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Posts Tagged ‘Government’

America: Labor Economy & Imports

April 12, 2013 2 comments

In 1923-1924 US passed racist laws to specifically bar Indian, Chinese and the Japanese immigrants to US. Less than 30-years later, the US overturned these laws. Enlightenment! Liberalism? .

So, is this why US labor force has been stagnant for nearly five years? Immigration down to the US?  | Pulitzer prize winning cartoon by Steve Breen; in The San Diego Union-Tribune, on April 5, 2008

So, is this why US labor force has been stagnant for nearly five years? Immigration down to the US? | Pulitzer prize winning cartoon by Steve Breen; in The San Diego Union-Tribune, on April 5, 2008

Desert Bloc societies of West Asia and the West, have historically, been labor-importers due to the anti-family and anti-marriage design of their societies.

Why labor shortages

The biggest importer of labor in the last 200 years has been the USA.

After the US Civil War, slave-imports dried up. In the last 100-years, as sources of slave-labor from Africa and indentured-labor from India dried up, US was able to suck out surplus labor from Europe.

Not Quite A Labor Of Love

As European migrants arrived by shiploads into the US, gates to the US for Chinese, Indians (and East Europeans) clanged shut.

The Supreme Court of the USA (SCOTUS) found ways and means to justify racism, exclusion in the USA. In the Thind case (United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, 261 U.S. 204 (1923)), SCOTUS upheld GOTUS laws to disallow Indians from entering the USA.

Soon after Thind’s legal challenge, the GOTUS rushed other laws to limit immigration. Asian exclusion laws ( Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act (Pub.L. 68–139, 43 Stat. 153, enacted May 26, 1924)) stopped Chinese and Japanese from entering the USA.

Costs & Price Of War

In WWII, Europe lost between 2 crores-4 crores (mostly) males. This had two major effects on the Western economies.

One is that immigration from Europe to US dried up. In the next seven years (Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952), GOTUS removed all restrictions on Asian immigration into the USA. It also removed racial segregation practices and laws, thus increasing Black labor availability for US industry.

The second big change was in women’s empowerment. With more than 2 crore people fighting WWII, another 2 crore dead, severe labor shortages led to a boom in women’s employment. Employment led to organisation, organization helped to improve earnings. With earnings came empowerment. Women’s Suffrage, the 50-year struggle in the West, for women’s right to vote finally happened after WWII.

California … Here I Come!

Immi-grunts are by their very nature, opportunistic.

Looking to exploit better economic opportunities, instead of creating opportunities. They can serve a useful function in reducing labor-price imbalances. Seeking to maximize their own earnings, immi-grunts are seen in a not very kindly light by the host nation.

So, why has labour growth stagnated for five years?  |  Graphic source & courtesy - economist.com

So, why has labor growth stagnated for five years? | Graphic source & courtesy – economist.com

The slide in the unemployment rate – a full percentage point since September – owes mostly to rising employment (as measured by the household survey). But the decline in unemployment has been helped by the failure of the labour force to grow more quickly. While it has fluctuated considerably, the labour force is only slightly larger now than in December, 2007, when the recession began. Yet in January, 2008, the Congressional Budget Office reckoned it would be some 5m larger by now, or 159.5m (see chart).

What happened to those 5m people? Why aren’t they showing up as unemployed? Some are discouraged workers or other people who want to work but aren’t counted as unemployed; but I reckon they account for only one third of the missing 5m.

So what about the others? Is it early retirement? Disability? Returning to school? Illegal immigrants returning home (or failing to enter the country in the first place)? Or were they never there to start with – the labour force simply isn’t growing as quickly as we thought it should, for demographic or other reasons? Whichever it is, it is a troubling sign that our economic potential could be a lot lower than we thought just a few years ago. And that’s the real bad news.

via America’s labour force and the economy: The missing five million | The Economist.



In Yumm-Rika There is no Corruption or How IAC Completely Gets The Story Wrong!

July 14, 2012 6 comments

For reasons that are unclear to me, Indian activistas think that India alone faces a corruption issue. Ignorance or willful negligence?

Globally Govt. has become a set of slogans.  |  Matt Wuerker cartoon in politico.com on December 01, 2011  |  Click for image.

Globally Govt. has become a set of slogans. | Matt Wuerker cartoon in politico.com on December 01, 2011 | Click for image.

https://twitter.com/fgautier26/status/216437980523536384

Impotent pin-pricks

This tweet refers to report by India Against Corruption (IAC) on the link between Omita Paul and Pranab Mukherjee. Based on significant surmise, innuendo, conclusions, suspicions, this report is quite short on fact.

To start with, the commendation of Rajat Gupta’s conviction, makes me doubt the integrity of this report. Domestic and global media who have tracked Rajat Gupta’s prosecution agree that the trial was based on circumstantial inconvenience of Rajat Gupta – rather than any evidence.

Subsequent events have shown far bigger scandals – for which the US DoJ or other Western authorities have done little. There is nothing that makes me doubt that the DoJ went after weak targets like Rajat Gupta. The DoJ team, led by Preet Bharara, went after Rajat Gupta, while in the same Goldman Sachs there were more viable and pressing targets – like David Loeb.

Hundreds of trillions of loans are done on the basis of the LIBOR – a compromised benchmark, for which no one is going to jail?

Of course waste by US Govt. does not mean that Indian Govt can also ahead and waste.  But these silly examples of 'It does happen in the US.' has to stop.  |  Matt Wuerker cartoon from .politico.com on January 26, 2011  |  Click for image.

Of course waste by US Govt. does not mean that Indian Govt can also ahead and waste. But these silly examples of ‘It does happen in the US.’ has to stop. | Matt Wuerker cartoon from .politico.com on January 26, 2011 | Click for image.

False Flags

More than this remark on Rajat Gupta, the basis of IAC campaign is false.

It rests on two very weak pillars.

One – Corruption exists in India alone. Indians alone are corrupt. Indians alone tolerate corruption. None of this true.

Two – You can have an ever-expanding State that will rule with brutal honesty – and the State will  have more powers, more money, and become wiser and more benign.

Compared to the US$3 trillion that the US Department of Defence is unable to account for, this talk of notional loss of US$30 billion in the 2G scam makes for poor form.

Most recently, during the Iraq and Afghan Wars, the US Department of Defense has not able to properly account for (to the satisfaction of US Govt. auditors) a sum of (still being estimated) of US$2.3 trillion, says Donald Rumsfeld – to US$10 trillion, an estimate by Stephen Glain author of State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire.

In fiscal 1999, a defense audit found that about $2.3 trillion of balances, transactions and adjustments were inadequately documented. These “unsupported” transactions do not mean the department ultimately cannot account for them, she advised, but that tracking down needed documents would take a long time. Auditors, she said, might have to go to different computer systems, to different locations or access different databases to get information. (via Reforming Financial Management System Can Save Big  |  By Jim Garamone  |  American Forces Press Service).

For the accounting entries, $2.3 trillion was not supported by adequate audit trails or sufficient evidence to determine their validity, $2 trillion was not reviewed because of time constraints, and $2.6 trillion were supported. via DoD Audit Report No. D-2000-091 February 25, 2000 (Project No. 0FI-2115.01).

taking a look at the Department of Education, which, for the last three years hasn’t been able to get a clean audit. Then I understand that the Department of Defense shares many of the same problems that we have with the Department of Education. I think the IG just notes that in one of the audits that you went through of the 1999 financial statements included adjustments of $7.6 trillion — that’s trillion — in account adjustments, of which 2.3 trillion were supported by un — by reliable documents — were unsupported by reliable documentation. (REP. PETER HOEKSTRA (R-MI) – Testimony before the House Budget Committee on the FY 2002 Defense Budget As Delivered by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Comptroller Dov Zakheim, Cannon House Office Building, Wednesday, July 11, 2001.?

Pentagon contracting has been broken for decades. Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said — on September 10, 2001 — that “according to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” The next day was 9/11, and counting Pentagon dollars was no longer a top priority. (via The Pentagon’s Marauding Fraudsters|Time).

“We know it’s gone. But we don’t know what they spent it on,” said Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service. (via The War On Waste).

DoD financial experts, Zakheim said, are making good progress reconciling the department’s “lost” expenditures, trimming them from a prior estimated total of $2.3 trillion to $700 billion. And, he added, the amount continues to drop. (via Zakheim Seeks To Corral, Reconcile ‘Lost’ Spending).

Problems, solutions, systems and procedures of governance have become standardized across the world.  |  Gary Varvel cartoon of May 18 2012  |  Click for image.

Problems, solutions, systems and procedures of governance have become standardized across the world. | Gary Varvel cartoon of May 18 2012 | Click for image.

In the case of the US$3 trillion (equal to notional loss of 100 2G scams), no arrests, no charge sheets, no court case. Heck, even a police report has not been filed. Thirteen years after the audit report was filed.

And IAC would like to hold the Rajat Gupta conviction as a candle to the 2G prosecution? The U.S. DoD scam was more money than the entire GDP of any other country in the world in 1999.

The Defense Department cannot account for $1.1 trillion that seems to have vanished within the tangled system of financial accounting put in place by private contractors.

Every year trillions of dollars are unaccounted for by federal agencies, and every year these same agencies are called before congressional oversight committees to explain this mismanagement of taxpayers’ funds.

Year after year the bureaucratic mea culpas are longer on process and shorter on substance, leaving overseers with little or no information that is useful to correct the gross mismanagement. Take, for instance, the financial mess at the Department of Defense (DOD).

In May, DOD Deputy Inspector General Robert Lieberman reported to Congress that “the extensive DOD efforts to compile and audit the FY [fiscal year] 2000 financial statements for the department as a whole and for the 10 subsidiary reporting entities like the Army, Navy and Air Force General Funds, could not overcome the impediments caused by poor systems and unreliable documentation of transactions and assets.”

Without ever using the word “money,” a practice common among inspectors general (IGs), the deputy IG at the Pentagon read an eight-page summary of DOD fiduciary failures. He admitted that $4.4 trillion in adjustments to the Pentagon’s books had to be cooked to compile the required financial statements and that $1.1 trillion of that amount could not be supported by reliable information. In other words, at the end of the last full year on Bill Clinton’s watch, more than $1 trillion was simply gone and no one can be sure of when, where or to whom the money went.

via DOD Can’t Find $1.1 TRILLION – Rumsfeld Inherits Financial Disaster.

And this was just one department of the US government. What about other departments?

Weak foundations

The fact is in an expanding State (an idea that IAC supports), executive discretion, latitude are essential – and misuse, abuse, doubtful use can always be alleged. The option is to either reduce the role of the State (which most of these activistas don’t want) or keep a balance between healthy accountability and executive freedom based on trust – and not on paranoia and distrust.

Exactly the opposite of Bharattantra – and all of recorded history.

End of the road. End of the cycle. It is Bharattantra from now on  |  Matt Wuerkar cartoon in politico.com on February 15, 2012  |  Click for image.

End of the road. End of the cycle. It is Bharattantra from now on | Matt Wuerkar cartoon in politico.com on February 15, 2012 | Click for image.

The entire IAC-Anna campaign is based on distrust, paranoia and suspicion. If accountability is what is needed, prosecution like the 2G is the path to be followed. Based on evidentiary basis that will withstand Third Party scrutiny.

Not only was Dimon conflicted in his role on the New York Fed but the President and CEO of the New York Fed had an equally dubious conflict of interest.

William C. Dudley has been employed by the New York Fed since January 1, 2007, first heading up the powerful Markets Group. That Group manages the supply of bank reserves in the banking system according to the mandate of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). On January 27, 2009, Dudley was elevated to President and CEO of the New York Fed. Financial disclosure forms for 2008 through 2010 show that Dudley’s wife, Ann Darby, was a former Vice President of JPMorgan and had holdings of more than $1,500,000 in deferred income accounts at the firm as well as between $250,000 to $500,000 in a 401(K) plan there.

In a letter dated January 22, 2009, authored by the New York Fed’s General Counsel, Thomas C. Baxter, Jr. and Deputy General Counsel, Michael Held, two financial waivers were sought for Dudley. One involved $1.45 million in Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) and the other involved a small monthly pension of $124.38 that Dudley would receive from his previous employer, Goldman Sachs, at age 65. (Dudley’s financial disclosure forms show over $1 million in his Federal Reserve Retirement Thrift Plan, which seems an extraordinary sum for his 5-year tenure. It could be that he was permitted to roll over most of his Goldman pension into the Federal Reserve plan, explaining why his monthly Goldman benefit at age 65 is so small.)

via Revealed: JPMorgan Paid $190,000 Annually to Spouse of Bank’s Top Regulator | Economy | AlterNet.

Similarly, without thinking Indian activistas seem to suggest that Indian Government is the most oppressive – and the US government is the most free and l9iberal.

Facts as delineated earlier in 2ndlook posts are otherwise.

On January 23rd, the Obama administration charged former CIA officer John Kiriakou under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information to journalists about the waterboarding of al-Qaida suspects. His is just the latest prosecution in an unprecedented assault on government whistleblowers and leakers of every sort.

Kiriakou’s plight will clearly be but one more battle in a broader war to ensure that government actions and sunshine policies don’t go together. By now, there can be little doubt that government retaliation against whistleblowers is not an isolated event, nor even an agency-by-agency practice. The number of cases in play suggests an organized strategy to deprive Americans of knowledge of the more disreputable things that their government does. How it plays out in court and elsewhere will significantly affect our democracy.

Punish the Whistleblowers

The Obama administration has already charged more people — six — under the Espionage Act for alleged mishandling of classified information than all past presidencies combined. Prior to Obama, there were only three such cases in American history. (via Obama’s unprecedented war on whistleblowers – Salon.com).


David Loeb

Hindu Muslim Bhai-Bhai – End of an Era

September 1, 2011 1 comment

Urbane, educated, certain local and foreign elements served the British, Pakistani leaders, Indian princes, appealed to Hindus, Muslims using religion – and gained everywhere. But in each case, India lost.

Bhishma on the Bed of Arrows (image source and courtesy - http://www.harekrsna.com). Click for larger image.

Bhishma on the Bed of Arrows (image source and courtesy - http://www.harekrsna.com). Click for larger image.

My grateful  acknowledgments are due to His Highness the Nizam and His  Highness the ruler of Mysore for their princely donations. The  Nizam is a Mahomedan prince. Any contribution coming from him in aid of a work like the Mahabharata could not but  indicate His Highness’s enlightened sympathy for literature in  general, irrespective of the nation or the creed which that  literature represents.  As an administrator, Sir Asman Jah promises to rival the  fame of Sir Salar Jung. So long also as an officer like  Nawab Sayyed Ali Bilgrami is about the person of His Highness … (from the foreword of The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Anusasana Parva) Translated into English prose Published and distributed by Pratapa Chandra Ray Published 1893 by Bharata Press in Calcutta . Written in English).

What’s religion got to do with this?

Soon after the 1857 Anglo-Indian War of 1857, we had the remarkable instance of the Baroda Gaikwad commissioning a ‘Basra’ pearl carpet for the prophet’s tomb at Medina, which was recently auctioned for US$5.5 million.

And here we have the case of a Muslim king, the Nizam of Hyderabad, who partly funded the translation and publication of the Mahabharata in English.

Coming storm

But, this was soon to change.

In 1905, Bengal was partitioned along religious lines, by Lord Curzon. West Bengal, Orissa, and Bihar on one side and the erstwhile East Bengal and Assam were divided into the other part. All India Muslim League and All India Hindu Mahasabha followed. The official logic was that Bengal was too large a province to be administered by a single governor.

An India that seemed possible and probable was brokento two pieces - and a Kashmir legacy left behind.

An India that seemed possible and probable was broken in to two pieces - and a Kashmir legacy left.

This explanation did not account for communal boundaries – and did not explain Curzon’s tour of East Bengal in February 1904, where he promised a separate zone for Muslim Bengalis.

Protests against this partition in the form of Arandhan (no food was cooked across Bengal), boycott of British goods, and Tagore suggested that Raksha Bandhan would be observed in a spirit of brotherhood between Muslims and Hindus. Lord Minto’s ‘reforms’ in 1909, was the next major step in division of India along religious lines.

Simultaneously, soon after the publication of Tarana-e-Hind (Song of India) in 1905, of the sare-jahaan-se-achcha hai-hindustan-hamaraa fame, Iqbal was sponsored by British authorities for ‘modern’ studies in Europe in 1906. In England Allama Iqbal joined with Major Syed Hassan Bilgrami, ex-Indian Medical Service, to form and promote the Muslim League in England, in 1908.

The mechanics of divide et impera

Major Syed Ali Bilgrami wrote the text for Simla deputation, headed by the Sir Sultan Muhammad (the Aga Khan), who with seventy ‘representatives’ of the Muslim community, asked the Viceroy for elections along communal lines.

The immediate cause for the Simla deputation was the matter of language. Soon after 1857, at Benares in 1867, with the expanding role of the State, a case for using Devnagari script was made. This issue simmered and in 1900, the Urdu-Nagri Resolution was notified by Sir Anthony Macdonald, Lieutenant-Governor, United Provinces, in April 1900 giving parity to Hindi as a official-language along with Urdu in UP. Muslim paranoia was watered and nurtured by the British.

By creating claims and supporting counter-claims, responding to alternate parties, the British administration created frenzy around a simple administrative issue. Pakistani historians to this day see this as “the machination of Dr. Feelan, District Inspector of Schools and Anthony Mac Donald, then Collector of Muzaffarpur, the two bitterest antagonists of Urdu”.

Major Syed Ali Bilgrami wrote the Simla address - presented to the Viceroy on October 1st, 1906, calling for separate electorates. (Image source and courtesy - storyofpakistan.com).

Major Syed Ali Bilgrami wrote the Simla address - presented to the Viceroy on October 1st, 1906, calling for communal electorates. (Image source and courtesy - storyofpakistan.com).

The rest of the story, most of us know.

Behind the man

Major Syed Hassan Bilgrami, an academic from Lucknow, was also from the same family as Sayyed Ali Bilgrami. Sayyed Ali Bilgrami was selected for employment by Salar Jung, one of the nobles in Nizam’s kingdom.

Syed Ali Bilgrami (Image source and courtesy - themuslims.in).

Syed Ali Bilgrami (Image source and courtesy - themuslims.in).

Designated as Imud ul-Mulk Bahadur, he presided over the setting up of Dairatul-Maarifil-Osmania, Hyderabad (or the Osmania Oriental Publications Bureau) in 1888. For some time, he was the tutor to the future Nizam of Hyderabad,

Connections everywhere

Sayyed Ali Bilgrami donated his own collection of books, manuscripts and texts to form a core for the Asafia State Library (1891). Of the initial nearly 24,000 volumes, nearly 16,000 were Persian, Arabic or Urdu. Some 7600 were in English and other European languages. There was, of course, no place for any books in Hindi, Telugu, Sanskrit, Marathi, Kannada – which was the languages used by more than 95% of the Nizam Kingdom’s population.

Sayyed Ali Bilgrami studied at Kolkatta where he also learned Sanskrit – and later translated the Atharva Veda. That possibly explains Sayyed Ali Bilgrami links to Kisari Mohan Ganguli and the publication of Mahabharata by Pratapa Chandra Ray – and funding through the Nizam Government.

Soon after 1905, Sayyed Ali Bilgrami became an activist in affairs of Urdu and Muslim affairs. Another member of the family, active academically, was Syed Asghar Ali Bilgrami who published Ma ‘athir-i-Dakan (Hyderabad, 1925) in Urdu and another study in English, called Landmarks of the Deccan (Hyderabad, 1927).

Collaboration Chronicles

Urbane, educated, the Bilgramis served the British, Pakistan, Indian princes, appealed to Hindus, Muslims – and gained everywhere. Post-independence, some of the Bilgramis moved to Pakistan. A few members of the family chose to remain in Hyderabad, and other parts of India. Today, they can be found in the UK, Germany, UAE – and many emigrated to the US.

This translation of the Mahabharata, by Kisari Mohan Ganguli and publication by Pratapa Chandra Ray, for which one of the Bilgramis arranged funding, remains the most popular and accessible work of the last 100 years.

Below are book extracts from a rather revealing and well-researched work on British colonialism in India.

Chronicles of Collaboration. Excerpts from Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic identity: the search for Saladin  By Akbar S. Ahmed, pages 56 and 64). Click to go source at books.google.com

Chronicles of Collaboration. Excerpts from Jinnah, Pakistan and Islāmic identity: the search for Saladin By Akbar S. Ahmed, pages 56 and 64). Click to go source at books.google.com

Lethargy As Opinion

August 16, 2011 3 comments

Examining governance records of selected ten premiere post-WWII governments across the world could throw up some surprises.

Colonial motivations

The British Raj needed to mock and diminish the Indian politician. The Indian political leader was trying to dislodge the colonial Government from their position of power. Churchill’s famous descriptions of Gandhiji as ‘that naked fakir’ and Indian politicians as ‘men of straw’ was a sentiment shared across ruling elites in Britain.

Seems like in India, too

Post-independence, this mockery of the Indian politician has only grown. This criticism, carping and mockery has no basis in fact – statistics, measurements, performance metrics. Anything at all.

The drag government’s been on the Indian story is astonishing. No government in the world’s been such a burden to a country. It’s done none of the things it’s meant to while it seems to eye private success with greed. There’s only so long this frame can hold…

One of the things making me happiest in America was the man coming up was celebrated. In India, I sense disgust, revulsion for that person, that he should suddenly have aspirations, riches, ambitions. In Noon, I’ve tried to get at this. (via ‘I think of myself as Indian in a sense that includes Pakistan’ – Page 2 – Times Of India).

Aatish Taseer, whose books and writings have been met with much fanfare, publicity and soundbites, is another one who bites into the dust of empty criticism.

If we are to examine governance records of selected ten premiere post-WWII governments across the world, Taseer’s emptiness (he is not alone) will stand exposed.

These 10 governments four from Europe (France, Germany, Italy and UK), two from South America (Argentina and Brazil) Japan and USA, China and India. Looking back at the 65 years after WWII (1945-2010), the context and strategies of these ten countries throws up some surprises. India would definitely be a part of the Top-3 anyway that such a performance can be rated.

Image source and courtesy - economist.com.

Image source and courtesy - economist.com.

Just on what basis have other governments have done better? All that bedevils Indian governance are present in all other countries. And the answer to all that ails ‘modern’ governance, can only come from India.

You can do a 10 country evaluation here and vote. And maybe, Taseer-miya …

You should read about भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra, .

Tendu leaves – How Maoist-Govt Cabal loot Adivasis

June 13, 2011 3 comments
The Maoists-Naxals are fighting the Government for rights to extract from the adivasi. The adivasis have a choice. Pay protection money to the Government or to Maoists-Naxals. (Cartoon by Morparia; courtesy - development-dialogues.blogspot.com). Click for larger image.

The Maoists-Naxals are fighting the Government for rights to 'exploit' the adivasi. The adivasis have a choice. Pay protection money to the Government or to Maoists-Naxals. Right now they are paying both - the State and the Maoist Naxal. (Cartoon by Morparia; courtesy - development-dialogues.blogspot.com). Click for larger image.

Dried tendu leaf used fo rolling bidis.

Dried tendu leaf used fo rolling bidis.

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

TENDU LEAVES, A major forest produce used for making bidis, is the main source of income for the tribal people in Chhattisgarh.  (Photo source and courtesy - hinduonnet.com).

TENDU LEAVES, A major forest produce used for making bidis, is the main source of income for the tribal people in Chhattisgarh. (Photo source and courtesy - hinduonnet.com).

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).

Tendu leaves

Tendu leaves

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.

And the Maoist- Naxalites are fighting with the State for ‘exploitation-of-adivasis‘ rights.

Last train out

January 9, 2011 4 comments
EXULTANT Militants waiting to cheer an assassin threw rose petals. (Picture courtesy - nytimes.com; picture by B. K. Bangash/Associated Press)

EXULTANT Militants waiting to cheer an assassin threw rose petals. (Picture courtesy - nytimes.com; picture by B. K. Bangash/Associated Press)

In Pakistan,

the ruling elite cannot be expected to change things because the majority already has one foot out of the door. Most members of the ruling elite have dual nationality, which means that if the situation deteriorates further they can always leave, along with their capital. This saves them from taking responsibility for improving social conditions and the country’s politics for the benefit of all. http://is.gd/krkPC

Who cares …

On 4th January, 2011, Salman Taseer died. Shot dead by his own body guard. His support for non-Islamic minorities in Pakistan coupled with his support for removal of blasphemy laws from statute books angered extremists. Leading to this killing. Salmaan Taseer’s other bodyguards did nothing against the killer. Many ‘powerful people’, afraid, did not attend Taseer’s funeral.

Like this author points out, the State of Pakistan is in the hands of people who have interests, capital, and a life outside Pakistan. Pakistan needs complete, total commitment.

Anybody home?

Another hate crime

On the other side of the world, on Saturday 8th January, 2011, in the advanced world, there was a similar incident. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, during a public event at a Safeway grocery store on the north side of Tucson, was shot.

Call to arms! Against Gabrielle Giffords. What is the diference between USA and Pakistan!

Call to arms! Against Gabrielle Giffords. What is the difference between USA and Pakistan!

Giffords — who in 2006 became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, at 36 — has, for more than a year, been the target of violence-tinged rhetoric from political opponents and of threats that appear to have come from right-wing activists.

Sarah Palin’s political action committee posted a map of the US, showing the locations of the 20 Democratic members of Congress, including Giffords, it was targeting for defeat. Each location was marked by an image of a gun crosshairs.

Palin’s camp dismissed charges that she was encouraging acts of violence, saying she had spoken out against violence. But Giffords herself was one of many who spoke out against the image, telling MSNBC: “When people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.”

In June, the campaign of Giffords’ Republican opponent in this year’s midterms, Jesse Kelly, placed an ad that read: “Get on target for victory in November/ Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office/ Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

The website for Kelly, a former US Marine, depicted him with holding an automatic weapon.

Today, Kelly said in a tweet: “We are all deeply saddened by this morning’s shooting. Gabrielle Giffords, the other victims, and their families are in our prayers.”

It is unclear why Gabrielle Giffords was shot. Was is it because she ‘approached the immigration debate in a nuanced fashion, mixing requests for more Border Patrol agents with calls to increase the number of work visas granted to foreigners.’ Or was because she was the first Jewish woman to be elected Congresswoman from Arizona.

Sarah Palin's and the vicious right wing agenda. Chickens come home to roost.

Sarah Palin's and the vicious right wing agenda. Chickens come home to roost.

Desert Bloc parallels

Gabrielle Gifford and Salman Taseer were ‘marked’ for supporting ‘Others’. Christian intolerance, Islamic extremism. Any difference. Sympathy for ‘kaffirs‘ killed Salman Taseer; supporting ‘aliens’ hurt Gabrielle Gifford. USA & Pakistan-Siamese twins?

Pakistan is evading the blasphemy issue. USA will ‘investigate’ if xenophobia behind Gabrielle Gifford attack. Christian intolerance + Islamic extremism = Desert Bloc behavior. Proof  – Attacks on Gabrielle Gifford & Salman Taseer.Last train out

After putting Gabrielle Giffords in the cross, the job of pulling the trigger was left to some 'radical'.

After putting Gabrielle Giffords in the cross-hairs, the job of pulling the trigger was left to some 'radical'.

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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