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Bring back Indian money stashed abroad: Advani tells PM- Hindustan Times

March 31, 2009 1 comment

“I want to demand today that the prime minister raise this issue strongly at the G-20 and ask to be provided with the details of the Indian wealth abroad,” Advani told reporters in New Delhi.

“I want to say that if NDA (BJP-led National Democratic Alliance) is voted to power, we will pursue this issue at legal and executive level and force Indian citizens to bring back their wealth to the country,” Advani said, citing the ‘crusade’ by western countries against tax havens provided by Swiss banks.

Advani quoted figures to buttress his point.

“The total amount in foreign banks was $2.6 trillion in 2001 and in 2007 it was $5.7 trillion, which amounts to Rs.285 lakh crore. This is total – India’s share is between $500 billion and $1,400 billion in 2001 and 2007 respectively,” said Advani. (via Bring back Indian money stashed abroad: Advani tells PM- Hindustan Times).

Swiss Gold ...

Swiss Gold ...

Karat, Advani & Co. … you have been had …

The figures of US$1400 billion you are referring to, are from a bogus chain-mail. While there may be some Swiss accounts owned by Indians, it is nowhere near the figures that are being thrown about.

Back to the sources

Google search showed that this Swiss Bank story originated from a chain-mail.

The Swiss Banking Federation has NO such report – that I can make out. (BTW, the Swiss Banking Federation has only French and German versions of their reports. So, much for English being a universal language).

I also found just one blogger who did trash this chainmail. Again, like the Indian Hacker Hoax, the New York Times made no mention of Indian accounts in the Swiss banks – and neither did Time magazine. But another lazy Indian journalist, Praful Bidwai, hedged his statements, by the use of words like ‘off-the-record conversations’ and ‘highly credible independent accounts’ along with with words like ‘substantial‘.

This looks like the Indian hacker story which appeared some time back – and Indian media picked up without verifying anything. Turned out, that it was a complete hoax – a fabrication.

Such chain-mails, I think spring from: –

  1. The low esteem of Indians.
  2. Willingness to believe the worst about other Indians.
  3. Colonial era prejudices and biases – especially against our politicians and industrialists.

Chain-mail hoax

This story seems to be in the same category as

  1. Indians are 40% of NASA; 50% of Microsoft and Intel is 40% Indians chain-mail story, which our Minister, D Purandeshwari used in the Parliament to embarrassing effect.
  2. The other type of email that periodically does the rounds is the one about Indian Parliament meets for less than 100 days and our politicians cost the Indian taxpayer more than Rs.100 cr. for every minute kind of email.
  3. Do you know how many people were hospitalized /died after Sankrantri /Holi /Diwali kind of chain mail.
The imaginary Indian Swiss Accounts

The imaginary Indian Swiss Accounts

The same text, has been on the blogosphere, pseudo-news sites, Internet for most of the last 1 year. Google Search throws up more than 200 links which quote the same chain-mail.

I went through about 80-90 of these links and practically all of them were the same text. People are just doing a copy paste of the same story. I wonder who did this story – first. What was the motivation?

All political parties, (CPM, JD(U), BJP, et al) – everyone, jumped onto this hoax chain mail.

Maybe our esteemed politicians and the Great Indian Middle Class should actually go after some real problems – instead of imaginary windmills.

Addu, Chiddu and Manu – Bankrupt all …

March 31, 2009 3 comments

“I have told the PM several times that it would be so nice that like in foreign countries (US presidential debate), we should also have a debate. Instead of a BJP public meeting, the Election Commission could organise a meeting (for the debate),” Party’s prime ministerial candidate Advani told an election rally. (via Now, Advani asks Sonia Gandhi for a debate- Hindustan Times).

Advani wants US style debates

Advani wants US style debates

All good ideas are foreign ideas …

Advani is enamored with the idea of having debates – “like in foreign countries.” I mean how much more juvenile can Advani get? And the Congress reaction – no better! “In parliamentary democracy such debates do not take place. It is only in the Presidential system…” a very superior sounding Congress Party spokesman Anand Sharma informed reporters in New Delhi.

Same logic, same ideological bankruptcy!

Just because the US has live debates, does it make the idea more attractive, Mr.Advani? If the UK does not have debates, does it disqualify the idea, Sir Anand Sharma?

The big moneybags call the shots

In both the Congress and the BJP. So, any belief that either one is any different, is all wrong. They are more or less – of the same bankrupt ideas and agenda.

Bankrupt Congress Culture

Bankrupt Congress Culture

Shallow thinking

Both have the same limitation in the thinking – set by external agenda and vocabulary. The difference is language. Congress swears by India (a Roman name of Bharata-ah) and BJP swears by Hindustan and Hindutva (a Levantine name for Bharata-ah). Both miss out on the Bharati nature of people.

No talk of Third currency

Neither (the Congress or the BJP) has the imagination or the strategic depth to think out of the Western box. They are all trying out the same tired Western cliches of IMF and World Bank reform – which is going nowhere. It is the IMF and World Bank which keep the Third World poor and backward.

India’s Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Star PM aspirant …

Sometime back Chiddu came back saying that he wanted to end 5000 years of poverty! Supposedly India’s star finance minister, and a Government headed by an ex-RBI governor, says this! As though that was not enough, he now says, “

“Unless the developed world puts together a well-regulated financial system and revives its financial institutions, the shadow of failure of the western world’s financial system will fall upon all developing countries,” Chidambaram said.

Why will the developed world do anything that will benefit India! It is not their duty, their job – and they are not even capable.

It is your job, Addu, Manu and Chiddu! Get up and get going!

Sad.

Cracking the Japanese software outsourcing market

March 30, 2009 5 comments

Japan’s IT services market is expected to be around $108 billion. Close to 76 per cent of the outsourcing work has been going to China, with the rest being divided among countries like India, Vietnam, Philippines, etc, say analysts. (via Patni cracks Japanese outsourcing mkt).

What is India missing out on …

Between 70%-80% of Indian software business comes from two countries – USA and UK. English speaking countries – both of them. Total software business to these two countries is about US$35-40 billion – out of total Indian software exports of US$50 billion. UK alone contributes nearly 60% of total EU software business to India.

India is losing business opportunities due to loyalty to The Great British Gift To India – English Language. We cant do business with the French or Germans, Spanish or the Arabic speaking world. The Chinese and Japanese are out of bounds to us – as are the Swahili and the Bantu.

In the past few years …

Like an earlier post pointed out, the lack of language skills has stopped Indians from exploiting the Japanese oportunity. This includes the software business. Same story in Europe also – major opportunities overlooked and ignored.

This is also true of other business opportunities also. Our ‘success’ with English blinds us to the bigger and larger opportunities that stare at us. And the first thing that we need to do is to diversify our language basket. But with our bankruptcy of ideas on restructuring Indian education system or the vested interest banging begging bowls in front of the Indian tax payer!

The new procedure for supporting Indian languages after giving them classical language status is not meaningless?

India missed out on Japanese investments, technology and business – due to a well-cultivated tunnel vision about English language (amongst many other things). Indian loyalty to English language exceeds the loyalty of the British themselves to their language – and we refuse to see how this affects us.

Blow up tax payers money

Blow up tax payer’s money

Billing address

All the talk in dominant Indian-English media is addressing the problem of the English speaking elite. They don’t even pretend to address the problem of non-English speaking students.

However, they do expect, the Indian tax payer to subsidize the education of a privileged few.

What India needs …

India should set up 7 specialized universities. One for Chinese and Japanese studies. Another university needs to focus on Franco-German language skills. A third must devote itself to creating a centre of excellence in Swahili and Bantu. A fourth must address the Spanish and Portuguese language markets. The fifth must address the SE Asian languages of Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, etc. A sixth university must address the Russian and Slavic languages. Last and definitely, not the least, the seventh university must create a core of qualified and skilled people using Persian and Arabic languages.

This is, of course, apart from Indian language universities.

Paper gold: Nice idea, but…

March 30, 2009 1 comment

Are the US dollar and the Euro currencies like a post-dated cheque on a failing banks?

Obama is being advised ...  |  Cartoonist RJ Matson; source & courtest - themoderatevoice.com  |  Click for image.

Obama is being advised ... | Cartoonist RJ Matson; source & courtest - themoderatevoice.com | Click for image.

Having a central currency – let’s call it the Zhou-Triffin Doubloon (ZTD) – managed by a supra-national organisation would make it more difficult for any one country to get into too much debt to another. If the supply of ZTD in issue were controlled properly – say by expanding it in line with global GDP – it would serve as a steady store of value, with little risk of devaluation.

Moreover, a credible ZTD would have many of the advantages of the now-defunct gold standard. It would be strictly limited in supply and readily acceptable everywhere. Indeed, it would be even better than the yellow metal, which is after all too cumbersome for a modern economy and too scarce to serve as a measure for international trade. (via Paper gold: Nice idea, but…).

What would this mean …

A citizen’s nightmare like the IMF and World Bank, answerable to non-one, or at least less answerable than any ‘elected’ Government, would rule the world currency system.

This would also mean practically immediate nationalization of gold in most countries – and restrictions on private ownership of gold.

This will also finally end with mind numbing WTO type negotiations. The West will find newer and more devious ways to gain advantage; like the recent IPR-related seizures of pharma products shows.

Concentration Of Power

Today the most popular methods are the Fortune 500 listing and the Forbes listing. These listings finally show that half the world’s economic output is controlled by 50 people from 500 companies – about 25,000 people. Add another 25,000 politicians and bureaucrats. We have about 50,000 people managing the lives of 5 billion people.

Is this how debts will be repaid?  Image source & courtesy - telegraph.co.uk  |  Click for image.

Is this how debts will be repaid? Image source & courtesy - telegraph.co.uk | Click for image.

Everyone is saying …

There is rising chorus that President Obama should do what Roosevelt did. Krugman, this year’s Nobel prize winners, also said in an interview that Roosevelt’s actions need to be emulated. And what is it that Roosevelt did …?

Roosevelt nationalized gold.

Apart from a lot of things that Roosevelt did, which can be debatable, this was the one thing that he did, that made the US into a super power – for a short while (of 70 years).

And the nationalization of gold also impoverished the Americans. Nationalization of gold enabled the US Governments to enter costly wars like WW2, Vietnam War, and now the Iraq and Afghan Wars. This allowed to US to walk into the WW2 with 25,000 tons of gold – and impose Bretton Woods on the world.

The Anglo-Saxon Bloc controlled gold production (from Ghana, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Papua New Guinea, America, etc.,) was  – and the world’s largest private reserves of gold, of India was controlled by the British. It is this choke on gold reserves that enabled the sustenance of US as a superpower.

And now they are trying it again.

Finger pointing ...  |  Economist cartoon by KAL on 08-08-03; Source & courtesy - adamsmith.wordpress.com  |  Click for image.

Finger pointing ... | Economist cartoon by KAL on 08-08-03; Source & courtesy - adamsmith.wordpress.com | Click for image.

Many Think … That There Are Many More Qualified …

Paul Krugman has been (allegedly) anti-Obama – and advising Obama to pay heed to Roosevelt’s policies. Was Krugman’s Nobel Prize award to help him to increase his ‘opinion making’ powers? Was the Nobel prize fixed to meet American /Western short-term requirements? Was the Nobel prize given to the Paul Krugman to make his position strong – as a part of the Obama Dream Team – or as ballast against an ‘adventurous’ Obama who may not toe the line?

Will Krugman join Warren Buffet in rescuing the Western economic system? Will they nationalize gold again – and instead promote silver? Is a new version of the bi-metallic standard coming?

All thats left ...

All that's left ...

Post dated cheque on a falling bank …

Gandhiji advised Sir Stafford Cripps to take the next plane back and his offer as “post dated cheque on a falling bank” – which he later denied as having said it at all, though in agreement with the thought.

And that is equally true of the US in particular and the West in general.

And one single global currency, is such a bad idea.


Church goes on damage control

March 30, 2009 1 comment

Will the Vatican decide on Indian elections

Will the Vatican decide on Indian elections

The powerful Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) headquartered in New Delhi and the Archbishop’s house in Mumbai are both going ahead with clarifications on the issue.

Cardinal Vithayathil’s controversial remarks came at a ceremony recently to mark the publication of his biography, Straight from the Heart, in Kochi. Catholic circles point out that the timing of the news reports, during the Lok Sabha elections, has led to concern among the clergy. Cardinal Vithayathil is president of CBCI. (via Church goes on damage control – India – The Times of India).

The Vatican is a Nation

An Indian Cardinal is well within his rights, as an individual, to advice his followers, on political matters . But the representative body of the foreign country, the Vatican, which administers, the Catholic religion in India, cannot interfere in political matters. How welcome would be political fatwas from the association of holy mosques of Middle East be in Europe, Your Holiness?

The Indian Government allows a foreign Government, like the Vatican, to interfere in the political matters of India? What gives the religious representative of the Holy See, the right to advice Indian Christians, on political matters? Would the Indian Government accept if the Association of Ayatollahs, Muftis and Imams were to issue political fatwas to Indian Muslims …! Would the EU accept Association of Ayatollahs, Muftis and Imams giving political advice to 10 million Muslims in Europe? His Holiness would see crimson …

Will the Vatican allow Hindus to proselytize ...

Will the Vatican allow Hindus to proselytize ...

It is this interference in religious practices of Indians that makes the missionaries suspect, in Indian eyes. Now it is political advice also. What further aggravates the Indian is the apparent disinterest by the Indian Government in such meddling by foreign authorities in the lives of Indians! And then to listen to them teaching us about religious tolerance …?

How can any foreign organization, interfere in temporal matters of India.

In India, we must clearly eliminate all ‘foreign authority’ – which is implicit with religious freedom. The same Pope will of course not allow such a freedom to any foreign religious authority, in any Catholic country – to believers in any other religion. You have only to look at Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the last decade.

The saga continues

And what is the Indian Government doing? Siesta Manubhai …

Toxic toads targeted in Australia’s ‘Toad Day Out’

March 30, 2009 2 comments
African cane toad

African cane toad

On Saturday, residents of five communities in cane toad-plagued northern Queensland state will grab their flashlights and fan out into the night to hunt down the hated animals as part of the inaugural “Toad Day Out” celebration. The toads will be brought to collection points the next morning to be weighed and killed, with some of the remains ground into fertilizer for sugarcane farmers at a local waste management plant. (via Toxic toads targeted in Australia’s ‘Toad Day Out’).

Why …

The same article points out, that these cane toads are no threat to human life – unless, “their poison is swallowed.” There is no data on how many human being lost their lives due to these these cane toads.

The role of SPCA was interesting!

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has applauded the effort — with one caveat.

“We’re only supportive of the plan if the toads are killed humanely — in other words, they’re not hit with baseball bats or cricket bats and golf clubs,” said spokesman Michael Beatty.

Keeping up with the toads

Keeping up with the toads

Another report observed

Hundreds of participants in five communities across northern Queensland snacked on sausages, sipped cold drinks and picked up prizes as the portly pests were weighed, measured and killed in the state’s inaugural “Toad Day Out” celebration.

Environment, wildlife and the world …

In America, the bison in the wild has been wiped out. The South American caiman was nearly wiped out. Cougar, or otherwise called the Jaguar, is a rarity. There are no other big cats in the Americas. By the time of Julius Caesar, lions, tigers and elephants had become extinct in Rome, Greece, France.

The two popular theories trotted out by Western theoreticians is that all these were extinction-prone species or loss of habitat to human beings. India disproves both these theories. Especially, once you take Indian population density into account. India becomes a unique country with in terms of wildlife conservation.

Rest of the world

One Western ‘artist’, Damien Hirst, makes art from killing butterflies, cows – and other such animals. What kind of art is this?

Two Czech scientists were arrested in Darjeeling recently – accused by the Indian authorities, of smuggling butterflies. The Czechs claim they were scientists. Indian authorities claim that the hundreds of samples that they were collecting are part of an illegal trade ring.

The role of traditional Chinese Medicine in extinction of wildlife is well known. The Chinese think that civet cats have to be eaten (till they are available), tigers flesh and bones can cure them of impotency (and what will they do after tigers are extinct?). Of course, Rhino horn and the bile juice of wild bears are essential! What will the Chinese do after these animals become extinct in the next few decades? Japanese resistance to a ban on whaling is symptomatic of a similar insensitivity to other forms of life.

Wildlife in India

India is the only place in the world which can still boast of the Big 5 – Elephants, Rhino, Bison Tiger and Leopard – except Africa! And India has tigers, which Africa does not have.

India has the largest wild tiger population in the world. And it is not an accident. In 1973, a poor and hungry India, went ahead and launched Project Tiger. In 2004, there were 6000 tigers left in the world – and 3000 were in India. Poaching, driven by Chinese demand for tiger parts, used in Chinese medicine, is reducing tiger population India.

Elephants once roamed across China, the Mediterranean, the whole of West Asia and Africa. By 850 BC, West Asian elephants were extinct. By 300 BC, elephants in China had become rare. Again, outside, Africa, India has the largest Rhino population in the world. The biggest threat to rhinos in India is the use of rhino horn in Chinese concoctions to cure impotence and increase libido. Outside Africa, India has the largest leopard population of 14,000. The world population of leopards is estimated at 100,000. India has 80% of the Asian leopard population.

Conservation in India

In October 1998, nearly eight Indian film stars were accused of poaching. This entire prosecution incident was initiated by the Bishnoi community. The Bishnois have a long tradition of conservation activity. The Bishnois were at the forefront similarly in the prosecution of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, accused of poaching.

More than 50% of grain production in the US is fed to animals, which are in turn slaughtered and eaten. This grain production comes at an effectively, after significant usage of fertilisers, pesticides, fuel, industrial processing, irrigation, etc. The carbon overload would decrease if meat consumption in the US (and similar cultures) were to reduce – like in India.

CPM & JD-U go after Indian holders of Swiss accounts

March 28, 2009 1 comment

Indian accounts in Swiss banks

Indian accounts in Swiss banks

JD-U president Sharad Yadav told reporters here: “India tops the list of countries whose citizens have deposited monies in Swiss banks and we must ask the government there to reveal the names.”

CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat made the demand last week during the release of his party manifesto. (via The Hindu News Update Service).

Back to the sources

Google search showed that this Swiss Bank story originated from a chain-mail.

The Swiss Banking Federation has NO such report – that I can make out. (BTW, the Swiss Banking Federation has only French and German versions of their reports. So, much for English being a universal language).

I also found just one blogger who did trash this chainmail. Again, like the Indian Hacker Hoax, the New York Times made no mention of Indian accounts in the Swiss banks – and neither did Time magazine. But another lazy Indian journalist, Praful Bidwai, hedged his statements, by the use of words like ‘off-the-record conversations’ and ‘highly credible independent accounts’ along with with words like ‘substantial‘.

This looks like the Indian hacker story which appeared some time back – and Indian media picked up without verifying anything. Turned out, that it was a complete hoax – a fabrication.

Such chain-mails, I think spring from: –

  1. The low esteem of Indians.
  2. Willingness to believe the worst about other Indians.
  3. Colonial era prejudices and biases – especially against our politicians and industrialists.

Chain-mail hoax

This story seems to be in the same category as

  1. Indians are 40% of NASA; 50% of Microsoft and Intel is 40% Indians chain-mail story, which our Minister, D Purandeshwari used in the Parliament to embarrassing effect.
  2. The other type of email that periodically does the rounds is the one about Indian Parliament meets for less than 100 days and our politicians cost the Indian taxpayer more than Rs.100 cr. for every minute kind of email.
  3. Do you know how many people were hospitalized /died after Sankrantri /Holi /Diwali kind of chain mail.

The imaginary Indian Swiss Accounts

The imaginary Indian Swiss Accounts

The same text, has been on the blogosphere, pseudo-news sites, Internet for most of the last 1 year. Google Search throws up more than 200 links which quote the same chain-mail.

I went through about 80-90 of these links and practically all of them were the same text. People are just doing a copy paste of the same story. I wonder who did this story – first. What was the motivation?

All political parties, (CPM, JD(U), BJP, et al) – everyone, jumped onto this hoax chain mail.

Maybe our esteemed politicians and the Great Indian Middle Class should actually go after some real problems – instead of imaginary windmills.

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