The United States of India

Conventional wisdom has it that the regional parties will gradually increase their foot-print across India (at the expense of the national parties- Congress, BJP, Communists). It is expected (justifiably) that the regional leaders will focus on their backyard first and the nation second. So what will such a manifesto look like?

“Fire-brand” Tamil leader Vaiko proposes to re-name the country as the United States of India.

The (ban) death penalty stance is connected to the ongoing controversy related to the LTTE gangsters. Indeed Vaiko wants to lift the ban on LTTE wholesale. This is similar to the arguments used in favor of RSS- these organizations are just too big to ban. It is perhaps an appropriate thing that Vaiko and Modi are in an alliance- birds of a feather so to speak.

It will be interesting to speculate on Vaiko’s reactions in the event that Sri Lankan agents terminate the lives of a dozen Tamilians (which is just what the above gang did, even if a certain non-Tamil victim is taken out of the equation). He would probably insist on fast-tracking the death sentence(s). But then again he may not.

No to Kudankulam- a bit NIMBY- why not take a stand against all nuclear energy? Anti-GMO. Anti-methane exploration. All seems to be part of standard issue left-populism.

Tamil ambassador to Sri Lanka (OK). Supreme Court bench in TN (long overdue).

Statehood for Puducherry (it may be a better option to merge the various scattered parts of Puducherry to TN, Kerala, and Andhra).

Declare war on Sri Lanka and retrieve Katchatheevu- a bit mad.

Reservations in private sector (this will have broad support across all Shudra/Dalit communities nation-wide). This is the final frontier of reservations in India, the only thing now missing is reservations for economically backward, forward castes. Interestingly, Mayawati has promised both in her manifesto.

The MDMK has promised in its manifesto released on
Saturday that it would rename the country as the United States of India if
takes part in government formation after the Lok Sabha polls.


 

The party, led by firebrand Tamil leader Vaiko, also said it would lift the ban
on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).



The party also demanded the Centre transfer back to the states the powers
relating to education and the residuary powers listed in the Constitution
should be fully given to the states.


 

The party said it would work for holding of a referendum on creation of Eelam
in Sri Lanka for Lankan Tamils. According to MDMK, the referendum should be
held in places where Lankan Tamils live.


 

The party has assured appointment of Tamils as ambassadors in nations having a
sizeable Tamil population.


 

The party has promised reservation in the private sector, inter-linking of
rivers, setting up of Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulation
Committee to oversee sharing of Cauvery waters between Tamil Nadu and
Karnataka.


 

The party said it would ban death penalty.

 

The MDMK also promised to work to force India to take severe action against Sri
Lanka if it continues to attack Indian fishermen and also retrieve Katchatheevu
— an islet in Palk Strait, from Sri Lanka.


 

The party also promised declaration of fishing community as scheduled tribe,
provide pension for fishermen and prevent plunder of beach sand minerals.


 

On the nuclear power, MDMK said it would prevent additional units at Kudankulam
in Tamil Nadu and also work for closure of the first two units there.
The party has also opposed field trials of genetically modified crops, methane
exploration project in Thanjavur, the natural gas pipeline project by GAIL in
Tamil Nadu.


 

With the difficulties faced by people in the south in approaching the Supreme
Court in New Delhi, the MDMK has promised for bring a bench of the apex court
here.


 

To the people of Puducherry, the MDMK has promised statehood. Citing that the
Union Territory got its freedom from the French Nov 1, 1956, the MDMK assured
that steps will the taken to declare that day as Puducherry’s Independence Day.

 

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40 or 70?

Team USA is really pitching it strong with the Pew survey and most recently, a “bankers for Modi” cheer-leading squad.

The question is whether all this support will be converted into some relative advantage on the ground. It is doubtful (for example, multi-brand retail is not supported by the BJP).

In case Modi decides he is more comfortable with China- there will be a lot of eggs on a lot many faces (including secular NRIs who keep focusing laser like on the symbolism of an US VISA).

Will AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal threaten to
put Adam Gilmour, Citigroup head Asia-Pacific currency and derivatives
sales,
into jail for saying that if Narendra Modi becomes India’s next
prime minister the weak rupee — which had dropped to an all-time low of over 68 to the US dollar — will strengthen by some 35% to become 40 to the dollar?

Gilmour was unstinted in his
praise for Modi as the man most likely to help kick-start the country’s
fortunes, saying “The market view is that if Modi gets in, it will be a
game-changer.  We always take politics with a pinch of salt, with the
rare exception of India, where it’s going to really make a difference.”

 

On
the other hand, the banker said that if the upcoming elections resulted
in the ‘worst-case’ scenario of a weak coalition, it could see the
Indian rupee fall below its record low of Rs 68.83 against the US
dollar.

Gilmour is not the first foreign financial analyst who’s
given his personal thumbs-up sign in favour of the politically
controversial saffron ‘strong man’.  Earlier, a former head of Goldman
Sachs had expressed  similar views about Modi, and the company itself in
its official report had highlighted the Gujarat chief minister as being
pivotal to India’s hopes of economic recovery.

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Vivek Murthy shot down by the NRA

A not quite predictable story. The NRA came in with guns blazing and the Democrats blinked.  

How did this happen with a 50 threshold (and a 55 member count in the Senate)? Dave Weigel explains:

This tweet still haunts Murthy. As of last week, his nomination hangs in
jeopardy because Senate Democrats—who can afford to lose every Republican vote
and four of their own—aren’t confident they can confirm him. Months after reforming
the filibuster, after lowering the vote threshold from 60 to 51, Democrats
are facing their second defeat of a nominee in less than a month. 

The
most-stated reason is that in his tweets and in his work at DFA, Murthy
couldn’t help himself from criticizing guns as a “health care issue.” 

In a
post–Sandy Hook letter, DFA even supported an assault weapons ban.

Every other Democrat, in Congress and in the White House, is baffled. They
went into the confirmation vote for Justice Department nominee Debo Adegbile expecting
to lose a few of their own—Adegbile had joined a defense team for Mumia
Abu-Jamal and criticized the role of race in the justice system—but
not to lose. Joe Biden didn’t show up for the vote to lose. He expected to
cast a tie-breaking aye.  

They didn’t expect the NRA to oppose a nominee for
surgeon general because, as one White house source put it, when has that
ever happened
?

 Vivek Murthy earned the ire of the NRA,
and the NRA scared off the necessary rump of Democrats.

 

Feb. 4: Murthy appears before the Senate Committee on
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander
calls him out on this. “Much of your credential, it seems to me, is a political credential,” says
Alexander. Murthy had advocated for the Affordable Care Act,
when there was “at
least a large majority of Americans and a large number of the Congress who
disagree with that law.” He’d tweeted critically of the NRA, when “Americans
have a First Amendment right to advocate for the Second Amendment or any
amendment.”

Murthy backs down immediately, saying his priority in office would be
fighting obesity, not gun ownership. “My concerns with regard to issues like
gun violence have to do with my experience as a physician,” he says, “seeing
patients in emergency rooms.”
The issue seems to peter out. Wyoming Sen. Mike
Enzi says he’s “glad” Murthy walked back the gun talk, and adds that “in the
West, violence is mostly caused by people taking away guns.”


Feb. 26:
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul sends Majority Leader Harry Reid a letter announcing
his intention to put a hold on the Murthy nomination. “In his efforts to
curtail Second Amendment rights, Dr. Murthy has continually referred to guns as
a public health issue on par with heart disease and has diminished the role of
mental health in gun violence,” writes Paul.
“As a physician, I am deeply
concerned that he has advocated that doctors use their position of trust to ask
patients, including minors, details about gun ownership in the home.”



On the same day, the NRA sends
a letter
to Reid and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell officially opposing the
nomination.


March 11-12: At the start of the Senate’s last week before
a short recess, Fox News starts covering the Murthy nomination. “Do you want a partisan
physician?” asks Elisabeth Hasselbeck, rhetorically. Megyn Kelly’s
prime-time show books Chris Cox, the NRA executive who wrote the no-Murthy
letter, where he claims the nominee “is hell-bent on treating a constitutional
freedom like a disease.”


March 14: Toomey, the co-author of the 2013 gun control
amendment that the NRA opposed, comes
out against the Murthy nomination. “Dr. Murthy, as the president of a
partisan political organization, has been an active promoter of Obamacare,” he
explains. “Dr. Murthy also has advocated for policies that would erode our
important Second Amendment rights.” Later that day, the New York Times
runs ahead of the curve and reports that the Senate is
“balking” at a vote on Murthy, with “as many as 10 Democrats” refusing to vote
aye.

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This (investor visa) nest will cost you a million bucks

There are 10 million millionaires in the USA (and 30 million semi- and deci-millionaires).

In contrast India has only 180K. Still visa benefits are available if you invest a million bucks in the USA (there is a similar program in the UK as well). Things may change if the new immigration bill passes (it will not).

Assuming that you are a well-off minority or a liberal (or both). You are (justifiably) not a fan of Hindutva raising its head in your homeland. This is perhaps a good time to migrate to the West- the safe haven for minorities and liberals world-wide (made extra safe by checking every word of your emails/posts/letters….).

Here is a helpful chart which informs you on how much square footage you can get out of your million bucks. One thing to keep in mind- Detroit is not a very good choice.

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The neo-feudalists

Who is Pawan Kalyan?

He is hero #1 in Tollywood (and brother of Chiranjeevi K, the superstar of the past).

He is also running on a “Congress hatao, desh bachao” platform (Chiranjeevi is presently an Union minister).

This reminds me of an old joke where a father wants x number of sons who will all join different political parties (and ensure that the family as a whole is always close to power, whoever wins). What exactly are Chiranjeevi’s qualifications which enables him to leap-frog ahead of dedicated party workers and become an Union Minister?

In the north there is the Raja, Rani, Nawab and Yuvraj brigade- VP Singh (ex-PM), Digvijay Singh, Madhav Rao Scindia, Vijay Raje Scindia etc.

In the south (specifically Andhra and Tamil Nadu) there are the cine-stars. They have unlimited access to money in the bank and the hearts of the people. People will self-immolate at the news of ill-health of the stars- such strong runs the passion of the common folk.

Frankly speaking it is a disgrace- taking advantage of gullibility of people. Kerala and Karanataka are mercifully free from this disease. Karnataka actually gifted an (in)famous cine-star cum politician to Tamil Nadu. Serves them just right.


Telugu actor Pawan Kalyan, Congress leader K Chiranjeevi’s brother,
today met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and declared support to
him for the Prime Minister’s post.

Kalyan, who recently launched Jana Sena party, however did not say
anything about possibility of alliance with BJP in the residual Andhra
Pradesh/Seemandhra.

“Modi is fit to become the Prime Minister, and I and my party support him,” Kalyan said after the meeting. “I am backing Modi, so obviously I am backing BJP,” he said, when asked whether he would campaign for BJP in his state.

But he refused to spell out if his party will have a pre-poll tie up
with BJP. He also evaded a question as to why he and his brother and
Union Minister K Chiranjeevi had chosen different political paths.

Kalyan launched his party on March 14 with “throw out Congress” as the central plank.

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Fighting dirty

The long knives are out for Teesta Setalvad. She has  to fight communal forces on one hand and paid news organizations on the other hand. There will be no expectation of even-handedness, even fairness and independence in journalism.


This
Press Release specifically counters the malicious lies in the Affidavit
in Sur-Rejoinder filed by KN Patel, IO Crime Branch for the Respondent
State of Gujarat dated 18.03.2014 in Ahmedabad (and replicated with few
changes in Mumbai dated 19.03.2014). For those newspapers/publications
that published screaming headlines of us misusing funds, without
contacting any office bearers for clarifications, we appeal in the
interests of both fair and independent journalism and basic honesty to
print this Rebuttal with the same enthusiasm and prominence.

In a counter affidavit filed by her in the Sessions Court in
Ahmedabad on March 21, 2014, in response to the affidavit in
sur-rejoinder filed by the Gujarat police, Teesta Setalvad, Secretary,
Citizens for Justice and Peace, has accused the Gujarat police of once
again resorting to blatant falsehoods, twisted facts, deliberate
jugglery of accounts and foul innuendos, with the malicious intent of
colouring the public discourse and prejudice the public mind.
What is
most shocking is the brazen manner in which the Gujarat police continue
to spread falsehoods through signed affidavits, indicating callous
disregard of the justice process. This is nothing short of perjury.


 

It is evident from the affidavits filed by the Gujarat police that they
are in full possession of all our audited accounts, bank accounts
(organizational and personal) and personal credit card bills. All of
these have been obtained through highly questionable means,
which itself
is a subject for investigation. That apart, the foul intent and malice
of the Gujarat police is more than evident from the fact that despite
being in possession of dubiously acquired information it continues to
heap falsehood upon falsehood


Neither CJP nor Sabrang Trust has any debit/credit cards in their
respective names. For logistical convenience, with the full knowledge
and consent of the trustees and auditors of the two trusts, air and
train tickets are frequently booked online (using the personal credit
cards of Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand). It is only such expenses
strictly related to the legitimate activities which are reimbursed by
Sabrang Trust and CJP after due verification. 

Despite being fully aware
of this fact, the Gujarat police have claimed, with obvious dubious
motive, that a host of personal expenses, including hair-cuts, purchase
of grocery, shoes, jewellery etc. have been paid for by the trusts.

Such expenses met out of public funds should “shock the conscience of
the court”, claims the sur-rejoinder. If anything, it is the blatant
lies on oath repeatedly indulged by the police that should stir the
conscience of court.


 

CJP and Sabrang Trust emphatically and categorically deny the claim made
in the affidavit in sur-rejoinder that cash withdrawals from the two
trusts totalling Rs. 75,28,000 (over many years) have been siphoned off
or pocketed by Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand.
That this too is an
entirely baseless allegation can be established through the accounts
books and cash vouchers of both CJP and Sabrang Trust.


 

Similarly, the sur-rejoinder claims that funds from the bank accounts of
CJP and Sabrang Trust running into lakhs have been transferred into
fixed deposits in the “family personal names” of Teesta Setalvad and
Javed Anand. CJP and Sabrang Trust challenge the Gujarat police to
provide evidence of even a single rupee thus transferred from the bank
accounts of either of the two trusts into fixed deposits in personal
names.
Instead, the Gujarat police, functioning in nexus with one family
of the Gulberg society and a former employee of CJP cited as “witness”
in the specious FIR, is functioning at the behest of the political
bigwigs in the state who are seriously affected by the persistent
struggle for justice aided by CJP.



The sur-rejoinder reiterates that only Rs. 2.49 lakh was spent on Legal
Aid expenses. We challenge the Gujarat police to provide proof of this
totally bogus claim. CJP has spent over Rs. 2 crore (nearly hundred
times the police claim) on Legal Aid to the victims-survivors of the
state-sponsored Gujarat pogrom and this can easily be established
through accounts books, voucher files and annually audited accounts.

This deliberate underestimation is deliberate and meant to prejudice the
public mind.



Trustees:
I.M. Kadri Nandan Maluste Teesta Setalvad Cyrus Guzder
Javed Akhtar Alyque Padamsee Anil Dharker
Ghulam Pesh Imam
Javed Anand  Rahul Bose Cedric Prakash

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Little blue bird, zindabad

It seems up-rooting of social media as promised by the Caliph of Istanbul is a bit easier said than done. Better luck next time, old chap.

Turkey’s
attempt to block access to Twitter appeared to backfire on Friday with
many tech-savvy users circumventing the ban and suspicions growing that
the prime minister was using court orders to suppress corruption
allegations against him and his government.

Turkey’s
telecommunications authority confirmed early Friday that it had blocked
access to the social media network hours after Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “rip out the roots” of the website.
Tweets
have proliferated with links to recordings that appear to incriminate
him and other top officials in corruption.

By midday Friday, tweets were continuing unabated as users swapped
instructions online on how to change settings. One enterprising user
spread the word by defacing Turkish election posters with instructions
on beating censors.

President Abdullah Gul, a political ally of
Erdogan’s, was among those who circumvented the order, which he
contested in a series of tweets. “I hope this implementation won’t last long,” he wrote.

“Prime Minister Erdogan’s move spells the lengths he will go to censor
the flood of politically damaging wiretap recordings circulating on
social media,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, senior Turkey researcher at
Human Rights Watch.

Andrew Przybylski, a researcher at
Britain’s Oxford Internet Institute said the ban appeared to be working
through the Domain Name System or DNS blocking, which was easy to work
around.

He said many Twitter-hungry Turks manually changed the
DNS settings on their computers and in their phones to point to Google’s
Domain Name System, which isn’t affected by the ban.

Earlier,
many users trying to access the network instead saw a notice from
Turkey’s telecommunications authority, citing four court orders.

Turkey’s lawyers’ association asked a court to overturn the ban,
arguing it was unconstitutional and violated Turkish and European human
rights laws. Turkey’s main opposition party also applied for a
cancellation.

Twitter’s (at)policy account earlier sent out
messages telling Turkish users in both English and Turkish they could
send out tweets by using short message service, or “SMS.” It was unclear
how those tweets would be viewable.

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Crimea loses, India wins

The conditions are indeed favorable at this point.

India desperately needs to make nuclear energy work and the Russians are passionate about friends (apart from say…Syria) who look the other way.

India and Russia are set to sign the much delayed
techno-commercial agreement for Kudankulam 3 and 4 reactors later this month.
Government sources said all differences, resulting from India’s contentious
Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act, 2010, had been taken care of with
Moscow finally agreeing to bring the pressurised water reactors under the
purview of the law.

Russia had until now maintained that the liability law, which makes suppliers
of equipment financially accountable in the event of an accident, was a recent
and an unnecessary invention in its civil nuclear partnership with India.

Unlike Kudankulam 3 and 4, the first and second Kudankulam units will function
independent of the liability law. Fearing that allowing the same concession for
the third and fourth units could lead to similar demands from other countries,
India had officially conveyed to Russia in 2012 that both the units will have
to operate under the liability law.

Russia had responded by saying that that the 2010 law was not in keeping with
the spirit of the 2008 civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the two
countries and that the cost of the supplied equipment would increase
significantly if the suppliers were made accountable. …..Russian deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin had said,
“If the supplier is to bear additional financial responsibility for
hypothetical damage, then the price of the supplied equipment will increase,
naturally.”
 

India and Russia had in 2013 signed an agreement for a $3.4
billion Russian line of credit for the reactors. The cost for the two reactors
is expected to be more than $7 billion.

The agreement, however, was not delayed only because of the liability issue. At
one stage, the UPA government deliberately slowed down negotiations as it
waited for protests in the coastal town against nuclear reactors to subside.  

PM
Manmohan Singh told then President Dmitry Medvedev during his visit to Russia
in March 2012 that the agreement would have to wait “until the conditions
became favorable.”

 

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“experiment of developing India ….has failed”

Deeply enchanted with Mao and completely disenchanted with Nehru (and his successors), Neville Maxwell made the following predictions.  

Ramchandra Guha looks at how well the verdicts have held up over time.

IN the first weeks of 1967, the Times of London carried a series
of articles on “India’s Disintegrating Democracy”. Written by their
Delhi correspondent, Neville Maxwell, these assessed the upcoming
General Elections, the fourth held since Independence, and the first
since Jawaharlal Nehru’s death. 
 
The articles were deeply pessimistic
about the prospect for democracy in India. As Maxwell wrote, “famine is
threatening, the administration is strained and universally believed to
be corrupt, the government and the governing party have lost public
confidence and belief in themselves as well”.
These various crises had
created an “emotional readiness for the rejection of Parliamentary
democracy”. The “politically sophisticated Indians” whom Maxwell spoke
to expressed “a deep sense of defeat, an alarmed awareness that the
future is not only dark but profoundly uncertain”.
Maxwell’s own view was that “the crisis is upon India — he could spy
`the already fraying fabric of the nation itself”, with the states
“already beginning to act like sub-nations”. His conclusion was
unequivocal: that while Indians would soon vote in “the fourth — and
surely last — general election”, “the great experiment of developing
India within a democratic framework has failed”.
The imminent collapse of democracy in India, thought Maxwell, would
provoke a frantic search for “an alternative antidote for the society’s
troubles”.  

Three options presented themselves. 

The first was represented
by the Jan Sangh (forerunner of today’s Bharatiya Janata Party).
This
would play the Hindu card but fail, since it was as corrupt and
faction-ridden as the other parties, and because the South would reject
its over-zealous promotion of the Hindi language. 

The second possibility
was an army coup,
but this too “seems out of the question in India”
because of the complex federal system. To succeed, there would have to
be 17 simultaneous coups in the States, as well as one in the centre.

While a straightforward coup was unlikely, Maxwell thought that the army
would nonetheless come to rule India through indirect means.
As he
predicted, “in India, as present trends continue, within the
ever-closing vice of food and population, maintenance of an ordered
structure of society is going to slip out of reach of an ordered
structure of civil government and the army will be the only alternative source of authority and order. That it will be drawn into a civil role seems inevitable, the only doubt is how?”
Maxwell answered his query by suggesting that “a mounting tide of public
disorder, fed perhaps by pockets of famine”, would lead to calls for a
strengthening of the office of the President. The Rashtrapathi would be
asked to literally act as the Father of the Nation, “to assert a
stabilizing authority over the centre and the country”. Backing him
would be the army, which would come to exercise “more and more civil
authority”. In this scenario, the President would become “either the
actual source of political authority, or a figure-head for a group
composed possibly of army officers and a few politicians … “.
Forty years down the road, we can perhaps say that Maxwell’s predictions
have been fulfilled in part, modest part.
The BJP has been shown to be
as corrupt and faction-ridden as (say) the Congress, the army has been
called in more often to quell civil disorder, and the President is no
longer a complete figure-head.  Yet his (Maxwell’s) extreme scepticism
about parliamentary democracy, his announcement of its imminent demise,
has turned out to be very mistaken indeed.
Rather than use the benefit of hindsight, let us contrast to Maxwell’s
gloominess a more upbeat contemporary estimate. This was provided by an
anonymous correspondent of another British journal, The Guardian.
His assessment of that election campaign of 1967 began by mentioning
how “the Delhi correspondent of a British newspaper whose thundering
misjudgments in foreign affairs have become a byword has expressed the
view that Indian democracy is disintegrating”. 
Then he added: “My own view after three weeks traveling round the country and talking to all and sundry, is that Indian democracy is now for the first time coming fully alive”.

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The West India company

…is striving to be a bit more humane than the East India Company (the 18th c. avatar, not the 21st c. shop owned by Sanjiv Mehta).

Taymoor Soomro recounts the bad old days in the Dawn
….
The East India Company was to its generation, what Amazon will likely be to
the next: monstrous, semi-sovereign, monopolistic, life-styling. It was a
state-backed, limited liability company incorporated in the seventeenth century
to explore the world and trade for the British. Through commerce and political
machination, it acquired increasing control over India and eventually colonised
the subcontinent before it was absorbed into the British administration.  

Over
its almost three century (first) life, it grew to rule one-fifth of the world’s
population, command a standing army of 200,000 men and control half the world’s
trade.
It was simply “the Company”.

The Company stood for power, adventure, discovery, luxury and class. It did
not bring civilisation to the subcontinent. The Mughals of the 17th and 18th
centuries were far more sophisticated than the British in many ways.
But it
brought tea and spices to the West and cheap cloth — calico, gingham, chintz,
seersucker and taffeta for example — a clean underwear revolution. Like all
corporates, its greatest strength and failing was its pure profit motive. In an
age with little regulation and competition, that absolute lack of morality
harnessed to extraordinary power generated massive profit and massive harm.  

The
Company played a role in the Bengal Famine of 1770 in which 10 million died,
the Boston Tea Party in 1773, the Anglo-Chinese Opium Wars from 1839 to 1842
and 1856 to 1860 and the War of Independence 1857, also known as mutiny; and
destroyed local textile and shipbuilding industries.
It was finally dissolved
in 1874 because of its failures in administration. The grotesque poverty of the
subcontinent today is in part a product of its rule.

So its revival comes as something of a surprise. Even more so, given that
the resuscitator who has pressed his warm breath between its blue lips is an
Indian. Sanjiv Mehta — a businessman with a diverse background in gemology and
tea trading — bought the rights to use the East India Company name in 2005.

There are clearly incentives. The East India Company has a name and
reputation that provide an obvious platform for a luxury goods retailer. Even
more so because we seem to remember the good and none of the bad. It is, in
British history, the original bridge to the exotic Orient, bringing tea and
pepper and cloves and muslin to the Empire. And in subcontinental history, the
Company heralded the British Raj — and brought order to India in a way that
none have since.
Its recent revival is an exercise in monetising those elements
of orientalism and nostalgia and as such its investment appears to be purely in
its branding.

Don’t get me wrong — if, on a hungry afternoon, at the back of a cupboard, I
chanced upon a dusty jar of its Real Raspberries Enrobed in Chocolate, I’d
likely enjoy them notwithstanding my discomfort with their politics and
semantics.

But in the end the East India Company’s revival leaves me more than anything
else with an unpleasant taste in my mouth. Its gruesome legacy, its
orientalism, its poor product selection make this endeavor unwise. In its
second incarnation, the Company retains its relentless thirst for profit but
little else.  

And to revive a grand Empire builder as a gift shop — well, it’s
like Pol Pot as a Cabbage Patch Kid: embarrassingly distasteful … but perhaps
appropriately degrading. If this is an act of revenge, it’s masterful.

……………
IT
major Tata Consultancy Services said it has been named as the top
employer in Europe for the second consecutive year by the Top Employers
Institute.

The company was recognised as an exceptional performer
across six core human resources areas – primary conditions, secondary
benefits, working conditions, training, career development and company
culture.

 

“We are delighted to have been rated as the foremost
employer across Europe for the second consecutive year and we look
forward to building on this success as we continue to grow and develop
our talent base across the UK and Continental Europe,” TCS Executive
Vice President and Global Head, Human Resources Ajoy Mukherjee said.

 

Previously known as the CRF Institute, The Top Employers Institute is
an independent organisation that identifies top performers in the field
of Human Resources worldwide. The Top Employer certification is based on independent research conducted by the institute and audited by Grant Thornton.

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