Thursday 31 March 2011

The kiratajuniya as the dual of the Gita

Everything in the Mahabharata happens twice and everything that happens to one agent with respect to another agent, happens again with respect to that agent and the dual of the other. It is a system of multiplying symmetries such that the ordinary person- without much grasp of the language of exposition- can reflect upon the story and determine for himself that those who quote its authority to further their own ends are lying or deluded or both.

If the Gita contains a theophany of Lord Vishnu to Arjuna, the Kiratajuniya contains the theophany of Lord Shiva to our intrepid, but somewhat bone-headed, hero.

In the Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna to shoot his arrows at will for the truth is that it is not Arjuna who slays but Lord Krishna himself who encompasses the death or injury of the enemy. In the Kiratarjuniya, Arjuna contends that it was his arrow which killed a boar he was hunting, whereas the Kirata Chief considers the prize lawfully his as his arrow had hit the same mark at the same moment. Clearly, both episodes deal with the same question.

What is that question? One answer is to say that it has to do with Freedom and Necessity. Are our actions conditioned such that Freedom is an illusion- we are merely clockwork toys acting upon each other by Leibnizian 'pre-established harmony'? Is God merely a sort of magician or stage-director who has already decided everything that is going to happen, including everything we think we think, and who is simply watching the show for some purpose of his own? If so, what is the meaning of 'karma'? If God has all the power and we have none, it is scarcely meaningful to speak of our sin or merit, our guilt or joy- no power means no agency, no agency means no intentionality or inwardness. Language itself is meaningless. Is life itself merely a delusion or a sort of waking dream or hallucination?

The kiratarjuniya of Bharavi, written in the heroic vein, justifies an optimistic interpretation of the Gita and a positive answer to the question posed in the last paragraph. Arjuna and Lord Shiva (in the guise of the Kirata hunter) fight to determine whose arrow killed the boar- in other words, for the duration of the agon an epochee where life is meaningful exists.. In the Gita, the epochee arises because Arjuna does not want to fight. This is a good thing, because everybody is welcome to kill as many vampires or angels or talking monkeys as they like- precisely because such creatures don't exist. The moment people want to start killing human beings, you need someone to step in and say cut it out buddy. Go take a cold shower.
Unless, of course, they are a God or vampire or talking pony or other such creature which doesn't exist. In that case hie thee to a mad-house, telling them the while that you have already complied with their wishes, everybody is already dead and could they kindly fuck off to heaven or wherever.

The other thing about God is that sure if he turns up claiming your kill as his own, shoot arrows at him. This is okay if he is similarly armed. Don't for fuck's sake shoot arrows at someone who says he's God but isn't shooting at you. That's how you end up with a murder rap.

What I like about Bharavi's kavya is the stress laid on Duryodhana being a good King and the paradox he highlights of Arjuna's practising austerities not for any spiritual purpose but merely so as to get his elder brother an office of profit he has already, by his own free actions, forfeited and which his cousin is occupying in an exemplary manner.

Bharavi lived and wrote at a time when the Nyaya school was flourishing and, (I'm guessing) Purva Mimamsa was going great guns. Intellectually, that's a lot of gristle to be chewing on which, by itself, is going to make its stylistic alamkars that much more interesting to translate.
Furthermore, my guess is, important mercantile castes claiming Kuru descent and adhering to Saivite religion would have had their own performance and bardic traditions in the background to the courtly foreground.
So, there's bound to be meat here is my reasoning.
Lord Shiva's boon to Arjuna tell us something else- Arjuna is being bracketed with Ravana. In a sense the stage is being set for his being a samrambha yogi or virodha bhakta- attaining highest Union to God through hatred, enmity and following an evil course. But, stupidity (Vikshepa) is the greatest metaphysical evil. 'Rama was a King and Ravana was a King' is a Tamil saying. 'Against stupidity,' however as some stupid Kraut said, 'the Gods themselves are powerless'. Yet Krishna and Arjuna- a bit like Buddha and Ananda- are great pals. Arjuna is a bit of a bone-head but you can see why Krishna loves him. In the same way that, in a sense, Ananda becomes responsible for Lord Buddha's death, so too does Arjuna become responsible for Lord Krishna visvarupa theophany- which, since it is an act of condign self-praise, is itself morally equivalent to suicide (this is something Krishna explains when Arjuna expresses an understandable desire to kill his elder brother- not Karna, the one younger than Karna- y'know, the one with the comic name.)

I'll  be starting translation of passages from Bharavi in the next week or two and the leading thought in my mind is that it is the Kiratarjuniya which Vivekananda and Tilak and so on ought to have focused on. The fact is the British and their loyalists weren't all that bad. Yet there was a moral argument for the 'garm dal' to challenge them- if necessary by force- compare India's formidable state apparatus to that of Sri Lanka's (after its decimation by the Socialist Mrs. Bandarnaike) and the horrors that Nation endured in consequence, especially in connection with the even more Socialist JVP and ultimate silly-arse marxist nutjob Rohana Wijeweera ( himself, plausibly, a descendant of the Kauravas) and the sort of demonstration effect it had. 

It is interesting that 2 of Vishnu's incarnations- Buddha and Vamana are considered to have brought aggressive foreigners, or demons, under control by what was essentially a piece of dissimulation or a disingenuous doctrine. 
Perhaps, the Gita's unmatchable grandeur comes from Lord Krishna- the enchanter and beguiler of hearts- sacrificing himself in so many ways to every single sentient being, such that Draupati's indictment of God as mayin and ordainer of karma- 'stained by the sins, he has ordained'- is, in fact, expiated. That too with no diminution of Godhead. Om purnam adah &c.

Monday 28 March 2011

The Dynasty Dying Nasty?- Rahul belies his critics

This is a link to an article in the Hindu about an American diplomat's unfavourable assessment of Rahul Gandhi- based on scuttlebutt provided by the infamous Nachiketas Kapur.

Apart from the canard that Rahul, albeit only 'with the aid of his foreign friends' well-wishers and members of the International Sperm Donor community  had managed to rape some Congress Worker's daughter- a libel the unsporting Allahabad High Court has punished with a large fine- this Wikileak is the only positive reinforcer of Rahul's image I know off to date.

 Opining that Rahul is ‘out of touch,' Kapoor noted that he has ‘no close friends or advisors,' and that his own staff keeps him ‘at arm's length' as he is ‘arrogant and rude and doesn't accept guidance from anyone.' Kapoor exclaimed that Rahul ‘has no future, no talent for politics and will never be PM, as he has done nothing for the past three years.'

Is it just me, or is anyone else warming to Rahul? That he has 'no close friends', in that snake-pit, and 'accepts no guidance' from those reptiles, is the soundest recommendation for high office that I know off.

I suppose his Mother's strategy is to make him the Congress supremo once, by pendulum politics, they are out of power- replaced perhaps by a fragile coalition.  Rahul then finds an atrocity- like the Bhagalpur blindings that put his Grandmother back on the path to power- to focus on and launches a sort Midlothian campaign. Since Rahul has kept his powder dry with respect to the Left, and since a shake out in India is inevitable over the next few years, Big business, which Mrs. Gandhi had humbled and reduced to a cypher, will have no option but to rally to Rahul, showering largesse upon him on a scale previously unimaginable.  Commercial TV stations will have to jump on the bandwagon to keep their sponsors- but also their youth demographic- on side.
The result- Rahul wins the sort of landslide his father did in his incarnation as 'Mr. Clean'. But, if Rahul can gain a majority at the centre and if the corruption inevitable under coalition government is seen to be curbed then Rahul really will be- as in Bahaguna's slogan 'Indira is India'- the  incarnation of the Rashtra- his position unassailable.
In many senses, it was Indira's lurch to the Right in the 80's which wrong-footed the Nehru-Gandhi brand. Vajpayee and Advani, actually quite secular in their thinking, could not stand by impotently watching the  vastrapaharanam of  Congress stealing their clothes. But, Babri- which defined the politics of the Nineties- was a historical cul de sac except in so far as it provided a way of navigating around the great road-block of Mandal for the Sangh Parivar- which, all credit to them, they successfully managed. 

Now, the real issue facing the country is how to devolve power, achieve subsidiarity, and make welfarism sustainable by curbing grass-roots corruption. It may be that Rahul, the only dynast who was born knowing he'd be P.M, will want to 'reign rather than rule'- or at least delegate effectively and make the Prime Minister's office something other than a moral Procrustean bed. 

If that is so, if Rahul is the first person to have devoted his entire life to considering how to make the P.M's office both effective and free of taint, then, the odd thing is, when he finally ascends to that high eminence, even his critics will feel a great sense of relief.
 Whether anyone can rule India effectively is, of course, another question.

Sunday 27 March 2011

Kipling, Corruption & Development

Corruption- defined as an ignoble eagerness for illegal perquisites- is associated with heteronomy, a child-like state, a deficit in maturity and civilization.  Bacon, though a genius, is undone by not any injustice done as Lord Chancellor but what appears a childish greed for bribes- he is caught with his hand in the cookie jar. The context is as follows, Bacon sought to re-open the gate of King’s Equity such that injustices could be directly addressed by the creation of new Equitable remedies, i.e. novel forms of writ to be issued in the King’s name. From a purely logical point of view, this appears a ‘progressive’ measure in keeping with Bacon’s status as a founder of the scientific method laying stress on the value of experiments and empirical testing. However, at that particular point in time in English history, Bacon’s great enemy, Lord Coke- as the champion of Common Law and, hence, bulwark against Stuart absolutism- was providing the intellectual foundation for, and giving legitimacy, to the great heroes of Liberty for the English speaking world- i.e. Pym and Hampden, and even Stafford, before he turned his coat.
The consequence is that corruption, for English speaking peoples, comes to be seen as childish heteronomy- ‘underdevelopment’, in the sense of a deficit of maturity.
In the eighteenth Century, the 12 year old Professor of Greek or Arabic, who can scarcely sign his name and owes his appointment to an Uncle at Court or a sister’s infamy, is the symbol of corruption. During the American War of Independence, we have the sage Benjamin Franklin on the one hand and a host of titled nincompoops on the other- including a King who will soon need a keeper and who will bawl like an infant if denied an apple. The Regent too is a symbol of retrogression- the associate of Fox and Sheridan in youth turns into a great booby who claims to have fought at Waterloo. Why? It is his intemperate prodigality that is at fault- his childish, grasping, greed. Again there is an equation between the old order and a sort of second childhood.
Kant formalizes the notion of heteronomy as childish dependence- underdevelopment, we might call it- as opposed to adult autonomy- Enlightenment equates with Freedom based upon the curbing of one’s hedonic appetites and submission to the categorical imperative, such that only those actions of one’s own are licit which can become the basis of a Universal law.
Hegel historicizes and mystifies this notion by introducing an Idealist teleology operating through history such that vast portions of the oikumene- India, China, Islam- are relegated to outer darkness as spaces the Welt-Geist forgot or abandoned- they become, thus, a terra nullis that can be legitimately claimed and colonized by those the Angel of History has brushed with its wing- but this means the Marxist Leninists who alone keep up its corrupt cultus.
Within the Whig tradition- for Macaulay, for example, for whom all English history was but prolegemenon and postscript to William of Orange’s inglorious doings- a similar conclusion, at least with respect to India, is arrived at by means more direct.  It is interesting that the tack taken by Burke- who saw ‘Indianism’ as a greater danger to the Polity than ‘Jacobinism’- to oppose the opprobrious conduct of John Company- was instrumentalized for a purpose precisely opposite to his own aim. It was the Company’s own corruption which was used as an excuse to impose a harsher, utterly infantilizing, regime upon the Indians- the piteous plight of the ‘Begums of Oude’, helpless to help themselves, becoming the canonical representation of Ind's vast, voiceless, masses- this is precisely that ‘subaltern’ which  can not speak and therefore makes significant the programmatic, or down right silly, ex cathedra pronunciamentos of Ivy league professors. Indeed, with reference to Hirschman’s ‘voice, exit and loyalty’ thesis- it is interesting that ‘voice’ for subjected Indians was never authentic ‘voice’- it was either immature childish babble, or it represented nobody, it had nothing behind it. The other possibility of ‘exit’- i.e. the gravitation to indigenous political movements rooted in vernacular traditions- too was dismissed as a retrograde step, a failure to mature, an argument for some racial flaw that militated against Kantian autonomy and proper ‘development’. The question of Hirschman’s ‘loyalty’ was also redefined such that subject-hood became its own existential solvent- to be conscious was not to access the Satrean pour soi but to always be plagued by the punitive awareness that such consciousness was a childish snare and atavistic delusion- and though disloyalty could be punished by incarceration, or worse than incarceration an abandonment to a lawless anarchy of Hobbesian proportions, Loyalty- conscious loyalty, loyalty as an Existential project, as the career of Niradh Chaudhri so signally demonstrates- was that veritable Black hole to which Calcutta University owes its name.

Not Calcutta alone- even Aligarh was tainted. The figure of Dr. Aziz, in E.M. Foster’s passage to India, illustrates how- to a scion of the Clapham Sect, especially in its connection to Benthamite Imperialism- Indian ‘voice’ is puppyish belligerence, Indian ‘exit’ a self-inflicted emasculation in the service of some comic-opera Princeling holding court in a remote mountain fastness of forested redoubt. As for Indian 'loyalty'- that is an oxymoron. India is a muddle. That is all.

However, greater than Foster in point of literary talent, is Kipling- indeed Joyce considered him the contemporary writer with the greatest natural gifts- and it worth looking again at his canonical works to get a fuller perspective. What we find is quite surprising. On the one hand, Kipling as a journalist, was offered bribes and proudly turned them down- his was no naïve, romanticized, picture of India- on the other hand Kipling has uttered the most biting criticisms of English rule in India- in ‘the Bridge builders’, some crooked contractor has bribed a high official with the result that sub-standard building materials have been supplied. The Senior Engineer is powerless. The junior Engineer, on the other hand, is the heir to a Country Estate back in Blighty. Still, this does not mean he can challenge the crooked contractor or send back the defective materials. That’s not how the Gov. of India works. Instead, the junior Engineer takes unpaid leave and goes back home to England. Does he lobby his M.P or write a petition to the Secretary of State for India? No, he’d just get the sack and perhaps the senior Engineer too would end up losing his pension. So, the junior Engineer cultivates diplomacy. He puts his name down as an eligible groom for the debutante circuit and dances with all the ugliest girls so as to ingratiate himself with the grand Hostesses of the day. He smarms up to every Politically connected matron, attending her boring parties and flirting shamelessly with the most dragonly of repellent dowagers he finds under her roof-tree.  Finally, he assiduity gets its reward.  He has hinted that he will return to England and get married once that damn bridge is built. Clearly, this flower of the aristocracy must not be left to bloom unseen in the dusty wastes of moffusil India. Strings are pulled. The corrupt contractor is not punished. Nobody is punished. But, a second delivery of building materials is made (this too will be charged to the Indian tax-payer) and this time it is fit for purpose.  Still, there are obstacles. The Gods of India hold a debate. Should they permit the bridge to be built? On the one hand, there is Peroo ‘the lascar’ (presumably from the Chittagong hills) who is the real star of the story, he believes in the old ways- i.e. bully and bribe the gods- but, on the other hand, there is the Senior Engineer who, alas!, knows a thing or two about ‘Development’- still, in the end, the Gods permit the building of the bridge. They know something about ‘Development’ too. The argument that the bridge will bring them more pilgrims and more offerings is one they see through but admit so as not to be themselves seen through.
The odd thing about Kipling is that the more damaging the charges he makes against the English- viz. that the entire ‘Anglo-Indian’ (as opposed to Eurasian) community is engaged in a promiscuous interchange of partners, with older women preying vampire fashion on young officers (this is something no Indian journalist, however scurrilous his writing, would have alleged at that time)- or the notion that it is entirely a matter of course that crooked contractors have bribed senior officials (indeed, that the rot reaches as high as London!), or that a heavy dragoon (Gadsby) is actually a great poltroon who ‘waters his horse- to take the edge off’ before riding to parade- these are incredible calumnies impugning a large and powerful community, yet the more Kipling reiterates them, the more he is loved and cherished precisely by this, his own, community.
More even than what he consciously writes, it is what he unconsciously lets slip, or- for he possessed Genius, or say rather, Genius possessed him- it is his ability to ‘show more than he knows’, that throws an unexpected light on the subject of this blog post- viz. Corruption and Development.
Take Kipling’s story ‘Todd’s Amendment’. Todd is 5 years old. Hence, ‘he has no caste’. He overhears his father talking about conditions down country- is a famine situation likely to develop? The official reports are conflicting. What is actually going on? Todd steps forward. He knows what is going on, when it started and what needs to be done. The big officials are amazed. How does Todd know something that the ‘heaven born’ I.C.S officers do not? The answer is that Todd knows the rickshaw-wallahs and tonga drivers and mendicants and fruit sellers and so on. He talks to them. Strangely, they talk back- apparently, contra Gayatri Spivak, the subaltern can speak- it’s as simple as that. The Law can actually be changed- ‘Todd’s Amendment’- and things can actually be put right- except, of course, it’s all a fantasy. We know that. Todd would not have been allowed to speak. ‘Children should be seen not heard’. He’d have received a thrashing for staying up beyond his bed-time and, soon after, been packed off to boarding school in Blighty. Indeed, the ICS officer who questions a junior’s report on the basis of what some tonga wallah told him would soon be put on the sick list and sent off to Cheltenham to sober up. Kipling has told us a fairy tale. But, like all good fairy tales, this story reveals a great truth. Todd’s childish heteronomy, his lack of ‘caste’, his ignorance of ‘the Law’, shows that the Empire- supposedly  founded on the Kantian autonomy of the ICS officer tasked with the ‘white man’s burden’ of caring for the ‘Underdeveloped’ native- is actually an ornamental fan-fare heralding nothing but a naked ignorance- the Empire has no clothes and only a child can see it and not resisting shouting it out aloud.
‘Under the City walls’ is another story of Kipling’s- it inspired portions of Borges’s ‘the search for al Muttasim’ and grounded his early belief that Kipling, like the Schopenhauerian Machado, was actually mulatto- which contains an even more hard hitting indictment of the British Empire. Post Colonial theorists, being entirely ignorant, miss its significance because the fail to see that when District Commissioner Petit, after putting down the riot, says ‘it is expedient that one man should die for the sake of the people’ he is quoting Caiaphas the Christ-killer. I recall reading somewhere a quotation from Pater’s Marius the Epicurean (which, I confess, I never managed to finish) to the effect that what undid the Rome of the Antonines was their inability to see the spectacle of their circuses, the gore of their gladiatorial combats, was what would make inevitable their eclipse and destruction. The future lay with that pallid sect, cowering in the catacombs, which could see that it was not expedient at all that one man, or body of men- however brave, whatever their beliefs or battle skills- die for the sake of the people. I paraphrase.  No doubt, Pater put the same matter in more lapidary form.
‘The return of Imray’- on the face of it an extended after-dinner anecdote on the theme of the ghastliness of native servants- I have discussed in my book ‘Tigers of Wrath’.  I looked up what I'd written just now- thank you Google books!- and find that though written over a decade ago, there is nothing I want to change, no too savage strain of saevo indignatio to provoke a cry of sufflaminandus erat, not because, with the passage of years, I have not rather sunk than risen as a stylist, but because I now more clearly see that the damage done by the equation of heteronomy with underdevelopment, the blight produced by the ‘Ayn ul Kamal’, the ‘eye of perfection’- such as that by which Imray slays the khidmatgar’s son, such as that by which the I.C.S blighted India- ‘shakkar ki churi’ says Dadhabhai Naoroji, ‘the knife of sugar’- yet is wielded and wielded to the same ghastly end. Nowadays, anyone with a PhD from America gets to fuck up India- if the village money-lender was a blood sucker, then Virkam Akula getting his Georgetown PhD, is immediately transformed into DR.AKULA,  fastening his ‘for profit’ fangs upon millions of poor women and becoming a multi millionaire in the process. But, I wonder, could Kipling himself have kept up his subtle, naturalistic, art in the face of what is currently happening? Like Dr. Swift, he might have ended up in the loony bill if he’d made the attempt?
Kipling’s ‘Brother Square-toes’ puzzled me when first I read it. Indeed, it now quite indistinct in my mind and conflated with ‘A priest in spite of himself’- in which Talleyrand offers a bribe in the hope of gaining information which will enable his return to France and power. The reason, I recall it now is because Talleyrand is an example of a diplomat who financed his Ministry by bribes from the enemies of his state and the enemies of his foreign policy. History has judged Talleyrand in the right- this was a diplomat who saw that France was best served by remaining within its natural borders rather than by Napoleonic or dynastic folie de grandeur. The point about his corruption is that it served not France merely but Civilization itself. Roberto Callasso makes Talleyrand- Kipling’s ‘Priest in spite of himself’- into a sort of pivotal figure who, as Master of Revels, introduces Europe to its own destiny as something or the other I hadn’t patience enough to inquire further about. Invoking Prof. Mushtaq Khan’s notion of ‘Transformative Potential’, we might say that Talleyrand’s corruption helped unleash the Continent’s productive resources for Pacific socio-economic development as opposed to winner-take-all militarism.
More generally, we might see in Talleyrand a transitional figure- adapting the norms of the ancien regime to a burgeoning Civil Society based on middle class morality. Corruption, as something winked at for ‘greasing the wheels’, arises out of a mis-match between customary morality and a new Universal Ethical theory which has not yet called into existence the institutions that might allow it to function as intended. Unfortunately, mischievous ‘social entrepreneurs’ of whom, to paraphrase Pascal on monks, ‘we will always have more of, than Reason’- are bound to start up a ‘moral panic’, an availability cascade, blaming all Society’s ills on this sort of transitional corruption- i.e. social ‘shadow’ norms or processes arising out of a lag, or hysteresis effect, between the reigning prescriptive code and that which obtains on the ground.
Henry Adams- whose education disabled him from becoming a sort of Paretian social-engineer (that is, if I understand him right)- marvels at Gladstone’s duplicity, as opposed to Lord Palmerstone’s candor and straight-dealing, before reaching the conclusion that the real fault was with his own generation, people of his own education, who caught up in holier-than-thou availability cascades visited a great ruin upon themselves wholly gratuitously. It is in this context that the emergence of Tammany Hall politics, the sink of corruption into which the Republic fell and- as the TV series ‘Empire Broadwalk’ eloquently demonstrates- remained enmired, was the pre-condition for American development, just as Talleyrand’s corruption became the foundation for Europe’s rise from the ashes of Waterloo.
Returning to Kipling, Kim, of course, is his magnum opus. The Irish lad, Kimbal O’Hara, appoints himself as ‘chela’ to a Tibetan monk. Why? Is it not merely to ensure his own survival as a street smart trickster? Or is all just, as Nabokov suggests, a boys-own adventure story of no interest to us 'developed'  evolues.  Certainly, Indians are content to receive it as such. Yet, the hidden text is there for all to see (at least to Hindus). The name Kim derives from Ka- Who?- this as the name of God. He is also called ‘friend-of-all-the-world’ i.e. Visvamitra. In the Rg Veda, this Rishi is shown as having power over rivers. The Theosophists- including, Kipling’s boss, much to his disgust- made great play of the similarity between Moses, who had power over the Red Sea, and Visvamitra in this respect.  The monk is searching for a sacred river. Kim becomes his means of finding it- but by a means wholly problematic.  Interestingly, the English Anglican Chaplain comes across as a flint-hearted pi-jaw merchant. The Irish Catholic priest, on the other hand, is happy to strike a deal with the Tibetan monk who rescues Kim from an Army Orphanage by paying the fees for the elite La Martiniere school. Development, it seems, is so corrupt it can corrupt even the most corrupt of gamin street urchins. An old man may find a river in a waste space- but it doesn’t exist for anybody else. The friend-of-all-the-world loses his only friend in all the world.

Before Kipling, the big Indian best-seller was ‘Confessions of a Thug’ by Meadows Taylor. There are some curious parallels between it and, the Indian police-man, Ruswa’s ‘Umrao Jaan’- essentially in both stories, the anti-hero or heroine is upper class but kidnapped and brought up to a disreputable calling- what both highlight is the difference between ‘ada’ and ‘adaab’- i.e. both the Thug and the Tawaif have the appearance and manners, the pre-possessing address, of the erstwhile ruling class (to which, indeed, they belong by birth). Both, at least to our eye, represent a challenge to the usurping power- there is the story of Gauhar Jaan (born Angelina Yeoward) putting the Governor General’s nose out of joint by cutting off his barouche with her own more splendid equipage- and have their own secret history of suppression. In Kipling’s ‘Under the City walls’ the tawaif Lalun arranges for the escape of the old rebel, but- as Kipling well understood, it was a romantic, hopelessly retrograde, step. What actually happened at Jallianwalla bagh (which to Anglo-Indian ears suggests Chilianwala) happens through the agency of an agent provocateur- the pampered son of a local Lalun- this is a story not even Kipling would have had the stomach to write.  At about the same time as Meadows Taylor, Emily Eden was penning her influential letters and the venom she spits at the Sikhs- especially the nihang warriors- is worthy of comment. Meadows Taylor, in listing the confederates of the Thugs and naming those whom they were forbidden to slay, is highly informative with respect to who exactly the British most feared at that time. Essentially, any indigenous political or cultural formation with military potential- or possibly fanning the flames of martial ardor- was equated with either the Thuggee’s kerchief or the Tawaif’s kotha. I’m not saying, for I honestly don’t know, that any and every ‘uprising’- like that of the ‘Sanyasse’s’ or the Moplahs- was actually part of a ‘struggle for Independence’- indeed, I’m willing to give the Marxists the benefit of the doubt ever w.r.t the Gandhian movement in this respect- nevertheless, my wider point is that the norms and courteous forms of the ancien regime may be denounced as corruption not because they represent underdevelopment but because they impede a sort of Development that is kleptocratic and gives rise to Dependency theory.

English rule permitted a sort of privatization of corruption by means of its adversarial justice system. The advocates who prospered by it retained a bad conscience arising out of the cognitive dissonance of  been paid to 'make the worse appear the better cause'. Consequently, in a manner entirely mischievous, they made themselves available for every available, suitably high toned, availability cascade- especially after the killing of Barrister Pringle Kennedy's women-folk.
After 1919, the industrialists too had been bought off. A system was in place such that those already with an 'in' could be sure of monopolising the local market and, after Independence, cornering resources and (effectively) subsidies to shore up their position. Yes, parevenus might need to pay bribes. So, yes, certain industrialists will denounce corruption. It's simply a sign of better breeding, dontchaknow!

Kipling disengaged with Politics, after his disastrous infatuation with Rhodes, and it is to the increasingly paranoid pages of Chesterton and Belloc that we must turn to trace the further trajectory of this theme in English letters.
But, let us not stray no further on this noisome path.
Kipling, on final assay, was an innocent. At least, it is to our own age of innocence that his works are most gloriously grafted and gratefully remembered. So, tho' others abide our question, Kipling thou art free!

Now if only someone would offer me a bottle of blue label to write their High School essay on 'Development as Freedom'- I too would be content to let this topic well enough alone.

Friday 25 March 2011

The Gandhian Motor Car- better than the Nano?

Prof. Milford Bateman has criticized Micro Finance because it crowds out the Small to Medium Sector especially in Manufacturing.
How surprised he would be to hear there is now a motor car industry- that too one upholding the values of Mahatma Gandhi, Vandana Siva and Dr. Vijay Mahajan- whose entire capital has been raised by Micro Finance and which, uniquely,  is generating non-deskilling and non-mobility reducing livelihoods through NREGA, that too using only lokavidya (indigenous knowledge)  for the subaltern Bahishkrit Samaj who are excluded from this so called 'Development' everybody is talking about !

Will this car receive all the hype and publicity that the Tata Nano received a couple of years ago? Of course not! The big Media is just a pawn in the hands of the Corporate fat-cats!

Book your order here for the latest deluxe model pictured below

Thursday 24 March 2011

Generalising from Milrford Bateman's Iron law of micro-fiance

This is Prof. Milford Bateman's Iron Law of micro-finance-' to the extent that local savings are intermediated through microfinance institutions, the more that country or region or locality will be left behind in a state of poverty and under-development.' 
The Law will hold so long as there are returns to scale or scope, downward sloping demand curves for whatever borrowers produce, as well as differences in the quality of labor and other inputs- i.e. different borrowers will gain different revenue from whatever it is they use the loan to produce.
Other factors militating towards the same conclusion have to do with 
1) how credit to unviable businesses or households delays rational resource allocation while also driving down acceptable living standards and social expectations,
2) the manner in which the informal economy and black money take over- reducing the tax base for the Govt. and thus preventing infrastructure spending and Social Capital formation.
3) capture of M.F. networks by criminal/political gangs or parties for their own purposes of creating a mass support base.

Why is M.F so bad? What's wrong with lending small sums of money to people? The answer is that it isn't M.F which is bad it is M.F-as-pro-market-gender-equitable-environmentally-sustainable-Development.
There's nothing wrong with either Development or Micro Finance or Organic Farming or Cottage industries or whatever. It's just that when you try to kill two birds with one stone and have Development-as-something else, or Micro Finance-as-something else, and so on, that everything quickly turns to shit.
I think some Prof. somewhere should come up with a lapidary formulation of an Iron Law of Development viz. 'the more charitable fuckwits, of the highest character and altruism, sit around concocting schemes for Development-as-something real noble sounding- the more Development fucks up the already poor.'

In the war against drugs- sodomy is not an option.

Asst. Sec. of State, Patti Obaweyo-Golem's recent statement-'in the war against drugs- sodomy is not an option'- does not exist because she is an imaginary person. However, no one can deny the truth value of the proposition- 'Asst. Sec. of State, Patti Obaweyo-Golem is entirely correct in saying that 'in the war against drugs- sodomy is not an option'. '
I offer a bottle of champagne, from my private cellar, for a convincing explanation of this epistemological puzzle.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Corruption and 'Transformation Potential.

There's a fascinating discussion between Daniel Kaufman and Mushtaq Khan here.

Mushtaq Khan's notion that corruption can unleash the 'transformation potential' of a developing country has an intuitive appeal.
One way of looking at rent-seeking is that it arises out of the Development paradigm as valorizing an abrupt shift to a system of resource allocation that is, by definition, non-indigenous and thus has no legitimacy within  sittlichkeit and customary codes regulating social cohesion. In other words, the very notion that Development is a something the Govt. should be doing- facilitates rent-seeking.
Where the ruling elite is supported by a foreign power- i.e. is merely a comprador by another name- Kaufmann's kleptocratic theory works- i.e. corruption is what confiscates what Development would otherwise yield.
However, if rent-seeking both motivates and reduces contestation w.r.t re-allocating resources in productivity boosting or demographic transition facilitating ways, then the 'Tansformation potential' is unleashed as Mushtaq Khan suggests.
Another way to put it, is that such corruption has a trickle down demonstration effect changing consumption preferences and lifestyle choices. Moreover, it makes commitments to change resource allocation more credible. Think of it this way. The Govt. takes away the subsidy on yarn for the handloom sector. Why should the handloom weavers and the Leftist rent-a-mob not contest this decision? After all the decision maker is using Govt. money. What's his incentive to come off looking like a bad guy? Ah! But what if everybody believes he's a degenerate playboy who is putting the money saved directly into his pocket? People may still cry foul. But what if they also believe this degenerate playboy is the nephew of the top Mafia Grandfather? Still worth it? Or not so much?

There's a story Arthur Miller tells in his auto-biography which makes a point quite different to the one he might have intended. It's about a labor organizer who'd made the lives of factory owners (like Miller's dad, an illiterate tailor who rose to millionaire status before going bankrupt in the Great Stock Market Crash) utterly miserable. This gentleman hit upon the idea of organizing the Dock workers. But the Mafia boss, Lucky Luciano, had been co-opted by the Govt. to take control of the Docks so as to ensure that the War effort was not hindered by Commie agitators. So our hero was hounded out of the Union organizing business- he was given an offer he couldn't refuse. How was he to make a living? It so happened that one of the factory owners he'd previously harassed was on the point of bankruptcy because his entire stock had suddenly gone out of style. The former agitator shows up at the business man's office. The guy just laughs and says- 'do your worst, I'm already insolvent. I've had to tell my workers they won't get paid this week.' The agitator says- 'look, I know about your problem. Make me your partner and I'll shift your stock.' The agitator was as good as his word. He was an excellent salesman. Soon he and his partners were millionaires. Instead of destroying jobs, the agitator was creating them. His business savvy was being used to raise productivity- and hence wages- rather than wreck businesses. But the man was unhappy. He felt he'd betrayed the cause of Labor and, to make up for it, made liberal donations to various Liberal fuckwits.

I'm not saying that corruption and criminality, by themselves, produce Development. It would suffice if there were the mere appearance of corruption, with (of course) Mafia muscle to back it up, to positively impact the Govt'. ability to boost productivity, Development, and even good Governance further down the line.

To summarize, on this analysis, not only is Development productive of corruption, contested definitions of Development ensure that only mega-corruption backed up by the criminalization of the Public Space can unleash that Transformation Potential whereby the rents of office turn into returns on good Governance.

Read in this light, the questions raised here- re. corruption in Tamil Nadu- appears less puzzling.

Sunday 20 March 2011

Ghalib's ghazal 18-- barzakh as a 'lazy language' compiler.

I've been  trying to think of how Ibn Arabi's notion of the barzakh might influence a poet's choice of verses for his published Divan. The notion that an early couplet might be a 'hopeful monster' or represent 'tying the knot' in a 'lazy language' - itself influences Reception, which might be thought of as a sort of bootstrapped compiler- and changes the hermeneutic circle.

Ghalib's Divan, for obvious reasons, suggests itself as the ideal candidate for this sort of exercise- but, how productive is the outcome? At least in English, one so wants to be seized of a conceit, elided or otherwise, it is precisely the poetic afflatus, or breath generated heat or tapas, which fails to be captured on the page.

Consider ghazal 18

shab ḳhumār-e shauq-e sāqī rastḳhez-andāzah thā
tā muḥīt̤-e bādah ṣūrat-ḳhānah-e ḳhamyāzah thā
1) last night the intoxication/hangover of the ardor of/for the Cupbearer was in the style of Judgment Day
2) up to the wine-circumference there was a picture-house of a yawn/stretch/gape 

It seems to me that the commentators miss something by taking rastkhez simply as Doomsday. The nurturing or burgeoning aspect of the word points to Ibn Arabi's conception of barzakh (limbo) as a place of imaginal growth and evolution.

Another point has to do with the manner in which the obvious conceit- viz. that the reflection of the Saqi in the wine cup causes the wine to become enchanted- is overlooked (though Ghalib considered such elision a special mark of beauty) in favor of the deeply unpoetical notion that drinkers yawn a lot..
Still the notion of Night as the hang-over of the enchantment of the lights of the Tavern strikes an experiential note.
yak qadam vaḥshat se dars-e daftar-e imkāñ khulā
jādah ajzā-e do-ʿālam-dasht kā shīrāzah thā
1a) with/through one footstep of wildness/madness the lesson of the chapter of possibilities opened up
1a) with/through one footstep of wildness/madness the lesson of the chapter of possibilities fell apart
2a) the path [that the madman had left behind] was the binding-thread of the pieces of the two-world desert
2b) the path [of madness itself] was the binding-thread of the pieces of the two-world desert

The two worlds here are the alam al amr and the alam al khalq- ie. the world of 'command' and the world of the created.
Again, Ibn Arabi's treatment of barzakh is required to make this couplet meaningful- indeed, barzakh is transformed into the individual's world line stitching his imaginal ontology together.
mānaʿ-e vaḥshat-ḳhirāmīhā-e lail;ā kaun hai
ḳhānah-e majnūn-e ṣaḥrā-gird be-darvāzah thā
1) who is a forbidder of the {madness/wildness}-walkings of Laila?
2) the house of Majnun the desert-circler was door-less

Again, it looks to me as though a (perhaps too obvious to be stated) elision needs to be made explicit- at least in English.
nālah-e dil ne diye aurāq-e laḳht-e dil bah bād
yādgār-e nālah ik dīvān-e be-shīrāzah thā
1) the lament of the heart gave the pages of the fragments of the heart to the wind
2) the memorial/keepsake of the lament was a single/unique/preeminent divan without a binding-thread
This, of course, is reminiscent of Jami picturing Majnoon as writing Lailah's name in the desert sand, which the wind then erases.

Night got drunk on the Saqi's ardor to intimate Resurrection
Fabled beauties bubbled the grape, agape at her reflection

One tread from desolation bethreads the Quran of instruction
Command & Creation, our path paginates as destruction.

The Sahara is a shack I'd  ignore as being of mean construction
Did not, on its door, Lailah's heart pound to such ruction!

That publishing Majnoon, as to Grief's Divan an Introduction
Bankrupted the Simoon, I remaindered rue deduction.

Friday 18 March 2011

Gandhi's invisible hands- Ian Desai's ludicrous article

I came across this ludicrous article titled 'Gandhi's invisible hands' by a Rhodes Scholar named Ian Desai.

What happens is that Ian goes to Sabarmati ashram and is nonplussed to find a library there. Even more amazing than the presence of books is the fact that Gandhi had read them! Stranger still, Gandhi had a secretary, called Mahadev Desai, who had also read them! This is proof that not just Gandhi but at least one other person on his staff could read and and write!

Ian records his amazement thus-'As I explored the old, dust-caked books in this startling collection over the following weeks, months, and years, a story of Gandhi’s life and work unfolded before me that diverged from the accounts I knew. The very presence of such a substantial collection of books in proximity to Gandhi—who famously espoused a philosophy of non-possession—suggested that the image of simplicity and detachment long associated with the Mahatma, or “Great Soul,” was misleading: There was clearly a hidden degree of complexity to Gandhi’s life.'

The guy is a Rhodes Scholar. He's studying South Asian history or some such shite at Oxbridge or whatever and he makes this amazing discovery- Gandhi wasn't an illiterate hobo- he owned books. What ever next?

What's next is Ian's second great discovery- viz. that Gandhi wasn't a 'solitary saint' who just one day set off to Dandi on a Salt march or whatever and then everybody just like spontaneously joined in and got clubbed to death or whatever like y'know in that film- what was it called?- Ghoulies? Ghostbusters? No... Gandhi... that was it.. and like y'know when I like went to this place in like India like where Gandhi like lived and like guess what? The dude was into books- like books, man- heavy stuff, no kidding. And like all those other skinny little brown dudes in diapers- well, like a lot of them had been to like College and were like Law students who'd dropped out, like Mahadev Desai, or Chartered Accountants who'd gone rogue, like Kumarappa- and like nobody knows about this coz ... urm... but let Ian tell the story-
'Yet the organizational sophistication behind Gandhi’s dramatic march never got a mention in the headlines the enterprise worked so hard to produce. Its invisibility was partly by design: By effacing their own efforts, Gandhi’s associates reinforced his image as a simple and self-reliant crusader. While most traces of Gandhi’s enterprise were indeed erased from the historical record, Mahadev Desai’s library is a notable exception. Gandhi’s team compiled and utilized an extensive variety of intellectual resources to support the Mahatma’s mission. Desai was the heart of this intellectual operation, helping Gandhi refine his philosophy over the course of his career and providing him with concrete information to use in his ideological struggle with British imperialism.'

What Ian Baba is saying is
1) Gandhi's disciples were self-effacing. This isn't true. People sought out Gandhi because he was the most efficacious 'reputation multiplier'.
Take Kumarappa. Why does he come to Gandhi and why does he stay? The answer is, it was a short-cut to gaining recognition. Why? In what sense? Well, he fancies himself an Economist coz he quit a good career as a Chartered Accountant and had got a Masters from Columbia in Econ. Essentially, he thought he could prove 'the drain theory' w.r.t Indian Public Finance with the result that he ignored the really important fiscal questions for the Indian economist as defined by Ranade and which Gokhale ought to have better developed. But, that was also the purpose for which ICS officers like Hume, Wedderburn and Cotton set up and supported the I.N.CThe Servants of India has been described as similar to the Jesuit order in terms of the importance attached to turning their lodges into libraries and collecting and commissioning statistical and other works. Gandhi's novelty, and his success in reaching out to the masses, lay in rejecting knowledge of any sort. Yes, he read the books that people sent to him but his message never changed on the basis of what he read except in a negative sense- his magpie mind might pick up some new fad or factoid that complemented his general silliness- Gandhi read only to condemn the already highly developed and elaborated project of knowledge-based Indian reform.
2) The important point about the Salt March is not that it was well organized, or that, thanks to the crooked Capitalist Dalmia, it was well financed but that it was well organized and financed to fail.  This is because it's ostensible goal really didn't matter to its sponsors. They got their corrupt deal with Manchester and padded contract from Congress Ministries. The Salt tax was in fact abolished about 15 years later but it was merely a gesture which had lost all meaning. In fact, the price of salt went up, because what had been Govt. revenue turned into a private monopoly rent. Meanwhile, protests about stuff that actually mattered to people went ahead and, more often than not, were quite successful because Gandhians were told to fuck off. The bottom line is that even spontaneous and poorly organized movements can be successful provided they aim at things which genuinely make a difference to people's lives but don't pose an existential threat to the paramount power.
3) History is not- contra Ian Baba- something that gets erased by some magic marker. Ian is simply wrong about Gandhi's helpers being self-effacing rather than celebrity-fuckers. True, his Ashrams had their share of  faceless nonentities and/or schizophrenics without an autonomous identity. But, politically speaking, Gandhi's henchmen were all a bunch of self-aggrandizing sociopaths with delusions of grandeur.  Everybody in India knows about Gandhi's helpers. Indeed, Gandhi is still important to us coz of that Great Uncle or Great-great grandfather or whatever whom he used to give enemas to and who enabled our family to move from the village or moffussil town to a nice middle class neighbourhood in the big City.

Ian's conclusion is 'The real magic of the Mahatma was not a trick of popular charisma, but in fact a deft ability to recruit, manage, and inspire a team of talented individuals who worked tirelessly in his service.'
This is daft. Firstly, Ian has not named one person whom the Mahatma actually went out and 'head-hunted' or otherwise recruited. People came to him for their own reasons. The Mahatma tried to 'manage' people but failed. There is the story of Kumarappa refusing to pay the Ashramites the inflated per diems they demanded out of the Bihar Relief fund. Gandhi intervened- not to get his Ashramites to reduce their monetary demands, but to get the Charetered Accountant to pay up and shut up. But a C.A is a C.A, even in Gandhian guise. Kumarappa stood his ground. So some other fund was tapped for the Ashramite's expenses. Had Gandhi been a good manager, his Ashrams would have been profit centers rather than bottomless money pits. True, he was fucked in the head- but if Scientology can make money why not Gandhian Ashrams?
Gandhi's disciples, properly so called, weren't talented. They were nut-jobs. They didn't work tirelessly. They sat around spinning yarn. Gandhi loved these goof-balls coz- narcissistic hypochondriacs that they were- their function was to constantly waste his time by demanding yet more worthless medical and dietary advice, thus permitting him to picture himself as a sort of Medical savant rather than the deeply provincial politician that he actually was..

Ian totally misses the point about Gandhi. His notion of Hind Swaraj was one which 'made room for the zamindar and the maharaja'- how? Simple! By keeping the British around- but morally debasing them as nothing more than his periodic jailers and turnkeys.
True, Gandhi sponsored a boycott of foreign textiles- he could scarcely fail to do so since it started while he was still in South Africa cuddling with Kallenbach- in any case, his financiers wanted it- but he resolutely opposed a general boycott of British goods or, in fact, any measure that would have hit British financial interests in a manner that had not already been negotiated without him.
Though a fully paid up nut-job, he was less silly than almost anyone else- at least, from the British point of view.
He was 'a loyal seditionist'- recruiting soldiers for three of Britain's wars was just the beginning of his service to the King Emperor. The English speaking people- if not the Indglish speaking people- owe him a debt of gratitude.
But, perhaps, that is Ian Desai's point.The historical record has been erased. Not the sort of record kept by the Gandhi Foundation or the Indian Govt. or responsible historians- no, the other sort of historical record created by kids cutting stuff out of magazines to create collages in Schools unable to actually teach them how to read and write and like mebbe someday do rithmetic.

Come to think of it Prof.Raghavan Iyer, too, was a Rhodes scholar and wrote his shite book on Gandhi in Santa Barbara Cartland.

Sunday 13 March 2011

Jamnalal Bajaj- Gandhi's adopted son.

'Not long ago, as the Gandhians in the Gandhi stronghold Wardha region were opposing the development of large heavy industry, one could hear people making comments about their bad fortune that of all the areas available in India Gandhi had to choose theirs to settle in, and as a consequence, because of his many followers in the region, they will not have the development projects which would give them and their children work opportunities.
With all the Gandhian institutions which have grown up in this area, why is this not a model of Gandhian utopia? Why is Sevagram still just a dirty Indian village? Why do the locals consider the Gandhians still in their midst as irrelevant, or at times worse?'

Why blame Gandhi for everything? The person responsible for that shit-head setting up shop in Wardha was Jamnalal Bajaj. Like Birla, Bajaj had the right stuff to be a great industrialist. But he fell harder for Gandhi's silliness and ended up looking after cows or something equally shit-headed.

Is there like a khap panchayat Indian Industrialists belong to that makes it obligatory for them to endorse utterly silly ideologies in proportion to their capacity to enrich themselves?

Saturday 12 March 2011

Cliodynamics- Is Britain on the verge of Revolution?

What is worrying about the ongoing political ferment in the Arab world is not that the Pentagon's 100 million dollar computer model failed to predict it but that a sort of reductionist 'cliodynamic' logic is being used to explain something which is of little fundamental importance and marks no seminal change of significance.
This is a link to an article by Peter Turchin, towards the end of which the mathematical biologist smugly warns of an impending revolution here in Britain caused by Tony Blair's thoughtless attempt to raise the portion of young people in higher education to 50%.
Since a 'credentialing crisis'  (i.e. an unsustainable number of people seeking academic qualifications so as to secure a slice of a diminishing pie) is evidence of a Ricardo-Malthusian crunch, Turchin, with a bland indifference to cause and effect, has pointed the finger at Tony Blair for whatever the horrors the future has in store for us- tumbrils crammed with merchant bankers on their way to guillotines manned by Deleuzian Dance Archaeologists or  Post Colonial Sports Therapy Majors- another reason, surely, to just canonize the guy already without bothering too much about burying him first.

Another point one might make is that since revolutions tend to massively worsen the well being of those they mobilize, and since the cancerous growth in Further Education in this country has created a generation of debt-slaves- it is safe to say that deflationary pressures, or higher real interest rates at any rate, are likely to be the outcome, unless, of course, cliodynamics really is as silly as its name suggests.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Recreational incontinence & the new 'rave' culture.

Much has been written about stress-related incontinence in the board room- what about recreational incontinence, especially amongst the 35 to 55 cohort?
A quick Google search shows that the phenomenon is more commonly viewed as a corollary of the Permanent Income Hypothesis, rather than, as is all to apparent from even a cursory glance at the dribbling backsides of the sort of people who turn up at middle-brow book signings, the equivalent of the 'rave culture' of the '90's.  Clearly, what is happening is that G3 and G4 enabled mobile telephony has permitted the creation of 'flash mobs' who 'have a party in their pants' under the guise of getting Vikram Seth to sign his latest puerility for them.

Personally, I blame David Cameron.
That boy aint right.

Sunday 6 March 2011

My struggle against Eurocentric Aesthetics.

The hegemonic nature of Eurocentric aesthetics is responsible for the bizarre paradox that images of slim good looking females in bikinis  have come to be considered more 'sexy' than pictures of me reaching deep into my jaddi to scratch my low slung bollocks not just by White people but also, now, by people of Color- that too even by middle-aged, heterosexual, bahishkrit samaj, Indians like myself.
How can we explain such a truly diabolical outcome?

As Ranajit Guha said 'within every thinking Indian there occurs a silent struggle between Gandhi and Marx.'
But Ranajit is now considered a hottie and constitutes the one-man Reeperbahn of Vienna, where- kidnapped by Nazi human traffickers- he blamelessly resides.
In a sense, then, Ranajit has been appropriated by that exploitative Eurocentric Aesthetic which also constitutes as its alterity those not considered hot, like myself, who thus are promoted from subaltern status to full membership of the bahishkrit samaj (externed or ostracized community)
How did this come about?
My contention is that both Gandhi and Marx became totally Eurocentric, the former when he lived up the road from me in Baron's Court, the latter when he was buried in the very cemetery where I lost my virginity to a hirsute Maltese sixth former from the infamous Parliament Hill School for Gargogyles. Well, actually, I didn't lose my virginity to her- she merely muttered mutinously against Dom Mintoff while I damply held her hand- but, as I was subsequently assured, she certainly would have deflowered me had I fed her the packet of pork scratchings and half can of Tizer that made a transaction of that sort de rigeur amongst Trotskyite young women of that generation and milieu.

Clearly what is needed is a new episteme of lok-avidya- indigenous urm...knowledge?- that can restore me to 'ultra-hottie' status while relegating that dumpy little Aishwariya Rai Bacchan to her proper place as like maybe a Micro-biologist or Econometrician or something.
The above picture of me, wearing janeo and jaddi, appears quite different to people who have surrendered to a Eurocentric aesthetic.
Indeed, the rot has set in so far that my recent movie- Anal Cherries III- was rejected by the Indian Film Censors on the grounds that it was pornographic despite the fact that if contained nothing but me in my veshti & angavastram declaiming Tagore in a hilarious Bengali accent.

Saturday 5 March 2011

clientism vs. consumerism

I think it was Mahatma Gandhi who said 'The Earth produces enough to satisfy every man's need for clients, but not enough to satisfy the greed of even a single one of those clients if they start to think like consumers and realize that they're paying through the nose for shitheads like me and you to patronize them, therefore we must all condemn consumerism and eating nice things and wearing nice clothes and medicines which actually work and other such godlessness because  it is just not environmentally sustainable- people like you and me would go fucking extinct if we don't all work together to fucking squash this consumerism business right now.'

President Kennedy, on the other hand, said in his inauguration address 'Don't you be fucking coming to me now I is Pres. saying 'what can you do for me?' That's not the fucking question you should be asking yourself. Ask instead ' what can I do for the Pres. now he dun got himself elected and owns the country and gets to fuck anybody he wants to in the ass?'"

This is the very simple message we should be getting across to our youth today. Obviously, by youth, I mean Rahul Gandhi.