Thursday, April 26, 2012

Arundhati Roy, a Ghost, has got it all wrong!!

I never expected this wonderful surprising commentary article by Aakar Patel who refutes on well grounded basis, the false propositions of cunning socialist and communist leaned Arundhati Roy. 

I must say that when I read Roy's article which was based on a lecture she gave in Mumbai some time ago, I was deeply worried about the false propositions against folly ideas of her.

Patel concludes that:
  • When all’s said and done, the solution to such problems in dysfunctional societies like India is simple, though boring. Communities must start taking responsibility for themselves. They cannot wait for a revolution to come to their doorsteps and clean their neighbourhoods, or to care for their infants, or to teach hygiene to their women or to educate themselves. Nor can they entirely depend on the state either, though they must vote against those who fail to help them do this.

  • Experience has also shown that in tribal areas where external influence has been allowed, it can be a force for good. The tribals of Mizoram have 90 per cent literacy because of work done by the Presbyterian church. Shielding tribals from the outside world keeps them just as they are. This might have aesthetic appeal for some, but most tribals don’t think so. That is why the Salwa Judam militia attacks those who are their brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, this isn’t the sort of thing we can blame the whole world for, and so it isn’t good material for belles lettres.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Two men were six feet tall with meticulous mind

It has been a week now with a new book in hand. Unlike previous book on these two men, this one has many many interesting facts about their life and works which is nothing but quite contrasting and that may be the truth for their ideas which is living so long. OK, I am talking about the new book "Keynes Hayek The Clash That Defined Modern Economics" by Nicholas Wapshott.

The book has 18 chapters dividing the life and works of Keynes and Hayek. You don't need to go through all the 18 chapters to judge about the quality of book. I dare say, its enough for to judge after crossing third or forth chapters.   

But I must confess that if you have already read so much about their works and life separately. Well, I am sure that you will find this book some what irritating to read in non-stop.

I better suggest you should read some of the below reviews (also some excerpts) of this book before you buy your copy:

Keynes’ economic theory was more mechanistic, as economies could be manipulated in a machine-like fashion to behave according to the wishes of economic planners. 

Hindu's Spontaneous Cow: B R Ambedkar, M K Gandhi and Modern States

I post this very interesting article fully here for the record. I had met the author once during a book launch which hot to publish as well as release.

The right to eat by S Anand

Apr 21, 2012, 00:26 IST

The state shall, in particular, take steps for … prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.” 

— Article 48, The Directive Principles of State Policy

“For the [Vedic] Brahmin every day was a beef-steak day.” — B R Ambedkar

In an otherwise Ambedkarite Constitution, the Gandhian mafia managed to sneak in the cow. However, it was not made the mandate of the Indian state to protect “the porcupine, the hedgehog, the iguana, the rhinoceros, the tortoise or the hare” — all listed by the Manusmriti (circa 200 AD) as “eatable”.

Brahminical Hinduism tends to yoke together practices totally at odds. The meaning of one resides in the meaninglessness of the other. The touch-me-not Brahmin renders everyone else untouchable; sometimes he cannot even touch himself. Time was when the Vedic Brahmin happily ate beef; merrily sacrificed cattle in thousands; treated a special guest with veal pulao. Post-Buddhism, the cow was declared sacred and holy. It became Kamadhenu, the abode of 330 million gods and goddesses. Gandhi called the cow “a poem of pity”; his love for the bovine was rooted in seeing it as divine. “The central fact of Hinduism is cow protection. Cow protection to me is one of the most wonderful phenomena in human evolution.”

Many Dalit communities have myths – the Madigas of Andhra Pradesh haveJambava Purana – that trace their origin back to the consumption of cow meat and the stigma of untouchability enforced on them. After the Brahmins declared the cow holy, society still needed someone to clear the cow carcass. The ingenuity of the caste system was there to manage this problem. Ambedkar argued that untouchability entailed from eating the meat of the dead cow. So, conventionally, “untouchables” got to eat not a cow in prime, after slaughtering it, but after it died of old age or disease — stringy, not juicy, meat.

Yet, beef and buffalo meat comprise the largest meat product to be both produced and consumed in India. “This animal [buffalo] has not been given its due place in the livestock sector. Paradoxically, it is discriminated against merely on account of its dark colour. This is clear apartheid against buffalo.” This is not from Kancha Ilaiah’s Buffalo Nationalism, but from the India report of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Meanwhile, the dark buffalo is ritually sacrificed. In several parts of South India, Dalits are forced to do the slaughtering. Gandhi did not love the buffalo.
The caste system’s inferiorising of those who deal with cattle (dead or alive) and leatherwork has resulted not just in intolerance but also in the lack of evolution of diversity of red-meat products. According to the FAO’s India report, hardly one per cent of the total meat produced in India is used for processing. Take Germany’s wide range of sausages (Bratwurst, Blutwurst, Bregenwurst, Liverwurst, and whatnot) and salamis (dry-cured, aged). Look at the range of knives and precision instruments used for cutting meat in Europe. Think of thin carpaccio. Think of the range of cheeses in France. This comes from not just love for food but from respect for communities that deal with animals. In India, many of the inferiorised castes have wonderful ways of salting and preserving meat (and fish). When these communities are despised and rendered resourceless, how will their secrets and techniques be valourised and commodified? Dal-roti-sabzi, a Brahmin-Bania-Jain diet, is projected as the staple. Indians contributed an ugly word to the English vocabulary — non-vegetarian.

Much hue and cry is being raised over the recent cow-slaughter bans in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh — conveniently ruled by the demonic Bharatiya Janata Party. But few realise that there has been a ban in place in Delhi since 1994 (the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act), for few in the secular brigade – who have a Pavlovian response to any agenda set by the BJP/RSS/VHP/Bajrang Dal/Narendra Modi – get worked up over the silent ban on beef in Delhi. Most beef sellers in Delhi are forced to claim they are selling “buff”. Consumption of beef does not seem to excite the secular-liberal elite, for whom Hindutva is an easy enemy — not Hinduism, which by some reckless and perverse misunderstanding is seen as tolerant/non-violent. The vociferous defenders of A K Ramanujan’s essay or Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses won’t sign a we-love-beef petition.

Last week in Hyderabad when students, activists and professors asserted their right to consume beef, they were attacked because they ate beef in a celebratory fashion. They were taking joy in what was expected to be done secretly. A food that has been made an object of stigma and shame was being reclaimed as a symbol of pride, as a right; after all, a kilo of beef costs Rs 130 while okra is Rs 100. It’s time we started a movement to declare beef the national food of India. Some truly Vedic Brahmins may well sign up.

SO-much adulterate talk

Out there, so much talks about educating children of this nation always leaving, yes I say leaving the voices of parents. After the recent Apex Court's ruling, the self interested parties have taken almost granted for saying whatever they wanted to say for the sake of argument as well as for the pitching in their views.

With regard to Dr Parth's article in today's Indian Express where he suggest that the agency like National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and its state branches should monitor the implementation of right to education act. In my view this is absolutely wrong. In fact, it is not very clear, at least, to me in respect of, what kind of institutional capacity, the NCPCR has, or for that matter its state branches? Even professor like Krishna Kumar (former director of NCERT) point out that it is waste of time to ask NCPCR to monitor the implementation of RTE Act.

Related articles you should read as below:

RTE: A halk baked idea by Prof Indiresan

Classroom struggle by Prof Mehta

Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Yet utter the word Democratic"

The great poet Walter Whiteman wrote in his "Leaves of Grass":

ONE’S-SELF I sing—a simple, separate Person; 
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-masse.

Our eyes are open. Things moves very badly. Most of us wanted to act upon it. But things remain.

"I say it with high anxiety, the worry is that India's great liberal democratic experiment may be slowly unravelling"

Before, you read the article and ponder about what the sky is and why the money is burning. Let me say one. I have a friend whose father works in the monster Air India. My friend always have a open ticket for Air India!! Now you can read the article on "burning the money in the sky". 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Economic theories and human action

Back from a wonderful visit to the India's "Great Canyon" Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh. Of course, until I reached the sun raise and sun set points in Pachmarhi, I did not quite understood why many people call the mountains of Pachmarhi as "India's Grand Canyon".

Interesting readings:

A speech by T N Ninan during the book discussion on India's economic reforms and development Prof Rajan speech in the same event here. Those interested in knowing about the differences of why we need faster economic reforms and why its stuck at political runious should read these two speeches all in front of the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh,.

Noeconomic theory please, we are Indians by T C A Srinivasa Raghavan
CowBelt or Buffalo Nation? by Harish Damodaran

Monday, April 16, 2012

Calcutta into London

A resident of calcutta writes in "....let me tell you how the last four British prime ministers have been portrayed in cartoons in London newspapers: John Major, always wearing his underpants outside his trousers; Tony Blair, as a one-eyed monster, sometimes as a one-eyed poodle trotting after George W. Bush; Gordon Brown, as a square, financial thug and bouncer; David Cameron, repeatedly, as an empty, blown-up condom. Along with these, they have also repeatedly had George Bush as a rampant, psychopathic chimpanzee, (once actually wiping his bottom with the UN logo), they’ve had Nicolas Sarkozy as all sorts of ferret-like animals, Berlusconi as a lecherous octopus and, recently, Angela Merkel as a dominatrix in skimpy black leather costume and fishnet stockings, wielding a financial whip over the exposed backsides of other European leaders. Besides this, one of the most widely read British satirical magazines, Private Eye, almost always has actual photographs of leaders and royalty with fictional speech bubbles coming out of their mouths, saying the most outrageous things. Let me tell you, no one has ever sued about these portrayals, no one is beaten up, no one is arrested, no one even lodges a written protest."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

“Without difficulties, life would not be worth living.”

They say "Singh’s legacy was perhaps neither political nor paranoid enough" but the undue "festschrift by prominent academic economists" has already been given bailout. After all, its from economists and not from the people of India which may be the fate of his legacy test in 2014.

The elected politicians along with their associates in NGOs enact a law targeting the schools run by private sector. The very politicians and NGOs are not shamed in improving the standards of public schools run by governments with taxpayers money. In this article Tavleen Singh points out the irrelevance of Supreme Court's recent up holding of RTE. See this news item why dalit students are not studying in state run schools.

India's line of political history thought: "The power of the syndicate was ended by Indira Gandhi in seven years when she split the party and inaugurated the era of personalised centralisation of power. But this experiment failed within eight years in 1977. The Janata was the federal solution but it failed miserably. In the next eight years, the Congress one-person rule was revived but again it collapsed in 1989. Since then we have had fragile coalitions, some surviving the full term but not all."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

One year after birth of Ambedkar's free market liberal economics in India

On April 14th, 2011, I had written a article titled "Ambedkar, the forgotten free market economist" in the Pragati The Indian National Interest Review published by The Takshashila Institution founded by Mr Nitin Pai on Dr B R Ambedkar's 120th Birth Anniversary. The article received quite undue criticism from utterly misguided and misunderstood followers like Anand Teltumbde.

Subsequently, I also published another article titled "The Untouchable Case for Indian Capitalism" in the Wall Street Journal Asia on May 31, 2011. 

In general, both these articles were welcomed by many well established authors, economists, historians and other social scientists in India and abroad. It was really a great encouragement for me. I had no dream in my life to receive such a generous positive motivation from many great people. 

I also briefly met today the leading proponent of India's Dalit capitalism movement Mr Chandrabhan Prasad, (

In fact, I started writing quit a bit after these articles were published in early months in 2011.  

What I saw today in the Parliament Street: 121st Birth Anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar

The entire Parliament Street become like any "market place" with book stalls, free distribution of posters, etc mostly news items covering the legacy of B R Ambedkar.

The one big change in all these years on this street is the big stall of Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI). Dicci distributed not only the corporate style of cake cutting but also a half a liter mineral water bottle to people at free of cost. All others distributed the tiny water pockets. Dicci''s unique proposition for all the dalit people is "Be Job Givers, Not Job Seekers". It also proudly says that dalit capitalism is a antidote for most of the ills associated with its people. This is a big change "Yes we can".

But there is a long way to go. Let me end with a interesting fact about Jotirao Phule. Those you read the book India after Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha can recollect that great Jotirao Phule was a successful entrepreneur before becoming a social reformer in 19th Century India. Perhaps, it took six decades to realise the dalit community in India that the populist policies of government is no use for removing away from poverty and hunger.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Supreme Court of India & Prof Murray N. Rothbard

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of India gave its much awaited verdict on The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. 

The judgment comprised of three judges which includes Chief Judge of India S.H. Kapadia and Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan. 

The only judge who gave dissent to the order was Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan. The Courte Order has been interpreted in many ways both positive and negative perspectives.

The best part of the order is the learning taken from the book of a great Austrian Economist Prof Murray N Rothbard. The book referred in the order is here. 

The exact text of the order is as follows: 
  • 145. Mr. Murray N. Rothbard, an eminent educationist and Professor in Economics, in his Book "Education: Free and Compulsory" [1999, Ludurg von Mises Institute, Auburn, Aliana] cautioned that progressive education may destroy the independent thought in the child and a child has little chance to develop his systematic reasoning powers in the study of definite courses. The Book was written after evaluating the experiences of various countries, which have followed free and compulsory education for children for several years. Prohibition of holding back in a class may, according to the author, result that bright pupils are robbed of incentive or opportunity to study and the dull ones are encouraged to believe that success, in the form of grades, promotion etc., will come to them automatically. The author also questioned that since the State began to control education, its evident tendency has been more and more to act in such a manner so as to promote repression and hindrance of education, rather than the true development of the individual. Its tendency has been for compulsion, for enforced equality at the lowest level, for the watering down of the subject and even the abandonment of all formal teaching, for the inculcation of obedience to the State and to the "group," rather than the development of self-independence, for the deprecation of intellectual subjects.
  • 146. I am of the view that the opinions expressed by the academicians like Rothbard command respect and cannot be brushed aside as such because, much more than anything, the State has got a constitutional responsibility to see that our children are given quality education. Provisions of the statute shall not remain a dead letter, remember we are dealing with the lives of our children, a national asset, and the future of the entire country depends upon their upbringing. Our children in the future have to compete with their counter-parts elsewhere in the world at each and every level, both in curricular and extra-curricular fields. Quality education and overall development of the child is of prime importance upon which the entire future of our children and the country rests.
Among the responses of Indian newspapers The Pioneer has expressed in its lucid editorial in a very meaningful way taking the issues of whether any justice provided for allowing privately managed schools to admit children from economically weaker sections in the society.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Economics, politics and election in India

Why India will beat China by Swaminathan S A Aiyar. He reviews the new book Why Nations Fail by Daron and James

Chinese lessons for India by Niranjan Rajadhyaksha He analyses the emergence of Chinese economy vs Indian economy

From Chief Minister to Chief Censor by A G Noorni. He analyses the recent decision taken by West Bengal Chief Minister on buying newspaper for public libraries etc.

Blame the system and not the politician by P V Indiresan. He argues that politician should not be allowed to spent any money from their own sources for contesting election because the State i.e. the Government will bear the cost of election with certain conditions. I believe, ideas like this were very old and great thinkers and politicians like  C Rajagopalachari and Patel had profound understanding of it which many now sees to be forgotten in India.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Interesting readings

  1. New socialism in Uttar Pradesh of India
  2. The world of Masanis Minoo Masani, as we all know, began his political career with strong socialist leanings, only to abandon it in the wake of communist totalitarianism. He then became among the early champions of the Swatantra Party (India’s only true liberal party ever), opposing tooth and nail Jawaharlal Nehru’s socialist policies. He finally settled with the anti-Indira Gandhi post-Emergency coalition, only to be finally disillusioned with active politics. His personal life was no less troubled, spanning relationships with various women, which did not end with his third marriage (to Shakuntala, the author’s mother). 
  3. A shoebox of ashes
  4. "My father's role as the founder leader of Swatantra Party, India's first serious parliamentary Opposition, is well known; and it is ironical that our present Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acknowledges Minoo Masani as his main ideological inspiration, rather than Pandit Nehru," the London-based Zareer writes

  5. Dangerous lies by Tavleen Singh: Ms Roy was among a handful of privileged Indians who inhabited a tiny oasis of prosperity in an ocean of desperate poverty. She taught aerobics at the Taj Palace in Delhi and made forgettable films with silly names. As one of the people in her aerobics class, I had opportunity to converse with Ms Roy often and remember her as being astoundingly apolitical. She appears to have developed her whole political philosophy after becoming a celebrated novelist (ex-novelist?) and has a very limited understanding of economic and political issues.

Up to, what I am

Due to frequent travel I could not post anything for almost eight days. On first of April I went to Daman and Diu via Mumbai for a conference. By road I went to Daman from Mumbai. The road was excellent.

On turning, a great offer has landed on my hand to participate in the book discussion at Sikkim Central University, Gangtok, Sikkim. After a while, I accepted the offer especially given the importance of the book which was planned to discuss. The book for which I was invited to discuss in the panel was The Concise Oxford Companion to Economics in India edited by Prof Kaushik Basu and Dr Annemie Maertens.

This book discussion was part of the Sikkim University's important event i.e. 3rd Spring Lecture on "Nehru's Vision of India" delivered by Prof Mushirul Hasan. Good or bad, I had the chance of meeting him earlier. In 2011, he had chaired a session in the Global Conclave for Young Scholars in India on Education organised by NUEPA New Delhi, where I had presented a research paper on technical and vocational education in British India between 1700-1947.

There were three people in my panel; me and one (assistant professor) each from the Delhi University and Sikkim University.

The visit to Gangtok for this book discussion was really interesting and I enjoyed fully. Perhaps I may rewrite my comments on the book into a brief article for Pragati.