One-stop shop for the total transformation of India

Category: About me

Half a million unique visits to this blog this year – update on website statistics

I used to run Jetpack statistics but found these slow down the website. I’ve therefore shifted to Quantcast, which is super-accurate.

I took a minute to check last year’s data. It appears that I’ve now crossed 500,000 unique visits over the year.

Roughly half the visits are from India (blue area below), half from the rest of the world (grey). Visits have increased over the past few weeks given the interest in demonetisation, and should drop off to normal levels thereafter.

Unfortunately, my google ad earnings are on a steep decline. After at one stage nearly reaching $200AUD in a month, these are now tracking well below $100AUD per month. I suspect a lot of people are using ad blockers. Further, most ad earnings don’t come from sabhlokcity anyway (which is of interest only to Indians) but from a couple of my subdomains which contain information of interest to people from developed countries. These earnings are pivotal to my continued engagement with liberty in India.  I have spent just too much of my own money for the past 20 years – with huge opportunity cost as well – and this drip feed of funds ensures I don’t continue to lose big money while engaging with reforms in India.

sabhlokcity-quantcast

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Draft musings – highly risky to publish – of 1992: DIFFICULTY IN CONTROLLING THE WIFE

Following on from here, here is something I’m publishing at great personal risk of being misunderstood. It is something I wrote on 14 April 1992. This is to be taken as pure tongue in cheek with no real expectations to the effect expressed here.

DIFFICULTY IN CONTROLLING THE WIFE

One of the most difficult things I am finding in life is to control my wife.

By nature I prefer obedient wives.

I have generally been used to obedience from my mother and  sister.

The problem has been how to make my wife equally obedient.

Her problem is that being in the IAS she has a large full sized ego. She does try from time to time to be suitably subservient to me, but prefers to call it “being a wife” rather than the more appropriate word “subservience” which I prefer.

At times she loses her sense of subservience much to my detriment.

Her quote at such times is “If you prefer obedient wives, you can keep trying to get them.”

Obviously such a quotation can be a difficult thing to act upon. For one, I do not know where obedient wives are to be sought. Even the newspapers advertise for wives, but no one mentions whether they are the obedient variety or not.

I do not believe in any bar whatsoever in terms of human relations. Hence I have married as objectively as I could. But I did not know how to test a wife for subservience. In fact, I feel that this is the major test a man should impart to a wife before marriage. Not that it is an assurance that her ego would not inflate after marriage due to the attention she receives from the husband.

Now, sometimes I feel that there is some shred of imperfection in my wife, which needs rectification, especially relating to the size of her ego.

The other day I decided that I would return her back to her home for her ego to cool down. But she decided that she would not go. Now, it is indeed very difficult to ensure that a wife is regularly sent back to her original home for refresher courses in subservience. If she does not go and violates even this directive, then what are the alternatives left to a person?

Therefore I say, one of the most difficult things I am finding in life is to control my wife.

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Another 1992 draft article: WHY INDIANS SHOULD BE PATRIOTIC AND ASPIRE FOR GREATNESS

Here’s something penned on 25 October 1992. I’d broadly agree with this even today.

INDIA AND GREATNESS

      The impression which one keeps on having of India is of a psychologically depressed country, with very little self-confidence and trust in its own abilities. Perhaps the fact that it has done so badly in comparison to almost any other country, in almost every sphere of life, make the average India desolate and without hope.

In India we believe that our greatest period is past. Our great men are no more. Our present is a rotten, stinking, deterioration of our past. Let anyone criticise some aspects of Mahatma Gandhi or Nehru and see what is the response. Such is our slavishness to dead men that we become hollow and puerile in comparison.

But the whole issue is that unless we have the fundamental confidence in our abilities, no one will give this to us in a platter.

I have a hypothesis therefore that I – a common citizen of India – must learn to aspire to be great. If every common citizen of this great country aspires to be great, then there is definitely a hope of India’s salvation. How can we compete – against anyone, even Cameroon – unless we are all aspiring for greatness.  We will not reach great heights unless  we are all of us aspiring for greatness individually in our respective fields, we learn to respect ourselves about some people who are dead and gone, we learn to criticise everything we see around us, and try to find out how to improve it, to take reasonable risks in our personal lives, and seek self-actualisation. Greatness has to be a way of our life.

On reading recently about Korea and Japan, I was struck by the emphasis many authors put on the sense of patriotism of these countries. The businessmen of Japan were determined to do good for Japan, and the Koreans were determined to make Korea great. The politicians also repeated this great ambition at every opportunity, and this sense of patriotism has thus stood Japan and Korea and many rapidly growing South-East Asian countries in good stead through the tough times when they were very backward and had a long way to go.

I believe that India can learn a lot from this. We were a great country at one time. Much greater the primitive white peoples. Just because a couple of millennia of wars, disruption, and colonialism have intervened in the middle, we cannot lose our sense of destiny. `Each Indian has the seed of a great man lying latent in him or her. All that is required is to let this seed grow and for the society to nourish this seed.

We need to encourage efforts by those of us who are determined to develop their potential. The government has got mixed up in many cases with corruption and preventing good work from being done, in favour of work where money is made available to politicians. The general mood of the people is helpless and pessimistic. No one believes that India can do much in anything.

But I do believe that we have the potential and the capacity. There are no ifs and buts attached to it. Each of us has to work strongly to give his best to this nation. Each of us has to love this country. That should set the background for our progress.

Watch out, Japan! Here we come!

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My 1993 draft article: HOW MUCH MONEY IS NECESSARY FOR A MAN TO BE HAPPY?

One more of my old 1992-93 writings. This was written on 22 April 1993. I notice that this is the first time perhaps when I expressed a thought about leaving India. But it was highly undeveloped at that stage.  And remember, all this is purely draft writing; totally unedited.

HOW MUCH MONEY IS NECESSARY FOR A MAN TO BE HAPPY?

A perennial question, faced by each man, and each society, at some point of time or the other, is:

How much of money is necessary for a man to be happy?

*     When I was a child and had little use of money, perhaps a very little was enough. I remember  being given a tiny amount of money by my parents to go and buy some small things from a nearby petty shop, and believe me, was I pleased!

*     When I was a young lad all I could think of buying with money was books. You give me money and I bought books – that too, not first hand, but second hand! Trying to buy as many good books as the money would possibly buy. In my liberal moods I bought some paint brushes and painting materials. Not for me fancy clothes which I felt were for the frivolous, and not for me the fancy mobikes which I felt could easily be substituted by a cheap moped.

*     Then I got into service and found that I had plenty of money compared to what I had had earlier. I spent it on buying a second-hand camera, and collected various things for my parents as gifts. For myself, I was quite content without any major gadget, including a tape recorder. I had nothing worth mentioning for nearly two years after getting into service. I think I was happy.

*     After marriage, I was quite happy to buy cheap household goods, including a cheap electric iron (which worked well for a good many years), and a fridge, some furniture, a small tape recorder, etc. I felt that this was enough. My needs were fulfilled.

*     Now, ten years after entering service, I have (in India), a car, a plot of land, a fridge, a computer PC/XT, and so on. The black and white TV we had fulfilled my needs. In Australia I have a mini stereo system, two more computers, one printer, a VCR, a colour TV (mostly second hand goods), and so on. I also have spare money to take back to India.

But am I happy?

I think it is a mixed question. I am possibly happy, but also to some extent made unhappy when something goes wrong, when I lose some money.

I find that I need some MORE money: to buy more things, to get a better plot of land, to finally build a good house, to have enough money to travel, and so on, and so on.

The problem as I see it is has to do with what your peers have.

As a child, I was quite happy with what I had, because this is what an average child could expect to have. This psychology applied to me at all stages.

It was not what I had per se that gave me or gives me pleasure, but what I have in relation to what others have of my age group.

Even today I do not compare myself (as far as land and house is concerned) with what a retired person will have – he has worked more than me, he has greater savings, and so on. I do not compare myself with that. But I know now, surely, that when I am retired, I will compare myself with what others have.

When I was in India, having a really inferior computer (a PC/XT is actually the most inferior kind of computer) gave me occasions to feel proud and satisfied. While others had a VCR and colour TV, I had a computer.

But in Australia, I feel that I have very little. Even an average student here has a 386 or better machine, and uses laser printer for his assignments. The cost of new TVs/ VCRs is high enough to deter me from buying them, but I know that there is a fantastic range of equipment which people of my age are able to afford here. And people have their own houses – and beautiful ones – by my age, and wow! what lovely cars. And so on.

Hence, the maximum amount of relative unhappiness I have experienced about money was in Australia. My desires grew as I scanned the markets, my despondency grew as I knew that I would never have so many things which an average person of my age would have in this developed country.

In the midst of such despondency, I have felt the (perhaps natural) urge to leave India and go and settle abroad in a better country.

I have grievances against Indian politicians, bureaucrats and the society. I know that they have made a mess of so many things that we have been left behind badly in the race for material things.

In such a situation, I seek an honest answer to this:

Will an average Indian be happier with a well-planned environment and a higher standard of living (with the ability to buy the best goods that the world has to offer), or is he happier now?

The fact that I would was happy enough in India can be attributed to the fact that I am a member of the “prestigious” IAS, an elite service. I have also the satisfaction of owning some of the things which an average Indian can hope to own at my age.

But I do know of the despondency which assaults my mind when I go the the markets in New Delhi.  There too are a wide assortment of goods with such high prices which I know I shall never be able to afford. But I do not go often to Delhi. Perhaps I have been lucky.

I as an average human being of slighly above average potential, feel insulted when someone with relatively inferior talent (as I see it) lives at a better standard than I do. Is this what any other human being feels too? Or am I an exception?

conclusion:

To answer the question – how much money is enough? Well, the best answer that I can give is:

Whatever you can honestly earn. Thereafter, it is one’s business to be happy with that.

In fact, economics talks about this all the time – maximising the utility function of a consumer: go to the highest indifference curve which touches your budget line, i.e., maximise your happiness within your constraints.

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I’m NOT into education, I’m into political action. And if Indian liberals won’t come together, I’ll soon say goodbye.

For nearly 20 years I’ve been working on a SINGLE project: political liberty in India, supporting a national liberal party in India.

In mid-July 2005 I decided to switch off all further political work. See my note here. Things were not moving, the work of many years had been wasted. This work had made me seriously sick, physically.

I restarted my work in end-2007 largely to support the energy and commitment shown by Anil Sharma, who is seriously committed to liberal reforms in India. [A note about this here – see the second half of the page].

Now, in a recent FB post I wrote:

5) I’m clear that I’m working on political reforms for India only so long as the people of India want a better India. I’ll end all work the moment I get a sense it is a total waste of my time.

To which one of my FB friends commented thus:

Chakravarthy Nalamotu Sanjeev Sabhlok: For the most part your arguments are logical and rational. Sometimes I find certain inconsistencies in your logic, but I can live with it. My personal point of view on #5. People of India of course want a better India. Which idiot would intentionally want an under performing India? There are many competing philosophies and ideologies in the marketplace. People are unable to figure out which is the one that benefits them as well as the society more. Once my libertarian friend Sriram Karri said (I am paraphrasing), the only way to make a large body of people to commit evil deeds, is by convincing them that what they are doing is actually good. That is what you see in India today.

More than anything else, I feel, Indians need to be educated on the merits of a free society. I urge you to look at your endeavour as an ongoing education of a billion people. Everyday you are influencing and changing a few. Maybe someday there will be enough of us to bring about a change. None of what you are doing is a wasted effort.

MY RESPONSE – which I’m keeping here for the public record (it is very hard to find things on FB – that’s why) – so there are no surprises next year.

Chakravarthy Nalamotu – there are two aspects to this: (1) education of the general public and (2) the liberals working together to promote political liberty through a political party.

I’m actually not interested in (1). That, to me, is the job of the system. The political leadership builds the system and the system builds the education. Jefferson and co. created the US system and the system educates the people in the principles of liberty. Lenin built the system of communism and that’s what the system educated everyone about. Nehru built the system of socialism in India and everyone (including BJP, which is a godchild of Nehru) teach accordingly. Mohammed created a system of violence and that’s what the system teaches.

The idea that educating people starts from the “bottom up” is very partially true. The key is political power. Through political power one can build the system – and systems are all-powerful. They can last for thousands of years.

I’m going for the head. I want to kill socialism’s head by destroying all references to it in the Indian system – constitution, ROP act, etc. etc. etc.

I believe liberals are wasting their time in education. They are TOTALLY AND COMPREHENSIVELY INEFFECTIVE. There are two liberal think tanks in India and they’ve not produced ONE liberal leader. Not one.

Yes, educating people has an effect but almost insignificant. Can take thousands of generations. I’ve probably influenced a handful of people in my life, but that’s pointless. I want to work with others to achieve political power for the liberals and thereby change the system. I’m ONLY interested in (2). I’m only interested in a national liberal political party in India.

Now, it is in that context that I’ve expressed point 5. I’m talking about the CHRONIC inability of liberals to (a) fight for liberty and (b) to work together.

In relation to (a) most Indian liberals are willing to lick the boots of killers like Modi just because Modi once said (in total deception) things that sounded somewhat like economic liberalism. People like Atanu Dey have boot licked Modi and made him what he is – the PM of India. And they have the gall to call themselves liberal.

In relation to (b) – the vast majority of “liberals” I’ve come across in India in my life are hypocrites. They will write that there should be a liberal party but will then spend their life consorting with illiberals and doing nothing. They will not lift a finger when someone comes forward to create a liberal manifesto and a liberal party. And they will not – when the liberal manifesto and party has been created – join the effort, on some pretext or other. These are the people who should have worked together, but by refusing to work in a liberal party, they have handed over India to criminals and crooks. They actually WORK with and support such criminals and crooks. Working with other liberals is a problem for them. These are the people who should have known better, but choose to support crime and mayhem. They don’t care for India but for something different.

So, here is the deal: if I find that **these** types of people (who should have known better don’t care for India (and they seem not to care for India at all), then I’m surely wasting my time and will draw a final line on my efforts.

 

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