Thursday, March 22, 2012

Comment on LTTE and some other general comments

Precedent or "You got what you deserved": There is much consternation on Government of India's stance to vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHCR. While the vote led to an alignment of interests between human rights-peddlers of the free world and India, it comes amidst the drama of the U-turn on the "13th amendment and beyond" (Linky). Any Indian in his/her rightful mind would not argue twice when the Government of India takes the onus to speak the same forked tongue that statesmen from abroad indulge in, innit?!

Hero-ization of SL for putting down the LTTE: There is a dramatic heroization of the Government of Sri Lanka's efforts in defeating the LTTE militarily. Needless to say, while this was a great showcase for military pursuit against an unconventional status-quoist enemy, this was not an extreme exception by any means. In India, we have put down unconventional rebels with considerable venom over the years: Khalistani terror, Mizo National Front, etc. come to the forefront right away. As the border has been sealed, even J&K is slowly but considerably steadily moving to being a zone of peace where even borderline human rights violations get the short shrift of the people these days. Even as we speak, UPDS, ATTF and NLFT are in the long process of being coerced and socially and politically co-opted into accepting the path of democracy while a long-drawn battle on the NSCN-IM is unfolding at a politically glacial pace, but not so glacial for the counter-terror industry.

Further to speak, all this hero-ization business will fall by the wayside with the introduction of one silly statistic (see Footnote 1) from counter-terror literature: from 1970 to 1997, 74.72% of the world's terrorist groups lasted less than 1 year, 14.77% lasted between 1 and 5 years, 4.62% between 6 and 10 years, an equal 4.62% between 11 and 20 years and only 1.26% over 20 years. In other words, only 1 in 100 terrorist groups lasted longer than a generation and around 3 in 4 fell within a year. While that statistic can be read either way depending on your choice, it just speaks enormous amounts on how the writ of the State shall eventually prevail no matter what. Lo and behold, a terrorist group does indeed win "freedom", it has to morph overnight into becoming a legitimate Government (as happened in East Timor) and put the house in order. In other words, there are no permanent terrorist groups in the world, only permanent strifes in one form or the other.

More to speak, Sri Lanka does nt fit within the theme of one of the most deadliest places on earth even when the LTTE ran amok liberally in the North and East of Sri Lanka. That distinction goes to Latin America as FARC, Shining Path (or Sendero Luminoso as they called themselves), ELN, FMLN and other leftist inspired groups ran riot. The glory days of FARC and Shining Path are long since gone as Project Colombia has put down the narco industry quite badly. Even ETA and IRA were far more deadlier than LTTE and needless to say, both have been put down more or less. All this makes this dramatic hero-ization of the valor of the Sri Lankan army a moot point in some vague sense. Sure, many a soldier must have died valorously for his country and homeland, but to make it a tale of the day might be a theme for the naive.

Elsewhere, hockey group in the Olympics: India is clubbed with Germany, Netherlands, South Korea (the winner in the second leg of the qualifiers), New Zealand and Belgium at the London Games. Of these five matches, three are not-so-bad at all. Despite the high ranking of some of these opponents, wins should be the normative course against New Zealand, Belgium and South Korea. A draw against Germany should take us through to the semi-finals. Of course, for the Indian team conjuring up a draw or a defeat in the last minute is also not so abnormal, so take that bad omen with a punch of rum and salt!

Exasperated, but then what else is anew? Elsewhere, the developmental squad sent to Pakistan is loaded with players from one or two regions yet again. This time it is the turn of Coorg/Karnataka and Punjab. While some of the members in that squad are well entitled to even be in the National team, some are just baggages or rather unproven commodities with a big claim to a big-ticket exposure trip. This is the same incident that was seen at the Johor Bahru junior tournament where players from Punjab were stacked up, most of whom who took part in the WSH event have been let go and a new bucketload of prospects have been picked. A very professional way in which HI handles the junior leg of the sport. But that should not be surprising given that even worser treatment is meted out to coaches such as Mukesh Kumar and regular players like Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh for playing in the Belgian league early last year.

Hostage taking incident in Orissa: The interlocutors for the Italians taken hostage by the Maoists are arrested Politburo member Narayan Sanyal, Dandapani Mohanty and Biswapriya Kanungo. D. Mohanty was an interlocutor in the Vineel Krishna hostage incident (along with Prof. Haragopal and late R.S. Rao).

And finally: Another series of silly statistics that puts down endless ululates (often me included!) on how the Indian academic market pays peanuts for its Professoriate. India has consistently ranked in the top 10 on paychecks adjusted PPP-wise (Linky) and is much better than even the US. Only Nigeria and Ethiopia best India on the ratio of monthly academic salary at public universities to the GDP per capita per month metric (Linky). India is one of the three countries to have housing projects mandated by law (Linky) and other supplementary benefits best the "poor pay" (Linky). All this confirms my long-held belief that NRIs who are gainfully employed in the education industry do not return to India not because of poor pay, but because the ecosystem of peer excellence has not reached critical mass, YET. When the critical mass is reached, the trickle shall become a deluge, needless to say.

Footnote 1: While this data is not exactly complete, it is not an unrepresentative sampling either.

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