Tuesday, July 25, 2006

kargil day

july 25th, 2006

july 26th is kargil day. a moment of silence and reflection, please.

those men died so that you and i could live in comfort. they gave their todays for our tomorrows.

alas, also so that the likes of pankaj mishra and shekhar gupta could lie in comfort as well and dishonor the memory of these poor men (yes, mostly poor villagers from the gangetic basin) who shed their blood.

Re: fabrication by shekhar gupta in newsweek

inadvertent and private comments deleted: sorry, operator error by me.

instead, here is a rediff report of the blasts in the jama masjid. at that time, even bukhari did not claim hindus were responsible for the blasts.

incidentally, let us remember that bukhari is the guy who, after the mumbai blasts, said publicly -- to cheers from his fans -- that "we [mohammedans] ruled india for 800 years, and we will do so again." some 'indian', this; yet shekhar gupta is even more into mohammedan-love than bukhari.

++++++++++ begin quote +++++++++

Thirteen people were injured, one of them seriously, in two explosions that took place in quick succession inside the historic Jama Masjid in Old Delhi when the devout were offering prayers on Friday evening.

The first explosion took place at around 5.30 pm, when devotees were preparing for 'Asar' (evening prayer) near a pond used by them for ablutions.

Today being Friday and a holiday on account of Babasaheb Ambedkar's birth anniversary, a large number of people were present in the complex at the time of the explosion.

Fifteen minutes later, another blast rocked the place, eye-witnesses said.

Jama Masjid spokesman Amanullah Khan told rediff.com, "We were caught unawares. There was no warning given to us by the Delhi police nor were we told that there was any risk of blasts.

"Since it was prayer time, not many people were present at the spot where the twin blasts took place," he said, adding, "A large number of worshippers have gathered here. They are agitated about the blasts and are refusing to go away."

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the shahi imam of Jama Masjid, has appealed to the people to maintain communal harmony and to defeat the designs of those who want to disrupt the peaceful co-existence between Hindus and Muslims.

"About eight hundred devotees were praying in the masjid when the first blast took place. That was around 5.25 in the evening. I immediately rushed to the spot and was asking people to help in removing the injured to hospitals when the second blast took place," he said.

He ordered the immediate closure of all the gates of the Jama Masjid so that the police could look out for any other bomb that be hidden somewhere else. "This is the handiwork of those who carried out the bomb blasts in Benaras. The persons who have been arrested are innocent but those who perpetrated the crime are still roaming around freely," he charged but refused to elaborate.

This is the first time that Jama Masjid has been targetted by the militants. In recent times the imam has been using strong language against terrorist outfits.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced that Rs 20,000 will be given as compensation to those injured in the blasts.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Delhi Lt Governor B L Joshi and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit visited the injured at the hospital.

Undeterred by the explosions, devout went back to the mosque about one-and-half hours later to offer prayer.

The Delhi police, which cordoned off the area and diverted traffic to other routes, has declared a red alert in the capital.

On the eve of Diwali last year, bomb blasts went off in Sarojini Nagar market, Paharganj and a bus in Kalkaji area, killing more than 50 people.

The injured from Friday's blasts have been admitted to the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan Hospital.

According to Ajay Kumar, chief of anti-terrorist cell of police, the two blasts that took place in Jama Masjid were of low-intensity.

Talking to rediff.com, he said some kind of triggering-mechanism had been used to detonate the bombs.

"It is too early to tell who was behind the blasts but prima-facie evidences suggest that someone was trying to provoke people and disturb communal harmony in the country," he added.

Ajay Sahani, terrorism expert of Institute of Conflict management, said, "It is clear that objective was to incite violence within the country. But the good thing about today's event and the event in Varanasi was that people were not reacting in frenzy and people behind the blasts were not succeeding."

Meanwhile, an alert has been sounded at many places, including Mumbai. Security in places of worship in Mumbai was enhanced and a high alert sounded following the explosions, the police said. A security ring has been pup up in and around shrines including Haji Ali, the Mahim Dargah and mosques in central Mumbai.

++++++++ end quote ++++++++

On 25/07/06, Rajeev Srinivasan <rajeev.srinivasan@gmail.com > wrote:
july 25th, 2006

shekhar gupta makes a blatantly libelous statement. the man needs to be sued for a bald-faced lie.

second, he is suggesting that injuries to 2 mohammedans = the murders of 200 commuters. that is, the alleged bomb in the jama masjid is sufficient reason to massacre innocent commuters.

the man is such a bigot!

this is typical: and the 'secular' brigade will now swing into action. pankaj gupta and the economist will pick this up and and grieve about the famous '2000' mohammedans massacred in the april jama masjid bombings "done by hindu fanatics".

newsweek, let us remember, has senior editor fareed zakaria, who is a prominent NRI bleeding-heart.


fabrication by shekhar gupta in newsweek

july 25th, 2006

shekhar gupta makes a blatantly libelous statement. the man needs to be sued for a bald-faced lie.

second, he is suggesting that injuries to 2 mohammedans = the murders of 200 commuters. that is, the alleged bomb in the jama masjid is sufficient reason to massacre innocent commuters.

the man is such a bigot!

this is typical: and the 'secular' brigade will now swing into action. pankaj gupta and the economist will pick this up and and grieve about the famous '2000' mohammedans massacred in the april jama masjid bombings "done by hindu fanatics".

newsweek, let us remember, has senior editor fareed zakaria, who is a prominent NRI bleeding-heart.

the usual equations

india = pakistan

hindu fanatic = mohammedan fanatic

200 innocent commuters butchered = one minor bomb that injured two mohammedans

mass murder by mohammedans = bomb that probably went off during a terrorist training exercise


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tarun V


Did it happen? can you believe it?

....On the other side, in April Hindu fanatics bombed the Jama Masjid, the stately 17th-century mosque in old Delhi that is an abiding symbol of Islam in the Subcontinent.
 


Pankaj  wrote:
this is ridiculous......he really said that....?????


 
Which "Hindu" fanatic group recently bomb Jama Masjid? This is what was written by Shekhar Gupta in a guest column in Newsweek on the Mumbai blasts! I do not recall any such bombings, leave aside by Hindu fanatics and would like to write to Newsweek on such false stories to put Hindus and Jehadis on par - something our secu-lib brigade has perfected into an art.

 

french hanky-panky: bugging mittal's phone etc.

july 25th, 2006

these atlanticists do have chutzpah; so it's good to see the brits washing the french dirty laundry in public so that the rest of us get a ringside view.

and someone was saying europeans are good guys?

what's really funny is that the french can keep playing little mind-games with 'aliens'; but the 15% mohammedan aliens in their midst will soon become 30%, then 50%, and that day they will start ethnic cleansing, and alas, le boot will be on le other foot.

economic nationalism is fine so long as white people are practising it, no?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2006/07/24/ccview24.xml&menuId=242&sSheet=/money/2006/07/24/ixcoms.html

thanks to reader kumar for the pointer.

Re: angry omar sees the light



On 7/25/06, Rajeev Srinivasan <rajeev.srinivasan@gmail.com> wrote:
july 25th

this is thigh-slappingly funny, and one of the best ROTFLMAO-fodder in a long time. hypocrisy is so cute.

this is standard semitic tactics: they want all the good things that non-semitic (or post-semitic) societies can give them, and then, in a fine example of the kalidasa-syndrome, they want to destroy those very same societies and turn them into semitic societies.

india's marxists and 'secularists' revel in this. they enjoy the freedom of a non-marxist, non-semitic indian society, but are doing their damnedest to turn it into a semitic society. whereupon the first people to be lined up and shot will be the marxists and the 'secularistists', of course. this is exactly what happened in e. bengal and afghanistan. the mohammedans lined up the marxists and shot them (or in the case of the luckless najibullah, hanged him from a lamppost after suffocating him with his own genitals). this is why you don't hear much about bangladeshi marxists or afghan marxists. they are like the snakes of ireland, there aren't any. (even the snakes were scared away when the christist godman patrick went there and started his reign of terror.)

let us send arjun "duryodhan(a)" singh to beirut as well. it will be amazing how soon he 'converts' and pleads to be returned to india: that will be about 10 nanoseconds after the first israeli bomb lands nearby.

in fact, i recommend beirut would to send the following harpies to on an all-expenses-paid 'vacation':
teesta setalvad, shabana azmi, anita pratap, barkha dutt, arundhati roy

wouldn't that be poetic justice? they can be there and fulminate to their hearts' content about 'minority' rights or whatever their little crusades are about today.

===============

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-2281367,00.html

Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, everyone's second favourite bearded barking-mad Islamist cleric, has had a remarkable change of heart. His appetite for bloody jihad has dramatically waned; he would now like to engage in nothing more strenuous than a cup of tea with his family back in Britain — who are, he says, terribly worried about him.

The man who from safe and agreeably leafy north London suburbia offered his continual support to suicide bombers and refused to condemn the attacks of 9/11 and July 7, all the while ranting against the perfidies of western civilisation and its infidel cockroach minions, now wishes to return to the bosom of Satan as quickly as possible.

*
Click here to find out more!
Why the about turn? Marxists might call it an explosion of consciousness. But it is more likely the explosion of extremely powerful Israeli ordnance a bit too close to where he is holed up in downtown Beirut.

.... deleted

Monday, July 24, 2006

india's ASI restoring some temples in cambodia

july 17th, 2006

the indian efforts at chemically restoring just the apsaras at the angkor wat temple have been roundly condemned as too harsh by the french. i dont take the french exactly at their word, considering, among other things, their willingness to give 'chevalier' titles to christist agents provocateurs like that godman cedric prakash. besides, as the former colonial power in cambodia, france believes only they know what's good for cambodia.

this bit about the ASI 'planning' to work on Ta Prohm is nonsense. there has been an ongoing project for 5 or so years, and it's part of an 11-year project. i met an ASI archaeologist when in cambodia. i heard him speaking malayalam at a phone booth, and got talking -- he is sarangadharan from kayamkulam. anyway, i also met him later at Ta Prohm.

this is the fantastic-looking temple complex where giant cottonwood, fig and other trees have grown through the temples, so that now the tree roots are actually holding the temple together. i have some photos, or you can look at the world heritage tour site i posted earlier, or a google search will bring up photos by a professional photographer (i forget his name) who has eerie pictures of the place. actually it's a wonderfully atmospheric temple complex.

sarangadharan told me that they are not planning to cut the trees down.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1767710.cms

Why Modi's law is fine for Congress-ruled States but not Gujarat

july 24th, 2006

the gujaratis are after all the demonized ones. they have no right to protect themselves. UPA-ruled maharashtra does.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kanchan

Front Page / The Sunday Pioneer / 23.07.06
 
Terror law: Yes for Mumbai, no for Gujarat
 

Kanchan Gupta/New Delhi

 

With a 600-km long border with Pakistan and a coastline that stretches across a whopping 1,600 km providing innumerable landing spots for craft carrying explosives, arms and terrorists, Gujarat is a prime target for jihadis who have already drawn blood at Godhra and Akshardham, and carried out bombings and other assaults.

 

Yet, Gujarat has been disallowed the right to have a law that empowers its police to intercept chatter, carry out pre-emptive strikes to prevent death and destruction, and prosecute terrorists in a manner that they get their just desserts.

 

This is in sharp contrast to neighbouring Maharashtra where the ruling Congress-NCP alliance, armed with the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, popularly known as MCOCA, can fight back terrorists and criminals by bringing them to justice.

 

Acknowledged as an effective instrument to combat organised crime, MCOCA was made applicable in Delhi through a Home Ministry order of February 1, 2002. But Gujarat has been denied a mirror law to fight terror.

 

The salient features of MCOCA, which make it a tough law to bust tough criminals, are missing from The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act of 2004 that was brought in by the UPA Government after repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

 

For instance, unlike the Central law brought in by the Congress-led Union Government, which has to be followed in the absence of a State specific law to fight terrorism, MCOCA disallows suspects access to easy bail, provides for special courts for their trial and qualifies statements given to the police as admissible evidence.

 

While pushing The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act through Parliament, the Government argued that a tough law by itself is no protection against terrorism and given examples of how terrorists had struck despite POTA. As part of its policy of appeasement, the UPA scrapped POTA and left the police in States like Gujarat to fight terrorism with a law that is weaker than laws meant to tackle hoarding and drug peddling.

 

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, addressing an anti-terrorism meeting in Mumbai last Monday, pointed out the fallacy in the UPA's argument by stressing that "while it is true POTA did not always prevent terrorists from striking, for instance at Akshardham, but it helped the police to successfully prosecute and punish those behind such attacks". The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act does not allow even this much.

 

He also disclosed how the Union Home Ministry has not cleared the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill, modelled on MCOCA, for the past two years despite several reminders and requests. Modi's usual detractors slammed him the next day, saying he wants to arm himself with a "draconian law".

 

But the Bill passed by the Gujarat Assembly is no different from MCOCA. There is no reason why Congress-ruled Maharashtra and Delhi can have such a law while BJP-ruled Gujarat is disallowed the wherewithal to combat terrorism.

 

Apart from providing for harsh penalties, including death sentence, for committing acts of terror, the Gujarat Bill allows the setting up of special courts to deal with cases in a time bound manner, empowers the police to intercept, record and produce as evidence any electronic or verbal communication, allows statements made to the police to be presented as admissible evidence and makes bail provisions more stringent than those in the CrPC. In Maharashtra and Delhi, all these provisions are already applicable under MCOCA.

 

Asked why Gujarat needs the Centre's approval for its proposed law despite its passage in the Assembly, a senior official explained, "Public order is a State subject on which the State Government is competent to enact a law and the Governor has the power to give assent to it. However, since the proposed law overrides certain provisions of the Evidence Act, IPC, CrPC and the provision relating to the jurisdiction of various courts, approval of the Government of India is necessary."

 

After detailed correspondence between the State Government and the Centre when the NDA was in power, the Control of Organised Crime Bill, already passed by the Gujarat Assembly, was amended to exclude three clauses. The amended Bill was once again passed by the Assembly on June 2, 2004, and re-submitted for Presidential approval through the Union Home Ministry on June 16, 2004.

 

Since then, the Bill has been gathering dust in North Block in spite of several representations, official communications and a non-official resolution passed by the Gujarat Assembly. On April 4 this year, Member of Parliament Pushpadan Gadhvi wrote to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, requesting immediate action on the Bill. Three days later, Mr Patil wrote back, saying the "matter was under the consideration of the Government of India".

 

Three days after the Mumbai bombings left 200 people dead and hundreds of others injured, Modi wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking his intervention to secure Presidential approval for the Bill lying with the Home Ministry. The request has been met with silence.

 

Obviously, the Congress is in no hurry to empower Gujarat's police so that it can crack down on organised crime. By allowing personal animus and political bias to dictate its duplicitous policy, the Congress has chosen to wilfully endanger life and property in that State by sending a clear message to criminals: If it's a choice between protecting Gujarat and emboldening terrorists, the Union Government under its tutelage will not opt for the former.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

the UPA lying about trade figures as well

On 7/23/06, Rajeev Srinivasan wrote:
july 23, 2006

finally, happiness is upon us. quoting omar khayyam, 'ah, wilderness were paradise enow!' for we have finally become like china and pakistan, which has been our fondest desire!

1. like china, india now fudges its trade figures!

2. like china, india now censors its internet users' access to information!

3. like pakistan, india is crawling with jehadis nurtured by the ISI and funded by arabs!

the millennium is here, we should be so happy!

where is n. ram, where is 'china's national newsmagazine', why aren't they breaking out their best champagne in celebration?

israel/lebanon and marxists/tribals in india

july 23rd

a great deal of noise was made by india's marxists about the israeli invasion of lebanon. they got the indian government to say rude things to israel, which of course is standard operating procedure for the UPA government as part of its kow-towing to mohammedan interests.

but i was struck by a remarkable coincidence that exposes marxist hypocrisy yet again.

there was another israeli invasion of lebanon some years ago, when their allies the phalangists (maronite christians) are accused of having attacked the sabra and chattila palestinian refugee camps and having massacred quite a few of the refugees. (and they happened to be mostly mohammedan refugees, although not all palestinians are mohammedans.)

(note that i say accused of attacking: nobody provided any clinching proof, and if i were to follow arjun singh's and a r antulay's lead, i should say that the palestinian refugees had massacred a few of their own to blame the phalangists and the israelis.)

anyway, this got israel a serious black eye. ariel sharon was commonly referred to as the 'butcher of chattila' if i remember correctly.

the marxists were in the forefront of those condemning the israeli 'imperialists' of violating the human rights of the poor, helpless refugees.

ok, fine: they were supposedly championing the helpless and weak.

now last week in chattisgarh, marxists attacked a refugee camp housing the most oppressed people in india: the tribals. these are people who are in general hounded and dispossessed by outsiders, in particular the predatory marxist guerillas and the christist missionary crowd. to top this, they have been displaced from their homes and housed in squalid refugee camps because of extreme violence from the marxists. so an attack on them, in which marxists fired indiscriminately into the camps, killing about 50 people and wounding scores more, is extremely reprehensible.

but the entire english language media in india simply buried this story. not a peep, not a word in condemnation.

the marxists are obviously not the saviors of these oppressed tribals. and nobody is there to call them to task for this lapse in their usual facade of crocodile tears for the tribals.

ergo, the conclusion is:

marxist hearts bleed selectively for refugees, if and only if they are mohammedan.

errapore was a sabra/chattila, but the marxists simply don't care about indian tribals.

this is exactly like they don't care about the rights of lower-caste hindus who have borne the brunt of the mohammedan oppression in bangladesh.

marxists are the biggest casteists, oppressors, and hypocrites in india.

hizbollah web site acceptable; but not hindu human rights

july 23rd

thanks to iamdemocracy for the alert, and then adheet put this together: how much more 'secular' can we be? this has arjun singh's pawprints all over it.

===========

This needs to be publicised far and wide -- can we pass this on to
people in the mainstream marxist media?

It may not be printed -- but needs to be made public

http://internet-haganah.co.il/harchives/005678.html#005678

20 July 2006
The Web Sites of Hizballah (current as of 22 July 2006)

UPDATED 22 JULY 2006

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The al-Manar
sites are back online, and still in India. Meanwhile, Hizballah has
concentrated their web assets and related services with Alabanza,
Inc., Baltimore, MD USA, and FastServers, Inc., Chicago, IL USA.

A producer with CNN asked us how we knew that this or that site was a
"real" Hizballah site. The answer is simple: Hassan Nasrallah told us.

List of Hizballah sites as found on the web site of Hassan Nasrollah
on 01 May, 2004 (pg. 1 of 4). Click here to view or save the list...

Primary Sites of Hizballah

No. 1: almanar.com.lb/manartv.com.lb


almanar.com.lb, site of Hizballah's al-Manar TV - hosted in India

Name: almanar.com.lb
Status: active
Address: 203.86.96.30
Registrar: .LB Domain Registry, Beirut, LB
Datacenter: VSNL, Mumbai, IN
Webhost: brainpulse.com, Noida (U.P.) IN
DNS Provider: brainpulse.com, Noida (U.P.) IN

Description:
Official site of Hizballah satellite TV station Al Manar.

For background information regarding Al Manar, start here
http://www.stopterroristmedia.org/

For more info about Hizballah itself, see:
../harchives/003491.html

Domain Name Whois (summary):
Descr Al Manar TV
Descr Beirut - Lebanon
Admin-c Ali Al-Husseini
Tech-c Ali Al-Husseini

Other Service Provider:


manartv.com.lb, site of Hizballah's al-Manar TV - hosted in India

Name: manartv.com.lb
Status: active
Address: 203.86.96.30
Registrar: .LB Domain Registry, Beirut, LB
Datacenter: VSNL, Mumbai, IN
Webhost: brainpulse.com , Noida (U.P.) IN
DNS Provider: brainpulse.com, Noida (U.P.) IN

Description:
Official site of Hizballah satellite TV station Al Manar

For background information regarding Al Manar, start here
http://www.stopterroristmedia.org/

For more info about Hizballah itself, see:
../harchives/003491.html

Domain Name Whois (summary):
Domain manartv.com.lb
Descr Al Manar TV
Descr Beirut - Lebanon
Admin-c Ali Al-Husseini

Other Service Provider:

No. 2: ghaliboun.net, et. al.


ghaliboun.net - current primary web site of Hizballah - hosted in the USA

Name: ghaliboun.net
Status: active
Address: 64.38.13.22
Registrar: Network Solutions, Herndon, VA USA
Datacenter: FastServers, Inc., Chicago, IL USA.
Webhost: Self, LB
DNS Provider: Network Solutions, Herndon, VA USA

Description:
As of 21 July 2006, and in the context of war between Hizballah and
Israel, this domain was elevated to the position of primary web site
of Hizballah.

Domain Name Whois (summary):
Ghalib info
ATTN: GHALIBOUN.NET c/o Network Solutions
P.O. Box 447
Herndon, VA. 20172-0447 USA


www.foreignaffairs.org: The India Model, by Gurcharan Das (and preview of "Will the West Engage?" by C. Raja Mohan)

july 23rd, 2004

thanks to anupam for forwarding this. sorry it's a little on the long side, but interesting.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anupam

The India Model: Gurcharan Das
From Foreign Affairs, July/August 2006
 
Summary:  After being shackled by the government for decades, India's economy has become one of the world's strongest. The country's unique development model -- relying on domestic consumption and high-tech services -- has brought a quarter century of record growth despite an incompetent and heavy-handed state. But for that growth to continue, the state must start modernizing along with Indian society.

GURCHARAN DAS is former CEO of Procter & Gamble India and the author of India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution From Independence to the Global Information Age.

AN ECONOMY UNSHACKLED

Although the world has just discovered it, India's economic success is far from new. After three postindependence decades of meager progress, the country's economy grew at 6 percent a year from 1980 to 2002 and at 7.5 percent a year from 2002 to 2006 -- making it one of the world's best-performing economies for a quarter century. In the past two decades, the size of the middle class has quadrupled (to almost 250 million people), and 1 percent of the country's poor have crossed the poverty line every year. At the same time, population growth has slowed from the historic rate of 2.2 percent a year to 1.7 percent today -- meaning that growth has brought large per capita income gains, from $1,178 to $3,051 (in terms of purchasing-power parity) since 1980. India is now the world's fourth-largest economy. Soon it will surpass Japan to become the third-largest.

The notable thing about India's rise is not that it is new, but that its path has been unique. Rather than adopting the classic Asian strategy -- exporting labor-intensive, low-priced manufactured goods to the West -- India has relied on its domestic market more than exports, consumption more than investment, services more than industry, and high-tech more than low-skilled manufacturing. This approach has meant that the Indian economy has been mostly insulated from global downturns, showing a degree of stability that is as impressive as the rate of its expansion. The consumption-driven model is also more people-friendly than other development strategies. As a result, inequality has increased much less in India than in other developing nations. (Its Gini index, a measure of income inequality on a scale of zero to 100, is 33, compared to 41 for the United States, 45 for China, and 59 for Brazil.) Moreover, 30 to 40 percent of GDP growth is due to rising productivity -- a true sign of an economy's health and progress -- rather than to increases in the amount of capital or labor.

But what is most remarkable is that rather than rising with the help of the state, India is in many ways rising despite the state. The entrepreneur is clearly at the center of India's success story. India now boasts highly competitive private companies, a booming stock market, and a modern, well-disciplined financial sector. And since 1991 especially, the Indian state has been gradually moving out of the way -- not graciously, but kicked and dragged into implementing economic reforms. It has lowered trade barriers and tax rates, broken state monopolies, unshackled industry, encouraged competition, and opened up to the rest of the world. The pace has been slow, but the reforms are starting to add up.

India is poised at a key moment in its history. Rapid growth will likely continue -- and even accelerate. But India cannot take this for granted. Public debt is high, which discourages investment in needed infrastructure. Overly strict labor laws, though they cover only 10 percent of the work force, have the perverse effect of discouraging employers from hiring new workers. The public sector, although much smaller than China's, is still too large and inefficient -- a major drag on growth and employment and a burden for consumers. And although India is successfully generating high-end, capital- and knowledge-intensive manufacturing, it has failed to create a broad-based, labor-intensive industrial revolution -- meaning that gains in employment have not been commensurate with overall growth. Its rural population, meanwhile, suffers from the consequences of state-induced production and distribution distortions in agriculture that result in farmers' getting only 20 to 30 percent of the retail price of fruits and vegetables (versus the 40 to 50 percent farmers in the United States get).

India can take advantage of this moment to remove the remaining obstacles that have prevented it from realizing its full potential. Or it can continue smugly along, confident that it will get there eventually -- but 20 years late. The most difficult reforms are not yet done, and already there are signs of complacency.

A 100-YEAR TALE

For half a century before independence, the Indian economy was stagnant. Between 1900 and 1950, economic growth averaged o.8 percent a year -- exactly the same rate as population growth, resulting in no increase in per capita income. In the first decades after independence, economic growth picked up, averaging 3.5 percent from 1950 to 1980. But population growth accelerated as well. The net effect on per capita income was an average annual increase of just 1.3 percent.

Indians mournfully called this "the Hindu rate of growth." Of course, it had nothing to do with Hinduism and everything to do with the Fabian socialist policies of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his imperious daughter, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who oversaw India's darkest economic decades. Father and daughter shackled the energies of the Indian people under a mixed economy that combined the worst features of capitalism and socialism. Their model was inward-looking and import-substituting rather than outward-looking and export-promoting, and it denied India a share in the prosperity that a massive expansion in global trade brought in the post-World War II era. (Average per capita growth for the developing world as a whole was almost 3 percent from 1950 to 1980, more than double India's rate.) Nehru set up an inefficient and monopolistic public sector, overregulated private enterprise with the most stringent price and production controls in the world, and discouraged foreign investment -- thereby causing India to lose out on the benefits of both foreign technology and foreign competition. His approach also pampered organized labor to the point of significantly lowering productivity and ignored the education of India's children.

But even this system could have delivered more had it been better implemented. It did not have to degenerate into a "license-permit-quota raj," as Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari first put it in the late 1950s. Although Indians blame ideology (and sometimes democracy) for their failings, the truth is that a mundane inability to implement policy -- reflecting a bias for thought and against action -- may have been even more damaging.

In the 1980s, the government's attitude toward the private sector began to change, thanks in part to the underappreciated efforts of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Modest liberal reforms -- especially lowering marginal tax rates and tariffs and giving some leeway to manufacturers -- spurred an increase in growth to 5.6 percent. But the policies of the 1980s were also profligate and brought India to the point of fiscal crisis by the start of the 1990s. Fortunately, that crisis triggered the critical reforms of 1991, which finally allowed India's integration into the global economy -- and laid the groundwork for the high growth of today. The chief architect of those reforms was the finance minister, Manmohan Singh, who is now prime minister. He lowered tariffs and other trade barriers, scrapped industrial licensing, reduced tax rates, devalued the rupee, opened India to foreign investment, and rolled back currency controls. Many of these measures were gradual, but they signaled a decisive break with India's dirigiste past. The economy returned the favor immediately: growth rose, inflation plummeted, and exports and currency reserves shot up.

To appreciate the magnitude of the change after 1980, recall that the West's Industrial Revolution took place in the context of 3 percent GDP growth and 1.1 percent per capita income growth. If India's economy were still growing at the pre-1980 level, then its per capita income would reach present U.S. levels only by 2250; but if it continues to grow at the post-1980 average, it will reach that level by 2066 -- a gain of 184 years.

PECULIAR REVOLUTION

India has improved its competitiveness considerably since 1991: there has been a telecommunications revolution, interest rates have come down, capital is plentiful (although risk-averse managers of state-owned banks still refuse to lend to small entrepreneurs), highways and ports have improved, and real estate markets are becoming transparent. More than 100 Indian companies now have a market capitalization of over a billion dollars, and some of these -- including Bharat Forge, Jet Airways, Infosys Technologies, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Motors, and Wipro Technologies -- are likely to become competitive global brands soon. Foreigners have invested in over 1,000 Indian companies via the stock market. Of the Fortune 500 companies, 125 now have research and development bases in India -- a testament to its human capital. And high-tech manufacturing has taken off. All these changes have disciplined the banking sector. Bad loans now account for less than 2 percent of all loans (compared to 20 percent in China), even though none of India's shoddy state-owned banks has so far been privatized.

For now, growth is being driven by services and domestic consumption. Consumption accounts for 64 percent of India's GDP, compared to 58 percent for Europe, 55 percent for Japan, and 42 percent for China. That consumption might be a virtue embarrasses many Indians, with their ascetic streak, but, as the economist Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley puts it, "India's consumption-led approach to growth may be better balanced than the resource-mobilization model of China."

The contrast between India's entrepreneur-driven growth and China's state-centered model is stark. China's success is largely based on exports by state enterprises or foreign companies. Beijing remains highly suspicious of entrepreneurs. Only 10 percent of credit goes to the private sector in China, even though the private sector employs 40 percent of the Chinese work force. In India, entrepreneurs get more than 80 percent of all loans. Whereas Jet Airways, in operation since 1993, has become the undisputed leader of India's skies, China's first private airline, Okay Airways, started flying only in February 2005.

What has been peculiar about India's development so far is that high growth has not been accompanied by a labor-intensive industrial revolution that could transform the lives of the tens of millions of Indians still trapped in rural poverty. Many Indians watch mesmerized as China seems to create an endless flow of low-end manufacturing jobs by exporting goods such as toys and clothes and as their better-educated compatriots export knowledge services to the rest of the world. They wonder fearfully if India is going to skip an industrial revolution altogether, jumping straight from an agricultural economy to a service economy. Economies in the rest of the world evolved from agriculture to industry to services. India appears to have a weak middle step. Services now account for more than 50 percent of India's GDP, whereas agriculture's share is 22 percent, and industry's share is only 27 percent (versus 46 percent in China). And within industry, India's strength is high-tech, high-skilled manufacturing.

Even the most fervent advocates of service-based growth do not question the desirability of creating more manufacturing jobs. The failure of India to achieve a broad industrial transformation stems in part from bad policies. After India's independence, Nehru attempted a state-directed industrial revolution. Since he did not trust the private sector, he tried to replace the entrepreneur with the government -- and predictably failed. He shackled private enterprise with byzantine controls and denied autonomy to the public sector. Perhaps the most egregious policy was reserving around 800 industries, designated "small-scale industries" (SSI), for tiny companies that were unable to compete against the large firms of competitor nations. Large firms were barred from making products such as pencils, boot polish, candles, shoes, garments, and toys -- all the products that helped East Asia create millions of jobs. Even since 1991, Indian governments have been afraid to touch this "SSI holy cow" for fear of a backlash from the SSI lobby. Fortunately, that lobby has turned out to be mostly a phantom -- little more than the bureaucrats who kept scaring politicians by warning of a backlash. Over the past five years, the government has been pruning the list of protected industries incrementally with no adverse reaction.

In the short term, the best way for India to improve the lot of the rural poor might be to promote a second green revolution. Unlike in manufacturing, India has a competitive advantage in agriculture, with plenty of arable land, sunshine, and water. To achieve such a change, however, India would need to shift its focus from peasant farming to agribusiness and encourage private capital to move from urban to rural areas. It would need to lift onerous distribution controls, allow large retailers to contract directly with farmers, invest in irrigation, and permit the consolidation of fragmented holdings.

Indian entrepreneurs also still face a range of obstacles, many of them the result of lingering bad policies. Electric power is less reliable and more expensive in India than in competitor nations. Checkpoints keep trucks waiting for hours. Taxes and import duties have come down, but the cascading effect of indirect taxes will continue to burden Indian manufacturers until a uniform goods-and-services tax is implemented. Stringent labor laws continue to deter entrepreneurs from hiring workers. The "license raj" may be gone, but an "inspector raj" is alive and well; the "midnight knock" from an excise, customs, labor, or factory inspector still haunts the smaller entrepreneur. Some of these problems will hopefully diminish with the planned designation of new "economic zones," which promise a reduced regulatory burden.

Economic history teaches that the Industrial Revolution as it was experienced by the West was usually led by one industry. It was textile exports in the United Kingdom, railways in the United States. India, too, may have found the engine that could fuel its takeoff and transform its economy: providing white-collar services that are outsourced by companies in the rest of the world. Software and business-process outsourcing exports have grown from practically nothing to $20 billion and are expected to reach $35 billion by 2008. The constraining factor is likely to be not demand but the ability of India's educational system to produce enough quality English-speaking graduates.

Meanwhile, high-tech manufacturing, a sector where India is already demonstrating considerable strength, will also begin to expand. Perhaps in a decade, the distinction between China as "the world's workshop" and India as "the world's back office" will slowly fade as India's manufacturing and China's services catch up.

RISING DESPITE THE STATE

It is an amazing spectacle to see prosperity beginning to spread in today's India even in the presence of appalling governance. In the midst of a booming private economy, Indians despair over the lack of the simplest public goods. It used to be the opposite: during India's socialist days, Indians worried about economic growth but were proud of their world-class judiciary, bureaucracy, and police force. But now, the old centralized bureaucratic Indian state is in steady decline. Where it is desperately needed -- in providing basic education, health care, and drinking water -- it has performed appallingly. Where it is not needed, it has only started to give up its habit of stifling private enterprise.

Labor laws, for example, still make it almost impossible to lay off a worker -- as the infamous case of Uttam Nakate illustrates. In early 1984, Nakate was found at 11:40 AM sleeping soundly on the floor of the factory in Pune where he worked. His employer let him off with a warning. But he was caught napping again and again. On the fourth occasion, the factory began disciplinary proceedings against him, and after five months of hearings, he was found guilty and sacked. But Nakate went to a labor court and pleaded that he was a victim of an unfair trade practice. The court agreed and forced the factory to take him back and pay him 50 percent of his lost wages. Only 17 years later, after appeals to the Bombay High Court and the national Supreme Court, did the factory finally win the right to fire an employee who had repeatedly been caught sleeping on the job.

Aside from highlighting the problem of India's lethargic legal system, Nakate's case dramatizes how the country's labor laws actually reduce employment, by making employers afraid to hire workers in the first place. The rules protect existing unionized workers -- sometimes referred to as the "labor aristocracy" -- at the expense of everyone else. At this point, the labor aristocracy comprises only 10 percent of the Indian work force.

No single institution has come to disappoint Indians more than their bureaucracy. In the 1950s, Indians bought into the cruel myth, promulgated by Nehru, that India's bureaucracy was its "steel frame," supposedly a means of guaranteeing stability and continuity after the British raj. Indians also accepted that a powerful civil service was needed to keep a diverse country together and administer the vast regulatory framework of Nehru's "mixed economy." But in the holy name of socialism, the Indian bureaucracy created thousands of controls and stifled enterprise for 40 years. India may have had some excellent civil servants, but none really understood business -- even though they had the power to ruin it.

Today, Indians believe that their bureaucracy has become a prime obstacle to development, blocking instead of shepherding economic reforms. They think of bureaucrats as self-serving, obstructive, and corrupt, protected by labor laws and lifetime contracts that render them completely unaccountable. To be sure, there are examples of good performance -- the building of the Delhi Metro or the expansion of the national highway system -- but these only underscore how often most of the bureaucracy fails. To make matters worse, the term of any one civil servant in a particular job is getting shorter, thanks to an increase in capricious transfers. Prime Minister Singh has instituted a new appraisal system for the top bureaucracy, but it has not done much.

The Indian bureaucracy is a haven of mental power. It still attracts many of the brightest students in the country, who are admitted on the basis of a difficult exam. But despite their very high IQs, most bureaucrats fail as managers. One of the reasons is the bureaucracy's perverse incentive system; another is poor training in implementation. Indians tend to blame ideology or democracy for their failures, but the real problem is that they value ideas over accomplishment. Great strides are being made on the Delhi Metro not because the project was brilliantly conceived but because its leader sets clear, measurable goals, monitors day-to-day progress, and persistently removes obstacles. Most Indian politicians and civil servants, in contrast, fail to plan their projects well, monitor them, or follow through on them: their performance failures mostly have to do with poor execution.

The government's most damaging failure is in public education. Consider one particularly telling statistic: according to a recent study by Harvard University's Michael Kremer, one out of four teachers in India's government elementary schools is absent and one out of two present is not teaching at any given time. Even as the famed Indian Institutes of Technology have acquired a global reputation, less than half of the children in fourth-level classes in Mumbai can do first-level math. It has gotten so bad that even poor Indians have begun to pull their kids out of government schools and enroll them in private schools, which charge $1 to $3 a month in fees and which are spreading rapidly in slums and villages across India. (Private schools in India range from expensive boarding schools for the elite to low-end teaching shops in markets.) Although teachers' salaries are on average considerably lower in private schools, their students perform much better. A recent national study led by Pratham, an Indian nongovernmental organization, found that even in small villages, 16 percent of children are now in private primary schools. These kids scored 10 percent higher on verbal and math exams than their peers in public schools.

India's educational establishment, horrified by the exodus out of the public educational system, lambastes private schools and wants to close them down. NIIT Technologies, a private company with 4,000 "learning centers," has trained four million students and helped fuel India's information technology revolution in the 1990s, but it has not been accredited by the government. Ironically, legislators finally acknowledged the state's failure to deliver education a few months ago when they pushed through Parliament a law making it mandatory for private schools to reserve spots for students from low castes. As with so many aspects of India's success story, Indians are finding solutions to their problems without waiting for the government.

The same dismal story is being repeated in health and water services, which are also de facto privatized. The share of private spending on health care in India is double that in the United States. Private wells account for nearly all new irrigation capacity in the country. In a city like New Delhi, private citizens cope with an irregular water supply by privately contributing more than half the total cost of the city's water supply. At government health centers, meanwhile, 40 percent of doctors and a third of nurses are absent at any given time. According to a study by Jishnu Das and Jeffrey Hammer, of the World Bank, there is a 50 percent chance that a doctor at such a center will recommend a positively harmful therapy.

How does one explain the discrepancy between the government's supposed commitment to universal elementary education, health care, and sanitation and the fact that more and more people are embracing private solutions? One answer is that the Indian bureaucratic and political establishments are caught in a time warp, clinging to the belief that the state and the civil service must be relied on to meet people's needs. What they did not anticipate is that politicians in India's democracy would "capture" the bureaucracy and use the system to create jobs and revenue for friends and supporters. The Indian state no longer generates public goods. Instead, it creates private benefits for those who control it. Consequently, the Indian state has become so "riddled with perverse incentives ... that accountability is almost impossible," as the political scientist Pratap Bhanu Mehta reported. In a recent study of India's public services, the activist and author Samuel Paul concluded that "the quality of governance is appalling."

There are many sensible steps that can be taken to improve governance. Focusing on outcomes rather than internal procedures would help, as would delegating responsibility to service providers. But what is more important is for the Indian establishment to jettison its faith in, as the political scientist James Scott puts it, "bureaucratic high modernism" and recognize that the government's job is to govern rather than to run everything. Government may have to finance primary services such as health care and education, but the providers of those services must be accountable to the citizen as though to a customer (instead of to bosses in the bureaucratic hierarchy).

None of the solutions being debated in India will bring accountability without this change in mindset. Fortunately, the people of India have already made the mental leap. The middle class withdrew from the state system long ago. Now, even the poor are depending more and more on private services. The government merely needs to catch up.

REFORM SCHOOL

India's current government is led by a dream team of reformers -- most notably Prime Minister Singh, a chief architect of the liberalization of 1991. Singh's left-wing-associated National Congress Party was swept into power two years ago even though the incumbent BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) had presided over an era of unprecedented growth. The left boasted that the election was a revolt of the poor against the rich. In reality, however, it was an anti-incumbent backlash -- specifically, a vote against the previous government's poor record in providing basic services. What matters to the rickshaw driver is that the police officer does not extort a sixth of his daily earnings. The farmer wants a clear title to his land without having to bribe the village headman, and his wife wants the doctor to be there when she takes her sick child to the health center. These are the areas where government touches most people's lives, and the sobering lesson from India's 2004 elections is that high growth and smart macroeconomic reforms are not enough in a democracy.

Still, the left saw the Congress victory as an opportunity. Unfortunately, it stands rigidly against reform and for the status quo, supporting labor laws that benefit 10 percent of workers at the expense of the other 90 percent and endorsing the same protectionist policies that the extreme right also backs -- policies that harm consumers and favor producers. Thus, Singh and his reformist allies often seem to be sitting, frustrated, on the sidelines. For example, the new government has pushed through Parliament the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which many fear will simply become the biggest "loot for work" program in India's history. Although some of the original backers of the bill may have had good intentions, most legislators saw it as an opportunity for corruption. India's experience with job-creation schemes is that their benefits usually do not reach the poor; and they rarely create permanent assets even when they are supposed to: the shoddy new road inevitably gets washed away in the next monsoon. There is also the worry that the additional 1 percent of GDP borrowed from the banks to finance this program will crowd out private investment, push up interest rates, lower the economy's growth rate, and, saddest of all, actually reduce genuine employment.

Singh knows that India's economic success has not been equally shared. Cities have done better than villages. Some states have done better than others. The economy has not created jobs commensurate with its rate of growth. Only a small fraction of Indians are employed in the modern, unionized sector. Thirty-six million are reportedly unemployed. But Singh also knows that one of the primary reasons for these failures is rigid labor laws -- which he wants to reform, if only the left would let him.

Singh's challenge is to get the majority of Indians united behind reform. One of the reasons that the pace of reform has been so slow is that none of India's leaders has ever bothered to explain to voters why reform is good and just how it will help the poor. (Chinese leaders do not face this problem, which is peculiar to democracies.) Not educating their constituents is the great failure of India's reformers. But it is not too late for Singh and the reformers in his administration -- most notably finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram and the head of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia -- to start appearing on television to conduct lessons in basic economics. If the reformers could convert the media and some members of Parliament, the bureaucracy, and the judiciary to their cause, Indians would be less likely to fall hostage to the seductive rhetoric of the left. If they were to admit honestly that the ideas India followed from 1950 to 1990 were wrong, people would respect them. If they were to explain that India's past regulations suppressed the people and were among the causes of poverty, people would understand.

PEOPLE POWER

Shashi Kumar is 29 years old and comes from a tiny village in Bihar, India's most backward and feudal state. His grandfather was a low-caste sharecropper in good times and a day laborer in bad ones. His family was so poor that they did not eat some nights. But Kumar's father somehow managed to get a job in a transport company in Darbhanga, and his mother began to teach in a private school, where Kumar was educated at no cost under her watchful eye. Determined that her son should escape the indignities of Bihar, she tutored him at night, got him into a college, and, when he finished, gave him a railway ticket for New Delhi.

Kumar is now a junior executive in a call center in Gurgaon that serves customers in the United States. He lives in a nice flat, which he bought last year with a mortgage, drives an Indica car, and sends his daughter to a good private school. He is an average, affable young Indian, and like so many of his kind he has a sense of life's possibilities. Prior to 1991, the realization of these possibilities was open only to those with a government job. If you got an education and did not get into the government, you faced a nightmare that was called "educated unemployment." But now, Kumar says, anyone with an education, computer skills, and some English can make it.

India's greatness lies in its self-reliant and resilient people. They are able to pull themselves up and survive, even flourish, when the state fails to deliver. When teachers and doctors do not show up at government primary schools and health centers, Indians just open up cheap private schools and clinics in the slums and get on with it. Indian entrepreneurs claim that they are hardier because they have had to fight not only their competitors but also state inspectors. In short, India's society has triumphed over the state.

But in the long run, the state cannot merely withdraw. Markets do not work in a vacuum. They need a network of regulations and institutions; they need umpires to settle disputes. These institutions do not just spring up; they take time to develop. The Indian state's greatest achievements lie in the noneconomic sphere. The state has held the world's most diverse country together in relative peace for 57 years. It has started to put a modern institutional framework in place. It has held free and fair elections without interruption. Of its 3.5 million village legislators, 1.2 million are women. These are proud achievements for an often bungling state with disastrous implementation skills and a terrible record at day-to-day governance.

Moreover, some of the most important post-1991 reforms have been successful because of the regulatory institutions established by the state. Even though the reforms have been slow, imperfect, and incomplete, they have been consistent and in one direction. And it takes courage, frankly, to give up power, as the Indian state has done for the past 15 years. The stubborn persistence of democracy is itself one of the Indian state's proudest achievements. Time and again, Indian democracy has shown itself to be resilient and enduring -- giving a lie to the old prejudice that the poor are incapable of the kind of self-discipline and sobriety that make for effective self-government. To be sure, it is an infuriating democracy, plagued by poor governance and fragile institutions that have failed to deliver basic public goods. But India's economic success has been all the more remarkable for its issuing from such a democracy.

Still, the poor state of governance reminds Indians of how far they are from being a truly great nation. They will reach such greatness only when every Indian has access to a good school, a working health clinic, and clean drinking water. Fortunately, half of India's population is under 25 years old. Based on current growth trends, India should be able to absorb an increasing number of people into its labor force. And it will not have to worry about the problems of an aging population. This will translate into what economists call a "demographic dividend," which will help India reach a level of prosperity at which, for the first time in its history, a majority of its citizens will not have to worry about basic needs. Yet India cannot take its golden age of growth for granted. If it does not continue down its path of reform -- and start to work on bringing governance up to par with the private economy -- then a critical opportunity will have been lost.
__________
 
WILL THE WEST ENGAGE?

Summary:  India is on the verge of becoming a great power and the swing state in the international system. As a large, multiethnic, economically powerful, non-Western democracy, it will play a key role in the great struggles of the coming years. Washington has recognized the potential of a U.S.-Indian alliance, but translating that potential into reality will require engaging India on its own terms.

C. RAJA MOHAN is Strategic Affairs Editor at The Indian Express and a member of India's National Security Advisory Board. His most recent book is Impossible Allies: Nuclear India, United States, and the Global Order.

India and the Balance of Power, by C. Raja Mohan, from Foreign Affairs, July/August 2006  (article preview: first 500 of 5,078 words total)

After disappointing itself for decades, India is now on the verge of becoming a great power. The world started to take notice of India's rise when New Delhi signed a nuclear pact with President George W. Bush in July 2005, but that breakthrough is only one dimension of the dramatic transformation of Indian foreign policy that has taken place since the end of the Cold War. After more than a half century of false starts and unrealized potential, India is now emerging as the swing state in the global balance of power. In the coming years, it will have an opportunity to shape outcomes on the most critical issues of the twenty-first century: the construction of Asian stability, the political modernization of the greater Middle East, and the management of globalization.

Although India's economic growth has been widely discussed, its new foreign policy has been less noted. Unlike their U.S. counterparts, Indian leaders do not announce new foreign policy doctrines. Nonetheless, in recent years, they have worked relentlessly to elevate India's regional and international standing and to increase its power. New Delhi has made concerted efforts to reshape its immediate neighborhood, find a modus vivendi with China and Pakistan (its two regional rivals), and reclaim its standing in the "near abroad": parts of Africa, the Persian Gulf, Central and Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean region. At the same time, it has expanded relations with the existing great powers -- especially the United States.

India is arriving on the world stage as the first large, economically powerful, culturally vibrant, multiethnic, multireligious democracy outside of the geographic West. As it rises, India has the potential to become a leading member of the "political West" and to play a key role in the great political struggles of the next decades. Whether it will, and how soon, depends above all on the readiness of the Western powers to engage India on its own terms.

THREE STRATEGIC CIRCLES

India's grand strategy divides the world into three concentric circles. In the first, which encompasses the immediate neighborhood, India has sought primacy and a veto over the actions of outside powers. In the second, which encompasses the so-called extended neighborhood stretching across Asia and the Indian Ocean littoral, India has sought to balance the influence of other powers and prevent them from undercutting its interests. In the third, which includes the entire global stage, India has tried to take its place as one of the great powers, a key player in international peace and security.

Three things have historically prevented India from realizing these grand strategic goals. First, the partition of the South Asian subcontinent along religious lines (first into India and Pakistan, in 1947, then into India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, in 1971) left India with a persistent conflict with Pakistan and an internal Hindu-Muslim divide. It also physically separated India from historically linked states such as Afghanistan, Iran, and the nations of Southeast Asia. The creation of an avowedly Islamic state in Pakistan caused especially profound problems ...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Indology Survey for Witzelites

july 20th, 2006

for your entertainment.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Indology Fan Club < irrfanclub@gmail.com>
Date: Jul 20, 2006 4:05 AM
Subject: Indology Survey for Witzelites
To: irrfanclub@gmail.com

Dear friend,

 

This survey was emailed to all academics who signed the famous Witzel petition. Any help on follow-up via the Indian (or Hindu) NRI community on this will be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

- Indology Fan Club

====================================================================

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

You are one of a group of people who have been listed as scholars of international repute in petition filed with California Board of Education.
 
I am compiling and publishing the facts surrounding the California middle school textbook corrections which you opposed. As you may recall, you signed your name, and your institutional affiliation, to lend credibility to a letter written by the Friends of South Asia / Mr. Michael Witzel addressed to the California State Board of Education (See
http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/%7Ewitzel/witzelletter.pdf ), alleging various intents and ascribing various motives to the parents who were trying to get the texts corrected.

 
I would like to try to be accurate in describing your actions. So please provide answers to the following questions.


1. Before you signed that letter, did you read the complete set of edits approved by the Ad Hoc Content Review Panel appointed by the CSBE, on Hinduism and India?


2. If you answered Yes to #1, please attach a copy of an email that you wrote after reading them, but before you signed that letter, indicating that you had read them. Obviously this is a critical issue, since you signed to the effect that you had familiarized yourself with the edits - and were described as a "world expert" on the matters where the letter claimed competence.

3. If you answered Yes to #1, did you compare the scope, extent, and sources of the edits proposed on Hinduism and India, to those on Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Christianity? Please provide evidence of this comparison done before you endorsed the letter.

In the following, please describe your expertise in the matter of middle-school textbook content on India, Hinduism, and ancient Indian civilization. Please list subject areas, year and institution where you achieved degrees in related subject areas, and your work since then which supports the claim of expertise.


4. Have you been outside an airplane/airport in India in the past 10 years? (Please note: Nepal is NOT in India)
5. Please list the Indian languages you can read/write at least at a tenth-grade Indian state curriculum level.
 
6. Have you actually passed Sanskrit at the 6th-grade Indian Central Schools Curriculum (or equivalent, please specify) level?
 
7. Have you read any of Kalidasa's major works (can you name 4?)in the following in the original Sanskit?
8. Have you read the textbooks used in California's middle schools today, including the parts discussing India? Please name the books with which you are familiar.
9. Do you endorse Mr. Witzel's assertion that the Mahabharatha was written before the Ramayana?
10. Do you believe U. Chicago Pornographer Wendy Doniger's assertion that the Mahabharatha was written by Vyasa per dictation from Shri Ganesha?
11. If "no" to the above, do you believe the Mahabharatha was written by
a) Valmiki per dictation from Krishna
b) no one, since Dr. S.A. Farmer claims that the early Indians did not have any written script until they were educated by Alexander the Great, who learned Sanskrit from the 900 Theses of Pico in Rome.

The next questions relate to the logic you used.

12. What was Valmiki's caste?
13. How did Valmiki learn to write, given that you believe that several castes were kept illiterate in ancient India?
14. What was the caste of Thunjath Ezhuttassan (what work is he famous for?) What does the "caste" name "Ezhuthassan" mean?
15. In the Ramayana, who was Mr. Seeth to Ms. Rama?

16. What is "Marumakattaayam"?
a. A South Indian dessert
b. A system of inheritance
c. A form of gay marriage among the fascist right-wing Hindutva

17. Please describe your acquaintance / working relationship with Mr. Witzel, Mr. S. Farmer, and other entities involved in this matter. Specify how Mr. Witzel is acquainted with your expertise in order to have described it in the letter.

18. Do you deny that you are a member of the Yahoo Group, "IndoEurasian Research", run by Mr. Witzel from Harvard, and Mr. Farmer, that has been widely and repeatedly quoted as making racist hate speech ?

19. Do you deny that you are a member of the Friends of South Asia (a.ka. Pakistan-American Alliance, a.k.a. Inter Services Intelligence, a.k.a. Lashkar-e-Toiba)? The Forum of Inquilabi/ Indian Leftists, a.k.a. Communist Party of India (Marxist - Liberation)? Babbar Khalsa a.k.a. Khalistan? Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam, a.k.a. Federation of Tamils in America?

20. Are you acquainted with Mr. Arun B. Vajpayee, the brave graduate student in California whom Mr. Witzel described as having alerted him to the impending dangers of the textbooks being corrected? If so, please state how you are acquainted with him.


The following relate to your positions on the textbooks:

21. Are you a practising believer in the Hindu faith?

22. Do you agree with the Harvard PhD and UC Berkeley faculty member who claims that one has to be born a Hindu to be a practising Hindu?

23. Can you name 5 Hindu religious holidays?

24. Do you agree that these holidays should be given equal importance to Jewish, Christian and Islamic holidays?

25. Your letter specifically threatened CSBE's Ruth Green with an "international scandal" unless she stopped the textbook process and inserted Mr. Witzel and his consulting pals into the process. Could you explain this threat?

26. Were you perhaps threatening to expose Commissioner Alan Bersin's financial dealings in his former job, or his current conflict of interest?

27. Do you deny knowing that Mr. Bersin is a Harvard Overseer / Trustee charged with fundraising for Harvard, while hiring a Harvard professor as a consultant to a position where he can direct the multi-hundred-million-dollar California textbook budget to Harvard?

28. Did you disagree with Mr. Witzel's and Mr. Farmer's attempts to put pictures of latrine-cleaning in middle school textbooks to humiliate Indian-American children?

29. Did you object to Mr. Witzel's declaration that Indian-American Hindus are "HIINAs" and that their daughters study Indian dance because of poor morals?

30. Do you think it is uacceptable ethics at your university for a professor to go and change his /her teaching evaluations on a website to read all glowing and identical?


Thank you for your answers in advance.
 
Yours truly,
- Indology Club

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

english, august: portrait of an 'indian'

july 19th, 2006

so the nytimes' reviewer thinks it's a classic. ROTFL. this is an eminently trivial work, in my personal opinion. the only english works of lasting value that have come out of india are 'midnight's children', 'the shadow lines', and 'a suitable boy', and the last is iffy, vikram seth's only really good book is 'the golden gate'. but no, this is not about literary criticism.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/books/review/02kapur.html?ex=1153454400&en=049497c8963b9440&ei=5070

i personally thought 'english, august' was brechtian, something that (probably not intentionally) caused revulsion, bibhatsa, in the reader. but it does describe a species of 'indian' who gets a lot of visibility.

the title character is precisely the kind of 'brown saheb' who grew up in an elite household, went to elite schools (doon, lovedale, etc.), then to elite colleges (stephens, etc.) and then ended up as the self-proclaimed 'intelligentsia' of the country. they are a bit like the box-wallahs who used to grace the white-guy companies in old calcutta (according to vikram seth and also a wonderful work by ?tarashankar banerjee?, 'company, limited' made into a film by satyajit ray called i think, 'jana aranya').

these people are totally contemptuous of the 'real' india that they purport to understand. in point of fact, they wouldn't recognize the 'real' india if it were presented to them on a platter. when they come into contact with the 'real' india, they carefully avoid it, making sure not to make contact with it.

they live in delhi and bombay and calcutta, generally not bangalore or hyderabad or chennai.

they often dress in fabmart ethnic kurtas, have scruffy beards, and may carry a sling-bag. this is true of the women too (although the women have smaller beards, and wear giant one-rupee size bindis -- no, i shan't make any snide comments about target practice).

they often have connections with jawaharlal nehru university.

they usually have chinese or other 'handlers' who carefully groom them, although they are themselves unaware of the fact that they are being 'handled'.

they hang out at the india international center and the habitat center.

their biggest ambition is to bed a white woman/man.

they especially love the white foreign correspondents in delhi and their alcohol-sodden parties. they don't realize they look like, to a neutral observer, peter sellers in 'the party' -- gauche, out-of-place caricatures. (but then the foreign correspondents are not neutral, they despise india and these characters.)

they are often 'writers' who spew out an undigested mix of anti-nationalism, marxism and 'secularism'.

they write things that they believe -- and rightly so -- will make them popular with the ny times, the economist and other atlanticists.

they work with the lucrative NGO lords-of-poverty industry and receive gratuitously large salaries and do essentially no work while their handlers get what they need through them: national-security breaches, infiltration into economic policy etc.

they insinuate themselves into the award-doling-out cottage industry and eventually get magsaysay and suchlike awards.

they really hate NRIs, because most NRIs do not have such privileged backgrounds, have not gone to the elite schools, are not in awe of white people (having met some real-life white people in their natural habitats) and actually do some work for a living. these people, on the other hand, are happy to be parasites.

do you know someone who answers this description? fortunately, there are relatively few of them, but they do disproportionate damage.

a clue: look at those who put india down the most, and you'll find that they fit this to a T.

although the best example i can think of lives in london. (an exercise to the reader: figure out who this london resident is. i shall give no clues, and shall not say whether you have hit the bull's eye.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

demonization and 'original sin'

july 18th, 2006

have you noticed how people have been saying, in so many words, 'the targets of the mumbai bombs were rich hindu gujarati diamond-traders'?

the implication: it's ok to massacre gujarati diamond-traders.

why? a) they are rich
b) they are hindu
c) they are gujarati

obviously a) is standard marxist-speak
b) is standard mohammedan-fundamentalist-speak

but c) is new. c) is raj-sardesai-speak and ndtv-speak and pankaj-mishra-speak. what it means is hte following: some gujaratis killed some mohammedans. therefore all gujaratis deserve to be killed, and nobody should mourn their deaths.

true enough, where were the sob-stories about the families of the dead gujaratis? not in the ELM. i remember that the ELM was full of sob-stories about ishrat jehan (the mohammedan girl who accompanied a hindu-convert-terrorist and two pakistani terrorists in a car to kill modi). there is no such breast-beating about any of the 190 people killed in mumbai.

further, the implication is that there is an 'original sin' committed by the hindu gujaratis. since they killed some mohammedans, henceforth till the end of the world, every mohammedan murder of any hindu anywhere can be justified as being caused by the pain of the gujarat riots.

this is demonization of the first order. goebbels would be quite proud of the ELM. i am waiting with bated breath for the day when the ELM 'discovers' (as is said of jews: this is part of what they protest is blood libel) that vegetarian gujarati hindus use the blood of new-born mohammedan infants in various rituals!

demonization is a wonderful tactic. this has always worked against the enemy: eg. the yanks demonizing the japanese as yellow devils. the spanish conquistadors demonizing the mayans as cannibals.

ergo, the ELM views the hindus as the enemy. this is a lemma

okay, let's say, for arguments' sake, that we accept that there is an original sin by hindus.

but then, what about the original sin that caused the gujarat riots? what about the 59 women and children, pilgrims, roasted mercilessly in godhra?

so that 'original sin' is not relevant?

similarly, the other 'original sins' of hindus: x) some mohammedans have been beaten up in kashmir, y) a disused mosque in ayodhya was pulled down.

take x). what about the 400,000 kashmiri hindus who have been ethnically cleansed? how about the tens of thousands raped, mutilated, abducted, blinded, tortured, etc.? well, those people don't matter, and talking about their human rights is an act of 'religious extremism'

and what about the 1000s of kashmiri mohammedans who have set up shop in every corner of india? isn't this a nice convenient network for sleeper cells? what right do they have to live in the rest of india if the rest of indians have no right to live in jammu and kashmir?

take y). how about at least 100,000 hindu temples that have demonstrably been destroyed by mohammedans? there is no sin in that?

and if we want to talk about 'original sin', what about the mohammedan sin of pulling down all those temples? wouldn't it be appropriate -- to use the same technique -- to justify any atrocity against any mohammedan anywhere as just rewards for the temple-breaking?

why, can't we go even further? what about the 'original sin' of mohammedan invasions of india? can't we -- using the marxists' own technique -- therefore justify any violent act by anybody (including the israelis and the yanks) anywhere against mohammedans by pointing to the original sin of the mohammedan invasion of india, which wiped out the buddhists, and set back civilization by a thousand years?

if you don't accept this line of reasoning, then the 'original sin' theory doesn't hold water. there is no justification in blithely accepting the deaths of 'rich hindu gujarati diamond-traders'. by doing this, the ELM is basically saying that the human rights of terrorists and outlaws are far greater than those of normal, law-abiding civilians.

this is an abomination of the highest order, and shows the degradation of the media in india.

Lashkar-e-Toiba carried out 7/11 blasts, two Pak terrorists confess

july 18, 2006

the smoking gun.

of course, now, teesta setalvad and kuldip nayyar will demand that the actual videotapes of the actual plotting being done be produced, or else they'll claim "misguided youths" (remember that "misguided girl-terrorist" irshat jehan?) were just doing their usual "boys-will-be-boys" stuff, which we should tolerate with a nudge and a wink.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: J
Date: Jul 17, 2006 1:38 PM
Subject:

Lashkar-e-Toiba carried out 7/11 blasts, two Pak
Fedayeen confess

PTI
The Times of India
Monday, July 17, 2006 at 2:12 a.mm IST

ST. PETERSBURG - Minutes after Air India One, the
special aircraft carrying the PM to St Petersburg
entered the airspace of Uzbekistan, National Security
Adviser M K Narayanan handed over to Manmohan Singh a
one-page note. It contained the confessions by two
Pakistani fidayeen who have blasted a huge hole in
Pakistan's protestations of innocence about ISI's
involvement in last week's terror assault on Mumbai.
This will give a major boost to the PM's plan to lobby
world leaders for coming down hard on the sponsors of
terrorism.

The two members of the jehadi suicide squad were
arrested by security forces from central India, most
probably from Madhya Pradesh, and have since provided
significant details about the Mumbai mayhem as well as
the larger anti-India terror campaign that ISI has
assigned to favourite jehadi gang, Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The arrests are described as "a significant catch".

Sources said the terrorists' disclosures will help the
PM secure the support of leaders of the G-8 nations,
as well as those of China, Brazil, Mexico, South
Africa, Congo and Kazakhastan who are going to be
there at St Petersburg for an "outreach session"
against Pakistan sponsored terrorism. The PM indicated
so much even before being apprised of the details of
the confessions by the two jehadis by Narayanan.

He said he'd use the interactions to sensitise the
world leaders to India's concerns about terrorism.
Describing terrorism as a scourge that afflicts
different parts of the world, Singh said: "I'd like
leaders to stand united in the war against terror."

The PM's interaction with the media brought out his
growing frustration with Pakistan as well as General
Pervez Musharraf. Stating that the terror attack in
Mumbai could not have been accomplished without
"external support", he said improvement in ties would
not be possible in the face of continued terrorism.

"India and Pakistan must find new pathways for
establishing friendly ties. Both need peace and
stability if we have to realise our immense
development potential and also potential for
cooperation that exists in our countries. But all this
cannot move forward if terrorism aided and abetted
from outside continues to take a heavy toll of lives
of innocent citizens of India on such a massive scale
as we saw in Mumbai and in J&K since April," he said.
"I have not spoken to Musharraf over telephone but
contacts have been established with the government of
Pakistan at all levels."

If it sounded similar to the line crafted under NDA,
the PM made no secret of his annoyance with President
Musharraf either. Asked whether he had revised his
assessment of Musharraf as somebody "India could do
business with, Manmohan Singh remarked: "In all these
matters, there is a learning process. Musharraf is the
President of Pakistan and we have to deal with people
who are in government. Therefore, I'd not like to
utter any harsh words."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1762193.cms



Monday, July 17, 2006

'extreme religious sites': internet censorship

july 17th, 2006

following arjun singh's ban, a number of internet sites have been shut down, including all blogger sites, most of which are run by individuals.

this, of course, is censorship. but the 'intelligentsia' in india are not worried. stands to reason, because a lot of the english-language media's hypocrisy is being exposed on blogs.

and it's interesting that they have given lists of sites with 'extreme religious views'. one of these is ' hinduhumanrights.org'.

thus, in the arjun singh lexicon, hindu human rights = religious extremism.

this goes well with arjun singh's other axiom, 'secularism' = mohammedanism. this was repeated by him and his arab friends on his recent trip to west asia.

note that the extremely predatory christist sites such as the joshua project have not been censored. nor mohammedan terrorist sites, even after the mumbai blasts. nor extreme marxist sites, even after yesterday's massacre of 87 tribal refugees in a camp in chattisgarh. the only site mentioned that has a christist connection is dalistan.org, a christist front.

thus, christist/mohammedan/marxist terrorism = good
hindus wanting their human rights = religious extremism.

a very neat encapsulation of UPA policy.

stand by for an announcement of the emergency, any day now.

here is a news report that gives the story, and here's a way to bypass the ban by using anonymous servers or proxies.

http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Bypassing_The_Ban

this wikipedia entry shows you how to get around the ban.

also, here's another email about it: use the pakistani anti-censoring site!

Here's one great way to access all blogspot blogs: Just go to http://pkblogs.com/. This site was created by Pakistani bloggers to bypass all blogs that were blocked by the Paki govt.


newsreport:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/8719.html
Post 7/11, Govt targets 'extreme' websites, bloggers on the blink
SULAKSHANA GUPTA / Pragya Singh
Posted online: Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email

MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, JULY 17:The fast-growing community of online
bloggers has borne the brunt of the government's decision to block
some 20 websites in a post-Mumbai show of force. Some of the websites
that have been blocked are Dalitstan.org, Clickatell.com,
Hinduhumanrights.org and Hinduunity.com.

But the most harried Internet users were the bloggers, who couldn't
access Blogspot.com , Typepad.com or Geocities.com pages. Sources in
ISPs in Delhi as well as Mumbai confirmed that the one blog government
has asked them to block is Princesskimberly.blogspot.com.

It seems the order posed technical problems, resulting in a blanket
ban on all blogs. ''You cannot block a single page on blogspot.com,
which is why all of them are getting blocked,'' said Neha Viswanathan,
Regional Editor, South Asia, Globalvoicesonline.org from London.

The Indian order was issued on July 13, sources in the Ministry of
Telecom confirmed, though the Computer Emergency Response Team
(India), part of a global cyber-security network set up three years
ago, did not announce the bans officially.

Only sources in several ISPs such as Spectranet and Airtel confirmed
that they had received the site-blocking order. R Grewal, a
spokesperson for Spectranet confirmed: ''We received a list of over 20
websites to block from the Department of Telecom, and this
( Blogspot.com) was one of them.''

Apparently, all the websites blocked are said to express "extreme
religious views."

MTNL officials said they were handed a 22-page document detailing the
sites to block a month ago. "It came from the National Informatics
Centre (NIC). It was the first time that they had done something of
this nature,'' says RH Sharma, sub-divisional engineer for MTNL in
Delhi.

Government sources confirmed late in the evening that some websites
have been blocked based on police reports that they were fuelling
hatred. They denied that the Mumbai blasts had anything to do with
censorship and that security checks on the blocked sites were on since
before the terrorist attacks.

SULAKSHANAGUPTA@expressindia.com