Well Nebuchadrezzar has swung ,making some people very happy and others very angry.
However this is not about Saddam Hussein (good riddance to the bad rubbish) or the fact that he was at one time leader of state (those who live by sword, die by it), this is also not about America's Iraq policy (random termination of dictators with no long term objective is hardly a policy).
Rather this is about Indian response to the execution. To put it bluntly Indian response has been hypocritical, but the main issue is not Indian or for that matter American hypocrisy ( Hypocrisy, cornerstone of sound statesmanship, something which Chanakya might have said, if only he had seen pulp fiction). Hypocrisy is a device employed in order to achieve a particular goal. In case of nations, this goal is national interest, and the decisions that are taken are supposed to take into account short term versus long terms objectives.
And that is the problem, because this projection of Saddam as Martyr arises from two both of them morbid and repugnant.
First is rabid Anti American-ism, a direct consequence of communist and socialist stranglehold over Indian intellectual mind scape. In a comrade's world, USA is the greatest enemy, because it has always been the unabashed votary of capitalism and individual freedom, it is because of this that US is cast in a role where in cruelty it is a successor to British imperialism, and even Indians who are otherwise inimical to communist ideal adopt a negative attitude towards America due to this rather imaginative interpretation of history.
The consequence of being fed on constant diet of Marxist non-sense, is that in India the intellectual as well as common perception is a rather hazy mish mash of victim hood complex, fatalism and homilies self congratulatory in nature. This self deception is the result that by and large there is national interest remains neglected subject in public or for that matter even academic sphere.
The second is in order to appease a particular segment. From Khilafat movement to LTTE, it has been this shortsightedness of Indian political leader which has done incalculable harm to nation. Somehow, in all the wisdom of diversity and harmony, claims for membership of quasi -political formations beyond nation, with conflicting interests are tolerated.
If India has to have any semblance of national policy, these two tendencies must be countered.
Update: Well, this is funny in a not so funny way (link courtsey Rohit). Where do such critters come from.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Well Nebuchadrezzar has swung ,making some people very happy and others very angry.
When Icarus failed in his endeavour, who was more disappointed ? Icarus himself, or even the gods were not spared the ignominy. For is it not true that act of creation is the evidence of presence of will of the creator, to transcend himself,to realize the ideal, to give form to formless, to enact dreams, through act of creation rise to a higher existence or even validating the existence.
Then also is not the will which creates, the eternal truth. We, who are uninitiated, are fooled by
the hand, while oblivious to the act.
And is it also not true, that man, in all his frailty and perfidy is finest creation of the gods, and also their eternal disappointment for submitting to the gods instead of rising above them.
We are unfair when we call the gods jealous. The gods are not angry but melancholic, doomed to despair because their creation has failed them.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
One important aspect of any public debate on reforms is inbuilt bias against reforms.
There is no doubt that strictly on merit reforms are the unambiguous winner. Unfortunately however, debates in political space have less to do with merit, and more to do with the emotional rhetoric. And this is where status quoist (favouring government intervention and largess) dominate.
Socialists accomplishes this by framing the reference of debate. Hence instead of debate about being how socialist policies, in particular government intervention and central planning have been abysmal failure, a specious argument is put forwards that since reforms (or whatever goes for it) have not accomplished poverty alleviation during last decade, hence they have also failed, thus establishing a moral equivalency. This absurdity is sustained by long winded rhetoric about impoverished with random statistics thrown.
Voluble prose, in which these "feel-gooders" excel, is employed in order to evoke compassion, and what can only be called psychological masterstroke, guilt. And it is here that the supporters of market are floored. Because markets can not bring about prosperity within short term.
This implies even with open and deregulated economy, extreme poverty will persist, at least for few decades. This leaves the field open for progressive left to push their agenda, aided by narratives and visuals of misery, which of course sets back the agenda of reform. The fact, that supported of reforms are more or less on back foot, doesn't help either.
The way out of this most pernicious dilemma is to employ the humane angle along with statistics and economic arguments, in other words to spread the good news. The strategy should be to stress the fact that reform has changed lives of millions for good, to emphasize that "common man" is indeed the beneficiary. This ranges from the graduates who employed in IT and ITES are able to earn amount unheard of previously, to the humble driver or gardener or maid, who can afford a better life style due to rising wages and affordable consumer goods, to the farmers who benefits from rising land prices and can afford to get out from a stagnant agricultural sector.
(Following paragraph is update with inputs from Rohit)
To emphasize the point, the "horrors" of license permit rule must be made known, and stressed to younger (post 91) as well the previous generation. How there was waiting period of years for something as common as gas connection or scooter or even telephone and to press the point, that the only reason for the lost decades, the unrealized potential, and the chronic poverty is nehruvian penalty
I have no doubts that it is more than enough to counter nattering nabobs of negativism. There is more to it. Since media is always hungry for human angle, this kind of strategy can help remove the misconception that reforms are essentially elitist, with nothing to offer to poor.
With this, it is possible to form an opinion among masses in favour of reforms, ultimately forming a core, not necessarily electorally decisive, but vocal. This is essential in order that reforms and market can have electoral legitimacy, for the bitter truth is that so far in India reforms are far from a political platform, instead whatever progress has taken place is either because reforms were shoved down our collective throat by world bank in 1991, or by stealth under leadership of P. V. Narsimha Rao and A. B. Vajpayee.
"India Shining" campaign was a step in right direction. Where it faltered however was by going overboard in "veneration" of then Prime Minister and altering the platform from merit of reforms to rhetoric and "hero worship".
We do not really need a "free market Gandhi", what we need is "a few good men".
I admit, I am doomed. What else could explain having same oddball conversation with same oddball character for something like thousandth time. Anyhow that is how it went (not at all different from other times).
"The shortcoming of deductive logic is that it needs empirical data, since for a first cause the notion of data is absurd, therefore it follows that we must have assumption, hence existence of God", I said.
At this old man with walrus moustache interrupted my monologue, "Why have God as initial hypothesis, why not FSM or even Russel's teacup".
I retorted, stung by the mocking, "If it didn't appeal to your sense of ridicule, you will see the merest hint of form, degenerates the God as concept to God as description".
He didn't let it go at that, "Tell you what is the problem, there are no assumptions, only delusions, even the assumption that cosmos follows human logic is nothing but hubris".
It was my turn to interrupt, "But if the premise is a sort of metaphysical smokes and mirror then what is wrong with having God as delusion.
He cried, "But that is the problem, God no longer deludes, people have got over the habit of supplicating to a cosmic overlord, what exists instead is the belief, fragile and unwarranted, but still present, belief in man, his alleged ingenuity,is the new opiate". Man himself is the new delusion.
He spoke again after pausing, "People don't believe in God, because God is dead. But man is alive , behold his glory".
Saying this,he stood and left in hurried steps.
I muttered annoyingly, "Freddie sure is a queer old man".
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Daneel looked across the bars. Bars were of course anachronisms, but so was this planet, he thought with a sense of amusement. To humans who existed prior to establishment of Galactic Federation, this would be cause of a little astonishment and much paranoia, but he reasoned such is the course of humanity, for all his superior intellect he was still searching for zeroth law which will supersede even the first law. Until then he had to rely on skills taught to him by Giskard. Today he was optimistic, he had came to know through his contacts, that Bill Clinton, president of Galactic federation will soon proclaim slavery illegal. He smelled the morning air, another feet which would be beyond comprehension of ancients. He whistled tune of an ancient song, old even by his age,"Where the mind is free". He loved this place.
Similar were the sentiments of Lentulus Batiatus. After a life time of hustling across the galaxy, he had settled on this particular planet and he did not regret the decision, even with threat of war looming. Thinking of war, he muttered a silent curse, "Bill Clinton, that blasted robot".
This was of course not true, Bill Clinton as human as any one else, but his mood improved, he felt the morning wind and sighed happily.
John Brown was exhilarated, soon he was going to strike a lethal blow to this degrading institution of slavery. He did not doubt that even this mostly tranquil planet would award him only death for what he was going to do. For he was a man of action, and he intended to act, with force. Sure there were reprisals against his people, "but what the hell", he thought, it was his planet, the place he was born, grown up and lived all his life. Now that some carpet baggers had used the remote location of the planet as a hub for trading robot slaves, he would not take it lying down. He looked at the rising sole and whispered, "Yes, Pompeii is a fine place to live".
(Encyclopedia Galactica: 2000 years after establishment of Galactic Federation, Sole a minor star of Archimedes system imploded under mysterious circumstances. However except for destruction of planet Pompeii, a trading centre for outer systems )
Enough is enough ! I really had it. What exactly is the deal with Potter being hero anyway ? Admit it, he is a blemish to glorious institution of boyhood. He can not incant a decent spell, he is non decrepit in studies, and he can not even defend himself, always rescued either by insufferable Hermione or stupid Ron. What is one to do with such a weak, emaciated hero protected by "tender love of his dear departed mother", sulking from one angst to another. This fetish for mediocrity, to make heroes of undeserving is the most abiding past time of our age.
We are no pioneers, rather safely ensconced in mind numbing comfort of society, we have shrivelled to a shadow of our former self, becoming weaklings in spirit if not matter.
If superman embodied the spirit of earlier age, now it is the horrid metro sexuality which is at display in all its ignoble infamy.
And please don't get me started on the literary merit. It would have been understandable if the
work was unqualified manure. But it is not, and there in lies the true tragedy, that of unfulfilled potential. J. K. Rowling did show promise in first two novels, but after that popularity got her, and the rest of books are a painful exercise in advancing the stories and keeping the readers guessing. Result is a tangled web of plot lines, and not much of content. Of course the books are popular, feeding on the media generated hype and frenzy, which is as good as merit nowadays.
(If the post makes no sense, don't worry, it doesn't make any sense to me either)
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
He slid down the chute and landing perfectly on the floor. There was no noise, but it couldn't have been otherwise, for he was a master in his trade. Silent and quick, his services were much in demand in certain circles in galactic empire. It stood to reason, he thought, with unravelling of empire it was power, which would be deciding the future, and he was the key for any important player.
Even now, he was on such an assignment. It was difficult because it involved kidnapping and stealing instead of killing, but the cash was good, so he can't think of any objection. Moral consideration, of course did not play any part in this, indeed he found morality illogical and hence a mystery. He silently walked down the corridor, cameras and alarms were of course deactivated, apparently Saxenas were desperate enough to make an exception in this case, and had spent money in a departure from their character stinginess.
He walked up to the door at the end and took a quick survey, it was perfect. He looked at the name tag on the door, no surprises there. He placed his hand on the access panel, green light came up, for authorization, and door silently slid back. He entered the room, his target was on the bed. He took out the deactivator and pressed the contact.
He stared, she was beautiful. Suddenly he was hesitant, he did not know why, and would have been astonished if anyone suggested that there was anything romantic. Coming out from reverie with a start, He moved towards the data pod with direct access to ship's computer. There was a flash, he began turning around, but lost balance by the impact. There was a searing pain, he felt around, his primary electric generator was damaged, which meant he was incapable of movement.
She stood and walked deliberately. He was again struck by her beauty, a caramel skin, and a vulnerable face was offset by taut, lithe body and a arrogant demeanour. As she raised the blaster again, he realized that she was the latest prototype, the secret one.
It was love at last sight.
The room was silent except for the laboured breathing of old man. He was clearly dying.
He opened his eyes and looked around grimacing as he did so.
Room was spacious, but sparsely furnished. Just a bed, on which the old man was lying, and a chair, taken by a young man of exceedingly fine feature. He had uncanny resemblance with the old man, and it was not hard to imagine that the withered form on bed was once a handsome creature. Old man surveyed the other's face, black shining hair falling over forehead, smiling brown eyes, a determined mouth, and strong jaw line. In normal times this face exuded warmth, security and comfort, but now it was stricken with misery, eyes filled with tears, mouth distorted from grief. He touched his face, smiling with effort. The young man said with emotion, "You will be all right, Sir!", he nodded, "You are right, there is nothing wrong with me, I will be fine".
After a pause, he spoke, "Please read Gita", young man nodded and left. Reading actual book was now anachronism, but then he was eccentric. The young man came back with the book and started reading. He settled back in bed, and as the mellifluous voice sang, started relaxing.
Looking back at his life, he could find no reason to complain. His breathing eased, and as he sank deeper into sleep, he was at peace.
The young man paused, he called softly, "Sir". There was no response. He remained motionless, then his eyes welled with tears, and he cried hoarsely, "Oh father, oh father".
PS. Next day, the newsaggregates ran the headline,
Mr Umesh, better know as father of robotics, for his path breaking research on "Adaptive system processing ", died at age of 92. He remained a bachelor, and in last days, Animesh(Adaptive Network for Intelligent Emotive Stimuli) latest prototype for next generation robot was his only companion.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Retcon is the device whereby (usually in comics) history of character(s) is extended or modified in order to suit present, usually a radical departure from the theme. Serious (and boring) people call it historical revisionism.
The reason I am talking about this is the recent decision of powers that be in the land of pure, to contemporize history of partition. Now no one can accuse history as it is taught in Pakistan of neutrality or objectivity, which you must admit are trivial when compared to upholding ideology of Pakistan, never mind if the result is a prejudiced generation.
However since our "brothers from across the borders" became FATWAT , there is pressure by their benefactors to reform the education system so that their young people have career options other than future foot soldiers of Jihad. Hence the need to de-emphasize Islamic nature of Pakistan, hence instead of focusing on cultural differences arising out of mutually incompatible and antagonistic religious identity as the cause for partition, the new instruction will emphasize the economic aspects behind the event.
This is disingenuous to say the least, movement for separate Islamic nation constituted of Muslims from different economic backgrounds, an urge to retain distinct and disjointed identity being the only common bond.
But that really is not the point, rather what we should realize is that the partition was essentially based on flawed premise, that intellectuals and even the common public is disillusioned by the unraveling of the nation which was supposed to be "the other" of India, Since accepting the original error will be denial of the Pakistan itself, hence the constant need to reinvent history, which ranges from clever distortion to simply absurd, or to imagine past grievances.
Seen in this way, the tragedy of Pakistan is also the story of one billion Muslims.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
South Africa all out for 84
Yes, I know I have said that watching or playing cricket is treason, sue me.
A Delhi court on Friday awarded death penalty to a former assistant commissioner of police for torturing two persons to death in judicial custody nineteen years ago.Terming the offence as "rarest of rare", Additional Sessions Judge Rajinder Kumar ordered that accused Rishi Prakash Tyagi be hanged till death.[rediff]
Terrorism, sponsored by our not so friendly neighbourhood, poses a threat to security and sovereignty of citizens and nations. But there is other side of the story too, the state and its functionaries entrusted with protection of life and dignity of citizen itself abusing the power thus vested to terrorize citizens themselves. Police brutality is just not a figment of imagination of some professional agitator. It is a vicious circle with police, politicians, judiciary and people with influence all playing part.
As important as countering menace of outside terrorism, is to tackle our dysfunctional law enforcement.
Friday, December 15, 2006
1. Who the hell is Jivha ? Was he half as good as me? And considering how good I am, why am I not popular ? Why do people don't comment on this blog ? Why do they hate me ? Because I am different, is that why ?
2. I have come to conclusion that the real evil is liberal education. Without this Shivam would have been a normal human being, instead of being a retarded, hate filled nutborg, and Amit Varma would make sense.
3. I don't understand why Richard Dawkins is so popular? I mean he is a polemicist, that too third rate! I thought Atheists had better taste.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
(Related posts by Rohit, Sabnis, Amit Varma)
Singur is latest in series of controversies concerned with government takeover of land for industrial development. The principle behind this action is knows as eminent domain.
As mentioned in the posts linked above, the case against this principle because it violates right to property. This is a valid argument. In theory, free markets work best when players act according to their own judgement, supposing any such judgement follow rational self interest and bounded by required legal enforcement. Any intervention will cause distortions, which more often than not will have sub optimal results. Therefore theoretically eminent domain should be eschewed.
I do not however totally agree with the premise of the above posts (that restoration of right of property is the "complete" solution*), because in my opinion this is where reality deviates from theory.
As this article indicates, the first problem is co ordination between a large number of sellers. In India the land holding is in general small, and this means that any private player who wishes to buy a considerable tract of land has to deal with a large number of sellers simultaneously. Thus co-ordinating the sale is a critical issue for completion of transaction.
The second problem is that since for any transaction to be completed requires a large number of small transactions, in effect the over all transaction is held hostage to successful completion of every transactions. This implies that theoretically** any seller acting purely on self interest can demand very steep price, this probability increases if non rational factors (such as emotional attachment) are also at play. Coupled with lack of co-ordination, this situation makes completion of transaction very difficult.
I can think of a tentative solution. While a person may have exclusive right to his property, he doesn't have any corresponding right on utilities, such as electricity, road.
In general organization and improvement of farm land is heavily dependant on extensive use of utilities.
Hence control of utilities can be transferred to community, and its use its decided on basis on simple majority. This will act as a deterrent again problem described in previous paragraph, while maintaining the right of property.
* I paraphrase but that was what I gleaned.
** Theoretically is the key word, I don't have enough data to test the hypothesis.
PS My earlier post
PPS I am engineer, not economist, so if you think that what I have written is rubbish, please don't hate me. Just assume this is "love neighbourhood ignoramus" week.
We are witnessing a decisive phase in realignment within left the process which started right after ascension of Buddhadeb Bhattacharya.
Taking over the mantle of West Bengal after more than two decades of misrule by Jyoti Basu, which saw West Bengal slip from one of the leaders to laggard in almost all industrial and social index, and cholbe na adopted as the motto.
Even though a member of CPM student union, and a a minister in Basu ministry, he was a moderate compared to hawks in the party, often questioning the official theology. After becoming the chief minister he quickly did a Deng Xiaoping, and set out to salvage the wreck.
Six years and one elections later not only has he established his popularity among the masses, but also emerged from the shadow of Jyoti Basu.
The important aspect has been his commitment for reform and (re)industrialization of West Bengal, oftentimes in face of opposition from fellow apparatchiks. His efforts have borne fruit,
already Industrial outlook is better and even though the state is still hostage to strikes (by both the parties), the perception is improving. This is best illustrated by rush of IT & XPO industries to get their share of pie. With encouragement to set up plants, there is real chance of regaining the former position.
If I have to guess, the future trend of this dualism will be
1. Buddhadeb will continue to have his say, as long as he delivers where it matters that is at elections.
2. A convenient arrangement for CPM will be to follow (Adam) Smith in Bengal, and Marx(Groucho, not Karl) in rest of India. Good news for Bengal, bad news for rest of us.
3. Any decisive victory of pragmatist over orthodoxy will be dependant on electoral equation, which can only be made favourable with a strong nationalistic front.
It was fifth anniversary of attack on Indian Parliament. The survivors of martyrs disgusted by abject pandering of UPA government to liberals and agit props in case of Mohammed Afzal have returned their medals. What I find amusing is that none of the MSM find it worthy of headlines, instead buried deep inside exploits of Lee-Hesh or Left strike. Wonder how would our "eminent" journalists react if it was NDA government.
Bias, what liberal bias !
In one universe I rejoice, in another I grieve, in yet another I succeed, and fail.
Sometimes I find love, sometimes I pine and yet another age I pick the flowers of bitter drops. I am alone, in crowd, drenched in rain, covered with grime. I lived my life to the fullest, my dream was unfulfilled, I was a good son, I was a miserable failure.
In all those worlds, infinity and beyond, the wretched cat walks on my grave
While I can only admire indignation and fury of self righteous over Rashmi Bansal case, technically speaking, isn't she fugitive in the eyes of law ? And living in India, and being clinically sane, if some one says that one didn't know that the ruckus the advertisement will create, then excuse me if I am unimpressed by such claims*.
One last thing, if someone thinks that freedom means license to take a crap on Hindus, then someone is mistaken. I think there are more innocuous way to have fun than terming Shiv Ling as "khada lund" (slang for erect penis)**, as a poet warned "Do not scratch snow, for you may rouse the volcano which sleeps".
* I doubt Rashmi personally approved the ad. Whoever approved, has a lot of explaining to do.
** As was mentioned in Rohit's (now deleted) post
PS. I do not think that police should be chasing offences related to religious sensibilities, or even that it should be a offense. But that doesn't mean that any such slight should be let gone unanswered, but that society is the right forum for redress, Hindus (or for that matter Muslims or Christians) should create enough disincentive, to discourage, even wreck perpetrators of such acts, in other words Hindus should shrug off this air of passivity and abject conformity. Markets work, whether of commodity, or ideas.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
One good thing that came out of train journey over weekend was I was finally able to finish A House For Mr Biswas. I started the book with some trepidation, for my previous experience of Naipaul was limited to either autobiographical or non fiction, written exclusively in first person, reminisce and anecdotes blending into pithy observations in a manner which is brilliant without being verbose. I was not sure what to expect from the book, which to me was the first work of fiction by him. With the caveat that I am hardly connoisseur of literature, I admit that I have been most impressed with the book. In style Naipaul is similar to Joseph Conrad, as well as Ernest Hemingway. He narrates story with short and simple sentences, and like aforementioned authors uses the power of prose to weave a rich and intricate pattern of life, euphoric and enchanting.
What attracted me most about the book was he managed to bring a vivid picture of Indians (or to be precise diaspora) without exoticizing India as our modern writers are wont to do. Of course spices, and colour do make an appearance, but here they are part of larger story, instead of props (or should we call item numbers of literature) or worse the whole story itself.
All in all, a most enjoyable read
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
1. The Unwashed Indian Middle Class - If you are really interested in finding out why Indians are stuck in the rut, travel by trains. We just love to litter our trains, we have utter disregard for public places and our behaviour is nothing short of contemptuous towards our fellow human beings. This propensity for squalor, to wallow and spread filth like swines, cuts across boundary of any demography. Language, region even education is no exception (although I like to think that South fares better, but I don't know enough). The obvious conclusion of this is what we get are degrees and not education, that our situation is expected, indeed it would have been a surprise if it was better.
(Don't tell me I am stereotyping. I have travelled enough in trains to form opinion)
2. Loss of a friend - Attending R's marriage I had mixed feeling. I think one should feel happy for friend, but I can only feel pity for myself (yes I am selfish). With every marriage, my circle keeps getting smaller. It is a loss, for the friendship forged in loneliness of bachelorhood, hundreds of miles aways from home is what makes life worth living, otherwise after a point this loneliness begins to gnaw at innards, suck any meaning behind living. After marriage these bonds of transit melt away, a bond to last a lifetime taking place of camaraderie. The unstated but nevertheless understood comfort is replaced by formality, that too is swept aside by tides of time.
3. Meaning of marriage - Besides providing a stable environment for one's child that is. I doubt marriage is as much about companionship, as about finding stability, an anchorage so as to say. I field terribly old nowadays with realization that possibly soon I will be only bachelor among my friends.
4. Wages of secularism - At Mathura railway station there is a mural, nothing brilliant about it, but it depicts life of Lord Krishna. Now I think someday some aggrieved party will object to this, because Railway station is a government property and since we happen to be secular we can't have any association with religion, or otherwise demand a mural of Prophet Mohammad or Jesus Christ to balance the religious tilt. This is my main objection to secularism, not that it is, beyond giving a warm feeling, meaningless, but that pursuit of false ideals is a recipe to disaster and decrepitude. I know you will object that there is no realistic chance of this happening, and that would be true for now, but what about tomorrow ? For the truth is a majority of people who support have not the foggiest idea and do it for sake of fashion, it is the fringe minority but zealous about the cause (just like communist or socialist in earlier times) which drives the agenda and pushes what is kosher and what is not, step by step.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
As the day ended he stripped his armour and went out unarmed, in his robes.
In battle he was a furious warrior, bravest emperor of Magadha, but when the fighting ceased, he ventured to the battlefield with water to quench the thirst of dying. For him both the act of slaying and act of mercy were consistent. He waged war, because to him it was his duty as King to expand his domain, to become Chakravarti by making other rules accept his superiority, and he was compassionate because that was demanded by Dharma too. He did not particularly enjoy mayhem, fighting was a last resort as in this case because Lichhavi republic was not ready to accept the suzerainty of Magadha.
He walked on the battlefield, among the dead and injured, giving water, comforting the maimed and mutilated. In his ministrations he chanced upon a soldier in death throes, a lichhavi youth of tender age. He was moved by the soldier's heart rending cries. He went to that boy to soothe him. As he bent to comfort, the soldier recognized him.
Even as he was lying on the field, his death imminent, he could understand, even praise the soldier who even while he was dying, plunged the dagger in his breast. For just as it was his Dharma to be a victor, same way the Dharma of boy was to defend republic.
At last he also started slipping and stumbling. Then he, who had never spoken untruth or supported injustice, in his kingdom and exile, who was praised both by his friends and foes , that exalted one lamented, "But I have been righteous and strict in observance of my Dharma, then why the fall ?". Hearing that the mongrel, who was actually DharmaRaj, that divine judge of man, replied, "your borthers and wives had to fall because of their sins, but you fall because of your virtue, for how can a God who himself is an illusion and deception survive in presence of truth".
As he fell in the abyss, it began makng sense to him.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
He licked his lips tasting the dryness, his throat was parched. It was a hot day and end of shift still far away. Sweat was beginning to flow like tiny rivulets, stinging his eyes. He flicked sweat off his eyebrows. It was bleak and harsh, just like his fate, he thought grimly. He mused upon irony of a God assigning a man to life of misery and drudgery on this world in order to test his character. He had long concluded that such a god could not be benevolent, at best a god with sense of cosmic humour.
His reverie was broken by restless din of workplace . Sighing he lifted the shovel and stood. He was startled by a shadow. He looked up, clouds were spreading blocking the fury of sun. He could smell the rain. Gusts of western wind struck him evaporating sweat and cooling him.
He smiled, must be some butterfly somewhere.
Do these idiots realize by encouraging and justifying such kind of thuggery,they are just ensuring blow back.
The burning of the Deccan Queen which shuttles between Pune and Mumbai has shaken many so-called upper caste Hindus. The Deccan Queen,a favourite of hundreds of daily commuters to Mumbai, was stopped by Dalit protestors on the outskirts of Mumbai. Commuters were asked to get off the train and an angry mob set the train on fire. Arjun Dangle, distinguished Dalit poet and one of the founder members of the Dalit Panthers in Maharashtra,told rediff.com,"For many decades the Deccan Queen was the symbol of Pune, seat of the Peshwa Brahminical rule. There is a meaning behind the burning of train."
Now that since it has been established that Religion is root of evil , the question that arises is whether the scientific inquiry into the cause of evils is exhausted.
One may be deceived by the phrase "root of evil" in thinking that the question is already answered by above discovery, but it is not so because there still remains possibility of other roots.
Since the quest for fount of evil is quintessential aspect of humanity, the question is of more than academic interest. It is in this spirit that I propose few more "roots"
1. Since 20Th century communist inspired movements have resulted in death of more than 80 million. Now the question is so much carnage, so much mayhem. for whose sake? Why in name of poor, of course ! The conclusion is poor is root of evil. Therefore, if you meet poor on the road, kill him and make sure he stays dead.
2. One of the most horrible acts of history, whether modern or ancient, is the holocaust committed by third Reich . Now you are going to object, "Hitler killed Jews because of religion".
This is where you are wrong ,for the Nazism in essence was a racial theory , for promotion of Aryan genes by enforcing racial hygiene and genetic engineering. It had roots in eugenics about which we don't hear now but flourished in late 19Th century and early 20Th century. Therefore it turns out genetics is also the root of evil. Richard Dawkins is the spawn of Satan.
3. But the inquiry doesn't end here. One of the activities in ancient history was blood sports. Popular among masses as well as elites, the pursuit of entertainment has claimed too many lives. Entertainment is root of evil, and I find no reason why it should be spared any quarters. Down with home theatres
Monday, December 04, 2006
(Although this post has been preempted by Rohit's post, with which I agree, that is no reason not to write, right! Well it is Monday)
seems a typical case of
spinning creative interpretation, the violent aftermath has all the hallmarks of well co-ordinated plan for political one up man ship ,
Second, to suggest that present incident was related to free markets or disparity out of economic growth would have been hilarious if not for the fact that people including a child have died. Of course it is still curious why violence by Shiv Sena is not explained in terms of Marathi marginalization (real or imagined).
First, the fact that Indian society is far from being homogeneous, whether on basis of caste or religion or language, there exists various identities, and diverse affiliations.
What is more, this diversity is not a result of recent migration, but deep rooted in the history and organic in nature. Also the fact that despite the presence of Constitution, power and even appeal for justice is decided more often than not by the hierarchy in the society. Therefore potential for fissures and conflict, however minuscule already exists.
Second, To expand on the point of inherent inequality in Indian society, the fact that it is the power and more important its unambiguous demonstration which dictates the position and even ensuring inviolability of dignity, there is natural inclination to assert the power by aggressive and violent acts. In a nutshell, India, even the urban one, is still haunted by feudalism.
But even these are not the final cause, for historically speaking Indian society has been relatively peaceful and stable. Further since Independence Indian polity has revolved around the slogan of "Social Justice" in its various avatars, whether "socialism" & "central planning" ,or "garibi hatao", so there is a case that social tensions should have shown a decrease after 6 decades.
But the factor which really tips the balance is competitive politics. To garner support across a broad segment requires either a coherence of purpose backed by ideas which can actually achieve it, or personal charisma.
On the other hand, it is much more easier to win the backing of a self-identified group, by appealing to this identity. This is further exacerbated by playing up on (real or imagined) grievances.
This is what happened in case of India, since Independence while Indians had lofty goals, they were neither backed by workable ideas or institutions. Even then as long as there was a central authority in presence of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, there was a semblance of coherence. However with the unfulfilled promises and a reduced charisma, the vacuum is being fulfilled by fractious politics.
While it may gratify some misguided who labour under the (incorrect) impression that present trend is a harbinger of federalism, or a parity between different regions, or a voice to voiceless , the bitter truth is that undermining of central authority and pandering to narrow interest has not only left a void in foreign or security policy, it is also muddling the already muddled road to reform, allowing subversion of not only constitution, but also law and order enforcement, and instead of making society egalitarian, just giving birth to a new set of tyrants. This may satisfy some one's thirst for revenge, but for the society is nothing but bad news.
There is a solution (even if tentative) against this, this is for middle class, which has less to gain and more to lose from the vendetta politics of narrow parochial interests, to adopt a policy of zero tolerance against such acts wherever in urban areas, where it has control. By acting as a bulwark against such pandering and also injecting a sense of purpose in polity the tide can be turned, but who will bell the cat is the question. (Apologies for committing the great crime of mixing the metaphors)
Saturday, December 02, 2006
While I am ambivalent about the entertainment value of car wrecks, I pretty much don’t want to be a part of it. Therefore, it is only with dismay that I can react to the direction (misdirection will be more accurate in the context) UPA government is steering our foreign policy to.
A case in point is Sri-Lanka, it is nobody’s contention that the history of conflict is a simple one, or that there is necessarily black and white narrative.
However what one can not argue against is the necessity of a stable and pro-India Sri-Lanka. This will mean active engagement of India to broker an agreement between the opposing parties, this also means that India have to work out the ways to neutralize LTTE, for the simple reason is that very presence of LTTE which has a history of ruthlessness and brutality against rival Tamil politicians mars any chance of settlement.
However the under constant pressure of Dravid parties, UPA government has adopted inaction as the policy, hoping to maintain status quo. Yet with US, China and Pakistan actively supporting Sri-Lankan government in order to gain strategic foothold, status quo is the last thing which is possible, instead the initiative is slipping from India, so is ability to leverage situation in Sri Lanka.
If this continues it is likely that India will become irrelevant, and what is worse would have allowed her to be encircled by forces at best competing, and at worst hostile.
Related Post Rohit
Friday, December 01, 2006
Newborn dies as cops grill mother
It is unbelievable, so much callousness. While we discussed socialism, we let go of society, we let go of institutions. This is where we find ourselves. A common refrain among middle class is to blame "the system". You know what, we are part of this system, we have made the mess we find ourselves in.
Glory of democracy !
The mother was picked up the previous evening for bearing a child out of wedlock
What the hell police was doing, what have they got to do with how one bears child.