Rahu Gandhi is frustrated because he is ‘Unmarried’ : Shiv Sena

In a vicious, personal attack on Rahul Gandhi for his comments on Mumbai, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Wednesday said frustration sets in when a person doesn’t get married “despite advancing age” and the Congress MP was also “victim of this disease”.

Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi for his statements on the role of north Indians in protecting Mumbai during the 26/11 terror attacks, Thackeray said in an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamna: “It seems that since Rahul won’t grow any further physically, he has now grown horns and wisdom teeth to make such statements.”

“Despite advancing age, if a person does not get married, he becomes frustrated, even Rahul seems to be a victim of this disease and makes stupid remarks,” Thackeray lashed out.

“Rahul speaks of the north Indians’ contribution during the 26/11 attacks, but in Kashmir, maximum number of soldiers from Maharashtra sacrificed themselves to protect the national borders. By his senseless utterances, he has spat on the sacrifices of the brave Marathis and other security personnel during the Mumbai attacks. Each and every Maharashtrian must deplore him,” the editorial said.

Denying that the Sena ever advocated separating Mumbai from the rest of the country, Thackeray said the party does not need lessons on this from “Prince” Rahul, especially since his party Congress was responsible for the division of the country. “Now, these people talk of unity.”

The editorial added that the Sena had never said Mumbai was not a part of India nor could seeds of separation be ever sowed on Maharashtra soil.

However, whenever Islamic terror loomed, the Sena raised its voice as only ‘Hindutva’ had the power to inspire people from all parts of the country to fight against it.

“But Congress is allergic to the word ‘Hindutva’, especially the Nehru-Gandhi clan which feels that national unity can be achieved only by pampering Muslims,” Thackeray observed.

He warned that whoever tried to challenge Maharashtrians would have to bow before them. “Let ‘Prince’ Rahul study history and he would know how his great grandfather Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had to apologise to the people of Maharashtra. Let the Prince not repeat such mistakes,” he said.

Nehru-Gandhi family Anti-Mumbai: Bal Thackeray

Mumbai: The war of words between Congress and Shiv Sena intensified further today with Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray attacking Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi and accusing the Nehru-Gandhi family of being anti-Mumbai.

”How can Rahul forget Karkare, Kamte, Salaskar and Ombale who were all Marathi? Politicians from north have always been anti-Maharashtra and they will never work in the interest of Marathi Manoos. OnlyShiv Sena can save Mumbai from these politicians,” Thackeray wrote in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

”The ‘Prince of Congress’ is totally frustrated and it is in this frustration that he has insulted Marathi people and Maharashtra,” the editorial said.

The Sena also targeted Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin stating ”Mumbai may belong to all Indians but how can it belong to an Italian mummy.”

”There is no need for the ‘Congress Prince’ to tell us that the nation is one and it should remain united. Partition of India is the biggest sin of Congress and the nation is bearing its consequences till date. There is no biggest joke other than that those Congressmen, who created Pakistan are singing the tune of national integrity,” Thackeray added.

While attacking the Congress for its policy of Muslim appeasement he said Mr Rahul Gandhi would continue this tradition.

Govt. panel recommends a steep price hike for petroleum products

Kirit Parikh committee, which was constituted to give its recommendations on oil sector reforms, has submitted its report to the government on Wednesday. The committee has suggested for totally decontrolling the oil prices. The Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, while commenting on the recommendations, said, the cabinet will take cognizance of thereport within a week and the decision will be taken about oil prices.

The committee has recommended an immediate increase in prices of kerosene by Rs 6 per litre and LPG by Rs 100 a cylinder.

The committee headed by economist Kirit Parikh also pegged the losses of state-run oil marketing companies at Rs.40,000 crore on account of having to sell transport fuels at below cost.

“There is no way we can continue with the current pricing policy,” said Parikh while submitting the report.

It would certainly be not easy for the Government as it is already struggling with food inflation context and if they do so, would be new hassle for the government.

The meeting will take place in the next few weeks.

Cong slams Shiv Sena for dividing country, comment against Rahul

New Delhi: The Congress today condemned the attempt by Shiv Sena to poliarise the country on ”chauvinistic lines and regional identities” and said that whatever constititutional measures required to be taken will be taken at an appropriate time against Sena’s mouthpiece Samna for derogatory comments against AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.

”We condemn the attempt to polarise the country on regional lines,” Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natrajan told media persons here.

Asked whether the Congress would consider banning Shiv Sena and its mouthpiece ‘Samna’ for its Chief Balasaheb Thackeray’s derogatory comments against Mr Gandhi terming his as the ‘Prince of Congress” who ‘has lost mental balance,’the Congress spokesperson said that ”Whatever constitutional steps are required would be taken at an appropriate time”.

About the personal attacks on the Nehru-Gandhi family in ‘Samna’ stating the ”prince of the Congress is a frustrated bachelor and that Mumbai may belong to all Indians but how can it belong to his Italian mommy?,”

Ms Natrajan said that the derogatory remarks indicated the frustration of the Shiv Sena and the Congress would not dignify the statement by commenting on it.

Regarding Mr Thackeray’s charge that ”The Congress that divided the country should not speak about the nation’s unity.

The country’s division was the biggest sin of the party,” Ms Natrajan said the Congress has worked tirelessly for the unity and integrity of the country and is totally committed to the idea of India.

She said, ”We will strain every nerve to ensure that the unity and integrity of the country is not compromised.”

Brumby slams Indian media for hyping up attacks

As Australian police alleged that an Indian had faked an incident of racial attack, Victorian Premier John Brumby on Wednesday criticised the Indian media and “some officials” for hyping up the assaults against the community members.

Mr. Brumby was miffed with the Indian media and some officials for “unbalanced reporting” and referred to the case of Melbourne-based Jaspreet Singh, who, police alleged, pretended he had been set on fire in an unprovoked attack, the AAP reported.

“I think I’ll make a couple of comments and in a sense they go, as much as anything, to the way the Indian media and the, to a lesser extent some representatives in the Indian government, portray these events,” he said.

His comments came as police said Singh had faked the January 8 incident for seeking insurance benefits to overcome his financial woes.

On the murder of Ranjodh Singh, whose half-burnt body was found on a roadside, Mr. Brumby said: “I think the point needs to be made that the people who have been charged with that murder are both Indians,” he said.

“And we’ve had this [Jaspreet Singh] case, which attracted a lot of attention in India, and police have charged an individual with setting fire to himself. So I hope that there is some balance to the debate, some balance to the reporting in India and certainly to date that balance hasn’t been there,” he said.

‘Rush to break news hitting media credibility’

Highlighting the crucial role of the media, Union Ministers Virbhadra Singh and Sriprakash Jaiswal, and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit asked the fourth estate to exercise extra care in reportage, as the rush to break news was hitting its credibility.

They asked the media to always check the authenticity of any information they may publish, as a mere apology cannot undo the damage done.

“The increased competition that we are seeing in the media industry, especially the electronic media, is affecting the ethics of news gathering. The damage that wrong reportage does cannot be undone by a simple apology,” said Singh, the Union Steel Minister.

Echoing his views, Dikshit said mediapersons should not forget to check the authenticity of any information in the rush to break news in today’s competitive environment.

This was especially important as the media was the fourth pillar of democracy and its reports played a significant role in moulding public opinion, she said, inaugurating the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of PTI, organised by the Federation of PTI Employees’ Union.

Jaiswal, Union Minister of State for Coal, said the media has a key role to play in the development of a nation.

“It is in this context, the role of news agencies like PTI is critical. Given their reach, they can help keep people and institutions informed, while serving to build a healthy and progressive society,” he said.

Emphasising the need for the media to present a free and fair picture of any event, CPI-M leader Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami lamented that scandals and violence were attracting more coverage, while peace and developmental events were being ignored.

Earlier, PTI CEO and Editor-in-Chief, M. K. Razdan, outlined the agency’s growth story since its launch in 1949 and said that PTI was today an essential news source for most Indian newspapers and television channels.

Next in military technology: Unmanned Black Hawk?

The Stratford-based helicopter maker and military contractor is launching a $1 billion venture featuring a pilot-less Black Hawk helicopter. Attendees walk past a model of the Sikorsky X2 technology demonstrator aircraft in Hartford

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced a billion-dollar venture on Monday that it hopes will respond to military demand for technology to fight two wars, including Black Hawk helicopters that can see and fly on their own.

The Stratford-based helicopter maker and military contractor said Sikorsky Innovations is intended to speed the transformation of the mechanical helicopter into a computerized aircraft.

The Black Hawk is a military workhorse, used in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Grenada and Panama. It’s also part of military packages sold to other nations and has been used in civilian missions such as rescuing snowbound mountain climbers.

The Black Hawk, used for air assault and medical evacuation, was featured in the book and movie “Black Hawk Down,” chronicling a battle in Somalia in 1993 when two helicopters were shot down, killing 18 soldiers.

Some of the deadliest crashes, involving five Black Hawk helicopters in Iraq, killed 51 soldiers between 2003 and 2007. The helicopter is heavily relied upon in Afghanistan, a mountainous nation with long stretches of desert and few decent roads.

“Imagine a vehicle that can double the productivity of the Black Hawk in Iraq and Afghanistan by flying with, at times, a single pilot instead of two, decreasing the workload, decreasing the risk, and at times when the mission is really dull and really dangerous, go it all the way to fully unmanned,” Chris Van Buiten, Director of Sikorsky Innovations, told an audience of 100 government, university and business representatives on Monday.

Unmanned war planes are not new but are drawing interest from commanders trying to reduce casualties while not relenting in combat.

“The new thing here is to apply technologies in small airplanes and rotorcraft to the 20,000-pound Black Hawk,” Van Buiten said in an interview. “It ups the stakes.”

Sikorsky intends to have a demonstrator model of an unmanned Black Hawk ready this year and introduce it by 2015. An unmanned version could add about $2 million to the current $15 million price tag, but would save money with fewer or no crew members, he said.

Change will not only be technical, but also cultural, Van Buiten said. “Pilots are not going to give up that seat easily,” he said in an interview.

Mark Miller, vice president of research and engineering at the subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., said officials want to harness Sikorsky’s rapid growth – revenue and profit have more than doubled over the past five years – with technological advances that are remaking helicopters.

Sikorsky will design and build an “optionally piloted helicopter” to resupply troops or engage in battle. It will give commanders a choice between operating a Black Hawk with one pilot or two or none.

“We’ll let it adapt to the mission,” Van Buiten said.

Sikorsky is jumping into a lucrative and growing market. Steven Zaloga, a Senior Analyst at Teal Group Corp. in Fairfax, Virginia, said unmanned aerial vehicles represent “one of the few dynamic markets” in the aerospace industry, which was hit hard by the recession.

The Teal Group estimates the global market for unmanned aerial vehicle hardware will rise from $2.9 billion this year to $5.5 billion in 2019, Zaloga said.

Mark Tattershall, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Kaman Corp., a Bloomfield, Connecticut-based aerospace manufacturer, said Kaman and Lockheed Martin Corp. demonstrated an unmanned cargo helicopter in Utah last week.

“To control something that’s within sight is one challenge,” he said. “To control something on the other side of a mountain and have it safely put down a load successfully and safely is a big challenge.”

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has developed the A160, which is now being tested by the Army and its network of researchers.

Phil Hunt, a Program Manager at the agency, said challenges include unmanned aircraft seeing and avoiding other aircraft in federally regulated or military airspace and the potential dangers of carrying weapons at the time of a crash.

Sikorsky Innovations, which over 10 years will spend $1 billion from Sikorsky and its customers, also is researching technologies that would vastly increase a helicopter’s speed, enable it to use computers to see through dust storms kicked up during takeoffs and landings, and allow it to gather data about its own condition and tailor the performance for quieter and more comfortable rides if necessary.

“We can allow a helicopter to morph itself for each function,” Miller said.