/**SNAP Code begin **/ /**SNAP Code end **/

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Flawed Debate on Revenge Terrorism

There is More to It Than Name Calling

The debate over arrest of at least two Hindus - the first arrested was, interestingly, a women, Pragya, and that too a sadhvi - who apparently planted bombs in Malegaon, is assuming proportions of silliness. Sure call them Hindu terrorists and condemn the violence. The police and their so-called anti-terrorism squads of various states are trying to piece together the puzzle of who is who and how they are connected. Apparently some worked for BJP or were with RSS or ABVP years ago. And that's the fodder for p-sec media tamasha.

What is missing from the debate and analysis is why this is a surprise. Islamic terrorists and their masters in the Land of Pure have been at this for 15 years since Mumbai terror bombings that killed over 200 people. Remember prior to those terror bombings the masters supplied weapons and ammunition to Muslim areas in Mumbai to kill any Hindus rioters that would have come that area. They wanted open riots and killing, something close to an open warfare, amongst Hindus and Muslims. And the terror bombings never stopped since. Now that Hindus are forming entities to make that a reality is somehow surprising? A normal sane country would have understood what the Islamic terrorists puppets and their masters are up to and pursued a twin strategy of taking out the masters while destroying the puppets. Instead all we got were denials year after year - one terror attack after another.

We were told a peace treaty over J&K with Pakistan apparently would somehow pacify the masters - as though negotiations and signatures on a piece of paper ever satisfied evil. Obfuscation and appeasement became the strategy for dealing with the in-house terrorist puppets. Everything was, and still is, being looked at from political and vote bank angle. As though the terrorists and their strategies would somehow stray to the vagaries of votes and democracy. Nehru's and Indira's socialism already created a entitlement culture, sense of oppression, and a class culture among many. Combine that with the appeasement politics of the past two decades (or longer) and one has to wonder how exactly is an Islamic terrorist satisfied?

Also, there is a parallel between what the Christian cult groups are doing to undermine Hinduism in the country and what the Islamic terrorists are up to. Formation of Hindu entities to undertake revenge terrorism purportedly against Islamic terrorism and against soul harvesting Christian cult groups is a logical outcome of the way the State of India works. That work ethics was, and continues to be, drawn from the way Nehru and his cronies functioned from day one of democratic India. The complete and utter disregard for anything Hindu - cultural, spiritual, social, and historic - and in its place trying to create a disgusting and contorted entity called a (pseudo) secular India. That experiment is about to fail because of its inherent contradiction and immorality it wants to impose on the vast majority of people of the country.

Revenge terrorism and anti-Christian cult actions are just a start. One has to remember that Hindus are normal human beings - they solve major societal and existential problems, such as invasions and civilizational destruction, by going to war. In fact, the entire religion of Hinduism is based on celebrating the victory of good over evil - not by appeasing evil or signing a peace treaty with evil, but by fighting it, every time, throughout its history. This is especially true when the State, that legally has the sole power to use force, is unwilling to deal with the cultural existential threat to the majority and hiding behind the banner of secularism. Gandhi's peace activities of the 1920s through 1940s were an aberration in Bharatiya history and the so-called peaceful transition, or independence, paid it's prize with partition of the newly independent land (with lakhs of people killed) and continuation of non-native British politics, policies, and law. There was never a clean break from the old imperial tyranny and the contorted morality of socialism imported from Britain.

With the State living in denial, that so called peaceful transition of 60 years, artificially propped up by socialism, seems to be coming to an end. And, as could be expected, the p-sec analysts, conditioned to think a certain way for decades, seem to be missing the big picture, again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

For Freedom, Justice, and Joy

Let freedom from pseudo-secular intellectuals rein;
Let justice be unshackled from lefty secular politics of the day;
Let joyousness spring forth from under the tyranny of socialism;
Could there be a more celebrated day then Deepawali

Deepawali Subhakakshalu to everyone. Celebrate freedom, justice, and prosperity for everyone....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Such Urgency to Tackle Financial Crisis

The Americans come up with a new proposal almost every two days or so to thaw the frozen credit market. The Europeans come with a new proposal may be once a week. Everyone in west from U.S. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to French finance minister Christine Lagarde is working day and night to tackle the credit market, the libor, corporate capitalization and everything in between. Ajay Shah has crisis watch on his blog everyday watching the crisis unfold and writing about the implications of the crisis on Indian financial markets and corporations. Sri Arun Shourie talks about what needs to be done urgently to undo the damage done to Bharatiya economy because of current financial crisis.

And now the establishment jumps in to tackle the situation with urgency!

New Delhi, October 21 : Stepping up crisis-management measures to cushion the anticipated economic downturn precipitated by the global financial turmoil, the Government has ordered the High-Level Coordination Committee on Financial Markets to meet at least once a month as an emergency measure to take stock of the situation and identify timely responses.

The committee, headed by RBI governor Duvvuri Subbarao, is essentially a panel of regulators comprising heads of IRDA, PFRDA and SEBI besides top Finance Ministry officials.

The committee convened an emergency meeting in the first week of October to assess preparedness of regulators to tackle the impact of the financial crisis.

The decision comes after repeated suggestions to evolve a mechanism that can provide timely and coordinated response to a situation that is unpredictable, requiring effective regulation.
Meet at least once a month! What would the country do without such urgency, by the people in charge, to tackle the financial crisis.

Interesting Webcast of Chandrayaan 1

Chandrayaan 1 begins. Although the mission is not complete, the thought of actually doing the mission, putting the project together, and getting it done extremely fast is worth pondering about. If ISRO could manage such a complex task, why cannot other branches of the government - such as constructing a dam or highway project on time, or providing electricity to all villages or education to all children - work so well? Apparently people are capable but the system won't allow them to work.

PSLV - C11 on Launch Pad

But the launch of the boringly named rocket, PSLV - C11, was great. And mission amazing. Sure it's probably a duplication of what other countries did, but those countries don't want to show us how the wheel works. So we rebuilt the wheel and learn something from rebuilding the wheel.

Also the timing of the launch - one year after Japanese and Chinese launches (the Chinese already conducted few space walks) - says something about the future of Asia and how the three powers are evolving.

Finally, here is the strange webcast of the PSLV - C11 launch at ISRO site. Seeing that I am not sure I can complain about other government departments. Better and more advanced things yet to come if Chandrayaan 1 is a success.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Linking Economic Prize to Indus and Vedic Periods

I am always amazed at Bibek Debroy's columns in IE. His knowledge about seemingly disparate events or things is stunning. May be it's a Bengali intellectual thing! In his recent column, he brings together the recent Nobel Prize for Economics winner Paul Krugman's original thesis on trade, presented sometime in the 70s, on Economies of Scale - a term that's in common lexicon in business and trade nowadays - and growth of cities, and Bharatiya history. Not just recent history but mostly unknown Indus and somewhat known Vedic periods of Bharatiya history! Of course, he doesn't go into much detail in a short op-ed column. But the thought that the two aspects can brought together is something.

However, the myth of an Aryan invasion having destroyed the Indus Valley civilisation still continues, compounded by problems of equating the word “Arya” with ethnicity rather than language and our inability to decipher the Indus Valley script completely. What we do know is that this civilisation was, at least in its mature phase, an urban one, with urban planning, municipal governments and sewage, drainage and sanitation systems. It prospered on the basis on trade, commerce and transportation, though agriculture wasn’t unknown.

In contrast, the Vedic civilisation was nomadic and rural, with horses and chariots, unknown to Indus Valley. Nor do we quite know why the Indus Valley Civilisation declined. Perhaps no single explanation provides the answer, though climate change, deforestation and drying up of rivers played a role. Perhaps the word decline or destruction is inappropriate. The civilisation simply moved elsewhere and was assimilated, such as in Rajasthan and Gujarat. However, during the Vedic period (around 1500 BCE to 500 BCE), India de-urbanised and became increasingly rural. Neither of the two epics describes an urban centre in any great detail, barring Lanka, which was different. Urbanisation didn’t recover until Mahajanapadas of the post-500 BCE period and Mahajanapadas meant kingdoms or republics, rather than cities. At that time, there were 16 Mahajanapadas. Though lists differ, the most common list has Kashi, Koshala, Anga, Magadha, Vrijji, Malla, Chedi, Vatsa, Kuru, Panchala, Matysa, Surasena, Ashmaka, Avanti, Gandhara and Kamboja. But this is a list of kingdoms or republics. The city list has Varanasi (Kashi), Ayodhya, Sravasti and Saketa (Koshala), Rajagriha (Magadha), Vaishali (Vrijji), Kaushambi (Vatsa), Indraprastha and Hastinapura (Kuru), Adhichatra (Panchala), Mathura (Surasena), Podana (Ashmaka), Ujjain (Avanti), Purushapura and Takshashila (Gandhara) and Rajapura (Kamboja)...

Krugman won the Nobel prize “for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity”. In addition, “Economies of scale combined with reduced transport costs also help to explain why an increasingly larger share of the world population lives in cities and why similar economic activities are concentrated in the same locations. Lower transport costs can trigger a self-reinforcing process whereby a growing metropolitan population gives rise to increased large-scale production, higher real wages and a more diversified supply of goods. This, in turn, stimulates further migration to cities. Krugman’s theories have shown that the outcome of these processes can well be that regions become divided into a high-technology urbanised core and a less developed ‘periphery’.”...

Contrast this with our approaches to urbanisation, not only in recent debates about conversion of agricultural land into non-agricultural usage, but also in Government attitudes to development, where the general idea is to keep people in rural India, rather than bring them into urban locations. Might this have something to do with the way India’s historical development occurred, or with the way we perceive this historical development to have taken place? In pre-Maurya and pre-Gupta India, two phases of urbanisation were Indus Valley and Mahajanapadas. We ignore the first and don’t know how to fit it in. For the second, how many of those sixteen cities listed continued to prosper as cities? And how many declined with the decline of Buddhism and Jainism, leaving us to search for Arcadia in rural India? [IE]
Of course, I wish the prize went to the other great trade theorist and strong global trade advocate Prof Jagdish Bhagwati of Columbia, who is also much older then Krugman. It's unusual for someone in their fifties to receive a Nobel prize. But then I suspect the increasing political Nobel committee probably wanted to stick it to US president Bush one last time before he departs by giving a prize to a Bush hater - an almost deranged hate at that - after giving prizes to Jimmy Carter and Al Gore in past years. Unfortunately, the loser is Prof Bhagwati as the Noble committee is unlikely to give a non-posthumous prize for another trade theorist anytime soon.

Welcome Media News, Probably

When I was in school I used to listen to it on shortwave every night at 11:30 to get an update on world affairs before dozing off. But BBC is different now. It now firmly falls into a left-wing hyper partisan news outlet that doesn't report news but sort of makes it up based on presumed facts on the ground. Here is just an example. But the welcome news is that the BBC may be winding down. There probably was a time when it could have continued on its past laurels. But that moment has long gone.

London, October 15: : The BBC is now in "its last stages" because budget cuts will make it increasingly difficult to maintain standards, the corporation' s world affairs editor has warned.

John Simpson, BBC's longest serving news reporter, said the corporation' s future is bleak as the world service was paying the price of the licence fee being "chopped away".

"The future? Well, I don't think that it's going to look very good for the BBC. I think the BBC we have known, for good or worse, is now in its last stages," the veteran correspondent, whose career at the BBC spans more than 40 years, told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Many creations in life outlive their usefulness and purpose. Surely BBC is one those creatures.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Nuclear Deal Passed US Hurdle, But....

Bharat-US Relationship May Have Reached a High Point For the Near Future

Passage of 123 Nuclear Agreement between US and Bharat, by US, could be the high point in the relationship between the countries for a while to come. I think MEA may be in for a rude shock after January depending on who wins American presidency in November. With Bush, a genuine American friend of India, I think MEA and the entire Indian foreign policy establishment had it easy, at least after Colin Powell left Bush administration in 2004.

Here are the votes by party line on the Nuclear deal:

US Senate:

For - Republicans: 48 ; Democrats: 38
Against - Republicans: 0; Democrats: 13

US House:

For - Republicans: 178; Democrats: 120
Against - Republicans: 10; Democrats: 107

With the Barack Obama, presumably, likely to win US presidency in November, based on current polls, expect the State Department back in charge when it comes to relations with India. With the backing of majority Democrats (see the Democrats opposition to the Nuclear Deal above) in both houses, Obama, while may not be Jimmy Carter, who thumbed his nose at India during his presidential visit telling us what our national interests should be and how we should manage them (which ended up turning off Bharatiya foreign policy establishment for a long time with no visits by US president to the country for 20 years), will be close enough.

Indian foreign policy establishment had excellent access to White House, National Security Agency, and US Defense Department like never before in its history during Bush era. Obama will go back to the old days of traditional foreign policy wonks in the lead. One can see the disparity when negotiations were going on for the 123 Nuclear Agreement. With the State Department establishment skeptical with the deal, clearly US NSA was driving the negotiations with a host of background players like Amb. Blackwell and Ashley Tellis working the system to make get the agreement. While US Defense Department usually has its own foreign policy objectives, any future engagement with India MoD would likely be under the radar.

The most significant change that would shock Indian establishment would be the return of hyphenation. Obama wants to go after Land of the Pure - go after terrorists in its Northwest Frontier Province. And only way to appease Pakistani tantrums, if Obama follows up his words, would be to put Bharat back on the same pedestal as Pakistan. Also expect Chinese appeasement by US to reach a new high. Any talk of US projecting Bharat as counterweight to China, even if we were interested in doing so, would probably stop.

On the other hand, if McCain wins, however unlikely, the relationship between the two nations, with his rhetoric about League of Democracies and strong support for the nuclear deal from day one, will probably take off to new heights. If the right people are in New Delhi, I won't be surprised if we become much more integrated with US - militarily, economically, and strategically.