Thursday, January 18, 2007

Rise of Racism in the West

Yet again, the ugly face of the Western racism is exposed. The subhumans, participating in the infamous TV programme Bigoted (Big) Brother, tried to humiliate Bollywood's Shilpa Shetty because she was not from a Western background.

She was called a “dog” and a "c---" by one of the subhumans in Bigoted Brother. After Shetty cooked a dinner then one of the housemates commented that "They eat with their hands in India, don't they … Or is that China? You don't know where those hands have been." These racists should realize that India and China were centres of civilizations while their ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, "I have not seen this particular programme so I cannot comment on it,". Does anyone believe that Blair is not briefed on one of the major diplomatic incidents? It seems that Blair is accustomed to telling lies like the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

House of Commons leader Jack Straw said, "I don't think we should have a casual attitude to racism...We've been very tough on this issue in public and in private". Incidentally, Straw is the same man who was expressing xenophobic views against the Muslim women’s right to wear a veil. People like Straw are encouraging xenophobes to overtly express racist views against women from the non-Western cultures by criticising right to wear a veil.

There is a rise of racism in the West because of its xenophobic policies since September 11. Now, the right wing in the West thinks that it can spread xenophobic views using Muslims as an excuse. However, the xenophobes do not spare anyone from a non-Western background. Indian star Shilpa Shetty’s case is a clear indication of this trend. Minorities in UK are facing economic and social hardships because of widespread racism in the English society.

According to National Statistics UK, “unemployment rates for people from non-White ethnic groups were generally higher than those from White ethnic groups…Among men, those from Black Caribbean, Black African, Bangladeshi and Mixed ethnic groups had the highest unemployment rates (between 13 and 14 per cent). These rates were around three times the rates for White British and White Irish men (5 per cent in each case). The unemployment rates for Pakistani and Chinese men, 11 and 10 per cent, were around twice the rates for White British men or White Irish men”.

“The unemployment rates for Black Caribbean (9 per cent), Indian (8 per cent) and Chinese (7 per cent) women were around twice the rates for White British and White Irish women” in 2004.

Meanwhile, chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, Trevor Phillips said, "What we are seeing is a noxious brew of old-fashioned class conflict, straightforward bullying, ignorance and quite vicious racial bigotry".

In further developments, the chief executive of Carphone Warehouse, Charles Dunstone has cancelled the sponsorship deal with reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother for Britain's Channel 4. He said, "We are totally against all forms of racism and bullying. As a result we feel that as long as this continues we are unable to associate our brand with the program."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pakistan: An Emerging Economic Hub

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s dream of having “breakfast in Amritsar, lunch in Lahore and dinner in Kabul” needs to be looked in a historical perspective. His statement has opened a new debate about the future direction of this region.

India is surrounded by China and Pakistan. In real a sense, India is like an island. The only land link for India is with Burma apart from going through China and Pakistan. Going through Burma or China will not take India to Europe, Middle East, or Central Asia. However, going through Pakistan will allow India to have a workable land link these regions.

Trading through land is the cheapest way to import and export. The only viable land route for India is through Pakistan to trade with Europe, Middle East, or Central Asia. Rapidly growing Indian economy is heavily dependent on Pakistan to import energy and export goods by land. Central Asian countries and West China are also closer to occasion through Pakistan. The new port of Gawadar is one of the best routes to import and export their goods. Pakistan is under constant focus of global powers because of its strategic location.

If India wants to join the wave of development then it have to resolve the outstanding issue of Kashmir according to desires of the people of Kashmir. This will ensure that Mr. Singh will be able to have a peaceful “breakfast in Amritsar”. However, he needs to do a lot to fulfil his desire of “lunch in Lahore and dinner in Kabul”. The first step is to stop the economic, political, and social suppression of Indian Muslims.