All Things Must Pass

End of 2011. It’s been a mixed year for me personally. I would give it a 7 out of 10. Today I am moving home. Not too far away, just moving from Santa Clara to San Jose. Nothing brings home the reality that we are material beings more than when you are moving — the stuff one accumulates! I will not have internet access for the next couple of days because of the move. New year resolution: deal with all emails within 24 hours of receipt. Best wishes for a happy new year.

What’s Next on the UPA Agenda for India

The UPA has done quite a lot in the last seven years or so. Around 2004, India was at the take-off stage of a developing country. We could see a tiny light shining at what appeared to be the end of the tunnel. It looked like the country was finally out of the clutches of the Nehruvian socialist regime and had broken free of the 2-3% “Nehru rate of growth.” The NDA (led by the so-called “Hindu nationalist” BJP) had done a few things right and given India the 10% “Hindu rate of growth.” But then the UPA took over. They extinguished the light and the hope, and are doing everything to drag India back to Nehruvian poverty. Let’s do a quick review.
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Hijack a Plane, Get Rewarded by Govt of India

I think it can be very persuasively argued that ignorance lies at the root of all evil that we suffer in this material world. Avidya is the source of all dukkha. Collective ignorance indeed leads to all kinds of poverty, not just material poverty of which India has in truckloads. If we were not so collectively ignorant of the misdeeds of the political parties and their bosses, we would not have ever had the sorry bunch of thugs running the country. Allow me to share with you what I learned today.
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The Congress are not Traitors

The Congress is the enemy. Their goal is to destroy the country to enrich themselves. They are true to their goal and cannot be faulted for it. Indians who support the Congress are traitors since treason lies in aiding the enemy. Some of the biggest names in the BJP have aided the Congress in the past, and continue to do so. They are traitors. Let’s distinguish between the enemy and the traitors. While I may grudgingly respect the enemy, I have nothing but contempt for traitors.

Yes, India is a Democracy

But that’s too generic a description. Besides being too general a description, democracy is hardly a comprehensive description of the Indian government. Surely, the democracy found in say Switzerland is quite different from what’s in India. We need better descriptors of Indian governance. Here’s a partial list, offered in the hope that you will add your own favorite.
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India’s Current Leadership

Observing what’s going on in India these days, I am filled with loathing and fear. What kind of monsters occupy India’s highest public offices! I stand with H. L. Mencken when he wrote, “It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.” It appears that the primary requirements for holding political power in India are a lack of common sense, common honesty and common decency.

Goodbye, Christopher Hitchens.

Goodbye Christopher. I am glad that you lived and I have had the pleasure of meeting you a couple of times — once at the Berkeley Repertoire Theater in the 1997 and once at a book release in 1999. I am certainly going to miss your incisive writing. The world is going to be a poorer place for your departure.

Dr Swamy’s Courses at Harvard University

I support Dr Subramanian Swamy’s right to express his views and I support Harvard University’s right to remove Dr Swamy’s economics courses from Harvard’s summer teaching roster. Academic freedom — which includes the freedom to choose whom you allow to teach in your institution — is as important as freedom of expression. We, the third party, have the freedom to decide whether or not we wish to support Harvard. Given a choice, I will not support Harvard University. Note the distinction between “supporting Harvard” and “supporting the rights of Harvard.”
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Is Antonia Maino aka Sonia Gandhi Really to Blame?

Who is Antonia Maino a.k.a. Sonia Gandhi? An average Italian woman who married some guy who ended up becoming the prime minister of India. She acquired the last name “Gandhi” that she currently uses through marriage. Many women traditionally take on the last name of their husbands. That is unexceptionable. What’s remarkable is how she — aided by her minions such as Manmohan Singh, Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram — is wrecking the country. One can argue that she is responsible for India’s current decline (as if India was not already awfully impoverished) but I believe she is only the proximate cause. The ultimate cause lies elsewhere.
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