Bird Flu strikes again?

You may have noticed a sarkari advertisement doing the rounds on the Indian tele for almost two weeks now. The advertisement shows a sutradhaar along with a chicken puppet urging people to alert the government of any cases of unnatural death of chicken. It did alarm me coz there was no buzz in the newspapers or the news channels about it. Evidently the lesson that the government has learnt from past episodes of Bird Flu and Chicken Guinea cases is to keep mum. Such news obviously affects the Poultry industry, the demand for packaged and ready to use products has been on steady rise in urban sector many of these are chicken based. Big names such as Godrej and Venky’s are associated with the trade, so it’s a matter of millions of rupees.

It’s scary that the Government decided to announce only on 20th March that India too faces the risk of Avian flu. Neighboring Bangladesh has gone for wide-scale culling operations consequent to the spread of the H5N1 virus. I recall that even last time Venky’s people had paid heavilt to the poultry farms to prevent the news of dying livestock reaching the media, there was evident pressure that they had put on the government as well to let the sales of chicken product continue unhindered. Venky’s head also happened to be the president of the National Egg Coordination committee so the Eggs were being sold liberally as well. When the matter subsided a bit bollywood biggies Sanjay Dutt and Sunil Shetty were roped in an expensive ad campaign to preach that everything is well with the poultry.

It’s not difficult to guess that the money hungry companies and an irresponsible government don’t give a damn about the health of its consumers. The only way out for us consumers then is to exercise all the precaution.

My interview at BhashaIndia

bhasha-indiaI had a nice chat recently with Bhasha India people on Indibloggies and Indic Blogging scene (although they spelled Indibloggies wrongly throughout in the published version). Bhasha India is doing a great job of proving knowledge and tools to disseminate the use of Indian languages over the internet. Do read it over here. Noted Hindi blogger Ravishankar Shrivastava was kind enough to publish a Hindi translation of the interview at his Hindi blog. Thanks to Bhasha India and Ravi!

“Gandhi’s way ain’t the American Way”

People may curse Bush for wasting American money and lives over Iraq but actor, American senator and a potential republican presidential nominee Fred Thompson thinks that Gandhi’s way is not for the Americans to follow. Thompson recently said,

During World War II, Gandhi penned an open letter to the British people, urging them to surrender to the Nazis. Later, when the extent of the holocaust was known, he criticized Jews who had tried to escape or fight for their lives as they did in Warsaw and Treblinka. “The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife,” he said. “They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.” “Collective suicide,” he told his biographer, “would have been heroism.”

The so-called peace movement certainly has the right to make Gandhi’s way their way, but their efforts to make collective suicide American foreign policy just won’t cut it in this country. When American’s think of heroism, we think of the young American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking their lives to prevent another Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein.

We should really send Rang De Basanti’s Oscar nomination again if Fred makes it.