Sunday 28 December 2014

Romila Thapar silencing the Public Intellectual

Sonia Gandhi knew little about the country it fell to her to rule. One of the experts she consulted regularly to remedy her ignorance was Romila Thapar.

Clearly, the distinguished historian was a 'durbari' intellectual- a courtier savant- was she also ever a 'Public Intellectual' like Emile Zola who condemned the injustice done to Dreyfus?
Of course she was. She condemned the imprisonment without trial of a host of Politicians and Trade Unionists and Journalists during the Emergency. Her book 'J'accuse Madam Indira!' was a best seller.
I'm kidding. She wrote no such book.

What she did do was attack the policies of the party opposed to Sonia Gandhi, whom she herself regularly visited and advised.

In this partisan exercise, what helped her was her long history of writing highly communal attacks on one particular type of Religion- Brahmanic as opposed to Shramanic- which she castigated as intolerant and backward. The fact that the other sort- Shramanic Buddhism- was sheer money-grubbing, elitist, misogynistic, casteist  stupidity, special pleading and magical thinking, most of whose practitioners happened to be Brahmin males- she glossed over. Instead, she affirmed that Indian history is only 'communalized' if reference is made to antagonism between Hinduism and Islam. This is because whereas India is now divided between Buddhistan and Vedistan, Muslims live happily with Hindus in places where they are the majority. Thapar, as a Hindu, may be right in saying that Hindus had no antagonism to Muslims- the Muslim population of India is now a higher percentage than at Partition- but she is surely wrong to say that Islam in India wasn't hostile to Hindus.

The facts speak for themselves. Hindus and Christians, but also Muslims deemed insufficiently orthodox, have been either ethnically cleansed or subjected to continuous intimidation, harassment and terror in areas where Muslims are either numerically stronger or feel themselves at an advantage.

For Thapar, the true story of India is one of resistance to stupid and needy Brahmins by less stupid and more greedy Brahmins who decided it paid better to pose as Buddhists. Islam was an irrelevance, except in so far as it killed off all the Hindus, in which case it was actually only avenging Buddhism and thus on the side of the angels.

Thapar explains that 'Buddhism was edged out of India by, among other things, Brahminical orthodoxy. In India, the State of Bihar derives it name from 'Vihara', the term for a Buddhist monastery. What about Naobehar, near Balkh, in Afghanistan? Its name derives from 'New Vihara'.

Who destroyed Buddhism in Balkh? Did Brahmin orthodoxy play a part? Or is it not the case that Viharas in Balkh were destroyed by the same people, for the same reason, as the Viharas of Bihar were destroyed?

Who 'edged Buddhism out' of Afghanistan and Central Asia? Who is edging Christianity out of Iraq and Syria today? Who 'edged out' Hinduism and Sikhism from Pakistan?

It certainly wasn't Islam. Perish the thought! Probably it was neo-liberalism.

Even suppose Lord Buddha was stupid or self-serving enough to commit to the theory given above, was it really the case that 'private property' alone gave rise to 'confusion and conflict'? Was there really never any invasion by an aggressive tribe to be countered? In addition to an elected Magistrate, was it really the case that no Military Chief was required?

Apparently not. Lord Buddha said-
31. 'And, Vasettha, whoever of these four castes, as a monk, becomes an Arahant who has destroyed the corruptions, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained to the highest goal, completely destroyed the fetter of becoming, and become liberated by the highest insight, he is declared to be chief among them in accordance with Dhamma, and not otherwise.
 Dhamma's the best thing for people
 In this life and the next as well.
32. 'Vasettha, it was Brahma Sanankamara who spoke this verse:
 "The Khattiya's best among those who value clan;
 He with knowledge and conduct is best of gods and men."
This verse was rightly sung, not wrongly, rightly spoken, not wrongly, connected with
profit, not unconnected. I too say, Vasettha:
 [98] "The Khattiya's best among those who value clan;
 He with knowledge and conduct is best of gods and men."'
Thus the Lord spoke, and Vasettha and Bharadvaja were delighted and rejoiced at his

In the Agganna Sutta, quoted above, the Buddha explains to 2 Brahmin monks why his own caste is superior to theirs, just as their caste is superior to that of the Vaishyas who in turn rank above the despicable Shudras. The argument he uses is foolish and utterly false. It is not true that an 'Abhassara Brahma' world ever existed or that it will exist. The whole thing is a myth- like the Sea of Milk or the Celestial Tortoise or Jesus rising from the Dead. Buddha was a stupid fuckwit who thought sex was bad, eating was bad, and Warriors who can actually fight, Kings who can actually govern- like King Pasenadi- were also bad. He himself, he considered to be very very good because he simply went around telling stupid self-serving lies about his own greatness which was why King Pasenadi had become his disciple.

Thapar's own anti-Brahmin vitriol is perfectly understandable. Like the Buddha, she is a Kshatriya. Her Uncle was a dud as Army Chief. Clearly, her people would have been better off sticking to making money or pretending to be Marxists.  Naturally, possessing neither intelligence nor capacity for learning, she resented the Brahmin reputation for both. Thus, she is not a historian but a victim of her history. Her Punjabi Hindu Khattri ancestors, though good at making money, failed in defending their own homeland. It falls to their obedient daughter to claim that this involved no disgrace since there was never any Islamic threat in the first place. The only evil that existed in India was that of the Brahmins. Since Soniaji, being a foreigner, came to her for 'tuition', she herself had a duty to her Client which she could easily discharge by pretending that Hindutva is some sort of Brahminical conspiracy. The fact that non-Brahmins, like Modi and Amit Shah, have made it attractive to the voter probably has something to do with 'neo-liberalism'. Public Intellectuals have a duty to speak out against it. The fact that 'neo-liberalism' doesn't exist- and that those members of the Public who have intellectual inclinations can easily find this out for themselves- means that Silence is the only valid Parrhesia in this context.

Thapar, speaking of the Silence of the Public Intellectual, so nakedly reveals her own ignorance and stupidity as to stun, if not shame, her audience into silence.

The Economic Theory of killing Eric Garner.

Eric Garner was a 44 year old African American man suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes. He was unlawfully killed by a member or members of the New York Police.

Prof. Steven Landsburg, impelled no doubt by the spirit of Hanukkah, has a marvelous Christmas present for Eric Garner's family. He says that Econ theory proves that Garner couldn't have been hurt more than a tiny bit by Police harassment.

'Suppose you are a typical street vendor of an illegal product, such as, oh, say, untaxed cigarettes.

Suppose the police make a habit of harassing such vendors, by confiscating their products, smacking them around, hauling them off to jail, and perhaps occasionally killing a few.

I have good news: The police can’t hurt you.

Here’s why: Street vending can never be substantially more rewarding than, say, carwashing. If it were, car washers would become street vendors, driving down profits until the rewards are equalized. If car washers were happier than street vendors, we’d see the same process in reverse. (The key observation here is that it’s very easy to move back and forth between street vending and other occupations that require little in the way of special training or special skills.)

Because police harassment of street vendors has no effect on the happiness of car washers, and because street vendors are always just as happy as car washers, it follows that police harassment has no effect on the happiness of street vendors.

So if you’re a street vendor, the police can’t hurt you. On the other hand, when the police go around putting people in deadly chokeholds, they’re clearly hurting someone. So the question is: Who?

Answer: Not the vendors, but their customers. Fewer vendors means higher prices. That hurts consumers, and the sum total of that harm adds up to the harm that we see in the viral videos.

Landsburg himself has corrected himself in a subsequent post. He now says- 'I  stand by the claim that individual workers are hurt insignificantly by harassment. But I’m backing off the claim that the total harm to all workers is insignificant. Consumers in the harassed industry do bear a large burden — and perhaps even more than the entire social burden, because their losses are partly offset by gains to consumers elsewhere. But my simple accounting of yesterday (“the burden on the workers is effectively zero, so the social burden falls entirely on consumers”) was far too simple.'

Does Economic Theory endorse Landsburg's claims?
No. Harassment and Unlawful Killing, like Rape, may appear to give rise to Utility for some agent but have such a large negative external effect (by definition, this is received outside the market) that such Utility becomes Socially repugnant and worthy of punishment. Where pleasure is seen to derive from a crime, that pleasure is denounced as vicious. When the State unlawfully takes life, even if it is so as to protect its own Revenue, it loses legitimacy. Its actions become repugnant. Resources are not wasted in combating a repugnancy market. Indeed, it is compliance with the Excise Man which now carries a dead weight loss for Society. 

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Ramachandra Guha mad at Malviya pick

Bhagwan Das got a Bharat Ratna for founding the M.G Kashi Vidyapith. Now Malviya has got one for founding Benares Hindu University.

This makes Ramachandra Guha very very angry.

“Giving Vajpayee a Bharat Ratna is fine but one should not award it to people dead or long dead. Awarding Malaviya is a mistake..,” he tweeted. (To be clear, Vajpayee may be dead or as good as dead but he is not long dead. Malaviya died before Independence.)

In a series of tweets, Mr. Guha said, “If Malaviya, why not give Tagore, Phule, Tilak, Gokhale, Vivekananda, Akbar, Shivaji, Guru Nanak, Kabir, Ashoka, Bharat Ratnas too?” The answer, obviously, is that they don't 'match' with Vajpayee. By coupling Vajpayee with Malviya, a graceful assertion about their cultural salience, at least for Hindi speakers, is made.

“The more I think of it, the more the award of the Bharat Ratna to MM Malaviya strikes me as parochial and indefensible,” he said.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweets that Malaviya got the award for his scholarship and patriotism, Mr. Guha said that “in both spheres, there were far greater Indians...”.

Guha has given himself the job of measuring greatness in things like 'scholarship' and 'patriotism'. This is because he has shit for brains. He isn't a 'historian' but a kid who gets into arguments as to whether Spiderman can beat up Robin Hood.

“Gokhale, Tilak, Kamaladevi, Bhagat Singh, contributed far more than Malviya to the freedom struggle, Tagore far more to education/literature.' He says

But Shantiniketan aint a proper Univesity. B.H.U is. Kamaladevi contributed nothing very much to the Freedom Struggle. Scarcely any one has heard of her. Malviya, however, was a heavyweight compared even to her more famous sister-in-law. Bhagat Singh was killed before he could make much of a contribution. There is no suggestion that he was a political heavyweight.

“But Gokhale/Tilak/Bhagat Singh/Kamaladevi/Tagore and other such stalwarts did not work or live in the Prime Minister’s constituency,” he tweeted. Nor does the Prime Minister.

Modi chose to fight from Benares for a reason easily legible to Indian people. Pairing Malviya's name with Vajpayee's, similarly has a certain not particularly flattering cultural valency. Old Brahmins who dragged themselves up by their bootstraps are passe. Honor them by all means. If not dead they are not long dead and de mortuis nihil nisi bonum.

Monday 22 December 2014

More foolishness from Feisal Devji

In an essay for the Hindu, Dr. Devji makes 2 fatuous claims
1) The Indian State is unwilling or unable to monopolize the use of violence in its own name. 
2) Hindu Nationalism has never possessed a theory of the State.
He writes (my comments are in bold)
'We might argue that secularism remains a polemical category because it is deployed in order to capture the state while never fully inhabiting it. We might, indeed, argue precisely this but only if we had not only captured the State but also thrown it down into a pit and were now saying- 'It rubs the lotion on its skin, otherwise it gets the hose again'. 
In other words, if the purpose of 'capturing the State' is to skin it alive to make a body-suit for ourselves, then it makes sense of speaking of 'never fully inhabiting it'. This is because though we wear the skin of that which we captured, the fact that we had to get rid of a lot of messy internal organs means we don't 'fully inhabit it'. 
For as in colonial times, during which its exclusion from state power made for a nationalism grounded in society and its cultural and religious languages, Indian politics today continues to be divided between state and society. Why? There was no Democracy under Colonial rule. There is now and has been for 5o years. Why doesn't this make a difference?  This is nowhere more evident than in the way in which even the most powerful of India’s governments have never been able or indeed willing to monopolise the use of violence in the classical form, as defined by Max Weber, that is meant to characterise nation states. Was Nehru or Patel or Shastri or Indira or Morarji or Vajpayee 'unwilling or unable' to assert the State's monopoly of legitimate violence?Vajpayee sent in the Army after Godhra. Hindus were killed by Army bullets. On the contrary, they tolerate and even rely upon what we might describe as “social” violence, whether or not it is encouraged and even organised by agents of the state. When did this happen? The anti-Sikh riots? But the boy Rajiv scarcely counts as one of the 'most powerful of India's' rulers. Narasmiha Rao, similarly, was a senile has-been who only go the P.M's job after if was turned down by Shankar Dayal Sharma. Congress, latterly, might be totally shite but Patel wasn't shite, Shastri wasn't shite, and as for Indira, she didn't muck around mate. R.A.W was too a State Actor and it had its bumboo up your proverbial just so you'd remember.
This inability or unwillingness to monopolise the use of violence in its own name, I want to argue, illustrates neither the weakness nor backwardness of the Indian state, but instead constitutes its dynamic structural logic, one that has again come into its own after India’s liberalisation in the 1990s, when society, in the form of the private sector and informal economy, re-emerged as an important site of political contestation. Dynamic structural logic? There aint no such beast. You're just making this up.  We know Pakistan has plenty of non-State actors running around creating mayhem. Does the Pakistani unwillingness or inability to crack down on those nutjobs 'constitute its dynamic structural logic'? If so, is Devji saying that, post Bhutto, when the Economy was freed up, Pakistan's 'private sector and informal economy' re-emerged 'as an important site of political contestation'? Is that what the Peshawar School massacre was about? Contestation of private sector Schools? Is Devji completely off his head? Unlike Pakistan, India is not a country where private armies are officially tolerated or sanctioned. There are insurgencies and sometimes there are political settlements but it is not the case that India tolerates, as a matter of 'dynamic structural logic', any violation of State Monopoly of legitimate coersion. In this sense- i.e. nonsense- the non-Weberian character of the Indian state is as linked to neoliberalism today as it had been in the colonial past to the anticipatory politics of a nationalism based in society. India is not a soft State. It's a hard State. It will fuck you up if you try to fuck with it.  At the margin, no doubt, its potency is contested just as Westminster's potency was contested during the hoodie riots a few years back. So what? Like Britain, India has a unitary State with the monopoly of legitimate coercive power. Pakistan is a different story. It had autonomous Federally Administered Territories and then a terrorist State-within-a-State in the shape of ISI backed Lashkars and Talibans. Pre-independence Indian politics wasn't anticipatory at all. It provided rich pickings in terms of graft and had achieved all but its foreign policy objectives prior to 1939. Neoliberalism is a word coined by Marxist fucktards. It doesn't mean anything.And it is the BJP that is now in the position of traversing the path from social to state power, and wrestling, as the Congress once did, with the problem of striking a balance between the two, if one can indeed be found. Right! Coz that's what keeps Narendra Bhai up at nights! How to stop Sushma Swaraj and her crack team of Swatantra Stree Sainiks launching a para-military assault on Holy Angels Primary School. What is this guy smoking?
Hindu nationalism

Hindu nationalism, which in the form of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has repeatedly (thrice and very briefly each time) been banned, and thus not deprived of a political life in public institutions, has for a long time now represented the quintessential form that social power takes in India. Rubbish. Caste based Parties are the quintessential form of social power in India. Okay, the Bhadrolok did manage to terrorise Bengal by pretending to be Communists but those senile shitheads are now well and truly in the crapper. Devji isn't Indian. He doesn't know better. Still, the editors of the Hindu, who published this, do know better. What 'social power' does the R.S.S have in Chennai? In Hyderabad? In Kerala? In Bengal? In U.P? Even in Gujarat, an old school LSE type like me has complete impunity for bashing fellow Tambrams like Subramniyam Swamy. Indeed, it is probably the only State in India where I could get away with posing as a 'pravachak' albeit of a most ungodly kind. (Full disclosure- this is because I'm very dark, ugly and put on a hilarious Madrasi accent.)For by the time Indira Gandhi’s premiership came to an end, the once formidable social base of the Congress had been whittled away, as the party chose to concentrate its power in the institutions of the state. Nonsense. Indira split Congress in favor of a dynastic cult of personality. She concentrated power, not in institutions, but loyalist buffoons. Of course it continued to rely upon non-state actors, most violently during the anti-Sikh pogroms of 1984, rely? rely? Are you saying Rajiv needed the Sikhs killed and he had to rely on Youth Congress thugs rather than just send in the Central Reserve Police or some other such bunch of jokers?  but these did not represent the kind of mass base that the Congress had possessed in colonial times. A mass base so small that Congress couldn't chuck the Brits out even with the Japs knocking at the door. Hindu nationalism, on the other hand, augmented its social power while keeping it separate from the fortunes of the BJP as a political party, though this relationship has been placed under strain whenever the latter has been in government. Really? Hindu Nationalism has a strained relationship with Narendra Modi in Gujarat? Are you out of your freaking mind!
More interesting than the shifting balance of power between the BJP and its “family” of non-state Hindu organisations, however, might be the fact that Hindu nationalism has never possessed a theory of state. Unlike the vision of an Islamic state, for instance, with its distinctive if non-egalitarian constitutional structure, Hindu nationalism has no alternative political model, apart from an insistence on the dominance of majoritarian culture and concerns. And this is its triumph as much as tragedy, since the absence of a distinctive theory of state repeatedly casts Hindu nationalism back into a social movement, one that can only make claims on cultural and demographic rather than constitutional grounds. And in this sense it is the most appropriate heir of a concept of secularism that had always been populist in its argumentation. If anyone has recognised this, it is, unsurprisingly, the Muslim “fundamentalists” who support secularism in India, but want an Islamic state where they are in a majority. They deny the hypocrisy of this position by arguing that since Hindu nationalism has no theory of state, and so no critique of secularism, it might be oppressive but is still capable of being secular.
But the fact that Hindu nationalism possesses no theory of state also means that it carries the non-Weberian logic of Indian politics to its conclusion, by refusing to depoliticise social life or condemn its concerns as “irrational” and “superstitious”.  Listen, Devji mate, you're a nice guy. You probably 'lurv' India way more than wot I do. Let me tell you something about 'irrationality'- it is fucking irrational to treat people who clean your toilets as 'unclean' and beyond the pale as far as Development goes. That's a recipe for endemic typhoid. 
Let's talk about superstition. Say you are on your way to deliver a lecture at Oxford or Cambridge or wherever it is that you teach. You see a sanitation worker. You stop in your tracks. You have to go home. You have to cancel your lecture. Seeing a 'bhangi' is inauspicious. You can transact no business this day. 
Is there a way round this? Sure. Indoor sanitation. Toilets for everybody. Modi, at Red Fort, saying 'make in India' was also was saying 'make in the fucking toilet for fuck's sake- not all over the fucking place'. That's Hindu Nationalism.
In doing so, it is not only heir to the whole history of nationalism in colonial India, but at the same time is also best placed to capitalise on the importance of “civil society” activism in our own neoliberal times. Fuck off.  I want an immediate crackdown on 'eve teasing' in my parent's Delhi neighbourhood, who am I gonna call? I want Madhu Kishwar to work the streets and Kiran Bedi to fix the Admin side. Fuck I care about their politics? True Daddy tried to fix me a play date through the RSS helpline after I was diagnosed with Alzheimers, but that's a different story.
Commentary on both secularism and communalism in India has tended to focus too readily on plots and conspiracies that are meant to illustrate the coming together of sinister caste, class and other interests with popular prejudice and fear. But while accurate in some ways, these modes of understanding may be too superficial in others. We should attend instead to the structural and historical factors that define Indian politics, which appear to show a much greater continuity between parties and politics than is usually recognised to be the case.
Wow! Devji is now saying only the BJP can be a Secular Party because...urm... well them Saffron types are stooopid. They don't got a theory of the State unlike those smartypants from Taliban Central.
But Hindu Nationalism does too have a theory of the State- it goes like this 'That which enables our 'Rashtra' (Nation) to quickly grow strong while observing Niti (ethical policy) is the form and content of the State we democratically call into being. Our self-sacrificing celibate leaders need to hold the high offices in the State. Immediately, corruption, weakness, ignorance, slavish attitude to West etc, all such things will disappear. India will turn into a Galactic Super Power. As a great scholar of Indian origin, we will do 'ghar wapsi' ceremony for Devji Sahib before appointing him our first Ambassador to the Horse head Nebula so that it too can speak to us through his donkey's ass.

Yashpal's Purdah & Premchand's Uryani

In Yashpal's Purdah, a Muslim clerk's female family members gradually become entirely nude because of improper cost of living adjustment perpetrated by evil Capitalist bastards. The Pathan money lender comes and decides to take away the door curtain. The nudity of the women is exposed.

We were forced to read this shite at School. One Hindi speaking boy, named Gupta, the son of a prosperous Tailor, put up his hand- 'Sir, this story is exposing bankruptcy of Progressive Writers Association aesthetic. It is allegory'.
Mr. Yadav beat the boy savagely but his eyes remained fixed mournfully upon me. There were others in the class- boys named Bannerjee and Chatterjee and Mukherjee- I too was accorded an honorific jee, becoming Iyerjee- whom Yadav had beaten, but not savagely and towards no great civilizational end.

But I alone had immediately got in my Dad to bribe Mr. Yadav, not with the whiskey he was angling for, but 'tuition'. This was his undoing. Say what you like about South Indian Brahmins but the paltry miserabilism of the cow belt can't intimidate us. Poor Mr. Yadav ended up not just teaching me some Hindi but getting me through my exams at far lower cost to Dad's wallet than would otherwise have been feasible. This was because I had just the one essay which I could tailor to answer any question. The other boys also had just the one model essay but their essays were well written in shuddh Hindi and included quotations from Manusmriti and Tulsi Das. Mine featured a mentally retarded young orphan, taken in by his maternal Uncle, whose one goal in life was to pass the I.C.S.E Hindi exam. On my mother's death-bed, Mamaji had sworn that he would make this dream come true for me. Sadly, this meant his daughter was forced into prostitution- that too on her wedding day (this was the denouement of my essay titled 'A marriage I recently attended')- just so I could pay the exam fees. However (vide my essay on  'role of Youth in National Reconstruction') his sons too were forced to do coolie-work and die of exhaustion. Indeed, the final conflagration ( 'Diwali- festival of lights') in which my now crazy Aunty set herself on fire and went running around the tiny room we all occupied was not lacking in joie de vivre.

Before, the Communist,Yashpal's ludicrous Purdah, there was, of course Premchand's Gandhian Uryani most nakedly displayed when the great man went to Bombay as a Rs.8000 p.a. scriptwriter for 'Mazdoor'- in which he makes a cameo appearance as a Worker's leader.

Ironically, workers at Premchand’s own press in Benares were inspired to strike work against non-payment of wages by this film.

Didn't stop the great man becoming the first President of the P.W.A. Sickness, not shame, led to his death a short while later.

Friday 19 December 2014

Knightian Uncertainty, Class Domination & Market Democracy

Knightian uncertainty is risk that can't be measured. Ellsberg's paradox highlights our 'ambiguity aversion' towards Knightian Uncertainty.
If Markets capture all relevant information, and human beings evolved on a Darwin's, not Deuteronomy's fitness landscape,  it follows that Commerce will be characterised by hedging effects (i.e. comonotonicity is violated) and so no straightforward Choquet Expected Utility model can gain purchase.
Class domination in a Market Democracy can arise if inequalities in Income generate differences in asset endowments (including Human and 'Social' Capital) such that further Income inequality is generated.
Clearly, assuming Technology is ratcheted such that the production possibility frontier can't collapse, for this to occur, a class of assets (or hybdrid derivatives of a 'Parrando' type) must exist which always yield positive returns. If this is not the case then it is nonsense to speak of 'Class' because agents within it are both risk-taking and receiving rents simultaneously and there is no guarantee that this isn't a zero, or negative sum, game. In other words, there is bound to be intense intra-class conflict between gross renters and gross risk-takers. Thus, Trade Unions gain a rent for old members (under last-in-first-out) by putting more risk on new or non members. This generates a conflict. New members lose less if the T.U is radical and, short term, this can seduce old members who hope for increased rents. Middle to Long term, however, such a compact isn't stable and will rend apart Class cohesion. The same point may be made about any interest group- even those for whom price wage and service provision discrimination is easy by reason of a physical or costly-to-circumvent barrier between markets, because the dynamic and allocative dead-weight loss grows exponentially such that at the margin intra-class conflict increases.
There is a long established strain in Economics which assumes that there is always a riskless positive real reward for 'thrift'. Perhaps Providence has indeed arranged matters so. But in that case Darwin was wrong. If that's what you believe, come out and say so on Fox News. If not, you are obliged to accept that Knightian uncertainty is ubiquitous and therefore no riskless positive return assets can be assumed to exist nor is there any Coasian workaround for the Market (because hedging effects arise) 'internalizing' the Choquet integral.

Thus, though Class Domination under Market Democracy may or may not arise, we have no a priori way of parsing the question unless it is posited that 'ambiguity aversion' is an artifact and no Knightian Uncertainty actually obtains.
However, this is to throw the baby out with the bathwater because, absent Knightian Uncertainty, Market Democracy wouldn't be desirable. (If all Risk is measurable, the market solution is easily dominated and, instead of Democracy, we'd just have a once and for all Social Contract. This holds trivially if resources are used up in the functioning of the Market and /or the Democratic process.)
Thus Market Democracy can't 'sanction' anything including 'class domination'  because it is the Knightian future fitness landscape itself  which decides what outcome obtains. (All assets are hedges which could be wiped out. There is no way to both have a Market and also devise a Choquet type workaround. Factor in cognitive bias and being rich today could well be a recipe for being the poorest of the poor tomorrow.)

Now, we can still have a debate on this topic but it will have to be couched in the language of evidential decision theory and, at the margin, will cash out as speculative General Systems bullshit. It can't have any prescriptive or regulative role.

Ultimately as Alan Kirman points out, 'representative agent models' are worthless because no Social or Biological process can be modeled in that way provided we evolved by Natural Selection.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Beslan to Peshawar- one Professor's perspective

Children were butchered at two schools, one in Belsan a decade ago, the other in Peshawar today- and after the tears are shed a numbed world turns back to its quotidian tasks with some vague impression that dem Islamists be crazy.
The truth about Beslan, of course, had more to do with hostility between 2 small nationalities, both Muslim, the Ingush and the Ossettians, in a remote Mountainous region. Chechen Islamists masterminded the earlier atrocity and, it appears, some foreign Islamists (Arabic speaking it has been suggested) were involved in the one we are still reeling from today. 
This raises the question, is the incomprehensible attack on Peshawar similarly not actually about Islamic extremism but rather some internecine ethnic conflict among remote peoples whose identities we muddle together?
Peshawar was always part of British India. After Independence, it was integrated into the Pakistani State. The Tehreek-e-Taliban, however, which has claimed credit for yesterday's atrocity, is based in the 'Federally Administered Tribal Area' (FATA) where the writ of the Pakistani Govt. emphatically did not run. 
For 55 years, this area was independent in all but name. Then, after 9/11, the Americans put a nuclear gun to Pakistan's Military Dictator's head and his troops began a slow process of negotiating, with carrot and stick, some degree of authority. That project failed. Does the attack on the Army School in Peshawar signal the outbreak of total war between Pakistanis and those tribes whose recognition of Pakistani suzerainty was purely nominal or provisional?

As with Beslan, we will never know the truth because we aren't interested in the truth because it doesn't affect our interests. What about people from Peshawar, some at least of whom have relatives or ancestors in FATA? They may learn the truth, or already possess it, but it isn't their interest to cling to it. Instead they will tell us silly stories.
Here is an article about Pakistan by a learned Professor from that part of the World.  He tells us that the reason Pakistan is so fucked up is because it's like real insecure coz Partition was like so traumatic dude.
In an extraordinary display of ignorance, he describes Hyderabad and Junagadh as Muslim majority states.
'The partition protocols had given the subcontinent’s princely states the right to accede to Pakistan or India. Among these were three large Muslim-majority states: Junagadh, Hyderabad and Kashmir. India forcefully annexed the first two - 'The third had a Hindu maharaja ruling over a 77 percent Muslim population. In a controversial move, the British had awarded India a land corridor to Kashmir. Fearing that Kashmir would suffer the fate of Junagadh and Hyderabad, members of Pakistan’s military and political establishments conspired to infiltrate tribal militants into the valley. Alarmed by insurgent advances, the maharaja appealed to India’s British governor general, Lord Mountbatten, who agreed to intervene if the maharaja signed the instrument of accession. In short order, Indian troops marched in and beat back the tribesmen, triggering the first shooting war between the two nascent states.'

Pakistan got nervous and invaded Kashmir, except it didn't really, it sent in tribal irregulars, but then the Indians got a legal invitation to march in and defend the Kashmiris who were being raped and massacred by those irregulars so the upshot was Pakistan got less of Kashmir than it felt entitled to which is why it's got a license to behave like a spoiled child for all eternity.
Still today, of all days, the question is urgent for the whole World,  how are we to avoid atrocities like Peshawar and Beslan?
If Muslims kill neighboring Muslims, who may differ somewhat in terms of clan or tribe or whatever, then clearly India must hand over Kashmir and like disband its Army and not get angry if terrorists turn up to bomb its Parliament or Taj Hotel or some other scenic spot where they can pose for selfies before blowing themselves up. 
Till Pakistan gets its hands on 4 million Muslims in Kashmir (there are about as many Ahmediyas being currently persecuted in Pakistan coz Bhutto suddenly decided they weren't actually Muslims) more and more atrocities like the Peshawar School atrocity are bound to happen.
Nothing to do with Genocidal Gangsters instrumentalizing Islamist Jihad at all. Nor bein pensant professors talking Civil Society Shite on the International Conference Circuit.
Nope, just hand over Kashmir and Palestine and Southern Spain and Coastal Thailand and any other place which has hot chicks and you just see everything will be fine.

I copy and paste the following from a comment on 3 quarks (since deleted) about this Professor's article.

1) Junagadh wasn't, as the Professor says, a large state. It was tiny. But the Professor wants to prove that Pakistan felt vulnerable at its inception. It didn't at all. It got a proportionately larger share of the British Indian Army and was in a position to use Muslims within India against the Congress regime. Indeed, Liaqat by a stroke of genius had opened the door to an alliance with the Leftists. The big tactical mistake was in not cultivating the Princes so as to give Congress a 'moth eaten' Hindustan. Jinnah's offer to the Maharaja of Kashmir might well have been accepted had the irregulars not invaded- though it must be said the Dogra regime had only been able to keep Poonch with British help and it's overthrow in that region was inevitable. What was not inevitable was that the Muslims of the Kashmir Valley would recoil so drastically from integration into Pakistan.  Here it was the indiscipline and savagery of the irregulars which was the clinching factor. Pakistan blundered hugely by using the tribal levies as a 'plausibly deniable' proxy. But, their use was not dictated by fear of India's might but rank opportunism and romantic dreams of glory.

The Professor ignores all this. He pretends that Pakistan was as vulnerable as Hyderabad. Why? Was Jinnah as stupid as the Nizam? Was the Pakistani army a bunch of jokers like the Razakars? Was Pakistan 85 percent Hindu? Did any Pakistani seriously believe that India could do to their country what they had done to the Nizam's Kingdom?
Suppose the Valley had sided with the irregulars. Suppose they had risen up. What forces could India airlift to bring to bear upon the situation? They wouldn't have had so much as an air-strip in the Valley.
The Professor says Pakistan was born out of a calamity and so felt vulnerable. But its leaders engineered that calamity and felt stronger, not weaker, after it was shown to be irreversible. Afghanistan ceased to be a threat and itself became vulnerable- that's why they killed Liaqat- once Jinnah showed the Tribal belt that he was reversing the British 'Forward Policy' and was going to let them breathe free.

2) Pakistani existential insecurity in the face of a mighty neighbor did not starve the Civilian sector. On the contrary, it grew rapidly. So did the Military but there was no crowding out effect- on the contrary, Pakistan's well-trained Army coupled with its suave diplomats won generous support and not just from the West.

The fact is, West Pakistan developed far more rapidly than gerontocratic Gandhian India. Industrially, educationally and at the level of nutrition and development indices it was a far cry from 'nanga bhuka Hindustan' (naked, hungry, India). Fatima Jinnah, it is true, played a mischievous role in condemning the Indus Water treaty- which had removed the one existential threat to West Pakistan's continuing prosperity. However, it must be said, Pakistan failed to capitalize on its tremendous agricultural potential preferring PL480 shipments which harmed the agricultural class. The Kashmiri front of the '65 war was, it is true, a shambles. The Muslims of the Valley refused to join hands with the infiltrators because memories of the savagery of the tribal levies was still too fresh.
Pakistan needed to manufacture another 'hazratbal' incident or else spend money more lavishly prior to infiltration. But, Ayub Khan can't be blamed too much. The fact is Pakistan's position was never stronger on this issue than in '63/'64. Most people thought it the thing was in the bag. Perhaps, if Nehru had lived another couple of years, the Valley would indeed have come to Pakistan without a shot being fired. By then the Indians were looking fearfully towards their North East Frontier. Pakistani Generals who wanted to put pressure on the Siliguri corridor (which would have enthused the Bengali officers) were ignored. Still the fact remains, '65 was an error of over-confidence. It wasn't a panicked reaction to Indian military build up.

3) The Army did not 'intervene directly to subvert democracy'. The civilians held no elections. There was no democracy to subvert. Had Liaqat not been assassinated the story might have been different. Still, it was he who brought in Ayub as CinC. Iskandar Mirza, lest we forget, was that amphibious thing a soldier-bureaucrat typical of the Imperial Political Service. He died in penurious exile after his Curry House failed.

The Pakistan Army has a remarkable record for preserving esprit de corps and the chain of command. By comparison, the Bangladesh Army was a shambles. Dog ate dog with a vengeance. Wives of officers were not spared during the recent mutiny- one aim of which was the right to serve in U.N. Peace Keeping missions!

The Army has toppled elected men- scoundrels without exception- but only because not to do so would imperil its own ethos, its own chain of command. This is not an entirely bad thing. The alternative would have been internecine conflict within the armed forces- Generals shelling Generals.

People joke that Pakistan is not a State with an Army but an Army with a State. Yes, but at least the Army is united. Not till this ceases to be true will Pakistan be a failed State.

Contra the Professor, the Army did not suddenly 'begin to see itself the custodian of the Nation'. It had always done so. After the death of Liaqat, no one else did or had.

The Professor says that the Army needed all Pakistanis 'to feel as vulnerable as the Muslims of middle India'. Nonsense. In the josh session, does the officer say to his men 'Sound the alarm! The Hindu hordes are at the gate!'

Not at all. What you have is a sort of Mard-e-Momin or Islamic Superman philosophy based on invulnerability not vulnerability, attack not defense, asymmetric improvisatory tactical belligerence not in-depth strategic deterrence.

The fact is, in 1971 people in Lahore feared Indian bombs. In 2001 they didn't.

That is the Army's achievement.

Imran Khan may come or he may go or may be offered a follow on. Why speak of him as the Army's creature? Everybody is the Army's creature. Pakistan- tragically orphaned at too tender an age- is what it is for weal or woe thanks to the Army. Today, of all days, we should remember the courage and sacrifice of not just officers and men, but also their families. Even little children have not been spared.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Ghalib- ghazal 94

barshkāl-e giryah-e ʿāshiq hai dekhā chāhiye
khil gaʾī mānind-e gul sau jā se dīvār-e chaman
ulfat-e gul se ġhalat̤ hai daʿv;ā-e vā-rastagī
sarv hai bā vaṣf-e āzādī giriftār-e chaman

The season of rainfall for lovelorn lashes should be re-viewed to expose
The garden wall, through a hundred gashes, gaping lewd like the rose 
From such floral passion what choral salvation can arise?
E'er loftier grows the Cypress ne'er escaping Paradise.

Note- The word "paradise" entered English from the French paradis, inherited from the Latinparadisus, from Greek parádeisos(παράδεισος), from an Old Iranian word1]attested in Avestan as pairi-daêza-.[2][3] The literal meaning of this Eastern Old Iranian language word is "walled (enclosure)",[2]from pairi- "around" and -diz "to create (a wall)".[4] 

Namit Arora- stupidest blogger on 3 Quarks

3 Quarks Daily sounds like a high I.Q type of place don't it? At first blush, that's exactly what it is. There's always some smart Sciency stuff linked to as well as desperate appeals for money- I didn't read the small print but think they burn it as a Green alternative to wife-swapping or something equally chichi.
Anyway, the point I'm making is that it gives off a sort of toney vibe and is edited by aristocratic Pakistanis who probably dress up like Arianna Huffington to bum each other. To be clear, I'm not saying that they bum each other. Just that they would dress up like Arianna Huffington if that's what they'd decided to do after mature reflection and a penis transplant.
Mention of which organ brings me to Namit Arora- the retarded Hindu monkey whom the sophisticated Pakistani editors have on a leash to fling feces at us from time to time.
What is Namit's major malfunction?
His English is perfectly serviceable. He isn't a drooling nutjob. He puts some effort into his posts.
Unfortunately, he is as stupid as shit.
This is Namit on public perception re. rape in Delhi-  'Anyone trying to analyze the issue must at least ask: who are the rapists, where do they rape, and how common is rape in Delhi? The latest 2014 data on rape from Delhi Police is a great place to start, not the least because it challenges the conventional wisdom of Delhiites and their media and politicians. It shows that, as in other countries and consistent with previous years in Delhi, men known to the victims commit the vast majority of rapes—96 percent in Delhi. These men include friends, neighbours, ‘relatives such as brother-in-law, uncle, husband or ex-husband and even father.’ More than 80 percent of them rape inside the home of the victim or of the accused. Strangers commit only 4 percent of rapes, which are also likelier to be reported. Yet so many people fixate on this latter scenario and conclude from it that Delhi is unsafe for women to go out by themselves.'
Okay, you may be saying to yourself, so our boy Namit doesn't know from Statistics. But, Namit studied engineering at IIT and has a Post Grad in something I.T related and worked in Silicon Valley!
He does too know Statistics. What he doesn't know is human beings.
Suppose the following two statements are true.
1)  99.9 per cent of all fatal stabbings in the heart are not self-inflicted.
2) 80 percent of all fatal self inflicted stabbings involve the slashing of the throat.
Can we conclude that if you want to survive a self-inflicted stabbing, you should stab yourself in the heart?
Of course not. You don't need to know Stats to decide this one. We are human beings and we have all sorts of extra information which the 2 statements given above don't capture.
For example, we know that the heart is a vital organ. Stab yourself in the fatty portion of the arm or the thigh and you are likely to survive. Don't stab yourself in the heart unless you really want to die.

The reason such a small proportion of women get raped by strangers is because women in Delhi tend to be extra careful when going out. Why are they so careful? Is it because they are all very very stupid and need Mr. Namit Arora to come from Amrika to tell them they have nothing to fear? Will Delhi turn into a paradise for women if they learn from Namit?
But what great lesson does he have for them?
Can it really be the following?-
'Instead of sleeping in your bed- where you are more likely to be raped- you should go and sleep in the street. If you see some strange men drinking in a deserted building, go and lie down next to them. They are not family members or friends or acquaintances of yours. Furthermore, you are not inside a home. What are you waiting for? Just go and lie down next to those drunken thugs. You won't get raped.'

Is it a good thing that Delhi women are afraid to go out at night? No. Delhi needs the economic power of its women. If women are safe from rape when going out there will be more economic activity and thus more tax revenue to pay for things like improved policing. Not just women, men too will be safer. Rapists who operate in public places also rob and beat men. Everyone, except a small percentage of criminal psychopaths is made better off if Policing improves in Delhi. That's why, two years ago, the whole of Delhi united in outrage against shoddy policing which led to the avoidable rape and brutal killing of a young trainee-physiotherapist.

Arora thinks the people of Delhi are stupid to have reacted like this. He says 'Strangers this year committed about 8 rapes per month in Delhi, the second largest city in the world with 25 million people. In London, a third as populated as Delhi, strangers committed about 36 rapes per month—a rate 13X Delhi’s. By comparison, Delhi seems significantly safer for women. Other Indian metros are even safer than Delhi. Could this really be true?'

The brief answer is 'no, it isn't true'. Delhi women have very much lower level of social inclusion and economic participation, especially during the night or in under-policed areas, than London. Why? Because of their 'justified true belief' that large parts of Delhi are unsafe for women after dark.
If Delhi want's to stay competitive, this must change.

Arora doesn't get that human beings, unlike silicon chips, alter their behavior on the basis of expectations. In London, if there are a number of sex-attacks in an area, women change their pattern of behavior. They ensure that Policing is beefed up. Ultimately, people move out of high crime areas- they vote with their feet.

Arora thinks fear of rape in Delhi is an example of 'cognitive bias'. It isn't. An attractive woman who walks alone down the highway at midnight in Delhi will definitely be accosted. A car or a truck will pull up and she will be bundled into it and driven away at speed. Not every woman will be raped but it is high risk behavior. In London, if I see a woman on her own who appears at risk, I call the police. They turn up within ten to fifteen minutes (at least round where I live). They talk to the girl and make sure she gets home safely. What makes this possible is London's much higher police to public ratio (though this is changing).

 If all women made it a point to roam around at night- imposing perhaps a 'Nishabandh' or curfew- no doubt the problem will disappear. However, in a situation where, at the margin, the number of women economically active at night is still very small then it makes sense for Policing to be beefed up till more and more women 'reclaim the night' and the problem disappears by itself.

Arora is of a different view. He thinks the privatized media have created a non-existent problem to drive ratings. In other words, Indian women are stupid and have an irrational fear of roaming around late at night. The Media, which is 'patriarchal' plays up this fear so as to force women to remain at home where they will be raped instead of going out and sleeping in the street next to some bunch of drunken hoodlums who won't lay a finger on them because they have not been properly introduced.
This last is an important point which Namit's genius has uncovered. If you commit one rape of a stranger, you are then obligated to rape 25 of your acquaintances because otherwise the 4% ceiling is breached. This is the true reason, Delhi's women would be safer sleeping on the street than staying at home. I may mention, husbands statistically make up a large percentage of rapists. Women should never sleep with their husbands because statistically they are much much more likely to be raped by their husband than by a stranger.
'But a downside of this media coverage has been that most people not only continue to conflate the 4 percent of ‘stranger rapes’ with the whole problem of rape, they imagine its incidence to be much higher than it is. As a result, people have ended up with a heightened sense of fear for women being raped when they venture out by themselves—above and beyond their longstanding dread of women being catcalled, ogled, stalked, or groped in public transportation. The latter are the primary threats that women have long encountered in Delhi’s public spaces and they fuel a legitimate sense of insecurity; this perhaps makes it easier for the extensive coverage of ‘stranger rapes’, uncommon though they are, to unreasonably heighten their sense of insecurity.' 
Is Namit aware that the rapist typically begins his assault with verbal harassment, followed up by groping? If a woman is too terrified to fight back and if she receives no aid, Namit thinks her assailant will say 'sorry, Ma'am, can't rape you due to that would be to conflate groping/harassment with rape. There is no connection between the two.'

The odd thing about Namit's post is that the Pakistani editor of 3 quarks thinks it is 'well  argued'.
The following is from the comment section-
Kiren Bedi is a veteran police woman who knows Delhi well. She has described how Delhi can be made safer. Namit Arora is not interested in making Delhi safer. He wants to talk about 'Patriarchy'. Why?
  • Saudi Arabia is patriarchal. So are most Swiss cantons. German domestic law is way more patriarchal than India's. So what?
    Do dads really want their daughters raped? Do grand-dads get a kick out of hearing their grand-daughter was brutally raped and killed? If this so called 'Patriarchy' invests money in female college education, is it because it wants educated women to be raped and killed or because it wants to boost Joint family disposable income?
    Namit thinks scolding some supposed 'Upper Caste' Patriarchy helps women. It doesn't. It is foolish. Listening to Kiren Bedi, strenghtening Aanganwadi etc. is sensible. Arora won't do it.

  • This article is somewhat misleading. Delhi presents certain unique features
    1) the Police is not under the control of the elected Govt. but under the Centre
    2) A disproportionate level of protection is given to VIPs and this all too visibly affects resource availability and response times
    3) Police check points fall into abeyance absent a Security threat even though there is no sound reason for this
    4) Vast distances and danger of suspects escaping to bordering states
    5) Nexus between 'village elders' in newly developed areas and Station S.H.O's- i.e. 'khap panchayat' reactionary attitudes gain salience.
    The result is that Delhi is indeed unsafer than Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkatta, but also Patna and Lucknow- not to mention Ahmedabad where young girls are free to ride scooters and meet their friends late at night. Of course, Delhi has always been a collection of cities with vast empty spaces interspersed. In many ways, rapid development has filled in those spaces but Policing levels have not responded.
    Criminologists and senior Police officers have put forward a sensible plan which can eliminate a lot of such crimes. However, so long as the Centre retains control of Policing in the Capital, bureaucratic red-tape and 'turf wars' will prevent sensible steps being taken.
    Women only Police Stations and 'Aanganwadi' cells in poorer neighbourhoods are vital.
    Namit Arora asks 'If we do the math, Delhi still registers a lower incidence of rape than most of the 76 U.S. cities in the DoJ list. Indeed, why aren’t the Americans nowhere near as fearful of rape in their public spaces as Indians are in theirs?'. If he has visited Delhi he would know the answer. Delhi women don't venture out into 'public spaces' after a certain hour. In other words, Delhi has lower rape because the likelihood is higher and women act rationally. The former Chief Minister of Delhi herself confessed that her daughter did not venture out at night because she felt unsafe in Delhi. Yet, her friends in Ahmedabad would think nothing of getting on their scooters to meet up for a mid night snack.
    Is Modi's Gujerat a matriarchal paradise compared to Delhi? No. Policing is under the control of the elected Govt. and the people don't want vicious rapes occurring on their streets.
    Arora ways- 'if Delhi’s public spaces are unsafe, it’s not due to the likelihood of rape.' Clearly he has discovered a concept of 'Likelihood' far different from that of standard Bayesian analysis. A place is unsafe if rape can occur there. Lack of safety is highly correlated with crimes of violence.
    Suppose Delhi's public spaces were both unsafe and had low likelihood of rape. Then it must be the case that the people whose criminal conduct makes Delhi unsafe are not interested in forcible sex. Perhaps Arora believes that Delhi's criminal element are all eunuchs. They enjoy beating and robbing people but have no interest in forcible sexual intercourse.
    Is this a reasonable belief?
    One might say 'the Indian male is a purely spiritual being. He considers all females as his mothers and sisters. Even when he beats and kills people- thus rendering a public space unsafe- he would never dream of raping anyone until and unless the ' caste patriarchy of Delhi’s mainstream media and politicians—including the liberal ones' somehow brainwashes him.'
    Is Arora a particularly reactionary member of a 'Hindutva' organisation? Does he believe 'rape never happens in 'Bharat' (traditional India) and only occurs where the 'liberal' media has influence?
    Arora says 'Groping and other harassment are serious issues that need to be dealt with, but it doesn’t help to conflate them with rape'. Is he right?
    The fact is groping and harassment are the initial stages of rape. If you can prevent a person groping you, no rape can occur. If people are locked up for harassment, including stalking, their capacity to rape is curtailed.
    Arora thinks we should blame 'Patriarchy'. Why? Do fathers really want their daughters to be raped? If women are seen as property, is it not also the case that Patriarchy does not want that property to be coercively trespassed upon?
    Arora quotes Adrienne Rich ‘The woman’s body is the terrain on which patriarchy is erected.’ In patriarchy, the female is not only seen as property—first her father’s, then husband’s—her sexual sanctity and propriety become central to these men’s izzat, or dignity and honor.
    In other words, Patriarchy is highly incentive compatible for rape prevention.
    The Brahmin Agraharam is more patriarchal than the Tribal Gotul. It has less rape. Why? Patriarchy minimises opportunities for rape- which is an opportunistic crime. No doubt, it permits marriage and other types of prostitution which, twisting words somewhat, one may classify as rape. That is a different discussion.
    The fact is women in Delhi face greater likelihood of sexual harrassment, groping, rape and murder, than their sisters in most other metros. The Indian public acted rationally in pressuring the Govt to implement changes advocated by senior Police Women, like Kiran Bedi. Their ire led to the election of a Third Party candidate who promised to make the Police answerable to the elected Govt.
    Empty talk of 'caste based Patriarchy' is a red herring.
    Matriarchal or matrilocal communities in India have far higher incidence of opportunistic rape and trafficking. Compulsory ritual prostitution was and is a feature of purely Female power structures.
    Arora says 'Only in a society saturated with caste patriarchy do certain rapes by strangers, and not other violence against women, generate calls for killing the offenders.'
    Is he correct?
    Suppose what he writes is true. Then Evolutionary Biology- Hamilton kin-selection, the Price equation etc- is false. A stranger comes along and rapes and kills one of our women. We don't revenge ourselves upon him so as to send a signal, because... well, we didn't really evolve by natural selection at all.
    God made us in his image. Someone rapes and kills your daughter. You offer him a nice pakora and cuppa tea. Everything is hunky dory. Then some evil 'caste patriarchy of Delhi’s mainstream media and politicians—including the liberal ones' brainwashes you. Suddenly you snatch the pakora out of his hand and start baying for the fellow's blood.
    What, oh what are we to do?
    The answer is, we should study the writings of Namit Arora instead of demanding proper accountable policing in Delhi.
    Will women in Delhi be safer if we implement Arora's proposal (as opposed to Kiran Bedi's)?
    Rape is linked to sex-trafficking. Even if everyone is properly sensitivised, women will be raped- if they fight back they will be killed, clearly such women are not merchandisable- and then, once their spirit is broken, they will be sold on.
    What if we have compulsory 'Gender sensitivity' training. It may cost about half of India's GNP and take 25 years to properly implement but once it is up and running will rape disappear?
    No. Sociopaths will continue to exist and if the domestic supply falls short, foreigners can fill the gap. So much for Arora's first suggestion- viz. '(1) changing minds through efforts like better gender and sex education in schools, more public debate and cultural conversation on gender equality, deeper reflection on the magnitude of our obsession with ‘stranger rape’ versus our apathy to the more pervasive structural violence of female foeticide, child marriage, and trafficking.' I may mention that only Arora is obsessed with 'stranger rape'. Everybody else just doesn't want their daughter or wife or work colleague or whatever raped by anyone at all. That is why rape is considered a crime. It would be a waste of resources to devote resources to changing minds when only one mind, that of Namit Arora, holds a perverse and mischievous view.
    What of his second point? viz.-'(2) reforming our civic institutions—the police, the courts, legislative bodies, and the media—so they’re more efficient, responsive, and friendlier to a wider cross-section of women in India.'
    For a reform to be better than what went before, the reformer must be at least as smart and knowledgable as those who currently wield power. However, Arora's prescriptions are based on the notion that
    1) Human beings did not evolve by natural selection
    2) Bayesian Likelihood Estimators are false.
    3) Delhi, unlike any other metro, has a uniquely evil 'caste patriarchy of... media and politicians—including the liberal ones' with magical powers to brainwash its people.

    • In conclusion, women want an end to sexual violence NOW. The tax revenue working women in Delhi contribute to the exchequer more than makes up for the extra cost. Women are not asking for some special favour. The facts speak for themselves. Industry needs female labour power 24/7. Delhi is not an agricultural region nor are its expenses defrayed by levies on the feudal hinterland. On the contrary, the working women of Delhi pay for Village development.
      Protecting women from rape also helps men. The gang that rapes also robs. There is a nexus between career criminals and corrupt politics.
      Everybody in Delhi already knows this. The people acted rationally by taking up the 'Nirbhayya' issue. Arora projects something that only exists in his own mind onto the 'great unwashed' of Delhi- whose English may not be as elegant as his, but whose thinking is actually much more progressive.
      Back in the Sixties, we often used to hear that Gender issues were irrelevant to the Struggle. 'Come the Revolution' everything would be peachy. Women needed to take a back-seat and provide comfort to the 'comrades'.
      The Feminists of the early Seventies were derided as evil harridans. Shulamith Firestone went mad. Germaine Greer- who had been raped but didn't feel able to report it (nor did Jill Craigie who was raped by Arthur Koestler)- did a volte face in the Eighties (Sex & Destiny).
      The suffering of women of such calibre, whatever their personal shortcomings, was not lost on the generation which came of age in the Eighties and Nineties.
      I regard this post by Mr. Namit Arora to be unconscionably retrograde, ignorant and condescending.
      Why has 3Quarks published this?

Monday 15 December 2014

Kabir, Rampal & Googoo vs Soossoo has a meretricious article on Sant Rampal's recent arrest penned by a retired Sikh journalist named Jaspal Singh Sidhu.
 Instead of pointing the finger at 'vote bank' politics (politicians believe that a 'godman's' disciples vote according to his whim and the police fear the politicians more than the Courts)- the article suggests there is an Aryan/non-Aryan divide in Haryana of all places! This despite the fact that Rampal, like most of his Arya Samaj enemies, is a Jat.
Kafila, predictably enough re-printed this rubbish.

 I copy and paste it here- only to highlight my own two comments  at the end which are highly thought provoking and distill the essence of Indian Liberation Theology in a truly canonical manner.

'The arrest of former public servant -turned-godman 63-year-old Rampal from his Barwala (Hissar) ashram seems to have ended the two-week long much publicized drama enacted by the Haryana police, but it has, rather, widened social and religious gulf among the people of the area . The police operation took life of five women and a child, injuring of many others including two dozen media persons covering the event. Technically, Rampal’s arrest was sought by the Punjab and Haryana high court in a case of ‘criminal contempt of court’ following his persistent in refusal to appear before the court.
(The truth is more complicated. The Hisar bar association went on strike because Rampal's devotees roughed them up.  The Court took action because Rampal was blatantly making a mockery of them.)
The Barwala event signals much more than what one gathers from the media. Rampal’s abortive defiance appears to be (consciously or unconsciously) challenging the hegemony of the Sangh Privar ideology based on Aryans and non- Aryans divide which uses the Vedic literature as manifestation of the Aryan race.
(Sheer nonsense. Rampal is a Jat- that's Aryan. He claims to be the reincarnation of Guru Nanak, a Kshatriya Aryan. True, he also claims to be the reincarnation of Kabir- a low caste weaver- but then he also claims to be God. Kabir, incidentally, spoke an Aryan language. No one claims he was Dravidian or Adivasi.)
The media story, invariably, only covers the present happenings. And, it is meant for the consumption of general public only interested in the day-to-day developments. For obvious reasons, such reporting suits both the government of the day and the media outlets. By and large, the media (newspapers and TV channels) reels out largely that information (official version) which police and official machinery serves them with punctuation of a little-bit material on the root cause of the controversy which has climaxed to the dramatic custody of Rampal by the police.
(If the media does not give currency to Sidhu's views it is because they are utterly and ludicrously false.)
The Barwala development has at least a century and half (150 years-old) old history behind it. The resurgence of Arya Samaj in erstwhile Punjab, of which Haryana was a part, took on all shades of monotheistic religious practices. Swami Dayananda Saraswati , the founder of the Arya Samaj ,came on the Punjab scene in 1870s and became the strong critic of “ heterodox” religious schools like Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. He detested “religious impurities”, he claimed to have found in above mentioned religions and also abhorred the ‘local languages’ in which these religions were expressed. Dayananda, a staunch votary of Vedas, was of the view that Sanskrit was the only language that could become the vehicle of spiritual, philosophical and lofty ideas.
(Yet the Arya Samaj dropped Sanskrit in favor of Hindi in its Schools at precisely this time. All sects vigorously denounced each other then as now. However, this did not prevent people having multiple identities- e.g. being a Sikh while also patronizing Temples or being a Brahmin and also attending Gurudwara. This remains true, by and large, to this day.)
Swami Dayananda published his book, ‘Satyarth Prakash’ ( Light of Truth) in 1875 and attacked Guru Nanak whom he addressed as ‘dhurta’, meaning rogue and charlatan. He called the Sikh holy book as ‘mithya’ ( false) and the Sikhism as ‘jaal’ (a snare, a trap). This led to a clash between the Sikhs and followers of Arya Samaj belonging to upper Hindu castes and a elite business and educated section having base in Lahore and Amritsar. That confrontation between the Sikhs and the Punjabi Hindu carrying Arya Samaj religious trappings has been continuing till today with periodic manifestations in various forms of clashes over a century including that of latest Punjab problem and the Sikh pogrom of 1984 in independent India.
(Even if this were true, it is irrelevant. Haryana parted from Punjab because it is Hindu majority while the Sikhs wanted a state in which they were the majority. Rampal and his enemies are Haryanvi Jat Hindus.)
The holy Sikh scripture includes more than a hundred hymns of Bhagat Kabir, besides carrying the latter’s broad religious concepts as ‘naam’, ‘the creator and unfathomable’ as opposed to Vedanta and Vaisnavism with all its adjutants like asceticism, caste-system and withdrawal from the life.
(So what? Sikh scriptures include compositions by Muslims. This did not prevent the ethnic cleansing of East Punjab.)
During his visit to Punjab, Swami Dayananda in 1877-78, initiated ‘Shuddhi’ campaign meaning ‘purification movement’ to reclaim Christian converts from the Sikhs back to the Hindu fold. Later, his successors began the direct conversion from the poor Sikhs at public ceremonies and sowed the seeds of permanent tensions in Hindu-Sikh relations.
(Sidhu is a Sikh.  That is why he is raking this up.  But the Rampal/Arya Samaj conflict has nothing to do with Sikhs. Does Sidhu accept that Rampal is the incarnation of Guru Nanak? Does he accept that Rampal is God? No. He is simply venting his spleen at Hindus.
Reverently his disciples call him ‘Sant Rampal’ who, too, seemed to have raked up that old historical religious -cultural conflict by challenging the hegemony of Arya Samaj, now a close ally of RSS that commands over the state power, directly in Haryana through BJP chief minister Mohan Lal Khattar . Mr Khattar, is a Hindu Punjabi whose family had migrated in 1947 to Haryana from the core area of Arya Samaj now in Pakistan’s Punjab. Of late, Arya Samaj, particularly after 1947 Parition, virtually merged into the Sangh Privar expressing itself through the RSS ideology.
(Rubbish! Agnivesh started off in the Samaj. Perhaps, Sidhu is confusing the Arya Samaj with the Dera  Sacha Sauda whose pontiff is a Modi ally and on bail for murder.
As per the prevailing religious ethos in the area, Rampal was an ardent devotee of Lord Hanuman and Lord Krishna for 25 years. However, his meditating for hours and following religious practices, Rampal could not attain spiritual peace he was hankering for. This former junior engineer with Haryana's irrigation department came in contact with Swami Ramdev Anand, a follower of Saint Kabir, a 13th century Saint, hailing from the low caste and who had preached strict monotheism.
Born in 1951 in a typical rural family at Dhanana village in Sonepat , Rampal views underwent a radical change as Anand influenced him greatly. Eventually, Rampal was led to his taking 'naam'. In 1994, he was ordered by Ramdev Anand to initiate other people into taking 'naam', and he quit his government job in 1995.
His journey as a bona fide 'godman' began on a four-acre plot at Karontha village, 15 km from Rohtak which still bears a palpable influence of Aray Samaj .
Naturally, as the ‘Kabirpanth’ began sprouting in that area, Rampal’s ashram came into direct confrontation with Arya Samaj . In a violent clash that ensued between his and Arya Samaj followers a 20-year-old Sonu was killed. And he was implicated into that murder case which witnessed him behind the bars for 18 months. Those murder charges are still sticking to his person. Meantime, the followers of his ‘Kabirpanth’ and Arya Samaj have had engaged in several clashes after the 2006 murder resulting in unbridgeable social and religious divide in the area.
Rampal is family man with two sons and two daughters—all married off. His profile on his official website — — says he grew popular after touring Haryana as a ‘bhajan singer’, and then drew on his following within the Kabir sect to graduate to his own ‘Satlok Ashram’ (name of his religious centre) in 1999.
Rampal’s direct clash with Arya Samaj came up as he had begun criticizing their set- beliefs.
Actually it was their disbelief in his claim to being God which was the problem.
He questioned and challenged the origin and ancestry of gods (devi-devtas) and the popular interpretations of Hindu scriptures.
So do most lunatics who claim to be God.
At his congregations, Rampal has been using aggressive language claiming that "real truth" has been hidden from the people by gurus and intellectuals who have interpreted scriptures in the past. He has been drawing people from the lower middle-class as well as those who have been persecuted within popular religions including dalits and anti-Jaat castes backward castes.
Is this because he's got a lot of guns? A Jat who has lots of guns and thinks he is God is better placed to protect you, if you are not a Jat, then a Jat who thinks he is God but doesn't have a lot of guns.
"Our race is living being, mankind is our religion, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, there is no separate religion," he says on website.
Because he alone is God and everybody should bow down to him.
Arya Samaj followers-- believing in the traditional Vedic philosophy which Rampal challenges-- were the first to object to him in 2006 when he raised questions over ‘Satyarth Prakash’.
Commenting on ‘Satyarth Prakash’ Rampal says it is not “Light of Truth’ but a book of 'mithya' or myths and should be called ‘ Mithyarth Prakash’.
And that didn't make them happy? How unreasonable of them!
A clash between Arya Samaj followers and Rampal's devotees in July 2006 at the Karontha ashram saw the arrest of Rampal along with 38 of his followers on murder charges and was released on bail in 2008.
Rampal remained undeterred thereafter as he went on to set up another ‘dera’ (ashram) in Barwala, Hisar.
Today, ‘Satlok Ashram’ has 71 acres of land in Karontha and his rise has been fuelled by generous donations. Rampal also draws his followers from Punjab, UP and far away places of Madhya Pradesh.
The Haryana police used all those tactics on Rampal’s followers what Punjab police had used to raid religious places in Punjab like cutting of power and water supply and blocking the food supplies along with forcing the thinly clad poor devotees to leave the ashram. Some of the followers were even dragged to bus stands and nearby railway stations forcing them to leave the area.
But Army didn't shell the dera. No wonder Sidhu is pissed off! But Rampal didn't have a Shabegh Singh to organize his defenses did he?
Such developments, as eminent historian Romila Thapar maintains, question the stereotypes and the political narrative raised from nationalistic perspective that “Indian society has always been unchanging society, based on caste structure, ---alternatively, it was an idyllic society characterized with harmony and absence of social tensions”.
Romila Thapar may be crap but she isn't so utterly fuckwittedly crap as to think that the case of Sant Rampal raises question about 'political narrative from the nationalistic perspective'.  Any society in which Jats figure prominently aint gonna be an idyllic society characterized by harmony and the absence of social tensions. On the contrary, it is gonna abound in loony toony Godmen with guns.  Which, gotta say, is what makes Jats valuable to the Social Fabric. It's not that the rest of us aren't crazy, we're just not Jat crazy.

Comments are moderated

Comments (7)

High caste intellectuals like Romila Thapar and Sidhu are trying to befool innocent bahishrit (oppressed and excluded) people who are original inhabitants of sub continent. They are constantly building up Aryan religious leaders like Buddha, Nanak, Kabir, Dayanand Sarasvati etc. What about Googoo the simple tribal ant eater? He preached the true equality. Kabirpantis looked down on Googoo because he never wore clothes and thus did not support the weaving racket. However, Googoo never looked down on anyone. Kabir himself came to Googoo to take his blessing. 
Truth of Googoo Religion is ruthless suppressed not just by Modi Sarkar (i.e. Government of Nazi like Narendra Modi) but also by Human Beings and Plants. 
If you examine videos of so called 'arrest' of Rampal you can clearly see that all of the police are having blonde hair and speaking Yiddish and also wearing badges showing employment by C.I.A, I.S.I and other Upper Caste Gangster operations.

indglish's avatar - Go to profile
indglish0p· 1 week go