Election season upon us – 2

With UP elections round the corner, almost everything appearing in the mainstream media should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Cow vigilantism is another fancy term coined by the Indian main stream media in the run up to a major state election. Remember ‘intolerance’? Although not as abstract but certainly more potent. If ‘intolerance’ set the stage for a counter attack, this is the actual event.

So whats ‘vigilantism’? According to etymonline.com a vigilante is “member of a vigilance committee,” 1856, American English, from Spanish vigilante, literally “watchman,” from Latin vigilantem (nominative vigilans) “watchful, anxious, careful,” from vigil (see vigil). Vigilant man in same sense is attested from 1824 in a Missouri context. Vigilance committees kept informal rough order on the U.S. frontier or in other places where official authority was imperfect.”

Wikipedia says, “Vigilante justice” is often rationalized by the concept that proper legal forms of criminal punishment are either nonexistent, insufficient, or inefficient. Vigilantes normally see the government as ineffective in enforcing the law; such individuals often claim to justify their actions as a fulfillment of the wishes of the community. 

Various articles like this , this and this with loaded statements have appeared off late in the media. The second last one appeared in NYT whose author was previously associated with several “exposes” for an organisation whose founder worked for Tehelka. And ofcourse, the last being an article by Congress MP Tharoor in an elite publication. Not surprisingly, Tharoor starts off by painting these random, unrelated and sporadic acts of crime as being more generalised, planned and well entrenched. In the process, tries to whip up a heightened sense of fear. Dismissive and condescending references to large parts of North India as “Cow Belt” (strangely even mentions “the refusal to eat beef” as common in these states, as if its the norm elsewhere in India) is also not surprising considering his political identity. After the crushing defeat of the Congress party, it has cranked up its ally machinery viz., business associates (read media houses) whereby abstract concepts are conjured up and thrown around liberally. Unrelated acts of crime are sought to be publicised and a relentless coverage (sometimes even misreporting is resorted to) to create a politically charged atmosphere before elections, only to subside after the elections get over. If it were “Church attacks” before Delhi, “Intolerance” and “Dadri” before Bihar, it is now, on expected lines, “Una” and “Cow vigilantism” before UP. Not to deny the criminal act of assault, they happen everywhere on the planet as much as they happen in India, but a broad generalisation and painting it with a broad brush is uncalled for.

If the target audience of “Intolerance’was the minorities, the target audience this time includes the lower castes. The strategy of maligning the government in front of a global audience had worked back then. A similar ploy is at play now.

Even the recent silver medal winning performance of an India shuttler PV Sindhu wasnt spared the lethal caste angle when little known The News Minute website in its factually erroneus article had implied how “millions” of Indians were searching for her caste rather than couple of thousand (as a % of total population is neglible). A superb rebuttal by Sanu . Not surpringly, it got stupidly picked up ToI and Indian Express. Really guys? A couple thousand random searches means India searching ? Wow!



Havent seen the movie though. Reviews were mostly bad with ‘critics’ panning it and calling it ‘DDLJ in ancient setting’. But kudos to the director Gowarikar for attempting to make a movie on a subject of which almost nothing is known. Memories of school history came rushing back. 3 vivid images of ‘Dancing girl’, ‘priest king’ and ‘animal seal

Mohenjo-Daro (Pakistan government attempted to change its name to MoenjoDaro) can be roughly translated as;

  • ‘Mound of Dead Men’? in Sindhi (But who would name a living city as city of dead?),
  • ‘Mound of Mohan people’ (Pakistani archaeologists’ interpretation of the name referring to the local fishing community? or even;
  • ‘Kukuttarma’ – Dravidian name – ‘City of the cockerel’?

Basically a mega city of ~ 35000 – 4000o people and part of the great Indus Valley civilisation, which is reported to have spread from the present day Iran to Gujarat (basically undivided India if one can exclude parts of Iran), Mohenjo-Daro is reported to have been established ~ 2500 BC and went into decline around ~ 1800 BC (a good 700 years). Its ruins were only discovered ~ 4000 years later in the 1920’s by an Indian archaeologists.

An interesting interpretation can be found here. Another piece here.

Pay up for deposits and receive interest for loans

Yeh you read the above correct. Negative interest rates play the tricks mentioned above. Normally, one would expect to RECEIVE interest on deposits (or a bond investment) and PAY interest on a loan balance (bond outstanding).

But the mandarins of high finance (read the central bankers) have devised this “innovative” solution to induce the world economy out of coma. Heres a piece by WSJ.

How is it expected to work? Simply put, these negative rates are supposed to put out a red carpet for all the borrowers out there to borrow to their hearts content and somehow kickstart the economy with private capital spending. The savers can go take a hike. This is what the central bankers are implying. Its as convoluted as it sounds and implications beyond the grasp of even savvy bond investors. This implies that there would no longer be a coupon payment (as yields are negative arent they?). So bond investors would be forced to think like equity investors and seek capital gains.

Thunder’Bolt’ – Stunning

Lightening indeed struck thrice after Beijing, London and now Rio. Usain Bolt, undoubtedly the most celebrated athlete of all time, roared past his opponents at the biggest event of them all, the finals of the Olympics 100 m sprint.

His start might have led to many a hearts skip a beat as it wasnt the best. His main compatriot, the american Gatlin, booed incessantly, lead the pack for almost 3/4 ths of the track (yeh thats right). But the on the back of the sheer length of his strides the acceleration he achieved just blew away his opponents setting the track on fire.

Bolt, who would be turning 30 soon, possibly ran his last games at the Olympics but has strode into the Olympic hall of fame as the greatest runner of all time dwarfing the past greats. The event gave me goosebumps and the feeling of him breaking away from the pack at the very end was just unbelievable.



Sacrificing your soul

Couldnt get hold of the entire video, but it just cant get any worse than this.

A senior journalist, criticised for her often biased reportage, along with the Congress party actually got praised by the man touted to be one of the perpetrators of the ghastly terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008.

Hafiz Saeed, the terrorist in the video, goes to shed crocodile tears as to how misunderstood he is and how certain sections in India dont miss an oppurtunity to spread lies against him and Pakistan whereas some others like the said journalist & the Congress party are doing “good work”.

The troubling aspect is that why a terrorists thinks that these people are doing “good work”. What is it that they are actually doing? Are we missing something ?

This praise seems to have brought the concerned journalist down from her pedestal as she took high moral ground and seemed unperturbed of the criticism of being soft on the terrorists and separatists and pulverising the Indian army for “excesses”, prominent among them was the Hizbul terrorist, Wani, who got slain by the army.

In this day & age of microscopic scrutiny, this is a PR disaster for the journalist mentioned. She was at the forefront of earlier linked to the Nira Radia controversy too.

Idea of India

Every Indian should read this piece by Sankrant Sanu. Re – read after you have finished reading it. Fab stuf 🙂

  • Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport has the Samudra Manthan depiction which is an integral part of Indian mythology.
  • Bali, in Indonesia, is a Hindu majority island (83% Hindus) province of the biggest Islamic country in the world, Indonesia. An interesting sketch of Balinese history can be found here
  • Angkor Wat temple complex of Cambodia is essentially dedicated to Vishnu.

With this i start off with “Indic Thought” segment. Hope to write more under this to explore more about the history of our great country.