Sunday, December 23, 2012

Baby in the manger and homeless people: A Christmas Message - 15 years on

EDITORIAL –Fiji Daily Post – 24th December, 2000

Baby in the manger and homeless people: A Christmas Message- 15 years on

Below is Editorial that I wrote for Fiji’s Daily Post newspaper when I was its Publisher in 2000 after George Speight's attempted-coup and atrocities on Indo-Fijian displaced cane farmers encouraged by hatred preached and propagated by the then Methodist Church in Fiji from their pulpits. The Church in Fiji in 1987 and 2000 coups had been a source of shame on Christianity, as it involved itself in politics and spread message of hatred, religious superiority and bigotry. 

This year 2015 marks 15 years to that date. This period hold great significance for Hindus where Lord Ram, after 14 years in exile, returned to establish Ram Rajya- a rule and governance of righteousness. He fought the ogres and demons to establish peace, security, justice and respect for all. This has got metaphorical significance for Fiji.

Fiji is thankful to Frank Bainimarama, who after an attempt on his life, fought hard to establish a democratic government in Fiji, and this has now been achieved earlier last year. While there are things that needs improvements and some questionable actions, however, overall things have improved remarkably. One great step was to have a home-grown solution rather than an imported Western-style democracy that has failed Fiji in the past. Certain other restrictions, including media, seen by outside world as imposing are necessary for Fiji to establish and stabilize  its democracy under positive circumstances. While the current arrangements may not be perfect, they however, are a good deal better than the past methods that have been failures.

Thanks to current Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama for clipping the wings of both Methodist Church and a very divisive and questionable Great Council of Chiefs, which, instead of being an advisory body, had become very politicized under past Fijian regimes. Fiji hopefully faces better future under the newly-elected democratic government. We just hope we have wise men in the government to fulfill the hopes of a nation embroiled in coup-culture.

Below is that Editorial that was more relevant in 2000 but equally true for Christmas message and theme today. This is a reflection that Fiji has come a long way since 14 years of "banvaas" or democratic wilderness. But it is also important not to forget what we have come through, and be thankful for what we have today. As as usual, the whingers and mourners, who have been pushed out from the past gravy-train, will continue to complain. But Fiji has to move forward from its coup culture.

Three wise men
A BLAST FROM THE PAST: Daily Post editorial 15 years ago-24 December, 2000

Tomorrow  (25 December) we will celebrate what Christians regard as the birth of the Saviour, Lord Jesus Christ.

Apart from praising the lord and singing in His honour, Christmas is also a time for reflection.

Joseph and Mary were virtually homeless in Bethlehem, as all the inns were full. They had to seek refuge in a manger with animals. Just as Jesus did not become an animal or a horse by being delivered in a manger, similarly those Christians in Fiji who are born to Christian parents or in Christian homes do not simply become Christians. Christianity is more than an accident of birth and baptism. It is a way of life, manifested in your actions.

Baby Jesus in the manger with three wise men
Fiji has gone through a great deal in seven months after the attempted coup on 19 May, 2000 by george Speight. Tomorrow, or from midnight tonight as Churches throughout the country fill up with those who proclaim to be Christians to praise the lord, we wish to remind many of them about their behavior and conduct during the crisis facing the country.

How many of them can honestly emulate the goodwill, compassion, forgiveness and neighbourly love that Lord Jesus has been preaching as a simple person born in a manger to a carpenter father? Christianity is not about shouting at the top of your voices in loud speakers without trying to understand Christ and his teachings. Neither is it about causing misery to other people six days of the week only to come to Church on Sundays to ask for Lord’s forgiveness. 

Our reports in the papers give tear jerking situation of displaced farmers and other tenants who have nowhere to go or call a home. This Christmas they will be as homeless and in as hostile atmosphere as Mary and Joseph were on the day the Lord was born.
A displaced Indo-Fijian cane farmer wiping his tears in front of his burnt house during racially-inspired 2000 coup [Photo Courtesy of Rajendra Prasad, Author TEARS IN PARADISE-Suffering and Struggles of Indians in Fiji 1879-2004]
This Christmas as those who call themselves Christians pray to the lord, please reflect on the misery that you may have knowingly or inadvertently inflicted on others in the name of one cause or the other. Please also reflect whether your conduct has been a pride to the religion that was founded around a very simple person with no worldly possession whose biggest virtue was love for His fellow beings.

When one reflects on the recent events springing up from 1987 and repeated since May [2000] this year, one of the biggest casualties of those events have been Christianity and Churches which have not entirely been used as the medium to spread the Lord’s message. There has been immense loss of goodwill from people of other beliefs when the teachings and deeds and actions of their followers went in complete opposite directions.

 Another Indo Fijian victim of racially-inspired coup of 2000 supported by Christians, Methodist Church and Great Council of Chiefs.[Photo Courtesy of Rajendra Prasad, Author TEARS IN PARADISE-Suffering and Struggles of Indians in Fiji 1879-2004]
 The custodians and guardians of the Churches need to reflect on the actions of their flock and indulge in damage control to redeem the Churches and the religion from any wrongdoing.

Christianity is about behaving like Christians. Tomorrow when the Churches fill up, please spare a moment for the victims of hatred, envy and racism that have taken root in this country. Please pray to Lord to spare all of us from the evils that we have in us.

Hope love and respect preached by Christianity and Christmas theme is shared amongst us.

Only when the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ becomes a way of life for all those who call themselves Christians can we say that we are honestly in a position to merrily celebrate His birth and praise His glory.

May the blessings of lord shower on you this Christmas and may we all become better people through His teachings. Merry Christmas to you all.

[FIJI PUNDIT wishes all its readers a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year throughout the world, as we look forward to a better future with a democratically elected government. While not being perfect, it is a good recipe to unity, peace, progress and prosperity in Fiji.]

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cry, Beloved India- Rise Indians, Rise: Your women need protection

Where is my India?  Cry, Beloved India- Rise Indians, Rise: Your women need protection

We pray and revere lifeless Devi, Deity and Mata, yet rape and mistreat out living Goddesses-our women. Is mera Bharat Mahaan? (Is India really that great? If rapists become Members of Parliament, then law and justice are really blind.
Indian Gurus and Swamis visiting civilised and developed countries should go back home and spread message of respect for women in India FIRST. Has Hinduism failed Indian women? Sadhus and Swamis roaming world, collecting foreign dollars need to answer this.

All the Sadhus and Swamis roaming the developed world, collecting foreign dollars and teaching us about manners and god-fearing ways should go back to India and civilise Hindus in India first. We in developed countries have laws protecting our women. India does not have that. There have been accusations that in a military dictatorial Fiji, court system in is unfair. However, it still delivers justice swiftly. But the justice system in the largest democracy has become a laughing stock of the world. The supposed oldest civilisation in the world has to learn good manners, social justice and human rights from Anglo Saxon countries like USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia

Outrage in Delhi and India-wide against treatment of women  by men and law enforcement agencies, including a slow and corrupt justice system.

In the aftermath of gang-rape in New Delhi and ensuing eruption of smouldering volcano of protests, what came out loud and clear is that INDIAN JUSTICE SYSTEM HAS FAILED WOMEN, IS VERY JAUNDICED, SLOW-PACED AND MALE-CHAUVINISTIC. One protester carried a banner which said “Justice is dead” and how India treats is women substantiates this.
Are honest, conscious, loyal and non-corrupt police officers in India like Chulbul Pandey and Singham only limited to Bollywood screens?

Existing laws have failed to serve as a deterrent, coupled with questionable and slow-paced corrupt justice system, equally corrupt, unprofessional, ill-trained male-chauvinistic police force and corrupt elites and politicians who can buy justice, police and freedom from crime. It is a dying shame for a country which claims to be doing well economically, which treats half its population with such contempt. It appears the only honest policemen in India like Singham and Chulbul Pandey, exist only in Bollywood movies.

Are women safe in India?

Especially hypocritical is the fact that India has festivals, rituals and mythologies glorifying honour and power of women. The most powerful deities have been our Shakti Mata, and Durga, but only in stories and mythology. Hindus pray reverently to lifeless statues of Mata, Durga, and Shakti made of imported plastic and masonry made in China or Brazil. Yet we treat our living women in India with such contempt and indignity. It speaks volumes for Hindu religion, which theoretically respects women but really treat them like dirt. One twitter message read: A woman who has been raped has NOT lost her honour. A society that treats her as expendable is the one that's lost its honour

It is more important in India now to protect its women rather than tigers.

Another read: We can save the 1441 tigers later ... if we don't act fast ...there won’t even be those many Women Left in Delhi

This is a call on migrant Indian population in developed world with more civilised rules, regulations, norms and customs about treatment of women- USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Britain. Is it true that had it not been for British civilisation, the supposedly oldest civilization in the world would still be burning its widowed mothers, sisters and daughters of the pyre of their dead husbands?
They may or may not be doing that, but Indians in general and Hindus in particular (over 80% of India is Hindu) treat statues of Devis and female deities with respect and reverence, but rape and kill (many before birth) our living women. Fortunate Indian migrants and Diaspora in more civilised developed nations owe a duty of care to the unfortunate and oppressed women in Mother India

A call to hang rapist and faster closure of cases of rape and other crime against Indian women.

New Zealand is one of the “cleanest” and non-corrupt countries in the world, including Australia, USA and Canada. Our blind and misplaced nationalism and loyalty cannot replace the fact that today’s India is at the bottom of the ladder of “clean” countries. Hence as NRIs residing is such countries, we can work as pressure for change in India, even in a small ways. We owe an obligation in our fortunate positions to do this and raise voices against the rot in India so widely documented and unearthed by Indian media which tend to be more neutral and impartial than Indian media in NZ.  We NRIs – former Indians migrated to developed countries, normally pray in Diwali to deliver us from darkness into light, and praise truth. However, we appear to show silence, in fact tacit approval of the rot in our former home. This goes against the grain of Diwali message and Hinduism to deliver us from darkness to light.

Cry from Indian women from a heartless and ineffective justice system that has become a shame on the largest democracy on earth.

This is a call to all women organisations, Hindu organisations and all others migrated to developed world, which have been beating the slogan of “MERA BHARAT MAHAAN” to stand up and be counted. Join Indian revolution now initiated by brutal rape in Delhi, and call for better governance on treatment of women in India. Let the Indian High commissioners busy in cocktail circuits in your respective countries to carry the message to India that actions of Indians and its corrupt governance shame all People of Indian origin throughout the world. Economic prowess may be there, but as nation, India has failed to protect its women. It appears to be country without a heart.
Rise for your India, and cry, beloved India.

Protest against treatment of women is now reaching the seat of governments. Indians in civilised and developed countries need to have their objections heard by their motherland. Blind and jaundices slogan of Mera Bharat Mahaan now sounds hollow in light of the way Indian system treats its women.

[You will never read this in Indian media, especially in NZ, controlled and influenced by supposedly experienced, some veteran and ageing Indians, who censor any bad publicity about Bharat Mata, and act as spin doctors and public relations arms of Indian government]

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mera Bharat Mahaan? Thakur's "offending" Facebook Posting

Thakur Ranjit Singh: India Independence Facebook Posting and Hypocritical Indian leadership in Auckland

Birth of FIJI PUNDIT blogsite is directly attributable to my Facebook posting on India independence, telling of few home truths that angered some male-chauvinistic Indian leaders in Auckland and Indian Newslink’s Editor. They ganged up on me, apparently had an Indian lynch-mob after me and forced Waitakere Indian Association to sack me as its Vice President.

When on an overseas in USA in August, I was sickened by euphoria of Indians towards their 65th Independence, and wrote some truths about once proud nation. I wrote this posting from capital city of California, Sacramento and addressed to my friends only. That was seen by one of my ‘friends” at Aotea Centre in Auckland and spread like wildfire. In emotional frenzy, some Indian leaders lost all sense of reality. Blinded by misplaced loyalty for their former country, they always try to sweep rottenness, corruption and other vice under carpet and glorify business acumen, as if making money is all that matters for India as a nation and to Indians.

Some people may be wondering what Thakur wrote on his Facebook that triggered the wrath of Indian leaders.


“As every Indian man and his dog talk about India's Independence celebration on 15 August, we need to stand back, away from misnomer and misplaced tagging of "MERA BHARAT MAHAAN"[Our India is great] and reflect on our achievement as the largest democracy on earth. Tagged as the worst country in the world for a woman to live, with largest amount of black money hoarded in Swiss Banks, with most corrupt politicians and officials, with very lucrative businesses and businessmen worldwide, but bereft of human kindness that goes with it. As a business community we have done well, how about as human beings? Look as Olympic medal tally. China with the same population is in top 3 while India with a billion people HAS BECOME A LAUGHING STOCK. Do we still have corrupt officials like Kalamadi leading our sporting team? HOW IS OUR BHARAT MAHAAN? So this INDEPENDENCE DAY, bow your head and pray for a miracle to salvage the name of a once proud country, so once again we can say, we are proud to be an Indian. FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR ALL THOSE SUFFERING FROM OSTRICH SYNDROME. I am proud to be Fijian, and thank my grandfather for running away from India in 1915 for a new home in Fiji.”

Subsequent to the above posting, I was forced to apologise to Indian leaders in Auckland. These among other included Venkat Raman, Editor of Indian Newslink, Jeet Suchdev of Bhartiya Samaj, Balubhai Mistry of Manukau Indian Association, Sunny Kaushal, Labour party politician Vinod Patel of Hindu Council of New Zealand. I was defamed and misquoted in Indian Newslink by both its editor Venkat Raman and politician Sunny Kaushal.
Just a note, subsequent to my posting above, India has been suspended from International Olympic Committee. [Read FIJI PUNDIT:;postID=7654402821953823988 ]

In light of recent gang rape in Delhi, there is renewed awakening about mistreatment of women in India with protests spreading like wild fire in all states of India. The protest is against male chauvinistic justice system where rapists are neither caught, if caught, not punished and laws are so lopsided against women. As I write, there are nationwide protests in India where our mothers and daughters do not feel safe in buses. In fact there have been calls for death penalty for rapists and protests and awakening from this gang rape will hopefully deliver some respect for women from Indian males.

Fiji Pundit will carry further writings on this subject as New Zealand public may not get the true story from spin doctoring Indian media which endeavours to hide news on vice of India under the carpet. Or Indian leaders silence and bully people telling truth about India, as they did to me. No wonder we hardly have any Indian journalists or commentators, writing without fear or favour, as Rajendra Prasad and yours truly do.

[I suspect many Indian leaders do not correctly comprehend what the phrase “every man and his dog” means]

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Little India and Ethnic Enclaves in Auckland?

Do Indian migrants to New Zealand wish to create Little India and ethnic enclaves in their adopted country?

Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust, run by Jeet Suchdev had a vision of BUILDING SEPARATE culturally appropriate rest homes for Indians. I personally was and am against this idea of separatism and creating of Little India in New Zealand when the government and Department of Ethnic Affairs are promoting integration and oneness.

Jeet Suchdev, head of Bhartiya Charitable Trust and person behind culturally appropriate separate facilities for Indians (Photo:Thakur Ranjit Singh)

I attended the inaugurating meeting held at Mt Albert War Memorial Hall earlier this year. One of the ardent supporters of this separate development is Vinod Kumar, Chairman of Hindu Council of NZ and proprietor of Mega Mitre 10. He spoke in favour of such a development.

I spoke against the idea of SEPARATE BUILDING AND DEVELOPMENT BASED ON RACE.  I am not against the idea; I am against separate racial development. I said:

There is NO need to build special homes for Indians-there are already existing ones which could have a wing which is culturally and socially appropriate and sensitive. That is exactly what Waitakere Indian Association was negotiating with the then Waitakere City Council.  Indians should stop creating ETHNIC ENCLAVES in NZ. If they want to create Little India in NZ, they should have stayed back in India. If all 200 or so ethnicities in NZ start building their own socially/culturally appropriate facilities, then what is the use of migrating to New Zealand? WE NEED TO INTEGRATE.”  

It appears Indians and ardent supporters of this project regarded Thakur as anti-Indian and rejected my suggestion. Now there appears to be a change of heart and THEY ARE DOING EXACTLY WHAT I HAD RECOMMENDED. They are going to have a wing of an existing facility for Indians. This is what came in Jeet Suchdev’s announcement on Facebook.

“First Culturally Appropriate Rest Home for South Asian Communities.
It is an historic moment for the South Asian Communities in New Zealand, wherein a dream to deliver a culturally appropriate rest home for the community elders is being fulfilled. On Thursday, November 29 2012, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Bupa Care Services and Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust to move forward with delivering culturally appropriate care for the elders of the South Asian Communities. Bupa has joined hands with Bhartiya Samaj to cater to the culturally appropriate needs of the community by allocating a separate wing within its David Lange Care Home Facility. This new wing would be named as “Aashirwad (Blessings)”, after the dream project initiative of Bhartiya Samaj.”

So you have it there. Beating the drums of Bhartiya Samaj. I must commend Jeet Suchdev for his efforts in having culturally sensitive facilities. However, these should be wings in existing homes, as has been done now. I however will always be against SEPARATE DEVELOPMENT FOR INDIANS ONLY. India is a good place for that- not Aotearoa - we want integration and living together, as all our festivals teach and enhance.

Indians may disregard and discount my views, coming from a non-Indian. I may be classed as a non-Indian by Indian leaders in Auckland who think Thakur Ranjit Singh, (whose Grandfather Bansi was from Karouli Rajasthan, India) is not a “real” Indian because he is a Fijian.

However, Indians cannot disregard the views of a distinguished Indian academic, journalist and commentator Dev Nadkarni. At the fourth Hindu Congress in Manukau on 12 May, 2012, he said the following on the gap between mainstream and Indian Media during media and information part of the seminar:

Dev Nadkarni, Indian Academic, Journalist, Media Commentator and founding Editor of Indian Weekender:Having made a conscious voluntary choice to make NZ their home why do ethnic groups want to create cultural ghettos?(Photo:Thakur Ranjit Singh)

 “Every once in a while, Indian community leaders announce some programme with tags like cultural appropriateness. Culturally appropriate this and culturally appropriate that. Every time we do that we reinforce the insularity stereotype in the mainstream.

Having made a conscious voluntary choice to make NZ their home why do ethnic groups want to create cultural ghettos? Why not look at expanding their cultural offering into the mainstream instead? After all, the political systems here as well as the politicians are open to change and inclusiveness and diversity. Why not try to merge first rather than create a separate system while reaping the benefits of the mainstream system. 

And many of these leaders move mountains campaigning for the queen's awards to add after their names. Queen's awards! How culturally appropriate is that! It's also interesting to see many leaders sporting queen’s medals when they are making republic day speeches... But that's a different story. “

Very well and truly said, Dev Nadkarni. But NO INDIAN MEDIA IN AUCKLAND WILL PUBLISH THIS. This is because Indians, Indian media and Indian journalist are beaten into submission by Indian lynch mob which attacks anybody who speaks any truth that is supposed to bring disrepute to a community. To this day, yours truly, Thakur Ranjit Singh remains suspended as vice president of Waitakere Indian Association, at insistence of this lynch mob, for bringing “disrepute” to Indian community (whatever that means) by saying truth about India, its corruption and treatment of women. Seeing that Indian media had become lapdogs which abdicated its role as a community watchdog, being too near the business, community leaders and politicians through whom they gain their advertising dollars, a watchdog had to come along.

This blogsite, FIJI PUNDIT is a result of that suppression. Keep on reading Fiji Pundit for stories and thoughts the lapdog media will never bark.

[Endnote: Jeet Suchdev and Bhartiya Samaj have removed me as friend from Facebook because of issues I raised about attempts at creation of ethnic enclave and Little India in Auckland. So much for transparency]

Monday, December 17, 2012



It appears the worst is over but as I write this at 10am Fiji/NZ time on Tuesday 18 December, 2012, we still have to hear the full news from areas in Ba and other parts of Fiji.

But as already categorised, Cyclone Evans appears to be the worst one, in ferocity of wind power, to strike Fiji for last 20 years. Hence, we expect damage to be worst.


Fiji has been nice and kind to us that is our motherland. Our parents were born there and married, we were born, many married, and that place has ashes and graves of our forbears. So we share in Fiji’s bad fortune.
I request all Fijian/Indian Associations, Sanatan Sabhas, Ramayan Mandalis, Fiji Associations and other associations having Fijians as member – OUR COUNTRY NEEDS OUR HELP.

Please pitch in, get organised and start collecting funds. I know Sacramento, Modesto, Hayward, San Francisco, Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and other cities in North America have well-organised Fijians with Ramayan Mandalis, Sanatans, social and soccer clubs and other organisation, with very big and generous heart for our motherland. There are people from Sangam, Muslim League, Sai organisations and many others who are well geared to help.

In case of North America, because of distance, it is more feasible for organisations to collect funds and either send to your schools, your affected village, locality and people you know and trust or coordinate collection so that a group of people can travel to Fiji and buy item there and distribute personally to those affected. I know there are leaders out there in community, generous and ready to help. I must commend a team from Surrey, Canada that I know visited Fiji and distributed items earlier this year.

For those in Australia and New Zealand, because of proximity to Fiji and less than a week for ship to reach Fiji, non-perishable food items could be sent, or await what are really and urgently needed. Media organisations can take a lead role in coordinating these efforts. Radio stations and Fiji-oriented newspapers can also help. David Lingham from Canadian Fiji Sun Times at Surrey, Kishore Gokul at Sanatan Sandesh in Sacramento, Jack Reddy at USA Fiji Times in San Francisco, Umesh Chandra at Brisbane Indian Times in Brisbane, Jatish Pooran at Radio Brisvaani in Brisbane, Anoop Kumar at Navtarang in Sydney, Pundit Hemant Vimal Sharma at Fiji Association in Melbourne and other community leaders in Indo- –Fijian Diaspora spread around the world. I Know former Ba Labour MP, Satendra Singh has just started his newspaper Jai Fiji in Calgary, Canada and he will be able to coordinate the efforts in Calgary and Edmonton area.

Vuda, Lautoka

I am sure you will all gear to start raising funds or collecting things to send to Fiji. However, we still have to wait and see. In New Zealand, we have many organisations and competing media which will try to outdo each other in helping out - and that is helpful as well.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Narendra Modi - Gujarat’s response to challenge of climate change

Narendra Modi - Gujarat’s response to challenge of climate change: Book review.

Is Modi destined to be future PM of India? I had stated in my Facebook posting during last Independence Day on 15 August, 2012, that we needed to bow our heads in prayers that God of nations may send a messiah and saviour who could pull India out of chasm of corruption and other evils enveloping the once proud nation. Is Narendra Modi the answer to those prayers?
Narendra Modi -Future Prime Minister of India? Many believe that their prayers may be answered.

THE PICTURE and perception that the Western world and its media have painted of Indian politicians is uneducated and excessively corrupt individuals who manipulate the system to hang on to power. Narendra Modi’s Convenient Action removes this myth and reveals a politician in a different light. That is why many Indians believe this Chief Minister of Gujarat is destined to be a future Prime Minister of India.

This book, while documenting Gujarat’s proactive action in multi-dimensional initiatives towards climate change, is also intended as an invitation by Modi to scholars, researchers, scientists, leaders and policy planners to visit his Gujarat. He invites them to experience and feel the impact and challenges them to measure and judge Gujarat’s initiatives against any yardsticks of scientific and analytical scrutiny.

Modi:Author of  Convenient Action - Gujarat's Response To Challenges Of Climate Change- an educated and intelligent leader.

Those who frown on certain Eastern religions as falling under paganism need to see how religion is conveniently used as a vehicle to promote good husbandry and forestry practices while providing for ‘water temples’ and preserving mangroves.

The book outlines simple examples of commonsense rules to preserve power and natural resources through CNG and solar energy and rescheduling office hours to spread the loads on electricity demands. Innovation in transport system, use of gas and wind can help a great deal in reducing what we call carbon footprint.

The book is a documentation of eight years of initiatives and innovations undertaken by Gujarat state under the leadership of Narendra Modi.  Among others, Academia, NGOs and media have been targeted for capacity building exercise. Media have been gainfully utilised to enhance communication capabilities to inform and empower. Being a pioneer in establishing a separate Department of Climate Change, Modi administration has been successful in developing public participation and public awareness through effective use of media and communication channels.

Modi- Jai Hind

Such practices are intended to contribute to the adaptation and mitigation of Climate Change. In fact Modi believes the Gujarat model could serve as an example to decision makers across all political spectrum if there was strong political will to fight climate change and leave the world a better place for coming generations. The message Modi intends to pass to the developed and developing world is that the divide between political cycle and carbon cycle could be filled by firm determination and resolute will.

That is how it has been done in Gujarat. This is must reading for those interested in preserving our world for future generations from the impact of global warming through simple, commonsense actions.

Book Review: Convenient action: Gujarat’s response to challenges of climate change, by Narendra Modi. New Delhi: Macmillan Publishers India Ltd. 2011, 234 pages,
ISBN 10: 0230-331920

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hobsonville Tornado and disaster: A pictorial perceptive

Hobsonville Tornado and disaster: A pictorial 


Section of Hobsonville Road that was blocked by fallen trees, since been cleared.

Our sympathies are with families who have lost their loved ones.

The concrete slabs that fell on the truck, killing two people.. See the sheer size, and imagine the force of wind.
School site and general development of the area.

As somebody who lives in West Auckland and daily drive by the disaster zone via Hobsonville Road , I wish to bring better perspectives to others who are guessing the site of accident/deaths and the a general area of disaster.

Map showing site location, school site, road closure, police cordon and Upper Harbour Bridge

Yesterday, 6th December, the date of disaster, parts of Hobsonville Road
 and Motorway 18 (Upper Harbour Motorway) and bridge were closed because of blockage by fallen trees and other debris.  People reached Hobsonville from North Shore via Coatsville - Riverhead Highway.

Cleared and trimmed branches of trees at Hobsonville, near Upper Harbour Bridge that had blocked the motorway on 6th December, 2012.
Upper Harbour Bridge that had to be closed near Squadron  Drive on- ramp because of branches and other debris

The site where two accidental deaths happened was at the new school building site where concrete slabs fell on a truck where the deceased were taking shelter from the storm.

Uprooted tree-trunk and damaged fence at Hobsonville point construction site.

Stories of disaster are well covered in the media. I attempt to bring some pictorial perspectives. Police cordoned off access to the building site at Hobsonville Road entries to Wallingford Way, Carnegie Crescent and Clark Road, which are access to the construction site. This is Hobsonville Road from the other end from Westgate

[All photos by Thakur Ranjit Singh]

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How dirty politicking shamed India: Suspension from Olympics

How dirty politicking shamed India: Suspension from Olympics

Thakur Ranjit Singh was punished by Auckland Indian community for a Facebook posting, among others, about India’s performance in Olympics  and other truths about corruption in India that shame Indian Diaspora. Now the truth is out

This is the extract of my famous or infamous facebook posting on India’s Independence that riled the Indian community, which, assisted by Indian Newslink, formed a lynch mob to scalp Thakur. They said, how dare Thakur, not a real Indian    say such things about Mother India, Bharat mata, They went on to curtail my human rights, freedom of speech and I was suspended on pressure by Indians as Vice President of Waitakere Indian Association.
Below is an extract of what I wrote on 15 August, 2012 on Facebook on India’s Olympic failures:

As a business community we have done well, how about as human beings? Look as Olympic medal tally. China with the same population is in top 3 while India with a billion people HAS BECOME A LAUGHING STOCK. Do we still have corrupt officials like Kalmadi leading our sporting team? HOW IS OUR BHARAT MAHAAN?

NZ Sports at Yahoo reported the following:

LAUSANNE (AFP) - India has had its rights suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because of its stance of electing tainted officials it was announced after a meeting of the IOC Executive Board here on Tuesday.
Suspension of their IOC rights means India will not receive IOC funding and its officials would be banned from attending Olympic meetings and events.
India's athletes would also be barred from competing in the Olympics under the national flag, although the IOC could allow some to take part under the Olympic flag.
The suspension comes amid an ongoing row between the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the IOC over the election procedure for top posts in the national organisation due to be held on Wednesday.
A New Delhi court directed the faction-ridden IOA to hold the vote according to the government's sports code but the IOC wanted it to abide by the Olympic charter that favours autonomy and prompted its action on Tuesday.

Suresh KalmadiCommonwealth Games Organising Committee's Secretary General  and President of IOA, who brought international shame to Indian Diaspora first through Commonwealth Games and now through IOA. Is that the best India has to offer?
Meanwhile, Times of India reported the following:

NEW DELHI: Sports became the unfortunate loser in this battle for power, the fight to control the country's top sports body, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The violation of the Olympic charter in the IOA elections may be perceived as the reason for IOC's extreme step, but the developments in the run-up to the December 5 IOA elections showed that it could not be the only reason.

When the IOC's ethics commission wrote a letter suggesting that the IOA president Suresh Kalmadi, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee's secretary general Lalit Bhanot and former Badminton Association of India President VK Verma should be suspended from the Olympic movement, one thought good sense would prevail.

Suddenly, Kalmadi pulled out of the IOA elections, making the national contest an open one for the first time in 16 years. This is when ugly politicking began' which finally ended in the suspension of the country from the Olympic movement on Tuesday.

The elections became a pitched battle between Kalmadi and his long-time IOA associate, secretary general Randhir Singh, who now wanted the top-most post. Kalmadi, sources said, was not happy with the fact that he got the flak for the Commonwealth Games scam and even went to jail but Randhir walked away without any taint.

I have a question for Indians representing the group that wanted me punished for speaking truth about corruption, black money in Swiss banks and shameful treatment of women: do they support such vices in India?

It is time for Indian leadership to do some soul-searching about the stigma of corrupt people that Indian politicians and officials bestow to Indian Diaspora. With such international corruption and poor governance records, how can you blame Kiwis if they start looking us, Indian and People of Indian Origin migrants with suspicion and doubt?

You be the judge whether Thakur was wrong in speaking truth about India? How long will Indian media and leadership sweep such shameful actions under the carpet?

Venkat Raman, Sunny Kaushal, Vinod Patel, Jeet Suchdev, Ahmed Bhamji, Sunil Chandra and Balubhai Mistry, among others, who headed the Indian lynch mob on me , need to do some soul-searching.