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Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

After his late night meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, which the two sides described as frank and detailed, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Basheer expressed regret that relations between the two South Asian neighbours had come to such a pass that they have to meet thousands of miles away here in Egypt.

He said: "We would be happy to come to New Delhi, I have been there before and we would be happy to have the Indian side over at Islamabad."

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

The XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit began here on Wednesday. Heads of Government of 118 developing nations will discuss issues related to the global economic downturn, terrorism, climate change and food security during the summit.
Other summit themes would be international solidarity for peace and development and current economic and financial crisis. It would also focus in comprehensive manner on global regional and sub-regional issues, besides issues relating to development, human rights and social issues.
Dr. Singh will address the plenary session of the NAM Summit this afternoon, and has already underlined India's commitment to help revitalize the NAM, which had a renewed role to play in the emerging world order following the end of the Cold War.

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan – Shiv Shankar Menon and Salman Basheer – burnt the midnight oil on Tuesday to try to work out some kind of framework to lay the ground for the resumption of talks between the two countries.
Mandated by their respective Prime Ministers’ – Dr. Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani -- to work out the modalities before the two heads of government meet on Thursday (July 16). Menon and Basheer interacted with each other without the assistance of aides late into the night.

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

Barely into the second paragraph of his speech at the 15th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement at Sharm-el-Sheikh, Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani brought up the topic of Kashmir by saying "long standing unresolved disputes" were putting stress on international systems.
And, as if this hint was not enough, Gilani later in his speech said: "Durable peace in South Asia is achievable" and that it could only be "facilitated by the resolution of all outstanding disputes, including Jammu and Kashmir."

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

As part of the media team accompanying the Prime Minister to Egypt to take part in the 15th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit meet, I can't help but feel a sense of anxiety.
I am walking the streets of the place where my father was posted in 1961 as a young officer with the United Nations Emergency Force. Then Captain Ramamohan Rao, he was sent to the United Nations emergency force in Gaza strip as part of the Indian Contingent.

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

Addressing the 118-member XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in this Red Sea resort on Wednesday afternoon, India’s Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, without directly naming or targeting Pakistan, said that no nation should provide a safe haven to terrorists.

Apparently setting the tone for what he is likely to take up with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani during their meeting on Thursday, Dr. Singh said that in recent years terrorists have become "more sophisticated, more organized and more daring".


Sharm-el- Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

Speaking shortly after a late night meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon here, a visibly tired Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Basheer said he brought up the issue of the resumption of the composite dialogue between the two countries.
He said: "The composite dialogue provides avenues for specific discussions. It is a structured set up and, in many ways, it has delivered in the past."
Basheer, however, clarified that it wasn’t just the issue of the composite dialogue that came up.
"It was more than just terror, we talked about bilateral relations. We have to give the two Prime Ministers’ a chance" to talk,” he said.

Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh arrived in Egypt late on Tuesday night to attend the two-day XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit.
Issues like global economic downturn, terrorism, climate change and food security are expected to be on top of the agenda at the Summit.
Other summit themes are international solidarity for peace and development and current economic and financial crisis. It would also focus in comprehensive manner on global regional and sub-regional issues, besides issues relating to development, human rights and social issues.


Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 15, 2009 (ANI)
India today reminded the world that in decision-making bodies, in global economic processes and political emancipation of nations, nobody should forget that Africa is lagging behind.

Speaking on the first day of the XVth Non-Aligned Movement Summit here, the Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, said: "Nowhere are the challenges that humankind faces more pressing than in the continent of Africa. NAM should work to give Africa's problems and equally its prospects, preeminence in the global development agenda."

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16, 2009 (ANI)

Without the presence of 21st century enfant terrible of the Middle East Mohammad Ahmadinejad, the towering personality of Fidel Castro or the biting wit of Venezuelian President Hugo Chavez, the 15th Non-Aligned Movement Summit meet lacks the glamour element.
The media room has journalists wondering which world leader to chase for bites. Ultimately the general consensus is that it can only be India-Pakistan talks, whether they happen or not, that can really be the only 'story'.
Even the once flamboyant Muammar Gaddafi seems like an aged lion dressed in orange robes and purple turban. All he could say was "We are the world" referring to the over 100 heads of government of mostly developing nations who have gathered here in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16, 2009 (ANI)

Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon met his Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir on the sidelines of the XVth Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) Summit for a second time on Wednesday.
The meeting was held ahead of meeting between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday.

Describing India's relations with Pakistan as "stressed", Menon said it was no use doing the same dialogue over and over again unless it deals with reality.

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16, 2009 (ANI)

The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan – Dr. Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani – have begun their much anticipated bilateral meeting here on the sidelines of the XVth Non-Aligned Movement Summit.
The two leaders are being accompanied and assisted at their talks by their respective foreign ministers, national security advisers, key officials and aides.
The scene at the venue of the meeting was completely chaotic on Thursday morning due to an overwhelming media crush.


Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16, 2009 (ANI)
Talks between the Prime Ministers’ of India and Pakistan – Dr. Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani – being held on the sidelines of the XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM Summit here, have gone beyond the scheduled time.
The much anticipated meeting has now gone on for more than two hours, forcing the cancellation of a bilateral meeting between Dr. Singh and his Nepalese counterpart Madhav Kumar Nepal and the postponement of the Prime Minister’s press conference by one-and-a half-hours.
The Prime Minister was scheduled to address a press conference at 1 p.m. local time, but this has now been postponed to 2.30 p.m. after the closure of the XVth NAM Summit.


Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt), July 16, 2009 (ANI)
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh held bilateral meetings with his Bangladeshi and Vietnamese counterparts -- Sheikh Hasina and Nguyen Tan Dung respectively on the sidelines of the XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit here on Wednesday.
Leaders of developing states that make up NAM had earlier said the world needs a financial system that is fairer to developing states, which have suffered most from an economic crisis caused by rich countries.
The grouping has struggled to stay relevant after it was founded during the Cold War by countries, which did not want to be aligned either with the Soviet Union or the United States.

Factionalism in BJP 2009  8  29

New Delhi, August 29, 2009 (ANI)

IT has always been Team Advani vs Team Vajpayee. And now as former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is too ill to intervene in the bloodletting in his party, he watches his former team has got together once again to wage that final assault on their perpetual enemy, Lal Krishna Advani.
Jaswant Singh, Arun Shourie, Brajesh Mishra and Yashwant Sinha have a common cause. To oust Advani. And their Brahmastra is the Kandahar hijacking episode. Did Advani know or not that Jaswant Singh was accompanying the released terrorists to Afghanistan and bringing back the hostages with him?
Advani had said on several occasions that he was unaware of the details. Team Vajpayee says he knew everything. Isn’t there any note taking that happens at these meetings?

The Team Advani vs Team Vajpayee war has been on for more than 15 years. This city was divided into two camps. Not just the BJP. There were journalists who were loyal to one or the other, bureaucrats too. They just had to make the choice and there was no option.


The Obama kids will be quite happy they aren’t attending Tuesday’s banquet hosted by their parents - Barack and Michelle — in honour of the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
It is going to be high on veggies and low on meat. Why? ‘Coz MM Singh is coming to town! (apologies to Santa Claus).
The Indian Prime Minister is a vegetarian and teetotaler to boot. He rarely goes beyond kadi chawal or dahi chawal. Not one to experiment much with his food, he sticks to Punjabi bland food at best. Now is there something called Punjabi bland food? Yes its called BORING!
But back to the menu, more closely guarded than the health bill or the Afghan troop movement.


Washington, November 23, 2009 (ANI)
To involve Indian and American industries in enhancing investment flows between both countries, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh on Monday said that Indian private sector defence suppliers are now allowed to have up to 26 percent foreign investment, opening a new avenue for Indo-US collaboration.

Addressing the US-India Business Council (USIBC), the premier business advocacy organization representing America’s top companies investing in India, joined by global Indian companies promoting economic reforms with an aim to deepen and strengthen bilateral trade and commercial ties, Dr. Singh: “We have an expanding area of defence collaboration, including the possibility of procurement of defence equipment from the US. Our domestic private sector defence suppliers are now allowed to have up to 26 percent foreign investment, opening a new avenue for Indo-US collaboration.”


Washington DC, Nov. 24, 2009 (ANI)
Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi today thanked India for extending hospitality to the Dalai Lama saying, "India is a country that is value based. " These were welcoming remarks that she made while receiving Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Capital Hill. She said that from Martin Luther King who received inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi, to the present generation, Americans has learnt "about non violence and how to get results (by using non violence).
Ms Pelosi invited the Prime Minister to revisit the US soon and address the joint session of Congress. She also made a mention of the Mumbai attacks saying, "Almost one year to the day when India suffered the terrible loss of Mumbai, we gather today today to see how we can learn from that experience." An awkward statement but nonetheless an acknowledgement that the Mumbai attack is not being ignored in America.


Washington, Nov. 24, 2009 (ANI)
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has told media persons here that the Indian Government has expressed its concern to Washington over US arms supply to Pakistan.
Addressing a press conference here last night, Rao said Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has expressed his concern over the misuse of arms supplied to Pakistan by the United States. Rao, who is accompanying Dr. Singh on his four-day visit to Washington, said that until Pakistan takes meaningful action on tackling India's concerns on terrorism, bilateral relations couldn't be normalised.


Washington, Nov.24, 2009 (ANI)
Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has said that Iran must not go down the nuclear weapons path, and added that New Delhi has unambiguously and consistently said that it does not support such a step.
Interacting with noted diplomat and president of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) during a question and answer session that followed a speech to the august gathering, Dr. Singh said: “As far as Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions are concerned, I have unambiguously said that I don’t support it. Iran is a signatory to the NPT (Nuclear Proliferation Treaty), and has a right to peaceful use of nuclear energy.”


New Delhi, Nov.26, 2009 (ANI)
Once can be termed a fluke. The second makes a point and the third time its validation. Aishwarya Rai, then Shilpa Shetty and now Deepika Padukone, the three damsels from Karnataka have captured the imagination of the Bombay film industry.
Their dancing skills, chiseled bodies, large limpid eyes, perfect diction and dialogue delivery, dignified demeanor has the industry and viewers accepting the fact that Kannadigas have more to offer than Deve Gowda and rava dosai.
There is yet another K factor. If you combine a KK (Karnataka Kudi) with another K (khan) well you get sparkles. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam had the KK plus K combine of Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan and that raked in huge moolah and Om Shanti Om has the KK plus K of Deepika Padukone and Shahrukh Khan, and what a blockbuster that one is.


Port of Spain, Nov. 26, 2009 (ANI)
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, arrived on Thursday afternoon from Washington to attend the three-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) here.
The CHOGM will be formally declared open at the National Academy for Performing Arts in Port-of-Spain today.
The focus of this meeting is expected to be on the internationally troubling issue of climate change. Representatives of member nations are expected to establish the Commonwealth’s position on the problem ahead of next month’s United Nations Climate Change Talks in Copenhagen.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen will be the special guests at the deliberations related to climate change. Rasmussen will be chairing the UN talks in Copenhagen.



Port of Spain, November 28, 2009 (ANI)
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's bilateral interactions with French President Nicholas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown held here on Friday on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) primarily focused on counter-terrorism, sympathy for the victims of last year's 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai, the first anniversary of which was observed two days ago, and the next steps to be taken for arresting the threat of climate change.
While the working lunch meeting with President Sarkozy lasted for about an hour, the interaction with Prime Minister Brown lasted for about 40-minutes, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash revealed to the media on Friday.
"The discussion with President Sarkozy, they also had a fruitful exchange of views on the outgoing cooperation in this area of counter-terrorism. President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Singh expressed satisfaction on the cooperation in the civil nuclear cooperation sector," Prakash said.


Port Of Spain, November 28, 2009 (ANI)
That the issue of climate change has hijacked the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet (CHOGM) with every other global issue being put on the back burner. It began with the sudden and mysterious arrival of French President Sarkozy here and then on from the inaugural ceremony onwards every speech, meeting, discussion has focused on the upcoming climate change meeting in Copenhagen. Indian government officials have gone into a huddle to work on the issue with the muddying of waters that has taken place in the past 48 hours. According to reports coming out of China, the IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) and China have agreed to a strategy that involves jointly walking out of the Copenhagen conference if the developed nations try to force their own terms on the developing world. The new term coined by this grouping is BASIC, to include China. The BASIC draft said the Kyoto Protocol should continue to have effect and rich countries should assume the responsibilities to cut emission in accordance with the target of the second commitment period from 2013. "The outcome of the summit should include long-term cooperative actions on climate change, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the impacts of climate change, as well as provision of financial and technological support," the representatives said in a statement.


Port Of Spain, Nov. 28, 2009 (ANI)
Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi today said that given the popularity of soccer in India and the fact that the country will soon have international class stadia, India will soon make a bid to host the World Cup in football. A trifle ambitious it may seem going by the titters of laughter the claim made among the Indian reporters covering the press conference. But foreign journalists said, they wouldn't put it past India to whip up a magic wand and make it possible. "You guys just manage to make the impossible possible. Look what you do on the cricket field."


Port of Spain, Nov. 28, 2009 (ANI)
A white floor length embroidered dress, a necklace of giant pigeon red rubies and diamonds and a magnificent tiara.... the Queen was dressed to impress at the state banquet given by Trinidadian President George Maxwell Richards on the first day of the two-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM). The tiara was the one she wore at her wedding in 1947.
However it was her dress that evoked maximum attention. The hand beaded ball gown had Trinidad and Tobago's national birds, a scarlet ibis, cocrio and chaconia stitched on to it. But clearly its recessionary times and it showed. Despite the ostentatious tiara that she wore the silver bag she carried was splitting at the seams. Ah a fashion faux pas by the Queen. How did that happen, considering that she has been immaculately turned out in the past two days?
Yesterday when the Queen Elizabeth arrived here she was dressed in a green silk dress, which had a chiffon sheath on it. A green hat complemented the well-cut outfit. Today at the inaugural she was dressed in a beige silk dress with a matching hat. A bit heavy on the lace and embroidery element, the dress was appropriate nonetheless as it was a morning event.


Port Of Spain, November 29, 2009 (ANI)
India is not changing its goal posts on the issue of climate change and is ready to contribute to the global campaign for emission reduction on the “principle of equity”, said Shyam Saran, the Special Envoy of the Indian Prime Minister on Climate Change here.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that New Delhi favours an equal sharing of the global emission burden reduction. Seeking to bring clarity to the Prime Minister’s statement, Saran said: “It is okay to talk about those global targets, but unless you accompany those global targets with a clear understanding about how a burden is going to be shared among developed and developing countries, this will not confirm to the principle of equity.”


New Delhi, Apr.9, 2008 (ANI)
Ah double relief the Lakme fashion Week has ended and Miss India 2008 has been crowned. Glamour please take a back seat. But wait! Horror of horrors, did you notice, that awful fashion item, the kaftan is back? It was seen last week on the ramp, in all its 'awful glory' and fashion gurus gleefully gave sound bites to pyts on TV channels that it's time Indian women stocked up on this throwback to the seventies.

So all those who have busted their butts at the gym to fit into size zero jeans like Kareena Kapoor can fret and fume over their wasted effort because this voluminous, free flowing gown is back with a bang. Its not just Indian designers like Sonam Dubal or Ashima-Leena at the Lakme Fashion Week who showcased the Kaftan, this fashion faux pax has found its way into chic stores in the UK too.


Washington, July 4, 2008 (ANI)
Crude oil skyrocketed to 145 dollars a barrel and Americans are feeling the pinch like never before.
With the Fourth of July weekend looming up, Americans are planning low-key Independence Day celebrations.
Grocery shopping has undergone a rethink with buying in bulk and buying sensibly topping the list.
So, if fruits have to be bought, then why buy 30 dollars a dozen Indian mangoes when one can get 10 dollars a dozen South American mangoes?
Sandeep Agarwal, the owner of an Indian grocery store in a Maryland suburb, says in every box of Indian mangoes, one or two are over ripe or rotten. So, buyers get very angry when they pay so much and get poor quality mangoes. I believe early rains in India are to blame. Indian mangoes can't compete with South American mangoes because the latter are cheaper, good quality and easily available.

Sex for Gas! 2008  7  4


Washington, July 4, 2008 (ANI)
As gas prices skyrocketed to new high this week, a 50-year-old Kentucky resident actually paid for sex with a 100-dollar card good for gas at Speedway gas station.
An undercover cop caught him having sex with a call girl last Friday at a Days Inn in Fort Wright.
Angela Eversole sold her body for just 25 gallons of petrol and has been charged with 'doing business without an occupational license!

Novak has been charged with promoting prostitution.


Washington, July 4, 2008 (ANI)
Indian grad students studying in the US are finding the summer hard. Those who chose not to go back to India for the summer break, hoping to get summer jobs are finding that for the first time there are no jobs...not even in grocery stores and fast food eateries. Employers cut 62,000 jobs in the month of June as soaring fuel prices and a slowing economy forced companies to reduce costs. The US Department of Labour reported that the economy has lost about 438,000 jobs since the beginning of the year. The unemployment rate was at 5.5%.


New York, July 11, 2008 (ANI)
For the first time ever, an Indian school soccer team is taking part in a youth soccer tournament in the US.
Seventeen players, all under the age of 14 from New Delhi's elite Sanskriti School, were in New York State this week to take part in the Golden Goal Tournament Park.
This year's tournament has been bifurcated into a "Boys Weeks" and a 'Girls Weeks" The boys aged under 13, 14 and 15 are playing from July 5 to 11, while boys under age of 11 and 12 will play from July 12 to 18. After an interval of eight days, boys under the age of 13 and 14 will play matches from July 26 to August 1., while boys under the age of 12 and 14 will play between August 2 and 8. Boys under the age of 10, 11, 12 and 13 will play matches from August 16 to 22.
The matches for girls in similar age groups are being played from June 28 to August 29.


Washington, July 11, 2008 (ANI)
From early hours of the morning, Indian techies and Non Resident Indians have started lining up outside AT&T and Apple shops to buy the new 3G iPhone. This new generation phone, if one can call it that, promises faster Web browsing experience. At least faster than the original iPhone launched in June 2007.

Ramesh Kundapura came in at dawn to the AT&T store in Rockville Maryland to pick up his phone. He had already paid in advance last week a princely sum of 300 dollars because he is an existing AT&T customer. His friend Varun Narain had to pay 500 dollars as he isnt an AT&T customer. They will have to pay higher monthly fees for talking, checking e-mail, surfing the web and even for their text messages. The monthly subscription fee has also been hiked by $10


October 21, 2008 (ANI)
What is your morning cuppa? Coffee or Tea? A simple enough question but just think about it, why is it not just a simple answer to a simple question. How fanatical are we about that morning cup of tea coffee or whatever it is that you drink first thing in the morning. I recollect my dad used to drink some vile concoction with ground wheat and what have you. It looked scary and I'm sure tasted awful. But he was fanatical about it for several years. Now he is content with his weak, oh so weak tea. My mother likes her tea really "well done"...seriously.... she boils it about as long as one has that kaali daal boiling on the burner.


Washington, Nov.7, 2008 (ANI)
Imagine not inheriting a permanent bureaucracy. Freedom to bring in your own babus. It is every Indian politician’s dream. Here in "the land of the free", it is a privilege that the President enjoys. He is not encumbered with a permanent bureaucracy. So on January 20th, when President elect
Barack Obama becomes President Obama, he will bring with him a whole new team.
He will not have to inherit a bunch of babus looking down their noses at the inexperienced head of government, something that happens in India every five years!

Obama says hey Rahm 2008  11  7


Washington, Nov 7, 2008 (ANI)
President elect Barack Obama has a selected his chief of staff and his name is Rahm. Though the name has nothing to do with the Hindu mythological figure of Ram, Indian Americans who are loyal Obama supporters are sure to be happy with the name that sounds so like the Hindu God.

Representative Rahm Emanuel is a former Clinton Administration official and a fellow member of Congress from Illinois and the President elect says that he selected Rahm for the crucial job because he has "deep insights into the challenging economic issues that will be front and center for our administration."


November 30, 2008 (ANI)

Does the Intelligence chief on one country go to another because the Prime Minister of that country summons him? He doesn't. And especially not if it is the ISI chief and the Prime Minister is an Indian. It was naïve to think that Dr Manmohan Singh would tell Mr. Asif Zardari, send your ISI chief and the chief would come marching on from Wagah border. An ISI chief has never come to India and a RAW chief has never been to Islamabad. But Zardari said 'yes '. Not just the ISI chief but he would send Army Chief Ashfaq Kiyani, who is himself and ex-director general of the ISI.

Athens (Greece), May 08, 2007 (ANI): Speaking to scientists and academicians at the National Centre for Scientific Research at Demokritos, Athens, on Friday, President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam said that "energy independence is India's first and highest priority." Kalam also advocated the need for using thorium reactors for the country, saying, "India has to go for nuclear power generation in a big way using thorium-based reactors. Thorium, a non fissile material is available in abundance in our country."

Kalam's recommendation assumes importance in the wake of debates taking place in India over the efficacy of thorium as opposed to uranium for the country's fast-breeder reactors. This debate has been going on within the Indian scientific fraternity for almost a decade.

Its all about energy 2007  11  11

 Moscow, November 11, 2007

 If there is a swagger in Vladimir Putin it has nothing to do with his six-pack, though going by photographs he could put Sharukh in OSO to shame. The swagger is due to his country's bulging oil profits and India with huge energy hunger has come abegging. Manmohan Singh knows that subsidies have to roll back and triple digit figures per barrel have India like China clawing at Russia's door. With the 123 agreement in the dock, India has to look simultaneously for other options. Russia is where it has always sought. Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu is the buzzword with the Indian delegation accompanying the Prime Minister. Two or four reactors, whatever is achievable will be worked at. India and the then Soviet Union signed an agreement in 1988 on building 2000 MW power plant at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, two are built and Moscow is offering to build four more. To build them India needs special approval from the 45 nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) because it has not signed the NPT.


Moscow, Nov.12, 2007 (ANI)
India and Russia today jointly pledged to take forward the India-Russia-China troika forward to "promising heights." At the end of two hours of deliberations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the two leaders waxed eloquently on bilateral relations but were almost effusive in their plans for expansion of the scope of the troika. President Putin spoke of continued meeting of leaders of the three countries and Prime Minister Singh said "We attach great importance to India-Russia-China cooperation." He said the three countries have " civilizational links and there was need for new complements to this relationship." We have an obligation to work on areas of convergence" he said.
India, China and Russia account for 40 per cent of the world's population, a fifth of its economy.... a serious threat to the leader of the unipolar world of today. That is if the three countries can shed their mutual suspicion and work towards giving more concrete shape to the geo-political strategic combo. It’s a happy meal that will serve almost half the world's population. Surely worth a try. Even if the US cannot digest this happy meal.

Moscow, Nov. 12, 2007 (ANI)


At the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in downtown Moscow, the Indian Prime Minister laid a wreath against the Kremlin Wall. In an essentially one-day visit, the Prime Minister had just two engagements besides his talks with President Vladimir Putin.


Moscow, November 13, 2007 (ANI)

Several women in the Prime Minister's delegation to Moscow for his 24-hour visit and not one woman in fur. Not even faux fur. And this in a city that revels in its fur fashion. Mrs Gursharan Kaur wore a black woolen overcoat most of the day while the Prime Minister preferred a gray woolen coat. His colleagues were all men, no fur there. And the media team which had a record ten women teamed their outfits with leather or woolen coats to beat the -7 degrees Celsius weather. Not one of them owned a mink coat. It’s kind of hard to combine mink with Kanjeevaram or Banarasi sarees, which is as dressy as a woman Journalist gets.


But ask Russian women what is her idea of a perfect gift and you are most likely to get a reply " a mink coat". No apologies here for anti fur lobbyists. Russians love their fur. It comes in all colours and cuts and length. Calvin Klien, Jean PaulGaultier, Roberto Cavalli or Oscar de la Renta, most international labels have experimented with fur this year. Basic colours like black, gray and white are popular but one can even spot yellow and orange in shop windows this year.

Putin packs a punch 2007  11  13


Moscow, Nov 13, 2007 (ANI)
Russian President Vladimir Putin is a man of few words. He isn't given to effusive sentimentality. He was very comfortable during his two-hour-long meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who like his host, has a sphinx like exterior but packs a deadly punch when needed.
Remember his "so be it"?
And so, while the Indian media and foreign office gushed about the Indo-US nuclear accord for the better part of two years, Putin waited and watched. And then delivered the 'solar plexus' blow yesterday when he pointedly remarked on Russia being a reliable partner for India, just in case the world's most populous country and chaotic democracy
forgot how Russia has stood by it through the Pakistan wars and Kashmir and Punjab secessionist movements and provided fuel for Tarapore.

Somebody make Gowda PM 2007  11  16


Bangalore, November 16, 2007 (ANI)
What is Deve Gowda up to? Why is he silent? These are two questions plaguing all of Karnataka and all those associated with Karnataka in New Delhi. More so in the BJP offices at Ashoka Road. Somebody make him Prime Minister and move him to Race Course Road. He could cause lesser tumult than he does in Bangalore. The Silicon City then will have more billionaires than the measly four that Forbes listed out yesterday. Why even moffusil Pune has beaten the outsourcing Mecca of the world.... it has five billionaires.
Karnataka deserves better. Poor Yedyurappa looks over his shoulder more times than even General Musharraf these days. And Yedyurappa doesn't have the Taliban after him. He only has the Gowda family. Did I say "only"? This family beats the Bush's...they simply don't go away. And they are, like the Bush family, simple people. Very simple. Remember Deve Gowda's famous boast of being "mannina maga" which translated means "son of the soil" and very loosely translated means "one who reduces all to soil" !

Mumbai, November 21, 2007

Fashion magazines in the west say that layering is 'in' this winter. Wasn't it 'in' in the summer too? And studiously Indian fashionistas decide to adopt this trend in the summer. Told us to layer in the 40 degrees Celsius temperatures.
Somebody tell them stop. We in India have been 'layering' for centuries. What else is a sari for heaven's sake? Its layers and layers of fabric that loving drapes over layers and layers of adipose. We discovered 'layering' a couple of centuries before the west discovered layering.


New Delhi, Nov. 23, 2007 (ANI)
Dont get me wrong, this has nothing to do with Mrs. Gursharan Kaur. Its got to do with the Prime Minister and the media. The Indian media has had the longest ever live in relationship with a Prime Minister to date. Not even Rajivji got this long a date. Agreed that the media in the giddy eighties saw young Rajiv as the bright beacon dragging a kicking screaming lethargic nation into the new millennium but then the gun happened. Remember the 'B' word. It just undid everything else. Even the "hum jeetenge ya loosenge" or "naani yaad dila denge" seemed cute in front of the barrage that the Bofors gun let loose.


Nov 27, 2007 (ANI)

No seriously, how much lower will the dollar go? It's gone lower beyond Mallika's neckline and even Rakhi Sawant's décolletage seems nun-like proper in comparison to this plunge. Is that how low it goes or further?
78% of Americans say that the economy is getting worse according to a recent Gallup report. So we poor third world types better be ready for some tough times because the greenback today looks increasingly like what the Bangladeshi Taka looked like a few years ago. It’s safe then to say, "dollar to do takey ka nahi."
Why if Karzai is given a free hand, the Afghani will be equal to the dollar. The ISI can then trade their ill-gotten dollars with the Afghani.

Nov. 28, 2007 (ANI)

As most of the world watched with bated breath, the impossible happened. A highly emotional General Musharraf handed over command to General Ashfaq Kiyani. It was a historical moment for the subcontinent, the world and hopefully Pakistan. As America slept (given the time difference) Pakistan awoke to a new freedom. Symbolically perhaps, the baton got stuck in its groove as Musharraf with shaking hands struggled to pull it out. Kiyani bent forward to help but by then even the Gods, probably moved by the poignancy of the moment, came to the rescue of the two awkward Generals. The baton moved and it was handed over by General Musharraf to General Kiyani.

Musharraf thunders- even 2007  11  29


Nov. 29, 2007 (ANI)
The new President of Pakistan after taking oath of office promised the country "come hell of high water, elections will be held". Twisting his mouth derisively he said any talk of boycott should be ignored. Parvez Musharraf dressed in a black bandh gala suit was administered oath of office in capital Islamabad this morning by Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar. Breaking with convention, the new President decided to address the august gathering. Neither Benazir Bhutto nor Nawaz Sharif or his family members were present, but there was a large contingent of judges, several army officers and colourfully attired ladies, including the first lady Sahiba Musharraf.


November 29, 2007 (ANI)
As most of the world watched with bated breath, the impossible happened. A highly emotional General Musharraf handed over command of the Pakistan Army to General Ashfaq Kiyani.
It was a historical moment for the subcontinent and the world. As America slept (paraphrasing India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru's historic speech on the occasion of India getting its independence from the British, and given the time difference), Pakistan awoke to a new freedom.
Symbolically perhaps, the baton got stuck in its groove as Musharraf, with shaking hands, struggled to pull it out. Kiyani bent forward to help, but by then, even the Gods, probably moved by the poignancy of the moment, came to the rescue of the two awkward generals. The baton moved and it was handed over by General Musharraf to General Kiyani.

Musharraf thunders- even 2007  11  29


Nov. 29, 2007 (ANI)

The new President of Pakistan after taking oath of office promised the country "come hell of high water, elections will be held". Twisting his mouth derisively he said any talk of boycott should be ignored. Parvez Musharraf dressed in a black bandh gala suit was administered oath of office in capital Islamabad this morning by Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar. Breaking with convention, the new President decided to address the august gathering. Neither Benazir Bhutto nor Nawaz Sharif or his family members were present, but there was a large contingent of judges, several army officers and colourfully attired ladies, including the first lady Sahiba Musharraf.

Kabul, August 28
Very heavy American security was placed around Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh soon after he arrived in Kabul on a two-day official visit, the first by an Indian head of Government to the Afghan capital in 29 years. Indira Gandhi was the last Indian Prime Minister to visit Kabul in 1976.

The Prime Minister and his entourage were accorded a warm ceremonial reception at the airport and were received by Afghanistan's Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Wardak.

Kabul(Afghanistan), August 28
Just 24 hours before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was to land in Kabul, the Afghan authorities apprehended a suicidal bomber in a place called Zabul in Shahisawa District, not too far away from Kabul.

According to Afghan sources, the suicide bomber whose name is Abdul Halim is from Karachi District in Pakistan. He had arrived in Zabul 20 days ago and his task was to create mayhem during Dr Manmohan Singh's visit to Afghanistan.

Kabul, August 28
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Sunday visited the Bagh-e-Babar complex in Kabul which houses the tomb and mosque of the 16th century Mughal ruler, Babar.


Accompanied by his entourage of officials, the Prime Minister paid homage to a larger-than -life monarch who ruled over a considerable part of northern India from 1526 to 1530.

Babar was born in Ferghana in present-day Uzbekistan in 1483. After spending many years in Kabul,he invaded India in 1525-26 and defeated the local ruler Ibrahim Lodhi at the First Battle of Panipat, which is not far from Delhi. He sent his son Humayun Mirza on to Agra to capture the Lodhi capital. Babar, travelling from Panipat to Agra, installed himself in the Lodhi citadel of Agra and declared himself Emperor of Hindustan.

Kabul, August 28
No rules, no lights, no cops. That's by and large the rules for drivers on Kabul's roads...If you can call them roads, that is. There are affluent neighbourhoods but no roads leading to them. Just cart roads where horse drawn carts and cars jostle for space. Residents say all this has happened in the last two years when affluence and people returned to the capital. The flip side is that a journey that took a mere 10 minutes can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes.


Around the Presidential Palace and the American Embassy the security is tight, traffic is controlled and barricades are all in place. Not many can get around to these parts of Kabul. Rest of Kabul is confusion, chaos, smog and blaring horns. This city desperately needs traffic policing and a public transport system that works. India, Iran and Japan have donated buses but there is an urgent need for more but before that Kabul needs construction of roads and traffic crossings.


Chennai, January 1, 2003 (ANI): South India is the treasure trove of silk saris with gold embroidery -the six yards of fabric has been draped in the same style for centuries.
But more youngsters these days feel it's too cumbersome attire for daily wear. Chennai in Tamil Nadu is home to the famous Kanjeevaram Sarees.
These saris are essential to an Indian brides' trousseau. Here women wear it even when they do their grocery shopping. Saris are the preferred attire here and sari shopping is an important family outing. Colours combinations, the count of the silk threads, the pattern of the zuree borders, the authenticity of the goldthreads -- all have to be checked and re-checked. Younger girls have for centuries worn what is known as the half sari. In Tamil it is called pavadai thavani, a skirt and half a sari draped over that. It is very elegant and something that mothers and grandmothers wanted you to wear, especially at weddings.

New York, September 26, 2003 (ANI):

Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, it seems, has had enough of NRI receptions for the time being.

On Thursday, at the third gathering of NRIs, which included eminent literary persons from India, Mr Vajpayee looked ill at ease.
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan had organised a three-day conference on Indian literature and had invited the creme-de-la-creme of the Indian literary scene to mark the birth centenary of Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan (JP).
Neither the organisers nor the Prime Minister referred to JP in their speeches, nor was homage paid to him or recollection made of his contribution to India’s freedom movement or the formation of the political party (BJP), which the Prime Minister today leads.

 New York, September 26, 2003 (ANI):

India and Pakistan sparred yet again at the end of the day today, when the Indian Prime Minister delivered his address to the United Nations General Assembly.
Pakistan exercised its Right of Reply (ROR), and in two sharply worded speeches, a Pakistani diplomat said: “We can concede that India knows a lot about terrorism because it is the mother of terrorism.”
He then accused India of promoting cross-border terrorism. “During the past few years, India’s security agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), has carried out 170 acts of terrorism in Pakistan and 279 of its agents have been apprehended. Not just in Pakistan, but agents of the Indian Government acting on the ruling BJP’s directive, also committed state-managed massacre of Indian Muslims and genocides,” he said.
He said a party, which had a “fascist doctrine”, ruled India. Examples were given of Bal Thackeray forming alleged terrorist groups to eliminate Muslims.