The Western States Double Standards Policy. Estimating Democratic Processes IN Ukraine

A policy of double standards is the unjust application of different sets of principles for similar situations. That means the situation when the estimation of the same actions of subject changes depending on relations of this subject between the estimating person. Thus, actions of “good guy” that is loyal in relation to estimating person, are given justification, and the same actions of “stranger” are blamed and considered as inadmissible one.

In context of international relations, the policy of double standards usually acquires the shape of accusation of infringement of principles, conventions, obligations, “violation of universal values”, “infringement of human rights”, “deviation from provisions of international law” demonstrating ignoring of absolutely similar own actions or actions of allies, against undesirable political modes .

The modern history is able to provide many eloquent examples of use of practice of double standards in an international policy. First, it concerns ambiguity of approaches of influential western powers and the leading international organizations as to the estimation of election campaigns, and other democratic processes taking place in the states of the former USSR. Therefore, at elections in the countries where the ruling political regime is pro-Western, the international observers recognize that elections meet the European and international standards. On the contrary if a ruling regime or the winner of election has not pro-Western orientation, observers, as a rule, find numerous infringements at election. For example, M. Saakashvili’s victory on elections in Georgia has been named as “triumph of democracy”, while A. Lukashenko’s victory in Belarus was considered a result of ballot rigging. In both cases, extraordinary high (from the western point of view) percent of voices for the candidate was represented as the is worth to note that last years the similar situations, when the leading international organizations and their representatives show the prepossession in such important question as comprehensive and objective estimation of an election situation, as well as of results of all election campaign as a whole, took place in other former-Soviet states, especially in Russia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, etc.

In February of the current year, the MFA of Russia has made a statement, that “Office for democratic institutions and human rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE loses trust as applies double standards in estimation of an election situation in Estonia”. This document states that “almost 100 thousand Russian-speaking inhabitants of the country have stood aside of a political life and are deprived of the right to influence the results of election to legislative authority of the Estonian Republic”… According to the Russian MFA “such state of affairs in many respects is caused by the position of experts of ODIHR OSCE and the High commissioner on national minorities OSCE, who prefer to ignore gross infringements of human rights in the Baltic states”. The Russian diplomats believe that “the decision of ODIHR (OSCE) not to direct on parliamentary elections to Estonia full-format monitoring mission testifies to keeping the practice of “double standards”.Experts consider elections to the local authority of Ukraine, which took place last year, as the brightest and characteristic examples of a policy of double standards. We’ll remind that on October, 31st, 2010 in Ukraine elections of deputies to the Supreme Rada of Autonomous republic Crimea as well as of representatives to all bodies of local authorities were held. Elections were held according to the majority-proportional system, i.e. 50 % of deputies were elected under party lists, 50 % – in majority districts. Participation in local elections of parties’ blocks has not been provided. Delegations of some influential international organizations, including the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the International parliamentary assembly of the CIS countries, monitoring mission CIS-EMO and many other have been accredited as observers to the elections. In total 490 observers of the foreign states and international organizations and 1917 observers of the social & political organizations of Ukraine have been registered.After termination of an election campaign, observers of the foreign missions, presented at elections, have stated a number of the general estimations and comments. Meanwhile experts notice that estimations of the western observers had often ambiguous character, including because of the above considered features and circumstances of use of a policy of double standards towards the states with “young democracy”.

According to them, the context of the international observers’ comments looks also quite dual: though direct gross violations during voting are not recorded, at holding of local election in Ukraine the level of legislative maintenance and transparency has decreased in comparison with the previous February presidential election. At the same time, one fact remains indisputable: any of groups of the international observers presented in the country both the day before and directly in day of voting has not stated too hard and categorical negative estimations of local elections in Ukraine. On the contrary, the majority of observers has noted the organized character of elections and declared absence of any gross violations.

Therefore, at the press conference passed in Kiev right after the termination of election (November 01, 2010) representatives of the international missions of observers declared that the local Ukrainian election was enough organized, thus gross violations, which could affect its definitive result, had not been recorded. In particular, the vice-president of the State Duma of the Russian Federation A. Babakov has noticed that “the General impression – elections were held in an organized way. Violations which could call into question legitimacy of results of elections were not revealed”. The president of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry H. Teplitskaja (USA) told that “she was pleasantly surprised with the way of elections holding”. The secretary on international contacts of Social-democratic party of Czech Republic K. Prudkova informed that the election committees had showed readiness to cooperate with the international observers. “As a whole we have positive impressions, and it is good, that Ukrainians so actively enjoy the right to democratic elections” – K. Prudkova said. The deputy (the Socialist party) of the People’s Assembly of Bulgaria A. Kutev has agreed with her, also noting high activity of voters and absence of gross violations.

The Mission of international observers CIS-EMO (consisting of 65 representatives from Slovakia, Poland, Kirghizia, Russia, Armenia, and Latvia who worked in 15 big oblasts of Ukraine) also recognized local elections in Ukraine as held ones. According to an official statement of the general director of mission A. Kochetkov, “the violations recorded in course of local elections in Ukraine were not of systematic character and could not render decisive influence on ultimate result of will of Ukrainian citizens”. According to A. Kochetkov, one of the main problems in the day of voting was connected with providing of ballots. At the same time, he noted that the recorded errors could not make decisive influence on definitive result of local elections in Ukraine.

Observers from the European Parliament, in their turn, have noticed that the day of elections in Ukraine was characterized by an atmosphere of calmness. At the same time the deputy of European Parliament P. Koval has paid attention to amendments to the electoral legislation just before the election as it was made during presidential campaign in Ukraine. According to P. Koval the “imperfect” legislation became the reason of separate defects of work of the election commissions, formation of lists, manufacturing of ballots.

The deputy of European Parliament A. Mirsky (Latvia) has noticed that interest to Ukraine does not decrease in Europe. In particular, he mentioned a contentious debate over a draft resolution on Ukraine, proposed by the European people party with sharp criticism of a situation and an election campaign course in Ukraine. However, it has been decided not to pass any resolutions as it would be qualified as an intervention in internal affairs of Ukraine.

At the same time, a number of the international observers, representing basically the leading western countries and the international organizations, have traditionally stated critical estimations and remarks. In particular, some representatives of mission of observers of the Council of Europe have noticed, that elections to bodies of local authority of Ukraine have not met European standards in full. The representative of Committee of regions of EU T. Kallasvee has noticed, that “Day of voting has shown weakness of the new law on election passed only three months prior to election”.

The USA also estimated critically local elections in Ukraine. In the statement, issued by the US State department, it was noted the Ukrainian local elections didn’t match the level of openness and transparency declared by the recent presidential elections at the beginning of 2010. On November 3rd, 2010 the US embassy in Ukraine published the statement which conformed to the official assessment of the US government. Thus, the US diplomats quoted “numerous procedural infringements” in the Election Day that were informed “both by Ukrainian and foreign observers”. Though observers recognized the improvement of the voting list accuracy in comparison with the presidential election, they noted insufficient training of the election commission members. It assisted the certain procedural infringement and caused some organizational problems. The report of the US embassy in Kiev stated that observers and international experts considered the law of Ukraine “On the General Elections” as main source of problems in the Election Day. The law was adopted in July 2010 and on demand of the president V. Janukovich some amendments to the Law were adopted in September (they appreciably facilitated or eliminated some complications, such as, for example, impossibility of participation in elections of new parties, etc.). It is remarkable, that before the local elections, the US ambassador in Ukraine Mr. D. Tefft discussed with the Chairman of the Central Electoral Committee Mr. V. Shapoval some issues on possible assistance of the international institutions in organization of Elections.

On November 7, 2010 the US assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs Mr. John F. Gordon gave very predictable political assessment about the Ukrainian local elections in his interview to the “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty”. It is necessary to note the political analysts consider Mr. J. F. Gordon’s statement as a semi-official action. Thus, they pay some attention that the State Department representative stated at informal briefing but in his interview to the “RFE/RL”. Therefore, there is only personal opinion, but an official person publicly in the mass media, financing from the US state budget, made it. Separately experts also emphasize the fact, that despite of very rigid tone of the statement there are no mentions about any falsification or any distortion of the voting results. Although before the Election Day, the US representatives as well as the Ukrainian opposition gave advance notices about a possibility of falsifications and speculations. Even more the international practice does not provide a possibility to recognize or to non-recognize the results of local elections. In this case, some assessments and some recommendations may have purely legal or political character, but do not extend on the area of the international legitimacy of the central authorities. It might be some signal to the Ukrainian authorities by the experts’ opinion that should affect the domestic policy of official Kiev in order to coordinate it with the US administration. The main goal of Mr. F. Gordon’s demarche consists in the requirement on reforming of the elective legislation. According to him, it is very important to have such the election legislation and Code that will match the international standards.

In response to Mr. F. Gordon’s statement, the deputy foreign minister of Ukraine R. Demchenko granted an interview to the “Interfax-Ukraine” agency (11/08/2010). The representative of Ukrainian foreign department emphasized that according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine’s opinion “the exhaustive assessment of the US government” concerning local elections in Ukraine is contained in the press release of US embassy in Kiev of November 3rd, 2010. R. Demchenko reminded, that the President V. Janukovich set the efficient task to submit the text of the Electoral Code until May 2011, unifying election legislation and allowing international democratic standards at all levels of election process.

The Ukrainian government invited also the US and European experts to join activity of working group to improvement elective legislation, creating under the Presidential Decree. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it’s supposed the USA and other foreign partners will assist the success of work which goal is to strengthen principles of competitive democracy in Ukraine.

The situation concerning unconsolidated position and controversial assessments of the representatives of international monitors’ mission of the Congress of local and regional authorities of the Council of Europe needs the separate analysis. 25 observers from the different countries worked on the eve and in the Election Day in many regions of Ukraine.

Directly after completion of Elections, the majority of official observers from the Council of Europe such as: G. Mosler-Tornstrom (Austria, Vice-Chair, the Socialist Group), N. Mermagen (United Kingdom, the Independent and Liberal Democrat Group, Councilor), E. Yeritsyan (Armenia, Group European People’s party) and many others, estimated positively the local election process in Ukraine and stated it respectively in their preliminary reports. For instance, the head of delegation Mrs. Gudrun Mosler-Tornstrom declared at press conference that the voting passed smoothly except some incidents on the separate polls.

However, Mrs. R. Zigmund (Secretariat), preparing the project of final report, ignored the conclusions of many her counterparts. Therefore, such substitution of the facts, in fact, took place. As a result, the leaders of the Council of Europe receive some unreliable information on such important aspect as elections in the state that borders directly on EU and takes active part in many priority programs of this European organization. Never mind the incorrect information could affect the actions of the Council of Europe concerning Ukraine and cause the negative reaction of Ukrainian authorities. There was some precedent to estimate the actions of the Congress by the Ukrainian authorities as the policy of double standards and the intervention in home policy of independent state. As an example the text of subparagraph “a” of paragraph 11, could be rated: “to continue some practice of presentation of elective law on local and regional elections in Ukraine to assessment of the Venetian Commission of Council of Europe before this bill will be adopted by parliament”.

It can be reflected accordingly the bilateral relations. On the information that was published in the mass media, the same situation became possible because the Chair of such influential organization as the Congress of local and regional authorities of the Council of Europe K. Whitmore does not monitor properly over the activity of members of his office. As a result they fulfill their charge superficially and in some cases as in the case with Ukraine they even have some possibility to make the deliberate juggling of the data received by own monitors directly on the place of events.

It is necessary to note that the Ukrainian authorities devoted great attention to critical remarks and constructive suggestions that were said by international monitors at the end of the past election campaign.

The President V. Janukovich always bends every effort to the creation of facilities for reforming of the elective law of Ukraine based on the international standards. All of them will include the improvement of electoral system, the optimization of election period, the strengthening of the rights of elective process participants, the increase of the preparation level of members of the elective commissions and the improvement of technical aspects of elections. It is necessary to remind on November 2nd, 2010 the leader of the Ukraine created the Working Group on improvement of the elective law by his decree. It should be developing some efficient elective rules according to the advanced European and world standards. Despite of it a lot of statements have recently been heard from separate representatives of the influential international organizations, first of all the Council of Europe, European Parliament and OSCE that are broadly published by the leading mass-media of the EU countries and the USA and call upon for revision of their own positive assessments of the results of last local elections in Ukraine. As the experts say first of all the same statements could undermine the international authority of European institutions.

If such data action with the practically anti-Ukrainian character will be continuing so it also lead to some strengthening of the opinion of the European and US citizens on incompetence and political prejudice of some high-ranking executives of the European Union.

Thus, the assessment of elective process in Ukraine, as well as in other CIS countries by representatives of the influential international organizations shows very evidently the policy of the double standards, “If you do not like the events in some country so that this country and its political process cannot be democratic one”.

Ensuring Water Security to Increase The Access of Rural Households to Clean Drinking Water

Water scarcity or shortage has become a serious problem in much of the developing world. Scarcity has become a main problem in most of the developing world where there is an ever increasing anxiety about the availability, quality and sustainability is largely used for drinking or domestic purposes.

Availability and access to safe potable water has become an area of major concern because ensuring the populations has basic access because ensuring the population has basic access to water has been a major concern for local governments. The state of Maharashtra is the third largest state in India. To improve the performance of the irrigation sector this is wholly controlled by the government. Ministers such as Dr Nitin Raut have contributed towards alleviating the problem of water scarcity.

With rising population and water scarcity there is growing competition among various sectors users. This leads to conflict among them. The Maharashtra state is among first few states to have its own water policy. The policy has been framed considering diverse needs of different parts of the state, as state rainfall varies from 400 mm to 6000 mm.

The objectives of the government in ensuring water security is to increase the access of rural households to improved and sustainable drinking and sanitation services, and to institutionalize the decentralization of supply and sanitation services to rural local governments and communities.

Under this new scheme the funds for water development go directly to the gram panchayat. It is basic need for human survival, but the resource is a limited one. Thus, in order to implement good habits in the new generation, a timely education program for the youth is very necessary. An initiative is being taken to design curriculum, to have knowledge and importance and its related aspects, introduced from primary to higher education.

Due to apathy of Governmental Machinery, the ground water level in rural and urban area has been decreasing fast. 8% of the total area of Maharashtra is covered by sedimentary land. It falls mainly in North-Maharashtra. The ground water level in this area is deteriorating day-by-day due to too much scooping. Farmers producing Orange, Sugar-Cane, and Banana are scooping the water to the finest level because it is not even restricted by laws.

Water-conservation has become the key word to overcome the problems not only in Maharashtra but also India. The entire country including Maharashtra State witness’s the severe scarcity issue. Deluge, famine, drinking water shortage and farmers’ suicide are the outcome of this terrible problem.

A Return of Death Penalty in The Philippines

Today’s crime and violence rate in the Philippines is said to have distressingly increased over the past few years. And part of what made it disturbing is the act itself which involves rape and murder of minors. Because of this, the Congress will now decide if death penalty by lethal injection should be returned to address today’s increasingly disturbing crime and violence rate in the Philippines.

UPLB VictimsAcording to Philippines Current Events The first victim of a heinous crime of both rape and murder was Given Grace Cebanico, a 19yrs old student of UPLB taking a Computer Science Course. Her body was found on Apec Road at the outskirts of UPLB with stab wounds, her hands cuffed and her mouth gagged with a handkerchief.

Though crime has been partially served, in which the first suspect, a tricycle driver, is already serving his sentence, while the other suspect, a security guard, is still at-large, friends and families felt that justice has not yet been truly served while the other suspect of the rape-slay case is still at large, while the other one is serving years in jail.

According to Philippines News Today another victim of rape and murder was a 14yr old Sampaguita vendor, Rochel Geronda, which was found in Los Banos, Laguna on Wednesday morning, Fenruary 29. The victim’s body was seen in a banana plantation in Barangay Batong Malaki.

Other than Given Grace and Rochel Geronda, another victim was Rey Bernard Penaranda, an agriculture student in UPLB who was murdered by holdup men.

Ray Bernard Penaranda, an agriculture student, was killed at about 1:30 a.m. along F.O. Santos Street in Barangay (village) Batong Malake in Los Banos, Laguna. Although all three suspects have already been nabbed by the Police, friends and families still feels that justice has not yet been truly served while these three still lives.

Sta. Mesa Rape-Slay CaseRecently, a 7 year old girl was found dead in a house in Sta. Mesa which was also been allegedly raped. Though the suspects, a minor and an adult, were caught for the crime, their expressions tell that they are not afraid of their jail time, that the crime they looked proud of the crime they committed.

Death Penalty as a SolutionThese crimes and other more were the reason why death penalty by lethal injection is to be discussed in the Congress if it is applicable to take this measure again. However, many have suggested that lethal injection is not enough to frighten these criminals. Many suggest using a more heinous form of death penalty to stop this increasing crime-rate in the Philippines. For more information visit to our site at

Online Availability of Arab News Bringing in Changes

Earlier, during the time of dictators, there were strict restrictions on the expression of views and publication of news. People had made it a habit to live a silent life. They had no right to oppose even on injustice. Arabian women were more wretched species in the country that had no right to decide even their own future. But, sooner or later, the destiny of the dark is to disappear and give way to the lights of hopes for better tomorrow. This is exactly what taking place in Arab today. The continent is experiencing the warmth of change-rays coming from all over the world, inspiring Arabian individuals, and spreading light in their lives. Thanks to the online availability of Arab news that every Arabian can access to, and share his or her views online.

It has revolutionized the whole world today and Arab is no exception. The online Arab news is reaching to every household with the excess of internet, and to every individual holding a mobile or an i-Pod. There are several online magazines of Arab people, being published for Arab people, by Arab people. This makes them aware of the political, economical developments taking shape in and out of Arab continent, and how it is affecting their social life. This awareness then forms a view in their mind, and many like-minded people get a step ahead to exchange their views through online forums available on the Arab news portals. The easy and fast process of exchanging views inspires them very much to do it.

The process doesn’t stop here. Many online magazines and news portals also provide comments from experts in every sector, which further enhances knowledge of individuals, and corrects their understanding of the affairs, if so is required. Thus it strengthens their confidence of the topic, and encourages them to participate in such events more openly. Not only men, but Arabian women are also equally participating in such online venues and registering their pros and cons towards anything which is affecting their entity.

It is true that not all parts of the continent are using internet so profusely to bring about changes but some economies have really opened door to the foreign views by allowing free access to internet. Some extremist countries are still restricting the free use of internet and any such facility which might augment the awareness of locals and challenge the dictatorship of so called leaders. However, the wave is continuously flowing on its way and it is sure to reach every nook and corner of the continent; sooner or later though. If you are an Arabian and want to share your views towards the developments in your region, join online forums available on some of the very good Arab news portal online. You can meet several people who agree with your views and they will support your views by adding their own views to it. This will provide a common platform for you to raise voice against evils and contribute to the welfare of current and coming generations.

Responding to Author Tara Ross of Save Our States on Rhode Island And The National Popular Vote Plan

Political author Tara Ross of the organization Save Our States recently wrote a column urging Rhode Island Lawmakers to reject the National Popular Vote Initiative. However, Ms. Ross’ article is based on the faulty premise that the Plan “could lead to the effective elimination of the Electoral College.”

The National Popular Vote Plan is an interstate compact, whereby participating states agree to allocate their electoral votes to the winner of the National Popular Vote, as opposed to the candidate who secures the most votes in their state. The compact would take effect when enough states (constituting the requisite 270 electoral votes required to win the Presidential election) agree to participate. Currently 8 states and the District of Columbia, constituting 132 Electoral votes, have ratified the compact.

Despite Tara Ross’ assertion to the contrary, the Electoral College will still exist under the Plan. On the Monday following the second Wednesday in December after the Presidential election is held, electors representing each state and the District of Columbia will still cast their Presidential ballots. On January 6, the Vice President will declare the winner to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. This is the process done now, and this is what will be done after the National Popular Vote Plan has been adopted by enough states to take effect.

What the Plan will eliminate is the winner-take-all regime currently employed in 48 states. Because the winner-take-all system has been with us for such a long time, some mistakenly interchange it with the Electoral College. The nation’s Founding Fathers did not design or even envisage the electoral system with a winner-take-all voting process. In fact, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia of 1787, there was a deadlock as to how the President should be chosen. There were proposals for a direct election of the President, to have the U.S. Congress select the President, and to let the State Legislatures choose the President. Failing to come to an agreement, the conventioneers agreed to grant the states plenary authority to chose their electors.

Article ll, Section 1, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution states: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors.” In 1789, the year of the first Presidential election, voters of only five states were permitted to mark ballots for Presidential electors. The other states granted the power of voting for Presidential electors to the state legislatures. In fact, New York did not even appoint electors because their legislature was stalemated over the issue.

States have changed their method of awarding electoral votes over time. In fact, Massachusetts has altered its method 11 times. Maine in 1969 and Nebraska in 1992 supplanted the winner-take-all system with the Congressional Allocation Method.

The winner-take-all approach of awarding electors was a scheme devised by partisan parochial interests to maximize their political advantage. It was not the grand design of the Founding Fathers. In fact, there is no mention at all of the winner-take-all system in the Federalist Papers and no mention of it at the Constitutional Convention.

Ms. Ross also argues that the National Popular Vote Plan would not amplify Rhode Island’s voice in presidential elections. This argument is very hard to fathom. Currently, the Ocean State garners absolutely no attention from Presidential nominees because of its allegiance to the Democratic Party. In fact, believe it or not, the last Presidential nominee to visit the state was Richard M. Nixon in 1960. The only reason Nixon visited the states was because of his campaign promise to visit all 50 states.

Under the National Popular Vote Plan, every single vote throughout the nation will be in play. No voter will be ignored because of his or her disadvantageous geopolitical residence. Presidential campaigns will have one goal: to muster as many votes as possible. Under the current status quo, there is no electoral incentive for a candidate to pay any attention at all to Rhode Island’s commercial fishermen, to its manufacturing industry, or the state’s Agricultural output.

Under the National Popular Vote Plan, Presidential candidates will have causes belie to address these Rhode Island-centered issues. They will have an electoral incentive to open campaign offices in Rhode Island, send surrogates to address Rhode Islanders, and cultivate, consolidate and galvanize their political bases. Candidates would spend their campaign war chests not just within the 15 or so showdown states, but would likely spend money throughout the nation, including in Rhode Island.

Finally, Ross tries to make the argument that Rhode Island should not take the advice of a group founded and headquartered in the nation’s largest state, California. Would the situation be any different if the National Popular Vote headquarters were in Delaware or Utah of Vermont? The National Popular Vote Plan has a cavalcade of bipartisan supporters in all 50 states. That being said, California and Rhode Island have an important and common interest in supporting the Plan. Both states are currently relegated to the electoral sidelines, and Candidates have no electoral incentive to address issues specifically pertaining to these two states. In fact, both large and small states will benefit from the implementation of the Plan. In the last Presidential election, the three largest states were used merely as ATM machines for candidates, while New Hampshire was the only state of the 13 smallest states to even receive campaign visits from the candidates. The Granite States was the only competitive state in the bunch.

In summary, the National Popular Vote Plan does not eliminate the Electoral College and is the best way to give Rhode Islanders a voice at the Presidential table. This is not some revolutionary radical concept. A vote cast in Jamestown, Rhode Island would simply be commensurate with a vote cast in Jamestown, Virginia. Presidential candidates would seek every vote, and every vote would count.

Does Your Vote Count? Maybe Not

Under the current winner-take-all electoral scheme, millions of votes across the nation are not being counted in the official national tally. In the 2008 Presidential election, Republican nominee John McCain received more than five million votes in the state of California. Despite this achievement, all 55 electors in California cast their vote for Democrat Barack Obama. This inequity occurred solely because California uses the winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes, meaning that despite how close the popular vote may be, the winning candidate takes home “all” the electoral votes of that particular state. Similarly, more than 3.5 million Texans marked ballots for Barack Obama, yet because John McCain won the state, those 3.5 million votes were disregarded. Again, because Texas also uses the winner-take-all system of electoral voting, the winning candidate, John McCain, was able to take home “all” of Texas’ 33 electoral votes. This all-to-common outcome disenfranchises voters from “safe states” (non-battlefield states) and discourages them from going to the polls. They know that their votes are not likely to even be figured in the final national tally.

In addition, non-major party candidates who appeal mainly to just one region of the country can take full advantage of the winner-take-all system. Their vote totals are magnified in the Electoral College. In 1948, Strom Thurmond, the nominee of the States Rights Democratic Party, captured just 2.4% of the national vote, yet he received 39 electoral votes from four southern states. This scenario repeated itself in 1968 when American Independence Party nominee George Wallace, who won just 13.5% of the national vote, won 46 electoral votes because he managed to win five southern states.

Alternatively, those who vote for centrist Independent candidates who appeal to a more widespread cross-section of constituencies and garner votes from all regions of the nation, have seen their votes completely nullified by the Electoral College. In 1980, Independent Presidential candidate John B. Anderson garnered 6.6% of the national vote, yet the over 5.7 million people who voted for him were not counted in the final tally because he failed to win a single state.

This scenario was experienced on a larger scale in 1992, when Independent Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot mustered a very respectable 18.9% of the vote. Despite the fact that nearly one in five American voters cast their vote for Perot, Perot received “0” votes in the Electoral College. In this situation, the votes of nearly twenty million Americans were totally disregarded at the conclusion of the electoral process.

Under the National Popular Vote Initiative, the vote of the diary farmer from Cambridge, Wisconsin would be equal to the vote of the College Professor from Cambridge, Massachusetts. The vote of the steel worker from East Chicago, Indiana would be no more important than the vote of the locomotive engineer from Chicago, Illinois. The vote of the Fire Fighter from Columbus, Mississippi would be commensurate with the vote of the Systems Analyst from Columbus, Ohio. Strom Thurmond in 1948, 2.4%

Pakistan And America at Crossroads

Pakistan and America have been having multi-dimensional strategic relations since 60 years. Presently Pakistan showed up in America’s war against terrorism but is accused of playing a double game. Almost 35000 Pakistani innocent people laid their lives in this war and it infected the country’s economy deep into the roots by halting numerous business activities and investment opportunities.

After the Raymond Davis issue both the countries are in hot atmosphere ever. Pakistan is in deep trouble as it has to equate internal pressure as well as external pressure which drag it always to either side. The reason is that there is an ideological difference in the nation as few elites like America and war on terrorism whereas masses are anti-American and hold a favorable view of Osama. So in this prevailing atmosphere, Pakistani Govt. finds great difficulty to manage the conflict between revolutionary waves of Americanism and anti-Americanism in the country. Sometimes the internal pressure for Pakistani government surges too high to meet American demands which is taken as insincerity. On the other hand America is having its Ghazi base in Pakistan near Tarbela Dam and attacking the Balochi people through unmanned drones justifying these attacks as high value targets which is unacceptable to the nation and is taken as an attack on national sovereignty of Pakistan.

Now when America attacked Osama’s den in Abottabad without sharing information with Pakistan, the ties went more fragile as the whole world media is interpreting the scene as inefficiency of Pakistani security agencies and that it’s a safe heaven for terrorists. America is of the view that Pakistan has been playing double game since the beginning of war and that if Pakistan were sincere, this war could have been finished a long time ago. So they diplomatically answer this Pakistani question of trust deficit as the operational security instead of distrust which implies that there is a sort of extradition agreement between the two countries. Both the nations and officials are on hot bed at the moment and America is considered as quite ambitious to access the strategic nuclear assets of the country which has been answered by Senator John Kerry in a polite “No apprehension for nuclear plant” . There is also a view of Black water conspiracy theory in the Pakistani nation that CIA is involved in terrorism existence and promotion both physically and virtually.

At the end ties between both the countries are soured these days and American officials are frequently visiting the country to review and consolidate their terms with Pakistan. Nevertheless America added fuel to fire as now it is looking forward to some political settlements with Afghan Taliban thinking staying close with the bad guys will help to catch bad guys .This will go again in the disfavor of Pakistan as the war will go inconsequential after a long struggle accompanied with plenty of sacrifices. It will lead to further anti-American sentiments in the nation and defame of the ruling party.

It seems from the several incidents that two countries are having cold war because both are good opportunists whenever time comes. Now America wants to know if Pakistan is still committed to continue war against terrorism or not. This is actually an indirect question to know Pakistan’s response towards the American calls after all the wounds. Pakistan should answer in affirmation as it is the need of the hour. Pakistan is facing a total crisis situation due to inefficient and insensitive government and without support of a super power getting out of it will become inevitable. On the other side Americans must not disregard all the efforts and sacrifices Pakistan has made to prove its commitments and dedication towards the mutual goal of terrorism elimination. The CIA officials and their offices in the country without proper visas, drone attacks and the not shared attack of Navy SEAL are the manifestations of honoring commitments.

Read about the America’s new question

Read about COAS Kiyani ‘s answer

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's interview on NDTV, 25th April 2009

25th April 2009

Barkha Dutt : Priyanka I know you’ve been asked the question of whether you will join politics a million times. So I’m not going to ask that question. The question I’m going to ask instead is, we know you’ve said you don’t want to be in politics, but you’ve never told us why you don’t want to be in politics?

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra: Frankly, I’m not sure I’ve figured out why myself. But I’m very clear I don’t want to be in politics, I’m very happy living my life the way I am. I think there are certain aspects of politics which I’m just not suited to.

Barkha Dutt: You’re saying that from experience, from having seen a lot of it?

PG: Yes, from having seen a lot of it. I mean, there was a time when I was a kid, when I was about 16-17 where I thought this is absolutely what I want to do with my life.

Barkha Dutt: Really, you were excited by it?

PG: Yes, but I think I wasn’t very clear about my own identity.

Barkha Dutt: When was that moment that you knew for sure, that you would never be in this profession?

PG: In 1999. Because in that election it was a question in my mind, whether I would want to stand for elections or not. So I did some thinking, and I realised that I didn’t.

Barkha Dutt: And since you identify it as such a definitive moment, what was that moment for you?

PG: Actually I went for Vipasana meditation. I was so troubled by the fact that I didn’t know my mind, so I just disappeared and went for 10 days of meditation, so that I better know what my own mind is, rather than what other people want of me.

Barkha Dutt: Did something happen in 1999 that made you take such a definitive decision?

PG: No it’s just introspection that happened.

Barkha Dutt: OK, now the assumption from afar is that Priyanka Gandhi does not want to be in politics because right now she is devoting all her time to her family, to her kids. So then the next question becomes, when the children grow up — maybe then — will her decision change?

PG: This question for me has existed since I was 14 years old. When I first came to campaign here, even, these things were said about me — that I would be suited to politics, and that I looked like my grandmother and I am like my grandmother. And I have to say that I think, because you are asking me, what really was the definitive thing; I think it was a growing up thing, rather than an epiphany.

Barkha Dutt: It wasn’t a specific event?

PG: I grew into myself. Earlier my own identity was a bit confused, because I did idealise my grandmother, I grew up in a household where she was the head and she was an extremely powerful woman. Not only politically powerful, but she was a powerful human being to be around. So being a little girl and seeing this woman who was strong and stood for so much, it did have an effect on me. So I think my own identity was confused until a certain point and when I discovered that- ‘Hey, Priyanka is actually this’- then I realised that this is not for me.

Barkha Dutt: As simple as that?

PG: It wasn’t simple, I can tell you.

Barkha Dutt: It was a deep conflict at one point?

PG: Of course.

Barkha Dutt: I liked what you have often said that life is too complex to ever use a word like never and the media took that to mean — maybe tomorrow, maybe when the kids grow up. But you seem to suggest that in a moment of internal resolution you’ve settled this question once and for all, is that correct?

PG: I think so, yes. And when I said — one should never say never in life — I really meant in life, I didn’t mean in politics. I meant in life, because as you grow up, you realise that there are a lot of things that you’re very rigid about when you’re younger — you think, this will never happen to me, I will never do this and I could never be like that. And as you grow up, you become a mother and everyday you’re faced with something new and you have to respond to that thing. And you realise that your responses change as you grow up, so you can’t just be absolutely rigid black and white and say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to things. That’s what I meant.

Barkha Dutt: But, what is the definition of being or not being in politics? Because you may never contest an election, but from what I understand, you are in politics, you’re a political person. For example, it’s quite well known that when the family takes decisions, you’re part of those decisions and sometimes they are political decisions. So, would you at least say that you’re in politics to that extent that politics is in your blood, it’s in your DNA, its part of your life?

PG: Yes, to that extent, absolutely. I belong to a family where most members of the family are in politics, they have been, I’ve grown up in that atmosphere. I mean I’ve grown up in an atmosphere where at the dining table you discussed big political issues. Right from when you were a kid. So obviously to that extent I am. And whenever my help is required by mother, by my brother, for small things generally, not big things, like I wrote all my mother’s speeches in her first campaign.

Barkha Dutt: And now?

PG: No, no, now I don’t.

Barkha Dutt: Never?

PG: Very rarely. If I’m passing by and I see something’s being written then my advice is asked for, but otherwise very rarely.

Barkha Dutt: But do you prep her sometimes for a press conference or an interview or something?

PG: No.

Barkha Dutt: She’s also much more comfortable in a sense?

PG: Absolutely, completely comfortable, doesn’t require any tutoring, prepping, nothing. And she’s comfortable being herself, now. Because she was very shy, so that was hard in beginning.

Barkha Dutt: You say that, and I was going to ask you that, that in a sense you’re always described as the more gregarious person. As a person who’ll sit down here under a tree with me and talk freely. Whereas both your mother and Rahul are seen as much more reticent, more withdrawn, more shy. Would that be correct?

PG: My mother is shy. Rahul is … I’m much more a recluse than Rahul is.

Barkha Dutt: Really?

PG: Yes.

Barkha Dutt: It doesn’t come across that way at all…

PG: Personally I’m a complete recluse. I’m OK in this situation and I sort of think that I’m doing a job here, I’m doing my duty here and this is part of the job that I’m doing. So I look at it that way. But it’s not an extroversion.

Barkha Dutt: So actually you’re more fiercely private while able to…

PG: I’m a recluse.

Barkha Dutt: A recluse?

PG: Yes, I’m almost a recluse.

Barkha Dutt: You don’t like people?

PG: No it’s not that I don’t like people, I like people, but I spend most of my time on my own.

Barkha Dutt: So this perception that Priyanka is a gregarious person and Rahul is a shy person is a media construct? PG: No, I think perhaps the difference between me, Rahul and my mother is that I’m very much more open about my personal stuff in that sense. I can sit and you know somebody will ask me something very personal and I’ll just say it, which Rahul and my mother are more reserved about.

Barkha Dutt: But you were talking about watching your mother change and evolve, you used that word. How have you seen the change in her over the years?

PG: Well, in the beginning as I said, first of all, she wanted to have nothing to do with politics. And people ask why did she enter politics and all, and it was in one simple sentence she said that – I can’t look at these photos in this room if I don’t do this, which were the photographs of my father, my grandmother. Because she felt that this was her duty and that is what she really felt. So she really did it out of a sense of duty and she went completely against her grain to do this duty. She was shy, it was hard for her, public speaking was very difficult for her and both of us had to really be there for moral support, for everything. And now she’s completely on her own. She’s comfortable… so that’s the evolution.

Barkha Dutt: And do you feel proud of that?

PG: I’m extremely proud of my mother, I can’t tell you how much. If there’s one woman I admire in the world, it’s my mother. Because I’ve seen what it’s taken for her to do it. And when I say I wouldn’t do it out of a sense of duty, it’s that I wouldn’t have that courage to go completely against my grain because I felt it was my duty to some ideal or to my family.

Barkha Dutt: Even though you’ve seen your own mother do it?

PG: Absolutely. Because deep down somewhere, as a woman, as a mother, deep down somewhere, I feel that she has gone against her grain in a sense. I mean, of course, the fact that duty was such a powerful pull, also means that is part of her, that is also who she is, that duty is a powerful pull for her. So that is very much who she is, but deep down I see my mother as retiring in a forest cottage in the hills, reading, gardening, she loves that stuff. So as a daughter sometime I feel, why not? Why couldn’t she allow herself that?

Barkha Dutt: You think that will happen one day?

PG: I hope so. I’m building a little cottage in Shimla, hopefully she’ll use it.

Barkha Dutt: And hopefully you’ll use it too. But Priyanka, you said that you won’t have that courage, but she made that choice in very very extenuating circumstances, God forbid those extenuating circumstances are in front of you, you’re really too philosophical to know what you would do and what you wouldn’t do…

PG: I don’t know what I would do if I were faced with particular circumstances, but I think it would be very hard for me to be convinced that, for example, the party needed me, or something like that. I would rather do something like that out of my internal feeling, something that moves within me.

Barkha Dutt: One of the things you’ve said in interviews is that it’s a mistake to say that you’re like your grandmother, you’re actually much more like your dad…

PG: It’s true…

Barkha Dutt: Although everybody sort of prototypes you as — she has the walk of her grandmother, she drapes her sari in that way, but you don’t think you’re like that?

PG: I have a huge problem saying no, I couldn’t say no to you, I couldn’t say no to a thousand others, I have a problem saying no, my grandmother would say it like this (snaps her fingers).

Barkha Dutt: But beyond that, that’s just one difference, although it’s a fundamental difference, I take that point. But you see yourself more like your father? PG: Definitely, I see myself more like my father.

Barkha Dutt: In what way?

PG: Well, my grandmother was a different personality. She was… I think my father was gentler… not to say that my grandmother wasn’t gentle in her own way. But my father was gentler, and I really think that I’m gentler than she was.

Barkha Dutt: So whose taken after your grandmother in the family?

PG: My brother.

Barkha Dutt: Less gentle, tougher?

PG: My brother was absolutely, let me tell you, her favourite and the idealizing granddaughter would be kind of marginalized for the favourite grandson.

Barkha Dutt: Did that feel bad at that time?

PG: (smiling) Little bit…

Barkha Dutt: Little bit, yes…

PG: But she had this bond with him. And she taught him and she spent a lot of time with him, talking to him. Even the morning that she passed away. And I think that Rahul has imbibed a lot of that and his thinking is in many ways is a lot like my father, because he is a visionary like that. He’s an institution builder like my father was, but it’s a good mix. Because his understanding of politics is really very good. Much better than he is given credit for. And that I think comes from my grandmother.

Barkha Dutt: And you think he’s also tougher?

PG: He’s definitely tougher…

Barkha Dutt: And more able to maybe take an unemotional decision?

PG: He will not suffer fools. He’s tougher. Definitely.

Barkha Dutt: I want to share a little story with you, which reminded me of you. We were doing this television programme on Qasab, the terrorist who has been caught in Mumbai, and one of the relatives who had lost his wife, Shantanu Saikia, in that horrible moment, was telling me how his son, who’s only 12, wanted to go and meet this man. And he said you know, we’ve decided as a family that we’re not going to carry anger any more. We’ve decided that we want to not follow this trial. We want to maybe even forgive this man and I have a child who wants to meet this man. And immediately, though in a very different context, it reminded me of you and your visit to Nalini in jail and I actually said that to Shantanu, and I said that Priyanka was so much older and so many years had passed. I wanted to ask you, how many years did you live with thinking that maybe you wanted to meet her — feeling before it actually happened?

PG: Not very long actually. Maybe, a year and a half or so. In the beginning when my father was killed, I didn’t realise it, but I was furious. I was absolutely furious inside. I was furious not with particular individuals who killed him, but I was furious with the whole world.

Barkha Dutt: When did you learn to recognise that rage?

PG: It was a very slow process. It was realising that you’re angry. I think the whole thing about this whole business of forgiveness is really, at some level, we all consider ourselves victims. Maybe it can be a case of someone being nasty to us, or someone would have done something like kill someone we love, which is a bigger thing and then we consider ourselves victims. But the minute you realise that you’re not a victim and that the other person is as much victim of that same circumstance as you, then you can’t put yourself in a position where you are anyone to forgive someone else. Because your victimhood has disappeared. And to me, people ask about non-violence, I think true non-violence is the absence of victimhood. The sense that somebody else is doing harm to you. Whatever is happening to you is happening because of your own circumstances, you are creating a lot of that suffering. And anybody else who does something overtly, like kill somebody you love, or hurts you, beats you, that is also an action that is happening because of their suffering.

Barkha Dutt: Did that meeting (with Nalini) help purge the anger? Or was the anger already gone before?

PG: No I was already not angry. The anger, I think, didn’t last that long. Because when you’re younger, you feel angry and you don’t understand things. But as you grow up, the anger passes and of course there’s been a lot of time, its been 17 years. That meeting, for me — the big learning that came from that meeting was exactly this, that I was still, though I was not angry any more, I did not hate her, and I wanted to meet her, I was still thinking that I was somebody who could forgive her for something she had done. And then I met her and I realised — what am I talking about?

Barkha Dutt: Because there are no victims?

PG: I mean, here is a woman who’s gone through as much if not more than me. And whatever she’s done…

Barkha Dutt: You honestly feel that?

PG: Of course, honestly, of course.

Barkha Dutt: Your mother, even before this happened, commuted her death sentence to life because otherwise her child would have been an orphan. Where does that spirit come from?

PG: Because you’ve been through it. You’ve been through it. Something has happened to you that has made you feel awful. Something has happened that has crushed you inside. So how can you want that to happen to someone else? An innocent child, what has that child got to do with anything?

Barkha Dutt: When you hear the whole politicised debate around the LTTE that’s taking place in these elections. I know that previously you said that you didn’t really want to get into it, but as a concept — when you see the very strong Tamil nationalism in Tamil Nadu, coming from all parties, including DMK. Does that make you feel uncomfortable, does it make you just withdraw or are you able to take those opinions also head on?

PG: I think for me there’s a clear separation. First of all, I completely admire the Tamil people. I really do. They’re intelligent, they are great workers. That’s one people that I really admire. So I understand that feeling, I understand the Tamil nationalism, I understand their cause. I don’t agree with their method, because fundamentally as a human being I don’t agree with the method. I don’t agree with killing people for anything. But I make a very clear separation between the political and the personal. I completely understand that as a nation you cannot condone the killing of an Ex-Prime Minister. But I also understand a nation cannot react as Priyanka, daughter of Rajiv reacts. That is my own personal reaction.

Barkha Dutt: You’re able to separate that?

PG: Absolutely. It’s a complete separation in my mind.

Barkha Dutt: But when you hear a political ally maybe being soft on Prabhakaran, along with many other parties in Tamil Nadu, he’s not the only one, you’re able to make that separation of political and personal?

PG: Absolutely, and when its political, it’s very clear, it’s very clear that he’s making a political choice, so why should I bear that as a grudge against him.

Barkha Dutt: And you wouldn’t bring the personal loss of your father to that political equation?

PG: Not at all.

Barkha Dutt: So you’re not disturbed when you hear these kind of comments?

PG: Not at all.

Barkha Dutt: That’s pretty amazing. I did want to ask you, you spoke about how your mother was a reluctant participant in politics and I remember I had just done this one brief interview with her, where she had spoken about something that she said quite often, how she never wanted her husband, your father to get into politics and she was always scared that something would happen to him. Now, you’ve seen what happened with your grandmother, you’ve seen what happened with your father. Do you feel scared for your brother, do you feel scared for your mother, do you feel scared for yourself?

PG: No, I don’t. I don’t feel scared for them at all. But I did have this one moment of terror in 2004 when I peeped into her office and I saw this bunch of, you know, Lalu ji and everybody surrounding her and saying that you have to be Prime Minister, I had this one moment of complete terror. And I burst out crying.

Barkha Dutt: You did?

PG: Yes, and I didn’t realise that I was afraid. And I burst out crying. I ran to my brother, I was like — she’s going to die — and, I realized — hey, you know, you think you’re not scared, but you are scared of losing someone else you love. So I won’t be very macho and say that it’s never crossed my mind, but I think that since then, I mean on a day-to-day basis, no. I realise that this is part of her duty. Like now I know there are threats on her, there are threats on Rahul, but I would never say to them — don’t go out, be in the car, don’t do this, don’t do that. I wouldn’t, because I know that they’re doing their job, it’s part of their duty and if they lose their life doing so, then, we must accept it.

Barkha Dutt: Do people misunderstand how clear she always was, your mother, that she did not want to be Prime Minister?

PG: I think so, yes. She was clear way before the election. Rahul and I would have these discussions with her where we would say — why don’t you just say so now?. But she didn’t and because it came about after the elections, I think the idea went around that perhaps her decision was because of external pressures, rather than her own clarity. But she was very clear from before.

Barkha Dutt: And you and Rahul never wanted her to be PM?

PG: No, we didn’t.

Barkha Dutt: But, there is a sort of acceptance that one day, if politics goes a certain way, Rahul will be Prime Minister, or could be, I won’t say will be.

PG: It’s quite possible, yes.

Barkha Dutt: It’s quite possible. Is the family comfortable with that? In terms of the background of reluctant participation?

PG: I think so, yes. Provided that he works hard towards it, provided that he goes through the grind and provided that he deserves it.

Barkha Dutt: Is there anything you’d like to see different him as a politician, not as a brother, since you said you can separate the two…

PG: No, I think one thing that I admire about my brother that he has this ability to be focused on what he wants to do. So people will say, you know- You should be a Minister, you should be part of government, you should learn how it works- they’ll give all the best reasons for it. But he will say — no, I’m in charge of the Youth Congress, I think that democracy is important, I think it’s the most important thing right now for political parties in India and I’m going to focus on that — and he does it. And he does it regardless of what anybody thinks of him. I mean, remember the UP election, where he was berated and in the press and everything was piled onto him. But he just went ahead with what he thought was right and, the other thing that I think is great about him as a politician is he’s very good with… he doesn’t have this thing that he absolutely has to succeed every time and he’s very good with things in which perhaps maybe in the short term he won’t succeed but he can see that there is a long term success. He will work through that short term failure.

Barkha Dutt: Like the decision for the Congress to go it alone in many states right now?

PG: Yes, and I think that’s so important for a politician, to be able to sacrifice the now, for the future.

Barkha Dutt: What about the charges of dynastic inheritance?

PG: I don’t buy that. Because, you know, I would buy it if there weren’t elections every 5 years where we were elected by people. People ask me here, in Amethi, how come you’re getting elected every time? It’s certainly not just because he’s a Gandhi. It is because that name and that family stands for something that has been done here, people have seen work. People have seen commitment, people have seen honesty and therefore they support. So I don’t buy that.

Barkha Dutt: It’s been an unpleasant campaign in some ways. Your cousin, Varun, is filing his nominations this week, did that make you upset, that whole controversy beyond the political because it was a member of the family? In sense, I mean in a broader sense, although maybe you all don’t really talk anymore…

PG: No, I haven’t actually met him since, I think since the day he turned 18.

Barkha Dutt: That’s a long time…

PG: And before that on my wedding. So it’s just sporadic in all these years. But I don’t want to make too many comments about Varun, he’s after all a cousin and I’ve said what I had to say. On principle I think it was wrong. And that did upset, me, my brother, all of us, in the way that you think that every member of this family stands for something, not just because it’s a title, or it’s a thing.. its something that we really believe. It is something we’ve justified many things with. Like the death of our own father, as children, we justified that this was for our country because he believed in something. Maybe it was a childish thing, so we’ve lived by these things. Therefore to see a member of our family who somehow is not being able to abide by those same principles is painful.

Barkha Dutt: Now you personally- when you hear yourself described as a natural at politics- does that feel good? Have you made your peace with the kind of public gaze there is on you, your children who were here, Robert, have you made your peace with that?

PG: Yes, I think I’ve made my peace with it. And I think when you talked about my conflict, one of the big things of my conflict because I knew that it came naturally to me. So the confusion was, is this really who I am? Or who am I?

Barkha Dutt: So you knew you were good at it, basically?

PG: I know, I’m not a fool. I know I’m comfortable with people; its not an effort for me to talk in front of people or to say what I think or to connect to them, its not an effort at all. But does that mean I want to be in politics? No.

Barkha Dutt: And yet your kids were here as part of the whole campaign?

PG: Because I think its very important for my kids know this world as well and I think sometimes its misunderstood, it seems like I’m trying to thrust them into something, but it’s not that at all. As children, they must be used to the fact that their family is involved in this thing. They’ll see crowds. I don’t want them to suddenly grow up, when they’re 14-15 be intimidated or to suddenly think that they are great shakes because people are running around them. I want them to be used to it, so unless I do it at this age, bring them into this situation where people are all around us, and it’s a normal thing, rather than it being something that they suddenly hits them at 15 and they think that they are the cats whiskers because they have a few people calling them great and wonderful.

Barkha Dutt: I can’t let you go without asking you, how is your Hindi so proficient? I have so many friends who ask me that all the time?

PG: To be very honest with you, full credit for my Hindi goes to Mrs. Teji Bacchan.

Barkha Dutt: Really?

PG: Yes. Because when I was a kid I spent a lot of time with her. And she started giving me Bacchan ji’s poetry to read, which I loved. So I read all his books, then she gave me other books to read- ‘Godaan’ by Premchand and all. So she really got me interested in Hindi literature. Its because that I read so much, that my Hindi is good.

Barkha Dutt: And can you read Hindi today, can you read it comfortably like you did then?

PG: Yes, yes of course. I still do.

Barkha Dutt: Thanks so much for your time And all the best.

A Cinema And a Boy

The Jenin in the Palestinian West Bank was full of the wars and gunfire. Some extremists live here, so this place is the hothouse of terrorism. And it is the source of the human bombers, because almost half of the suicide bombers are come from here. So Jenin is famous for the cradle of suicide bomber.

On day in 2005, a Palestinian boy walked in the street with a gun. He did not know that in just the past minutes ago this street suffered from the riot. Someone threw the stones to the Israeli soldiers. When the jeep of Israeli soldiers driven forward, they saw the boy with a gun. After a serious shot, the boy lied down in the pool of the blood. After that the Israeli soldiers discovered that gun just a toy. The boy was sent to the hospital immediately, unluckily, the boy finally died after two days. But the attitude of the boy’s father made all the people surprised. He decided to donate the organs of his son to the people in Israeli. The heart, kidney, liver and two pulmonary were transplanted to the six Israeli people. The only requirement to the father was that he could see the people who accepted his son’s organs whether they were health or not. he said that” when I see them, I can feel that my son still alive.”

The Israeli Prime Minister was moved by the action of that father, so he invited the father to his office and accepted his apology. A film maker was moved about this story too, so he took this story to play a film. This film was published in the world and got many prizes. But for the father, there was still pity in his mind. He hoped that film could show in the local place what his son was shot. He wanted to tell the children: the life not just has the blood and confliction, but also has the forgiveness. The only cinema was closed in 1983; there was no cinema in the areas of Jenin anymore. So the father decided to establish a cinema. In order to achieve this goal, he tried his best to search help from the local people. At the end, the cinema had been built.

Poverty is Killing The Energy of Millions of People: Rahul Gandhi

18 nov 2009

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi while interacting with students at Vijayawada(Andhra Pradesh) talked in length on the burning issues of the day. He shared his thought on the issues of reservation for the poor students, poverty and attack on Indian students in Australia. Students were very happy to interact with the young leader and they were willing to talk to him for sometime more. One of the students said, “I am very elated today because every one of us standing here got an opportunity to interact with such a famous personality Rahul Gandhi and it would have been nice if he could interact for sometime more. There were some questions on reservation and poverty prevailing in Indian system and there were also some questions about colleges run by politicians and demanding huge fees. We asked him about the future of poor students who want to study and have lots of caliber. There were many more questions which we could not ask due to lack of time. He answered all the questions very coolly and beautifully that’s why we wanted to interact with him for sometime more. Talking on the problem of poverty in our country, Congress General Secretary said that it is causing huge loss to the nation. “There are millions of people who could give much more to the country but due to poverty they are not able to do so,” he said. He also put his views on global warming. He said, “In the last 100 years or more, industrial development has mostly taken place either in Europe or in United State. But now, when India and China are trying to industrialize their nation they are saying that it is causing global warming.” Students were very enthusiastic while interacting with the young leader. Another student said,” He is a right person for becoming the prime minister of this country. He answered in very cool manner and he seems a very experienced person and we expect him as prime minister in future. He talked in an interactive style and talked on burning issues of India.” While Congress General Secretary requested all present to not to consider him as future Prime Minster. He said, “Dr Manmohan Singh is very capable person and is doing his job well.” Replying to a question on terrorism he said that the country is dealing with the issue in accordance with the law. He further said that corruption is a big problem for the future politics of India. A girl among the students said, “We expected from him the same answer and we are happy that he gave us the same answer. We are very happy to have interaction with him”. Congress General Secretary talked on the availability of seats in the colleges and the number of colleges in the country. He also spoke on the cooperation between industry and educational institutions. Students viewed Congress General Secretary having all the qualities of a future prime minister. “He has the quality to lead the country but still as he is only in his 30s; in future he has the good quality and capabilities to lead the nation.

“There is only one big issue in India and that issue is prevailing poverty in our country. If we have to wage a war, it must be against poverty,” stressed Congress general secretary.