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India Is Confused. Where Does It Go from Here?
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At J. Nehru University, most students know about China and Russia only from the BBC, Reuters and other Western media outlets. Even those individuals who claim they belong to the left are not immune; influenced mainly by the British propaganda.

It has been like this for years: usual confusion, all around India: tough nationalistic, even chauvinistic rhetoric, mixed with almost religious economic submission to the West, and often, to Western geo-political interests.

During the last few years, nationalism, as well as Hindu religious dogmatism have been gaining ground, while capitalism, often in its most vulgar and grotesque form, has been turned into a worshipped and bulletproof demagogy.

Gone are the days of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Now, there is no flirtation with socialism, anymore, and no attempt to create a country that would serve all of its citizens.

Like in Thailand, which is now the country with the most unequally distributed income on earth, Indian elites are thriving on their exceptionalism, on being separated from the poor majority by entire galaxies.

Here, Bentley and Jaguar showrooms rub shoulders with terrible, impenetrable slums. Expensive private hospitals are shamelessly seducing foreigners into “cheap” medical tourism, while the local poor are dying in pain and misery, often with no help at all.

 

For many years, I have been writing about this country, from Kerala and Tamil Nadu to the oppressed Northeast and Kashmir. I have encountered, and worked with, many local thinkers, opposition figures and artists.

Then, four years ago, after covering Kashmir, Assam and the deprived villages north of Delhi, something broke inside me, and I couldn’t stand what I saw here, anymore. I could not deal with the gang rapes, with people being tortured and forced to eat their own flesh. And I refused to be subjected to the most grotesque “security”measurements and bullying on earth.

“Democracy!”, people laughed at me, when I mentioned the word. “Yes, democracy, for them, for the rich. We the poor only stick pieces of paper into a box, take small bribes and alcohol from various political parties, before elections. We get beaten up if we do something the rulers and the rich consider wrong.”

I have had enough of the farce: in India, Indonesia, Thailand – wherever the brutal, nihilist regimes which have been reducing the majority of the population into beggars, have been clinging, almost unopposed, to power.

 

Then two months ago, the Student Association at Jawaharlal Nehru University, wrote me a letter, inviting me back to speak, this time about China and the conflict between the PRC and the United States.

The email exchange with the Students Union Leaders included a piece of information which I was actually aware of:

The International Relations field is being completely taken over by pro US / pro NATO people here…”

Everybody here is occupied with JNU student union elections next week. It is one of the most important places of ideological resistance to the current Fascist government in India. “

Modi… Yes. They hate Modi at JNU. Many do. But then later, in Delhi, after accepting the invitation, in an Uber from my hotel to the university, I was told, bluntly:

Your friends, including Arundhati Roy and a Kashmiri documentary film director Sanjay Kak, used to speak at this university, often. Now they cannot even show their faces here, or there would be a riot organized by the RSS.”

At that moment I knew that I am on my own. Ready to face the students at the school which could be still considered the best public university in India, but which was hostile to even the most luminous intellectuals this nation has recently produced.

I recalled how, four years ago, in a café in New Delhi, sitting at a table with Arundhati Roy and Sanjay Kak, I committed an indiscretion, exclaiming:

But India has such great opposition figures!”

Arundhati looked at me, sarcastically, and uttered:

Yes, and most of us are sitting, right now here, at this table.”

 

My encounter with the JNU students and researchers was colorful; from the beginning to the end. They wanted me to speak about the “Global South”, and about the conflict between the West and both China and Russia.

I did. But I also wanted to “take the pulse”, to understand, from their questions and statements, what they actually know, and what they would like to learn from exchanges like this.

For two full hours we faced each other, and these were not always pleasant moments.

I spoke about China and Russia as I knew them, experienced, and wrote about. They were shooting many questions at me, questions that were often shaped by the Western propaganda language, and by mass media jargon.

“Human rights”, “democracy”, “why does China do this?”, “why does Russia do that?”

I stood my ground.

“Why did China do nothing to help Cuba?”

I patiently explained that China saved Cuba, after the Soviet Union decomposed under Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Sarcastic sounds followed.

“Fidel Castro quoted me, and wrote that I was correct,” I uttered. This restored order. There was not much to add.

There were questions about Hong Kong. Confrontational questions. Definitely not questions that are asked among comrades. I did not lose my temper. Patiently, I explained what I recently witnessed in Hong Kong: the confusion of the rioters backed by European and North American countries. Violence and hate; destruction.

At the end, one young man asked me, with a smile: “And what about Iranian imperialism?”

“Iranian imperialism?” I couldn’t understand. I still did not fully comprehend that this was different India that I knew in quite a recent past.

“Yes. Iranian imperialism… You know: supporting Yemeni rebels, and brutal Assad’s dictatorship…”

I recalled how I was approached: [JNU] is one of the most important places of ideological resistance to the current Fascist government in India.

One of the left-activists and research scholars at JNU who asked not to be identified, and who was present during my presentation, later wrote for this essay:

On the extreme right-wing violence kind of things like lynching, riots, hate speech, Hindutva interpretation of history etc. – there is some resistance from a section of liberal elites. Or resistance on caste issues from people who care about these issues.

But on long term policies of Indian state – pro-US foreign policy, neoliberal economic policies, etc – there is hardly any understanding or resistance.

I even heard one ex-WTO guy in a seminar here – who was surprised to see the consensus among students on the ‘rule-based international trading system’ in contrast to fierce disagreements when he came a few years back.

There are few teachers who are exceptions – but in general a far-right shift (in economic and foreign policy) is unfortunately true.”

That is obviously and unfortunately what is happening. I witnessed it at JNU, I was told this by my friends, and I felt it on the street.

 

Binu Mathew, the legendary Editor of “Countercurrents” magazine, based in Kerala, explained:

ORDER IT NOW

During the cold war India was one of the conscience keepers of the world. It took a moral stand on world issues. Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the founders of the Non Aligned Movement during the Cold War. It was a huge moral force during those maddening times. It has completely lost now. It was done by the very followers of Nehru’s Congress party. They made India a minion of the USA by signing a military strategic partnership in 2008. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which came to power after the Congress-led government, took it to another level. In 2016, the US designated India a “Major Defense Partner”. Now India is following the dictate from Washington… I think the USA is using India as a bulwark against the growing Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Narendra Modi used to be the Chief Minister of Gujarat, during those brutal massacres that I covered. The right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organization, RSS, responsible for those massacres, is now a major force on the Indian political scene. Mr. Modi is held responsible for the pogroms. The academic view of the “events” is summarized by Martha Nussbaum, who said:

“There is by now a broad consensus that the Gujarat violence was a form of ethnic cleansing, that in many ways it was premeditated, and that it was carried out with the complicity of the state government and officers of the law.”

Mr. Modi is now Prime Minister of India. Under his rule, acts of state terror are continuously taking place in Kashmir and North-East.

The misery of the poor (the majority of the nation) is deepening. The shameful cast system is still firmly in place.

 

Leaving India for Thailand, I watched the extremely long Hindi film, called “Guru”. Melodramatic, badly acted and directed, but it was still worth watching.

Nowhere else in the world, would such films be possible to make a film glorifying capitalist, thuggish cronyism and corruption, a feel-good film about an ambitious young man becoming the owner of an industrial empire. In India, no one laughs at such propaganda, turbo-capitalist monstrosities. Such films are actually admired. People are dreaming to be like the main character.

While right-wing publications were lying everywhere, I couldn’t find or purchase the relatively progressive weekly news magazine Frontline; in my hotel, at the airport or on board the airplane.

A few years ago, I wrote an essay: “India Is Where? On Two Chairs!” Now, it is clearly sitting on the lap of the West. It has found “its place”.

The Global South? BRICS? Just words; at least for now. A few great individuals, like Arundhati Roy, are still fighting, but they are locked out, even from the J. Nehru University.

It is painful to accept, but it is the reality.

 

[First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook – a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences]

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Four of his latest books are Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter. His Patreon

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, India, Neoliberalism 
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  1. Anonymous[187] • Disclaimer says:

    You blame the British for everything in practically every article you write, you are clearly a racist, anti-British bigot. The reason India is a shithole is because of their ingrained caste system amongst Hindus and a vicious Hindu supremacist mentality which makes them think they have the right to treat Muslims in Kashmir and any other religious minority for that matter as they like, Christians do not fare very well in India either.

    • Replies: @unzreader
    , @Moi
    , @Anonymous
  2. Lin says:

    India is a very complicate country.
    –What hold a country together? It could be(boardly or loosely)same race, same language, same sense of destiny/historical lineage, same religion…(please add yours)
    India is racially very ‘diverse’, has 16 official languages, poor pre-Mughal historiography, so little doubt indian nationalism has become hindu nationalism.
    –The higher caste brahmins are ‘aryans’, usually with lighter skin and the lower or out castes have darker skin, no wonder the elite(‘left’ or ‘right’) want to identify with western white countries.
    –The hindu nationalists want to project an image of Bharat Uday(india Shining) or india as emerging major(if not super)power but out of insecurity or image motive, there’s a gross lack of sense of prioritization of objectives. Two examples I mentioned before: a)India is probably the only country that acquired an aircraft carrier 6 years before getting the first submarine; I guess an aircraft carrier is good ‘india shining’ optics while a sub usually submerges out of sight. b)Many india elite thought india could skip the industialisation stage and leap into the ‘post-industrial’ stage. India already was in the post-industrial era in 1995 according to this indian economist: http://swaminomics.org/?p=1481
    –India is excessively elitist. They managed to have an IT or IT driven service industry that hire the upper/educated castes/classes to work in air-conditioned office but failed to set up labor intensive basic manufacturing that could employ 10s of millions of less fortunate people like east Asian countries did to jump start their economies. Unemploymeny/under-employment is their biggest social problem.
    –The indian army was literally routed by the Chinese army in a short border war in 1962 and the war scars still hurt badly to these days
    …………….
    The above are just a brief summary

  3. haha says:

    But there are millions of cows in India and they are very happy in India. Fiends returning from there tell me that cows have taken over the streets and highways and nobody dares touch them. They are considered holy, so I guess the entire country is becoming holy.

    • Replies: @Lin
  4. Lin says:
    @haha

    India has over 300 million holy cows. It’s their culture.
    I fully understand cow slaughter is banned there. In my opinion, since most of them are unproductive animals or just roam the country side or streets, why not harness 200 millions of them to pull carts? This way,they can cut their crude oil import bill. Correct me if I were wrong.

  5. unzreader says:
    @Anonymous

    Very funny, how about you compare the treatment and legal rights of Christians and Muslims in India to the same for non-Muslims in most Muslim countries

    • Replies: @Lin
  6. Lin says:
    @unzreader

    how about you compare the treatment and legal rights of Christians and Muslims in India to the same for non-Muslims in most Muslim countries

    It’s a complicate comparision. Let’s restrict to middle east countries:
    –Non muslims,like jews, Christians, Zoroastrian were there before islam and theologically they are accommodated. The muslims might or might not have come as conquerors. Besides Iran, the most prominent Islamic conquest took place in Egypt but still Egypt has sizable number of Copts. The big majority of Egyptians are arabs or islamised descendents of non-arabs.
    –India was conquered by muslim Mughals then by Christians anglos. But too many hindus for the muslim and Christian clerics to convert. Hinduism is basically social segregation with veneer/sugar coating of ‘spirituality’, it’s so persuasive that even muslims there have their castes.
    –Respectively, Hinduism/(sunni)Islam are vehicles of racial/tribal power for the brahmins/arabs.
    Conflicts arised when one side felt hurt. Like the 1947 formation of the modern jewish state.
    2018 was the bicentennial of a war with the anglos and Dalits fighting the upper caste Peshwas
    https://www.newstatesman.com/world/asia/2018/01/british-east-india-company-hindu-right-and-battle-over-oppression

  7. barr says:

    Indian ranking on appreciation scale has gone up among the evangelical quarters .Exact reason is not fully laid bare Might have something to do with 1 China bashing by political parties ( Evangelical support the extant politics of the GOP ) 2 Anti muslim attitude
    3 Israel -India and AIPAC-Indian diaspora

    The change of attitude has reinvigorated the fanatic RSS’s hopes and has energized the BJP

    Rich Indians serve the US corporate interest , visible in the the academia , media .Connected relatives of these rich Indians exploit poor Indians from the policies forced ,supported and imposed by the corporates in the name of western globalism . Idea about or of West always confuses the common Indian thinking . There is a genetic organic need of Indian to be appreciated by USA UK France . The psychological slavery or mortgaging of the intelligence to the American or British celebrities is conspicuous by its perverse presence . , India can’t identify new ideas, fresh talent or skill or innovation unless recognized or identified by the west .

    India is fraught with the potential dangers of the language caste tribes and nationalities . Threat of Islam and Christianity have held it together internally . If tomorrow all the muslims were disappeared and all the christians were sent abroad, the country would fragment into million pieces .

  8. voe says:

    Andre Vltchek’s recent article on China was excellent, but while in the China article he said that much of media reports on China has a hidden agenda of breaking China, in this article he supports the same if it is against India. Maybe the reason for this doublespeak is that China is (supposedly) Communist/Marxist/Socialist (“good”), and India democratic and currently under a (supposedly) right-wing government (“bad”).

    Vltchek wrote in the China article: “To portray China as an evil country, is essential for the hegemony of the West. There is nothing so terrifying to London and Washington as the combination of these words: “Socialism/ Communism, Asian, success”. The West invents new and newer ‘opposition movements’, it then supports them and finances them, just in order to then point fingers and bark: “China is fighting back, and it is violating human rights”, when it defends itself and its citizens. This tactic is clear, right now…

    But much the same can be said about India, and Vltchek’s friends Arundhati Roy and Kak are very much part of these “opposition movements” which “the West supports and finances” because their atrocity literature is useful in breaking up India. Arundhati Roy is infamous for peddling lies about Hindu-Muslim conflicts and such when it serves her far-leftist, breaking India narrative. She is also not part of any “opposition”, as the combine of far-leftists and Islamists (and in the case of her, one can perhaps add Christian fundamentalists) has a near monopoly in mainstream media in India. The opposition in the media landscape in India are clearly the right-wing intellectuals who are routinely marginalized.

    Cultural Marxist Martha Nussbaum, and the far-left “Countercurrents” and Frontline magazines, inexplicably quoted as “neutral” voices in this article, are another example of someone completely untrustworthy when reporting on Indian politics. And the unamed “right-wing publications” are not lying everywhere in India as Vltchek claims.

    Comparing this article with Vltchek’s recent China article exposes his blatant doublespeak, which is common among Marxists/Maoists, see their propagandistic vilification of “evil, feudal, nationalist” Tibet in the Tibet-China conflict.

  9. Lin says:

    Within the brahmin/aryan contexts, the following sentiments are quite understandable. I morally support such endeavor.

    India should be a south ‘western’ power according to indian foren affairs minister:
    https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/india-would-be-a-south-western-power-says-jaishankar/article29582282.ece#

    india could learn from Nordic countries
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Welfare-shakedown-India-needs-to-learn-from-Nordic-governments-how-to-get-more-bang-for-the-buck/articleshow/19786783.cms

    india should become Finland
    http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/educable/entry/can-india-become-like-finland-in-its-education-outcomes

  10. Moi says:
    @Anonymous

    Agree. Here’s what screwing India:

    The caste issue
    North-South racial divide
    More than a dozen different languages (Most people from the South speak no Hindi, the supposedly “national” language
    Hatred of Muslims (and Christians). Even after a thousand years, right-wing Hindus consider them invaders and demand they revert to Hinduim.

    Basically, Indians are an intolerant people.

  11. Before anyone brings them up, here’s a quick and easy (often chronological) debunking of India’s main propaganda points on how the Kashmir dispute began in 1947 as British India (colony) was divided into Pakistan (state) and India (state):

    1: ‘Pakistani Pashtun tribesmen attacked Kashmir on 22 October 1947 while its ruler was in the process of deciding which state to accede to to wrest it by force and this makes India’s official army deployment to Kashmir on 27 October 1947 after airlifting defensive in nature’

    Nah. Indians say this all the time and because of how dead Pakistan’s PR skills are (illiterate media, illiterate diplomatic teams abroad) coupled with India’s massive online presence it gets taken as fact even by some Pakistanis. India had troops from one of its large states, Patiala, present in Kashmir weeks before the Pashtun tribal ‘invasion’:

    ‘The Government of Jammu and Kashmir during this crucial period was also in contact with the Rulers of a number of Indian States who, despite their own accession to India, may to some degree have been operating independent policies. The Sikh Maharaja of Patiala, for example, in the first two weeks of October 1947 ~rovided his colleague in the State of Jammu and Kashmir with a battalion of infantry and a battery of mountain artillery from his own State Armed Forces: perhaps this had been discussed when the Maharaja of Patiala visited Srinagar in July 1947. When Indian troops finally intervened in Jammu and Kashmir on 27 October 1947 they found, apparently to their surprise, Patiala gunners already guarding the vital Srinagar airfield, where they had been encamped since at least 17 October. The Patiala infantry were stationed in Jammu as reinforcements for the garrison of the Maharaja’s winter capital.” How these troops were transported is not known: it is possible that they were moved as part of the supply convoys despatched to Jammu and Srinagar by the Government of India in reply to the alleged Pakistani “blockade”. Shortly after the formal intervention of the Indian Army the Maharaja of Patiala, Yadavindra Singh, came to Jammu to command his contingent in person.18 In that by October 1947 the Patiala State forces had by the terms of the State’s accession to India (as part of the Patiala and East Punjab States Union) on 5 May 1947 come under the control of the Government of the Indian Union at the moment of the Transfer of Power, this deployment of Patiala State troops raises a number of questions which have yet to be answered, not least how they actually managed to reach the State of Jammu and Kashmir without the fact being reported to the senior British commanders still in the service of the Indian Army (who would surely have informed Mountbatten had they known).’”he arrival of such exotic forces could hardly have escaped the notice of the Indian Army observer in the State, Lt.- Colonel Kashmir Singh Katoch. While it is probable that some members of the Indian leadership, including perhaps Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Baldev Singh, were aware of this development, there is no evidence that it had been brought to the attention of Jawaharlal Nehru; and it is likely that the Indian Prime Minister was kept deliberately in the dark about such covert operations.’

    From ‘Kashmir: A Disputed Legacy’ by British historian Alistair Lamb who researched the history of the Kashmir dispute with access to Indian and British archives and based on written biographies by the Indian politicians involved in the Kashmir issue when it began. https://lostkashmirihistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1991-kashmir-a-disputed-legacy-1846-1990-by-lamb-s.pdf

    2. ‘The Maharaja signed an Instrument of Accession to India on 26 October (thus legalizing India’s entry on 27 October which as seen above was not defensive nor India’s first intervention in Kashmir) and Kashmir is rightfully India’s!’

    Well then why didn’t India ever present this absolutely, to say the least, vital document to the UN who India itself invited in January 1948 to mediate the ongoing Kashmir War to an end and settle the political future of Kashmir? Story ideally ends there, but thankfully Lamb’s meticulous research points a gaping chronological contradiction in India’s story of how it supposedly got the Instrument:

    ‘It is now absolutely clear that the two documents (a) the Instrument of Accession, and (c) the letter to Lord Mountbatten, could not possibly have been signed by the Maharajah of Jammu & Kashmir on 26 October 1947. The earliest possible time and date for their signature would have to be the afternoon of 27 October 1947. During 26 October 1947 the Maharajah of Jammu & Kashmir was travelling by road from Srinagar to Jammu. His Prime Minister, M.C. Mahajan, who was negotiating with the Government of India, and the senior Indian official concerned in State matters, V.P. Menon, were still in New Delhi where they remained overnight, and where their presence was noted by many observers. ‘

    ‘There was no communication of any sort between New Delhi and the traveling Maharajah. Menon and Mahajan set out by air from New Delhi to Jammu at about 10.00 a.m. on 27 October; and the Maharajah learned from them for the first time the result of his Prime Minister’s negotiations in New Delhi in the early afternoon of that day. The key point, of course, as has already been noted above, is that it is now obvious that these documents could only have been signed after the overt Indian intervention in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. When the Indian troops arrived at Srinagar air field, that State was still independent. Any agreements favourable to India signed after such intervention cannot escape the charge of having been produced under duress. It was, one presumes, to escape just such a charge that the false date 26 October 1947 was assigned to these two documents. The deliberately distorted account of that very senior Indian official, V.P. Menon, to which reference has already been made, was no doubt executed for the same end. Falsification of such a fundamental element as date of signature, however, once established, can only cast grave doubt over the validity of the document as a whole.’

    From his 10 page essay ‘THE INDIAN CLAIM TO JAMMU & KASHMIR
    A REAPPRAISAL’. http://www.mofa.gov.pk/documents/related/Myth.pdf

    Come to think of it, even with these Indian propaganda points taken as true, it still doesn’t justify Indian presence in Kashmir. Kashmiris plain old despise India, that’s reason enough for the Indians to leave.

    But the facts and details always matter.

    • Replies: @KA
  12. Come to think of it, even with these Indian propaganda points taken as true, it still doesn’t justify Indian presence in Kashmir. Kashmiris plain old despise India, that’s reason enough for the Indians to leave.

    Kashmir was Hindu dominated. The muslims drove off Hindus and changed the demography of that region. Now the muslims want plebiscite! How convenient.

  13. Attila says:

    India a geographical area created by the British. Indians are very tribal,easily excitable, and arrogant. Indians are also extroverted, boastful know it alls. India’s largest export is people who need and want to emigrate more especially to western nations whilst still blathering how great the homeland is once they become emigres. Spade a spade I am of Indian extraction myself.

  14. Gone are the days of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Now, there is no flirtation with socialism, anymore, and no attempt to create a country that would serve all of its citizens.

    Those glory days of zero economic growth when South Korean economy surpassed the Indian economy?

    I get it. Capitalism and materialism bring a host of problems, but a nation has to a build an economy first BEFORE it can so some distributing for the common good.

    As even Marx said, socialism/communism must come AFTER capitalism. Only capitalism can grow the economy and create vast wealth. Socialism is about taking that wealth created by capitalism and using it for the common good.

    Certain nations used socialism to create wealth, and it didn’t work too well. Capitalism creates wealth, and socialism(in moderation) should be used to distribute some of that wealth, preferably under a fascist-humanist model.

    Also, why knock nationalism? China is nationalist, and nationalism is the last remaining resistance to globalism with its globo-homo excess and Jewish-supremacism.

  15. Yee says:

    “Capitalism creates wealth, ”

    This is not true. Natural resources plus labor creates wealth.

    Everything in your daily life, food, clothes, furnitures, plastic boxes, car, smartphone, TV, electric cooker… come from soil, forest, rubber trees, sand, oil, mineral ores… everything. They might have very long processing steps, but everything starts from nature resources.

    Capitalism means owning natural resources and tools decides how the wealth is distributed. To borrow a line from the colonism apologists, “natural resource is not wealth if the Africans can’t process them”. You see the irony?

    People not owning natural resources and tools might not be able to change how the world works, but please understand how we’re being screwed at least …

  16. Lin says:

    Certain nations used socialism to create wealth, and it didn’t work too well. Capitalism creates wealth

    The ‘ism’ that keeps the poor people of india poor is caste elitism
    (Elitism could’ve a number of meanings, here I mean a system that unfairly favours those at the top and in the indian case, those who’re born into high castes)
    ……….
    The Chinese leaders decide that it’s a socialist thing to provide housing, prevent homelessness, build schools…; guess what, as a result, china produces about 45-50% of the world’s cement and steel.
    India traditionally has a large hijra(eunuch, transgender female,whatever one calls it)community (prostitution is their major profession, followed by conducting certain rituals) and that has nothing to do with ‘globo homos’ nor jews

  17. Erebus says:

    Where does (India) go from here?

    Where do you go when you’ve already gone to hell in a handbasket? They got there 70 years ago, and apparently found it suited them. Left to their own devices, there they’ll stay until India breaks up and reverts to a few dozen squabbling kingdoms. Some of those will do well, most won’t.

    The fundamental issue is India has the population of China, but 1/3 of the land and even less than 1/3 of China’s resources. Overlay a crazy quilt of religions/languages/cultures and a recent history of being ruled by foreigners, and there it is.

    The current elites simply took over where the Brits left off. It remains for them a extractive colony. The well ain’t quite dry yet. When it is, they’ll fly off and leave it for China/Russia to deal with.

    Iran has taken India’s place in Primakov’s strategic triangle. Unless it drastically alters course from its current trajectory, there is no place for India in the Eurasian project.

  18. KA says:
    @Hussain Agha

    I have met Pakistani in USA . Most of them are dumb ,shallow,emotional and clannish . They send cab drivers and daily wage laboureres to gulf . India sends technocrats and mangers .

    Leaders and the expatriate Pakistnis are dishonest and tribal.

    Pakistanis are also pure serf as far as their relation to Saudi is concerned .
    When one reads Dawn or any English newspaper or the comments ,one realizes that the country is mentally more primitive incurious and ill informed than the neighboring country Afghanistan is .

  19. I always laughed at the idea of “BRICS”. There are only two countries that matter there, India and China, and both of them view each other with mistrust. Indians behaviour in Sub-Saharan Africa is enough to know that they view those people with contempt, or just as a vehicle to get corrupt and rich, like the Guptas in South Africa.

    Indian elites are highly westernised, Modi and the Hindu nationalist wave nonwithstanding. Regardless, while I am interested in Indian culture, I am much less sanguine on it as a geopolitical power. I basically view it as Hindu Brazil. China will become a true superpower. India will become significant, but not dominant.

    • Replies: @Lin
  20. MBlanc46 says:

    I was going to type, “Stalinism is alive and well”, but clearly that should be, “Maoism is alive and well”.

  21. Lin says:
    @Thulean Friend

    BRICS is basically a Goldman Sachs investment portfolio and later translated as economics to do with ’emerging markets’. Geopolitics isn’t a big part of it.
    I browse a number of hindu nationalist sites and they’re quite entertaining. A theme they want to push recently is replacing ‘Aryan invasion'(‘Aryans’ from nowadays southern Russia and Persia invaded and conquered the subcontinent) by ‘Out of India'(India is the birthplace of the ‘aryan’ race) mainly to placate north-south antagonism and to instill racial ‘pride’.
    Because Hindustan lack economic and tech progress, the average hindu nationalists are quite ‘pride’ deficient and pride manufacture is part of the hinduwadis political industry. For example Modi told us the hindu elephant god Ganesh was the outcome of advanced ancient hindu bio-tech of transplanting an elephant head to a human torso.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/28/indian-prime-minister-genetic-science-existed-ancient-times.
    Being said, pride or no pride, the biggest social problem there is unemployment/under-employment. More than 25 millions applied for 90000 indian railway jobs:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-unemployment-railways/more-than-25-million-people-apply-for-indian-railway-vacancies-idUSKBN1H524C
    (‘Out of india’ is not entirely categorically incorrect, gypsies and Australoids came from india.)

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  22. Lin says:

    More on ‘Out of India’:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-21016700
    Researchers compared the DNA of Aboriginal Australians with Indians’ genetic material

  23. @Lin

    Geopolitics and economics are intertwined. Big economy = big power = big military.

    A theme they want to push recently is replacing ‘Aryan invasion'(‘Aryans’ from nowadays southern Russia and Persia invaded and conquered the subcontinent) by ‘Out of India'(India is the birthplace of the ‘aryan’ race) mainly to placate north-south antagonism and to instill racial ‘pride’.

    They’ve been at it for years… and it cracks me up too. Many of them are so desperate trying to rewrite history that they get basic science wrong. This article came out just last month, belatedly telling all the cranks that they got it wrong as usual: The new reports clearly confirm ‘Aryan’ migration into India.

    Because Hindustan lack economic and tech progress, the average hindu nationalists are quite ‘pride’ deficient and pride manufacture is part of the hinduwadis political industry.

    India is still capable of producing far more advanced technology than even many developed countries simply because it has 1.4 billion people. Among the high-castes that means it can count on about 30-50 million people as a genuine cognitive elite. India has recently produced its first microchip. Its space program is certainly on par or even better than many European countries. And so on.

    But this thin layer cannot uplift the other 1.35 billion. India is good at both extreme ends. Its agriculture can not only feed its entire population but it also exports its surpluses. It isn’t dependent on aid the way African countries are. Its elite do highly proficient technical work. But it has a huge “missing middle” the way China never had.

    I like the story that a Chinese journalist wrote about recently about one of the Indian tech tycoons meeting the Chinese premier in the late 90s. By that time, India already had a large group of highly successful IT outsourcing firms and the Indians were bragging about it, admonishing the Chinese that they were being left behind. The Chinese premier laughed it off and calmly stated that in time, China will pass India even in areas where it is strong. Today, there is no Indian equivalent of an Alibaba or a Tencent. And IT was supposed to be India’s strong suit.

    China took the “low road” and patiently built up its industry before it tried its hand at higher-end activities. That is the classic development path. India failed that.

    • Replies: @Lin
  24. Lin says:
    @Thulean Friend

    You’re mostly correct however I would like to elaborate on some of the issues the Indians confront(and often not obvious)
    –The Indians do have a core of competent STEM elite but probably due to brahmin aversion to ‘manual’ work, they have little in the way of hardware, eg, the indian army decided to junk their indigenous INSAS rifles and replace by the Russian AK 203, a new version of the AK47(1947 vintage).
    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Army-to-get-new-assault-rifles-junk-INSAS/articleshow/17685938.cms
    https://www.janes.com/article/87011/india-russia-inaugurate-manufacturing-plant-for-ak-203-assault-rifle
    I’m not sure what kind of progress they’ve made in microchips which require years after years billions of $ of spendings to join the big boys’ club.
    Regarding food production, it’s saddening that, even with more ararble land(60% of indian land ararble,chinese figure is at most 15%), more rain, warmer climate than china, they produce only about 200 kg/capita of food grain while china figure is about 440 kg. Mind you 440 kg/capita isn’t enough for Chinese and that’s why china imports huge amount of soy(mainly as fodder). Its a human tragedy that a significant% of indian kids are underweight and stunt in growth.
    (India is the 6th largest exporter of food
    https://www.fas.usda.gov/data/india-s-agricultural-exports-climb-record-high )

    The small country I admire most is Holland: It has popn density as high as india but I read it’s the 2nd biggest food exporter. Holland sits on the top of global microchip supply chain that they produce the most advanced photolithographic machines in the world. The dutch are said to be the tallest people on earth but many don’t know 150-200 yrs ago, they were relatively short people, definitely shorter than their neighbors.

    • Agree: Commentator Mike
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  25. Andre, you met a few intellectuals and a bunch of middle class students wanting to graduate and join the elite, and then complain about the lack of revolutionary spirit. If you’re not going to get down with the people, the lower castes, then get yourself over to Chile and send us a first hand report.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  26. @Lin

    IIT-Madras creates India’s 1st microprocessor, the Shakti – 2018

    Signalchip unveils India’s first 4G and 5G-compatible chip. – 2019

    I’d say India is making progress in IT hardware, though given that their national income is only $2000 per person – 35X lower than the US and 5X lower than China – it is natural that their advances will be more limited, but they are occuring.

    India is a top-heavy and bottom-heavy society. Economists usually categorise economies in three sections: the primary (agriculture), the secondary (industry) and the tertiary (services). India has very little prowess in the secondary sector, where the bulk of China’s industrialisation occured. That is why I think they will see a braindrain for much longer, because without industrial strength and export-led growth, you cannot life the average incomes very fast. The only exceptions to that rule have either been small tax havens like Luxembourg/Panama or oil thiefdoms like UAE, Dubai, Saudi, etc. Neither exception works for a big country like India.

    That’s why I think they will essentially become an upgraded version of “Hindu Brazil”, less crime than Brazil and a more capable intellectual class, but the large mass of people are not going to be at 1st world levels. And that matters if you buy into the O-ring theory of economic growth, which Michael Kremer, this year’s Nobel laurate, is famous for, even if he didn’t win the prize for it.

    The small country I admire most is Holland: It has popn density as high as india but I read it’s the 2nd biggest food exporter. Holland sits on the top of global microchip supply chain that they produce the most advanced photolithographic machines in the world. The dutch are said to be the tallest people on earth but many don’t know 150-200 yrs ago, they were relatively short people, definitely shorter than their neighbors.

    Yeah, it’s an impressive country. Their eternal struggle with water not flooding them is quite impressive in how they not only survived but thrived in those conditions over centuries. The Swiss are also impressive but unlike the Netherlands, they are far harder for invaders to enter due to all their mountains.

  27. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Truthfully, Anglos are responsible for most of the problems in the modern world.

    Jews get 100% of the blame, but Anglos are the drivers of everything that is wrong.

  28. Lin says:

    Anglos are responsible for most of the problems in the modern world

    A smart thing UK had done post WW2 was actually got the hell out of india fast. The returns from the latter were diminishing. Just imagine the French messes in Vietnam and Algeria.

  29. Erebus says:
    @Commentator Mike

    Andre, you met a few intellectuals and a bunch of middle class students wanting to graduate and join the elite, and then complain about the lack of revolutionary spirit.

    Revolutions have sprung from the intellectual and middle classes. At least the successful ones. Peasants make lousy revolutionaries.

  30. Lin says:

    Revolutions have sprung from the intellectual and middle classes. At least the successful ones. Peasants make lousy revolutionaries

    You’re correct but a revolution can’t be sustained without the support of commoners.
    ……….
    What I read about the indian communist party:
    –It was started by the British communist party. All the earlier leaders were upper caste. If I remember right there was once an early uprising but was put down quite fast. They also followed the ideological line of the anglo/western parties. The latters want parliamentary election, so do the ‘main stream’ indian communists.
    –The later Marxist-Leninist/Maoists had more proletariat participation and wanted revolution but they were localized activists(like the ‘naxalites’)and were crushed by indian army.
    –As one can observe, the higher achievers there are more anxious to migrate to developed countries than starting revolution.

    And the focus of present political mood there is about Pakistan/muslim bashing, amply demonstrated by indian election in May this year.
    One can follow either of the following prediction/projection:
    Optimism:1)Economic improvement can gradually ease or soften the caste system. 2)Technology might also help 3)Popn growth slowing down
    Pessimism:1)Unemployment remains the biggest problem. Low value-added manufacture will be replaced by robots world wide 2)The average Indians remain low-skilled. As I said, elitism fuck up lots of things, particularly basic school education.

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