Thoughts on economics and liberty

Category: People

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LKY was only a half-baked leader till 1968 when he spent time at Harvard to learn many new things

This extract from LKY’s book, From Third World to First, is very interesting:

After I had settled policies to counter the loss of British military spending, in the autumn of 1968, I took a short sabbatical at Harvard. I had been in office for nine years and needed to recharge my batteries, get some fresh ideas and reflect on the future. The Kennedy School of Government made me an honorary fellow and arranged breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and seminars for me to meet a host of distinguished scholars. During the exchanges, they sparked off many useful and interesting ideas. I learned much about American society and economy by reading and talking to Harvard Business School professors such as Professor Ray Vernon. Vernon gave me a valuable lesson on the ever-changing nature of technology, industry, and markets, and how costs, especially wages in labor-intensive industries, determined profits. That was how Hong Kong entrepreneurs were able co build up such a successful textile and garments industry. They had been nimble, changing their produce lines, patterns, and designs with changing fashions. It was a never-ending competition against ocher equally agile and lower-cost producers in Taiwan and South Korea. And their sales promoters were frequently flying to consult their buyers in New York and ocher big cities. He dispelled my previous belief that industries changed gradually and seldom moved from an advanced country to a less-developed one. Reliable and cheap air and sea transport made it possible co move industries into new countries, provided their people were disciplined and trained co work the machines, and there was a stable and efficient government co facilitate the process for foreign entrepreneurs.

If only ANYONE OF INDIA’S LEADERS had studied seriously in their life.  TOTAL DUNCES, these Indian leaders. No wonder Singapore did so brilliantly well and India is a total mess.

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Rajneesh (Osho) created a myth that Abraham Lincoln’s father was a shoe maker

I met someone today who thought that Abe Lincoln’s father was a cobbler. I had never heard about this so I’ve spent a few minutes to check. ALWAYS CHECK!!

I examined the following books:

  • ABRAHAM LINCOLN: The Man Behind the Myths by STEPHEN B. OATES
  • A. Lincoln: a Biography by Ronald C. White, Jr.

Also the Wikipedia entry on Lincoln’s father.

Lincoln’s father was a carpenter and farmer – and reasonably well-to-do.

There is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that he made shoes for a living.

So how did this myth arise? Our very own mythmaker, Osho – created this myth in his book From Bondage to Freedom (probably in the 60s or 70s). Thereafter, perhaps through repetition within India this myth probably spread far enough that I’ve now come to know of it.


I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln. When he became the president of America, his father was a shoemaker. And, naturally, egoistic people were very much offended that a shoemaker’s son should become the president. They were aristocrats, super-rich: who thought that it was their birthright to be in the highest post. A shoemaker’s son?

On the first day, as Abraham Lincoln entered to give his presidential inaugural address, just in the middle one man stood up. He was a very rich aristocrat. He said Ar. Lincoln, you should  not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family And the whole senate laughed; they thought that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln.

But Lincoln – and that type of person – is made of a totally different mettle. Lincoln looked at the man and said, “Sir, I know that my father used to make shoes in your house for your family, and there will be many others here.because the way he made shoes, nobody else can. He was a creator. His shoes were not just shoes, he poured his whole soul in it. I want to ask you, have you any complaint?- because 1 know how to make shoes myself; if you have any complaint I can make another pair of shoes. But I know that nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes. He was a genius, a great creator, and I am proud of my father!”

The whole senate was struck dumb. They could not understand what kind of man Abraham Lincoln was He had made shoemaking an art, a creativity_ And he was proud because his father did the job so well that not even a single complaint had ever been heard_ And even though he was the president of America, he was ready to make another pair if there was any com plaint.

The man looked silly. Lincoln insisted. “You have to speak! Why have you become dumb? You wanted to make me a fool, and now look all around: you have made a fool of yourself.”


A pretty creative man was Osho.



Extract from A. Lincoln: a Biography by Ronald C. White, Jr.

Within a few years of his father’s death, young Thomas Lincoln was sent out to work. He labored on neighboring farms, earned three shillings a day at a mill, and worked one year for his uncle Isaac on his farm in the Watauga River Valley in Tennessee. Returning to Kentucky, Thomas apprenticed as a carpenter and cabinetmaker in a shop in Elizabethtown.

He served in the local militia, on juries, and became an active member of the Baptist church. Dennis Hanks, a cousin of Abraham Lincoln’s mother, said of Thomas, “He was a man who took the world Easy—did not possess much Envy,” observing that Thomas “never thought that gold was God.” One neighbor remembered him as a “plain unpretending plodding man.” Another called him a “good quiet citizen,” and a third said he told stories with a wry sense of humor, a trait his son would inherit.

One neighbor recalled that Thomas “accumulated considerable property which he always managed to make way with about as fast as he made it.” Like the Lincolns before him, Thomas Lincoln had a hunger for land. At the age of twenty-five, in 1803, he purchased a 238-acre farm on Mill Creek, a tributary of the Salt River, for 118 pounds in cash. At about the same time, he bought two lots in Elizabethtown. Thomas Lincoln’s accumulation of property was such that within a decade he would rank fifteenth of ninety-eight property owners listed in Hardin County in 1814.

Another myth busted!

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee – a much more devious man than I had thought

Till today I had a relatively neutral view about Vajpayee, but after his death a number of disturbing things about him have started surfacing. Twitter has made it possible for people to share a lot of information. Presumably these pieces of information were already known but had somehow been glossed over.

I’ve spent a few minute compiling some of the evidence. More later as time permits.

Exhibit A: Active follower of RSS.

RSS is one of the most problematic organisations of India. It fought AGAINST India’s independence movement and actively supported British rule. Its greatest “contribution” was to promote an ideology on the basis of which Godse shot Gandhi. RSS, which is modelled on fascism, has been involved in perpetrating vast amounts of violence in India. It is also involved in the total distortion of Hinduism. See my booklet on RSS.

But Vajpayee was a fanatic follower and supporter of RSS.

“He himself had no qualms about his association with RSS since childhood” [Source – Times of India].

“In 1942, Vajpayee, officially under 16, was already a dedicated and active member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and well versed with politics.” [Source]

In fact, there are a number of speeches of his (including in Parliament) in which he actively promoted RSS. This is a pretty sorry situation. See this.

“Sangh is my soul”

In 1995 he declared in RSS mouthpiece Organiser that “Sangh is my soul”. [Source – Times of India]

Exhibit B: He generalised about Muslims and claimed they are not interested in living in peace

“Completely changing his tone from the anguished one he had adopted in Gujarat last fortnight, Vajpayee, in the presence of members of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s national executive, lashed out at Muslims. “In Indonesia, Malaysia, wherever Muslims are living they don’t want to live in harmony,” he claimed. “They don’t mix with the society [ghul milkar nahin rehte]. They are not interested in living in peace.” [Source – Sheela Bhatt in Rediff, April 2002]


“Wherever Muslims live, they don’t like to live in co-existence with others, they don’t like to mingle with others; and instead of propagating their ideas in a peaceful manner, they want to spread their faith by resorting to terror and threats. The world has become alert to this danger.”  [Source]


“On the Gujarat riots, he took the same line as the hardliners within the Sangh Parivar, blaming it all on the massacre at Godhra. “Aag lagayi kisne?” he thundered. “Aag faily kaise? (Who lit the fire? How did it spread?)” [Source – Sheela Bhatt in Rediff, April 2002]


“What happened in Gujarat? If a conspiracy had not been hatched to burn alive the innocent passengers of the Sabarmati Express, then the subsequent tragedy in Gujarat could have been averted. But this did not happen. People were torched alive. Who were those culprits? The government is investigating into this. Intelligence agencies are collecting all the information. But we should not forget how the tragedy of Gujarat started. The subsequent developments were no doubt condemnable, but who lit the fire? How did the fire spread?” [Source]

Exhibit C: He wanted Ram Mandir on BJP’s agenda – BUT ALSO DECEPTIVELY DENIED IT

“he had no hesitation in plainly acknowledging in his “resignation” speech in Lok Sabha in 1996 that BJP omitted the Ram temple from its agenda only as it lacked a majority” [Source – Times of India]

But in this video he applies his deceptive style and denies this!! TOTAL DECEPTION.

Exhibit D: He was almost certainly complicit in the demolition of Babri Masjid

See this article and video.

In 1992, as the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi crisis was reaching a crescendo, Atal Bihari Vajapyee addressed a gathering of kar sevaks at Jhandewalan Park in Aminabad, Lucknow. The BJP leader gave his speech the speech on December 5, 1992 – a day before the Babri Masjid was demolished.


Basically what he is saying (and this video clarifies the context) that Hindus have been allowed by the Supreme Court to offer collective prayers (bhajan). However, there are pointed and sharp-edged stones (alluding to the Babri Masjid) in Ayodhya – so how can anyone sit there? The way out is clear: to level the ground (i.e. to demolish Babri Masjid).

A very devious fellow, indeed. A blot on India. Shame.

There is a somewhat irrelevant issue of what Vajpayee did in 1942. I believe at age 16 he was impressionable and one can’t deduce one way or other from his action (or lack of it) at that age.

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