Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Reads - Business Edition

The Hindu has an infographic on the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Excerpt: Nizam of Hyderabad, from Freedom at Midnight

Starting this Friday, this space will feature an excerpt from a book. The idea is to share knowledge and of course, spread the idea of reading. 

Note: All copyrights/trademarks belong to the owners of the publication/author(s). It is not my intention to profit from their work. In fact, I just wish that the readers of this blog are encouraged to buy/read the works represented here. 

I start with an excerpt from Freedom at Midnight, by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. This brilliant book relates the story of India's struggle for freedom and more importantly, what led to the partition of India. 

In a chapter titled, Palaces and Tigers, Elephants and Jewels, the two terrific authors mesmerize the reader with their tales of the eccentricities of the Rajas and Nawabs of India's numerous princely states.

Here's an excerpt that relates a story about the Nizam of Hyderabad.

I request you to not buy pirated versions of any book, including Freedom at Midnight. Buy original titles and keep learning!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Reads - Old India + Freezing people to death

  • Lesson from Old India: When an economy just doesn't get better. (NYT)
  • Myths about the Islamic State: Crazy, irrational, afraid of female soldiers. (Vox)
  • I freeze people to cheat death. (BBC Future)
  • The Hedge Fund and the Despot. (BusinessWeek)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Explainer: What triggered the Gaza Crisis? (Israel-Hamas, Part 2)

Last week I wrote The Explainer: Gaza, Hamas, & Israel - Part I. Here is the second part of this Explainer series on the Gaza conflict.

What triggered the current crisis in Gaza?
Tensions between Israel and Hamas have been simmering for several years now. The latest conflict appears like just another episode in the long-running conflict between the two entities.

In the second fortnight of June, three Israeli Jewish teenagers, who were on their way from school, were abducted and killed. Their dead bodies were found a week later. Israel accused Hamas of abduction and killing of the Israeli teenagers, though the Israeli Government could not furnish any proof to substantiate their charges. 
While Hamas has consistently denied any role in this episode, many security experts believe it to be the handiwork of the Islamic Jihad, an extremist terror outfit. Islamic Jihad has major differences with Hamas, which it accuses of being too soft on Israel.
Soon after the dead bodies of the Israeli teenagers surfaced, a Palestinian Muslim teenager was killed by extremist Jews. (The perpetrators of this heinous crime were later arrested by Israeli security forces.)
Source: Mirror

How did Israel respond?
Israel launched a full-scale military assault against Hamas and other radical outfits in the Gaza 
For several days, Israel unleashed sophisticated weaponry against the radical terror groups. Hamas traded fire for fire; it launched hundreds of rockets into Israel from Gaza. However, Hamas' firepower is no match for the highly advanced weaponry used by the Israeli defence forces. Also, Israel uses the highly effective Iron Dome interceptor to ward off the threat of Hamas' rockets.
While ground assaults backed by air sorties helped destroy terror infrastructure, there has been massive civilian deaths. Unfortunately, over 2000 civilians, mostly innocent women and children, have been killed in the conflict. 
Hamas accused Israel of deliberately targeting schools, hospitals and mosques. But Israel blames Hamas of storing rockets in civilian venues, like schools and religious places.
After fighting bitterly for several weeks, currently there is a ceasefire between the two adversaries. The ceasefire was brokered by Egypt, a key member of the Muslim World and a neighbour of both Gaza and Israel.
More on the crisis in the Next Explainer.