Himalaya Watch

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My ideas on neighbors: from elsewhere-1

Here I compile some of comments and articles about India and other neighbors published outside my own blog. It is a sort of archiving but the readers can utilize this to catch my ideas on various issues pressing the sub-continent. 

1. China, comments on Himal Southasian magazine July 2009:

74,000 protests
The cover stories of the May 2009 issue (“China’s Economy: Over the crest”) sum up well the emerging economic realities of the East. There are clear indications that we are headed toward greater unrest and chaos, the result of unemployment, hunger and destitution. The repercussions of the turbulence will be long-lasting and accelerated conflicts, both of the inter- and intra-state kinds.

Take, for instance, the staggering number of 74,000 social protests throughout China in 2004 – the figure conceded by the government – which represented the increasing disgust of the people to the widening economic gap. In the current situation in China, even the most subtle signs of defiance may be harbingers of stormy days to follow. As the effects of the turmoil are still percolating down, engulfing more people in the mess, things are sure to get worse before they get better. It will be years before people in states such as Nepal, with their relatively isolated economies, feel the chill of the global cool-down, even as the richer countries will be recuperating after lacklustre times.

The global capitalist empire is in chaos after two decades of unrivalled existence. Unsurprisingly, it is the contradictions from within that are jeopardising the vitality of the system. The discourse on turmoil and potential after-effects has been quite extensive in the West, as well as other countries with economies integrated to the former. As frustrating as the current meltdown may be to these actors, the nature of their economics is such that they will recover, later if not sooner. In our part of the world, however, most of the populace is oblivious to the dynamics of the world economy. This will only help the inevitable backlash last longer and be more vigorous.
Jiwan Kshetry

2. India: Comments, Himal Southasian January 2010

The story of the Bhopal tragedy presented from within by Sathyu Sarangi (“December 1984”, Dec) was both revealing and shocking given our sheer lack of information about the disaster. The kind of sordid role played by Union Carbide and the colluding state government in the aftermath, has been a norm rather than an exception in other situations as well, with what can be termed corporatocracy reigning supreme over democracy, civil liberties and human rights. People’s lives, the delicate ecosystem, the fragile biodiversity, everything has succumbed to the mighty pressure of the corporate supermen dedicated to draining all the wealth in the globe to their fraudulent banks and mansions.

The ugly feuds between and among the interest groups that impeded the relief work in Bhopal, including the arrest by the government of those who administered the drug of proven value to the victims is a reminder of how acts of benevolence and altruism get merged with the petty self-interests and the larger plans of the corporations that are able to buy even the loyalty of the governments. This trend is also far from an exception as the corporations keep thriving throughout the world under different guises and excuses while depriving millions of poor, under-privileged and indigenous people of right to get food and shelter. They continue the practice of ‘Divide, sow the seed of internecine conflict and rule’.
Jiwan Kshetry

3 India: Comments, Himal Southasian January 2009

Environmentally-friendly socialism
The astute observations made by Aseem Shrivastava (“Real woes in a virtual world”, Dec) could have been easily maligned as biased barely six months ago. Recent developments have, however, compelled neo-liberal thinkers and policymakers to rethink the matter, though their paranoia about the potential harm of state regulation of the economy still persists. The rush to socialise the negative assets assimilated by corporate greed has created a moral dilemma for them: can the socialisation of positive assets also be justified? A deepening crisis is bound to force them to take sides.

Ironically, this crash of the self-congratulatory hypothesis that never-ending opulence is possible through the absolute free market has created enormous pressures on the fragile ecosystem of our planet. Manufacturing amenities for the sake of trade, and thus profit, has been depleting natural resources, polluting and warming the atmosphere for the past decades. In the aftermath of this crisis, the much touted spill-over hypothesis for poverty alleviation is also bound to suffer a setback, justifying a role of increasing social spending, which goes against WB and IMF prescriptions.

Jiwan Kshetry

4. India: Maoist invite harsh Indian reposte: Published by Asia Times in www.atimes.net/speakingfreely on April 2010

An offensive by Maoist rebels in India that killed 76 security forces sets the stage for a huge counter-insurgency drive by the government. The dire need of addressing the grievances of indigenous people will, however, sustain a blow as hawks in the media and the military demand nothing short of annihilation of the nagging security threat.

5. Movie review: The idiots all over

Though everyone is supposed to rush to compete wildly in the bid to gain power and wealth, the reality differs. Nor the genocides of past may remain beyond awareness for long. Two brilliant movies aim at the status quo differently but…

(This is the first part of the two-part series).


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जीवनमा अफ्ठ्यारा घुम्तीहरुमा हिंडिरहँदा मैले कुनै क्षणमा पलायनलाई एउटा विकल्पको रुपमा कल्पना गरेको थिएँ, त्यसलाई यथार्थमा बदल्ने आँट गरिनँ, त्यो बेग्लै कुरा हो त्यसबेला लाग्थ्योः मेरा समग्र दुखहरुको कारण मेरो वरपरको वातावरण हो, यसबाट साहसपूर्वक बाहिरिएँ भने नयाँ दुख आउलान् तर तत्क्षणका दुरुह दुखहरु गायब भएर जानेछन् कति गलत थिएँ !

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Why I write...

I do not know why I often tend to view people rather grimly: they usually are not as benevolent, well-intentioned and capable or strong as they appear to be. This assumption is founded on my own self-assessment, though I don’t have a clue as to whether it is justifiable to generalize an observation made in one individual. This being the fact, my views of writers as ‘capable’ people are not that encouraging: I tend to see them as people who intend to create really great and world-changing writings but most of the times end up producing parochial pieces. Also, given the fact that the society where we grow and learn is full of dishonesty, treachery, deceit and above else, mundanity, it is rather unrealistic to expect an entirely reinvigorating work of writing from every other person who scribbles words in paper.

On life's challenges

Somebody has said: “I was born intelligent but education ruined me”. I was born a mere child, as everyone is, and grew up as an ordinary teenager eventually landing up in youth and then adulthood. The extent to which formal education helped me to learn about the world may be debatable but it definitely did not ruin me. There were, however, things that nearly ruined me. There came moments when I contemplated some difficult choices. And there came and passed periods when I underwent through an apparently everlasting spell of agony. There came bends in life from which it was very tempting to move straight ahead instead of following the zigzag course.

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