Über Desi

Keeping it real, desi ishtyle

Fanatics and Heretics

Tags: , , , , ,

Ramachandra Guha performs a colonoscopy of sorts on the close-minded, anti-intellectual, cliche-riddled, demagoguery that passes for the ideology of the Hindu extremist outfit, the RSS. [Telegraph] (via @pragmatic_d on Twitter)

It’s a fascinating read with real-life accounts from former RSS-ers and includes some hilarious points, for instance, what was the RSS’s stand during the Quit India movement?

However, the portion that stood out to me most:

“Hindus have lived in India since time immemorial; Hindus are the nation because all culture, civilization and life is contributed by them alone; non-Hindus are invaders or guests and cannot be treated as equal unless they adopt Hindu traditions, culture etc…; the history of India is the history of the struggle of the Hindus for protection and preservation of their religion and culture against the onslaught of these aliens; the threat continues because the power is in the hands of those who do not believe in this nation as a Hindu Nation; those who talk of national unity as the unity of all those who live in this country are motivated by the selfish desire of cornering minority votes and are therefore traitors; the unity and consolidation of the Hindus is the dire need of the hour because the Hindu people are surrounded on all sides by enemies; the Hindus must develop the capacity for massive retaliation and offence is the best defence; lack of unity is the root cause of all the troubles of the Hindus and the Sangh is born with the divine mission to bring about that unity.”

Replace “Hindus” with “White Christians”, “India” with “USA” and “non-Hindus” with “immigrants”,”Muslims” or “any other minority group” in the above paragraph and you have the template of a conservative talk show host in the US. Fascinating, huh?

Spy games: USAF-IAF edition

Tags: , ,

Remember when Karthik talked about India partaking in “Red Flag” exercises with the US and other nations?

The Indian Su-30MKI apparently is a hot item
img: via Wikipedia

India and the US have been participating in joint air force exercises over the last decade or so. The most newsworthy story to ever come out of these exercises was when US got drubbed by India in the 2004 Cope India operation.

That pissed off some flyboy bigwigs in the American camp. So when the 2007 edition came around with India brandishing it’s Russian built Su-30MKI planes, they went the route all smart American corporations go, espionage. [Wired Blog 2007]

AFM says that a U.S. RC-135U electronic spy plane just happened to be en route to the U.K from the Middle East at the same time that the Indian aircraft were arriving, giving the U.S. jet a chance to use its radar-frequency measuring equipment to probe the Indians.

But surely if you’re participating in joint exercises your opponent is bound to see your equipment. So why this big deal over spying on the radar?

Because the Flanker’s N-011 radar will also be used by Chinese and Venezuelan jets — and if you know its frequency, you can jam. it.

Even the Brits could not resist listening in.

The Americans weren’t the only potential spies in the area. The Brits also happened to have a BAC-111 test plane, reportedly sporting frequency-detecting gear, in the area as the Indians flew mock dogfights with British Tornado fighters.

Now it was the turn of the IAF babus to get pissed off. They responded in the true desi manner – non cooperation. [Wired Blog 2008]

The self-imposed radar restrictions prevented U.S. snoops from “mapping” the high-tech radar. But other restrictions were dictated by the Indians’ U.S. hosts, Fulghum writes in his excellent piece. The Indians were barred from using data-links, chaff and flares.

With all these restrictions the Indians might’ve as well flown a World War 2 era Mosquito. The result was pretty embarrassing for India.

When we were targeted by SAMs, we were shot down,” Choudry said. “And there was no [data] picture in the cockpit to help our situational awareness so the work load on the [aircrews] was very high.”

In true desi fashion, the IAF babus stopped short of attributing it to fate and preferred to look at the brighter side.

Regardless, Choudry insisted Red Flag was a good experience for his pilots. Indeed, the Indian Air Force was especially keen to observe U.S. “Net-Centric Warfare” (NCW) operations. “You cannot survive today for long against a good adversary without the NCW capability,” IAF vice chief Air Marshal P.V. Naik told The Economic Times.

India 1 – USA 1

Price of Indian mangoes biggest barrier

Tags: , ,

We love talking about two desi things in the US, macacas and mangoes.

While the former gets plenty of face time, the latter has been conspicuously absent since Presidentji deemed that Indian mangoes were ok to be imported into the glorious nation of Amrika. In the meanwhile, in the glorious nation of India, matches made in heaven were obliterated on terra firma thanks to mangoes. Yet, the much anticipated invasion of hapooses on American soil never materialized.

The reason? Cost. [MSN]

India has launched a promotional drive to make its mangoes popular in the massive market for the fruit in the US, but high prices are impeding the effort started last year after the lifting of an 18-year import ban.

Among efforts to make the fruit more popular in the US, mango tasting festivals.

A mango festival was held at the Indian consulate in New York this week, which was attended by a large number of Indian American community leaders, local traders and mango exporters from India.

Anyone know how we can get invited to one?

The factors that drive up the cost include a rigorous testing process …

After the agreement to lift the import ban was signed between APEDA and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), every consignment of mangoes has to undergo irradiation and a rigorous testing process before being exported. This is being done in the presence of USDA at the only testing centre in Maharashtra, the cost of which is borne by the mango producers.

and a short shelf life …..

Costs go up further because the shelf life of Indian mangos being about a fortnight, all the consignments are sent by air.

resulting in each mango costing as much as $3.

As a result, a carton of a dozen mangoes costs around $35, making it out of reach of the common American. The same carton of mangos coming from Mexico, which accounts for 60 percent exports of the fruit to the US, or grown locally in California costs about $10.

Still there’s good news on the horizon for mango aficionados.

With more testing plants coming up in India in the next few years and the USDA hinting at easing import restrictions, Tripathy hoped that the volume of mangoes exported to the US would jump manifold after a couple of years, possibly bringing down the price to $15-$20 a carton.

Of course, by then $600 a barrel gas would drive up the prices again but that’s besides the point.

Meanwhile, Indian mangoes are being marketed to an exclusive market.

So anyone here buy any Indian mangoes in the local Indian grocery store? Do they really cost $3 each?

  • Author: Santosh
  • Published: May 28th, 2008
  • Category: Cricket
  • Comments: Comments Off

A Twenty20 tournament in the US – part 3

Tags: , , ,

Part 3 – Über Desi goes behind the scenes

Sign prominently posted around the ground

As mentioned previously, we @ Über Desi are too cheap to buy $20 tickets, so instead we got press passes, and unlimited access to the behind the scenes of the tournament.

After obtaining press credentials for the tournament, I had a chance to get up-close and meet and photograph a couple of legendary players including an extremely controversial one. I also got to ask a former Bollywood actress if she was planning a comeback to the movies.

Presenting a collage of personal and events photographs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Now serving: Halal Chinese & Halal KFC

Tags: , , , , ,

KFCs in Dearborn, Michigan, serving Halal fried chicken (pictured left) and Chinese restaurants in Orlando, Florida (pictured right) serving Halal Kung-Pow chicken.

Halal Chinese

© 2009 Über Desi. All Rights Reserved.

This blog is powered by Wordpress and Magatheme by Bryan Helmig.