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Archive for August, 2009

Cong plans defend-Nehru movement

August 27, 2009 9 comments
Propaganda Wars

Propaganda Wars? (Picture courtesy - Linked from the outlookindia.com)

The sudden rise in the Congress decibel level was prompted by former RSS chief K S Sudarshan’s statement calling Jinnah secular. “Over the past 10 days the successors of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassins have been trying to distort history,” Tiwari said.

Ascribing the fullsome praise of Jinnah to the Sangh Parivar’s attempt to “secularise themselves by proxy”, he termed the Pakistan founder as a “British stooge” and claimed that nobody was more communal than him. “If somebody was responsible for Partition undoubtedly it was Jinnah,” he said.

Tiwari claimed that such approval of Jinnah could easily come from the BJP-RSS leadership because “they had no role in the freedom struggle”. He said these comments were a direct assault on the history of the freedom struggle. In the party’s estimate, Nehru was not just the chief architect of the modern Indian state but its ideological propagator as well. (via Cong plans defend-Nehru movement).

A ‘victorious’ Congress, ruling for most of the 60 years of post-colonial India, had three clear propaganda imperatives.

1 – TINA, There is no alternative

They needed to prove that it was only the Congress which could ‘take on’ and  ‘defeat’ the ‘glorious and the mighty’ British Empire on which the sun never set. The logic went, “what could India(ns) have done without the Congress”. This thinking went deeper and dirtier, when a certain Deb Kant Barooah, declared “India is Indira and Indira is India.”

Similarly, Congress decided to re-write history and take all credit for the departure of the British colonialists. Contributions of leaders like SC Bose was ignored or the importance of the February 1946 joint action by the Indian Armed Forces against the colonial forces, was minimized to the ‘Naval Ratings Mutiny.’ Leaders like VD Savarkar (the first to write a non-colonial history of the War of 1857), or Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (joined Jana Sangh-BJP from Congress) was dismissed as fascism.

Fact is, that Britain was bankrupt and could not hold onto India. Fact is, that for a 150 years – from 1797-1947, many rebellions, wars, individual hits were made against the colonial British Government. The myth of non-violent Indian freedom movement, served both colonial and Congress interests. It showed the British as ‘civilized’ colonialists – and the Congress as ‘enlightened’ leadership. Just like most Western literature caricatures African-American characters as hard-working, humble, docile, placid, obedient, gentle!

2 – If you don’t have an enemy, create one!

The Congress needed to create an enemy. A demon, who they could blame, use, abuse – and Pakistan fitted the bill perfectly. A failed state (!), a hotbed of terrorism – and to top it all, an Islamic State. What more could the West-Congress combine ask for?

Easily slipping into colonial legacy of ‘divide et impera’, the Congress went onto a disastrous foreign policy trail of Hindi-Chini bhai bhai. A solid relationship with Pakistan would have,  arguably, saved Tibet from the Chinese maws – which Nehru’s foreign policy predicated.

3 – Craven desires

To gain Western approval, acceptance, favours, privileges et al.

Consider the English language policy of the post-colonial Congress Government. It has massively subsidized English education in India so that the children of the elite could ‘escape’ to the West. The demeaning ‘population control theory’, the English language education – all, a result of this need of the Congress Party.

The deliberate colonial distortion of Indian history continues unchecked and unhindered. You only have to read Congress Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh’s speech at Oxford, praising the Raj,  while receiving his honorary doctorate, or Chidambaram’s decision to end “abject poverty” in India that he seems to “have known for 5,000 years.”

When each of these elements are looked at in isolation, we can take benign view of these actions. When looked at collectively, it forms a clear pattern.

A rather ominous pattern.

A ‘progressive’ Muslim gets excited about English language – The Times of India

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.

The Milli Gazette feels similarly ... may be the answer is somewhere else

The Milli Gazette feels similarly ... may be the answer is somewhere else

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.

Jaswant pays price for telling the truth:The Times Of India

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.

This is waht the West wanted

This is what the West wanted

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!

Resolving global imbalances aka currency manipulation

Some time in the future
Some time in the future

The Obama administration is increasingly signalling that the US will not continue to be the world’s consumer and importer of last resort. The clearest statements came last month from Larry Summers, White House economics director, in a speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and in an interview with the Financial Times. The US, he said, must become an export-oriented rather than a consumption-based economy and must rely on real engineering rather than financial wizardry.

This long-run vision for US growth entails greater exports and probably a smaller current account deficit than where it is now (about 3 per cent of gross domestic product). Although Mr Summers did not and could not say so, the vision will require an end to the remaining overvaluation of the dollar.

Put starkly, Mr Summers has stated that China can no longer behave like China because the US intends to behave much more like China. The world economy cannot have two, or even one-and-a-half, Chinese growth strategies from its two most important economies. Which will prevail? (via Fred Bergsten & Arvind Subramanian: Resolving global imbalances).

In the last 50 years, the US dollar has swung from being grossly overvalued to slightly overvalued. The inertia of the Bretton Woods system has kept this overvaluation going. How has this benefitted the US?

It has allowed the US to use its overvalued (and over-printed) currency to buy vast tracts of the world economy. And now having captured these segments of the world economy (especially raw material sources), with an over-valued currency, it will achieve two objectives.

The US is in no position to pay off its nearly US$4 trillion, it owes the Rest of the World – equal to about 1 years GDP (my estimate, in PPP terms). This kind of dollar devaluation does three things at one stroke.

Kojak Haircut Series – A Greenspan-Bernanke Production

Kojak Haircut Series – A Greenspan-Bernanke Production

One – It reduces the real value of its debt. The Chinese, the Rest of BRICS and the Others need to be paid a lot less in the future. (as pointed out earlier in various posts linked here.) Two – It makes US exports artificially competitive. (as pointed out earlier in linked posts). Three – The US competitiveness will be anchored to assets purchased with over-valued dollars.

Readers can take courage from the fact that each such ‘process’ gives the US lesser returns and fewer options. The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility. Or in plain language ‘crying wolf’ often never paid off.

But the smart answer is to go out and buy one kilogram of gold. If each reader of Quicktake and 2ndlook blogs were to do this, the world would become a safer and fairer world in the next 10-20 years.

Swear!

ILO and Indian Government partner to train domestics

August 23, 2009 5 comments

The first requisite of a good servant is that he should conspicuously know his place. It is not enough that he knows how to effect certain desired mechanical results; he must, above all, know how to effect these results in due form. Thus wrote the legendary academic Thorstein Veblen in The Theory of the Leisure Class, that superb treatise on the effect of wealth on behaviour. “Any departure from these canons of form is to be deprecated, not so much because it evinces a shortcoming in mechanical efficiency, or even that it shows an absence of the servile attitude and temperament, but because in the last analysis it shows the absence of special training.”

… a couple of weeks ago it appeared Delhi had taken Veblen seriously. To ensure that such a lacuna should not reflect on its image as the capital of an economic superpower in the making, it 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).

This may yet come to pass!

This may yet come to pass!

The next great ‘revolution’ in Indian economy after the BPO revolution is being scripted by the ILO and the Government of Delhi under their Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit. They 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 domestic for any country in the world.

Apparently, colonialism never died. We now 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”.

In search of post-racial fiction

Elephants in the room!

Elephants in the room!

The Help has its heart in the right place, and its “White” imagining of the Black women’s voice springs from an authenticity which only a personal experience could have supplied. In a moving afterword, Stockett reveals how she never understood the silent suffering of her own Black maid until long after her death which happened when Stockett was 16.

However, the book must be accused of borrowed characterisation. Consider Aibileen who matches every stereotype one may harbour about Black people, not seeing the irony of her observation when she meets one of the White kids, now grown up, she tended to:

“And how I told him don’t drink coffee or he gone turn colored. He say he still ain’t drunk a cup of coffee and he twenty-one years old. It’s always nice seeing the kids grown up fine.”

This description, and many such, made me uncomfortable, because they play into the mythologised image of the long-suffering Black — the gentle sacrifice, the immense capacity for self-denial. Why are Blacks, unless they drive the plot, so devoid of ill will in novels about racism? How does Aibileen stand being good to the children she raises, knowing fully well that they will grow up to become dyed-in-the-wool racists? (via In search of post-racial fiction).

This observation I like. Elephants in the room! Very similar to the myth of the ‘non-violent struggle for Indian independence.’ I wonder how much this works.

When tribal women came out and take on the might of the Indian State, one thing you can be sure of! India(ns) does not believe in non-violence – at any cost. There is point beyond which, Indians will not look at the cost and price – but only the value.

Lalgarh proved that!

Tirupati: Pujary steals deity’s gold to marry kids – The Times of India

Chief priest Kattu Venkata Ramana Dikshitulu of Lord Sri Kodanda Ramaswamy temple in Tirupati admitted to the crime after TTD officials grilled him on finding the two necklaces — a ‘Lakshmi haram’ (490 grams) and another weighing 540 grams — missing during an inventory.

“I know I have committed a crime. I have three daughters and poverty forced me to do this,” he said. The priest had pledged it with a pawnbroker and borrowed Rs 9 lakh a decade ago. The pawnbroker (Kamadhenu & Co.) are also being quizzed by the cops. (via Tirupati: Pujary steals deity’s gold to marry kids – Hyderabad – City – NEWS – The Times of India).

TTD is now run by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. I have no clue, and never been able to understand what the Government is doing at the TTD! Since, when is this a matter for the Government to manage! And just why is a ‘secular’ Government of the Republic of India running, managing, controlling religious institutions!

They have no role to play in the private and religious lives of Indians! End result – reduce temple priests to such a situation! Abominable!

Get out and get going, GoAP!

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