Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Fire (Aag)

With the blow of wind she flares up,
And dies as soon as she drinks water;
Even though she is a pretty woman,
She’s not a woman, though she’s feminine.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

2008: An Indian Space Odyssey

He is a sacrificial fire
in which the gods are constantly putting fuel
when darkness spreads its vast sheet
even then
he is the untiring life flaming in the background
Dyaus, o ancient father
it is you who has made these wonderful seasons
you the wrinkles on the face
the blood of the shoots
the drying up of wounds
you are love
like a beehive full of honey
warm and sweet
present in our souls
you are
the agitation that turns the earth upside down.
- Hymn to Dyaus Pitr (Sky Father), Rig veda.

Less than 3 years to go! In late 2007 or early 2008, India's first unmanned mission to the moon "Chandrayan 1" (moon-voyage 1) will blast off on top of a four stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for a 2 year orbit of the moon, carrying out a 3D mapping of the moon as well as the most detailed analysis of the moons mineral and chemical composition ever conducted.Apart from a lunar impacter that will permanently place India's flag on the moon's surface, the mission will carry out scientific experiments on behalf of the US, ESA and Bulgaria.

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Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Clash of Monotheisms

Recently i decided to read the book "The Clash of Civilisations" by Samuel P. Huntington, which i had previously heard a lot about especially from those who criticised it. I found it to be an interesting read for anyone interested in geopolitics.

The world has also fundamentally changed since the book was written and though much has gone according to Huntingtons paradigm from the events of 9/11 to the recent Ukraine elections, there still are many areas that could be further added upon, especially in relation to India.

Speaking of Clash of the Civilisations, the pope looks like he's going to kick to bucket any day now. Thus the question on everyones lips is could an African become the next pope. With Christianity locked into a head on contest with Islam in Africa, a black brother in the Vatican could give xtians that strategic advantage over Islam in the battle for souls and market share in Africa. I've always thought it interesting watching Africans take so enthusiastically to the religions of their oppressive former slave trading masters, whether Arab or European. As always they like others are essentially being treated as little more than a commodity, a people deemed incapable of having a coherent religion of their own so they must be given one to civilise them as per the British colonialist David Livingstone's famous formulation of "Civilization, Commerce and Christianity".

Anyways would a black pope be able to stem let alone reverse the steady decline of Christianity in Europe since the enlightenment. Hell no.
What's for sure though is that in the 21st century there will be huge gains made by Chrisitianity in Asia. The current pope John Paul while always talking about interfaith harmony n other gibberish has revealed many times that he wants to reap a rich harvest in Asia.
With Christianity struggling to maintain its market leader status due to its low birth rate as compared to the exploding birth rates in the muslim world, atheist China will represent the last great virgin territory for Christian proselytizing to fuck over.

Apart the local confucian traditions and also Buddhism there is really very little to conceivably stop the march of Christianity there. One of things that has always impressed me about the Chinese is their general indifference towards organised religion, but increasingly this no longer looks to be the the case especially in light of the almost complete hollowing out of China's Communist state ideology. Already there are estimates of 50-250 million christian converts in China. Much is often made about China emerging as a potential threat to the US in the future. But I think this is somewhat overstated, the Americans are not just going to sit there and do nothing, they know they can use and indeed are using Christian missionaries (a force greater than even the US military or Hollywood) as a powerful foreign policy tool to decisively change future geopolitical equations. Once the Chinese are a predominantly Christian nation, which they one day very well could be just like South Korea is now, China will more of less have been recruited on the side of the west or Christendom in any future civilisational battle against Islam - not that this is necessarily a bad thing.

So what about Hinduism and the future prospects of the world's 885 million Hindu's. Well naturally one wishes we could be immune from the plague of such aggressive, arrogant and obnoxious religions but unfortunately they are already in our midst. Christian missionaries have longed eyed India as a huge potential source for converts and are actively targeting economically and socially weaker sections of our society. Already many if not most of the tribals and ethnic groups in the northeast have been won over to Christianity. So called "Lower castes" and those in South India are next on the chopping block. Unless like in muslim countries a credible threat of violence is employed to warn such missionary groups, they will most likely continue their activities unfettered and succeed to an certain extent in their mission. To what extent exactly remains to be seen and will depend on our vigilance as well as our assertiveness in reinforcing our unique identity. Thus if Hinduism wants to withstand the onslaught, it will once again have to adapt to the changing times as it has done throughout the millenia and work to overcome sources of weakness such as the caste system that keeps us divided.

Of all people, Hindu's should know better than most the historical consequences of failing to provide a united front to external threats. Our only consolation in this fight is that though many battles will be and already have been lost the war can never be won in an age of reason amongst a people whose spiritual tradition has always accepted and respected intellectual openness and plurality as opposed to dogma, falsehood and infallibility. 

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Bookworm

A moth ate words.
I thought that was quite curious,
that a mere worm,
a thief in the dark, ate what a man wrote,
his brilliant language and its strong foundation.
The thief got no wiser for all that he fattened himself on words.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Criticisms for the Beloved Parivar

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Now dont get me wrong, i consider myself a committed long distance armchair supporter of the Sangh Parivar. I have much sympathy and admiration for them and their cause of Hindutva.
But i must say that much of of my worldview and opinions has been shaped not as much by the right wing, but rather infact more by reading and seeing the utter failure and hypocrisy of the leftist pseudo-secular "intelligensia" of India, who not satisfied with doing their best to run India into the ground over the last fifty years, take great pride at every turn in continually denigrating our ancient religion and culture.
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Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Difference Between a Dog and a Man

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
- Mark Twain.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Kashmir Conflict

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It is said that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will eventually start to believe it. This is certainly the case in regards to Pakistan and its obsession with Kashmir. As a regular reader of Paki newspapers, im always surprised by the amount of lies and conspiracy theories that go unchallenged and are basically accepted as the gospel there.

I cant go into all of them otherwise this column will go on forever, but things like the so called "forgery" of the document of accession signed by the Maharaja unifying Jammu & Kashmir with India and ratified in the Kashmiri parliament by "Sher-e-Kashmir" Sheikh Abdullah, the popularly elected leader of Kashmir.

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India's Energy Diplomacy

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe PR machine of union oil minister Mani Shankar Aiyar has been in overdrive in recent weeks with news of all sorts of mega deals.
I developed an extreme dislike of him from his days as the leading Congress party/Gandhi family sycophant at the Indian Express newpaper. Just looking at the smug half psychotic smile plastered on his face makes me sick. Little did i know then that his unashamedly biased views as a self-proclaimed "secular fundamentalist" columnist would eventually land him to a plum job within the new government.
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Monday, February 07, 2005

Bark of Wisdom

Even if thou art the worst of sinners thou shalt cross the ocean of sin by the bark of wisdom
- Bhagavad Gita, 4.36.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

"Hindutva Rate of Growth"

Great is the sword and mighty is the pen,
But over all the labouring ploughman's blade
For on its oxen and its husbandmen
An Empire's strength is laid.
- Rudyard Kipling.

For over 5,500 years India has been a pre-eminent civilization.

Throughout history there has seldom been a land of such great wealth and richness, thus one of the reasons for it being so attractive for plunder and conquest by some of the more war-likeraces beyond (Yes, you, Afghan man, look at me when im talking to you and wipe that smirk off your face).

When the Persian Nadir Shah sacked Delhi in 1739, massacring some 30,000-150,000 inhabitants, it is said that so much loot was plundered (a vast wagon train of 10,000 heavily laden elephants, 7,000 horses and 10,000 camels filled, including the famous Kohinoor diamond and Peacock Throne), that the people of Persia were exempt from tax for four years.

Unfortunately Europe knew of this wealth also, thus they set sail to reach India, in the process finding a completely unknown new continent. When they finally made it to the real India, they realised that they had the good fortune to arrive at a point in time when India was once again ripe for conquest. There was a power vacuum, the mighty Mughal empire had collapsed after Aurangzeb's vainglorious Islamic fanaticism and relentless attacks in response by the Sikhs in the North, the Rajput confederacy in the west, the Maratha Peshwa's in the southwest, and the rebellious muslim sultanates in the south.

In 1750, India produced 24.5% of the world's economic output (Huntington, 1997:86), while Great Britain had a little over 2%. India also had the world's largest textile industry, which was a crucial first step for Industrialisation. By 1947, the British imperialists had completely distorted the Indian economy and destroyed the textile industry to fuel their own Industrial revolution,thus reducing India "the Jewel of the British Empire" to the status of a pauper with less than 3% of global output, while Great Britain rose to 21%.

This leprous daybreak, dawn nights fangs have mangled
This is not that long-looked for break of day.
Not that clear dawn in quest of which those comrades
Set out, believing that in heavens wide void
Somewhere must be the stars last halting place
Somewhere the verge of nights slow washing tide,
Somewhere an anchorage for the ship of heartache.
- Faiz.

Thanks to the disastrous economic policies of the congress party, India's Independence in 1947 was essentially a false dawn as it wasted its first 40 years of freedom wallowing in poverty, chasing the mythical socialist utopia, while its share of world output declined further relative to other nations.

Under Jawaharlal Nehru's brand of fabian socialism, India became inward orientated, the government controlled the commanding heights of the economy, discouraged foreign trade and trampled on the spirit of entrepreneurship, but was too busy riding its bureaucratic pony to notice the damage to the very moral fiber of India.

With the policy of Import Substitution Industrialisation (ISI), we went about achieving our aim of self-sufficiency. The problem was that we started at the wrong end. Nehru believed in using machines to make machines. Thus while the ISI policies of nations in East Asia focused on the replacement of consumer goods, India had a disproportionate focus on capital goods. Because this didn’t leverage India's abundant factors of production (ie: cheap labour) and due to the fact that there was only a small market for these goods, they were an enormously inefficient waste of scarce resources.
The other mistake was the fact that we held on to the policy of ISI for far too long while nations of East Asia initially built up their industries then let them trade and compete with the world.

By the mid 1970's when the economy stubbornly refused to grow faster than 3%, which is disastrously slow for a developing country with a burgeoning population, rather then admitting the failure of their borrowed socialist ideology, they instead termed it the "Nehru rate of Growth" "Hindu rate of growth" and put the blame on the supposedly static and backward nature of Hindu society.
For them the solution to the mess they created was not a free market with Indian characteristics, but rather more socialism, thus India was condemned for another decade or so of abysmal growth, till a balance of payments crisis in 1991 finally put a end to the madness and forced the Indian government to begin dismantling its socialist legacy and transition towards a market economy.

Since breaking free from the shackles of socialism and unleashing her people's creative energies,India has marched ahead with rapid economic growth of over 7% year on year, which should rightly be called the Hindutva rate of growth.
But even with the impressive economic achievements attained since 1991, there still are many pseudo-secular socialists who constantly decry the reforms as being anti-poor or pro rich. What they always fail to ever mention, is how or why the poverty level has come down from 40% to 23% in the last decade. What the never explain, is how a bloated inefficient government and bureaucracy that institutionalised corruption on a massive scale, helps the poor, how loss making public sectors enterprises that are propped up by they taxes pay is good for the poor. As India prospers and makes the 21st century hers, I’m sure these traitorous Indians and their disastrous borrowed ideas will eventually die a natural death.

Last year the 8.5% growth rate was the highest ever since the reforms. The demise of the Hindu nationalist BJP government in the elections though was a enormous setback, especially in light of the privatisation plans, that had already started paying dividends and would have gone an enormous way in restructuring India's finances and economy.

To keep the momentum going, India must obviously continue reforms and attract nvestment especially in key infrastructure bottlenecks.
Like many economists i also believe that India currently is at an inflection point and ready to take off. China, which started its reforms over a decade earlier, was at a similar point to where India is now in 1992, with FDI at around $11 billion, when its economy took off and never looked back. Today its attracting well over $55 billion in FDI, which is impressive considering India and China were roughly even in most statistics in 1980.
A chinese proverb says "may you live in interesting times", in the 21st century for India and China alike, im sure it will be.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Story of the Zen Master.

In a village, a little boy is given a gift of a horse. The villagers all say, "Isn't that fabulous? Isn't that wonderful? What a wonderful gift."

The Zen master says, "We'll see."

A couple years later the boy falls off the horse and breaks his leg. The villagers all say, "Isn't that terrible? The horse is cursed! That's horrible!"

The Zen master says, "We'll see."

A few years later the country goes to war and the government conscripts all the males into the army, but the boy's leg is so badly messed up, he doesn't have to go. The villagers all say, "Isn't that fabulous? Isn't that wonderful?"

The Zen master says, "We'll see."

Thursday, February 03, 2005


"The Great Seven-fold River
The singer, O ye waters
shall tell your grandeur forth that is beyond compare.
The rivers have come forward triply, seven and seven,
Sindhu in might surpasses all the streams that floweth.
Thou speedest o'er precipitous ridges of the earth,
when thou art Lord and Leader of these moving floods.
His roar is lifted up to heaven above the earth,
he puts forth endless vigour with a flash of light,
like floods of rain that fall in thunder from the cloud,
so Sindhu rushes on bellowing like a bull.
Like mothers to their calves,
Like milch kine with their milk,
so, Sindhu, unto thee the roaring rivers run.
Thou leadest as a warrior king thine army's wings
what time thou comest in the van of those swift streams.
And again,
unable to resolve if this mighty flowing torrent
the colour of liquid graphite is a masculine or feminine being.
Flashing and whitely-gleaming in her mightiness,
she moves along her ample volumes through the realms,
most active of the active,
Sindhu unrestrained,
like to a dappled mare,
beautiful, fair to see
- Hymn to Maha Sapta Sindhu, Rig Veda.
Great India, Bharat Mata, Hindustan, the ancient homeland of the Hindu's for 5,500 years spanning from the river Sindhu where our civilisation all began with the great cities of Mohenjodaro and Harappa to the abode of our god's in the high Himalaya's of the north, bounded along its peninsula by the Indian ocean and finally to its heart and soul on the River Ganges, India surely is one the most geographically well defined regions on earth.

Today this civilisational lebensraum has been reduced to within the
borders of modern India, as Pakistan in the west and Bangladesh in the east have been carved out in the name of Islam. Since they have systematically tried of wipe out all remnants of their collective Hindu past and are blissfully high on the opiate of Islam, it seems that the only way to create a greater India once again and reclaim our historical territory would be to develop a missile defence shield (which we are hoping to do) and then literally nuke the bastards. Obviously this is little more than wishful thinking and not a serious prosposal, besides the area would be contaminated and of little use, lol.
With any such modern day equivalent of the Spanish reconquista unlikely, perhaps then it is our fate for our past mistakes and weakness that we should have to uneasily live side by side with them, hopefully in a future that is more amicable than at present.

Nonetheless we should still be immensly proud from the fact that even after a thousand years of some of the most tyrannical Islamic rule imaginable, during in which we suffered enormous losses (from the 17 raids by Ghazni on Somnath to the massacre and destruction at the great international Buddhist universities of Nalanda and Vikramshila by Khilji to the ruins of Vijayanagar among innumerable other atrocities perpetrated), our people and culture still somehow endured and our resilient civilisation still managed to emerge largely intact. We could very well have all become muslims today, not knowing what had happened to our ancestors and how we came to be what we are, not caring, only ready to serve the cause of the newly adopted faith, perhaps even dying for it, fighting against those very "infidels" who our forefathers once belonged to.
Thus while from Morocco to Malaysia other civilistisations that once lay claim to greatness, most notably Persia, were quickly decapitated by the sword of Islam and are today little more than minions of Arab culture. It is only the great Indian civilisation that withstood the onslaught and now we must begin the process of rejuvenation.

While this rejuvenation will naturally take many different forms, i am still sceptical that India can ever realise its ambitions be a world power so long as we are divided, only when we Hindu's are able to fully unite and defeat the pseudo-secular socialist forces and drive out the followers of the arab religion can India achieve its full potential.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Smiling Buddha

"If the radiance of a thousand suns were to suddenly burst forth at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one". "Now I am become death, shatterer of worlds, annihilating all things". Robert Oppenheimer misquoting Lord Krishna from the Bhagavad Gita.

After our first so called "Smiling Buddha" "peaceful nuclear experiment" at the Pokhran test range in the Rajasthani desert in 1974, we took another 24 years before we fully came out of the closet with our badly kept secret and declared ourselves a nuclear power by conducting five more underground nuclear tests as part of the Pokhran II Shakti series.

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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Path of Righteoussness

With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my crooked arm for a pillow - is not joy to be found therein? Riches and honors acquired through unrighteousness are to me as the floating clouds - Confucious.