Harris, Hitchens and Gadkari

Two men I admire most are Harris and Hitchens. Awesome speakers and writers, they have the courage to say it like they see it. In an age where politically correct mealy mouthed prevarication oozes out of spineless leaders leaving a slimy track for the mindless to follow, Harris and Hitchens restore my faith in humanity and I am assured that this is just a temporary phenomenon because truth abides. Here’s a video, an editorial, and a news item. Continue reading “Harris, Hitchens and Gadkari”

The Endurance of Indians

Reports of gross misdeeds by people in power leave as much of an impression on the Indian mind as does yesterday’s weather forecast. And they appear to be as helpless in the face of institutionalized corruption and criminal behavior as in altering the weather. They take both as a given, a fact of nature that is outside their control.
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The Biggest Puzzle

Are there no depths that the Congress party led UPA government will not plumb to protect the criminally corrupt? When exactly will the Indian public wake up to the realization that the pervasive corruption that hollows out the Indian state is the sole achievement of the Congress party over its decades of misrule — practically all of India’s existence as an independent country in modern times? If even the unspeakable misgovernance by Mr Manmohan Singh does not enrage the Indians, what on earth will it take — a thousand thermonuclear devices?
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Incentives for Better Policies

This year, 2009 CE, marks the 200th birth anniversary of Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882), and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859). Contrary to what one may suppose, the phrase “survival of the fittest” does not occur in that book. It was Herbert Spencer (1820 -1903), who coined it in his book Principles of Biology, (1864).[1]

Spencer warned that “the ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.” That observation holds with special force in the context of the misgovernment of India. If the policy makers (the bureaucrats and politicians) are shielded from the ill-effects of their policies, they have little incentive to act prudently. Eventually, as the stock of bad policies keep building up, the country ends up in ruin. We have to remember that in the main, the success or failure of an economy is solely determined by the quality of its public policies.
Continue reading “Incentives for Better Policies”

Swaggering Imbeciles

Newly educated and semi-educated classes – social or intellectual – seek positions in government bureaucracies or social advocacy rather than in industry and commerce where competence is inarguably measured at the end of every business quarter. The growth of bureaucracies needed to absorb these swaggering imbeciles is precisely opposed to society’s growth and development both as direct philosophical enemy and as infinitely hungry sump to resources otherwise needed to support productive endeavors.

From “Uncle Al” in a post on the usenet years ago. I spent years on the usenet, the grand-daddy of the world wide web. I like the phrase “swaggering imbeciles” — it describes a certain ruling dynasty in a certain so-called emerging superpower.

Criminal Lawmakers?

According to a report in today’s Rediff on Karnataka’s new government, many of the members of the legislative assembly (or MLAs, those who make the laws of the state) are criminals. The report leads off with details of what the personal wealth of some of the MLAs are but later, almost as an afterthought, mentions that many have criminal charges pending against them:
Continue reading “Criminal Lawmakers?”

How to Shrink India

Only recently did I become aware that there is a local politician in Mumbai named Raj Thackeray and that he has been inciting people to violence to stop non-Marathi speaking people from migrating to Mumbai. The man, in my considered opinion, is a certifiable idiot and an evil one at that. But then there is nothing particularly remarkable in Raj Thackeray’s quest for votes through divisive politics. The British quite successfully implemented it and ever since political independence, politicians across the spectrum have been dividing India along regional, caste, and religious categories. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, instead of erasing caste distinctions, even went so far as to name a significant portion of Indians as “harijan” or “children of god” — thus implicitly, according to his adopted Abrahamic theology, categorized the rest as “children of satan.” The present Italian Gandhi continues that fine tradition and implements policies that discriminate against people that do not subscribe to some Abrahamic sky-god. I wonder if Raj Thackeray is going to be invited to join the Congress Party, seeing that he is a master of divide and rule?
Continue reading “How to Shrink India”

Swaggering Imbeciles

I have been reading and writing on the usenet for donkey’s years. It is a wonderful mine of information and an amazing sink of time. You could waste time like there is no tomorrow (or should that be the other way around?). Anyway, here is one gem from someone who writes under the pseudonym of Uncle Al.


Newly educated and semi-educated classes – social or intellectual – seek positions in government bureaucracies or social advocacy rather than in industry and commerce where competence is inarguably measured at the end of every business quarter. The growth of bureaucracies needed to absorb these swaggering imbeciles is precisely opposed to society’s growth and development both as direct philosophical enemy and as infinitely hungry sump to resources otherwise needed to support productive endeavors.

I like his expression swaggering imbeciles. Reminds me of the idiot politicians of India, especially the ruling dynasty.

On Being Ruled by Toads

When I was growing up in Nagpur, I had a friend who used to proclaim “India is ruled by toads” whenever we discussed India’s politicians. Being called a toad was the worst insult we could come up with. He later joined the Indian Police Service, worked in Mumbai as a Deputy Commissioner of Police, and was killed in the line of duty. He was one of the most decent human beings I have ever had the good fortune to know.

What brought all this to mind was an item about misbehaving politicians that reader “Ad” pointed out.

About a dozen Maharashtra ministers, 30 legislators and many top bureaucrats prevented a Nagpur-bound Jet Airways flight from taking off from Mumbai airport on Monday. Reason: the aircraft’s air-conditioner was not working.

Only one of the two airconditioning systems was functioning, it appears. It is a temporary inconvenience definitely not life-threatening. The crew is allowed to operate the flight because it meets the “Minimum Equipment List”. In any event, once the aircraft is in flight, one airconditioner is sufficient. This was explained to them but they “trooped into the cockpit” and one even tried to open an exit while the plane was in taxiing.

An aircraft delayed by a couple of hours and about a hundred passengers inconvenienced is not a really big deal. Or is it? Think about the fact that aircrafts are used throughout the day. The delay of the flight ripples through the system and all subsequent flights involving that aircraft are delayed. Thousands of people are directly affected. Many more multiples are indirectly affected. When a passenger arrives about 2 hours late, perhaps a meeting is missed, or a connection to another flight is missed. The initial disturbance has second and third order effects.

The politicians of India see themselves as the kings and they regard the citizens as their subjects and the country as their fiefdom. These people place themselves above the law. They are a law unto themselves. They are not answerable to anyone, except to their overlords who are the party chiefs. They go around in cars with red flashing lights on the top. When they travel on roads, seeing the red lights, police clear the streets. The citizens wait for these red-light-on-top cars to pass by. “The toads rush by”, as my friend would have said.

India is as I have maintained before a cargo-cult democracy. Centuries of being ruled by foreigners creates a culture of servility and powerlessness that is hard to overcome. In a strict sense, Indians deserve to be ruled by toads because they “elect” to be ruled by toads. Being ruled by toads has the ripple effect that finally culminates in an abjectly poor country that is euphemistically referred to as a “developing economy.”

Comment: Sonal Vaidya writes:

Reading your post “On Being Ruled by Toads” I wonder what do you think should happen to change the situation? Will India be always exploited by the corrupt power mongers? May be a revolution is a solution.

Raj Waghray writes:

What is worse is that these old senile toads(?) are now talking out of turn outside India and that too on issues as critical as our security.

Natwar’s N-speak Baffles New Delhi

Whom the Gods wish to Destroy they first make mad

Ever wondered why exactly India is an astoundingly poor overpopulated illiterate starving nation of a billion people? I do. It need not be one specific reason of course. It could be a combination of several factors. For instance, it could be due to divine decree: the gods said that India should be pathetically poor. Can’t argue with that if the gods indeed decreed it. Or it could be that aliens from Mars conspired to make India what it is. Or it could be that foreign powers and their evil agents make India poor. My favorite theory which explains why India is poor is this: plain old ignorance and stupidity.

When the degree of ignorance and stupidity exceeds a certain threshold, it slides into madness. And as Euripides warned long ago, whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. Whether or not Indian leaders have gone mad is a question that I leave for you to decide. The future of India pivots on that point. My conclusion is that madness has taken a firm hold on the leadership of India and the consequences are foretold.

Tim Worstall took the trouble of pointing me to yet another sign that the future of India is in peril. Read and weep for the beloved country.

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