Demolition Man

May 31, 2007

Appeared in the Pioneer May 30th.

Kerala’s demolition man
Rajeev Srinivasan
Kerala’s Communist Chief Minister has taken on crooks of all shades, which no other politician has done. Yet, the CPI(M) is unhappy with him. Is it because those who fund the Marxists are victims of his crusade against corruption?

There is a heart-rending sight as one drives through ‘God’s Own Country’ – thousands of acres of paddy fields, all the way to the horizon, lying fallow and useless. These were lushly productive within living memory, filled with that unbelievably joyous unnamed green of young paddy, and later rice-stalks heavy with grain, swaying in the breeze. This is now a memory, thanks mostly to labour strife. Communist intransigence is to blame.

Read the rest of this entry »


Appeared in the Pioneer on May 22nd.

Justice denied: the Kanishka bombing of 1985


Rajeev Srinivasan on skeletons tumbling out of closets


Here are the bare facts. In 1985, Air India’s flight 182, a Boeing 747 named Kanishka, blew up over the Atlantic off Ireland en route to India, killing all 329 aboard. A time-delayed bomb in the checked luggage was the culprit. In a related incident, two Japanese baggage handlers died at Tokyo’s Narita airport when luggage on another Canada-India flight exploded.


Separatist Khalistanis were suspected of having set the bombs. But no one was convicted for murder after the longest and costliest trial in Canadian history. Only one person was convicted: Inderjeet Singh Reyat pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2003 and received a five-year sentence. The suspected ringleader, Talwinder Singh Parmar, died in India in 1992 and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s two main surviving suspects were both acquitted in March 2005.

  Read the rest of this entry »

Encounter killings

May 23, 2007

This is what I actually wrote. Rediff has replaced many of the external links with other links that I am not thrilled with. Also, I specifically said that “political workers posing as relatives of victims” forced a trial by media, and there are particular political workers whom I have named before who were caught on camera doing this. But Rediff chose to drop the “political workers posing as”. Oh well.

The consequences of inaction vs. the human rights of the terrorist


Rajeev Srinivasan on how human rights apply to the victim rather than the perpetrator


Consider the following moral dilemma: If you knew that a friend was planning to commit random mass murder, what would you do? Would you turn him in to the police, or would you let him murder, in cold blood? Most people would in fact alert the authorities, because the massacre of innocents violates our sense of ethics.

  Read the rest of this entry »

Rediff messed up my name and took out something I said about women politicians throwing tantrums (eg. Jayalalitha and Mamta Banerjee), but here it is:

Read the rest of this entry »

In defense of caste

May 4, 2007

Previously printed by the Pioneer as one side of a debate. Here is my side

and here’s the other side of the debate:

Here’s the full text of what I wrote:

Nothing wrong with caste
Birth and berth — Rajeev Srinivasan | Public affairs commentator
It has become a conditioned, Pavlovian reflex for Indians to condemn the entire idea of caste unthinkingly. It has become a cliché to rail against caste, but jati and varnam are just a codification of the fact that all humans are not born equal in their endowments: Some are tall, some are fat, some are musically talented, and so on. We cannot escape the ruthless Bell Curve.
Read the rest of this entry »

Arrogance and cupidity
Rajeev Srinivasan
There are echoes of the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties in the US these days. The Dow Jones Index has hit several all-time highs, and a few hedge-fund managers took home a billion dollars each last year. Yet, Toyota just overtook General Motors as the biggest car-company in the world and US industry continues to hollow out. April has been a cruel month, with the Virginia-Tech shootout and the increasing number of American bodybags coming home.
The continued decline of the dollar and the apparently unstoppable rise of China and India are alarm signals for the health of the US economy. But the political situation is even more fraught, as Iraq is rapidly becoming this generation’s Vietnam, and the lame-duck Presidency of Mr George W Bush is on a self-destructing spiral, the latest example being ex-CIA honcho George Tenet’s broadside against his former boss and colleagues in the Bush White House. Meanwhile, Bush acolyte and World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is at the centre of a raging scandal.
Read the rest of this entry »