Tuesday 25 April 2017

The BJP and the Nazis

The BJP has often been compared to the Nazis.
While it is true that there are some similarities, inasmuch as both were ( and are ) fascists, nevertheless there are some vital differences between the two.

The Nazis seized power in 1933 when Germany was already a highly industrialized country. So they used their technological might to aggressively grab country after country in Europe, first peacefully and then militarily, using the economic resources of each conquered country for further aggression, until they met their Waterloo at Stalingrad in 1942-43. But by 1945, when the Second World War ended, the Nazis were responsible for 50 million deaths, including 6 million Jews sent to gas chambers
On the other hand, India is a relatively backward country, only partially industrialized. Hence it does not have the technological strength to launch aggressive foreign wars. The fascism of BJP can therefore be a much weaker fascism than Hitler's.
BJP had come to power in 2014 on the slogan of 'vikas' i.e. development, due to which hundreds of millions, particularly the youth, voted for it, thinking that vikas meant that tens of millions of jobs will now be created.
But this slogan of vikas was a hoax, as Indians, who were taken for a ride and hoodwinked, have now realized.The Indian economy is stagnant , and jobs have become less ( 12 million youth are entering the Indian job market every year, while only 140, 000.jobs were created in 2016 in the organized sector of India's economy. )
India has massive poverty, child malnutrition, lack of healthcare and good education, etc.
All this is bound to lead to popular agitations against the govt. which will then blame the minorities for all problems, the way Hitler blamed the Jews. In other words, communal riots and communal incidents will be engineered through agent provocateurs, the 'beef' lynchings being latest examples. .
No doubt the Hindu majority will approve of this for some time, but this drama cannot go on forever. You can fool people for some time, but not all time. Ultimately even Hindus will realize that what is needed is jobs, healthcare, food, etc and not Ram Mandir or cow protection.
Then the day of reckoning for BJP will come in some way ( which cannot be presently predicted ).

Saturday 22 April 2017

Indo-Pak delegation to meet Pak Consul General in Los Angeles
An Indo-Pak delegation to be led by me has got an appointment with the Pakistan Consul General in Los Angeles, California, USA on Monday, 24th April at 11 a.m.
In that meeting we shall be submitting to the Consul General a petition signed by a large number of people from several nationalities praying for clemency to Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national who has been sentenced to death by the Pakistan army authorities.
We will request the Consul to forward the petition immediately to the Pakistan President and Prime Minister.
All those who wish to sign the petition online may contact Santosh Addagulla at his email id santosh.addagulla@gmail.com
Below is the petition I sent by email on 19.4.2017 to the Pakistan President and P.M.
1. His Excellency the President of Pakistan
2. His Excellency the Prime Minister of Pakistan
Your Excellencies,
I am writing to you to seek clemency for Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan Military Tribunal.
I do not know the facts of the case, so I will not comment on the merits.
I may, however, be permitted the liberty of referring to Portia's famous speech in Shakespeare's ' Merchant of Venice ' where she pleaded that justice should be tempered with mercy.
I may also quote a couplet of the celebrated Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz ( which I also quoted in my judgment in the Indian Supreme Court in Gopal Das vs. Union of India in which I pleaded for mercy to Gopal Das to the then Pakistan President & P. M. ) :
" Qafas udaas hai yaaron, saba se kuch to kaho
Kaheen to beher-e-khuda aaj zikr-e-yaar chale "
Yours respectfully
Justice Markandey Katju
former Judge, Supreme Court of India
Fremont, California, USA

Wednesday 19 April 2017

1. His Excellency the President of Pakistan
2. His Excellency the Prime Minister of Pakistan
( to be forwarded by someone )
Your Excellencies,
I am writing to you to seek clemency for Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan Military Tribunal.
I do not know the facts of the case, so I will not comment on the merits.
I may, however, be permitted the liberty of referring to Portia's famous speech in Shakespeare's ' Merchant of Venice ' where she pleaded that justice should be tempered with mercy.
I may also quote a couplet of the celebrated Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz ( which I also quoted in my judgment in the Indian Supreme Court in Gopal Das vs. Union of India in which I pleaded for mercy to Gopal Das to the then Pakistan President & P. M. ) :
" Qafas udaas hai yaaron, saba se kuch to kaho
Kaheen to beher-e-khuda aaj zikr-e-yaar chale "
Yours respectfully
Justice Markandey Katju
former Judge, Supreme Court of India
Fremont, California, USA
Visiting Pakistan
I spoke on skype some time back with a Pakistani friend who lives in Lahore.
I said I was planning to come to Pakistan, a country ( or rather a part of India, since I refuse to recognize that historical British swindle called Partition ) which I have never visited before.
But I told him now I am scared seeing what happened to Mashal Khan recently. I am an atheist who believes all religions are superstitions. At the same time, I am a strong supporter of religious freedom, and support the Ahmediyas' right to believe what they want, as Mashal Khan did. So, I told him, I may meet the same fate as he did if I go to Pakistan..
My friend replied that I should not worry. He said what was done to Mashal Khan was done by Pathans, and Pathans are somewhat crazy people. He said he condemned what was done to Mashal Khan, and people in Lahore, where he lives, also condemn it.
On this assurance I will come to Pakistan, but only visit civilized places like Lahore and Karachi.
Hindus and Muslims must be made to fight
Hindus and Muslims
Get this firmly into your heads.
You will be made to fight with each other, though there is no natural enmity between you. It has been artificially created, and by cunning propaganda communal hatred has been injected into your minds by powerful vested interests.since a long time. 
Why was this done ? Because if you unite, no power on earth can prevent India ( which includes Pakistan and Bangladesh ) from emerging within 10 years or so as a highly developed, highly prosperous country, with all its citizens enjoying a high standard of living.
But if that happens, what will happen to the economies of the developed countries ? With your cheap labour you will be able to sell goods manufactured in India at one half, or perhaps even one third, the price of the goods manufactured by developed countries, because Indian labour is cheap, whereas labour of developed countries is expensive, and cost of labour is a big chunk of the total cost of production. Who, then, will buy goods made by the developed countries ?
So you must be made to fight with each other

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Kulbhushan Jadhav
I have a hunch that the Pakistani authorities will hang Kulbhushan Jadhav.
The reason why I think so is that the Pakistan was created so that there should be hatred between Hindus and Muslims. If there is no hatred the very purpose of Partition and creating Pakistan will be lost.
So in my opinion the decision to hang Jadhav was taken by the Pakistan authorities after cool deliberation since hanging him is bound to considerably increase hatred of Muslims in India, and there may then soon be attacks on Muslims and mosques in many parts of India. These will of course be described as 'spontaneous' by the Indian Govt., just as attacks on Jews during 'Kristallnacht' in November 1938 in Germany were described as 'spontaneous' by the Nazis.
These attacks on Muslims and mosques in India will inevitably result in 'spontaneous' attacks on the small Hindu community in Pakistan ( and possibly even Bangladesh ) and on Hindu temples.
There will then be further 'spontaneous' attacks on Muslims and mosques in India, and retaliatory 'spontaneous' attacks on Hindus and their temples. in Pakistan.
Whether this sequence of events will at all happen, and if it does, how long will this see saw go on, and whether this heightened tension will escalate into a war between India and Pakistan, is yet to be seen.

Tuesday 11 April 2017

Undeclared Emergency in Tamilnadu
An Emergency was declared under Article 352 of the Constitution by the President of India on recommendation of the then Indian Govt. in 1975, in which the fundamental rights like the freedom of speech guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a), freedom to assemble peacefully and without arms, Article 19(1)(b), etc were suspended, and a large number of people arrested.
A similar Emergency seems to have become the order of the day in the state of Tamilnadu, though it is an undeclared one.
Anyone wanting to protest peacefully and without arms regarding issues like the plight of Tamilnadu farmers, setting up of hydrocarbon projects, etc is immediately arrested by the police. I have received numerous facebook messages regarding this. One of such fb messages is reproduced below :
" Hello sir ... We r pretty much interested to start protest ... But as soon as v start protest , police directly arrest us and start to put some cases on us... Even when v try to get permission legally , police officials doesn't give permission for us ... V didn't even asked for hunger strike ... V have just requested for silent strike ... So what is the legal action I can do now ?."
Here is another fb message :
" Sir.. tn youngsters are crying. We can't see our farmers nude protest. We are ready to give our support to farmers. But we haven't permission for protest in chennai. No one help to us. Plz sir do something to us. We won't new india. We want only our agriculture. Plz help us sir plz "
And here is yet another :
" Dear Sir , Tamilnadu police is not allowing people to do protest for saving the farmers. They are not allowing if the people are protesting in peaceful way also .Please provide some suggestions for us in your page so that everyone will get some clarification . Thanks for your support "
And another :
" Dear sir I am normal village youth from deep down of Tamilnadu ... as you know the current situation of tamil farmers. we need a solution ... we need your guidance.. even though no media is ready to support them .. for the past 25 days they are protesting in the India's capital with skulls of suicides, but no one care for them... even TN government is busy with R.K nagar and Koovathoor resort.. and also they are arresting youths who wish to protest peacefully ... ஒரு கைவிடப்பட்ட தமிழ் விவசாயின் சார்பாக உங்கள் உதவியை நாடுகின்றேன் ... ஹிந்தி அறிய தமிழன் சார்பாக வேண்டுகின்றேன் ."

  Here is another fb message :
 " There is an unofficial 144 in whole tamilnadu. Wherever more than 4 peoples go together police starting enquiring and starting to threat us to go home. After some scolding they started to beat us. The situation is more severe than emergency in tamilnadu. The number of false cases are filed in the name of students."
I can quote many more messages which I received
Does Part III of the Indian Constitution ( the Fundamental Rights ) not apply in Tamilnadu ?
This facebook post may be treated as a letter petition and filed by someone as such before the Supreme Court or Madras High Court.

Monday 10 April 2017

The Caste System In India
The caste system is one of the greatest social evils plaguing our country today. It is acting as a powerful social and political divisive force in our country at a time when it is absolutely essential for us to be united if we wish to face our nation’s challenges. It is a curse on our country which must be speedily eradicated if we wish to progress.
We may consider a few facts to realize how strongly caste is still entrenched in our society today.
Our politics is largely governed by caste vote banks. When the time comes for selecting candidates for the elections a study is made of the numerical caste distribution in a constituency, because voters in most areas vote on caste basis.
What to say of the illiterate people, even the so called intellectuals tend to operate on caste lines. Thus, in the elections to many bar associations the lawyers tend to vote for the candidates of their caste.
Many castes want to be declared as O.B.C.s or Scheduled Castes, to get the benefits of reservation. Even some O.B.C.s strive to be declared as M.B.C.s (most backward castes) or Scheduled Castes.
Fake caste certificates have become rampant, as is often witnessed in our law courts, to get jobs or admissions in educational institutions.
Marriages are still largely performed within one’s caste.
Violence often occurs between castes, as was noticed in the recent fight between students of different castes in a University in Chennai, while the policemen looked on as silent spectators.
Even Muslims, Christians and Sikhs often have castes, although their religions preach equality.
We can multiply these facts manifolds. Many books and articles have been written about the caste system in India, but a scientific study is still wanting. An attempt shall be made here to explain the origin, development and future of the caste system.
Origin of the Caste System
The origin of the caste system was in all probability racial. It is said that caste originated when a white race, the Aryans, coming from the North West, conquered the dark coloured races inhabiting India at that time, probably 5000 years ago or so.
Some persons deny that the Aryans came from outside India and assert that India was the original home of the Aryans (Aryavarta) from where a section of them migrated to Europe. It is difficult to accept this view because people migrate from uncomfortable areas to comfortable areas (see the article `Kalidas Ghalib Academy for Mutual Understanding’ inwww.kgfindia.com). Why should anyone migrate from a comfortable country like India which has level and fertile land ideal for agriculture to a place like Afghanistan or Russia which is cold, mountaneous and therefore uncomfortable. Indian history bears out the view that almost all invasions/immigrations were from outside India (mainly from the North West and to a lesser extent from the North East) into India.
The caste system is called `Varna Vyavastha’ and the word `Varna’ in Sanskrit literally means colour of the skin. This also points at the racial origin of the caste system. Fair skin colour is usually preferred to darker skin even today, as is evident from matrimonial advertisements. Even today, upper castes are usually ( though not invariably ) fairer than dalits.
Subsequent Development of the Caste System
While the origin of the caste system appears to be racial (as mentioned above) it subsequently developed an altogether different basis according to the needs of the feudal society in India. In other words, the caste system, though originating in race, subsequently developed into the feudal, occupational division of labour in society. This needs to be explained in some detail.
In theory there were only four castes, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. This, however, was only a fiction. In reality there were (and still are) hundreds, if not thousands, of castes and sub-castes in India many of which do not fit into the 4 traditional castes mentioned above e.g. Yadavs, Kurmis, Jats, Kayasthas, Bhumihars, Gosains, etc. Every vocation became a caste. Thus, in North India badhai (carpenter) became a caste, and so did lohar (blacksmith), sonar (goldsmith), kumbhar (Potter), dhobi (washerman), nai (barber), darzi (tailor), kasai (butcher), mallah (fisherman), kewat (boatman), teli (oil presser), kahar (water carrier), gadadia (sheep herder), etc.
This was not something unique to India. For instance, in England even today there are many people with the surnames Taylor, Smith, Goldsmith, Baker, Butcher, Potter, Barber, Mason, Carpenter, Turner, Waterman, Shepherd, Gardener, Miller, etc., which indicates that the ancestors of these persons belonged to those professions.
In feudal society, apart from agriculture, there was development of handicraft industry. This happened in India too, and the caste system became the Indian variation of the feudal occupational division of labour in society, somewhat like the medieval European guild system.
As pointed out by Adam Smith in his book `The Wealth of Nations’, division of labour results in great progress. The caste system in India resulted in great development of the productive forces, and hence in the feudal age it was a progressive institution (as compared to the preceding slave society).
It is well known that before the coming of the British, India was one of the world’s most prosperous countries (at that time). India was exporting Dacca Muslin, Murshidabad silk, Kashmir shawls and carpets, ornaments, etc. apart from agricultural products like spices, indigo, etc. to the Middle East and even Europe. The discovery of Roman coins in several parts of South India show the great volume of trade from India, which shows the great development of the productive forces in feudal India. In fact India was once a super power with a 31.5% share in the global gross domestic production, which came down to 3% in the year 1991.
The Destruction of Handicraft Industry in India
It is estimated that before the coming of the British into India about 40% of the population of India was engaged in industry while the rest of the population was engaged in agriculture. This industry was no doubt handicraft industry, and not mill industry. Nevertheless, there was a very high level production of goods in India by these handicraft industries before the coming of the British, and many of these goods were exported often up to Europe, the Middle East, China, etc. e.g. Dacca Muslin, Murshidabad silk, and other kind of textiles, spices etc.
A rough and ready test of the level of the economic development of a country is to find out how much percentage of the population is engaged in industry, and how much in agriculture. The greater the percentage of population in industry and lesser in agriculture the more prosperous the country. Thus, the U.S.A., the most prosperous country in the world today has only about 2 or 3% of its population in agriculture, while the rest is in industry or services.
India was a relatively prosperous country before the coming of the British because a high percentage of the people (which could be up to 40%) was engaged at that time in industry (though no doubt this was handicraft industry, not mill industry). Thus, Lord Clive around 1757 (when the battle of Plassey was fought) described Murshidabad (which was then the capital of Bengal) as a city more prosperous than London, vide `Glimpses of World History’ by Jawaharlal Nehru (Third Impression p.416, chapter entitled `The Indian Artisan goes to the wall’).
When the British conquered India they introduced the products of their mill industry into India, and exorbitantly raised the export duties on the Indian handicraft products. Thereby they practically destroyed the handicraft industry in India. The result was that by the end of the British rule hardly 10% or even less of the population of India was still in the handicraft industry, and the rest of those who were earlier engaged in the handicraft industry were made unemployed. In this way about 30% of the population of India who were employed in handicraft industry became unemployed, and were driven to starvation, destitution, beggary or crime (the thugs and ‘criminal’ tribes were really these unemployed sections of society). As an English Governor General wrote in 1834, `the bones of the cotton weavers are bleaching the plains of India’. At the end of the British rule, India, which was one of the most prosperous countries in the world, became one of the poorest, unable to feed itself, with industrial development stalled (as the British policy was to not permit industrialization of India), low life expectancy and very low literacy rate. As Angus Madison, the Cambridge University historian points out, India’s share of world income fell from 22.6% in 1700 to 3.8% in 1952.
In this connection it may be noted that in the revenue records in many states in our country one often finds recorded: ‘A son of B, caste lohar (smith), vocation agriculture’; or ‘C son of D, caste badhai (carpenter), vocation agriculture’, or ‘E son of F, caste kumhar (potter), vocation agriculture’, etc. This indicates that the ancestors of these persons were in those professions, but later they became unemployed (although ostensibly they were shown as agriculturists) as British mill industry destroyed their handicraft. Some people think that if the British had not come into India an indigenous mill industry would have developed in India, because the high development of handicraft industry leads to capital accumulation which is the pre-requisite for industrialization, and India would have become an Industrial State by the 19th Century, like North America or Europe, but it is not necessary to go into this here, as there is no use crying over spilt milk.
In England and other European countries, too, the handicrafts were destroyed by the mill products, but the handicraftsmen got employment in the mills, whereas in India the British policy was to prevent industrialization of India (see Rajni Palme Dutt’s `India Today’) with the result that the millions of handicraftsmen either starved or became beggars or criminals. The Thugs of India or the `criminal tribes’ were those former handicraftsmen who became unemployed.
Handicraft Industry and Mill Industry
In the feudal period there were no engineering colleges or technical institutes, and the only way to learn a craft was to sit with one’s father from childhood and learn the craft by seeing how he works, with some tips from him. Thus the father was not only doing the production work through his craft but also teaching the craft to his son.
This was totally unlike modern times where the teacher in an engineering college or technical institute is not a producer engaged in some industry. In other words, in modern times the vocation of a teacher is separated from the vocation of a producer, but there was no such separation in the feudal age.
In feudal times one had no choice of one’s profession, one had to follow his father’s profession, and thus the son of a carpenter (Badhai) became a carpenter, the son of a blacksmith (lohar) became a blacksmith, etc. In this way carpenter, blacksmith, potter, etc. all became castes. The same thing happened in Europe too in feudal times (as mentioned above).
Modern Mill Industry
In the modern industrial age the demand for skilled technical personnel is much larger than in the feudal age, because the demand of goods is much more (due to increase in population, etc.). Hence the traditional feudal method of teaching a craft, in which only a handful of persons, (usually the sons of the handicraftsman), were taught, no longer sufficed for modern society. Now technical institutes or engineering colleges have become necessary, where a large number of students are taught the technical skill. Obviously all these students could not be sons of the teacher. This destroyed the very basis of the caste system in which one had no choice in choosing one’s vocation and had to follow his father’s profession. The caste system, in which one’s vocation is chosen by one’s birth, is thus totally outmoded in the modern age.
Today a boy of the badhai (carpenter) caste comes from the rural areas in India to a city where he becomes an electrician or motor mechanic or takes up some other vocation. If he gets some education he becomes a clerk or even a doctor, lawyer, engineer or teacher. He does not usually follow his father’s profession, and this has largely destroyed the basis of the caste system economically.
The caste system is now being artificially propped up socially by some vested interests e.g. vote bank politics, but when the basis of an institution has been destroyed (by the advance of technology) how long can that institution survive? To my mind the caste system in India will not last for more than ten or twenty years from now (because its very basis has gone).
A modern mill no longer bothers about the caste of the worker it employs, it only sees his technical skills.
The caste system was a social institution corresponding to handicraft industry. Now that handicraft industry has largely been replaced by mill industry, the caste system has today become totally outmoded, and is hindering our progress. The sooner it is destroyed the better.
Was the Caste System Bad for India?
Many people think that the caste system did a lot of damage to India. This is undoubtedly true of modern times. But it must also be said that in the feudal age the caste system did good to India because it corresponded to the feudal occupational division of labour in society (as pointed out above), which resulted in the great development of the productive forces (at that time).
It is a myth that the Scheduled Castes of today were always treated with indignity. In fact upto the coming of British rule, these castes were usually in some handicraft vocation and were earning their livelihood from that vocation. It was only when the British mill industry destroyed their handicraft and they became unemployed that they began to be treated with indignity. An unemployed man becomes a poor man, and a poor man is not given respect in society.
For instance, the chamars were at one time a respectable caste because they earned their livelihood by doing leather work. It was only when Bata and other companies destroyed their handicraft (and thereby their livelihood) that they sank in the social ladder, so much so that today to call a person a chamar is often regarded as a word of insult (see the judgment of the Supreme Court in Swaran Singh & Ors. vs. State through Standing Counsel & Anr. [2008(8) SCC 435, JT 2008(9) SC 60]).
Similarly, other castes whose handicraft occupations were destroyed by the British mill industry also became unemployed and thereby fell in the social order.
How will the Caste System be Destroyed?
To my mind the caste system will be destroyed (and is in fact being destroyed) in India by (1) The advance of technology (2) The people’s struggles, and (3) Inter caste marriages.
As regards the advance of technology, it has already been pointed out above that in modern industrial society the division of labour cannot be on the basis of one’s birth but on the basis of technical skills. Hence industrialization destroys the caste system, and in fact the caste system has become weak in a State like West Bengal, which was partially industrialized before most other states.
As regards the people’s struggles, these are in fact going on everywhere in view of the harsh economic conditions in India (price rise, unemployment, etc.). People in India are realizing that united they stand and divided they fall, and caste is certainly a dividing force.
As regards inter caste marriages, I have stated in my judgment in Lata Singh vs. State of U.P. [2006(5) SCC 475, JT 2006(6) SC 173], that inter caste marriages are in the national interest and hence should be encouraged.