This is a classic example of invincibility and complacency – that nothing will happen to me even while the entire world is suffering from COVID.
Passengers went on a cruise while COVID was raging, presuming that COVID won’t infect their isolation on the ship (in deep water!) never realizing that asymptomatics are the core carrier rather than those who are actively infected.
Exactly this is what happens around us. Yesterday, I was talking with a friend and I realized, he was not using a mask despite the incidence being very high in their state.
That’s pathetic, I understand coronavirus is not seen and leave behind a trail of fragrance but understand, every time an asymptomatic exhales or sneezes, they blow approximately 54 million copies of the virus in the air. It is now known that these copies stay for at least 3-6 hours in the air. That air may drift in your direction and not having a mask while exposed to the potentially infectious airborne virus is culpable negligence, especially knowing that it may make you another asymptomatic carrier.
This pandemic is replete with examples where the asymptomatic have infected the gullible and innocent unexposed. It is the later who has taken the brunt from SARS CoV2.
Covid-19 has pushed us into a situation of ‘Catch 22’, it has exposed the fault lines on several facets on which our modern society, and especially the 21st century, are built. It has questioned the entire edifice of the foundation of humanity, especially as it exists in an integrated global dependent economy.
Covid-19 has pushed us into a situation of ‘Catch 22’, it has exposed the fault lines on several facets on which our modern society, and especially the 21st century, are built. It has questioned the entire edifice of the foundation of humanity, especially as it exists in an integrated global dependent economy.
We have polar perspectives – on one side, we have New Zealand, a small nation, that stopped everything including the virus. New Zealand is not alone state, most smaller well-managed nations were able to thwart the wave of pandemic including Romania, Japan, etc.
On the other end of the polar extreme, we have huge behemoths like the US and China, where despite the controls, the pandemic has been difficult to control.
Of course, economies suffer and to speak the ideal, mankind cannot be restricted to isolation, from itself (social network, families snd friends) and from nature. That has not been, and for millennia has never been the lifestyle irrespective of the civilization. We are definitely in a quagmire, a piquant situation of making a choice, and irrespective of the choice we opt for, we will have to pay collateral value.
That’s why I call it ‘Catch 22’, a situation that has exposed our fault lines.
Planners and politicians are facing this dilemma and resolve but none of our intelligence, native natural or artificial, will help us through this. I remember an important saying by Albert Einstein, that this problem cannot be solved with the same mindset that created it. We have to rise and evolve to a different plane to understand and solve this. (Shashank Heda, Dallas, Texas).
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
You may well ask, is this the toughest challenge in the evolution of mankind? Well, I can say with confidence that we as mankind, have evolved through millennia and one thing is clear, this too shall pass.
Every day, I struggle to find, what’s the positive message for today. And I circle back to our inbuilt resilience. How do we strengthen and enhance, visit my next blog on road to resilience during pandemic and stress?
We started a cross border initiative to share experience, insight, and expertise amongst those who are at the leading edge of managing COVID and those who have recently started seeing a surge in COVID cases.
COVID Rx Exchange:
It is a nonprofit & non-commercial initiative focused on the medical management of COVID patients across the globe. While those on the ground are managing COVID patients, refining, and sharing their experience with practice (guidelines), it is becoming increasingly obvious that the management of COVID needs real-time expertise sharing across political boundaries.
I am a Surgeon, do I need to be part of COVID?
Surgeons too need an understanding of primary and secondary prevention, management, and other clinical scenarios though they are not managing COVID. More so, few surgeons have accepted the mantle of driving COVID Rx Exchange as part of SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
How to be part of the CovidRxExchange?
Please share your email and contact details on the below address. You may join forced discussion groups from your specialty or stay in the general pool and participate in the exchange.
Free Benefits from joining CovidRxExChange.org Slack Group –
1. Free storage of documents (word, pdf, pictures, videos audio, etc) until a limit.
2. Host meetings, audio, or video meeting. Use Zoom or other communication apps for scheduling your own (remote) consultations and exchange records/documents/reports.
3. Create theme/interest-specific groups for a focused discussion
4. Calendarize events and share invites for the meeting
5. Integrate with your Gmail account
I am confident; this will facilitate professional interaction on all medical topics. For a complete description of mission, scope, activities, and values, please visit https://wp.me/p7XEWW-1hj.
• Managing Cardiac Complications with COVID
• Understanding Laboratory Tests for COVID Diagnosis
We created this group for doctors managing COVID patients. While those on the ground are managing clinical challenges, practice guidelines are being developed, enriched, and enhanced daily. This group is focused on sharing realtime expertise across boundaries during these crises. It is nonprofit & non-commercial.
We are very optimistic about a professional discussion. Please invite your colleagues managing Covid patients. For a complete description please visit https://wp.me/p7XEWW-1hj
Welcome to all those who joined recently using the group’s invite.
We started this collaborative initiative to cross-pollinate experiences and expertise with COVID-19 across the borders. As is obvious, the EU and the US have a maximum toll from COVID-19 and obviously, the body of experience is significant. We wish to transfer the insight gained from these experiences to those where COVID is now on the rise, especially in India, South East Asia, and the Middle East.
Scope of this initiative:
To provide realtime information on –
1) Share actionable information to make decision making
2) Share ancillary medical information
3) Dispel myths and untrue (rumors) wandering on WhatsUp University
Open and transparent real-time interaction between the members
Live Webinars conducted under the aegis of this podium
In-person interaction between experts (As far as possible)
Sharing of credible Webinars and Information
Accessing the archival information:
A website is being developed for uploading all this information. You will be asked to access via Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn. A link will be updated.
A key need is to have a realtime dialog with those on the ground on either side of the COVID Wave, both the receding and the rising. The intent is to share actionable and supporting ancillary information. SARS CoV2 is a new virus to humanity, is constantly mutating while humanity is unraveling the multitudes of mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of COVID. This pandemic has driven several intelligent folks across the globe to research and refine the management guidelines regularly.
This is a non-profit, pro-bono initiative where several professionals are investing their time for humanity. We insist on using this podium to use this as an academic and non-commercial, non-promotional intent. Further, with the intent of serving humanity, this initiative is open to all ethnicities, religion, faith, or political boundaries. We ALL are committed to ethics and the highest value of service towards humanity. Last, we request you to share information that is based on scientific evidence and EBM. Professional interaction is an underpinning framework between our interactions. I am confident, you all are equally committed as I in upholding these standards.
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Invite to COVID Rx Exchange (below):
Covid19’s management is fast-changing and we need a realtime exchange of experience from experts to cross-pollinate those in high prevalence areas.
I am sharing the invite, please join if you are actively involved in the direct care of Covid19 patients or in a capacity to influence the care or policies. Please forward the invite to your network, especially beyond borders.
WHO has correctly warned about an Infodemic with COVID. The biggest challenge for us as the medical community is to deal with distinguishing the scientific information from the unscientific (and possibly anecdotal) information.
I read this information floating on WhatsUp University (WA Univ.) almost 5-6 days back and did not pay much credence. However, since the creation of this group, I see this for the third time. That mandates me from researching this on Pubmed Central and Google Scholar. Pubmed Central gave zero results to “COVID and Autopsy” Whereas, Google Scholar pulled few results. I have cited references along with the full text as well.
I found a total of three publications related to Autopsy. One was a single case report from China, another 12 cases from New Orleans, and the remaining report of 2 cases from Oklahoma. I searched for an autopsy study for 50 cases and I found none. Also, I saw no doctor with this background who would have not disclosed his name or published this autopsy study of 50 cases, since it would have been well acclaimed. The WA Univ. author has not discussed the autopsy finding but is driving the readers to his preset conclusions.
If the author has truly done a study of 50 cases, why has he/she not published this?
Often submissions are accepted as advanced publications subject to review, he/she could have resorted to this option?
The name of the author is Dr. Fikry, a Google search does not indicate any such doctor.
Why does he want to stay anonymous? Select reasons that come to my mind are – either the work cannot be substantiated or he/she has not followed the Helsinki guidelines for research.
Research Style – Ideally, research has to follow a methodology, and a paper is written in order. I did not see that order but a direct jumping to evidence.
Should we rely on WhatsUp University for these conclusions?
Interesting read on Autopsy findings in COVID-19 from Dr. Sanjay Mukhopadhyay, Director of Pulmonary Pathology at the Cleveland Clinic. https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/covid-19-what-the-autopsies-reveal/
I am also including the full text of the “False Autopsy Finding of 50 cases” below along with my comments in parenthesis
Full text of the Unsubstantiated (Possibly false) WhatsUp University version (author anonymous).
Thanks to 50 autopsies carried out on patients who died from COVID-19, they found that it is NOT PNEUMONIA, strictly speaking, because the virus does not kill pneumocytes of its type only but uses an inflammatory storm to create an endothelial vascular thrombosis, with the corresponding diffuse thrombosis the lung is the most affected because it is the most inflamed, but also, it produces a heart attack or stroke, and many other thrombotic diseases. Infact the protocols have left the useless antiviral therapies and have concentrated on the inflammatory and anti-clotting. (Ideally, gross findings are shared substantiated by microscopic finding, not the pathophysiology or mechanism)
These therapies must be done immediately, even at home, where the treatment responds very well to the patients. Later they are less effective. In resuscitation, they are almost useless. If the Chinese had reported it, they would have invested in-home therapy, not Intensive Care! It is a case of DISSEMINATED INTRAVASCUAL COAGUALATION THROMBOSIS (see the spelling, this is typical of WhatsUp University). So, the way to combat it is with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and anticoagulates. (Not sure if we subscribe to antibiotics in the absence of bacterial infection, a report from New Orleans emphasizes that there was no bacterial infection).
An Italian anatomical pathologist reports that the Pergamo (I never visited Italy so I searched for Pergamo, I found no Pergamo City, but one as Bergami, Milan) hospital made a total of 50 autopsies, Milan 20; the Chinese have only made 3, which seems to fully confirm the information. Success is determined by a disseminated intravascular coagulation activated by the virus, so interstitial pneumonia would have nothing to do with this, it would have been just a big diagnostic error. In retrospect, I have to rethink these chest radiographs that were discussed a month ago as interstitial pneumonia, it could actually be fully consistent with a disseminated interstitial coagulation DICA (earlier, I shared a report of the different CT findings in COVID, those images can be reviewed by clicking the links).
People go to ICUs for thrombus, generalized venous embolism; generally, lupus. If this were the case, intubations and resuscitations would be useless if thromboembolism is not resolved first. Ventilating a lung where blood does not reach is useless. In fact, nine out of ten die because the problem is cardiovascular not respiratory. It is venous micro-thrombosis and not pneumonia that determines mortality.
Why do thrombi form? Because inflammation according to the school text induces thrombosis through a complex but well-known pathophysiological mechanism. So what the scientific literature said especially from China until the middle of March was that anti-inflammatories should not be used. Now the therapy that is being used in Italy is with anti-inflammatories and antibiotics as in influenzas, and the number of hospitalized patients has been reduced. Many deaths even in their 40s had a history of fever for 10 to 15 days, which were not adequately treated here (the history is intentionally purported to mimicCOVID, check the spellings, a scientific report goes through spell check, a WhatsUp University report does not) the readers to believe this is COVID-19). The inflammation destroyed everything and created the ground for the formation of thrombi, because the main problem is not the virus, but the immune reaction that destroys the cell where the virus enters. In fact, patients with rheumatoid arthritis have never been admitted to the covid departments, because they are on cortisone therapy, which is a great anti-inflammatory. That is the main reason why hospitalizations in Italy are decreasing and it is becoming a treatable disease at home. By treating it well at home, not only hospitalization is avoided but also the risk of thrombosis. It was not easy to understand, because the signs of micro-embolism have faded even in the echocardiogram.
This weekend the comparison was made of the data of 50 patients between those who breathe badly and those who do not and the situation seems very clear (Once again, to repeat, I saw no such autopsy report of 50 cases on Pubmed Central, or Google Scholar or Google, neither did I see a city by the name of Pergamo).
With this important finding, it would be possible to return to normal life and open the businesses closed by the quarantine, not immediately, but it is time to publish these data so that the health authorities of each country make their respective analysis of this information and avoid more useless deaths and the vaccine may come later.
In Italy, from today the protocols are changing. According to valuable information from Italian pathologists, ventilators and Intensive Care Units are not required. So we must rethink investments to adequately address this disease (Do we want to jump to a conclusion without sufficient evidence?).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
That Brahmins are despised by the other population
Brahmins thought it was their Government
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Bad Loans or Risk prone leveraged industry
China – A special mention
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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