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Africa – A Problem of various ‘isms’, ‘archies’ and ‘cracies’

December 9, 2010 1 comment
The world has not been able to shake off the spell of Western 'maya'!

The world has not been able to shake off the spell of Western 'maya'!

EU trade policy has long been hijacked by European business, which wants raw materials at cheap prices. EU priorities are a mirror image of positions adopted by corporate lobby groups. The commission frankly states: “We will rely on EU business to provide much of the information on the barriers which affect their trade or investment with third countries.”

There is a serious risk that Europe’s budget and unemployment crisis will put policymakers even more in hock to the demands of big business.

Opposition from Africa

It is hardly surprising that European policy faces mounting opposition from most African countries, which have long opposed signing investment agreements with the EU. The Raw Materials Initiative should be opposed by Europe’s citizens, too, because it distracts from the need to reduce their own consumption. Europeans already consume four times as much as the average African. (read more via The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : The European Union’s ugly resource grab).

Idea of ‘exploiting’ resources on the cheap

To take away rights from people ‘who do not know the value’ of such resources (Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, Africans) and transfer property rights to the ‘discoverer’ of these resources is an old idea which strangely finds legitimacy, even after 400 years of bad experience. Ranging from Spain to Belgium, with the Dutch and the English, all joined in this ‘resource’ grab. And this saga continues.

The 'resource grab' and the campaign to keep Africa poor continues.

The 'resource grab' and the campaign to keep Africa poor continues.

Bankruptcy of ideology – ism, cracy and archy

In some case, modern nation-States based on various ‘isms’ (Capitalism, Communism, Socialism) combine with various ‘archy’ (monarchy, oligarchy) and ‘cracy’ (democracy, plutocracy, bureaucracy) continue to ensure that power and wealth remains in the hands of very few. The Rest of Us have to be happy with illusion of being equal, of having power over leaders, etc. And no.

This power does NOT flow from the barrel of the gun – but from limiting access to ज़र, zar (gold), जन jan (people) and ज़मीन jameen (land). Instead of various ‘isms’, ‘archies’ and ‘cracies’, what the world needs is a system that will guarantee the four essential freedoms – काम kaam (desire, including sexual) अर्थ arth (wealth), मोक्ष moksh (liberty) and धर्मं dharma (justice)

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

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How Tony Judt died and became Saint!

September 18, 2010 Leave a comment
St.Tony Judt - The media and academia in cahoots with the State (Cartoon by Pavel Constantin, Romania; Cartoon Courtesy - caglecartoons.com).

St.Tony Judt - The media and academia in cahoots with the State (Cartoon by Pavel Constantin, Romania; Cartoon Courtesy - caglecartoons.com).

The beatification of Saint Judt

The last 30-45 days has seen a surge on obits, reviews and tributes to Tony Judt.

Tony who? Exactly. An unknown writer till a few months ago, has suddenly become famous in his death. Media (at least in India) has gone overboard. But when Marathi media started on Tony Judt, it was high noon. The straw on the camel’s back.

OK, guilty of misrepresentation. Not the camel’ back! It was my back.

There  seems  an effort at beatification of Tony Judt. In the modern era, temporal authorities, award a quick Nobel Prize, pin a Congressional Medal of Honor – and the process of ‘secular’ sainthood is completed. Media aids by marching to the drumbeat of the State. These ‘secular’ sainthoods by the ‘modern-secular-liberal-progressive-democratic’ establishment are not meant to be enduring or important. They , the latter-day, disposable, ‘secular’ saints, serve a utilitarian purpose to their masters – the State.

Tony Judt is no exception.

How come 'modern' Western identities are not included by Tony Judt in his 'problem' list? (Cartoon By - Angel Boligan, Courtesy - Cagle Cartoons)

How come 'modern' Western identities are not included by Tony Judt in his 'problem' list? (Cartoon By - Angel Boligan, Courtesy - Cagle Cartoons)

From the safety of a university cloister

By being overtly anti-Israel, Tony Judt, gets an inside track into the Islamic mind – to start his ideas of ‘identity’.

A self-confessed, Social Democrat (but that is not ‘identity’) Tony Judt is the type who speaks from the comfort of a winning side.

We know enough of ideological and political movements to be wary of exclusive solidarity in all its forms. One should keep one’s distance not only from the obviously unappealing “-isms”—fascism, jingoism, chauvinism—but also from the more seductive variety: communism, to be sure, but nationalism and Zionism too. And then there is national pride: more than two centuries after Samuel Johnson first made the point, patriotism—as anyone who passed the last decade in America can testify—is still the last refuge of the scoundrel. (via Edge People | The New York Review of Books).

As fortunes shifted and wavered, Tony Judt’s recounts how his family moved from one declining economy to another growing economy. From Eastern Europe, vaguely in a region near Russia, to Antwerp in Belgium thereon to Britain and finally to the USA. He finds

over the years these fierce unconditional loyalties—to a country, a God, an idea, or a man—have come to terrify me. The thin veneer of civilization rests upon what may well be an illusory faith in our common humanity.

The West has systematically deformed Islamic identity - after dismantling the Ottoman Empire. (Cartoonist - Paresh Nath, Published by - The National Herald, India)

The West has systematically deformed Islamic identity - after dismantling the Ottoman Empire. (Cartoonist - Paresh Nath, Published by - The National Herald, India)

To people like Tony Judt, identity is a matter of convenience. And they rightly, recommend that people must have no identity – and by extension, no loyalty. Fly flags of convenience. May the highest bidder win.

I wonder where Judt’s family was, when the Belgians were flogging the Congolese.

Sainthood by the Vatican

The ‘modern’ State and the media of the Free World have it easy when it comes to cannonising people like Tony Judt!

The Catholic Church has a rather exacting process, stretching over a few years, at the very least. The Catholic Church even appoints a Devil’s Advocate – someone who tries to find reasons why the candidate should NOT be declared a saint.

This process has sometimes taken decades too. After multiple processes and steps, a committee. the Congregation for the Causes of Saints decides on these issues. With the kind of rigour that the Vatican process follows, Saints have ‘public memory’ life span extending to centuries.

The perversion of the Islamic world started with the break up of the Ottoman Empire (Cartoon By - Emad Hajjaj, Jordan; Cartoon Courtesy - caglecartoons.com)

The perversion of the Islamic world started with the break up of the Ottoman Empire (Cartoon By - Emad Hajjaj, Jordan; Cartoon Courtesy - caglecartoons.com)

Coming to Saint Judt

Today when the West is paying the price for creating a misshapen Islamic identity, people like Judt thinly speak out against identity – an Islamic identity. Or when the West faces a challenge from Asia, China and India, it pays to talk of less identity.

This idea of less identity would not be such a bad idea – if you have so little of identity, to start with!

Belgium regrets the assassination of Patrice Lummumba

First create caricature; then demonise; then kill! As it happened with Patrice Lummumba!

First create caricature; then demonise; and kill! As it happened with Patrice Lummumba! (Artist: Michael Cummings; Published: Sunday Express, 21 Aug 1960)

Belgium expressed regret for its role in the 1961 murder of the former Belgian Congo’s first prime minister after independence, there has been no talk here of a British apology for imperial wrongs. (via Displaying An Empire For Posterity – NYTimes.com).

Patrice Lumumba - before his execution. (Picture by Horst Faas - AP). Patrice Lumumba led the movement for Congo’s independence from Belgium (June 1960). Within 10 weeks, the new Congolese Communist Govt. was deposed by a CIA backed-coup. Lumumba's controversial independence day speech reminded that the Congolese were "Nous ne sommes plus vos macaques!" (We are no longer your monkeys!)*.  Lumumba escaped from his house arrest, but was rearrested from a plane in Elizabethville, beaten and humiliated in front of diplomats and journalists, put on the truck and taken away. This was Lumumba’s last photo. A few weeks later, he was executed, and his body dissolved in acid.

Patrice Lummumba - before his execution. (Picture by Horst Faas - AP). Patrice Lummumba led the movement for Congo’s independence from Belgium (June 1960). In his independence day speech, Lummumba reminded "Nous ne sommes plus vos macaques!" (We are no longer your monkeys!). Within 10 weeks, the new Congolese Communist Govt. was deposed by a CIA backed-coup and Lummumba arrested. Lumumba escaped from his house arrest, but was rearrested from a plane in Elizabethville, publicly beaten and humiliated, put on the truck and taken away. This was Lumumba’s last photo. A few weeks later, he was executed, and his body dissolved in acid.

Familiar pattern! First create stereotypes, then caricature these stereotypes. Preferably demonize these people. After this, killing these ‘demons’ is not a problem. Nobody remembers Patrice Lummumba anymore, anyway! No tears for you, Patrice!

Killing you wuz public service! Right, Leopold!!

China is now an empire in denial – Gideon Rachman /FT.com / Columnists /

August 10, 2009 11 comments

The Soviet Union ultimately fell apart because of pressure from its different nationalities. In 1991, the USSR split up into its constituent republics.

Of course, the parallels are not exact. Ethnic Russians made up just over half the population of the USSR. The Han Chinese are over 92 per cent of the population of China. Yet Tibet and Xinjiang are exceptions. Some 90 per cent of the population of Tibet are still ethnic Tibetans. The Uighurs make up just under half the population of Xinjiang. Neither area is comfortably integrated into the rest of the country – to put it mildly. Last week’s riots in Xinjiang led to the deaths of more than 180 people, the bloodiest known civil disturbance in China since Tiananmen Square in 1989. There were also serious disturbances in Tibet just before last year’s Olympics.

In a country of more than 1.3bn people, the 2.6m in Tibet and the 20m in Xinjiang sound insignificant. But together they account for about a third of China’s land mass – and for a large proportion of its inadequate reserves of oil and gas. Just as the Russians fear Chinese influence over Siberia, so the Chinese fear that Muslim Xinjiang could drift off into Central Asia. (via FT.com / Columnists / Gideon Rachman – China is now an empire in denial).

Cheap thrills

The Western media takes great and vicarious delight in predicting such break ups. It feeds their innate (though false) sense of superiority. With Scotland wanting to breakaway, Belgium on the verge of splitting into two, Czechoslovakia split into two, Europe itself on the brink of reverting to internecine squabbles.

Chopsuey

That said, a break up of China should be no surprise.

Much like USSR’s break-up, the Chinese monolith is more fragile than apparent. Apart from the usual suspects of democracy, economic disparities, social upheavals, etc, there are 3 factors, which most Chinese analysts miss.

One, the Tibetan’s are held together by force – and no one imagines that this holding them together by force, can be in perpetuity. The Muslim provinces of Xinjiang (another one-third of China) is usually ignored. These issues are usually minimized by the current strength with which China holds these provinces together.

But possibly, the biggest issue is the share of revenues of the Chinese central governments.

Secondly, the Chinese Central Government commands less than 25% of the total tax revenues – and the 75% goes to provinces. This, possibly is why the Chinese Government cannot reduce cigarette usage in China. Most expenditures on health, education, pension, unemployment, housing etc. are borne by the local government – and hence there is patchwork of systems which run across China. Most of executions and imprisonments of bureaucrats (including the Mao’s Cultural Revolution) is to demonstrate central authority. The PLA is the only factor that keeps China together. A Chinese Lech Walesa or a Nelson Mandela could unwind China very quickly.

Significantly, and thirdly, the Chinese diaspora and Western MNCs are biggest investors in China – and also the main beneficiaries. This currently keeps resentments of the local Chinese under control – as the neighbour is not getting much richer. But at one stage the domestic Chinese will want to greater say and control over the Chinese economy. He may not be happy with just a well paying job and abundant, low quality goods.

Fences and neighbours

Modern nationalism (of the political variety) is a European construct. National boundaries have historically been ephemeral. The value of national boundaries is the ability to wage war – and disturb the boundaries of other countries.

Good fences create bad neighbours!

Muslims in India are under pressure, post-Mumbai – Economy and Politics – livemint.com

January 3, 2009 4 comments

Leaders of India’s 140-million-strong Muslim community have denounced the 26-29 November Mumbai attacks and thousands of Muslims have marched in protests against the bloodshed. It has been the strongest rejection yet of Islamist violence by Muslims.

“We have lost our children in the Mumbai attacks too. And we, as Indians, share a common grief and demand justice,” said Maulana Mehmood Daryabadi, general-secretary of the All-India Ulema Council, one of the biggest groupings of Muslim sects.

In Muslim neighbourhoods in the capital, residents observed low-key celebrations during an Islamic holiday in December.

Imran Ahmed, a bookseller, did not buy any new clothes for his children during the festival and did not distribute kebabs to neighbours as he does each year.

“So many people were killed by the terrorists. How could I celebrate?” asked the bearded bookseller, sitting outside his shop in the narrow, congested streets of Old Delhi. (via Muslims in India are under pressure, post-Mumbai – Economy and Politics – livemint.com).

Krittivas puts out some swill again

In an earlier article, Krittivas Mukherjee had written how Indian debtors were prostituting their wives to money lenders in rural India – with out any source or data or frequency of incidents.

In his latest story (now joined with another Westernized bhadralok brother, Bappa Majumdar), they write about how afraid Indian Muslims are after the 26/11 Mumbai attack. Does he have data on how many Indian Muslims were attacked by Indian Hindus after 26/11? To put that in perspective – after 9/11 in the US, more than 200 attacks occured in the US on 500,000 Sikhs in a US population of 30 crores (300 million). I am not even counting attacks on ‘guilty’ Arabs and other Muslims. Let us not even talk about the Afghan and Iraqi invasions by the US – after 9/11.

Muslims cannot be patriotic …

When Krittivas writes “That anger is mixed with fear of a backlash” he seems to imply that Indian Muslims cannot be reasonable, patriotic – and hence their anger against these attacks and subdued celebration were forced.

His source and authority for this statement – a general statement by a (possibly senile, nearly) 80 year old journalist, whose claim to fame was his imprisonment, more than 30 years ago, by Indira Gandhi during the emergency. What is the data? None.

Their view of India …

According to Krittivas, India is, after all, “a country where Hindu nationalists often whip up anti-Muslim sentiment after such attacks.” How many such incidents have occurred where anti-Muslim sentiment in India has been whipped up? How many Muslims have been affected? No data. Sweeping statements. Would he like to mention any other country where such a large minority Muslim population, has greater freedom and opportunity.

Minorities in India

Muslims in India are persecuted as “Official figures show Muslims are under-represented in government jobs and the judiciary.”

A simple marker for persecution Krittivas, is decline in populations. Has the Muslim population in India declined? Like the Native American population has or the African-American has? Or the Jewish and and Roma Gypsy populations has (ignoring the limited population recovery of Roma Gypsies in post WW2 West). Or the genocide of the poor Congolese by the Belgian emperor. Post colonial census started with a Indian Muslim population of about 11.2% – which has now crossed 15%. Is that persecution, Mr.Krritivas? Is the ‘perceived’ Muslim backwardness (as defined by the Sachar Committee report) an effect of Indian public policy or are social choices made by Indian Muslims the cause?

Would he also like to show that a few years ago, the richest Indian (Azim Premjee) and the highest political post (APJ Kalam) in the country were held by Muslims. Would he like to show any other country where Muslims have greater freedom – and comprise such a large population? Maybe France, where they are not allowed to dress as they please. Or Britain where 1 out of 200 Muslim (man, woman and child) is imprisoned – that is 0.6% of the British Muslim population is in prison.

Prison Population in India

Yet he does make a point how Muslims “are over-represented in the prison populations in many Indian states.” Yet does he give any comparative statistics? None! Does he mention that India anyway has the lowest prison population in the world. That Muslim prison population in India is about 75,000 from 14 crore Muslims – compared to 10,000 from 16 lakhs in Britain.

Divide et impera

His knowledge of history is further revealed when he writes how “Centuries of rule of Hindu-majority India by medieval Muslim invaders drove a wedge between the two communities”. Would he like to know how the Morley Minto reforms communalized India. How divide et impera was British state policy in India.

That the Deoband School, which he quotes earlier, which rivals the Al Ahram Mosque of Egypt in authority, was against the formation of Pakistan.

Who was responsible for the Partition …

He would however, not like to hold the British Raj responsible for “the blood-soaked birth of Pakistan, carved out from Muslim-majority areas of India in 1947.” The abdication by the Colonial British administration, its response to the communal riots, are conveniently ignored. These riots, managed by criminal elements, were given a free hand by the British administration, to ‘demonstrate’ to the world, that Hindus and Muslims could not live together. It took Gandhiji to disarm this population.

He however does not miss to write about “communal riots in Gujarat in 2002, when around 2,500 people, mostly Muslims, were hacked and burnt to death” – against 200 attacks across US of the Sikhs.

Well paid hacks …

This kind of propaganda does not wash in the West anymore – but when it lands on Indian shores, and carried by Indian media, this kind of glop makes me think of censorship …

Maybe there is some merit in Shariat! And flogging …

King Leopold’s Slavery

February 13, 2008 2 comments

BBC – History – Slavery and the ‘Scramble for Africa’

King Leopold sold his ‘personal colonies’ to the Belgian state for GBP3.8 million. Finally, this massacre stopped only when the Belgians realised that there might not be people left for ‘forced’ labour.

The Belgian Government should be put up on Nuremberg type trial.

Another form of population control by the West!

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The Scramble For Africa

February 12, 2008 2 comments

Belgium’s imperialist rape of Africa: A review of King Leopold’s Ghost

Behind the current state of Africa is the West. Behind Western prosperity is blood of the colonies. This is the story of Belgium – and its colonisation of Africa.

Standard Operating Procedure

Make Dubious agreements
Enslave
Send in Rapacious companies
Use Mercenaries
Extinguish local populations.
Claim glory of the west for having settled or civilised the world.

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