Saturday, February 27

Hindu Nationalism in UK and the VHP

This was a very curious paper that I read. It was even more curious, because just a day before I got this paper, I read this note which was published in Outlook. I have to admit that I am in some sympathy with the views of Roover, but how it is taught in the west is something that I find a bit strange. At the very least, I would have expected some reasonable facsimile and similarity in the ways it is taught compared to Judaism, Christianity, etc., but this is specially in the USA, much less in the UK. I have personally had several experiences of this. Anybody saying anything good about Hinduism or its philosophy or any thing like that is almost automatically considered to be a raving Hindutva casteist rage boy. I have seen this happen far too many times. I strongly suggest you read that article and here’s a quote:

In one sense, then, the picture for students of India is even grimmer than the one Tripathi sketches. In another sense, there is hope, because times of turbulence also hold the potential for intellectual change. As students of India, we will have to take seriously the growing discontent among Hindus about the ways in which their traditions have been depicted. Some of this is inspired by an attempt to sanitise the Hindu traditions according to the model of Islam and Christianity and the prudishness of middle-class morality. However, other strands express a deep sense of grievance towards the secularist hegemony and the academic allergy to Hinduism. As long as reasonable and well-educated minds do not address these grievances, Hindu nationalism will be able to tap into the growing anger among Hindus and manipulate this to its own benefit. To address such problems, one needs to work towards a climate of intellectual freedom that has too long been absent from the study of India.

So while I am quite interested to read about the scholarship that is done about Hinduism and India, I am not 100% sure about the academy. Do not get me wrong, I think the Hindutva chaps are a bunch of goons themselves and they come up with serious stinkers. In any case, they and their bunch of merry men are most certainly against academic freedom (witness the cases against the beef book, etc. etc., read my friend’s book on this issue. I can't say much more than this, as I think I am biased in favour of Salil’s book.

Usually my net scraper for the “Hinduism” keyword throws up very few scholarly alerts but this article piqued my interest. The author is assessing the role of Hindu nationalism in the development of Hindu identity in Britain. And to do that, he delves into the VHP UK organisation. After some 10-15 pages, I am not very sure where he ends up. This is the abstract:

This paper assesses the role of Hindu nationalism in the development of Hindu identity in Britain. Some accounts argue that the authoritarian network of Hindu nationalist organisations apparent in India is reproduced in Diaspora contexts, especially in the west. The paper argues that this degree of organisational intentionality is not always borne out by evidence in the UK. Although Hindu nationalist organisations have achieved some success in establishing their presence, in national arenas they frequently give way to umbrella organisations such as the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) and the Hindu Council UK (HCUK). The paper argues that Hindu nationalist organisations nevertheless operate vigorously in multilocal contexts, fuelling a 'Hindutva effect' which has a broader ideological influence. The paper examines some of the positions taken by the HFB and HCUK to demonstrate how this influence is played out in national arenas, before reflecting more broadly on the implications of these dynamics for the development of diaspora identities.

There was one event that the VHP organised 20 years ago, but since then, it has been remarkably quiescent. Their website is basic, its members aren't represented in the organisations which deal with civil society, etc. So he talks about all this and then says that the VHP is a serious organisation spreading a nebulous underground version of Hindutva. He called the VHP arranged sammelan as a tamasha. That was a cheap shot frankly, not worthy.

Then the chap starts talking about conversion. And I am seriously surprised that the author does not understand the importance of conversion to a Hindu. I mean, isn't this obvious? We are talking about a religious identity, and a factor which goes directly against this identity and reduces it will be considered to be a threat. So when the Hindu elders in the UK were raising their concerns about Muslim gangs converting Hindu (and Sikh) girls, the British Police considered that as a legitimate problem. But the author thinks that this objection to conversion is an expression of Hindu Nationalistic thought. Erm, no!

Then furthermore, he goes forward and says that this is a subterranean inflection towards Hindutva. I totally disagree. This is going to the core of a Hindu’s identity and it has no political leanings at all. So I am not sure where he is getting the subterranean bit from or where he is seeing Hindutva. It's like seeing a commie under every bed.

The next result that he finds is that to protect against the threat of conversion, one has to “wake up” Hindu Unity. This apparently demonstrates the presence of Hindu nationalist ideology. Again, this is a massive over reading into the word “wake up”. If I say that we need to do jagran, then it is the same. It is making visible, bringing up, to awaken, to rise up. Obviously he doesn't link this to Swami Vivekananda who said, “Arise, Awake! And stop not until the goal is reached”. Or how about his poem? I quote:

The Song of the Sannyasin

Wake up the note! the song that had its birth
Far off, where worldly taint could never reach
In mountain caves and glades of forest deep,
Whose calm no sigh for lust or wealth or fame
Could ever dare to break; where rolled the stream
Of knowledge, truth, and bliss that follows both.
Sing high that note, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
Strike off thy fetters! Bonds that bind thee down,
Of shining gold or darker, baser ore;
Love, hate; good, bad; and all the dual throng,
Know, slave is slave, caressed or whipped, not free
For fetters, though of gold, are not less strong to bind;
Then off with them, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
Let darkness go! the will-o’-the-wisp that leads
With blinking light to pile more gloom on gloom.
This thirst for life, for ever quench; it drags
From birth to death, and death to birth, the soul
He conquers all who conquers self. Know this
And never yield, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
‘Who sows must reap,’ they say, ‘and cause must bring
The sure effect; good, good; bad, bad; and none
Escape the law. But whoso wears a form
Must wear the chain.’ Too true; but far beyond
Both name and form is Atman, ever free.
Know thou art That, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
They know not truth who dream such vacant dreams
As father, mother, children, wife and friend.
The sexless Self! whose father He? whose child?
Whose friend, whose foe is He who is but One?
The Self is all in all, none else exists;
And thou art That, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
There is but One – The Free, The Knower – Self!
Without a name, without a form or stain.
In him is Maya, dreaming all this dream.
The Witness, He appears as nature, soul.
Know thou art That, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
Where seekest thou? That freedom, friend, this world
Nor that can give. In books and temples vain
Thy search. Thine only is that hand that holds
The rope that drags thee on. Then cease lament,
Let go thy hold, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
Say, ‘Peace to all: From me no danger be
To aught that lives. In those that dwell on high,
In those that lowly creep, I am the Self in all.
All life both here and there, do I renounce,
All heavens and earths and hells, all hopes and fears.’
Thus cut thy bonds, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
Heed then no more how body lives or goes,
Its task is done. Let Karma float it down;
Let one put garlands on, another kick
This frame; say naught. No praise or blame can be
Where praiser praised, and blamer blamed are one.
Thus be thou calm, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
Truth never comes where lust and fame and greed
Of gain reside. No man who thinks of woman
As his wife can ever perfect be;
Nor he who owns the least of things, nor he
Whom anger chains, can ever pass thro’ Maya’s gates.
So give these up, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
Have thou no home. What home can hold thee, friend?
The sky thy roof, the grass thy bed; and food
What chance may bring, well cooked or ill, judge not.
No food or drink can taint that noble Self
Which knows itself. Like rolling river free
Thou ever be, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
Few only know the truth. The rest will hate
And laugh at thee, great one; but pay no heed.
Go thou, the free, from place to place, and help
Them out of darkness, Maya’s veil. Without
The fear of pain or search for pleasure, go
Beyond them both, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
Thus, day by day, till Karma’s powers spent,
Release the soul for ever. No more is birth,
Nor I, nor thou, nor God, nor man. The ‘I’
Has All become, the All is ‘I’ and Bliss.
Know thou art That, Sannyasin bold! Say –
    ‘Om tat sat, Om!’
— Swami Vivekananda

Composed at Thousand Island Park, New York, July 1895.

I mean, if just the term “waking up” got him so excited, I wonder what he will do with the song of the Sanyasin? Will he consider Swamiji as a raving Hindutva militant revolutionary? He also says that the 1993 Global Vision 2000 conference in Washington DC was “ostensibly” a centenary celebration of Vivekananda’s visit to the USA, but he thinks this was a key moment in the development of the US Hindu nationalist movement. But he does that without any follow-up explanation, and we are supposed to swallow it.

In other words, the author simply does not prove that Hindu identity is nationalism at all and even lesser are the links to the VHP. There might well be Hindutva effects, but he does not consider the other factor which in many ways is more powerful than the Hindu identity factor. This is the linguistic/cultural factor. Hindus in the UK are more defined by their Asian Gujerati or Punjabi background or their Indian background, rather than something that is a broad based tent. For example, there is a shed load of professional (doctors, accountants, nurses, technology professionals, etc.) Indians who have come over directly from India who do not belong to any of these groupings of Punjabi or Gujerati chaps.

So no, I am not impressed with the forced identification by the author. There is no such thing as an overarching British Hindu identity. The Hindu organisations in the UK are primarily religious and cultural, and very rarely do they step into the political area and for the author to try to attribute Hindutva to this society is simply not borne out by the facts that he quotes. The people on the left and in the academy must realise that they really cannot go about publishing pap like this. Like the climate science academic research imbroglio brewing, their reputation is suffering significantly.

Ad for 'reliable workers' banned as discrimination

I couldn't believe this.

The boss of a British recruitment firm said she was told she could not place an advertisement for ''reliable workers'' at the local Jobcenter because it discriminated against unreliable people.

Nicole Mamo, 48, wanted to post an ad for a low-paying domestic cleaner on her local Jobcentre Plus website. The text of the ad ended by stating that applicants for the post '"must be very reliable and hard-working."

But when Mamo called the Jobcentre the following day, she was told that her ad would not be displayed in the store. A Jobcentre worker claimed that the word ''reliable'' meant they could be sued for discriminating against unreliable workers.

This is unbelievable that somebody was stupid enough to actually think that…

Friday, February 26

The strange case of Jazak Allah

I find it very amusing when I see Indian’s start off with this Jazak Allah and Allah Hafiz business. We speak Urdu back home but to show that they are more Arab than Indian, this Jazak Allah business is getting more and more popular. Dont they realise how pretentious they sound? This Pakistani op-ed reflects how silly this is:

Like most urban middle class folks these days, a friend of mine too has a habit of using the term Inshallah (God willing) a lot. So one day I asked him why is almost every sentence uttered by my fellow Pakistanis punctuated with an Inshallah?

His reply was the usual: “So? What is wrong with using Inshallah?”

“Absolutely nothing,” I said. “In fact I sometimes use it myself. But why do some of us use it constantly? Will things not happen the way we want them to if we don’t use it?”

“Perhaps,” he said.

“Then this means God didn’t will them to happen, right?” I asked.

“But, of course,” my friend replied.

“But maybe we too had something to do with them not happening?” I suggested.

“We can give it our best shot. The final decision is with God,” he said.

“But then what happens to the whole concept of free will?” I asked. “Hasn’t God given us the physical and intellectual faculties to carve out our own destiny?”

“What’s your point?” He asked.
“Doesn’t using Inshallah so often make it lose its meaning?” I asked.

“Like how?” he inquired.

“For example,” I explained, “A friend of mine ordered some pizza yesterday. When he asked the pizza delivery guy how long it will take for him to deliver the pizza, the guy answered, ‘in forty minutes Inshallah!”

“Well,” he smiled. “There’s really no harm in it.”

“But why involve God in the simple matter of delivering a pizza, for heaven’s sake!” I laughed.
“So, how did your friend respond?” he asked.

“He was pretty peeved. So he responded by shouting Jazzak Allah!” I laughed again.

“That’s nice of him,” he said. “One should always say Jazzak Allah instead of thank you.”

“Really?” I said with a sideways smile. “There is an Urdu word for thank you as well. It’s called, ‘shukria’. If you remember, the national language is Urdu and not Arabic!”

“Listen,” he responded, “If someone wants to say Jazzak Allah instead of thank you, what’s the big deal?”

“True,” I said. “Just like there’s no big deal if somebody wants to say thank you instead of shukria, or shukria instead of Jazzak Allah.”

My friend shook his head: “What’s with you and your dislike of Arabic?”

“I never said that, did I?” I protested. “All I am saying is that most Pakistanis are forgetting that Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Sariki, Balochi and Pushtu are our languages and not Arabic! What’s this new fetish with folks trying to make us all spout Arabic words? How does this make us better Muslims?”

“But you do not have a problem with using English words!” He retorted.

“Dude, I’m not sending emails and a barrage of SMS text messages asking people to become secular by using English words!” I replied.

“What do you mean?” He said.

“Oh, come on, you know what I mean,” I said. “People sending text messages and emails telling Muslims to become better Muslims by saying ‘Allah Hafiz’ instead of ‘Khuda Hafiz;’ ‘Jazzak Allah’ instead of ‘thank you;’ ‘salat’ instead of namaz.’. What’s more, what is this other new idea of shouting Alhamdulillah instead of answering with a simple ‘yes’ or a ‘haan?”

“Chalo jee, now you have a problem with that too,” my friend chuckled.

“Of course, I do,” I said. “Sometimes I feel one can now hear more Urdu on the streets of Dubai than in the drawing-rooms of Pakistan!”

“Stop exaggerating!” He protested.

“No, really,” I explained, “How has using Arabic words made our society any better? Also, now more Pakistanis go to the mosque than before, how has that made things any better?”

“This is your old argument,” my friend said, in a shrugging tone. “So what should one do? Stop going to the mosque?

“No,” I said. “But you must admit it is a valid argument.”

“Fine, but that is because we are still not following true Islam!” he explained.

“Oh?” I replied. “And who decides what true Islam is?”

“God will decide!” He announced, rhetorically.

“Doesn’t seem that way in this country, though,” I said. “It seems every other middle-class person, young or old, has become an expert religious adviser. They sound as if they are saying something profound but in reality they are only spouting clichéd traditionalist tirades that they hear from televangelists or what they read on various Internet websites!”

“You’re being judgmental,” my friend claimed.

“Judgmental?” I retorted. “Dude, have you ever heard your born-again Jazzak Allah brigade? Forget infidels, they do not hesitate in calling some of their fellow Muslims atheists and kafir as well.”

“I know,” my friend replied. “They are misled.”

“So, this means only misled people say Inshallah, Jazzak Allah and Alhamdullilah?” I smiled.

“Don’t twist my words,” he protested.

“I won’t, but only if this pseudo-Arabic brigade stops asking Pakistanis to twist their tongues in pursuit of bagging God’s approval. It’s downright bizarre hearing some perfectly sane Pakistanis talking as if they’re from Yemen!” I said, exasperated.

“Well, using ‘dude’ and ‘mate’ is as weird,” he said.

“Sure,” I smiled. “But I promise you, mate, there’s no divine approval attached to it.”

Wednesday, February 24

The Robin Hood Tax is a crock of brown organic matter

Look at the website.  See the main statement:

This tax on banks – not you or I - has the power to raise hundreds of billions every year. It could give a vital boost to the NHS, our schools, and the fight against child poverty in the UK – as well as tackling  poverty and climate change around the world.

Let's unpack this, shall we? And in the interests of disclosure, I am a banker and I am talking about this in my personal capacity, nothing to do with my current or past employers.

This tax on banks, not you and I. Banks obviously live on another planet. So that taxes on banks have no impact on you and I. Here’s the first example that the authors don't know their head from their toes. Banks are intermediaries between you and I, who place deposits and it is you and I, who take loans to purchase a house or buy a pension. When you place a tax on the intermediary, you are reducing the interest rate that I get paid as a saver and increase the interest rate that I have to pay to get a house. See the economic illiteracy of not understanding how basic financial and economics work?

Secondly, why are they claiming to have big power to raise hundreds of billions every year? I mean, that is a silly statement, Why not raise trillions by imposing 100% tax on all earnings? You will raise even more. What’s the point of this silly statement?

Thirdly, give a vital boost to the National Health Service. Very good. Why? What happened to the taxes that you already levy on us? Is that not enough? Obviously it is not enough. So why don't you boost that tax? Oh!!!!!, let me see if I understand. You do not like to boost income tax, because somebody might get pissed off enough to fly the plane into the tax building or throw out the blood sucking people out of government. There is a word for this, Stealth Tax.

Fourthly, haven't you realised that the UK public sector is already showing a debt of 56% of the GDP and could reach 93% in 4 years? Instead of taxing more, shouldn't you be thinking about reducing spending? How about the fact that more than 2/3rds of the 1.2 million extra jobs created in the UK cities were in public administration, education and health. Don't you think this is a tad top heavy? And then you want to impose a tax on savers, job creators and intermediaries to increase the number of jobs even more? Same thing applies to school funding. Oh, fight against child poverty!

Then they obviously throw in poverty and climate change as well. I think they missed out making apple pies for pensioners, helping lollipop ladies with better shiny vests and feeding nuts to squirrels!!!

And this is a highly regressive tax, which will proportionally impact the poor even more than the rich. For example, if this applies to all financial transactions, then a poor man will have to pay 1 pound in tax (for example) for every 10 quid he withdraws, versus say a 100 quid for a richer man who withdraws 1000 quid. When you are faced with the choice of eating beans on toast, then that 1 pound makes more of an impact than the 100 quid when you are eating caviar and drinking champagne. So this tax is actually going to exacerbate poverty.

Finally, if you say that taxes help improve behaviour of the banks, then why don't we start imposing taxes on government departments who do not perform? How about imposing taxes on train companies whose trains are late? How about charities who spend more than say 5% on administration and marketing? Talking about charities. Here is a list of charities who have signed up to this interesting idea. Charities are supposed to rely on the philanthropy of ordinary people. They rely on the good nature of people who contribute towards society. But this bunch of charities are asking for forcible contributions. In other words, they are demanding, under force of law, for everybody to contribute to them. This is theft!

Robin Hood, after all, was a thief and a robber. And for all his noble efforts, his thefts effectively lead to the authorities actually increasing the amount of taxes levied on the common man. In this particular case, if you increase the level of taxes, then you are in effect increasing the public sector and then you will need more taxes to support them in the end, leading to the public sector taxing itself to spend on itself, a snake eating its own tail.

Also look at the list, quite a lot of unions are in there, and most of them are public sector unions. Hmmm, very good indeed, I like the way you want me as a taxpayer to give you more money so that you can have more employees. And the churches got into the act as well, thank you for robbing us! Robin Hood also robbed the public authorities and churches who were grasping, thieving, robbing clerics. It’s nice to see that they haven't changed a wee bit. So I like how confused they are by saying that they are like Robin Hood, when they are exactly like the enemies of Robin Hood. How about charities also paying tax then on their earnings? Oh? What you get are gifts, unlike us money grabbing taxpayers who get our money after squeezing just whom? We earn our money and you are asking the government to tax us and then you will come to us again for more money. Money grubbing and theft combined with chutzpah and hypocrisy.

Then they say this is only going to be applied to speculative banking transactions. Just how they will define speculative is unclear. Will this involve people who take out mortgages for buy to let? Or how about me taking out money from my bank account to buy shares? How about taking out money from my bank account to speculate on horses? No? Yes? What?

This really bugged me. I dont mind paying taxes because we get services in return. But to go about actively proposing taxes without making the case for it reminds me of the Boston Tea Party. And when people think that they are being unfairly taxed, they start protesting or committing suicide bombing terrorism. So here we have a campaign, they dont know what it is for, they dont know what previous tax amounts were used for, they dont know how it will be applied, they dont know what the implications will be, they dont know who will get charged, but everybody is having a big song and dance about it.

Books that influenced you as a teenager

While chatting with some friends, I asked about the list of books which they read which made a big impact on them while they were teenagers. I have one myself and thought of collecting the suggestions so that people are take a view and I can also read the ones which I missed. Thanks to all who helped :)

Here’s the list, do comment if I have missed out on anything. Seems like we do have most if not all books at home, so eldest cost centre has some reading to do. But when I asked him, he seems to have gone through about 30% of them. Lets see what he says…

    • Agony and ecstasy, Irving Stone
    • The Gita,
    • Alistair MacLean’s entire lot.
    • PG Wodehouse's entire lot,
    • Giovanni guareschi Don Camilo books
    • Ayn Rand’s lot
    • Dale Carnegie's 2 books on public speaking and influencing people,
    • Leon Uris’s Exodus and other books of his.
    • Discworld (Terry Pratchett). 
    • "The catcher in the rye",
    • "The lord of the rings". 
    • Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole series
    • Jules Verne,
    • Alexander Dumas
    • Dickens.
    • Carl Sagan's "Cosmos". 
    • Bill Bryson's "A short history of nearly everything". 
    • Isaac Asimov's books, or at least the Foundation series. 
    • Frank Herbert's "Dune" and "Dune Messiah".
    • Waldo_ by Heinlein
    • Dogs of the Captain_ by Max Brand.
    • The Tao of Physics
    • The Bourne Identity,
    • Illuminatus trilogy
    • Several books by Harold Robbins, notably _Dreams Die First_ and _A Stone for Danny Fisher
    • Osho,
    • Bible,
    • Ramcharitmanas & Mahabharata
    • Jeffrey Archers’s lot,
    • Sidney Sheldon,
    • Louis l'amour
    • Sudden (Oliver strange)
    • Poirot
    • games people play
    • Shakespeare
    • Frederick Forsyth
    • Tintin and Asterix
    • Irwing Wallace
    • Roald Dahl
    • Sherlock Holmes
    • Advise & Consent by Allen Drury
    • Lord of the Flies
    • Tao of Physics
    • Discovery of India
    • Things fall Apart
    • Sandman
    • R.K Narayanan's The Guide
    • The old man and the sea
    • A Clockwork Orange
    • Metamorphosis
    • Ponniyin Selvan
    • Madame Bovary
    • A lot of Saki,
    • O. Henry
    • Adventure series by Willard Price.
    • Trainspotting
    • Catch 22
    • John Grisham's lot
    • Lady Chatterley's lover
    • Watchmen
    • Midnight's children
    • Dr Zhivago
    • Grapes of wrath
    • Tagore’s work
    • Camus, The Stranger
    • Upamanyu Chatterjee, English August
    • Saki
    • Maupassant short stories
    • Satyajit Ray’s book
    • Three Investigators series by Alfred Hitchcock.
    • Mrityunjay by Shivaji Sawant
    • Little Women by Louisa Alcott
    • Chandrakanta
    • Count of Monte cristo, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Catcher in the Rye, To kill a mocking bird

Update: 24/2, 1700 hours (from Girish)

George Orwell: Animal Farm
Desmond Morris: The Naked Ape
Germaine Greer: The Female Eunuch
Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot
Sylvia Plath: Collected Poems
T.S.Eliot: Collected Poems 1909-1935
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: 100 years of solitude Stephen Jay Gould: Ever Since Darwin
Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil
James Joyce: Dubliners
Karl Marx: Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
D.D.Kosambi: Introduction to the Study of Indian History Milan Kundera: The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Abhinavagupta: Abhinavabharati

From Dickon

I would add Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine, Raymond Smullyan's What is the Name of this Book, Aleghieri's Divine Comedy, Richard Bach's Illusions, Gleick's Chaos, Alvin Toffler's The Third Wave, almost any non-fiction Asimov, all of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, Carlos Casteñeda, Pirsig's Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Mythical Man-Month, Codd's database books, Kurt Vonnegut's oeuvre (but he'd hate that word!) and quite a few others besides!

Update: 24/2: 2000 hours (From Nila)

Flannery O'Connor and Faulkner for landscape, Mailer for shock value, Garcia Marquez for the headiness of magical realism (before magical realism became a bad word), a whole slew of SF and hard science writers for the ideas, Bibhutibhushan and Manto closer to home for different views of the human condition. There were so many writers --Heller, Salinger, Burroughs--who made me go, "You can do *that*? It's allowed?" And perhaps that's what I was looking for most as a teen.

Tuesday, February 23

Bankers in favour of paying global fee

This is interesting. I quote:

Some of the world’s most prominent bankers have come out in favour of a global bank wind-down fund, a concession from the industry after weeks of fighting proposals for new taxes in the US and Europe. Josef Ackermann, chief executive of Deutsche Bank, told the Financial Times on Friday : “To help solve the too-big-to-fail problem I’m advocating a European rescue and resolution fund for banks. Of course, the capital for this fund would have to come from banks to a large degree.” Bob Diamond, president of Barclays , also supported the idea of a global levy, which could see banks contribute tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars over a period of years.

hmmm, so instead of the tax payers paying for a failed bank in one fell swoop, they would pay for this over time. And this is good how? Where do you think this global fees/levies are going to come from? The inhabitants of Neptune? The levy/fees will be paid for by the bank customers on their financial products. Kindda confusing. oh! what a tangled web we weave when we practise to deceive..

Sunday, February 21

Taliban behead Sikh youths they kidnapped in Pakistan

Speaking to an old Sikh friend of mine here, he told me about this and that there seems to be some meetings arranged this week and some kind of protests
might happen in the UK.

Also, more worryingly, he said that this is going to push the Sikhs more into the BNP lap. Remember that the first Non White member of the BNP is going to be a Sikh. The Sikhs have a rather torrid history with the Muslims going back hundreds of years and more recently during Partition time. This isn't going to help at all.

I quote:

NEW DELHI: In what threatens to cast a shadow on the upcoming Indo-Pakistan talks scheduled for February 25, three Sikh youths were beheaded by the Taliban in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) region after they allegedly refused to convert to Islam. Their severed heads were dumped at a gurudwara in Peshawar.
The Sikh youths — identified as Jaspal Singh, Sarabjit Singh and Baronat Singh — had gone to realise the money owed to them by some people in the FATA region adjoining Afghanistan, when they were abducted by the Taliban militia. They were allegedly told by the Taliban to embrace Islam or face death. When the Sikh youth refused, their heads were chopped and sent to the Bhai Joga Singh Gurudwara in Peshawar.
A sizeable number of Sikhs lived in the tribal belt, particularly Aurakzai Agency, till the Taliban imposed jiziya or religious tax on them in 2009. Most members of the community, faced with increasing pressure from the Taliban to convert to Islam, have since fled to cities across Pakistan.

Hope some of the seniors try to calm the hot heads down, but another small brick through the window of coexistence.