Related posts , 
During the 19th century it was generally assumed that like mechanical waves, the electromagnetic waves too travel through a medium.
This medium assumed to be of very low density pervaded whole of universe. The medium was called aether. Even Maxwell who made a breakthrough in field of electro-magnetism assumed the existence of ether.
Now enter Morley and Michelson. They set up an experiment to measure the speed of earth through ether. The experiment was very sophisticated, when carried out however it was a total failure and made the duo famous in the history of experimental physics.
The set up was refined further but the result was same, i.e. failure. This was sought to be explained with many theories.
Then came Einstein with his special theory of relativity and occam’s razor. He argued that since ether can not be measured and since his theory of relativity can explain propagation of electro-magnetic waves, any assumptions about ether are unnecessary. It was in this way that concept of ether was slowly discarded.
Now let us come to Pakistan. Wise people argue that it is necessary to make a distinction between state of Pakistan and people of Pakistan in the context of terrorism.
It can be countered (as in case of ether) with, that there is no demonstrable evidence in support of this assumption and even if (for arguments sake) it is taken as true, the only conclusions one can draw is that either people of Pakistan are unable or unwilling to force the state to change its course, hence this assumption is at best useless and at worst impedes one from arriving at a conclusion.
A more consistent assumption will be to assume the opposite that as far as terrorism against India is concerned there is not much difference between state and people of Pakistan, this assumption can be tentatively supported by available evidence.
Hence India should be able to resolve terrorism by this approach.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Related posts , 
When I didn’t know better, I also thought that personal attacks on politicians will wake up our leaders to the menace of terrorism. Now though I have second thoughts about this.
The reason is while feeling of revenge can be a useful handle to trigger desirable responses, even this approach assumes a certain level of spine and an intellect gifted with ability of dispassionate analysis, I am afraid our leaders simply don’t have these requisites (they do however have an almost animal instinct of cunning, which is employed in domestic politics).
In a way there is a symmetry in that, has persistent terrorist attacks woken up Indian public from comfortable numbness of superficial rhetoric ? Evidence suggests not.
One of the silliest catchphrases that I have often heard is mugged by reality.
Granted reality is many times a lurker, that it has within itself “unknown unknowns” and it is bound to spring surprises on the unsuspecting.
However when someone trots this excuse for ignoring terrorism for so long, one can not but feel pity for him. Because , in this case the reality was not hiding in some dark alley waiting to pounce upon the idealistic. Truth is, reality was there in open, in all its hideous glory, in Afghanistan, in Saudi Arabia, in Pakistan, existing as a festering sore in the Ummah. No, problem was not with the reality. Problem was with idealist, he forgot that there is but a thin line between ideals and delusion. For sake of utopia, the reality was given a short shrift, the violence was sought to be explained away in terms of moral equivalence or to be buried under the rhetoric’s of circles of revenge.
A dream was woven from the daintiest of fabric and the idealist covered himself with it.
Psychedelic was embraced; the vital (though inconvenient) was shunned.
Therefore what happened on a chilly morning was not a crime of reality; reality was just working through cause and effect towards what was inevitable. What happened on that day was shattering of the illusion, ripping away of the fabric, a reminder of the reality.
It was not reality who landed; it was the idealist who did.
Let me also say Indians will never land. Because we don’t have any ideals. Indians are, for a long time, condemned to be fettered in chain of self abnegation, we made slaves of ourselves in past and we continue to do so.No one can wake up one who has willfully chosen extinction. India resembles a dodo who has grown up the size of elephant
Saturday, July 29, 2006
This is a request to Gods of afterworld (is the concerned authority The Rock, well never mind).
Can they resurrect Stanley Kubrick and bring him in front of me ?
Because I want to torture him in most painful ways, his cries will be sweet music to my ears.
Once he leaves for the hot country from torment, then, well repeat the process.
(Just saw 2001: A Space Odessey)
What is wrong with western directors? They can make a documentry of even the most interesting novels
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 3:17 am
Thursday, July 27, 2006
क्षमा शोभती उस भुजंग को जिसके पास गरल हो,
वह क्या, जो विषहीन दंतहीन विनीत सरल हो
राष्ट्र कवि रामधारी सिंह दिनकर
Translation (A poor one):
Kindness befits the serpent who posseses the venom,
what of him who has no poison, no fangs and who is weak and meek.
By Ramdhari Singh Dinkar
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 2:50 pm
The simplest is Pakistan is Islamic republic, call me bigoted but I protest being in relation with Islamic republics. Neighbours yes, brothers my foot.
In case there is distaste over what I said, I hope this will help
Jihad to remain in school books in Pakistan (Via Indian Express)
Stating this, Pakistan Education Minister Asharaf Qazi pointed out that "jihad has many dimensions which also includes self-negation. We will teach students the full concept of jihad''.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has already rejected a suggestion from moderate Islamic scholars that religious studies should be introduced only after Class V.
While the lower classes would have several aspects of Islam in the curriculum, Qazi said students in Classes XI and XII would be taught the 39 selected chapters that contained an introduction to jihad, its importance and forms in the light of the scriptures.
Now I am not sure about Jihad, may be it means what Osama says, may be it doesn't, but is there any need to teach kids about this stuff! And remember this is not curriculum of Madarassa, prescribed to normal Pakistani school and what an average across the border kid has to learn. What wonder if that kid grows up to suspect India in the best case and hate Hindus in the worst case.
But point is not just Jihad, there is a larger issue.
I believe that religion has a purpose, I believe religious beliefs provides the vitality behind civilization, however I also believe that to even begin to understand the vastness of religion, one needs maturity and circumspection, both of which can only come with wisdom acquired through age and education.Therefore for me the purpose of education is to introduce a child to contemplation and an exercise meant to train the mind.
Indoctrination of the impressionable minds through religious studies can not achieve this purpose, on the contrary it stifles the intellect at best making a child, as ancient* saying goes "a frog croaking in a pond"* *full of verbiage but devoid of intellect, and at worst a mindless lunatic seeking nothing but shiqwah (or injury) in present and nothing but glory in the past.
Therein lies the path to destruction of a civilization.
*Why are all sayings ancient ? Why can't one quote from, for example Indian Idol or Ekta Kapoor Serials ?
** This has nothing to do with the only reader (and commentator) of this blog. Except for the fact that he reads this blog, I do not think there is anything wrong with him.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:35 am
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I hereby bequeath to editor in chief of Indian Express the moniker of "Jayachand Gupta".
Reason this piece of wisdom in newskweek (Via Rajeev Srinivasan).
The piece starts with the Goebbelsian truth, "The bombers failed in their goal—to foment violence between Hindus and Muslims. " but this is hardly a case for renaming the idiot, for that you should have the forebearance to dig through the article
"Most of the people who ride in "first-class" train compartments in the city come from traditional business communities. They are upper-caste Hindu—and also, largely, Gujarati. That's important, for the large-scale killing of Muslims in Mumbai's neighboring western state of Gujarat, in 2001, is a blot on India's democracy, and a permanent scar in the minds of Muslims."
Forget for the moment the fact that these secular scumbags spread this lie, without providing any evidence in any support. Having travelled in first class compartments in Mumbai (on all the three lines) for two years, I find this idea of categorizing beyond absurd. In fact by attempting to further their secular agenda by implying that somehow the carnage was justified this enters well into territory of abhorrent.
One would like to submit, at risk of rising secular rage of Mr. Shekhar "I am secular"Gupta and others of his ilk, that if the purpose of carnage was to kill Gujarati Upper Caste Hindus, the terrorist would have found it more convenient to achieve the goal in, you know, Gujarat.
That they did not chose to do it was that either they were dumb (or to be precise dumb enough to select the target, but smart enough to assemble the bomb and handle the timers), or they were not really targetting Upper Caste Hindu Gujaratis.
I dismiss the former case as contradiction in terms, therefore the only reason for Mr blabbermouth of courage forwarding this revolting theory is to demonize Gujaratis for the reason that they chose to elect Mr Modi. I submit that by indulging in such kind of slander (against victims) there is no difference between the journalist of knavery and Mulayam Singh Yadav.
But this disgusting display of deception and lies doesn't stop here, right in middle comes
"On the other side, in April Hindu fanatics bombed the Jama Masjid, the stately 17th-century mosque in old Delhi that is an abiding symbol of Islam in the Subcontinent"
Excuse me, this is news to me! There has been no evidence that there is hand of any Hindu group, even the Shahi Imam Bukhari did not make any claim like that.
If the liar-in chief insinuates such lies, one can only wonder how far the road of self deception has he travelled.
I swear that I will punch the next person who praises Shekhar Gupta. The moron is by virtue of his propoganda as guilty of murdering the Indians as the terrorists.
PS WDE has written here, Nitin wrote about these lies here.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:40 pm
I am getting sick and tired of this " terrorist wanted to spark communal violence" meme.
As fas as cluelessness goes, this one takes the cake. In case someone might not have realized it yet, the relations between Hindus and Muslims have always been tenuous in India. This didn't start in 80's, this have been the story of past many centuries.
This doesn't mean that everywhere in India Hindus and Muslims have been baying for each other's blood during all these centuries. Lucknow for example after the bloodshed by Delhi sultanat did not see many riots, In general the area of oudh and bhojpur was not witness to heightened tension. I think (though I am not sure) TamilNaadu also remained by and large peaceful.
But to extend this to assert that but for few extremist elements belonging to either religion, the coexistence has been peaceful is a grievous folly.The nature of Islamic conquest meant that from time to time existence between the two religions in most of the places became very tense, often resulting in violence.
C0ntrary to what people may believe partition was not act of God, but a result of brinkmanship between a section of muslim intellectuals and Congress (perceived to be Hindu) The result of this acrimonous and bitter history is that in India it is very easy to start a communal conflagration. Bhiwandi and Vadodara are examples of this.
Therefore if the aim of terrorists was to provoke communal backlash rumour mongering is a much more effective weapon as compared to RDX (especially considering that past terrorist attacks have failed to give rise to any communal frenzy, thankfully).
Yet I find it disappointing that even otherwise insightful columnists ( Anil Athalay for example) persist with this meme thus helping the
It is imperative to resolve communal divide in order to establish a peaceful society. However playing to victimhood of Ummah, minority appeasement and attempting to reconcile the two parties by pretending that there is no historical context is sheer insanity.The first step towards reconcilation is to admit that yes there exist problems and the second step is yes they can be resolved.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 11:04 am
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Although the order to block blogspot has been rescinded, there is no need to feel very happy.
Why is that? Consider how the event unfolded.
Apparently some officer in DOT (allegedly on advice of intelligence agencies) sent a list to block some sites, ISPs in zeal to comply blocked the complete domain. When bloggers noticed that the platforms were blocked they raised hue and cry, persistent effort by bloggers and media ensured that the ban was lifted (in a way)
But what is disconcerting that some unaccountable bureaucrats holds power to restrict speech. What is even more a matter of concern that these powers are exercised in a very arbitrary manned. To make matters worse there is no transparency or accountability, that is there is no obligation on government to explain or even inform about its actions & decision to citizens.
In a way it was forunate that ISPs blocked the whole domain if instead of few sites (as was ordered by the GOI order), it was this blatant attempt at censoring which made everyone realize with a start the extent of bureaucratic stranglehold on our freedom.
Our constitution hands over discretionary (and arbitrary ) power to government to limit our freedom of expression, the result is that there is every potential that government can (and does) attempt to limit our freedom (economic or political) . It can be in name of national security or social justice, but the end result is same increase of government control.
This attempt is continuous and the censorship is creeping. If the media and bloggers had not shown such activism, I am reasonably sure that this ban would have stayed in place.
Since the bureaucracy doesn't want to be accountable to public, especially when it is wrong, it is guaranteed that all attempts to prevent the truth from coming out would have been attempted.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 8:20 pm
President receives 'threatening' e-mail
The mail was sent from yahoo.
This means babus will have to ban yahoo, makes sense doesn't it ?
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:44 pm
This is true violence without purpose is reprehensible. But sometimes there are circumstances where violence is not only neccessary but also the most honourable course to follow.
War is such a time, when war is neccessary then the soldier is not punished for violence but awarded for killing enemies, this ofcourse goes with natural instinct for survival.
Then applying the above quoted adage is fallacious in all the situations. This is because while in many situations "an eye for eye" may result in world becoming blind, in other situations not acting on it may result in a person becoming blind and trampled.
The criteria to distinguish between these two situations has been indicated above, do not commit violence for sake of revenge, but do commit for sake of self - defense. In other it is perfectly moral (infact the only morality) to harm other's eye (or at the least maintain a credible capability and demonstrable intention to commit it) if it can save your eye.
Indians do not realise it but terrorism is a form of war, violence is unleashed to achieve a purpose, to weaken Indian state and society, so far due to sheer size India is coping with this problem. It is not clear however for how long India can resist it, already we are hearing of Muslim Pradesh , considering that Indians disrespect history, it is anyone's guess when history will again teach a lesson to Indians.
There are two perspective on the issue of terrorism. One perspective gives priority to moral highground other gives to lives of Indian citizens. I belong to the latter category, unfortunately we remain in minority.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:29 pm
When we accuse America of being a bully and in the next sentence whine about how America is not rescuing India from terrorism we do ourselves a disservice.
Not because it is hypocrisy or opportunism (indeed international politics is nothing if not these), but because it is pointless moral melodrama, which is devoid of any undestanding about international relations and worse even our self interest.
So if we want to beat America with some stick atleast be consistent and choose one stick.
And while we are ar it, please stop criticizing Israels. Israelis protect their fellow citizens, which is more than we can say about ourselves.
As I said Israel rocks
Update: Nitin has a much more sensbile take
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 2:52 pm
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
So the variables are resolved
X = Terrorism
Y = Making Pakistan see the reason
Y' = Banning Blogspot.
Doesn't it give everyone warm feeling to know that our government is so concerned to save Indians from pajama wearing bloggers.
Ofcourse there is no security threat when Prakash Karat hobnobs with Maoists, Mulayam Singh Yadav openly panders to likes of SIMI or when Foreign policy is communalised.
Frankly speaking when Gaurav Sabnis wrote about it, I couldn't believe it. Turns out that that idiocy is bureaucracy is unbounded.
PS. While I am not able to open blogspot blogs, I am able to open dashboard, so I am not sure.
On pinging 18.104.22.168, the request is timed out, while 22.214.171.124 is OK
Update: My friend who has a reliance account tried to access blogspot and says blogspot is blocked. Welcome Big Lady !
Another Update: Following bloggers have written on this latest stupidity
Nitin, Arnab, Amit Varma, Desipundit, Abi, Saket, DhoomKetu, Amit
MSM references: Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Financial Express, The Blog Herald, The Economic Times, Business Standard.
Following sites are for latest information
Wiki, Bloggers Collective
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 9:25 pm
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:46 am
Monday, July 17, 2006
I realize that as a journalist, words are immaterial for you. Also granted that Journalists are more preoccupied with fitting reality into narratives than vice - versa.However that still doesn't justify your article in Indian Express.
Do not get me wrong, it is no one's case that Mumbai has no problem. Also conceded that many problems arise simply due to venality and sloth of political class and bureaucracy.Roads, Traffic, Electricity, Water, Drainage these all could have been much better than the present state where every monsoon many parts of Mumbai are marooned.
However what one doesn't understand is what it has to do with terrorism.
Terror attacks are problems at National level, to expect local leaders to tackle terrorism is beyond absurd as is connecting outrage with terrorism to local problems.*
Because that way lies the path of obfuscation, and contrary to what old saw said ignorance is not bliss, instead it is a hell lot of pain.
Terrorism is not going away any time soon, more so if incoherent and self serving approach of our political class is to be considered.
Terrorist are going to inflict pain and destruction to Indians (which includes me), Mumbai being financial capital of India can expect more than fair share of it, as can Banglore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi. It is absolutely essential that Indians understand this and act accordingly.
*Actually local leaders can do something, by not paying secretarian politics.
Addendum: While we are at it, can we please go easy on filmi isshtyle "Mumbaikars will teach terrorists a lesson" schtick. While this grandstanding one can withstand, I think it is time to "get real". Terrorism is a national problem and it has to be tackled at national level
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 9:49 pm
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Assumptions matter, whether in detective stories or securing the country.
One such assumption is that by and large Pakistani awaam is in favour of friendship with India, it is in favour of peace and would like nothing more than to move along, and it is only Pakistani Army which is against it.
This is interesting, in light of bombay blasts.
One wonders, if Paskitani public feels the way we are assured it does, why is Pakistani public silent? Why is there no reaction?
Ok, the last bit in not technically correct. There have been reactions,
1) Condemnation of the blasts.
2) Denial of Pakistani involvement
1) doesn't matter much one way or other (I mean, what are they going to say? It was a good thing !)
2) is more interesting if Pakistan is not involved then something is amiss, I do not believe this however, that is I believe that there is involvement of state of Pakistan
3) ofcourse negates 1)
So if Pakistani public wants to be friend with India, why is there no reaction against Pakistani state? Why are they silent? Why don't they ask their government to stop the terrorism?
(With the possible exception of out-of-power and exiled politicians)
May be our assumption is incorrect then? May be Pakistani junta desire to move along and be friends with Indians is not strong enough to condemn and renounce resolution of disputes through extremely coercive and violent methods.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 5:26 am
Friday, July 14, 2006
Don Corleone: I'm a superstitious man, and if some unlucky accident should befall Michael - if he is to be shot in the head by a police officer, or be found hung dead in a jail cell... or if he should be struck by a bolt of lightning - then I'm going to blame some of the people in this room; and then I do not forgive. But with said, I pledge - on the souls of my grandchildren - that I will not be the one to break the peace that we have made today. [Link]
This too has to do with terrorism
Update: Don Nitin delievers a fish (or rather fish tank) [Ref]
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 8:07 pm
Further assume it can solved by implementing procedure Y,
Now assume that there is another procedure (call it Y') which has much more low cost (in terms of thought process involved, as well as resolve needed) that doesn't solve X but distract from it.
The return to government is same in both the cases that is publicity, opportunity to hog podium.
So question is, What is more likely ?
Government will go for Y or it will go for Y' ?
This has something to do with terrorism
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 6:36 pm
Outraged by the bomb blasts Manmohan issues a stern warning to land of pure,
"Cease or we will stop talking to you. No we mean it, really, really". [Link]
The Enlightened dictator must be quaking with fear.
Is it me or Indian polity has lost the resolve and will to defend country.
Sad part is from the knee jerk response of the BJP, one can only guess that it is interested in scoring political points and sees nothing beyond oneupmanship.
If example of that low life scum Mulayam Singh Yadav was not enough, I present you another inhabitant of gutter
Fallout of city's extreme politics?
The writer of this article deserve to spokesperson for LeT
"The mostly widely believed reason for Tuesday's serial bomb blasts is the confrontation between two extremist political forces in Mumbai's politics. The Shiv Sena on the one side and Muslim reactionary forces on the other. This is being widely seen as most explicable reason for the escalating violence that erupted into this unpardonable calamity of Tuesday's serial blasts on the Western Railway."
Two extemist political forces ? Who are they ?
"Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray had on Sunday evening, after the six hours of Shiv Sainiks going on a rampage, said in a fit of bravado that "those who think that they can provoke us have now got their answer." He was referring to the fact that the Shiv Sena was a united force and could hit back at people who provoke them. The people he had in mind were the ones who created the confrontation between the police and the people in Bhiwandi. This led to the brutal killing of two policemen in civilian clothes." "The Shiv Sena's rampage in the city on Sunday following the defacement of the statue of Meenatai, wife of Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, has been seen as a show of strength after the Bhiwandi rioting. The Shiv Sena has a growing presence in Bhiwandi and has been in confrontation with Samajwadi Party city unit chief Abu Azmi, who had lost in the last Assembly elections from Bhiwandi."
Defacement of Meena Tai's statue related to violence in Bhiwandi ! Come again, Sherlock Holmes.
"The reply to Uddhav's statement, which was quite a challenge, came in the form of the 30 minutes that saw eight bombs rip through the Western Railway network killing over 200 people, injuring over 500 and left several scores missing. These unnamed forces Uddhav Thackeray mentioned (only he knew to whom he was referring) struck back to show that their power was more lethal than looting and going on a rampage."
So, the writer is implying that a well coordinated plan was hatched up, the explosives and times brought and executed within a week ?? What is this moron smoking.Category : India, Secularism, Politics, Media
We will wipe out terrorism: India
If only cabinet resolutions and vacuous rhetoric could do this.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 12:52 pm
Because it kicks ass, because it values lives of its citizen,because it doesn't forget and because it doesn't forgive.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 12:25 pm
Thursday, July 13, 2006
The blood of victims has yet to dry and this despicable scum has already started.
'SIMI not a terrorist organisation' (Via rediff)
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 5:45 pm
This is a rant
Dear Mr. Verma,
I hope you realize security and foreign affairs are not your forte, neither is Indian history (after all why will be you interested in history of a nation you can't bring yourself to respect without feeling as if your exalted libertarian ethos have been raped by grubby nationalists*).
So I can only request you not to weigh on matters about which you know nothing. Please continue to post about logical fallacies and how atheists are most persecuted minority, that is totally becoming of you.
Your admirer (Not)
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 11:35 am
Dear middle class people, please do not be shocked about what happened
in Mumbai yesterday.
This is not the first time, and be assured this won't be the last time.
Since Indians are text book case of dhimmis, it is not for us to show outrage.
Our dharma is to be meek fatalist & spineless pacifist, take whatever
our neighbour dishes out and when one one cheek is injured, turn the
I am reasonably sure that nothing will come out of outrage and self -
Soon people to people contacts, buses across borders, and confidence
building measures will resume.
A group is judged by its intinct for survival, considering our
response to terrorist attacks if we are to be judged we can only be
judged as flocks of birds whose place faith upon safety in numbers.
Nations which do not take heed, which deniy survival instinct, do not
deserve to survive.
If Indians remain in their bubble of cross border camaraderie and
mirage of root causes do not deserve to remain under one nation. We
deserve to be subjugated and enslaved.
India is a nation of eternal Gunga dins
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 2:01 am
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Solve real issues to counter extremism: Pakistan
Damn right, the real issue here is Pakistan, let's fix the land of pure !
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 3:08 pm
I think terrorists have failed,
if popular wisdom is to be believed the intention of bomb blast to disrupt "communal harmony"
well it has not been disrupted as it did not disrupt in 1993 , 2003, Ayudhaya, Varanasi, Akshardham, Delhi come to think of it except Godhra (where VHP activists immolated themselves inorder to defame Pakistan*) there has never been any retaliation after a major terrorist attack.
So, you know may be the aim of the terrorist attack was to kill Indians and evoke terror.
* Will I get to write in NYT ??
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 2:00 pm
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
It is like a bad nighmare
7 blasts on Mumbai trains, 104 killed
What can Indians do, we can think later.
At present I am trying to contact my relatives, unfortunately network is busy.
I pray that everyone whom I know (in person or via blogs) and their near & dear are well
( Considering more than hundred have died, ironically my prayer for someone's well being translates into death of others, it is so wretched )
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 9:36 pm
It is ironical how many people just refuse to get it.
Take for example case of our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, or to be more precise infantile fascination of our middle class with dubious legacy of gentle doctor.
Let’s deconstruct the man.
First consider the myth or at any rate embellished narrative of economic liberalization.
Manmohan Singh is hailed as the architect of 1991 reform.
This is wrong, on two counts
First India reformed not because her leaders had a moment of clarity, but because World Bank made them do so.
Second, the idea of reform was not brought down by Manmohan Singhji from some mountain. In addition to being a pre-condition of the World Bank loans, there were many economists and politicians since time of Chacha Nehru who vociferously pointed out the folly of central planning and socialism. Instead they advocated adopting free market and capitalism for much needed industrial growth, that is to say reform as a prescription to “secular rate of growth” was not really unknown.
However vote bank politics and vice like grip of socialists meant that even when the follies of Nehru were realized, Indian leaders (to be precise Gandhi Dynasty) continued on the path of bankruptcy. If credit for reforms should go to anyone it should go to P. V. Narsimha Rao because it was due to his backing that bureaucrat turned politician Manmohan Singh could achieve what he did. Hence to call Manmohan Singh architect of reform is pure exaggeration.
Second, a Prime Minister is supposed to lead the country. He is also supposed to present a cogent image of government’s policy and most important he is supposed to support his ministers to the hilt in implementation of the policy. When Prime Minister fails to carry out what is expected to him, he is a failure. It is immaterial if he is a poet or surgeon or economist or noble laureate or reincarnation of Bhagwan VishnuGod.
From failing to prevent disastrous reservation policy, to tax and spend welfare schemes, to dismal state of infrastructure, to return of state interference, Manmohan is a failure without a question. His regimen reminds one of Sleepy Gowda or clueless Gujral. Last two years have seen gradual erosion of central authority, emergence of parallel power centres, ministers (of Congress and Allies) pursuing populist and divisive politics to further their narrow agenda.
And yet Manmohan Singh emerges unscathed out of this mess.
Somehow Manmohan Singh on account of his white kurtas is absolved of any blame, instead his image of a gentle academician is used to create a false and most pernicious dichotomy of a noble Manmohan Singh thwarted by villains of the story that is overambitious and cussed ministers, of Congress and allies.
Granted that ELM has shed even any pretense of neutrality and joined the court of 10 Janpath, but when the breakdown of governance is apparent to all, shouldn’t the leadership of Manmohan Singh and what is more the man himself should be put under scanner ? Shouldn’t the question be if the governance is rotten what does it say about Manmohan Singh. If blame for failure is to be put anywhere it should not be on individual ministers, it should be on Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi.
Sooner the Indian middle class comes out of self induced delusions, the better it will be for India.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 8:38 pm
Saturday, July 08, 2006
In earlier post I had commented that western civilization doesn't face any outside challenge. While terrorism poses a serious threat to western nations, western civilization can easily tide over it. The more serious challenge to west emanates within.
Related to this Cynical Nerd and Jaffna had posted on tensions within existing European nations.
I do not think even the formation of new nations is any danger to Europe because it doesn't change the nature of civilization.
Simply put the problem the west faces is decay and disintegration of civilization. A civilization is justified by the primary instincts of humanity.These instincts are survival and growth. Therefore even the most fundamental and bedrock principles are to be judged in light of accordance with these instincts.It is here that Europe flounders because it is unanchored from these instincts in a rapidly changing world.
Modern Europe upholds freedom as its value. The notion of freedom is a result of historical period which began with crusades and rediscovering of Greek roots and culminated in enlightenment.
When European philosopher's acclaimed freedom as the most cherished value of a civilization, they meant it as a mean the goal being enlightenment and self realization. The intellectuals believed that a society where one can speak without fear of oppression by authority and in which person could tolerate contrary view points would be a break from a violent history and a man will be able to pursue self –improvement without any dread. Yet freedom was never mean as unlimited license
However Europe has lost sight of it. Freedom has become an end in itself; it has been mistaken to mean permissiveness. Europeans have elevated fascination with individualism to fetish. There is no attempt to evaluate except in terms of keeping the individual unencumbered with social responsibility.As the sense of social identity disappears, so is the culture and with it any ability to even contemplate the expression of civilization.Dismantling of social bonds has meant that family as a social unit, and marriage as social institution are increasingly under strain.
This translates into falling birth rate in Europe. In almost all the European nations the birth rate has fallen below the replacement level. Traditionally children were considered as social safety nets, however welfare state has meant that there is no incentive to start a family.
Further traditional faith has upheld family as an institution. However with the decline of faith, the sanctity of family is gone.
There is another effect, since many decades Europe allowed immigration from Turkey and North Africa. No attempt was meant to provide incentives to immigrants to assimilate within European society, instead ghettos were allowed to form in European cities. Segregation borne out of indifference has meant that as the population of immigrants who are from completely different culture increases, Europeans find their future increasingly uncertain. The tendency to tolerate what is not out of wishy washy utopian idealism and a sense of shallow self indulgence has resulted in rise of radicalism among immigrant community, which challenge traditional European values.
Various incidents in past few years have clearly demonstrated the result of European short sightedness. As demography of Europe change and the prospect of transformation of Europe into Eurabia look more and more real, there is a need for Europe to rediscover their roots and heritage, and insist that immigrants accept those values, this is only path to her redemption.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 1:48 am
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Dr Venugopal director of AIIMS and a renowned doctor has been sacked from the post by Dr Ramadoss.
Commenting on this GB said that his dismissal is a suppression of right of speech. [link]
I do not quite agree with his view.
Government could have been accused of suppression, if Venugopal had criticized as a private citizen, however the relationship between him and government was that of a employee and employer.
To give an analogy suppose a GM in a private concern criticizes his superior in media, if the company terminates him it will be perfectly justified. The reason for this is any employee is bound by the contract of employment and hence his right of free speech is proscribed while at employer's time and on issues concerning employer.
As GB later clarified he makes a distinction between a person employed in private sector and public sector. While there is not very well defined way to draw a line between the role of person as a private citizen and that of a employee, a employee in private sector or public sector is bound by the terms of employment. [link]
This is not to say there can not be other grounds to raise question dismissal of Venugopal.
As per media reports the issue of dismissal was not in agenda of meeting and further there was no voting (the issue decided by voice vote) . If the procedures has not been followed there is a chance that judiciary can give relief to Dr Venugopal. [link]
Therefore while it may be violation of procedures it is not suppression of free speech
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 4:24 pm
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
The above mentioned cat, which so far evaded all the wise men (and foolish men and short men and girly men) since the Schrödinger published his accursed equation has been found. She is in a parallel universe, this incidentally also proves the theory of multiple universes.
As evidence I present this editorial by uber courageous journalist Mr Shekhar Gupta.
I propose, to make any sense of this one has to assume that Mr Gupta is living in a different universe. Excerpt from the article
"Boss, we did nothing to be in power. Now we have it, so let's keep it for as long as we can. But what if the lady (Sonia) decided to tell the Left enough was enough? She might believe in renunciation , but, Boss, what about the rest of us?"
Ahemm, it is difficult to understand the basis behind Mr Gupta's hope that Sonia Gandhi will tackle left and follow agenda for welfare of India and not of dynasty, Oh it is not this universe Mr Gupta is dwelling in.
"The typical Congressman sees his party, and, more specifically, the Gandhi family, as an open ticket to perpetual power. Their faith and loyalty are directly proportional to what that ticket can buy. And when somebody, even a Gandhi-Nehru, tries to change the rules, they panic, and break out in subversion sabotage and revolt.
Sonia would remember the history of Rajiv Gandhi's five years. There was widespread unease within the party the moment it looked like he was willing to make a departure from old-style Congress politics. His speech at the Mumbai AICC session in 1985, where he charged his partymen with being powerbrokers and worse, only confirmed their fears.
They wanted a Gandhi-Nehru merely to fetch them the votes and power. But if one showed the audacity to redefine how they exercised (or rather exploited) this power, he was going to be made to pay for it. The second half of Rajiv's term saw a spectacular decline in his, and his party's, fortunes as the same internal noise, suspicions and doubts robbed his government of its freshness and focus. "
Ofcourse Rajiv being a member of dynasty is above accusations of political expediency.
"They can't stand a Prime Minister who is not only competent and clean but is also widely respected. Their insecurities are compounded by the fact that the inner core of his Cabinet, obviously chosen in full agreement with Sonia, is one with him on most significant issues. In some ways, this "apolitical" prime minister, his core group, and Sonia personify some of the ideas that Rajiv Gandhi spoke about so passionately at his peak. Also, much like Rajiv in the first half of his tenure, they are building a critical mass of good news that will give their party a chance in the next election."
This paragraph is so dripping of sycophancy that there is no need to emphasize. I am sure judging by actions of last two years no one can accuse Manmohan Singh of being competent. And the way he is hanging on to power, despite all the acts of omissions and commisions of his government, I am not sure clean is the correct adjective unless by clean one means stinking filthy, which may well be the case because remember it is a different universe altogether.
The way respected Gupta uses "Manmohan's core group of competent minsters" , irony has jumped off the edge.
" They are so confused because they are still fighting the election of May, 2004. In 2004, the BJP made the mistake of going to the polls with eight months of eight per cent growth. By 2009, if this government keeps its focus, it might go back to the voter with a six-year average of eight per cent plus growth, raising national incomes by 60 per cent. Add to this another 5,000 km of four-laned highways (even at the slowed down pace now), four new world-class airports, several new ports and metros. And if you think all this is purely for the executive-class voter, consider how sustained high growth will help poverty reduction—according to the Eleventh Plan approach paper, going by data of last five years, an estimated 32 million will be lifted above the poverty line by 2009. Add to this the 1 lakh km of rural roads and, not to forget, a Rs 40,000-crore per year rural employment guarantee scheme, and you might have a feel-good mood that the BJP only wishfully presumed in 2004
If the growth happens it will be inspite of UPA government which is busy cooking more and more asinine policies. Even if assumed that all the ambitious projects will be completed by 2009 considering how communist and a considerable section of Congress are acting, feel good as a election platform will remain a non starter.
It will be interesting to see how this incompetent regime will achieve the ambitious expectations of Mr Gupta. Ofcourse it is entiely possible that in a different universe building castles in air is a sensible exercise.
Other people may argue that the article doesn't prove existence of cat. They may, instead argue that the article is a proof that Mr. Shekhar Gupta is on retainer of Gandhi family. To these others I can only say that they are beyond contempt for casting aspersion on high priest of secularism, the only punishment fit for those heretics is to rename them as Narendra Modi.
Now excuse this blogger, I am migrating to parallel universe. I have heard that there even complete losers like me get to date Milla Jovovich
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 7:48 pm
Robert Heinlein, again
Today, in the United States, it is popular among self-styled “intellectuals” to sneer at patriotism. They seem to think that it is axiomatic that any civilized man is a pacifist, and they treat the military profession with contempt. “Warmongers”—“Imperialists”—“Hired killers in uniform”—you have all heard such sneers and you will hear them again. One of their favorite quotations is: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
What they never mention is that the man who made that sneering remark was a fat, gluttonous slob who was pursued all his life by a pathological fear of death.
I propose to prove that that baboon on watch is morally superior to that fat poltroon who made that wisecrack.
Patriotism is the most practical of all human characteristics.
But in the present decadent atmosphere patriots are often too shy to talk about it—as if it were something shameful or an irrational weakness.
But patriotism is NOT sentimental nonsense. Nor something dreamed up by demagogues. Patriotism is as necessary a part of man’s evolutionary equipment as are his eyes, as useful to the race as eyes are to the individual.
A man who is NOT patriotic is an evolutionary dead end. This is not sentiment but the hardest of logic.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 5:09 pm
Since survival is the sine qua non, I now define “moral behavior” as “behavior that tends toward survival.” I won’t argue with philosophers or theologians who choose to use the word “moral” to mean something else, but I do not think anyone can define “behavior that tends toward extinction” as being “moral” without stretching the word “moral” all out of shape.
[snip ... first 2 levels of morality]
The next higher level is to work, fight, and sometimes die for a group larger that the unit family—an extended family, a herd, a tribe—and take another look at that baboon on watch; he’s at that moral level. I don’t think baboon language is complex enough to permit them to discuss such abstract notions as “morality” or “duty” or “loyalty”—but it is evident that baboons DO operate morally and DO exhibit the traits of duty and loyalty; we see them in action. Call it “instinct” if you like—but remember that assigning a name to a phenomenon does not explain it.
But that baboon behavior can be explained in evolutionary terms. Evolution is a process that never stops. Baboons who fail to exhibit moral behavior do not survive; they wind up as meat for leopards. Every baboon generation has to pass this examination in moral behavior; those who bilge it don’t have progeny. Perhaps the old bull of the tribe gives lessons. . .but the leopard decides who graduates—and there is no appeal from his decision. We don’t have to understand the details to observe the outcome; Baboons behave morally—for baboons.
The next level in moral behavior higher than that exhibited by the baboon is that in which duty and loyalty are shown toward a group of your kind too large for an individual to know all of them. We have a name for that. It is called “patriotism.”
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 5:06 pm
If inequality meme has limited utility despite its flaws, "Redistribution of wealth" has none.
Theproblem is the perspective itself. The very term redistribution is based on the faulty, if implicit premises that
1) Inequality removal should be the primary focus of state intervention in social sector.
2) Such task can be accomplished by the reallocation of available wealth through state intervention.
One can argue that redistribution need not imply state intervention and instead it may just refer to flattening of distribution curve due to increased opportunities and skills to leverage, in effect making redistribution an effect of reform.
Even then this is incorrect, because by promoting the effect (redistribution) to cause or primary objective in policy making, the terms of reference get highly skewed. When priorities are misplaced, the resulting policies will be in wrong direction.
This means that in all probability policy decisions centred around redistribution will end up placing restrictions on economic freedom, and effecting free enterprise.
PS This and previous post were prompted by this post of confused
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 10:07 am
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
"Inequal distribution of wealth is the problem", so goes the popular wisdom nowadays.
Not surprisingly like all popular theories this is also misleading and mostly useless.
To realize how absurd the proposition is consider a sample of entry level software professionals, now the income here will be for most part evenly distributed. Now add few CEO's (Bill Gates, Premji etc. etc.) in the sample, the inequality will increase, ofcourse. Does this mean that government should intervene, No way !
I concede that the example I gave was not very realistic, but the intention behind the exercise was not to perform analogical acrobatics, but to illustrate a simple point.
If (and this is a big If) state intervenes in the economic sphere to achieve some social objective, then that objective should only be poverty elimination.
Further more often than not policies framed towards inequal distribution of wealth will be at best ineffective and create more problems than solve.
The reason for this is to do with the level of intervention.
To simplify, people are poor when
1) There are not enough opportunities.
2) People do not have required skills to leverage the available oppotunities.
Assuming there is a potential for free market ,1) in general arises, when there are hurdles either in forms of exsessive restriction imposed by government and in some social customs.
The solutions to this is reform, of government and of society.
The 2) may require government intervention in crucial social sectors like education. The intervention may range from incentives to poor to admit their kids in school, incentives to educational institutions and if required even direct investment.
I favour this level of intervention because it helps in wealth creation.
On the other hand one can be reasonably sure that framework arising out of "Inequal distribution" meme will result in regressive policies like reservations or taxation, aiming to redistribute available wealth which not only will not contribute anything towards wealth creation but also disincentivize creation of wealth.
This is not to say that study of inequality is useless. But only if taken as secondary attribute (primary being poverty).
An index of inequality (for example Gini) can be a useful indicator taken in context with other data. For example a equitable distribution of wealth in a poor country may indicate 1) case (refer above), whereas inequitable distribution of wealth in a poor country may indicate 2) case.
Ofcourse the equitable and inequitable are relative terms and best left to economists.
The ideal that a society should espouse is freedom and encouragement to its members to pursue enterprise.
Related :Indian Economy.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 3:07 pm
Monday, July 03, 2006
When the controversy over publication of cartoons of Prophet erupted the main argument forwarded by a considerable section of west in support of the act (i.e the cartoons) was as much offensive the cartoons may be to muslims, the newspaper (or anyone else) was well within its right of free speech,freedom of speech being the bedrock principle of western civilization and hence can not be negotiated.
One of the valid criticism of this stance was that for all posturing about freedom, almost all European counteries had penalties for anti-semitism or in some case even Holocaust denial.
The contradiction in European responses in the two cases can be explained if the European motives are understood.
Simply said, the restriction placed by Europe over anti-semitism is due to guilt.
Earlier the decision to locate jewish nation in Israel, even accounting for historical reasons seemed to me absurd. Surely Europe or America was a much better place to establish a sanctuary for Judaism, as compared to being surrounded by hostile Arabs.
This absurdity can only be grasped by the context. It is a popular misconception that Anti- semitism was limited only to Nazis. There is a long history of discrimination and suppression of jews in Europe.
While in medieval Europe it (the discrimination) was due to religious reasons, in 19th century the ground of discrimination shifted to race. During that period emerging intellectual discourse & social theories (or to be more precise those which were opposed to egalitarianism) were heavily influenced by latest discoveries in genetics. It was proposed (by Nietzche and others) that racial superiority was the basis for civilization and hence vigorous approach to philosophy should have genetic preservation and improvement as its fundamental principle.
This school was very critical of christian influence, however due to historical prejudices it was judaism which was blamed for the corruption and decay.
Therefore the prejudices against jews existed in Europe even at the turn of of 20th century.
To make matters worse Jews, by dint of hard work, constituted a considerable percentage of middle class and leadership of communist and socialist movements and therefore were even more disliked by both common public and intellectuals opposed to communism.
It is a mistake to believe that Nazi came out of nowhere. Hitler was a demagogue who took advantage of widespread disaffectation against commuism to gain power. Europe and to a large extent even USA went along with Nazi oppression of jews. A considerable section of western class saw Nazism as the last hope against communism and for that was ready to overlook other agendas of Hitler.Even when Germany embarked on final solution of the Jewish problem, by and large occupied Europe cooperated with Nazis.
It was only ofter the defeat of the Nazis that the horrible extent of Holocaust was revealed.
It had two effects.
1) In a way what Nazi did, was culmination of Europe long standing hatred for jews.
Europe was horrified by the result of her prejudice. And it is this guilt and shame at indifference (and sometimes support) which resulted in genocide, due to which European counteries are so sensitive about anti-semitism.
2) Before the ascent of Nazis , a considerable section of Jews believed that irrespective of Historical injustices, they had a future in liberal Europe. This was also one of the reasons that Jews participated in liberal movements. However 2nd worlds war changed this. Their delusion was destroyed and they realised that for their survival they can never trust anyone else for survival of Jewish race.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 9:44 pm
Samuel Huntington's clash of civilization is one of the most popular works of later 20th century. The assertion that start of the 21st century will see conflict based on civilizational identity rather than national identity was completely at variance with prevailing theories which broadly predicted espousal of western values after the demise of communism.
Huntington argued against taking such a course for granted, instead he contention was that absence hegemonic control of communism, coming years would see a revival of hostilities between traditional rivals.
And that is how it turned out. After the fall of communist USSR while danger of WWIII has subsided, the world has witnessed the number of conflicts steadily increasing.
This tendency has a direct correlation with the tension between members of different civilzations.
What is much more crucial role on Islam (or to be precise Pan-Islamism) has been important in many (again to be precise majority) of the conflicts (Russia - Chechenya, Kashmir,Palestine, Indonesia,Thailand to name just a few).In his book, Huntington referred to this phenomenan as "bloody borders of Islam".
This theory (clash of civilization) has gained currency since september 9-11 and many pundits have started to believe that what we are witnessing is a precursor to full blown "war of civilization" as was predicted by Huntington.
Yet, I think this is inaccurate, i.e there is no war of civilizations, further taken as civilization west doesn't face any outside danger.
The reason for this is following
1) The opposition to western civilization as exemplified by Al Qaeda and rag tag of terrorist organizations, in no way constitutes a civilization. This doesn't refer to the number of active participants in terrorism or the strike capability. The idea behind resurgency (where "idea" is used very loosely) belongs right to the medieval age. Irrespective of how many surgeons or engineers may join them, enlightenment has not passed from anywhere near them.
2) Even if discounting the above, Islamic civilization has never been united for long.
The reason is not very hard to find. Expansion of Islam in a large part can be attributed to determined military compaigns by Prophet and his followers. These compaigns were successful only because of strong belief in Islam. This was the main bedrock of Islamic expansion and as long as it was able to dominate over disruptive tendencies caliphate survived.
However one of the main characterstics of Islam is a strong affinity for tribe, and resulting tribal rivalary (this was pointed by Huntigton himself). As a result it is not long before unity forged on religious camaraderie is overcome by more temporal considerations.
The conclusion is unless what goes for Islamic civilization doesn't develop new ideas, unless it doesn't undergo enlightenment, it can not hope to be equal to west. It is ironical that almost all the instruments/weapons employed against west are themselves product of western science, which itself was result of Renaissance.
Note: This is not an arguement against "war on terror", it is utmost duty of a nation to protect her citizen and neutralize any threat to them.
Thus spake doubtinggaurav at 9:50 am