Sanjeev Sabhlok's blog

Thoughts on economics and liberty

Scoundrel Rajiv Malhotra uses chicanery to take down the “clown” video with Nityananda

Today I received a “copyright strike” from Rajiv Malhotra’s Infinity Foundation.  Youtube is also forcing me to take a “copyright school”. This is pretty shocking. I wasn’t aware that it is so easy to game Youtube. I’ll keep a copy of any of all my Youtube videos for the future. This video was also circulated by theprint.in here.

As far as I know the video had received over 13,000 hits – and was attracting a large number of comments each day.

SOURCE: I got the video through this tweet from Richard Fox. However, the link he provided is also no longer working. Clearly the Malhotra magic has worked to wipe out even that record. [Note: the image below is not a working video, just an image]

 

Four issues now:

  1. HAS MALHOTRA USED FRAUDULENT METHODS IN THIS CASE??

From what I can deduce, the video was NOT Rajiv Malhotra’s (or Infinity Foundations!) own property. It was made at a Nityananda’s event. The copyright claim should have come from Nityananda – if at all he had any claim – noting that his videos are widely available on the internet and being a “guru” it is in his interest to circulate his videos widely.

I ask Infinity Foundation to prove that this video was CREATED BY INFINITY FOUNDATION. ELSE THE FOUNDATION WOULD BE GUILTY OF FRAUD. Show me the original agreement with Nityanand that the copyright of that event would belong to Infinity Foundation.

2. AFRAID OF WHAT HE HIMSELF SAID?

That video which he got Youtube to remove merely showed he was an utter fool. Now he is seen also to be a scoundrel, afraid of what he said becoming public.

The “great man” is a petty coward. He has used a fake “copyright” notice to take down his video. Such mortal fear the man has of what he himself said becoming known to the rest of the world.

3. FAIR USE

Even if the video is copyright by Infinity Foundation, the tiny extract that was on my channel would have been covered under the fair use policy. If I had time and money and inclination, I’d have taken this matter to court. That would have made this video and the man’s folly even more well know. But the man is a nobody so I’ll move on, except for publishing his video once I find it.

4. PUBLIC INTEREST

Now that Rajiv Malhotra is occupying a formal role in a government funded institute (JNU) it is crucial that students and faculty alike all over the world are aware of his antics. It is crucial that this video be made widely available in the public interest.

NEXT STEPS

THE SCOUNDREL MUST NOT BE SO EASILY ABLE TO HIDE FROM WHAT HE SAID!!  If  anyone has a copy of that video, please send it to me and I’ll upload directly on my blog.

 

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We are getting not “maximum” but negative governance

On 29 October 2018 I wrote about Ramji Mishra, an autorickshaw driver from Bhadohi district, who was beaten violently in police lockup and died.

I wish to thank readers who have donated to Ramji Mishra’s family as a result of my write-up, particularly since the Yogi government has done nothing for the family. I know at least one reader who has committed Rs.1 lakh to the family after reading my article. At a personal level, I’ve taken the responsibility to provide ongoing moral support and mentoring to Ramji’s children, so they can grow up into successful individuals and even hopefully – one day – join the efforts I have been undertaking for the past twenty years to mend India’s broken governance system.

Ramji’s “crime” was that he went to the police for advice. For that he surely didn’t deserve to die. But this is not the first time that innocent Indians have been killed in police custody (why someone who goes to seek advice is locked up at all is another matter).

The police behave very badly with the poor. When dealing with someone with a higher socioeconomic status they behave obsequiously, but for the rest of us, they are tyrants. Videos of shockingly bad police behaviour frequently show up on social media in which they use unbelievably bad language towards the poor. The British left India in 1947 but far worse specimens have taken their place.

That our police behave so badly with the poor represents a major failure of police governance. Urgent reforms are needed to ensure that police start behaving well with all citizens.

I’ll discuss a few short-term remedies below and briefly touch upon some of the longer-term reforms.

First, there must be a mandatory judicial inquiry into all such cases. As far as I am aware, there has been no inquiry into Ramji Mishra’s case, even by an executive magistrate. This is completely unacceptable. A judge must be appointed to inquire into the matter and his or her report must be published.

Second, legislation must be passed to force government to provide real compensation to the family of anyone killed in police custody. The government is responsible for civil compensation while the concerned police official would take the rap for the crime of murder. Compensation for the government killing any Indian citizen in police custody must be set at Rs.10 crores. Paying out such large amounts of money will force governments to get their house in order to avoid such payouts.

Third, a totally different training program is needed for police officers across the country to sensitise them to their role as our paid servants, not our masters. The police must be taught to treat all Indian citizens with the deepest possible respect, as they would treat their master. All visitors to the police station must be offered a seat, respectfully, and the visitor’s matter dealt with, with civil behaviour.

Fourth, all dealing with the public in a police station must be recorded on CCTV, which must also be placed in the police lockup so that the safety of any Indian who is locked up by the police can be assured.

Fifth, use of a bodycam must be mandatory for any policeman dealing with the public – including outside the police station. All their interactions with the public must be fully recorded. The public must also have the full right to record – for their personal use (including sharing on social media) their entire interaction with the police.

Of course, this is not enough. We need is a full-fledged system of accountability as detailed in Swarna Bharat Party’s manifesto. Our policies are designed to create an independent police machinery that is held to strict account by the people’s assemblies and Parliament. There would be no permanent or tenured positions at any level and only contractual (but very well paid) positions for the senior levels. Police would need to perform or be terminated from the job instantly, with a maximum of one month’s compensation. Obviously, there would be no colonial IPS or other tenured state police service.

Today, the legitimacy of the state is at stake since it can’t assure us basic security – the main function for which we pay our taxes. It is simply not acceptable that those we pay for security end up becoming our killers.

On 2 October 2016 our party sent a detailed letter to the Prime Minister in which we provided a list of fundamental reforms he needs to implement with regard to the police and justice systems. The Prime Minister not only did not respond (did not even acknowledge the letter) but there has been absolutely no change to India dysfunctional governance system over the past nearly five years.

It is high time the Prime Minster starts performing the basic functions for which we pay his salary. Instead of running hotels, airlines, buses, banks and industries, or building big statues from the public purse, or bullet trains while there is not even a single functional footpath in the whole of India, Mr Modi must start performing the basic functions of government. Forget about “maximum governance”, our governments are killing innocent Indians. We are getting negative governance.

Before vikas can occur we need suraksha.

NOTE: TOI Blogs has stopped responding to any of my emails and I’m now certain they have been approached by Modi personally to block my blog.

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Ram rajya as capitalism: This Diwali day, let us determine to overthrow socialism.

A few weeks ago I was stranded in traffic in Delhi in an Uber vehicle. I had time for a long chat with the driver and so we discussed India’s situation.

He started by supporting both Modi and Kejriwal but minutes into our conversation, he couldn’t identify a single improvement on the ground. I then started exploring with him why things are so bad in India.

For nearly twenty years, I’ve been talking to villagers and people in cities across India on the reasons why governments continue to fail to perform their basic functions of security, justice and infrastructure, even as they insist on undertaking unnecessary roles, such as running buses, hotels and banks.

In these conversations, I’ve long been using Indian idioms and proverbs like “Jahaan ka raja vyapari, vahan ki praja bhikari” (i.e. where the king undertakes trade and commerce, the people are made into beggars) and traditional symbols like “shubh labh” (i.e. profit is good).

Stuck in the din of the Delhi traffic, I had time to come up with more evocative ways to communicate my message. Maybe I could tie all this up with Ram rajya?

After all, the kings in the Ramayana were never producers or businessmen. Neither king Dashrath nor Ram ran hotels, buses, airlines, factories or banks. Even coinage was independent of kings, with guilds minting the coins and certifying their quality. Only later did kings get involved in certification and finally, in minting. India’s money supply and banking systems were a form of free banking.

Moreover, the theory of the state in Valmiki’s Ramayana is very similar to the Hobbesean or Lockean thesis of a social contract, which is the foundation of modern liberalism. “In a rulerless land, there is no peace, thieves and brigands exercise their power”. In a land without a king “the wealthy are not protected, nor does the husbandman, the cowherd and the shepherd sleep at ease with open doors; … nor do the merchants travelling the roads in security bring their goods to sell from distant lands”.

The primary function of the king in Ram rajya is security. But justice is crucially important: “A wise and learned king, having obtained and ruled the entire earth, properly by righteousness and by administering justice to the people, indeed ascends to heaven when detached from the mortal body”. Further, “The king will have great renown for he is the ruler of the righteousness of these people, a protector, a respectable and adorable one, and as he wields the sceptre of justice”.

With regards to justice, the liberal principle of separation of state and religion has been a key pillar of the Indian tradition. The kings of India never restricted the speech of atheists or imposed corporal punishment for differences of religious opinion. This is dramatically different to the Western tradition where violent suppression of thought was the norm till relatively recently, and the middle Eastern tradition where differences of religious opinion are met by the state with murder even today.

This Diwali day, therefore, let us pause to explore the meaning and implications of Ram rajya and, closely associated with that, why Laxmi and shub labh are so important.

We will find that Ram rajya is nothing but capitalism. In Ram rajya, the people only succeed by serving other people’s needs in order to obtain shubh labh, so that Lakshmi (wealth) can enter the house.

Note how radically different is “labh” from “lobh” (greed). In a free society, profit never emerges only from greed. It emerges from the necessary transformation, indeed the sublimation, of any egotistical greed into the most humble service of other people’s needs. Effectively, the worship of profit amounts to the worship other people’s comforts and needs. Only when others come first does Laxmi enter the house.

Unfortunately for India, we forgot all this 70 years ago and agreed to adopt the newfangled Western model of socialism which Nehru and many of his colleagues were smitten with.

Socialism involves two things that directly conflict with the Indian tradition.

First, it involves the government going well beyond its core functions. It involves the government becoming a businessman. Till today, public sector businesses continues to dominate India. Public sector banks are the main channel through which the people are being looted. But also education. In the Indian tradition the king never involved himself in education. Gandhi himself chastised the British for getting involved in education. The governments of India have continued to violate this most fundamental principle, with disastrous consequences for hundreds of millions of our youth.

Second, socialism involves a visceral hatred for profit. JRD Tata reported: “Nehru once told me ‘I hate the mention of the very word profit’. I replied: ‘Jawaharlal, I am talking about the need of the public sector making a profit.’ Jawaharlal came back: ‘Never talk to me about the word profit; it is a dirty word’.”

At the same time when Nehru was busy attacking profit and nationalising industries in order to achieve his “commanding heights of the economy”, Lee Kuan Yew was vigorously fighting the socialists of Singapore. He bluntly told them: “You make profit into a dirty word and Singapore dies!”

No Indian scripture or tradition ever calls for the confiscation of private property – but such confiscation has been the central tenet in socialist India, with a vast number of confiscatory Acts of parliament sheltered from judicial review under Schedule 9 of the Constitution. Indeed, property rights are not a fundamental right today, despite private property being the foundation of India’s success for thousands of years.

It is true that Nehru and his Congress are not the only ones responsible for our current misery. All other major parties including BJP and AAP have been actively promoting this ideology. Mr Modi’s actions are directly violative of the principles of governance that form part of the Indian tradition and political thought, including Kautilya’s Arthashastra. The Indian tradition is unambiguously capitalist. Mr Modi is an arch socialist.

My conversation with the Uber driver proved very fruitful for I think I’ve finally discovered the most direct way to show people why socialism is a fatal ideology. At least the driver was persuaded.

Perhaps once you begin to appreciate what Diwali really stands for, you will join me to uproot this offensive ideology from India so we can return to the capitalist model which underpinned our success as sone ki chidiya – the world’s richest country.

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An English training package for Ramji Mishra’s children

Based on suggestions received, I’ve finalised the following package:

Tutorials: Free access to tutorials has been organised by Rabi Kant Bharti. These are not very high quality, but the best that’s available locally in Bhadohi.

Watching documentaries on mobile phone: I’ve asked Renu to start with Free to Choose.

Watching Doordarshan English news.

Comics: Exploring how to provide a subscription for Amar Chitra Katha. Other comics can be provided as well.

Books: Strunk and White. ‘ll try to carry a few books with me when I visit Bhadohi in January. Have requested anyone else who can, to spare a few simple books in English, as well. Also Economics for Children.  Then BFN and DOF.

Phone conversations: I’ll do this periodically in English

Writing practice: I’ll ask the children to write and send me material in English for review

Twitter: follow Richard Feynman and Thomas Sowell.

In addition to learning English, you’ll also get some brilliant advice and learn important things.

OTHER RESOURCES

Documentaries:

Learn English with Movies
Learn English with EngLishClass 101

National Geographic documentaries

How to write the perfect sentence

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