April 13, 2014

Are Indians Dense?

Who says Indians are NOT dense? I thought the evidence was pretty clear.

Just look at the obsession with silly religious rituals. Look at how sundry godmen are prospering. Look at how 'popular' Double Sri Bearded Widow is among the section of our population who are supposed to be among the most educated.

Look at the obsession with cricket and Bollywood —> and the obsession, in turn, of those 'heroes' of people (Sachin and Bachchan) with various gods. One donates crores to this and that god; another sheds tears when charlatan Afro Sai Baba dies.

Even the pointless 'heat' during the present election season shows the silliness of Indians.

The choices on offer are all so mediocre that I am mostly happy to remain a bystander. But look at the Modi-bhakts who are happy to abuse all and sundry at the slightest bit of 'questioning' of their 'leader.'

They will abuse all and sundry — whether it's Mahesh Murthy or a retired general or a retired Ambassador. (I see this on Twitter).

These Modi-bhakts are incapable of taking the slightest criticism of their leader.

Of course, they will be all praise for anyone who sings songs in praise of their 'leader.'

And what an ordinary, average CM that leader is.

A long-time CM with a clean record? I think there are "many" such CMs serving in different states all across India belonging to different parties.

Of course, the Modi-bhakts are extraordinarily ill-informed about history — just as Modi is.

They are happy to take Modi's empty and pointless blustering at face value.

These Modi-lovers tend to hold on to many myths which can have sinister consequences — they think only Muslims are responsible for increasing India's population; they think the Congress Party has bestowed untold great amounts of favor on the Muslim community ... of course to the detriment of the great 'Hindu' community in the process ... ; they think all the 'sins' of the Congress Party committed over the last six decades can be cured by electing Modi.

They forget that India has been a democracy throughout — even after the Emergency, Indira was thrown out but then a motley bunch came together to form a government which collapsed soon enough and people VOTED Indira back to power.

To return to the bigger question about whether India's people are 'dense' ...

The masses sympathy-voted for Rajiv ensuring that he got more seats than even Nehru.

Of course, the Modi-lovers are dense in a different way than the poor masses. The poor masses will vote for anyone who 'guarantees' them food or employment or mid day meals for their children.

The Modi bhakts are happy to question the 'quality' of all and sundry. They will say — Nehru was a third-rate guy who took Kashmir to the UN and had affairs with women and so on. Of course, most have never read a single book by Nehru or have much idea about the early years after independence.

Some of this is attributable to 'youth'; perhaps not many of the Modi-bhakts remember even the Vajpayee government let alone Rao or Rajiv Gandhi.

If one chooses to remain a political party-agnostic, it is easy enough to see that India has a habit of muddling along and this or that party does not make much of a difference.

It's easy enough to see that the quality of the Gandhi-Nehru family has consistently declined over one generation to another; but do not forget that IT IS THE PEOPLE OF INDIA (and our forefathers) who VOTED THEM into power.

Rajiv Gandhi was at best average — I mean, how 'tough' can life be if you are the son of the PM and get education at Doon School and then become a commercial pilot.

In the 1990s, the economic liberalization happened either because the knowledge dawned on people and policymakers at last that socialism and license raj cannot continue or because the IMF forced our hand.

Vajpayee carried some of that forward. The good growth rates during the early years of liberalization can be said to be sort of akin to 'low hanging fruit.'

India has large IT exports because India has cheap manpower. India has a large diamond processing and exporting business because India has cheap manpower. India exports textiles and leather good because India has cheap labor.

But all this can take us only so far.

What is India's competitive advantage as a nation? Cheap labor?

Well, now Philippines is supplanting India in call centers.

Bangladesh has cheaper labor than India to produce textiles for American brands.

Who would have thought that this nation of cow-worshipers would end up as, of all things, the largest beef exporter in the world?

What irony!

People say Vajpayee built all those roads. I say, any government in power at that point would have come up with those policies as EVERYBODY (every industrialist) was saying the same thing back then: 'bad roads, bad roads, poor infrastructure, poor infrastructure'.

In the din of headline-grabbing corruption scandals such as the Commonwealth, 2G and Coalgate, the details tend to get 'lost in translation' as it were.

The 2G 'scam' amounted to much less than what the CAG claimed it to be — as conclusively demonstrated by the subsequent auctions which flopped spectacularly.

Telecoms licenses are quite complex and technical and it's difficult to separate out the different strands of that entire 'scam.'

From what I understand, the 'scammy' parts were only to do with the Tatas getting pan-India licenses without paying much license fee; Reliance of course trying to grab licenses via a front company (Shadhi Balwa/DB Realty); real estate guys (Unitech) trying to get into the telecom business(!!).

Of course, there was a scam! But it is a tribute to the spectacularly complex legal system — that has obviously failed to do the job — that
the 'accused' get arrested (Raja, Kalmadi, Kanimozhi, Unitech/Reliance officers), spend time in Tihar Jail and ultimately get bail and basically that's the end of the matter!

The cases will linger for 20 years. See Salman Khan.

Tell me the name of the political party that is promising police reforms or reforms to the judiciary and then I will support that party.

Oh, Rahul's sister's husband made 200 or 500 crores?

Sure. So, why is the BJP not promising to prosecute Vadra or put him in jail?

Why are honest officers like Ashok Khemka suffering and no political party is supporting him?

I am not sure that Mr. Kejriwal really intends to do much about headline corruption either. His aim appears to be to reach the PM position as soon as possible — and I don't blame him; after all, when he compares (as he must) himself against MMS or Rahul or Modi, surely he must feel that he is SUPERIOR to these three.

But even as people of India get enraged about this and that scam ... oh and BTW, I forgot about the Coalgate which is too complex and involves both Congress and BJP ruled states ... people do not mind indulging in corruption in their own lives.

In obsessively rooting for Modi, I've heard the 'sane' supporters talk about his administrative competence. This means these supporters think India is just a bigger version of Gujarat.

It is strange if anyone thinks one man can 'govern' or rule India.

But then, apparently, there are enough people in this country who:

1) extol the 'greatness' of Hitler ... his great 'qualities' ... whatever they are;

2) expound the tired old view: 'India needs a dictator' ... forgetting about our great neighbor which has been run by 'dictators' for most of the time since independence (or creation) and forgetting about our own days of 'Emergency'.

The fact is that India is about such people:

(A)  people who will 'vote' for a PM because his 'mom' died;

(B)  or people who think that dictatorship is a good idea (perhaps they think the soldiers of the Indian Army are descended from heaven);

(C) or people who think Vivekananda was a 'great' man (he was not; he was just a racist guy who belonged in the 19th century);

(D)  or people who 'protest' that their 'god' Asaram is in jail.

Where am I supposed to find 'hope' for a 'great' future for this country?


*sigh* which is why I just prefer to keep "mum" :D :P

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