Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thoughts on FDI, Falling Rupee and associated Geopolitics

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FDI issue coupled with falling rupee, it is indeed an interesting phenomenon. The Euro zone appears to have played well, and UK is caught out in its bluff. But more importantly : several disturbing and historically era-changing pointers coming together. They are as follows.

A Chinese political meltdown within the party - with several internal feuds now taking on wider dimensions. City based nearly autonomous politics appears to be developing. Somewhat like the closing stages of USSR - regional-city party bosses transitioning to satrap status. The economic changes through urbanization-industrialization appears to be accelerating the process. The implications of reference 1 will be explained in greater detail towards end of this email. [1]

The Euro will tighten its belt. But it will tide over. More power to Germany and secondly to France. But UK may now take steps to try and see how to thwart this process. It is worthwhile to explore the model that UK serves now as a front for a global financical network [nearly transnational] - and such interests, through its widespread legacy of surviving connections and subnetworks from the imperialist phase throughout the world. In a crisis they are likely to desperately use any compromises to keep their high flying capital safe and grow - including religions such as islamism, limited wars, and other forms of national level subversion.  [2]

Ref 2 is extremely important speech given by polish president which will be remembered in annals of history where he literally called the bluff of UK. it also shows how comfortable poland is for first time in thousand years to be between russia and germany. There is a change in Poland how it views Germany and Russia. With Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine to the East of Poland, Polish fears of Russia have substantially winded down. Similarly after being incorporated within the EU, Polish fears of Germany have also calmed. Today thousands of Polish people are living and working in Germany and they feel at ease. 

This is not to say that the old rhetoric of World War 2 is fully gone. That probably never goes. Just see UK and France! Germany and Russia are now connected through a Gas Pipeline going under the Baltic Sea and are not dependent on other pipelines through Ukraine, etc. For the rest of traffic, transit, logistics, there is no problem in Europe. Nobody is going to stop people from traveling and goods from being transported. There are many land routes, and if they are for some reason blocked, there is always the sea route. Anglo-Americans have lost the influence they had a decade ago in Eastern Europe. Germany has been able to consolidate the region within the EU. 

Furthermore, Polish are also Catholics and not Eastern Orthodox! That has got a large effect on the overall perspective. Juxtapose the ban on Bhagvat Geeta in Russia happened yesterday in response to a PIL filed in russian high court backed by Eastern Orthodox Church of Russia (showing that ISKCON and hinduism is overall growing rather rapidly in Russia). One data pointer to keep in mind to guess about how India-Russia relations might turn up in coming decade.

Meanwhile apparently UK is not liking it that germany is again regaining the prominent position. here is the article from a pro UK paper whining about rise of german empire in melodramatic language. [3]

The Eurozone war has upended one millenia of European history by making Germany the sole European financial power. Bismarck and Hitler would be proud of Angela Merkel. the Eurozone debt crisis is a economic war between Anglo-Saxons and the Continentials (Germany and France). Hence UK has to be aloof. They were constant blockers of European integration for it negates their silly Balance of Power strategy played since the early 1700s War of Spanish Succession. BOP works when the opponents are divided. Once they unite they can show the door to the game players.

This particular video in Ref 4 is from BBC classic of 1970s Yes Minister was particularly popular on youtube. BBC has taken down this video from youtube and metacafe based on copyright issues. funny part is it was uploaded by BBC itself. shows how clueless has UK and the anglosaxon lobby has become. I found it on this obscure website by some other host. this video shows what I am speaking of in previous paragraph. [4]

So continental Europe has called UK's bluff. Scotland is talking of independence and joining Scandinavia union. [5]  

What is happening in anglo-saxon lobby of UK and USA?

well for starters, the hot topic middle-east:  

However this is just one part of it. Recent developments which I remember happened in past year vis-a-vis US and China are as following..

  • Up to six months back, US officials shuttled to China to urge it to appreciate Yuan.
  • China thought it has become a middle kingdom again and planned to expand rapidly with its reserves, even into Europe. It even talked some warmongering.
  • Unable to persuade China, rest of the world decided to devalue their currencies 20-30% against dollar, thus making Chinese exports costlier. (In Indian case there are no significant FII outflows, yet it gone from Rs. 44 to Rs. 54 in a short span of 4-5 months). Its better for the rest of the world to devalue themselves WRT to dollar, if China refuses to appreciate its Yuan.
  • To stop European conquest by PRC (marked by heir aggressive investment in Greek debt), Euro appreciated 20-30% so that investing in Euro is not that attractive (Yuan->Dollar->Euro).

Few Facts which materialized in recent history to Ponder are that 

  • Gold now ~$1580/Oz. Used to be ~$1800 a few months ago . 
  • Indian rupee devalued ~17% this year
  • Euro/$ peg still there
  • Euro market and US market still in doldrums
  • PRC cant consume what it makes

What this might lead to in coming few months? 

Please keep in mind the ref 1 about internal problems which china is facing in past few months. We do not get many data points about china's internal environment. Things may not be as rosy as they try to portray. 

Following is the game which anglo-saxon lobby of US-England might play in collusion of EU and docile Manmohan Singh Govt at helm of India. Given the military unpreparedness of India, she has no other option for next 15 years anyways. As mentioned other day, even if BJP comes to power, FDI in retail will not stop from happening. The percentage of good which the retail chains will acquire from India will be the key bone of contention. UPA is too liberal here, I wish and hope if NDA comes to power, they are more conservative and put the bar above 30% to 35%.

  • Continued unrest in China, due to loss of jobs and economic recession.
  • Some sort of protectionism in US and Europe through import quotas.
  • Partial collapse of WTO, thus making free trade unjust for the prospects of developing countries. This might already be in pipeline now as this particular reference hints at. If true, it is indeed alarming and the silence of Indian media on this issue is deafening. Are they incompetent or are they complicit? . [6]
  • Rupee range bound at 53-57, so that Indian IT companies will give flat 30% discount to US.
  • Once Rupee stabilizes around 53-57 range expect huge inflows FDI inflows in India in infrastructure and manufacturing, and there is as geopolitical angle to it (India giving them 20-30% discount at starting by Rupee depreciation).
  • FDI in retail will be cleared with backhand understanding that Western countries will move most of low manufacturing jobs from China to India. (the recent policy behavior of India in South African climate summit stalling the treaty which infringes upon the developing countries for pollution caused by west in past is also indicator. Do they really want the low cost manufacturing jobs to move from China to India? Will it convert India into another China with environmental problems? The tendency of US establishment find quick fix for the problems without looking for long term implications gives me shudders in spine)
  • Complete encirclement of China with careful balance of power, so that India or Japan cannot become military powers. This can be achieved by killing the R&D projects of ISRO and DRDO while forcing India to buy American war-toys. Japan is screwed for a decade anyways due to tsunami and Fukushima disaster.
  • Pakistan will be defanged and will be used as a low punching bag.
  • Continued stalemate in Middle East, thus keeping Turkey, GCC and Iran at bay.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Political Dipoles of Maratha Polity - Their horoscopes and life-patterns

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I was wondering about this fact. Why is that all Maratha stalwarts did not cross the age of 50?Hence I thought of compiling the Horoscopes of these Stalwarts. Although I do not understand much of astrology, may be few people who do, might come up with some explanation. Follow the links in red, in order to read more about the mentioned historical character.

The Reference for this material are two books - Raja ShivaChhatrapati by Babasaheb Purandare and Peshwe Gharanyacha Itihaas by Pramod Oak.

Shivaji Shahaji Bhonsle (Known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj)
Died - age 50

Lagna: Simha (Maghaa nakshatra)
Soorya: Kumbha (Purvabhadrapada Nakshatra) - 7th Bhaava
Chandra: Kanya (Hasta Nakshatra) - 2nd Bhaava
Mangal: Mithuna (Punarvasu nakshatra) - 11th Bhaava
Shani: Tulaa (Swaati Nakshatra) - 3rd Bhaava
Brihaspati: Kumbha (Dhanishtha Nakshatra) - 7th Bhaava
Raahu: Mithuna (Ardra Nakshatra) - 11th Bhaava
Ketu: Dhanu (Moola Nakshatra) - 5th Bhaava
Budha: Meena (Uttara nakshatra) -  8th Bhaava
Shukra: Mesha (ashwini nakshatra) - 9th Bhaava.

The Emergence of Political Dipoles in  Maratha - India

It seems that state and politics was always controlled by a team of two. This duo-pattern is interesting feature of Maratha history. Actions of one member of the duo is inexorably and severely influenced by other (both positively and negatively) and vice-versa. Hence while looking at performance of Kings and Peshwas one should examine the effect of this second-half. All these duos or dipoles emerged together on their "kaarmik stage", rose to power together, performed together and exited the stage together.

This pattern arises immediately after death of Shivaji Maharaj in 1680. This is seen from 1680 to 1857. First such inseparable duo emerged after death of Shivaji Maharaj. Sambhaji and his minister Kavi-Kalash was first of this series. They rose to prominence together after death of Shivaji Maharaj and were brutally murdered together by Aurangzeb in 1689. 

Thereafter, second dipole emerged under leadership of Rajaram Chhatrapati. Two of his generals led Marathas against Mughals. They were Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav. After exit of second dipole, third emerged immediately in form of Shahu and Balaji Vishwanath who rose and exited political scene together. 

Fourth dipole emerged after exit of third in form of Bajirao and Chimaji. They died and exited the scene in span of 1 year. Immediately afterwords, their sons Nanasaheb-Sadashivrao bhau were next set of dipoles. Interesting to note that Nanasaheb was more close to cousin Bhau than his own real brother Raghunathrao. Both of them rose, ruled and exited together (died 6 months apart).  

In antagonistic sense, Uncle Raghoba and Nephew Madhavrao-1 was a similar Duo. Uncle Raghoba rose to prominence 4 years before Madhavrao-1 rose to Prominence. Raghoba Exited the political scene and became utterly irrelevant 2 years after Madhavrao-1 left this world. After death of Madhavrao, Nana Phadnavis-Mahadaji Shinde emerged as next duo immediately after exit of Raghoba-Madhav dipole. Even they exited political scene together in span of 2 years after ruling India for 20 years. Finally during 1857, Nanasaheb-2 and Tatya Tope was such a duo to rise and exit together. 

Duo -1 : Sambhaji Bhonsle and Kavi Kalash - Ruled Maratha state (engaged in fight to death with Mughals under Aurangzeb) for 9 years (from 1680-1689)

Sambhaji Shivaji (Known as Sambhaji Maharaj)
Died - age 32

Not much known to me yet. What is known for sure is that He had Mesha Lagna (in Bharani) and Vrishchika Moon (In anuradha).

Duo - 2: Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav - They served under Chhatrapati Rajaram Bhonsle. They were so inexorably drawn to each other  and formed an inseparable team that they influenced the success and later bitter animosity after certain differences arose amongst them. They influenced the policies of Marathas and Resistance movement to Mughals for 7 years (from 1689 - 1696). The partnership ended with murder of Santaji. Dhanaji continued to play important role for a 14 years more.

Duo - 3: Chhatrapati Shahu (Son of Sambhaji) and Balaji Vishwanath - Ruled India for approx 10 years (1710-17120).

Political exit age of Shahu (in 1720 after Bajirao-1 took over office of Peshwa. Thereafter he preferred to remain a titular head) - 40
Death age - 75

Died  - age 58

Lagna: Simha
Sun: Simha - 1st Bhaava
Chandra: Makara - 6th Bhaava
Mangal: Simha - 1st Bhaava
Shani: Simha - 1st Bhaava
Brihaspati: Vrishchika - 4th Bhaava
Budha: Kanyaa - 2nd Bhaava
Shukra: Kanyaa - 2nd Bhaava
Raahu: Simha - 1st Bhaava
Ketu: Kumbha - 7th Bhaava.

Duo 4 - Bajirao-1 and Chimaji Appa - They ruled India for 20 years (1720 to 1740)

Peshwa Bajirao Ballal (Thorle (elder) Bajirao known as "Raau")
Died - age 40

Lagna: Kanyaa
Sun: Simha (Magha)- 12th house
Chandra: Kumbha (Shatataaraka) - 6th house
Mangal: Vrishchika (anuradha)- 3rd house
Brihaspati: Makara (Shravana Nakshatra) - 5th house - Retrogade
Shani: Kumbha (Shatataaraka) - 6th house - Retrogade
Budha: Kanya (hasta) - 1st hosue - Retrogade
Shukra: Simha (Uttara-faalguni) - Retrogde
Rahu: Simha (Magha) - 12th house
Ketu: Kumbha - 6th house

Conqueror of Vasai and younger brother of Bajirao-1. One who stabilized western coast of India against European and Abyssinian invaders. His victory of Vasai si strategically extremely event in history of India. Made Europeans in General and Portuguese in  particular a non-entity in Indian politics of western coastline until 1804. The credit of the fact that western coast did not suffer the fate of eastern coast single-handedly goes to Chimaji Appa and his ruthless campaign against Portuguese.

Death - age 35 

Lagna: Mesha
Sun: Mesha - 1st house
Chandra: Karkata - 4th house
Mangal: Mesha - 1st house
Brihaspati: Mesha - 1st house
Shani: Mesha - 1st house
Budha: Vrishabha - 2nd house
Shukra: Vrishabha - 2nd house
Rahu: Kanya - 6 house
Ketu: Meena - 12th house

Duo - 5 : Balaji Bajirao and Sadashivrao Chimaji - They ruled India for 20 years (1740 to 1761)

Peshwa Balaji Bajirao (Nanasaheb -1): Third great peshwa in line.
Death - age 40

Lagna: Simha
Sun: Dhanu - 5th house
Chandra: Vrishchika - 4th house
Mangal: Mesha - 9th house
Brihaspati: Vrishchika - 4th house
Shani: Vrishchika - 4th house
Budha: Vrishchika - 4th house
Shukra: Vrishchika - 4th house
Rahu: Mithuna - 11th house
Ketu: Dhanu - 5th hosue

Sadashivrao Chimaji (Known as Bhausaheb)- The hero and commander of Panipat campaign
Death - age 32

Lagna: Tulaa (Swati)
Sun: Karkata (Ashlesha) - 10th house
Chandra: Mesha (Ashwini) - 7th house
Mangal: Tula (Swati)- 1st house
Brihaspati: Karkata (Ashlesha) - 10th house
Shani: Kumbha (Purva-bhadrapada) - 5th house
Budha: Karkata (Punarvasu) - 10th house
Shukra: Simha (Purva-Falguni) - 11th house
Rahu: Makara (Uttarashadha) - 4th house
Ketu: Karkata (Punarvasu) - 10th house

Duo 6 - Madhavrao-1 and Raghunathrao (the antagonistic duo but equally intense) - This duo ruled India for 10 years (1761 - 1773)

Death - age 48

Lagna: Vrishabha
Sun: Simha - 4th house
Chandra: Makara - 9th house
Mangal: Tulaa - 6th house
Brihaspati: Dhanu - 8th house
Shani: Mesha - 12th house
Budha: kanya - 5th house
Shukra: Tulaa - 7th house
Rahu: Mesha - 12th house
Ketu: Tula - 6th house

Death - age 27

Lagna: Simha
Sun: Pisces - 8th house
Chandra: Simha - 1st house
Mangal: Makara - 6th house
Brihaspati: Dhanu - 5th house
Shani: Karkata - 12th house
Budha: Kanya - 2nd house
Shukra: Tulaa - 3th house
Rahu: Mesha - 9th house
Ketu: Tula -3rd house

Death - age 23

This is the period of Duo-7: Nana Phadnavis - Mahadaji Shinde partnership. Their horoscope details not available as of  yet. Duo-7 ruled India for 23 years (1773-1796).

Lagna: Karkata
Sun: Mesha - 10 house
Chandra: Karkata - 1st house
Mangal: Meena - 9th house
Brihaspati: Mesha - 10th house
Shani: Kanya - 3rd house
Budha: Meena - 9th house
Shukra: Meena - 9th house
Rahu: Kumbha - 8th house
Ketu: Simha - 2nd house

Peshwa Bajirao Raghunath (Son of Raghoba who ruined it all - Known as Palputa(Coward) Bajirao)
Death - age 65

Lagna: Simha
Sun: Simha - 1st house
Chandra: Makara - 6th house
Mangal: Simha - 1st house
Brihaspati: Vrishchika - 4th house
Shani: Simha - 1st house
Budha: Simha - 1st house
Shukra: Simha - 1st house
Rahu: Simha - 1st house
Ketu: Kumbha - 7th house

Duo 8 - Nanasaheb-2 and Tatya Tope - They did not rule India but planned and executed 1857.

Last Peshwa Dhondopant Bajirao (Known as Nanasaheb-2, the famous hero and freedom fighter Nana Sahib of 1857 war of independence) - Adopted son of coward Bajirao-2. His "Jodidaar" was Tatya Tope. 

Death - age 34 (In 1858)
Death age of Tatya Tope - 44 (in 1858)

Lagna: Makara
Sun: Vrishabha - 5th house
Chandra: Vrishabha - 5th house
Mangal: Vrishabha - 5th house
Brihaspati: Karka - 7th house
Shani: Vrishabha - 5th house
Budha: Mesha - 4th house
Shukra: Vrishabha - 5th house
Rahu: Mithuna - 6th house
Ketu: Dhanu - 12th house

Monday, October 03, 2011

India - A Civilizational State - Part 2

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Remembering a quote from TV series "Chanakya". This article is in continuation with the thoughts expressed in a previous article. Click on this link to access that article.

"यवनों ने भिन्न-भिन्न जनपदों के आस्था के भेद को नहीं देखा था. आक्रान्ताओं ने सभी के साथ एक जैसा व्यवहार किया था.  दुर्भाग्य ही था की सभी जनपदों ने मिलकर यवनों का सम्मिलित रूप से प्रतिकार नहीं किया.  क्यों??  क्योंकि हममे राष्ट्रीय चरित्र का अभाव था. यदि सभी जनपदों ने राष्ट्र के रूप में संगठित होकर यवनों का प्रतिकार किया होता तो क्या यवनों के लिए इस धरा पर विजय पाना संभव था? यदि सिन्धु की रक्षा का दायित्व सभी जनपदों के लिया होता तो क्या यवनों को सिन्धु को पार कर पाना संभव था? पर कठ, मद्रक, क्षुद्रक और मालव गणराज्यों को ये विश्वास नहीं हो रहा था की उनके प्रदेशों की सीमाओं का द्वार भी तक्षशिला हैं. जहाँ तक हमारी संस्कृति का विस्तार हैं, वहां तक हमारी सीमाए हैं.  हिमालय से समुद्र पर्यंत ये संपूर्ण भूमि हमारी अपनी भूमि हैं, हमारा अपना राष्ट्र हैं. और इस राष्ट्र की रक्षा हम नहीं करेंगे तो इस राष्ट्र की रक्षा कौन करेगा.   यदि हमने अबभी संगठित होकर राष्ट्र के रूप में अपना परिचय नहीं दिया तो आक्रान्ताओं का पुनरागमन हो सकता हैं और इतिहास की पुनरावृत्ति. यदि हम अबभी संगठित नहीं हुए तो आक्रान्ताओं का मार्ग प्रशस्त हैं. आवश्यकता हैं हमें एक छत्र के नीचे एकत्र होने की. ताकि ये राष्ट्र सुदृढ़ और सक्षम हो, शक्तिशाली हो, गौरवशाली हो, और हम अमृत के अमर्त्य पुत्र कह सकें की प्रशस्त पुण्य-पंथ हैं, बढे चलो बढे चलो.."   

Translation: It should be noted that the invaders did not distinguish between us based on our subtle differences in political frameworks and local traditions and culture. They identified all of us as Indians and treated everybody of us who came in their way with equal brutality and suppression. It was the misfortune of ths land that all the kingdoms and states did not put forth an united front against invading Macedonian army. Had we done so, would it be possible for them to invade India and cross Sindhu River? But Kath, Malav, Kshudrak, Madrak, Kekay were unable to grasp this common-sense that Taxila is door to thier kingdoms as well. The boundaries of our Rashtra lie as far as the expanse of our Sanskriti. This entire land from Himalayas to Indian ocean is our own Rashtra, is the seat of our own Sanskriti. It is nobody's but our duty to protect the sovereignty of this land. If we do not unite now, invasions will be recurring and the history will be repetitive. What is required primarily is to unite politically under one umbrella, thus facilitating the rise and revival of this glorious Rashtra.

In different places and times, different factors make people come together as a Rashtra. In europe that factor has been language since westphalia treaty times (broadly speaking). In China, that factor is race. In India, that factor has been Dharma or sanskriti. In Pakistan, that factor was religion (of course that stands defeated now, but that is what was envisioned). The role of common Sanskriti springing from dharmik traditions is the single biggest factor keeping India together. All regions where Indics are less than 50% in population are trouble spots. The Dharmik states like nepal, bhutan, myanmay, sri lanka were not antithetical to concept of India (LTTE and Nepali Maoists are minor nuisance. If India declares itself as protector and upholder of "Dharma", I wonder how many Nepali people or buddhists from SL, Myanmar etc will remain untouched). 

Unlike Westphalian states with unchanging boundaries where we require passport and visa regime, sanskritik state model does not require such considerations. Of course there were other methods in place in this model to avoid "contamination" of native life style (one of the measures being caste system). As an Indian who has roots in Indic sanskriti and way of life and trying hard to remove the deracination in my mind, I wonder why isn't Europe one country, for example. If India can exist as a nation-state, so can Europe. then I remember the differences.

A Maharashtrian guy will not complain about wealth generated by MH used up on regions like J&K and BIMARU states (Bihar, Madhya-Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar-Pradesh region). Yes there are fringes who do yell (Raj Thakre et al), but they do not have issues with center using revenue generated in MH in BIMARU. Their concerns are more local (no jobs for locals and hence hate the migrants). Raj Thakre does not oppose using the funds to develop BIMARU regions. This is starkly in contrast with Europeans. Take a German, or a Dane or a french for example. He is really pissed at Greeks, Spanish, Italians, Irish, Portuguese etc. While he is right that money he creates is used up for nincompoops of Mediterranean region, he not ready to allow it happen for larger good. In exchange they want to control the policies of the PIGS region (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain - European equivalent of Indian BIMARU), which further pisses off the PIGS. A Chief-Minister of Maharashtra won't expect that BIMARU frame their policies favorable to Maharashtra in response. 

Why such behavior? because the glue of Sanskriti is present in India and Indians know and cherish that glue. While this glue is present in Europe as well, they do not want to cherish or use it. Hence in current format, EU cannot exist as one rashtra, in spite of sanskritik unity. The local satraps in modern times cannot expand beyond the boundaries of westphalian state they are part of, this puts tremendous pressure on the frame of westphalian Rashtra. 

e.g. The forces which control or are part of Kabul-Karachi-Mumbai-Hyderabad-Vizag-ASEAN drug trade route have been in this game for centuries. Even after 65 years of partition  the separation of these forces isn't complete. Yet, India tries to act as westphalian nation-state. But a nation-state modeled on Westphalian system should have taken all the measures to stop this trade route, which would have drastically reduced the terror incidents. For large part of history, we did not accept the partition. that gave pakis a taqleef in mushy. Now the younger generation is slowly breaking off from partition. the youngistanis who support aman ki asha are silent over prospects of having pakis amongst us in form of unified India. The fact that India and Hindus are slowly accepting partition in their minds and severing all emotional ties with Pakjab, is what is making pakis go suicidal, because this connection was nourishing their raison d'être. 

But how does it fare to a complex system as that of India? In this process, Government of India (GOI) is slowly becoming an "exchange" (akin to a grain exchange or a stock exchange). Various lobbies control their respective ministries instead fo vice-versa. (e.g. No matter who is in power, Mukesh Ambani controls petroleum ministry). The cumulative effect of these lobbies shape the GOI policies (remember Infosis and Reliance forcing Prime-Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during Operation Parakram). Contrast this with China. They seem to have declared that they will take back all those regions under their influence which they think are "China". And what is the motivation to do that? where to do turn to seek justification? History, of course. PRC is nation of hans, by hans, for hans. 

What is India's reason of existence? I have asked this question time and again. GOI will have to come clean on this one and it better be a right answer. State of India exists for Indians is a vague answer which none will believe given the recent behavior of politicians and babus. The typical answer found in preamble will not ease the situation as it is not consistent with actions of GOI ever since that preamble was written down. If they answer, India is rashtra of hindus, they have to define what hinduism is. Thus, even the opposition (the hindutva-vaadis of VHP and RSS and Bajrangis) are part of same fallacy. They are identifying Rashtra with something which they cannot comprehend of define. When asked, the sarasanghachaalak says," what is need to define a Hindu?". It is needed as that is what they are asking for, to be declared India as "Hindu rashtra". Thus, in my humble opinion, the "genuine secularist" side and the "H" side are seen as two sides of same coin. (Genuine secularist is one who is not working on pay-role of Islamists, EJs and/or Communists. others are sickularists). We are slowly becoming a westphalian rashtra, but doing that will widen the fissures amongst us as well. those fissures may or may not be linguistic, but may be urban-rural for example.

Westphalian state require enormous centralization of power. Is this really necessary in the gram-swarajya vision of Mahatma Gandhi? If India exists for welfare of Indians, how does centralization of power and economy help welfare of such vast and diverse set of people? It will be more efficient if government is decentralized and district size states are created. smaller the states, easier and more coherent is the administration. But this also gives rise to parochialism. These same questions are posed to Indian army as well. What is doctrine of Indian army? What is it that they are protecting? and against whom? Given the refusal of Indian Army to fight against maoists and satyagrahis, show that this serious thought is being given by the army brass.

We find from this previous article that people usually have tough time in rising over their "jaati connections". The Indic scriptures give a model which might work for India, but has it been tested and do we have data?

I Don't Know !!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

लोहे के पेड़ हरे होंगे - Lohe ke Ped hare Honge

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लोहे के पेड़ हरे होंगे, तू गान प्रेम का गाता चल,
नम होगी यह मिट्टी ज़रूर, आँसू के कण बरसाता चल।

सिसकियों और चित्कारों से, जितना भी हो आकाश भरा,
कंकालों का हो ढेर, खप्परों से चाहे हो पटी धरा ।
आशा के स्वर का भार, पवन को लेकिन , लेना ही होगा,
जीवित सपनों के लिए मार्ग मुर्दों को देना ही होगा।

रंगो के सातों घट उँड़ेल, यह अँधियारी रँग जायेगी,
ऊषा को सत्य बनाने को जावक नभ पर छितराता चल।

आदर्शों से आदर्श भिड़े, प्रज्ञा प्रज्ञा पर टूट रही।
प्रतिमा प्रतिमा से लड़ती है, धरती की किस्मत फूट रही।
आवर्तों का है विषम जाल, निरुपाय बुद्धि चकराती है,
विज्ञान-यान पर चढी हुई सभ्यता डूबने जाती है।

जब-जब मस्तिष्क जयी होता, संसार ज्ञान से चलता है,
शीतलता की है राह हृदय, तू यह संवाद सुनाता चल।

सूरज है जग का बुझा-बुझा, चन्द्रमा मलिन-सा लगता है,
सब की कोशिश बेकार हुई, आलोक न इनका जगता है,
इन मलिन ग्रहों के प्राणों में कोई नवीन आभा भर दे,
जादूगर! अपने दर्पण पर घिसकर इनको ताजा कर दे।

दीपक के जलते प्राण, दिवाली तभी सुहावन होती है,
रोशनी जगत् को देने को अपनी अस्थियाँ जलाता चल।

क्या उन्हें देख विस्मित होना, जो हैं अलमस्त बहारों में,
फूलों को जो हैं गूँथ रहे सोने-चाँदी के तारों में ?
मानवता का तू विप्र, गन्ध-छाया का आदि पुजारी है,
वेदना-पुत्र! तू तो केवल जलने भर का अधिकारी है।

ले बड़ी खुशी से उठा, सरोवर में जो हँसता चाँद मिले,
दर्पण में रचकर फूल, मगर उस का भी मोल चुकाता चल।

काया की कितनी धूम-धाम! दो रोज चमक बुझ जाती है;
छाया पीती पीयुष, मृत्यु के उपर ध्वजा उड़ाती है ।
लेने दे जग को उसे, ताल पर जो कलहंस मचलता है,
तेरा मराल जल के दर्पण में नीचे-नीचे चलता है।

कनकाभ धूल झर जाएगी, वे रंग कभी उड़ जाएँगे,
सौरभ है केवल सार, उसे तू सब के लिए जुगाता चल।

क्या अपनी उन से होड़, अमरता की जिनको पहचान नहीं,
छाया से परिचय नहीं, गन्ध के जग का जिन को ज्ञान नहीं?
जो चतुर चाँद का रस निचोड़ प्यालों में ढाला करते हैं,
भट्ठियाँ चढाकर फूलों से जो इत्र निकाला करते हैं।

ये भी जाएँगे कभी, मगर, आधी मनुष्यतावालों पर,
जैसे मुसकाता आया है, वैसे अब भी मुसकाता चल।

सभ्यता-अंग पर क्षत कराल, यह अर्थ-मानवों का बल है,
हम रोकर भरते उसे, हमारी आँखों में गंगाजल है।
शूली पर चढा मसीहा को वे फूले नहीं समाते हैं
हम शव को जीवित करने को छायापुर में ले जाते हैं।

भींगी चाँदनियों में जीता, जो कठिन धूप में मरता है,
उजियाली से पीड़ित नर के मन में गोधूलि बसाता चल।

यह देख नयी लीला उन की, फिर उन ने बड़ा कमाल किया,
गाँधी के लोहू से सारे, भारत-सागर को लाल किया।
जो उठे राम, जो उठे कृष्ण, भारत की मिट्टी रोती है,
क्य हुआ कि प्यारे गाँधी की यह लाश न जिन्दा होती है?

तलवार मारती जिन्हें, बाँसुरी उन्हें नया जीवन देती,
जीवनी-शक्ति के अभिमानी! यह भी कमाल दिखलाता चल।

धरती के भाग हरे होंगे, भारती अमृत बरसाएगी,
दिन की कराल दाहकता पर चाँदनी सुशीतल छाएगी।
ज्वालामुखियों के कण्ठों में कलकण्ठी का आसन होगा,
जलदों से लदा गगन होगा, फूलों से भरा भुवन होगा।

बेजान, यन्त्र-विरचित गूँगी, मूर्तियाँ  एक दिन बोलेंगी,
मुँह खोल-खोल सब के भीतर शिल्पी! तू जीभ बिठाता चल।

-रामधारी सिंह 'दिनकर'

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Triad of Quartets - A Indian perspective of Varna-Ashrama-Purushartha system

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Interrelation of Varnas,  Ashramas, Purusharthas system. Designed by Sri. Raama Yeleswarapu.

While describing "Indian way of life" as Hindu religion is defined, one needs to understand these three quartets and their interrelation in all spheres of human life (spiritual, personal, social, political, economic). Please follow the reference links in red font, in case you need to read more about the term or phrase.

The Triad of Quartets

First Quartet: The Ashrama system: Human life is divided into four stages.

1. Brahmacharya: The child would live with his family till he was at the age of 5. He would then be sent to a Gurukul (house of the guru) and typically would live with a Guru (teacher), acquiring knowledge of science, philosophy, scriptures and logic, practicing self-discipline and celibacy, learning to live a life of dharma (righteousness).

2. GrihasthaThe householder life is spent in enjoying family life, carrying out one's duties towards family and society, and gainful labor.

3. Vaanaprastha: After the completion of one's householder duties, one gradually withdraws from the world, freely shares wisdom with others, and prepares for the complete renunciation of the final stage.

4. Sannyaasa: Completely withdrawing from the world, this is a time of complete dedication to spiritual pursuits, the seeking of moksha (freedom from the cycle of rebirth), and practicing meditation to that end.

Having divided the life in these four stages of Child, householder, retiree and Peace-seeker, Indian way of living asks each individual to pursue four Purushaarthas (Achievements). 

Second Quartet: The Purushartha system

This four-fold system deals with defining a complete life with some purpose. For leading a successful and "complete" life, the four basic achievements need to be addressed. They are to be pursued in second stage that is Grihasthashrama stage of human life by each individual.  They are as follows.

1. Dharma: What dharma is has been elaborately described in the previous posts of this blog. Interested readers should follow following links to read further elaboration on this fundamental concept.

To summarize, Dharma is a framework of rules OR constitution which is arrived upon by every component of ecology which ensures just opportunities to every component of the ecological system to pursue their inherent drive to evolve and excel and attain stable position vis-á-vis other components. A just constitution.

2. Artha: The individual, once enrolled in to the "just" system OR "Dharma" has to pursue the material ambitions using "just" means (that is without breaking "dharma"). An individual has to strive hard to attain wealth, power, resources and enrich his life materially using "dharmik means".  To be addressed and pursued  in second stage of life (Grihasthashrama)

3. Kaama: While an individual is attaining and accumulating power and wealth in his capacity using Dharmik means, he has to fulfill his material desires using dharmik means. The desires range from sexual to artistic. All the desires are to be fulfilled. Fulfilling desires is not only just and righteous, but necessary in order to lead successful life. The only pre-requisite is the means and actions while fulfilling the desires should be "Dharmik" and "Just". To be addressed and pursued in second stage of human life (Grihasthashrama). 

4. Moksha: While one is fulfilling the material needs and desires and acquiring wealth and power, one also has to give time towards higher questions which deal with "Adhyatma" (literally - "Deep introspection"). The human being is marked by his tendency to question and marvel about question about self, universe and purpose of life and finding peace and answers to these questions in his capacity. This is fundamental trait and tendency of human-beings which sets us apart from rest of our animal and plant siblings. This aspect of human existence is addressed in the "Moksha" aspect of life. A human being is expected to find answers to such questions and attain peace or die while trying to do it. Typically addressed by human beings in third and fourth stage of human life.

While Artha and Kaama Purushaarthas (achievements) are limited to second stage of life (Grihasthashrama - House-holder), Dharma is to be followed by every individual from birth to death. The Moksha aspect typically is addressed by human beings in later stage of life after the Artha and Kaama achievements are addressed. Although this is not a rule and there are plenty of examples of individuals who turn towards addressing deep introspective questions (Adhyatma) early in life stage. However, Indian system emphasizes that the other achievements should not be abandoned for this fourth Purushaartha, unless one is completely sure. More often than not, if an individual turns towards Moksha aspect of life without fulfilling the Artha and Kaama Purushartha, the individual ends up frustrated and disillusioned in later stages of life. Hence extreme caution is prescribed by the learned individuals to those who abandon wealth and desire for introspection.

Third Quartet: The Varna System

The four-fold Varna system is the most infamous and misunderstood aspect of Indian civilization. While the misunderstanding and misinterpretation has been largely owing to the deeds and actions of many individuals who missed the point of this system and abused it for many a century, it is never too late to smell coffee and find the truth.

Out of human population in a given nation and civilization, the section of society in second stage of life is most productive and back-bone of the nation. The section of population between the age 23 to 60 is the productive population. This productive section of society is referred to as "Grihasthashrama" stage of human life described earlier. The other sections of society like children (age 0-23, referred to as Brahmacharya-ashrama, the first stage of human life), the retired senior citizens (60-onwards, referred to as Vaanaprastha-ashrama, the retiree stage of human life) are dependent on the second block of society for survival. 

Thus, the population belonging to Grihasthashrama stage of life generate wealth for the other three sections of society and for nation and civilization. It is during this stage of life, people indulge in various "Dharmik" professions to fulfill their Artha and Kaama achievements. While every individual has to pursue all the achievements in their capacity, not all human beings have uniform drive towards a particular achievement. E.g. For an professional artist, the Kaama pursuits are much more important than artha pursuits, although he is earning his livelihood via selling his art. On the other hand, for a businessman, acquiring wealth is promary concern than learning and indulging in Kaama pursuits more than necessary. This rather simplistic picture is further complicated when we take into account the professional liabilities and responsibilities of individuals.

To address this issue, the productive section of society was divided into four categories. The other three sections (children and retiree population) are exempted from this social division. Another factor which contributed towards this four-fold division was the assessment by Indian sages that the power of "productive section" of society manifests herself in four different sources.

The four sources of power are:
A. Intellectual Power
B. Military and Physical Power
C. Financial and commercial Power
D. Technological, Numerical power and Land-possession.

The Indian system argued that these four sources of power SHOULD NOT be concentrated in hands of any one section of "Grihastha-Ashrama" pursuing block of population at any given time. Hence the house-holders were divided into

1. Brahmana Varna Professional scholars, teachers, priests, intellectuals, poets, scientists, philosophers and sages. This profession was not allowed to possess any wealth, weapons and land. In return, they were accorded higher respect in society. They were supposed to live off on the donations and grants given by kings, businessmen and farmers.

2. Kshatriya Varna: Professional  kings, warriors, soldiers, sportsmen and rulers. They were the section of productive society which possessed military, physical and official strength. However, they were not allowed to possess land, indulge in trade, and frame policies of nation without consultation and approval of the Brahman Varna.

3. Vaishya Varna: Professional merchants, businessmen, traders. This section of productive society was part of society which was generating wealth for rest of society and controlled the finances of nation and civilization. Hence, this was the richest section of society. However in return, they were not allowed to possess arms, military and frame policies without official approval of intellectual class and ruling class of society. Furthermore, Indian polity does not allow a king to tax more than 16% of income during peace time (which was extended to 25% during wartime). Hence this class was allowed to retain 84% of the income they generated. Hence they were mandated to indulge in charity and contribute towards developmental projects designed by intellectuals and authorized by kings. Although richest section, their social status and respectability wasn't dependent upon the wealth they possessed but charities they indulged in.

4. Shudra Varna: Professional farmers, agriculturists, labourers, craftsmen, engineers, technologists, doctors, lawyers and artisans (developers and propagators of various technologies prevalent in different times and places). This section of society possessed the power of numerical superiority. Along with this, they possessed rights to till the land, develop and propagate technologies and various crafts. However in return they were not allowed to indulge in long-distance trade, possessing arms and weapons, and frame state policies.

There was fifth varna known as Panchama varna (in modern times referred to as Dalits), This was the section of society which were "excommunicated" either due to indulgence in criminal activity (Chaandala) or due to pursuing professions which were considered as "impure" and "dirty" by rest of productive society. Such professions included leather-work, butchering, or removal of rubbish, animal carcasses, and waste. Dalits work as manual labourers cleaning streets, latrines, and sewers. Engaging in these activities was considered to be polluting to the individual, and this pollution was considered contagious. As a result, Dalits were commonly segregated, and banned from full participation in Hindu social life.

With time and space, the severity of this social ostracism varied. But largely in later phase of 2nd millennium C.E, the severity was on the rise until independent India banned the social ostracism and introduced corrective measures in form of affirmative actions to rectify the injustice done to this section of society in history.

The Confluence of three Triads

Being "Indian" refers to living on the confluence point of these three quartets described above. While this point of confluence where all three quartets were in perfect harmony with each other was mercurial and capricious, India and Indic society has been around this point of perfect equilibrium for considerable duration of history.

According to a famous verse from Rigveda, the message of life is Charaiveti (Keep on walking). This phrase also describes the efforts of Indic and Dharmik civilization based in India to remain close to this point of equilibrium through the currents of history. While doing so, certain excesses were committed in each of the three quartets. 

India, Indics and Dharmiks have to keep this mind and keep on walking and striving to be as near as possible to this perfect point of equilibrium as individual, community, society, nation, civilization and ecology.

Shubham astu!!!