Untitled

India! I dare you to be rich

Category Archive: Bad ideas!

Rajiv Malhotra’s well-documented tendency towards aggression (including by Martha Nussbaum)

Rajiv is clearly a very aggressive opponent of liberty and anything that he might not agree with. Well within the mould of the Hindutva fanatics to which he clearly belongs. 

"Alex" wrote on my blog:

Rajivji is a full-blown right-wing Hindutva apologist, racist and and proto-fascist. It is useless to engage with him at all. A quick review of his writings revealed a lot about his thinking and attitudes—which do not look good. He has long been an opponent of criticism of religion, and his attitude is nothing new. 

I was willing to engage with Rajiv after the comment he wrote on the blog. And I was even willing to apologise if I was wrong. But Rajiv balked at opposing the withdrawal of Doniger's book by Penguin. 

Regardless of whether he DIRECTLY lodged the case or not, he can be said to be a keen supporter. 

I'm not saying whether Rajiv's arguments are right or wrong. He may well be right in his critique of Doniger's work. My objection is to his subversion of free speech and liberty.

Prof. Martha NussbaumErnst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, wrote about him thus, in her 2007 book The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India’s Future​:

The chief antagonist behind these attacks is Rajiv Malhotra, a very wealthy man who lives in New Jersey and heads the Infinity Foundation, which has made grants in the area of Hinduism studies. Had Malhotra decided to focus his energies on giving scholarships to students and graduate students in this area, he would greatly have enhanced the profile of Hinduism studies nationally. But in recent years most of his energy has been focused on Internet attacks against Doniger and scholars associated with her, on his website sulekha.com. Malhotra’s voluminous writings show a highly aggressive, threatening personality. His attacks are sarcastic and intemperate. He shows little concern about factual accuracy. Typically he makes no attempt to describe the book or books he attacks in a complete or balanced way; instead, his broadsides are lists of alleged mistakes or distortions, conveying little or no sense of what the book is about and what it argues. Malhotra also has associates, some both more able and more temperate than he (Vishal Agarwal is one of these). But all pursue a common enterprise: the discrediting of American scholars of Hinduism as sex-crazed defamers of sacred traditions. (248)

Wendy Doniger has pointed out the increasing tendency to stop discussion of alternative scholarly views about Hinduism:

Ms. Doniger wrote: "Right-wing Hindu groups, in India and the diaspora, have increasingly asserted their wish, indeed their right, to control scholarship about Hinduism." [Source]

Also:

"Doniger blames the Internet campaigns. "Malhotra's ignorant writings have stirred up more passionate emotions in Internet subscribers who know even less than Malhotra does, who do not read books at all," Doniger wrote in an e-mail. "And these people have reacted with violence. I therefore hold him indirectly responsible."  [Source]http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2010-December/202829.html

Malhotra suffers from a view that Hinduism can ONLY be examined by Hindus. According to him:

…there is a lack of Indic perspective that would…provide equivalent counter balance to Western scholar’s theories, creating an asymmetric discourse. Further, he says, most of the Hinduism scholars are either whites or Indians under the control of whites. One does not find Arabs, Chinese, blacks, Hispanics, etc., engaged in this kind of Hindu phobia racket. [Source]

But as Asim Rafiqui says:

That being said, a whole host of eminent Indian historians and scholars have produced original research and collaborated, informed, influenced and enlightened the American academy the names of Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar, Ahmad Aziz, D.N. Jha come to mind. And they have done so not as a result of their ‘insider’ position, but as highly qualified, rigorously scientific and openly curious individuals. But they too have been attacked, though this time by the Hindutva and other Hindu nationalists. Professor Thapar, D.N. Jha and others have been abused, threatened and in some even have been assaulted Professor Laine, author of Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India, became the target of Maharashtran bigots and his Indian research collaborators and departments where he conducted research were physically attacked by goons. [Source]

Here are some findings of Selma:

I did a bit of checking on Malhotra and it turns out every article of his is about how the West and Abrahamic religions are harmful to the world and intolerant as opposed to Hinduism. Then I read what others have to say about this so-called inter-faith guru. And here is something very interesting. A frontline article called Non-resident nationalism speaks of Hindus based in America who support far right activities, the Hindutva ideology of supremacy and the insidous ways they operate to spread their message.

This information adds to my belief that Malhotra was involved in forcing Penguin to withdraw Doniger's book (he could have answered the questions I raised, particularly about the sources of his EARLY information about the case, and his gloating/ defending the book-destruction decision to Anuj – but he chose not to). 

But Malhotra's style is consistent with actions by VHP/BJP and Hindutva brigade to SHUT DOWN opposing views. [VHP's destruction of paintings in Ahmedabad, Modi's banning a book on Gandhi].

Not much to distinguish them from Islamic fanatics or Taliban.

We must create an India where there is ABSOLUTE freedom of expression

Continue Reading

Speaking out AGAIN (!) against the KRONIES. Seems people have shut their mind to what I’m saying.

Someone who allegedly supports liberty wrote to me today:

Promotiing the capitalist Is also inherently Dangerous. The ambanis & their ik have systematically corrupted the whole indian System. 

I wrote back:

I think we are talking at cross purposes since you have not bothered to read what I'm saying.

When you've read BFN and understood the meaning of capitalism we can discuss further.

Let me remind this gentlemen the capitalism is about FREEDOM WITH ACCOUNTABILITY. It is not a way to use the government to enrich your pocket.

I am ENEMY of cronies. I have written much against cronies. And REPEATEDLY. But looks like people don't hear. They are determined for India to commit suicide.

E.g:

I don’t want crapitalism but capitalism: big difference! [On October 8, 2011]

We want capitalism, not “crapitalism” (crony capitalism) [October 21, 2011]

Crapitalism at work: graphic evidence [On October 30, 2011]

I’m afraid, Mr Ratan Tata, that neither your actions nor those of MMS can be defended [On July 19, 2012]

Capitalists are the greatest enemies of capitalism [On July 22, 2012]

India Against Crony Capitalism [On November 22, 2012]

Ratan Tata is a crony capitalist, as well, Dhume [On December 5, 2012]

Watch this! Join this Facebook page.

Continue Reading

And now Arvind Kejriwal, an alleged scientific thinker (IIT?), promotes PALMISTRY!!

I was shocked to hear Arvind talk about his "lifeline" on his palm, as proof of his "long life" and also confirmation that "God" was going to determine his longevity.

This seems to only get worse, each day. The more I find out about Arvind, the more I dislike his ideas and approach. He is a REGRESSIVE, superstitious and ignorant, apart from his many other defects.

Surely India can find someone better. And soon!

Full video dated 12January 2014: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NwnxM8Fc50

Continue Reading

I ask Devinder Sharma to at least read my work before further discussions with me

I'm quite tired – seriously tired – of the people who make all kinds of ill-informed comments about me and my work EVEN WITHOUT READING ONE WORD OF WHAT I STAND FOR.

I had expected much better from Devinder Sharma, a reputed intellectual of India. But discussion with him has turned out like talking to a broken record. He keeps repeating his views without even remotely trying to understand what I'm saying or recommending.

Finally, I've had to let him go. Very hard to continue discussions under such a situation.

I'd be most happy to have him back as a friend (I did like meeting him, and I think his heart is in the right place) if he ever cares to read BFN and DOF. Till then all he is doing is misrepresenting me, but most importantly, he is harming India by refusing to understand what has really gone wrong with India.

If all he can do is to cite CORRUPT SOCIALISTS to me as examples of liberalism, then I've got no time to discuss – at this stage.

 

 

Continue Reading

Ashok Gautam’s views on economic justice: nothing but communism.

Mr Ashok Gautam – closely associated with Anna Hazare – runs an agenda for change based on the concept of Arthik Nyaya (download his brochure). I have had considerable discussions with him without much effect. It takes time to explain basic principles of good economics.

I am publishing his latest email and would encourage him to debate with me here – on this blog. Having said that, I do note that Mr Gautam has agreed to focus on a Rule of Law agenda. That is definitely some progress.

This email from Mr Gautam was in response to my comment in which I said: "I don't know what is "economic justice". That's a concept without a definition and hence without merit. Kindly read my book for a short and crisp demolition of the concept of "social justice". Also this short blog post: http://sabhlokcity.com/2011/01/the-nonsense-of-social-justice/. Any concept of "economic justice" will merely destroy basic things [security, justice, property rights], just as Nehru's socialist ideas have destroyed these basic things."

ASHOK GAUTAM'S EMAIL

YOUR Question What is the ECONOMIC JUSTICE? You are right till now Economic JUSTICE is not defined, so how we can call it JUSTICE or Injustice? Now time has come that we can not ignore it any more.

My Answer: At one hand, people are not having two days meals despite full of hard work, on the other hand, Others have no limit & accumulating wealth for their 100 of generations. [Sanjeev: if wealth is earned honestly, I don't see why it is ANYONE'S business to comment on whether it is meant for one generation or a million. The key is: was the wealth earned honestly?] At present IT Laws made based on full of lie, deception & corruption) so we can not expect any justice out of it. [Sanjeev: What is an IT law?]

We should not forget, according to our constitution, our every citizen has equal right on natural resources sa land, minerals, water, rain, trees, air & light not based on their strength or ability but by virtue of their BIRTH & hence all of them are owners of country. [Sanjeev: membership of a nation state does not imply JOINT ownership of property. All property belongs/ belonged to people BEFORE the state came into being. Property is not related to nationality. No doubt some resources are commonly shared, but we should not use terms like "owners of the country" - which can mislead some confused people into thinking that we are talking about communism.] If it is true then, there should be basic (mool) authorized maximum limit of keeping wealth of one individual. [Sanjeev: this is a MOST PROBLEMATIC assertion. As indicated, if wealth is honestly earned, it is not our business to set "limits" on it.]

What can be this limit? Wealth is in two sectors Govt & private. Leave govt sector aside. Problem is in private sector, asses the all wealth (mainly property) as per present market value of all (mine, yours, Tata, Birla, Ambani etc etc) make sum of it, divide this sum by present population, an amount comes that is average authorized wealth Limit & this should be called RICHIE LINE so we call it (AMEERI REKHA). [Sanjeev: this assumes that YOU or I own someone else's wealth. That is a FALSE assumption. For this to be implemented, we will need to STEAL other people's wealth. That is the surest way to destroy basic liberty and justice, but also to drive away all capital from India. This amounts to PURE COMMUNISM.]

Above this line an individual is the borrower of the society because he has acquired it from these natural resources only. [Sanjeev: you are EXTREMELY INCORRECT on this, Mr. Gautam. Wealth is 99 per cent created by the HUMAN MIND and effort. Resources are an insignificant part of actual wealth creation in the modern society] So individual must be taxed by present bank interest @, on over & above this limit. So annual income from this source will be apxt 200 Lac Crores, subtract the administrative expenditure of Govt (15 Lac crore Of center & 12 Lac Crores of all states )take it 30 Lac crore, balance amount is net national income, divide it among all the citizens equally without any discrimination as dividend, then citizens will feel as owner of country. Thus dividend can be distributed Rs 10, 000/-each citizen per month. By doing this every pocket will have money, demand for every items will increase, traders will more demand, industry will have more production & so will be more GDP more jobs.

On today poorest, poor are compelled to pay indirect taxes highest percent of their income, among all the sections poor, middle & rich. So this is grossly economic injustice which can be turned around. [Sanjeev: you are talking about STEALING other people's wealth. I do not support this idea under any circumstance.]

—————————————————————————————————————–  

Also I conform that RULE OF LAW is equally important . But in event of after getting country out of clutches of presently corrupt hands [Sanjeev: this I agree with], our agenda has to be unique in more than one way. For the time being we can keep ECONOMIC agenda in abeyance. [Sanjeev: I'm delighted that we are agreeing to this key requirement.]

Our election AGENDA may ensure following main key points:

(1) It starts with due caring of VOTERS & citizens

(2) It motivates VOTERS to go for 100 voting.

(3) It can ensure WIN.

(4) It ensures to reestablish faith of people in politics, which has been eroded quite a lot.

Departmental reforms are very essential but can be implemented once you are in Assembly or Parliament . Our voters are not yet so much educated that we can ensure WIN based on RULE OF LAW alone.

More over you can depute your close associate with me we can go for sample survey, which agenda can ensure us ENTRY into Parliament & State Assemblies.

I am not rigid but very much open for debate.

Look forward for your comments.

With best regards

ASHOK GAUTAM

MY RESPONSE

In blue above. I'm happy to debate the 'economic' agenda here on this blog. The rest (rule of law) we'll continue our private discussion.

Continue Reading

Why are Indian courts permitted to UNCONSTUTIONALLY allow God to own property and to litigate?

Fellow FTI member Supratim is not happy with my outright rejection of the idea of "God" contesting legal cases. In his view:

"Artificial constructs are allowed under law – and their status as legal entities. The HUF is as abstract a concept as god – it does not exist in the natural world or as a material being. Similar is the case with say, a Company or a Trust – they are material beings, in a manner of speaking but are not natural entities. So, under Indian law, there must be some case law or provision that allows hindu deities of temples as legal entities – they ARE “material” beings, even if they are not natural beings, and they are not god, in the sense you mean it (I think). A specific entity is the litigant here."

Well, I had pointed out a few links in my earlier post. Let me summarise from these links the reasons/ history of Indian gods being recognised as litigants:

In the Indian judicial system, deities have always been regarded as legal entities who can fight their case through the trustees or managing board in charge of the temple in which they are worshiped. The ancient Indian system of law recognized Gods as legal entities. The Supreme Court, in Sri Adi Visheshwara of Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi, vs State of UP [1997 (4) SCC 606 recognized, though not for the first time, the right of a Deity to move court and said, Properties of endowment vest in the Deity, Lord Sri Vishwanath. [Source]

Further,

In the eyes of the law, all deities are treated as perpetual minors. No suit filed on their behalf can be treated as time-barred and rejected on the question of limitation. Eminent Supreme Court lawyer Harshvir Pratap Sharma says: “The Indian judicial system treats deities as legal entities who could have a legal representation in courts through trustees or an in-charge of the temple in which they are worshipped.” According to him, Order 32 of the Civil Procedure Code recognises a ‘sitting deity' as an individual. 

Can a presiding deity of a temple be treated on a par with normal litigants and can its petition be entertained by courts? Legal experts are unanimous that a Hindu idol, as per the long established authority and founded upon religious customs of the Hindus, is a ‘juristic entity,' and it has ‘juridical status' with power of suing and be sued. In 1983, Sri Adi Visheshwara of Kashi Vishwanath of Varanasi fought a legal battle in the Supreme Court when the Uttar Pradesh government enacted the Sri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983, for better management of the ancient temple. The Supreme Court had ruled that a deity could move the court and said: “Properties of endowment vest in the deity Lord Sri Vishwanath.” Besides the Supreme Court, various High Courts had also recognised the fact that a temple deity would be a legal entity and even a devotee or a regular worshipper could move the court on behalf of the presiding deity, which will be considered a perpetual minor, says Mr. Sharma. [Source]

Further:

The existence of Hindu idol as juristic person capable of having rights and discharging duties through sevakars were established in the court of law as early as 1925. In Pramatha Nath Mullick v. Pradyumna Kumar Mullick'. The court observed that "One of the questions emerging at this point is as to nature of such an idol, and the services due thereto. A Hindu idol is, according to long established authority, founded upon the religious customs of the Hindus, and the recognition thereof by Courts of law, a "juristic entity". It has a juridical status with the power of suing and being sued.

Its interests are attended to by the person who has the deity in his charge and who is in law its manager with all the powers which would, in such circumstances, on analogy, be given to the manager of the estate of an infant heir. From the very inception in Hindu Culture the Idols are considered as personification of deity itself and the image of the deity in the shape of idol which are often based on visualisation is bestowed with gifts and valuables by the worshippers. The gifts made to the idol are made in the same manner as made to a natural person. The rationale behind giving Hindu idols a juristic personality is best explained by Ganpathi lyer in his valuable treatise on "Hindu and Mahomedan Endownments". He had this to say in regard to the legal status of an idol in, Hindu law:

"The ascription of a legal personality to the deity supposed to be residing in the image meets with all, practical purposes. The deity can be said to possess property only in an ideal sense and the theory is, therefore, not complete unless that legal personality is linked to a natural person." 

It would be correct to say that if we don't give idols a juristic personality then there would be lot of practical difficulties in the matters of taxation and allotment of land as well as on the subject to alienation of property. Further, we would be examining many case laws based on the practical realities on personifying Hindu Idols.

In the case of Bishwanath & Anr.Vs. Shri Thakur RADHABALLABHJI & ORS2.

FACTS:
The Manager of a temple alienated the idols property. A worshipper of the idol, who also assisted the Manager in his duties, filed a suit as next friend of the idol challenging the alienation. The reliefs sought were a declaration that the property belonged to the idol and recovery of possession. The trial court's decree in favour of the plaintiff was upheld by the High Court. The defendants came to this Court, with certificate. It was urged on behalf of the appellants that s. 92 of the Code of Civil procedure was a bar to the suit, and that no one but the Sheba it was entitled to file the suit and represent the deity.

HELD:
The suit was filed by the idol for possession of its property from the person who was in illegal possession thereof and therefore it was a suit by the idol to enforce its private right. The suit also was for a declaration of the plaintiff's title and for possession thereof, and was not therefore a suit for one of the reliefs mentioned in s. 92. in either view this was a suit outside the purview of s. 92 of the Code and therefore the said section was not a bar to its maintainability.

ANALYSIS:
It can be clearly inferred that the court recognised and accepted the principle of juristic personality of idol otherwise; the procedural difficulties would not have allowed the plaintiff to claim back the property, which was illegal in the possession of the person. The court in this case took the view and gives effect to the personification that as the property belonged to the idol and the suit was filed by idol to recover the property.

This is one of the aspects why courts have always recognised idol as a legal personality that is conferred with legal rights and bestowed with duties.

Through the various case laws following principles of laws have been settled. They are:-

1) An idol of a Hindu temple is a juridical person;
(2) When there is a Shebait, ordinarily no person other than the Shebait can represent the idol;
(3) Worshippers of an idol are its beneficiaries, though only in a spiritual sense.

In cases where the Shebait acts in a manner which is against his duty then a worshipper can bring up a case in the name of the idol. B.

K. Mukherjea summarises the legal proposition in the following manner in his book.
(1) An idol is a juristic person in whom the title to the properties of the endowment vests. However, it is only in an ideal sense that the idol is the owner. It has to act through human agency, and that agent is the Shebait, who is, in law, the person entitled to take proceedings on its behalf. The personality of the idol might therefore be said, to be merged in that of the Shebait.

(2)Where, however, the Shebait refuses to act for the idol or where the suit is to challenge the act of the Shebait himself as prejudicial to the interests of the idol then there must be some other agency, which must have the right to act for the idol. The law accordingly recognises a right in persons interested in the endowment to take proceedings on behalf of the idol.

Hindu Idols are also given juristic personality for other purposes such as taxation and other assessment requirements under various implementation plans. The case mentioned below will give a clear reason of personification of Hindu Idols for assessment purposes. [Source]

Well, I think I've had enough of this.

What seems to have happened is that somewhere in India's history, idols were given legal status IN THE ABSENCE OF ALTERNATIVE LEGAL VEHICLES LIKE TRUSTS.

What has happened is that law did not modernise and therefore all temples were not forced to register as trusts or other entities. As a result a vague, and in my view extremely dangerous legal concept is allowed to OFFICIALLY operate in an India where it is the constitutional duty of every citizen to promote the scientific temper.

All temples should be immediately required to register as trusts since this idea of having an IDOL/GOD (deity) recognised by the Indian law is beyond obnoxious. It is open declaration of war against science.

Now, I can also see why this provision has caused so much mischief in the case of the Ram Janmabhoomi case. Instead of thinking of market based solutions, people have been taking recourse to the MOST DEVIIOUS AND DEVILISH "legal" "solutions" to squeeze out property that had changed hands in some other country (not India, which did not exist) hundreds of years ago. Such properties can, and should, be reverted to the market, so those who care about them can buy them (under appropriate regulation).

I'm really sick of India in every way. No matter where you look we have the most sub-optimal institutions/ways of thinking. Why has no one challenged this nonsense on constitutional grounds, yet?

Continue Reading