In the last 60 years, the West has put a huge effort to ‘export’ their country-model of success. End result. Countries are converging towards a common problem set.
- Richest 400 Americans get richer (money.cnn.com)
- Rich getting richer: Richest 400 Americans’ net worth jumps 13% (theglobeandmail.com)
- Mayor Michael Bloomberg 10th On Forbes 400 Richest Americans List (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- You: 400 Richest Americans Net Worth Up (thedailybeast.com)
- The 10 Richest In Tech In USA (newscci.wordpress.com)
- Forbes ranks the 400 wealthiest people in the U.S. (cbsnews.com)
- U.S. billionaires’ net worth jumps 13 per cent: Forbes (vancouversun.com)
- Bill Gates remains richest American, Ellison No. 3; Zuckerberg’s net worth drops by half (mercurynews.com)
There is something to this
- The Same Day as His Prison Release, T.I. Put Back Into Federal Custody (newsfeed.time.com)
- T.I. back in prison after luxury-bus ride to halfway house (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
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
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).
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.
- Bamboo is liberated, says Jairam Ramesh (hindu.com)
And the Maoist- Naxalites are fighting with the State for ‘exploitation-of-adivasis‘ rights.
Channel surfing I caught at Discovery – Science a programme on Gunpowder somewhere between 15:00-18:00 on 9th November 2010.
In this entire rather long and boring episode, there was no mention at all of India. Not once. Strange, because, India was the largest industrial producer of saltpeter, for hundreds of years, the most important ingredient in gunpowder.
The credits at the end claimed that this was made by a Granite Production – a regular supplier of documentaries to BSkyB – British Sky Broadcasting, from where Discovery Science apparently picked this up. I have written to Discovery Science about this. Let me see how they respond!
If they do – that is!
Drumbeats get louder.
It is Rahulbaba’s footsteps that you are hearing. An unprecedented media campaign based on the ‘corruption’ hot-button.
Kalmadi resigns on CWG issue. A.Raja resigns on the 2G scam. CBI arrests CWG officials. CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report criticizes Telecom Minister. Supreme courts questions PM on 2G scam.
2ndlook had outlined the following situation nearly 2 months ago – post linked above. The projections seems to be getting real …
What if …
Manmohan Singh takes moral ‘responsibility’. Resigns. Congress veterans beseech Rahul to ‘save’ the country, ’empower’ the youth, and ‘renew’ the Congress party structure with its glorious tradition.
A ‘reluctant’ Rahulbaba immediately rejects the idea. He expresses full confidence in Manmohan Singh’s leadership – and his moral stature.
Manmohan Singh submits his resignation to his party’s president. She urges him withdraw or at least reconsider his decision. Manmohan Singh refuses.
15 days later, after repeated requests from Manmohan Singh, and under ‘great pressure’ from party workers, Sonia accepts Manmohan Singh’s resignation and Rahulbaba accepts the post of Prime Minister.
A plausible scenario …?
- 2G spectrum scam: Rahul defends PM (ibnlive.in.com)
- Gadkari poses 10 questions for Manmohan Singh (thehindu.com)
- Indian PM under pressure over 40-billion-dollar scam – AFP (news.google.com)
- Congress solidly behind Manmohan Singh (thehindu.com)
- India Scandal Dents PM’s Image (online.wsj.com)
- PM quiet as opposition clamours for response on court remark (topinews.com)
An average student exposed to 12 years of Pakistan Studies basically learns how to blame everything bad that happens in Pakistan on the proverbial Hindu conspiracy. Partition is depicted as a triumph of the Muslim mind and collective will in the face of almost insurmountable Hindu intransigence. Subsequently, the Hindus have conspired with just about everyone else to undermine Pakistan (by launching three wars of aggression and initiating other direct and indirect assaults against Pakistan’s core interests).
It would be one thing if the distortion of facts was the only problem with this narrative. More lethal is the effect of such ‘learning’ on the working of the mind. The ‘hate-Hindus’ story simply does not tally with what students are made to believe was the logic for creating Pakistan in the first place. Yet this basic contradiction is never confronted. In all of my time as a teacher I have found very few students who have been able to reconcile the fact that Pakistan was ostensibly conceived to allow Muslims the peace of mind and opportunities for independent development which they apparently lacked in a united India with the persistence of the ‘Hindu threat’ after partition.
In other words, if it was necessary to create Pakistan to free Muslims from majoritarian tyranny then why has the sovereign state of Pakistan been unable to build a future for itself free from the spectre of Indian hegemony? If one argues, as our establishment intellectuals do, that India’s evil designs have prevented Pakistan from moving beyond the bitter legacy of Hindu-Muslim rivalry in the last few decades of British rule, then surely these intellectuals made a mess of their prediction that all would be well once the Muslim mass secured a separate country for itself. (read more via Pol Eco, NOS, The News International).
The ‘official’ Pakistani narrative of history is full of holes – just like India’s. Indian history after more than 60 years of British departure, remains mired in colonial conclusions – with a Congressi overlay.
Those who control the past, control the future, said a British colonial writer. Changing Indian history is possibly more important for the world – as it is for India itself.