Archive for September, 2013

America’s War on Terror: How Many Non Americans Have to Die

Monday, September 30th, 2013

America’s War on Terror: How Many Non Americans Have to Die for

Security of US Citizen?

By

Col (Retd) Bhaskar Sarkar VSM

Website: www.bhaskarsarkar.com Twitter: www.twitter@COLSARKAR

US “War on Terror” is the name given to an international military campaign started by President Bush after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US to eliminate Al Qaeda and other Islamist militant organizations.  It continues today. UK, NATO and some non NATO countries like Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Kenya are a part of this war. The war has killed 272,000 to 329,000 non US citizens, mostly civilians. Millions have been internally displaced or become refugees. (Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Terror)

Today, almost 12 years later, the US is nowhere near winning the war. Under President Obama it has changed its strategy. Withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014. No more US or NATO boots on the ground to fight nasty fanatical terrorists whose use of road side bombs and suicide bombers have been killing and maiming US and NATO soldiers in Afghanistan and innocent civilians and security forces of third world allies like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Ethiopians, Kenyans, Somalis and forces of the African Union. The US strategy now is to use third world allies to put boots on the ground to fight America’s wars. In return the countries get economic and military aid. US will continue to use drones to fire missiles on suspected terrorist targets regardless of collateral civilian casualties. Who cares for the lives of citizens of the third world?

Al Qaeda and other Islamist terrorists have also changed their tactics. They have decided to attack US embassies, Christians and soft targets in third world countries which are allied with the US. In the month of September 2013, they have attacked security forces of Yemen killing over a dozen soldiers and civilians, attacked a mall in Kenya killing over 60 civilians and some security forces and over 90 Christian church goers in Pakistan. Terrorists and security personnel of the Western countries with Jihadist leanings have killed civilians, policemen and security forces where ever they can. The killings go on on both sides. More people die in the third world (over 300,000) than in the western countries (about 4000). The west really does not mind that, though they may shed a few crocodile tears after every major tragedy.

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the War on Terror is called Operation Enduring Freedom. It started when US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 and with the aid of the forces of Northern Alliance defeated the forces of Taliban and Al Qaeda by November 2001. Taliban and Al Qaeda took shelter in the mountains of tribal regions on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan and launched a war of attrition that continues even today. About 47,000 to 61,000 civilians died due to air attacks by US and its allies and killings by Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Pakistan

Drone attacks in Pakistan have killed about 2300 civilians by 2011. Tens of thousands have been killed by the Taliban to maintain their hold in the tribal regions and to punish Pakistan for assisting the US with logistic and military support against Taliban.

Yemen

Islamist separatists assisted by Al Qaeda have been fighting a separatist battle for creation of South Yemen against the Government since 2009. The US considers Yemen to be an important base of Al Qaeda and has been carrying out drone strikes against suspected Al Qaeda targets. Over 1500 have already died in this tiny country.

Iraq

Iraq war was not really a war on terror. It was launched by the US in 2003 to get rid of Saddam Husain who had been rewarding Palestinian suicide bombers who killed Israelis.  There are many estimates of Iraqi casualties. As per one estimate 176000 to 18900 people died in Iraq in the period March 2003 to December 2012.

Somalia

The US has been fighting a proxy war against Islamists in Somalia since 2006. In 2006, US backed Ethiopian and African Union Forces moved into Somalia to assist the UN recognized Somali federal forces in fighting an Islamist alliance that had been trying to gain control of the country. By 2009, the Islamist forces defeated and forced the Ethiopian forces to withdraw and set up an interim government. Some Islamist elements did not recognize the interim government which was secular and started a new civil war against it. African Union has deployed 16,000 soldiers. In 2012, Kenyan forces joined the fight. 550,000 people, mostly civilians have died in Somalia Civil War from 1988 to date. (source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of _wars_by_death_toll )

Sponsors of Terrorism

The US and its allies are major sponsors of terrorism that is perceived to further their national interests. US funded and armed Afghan militants in Afghanistan which fought Soviet Union, and funds and arms militants in Syria. Saudi Arabia is the largest source of funds for Salafi Jihadist Militant Groups like Al Qaeda, Taliban in Afghanistan, Chechen rebels in Russia and Laskar-e-Taiba of Pakistan. This fact has been acknowledged by the US Government in 2009 but the US does nothing to check the funding. Qatar has been funding Islamist terrorists in Syria and North Africa. Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI trains and provides logistic support to militants in Afghanistan and India. US are well aware of this but do nothing. Instead it provides billions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan part of which goes to terrorists. US ignore the use of Arab money to further terrorism because most of the money is used to buy arms and ammunition from US and Europe and create jobs. So what if some of the weapons and ammunitions are being used to kill American and European civilians and servicemen. Weapons lobbies are more powerful than humanitarian organization. Weapon lobbies demand that war on terror goes on forever.

Conclusion

There is no way to persuade the US and its allies to allow people of countries to find solutions to their internal problems without outside interference. One wonders why they stopped intervening in Angola and allowed it to have peace after decades of civil war. What is the problem if Somalia is ruled by Islamists under Shariah law when the same is not a problem in Saudi Arabia?

About $5 trillion has been spent so far on the “War on Terror” in a little over a decade. Billions will continue to be spent on drones and other weapons of war. As long as arms lobbies remain effective in the US and Europe, there will be no peace on earth. Citizens of the third world will continue to die in larger numbers as the US and its allies continue to pursue Islamist militants and the Islamist keep retaliating on soft targets in the US, Europe and countries which are their Third World allies.

Killing Fields of Kashmir: Can it Stop

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Killings Fields of Kashmir: Can it Stop?

By

Col (Retd) Bhaskar Sarkar VSM

Website: www.bhaskarsarkar.com Twitter: www.twitter@COLSARKAR

The militant attack on Kahuta police station and Samba Army Camp on September 26, 2013 that resulted in the deaths of two army men, five policemen, some civilians and three militants reminded the nation that the killing fields of Kashmir are flourishing. They have been flourishing since 1990. As per information accessed by Times of India from Government of Kashmir documents, 43,460 people have died in violent militancy related incidents between January 1990 to April 2011. In addition about 10,000 are missing. Some of the missing are dead. Others have crossed over to Pakistan to become militants. Needless to say, the casualties have been continuously mounting and could well have exceeded 50,000 to date.

The breakdown of the death toll is interesting. Of the 43,460 people who have been killed in Kashmir in the 21 year period mentioned above, 21,323 are militants, 13,226 are civilians killed by militants, 3,642 are civilians killed by security forces, and 5,369 are security forces and policemen killed by militants. The 21,323 militants were killed in operations by security forces and include both Kashmiri and foreign militants. Of the 5,369 members of the security forces, around 1,500 are Kashmiri policemen. The number of civilians killed by security forces vary from a high of 539 in 1990 to 120 killed across the state in firing by the police and paramilitary forces in 2010. Of the 13,226 civilians killed by militants, 11,461 were shot and 1,765 died in grenade blasts and explosions.

The saddest part of the story is that no one, either in the Government or the Opposition, the bureaucrats or upper echelons of the security forces, the media, militants or the people are agitated or upset by the mounting human tragedy. Death, except of near and dear ones, are just an item of news. As per some politicians, bureaucrats and the media, security forces are enrolled to die, militants must be killed and collateral damage to civilian life and property is an unfortunate reality.

The Kashmir problem is an unfortunate legacy of our independence. India and Pakistan have fought four wars; 1947-48, 1965, 1971 and the Kargil War over it. The Kashmir insurgency has been going on for 23 years. Governments of Narsimha Rao, Deve Gowda, I K Gujral, Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh have been talking and talking to their Pakistani counterparts for 23 years. What they keep saying to each other is neither clear nor productive. All the time the killing fields of Kashmir flourish. More and more wives are widowed, more and more children are orphaned, more and more families loose their bread earners and kids. Who cares? Isn’t the compensation paid enough?

Are the Killing Fields of Kashmir to flourish for ever? Does any one have a workable plan to end the tragedy?

Understanding Demography of Kashmir

Demographically and geographically, the Indian part of Jammu and Kashmir can be divided into three parts.

· Kashmir Valley. This area, north of the Pir Panjal range of mountains and West of the Zanskar Mountains (Zojila Pass) and the valley of the Jhelum River, has almost 100 % Muslim population. Some of the population is anti India. Most of the separatists live here. Almost 90 % of violent incidents and deaths occur here.

· Jammu Sector. This part of Jammu and Kashmir has a substantial Hindu and Sikh population. This part is more peaceful and would happily become a state of India.

· The Ladakh Sector. This part has a substantial Buddhist population and is totally pro-India. Hardly any violent incidents occur here.

A possible Solution

India should declare that it will hold a UN supervised plebiscite and grant full independence to the Kashmir Valley (defense and foreign affairs included) on 1st July 2017 if the majority of the people of the valley vote for it. However, no plebiscite will be held in the Jammu and Ladakh Regions and these areas will be amalgamated into India without any special status as states or Union Territories. Muslims will not be allowed to migrate from the Kashmir Valley to Jammu or Ladakh unless they have property there. In any case they will not be granted refugee status and will not be entitled to financial assistance. However, Muslims of Jammu and Ladakh region will be allowed to migrate to the Valley if they so desire.

The Plebiscite should be held in May 2014. If the people of the Kashmir Valley opt for independence, the next three years should be used to plan a smooth transition. Some steps will be:

  • Redrawing of boundaries between Republic of Kashmir and India’s Jammu and Ladakh regions so that the new border along the Pir Panjal Range and Zanskar Range is defensible against Pakistani attack. The Amarnath Shrine, Banihal tunnel and Poonch should to be a part of India.
  • Redeployment of Indian Army and BSF from Uri and Dras Sectors and the Valley to new locations along the new border and inside India. For this new permanent defenses and accommodation for the Army and BSF will have to be constructed on priority.
  • Develop a new road and rail system to improve communication to cater for defense requirements and lateral communications between Jammu, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh.

Conclusion

Many of the Muslim population of the Kashmir valley are anti Indian and have little gratitude for the Indian lives that have been sacrificed to protect them and the Indian money that has been spent to make their lives more livable. Though mostly Shia or Sufi Muslims and well aware of the persecution and discrimination against their kind of Muslims in Pakistan, they still look upon Pakistan as their saviors. So if the majority of the people of the valley want independence, let them have it. A divorce is better than a painful and unworkable marriage. It must also be made clear that India would not intervene if Pakistan attacks The Republic of Kashmir nor allow refugees to flee into India.

Let us be realists and destroy the killing fields of Kashmir. Cessation is not a dirty word. Czechoslovakia split amicably into Czech Republic and Slovakia. Yugoslavia has split into Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo and are living peacefully ever since. North and South Sudan have separated and hopefully will live in peace. We have handed over Kachchatheevu Islands to Sri Lanka without consulting Tamil Nadu. So what is the problem with giving Independence to Kashmir Valley if the people of Kashmir want it? If Pakistan there after annexes Kashmir Valley let them do so.

Will the Secular Members of BJP Please Split and Form a New Party

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Will the Secular Members of BJP Please Split and Form a New Party

By

Col Bhaskar Sarkar VSM (Retd)

www.bhaskarsarkar.com ; www.twitter.com@COLSARKAR

The RSS has recently given up its pretense of being an apolitical organization dedicated to social upliftment of Hindus and announced its ambition of gaining political power through the BJP. It has tried to display its hold on the BJP leadership by nominating Mr. Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate. It has also directed its affiliates, the Sangh Parivar to assist the BJP in election campaigning, mustering voters and booth management. The RSS is doing this because it believes that the Congress is at its weakest and this is the best opportunity for the RSS to gain political power and push its agenda of making “Bharat” a Hindu State and Hindutva as its culture.

The RSS move has dismayed the secular Indians who support BJP and put them in a quandary as to whether to vote for BJP. It has prompted its long term ally JDU to leave the NDA. It has made it difficult to forge pre election alliances and post election coalitions. Many like me believe that an RSS dominated BJP with Modi as its prime ministerial candidate will not get 100 seats in the next Lok Sabha elections. Secular supporters of BJP will have no option but to vote for the Congress as there is no national alternative to the Congress. The Communists, with their rigid ideology, have lost their pan India appeal. The Aam Admi Party is an unknown quantity.

There are many reasons why the BJP should split into BJP (Secular) and BJP (Hindutva). Some are listed below:

Mixing Religion with Politics is Dangerous

Muslims have been trying to have religion influence politics and governance. Taliban did it in Afghanistan and sent the country’s development backward by a century at least. We have seen the effects of religion dominating politics in Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt where Muslim Brotherhood have sized power in elections. In Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood dominated government are slowly doing away with secularism and imposing restrictions on women, drinking and other personal freedoms. This has resulted in protests. In Tunisia and Egypt it has created social unrest, violence and chaos. I have no doubt that if RSS gains political power, it will start chipping away at our secularism and try Hindu Talibanization of our society.

We Must Respect the Demographic Reality

India has about 15 percent Muslims and about 3 percent Christians. That means that there are about 180 million Muslims and about 36 million Christians in India. The numbers are too large to be ignored. We have to learn to respect all religions and life styles and live in harmony. Otherwise there would be no peace or progress.

The Sangh does not Accept Women as Equals

Women are almost 45 percent of the population and voters. They cannot be ignored. But the Sangh does not accept women as equals. In Hindu culture, women are not persons but things. That is why they are given away (Kanyadan) at the time of marriage along with cash (Dakshina). A woman is not supposed to return to her parents till she died. A woman is supposed to obey her father till marriage, her husband after marriage and her son if she becomes a widow. She is not supposed to be educated and is required to be a house wife at the service of her in-laws.

Women are not members of the Sangh. There is a cosmetic Durga Bahini but their members are rarely seen or heard. Sangh does not like women as chief ministers. They got rid of Uma Bharti in Madhya Pradesh. They reportedly ensured defeat of Vasundhara Raje in the last elections. They are against Sushma Swaraj being made the prime ministerial candidate. They are against giving one third of the seats to women. Like the Taliban, the Sangh wants women in “purda” and at home. If Sangh gains political power, moral policing will increase and women will have to marry according to the wishes of the parent whether the groom is a doddering old man or unacceptable to the girl due to looks, level of education or any other reasons.

No Party Can Form a Government on its Own

Given the diversity of India and current trends, no party will be able to form a government on its own. No party other than AIDMK and Shiromani Akali Dal will align with a Sangh dominated BJP with Modi as prime ministerial candidate. But BJP (Secular) will not be untouchable and will have a better chance of forming a non Congress government.

Conclusion

It is always safe for BJP leaders to play second fiddle to the Sangh and maintain a low profile. It ensures personal security and perks. But if the secular members of BJP are secular at heart and believe that RSS ideology and Hindutva is not the right approach to govern India, they must muster courage, leave the BJP and form a new party. That way you will give secular Indians and women an alternative to corrupt and arrogant Congress to vote for.

RSS and the Sangh are great organizations in their own right. They are patriotic and torchbearers of Hindu culture. They have a glorious record of service to the Hindu society. I respect them for what they are and what they have done. They should stick to their role serving Hindu Society and stay away from politics and governance.

Thinking of Voting BJP: Think Again

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Thinking of Voting for BJP: Think Again

by

Col Bhaskar Sarkar VSM (Retd)

www.bhaskarsarkar.com ; www.twitter@COLSARKAR

The RSS has started openly dictating the policies and programs of the BJP. They have openly endorsed Mr. Narendra Modi as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. They have asked all elements of the Sangh Parivar to help the BJP during elections by canvassing for the BJP and helping in booth management and getting voters to vote. Has any one thought as to why has RSS suddenly abandoned its pretence of being an apolitical social welfare association and openly jumped into the fray? My guess is that RSS feels that Congress is at its weakest and the coming Lok Sabha elections is the best chance for BJP to come to power. The RSS also feels that if BJP comes to power; it will be able to fulfill its dream to establish a Hindu Raj and promote Hindutva.

RSS Agenda

The mission of RSS has been revitalization of Indian value system. The organization says that it aspires to unite all Hindus and build a strong India. Its main ideologue and the second head was Mr. M S Golwalkar. When it came to non-Hindu religions, Golwalkar’s view on minorities was that of extreme intolerance. He stated in the book – “We, or Our Nationhood Defined” that “The non-Hindu people of Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and languages, must learn and respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but of those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture… in a word they must cease to be foreigners; Or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment— not even citizens’ rights.” Recently some RSS and BJP’s members have distanced themselves from M.S Golwalkar’s views to different degrees. The tasks of the RSS are to reorganize Hindu Society, unite Hindus, and protect Hindu religion, character building and a desire to take India to the highest glory.

So what is the Problem

On the face of it there are none. But my association with the RSS through their chain of schools, “Adarsh Vidya Mandirs” makes me apprehensive.

When RSS talks of revitalization of Indian value system, what do they want to revive? In my understanding there are many aspects of Hindu culture like nationalism, patriotism, spirit of sacrifice, tolerance of people of other faiths which are admirable and need to be strengthened. But there are some aspects which have me worried:

Unquestioned Obedience of Parents and Elders

This is a dangerous trend that the Sangh is trying to revive. Let us see one example of such unquestioned obedience from the Mahabharata. When Arjuna mentioned to his mother that he had won a prize; she asked him to share it with his brothers. So Arjuna, who had won the hand of Draupadi at an archery contest, was forced to share her with his brothers. Elders can also take unreasonable decisions. King Dasarath sent Ram to 12 years of exile to the forest just because he made a silly promise to one of his wives to give whatever she asked for without even thinking of possible consequences. Unquestioned obedience to parents and elders could mean child marriage, end of love marriages or inter caste marriages and justification of honor killings.

Status of Women

In Hindu culture, women are not persons but things. That is why they are given away (Kanyadan) at the time of marriage along with cash (Dakshina). A woman is not supposed to return to her parents till she died. A woman is supposed to obey her father till marriage, her husband after marriage and her son if she becomes a widow. She is not supposed to be educated and to be a house wife at the service of her in-laws. I love my wife, daughter and grand daughter as persons and they have full freedom to disagree and make choices. They are not things but persons to be loved and cherished.

Sanskritization

If RSS has its way, Sanskrit will become compulsory in all schools. It would be an unfair burden on my grand children.

Mixing Religion with Politics

We have seen the effects of religion dominating politics in Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt where Muslim Brotherhood have sized power in elections. In Turkey, they are slowly doing away with secularism and imposing restrictions on dressing, drinking and other personal freedoms. This has resulted in protests. In Tunisia and Egypt it has created social unrest. I have no doubt that if RSS gains political power, it will start chipping away at our secularism and try Hindu Talibanization of our society.

Conclusion

Friends! If you are thinking of voting for BJP, please think again. If you value your freedom to choose your career, life partner and lifestyle, RSS is not the party you want in political power. If you are a woman and consider yourself equal to men and value your freedom to choose your career, life partner and lifestyle, RSS is not the party you want in political power.

Mixing religion and politics and vote bank politics will lead our country to the worst kind of social unrest. There will be riots everywhere. It will make our lives and the lives of our children full of misery. Think before you vote.

Is Obama Starting World War III

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Is Obama Starting World War III?

by

Col Bhaskar Sarkar VSM (Retd)

www.bhaskarsarkar.com ; www.twiter.com@colsarkar

President Barack Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, appears to be hell bent on launching a punitive military strike on Syria for what he calls breaking international norms by using chemical weapons on his own people. He is not willing to consider the Russian view that the chemical attack was engineered by the desperate Syrian opposition to draw US and its allies into the conflict which they cannot win without American military support. He is not fazed by America’s old ally, UK, refusing to participate in the strike. He is unperturbed by all European countries except France refusing to be a part of the coalition against the Assad Regime. Every member of his administration has launched a propaganda war on the American people and American Congressmen to get them to back the strike but without much success so far. Even his fiery oratory failed to convince more than half the members of G-20 to support him in his endeavor. He has refused to commit himself to abide by the decision of the US Congress on the issue.

Why is President Obama adamant about carrying out a military strike against the Assad regime in Syria in spite of strong opposition to it both at home and abroad? Has his ego been hurt and he is acting in pique? Or is he drunk on US military power and wants to teach upstarts like President Assad a lesson? Or is he morally outraged by the death of women and children. If that is so, why is he not outraged by American drones or NATO air strikes kill women and children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen or Iraq? Why is he not outraged when Israeli air strikes kill women and children in Gaza? Why has he not apologized for the US military’s use of napalm and chemical defoliaging agents in Vietnam that maimed and killed hundreds of thousands of women and children?

President Obama is confident that Russia will not fight in defense of its ally, Syria. He has good reason to be confident. America was able to bribe Russian Presidnet Gorbachov with the promise of the Nobel Peace Prize and get him to dismantle the Soviet Union. America was able to control hard drinking Russian President Boris Yelstin with funds. They were able to keep President Medvedev quiet. Thus America was able to wean away Russian allies like Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia. The only time Russia intervened militarily was in Georgia when it threatened the autonomy of Russian speaking enclaves of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. President Bush backed off.

What can Syria do?

What can Syria do if Obama goes ahead with the military strike? It can do nothing much really. It can strike at Israel but that will open another front and make it more difficult to fight the rebels. Israel is arguably the most formidable military power in the region. It has carried out air strikes on Syria without any response. Syria can strike at Turkey but that will only add to its problems if Turkey formally joins the war on behalf of the rebels.

What can Iraq do?

Iraq is not a strong military power. There is a sectarian tussle going on between the Shia’s and the Sunnis in the country. But there are many Shia militia’s backed by Iran in Iraq, particularly in the South of the country. They can be expected to attack western interest. In the worst case scenario, Iraq can attack Kuwait, disrupt oil supplies and force the US to get involved in a ground war.

What can Iran do?

Iran has the will and the wherewithal to strike at US allies like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE. It will definitely attempt to close the Straits of Hormuz in case of hostilities. This will mean a direct confrontation between American and Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf. America will definitely have the edge. But Iran has showed good staying power in its 10 year war with Iraq under Saddam. It will fight to the last.

What can Russia do?

Russian reaction is the key. It can directly attack the US naval forces in the Mediterranean Sea. But that is unlikely. It is more likely to re-supply Syrian regime with equipment lost to the American strikes. It may also provide Iran and Iraq with military hardware to fight the US and its allies.

If the Russians decide to deploy their forces in Syria to defend Syria, it will most likely lead to a world war. Russia and China may encourage North Korea to attack South Korea to tie down US resources in the Far East. China may also decide to attack Taiwan and Philippines. It will be a long and messy fight.

What will other Nations do?

Much of Europe including Germany depends on Russian oil and gas for their energy needs. They are likely to remain neutral. India and other South East Asian countries are also likely to remain neutral.

Conclusions

American intervention anywhere in the world has only spread misery and never brought peace. Obama’s desire to teach President Assad a lesson with unilateral military strike is a grave threat to world peace. Whether he will get away with it without serious consequences will depend on whether President Putin will break away from past Russian tradition, stand up and fight and defend its allies with all its might and on the reaction of Iran.

May God give President Obama the wisdom to step back from the brink.

Raghuram Rajan: God of Wealthy and Speculative India

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Raguram Rajan; God of Wealthy and Speculative India

By

Col Bhaskar Sarkar VSM (Retd)

www.bhaskarsarkar.com ; www.twitter.com@colsarkar

The appointment of Mr. Raghuram Rajan as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India has been widely welcomed by the industry and the financial institutions. The Sensex rose 412 points on the day he took over. The Rupee rose 106 paise to the US dollar to close at Rs 66.01.

It is only to be expected. Mr. Raghuram Rajan with his IMF background is a Neo-liberal economist. So he is expected to be more pro industry, pro multinational, pro investors, and pro-economic liberalization which essentially means less control and supervision of the activities of banks and financial institutions. Let us look at some of the measures he has promised to take.

Banks Overseas Borrowing Limit has been Doubled

The bank’s borrowing limit has been doubled to 100 % of Tier -I capital. If borrowing could solve long term financial problems (India has had a trade deficit since independence and a Current Account Deficit for most of its 66 years of independence), there would be no financial problem in the world. How will they pay back the loans? Of course this will be done by borrowing some more.

Banks Provision for CRR and Statutory Liquidity Ratio to be Cut

This step will make banks more vulnerable to crashes as in 2007. But who cares? The poor depositors will loose their all. Companies have limited liabilities. The wealthy have enough to bear these pinpricks.

More Leeway for Foreign Banks

I do not understand what it means. Perhaps wealth management and money laundering will be allowed on a larger scale.

Liberalization of Markets and Allowing Speculation

This is also not clear. Some suggest that it hints at removal of restrictions on Indian banks from taking positions on currency futures. The Commodity Exchange in India is already in default. Millions of small investors are regularly cheated by chit funds and multilevel marketing companies. But that is not a concern for the government which is of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.

Use of GDP for Economic Planning

Producing one quintal of rice, two bottles of whiskey, consuming 20 liters of petrol produce the same GDP. A foreign investment of Rs 1500 in the stock market will also produce the same GDP. Are they equally beneficial to the society? Do they generate equal employment?

Conclusion

Mr. Raghuram Rajan is a God of the Virtual World. He can increase the market capitalization of our stock exchanges. He can make banks more vulnerable to economic crisis in the world. But he cannot save the Rupee for the price of the rupee is based on demand and supply of dollars. That situation is not going to improve unless we reduce imports by raising import duties and taking other protectionist measures. The only way to save the Rupee is to follow a fixed exchange rate like China.

Mr. Raghuram Rajan cannot control prices which are governed by the price of fuel and speculative hoarding. He is not the God of Aam Admi.

India has been following neo-liberal policies for 22 years. During this period the Rupee has fallen from Rs 15.50 to Rs 66 to the dollar. During this period diesel prices have risen from Rs 6.11 to a liter to Rs 60 to a liter. Neo-liberal trickle down policies will not benefit the Aam Admi. Going back to socialistic policies like adopting a fixed exchange rate and increasing the role of public sector in India will.

The Government of India behaves like the Zamindars of Bengal. Their income was not enough to meet the cost of their lavish lifestyles. They borrowed and to repay the loans they sold all their lands and belongings and became paupers. The Government of India lives on borrowed money; both dollars and rupees. They have started selling the public sector units. What will they sell thereafter; cities; towns and states?