Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai Mayhem

No more words. Truth. Just simple truth.

  1. The NSG commandos have captured and interrogated a terrorist from the Taj.
  2. He has revealed his name, the names of many of the others involved, as well as their objectives.
  3. All of the terrorists were Pakistani nationals, with two possibly holding British passports.
  4. They came from Karachi.
  5. They were planning to reduce the Taj and the Oberoi to rubble in a 9/11 style set of blasts (multiple references to 9/11 were there in the confession)
  6. The boat they came in was actually an Indian boat which had been seized by Pakistani Marine Police (unconfirmed, but the Pakistani Marine Police has been refusing to return seized Indian fishing boats and trawlers for the last 12 months - if the boat was really one of these, then one must suspect that these attacks were in the planning stage even then)
  7. They had orders to "kill till the last breath", and enough ammunition to obey those orders.
  8. The explosives they carried were not the only ones they had access to : more had been shipped in earlier.
  9. All of them had received extensive training in using firearms.
  10. Their target was the Indian economy, and they aimed to destroy the country's symbols of prosperity, and reduce international trust in the country.
On top of all this, the Government of Pakistan is being exceptionally cagey. It is obvious that the American and British Governments will not agree to the fact that current Democracy in Pakistan (for the most part) is tacitly supporting the terrorists attacking India, because well.. "How can it be ! Its Democracy !" .

It is a democracy The American and British Governments helped set up - and now, if it turns out that it is aiding and abetting terrorists, they will lose face ( its a matter of Pride, you see - what matter the lives of a hundred stupid Indians when the very pride of the Queen, God bless Her Soul, is on the Line ?). And, currently, they are simply in a state of childish denial -" I helped make this, so it can't possibly be bad". Sadly, Countries, unlike Children, cannot afford to be juvenile.

The lashkar-e-toiba leader gave speeches in public in Pakistan without fear of attack ( you see, even thought the Lashkar is a banned group, they have renamed themselves the Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, and the banning of this new(!) group is apparently held up by red tape, and as the fellow speaking said that he was the leader of the jama'at, and not the lashkar, they didn't want to arrest him).

The Pakistani Foreign Minister, when interviewed by Prannoy Roy, put forth a slew of badly constructed lies ( I mean, if you're going to lie and misdirect and be generally disingenuous, you might as well try to do it well). The Pakistani Government has gone on a U-turn, after saying that they will send the ISI chief to India - they have decided not to (maybe his double isn't ready yet, or his cover story still has a few patches which require a few more people to be killed before it is watertight). The Pakistani foreign minister interview with Prannoy Roy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On Terror

The recent attacks in Mumbai have resulted in a massive furore over the sheer level of incompetence shown by the police and the intelligence division. I find these accusations foolish, and a complete waste of time. India is an incredibly diverse country with a massive, massive population, and its almost impossible to keep track of your own children, let alone unknown vigilantes.

The blasts that are now taking place all over the country are a disgrace to whatever religion these "terrorists" claim to follow - in this matter, I have a bone to pick with the BBC; they keep talking about "Islamic militants" and "Hindu militants". They are no longer Muslim or Hindu - they are militants using the names of these religions to hurt, maim and willfully destroy lives, so I request that the BBC calls them "terrorists", and just that.

I, sadly, have little knowledge of Islam; but even I know that one has to win the Greater Jihad before one can fight the lesser jihad. And even I know that fighting and hurting people in the name of religion , is definitely "lesser".

I am a Hindu, and as far as "Hindu terrorism" is concerned, I find that phrase to be an impossible one. Hinduism is not so much a religion as a mindset : a soulset would be nearer the truth, but utterly incomprehensible to most. Hinduism has no doctrines, no laws, no concept of heresy, no chains at all. It believes that every religion is correct, and that "swadharmanishtha" - belief in one's own faith is among the most respectable of virtues (ie., ceteris paribus, a devout christian is more respectable than a not-so-devout Hindu).

You do not need to go to a temple to be a Hindu. You need not perform rituals. You can eat beef. You can live, you can die, but the one thing a Hindu is expected to do is this : the right thing. A true Hindu cannot hate, for he or she would believe that everything is god - even the one they hate is but a manifestation of god.

I find it quite ridiculous that "Hindu terrorism" is taken seriously. They are either Hindu, or terrorists : they cannot be both. I could speak on for hours about various old incidents (Babri, etc.) - and there are many stories to tell, about how there was really not much tension at all, until some "leaders" turned up and stirred the mob, and the mob did as mobs do : mobbed.

It had nothing to do with Hinduism or Islam - Imagine an orator speaking to a group of uneducated British Christians, all farmers and clerks and what we so easily generalise as "common men". Imagine this orator telling them that a hedonism-based club bas been built over the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Now imagine that this mob is directly in front of this site, mysteriously armed (these are "common men and women").. do you want to imagine ?

We must not allow these events to sow mistrust within us, for that is the objective of these "terrorists" - unlike attacks elsewhere, where fear is the objective, these attacks in India have a different target : our trust. We live in India, a country where one almost always has people from three different religions within earshot.

These attacks are aimed at our bonds : to make us lose the trust which allows all of us to live in harmony : and we cannot afford to lose that peace, because then, there will be war, and this war will never end, because trust, once broken, is difficult to reforge.

Difficult. And I'm lazy, and I'll finish by B.Sc. in some time; so here's a little note : I would prefer it if my elders left me a world to live in, as opposed to a battleground. I would like to be able to worry about having to choose between specializing in AI or IT, rather than worrying about what religion the fellow sitting across me follows. I would like to live.

Hmm. Personally, looking at your track record, my dear elders, "leaders" and politicians.. I dont' think most of us will have a chance to do so.

Oh well. Its nice to be immortal like me. Too bad it only lasts until I die.

*praying for absinthe

Debayan Gupta

Monday, November 24, 2008

Expanding and collapsing divs, And the common cold

This page uses css, and a little bit of js to create clickable expanding and collapsing divs : link.

I am suffering from an attack by the evil rhinovirus, and my exams are on Thursday. Boo hoo.

On a (considerably) brighter note, I spent the last few hours reading badly drawn cartoons. I have no idea why I am feeling so elated about it.

My neighbours are deconstructing their house again - fourteen workers and a "rajmistri" breaking and building things; by sunset, my house looks like Pompeii, only with a thicker layer of dust. This, combined with the fact that I am horribly (and when I say horribly, I mean _horribly_ ) allergic to dust, means that I am constantly on the verge of arson.

Madness is not like gravity, its like having only Ctrl+Alt+Del buttons..

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Building built.. now for the bill

Long time no blog. I've been quite busy these last few months, with exams and whatnot. However, here's some good news : I've built a new website for the SXCSU ( St. Xavier's College Students' Union) link.

Its not very good ( because they're using a background image, and insisted I use frames*), but I've built some interesting code into the page, and you're welcome to use any and all code on the site. 

I came up against some problems with colours and linking (because the mainpage has a background, and none of inner pages do ), and had to use a bit of code to solve it - just go to any deeper page to see it, say here : link.

One of the main problems I had was cross-browser integration, and DOCTYPE s. I mean, its very irritating when I have to use jS just to build a marquee ! I do understand W3C's point, though, and I am currently building a page using CSS ( and HTML 4.01 strict). I'll put up a version of that page soon enough, and I'll build an empty version so that people can use the code for their own pages.

I will be putting up some of the nicer codes I've come across, and various ways to create all kinds of nice effects, as well as a list of good web pages providing info about this kind of stuff : what amazes me is that there are so many pages with so much data, but no helpful information whatsoever. For example, the current version of the sxcsu runs better in quirks mode ! If I put in a doctype, it prevents me from resizing the frame, and generally wreaks havoc on the entire system.

I included a css navigation bar with progressive enhancement using jS, so that it checks if top=self, and if so, doesn't hide a navigation bar on the top of the page, with a link to the home page. This means that each page has a link to the mainpage, allowing users and bots some path to follow.
I included a similar code on the mainpage as well, with links to all my important pages, but I've included a 'pop out of frame' code.. so it never really displays it, but its good for bots.

Adios !
Dowedzenia !
Auf Weidersehen !
Nomoskar !
Nikal jao mere nazron ke samne se !
Deabayan Gupta

* frames - and I quote "when we click, the whole page must not reload, but only a smaller window inside the page, which will contain another webpage"; I suppose I could have used the OBJECT tag, but what the heck -  it has the same problem with navigation.