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Americans rejoice. Indian IT are in trouble

The time i grew up in impoverished India, i never imagined that
India's success would actually be an issue in the American presidential election.

But what has happenned in India is an outrage. A bunch of leftists- aided by the Italian born Sonia may succeed in getting power ousting the pro-reform government.  Reforms almost certainly will derail as Sonia has no grasp of reality. She does not even have the courage to give a press conference without prompters.

The present Indian government will be voted out. They had made tremendous strides in IT as well as building roads.

The reason this happenned was that the opposition succeeded in convincing people that IT  and Roads were for "rich" people.
The only flaw in this argument was that the Congress (the opposition) ruled India for more than 50 years and did not do anything - including IT and power. They were a bunch of corrupt scroundrels.

The amount of damage Sonia can do cannot be understated. It is something like someone with the intelligence of Britney Spears getting elected to the White House .

And you dont get to see some good tits.

Unhappy Indian
Thursday, May 13, 2004

thats actually a real shame.

I _liked_ the current indian government, from what Ive heard here in New Zealand it sounded like they were making some very good decisions. <g> at least IMO.

god help us if they end up with someone as stupid and weak as Mr George Bush in power, a war between america and india would be ugly in the extreme.

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 13, 2004

> Britney Spears getting elected to the White House .

Uh, where have you been?

son of parnas
Thursday, May 13, 2004

> someone with the intelligence of Britney Spears getting elected to the White House

It already happened. Assuming you believe he was elected, of course.


Thursday, May 13, 2004

"On the other hand, I don't agree with everything Scott said. He repeats an oft-repeated mantra of the left, that Bush wasn't elected, and this just weakens his argument. Bush was elected. No candidate is responsible for flaws in the system. Had the random outcome in Florida favored Gore, there's no doubt in my mind that he would have taken office without any hesitation."

Dave Winer

Matthew Lock
Thursday, May 13, 2004

For the umpteenth time, these are *Indian _PARLIAMENTARY_* elections, not the American Presidency.

Sonia Gandhi *IS NOT* the Congress Party. It is Manmohan Singh, Salman Kursheed, Jyotiraditya Scindia, EVKS Elangivan and a million others. In case you forgot (or were you even born) it was Manmohan Singh and Montek Singh Alhuwalia who initiated and fought and sustained this liberalisation process, which the BJP OPPOSED, (of course not the whole of the NDA). So please, granted she is a foreigner and we could do without her, but that is an issue only for BJP, not for the Congress.

<Hey JoS admins. Please kill this, bit only after the Unhappy Indian gets into reality mode>

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

FullName, just so you've got some perspective, the current Indian government is LIKE America's Bush government, except much more right wing.

That's why the offshoring crowd, who are the wealthy elite of India, like them.

However the other 900 million people in India have been going backwards under the "India Shining" crowd. That's why the opposition party, Congress, looks to have gained ground. The Sonia that Unhappy Indian refers to is the leader of the Congress Party, which is the direct descendent of the Gandhi movement.

Being real democratic, the current Indian government has been trying to introduce laws banning people not born in India from holding high office. Sonia was born in Italy.


Thursday, May 13, 2004

While I do accept the reasoning for a foreign born Indian citizen holding high office (I think we would be only the second nation to do so, next to the U. S. of A.), my fear is India _becoming_  another U. S. of A, a monolithic, monolingual,  monocultural, homogenous behemoth, under the BJP led government. Though I have no qualms in being part of a behemoth without the mono-* qualities. As an aside, it is my view that Mr. Vajpayee (our current PM) is the right man in the wrong party.

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

for a foreign born Indian citizen holding high office --> for a foreign born Indian citizen *NOT* holding high office

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

"the current Indian government is LIKE America's Bush government, except much more right wing.
"

<shrug> I dont actually have a problem with right wing governments myself.  So long as they dont allow their country to get involved in pointless, unwinnable wars.

I have only two _big_ problems with Mr George Bushs government, neither of which have much to do with his being right wing.
(1) The war in iraq, it was _always_ a stupid idea...the fact his government is only just realising this is....scary..
(2) Their fundamentalist christian fuckedness....thats leading to a lot of stupid decisions in terms of the availability of things like information on womens issues, birth control, aid to countries that includes forms of birth control etc etc etc
(3) oh..and Im a little sad at the loss, and abuse, of human rights in america these days....although surprisingly enough part of me doesn't care that much....no one else in america seems to care particularly so Im not going to stress over it either.

ok, ok, 2 big problems and one smaller one.

India OTOH has none of those problems...they are still at the stage where their people are achieving new rights, instead of losing old ones.

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 13, 2004

The 3 points you *have* problems with, are, IMCO, the _definition_ of *Right Wing*. Violence as an economic activity, Religious Fundementalism and restraining Civil Liberty. An Plutocracy/Theocracy in place of a Monarchy or a Democracy.

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

interesting...in that case Im interested in why you ascribe those 3 to the current indian government....what policies have they enacted that leads you to believe that they see Violence as an economic activity, create laws based in Religious Fundementalism and are restraining Civil Liberty?

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 13, 2004

---"Hey JoS admins. Please kill this, bit only after the Unhappy Indian gets into reality mode"-----

If we have to wait for India and Indians to get into reality mode, we will have a huge wait :)

Doesn't it seem somewhat ironic that the political party that talks about globalization and joining the world community gets all het up about where somebody spent the first two-fifths of their life?

And considering the electoral liability that Sonia is, shouldn't it be Congress asking for her to be banned? Bimbos make better martyrs then politicians, and the kids can do all the campainging anyway.

And as for Britney Spears standing for office - well she's better looking than the Prime Ministers of Tamil Nadu, and they'd lose out in the intellectual stakest to Lassie.

I do think that Vajpayee is doing a good job over roads. The IT phenomenum has more to do with western economics and the plummetting costs of telecommunications, than any government policy. And the 8% growth rate this year is basically the result of an exceptional harvest, and is not sustainable.

The NDA government does deserve credit for continuing and even accelerating the timid reforms bought in by Congress after Rajiv's death, and not falling for the rabid communalism of part of its members - and this is also true of the limited progress in relations with Pakistan and Bangla Desh. However, little of this appears to have trickled down to the poor majority, who are however presumably suffering from severe increases in the price of staples such as fertilizier and kerosone because of the price of oil. Rather than outright rejection we seem to have seen the typical South Indian anti-incumbency factor coming into play.

And, whoever runs the Central Government, it is doubtful if it will make one iota of difference to economic policy. Indeed the result will probably increase investor confidience in India, since the big fear is massive civil strife caused by the advance of saffron nationalism, and that seems to have receded.

And perhaps whoever said that he was worried about a homogeniazation of India as a result of globalization, could perhaps explain why he is not equaly or more worried about the attempt to impose monoculturism on the Hindus, and then impose that artificial monoculture on the rest of India.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

---"what policies have they enacted that leads you to believe that they see Violence as an economic activity, create laws based in Religious Fundementalism and are restraining Civil Liberty? "----

The atom bomb and sabre waving over Kashmir.
(and of course in India not only is Violence an economic activity, but economic activity is violence)

Have you never heard of the RSS?

How about extorition rape murder and arson by the police, normally encouraged by the varying State governments (Punjab for example).

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

>Have you never heard of the RSS?

Oh yeah! ;-)

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Thursday, May 13, 2004

"The atom bomb and sabre waving over Kashmir."

heh, maybe its a lifetime of living in america, but frankly if we have the atom bomb, britain has the atom bomb, china has the atom bomb, pakistan has the atom bomb, russia has the atom bomb and israel has the atom bomb, why on earth shouldn't india have it?

<g> and as for sabre rattling....ah, forget it...suffice to say that america would benefit hugely if it could just learn to put the damn thing down occasionally.

seriously, india is a big country with its own imperatives, its been involved in _far_ fewer wars with foreign countrues than most of the western countries...so if its not perfect, its certainly a lot closer than britain (for instance), or america, or australia (do they have the atom bomb?)

or, to put it another way..whats a little sabre rattling over kashmir?  _we_ nearly started ww3 over cuba and that was far less justified.

"Have you never heard of the RSS?"

no, sorry.  <g> what I know of the indian society has been gleaned from the occasionaly newspaper article, television show and indian hitchhiker in new zealand, so go easy on me if it turns out Im as ignorant as I sound.

whats the RSS?


"How about extorition rape murder and arson by the police, normally encouraged by the varying State governments (Punjab for example)."

...Id be against it in general...

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Now, now, Stephen Middle-Name Jones! Let's not throw the bady out with the bath water.

India's governments, though not high by the *cough* alleged *cough* pristine standards of the Most Munifcent West, has its bearing and moorings in a completely different but self-consistent, and might I add, self-sufficient, ethos.

That said, my objection to the BJP's economic agenda (at least as it was  3 months ago. Apparently manifestoes have this knack of undergoing 180 degrees metamorphoses just before a general election!) was with their overt and covert promotion *primarily*, I repeat, _primarily_  and not _only_, of the "Service Sectors". This I feel is a bad thing.  Production is a pre-requisite to Service. One has to serve *something* to someone. By not focussing on Agriculture, Manufacturing, even Cottage Industries, but too much on Management Services, be they Software Development or Call Centres or Banking, the economy will be overly dependent and intertwined with that of others' who are doing the producing, and make us that less independent.

Yes, the Service Sector is burgeoning and has its valid place. But I would rather be dependent on the vagaries of the Indian economy that on others. It was quite a revelation to me when I toured the south of TN, my native state, to see languishing small scale industries and shrinking farmland. At the same time it was an eye-opener to see the amount of entrepeneurship in reviving them or setting them up.

The homogenisation I meant, was this forced uniformity of thought on the notion of being an Indian. The whole point of India is I am as Indian, not despite, but _because of_ as a Brahmin, Tamil, Southerner,  as my brother-in-law is a Mahajan from UP.

It is this pan-nationalism that I am against. Not the understanding and appreciation of our varied heritage, which you seem to accuse us "caste hindus" of. Since you seem to know so much about India, I presume your are aware of our National Pledge, which every school child says. Call me naive or idealistic, but I sure do hold that pledge.

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

>whats the RSS?

From what I know, RSS is the name of a quasi-religious, quasi-political arm of BJP that advocates Hindutva, Swaraj and all the sectarian reglious bullshit vehemently, under the garb of nationalism. They denounce Islam and all Islamic laws, and justify their hatred for Moslems as a pedantic endeavour to educate the Islamic community out of bigotery onto the secural values of the Hindu religion.

RSS was apparently responsible for the anti-reformist sentiment exuded by the BJP in opposition to ManMohan Singh-Narsimha Rao's reformist govt. 1991.


I was just making a pun on that one. Was going to ask if the latest version was more W3C compliant than it was BJP complaint.

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Thursday, May 13, 2004

...and it expands to a hindi name Rashtriya Sevak Sangh (RSS).

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Thursday, May 13, 2004

That would Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Organisation of National Volunteers.

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Oh yes yes!

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Thursday, May 13, 2004

And Stephen, the South's anti-incumbancy factor, which is very true, has another facet. Always, you will find, there will be one party in power in the State and the other in the Centre (as an ally, of course). I seen nothing wrong in striking this balance.

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Comnpared to the Hitler Youth by VS Naipaul, somewhat approvingly as far as I can tell.

Sorry, Kay Jay, I misunderstood you. I thought you were echoing the old BJP complaints about India becoming a country of McDonalds. I was making exaclty the same point you were.

I didn't know about the National Pledge hapless and helpless schoolchildren are forced to take, like they obliged to swear allegiance to the flag in US schools. In the UK we've been spared that crap until recently. I remember back in 1977 when it was the Queen's Silver Jubillee and one of the local councillors wanted the council to pay for a picture of the Queen to be put up in every classroom. He got apopletic when he found out that eighty per cent of teachers would refuse to hang it up, and there was nothing he could do about it. I did have one colleague who suceeded in getting his own photo of the Queen up; he got his class to agree they wouldn't deface it or take it down as long as he left their pin up poster of the 1970's Britney Spears (whoever she was) stay up on the wall opposite.

I do agree with you that the BJP's idea of encouraging the service industries will not necessarly have any effect on other economic activities. But the fact is that much of the manufacturing industry in India is imploding because it is grotesquely inefficient, and only has remained in place because of gangsterism,corruption and protectionism. When the most expensive airline I have ever taken is Indian Airlines, and it manages to combine that with the worst food and the worst service in a country where the food and service is among the best in the world, then it is clear that protecting national industries only benefits the few owners.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

This tendency to make sure no one party has too much power is what I am referring to. It is generally accepted that the defeat of Congress after the Emergency made it clear that India would always remain a democracy.

Mind you I have seen another explanation; people have short memories and can't remember how bad the other lot were.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

"my fear is India _becoming_  another U. S. of A, a monolithic, monolingual,  monocultural, homogenous behemoth,"

Wow. Apparently written by someone who's never *been* to the USA.

Philo

Philo
Thursday, May 13, 2004

I think he was referring to the concept rather than the reality, Philo.

And he's referring to what might be called the Ramification of India (perhaps haivng all these RAM's and RSS's explains the BJP's afinity with IT) - the attempt to impose a unified, limited and artificial Hinduism over a very diverse culture.

And even with the increase of Spanish the US is stil lagging behind India's 4,000 languages.

And if you were abducted by aliens in your sleep and dumped a couple of thousand miles away in the US is there any way apart from the climate you'd be able to immediately tell where you are?

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

> the Italian born Sonia

Yeah, what a terrible thing when a foreigner takes the job of an Indian, eh?


Thursday, May 13, 2004

> the Italian born Sonia

better than French born  :)

apw
Thursday, May 13, 2004

"my fear is India _becoming_  another U. S. of A, a monolithic, monolingual,  monocultural, homogenous behemoth"

What alternate universe are you inhabiting?

anon
Thursday, May 13, 2004

"my fear is India _becoming_  another U. S. of A, a monolithic, monolingual,  monocultural, homogenous behemoth"

One of the most uninformed statements that I have ever had the displeasure of reading.

Elephant
Thursday, May 13, 2004

To Anon and Philo and others,

U. S. of A. (Generally speaking, on the whole, in the larger context, so on and so forth)

1)  Language - American (English)
2)  Clothes - Two piece body clothing (Trousers/Skirst & Shirts) & Suits
3)  Food - Pretty much Pizzas, Lemon Chicken, Stuffed Turkey, Burgers and "foreign ethnic cuisines"
4)  Religon - Christianity or "Non-Denominational"
5)  Work Ethic - SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) plus high levels of workaholism
6)  Accounting Systems - Standard
7)  Social Heritage - Common
8)  Political Heritage - Common
10) Legal underpinnings - Standardised
.
.
.
1)  Language - 27 National Languages (5000 dialects)
2)  Clothes - Dothis, Sarees, Kurtas, Shalwars, Sherwanis, Mundus, etc. and of course Trousers & Shirts & Suits
3)  Food -  No way I can enumerate the _indigenous_ varieties. Mughlai, Chettinad, Bangla, Andhrite, Konkan, Malabar to name some my table now.
4)  Religon - Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Jews, Parsis and over 1000 tribal/traditional sects unrealted to any of the preceeding.
5)  Work Ethic - Each place has its own plus whatever the International Market requires of us. Some focus on punctuality, many don't, some profit driven come hell, high water or salvation, some community driven, some perfectionists, many following orders, a few entrepenuers, but most viewing work as one part of life and not lose oneself in it.
6)  Accounting Systems - At least 2 I know of. The standard double entry book keeping system, the chitta book. I am told Family run business have a separate legal framewerk to operate within. I could be wrong on this, though.
7)  Social Heritage - Each commnuity has its own. Geographic affinities, linguistic affinities, proffesional affinities (guilds for goldsmiths, weavers, etc) each stretching to at least 500 years.
8)  Political Heritage - It's a huge ocean. Just follow the current elections.
9) Legal underpinnings - Modular and varied, though some semblance of standardisation has been achieved with has been with the IPC and only now it is begining to filter down to the Panchayats.

The above is by no account complete or accurate. But it _IS_ correct. I hope you get the idea.

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

To clarify, An American is easy to identify, be he a Californian or a Floridan or from Missouri. You will not find the same level of easy with Biharis, Gujjus, Tamils or the Punjabis.

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004


So why is having 5,000 languages in a country such a wonderful thing?? Can one of you "We're more diverse than you" crowd explain that?

And why does everyone have to compare everything to America? Yes, India is different than America. So what? I still prefer America to India, and I don't give a rat's ass how many fucking religions you have.

Whatever
Thursday, May 13, 2004

And then there is Arts & Literature. Over 15 different National dance forms, music ranging from tribal percussions to 70 piece orchestras, literature in over 10 scripts in 50 languages.

I am not saying the Greeks and Italians and Hungarians and Africans and others (including us Indians) who called America home are not Americans. They are and God bless them. What I am saying is that the concept called _American Way of Life_ is common to all Americans. There is no such thing as the _Indian way of Life_.

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

"To clarify, An American is easy to identify, be he a Californian or a Floridan or from Missouri"

Damn! You're destroying our Western illusion of diversity.

On a Tiny Toons episode, there's this eagle (yep, bald eagle, stars and stripes whenever it beats its wings), saying: "This is what's great about this country. The liberty for everyone to fly the way I do".

Paulo Caetano
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Mr. Whatever,

I repeat, "I am different than you and do not want to be you" *DOES NOT* mean "I am better than you". But I still do not want to be you.

Hence my fear of homegenisation. Maybe my English is not that good. Perhaps, I mean _Proselytization_ .

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

I'm curious about something, and please don't take this as an attack, because it's an honest question:

With that much diversity, how is India one country?  What is it that holds it together into one political entity?  Why doesn't it fragment into many smaller countries that are different from each other but pretty homogeneous within themselves?

I honestly don't understand that.

anon
Thursday, May 13, 2004


The results are in. The BJP has been kicked out. Congress won and Sonia Gandhi is the new boss.


Thursday, May 13, 2004

KayJay,

You obviously have never been to America with the gross generalizations that you make.  Your view of America is the typical ugly-American viewpoint taken by many.

The geography here is plenty diverse.  We have glacial capped mountains, rainforests, tropical beaches, vast deserts, great plains, wooded foothills, sprawling cities, sparse towns.  I invite you to browse www.nps.gov to get an idea.

The ethnic diversity is just as great.  I personally am Hungarian, my fiance is Dutch, my good friend is Ukranian, my sister's boyfriend is Jewish, my co-worker is Hindu, past mentors that I have had have been from Brazil and Japan. 

There is more diversity in this country than you can shake a stick at, yet none of it is native.  For that, I have no defense, although I have been to the homes of many native Americans.

No one here decrys the culture of India, why do you feel it necessary to decry that of America?  You are ill-informed and in a poor position to make judgements.  Assuming your viewpoint will never change, I won't further attempt to defend the position.

Elephant
Thursday, May 13, 2004

I think most places tend to perceive everywhere else in broad brush stereotypes and in my experience that's true within countries as well as between them.  Not good - but very human.

a cynic writes...
Thursday, May 13, 2004

1)  Language - American (English)
...and southern.
By the way, you do know the origin of American English, don't you?

2)  Clothes - Two piece body clothing (Trousers/Skirst & Shirts) & Suits. And bathing suits. And caftans. And galabeyas. But to be honest, this reads to me like you are trying to write the definitions to prove your point - "two piece body clothing"? That's homogenous to you? Look up "denim leisure suit" and tell me you consider that the same as "three piece tweed"

3)  Food - Pretty much Pizzas, Lemon Chicken, Stuffed Turkey, Burgers and "foreign ethnic cuisines"

Food- pretty much what everyone else in the world eats. Seriously - name a cuisine (except czech*) and I'll bet I can be eating it (cooked by a native) within an hour. That's aside from the fact that our cuisine originates like everything else of ours - from everywhere else.
*The closest czech restaurant is in LA. I have no idea why we don't have one in DC.

4)  Religon - Christianity or "Non-Denominational"
Please look to the UK to understand that just because two people are Christian that doesn't mean they can get along.

5)  Work Ethic - SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) plus high levels of workaholism
LOL! I'm going to agree with this 100% and quote you in every "Americans are lazy" debate I ever hear from now on.
But in reality - work ethic is a trait of homo sapiens. Some people work hard to do good work, some people work hard for rewards, some people do the least work possible, and some people don't work at all. There's no racial issues in that description at all.

6)  Accounting Systems - Standard
Bull. And - you only have two?
We've got cash and accrual at the most basic level, but then there's double-entry, double-book, shell corporation, enron accounting, hide the profits, offshore tax evasion... the list goes on and on...

7)  Social Heritage - Common
Well, common in that 99% of us are immigrants from other nations.

8)  Political Heritage - Common
Indeed! Why look at how harmonious our last Presidential election was.

10) Legal underpinnings - Standardised
Except that Virginia has two court systems, Louisiana follows Napoleonic Rule, and California is California...
With all due respect, this one item alone indicates that you really need to do some research before commenting on this again.

Philo

Philo
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Kay Jay is not decrying the culture of America in the least. He is simply stating his belief that there is less cultural and linguistic difference between two random Americans than between two random Indians.

He isn't even accusing Americans of wanting to impose their culture on India. He is stating he is worried about the attempts by the BJP to impose an artificial "Indian/Hindu" culture on the rest of the country.

As he has pointed out, when an American talks about multi-culturalism he is talking about origins - Irish American, Black American, Czech American,  Italo-American; when an Indian or European thinks of multi-culturalism he is talking about where he is now - Gujarati, Tamil, Maharashtri, Bengali, French, British, italian, Swedish Czech. A Czech-American and an Italo-American are a lot more like each other than a Czech-European or an Italian-European.

He is probably making the mistake of over-estimating the variety within his own country, and under-estimating that within others, but he was merely giving an analogy to explain one thing that worried him about BJP policies.

I am sure that there are many useful things Americans can learn from Third World countries but knee-jerk reactions to entirely imaginary slights on their nationhood aren't one of them.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Elephant,

Here I was explaining what my apprehensions are with a political system in a particular time in history in a specific polity, laying out what I feel are valid issues and observations, I may be wrong, (but, then again, my perceptions are my truths) and though I admit, I have used a catch all phrase to charceterize the U. S. of A, you latch on to only that issue, failing to recognize or at least correct my premises and reasonings, independent of that comparison, which was just hand waving on my part, to make a point.

Incidentally, I have visited the U. S. of A, though not as much or as long as I would have liked to.

Still, tell me is the U. S. of A. as diverse culturally and politically as say the E.U or Africa or India? Is there not a common American Indentity? Is there not a identifiable American "way of life"? I keep harping on this "fucking diversity crap", as a certain gentleman (or lady) would have portrayed it, because, I believe in variety and differences in approaches to human life. And that is not possible with a Government that forces one to "blend" into some pre-concieved notion of society, such notion's merits and demerits notwithstanding.

I do recognize your diverse geography. I do appreciate your cosmopolitan society. I admire your collective prevailance in times of difficulty. I envy your proffesional  excellence. I am trying my best to emulate your entrepenurial spirit. But somehow I cannot perform a cultural differentiation between you and your fellow Americans. You are the same. Have the same priorities, have the same value systems, have the same collective history, or so I feel. I can only think in terms of migrant sections when attempting to differentiate. And that speaks of the diversity of the world, not the U. S. of A.

PS: I would be the first to change my mind when confronted with facts and reasoning. I must admit I tend to play Lucifer's Lawyer very often, but I do generally get convinced in the end.

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Thank you very much, Stephen! Why did I not use those words!

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Philo, unless you understand what KayJay is attacking you won't understand too much of his analogy.

Perhaps he would have made himself clearer if he had said that the BJP's idea of Indian Nationalism is to the real India what the EU is to the real Europe.

But one homogenous trait all Americans seem to have is a fierce belief in their ethnic diversity. I shared an office with an American for three years, and it was only when he exploded over a real or imagined insult to Czechoslovakia that I found he considered himself a Czech American. And for a long time the strongest support for the IRA came from Irish Americans, many of whom had never actually been to Ireland. I sometimes wonder if they reason they insist on this so much is because if they didn't it would just evaporate.

At least one third of the UK is from elsewhere in Europe but we don't hear, after the second generation, about Cypriot-British, Ukranian-British, FrenchHuguenot-British, Polish-British, Danish-British and so on.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

To illustrate Stephen's last point my surname is Mische, which is a German name of Slav origin. I'm English.

a cynic writes...
Thursday, May 13, 2004


" But somehow I cannot perform a cultural differentiation between you and your fellow Americans. You are the same. Have the same priorities, have the same value systems, have the same collective history, or so I feel."

American's don't have the same priorities. Just like in any other place in the world, different people place different priorities on different things. Some want to be multi-zillionaires and put money as their first priority. Others are activists. Others are content to work the least amount of time and spend more time doing others things.

American's don't have the same value systems as evidenced by our bitter political fights. To say otherwise is either a gross simplification or just plain ignorance or naivety.

Same collective history...Well, perhaps, but of course you are discounted the millions of immigrants in this country that have their own "collective history.".

Now..to the real point...why does all this matter? Really? I've asked earlier and nobody responded. Is India more culturally or even socially diverse than America? Well, it probably is. But...ok....so....what?

What advantage does having hundreds of languages or dialects in a country bring you? I know that it often brings turmoil as groups tend to "stick to their own" and shun outsiders in some countries. Having a unified language makes things much more simpler.

India has a more structured and ordered social hiearchery than we do. What does advantage does this bring to India? I know it's caused much fighting and bitterness.

India is different than the US. I prefer the American way of life and you prefer the India way. Why must you criticize our way of life and suggest that your is better simply because it's different. This smacks of the same "Ugly American" that you seem to be stereotyping us as.

Whatever
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Mr. Whatever,

Again, where have I critised you? I may be sterotyping, but where have I painted the "Ugly American"?

Anyway, if somehow I have communicated anything like that, my most profuse apologies. I am sorry. I did not inted to.

But I do hold you accountable for unleashing Mr. G. W. Bush on the world. <g>

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Dear Whatever,
                        Kay Jay wasn't criticising your way of life in the least. He made an analogy to America to illistrate his point about the theme of this thread, which until it was hijacked, was the Indian election results.

                      Your suggestions about the "Ugly American" merely show a galloping insecurity . Why is it so many Americans are prepared to take imaginary offense at the least mention of their country, and then go on in the next breath to accuse others of being thin-skinned?                 

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004


"U. S. of A. (Generally speaking, on the whole, in the larger context, so on and so forth)

1)  Language - American (English)"


Dude, at last count there were over a dozen first languages in our office. Please don't confuse the fact that because we agree to operate in English that we are some homogenous blob.

Or do you all just babble away in whatever language you see fit at the time?

Where I live you can find, in a 10 block area, a wider variety of foods than you could ever dream of.

What's funny is that the peoples of India at least share a common historical context, while the many peoples of north america frequently do not. To call us "homogenous" is to call black "white".

Just admit it, you have no idea about what life is really like in north america.

anon
Thursday, May 13, 2004

How many of those first languages are "American", Anon?

Anyway, I concede. The U. S. of A. is a heterogenous, pluralistic, multi-religious society, multi-lingual. I stand corrected.

Getting back to the subject. If the CWC decided *NOT* to have Mrs. Gandhi as their leader or some other ally's leader is made PM, I get to get back to my family. <grin> My folks close to disowned me for voting Congress this time. </grin>

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

India, more than anything else, is an idea. Given the number of languages, culture, food, religion etc., its actually a miracle that its held together at all. And somehow it seems to be holding together.

Some will say that it was only the fight for independence against the British that brought it together. That probably did have a role to play. Over time, an Indian identity does seem to be developing. But if you look closely, right now there is no one thing holding it together. Only the idea of India.

rs
Thursday, May 13, 2004


"Your suggestions about the "Ugly American" merely show a galloping insecurity." Why is it so many Americans are prepared to take imaginary offense at the least mention of their country, and then go on in the next breath to accuse others of being thin-skinned? "

In hindsight, I can see what his point was. I misread his intentions. It has nothing to do with "galloping insecurity"

Of course, you never miss an opportunity to take a jab at Americans, do you Steven? Whhat is the basis for your seething hatred towards America? It permeates virtually all of your posts.

     

Whatever
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Dear anon,
                  You're not getting KJ's point. Sure you can find a dozen languages jiust walking round the block and have always been able to do so. But there has been a pattern that only now might be broken by Spanish speakers, and that is for the first generation to mainly speak their home language, the second generatiion to be bilingual in their home language and English, and the third generation to be monolingual English speakers.

                  What KayJay is saying is that the distinclty American is homgenoua; he may be wrong about that in other respects than language but he was only mentioning it "en passant" before he made another point.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Ah, dear whatever has now dug out his "seething hatred" fantasy.

Having admitted he wasn't been attacked by KJ he has now decided to find another imaginary slight.

Perhaps not "galloping insecurity" but simple paranoia?

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004


"Why is it so many Americans are prepared to take imaginary offense at the least mention of their country, and then go on in the next breath to accuse others of being thin-skinned? "

Yes, I just imagined that statement above, and the countless others like it. Do you have some more stereotypes for us, Stephen?

Whatever
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Dear Whatever,
                        Have a look at the number of posters in this thread who have unfjustifiably taken umbrage at what KJ said, and then tell me that the stereotype has no relation to fact.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004


Oh! But of course!

Because after all, the handful of posters here represent the entire fabric of America. Yes, by all means. So stereotype away, Stephen! You have your evidence. Don't let anything get in the way of that.

And of course, don't let the notion that perhaps KJ wasn't clear in his post enter into the equation. Because, after all, if he was simply misunderstood then that would negate your assertion about "So many Americans". ('So many' being the handful that posted here.)

Hey! How about you claim that Americans are just stupid and don't read well. That can be the topic of your next post.

Whatever
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Appears to be true of the Americans who have posted to this thread.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004


Stephen,

I see 5, maybe 6 people that responded to this thread where it could be assumed that they were American. I see that Philo, and to a larger degree, Whatever took some defense to the KJ.

And from this, you extrapolated that "so many Americans" argument?

If I'm not mistaken you in Saudia Arabia, home of most of the 9/11 terrorists and the Bin-Laden. Using your logic, one could safely assume that all of Saudia Arabia is a festering pool of Islamic extremist and Western hatred.

Good for us, most of the world doesn't subscribe to your notions of statistics.

Bawls
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Dear Bawls,
                  I didn't say "all Americans", I said, "why is it that so many Americans?". Anti-European, and above all anti-Indian comments are thrown around all the time on this forum, and yet you don't see the same reaction from French, Ronanians or Gujaratis.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Just to let it be said, I don't mind at all these honest thoughts from Indians; I'm sure we're all mature enough to know that no one speaks for all Indians. And I think Indians have gotten some abuse on the net from people who hate criticisms of their own cultures.

In particular, the food issue is interesting... as I understand, the US public (this includes a pizza/ramen-fed boy like me) is slowly learning to become sophisticated with our tastes. Due to the work of Julia Child, James Beard, the Food Network and the Culinary Institute of America. But I do think people underestimate our fast-food culture; I actually like Taco Bell more than the authentic Mexican cuisine I've tried.

Also, about homogeneity.. immigration is a problem; different cultures don't always work well together. If you notice, many of the longstanding problems of the world are indeed about incompatible cultures. There is a balance between stagnating with no outside blood, and the social problems of letting in entire countries of people too quickly. I don't know if India is more diverse, and that seems to be a fuzzy term anyway, but more ain't necessarily better.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Thursday, May 13, 2004


"  I didn't say "all Americans", I said, "why is it that so many Americans?""

And I didn't say you said "all Americans". I quoted you directly. Nice strawman attempt, though.

"Anti-European, and above all anti-Indian comments are thrown around all the time on this forum, and yet you don't see the same reaction from French, Ronanians or Gujaratis. "

I'll take your word for it, I don't know. Perhaps it might be that there fewer French, Ronanians and Gujaratis that follow this forum.

All that I am saying is that I also found your "so many Americans" comment a little naive considering that only a handful of people seem to take offense to what KJ said. Perhaps this is what the poster that attacked you was getting it. You seemed awfully quick to criticize Americans as a whole, rather than the handful that posted here.

Bawls
Thursday, May 13, 2004


Oh, pardon me. I see where my "all of Saudia Arabia" comment could mean that you said "all Americans"

Ok, well then I'll rephrase it:

"Using your logic, one could safely assume that *so many* of Saudia Arabia is a festering pool of Islamic extremists and Western hatred."

;')

Bawls
Thursday, May 13, 2004

I couldn't bother to read all the ridiculous posts, just throwing my sticks into the fire.

No country profits from weak neighbors. A weak India will be worse than a strong, competitive India.

Can you imagine what the world would be like without some countries setting high standards?

must remain anonymous
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Actually Bawls I've bothered to count, and there are three American antii-posters on this thread. They post so much it seems like a lot more though :)

I still maintain that American posters seem much more inclined to explain away a criticism of one aspect of their culture with the claim that people are being anti-American. As you pointed out, America and American preocupations take up a large proportion of this forum, so it is normal that some aspects of Americia receive more jabs than aspects of other cultures.

And does it not seem strange to you that in a post about Indian elections in which I have made some swingeing criticisms of India there have been no accusations of anti-Indian feeling from the Indians, but a minor dig brings out the usual litany of anti-Americanism.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

"but a minor dig brings out the usual litany of anti-Americanism."

...from a handful of people and you naturally assumed that "so many" Americans are that way.

That's the kind of stereotyping that just drives me nuts. Just like when I walk down the street in a white neighborhood, many people will assume that I am there to perform a crime. (I'm black.)

Quite honestly, "so many Americans" really don't care what other people think. Or haven't you noticed? :')

I'm just calling you on making a ridiculous stereotype about group of people that number in the tens of millions based on a few people on an IT forum. That's all..nothing more..nothing less.

Bawls
Thursday, May 13, 2004

When I was trainee bar-tender in Sydney, my Supervisor's first training session included the following statement.

"Americans as excellent hosts. Difficult guests".

It is fact that Americans are percieved arrogant and bullying. It is a perception. True or not, only you can decide. But that perception is a fact.

Add to that what Bawls stated "Quite honestly, "so many Americans" really don't care what other people think. Or haven't you noticed? :')". Yes we have noticed and it is really distressing. Why don't you care? Some post earlier, some one said something to the effect "I really don't give a fuck what you are". Why? That adds to the perception of America as some big fella who just bosses around and can't take "no" as an answer or dismmisses a "yes" as the answer.

So much discomfort with Americans in today's world could be because of the rest of the worlds not knowing didly-doo about the U. S. of A. Maybe. But do you not think that there something in the general attitude of the U. S. of A, both toward herself and to others, that  contributes to the discomfort? Or are you going to say "I really don't care if you are uncomfortable with me!"?

KayJay
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Ok, I'll take the call. It was  loose phrasing and not a belief that all Americans are the same.

But "so many" does sound better than " a significant proportion of the possibly totally unrepresentative number of people that post to this forum."

And you wouldn't want me to listen to enough Americans to make a statistically valid sample would you? Even I don't deserve that :)

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Perceptions run deep. Many years ago in Spain one of my adult students had an American girl coming over to stay with his teenage daugher as an exchange visit. He was very worried about how he would pass the month, as he nad never met an American teenager before and feared the worst.

"You should be all right" I said, "Most teenage Americans are quiet, well-spoken and highly respectful of their elders, on the surface at least". He guffawwed. When classes resumed after the vacation I asked him how he had fared with his American guest. "Oh, she was fine," he said. "Very quiet, very polite. She must have been an exception!"

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004


"It is fact that Americans are percieved arrogant and bullying. It is a perception. True or not, only you can decide. But that perception is a fact. "

Well, I don't want to enter a discource on geo-politics because it will degenerate into mainly two camps: One group thinks America can do no right, the other thinks America can no do wrong.

I don't doubt that America is perceived as arrogant or as a bully, nor do I doubt that there is reason for such thoughts.

If you are living in the world's current superpower then you will find yourself being a little arrogant. That sounds trite, but it' just a fact. Go take a look at the behavior of the English during the times when they were the world's superpower. Wanna take bets on how the average Roman citizen viewed non Roman citizens?

...and if your country was currently the world's superpower, then you would be a little arrogant and I would be sitting here complaining about your country.

Furthermore, when you are not in the "superpower camp" then you will most likely view the superpower in a very negative way, regardless of what they do. There are many people who dislike America and no matter what America does, these people will only focus on the negative things. They can't see past their dislike of the country to see anything positive. Only negative.

And hey...that's OK...that's human nature.

Of course....Americans don't have a monopoly on arrogance or smugness. I've met many Europeans who sincerely felt that they were simply superior in all aspects to anyone else. I've met enough like that to know it wasn't just a singular event.

But what is that discussion going to get us? Just a bunch of xenophobic rantings.

America isn't all good, but we're not all bad either. And odds are, the same complaints about America will be applied to the next superpower in the world.

Bawls
Thursday, May 13, 2004

""Using your logic, one could safely assume that *so many* of Saudia Arabia is a festering pool of Islamic extremists and Western hatred."


<g> speaking for myself I _do_ assume that Saudia Arabia is a festering pool of islamic extremists and seething western hatred.

am I wrong?

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 13, 2004

It is true that when the British invaded and occupied even more countries than the Americans are doing they were rightly viewed as the enemy and the bully.

It doesn't follow from that that people who don't think the Americans should be occupying their, or anybody else's country, are not thinking things through.

It's the "Oh, they'll always be knocking us, so we aren't going to take a blind bit of notice" that is the root cause of the attacks.

This theory doesn't explain how the US had the support of almost the totality of the free world in the First Gulf War, and has the support of the populations of Poland and Lithuania in its present occupation.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

---" speaking for myself I _do_ assume that Saudia Arabia is a festering pool of islamic extremists and seething western hatred.

am I wrong?"-----

Just clocking off to go for an evening stroll along the beach. if I don't come back you may presume you're right :)

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

KayJay, the rudeness of Americans in bars is an unusual case; we're generally a lot nicer and politer. It's because we have cultural problems when it comes to alcohol; a lot of people I've known just overdose on it once hitting legal age.

Aside from bars and tourist traps, I think you'll find we're above average in being pleasant guests.

Unfortunately, the Islamic people are apparently going through their dark ages (as all cultures do), so they can be pretty terrible guests when it comes to interacting with women. As I'm told by multiple hotel workers.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Thursday, May 13, 2004

By the Islamic people do you mean sub-continentals  (Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis) or Indonesians?

Or are you falling into the error of equating Islamic people with Arabs. I haven't got the exact figures but Arabs make up about 20% of the Islamic population.

I rather suspect you are referring to my friends the Saudis, and frankly you are quite right. But if you have never seen a woman's face apart from your sisters and your mothers and television programs, and also never touch alcohol until you are out of the country, you would probably behave rather badly too.

With regard to Americans I have generally managed to avoid the loudmouthed ones, but then  I don't have any contact with oilmen.

I would say the Brits are much worse behaved in bars, thought for ill manners and boorish behaviour the worst are considered the Israelis. There was a Spanish reporter some years ago who followed a busload of Dutch laglerlouts on a holiday to the Costa Brava. When he expressed amazement that the staff tolerated their behaviour, he was told, "Oh, this is nothing. We had an Israeli football team last week. After them anything is OK"

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Err yeah, that was pretty dumb of me. I just chatted with someone (hotel worker in Germany) about it, and it was mostly the Saudi arabs, who either act dismissive or assume all western women are incredibly loose. The Baywatch effect. Not much ability to comment on other Arabs, because they're rare enough not to form any opinions on.

Turks seem pretty cool; about the same grab bag as you'd expect from a local. Apparently they're not kidding about the separation of church & state. Her description of Turks abroad reminds me of the Italians in America (as portrayed in film); they have certain cultural understandings which allow women to be empowered to hold public office or dress as they wish, which appear absent in the more hedonistic cultures they visit. So a Turk living abroad may be understandably jittery about letting their daughters have the same freedoms as in their homeland.

Israelis are of course hard to talk about for a German. From her description I can't draw too many inferences on how Israelis are in general, but they're apparently really unkind to Germans. Which makes total sense, but it's misplaced because Germans seem to consider national pride pretty distasteful.

On that topic, a blonde/blue-eyed German foreign exchange student told me of her experience in New Orleans. Ho ho. On one of her first days, someone walked up to her in the hallway and saluted "Heil Hitler" to her. Um, sorry bub, but Germans are among the least racist people nowadays. Wealthy enough not to need scapegoats.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Thursday, May 13, 2004

---"Um, sorry bub, but Germans are among the least racist people nowadays. Wealthy enough not to need scapegoats. "-----

Not exaclty true of the Osties, I would have thought, to add yet another racial stereotype to the mix. I do know that when the Germans offered IT Guest worker visas it couldn't fill them, because the Indians didn't want to go because of perceived racism. Our sysadmin decided to stay in Saudi on a third of the salary, and if you know how Indians are treated in Saudi that will surprise you.

I've met a fair number of Germans and Austrians on my travels. They tend to be either as you say, or violently racist.  There seems to be little middle ground between the German who would never dream of classifying anybody by his race and the one who will tell you the trouble with --- well you  name it --- is that there are too many blacks. Perhaps its always been like that and the only change is a small increase in the numbers on either side.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

" or assume all western women are incredibly loose."

<g> by their standards most western women _are_ incredibly 'loose'

I mean, women in such places are not even supposed to show their legs.

my partner, for instance, has had maybe 4 sex partners before me...to me, her family and her friends thats irrelevant and normal, to many islamic states its far past time that she was stoned to death.

<RANT>
thats the biggest problem with the iraqi invasion IMO, at least under saddam women had pretty much equal rights to men....under the new democratic government that possibility is so unlikely as to be laughable.

we've taken a moderately progressive, non-fundamentalist country with the unfortunate habit of torturing a few of its enemes (similar to the way we treat 'terrorist' prisoners in the offshore prisons...but thats ok because they are not US citizens) and the occasional gassing of rival power groups....30000 civilian kurds in that case, 15000 civilian iraqis as a conservative estimate of the casualties inflicted by our invasion and the subsequent fighting....
where was I?

oh, yes...so we've taken that government, removed it and we are about to replace it with a democratically elected fundamentalist islamic state, guaranteed to slowly degenerate into a country where womens rights are ignored and abused, government is by fundamentalists for fundamentalists and knowledge is used as a weapon for the ruling elite, and whose natural enemy state is.....well, take a guess....

stupid, stupid, stupid.

I have a dream where some pissed off, american, left-wing nut takes George Bush out with a well-aimed textbook on the history of the islamic people and their culture.

</RANT>

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 13, 2004

I'm not at all sure that you would get a fundamentalist government democratically elected in Iraq, though you would certainly not get a pro-American government democratically elected, as indeed you wouldn't in any democratic elections in any Arab country.

The Americans seem to have realized this, which is why they have decided not to hold elections. As they are quite prepared to be best friends with non-elected fundamentalist governments as long as they pro-American, it doesn't seem like it's concerns for women's rights that are holding the Americans back.

And to bring this argument back full circle, women are still more likely to be well treated in an Arab Islamic theocracy than in India,  a secular state which has just elected a woman Prime Minister. In fact it is strange but in the four main countries of South Asia there has been at least one woman prime minister and yet they are the places where you see the worse treatment of women than anywhere else on this globe.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

To add a slightly different spin to this, can a similar upset likely to happen in the US presidential election this november? I  think USA will go the way of USSR if the man is given another term. Gold Bless America.

dragbt
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Yes, for some reason I never think of East Germans as Germans.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Maybe it can. India has had all these poor struggling people, while meantime the BPO boys jet off to America and buy more houses, and their mates in the BJP run ads telling India it's shining. Well, it wasn't.

In America, you've got all these people complaining about jobs getting sent overseas, and about crooked CEO's, and the Bush buddies read out reports by Gartner and McKinsey saying everything's terrific. Killing jobs creates more, don't you know.

I would say there are big parallels.


Thursday, May 13, 2004

(I did not mean that to offend East Germans, just that I haven't learned enough about them.)

Tayssir John Gabbour
Friday, May 14, 2004

"oh, yes...so we've taken that government, removed it and we are about to replace it with a democratically elected fundamentalist islamic state"

It won't be the first time a democracy gives the victory to fundamentalists.

It happened in Algeria (the fundamentalists won the elections), and many fear it may happen in Turkey, in a not-too-distant-future. From what I've seen in a "60 Minutes" story, such fear may be justified.

Some say EU's reluctance in accepting Turkey is mainly because they don't want to deal with the prospect of an elected fundamentalist islamic government.

Paulo Caetano
Friday, May 14, 2004

KayJay,

> The homogenisation I meant, was this forced uniformity of thought on the notion of being an Indian.

How is "this uniformity of thought" being enforced? I have seen propaganda in the past, but nothing has required me to believe it.

> The whole point of India is I am as Indian, not despite, but _because of_ as a Brahmin, Tamil, Southerner,  as my brother-in-law is a Mahajan from UP.

And, I couldn't parse this sentence at all.

Christopher Wells
Friday, May 14, 2004

I would think as a non-hindu that you would be fairly impervious to Shiv Sena propaganda, Christopher.

The way it becomes enforced is various. First Hindus are persuaded that Hindu and India is the same thing.  Christians and Muslims are told they are second cllass citizens - Moslems are told that they already have a country, Pakistan, and the Hindu majority is made to feel they are non-Indian. The Christians get their churches burned down and their missionaries torched.

Within the Hindu majority there is the glorification of Rama above the other deities. There is also an attempt at promoting Hindi as the national language (which of course is the Achilles heel of the movement since it plays disastrously in the South). Nothing  which hasn't been tried elsewhere.

Imagine the right wing of the conservative party imposing its own concept of Britishness.

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 14, 2004

> I would think as a non-hindu that you would be fairly impervious to Shiv Sena propaganda, Christopher.

Thanks for the reference, Stephen. I googled for "Shiv Sena" and came across this:

"The Sena says it is a nationalistic party and does not discriminate against any religion, caste and creed. 'We believe in nationalism and will go to any extent to eliminate the traitors and enemies of India,' the Sena chief has often said."

Inflamatory statements. It makes me wonder what 'nationalism' is (which perhaps begs the question), and how people are 'betraying' it ... but the word "nationalism" always reminds me of the Nazis.

To paraphrase a saying "There's some good news, and some bad news: the good news is that we compare favourably against the Nazis; and, the bad news is that we're being compared to Nazis."

> First Hindus are persuaded that Hindu and India is the same thing.

I suppose I was wondering whether that "persuasion" is voluntary, or is coerced somehow.

I understand that it's answering that the Muslim and Christian minorities are coerced.

> Within the Hindu majority there is the glorification of Rama above the other deities.

Nuts! I've more inclined to glorify Shiva. <grin>

> There is also an attempt at promoting Hindi as the national language (which of course is the Achilles heel of the movement since it plays disastrously in the South).

Hmm. One Indian has told me that (apart from sign language) the language that he's most able to use, when talking with shop-keepers in 'other' parts of the country, is English.

Christopher Wells
Friday, May 14, 2004

I'm sorry! I did not intend making this into a I'm-being-marginalised-and-persecuted rant. I am not. I would be the first to gain by the BJP/Shiv Sena/RSS ideology. I'm a 27 year old Vasihnavite Brahmin, Middle Class Hindi speaking foreign educated Tamil Software Developer.

But one thing I hate is hate. Whipping up emotions is something that I find base and cussed. That apart, other reasons include

1) Inconsitency. While I grant that people are eligible to change their minds, I find it difficult to accept when parties oppose something when in the Opposition and then tout the same principles and values as their own when in power.

2) Economic policy. Too much emphases on foreigners. We are a billion strong single market. Larger than even NAFTA, if and when that is formalised. Not promoting local expenditure and sales is, I feel, insulting us. No offence to the whole wide world. I know we can, and by God we will.

3) India Outsourcing Incoporated. This angers me no end. Why be a slave, again? Why not tap that IT talent on products? A great deal of Product Developers in IT are Indians, but they sure as hell are not in India or working for Indian Companies, save for this idealistic brat called KayJay, who, it turns out, is not any good after all.

4) My fourth objection is related to all of the above. "India Shining", the NDA government's campaign slogan, is something that is actually possible and may be even happening.  But the way to it is, in my very immature and childish economic system, not the way of the NDA.

5) I am told by experienced and seasoned political observers that I am getting confused between what the Congress party is and what the Congress party should be. I am yet to accept that observation.

And a minor detail. Mrs. Sonis Gandhi is in no way related to Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi. "Mahatma" = "Maha" + "Atma" = Great + Soul).  She is the wife of Rajiv Gandhi who is son of Indira Gandhi who is the wife of _Feroz Gandhi_ a Kashmiri and unrelated to the Mahatma. Indira Gandhi nee Indira Nehru, is the daughter of Jawharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister.

So the "Royalty" is the Nehru family, not the Gandhi family. In fact, it is ironic, some say inevitable, that the Mahatma's grandson is with the BJP!

KayJay
Friday, May 14, 2004

---" the good news is that we compare favourably against the Nazis; and, the bad news is that we're being compared to Nazis.""----

I would think for Shiv Sena it would be the other way round. After all the swastika is the symbol.

They are basically a Maharastra movement, and they are now trying to backplay their opposition to "foreigners" from other parts of India. However they have a well-established base, as do the RSS, and in a country where the State is seen as the oppressor rather than the helper, their grass roots movements, particulalrly the youth movement translate into a lot of votes.

However it does seem that the electorate has reversed the trend. This is probably because Congress has gone back to its roots. In the Gujarati state elections it tried a weak form of Hindu nationalism and got routed. This time it has actively opposed it and seems to have done well.

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 14, 2004

Promoting local manufacturing is what Nehru did in the fifities and sixties. It explains why you still have Royal Enfield motorcycles and Ambassador cars when the rest of the world ditched them at the end of the fifities.

The point is that the RDA policy is not opposed to rural development. It simply ignores and marginalizes it.

A social policy for the countryside needs to be developed in tandem with economic liberalization for the service and manufacturing industries. The two are not counterposed to each other.

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 14, 2004

Ah! You forgot Maruti Suzuki and Hero Honda and TVS! How could you Stephen? <g>

Yeah, they were colaborations, but no longer are.

KayJay
Friday, May 14, 2004

They all were post Singh's 1991 economic reforms

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 14, 2004

What! Check out the history. Maruti was Sanjay Gandhi's baby. Hero has been Mr. Munjal's empire for almost half-a-century and TVS is a century old!

KayJay
Friday, May 14, 2004

I was referring to the collaborations.

The Maruti that you buy for $5000 is a Suzuki collaboration. I'll probably buy one in a year or two.

When I was last in Indai in 1994 Ambassadors were pretty well the only cars. Not true now. And all the different motorbikes weren't around either.

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 14, 2004

The Colaboration, all three, Maruti & TVS with Suziki and Hero's with Honda were in the early eighties. After the Emergency and the Congress had to do something to cover up memories of the Emergency.

KayJay
Friday, May 14, 2004

Fair enough. I presume it simply took a few years to get the assembly lines up and running.

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 14, 2004

And while we're completely off topic what are the cheapest double cabs going for? I know there is an Indian-GMC collaboration, but people in Sri Lanka keep telling me they are costing around $15,000 which seems exorbitant.

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 14, 2004

I take it a double cab is something like a Tata Safari, right? Then Toyota's Qualis is the most comfortable but I am told
Mahindra's Bolero is on the cheaper side. But, then again you know India! Published prices don't make much sense!

KayJay
Friday, May 14, 2004

A double cab is the phrase they use in Sri Lanka for a pickup with four seats. The imported ones are Nissans and Toyotas, but there is a free trade agreement with India, and I know there is an Indian company that makes pickups.

I am presuming that the Tata Safari is the jeep. That comes to around $11,000 and is what the police are buying on the Indian line of credit.

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 14, 2004

Yup! Mahindra is for you then. The ubiquitous Indian "Jeep".
http://www.mahindraworld.com/mahindras/automotive/productmainpage.htm

KayJay
Friday, May 14, 2004

Thanks for the link:

This is the kind of thing I want.
http://www.mahindraworld.com/mahindras/automotive/utility.htm
Any idea of what the prices are in India, for comparable vehicles. Comfort and speed is not a factor. The maximum speed limit is 70kph, and you can rarely do that.

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 14, 2004

yea, you were right about the Bolero. That's the one they have for export.
http://www.mahindraworld.com/mahindras/automotive/e-doublecab.htm

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 14, 2004

You could also get a Tatamobile from TELCO. But they seem to be focussing more on the Sumo/Safari range. I'll mail you with some info, in the meantime, this site could be of some use to you

http://www.cybersteering.com/cbmain/cbmain.html

KayJay
Friday, May 14, 2004

Stephen Jones: The swastika that is often seen in Hindu motifs/rituals/whatever is NOT the swastika the Nazis used as their symbol.

If you look again, it is a mirror image: The arms go the opposite way. In the Indian languages that I know, it is ponounced more like "Swuss-teek".

Indian Pedant
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Quite correct, but it is very common to here talk of Aryan surpremacy in India and Sri Lanka - which will no doubt both amuse and puzzle the blond-haired blue-eyed variety of Aryan.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, May 15, 2004

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