Month: July 2010

Burkha Ban

“Burkha is not welcome in France.”

Nicolas Sarkozy’s statement in his speech to French Legislature in 2009 was a game changer in Europe. Till then criticising burkha was considered politically incorrect. Jack Straw had faced criticism for saying he was uncomfortable with talking to women whose faces he could not see.

After Sarkozy’s statement Switzerland banned construction of new minarets. Belgium banned burkha. Barcelona banned burkha.

Burkha ban is said to enforce liberty and equality. Many Muslim men force their wives to wear burkha and the ban gives Muslim women liberty not to wear. The ban enforces equality between men and women and between all women. Men who force their wives will have to pay more fine.

There were some discussions on news channels. Indian panellists, by coincidence or design, spoke against burkha ban. French panellists, including Muslim women, spoke in favour of burkha ban. Some talked of French values and want people in France to be French.

In France there is ban on religious symbols in schools. Sikh students who wanted to wear turbans were not allowed to enter schools.

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Demographic Dividend

Fools say population is a problem.

Greater fools agree with them.

Wise people say India’s population growth is a demographic dividend.

India’s population was 55 crores in 1971. Many predicted dire consequences if the population growth is not stopped.

Now in 2010 India’s population is around 110 crores. The country is thriving. The prophets of doom have been proved wrong.

In 1971 the number of TV sets, refrigerators, cards and telephones in India was in thousands. In 2010 it is in crores. India has made tremendous progress.

What happens in 2030 and 2050 is difficult to predict. There is no need for gloom. We may be better off than we are today.

UP’s population may be 18 crores. That does not mean it will keep increasing or remain the same. Ganges is drying. UP may have less people in 2030 than today.

There has been increase in food production over the years. There is enough for all people in India. The problem is in distribution. Food storage is not proper. Food rots in godowns or outside godowns.

It is for couples to decide how many children they want to have. Restricting the number by law is against the human or natural right of the couple.

Those who say Kerala and Tamil Nadu have done well to control population forget about migration. Many people from these states have migrated to other states or countries.

European countries with zero population growth have immigrants from Africa.

At one time Japan’s economy was number one in the world. Its economy declined with decreasing population. Australia, Russia, Germany, France, Japan, Singapore and South Korea want to increase their population.

Population finds its level. Money should not be spent to control population.

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Octopus predictions

Paul, an octopus in Germany, is said to be making predictions about football matches. Somebody wrongly referred to the octopus as an astrologer. Astrologers make predictions based on stars and the octopus predictions are not based on stars. TV channels give publicity to the octopus. The predictions of Football World Cup 2010 matches are said to be right. I have some questions.

Who first came up with the idea that the octopus can predict the results of football matches?

Who were the bookies involved in betting on matches played by Germany?

How much money was involved in betting on matches played by Germany?

Germany lost to Serbia and Spain. Did the German players believe in the predictions? Did the coach or someone else convince the players that predictions can go wrong and they can win or left them demoralised?
Frank Lampard’s goal for England against Germany was disallowed. At that time it could have been 2-2. Was it a mistake by referee or deliberate?

Germany defeated Australia 4-0, England 4-1 and Argentina 4-0. How is that Germany could not score even one goal against Spain? Spain was said to be the favourite to win the World Cup but Switzerland had defeated Spain in a group match.

In India some channels have come up with parrot prediction for final which is opposite of what the octopus has predicted. India had its share of predictions during Cricket World Cups which were usually wrong.
If Germany auctions the octopus before the final there will be lot of bidders and it can make lot of money. After the final the demand will depend on the outcome of the match.

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