The World This Week – 17 May 2009

May 19, 2009

The great Indian elections of 2009 are over after five phases of voting spread over a month, over 400 million votes cast, several thousand candidates, and billions of dollars spent by all concerned.

India Elections

The massive logistical exercise ended in a massive victory for the Congress, which gained plenty of seats at the expense of the left and other regional parties. The BJP came in a distant second. Manmohan Singh is all set for another term as Prime Minister, despite not bothering to contest the elections. His life should be easier now that there is no Left acting as a dampener to the economic reforms that he would (should?) look to implement.

Of course the Congress is elated at exceeding its own expectations.

None of the exit polls came even close in their predictions, but the news channels aren’t complaining. Their favorite party won the election, which is all that matters. Wonder how they would have reacted if the BJP had come up trumps.

The left suffered heavy losses, as did Laloo Prasad Yadav in Bihar. In UP, Mayawati’s Prime Ministerial dreams were shattered as the Congress came from behind to win an impressive 21 seats in the state.

Over in Kerala, a remote village called Kodinhi has given another meaning to the popular phrase ‘ek ke saath ek free’ (Buy one get one free). This village has 220 pairs of twins born to 2000 families.

Teaching in the local school must be a fun job!

How much do you donate to your favorite temple? This American woman donated Rs 2 crore to the famous Sri Ramanathaswamy Parvadhavardhini temple in Rameswaram.

Ever wonder how many nuclear weapons India may have? Here’s some analysis to figure that out.

Gods can fail. Google’s services went down for a little bit this past week, creating worldwide havoc. Rumor has it that some religious groups had initiated procedure for a mass suicide in anticipation of the impending doom, but the drastic action was averted as Google got back on its several hundred thousand servers feet.

Satyam may soon layoff some 12,000 employees, unleashing a flood in the technology job market. Meanwhile, India’s premier investigative agency – CBI is having trouble reading data from suspected crook Ramalinga Raju’s laptops.

Indian passengers onboard an Air France alleged racial abuse at the hands of French authorities. The flight from Boston ran into technical snags leading to a 27 hour delay at Paris. While the other passengers were put up in hotels, the 55 Indians were forced to spend over ten hours at the airport on a sandwich and a bottle of water. Protests led to threats of getting arrested. The airline later apologized saying that they could not accommodate these passengers in hotels because they didn’t have transit visas.

The future belongs to India. If you doubt that, read this gurcharan das column.

A reuters report on the election result. Manmohan Singh gives flowers to Sonia Gandhi. Sonia Gandhi says that the Indian voter made the right decision.  The same Indian voter that sent 150 criminals to the parliament.


(Image courtesy:AP)

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13 Responses to “ The World This Week – 17 May 2009 ”

  1. The Quirky Indian on May 19, 2009 at 3:25 am

    AD: Gurcharan Das is talking through his hat. This democracy-dictatorship argument has been overdone, and all it does is make us feel good about ourselves. Please don’t take him too seriously. By the way, he lost the debate.


    Quirky Indian

  2. Chikki on May 19, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Thx for the updates again..

    By the way, do you get an option to embed youtube videos??
    I don’t even have an option of ’embed’ anywhere..I liked a video on TED that I wanted to put up, But I couldn’t download it from there, so I had to search the same video in youTube , then download it, then convert to MP4, and then upload it which took like 20mins..:(..!! Is there a easier way??How did you manage to embed a youtube video??

  3. Kavi on May 19, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    what a momentous week this has been !?! What a week !?! Phew ! I wonder where this will lead us all to !

    I hope to some place nice !


  4. Roshni on May 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Well, that circus act is finally over!
    I wonder why people donate so much to temples…is God bribable, I wonder?!

  5. Indyeah on May 19, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Thanks for the roundup :)
    it has been quiet a week!
    one hopes it is all for the better :)
    the last ‘ Indian Voter’ line was good :D

  6. amreekandesi on May 20, 2009 at 1:56 am

    @QI – ‘talking through the hat’ – isnt that what everybody does? For sanity sake, i try to accept the ones that make sense and feel good. Its the search for that elusive silver lining ;)
    Thanks for the insider tip though…i dont really know much history about Mr Das.

    @Chikki – On youtube video pages, there would be a little box that says ’embed’, below the info area (right part of the page) with some html code to embed the video.
    Copy the html from that box, go to the ‘source’ tab while composing your wordpress post, and stick the html there. Presto! the embedded video will be there.
    Let me know if this info was helpful.

    @Kavi – Amen to that!

    @Roshni – I too wonder what donations to temples achieve. It all goes into the coffers of the temple trust and the priests.

    @Indyeah – Thanks! and Thanks!

  7. Smitha on May 20, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Yes, what a week it’s been! And such an unexpected and welcome ending with the results :)

    Lets hope that the govt delivers, now that it is not hampered by the Left..

    That story of 220 twins is freaky and fascinating!

  8. Indyeah on May 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    quite a week :D
    forgive the typo please :D

  9. Dinesh on May 21, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Nice potpourri of news. The elections have indeed been a drama with Congress pulling a surprise. I just hope they don’t succumb to DMK and hand over too many plumb portfolios. 2 Crore is quite a sum for charity, very nice woman. Although, I wish she could have diversified a bit :)

  10. Kiran on May 22, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Hi Atul,
    Nice summary of different events surrounding us. Unfortunately, politicians around the globe are also responsible for the world-wide economical crisis. Sigh! I am in a huge mess :D

  11. amreekandesi on May 23, 2009 at 1:45 am

    @Smitha – Yes, i guess it has freaked out many researchers!

    @Indyeah – I hadnt even noticed the typo, till you pointed it out ;)

    @Dinesh – Thanks. Looks like DMK is out of the cabinet, supporting from ‘outside’. I am surprised they are trying to bargain with the Congress in such a strong position!

    @Kiran – Thanks. Good to see you back. I read your post…hopefully things will work out fine for you!

  12. amit on May 28, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    The news about the twins is fascinating. :)
    And I liked the article about India and China. It does sound logical although it gives a feeling that something is wrong somewhere. I just can’t place it. Anyways, it feels good. :)

  13. Youth Leadership on May 29, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I must say that this time the Indian Youth has shown that it won’t allow people to let be there representatives who don’t work for people. As we have seen in the results many leaders Laloo, Paswan, Sibu Soren they all lost their seats.
    I must say this is a good sign for Indian Democracy.

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