thecatapult.in is a new blog focusing on the matters concerning the Indian national interests, strategy and the affairs of the State.
The First Post today is about the Chinese side war gaming a scenario on the Tibetan plateau and the border with India in case of a (planned?!) steady deterioriation of relations leading to war with India after the conclusion of the Beijing Olympics.
Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw (April 3, 1914- June 27, 2008 ) who engineered one of India’s greatest victories on the battlefield in a thousand and half years during the 1971 war is no more.He passed away at the military hospital at Wellington in the early hours of June 27, 2008 after battling an acute illness. He was 94.
His other greatest moment was when he swiftly took charge of the situation when the morale of the country had taken a drastic beating with the defeat of its forces at the hands of the Chinese in NEFA in 1962 and when everyone expected the fall of Assam to the Chinese PLA any moment.
His response “There will be no withdrawal without written orders and these orders shall never be issued” energised the Armed forces and the nation to stand tall against a deceitful enemy. The stuff that legends are made of.
A sandwich can Kill You
Reporter: This is not a military post. Rather, it is a fast-food restaurant in the southern suburb of Beirut. The name of the restaurant and its appearance make all the people passing by stop, but the dishes it serves are bound to make people stay longer Kalashnikov, RPG, Dragunov, Viper, B52 are all examples of these dishes.
Yousef Ibrahim, restaurant owner: I felt this was a good idea. It attracts customers in an unconventional way. I noticed that the moment I opened the place, there was a lot of business. Despite the militaristic concept, whoever looks at the menu starts laughing. My goal was to make people laugh before they ask me: “Why weapons?” If I gave the sandwiches regular names, everything would be plain.
Reporter: High-quality bread is used in Western dishes, but what might “terrorist bread” be?
Yousef Ibrahim: “Terrorist bread” is like a large pita bread, which is made in a special way. Since we, in the Middle East, are at the hub of terrorism, we decided to serve “terrorist bread.”
Reporter: The restaurant’s slogan is “A sandwich might kill you,” because, as the owner says, its dishes are outstanding both in size and in taste. We chose the RPG sandwich – that is, chicken skewers – for lunch. How does it taste? Even though it has the name of a medium-range weapon, it is still nothing but a sandwich.
Shri N.Ram, the toast of China’s communist clique
Shri N.Ram, the well-known Editor-in-Chief of “The Hindu” of Chennai, has been the toast of China for an article purported to have beenwritten by him refuting the allegations levelled by the Dalai Lama and his supporters regarding the events of March in Lhasa . The Chineseauthorities have been gratified by what they see as his vigorous articulation of the version of the events as put out by them.
2. A report on Shri Ram’s article disseminated by the State-owned Hsinhua news agency of China is annexed. It is learnt that this has beentranslated into the Tibetan and Uighur languages and copies distributed in all the monasteries and educational institutions in theTibetan-inhabited areas of China. It has also been made required reading in the patriotic re-education classess for Tibetans being organisedby the Chinese authorities.In the meanwhile, the Chinese authorities have reduced the duration of the stay of the Olympic Torch in Tibetfrom three to one day. The torch will be in Lhasa on June 21 instead of June 19.
3. The dissemination of Shri Ram’s article is unlikely to have any impact on the Tibetans and Uighurs. Nor will it have much of an impact oninternational opinion on the recent events in Tibet because Shri Ram’s policy of “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil” with regard toChina is well known right across the world.His popularity in China is confined to the Chinese ruling circles.
4.After writing this article, I showed this to a number of Indian friends. While a majority agreed that this deserved to be written anddisseminated, some asked why do this since it could reflect on the credibility of a great institution of Chennai.
5. After carefully considering their advice, I concluded that this needed to be written in the interest of the Indian people and the lovablepeople of Tibet. It will be moral cowardice to remain silent when the Editor of a highly respected paper of Chennai uses his access to itscolumns to demonise the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans just as Beijing is in the habit of doing.
6. As you move around Chennai, you see thousands of advertisements inviting you to buy “The Hindu”. When you see those advertisements,think of Shri Ram and his writings in support of the Chinese and in demonisation of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans and ask yourself thequestion:” Does such a newspaper deserve my continued support?”. The choice is yours.[link]
Remember Indrajal Comics, Amar Chitra katha, Chandamama, Chacha Chaudary, and Tinkle? Their characters Phantom, Mandrake, Flash Gordon, Bahadur, Shikari Shambu, Suppandi and many others used to rule the roost in the Kids entertainment section before the advent of Cable TV in the 1990s. Now there are a dime a dozen cartoon channels running 24/7 to keep the kids occupied. but back then these were the ones alongwith Superman, Batman, Disney(Donald duck and his nephews, Mickey mouse, goofy, pluto…), and some others. I used to have a big store of them but then over time they were all either given away, lost or tattered beyond recognition.Wish i had held onto them because today these have supposedly become collector’s items. and atleast some of them like ACK and Tinkle seem to be getting a modern makeover for a return.
What I—and hundreds of others like me—are in search of is a brand that was once a household name in comics. Indrajal. Aka the adventures of Mandrake the Magician, Phantom—the Ghost Who Walks, sci-fi hero Flash Gordon and homegrown citizen cop Bahadur. Characters that held kids in thrall for decades.
The kids—generations of them—have now grown up, and the comics have long gone out of print. But the magic that Phantom and Co exercised on their adolescent imaginations continues. Today, an assortment of adults—most veering dangerously towards middle and old age—continue to seek out Indrajal comics from raddi shops in every city. “The craze for Indrajals is keener among the older bunch,” says Deepak, a bookseller at Matunga, adding smugly that the comics always sell “at a premium”. And evidently there’s no dearth of takers; “Whenever someone sells a bunch, it gets picked up in a day or two.”
Among the Indrajal lovers—a motley bunch of executives, housewives, scientists, journalists, civil servants and the like, who are part of offline and online comic-book communities—is 45-year-old Delhi-based Vineeth Abraham, a section officer with the Indian government. Abraham, who collects other comics as well (he has about 6,000), has almost all the 800-odd issues of Indrajal and some 600 Phantom comics published by Frew (Australia). Dr P C Sarkar, another fan with a background that screams gravitas—he’s a scientist with the central government—also hunts down comics religiously. Says he in his blog: “When the publishing houses stopped these publications, readers became collectors, and suddenly the value of these discarded comics shot up. Now E-Bay India is full of these comics, selling at atrocious prices. Some smart chaps have also scanned the comics and sell them in CDs. From a buyer’s market, it has become a seller’s market.”[link]
Some fan clubs online- Indrajal Comics Club, The Comic Project
Mozilla is planning a BIG splash for its Firefox 3 on June 17th by attempting a Guinness world record of the largest number of downloads in a single day for any software. Nobody has yet said what is the current world record. but anyway it is a great opportunity to be a footnote in some obscure page of one of the most famous books in history.so go ahead and make a pledge right here.
Firefox Super tuesday
A very apt comic to show the relationship between the Congress President and the Prime Minister.
China’s New Found “Openness”
Besides Tibet, two other important stories to watch while gauging Beijing’s newly discovered bent for openness and transparency are closely tied to the disaster in Sichuan. The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has launched a probe into the disproportionately large number of schoolchildren who were killed when their schools collapsed on them while other nearby buildings withstood the shock of the quake. If shoddy construction was involved, officials have vowed to punish those responsible.
Angry, grieving parents who have lost children are screaming for justice, but an honest and full investigation could lead to high places in Communist Party officialdom in the province. Its seems likely that so-called “tofu” construction was commonplace in the building of schools and that private contractors colluded with government officials to skimp on essential materials such as steel and concrete and pocket the savings. If these corrupt officials are truly brought to book for their malfeasance, that would be a major breakthrough in the country’s battle against graft. But beware the scapegoat: this investigation could turn out like a lot of others – punishing a few for the widespread practice of many.
The same is true of the central government’s pledge that all local and foreign donations to quake victims, which have surpassed 40 billion yuan (US$5.8 billion), will be strictly accounted for. This promise comes after numerous reports on the Internet of donated goods intended for quake victims winding up on sale in shops or in the possession of people not affected by the quake. Venal officials are allegedly selling items such as tents and rice by the truckload. If this is true, how many of these culprits, the latest symbols of China’s endemic corruption, will pay for their crimes?
Finally, of course, there are the Olympic Games and the 30,000 foreign reporters who will descend on the country to cover not just the athletes but also anything else of interest they can find. They will want to interview ordinary citizens and ask Chinese leaders tough questions about corruption and democratic reform. They have been promised great freedom. Let’s see if Beijing can deliver on that promise.
In the end, however, it will not be until the grand Olympic stage is packed away and the eyes of the world have turned elsewhere that any clear sense of China’s future as a budding civil society will become clear. [link]