Dateline: 29th Sept, 2010.
The US is the world’s most powerful country. That’s clear enough to the casual observer. What should also be clear is that the US does not hesitate to use its power. Very few would disagree that the US does not always use that power responsibly, nor is it always successful in whatever it sets out to do militarily. No nation — even the most successful — is ruled by the infallible and the infinitely wise. Infallibility and infinite wisdom can only be claimed by the dynastic rulers of third world countries such as North Korea and India.
Unlike South Korea, which has rapidly developed (per capita GDP ~US$ 21K), North Korea is a hell-hole (per capita GDP ~US$ 2K.) It was not destined to be one, but it is because it is ruled by a dynasty. Kim Il-sung is the head of the nation. He is the “Eternal President” — the eternal makes sense as he is not going to die — because he is already dead.
Christopher Hitchens correctly identifies North Korea — the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the official name — as a ‘necrocracy’, rule by the dead.
Kim Jong-il is the “Supreme Leader” and among the living. But not for long. His son has already started taking decisions and will take over soon. The control passes from father to children to grandchildren. The mismanaged country has the misfortune of being saddled by a family that continues to keep it desperately poor. North Korea is a nuclear power but its people starve.
Reading about North Korea is depressing because it could have been otherwise. The same people — Koreans — are capable of doing things differently. Both got liberated in 1945 but evolved differently.
Note 1945. Just a couple of years before India got “liberated.” Of the two Koreas, India took a path that parallels the northern one. Not in all respects, though. India is much poorer than North Korea. About half as rich as North Korea (and therefore about one-twentieth as rich as South Korea.) Nobody has labeled India a necrocracy but it can easily aspire to that status.
Jawaharlal Nehru appears to be the “Eternal Leader”, and whatever living descendant of the Eternal Leader is the “Dear Leader”. Currently in the pipeline is his great-grandson.
The guy is not particularly bright, nor competent, nor educated, nor accomplished. He is average for his background and upbringing. Born in the lap of luxury, he looks good and is shepherded around by intelligent lackeys whose job is to make him sound good. The guy’s main claim to fame, the sourc of his fortune, his “Dear Leader” position, is predicated entirely on the fact that he probably has inherited an eighth of the “Eternal Leader’s” genes.
I have been to South Korea. It is an impressive country. Did you know that it has the best internet infrastructure in the world? I have not been to North Korea. But I imagine it to resemble India. Crumbling infrastructure; all monuments, places and institutions named after the Eternal Leader and his descendants; an attitude among the desperately poor people that their salvation lies entirely on the Eternal Leader and his family.
India is different from N Korea in one important respect, and which is going to ultimately rescue it from the perdition (loss of soul; eternal damnation) that the Eternal Leader and his family has led it into thus far. India is not yet a police state. That’s the distinction.
Mind you, it is not as if they did not try to make it into one in the past. Indira Gandhi did. Look up “emergency indira” in google. You get 601,000 results. That’s the number of villages that India has. Coincidence? I think not.
Anyway, the first Mrs Gandhi failed in putting in place a police state. She imprisoned political opponents; they do that in North Korea. The present Mrs Gandhi is putting some effort into the National Unique ID system. Though not a sufficient condition for a police state in the making, it is definitely a necessary one for a modern police state. Of course they won’t call it a “police state” — they call it a “secular, socialistic, people’s republic.”
So what’s the distinction that will save India? It is the freedom of the press. It matters. Sure half of India is illiterate (thanks, Dear Eternal Leader) but a sufficiently large number is capable of reading. By sufficiently large I mean that the number is capable of bringing about change — provided they bother to read, that is.
They have to read to understand what is it that makes India so poor that even a desperately poor country like North Korea beats India in terms of per capita GDP. (Note that GDP and per capita GDP is only a proxy for overall health of a society and is not a perfect measure of well-being.)
I don’t think that Indians in general know how devastating the Eternal Leader and his descendant Dear Leaders have been. The information is out there but they have not read it. Example?
OK, here’s an article from Apr 2007. It is by A Surya Prakash and is published in the Pioneer, the only newspaper that has the cojones to do so. “Home Truths for Rahul Gandhi” is also home truths for Indians who can read. (Hat tip: Shrikant Patil.) Excerpts:
In what is clearly an indictment of PV Narasimha Rao, one of India’s greatest Prime Ministers, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi declared a couple of weeks ago that the Babri Masjid would have been saved if a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family had been in active politics at that time. Though Mr Gandhi has belatedly tried to make some amends, this incident has once again brought to the fore the feudal mindset of members of the Nehru-Gandhi family, their insecurities (which prevent them from acknowledging the contribution of leaders outside their family) and their persistent efforts to distort historical truths.
Since Mr Gandhi has sought to give us a glimpse of what would have been if a member of his family had been at the helm in December 1992, here is a summary of this family’s track record when it did hold the political reins. Let us begin at the beginning. Acting on the advice of Lord Mountbatten, the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, gave Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel the task of integrating all the 565 princely states in the Indian Union. Even as Sardar Patel set about his task, Nehru, in a display of pettiness typical of this family, moved “Kashmir Affairs” from the Department of States to the Ministry of External Affairs, which was under his charge. Patel executed his responsibility in a clinical and ruthless manner and successfully completed the gigantic task of stitching together 564 princely states into the Indian Union. Nehru took on the responsibility of integrating one princely state (Jammu & Kashmir) and we all know the consequence – this has remained India’s most problematic State for the last 60 years.
But Nehru’s Kashmir blunders did not end here. In October 1947, Pakistan sent in thousands of heavily armed tribesmen into Jammu & Kashmir in a bid to capture it by force. After Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession, the Indian Army marched in and began pushing back the intruders who had captured Baramulla and cut off power supply to Srinagar. Even as our gallant soldiers were driving out the intruders, Nehru cried halt to the Army operation and, much against the advice of Sardar Patel, took the fateful decision to lodge a complaint against Pakistan before the United Nations Security Council on January 1, 1948.
With this single act, Nehru demoralised the Army (which wanted just a few more days to throw out the intruders), allowed Pakistan to retain 30,000 square miles of illegally occupied territory in Jammu & Kashmir and internationalised the Kashmir issue. So, while Nehru made a mess of the Kashmir issue, Patel coaxed, cajoled or bamboozled recalcitrant princes like the Nizam of Hyderabad and a couple of pro-Pakistan princes on the Gujarat coast to fall in line and accede their territories to India. But for Patel’s firmness, we would have lost Hyderabad and the coastal areas of Gujarat to Pakistan in1948 itself and Hyderabad, in the words of the Sardar, would have become an “undigested lump” in India’s belly.
Let us now examine the report card of another member of this family – Mrs Indira Gandhi.
That’s over three years old, but it is still relevant — especially in light of the impending court decision on the Ayodhya Mandir/masjid issue. I urge you to print it out to hand it to those family and friends who don’t read stuff on their computers.
India is worse than North Korea in some respects. It could have been where
North South Korea is today. If only, lord if only, India had had good policies. India is actually a weak nation. It gets attacked by Pakistan in officially declared wars and in the eternal jihad that its religious ideology mandates on it.
When India gets attacked, the UPA — a governing coalition of parties that is headed by the Congress party of the Eternal Leader — whines to the US. The same US which has anointed Pakistan a “non-NATO allay” of the US; the same US which has gifted some $20 billion in aid (humanitarian and “anti-humanitarian” aka military aid) since Sept 2001.
The same Pakistan which supplies the manpower for the global jihad. The US and Saudi Arabia do the funding, and Pakistan supplies the labor. (Just BTW, the US has recently sold Saudi Arabia weapons worth $60 billion.)
The US loves Pakistan — but not when the money it supplies for jihad comes back to the US. Bob Woodward in the Washington Post:
Jones and Panetta had gone to Pakistan to tell Zardari that [the US administration] wanted four things to help prevent a terrorist attack on U.S. soil: full intelligence sharing, more reliable cooperation on counterterrorism, faster approval of visas for U.S. personnel traveling to Pakistan and, despite past refusals, access to airline passenger data.
If, God forbid, the SUV had blown up in Times Square, Jones told Zardari, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Should a future attempt be successful, [the US administration] would be forced to do things that Pakistan would not like. “No one will be able to stop the response and consequences,” the security adviser said. “This is not a threat, just a statement of political fact.”
Jones did not give specifics about what he meant. The [US]administration had a “retribution” plan, one of the most sensitive and secretive of all military contingencies. The plan called for bombing about 150 identified terrorist camps in a brutal, punishing attack inside Pakistan.
The US does not pussy-foot around when it comes to terror attacks on its soil. Note that Jones and Panetta “wanted four things to help prevent terrorist attack on US soil.” Terror attacks on Indian soil is not a big deal. Then the US asks India to show restraint. I don’t fault the US for this. The US does what is in its own interest. The party at fault is India.
Actually it is more accurately the fault of Indian leaders. They couldn’t care less about Indians being the victim of Islamic terrorism. First of all, they don’t suffer, only the “mango man” does. The leaders go about with their xyz level security.
Second, they don’t suffer at the voting booth. Indians appear to be supremely indifferent to the sufferings of others. As long as they are not directly affected, they go about their routine business. They don’t take to the streets demanding that the government take out the terrorist cells in the country. They don’t even bother to vote the callous incompetent politicians out. They just go about their business, watching NDTV, Bollywood and crap like that.
Finally, the government does not want to alienate its most precious vote bank. Manmohan Singh cannot even bring himself to hang Islamic terrorists like Kasab. The appointed prime minister Manmohan Singh is so weak and spineless that a convicted terrorists gets to live comfortably instead of hanging. The UPA feels that if they hang Islamic terrorists, the Muslims of India will be unhappy. This is probably the most insulting charge that can be made against innocent Muslims in India: that they identify with Islamic terrorists and against India’s national interest. Why the innocent Muslims in India continue to vote for the Congress after this sort of gratuitous insults at them is an interesting topic that is not explored enough.
The home truth for Indians is that India gets attacked by the terrorists because India does not respond to terrorism. The reason it does not respond to terrorism is, I think, due to someone who is even greater than Eternal Leader. He is “Great Leader with the Great Soul”.
The GLGS appears to have made it mandatory and compulsory for Indians to “turn the other cheek” and convinced them “that an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.” Astounding mind-numbing stupidity and pious nonsense doesn’t come in more compact packages.
The Indian masses go about as placidly as cows (a large number of whom actually worship cows) being led to the slaughter house. And that’s as important a home truth as any that Indians need to learn.
Correction: In the above, I made the mistake of comparing North Korea’s per capita GDP (PPP) with India’s per capita GDP (Nominal). I stand corrected. See my comment in response to Mohit’s comment.