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Its Valentines Day Again!

Published February 13, 2017 by vishalvkale


The Big Day is here again, at least if we are to believe some segments of our population. This day is one shining example of Marketing & of Western Culture and its pull in our society. There are some who may hold that this Big Day is only a marketing tool; then there are those who may hold that this is the perfect example of the pull of the West… maybe, just maybe, both sides are right! What is this Big Day I am talking, or rather, to read the minds of those who avidly follow it – as they will say to this post of mine, jabbering about?  Well, it so happens that I am Jabbering On About VALENTINE’S DAY

THE HISTORY
Just what is this day? What does it signify? And on earth do I have to set aside this day as an expression of love? What makes it so special? Let us look at it, and try and understand. As per website History.com, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day in the 5th Century!  To quote infoplease website, The holiday’s roots are in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day circa 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day. And wiki states : It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus. In fact, the entire wiki article is a series of events associated with Christianity

When did this become as big as it has in India? I certainly don’t remember it being as big an affair in my school days in the 80s! Wiki helps here : Following the economic liberalisation in the early 1990s, a new middle class emerged who could afford access to foreign TV channels and card shops. Valentine’s Day became popular among this middle class, but not much in the lower economics classes. So, I did a little bit more searching in my hunt for an answer, and found these two rather hard-hitting articles

Lately all of us must have come across those pop-up windows on our screens with roses and hearts drawn all over and a message informing about various ways – deals, to be precise— to express your love on Valentine’s Day. Was the scenario same 10 years back? No it wasn’t. At that time, only teenagers would secretly greet their beloved with a rose, probably stolen from the neighbours’ garden. – . Advertising Age, Feb 12th, 2016. This article details a lot more, but that is not our current concern; either is the size of the market, which, by an article I spotted on retail.franchiseindia.com, is around 22,000 Cr by some estimates – Article dated Feb 12th 2015.

CULTURE
A couple of questions here : Why are we celebrating this at all? I am fine  with setting days for events – if a day can help and be an aid to expressing love, I certainly don’t see it as an issue. But where is the relevance to Indian Culture here? This is far too clearly a purely imported concept, even without the religious background stated above. And if we do want to have a marketing gimmick-based celebration of love, where is the need to go for imported examples? Cant we find real Indian examples of love from our ancient past, and from any number of religions based here?

Why this surprising chase of a western concept with zero relevance to our culture? This has zero basis in fact, or seasons, or our culture, or even our modern history {let alone pre-modern or medieval or ancient history, I am talking of just 15-20 years here!}; this has zero connect with anything, except The West, and Marketing – pure and simple. I stated above I am not against marketing; but why do we Indians need to chase alien culture, when our own culture is full of days and dates that can be excellent substitutes for a celebration of love? Why are we chasing a chimera?

I see everyone and his uncle celebrating an essentially alien festival, alien to our culture at least; wishing etc – now why on earth do you need a day that commemorates something with zero Indian relevance is beyond me! What is sadder still is the fact that some people would not recognize our festivals if they jumped up in front of them, yet go ape over this Valentine’s day! You want to show your love on a day that has no religious connect? Then be informed that Valentine’s day is a Christian Festival. You want to show your love on a day, and you require a day for that – may I suggest your anniversary? Your love’s Birthday? Or any number of other occasions? Why go ape over this non-event?

MARKETING
To marketers, my hearty congratulations on building a completely useless day into something substantial in India; this should be a real live case study in all Management Schools in India. Well done, well done indeed! Now my question to you, all of you : explain to me, a corporate guy like you, why this same cant have been done as successfully for an Indian themed day? We have innumerable days for your choice, religious as well as otherwise! And yet, you forget all of that and chase after a Western day? Is that the best you can do? I have seen your quality in this case study, as well as other awesome case studies that are models of marketing; you have the skills; how about using those skills to good effect and create hype around an Indian Day?

You create a {shudder!} 22,000 Crore market around a totally alien concept; I am pretty sure you can do the same for others as well. Other examples abound : Friendship Day, remember? Unlike other critics, I don’t blame marketers – you cannot create a need, a want; you can only identify and tap into latent demand. If marketers could create demand, well, I need not say anymore than that! Life would be different to all of us.

BUT, and this is a BIG but, if you can identify and tap latent demand for something so alien, so frivolous as this, I am pretty sure you can do the same for other events as well. It is just a question of finding the right trends, and building on them. How about doing something Indian for a change – like the excellent one around Akshay Tritiya? Unless you {we?} as a profession regard Valentine’s Day as Indian, which is frankly a ridiculous idea, given I have no recollection of celebrations on this scale in my childhood – despite this being a Christian Festival, and I being educated in a CONVENT! QED…

References : 

ze: 21.3333px; text-align: justify;”>This is a realisation that came to me hard when I was doing my habitual morning reading of The Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta; my thoughts on my learnings of two verses are tabulated below. 


BE PRACTICAL, MY FRIEND – DON’T CHANGE THE WORLD
Don’t try to change the world… Change Yourself…
The headline of this article says it all; this is the most common rejoinder people get when they try to set an example, with one single refrain – aap duniya nahi badal sakte; be practical, this is the way it is, and many other variations along this theme. Hidden in this lovely gem of a statement, this remarkably ignorant statement is a litany of problems, all of which hover around one single tragic theme in our society today. Some critics of this habit call it apathy, some selfishness, some a lack of confidence while some others blame it on the prevalent atmosphere. 
CHANGE AGENTS
There are two aspects or parameters to this, in my humble view; the first is ideological, and thoroughly idealistic in both its intent and its wording. Simply put – if everyone thinks along these lines, then, ladies and gentlemen, the simple reality is that nothing will ever change in any aspect of human endeavour, be it society or be it science. Change is a constant, and it is the change agents who bring about that change. By discouraging the change agents, you can only delay the change, with all its attendant effects good as well as bad– not cancel the change
In any field of human endeavour, it has been the change agents who have brought about defining change, despite the fact that they were all, without exception, ridiculed and even called fools, to put it bluntly.  There is no change agent I am aware of who did not have to struggle to get the change in place. Even top scientists & famous leaders had to struggle, read their biographies. The choice is between selfish faceless mediocrity, and selfless service! And it is also a fact that only a small number of people from these change agents actually succeed – but isn’t the norm in any field, where success percentage is actually always a small fraction?
But the fact is that, as any biography will readily confirm, the successful change agents build on a series of previous change efforts put in my innumerable nameless and faceless people. That is why it is absolutely essential to continue to swim against the tide in a defined moral and/or scientific direction – you may not succeed, but you and countless others might {will?) become the cause of someone who does manage to succeed. This is true for any field of activity – Science, Trade, Society – any human activity. It takes uncommon courage to go against the tide – and my advise to those who do so is that you are special, a person of raw courage and guts. Never ever give up!
LEADERS
The others aspect is the one of leadership. Now we define leaders as business leaders, political leaders  etc – I am not referring to these. I am referring to any leader, which  includes the above and many more – society leaders, opinion leaders, role-models, teachers, etc. Anyone who leads or influences even one person is a leader. It is a known philosophical as well as scientifically established reality that people try to follow and emulate those whom they see as leaders. I refer you to this verse from our Holy Book, The Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta, Chapter 3 Verses 20 & 21 :
कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादय: |
लोकसंग्रहमेवापि सम्पश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि || 20||
यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जन: |
यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते || 21||
By performing their prescribed duties, King Janak and others attained perfection. You should also perform your work to set an example for the good of the world. Whatever actions great persons perform, common people follow. Whatever standards they set, all the world pursues. Leaders of society thus have a moral responsibility to set lofty examples for inspiring the rest of the population by their words, deeds, and character. When noble leaders are in the forefront, the rest of society naturally gets uplifted in morality, selflessness, and spiritual strength.
I have given in the links below 4-6 commentaries; please go through them. They all talk of the same interpretation, and the role of leaders in forming societal values and norms. And this what the holiest of our Sanaatan Dharmi books tell us, written thousands of years ago. My personal definition of the word leader in the societal context is thought leaders, intellectuals, journalists, writers, filmmakers and actors, political leaders, social leaders etc.
Do we demand these qualities of our leaders – any leader? Do we judge them on such or similar parameters – or do we judge them by their status in terms of power, achievements and wealth? Arent we, as a society, placing a premium on the means of achievement attainment rather than the methods and values? What message are we sending society, what role models are creating? In the modern world, we set store by money earned, goods acquired, power attained – not on the values portrayed…
The least we can do is stop ridiculing the tough hard fighters who are trying to bring about change for the good; no one is asking or forcing you to emulate them. Change, true lasting change, cannot be enforced; it has to be embibed. It is a chain, wherein you add people one-by-one; it is inherently slow in the initial phases until it acquires critical mass.
Even our Scriptures, as also science, says the same; leaders have to show an uncommonly high standard of moral behaviour in any and all aspects. The least we can and should do is not discourage people who have the strength of character to be upright in these trying times. And the most we can do – choose leaders basis moral values, which,  as things stand today, is frankly a tough call…  
Agreed with the world – be practical, my friend. Dont change the world, but then, no one is trying to change the world. But you can and should set a moral behavioural example for the world. Now that is doable, isnt it? 


LINKS:
The Eternal Duties of a Human Beings – Geeta 3/21
Geeta as it is 3-21  
Holy Bhagvad Geeta 3-20/21 

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Protectionism in Trade – Recent Developments Analysed

Published January 29, 2017 by vishalvkale

ENTER PROTECTIONISM!
Worldwide, the rise of so-called nascent protectionist tendencies has seen increasing focus in pink as well as white media; this is almost the flavor of the season. I don’t blame the media – the hyperbole emanating from society, social media as well as the political sphere justifies the focus on this theme. And so long as this focus causes an informed dialogue around this theme, it is a welcome development. We need a serious, informed debate in all Media around this tendency, or perceived tendency.
I say perceived tendency; this may sound counter-factual. But stop a minute, and think through – is it really counter-factual? I am not denying the trendlines increasingly visible the world over; all I am asking is to abandon hyperbole, and focus on the facts. Isnt it a fact, for us developing nations in general – and India in particular {given I am an Indian} – that protectionism emanating from the Western economies has always been the exception rather than the rule? It is only a difference of degree. Why is that degree important is the focus of this article.
First, let us hark back towards history, and consider a few examples from history. Let us start at the beginning – the 50s, when Steel Plant technology was denied to us on flimsy grounds by the USA. What was that? Wasn’t that politics mixed with protectionism? To some, this example may be debatable; to them, there are other examples that can be quoted : Recall the imbroglio over the AMS and Food Security? Solar Panels and Cells? Or Compulsory Licencing and Patent Rules? Preferential Market Access and Localisation Conditions?
Each of the examples above is a clear indication of a powerful western nation – {or nations, if you consider the Food Security issue at the WTO}  – protecting its turf, and very fiercely at that. Other examples readily spring to mind in various fields – IP rights in the Drug field is yet another very evocative example. This is the way of the world – and rather than cry about, let us accept it; and figure out how to fend for ourselves in the midst of these established tendencies.
There is nothing wrong with a globalised world; India thrived on free trade for over 4 millennia. But it takes on an entirely different hue altogether when a state, or a set of states, gang up on another, deny access to capital and/or technology on frankly flimsy grounds. It becomes almost a buccaneering loot {from our perspective} when you fight the ability of the state to provide for its own people as it may impact your profit lines. And that is precisely what the entire Farm Subsidy, Green House Gases, Pharmaceutical drug battles are all about.
WHAT HAS CHANGED?
I argue that nothing has changed, precisely nothing. What is in evidence is the mere continuance of the trendline I have pointed out above, with clear proof and precise examples. Why, then, are we seeing the updates, events, news and happenings that we noticing nowadays? This is what bears a closer examination, not the bugbear of so-called protectionism! What we call protectionism is simple Human Nature; no point crying about it. It is basic nature to protect your turf; it may not be fair – but this is the way it has always been since we entered Dvapar Yug!
What has changed is that rising prosperity in the developing nations, rising educational levels and favourable demographics combined with cheaper factors of production – especially labour – has led to two movements. First, an emigration of educated and/or talented people to the West, who come with significant economic benefits in terms of lower wages and a harder work ethic; and two – stagnancy in the West as compared to rising lifestyles & infrastructure in the East has bridged the gap somewhat, at least in pockets in some developing nations, leading to other factors getting highlighted.
These factors are, simply, first the markets, wherein the size has made them attractive; and better facilities and educated workers meaning a lower cost of production at a comparative quality. Obviously, in a finite system, if one side manages to attract capital through superior factors of production, it is going to fuel political, economic and cultural undercurrents in the other side. For, at least temporarily, and in some products – centers of jobs are going to shift, and a cultural & demographic change in worker profiles is going to happen in the target economies of the new world.
This, combined with the inability of these economies to create new jobs for the lost ones, and a high burden of social expenses by virtue of the freebies the population in these nations enjoys – creates a whirlpool. These factors taken together are bound to fuel short-term tensions and rises in protectionism. What can we do? Wait it out; hope for better sense – and play sound policies, that focus on the factors of production, making business easier – and consistently pointing out how these tectonic shifts in the past 2-3 decades have had benefits as well, even for the Developed World; that is a story that badly needs to be told, and not just in Indian Media – but in World Media. We have been focusing only on one side of the coin; has anyone systematically tried to point out the benefits flowing from these tectonic shifts that I pointed out above? It needs to be done, and now. 

Re-Examining Indian History

Published May 1, 2016 by vishalvkale

There is an urgent need for history to be re-written, at least in India, and the real story to be told of India and its past – glorious as well as otherwise, one that so-called educated Indians call Fiction, which is in reality pure fact. The deleterious impact of the bullshit being absorbed by our citizens is there for all to see, and needs an entirely independent discussion. But the need for a retelling is now more acute than ever, given the half-informed trends in evidence regarding partition as well as our Vedic Past.
Furthermore, the completely jaundiced and ridiculously one-sided view of India from the West { as well as our religious and political internalities} which tends to propagate  stereotypes and incorrect views and fears needs to be met head; firstly these have manifest real world problems that arise from them. Secondly, this one sided view going unchallenged in Academia as well as popular discourse gives an incorrect impression of us as a people, as well as potraying our approach in a very poor light. If we know it is inaccurate, why is there o attempt to meet it head on?
Large parts of our history is pure, unadulterated fiction. I can and have written articles on it; having studied more than 3 dozen authentic books on Indian History. Suffice it to say that large parts of what we call fact is nothing but fiction. A couple of examples to start the discussion going; one controversial, the other absolute.
1) When was Ashok Born : 300-400BC, or more than a thousand years earlier?{Controversial; but interesting nonetheless}
2) The British Eradicated Sati? {Pure, simple fiction and utter bullshit, provable fact}
Yes, in the process of this re-examination and retelling – there will be tall claims, or rather, to be more specific : seemingly tall claims, as for example, from the Hindutva Brigade; but these are vitally needed interventions, bringing our ancient literature into focus, leading to heightened interest. You have to churn the milk to get cream.
Further, how many of those who reject these tall claims have actually perused the scriptures? I too used to be highly skeptical; but after reading our scriptures, while I still dont entirely accept the Hindutva claims. I do now realise the prevalent western versions are nothing but nonsense; pure and unadulterated nonsense. Similar is the case with Independence, wherein the full reality, basis a deep 7-year research of my own, has taught me that the reality is simply too complicated to understand, and that the prevalent version is close on incomplete, with some versions being inaccurate
I am not talking about bias, or about personal impressions emanating from a retelling of history from a person’s viewpoint; I am specifically stating a word – Bullshit, and equally specifically underlining another – fiction. Let me prove it with an example :
The British outlawed Sati, and were responsible for its eradication – law of 1829. Why doesnt the same history talk of the law of 1813, which clearly legalised Sati? That made the British the only rulers in the past 400+ years to have legalised it. Why doesnt the history talk of this significant factor? This is deliberate suppression of facts by the British.
Furthermore, the official record does not state that Raja Roy initially was against official intervention – even while vociferously campaigning against the barbarity. Neither does the record state the legalisation of sati in 1813. I wonder why? The official record makes no mention of a long list of anti-sati campaigners. Neither does it recognise that virtually every Mughal ruler had made strict laws against sati: including Aurangzeb. The first recorded law against this is by Humayun. That effectively puts paid to the “British ercadicated sati” claim. They didnt; it was the result of a centuries-long battle against this social evil directed and campaigned purely by Indians. That is what the entire record shows. So much for the much tom-tommed british claim of sati eradication!
The proof? Simple. These are the precise numbers – documented numbers – of sati cases around 1810-1840. These records very effectively destroy any such claim even without the lecture above. Between 1815 and 1828, 63% of all recorded acts of sati took place in CalcuttaIn 1824, of the 250000 women who became widows, 600 underwent sati.  In Varanasi, there were only 125 cases in 9 years from 1820.
The British exaggerated it enormously; there is evidence of this. This was since it could be used to justify their rule over us “heathens”. William Carey, the great reformer, wrote : “For the first time during 20 centuries… the waters of the Ganges flowed unblooded to the seas”. It is impossible that the British were not aware of the precise numbers: these figures are from their own records!
The controversial point – The Pauranic records list an entire 150 generation of kingsm which includes Devanampiya Piyadassi – or Ashok. A tracing of this lineage is at clear variance with the western dating 300-400 BC. Further, ancient historical records also do not agree, with one giving no mention of Kaling War as reason for conversion. Why is this never researched? Why are we dismissing this as myth? Who writes 150 generations of fictional kings, which happen to include several historically acknowledged characters?
More provable : Partition. Plenty of provable evidence now available of the reality, which is at complete variance with the stated record. Similarly 1857, Original records and eye witness account give a diametrically opposite story, that of a planned war. Why arent we told this? Why the silence on the 4 terrible British laws that lead to the worst known genocide in Human History, which we know nothing of? Those laws are on record in England! Why do we know nothing of what I call the Bengal Holocaust and its causes?
There is even evidence available that Babur may have been invited to India! There is evidence present of the internal economic structure and honesty of the people, and the overall atmosphere – which never reaches us, despite authentic proof being present of the wonder that was India. None of it reaches the Western books, which we all ape, through our own internal Macaulay’s Children here in India.I am not talking opinions, but authentic period evidence and writings and other proof.
We still believe in several fictional statements, and hang onto the belief instilled in us by The West and our own Macaulay’s Children; what is worse is that there is no attempt to start a genuine research of our own past. What if I make a statement that the pulsating universe theory is accurately told in our scriptures? I will be branded a fool, or a fundamentalist, or both.
My humble submission – there is actually a specific reference to the origins of the universe in the Upanishads that has uncanny resemblance with the Pulsating Universe Theory, which took the so-called great West umtpy ump billions of dollars investment. Sounds fantastic, doesnt it?
The problem is if we extrapolate the above to state that our ancestors knew the science behind it; there is no evidence that they either did, or didnt. That also does not mean you can deny the existence of the uncanny resemblance of the scriptural verses to the modern theories. Fact of the matter is that it is {they are} present, and was {were} penned several millennia ago.
This requires explanation, reasoned discourse and research, patience, a questioning attitude. What we get is a querulous attitude; impatience, either blind following and mirth-invoking claims or complete denial +superiority complex + taunts + disbelief. We need neither.
This refers not just to the Vedic example above, but to each and every point raised above. The Macaulays in India are currently in denial and mirth, when they should be researching, questionning and patient; the fans and followers are ballistic in their statements, when they should be mature, reasoned and patient. India needs a more reasoned and mature approach to the question of her own past, one that is based not on fiction and bullshit, but a reasoned argument, theory basis all known facts ,devoid of political intervention.

This post is a prelude to my next book review : Rearming Hinduism by Vamsee Juluri, wherein I will try and answer many questions raised above, namely – why don’t we try to meet these issues head on? Why do we accept the status quo as gospel? 

Make In India Explained, With Questions It Raises

Published October 5, 2015 by vishalvkale

Make In India is, and has been for a while now, the buzzword and the favourite of the Media and the educated public alike; little space has been shared for the realities, or what precisely MII entails. It almost sounds like a new dawn of manufacturing, with   the excitement and the euphoria this slogan has generated. That by itself is most welcome; if people in India are gung-ho about manufacturing, that is indeed welcome, and helps to seed entrepreneurial spirit. The problem is the word Euphoria; excitement is needed, and a catalyst, and perhaps what the Government desires.
The difficulty is the needless Euphoria around this term, which is almost a halo now. It almost sounds as if we have no manufacturing at all! We are ALREADY making in India, thank you very much. The challenge isnt Make In India : it is Create The Proper Conditions For Make Much More In India!
Take the Auto Compenents Sector, for example. It is dominated by the Small and Medium Companies, some – indeed most – hiring unskilled or semi-skilled labour of upto 10-20 people, producing end-products for some defined customers in a symbiotic relationship not only with other manufacturers, but also with traders and suppliers. In Mumbai alone I alone managed to find 1077 companies spanning auto components, springs, steel traders, kitchen appliances, bolts, nuts etc. More than 90% of these were small outfits, Isnt this Make in India?
In the Delhi – Ludhiana – Chandigarh – Haryana – Gurgaon corridoor I managed to locate some 736 companies making the above items. Ditto Hyderabad, Nashik, Chennai, Coimbatore, Pune, Nagpur. Most of them – nearly all – small companies. I visited one personally – a small company, well managed, but with less than 50 employees doing brisk business. Isnt this Make In India?
Make what In India, pray tell? Nuts? Bolts? Springs? Rack-and-Pinion arrangements? Wheels? Gears? Cars? ACs? Soaps? Biscuits? Curtains? Cloth? Shirts? Shoes? Motorcycles? Furniture? Make what? Dont we manufacture all these and more? And what happens to the current spring manufacturers and gear manufacturers, to take a small example? Not your large companies – I am referring to the multitude of small players that exist in the economy, in just about every industry – even soaps {Sanatan Soaps, for example}. And what of the current overcapacity? What happens to their product lines? Where are the specifics? Make in India for whom and which market?
Make In India wont just happen; you will have to deal with the issues. Companies are facing a credit crunch, with working capital loans hard to come by. There order books are ether stretched due to lack of timely raw material, as old outstanding to suppliers are not coming through due to supply chain issues further down the chain. Or their order books are vacant, as companies close down.
I myself have talked to several promoters who have closed their units, There are massive infrastructure issues, skill issues, access problems, market access issues, raw material issues, productivity and work habit issues that need sorting, to say nothing of the market and economic structure related points that we have inherited!
Where are the changes that enable lending to companies, for another small examples? Why is the credit offtake on a decline from the banks? Where are the measures dealing with these systemic challenges that will have to dealt with? Like the challenge at our filled-to-capacity container terminals at various ports? The roads and rail infrastructure that will carry the goods from one place to another? Make In India, when it takes days just to send material from one state to another, requiring documentation across states? When the vehicle takes 3 days just to traverse 400 kilometers, sometimes even lesser distances? These matters, and more, are known factors; that begets the question, what then, is Make In India about? When we have extensive manufacturing industrial units in India in every industry, what is this Make In India?
Primarily, MII is targeted at the Western Audience, not an internal audience, with two clear purposes in mind :
* Attraction of Foreign Direct Investment, as opposed to portfolio investments or Financial Institutional Investors. The budget does not have much fiscal space which can give the Government room to manoeuvre; so they seem to feel that this is an easy way out of the quandary. Every step the Government has taken is in line with this objective in mind. Whether or not this is actually the case : fiscal room – is another matter, and opens up a pandora’s box; one which we will perforce have to open if we are to really understand the MII plan in its entirety.
* Build India as a major stop on the Global Supply Chain,with a secondary target of Job Creation, spurring investments and building economic growth
There it is, in a nutshell. If and when it succeeds – it has the potential to turn Indian fortunes.
The target of the Global Stop for India might be laudable – but is premature in the extreme, as Arvind Kejriwal has rightly been at pains to point out, as also any number of other critics of this plan. This cannot happen without giving proper education, and proper health facilities – for who will work in those nice new swank factories? Large numbers of the population automatically stand excluded due to this problem. I pointed this out last year in 3 separate articles, and am certainly not the only one to do so. What is being done to address the other, and far more important point of this MII Plan?
For the plan to spread inclusive growth, employment opportunities have to be shared by all sections of the population – and that can only happen with a focus on education. Do we have such a focus? Far too obviously, we don’t have even a tiny fraction of the focus on education on a national level {I am talking of you and me, not the government}. That is actually not in argument. There is no focus on Education  – not in our minds, not in our Media, which goes gaga over the smallest development related to Make in India, summarily ignoring the questions that emanate from this plan!
Point to be noted is that expenditure on education remains abysmally low; funds have been marked to the states, with increased devolution of central revenue. This has apparently happened without a clearly elucidated guideline to the states for proper utilization of these excess funds. Read the RBI status report on the finances of the states for more, both the good and the bad. If there is a guideline, it is not in my notice.
In the absence of such a guideline, there is no guarantee that these excess funds will go towards education and health, which are a pre-requisite for manufacturing. You need humans to work in your factories – and you need to ensure that benefits from industrialisation flow to the local population, so that resistance to other moves comes down. This is manifest in its absence, as is evident from the nationwide strident objection to the Land Bill.
You also need infrastructure – which means Land again. This wont happen fully without the above, and a reduction of corruption and increase in governance efficiency. The list of sordid tales arising out of Land Acquisition in India is long; and in vivid public memory. Unless these reforms are initiated, MII wont take off. Not for a long time. And, if it does, {which is quite possible, frankly} – the rate of spread of its benefits to all economic classes of society will be very slow, leading to further income disparities, increasing inequality in income alongwith all it entails.
And therein lies the problem.
This isn’t all; there is far more to it than meets the eye. Stop for a moment and think : you are introducing {or trying to} large facilities by directed planning, into an economy populated by Small and Marginal Manufacturers with distributed manufacturing facilities on a micro, small and medium scale, characterised by exceedingly complex holding patterns and ownerships meant to circumnavigate the complex historical laws governing the industrial sector.
Any industry requires ancillaries.This means investments by second and third tier manufacturers, who have serious issues accessing institutional credit, and do not have either the experience or the cash to do it on their own, or indeed the knowledge. Those who do have scale and money, cannot take advantage due to distributed ownership patterns and other reasons. The mode of large numbers of transactions remains cash. This also raises issues for security for employees, as one of the entry strategies is far too obviously JVs or take-overs of existing facilities.
Again, lack of clarity governs. This highlights the attendant reforms that are needed : corruption on a war footing, reform of the banking system. To be completely fair, some of these steps are either being contemplated, or are being started by Dr Rajan and the RBI. But that is limited to the Banking System, not corruption. Further, credit delivery and other things need both, not just one aspect.
Thus, in conclusion, while MII is an excellent plan, our India needs answers to the many questions it raises : namely Infrastructure, Corruption, Systemic Reform, Education, Health, Environment. While we Indians are euphoric about the the possibilities of this plan, the tragically comic aspect of this euphoria is the complete and utter neglect of the need for systemic reform required in the aspects noted above in the public imagination. The Government may or may not be doing anything : that is immaterial.

We, the people, just don’t seem to care about these basics. Quite frankly, we just don’t care. If we did, we would not be euphoric, but only cautiously optimistic, and be asking the Government to give more attention to Education, Health, Corruption Eradication, Environment etc. Judging from the amount of media and social media hype around MII, it seems a fair conclusion : we just don’t care…

Developing A National Narrative – 1 : Self-Belief and National Dreams in Foreign Policy

Published September 17, 2015 by vishalvkale

Why cant we, as a nation, develop a self-confidence in our own ability, back ourselves, realize our own power and back it to the hilt? In recent times, there has been one indication – when in the negotiations on trade when India stood firm over food security, against the entire world – which was an indication of our power and the strength of our resolve as well as our reputation. And yet, this confidence is at times absent in our strategic and economic thinking at an individual level, when we tend to idolize over relations and closeness to one nation or the other, usually the USA.
Let us study this in the context of and  the example of the USA, for the simple reason that it is the most powerful pull for some Indians. The increasing tendency of us Indians to go ballistic over  the USA, and our relationship with them needs highlighting; there is no need whatsoever to treat the USA with kid gloves; high time we took it on head-on; the structure of the Global Economy will ensure that the business comes to us, provided we manage our own economy well enough. If we just strengthen ourselves, just focus on that point : nothing else is required vis-a-vis the USA
DREAMS OF PARTNERSHIP
The main problem with the USA is that there is a manifest tendency, overt and in-your-face, of mixing stragegic considerations with Business; and a complete abhorance of sharing technology, or partaking in investing locally. It might be, in fact, harmful if we were to come too close. They use business as a tool for strategic considerations, and cruelly, This is what an unbiased study of contemporay post-WW2 Indian History teaches us. History leaves no room for doubt; the USA has always used business as a strategic tool, in addition to caring little for mutual development.
I dont hate them, or get angry at them. The act of hating them or being angry at them reduces me to their level of childishness, churlishness, contemptible stupidity, and unconscionable acts of cruelty, selfishness and brutality. We have grown beyond that centuries ago as a people. India is the land where every religion was welcomed, no one was persecuted; we are the land that taught the world non-violence.
How can we go away from it? We are the ones who taught Vasudev Kutumbakam, dont forget that. Hating them {angry at them as well} as a people or as individuals implies my own inability to deal my emotions, control my thoughts for my own good; nothing good ever came of hate or anger. That is an established fact.
Coming back to the main point, that is why we should keep our distance from them, while simultaneously interacting with them, trading with then, cooperating with them for overall good of both sides. But at no point should we align with them : protection of our fierce independent spirit is and should be paramount. Even at the cost of GDP Growth and Strategic Considerations.
There can be no answer to the manifest truth that there are a veritable list of nations that have paid a heavy, heavy price for proximity with the USA in particular. Furthermore, there can be no doubt of the one-sided nature of their economic policies, be it Solar issues, Agriculture {AMS, as an example}, Climate, Carbon and many many other deep penetrating questions and issues that can be raised with oodles of proof.
Why are we dreaming of getting close to a people and a nation steeped in blood, with one-sided policies, which uses nations for own means, and has no qualms of openly lying? Why did they look the other way when Pakistan was going Nuclear? There is evidence that they may have started so before India. Why did the USA look the other way when Kashmir was flooded with Pakistani Arms and people? I could go on and on… but that would be over-kill
DEVELOPING OUR OWN NARRATIVE
It isnt a question of trusting blindly; it is a hard-core question of dealing with the public perception and craze for an overt pro-USA stance, despite there being a veritable encyclopaedia of questions, hindering factors and objections to a closer relationship with the USA. None of us here is in a position to impact policy {thankfully! speaking for self, at least}; but we are in a position to influence readers. Therefore, it is essential that we anaylse fully and properly, so that the public realises the major downsides of an overt shift towards the USA.
There is an increasing tendency to gloss over the negative in the Media on some of the more significant problem areas in this relationship, which is in fact neither strategic nor a partnership – when analysed fully along Strategic, Economic, Political, Cultural, Social and People-to-People parameters. The last factor aside, we have nothing in common. The need of the hour is a change in narrative in our Media {which admittedly does highlight the problems fully, to its credit} – to a more independent, analytical and developmental tone, rather than reportage. But that is another story.
Even on the Economic front, the indispensability of the USA is a highly debatable assumption; with the strong emergence of EU as a trade block, the emergence of strong relationships in trade in ASEAN, SAARC, Pacific Rim etc are opening avenues of trade that have yet to by fully exploited. By our manic chasing of the mirage of a good relationship with the USA, we might just be ignoring other more promising areas and relationships, as well as screwing up current and existing relationships.
There is no sense in getting into a relationship with a new partner if it destroys or threatens your existing relationships. It is also a mirage, as we do not possess the needed clout to be more relevant to the USA than China, Pakistan and Russia. Strategic, Economic and Trade factors preclude that assumption and possibility. We are chasing a mirage, and probably getting used in the bargain. Rather than go ballistic on pro-USA, it would be far better for us to build a working relationship with China, and take the Russian partnership deeper. My fear : we are being used, just like a whole list of other nations. Note the deeds of our so-called friend the USA, not its words, Words are cheap, and a dime-a-dozen.
And their deeds consistently speak only one language, and it isnt the language of a strategic partnership. That is a fact, and any number of irrefutable supporting evidences of this can be produced, at length, and in detail. Get access to the full reports, and you can write a book on the areas of concern.
Read the signs : The world is moving AWAY from the USA in Trade and Economics at least. The emergence of regional trade blocks, regional power centers, regional agreements, bilateral relationships and agreement, consolidation of some major markets into one bloc and their consequent re-emergence are all the lead indicators that the era of the USA is over. Why are we chasing a has been? Because it is a military might?
The movements in the money markets on the global scenario, especially in the the background of then QE steps, and the consequent clarion calls by bankers from emerging markets for the USA to show caution and concern for other nations’ issues is yet another lead indicator of the collapse of the henemonistic rule of the USA. It is being openly challenged in each and every forum of international discourse, and rightfully so.
The rule of the Dollar is now being openly challenged; the development of the ADB is yet another factor that is pointing to the demise of the hegemonistic pro-western rule. The world order is changing, and rapidly. And to be a leader, the only way forward is to read the signs, take the mantle of leadership into unknown areas and regions, rather than follow the beaten patth – one that has always led to problems for us.
Militarily, its power is a factor – yes; but even there, it is highly debatable whether they will get support from anyone except is Parent the UK. Separate issue that the UK is itself collapsing. Especially so after Iraq; it will never get support in anything for some time to come, if ever. Why are we saluting a power that is falling – especially since it has never done anything in India’s favour?
We arent just anyone; we are India. The oldest living civilization, the cradle of society and life for 9500 years of uninterrupted societal and stable life as per documented scientific evidence; A nation of 1.27 Billion; One of the largest economies in the world; a record of stable political and economic performance, the many challenges notwithstanding; A fast growing military clout with a well-deserved reputation of balanced non-interfering use of power; an acknowledged soft power; a scientific establishment that has won the world’s respect – its shortcomings notwithstanding; a reputation for peace and stability internally and externally; a reputation for complete dependability;
Few nations, IMHO, can match this. The first point alone is enough; nothing more needs be said. We taught the world how to live; this may sound emotional drivel – but is completely practical, if properly used. And, in the modern world, it is yet again India which has proven its stability and advancement, even as large sections of the planet implode.
If you add all the other points, it makes for an irrefutable case : let us start a new narrative, a narrative of an India that is very different from the narrative in the people’s minds. The lead developments indicated above have extensive Indian steps and policies in place in most cases; the need of the hour is a re-calibration of our internal responses and thought processes – a change to one of self-confidence. Not for us the ballistic response when any US President visits; can we dream of a day when that will be a non-event? A day when Indians don’t place inordinate emphasis on one dream, and calibrate their responses basis facts and not dreams?
Let us hope so…

Make My Blog WIN for BlogAdda Awards


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Reparations and Neo-Colonialism

Published August 12, 2015 by vishalvkale

The current narrative around reparations is that of ignoring it, focusing on our own development, and blaming ourselves {blaming ourselves is something I look at in future articles}. It is considered a sign of weakness by some, and is generally regarded as impractical by most Indians. In the previous article – { http://reflectionsvvk.blogspot.in/2015/07/retribution-reparation-and-colonialism.html} we had looked at neo-colonialism, and had concluded with the following questions :

Why should we ask for compensation? How should we go about it? What form should this compensation take? What are the strategic repercussions or alternatives, and what are our internal pressures and realities? How is colonialism not yet dead? This is what I look at in this article
WHY DEMAND COMPENSATION?
For understanding that, let us take a look at two current parameters – the current geopolitical situation to make a current point – not one placed in the historical damage; and the concept of Neo-Colonialism or Colonialism 2.0.  

Country A gives weapons and training to country B to instigate violence in Country C because of enmity of Country A with Country D. Now things get interesting. Country B uses these weapons, gives them to its own people to go into Country E and kill civilians. {E is nowhere in the picture from start to finish. Btw – E is India}. A knows that B is killing civilians in E, and ignores this.  


That is being human? Or is this being an Animal? If this is humanity, the definition of both civilised, civilisation and humanity needs changing in all dictionaries. Or take what happened in Iraq, Or take 1971, and almost a million of dead & refugees were ignored by the Great West because of an approach to China {
http://reflectionsvvk.blogspot.in/2013/10/book-review-blood-telegram-indias.html}. Or any other hot-spot in the world.


More to the point, it can be readily seen that this current geo-political construct is the outcome of the colonial past and the world order that emerged out of the past. Not only that, it also proves that we are still paying for the Colonial experience in current and practical terms : for the blind support to Country B at the expense of Country E is a direct outcome of The Second Great European War {So-Called WW2}, as the historical record proves {taken up on my blog with proof elsewhere}

In point of fact, all I am really asking is for Humans to become Humans again, not Animals. And for that to happen – you have no option but to opt for a higher objective, a nobler objective; howsoever outlandish it may seem at the current point in time. This seemingly noble and Gandhian statement has at its core a set of eminently practical parameters arising out of real-world issues and problems with a series of current repercussions. Basis current evidence, this is not happening : we are all of us, adamant on “moving on”!
But that observation yet again points to our pusillanimous subservience to The West : why else do we keep silent when their organisations scream Human Rights Violations in The East? The worst violators of Human Rights are the Western Nations themselves – this isnt even in debate! Any point, any way you look at it – high time we of the Orient, specifically Indians, started calling a spade a spade! But no, just the pusillanimous silence! And this silence and silent acceptance leads to serious issues for us as a people… that is also beyond debate!

Or we can also look at the Economic and Trade aspect: Colonialism 2.0 or Neo-Colonialism. Be it trade, economics, culture – any field; why this western universalist viewpoint? Why cant people just accept the differences and learn to live with them? And why is it so much of a problem if somone in the East tries and corrects the problem, at times going overboard in the other direction – RSS, as an excellent example? Why must we toe the obviously incorrect western created narrative?

That mindset is the core issue here – West can pay damages to the West, and no one says a word. But the East isnt even thinkingof asking damages from the West, and looking inward instead. Why? The international system dictates so is one reason – western created, by the way. If we are to realise our dreams of being developed, this mindset has to go; we have to believe in ourselves, our culture, our history, our heritage, our lifestyle – everything. Apeing only creates – …..

Apes. Not tigers. It is for us to decide – are we Apes, or are we Tigers? We claim to be tigers, but behave like apes! And tigers make their own path… unless we make our own path, we will remain Apes. And be regarded as such. Tigers listen to no one; once a Tiger, always a Tiger.
NEO-COLONIALISM : THE UGLY REALITY
Next, the former colonial masters. Will they give it back? Willingly, they wont. Does that mean we put our tail between our legs and slink away beaten? Why were other nations made to pay reparations? Because the losers were Europeans? Why does the same principle not apply to India? Just because of some ludicrous stupidity that Germany lost a war? Germany is but one example, what matters is our own reality, history, justice and needs.



What about current trade policies, which are manifestly pro-western, and designed to benefit The West at the cost of the East? Why should we be forced to cut Carbon Emissions – whereas facts clearly who is damaging the Earth to what extent as just one example? Thus, we are subsidising the Western lifestyle, paying through our nose? What is different? This is rape in a different form! Ditto IPRs on pharmaceuticals, and innumerable other examples? Like the nonsense on AMS, or our food security – for which we had to fight tooth and nail against those fell-fed and rich nations? {The food security thing may be good for us, or bad, That is beside the point}


Any which way you look at it, Colonialism is alive and well. Look at the UN. Look at Arms to Pakistan. Why do we need to spend on fighting on our borders so much? Why should be have to fight terror in our own backyard? Because these  westerners looked the other way and gave free arms to Pakistan. That is a fact! There is a British former PM on record saying we should have listened to India. Indian Blood was worse than mud then, and as I see it, it still counts less than mud in 2015. Had it been otherwise, they would have stopped giving arms to Pakistan! We are still paying in blood and money, 67 years after independence!
What scares me is that we arent dealing with a race and a people known for intelligence; foresight and intelligence are not the hallmarks of The Western Civilization. We are dealing with a people with a defined and well-underscored penchant for total callousness, complete amorality, and in-your-face selfishness. This has been proven through the slavery and the colonial experience; problem is that the situation is still the same. They havent changed : witness what happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or to India in 1971, or through the 80s decades. Despite unquestionable evidence of the harm of their policies in terms of blood {To India}, they went ahead for their strategic gains. This continues till date.


That is indicative of extreme callousness and brutality of an unimaginable order. It is like I said – Indian blood is cheaper than mud to them. {Sorry for the bad words- but the lovely bullets you give to my cousin Pakistan are used to kill my brethren in India. Dont expect me to be delighted about it}. The saddest aspect is that some among us strive to reach precisely those shores and that civilization that harms India no end, but that is another story 
This is also evident in all economic policies of the developed world, which are, not to put too fine a point to it, reprehensible in the extreme. I recall one such statement : “we are standing up today for the rights of our domestic producers”. The incident alluded to above – and there are others  – indicates the complete unwillingness of the West to accommodate {let alone repay or adjust or apologise} genuine eastern needs, wants and developmental challenges. That is why I fear the repercussions that would be inevitable; therefore, I advise caution. We are dealing with established idiots and fools {It takes stupidity on quite a stupendous scale to do what these idiots have done in the past 250 years}.



It has to stop. Enough is enough. How do we do it? Fight them – and we lose. That is why we are willingly reducing Carbon Emissions, despite the manifest unfairness {as a small example}. It is our land, and we have to take care of it. Using underhanded tactics is also idiotic, as the West should have – but hasnt – learnt yet. We arent that stupid.

What then? Ask them to pay? They will never pay; not willingly. Had they been that intelligent, they would never have done any number of rank stupidities as is evident from History. {Shashi Tharoor has rightly ripped into the UK in a few short and blunt lines – The British were the only people stupid enough in history to make enemies of the Americans! I extend that to the entire West}. Had they been that smart, they would have read the situation that is arising, negotiated a mutual settlement. They didnt – and carried on into Neo Colonialism. The rest is history : itihaas gawaah hai!

What are we to do then?


The only logical answer : Khudi Ko Kar Buland Itna, Ke Upar Waalaa Khud Poochhe – Bataa Teri Razaa Kyaa Hai!… this is what I look at in the third and concluding article in this mini-series

Being Indian – 5 : National Narrative Versus National Ethos

Published August 1, 2015 by vishalvkale

Concluding part of the series “Being Indian” – previous part found here : Being Indian – 4 : The Ultimate Triumph Of The West



India is a land that, as all of like to repeat ad-nauseum, is known for its diversity as well as its unity both; in fact, Unity in Diversity is the justified by-line for our Nation, our national ethos,  that is what, essentially, India stands for, and our ethos, our culture is what we are exceedingly proud of. This unity rests on the unique Socio-Cultural fabric of our nation, which has been crafted out of several Millennia of inter-mingling, living together, interacting and even fighting together. While India the nation, the political unit, may be a relatively new construct – Hindustan, or Bharat or Hind is a concept as old as this land itself, as is borne out by the scores of period documents as well as in the writings of the visitors to this holy and blessed land.


But, if you dig deeper, one can easily spot a narrative that is at complete variance with this stated ethos, and many contradictory themes emanating from within this unified cultural milieu, many inconsistencies that critics use to label us as being not quite so unified – namely, the fervent desire of a small section of our society to become a Hindu Rashtra, or the entire language debate {to be taken up in an independent article}, or the imaginary oppression during the Muslim rule from around 1150AD, or the politically charged debate around Casteism.


It isn’t my objective to defend “Unity In Diversity”; I see no reason to be defensive about my lovely nation to anyone. If the non-Indian thinks otherwise, he or she is welcome to his or her several impressions. I think all of us know what India is, at the core – so why be defensive? It is far better to ensure that we make this holy land where we have been blessed with a human birth an even better and even more strong place than it was before. And doing that requires tackling the present inconsistencies, challenging them, setting the narrative right – and taking corrective action.


That we are defensive on the topic of India and Being Indian is easily seen and can be readily observed everywhere: from our unhealthy penchant of following NRI-PIOs abroad, highlighting their achievements. This can be seen in our pandering to Western standards, rather than setting our own cultural standards based on our culture; this can be seen in our sheepishness on seeing songs in Movies,  or even in our going gaga over Indian cultural fests abroad or in the ardent following of Temples and their events abroad.


At the core of this defensiveness lies a deep-seated inferiority complex, the roots of which lie deep in our past, and are now firmly entrenched in most people, which is a real tragedy. Why should we go gaga over the achievements of people living abroad, as a small example? These are people who chose another nation over India for their life; what is the message we are giving people? Why should we care overmuch if some Tom, Dick Or Harry makes it big in The UK or The USA? Don’t we have enough success stories in India? Cant a nation find success stories locally? Why is it that NRI-PIOs routinely make front page, whereas the local successes almost never feature in any news? If you cover both with equal vigour – that is fair; but if only is found newsworthy, then this is a manifest inferiority complex.


Similarly, why should we, as Indian Citizens, care about Temples and Hindus in The USA or The UK? Of what concern is it to us? Why should a Barack Obama Diwali party hold relevance for us? Why should we follow the growth of Sanaatan Dharm worldwide? Is our religion a proselytizing faith? If it isn’t – then why can’t we leave well enough alone? And why focus exclusively on The USA, The UK and developed countries? Why not trace the growth in outlying countries, Eastern countries, or African countries? Come to think of it, why don’t the success stories of the Indian Diaspora in other parts of the World become headline news, like the cases in the USA or the UK? Is this what Sanaatan Dharm teaches us? Or does it teach us something different? Is it the contention that only PIOs in the Developed World are successful? What are we displaying by this frankly idiotic behaviour?


On an equal note is the most disturbing trend of the slowly rising – but thankfully currently minor – scenario of the Hindu Rashtra; or the habit of some among us to regard Muslim rule as being worse than British Rule. I have dealt with this extensively earlier here : Being Indian – 3 : The 1000 Year Slavery ; so shall not elaborate. The sad disregard for and ignorance of the evil that happened during British Rule, and the complete inability of even our Media to tell the full story is the most enduring tragedy of Modern India. What is needed is a balance, a complete and truthful exposition of all that happened during both the periods – Muslims and British; such an examination is certain to knock the sails out of the 1000-year slavery myth.


This is what this Being Indian mini-series has been about, focusing on the present inconsistencies, trying to make the reader ask himself or herself some hard questions about what it means to Be Indian. Does Being Indian mean that you have to settle abroad? Does Being Indian mean you have to study and live here just to go away? Does Being Indian mean that you are a Sanaatan Dharmi? Then what about Dr Kalam, or Paramveer Abdul Hamid, or any number of other Muslims, Christians and Sikhs? Does Being Indian mean that you have to follow Western norms? Does Being Indian mean that, by contrast, perforce have to follow Indian norms? What does it mean to “Be Indian”? What is our national story, our national narrative, above and beyond the clichéd term “Unity in Diversity”? And do we, all of us, understand, display and believe in this narrative?


How many of us can identify a snap of Kalpana Chawla – and how many of us can recognize a snap of Paramveer Nirmaljeet Singh Sikhon?  I cant recognize the latter – and that is, perhaps, the worst possible comment on us as a people, and what we value. One person, {if some records and wikiis correct} quit Indian Citizenship for the US, and the other gave his life fighting to protect us. The US citizen’s face is plastered all over our Media, which doesn’t even care to look at Kailash Satyarthi {let alone someone from the past like The Great Nirmaljeet} till The Great West awards a prize, when we suddenly discover him! {God Bless Her, her achievements were tremendous indeed – but she wasn’t Indian, and I therefore take no pride or otherwise in her achievements. And not just for her : the same applies to any PIO. They aren’t Indians}


How many among us quote the ills of The Muslim Rule and the raids of Chengez Khan and Mahmud of Ghazni? And how many of among those know and quote of the 1857 Genocide, or the Bengal Holocaust, or the Famine of the 1760s which killed an estimated 30% of the population of Bengal? How many of us quote the Industrialised India of the 1600s and the 1700s? And how many among us quote and send messages on social media and whatsapp on the ills of that period? And how many of us quote the stories of the weavers, the potters and other products of India, and of the Merchant trade – and how many just reproduce verbatim the sporadic killings of that period?


What is the actual national narrative that we are displaying by such behaviour? Is it in keeping with what we perceive as our national ethos? Why do we ignore the real heroes of our nation – those who stay in India work in India, give their lives for India? And why do we ignore the full story of the past, and concentrate instead on one part story, which is by definition a biased approach? Why do we idolize ex-Indians or even NRIs who quit India, and ignore our heroes at home? Why do we chase after stories of Temples abroad – how is it important to us as Indians? Why do we place Western Culture on a pedestal – when our oft-quoted assimilative culture specifically equates all cultures as one? Why then cant we be accepting of our own identity, and be confident of our own selves? Why this manifest effort to be someone and something that is at complete variance with what we profess to be?


Therein lies the key – our professing to be one identity, and then belying it by displaying behavior that is the complete opposite. Unless we develop a national narrative that is in keeping with our national ethos, this dichotomous behavior will remain. Ethos means “the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its attitudes and aspirations”; while narrative means “A representation of a particular situation or process in such a way as to reflect or conform to an overarching set of aims or values”, or in short – A spoken or written account of connected events; a story.


In this series – Being Indian – I have attempted to look at some disturbing aspects of our national narrative that are not in consonance with our National Ethos – In simple terms, our behavior vis-à-vis our words at what we profess to value.  I have attempted to lay bare the inconsistencies; areas where we need to bring our narrative and our ethos into one… That is the subject of the next mini-series ; Developing a National Narrative