
“Q:Why did your government put a moratorium on the release of Bt brinjal?
M.S.:Biotechnology has enormous potential, and in due course of time we must make use of genetic engineering technologies to increase the productivity of our agriculture. But there are controversies. There are NGOs, often funded from the United States and the Scandinavian countries, which are not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces. But we are a democracy, we are not like China.
You know, for example, what’s happening in Kudankulam [in southern India, where local NGO-led protests have stalled commissioning of two 1000-megawatt nuclear reactors]. The atomic energy program has got into difficulties because these NGOs, mostly I think based in the United States, don’t appreciate the need for our country to increase the energy supply.”
My client says that he is deeply hurt by your false statement that the atomic energy programme has got into difficulties because the NGOs, often funded from the United States and the Scandinavian countries, don’t appreciate the need for our country to increase the energy supply. This statement appears to have been made by you only with a view to informing the public that the protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu is going on with the assistance of the funds made available from the United States and the Scandinavian countries. There is no basis whatsoever for this statement made against my client who is the Coordinator of the protest.
My client states that you have made this false statement against my client with an intention to harm his reputation. The statements made in your interview amount to an imputation which directly, in the estimation of the members of the public, lowers the moral character of my client and also lowers the credit of my client. Your imputation that the said protest is funded by the United States and the Scandinavian countries is an utter falsehood. This imputation of yours may fall within the realm of ‘defamation’.
My client hopes that you, as the Prime Minister of India, will immediately make appropriate amends to the statements made against my client, and will not drive him to have recourse to law.
Sincerely

M.Radhakrishnan

281 (Old No . 134) Thambu Chetty Street
Advocate Chennai 600 001
mobile 9791096510

email lawtomorrow@yahoo.com

Human Rights Groups Blur Issues of Women Rights


English: 44th Munich Security Conference: The ...

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By Meredith Tax

(WOMENSENEWS)– Salafi mobs have caned women in Tunisian cafes and Egyptian shops; attacked churches in Egypt; taken over whole villages in Tunisia and shut down that country’s Manouba University for two months in an effort to exert social pressure on veiling.

And while “moderate Islamist” leaders say they will protect the rights of women (if not gays), they have done very little to bring these mobs under control.

In this context, the support given by Kenneth Roth, head of the major U.S. organization Human Rights Watch, to Islamist parties is disturbing to say the least and shows a wider problem in the attitude of the human rights movement toward political Islam.

In his group’s 2012 World Report, Roth wrote: “It is important to nurture the rights-respecting elements of political Islam while standing firm against repression in its name,” but he failed to call for the most basic guarantee of rights–the separation of religion from the state.

His essay only once mentions the rights of women, gays, and religious minorities, almost in passing: “Many Islamic parties have indeed embraced disturbing positions that would subjugate the rights of women and restrict religious, personal, and political freedoms. But so have many of the autocratic regimes that the West props up.”

Are we really going to set the bar that low? This is the voice of an apologist, not a senior human rights advocate.

Roth’s essay is just the latest example of a crisis within the human rights movement, some of whose leaders have treated political Islamists as partners and been willing to downplay systematic violence and discrimination against women, gays and religious minorities.

Marieme Helie-Lucas is founder of Women Living Under Muslim Laws, the 20-year advocacy group with headquarters in London, Dakar, Senegal and Lahore, Pakistan. She suggested a group response to Roth.
Over a period of three weeks, with several women writing and others offering suggestions, we produced an Open Letter to Roth, which serves as a critique of his essay, signed by 17 global women’s human rights groups. Our letter is accompanied by a petition.

Read more here

 

Citizens’ Statement Against Prime Minister’s Malicious Comment on Koodankulam Struggle


February 27, 2012

Who is under the foreign hand?

We strongly deplore the PM’s recent statement that the people’s struggle against Koodankulam nuclear power plant is instigated by foreign agencies and funds. We cannot accept our PM to stoop to such low levels.

This allegation is a clear hint from him that the Indian people who could think on their own to elect the Congress-led UPA in the last general election, have suddenly lost the capacity to think ‘correctly about their safety and energy security. Eminent Indian intellectuals like historian Romila Thapar, economist Amit Bhaduri, diplomat Nirupam Sen, scientist PM BHargava, and the Indian Institute of Science director P.Balaram have strongly opposed this nuclearisation of India. They surely represent the ‘thinking component’ of India that Dr. Singh cited.

In reality, it is the Manmohan Singh-led government that is pushing the interests of foreign corporate from Russia, USA and France etc. by giving blanket allocation of Indian territories to them for setting up dangerous nuclear power parks. Similar was the case with the Indo-US nuclear deal, when the government repeatedly tried to bypass the Parliament under pressure from these ‘foreign hand’.

Let Indians not lose their hard-earned freedom of independent thoughts and expression to this sold-out government, and condemn the very people who give them the credibility to govern.

In the light of the worldwide shift in public opinion and government policies against nuclear energy, it is only China and India that have significant expansion plans. At the very least it is expected in the light of this global reality that the Indian government which claims to be democratic should establish a complete moratorium on the further development of nuclear energy. It must encourage the widest possible debate on nuclear energy and show respect for the growing voices of democratic dissent, instead of resorting to the cheapest forms of chauvinism and maligning its own people.

Justice BG Kolse-Patil, Mumbai

Prashant Bhushan, New Delhi

PM Bhargava, Scientist, Hyderabad

Admiral L. Ramdas, Alibag

Lalita Ramdas, Alibag

Meher Engineer, Kolkata

Rohan D’Souza, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Asit Das, Researcher and Activist, New Delhi

P K Sundaram, Researcher, New Delhi

Sunil, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, MP

Vaishali Patil, Activist, Konkan (Maharashtra)

Praful Bidwai, Journalist, New Delhi

Achin Vanaik, New Delhi

Sumit Chakravarthy, Editor, Mainstream Weekly

Anil Chaudhary, Indian National Social Action Forum (INSAF)

Neeraj Jain, Lokayat, Pune

Soumya Dutta, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha

Nagraj Adve, Delhi Platform, New Delhi

Vijayan MJ, Delhi Forum, New Delhi

Vinuta Gopal, Greenpeace India, Bangalore

Karuna Raina, Greenpeace India, New Delhi

Bauddhaditya, Delhi University

Priyanka Singh, Samata, New Delhi

Yashwir Arya, Azadi Bachao Andolan,

Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizen’s Web

Rajendra Sharma, Hisar, Haryana

Ankur Jaisawal, Journalist, New Delhi

Joe Athilay, New Delhi

Arun Bidani, Delhi Platform, New Delhi

Bhupendra Singh Raut, NAPM

Amit Tharayath Vergese, Delhi Forum,New Delhi

Seela M Mahapatra, Delhi Solidarity Group, New Delhi

Tarini Manchanda, New Delhi

Faking Happiness- Spoof Ad Competition


In today’s times when much of media is sold out to corporates, the only voices that show the truth of malpractices of various mining giants are a few activists and documentary filmmakers. Vedanta‘s strategy to organize a film competition on their ‘community initiatives’ is such a fool proof masking of their real face. By organizing such a film competition and sponsoring 114 students from top media and film schools in the country including FTII, Whistling Woods, Symbiosis, School of Convergence, MGR FTI, IIMC, Assam University, Xavier’s, Christ University, AAFT, ZIMA, Tezpur University, IP College and Ravenshaw to produce films on itself…Vedanta knows how to make opinions about itself and how to control the ‘could be’ voices of future.

With jury panel consisting of Shyam Benegal and Gul Panag , who have withdraWn now , the jury only has piyush pandey .Rhanks to kractivism that the ONLY FTII entry in teh comteition ahs withdrawn after the open letter letter to participants was circulated

Objective- This campiagn is to UNMASK the TRUE FACE of corporates, which they tend to hide beautifully through their rCSR AD FILMS fool people, while on one hand they indulge in human rights violations on other hand they glorify their peice meal appraoch of CSR criminal corporations using these feel good advts, need to eb EXPOSED, and that what precisely the ” faking happiness’ campaign intends to do

You see an AD Print, Video which you feel is blatantly lying about their work and using it as an image building method, you make a spoof of that ad and send to us at

fakinghappinessindia@gmail.com

CATEGORIES
1.BILLBORADS
2.PRINT ADS
4 AD FILMS
5.ANY OTHER CATEGORY 🙂

YOUR LAST DATE FOR SUBMISSION IS 4TH MARCH NIGHT — AND THEN VOTING WILL START ON MARCH 8TH GO ON TILL MARCH 20TH AND RESULTS ANNOUNCED ON MARCH 21ST 2012

COME ON FRIENDS LETS KRACK THIS TOGETHER AND COME UP WITH SOME GREAT SPOOF ADS.

pl share widely and get more entries

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Soni Sori’s- Letter to her Lawyer – Feb 23rd ( Audio Hindi and English)


सुप्रीम कोर्ट न्यायलय वकील सर जी के नाम पर खत (२३/०२/२०१२)

वकील सर रायपुर रखने के बजाय हमें दिल्ली में रखना था, रायपुर आने के बाद मेरी परेशानियां बढते ही जा रहा है| मुझे अब तक दवाई की उपलब्ध नहीं किया | दर्द की तकलीफ को व्यक्त करते हुए बताती हूँ तो कहते हैं तुम प्रशासन तौर से आई हो और नक्सली महिला कहकर लिखित देकर मानसिक तनाव दिया जाता है| मुझे दवाई नहीं दिया जा रहा है जिससे मेरा अंदरूनी दर्द बढते जा रहा है| ये सब बाते न्यायालय स्थानीय कोर्ट में भी कहा था न्यायालय भी मेरी समस्या को हल करने के बजाय ये कहकर टाल दिया दिया कि तुम्हारा केस सुप्रीम कोर्ट न्यायालय में चल रहा है| जो कुछ भी करेगा सुप्रीम कोर्ट न्यायालय करेगा| वकील सर हमे पूरा विश्वास है कि सुप्रीम कोर्ट न्यायालय अत्याचार से पीड़ित महिला का न्याय अवश्य करेगा| पर कुछ तकलीफों को स्थनीय कोर्ट न्यायालय भी तो कर सकता है| लेकिन नहीं जान बुझकर सभी लोग हमें परेशान करके रखना चाहते हैं| पहले भी कहा था अब भी कह रही हूँ| मैं सुरक्षित नहीं हूँ ना ही महसूस कर सकती हूँ| मुझपर बहुत ही अन्याय कर रहे हैं| ये लोग हमे जीने नहीं देंगे| ये तो निश्चित है कि एक न एक दिन हमे मरना ही है| थोडा बहुत जीवन बचा है अपने बच्चों के नजदीक रहना चाहती हूँ| ताकि बच्चों से बीच-बीच में मिल सकू ! ये जीवन का क्या भरोसा कब क्या हो जाये इसलिय जगदलपुर वापस करवाइएगा

वकील सर| आप मानो या ना मानो छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार हमे मौत देगी ही! क्योंकि मैं जिस स्थिति से गुजर रही हूँ , मैं ही जानती हूँ| काश हम दिल्ली में रहकर लड़ते तो बिल्कुल सुरक्षित रहते| ये सब आदिवासियों के भाग्य में कहाँ| हम आदिवासियों के नसीब में तो अत्याचार जुल्म सहकर मरना है मरना जरूरी है| हम आदिवासी सरकार के लिये एक ऐसी विजनेस हैं| जितना हम आदिवासियों पर छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार शोषण जुल्म अत्याचार प्रताड़ना महिलाओं पर बलात्कार बेरहमी के साथ नंगा करेगा उतना ही सरकार फायदे में रहेगा| ये सबके लिये ही करोड़ो-अरबों रूपये आते हैं| वकील सर यदि ये सब खत्म होने पर शांति आने पर सरकार में बैठे नेता लोग रोड पर भीख मांगते नजर आयेंगे इसलिये ये सब खत्म करने के बजाय बढ़ावा दे रहे हैं बढा रहे हैं| ऐसी स्थिति में हम जैसे लोगों को कैसे सरकार जिन्दा रख सकती है|

वकील सर मुझपर मेरे अपने आदिवासी भाई-बहन, पिता पर बहुत अधिक अन्याय हो रहा है देख रही हूँ सह रही हूँ| ये सब अत्याचार पर सोचने के लिये ऐसा कदम उठाने के लिये छत्तीसगढ़ सरकार ने हमे मजबूर कर दिया जिससे अब हम भूख हड़ताल कर रहे हैं| जेल में हो या न्यायालय हो या सरकार प्रशासन, हम आदिवासियों की तकलीफों को क्यों नहीं समझता ? वकील सर मेरी इलाज की बात होती है तो इलाज हम दिल्ली में करवाएंगे| क्योंकि पिछले बार जो तकलीफ उठाये हैं वो बार-बार हम नही उठा सकते इससे अच्छा इलाज ना ही हो| पिछले बार इलाज के नाम पर मानसिक तनाव से ग्रस्त किये थे| रायपुर में तडप-तडपकर मरने के लिये ना छोड़ें एक बार आपलोग हमसे मिलने आइयेगा| दीदी और कोई प्लीज सर हम मिलना चाहते हैं| हम इस जगह पर रह नहीं सकते| स्थान्तरण हो|
स्व हस्ताक्षरित
प्रार्थी
श्रीमती सोनी (सोढ़ी)

Audio Soni Sori Letter in Hindi


Letter to Supreme Court Advocate Sir
Advocate sir,
I should have been kept in Delhi instead of Raipur. My troubles have increased ever since I was moved to Raipur. I have not even been provided with medicines. When I express my complaint of pain, they tell me that I have come through the administration, and they call me and write me down as a “Naxalite” woman, and this puts me under a lot of mental stress. I am not given my medicines, due to which my internal pains have been increasing. I have told the local court all this, but instead of solving my problem, the local court is avoiding it by saying that since my case is with the Supreme Court, whatever will be done here will be done by the Supreme Court.
Sir, I have complete faith that the Supreme Court will bring justice to a woman who has suffered torture. However, the local courts also have the ability to resolve some problems. But no! All of these people deliberately want to give me trouble. I am not safe here – I can feel that I am unsafe. I am suffering grave injustice and these people will not let me live. It is certain that I have to die some day or the other. Whatever little life I have left, I want to be close to my children, so that I can meet them from time to time. How can one trust this life – who knows what will happen next? So please get me moved back to Jagdalpur.
Sir, whether you believe it or not, the Chhattisgarh government will definitely award me with death. Only I know what I am undergoing. If only I could have stayed in Delhi while fighting this out, I would have been completely safe. But such is not the fate of adivasis! We, adivasis, are only fated to suffer atrocities and die; dying is necessary. We, adivasis, are a business for the government. The more the Chhattisgarh government will exploit us, oppress us, commit atrocities against us, torture us, rape our women, mercilessly strip us naked, the more the government will profit. It is for this reason alone that tens of billions of rupees come. Sir, if all this ends and there is peace, then the leaders who are now in the government will be seen begging on the streets. This is why, instead of ending this, they are encouraging this, enlarging this. In such a situation, how can the government let our people live?
Advocate sir, there is a lot of injustice happening to me, to my adivasi brother, sister, father… I am seeing this, I am suffering this. The Chhattisgarh government is forcing us to think about all these atrocities, into taking these steps, which is why I am now on a hunger strike. Whether inside the jail, or before the court – why does the government/ administration not listen to the problems of us adivasis? Sir, there is talk of my medical treatment – I want my medical treatment to be conducted in Delhi. The problems I have faced last time – I cannot bear them again and again. Rather, it would be better not to have any treatment at all. Last time, I was put under so much mental tension at the pretext of being given treatment. Please do not leave me to suffer and die in Raipur – please come to meet me once. I want to meet didi or someone else. I cannot stay in this place any longer. Please get me transferred.
Applicant
Smt. Soni Sori

Audio Soni Sori Letter in English

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