Posts Tagged ‘democracy’

Without Comment – How The State Creates Propaganda

December 4, 2011 3 comments

How the State promotes our image of Our State and Their State.

Have we got used to spoon-feeding by a hyperactive media? (Cartoon by Don Addis).

Have we got used to spoon-feeding by a hyperactive media? (Cartoon by Don Addis).

in Mumbai now.

To my surprised,most Indian really think India is a democratic country and they are enjoying life and have more human rights than China’s.Most people in India also believe that Chinese live in hell and no freedoms,no human rights etc.On the other side,most people in China believe that India is a “breakfast democracy” which voters will sell their votes only for breakfasts and everbody have the freedom of starving to death.Which side is closer to truths?

via Panorama: Kissinger’s China, India’s Neighbor – India Real Time – WSJ.

Rohinton Mistry should be thankful to Sena, V-C for banning his book

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment
Shiv Sena has been ‘persuaded’, in the past, by artists and creators, to ban their own books and films – it is whispered.


Bal Thackeray (Cartoon courtesy by

Bal Thackeray (Cartoon courtesy by Click for larger image.

Media blows its own trumpet

There has been much talk of how Shiv Sena led by Bal Thackeray’s grandson ‘forced’ Mumbai University to withdraw a book from University syllabus. Now this story actually is a political comedy – and not anything about censorship, freedom, et al.

Mistry says that Thackeray’s action is in keeping with the Sena’s history of trampling on freedom of speech. “In this sorry spectacle of book-burning and book-banning, the Shiv Sena has followed its depressingly familiar, tediously predictable script of threats and intimidation that Mumbai has endured since the organisation’s founding in 1966. But it is the expeditious decision by Mumbai University which causes profound dismay.

Mass media has hyped up Bla Thackeray-Shiv Sena. (Cartoon courtesy - Click for larger image.

Mass media has hyped up Bla Thackeray-Shiv Sena. (Cartoon courtesy - Click for larger image.

After his long silence, the vice-chancellor has now stated that he, in fact, followed correct procedures, and the decision was taken by the Board of Studies. The outgoing Board of Studies, to be precise. But one thing remains: a political party demanded an immediate change in syllabus, and Mumbai University provided de luxe service via express delivery. The University, in the person of the vice-chancellor, occupies an exalted position in civil society, the champion of academic independence and freedom of expression. Instead, Mumbai University has come perilously close to institutionalising the ugly notion of self-censorship. The vice-chancellor knows what he must do to remove the stain.” (Read more via Rohinton Mistry hits back at Sena, V-C for banning his book – The Times of India).

Shiv Sena supports Congress in the Presidential election!

Shiv Sena supports Congress in the Presidential election! Click for larger image.

Mass media builds up the likes of Bal Thackeray-Shiv Sena types into larger than life figures because it suits them. This larger-than-life-portrayal helps mass media to portray itself as a victim, brave opposition to rightist stormtroopers, protector of freedom, etc.

Collusive democracy

2ndlook has always maintained that democracy breeds politics of collusion. Democracy creates a collusive polity where bad rulers conspire with each other, against us. There is no better example than this.

First, Mumbai University VC passes an express order removing book from the syllabus. Two- Soon after the book is withdrawn from the syllabus, the Maharashtra CM, Ashok Chavan finds the book objectionable.

The Congress has been playing off Shiv Sena and MNS against each other. Nett, nett - it keeps the BJP out of power in Maharashtra. (cartoon by Satish acharya; courtesy - Click for larger image.

The Congress has been playing off Shiv Sena and MNS against each other. Nett, nett - it keeps the BJP out of power in Maharashtra. (cartoon by Satish acharya; courtesy - Click for larger image.

“There is objectionable language in Rohinton Mistry’s book and we wouldn’t approve his book for students,” he said.

“Just because somebody asked the book to be introduced, without following procedure and formalities, it was just introduced at somebody’s behest,” Chavan told a TV channel.

The Chief Minister however said these were his personal views and that he would not like to interfere in the affairs of the Mumbai University, which has received flak from several quarters for withdrawing the book after the Shiv Sena made a demand. He also made it clear he was not siding with anyone.

“I have not gone through the entire book. Whatever paras were shown to me, I read that, the language is highly abusive…Do we expect our students to go through such books and use them in the educational curriculum,” Chavan told reporters in Mumbai. “However, I am not interfering into the affairs of the university. I leave it to the university to decide whether they would approve or endorse such a book,” the chief minister said.

The Congress immediately rushed in to distance itself from the Chief Minister’s views of the book, calling them personal and said the University was free to do what it wanted but that the party’s stand could not be the same as the Shiv Sena’s. In New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said the Chief Minister is obviously entitled to his views.

Tiwari said Mumbai University is an autonomous university and that it is not under the Maharashtra government. “If anyone has objections to the book, there are appropriate fora,” he said. “Shiv Sena and Congress can never be on the same page. Our idea of India is very different from their sectarian approach.”

Common wisdom - Shiv Sena bans help the victims many a time. (Cartoon courtesy - Click for larger image.

Common wisdom - Shiv Sena bans help the victims many a time. (Cartoon courtesy - Click for larger image.

Welcoming Chavan’s remarks, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “If the CM of the state is with us, then you have to understand that we are right.”(read more via | Ashok Chavan Agrees With Shiv Sena on Mistry Book).

Simple answers don’t sell

The media, author and intellectuals dive into censorship, freedom debate. This seems like simple collusion. Congress is cutting MNS down to size by creating ready made issues for Shiv Sena. Earlier Congress had tried to cut down Shiv Sena by propping up MNS.

"Ban-nees' have paid Shiv Sena to ban their books and films - it is whispered. (Cartoon courtesy - Click for larger image.

"Ban-nees' have paid Shiv Sena to ban their books and films - it is whispered. (Cartoon courtesy - Click for larger image.

Congress doing this is par for the course. MNS and Shiv Sena taking part in the collusion is surprisingly not being identified, seen, understood, discussed. Is it a wonder that these English-speaking, reading, writing, ‘intellectuals’ get such scant respect from lay public.

How Shiv Sena uses its image

If Shiv Sena is the ‘ban-ner’ and the victim is the ‘ban-nee’, it has been common wisdom that many a time Shiv Sena bans have been ‘arranged’ by the ‘ban-nee’. This immediately gets national media attention, government action, courts to come into play, politicians of all hues to start giving sound bites and a probable dud becomes a success.

Rohinton Mistry may have to thank Shiv Sena for their graceful attention – in case his books start selling more.

Commonwealth Games – Politics of Collusion

September 28, 2010 19 comments
Why should only the Congress misue CBI - let all parties misuse the CBI! (Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt).

Why should only the Congress misuse CBI - let all parties misuse the CBI! (Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt).

In the beginning

The Commonwealth Games (CWG) proves the point that democracy breeds a collusive polity. In the beginning was the BJP.

1. Why did Vajpayee Government bid for CWG? It defies all common sense. The Commonwealth is an idea that is long dead – and definitely irrelevant.

2. If it was persuaded by the Anglo-Saxon Bloc, what is the quid-pro-quo? What did India get from CWG? This Commonwealth benefits the British! Let them host it, pay for it, support it and ‘persuade’ us to attend.

3. Yesterday, Times Now TV debate tells that the Vajpayee Government paid out some thousands of dollars for each vote to ‘win’ the right to ‘host’ these games? Delhi beat Hamilton, New Zealand for this ‘privilege’?

Sorrier tale, I have not heard in many years. Even if the Vajpayee Govt paid nothing for this ‘privilege’?

We’ll walk hand in hand …

Coming to Kawngressis: –

1. If the Kawngress had an iota of honesty, they should have protested this bid in the first place. When the BJP /NDA was in power.

2. Having got this fait accompli, the Kawngress should have been determined to do this at least cost, minimum shosha, tamasha – like Mani Shanker Iyer has proposed.

3. They should have put some good, honest bureaucrats on the job to achieve point no.2. Not allowed the likes of Mike Fennell and Mike Hooper to abuse Indian people, hospitality – and spend lakhs on them every month for this privilege. Rs.6.0 crore spent on them in the last few years.

A job so badly botched up, I have not seen in the last many years. Any way you look at it, the CWG is a case of collusive polity. And no one, but no one, comes out of this clean or decent. Not in my books at least.

Corruption has got more coverage - drowning out the other related issues. (Cartoon by by IRFAN; courtesy -

Corruption has got more coverage - drowning out the other related issues. (Cartoon by by IRFAN; courtesy -

Craving approval – without actions and achievements

This bit about promoting sports is another bad idea. Why is the State getting involved in the sports business. If it has to get involved, it must promote Indian sports.

Why is India building this huge infrastructure to promote Western sports. Why do we want to prove to the world that we can be good at Western sports. Like a columnist put it

Burning money on a gala sporting event does not make us a super-power

Anyway, what has sports got to do with nationhood. This nation-competition-sports is one bad idea, which must be killed.

Try as hard as anyone may, I just cannot be moved by this idea. No Indian can put up a good show of something as dishonest as CWG. I am not surprised that CWG is going to be a disaster! It will take a Great Disbeliever in the idea of India, to put up a good CWG.

Great Indian shows

Is it that Indians cannot put up a good show?

About ten years ago, India put up a great show. Unrivaled in the last 100 years, at least, by any country. It was called Y2K.

The Western world was at the cusp of an epic disaster – Y2K. Computer systems had used two-digit number to denote years. In 20th century, this was efficient use of computing power when raw computing power itself was expensive. Coming to the end of 20th century, when the number would go from 1999 to 2000, it was expected the logic used by computers would crash.

Posted by Shreyas Navare on Friday, August 6, 2010 at 10.35 pm (Courtesy - Click for larger image.

Posted by Shreyas Navare on Friday, August 6, 2010 at 10.35 pm (Courtesy - Click for larger image.

The West needed to rewrite the entire code for their industrial systems. And they had no spare programming capacity to do it. Enter India. In a matter of 7 years, desi, backward Indians obtained contracts, understood programming designs, deciphered the code, redesigned the new system, coded and tested their new systems, trained users and handed over fully working systems on D-date. It is 10 years now. These Indian systems continue to run the Western world.

Most recently, the corrupt and scam-tainted Satyam put up a faultless show at South Africa Football World Cup.

What has money got to do

Let us be clear – corruption has nothing to do with this fiasco. A highly corrupt China put up a great show at Beijing Olympics.

The CWG problem goes deeper. Even if the CWG were to go off smoothly,  I can’t be proud of this. Even if, this corruption allegations were poppycock! I have no answer to a simple question? Why are we doing the CWG? And there is no good answer to this question.

Write to me. If you have one reason. Just one, honest reason. Why should we host and promote this hoax.

Can you really motivate someone to do a good job on Commonwealth Games? I wonder ...

Can you really motivate someone to do a good job on Commonwealth Games? I wonder ...

The Dragon vs. the Eagle

December 10, 2009 1 comment
Such a loving couple ...

Such a loving couple ...

At the same time he seriously plays down the horrors of Mao’s tyrannical rule, writing that “he remains, even today, a venerated figure in the eyes of many Chinese, even more than Deng Xiaoping” and that the Communist Party “succeeded in restoring its legitimacy amongst the people” and fostered “extremely rapid economic growth,” “despite the calamities of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.” In addition he diminishes the importance of the pro-democracy Tiananmen demonstrations and dissident sympathies, arguing that there is an “apolitical tradition” in China and that “the Confucian ethos that informed and shaped it for some two millennia did not require the state to be accountable to the people.” (via Books of The Times – The Dragon vs. the Eagle in Martin Jacques’ ‘When China Rules The World’ – Review –

For this one insight …

The Dragon versus the Eagle analogy is just hot air! A lot of hot air. China is too busy playing footsie with the USA to challenge! But the bit about China being ‘apolitical’ is a gem.

This bit about, China’s “apolitical tradition” in China and that “the Confucian ethos that informed and shaped it for some two millennia did not require the state to be accountable to the people.” This one observation by Martin Jacques’ explains so much about world history – and modern Asian history.

Platonic-Confucian axis

The axis of Confucian-Platonic authoritarian, ‘wise’ rulers, who were not accountable, was (and remains) the overwhelming model for the world. Property rights remained with less than o.1% of the people. Under the CRER principle, (cuius regio, eius religio, meaning whose land, his religion; CRER) even the most personal religious beliefs of the individual were subject to State approval, as per law.

Pareto’s principle … Ha!

Yes – Pareto was wrong.

Rarely (do they at all?) do 20% of the people get to own 80% the national wealth. It is usually about o.1%. Look at America. Less than 300,000 people (from the Forbes /Fortune lists, the Government and the academia, media) who control the US  – a population of more than 300 million.

The West scorns the Chinese one-party rule. But how does one more, collusive party in the national polity, in a ‘democratic set-up, become the paragon of political virtue. Did it ever occur to its defendants, that a two-party polity just an illusion of choice and change. But, it was the same lack of accountability – in a more invisible manner?

The only exception to this was the Indic system of polity – where property rights were vested with the user, justice was decentralized (did any Indic king dispense justice?), religion was maya and dharma was supreme. The modern Indian State has acquired the Desert-Bloc-Platonic-Confucian authoritarian principles of the State as parens patriae. So, the power of the Indic ideas is something that India seems to have forgotten, missed and lost!!

What's the difference?

What's the difference? One more collusive political party!

In Greater China

In Hong Kong Chinese movies, till the 1990’s, a recurring theme was the Buddhist monk. Until the modernist Jackie Chan goes to America versions started coming out, it was always the wise Buddhist teacher who taught the Brave ‘Chinaman’ to fight against feudal oppression. It was always the Wise Buddhist Teacher who showed the way.

Lee Kuan Yew – a Confucius bhakt

Now this explains why Lee Kuan Yew extols Confucian virtues of Greater Chinese. Is it surprising that the ‘modern’ Chinese Government is so afraid of Buddhist revival that they have put restrictions on the Falun Gong followers from doing breathing exercises in the open. Falun Gong which attracted nearly 10 crore followers in the last 15 years, seems to have made the Chinese Government nervous.

Contrast the faith that the Chinese have in Buddhist teachers with the representation of Church and priests in Hollywood and you will see the contrast. One set has been able to maintain trust and faith for more than 2000 years – and the other set seems to have lost it in less than a 1000 years.

Is it any surprise that the common Chinese loves and venerates the Buddha – and the Chinese Government lays so much emphasis on Confucianism?

Election funding, India-Pakistan jigsaw mash up

September 7, 2009 1 comment

Army Chief Mirza Aslam Baig had advised the ISI in September 1990 that it should give logistic support to transfer of funds from the business community in Karachi to the IJI during the 1988 election, the report stated.

Durrani said in the affidavit that he opened several bank accounts in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Quetta, the daily reported. A man from Karachi called Younus Habib had deposited Rs140 million in one of the accounts in Karachi. Some of the amount had been transferred to the accounts in Quetta and Rawalpindi and the rest to a special fund, according to the report.

According to the affidavit, submitted before the apex court on July 24, 1994, former caretaker PM Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi received Rs 5 million, former Sindh Chief Minister Jam Sadiq Rs 5 million, former Prime minister Muhammad Khan Junejo Rs 2.5 million, Nawaz Sharif Rs 3.5 million, the Jamaat-e-Islami Rs 5 million, and Lt Gen Rafaqat Rs 5.6 million for managing the media campaign. There were many other names on the affidavit. (via Nawaz, others got money from ISI: Pak ex-CJ).

Power, pelf and wealth

Bribes to politicians are neither unique or a monopoly to Pakistan. Funding of power struggles is a part of polity – and is more a problem of the structuring election funding, rather than the moral fibre of politicians.

The Lodis from Afghanistan, petty horse traders, regained India from West Asian invaders. The Lodis could do this, by reducing the cost of raising an army. Being horse traders, they access to low cost horses, essential for a large cavalry-based armed forces of the time.

The Afghan Lodis ended the short 200 year stint in Delhi by the frequently defeated West-Asian invaders. Western historians have painted the Lodis as Islamic conquerors – without differentiating between Indian-Muslim rulers and West Asian Muslim rulers. Afghanistan was last ruled by the rulers of Punjab – Maharaja Ranjit Singh, till about 1830s.

This brings to mind two things.

Political funding in the West

All political systems must necessarily create a system for funding access to power. ‘Modern’ democracies have no systemic channel for funding. Those who follow the ‘system’ – are left behind by those who break it.

The Roosevelt family fortune was built on opium ‘trade’ with China. The Kennedy families fortune was built on initially bootlegging (smuggling alcohol) and Wall Street shenanigans (sold all his shares just before  the Wall Street Crash) and Hollywood capers (Alexander Pantages affaire). In each case, he turned legal – and started a alcoholic-beverage distribution company (Somerset Importers), SEC Chairman, Ambassador to Britain.

He ensured his son, JFK, became the only and ever, Catholic President of the USA. Behind Robert Kennedy’s appointment appointments as SEC head and Ambassador to Britain, was FDR – whose own family fortune was made by marrying rich and opium ‘trade’. Takes one to know one.

The much whispered and well-known funding of political parties by the Reliance Group or the well-oiled PR machine of the Tatas in India are another example.

Funding of Elections

A simple expedient would be to set up a tax-payer funded corpus, for each Parliamentary, State Legislature and local Government constituency – which would get proportionately divided between the top 5-7 candidates, based on votes polled – subject to a ‘clean’ record.

Based on a 500 (central Government), 5000 (state legislature) and 50,000 (local Government) constituencies, and a corpus of Rs.5000 crores each for Central /State /Local Government politicians, to be distributed every five years, would immediately clean up Indian politics and bring in a whole new breed of politicians. The annual cost of such funding will be Rs.3000 crores at current cost – which is far lower than the estimated ‘bribes’ that Indian politicians presumably collect.

To believe that a nation can depend on a constant supply of Tilaks, Boses, Gandhis, Vinoba Bhaves, et al is niether real nor possible.

Can Pakistani business clean up Pakistan

The other thing is the use of Pakistani business interests to clean up Pakistan. Mahbub Al Haq made a famous 22 families in Pakistan speech – which detailed how some 22 families in Pakistan control the Pakistani economy. India can provide a huge market, opportunity and growth to Pakistani businesses.

Is there a coherent anti-terrorism strategy? Is Indian diplomacy engaged with this segment of Pakistan – to find ways to clean up Pakistan. Are Indian banks, consortium-members that fund Pakistani businesses – which are on a “White’ list?

Or Indian diplomacy too busy engaging with the Unca Sam and the West?

The ‘Stupidity’ of election fraud in poor countries

September 4, 2009 Leave a comment

In the last few months, we’ve witnessed elections in Zimbabwe, Iran, and now Afghanistan, and in each case the heavy-handedness on display has been staggering. Can’t these people at least show a little finesse when they’re practicing ballot-box fraud? (via The Unbearable Stupidity of Authoritarianism – Erik Tarloff).

Zimbabwe et al are known cases

Western media, Erik has done enough to ‘showcase’ Zimbabwe – amongst others, which you highlight, with so much relish, in your post (linked above). Though, I wonder why you don’t, in the same breadth, compare the continuing frauds in your home country. Is it that election fraud in the US is more ‘intelligent.’

The Brooks Brothers Riots

The 'Brooks Brothers' Riots

How about the US

The disenfranchisement laws in the US are, if any comparison is required, more unfair, have been running longer and engender greater injustice. How about a ‘fair’ comparison!

The disenfranchisement laws came into effect by the 1890’s – that continue till today. This ensured that a disproportionate number of African-Americans could not vote. After some 60,000 African American Voters were disenfranchised, George Bush technically, won by less than 1000 votes (most of the disenfranchised voters were expected to vote against George Bush). And George Bush became the President of the USA for the second time. Or would you like to talk about the hoods and goons in the ‘Brooks Brothers Riots’ – employed by the Republican Party!

If this post, fills your need to feel superior, find better targets. At least, your equals! Why pick on poor Zimbabwe!

If your quarrel is ‘finesse’, I wont join in the debate.

Failed Westernisations

February 7, 2008 Leave a comment

Guernica / America’s Century of Regime Change

More by Kinzer on Regime Changes.

Failed Westernisations

For ambitious nations wanting to modernise, the easy way out seemed to be ‘copycat’ westernisation. Amongst the first ‘copycat’ states were China and Turkey. China, led by Sun Yat Sen, was the first major power, which tried going down the western path. The Japanese invasion of Manchuria sounded the death knell of the Chinese Republic and Monarchy.

Ataturk’s Turkey

Turkey – led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the next ‘copycat’ attempt at westernisation. After WW2, the victorious allied powers dismantled the Ottoman Empire. Turkey was reduced to a rump state.

For more click here.

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