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Barbarians at the gates


Ancient Rome or modern America – the rich get education and the poor die in wars.

Ancient Rome was exactly the same. Modern education too, 'teaches' the selected few how to retain control of the system. (Image source and courtesy - http://anticap.wordpress.com). Click for larger image.

Ancient Rome was exactly the same. Modern education too, 'teaches' the selected few how to retain control of the system. (Image source and courtesy - http://anticap.wordpress.com). Click for larger image.

Barbaric Rome

Was Rome a civilization? Ever?

With nearly a million slaves in the city of Rome itself, with wars, butchery, massacres (in Gaul, Carthage et al), on what basis could Rome be called a civilization? When people are civil to each other, the society can be termed as a civilization. One imagines that education will stop us from accepting propaganda as history.

Is ‘education’ the answer?

Take this extract below, for instance. Written by a well-known talking head on TV, a pollster, a political analyst, writes about JPC confrontation between the Congress and the BJP

Exactly 1,600 years ago, on August 24, 410, the barbarians (the Visigoths) were at the gates of Rome. They sacked and pillaged a prosperous but decadent Rome. Thousands of Romans fled to the countryside, leaving the “Urbi” devastated. Thirty-five years later, the Vandals also sacked Rome. Though Rome survived for some more time, the sacking in 410 marked the beginning of its disintegration.

The other day, Ratan Tata used the word “banana republic” that outraged us. We already have crony capitalism and loads of corruption and now parliamentary vandalism. The barbarians are at our gates too. Our foot is already on the slippery banana skin. Ek dhakka aur do, and we’ll get there. (via Dorab R Sopariwala: Barbarians at the gates).

Strange – to think, accept and call the Romans as civilized. The largest slave-owning empire of the ancient world deserved destruction. In my book, Alaric The Goth, was far more civilized than the Romans. Possibly, Alaric’s Goths attacked Rome to end its slave capturing ways.

Squash the bug

Let us assume that the imagery of a civilized Rome destroyed by a barbarian Goths is right.

Still the analogy of civilized Congress versus a barbarian BJP is completely inept. Neither is the Congress superior nor is the BJP any less civilized than the Congress. If at all, the fight by the Opposition to demand accountability through the JPC route, is commendable. After all, the issue at stake, is arguably, India’s biggest scam.

Fooling enough people, most of the time, by using lotsa money! Is that the trick? (Image credits embedded). Click for larger image.

Fooling enough people, most of the time, by using lotsa money! Is that the trick? (Image credits embedded). Click for larger image.

All the people … all the time

Dorab, between you and Ratan Tata, you share a common trait. You believe that the desi noise, smells, heat and dust of Indian democracy is below you.

Remember that JRD is buried in France. India was not good enough for the dead body of this Bharat Ratna.

Tatas have made a long-standing claim that they are superior to other Indian businesses. A claim, supported only by assertions and repetitions. Without empirical data or evidence.

In fact, surveys show that Indian companies have higher reputation in home markets than most other corporations across the world. Going by anecdotal evidence, Tatas cannot be superior than others. Just like BJP cannot be much different from Congress.

Flawed comparisons, all round. Romans and Goths, Congress and BJP, Tatas and Others.

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  1. October 2, 2011 at 11:06 pm

  2. Kumar Iyer
    October 3, 2011 at 9:16 am

    i REMEMBER IN ONE OF YOUR ARTICLES YOU LIKENED VS NAIPAUL AND I THINK AMARTIYA SEN TO COCONUT. BROWN FROM OUTSIDE AND WHITE FROM INSIDE. RATAN TATA IS ANOTHER COCONUT.

  3. October 3, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Naipaul is a sapota.

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