A Tale of Two Countries — Part 2

An Admirable Evasion of Whore-master Man

I believe that a person is at his most pathetic when he makes excuses for his failures and justifies them saying that they are primarily due to circumstances beyond his control. It is not merely an abdication of responsibility but what is worse, it precludes the possibility of corrective behavior. If it was not his fault, there’s no reason for him to change. He believes that when circumstances change, he will not fail.
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An Irish Joke, and a Seriously Cute Little Irish Girl

A tweet by @indianalltheway reminded me of this Irish joke from a while back. Some of my closest friends are Irish. What we — Bongs and Irish — have in common is our love for a good ‘addaa’. Over a glass of whiskey (not whisky, which is Scottish), we can sit for hours talking our heads off and telling jokes. Here’s an old favorite Irish joke.
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Pakistan Has Nothing to Fear from India

I never thought I would live to see the day when I would say that Manmohan Singh has spoken a truth. (Do ponder the paradoxical nature of that statement.) But right at the top of page 2 of this report in the NYTimes, it quotes “India’s Defense Secretary” (I did not know India had defense secretaries) Pradeep Kumar quoting Manmohan Singh as saying “Pakistan has nothing to fear.” What he means is that Pakistan has nothing to fear from India. Under the careful ministrations of the UPA-led Indian government, Pakistan can rest assured that it has nothing to fear from India.
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Creating New Vote Banks

It’s been a while since I contributed to “The Indian National Interest Review: Pragati.” I had to write a piece. I didn’t want the editor, Mr Nitin Pai, to get mad at me. It’s always best to be on his right side. Never get the press angry, is what I always say. Now if you know me, you know that it takes me forever to write anything. At the very mention of writing, I feel a writer’s block coming on. Writing is the hardest thing I try. But anyway, I dusted off the old keyboard, put on my thinking cap and pondered market failures, government failures, and what can be done about them. Here it is for the record.

(Click on image for a PDF copy of the issue.)
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We Just Don’t Care

I recall getting woken up by a call from India one morning — Mrs Indira Gandhi had been assassinated. I felt bad even though I had absolutely no respect for her. But on second thoughts, she played Dr Frankenstein, and like him, she too died (indirectly) at the hands of the monster — Bhindranwale — she created. Karma. It catches up eventually.
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A Tale of Two Countries

Singapore and India. Here are some numbers. In 1965, the exchange rate between Singaporean dollar and US$ was 3 (that is 3 S$ = 1 US$). By 2009, S$ had appreciate to 1.45 — more than doubling in value relative to the US$. How did India do? Against the US$ it went from 4 Rs to the US$ to 48 Rs per US$. In other words, relative to the US$, the Indian rupee dropped to one-twelfth its value during the same period that the S$ appreciated against the US$. What a contrast.
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Why I’m a Field-nigger and Manmohan Singh is Not

I should apologize for being a lazy bum. Otherwise I would have responded sooner to some of the comments that need a response to my post “Arundhati Roy is a Damn Nuisance.” Anyhow, better late than never. So, first, a note of thanks to those who left the thoughtful comments. I am glad that you took the time. Next comes the more interesting part of replying to the negative comments.
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