Sunday, July 27, 2008

The interesting statistic (graphical representation by Catherine@Visualizing Economics) in this chart is the cycle of Western Europe GDP. This, you will note, largely tracks the rise and fall of slavery and its proxy, colonialism. The rise of the West has been a case of ‘consumption’ of slaves to fuel their economic rise. Note the rapid fall in Western Europe incomes and GDP after loss of slaves and colonies - starting from 1850s (decline in slavery begins) till the 1950 (when decline in colonialism begins).

The current share of Western European GDP is also a statistical miracle based on the Bretton Woods financial topology - and the statistical lag between reality and its measures. Having painted themselves, in a corner, with a high cost economy, a bloated welfare state, an aging population (again, a side effect of the slavery on social structures; who would want a wife, if one can have a slave instead), Western Europe is terminally sick.

Combine the declining share of the economic pie and the rise in neo-con clamour, calls for increased vigilance against Western adventurism in the Middle East, Africa and maybe Asia too.

Is Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the shape of things to come?

India’s Colonial Cousins - The Drag Coefficient

Colonial Institutions

On April 1st, 1934, while the ‘Squeeze India’ campaign was under execution - choreographed by Montagu Norman, Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill (some sickness … some racism) Lord Willingdon, India’s banking authority was set up.

The objective of setting up RBI - this colonial money authority, was to devise a policy structure for creating a ‘money famine’ needed by colonial British masters. From that April Fool’s day till now, RBI character has not changed. RBI resorts to creating these money famines every few years - even today. The last RBI ‘money famine’ in 1996 saw inter-corporate interest rates shoot to 40% - and a recession that lasted for 4 years.

RBI remains isolated, out of touch with the India - and looks at India through colonial viewing glasses. The tragedy is that RBI is not alone. The IAS (a successor to the colonial ICS) and the Planning Commission are the other two. Compare that with the brilliant track record of modern Indian regulators and organizations like the SEBI, TRAI.


Modern Indian Institutions

Till 1990-95 Indian stock trading was largely done done through the open outcry system, physical paper settlements, long settlement periods - and rampant manipulation. Indian stock trading systems was a closed club - and did not attract any serious investors.

Between, 1900-1995, SEBI, NSE, BSE and NSDL designed and managed the transition from the physical platform with the open outcry system to a complete electronic trading platform of the NSE and BSE.

BSE Logo

NSE Logo

Today, the BSE/NSE trading system is the most advanced in the world - in terms of trade volumes, transaction volumes and automation. The NSE does more trades in a day than any other exchange in the world. Compared to the less than 20 lakh (2.0 million) trades on the NASDAQ, the NSE did nearly 70 lakh (7.0 million) transactions(on 3rd January 2008). The BSE (Mumbai Stock Exchange) has more than 6,000 companies listed - equalling NYSE and NASDAQ combined.

All this when less than 5% of Indians are investors in equities.

Telecom In India

Mobile Usage Trickles DownBy 2000, India had less than 4 crore phones. Most of the 100 crore (1billion) Indians were unconnected - and disconnected from the world. Governments monopolies, BSNL and MTNL, ruled the roost. Pricing was based on scarcity - rather than any commercial costing or margin strategy.

Mobile phone services had just been introduced - and were exorbitantly priced. Cell phones were status symbols, out of reach for ‘middle class’ Indians too. With low subscriber base and high prices, it seemed like the investments made in the mobile networks would have to be written off. TRAI, the telecom regulator was finding its feet - and being pulled in many directions by lobbyists. It looked like a classic vicious cycle - which could not be broken.

Mobile Usage SpreadsBy 2001, the BJP led Government came to power. The telecom regulator in a series of bold moves, changed policies - and equations. Tariffs declined by nearly 5000% - from roughly 50 cents to 1 cent per minute. User base ballooned to 20 crores - from 4 crores. In 7 years more telecom users were added than in the previous 70 years. For the first time, the poor in India are beginning to benefit from technology.

India today is one of the fastest growing markets - and one of the largest. It is dominated by profitable operators, providing possibly the lowest tariffs in the world. The next major test for TRAI is the phasing in the new slate of operators who have been granted licences.

All this when just 20% of India is connected.

Indian Railways

After the boycott of the Simon Commission, from 1927, and the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, it was clear (especially to the British) that their days were numbered. Facing problems at home and abroad, the significant British interest in India was extraction of remaining wealth in Indian hands.

A prime example of that was the railways.

Steam EnginesDuring WW2, nearly 40% rolling stock from India was diverted to the Middle East. More than 50% of the track system was the outdated metre gauge and narrow gauge. Track systems were nearly a century old. 40% of the railway system went to Pakistan. 32 of the forty-two separate railway systems operating in India, were owned by the former Indian princely states. So much for the British gift of railways to India. More than 8000 outdated steam engines were used as motive power - and less than 20 diesel locomotives were in use.

Starved of investments and maintenance, the railways infrastructure at the time of British departure was crumbling. Colonial British (subsequently, the Indian also) response was to affix the blame onto the employee at the lowest rung and move onto the next one accident.

Post Independent India continued with this practice - till LB Shastri called a halt to this. In 1956, the Madras-Tuticorin express plunged into a river when when a bridge at Ariyalur (Tamil Nadu) was washed away in floods. 144 (some records suggest 156) passengers died. He resigned from the Union Cabinet - claiming moral responsibility for the railway accident.

Indian Railways

This resignation saw LB Shastri become a political legend. This (resignation) also changed the mindset of the Indian Railways. After fresh elections of 1957, one year later, he was re-inducted into the Union Cabinet. Steadily, as railways infrastructure was upgraded, accidents decreased.

It took a non-Congress Government in 1977 to change the face of Indian Railways. Prof.Madhu Dandavate, the Railway Minister in the 1977 Janata Government started the railway renaissance in India. 3rd class railway travel was abolished. Wooden-slat seats were abolished. Cushioned 2nd class seating system was made minimum and standard. Train time tables were re-configured. Reservation systems improved. Railways started getting profitable.

The de-colonization of Indian Railways began effectively in 1977 - 30 years after British departure. Symbolically, that was also the year that the Rail Museum was set up. The progress after that has been remarkable. Today for a US$5, an Indian can travel for a 1000 km.

All this when only 25% of Indians travel by rail at least once a year.

New Paradigms

India needs new paradigms.

Unlike Indian Railways, RBI’s colonial paradigms are a drag on India - and is beyond redemption.

The IAS, is too imperial for any use to India. The IAS with an overwhelming colonial bias towards creating a ‘compliance over-load’ on the back of every Indian has resulted in a Frankenstein of a corruption prone administration.

Planning Commission’s signal failures over the last 50 years make them irrelvant - except as roadblocks.

PT Barnum - The Seven Pillars Of Western Wisdom

H.E.Prof.Dr.Kishore MahbubaniH.E.Professor Dr.Kishore Mahbubani, of the National University of Singapore, Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy has recently written a book where he talks about the seven pillars of western wisdom – a cloyingly subservient and ignorant view of the modern history. In an interview with Times Of India he opines, Asia has benefited immensely from the western seven pillars of wisdom — free market, science and technology, meritocracy, pragmatism, culture of peace, rule of law and education.”

The Economist patronislingly comments “Kishore Mahbubani makes some sensible recommendations. Strangely, The Economist says this is a an anti-Western polemic, designed to wake up Americans and Europeans by making them angry. In that goal, it will certainly be successful.” Reportedly, The Economist further says that Kishore Mahbubani is an “Asian Toynbee preoccupied with the rise and fall of civilisations.”

The Shanghai daily exudes “Singaporean author Kishore Mahbubani has been likened to an Asian Toynbee”; Deccan Herald joins the fray with “Kishore Mahbubani is the ultimate foreign policy guru” Niranjan Rajadhyaksa of the Mint (a HT-WSJ publication) intones,” Asia has both suffered and learnt a lot from the West … Mahbubani has been extremely fair.”

I tried disagreeing. I thought I had overwhelming evidence. But after the Mahbubani experience, with liberal doses of St.Barnum’s assitance, I must admit, I was enlightened.

1. Free Markets

The Pollution ConundrumI was a non-believer in Western free markets. After reading Kishore Mahbubani’s interview, I realized, I was reading too much propaganda about how Indian mangoes could not be exported to USA for the last 18 years - because of pesticide residues.

However, Indian farmers (with some devious trickery) ensured that pesticide residues vanished. A believer in free trade, USA allowed imports of mangoes into USA.

USA, in turn taught India a thing or two about free trade. An enlightened India agreed to allow imports of Harley Davidson motorcycles. Of course, India was wrong in disallowing allegedly, ‘over priced, gas guzzling, polluting’ Harleys.

Ulta Chor Kotwal Ko Datein For the last 300 years, the West did not allow imports of fabrics and garments. Dhaka’s de-urbanization due to this in the 1800-1900 is written into history - wrongly. The last law was the MFA agreement which created a quota based regime for textiles in the West.

Agricultural subsidies of nearly 20 billion dollars by USA and EU each, to their farmers is also in the spirit of free trade. For the benefit of the starving Rest, the West is giving these subsidies to Western farmers to lower food prices. How does it mater that the agricultural economy of the the receipient nations gets destroyed.

Things like non-tariff barriers are hookum and over-worked Eastern imagination.The story of repeated and frequent rejection of mushroom exports from India is also in the spirit of free trade. Indian applications for ‘equivalence’ certificates have been pending with EU for the last 7-8 years - and not processed for the last 7-8 years due to lack of manpower. Interim annuals approvals are given instead - in the spirit of free trade, after some ‘concessions’.

West Is Best!!Of course, the Western zeal for free trade extends to enforcing opium trade (just ask the Chinese). Kishorebhai, I only wish, as an ignorant Easterner that we in India can enforce ‘free trade’ in opium today in USA and the Europe.

When the ignorant East, did not see the benefits of Western invention of free trade, the West was compelled to use use force (remember Commodore Perry? For more details, ask the Japanese).

Aliens Built The Pyramids

St.Barnum’s Says

Mahbubani’s assertions are right. These ‘facts’ above are like a bikini. What they reveal is indicative. What they conceal is vital - in this case the Western spirit of free trade. How can Western wisdom (or ethics, integrity, motives) be questioned by the ignorant East. Of course, all these cases and incidents are a conspiracy to defame the West.

2. Science & Technology

Before Western invention of Science and Technology, what did the East know?

The Hulk Dropped The Easter Island Statues

Zilch. Zero. Sifr. Shunya. That is all. This claim about India inventing the zero and infinity is probably right. Because they had infinite knowledge about Zero - and nothing else. All their books about geometry (Aryabhatta, Bhaskara) are just figments of Eastern imagination. Eastern knowledge about eclipse prediction has now been proved wrong by Kishore Mahbubani’s expose. Indian shipbuilders and steel technology was just puffery - as demonstarted by Kishore Mahbubani.

Of course as Hegel said, there is no African history.

I realize after reading Kishore Mahbubani’s interview that there is only Western Science and Technology. It must been some Westerners behind the ‘achievements’ of China, Africa and India.

How ignorant I was before being enlightened by Kishorebhai!

PT Barnum adds - Are you not forgetting the option of crediting aliens.

3. Meritocracy

The poor Blacks!

They were always mislead by their leaders. The only place in the world that they could find equity was in the West. If the West had not ‘bought’ these poor Blacks and allegedly ‘enslaved’ them, they would have still have been in Africa - and lost the benefits of the Western meritocracy. Some Black leaders are today claiming that they have even contributed to Western technology.

The sheer audacity!

Different LooksSimilarly, if the Gypsies had not left India, (supposedly) a thousand years ago, they would have lost all the benefits of Western civilization.

Early Punjabi settlers in USA did not properly understand their position in Western society. They were basically inferior people who demanded equality to their White masters. This misperception of course created misdirected protests. These ignorant immigrants from the East did not properly understand Western meritocracy.

The Wisdom Of St.Barnum - If Japanese and Chinese immigrants faced discrimination in the USA, it was their fault - why did they have to look different?

4. Pragmatism

I agree that the West is truly pragmatic!

Dr.RA Mashelkar, a senior scientist and administratr, writes “A recent study by an Indian expert group examined randomly selected 762 US patents, which were granted under A61K35/78 and other IPC classes, having a direct relationship with medicinal plants in terms of their full text. Out of these patents, 374 patents were found to be based on traditional knowledge …”

After annihilating the Australian Aborigines, the Australian Government decided to apologize. What more does the world expect? This apology from the magnanimous West was as pragmatic as anyone can get! We have saying in India, Kishorebhai in India, about cats going on a pilgrimiage after killing a hundred rats. In this case, of course, the West went one better. They killed millions of humans - and apologized for that!

Western practice of Pragmatism at its best!

St.Barnum sez - What could be more pragmatic? I agree with Kishore Mahbubani!

5. Culture Of Peace

The Red Indians were wiped out - nearly the entire race! Today they are a relic - a tourist attraction! Like rare animals in a zoo! Aborigines in Australia have similarly been annihilated. Two world wars in a space of 40 years. The entire Jewish population of the world has been reduced to 10 million - by the West.

But, Kishore Mahbubani says, the Western civilization is about peace! And he is right!

These wars were forced upon the West - and were fought to bring peace on Earth. Now since there are no Red Indians and Aborigines, how can there be a war with the Red Indians and Aborigines. Similarly, if there are no Jews, there cannot be a war with the Jews. The West is also trying to cleanse the Earth of all Muslims. Then there cannot be a war with Muslims also.

St.Barnum pays tribute to Kishore Mahbubani - Kishorebhai, you concept of culture of peace is stunning to say the least. Hats Off.

6.Rule of Law

Completely true and a matter of fact!

Consider the Western laws on slavery! And those related to minorities! Or current laws in the UK and US to deal with terrorism.

The disenfranchisement laws came into effect by the 1890’s - that continue till today. This ensured that the disproportionate numbers of Blacks could not vote - and George Bush became the President of the USA for the 2nd time. After some 60,000 Black Voters were disenfranchised, George Bush technically, won by less than 1000 votes (most of the disenfranchised voters were expected to vote against George Bush).

Petty crime (where poor) Blacks were convicted in higher ratios were grounds for disenfranchisement. These laws ensured that 10 times higher number of Blacks were disqualified compared to Whites. If that is not bad enough, it continues till now. Such tactics continue to be used to limit Black participation in democracy.

Tomas Estrada Palma, ‘puppet’ Cuban President, signed the Platt Amendment of 1904 which allowed the USA to intervene at will - and finally modified only in 1934. The many laws which made Gypsy hunting legal - like laws which made hunting animals legal. The latest news in that Italians are going to crack down on Gypsies - as per a EU law.

St.Barnum confirms - Yes, Kishore Sir! The West believes in laws.

The Usual Suspects7.Education

I must admit, that Western education does achieve its goals!

West does produce leaders, generation after generation, who relentlessly execute the same agenda. The annihilation, the massacre, the pogroms - against natives in America and Australia, monorties like Gypsies, Jews and various Christian sects. The kidnapping of Aboriginee and Gypsy children. The massacres in Africa - from Roman times to 20th century. And now the spectre of Islamic Demonization.

St.Barnum adds - This degree of continuity and consistency is missing with others. There is something about Western education Mr.Mahbubani, I agree.

Country Model Of The West

The real country model that the West manages itself on is something else Mr.Mahbubani. Loot - of gold, resources, ideas. And slavery. Add significant amounts of fraud.

Nothing more and nothing less. And their strategy to ‘white wash’ this - propaganda. With Kishorebhai’s plausible sincerety, I am not quite able to decide if Kishorebhai is an innocent and ignorant victim of Western propaganda or a part of the propaganda.

Either way, his book and his ideas are trash - and this post is a case of intellectual slumming.

Horned Politicians - The Indian Caricature

Filmi Stereotypes

Till 1980s, the popular Hindi filmi villain was the caricatured businessman. Madhuri Dixit’s movies and the 90’s liberalization, killed this stereotype. Possibly, the massacre of politicians in ‘Inquilab’ ( a 1980’s film starring Amitabh Bachchan) initiated the change of villain from the businessman to the politician. Today, a popular profession for villains in Hindi films is politics.

The Neta In Colonial Times

From colonial times, the Indian neta has been a favorite target of smear campaigns, innuendo and propaganda. Colonial administration in India worked hard to undermine the credibility of the Indian ‘neta’ - for obvious reasons. Colonial bureaucrats (and their successors, the IAS) covered their incompetence and corruption with this lopsided image of the neta. Indians politicians are possibly as corrupt as any others in the world.

Political Creatures

Ask the Japanese about Kakui Tanaka and Lockheed affair. Or ask the British about Mark Thatcher shenanigans. But don’t ask Americans about the son of bootlegger who flouted the US Constitution many times - John F.Kennedy. After JFK’s killing, 60 years on, there are many suspects who had motives. Mafia tops this list.

IAS - Indian In Name Only

But the English speaking, Indian bureaucracy is another matter. Having dragged India to the bottom of global corruption pervasiveness ratings, they cover their owns misdeeds, under the ‘umbrella’ of the neta.

Cynical View Of The Indian PoliticianThis is one colonial institution that India has tried digesting, without succes. IAS (ICS during colonial times) a venal, corrupt cadre, has tied up India into knots - which have taken us decades to even start disentangling.

As in colonial era, the IAS lobby works behind the scenes. The IAS lobby continues with this. Indian TV channels routinely conduct sting operations on various institutions - politicians, universities, colleges, film stars, etc. But no one has tried a sting operation on an IAS officer. Is it their propaganda skills that they are able to cover their corruption - and the popular, elected leadership is continually tarred.

Or is it fear?

The NRI Drivel

Rahul Gandhi & Congress

Lord Meghnad Desai, in Times Of India, made some ’standard’ comments about Indian ‘netas‘. While Desai’s article talks about what India’s netas need to do, it gives them no credit for where India is today.

If India’s netas, are powerful enough to influence the future then does it occur to His Lordship that they may have been (at least partly) influential in India’s post-colonial re-construction. Is it too much to expect even-handedness from His Lordship? Does His Lordship realize that India’s under-rated netas have nurtured the world’s only successful Republican Democracy in the last 200 years. India’s illiterate voters have participated enthusiastically in this success. Westernized Indians (like Lord Meghnad Desai) have seen India through a Western eyes and English language.

His prognosis for the West is even more interesting. It is His Lordship’s belief that possibly only the USA (from the West) will make the cut. The Euro zone, he implies will be irrelevant. How and why is Lord Desai silent about the role of Euro-politicians in the decline and eclipse (His Lorship’s pessimism) of Euro-zone. Is it that His Lordship does not dare criticize Western politicians? Or is that the West can do no wrong? Is Euro-eclipse as much black magic as The Rise Of India?

Indian Rope TrickBehind Indian Success

Is this forward march of India an accident ? Or a happy co-incidence? Black magic, perhaps? Not forgetting credit to The West? After all, the the West is confident that modern Indian success is due to Western contribution? Of course, it begs a question as to why this has not happened in any other country.

Not to forget the NRI contribution - especially the Westernized NRIs (like Lord Meghnad Desai who wants to be an Indian now). Possibly, the only people who should not get any credit is are the desi, home grown Indians.Corruption Perception

India & Socialism - Nehruvian Folly?

Nehru’s Policy Determinants


There is much that Nehru has to answer for and much that he can be faulted for. In hindsight. Today’s India, boosted by 10 years of economic growth, now finds fault with Nehru, but misses the historical context.

3 events to my mind shaped Nehru’s policies significantly. The answer to Nehru’s socialist policy choice lies is in these 3 events - which has not been pointed out, much less understood.

Lees-Mody Pact

October 28th 1933.

Much of India’s (in Raj Krishna’s memorable words) ‘Hindu growth rate’ can be traced back to this date. On that day, the Bombay Mill Owners Association signed the Lees-Mody Pact. This earned all Indian industrialists Nehru’s distrust. The British had succeeded once again in divide-and-rule.

While the whole country was on a boycott of British goods (specially Lancashire), 21 businessmen led by Homi Mody (father of Russi Mody, Piloo Mody) agreed to a system of ‘imperial preferences’ - which furthered India’s impoverishment. Earlier, Homi Mody had warned Gandhiji against the renewing the swaraj movement. Homi Mody had his own political ambitions. After Independence, Nehru did try and make up with Homi Mody. Homi Mody was also included in to India’s Constituent Assembly - even though he had served the British well.

Cut back to 1931. Japan had become the largest buyer of Indian cotton - in spite of imperial preferences. Japanese textiles were increasing market shares in India dramatically. Lancashire was hurting. Duty on Japanese textiles was raised from 31.5% to 75%. Japan stopped buying Indian cotton in retaliation. Indian mills and the Indian farmer paid the price. Cotton prices crashed.

Montagu Norman was already wreaking havoc with his economic policies in India. Demand had collapsed. USA and Europe were being ravaged by the Great Depression. The “money famine” had collapsed demand in India.

Stalin - Lying State

Britain agreed to “help”. Customs duty was lowered for British goods only to 20%. Britain agreed to buy Indian stock piled cotton at lower prices. GD Birla said “They have lost their nerve …”. Churchill made life difficult in Britain as this pact did not deliver as much as Churchill wanted and expected. The Indian population was still breathing - though just about.

Ike & Nehru

On March 5, 1953, the Soviet media announced Stalin’s death. The Soviet juggernaut seemed unstoppable. Communism was scoring victories everywhere. China had become communist. Mao emerged truimphant - and Chiang Kai Shaik retreated to Formosa.

Ike & Nehru -

In 1954, Eisenhower laid out his infamous ‘domino theory’. It was during Ike’s his presidency that both America and India were on the same side regarding the Anglo-French-Israeli Suez invasion and the Hungarian crackdown by the Soviets. Nehru regarded Eisenhower highly. His overtures to Stalin were met with hesitation.

Tibet went into the Chinese maws. Wars in Vietnam, the Cambodia, insurgency in Burma, the Iron curtain in Eastern Europe, made Eisenhower sound like a prophet. Communism seemed real - and a clear danger. While Nehru was not averse to democratic socialism, authoritarian Communism was anathema.

1956 Elections - Socialist Gains

Eisenhower’s Domino story seemed to resonate in Nehru’s mind after the 1956 election. What shocked and stampeded Nehru was 19.33% of the combined vote won by Leftist parties (CPI and the Praja Socialist Party - a party formed in 1952, whose founder members were Jayaprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, JB Kripalani) - versus Nehru’s Congress which got 47.78% of popular vote. This challenge to Nehru within 10 years of Independence from a non-Congress platform made these socialist leaders legends in their own lifetime.

Jayaprakash Narayan - Public MeetingThe Communists went ahead and formed the world’s first elected Communist government (the State Government in Kerala). Suddenly, communism looked a lot closer.

Socialist US and Europe

These 2 events and the pre-Independence Lees-Mody pact gave Nehru little choice but to be a Socialist. Possibly, India with its post-colonial grinding poverty of the 1950-70, under a cloud of propaganda, needed state directed freedom.

Between the two world wars, Europe and USA were socialist in all, but name. The Welfare State took care of everything - food stamps, health insurance, unemployment benefits, subsidized housing, old age benefits and pension plans. Everything that a socialist state was supposed to deliver.

Industrial licensing, State directed investments, Research and Development subsidies - to make the national economy deliver ‘better’.

With such a huge international bias towards state intervention, for Nehru to go down the socialistic path was a natural corollary.

The Social Contract

To those who complain about the ’speed’ with which India moves, need to understand that abrupt change would have also broken the ’social contract’ that the Indian Government has built up over the decades. There cannot be a change in the terms of contract before re-negotiation of this social contract. After all India created the value of the spoken word - ‘raghu kul reet sada chali ayee, pran jaye par vachan na jaye’

China & The Asian Tigers

Nehru’s major supposed fault was the leftist (socialist) path that India took in the 1950’s - while the Asian Tigers went down the rightist path. The apparent success of the Asian Tigers made the average (especially the NRI and Westernized types) Indian look at these countries and wonder where India had gone wrong. The 1997 Asian currency crisis brought out the fault lines in the open - and the resilience of the Indian economy became obvious.

The Chinese success is similar story. Much like USSR’s break-up, the Chinese monolith is more fragile than apparent. The Tibetan’s are held together by force - and no one imagines that this holding them together by force can be in perpetuity. The Muslim provinces of Xinjiang which is another one -third of China is which is papered over. But possible the biggest issue is the share of revenues of the Chinese central governments. Apart from the usual suspects of democracy, economic disparities, social upheavals, etc, there are 3 factors, which to my mind are most Chinese analysts miss.

The Chinese Paper Dragon

The Chinese Central Government commands less than 25% of the total tax revenues - and the 75% goes to provinces. This, possibly is why the Chinese Government cannot reduce cigarette usage in China. Most expenditures on health, education, pension, unemployment, housing etc. are borne by the local government - and hence there is patchwork of systems which run across China. Most of executions and imprisonments of bureaucrats (including the Mao’s Cultural Revolution) is to demonstrate central authority. The PLA is the only factor that keeps China together. A Chinese Lech Walesa or a Nelson Mandela could unwind China very quickly.

Significantly, the Chinese diaspora and Western MNCs are biggest investors in China - and also the main beneficiaries. This currently keeps resentments of the local Chinese under control - as the neighbour is not getting much richer. But at one stage the domestic Chinese will want to greater say and control over the Chinese economy. He may not be happy with just a well paying job and abundant, low quality goods.

India vs China

On these three counts India scores significantly better than China. India’s problems with Kashmir are an external creation - as is the North East problem, to a degree. India’s significant issue (probably temporary) is the Naxalite problem. India’s central Government has greater control and share over total revenues - than the Chinese. India’s recent economic and political successes are entireley home bred - with the exception of remittances from the expat workers in the Middle East.

Crime & Punishment

US Prison Population

A World Of A Difference

USA, with a population of 30 crores (300 million), has a criminal population of 70 lakhs (7 million) - behind bars, on probation or on parole. US Government estimates a figure of 20 lakhs (2 million) people serving prison sentences.

The current status of Indian criminal system is a study in contrast. India, with a population of 110 crores (1100 million) has a prison population of 2 lakhs (0.2 million). The Indian National Human Rights Commission gives a figure of 3.5 lakhs as the prison population - including convicts and those who are undergoing trial. The UK Home Office survey of World Prison Population estimates Indian prison population at 2.5 lakhs.

With less than 25 people per 100,000 in prison India has the world's lowest imprisonment rate. Cynics may snigger at India's 'inefficient' police or the slow court procedures as the cause for this low prison population. That can only mean criminals are at large and India must, therefore have the highest crime rate - which is not true. India has low or average crime rates - based on category.

A police state is the answer ...

The other option is if India had a huge police force. But then, India has the lowest police-to-population ratios in the world. Comparative statistics show,

The police-population ratio in India is very poor at 1:728, it was 1:600 as mentioned by the Home Minister in August 2005 to Parliament, with women constables constituting only 2.5 per cent of that number. The all-India average police-population ratio stands at 122 per 100,000, which is much lower than the UN norm of 222 per 100,000 (1:450). Most western countries have ratios between 250 and 500 per 100,000. Russia has a ratio of 1:82 and Australia 1:439. While Pakistan has a ratio of 1:625, Japan and Singapore have 1:563 and 1:295 respectively. Even developing countries like Thailand with 1:228 have a much better ratio than India.

Guns and crime

Gun ownership has been suspected behind the crime rates in the US. But the most recent argument against this theory is the spate of bank robberies - which dilutes this argument - at least partially. Estimates of the national stock of guns in the US varies between 40 million to 50 million households which own 200 million guns.

India is, in many ways, different. Recent estimates show that India is the second largest gun owning population in the world- with 4.6 crores (46 million) guns. One report report states that UP alone has 900,000 licensed fire arm holders and 1,400 arms dealers. Another report estimates more than 3 lakh illegal firearms in New Delhi alone.

The spectre of Muslim gunsmiths

Muslims gunsmiths dominate this business - as can be seen from these reports. But the Indian Muslim, has like the rest of the country, not used these firearms dangerously. This is a strong argument against the 'oppression of the Muslim in India' argument.

How long would it take to create a religious jihadi militia? That too, at such a low cost.

But what is the question …

Which brings us back to the central question? Is there a causal link between gun ownership and crime? Are these directly related and proportionate?

All the 3 indices (below) create a bias for lawless Indian society and rampant crime. With these three indices, namely: -

  1. High gun ownership

  2. Low police-to-population ration

  3. Low prison population
against a stable social system, how does India manage low-to-average crime rates.

How can India have such a low prison population, with a poor police-to-population ratio and a crime rate which is not above the average - in spite of a large civilian gun population. The answer goes back to Lipit Ishtar, Hittite laws, Hammurabi et al - 4000 years back in history.

The Roots Of 'Modern Law'

The story of crime and prison population gets more interesting after looking at history and tradition of India and the "Desert Bloc." The 'Desert religions' derive their legal inspiration from the Hammurabic Law of 3000 years.

DracoSons Of Hammurabi

Western historians glorified Hammurabi as the world's first law giver - and Occidental-Levantine (including the Shariat) laws are based on Hammurabi's legal code of "an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth." Of course, the modern state of Israel follows the system of two eyes and all your teeth, if you hurt my one eye.

Hammurabi's laws and edicts were retributive, vengeful and punishment oriented. The focus of Hammurabi's legal system is to give a ‘fitting' counter punishment for a defined offense - even in the face of an alternative data set.

The first followers in the last 3000 years, were the Greeks. With fresh slaves, bought with newly discovered gold, the Greeks took their first few steps in defining a legal systems. Draco started the Greek legal code which set standards in severity and repression - death for stealing an apple or a cabbage. Those convicted of idleness were condemned to death.

Plutarch reports that one contemporary reported that Draco's laws "were written not in ink, but blood." It took Solon, widely travelled in Asia, where Hittite's liberal laws were still in force, to relax Greek laws. Romans continued with these legal practices and termed this legal concept as lex talionis. The Old Testament advocated "an eye for an eye" (Hebrew: עין תחת עין; Exodus 21:23-27). Islam set up the system of Shariat laws on the same pattern.

But not in Indic nations. 4000 years after the Hittites, Gandhiji was asked about the Hammurabi's "eye for an eye" kind of justice. Like the Hittites, Gandhiji rejected Hammurabi's legal constructs. His famous position was "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”.

Results & ConsequencesSiege Mentality

These laws created a system of revenge, fueds and vendettas. The result - fractured Europe, a rampant history of genocide, fueding Middle East.

The largest prison population in the world is USA, currently at 2 million. The US has more people in prison than the totalitarian regimes of Russia or China. USA also has one of the highest crime rates in the world.

Is there a causal link between the Hammurabic legal systems and the crime it seems to engender.

Massacre & Slavery

Hammurabic legal systems also created, supported, protected the premier slave systems of the world. It is also the same system with a singular record for blood baths and massacres in the history of mankind. This is region and system that gave rise to the three slave religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The three ‘desert religions', gained their first converts from slaves, but continued with slavery till the 20th century. The 3 ‘desert religions' instead of reforming slave societies, just enabled the transfer of slave titles. Freedom meant old slaves became the new slave masters.

Western history is replete with examples of blood thirsty conquerors whose achievements were measured by territorial conquest, loot and slave capture.

The Hittite Legal SystemBuddha And Angulimaal

The alternate system in that era, 4000 years ago, was the Hittite legal system. We get an insight into the Hittite legal system from (more than) 10,000 clay seals and tablets at Boghaz-koi, unearthed in 1907-08. These tablets and seals reveal the legal minds of the Hittites. Vastly, different from Hammurabic laws, Hittite law, was based on amelioration of the effect of crime and driven less by fear of death and punishment.

The Hittites, Mittanis and Elamites (using Indo-Dravidian languages) were Indo Aryans who dominated Asia from Indian borders to European borders till 500 BC. Kassites, the other major ruling clan in Levant’s geography (apart from the Egyptians) heavily adopted Indo Aryan cultural motifs.

The Indic (Hittite) legal revolution 4000 years ago plays out even today.

The Indic Bloc

Gautama Buddha won his spurs after converting daaku "Angulimal." Daaku Angulimal was a notorious criminal - who severed thumbs of his victims, as mementoes from many murders. During his encounter with Buddha, the Daaku was left standing and powerless - only to give up his ways.

Gandhiji and the Calcutta Riots

Commandent of Moradabad, Lt. Col. Coke, wrote in 1822:

"Our endeavour should be to uphold in full force the (for us fortunate) separation which exists between the different religions and races, not to endeavor to amalgamate them. Divide et Impera should be the principle of Indian government."

The Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909 paved the way for communalization of India. From 1910-1940, the British vigorously implemented the 'divide and rule' policy. At the time of 1947 partition, organized gangs started communal riots. Kolkatta (then Calcutta) was in flames. More than 4000 people died. The British Raj was a mute bystander.Gandhiji In Calcutta Riots

Cut to Gandhiji during the Calcutta riots. Gandhiji met Hindu and Muslim leaders (and gangsters). Riots ceased. The effect of this came to be known as the Calcutta Miracle. After bloody riots, people came forward to lay down arms. Gandhiji, in an encounter with a sobbing rioteer who confesses to killing a Muslim child - in a revenge killing. Gandhiji suggested that as repentance, the rioteer adopt and raise a Muslim orphan child.

The Age Of Dacoits

Dacoity is a uniquely Indian-English word - made, formed and used in India. Derived from the Hindi word daaku, Dacoits were (and are) outlaws operating at the periphery of legitimacy - and morality. These brigands were a response to the shrinking opportunity base due to colonial practices (some of which continue) in India. These dacoits typically did not usually target the State itself or the poor.

Vinod Khanna In Mera Gaon Mera DeshMany successful films were made revolving around these dacoits. Sunil Dutt built his career around dacoit films like 'Mujhe Jeene Do' and 'Praan Jaye Par Vachana Na Jaye'. 'Mera Gaon Mera Desh', a pioneering dacoit film, made Dharmendra and Vinod Khanna into super stars. 'Sholay', an all time big hit centered around a dacoit running amok - with a powerless State.

The target of the dacoits were the beneficiaries of the system - the rich. Since, the dacoits did not directly challenge the might of the State, the state was not very worried about these dacoits. But loot, these dacoits did. Especially the rich. In the 1960-1970s, dacoity had acquired fearsome proportions. Large swathes of some Indian states were beyond the pale of law - and authority.

Jayaprakash Narayan And Sampoorna Kranti

Post-colonial India was gradually reconstructing its economy. The building blocks of a competitive economy were being put in place. Shortages, inflation were endemic. In such an atmosphere, dacoits started acquiring overtones as a sign of a 'failing' Indian state.Jayaprkash Narayan

One man stepped forward and made these daakus see sense. In April 1972, 500 of these dacoits surrendered to the State. These murderous dacoits surrendered at the appeal of a man who never held any office of power (or pelf). Jayaprakash Narayan was the man, at whose behest these Chambal daakus surrendered. Some of these dacoits became members of the Indian Parliament. Jayaprakash Narayan, who at one time, was seen as second only to Nehru, gave up electoral politics in 1954 and worked on the Bhoodan movement with Acharya Vinoba Bhave.

Criminals In The Indian Parliament

For the last 10 years, more than 20% of the elected representatives in national and state parliaments had criminal charges pending against them. In some cases, the charges were petty and manufactured by political rivals. Reality is, that there are criminals in Indian Parliaments. Some criminals like Shahabuddin were, of course, less elected and more manipulated into the Parliament.

Typically, India baiters revel in this and Indians are concerned about this. But, not The Indian Voter. He is unwilling to demonize candidates with a criminal record. The Indian Voter seems to definitely ambivalent about the criminal record of some of the candidates.Marooned Mumbai

Interestingly, (and importantly) how does the Indian Criminal respond to this ambivalence and ‘softness' - one can even call it an act of faith?

Mumbai -July 26th 2005

944 mm of rains in a matter of 4 hours. It was the single largest downpour in the last 100 years of weather records in the world - over an urban agglomeration. No city in recorded history has received so much rain.

Mumbai was paralysed. Communications lines went down. Electricity black outs engulfed parts of the city. On the arterial road across the Mumbai (the Western Express Highway), thousands of cars were marooned and abandoned by owners. Of these hundreds were BMWs, Mercedes-Benz, Honda Accents, SUVs like Pajeros, Landcruisers - abandoned on the roads. It took the city 4 days to recover. For three days, Mumbai was at standstill.

SWAT team drives past Convention Center, New Orleans.Criminals, technically, had a free run of the city. Much like New Orleans after Katrina. Vandalism, rape, pilferage could have easily happened.

Just the wipers, door handles, car tyres, headlights, car stereos from these high end cars would have yielded around Rs.25,000-Rs.50,000 (US$600-US$1200) per car in the 'grey market' - attractive targets for criminals during these 3 days.

How many of these cars were, finally, vandalized? None. No such incident was (at least) reported. Unlike New Orleans and Katrina where the National Guard had to be called out. How many women were raped?

None reported - but spontaneously, many Mumbaikars set up free tea stalls for the stranded. Strangers sheltered stranded people at their homes. Of course, there have been posts that Katrina reports were exaggerated and unsubstantiated. As A Human

It is this non-vindictive treatment of the criminal through myth and example, in ancient and modern time that has differentiated exercize of authority in India and handling of the criminal. It is this treatment that makes India and the Indian criminal different.

Modern econometric modelling has an interesting perspective on Indian economy where research shows that for much of the last 1000 years, India has been a significant economic power till the 1900. China and India, this analysis estimates, for the last 1000 years, accounted for 50% of the world economy. Statistical analyses showed India with a world trade share of 25% for much of the 500 years during 1400-1900.

With this prosperity, the most interesting (historical) aspect of the criminal management story is the absence of any surviving mass jails in India prior to colonial India. Just how did pre-colonial India, one of the largest (and most prosperous) populations of the world, deal with crime and criminals?

Marooned Mumbai

Old Mother Hubbard - The Empty Cupboard

Cultural Loot

Between 1850-1900, Western archaeologists dug up more than 400,000 clay tablets in West Asia. This loot was carried back to the British Museum, Louvre France, Imperial Museum in Berlin, University Of Pennsylvania. Latter day digs and finds were retained Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. Less than one fifth have been published so far. In the last 100 years, more than 400,000 clay tablets were excavated - and less than a 70,000 have been deciphered between the four institutions.

The vandalism of Napoleonic army in Egypt and the pilferage of cultural artifacts has been well documented. The Rosetta Stone, the Dendera Zodiac, Cleopatra’s Needle were among the booty from Egypt that the disastrous campaign of Napoleon yielded. Edward Said described the Anglo French Egyptian loot, as “that great collective appropriation of one culture by another”

Extreme competitive behaviour in business, economic activity, trade, colonization, did not stop Germany (repository of the Akhmim Kodex) and Britain (Bruce Codex and Askew Codex) to collude with the Vatican in keeping the Pistis Sophia (which reveals the deep Indic /Buddhist influence) from reaching the public domain. It took the Nag Hammadi and the Dead Sea S+crolls to blow this entire ‘conspiracy of silence’ apart.

Usurping The Aryan Achievements

While the Britain and the France, for colonial reasons, were ‘discovering’ the Greek miracle, Germany and the USA started ‘discovering the ‘Aryan’ roots’ to Western civilization. Martin Bernal, the author of ‘Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization’, explains Western “amnesia” due to replacement of Europe’s “Ancient Model” of historiography with the “Aryan” model. Simply speaking, the West has replaced Egypt as the source of culture with the Aryans. The fact is that neither the cultural achievements of Egypt (from Africa) nor of the

Aryan (from India) are for the West to arrogate to themselves.

A writer on this phase of history, Susan Marchand says, “The Aryan industry, of course, burgeoned. Even the former Kaiser Wilhelm II, in exile, took up the study of the Orient … In a 1928 letter to his friend, the former emperor reported a recent conversation with Oswald Spengler in which Wilhelm had tried his best to convince the herald of Western doom that “we are orientals [Morgenländer], and not westerners [Abendländer].” (Bold letters, italics, ellipsis mine).

Pre-Hitler ‘Aryans’

Hitler was not the first (or even the last) to try and usurp Aryan legacy. Aryan history of languages, culture, spread of civilisation, its science and technology appealed to many in the West - and especially White Supremists.

One hilarious example of this kind Charles Morris (writer of The Aryan Race: Its Origins And Its Achievements By Charles Morris.). If this book was not a best seller, as ‘history’, it would surely have been best seller as a comedy. Another book - based on the Aryan Invasion Theory, was Lectures of the Arya By Albert Pike.

A set of books written by L. Austine Waddell - again had a single point agenda of usurping Aryan achievements and culture. Wadell declared, “the Aryan Race — now chiefly represented in purest form in North-western Europe.”

Another instance of this is the 1915 film, DW Griffith’s ‘Birth Of A Nation.’ One of the first big hits from Hollywood, this film on the ‘Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’ enjoys cult status. D.W. Griffith’s film The Birth of a Nation was based on a book by Thomas Dixon, Jr. titled The Clansman - An Historic Romance of the Ku Klux Klan - written in 1905. Dixon thought (from the book preface) that the rise of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was the “most dramatic chapters in the history of the Aryan race.” Later, this peice of racism was replaced by another phrase - “Carpetbaggers’ political folly” in the film.

In the climactic scene, these KKK knights ride to the rescue of the the whites, Whites from North and South, to the blaring sounds of Wagner’s `Ride of the Valkyries.’ Yes, the same music that was Hitler’s favorite. The common enemy of the united ‘Aryan Whites’ is the liberated black soldier. The original screen title gives the viewer the message: “The former enemies of North and South are united again in common defense of their Aryan birthright.”

Remember, this was while Hitler was a poor corporal in the army during WW1 - and the Nazi party was yet get its milk teeth.

Thomas Huxley in “The Aryan Question,” published in the Nineteenth Century Magazine, 1890, page 766:—“There was, and is, an Aryan Race, that is to say, the characteristic modes of speech, termed Aryan, were developed among the Blond Longheads alone, however much some of them may have been modified by the importation of non‑Aryan elements.”

After, WW2, it has become politically incorrect for any White to call themselves as Aryan - but that has not stopped White Supremacists. There are many White Supremist gangs in the USA, that call themselves Aryan.

Behind The Dacoity

Euro zone has, mostly, covered itself with borrowed feathers. Euro-colonial powers, like Britain and France, traced their lineage to Egypt (Africa), Greece (The Mediterranean), Rome and pre-Renaissance Italy. Germany and the USA, undermined the Anglo-French colonial position, by creating the ‘Aryan Roots’ theory for the Western civilization.

The West, has been been a leading player in the ‘cultural dacoity’ game - especially the four BFAG countries of Britain, France, Germany and in in modern times, America has joined this ‘cultural dacoity’. The four BFAG countries (Britain, France, America, Germany), are loathe to credit anything to any other culture - even to their Iberian competitors. As per

BFAG historiography, the interesting sub-text is that all Iberian achievements are due to the West African (Negro) rule prior to the rise of the Iberian Empires. Just imagine that - the Iberians learnt everything from the Blacks seems to be the thrust of this historiography.

Old Mother Hubbard

Their own history being a barren cupboard, these BFAG countries raided other cultures.

First, they sanitized the records of books that the Greeks borrowed from other cultures - and never returned. These ‘unreturned’ books were later ascribed to the Greeks.

A Balkan general, from an obscure part of Eastern Europe, Macedonia, was Hellenized. Alexander, became a Greek conqueror of the world. It would be similar to the Chinese claim to Genghis Khan’s Mongolian Empire.

Hipparchus Of Nicaea /Bithynia /Rhodes (in modern-day Iznik, Turkey) was another ancient (so-called) ‘Greek’ who is claimed as one of their own by modern West. Most of his work was based on the Chaldeans systems from Babylon. Eudoxus of Cnidus (in Turkey), learnt astronomy in Egypt, and claimed by the West as a Greek and one of their own. Ptolemy was born, lived, learnt, worked and died at Alexandria in Egypt - claimed by the West as their very own, a Greek.

For instance, the Pythogoras theorem is not Greek and definitely not Pythogoras’. Pythagoras was a native of Samos (off the coast of modern Turkey), bordering the Hittite Empire. He travelled to Babylon, the Elamite Kingdoms of Persia at that time. His inner circle of followers lived like Indian brahmacharyas in a Mathematikoi (meaning “those who know”, from which the word mathematics comes; possibly related to the Indian मठ Mutth) “); not allowed any personal possessions, wore their hair long, were vegetarians and observed strict rules of silence (मौन).

Imhotep, a Black Egyptian became Aesclepios. Ibn Sina became Avicenna. Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi became Rhazes, Abul Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas al-Zahravi became Albucasis. To muddy waters, the Indian mathematical and numeral system became the Arabic numeral system.

All this so-called ‘Greek’ learning came from Babylon-to-Greek-to-Arabic-to-Latin manuscripts. Greeks, Romans, the Church major destroyers of books and learning, became voracious dacoits in the recent past - without as much as by your say so.Roman usurpers (of the Balkan Empire) were glamorized - to the point of becoming stars in the glam rock show of Anglo-French-German history.

As modern West became aware of Aryan achievements, Europe suddenly discovered their Aryan roots. European languages derived from Sanskrit became Indo-European (Indians should be grateful that at least these were called Indo-European - and that Indic languages were not charged with plagiarism). Of course, the whole of Europe is Aryan - and India is inhabited by alien conquerors.

Rome’s legacy!

From Rome we get a slave owning, loot-oriented, blood-thirsty line of rulers. An empire gave birth to 1500 years of Church persecution.

Emperor Constantine after his victory at Milvan bridge, extended State patronage to Christianity. For the next 1000 years Christianity was racked by challenges from Buddhism - most prominently, the Manichean Sect. After centuries of persecution and massacre, non-believers became extinct in most of Europe. The Church itself became very powerful - and a breeding ground for corruption and nepotism. Ripe for the reformation.

The Iberian Colonization

1492. The (largely) benign rule of the
West Africans Negros, came to an end. White Christian rulers of Spain, Isabella and Ferdinand, set historic standards in persecution and extortion. More than a million Jews were killed, crucified, burnt alive; their properties confiscated and distributed.

Christian Spain, fresh from their victory over West African Negro (Muslims) rulers, (then called Moors), obtained the backing of the Church for expansion. The Church Of Rome, eager to add new followers, approved a Papal Bull. Spain and Portugal were given a duopoly on European exploration of new markets and believers in Christian religion.

The same year, Christopher Columbus set sail westwards to find a trade route to India. A few months later he landed at Bahamas - and reported the western trade route to India. The West realized (much later) that this was, for them, a new continent - now called America.

And modern colonialism was born. Out of Iberia - the Portuguese and the Spaniards. Loosed on a unsuspecting world by the Papal Bull. Spain and Portugal, the two then superpowers (until early nineteenth century), competed to get various Papal Bulls issued in their favour - often contradictory.

Many negotiations and treaties later, the world was divided between Spain and Portugal. Spain and Portugal quickly expanded their empires and operations. The Papal Bull gave the two Iberian powers, a duopoly over ‘Christian’ conquest - but also hobbled them with a religious agenda. Hence, the pre-occupation by the Iberian colonizers to convert the ‘heathens’.

Reaction From Rest Of Europe

Was the exclusion of Britain, France and Germany from this Papal Bull, the reason for the support of Protestantism in these countries. Why did Henry VIII change - from a Defender Of The Faith, to revolt against the Church?

After the grant of duopoly to Spain and Portugal, by the Church Of Rome, England declared open season against Spanish ships. High seas piracy - with the sanction of the English State, became a national pastime in Britain. After the break with Vatican, during the reign of Henry VIII, no longer tied by Papal injunctions and diktat, the English decided to challenge Spain. In 1600 The English East India Company (EEIC) was formed to spearhead English trade with India. By 1650, EEIC obtained the Royal Firmaan from Shah Jehan to operate in India - and compete with the Iberians.

Initially, in matters of religious conversions the English copied the Spanish. The Chairman of the Directors of the East India Company, Ross Donnelly Mangles, piously declared in the British House Of Commons -

“Providence has entrusted the extensive empire of Hindustan to England, in order that the banner of Christ should wave triumphant from one end of India to the other. Everyone must exert all his strength that there may be no dilatoriness on any account in continuing in the country the grand work of making India Christian.” (this and the following apt quotations, were pointed out by Parag Tope).

It took the Haiti Revolution to start the end of the Spanish Empire - and the 1857 War Of Independence in India to end the English campaign to ‘convert the heathen’ and ‘civilize the pagan Hindoos’. After the 1857 War Of Independence, the Colonial India Government printed leaflets in tens and thousands confirming the British policy had changed. One commentator noted, these leaflets informed the local Indian population that “that she (Queen Victoria) would not interfere with the religion of the native, or countenance any favouritism in matters of faith.” (bold letters mine)

The overwhelming, last impression of the British Raj, wrongly, was that in matters of faith, the British Colonial Government was neutral. Angus Maddison writes, in The Economic and Social Impact of Colonial Rule in India

“British imperialism was more pragmatic than that of other colonial powers. Its motivation was economic, not evangelical. There was none of the dedicated Christian fanaticism which the Portuguese and Spanish demonstrated in Latin America and less enthusiasm for cultural diffusion than the French (or the Americans) showed in their colonies. For this reason they westernized India only to a limited degree.”

It was the fierceness of the the 1857 War that made the British rulers change their policy. More racist, propaganda and cultural baggage came later - to gain better traction at home and in the colonies. For instance, Priya Joshi, a researcher shows that after 1857, book shipments from Britain to India increased by a factor of three.

The Collapse Of The Iberian Empire

For roughly 250 years, the Iberian Empires were the most powerful. The slave rebellion of Haiti triggered a collapse of the Spanish colonies in South America. Simon Bolivar, aided by the Haiti’s rulers, initiated decolonization movements across South America - leading to the demise of Spanish Colonialism. The last nail in the Spanish colonial possessions was Cuba - which they lost after the Spanish American War. After the loss of Cuba, Philippines and the American colonies, and the end of slavery, the Iberians imploded much like other slave societies.

Anglo Saxon Trajectory

The Anglo-Saxon Empire was tracing the Iberian trajectory - with a 100 year interregnum. Hundred years after the collapse of the Spanish Colonial Empire, the British Empire started disintegrating - like its Iberian predecessors. Like the revolt in Haiti, the Boer War, signaled the beginning of the end for the British Empire. For similar reasons. Loss of slaves and colonies. The rise (and implosion) of the French, English colonial possessions tracked the Iberian trajectory by a lag of a 100 years.

Of course, Anglo-Saxons gloat over the collapse of the Iberians. And have waged a steady propaganda war to show the Iberian colonizer in poor light. The BFAGs give no credit for the Iberian contribution to Western culture - and all Iberian achievements are due the West African (negro) rule prior to the rise of the Iberian Empires.

Birth Of Western Music

The Roma-Gypsy contribution in the growth of Western musical tradition has been blanked out from Western history. The spread of Gypsy populations across Europe by the 16th century coincides with the birth of Western music systems - a stripped down version of the 3000-years old Indian music structure.

Hungarian music was Gypsy music arrogated by the White Christian majority to itself - and resented the Gypsy music culture. Western military music came from gypsy music bands of Turkey, Austria and Hungary . Carefully hidden is Bela Bartok’s research into ‘folk’ music and ‘inspiration’, as is the source of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody - a by product of Gypsy music. Befre that, Verdi wrote the Il Trovatore, in 1853, a story about the clash between the White Christian Spain and a band of Gypsies. Georges Bizet’s, Carmen, another opera about the love of a Spaniard and the Gypsy, Carmen, used Gypsy music and themes considerably - apart from the story itself.

After WW1, when parts of Hungary folded into the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bartok’s access to his ‘inspiration’, the Gypsies (and their music) was also cut off, his music compositions also declined. In the true ‘cultural dacoity’ mode, Bartok (after emigrating to USA), covered his tracks and found ingenious ways to deny the Gypsy influence. Between Bela Bartok, Zoltan Kodaly and Leos Janacek, they recorded 6000

Gypsy tunes on wax cylinders. The wax cylinders on which Bartok, Zoltan Kodaly and Leos Janacek copied Gypsy music are now sought after items.

It is the dances of the Roma Gypsies behind the European cultural icon - the Flamenco! The rumba and the tango. It is the Gypsies (along with the Arabs) who brought Indian music systems to Europe - based on which the Western music system developed over the last 300-400 years. The iconic guitar is a modified Indian musical instrument - brought to Europe by the Gypsies, which the West tries ‘passing off’ as their own. Hittites, the Indo Aryans of the Middle East, before the Gypsies had an instrument similar to the guitar. Why am I not surprised when flamenco style, Gypsy music group, Los Del Rio’s Macarena became a big hit in India. This contribution to modern and classical Western music by the Euro Gypsy remains unacknowledged - and the Western arrogation continues unmitigated.

The Gypsies In Provence

Modern day Roma Gypsies made their first mark in Europe in Provence. The richness of the Roma Gypsy music (of India) overwhelmed the people of Southern France. They whole heartedly, assimilated the Gypsies (then known as troubadours) and their culture - warmly. 500 years later, across a

bleak Europe, the French poet Voltaire, the English WB Yeats, lamented and longed for Provence and the richness of the Provencal culture. Modern French cuisine, wine culture and tradition took root in this very area - and survived in spite of the best attempts by the Church to exterminate it in the Albigensian Crusade.

Black Contribution To Modern Technology

An interesting post on Racism & Technology by Michelle M. Wright in the Switch adds to this thesis. This post lists the large number of contributions made in modern times by the Blacks - totally unacknowledged.

Consider a handful of the contributions that African-Americans have made to science and technology: we have forgotten that Granville Woods invented the steam boiler furnace, the telephone transmitter; Sarah Boone invented the ironing board; Mary Moore invented one of the first artificial pain relievers in the 18th century; Lewis Latimer invented the incandescent light bulb (greatly improving on Edison’s

use of a bamboo filament by replacing it with carbon, and therefore making light bulbs last from a mere 30 hours to over 300), and he supervised the implementation of electric lights in New York City, Philadelphia, Montreal, and London; we have forgotten that Garrett A. Morgan invented the prototype of the gas mask and the automatic stoplight; Frederick Jones made the transportation of fresh foods and dairy products possible when he invented mobile refrigeration; Elijah McCoy made it possible for locomotives to operates continuously without having to stop every few miles to re-lubricate the wheels and machinery. Despite the attempts of corporate competitors to duplicate his invention, only McCoy’s actually worked, causing railway engineers to always ask if the automatic lubricator available for purchase was “the real McCoy”-this phrase has been re-attributed to several white McCoys: an athlete, an entrepreneur, and an inventor whose inventions were never actually used by anyone. The only black inventor America acknowledges is George Washington Carver who revolutionized Southern agriculture by developing crop rotation so that farmers did not exhaust their soil after three years but could use it endlessly (indeed, early crop rotation was taught by the first African-Americans to white planters). Carver also developed peanut oil as cheaper alternatives to

motor oil, diesel fuel, printing ink, rubbers, and lighting oil…but he is only famous as the inventor of peanut butter. More recently, A. P. Ashbourne developed the airplane propeller; Dr. Charles Drew discovered plasma in blood; Henry Sampson patented the cell phone; Otis Boykin developed pace maker controls for the guided missile, and Dr. Patricia Bath has patented her technique of using laser surgery to remove cataracts. (from the Racism And Technology By Michelle M. Wright).

This systemic ‘amnesia’ in the West points to two things - a barren cultural cupboard and the plagiarsitic arrogation by the West of the achievements made by other cultures.

Selective Leaks

What is it these four institutions hiding? My feeling is that while these guys sit on these finds, they would have imploded - and their worst fears would have become reality. They would be another footnote in the history of slave owning civilizations that imploded. Hopefully Indic countries, based on humanity would have become an intellectually-dominant civilization again!

Coming To Dacoity

Dacoity is a uniquely Indian-English word - made, formed and used in India. Dacoits were (and are) outlaws operating at the periphery of morality - and the law. These brigands were a response to the shrinking opportunity base due to colonial practices (some of which continue) in India. These dacoits typically did not target the State itself or the poor.

The target of the dacoits were the beneficiaries of the system - the rich. Since, the dacoits did not directly challenge the might of the State, the State was not very worried about these dacoits. But loot, these dacoits did. Especially the rich. Hence, the Indian population has viewed dacoits ambivalently.