India! I dare you to be rich

Category Archive: About me

A partial draft Hindi translation of Breaking Free of Nehru is now online

Some years ago, Sh LK Kandpal, founder Trustee of the Freedom Team of India, volunteered to take up the challenging task of translating Breaking Free of Nehru into Hindi. I am delighted that roughly a third of the book has since been translated. Although he'd like to have the draft translation reviewed and tested by a professional (and completed), I think it is good enough to give a flavour of the book in Hindi to those so interested.

Therefore I'm publishing both the Word (use Arjun Wide font – download from here) and PDF versions, below. 

Word version

PDF version

I have requested a professional translator for a cost and time estimate to finish this work.  I've not yet received any estimate, so if you know of any high quality professional translator interested in undertaking this work, I'd be keen to discuss with such person. I think the reform work is now beginning to reach the ground and we need to have a Hindi (and other regional language) translation of this book freely available on the internet.

Once again, I'd like to thank Sh. LK Kandpal for his effort. I look forward to his continuing contributions to liberty in India.

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How I got conned by an Indian “call centre” pretending to be from Telstra

I am able to escape scams and cons most of the time, but last week I got suckered in half-way into a phone con. I then had to entirely re-establish my computer from scratch – thus losing quite a bit of time.

Why? I managed to give access to India conmen into my computer.

I've later found that these people have been doing such things from a pretty long time. They clearly have not been caught.

In brief, this is what happened:

1. I was told over phone (by a person claiming to be from Telstra) that my computer has been hacked and is sending out bad information into the internet which is causing trouble to Telstra, so they need to fix it else they have to shut down my internet connection. I asked for the name of the caller. He was Indian sounding, but gave his name as Henry Jones. OK. I noted it down. 

2. They said they'd show me that I had a severe problem. I was asked to run "eventvwr" (windows/run). When the program opened, I was asked to go into "windows log" > "application". They showed me one event which had an "error" message. I clicked on it (and took a screenshot, attached – click for larger image below)

I clicked the 'error' and found this indecipherable information:

3. I assumed that "Telstra" were right, and that someone had indeed hacked into my computer. So I asked them what was the solution. They said they need me to run the following command: www.pcresolutions.com. That opened my browser and I went to a company website that showed some numbers. They asked me to click "OK", at which a software was downloaded on my computer (AA_V3.3.EXE – it is still with me on my computer) and they got control over my computer.

4. They then showed me that I had over 500 errors. They moved around quickly and showed me a page according to which my Windows version is not genuine. That was absolute nonsense, since I knew this was a fully genuine version. I asked to speak with their supervisor. A person came on (very quickly) and gave the name Ethen Brown, Sr. Technician (another male voice, from India). 

5. He said I had to get the remedy from Microsoft, by purchasing genuine software for $5. A screen would presumably come up on my computer and I'd have to provide my credit card details. I was not satisfied so asked for their supervisor. The person (once again Indian) said his name was Gulla.  By now I knew this was a con. I said I'm happy for Telstra to cut off my internet, so I can pursue this separately. 

6. I then powered down my computerAt this foul abuse was showered on me (in Hindi). I was then asked whether I understand Hindi. I said that's none of their business and put down the phone.

7. The person called back in a minute and abused me further. I put down the phone. During the entire call I heard a lot of active voices on the phone while this was going on. 

When I restarted my computer, I was unable to get in. A weird screen came up requiring a password. Clearly, they had hacked my computer. 

Fortunately, I store my program files entirely separate to my data files. I therefore re-installed Windows in another partition in a separate part of my 2-disk (each 2TB) system. Took me around 2 hours to re-establish most key programs. 

I'll report this blog post to Telstra and to the Police for their information. I'm also storing the downloaded software on my computer in case any authority wishes to investigate further. They should (hopefully) also be able to trace the source of origin of the phone call. Clearly some place in north India, most likely in the NCR.

This seems to be kind of CRIMINAL call centre operating from NCR in India – a gang that hacks into people's computers and steals their credit cards. 

===ADDENDUM===

MY REPORT TO TELSTRA. Very hard to contact these guys, so I've provided a report on their FB page:

I've decided to not waste time reporting to the police, given my previous experience with them. In this case, since I've not been directly defrauded, they probably won't even start any investigation.

ADDENDUM

Telstra's quick response:

Hi Sanjeev.



Im sorry to hear that you had to go through this experience. 

This is certainly a known scam that is circulating at the moment. They have been very active and we are getting many reports of this. We are doing all we can to try and stop these Scam Artists. 

For guidance on how to handle these types of calls (Do & Don't s) I have included the following link: http://bit.ly/QHFSC4

I would recommend you speak to our Unwelcomed calls Team. You can contact them on 1800805996. They can assist you with this issue, and you can log a report against them.

If you receive a Telstra/BigPond-branded scam:
Check our phishing scam: http://go.telstra.com.au/…/warning-bigpond-telstra

Visit Telstra's Internet and Cyber-Safety page to learn more about protecting yourself: http://www.telstra.com.au/abouttelstra/advice/internet/

Report it to Telstra via the BigPond Misuse of Service webform:https://service.telstra.com.au/…/Report_misuse_of_service

You can also lodge this via Scamwatch to see if it is a known scam:https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/…/index.phtml/tag/reportascam 

As always, if you are a not sure if it is a genuine Telstra call, its always best to contact us yourself before you give them any personal information or accept any "dubious" sounding offers.

Regards – Tom

Further advice from a reader (I've forwarded this to CBI)

Delhi

Address:
CBI Cyber Crime Cell:
Superintendent of Police,
Cyber Crime Investigation Cell
Central Bureau of Investigation,
5th Floor, Block No.3,
CGO Complex,
Lodhi Road,
New Delhi – 3

Contact Details:
+91-11-4362203
+91-11-4392424

Web site: http://cbi.nic.in
E-Mail: cbiccic@bol.net.in

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I’m now happy to be addressed as “Sanjeev Sabhlok, Arthashastri” (Economist)

I think the Doctorate awarded in the West is too generic. It applies uniformly to all disciplines, thereby losing its meaning.

I have long avoided writing Dr.Sanjeev Sabhlok since it can confuse people. 

Till a few years ago, I would have not liked to associate with Arthashastra since I had a relatively poor opinion about this book – having only tangentially read about it. 

But since I've read it (or, more precisely, skimmed through it, and searched my kindle version), and more so since I've read Balbir Sihag's writings on Chanakya's work, I'm far more charitably inclined towards Chanakya. In fact, I believe Chanakya is better by such a WIDE MARGIN than ANY other Indian political or economic thinker (including Rajaji) that I'm happy, finally, to take on the "title" Arthashastri.

I do so for two reasons:

a) One, that through it people (in India) can instantly make out my specialisation: economics

b) Two, that Arthashastra gets its rightful place in Indian society as a classic book on economics and governance.

I'd prefer that only those with a doctorate in economics use this title, so it doesn't get too diluted. Not that qualifications matter, but I suppose a title should serve some purpose.

So, there. 

Now I am happy (if you wish!) to be addressed as:

Sanjeev Sabhlok, Arthashastri 

Arthashastra is perhaps one of the most sensible books ever written in India. Let's read it and spread its message.

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Catch up with Prof. Alasdair Roberts this week in Melbourne

I introduced readers to Prof. Roberts here. He has a keen interest in India, having been to LBSNAA Mussoorie twice. He first connected with me after I wrote an article about the IAS in Times of India. We've been in touch since then.

It was a pleasure to meet him in person on his world tour in which he is speaking in a number of places.

We had lunch in an Indian restaurant this Monday (19 May) and discussed mainly Indian politics and public administration.

A picture taken after the lunch:

Key points discussed:

1. His forthcoming visit to Delhi -  in which he is meeting senior persons from Jindal School of Government and Public Policy to discuss potential publications in Governance, the academic journal he co-edits. He is concerned that very few Indians in India are able to public papers that pass the intensive peer review process he is required to administer.

I have linked him with Dr. Prajapati Trivedi, Secretary Performance Management and with (in the Boston area itself) Prof. Balbir Sihag. I outlined Arthashastra to him, and how that is perhaps the world's first major economics and public administration text – with its wisdom valid even today.

2. Milton Friedman's book Tyranny of the Status Quo and how it is crucial for any government to make key changes within the first six months. In my view Modi has simply no idea what to change so we will see the same old socialist + colonial system we are used to having.

3. Outlined the liberal political work I'm engaged in and referred him to the Sone Ki Chidiya reform agenda, which contains all key changes needed in India.

4. Discussed the need to establish a world-class School of Governance in India, of quality equal to or better than the JFK School of Government.

===

Today (21 May) I attended a seminar held in the office building where I work (Treasury), attended by around 400 people. He he was one of two speakers. Won't go into details of the talk but it was excellent and thought-provoking.

I will separately discuss how freedom can be defended in an age where privacy will be virtually non-existent. This will include some references to this talk.

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The two self-theory renamed: Formless spirit grafted onto an animal

A little less than two months ago I proposed a two-self theory of man.

I tested out the theory over these past few weeks and have found it to be extremely powerful.

First, there is NO limited stock of 'will power'. I have confirmed that our mastery over self is infinite. Always infinite. The problem only arises if we consider ourselves to be the body. But we should not see ourselves as a body but as a formless spirit grafted on an animal body:

Second, the fact that we have a body is something to be thankful for. Without the body we wouldn't exist. We should think of the body as the work of 3,500 million years of evolution. We are getting the benefit of all that years of evolution, and now, on "top" of this wonderful machine, sits our spirit/soul/ identity (whatever you call it). Physically, as well, our modern brain sits on top of the reptilian/animal brain. We should be grateful to have access to machinery that is so complex it will take at least another few hundred years for scientists to fully break it down into components and understand it properly. A 100 trillion dollar machine is what each of us drives.

Third, that our pet (animal) body is designed purely to maximise its primitive interests means we have to take responsibility for managing it properly. This means understanding its needs, but not allowing it to over-do things which may not be in its interest. Feed it only what is good for it. Take it for a walk. Force it to jump through hoops that it avoids. If you don't take your body for a walk it will become lazy and fat, and that's not good for you: after all, you need your body to lug you around. You are permanently grafted to your body, and have to watch it, control it, treat it well.

The key, I find, is to think of the body in THIRD PERSON. That is not only biologically correct (to an extent) but practically very powerful.

After nearly two months of VERY SUCCESSFUL experimentation with this idea, I'm now coming to the point where I'm going to set specific targets for my body. This doesn't require will power (for that would depend on the animal brain's 'willingness') but on a clear UNDERSTANDING of one's actual self as being entirely distinct from the body.

==ADDENDUM==

The key point to remember is that our higher brain is NOT a decision maker. All decisions to act are taken through the limbic brain, which deals with emotion. Without an emotion attached, we will never act, only think. So the higher brain is fundamentally very weak as a 'decision-maker'. It can inform decisions and help the limbic brain make better decisions, but it cannot decide.

If that is the case, then what we need to do is to use the combined identity generated by the brain – our 'self' – as the master over the body. One could ask, if the higher brain is weaker, how can this 'self' control the limbic brain?

The way it works is by physically imagining a complete separation between self and the body. That is not as absurd as it sounds. Those who have taken yoga training, and particularly some training in advaitic thought, will find it quite simple to separate out the 'self' from the 'mind+body' (the animal).

The key is to note that the self is NOT the mind. The mind is merely a generation of the body. The self sits outside the mind+body.

We know that physically that is not the case, but it does appear to be separate, and appearances matter. In this cases this conception is decisive in ensuring that the body remains tightly under the control of the self.

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