India – A Race To The Bottom

India – A race to the bottom

CAB and NRC debate has diverted the attention away from the struggling economy. However, it is hard to reconcile arson, only if you find it difficult to torch your home just because you had to protest against your spouse. If that is scornful behavior, so are those protesters burning public property. These despicable acts can still be pardoned, with punitive damages as per the statutes.

What concerns me most is the crass abandonment of the façade of pseudo-secularism. India has for last, relegated the idea of Secularism. To talk in the US equivalent, India has indirectly modified its first amendment, a right to practice religion. More so, BJP further fractured the Seven Sisters from the North East irrationally extending the boundaries of ILP. Writing the CAB was full of logical fallacies and an act in haste.

I shared eight implications unlikely discussed by mainstream media about the current CAB. Further, I have provided evidence of a lack of humane insight with the current CAB and NRC. I am confident, you will find it insightful.

Word Count 1751, Time to Read – 8-10 minutes, Expertise – Responsible Citizen

If you are angry, do you burn your home? Arson is not justified, Period

Just imagine, your spouse is angry with you and she starts burning your home, maybe you can imagine that you are angry with your spouse, and you start burning your home. Of course, that arson is disdainful, but more than that, it is a psychopathic malady. This blog is not about how that should be treated or understanding the dynamics. A wrong remains wrong, without justification. Let us drop this British era vestige and face the truth that not just inside our home, but outside (our home) belongs to us too.

Burn It Not My Property

To be unbiased, let us not side with the aggrieved or those who are instigating aggression. Now let us watch the entire spectacle from a third person’s point of view. The first thought that comes to your mind is, ‘Is this person normal?’

Arsonists, at home or in public, are not acceptable at any cost. Protesting is absolutely a feature of any throbbing democracy but arson and anarchy justified? Protesters burn public property not because they are insane, but because they don’t consider that as their own property. If they do so, would they burn their homes too? Students have a lesson to learn from Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy (SEALDs), who took peaceful protest to influence the political landscape (See citations).

Drop the False Pretense 

CAB is based on a false notion held by many BJP loyalists that India is a great destination for Muslim migration from Pakistan. Statistics reveal that only Bangladesh is the country of origin for Muslim migration for India.

HL India Migration Flow

India does not appear anywhere in UN reports for migration of Pakistanis and the same holds true for Afghanistan. Barring Bangladesh, no Muslim country thinks of India as a place of destination (see UN references cited below). It is rhetoric that BJP is trying to roll out for the next election. This is quite an old strategy, ‘scare the populace and demand vote’ (read 10 stages of genocide, citation below).

Pakistani Emigration and Destinations

It is time to visit CAA/ CAB and add a missing perspective. Immigration is as old as human evolution. Like water flowing downhill, people have been migrating towards opportunities for living. Sometimes, those are plain attacks by organized armed men and often, those are innocent in search of life and better living. CAB is an intent and a sentiment converted into law. Laws are interpreted by word and provide a foundation for precedence. Once a law is created, intent and sentiments take a backstage. CAB becomes interesting from this perspective. As I read CAB, I understand it as below –

  • Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are allowed
  • Specifically, any Muslim from the majority Muslim nations surrounding India are not allowed. However, can BJP spell out its strategy for accepting those Muslims from Enclave reassigned in 2016?
  • There is no mention about religious persecution on Muslims such as Qadian, Nizari Muslims, Hazara diaspora, Senusi Sufi’s, Ismailis and Shia’s who are also being persecuted in Pakistan
  • Muslims from The Maldives and Tibet – The Maldives is a Muslim majority nation mostly constituted from ethnic Indias from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Similarly, several Muslims from Tibet have migrated to Kashmir or other parts of India, after the Chinese genocide and occupation. They are definitely in trouble because of CAA/CAB. Lhasa-born, Lhasa Khache Muslims and those who migrated from the central Tibetan city of Zhigatse, living in Srinagar are likely to be targeted.
  • INCLUDED RELIGIOUS GROUPS from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians.
  • EXCLUDED RELIGIONS other than Muslims are Taoism, Baha’i, Confucianism, Judaism, Shinto, etc. It also excludes Tibetan Muslims.
  • If one sincerely intends to migrate to India from any of the above countries, CAA/CAB indirectly encourages conversion (proselytization) to any of the acceptable religion.
  • Other EXCLUDED are Agnostics, Atheist, Indigenous Faith, etc., if one interprets the law. If the law can be bypassed to get these groups to migrate to India, that’s another concern.
  • As per the wording of CAB, excluded groups from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal are not welcome either.

The intent is Islamophobia and though CAB abhors migration of Muslims from three countries specifically, it does not mention if Muslims from other countries are welcome. It is safe to presume, that CAB is exclusively targeted towards Muslims. Nations do not rise with a phobia, Pakistan is a good example. It cultivated hatred and diverted its resources against India and we all know where Pakistan stands today, as a nation.

Nations rise with a keen sense of identity and that cannot be a phobia toward any generic group of people. Introducing such ordinances degrades a democracy into a Taliban style model.

That does not mean, I disagree with the issues with Islam, all I insist is we need to work out a creative concrete solution and sometimes, that takes decades. There is no debate on the aggressive nature of Islam and the lack of reconciliation for the crimes committed by the bigoted and aggressive practitioners. However, that is presuming 100% of followers of Islam are bad. That also includes Abdul Kalam and several of the noble soul who contributes vigorously to the development and expansion of humane cause. Thus CAB concludes, if you are a Muslim, you need to be shunned, at least from India. In the US, they call it the first amendment. First amendment enshrines safeguarding your faith. At least, for now, India has dropped the veils and abandoned First Amendment. It is no more a secular country. Yes, India is a country for Non-Muslims though. If the US drops its First Amendment, it has dropped the very foundation stone on which it rests. India has just done that.

==

The Inner Line Permit (ILP)

ILP began as a practice with British rule to keep away the mainland Indian population from gaining business opportunities into the virgin field rife with Oil, Tea and Timber business. That was more a visa equivalent, to restrict the mainlanders from the pristine North East population. It remained in place since the 1830s. Gradually, all including Assamese and Tripurites got accustomed to this visa restricted entry system since that offered protection. However, gradually the population from Bangladesh and West Bengal started migrating. However, the reaction was more towards the foreigner from Bangladesh. Not against those from West Bengal, though the pain was felt equally from the migrant population irrespective of their origin.

Assam and Seven Sisters

Thus an exercise began against the gradual migration of the Bangla population into Assam and Tripura. This migration changed the opportunities for the native population and there was an outcry for the migration to stop. The Assamese insisted on stopping the migration across from Bangladesh, irrespective of Hindu Bangladeshi or Muslim Bangladeshi. It was to safeguard their jobs, opportunities. BJP exploited this opportunity and implemented their sense of nationality at the cost of the native demand to restrict the Bangladeshi. Though it changed the demography, there never was any concern about the increasing Muslim population, except for BJP, who knew Muslims would never vote for BJP. It was an astute exercise of gerrymandering.

==

Immigration and Emigration:

Like water flows downstream, so do humans migrate towards opportunities, better environment, avoid persecution, etc. Migration this exists since eternity. Birds follow this path, animals migrate towards better pastures. There is no dearth of examples irrespective of species.

No nation or geography is devoid of migrants, and always there has been a reaction of the natives to such immigration. What concerns most is not the migration or the protest against migration but the quality of protest and the dismal intention of building barriers and mechanisms for reducing the influx. Let us revisit each of these phenomena individually.

Of course, we all know people gravitate towards a better quality of life, better opportunities, avoidance of persecution, atrocities, escape torture (asylum, refugees), and hardships, etc. However, immigrants have always benefited the nation since it provides the diversity or addition of skills and labor for proper growth. Rarely people migrate because of none of these factors. Opportunities exist and so people migrate. Immigration is thus a flux or movement of people towards opportunities, whereas emigration is a movement away from their native land. We are dealing with Immigration, not Emigration. We often consider nationals of one country migrating into another as immigration. However, intra-nation migration is more common than migration between countries.

Immigration and Emigration both have consequences for the local population and the nation in general. Immigration has a direct impact on resources and revenues. Economies change drastically if there is an exodus of the working population. They leave behind an aged population and carry revenue along with them. Thus policies have to be created to control migration.

Most evolved democracies have a mature mechanism for regulating migration. However, these mechanisms are continuously monitored and tweaked, as required, to control the flow to virtuously and humanely manage the cycle of migration. An evolved democracy hardly has a religious limitation as a filter for immigrants. N400, a naturalization form that is foundational for US immigration, represents one such mechanism. Naturalization is contingent on the answers provided in this form. Any misrepresentation has the potential for revoking citizenship. Similar mechanisms can be ascertained for migrants from nations where there is a potential for social impact. Such a mechanism was distorted with gerrymandering introduced through CAB and ILP.

Conclusion:

NRC will thus be a step ahead than Watan Cards or National Identity Card of Pakistan. Let us race to the bottom along with Pakistan! If you ask me, the entire fiasco of CAB and NRC has been managed in the usual BJP style like Demonetization, Surgical Strikes, GST and now CAB/NRC.

Human Rights and Ratification

 

When most countries are accepting the Humans Rights, India is actually regressing like its Pakistani counterpart in upholding the rights of refugees. India lost its status as a secular nation, it is transitioning towards a Hindu National Identity inclusive only towards select religions. More so, the NRC and ILP have fractured the seven sisters from the North East into three categories, those having the ILP, those recently added to ILP and those tribals with a hybrid model.

Hurrah BJP! Welcome, Grand Mess!!

Citations:

Nationalism, immigration and minorities

1. Nationalism, immigration and minorities

Explained: Where the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill does not apply

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SM.POP.NETM

https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/publications/migrationreport/docs/MigrationReport2017_Highlights.pdf

https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/publications/migrationreport/docs/MigrationReport2017_Highlights.pdf

Overseas Pakistan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overseas_Pakistani

Pakistan as a Return Migration Destination
https://www.prio.org/Publications/Publication/?x=8743

Explained: Where the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill does not apply

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/12/citizenship-bill-modi-protests-india.amp

https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-12-16/india-citizenship-law-protests-spread-across-campuses

Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy (SEALDs), https://metropolisjapan.com/sealds-legacy/

10 stages of genocide. Where does India stand? #CAB https://www.reddit.com/r/india/comments/e8du1h/10_stages_of_genocide_where_does_india_stand_cab/

https://idsa.in/system/files/monograph/monograph56.pdf (Illegal Migration From Bangladesh).

Migration of Enclave dwellers – India and Bangladesh Swap Territory, Citizens in Landmark Enclave Exchange https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/india-and-bangladesh-swap-territory-citizens-landmark-enclave-exchange

https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935420.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199935420-e-7 (Lhasa Tibetan Muslims)

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/what-is-citizenship-amendment-bill-all-you-need-to-know-about-cab-bill-2019/articleshow/72449945.cms
https://www.hoover.org/research/how-should-we-value-immigrants-and-how-should-affect-immigration-reform

Brahmins are despised. Really?

3 Percent Brahmin

First, let us decipher the message –

  1. That Brahmins are despised by the other population
  2. Brahmins thought it was their Government
  3. Society is polarized

First, let us revisit history in a reverse chronology to cross-check if Brahmin Leaders were/are despised by the Bahujan and rural masses? We have seen Several Brahmin rulers who are/were well accepted by society. We have several examples of astute leaders from this class who led the masses very successfully, during normal times and during the crisis. They were loved by all sections of society. Lokmanya Tilak is an ideal example. To avoid debate, let me quickly revisit the Peshwas. We all know the Peshwas were Brahmins and they ruled and successfully expanded their kingdom from 1713 until 1818. Then too, Brahmins were minuscule. Leaders are not born, they achieve that status because of identification with the masses and aligning them towards those shared goals and objectives.

‘Angur khatte hai’

Second, it is common to label adverse unexpected outcome as ‘Casteism’, those undertones are always there. BJP, RSS and their so-called Chanakya, Amit Shah did not manage the different stakeholders for sure. Now they call, ‘Brahmin’s are despised’.

RSS think tank and PM Modi are on the ascendency of the power hype curve. They have not yet tasted the different seasons and the colors of power and politics. All it means is that they have a long way to go. Those successful in politics have often strategically backed off. An attitude of ‘backing off and strategically accommodating’ others (or collaborating with others, is missing with the BJP. That complacency is primarily due to arrogance of power and lust for dictating. To sustain power, you have to be very malleable, mentally astute and agile to realign. It is wrong to say the masses despised Brahmins. Always rulers are minuscule, they create that masses around a shared objective.

Blasphemy of Hindutva

Hindutva is very diverse, plural and deep. By Hindutva, I mean Sanatan dharma and Land on the east Hindukush. Dharma offers a wholesome milieu based on the principles of accommodating various colors, provides a platform for self-actualization for every individual irrespective of the situation they are. It understands the challenges individuals face during their time in this (life) journey. Dharma has an immense appetite to change, adapt, adopt and assimilate as time progresses. It is about the ethos that provides a foundation for human struggle, human endeavor and the journey of a human through their lifespan. Scriptures provide that written foundation, artifacts, and rituals a visible form to support that identity.

Sanatan dharma is thus deep and divine. Today, it is catapulted into crass religious scripture, rituals, and artifacts. The later cannot be a religion if the ethos are lost. BJP’s ideas of Sanatan Dharma (Hindutva) are very narrow and artifact-based.  BJP’s Current idea of religion is a reactive backlash against ‘Muslim Atrocities and Aggressiveness’ over the centuries. There was a lot of pent up frustration within the masses and BJP has galvanized support over those pent up feelings. Tapping that resentment against the Muslim aggression has brought them to power but to sustain power, they have to address the root, that fundamental yearning to which religion provides the vigor and vitality.

NRC and Opposition to CAB

It is exactly this lack of understanding that is causing the North East to burn because it is the lack of understanding of the diverse population from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, and Meghalaya.

Blind sightedness will only help BJP fall, understanding the masses will help them drive the destiny of the nation. The best I like about BJP is their vision for a nation, what I don’t like about them is lack of inclusiveness.

Caste-based Polarization

Sometimes back, I wrote segmentation based on about Varna system. A staunch supporter of BJP and a good friend of mine declined the idea that Varna system still exists in India. If Varna system does not exist, why do we see such a comment?

 

Jugad is not Innovation

Jugad is a reckless exploration of expedient solutions with no or minimal disregard for the system. Whereas Innovation is a novel way of solving a problem, oftentimes it is in the context, e.g. saving money, getting things done at a faster pace, etc. However, innovation never disregards society at large or compromises the existing structure. It encompasses both business and technical problem-solving. Another term, Technology Debt, is used for faster Go-To-Market development of code and is prominently used in software parlance. In this article, I have taken a dig at a common tendency to blatantly brandish our attitude towards scrupulous things with total disregard for laws or norms.

Words 1006, reading time 4 – 5 minutes.

What is Jugad?

 Jugad can colloquially and loosely be defined as a practice of getting things done by investing minimal efforts and getting the desired outcome with an element of exigency attached to getting things done with least care for the system. Whereas, optimization is doing things with minimum cost/efforts/time in getting it done. Often, the later is used in situations to showcase early results but not at the cost of compromising or impacting the system adversely. In Jugad, there is an element of recklessness, lack of concern for the system and accountability. Often it involves dubious methods and approaches. Jugad is when someone gets the license after flouting the system in a spurious way.

 

Introspection

Jugad is not Innovation

Innovation is deeply embedded in the common mind of most amongst us, we call it common sense. Most citizens have a healthy dose of common sense, that is often used in our day to day life. It brings a fundamental advantage in several ways. However, Jugad has a negative connotation and it is self-defeating, for the person and indirectly for the wider society. Despite, like an addiction, we believe it is a great attribute of smartness and keep indulging in it with pride, at the cost of crumbling character. The invention is when Tara Shinde (Vidya Balan) suggests an innovative idea to push the satellite into outward orbits with limited energy (as in Mission Mangal).

Jugad is not Technical Debt

Often a similar term is used in Information Technology (IT) Programming wherein a feature has to be pushed into production at the desired date to achieve a Go-To-Market objective. Yes, it does result in fallacies in the code and does involve a lack of diligent testing beforehand, but it is not at the cost of overall system compromise. It underpins an Agile methodology for code development. Below examples will illustrate Technical debt, and I have taken little extra deep dive to explain the different types of technical debts.

Carnegie Mellon University defines it as “a conceptualizes the trade-off between the short-term benefit of rapid delivery and long-term value”. A design or construction approach that is expedient in the short term but that creates a technical context in which the same work will cost more to do later than it would cost to do now (including increased cost over time) whereas Gartner defines technical debt “as the deviation of an application from any nonfunctional requirements”. What does this have to do with our ordinary “Jugad”? Technical debt emphasizes two paths to choose:

The easier route – made up of messier code or design, will get you there faster.

The harder route – made up of cleaner code and design that takes a lot more time.

It is unavoidable, unintentional and planned. It expedites pushing code but never with malicious intent.

Technical Debt 1

So What Is Jugad?

I will cite an example. Never have I felt good after receiving a traffic citation. I complained but realized, that citation has always helped me reduce my speed and be more attentive. No one will disagree that this effect was everlasting. It might have prevented untoward incidences. However, I always grumbled for getting a citation. In the US, the only way to redress the citation is by legal means, any other means is counterproductive. However, in India, other means can be adopted for faster redressal.

Recently, there was a huge fire in Delhi (Dec 8, 2019) with a death toll of over 35. It is definitely a somber and tragic event. I am sure, the City Corporation of Delhi must be having its own fire rules and regulations. However, I am also sure that those might have been intentionally overlooked. A post facto analysis may reveal the truth later.

In a nation where bridges and buildings keep falling like a pack of cards, it is only newsworthy to read such death tolls and we feel the pain and despair only for a few moments. We lament express shock and get back to our work. However, the underlying phenomenon is our own fallacy and lack of commitment and abject ignorance of true empathy. Incidences like the huge fire in Delhi, the crumbling bridges and buildings or the smog in Northern India are tragic outcomes of a Jugad attitude. It is painful to see recurrent high death toll from such incidences. Unfortunately, we need incidences like this to learn reactively. Of course, some learning will definitely be an outcome, policy books will be updated by city planner, corrupt official, and expediency by owners will override these, NGOs may criticize and some matters will go to courts while others will be pushed beneath the rug.

Indians often pride expediency and leverage our capabilities in getting things done, hardly ever realizing that every moment, every incidence of individual contribution, adds to this Jugad character of the national identity.

There is a great deal of criticism about India as a $5 Trillion economy. People are a skeptic but India is already beyond $5 Trillion Economy. I am taking a futuristic view. According to PwC and the World Economic Forum, India is bound to be a $28 Trillion Economy and China a $50 Trillion Economy. I have an even better prediction about that but first, India needs to fix the parallel process, commonly called ‘Jugad’.

As a rising nation, Indians have to abandon this parallel process (Jugad) mindset. Like it is imperative to dismantling a parallel economy, so is it equally important to dismantle this Jugad mindset and commit to hardship and build a character. Finally, every country has a character and characteristics and this is one character that will lampoon India as trailing Pakistan in the future.

Summarily, I can say with a lot of certainty that almost everyone indulges in Jugad frequently, if not the least evert now and then. However, some pride themselves only on Jugad. If only we can stop our temptation and fix our attitude of falling for short cuts at the cost of the system that would be best application of introspection.

https://medium.com/existek/what-is-technical-debt-and-how-to-calculate-it-80193e4e746d

View at Medium.com

https://insights.sei.cmu.edu/sei_blog/2015/07/a-field-study-of-technical-debt.html

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/many-dead-and-injured-in-fire-at-delhis-anaj-mandi/article30236267.ece

https://www.bmc.com/blogs/technical-debt-explained-the-complete-guide-to-understanding-and-dealing-with-technical-debt/

View at Medium.com

— — —

Additional Illustration on technical debt –

Technical Debt 2

Boosting the State of Indian Economy

GDP trend indicates the health of any economy. The economic slowdown is often cyclic and a fact of life. However, the economic woes are all-pervasive and understanding the root causes help in providing insight on how best to fix. Individual countries have different problems, comprising different patterns. Thus the root causes can be broadly categorized into a pattern and individual factors specific for the country and its economy. Often, there is a shared thread between the integrated global market place. Identifying the patterns and the specific individual factors will help in putting up a strategy for revival.

This article articulates the need for a solution within broader problem space for India, which has fluctuated economically from ‘at risk’ (2013), ‘expansion’ (2016) and now again ‘at risk’ (2019). This blog is not exhaustive and does not go into a detailed root cause analysis or detailed solution building exercise. In this article, the author has provided a select set of solutions that would boost the economy, provide opportunities across multiple sectors and ameliorate the problem of the continuing slowdown.

Word Count 2294; reading time 8 – 11 min.

Economic slow down is often cyclic and a fact of life. Slowing down or crash landing of the Indian Economy is an increasing chatter on the internet. However, a closer look will reveal that the recessionary phenomenon encompasses most major economies including the US, China, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Russia, South East Asia (the so-called ‘Tiger Economies’ of the 2000s), Brazil, Turkey, and oil-rich Gulf Nations. Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina are acutely going through this recessionary distress with revolts and change of ruling Governments. Venezuela is undergoing severe inflation called stagflation that is spreading the contagion across the borders. Poland and Canada are amongst the only few countries that are showing flying colors despite the adverse global economic headwind.

Nations such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and many African countries, especially those who have subscribed to the String of Pearls (SOP), Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partner (RCEP) and the 54 nations of the Africa Continent Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will face a massive financial challenge while servicing the burgeoning Chinese loans. Countries such as Pakistan, are on the precipice of falling into bankruptcy. No wonder India quit the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) regional trade consortium. 

The economic woes are all-pervasive and the root cause commonly follows select patterns. Individual countries have different problems. However, there is a common shared thread and select individual factors. Identifying the patterns for a specific country will help in putting up a strategy for revival. I have focused on articulating the need for a solution within broad problem areas. This blog is not exhaustive and does not go into a detailed root cause analysis or detailed solution building exercise.

Ignored Global Comparison:

In India, private debt in 2017 was 54.5 percent of the GDP and the general government debt was 70.4 percent of the GDP, total debt of about 125 of the GDP, according to the latest IMF figures. In comparison, the debt of China was 247 percent of the GDP. As of October 2018, it stands at approximately CN¥ 36 trillion (US$ 5.2 trillion), equivalent to about 47.6% of GDP. A key gauge of China’s debt has topped 300% of gross domestic product, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF), as Beijing steps up support for the cooling economy while trying to contain financial risks. China’s total corporate, household and government debt rose to 303% of GDP in the first quarter of 2019, from 297% in the same period a year earlier, the IIF said in a report this week which highlighted rising debt levels worldwide.

In the United States, total non-financial private debt is $27 trillion and public debt is $19 trillion. More telling, since 1950, U.S. private debt has almost tripled from 55 percent of GDP to 150 percent of GDP, and most other major economies have shown a similar trend. Cumulative debt stands at 40 trillion dollars. Comparative figures from the US reveal that India is not badly hit, considering the numbers released by the Indian Government are trustworthy and credible.

Let us review select Key Performance Indices (KPI’s) of India’s financial health. Here are a few interesting figures from the State Of Indian Economy –

  • GDP growth is at a 15-year low
  • Unemployment is at a 45-year high
  • Household consumption is at a four-decade low
  • Bad loans in banks are at an all-time high
  • Growth in electricity generation is at a 15-year low

The list of highs and lows is long and distressing. But the state of the economy is worrying not because of these disturbing statistics. These are mere manifestations of a deeper underlying malaise that plagues the nation’s economy today. These figures were published in the Hindu, a very reputed and respected daily. When I share independent data from foreign outlets, those are immediately ridiculed as being ‘biased to damage the growing stature of India’.

I was talking with a building contractor friend of mine who has a meaningful business.  When prodded on his state of business, he said, everything is so dry and no new constructions are taking place. This is not my isolated discussion. Every now and then, I do probe these questions to people across the globe and India happens to be on the top. Below is a list of industry verticals that are not just sluggish but in recession (more than 2 quarters of slow down beyond certain percent points).

 

India Economic Slow Down

Industries Impacted: 

  • Manufacturing
  • Farming
  • Auto
  • Construction
  • Airlines
  • Service industry

Impact Equivalence: 

If you factor in the total percent affected, you will notice a major chunk of the population that forms the base of the pyramid, is affected because of the slowdown.

What happens now?

Well, families and business entities are at least losing 34-57% of their revenue. That’s a significant number. Spending goes down and tax collection goes down, tax at the POS (point of sales), tax from earning and tax from the business.

    1. Quantitative Easing
    2. Bad Loans or Risk prone leveraged industry
    3. Global slowdown
    4. China – A special mention
  • Quantitative Easing:

Well, let us borrow now at a cheaper rate from the Govt, or blow up what is saved in RBI (exit RBI Governors), a loan or from outside or print currency.

  • Bad Loans or Risk prone leveraged industry:

We can’t let this to catapult to a state of anarchy. We have to loan where the potential for defaults are high. Banking, Airlines, Telecom ate common examples. These were bankrupt overnight? The most common folks (shareholders) lost the most. Millions of crores of national treasure disappeared in just a fraction of time.

I disagree with “the Hindu” here. Let us understand, corruption was not just prevalent but endemic and all-pervasive. Nothing wrong, if Modi tightened the levers. At least he had guts to do that. No one including the system had shown responsible behavior and if Modi has tightened the noose, nothing wrong about it.

I will elaborate on the reasons where we are going wrong, needless and pointless to blame Modi for all the ills. Devaluation and GST came at a wrong time that confluence along with a Global slowdown, on which Modi had little control.

  • Global slowdown:

India is not alone. China, UK, Germany, Japan, the US, France, Gulf, Russia, Brazil, and many Tiger economies (remember the term for ASEAN economies used in 2000) are significantly slowed down.

  • China deserves a special mention:

China is the worst affected with 100s of ‘Ghost Cities’, flailing international trade pacts (CPEC, ASEAN and The revival of the Silk Road) and the flight of money compounded by the increasing cost of labor. It is gaining a notorious reputation of creating and exploiting poor nation’s solvency, squashing neighbors and selling obsolescence across the globe (recollect how your electrical and other goods specifically made is China have become durable and short-lasting).

India WEF

What should be done?

First and foremost, Modi has to move beyond strongman to strategist. A nation survives on vision and not just statesmanship. I have identified a few areas that will help boost productivity at the individual level, jump start the GDP and improve the health of the economy.

    1. Foundational Infrastructure
    2. Roads and Railways
    3. Satellite Cities and Telecom
    4. Innovation in Farming
    5. Revamp Agricultural Supply Chain
    6. Environment and Pollution
    7. Sewage and Containment
    8. Social Re-Engineering

India Vision and Strategy Continue reading “Boosting the State of Indian Economy”

Are Centrist Mutating?

A unique political game was played in Maharashtra, the centrist (Congress and NCP) and the rightwing (Shiv Sena) formed an alliance to outbid another rightwing (BJP/RSS). To many, it was perplexing, to me it is an antecedent event. Political pundits and social-political science luminaries thought it as bizarre. To me this is not. It is expediency to camouflage and change identity and reemerge as a political chimera of the dominant political ideology. In India and especially Maharashtra, all political parties will hence forth, dawn a saffron hue to camouflage their identity to match the political currents flowing within the country.

This phenomenon will gradually pervade across national boundaries to counter the upsurge of right wing radical dominance. In life sciences, it is called ‘Adaptation’, in mountaineering, it is called ‘Acclimatization’ and in sociology, this is called evolution and Darwin calls it ‘Survival Of The Fittest’.

Word Count – 905; Reading time – 3 to 4 min.

A recent upsurge in right-wing dominated nationalistic sentiments disrupted existing models in several countries. However, an experiment was played in Maharashtra, India that would possibly be a harbinger to an emerging model wherein the marginalized centrist forces may possibly adopt this model and make a comeback.

Reemerging Centrists.PNG

In the state of Maharashtra, all right-wing parties (BJP and Shiv Sena) made pre-poll alliances; similarly, the centrist parties (Congress and NCP) went into a similar alliance formation with an agreed common program. However, immediately after the elections, the rightwing alliance broke down and one of the right-wing ultra-nationalistic party forged an alliance with the centrist parties to form Government.

To many, this was strange and to the BJP, it was shocking. Political pundits thought it to be opportunistic; however, I differ with the Political Pundits and find it as an emerging pattern. I made attempts at deciphering the dynamics driving the formation of new alliances. Identifying newer patterns in alliance formation does not mean I subscribe to this newer model. Identifying models only helps us understand and mature our perspective. It is upon individuals to make conscious choices and influence their polity. The events in Maharashtra may be considered as a prelude to one of these patterns that are likely to influence the formation of future alliances, not alone in India but across the globe.

Saffronization of the polity:

There is a prominent Hindus wave in India. Most so-called centrist parties never realized this emerging phenomenon. Here before, safeguarding or protecting the cause of Hindu believers was politically incorrect. However, the majority of the Hindu population felt that they were neglected. That frustration. was tapped by the BJP. The centrist parties knew this pent up frustration, despite they kept away from addressing this growing frustration.

Electoral impact:

The electoral results gave BJP a resounding victory. Realizing this, most leaders from centrist parties realized it is time to disrobe their white outfit (a congress era vestige) and wear a saffron color outfit.

To Survive, ‘Change is a Must‘:

Simile apart, most centrist parties are now, not averse in taking up the ‘Hindu cause’ for their survival. It will not be surprising to see this becoming a nationwide phenomenon. For the Sena, to avoid being squashed under the umbrella of a nationwide Hindutva outfit was sure death. To survive, it had to be stronger than the big guy, BJP.

The Vantage Point:

Sena’s survival sentiment was very well tapped by NCP supremo, and he supported their demand for Chief Ministership and thus widened the rift between the political bedfellows of over 25 years.

For the BJP, the time had to come for separation from Sena and show their might and dominance in Maharashtra. BJP would have diluted Sena inevitably. However, NCP infused and enthused Sena for CM’s position. This hastened the emergence of the two parties divorcing and arriving at this crossroads. After establishing themselves nationwide, BJP doesn’t need Sena to hang on in Maharashtra. Thus not succumbing to Sena’s demands was strategically natural, not a principled stand, neither was it a matter of Amit Shah’s temper.

Congress had learned it hard-way the saffronization is marginalizing them. It had to change the color of its outfit and an alliance is a step towards that change to win the Hindu heart.

Power Provides Petrol:

NCP stalwart spotted the right time to flex his shrewd muscles. The recent exposure of Praful Patel was a harbinger of the attacks to come. Flexing power and keeping enemies at bay was a crucial need.

For NCP and Congress, staying out of power for a long time meant an erosion of their coffers. Ruling a rich state helps to refill those coffers. Strange ways of politics but a political party cannot survive without ruling (and corruption) for long. Both Congress and NCP had to snatch this opportunity.

Thus Saffronization, Electoral Impact, Political Survival, Individual and Coalition Dynamics and the need to recharge coffers dominated the formation of this newfound alliance. To me, these are not opportunistic bedfellows. These are emerging patterns of alliances in the post-right-wing dominated world.

(Shashank Heda, Dallas, TX)

Maharashtra: The unravelling of India’s BJP and Shiv Sena alliance

https://gulfnews.com/opinion/op-eds/maharashtra-politics-and-delusions-in-indias-democracy-1.68187141

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-50402748

Holocaust of Hindustan

We never realized that those residing beyond Hindukush, broadly called Hindustan is a regional identity of the people comprising a diverse composition of ideologies, culture, rituals, practices in a milieu that accepted the diversity and heterogeneity. Hindustan had gone through 1000 years of atrocities, plunder, and inhumane treatment at the hands of the Arabs, Turks, Mongols, and the Persians.

Hindustan tolerated this onslaught and even assimilated remaining residual rulers and their henchmen as part of their character. Gradually, deviations of the new culture had an impact on the native Hindustani culture and an idea of sovereignty evolved to embrace these new rulers as part of our culture, as part of our nature and as part of our sovereign character.

You all may ask, after all, we were a warring faction of several kingdoms, so what is wrong with Turks, Mongol, Mughal or Arabs invading India? Weren’t the Cholas fighting with Cheras and weren’t the Pandians conquering the Cheras? Weren’t the Guptas, the Rajputs and other clans fighting for dynastic control? While I was talking with a small group, in Dallas a few days back, I stated that we were a warring faction of kingdoms but we followed the dharma of war, these invaders never followed that dharma of war.

What’s the ‘Dharma of War’?

There are countless examples of princely kingdoms capturing each other and expanding or shrinking as the story (history) of the land unfurled. However, one thing was constant, they followed the rules of war. No fights happened after dusk time, wounded were nurtured and cared irrespective of enemy lines, the losers were no decimated, the women were not robed/raped or even insulted, vulnerable like kids and elders were not touched, the property was not destroyed, temples, scriptures, and cultures were treated with dignity. There was no forcible conversion, no eviction, no jazia for losers, etc. ideologies were untouched. That is the dharma of war (Shashank Heda).

Even in war, they followed humanity. That humanity was a key driving principle. That was a sign of the evolution of culture. It was followed almost universally irrespective of region, religion ( Sanatan dharma or Buddhism), time or reason for war.

When these invaders invaded, they were barbaric and rudimentary in the culture and evolution. For those who question the parity of the invaders’ state versus Hindustan, let me step back and say, thieves, plunder the rich, not the nomadic and the poor. That wealth, an outcome of civilization and culture, formed the reason to attack and plunder.

Let me step back again and add what rudimentary means. Say you have just arrived from a traditional land with rudimentary culture, where women are covered from head to toe and you reach Western Europe or North America, and you see a skimpily clad girl, naturally it is sore and alluring to your eyes. However, those residing here in the US, give a damn or turns around and see that skimpily clad girl. her but if that same behavior were to happen in the native land, possibly she will be subjugated to a plethora of maladies depending upon where it had to happen. That’s a rudimentary and unevolved culture.

These barbaric Arabs, Turks, Babar’s and Mongols were barbaric and unevolved people who attacked a civilized evolved land, where the ‘dharma of war’ was laid down as principles. The believed in jungle raj that never knew the principles of war, I call that ‘ dharma of war’, the so-called tenets that were tacit and spoken understanding before going to war.

1 Brutal Killing Off the Field

We all know that Genghis Khan’s Y Chromosome (and lineage) forms 6% of all Chinese population where his brutal rein rode through. How did that happen? When this trailblazer Mongols started his expedition and captured China, of course, he disseminated his DNA all along. Can you imagine the atrocities committed by him? He is the one who converted to Islam after conquering Istanbul (called Byzantinopole or Constantinopole).

Similar brutalities are evident from Latin America, where the Europeans plundered, looted and destroyed the civilization. Europe was then a filthy continent with different diseases like Plague, Cholera, Syphilis, and Gonorrhoea. Most readers are aware of the advanced civilization of the Latin Americas – Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, and others. This land was invaded by Europeans, who not alone spread the bugs but also killed most men and made a horde of ladies as their harem or concubines. Today, as Latin America stands, very few original ethnicities still remain, most are a hybrid of Spaniards and Mayan/Inca Ethnic stock. They have lost their culture and their religion. Only recently, have they started bringing back their original rituals and ideologies.

When people from barbaric, immature and rudimentary cultures invade, they pretty much plunder and decimate the niceties of evolution and that’s the story of India. There is one subtle difference between Hindustan and Latin America though, the Hindu story is not as bad as Latin America but India has to stand for its own lost identity and if I reflect correctly, that’s the potent and strong sentiment that is all-pervasive. That is the second awakening, the first being the struggle for Independence. The current political dispensation sensed this sentiment and is riding high upon that sentiment.

Glory cannot be just found in history, India will have to toil today to eschew and regain those heights of civilization, the sentiment is not enough. Momentum is built with every transaction and every facet is important. That energy is pulsating and palpable amongst Gen X/Y, everywhere but it needs to be channelized and a milieu created for realization (Shashank Heda, Dallas, TX). That vision to draw a strategic roadmap is being cobbled as yet but India awaits that articulation and the world await to embrace emerging India and comprehend its strength.

Can we fix this “Ailment”?

India’s varn system was more than a slavery. A huge section of the society was subjected to slavery under the pretext of Varna system. Eventually, at the time the constitution was written, enough safeguards were added to protect these downtrodden. However, recently, there has been a huge outcry against these reservations (equal opportunities) and those who were in the higher strata have started expressing their anguish. However, it is time to modify, NOT ABOLISH, the reservations. If Hinduism need to grow, it has to stop such leaks. If those are not abolished, the deprived strata abandon Sanatan dharma and accept other faith, Neo-Buddhist and Muslims being one of those

Can we own it? On the other side of the world, a different phenomenon is happening. Social reformers and politicians are realizing the grave atrocities inflicted by slavery. Only through frank confession, realization and eventual commitment to fix that a nation can rise and prosper.

This is the prospective Presidential hopeful admitting the ownership of slaves on behalf of his great great great grandfather. This is worth a read for those liberals who believe in equal rights for all humans and who understand the torment and pain endured by those who went through this ordeal for generations. I sincerely salute such leaders since these are the ones who create the destiny of the country, not the narrow-minded partisan polity. We curse the US for its progress. The US was born from leaders like Beto.

O’Rourke’s family history was first raised with O’Rourke’s campaign by The Guardian. According to The Guardian, the owner of Rose and Eliza lived in Kentucky and also in Kansas territory. In his Medium post, O’Rourke wrote of the generational effects of slavery, lamenting that “misfortune was passed through the generations from Rose and Eliza to their descendants who are alive today.”

“Rose and Eliza were denied their freedom and the benefits that their labor produced; they and their children were then denied their civil rights after the end of Reconstruction; and their descendants endured open terrorism, economic exclusion and racism in the form of Jim Crow, lynchings, convict leasing, voter suppression, redlining, predatory lending, and mass incarceration,” he wrote. “Everything their descendants have accomplished in their lives is despite having all of these odds stacked against them.”

While acknowledging the benefits “from a system that my ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others,” O’Rourke wrote, “that only increases the urgency I feel to help change this country so that it works for those who have been locked-out of — or locked-up in — this system.”

Slavery 1

India does have equal opportunities. However, the centuries-old Varna System has established the practice deep into our genome. We can survive without realizing the oppression of a class. Enshrining the constitutional reforms with the protection of this lower class was the first corrective step. However, decades of playing politically correct have deprived the true meaning of the benefits of reservation and we have created another creamy layer within those enjoying reservations and ignored a broad swath of society that still is deprived of those advantages for centuries and generations. The malice does not end there, we have simultaneously created a new class of economically disadvantaged folks who were deprived of normal opportunities in the absence of reservations.

Slavery 2

Does that mean, we should continue what with the reservations as is or does it mean reservations policies should be modified to 1) bring a wider spectrum of people under the umbrage of reservations 2) avoid creating another legacy of a disadvantaged class of society deprived of advantages despite merit? Visit my blog on https://wp.me/p7XEWW-16j

Beto, a US presidential hopeful, wrote a piece admitting his parental legacy being benefitted from slavery. Ownership of other human beings conferred advantages not just to Andrew Jasper and Frederick Williams, but to Jasper’s and Williams’ descendants as well. They were able to build wealth on the backs and off the sweat of others, wealth that they would then be able to pass down to their children and their children’s children. In some way, and in some form, that advantage would pass through to me and my children.

That those enslaved Americans owned by my ancestors were denied their freedom, denied the ability to amass wealth, denied full civil rights in America after slavery also had long term repercussions for them and their descendants. The way that fortune was passed through the generations from Andrew to me, misfortune was passed through the generations from Rose and Eliza to their descendants who are alive today. Rose and Eliza were denied their freedom and the benefits that their labor produced; they and their children were then denied their civil rights after the end of Reconstruction; and their descendants endured open terrorism, economic exclusion, and racism in the form of Jim Crow, lynchings, convict leasing, voter suppression, redlining, predatory lending, and mass incarceration. Everything their descendants have accomplished in their lives is despite having all of these odds stacked against them.

In the aggregate, slavery, its legacy and the ensuing forms of institutionalized racism have produced an America with stark differences in opportunities and outcomes, depending on race.

Those who fashion themselves as guardians of nation, culture, and religion – Can they own up like Beto?

Citations:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/14/politics/beto-orourke-slave-owner-descendant/index.html

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/14/beto-orourke-ancestor-owned-slaves-slavery-1415849

 

View at Medium.com