It is unclear what benefit EU derives from British membership. But British expulsion from EU will surely simplify EU politics & debates
- Italy’s Monti rebuffs Britain’s EU budget drive – Reuters UK (uk.reuters.com)
- EU bids to keep Britain engaged in budget debate – Reuters UK (uk.reuters.com)
- Merkel warns Britain against European Union exit (telegraph.co.uk)
- Now even the EU wants us to leave (express.co.uk)
- 10 key questions for Britain and Europe at the Brussels summit (guardian.co.uk)
- 56% of Britons would vote to quit EU in referendum, poll finds (guardian.co.uk)
- If Britain leaves Europe, we will become a renegade without economic power | Observer editorial (guardian.co.uk)
What is भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra – The classical Indian system of polity worked on ensuring
- धर्म (dharma – justice)
- अर्थ (arth – wealth and means)
- काम (kaam – human desires)
- मोक्ष (moksha – liberty)
- ज़र (jar - gold)
- जन (jan - human ties)
- जमीन (jameen – property)
- Behind Anna Hazare … (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Sexual Equations in Bharattantra (2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Pakistan – An alienating identity (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Snapshot of Bengal Partition (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Pearls of Wisdom: US Economist On Indian Education (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Spiritual Brotherhood of US and Iran (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- God … I miss the Soviet Union (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- National Ratings – What Is The World Coming to? (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Charest weighs options of public inquiry into corruption (ctv.ca)
Things go bump in the night
In the early hours of 2nd May, 2011, an obscure twitter-user started tweeting about the US raid on Osama Bin Laden’s safe-house – 35 km from Islamabad, 200 miles south of the Afghanistan border, in Abbottabad. In a city, which houses Pakistan’s equivalent of Indian Military Academy.
But Pakistan’s police, para-military, military forces claimed ignorance, showed surprise, feigned outrage. Par for the course. Was it abject failure or a cover-up in Pakistan , by the powers-that-be?
Afraid of the mullah-madrasa-mujahid combine, predictably, Pakistan started denying any role in the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Truly Pakistan ‘doth protest too much, methinks’. Secret deal or not, in the past or post-facto, a deal around killing Osama could have been easily hammered out between Pakistan and USA.
It suited both the leaderships.
It is election time in USA
Pakistan was not alone in using Osama. Osama alive was source of US funds for Pakistan. Osama dead is an election ticket and a feel-good factor for the a USA being battered by the Great Recession. As Rajiv Dogra points out, on the opposite side of the world,
The timing suited Obama well. It had long been speculated that Osama would be killed around the time Obama’s re-election campaign kicked off.
Predictably, the US made a song-and-dance about the annual aid of US$3 billion that they dole out to Pakistan. Compared to the US$3 trillion that the US Department of Defence is unable to account for, this talk of US$3 billion makes for poor form.
On a lighter – and logical side
Famous for the song केम छे ‘kem che, kem che’ from the film जिस देश में गंगा रहता है Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rahta Hain, a Bollywood songwriter confidently predicted, soon after 9/11, that Bin Laden would be found near the White House or Islamabad!
Coming to India
Memories dimmed, history forgotten, India draws wrong conclusions from these Western adventures in our neighbourhood.
After WWII, as British, French and Dutch colonialists were being thrown out of Asia, in country after country, the West was in real danger of losing markets and raw material sources.
A new power, fueled by a growing migrant population, USA, took the place of tired, old powers – Britain, France and the Dutch. Instead of the openly exploitative system of European powers directly running colonial governments in these Asian countries, the US installed an opaque system – which is equally exploitative. To impose its writ on the newly independent Asian countries, the US simply destroyed their economies by war. The USA, then instituted the innovative USCAP Program and ‘helped’ these countries. These countries (Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, et al) were now ruled by overtly independent regimes – but covertly, client states of the USA.
US multinationals and home-grown oligarchs (keiretsus, chaebols, etc.) took over the economy – and sidelined British, French and Dutch companies. To impose this economic model, US armies, using nearly 1 million troops, killed 50 lakh Asians. The takeover of European colonial possessions by the USA was handled over 3 regimes of Eisenhower-Kennedy-Johnson seamlessly.
Between a rampant USA, behind biggest terror spots of the world, and a nuclear-armed, imploding Pakistan, India’s choices are difficult – and reactive policies inadequate.
Once more, Osama’s death and Obama’s antics bring out India’s policy inadequacy in sharp relief.
- Cable: Pakistan military learn anti-Americanism (cbsnews.com)
- Bin Laden’s Pakistan villa: Tourist destination? (cbsnews.com)
- Osama bin Laden dead: Pakistan returns helicopter wreckage (telegraph.co.uk)
- You: Drones hurting national integrity (nation.com.pk)
The state government caught flak for using words such as “rustic” to describe tribal girls in official documents … Minister, Padmakar Walvi, apologised on behalf of the government …
… 95 adivasi girls had undergone a year-long training in Pune (for) the aviation hospitality sector … Legislators had taken on the government, saying it had “embarrassed these girls” by failing to get them placed. “The government encouraged these girls to become air hostess, but couldn’t provide them with jobs.”
Walvi informed … that the government has so far assisted 37 adivasi girls—who were denied jobs as air hostess—in getting placements in the tourism and hospitality industry. Six of them have been absorbed in airline companies, he added. “The remaining are likely to be recruited in various government departments if they do not get jobs of their choice,” he added. (via State says sorry for calling tribal girls ‘rustic’).
In 2007, with surging liquidity, with no signs of The Great Recession, the Government of Maharashtra, decided that the fruits of the ‘sunshine’ sectors should also go to the ‘adivasis‘ and ‘dalits‘. So, they decided to spend Rs.1.crore. Said, Dr Vijay Gavit, state tribal development minister to TOI,
“Under the Centre’s welfare scheme for education of tribals, we (the state tribal development department) proposed that our boys and girls be trained in the sunshine sectors. Our proposal for air hostess and pilot training were readily sanctioned by them,’’
Girls from the backward pockets of Nandurbar, Thane and Nagpur are already undergoing the training programme at the privately-run Air Hostess Academy in Pune. The Centre is bearing over Rs 1 crore for the programme.
Presently the Centre pays Rs 1 lakh towards the one year air hostess course which includes tuition fees, hostel and uniform costs.
The minister said it was essential to keep up with the changing times so as to bring the socially and economically backward tribal community with the mainstream. Instead of making the tribal students go through some course which have lost all relevance in present times, we decided that they be trained to meet challenges in the modern era.
Is this the ‘development’, the ‘modern’ careers, that the ‘caring’ Government wishes on the ‘Adivasis‘!
In New Delhi
Two years after Mumbai, the next great ‘revolution’ in Indian economy after the BPO ‘thing’ was ushered by the ILO and GoD (Government of Delhi) under Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit. ILO-GoD are going to train domestics and ‘upgrade their skills. With this ‘revolution’ India’ can become the global source for ‘true’ coolie labour – a source for domestics, for any country in the world. The New Delhi State Government
launched the programme for skill development of domestic workers, a programme to turn out trained housemaids for the rich and the burgeoning middle class. And in this endeavour, it had impressive sponsors: the International Labour Organisation (ILO) no less, the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Delhi government, all under the umbrella of the high-sounding National Skill Development Programme. (via Latha Jishnu: The commons and the classes).
‘Caring’ Governments … ‘foolish mistakes’
I forgot to charge my cell phone! Foolish mistake, right? Everyday mistakes are usually foolish! And to believe that Governments can be caring, is a ‘foolish’ mistake! Apparently, colonialism never died. We now seem to just have Brown masters instead of White masters!
What a waste!
Of course, like Latha Jishnu (the author) of the article points out, no one is really interested in ensuring that all Indians go to equally good and high quality schools. Because then where will and “how would one get the endless flow of domestic helpers”. A dubious policy by the Government that cynically feeds on a trusting (gullible?) population!
To become domestics and air hostesses.
European banks are emerging from the credit crisis bigger than before, posing more risk to their national economies. BNP Paribas, Barclays and Banco Santander are among at least 353 European lenders that have increased in size since the beginning of 2007. Fifteen European banks now have assets larger than their home economies, compared with 10 lenders three years ago. (via European banks growing bigger, sowing seeds for the next crisis).
Concentration of power
What this has done is increase the concentration of power, risk, capital, manipulation into the hands of a few people. With Europe, USA and Japan dominating the Fortune 500 listing, with Super-mega corporations, the outlook for dilution of power and risk seems bleak and remote.
The other risk is again the full-employment economic model. Mega corporations, which can be easily controlled at arm’s length by the State, dominate the economic sphere. Power is concentrated in the hands of less than 0.1% of the population. Less than 300,000 people control the US economy of more than 30 crore people (300 million).
Jobs for everyone
So, what happens to the 99.9% people who do not control the economy?
They are given jobs. They become employees, associates, apprentices, trainees, understudies, etc – who will fulfill the purpose of these 300,000 people-in-power. From the media and academia, public and private sector, NGOs and Government, bureaucrats and business managers.
Sleight of hand
And while our attention diverted by war, crisis, threats, the real game is being played somewhere else – out of sight and out of bounds.
Self employment, independence, small business are driven out of business by channeling increasing amounts of debt to organizations controlled by the O.1% of the powerful people.
This growth in banks beyond the size or the home economies signifies greater concentration of wealth – and not less. The world would do well to remember that East India Company was after all a company, a private company!