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Posts Tagged ‘Bharattantra’

Corruption – The American Method

October 8, 2011 12 comments

Not just multinationals that have globalized. People living with a globalized form of socialistic governments also face the same globalized problems. Corruption is one of them.

A study in collusion and corruption  |  Text in the cartoon - How do you want you want your bailout? Billions, Trillions. Please take your bailout, Thank You  |  Cartoon by David Horsey; source and courtesy - spokesmanreview.com  |  Click for larger image.

A study in collusion and corruption | Text in the cartoon - Small screen asks - How do you want you want your bailout? Billions, Trillions. Big display says - Please take your bailout, Thank You | Cartoon by David Horsey; source and courtesy - spokesmanreview.com | Click for larger image.

Obama administration’s mortgage modification program is more than two years old. From the beginning, it’s been apparent that the participating banks and mortgage servicers were breaking the program’s rules. The administration has long argued it has little power to do anything about it. But now, after millions of homeowners have been rejected, the government has decided it’s finally time to crack down.

On Thursday, the Treasury Department announced it would be withholding government subsidies to the country’s three largest mortgage servicers, which are also among the U.S.’s largest banks: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase. The banks won’t be getting more money until they show “substantial improvement.” (via Eye on the Bailout – ProPublica).

Maya of democracy

Behind the corruption problem, is the ‘modern’ system of governance. Giving unlimited powers to the State is cause for ultimate corruption.

Given a choice of two candidates, selected from some 2,000 collusive politicians, we have been lulled into believing that democracy is greatest thing since sliced bread. Can’t stand either.

Both give me indigestion.

Too big to fail is too big to control also. |  Cartoon dated October 27, 2009  |  By David Horsey  |  Source and courtesy - sfgate.com  |  Click for larger image.

Too big to fail is too big to control also. | Cartoon dated October 27, 2009 | By David Horsey | Source and courtesy - sfgate.com | Click for larger image.

Greed and pain

After taking bailout worth hundreds of billions in US$ (that would be more than Rs.50 crore crores, yes 5 and 16 zeroes), to help homeowners affected by the Great Recession, these banks simply kept the money.

And kept evicting distressed homeowners.

Why did the Government drag its feet for more than 2 years – after serious protests, and clinching evidence?

Corruption? Yes, definitely. Was bribery involved? Don’t know. Is this collusion? Definitely.

Does Shri Bhagwati want to bet anything, that no one is going to jail?

Small guys are statistics

Small business failures is statistics – but big business failure is in ‘national interest’.

This concentration of power at the top, creates a collusive system, where Big People help each other – and the rest of us are statistics.

This pattern has been seen in Communist China and Russia, Socialist countries everywhere (everyone is a socialist now)  – and in Capitalist England and America earlier.

The key

India has been a rich country for most of recorded history

Yet, after 1500 years of recorded history, Indian kings have not left behind fortunes, palaces or monuments. Unlike Rome, Greece, Egypt, China, Babylon, Persia – and everywhere else.

Now that is clean administration. How did India get clean administration for 1500 years?

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra gives you that.


What is भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra – The classical Indian system of polity worked on ensuring

4 freedoms

- धर्म (dharma – justice)
- अर्थ (arth – wealth and means)
- काम (kaam – human desires)
- मोक्ष (moksha – liberty)

and

3 rights

- ज़र (jar - gold)
- जन (jan - human ties)
- जमीन (jameen – property)

for all.

Pakistan – An alienating identity

September 28, 2011 9 comments

What has gone wrong? A question that many Pakistanis ask. And a few honest answers filter through.

Three nuclear powers - cheek by jowl.|  The Equalizer cartoon by David Horsey; published - May 28, 2002 in Seattlepi.com / SL   |  Click for image.

Three nuclear powers – cheek by jowl.| The Equalizer cartoon by David Horsey; published – May 28, 2002 in Seattlepi.com / SL | Click for image.

Fault Lines

Pakistan may have silently accepted that the premise of Pakistan’s nationhood was wrong.

Apart from a few ‘desperate’ bonzos, Pakistanis feel bad at the plight of their nation. The destructive rhetoric of Us vs Them, symbolic of the Desert Bloc, dries up in the hot sands of genocide, poverty, crime.

Unlike भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

This extract below, from a Pakistani newspaper, asks some tough questions.

First, we alienated ourselves from Hindu community because we were Muslims, and then we kept on alienating millions of our own (the Eastern wing, followed by the peripheral groups including the Baloch, Seraiki, Sindhi and the religious minorities) in trying to prove that we were Muslims.

An answer that Pakistanis are asking - and one day will get. (Cartoon by Don Wright; source and courtesy - thuklak.wordpress.com). Click for larger image.

An answer that Pakistanis are asking – and one day will get. (Cartoon by Don Wright; source and courtesy – thuklak.wordpress.com). Click for larger image.

How ‘Pakistani’ would the relatives of Habib Jalib,those martyred at Ali Hajweri shrine and the Ahmedi worship places be feeling, or for that matter the IDPs from Swat, the separatists from Balochistan, and the millions of peasants and wage labourers, who despite their right to vote our incapable of bringing material improvements in their lives, is anybody’s guess. (via An alienating identity – The Express Tribune Blog).

And Tripwires

And the answer to these questions.

On an India-Pakistan Forum, the idea of भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra has started getting discussed – and outlined.

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra is India’s classical political ideology, that worked on four freedoms -

  • धर्म (dharma – justice)
  • अर्थ (arth – wealth and means)
  • काम (kaam – human desires)
  • मोक्ष (moksha – liberty)

and guaranteed three rights -

  • ज़र (jar - gold)
  • जन (jan - human ties)
  • जमीन (jameen – property)

For all. And Bharattantra may be the way forward for India and Pakistan to work together, in the view of some forum members.

National Ratings – What Is The World Coming to?

August 24, 2011 5 comments

Examining governance records of selected ten premiere post-WWII governments across the world could throw up some surprises.

Momentum and direction is half the story. The Other Half is more difficult. (Cartoon by Bill Leak; Courtesy - cagle.com). Click for larger image.

Momentum and direction is half the story. The Other Half is more difficult. (Cartoon by Bill Leak; Courtesy - cagle.com). Click for larger image.

Any flavour – as long as it is socialism

With a global recession staring at the world, unemployment at record levels, gold prices in the stratosphere, there is need to understand where nations – and their country-models are going. Communism has failed, Capitalism died with end of African slavery – and in a world made of  socialist flavours, it may be worthwhile to understand what works – and for how long.

Maybe you should read more about भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

Performance and propaganda

If we are to examine governance records of selected ten premiere post-WWII governments across the world, a lot of State propaganda will stand exposed. To enable a broad understanding of national direction – based on historical milieu, current context and future prospects, a country Rating Engine is available.

10 nations have been chosen. Four from Europe (France, Germany, Italy and UK), two from South America (Argentina and Brazil) Japan and USA, China and India. Looking back at the 65 years after WWII (1945-2010), the context and strategies of these ten countries throws up some surprises.

10 Country Rating Engine

For purposes of this post, a 10-country snapshot has been presented with a Rating Engine. The Rating Engine can be used to measure performance on three parameters.

  1. Relative Decline or Rise From WWII-to Now

  2. Current Status

  3. Country Outlook Over the Next 10-25 Years.

Readers can do a country wise rating on these three parameters, for each country. Cumulative ratings will appear instantly.

USA – the world’s largest economy.

Rise or Decline (1945-2000)
Today
Future

With

  1. 25,000 tons of gold after WWII, now down to 8000-odd tons
  2. Bretton Woods system on its side
  3. World industrial base in shambles,

USA was the supreme power. Without a challenger.

Especially after the atomic bombs in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

The same USA is a second rate power, mired with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, battling economic stagnation, with the world’s largest prisoner base.

Run by an intrusive policing system with CIA, FBI, and sundry other agencies that snoop on its own citizen.

The place of the US dollar in the world trade system has been eclipsed.

With a

  1. Huge Welfare State
  2. High levels of crime
  3. Low marital levels
  4. A Big Brother State

the US Govt. employs between 25%-30% of its labour-force.

The largest government in the world, only after China.

Probably.

Britain – The Grand Phuski (or also The Great Damp Squib)

Rise or Decline (1945-2000)
Today
Future

Britain, a victor of WWII, a super-power in its own right, with its mighty industrial base intact, is now a shell of its former self.

Within two decades after loss of Indian raw-material sources and markets, British steel, shipbuilding, automobile, electrical, electronics, coal, railway industries collapsed.

North Sea Oil saved Britain in the 80s and 90s.

British sterling which was the world’s prime currency before WWII, is now not even in reckoning.

North Sea Oil is no longer a buffer or a significant opportunity.

Limited British industrial base is now captured non-British companies (like Tatas from India).

Labour supply managed by high immigrant population is proving difficult to integrate.

With: -

  1. Gross National Debt (Govt, Corporate &Individual) at 500% of GDP
  2. Low marital rates
  3. High imprisonment levels
  4. Bloated Welfare State,

the British economy faces a bleak future.

To this add, the threat of Scottish secession.

Argentina – The Land Of Missed Opportunities

Rise or Decline (1945-2000)
Today
Future

Unaffected by WWII, Argentina, became a major food producer and exporter – especially to UK.

A raw material giant from 1900-1950, Argentina descended into

  1. Military dictatorships
  2. Economic stagnation

to be finally eclipsed by its Latin American neighbour, Brazil.

In the last 20 years, Argentina has seen: –

  1. Mediocre economic performance
  2. Debt default
  3. Bad fiscal position

This makes the current position of Argentina no better than yesterday.

Argentina’s polity has been served by husband-wife teams of Juan and Eva Peron earlier, and now by Nestor and Cristina Kirchner.

With no special economic advantage, Argentina’s struggle for relevance continues.

Argentina’s exports of soybean and corn were significant. Argentina’s industrial and agricultural base give it no special place or advantage.

Inflation (exceeding 100% at times) has been an endemic problem in Argentina for most of the last 60 years.

Brazilian Success – Resounding and Recent

Rise or Decline (1945-2000)
Today
Future

Brazil success built partly on agriculture, raw-material mining, and a BPO sector – and long-term public policy decisions like the use of ethanol instead of petrol for cars.

A freshly minted democracy after years of military rule has stabilized Brazil’s political scene. From 1930-1945, Brazil was ruled by a military junta which was reestablished in 1964, to continue till 1985.

Brazil’s governance model is too recent to merit any credit.

Wealth disparities between the landed and wealthy and the poor, landless, employed or unemployed have been persistent and stubborn.

The ethanol industry has soaked up large amounts of subsidies – and finally may turn out to be a waste, as natural gas seems like a cheaper and feasible alternative.

Brazil’s

  1. Activism in multi-lateral forums
  2. Vibrant agricultural sector
  3. Comfortable foreign exchange position
  4. Smooth transfer of power
  5. Low-risk of war-and-conflict reduces defence burden.

positive points for Brazil’s future.

The French Success Model

Rise or Decline (1945-2000)
Today
Future

French success is based on two very interesting devices. One is the creation of a democratic dictator who can have only one final challenger in the election – till recently, only once in seven years.

The other French innovation was to create a vast public sector economy with government bureaucrats.

 

French private sector is an oligarchy with deep links between French banks and industry and vast subsidies to its agricultural sector.

French auto, aerospace, defence, electronics industries remains competitive and significant.

French fiscal and debt situation while under control is not in the pink of health.

 

French agriculture based on huge subsidies not sustainable.

Managing public sector economy, using a large bureaucracy, with low-levels of entrepreneurial activity with low-cost migrant labour and a Welfare State, is not the most alluring model.

Integration of immigrants into the French society may be an issue

Loser’s Miracle

The three most ‘impressive’ examples of economic resurgence have been the losers of WWII – Germany, Italy and Japan. Significant industrial nations before WWII, it is no co-incidence that these three economies came together on one side to fight WWII – against colonial powers, Britain and France.

The Japanese Miracle

Rise or Decline (1945-2000)
Today
Future

Japan’s airforce in WWII used its own Zero fighters (Mitsubishi A6M1); a significant industrial power by 1920s

Japan’s textile industry was a dominant player in the world from 1920′s-1970s; a major buyer of Indian cotton and exporter of polyester sarees in the 1970′s;

Toyota was a textile machinery firm, Toyoda

 

Japan’s

  1. 20 years of stagnation
  2. Aging population
  3. Uncertain economic outlook
  4. Dependence on exports to USA
  5. Government debt of more than 200% of GDP
  6. Focus on ‘developed’ markets

makes the Japanese ‘miracle’ questionable

 

With low traction in: –

  1. Emerging economies like India, China, Brazil
  2. In new sectors like software, internet

With an

  1. Aging population
  2. Stagnant markets (like USA and EU) for Japanese exports

Japan’s future seems cloudy – if not bleak.

The Italian Job

Rise or Decline (1945-2000)
Today
Future

Italy, one of the three losers in WWII, built itself with a vibrant private sector based on

  1. Food, wine, luxury items, hi-technology
  2. And a small number of public sector firms.

Inspite of

  1. Frequent changes in coalition governments from 1945-1990, due to unstable coalition politics

 

 

Italy’s vibrant private sector

  1. Hobbled by an over-valued Euro
  2. Compromised by unstable banking

Italian public sector in telecom, heavy engineering, energy,  (like ENI, ENEL, Telecom Italia) does not dominate the economy like in France or Germany.

Few Italian companies make to the Global 500 companies- just about 10.

 

 

The Welfare State in Italy as not as efficient’ as the UK, USA, France or Germany.

The public sector too is weak.

With one large oligarchic Fiat, Italy is rather unique in that the common modern ill of MNC-Government oligarchy seems to be weak in Italy

Italy’s dominance of luxury and design businesses has only France as competition

The Rise and Rise of Germany

Rise or Decline (1945-2000)
Today
Future

Germany’s

  1. Vast & competitive public-sector
  2. Export growth, in spite of an overpaid labour force, an over-valued Euro,

is without parallel in Europe – or anywhere else.

 

It must however be remembered that Germany’s

  1. Security
  2. Political structures
  3. Democracy

was imposed on it after WWII.

German reconstruction was bankrolled by the Marshall Plan – the US aid plan for Europe.

German smooth integration of East Germany is a plus

 

Germany’s technology prowess has consistently outperformed the world, without

  1. Mass slavery
  2. Captive markets,
  3. Colonies
  4. Military plunder
  5. Low cost labour

in 20th century.

Unlike Britain or France.

China – The Jade Garden Blooms Again

Rise or Decline (1945-2000)
Today
Future

Mao’s China has gone through two major famines.

During the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

The Communist Party reinforced control using the Tiananmen Square Suppression.

 

China’s growth based on: –

Favorable yuan-dollar exchange rate; earlier used by Europe, Japan, Asian Tigers to grow.

Low labour costs

At a huge non-apparent costs on environment, health, lifestyle

 

China’s dependence on exports to the US markets, favorable exchange rate, clouds its economic and political outlook.

Can it keep Tibet under its control, using its army?

Can Xinjiang be ‘pacified’?

.

India – What is The Difference

Rise or Decline (1945-2000)
Today
Future

India’s

  1. Top-class entrepreneurs
  2. Competitive economy without a dollar-crutch
  3. Vast agricultural output
  4. Small-sized government
  5. Public sector in retreat
  6. Are clouded by rise of an oligarchy.

 

Peaceful changes in elected governments for more than 60 years is unprecedented for a country close to this size.

Except the USA.

Most importantly, India’s stable social structure based on universal marriage makes it unique among all other countries of the world.

Plus a young population.

 

India’s creation of a

  1. Modern industrial infrastructure
  2. Change in governments,
  3. Market-economy systems (stock and foreign exchange markets)

is without parallel or example in the last 200 years – with its religious, genetic, racial, economic, diversity.

Tendu leaves – How Maoist-Govt Cabal loot Adivasis

June 13, 2011 3 comments
The Maoists-Naxals are fighting the Government for rights to extract from the adivasi. The adivasis have a choice. Pay protection money to the Government or to Maoists-Naxals. (Cartoon by Morparia; courtesy - development-dialogues.blogspot.com). Click for larger image.

The Maoists-Naxals are fighting the Government for rights to 'exploit' the adivasi. The adivasis have a choice. Pay protection money to the Government or to Maoists-Naxals. Right now they are paying both - the State and the Maoist Naxal. (Cartoon by Morparia; courtesy - development-dialogues.blogspot.com). Click for larger image.

Dried tendu leaf used fo rolling bidis.

Dried tendu leaf used fo rolling bidis.

Governments and tobacco

Globally four major companies and government monopolies control a US$400 billion trade in cigarettes. These cigarette monopolies, directly or indirectly controlled by governments, take away US$1 from every  US$175 that people earn. China and USA are leaders in this extortion game.

Tobacco – India Govt.’s ‘innovation’

The Indian State also, on a much smaller scale,  replicates this same mechanism. Since Indians consume tobacco in a traditional, non-industrial manner, the Indian State changes the method of extortion. Apart from tobacco, the main ingredient of bidis, is tendu leaf. Tendu leaf is used to roll the tobacco in. While tobacco farmers are exempt from income tax, adivasis have to sell all their produce to the State. For which the State pays them wages. A newspaper reports

TENDU LEAVES, A major forest produce used for making bidis, is the main source of income for the tribal people in Chhattisgarh.  (Photo source and courtesy - hinduonnet.com).

TENDU LEAVES, A major forest produce used for making bidis, is the main source of income for the tribal people in Chhattisgarh. (Photo source and courtesy - hinduonnet.com).

Over the last two decades, the graph of tendu patta wages has shot up. This year, the Chhattisgarh government raised the wage rate from 70 paise to 80 paise per bundle of 50 leaves. But collectors like Bargu earned higher wages (Rs 1.05 paise) courtesy the Maoists. As the parallel authority in large parts of Bastar, they fix wages and even a system of wage payment.

For instance, officially, the state government’s minor forest produce federation auctions each lot of tendu leaves. Traders or contractors pay a sale price to the federation. A portion is sent to the federation’s field managers, who are supposed to disburse it as wages to the adivasis. But, in reality, the managers simply hand the money back to the contractor, who adds an extra wage amount fixed by the Maoists and sends his own staff to pay off the collectors.

“In our areas, we bargain with the contractor every year, and get a higher price for the adivasis,” says Gudsa Usendi, Maoist spokesperson. ”Last year, it was Re 1. This year it’s between Re 1.05 to Re 1.20. This way, we have stopped the exploitation of adivasis.”

That’s not an empty boast — but it’s only partially true. The Maoists have wrangled higher wages for the adivasis and expanded their support base, but they have also obtained higher levies for themselves. Most traders refused to divulge exact amounts, some reluctantly offered a rough range: 5-10% of the sale price. For one Rs 1 crore, that works out to Rs 5-10 lakh.

“The market of tendu leaves is not less than Rs 2,000 crore,” says K Sadavijaya Kumar, of the Association of Beedi leaf traders. Given that at least a quarter of the tendu growing areas appears to be under Maoist control, the amount of levies could run into crores.

By maintaining a monopoly over the ownership and sale of leaves, the state earns revenue. In 2009, Chhattisgarh Minor Forest Produce Federation made Rs 256 crore from tendu leaves. Rs 189 crore was paid to the collectors, and Rs 66 crore retained by the federation. (via Tendu leaves little hope for tribals – The Times of India).

Tendu leaves

Tendu leaves

And the Maoist- Naxalites are fighting with the State for ‘exploitation-of-adivasis‘ rights. From being owners of India’s forests, under भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra, the adivasis have become wage earners. By this one single action, the State has impoverished crores of adivasis. Such are the reasons for Indian poverty – The Indian State.

And the Maoist- Naxalites are fighting with the State for ‘exploitation-of-adivasis‘ rights.

Global Health Survey – Ghost In The Machine

June 5, 2011 1 comment
Map of international healthcare attitudes - LSE-BUPA 12 country study

Map of international healthcare attitudes - LSE-BUPA 12 country study

Around 84 per cent of Britons are drinkers – way ahead of the lowest nation, India, where just 27 per cent ever have a tipple – compared with the international average of 71 per cent. (via Why we are the world’s booziest nation: Britons drink more regularly than any other country | Mail Online).

This report by Daily Mail was widely distributed in the Indian print and online media. The Daily Mail report was itself based on a survey of 12 countries, conducted by London School of Economics (LSE), for BUPA, an insurance corporation – with India coverage also.

What happens when more than 500 million have close to zero family life.

What happens when more than 500 million have close to zero family life.

Data before doubt

Since this report came from IANS, further verification was required.

There are a few obvious areas where discrepancies can possibly come into in this survey. For instance, survey possibly measured consumption trends of Western alcoholic beverages.

After all traditional Indian alcoholic beverages are produced in every town and village. In Indian society, orthodox restrictions on consumption of alcoholic beverages apply to less than 30%-35% of the population (Brahmins, Vaishyas and Muslims).

For the balance 65%-70% of the population restrictions on consumption of alcoholic beverages don’t apply. Additionally, there are traditional home-brews that are not possibly reported, measured or estimated. Home brews made like tharra (from sugarcane juice), tadi, arakh (from palm tree sap), daaru (from mahua flowers, hadia, chuak, sonti, (rice-based), chhaang (grain based-barley, millet or rice) pheni (from kaju fruit), grapes, are common all over the country.

Substance use and addiction research in India by Pratima Murthy et al. Click to download PDF file.

Substance use and addiction research in India by Pratima Murthy et al. Click to download PDF file.

But going by some independent studies, this figure seems to hold up. A study which uses a wide data-set, reports 21.4% alcohol usage across India.

Previous posts on tobacco consumption and narcotics have examined this issue from historical basis.

Apparently, the Indian family structure does a better job than the State – in crime control despite a huge illegal gun population and a small police force. Low tobacco consumption in spite of being a large tobacco producer.

Most narcotic drugs were discovered in India – yet drug abuse remains low in India.  During the 1960-1990 period, when gold trade was severely affected, the drugs-transshipment-for-gold pipeline sparked a global crime wave. India became the conduit for drugs from the Golden Triangle and the Golden Crescent. Yet drug consumption remained a minor problem. Or the huge commercial sex and pornography industry in the West. But, then the Desert Bloc needs people to be ‘single – and far from home’.

Unlike भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

Indian Media Confronts Corruption (Corruption III)

March 13, 2011 2 comments

We are attacking individuals without changing the system? It is the Desert Bloc systems that we must throw out. (Image courtesy - uknewspapersonline.com). Click for a larger image.

Sancho Panza

Indian Don Quixotes tilting at windmills of corruption, frequently confuse between system-problem, inadequate data and corruption. Everyone cannot be discerning enough to categorize forty types of embezzlement of government property – as Chanakya did. Classifying corruption can be a daunting task.

To understand this, we will have to go to Singapore.

Conspiracy and corruption

Singapore is interesting to examine.

Lee Kuan Yew ‘ruled Singapore for 31 years before stepping down as prime minister in 1990.’ Lee Hsien Loong, Lee KuanYew’s son, is the Prime Minister now. China Post called this as a ‘pre-ordained transfer of power a formality’, after an interim Prime Minister for 14 years, Goh Chok Tong. Ho Ching, Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter-in-law is executive director of Temasek, a Singapore government investment-and-holding company which controls some of Singapore’s biggest businesses. Lee Hsien Yang, another son of Lee Kuan Yew, is the chief executive of Singapore Telecommunications. Lee Kuan Yew remains in the Singapore Government with the title of “minister mentor”.

How is it that Lee Kuan Yew & sons run Singapore like a family business – yet face no corruption charges?

Oldest, largest Republican democracy

The other benchmark, is the world’s oldest and largest republican democracy – The United States Of America. Father-son duo of John Adams and John Quincy Adams set in motion the US Presidential dynasty which in all, accounts for 40% of all US presidents. This family, distant cousins included, counts Millard Fillmore, Harrison (William and Benjamin), James Madison, Zachary Taylor, Roosevelts, Nixon, Rutherford Hayes, etc. as its members. Rarely discussed, not remembered, is the fact that ‘700 families in which two or more members have served in Congress, and they account for 1,700 of the 10,000 men and women who have been elected to the federal legislature since 1774′.

Singapore run on the Platonic-Confucian model of a benign autocrat may work in the short run. (Image courtesy - temasekreview.com). Click for a larger image.

Not to forget the adoration by America of America’s ‘first’ family – The Kennedy’s (whose wealth came from bootlegging, crime, fraud; remember the RKO films share scam; or the next family, the Roosevelts whose racist record is possibly unparalleled. Rumour and murmur, has it how Joe Kennedy contracted for a kill by Frank Costello (a mafia boss), sold the US presidency to the mob, to save his life. A deal that was brokered by the legendary Sam ‘Momo’ Giancana.

To get a perspective on that, see the amount of criticism that the Nehru’s family gets for nepotism and dynastic politics.

Strict burden of proof

These issues while in the public realm is handled with great care. In the West, in the tradition of the Borgias, Medicis, Rothschilds, media has made these families into objects of mystique, adoration and study.

In Singapore, a pliant media was hectored by Lee Kuan Yew

telling the International Press Institute that it was naive to believe a free press curbs corruption because “the media itself is corrupted”.

Since sweet-heart deals leave little clinching evidence, making corruption charges can be disastrous. Especially in countries which implement libel and slander laws strictly, like Singapore. Even if these laws are loosely implemented, like in most Western countries, large awards keep opposition leaders, activists, the press and media in line.

Remember Julian Assange? Libel, slander, defamation awards in the USA,

include a $223 million award against the Wall Street Journal,$58 million against The Dallas Morning News, $34 million against The Philadelphia Inquirer, $29 million against Harte-Hanks, $18 million against Capital Cities, $16 million against a California weekly and $13.5 million against The Cleveland Plain Dealer and $10 million against ABC News.

Each amount was later reduced either by a judge or through negotiation. The exception was the California paper, which went bankrupt. In any case, even “winning” a libel verdict can have vast consequences, including monumental legal fees, damage to reputation and loss of jobs for journalists.

Going by the law …

How the Singapore systems, uses extreme measures to curb dissent, political opposition, a loud-and-raucous press are extracted below.

Fledgling Singapore Herald newspaper, which was strangled to death by Harry Lee, then prime minister, when it ignored his strictures on what news it should and should not publish.

Lee angrily summoned the American manager of the Chase Manhattan Bank branch in Singapore – the Singapore Herald’s bankers – to his presence, and publicly humiliated him by ordering the unfortunate man not only to stop honouring the cheques drawn by its customer, the Singapore Herald, but also to foreclose its accounts with the bank.

the Government Investment Company (GIC), Temasek Holdings and other linked companies, whose ultimate shareholders, lest it be forgotten, are the Singaporeans themselves whose enforced savings are invested in the GIC’s multifarious companies and subsidiaries. The vast corporate management, however, is in the cozy hands of the eminent Lee family: the father, the dauphin and his dauphine, Ho. But not – be it noted — the prime minister. They do not report their stewardship to parliament or the people. There are no real checks and balances. There is however an alarming opacity. Neither the Accountant General nor the Auditor General has any jurisdiction over them. What supervisory or enforcement authority they have is somewhat tenuous. It is a situation that cries out loud for oversight powers. Remember what Juvenal once said: quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards themselves?

Singapore’s chief justice – believe it or not — receives more than the combined salaries of the Lord Chancellor of England, the Chief Justices of Australia, Canada, and United States Supreme Court. (via Singapore: Past, Present & Future? Paper by Francis T. Seow – Former Solicitor General Singapore, February 14 2003| Some perceptions of the governing People’s Action Party’s grasp on political power in Singapore).

Multi-million dollar awards can seriously dent any newspaper or a publishing house. In India, the Indian Express newspaper group was rapped on its knuckles for exposing some of its wrong-doings – but not to the extent of ruining it.

In systems, where such laws choke dissent, the popular press and mainstream media cannot say much – without evidence. Much of corruption becomes post-facto and post-mortem. Unlike India, where slander, libel or defamation laws are not implemented at all. The mass-hysteria about corruption in India, is fueled by media ‘freedom’. Corruption has become breaking news – with no libel or slander prosecution on the horizon.

 Will isolated activism help? The role of the State and governance needs to change.(Cartoon by Zapiro; courtesy - www.africancrisis.co.za.). Click for larger image.

Will isolated activism help? The role of the State and governance needs to change.(Cartoon by Zapiro; courtesy - http://www.africancrisis.co.za.). Click for larger image.

India loved its kings

In the recesses of Social Unconscious, Indic kings remain a beloved memory. Indians have known incorruptible kings – without imperial ambitions, who left no palaces, monuments or memorials. Not even any hagiographic accounts. Rulers who governed without the help of prisons, police force, or a centralized judiciary.

Having known governance under भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra, the gradual rise of Desert Bloc polity in India, has been viewed in by Indians with skepticism and distrust. Starting with Qutub-ud-din-Aibak (1206), to the rampant massacres of the British to gain control over ज़र zar (meaning gold), जन jan (meaning people) and ज़मीन jameen (meaning land) has been seen in India, as a case of individual or group corruption.

In remembrance of this polity, and these rulers, uniquely, an estimated 50% of India calls itself a कुमार, कुमारी kumar, kumari (prince, princess), सेल्व-कुमार, सेल्वी selva-kumar, selvi (prosperous and popular prince, princess), राजा, रानी raja, rani (king, queen), राजन rajan (king) राजकुमार rajkumar (prince) as a name or surname, in the memory of these anonymous rulers.

Indic governance was guided by a polity based on भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra. This system guaranteed four non-negotiable universal rights – काम kaam (desire, including sexual) अर्थ arth (wealth), मोक्ष moksh (liberty) and धर्मं dharma (justice). The system also ensured access to ज़र zar (meaning gold), जन jan (meaning people) and ज़मीन jameen (meaning land).

Post colonial India, has made an uneasy compromise with Desert Bloc polity, using democracy, socialism, a (mostly) free-press, to rebuild itself from the ruin of of despotic colonialism.

Africa – A Problem of various ‘isms’, ‘archies’ and ‘cracies’

December 9, 2010 1 comment
The world has not been able to shake off the spell of Western 'maya'!

The world has not been able to shake off the spell of Western 'maya'!

EU trade policy has long been hijacked by European business, which wants raw materials at cheap prices. EU priorities are a mirror image of positions adopted by corporate lobby groups. The commission frankly states: “We will rely on EU business to provide much of the information on the barriers which affect their trade or investment with third countries.”

There is a serious risk that Europe’s budget and unemployment crisis will put policymakers even more in hock to the demands of big business.

Opposition from Africa

It is hardly surprising that European policy faces mounting opposition from most African countries, which have long opposed signing investment agreements with the EU. The Raw Materials Initiative should be opposed by Europe’s citizens, too, because it distracts from the need to reduce their own consumption. Europeans already consume four times as much as the average African. (read more via The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : The European Union’s ugly resource grab).

Idea of ‘exploiting’ resources on the cheap

To take away rights from people ‘who do not know the value’ of such resources (Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, Africans) and transfer property rights to the ‘discoverer’ of these resources is an old idea which strangely finds legitimacy, even after 400 years of bad experience. Ranging from Spain to Belgium, with the Dutch and the English, all joined in this ‘resource’ grab. And this saga continues.

The 'resource grab' and the campaign to keep Africa poor continues.

The 'resource grab' and the campaign to keep Africa poor continues.

Bankruptcy of ideology – ism, cracy and archy

In some case, modern nation-States based on various ‘isms’ (Capitalism, Communism, Socialism) combine with various ‘archy’ (monarchy, oligarchy) and ‘cracy’ (democracy, plutocracy, bureaucracy) continue to ensure that power and wealth remains in the hands of very few. The Rest of Us have to be happy with illusion of being equal, of having power over leaders, etc. And no.

This power does NOT flow from the barrel of the gun – but from limiting access to ज़र, zar (gold), जन jan (people) and ज़मीन jameen (land). Instead of various ‘isms’, ‘archies’ and ‘cracies’, what the world needs is a system that will guarantee the four essential freedoms – काम kaam (desire, including sexual) अर्थ arth (wealth), मोक्ष moksh (liberty) and धर्मं dharma (justice)

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

India Non-Violent Struggle? The Myth

December 9, 2010 7 comments
Blaming political opponents is easier. Naxalism is one such trick. For 250 years, the Indian State has not solved this problem.

Blaming political opponents is easier. Naxalism is one such trick. For 250 years, the Indian State has not solved this problem.

The Madhya Pradesh Government are in consultation with the Centre on the action to be taken regarding Maharajah Pravinchandra Bhan Dev, Ruler of the erstwhile tribal State of Bastar in southern Madhya Pradesh. Among the charges against the Maharajah are that he has been inciting the Adivasis who number about eight lakhs to violence. The situation there is very delicate and calls for careful handling. The Adivasis still look upon the Ruler of Bastar as a representative of the Goddess Danteswari Mata in whose name the Maharaja ruled just as the Travancore Maharajahs ruled in the name of Lord Padmanabha. (read more via The Hindu : Today’s Paper / MISCELLANEOUS : This day that age).

Sense of priority

Bastar’s tribal peoples were never the quiet type. The British discovered that early in the day. The newly minted Indian State also discovered this – as this 50 year-old news-item shows. And that can be said for most tribals across the plateau. The tribal disaffection with the idea of the ‘modern’ State has been a permanent feature. It is all credit to the Unlettered Indian (aka The Indian Voter) who has been able to distinguish between shades of power grab.

Militant Maoists are seeking to using this disaffection for a power-grab. Just like Kashmiri terrorists. To impose a worse form of the ‘modern’ State – the Islāmic type in Kashmir or the maoist type in various tribal lands.

Increasing power and spending is the way of all 'modern' States! (Cartoonist - Daryl Cagle)

Increasing power and spending is the way of all 'modern' States! (Cartoonist - Daryl Cagle)

Sense of priority

These same tribals, now branded as Maoists, Naxalites, organized themselves into many armies and fought British armies for more than a 100 years. For the same reasons. Land grabbing by the State. The Indian State would do well to learn from the British experience. Probably, the modern Indian State does not know its own history – and believes in its own propaganda.

Official history, strangely, does not tell us that between 1800-1947, apart from the Anglo-Indian War of 1857, there were more than 75 battles, skirmishes, revolts, mutinies, involving thousands, up to lakhs of Indians, across India. And more than double that many conspiracies, hold-ups, explosions, bombings, which were not organized. These more than 200 violent actions have been completely glossed over by post-colonial India’s historians. Obviously, more than 200 incidents of violent opposition to British misrule over 150 years (1800-1947) deserves better treatment by official historians. Especially, the people who fought most of these battles.

The tribals.

Sense of priority

The Anglo-Mysore Wars, Anglo-Maratha Wars, the Sikh Wars, the Afghan Wars plagued British misrule in India.The 1857 Anglo-Indian Wars were a landmark in opposition to colonialism. These were the major conflicts that continued to blaze across India.

Apart from these major conflagrations, significant opposition to the British misrule came from Indian forest-dwellers and migratory peoples. The Chotanagpur area (Surguja, Ranchi and Hazaribagh areas) passed to the British from Mughals in 1765. War and famine followed. The Bengal Famine of 1770 (1769-1773) was much written and analysed. The Jharkhand area remained on the boil for nearly 150 years after Buxar.

On the conflict side, the Paharia Revolt (1766-1778), by the hill-dwellers of Rajmahal Hills, soon followed. Santhals, opened a wide front against the British. One of the first of many such campaigns, started operations from the Tilapore forest against the British from 1781-1785 – led by Tilka Manjhi (also spelt Majhi). The dates of Tilkha Majhi’s revolt, vary widely – some continuing till 1799. The Tamar revolt (1783-1789) was another revolt in the modern Jharkhand area which occupied British attention in India – while they were fighting the American colonies. The Anglo-Santhal battles continued for the next 100 years. The Kol (also Khol, Khole) continued these insurrections in early 19th century.

Immediately after Buxar, in 1764 Major Hector Munro, who took charge of “the Company’s army, found the sepoys in a state of open revolt. There is no instinct of obedience in native armies in India” complains the English ‘historian’. In 1780, the East India Company faced revolt in Benares from Raja ‘Cheyt Sing’ who was appointed to “furnish the company with three regular battalions of Seapoys” who instead ‘massacred , in cold blood, thirteen of Capt.Wade’s men, who fell into his hands in the Hospital at Mirzapoor’.

If this was not enough, there were the Sannyasi rebellions (1763-1800).

Sense of priority

The only system that will meet the aspirations of the tribals, the Kashmiris, is something that will give them access to ज़र, zar (gold), जन jan (people) and ज़मीन jameen (land). A system that will guarantee the four essential freedoms – काम kaam (desire, including sexual) अर्थ arth (wealth), मोक्ष moksh (liberty) and धर्मं dharma (justice)

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

Neutron bomb was the perfect weapon

December 4, 2010 2 comments
Weapons to retain and get 'things'. (Cartoonist and  ©Copyright 2006  Brian Adcock; Cartoon courtesy-caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

Weapons to retain and get 'things'. (Cartoonist and ©Copyright 2006 Brian Adcock; Cartoon courtesy-caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan ordered 700 neutron warheads built to oppose Soviet tank forces in Europe. He called it “the first weapon that’s come along in a long time that could easily and economically alter the balance of power.” But deployment to the North Atlantic alliance was canceled after a storm of antinuclear protests across Europe. President George Bush ordered the stockpile scrapped.

By 1982, Mr. Cohen had abandoned his deployment quest. But he continued for the rest of his life to defend the bomb as practical and humane.

“It’s the most sane and moral weapon ever devised,” he said in September in a telephone interview for this obituary. “It’s the only nuclear weapon in history that makes sense in waging war. When the war is over, the world is still intact.”

Samuel Theodore Cohen was born in Brooklyn on Jan. 25, 1921, to Lazarus and Jenny Cohen, Austrian Jews who had migrated to the United States by way of Britain. His father was a carpenter and his mother a housewife who rigidly controlled family diets and even breathing habits (believing it unhealthy to breathe through the mouth). The boy had allergies, eye problems and other ailments, and for years was subjected to daily ice-water showers to toughen him up.

In recent years, Mr. Cohen prominently warned of a black market substance called red mercury, supposedly capable of compressing fusion materials to detonate a nuclear device as small as a baseball — ideal for terrorists. (read more via Samuel T. Cohen, Neutron Bomb Inventor, Dies at 89 – NYTimes.com).

 

Weapons to gaim military superiority for imposing authority - and not for self defence. (Cartoonist - Joel Pett; courtesy - cartoonistgroup.com). Click for larger image.

Weapons to gain military superiority for imposing authority - and not for self defence. (Cartoonist - Joel Pett; published on- 12-4-2010; courtesy - cartoonistgroup.com). Click for larger image.

What is the problem

Buildings, land, raw material, machines, infrastructure, ports, roads, airports – things are important. All these things will not be affected by a neutron bomb. The perfect weapon, ever.

People are the problem. Eliminate people. Neutron bomb was the perfect weapon for the perfect war.

Desert Bloc philosophy in short.

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