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Showing posts from 2016

Demonetization Follow Up

Yesterday, the PM addressed the nation on the issue of demonetization and its impact on the general populace. It was a damage control exercise with two objectives. First was to acknowledge the hardships that everyone went through during this exercise, thereby mollifying rising impatience. The second was to outline a roadmap for what the govt aims to get done in the next year. The points raised in the talk came as no surprise.

In fact, as we had noted in an earlier blog - (here) - the main target of demonetization hasn't been black money itself. While the bank deposit wind fall has been accepted with due gratitude by the government, the main targets were Fake currency rackets, terrorism and naxalism. One facet that we had not thought of, but turned to be a blessing was the almost complete crackdown on human trafficking. One would also imagine narcotics business to have taken a big hit. Each of these problems have enormous prevalence in various border states. On the whole, it has b…

The Maligned Hindu Wedding

The Hindu Wedding - the extravagant, "feed the whole town" and "bring together the whole clan" kind of wedding, has been under attack for several years - if not decades by the liberals of this country. Incidentally, the same group that is attacking the Hindu wedding is at the forefront of the so called "Social Justice War" to ensure prosperity to the lower strata of the society. The attackers of the Hindu wedding are proponents of forced wealth redistribution, and go as far to rob Peter to pay Paul. They imagine themselves as modern day Robin Hoods, who want to deprive the evil rich Hindu of his / her ill-begotten wealth and give it to the poor. They argue that the Hindu wedding is a grotesque exhibition of wealth; a kind of "in your face insult" to the poor, and hence must be curbed. We should look at this accusation in a bit of detail.

Let us consider a typical 3 day traditional Hindu wedding. A brief summary of a Hindu wedding goes as follow…

Thoughts on Two Events

Two major events shook the world. One was the election of Donald J Trump as the president of the United States. The second, and closer to home (and more important in my mind) was the demonetization of large denomination currencies by the government of India.

First on US Elections

I had always held through this election season that HRC - the Democrat contender, would be a global disaster as a president. Part of the sentiment was the disdain with which she dealt with an emerging India. She made it a deliberate policy decision to hyphenate India with a failed state, Pakistan. Her shenanigans as a secretary of defense in hurting Indian interests has been detailed elsewhere, and I shall not venture into them here. Suffices to say, I am glad she lost. While she will still have considerable pull in the way Indo-US relations will shape up, she won't be in the driver's seat.

Having said that - it would be naive to suggest that DJT is the best thing since sliced bread for Indian interes…

Political Murders in South India

There have been political murders in many southern states. Even though Kerala and TN stand out (in that order), the murder of the day in Bangalore (16/10/2016) and one today in Pune (17/10/2016) shows a widespread and planned attempt to murder dissenting political voices. On the top most layer - each of these issues seem unconnected. In Kerala, it is Communists that unleash the violence. In TN, the violence has decidedly religious undertones - most that were murdered were politically active Hindu activists, and the murderers are suspected to be Islamic fundamentalists. Nothing is known about the murderer in Bangalore.

These are the superficial observations. The connecting thread is that the victims in all these cases are politically active members of Hindu organizations. The levels of these conflicts have been kept deliberately below retaliation threshold; and their reporting deliberately muted. Given the press coverage a single murder in Dadri cases of inconsequential vandalization …

Rubicon in Indian Geopolitics

Tomes will be written about how the Indian Army showed Pakistan its place, by the surgical strike on 29th of September 2016 (29/09). In a significant deviation from previous stances, the Indian Govt decided to tell Pak that it has been violated. This is a scenario of nightmares for Pakistan. As many have rightly pointed out, the nuclear bluff has been called; and Pakistan was made to stand alone. There is widespread jubilation from a mercurial Indian population; and a fair amount of chest thumping too. This post isn't about any of those. We peek into how the future will unfold:

1. The gauntlet has been thrown:

India has told Pak, "you hit - I will hit back". India and Pak both know Pak will not escalate this beyond this level at the conventional theatre. In fact, with increased levels of alertness in the IA camp, Pak will not even try to attempt another face-to-face with the Indian army. However, keeping with their strategic goal of dismembering India, Pak will rise up t…

Line of Trust

Indian social media (SM) is undergoing a turmoil. On one hand, are the vocal supporters of Indian Army who flaunt the latest cross-LOC ops as India's might. On the other, are the every so cautious "liberals" - who believe that the army adulation must stop. I will refrain from drawing inferences about either group based on historic data - and will just analyze the conundrum alone.
Should a society believe its army / government blindly? Should a society distrust its army / government blindly? Where does one draw the line between distrust and belief? Which is the ideal place to stand? The answers to these questions are always subjective: to a die hard IA fan boy like myself - there is nothing wrong in supporting *our boys*. After all, I sleep every night - knowing that *our boys* stand watch at the borders. However, setting aside my own favoritism, it is important to look into the questions raised above.
Armies and governments routinely lie to keep their own people (and pr…