For Bernanke, central bankers were the heroes. In the face of irrational hordes, they offered liquidity and a host of innovative policies, ensuring that financial panic did not lead to a new Great Depression. In Bernanke’s word, “the outcome could have been decidedly worse”.
His assessment isn’t exactly wrong. But as a historical record it is incomplete and far too generous to central bankers. (via Ben Bernanke’s version of history is incomplete – Telegraph).
It ain’t the first time
“a significant increase in the global supply of saving–a global saving glut–which helps to explain both the increase in the U.S. current account deficit and the relatively low level of long-term real interest rates in the world today.”
This time around he was congratulating Central Bankers and policymakers
“in the United States and around the globe responded with speed and force to arrest a rapidly deteriorating and dangerous situation.”
Awesome! The man is so brazen! He has no shame!!
Of course, he makes no mention how the current Great Recession first came about by printing too much money – and then keeping interests low. Edward Hadas is right in one thing at least! He says, “Those who spread kerosene should not take too much credit for putting out fires.”
Benny Boy – That is good advice. Take it.
Indians are a news-crazy lot. By all reckoning we have the largest number of news channels and are the second-largest newspaper market in the world. If you add up the average across newspapers, news on TV and news online, in 2008, Indians spent an average of 50 minutes a day consuming news.
During the same period, advertisers spent Rs 12,000-odd crore to reach news audiences in those 50 minutes, according to data put together by Starcom MediaVest, a media buying agency. Add in subscription revenues and news is a roughly Rs 16,000 crore market. That makes it the second-largest media business in India after entertainment — in audience share, topline and (arguably) investor-interest too. (via Vanita Kohli-Khandekar: The future of news).
‘BJP after Sardar because it needs an icon with mass appeal’ – Interviews – OPINION – The Times of India
History, however, shows that India has disintegrated whenever the Centre has become weak. The regimes of Ashoka, Allauddin Khilji and Aurangzeb all became weak because their descendants were weak rulers. (via ‘BJP after Sardar because it needs an icon with mass appeal’ – Interviews – OPINION – The Times of India).
With historians like this, who needs enemies!
Firstly before regurgigating Western cliches, Shri Tripathi should ask a fundamental question.
Why did Ghenghis Khan avoid India?
India, a rich civilization, with massive exports and large gold reserves, was an attractive target. Genghis Khan, whose empire, from Mongolia to Austria, from Central Asia to Russian borders, was larger than Alexander’s – and whose conquests brought Chinese culture to Europe (like abacus, gunpowder, paper, printing) by-passed India completely.
It was India’s military paradigm
From the Battle of Kadesh to the retreat of Alexander, Indic rulers changed the military paradigm. Buddhist texts talk about 16 mahajanapadas – which formed this ruling federation. Five very important changes were seen. Buddhist texts refer to the “the 63,000 kings of Jambudwipa”. Power was distributed amongst the many kings to provide a choice of competing administrations, to which the populations could migrate, based on advantage, opportunity and benefit.
One - war chariots became less important. By the time of Alexander’s march in India, chariots were a minor part of the Indian armies. Instead, the importance of cavalry increased. Bessos, the Bactrian mathista, designated to succeed Darius III, led the successful Indic cavalry charge, at Gaugamela, on the Macedonian right flank – which forced Alexander to focus on the centre of the Persian army, led by Darius III.
When Alexander finally was able to make his way to India, he met a fierce onslaught of the Indian cavalry units – supported by fearsome elephants. Indian cavalry units were always smaller than in other nations due to paucity of horses in India. India was a traditional importer of horses. For combat use, Indian cavalry used imported horses and Indian breeds. Behind Rajput power, was the successful breeding of the Marwari horses, which came about only in the 12th century. Earlier Indian horses easily trained and more intelligent, but smaller with less stamina, and used as as pack animals.
Two - a system of alliances supporting frontline kingdoms in the entire North West Indian swath was formulated. For instance, against the Assyrian invasion, led by Semiramis, a minor Indian king, Stabrobates, was supported to beat back the Assyrian invasion. Against Cyrus the Great, Tomyris, a Scythian Queen was supported to massacre Persian invaders. Alexander’s nightmare began immediately, as soon as he crossed into the Indic area.
Instead of the complete capitulation and collaboration that Alexander got from the defeated Achaemenid ruling family of Sisygambis, Stateira, Oxathres (brother of Darius III; also written as oxoathres and oxyathres) et al, the foursome of Bessos, Spitamenes, Datafernes and the Scythians made Alexander’s life miserable. At Gaugamela, it was Bessos and his Indian cavalry, which broke Alexander’s formations.
The tribes and kshatrapas (satraps) of Indian North West swath, delayed Alexander for nearly three years – before he could step into India. In India, Alexander had to pay the King of Taxiles, Omphis, (Ambi) 1000 talents of gold (more than 25 tons of gold) – to secure an alliance. He had to return the kingdom of Punjab to Porus – purportedly, after winning the battle. His loot and pickings from India were negligible. Alexander’s response – “the Macedonians frequently massacred the defenders of the city, especially in India.”
Alexander realized that the Indian Brahmins had influenced the Indian princes to organize and support the Indian war against Alexander. Greek sources cite, how at ‘The City of Brahmans’, he massacred an estimated 8000-10,000 of these non-combatant Brahmins. Thus while, invaders were kept at bay, within the Indic area, borders and crowns kept changing and shifting.
Less than 300 years after Alexander, Romans came close to Indian border. They were led by Marcus Licinius Crassus – estimated (or allegedly) worth 200,000,000 sestertii. A writer of classical journals estimated that to be worth about 7.6 million in 1860. Inflation adjusted, about 7.6 billions. Source of Crassus’ wealth – slavery, corruption, pillage, bribery et al. Crassus is more famous in history for three things – One, for his wealth, Two – for having crucified thousands of rebellious slaves on the Via Appia, after defeating Spartacus’ Slave Army and Three, as the man who funded the rise of Julius Caesar.
It is his death, that is usually glossed over.
The rich Crassus decided to chase military fame – “to penetrate even to Bactria, India, and the shores of the Eastern Ocean.” The North West swath was ruled by the Indo-Parthian rulers from circa 100 BC onwards. Western historical narratives place King Guduvhara (who Western historians equate with Gondophares) as a prominent king of this era – based on a mix of coins and contradictory written evidence. The value of numismatics in India gets diluted, the moment one factors the fact that Indian rulers did NOT have an exclusive prerogative to mint coins. Freedom to issue coinage was general – based on the acceptability of the issued coinage. Hence, Indian royal Indian coinage was usually crude and simplistic.The capital of these Indo-Parthian kingdoms was Takshashila – the major centre of Indian learning and the site of the Takshashila University.
A lesser known noble of this kingdom was the Suren family – one of who, led an Indo-Parthian-Iranian army against Roman armies, in 53 BC at Carrhae, led by the billionaire, Marcus Licinius Crassus. The Surens were possibly powerful warlords – ruling over Siestan (Shakyastan). These Indo-Scythians, expert horsemen and archers, creators of the Parthian Shot (popularized as parting shot), pulverized the Roman armies. Crassus was captured – and his greed was satiated when molten gold was poured down his throat. Mark Anthony tried avenging Crassus defeat – with a disastrous defeat, again.
For the next nearly 400 years, Romans were wary of any large expeditions into Indo-Persian territories. At least, the Italians did not forget Crassus. 1800 years later, Dante Alighieri, asked Crassus, “‘Crassus, tell us, because you know, how does gold taste?”
Of General Suren, not much is known – which by now, should not surprise us. Also, some ancient maps show the Gandhara-Takshashila region as Suren. Suren also supposedly ‘lacked strategic vision’ – these days, is called ‘killer instinct’, for which he was shortly later killed. But it is interesting that the enemies of the daiwas (enemy of devas are the asuras, in Indian scriptures), the Zoroastrians (followers of Ahura Mazda, speculatively Mahishasura) allied themselves with a Suren. The House of Suren’s had traditional rights to install the crown of Persian rulers.
Three – the biggest game changer were the elephant corps. War elephants was an Indian invention and an Indian monopoly. After the defeat and death of Cyrus The Great at the hands of Tomyris, the Persians stopped looking India-wards. 500 years later (nearly), with the help of the Indian elephant corps, the Sassanians stopped the Romans at Persian borders in 363 AD.
With these three changes, Indian heartland became invincible. Empire builders like the Assyrian Queen, Semiramis and the Achmaenian Emperor, Cyrus the Great mounted expensive campaigns to conquer India – and barely escaped with their lives. Later, Genghis Khan’s armies avoided India completely. Timurlane could invade India – when Delhi was under rule by a foreign dynasty, the Tughlaks. Indian invincibility and military prowess was unmatched till the 13th century – when the first foreign rulers, the Slave Dynasty rulers from the Levant started ruling from Delhi – Qutubuddin Aibak, in 1206.
Four – Indian teachers and intellectuals were sent to all corners of the world. The spread of Buddhism in Asia is well chronicled. Socrates’ encounter with an Indian yogi however, is not so well known. Mani, the Buddhist teacher was feared by the Vatican for the next 1000 years. Vatican killed, burnt and quartered all those who displayed any leaning towards Manicheanism. Islamic invaders searched and destroyed statues or ‘boet’ (meaning statues of Buddha?). In 2nd century AD, Origen, a Christian pioneer, attributed the spread of Christianity “The island (Britain) has long been predisposed to it (Christianity) through the doctrines of the Druids and Buddhists, who had already inculcated the doctrine of the unity of the Godhead”
Five - Indic legal and political structures were introduced. The usage of gold was popularized and became widespread as an economic tool. Coinage in India was not a royal prerogative or implemented by fiat. Even the British colonial government could not impose a single currency system in India.
Thus, for instance, there were intricate Greco-Bactrian coins, compared to crude and simple Indic coins. Sanskritic and Dravidian systems were used to structure ancient languages like Akkadian and Elamite.
The foremost administrative innovation was the concept of Bharata(ah) - the aryavart and the arya dhwaj. Comprising of 16 to 30 mahajanapadas, Bharata(ah) became a federation of kingdoms. Each of these kingdoms became a series of succeeding lines of defence against invading armies. What the European Union is grappling with, (and may yet fail) for the last 300 years, was implemented and used 3000 years ago in India.
The foremost proponent of this Indic construct, well known to modern history, is Kautilya Chanakya. Western colonial historians, have spitefully, called him the Indian Machiavelli. Chanakya, encoder-in-chief of Indic statecraft, came a full 1700 years before Machiavelli, who took office, after Savonarola was served en flambe to the Borgia papacy, in a declining and decadent Florence, under the Medicis.
Islamic Conquest of India …?
By 1000 A.D., Al Beruni’s description of India and its wealth, spread over the Islamic world. By the time of the first significant Islamic raid of Indian heartland, in 1001, when Mahmud of Ghazni invaded India, Islam was already entrenched in Europe. Spain was already under Islamic rule by 718 AD. Parts of Italy fell by 902. Crete (part of modern Greece) fell in 961. In Northern Europe, modern day Georgia (on Russian borders) fell to Islamic rule, by 735.
For the next 500 years, Islamic territories continued to expand. India was the last significant conquest of the Islam. Islamic raiders targetted India for plunder and loot – but were not able to establish themselves till the 13th century. The first significant Islamic dynasty in India was the Slave dynasty – only in the 13th century, Qutubuddin Aibak in 1206. From the 1206 to 1526, Islamic rulers struggled to consolidate in India.
The successful invasion of Babur, in the 1526 established Islamic rule in the Indian heartland. From 1526 onwards, Islamic conquest waned. Islamic empires started consolidating. On the other, the European star, was on the ascendant from 1492, with the voyage of Columbus. But then the Moghuls were from Afghanistan, part of Bharat(ah). And their greatest successes came after (reluctantly) co-opting the Indians.
Colonial historians mix up Central Asian and Levantine raiders with Islamic kings from the Indian sub-continent as Islamic invaders, but themselves as European.Why is the British Colonial rule not described as the Christian conquest of India? For the same reasons, that Islamic conquerors, by that time, had conquered most of Eastern Europe, had failed in India.
The other trick in bag of the colonial historian was to show successful invaders as foreign – and defeated foreign rulers, as an Indian defeat. The Tughlaks were powerful, foreign Islamic invaders who swept the weak Hindus, before them, but when Timurlane defeats the same Tughlaks, it becomes a Indian defeat. When Babur, from Afghanistan, captures the throne of Delhi, he is a successful foreign invader – but when his descendant Bahadur Shah Zafar, is defeated, he is the defeated Indian ruler.
And Shri Tripathi gives us the same lines …
Had Jinnah had his way, there would be no need for the pathetic lottery of Ramazan invitations. There would be no need for the Justice Sachchar Committee, set up to investigate why Indian Muslims continue to be economically and socially backward six decades after independence from colonialism. (via DAWN.COM | Columnists | Going Jinnah’s way).
Best of all worlds
The Colonial British-Muslim League narrative asserted that India was ruled by the Muslims before “the British takeover from Muslim rulers at the end of the eighteenth century”. And it was asserted by the Muslim League and the supporters of the two-nation-theory that ‘how could Muslims, the ‘ex-rulers’ now become ‘subject’ people under a Hindu Raj.’
Jawed Naqvi, the writer at The Dawn, needs to reconcile the contradiction between “their (Muslim) presumed memory of their days as rulers of all (or most) of India” and the current reality of Indian Muslims being “economically and socially backward”.
Desolate and dry desert sands
I also wonder why he makes no mention of the backwardness of people from his own country, Pakistan. Is it that Indians have a greater responsibility to ensure progress of Indian Muslims – but the Pakistanis don’t have responsibility towards the Pakistani population?
Why is Naqvi holding Indians to higher standards? After all, both India and Pakistan started their post-colonial history from the same cess-pit of British colonialism. If you stretch Naqvi’s arguments far enough, the arrows land in misplaced victimhood.
And that, Naqvibhai, is a rather sad and desolate place to be in!
Abdul Hameed starts his day with half-a-dozen newspapers, four of which are in English. Later, the 25-year-old logs on to news websites and religiously watches CNN and BBC. Then he sits down to write news reports that he contributes to English news portals and magazines. He hopes that he will end up as a feature writer with an English magazine.
This is not what your standard madrassa graduate dreams of. But Hameed, an aalim (graduate) from the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, represents a modern rivulet watering the mindset of maulvis in Mumbai. In the Deoband school, English was treated like an alien tongue, the currency of the Christian West. But another organisation called Markazul Maarif Education and Research Centre (MMERC), which is devoted to Muslim upliftment, is all for linguistic freedom. In the last decade or so, MMERC’s modest ‘campus’ — a group of rented rooms in an old building near Crawford Market (the school is moving to Jogeshwari) — has trained over 300 maulvis (including Hameed) to speak English, in order to prepare them for jobs in India and overseas. (via Words worth: Mr Maulvi’s English August – India – NEWS – The Times of India).
A progressive Mussalman gets excited
Mohammed Wajihuddin is getting very excited about a few hundred ‘maulvis’ learning English. Possibly, he does not know that in the land of English, there are a 10,000 Muslims in prison. Seen in the light of Muslim demographics of ‘Great’ Britain, the picture becomes shocking.
If Muslim males between 18-45 are the ‘target’ population for imprisonment, then we are talking about an ‘eligible population of 250,000 people – out of less than 1.6 million UK Muslims. Of then 10,000 are in prison. And yet Britain is the hotbed of Islamic terrorism in the West! So, learning English is not solution Mr.Wajihuddin! In Latin it is called a non-sequitur, Mr.Wajihuddin!
Coming to Deoband
Deoband seminary was set up after the 1857 War, as a religious institution to ‘escape’ British repression. A 75 years later, the Deoband school became famous during Independence due to its strong anti-Jinnah, anti-Partition stand. 60 years later, Mahmud Madani still talks about ‘our’ India. And the Deoband school is in the vanguard against the ‘jihadi-Talibani-Wahabbi’ propaganda school which is mixing brewing poison in some Muslim minds.
His interview here lays out the land very clearly – without the pussyfooting around the issues. For all those in India, who are onto the Islamic demonization route, this should make them re-think.
For starters, must consider the Indic (by both Hindus and Muslims) fight for the overthrow of British colonialism – from the 1857 War to 1947. The Deoband Seminary, Sheikh Abdullah were all popular Muslim leaders – who did not wish for or support the formation of Pakistan.
And about the root of Islamic terrorism
The problems in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Middle East have their genesis in the cynical intervention by the West – in the last 150 years. These interventions have imbalanced traditional structures – and magnified problems. The US has turned Peshawar into a military arms bazaar. CIA created these Afghan Frankensteins – in pursuit of it own imperial competition with USSR. And then the imprisonment and sidelining of the Frontier Gandhi – Pakistan.
As the 2ndlook post ‘Behind The Web of terror’, on December 17th, 2007, pointed out, the answer to the Pakistani problems in the North West tribal areas was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. On October 3rd, 2008, the Frontier Gandhi’s grandson was the target of suicide bomber. The terrorists are obviously worried that Khan Abdul Khan Ghaffar Khan’s sensibility may make a comeback.
The sounds of silence
Instead of making inchoate remarks about English language and linguistic freedom, stiill your mind. When you have an iota of vision, standing and success that Deoband has, then you can talk, Mr.Wajihuddin!
Till then, sit at the feet of the masters at Deoband and learn in silence.
The interim government of 1946-47 included Congress and the Muslim League. Jinnah quarrelled daily with Congress on issue after issue to deny it legitimacy.
Liaquat Ali of the Muslim League was finance minister in the interim government, and had the power to block any expenditure. He constantly queried and blocked spending proposals of Congress ministers. Patel said he could not even appoint a chaprasi without Liaquat’s approval, which took ages.
In February 1947, Liaquat presented a socialist ‘‘poor man’s budget’’. This imposed a 25% tax on business profits over one lakh rupees, doubled the corporate tax, imposed capital gains tax, and doubled the export duty on tea. It also proposed a commission to unearth tax-evaders. (via Jaswant pays price for telling the truth: Swaminomics: S A Aiyar’s blog-The Times Of India).
Three propaganda machines
This interesting anecdote reveals how propaganda machines of the Congress, the Indian Muslim League (IML) and the British Raj were working. Congress demonized the IML in the eyes of (current day) Indians. The IML used “Muslims were the rulers of India” propaganda plank to downgrade Congress legitimacy amongst the Muslims. The British ‘demonstrated’ to the whole world, that Indians would be at each others throats, without the Raj.
All three succeeded
IML wanted to show that the ‘partnership’ with Congress would not work. IML was not worried or interested about the future of the fragile concept of Pakistan, which the British were promoting. Soon enough, IML gave way to a military dictatorship in Pakistan.
Congress wanted to show obstructive the IML was. The agenda of Liaquat Ali Khan was officially embraced by Nehru with great vigour and fanfare after the 1946 election. The British of course wanted that these two parties should ‘realize’ that they cannot live and work together.
All three succeeded. The only ones who failed and suffered were the people of India!