By Syed M. Aslam
Dec 22 - 28, 2003 



*** "CORRUPTION IS PART and parcel of Indian politics and Indian life. People expect politicians to steal. They don't really mind it unless it affects national security."

(V. B. Singh, an analyst associated with New Delhi-based Centre for Study of Developing Societies, commenting on growing corruption at all levels of public and civil society in India)

*** "EVERYTHING IS LOOKED after today. Food, clothes, everything. People don't have to work like their parents did, and people take it too easy. It's a problem we are faced with."

(Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Asia's longest-serving head of state, trying to explain reasons for growing restlessness among his populace reflected from one of the world's highest divorce rates, rampant heroin addiction, petty crimes and state oppression)

*** "HINDU COUPLES having 10 or more children would be suitably rewarded, and the couple having the maximum number of children in the state would be awarded a cash prize of Rs 100,000 ($2,175)."

(Vijay Tiwari, a leader of the militant Hindu party Shiv Sena, a member of India's coalition government, in the Uttar Pradesh province encouraging people to have more children by announcing attractive cash rewards)

*** "IF THERE is an overcharge, like we think there is, we expect that money to be repaid."

(US President George W. Bush saying that he thought that Vice President Dick Cheney's old company Halliburton overcharged for work it did in Iraq and should refund the money)

*** "I THINK it's the best way of finding out the will of the (Kashmiri) people. I don't know if there is any other way."

(Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright favouring a plebiscite or a referendum as the best way to solve the Kashmir issue. She was replying to a question posed by the chief minister of Indian-held Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah)

*** "THAT IS WHY I emphasise that the ceasefire should continue. At least those making the policy should see the smiling faces on both sides before deciding anything."



(Chief Minister of Indian-occuppied Jammu & Kashmir, Mufti Mohammed Sayid, saying that ceasefire at the international border with Pakistan should continue. He was commenting the hurling of stones tied with sweets from both sides of the border in the Keran sector after the announcement of the ceasefire)

*** "DO I make myself clear? Keep your hands off my rear."

(Jingle lip-sinked by a cow and a buffalo in a television advertisement campaign funded by a US-based "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" aimed at discouraging Indians from buying leather)

*** "...if this is the new friendly police, then we would rather prefer the earlier nasty police."

(A housewife in the Indian city of Lucknow criticising the city's "Friendly cops scheme" describing horrific encounter with a drunkard policeman making not-so-polite enquiries about her husband)

*** "ALTHOUGH I'M NOT unemployed, I have been hurt by the economy, and I don't have anything else to sell or pawn."

(A Mexican teacher explaining why he is offering to sell one of his kidneys for $ 55,000 to raise money to build three classrooms in his elementary school)


(A spray-painted slogan on a wall that earned national Mohammed Baha-a Eddin a 15-day jail term by an Egyptian court. The slogan refers to rumours that President Hosni Mubarak is grooming one of his sons to succeed him)

*** "$ 1.2 million"

(Money donated by Saudi Arabian government to help renovate a large mosque in the middle of Paris)

*** "MY BERLUSCONI has two brains, one for making declarations, and the other for denying them."

(Nobel prize-winning Italian playwright Dario Fo commenting on his play "The Two Headed Anamoly", which opened in Rome earlier this month. The satirical play shows Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with Russian President Vladimir Putin's brain transplanted in his body and highlights the premier's gaffes. The play will end up next year but the director of the theatre has warned that there has been pressure to shelve the play)