Saturday, December 29, 2012

Civil Society and Crime, Corruption and political apathy in India

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books The death of the gang rape victim in a hospital in Singapore has led to an upsurge of emotion in New Delhi and other parts of urban India. Candle light vigils, black ribbon marches, placards displaying solidarity with the victim, named Nirbhaya or fearless by the doctors of Safdrajang Hospital in recognition of her valiant battle to live, which she ultimately lost. The anger against the criminal political class is palpable but unlike the Arab Spring which was ignited by the fiery protest of a street vendor and spread the the rest of the Arab world from Tunisia, these protests will not do much to change the system. The one man one vote and first past the winning post system of elections has atomized Indian society that the aggregate vote is actually controlled by the political parties which are not afraid of such protests because they are actually a mass of individual protests within a spontaneous field of reaction. The political parties particularly the dynastic fascists know that the tempo of protest cannot be sustained until the next election. Is there a way out? The liberal intelligentsia has been claiming that the rape of the Delhi girl and the sustained brutality to which her body was subjected is a symptom of the "rage" of the underclass Marinate this argument with a critic of the neo liberal economuc agenda and you have that thundering darling of the West, Arunditti Roy coming up with the argument that rape of the Delhi girl was only a protest against "poverty" and "marginalization".What this argument fails to consider and hence dangerous if it starts attracting attention is that it is an overt endorsement of crime against women. Perhaps the novelist in Roy does not quote comprehend the implications of her own argument. Another point is that most of the perpetrators of such crimes,and I am going only by anecdotal evidence, are from the OBC castes. The politically correct media will not highlight this fact, but it is germane to the discussion. In fact all the six arrested rapists of the Delhi girl were from the slums of Delhi and were from castes which historically have been violent. The bad old days of the British Raj they were called "criminal tribes and castes". I am only suggesting that in the name of woolly liberalism we should not loose sight of ground realities and forget history. The liberals in the Indian establishment seem to be advocating a jurisprudence predicated upon caste hierarchy. If the criminals are from the lower castes then their ctrimes can be ignored and if the victim is a dalit then the crime become all the more serious. Such relativism of crime has led to political interference making it impossible for the police to tackle the crime. There is another factor. Too uch civil society activism on frivolous issues spear headed by Arvind Kejriwal has led to the dilution of civil society as a force in Indian public life.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Professor Martha C Nussbaum's tirade against Hon'ble Narendar Modi

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books We have always known that American academics are servitors of the state and Martha has just demonstrated the truth of the statement by releasing a statement criticizing Hon'ble Narendar Modi, the newly reelected Chief Minister of Gujarat, saying that his election is a "blot" on Gujarat. As a recent convert to Judaism, Martha perhaps does not want to even refer to the atrocities against the Palestinians by her coreligionists armed and supported by the weapons supplied by her very own US of A. Of course she does not have a word of criticism against USA for the genocide it has done in Iraq on the patently fraudulent WMD argument. I feel that Professor Noam Chomsky, and I differ from him on political issues, has intellectual honesty and integrity which this distinguished Professor of Ethics sorely lacks. Martha Nussbaum, a white woman with a highly privileged upbringing in Hew York and an exclusive education in the Classics with a doctorate from Harvard, is no mean academic. She is a distinguished scholar in her own right and I am not questioning her scholarship. I am questioning her academic integrity in pointing out some blatant falsehoods in her tirade against the Chief Minister of Gujarat. A philosopher cannot be selective in his or her gaze. If Martha is concerned about the plight of Muslims in Gujarat and I do not doubt her interest, then she must take a public stand against the humiliations imposed on people travelling to the USA having moslem names. Of course as a convert to Judaism she has no real interest in Muslims or their plight. Her concern is in the Aristotelian sense purely rhetorical: Liberal ideology demands an anti Modi posture and Martha adopts it. Further, the US lawmakers too have written to their Secretary of State and so Martha joins in the chorus of clowns,whistling in the dark about the Hon'ble Chief Minister. I am surprised at the passionate intensity with which these liberal anti India Modi baiters jump almost at cue. We will not find the Martha of the world talking about American war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and more recently the drone attacks on civilians all over the world. But she is filled with rage at Modi and what for? The 2002 Riots have been investigated by the highest judiciary of the land. Martha is supposed to be a Professor of Law and as such I expect her to have respect for judicial process. But No. If Modi is found innocent then the judges are at fault. What Martha wants is a Wild West type of hanging judge who will play to the gallery. I do not know what kind of law youn have learnt ot r teach. In my understanding this is not law: it is inquisition and a liberal inquisition always portrays itself in the rainments of moral superiority. And we in India know far too much about the USA and its black deeds to be taken in by the pretenses of the Marthas of the world. A philosopher is not an ideologue. He or she searches after truth, elusive though it may be. Martha Nussbaum has not bothered to keep abreast of the developments on the judicial front. Her source perhps is Teesta Setelvad who was convicted for perjury in the Best Bakery case for bribing the witness. The Courts have not found an iota of evidence against the Hon'ble Narendar Modi. But as Karl Popper stated so many decades back, ideologues are not interested in truth or facts. They are only interested in projecting lies, half truths and distortions which are repeated so many times that they end up appearing as truth to the non discerning mind. Martha has been saying things that are purely speculative to put it mildly or she is lying in the interest of her ideological allies. Martha Nussbaum has done splendid work inthe field of Human Capability building and if she applies her own theories to Gujarat she will find that (1) the quality of life has improved over the past 10 years (2) schools drop out rate has gone down and girl children enrollment in very high in Gujarat (3) health care even for heart and kidney ailments is availble to the poor and needy. Unlike USA where the unseemly debate over health care is still raging. at least the Hon'ble Narendar MOdi has done one better that Barack Obama, And in a democracy the will of the people must be respected. Even in Muslim areas the Hon'ble Chief Minister has registered resounding victories. Professor Martha Nussbaum has gone completely off the deep end on this issue. Many of us who respected her views and taught her ideas will now rethink our positions. A woman who is so blatantly racist in making damning comments about a tall national leader on the basis of propaganda and lies does not need to be taken seriously. Her position on Narendar Modi is akin to the Holocaust deniers- refuse historical facts which are empirically verifiable for woolly ideologically charged rhetoric. Martha you have shown yourself to be a cheap white supremist who does not dare criticize his or her own countey for all its crimes but become fashionably outrages at a non existent crime. If you are all that concerned, Martha, why do you keep quiet on Why are you quiet about the human rights record of Israel? Is it because you are a recent convvert to Judaism? Really how does one convert to Judais mwhat the Congress Party did in 1984 when its workerrs killed more than 15,000 Sikhs all over northern India.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books India is fast becoming a country where women are no longer safe. As the father of a young teenager I am concerned about the sort of society in which young girls will enter. In the work place sexual harassment of women has become almost routine and women mostly either quit their jobs or deal with it using administrative procedure which are usually ineffective. In the domestic sphere violence against women has acquired social sanction in that even the police are reluctant to register cases against the guilty party and even the rare case that come up for trial usually ends in an acquittal as the legal process is so cumbersome and weighed against the victim that the woman just gives up. As India is becoming more open to a neo liberal economy, women have started entering the job market and they face exploitation and worse. In Banglore women soft ware professionals returning home in the Company car have been raped and murdered and the sentence given is so negligible that the message goes out loud and clear that violence against women is not a priority. The statistics for what in India is called "dowry deaths" is just appalling. Every minute a woman is being burnt alive for dowry and the conviction rate for such murders is extremely low and the law is not being enforced. The surprising sociological fact is that groups which did not have "dowry" as part of their social customs have now started demanding dowry and this new development is leading to a lot of social problems. In New Delhi, a Congress politician killed herself and her 2 year old daughter due to harassment by the in-laws for dowry. It took a full week for the police to even register the case. Such is the apathy even in the capital. There have been a series of extremely horrific attacks on women over the past few months and each is worse than the previous. Women and girls from schools, colleges and universities are out protesting, demanding security. Given the fact that a corrupt, criminal dynastic fascist regime is clinging to power in New Delhi we do not expect any change. The fact is that the political climate is so uncertain that criminals feel emboldened to commit crimes as they know that the Congress Party is there to protect them. All the serious cases hace happened only in Congress ruled states: New Delhi, Haryana and Rajastan. However isolated cases have been reported from West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Munbai, another Congress ruled state. The governance is so bad that people have lost faith in the ability and the competence of the governments to enforce the law. There have been more than 600 cases of rape reported so far this year and this figure is nowhere close to the actual figure because rape is usually not reported due to the stigma associated with it. The worst and the most barbaric attack happened in New Delhi when a young woman and her fried were attacked and the girl raped onm a moving bus on the Outer Ring Road, New Delhi. The girl was gang raped and stabbed with beer bottles and iron rods and thrown out of the bus. The barbarity of this attack finally shocked the nation and the 6 residents of a slum in Delhi were arrested. The false veneer of political correctness has led the print and the electronic media to cover the crimes committed by the slum dwellers of New Delhi with a politically correct gloss. The barbarity of the most recent attack finally led to the exposure of the fact that most of the violent crimes were the handiwork of men living in the slums which surround the city. The requirement of registering these migrants and finger printing them is resisted by the fashionable liberal left whose daughters go the work and schools in cars and do not use public transport. The liberal left is high on rhetoric and low in actual concern for the underprivileged. Finally the message has sunk home. The politicians are not interested in undertaking any steps to bring about even a modicum of security. The MPs used the protests against rape aa an opportunity to be photographed and appear as if they are concerned. The fact is that the vast majority of Indian's MPs are actually criminals awaiting trail for violent crimes like murder, rape, rioting ect. I hope that the Indian people decide not to vote for criminals and f they send criminals to Parliament then their daughters are not safe. I hope the thick skulled Indians learn this lesson before it is too late. For the past 8 years we have seen unending corruption, mismanagement of Indian resources, unending acts of terrorism and now appalling acts of violence against women. The demand is now being made for the introduction of death sentence for rapists. The scandal is that the former President, a lawyer by profession and a woman one Prathiba Patil commuted the death sentence on 20 rapists who killed their victims. Such is the sad reality of the enforcement of law. It is difficult enough to secure conviction in Indian courts and this woman caomes along and commutes the sentence. What justice can one expect if a woman like Prathiba Patil is made President by a crimainal organization like the Congress.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books The season of joy is infectious. The birth of the Lord and Saviour brings forth the best in people. The clebration of the birth of Christ in The Study, Kalapet was done in a spectacular manner. The theme chosen was the stoy of Joseph who is sold into slavery by his brothers and with his inate talent of interpretting dreams he wins the confidence of the Pharoah and becomes the Chief Grain Officer of the Kingdom of Egypt. As is always the case with stories from the Old Testament, there is a twist in the tail. The brothers who solf Joseph into slavery come in search of food and in a magnificent gesture of reconciliation, Joseph forgives his brothers and is helped by him to overcome the s distress. Seven years of Plenty and seven of famine as predicted by Joseph was the fulfillment of the will of God. In the season of love, the story of Joseph sends the right message. The theme sketched above was enacted by the students of the Study, a school in Kalapet, Pondicherry. The School was established by the renowned heart surgeon Dr K M Cherian who was awarded a D Sc Honoris Causa by Pondicherry University in 2010 in recognition of the great work done in the field of surgery. He attended the function along with hisgrand daughter, Shirin. His message was a very inspiring one and I am sure that the students would have been inspired.The Vice Chancellor of Pondicherry UNiversity, Professor J A K Tareen and MRs Tareen attended the function. As always, Professor J A K Tareen gave a very gracious speech which touched everyone's heart. His presence added to the ocassion. The Principal sang an extremely difficult series of movements and she did a splendid job of it. I enjoyed the Dreamer and congratulate the school and its students for a job well come. A few visuals of the Dreamer:
The Welcome
The Dreamers: a Dance sequence.
A Song Serquence
The Trials of Joseph
A student with the Hon'ble Vice Chancellor of Pondicherry University and Mrs. Tareen.