Friday, July 25, 2008

Not to turn the country over to the BJP

The globalising impulse can be seen as ever-widening circles trending towards greater homogeneity, from locality, to nation states to regional identities like pan European, pan-Asian, Pan-Arab and pan-American, the long-term logical corollary of which is a unified market, a unified culture, a unified language, a unified liberal-democratic state, or what V S Naipaul famously termed a universal civilisation. Rapid strides in information technology are spawning new virtual relationships, cosmopolitan identities and communities that compete and conflict with those forged within the confines of the nation state.

The interesting issue, however, is whether this process of ‘cultural entropy’ would, over the long run, abate the clash of civilisations underscored by a long line of eminent historians from Herodotus to Arnold Toynbee to Samuel Huntington. A brief history of globalisation Economic Times: 25 July, 2008, Alok Sheel (The writer is a civil servant. Views are personal)


The tragedy that has unfolded in the last 15 days also serves as a warning to all those who think that the greatest challenge facing India is not poverty, or the alleged embrace of the US, but the brand of jehadi Hindutva that the BJP and the Sangh parivar represent. In the name of high principles and morals, the so-called secular formations would sup with the devil to get their squeaks heard...

Not only is the Left’s moral complicity evident in handing over the ever-shrinking liberal space to the BJP, but also in striking coalitional deals with every other political formation that has had more than a cordial relationship with the BJP at one point or the other... Singh, unlike the Left, never once lost sight of the larger political question: not to turn the country over to the BJP. ‘So what if we just had to stay in the picture?’ Jyotirmaya Sharma Hindustan Times: July 25, 2008 (Jyotirmaya Sharma is the author Terrifying Vision: Golwalkar, the RSS and India)


I made a mistake of standing with them once. I did not resign on the question of Gujarat when my conscience told me to do so, and my conscience has still not forgiven me. I need not make the same mistake again. … Text of Omar Abdullah speech in Parliament on July 22 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Free markets, free international trade, free trading cities and towns

Kalawati,Government and the NGOs
from Around and About by shantanu dutta

If only the government would take sectors like education, health care and grass root level poverty alleviation and not just macro economic structural reforms as seriously as it deals with say issues like terrorism and national security and invest in them wisely and well- not just in terms of financial allocation though that is important too, but also in terms of the brightest and the best being assigned to administer these schemes. That would pretty well make most NGOs obsolete and out of work and there would be no further need to regulate them. and in the mean time, while the government gets its act together – that is if they wish to do so, there is a need to recognize the many groups – small and big, known and unknown who serve the many Kalavatis of the land.


Editors! Think Anew from ANTIDOTE by Sauvik

True democracy, as in Switzerland, is about diffusing power, not concentrating it. Fortunately, although our Lok Sabha has sunk to its lowest depths – “nadir” was a word used many times on TV last night – there is no need for despair. The failure of “political society” can only be good for civil society.

Our solution therefore lies in making the government more and more irrelevant in our lives. We have to think in terms of free markets, free international trade, free trading cities and towns – a world in which individuals survive via the free processes of voluntary market exchanges. A world, that is, where politics does not affect economic outcomes. That is the world-view of Libertarianism. Our Reichswing editors need to travel this distance in their minds. Then they too will think in terms of a Second Republic.