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Showing posts from 2017

Learn History, or your Geography will be changed

I was asked a question, 'Why do you keep raising historical issues?'

What is history but a fable agreed upon? ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
The version of history we know, has been given to us, by vested interests. So a hot debate has erupted between groups in favour of and those against re-writing Indian history books and redefining the national narrative. 
Is this a storm in a tea cup or is it something very important?
First a bit of background. Significant parts of India have been occupied by a variety of foreign conquerors for more than 1000 years.  The occupiers wrote their own version of Indian history.  Some of it factual, a lot of it masala. Most documents and artefacts that could have helped define our history have been spirited away, by conquerors or have been destroyed.
History we are taught is always written by victors and conquerors, and they always project how great and noble they were and the civilising effect they had on the vanquished people. Not all victories are military, so…

The Ghosts of 1962

Lest we forget the war of 1962.
Understanding the Chinese invasion of India and the aftermath.

In late 1940s two sleeping giants began to stir awake. 
Barring the gruesome partition, modern democratic India had a peaceful birth in 1947. Nehru the Indian prime minister therefore believed, power came from eloquence, amity and diplomacy. 

China (PRC) on the other hand had a very violent birth in 1949, hence Mao Tse-tung held the belief that power came from the barrel of a gun. 

Nehru fancied himself as becoming a world leader. He wanted India and China to partner together, to create a third pole that would not be aligned to either American led West Capitalistic block nor the Soviet led Communist block. In pursuit of this dream he stooped and pampered China to no end. He fawned over China and also rued that he did not have the type of committed cadre that Mao had.

This approach did not go down well with the Americans nor the Russians, who wanted to retain their global preeminence. They both wan…

Capitalism defeats all

In Russia, Capitalism defeated Communism.
In America, Capitalism defeated Democracy.
~ Fran Leibowitz

Capitalism disguised as Socialism and Secularism has almost defeated India.
~ Gurvinder Singh

Throughout history a small minority of individuals usually 5%  of the population have always dominated and controlled the majority 95%. They did this by legislating special privileges for themselves, monopoly of all key resources and having a strong militia to impose their will by violence and fear of force.
The key resources, including property, natural resources, precious metals, cash, and stocks are all defined as 'Capital'. Those who own or control this capital are called 'Capitalists'. 
Capitalists come in all colours and types, but their only purpose of existence is to protect and enhance the value of their capital and resulting influence.
Some become capitalists by earning it, some by inheriting it, many become capitalists by being corrupt or simply by stealing it. 
Capitalists …

Warrior or Shopkeeper Negotiator?

The current tensions caused India-China confrontation over Dokalam has been effectively defused with both parties reverting to the original status quo.

Worldwide acclaim was flowing for India's finest foreign affairs coups.
While China was belligerent, threatening, sabre rattling and vocal, India stood her ground and remained firm with quiet dignity.

Both  India and China are nuclear powers, huge militaries,  with large economies and populations  glared at one another eyeball to eyeball.

The Indian armed forces displayed its readiness and firmness which helped to stare down the aggressive Chinese.

Even though effectively separated from one another by the massive Himalayan mountain range.  Its one of the most difficult terrains in the world to traverse, leave alone conduct a war.
When egos overshadow reason,  an uncontrollable confrontation becomes a real and frightening possibility.

The Chinese are a disciplined and hardworking people and their leadership is very astute and have …

Listen to be heard

My son Amarprit now 34 years young often accompanied me when I went to business and social meetings. 

While I used to lead the discussions I observed a strange phenomenon, people used to start addressing my son rather than me.  This used to disturbed me, for every elder particularly the father thinks he is smarter and more competent than his children.  Did people not know who was in charge? Could they not see the father?
Nevertheless, Amarprit with less knowledgable, less experienced, less assertive and less aggressive than me was simply more effective in communication. 

I initially attributed it to my son's charm and intelligence. Then I soon realised, it was 
also because my son was not only a good listener but a respectable one too. He always tried to understand and appreciate the other person's needs, problems before he offered a solution which we had already planned.  Like my wife it is my son's inherent capacity to give the other person space. Space to express, space to …

Where everyone fails

An example of the problem with Socialism

I often ask myself, why after Independence, has the Indian economy failed to realise its great potential?  There could be several factors but adoption of Marxist Socialistic models is the major culprit.  

An economics  professor was often confronted by a majority of his idealistic students. They insisted that Socialism was a a great equaliser, a system that worked, where no one will be rich nor poor. 
The professor said "Ok, let's conduct an experiment in this class on socialism. The experiment is that results would be averaged out and everyone will receive the same grade." 

After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a 'B'. Naturally, the students who had studied hard were upset and the ones who had hardly studied at all were delighted.

As the second test rolled in, the hardworking students decided that they were not going to get an 'A', studied less, and the ones who had earlier …

Ideology is not Philosophy

We often use words carelessly when communicating and that can lead to much confusion and even misunderstandings.  Take the case of the terms ideology and philosophy which are often used interchangeably. 

The ideologist believes that he or she is right and all those who disagree are wrong.
The philosopher believes that there may be differing perspectives and he or she might have missed something, or the other person has an alternate perspective, and they are  perfectly within their rights to have a differing view.

The ideologist is extremely confident, the philosopher always harbours doubts.
The ideologist is intolerant and if he has no choice will at best tolerate you. The philosopher respects you. 

The hallmark of a true civilisation is that there is scope for dissent, and yet be respected. 
As my friend Bala Adiga says, "One can always disagree without being disagreeable"
This is clearly the philosophy of the East evident in India and many parts of Asia.

The ideologist is masculin…