Monday, May 3, 2010


2 dead as Punjab burns over Vienna killing, army called


Two persons have been killed and many others

injured as violence over the killing of a Sikh

leader in Vienna spreads across Punjab and parts

of Haryana.

One person was killed and four others were

injured as Army jawans opened fire in Lambra

village, 30 kms from Jalandhar. Another person

was killed after the police opened fire on

protesters at Jalandhar Cantonment railway


A mob set three bogies of the KanyakumariJammu

Tavi Express on fire as the train was passing through Phagwara in Punjab. Some

vehicles, too, have been torched and roads blocked by protestors in Phagwara. Curfew has

been imposed in Phagwara, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Hoshiarpur following the violence in the

area. Paramilitary forces have been sent to Phagwara to control violence.

Protestors also blocked traffic near Ambala and traffic on National Highway. All protests till

now have been confined to the Doaba region of the Punjab where Dera Sachh Khand whose

leader Sant Ram Nand was killed on Sunday night in a clash with a rival sect in Vienna,

Austria. In Patiala, a large group of people took to the streets chanting slogans. Chandigarh is

also on high alert with important roads leading to the city have been blocked. The authorities

have already called in six companies of paramilitary forces and eight columns of the Army to

control the situation.

Violence has also spilled out on national highways blocking roads to Nawanshahr,

Hoshiarpur and at other places in the Doaba region. Buses have been damaged in Amritsar

while in Nakodar; thousands came out on streets and pelted stones on the police. DelhiLahore

bus service has been stopped at Ludhiana as a precautionary measure in the wake of

violence in Punjab. The violence started when six people armed with knives and a hand gun

attacked a preacher Sant Niranjan Dass of Dera Sachh Khand inside a gurudwara in Vienna.

A dispute over the sermon is said to have triggered the attack. A sect leader, 56yearold


Ram Nand, was killed and Sant Niranjan Dass along with 30 others were injured in the

attack. Sant Ram Nand underwent emergency surgery but died during Sunday night. The six

attackers have been arrested and are believed to be followers of another sect. The Sikh group

behind these protests belongs to a small religious sect called Dera Sach Khand, which was

founded by Guru Ravi Das in the 14 th century shoemaker who became a spiritual figure. Like

their founder, Ravidassia's are considered outcastes. Rival upper caste sikh groups take

offence to Ravi Das being called a guru.


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Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said "I am deeply distressed by the outbreak of

violence in Punjab following certain incidents in Vienna. Whatever the provocation, it is

important to maintain peace and harmony among different sections of the people. In areas

where curfew has been imposed, it is necessary that people go back to their homes and allow

the security forces to restore law and order. Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister SM

Krishna said the Union Government is in touch with the local authorities and keeping a close

watch on the situation. "It is unfortunate that a gurudwara has been made the place to attack

and counterattack. It is sad that Sant Ram Nand has lost his life. This is no place for violence

and no excuse whatsoever for violation of a sacred place to serve narrow sectarian interests.

We are in touch with local authorities," said Krishna.

Rs 3,383 crore drinking water project launched

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa launched the second

phase of the fourth stage of Cauvery water supply

scheme to bring an additional 500 million litres of

water everyday to Bangalore to meet its water needs

at a cost of Rs 3,383.70 crore.

The scheme, being implemented with funds from

Japan International Cooperation Association (JICA),

is expected to be completed in twoandhalf

years, by

the BWSSB.

Reiterating his commitment to the development of

the city, Yeddyurappa said that the Cauvery water

supply scheme would be completed within the stipulated time. Yeddyurappa also launched

the BWSSB programme of installing water metres in residences of slumdwellers

free of cost.

BWSSB has identified 17,500 residences from 350 slums in the city for the purpose. This

facility will be extended to all slums in the city in a phased manner. BWSSB has also waived

off Rs 5 crore arrears towards interest on pending water bills of slumdwellers

in old

Bangalore area. Over the 12,000 residents in 127 slums in the city will benefit from this.

BWSSB and Excise Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu said that the government was making

efforts to bring 20 TMC of additional water to Bangalore city from various sources. At

present, the city is receiving 18 TMC of water from Cauvery.

Earlier in the day, the CM flagged off 30 new jetting vehicles of BWSSB for clearing

sewerage drains. At present, there are 46 jetting vehicles, Naidu added.

Storm Aila kills 32 across Bengal

As the city prayed for rain, a storm silently brewed 750 km from Kolkata, deep inside the

Bay of Bengal. The small patch of white cloud detected over the sea by weather office radars


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at 11.30 am on May 23 had looked anything but threatening. A lowpressure

area that might

not develop into anything more potent, it seemed. Even if it did, it would perhaps veer

towards Bangladesh like it so often has.

But this time it did not. The tiny white patch on the radar swelled into a mighty cyclone —

the Aila. Unlike Bijli, that gave the city a


a month ago, Aila wreaked havoc in

the city, across suburbs and south Bengal,

leaving 32 dead.

When Aila hit Kolkata on Monday

morning, exactly 48 hours after its

formation, it had picked up enough

moisture, wind speed and firepower to

immobilize a city that had been waiting for

showers but was not ready for a sudden

twister that would plough through it. Seven

persons were killed in the city and 500

trees uprooted, halting traffic at almost

every major thoroughfare. Lampposts

were twisted out of shape and electric lines snapped,

plunging parts of the city into darkness. Educational institutions and business establishments

were forced to shut down.

As the storm raged, the waters of the Ganga swelled and turned choppy. A launch on its way

to Howrah was swept away to the Netaji Subhash dock in Kidderpore. Down south, the

Sunderbans witnessed even more scary scenes. Almost all the major tributaries of the Ganga

flowed above the danger mark with giant waves — some soaring above 20 feet — lashing the

shores, destroying more than 100 embankments and inundating villages.

The city administration and police swung into action and a virtual emergency was declared.

Kolkata was last hit by a cyclone in 1981. Thanks to instruments like the Doppler Weather

Radar, Aila had been predicted before it was born. Warnings were issued but alarm bells

were not rung. It was on Kolkata before the city knew what to expect. Warning signals were

clear as it started raining since early morning. Around 12.30 pm, the wind suddenly picked up

and the rain got severe. As hoardings collapsed and missiles of all shapes flew about, Kolkata

panicked. How long will it last? Will it get worse?

Tata Tele partners Yahoo! India

Tata Teleservices (TTSL) on Monday entered into an agreement with

Yahoo! India for providing online user interface to all Tata Indicom


As part of the partnership, a cobranded

Yahoo! India website would serve as the default

homepage across all Tata Indicom internet access devices, TTSL said in a statement. "This

alliance will allow Yahoo! to reach a wider audience in internet and digital spaces and gain


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access to a captive user base to create not only a deeper connection with users, but also

deliver a seamless user experience across platforms," TTSL Chief Marketing Officer Lloyd

Mathias said.

The partnership would enable Yahoo! India to reach out directly to Tata Indicom internet

subscribers and the users would be able to find relevant information on services.

United India ties up with MyTVS

United India Insurance Company, second largest nonlife

insurer, has entered into a memorandum of

understanding (MoU) with MyTVS, a unit of TVS

Group, to offer value added service to car insurance


Addressing a press conference here on Monday, G.

Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director, United

India Insurance, said the company in collaboration

with MyTVS had launched a unique scheme, United

India Assist, for bringing in certain services and benefits as part of its motor insurance policy.

It is 24 x 7 emergency road side assistance with a host of free value added services. The

facility would be available free of cost to its private car package policy customers. Private

cars below 10 years would be covered under this scheme.

All the new and existing policy holders would be able to avail themselves of this facility. R.

Dinesh, Joint Managing Director, TVS & Sons, said in case of emergencies such as vehicle


or accident, the insured could contact 24 x 7 toll free helpline numbers and the

countrywide network of MyTVS would solve the problems.

Mr. Srinivasan said United India Assist would initially be launched in Chennai and extended

to other parts of the country soon, he added.

HCL bags 240 crore BSNL project

HCL Infosystems announced that it has bagged an Rs 240 crore system integration project

from telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited

(BSNL). The contract involves the implementation of

over 60,000 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

licences, making it the largest rollout in terms of

licenses issued for any single project in the country.

As per the contract, HCL will migrate BSNL's finance, commissioning and operations

functions onto a single ERP system. The project rollout includes setting up the main data

centre at Hyderabad and the disaster recovery data centre at Kolkata.

"This project for BSNL is in line with our focus on the system integration business. We

believe a countrywide ERP solution is critical to capture and map various business processes

and management of work flow in order to provide better decision pathways in organizations

with major footprint across the country," said HCL Infosystems COO JV Ramamurthy.


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The project contract is for seven years, including configuration, business process reengineering,

hardware, networking, operations & maintenance customization, training to

BSNL employees and program management. In addition to replacing legacy systems, the

project will create standardised platforms and common infrastructure, bringing about lower

cost of integration and maintenance. BSNL has also selected HCL to provide ongoing support

services for the project.

HCL has earlier several implemented projects for BSNL, including National Internet

Backbone (NIB), Implementation of Call Detail Record (CDR) based customer care and

convergent billing systems and the more recent WiMax Rural project, that involves setting up

of infrastructure

for providing internet connectivity to rural Community Service Centres

through Wireless Access Network (WAN).

Union reaches agreement with GM

The Canadian Auto Workers Union has

ratified an agreement with General Motors

that will reduce labour costs for the

troubled US carmaker.

The costcutting

agreement was called for

by the Canadian government as a condition

of its joint bailout

of GM. The deal to cut

wages, pensions and benefits was approved

by 86% of the members who voted.

US unions will meet GM on Tuesday to

find out how many more factory jobs the

carmaker plans to cut.

GM has asked for a 3 billion Canadian dollar ($2.7bn; £1.7bn) loan from the Canadian

government and the government of the province of Ontario. As a condition of the loan, the

governments said that GM had to cut its costs so that they were competitive with Toyota

Canada, which is nonunionised.

Union boss Ken Lewenza said his members had little choice

but to accept the deal, which will keep GM's Canadian factories open.

Jet Airways reported net profit of Rs 53 crore in Q4

Jet Airways, India's secondlargest

private carrier by

market share, on Monday surprised the market and

sectoral analysts by posting a profit in the fourth quarter,

thanks to almost halving of fuel costs and an Rs 350crore

Cenvat credit against tax on inputs. The airline

report Rs 53 crore profit for these three months ended

March 2009 compared to the loss of Rs 221 crore in the




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"Aggressive costcutting

measures like capacity reduction, leasing out of surplus fleets, and

rationalisation of nonprofitable

routes helped in reducing costs in the March quarter," Jet

CEO Wolfgang Prock Schauer said.

The company saw its fuel expenses dip 45% to Rs 594 crore. However, the airline is still not

out of the clouds. Though prices of ATF have stabilised and helped check costs, the downturn

in the economy and decline in passenger's loads have affected the airline in the early months

of the current calendar, said an analyst with a domestic brokerage firm who wished not to be


Jet's domestic traffic for April was down 38% to 5.52 lakh passengers from 8.39 lakh a year

earlier. Jet Airways in Q4 had a standalone income from operations of Rs 2,263 crore, down

from Rs 2,687 crore a year earlier. Its EBIDTA (earning before interest, depreciation, tax and

amortisation) declined to Rs 63 crore versus Rs 186 crore. It reported a loss before

exceptional items at Rs 77 crore as against Rs 305 crore. The marktomarket

(MTM) loss

stood at Rs 133 crore for the quarter.

For the full year ending March, the carrier announced a standalone net loss of Rs 402 crore

compared to a net loss of Rs 253 crore in the previous year. It suffered losses mainly on the

account of high fuel and other operating costs and lower load factors resulting into lower

revenues than expected.

San Su Kyi named for Gandhi peace award for 2009

The Mahatma Gandhi Foundation in South Africa has

awarded the 2009 Mahatma Gandhi International Award

for Peace and Justice to the leader of National League for

Democracy (NLD) of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu

Kyi has been a prisoner in her own country for the last two

decades for her prodemocracy


The chairman of the Foundation Ela Gandhi said that the

organisation had decided to bestow the award to 63year

old Suu Kyi because the Myanmar's opposition leader had

been incarcerated as a "prisoner" for nearly two decades

without being charged with any political crime.

"We believe that she richly deserves the Mahatma Gandhi

International Award for Peace and Justice because she has always promoted nonviolence


order to bring about peace and justice in her country," she said. "We call on the Myanmar

military junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi with immediate effect," Gandhi said.


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Mexican Revolution (19101920)

This revolution is perhaps one of the most important revolutions that have taken place in

recent history because it was not a revolution led by factions battling for governmental

control, or the bourgeoisie thinkers developing new ideas. Instead, it was a revolution led by

simple men rising up and asserting their fundamental rights, and succeeding. The revolution

was not only essential to the evolution of human rights and democracy and Mexico, but was

also significant as it was one of the first successful third world revolutions. To an extent the

revolution laid the groundwork for allowing democracy to emerge from authoritarianism in

other third world nations.

The Age of Porfirio Diaz (18761910)

In 1876, Porfirio Diaz, a general in the Mexican Army took control of the nation, and

continued to be elected until 1910. In 1908 Porfirio Diaz was interviewed by US journalist

James Creelman. In the interview Diaz stated that he believed Mexico would be ready for

free elections by 1910. When this interview was published it inspired a rich landowner in

northern Mexico to gather supporters around him and attempt to build a political backing of

followers that could defeat Diaz in the 1910 election. The landowner was Francisco I.

Madero. Madero and his supporters slogan was, "effective suffrage and no reelection".


people of Mexico were inspired and by the time 1910 came around Madero had a very good

chance of becoming President of Mexico. Diaz, in an attempt to stay in power, rigged the

election and arrested Madero. Madero was soon released, and immediately fled for San

Antonio Texas. While in Texas he declared himself President of Mexico and wrote a

revolutionary document, "La Plan de San Luis Potosi". This plan called for a violent revolt

on November 20, 1910. The revolt failed but inspired other revolutionary groups to band



Zapata, Pancho Villa, and Pascual Orozco

One of the strongest revolutionary groups to band together began in Mexico's southern

province of Morelos. The young leader of this faction was Emiliano Zapata. Emiliano was the

son of a poor Mestizo peasant who trained and sold horses. Emiliano Zapata attempted to

Porforio Diaz Fransisco I. Madero Vennustiano Carranza Victoriano Huerta


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break the estate system, which was very similar to the feudal system. When Emiliano realized

he would not be able to accomplish this task he and his brother, Eufemio, organized a

powerful guerrilla force of poor peasants. This force became known as the Zapatistas and

soon grew to contain over 5,000 men. In northern Mexico two more revolutionary forces was

formed. The first was led by Francisco "Pancho" Villa (originally named Doroteo Arango),

an exbandit,

who organized Mexico's cowboys into a powerful army. The other army was

led by Pascual Orozco, another peasant who was discontented with the political and

economic situation in Mexico.

The fall of Diaz (1911)

In early 1911 Pascual Orozco and Pancho Villa began raiding garrisons in northern Mexico

while the Zapatistas took control of the town of Cuautla, in Morelos. Once Zapata secured the

town he cut off the road to Mexico City. A week later Diaz realized he was doomed and fled

Mexico for Europe. In his wake he left a provisional President and a large federal army that

was commanded by General Victoriano Huerta. Soon after Diaz left Mexico, Zapata took

Cuernavaca, the capital of Morelos. He then rode to Mexico City where he met Madero, who

the revolutionaries declared President. This victory, however, was only the beginning of the

conflict that would arise in Mexico.

The Rise of Victoriano Huerta

Madero's leadership came to end quickly. The first mistake Madero made during the early

days of his presidency was alienating the revolutionaries or the Constitutionalists as they

would later come to be known. During their first meeting, Zapata, who wanted to disband the

estate, attempted to convince Madero to divide the lands among the nation's farmers. Madero,

always the moderate, attempted to buy Zapata's complacence with a large piece of land and a

ranch of his own. This offer only succeeded in turning Zapata against him. In fact, every

aspect of Madero's agenda was an attempt to please everyone, which translated into complete

inaction. This inaction caused the activist revolutionaries in the North, Villa and Orozco, to

abandon Madero along with Zapata. Madero's troubles didn't end there either. The leader of

the conservative federal army, Huerta, and a small opposing faction led by Porfirio Diaz's

nephew, Felix Diaz, fought for ten days in Mexico City. This is battle known as La Decena

Tragica (The Ten Sad Days). On the ninth day of the conflict, February 8, 1913, Felix Diaz

and Huerta met with US ambassador Henry Lane Wilson. The position of the United States at

this time was that Madero was associated too closely with the "savage revolutionaries".

During the meeting, the three signed a document called "The Pact of the Embassy" which

outlined a plan to stage a coup and install Huerta as the new President of Mexico. A few days

later, Huerta revolted against Madero, who's only defense was the army of ally General

Felipe Angeles. In the process hundreds of civilians were brutally slaughtered, and Madero's

brother, Gustavo, had his one working eye cut out just before being dead. To ensure the

coup's success the US had deployed warships and troops on the coast. Madero, VicePresident,

Pino Suarez, and Angeles were arrested. On the night of February 22, 1913,

Madero and Pino Suarez were shot to death behind the prison while allegedly "trying to

escape". Angeles was later set free.


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The fall of Huerta

Immediately after Huerta came into power the amount of revolutionary violence skyrocketed.

Huerta was hated because of his drunkenness and tyrannical rule. Three major forces rose up

in the north. These revolutionary forces were led by Pancho Villa, Alvaro Obregon, and

Venustantio Carranza. Upon Madero's death Carranza took control of the remainders of

Madero's army and began fighting. In the south Zapata continued fighting. All through 1913

and early 1914 Huerta and his army suffered defeat after defeat. Finally, in the summer of

1914, all four major revolutionary forces converged on Mexico City. Huerta, realizing he was

defeated, was forced to flee and ended Victoriano Huerta's rule. On August 20, 1914,

Venustantio Carranza, despite the objections of Pancho Villa, declared himself President of


President Carranza

A bloody fight between Carranza and Villa began soon after Carranza declared himself

President. Villas forces pushed south, forcing Carranza to flee to Mexico. Carranza fought

back, inflicting fierce casualties to Villa's army. In turn, Zapata made the boldest move of all.

On November 14, 1914 the Zapatistas took Mexico City. The fighting continued until Villa,

Zapata and Obregon, realizing order would be impossible without peace, set up a council to

solve the problem. Their solution was installing Eulalio Guitierrez as interim president. With

this, Zapata agreed to withdraw from Mexico City. Although peace was momentarily

achieved, the revolutionaries quickly broke up into alliances. Villa and Zapata remained loyal

to each other and backed Guitierrez, while Obregon and Carranza allied supported Carranza's

wish to reclaim the presidency. In April, 1915 the forces of Obregon and Villa converged in a

battle at the town of Celaya. Obregon emerged victorious and Villa lost some of his power.

Infuriated, Villa rode into the town of Columbus, New Mexico where he killed eighteen

people. In a futile attempt to catch Villa, American President Woodrow Wilson sent a force

led by John J. Pershing into the Mexican hills. Pershing never even caught a glimpse of Villa,

however. With Villa's forces badly damaged from their battle with Obregon and running

from Pershing, Carranza reclaimed

the Presidency. Immediately after Carranza assumed the

Presidency a period of disorder and near anarchy ensued, as revolutionaries under Villa

fought Carranza. Violence and bloodshed were frequent. Carranza also dispatched a force and

retook the state of Morelos in December in 1915, an important loss to the Zapatista forces in

the south. During a meeting Obrégon, Zapata, and Villa, attempted to find a solution to the

fighting between Villa and Carranza. They realized that Mexico could not achieve peace if

the feud between Villa and Carranza continued. An interim president Gutiérrez was then

elected and backed by Zapata and Villa. Unfortunately, Obrégon reallied

with Carranza in an

effort to suppress Villa and gain power and in late 1915 both Villa and Zapata suffered

significant losses while fighting with the armies of Obregon and Carranza. In early 1917

Zapata responded by retaking Morelos. In an effort to restore peace and order, a Constitution

was drafted by Carranza in 1917. This Constitution is functionally the same Constitution that

governs modern day Mexico. Unfortunately, the Constitution granted dictatorial authority to

the President. Despite this shortcoming, it was a landmark document in that it enabled the

state to confiscate and redistribute land from the wealthy landowners. Additionally, the


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Catholic Church's scope of power was drastically reduced, and possibly most importantly, it

guaranteed worker's rights.

The Death of Zapata

As Carranza's power rose, Zapata began needing extra troops more and more. This necessity

was greatly hastened when Carranza defeated Zapata once more, and took back Morelos. In

April of 1919 Zapata appeared to receive a stroke of luck. It seemed one of Carranzas's

generals was interested in defecting and becoming a Zapatista. On April, 10, 1919 Zapata

went to visit the defecting general. Only after he arrived did Zapata realize that the meeting

was an ambush. Zapata was shot and killed moments after he arrived at the supposed

meeting. With Zapata's death Mexico and all the Revolutionary fighting for its freedom

suffered a great tragedy.

The fall of Carranza and the rise of Obregon

Although Carranza had just published a constitution that was fairly beneficial for the

Mexican masses he became hated for murdering Zapata. In 1920 he tried to break up railroad

strike in Sonora. This furthered the people's contempt of Carranza to the point where he lost

nearly all his supporters, including the powerful Obregon. Realizing his political career was

spiraling, Carranza attempted to flee Mexico. He was killed just outside of Mexico City on

May, 21, 1920. A politician by the name of Adolfo de la Huerta was installed as interim

President. Until Elections could be held. When elections finally took place in November,

Alvaro Obragon won by a landslide. Although sporadic violence continued for the most part

peace was achieved. With Alvaro Obregon election as President the Mexican Revolution

came to a close.

Mexico and the Future

Although the Mexican Revolution was an important historical as well as ideological victory

for Mexico, the revolution is far from over. As you read this a group of Zapatista farmers in

the state of Chiapas is fighting for their lands and their survival. The Mexican Army, with aid

from the United States government, is killing their people and taking their land, much like the

government in the 1800 did. The Zapatista's struggle, along with struggles elsewhere in

Africa, Asia, and South America are similar in cause and organization to the Mexican

Revolution. The Mexican Revolution was not only a significant example of simple people's

ability to fight a structure internally for a true change, but it is also an reminder to all people

that all people have the right to be free from oppression of any kind. As Karl Marx would

have said, "the conflict between the people and the government was not only an example of

Dialectical Materialism, but also a structure/agency relationship". Thus the Revolution of


is one of the most influential and prolific revolutions in history.

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