Agnostic views & images I like

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Posts Tagged ‘India

This picture confirms my agnosticism about India’s economic future

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This picture of chaotic traffic in an Indian city says much of it for me.

The picture says it all. Not one city bus in sight! And the road looks hopelessly blocked. Indian cities = urban chaos!

Everyday I travel several kilometres thru streets in Dalian that seem busy but on the whole not chaotic. Bus fare is cheap and buses are very available offering a dependable service. They are not the most comfortable conveyance but 10 km trips are completed in less than 15 minutes. Cross city taxi rides don’t cost much (about $3CDN) and travel times are manageable. Dalian is a second tier city in China and has a viable infrastructure with good in-city transportation, plentiful drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity and rental housing.

From what I read not even the best organized city in India can offer a viable city infrastructure and the country doesn’t seem to have the kind of government that can deliver it in any foreseeable future. This is not the picture of an emerging world class economy!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/06/16 at 21:30

Phallic symbols in Bhutan

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Bhutan shares borders with India and China.

The image below is clear evidence that Asia offers many cultural variants that would be considered gross and completely immodest in Western cultures and maybe even in China.

Check out this link to learn how and why Bhutanese use phallic symbols to “protect” their homes.

Here is an image that is clear evidence of the use of phallic symbols on outside walls of family homes in Bhutan:

Yes, the caption says that the phallic symbols “welcome visitors” to Bhutanese homes. Is it the Himalayan mountain air that affects them?

I wonder how phallus symbols fit with use of the left and right facing svastika in Eastern cultures. No doubt politically correct fanatics will deplore these “far out” symbols but those are Western values and in this global world all symbology should have equal visibility and cultural treatment. That is my humble opinion!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/01/08 at 17:34

I have said it here and elsewhere!

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Sheila Dikshit Chief Minister of Delhi India
Image via Wikipedia

India is a ramshackle country. It is run by the very rich for their own purposes and as far as the rest of India is concerned let them be damned. If you have any doubt about that extreme statement. consider this latest headline:

New Delhi apartment collapse kills 61

30 still believed buried in rubble

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | 12:21 AM ET Comments12Recommend11

The Associated Press

Police and rescuers raced Tuesday to pull survivors from the debris of a four-storey apartment building that collapsed in a congested neighborhood in New Delhi, killing at least 61 people and injuring scores of others.

The 15-year-old building housing about 200 people — mostly migrant workers and their families — collapsed Monday evening into a mountain of concrete slabs, iron rods, bricks and mortar in New Delhi’s Lalita Park neighborhood.

About 30 people were believed still trapped under the rubble, said New Delhi’s top elected official, Sheila Dikshit, and emergency efforts were hampered because fire trucks had difficulty navigating the neighbourhood’s narrow alleyways.

At least 61 people were killed and 78 injured, said city police official Mohammed Akhlaq.

Read more:

It is evident that the only reason this building collapsed is that either the owner or the contractor cut corners and let the inhabitants of the building be damned!

How can India ever challenge China for economic position in the world as long as this kind of mindless incident can happen in the capital city of India.

This is just more evidence that democracy is not a panacea, nor is transparent government, or freedom of speech. A building collapse in a capital city with serious loss of life is a travesty and not democracy!

The existence of the Taj in India is just one more bit of evidence that India does not work very well as a country for its ordinary people. And Bollywood is just another travesty of human values! It means little in the scale of India humanity, slum dog millionaire or not!

I’ll vote for China vs. India every time!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/11/16 at 03:39

Martha Nussbaum about Liberal Arts in Korea and India

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Kuakata, Bangladesh.
Image via Wikipedia

Here’s an excerpt that I liked:

Meanwhile, Tagore’s songs, which became famous all over India (he’s the author of the national anthems of both India and Bangladesh), emphasize ideas of dissent and independence that resonate to this day. Here’s one that is especially beloved, and which embodies well the school’s spirit (it is even better with the music, of course, so I wish I could produce my colleague Dipesh Chakrabarty to perform it for you):

If no one answers your call, then walk on alone.

Walk alone, walk alone, walk on alone.

If no one says a thing, oh you unlucky soul,

If faces are turned away, if all go on fearing—

Then opening up your heart,

You speak up what’s on your mind, you speak up alone.

If they all turn back, oh you unlucky soul,

If, at the time of taking the deep dark path, no one cares—

Then the thorns that are on the way,

Oh you, trampling those with bloodied feet, you tramp on alone.

If a lamp no one shows, oh you unlucky soul,

If in a rainstorm on a dark night they bolt their doors—

Then in the flame of thunder

Lighting your own ribs, go on burning alone.

Think of young children growing up on that song, and you’ll see a spirit of dissent and challenge that strengthens the backbone of India’s democracy even to the present day.

I don’t feel that much more needs to be said!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/08/13 at 11:01

A lot of people admire him as a man of peace!

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So WTF is he doing raising hackles in Nepal!

Parsing Sino-Indian Tensions

I have an article up at Asia Times Online under the pen name Peter Lee entitledDalai Lama at apex of Sino-Indian tensions.

It’s keyed to a high profile news item–the Dalai Lama’s provocative visit to a border town in territory held by India but disputed by China–and a significant but rather underreported development–the escalating political struggle between pro-Chinese and pro-Indian political forces now reaching its climax in Nepal.

The Chinese themselves have said that the biggest irritant to Sino-Indian relations is the unresolved border dispute. To them, it’s more of an issue than economic competition, India’s growing integration into the U.S. South Asian security regime, or Indian unease at Beijing’s cozying up to Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Maldives at New Delhi’s expense and raising the specter of maritime encirclement.

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/11/10 at 05:21

An election in Canada is more than a year away

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Golden China
Image by The Stakhanovite Twins via Flickr

And here is the evidence:

Harper to visit India, China for 1st time

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | 2:35 PM ET Comments205Recommend50

CBC News

Once you think about it you realize how stupid this is. Our economy depends on foreign trade and we need new markets desperately and it takes Harper 3 yrs to get the gumption to visit China, where he is probably unwelcome, and India, where his visit will likely have little impact. Chinese Canadians will think “better late than never” while Indo Canadians will give a low level cheer!

This is for Canadian political optics and nothing else! It is sad when a PM has to do something he obviously didn’t want to or didn’t see the reason to do!


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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/10/29 at 05:18

Here’s why I’m giving serious consideration to a move to China

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I found this via HuffPo:

9 Signs of America in Decline


Image via WikipediaRick NewmanPosted: October 26, 2009

The sky isn’t falling, exactly. America isn’t on a fast track to irrelevance. Even in a state of total neglect, we could probably shamble along as a disheveled superpower for a few more decades.

But all empires end, and the warning signs of American decline seem to be blinking more consistently. In the latest annual “prosperity index” published by the Legatum Institute, a London-based research firm, the United States ranks as the ninth most prosperous country in the world. That’s five notches lower than last year, when America ranked No. 4. The drop might seem inconsequential, especially in the midst of a grueling recession—except that most of the world has endured the same recession, and other countries are bouncing back faster.

China and India have recovered smartly from the recession, for example. Brazil seems to be barreling ahead. Australia is growing faster than expected, prompting worry among government officials who fear they may have overstimulated the economy. The United States, meanwhile, is muddling through a weak, jobless recovery, and we have a lot of problems that could make prosperity feel elusive for a long time.

I still have the energy and interest to pursue business opportunities in China and I have had encouragement from my accountant and a respected business associate. My wife, who is Chinese from Dalian on the coast of the Yellow Sea, and I are having a good think about this.

We have lived there before and our financial fallback, my pension income paid in CDN $ looks pretty good at a conversion rate of $1 to 6.5 rmb, China’s currency. Rents for comfortable apts look ok, or about $700/month for a fully furnished 2 bedroom unit in a very good location in Dalian.

I am planning a move for next March or April.

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/10/26 at 16:23

In 1940 Hitler and Stalin were doing their very best to destroy Poland

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One of the mass graves at Katyn.
Image via Wikipedia

I just viewed Andreaj Wajda’s film about the Katyn Forest Massacre. This event characterized Stalin’s paranoid politics as no other event could. We have the basic human honesty of the Poles to thank for that. They seemed beaten down by Hitler, Stalin and their own Communist politicians, but they survived and now they are telling their stories.

This morning I read that the conflict in Kashmir has taken the lives of over 70,000 over the last 40+ years. The title of this post by Arundhati Roy, an Indian writer, is titled “Is Democracy melting?”

I can recall too many reminders that India is the oldest and largest democracy in the world that works! And there is little doubt that if you need to find evidence of how messy democracy can be, there is no better democracy than India’s.

In the dirty thirties and bloody forties of the 20th century it was all about Hitler and Stalin. Now there is a leaky virulent strain of political violence that nests very effectively in SE Asia.

SRINAGAR, INDIA - OCTOBER 6: Indian security f...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Wajda’s movie gave me the creeps with it’s forthright truth telling. The story revealed by Ms. Roy gives me the shivers, especially because so many new Canadians are from SE Asia. Will the virulent strain of political violence leak from Kashmir to India to Canada?

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/30 at 09:53

A few weeks ago I posted here about the aborting of India’s Moon shot

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Image via Wikipedia

But according to this report the mission was 95% successful even if it was aborted.

So if my posting may have implied a failed space program the latest indicates that India is very much in the space business for profit too. The lead is “India launches seven satellites”.

So much for too hasty premonitions about India and its high tech stuff. Reading the latest from does make me feel lightly abashed, blushing et al.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/24 at 08:00

A very public stumble in India’s Space Program

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The North Block, in New Delhi, houses key gove...
Image via Wikipedia

There is no denying that India is doing every thing it can to match China’s progress on the world stage including in Space. But India seems to have more than one problem in its Space Venture. Check this out.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/08/30 at 05:44