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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Can we solve corruption in India?

Outgoing Central Vigilance Commissioner of India Mr Pratyush Sinha thinks that one in three Indians is corrupt.

No. I believe that figure is red herring..We can not solve corruption by chasing corruption.

The problem with India is one in three Indians is an idiot and others are fence sitters.
It is the idiocy of Indians that need to be blamed for corruption because there are simple solutions to get out of corruption.. Here are they.

1. Limit the number of tenures for chief minister and prime minister’s posts to a maximum of two terms in life time.
This will create a churn among the politicians and we may get better candidates once in a while. Remember CVC’s observation that 30% are corrupt and 20% are honest…In the current setup 20% never get chance.

2. Introduce “right to a speedy trial” in fundamental rights. (Just like as in USA)– Faster trials produce deterrent results and instill fear of law in corrupt and belief in the system for the fence sitters.

3. Electronic transaction records for any purchases above Rs. 10,000. At present the corrupt can spend their black money lavishly.. Create a system that can trace the spending to the person so that law enforcement can spend time in prosecutions rather than conducting raids to uncover unaccounted money.

4. Think market solutions.. One of the problem with India is that we are trained to think too much into supply side. America thinks from the market side and assumes that market solves the problem. In India if we want to ensure meals to the poorest of poor we come out with elaborate public distribution system that then soon devolves into self serving corrupt organization. In America they have solved this problem long ago. Government distributes food stamps to the poorest of the poor. These food stamps can be used to purchase whatever they want from the free market at competitive prices and superior quality.

Thinking supply side is a pattern that repeats everywhere in India. If we want to send man to moon we come out with an organization that will create the infrastructure and own that end to end.. In America government creates a market for services that can be used for flight to the moon and individual companies bid for providing innovative solution. So the private sector builds the infrastructure and pushes the envelope.

5. Last but the most difficult to achieve is overhaul of education. At present we have a feeling that corruption is an issue of ethics. However corruption has to be equated to bad governance. Corruption is a form of governance that undermines accountability. The systems that have no accountability in the physical world are called “open systems” and open systems are hard to predict. Only when the feedback that too a corrective form of feedback is introduced the systems become stable.

In the case of India the education and rationalization of Indians is incomplete. People are not able to see the connection between the endless poverty, stasis and corruption. It is not that we do not have means to come out of that cycle. But we need a system that shuts out corruption and we need to think that we are better off with that system.. rather than fatalistic approach many people are educated into.

Where will corruption take India?

“I would go to the length of giving the whole congress a decent burial, rather than put up with the corruption that is rampant.” — Mahatma Gandhi May 1939

The most disquieting aspect of the widespread corruption in India is the fact that it is not anymore confined to politicians or the government machinery alone. It is prevalent amongst almost every section of the society at every level.

As the practice of corruption is a dishonest act, one has to think that most of the Indians are dishonest, which could be different only in degree between the individuals. As the reason for the dishonesty is greediness and the desire to get things done at any cost one can think that most of the country men are greedy and do not anymore think that the means should justify the ends. This is not a flattering statement and many readers would desire that it would not be so and such statement could have been avoided. But, the fact is that most of the Indians are involved in corrupt practices in one way or the other, either due to greed or due to so called compulsion. In any case, the willingness to sacrifice for the sake of not getting involved in corrupt dealings is conspicuous by its absence amongst the most.Today, if one would say that any particular Indian is honest to the core, it could only be a case of exception rather than a rule.

The study of world phenomenon on corruption has repeatedly branded India
as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Unfortunately, this view has not disturbed most of the Indians at all and they do not seem to care as to what others think of them; so long as the existing systems and practices would allow them to make money and get things done in one way or the other.

The irony is that India
is still considered to be a very religious country and it is still widely believed that the religion is the basis of Indian life, thoughts and actions. This is obviously true, considering the fact that there are hundreds of temples, churches and mosques spread all over the country and they are all densely visited day in and day out by the feverishly praying Indians.

Is not religious ethos contrary to corruption and dishonest practices ?The unfortunate situation in India is that those who call themselves most religious are often found to have indulged themselves in dishonest practices on many occasions. Several of the religious centres, of all religions, are suspected to be steeped in nepotism; as such incidents have been repeatedly published in the press.It does not shock Indians anymore to know that not only the politicians, ministers and IAS & IPS officers are corrupt but even the judges, professors, doctors and NGO organizations are.
Corruption is not only prevalent amongst rich who are greedy in spite of possessing enough but also prevalent amongst poor.
Now, what can be the future of the Indian society in such conditions? It can be only frustration, chaos, unrest and even bloodshed in the not too distant future. This kind of corruption in the national polity and public and private life cannot go on for ever, without disturbing the overall peace in the society. It is sad that those who are in charge of the nation today do not appear to realize this and still are merrily going ahead with their dealings unconcerned about the harm that it would inevitably do to the larger national cause.
What is very sad and extremely disquieting about this country is that Ministers suspected to be involved in murder. Chief Ministers of swindling crores of public money, senior police officers of molestation charges are all living in comforts and enjoying positions, thus effectively exposing the fact that the crusade against corruption has finally failed in India
Even as the vicious cycle of corruption would continue with one swindling the other, there could be a number of persons who would be left out of this cycle due to inefficiency or commitment to the cause of truth and such persons would be driven down to despair.The incidents of history indicate that some of such persons who are out of the corruption loop could take up the war against corruption at one time or the other. But, they would find that in a corruption entrenched system, they would not be able to improve the conditions and therefore, a few of them may finally take to physical attack on corrupt and dishonest persons, leading to violence and bloodshed. Security, dogs and mere police rifles will not be able to beat down such determined crusaders.
The politicians and bureaucrats would call such crusaders as arsonists or terrorists. But, history would judge them differently. There are a number of determined isolated war groups already existing in the country and they are generally branded as terrorist groups and treated brutally by the state machinery, without investigating the reasons for their existence. One would shudder to think as what would happen to the peace of the society, if such groups would enlarge in size and number.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Superpower India

India – still burdened with the legacy of Nehru’s pretentious atheism and soul-dead leftist fellow travellers – has failed to bridge the self-created chasm with her ancient civilisation. How can we be a world power without civilisational continuity; to what do we aspire? Military power delinked from civilisational purpose will make us Asuras, as demonic and rapacious as the superpower that foisted this second-hand aspiration upon us in the first place.
The primary constraint to India’s emergence as a Superpower is simply that this is not the natural culmination of a diligently pursued national quest for affirmation and assertion of the civilisational identity and ethos of this ancient land, now a modern nation-state.
The idea of an economically rising India as an emerging superpower – when it remains in Western terminology a ‘developing’ and not a ‘developed’ country – was an opiate sold to a dollar-centric political-economic-intellectual elite by the administration of President George Bush, Jr. This set New Delhi on a faux quest for this mirage, gave it a false sense of participation in a new club of rich western nations, and made it subvert its national ethos, national interests, and foreign policy. In terms of foreign policy, we have realised some of our mistakes, and are seeking to mend fences with Iran, a neighbour critical to our stability in the region.
Two unstated facts pushed the Superpower-Status-For-Free drive. One, the Indian elite, including left intellectuals and communist parties, needed to cover the shame of quietly ditching its erstwhile Soviet ally for greener pastures in the west. Two, at western prodding, the deracinated Indian elite felt disconcerted at the military and economic rise of China.
China always believed in strong central authority; the communist party easily assumed the Mandarin mantle. As prosperity rose, the regime encouraged revival of Confucian-Taoist-Buddhist traditions to keep nationalist sentiments high, and resist the warlike invasion of underground evangelicals. Records of Buddhist pilgrims to India show how Buddhism augmented the Emperors’ aura. In some countries the West has used Buddhist clergy to subvert local power structures, most notably Tibet and Myanmar; but China over two decades restored old monasteries. As recently as 29 May 2010, she invited President Pratibha Patil to inaugurate the Indian-style Buddhist temple at the White Horse temple complex in Loyang, cradle of Buddhism in China, where 1,900 years ago, the Indian monks Kashyapamatanga and Dharmaratna helped establish the first Buddhist shrine.
Surely there is an irony and a message here. The godless Soviet Union, once the vanguard of international communism, reinvented itself as Russia and restored the prestige of the Russian Orthodox Church, a critical component of Russian national identity for nearly a thousand years. Russia’s unrecognized lacuna remains an inability to connect to a deeper pre-Christian identity, and an elite that has been westward-looking since Peter the Great, thus denying her a more vibrant native identity. Communism itself was a western export, funded largely by New York bankers.
China had it easier. It has a wholly Asian landmass and large Han population; it overcame the disastrous Mao interregnum and reclaimed its status as Middle Kingdom (between Heaven and Earth). The timely return of religion and culture was a rudder that helped Russia and China carry their people through painful economic and political turmoil.
India – still burdened with the legacy of Nehru’s pretentious atheism and soul-dead leftist fellow travellers – has failed to bridge the self-created chasm with her ancient civilisation. How can we be a world power without civilisational continuity; to what do we aspire? Military power delinked from civilisational purpose will make us Asuras, as demonic and rapacious as the superpower that foisted this second-hand aspiration upon us in the first place.
We must first ask what superpower status entails for India. In the brief space of this column, only few salient points can be made. By the end of the Second World War, Britain and America had successfully crushed the ambitions of Germany and Japan, and recognised that the Soviet Union was the next challenger on the international stage. Hence the subordination and economic revival of Germany and Japan, and the rush to secure as much of the world as possible as Western sphere of influence. Stalin too rushed to secure the Soviet frontiers in Europe and Central Asia, and spheres of influence elsewhere. Given Britain’s financial collapse, America and the Soviet Union were recognised as superpowers, until financial ruin imploded the USSR. Sole superpower America is now facing the classic symptoms of imperial overreach…
China’s rise as a political, economic and military power in the meantime is instructive. Unlike Washington, Beijing is not run by Corporate Robber Barons who dictate national policy and bear no accountability for the ruin they wreak upon the nation. In its shared neighbourhood with India, China has excellent ties with Pakistan (to counter American influence, right from the days of Gen. Ayub Khan). In Nepal, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka, it has taken advantage of the Indian tendency to preach sermons without understanding the national interest of either the concerned nation, or even of India herself.
It baffles me to this day that New Delhi helped undermine the Nepal monarchy, to no benefit to itself. For long it batted for western implant Aung San Su Ki, until strategic reasons forced Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and now Manmohan Singh to court the generals holding the nation together. Even with Colombo, New Delhi vacillated on behalf of the divisive and missionary-driven LTTE; only the tenacity of President Mahinda Rajapakse saved the island from becoming a Western neo-colony. New Delhi has simply forgotten Iraq and in Palestine, it surrendered its long advocacy of the Arab cause at the precise moment when international opinion began to turn against Israel!
China has friendly relations with Iran and all Muslim countries, despite some tensions with Turkey over the Uighurs. India fractured a stable relationship with Teheran by twice voting against it in the UN Atomic Energy Commission at the bidding of Washington, and thereby compromised in own energy security and position in Afghanistan. Can New Delhi - which cannot make Pakistan pay for Kargil or Mumbai, whose leaders repeatedly bow to US diktat to dialogue with Pakistan, whose leaders get snubbed by Pakistani bureaucrats and ministers, which gets jittery at the thought of US withdrawal from Afghanistan – really dream of Superpower status? It is not even a credible regional power.
Why then the Superpower Lemon? China. On the vast resource-rich African continent, the scale of Chinese diplomatic generosity has irked – and exposed – the West. Unlike Britain and America, which used/use gunboats (now bombs and missiles) to wrest economic advantages from unwilling nations, Beijing operates by honest market rules. It buys the resources it needs through generous long-term contracts, a policy that, if emulated by the United States, would cut its military budget by at least half.
But old dogs don’t learn new tricks. Britain established the Raj by a policy of Subsidiary Alliances with native rulers. Superpower India is a modern-day version of this modus operandi; it really means Subservient Power, one that will serve the Anglo-American geo-political agenda. The idea itself was mooted around the time the Bush regime tried to lure India into providing troops to hold Iraq on its behalf.
On a larger canvas, the goal is to use India to contain and/or confront China and Iran; neither goal is consistent with the Indian national interest. This does not mean that India cannot play a larger international role in defence of its own needs as well as the international community. Indian naval vigilance against pirates on the Somali coast, the safety of the Indian Ocean sea-lanes, participating in UN peacekeeping operations, are moves in that direction.
But a US-led multinational action in concert with Russia, China, Pakistan, and India, to extract (read loot) the rich mineral resources of Afghanistan, is a path New Delhi cannot tread. India is not a mere landmass stretching from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean; it is a land created by the gods. The Hindu Rashtra is a Protective and not a Predatory State, and a Hindu polity can never be divorced from Dharma.
Long years ago, Greek philosopher Aristotle noted with wonder that Hindus were the only people in the world to have founded a polity on the basis of Dharma. The quest for Subsidiary Superpower status, to join the club of nations that oppress and loot other nations and peoples, would be a terrible perversion of this legacy.



Principle of free markets is the most enduring empirical law in the whole of Economics . This principle is the very essence of modern capitalism. It says that any economic system when left to evolve according to the independent actions of its participants produces the most efficient resource allocation for all concerned. Adam Smith has called this seemingly miraculous mechanism by which the economic systems consisting of selfish participants who have primarily their own interest at heart, produce a generally agreeable resource allocation - the invisible hand. Ofcourse, for this system to function in a socially harmonious way it is necessary that the participants do not engage in activities which are against the spirit of fairness, that they play by the rules which are established before hand. Ensuring fairplay and order is the job of the government. Governments are the super market participants, who should make sure that everybody else is playing by the rules. Their role is that of a watch dog not that of a resource allocator or selfish market pariticipant. Whenever governments forget this role and start acting like any other market participant working for their own selfish ends in the economic system, the results are generally disastrous. An extreme example is that of communism where government was the biggest market participant, who made the decision of resource allocation by themselves rather than let market mechanism decide it.
Union government of India with their reservation policy is going against this basic principle of capitalism. Indian government, blinded in one eye by the failed nehruvian ideology of socialist welfare state and with the other eye firmly on the huge vote banks of backward castes, is not able to envisage the essential roles of government. Governments are not supposed to decide who studies what and where, just as a mere doorkeeper is not supposed to decide who gets to live in the apartment he is watching. Government is a watchman , it does not own social infrastructure it is watching, it merely takes care of it on behalf of society, who is the true owner of its social infrastructure. Government of India is forgetting this essential role of a democratic government and is acting as if they are the true owner of social assets which they can distribute as they please. The current reservation proposal is an expression of this prevalent attitude in the government. Not only this will produce an inefficient resource allocation, for example inevitably it will create inferior engineers and doctors than otherwise would have been produced had there been no reservation policy , this is also an act of intrusion by the government onto the civil liberties of its citizens. A democratic and secular constitution holds that all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law, however reservation policy implicitly assumes inequality between different social groups. It creates different standards of achievements for different social groups in a society implying an overt discrimination and no society can function stably for long where discrimination is official policy.
It is a highly condescending and demeaning thought to suggest that people from a particular social group when given opportunity can not succeed in a meritocratic system. Surely, differences of castes, colour, class etc. exist in every society and in Indian society deeper than most advanced countries. These differences are what an economist would characterise as market distortions, inefficiencies which should be ironed out by the governement. A policy akin to reverse racism is not a solution, it is only going to replace those flaws in the society with different set of problems. The role of a government is that of a facilitator, if a social group like many OBCs in India are disadvantaged because of historical reasons, government needs to make sure that they are presented with opportunties which will help them overcome their disadvantages. Government should provide them with good schools, good teachers enabling them to achieve same standards of excellence which more fortunate groups of society are availing of. An aggressive affirmatory action policy without the mandatory quota system like the one practiced in the United States can be considered as well. The pro-active reservation policy will only dilute the academic standards of the institutions of higher learning which is the last thing a progressive modern society should do especially when it is facing competitive forces from countries like China. Whereas China is modernizing its universities aiming high to compete with intellectual giants like Harvard, Yale and MIT, India instead of creating a modern educational infrastrucure is destroying a few stalwarts it has in the higher education sector. If India chooses to ignore the principle of free markets and government's role in that market, it will do so only at its own peril.

Dr. Vishwanath Bite

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Booker Prize Winner Indian English Novelists


Booker Prize Winner Indian English Novelists


Dr. Arvind Nawale

Dr. Vishwanath Bite

No Contribution/Subscription fees. Papers will be accepted and published free of cost and only on basis of qualityand each contributor will get a free complimentary copy from publisher

Dear All,

We are glad to inform you that we are going to edit jointly our one more book of research papers on Indian English Literature. Authentic, scholarly and unpublished research papers are invited from scholars/faculty/researchers/writers/professors from all over the world for this volume tentatively titled as Booker Prize Winner Indian English Novelists

Proposed Publisher:

The volume will be published with an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) by a renowned Jaipur based publisher.

Thematic Focus of the Volume:

The articles should be on any theme or technique of any work of Indian English Booker Prize winner novelists which includes Salman Rushdie’s Grimus (1975), Midnight's Children (1981 The Man Booker Prize) , Shame (1983), The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey (1987) The Satanic Verses (1988), Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990), Imaginary Homelands:Essays and Criticism (1992), Homeless by Choice (1992, with R. Jhabvala and V. S. Naipaul), East, West (1994), The Moor's Last Sigh (1995), The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999), The Screenplay of Midnight's Children (1999), Fury (2001), Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction (2002),Shalimar the Clown (2005), The Enchantress of Florence (2008), The Best American Short Stories (2008, as Guest Editor), Luka and the Fire of Life (2010), Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. (1997 The Man Booker Prize), The End of Imagination (1998), The Cost of Living (1999), The Greater Common Good (1999), The Algebra of Infinite Justice (2002) Power Politics (2002), War Talk (2003), For Reasons of State. (2003), An Ordinary Person's Guide To Empire (2004), Public Power in the Age of Empire (2004), Listening to Grasshoppers:Field Notes on Democracy (2009).Kiran Desai’s Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard (1998), The Inheritance of Loss (2006 The Man Booker Prize) and Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger (2008 The Man Booker Prize) and Between the Assassinations (2008).You may send your papers on any thematic or technical aspects of these works by Booker Prize winners.

Editing requirements:

• Paper size: A4, Font & size: Times New Roman 12, Spacing: Single line, Margin of 1 inchon

all four sides.

• Title of the paper: bold, title case (Capitalize each word), centered.

• Text of the paper: justified. Font & size: Times New Roman 12.

• References: Please follow MLA style (Only Author-Date or Number System) strictly. Don’t

use Foot Notes, Use End Notes

• Titles of books: Italics.

• Titles of articles from journals and books: “quoted”.

• Articles should be submitted as MS Word 2003-2007attachments only.

• The paper should not usually exceed 11 pages maximum, 5 pages minimum in single


• Each paper must be accompanied by i) A declaration that it is an original work and has not

been published anywhere else or send for publication ii) Abstract of paper about 100-200 words and iii) A short bio-note of the contributor(s) indicating name, institutional affiliation, brief career history, postal address, mobile number and e-mail, in a single attachment. Please don’t send more attachments. Give these things below your paper and send all these things in a separate single MS-Word attachment.

• The papers submitted should evince serious academic work contributing new knowledge or innovative critical perspectives on the subject explored.

Mode of Submission:

Each contributor is advised to send full paper with brief bio-note, declaration and abstract as a single MS-Word email attachments to email addresses: up to 20th Jan. 2011. Please send your paper on both emails for editing purpose. The contributors are also supposed to submit one hard copy of (i) Full paper (ii) A declaration and (iii) Abstract and (iv) Brief bio-note typed in above mentioned format on any postal address given bellow. One hard copy is required for our record. Without hard copy no paper will be considered for publication.

Selection Procedure:

All submissions will be sent for blind peer reviewing. Final selection will be made only if the papers are recommended for publication by the reviewers. The details of the selection of your paper will be informed to you telephonically or on your email. The editor has the right to make necessary editing of selected papers for the sake of conceptual clarity and formatting. Non-selected papers will not be sent back to the contributor in any form. So, all contributors are advised to keep a copy of their submission with them. Each contributor will get a free complimentary copy from publisher.

Plagiarism Alert:

Contributors are advised to adhere to strict academic ethics with respect to acknowledgment of original ideas from others. The editors will not be responsible for any such lapse of the contributor. All submissions should be original and must be accompanied by a declaration that it is an original work and has not been published anywhere else. It will be your sole responsibility for such lapses, if any. Neither editor, nor publisher will be responsible for it.

Postal Address to Send Hard Copy of the Paper:

Dr. Arvind Nawale,                             Dr. Vishwanath Bite

Head, Dept of English,                               Assistant Professor

Shivaji Mahavidyalaya, Udgir                       Bharati Vidyapeeth's

Dist: Latur (M.S.) 413 517. India                  MBSK Kanya Mahavidyalaya,

Cell: +91 9422535390                                 Kadegaon

Email:                       Mobile: 09423278008

Web:        Chief Editor, The Criterion:                  An International Journal in English                     ISSN (0976-8165)

(Member,Board of Studies in English;  

Faculty of Arts; Ex Senator,                       Email:

S.R.T.M.University, Nanded, Maharashtra)

Please circulate/forward this invitation among your friends/colleagues.


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