[Non-JNU Academic] On Demonetization

Do you think:

  1. Demonetization is simply pain for poor and wont solve anything?
  2. The rich with black money wont get affected?
  3. Feel the queue in bank is too much of a pain?

Then please read this blog:

Everyone in India want to get rid of corruption but when the government asked for people’s help in demonetization a certain section of leaders were quick to politicize the issue. As soon as the issue got politicised the followers of those leaders quickly stopped supporting a genuinely good step by the government, which is aptly called a surgical strike against black money. In fact I have even seen people initially supporting the measure but when the leaders politicised it they are now saying it is a useless exercise which only adds to the pain of “Aam aadmi” without solving the issue. So let’s look at some numbers and history of this government’s planned and structured war against corruption.

India’s total tangible wealth is of around 280 lakh crores[1]. World bank estimates at least a quarter of this is black[2]. That means 70 lakh crores. It is possible that 10% of it is in cash, with the rest in real estate and gold. That is 7 lakh crores of black cash that is lying around. Maybe 80% of it will turn white and even with that Rs 1.4 lakh crores of black will be gone. That is big.(Balaji Vishwanathan in Quora).

This figure is comparable with 2G scam(2lakh crore). And remember it was a very conservative estimate(assumptions of 80% and 10%).

There are followers of Lutyen’s mumbo-jumbo who will quickly rise the question that this money wont be recovered, it will simply be removed from the people who hold it. Then ask about how much money government had to spend for this clean up and how much the “poor” people had to suffer to exchange their hard-earned money. Here is my research on amount that was spent.

From a critical source [3] the amount that government will have to spend for printing new notes is 11,900 crore(assuming we replace all 500 and 1000 with 100 which we are not doing). Let’s be very critical and say it costs another 10,000 crore in shipping etc. so we are spending 22 thousand crore to remove over 1.4 lakh crore black money. Here also we have taken huge margins for calculation.

Of course the Lutyen’s intellectuals wont like spending 22 thousand crore to remove 1.4 Lakh crore black money. They only like making video tapes of Rs100 bribe you gave to policeman on road. Since I have better memory than the left-liberals I recall that Modi government had a scheme to disclose black money and pay 45% tax on it. In that scheme over 65 thousand  crore was disclosed[4]. So the central government had already raised 30 thousand crore tax. Even if the it spends 22 thousand crore on demonetization, our central government will still have 8 thousand crore left.

These are all tangible and measurable benefits. I can think of at least three more intangible or hard to quantify benefits:

  1. Every note that is burnt or deemed useless(in this case 1.4 lakh crore) and is not converted into usable asset, is going to improve the value of the total usable money. Because people who do have genuine money got their money value improved. You will shortly see houses becoming more affordable.
  2. generates fear among black money holders
  3. Forces people to use more plastic money

I should also remind some of the steps taken by this government against black money because public memory is poor.

  1. SIT against corruption was the Modi cabinet’s first decision[5]
  2. Jan dhan yojna so that everyone has bank account and can do all legal transactions
  3. emphasis on Aadhar so that they can use it to exchange money today
  4. Making swiss bank account holders name public [6]
  5. GST so that direct taxes are streamlined. Payment of tax becomes easier and also trackable
  6. Scheme to disclose black money and rising 65 thousand crore
  7. and now demonetization without giving any time for black money people to hide their money

It is indeed a planned and structured fight against corruption by Modi sarkar. The government has right intentions, it has right plan and it is doing its best for execution. When it asks for little help from citizens isn’t it our duty to support the war against corruption that we so badly want to be removed from our society?

Now tell me, shouldn’t we all as Indians support this surgical strike against black money? Or is Modi the leader we need but not the leader we deserve? Are we fit only for blindly following the venom spewed by the JNU intellectuals?

[1]  gives this number at 3447B USD which is approximately 280 lakh crore INR

[2] It gives the number as 25% of GDP. Balaji vishwanathan can probably give you a better source as % of tangible wealth. I am not full-time researcher on these 🙂

[Hopefully more posts will follow under Non-JNU academic tag. This is an attempt to shift the center of power out of the Lutyen’s intellectuals and journalists]

Tripura sundari

We have come across various adjectives, phrases, poems, songs, paintings and every other form of art to describe beauty of a woman. I had heard this phrase “Tripura sundari” and thought it is just another such poetic phrase. But yesterday I heard the concept of tripura and immediately thought of tripura sundari. After reading this article there is good chance you will describe the next beautiful woman you meet as tripura sundari.

Let’s first start from prakruti(~nature). It is the place we share with all the other lives. It is common to all of us and prakruti has no favorites. She loves everyone equally. There is no hero or villain, there is no good or bad, there are only prays and predators. In prakruti it is about only about survival in the most meritocratic way.

Then there is samskruti(~culture). It is what we share with others in our society. Here the man-made concepts exist. Here there are concepts that makes one set of people feel proud, secure etc. These concepts are made from our imagination. So we create good and bad, rights and wrongs, victims and saviors.

Finally there is brahmand(~??). It is created by brahmas(~individuals) for themselves. So indeed “Aham brahmasmi(~ I am brahma or god)” is literally true. It is the world we create in our mind. This is not shared with anyone. Thus there are as many brahmand as many people on this planet. Here we create images for ourselves and others. Here the heroes as defined  by the samskruti can be villains and vice-versa.

This is the reason why we interact with strangers at three different levels. First we only share the prakruti with them so we are not comfortable. Our animal instincts come out first trying to gauge if the other person is prey or predator. Then we will see some samskruti in him so we can feel either comfortable when we share it or even more dis-comfortable when we don’t share samskruti. So we move on to find any samskruti that is common to both. Now we share some more in common because we have now identified the samskrutis that are common. It can be nationality, language, profession, race, religion anything. Sometimes (for example sales people) we don’t have time to find these samskrutis and brahmands collide in first go. These interactions are the most difficult at an individual level to handle. Even though we can’t share brahmand we try to understand the other’s brahmand and include its model in our own.

So who is a tripura sundari? Tripura sundari(~beautiful woman) is a woman who is sundari in tripura, tripura being a collective noun for prakruti, samskruti and brahmand. It is easy to understand someone being sundari in brahmand after all it is just individual taste. It is quite easy to call someone sundari in samskruti as well. We know that Europeans call the long legs, Indians the long hair and some east Asians the small feet etc as beautiful. But a sundari in prakruti? Where all are equal and the fittest survive, where a pleasant smelling flower isn’t attractive and a foul-smelling one isn’t repulsive.

Yes that is the artistic freedom in calling someone sundari in prakruti! That is art! So go ahead call the crush of your life as tripura sundari in person not just in comments below.

Introspection by a young Indian

I’m sure most Indians would have heard two contradicting views about India. Firstly, the arguments claiming India to be a prosperous and well developed region (cluster of provinces) before colonization and claims to have proof for their argument. Secondly, the argument (especially foreigners) considering Indians as people who are boastful of their past arguable achievements, without having any present day significance. This contradiction made me think. Initially like everyone else I tried to find which one is the truth but soon realized that I’m missing something bigger and more important.  I started so discover a certain degree of agreement in the contradictory views. So, the soul of this post is to find the implicit fact agreed by both the proponents.

In the former argument there is a call for the Indians to not forget their roots which were apparently glorious and says that latter argument is developed by westerners (in particular by the British) to destroy our self-esteem. The latter argument just points out at our present day reality and asks for our recent contribution to the world development. If we get into verification of authenticity of either of the arguments we will be lost. We can’t deny the second argument but at the same time we can’t fall prey to it since we were indeed a slave nation under the British and we do see lack of self-esteem among Indians, who are willing to accept anything from the west and don’t like to appreciate the east. So let’s move on and check if there is any common ground in these two arguments.

Being a person who likes to define rules of the game before playing one, I want to define what is progress? Here is the way I look at it: Anything which makes us understand our universe better is progress. The only way to understand the universe better is through science. Thus my yardstick of progress is scientific progress. When we contribute to scientific progress it gives a sense of right to enjoy the modern day technological facilities or else metaphorically speaking, if we don’t contribute to science and enjoy its benefits then it is like living on other’s income by theft or robbery. Being a man with moral conscience scientific progress is the epitome of all kinds of progress which will make me proud in front of foreigners. It is the last frontier of a nation’s developmental challenge.

Now coming back to the two opposing views, one fact is accepted in both perspectives i.e., Indian contribution to scientific development (synonymous with development) in modern times is very less if not nil (thanks to CV Raman, Ramanujan, JC Bose). Major chunk of scientific work happens in America after WW2 (though CERN and some European universities continue to hold on) and before WW2 it was Europe which was the knowledge bowl of the world. So in past 400-500 years we are constantly lagging in the quest for knowledge. Whoever claims for Indian contribution inevitably goes before this period and in case they come up with some examples they will be exceptional people with a foreign institute affiliation. So where did we fail? I am forced to accept that we failed, but where?

Scientific progress asks for economic prosperity since the quest for satisfying the knowledge hunger comes only after satisfying the real hunger. India certainly had all the resources for economic development. Any simple study will reveal the reason behind huge population in India as abundance of natural resources here, apart from petroleum. Hence economic progress with men and material power must not have been a problem. But, both scientific and economic progress asks for one key factor which was completely missing in India and it is often neglected around the world. That key factor is political stability. The political instability and lack of governance not just derailed our scientific progress but also our economic and every other forms of progress. This is where our ancestors failed us. They couldn’t give political stability and protection because of lack of foresight, will, interest and presence of selfishness.

Now that I have arrived at some sort of conclusion what is more worrying for me is that we continue to commit the same mistake as that of our ancestors’. We continue our apathy and indifference towards politics. Majority of those who indeed show interest does it for personal gains or to pessimistically ridicule the developments. Politics is something which everyone must know. Irrespective of a person studying science or arts or economics, he must know politics and its implications. He must have a political ideology of his own. He must be able see through the political developments and actively participate in it. Hopefully we will realize this before it is too late.

Why shouldn’t India be called “Democracy of India”

Probably you know that India’s full name is “Republic of India” or “Bharathiya Ganrajya”. But why is India called as Republic of India? Why not as Democracy of India when it is the largest democratic nation? Why do we have only Republic and Independence days but no Democracy, secular or socialist days etc. when all of these words appear in our preamble? To find these answers let me introduce to you what is known as “Political Spectrum” which is way more complicated than light spectrum (I sometime find electromagnetic spectrum confusing. X-rays are on right or left?).

If you rearrange EM spectrum from increasing order of frequency to wavelength then left goes to right and vice versa. Similarly in case of political spectrum it is important to define what is left and what is right. Simply calling communists as left is like saying red (I mean color red) is on left side of spectrum. So here is one sensible way of looking at political spectra:

political spectrumAs you can see if 100% power goes to government then people get 0% power. But probably equality needs little explanation. It is a left ideology that the government with 100% power can abolish the differences in the people. It can control people to create a society where everyone is equal by taking away the excess from wealthy and giving to the poor. Whereas on far right, the people are on their own with no government so according to Darwin it’s all about survival of fittest with obvious result of inequality.

Now where does dictatorship, democracy, republic etc. come in? Well if people were to have 0% power that means they can’t even decide who should have that 100% power so naturally dictatorship is established. On the contrary, if there has to be no government then it is obvious to have anarchy.

All the subtleties are involved with the distinction of democracy and republic. Democracy on the relative left says “majority will rule” but the republic on relative right says “law will rule”. Idea of republic is to make laws and let people be free as long as laws aren’t violated but democracy is simply to go with the majority to govern people and the people has to accept the majority decision on every issue. When the drafting board decided to call India as a republic they were clear that India ought to be a center right nation. Democracy is required to elect the people who would make laws thus making democracy a necessary evil (also laws need to change with time) but it’s not the idea on which India needs to run.

The Great Indian Coalition Politics

For a country as vast and diverse as India with multi-party system is bound to have coalition politics. Everyone in India understands that only an alliance can form a government at the centre. Here I want to express my concern not at the idea of coalition politics itself but regarding the way in which alliances are being formed.

Though the need for coalition arises because of practical reasons, the need for separate parties itself is because of the fact that one party ideology differs from that of others (at least in theory). But look at the parties which have done the following deeds

  1. Aligning with National Democratic Alliance- NDA in one term and United Progressive Alliance- UPA in the next (eg. Trinmool Congress- TMC, Dravida munnetra kazhagam- DMK)
  2. Two rival parties at state level supporting same alliance at the centre (eg. Bahujan Samajwadi Party- BSP and Samajwadi Party- SP supporting UPA)
  3. Principal opposition party (eg. Janatal Das(secular)-JDS in karnataka, Nationalist Congress Part- NCP in Arunachal Pradesh) for Congress supporting them at times both at centre and state

Observing these kind of frequent changes in the stands of political parties involved in the great Indian coalition politics (similarity of this phrase with “the great Indian comedy show” is intentional), one can easily notice the reason behind these developments i.e., multi-party system of India giving way to establishment of numerous regional parties. These regional parties getting just 20-30% of votes in just one of the Indian states have started to feel that they can control the central and the state governments. DMK interference with Indian foreign affairs (https://prismoflife.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/srilankan-tamil-issue/) was probably the peak of audacity shown by a regional party.  I seriously doubt if these regional parties have any ideology and stand on various issues that is required of a political party or they are just behind power and personal gains.