Monday, March 31, 2014


How machine made Manchester clothes , destroyed and killed Indian weavers, similar events are happening within the country (India). 
Technology ultimately will suck the societies across the globe DRY !!!

The full article is copied here

VARANASI, March 31, 2014
WhatsApp worsens Varanasi weavers’ woes

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Traders send blueprints of Banarasi sari designs to be mass-produced in Surat
The mainstay of the Banarasi sari, woven with expensive natural yarn such as Chinese silk and cotton, is its design. What was an organic and handmade process, however, has now, to the dismay of weavers, been hijacked by technology to abet mass production — power looms in Surat ensure that designs of synthetic and polyester yarns are produced in bulk in quick time.

To facilitate this, traders in Varanasi have got into the practice of taking pictures of designs on their smartphone and ‘WhatsApping’ copies of it to traders in Surat.

Automated looms
In Surat, automated looms ‘copy’ these designs, print them on fabric and send the saris back to traders in Varanasi in large quantities. Abundant power supply, yarn and cheap labour ensures that Surat can produce five times the volume Varanasi can and around four times cheaper.

The system works well for traders and silk store-owners like Tamanna Ahmed, who buy samples of designs from weavers in Varanasi and, using WhatsApp, order finished products of the same design from Surat at a cheaper price. Customers also benefit as they can buy the intricate designs of the Banarasi sari at the cost of the inexpensive Surat fabric.

Technology seems to have revolutionised the Banarasi sari industry, which has over the years lagged due to competition, dependence on manual techniques and government apathy. In all this, however, the weavers find themselves at a loss. For them, WhatsApp enables traders in Surat and Varanasi to collude to sell copies of their world-famous designs through the multimedia app. “With technology, no design is safe. Earlier, a single design would last for 3 years, now it’s hardly exclusive for more than three months,” says Mr. Ahmed.

Atiq Ansari, a prominent weaver who shared the stage with Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal in his rally in Varanasi last week, says weavers feel robbed by the “copying” of designs. “Traders from Surat have copied our designs from the last 15 years. They would visit Varanasi and steal the designs and later replicate the fabric with mass production,” says Mr. Ansari.

“With the use of technology [and WhatsApp],” Mr. Ansari adds, “the situation has worsened in just the last 3-4 years. It’s the final blow to the hopes of the poor weavers. Since the creator is suffering, this is, overall, bad for the industry.”

The Banarasi sari business has been in flux since the 1960s when recession in handloom compelled weavers to shift to power looms.

Good margins, demand and competition led to the growth of a parallel printing industry in the 1970s-80s, which Mr. Ansari describes as a golden period. However, the industry suffered a decline after the H.D. Deve Gowda government banned import of Chinese silk yarn. Since the 1990s, recession has compelled weavers to migrate to textile cities like Surat and Mumbai in search of a livelihood.

Election buzz
In Varanasi, where Mr. Kejriwal is to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the AAP is wooing the weavers, who represent a major chunk of the 3 lakh Muslims in the constituency. Acknowledging their electoral worth, Mr. Modi, in his rally here last December, too had sought to strike a chord with the weavers. However, according to Mr. Ansari, the weavers were not impressed by Mr. Modi’s comparing the textile industries of Surat and Varanasi. “Can Modi show us a blueprint on how he can prevent Surat from copying our designs and ruining us?” he asks.

“Like all previous problems, we can deal with the other problems, but it is practically impossible to prevent Surat from copying our designs,” says Arshad Meraj, a weaver.

“The government has ignored the implementation of the power loom upgradation scheme. So we doubt it can implement its idea of patenting the Banarasi Sari,” he says.

·  Earlier, a design would last 3 years; now it is exclusive for hardly 3 months: weaver
·  Recession has compelled weavers to migrate to textile cities like Surat for livelihood

Friday, March 21, 2014


“So the debate on the interpretation  of the Bhagavad Gita – whether it was concerned with the actual war on the plain of Kurukshetra or an imaginary battle  taking place in the human soul – continued to the end.  Godse believed that Krishna commanded Arjuna to engage in mortal combat with his enemies, while Ramdas
Gandhi, like his father, believed that the struggle was to be fought in the human heart.

When Godse wrote from prison: “And Arjuna actually performed what Krishna commanded,”  he was triumphantly expressing his belief  that he had acted in full conformity with the Bhagavad Gita." – excerpts from The Life and Death of Mahatma Gandhi by Robert Payne p. 644

One is a Chitpavan Brahmin, other is a Baniya. But whose perception of the Gita is in conformity or in tandem  with  the primary message of its author Vyasa, as given in the greater work Mahabharatha.  The primary message in the MBh  is ‘Ahimsa  paramo dharma.” Rough translation,-“ Non-violence ultimate religion.”  The MBh at its ending tries to impress upon the human mind the futility of war. Since the MBH story spans  many births of an individual, its proper understanding individually differs from person to person depending on his KARMA (To be exact, karama-vasana, which determines ones  Karma.) Sin(papa) or sinning and its extent/intensity   depends on ones negative karma-vasanas. A individual with solidified/stubborn/sticky  negative karma-vasanas carried over from many previous births is more likely to interpret the message of
Mbh/Gita, as advocating and justifying   the use of violent means even to tackle ,dharmic/righteous issues.

Gandhiji & Godse represented the top echelon of Indian society  during that particular period of time of Indian history. Their differing understanding of the essence of the Gita, represent its two limits, and is representative of the understating of the people of India, who constituted the social segment to which they belonged. But can there be any comparison between Gandhiji & Godse with respect to Indian religious/philosophical tenets !??. As a individual evolves higher and higher his “Purushaparadhams” slowly will melt away. There are as many as twenty-two purushaparadhams  such as  ones that
infuses  identity/self-consiousness  like son, husband,father, caste, social status, religion, nationality etc etc. The person for whom all this shows signs of melting is on the way to becoming a Universal soul, Mahatma. He is then likely to be misunderstood as interested ONLY in the welfare of the opponent. “About this very time he resorted to his fast unto death. Every condition given by him for giving up the fast is in favour of Muslims and against the Hinds” – Godse’s statement given to the trial court.(p.342, The Men who Killed Gandhi, Manohar Malgonkar). The insistence  by Gandhiji  to pay Rs 55 Crs
to Pakistan  withheld by the Indian Govt, proved to be the final straw  for Godse. On his part Gandhiji would have felt - Should we deny the way-ward son his share of the family property !!???

Now imagine the game of snake & ladder. Spiritual evolution & liberation is guaranteed for all who takes embodiment,  but unfortunately here Godse who had been  progressing   in this climb, had stepped off from the ladder into the mouth of the snake. His  intense karma-vasanas had made him commit a political murder. An Upanishad reminds us that spiritual journey is like walking on the razors edge.

Though we believe that the Mahatma  according to his own interpretation of the Gita, proved its efficacy, by winning freedom non-violently for India,(the amplitude of this important event in history, is getting  amplified  itself with the passage of time) which in-turn inspired Martin Luther King  & Nelson Mandela, it is Godse’s path that majority of the world follows.  Gandhiji having properly understood the Gita, had urged
the masses to reduce their karma-vasanas by engaging in hand-spinning and other kinds of manual labour. This is one way for ordinary folks, who constitute the majority to reduce their karma-vasanas. But unwittingly, the modern world and its people went in the opposite direction behind machinery, which had the effect of increasing and making stubborn   the population’s vasanas.  The result,  the increase in violence in Geometric Progression !!!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014


One of the main concerns in the first six books of the Bible is the promise of LAND . This promise is initially made in Genesis 12:1-2, by the GOD of the Bible. “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing”. The last part of the command and promise of God, ie ‘so that you will be a blessing’ implies that those associated with Abraham and his heirs will flourish as well. This is the interpretation according to Bible scholars. (On the other hand,if it is literally interpreted, far from being a blessing, ............... !!!!)
Protestant Britain and its planters, and close on their heels the Catholic Church in Kerala , sincerely adhered to this tradition of land usurpation from the Bible. Now how could God’s promise not be fulfilled ? But the omniscient God had done the unthinkable, by fanning the flames of rapacity in these sections of human population. They raped and plundered virgin and sensitive forest lands, felled valuable timber and planted cash crops. To get more yield they poisoned mother earth and her milk giving veins, by using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They thus usurped more than their share !!! In their case, they flourished very well, and not to be outdone those from other communities also vied with them to get a piece of the cake. This includes the crony capitalists in the Hindutwa camp, like Bellary Reddy brothers.
Restraint exercised by many by-gone generations, gained through spirituality and simple living were thus contemptuously overlooked, in the wake of the new-found prosperity riding piggyback on non-native values. All these did not happen in the remote past, and is at the utmost 200-250 years old.
The prosperity thus experienced turned out to be short-lived, and at great COST to the rest of the state/world. So much so that man-made restrictions are being pursued (Madhav Gadgil/Kasturirangan report) to account and even annul Gods promise to his exclusive and chosen people. This is now being challenged,resisted through violence and cunning and machinations by Gods own people. Which makes one wonder about God, Godliness and the real nature of Gods own people !!??? Millions of people are living on both sides of the ecologically sensitive Western Ghats., in Kerala & TN. Their and their future generations peaceful living greatly depends on regular climatic patterns, that is guaranteed by an un-spoilt and unexploited Western Ghats.
There is only God, and he cannot be wrong !!!! Did Abram hear Gods words properly, attentively and understood it in the correct sense ? Or the chain of persons who transmitted and later wrote down God’s words unwittingly committed a mistake ? Or the narrator/compiler/ author had motives !??. Compared to India and the Vedas, is there any tradition in the middle-east to exactly preserve & transmit ancient sounds to the present, with minimal error ??? Here in India religious studies necessarily included grammar, phonetics, etymology, poesy etc. Thus ancient sounds and meanings could be transmitted with minimal loss and error.
If such a tradition like in India, did never exist in the middle-east with respect to Hebrew or Aramic languages/dialects, - that places the entire content and meaning of the Bible in jeopardy. Even in India, though the systems are there and fairly preserved, modern Indians are failing in their understanding of the Vedas /Upanishads and Gita. (Reason : Declining intellect of the human-race)

KOTTAYAM, March 17, 2014
Eco-politics churns the election scene in Kerala
It is seldom that major political parties in Kerala have had to confront fundamental ecological questions when venturing out to face the electorate. The State, which was the site of historic battles for protecting the Silent Valley and shutting down the Coca-Cola unit at Plachimada, is now discussing electoral prospects and ecology in the same breath as it goes to polls on April 10.

At the heart of the debate is the Kasturirangan Committee report on the protection of theWestern Ghats, which is itself a watered-down version of the more rigorously prepared Madhav Gadgil Committee report. The whole debate has thrown up what can only be described as situation extraordinaire: strange logic, stranger friends and, possibly, weird outcomes.

The CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, which had won plaudits for pushing a law seeking to protect ecologically fragile stretches of the State’s verdant landscape, is today in the company of the High Range Protection Council, an activist body led by Catholic priests and settler farmers, who are more eager to protect their lucrative farmsteads than the Western Ghats. On the opposite side, the incumbent Congress MP P.T. Thomas (Idukki), who has been sharply critical of the stand taken by the Church, his party’s traditional backers, is out in the cold because he is persona non grata for the local top brass of the Church and the farmers’ lobby.

In the neighbouring district of Pathanamthitta, Peelipose Thomas, former AICC member, had no other option but to bolt from his party’s confines and the ruling alliance before the UDF could commence itscandidate selection because neither the Congress nor the alliance, of which he was a candidate in previous elections, could stomach his stand on the controversial Aranmula international airport project, which had found a place in the President’s address to Parliament before it got the necessary clearances from the State or the Central government agencies.

If the question of protecting the Western Ghats finally boiled down to a slugfest within the ruling alliance and between the settler farmers and those whom they have traditionally backed, at Aranmula it has assumed even more ominous dimensions with issues of religious beliefs of the Hindu community becoming the touchstone on whether or not the project was to be given the nod.

The debate over the Kasturirangan Commitee recommendations saw the government giving in to Christian priests, the most vociferous of them all, and, in the process, the 327-page report submitted by the 15-member Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) chaired by Madhav Gadgil got restricted in size and scope to a 175-page report by the High Level Working Group on Western Ghats headed by K. Kasturirangan, which again got vetted by a three-member panel chaired by Oommen V. Oommen, chairman of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board, ultimately ending as a terse two-page office memorandum issued by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

There is no such clarity on the fate of the Aranmula airport where a popular agitation led by both the Left and Sangh Parivar organisations is still very much on.

The outcome of the Lok Sabha elections would reflect, in at least a few constituencies in the high ranges, on the relative positions of the mainstream players on ecological questions, but the real issues would remain as the voices from the margins seek to articulate.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


-Market capitalisation of the 30 Sensex companies taken together did not account for more than 1.5 per cent of GDP.

-Whereas  only 11 per cent Japanese savings are invested in the stock market, while in the case of Germany, it is 7 per cent.

-In the U.S., 55 per cent of families are linked to stock market compared to a minuscule percentage in India.

-Even if one takes the BSE 500, which accounts for 90 per cent of India’s listed companies, its market capitalisation is less than 5 per cent of the country’s GDP.

-The contribution of the total corporate sector to GDP is just around 15-16 per cent.

One should therefore question the application of “ theories and wisdom of the Western economies to address Indian problems.” – The statistics and questions  based on it raised by  Mr. S. Gurumurthy, Corporate Advisor and Commentator on Political and Economic Affairs.

March 10, 2014
Need to reset focus to rev up Indian economy
(from left): Rathin Roy, Director and Chief Executive, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy; Ajit Ranade, Chief Economist, Aditya Birla Group; Arvind Virmani, Former Chief Economic Advisor,Government of India; andS. Gurumurthy, Corporate Advisor and Commentator on Political and Economic Affairs, at ‘Economists on the economaze’, a panel discussion, heldin Chennai on Saturday.— Photo : R. Ravindran

Economic issues are set to dominate the agenda for the coming elections, more than any other in the past. As the major political parties prepare to release their manifestos, three eminent economists along with political commentator, S. Gurumurthy, came together on a common platform to examine the current scenario, and think up ideas for the next government.

The panel discussion, featuring Arvind Virmani, Former Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India; Rathin Roy, Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy; Ajit Ranade, Chief Economist, Aditya Birla Group; and S. Gurumurthy, Corporate Adviser and Commentator on Political and Economic Affairs, was thought-provoking, and threw up refreshing ideas.

The ball was set rolling by the introductory remarks by N. Ravi, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu , who moderated the panel discussion. Mr. Ravi laid out the questions: What reforms remain to be done? How far can India go with this rights-based and entitlement approach? How can the trade account be made more sustainable? How can the rent-seeking opportunities in the economy be checked?

Mr. Virmani identified malnutrition as one of the biggest problems facing the country. The corporate sector needed to be revived in order to sustain high growth, and the regulatory environment should be made conducive for promoting investments, he said. Using empirical evidence

Mr. Virmani showed that the maximum catching up was required in the area of malnutrition. “The malnutrition problem has to do with sanitation rather than food and poverty,” he said. “India is an outlier only on sanitation, and has more or less caught up on poverty and food,” he pointed out. Mr. Virmani said empowerment had suffered as the focus of the Government was too much on budget allocations. “Nobody is fighting to produce results or outcomes,” he said.The successful reforms in the past had triggered catch-up but sustaining the process for decades was a different ball game, Mr. Virmani said, adding that the learning from countries that had grown fast was that high growth in one decade was no guarantee of high growth in the next.

To ensure sustainable high growth, Mr. Virmani recommended reviving the corporate sector where investments and productivity had ‘collapsed’. Citing the example of the infrastructure sector, Mr. Virmani said that the focus of government was more on getting funds for the sector, rather than providing a regulatory and policy environment that was conducive. “The problem in the infrastructure sector is not funds; if the policy and regulation problems are addressed, tonnes of funds will come automatically,” he said.

Different take
Mr. Gurumurthy presented a different perspective based on his understanding of Indian society and anecdotal evidence from the field to challenge the convention of using theories and wisdom of the Western economies to address Indian problems. He emphasised the need for expertise and research to be India-centric rather than be inspired by Western approaches. One example he cited was the lack of discourse and research, and, therefore, policy ideas for the diamond cutting industry of Saurashtra. “There is a disconnect between institutions and economic agents…where is the study on diamond cutting when nine out of ten diamonds in the world are cut in Saurashtra?” he asked.

He decried what he called as the “Wall Street approach” to policy formulation that was focused excessively on the corporate sector and stock markets. “In the U.S., 55 per cent of families are linked to stock market compared to a minuscule percentage in India. We cannot transplant those policies here,” he said. Dishing out further data to support his arguments, Mr. Gurumurthy said: “only 11 per cent Japanese savings are invested in the stock market, while in the case of Germany, it is 7 per cent.” He pointed out that the market capitalisation of the 30 Sensex companies taken together did not account for more than 1.5 per cent of GDP.

“Even if one takes the BSE 500, which accounts for 90 per cent of India’s listed companies, its market capitalisation is less than 5 per cent of the country’s GDP. Why, the contribution of the total corporate sector to GDP is just around 15-16 per cent. Yet, policies are focussed more on the corporate sector. There is something basically wrong about our approach here,” Mr. Gurumurthy pointed out. 
Mr. Roy came up with an interesting observation. According to him, States were better in their fiscal policies. Pointing to data, he declared that the states had completed the process of fiscal consolidation. He said that institutions needed to be able to translate ideas into results. According to him, the fiscal deficit problem today “is not as visible in the States as it is with the Centre’’.

“With consistently improving quality of management of public finances despite their continued demonstrated ability to give hand-outs, the States have completed fiscal consolidation,” he pointed out. “India does not even spend as much as small countries such as Kenya and Nepal on education and health,” Mr. Roy said. “Through the plans, we are spending more on health. It is still not enough. And, whatever we are spending is not delivering any results,” he pointed out.

Of the 30 Millennium Development Goals targets set in the 11th Plan only two — roads and infrastructure and forest cover — were achieved. Given the fact that the States were proving to be better fiscal managers than the Centre, the solution, Mr. Roy said, was to shift to greater devolution of funds and responsibilities to the States. This idea, however, would not find takers in New Delhi, he said, adding that the impulse for it would have to come from the States. “The Centre is a well-meaning institution but the assumption that it is capable of delivering either human development or take care of tax payers money can be questioned,” Mr. Roy said.

In response to a question from the audience, Mr. Roy said the reason for the superior fiscal performance of the States could be their proximity to, and, therefore, better understanding of the ground realities.

“States know better about the ground realities. So, the efficiency is better,” he said. In his estimate, about 60 per cent of the fiscal consolidation in the States could be attributed to expenditure controls prescribed by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management reforms.

The balance 40 per cent of the fiscal improvement could be explained by the efficient generation of States’ own tax revenue through genuine superior management, he added.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


The problem of Tamil fishermen of TN VS Tamil Fishermen

 of Northern Srilanka has to be viewed from a different 

perspective. The real villain is the harvesting of fishing 

grounds using MACHINES.- Our politicians overlook this and

 mislead the people for selfish gains.

The vindication of the artisanal fishermen


In September 2012, the Tamil Nadu police brutally broke up a peaceful anti-nuclear sit-in by fisherfolk and farmers in Koodankulam — the site where two nuclear power plants of Russian origin are being set up. Rajesh Das, one of the state’s top cops, who oversaw the police attack had this to say about the protestors: “They are very simple people, knowing nothing but fishing and eating. They are being manipulated.”

Ajantha Subramanian’s book, Shorelines: Space and Rights in South India reminded me that Das is merely the latest in a long list of simple-minded people who are blinded by their own positions of privilege from seeing fishers as anything but primitives that are led by the nose by one or the other manipulator. Ajantha recounts her conversation with N. Dennis, a Congress politician from Kanyakumari, about the time in 1970s when local fishers belonging to the Mukkuvar community switched from voting nationalist Congress to the Dravidian DMK. “When I suggested that perhaps Mukkuvars knowingly voted for someone who they thought might respond to their concerns,” Ajantha recalls, “Dennis laughed and said, “What do coastal folk know about democracy? In their world, there is only prayer and fish.”
This book is a painstaking effort that succeeds in arguing for a nuanced understanding of Mukkuvar fishers and their negotiations with power and politics. Ajantha rejects the notion of the subaltern as outside and incapable of engaging in democracy, and brings out the rich creativity of catholic Mukkuvars in negotiating institutional power structures — be it of the Raja, the catholic or protestant church, of political parties or the state.

The author’s treatment of the subject of space and rights in India’s southwestern coast makes this book a valuable resource for social commentators, activists and bureaucrats. It is a remarkable feat that the author has achieved in weaving together the complex interplay of class, caste, notions of science and tradition, of religion and morality and fishers’ “projects of intermediacy” to present a narrative on the history of developmentalism in the region in an engaging style.

Science vs. Folk

More valuably, Ajantha presents an effective and replicable framework of analysis that can be used to tease out important details on how people perceived to be without “agency” actually influence and shape powerful institutions and their own destinies.
What has been said in the book about the Mukkuvars can just as easily apply to the Paravar catholic fishers of the Southeastern coast. And the Mukkuvar stereotype described in the book — of fishers as a brawling, ignorant, superstitious, unscientific, tribal and primitive peoples resistant to change and modernity — is invoked equally to describe fishers from other parts of Tamil Nadu by state actors and inland communities.

The treatment of the ongoing anti-nuclear protests epicentred in the Paravar village of Idinthakarai provides a case in point. Fisher concerns regarding radiation, pollution and safety were summarily dismissed as the rantings of ignorant primitives. The state positioned itself as “scientific” and invoked the “folk” nature of the fisher community to relegate their concerns to the realm of nonsense. The stand-off between “science” and “folk” was most evident when fishers were blamed for being obstinate, unreasonable and unscientific for not changing their minds even after former President Abdul Kalam gave a clean chit to the nuclear plant. At various points, the anti-nuclear protests — and by implication, the fisherfolk — were projected by the state as being led by the “church,” by some “foreign hand,” and by “maoist” infiltrators.

Dismissing fishers as people without agency is a terrible folly, and this conclusion is forcefully argued in Ajantha’s book. The author presents a comprehensive exploration of what agency actually means, and how Kanyakumari’s fishers have manoeuvred and negotiated secular and religious spaces as deftly as they have moved in and out of patronage and rights.
Shorelines is peppered with examples that testify to the fact that loyalties are never permanent, never unconditional, and that things are not always what they appear to be. Some examples are downright amusing — for readers, if not for the subjects mentioned in the example. One example recounts the predicament of a parish priest who was nominated by the parish fishers to represent them in a negotiation with the Public Works Department regarding the construction of a bridge to their village. The priest’s consent was not sought. Not only was he forced to represent them against his own will and convictions, the parishioners insisted that he wear his cassock to the meeting. The representative role of the priest, the book argues, is often a conscious choice exercised by fishers rather than “an automatic by-product of unquestioned clerical authority.”

Those, like the reviewer, who are fascinated by all things coastal, will find chapters 3 to 6 particularly interesting. The changing attitude of the colonial and post-colonial state towards fishing, fishers and fish as a resource is effectively documented using a combination of historical research and ethnography. It is in these chapters that one sees the arrogance of “western science” and its literate practitioners at war with the perceived superstition, primitiveness and non-science of the artisan protesting against mechanised trawl and gillnetter boats. Unfortunately, trawlers as the “scientific method” stands exposed today as a major mistake as grounds after fishing grounds are becoming barren and bereft of fish. The artisanal fisher stands vindicated, though impoverished.

War against trawlers

The deployment of trawlers in the seemingly inexhaustible seas was and continue to be resolutely opposed — often violently — by artisanal fisherfolk. Caste and community did not prevent the artisanal sector from banding together as a class to wage war against the wealthier minority of trawler owners from their own community.

The state hoped that the conflict would die down as more and more people shifted from artisanal methods to the more lucrative mechanised sector. But, the artisanal sector was not pushed into obsolescence as was predicted and hoped for by state actors. Far from it, it not just grew in size, but also succeeded in forcing a reluctant state to yield significant rights — be it territory in the form of a 3-mile exclusive artisanal fishing zone or special buses for fisher women. Rather than jump from ‘kattumarams’ to trawlers, artisanal fishers opted for the intermediate technology of motorising their traditional crafts. This allowed them to go further quicker, and more importantly to police their 3-mile territory and chase off errant trawler boats preying within their zone.

Chapter two “From the Inland Out” provides a basis for understanding the evolution of developmentalism in the coast — the subject of the rest of the book. This chapter deals with the agrarian interior and the assertion of agrarian low-castes – primarily, the Nadars – and their social mobility from erstwhile farm labourers to a powerful and influential mercantile class. Contrasting the entry of the inland subaltern into “modernity” with the persistent primitivity of the coastal subaltern, Ajantha explains “coastal marginality from the inland out.”

Ajantha concludes by underscoring the importance of the shades of grey. She appeals for a “Gramscian understanding of subalternity that highlights a dialectical nature” and warns against a tendency to “maintain stark distinctions between religious and secular, spiritual and material.”


Friday, March 7, 2014

Is OUR ECONOMIC RATIONALE scientific, as it is made out to be !!????

Is OUR ECONOMIC  RATIONALE  scientific, as it is made out to be !!???? And whose lament is made heard through this article !?

Why is our national economy suffering, not showing positive signs of recovery  & growth, as per the ‘experts’ who are in a position to see the overall picture ? Is the sickness exclusive to only Indian economy ? 

The following open-ed article reminds us that India had achieved annual growth rates above 9 per cent (in GDP terms)  in a few years during its two terms of the UPA . Then why that performance, that magic cannot be re-enacted again and again. We are supposed to be living in a scientific , logical, rational world where every branch of modern knowledge is a science ; viz economic science, political science, Management science, Scientology, communication science and then other branches of modern knowledge like medicine , engineering & technology that we take for granted as scientific. And high priests of science claim that all scientific experiments and its practical applications  are repeatable, any time, any place,  with practically the same consistent results. Now why can’t all these scientific knowledge at the command of humanity  be applied in the case of our national/international  economy that we may achieve consistent positive results. What is holding us back ? Or is there a deep flaw in the modern knowledge system that we have created in vainglory, and then believing in it ourselves as well as convincing others of its invaluable and innumerable boons.

One of the major reasons cited here for the retarded growth is slack performance in mining and manufacturing. The article gives the strongest  hint that people in the proximate area are unsettled by these activities. It is a fact that out of 120 crore Indians, not more than 10% will have permananent security of livelihood and peaceful existence, based on the current model of economic reasoning. This article is not meant for people like them. In any case they will not even get to read this. Their main concern will be survival on a daily, monthly , yearly basis. The lament that we perceive here in this article is that of the 10% privileged Indians, whose growth has been stunted, getting stuck at less than 5%.

The full op-ed article is copied here-

Elusive recovery, The Hindu, 07/03/2014
Growth data released by the Central Statistics Office last week point to a continuing economic slowdown and offer very little comfort to a government that is hoping to proclaim a recovery ahead of the elections. With no further data releases scheduled until May-end, the government will have to reckon with the fact that based on published figures it would be extremely difficult for the economy to clock a rate of even 5 per cent for the whole year. The economy grew by 4.7 per cent in the quarter ending December, which was slightly better than the average of 4.6 per cent clocked during the first half of the year (April-September 2013). For the seventh successive quarter, GDP growth has been below 5 per cent. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in his recent budget speech expected economic growth during the second half of the year to be at least 5.2 per cent. That now seems a stupendous task given the slackness in the third quarter. The CSO’s advance estimates for 2013-14 released earlier of 4.9 per cent growth certainly does not look to be an underestimate as some government officials have been claiming. It ought to be quite disconcerting that having witnessed annual growth rates above 9 per cent in a few years during its two terms the UPA will be facing elections with the economy stuck in a sub-5 per cent growth trajectory.

A closer look at the third quarter data reveal some well-entrenched weaknesses in specific sectors. The investment scenario remains weak notwithstanding recent efforts by the government to fast-track certain large projects. There is an expected measure of uncertainty in decision-making ahead of the elections. Both mining and manufacturing declined in the three-month period. They have been weak throughout this year. Policy logjam and environmental and judicial activism have impacted adversely on mining output and this has had major negative consequences for the current account of the balance of payments. The outlook for the near future is not bright. Eight core industries which have more than one-third weight in the Index of Industrial Production, an important lead indicator, grew by just 1.6 per cent in January compared with 2.1 per cent in December. Exports are growing but at a slower pace during the three months up to January. Agriculture has done reasonably well while services, driven mainly by one sub-sector, personal community and social services — which is a proxy for government spending — picked up in the October-December quarter. GDP growth along with retail inflation and inflation expectations will figure prominently in the general election. Barring an unexpected turnaround, the government would seem to be on a weak wicket.