Alt Left: It Was 70 Years Ago, or It Was Yesterday

Too bad there’s no translation.

People who are unapologetically completely critical of this Revolution have a lot to answer for. Why was it so popular? What did they propose instead? Do they realize that China had a life expectancy of 32 years in 1949? Do they realize that famines had rampaged through the countryside for decades if not centuries at this time? Do they realize that almost all of China was still in a semi-feudal if not fully feudal society in 1949?

Do they realize that India and China had the exact same level of development in 1949? Do they realize that the Nationalists had never done one damned decent thing for the vast majority of the Chinese people? Do they realize that the leaders of the past century had done nothing but sell out China to exploiting foreigners, resulting in the century of humiliation?

Do they realize that most Chinese people were peasants, not knowing where their next meal was coming from, having no shoes on their feet, working for a feudal landlord who stole from them, raped their wives, beat them up anytime he wanted with no recourse under law and held the power of life and death over them at all times?

Do they realize that after the Chinese Revolution, China grew faster than at any time in its history? Do they realize that China now has less poverty than it has ever had? Do they realize that Chinese people now have medical care and education for the first time ever? Do they realize that all Chinese have a home or a farm or a job for the first time in history?

A colleague of mine is a Sinologist. Since I am so controversial, I cannot tell you his name. He has an article about he and his wife climbing a famous mountain in Southern China. His wife can’t understand most of the dialects they hear and she comes from that region. Turns out that these are dialects from right around the mountain, of which she knows nothing. And they say there is but one Chinese language!

On the way down, they see an old man trudging up the mountainside with another man on his shoulders. My friend writes, “The Old China seems to be coming back…”

You see, this was the old China, the China of centuries of millennia. An old poor man being hired to carry a rich man on his shoulders up a mountain. This is the China of a century ago or of a millennia ago. The Revolution had overwhelming mass support. No one wanted the Nationalist warlords, the party of the Rich. Everyone wanted the Communists, the party of the Poor.

The haters of Communist China still need to respond: What would they have done differently? What did they propose in the alternative? As usual, their answer is nothing.

The CCP has mass popular support. 87% support the party, and those polls are good. There is plenty of dissent in China. There are 1,000 protests every single day in China. Sound like any dictatorship you ever heard of? China’s a lot more complicated than that.

Diagnosis for the Philippines: Toxic America Worship

Jason writes:

Jason Y: New Filipino president hates America and is even meaner than Hugo Chavez.

Glad to hear it.

Jason: The people there though, in general, still like America.

Too bad. They really need to quit doing this. Filipinos’ love for America is probably screwing them up more than anything else because as usual,
America loves the fact that the Philippines is a shithole and wants to keep it that way as long as possible. By worshipping America, Filipinos are essentially cheering for the fact that they live in a shithole and saying they never want to climb out.
Further, America would get very angry if the Philippines ever started to get their act together, which they have probably never done at any time in their history, though give them some credit in the War of Independence and World War 2.
Jose Rizal was a great man. Where is the Filipino Jose Rizal in 2016? He doesn’t exist. Pathetic. Few Filipinos these days have anywhere near his majestic decency.
They are too wrapped up in the moronic self-harming culture of America worship to even figure out why their country is so messed up. And Filipinos are worse than Americans at voting against their self-interest. Worse, Filipinos are even incapable of understanding what their self-interests even are (sound like Americans?) while Americans are sort of starting to get a clue to the disease they have, though we are choosing the wrong cure as usual. But if you want to get better, have have to first get a good diagnosis.
But Filipinos will never get anywhere until they start hating us like we deserve to be hated. That’s Step #1.

Why Indians Hate the Aryan Invasion Theory So Much

Found on the Net:

In Indian context, the theory has a few problems:

  • The Aryan invasion theory was postulated by non-Indian thinkers at a time when India was a colony of Britain. That has led to the criticism that Europeans can never accept that Indian culture could not be home-grown, it must have been imported from elsewhere. This line of thinking is not completely baseless, just look at the decades it took for Westerners to accept that all the statues in Easter Island were built by the natives and not a creation of some alien species.
  • There is an Indocentric fervor in India – Indian culture is superior, Indian food is superior, Indian linguistic traditions are superior and Indian intellect is superior; not just against one or two countries but against everyone. So, the idea that India could have benefited from immigrants is immediately rejected. This line of thinking is quite evident when you see how many people want to cleanse India of Muslims.
  • The title of the theory has not helped – it implies that all the extant culture was destroyed and replaced with the culture of the invaders. If it had been called “Aryan Immigration Theory”, there would have been less resistance.
  • A few people have told me that the “Aryan Invasion Theory” was developed to cement the idea that Europeans and Indians were distinct populations – even though the theory actually calls for Europeans and Indians to have common ancestors!

All in all, this theory drives a lot of people (especially of Indian origin) batty.

This sums up very well the problems Indians have with the AIT and why it provokes such passionate emotional responses in them.

Aryan Invasion Again and Why Narcissism Is the Core Indian Personality

Nelly (note fake British female name) an Indian nationalist, writes:

I personally find it so funny that so many people hold onto the Aryan Invasion theory with such tenacity. This theory was made popular by Hitler, which is really funny because he was also the same person who said that the superior people were those with blonde hair and blue eyes, and also went around claiming that Jewish people were evil and should be exterminated.
Today, the majority of people know that those with blonde hair and blue eyes are not superior to any other people nor are Jewish people evil and should be eliminated. That being said, why do so many people still believe the Aryan invasion theory even though it came from a man who did nothing but spread lies in an effort to brainwash people? Why are you guys so selective in what you want to believe as being true? Why does Hitler’s credibility suddenly increase for the entire Aryan theory?
I don’t usually get involved in these debates because I realize that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and I respect that. But, there is a difference between what is an opinion and what is a fact. And the fact is that the word “Arya” is Sanskrit for “noble.”
Max Mueller, who came up with the idea of two Aryan races, used this discovery as a means of showing the common ancestry between the Indians and Europeans, not as a form of racism (Esleben, 2008, F. Max Müller, Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryas (1888), Kessinger Publishing reprint, 2004, p.120; Dorothy Matilda Figueira, Aryans, Jews, Brahmins: Theorizing Authority Through Myths of Identity, SUNY Press, 2002, p.45).
There is also a mountain of evidence that debunks the idea of there ever having been an invasion. Archeologists and researchers have never found any indication that an invasion occurred as the skeletons discovered never suggested that an invasion ever occurred  (Gregory L. Possehl, 2002, The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, Rowman Altamira, p. 238, ISBN 9780759101722).
The majority of Western scholars don’t refer to it as an “invasion” because they are educated enough to know that it isn’t. Those who still call it an invasion are not viewed as being credible by the rest of Western scholars, but are rather seen as racist. (Witzel, Michael, 2005, “Indocentrism”, in Bryant, Edwin; Patton, Laurie L., The Indo-Aryan Controversy. Evidence and Inference in Indian History (PDF), Routledge).
Again, I’m not expressing any opinions in the last three paragraphs. I’m literally just stating facts. That is, information that has been proven to be true by people who are experts in this topic. So, if you choose to attack me, then I don’t know what to say except go hash it out with the experts who, after years and years of research, came up with these theories instead of me.

My remarks: The Aryan Invasion Theory was not created by Hitler. The Indians called themselves Aryans. They didn’t need Mueller or Hitler to make it up. Iran means “Aryan.”
Almost all Western scholars agree that the theory is true. Only a few crackpots and nuts disagree, and they are very isolated and cannot even publish in peer reviewed journals because their theories are so antiscientific. It is not a fringe theory. It is cutting-edge modern social science.
Further, I believe that there is excellent evidence of an actual Aryan Invasion that resulted in a vicious war that left many dead and entire cities in the Indus Valley razed to the ground.
And you won’t get called racist for calling it the Aryan Invasion Theory either. You might be called that by some idiot Indian, but who cares what Indians think about this or much of anything really?
This response is also interesting.
First of all, in order to show how well read they are, this Indian nationalist peppers her comment with a lot of nice references. I admit that the references are nicely done, and I commend the commenter for her scholarship. However, I must painfully point out to this apparently blind commenter that every single one of those quotes that she quoted actually supports the Aryan Invasion Theory instead of opposing it. So her references do not support her thesis; instead they disprove it!
I see so many Indian nationalists and Hindutvadis come here adopting European-sounding names, both first names and surnames.
We even had an extreme Indian nationalist here posting under “Snow is fun.” Snow is white. It’s white and cold, and there’s not much of it in most of inhabited India. To me, giving himself that name meant that he secretly wanted to be Scandinavian. And in fact, he was an Indian expat posting from Sweden.
Others post under names like “Arya” and then proceed to rip the Aryan invasion theory to shreds. And note how many of the wildest Indian nationalists have long bailed out of Shithole India for the hated White Man’s Land, where they paradoxically live so much better than they do in glorious Bharat Mata.
They hate Whites, but they disguise their identities under White first names and last names.
They hate Whites and consider them inferior to superior Indians, yet they left superior India for inferior White man land where they somehow live much better than in Mother India.
They call themselves Arya yet viciously attack the Aryan Invasion Theory.
They hate Whites but post from Sweden.
They hate Whites but call themselves Arya.
They hate Whites but come from a society that worships White skin like a God.
They hate Whites but give themselves names describing white things like snow that are only found in cold climates were Whites are common.
They hate Whites but call themselves “Snow is fun,” which to me means “I love Whiteness.”
In other words, almost all of these Indian nationalists are absolutely crazy. The cognitive dissonance here would deafen you.
Furthermore, obvious psychological complexes such as inferiority complex, envy, reaction formation, projection, denial, narcissism, false confidence, etc. are painfully evident here. The “Indian complex” seems to be characterized by hatred and envy for their “inferiors” who they secretly ape, emulate and live among. The painful recognition that their “inferiors” are actually superior to their falsely “superior” selves is blatantly on display.
Hatred, envy, false and fragile overconfidence, an inferiority complex and especially the subconscious knowledge that their “inferior” rival is actually better than their “superior” selves and the resulting shame and rage that this engenders is almost a textbook definition of the narcissist.
I suggest that narcissism is the base personality of many Indians, especially the nationalists, ultranationalists and Hindutvadis.

"Time of Monsters," by Peter Tobin

Peter Tobin is a Marxist activist and author who is an experiment on the recent goings in in Nepal especially with regard to the Maoist revolutionaries who recently fought a brutal civil war there and are now part of the government. Turns out that with disarmament, a lot of the Maoists sold out completely on almost all of their revolutionary principles, become rightwingers and in the process become millionaires with huge mansions. In addition, as you might have guessed, all and I mean all of the Maoist leaders were Brahmins.
And this was an anti-caste revolution.
In this part of the world, caste is like dirt. No matter how many times try wash the dirt off, there’s always some on your skin. And no matter how many attempts are made by South Asians to cleanse the body politic of caste, there’s always some of it remaining on the skin of their culture. you can’t take enough showers to wash all the dirt off and you can’t do enough reforms to wash caste out of the culture. It’s looking like caste in now an integral part of South Asian culture like curry, saris or gurus.
Warning: This work is very long. If it was a book, it would be 60 pages, long enough for a novella if it was fiction.

Time of Monsters

by Peter Tobin

The cartoon above reflects a widespread perception among many Nepalese that the four parliamentary parties are servants – in varying degrees – of New Delhi. It appeared in the 2013, August edition of Nepal – a popular monthly – showing Prachanda (UCPN(M), Nepal (UML), Sitaula (NC) and Gaddachhar (MJN), (Brahmins all!) blubbing uncontrollably as Nepal against history and the odds beat India 2-1 in the South Asia Football Championships in July 2013.

Nepal’s Brahminical State and Problems of Legitimacy

From Machiavelli:

What’s more, you can’t in good faith give the nobles what they want without doing harm to others; but you can with the people. Because the people’s aspirations are more honorable than those of the nobles: the nobles want to oppress the people, while the people want to be free from oppression.
Machiavelli, The Prince, 1516, p.39. Penguin 2009.

To the present day:

How can people trust them to run the state? Our boycott is therefore a political act to expose the failure of this parliamentary system. To build a new democracy and renew the revolutionary process we must go in a different direction.
– Mohan Baidya, ‘Kiran’, Chairman, CPN-Maoist, October, 2013

Introduction

Political parties in all societies reflect specific histories and display the balance of social and political forces at any point in their narratives. Nepal is no exception to this truism; the classes and strata arising from the socio-economic conditions obtaining in the country’s history gave rise to caste, party and faction. The aim of this article is to provide detail of their historical gestation as a means of examining and explaining the present impasse in Nepalese society.
This is presently evidenced by argument as to whether a Consultative Assembly, elected in November 2013 in a disputed ballot, has authority to promulgate a new constitution and is another issue of serious division that pervades every sphere of Nepalese society – political, cultural, social and economic – that cumulatively call into question the legitimacy of the essentially unreconstructed state founded by Prithvi Nararyan Shah in 1769.
The article will argue that discord has been inherent since the state’s inception in the mid-18th century, with the campaign of unification driven by a minority elite imposing a nationality upon a multi-ethnic majority and which despite changing modalities of state power in the succeeding two-hundred and fifty years, remains the dominant power in Nepalese society, surviving monarchical absolutism, feudal clan autocracy, constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy, successively appearing as contrasting if not antagonistic systems.
It is certainly the case that internecine power struggles among ruling Nepalese elites, regarding modalities of power, are crucial to understanding the forces shaping the present. However, evident systemic discontinuity should not obscure persistence of upper caste, particularly Brahmin ascendancy, surmounting every upheaval, and turning every change of polity into a vehicle for retention of power and privilege.
Responding to the pressures of the modern world, and with long experience in judging the vagaries of historic authority, these same castes have melded seamlessly into the local bourgeoisie – domestically hegemonic but internationally subservient.
Not every ancien regime is oblivious or impervious to demands for change from formerly subaltern classes. Note the nationalist leader Tancredi’s maxim, in di Lampedusa’s epic novel The Leopard about the 19th century Risorgimento (Italian unification):

“Things have to change so that everything can stay the same.” (“Tutto deve cambiar perche tutto reste uguale.”) (Il Gattopardo, G. di Lampedusa, 1958)

The Nepalese ruling castes are exemplars of this paradox, having survived successive changes in polity, a point underlined in contemporary Nepal where the major constitutional parties and organs of state are dominated by the same higher caste/class, as supreme in the new democratic republic as they were under the preceding Hindu God-Kingdom created through war and conquest by their Brahmin/Rajput ancestors in the 18th century. Unification was more empire than nation building, pitting a warlike Indo-Aryan warrior caste against a rural majority comprised of over sixty Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups, each with its own languages and specific Buddhist/pantheist/shamanist cultures.
Over time this may not have precluded the forging of national identity: consider the example of Britain, which emerged from English subjugation and colonization of the tribal Celtic peoples that flourished on the periphery of the later named, with breast-beating triumphalism, British Isles.
Similarly the English had emerged as a distinct people following military invasion and occupation by French Normans over Anglo-Saxon natives. Christianity in the form of Roman Catholicism already provided a common ideology for conqueror and conquered. In the centuries following, the former lost both their French language and territories with the European feudal system they imposed upon Anglo-Saxon England taking root and dominating until the emergence of bourgeois capitalism in the Late Middle Ages.
Nepal has never overcome the contradictions engendered by its violent birth which was compromised by its Hindu ruling castes retaining political, cultural and economic ties with caste peers governing India the sub-continental empire, and who, since Bhimsen Thapa, Jonge Bahadur and the Ranas, have, unlike the nation-builders of medieval Europe, proved unable or unwilling to act with national impunity.
The notion of the present ruling caste elite representing the national interest is presently even more unlikely as their growing cosmopolitan class interests political, ideological and economic necessitate the country continuing as neo-colony of Brahminical India, subject to the ubiquitous, all-conquering global market and the multinational institutions established by US and other First World powers after 1945.
The last serious threat to centralized caste power was the People’s War from 1996-2006, which saw a 12-point peace agreement between parliamentarians and revolutionaries, following the success of these two former bitter enemies allying to overthrow King Gyenendra in the 2006 second Thulo Jana Andolan (Great People’s Uprising/Revolution). It did not, as promised, lead to a ‘New Nepal’, instead seeing the elites of ‘Old Nepal’ regrouping, and remaining ensconced in power.
This had also happened after the 1990 Jana Andolan, when the Brahmin leaders of the democratic movement summoned the Janjatis (ethnic minorities) and oppressed castes and classes to join the struggle for democracy against King Birendra and the feudal Panchayat system.
Promises made, offering cultural and political autonomy to redress historical injustices, were later reneged on, with the subsequent constitution drawn up by the victorious New Delhi-backed political parties even retaining Nepal’s status as a divine Hindu Kingdom. It was not until 2008, with the declaration of a republic, that the monarchial system was finally abolished.
However, that was the only tangible political gain from ten years of People’s War, while the major socioeconomic and cultural inequities that had provoked it were left in place, with attempts to ameliorate them blocked or sabotaged by a resurgent rightist bloc that seized the political and military initiative in the years following the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Nepal’s political parties are defined by which side they take in relation to this history; whether they want to either preserve the existing system, albeit with minor tweaks and modest reform, or completely replace it with a new dispensation. Conservatives and revolutionaries are adversaries in the struggle for the body and soul of the nation.
First, some empirical details about the country that provide the inescapable, epidemiological conclusion that the socio-economic antagonisms fermenting in Nepalese society point inevitably to further eruption.

Economy and Society

Nepal is an aid-dependent, landlocked country, accessed principally from India, with a population of approximately 28 million. It has over sixty ethnic groups or Janjatis (called Adivasis in India) reflecting a rich linguistic and cultural diversity. Over 80% of its peoples are rural inhabitants, mostly dependent on subsistence farming. The agricultural sector contributes approximately 38-40% to GDP, with the tourism/service industry adding 47-50%, and the industrial/craft sector contributing 10-13% (1).
The CIA World Factbook estimates its labor force at 16 million: 70% of those employed are in agriculture and 18% in the services sector with the remainder in industry and craft production. The imbalance between numbers of population engaged respectively in these sectors and the value each one adds to GDP is striking. What distorts the figures is that 25-30% of the tourism/service GDP (where it measured by income) comes from Gurkha pensions and increasingly over the last decade from émigré labor remittances (2).
As its contribution to GDP shows, the manufacturing sector is small, with carpet weaving dominating its light industrial sector and the rest made up of skilled handcraft production in metal, stone and wood. Since the decline of the jute industry based in Biratnagar, heavy industry is negligible, and Nepal has to import everything from cars to computers – necessities of modern life – which add to its trade deficit.
Nepal has always faced the difficult situation of being a small economic power next to a big one that is denied economies of scale that accrue from size, thus insuring that Nepali companies could not compete with bigger Indian ones in the home market. This problem has, for example, caused the virtual collapse of its cotton and garment industry. Exports are inhibited because India imposes high import duties to protect its own industries.
The pan-Indian Marwari Corporation/Clan dominate the domestic industrial and commercial sector in collusion with the traditional caste elites of Ranas/Shahs. A further aspect of its neocolonial status is that Nepal is forced to concede an open border with India and must endure a ‘take or leave it’ in terms of trade with India, a market that accounts for nearly 70% of Nepal’s total exports. In some instances Delhi has even reneged on prior agreements in order to sabotage specific Nepalese attempts at establishing nascent industry (3).
Nepal’s manufacturing base was further weakened by the global march of neoliberal capitalism (4) that saw, for example, Structural Adjustment Programs introduced in Nepal from the mid-1980s’.
SAP’s are loans to aid-dependent, underdeveloped or economically unstable countries that have strong conditional clauses requiring adoption of rigorous free market policies, including privatization, trade and finance-sector liberalization, prices determined by the market and precluding and retreating from state intervention in any form.
They were implemented by the IMF and World Bank, acting in a ‘bad cop/bad cop’ scenario and affected all sections of Nepalese society; the removal of subsidies on such items as cooking gas hit many homes, while those on fertilizers reduced agricultural production. Privatization programs ended public enterprises, many of which had been initiated by a dirigiste Rana regime in the 1930’s in a desperate attempt to modernize.
There was, for example, sustained pressure from multilateral development financial institutions – the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in particular – forcing a sale of water utilities, resulting in their complete privatization by 2006. Tariffs protecting indigenous industries were also removed and the penetration of multinational capital was facilitated across all sectors.

Inequality and Poverty

This regime, which does not even manufacture a needle in the name of a self-reliant and national economy, has handed the whole economy to a dozen families of foreign compradors and bureaucratic capitalists. This handful of plunderers has become billionaires, whereas the real owners of this country and the national property – the toiling masses of Nepal – are forced to eke out a meager existence of deprivation and poverty.
– (CPN(M) leaflet, distributed on the eve of the start of the People’s War, 13th February, 1996.

The UN Human Development Report 2014 listed Nepal as the 31st poorest country in the world and among those classified low in Human Development indices with glaring inequalities in incomes and lifestyles that has the top 10% owning 42% of wealth and the bottom 10% accruing 2.7%. The Multidimensional Poverty Index, which measures schooling, nutrition, infant mortality, sanitation, and access to clean water among its criteria for standards of modern life, puts incidences of poverty at 65% whereas an income-poverty criteria at $1.25 per day gives a 55% figure of those suffering deprivation. (5)
Government Household Survey statistics for 2010/11, by contrast, estimated deprivation at 25% of population but only by using a smaller cohort, with the sole criterion defining poverty as daily consumption of less than 2,220 calories. By whatever measure, poverty is endemic and exacerbated by increased levels of unemployment that since 2000 have inexorably risen to nearly 50% of the working population in 2014. By conflating the above figures along with other relevant indices, the Gini Coefficient statistics for 2010 (6) showed that inequality has worsened over past two decades of western-style parliamentary democracy and capitalism. (7)
While the majority of Nepalese are rural dwellers, the agriculture sector is weak and inefficient; hilly and mountainous topography with subsequent scarcity of arable soil apart from the southern Terai plains allows mostly for only subsistence farming. A poor infrastructure of roads and communications inhibits movement of produce. The continuing failure to reform land ownership sees huge, growing numbers of landless Dalits, Muslims and other minorities, especially in feudal and populous Terai. The failures to implement scientific management and introduce modern technology combine to render Nepal dependent on importing foodstuffs from or through India.
The failure of the present system to provide necessary conditions of existence for an expanding demographic adds greater urgency to the antagonisms between the Establishment Right and Radical Left. These will be further accentuated given that India’s newly elected BJP administration has signaled the intention of pursuing more aggressively expansionist policies and is fully committed to the neoliberal economic project. The latter is being promoted as ‘shock therapy’ necessary for economic lift-off that will rescue the Indian people from poverty and deprivation.
It is it problematic because it is set out as an ideological as opposed to an economically rational project deliberately masking the aim of increasing the penetration of Western monopoly capitalism into the Indian economy through the mediation of the Brahmin/Banyia oligarchy. One of the new regime’s first acts was to increase hikes in diesel prices, allowing the state subsidy to shrivel, while signaling an intention to do the same to fertilizer subsidies. It has since announced that the health budget is to be slashed in a country that already has one of world’s lowest expenditures in this sector.
When all such state aid is rolled back, if wealth ‘trickles down’ perhaps by the conspicuous consumption of luxury commodities and lifestyle of a privileged cosmopolitan caste elite or charity (not a noted Brahmin characteristic) and alleviates some poverty – so be it, but it will be serendipitous. Such an outcome is not what drives au courant ‘capitalism with its coat off’ mutation, (4) so eagerly embraced by India’s caste elite as greed is a noted Brahmin characteristic.
However, for all the Hindutva histrionics and bravura posturing of the demagogue Modi, his BJP regime is in fact morphing effortlessly from Mohan Singh’s Congress Party Administration’s line of march. This became apparent in 2005 US/India Memos of Understanding (MOU) which, inter alia, initiated opening up India’s agricultural research establishments to American monopolies and activated policies of ‘rapid commercialization’ of already hard-pressed Indian farmers.
One commentator noted at the time:

The treaty is a partnership between two unequal partners. American agriculture is highly mechanized and organized, energy-intensive and market-centric. Indian agriculture, by contrast, has been for millennia the way of life for the vast majority of the population. (8)

The present Nepalese establishment invariably marches in step with New Delhi and accordingly rolled out the red carpet for the newly-elected PM Modi’s August 2014 official visit to Kathmandu. Addressing the Nepalese Parliament, he emphasized his government’s neoliberal economic priorities and the benefit Nepal would derive from deepening existing bilateral links by “…taking our relationship to an entirely new level.”
Nepal’s establishment parties were receptive, as the post-1990 administrations had closely shadowed India’s descent into neoliberal policies, and Modi’s regime was seen as continuation of this course.
The August visit was also marked by concluding agreements that increased Indian access to Nepal’s vast untapped water resources, which the revolutionary opposition denounced as a blatant example of neocolonial subservience to Indian expansionists and betrayal of the national interest.
The argument over this abundant but as yet untapped natural resource constitutes a longstanding fault line in Nepalese politics that bears examination; it concentrates many existing socioeconomic and political contradictions in one issue.

The Politics of Water and Unequal Treaties

On September 6th 2014 the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist announced its intention to publicly burn copies of the Power Trade Agreement (PTA) recently negotiated between India and Nepal which allows for the construction of hydropower projects by Indian companies so as to facilitate energy trading, cross-border transmission lines and grid connections between the two countries. (9)
The coalition government concluded a further agreement with the Indian company GMR to construct a 900MW hydropower project on the Upper Karnali. It was claimed that combining these two accords would enable Nepal to utilize its hydropower resources to produce enough surplus to permit the already agreed export of electricity to India and help reduce the country’s trade deficit.
The extraction of Nepal’s water resources began in 1920 when the Indian Raj signed the 1920 Treaty of Sarda that secured access to the Mahakali. After independence, India’s Nehru’s Administration continued in a similar manner with the 1954 Koshi and 1959 Gandak Treaties that saw dams constructed solely to irrigate the thirsty Gangetic Plains of North India. There was outrage at these one-sided deals from Nepalese nationalists and communists, which led to greater caution by successive regimes faced with India’s insatiable water demands paralleled with failed attempts in securing international aid or a loan from the World Bank to develop the country’s hydropower resources independently.
After the 1990 upheaval that ostensibly reduced Birendra to constitutional status, the fledgling democracy experienced renewed pressure from New Delhi that led to the 1996 Mahakali Treaty which was described as revealing:

“…the larger neighbor as bulldozer and the smaller one as hapless and internally divided.” (10).

While this treaty was supported by the both the constitutional communist party, the Unified Marxist-Leninist Communist Party which turned full circle from the anti-Indian position of its mother party in the 1950’s, and the always reliable pro-Delhi Congress Party (NC), it was denounced by CPN (Maoist) spokespersons who pointed out that Nepal would only get 7 out of the projected 125 megawatts output. (11)
The symbolic burning of the present PTA as ‘against the national interest’ by the new Maoist party was manifestation of an ongoing campaign for retaining Nepalese jurisdiction over its water resources, resisting New Delhi’s strategy to monopolize them. This is underscored by observation that Nepal has huge hydropower potential estimated at 40,000 MW but is presently realizing only 600 MW.
All of this is happening against a backdrop of daily power cuts and the fact that 60% of the population have no access to electricity. Harnessing hydropower resources will provide the means of modernizing and enriching the country, putting its growing young unemployed to work and ending its dependent, underdeveloped status.
Lenin famously stated that for USSR: ‘Communism was Soviet power plus electrification’ to which Nepal’s unreconstructed Marxist-Leninists paraphrase the end as: ‘plus hydropower’; reflecting the importance of this power source for realizing an independent socialist Nepal.
The PTA is described by patriots of left and right as yet another unequal treaty among the many that began with the 1816 Treaty of Sugauli imposed by the East India Company. This is now seen a British land grab that resulted in Nepal ceding one-third of its territory to the Company, including Sikkim and what is now called Uttarakhand.
The reduction of ‘Greater Nepal’ to its present territory resulted from military invasion and defeat. Treaties covering trade and resources have been facilitated by the Nepalese ruling caste/class acting in collusion with first imperial Britain then Brahminical India .
The Brahmin/upper caste supporters of the power deal tend either to not recognize or to remain oblivious to the idea that any treaty agreed with brother India has ever been ‘unequal’. The same political class once again faced a 2011 furor over by the ‘Bilateral’ Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) which allowed for greater penetration and increased security for Indian capital in Nepal. This sellout document earned the parliamentary apparatchiks, parties and the Bhatterai Administration who negotiated and agreed to it epithets from the stooges and hirelings of the extra-parliamentary Maoist opposition and royalist factions.
The definition of unequal agreement is where an imbalance of power, political, military or economic, exists between the parties to the agreement. Chinese nationalists and communists in the 20th century used the term to describe all treaties extracted from China in its ‘century of humiliation’ at the hands of Western imperialists in the 19th century.
These treaties between Nepal and India involved loss of Nepalese sovereignty over territory and domestic markets and facilitated imports of commodities, including, notoriously, opium produced by East India Company, accompanied by the threat or use of superior military force. The period also saw the emergence of indigenous merchants acting as East India Company agents/intermediaries described as ‘compradors’.
Nepalese patriots use the term “unequal treaties” to describe a history that began with Sugauli, was carried over from the East India Company to the Raj and continued in postcolonial India with the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty formalizing Nepal’s neocolonial status by allowing India increased access and control of the Nepalese economy and veto over Nepal’s foreign relations with third parties.
It guaranteed Nepal as a captive market for Indian commodities and along with further revisions and succeeding agreements allowed exploitation of Nepal’s natural resources, principally water as described above, and access to cheap Nepalese migrant labor.
New Delhi was driven as much by geopolitical considerations; Nehru saw Himalayan Nepal as a bulwark on India’s northern frontier against Communist China, and serving along with Bhutan and Sikkim as part of a “chain of protectorates,” so described by Curzon, a particularly bellicose, expansionist Raj Viceroy at the turn of the 20th century.
Nehru was a ruthless autocrat and saved his fine words regarding nonintervention and non-aggression for the Pansheel Principles set out as a stratagem to bamboozle Mao’s Communists, burnishing India’s Gandhian credentials and non-aligned status in 1954 Treaty with the PRC. Nehru accordingly extracted the 1950 Treaty from the last Rana PM three months before he authorized an invasion of Nepal from India by a joint royalist/ democratic army which signaled the beginning of the end for Rana rule.
Independent India under the imperious Pandit owed more to the martial warrior spirit of the Maharbarata than it ever did to the myth of Hinduism’s essential ahimsa (pacifism) peddled by the casteist charlatan Gandhi. Recent information shows that Nehru may have slaughtered even more Muslims in Manipur in 1947 than Modi managed in Gujarat in 2001.

Constitution or Revolution?

The new Maoist party, the CPN-M, is extra-parliamentary and does not accord legitimacy to the present institutions of state, distinguishing it from the three major parties in the Constituent Assembly, who supported and negotiated the PTA. In descending order of electoral strength, they are: Nepali Congress, Unified Marxist-Leninist CPN; and Unified CPN (Maoist). The first two are in coalition government, with the NC leader GP Koirala as Prime Minister. Koirala’s family is a Nepalese political dynasty akin to India’s Gandhis.
A split in the third biggest party, the UCPN(M), in 2012 led to the launch of the CPN-M by cadre led by veteran Maoist leader, Mohan Baidya (‘Kiran’) (12), increasingly disillusioned with perceived growing revisionism of the UCPN(M) under the leadership of Prachanda and Bhatterai. They concluded that following the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the UCPN(M)’s political practice had degraded into reformism, conforming to Lenin’s bitter reasoning for the ultimate treachery of the German SPD’s voting for war credits in 1914:

…by making a fetish of the necessary utilization of bourgeois parliamentarianism and bourgeois legality.

In the view of many cadre, the party had lost its revolutionary edge and has been remade to suit New Delhi’s requirements. The party was guided by two leaders, Dahal (Prachanda) and Bhatterai, reconnecting with their Brahminical caste roots.
The final betrayal was the surrender by Bhatterai’s ostensibly Maoist-led administration of the People’s Liberation Army and its weapons to the Nepalese Army in 2011 after being laagered in UN cantonments following the 2006 CPA. In reaction to this and policies such as handing back expropriated land to the feudal landlords, the new CPN-M declared a return to revolutionary first principles and building on the foundation of the principle of People’s War as a precondition for future political work.
A fourth political bloc represented in the Constituent Assembly (the National Assembly – an upper house created in 1990, was abolished in 2007, and Nepal now has a unicameral system) is the United Democratic Madeshi Front representing landed property class parties from the Terai, a region of flatlands in southern Nepal and topographically an extension of the Gangetic Plains of North India.
Ethnically and culturally the Terai’s upper castes are closer to India, so this group’s political support for increasing bonds between the countries is guaranteed. The Terai was formally a NC fiefdom, but party membership collapsed when leaders and activists principally drawn from the Bhadraloks (Terai upper castes) deserted the party which they believed had become dominated by the Brahmins of the Kathmandu and the Central Hill regions referred to as Pahadis (Hill People).
This political bloc, following the 2006 Peace Agreement, appeared to upper caste Madeshis to be too weak to stand up to the Maoists, perceived as all-powerful after ten years of People’s War and a real threat to feudal and zamindar (landlord) interests in the Terai. Madeshi parties subsequently emerged seeking either regional autonomy or direct integration with India.
The more militant among them advocated armed struggle and were instrumental in driving the 2006/7 murderous conflict with the Maobaadi (Nepali for Maoists) in order to defend the status quo in the region. Indian security services were rumored to have been heavily involved in arming and funding these groups, signaling New Delhi’s growing alarm at the threat to Indian interests posed by the Nepalese Maoists as they stood on the verge of a takeover.
There are 22 other parties represented in the CA, the largest two being royalist – the Rastriya Prajantra Party (Nepal) and the Rastriya Prajantra Party – representing the ancient regime and seeking in one form or another a return to divine Hindu monarchy abolished when the Prachanda’s 2008 UCPN(M)/UML coalition government declared the republic. However, many monarchists are patriots with a deep distrust of India to the extent that some prefer China in all circumstances.
After the RRP(N) and the RPP, there are many small socialist, communist and peasant parties reflecting the patchwork and multirepresentational nature of Nepalese politics. This plethora of parties is also apparent among the forces outside the CA led by CPN-M in a 33-party alliance.
The CPN-M (13) and its allies – other communist, socialist and social democratic parties along with Janjati (ethnic) organizations – came together in 2013 to boycott the November election for a second Constituent Assembly. They argued it was a ‘phony, rigged election’, promoted by the same forces that had blocked a progressive federal constitution in the first CA. Now the parliamentary ‘Four Party Syndicate’ was seeking a mandate to forge an anti-people constitution ensuring that power was retained by upper castes and that in any event, asserted the boycotters, would be written in New Delhi.
Among the international supporters of the second CA election were the US, China, EU, India, the UN, NGOs like the Carter Center, ANFREL etc. 70,000 police, army and paramilitaries along with 50,000 temporary police personnel were mobilized to counter the campaign organized by the CPN-M, leading a 33 party alliance around the slogan:

Boycott this corrupt/so-called election (Kathit nirbaachan bahiskaar gare).

The election duly took place, pre-weighted through the creation of a High Level Commission that excluded all other parties, ensuring the ‘Four Party Syndicate’s unchallenged control of proceedings. Rs 30 billion was allocated to pay for it, a staggering amount considering only Rs 2.8 billion was spent on the 2008 election. The election was further tainted as turnout figures were disputed, with nearly five million voters disappearing from the 2008 election rolls. There was also no postal vote provision for the estimated two million émigré workers scattered through the Gulf States and South East Asia.
Each side claimed higher or lower percentage turnouts, but the significant result was the major setback for Prachanda and Bhatterai’s revisionist UCPN (M). The party lost its place as the biggest party gained by a shock victory in 2008 election, where it garnered 40% of the vote but was now reduced to third party status after the NC and the UML.
In any event, the CPN-Maoist ‘Dashists’ did not halt the election, but held their nerve in spite of powerful domestic and international enemies, a sustained hate campaign from the Brahmin/bourgeois controlled media sequestered in Kathmandu led by the Kantipur Corporation, Nepal’s largest media house, and internal party tensions. Notwithstanding the final number of votes cast, the election showed that the boycotters represented a critical mass of the citizenry. Whatever the outcome of the charade, Kiran said emphatically, they would burn any constitutional declaration emerging from the new CA and “write one in the streets.”

The Caste System & Democratic Deficit

However, it may also be stated that most Dalit leaders are right when they blame the ‘Brahminical’ order of society for the grievous discrimination practiced against them…the reification of the caste system, even to this date, depends for its authority on the socioreligious observances of Brahmins, the high priests of Hinduism.
– V. Rajan “Dalits” and the Caste System in India, p 3, 2010)

As in India, it is formally illegal under the Nepalese Constitution to discriminate on grounds of caste, and the education system is also nominally open to all. In reality though, the caste system remains pervasive with the upper castes constituting 70-80% of personnel in all institutions of the state, education, media, commerce and health sectors, while forming  only approximately 20% of the population.
The Kathmandu Valley Newaris, for example, form 3% of the population but occupy 13% of civil service posts. In the 1990’s it was shown that 80% of civil service, army and police posts were shared among Brahmin and Chetri castes. (14)
A more recent study in 2004 showed little change. Brahmins, while forming 13% of the population, accounted for 74% of top civil service posts. (15) Brahmins also lead the establishment parties which espouse the virtues of western-style multiparty democracy and the global market.
Nepalese Brahmins in politics, culture and business defer easily to fellow Brahmins ascendant in India, claiming a realism similar to the pragmatism of a small boy before a bigger sibling.
This assumes that Nepal and India are ‘family’, albeit one where might confirms right. They also note admiringly that Indian Brahmins have since Independence retained power and privilege in alliance with the Kshatriyas, the military caste, and the Banyias, the commercial and merchant caste, making a mockery of the great Dalit scholar/statesman Ambedkar’s 1947 Constitution prohibiting discrimination on grounds of caste and guaranteeing equality for all citizens.
Words were also cheap in the 1972 Amendment to the Indian Constitution that added the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ to the original declaration of ‘sovereign, democratic republic’. Against the evidence and from the beginning India was also touted in the capitalist West as rival to Red China’s ‘totalitarian ant heap’ and gushingly described as the ‘World’s Biggest Democracy’.
Yet caste and democracy are mutually exclusive; caste rule is anti-egalitarian, and democracy requires equality. India and Nepal are clear examples, still controlled by the same caste configuration that in the political sphere refracts into parties and factions with acquired skills, resources and enough cohesion to collectively jump through regular electoral hoops. Effective democratic camouflage disguises elective oligarchy. A lesson well learned from the White Sahib’s mastery over and increasing sophistication in the dark arts of electoral manipulation and illusion, important because the popular mandate confers legitimacy to uninterrupted ascendancy of the bourgeois capitalism.
The Dashists and their allies program the end of the upper caste monopoly of state power by establishing a New Federal People’s Democracy that represents the hitherto excluded Janjatis, Dalits, minorities, working classes and urban underclasses. Federalism is crucial to New Democracy as it means breaking up the centralized Brahminical state by devolving power to previously oppressed national minorities.
It will correct the historic wrong that began with the autocracy founded by Narayan Shah and extended by the Ranas through King Mahendra’s Panchayaat and continued since 1990 with elective dictatorship coalescing around establishment parties as they cartelized political and state power.
It was significant that one of the organized manifestations that followed victory in the 2006 Andolan was the mocking of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s statue in Kathmandu by Janjatis, indicating both that there is continuing antipathy to the oppressive central power he founded and that this historical wound remains very much open. The event was complemented by royalist outrage at such desecration, further testament to the irreconcilability of contending forces in Nepalese society.

Maoist “New Nepal”

From Marx:

…the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world market, and with this, the international character of the capitalist regime. Along with the constantly diminishing number of the magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolize all advantages of this process of transformation, grows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation…
Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, p. 73

To the present day:

Gender, Dalit and regional issues are important, and they are tied into the class struggle. But working to solve just these issues will not bring a full solution. This can only be reached by completing the class struggle.
– KB Bishwokarma, Prakanda.

The CPN-M Dashists affirm their wish to break with global capitalism and establish economic autarky featuring tariff walls to protect infant industries along with land reform and infrastructural development, all through socialist state planning and ownership. Nepal, they argue, has failed to straddle the transition from feudalism to capitalism, and its traditional ruling classes have been incapable and unwilling to provide effective governance to tackle deprivation, poverty and inequality. Since 1990 it has increasingly aped India’s development, a huckster capitalism overseen by wholly corrupt caste elites dressed in “emperor’s new clothes” of bourgeois Western multiparty democracy.
Maoists maintain that socialist transformation will improve conditions for the people and ensure genuine national sovereignty. Kiran, citing Mao and Stalin, argues that the national question in the case of Third World countries like Nepal is a class question. These weaker states have become subject to the interests of a dominant First World requiring them to be maintained in various stages of underdevelopment and to enable open markets for imported goods and foreign investment and to increase the plunder of their natural resources to feed insatiable Western consumer societies.
Third World countries are further valuable sources of low-paid indigenous labor for production of cheap commodities intended for the Western market, dramatically highlighted by the 2013 Rana Plaza clothing factory tragedy in Dhaka. These nations also provide a reservoir of migrant labor for international capital projects, graphically exposed by the slave-like conditions endured by émigré workers, many of them Nepalese, on the notorious Qatar World Cup project.
Even if not dramatically affected as migrant workers, neoliberalism, through international institutions led by IMF and World Bank, impacts on the Nepalese masses by shackling its government along with those in other impoverished, underdeveloped Third World countries to market-based austerity policies and denying whole populations benefits of modernity, decent infrastructure, modern schools, basic health care, access to clean water and sanitation, decent housing &c. Measuring everything by market criteria also blocked welfare programs, food subsidies and all state intervention aimed at reduction of poverty or stimulating domestic growth.
In Nepal it has led to growing numbers of Sukumbasi (squatters), increasing, persistent mass unemployment, landlessness, rural flight to towns/cities, especially Kathmandu, exacerbating already high urban poverty, bonded, émigré and child labor; all salient features of a failed state, where a traditional elite continue to flourish, retaining social and economic privilege.
This elite increasingly lives in ‘forts of gold’, while the world and the city outside crumbles over the head of the excluded and increasingly impoverished majority. Kathmandu is symptomatic, where, as in many Third World urban centers, the spectacle of private affluence for the few contrasts starkly with increasing public squalor for the many.
Hope for a more egalitarian Nepal following the 1990 transition from monarchical absolutism to multiparty democracy was quickly dashed in the years of corruption and reaction that followed, when a newly empowered political elite proved even more venal than the Panchas they had supplanted. Ideologically colonized, like the Brahmins of Congress India, they were transfixed by western liberal democracy, whose representative institutions and personal freedoms, they were conditioned to believe, enshrined universally applicable and superior European Enlightenment values.
Whereas imperialists once hawked a Christian Bible, their contemporaries now peddle the snake oil of capitalist democracy as salvation for, in Kipling’s infamous phrase from the poem Recessional, “lesser breeds without the Law”. Just as missionary societies once flourished, now Human Rights industries thrive and NGO’s promoting Western values and practices proliferate, employing some indigenous educated and enlisting them into the comprador class while sustaining patchwork schemes in a parody of development.
From the beginning the conditioning of native elites through education invariably inculcated western values and ideologies which, on one hand informed and articulated claims to national independence and produced the leadership for anticolonial struggle, while one the other, ensured the same leadership was sufficiently psychologically colonized to slavishly adopt after independence the parliamentary model, including the flummery. An exotic plant in wholly unsuitable conditions. (16)
As Franz Fanon caustically opined:

 The colonialist bourgeoisie, in its narcissistic dialogue, expounded by the members of its universities, had in fact deeply implanted in the minds of the colonized intellectual that the essential qualities remain eternal in spite of all the blunders men may make: the essential qualities of the West, of course.(17)

Bourgeois parliamentary institutions emerged in the Europe of the Late Middle Ages as a revolutionary and contingent challenge to residual feudal control by divinely mandated monarchs scattered across the kingdoms of Europe. Increasingly, with bourgeois power assured, they became functional requirements for regulation of class interests and instruments of chauvinist aggression against other nations, initially in Europe. In their early gestation they provided an arena for systemic compromise where differences could be aired and reconciled by parties representing old and new forms of propertied ruling classes in given historical transitions.
This occurred in England following the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688, establishing a constitutional rapport between Whigs, the nascent bourgeoisie, and Tories, the old landowning class, but significantly this same transformation did not emerge from Les Etats Generaux of Bourbon France, making inevitable the 1789 Revolution and bloody, bourgeois victory over L’Ancien Regime. However, modern First World states, despite the potential democratic threat of universal suffrage, increasingly stabilized, and bourgeois capitalism established unchallenged supremacy.
Parties are now even less class-based, representing sectional interests within the ruling class competing for control of the state apparatus, with elections determining which of the intraclass rivals accedes to government, enabling exercise of executive power and policy implementation until the next poll. Among the mature Western democracies this increasing homogenization of parties barely masks elective bourgeois dictatorship, now tricked out in ballot box ritualism, steeped in what Marx derided as ‘parliamentary cretinism’ and nailed by Engels as:

…an incurable disease, an ailment whose unfortunate victims are permeated by the lofty conviction that the whole world, its history and its future are directed and determined by a majority of votes in just that very representative institution that has the honor of having them in the capacity of its members.
– Frederick Engels, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany, 1852, ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 370)

Yet this system was adopted by the ex-colonies of the British Empire in Asia and Africa, all of which have signally failed. India is the worst example, especially after the collapse of Nehru’s dreams of socialist democracy involving state ownership, five year plans, and deficit spending within integument of a mixed economy, etc. all evaporated in the early 1960’s, following the disastrous defeat in the war of aggression launched against China in the Kashmir Aksai Chin. Nehru had always allowed for a degree of corruption, but after him it was unchecked; reflected in the Lok Sabha which degenerated into the kleptocracy presently extant.
In Nepal, similarly, after 1990, the new democratic state institutions quickly became synonymous with cronyism, nepotism and carpetbagging. A pervasive corruption disfigured Nepalese society and subsequently Nepal scored 2.2 on the 2011 World Corruption Perception Index, where 10 is ‘very clean’ and 0 is ‘highly corrupt’. (18) The economist Arun Kumar further estimated that the Nepalese black economy, in 2006, accounted for $4 billion in contrast to an official GDP of $7 billion, an even higher percentage than India where the same phenomenon accounts for a still eye-watering 50% of GDP.
Like a fish stinking from the head, the godfathers or Thulo Hakimharu of NC and UML contributed to this state of affairs by pursuing a brazen policy of enrichessez-vous as vigorously as the state campaign of terror and foreign-funded mayhem they unleashed before and during People’s War against the Left and rural agitators who challenged the new corruption.
Nevertheless, communists are not anarchists, grasping that participation in bourgeois elections is often a tactical necessity, so that if on occasion normative bourgeois control of electoral process as a result of political, economic or military crises is problematic, then communist parties should participate, particularly if it offers them the possibility of advancing proletarian interests. It was on such practical eventualities as well as principles that Marx and Engels campaigned for universal suffrage in the Communist Manifesto. They saw communists using the extended franchise to subvert the elective dictatorship of the bourgeoisie:

Transforme, de moyen de duperie qu’il a ete jusqu’ici, en instrument d’emancipation. (Changed by them from the usual means of deception, into one of transformation.)
(K. Marx, Manifesto for French Workers’ Party, 1880. ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 546)

It was in this spirit that the  CPN (M) following the CPA entered the 2008
election campaign for a Constituent Assembly from which it emerged as the biggest party with 40% of the vote, to the surprise of many and to the particular alarm of domestic and foreign reactionaries. Prachanda had used his premature cult of personality, giving him unique authority over the party, PLA and United Front, to promise that the CPA would provide access to the towns and cities, enabling the party to use a CA as an engine for bringing the urban masses into the revolution.
The Maoists were aware that they had considerable support in towns and cities but could not connect with it as People’s War had reached military stalemate, with the PLA controlling the countryside and the RNA and Armed Police Force (APF) paramilitaries the urban centers, particularly Kathmandu. It was a logjam that had to be broken if the Prachanda Path strategy, the fusion of Maoist protracted rural struggle and Leninist urban insurrection, was to succeed and the revolution carried through.
In any event, the CPN (M) formed an administration in alliance with the UML with Prachanda as Prime Minister.
The administration’s first act was to abolish the monarchy and declare a republic, but an attempt by Prachanda to bring the army under civilian control by sacking the insubordinate CoS, Katawal and the royalist generals around him for refusing to integrate PLA ex-combatants en corps into the NA as per the CPA provoked a virtual coup openly orchestrated from New Delhi involving its Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) foreign intelligence service acting in collusion with NA officers and apparatchiks from NC, UML and UDMF.
This resulted in Yadhev, Nepal’s first President, significantly one of the few remaining prominent NC Terai Madeshis, exceeding his constitutional authority and reinstating the insubordinate Katawal.
The UML, following instructions from New Delhi, pulled out of the coalition, and with the Maoists now unable to secure a majority in the CA, Nepal’s first Maoist-led government collapsed after only eight months in office.
What provoked New Delhi to act with such speed and malice was triggered by Prachanda’s challenge to India’s right of veto over Nepal’s foreign policy by ‘playing the China card’, repeating Birendra’s ‘mistake’ with an attempted arms purchase from the PRC. Any hint of a China/Nepal alliance was anathema also to the Nepalese officer class and high command, who were historically close to India, and had, post-9/11, forged a deep relationship with Washington and the Pentagon, based on dollars, weaponry and training in return for allowing Nepal to become another link in the US chain surrounding the People’s Republic.
When Biplav (Netra Bikram Chand) was asked during the 2013 boycott campaign why he opposed elections, he replied that Maoists were not opposed to them per se as they were a ‘relative matter’. He opposed this specific one as political and financial larceny on a grand scale, attesting:
“It is a criminal conspiracy against the Nepalese working class.”
The 2009 coup showed that electoral results as democratic expressions of the popular will are also, when the occasion demands, a ‘relative matter’ even for those who peddle democracy as a universal panacea at least when it serves class interest but are as quick to ignore or subvert it when it doesn’t.

Class and Patriotism

It would not be incorrect, if very insulting, to say that Nepal’s top leadership vis-à-vis India, has been morally bankrupt, greedy, hypocritical and have served as no more than errand boys. People are tired of these slick, fast-talking politicians. In fact their reputation has gone down the drain. In a culture aimed above all at seizing power, with material motivations, political democracy and thereby sustained peace is unlikely.
– G. Thapa, Republica, Nepalese daily newspaper, September 30, 2013.

Marxist-Leninists argue that nation and class are linked in Third World countries. In these countries, traditional ruling elites and the emerging bourgeoisie have been suborned by transnational capitalism and accept
neocolonial status as preferable to revolutionary change and national independence. It is therefore not in their increasingly cosmopolitan class interests to seek genuine self-determination; only the exploited working and marginalized classes have a genuine interest in such an outcome. (19) The symbiosis of communism and patriotism is therefore contingent to the epoch of imperialism.
The lack of concern of the present ruling elite for its people is shown in the case of Nepali migrant workers in Qatar, cited above, because their remittances contribute over 25% when included within the tourist/service sector’s contribution to GDP. At the macro level they improve the immediate balance of payments but over a longer term contribute to decline in manufacturing and agriculture, which leads to rises in imports, augmenting the structural weaknesses noted earlier in the economy.
Aside from BOP advantages, the money sent back also reduces governmental responsibility for the alleviation of poverty, especially in rural areas. Consequently there has been little or no representation from successive governments for the rights and well-being of the estimated 2.2 million émigré Nepalese presently working in India, Malaysia and the Middle East. (20)
This echoes an early initiative of Jonge Bahadur, who established Rana power after 1846 Red Kot Massacre by reducing the monarchy to titular status. He negotiated a payment per head for every Ghurkha recruited into the British Army. (21) This was one aspect of a new strategic alliance with the East India Company through which the new rulers began to draw material benefit from trading their subjects as commodities in the form of mercenaries, while being left unchallenged in Nepal to establish Rana monopoly control over all trade and to plunder state coffers and lands with impunity.
The arc that connects the establishment of Gurkha mercenaries with migrant labor is one where benefit accrues to the same high castes exercising state power, albeit under superficially different political systems by different means of extraction in different epochs.
Kiran’s Maoists, in this sense, expand the concept of patriotism beyond concern for territory and existing culture into one that includes the justice and welfare of the people. This criterion goes beyond but does not ignore traditional concerns: the defense of borders against constant Indian encroachments, ending the shameless political obedience to Delhi, the rolling back of foreign ownership in vital economic sectors, and protecting Nepal’s largely untapped vast hydro resources from continued Indian predation.
The CPN-M Dashists are equally quick to point out that they are only anti-Indian to the extent that they oppose the Indian government’s neocolonialist meddling in Nepal. The hatred of Brahminical expansionist policies does not extend to the Indian people, who they argue have and are beginning to make their own revolution against the same enemy.
This internationalist perspective is axiomatic for the patriotism of national liberation struggles in countries oppressed by imperialism and distinguishes it from bourgeois chauvinist nationalism that breeds racist hatred and jingoist aggression. This was the ideology that fueled rivalry between the nascent European states and then mutated into the racial superiority engendered by the subsequent colonization and subjugation of native peoples in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Imperialism no longer requires direct colonial occupation but operates in neo- or semi-colonial form. Exploitation of peoples and resources continue, and even intensify, but are now fronted by local ruling elites, comprador upper castes and classes, conditioned and rewarded to front for and spare imperialist powers from the obloquy and resistance engendered by 19th century European colonial empires.
Mao described the modus operandi:

When imperialism carries on its oppression not by war but by milder means – political, economic and cultural – the ruling classes in semi-colonial countries capitulate to imperialism, and the two form an alliance for the joint oppression of the masses of the people.
– Mao Zedong, On Contradiction, Selected Works, Vol 1, p.331

The present Nepalese ruling class, in this respect, cannot represent the national interest, Maoists aver, as they constitute an anti-patriotic bloc sustained by and servant to international capital and great power geopolitics. Kiran concluded:

Both the King and the Nepali Congress Party represent the feudal, bureaucratic and comprador bourgeoisie.

Patriotism in Nepal and similar Third World countries, is not, argue the Maoists, ‘a refuge for the scoundrel’, but rather a home for the homeless and the hope of the hopeless. In this regard Pushpa Lal, when founding the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) in 1949, absorbed Mao’s definition of patriotism and learned how the Koumintang degenerated from the patriots of Sun Yat Sen into the quislings of Chiang Kai Chek. He also derived lessons from the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War against Germany’s virulent, fascist imperialism. Patriotism in the modern age was, by these examples, anti-imperialist by definition.
Therefore, in the epoch of imperialism, the mantle of patriotism falls upon the shoulders of the proletariat in the oppressed Third World. The bourgeoisie in the metropolitan heartlands invoke it to mask imperial aggression and aggrandizement, while the big bourgeoisie of monopoly financial and industrial capital have transcended the nation-state and its parochial ideology, instead pledging allegiance to the ascending global megalopolis of money.

Communist Politics: 1949-2014

Inspired by China’s liberation in 1949, the newly founded Communist Party of Nepal took up arms against the Rana regime, which was in power via an alliance with NC led by the Koirala brothers and royalist forces under King Tribhuvan (Nepal’s Ivan the Terrible to the Ranas’ Boyars) Together they forged a Mukti Senaa (Liberation Army) which invaded from India in 1950/51.
These activities were supported, with arms, funds and facilities and funded by Nehru’s Congress government, and even included providing officer staff from Bose’s recently demobilized Indian National Army. Nehru had already godfathered the creation of Nepali Congress in 1948 from progressive Nepalese democrats exiled in India, and wanted to settle accounts with the pro-British Ranas. In the final event India limited their support to the NC, forcing it into a three-way peace agreement with the Ranas and the King.
There followed a short-lived NC/Rana coalition government, the collapse of which signaled a decade of political struggle between the NC and the King, followed by thirty years of monarchial executive government, with New Delhi steering a seemingly contradictory ‘Two-Pillar’ policy of supporting the monarchy and the aspiring democrats of Nepali Congress.
Lal, who, in 1949 first translated the Communist Manifesto into Nepalese, linked armed struggle to a domestic program, principally advocating a ‘Land to the Tiller’ policy in tandem with breaking up big feudal estates and following the example of China’s ‘New Democracy’ also proclaimed the intention of promoting state-sponsored national capitalism.
The party also advocated a Constitutional Assembly, which was agreed among all the parties, foreign and domestic, but reneged on by Tribhuvan’s successor, Mahendra, who, following the 1960 coup, replaced the parliamentary system with a feudal Panchayat, a series of interlocked consultative committees, starting at village level and ending with the King as final arbiter.
It was in these conditions of a Shah/Brahmin autocracy and the international US-led post-1945 onslaught to roll back Communism that saw the Communist Party and movement grow, recruiting from the intelligentsia, disillusioned radical NC members, urban workers, Dalits and oppressed rural minorities.
However, aside from having to operate underground, it faced the same problem as that of succeeding communist parties and cadre in maintaining a united revolutionary line. Lal’s CPN split in the early 1960’s between pro-Moscow reformists such as Tulsi Lal Amatya and pro-Beijing revolutionaries.
There was a parallel split between the Rayamajhi faction which scuttled off to serve the Panchayat system and Puspha Lal, who remained committed to proletarian revolution against domestic reaction and international US imperialism, supported by Mao’s communist China,  at least until Deng Xiaoping’s 1976 Rightist coup left the proletariat at home and abroad to its own devices.
After the Japha Uprising in 1971, Nepal’s first communist armed struggle, the UML emerged. But by 1990, it was fully committed to multiparty democracy and conciliation with Delhi, following the lead set by its homologues in Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Its transformation into a comprador bourgeois parliamentary party epitomized when the short-lived 1994 UML Adhikary administration instigated the Integrated Mahakali Treaty, which, under its NC successor, signed after an orgy of corruption, ceded sovereignty of the river to India. The UCPN (Maoist) path from People’s War into parliamentary politics and accommodation with Delhi has already been noted.
However, Nepalese communism, while disputatious, has shown great vigor, and unlike the post-1945 Western communist parties has never surrendered intellectual or political hegemony to the bourgeoisie. Schisms and splits followed deviations, but the result always ensured that the torch of patriotic, anti-imperialist revolution was passed to a new generation and party. The CPN-M is the latest manifestation of this cycle of action and reaction and may not be the last, but it has inherited the legacy of Puspha Lal Shrestha at a time when Luxemburg’s historical option of ‘Socialism or barbarism?’ confronts with even greater urgency, a century after she coined her prophetic question.

Jo Chor Usko Thulo Sor (Proverb: ‘He Who Steals Shouts Aloud’)

The feudal system was by no means brought complete from Germany, but had its origin, as far as the conquerors were concerned, in the martial organization of the army during the actual conquest, and this evolved after the conquest into the feudal system proper through the action of the productive forces found in the conquered countries.
– K Marx, Feuerbach – Opposition of Materialist and Idealist Outlook, Selected Works, Vol 1, p.72)

Nepal was unified in 1769 when the Gorkhali warrior state subdued the three kingdoms in the Kathmandu Valley and created a myriad of fifty or more smaller principalities under the leadership of Prithi Narayan, who became its first Shah and centralized royal power in Kathmandu. It was not an organic process with common national identity evolving from a shared history, economy, language or culture but one of force majeure that involved conquest and subjugation over many indigenous ethnicities, each with their own language and customs.
Narayan Shah’s ruthless empire building was partly driven by desire to forestall the inexorable northeastern expansion of the East Indian Company, then easily colonizing small kingdoms in its path. The creation of a martial Greater Nepal did indeed halt the feringhees (foreigners) advance, which appeared unstoppable following Clive’s decisive victory at Palashi (Plassey) over the Nawab of Bengal in 1757. This battle secured Company rule over India until the precise centennial challenge of the first War of Independence in 1857, denigrated by the British using the euphemism, ‘The Indian Mutiny’.
However, a decade after Plassey, in 1767, Narayan Shah’s Gurkhali army routed a British expeditionary force under Captain Kinloch at Sindhulighadi and kept the greedy, expansionist British in the guise of the East India Company out of Nepal until the second decade of the 19th century and, many claim, helped ensure that the country was never formally colonized. It necessitated creating a domestic power imbalance with a minority ruling a majority that, apart from some cosmetic modification, exists to the present day and for a century was marked by Rana regimes so servile to British interests that invasion and colonization were rendered unnecessary.

1769 – The Dawn of the Hindu Kingdom

The extent of dominion had been acquired entirely during the last fifty years, by the systematic prosecution of a policy likened by the Goorkhas themselves, and not inaptly so, to that which had gained for us the empire of Hindoostan.
– HT Prinsep, The Goorkha War, p 9, 1825)

Prithvi Narayan Shah established a state in Nepal that in many way was analogous with those of European feudalism that emerged from the collapse of the Roman Empire and lasted until the rise of capitalism in the late Middle Ages. It also was an agricultural society presided over by a divinely ordained monarch, nobility and priesthood existing on the labor and produce of a mass of serfs. Even the manner of its inception by force of arms echoes Marx’s comments on the origins of feudalism in Northern Europe as a response to anarchy and decay of the times:

From these conditions and the mode of organization determined by them, feudal property developed under the influence of the Germanic military constitution. (Marx-Engels, Feuerbach – Opposition of Materialist & Idealist Outlook, p.23. ME Selected Works, Vol. 1)

In this respect, Narayan Shah’s unification of Nepal was similar to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, where advanced military forces involving disciplined infantry and cavalry in integrated battle tactics was decisive in sweeping aside patchy and ill-coordinated Anglo-Saxon resistance.
In terms of comparative logistics and technical support, it was complemented by Narayan Shah’s adoption of modern weaponry and training of a third of his army along British lines that proved crucial to eventual success in a grueling twenty-year campaign culminating in the declaration of Nepal as a Hindu Kingdom in 1769.
Gorkhalis and Normans conquered foreign lands and peoples, and Kings William and Narayan used countrywide grants of confiscated lands to their warrior and clerical castes as both reward for past service and to secure the future of the central regime. In each case repression was used to entrench the system and reduce respective populations to serf/Shudra servility. The speed and ruthless nature of Norman expropriations was such that by the end of William’s reign in 1087, 20% of the land was owned by the royal family, 25% by ten of his leading nobles and another 25% by the Church.
It was a more attenuated process in Nepal, but by the time of the Ranas in mid-19th century, similar patterns in ownership and access to land were firmly established that, despite some fragmentation and formal abolition of feudal land titles, remain into the 21st century for want of serious reform. A 2004 Human Development Report, UNDP, reported the top 5% owning 37% of the land, with the bottom 47% in possession of 15% (22). A decade earlier the Maoists presented more dramatic statistics calculating the top 10% as owning 65% of the cultivable land with exactly reversed percentages for poor peasant possession of land. (23)
From the birth of the new state, each of the subjugated peoples were subject to feudal rent in labor, goods or money in the case of Nepal where a sizable portion took immediate monetary form, while in Europe such remittance mode emerged gradually, attenuated by feudal society fragmenting under the impact of a growing urban society of flourishing markets and small-scale commodity production. In this situation money’s use-value as means of facilitating commodity exchange enriched and accelerated the rise of an increasingly prosperous merchant burger class that finally burst the constraints of European feudalism.

Land Tenure Post-1769

Should the direct producers not be confronted by a private landlord, but rather, as in Asia under direct subordination to a state which stands over them as their landlord and simultaneously as sovereign, then rent and taxes coincide, or rather, there exists no tax which differs from this form of ground-rent. Under such circumstances there need exist no stronger political or economic pressure than that common to all subjection to that state. The state is then the supreme lord. Sovereignty here consists in the ownership of land concentrated on a national scale.
– Marx, Capital Vol 3, p 791, New World edition)

Aside from the geopolitical considerations of blocking the feringhees, the Gorkha state was driven by hunger for land, and Narayan Shah particularly desired the fertile Kathmandu Valley. Brahmins and Rajputs who had settled across Nepal, having being uprooted from North India by Mughal invasion and settlement, were also instrumental in securing the new system established by Narayan Shah from the Kathmandu center.
They were particularly enthusiastic participants in the abolition of tribal land rights and the creation of a royal monopoly over all land under the Raikar Law. This allowed for individual/family use and transfer as long as taxes were paid to the King’s state treasury. Private ownership of land eventually mutated from this private use, creating a largely Brahmin landlord class.
When Raikar was abolished in 1950, the system accounted for 50% of cultivated land. Equally important for the Shahs and especially the later Ranas was Birta tenure where land was allotted to servants and soldiers of the King free of tax. When it was abolished in 1959, it accounted for 36% of cultivated land. (24)
The Guthi system further allowed for state or private grants of land to religious institutions and was free from tax and repossession by the donor. This continues to the present time but accounts for only 2% of cultivated land.
A specific subset of Birta was Jagir tenure, which was land in lieu of pay to army personnel, both officers and privates, which intensified expropriations of a scarce resource and entrenched the new order by, as one historian notes:

…granting of Jagir lands to such of them as received appointments in the government and army was an important factor contributing to the stability and organization of the newly established regime. Without the Jagir system it would have been virtually impossible for the government to distribute rewards to its nobility and military personnel.
Land Ownership in Nepal, p 74, MC Regmi).

Certain ethnic groups in Eastern Nepal had traditional rights to common land under the Kipat system. The Limbus in particular had these rights as quid pro quo for their agreement in 1774 to accept merger with Nepal under Narayan Shah’s sovereignty, which extracted a pledge that Kipat land would remain outside the Raikar system in perpetuity. This was never honored by succeeding shahs and particularly the later Rana regimes that relentlessly encroached upon these lands during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Limbus suffered especially as literate and legally informed Brahmins exploited their skills to dispossess them of their traditional lands. It was comparable to the enclosures of Tudor and Georgian England, where the gentry used Acts of Parliaments to dispossess an equally unwitting rural people of their common lands.
Rai Kipat land was largely untouched, reflecting the uneven development in the extension of royal autocratic hegemony mingled with deliberate divide et impera strategy. It shows how oppression was relative, with some national minorities eventually binding to and serving Narayan’s state, even applying stratification by caste among their own peoples, acquiescent in their deities’ acceptance as avatars of the Hindu God, &c.

Caste and the Feudal State

When born in the same way – all are one. None superior –none inferior. What is the use of caste that discriminates between human beings?
– From Basavanna’s Vachanas, written by a 12th century Indian philosopher/statesman.

The modalities of tenure imposed by the first Shah were pivotal in creating the economic and political sinews of a strong central state and went hand-in-hand with the imposition of the Hindu caste system throughout the country. This showed that feudalism in Nepal, while it shared features with the European variety, was deeply rooted in the culture of Indian tributary societies which flourished in the Middle Kingdoms between the first and thirteenth centuries.
The caste system originated as a means for a colonizing group of light-skinned Indo-Aryans to distinguish themselves from the indigenous dark aboriginal peoples (Adivhasis) they were colonizing by establishing three Varnas (Varna denotes color) – Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishaya in order of superiority.
However, according to scholars, by the time of Gupta Dynasty around 100 AD, this structure was recast as a socioeconomic hierarchy after large grants of land were given to the Brahmin priests, administrators, astrologers, temples and monastic institutions. This largesse had earlier been declared a sacred duty in the Dharmashastra, Hinduism’s foundational scripts where Brahmins are declared Pratigraha, the one caste entitled to receive gifts. There are further references along these lines in the epic poem Mahabharata.
The fourth caste, Shudras, were called forth during this period as an agricultural labor force in servile symbiosis with a rapidly expanding landlord class. Slaves at worst, chattel at best; a Shudra could be killed by a Brahmin with impunity. They were untouchables, subject to enforced endogamy and exclusion. The peasantry of contemporary village India are their descendants. Eventually a fifth category evolved, Dalits (Hindi for oppressed) which took over menial tasks connected with bodily waste, pollution and dirt – they and other tribal subgroups became the ‘Untouchables’.
This essentially was the system that Narayan Shah and his Gorkha warriors imposed upon Nepal, notwithstanding the Shah’s attempt at inclusivity by describing his Kingdom as ‘a garden of four castes and thirty-six subcastes’. No rosy description could, however, mask the reality of a ruthless struggle for land (intensified by salient, topographical fact that only 20% of the country’s area is cultivable) resulting in the new masters seizing the best land and extracting disproportionate produce as feudal rent.
Janjatis were accorded the same status as Shudras and Dalits, and aside from extractions of surplus and rent, had to provide free labor for specified periods and military service as necessary, under the Jhara Code, comparable to Corvee Labor in European feudalism. Hindu patriarchal law deprived Janjati village and farmstead women of property rights. This was accompanied by a sustained campaign to ban ethnic languages and culture that culminated in the Panchayat slogan: ‘One nation, one king, one language.’

Religion in Tributary/Feudal Society

In Kalikot, Hinduism has incurred into disfavor after the Maoist uprising, temples have been abandoned or even demolished. There was no use for them after the upper castes lost their land and moved to the city. In this place we had a temple of Dedhedu, and we were not allowed to enter the temple from this area onward. If we are not allowed to worship the idols that we ourselves made, then there is no point. We came to understand this and stopped maintaining the place.”
– Interview with Dalit Kalikot resident.

The Panchas did not add ‘One God’ to the attributes of the Khas nation as this was axiomatic to the state’s divine Hindu conception where religion was integral, functioning as means of ideological control over the laboring masses. It is strikingly similar to the role played by the pre-Reformation, Roman Catholic Church in European feudalism.
The Church of Rome preached that serfs were chattel, a property category introduced into the world as divine retribution for the original sin of Adam and Eve and carried from birth by their descendants. However, by virtuously accepting his/her lot and offering it up as penance in this life, a serf could attain a ‘state of grace’, ensuring admittance in the next life to Heaven at Dies Irae (Judgment Day). The Church was also a great land and serf owner and had a vested material interest in the temporal status quo. As is so often with organized religion, the basest of motives were tricked out as divinely inspired credo by ferocious, proselytizing clergy.
Their Hindu Brahmin homologues achieved the same end by teaching Shudras, Dalits, and other lower castes that their reward for accepting low caste in this life and creating good karma would be reincarnation into a higher one in the next. There is a potentially endless cycle of life, death and rebirth expressed in the concept of Samsara until the totality of Karma, achieved by soul’s migration through various physical manifestations is sufficient to achieve final mukti (liberation).
There are, of course, significant differences between Catholicism and Hinduism – one a transnational, centralized, corporate entity, the other a syncretic, subcontinental, decentralized network, but in credal terms of ‘justifying the ways of God to Man’ as mechanisms for strict hierarchical control, they were equally prescriptive. The Brahmins are as fanatical about  prohibiting intercaste marriage or upholding Sati as Catholic clerics were about burning heretics for denying the Trinity or Transubstantiation doctrines.
Each presented priestly castes functioning to reconcile the exploited and submerged masses to their inferior position by rationalizing the respective socioeconomic systems as ‘divinely ordained’ and eternal. The historian Kosambhi’s assessment below on role of caste in Hinduism could be equally applied to that of the Catholic Church in medieval Europe.

Caste is class at a primitive level of production, a religious method of forming a social consciousness in such a manner that the primary producer is deprived of his surplus with the minimum of coercion.
– D. D. Kosambhi, Combined Methods in Indology, p 59.

Consensus and Conquest

Whatever the arguments concerning the urban genesis of Indian feudalism (25) in the Gupta period (300-600 AD), there is no doubt that in Nepal it was driven from a central urban power in Kathmandu. Whereas towns and cities in Europe rose in opposition to the feudal countryside, in Nepal the city of Kathmandu was instrumental in superimposing a unified feudal system in a region, and the process was marked by an uneven impact upon urban and rural populations. For the former it was consolidation or even preservation, for the latter – a ’Big Bang’ whose reverberations, like the cosmic microwave background, are still detectable.
In this regard, the unification of the petty principalities, city states and major kingdoms within the Gandaki Basin of Central Nepal ranging from Pokhara to Kathmandu was facilitated by shared Indo-Aryan ethnicity, religion and language among the various protagonists. The regional ubiquity of Hindu upper castes – Brahmins, Chetris, Newaris, Thakuris and Rajputs – in various independent micropolities, petty principalities and kingdoms thus enabled Narayan Shah to develop a strategy that allowed for guile, diplomacy or force of arms to be juggled as necessary on a shared terrain as predominantly a manageable political or dynastic problem.
Most of the town and city statelets absorbed were, nolens volens, either feudal or proto-feudal, with rural lower castes and untouchables producing the agricultural surplus appropriated by urban higher castes.
Devout Hindus obviously welcomed the extension of the caste system that underpinned their privileged conditions of existence but were also roused by the Gorkhali King’s call to defend Hinduism against the Christian feringhees’ inexorable advance – Bible in one hand, rifle in the other. The warrior castes, forged in the wars against Buddhism and the later Mughal incursion, responded with particular fervor, ensuring them an influential position in the ruling elite thereafter.
For the Janjati Tibeto-Burman (26) peoples it was a military conquest by Indo-Aryans subjecting them to economic exploitation and cultural coercion. It created multifaceted oppression based on ethnicity, caste and gender that intensified under the Ranas who, led by Jonge Bahadur Rana, seized power in 1846. The Ranas were Rajput warriors (the name means, ‘field of battle’) raised originally by Narayan Shah, and their century-long rule was marked by persecution, corruption, and debauchery. In return for being left alone to plunder the country, a succession of mostly Shamsher Ranas developed a neocolonial relationship with the British that began seriously starting with the 1857 War of Independence.
Domestically, they used the Birta system extensively in order to seize more land, which increased rural deprivation and landlessness. Birta was particularly applied to award large tracts of the fertile Terai Plains to the Rana clan and other upper castes such as Thakhuris, Brahmins, Chhetris and Rajputs.
The 1854 Muluki Ain (Country/Civil Law) was essential to the process of freezing Nepal in the Middle Age. This set of laws derived from orthodox the Hindu sanctions and laws of the Dharmashastras, giving legal validation to the caste system by, inter alia, prohibiting intercaste mixing, regulating submission of peasants before landlords, and generally preserving the sociocultural and economic status quo. It also continued the tradition of Brahmins being exempt in law from capital or corporal punishment.
There was always resistance in some form to Rana autocracy – for example, the Gurung and Magar Risings in the 19th century and the mass movement inspired by a young widow, Yog Maya, a campaign for rural justice and against caste discrimination which lasted for two decades until the early 1930s. The response to any challenge to the existing order, whether socioeconomic or political, was always repression. In 1940 activists from the Prajaa Parisad (Citizens’ Council) Party were hung for daring to advocate a constitutional monarchy.
While the Ranas’ political grip was loosened after 1950, it has maintained military influence in the officer class and high command of the Nepalese Army, with the present Chief of Army Staff, J. B. Rana, one of the seven Ranas out of eleven occupants of the post since 1974.

Failure of Post-1950 Land Reforms

Towards the end of the uncertain 1950s’, Nehru’s duplicitous Delhi Compromise disintegrated, with the Ranas retiring from political, but not military, power. Nepali Congress and King Mahendra entered a struggle to determine ascendancy, as the democratically elected 1959 Koirala government tentatively began land reform with the twin aims of raising agricultural productivity and alleviating rural poverty.
This was undermined in 1960 by Mahendra’s military coup, proroguing parliament, banning political parties and trade unions, and beginning direct monarchical rule through a Panchayat system of ‘managed democracy’, and in 1962 implementing a pro-landlord program.
This provoked the American agronomist who had helped draft the previous NC administration’s progressive legislation complaining, in a 1963 letter,that landlords were an obstacle to reform because:

They opposed any attempt to improve the situation of tenants.
They were content with low productivity because it generated enough surplus that would be at risk from reform. They were pursuing narrow caste/class sectional interests at the expense of national prosperity and advancing the forces of agricultural production. (27)
Garibiko Bahas. Discussion on Poverty

However, by this time Mahendra had consolidated power with help of a ruling elite that included a significant tranche of landlords and therefore substantial reforms such as setting upper limits on land ownership, increasing access to land for marginalized groups, and greater legal protection for poorer tenants were rejected. Subsequently, his successors, kings and democrats alike, emulated this approach, paying lip service to land reform and radical transformation of the agricultural sector.
Probing Mahendra’s support for the landlords encapsulates the premise of this essay, limning a ruling elite that established its caste predominance by force majeure in 1769 and was still clinging to political power and economic privilege.
Looking at the composition of the landlord class extant at Mahendra’s accession provides a microcosm of Nepalese history, with soldiers and high civil servants from established Brahmin and Chetri castes forming a core of absentee landlords. This was leavened by in situ landlords who became the activists and officers (Panchas) of the Panchayat system and were instrumental in implementing the 1967 ‘Back to the Village’ campaign and generally eliminating rural opposition to the absolutist regime.
From 1964 on there were a succession of five Land Acts, none of which led to any perceptible change to the basic inequities suffered by the rural masses. Hopes for restructuring the sector were dashed when both NC and UML’s ‘Land to the Tiller’ policies failed to survive the transition from underground to legality, following the 1990 Andolan that humbled King Birendra and established for New Delhi a more amenable multiparty system.
The short-lived 1996 Adikhari UML-led coalition administration tried to pick up the pieces and set up the Badal Commission which recommended measures to increase access to land by hitherto marginalized rural peoples. Its recommendations fell with the government that commissioned it, and reform was off the agenda, as successive administrations preferred stasis to reform.
The NC-led Deuba regime, in 2002, did propose a program of radical change, ostensibly to aid poor farmers and tenants but which in reality turned out to be a political stratagem rather than a serious reform initiative, the purpose of which was to neutralize and outbid support for the Maoists’ truly radical rural agenda at the height of People’s War.
The only changes attempted by the many governments from 1990-2006 were guided by neoliberal policies enforced on loan-dependent Nepal by the IMF and World Bank. Permitting only market mechanisms, they enabled the landlord-moneyed class to acquire even more land through a Land Bank. Furthermore, land registration and government improvement grants were designed to benefit big Hindu landlords. Meanwhile, the governments resisted ceilings on land ownership aimed at sharing land more equably by creating tenancies among the hitherto landless and marginalized rural populations and also rejected improving rights and security of tenure for existing small and single family tenancies.

Failure of Post-1990 Land Reform

It was significant that the landlord class, following the collapse of the Panchayat system in 1990, flocked into the ranks of Nepali Congress, entrenching it further as a formidable conservative bloc, winning the 1991 election that, after a hiccup, saw the ferocious anti-communist GP Koirala installed as Prime Minister. He needed little urging to launch a harsh campaign of state repression against the urban Left and their Janjati allies in the countryside.
This commenced in April 1992 with police shooting demonstrators in Kathmandu and led remorselessly to the notorious 1995 Operation Romeo which subjected the western district of Rolpa to sustained police terror, lasting weeks and featuring arbitrary killing, rape and mass arrests, followed by detention and often torture. This insensate, brutal operation was decisive in swelling the ranks of a nascent Maobaadi (Maoist) PLA, and provided the spark that ignited a prairie fire of rural revolution marking the decade following 1996. Dr. Bhatterai provided an overview:

The most disadvantaged regions within the country include those inhabited by indigenous people since time immemorial. These regions, which were independent tribal states prior to the formation of the unified state in the latter half of the 18th century, have been reduced to the most backward and oppressed condition due to internal feudal exploitation and external semi-colonial oppression.
They have been left behind in the historical development process because of the blockade of their path to independent development and the imposition of sociocultural oppression along with economic oppression with the backing of the state, by forces that came from outside.
B. Bhatterai, Political Economy of People’s War, 1997, from PW in Nepal, Seddon-Karki, p 153)

It was no accident therefore, that the Maoists in 1996 chose to launch People’s War from rural West Nepal, beginning with the ransacking of an Agricultural Development Bank office located, with appropriate historical symmetry, in Gorkha District. Loan agreements lodged there, which extracted rent from tenant farmers by usurious repayments, were seized and torched, while ownership documents, held as collateral against the loans, were carefully retrieved and returned to respective titleholders.
It was no accident that land reform was a key element in 2006 negotiations for CPA, where Maoists wanted further confiscation of land from the big landlords without compensation and the application of ‘scientific management’ to agriculture. In so doing they were echoing longstanding communist aims of land reform, highlighted in the 40 demands promulgated in 1996 by CPN (M) and whose anticipated rejection was the trigger for People’s War.
Communists and anti-imperialists argue land reform is crucial for underdeveloped Third World countries if they are to gestate into modern genuinely independent societies. Forgetting the propaganda about it being the ‘world’s biggest democracy’, India is presently the world’s greatest failed state, with staggering levels of poverty and deprivation.
This stems from the failure to transform its inefficient feudal land system after independence, because, prior to it, Gandhi and Nehru had made an alliance with the feudal landlords and guaranteed their property and privilege. The much vaunted ‘Green Revolution’ of the 1960’s came and went without altering the systemic depressing reality noted by a leading economist:

Famines in India were very frequent during the period 1940’s to 1970’s. Due to faulty distribution of food and because farmers did not receive the true value of their labors, the majority of the population did not get enough food. Malnutrition and starvation were a huge problem.
Sen, A. Poverty and Famine, 1981

In 2008 the World Bank estimated the global poor at 1.29 billion, of whom 400 million were in India. Communist China by contrast expropriated its landlord class and created over 70,000 communes that overcame residual difficulties and not only eliminated famines by 1970, but also, against the background of the mid-1960’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, provided the springboard for Deng Xiaoping’s launching China in the direction of state capitalism (28) after 1976.
Other socialist countries have followed this path: DPRK, Vietnam, and Cuba. Even Japan, post-1945, under MacArthur’s US imperium – initiated land reform clearing away feudalism as precondition for a capitalist future and a bastion against the march of communism in Asia. In all cases it was intended as precursor to industrial development and national autonomy. It is the only way for semi-feudal (29) and feudal societies to advance beyond  subsistence agriculture – by planning, collectivization and ‘scientific management’ in order to expand reproduction and accumulate the surplus necessary to feed the urban populations.
It is especially crucial in supporting a growing working class engaged on infrastructural projects or in domestic industries that hopefully flourish when protected behind tariff walls.
The nature of the society shapes its revolution’s priorities; as Dr Bhatterai, then in camp of revolution, detailed:

In a semi-feudal agriculture based economy like Nepal, the New Democratic revolution means basically an agrarian revolution. Revolutionary land reform, is, therefore, the biggest and the most important economic program of the New Democratic revolution. (B Bhatterai, ibid, p 158)

Summary – Historical Constituents of Discord

The imposition of a feudal system from the urban center created unresolved contradictions in Nepalese society. These contradictions are intensifying under pressurized conditions effected by the modern global capitalist market, but their provenance lies in Narayan Shah’s successful, ruthless unification campaign. More conquest than consensus, it seeded the antagonisms that continue to flourish in a divided, heterogeneous society and are recapitulated below.
1). The urban and rural paradox, which saw an urban center dominating the countryside as was touched on earlier, was an inversion of European feudal experience where towns and cities grew in dynamic opposition to the stagnant nature of rustic society. This caused Marx to remark in the Communist Manifesto that the one thing you could thank the bourgeoisie for, was that they built cities and rescued the mass of the people from ‘rural idiocy’. On the contrary in Nepal, unification and comprehensive extension of Hindu feudalism/Brahminism was driven by an autocratic, central state that remains largely intact and unreformed.
As with many capital cities in the developing world, Kathmandu has also come to epitomize uneven development, with the city growing into a First World citadel, in a Third World society, a progression expedited because its ruling elites in politics, the civil service, the armed forces, business and, increasingly, the media have been suborned by global and regional imperialism, manifested in mixtures of military, economic and cultural Soft Power.
In today’s Nepal, continuing resentment of central power, even dressed up as ‘democracy’, is revealed in dissension between those defending it against federalists seeking to liberate national minorities in the regions.
The CPN (M) placed decentralization among its 40 demands in 1996, and it has since provided detailed policy necessary to establish a federal state. The major parliamentary parties are opposed, wanting to either retain power in the Kathmandu center or gerrymander a federal state that ensures continuing upper caste/class hegemony.
2). Narayan Shah’s triumph is echoed in the confrontation between Hindu Khas chauvinists and Janjati national minorities, with the former from the outset dressing up socioeconomic oppression of the latter in religious and linguist garb. The Rana record of attempting to stamp out the many ethnic languages and cultures is attested, but successive Shahs and soi disant democratic politicians were no better.
As late as 1994, the Adhikari UML administration launched a Sanskrit radio station and tried to make its teaching compulsory in schools. Something to note – Sanskrit, the root of all Indo-Aryan languages as Latin for the European ‘Romantics’, has no linguistic connection with any ethnic minority language in Nepal, and the strategy of its imposition was another cultural humiliation, provoking an anti-Sanskrit campaign led by Janjatis.
This event was a particularly salutary example of the gulf between the UML’s communist appellation and its political practice, which in this case was distinguished by arrogant, implicit Hindutvaism.
Reflecting back to the 1066 conquest of England, Marx, quoted earlier, noted that the Norman system was grafted onto a pre-existing embryonic form of Anglo-Saxon feudalism. It could also be said that the two peoples shared the Catholic faith, perhaps offset by the Papal blessing given to William, rewarding his Ultramontanist credentials and the Church’s temporal interest in extending this more efficient and proven pious Norman feudalism and its own theological-political hegemony.
However, even points of concurrence did not disguise a brutal invasion followed by a century of military oppression at the hands of a French-speaking army and a new nobility ensconced in castle, on expropriated land. The evolution of feudalism into the more benign form of manorialism and the consolidation of Royal and Papal power in England was greatly facilitated by fact that within four generations, the hitherto alien invaders, kings and nobles alike, had abandoned the French language for an evolving English one. This linguistic event was crucial to the formation of the modern English language and vital in establishing a cohesive national identity.
It was not, therefore, unification by force-of-arms at the behest of foreign invaders that has precluded a similar Nepalese national identity from appearing; rather it is the failure to heal the original divisions created between vaunting conqueror and resentful conquered.
3). Landlord and tenant antipathy is rooted in the appropriation and expropriation of land that continued until the second half of the 20th century. The abolition of feudal land tenure and its subsequent mutation from private use to private ownership under market conditions benefited upper caste landlords by enabling them to consolidate their lands, with access to capital giving them immediate preference in acquiring released former royal/state lands.
As shown previously, the pattern of land ownership has scarcely changed since the covetous Ranas and upper castes used the state and its repressive apparatus to monopolize swathes of it. Reforms such as setting ceilings on land holdings were either resisted or circumvented. Small tenants were given few protections, and they either fell prey to usurers or were driven into sharecropping and landlessness.
This last group have swollen to include almost 30% of the rural population, mainly Dalits, ethnics, Terai Muslims, and together they form a reservoir of cheap labor, first supplementing and then replacing Kamaiya bonded labor after its abolition in 2002. Thus the feudal landholders devolved into landlords, rentiers – often absentee – and usurers. Over 80% of this last category were drawn from this traditional rural elite (30) despite the Asian Development Bank’s attempts to break their monopoly of usury. Consequently feudal relations continue to dominate an increasingly proletarianized rural workforce.
4) The crucial component defining the relations of production in the tributary system established by Prithvi Narayan Shah was the rigorous application of the Hindu caste system and the enforcement of it on Buddhist, pantheist, or shamanist Janjatis. The ideas of the ruling class, as Marx observed, tend to constitute the dominant ideas in any society, and in the subcontinent, caste was the Brahmin elite’s mechanism for maintaining and rationalizing oppression and exploitation.
It expressed a fusion of ideological and economic function in a society characterized by the rigid hierarchy of caste and rendered immutable by divine genesis and command:

The rich man in his castle
The poor man at his gate
God made them high and low
And ordered their estate

This Christian hymn’s maxims are paralleled in the precepts of Hindu casteism as set forth, among other sources, by the God Krishna in the Bhavagad Gita:

“The caste system has been created by me…According to the differentiation of…Karma”
Ch 4, Verse 13
“…of (the castes) the duties are distributed according to the qualities born of their nature”
Ch 18, Verse 41

The continuing grip of this system, however informal, is evidence of residual feudal mindset and practice. A contemporary Brahmin is just as likely today to be a newspaper editor, political boss, professional, or civil servant, as a Pujaari (priest) or Jyotisi (astrologer), but this has not diluted the influence of the caste; rather it has equipped it to expand into the many crevices of power in contemporary civil societies.
In all events, the secular opinion-former or the Thulo Hakim (party godfather/boss), laagered in Kathmandu, is no less the arrogant, prescriptive Brahmin, than is the cleric, functioning as interlocutor between humanity and God, under the gold roof of Pashupatinath Temple, on the banks of the Bagmati River that flows through Kathmandu and from where Dalits, as with all temples, are barred from entering.
Caste in Nepal often overlaps with class, with Brahmins and Kshatriya morphing into bourgeoisie, and Dalits in their designated laboring and semi-skilled occupations recalibrating as workers and forming unions. Whatever the taxonomy, caste discrimination remains deeply ingrained in a society dominated by upper caste Hindus, despite the advent of multiparty democracy. Dalits and their organizations and unions have consistently supported the Maoists, seeing the revolution as the means of consigning the system into the dustbin of history.
In this respect the CPN (M) were decisive in purging caste-discriminatory practices in liberated base areas, setting an example that stills cries out for general application.
5). The creation of Nepal under the auspices of deeply patriarchal culture was a qualitative setback for gender equality as post-pubertal females under Hinduism were regarded as domestic chattel to serve and gratify male needs and reproduce the species.
This conflicted with the more liberated mores of Janjati societies based the villages and valleys of the hinterland. They represented the close-knit, gemeinschaft ideal, where survival in a harsh, unforgiving environment, was problematic for both sexes, precluding prejudice and requiring cooperation and mutual respect. Consequently women were influential in the community and could obtain and inherit property.
This was prohibited under Hindu religion and law; women were also stopped from working in the fields under this rubric and generally subject to humiliation and constraints that marked their low status. They suffered the twin oppressions of class and gender, expressed in economic, social and political forms.
The Maobaadi slogan was:

Working Women of the World, Unite. You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Double Chains!!

There is also significant empirical evidence that discrimination has deleterious health effects, especially to lower-caste women. Nepal is unique because female life expectancy has always lagged a few years behind that of males, an inversion of the normative death rate gender differential obtaining in most societies. Up to 2000, the country had one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world – 875 per 100,000, and it is little better now.
Lower caste women suffer further sexual oppression, are subject to rape with impunity by high caste males and are forced into sex slavery and prostitution. Hindu women, especially in urban centers, are made to observe Teej (husband worship), and the fifth day Tihar (Nepal’s Deepawali) is set aside for Hindu sisters’ Bhai Tikka (brother worship).
However, People’s War raised a challenge to the subordination of women in Nepal; the CPN (M) was committed to female liberation, from Marx to Mao a consistent communist principle, and proved this in the red base areas. There were dramatic effects on women in these zones, both indirect and direct. In the first place the conflict caused male displacement into PLA and militia and accelerated the increasing flight of men into migrant work, leaving the work traditionally assigned to them, from plowing the fields to repairing roofs, to be carried on by females.
That many women enthusiastically took up these challenges and supported the revolutionary cause is further demonstrated by the fact that by the time of CPA, one-third of the 30,000 PLA ranks were women serving alongside men in the front line. As with caste, the Maoists promoted and enforced equality, in stark contrast to the patriarchal and chauvinist Hindu culture of towns and cities. Even these urban centers were affected, as there was an increase in women’s’ organizations and agitation which owed as much to the impact of cosmopolitan petit bourgeois feminism as it did to urban Maoist women engaging in those legal or semi-legal campaigns for women’s rights that were open to them.
However, there remains a long struggle for full equality between the sexes on the subcontinent. The appalling treatment of many, especially Dalit, women in India, highlights the worst effects of Hindu male chauvinism. It is also apparent in culture with the Soft Power of Bollywood and in politics with the election of a Hindutva BJP government showing that patriarchalism is systemic and pervasive on the subcontinent. For Nepal, it forms part of Narayan Shah’s enduring legacy, and for those of Indo-Aryan stock, secular or Hindu, male chauvinism is reinforced by cultural and political mores emanating from ‘Mother India’.

Patriots and Compradors

The major divide between patriots and compradors is not directly attributable to the first Shah but began with the deliberate neocolonialist turn taken by the military clan he had called forth as the monarchy’s Praetorian Guard, the Ranas. Following Jonge Bahadur’s precedent, their subservience to the British rendered direct colonization unnecessary.
In the light of the post-1857 rebellion which the Ranas helped the British put down, the new Raj was more concerned with consolidating what he held than advancing into new territory and he actually returned to Nepal parts of the Terai seized following the 1814-16 Anglo-Nepalese war and Sugauli Treaty.
While the Ranas suffered for their pro-British proclivities in 1950, with Nehru aiding the King and NC invasion, the returned Shahs from Tribhuvan to Gyenendra were always ambivalent towards India. Mahendra, for example, was quite willing to play the China card after its decisive military victory over India in 1962 by securing Peking’s aid in constructing a modern highway from the Tibetan border to Kathmandu. Birendra’s humbling in the events of 1990 Andolan was precipitated by an Indian blockade on Nepal that closed four out of the five major roads and quickly brought hunger to Kathmandu.
This was prompted by the King’s attempt to purchase anti-aircraft equipment from China without consultation with and the agreement of New Delhi. These and other royal stratagems were nevertheless exercises and attempts at national sovereignty opportunistically exploiting interstices in the bedrock of Nepalese general political, cultural and economic deference to India and pragmatic royal acceptance of India’s strategic interests as the regional superpower. This ambivalence continues today as even the two RPP royalist parties are divided by pro- and anti-Indian sentiment.
It is all the more surprising that, from Nehru onward, Indian administrations maintained a ‘Two Pillar’ policy towards Nepal following the collapse of the Delhi Compromise which supported the king and the political parties. It was never a rational option; attempting to balance the conflicting interests of Royalist absolutism and popular democratic sovereignty was destined to end with the victory of one group or another. Tigers want blood – not grass, and New Delhi appears naïve not to have understood this.
It was especially puzzling that it involved India, as mentioned, supporting frequently freewheeling monarchs and marginalizing its natural allies in NC, and latterly UML, who had followed their Indian CPI comrades onto the parliamentary road and establishment status.
New Delhi had a major geopolitical stake in ensuring a compliant regime in Nepal as a bulwark against the threatened proletarian expansionism of the PRC and yet tolerated often opportunist, awkward Nepalese monarchs who, in their turn, were trying to maintain neutrality and pursue and independent foreign policy. They were conscious of Narayan Shah’s warning that: ’Nepal was like a yam between two stones’, therefore, cunning and room for maneuver was required to avoid being crushed.
Why successive Indian administrations continued to tolerate an, at best, ambivalent monarchy, when it had much more congenial partners in waiting is puzzling, especially given that the policy was not abandoned until 2005, when New Delhi finally lost patience and facilitated talks in India allowing the prorogued seven parliamentary parties and the Maoists to forge an anti-Gyanendra alliance.
NC, after all, was created under Nehru’s aegis, and he effectively betrayed the party in the aftermath of the 1950 invasion, with first the Delhi Compromise and next with the subsequent Two Pillar policy.
It may be argued that as the supreme arbiter of power on domestic and international issues, Nehru’s quixotic and capricious nature – if not Brahmin presumption – led to unchallenged contradictions. But even that does not fully explain the persistence of this approach post-Nehru, especially after the 1990 Andolan, which New Delhi precipitated and again drew back from by agreeing to having King Birendra stay on condition of accepting constitutional status (yet crucially allowing him to keep control of the army) in a ‘parliamentary democracy’.
A former Indian diplomat turned critical establishment sage noted in exasperation in 2003:

“There is a serious inherent conflict between the interests of multiparty democracy based on the concept of popular sovereignty and the King’s political aspirations and self-perceived divine role to rule. Even in 1990 the coexistence between the King and the political parties was neither natural, nor sincere nor honest.” (31)
– S. D. Muni

As this essay has argued, it was obvious from 1990 on that the parliamentary parties, governments and upper castes were either supine or in active collusion with Indian interests against the interests of the nation. They stood in even greater neocolonial submission to India than the Ranas before the British Empire. Their anti-national character was reinforced by functioning as agents/functionaries/transmission belts for imperialism in all its manifestations.
There is no role for independent states under the present global imperium. The modern state was called forth by the European bourgeoisie during the early progressive birthing struggles against feudalism. These states later degenerated into a struggle between these new nations across the European continent. It was nationalism distinguished by a xenophobic hatred, intensified when rivalry spread from the continent to a world stage in the age of mercantilism and colonialism as each European power fought rivals for a ‘place in the sun’.
The aim of these various rampaging states was to either exterminate or exploit native peoples and by blocking independent development maintain their subjugation. The aim of the First World has always been to kick away the ladder of protection it climbed up, from under Third World countries preserving them as arenas for super-exploitation. If there are domestic capitalist sectors in underdeveloped countries, they are crushed by unfair competition or leveraged out by multinationals using the dominant financial and political institutions and instruments of international capitalism.
Since national capitalist sectors are not permitted in underdeveloped countries like Nepal, no national bourgeoisie can exist. Only one that is comprador can flourish. Individuals from upper caste/bourgeois backgrounds do at times betray their caste/class interest and join the struggle for national liberation, and their contribution is not negligible, but patriotism finds critical mass among the rural and urban working masses because it is materially intertwined with class interest and takes political counteroffensive against oppressive conditions created by international capital.
For the ‘wretched of the earth’, Fanon’s memorable, passionate characterization, in Nepal and other Shudra states of the present global dispensation, there is no ‘trickle-down’ from the engorging imperial heartlands. The much-touted benefits of capitalism are chimerical, a Coca-Cola sign on a Third World shanty mocking poverty inside.
The gap between a banker on Wall Street and a sharecropper in an Assamese paddy field is as wide and unbridgeable as that between a patrician Brahmin or Newari Thulo Hakim in the gated Lazimpat area of Kathmandu and a barelegged Dalit sanitation operative sifting city filth and inhabiting a hovel in a less salubrious quarter. Capitalist imperialism has overseen Brahmin and bourgeois class rule equalized by mutuality of greed and hierarchical praxis.

Material Basis of Social Contradiction

Just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history; the simple fact hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means of subsistence and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even on ideas of religion, have been evolved,…..”
– F. Engels, Speech at the Graveside of Marx, 1883, Selected Works, Vol 3, p 162.)
“…an economic rationale can be provided for the origins of the Indian caste system as it can for European feudalism. All the great Eurasian civilizations being dependent on plow intensive agriculture needed some institutional means to tie labor…..Serfdom, indenture, slavery and the caste system were all ways to do so.”
D. Lal, The Abuse of History, p. 2.

The genesis of Nepal’s divisions principally lies in the system imposed by Narayan Shah after 1769. This was an economic process galvanized by political means, with a ruling elite extracting surplus from downtrodden peasantry in an agricultural society through control of the land. Following Professor R. S. Sharma’s taxonomy (32) of this phenomenon in India during the first millennium AD, the appellation feudalism is used. Asok Rudra created the term ‘Brahminism’ (33) to emphasize the unique nature of the Indian system, rejecting parallels with European feudalism.
What unites them, however, is mutual recognition that, whatever its discrete mechanisms and subsequent nomenclature, this was a tributary society. In other words, a type of pre-capitalist economic formation marked Eurasian history in this period. It was characterized by two main classes – first, a peasantry deployed in communal production, and second, a ruling class comprised of a priesthood, a nobility/military and an absolute monarchy that appropriated the surplus product/labor through control of land by repressive and extra-economic mechanisms
There were marked divergences in the forms taken by these societies in Europe, India and China, but all instantiate the level of class struggle at this historical stage, albeit subject to differential momentum, development trajectories and cultural configurations.
This is applying the methodology of historical materialism, précised in Engels’ quote above, which posits a sociopolitical superstructure arising from and sustained by an economic infrastructure which is appropriate to specific historical stages and the development of the forces of production therein. These successive modes of production encompass therefore not just the technological level of the productive forces but the corresponding relations of production under which they operate.
The conditions under which social formations organize immediate physical necessities such as food and shelter shape their culture and provide a dominant worldview consistent with specific modes of reproduction. There have been qualitatively distinct historical stages in systematizing preconditions of physical existence, each sustaining its appropriate ideology. Marx reasoned:

“The hand mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam mill, society with the industrial capitalist. The same men who establish social relations in conformity with their material productivity, produce also principles, ideas and categories, in conformity with their social relations.”(34)
– Karl Marx.

Therefore European feudalism gave rise to Roman Catholicism with all souls subsumed in the Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) and with divinely ordained functions complementing hierarchical society.
Capitalism, for its part, produces bourgeois individualism as an appropriate ideology for a dynamic or even unbridled society that is in constant flux.
Similarly the caste system on the Indian subcontinent, as has been argued earlier and noted by Lal above, is a socioeconomic phenomenon brought forward by exploitative elites applying superstitious doctrine to rationalize and mask their extraction of surplus. It is, as Dr. Ambedkar rightly concluded, a mechanism for the ‘social division of labor’ within an ’unequal hierarchy’.
Just as Hindu metaphysics spawned numerous avatars and manifestations of Para Brahman (the Supreme Being), increasing refinement in allocation of fixed, discrete socioeconomic functions gave rise to a plethora of subcastes and Jatis that remain determinate to this day, despite the impacts of urban cosmopolitanism and the phenomenon of many Dalits and lower castes forming their own organizations and joining trade unions. Hinduism’s credal syncretism contrasts strikingly with the rigidity of its hierarchical stratification by means of caste.
Religion is an ideological component within a general culture and along with political and legal systems is a constituent element of the superstructure which consistently corresponds to the economic base. It is called forth and shaped by ruling classes to serve the base and changes accordingly as it does. It cannot be otherwise. It is not economic determinism, acknowledging there is a reciprocal relationship between the two.
So, for example, changes to the social relations of production in the base give rise to distinct world views; while conversely, political activity in the superstructure such as revolutionary upheaval can transform the base. Feudalism gave way to capitalism, which reduced religion to residual role and developed education as mode of enculturation.
These are Blake’s “mind-forged manacles,” prefiguring Gramsci’s concept of hegemony in civil society, showing how a dominant class maintains ideological control over exploited classes and thereby complements its monopoly of the physical means of repression. Human societies have always commingled consent and coercion in varying combinations according to circumstances and history, but all rest on specific, sequential economic infrastructures that are ‘determinate in the last instance’:

“… According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimate determining factor is the production and reproduction of life.” (Engels to J. Bloch, 1890. ME Selected Works, Vol 3, p.487)

Conclusion

The ideal for any ruling class is where its ideology takes root and is accepted by the subordinate classes as expressing normative, eternal human verities. The lower classes then, as Marx held, “…share the illusion of that epoch” (35). In this essay I have argued that the brutal genesis of modern Nepal continues to engender resistance that precludes mass popular consent to such ‘illusion’ because its inceptional arrangements remain largely intact.
The caste system therefore remains pervasive and influential, if sotto voce, because the upper castes it benefits retain political and economic power, despite changes in polities from monarchy through the Ranas back to the return of monarchy and finally culminating in the multiparty parliamentary system, with each in turn representing a different modality of Brahminical predominance. This elite has lasted nearly two-hundred and fifty years, and it has managed to preserve a feudal/tributary mode beyond its epochal termination elsewhere.
Although circulation of money, small scale commodity production and burgeoning private property penetrated this society assisted by inherent Brahmin avariciousness mediated as hucksterism, it did not produce a strong national capitalist sector. Therefore, it was easily sold out by entrenched upper caste interests ready to accommodate the socioeconomic and geopolitical authority and objectives of India’s Brahminical oligarchs and international capitalism’s power elites and institutions.
Consequently the heirs of Narayan Shah via the neocolonial Ranas have mutated into today’s comprador ruling class, equally marked by cupidity, corruption and cultural capitulation.
The Seven Party Alliance was squeezed between Gyanendra’s royal coup complete with dissolution of parliament and banning of parties on the one hand and the Maoists, strengthened by the gains of Protracted People’s War, on the other. The parliamentary parties in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement gave formal assurances to the latter in order to defeat the former regarding restructuring the state and army.
In the following years, re-energized as a reactionary bloc and assisted/prompted by New Delhi and Washington, the same parties, led by NC and UML, decisively reneged on those commitments which they had conceded in a moment of weakness. Those promises, if translated into effective policies, would have effectively ended their role as Nepal’s traditional governing class functioning from the Kathmandu center.
Thus discord continues to disfigure Nepalese society and is characterized by a plurality of contradictions reflected variously as antipathy between landlord and tenant, Brahmin and Dalit, Khas Hindu and Janjati, comprador and patriot, casteist and egalitarian, capitalist and worker, patriarchalist and feminist, centralist and federalist, Maoist and Status Quoist.
They are all aspects and expressions of fundamental class antagonism, with a ruling elite on the right confronting the interests of the popular masses on the left.
Finally, I will conclude with a quote from an assessment made just after the 2006 CPA outlining the steps necessary to avoid a repetition of Protracted People’s War. It encapsulates the arguments made at greater length in the preceding pages. It is not from class warrior ‘usual suspects’ or any of more erudite and equally committed Nepalese specialists, but it hails from a well-meaning and of course well-funded Norwegian ‘Conflicts Resolution’ NGO:

The long-term conflict trends in Nepal are linked to whether or not one succeeds in replacing social, political and economic exclusion with more inclusive institutions, processes and practices. Continued exclusion on the basis of caste, ethnicity, gender or other means of distinction will provide the basis for continued armed conflict, including the possibility for further violence.
In political terms the key issue revolves around the ongoing efforts to establish legitimate political institutions accepted by all groups in society. In socioeconomic terms, this system will also have to, over time, succeed in becoming more genuinely redistributive that the current system.
In the short term, several factors might trigger increased violence in Nepal, including:
Increasing poverty: As noted above, the poverty and exclusion issue will remain central, in particular for the new regime when it will be established. Meanwhile, the government should succeed in providing at least some symbolic progress on the economic front in order to encourage belief in the system and indicate the way forward.
Ethnic mobilization: With widespread exclusion and discrimination still the norm across Nepali society, the danger will remain that some groups may mobilize on the basis of violence. This danger will grow unless the government and Maoists succeed in driving the negotiations forward and ensure redistribution in broad terms. (36)

These aims, necessary for Nayaa Nepal (New Nepal), have been either ignored or had their implementation blocked by a revived Brahminical status quo that despite its rampant corruption and its inability to provide functional government or generally represent the national interest still clings to power and privilege. Meanwhile the country decays and the people grow poorer while a younger generation takes up the challenge of the unfinished revolution.

“The old world is dying away, and the new world struggles to come forth: now is the time of monsters.” (Gramsci, A. State and Civil Society, Prison Notebooks, p 276)

Gramsci’s apercu applies to the present right/left impasse in Nepalese society – for the moment.

Postscript

In these poor, underdeveloped countries, where the rule is that the greatest wealth is surrounded by the greatest poverty, the army and the police constitute the pillars of the regime; an army and a police (another rule which must not be forgotten) which are advised by foreign experts.
The strength of the police force and the power of the army are proportionate to the stagnation in which the rest of the nation is sunk. By dint of yearly loans, concessions are snatched up by foreigners; scandals are numerous, ministers grow rich, their wives doll themselves up, the members of parliament feather their nests, and there is not a soul down to the simple policemen or the customs officer who does not join in the great procession of corruption.
– F. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 1961, p. 138)

At the turn of the millennium, the Royal Nepalese Army had a complement of approximately 35,000 front line personnel, and bolt-action 303 rifles (first issued to the British Army in 1892) were the standard infantry rifle. Now, post-2008, as the Nepalese Army is 105,000 strong the and standard issue weapon includes the much more deadly American M-16 fully automatic, state of the art, high-velocity, assault rifle, replacing the substandard, fault-prone INSAS light machine gun, India’s generic AK-47.
This results from Washington’s geopolitical strategy of encircling a rising China with a chain in which Nepal forms an important potential link. Egyptianizing the Nepalese Army was important in advancing this aim. Under the pretext of post 9/11 ‘War On Terror’, following the 2002 Powell mission to Kathmandu, Washington agreed to help Gyanendra by equating Maoist rebels with Jihadis in a spurious world ‘crusade’.
In the following years, except for the brief blip of Gyanendra’s absolutist rule, guns, guidance and greenbacks have flowed in to the army as US military advisors implemented a strategy of re-equipping the army. The US has supplied the army with improved weaponry. In the air, the US is supplying aerial reconnaissance and attack capability with helicopters and short take-off-landing aircraft (STOL). And the US has introduced counterinsurgency training. All of this for an army that, prior to being sent into serious action against the PLA following the pro-Maoist King Birendra’s assassination, was only experienced in UN peacekeeping duties in various hotspots.
Through the Office for Defense Cooperation, Nepal’s top military convene monthly at one of the two US Embassies in Kathmandu under the auspices of the US Commander in Chief – Pacific (CINPAC). (37) Many of the NA high command and officer class are Sandhurst trained, and like their Indian Army homologues are willing Koi Hais, the Indian colonial term for a native servant.
Collusion with Uncle Sam, allowing him a forward base in Nepal in return for practical assistance turning the NA into a primarily domestic counterinsurgency force, came easily with this pedigree.
Aside from the Pentagon’s infantry weaponizing of the NA, most of the army’s supplies have come from India. In 2013, India resumed its role of supplying most of the army’s other military requirements, including means for ground and air mobility. This followed an eight year break that had begun in protest against Gyanendra’s coup but was also motivated by suspicion and resentment at growing US presence in India’s traditional sphere of influence.
The recent unity of purpose between Washington and New Delhi in regard to Nepal is evidence of a broader and deeper economic and strategic partnership between the two countries. This has been extended into the military sphere with the Pentagon providing guidance for Operation Green Hunt, a counterinsurgency campaign launched in 2009 aimed at defeating Maoist and Adavasi rebels who are resisting the plunder of resources and destruction of their traditional lands by insatiable multinational corporations in the five states comprising India’s ‘Red Corridor’.
There is also a 40,000 strong paramilitary group, the Armed Police Force (APF). This group was originally set up under Deuba’s NC 2001 administration to offset Gyanendra’s NA monopoly of state repressive potential. With the advent of the republic, it morphed into common purpose with NA, giving the state nearly 150,00 armed personnel at its disposal. The UK, with twice the population of Nepal, has an army half its size of the NA.
Further, Britain’s imperial heritage marks it as a singularly bellicose state, permanently at war with someone somewhere, usually as faithful deputy in various American campaigns of international aggression.
Apart from the People’s War, the Nepalese Army fought a minor war in the 1970’s, routing a marauding Khampa rabble in Mustang Province that had been trained and primed by the CIA to cross into Tibet and continue America’s war-by-proxy against the People’s Republic. Nepal is not threatened by imminent military invasion from either of its neighbors and has a particularly casual arrangement of an open border with India without even a dedicated border guard. The Nepalese Army’s UN peacekeeping duties involve 4,000 personnel at most at any one time.
It is obvious that the NA and APF are primarily intended as forces for domestic repression; they are ostentatious and ubiquitous across the country, with six fixed army divisions straddling the regions, backed up by three mobile specialist brigades. They have used the years since 2006 to improve fortified positions and entrenchments in rural areas and are everywhere in urban centers. Katmandu City itself is like a military camp, with never less than 20,000 personnel in barracks dispersed across the City like chocolate chips in a cookie.
Soldiers regularly patrol streets and thoroughfares, man major chowks (public squares and intersections) and parade in Tudikhel Park, a private army marching ground in the center of the city which, apart from the national football stadium is the only grass covered area in Kathmandu. Strutting their stuff, the soldiery are designed as much to intimidate as impress.
The army is the elephant in the room in the Nepalese situation, and has been referenced throughout this paper for its role and influence at key points in Nepal’s history from its birth under Narayan Shah, to the early years of the 21st. century. In the last decade it has become bigger and better armed, equipped and trained than at any point in its history.
It proved politically decisive in forcing Gyanendra’s surrender that signaled the victory of the April 2006 Andolan, and crucially succeeded in overthrowing Prachanda’s administration when it attempted to enforce the CPA provision that the PLA regulars be integrated as a corps into the NA. The further seizure of PLA weapons from the UN cantonments in 2011 on paper cemented the Brahminical state’s monopoly of violence in Nepal.
Its comprador officer corps and high command, well-groomed by American and Indian patrons, have demonstrated in such interventions decisive executive ability; dumping a malfunctioning, hubristic King, blocking army reform, martialing the phony 2013 election, and holding an informal veto over policies or proposals inimical to the status quo.
The officer corps is dominated by Chetris and Thakuris and represents a military ascendancy formed under the banner of Narayan Shah. It stands ready for counterrevolution either as a state of emergency or military dictatorship as possible options should the existence of the state be problematic or in imminent danger of collapse. The State’s political class presents no coherent power, and in any event is presently sunk in corruption, paralyzed by the specific difficulty in getting the existing order ratified in a bogus constitution and its sheer general uselessness in providing clean, functioning government.

Unfinished Revolution

War hath determined us, and foil’d with loss
Irreparable: terms of peace yet none
Vouchsafed, or sought: for what peace will be given
To us enslaved, but custody severe,
And stripes, and arbitrary punishment Inflicted?
And what peace can we return,
But, to our power, hostility and hate,
Untamed reluctance, and revenge though slow
Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
In doing what we most in suffering feel?
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 2, lines 330/40.

However, the People’s War may resume in some form based on the announcement in early December that barely two years after the CPN-M (Dashists) broke from the UCPN(M) (Cashists), the CPN-M (Dashists) haves also split, with a faction led by Biplav (Netra Bikram Chand) forming the CPN Maoist.
At the time of writing, the Two-Line Struggle’s policy differences that prefigured the rupture are not fully understood, but the new party is driven by what it perceives as the treachery and reversals of the eight wasted years since 2006 and declaring that if provisions given by SPA on behalf of the status quo are not honored then struggle will resume, and organs of dual power will be revived in re-established liberated zones.
The split does not appear as politically and ideologically rancorous as that between the Cashists and Dashists and may exhibit a generational difference regarding timing; Biplav and many around him are in their forties but have considerable battlefield experience from the People’s War. On the other hand, Kiran’s close comrades are in their fifties and sixties, and while many are primarily political figures, they also include active-service veterans.
Each party recognizes that the stalled revolution is certain to recommence at some point, but the lack of technical support makes any attempt in the short term to ‘go back into the jungle’ or resume any form of armed struggle against a new, domestically refocused, re-equipped, and expanded state repressive apparatus militarily inadvisable if not suicidal.
A more immediate likelihood is military and police repression of the party that, whatever its evident caution, has openly declared the task of completing the revolution, sooner rather than later. That is why its launch was held at a secure location in the Kathmandu Valley, but there was still a palpable sense of urgency behind Biplav’s opening statement that, failing the NC-led elite unblocking and implementing the reforms of the 12-point agreement of 2005 between the SPA and CPN (M) that were ratified the following year with the post-victory CPA, there would be a return to:

Armed struggle in order to protect national unity, integrity, sovereignty and rights of people. (38)

The Nepalese security establishment and its foreign advisers have every reason to take Biplav seriously. He was an effective military leader during the People’s War. With his close ally Khadga Bahadur Bishwkarma, Prakanda (Mighty) offered a vision of a reformed PLA with the creation of a youth wing in the CPN-M, the National Volunteers, that made a strong impression during the 2013 election boycott with uniform red T shirts and formation marching. It is a proto-army and significantly, most of its cadre have gone over to the new party.
State surveillance agencies will also note Kiran’s statement:

We will meet if Chand will raise arms and fight for people (39).

All of which makes a pre-emptive strike by security forces a rational option. It also demonstrates that the understanding that ‘political power comes out of the barrel of gun’ is the one point of agreement between implacable enemies. This is not only perceived in abstraction, an axiom that distills a precondition for establishment and maintenance of power in human society from its tribal origins to the contemporary nation-state, but it is directly informed and shaped by Nepal’s recent history since unification in the late 18th century.
The major and inescapable lesson is that violence was the midwife of the new state and has marked every significant subsequent upheaval since. From Prithvi Narayan Shah to Jonge Bahadur’s seizure of power in the Red Kot Massacre that established a century of brutal Rana despotism to the NC/Royalist 1950 invasion and uprising to Mahendra’s 1960 feudal coup to the People’s War and Andolans of the last decades to the 2001 assassination of Birendra which paved the way for Gyanendra – all of these events combine to confirm that there has never been any significant change in Nepal without the use of physical force.
All of the present political parties have their roots in violence; the RPP, NC, UML, UMF, and UCPN(M) all emerged sequentially from Nepal’s history through force of arms.
This paper commenced with Machiavelli’s comment on the right of the people to engage in struggle against the ruling class nobility of his time and so will conclude with an equally apposite rubric from the first great European political scientist. It expresses a truth understood by revolutionary communists everywhere on necessity for the revolution to have an experienced, disciplined, combat-ready armed wing, and is reflected in the author’s his rueful conclusion on witnessing the execution of the charismatic Florentine preacher Savonarola in 1498 following Rome’s condemnation of heresy:

That is why the visionary who has armed force on his side has always won through, while unarmed even your visionary is always the loser.
– Machiavelli, The Prince, p 23, Penguin ed.

Peter Tobin, December 2014

Citations/Footnotes

(1) Index Mundi, Nepal Economic Profile, 2014.
(2) Karobar National Economic Daily, 05/10/2013.
(3) Economist, “The Trouble With Ghee”, June, 2008.
(4) A political project to re-establish the conditions for capital accumulation and restore the power of economic elites.
See A Brief History of Neoliberalism, D. Harvey, p 19. Harvey provides further elaboration of neoliberalism’s elevation of market criteria over all aspects of life, particularly the shrinking of the state’s responsibility for welfare, economic planning, subsidies, &c. From the 1970’s on, it began dethroning Keynesian policies, with neoliberals believing that the Keynesians’ emphasis on state deficit spending as means of stimulating employment and production distorted the market and lacked fiscal rectitude. The phenomenon has also been described in popular parlance as, “Capitalism with its gloves off.”
(5) OPHI Country Briefing: Nepal,  2010.
(6) B. P. Bhurtel. 17/10/2013. “Rich Man’s World as Wealth Gap Grows in Nepal.” The Nation/Kathmandu Post.
(7) However, it can be argued that the link between bourgeois capitalism and bourgeois democracy is purely contingent, with neoliberal capitalism flourishing equally in dictatorships and democracies both. It is worth noting in this respect that Pinochet’s Chile was chosen by Washington as an experiment in extreme free market capitalism, dispatching Friedman monetarist acolytes of the ‘Chicago School’ to Santiago and placing them in charge of the Chilean economy.
This is not because contemporary transnational capital is neutral but because it has become a superior executive power reducing political systems and governments to irrelevance. A review in Le Monde, 10/10/2014, of the German scholar Wolfgang Streeck’s Du Temps Achete – La Crise Sans Cesse Ajournee Du Capitalisme Democratique (Borrowed Time – The Postponed Crisis of Capitalist Democracy) quotes his comment describing advancing global capital as class avatar:

“…elles est inapte a tout fonctionment democratique, par le fait qu’elle pratiquee en tres grande parti, en particulairement en europe, comme une politique international – sous la forme d’une diplomatie financiere interetatique.”
– Wolfgang Streeck. Borrowed Time – The Postponed Crisis of Capitalist Democracy.

A rough translation of which argues that it is incapable of functioning democratically, because it is, in fact a politically dominant power, especially in Europe, in the guise of interstate financial diplomacy. He uses the word ‘post-democracy’ to describe this stage of the present era.
(8) K. P. Prabhakaran Nair. February 2006. Grist for US Mills. GMWATCH. It is salutary to note that up until 2014, over 250,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide as a result of such policies reducing rural populations to immiseration and destitution.
(9) Republica (English language Nepalese daily newspaper) 07/09/2014.
(10) D. Gywali/A. Dixit. April, 2000. “How Not to Do a South Asian Treaty.” Himal South Asian.
(11) H. Yami/B. Bhatterai. 1996. Nationality Question in Nepal.
(12) ‘Kiran’ is a nom de guerre for Mohan Baidya. It means Ray of Light. All Maoist leaders adopted one during People’s War. ‘Prachanda’ (P. K. Dahal) means ‘Fierce’, ‘Biplav’, (N. B. Chand), means ‘Revolt’, &c.
(13) Colloquially known as ‘Dashists’ because of the –M in their name. Conversely, the UCPN (M), the party the Dashists split from, are called the ‘Cashists’ by their opponents because their leaders and many cadre were accused of falling before ‘sugar-coated enemy bullets’ after ‘coming out of the jungle’ and decamping to Kathmandu and corruption in 2006, following the CPA.
(14) 1991. “Caste and Ethnicity,” Ch. 7 in Nepal – A Country Study.
(15) R. Dangal. Administrative Culture in Nepal,  p.95, Table 9: Caste Distribution of Higher Civil Servants.
16) This needs an essay in itself! Briefly parliamentary/presidential, multiparty systems emerged as systems to meet needs of emerging bourgeois capitalist society in the West. The various parties represented class interests devising contingent institutional solutions. Part of Western hubris is claim their necessity in all circumstances.
It was applied unilaterally by an indigenous elite in many postcolonial situations. Apart from a democratic deficit, adoption of this project indicated loss of nerve and residual ideological colonization among otherwise resolute anticolonial political leaders of independence struggles such as Nehru, Nkrumah, Kenyatta, Kaunda, and Bandaranaike, &c).
But the main reason it proves ‘wholly unsuitable’ is total failure to provide effective governance in postcolonial situations anywhere and to have descended into nests of thieves and similar mechanisms of naked class aggrandizement when not replaced by sanctioned western ‘strongmen’ or red revolution.
Going hand in hand with capitalism and its contingent institutions demonstrated how indigenous elites were fostered and suborned by their colonial masters.
Marx, enthused, saw the inception of the program:

From the Indian natives, reluctantly and sparingly educated at Calcutta, under English superintendence, a fresh class is springing up endowed with the requirements for government and imbued with European science.
– Marx, Future Results of British Rule in India, 1853, M/E Selected Works p. 495.

Nehru is an exemplar of the success of this project:

“By education I am an Englishman, by views an internationalist, by culture a Muslim and Hindu only by an accident of birth.”

He epitomized Macaulay’s ‘Brown Englishmen’. His pretensions, along with his secularization of Hindutva, are set out in his 1943 magnum opus, The Discovery of India, (written in English of course) where he establishes the existence of a precolonial Hindu ‘golden age’ civilization and his particular ancestral call to restore its historic harmony expressed in language reflecting his Cambridge education in the classics with references to Pericles, Demosthenes, et al, although when required he could refer to:”..the old Vedantic spirit of the life force.”
(17) Fanon, Wretched of the Earth, p. 36. Marx benignly notes emerging use of education as conditioning and improvement mechanism, A hundred years later Fanon is responding to its deleterious postcolonial effect as the ideological component of a comprador class.
Vide (16) above re Nehru shows how this strata were eventually conditioned to reproduce bourgeois polity, albeit in ersatz, parodic form.
(18) WCPI, 2011. Transparency International,
(19):

…the peasantry constitutes the main army of the national movement…there is no national movement without the peasant army, nor can there be. That is what is meant when it is said that, in essence, the national question is a peasant question.
– J. V. Stalin, The National Question in Yugoslavia, Works, Vol 7, pp. 71-72.

(20) Prachanda’s short-lived 2008 administration might be excused, as it was forced out by a military coup orchestrated by New Delhi in league with NC & UML. But Bhatterai’s second ‘Maoist’ administration, 2011-13, had less excuse for being so supine.
(21) Ghurkhas are not an ethnic group but, according to their websites are a warrior caste claiming descent from the Hindu Rajputs and Brahmins of Northern India. Their valor, tenacity and loyalty deeply impressed the British enemy. After a successful invasion and defeat in 1814-16, the East India Company began recruitment into a specially created regiment that, in modern times, has been mainly drawn from the Rai, Limbhu, Magar and Gurung ethnic nationalities.
The added glory of Hindu provenance (possibly a retrospective embellishment), but their cry “Jaya mahakali – Ayo gurkhali!”  (“Glory to great Kali – Gurkhas are coming!”), shares an evocation of Kali as the goddess of destruction and death with the Rajputs, belonging to the Kshatriya warrior caste, spread across Northern India, many driven into Nepal by the Muslim invasion of North India.
In the Terai they became one of the ruling Bhadralok castes mutating into professional occupations as doctors, lawyers &c. Also Narayan Shah was from a Kshatriya jati, although he was pragmatic enough to recruit given national ethnicities into his army while raising up Hindu upper castes and establishing a divine Hindu Kingdom.
The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymological root of Gurkha as:

 ORIGIN name of a locality, from Sanskrit goraksa ‘cowherd’ (from go ‘cow’ + raks – ‘protect’), used as an epithet of their patron.
Oxford English Dictionary

This lends credence to Gurkhas’ claims of provenance from Hindu warrior castes.
(22) J. Adhikari. 2008. Land Reform in Nepal, p. 23.
(23)  CPN (M). 1997. One Year of People’s War in Nepal. GS’s Report.
(24) J. Adhikari. Land Reform in Nepal, p 39.
(25) The early Marx claimed centralized despotism as the essential feature of the Asiatic Mode of Production – a pre-capitalist form that he believed existed in static, ossified, oriental societies.
He infamously commented:

Indian society has no history at all, at least no known history.
Marx – Future Results…ME Vol 1, p. 494. 1853.

and, while acknowledging the base motives of the English colonizers, he thought that imperialist incursion would, nolens volens, drag it into the modern world. However, after the first War of Independence in 1857 and subsequent study he revised AMP and undermined the despotic, stagnant society premise by declaring the uprising a ‘national revolt’, and expressed support for the insurgents. Though he never accepted that India, precolonial incursion, was feudal, he conceded that it could be described as in transition to feudalism.
In this respect he wrote in 1859:

In broad outlines, Asiatic, ancient, feudal, and modern bourgeois modes of production can be designated as progressive epochs in the economic formation of society.
Marx – Preface to Critique of Political Economy, ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 504, 1859

The concept has been an issue for polemic and debate among Marxists and communists and survives more as an analytic than a descriptive term. Whatever the taxonomy, Marx, by looking at the relations of production, outlined how an elite could appropriate surplus using the state as a mechanism for generalized exploitation. Dalits and Sudras stood before their Brahmin masters in the same relationship as a slave before a slaveowner, a serf before a lord, or a worker before an employer.
(26) These are linguistic categories used by modern ethnographers, and while there were obvious physical differences between the two groups that added to perception in the case of Nepal, they are not a racial classifications. For example, the other linguistic group in South India is Dravidian, with minimal physical differences between its speakers and those of the Indo-Aryan bloc.
(27) J. Adhikari. 2008. Land Reform in Nepal, p. 25.
(28) ‘State capitalism’ is as fraught a term as feudalism, with multiple definitions, inspired by political polemics not only expressed between left and right but also a lively source of debate within the left denoting ultimate political allegiance .
For the right, it can mean any state intervention either through ownership or control such the post-1945 policy of Dirigisme in France where, apart from extractive and heavy industry, private ownership dominated in a free market but was subject to indicative planning from a government setting national objectives.
It could also be applied to the Scandinavian and British mixed economy model that was discarded after the 1980’s. In the case of France, state intervention predated capitalism and the rise of the bourgeoisie, and in the form of Colbertism, was initiated under Louis IV’s first minister, J. B. Colbert.
The concept of ‘state monopoly capitalism’ has also been applied by left wing and extreme rightwing free marketeers to describe the state protection and support for the big corporations in the USA. The Military-Industrial Complex that emerged in the new triumphal global imperium following the Second World War is often cited as example because huge contracts are awarded rather than won, characterizing a cozy symbiotic relationship between business and the political functionaries of the American ruling class.
For anarchists, Neo-Trotskyites and the Ultra Left, it is what happened after 1917 in Russia and 1949 in China, or indeed anywhere else there has been a socialist revolution. It assumes that party apparatchiks and bureaucrats inevitably become a new ruling class, owing to their control of the means of production and the appropriation and direction of the resulting ‘social dividend’ (surplus value).
For Marxist-Leninists/Maoists it is what occurred in the USSR after Stalin’s death with Khrushchev’s failed attempts to follow Yugoslavia’s ‘market socialism’ and re-occurred with a vengeance in the PRC after Deng Xiaoping’s seizure of power in 1976.
Apologists for China’s system describe it as a ‘socialist market economy’, where the commanding heights of the economy, the banking sector and land are state owned and where the state is responsible for macroeconomic policy with microeconomic decisions left both to management of state enterprises and licensed capitalists operating as private companies in designated Special Economic Zones.
Therefore the political decision to allow free market mechanisms to determine price and allocations of goods and services with retention of profit by private companies, commentators opine, is more indicative of state capitalism especially when set against the background of scrapping the egalitarian, ‘Iron rice bowl’, full employment guarantee from the heroic period of socialist construction and mass mobilization. Therefore, it should be said that, like feudalism and indeed semi-feudalism, the concept of state capitalism is often used subjectively, indicating class or political orientation. See following note.
(29) ‘Semi-feudal’ obviously relates to accepting the thesis of pre-existing feudalism on the subcontinent, Samantabaad is the Hindi and Nepalese word for feudalism and derives from the nobility of the Gupta Period, which some historians claim led the emergence of feudal society in India. The Samantas were also influential during the Licchavi Dynasty (400-750 AD) who established the first central state in Nepal.
Even those who do accept the taxonomy applied recognize that it was a tributary society of a type that flourished the early city states, empires and later, nascent nation-states. European feudalism was one type of tributary society, with the exception that it enabled the growth of classes and productive forces that eventually burst its integument and established the capitalist society and mode of production.
Marx did not recognize this dynamic in the Orient, and his AMP was his initial response in distinguishing its ossified despotisms with those of medieval Europe. It was this formulation that, while recognizing the utter venality and brutality of the British, nevertheless led him describe them as unwitting agents of progress, in breaking down the ‘Chinese Walls’ of societies incapable of generating internal change.
Subsequently it has been argued that Indian society, pre-colonization, was subject to change, but that compared to Europe’s historical transformation it was imperceptible (as indeed was most of its history at that time). This had important political ramifications for Indian communists because they refused acknowledging any positive results from imperialist incursion and applying the term feudal to describe periods of Indian history implicitly underpins this position. Plus ‘Down with feudalism’ is less of a mouthful than, ‘Down with the Asiatic Mode of Production!
The notion of semi-feudalism follows this thesis because it posits transitional developments. In the case of Nepal, it is marked by backwardness of the productive forces, sharecropping, increased tenancies and the growth of usury. The last are linked, representing the dominance of money payment in feudal rent, reflecting generally growth of a market economy but specifically the transition of feudal owners into capitalist rentier landlords.
Semi-feudal is also used to describe relations of production continuing after their originating conditions of existing have changed, as expansion of agricultural capitalism has led to increasing numbers of landless and sharecroppers, who are objectively proletarianized but are learning to recognize residual feudal deference as subjective flight from their objective class reality. As descriptive tools, these terms are a continued source of argument not only between Marxists and bourgeois, but also intestinal within these respective groupings.
As a slogan, however, ‘Down with Feudalism’ and the commitment to abolish ‘neo/semi-feudalism’ is a political call to the oppressed to break free of feudal/exploitative relations in order to confront the reality of capitalist modes of employment and exploitation in the agricultural sector. (cf: Pushpa Lal’s CPN’s program and Mazumdar’s for the Naxalite struggle in 1960s.).
(30):

The informal rural credit markets of Nepal seem to be characterized by an aggregate constraint at the village level and oligopolistic collusion on price discrimination. Entries of new lenders are likely to be rare, due to high initial information cost. Lenders need to interact with the borrowers for a long period to be able to screen the borrowers and enforce payments….
Although it is reasonable to target poor households, the analysis indicates that one may as well target the higher priced segments. The analysis thus supports credit programs that target low status castes. Examples from Nepal are programs that target ethnic groups living in Terai. These households pay real interest rates that are almost double of the rates paid by high castes living in the hills.
– M. Hatlebakk. 2000. “Will More Credit Increase Interest Rates in Rural Nepal?” Technical Report and Recommendations, pp. 42-43. Nepal Rastra Bank.

(31) S. D. Muni. 2003. Maoist Insurgency in Nepal, p.61. Muni is perhaps too close to see the Brahminical tree from the wood, he is a pragmatic, secular ex-diplomat critical of and puzzled by the ambivalence of Nepalese policy that allowed King Mahendra, e.g. to block: “India’s legitimate and enlightened interests in Nepal.” (ibid, p 62).
His views are an apologia for Indian expansionism, pitting progressive capitalism against residual feudalism, which synchronically informed the position of Dr. Bhatterai, earning him the sobriquet of ‘Mr. India’ in anti-revisionist Maoist ranks. I would also speculate that the attitude towards the last divine Hindu monarchy was schizophrenic, with even ostensibly Westernized secularists like Nehru acknowledging the weight of Brahminical Chaturvarna tradition and unconsciously deferring to caste supremacy, however apparently exotic and uncongenial to a Cambridge-conditioned cosmopolitan world statesman.
Nehru was a Hindutva with an occidental humanist face. Successive Indian administrations, particularly Rajiv Gandhi’s administration, elided further into more open Hindutvaism, which, mixed with growing accommodation with Western capitalism in triumphalist form following the suicide of Gorbachev’s USSR and collapse of Soviet Bloc, was Modiism avant la lettre.
(32) R. S. Sharma, Indian Feudalism, 1965.
(33) A. Rudra, Non-Eurocentric Marxism and Indian Society, 1988.
(34) Marx. 1847. The Poverty of Philosophy, p.105.
(35) Marx, Feuerbach. 1846. Opposition of Materialist and Idealist Outlook, ibid, p 43.
(36) NORAD. 2007. Report on Conflict Sensitivities, pp. 67-68.
(37) Tobin, P. 2011. “Balance of Military Forces in Nepal” Beyond Highbrow – Robert Lindsay, website.
(38) http://www.ekantipur.com, Chand Announces CPN Maoist, 02/12/2014.
(39) Republica, D. B. Chhantyal, 06/12/2014.

References

Adhikhari, J. Land Reform in Nepal – Problem & Prospects.
Bhatterai, B. Monarchy vs. Democracy & Articles, Essays from People’s War.
Dangal, R. Administrative Culture in Nepal, 1991.
Fanon, F. The Wretched of the Earth.
Karki/Seddon, (eds.) The People’s War in Nepal – Left Perspective.
Kumar, A. The Black Economy in India.
Lecomte-Tilouine, M. (ed.) Revolution in Nepal, Collected Essays.
Marx/Engels, Selected Works. 3 Vols, Poverty of Philosophy, Anti-Durhring, Capital, Vols 1 &2.
Maxwell, N. India’s China War. 1970
Muni, S. D. Maoist Insurgency in Nepal.
Nehru, J. The Discovery of India.
Prinsep, H. T. The Gurkha War – 1814-16.
Regmi, M. C. Land Ownership in Nepal. 1976
Sharma, R. S. Indian Feudalism.
Thapa, D. A. Kingdom Under Siege – Nepal’s Maoist Insurgency – 1996-2003.
Upadhyaya, S. P. Indo-Nepal Trade Relations – 1858-1914 .

General

Rough Guide to Nepal.
Studies in Nepali History & Society, Vol. 15.

Reports/Commissions

NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) Report on Conflict Sensitivities in Nepal – 2007.
Transparency International. “Nepal.” World Perception Corruption Index – 2011.
UN Human Development Report – 2014.

Articles

Ambedkar, R. B. The Annihilation of Caste.
Basnyat, P. S. Nepalese Army in the History of Nepal.
Dak Bangla, Nepal’s Civil and Military Relations and the Maoist Insurgency.
Habib, I. Kosambi. Marxism & Indian History.
Lal, D. The Abuse of History.
Puniyami, R. Hiding the Truth About Caste.
Rajan, V. ‘Dalits’ and the Caste System in India.
Tobin, P. Balance of Military Forces in Nepal – in Relation to PLA Integration – 2011.

Newspapers/Journals/ Periodicals/Websites

Dak Bangla – website.
Democracy & Class Struggle – website.
Economist – magazine.
Himal – South Asia – magazine.
Himalayan – newspaper.
Kathmandu Post.
Nepal Monthly – magazine.
Red Front – One-off English language version of Krambaddha (Continuity) Pro-Kiran 2012 journal, editor, Prem Darnal, Bikalpa (Alternative).
Republica, newspaper.
Worker, English-language journal of CPN (Maoist).

What Race Is This Person (Singapore)?

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An interesting phenotype from Singapore.

This is the aunt of a friend of mine. The family is from Singapore. They are part of an ethnic group called the Pernakans, a Southern Chinese group that moved to Malaysia ~600 years ago for some reason, possibly due to overcrowding in Fujian or worse, the terrible wars that periodically raged through the region.
Chinese groups have been leaving from this part of Southern China for a very long time now, especially in the last 200 years. In the past couple of centuries, this part of China has become very crowded. Possibly as a result, wild and vicious wars periodically raged through the area, sometimes killing 100,000’s of people. If you study Chinese history, you will hear about these wars a lot. It is not uncommon to read that invaders conquered several large cities and exterminated the whole populations of perhaps 300,000 people, men, women and children. This is how the Chinese have often fought wars. Chinese wars are unbelievably vicious and savage.
The Pernakans moved to Malaysia, and over time, bred in with Dutch and Portuguese and to a lesser extent British Europeans. All three were colonists in the region. I believe that they were Min speakers, but their Hokkien has gotten so changed, in particular from massive borrowings from Malay, that these languages in general are no longer intelligible with Amoy or Taiwanese Hokkien Proper.
Most Pernakans now are somewhat Eurasian, Chinese crossed with Dutch, Portuguese and sometimes British. The Pernakans had their own patriarchal culture and were known as very hard workers, often at manual labor type jobs like farming, timber harvest are working on rubber plantations. They committed little crime and had very orderly societies. The European colonists marveled at their high level of civilization. They did keep slaves, but they probably treated their slaves better than any slaves have ever been treated, and in many cases, slaves were freed.
Over time, most Pernakans also bred in with Malays. Pernakans are now a Chinese/Malay/European race, but the Asiatic tends to be prominent over the European in the stock. The mixing of cultures over 600 years in Malaysia resulted in some very interesting fine cuisine.
Many of these Chinese migrated to Singapore, where they, along with Teochew speakers (another Min group) and a large group of Cantonese Chinese, form what is known as the Singaporean Chinese, one of the wealthiest and most economically advanced ethnic groups on Earth. There is still a division of labor in Singapore, with Chinese on top, Malays on the bottom, and Southern Indian Dravidian speakers in between. Nevertheless all three groups are substantially mixed by this point. Most Chinese have Malay blood, and a lot of Malays have some Chinese in them. Malays and Indians are now intermarrying quite a bit. There is some ethnic conflict but not a lot possibly due to the wealth and everyone being so mixed.
Although this woman has a somewhat archaic phenotype (note prognathism), these archaic types are fairly common in Southern China. Many can be seen in the mountains of Yunnan Province. The archaism may be due to incomplete transition from Australoid -> Mongoloid, as the transition happened much later in Southern China than in Northern China, and prominent Australoid types were common in the far south of China only 3-4,000 YBP.
I also believe that this woman may be admixed with Caucasian. And I think the Malay admixture is quite clear. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I think I see some Vedda influence here. That would not be unusual, as Malays were Veddoids only until quite recently, and the Senoi are Veddoids to this day. The Mani Negritos are also still extant.
The transition in Malaysia went from Australoid Negritos (Mani) and Orang Asli -> Australoid Veddas (Senoi) -> Paleomongoloid Southeast Asians (modern Malays). The Malays appear to be aware of this transition, as they state that the Mani and Orang Asli are their ancestors. The bloodline of the Orang Asli goes back 72,000 YBP, so this group has been present in Malaysia since the very first Out of Africa groups, and their archaism is about on a par with the Andaman Islanders, another Australoid group which is also the remains of some of the earliest OOA groups.

The Races of China and Japan

Pretty cool old anthropology article on the Chinese and Japanese races. It’s wrong in some ways, but it still has a lot that should be of value. Obviously such an article could not appear in any anthropology journal today, which is pitiful. Blame PC for that.

The Races of China and Japan

by Harry Paxton Howard

The China Weekly Review, Vol. 60 (12 March 1932), pp. 48–50

The Chinese and Japanese are two separate and distinct peoples, as separate and distinct as is the southern Italian from the Norwegian taken in the mass. There is no scientific basis for the assertion that they are of the same race, and indeed anyone at all familiar with the two peoples is readily able to distinguish between the general type. There is the lesser height of the Japanese (due mainly to shorter legs), the more rugged features, the sharper, longer, and narrower eyes (usually black as compared with the typical Chinese brown), the more brownish skin-color, the much greater frequency of beard.

On the other hand, there are certain sub-types which both peoples possess and which make it possible for thousands of Japanese in this country to pass as Chinese, while there are many pure Chinese who may be mistaken for Japanese. The reason for this is that each people is a mixture of different elements. Some of the elements are common to both peoples. Some elements one people possesses but not the other.

Chinese Racial Origins

Many anthropologists have devoted themselves to analyzing and distinguishing the racial elements in the two countries. Buxton, Li Chi, Shirokogoroff and some others have given special study to the Chinese people, and all distinguish different types among the population, as do also Haddon, Morant and others.

The most complete study to date is that made by Dr. Stevenson of the P.U.M.C. at Peiping, in his ‘Collected Anthropometric Data on the Chinese,’ showing at least two distinct types, though Stevenson is too cautious a scientist to state any definite conclusions as yet. And as regards racial origins in the North, the data given in Black’s study of skulls from prehistoric sites in Kansu and Honan suggest answers to some long-debated problems when considered in connection with some physical types already distinguished by different anthropologists.

First of all there is a Chinese type which is also found among the Manchus and by students is regarded as the fundamental ‘Manchu’ type. It is of short or medium stature, with broad head, low orbits (apparently associate with a long and narrow eye-slit), narrow nose often aquiline, frequently fair and ruddy skin. This type exists in Manchuria and in North China today, and is found further south as well.

Secondly, there is a type which, if placed side by side with the foregoing, will show marked differences. It is taller, with longer skull, wider forehead, higher orbits (‘rounder’ and more open eye), broader nose. It is frequent in North China, but is found to be predominant and characteristic among the Kham Tibetans of the territory adjoining Kansu.

The Primitive Mixture

The study of prehistoric skulls referred to above indicates the existence of these very types in the China of four thousand years ago. The earliest skulls, from Neolithic cities in Kansu and Honan, present ‘several suggestive similarities to Kham Tibetans’ though differing from more recent North China skulls in being longer, ‘with somewhat wide foreheads and longer skull bases, and slightly broader palates and lower orbits.’

The aspects in which these Neolithic skulls differ from the Kham Tibetans, however, are very significant. In addition to the Tibetan type, they include a type with broader head, narrow nose, and lower orbits. Such features are characteristic of the Manchu type referred to above, which fact leaves little doubt that the Neolithic people were a mixture of these Kham Tibetan and ‘Manchu’ types.

Judging from their later distribution, it is probable that the ‘Manchu’ type was more characteristic of the Honan communities, the Kham Tibetan type of those in Kansu, but the study referred to above, unfortunately, does not distinguish between the two localities, grouping them all together as ‘Yang Shao’ (Neolithic).

The Turkish Element

Others of these prehistoric communities, evidently later in date and showing the use of bronze in addition to stone, show the addition of another type which, combined with the previous ones, makes up a mixture hardly distinguishable from the Northern Chinese of more recent times. As previously stated, the primitive mixture differed from the more recent by its narrower skull, broader foreheads, and lower orbits. The new type evidently possessed a broader skull, with relatively narrower forehead and higher orbits.

These features are characteristic of the Turki, with their broad skull, long oval face, and generally non-Mongolian eyes. From the study mentioned…it would appear that the lower orbits are generally an Oriental characteristic. They are apparently associated with the longer, narrower eye. No other race in this part of the world seems to possess just these characteristics, and we know that the early home of the Turkish peoples was somewhere in the interior of Asia. It is an interesting confirmation of the theory held by many historical students (e.g., Hirth), on different grounds, that the Turkish element is present and is of some significance in China.

[It should be understood that the word Turki here refers not to the tribe, but to the racial stock. This stock is predominant among the Turkish peoples, though now apparently mixed with other elements.]

This element, indeed, would explain the presence of the occasional ‘hairy’ type among the Chinese. Most Chinese, like Mongolian peoples as a whole, have little hair either on face on body. The Turki, however, possess a plentiful beard, and a fair supply of hair on the body as well, in distinct contrast to the Mongolian peoples. We find some Chinese possess beards and growth of hair on the body, and the Turkish element would account for this. Hairiness, indeed, is a distinguishing feature of Chinese Moslems, who quite clearly have a strong non-Mongolian element in them.

Four Types

This Turkish element seems to have come in together with bronze in the legendary period just preceding more definite history. The early Hsiung-nu (on the plains to the north of the Yellow River in ancient China) appear to have been Turkish, and Hirth believes that the Chou Dynasty was of Turkish origin. It was apparently in the second millennium B.C. that this element became mixed with the Kham Tibetans and Manchu types referred to above, producing a mixture similar to that of North China today.

There is, however, a fourth type, of the presence of which Chinese history leaves no doubt whatsoever – the Mongol. This type, distinguished from the mass of Chinese by the lowness of the Mongol head and breadth of the face and head, as well as the little flat nose and low stature, has apparently existed for long in the Chinese mixture. Its coming into China was during the historic period, with one invasion after another by Mongol peoples (as well as by others) during the past two thousand years.

There may be distinguished, therefore, four racial types of some importance in North China,— the Manchu, the Kham Tibetan, the Turki, and the Mongol. These four elements, with their combinations, seem to account for every type of any frequency in North China and are found further south as well.

It should be noted however, that three of the types, judging from their present-day representatives, possess certain essential characters of the Mongolian group – hair straight, black, and scanty on face and body; eyes usually relatively long and narrow, generally brown in color, and commonly with the characteristic Mongolian eye-fold; skin color varying from yellowish-white to yellow-brown, though there are fair and ruddy complexions also.

The Turki are closer to the Caucasian owing to their abundant hair on face and body, frequently if not typically wavy; eyes generally full and round (though often – apparently through admixture – with Mongolian fold); skin color from pinkish-white to brown.

The South

The above-named elements are characteristic of North China, but they extend into the South as well. Here, however, they come into contact with other types rarely found among natives of the North. First of all there is an element with wavy or even curly hair, open and round non-Mongolian eye, short stature but relatively long legs, long and narrow head, and broad nose. These characters, which set this type distinctly apart from the Mongolian races, belong to many southern aborigines as well as Chinese, distinguishing a race which Buxton and Haddon link up with the Indonesians or Nesiots.

There is still another element present in the South, a quite different race but now generally mixed with other types – the Negrito. This type is characterized by its woolly hair, very short stature, very dark skin and broad nose, and full or thick lips. Li Chi and other anthropologists have pointed out indications of such a type.

It appears indeed, that the occasionally curly-haired Chinese in the south is usually a cross between this woolly-haired type and either the wavy-haired Indonesian or straight-haired Mongolian element. And other Negroid characters such as prognathism, black skin, pigmentation of the eye, the full or even thick lips also occur. Negrito peoples still exist scattered over a considerable area in southeastern Asia and the adjoining islands, and probably at one time occupied a much greater part of southeastern Asia than at present.

Stevenson believes there is still another type present in the South which he terms Polynesian, rather similar to the Indonesian but with finer and more prominent features.

The Chinese Mixture

There are therefore several races or sub-races among the Chinese people. There is indeed little agreement among anthropologists as to what constitutes a race, some defining 19 or 20, others 40-60, among the peoples of the earth.

There is wide agreement among competent anthropologists, however, as to certain broad divisions of the human species, and Boas…recognizes two main divisions, the Caucasian-Mongolian and the Afro-Australian.

In the first division the Mongolians have straight black hair, flat or broad face, Mongolian eye-fold, frequently yellowish (though often fair, ruddy, or brown) skin color. The Caucasian hair is often wavy or curly and of lighter color, and the Mongolian eye-fold and yellowish skin color are ordinarily absent. The most fundamental distinction between the two however is the relative hairiness of the Caucasian and the hairlessness (on face and body) of the Mongolian.

The Blacks of the second division differ from both members of the first division by their woolly or frizzly hair, their black skin (with a degree of pigmentation which even affects the eye), their frequently thick and everted lips, and by actual bodily proportions, the Negro leg being differently formed from that of ‘White’ or ‘Yellow’ man. The most marked point of distinction between Negro and Australian is the relative hairiness of the latter and the fact that this hair is not woolly but curly or frizzly.

Of these four main physical divisions of mankind we find the Mongolian most common in China. The extent of the Caucasian element depends upon how the Indonesian and Turkish types are classified. Some group the Indonesians with Caucasians because of their wavy or curly hair and open, round, non-Mongolian eye. Elliott Smith groups them together with the Mediterranean peoples as the Brown Race. The Turki are also a people regarding whose classification there is a difference of opinion, their straight black hair making it possible to group them with the Mongolians, while its abundance and their lack of other specifically Mongolian characters marks them as Caucasian.

Besides the Mongolian and Caucasian elements in China, there is only the Negrito, which is slight. We find, therefore, six recognized types in China, three being Mongolian – the Mongol, Manchu, and Kham Tibetan (though Morant thinks the last-named type is not Mongolian at all – two being classifiable as ‘Caucasian – the Turki and the Indonesians – and one being Negrito. There are some other rather infrequent physical types not yet clearly defined and classified.

Japanese Racial Origins

The racial analysis of the Japanese is in some ways easier than that of the Chinese owing to their being concentrated in a very much smaller area and owing to their being a more recent mixture of which the various elements are still fairly distinct in many cases. Three thousand years ago the ‘North China’ type seems to have already been formed, with its Manchu, Tibetan, and Turkish elements, but nothing whatever is known of the Japanese at that period. In the next thousand years the Chinese penetrated into the south and mixed with the Indonesian and other non-Mongolian elements there, but still nothing is known of the Japanese.

There are indications however that while this continual push to the southward was taking place on the mainland, there were movements in a northerly direction off and along the coast. Just when this movement of a southern maritime people reached Kyushu, the big southern island of Japan, we do not know, but it was probably not much before the Christian era. The present distribution of physical types in Japan, however, and their outside associations permit us to outline roughly the development which took place there just as we have done for China.

The early natives of the Japanese islands were the short, fair-skinned, hairy, non-Mongolian people known as the Ainu, now found, in fairly pure form in their communities only in Hokkaido, the most northerly of the three big islands but probably occupying practically the whole of the main island (Hondo) two thousand years ago. This people, whose affinities are Caucasian and who indeed show much resemblance to certain Russian types, were steadily driven north by the invasion from the south, continuing for century after century.

Negritos and Malays

In Kyushu there may have been another element – Negrito – prior to the maritime invasion. The wide territory over which the Negritos are scattered and the probability that they formerly occupied a much greater area than at present has already been referred to. At the present time, as regards Japan, this type seems more common in Kyushu than elsewhere, though it is scattered through the islands, and clearly recognizable Negroid or specifically Negrito types can be noted, though generally mixed with other elements.

In speaking of the Japanese types, our task is simplified by the fact that most of the racial types have already been defined for China. When we speak of the Malays therefore we can state the general type by simply noting that anthropologists tend to regard this type as a mixture of the Indonesian peoples with a Mongolian element from the north. The Mongolian element is shown more specifically in the eyes; the Indonesian in the short stature and occasionally wavy hair. The Malays themselves therefore are an ancient mixture – how old we do not know, though perhaps more recent than the early North China mixture.

This brown Malay element is probably the most important type in Japan, but for fully two thousand years it has been mixed with the Negrito, and also with types from the Asiatic mainland via Korea. These mainland types are of interest here.

Manchus and Ainus

The earliest known center of civilization in Japan was at a point opposite Korea where certain types evidently came across from the mainland. Among these types there was the ‘Manchu’ type which has already been defined, and probably the ‘North China’ type which had already been formed from the mixture of different elements previously referred to. There are Malay and other elements in Korea also.

Of these elements, the Manchu-Korean appears to have left the widest traces in Japan. Though there was some Chinese migration both in prehistoric and historic times, this was not sufficient in quantity or contained too little of the tall Kham Tibetan type, to affect the short Malay physique to any extent. The ‘Chinese type’ however is distinctly present in Japan, though its proportion to the whole is apparently not great.

Far more important than the Chinese element was that of the White aborigines, the savage Ainu.

As the Japanese people (mainly Malay but mixed with Negrito, some Manchu-Korean, and a slighter Chinese element) advanced northward in their steady conquest of the islands, they exterminated, enslaved, or absorbed those of the natives who did not give war before them. They certainly absorbed a very large number of them, as is shown today by the frequency of individuals with Ainu characteristics among the Japanese.

Most recognizable is the Ainu hairiness. Some have estimated that the Japanese people of today are more than one-third Ainu, though this figure is probably too high.

The Japanese Mixture

When we consider the four main physical divisions of mankind already referred to we find the Japanese are a quite different mixture from the Chinese.

While the Malay element is apparently of most importance, this must itself be divided into Mongolian and Indonesian. Another Mongolian element is seen in the Manchu-Korean type and in the occasional ‘Chinese’ type (which includes however other elements). The Mongolian element is therefore the most important quantitatively speaking, though this includes much more of the Manchu type than is the case with the Chinese, as shown by the long, narrow eyes characteristic of the Japanese.

The extent of the Caucasian element depends partly on how the Indonesians are classified, but there is little doubt of the essentially Caucasian characters of the hairy Ainu. The importance of the Negrito element is considerable, much greater than in China.

We find, therefore, six recognizable types in Japan, three being Mongolian – the Manchu type, and the Mongolian elements in the Malays and Chinese – two being classifiable as ‘Caucasians’ – the Ainu and the Indonesians – and one being Negrito.

Through the different methods of combination in the Japanese and Chinese peoples, therefore, we can see some of the reasons for the physical differences between the two. There is little sign among the Japanese of the Kham Tibetan and Turkish types which add height to the Chinese (particularly the northern Chinese) as well as making for a rounder and more open eye. There is no sign among the Chinese of the Ainu type which gives the more frequent hairiness and more rugged features to the Japanese. And so we have two separate people, generally easily distinguishable but containing many individuals of similar types.

Other Differences

Probably more important than race, however, are other differences. For four thousand years and more, the Chinese people have been agricultural villagers, tillers of the soil, conquered by pastoral nomads from time to time but absorbing their conquerors.

But for most of this period, the Japanese were a maritime people, raiding their way north and in the islands of Japan conquering and absorbing a White native population even more savage than themselves. China’s age of military feudalism came to an end two thousand years ago, and though there have been relapses, the essential principles of private ownership and a peasantry free from feudal shackles have remained.

But at that time Japan had not yet emerged from the darkness of savagery, and when many centuries later the light of Chinese civilization shed its rays over the islands, it illuminated a primitive military feudalism which continued to exist down to two short generations ago. The inhabitants of the islands cultivate the soil, but the peasantry remained serfs under feudal masters until a little over half a century ago, and military feudalism remained the law of the land.

It is differences in psychology resulting from these things which are probably more vital and fundamental than the physical differences between the two peoples…

China as a Planned Economy

I’ve been saying this for a long time now.

Dissecting the Concept of Planning

After years of experimenting with different types of planning from 1949 to 1979, the Chinese Communists finally settled down for Market Socialism-based Planning. Yes sir, p-l-a-n-n-i-n-g.
They reclassified their economy as being in the primary stage of Socialism, and then went on to chalk out a 50-year plan. Yes sir, p-l-a-n. Under this fifty-year plan, they have taken up the all round development of one region every ten years. Right now it is Tibet and the South-western provinces.
The result is announced on 15-08-2014 : Chinese Railways has reached the border of Sikkim, will very soon reach the border of Arunachal Pradesh, and will also eventually connect with the Pakistani Railways through Aksai Chin and POK.
That is “communism” for those who care. All about careful, methodical planning which implies two basic things: selection of goals and mobilization of resources for achieving those goals.
Now let us see India. We had a sham Planning Commission at least after 1991, when Manmohan Singh as the then Finance Minister started talking of “Economic Reforms”. Vajpayee started talking of “Shining India” even as he too continued with a sham Planning Commission. Manmohan Singh, after becoming PM, actually appointed Montek Singh Ahluwalia (a self-confessed neoliberal, ergo: anti-planning) as the Chairman of the Planning Commission, and practically destroyed the idea of planning.
And now comes along Narendra Modi, who declares from the ramparts of the Red Fort that planning commission is no longer necessary (because as per the neoliberal economic ideology, planning itself is not necessary). In order to mute his critics, he declares that he will set up a new institution for generating new ideas. His government’s recent budget for railways talks of “FDI in Railways” as the panacea for railways development. The Foreign Direct Investment in Railways is and will always be about high-speed trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, or about air-conditioned double-decker trains between Mumbai and Goa, or about Palaces on Wheels. Never about Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh or Ladakh.
Today, when from Kashmir, Telangana, Chattisgarh, or any other part of India for that matter, when we hear complaints about Government of India, the main burden of the song is about lack of development, leading to frustration, despondency, and militancy.
During his election campaign, Modi precisely cashed in on this lack of development. But the neoliberal that he is, he thinks that deliverance lies through the path of inviting FDI in every field : “Come, Make in India”.
Simultaneously, he announces the jettisoning of the concept of Planning.
Our corporate press hails it as a burial of Nehruvian Anachronisms.
Our “secular-liberal” thinkers also start by sighing as to how Planning had practically ceased in India long ago, and as to how we have to start looking out for “new”, “latest” ideas in development economics.
Those who blindly support Modi, do not wish to tolerate any critic of Modi’s ideas.
The million-rupee fact is that by Planning, the Chinese Railways have reached Sikkim and will soon reach Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. The Indian Railways with 67 years of sham planning are nowhere near Sikkim, Arunachal and Ladakh.
And with the jettisoning of the very concept of planning coupled with the wholehearted embrace of FDI, the Indian Railways will never reach there. And perchance, if some Foreign Direct Investor does construct railways in those places, then he would do it to build up his pockets – not to build up India. And more likely than not, the very presence of such FDI predators in those areas would only lead to further alienation, further disaffection, and further militancy.
The concept of Planning was not invented by Nehru. It was invented by the Soviet Socialists. Hence rejection of the concept of planning is hardly an act of anti-Nehruvianism. It is an act of anti-Socialism. And, considering that Socialism is a Basic Feature of India’s Constitution, it is a serious violation of the Constitution and repudiation of the oath to defend the Constitution.

The Indian Personality: Superiority and Inferiority Complexes Intertwined

A fine new Indian Hindu commenter named Janardhan has appeared on our blog, and he repeats some of the same things that other insightful Hindus such as ILOR, Rahul and Pranav have said. This shows us that not all Indian Hindus are bad people and that some of them are capable of looking inwards and trying to better their society. I consider both Rahul and Pranav at least to be strong Indian patriots who simply want the best for their country. As they see it, getting the best for India is going to require some massive changes, hence their critical patriotism.

Hindus have a strange mix of superiority and inferiority complexes. Deep down they massage their ego about how their civilization was ‘da greatest’ with a total ignorance about other civilizations and their achievements. According to Hindus, Ancient India compared to the rest of the world is equivalent to comparing the city of Vienna during Mozart with highlanders in Papua New Guinea. As if Ancient India was like this huge Vienna while the rest of the world were primitive.
But during the last centuries they were first enslaved by Muslims from Central Asia/Persia (whom they consider savage bloodthirsty barbarians ignoring the intellectual side of Islamic civilization which itself was plagiarized to a good extent from Greek learning) and then the Europeans.
One difference was that in the case of Islamic invaders they could hide under the carpet the invaders’ intellectual side, and they are thus dehumanized as savage bloodthirsty monsters (this label is justified though as the Islamic rulers were quite brutal). But when the Europeans, especially the British, came, they could not ignore their obvious technological superiority with their steam engines and telegraphs.
Thus the conflicting superiority/inferiority complex feelings.
They were as per their myth Numero Uno Civilization in the world, but now they are nearly at the bottom. White people with their strange but seeming superior looks and behavior give us an inferiority complex. Besides, even the Japanese/ Koreans are way ahead of us, and now the Chinese are racing ahead. Mainland Indians just cannot accept the rise of China: “Those Chinkis like the Chinkis of Nepal and North Eastern Indians going ahead of us, not possible,” we say.
Thus the desire to prove ancient India being as technologically advanced as the modern world since the modern technological world is 90% a White creation and we cannot fathom a people other than us could have done so.
I think this is same with the Arabs with their Islam. Islam, the last word of God and having an Arab as its last and greatest prophet, has fallen behind the White nonbelievers. Oh, the horror.
Blacks, well most Indians consider Blacks as some savage monkey people anyways.
I would say we Indians are some of the most racist people in the world, but our racism is very subtle.

As someone who works in mental health, I would like to point out the obvious. A person with both a massive superiority and inferiority complex going at the same time is a common creature. This is typical for Cluster B personality types: especially Narcissistic and Borderline Personality Disorders. But it associated more with narcissism than anything else.
In fact, all proper analyses of narcissism begin with the supposition that what is going on in narcissism is often a huge inferiority complex which is apparently being compensated for by its opposite, a huge superiority complex. My view is that the worse the narcissist’s inferiority complex, the greater their superiority complex must be to compensate for it. Whereas if one feels only a bit inferior, one has only to feel a bit superior to compensate as all human beings are trying to equalize things and get at what I call the “zero state” of perfect equilibrium where everything is ok.
Many analyses of the Indian personality on this site have noted the profound narcissism apparent in most Indian Hindus. In many cases, this also looks like solipsism, but then narcissism and solipsism tend to go together anyway (Look at the Jews, the most solipsistic people on Earth).

The Vietnam War and the Land Question

Like the Iraqi police in the previous post, the South Vietnamese army similarly was poorly motivated and relied on the US Army to do their fighting for them. Apparently they felt little or no allegiance to the South Vietnamese state, for reasons of which we will discuss below.
Although some ARVN soldiers fought well, many were lousy fighters who either would not advance on the enemy or would cut and run as soon as fighting broke out. They did not seem to have much loyalty to the South Vietnamese state.  And sure enough, soon after the US pulled out, ARVN was rapidly defeated by a highly motivated NVA from North Vietnam along with whatever was left of the Viet Cong after Tet in 1968 and the Phoenix Program after that.
Supporters of the US war accuse North Vietnam of invading and interfering in the war, as if North and South Vietnam were valid states. Really there is just one country – Vietnam. The north was trying to reunify the country and had nationalism on its side.
The South was corrupt, a regime of landlords and traitors who had previously worked for the French colonials and now worked for the US invaders who more or less colonized Vietnam after the French left.
2% of the population controlled 98% of the land. The Viet Cong took up the land reform question. This question more than anything else drove the war. But like many rightwing regimes, land reform was never to be unveiled. The rich simply refused to give up their feudal power, the war dragged on and on, and in the end, the South’s feudal landlords lost it all.
A lot of Left revolutions in the 3rd World have been driven more by the land question than anything else. A land reform is no big deal. You get paid for your land. But many states put it off forever and end up with a FARC, a Chavez, a Morales, an FMLN, Sandinistas, an NPA or a Viet Cong. There’s no putting off the land question. Until you deal with it, your nation will be in continuous turmoil.

The Future of the Hindutva Movement in India

Good comment from India Land of Rapes on the Hindutva Movement:
Hinduism never had an identity to begin with. The British created this new religion of Hinduism.
The Old Brahminical Order which you are talking about lost its identity during Sunga dynasty. Buddhism attained greater intellectual status during Sunga dynasty. War between Brahmins and Bhikkhus created a permanent chasm in South Asian society.
You only see one side of story. Islamic invasions were not so fierce. In fact, many lower caste Hindus converted to Islam as this new religion gave them some social standing.
South Asian society became too weak. Islam and other European invasions were able to control and rule vast regions of south Asia because South Asian tribes and princely states were in permanent war with each other. Society lost meaning and purpose. In the Vijayanagara Dynasty, they tried to resurrect this lost spirit, but they failed. In fact, corruption and incompetence led to the downfall of Vijayanagara Kingdom.
The Kakatiyas collapsed due to same reason. They were busy backstabbing and preserving their rule. At one point, they became authoritarian and did everything to preserve their rule. The Kakatiya Kingdom was in a bad economic state. Internal chaos, low agrarian output and mass starvations led to food riots in Telangana region. Finally the Deccan Sultanate took over, and many in the Telangana region and Hyderabad converted to Islam as they had no hope in Hinduism or Sanathana Dharma as it was called earlier.
Gandhi was right when he stated – “No one can take your freedom, Power unless you voluntarily give it or you become so weak that a Dominant force will overpower you”.
Hinduism/Sanathana Dharma/Brahmanism became weak, arrogant, and closed-minded much like Islamic Mullahs.
At one point over 90 percent South Asians were functionally illiterate, and superstition and blind rituals entered mainstream culture.
Black magicians, con artists, and fake gurus became intellectuals.
Society entered an abyss; chaos was everywhere.
So called patriotic Hindus fought against the British, and when they lost, they sacrificed over 50,000 children for Lord Shiva, in hope that Shiva would reincarnate and destroy the White Race on Earth.
Modern Hindutva is a reactionary movement. Brahmins have not accepted defeat. They are using new techniques now, new tools, new propaganda techniques. But they will fail, not because Hindutvas are bad, but because their influence died long ago. Now they have forced their ideology onto people, and I assure you that many Indians, especially minorities, will not take to Hindutva any longer.
They should have settled down and allowed society to progress and adopt any new ideology which fit people’s reason, but they still believe that Hindus are like small kids who need to be taught “Hindu way of Life”. They think they own everything in India, but they are just blowing in the wind.
The Hindutva movement is like the Muslim Brotherhood in Middle East.
Political Islam is dead in Egypt. It brought only chaos, divisions, conflicts between Sunni, Shia, and minority Coptic Christians. The same will be the future of Political Hindutva. Caste based violence will increase, and this movement will alienate 210 million Muslims and over 70 million Christians in India.

More Out of India Idiocy

Here.
This is the latest nonsense out of India purporting to undo the Aryan Migration Theory. It is written by high caste Hindu idiots for political reasons, namely to swipe back at South Indians and Dalits who claim that Aryans imposed caste Hinduism on them at the point of a sword. The fact is that South Indians misrepresent the case. The Aryans did not sweep into Northwest India, conquer the Dravidians, and push them south. The Aryans conquered in the north, and they bred in with and mixed with the locals. In time, caste Hinduism spread to the south of India.
Michael Witzel is probably the pre-eminent scholar of Sanskrit and the Aryan Migration question. Here is his response to this irresponsible study, which unfortunately was published in a peer reviewed journal. Briefly, the India Today piece completely misrepresents the study and the authors of the study also make many other misrepresentations of the data. I am afraid that this is the way Indians do science, just like they do everything else – with massive corruption and political overtones. As more and more Indians get into science, we can count on science becoming more and more corrupt and less and less scientific.
I asked Prof. M. Witzel about a popular news item in Indian English press.
Here is his reply.
Happy Holidays!
N. Ganesan
From Michael Witzel answering my question.
————————————–
Well, Ganesan, I have answered that, based on my genetic etc. background info and info from my geneticist friends [who include Thangaraj, Pitchappan 🙂 ] — but this msg. has not appeared on IDDOLOGY@yahooo yet, where this “news” was broadcast a few days earlier…
Here a copy:
===========
The INDIA TODAY article (below) bristles with misrepresentations and outright misinformation, in part by the authors of the genetic study mentioned here:
On Dec 11, 2011, at 7:19 PM, Sri Venkat wrote:
> Dinesh C. Sharma New Delhi, December 10, 2011 | UPDATED 10:22 IST
>
> Indians are not descendants of Aryans, says new study.
> <>
Briefly, it is well known that “The origin of genetic diversity found in South Asia is much older than 3,500 years when the Indo-Aryans were supposed to have migrated to India”. Geneticists point to the Out of Africa movement around 65-75,000 years ago. As a result, Reich et al. have shown that two ancient population segments evolved in South Asia around 40 kya, the ‘Ancestral North Indians’ (ANI), (genetically close to Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans) and the ‘Ancestral South Indians’. Add another, Neolithic migration from the Greater Near East some 10,000 y.a.
Then, it is usually said that “migration of Indo-European speakers from Central Asia … was responsible for the introduction of the Indo-European language family.” Indeed. Indo-Aryan language, religion, etc. have been imported from the Ural steppes/Central Asia. Note the many *early*, pre-Vedic loan-words into *early* Uralic language, and now also loans from the Bactria-Margiana culture (2400-1600 BCE) into Indo-Aryan. By people with one or another genetic set-up (see below on R1a).
The rest of the so-called “Aryan Invasion” is an outdated 19th century theory, just as the early 19th c. one that imagined Indo-Europeans migrated out of India (as some Hindutvavadins now reassert!). There was indeed a movement northward out of South Asia/Greater Near East during the warm period around c.40,000 y.a., but that is some 38,000 years BEFORE Indo-Aryans even came into existence. (Same mistake made in the 2005 CA schoolbook fiasco!)
>
> “Our study clearly shows that there was no genetic influx 3,500 years ago,” said Dr Kumarasamy Thangaraj.
Absolute genetic dates (just as in linguistic reconstructions) need to be supported by outside evidence, such as finds of skeletons. For the period around 1500 BCE, we still have error bars of 3000 years in genetic reconstructions, which makes pronouncements about a non-existent “Aryan” move into South Asia very moot indeed.
We will have to await the further, so far very uncertain resolution of the early Y chromosome R1a haplogroup (c. some 20-34,000 years old), to form an opinion. Ra1 has been attributed to speakers of Indo-European (as it is prominent in Eastern Europe), but it also occurs throughout South Asia, tribal populations included. We need to know which one of its unresolved sub-strains moved, when and where. We do not know that…yet.
When L. Singh says, “It is high time we re-write India’s prehistory based on scientific evidence,” we can only agree.
However, not when he says, “There is no genetic evidence that Indo-Aryans invaded or migrated to India or even something such as Aryans existed”.
Dr Singh does not understand that Indo-Aryan language (and religion) simply could not exist in thin air. You need a population. Obviously they had Ural area ancestors, whatever their genetic set-up upon entering from Afghanistan.
Even his assertion, “If any migration from Central Asia to South Asia took place, it should have introduced apparent signals of East Asian ancestry into India” is patently wrong as Eastern elements entered Central Asia only much later.
For further details see my recent message to the IER list.
Cheers,
Michael
Sequel to my last, general comment:
1. First of all, it is rather unfortunate that the authors of the paper have highlighted the “Aryan Invasion Theory” in their summary and later on as well. That is 19th century talk!
Since at least the 1950s (FBJ Kuiper 1955, Przyluski even in 1920s, etc.), Indologists have stressed the complex interactions between Indo-Aryan speakers and local speakers both in the Greater Panjab and beyond, from the oldest text (Rgveda, c. 1200-1000 BCE) onward, which has some clear non-IA poets and kings. The great, late Kuiper’s last paper (2000) has the title a “bilingual poet”.
Since 1995, I too have written about acculturation, and that maybe “not one gene” of the Ural steppes people had survived by the time the pastoral Indo-Aryan speakers arrived in the Greater Panjab (via the Central Asian river pastures/Tienshan/Pamir meadows, the BMAC, Hindukush, etc., with many chances for gene flow from all these areas).
That Indo-Aryan language, religion, ritual etc. have been imported from the Urals/Central Asia (note the *early* loan-words into Uralic, and now also BMAC loans words into Indo-Aryan!) is beyond any reasonable doubt. By people with one or another genetic set up, — which one that is the question.
I will await the further resolution of the Y chromosome haplogroup Ra1* –note the “western” affinities in the paper of Brahmins and Ksatriyas even in U.P. — as to see exactly which genetic strain may have entered South Asia around 1500 BCE, — if any.
2. Co-author Lalji Singh says as per the article in DNA :
“We have conclusively proved that there never existed any Aryans or Dravidians in the Indian sub continent. The Aryan-Dravidian classification was nothing but a misinformation campaign carried out by people with vested interests,” Prof Lalji Singh, vice-chancellor, Banaras Hindu University, told DNA.”
Again harking back to *supposed* British interests in the 19th century. But, the two language groups definitely are as separate as they are from Bantu, Chinese or Papua. Indo-Aryan is definitely not = Dravidian language or its original culture, just as little as Basque, Uralic are not Indo-European. Confusion of language, genes, ethnicity, etc.
Well, Lalji has stayed at Hyderabad for a long time. Did he ever try to speak Hindi/Urdu to native, mono-lingual Kannada speakers? He would had have as little luck as I would have with any Indo-European language in Estonia, Finland or Hungary.
Why does he have to comment about things (language, culture) that he does not understand?
““The study effectively puts to rest the argument that south Indians are Dravidians and were driven to the peninsula by Aryans who invaded North India,” said Prof Singh, a molecular biologist and former chief of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.”
Same mistake. Of course, South Indians are Dravidian speaking. And they even are genetically (ASI) different from North Indians (ANI), which this co-author should know from his own (and D. Reich’s) paper. Same confusion of genetics, language, ethnicity (“race”)…
The idea of Aryans “driving Dravidians’ South”, too, is 19th century talk. See above. The reality is much more complex. For example, Frank Southworth has shown that Maharashtra was Dravidian speaking well into the Middle Ages, and Gujarat too has Drav. place names. There was a lot of give and take between the two language families, as is seen in the many Dravidian loans in Sanskrit, etc. and the many Indo-Aryan loans in Drav. languages.
3. Unfortunately, as some years earlier before, Gyaneshwer Chaubey chimes in: “According to Dr Gyaneshwer Chaubey, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia, who was another Indian member of the team, the leaders of Dravidian political parties may have to find another answer for their raison d’être.”
A clear, political statement based on wrong science: see immediately below. By Dravidian parties he means those restricted to Tamil Nadu. Well, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra too speak Dravidian, as do many tribes in Central India (Gonds, etc.)
“We have proved that people all over India have common genetic traits and origin. All Indians have the same DNA structure. No foreign genes or DNA has entered the Indian mainstream in the last 60,000 years,” Dr Chaubey said.”
Sorry, *all Indians* with the same DNA structure? Their own paper says differently. He could also say that all ex-Africa populations have the same genetic origin…
And no “foreign” genes? What about all these Persians, Greek/Macedonians, Saka, Kushana, Huns, Arabs 711 CE+, Muslim Turks (1000+, 1200 CE+), Mughals, Afghans 1700 CE, Portuguese, etc., British….? Sure, they all never had Indian wives…
“Dr Chaubey had proved in 2009 itself that the Aryan invasion theory is bunkum. “That was based on low resolution genetic markers. This time we have used autosomes, which means all major 23 chromosomes, for our studies. The decoding of human genome and other advances in this area help us in unraveling the ancestry in 60,000 years,” he explained.”
I hope he will learn to distinguish between the Out Of Africa migration, the Neolithic one from western Asia around 10,000 y.a. (detailed in this very paper!), and the trickling in of Indo-Aryan pastoral speakers c.1500 BCE??
4. Said geneticists *still* cannot distinguish between speakers of a particular language and their genes. Writing in English — are Lalji Singh and Gyaneshwer both Anglo-Saxons? Or me, for that matter?
It is one thing to explain genetic results to the gullible public, but to confuse them with wrong data from linguistics, archaeology etc. is despicable.
5. “According to Prof Singh, Dr Chaubey, and Dr Kumarasamy Thangaraj, another member of the team, the findings disprove the caste theory prevailing in India.”
???
“Interestingly, the team found that instead of Aryan invasion, it was Indians who moved from the subcontinent to Europe. “That’s the reason behind the findings of the same genetic traits in Eurasiain regions,” said Dr Thangaraj, senior scientist, CCMB.
Well, as detailed in my last note, the well-known northward movement into N. Eurasia from South Asia during the warm period around 40,000 years ago, has NOTHING to do with the 19th century’s “Aryan Invasion,” dated around 1500 BCE! I suppose they can count and calculate?
6. Finally, the unavoidable dot on the i, from the ubiquitous Dr K., — who has nothing to do with this genetic paper or topic. Bad choice by the DNA newspaper!
“Africans came to India through Central Asia during 80,000 to 60,000 BCE and they moved to Europe sometime around 30,000 BCE. The Indian Vedic literature and the epics are all silent about the Aryan-Dravidian conflict,” said Dr S Kalyanaraman, a proponent of the Saraswathi civilization which developed along the banks of the now defunct River Saraswathi.”
Through Central Asia?? There is no evidence at all for this, neither archaeologically or otherwise. Central Asia — deserts and all — was settled, pace Wells, only much later. Dr K. is not up to date: Rumania was reached
already by 42 kya…
As for “Vedic literature and the epics are all silent about the Aryan-Dravidian conflict”, he should re-read the Rgveda (in Sanskrit), not the outdated 100 year old English translation of Griffith. The non-Indo-Aryan speaking populations there (Dasyu, Daasa) clearly are in conflict with Indo-Aryan speakers…
Finally, having studied *administration* (PhD Manila), he is not up to date on archaeology either. The Harappan civilization developed in the Piedmont west of the subcontinent (see books by the late G. Possehl) and it spread eastward, also to the Ghagghar-Hakra river, which Dr K anachronistically calls, in Hindutva fashion, Sarasvati — well before the river got its Vedic name, c.1200 BCE.
In sum: for all discussants: as the old proverb has it, “shoemaker, stick to your own tools”!
‘nough said.
Michael
On Dec 11, 2011, at 11:50 AM, Michael Witzel wrote:
> This paper  has been out for a few days, and I got a copy from a co-author, one of my Estonian friends.
>
> I have immediately protested to them and have also critiqued the comments published by DNA. Note that the latter comments are attributed just to three (not all!) Indian co-authors, but do not come from the slew of other authors. The reason, as usual, seems to be politics and notoriety (to attract more finances?)
>
> To set the record straight, a few general remarks first:
>
> 1. There is nothing new in the result about an early Out of Africa movement (to South Asia) of *anatomically modern humans* (not Neanderthals, Denisovans, Homo Erectus) at c. 65-75 kya. There are some hints about earlier dates but they are based on debatable stone artifacts, not skeletons.
>
> 2. And we also knew well about the movements from there to northern Eurasian areas during the warm period around c. 40,000 BCE: archaeologically attested by skeletons, both in the Beijing area (Zhoukoudian c.40 kya, via S.E. Asia), and in Europa (Rumania, c. 42 kya).
>
> See my friend Peter Underhill (Stanford) et al. 2010 paper:
>
> 3. Obviously this early movement has nothing to do with the current Hindutvavadin theory of an “Out Of India” move of the Indo-Europeans, who would have settled Europe: that would be tens of thousands of years later. (The same mistake was made during the CA schoolbook affair … by a CA biologist! They never learn…)
>
> For a popular overview with maps see St. Oppenheimer’s website  or that of the National Geographic.
>
> Around 40,000 BCE there were neither “Aryans” nor Indo-Europeans around, not even speakers of the giant Nostratic language family, at best of the still earlier hypothetical Borean super-language family, proposed by my friend, the Africanist Harold Fleming (see WIKI). Likewise, no Dravidian language family yet, which may in fact be part of Nostratic anyhow.
>
> This northward move is a general phenomenon, as is the subsequent severe contraction southward during the last Ice age around 20 kya, when the four or five major human types (not “races”) developed in isolation: Europe, S.Asia, (Sunda Land: S.E. Asia), E. Asia, Sahul Land (New Guinea-Australia), — for example with two separate, independent mutations producing white skin color in Europe and in East Asia.
>
> 3. The paper by my Boston geneticist friend David Reich et al. has shown that South Asia has two ancient population segments evolving from the early Out of Africa people around 40 kya, the ‘Ancestral North Indians’ (ANI), (genetically close to Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans) and the ‘Ancestral South Indians’ (ASI), so named after I had cautioned him and Nick Patterson about the political danger involving the naming of these groups. As you can see, even this nomenclature did not help to dispel preconceived Hindutva bias about “Aryans” and Dravidians.
>
> At 40 kya there were no “Aryans” and no “Dravidians” around yet.
>
> 4. If we then want to speak about “Aryans” (more correctly: speakers of Indo-Aryan language) and speakers of the early Dravidian language at all, we first of all have to disconnect language from ethnicity or “race”. I am not an Anglo-Saxon, just because I speak and write in English here, nor are Chaubey, Singh and Thangaraj.
>
> Language can change within 2 generations, as all Americans know and as Indians *should* know: not just in large cities, but also in tribal areas where people take over the dominant regional language, for obvious social reasons.
>
> The 3 Indian geneticists quote by DNA confuse language use with genetic setup, ethnicity, culture, religion etc. All of them easily (and *mutually*) transgress genetic boundaries.
>
> 5. If when then speak about Indo-Aryans or Dravidians at c. 3500 years ago, and want to link them with genetic data, we must take into account that all these studies are based on modern DNA, and depend on *assumed* mutation rates (going back to the Chimpazee-Human split of 5-7 million years ago); the genetic results thus provide good *relative* dates, but not absolute dates.
>
> Absolute dates (just as in linguistic reconstructions) need to be supported by outside evidence, such as finds of skeletons of anatomically modern humans, as mentioned above. (By the way these are earlier at Lake Mungo in Australia at c. 50 kya and Europe/China than in South Asia, where they only appear in Sri Lanka at c.30 kya. Facetiously: an Out of Australia migration to Eurasia?)
>
> 6. Worse, there are huge error bars in all these models. It may not matter very much if we have error bars of some 10,000 years for the Out of Africa move, but for the period around 1500 BCE, we still have error bars of 3000 years, which makes all pronouncements about a non-existent “Aryan” move into South Asia, based on current genetic data, very moot indeed.
>
> The “Western Asian/Central Asian” strain in northern India/Pakistan (as per this paper by Metspalu et al.) may well be due to Persian, Greek/Makedonian, Saka, Kushana, Hun, Arab (711 CE+), Islamic Turks 1000 CE/1200 CE, Portuguese etc. (1500 CE+) or British gene influx.
>
> I will await the further, so far very uncertain resolution of the Y chromosome R1a haplogroup to form an opinion. Ra1a has been attributed to speakers of Indo-European (as it is prominent in Eastern Europe) but it also occurs throughout South Asia, tribal populations included. We need to know which sub-strain moved: when and where.
>
> 7. All of which leaves most of the comments by Singh, Thangaraj and Chaubey high and dry. More about them in my next message.
>
> An interesting weekend, apparently. Luckily, the semester is over…
> Cheers,
>
> Michael
>
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Chairman Mao Murdered 100 Million People?

Luther Seahand, a rightwinger, writes that Mao Zedong murdered 100 million people during his term in office (1949-1978). Of those, one half, or 50 million, were buried alive so as to save bullets.

RL: This is a socialist blog. We don’t believe in the “Mao murdered 100 million” stuff.
LS: Of course you don’t, Mr. Lindsay.  I was just wondering how a socialist might react when faced with the facts.  Thank you for not ripping my head off.  Have a good one!

You didn’t present me with any facts. You presented me with lies.
There were no “100 million murdered by Mao.” And there certainly were no “50 million buried alive so as to save bullets.”
Are you talking about people executed under Mao’s rule?
In the land reform campaign at the very start, it is very possible that up to 3 million landlords (most of them criminals) were executed.
There were 29,000 executions during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).
Mao was in power for 29 years. That covers about 14 of those years, or nearly half his time in office.
So covering 50% of his term, there were 3.03 million executions, possibly. Probably hardly any of them were buried alive. I have no figures on executions from 1953-1965.
3 million is a lot, but it is not 100 million. Let us first get out figures straight
The problem with crazy rightwing anti-Communists is not their view that Communism is bad, or even that it is evil. Perhaps it is either of those things. Their problem is that they habitually trot out lies when whipping out figures of those killed under Communism. Favorites include Joseph Stalin of the USSR and Mao Zedong of China.
Hence we often get figures that Stalin killed 10-110 million people. Even many perfectly sane and often liberal people believe this hogwash. It’s not that Stalin or the Soviet Communists never killed any of the opposition or the dissidents. Stalin was a killer. He killed lots of people. But not 110 million.
Final figures for Stalin’s regime are for 1926-1953 (27 years in office):
Executions and political killings: 1.29 million
Unnatural deaths in the gulags: 1.4 million.
Total political killings by Stalin: 2.7 million
There are some problems with that figure as it apparently does not include some of the deaths during WW2, such as deaths of German POW’s, enemy civilians and most importantly, deaths during the ethnic relocations during that war. I also do not include “Holodomor” deaths because there was no “terror famine.” Famine, yes. Terror famine, no.
3 million is a lot of human beings, but it’s not 110 million. If we want to talk about whether the deaths under Communism were justified or not, we first need to get the figures straight.

Maoism in China: Setting the Record Straight

If Maoism had continued in its pure form as it was in China before the reforms, there would have been no industrial revolution and China would still be weak and poor. And if there was a great leap forward in India, perhaps Indians would learn what starvation really means.

This is not true. Under Mao, the industrial economy grew 10% a year. The industrial revolution happened under Mao. Under Mao, the economy grew 4% a year. That’s not bad.
What’s so great about Deng’s reforms anyway? They have closed down 100’s of 1000’s of schools all over China and now many kids are not getting a full education. They made health care for pay only, and now millions of people are dying every year from illnesses because they cannot afford drugs and treatment.
The death rate was lower and life expectancy was higher every single year under Mao from 1949-1962. The only thing that happened during the Great Leap was that the death rate temporarily become higher than it was in 1949 for one year. I don’t think you realize how bad things were before Mao took power. Life expectancy was 32 years!

The Argument for Armed Struggle in India

From the comments section. This is the argument put forward by Maoist types that the only way forward in India for the Left is via armed struggle. I am not sure how much I believe in it, but India’s problems are so horrific that I figure it’s worth it to take up arms to try to change things. And the Maoists are probably the only people in India who can really change the country in a progressive and start to tackle some of its horrible problems.

India is not a democratic country like a European one. In Europe, you have a democratic space because the democratic institutions developed from the struggles of the people, even though they were and are in the hands of the bourgeoisie.
In India the parliamentary institutions were imposed by the colonial masters to enhance their colonial rule. They were not created through people’s struggles. In India there is little democratic space.
The bourgeois class in India is a deformed reactionary force since its inception. This class hadn’t emerged naturally, but was propped up by the British colonial masters. Therefore, the initial progressive role that was present in the European bourgeoisie was not present in the Indian bourgeois class. It allied itself with the feudal classes from the beginning.
Therefore, we must use armed struggle as the democratic space is not intrinsic to our society after the colonial intervention. The illusion of democratic space is there in the form of parliamentary institutions and formal democratic rights but not in reality. The moment one forwards the people’s demands one will face repression from the state. How do you forward and defend the movement of the people without arms?

The "Nation": The Invention of a Concept

From the comments by the excellent and apparently new commenter Daniel:

I think I see the reason for our disagreement, Mr. Jaipal.
Lloyd Cox in “nation-state and nationalism” (The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2007, Volume VII) discussed five approaches to the nature of “nations.”
The first or “objectivist” view conceptualizes the nation in terms of essential features, like a common language, shared culture, contiguous territory, etc.
The second approach argues that nations can only be conceived with reference to people’s subjective states, exemplified by Hugh Seton-Watson’s statement that a nation exists “when a significant number of people in a community consider themselves to form a nation, or behave as if they formed one.”
The third approach sees nations as invented categories rather than real collectivities (Ernst Gellner argued that nations are invented by nationalism, instead of being the source of nationalism.)
The fourth approach views nations not as fictional entities, but as “imagined communities” in the minds of the people.
The fifth and most recent approach is to conceive of nations as “symbolic frames” or “discursive formations” defined by the claims made in evoking and promoting nations.
The so-called primordialist and perennialist views of the nation (Athena S. Leoussi, “Nationalism,” The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2007, Volume VII) fall under the first approach.
The belief that the Indian nation has existed for thousands of years because it has a millennia-old cultural heritage (including Vedic literature and Sanskrit language, among other elements) is a perennialist view, and since you consider the perennialist view to be “correct,” I assume that you subscribe to such a view, or at least do not oppose it.
I used to have a similar perennialist view of nations, until I encountered the ideas of Benedict Anderson. I now favor the second, third, and fourth approaches to the concept of nation, but most especially the fourth.
You cited the example of China. China is indeed comparable to India. China also has a long history, and the Chinese have also been keenly aware of their culture and of “barbarians” who did not share their culture. However, this sentiment of Chinese prior to the 19th century has been termed “culturalism” instead of nationalism (John K. Fairbank, Edwin O. Reischauer, and Albert M. Craig, East Asia: Tradition & Transformation, 1978).
Although China and India have gone through periods of unity and disunity, and both have had rulers who periodically reunited their respective countries, this does not indicate the presence of nationalism, since when we look at “the big picture” as you would say, the people (meaning the masses in general) were not lamenting their “national disunity” or clamoring for “reunification,” and even the “unifiers” undertook their military campaigns not to rebuild the “nation,” but to establish their personal empires.
In China, for example, the scholar class lamented the chaos and disorder and the incessant wars during times of disunity, but not the “disunity of the nation.” Such sentiments would only surface in the 19th century, and would become widespread only in the 20th century.
The case of India is similar. The Marathas for example had to fight many battles in the long process of consolidating their rule over much of India, and the people in the territories of their opponents certainly did not just surrender their lands to the Marathas because they wanted to be part of a “united Indian nation.”
I cannot remember now who it was who said that China and India are better described as “civilization states” rather than nation-states.
You also cited the Poles and the Germans. The Poles may have had a “broad sense” that they were Poles, and it may have been the same for the Germans, but ethnic or ethnocultural identity should not be confused with nationalism.
I have only encountered the term “culturalism” applied to China, but I wonder if it can equally apply to the peoples of India, Poland, Germany, and other ethnic groups before the advent of nationalism.

This is an excellent comment by Daniel, and I agree with it. This just shows what complete and utter idiots most modern nationalists really are, especially the primordialist variety, which is what just about all nationalists are anyway, at least outside of Europe, where the entire concept of nationalism has fallen away after the nationalistic disasters of the World Wars, especially the last ones.
The primordialist holds that the nation, as we know it today, has always existed in the minds of the people who are living there today. What complete, utter, total and puerile nonsense that is!
As Daniel immaculately shows, before 1900 and especially before 1800, the vast majority of the humans living in what are now known as China and India gave precisely fuck all about the concepts of “China” and “India.”
What exactly were they nationalistic about? Perhaps about their particular regions, tribes, linguistic or cultural communities or even caste communities.
When India and China became disunited, which was often, precisely no one in the disunited communities clamored for the reunification of the nation. They were perfectly happy to be under the jurisdiction of this or that warlord or princely state.
Variously power hungry sociopaths periodically tried to wage wars of reunification which were actually just attempts by sociopaths to increase their power and money by conquering enemy regions. The regions being attacked by these phony “reunifiers” had no interest in being reunified with anything, and the people waging the reunifying wars were seen as enemies attacking the homeland.
I differ with Daniel in that I believe in the 3rd explanation of nationalism. What is modern nationalism? It’s no primordial entity that has forever beaten in the hearts of all men, unless we conflate tribalism with nationalism.
Instead it’s a completely artificial construct that was invented by modern nationalists in the last 200 years and then implanted into people’s minds as something as real to them as their very own blood and soil.
The modern Indian or Chinese feels that the nation is as much a part of him as his appendages. He’d sooner hack off a limb that give up Tibet or Kashmir or whatever bullshit territory the fascist Chinese and Indian states lay false claim to.
Why does he feel this way? Because he has been trained to; trained like a dog. You can train a dog to do just about any idiotic thing you want it to do, and it seems that humans are not much different when you get down to brass tacks.
Modern nationalists, especially the ethnic nationalists, the most fake and dishonest of them all, are peddling a lie. They draw some lines on a map, tell you it’s as real to you as your arm or your leg, and like a dipshit, you believe it.
As Leftists, we believe that the modern nationalistic concept has caused untold pain, suffering and death. It also causes a shocking amount of sheer stupidity, and the injection of nationalism into the veins of a good man will turn him into a vicious, lying and murdering scoundrel of the worst sort in no time.

India: Hell on Earth

Here is an excellent piece about India that I got from an internet site. The author is unknown, but he may be a Dalit or low caste Indian. It sums up why India is such a Hellhole – Indians created it that way.

We have a commenter on here called Dota, an Indian Muslim, who hates India way more than I do. He fled to Canada. He recently said that India is Hell and it’s people are the scum of humanity. That’s a hard-hitting thing to say, but is it true? He lived there for many years and I did not.

It does appear that Indian society and culture itself is at the core of India’s problems, and I can’t help but think that the religion of Hinduism is a big part of the country’s problems. As Dota says, of all religions, Hinduism cares about people the least. A shocking statement, but is it true?

In another comment, I talked about the hundreds of millions starving, diseased, shitting outdoors and living in the streets or fetid slums of India. According to Dota, Indian elites feel that the Indian poor living and dying in Hell deserve everything they get, up to and including death. That’s why there’s so little effort to fix up the mess – the poor deserve their fate. They even deserve to die. A shocking statement again, but what if it is true?

And once again, this belief seems to circle back around to Hinduism once again. The Hindu religion seems to be at the very heart and core of India’s Hell on Earth.

Why Do 1 Million Indians Flee India Every Year?

Any crackdowns on illegal immigrants abroad or restricting quotas to Indians are a major concern to India’s politicians. The latest statistics from the US Department of Homeland Security shows that the number of Indian illegal migrants jumped 125% since 2000! Ever wonder why Indians migrate to another countries but no one comes to India?

Here are some Indian facts:

Poverty Graph

According to the WFP, India accounts around 50% of the world’s hungry (more than in all of Africa) and its fiscal deficit is one of the highest in the world. India’s Global Hunger Index (GHI) score is 23.7, a rank of 66 out of 88 countries. India’s rating is slightly above Bangladesh but below all other South Asian nations, and India is listed under the “alarming” category. [IFPRI Country Report on India].

Around six out of 10 Indians live in the countryside, where abject poverty is widespread. 34.7% of the Indian population has an income below $1 a day, and 79.9% lives on less than $2 a day. According to the India’s Planning Commission report, 26.1% of the population lives below the poverty line. The World Bank’s poverty line is $1 a day, but the Indian poverty line is Rs 360 a month, or 30 cents a day.

The Current Account Balance of India

“A major area of vulnerability for us is the high consolidated public-debt to GDP ratio of over 70 percent…(and) consolidated fiscal deficit,” says the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Mr. Yaga Venugopal Reddy.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the current account balance of India is -$37,510,000,000 (minus) while China is the wealthiest country in the world with $426,100,000,000 (plus). India listed as 182 and China as 1 [CIA: The World Factbook].

Human Development vs GDP growth

The Human Development Report for 2009 released by the UNDP ranked India 134 out of 182 countries, based on measures of life expectancy, education and income. India has an emigration rate of 0.8%. The major continent of destination for migrants from India is Asia with 72.0% of emigrants living there. The report found that India’s GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) is $2,753, far below Malaysia’s $13,518. China listed as 92 with PPP of $5,383.

Population

According to the Indian census of 2001, the total population was 1.028 billion. Hindus numbered 827 million or 80.5%. About 25 per cent (24 million) of those Hindus belong to Scheduled Castes and Tribes. About 40 per cent (400 million) are “Other Backward Castes”. The 15 per cent Hindu upper castes inherited the majority of India’s civil service, economy and active politics from their British colonial masters.

Thus the caste system virtually leaves lower caste Hindus as an oppressed majority in India’s power structure. Going by figures quoted by the Backward Classes Commission, Brahmins alone account for 37.17 per cent of the bureaucracy [Who is Really Ruling India?].

The 2004 World Development Report mentions that more than 25% of India’s primary school teachers and 43% of its primary health care workers are absent on any given day!

Living Conditions of Indians

89 percent of rural households do not own telephones; 52 percent do not have any domestic power connection. There are daily power cuts even in the nation’s capital. The average brownout in India is three hours per day during non-monsoon months and 17 hours daily during the monsoon. The average village is 2 kilometers away from an all-weather road, and 20 percent of rural habitations have partial or no access to a safe drinking water supply. [Tarun Khanna, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization].

According to National Family Health Survey data (2005-06), only 45 per cent of households in the country had access to improved sanitation.

Education

India has over 35 per cent of the world’s total illiterate population [UNESCO Education for All Report 2008]. Only 66 per cent of people are literate in India (76 per cent men and 54 per cent women).

About 40 million primary school-age children in India are not in school. More than 92% children do not go beyond secondary school. According to reports, 35 per cent schools don’t have infrastructure such as blackboards and furniture. And close to 90 per cent have no functional toilets. Half of India’s schools still have leaking roofs or no water supply.

While Japan has 4,000 universities for its 127 million people, and the US has 3,650 universities for its 301 million, India has only 348 universities for its 1.2 billion people. In the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities by Institute of Higher Education published by, Shanghai Jiao Tong, only two Indian Universities are included.

Even those two IIT’s in India found only a lower slot (203-304) in the 2007 report. Although Indian universities churn out three million graduates a year, only 15% of them are suitable employees for blue-chip companies. Only 1 million among them are IT professionals.

Health

India today allocates lower than one per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to health. According to United Nations calculations, India’s spending on public health as a share of GDP is the 18th lowest in the world. 150 million Indians are blind. 2.13 per cent of the total population (21.9 million) live with disabilities in India. Yet, only 34 per cent of the disabled are employed [Census 2001]. India has the single highest share of neonatal deaths in the world, 2.1 million.

107,000 leprosy patients live in India. 15.3% of the population do not live past age forty. Serpent attacks kill as many as 50,000 Indians while the cobra occupies a hallowed place in the Hindu religion. Heart disease, strokes and diabetes cost India an estimated $9 billion in lost productivity in 2005. The losses could grow to a staggering $200 billion over the next 10 years if corrective action is not taken quickly, says a study by the New Delhi-based Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations.

There are only 585 rural hospitals compared to 985 urban hospitals in the country. Out of the 6,39,729 doctors registered in India, only 67,576 are in the public sector and the rest are either in the private sector or abroad. According to a survey by NSSO (National Sample Survey Organization), 40 per cent of the people hospitalized have either had to borrow money or sell assets to cover their medical expenses. Over 85 per cent of the Indian population does not have any form of health coverage.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in India. India accounts for one-fifth of the global TB incident cases. Each year about 1.8 million people in India develop TB, of which 0.8 million are infectious cases. It is estimated that annually around 330,000 Indians die from TB every year [WHO India].

Economy under Siege by Elite Hindus

In India, the wealth of 36 families amounts to $191 billion, which is one fourth of India’s GDP. In other words, 35 elite Hindu families own one quarter of India’s GDP by leaving 85% of ordinary Hindus poor!

The dominant group of Hindu nationalists come from the three upper castes (Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas) that constitute only 10 per cent of the total Indian population. But, they claim perhaps 80% of the jobs in the new economy in sectors such as software, biotechnology, and hotel management.

India is also one of the most under-banked major markets in the world with only 6 bank branches per 1,000 sq kms, according to the World Bank, and less than 31% of the population has access to a bank account. According to India’s national agency (NABARD), around 60 per cent of people do not having access to financial institutions in India. The figure is less than 15 per cent in developed countries.

Corruption

According to TI, 25% of Indians have paid bribes to obtain a service. 68% believe that governmental efforts to stop corruption are ineffective. More than 90% consider the police and the political parties as the most corrupt institutions. 90% of Indians believe that corruption will increase within the next 3 years.

“Corruption is a large tax on Indian growth; it delays execution, raises costs and destroys the moral fiber,” says Prof. Rama Murthi. Transparency International estimates that Indian truckers pay something in the neighborhood of $5 billion annually in bribes to keep freight flowing. According to Rahul Gandhi, only 5 per cent of development funds reach their intended recipients due to hierarchical corruption in the country [Financial Times].

Discrimination Against Dalits

Crime against Dalits occur every 20 minutes in India. Every day 3 Dalit women are raped, 2 Dalits are murdered and 2 Dalit houses are burnt down! These figures represent only a fraction of the actual number of incidents since many Dalits do not register cases for fear of retaliation by the police and upper caste Hindu individuals. Official figures show that there are still 343,000 million manual scavengers in India from the Dalit community. More than 165 million Dalits in India are simply abused by their Hindu upper castes due to their birth [HRW Report 2007].

Human Rights

When it comes to human rights issues in India, it has not ratified the UN Convention against Torture, and its citizens do not have the opportunity to find recourse in remedies that are available under international law. The victims are trapped in the local Hindu caste system, which in every aspect militates against their rights.

India has a very poor record of protecting the privacy of its citizens, according to the latest report from Privacy International (PI). India scored 1.9 points, which makes it an ‘extensive surveillance society’. A score between 4.1 and 5.0 (the highest score) would mean a country “consistently upholds human rights standards.” PI is a watchdog on surveillance and privacy invasions by governments and corporations.

Fake encounter killings are rampant in India. These extrajudicial killings are inspired by the theological texts of the Brahmins such as Artha Shastra and Manusmriti which teach espionage and torture methods. Every such killing of an innocent person, branded a terrorist, has encouraged the killer cops to target socially excluded communities like dalits, tribals and minorities.

India’s intelligence agencies like IB, RAW, etc. seem to be thoroughly infiltrated by foreign secret services which support powerful weapon producing nations. Formed in 1947, IB is engaged in wiretapping, spying on political opponents and sometimes indicting people on false criminal charges. The IB also has files on numerous authors, bloggers and media persons.

According to the National Human Rights Commission, as of 30th June 2004, there were 3,32,112 prisoners in Indian jails out of which 2,39,146 were awaiting trial. That’s more than 70% who had not yet seen a judge. India’s jails hold a disproportionate number of the country’s minority Muslims, a sign of discrimination and alienation from the Hindu majority.

The bar association in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, has refused to represent 13 Muslim suspects accused of bombing courthouses in 2005. A large percentage of Indian police officers, attorneys and judges appear regularly at events organized by notorious Hindu militant groups.

India is a parliamentary democracy, but nevertheless, it is not exactly a fully free society. The human rights group Freedom House ranks India as a 2 (on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 the highest) for political rights and 3 for civil liberties. Elections are generally free, but, notes Freedom House, “Government effectiveness and accountability are also undermined by pervasive criminality in politics, decrepit state institutions, and widespread corruption.”

The State Department observes: “There were numerous reports that the government and its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings, including extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals and insurgents, or staged encounter deaths.”

Minorities

About 20%, or 200 million Indians, are religious minorities. Muslims constitute 138 million or 13.4%, Christians, 24 million or 2.3%, Sikhs, 19 million or 2%, Buddhists, 8 million or 0.8% and Jains, 4 million or 0.4%. “Others” numbered 6.6 million or 0.6%. According to Mr. Tahir Mahmood, an Indian Muslim journalist, “The 2.3% Christians in the Indian population cater to 20% of all primary education in India, 10% of all the literacy and community health care, 25% of all existing care of destitute and orphans, 30% of all the handicapped, lepers and AIDS patients, etc.”

Discrimination Against Minority Muslims

Recently, Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee report admitted that 138 million Muslims across India are severely underrepresented in government employment, including Public Sector Units. Ironically, West Bengal, a communist ruled state, reported 0 (zero) percent Muslims in higher positions in its PSU’s! The share of Muslims in government jobs and in the lower judiciary in any state simply does not come anywhere close to their population share.

The only place where Muslims can claim a share in proportion to their population is in prison! Muslim convicts in India is 19.1%, while the number of under trials is 22.5%, which exceed their population ratio. A note sent on January 9 by the army to the Defence Ministry in 2004 said that there were only 29,093 Muslims among a total of 1.1 million military personnel — a ratio of 2.6%, which compares poorly with the Muslims’ 13.8% share in the Indian population. Officially, the Indian Army doesn’t allow head counts based on religion.

A Muslim child attends school for three years and four months, compared to the national average of four years. Less than two percent of the students at the elite Indian Institutes of Technology come from the Muslim community. According to National Knowledge Commission member Jayathi Ghosh, “There is a need to re-orient official strategies for ensuring better access of Muslim children to schooling outside the madrassas which cater to only four per cent of children from the community.”

Discrimination in Media

Hindu upper caste men, who constitute just eight per cent of the total population of India, hold over 70% of the key posts in newsrooms in the country. Including the so-called twice-born Hindu castes, the number rises to 85% of key posts despite constituting just 16% of the total population, while the intermediary castes represent a meager 3%.

The Hindu Other Backward Class groups, who are 34% of the total population, have a share of just 4% in Indian newsrooms. Muslims, who constitute about 13% of the population, control just 4% of top media posts while Christians and Sikhs have a slightly better representation. But the worst scenario emerges in the case of Scheduled Castes (SC’s) and Scheduled Tribes /Aborgines (ST’s), whose representation is nearly nil. [CSDS Study, 2006, The Hindu, June 05, 2006]

Discrimination in the Judiciary

India’s subordinate courts have a backlog of over 22 million cases while the 21 high courts and the Supreme Court have 3.5 million and 32,000 pending cases (2006). In subordinate courts, over 15 million cases are filed and an equal number disposed of annually by about 14,000 judges! Every year a million or more cases are added to the arrears. At the current speed, the lower courts will need 124 years to clear the backlog. There were only 13 judges for every million people.

Recently a parliamentary committee blamed the judiciary for keeping out competent persons of downtrodden communities “through a shrewd process of manipulation.” Between 1950 to 2000, 47% of chief justices and 40% of judges were of Brahmin origin!

Dalits and Indian aborigines make up less than 20 out of 610 judges working in Supreme Court and state high courts. “This nexus and manipulative judicial appointments have to be broken”, the report urged. [Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on Constitutional Review, Sudarshan Nachiappan]. Among 12 states with high Muslim populations, Muslim representation in the judicial sector was limited to 7.8% [Justice Sachar Report].

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, only 31 per cent of criminal trials are completed in less than a year. Some even take more than 10 years. According to its study, Crime in India 2002, nearly 220,000 cases took more than 3 years to reach court, and about 25,600 exhausted 10 years before they were completed. The term of the Liberhan Commission, formed 14 years ago to probe the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya and originally given a mandate of three months, has been extended again!

Discrimination Against Children

According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, India has the highest number of street children in the world. There are no exact numbers, but conservative estimates suggest that about 18 million children live and labor in the streets of India’s urban centers. Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta each have an estimated street children population of over 100,000. The total number of child laborers in India is estimated to be 60 million.

The level of child malnutrition in India is among the highest in the world, higher even than some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, says the report Extent of Chronic Hunger and Malnutrition in India by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. While around 25 percent of children globally are underweight, in India the number is 43 percent.

A quarter of all neonatal deaths in the world (2.1 million) occurred in India, says the UNICEF Report 2007 . More than one in five children who die within four weeks of birth is an Indian. Nearly fifty percent of Indian children who die before the age of five do not survive beyond the first 28 days.

Discrimination Against Women

According to the 2001 census, female literacy in India is 54.16% versus male literacy of 75.85%. Most working women remain outside the organized sector. A mere 2.3% are administrators and managers, and only 20.5% of professional and technical workers are women.

There are an estimated 40 million Hindu widows in India, the least fortunate of them shunned and stripped of the life they lived when they were married. It’s believed that 15,000 widows live on the streets of Vrindavan, a Hindu holy city of about 55,000 population in northern India.

Many widows – at least 40 per cent are said to be under 50 – are dumped by their relatives in religious towns and left to live off charity or beg on the streets. Their plight was highlighted in Deepa Mehta’s award-winning film Water, which had to be shot mainly outside India because of Hindu extremist opposition to its production.

Nearly 9 out of 10 pregnant women between ages 15 and 49 years suffer from malnutrition, about half of all children (47%) under five are underweight, and 21% of the populations are undernourished. India alone has more undernourished people (204 million) than all of Sub-Saharan Africa combined.

Nearly 20% of women dying in childbirth around the globe are Indians. Six out of every 10 births take place at home, and untrained people attend more than half of those births. 44% of Indian girls are married before age of 18. 16% of girls from age 15-19 are already mothers or expecting their first child, and pregnancy is the leading cause of mortality in this age group.

On average, one Indian woman commits suicide every four hours over a dowry dispute. In an Indian marriage, the woman should bring jewelery, cash and even consumer durables as part of dowry to the in-laws. If they fail bring enough valuables, the victims are burnt to death – doused in kerosene and set on fire. The in-laws routinely claim that the death happened simply due to an accident.

Rape is the fastest growing crime in India. Every hour Indian women suffer two rapes, two kidnappings, four molestations and seven incidents of cruelty from husbands and relatives [National Crime Records Bureau Report 2006].

Fetus Killing

The female to male birth ratio was feared to reach 20:80 by the year 2020 as female fetus killing is rampant. Ten million girls have been killed by their parents in India in the past 20 years, either just before they were born or immediately after, the Indian Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury related to Reuters.

According to the 2001 census, the national sex ratio was 933 girls to 1,000 boys, while in the worst-affected northern state of Punjab, it was 798 girls to 1,000 boys. The availability of ultrasound sex determination tests leads to mass abortions in India.

Around 11 million abortions are carried out in India every year, and nearly 80,000 women die during the process, says a report from the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI).

Human Trafficking

Out of the 593 districts in India, 378 or 62.5% are affected by human trafficking. In 2006, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) sponsored a study conducted by Shakti Vahini, which found that domestic violence, illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, unsafe migration and child marriage are the major reasons for the increasing rate of illegal human trafficking.

95% of the women in Madhya Pradesh involved in commercial sex are there due to family traditions. So are 51.79% in Bihar. While 43% of the total women trafficked are minors, 44 percent of the women involved in the flesh trade are there due to poverty.

Of the total women who are into sex work in the country, 60% are from the lower and backward classes, which indicates the pathetic living conditions of these communities. In Madhya Pradesh, a political bastion of Hindu right wing parties, 96.7% of women sex workers are from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

India has 4 million prostitutes nationwide, and 60% of the prostitutes are from the Scheduled Castes and Tribes or other backward castes. UNAIDS says over 38% of those living with HIV in India are women.

High Crime Rate and Communal Riots

India reported 32,481 murders, 19,348 rapes, 7,618 dowry deaths and 36,617 molestation cases in 2006. NCRB found that Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of crimes (1,94,711), followed by Maharashtra (1,91,788), Andhra Pradesh (1,73,909), Tamil Nadu (1,48,972) and Rajasthan (1,41,992) during 2006. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 1,822,602 riots in 2005 alone [Incidence Of Cognizable Crimes (IPC) Under Different Crime Heads,  Page 2, NCRB website].

On average there are more than 2,000 cases of kidnappings per year in India. Under India’s notorious caste system, upper caste Hindus inherited key positions and control all the governmental branches. Violence against victims largely goes unpunished due to the support of upper caste crooks.

Economic Crimes

Economic crime continues to be pervasive threat for Indian companies, with 35% of them having experienced fraud in the past two years according to the PWC Global Economic Crime Survey 2007. Many incidents of fraud  go unreported. According to Price Waterhouse Coopers’ India findings:

* Corruption and bribery continue to be the most common type of fraud, reported by 20% of the respondents
* The average direct financial loss to companies was INR 60 Million (US $1.5 million) during the two year period. In addition, the average cost to deal with economic crime in India is INR 40 Million (US $1 Million), which is close to double that of the global and Asia Pacific average
* In 36% of cases, companies took no action against the perpetrators of fraud;
* In 50% of cases, fraud was detected by chance. [PWC Report 2007]

Armed Conflicts in India

Almost every state has separatist movements, many of them armed. A large number of Muslims were killed in the past few years across the country and the numbers are on a steady rise. On top of that, India has become a pariah for its neighbors. None of its neighbors appreciate their closeness to India, and they all blame it for meddling in their affairs.

63 per cent of India’s new budget will go to the military, police, administration and debt service (2008-09). The military might of centric Hindu elites in Delhi led to isolated feelings for the people of Jammu & Kashmir and the northeastern states. It is difficult for any community to feel part of a larger country when the armed forces of the country are deployed to silence them.

According to an Indian official report, 165 of India’s 602 districts — mostly in states like Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh — are “badly affected” by tribal and dalit violence, which the government termed “Maoist terror”. India’s military spending was recorded at US $21.7 billion in 2006, and it planned to spend $26.5 billion during 2008/09 financial year. 85 percent of the Army’s budget is spent on the enormous manpower of 1,316,000, which is the fourth largest in the world.

India experienced a rapid increase in demand for security in the period following the Mumbai attacks. Thanks to terrorism imports by world’s weapon industry! India is now one of the world’s most terror-prone countries, with a death toll second only to Iraq, says a report from the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington.

India’s crime rates, already some of the highest in the world, are also rising, as is the incidence of corporate espionage. Approximately 5.5 million private security guards are employed by about 15,000 security companies in India. As an industry, it is now the country’s largest corporate taxpayer [CAPSI report].

In 2005, Business Week reported that India became Israel’s largest importer of weapons, accounting for about half of the $3.6 billion worth of weapons exported by the Jewish state.

“Do remember that 34 years ago, NSG was created by Americans. Hence it has been their onus to convince the group to grant the waiver to India to carry out the multi-billion dollar business as India is a large market,” said former Atomic Energy Commission chairman, Mr P K Iyengar.

The Booming Industry of Terrorism Experts and Security Research Institutes in India

With the emergence of Hindutva fascist forces and their alliance with neocons and Zionists, India witnessed a sharp increase in the number of research institutes, media houses and lobbying groups. According to a study by the Think Tanks & Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, India has 422 think tanks, second only to the US, which has over 2,000 such institutions.

Out of 422 recognized Indian think tanks, around 63 are engaged in security research and foreign policy matters, which are heavily funded by global weapons industry. India’s retired spies, police officers, military personnel, diplomats and journalists are hired by these national security and foreign policy research institutes which get enormous funds from global weapon industry.

These dreaded institutions in fact have a hidden agenda. Behind the veil, they work as the public relations arm of weapon industry. They create fake terror stories with the help of their media and intelligence wings and manipulate explosions through criminals in the areas of tribals, dalits or minorities in order to get public acceptance for weapon contracts.

By creating conflicts in this poor country, Brahmin spin masters get huge commissions from the sale of weapons to government forces. To these corrupt bureaucrats, India’s ‘national interest‘ simply means ‘their self interest’. Their lobbying power bring more wealth to their families as lucrative jobs, citizenship in rich countries and educational opportunities abroad.

India is one of the world’s largest weapons importers. Between 2000 and 2007, India ranked the world’s second largest arms importer, accounting for 7.5% of all major weapons transfers. It was fourth in military spending  in terms of purchasing power in 2007, followed by US, China and Russia.

Over 1,130 companies in 98 countries manufacture arms, ammunition and components. 90% of Conventional arms exports in the world are from the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council, namely USA, UK, Russia, China & France. The regions of Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East hold 51 per cent of the world’s heavy weapons.

The Defense Offset Facilitation Agency estimated the expenditure on the sector of  $100 billion for next five years. At least 38 court cases relating to arms agreements are still pending against bureaucrats and military officers. Hindu fascist forces currently enjoy the upper hand in the media, the civil service, the judiciary, defense and the educational sectors of Indian society.

Sooner or later, the 25,000 strong democratic institutions in India will  collapse, and the country will be transformed into a limited democracy under the rule of a security regime like Turkey or Israel. The Hindutvas’ security centric nationalism was never capable of bringing peace and protection to ordinary citizens.

According to Global Peace Index, India currently ranked on bottom, (122 with 2.422 score). Interestingly, our favorite arms supplier, Israel is among the worst performer when it comes to peace ranking (141). It reminds a simple fact that peace cannot be attained by a sophisticated security apparatus.

Furthermore, India topped Asian Risk Prospects 2009 with the highest political and social risk, scoring 6.87, mainly because of internal and external instability (PERC).

Suicides of Farmers and the Collapse of the Agricultural Sector

In the last two years, more than 218,000 people across India committed suicide, mainly due to poverty, family feuds, strained relationships with loved ones, dowry harassment and health problems. In research by the Indian National Crime Records Bureau, there were 118,112 and over 100,000 suicides in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Most of those who committed suicide were farmers, and the victims took their lives either by hanging or consuming poison. Aside from farmers, women also have a high suicide rate. Since 1998, about 25,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide because they could not repay their debts. These debts, however, have largely accumulated because these farmers were severely overcharged by moneylenders, who demand up to 32% interest.

76 per cent of the nation’s land is owned by to 23 per cent of population. More than 15 million rural households in India are landless. Another 45 million rural families own only small plots of land, less than .1 acre each, which is hardly enough to make them self- sufficient, let alone generate a profit. 340 million people in India are largely dependent on agricultural wage labor and make $1 or less a day [Rural Development Institute (RDI), Washington].

70 per cent of the Indian population still depends directly on agriculture, but growth in this sector declined from a lackluster 3.8 per cent to an even more anemic 2.6 per cent last year.

Unemployment

Recently, a national report on the employment situation in India warned that nearly 30 percent of the country’s 716 million-strong workforce will be without jobs by 2020. The government of India doesn’t have the resources or political will to find jobs for such a large population.

Retail trade employs 8 percent of India’s population, the largest employer after agriculture. There are more than 12 million small retailers in India, 96 percent of whom are small mom-and-pop stores, each occupying less than 500 square feet, creating the highest retail outlet density per capita in the world. [Tarun Khanna, Yale, op cit.].

Call centers and other outsourced businesses — such as software coding, medical transcription and back-office tasks — employ more than 1.6 million people in India, mostly in their 20s and 30s. Heart disease is projected to account for 35% of deaths among India’s working-age population between 2000 and 2030, according to a World Health Organization study. The figure is about 12% for the United States, 22% for China and 25% for Russia.

Internal Migration and Influx to the Cities

Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, is projected to grow into a city of about 21.9 million by the year 2015 and is currently plagued by vast poverty due to mass influx from villages. “There are 5 million living on the street every night, covered only in newspaper, ” says Dr. Werner Fornos, president of the Global Population Education think tank and the former head of the Population Institute in Washington, D.C.

India is spending more than $400 million (£200m) to polish Delhi’s image as a first-rate capital, a difficult task for a city that seems to exist between the first and third worlds. A third of the capital’s 14 million-plus people live in teeming slums. According to crime statistics, in 2006, Delhi continued to be the undisputed ‘crime capital’ of the country, a position it held for the previous 5 years in a row. 35 mega cities in India collectively reported a total of 3,26,363 crimes in 2006, an increase of 3.7% over 2005.

Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore together accounted for more than one third of all crimes reported in Indian cities having a population of over a million people for the second year in a row.

India, a Closed Country

India’s share in world tourism map, has hovered between .38% to .39% for a number of years. Irrespective of its huge area and beauty, foreign exchange earned from tourism is merely $2.61 billion (2006). India, scored only 4.14 out of 7 in the WEF’s recently released Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI 2007). Among 124 countries listed, Switzerland ranked highest while India was 65th, which is far below even Malaysia (ranked 31). India was also listed at the bottom of ‘developing and threshold countries’, which put Tunisia at 34th place.

Indian immigration policies do not welcome tourists. On VISA requirements and T&T index, India ranked 106 while Malaysia ranked 15. VOA facilities are not available to anyone. The easiest entry to India is typically limited to countries with considerable Hindu populations like Mauritius or Nepal. The Hindu elite leaders of the country are always more concerned about India’s physical boundaries and its holy cows rather than the life of its poor, 85% of the population. To them, the national interest means their own economical or political interests.

Indian Embassies are rated as the worst on Earth. They are notorious for ‘red tape‘ and ‘ corruption friendly service,‘ a complaint repeatedly quoted even by Non Resident Indians themselves. 90% of Indian businessmen believe that India has yet to emerge as a “hospitable country” [ASSOCHAM].

Global Warming Effects on India

Water tables are dropping where farmers are lucky enough to have wells, and rainfall has become increasingly unpredictable. Economic losses due to global warming in India are projected at between 9-25%. GDP loss may be to the tune of .67% per year. Wheat losses will be serious. The rabi crop will be hit even worse, which will threaten food security. Drought and flood intensity will increase. A 100-cm sea level rise can lead to a  loss of $1.259 billion to India equivalent to 0.36% of GNP.

Frequencies and intensities of tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal will increase. Malaria will be worsened to the point where it is endemic in many more sates. There will be a 20% rise in summer monsoon rainfall. Extreme temperatures and precipitations are expected to increase [Sir Nicholas Stern Report].

India got the most foreign aid for natural disaster relief in two decades, obtaining 43 such loans totaling $8.257 billion from World Bank alone, beating even Bangladesh and now has the 2nd highest loan in the world.

Transportation

Despite the much touted economic boom, only .8 percent of Indians own a car; most are on foot, motorbikes, or carts. And of all the vehicles sold in India from April to November of last year, 77 percent were two-wheelers – motorcycles, mopeds, or scooters. India has less than 1% of the world’s vehicle population.

China has built over 34,000 km of expressways, compared to less than 8,000 km in India.

According to Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM), nearly 42o million man-hours are lost every month by the 7 million-odd working population of Delhi and NCR who take the public transport to travel to work because of traffic congestion during the peak morning and evening hours.

Road Safety

India accounts for about 10 percent of road accident fatalities worldwide,  and the totals are the highest in the world. Indian roads are poorly constructed, and traffic signals, sidewalks and proper signage are almost nonexistent. Other reasons for the high rates are encroachments, lack of parking facilities, ill-equipped and untrained traffic police, corruption and poor traffic culture.

An estimated 1,275,000 persons are badly hurt on the road every year. The social cost of annual accidents in India has been estimated at $11,000. The Government of India’s Planning Commission has estimated there are 15 hospitalized injuries and 70 minor injuries for every road death.

According to NATPAC, the number of accidents per 1,000 vehicles in India is as high as 35, while the figure ranges from 4 to 10 in developed countries. An estimated 270 people die each day from road accidents, and specialists predict that will increase by roughly 5 percent a year. Accidents also cause an estimated loss of Rs 8000 million to the country’s economy. About 80 per cent of the fatalities and severe injuries occurred due to driving error.

According to World Bank forecasts, India’s road death rate will continue to rise until 2042 if no remedial action being taken. In contrast, the number of road accidents in China dropped by an annual average 10.8 per cent for four consecutive years from 2003, despite continuous growth in the number of privately owned cars.

Doing Business in India

It takes 50 days to register a property in India, as compared to less than 30 days in China and less than 10 days in the United States and Thailand. Average cost of a business start-up is over 60 percent of per capita income, much higher than any of the comparable countries.

India has the highest cost of electricity among major industrialized and emerging economies ($.8 per kwh for industry as against $.1 kwh in China), or in other words a quarter of the gross electricity output, the result being the highest transmission and distribution losses in the world .

Transport costs are very high in India. It accounts for 25% of total import costs as against only 10% in comparative countries [World Bank Report on India].

Foreign Remittance from Non Resident Indians

In 2006, India received the highest amount of remittances globally from national overseas workers, $27 billion. Around $20 billion of this came from the Gulf expatriate workforce. Together, GCC countries are the largest trading partner of India, and home to 5 million members of India’s overseas workforce. The Indian government expects overseas Indians to pump in about US $500 billion into the FOREX reserves of the country in the next 10 years, making them the single largest source of foreign receipts.

Nearly three million people in Africa are of Indian ancestry. The top three countries with the largest population of Indians are South Africa, Mauritius and the Reunion Islands. Indians also have a sizable presence in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in the east of Africa and Nigeria in the west.

Foreigners Living in India

Historically, about 72% of the current Indian population originated from the Aryan race. Prominent historians and Dravidians consider Aryans to be foreign invaders to India. The Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) was postulated by eminent Oxford scholar Max Muller in 1882 and later advanced by several western and Indian historians.

Under the current scenario, potential migrants or ‘invaders’ to India include a few ‘hired or weird’ Pakistani bombers, villagers from around India’s border with Bangladesh, Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka and prostitutes from Nepal.

The 92 year old Indian painter Maqbool Fida Hussain lives in Dubai after receiving death threats from Hindu militants.

According to Hindu extremists, Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin has passed all the tests for Indian citizenship. On the other hand, Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, the Christian widow of Rajiv Gandhi, is still considered to be a foreigner by Hindu elites, while Pakistan-born Hindu Lal Krishna Advani is ‘legally and morally fit’ to become India’s next Prime Minister.

Leave India!

Sixty years ago Indians asked the British to get out of India. Now they are doing it themselves. To live with dignity and enjoy relative freedom, one has to leave India! With this massive exodus, what will be left behind will be a violently charged and polarized society.

The Hindutvadis’ Fake National Pride in India

A 2006 opinion poll by Outlook-AC Nielsen indicated that 46% of India’s urban class wants to move to the US. Interestingly, in the Hindutva heartland of Gujarat, 54% of people want to move to US.

Even Parliament members of the Hindutva party are involved in human trafficking from India. Recently police arrested Babubhai Katara, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, who was part of such a racket. He received $20,000 per person to move his victims to the US.

When Indians are fleeing all over the world to just to find a job, how can these Hindutva idiots claim any “National Pride of India”?

India is the World Bank’s largest borrower. In June 2007, it provided $3.7bn in new loans to India. Due to the fake ‘India Shining’ propaganda launched by Hindutva idiots, foreign donors are reluctant to help the poor people in this country. According to figures provided by Britain’s aid agency, the total aid to India, from all sources, is only $1.50 a head, compared with an average of $17 per head for low-income countries [Financial Times].

Gridlocked in corruption, greed, inhumanity and absolute inequality – of class, caste, wealth, religion – this is the real India. Hindutva idiots, your false pride and antics embarrass us.

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Does Multilingualism Equal Separatism?

Repost from the old site.

Sorry for the long post, readers, but I have been working on this piece off and on for months now. It’s not something I just banged out. For one thing, this is the only list that I know of on the Net that lists all of the countries of the world and shows how many languages are spoken there in an easy to access format. Not even Wikipedia has that (yet).

Whether or not states have the right to secede is an interesting question. The libertarian Volokh Conspiracy takes that on in this nice set of posts. We will not deal with that here; instead, we will take on the idea that linguistic diversity automatically leads to secession.

There is a notion floating around among fetishists of the state that there can be no linguistic diversity within the nation, as it will lead to inevitable separatism. In this post, I shall disprove that with empirical data. First, we will list the states in the world, along with how many languages are spoken in that state.

States with a significant separatist movement are noted with an asterisk. As you can see if you look down the list, there does not seem to be much of a link between multilingualism and separatism. There does seem to be a trend in that direction in Europe, though.

Afterward, I will discuss the nature of the separatist conflicts in many of these states to try to see if there is any language connection. In most cases, there is little or nothing there.

I fully expect the myth of multilingualism = separatism to persist after the publication of this post, unfortunately.

St Helena                        1
British Indian Ocean Territories 1
Pitcairn Island                  1
Estonia                          1
Maldives                         1
North Korea                      1
South Korea                      1
Cayman Islands                   1
Bermuda                          1
Belarus                          1
Martinique                       2
St Lucia                         2
St Vincent & the Grenadines      2
Barbados                         2
Virgin Islands                   2
British Virgin Islands           2
Gibraltar                        2
Antigua and Barbuda              2
Saint Kitts and Nevis            2
Montserrat                       2
Anguilla                         2
Marshall Islands                 2
Cuba                             2
Turks and Caicos                 2
Guam                             2
Tokelau                          2
Samoa                            2
American Samoa                   2
Niue                             2
Jamaica                          2
Cape Verde Islands               2
Icelandic                        2
Maltese                          2
Maltese                          2
Vatican State                    2
Haiti                            2
Kiribati                         2
Tuvalu                           2
Bahamas                          2
Puerto Rico                      2
Kyrgyzstan                       3
Rwanda                           3
Nauru                            3
Turkmenistan                     3
Luxembourg                       3
Monaco                           3
Burundi                          3
Seychelles                       3
Grenada                          3
Bahrain                          3
Tonga                            3
Qatar                            3
Kuwait                           3
Dominica                         3
Liechtenstein                    3
Andorra                          3
Reunion                          3
Dominican Republic               3
Netherlands Antilles             4
Northern Mariana Islands         4
Palestinian West Bank & Gaza     4
Palau                            4
Mayotte                          4
Cyprus*                          4
Bosnia and Herzegovina*          4
Slovenia and Herzegovina*        4
Swaziland                        4
Sao Tome and Principe            4
Guadalupe                        4
Saudi Arabia                     5
Cook Islands                     5
Latvia                           5
Lesotho                          5
Djibouti                         5
Ireland                          5
Moldova                          5
Armenia                          6
Mauritius                        6
Lebanon                          6
Mauritania                       6
Croatia                          6
Kazakhstan                       7
Kazakhstan                       7
Albania                          7
Portugal                         7
Uzbekistan                       7
Sri Lanka*                       7
United Arab Emirates             7
Comoros                          7
Belize                           8
Tunisia                          8
Denmark                          8
Yemen                            8
Morocco*                         9
Austria                          9
Jordan                           9
Macedonia                        9
Tajikistan                       9
French Polynesia                 9
Gambia                           9
Belgium                          9
Libya                            9
Fiji                             10
Slovakia                         10
Ukraine                          10
Egypt                            11
Bulgaria                         11
Norway                           11
Poland                           11
Serbia and Montenegro            11
Eritrea                          12
Georgia*                         12
Finland*                         12
Switzerland*                     12
Hungary*                         12
United Kingdom*                  12
Mongolia                         13
Spain                            13
Somalia*                         13
Oman                             13
Madagascar                       13
Malawi                           14
Equatorial Guinea                14
Mali                             14
Azerbaijan                       14
Japan                            15
Syria*                           15
Romania*                         15
Sweden*                          15
Netherlands*                     15
Greece                           16
Brunei                           17
Algeria                          18
Micronesia                       18
East Timor                       19
Zimbabwe                         19
Niger                            21
Singapore                        21
Cambodia                         21
Iraq*                            21
Guinea-Bissau                    21
Taiwan                           22
Bhutan                           24
Sierra Leone                     24
South Africa                     24
Germany                          28
Namibia                          28
Botswana                         28
France                           29
Liberia                          30
Israel                           33
Italy                            33
Guinea                           34
Turkey*                          34
Senegal                          36
Bangladesh                       39
New Caledonia                    39
Togo                             39
Angola*                          41
Gabon                            41
Zambia                           41
Mozambique                       43
Uganda                           43
Afghanistan                      47
Guatemala                        54
Benin                            54
Kenya                            61
Congo                            62
Burkina Faso                     68
Central African Republic         69
Solomon Islands                  70
Thailand*                        74
Iran*                            77
Cote D'Ivoire                    78
Ghana                            79
Laos                             82
Ethiopia*                        84
Canada*                          85
Russia*                          101
Vietnam                          102
Myanmar*                         108
Vanuatu                          109
Nepal                            126
Tanzania                         128
Chad                             132
Sudan*                           134
Malaysia                         140
United States*                   162
Philippines*                     171
Pakistan*                        171
Democratic Republic of Congo     214
Australia                        227
China*                           235
Cameroon*                        279
Mexico                           291
India*                           415
Nigeria                          510
Indonesia*                       737
Papua New Guinea*                820

*Starred states have a separatist problem, but most are not about language. Most date back to the very formation of an often-illegitimate state.

Canada definitely has a conflict that is rooted in language, but it is also rooted in differential histories as English and French colonies. The Quebec nightmare is always brought up by state fetishists, ethnic nationalists and other racists and nationalists who hate minorities as the inevitable result of any situation whereby a state has more than one language within its borders.

This post is designed to give the lie to this view.

Cyprus’ problem has to do with two nations, Greeks and Turks, who hate each other. The history for this lies in centuries of conflict between Christianity and Islam, culminating in the genocide of 350,000 Greeks in Turkey from 1916-1923.

Morocco’s conflict has nothing to do with language. Spanish Sahara was a Spanish colony in Africa. After the Spanish left in the early 1950’s, Morocco invaded the country and colonized it, claiming in some irredentist way that the land had always been a part of Morocco. The residents beg to differ and say that they are a separate state.

An idiotic conflict ensued in which Morocco the colonizer has been elevated to one of the most sanctioned nations of all by the UN. Yes, Israel is not the only one; there are other international scofflaws out there. In this conflict, as might be expected, US imperialism has supported Moroccan colonialism.

This Moroccan colonialism has now become settler-colonialism, as colonialism often does. You average Moroccan goes livid if you mention their colony. He hates Israel, but Morocco is nothing but an Arab Muslim Israel. If men had a dollar for every drop of hypocrisy, we would be a world of millionaires.

There are numerous separatist conflicts in Somalia. As Somalians have refused to perform their adult responsibilities and form a state, numerous parts of this exercise in anarchism in praxis (Why are the anarchists not cheering this on?) are walking away from the burning house. Who could blame them?

These splits seem to have little to do with language. One, Somaliland, was a former British colony and has a different culture than the rest of Somalia. Somaliland is now de facto independent, as Somalia, being a glorious exercise in anarchism, of course lacks an army to enforce its borders, or to do anything.

Jubaland has also split, but this has nothing to do with language. Instead, this may be rooted in a 36-year period in which it was a British colony. Soon after this period, they had their own postage stamps as an Italian colony.

There is at least one serious separatist conflict in Ethiopia in the Ogaden region, which is mostly populated by ethnic Somalis. Apparently this region used to be part of Somaliland, and Ethiopia probably has little claim to the region. This conflict has little do with language and more to do with conflicts rooted in colonialism and the illegitimate borders of states.

There is also a conflict in the Oromo region of Ethiopia that is not going very far lately. These people have been fighting colonialism since Ethiopia was a colony and since then have been fighting against independent Ethiopia, something they never went along with. Language has a role here, but the colonization of a people by various imperial states plays a larger one.

There was a war in Southern Sudan that has now ended with the possibility that the area may secede.

There is a genocidal conflict in Darfur that the world is ignoring because it involves Arabs killing Blacks as they have always done in this part of the world, and the world only gets upset when Jews kill Muslims, not when Muslims kill Muslims.

This conflict has to do with the Sudanese Arabs treating the Darfurians with utter contempt – they regard them as slaves, as they have always been to these racist Arabs.

The conflict in Southern Sudan involved a region in rebellion in which many languages were spoken. The South Sudanese are also niggers to the racist Arabs, plus they are Christian and animist infidels to be converted by the sword by Sudanese Arab Muslims. Every time a non-Muslim area has tried to split off from or acted uppity with a Muslim state they were part of, the Muslims have responded with a jihad against and genocide of the infidels.

This conflict has nothing to do with language; instead it is a war of Arab Muslim religious fanatics against Christian and animist infidels.

There is a separatist movement in the South Cameroons in the nation of Cameroon in Africa. This conflict is rooted in colonialism. During the colonial era, South Cameroons was a de facto separate state. Many different languages are spoken here, as is the case in Cameroon itself. They may have a separate culture too, but this is just another case of separatism rooted in colonialism. The movement seems to be unarmed.

There is a separatist conflict in Angola in a region called Cabinda, which was always a separate Portuguese colony from Angola.

As this area holds 60% of Angola’s oil, it’s doubtful that Angola will let it go, although almost all of Angola’s oil wealth is being stolen anyway by US transnationals and a tiny elite while 90% of the country starves, has no medicine and lives unemployed amid shacks along former roads now barely passable.

The Cabindans do claim to have a separate culture, but language does not seem to be playing much role here – instead, oil and colonialism are.

Syria does have a Kurdish separatist movement, as does Iran, Iraq, and Turkey – every state that has a significant number of Kurds. This conflict goes back to the post-World War 1 breakup of the Ottoman Empire. The Kurds, with thousands of years of history as a people, nominally independent for much of that time, were denied a state and sold out.

The new fake state called Turkey carved up part of Kurdistan, another part was donated to the British colony in Iraq and another to the French colony in Syria, as the Allies carved up the remains of the Empire like hungry guests at a feast.

This conflict is more about colonialism and extreme discrimination than language, though the Kurds do speak their own tongue. There is also a Kurdish separatist conflict in Iran, but I don’t know much about the history of the Iranian Kurds.

There is also an Assyrian separatist movement in Iraq and possibly in Syria. The movement is unarmed. The Assyrians have been horribly persecuted by Arab nationalist racists in the region, in part because they are Christians. They have been targeted by Islamo-Nazis in Iraq during this Iraq War with a ferocity that can only be described as genocidal.

The Kurds have long persecuted the Assyrians in Iraqi Kurdistan. There have been regular homicides of Assyrians in the north, up around the Mosul region. This is just related to the general way that Muslims treat Christian minorities in many Muslim states – they persecute them and even kill them. There is also a lot of land theft going on.

While the Kurdish struggle is worthwhile, it is becoming infected with the usual nationalist evil that afflicts all ethnic nationalism. This results in everyone who is not a Kurdish Sunni Muslim being subjected to varying degrees of persecution, disenfranchisement and discrimination. It’s a nasty part of the world.

In Syria, the Assyrians live up near the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Arab nationalist racists have been stealing their land for decades now and relocating the Assyrians to model villages, where they languish in poverty. Assad’s regime is not so secular and progressive as one might suspect.

There is a separatist conflict in Bougainville in New Guinea. I am sure that many different tongues are spoken on that island, as there are 800 different tongues spoken in Papua New Guinea. The conflict is rooted in the fact that Bougainville is rich in copper, but almost all of this wealth is stolen by Papua New Guinea and US multinationals, so the Bougainville people see little of it. Language has little or nothing to do with it.

There are separatist movements in the Ahwaz and Balochistan regions of Iran, along with the aforementioned Kurdish movement. It is true that different languages are spoken in these regions, but that has little to do with the conflict.

Arabic is spoken in Khuzestan, the land of the Iranian Arabs. This land has been part of Persia for around 2,000 years as the former land of Elam. The Arabs complain that they are treated poorly by the Persians, and that they get little revenue to their region even though they are sitting on a vast puddle of oil and natural gas.

Iran should not be expected to part with this land, as it is the source of much of their oil and gas wealth. Many or most Iranians speak Arabic anyway, so there is not much of a language issue. Further, Arab culture is promoted by the Islamist regime even at the expense of Iranian culture, much to the chagrin of Iranian nationalists.

The Ahwaz have been and are being exploited by viciously racist Arab nationalists in Iraq, and also by US imperialism, and most particularly lately, British imperialism, as the British never seem to have given up the colonial habit. This conflict is not about language at all. Most Ahwaz don’t even want to separate anyway; they just want to be treated like humans by the Iranians.

Many of Iran’s 8% Sunni population lives in Balochistan. The region has maybe 2% of Iran’s population and is utterly neglected by Iran. Sunnis are treated with extreme racist contempt by the Shia Supremacists who run Iran. This conflict has to do with the fight between the Shia and Sunni wings of Islam and little or nothing to do with language.

There is a separatist movement in Iran to split off Iranian Azerbaijan and merge it with Azerbaijan proper. This movement probably has little to do with language and more to do with just irredentism. The movement is not going to go very far because most Iranian Azeris do not support it.

Iranian Azeris actually form a ruling class in Iran and occupy most of the positions of power in the government. They also control a lot of the business sector and seem to have a higher income than other Iranians. This movement has been co-opted by pan-Turkish fascists for opportunistic reasons, but it’s not really going anywhere. The CIA is now cynically trying to stir it up with little success. The movement is peaceful.

There is a Baloch insurgency in Pakistan, but language has little to do with it. These fiercely independent people sit on top of a very rich land which is ruthlessly exploited by Punjabis from the north. They get little or no return from this natural gas wealth. Further, this region never really consented to being included in the Pakistani state that was carved willy-nilly out of India in 1947.

It is true that there are regions in the Caucasus that are rebelling against Russia. Given the brutal and bloody history of Russian imperial colonization of this region and the near-continuous rebellious state of the Muslims resident there, one wants to say they are rebelling against Imperial Russia.

Chechnya is the worst case, but Ingushetia is not much better, and things are bad in Dagestan too. There is also fighting in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. These non-Chechen regions are getting increasingly radicalized as consequence of the Chechen War. There has also been a deliberate strategy on the part of the Chechens to expand the conflict over to the other parts of the Caucasus.

Past rebellions were often pan-Caucasian also. Although very different languages are spoken in these areas, different languages are still spoken all across Russia. Language has little to do with these conflicts, as they have more to do with Russian imperialism and colonization of these lands and the near 200-year violent resistance of these fierce Muslim mountain tribes to being colonized by Slavic infidels.

There is not much separatism in the rest of Russia.

Tuva reserves the right to split away, but this is rooted in their prior history as an independent state within the USSR (Tell me how that works?) for two decades until 1944, when Stalin reconquered it as a result of the conflict with the Nazis. The Tuvans accepted peacefully.

Yes, the Tuvans speak a different tongue, but so do all of the Siberian nations, and most of those are still with Russia. Language has little to do with the Tuvan matter.

There is also separatism in the Bashkir Republic and Adygea in Russia. These have not really gone anywhere. Only 21% of the residents of
Adygea speak Circassian, and they see themselves as overrun by Russian-speaking immigrants. This conflict may have something to do with language. The Adygean conflict is also peripherally related the pan-Caucasian struggle above.

In the Bashkir Republic, the problem is more one of a different religion – Islam, as most Bashkirs are Muslim. It is not known to what degree language has played in the struggle, but it may be a factor. The Bashkirs also see themselves as overrun by Russian-speaking immigrants. It is dubious that the Bashkirs will be able to split off, as the result will be a separate nation surrounded on all sides by Russia.

The Adygean, Tuvan and Bashkir struggles are all peaceful.

The conflict in Georgia is complex. A province called Abkhazia has split off and formed their own de facto state, which has been supported with extreme cynicism by up and coming imperialist Russia, the same clown state that just threatened to go to war to defend the territorial integrity of their genocidal Serbian buddies. South Ossetia has also split off and wants to join Russia.

Both of these reasonable acts prompted horrible and insane wars as Georgia sought to preserve its territorial integrity, though it has scarcely been a state since 1990, and neither territory ever consented to being part of Georgia.

The Ossetians and Abkhazians do speak separate languages, and I am not certain why they want to break away, but I do not think that language has much to do with it. All parties to these conflicts are majority Orthodox Christians.

Myanmar is a hotbed of nations in rebellion against the state. Burma was carved out of British East India in 1947. Part of Burma had actually been part of British India itself, while the rest was a separate colony called Burma. No sooner was the ink dry on the declaration of independence than most of these nations in rebellion announced that they were not part of the deal.

Bloody rebellions have gone on ever since, and language has little or nothing to do with any of them. They are situated instead on the illegitimacy of not only the borders of the Burmese state, but of the state itself.

Thailand does have a separatist movement, but it is Islamic. They had a separate state down there until the early 1800’s when they were apparently conquered by Thais. I believe they do speak a different language down there, but it is not much different from Thai, and I don’t think language has anything to do with this conflict.

There is a conflict in the Philippines that is much like the one in Thailand. Muslims in Mindanao have never accepted Christian rule from Manila and are in open arms against the state. Yes, they speak different languages down in Mindanao, but they also speak Tagalog, the language of the land.

This just a war of Muslims seceding because they refuse to be ruled by infidels. Besides, this region has a long history of independence, de facto and otherwise, from the state. The Moro insurgency has little to nothing to do with language.

There are separatist conflicts in Indonesia. The one in Aceh seems to have petered out. Aceh never agreed to join the fake state of Indonesia that was carved out of the Dutch East Indies when the Dutch left in 1949.

West Papua is a colony of Indonesia. It was invaded by Indonesia with the full support of US imperialism in 1965. The Indonesians then commenced to murder 100,000 Papuans over the next 40 years. There are many languages spoken in West Papua, but that has nothing to do with the conflict. West Papuans are a racially distinct people divided into vast numbers of tribes, each with a separate culture.

They have no connection racially or culturally with the rest of Indonesia and do not wish to be part of the state. They were not a part of the state when it was declared in 1949 and were only incorporated after an Indonesian invasion of their land in 1965. Subsequently, Indonesia has planted lots of settler-colonists in West Papua.

There is also a conflict in the South Moluccas , but it has more to do with religion than anything else, since there is a large number of Christians in this area. The South Moluccans were always reluctant to become a part of the new fake Indonesian state that emerged after independence anyway, and I believe there was some fighting for a while there. The South Moluccan struggle has generally been peaceful ever since.

Indonesia is the Israel of Southeast Asia, a settler-colonial state. The only difference is that the Indonesians are vastly more murderous and cruel than the Israelis.

There are conflicts in Tibet and East Turkestan in China. In the case of Tibet, this is a colony of China that China has no jurisdiction over. The East Turkestan fight is another case of Muslims rebelling against infidel rule. Yes, different languages are spoken here, but this is the case all over China.

Language is involved in the East Turkestan conflict in that Chinese have seriously repressed the Uighur language, but I don’t think it plays much role in Tibet.

There is also a separatist movement in Inner Mongolia in China. I do not think that language has much to do with this, and I believe that China’s claim to Inner Mongolia may be somewhat dubious. This movement is unarmed and not very organized.

There are conflicts all over India, but they don’t have much to do with language.

The Kashmir conflict is not about language but instead is rooted in the nature of the partition of India after the British left in 1947. 90% of Kashmiris wanted to go to Pakistan, but the ruler of Kashmir was a Hindu, and he demanded to stay in India.

The UN quickly ruled that Kashmir had to be granted a vote in its future, but this vote was never allowed by India. As such, India is another world-leading rogue and scofflaw state on a par with Israel and Indonesia. Now the Kashmir mess has been complicated by the larger conflict between India and Pakistan, and until that is all sorted out, there will be no resolution to this mess.

Obviously India has no right whatsoever to rule this area, and the Kashmir cause ought to be taken up by all progressives the same way that the Palestinian one is.

There are many conflicts in the northeast, where most of the people are Asians who are racially, often religiously and certainly culturally distinct from the rest of Indians.

None of these regions agreed to join India when India, the biggest fake state that has ever existed, was carved out of 5,000 separate princely states in 1947. Each of these states had the right to decide its own future to be a part of India or not. As it turned out, India just annexed the vast majority of them and quickly invaded the few that said no.

“Bharat India”, as Indian nationalist fools call it, as a state, is one of the silliest concepts around. India has no jurisdiction over any of those parts of India in separatist rebellion, if you ask me. Language has little to do with these conflicts.

Over 800 languages are spoken in India anyway, each state has its own language, and most regions are not in rebellion over this. Multilingualism with English and Hindi to cement it together has worked just fine in most of India.

Sri Lanka’s conflict does involve language, but more importantly it involves centuries of extreme discrimination by ruling Buddhist Sinhalese against minority Hindu Tamils. Don’t treat your minorities like crap, and maybe they will not take up arms against you.

The rebellion in the Basque country of Spain and France is about language, as is Catalonian nationalism.

IRA Irish nationalism and the Scottish and Welsh independence movements have nothing to do with language, as most of these languages are not in good shape anyway.

The Corsicans are in rebellion against France, and language may play a role. There is an independence movement in Brittany in France also, and language seems to play a role here, or at least the desire to revive the language, which seems to be dying.

There is a possibility that Belgium may split into Flanders and Wallonia, and language does play a huge role in this conflict. One group speaks French and the other Dutch.

There is a movement in Scania, a part of Sweden, to split away from Sweden. Language seems to have nothing to do with it.

There is a Hungarian separatist movement, or actually, a national reunification or pan-Hungarian movement, in Romania. It isn’t going anywhere, and it unlikely to succeed. Hungarians in Romania have not been treated well and are a large segment of the population. This fact probably drives the separatism more than language.

There are many other small conflicts in Europe that I chose not to go into due to limitations on time and the fact that I am getting tired of writing this post! Perhaps I can deal with them at a later time. Language definitely plays a role in almost all of these conflicts. None of them are violent though.

To say that there are separatists in French Polynesia is not correct. This is an anti-colonial movement that deserves the support of anti-colonial activists the world over. The entire world, evidenced by the UN itself, has rejected colonialism. Only France, the UK and the US retain colonies. That right there is notable, as all three are clearly imperialist countries. In this modern age, the value of retaining colonies is dubious.

These days, colonizers pour more money into colonies than they get out of them. France probably keeps Polynesia due to colonial pride and also as a place to test nuclear weapons and maintain military bases. As the era of French imperialism on a grand scale has clearly passed, France needs to renounce its fantasies of being a glorious imperial power along with its anachronistic colonies.

Yes, there is a Mapuche separatist movement in Chile, but it is not going anywhere soon, or ever.

It has little to do with language. The Mapudungan language is not even in very good shape, and the leaders of this movement are a bunch of morons. Microsoft recently unveiled a Mapudungan language version of Microsoft Windows. You would think that the Mapuche would be ecstatic. Not so! They were furious. Why? Oh, I forget. Some Identity Politics madness.

This movement has everything to do with the history of Chile. Like Argentina and Uruguay, Chile was one of the Spanish colonies that was settled en masse late. For centuries, a small colonial bastion battled the brave Mapuche warriors, but were held at bay by this skilled and militaristic tribe.

Finally, in the late 1800’s, a fanatical and genocidal war was waged on the Mapuche in one of those wonderful “national reunification” missions so popular in the 1800’s (recall Italy’s wars of national reunification around this same time). By the 1870’s, the Mapuche were defeated and suffered a devastating loss of life.

Yet all those centuries of only a few Spanish colonists and lots of Indians had made their mark, and at least 70% of Chileans are mestizos, though they are mostly White (about 80% White on average). The Mapuche subsequently made a comeback and today number about 9% of the population.

Because they held out so long and so many of them survived, they are one of the most militant Amerindian groups in the Americas. They are an interesting people, light-skinned and attractive, though a left-wing Chilean I knew used to chortle about how hideously ugly they were.

Hawaiian separatism is another movement that has a lot to do with colonialism and imperialism and little to do with language. The Hawaiian language, despite some notable recent successes, is not in very good shape. The Hawaiian independence movement offers nothing to non-Hawaiians (I guess only native Hawaiians get to be citizens!) and is doomed to fail.

Hawaiians are about 22% of the population, and they are the only ones that support the independence movement. No one else supports it. It’s not going anywhere. The movers and shakers on the island (Non-Hawaiians for the most part!) all think it’s ridiculous.

There are separatists in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, but I doubt that language has much to do with it. Like the myriad other separatist struggles in the NE of India, these people are ethnically Asians and as such are not the same ethnicity as the Caucasians who make up the vast majority of the population of this wreck of a state.

This is another conflict that is rooted in a newly independent fake state. The Chittagong Hill Tracts were incorporated into Bangladesh after its independence from Pakistan in 1971. As a fake new state, the peoples of Bangladesh had a right to be consulted on whether or not they wished to be a part of it. The CHT peoples immediately said that they wanted no part of this new state.

At partition, the population was 98.5% Asian. They were Buddhists, Hindus and animists. Since then, the fascist Bangladesh state has sent Bengali Muslim settler-colonists to the region. The conflict is shot through with racism and religious bigotry, as Muslim Bengalis have rampaged through the region, killing people randomly and destroying stuff as they see fit. Language does not seem to have much to do with this conflict.

I don’t know much about the separatist struggle of the Moi in Vietnam, but I think it is more a movement for autonomy than anything else. The Moi are Montagnards and have probably suffered discrimination at the hands of the state along with the rest of the Montagnards.

Zanzibar separatism in Tanzania seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with language, but has a lot more to do with geography. Zanzibar is a nice island off the coast of Tanzania which probably wants nothing to do with the mess of a Tanzanian state.

The conflict also has a lot to do with race. Most residents of Zanzibar are either Arabs or descendants of unions between Arabs and Africans. In particular, they deny that they are Black Africans. I bet that is the root of the conflict right there.

There were some Talysh separatists in Azerbaijan a while back, but the movement seems to be over. I am not sure what was driving them, but language doesn’t seem to have been a big part of it. Just another case of new members of a fake new state refusing to go along for the ride.

There were some Gagauz separatists in Moldova a while back, but the movement appears to have died down. Language does seem to have played a role here, as the Gagauz speak a Turkic tongue totally unrelated to the Romance-speaking Moldovans.

Realistically, it’s just another case of a fake new state emerging and some members of the new state saying they don’t want to be a part of it, and the leaders of the fake new state suddenly invoking inviolability of borders in a state with no history!

In summary, as we saw above, once we get into Europe, language does play a greater role in separatist conflict, but most of these European conflicts are not violent. In the rest of the world, language plays little to no role in the vast majority of separatist conflicts.

The paranoid and frankly fascist notion voiced by rightwing nationalists the world over that any linguistic diversity in the world within states must be crushed as it will inevitably lead to separatism at best or armed separatism at worst is not supported by the facts.

Chavez’s Right Turn: State Realism versus International Solidarity,” by James Petras

This is an excellent article by James Petras.

He shows how Hugo Chavez has turned so far to the right that he is now in some ways one of the most rightwing Presidents in Latin America. For instance, only Chavez has supported the US and Colombia in backing the Honduran coup regime. And he is becoming one of Colombia’s sole allies in the region.

Why has he done this? A few reasons. For one, he’s surrounded and threatened. Colombia keeps threatening the invade Venezuela to go after Colombian rebels that hide there, and the US under “liberal” Barack Obama has just stationed 7 new military bases in Colombia for the sole purpose of attacking the Colombian guerrillas and threatening Venezuela. Colombia built up forces on the border, repeatedly crossed the Venezuelan border, and moved Colombian death squads into Venezuela to attack the people.

The Colombian guerrillas are on the defensive and can no longer provide the buffer that they formerly provided along the border to a Colombian invasion of Venezuela.

The Obama-backed coup against Honduras, which has resulted in a wave of murders against the Honduran Left, changed things. Chavez now realized that the Obama regime was willing to use military force to get what it wanted in Latin America.

At home, the opposition has made its strongest showing in a decade, winning about 50% of the latest vote, an election in which there was extreme US intervention on the side of the opposition.

In other words, he’s boxed in with nowhere to turn. Under these circumstances, Chavez has decided that the Colombian guerrillas, who they used to support, are a liability. He has been cooperating with Colombia in handing over guerrillas who are in Venezuela. He signed a non-aggression agreement with Colombia in return for an agreement to help catch any Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela. However, he has gotten little in return for this other than that Colombia has stopped invading and threatening his territory.Colombia still maintains a deep alliance with Chavez enemy, the US. Colombian forces are still massed along Venezuela’s borders.

Chavez hope to keep Colombia from joining in the US in any joint US-Colombian military escapades inside Venezuela. He also hopes to keep Colombia from joining in any US propaganda-destabilization efforts in Venezuela.

However, the threats have escalated, and the US appears emboldened. Chavez’ moves to the Right have not earned him the tiniest bit of praise or space from the US – they hate him more than ever. US imperialism slapped an embargo on the Venezuelan oil company due to Venezuela trading with Iran. I am not sure what this embargo entails? Incredibly, the Venezuelan opposition supported this foreign embargo on Venezuela! What a bunch of traitors.

Following his new alliance with Colombia, Chavez became the only nation other than Colombia in Latin America which has recognized the coup regime in Honduras. He did this under pressure from Colombia.

Petras points out how Allende’s Chile, Mexico in the 1980’s, Cuba and Brazil have all harbored Latin American guerrillas (in Brazil’s case, an Italian guerrilla). They refused to extradite them. But Chavez is boxed in in a way that these regimes may not have been.

Petras shows how other Left regimes also cooperated with the Right at various times. Stalin cooperated with Hitler for a while in order to buy some time to move his industry east of the Urals and build up his military-industrial complex. He even sent some German Communists who were hiding in the USSR to Germany, where they were certainly tortured and killed. But Stalin was boxed in, and he needed to buy some time, so he made a deal with the devil.

In the early 1970’s, Mao entered into a new alliance with the US under Richard Nixon’s detente. Afterward, Mao supported Pinochet and the rightist rebels in Angola. They denounced any Left regime that head the slightest ties with the USSR and supported their enemies, no matter how rightwing they were. All for the benefits of a sunshine policy with the US.

In the event of a new confrontation with the US, can Chavez expect his new Colombian ally to be neutral? Dubious. Colombia will probably ally with its imperial master in the US. And can he expect any support for the radical Left in Latin America now that he has betrayed them? This also is dubious. He may well end up with no friends at all.

Chavez’s Right Turn: State Realism versus International Solidarity

Introduction

The radical “Bolivarian Socialist” government of Hugo Chavez has arrested a number of Colombian guerrilla leaders and a radical journalist with Swedish citizenship and handed them over to the right-wing regime of President Juan Manuel Santos, earning the Colombian government’s praise and gratitude.

The close on-going collaboration between a leftist President with a regime with a notorious history of human rights violations, torture and disappearance of political prisoners has led to widespread protests among civil liberty advocates, leftists and populists throughout Latin America and Europe, while pleasing the Euro-American imperial establishment.

On April 26, 2011, Venezuelan immigration officials, relying exclusively on information from the Colombian secret police (DAS), arrested a naturalized Swedish citizen and journalist (Joaquin Perez Becerra) of Colombian descent, who had just arrived in the country. Based on Colombian secret police allegations that the Swedish citizen was a ‘FARC leader’, Perez was extradited to Colombia within 48 hours.

Despite the fact that it was in violation of international diplomatic protocols and the Venezuelan constitution, this action had the personal backing of President Chavez. A month later, the Venezuelan armed forces joined their Colombian counterparts and captured a leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Guillermo Torres (with the nom de Guerra Julian Conrado) who is awaiting extradition to Colombia in a Venezuelan prison without access to an attorney.

On March 17, Venezuelan Military Intelligence (DIM) detained two alleged guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN), Carlos Tirado and Carlos Perez, and turned them over to the Colombian secret police. The new public face of Chavez as a partner of the repressive Colombian regime is not so new after all.

On December 13, 2004, Rodrigo Granda, an international spokesperson for the FARC and a naturalized Venezuelan citizen, whose family resided in Caracas, was snatched by plain-clothes Venezuelan intelligence agents in downtown Caracas where he had been participating in an international conference and secretly taken to Colombia with the ‘approval’ of the Venezuelan Ambassador in Bogota.

Following several weeks of international protest, including from many conference participants, President Chavez issued a statement describing the ‘kidnapping’ as a violation of Venezuelan sovereignty and threatened to break relations with Colombia.

In more recent times, Venezuela has stepped up the extradition of revolutionary political opponents of Colombia’s narco-regime: In the first five months of 2009, Venezuela extradited 15 alleged members of the ELN and in November 2010, a FARC militant and two suspected members of the ELN were handed over to the Colombian police. In January 2011 Nilson Teran Ferreira, a suspected ELN leader, was delivered to the Colombian military.

The collaboration between Latin America’s most notorious authoritarian rightwing regime and the supposedly most radical ‘socialist’ government raises important issues about the meaning of political identities and how they relate to domestic and international politics and more specifically what principles and interests guide state policies.

Revolutionary Solidarity and State Interests

The recent ‘turn’ in Venezuela politics, from expressing sympathy and even support for revolutionary struggles and movements in Latin America to its present collaboration with pro-imperial rightwing regimes, has numerous historical precedents. It may help to examine the contexts and circumstances of these collaborations: The Bolshevik revolutionary government in Russia initially gave whole hearted support to revolutionary uprisings in Germany, Hungary, Finland and elsewhere.

With the defeats of these revolts and the consolidation of the capitalist regimes, Russian state and economic interests took prime of place among the Bolshevik leaders. Trade and investment agreements, peace treaties and diplomatic recognition between Communist Russia and the Western capitalist states defined the new politics of “co-existence”. With the rise of fascism, the Soviet Union under Stalin further subordinated communist policy in order to secure state-to-state alliances, first with the Western Allies and, failing that, with Nazi Germany.

The Hitler-Stalin pact was conceived by the Soviets as a way to prevent a German invasion and to secure its borders from a sworn rightwing enemy. As part of Stalin’s expression of good faith, he handed over to Hitler a number of leading exiled German communist leaders, who had sought asylum in Russia. Not surprisingly they were tortured and executed. This practice stopped only after Hitler invaded Russia and Stalin encouraged the now decimated ranks of German communists to re-join the ‘anti-Nazi’ underground resistance.

In the early 1970’s, as Mao’s China reconciled with Nixon’s United States and broke with the Soviet Union, Chinese foreign policy shifted toward supporting US-backed counter-revolutionaries, including Holden Roberts in Angola and Pinochet in Chile.

China denounced any leftist government and movement, which, however faintly, had ties with the USSR, and embraced their enemies, no matter how subservient they were to Euro-American imperial interests.

In Stalin’s USSR and Mao’s China, short-term ‘state interests’ trumped revolutionary solidarity. What were these ‘state interests’?

In the case of the USSR, Stalin gambled that a ‘peace pact’ with Hitler’s Germany would protect them from an imperialist Nazi invasion and partially end the encirclement of Russia.

Stalin no longer trusted in the strength of international working class solidarity to prevent war, especially in light of a series of revolutionary defeats and the generalized retreat of the Left over the previous decades (Germany, Span, Hungary and Finland) .The advance of fascism and the extreme right, unremitting Western hostility toward the USSR and the Western European policy of appeasing Hitler, convinced Stalin to seek his own peace pact with Germany.

In order to demonstrate their ‘sincerity’ toward its new ‘peace partner’, the USSR downplayed their criticism of the Nazis, urging Communist parties around the world to focus on attacking the West rather than Hitler’s Germany, and gave into Hitler’s demand to extradite German Communist “terrorists” who had found asylum in the Soviet Union.

Stalin’s pursuit of short term ‘state interests’ via pacts with the “far right” ended in a strategic catastrophe: Nazi Germany was free to first conquer Western Europe and then turned its guns on Russia, invading an unprepared USSR and occupying half the country. In the meantime the international anti-fascist solidarity movements had been weakened and temporarily disoriented by the zigzags of Stalin’s policies.

In the mid-1970’s, the Peoples Republic of China’s ‘reconciliation’ with the US, led to a turn in international policy: ‘US imperialism’ became an ally against the greater evil ‘Soviet social imperialism’.

As a result China, under Chairman Mao Tse Tung, urged its international supporters to denounce progressive regimes receiving Soviet aid (Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, etc.) and it withdrew its support for revolutionary armed resistance against pro-US client states in Southeast Asia. China’s ‘pact’ with Washington was to secure immediate ‘state interests’: Diplomatic recognition and the end of the trade embargo.

Mao’s short-term commercial and diplomatic gains were secured by sacrificing the more fundamental strategic goals of furthering socialist values at home and revolution abroad. As a result, China lost its credibility among Third World revolutionaries and anti-imperialists, in exchange for gaining the good graces of the White House and greater access to the capitalist world market.

Short-term “pragmatism’ led to long-term transformation: The Peoples Republic of China became a dynamic emerging capitalist power, with some of the greatest social inequalities in Asia and perhaps the world.

Venezuela: State Interests versus International Solidarity

The rise of radical politics in Venezuela, which is the cause and consequence of the election of President Chavez (1999), coincided with the rise of revolutionary social movements throughout Latin America from the late 1990’s to the middle of the first decade of the 21st century (1995-2005).

Neo-liberal regimes were toppled in Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina; mass social movements challenging neo-liberal orthodoxy took hold everywhere; the Colombian guerrilla movements were advancing toward the major cities; and center-left politicians were elected to power in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Uruguay. The US economic crises undermined the credibility of Washington’s ‘free trade’ agenda.

The increasing Asian demand for raw materials stimulated an economy boom in Latin America, which funded social programs and nationalizations. In the case of Venezuela, a failed US-backed military coup and ‘bosses’ boycott’ in 2002-2003, forced the Chavez government to rely on the masses and turn to the Left. Chavez proceeded to “re-nationalize” petroleum and related industries and articulate a “Bolivarian Socialist” ideology.

Chavez’ radicalization found a favorable climate in Latin America and the bountiful revenues from the rising price of oil financed his social programs. Chavez maintained a plural position of embracing governing center-left governments, backing radical social movements and supporting the Colombian guerrillas’ proposals for a negotiated settlement. Chavez called for the recognition of Colombia’s guerrillas as legitimate ‘belligerents” not “terrorists’.

Venezuela’s foreign policy was geared toward isolating its main threat emanating from Washington by promoting exclusively Latin American/Caribbean organizations, strengthening regional trade and investment links and securing regional allies in opposition to US intervention, military pacts, bases and US-backed military coups. In response to US financing of Venezuelan opposition groups (electoral and extra parliamentary), Chavez has provided moral and political support to anti-imperialist groups throughout Latin America.

After Israel and American Zionists began attacking Venezuela, Chavez extended his support to the Palestinians and broadened ties with Iran and other Arab anti-imperialist movements and regimes. Above all, Chavez strengthened his political and economic ties with Cuba, consulting with the Cuban leadership, to form a radical axis of opposition to imperialism. Washington’s effort to strangle the Cuban revolution by an economic embargo was effectively undermined by Chavez’ large-scale, long-term economic agreements with Havana.

Up until the later part of this decade, Venezuela’s foreign policy – its ‘state interests’ – coincided with the interests of the left regimes and social movements throughout Latin America. Chavez clashed diplomatically with Washington’s client states in the hemisphere, especially Colombia, headed by narco-death squad President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010). However recent years have witnessed several external and internal changes and a gradual shift toward the center.

The revolutionary upsurge in Latin America began to ebb: The mass upheavals led to the rise of center-left regimes, which, in turn, demobilized the radical movements and adopted strategies relying on agro-mineral export strategies, all the while pursuing autonomous foreign policies independent of US-control. The Colombian guerrilla movements were in retreat and on the defensive – their capacity to buffer Venezuela from a hostile Colombian client regime waned.

Chavez adapted to these ‘new realities’, becoming an uncritical supporter of the ‘social liberal’ regimes of Lula in Brazil, Morales in Bolivia, Correa in Ecuador, Vazquez in Uruguay and Bachelet in Chile. Chavez increasingly chose immediate diplomatic support from the existing regimes over any long-term support, which might have resulted from a revival of the mass movements.

Trade ties with Brazil and Argentina and diplomatic support from its fellow Latin American states against an increasingly aggressive US became central to Venezuela’s foreign policy: The basis of Venezuelan policy was no longer the internal politics of the center-left and centrist regimes but their degree of support for an independent foreign policy. Repeated US interventions failed to generate a successful coup or to secure any electoral victories, against Chavez.

As a result Washington increasingly turned to using external threats against Chavez via its Colombian client state, the recipient of $5 billion in military aid. Colombia’s military build-up, its border crossings and infiltration of death squads into Venezuela, forced Chavez into a large-scale purchase of Russian arms and toward the formation of a regional alliance (ALBA). The US-backed military coup in Honduras precipitated a major rethink in Venezuela’s policy.

The coup had ousted a democratically elected centrist liberal, President Zelaya in Honduras, a member of ALBA and set up a repressive regime subservient to the White House. However, the coup had the effect of isolating the US throughout Latin America -not a single government supported the new regime in Tegucigalpa. Even the neo-liberal regimes of Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Panama voted to expel Honduras from the Organization of American States.

On the one hand, Venezuela viewed this ‘unity’ of the right and center-left as an opportunity toward mending fences with the conservative regimes; and on the other, it understood that the Obama Administration was ready to use the ‘military option’ to regain its dominance. The fear of a US military intervention was greatly heightened by the Obama-Uribe agreement establishing seven US strategic military bases near its border with Venezuela.

Chavez wavered in his response to this immediate threat: At one point he almost broke trade and diplomatic relations with Colombia, only to immediately reconcile with Uribe, although the latter had demonstrated no desire to sign on to a pact of co-existence.

Meanwhile, the 2010 Congressional elections In Venezuela led to a major increase in electoral support for the US-backed right (approximately 50%) and their greater representation in Congress (40%). While the Right increased their support inside Venezuela, the Left in Colombia, both the guerrillas and the electoral opposition lost ground. Chavez could not count on any immediate counter-weight to a military provocation.

Chavez faced several options: The first was to return to the earlier policy of international solidarity with radical movements; the second was to continue working with the center-left regimes while maintaining strong criticism and firm opposition to the US backed neo-liberal regimes; and the third option was to turn toward the Right, more specifically to seek rapprochement with the newly elected President of Colombia, Santos and sign a broad political, military and economic agreement where Venezuela agreed to collaborate in eliminating Colombia’s leftist adversaries in exchange for promises of ‘non-aggression’ (Colombia limiting its cross-border narco and military incursions).

Venezuela and Chavez decided that the FARC was a liability and that support from the radical Colombian mass social movements was not as important as closer diplomatic relations with President Santos. Chavez has calculated that complying with Santos political demands would provide greater security to the Venezuelan state than relying on the support of the international solidarity movements and his own radical domestic allies among the trade unions and intellectuals.

In line with this Right turn, the Chavez regime fulfilled Santos’ requests – arresting FARC/ELN guerrillas, as well as a prominent leftist journalist, and extraditing them to a state which has had the worst human rights record in the Americas for over two decades, in terms of torture and extra-judicial assassinations. This Right turn acquires an even more ominous character when one considers that Colombia holds over 7600 political prisoners, over 7000 of whom are trade unionists, peasants, Indians, students, in other words non-combatants.

In acquiescing to Santos requests, Venezuela did not even follow the established protocols of most democratic governments: It did not demand any guaranties against torture and respect for due process. Moreover, when critics have pointed out that these summary extraditions violated Venezuela’s own constitutional procedures, Chavez launched a vicious campaign slandering his critics as agents of imperialism engaged in a plot to destabilize his regime.

Chavez’s new-found ally on the Right, President Santos has not reciprocated: Colombia still maintains close military ties with Venezuela’s prime enemy in Washington. Indeed, Santos vigorously sticks to the White House agenda: He successfully pressured Chavez to recognize the illegitimate regime of Lobos in Honduras- the product of a US-backed coup in exchange for the return of ousted ex-President Zelaya.

Chavez did what no other center-left Latin American President has dared to do: He promised to support the reinstatement of the illegitimate Honduran regime into the OAS. On the basis of the Chavez-Santos agreement, Latin American opposition to Lobos collapsed and Washington’s strategic goal was realized: a puppet regime was legitimized. Chavez agreement with Santos to recognize the murderous Lobos regime betrayed the heroic struggle of the Honduran mass movement.

Not one of the Honduran officials responsible for over a hundred murders and disappearances of peasant leaders, journalists, human rights and pro-democracy activists are subject to any judicial investigation. Chavez has given his blessings to impunity and the continuation of an entire repressive apparatus, backed by the Honduran oligarchy and the US Pentagon.

In other words, to demonstrate his willingness to uphold his ‘friendship and peace pact’ with Santos, Chavez was willing to sacrifice the struggle of one of the most promising and courageous pro-democracy movements in the Americas.

And What Does Chavez Seek in His Accommodation with the Right?

Security? Chavez has received only verbal ‘promises’, and some expressions of gratitude from Santos.

But the enormous pro-US military command and US mission remain in place. In other words, there will be no dismantling of the Colombian paramilitary-military forces massed along the Venezuelan border and the US military base agreements, which threaten Venezuelan national security, will not change. According to Venezuelan diplomats, Chavez’ tactic is to ‘win over’ Santos from US tutelage.

By befriending Santos, Chavez hopes that Bogota will not join in any joint military operation with the US or cooperate in future propaganda-destabilization campaigns. In the brief time since the Santos-Chavez pact was made, an emboldened Washington announced an embargo on the Venezuelan state oil company with the support of the Venezuelan congressional opposition. Santos, for his part, has not complied with the embargo, but then not a single country in the world has followed Washington’s lead.

Clearly, President Santos is not likely to endanger the annual $10 billion dollar trade between Colombia and Venezuela in order to humor the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s diplomatic caprices. In contrast to Chavez policy of handing over leftist and guerrilla exiles to a rightist authoritarian regime, President Allende of Chile (1970-73) joined a delegation that welcomed armed fighters fleeing persecution in Bolivia and Argentina and offered them asylum.

For many years, especially in the 1980’s, Mexico, under center-right regimes, openly recognized the rights of asylum for guerrilla and leftist refugees from Central America – El Salvador and Guatemala. Revolutionary Cuba, for decades, offered asylum and medical treatment to leftist and guerrilla refugees from Latin American dictatorships and rejected demands for their extradition.

Even as late as 2006, when the Cuban government was pursuing friendly relations with Colombia and when its then Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque expressed his deep reservations regarding the FARC in conversations with the author, Cuba refused to extradite guerrillas to their home countries where they would be tortured and abused.

One day before he left office in 2011, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva denied Italy’s request to extradite Cesare Battisti, a former Italian guerrilla. As one Brazilian judge said -and Chavez should have listened: “At stake here is national sovereignty. It is as simple as that”. No one would criticize Chavez efforts to lessen border tensions by developing better diplomatic relations with Colombia and to expand trade and investment flows between the two countries.

What is unacceptable is to describe the murderous Colombian regime as a “friend” of the Venezuela people and a partner in peace and democracy, while thousands of pro-democracy political prisoners rot in TB-infested Colombian prisons for years on trumped-up charges.

Under Santos, civilian activists continue to be murdered almost every day. The most recent killing was yesterday (June 9,2011): Ana Fabricia Cordoba, a leader of community-based displaced peasants, was murdered by the Colombian armed forces.

Chavez’ embrace of the Santos narco-presidency goes beyond the requirements for maintaining proper diplomatic and trade relations. His collaboration with the Colombian intelligence, military and secret police agencies in hunting down and deporting Leftists (without due process!) smacks of complicity in dictatorial repression and serves to alienate the most consequential supporters of the Bolivarian transformation in Venezuela.

Chavez’ role in legitimizing of the Honduran coup-regime, without any consideration for the popular movements’ demands for justice, is a clear capitulation to the Santos – Obama agenda. This line of action places Venezuela’s ‘state’ interests over the rights of the popular mass movements in Honduras.

Chavez’ collaboration with Santos on policing leftists and undermining popular struggles in Honduras raises serious questions about Venezuela’s claims of revolutionary solidarity. It certainly sows deep distrust about Chavez future relations with popular movements who might be engaged in struggle with one of Chavez’s center-right diplomatic and economic partners.

What is particularly troubling is that most democratic and even center-left regimes do not sacrifice the mass social movements on the altar of “security” when they normalize relations with an adversary.

Certainly the Right, especially the US, protects its former clients, allies, exiled right-wing oligarch and even admitted terrorists from extradition requests issued by Venezuela, Cuba and Argentina. Mass murders and bombers of civilian airplanes manage to live comfortably in Florida.

Why Venezuela submits to the Right-wing demands of the Colombians, while complaining about the US protecting terrorists guilty of crimes in Venezuela, can only be explained by Chavez ideological shift to the Right, making Venezuela more vulnerable to pressure for greater concessions in the future.

Chavez is no longer interested in the support from the radical left: his definition of state policy revolves around securing the ‘stability’ of Bolivarian socialism in one country, even if it means sacrificing Colombian militants to a police state and pro-democracy movements in Honduras to an illegitimate US-imposed regime. History provides mixed lessons.

Stalin’s deals with Hitler were a strategic disaster for the Soviet people: once the Fascists got what they wanted they turned around and invaded Russia. Chavez has so far not received any ‘reciprocal’ confidence-building concession from Santos military machine. Even in terms of narrowly defined ‘state interests’, he has sacrificed loyal allies for empty promises. The US imperial state is Santos’ primary ally and military provider.

China sacrificed international solidarity for a pact with the US, a policy that led to unregulated capitalist exploitation and deep social injustices.

When and if the next confrontation between the US and Venezuela occurs, will Chavez, at least, be able to count on the “neutrality” of Colombia? If past and present relations are any indication, Colombia will side with its client-master, mega-benefactor and ideological mentor.

When a new rupture occurs, can Chavez count on the support of the militants, who have been jailed, the mass popular movements he pushed aside and the international movements and intellectuals he has slandered? As the US moves toward new confrontations with Venezuela and intensifies its economic sanctions, domestic and international solidarity will be vital for Venezuela’s defense. Who will stand up for the Bolivarian revolution, the Santos and Lobos of this “realist world”? Or the solidarity movements in the streets of Caracas and the Americas?

Chairman Mao Revisionism

Repost from the old site.
All Westerners agree that Mao was even worse than Stalin, so it was time to do a particularly evil and hateful troll, the pro-Chairman Mao troll.
Mao never starved 23-35 million or whatever to death during the Great Leap Forward, though there were 15 million dead through overprocurement and mass stupidity. The 23-35 million figures are derived by Western scholars by outrageously adding in the “deaths” of people who never even got born in the first place!
Yes, during the GLF, many women were malnourished and did not give birth, and this effect lasted for a few years even after the famine. A decline in the birth rate due to eggs and sperms not participating in fertilization is incredibly called murder!
At the same time, there was a wildly declining death rate every year before the GLF, and then a few years after, the death rate started drastically plummeting once again, so all that happened in the GLF was a wildly declining death rate went up (in one year quite a bit) for a few years, then began plummeting again.
It is also said that during the GLF, Mao heard about the famine deaths and refused to do anything about them. I do not know enough about the episode to take a position on that one way or another. Clearly, there was a serious lack of democracy within the party, and this led to the problems.
The GLF disaster happened like this: First there was the China-Soviet split, which was actually a pretty stupid development, and was evidence of Mao’s excessive radicalism. Problems were based on Khrushchev’s notion of peaceful cooperation with the non-Communist world versus Mao’s idea that the non-Communist world was an enemy that had to be confronted.
As a result of this stupidity on Mao’s part, the USSR left China, taking all of their advisors and aid with them. The advisors and aid had been essential in building up China from 1949-1958, and now all of this was crashing to a halt. Now China would have to build herself up all by herself with no help from anyone.
As Stalin did in the 1930’s, Mao decided to industrialize the Chinese state on the backs of the peasants. There is no other way. You have to feed all those urban workers somehow or other. Mao set wildly unrealistic demands for the rural harvests, and the local party leaders bought into the nonsense. There were natural disasters, yet the local leaders reported harvests vastly in excess of what actually occurred. Hence, there was vast overprovisioning and famine resulted in the countryside.
There are some problems with the 15 million figure, but that is the figure that the Chinese census came up with. Most of the deaths were due to disease.
Travelers in China, even to the worst-hit regions, did not report any obvious signs of famine, however, they did report that rations were very tight. Interviews with Chinese later indicate that there was a famine in China during this period, even in the cities, that people were reduced to eating grass in the fields, and that people did indeed die, mostly of disease.
The anti-Mao types claim that Mao knew about the starvation but said basically, the Hell with them, let them starve. I do not know enough about the situation to comment on this, but due to the lack of democracy in the party, apparently there were delays in telling the top leadership what was really going on in the countryside, and instead they were told what they wanted to hear.
The West looks at this most complex series of events and sees only mass murder, but what do you see? 140 million minimum have been killed in India alone as a consequence of not following the Chinese model in 1949, and 4 million more die every single year, and no one even says a peep but Lindsay the evil Commie mass murder lover.
Chairman Mao broke Stalin’s record of doubling life expectancy in the shortest period of time, from 32 in 1949 (which the US loved) to 65 in 1976, a mere 27 year period, whereas Stalin took 40 years. And this, the greatest humanitarian achievement of all time, was done by the worst murderer of all time, Chairman Mao.
It was 1949-1953 and 700,000 landlords were being tried all of China. They were dirty, horrible and awful criminals almost all guilty of theft, rape, extortion and murder.
They raped the girls and women and killed the men and the peasant was dead at 32, his life hovering between life and death the whole way, but the West just loved it that way, and the kind folks that enforced this evil went to Taiwan and swore to reinstall the system that always killed way more than Mao, to the terror of the Chinese people, who rallied around the man who saved their lives, Mao.
The people put the despicable criminals on trial, and the people killed the warlord mass murderers themselves. It was Chmielnicki and Desallines and Nat Turner all over again. The party was supposed to intervene but they never did, and for this they are now condemned. Even then, Mao rued the excesses while he praised the notion of revolutionary terror.
The GPCR (Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution) came for 10 years and went and many great and wonderful things happened along with many horrible and insane things, and it was all mixed up. The UN said the Barefoot Doctor Campaign during the GPCR was one of the greatest public health campaigns ever undertaken.
The Western liars now say that 30 million people were killed during the GPCR! Unbelievable!
There were 1 million excess deaths in the GPCR, but it was also a time of wildly exploding life expectancy and a rapid decline in the death rate, so it was all mixed up. Most of the deaths were said to be suicides as people were nearly hounded to their deaths. I guess it’s better than a bullet in the head. There were also about 29,000 executed during the GPCR.
Keep in mind that during the GPCR China saw increases in life expectancy that were the greatest such achievements that mankind has ever achieved.
A new book by a fellow named Jung Chiang has stated that Mao killed 80 million people! Wow! How did he manage that? And at the same time, produce the quickest doubling of life expectancy in a nation in the history of mankind.
You don’t set records of doubling life expectancy by killing tens of millions of people. Forget it. This book has been panned by just about every single China scholar alive, but it’s still being quoted reverentially by the West.
No one knows how many Mao killed. Forgetting about the Leap, because there were no intentional deaths there, there were 1.7 million excess deaths in which the regime either persecuted people into taking their own lives or the regime actually executed people.
No one knows about any deaths beyond the 1.7 million. Surely there were executions from 1953-1965, but no one knows how many. There was a Gulag system from 1949-1976, and surely folks died there, but no one knows how many. Obviously the true number of deaths is over 1.7 million, but until the CCP opens its archives, we will never know the true numbers. The CCP has never opened its archives, and God knows if they ever will.

Wikipedia on Mao

Repost from the old site.
Granted, he’s a controversial fellow all right, but this hit piece is just an outrageous travesty of anti-Communist propaganda. The discussion page shows the details of the travesty, including the banning of anyone promoting an opposite point of view (a typical smarmy Wikipedia “Neutral Point of View” practice).
My 1990 World Book article on China< and my Time-Life book, China, from 1962 (height of the Cold War) are vastly more fair than this. World Book is hardly pro-Communist and Time-Life was always fanatically anti-Communist.
Fact is, Wikipedia is run by a bunch of little libertarian shits. Jimmy Wales is a wild-eyed, fanatical libertarian crazy person, and he’s using his evil website to try to poison the mind of a planet in favor of his libertarian nightmare.
That’s his right, but the US “free press” (there is no free press in the US) really ought to call him on it. I’ve seen all sorts of MSM bullshit about Jimmy and his jerk-off webcyclopedia, and every single one of them has been a fawning valentine (as we call such pieces in the journalism field).
Never once has even one article hinted that Wikipedia is grossly unfair, or that it is run by various cabals that are all tied in with the super-cabal of ultra-right libertarian Hindutva-Zionists around Wales. It might be nice to let the world know exactly what the politics of him and his creepy followers really are.
Let them know that Wales was furious that the federal government had done anything whatsoever to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina before, during and after the storm in any way whatsoever. Can you imagine?
In Wales World, there is no role for a government to play in a world-class hurricane. Need to be rescued? Call your friend who obviously has a helicopter, or pay $1000’s for some Israeli-cum-Halliburton mercenaries to come rescue your ass.
No government help to put up victims afterwards, to clean up the mess, or even to collect the fucking bodies. Let the epidemics come. No government help to rebuild the city afterwards. Let it stay underwater oozing gators, toxic waste, mold, decaying flesh and ruined structures. All of this is the proper domain of the private sector! Can you imagine how many people would have died?
I mean, this is what we got anyway under Libertarian Lite George Bush, but in Jimmy World, things would have been incalculably worse.
Look. If that’s Jimmy’s worldview, no problem. Hell, there are still dedicated Pol Potists out there. But the world really ought to know what Jimmy Wales’ fanatical ultra political views are so they can decide whether or not they agree. They should also be told how he uses his fake unbiased Webcyclopedia like Rupert Murdoch uses his media empire, to push reactionary politics in the name of “fair and balanced” bullshit.
That the “liberal media” MSM refuses to do this is worrying. It makes me wonder how reactionary they really are. Is the MSM as ultra-right as Wales, or are they just scared to talk about it? What’s up?

Notes

1. Here is some text from my World Book article on China. Note how the very rightwing World Book encyclopedia is able to acknowledge that Mao did many great things:
The Communist government has achieved an impressive record of economic growth. The Communists have provided widespread job opportunities, job security and a more even income distribution to the workers…China’s farm output has expanded greatly under the Communists…Production of chickens and livestock has improved significantly since 1950…
Under the Communists, industrial production has grown at an average rate of 12% per year…Since 1950, China has made great progress in educating its children. The number of children in both elementary and secondary school has increased sharply…Communist have conducted mass literacy campaigns so that now 75% of the population is literate…
All of the Communists’ health programs have resulted in a population that is much healthier than before. The Communists have almost wiped out cholera, typhoid and many other horrible diseases that used to kill millions of Chinese every year.

The Out of India Model for Indo-European

Related to “There was no Aryan Invasion” folks, mostly Hindu nationalists and Indian nationalists.
Out of India Model. Unfortunately, the Wikipedia page makes it seem somewhat plausible. It’s not. Not plausible, that is. It’s nonsense. Indo-European speakers did not come out of India. India is not the homeland of the Indo-Europeans. The true homeland is in far southern Russia north of the Caucasus, or, even better, in Anatolia.
This is what really happened: an Indo-Aryan migration. Read through that piece and it becomes quite clear that this is what really happened. Part of the problem is with the word invasion. There was no invasion. They just moved in.
Michael Witzel, a Sanskritist, has been in the forefront of attacking the Out of India model. Here is a good page savaging most of their arguments. He takes apart one of their leader proponents, N. Kazanas of Greece, a guy who is little more than a dilettante. It takes a little while to get through this stuff as it’s a bit heavy going, but I was able to do it. Once you do it, the Out of India Theory lies in ruins.
One of the OOI arguments is that Indo-Aryan peoples have no memory of a migration. But who does anyway? Most IE peoples do not remember their obvious migrations either. Romans said they came from Troy. This is a lie. Gypsies say they came from Egypt. Fiction.
Here is an argument against an Indo-Aryan incursion:

we have an archaeologically attested culture of many centuries if not millennia with undoubted literacy but without any traces of religious texts, legal codes, scientific works and even simple secular fables (except most laconic legends on indecipherable seals), and, in quick succession, even as the older culture declines, an intrusive illiterate people with no archaeological attestation at all who yet produce within a few centuries (according to the AIT) all the literature that was missing from the previous culture.
This is a unique situation that makes little sense.

However, this very thing happened in Greece. First, a Minoan cult, a Helladic civilization, but no literary texts, then, in a few centuries, then, within a few centuries, an explosion of literature, poetry, religion, philosophy, the Homeric texts, etc. Further, it does not produce “all the literature that was missing from the previous civilization. It produces new literature at a very rapid pace – see the Yayoi invasion of Japan from Korea and the rapid replacement of the Jomon culture for something similar.
Another argument is that archeologically, the record of civilization in India is continuous – that is, there is no obvious disruption dating from an Aryan invasion. However, as a general rule, culture, archeologically, is continuous in all parts of the world. Culture is continuous in Europe too, and we know full well that Indo-Europeans took over and supplanted earlier groups. Is there a record of this takeover culturally? Well no, but it happened.
However, keep in mind that horses and chariots showed up with the Indo-Aryans and were not found in India previously. OOI folks say silly things like, “Egyptians had chariots too” (Point being?). Anyway, horses and chariots did not develop in India. They came down from the steppes with the I-A speakers.
Surely if OOI is true than Sanskrit would be the most ancient IE language. It’s not at all. It only goes back 3,500 years too. The Anatolian branch may well date back 8,000 years.
If OOI is true than borrowings from other Indian languages such as Dravidian and Munda would be found in all branches of IE, no? But of course they are only found in Indic, which we would expect if Indic speakers migrated into India and not out of it.
Going back to pre-Indo-Aryan times, paleontologists find differences between bones even between Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. Also, there are no I-A bones found here. Of course not. Aryans will not show up for 1000’s of years.
Yes, Harappans built wheels, but they built no spoke-wheeled chariot. This came only with the Aryans. OOI folks have no explanation for this.
Indeed, Aryan chariots are built from woods from the Punjab plain, not wood from say the steppes. But this is not a valid OOI argument. Invaders always use whatever is available. Aryan immigrants brought chariot technology with them from the steppes. To make chariots in their new homeland, they used local wood. This is surprising?

Murdering Mao

Nice from a Maoist list I am on. The author is Harry Powell. He lays out pretty well the rightwing offensive to completely discredit the modern socialist experience as a total failure which was led by the worst homicidal maniacs that ever lived. How do we counteract that? For starters, Communists should quit killing people, no matter how much they deserve it. Communists kill one person, and the rightwingers will scream about it for the next century.
Note that this is not just a rightwing offensive, but it’s also being carried out by centrists, liberals and even Leftists like Trotskyites, who do themselves few favors by indulging in counterrevolutionary ideology.
Finally, the idea of a Labor figure accusing the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition of being “Maoist” is ridiculous!

MURDERING MAO

Here are the opening paragraphs of a recent article in a British
national Sunday newspaper:

Chairman Cameron’s regime is not a million miles from Mao

Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer, Sunday 19 December 2010

I put it down to Tony Blair. Also to Margaret Thatcher. And to Mao Tse-tung. To understand this government, you need to appreciate the debts that it owes to these three influences: Labour’s triple election-winner, the Conservatives’ most radical postwar prime minister, and the Chinese dictator responsible for the deaths of more of his own people than any other leader in history.
To be fair to the coalition, it is not their ambition to replicate the body count heaped up by the Communist party of China during Mao’s lethal reign. Nor does this government share many of the late tyrant’s political ends. Yet in its methods, I am increasingly struck by the strange similarities between the regime of Chairman Mao and that of Chairman Cameron.
Some of the coalition’s senior figures are conscious of this; some of them are even proud to draw the parallels between themselves and the author of The Little Red Book. In recent weeks, I have heard one important figure in the government talk of unleashing a “cultural revolution” in the public services and another hailing devolution of power away from the centre using Mao’s old slogan: “Let a thousand flowers bloom.”

Further on:

I have actually heard more than one member of the cabinet explicitly refer to the government as “Maoist”.

And:

They are urged on from within Number 10 by the prime minister’s principal strategist, Steve Hilton, who is probably the most Maoist person in the government.

It is but the latest episode in a never-ending barrage of propaganda to discredit the first wave of socialism in the world and those who led this revolutionary movement.
Andrew Rawnsley, a prominent apologist for the New Labour Government that was, now tries to undermine the current Conservative/ Liberal Democrat Government in Britain by likening it to the socialist regime in China during the period when Mao Tse-tung was its leader. Rawnsley is trading on an assumption, probably accurate, that most of his readers believe that Mao and his comrades were mass murderers.
Mao, he tells us, was “responsible for the deaths of more of his own people than any other leader in history”. This is the accolade normally reserved for Stalin but now, it seems, he has been overtaken by Mao.
Factual accuracy – like specifying just how many millions Mao was supposed to have killed – is not highly prized in this sort of writing. It was, of course, a hundred and not a “thousand” flowers which Mao called upon to bloom. But the facts don’t matter here. The main point is that Rawnsley thinks that the worst thing he can say about the Cameron/Clegg Government is that it is “Maoist”.
Rawnley’s article is based on what over the last twenty years or so has become a major trait in the dominant bourgeois ideology of Western capitalist societies: the idea that socialism has failed, that attempts to bring about socialist transformation were led by homicidal mass murders and have been complete disasters. Most people in countries such as Britain and America think that they “know” this to be “true”. Rawnsley feels confident that his readers will share this “knowledge” with him.
Recently I was talking with a Trotskyite, a history teacher, who told me that “Mao murdered millions”. I asked him to tell me something about which people were murdered, how, where, when and why. All he could say was that “there is this book which tells you about it” although he could not name the title and author and he had not read it.
Further discussion revealed that he knows nothing about the history of modern China and he conceded that this is the case. I quoted Mao to him: “No investigation, no right to speak.”
Here we have a person interested in history and socialism but his knowledge of People’s China has no doubt been picked up from exposure to the popular mass media. Like most of us, he assumes that the ideas he absorbs from the general culture in which he lives are true until he comes across contradictory evidence. Given this climate of opinion, communists have an ideological mountain to climb, something I have discussed in my pamphlet Media Representations of the Socialist Period.
There is a linguistic dimension to this reactionary ideological
obfuscation. In recent years in Britain I have encountered young people from mainland China, especially students, who think of themselves as “communists” but whose outlook is completely bourgeois. They find it confusing to encounter an English person calling himself a communist but who is highly critical of the present regime in China on the grounds that it is on the capitalist road.
One postgraduate journalism student tried to clarify my ideological confusion for me by quoting Teng Hsiao-ping: “For all to become rich, a few must become rich first.” Of course, most people in the West still think of China as “communist” and given the media images of billionaires, corruption and consumerism in China today this simply compounds this linguistic mess.
Is it possible for communists to undermine this sort of reactionary ideology which proclaims that socialism has been a disastrous failure? However hard we may strive to do so, we are only likely to meet with some success if the objective conditions are favourable for us to do so. Now in Western capitalist societies we may be entering a period when it is possible to begin to undermine some of this reactionary
nonsense.
The imperialist wars on Iraq and Afghanistan followed by the world-wide financial crisis of two years ago have considerably weakened bourgeois ideological hegemony, the dominance of reactionary ideas. The student protests in Britain over raising university fees together with the general movement across Europe against public spending cuts on
services and benefits could provide the right climate of opinion for an ideological fightback. But are there any communists left to do it?

Ukrainian Nationalists are Nazis – An Example

A recent comment from a Ukrainian Banderist (Ukrainian nationalist) type exemplifies their anti-Semitism. Their anti-Semitism is particularly vicious, and in fact it looks a lot like Nazism.
This particular variety plays into the standard anti-Semitism of most anti-Semites: opposition to Communism since Communism is a Jewish plot; Communism is a Jewish plot to “exterminate Whites;” 100 million “Russian Christians” were deliberately murdered by Communist Jews; Jews are Khazars, not real Hebrews; the USSR, even as late as 1932, was 100% Jewish-run; Communism was a Jewish plot to steal all the money from Russian Whites and give it to Commie Jews so the Jews could get rich; Jews run the media; Communist Jews continued to run the USSR, even as late as 1946-1986, etc. etc.
Truth is that you will hear almost all US anti-Semites move over to this position at some point in the development of their anti-Semitism, it’s a logical development as one’s anti-Semitism matures and becomes more virulent.
There is a major problem with this anti-Semitic line laid out above: it’s straight up Nazism 100 proof! So, as an anti-Semites’ anti-Semitism grows and matures to full bloom, he tends to go all the way to the ultimate anti-Semitism, Nazism itself. We see this increasingly even in the pro-Palestine movement, which is increasingly adopting the overtly Nazi argument above, and some Arabs are adopting it also.

The Holodomor was a very true event. Here in Chicago, when growing up with immigrant Ukrainian nationals, they all said the same thing: “The Bolshevik Jews from the Kremlin came done and did it!” Why do you think Ukrainians joined the Germans in wiping out communism/Jewish control of the Ukraine?
Why do you think the Ukrainians have resentment toward the Jews? The Holodomor! The Communist/Bolshevik (mostly Khazar Jews) leadership deliberately starved millions of Ukrainian kulaks because they would not submit to collectivization and agricultural wealth transfer to the Jewish communists (and many cases lining their own pockets).
The Ukrainian leaders/politicians were rounded up and shot by the Jewish run NKVD and the rest of the populace starved out of existence. Hunger was so bad that mothers ate unborn fetuses. Mao Tse Dong did this in china in the 50’s, learning from Jewish commissars sent there in the 50’s.
Same events like this happened in African nations; starving African nigs into starvation; deliberately. Some of the graves of murdered Ukrainian nationals and leaders discovered years later during and after WW2 were blamed on the “Nazis’ by the Jewish run media (shit like Katyn forest lie hyped by the Jews saying “Nazis did it!”). We know now the Jews controlling the media lied (Katyn)to us for 50-60 years.
This Lindsay guy who runs this website is obviously a Jew who is protecting his tribes’ crimes during that era. He is a “Holodomor Denier!” His facts in Holodomor denial supporting sound factual, but many are slanted/ are easily disproven.
Their was no widespread wheat rust in the 30’s, some happened in the early 20’s. Farm animals were killed because of pending stealing/confiscation by the Bolsheviks How many starved? Hard to say because of poor records. 3-7 million. Some estimates as high as 10 million. Remember, Communist Jewry and their tyranny in USSR killed almost 50 million Russians/Christians from 1917-1986.

Almost none of this is true.
It’s true, I suppose, that 1/2 of the livestock in the USSR were killed by the kulaks because they were about to be confiscated or collectivized. But the fact is that the kulaks’ killing 50% of the livestock in the country is one of the things that led to the famine! Horses were used to plow the fields in those days.
It’s not true that there was no wheat rust. It’s looking more and more like much of the famine was natural – a wheat rust epidemic.
The epidemic was worst in the Eastern Ukraine and the Cossack Lower Volga region to the east. All of these areas were strong supporters of the USSR. This is also where the famine was worst. The famine was worst in the Ukraine because that is where the harvest failure was worst.
Why did the USSR starve worst of all their supporters in the Eastern Ukraine and the ethnic Russians in the Lower Volga if their intent was solely to kill Ukrainians? Why did they kill so many other Russians, including 1 million in Siberia, if they were only trying to kill Ukrainians? The Holodomor narrative makes no sense at all.
The USSR was not run by Jews in 1932. The Jewish era ended in 1927 at the latest. There were a lot of Jews in the NKVD for some reason, but they were not the majority, and by 1936 (before the Great Terror) they were gone. It’s probably true that Stalin executed Ukrainian leaders. Stalin killed 390,000 Ukrainians in dekulakization. If you want to call that a genocide, you are welcome to, but the famine was no genocide.
The Holodomor narrative depends on a number of lies. One is that there was a bumper crop in the Ukraine in 1932, but in the midst of the dekulakization campaign, the Soviets confiscated all of it, herded the Ukrainians into internment camps, refused to let them leave, and did not allow them any food, so they starved.
None of this is true.
The central claim, one of a bumper crop, is false. The harvest completely collapsed in 1932 for a variety of reasons. One was wheat rust, another was the chaos and civil war surrounding the too rapid development of collectivization whereby the old system was ended before the new one was set up yet. Killing 1/2 the farm animals in the country played a role.
Kulaks destroyed a tremendous amount of the crop by setting it on fire in fields and in their own stores, harvesting it and piling it in fields to be destroyed by rain, armed attacks on collective farms where they set fire to fields and grain stores. This was why the USSR confiscated most of the crop – the kulaks were destroying it.
In return, the Ukrainians were given rations, but rations were very tight that year. Few died of actual famine. Instead, most died of disease epidemics often related to poor sanitation and lack of modern medicine to treat the diseases. There was no deliberate withholding of food. Instead, there were tight rations. Ukrainians were not herded into concentration camps. Instead, they were put on collective farms.
It is not possible for a mother to eat her unborn fetus. Please explain how this is possible.
Mao did not learn his lesson from the Bolsheviks and perpetrate a deliberate famine during the Great Leap. Anyway, not many died. In only one year during the Great Leap was the death rate higher than 1949-prior. That year was 1959, when there were 4.5 million excess. Mao saved and prolonged more lives than anyone in human history.
There have been no deliberate famines in Africa that I am aware of other than during wartime.
Notice that this Ukrainian Nazi also hates Blacks, as he casually calls them nigs. It’s a fact that almost all Nazis, Ukrainians or otherwise, hate Blacks. Black people ought to become more aware of the menace posed by these people.
As far as why Ukrainian nationals in Chicago insist en masse in believing in something that apparently did not occur, I do not know.

Mao Zedong: Greatest Humanitarian That Ever Lived

John UK asks:

It is said more people died in India than in China during Mao’s rule is this true?

Yes, between 1949-1979, there were 100 million excess deaths in India over and above the deaths in China. That is, 100 million deaths occurred in India due to not following the Chinese model. The excess deaths are continuing at a rate of 4 million/year and by now they should be about 170 million. So capitalism in India has killed 170 million over and above the deaths in China, by not following the Chinese model. We know this because China and India were at the same level in 1949 and now China has vastly surpassed India.
All this Mao was the biggest murderer of all time crap are nothing but lies. Indian capitalism killed many times more than Mao did. Instead of being the greatest murderer ever, Mao was the greatest humanitarian that ever lived. He doubled life expectancy from 32 in 1949 to 65 in 1980, setting a world record. Mao saved more lives than any human being that’s ever lived.
In only one year did the death rate exceed that of prerevolutionary China, in 1959 in the middle of Great Leap famine. Even most of the years of the Great Leap and during all of the Cultural Revolution, the death rate was below, typically far below, the rate of 1949.
Since China has headed to capitalism, schools and medical clinics have closed all over the land. Lack of health care is killing millions of Chinese people. Health care is now only available for pay, and most people can’t afford health care or medications, so when they get sick, they hope they get better, and if not, they just die.
The entire US media and both political parties have never stopped cheering for this miserable state of affairs.

Indonesian Soldiers Torture Papuan Men

The video in question is available on my video site.
This is extremely shocking footage of Indonesian soldiers in West Papua torturing a Papuan man and his father.
Indonesia stole West Papua from the Papuans in 1965, and has waged a genocidal and racist war against the Papuans ever since, a war that has killed 100,000 Papuans. Soldiers are extremely racist and view Papuans as little more than animals.
Papuans try to fight back using very primitive weapons, but they are no match for the modern Indonesian military. US imperialism has backed the Indonesians to the hilt in this war because US corporations want to exploit various raw materials in Papua.
The footage was filmed on a cellphone in May by one of the soldiers taking part in a military operation in the Punkak Jaya region of the Central Highlands of West Papua. The operation was launched against the Free Papua Movement, an armed group seeking freedom from Indonesian colonialism, but the troops are mostly just torturing, raping and murdering civilians like they always do.
It is apparently “trophy footage.” This video is just a small part of a much larger video that shows the two men being tortured. In the bigger video, the older man is stripped naked, has a bag put over his head and has a burning stick applied to his genitals while he screams in agony. The young man has a knife held to his face.
Details of who the victims are hard to come by since the area is a closed military zone, and journalists are banned from the area. However, the older man is missing and probably dead, while the young man has been released.
Indonesian troops have been killing, torturing and raping Papuans with impunity since 1963. Victims have been as young as 3 years old.
For many years, Indonesian troops have been taking trophy photos, now escalating to films, of Papuans being killed and raped. They show this media to Papuans in order to humiliate them.
The footage appeared just recently, on October 20, 2010 and caused a bit of a media stir.

An Anti-Indian Diatribe

This comment comes from an Indian woman living in India. I agree with every world she says. She is right. This is why I support the Maoists in India. They seem to be the only force able to change the country for the better. Everything else has been tried and everyone else has failed. Even most of the Left, Indian social democracy, the Indian socialism of Congress, the Indian Communism of the Indian Communist Party in Bengal, neoliberalism, nothing has worked.
The neoliberals say, “Just give us time! Just give us time! It will work after a while.” When is it supposed to start working? They’ve had 62 years. Time to start something new. Neoliberalism in particular has failed. It’s enriched maybe 10% of the population and impoverished maybe 90%, like it always does. The rate of malnutrition in India (51%) has been flat since 1994 – 16 years – amidst excellent economic growth. Clearly nothing is trickling down. At some point you have to say let’s try something new, and the Maoists are the only people in India who seem to care about the masses.
What a delightfully typical Indian middle-class response. Might I ask how much your two-car household (of which one is a Volkswagen – woohoo) pays its maid and how many hours she slaves for that sum? Is she offered a cup of tea from the same crockery that you and your spoilt spawn use? Or does she have a cast-off plastic mug with a crack down the side? Get real! The reason India is a mess because of people like you who quote numbers that reflect your mundane middle class existence in some twisted self congratulatory fashion. Like building tanks? Shame they did not build more power generators and roads of some quality. Or invest in revamping an education system that makes us a nation of unthinking idiots blinded by our own smug mediocrity.
This cheap healthcare you speak of? Is it accessible to the 900 million poor? Think your maid could afford cancer treatment for her children at a private hospital…? Or even a simple root canal? This uneven distribution of wealth you are talking about from your substandard ivory tower – by which I refer to whichever building you currently live in – no doubt built on the foundations of bribery, corruption, and poorly paid migrant labour, not to mention seriously compromised building standards – but I digress…This distribution of wealth begins from you and me. One less gold necklace for the wife, one less play station for the spawn, and a fairer wage to those we employ – put your money where your mousepad is.
The Government is going to do nothing for the poor in our country… that 900 million who eke out a living in this our MAHAN BHARATH. But given the apathy and false sense of pride we Indians wear today like some sort of holy mantle – and no one may as a result, say anything against it – that just consigns the vast majority of this so called democratic (my arse) nation to live out this misery, passing it on to the next generation with no hope, no sense of a future and no change.
This is a country where Chief ministers own TV stations and there are over a million court cases pending. This is a country (in a nation of primarily dark skinned people) were we have a best-selling cream called Fair and Lovely (for f’s sake, does no one get the implications, but me) and a movie industry which perpetuates the myth that being light skinned means being beautiful. This is a country where politicians can march into a restaurant and drag out four girls, beat the crap out of them and no one does anything…this is a country where no one wants to face the truth.
We are where we are today, because of a multitude of factors, driven by international market forces, not our own so-called greatness. because we are not that great. We are unthinking, we are complacent, we are arrogant and most of us – let’s face it – are pretty damn stupid. Indian journalism…I have never seen worse journalism in my life. Diluted, watered down rubbish is what the media gives us, while it airs advertisements of how brilliant we are as a nation.
Yes we are filthy – even the middle classes and above. Most of us are unaware of deodorant – though God knows most of us need it and it’s happily available. As a nation, our parenting skills are the worst on the planet. With children being kept up at silly hours, babies sleeping with parents till they are teenagers, and learning the same bad habits we acquired from our parents…and as for our social and religious hypocrisy – we could teach Saudi Arabia a thing or two.
I keep using the word ‘we’ here, because you see Rahul, I come from the privileged classes, I went to some of the best and oldest public schools in the country and am a member of most of India’s most ridiculously posh colonial clubs. But luckily for me, I see through the very thin veneer of 21st century civilization we cover ourselves with. Underneath it, we have not changed for 2000 years. And no amount of car manufacturing, or tanks or UN reports or self-glorification is going to change that fact.
The only thing that will change it is when people like you – my peers – wake up to how awful we really are as a nation on so many counts. You can bang on about our colonial masters and tell me how bad it was and how wonderful our dhoti-clad Mahatma was…but without a thought would deny our fellow brothers and sisters an decent wage or plain simple human rights. Frankly…I would cheerfully welcome back the British. Give me a Margaret Thatcher over an Indira Gandhi any day. Or a Tony Blair over a Manmohan Singh in a heartbeat.
We are socially sick, morally destitute, spiritually bereft and politically corrupt and the only reason we deny it as much as we do, is because we know all of this is true. Want to do something for India…well stop rabbiting on about the tanks and wheat exports and car manufacture and our civilized behaviour and wake up and smell the roses. or in our case, our neighbors’ rotting garbage neatly deposited in front of our front gate.
Your views above are valid and they work…for a small, small fraction of India’s population. It is however not true, not by a long shot for the vast majority. Does this not concern you, at all? Does your pride in our country not make you want the same privileges for everyone? And even if you say you do, I’m inclined not to believe you, because how else would you have a maid come and sweep and clean for you everyday for a pittance, unless she was deliberately kept poor and stupid, by a ruling class and a political and social system that thrives on oppression and control and domination.
And oh you know what else…I hope the whole world wakes up and sees what a mess we are…we need to be collectively shamed into making things better. Nothing else will move us – and frankly I’m not sure even that will. We will progress – as momentum gathered over the years and our massive population will ensure the economy continues to grow. But your Playstation addicted child’s (I can’t believe you said that so proudly btw) child may see a different country and it wont be a better place.
Today we have a polluted, corrupt, elitist society – and you sunshine, are part of the problem. You and everyone else like you. But if you plan on telling me how unpatriotic and overly Westernized I am…feel free. Patriotism is not blind faith. It is the recognition and subsequent correction of a problem. And we have too many. Starting with a mindless, automaton middle class steeped in it’s arrogance and self-righteousness. Let’s make a change there!
I for one would like to call for a mass, cross country non-violent action – let’s not vote again for any leader, let’s not pay taxes, let’s picket peacefully outside our politicians houses and refuse to co-operate with the Government until they start doing their fucking job. Like creating sensible policies, promoting on merit, holding themselves fully accountable and fire-able for non-performance. Why are the civil services in India given housing, or cars and drivers and peons and all that malarkey?
On one hand the Government bleats incessantly about our colonial past, tearing down beautiful old building,s changing names of roads and towns and cities…and yet they cling to the worst aspects of tat colonial rule…an awe and reverence of the Government Servant. In a democratic country they are there to serve us, not the Queen, but we haven’t quite worked that out have we?
I would also like to add at this point that for a country that breeds like rats, and that gave the world the Kama Sutra, we are sexually repressed and ignorant – to put it very mildly. And that could be a whole other conversation.
I could go on and on…but a word to Mr Lindsay… ashamed as I am to admit it…Kudos…you summed up India – the real India – perfectly. And it is my sincerest hope that someday I can say otherwise. My views make me a pariah in my own country…but I see myself as voice in the wilderness… no doubt I will be beheaded. My apologies to you for using this space to have such a rant, but in my humble and much-disliked opinion…every little helps! Indians need to hear this from another Indian. And a female Indian at that! 🙂 In my next life, I shall be born as a particularly objectionable reptile of some sort for not being a true-blue daughter of the soil.

Chinese Communism: The Gift of Life and Health

Repost from the old site.

The success of Chinese Communism, particularly in terms of health care:

Between 1952 and 1982 [with most of the change happening before 1976], China reduced the rate of infant mortality from 250 to 40 deaths per 1000 live births, decreased the prevalence of malaria from 5.5 percent to 0.3 percent of the population, and increased life expectancy from 35 to 68 years (Hsiao et al 1996).

In 1949, under the Nationalist Chinese so beloved by Americans, fully 20% (!) of all Chinese babies died in their first year of life, an incredible statistic (Sidel & Sidel 1973). By 1976, when Mao died, the rate was down to 46 out of 1000 (Yu and Sarri 1976). Infant mortality had plummeted by 77% in only 27 years, probably one of the fastest declines in world history.

During the Cultural Revolution, Mao instituted the Barefoot Doctors program, serving the health care needs of 90% of the population (Hsiao et al 1996). It was hailed by the UN as one of the greatest public health programs of all time. Comparing the infant mortality rate of 1972 to the rate of 1949 shows that China under Mao was saving the lives of 3.9 million children every single year.

This is what I mean when I say that Mao was one of the world’s greatest humanitarians.

Some argue that some progress in infant mortality would have occurred even without Maoism. Given the horrific record of the semi-feudal Nationalists, that seems dubious, but just for the record, let us compare India to China in this regard. India’s infant mortality rate was an outrageous 139 per 1000 in 1972, and China’s was 60.

India had been ruled since independence by a nominally socialist party which had written into India’s Constitution that India was a socialist country. Surely, a rightwing India would have done far worse in this regard. Comparing India and China in 1972, we find that Maoism was saving the lives of 1.5 million babies a year compared to India.

The purpose of this simulation is to show that Maoism was saving the lives of millions of Chinese every single year.

It is possible that no system in human history ever saved so many lives so quickly as Maoism.

According to the US Census Bureau, by 1998, China’s infant mortality rate was the same as in 1976 at 45. Over 22 years, there had been zero progress at reducing infant mortality. In 30 poorest counties studied, the infant mortality rate actually rose during the 1980’s from 50 to 72 (Hsiao et al 1996). This is an example of the mass killing associated with China’s move towards capitalism.

That Maoism ruined the economy is a most peculiar statement. Industrial production grew at 10% per year all through the Mao years, even during the Cultural Revolution! Agricultural production expanded massively and grew at 3% per year. By the early 1970’s, for the fist time in centuries, or possibly in recorded history, the problem of hunger in China had been solved.

One of Mao’s greatest achievements was the reduction of the discrepancies, including life and death, between the cities and the countryside. This reduction was truly revolutionary in world historical terms. By 1979, rural infants were 70% more likely to die than urban infants. By 1993, they were 190% more likely to die (Liu et al 1999). The movement to capitalism has been a accompanied by a mountain of bodies.

Starting in the 1980’s, the government cut back on health care, and clinics began demanding payment from patients. Only 25% of patients now have health insurance (Hsiao et al 1996). This was down from 71% in 1981 (Liu et al 1999). Many or most patients could not afford to go to the doctor, so they just never went.

A study found that 30% of villages had no doctor, 28% were avoiding going to the doctor when sick due to cost, and over 50% of those advised to go to the hospital for treatment were refusing due to cost (Hsiao et al 1996). Health care was privatized. Recall that the market fetishists insist that this is a wondrous thing – for profits, perhaps, but for public health, surely no.

At the same time, the rural collectives were often broken up and replaced with private farming. What this meant was that one could no longer afford to be a barefoot doctor, so the barefoot doctors program disintegrated as barefoot doctors returned to farming to survive.

The number of health care workers in the cities increased, and the number in the countryside decreased by 36% in the 1980’s. During that decade, the number of clinics in the countryside declined by 14% (Liu et al 1999). Previously, the health care system had been organized around the rural collectives. That system collapsed.

In 1978, 85% of villages were in the program, and in 1993, that number was down to 14%. Clinics were forced to pay their own bills, and shady health care emerged, including overpresciption of for-sale drugs and unnecessary treatment (Bloom 1998).

References

Bloom, Gerald. 1998. Primary Health Care Meets The Market In China And Vietnam. Health Policy 44: 233-52.

Hsiao, William C. L and Liu, Yuanli. 1996. Economic Reform and Health – Lessons from China. New England Journal of Medicine 335: 430-432.

Hsiao, William C. L. 1984. Transformation of Health Care in China. 310: 932-6;

Hsiao W.C., William C. L. 1995. The Chinese Health Care System: Lessons For Other Nations. Social Science and Medicine 41: 1047-55.

Liu, Yuanli, Hsiao, William C. and Karen Eggleston. 1999. Equity in Health and Health Care: the Chinese Experience. Social Science and Medicine 49: 1349-1356.

Sidel, Victor W. and Sidel, Ruth. 1973. Serve the People; Observations on Medicine in the People’s Republic of China. New York, NY: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation.

Yu, Mei-Yu and Sarri, Rosemary. 1997. Women’s Health Status And Gender Inequality In China. Social Science and Medicine 45, Vol 12: 1885-1898.

The Roots of Fascism in Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Great article from one of my favorite websites, The Left Coaster. It’s basically the left wing of the Democratic Party in the US. They sure don’t agree with the idiot 55% moron majority of Moronicans that Obama is a socialist! In fact, they are furious at Obama, and they don’t even think he’s much of a liberal. They think he’s a corporate Democrat, which is what he is. The Repubicans are surging now, running on a ticket that Obama is not swooing enough in his abject submission to the corporate scoundrels that run the USA. Sure, Obama’s a corporatist, but he’s not corporatist enough. Apparently the American people agree, no?

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. The conflicts in Pakistan and Sri Lanka have their roots in the fascist language policies of the state. India,on the other hand, for all its faults, has had a good language policy from the very start. English was chosen as the national language, and each state chose its own majority language as the language of the state. To communicate with the central governments, the states would use English. Much ethnic tension and violence was actually defused in India by this very progressive policy.

Pakistan, insanely, chose the language of only 3% of population, Urdu, as the national language. A language that no one spoke! In fact, it was the native language of the Mohajirs, the Muslims of North India who fled to Pakistan in 1948. The Mohajirs have subsequently monopolized the Pakistani state and speakers of other languages like Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi and Pashtun were marginalized. Apparently this is where the roots of much of the Pashtun and Balochi violence in Pakistan has arisen.

Sri Lanka was worse. Sinhalese, the language of 77% of the state, was chosen as the national language. Tamil, spoken by 23%, was marginalized. The public sector was mostly Tamil at independence, and by 1970, it was mostly Sinhalese because Tamils could not speak Sinhalese well. True, the Tamil Tigers were a horrible terrorist group, but the state was just as bad. It’s been one long pogrom in Sri Lanka from 1956-on. The West has cheered every second of the way, supporting the ultra-fascist Sri Lankan state to the hilt.

The genocide reached a peak this spring when the state wiped out the remains of the Tamil Tigers, and slaughtered 100,000 Tamil civilians at the same time. The media in the West and India did nothing but stand up and cheer during the whole Tamil Holocaust. Sickening. Now the war’s over, but tens of thousands of Tamils are in concentration camps.

Sinhalese settler-colonists, like the Jews of Israel, have invaded Tamil lands to throw the Tamils off, steal their land and confiscate it for Sinhalese settlers. Not one word of this in the filthy Western media, who apparently have never met a fascist they didn’t like. Both political parties support the fascist Sri Lankan state.

On a worldwide scale, only the Left has managed to peep in protest over the Sri Lankan fascist genocide. This is one reason I’m a Leftist. We’re the only honorable people left on the globe.