Students learn new meaning for ‘rubber’

Students in Uttar Pradesh found a new hiding place for their crib sheets (via India Uncut, appropriately enough). I wish they wouldn’t air their dirty laundry:

Invigilators at Jai Narain Degree College were baffled to find eight condoms hidden inside the underpants of a boy taking [an] examination…. Inside the condoms, chits with short answers, tips and formulae were neatly packed. When caught, one of the boys quipped, “It is a ‘condomed’ way to cheat”… The invigilators were not prepared to touch the condoms. So the college sweeper was summoned. He put the condoms in a file as proof for further action…. Another student was found hiding chits in a bandage on his leg.

Silly rabbit, prophylactics aren’t for filing. And I find this story hard to digest:

At Eram College, a girl was found hiding her chits in what the invigilators called “an unmentionable place”. When the chits were recovered, she swallowed them.

When the chits were down…

West Coast choppers

Accountant gives thieves the finger: A desi accountant in Malaysia was carjacked by machete-wielding thieves who chopped off the tip of his finger to make his S-Class’ biometric ignition lock work (via Boing Boing):

Accountant K Kumaran, 29, was walking towards his [$80K] S-Class Mercedes Benz in a Kuala Lumpur suburb on Monday when he was knocked down from behind by a car… “They forced me to put my finger on the panel and then started the car. They bundled me into the back, between the seats and used my tie to blindfold me,” he said.

Kumaran was driven to another location where the carjackers asked two other men whether they could bypass the immobiliser system. When they said they could not, Kumaran was stripped naked and ordered to put his left hand on the ground. One of the hijackers then used a machete to chop off the tip of Kumaran’s index finger.

The crime brings to life a scenario envisioned in countless Philip K. Dick novels and films, not least Minority Report’s back-alley eye transplant. And the incident, which took place in the capital city on the western coast of Malaysia, gives new meaning to the phrase ‘chopped Benz.’

Mughals vs. natives, round 2

In bragging rights for who’s got the biggest, impressive buildings are a frequent battleground (Erotic Gherkin, anyone?). In the old days, they were monuments stocked with semiprecious stones, and the craftsmen were blinded after completion; today, they’re miles-long malls with built-in ice rinks, Prada stores and rugrats in tow:

Menon… is embarking on his new venture – Sobha Global Mall — in Bangalore with a cost of Rs.15 billion ($345 million). “As of today, our upcoming mall project will be the largest in India, spread over 17 acres with a built-up area of 2.8 million sq. feet,” Menon said. “Apart from a shopping complex, an amusement park, 192-room plush hotel, convention centre, multiplex and smart offices, the mall will boast of an Olympic size ice skating rink, the first of its kind in the sub-continent,” Menon added.

How does that compare to the Mall of America, owned by the Iranian-American Ghermezian brothers? It will be 33% smaller, and that’s before the MoA’s expansion:

… the managing partner of Mall of America, wants to nearly double the size of the largest mall in the U.S. with a $1 billion, European-themed addition featuring boutiques, hotel towers, an ice rink, a concert hall and a casino.

It’s Tiffany vs. Bhindi Jewelers: I foresee a global charms race. It’s hard beating Middle Easterners for grandiosity, although Noida is trying. See Harrods and the Burj al-Arab — there’s a reason why Texans and Saudis get along.

More stupid Radio tricks.

The Beeb reports that Montreal’s CKAC-AM has been “ordered to make a full apology” for their December 2003 broadcast of nasty remarks about the Sikh community. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), a self-regulatory body, censured the station after a listener called them out on “racism of the first order”.

Psychiatrist Pierre Mailloux, host of the Doc Mailloux phone-in show on Montreal’s CKAC-AM station, had referred to Sikhs as a “gang of bozos”.

Want some more of the bad Doctor’s magic?

“You cultural communities come from a wacko country. You live a wacko culture. Don’t bring it with you. That’s the message to convey,” he said.
Mailloux, referring to immigrants’ attitudes, said: “I flee northern India because the Sikhs are a gang, a gang of bozos, and then I bring all that with me. No, no, you really don’t get it. If you flee your country because it makes no sense, then don’t bring those senseless things with you.”

Uh, I think YOU make no sense, Doctor Mailloux. Continue reading

Maharashtra shutters dance bars

Why do we always find out about breeding grounds for prostitution only after they shut down:

The Indian state of Maharashtra says it is closing its numerous dance bars because they are a breeding ground for crime and prostitution. Only the state capital, Mumbai (Bombay) has been spared for now – pending further inquiries. The state has about 1,500 dance bars employing more than 100,000 women who mostly dance Bollywood numbers. [BBC News]

BBC News: Maharashtra shuts dance-girl bars Continue reading

Baazee renamed eBay India

Corrupt public servants are advised to note the change of web address in future shakedown attempts:

Leading online marketplace has rechristened itself ‘eBay India’. This follows the completion of integration process with Nasdaq-listed $3.3 billion eBay Inc, which acquired the former for a consideration of $50 million in August last year, making it a 100% subsidiary. [The Financial Express]

The Financial Express: Baazee is now eBay

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Mystery shrouds dwindling tiger population

Siegfried & Roy successfully exact revenge:

Indian forest officials and state governments have been scandalised at news that there is not a single tiger left in one of the country’s main wildlife reserves…Manmohan Singh, India’s low-key prime minister, has belatedly leapt to the defence of the national symbol, dispatching detectives to Rajasthan and setting up a national wildlife crime prevention bureau. It is almost certainly too late, however, to save India’s tiger economy. [Financial Times]

Not to point fingers, but detectives should take a gander at car seat covers in New Jersey. They need look no further to determine the fate of their precious tigers.

Financial Times: Scandal of Indian tigers that disappeared Continue reading

Former Gitmo prisoners remain jailed in Pakistan

The U.S. is exporting all sorts of stuff to Pakistan these days:

The U.S. military has released at least 211 detainees from Guantanamo, but many — including dozens of prisoners sent to the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan — are freed on the condition they will be held by their home countries. [AP/Yahoo!]

Some could be innocent:

In Hussainabad, a clutch of mud-brick homes 185 miles south of the capital, the family of one of the prisoners said Tuesday it is desperate to see him freed, and argues the U.S. decision to let him leave Guantanamo is evidence he’s not a dangerous terrorist. Ghulam Farid — brother-in-law of prisoner Bashir Ahmad — said the family’s joy at learning of his release from Guantanamo has turned to frustration. “I have no idea why the government won’t release him. There can be no good reason,” he said. “We are poor people. We can’t get any answers from our government. We are helpless.” [AP/Yahoo!]

Others could be douchebags:

Bashir Ahmad was 17 years old in 2000 when he closed his video rental shop and went off to fight, his mother Jannat Bibi said. A friend of Ahmad’s said he was motivated by a local religious leader from the banned Sunni militant group Sipah-e-Sahaba, which is headquartered just a few miles away in the city of Jhang, a hotbed of militancy. Ahmad told his family he was going to fight in Kashmir, but they heard nothing from him until getting a letter in 2002 saying he was in jail in Afghanistan. A second letter arrived later from the Red Cross saying he was at Guantanamo. Two weeks ago, Red Cross officials came to tell the family that Ahmad had been returned to Pakistan, but said they had no power to get him out of jail or arrange a visit. [AP/Yahoo!]

But since no one’s sure, officials are content to indefinitely hole them up in the pokey:

More than three dozen Pakistanis who were freed from an American prison at Guantanamo Bay remain jailed in their home country, most without charge and with no sign of when they might be released, security and government officials say. [AP/Yahoo!]

AP/Yahoo!: Some Pakistanis jailed without charge Continue reading

Nepal lays smackdown on dissent

Nepal’s crazy King Gyanendra tries his hardest to make the Maoist rebels look like an attractive alternative:

Police arrested about 120 anti-government activists nationwide Monday for defying a ban on protests to show their anger at last month’s seizure of power by the king… Since the king’s power grab, many politicians have been taken into custody or driven underground. [AP/Yahoo!]

No one in the country will hear about it, since the press has been adequately muzzled:

King Gyanendra imposed sweeping curbs on the media as part of emergency rule introduced last month. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) says that about half of Nepal’s newspapers had ceased to publish since the king seized power. A number of journalists have also been detained on charges of showing dissent. [BBC News]

AP/Yahoo!: 120 Nabbed for Defying Nepal Protest Ban BBC News: Nepal journalists urge free press

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Desis for Texas y’all

In an effort to help South Asian politicians seek elected office, and help educate South Asian citizens at a local level in Texas, a group headed by Dheeraj Chand has started the political action committee, Desis for Texas (DesiPAC).

We have four primary objectives:

1. Support the election of candidates who have demonstrated support on issues pertinent to S. Asians, such as immigration and civil rights.

2. Provide a community infrastructure to encourage and support S. Asians to run for elected office.

3. Ensure that every legal S. Asian voter is registered and able to vote in as many elections as possible.

4. Ensure that as many S. Asians are educated in the political process, informed on the issues and candidates and able to develop cogent perspectives. We will concentrate our efforts on elections in which we feel that our communities will be greatly impacted and those elections in which we can make a great impact.

At the national level we already have a U.S. IndiaPAC that has similar objectives. In my opinion however, they spend far too much time (or at least that’s the impression I am left with) battling the Pakistani American lobby over weapons sales on the Indian subcontinent. As an Indian American born here, India/Pakistan relations are at the bottom of the list of policies that matter to me. Where was IndiaPAC on the Modi issue?

Continue reading