Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dialectic Materialism is outdated

I was reading this book in defense of dialectic materialism.
The book is really funny ( strangely they claim it to be popular). It belongs to the same plot, same strategy I have seen in defending Vedas, Gita, Koran and Bible by bringing modern laws of Physics without understanding basic methodology of science.
Let me cite an example:
Authors write:
Publish Post

The fundamental proposition of dialectics is that everything is in a constant process of change, motion and development. Even when it appears to us that nothing is happening, in reality, matter is always changing. Molecules, atoms and subatomic particles are constantly changing place, always on the move. Dialectics is thus an essentially dynamic interpretation of the phenomena and processes which occur at all levels of both organic and inorganic matter.

Further, he wants to defend:

"My dialectic method," wrote Marx, "is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To Hegel, the life-process of the human brain, i.e. the process of thinking, which, under the name of ‘the Idea,’ he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of ‘the Idea.’ With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought.

The whole aspect of dialectic materialism is really funny. Time dependent quantum mechanics and General theory of relativity (GTR) that define the basic laws for the change- the evolution of material with time, have been discovered as a consequence of series of experimental discoveries. And not by following dialectic materialism, because it is too general and non-sense to a Physicist unless he is a devoted Marxist who is looking for physics in dialectic materialism like a devoted Hindu professor who looks for quantum mechanics in Veda.

The physics is all about evolution of any material ensemble that has its diffusion (non-steady, evolving or chaotic) and steady state behavior ( equilibrium behavior).

In that sense whole physics is dialectic materialism because it is all about motion and evolution of material ensemble! While this is true, what can be more nonsense than claiming that dialectic materialism is Physics? Just because Upanishad stated 'Sam Sarati Ati' -the material world is in a state of change always, we will conclude that Upanishad contains whole physics because it revealed core theme of physics like dialectic materialism?

Even in quantitative social evolution theory, scientists are using time dependent equations always-which means any social evolution is considered close to statistical mechanical model of molecular evolution (Pregonin). This development owes it root in theoretical development in statistical mechanics and not in dialectic materialism. Now, just because this evolution explains a society in motion and in equilibrium, will we say anything and everything that is happening in the social evolution is dialectic materialism?

Here is simple summery. Science developed its model of evolution in physics,biology and social sciences as a consequence of experimental observation. Philosophical thinking of dialectic materialism never influenced or inspired Newton, Einstein, Darwin or Heisenberg to discover their epoch making laws of science! It is the dedicated labor of experimentalists and force of production of capitalism that have forced the discoveries of modern method of science.

So our conclusion should be simple. Dialectic materialism is a completely unnecessary hypothesis for any modern research of any discipline. Anybody who is trying term any science as dialectic materialism, is politically motivated and is unwarranted.They are enemy of a free society. As we all know, such fraud of dialectic materialism killed 100M people in last century in the form of communism.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

To the critics of Indira Gandhi

Ever since the British handed over the power, the greatest challenge in Indian politics till today always revolved round the alleviation of poverty and dissemination of national policies to the hand of the marginal people tickling down through the gigantic corruption of Indian Bureaucracy. Nevertheless, throughout in the first four decades of post Independence era, when neo-liberalism was not a fad of state policy and populism ruled a great part of democratic spectrum in the Europe and the India, Indira's legacy was one of the consistent mark of progress and social justice deeply entrenched in the Indian values of peace and harmony. However, for the most part of her career as a president of Indian National Congress and Indian prime minister, she has been branded as an autocratic and intolerant leader. Her opponents jump into the immediate example of emergency she imposed in 1975 suspending democracy of India. Besides, they bring several examples of small incidents where she treated ministers and office bearers as her own servants-she changed their chair at her mercy.

While all of this is true, we need to analyze her actions and consequences with historical context and further view it with the personality cult of Indira which was built as an assimilation of ideas from the greatest leaders of the 20th century like Gandhi, Rabindranath, Krishna Memon and not to mention Neheru himself. She had witnessed the brutality of British police in India with sharp contrast to British liberalism in Britain, lived in austerity with great defiance of materialism inspired by Krishna Menon, Gandhi and Tagore and finally for the most part of the second world war, although bed-ridden for acute tuberculosis, she volunteered to help the wounded in the battle of Britain. She had first hand experience of savagery of second world war and imperial police storming into Neheru's house almost as a monthly affair. Growing up with the bitter experience of western materialism and teaching of eastern spiritualism by Tagore and Gandhi, she developed a profound liking for social benevolence as opposed to aggression and inhumanity perpetrated by western imperialism. Therefore, for the rest part of her life, we would find her as a fierce leader against American imperialism, Pakistani atrocities in Bangladesh and social menaces of Indian tradition. She championed social democracy by nationalizing the banks and other national wealth solely inspired by cause of social justice rather than any left leaning ideology-she had none.

It will be worthwhile to take deeper look into emergency in India. On June 26th, 1975, why was she compelled to sacrifice democracy of India? Remember she admitted her mistakes publicly in 1980 for imposing the emergency. But was that too bad of a decision? Was it solely motivated by the greed of power when Alahabad High Court disqualified her MP status and subsequently imposed a ban of six years for fighting in the election?

Decree of emergency suspending all the civil liberties was issued by president Fakhruddin Ali Ahamed by article 352 of Indian constitution as advised by Indira Gandhi on 26th June, 1975. Wikipedia version of the situation that led to the event of emergency is quoted below:

Raj Narain, who had been defeated in parliamentary election by Indira Gandhi, lodged cases of election fraud and use of state machinery for election purposes against Mrs. Indira Gandhi in the Allahabad High Court. On June 12, 1975, Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha of the Allahabad High Court found the Prime Minister guilty on the charge of misuse of government machinery for her election campaign. The court declared her election null and void and unseated her from her seat in the Lok Sabha. The court also banned her from contesting any election for an additional six years. Ironically some serious charges such as bribing voters and election malpractices were dropped and she was held responsible for misusing the government machinery, and found guilty on charges such as using the state police to build a dais, availing the services of an IAS officer, Yashpal Kapoor, during the elections before he had resigned from his position, and use of electricity from the state electricity department. Because the court unseated her on comparatively frivolous charges, while she was acquitted on more serious charges, The Times described it as 'firing the Prime Minister for a traffic ticket'. However, strikes in labor and trade unions, student unions and government unions swept across the country. Protests led by J.P.Narayan, Raj Narain and Morarji Desai flooded the streets of Delhi close to the Parliament building and the PM's residence. The persistent efforts of Raj Narain, was praised worldwide as it took over 4 years for Justice Jagmohan Lal Sinha to finally pass judgement against Indira Gandhi. The ruling later became the primary reason for the imposition of emergency by Indira Gandhi. It also encouraged greater belief in the judiciary and democracy in India.

When you read the history like this, anybody will get into a convincing belief that Indira had no other reason but to save her chair and power when clearly she was deposed by ruling of Alahabad High Court. But in all fairness, did we ask ourselves the question, was that ruling so unsettling for her as we all may think? Sonia Gandhi is no prime minister of India and yet she is still Congress supremo, the most powerful politician of India. Indira would have stepped down very easily as PM and would have continued to be president of INC-would that had taken her out of power corridor? No way. Then when there was no reason to believe she would not have lost any control of power even by following High Court ruling of Allahabad Court, why did she impose emergency? Remember Supreme Court of India granted a conditional stay of execution on 24th June-2 days before the emergency. Therefore, she was not at all under constitutional crisis when she declared the emergency as the case was hanging in Supreme Court with a clear stay order. She would have fought and won easily given that the allegation was not good enough to unseat her from PM position although Supreme Court might have ordered re-election as she indeed violated the election laws in 1971 which she admitted in later years. Later in 1975 Supreme Court nullified Alahabad High Court order but since, it happened during suspension of democracy, we should not view that to be a perfectly neutral judgment.

Indeed, all evidences in hand suggest, it was not the lust for her power but for the fact Jayprakash Narayn almost brought India to a virual halt, Indira was forced to take a very unpleasant decision as patriotic nationalist. GDP growth was sinking to worst during 1973-1975 as opposition movement unleashed reign of strikes throughout the country and Indira observed "People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights ".

Last sentence was the clue. In 20th century all the great civil and communist movements fell flat on the face because of the fact that while fighting for the right of equality and civic liberties, those political systems ignored production and logistic need to be maintained , people need to be fed and jobs have to be generated. Else, the state would collapse. In West Bengal, I do believe we have achieved more social equality and removed caste barriers than other parts of India because of progressive Left Front Government but at the end, the state is simply collapsing because of what Indira said- Left Front government was more concerned about the political right of the people than make them aware of their duties. This resulted in a complete stagnation and virtual collapse of the state economy which has the highest number of registered unemployed youths and lowest median salary even for those who are employed.

Indira believed in Nationalistic Socialism and as it was true for other leaders of same ideology, national progress always outweighed democracy in their line of thinking. Indeed Indira was quite aware of this when she said "My father was a statesman, I am a political woman. My father was a saint. I am not." And she had courage to speak that because she was imbibed with nationalism "Even if I died in the service of the nation, I would be proud of it. Every drop of my blood... will contribute to the growth of this nation and to make it strong and dynamic"

And she looked back at JP's movement from two angles-first it was impediment and obstacle to national growth and secondly, she has been victimized by conspiracy of male politicians all over the India because guided by inherent male ego, they could not put up with the image of a strong woman. Therefore she said "All my games were political games; I was, like Joan of Arc, perpetually being burned at the stake."

So it is clear that she saw JP's agitation as danger to national growth as it can easily be cited by the GDP growth data during 1974-1975 when per capita GDP fell from $164 to $156 ! One of the rare year in the history of post Independence in which India achieved negative growth thanks to JP's call to shutdown the whole country! I don't think, Indira would have at all cared for her possible ousting from Indian PM position as she was well secured in the INC but such a cataclysmic failure of Indian economy thanks to JP's agitation had to be put to an end or else, India as a nation was clearly sinking. Remember she was able to reverse the trend of negative growth to highly positive one-in 1977 when India's per capita GDP roofed to $184! Almost more than 15% growth over 1976 which India would never achieve again even in the early years of vibrant neo-liberalism of 91-2000! While I would never advocate growth by sacrificing democracy but when India was sinking to nadir, people were losing jobs left and right, whatelse she would have done? And indeed emergency achieved what it was intended for-reversing the negative GDP trend to a very high positive growth which a poor country like India desperately needed to struggle against hunger and chronic unemployment.

So to all of her critics, I would speak what she spoke "There exists no politician in India daring enough to attempt to explain to the masses that cows can be eaten" . Yes, when such is the pathetic state of populism in the politics of India, we do need a leader like Indira Gandhi who would have courage to take unpopular decision for the sake of national interest.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama's peace Nobel: Another shame on Nobel committee

Nobel peace prize has always been controversial. Just imagine a terrorist like Yasser Arafat or an war criminal like Henry Kissinger was awarded for their contribution to 'humanity' where as Gandhi never won Nobel Prize in peace! I guess the last information was enough to puncture the glory of Nobel peace prize and this year's award to US president Barack Obama is just another straw in the same hat of ignominy and disrepute known as Nobel Peace Prize. I am not saying he would not have won it one day because of his peace effort but I believe that is as much as saying, I am trying to discover dark matter and I have a equation too! Then why not Nobel Prize to me? Just imagine this year Nobel winner in Physics, Charles Cao discovered optical fiber in 1978 and he has to wait a bloody 31 years before Nobel committee could agree on his honor and achievement. By 1991, it was extremely clear that optical fiber is the future of backbone long haul communication but even then, it took Nobel committee 18 years to recognize it.

Imagine now what Obama has achieved in peace process. He is trying to appease people in Middle East, leaders in China and military bosses in Pakistan in last couple of months. Will that achieve in peace in return? Did Iran step back even an inch from its aggressive foreign policy towards Israel because of Obama's historic speech in Cairo? Did hamas stop firing rockets to Israel? Has Taliban shown any sign of cutting a peace deal when they bombed UN headquarter in Pakistan? He even dared to keep an appointment with Dalai Lama to appease the Chinese authority! This is as much about Obama's mettle for peace process.

I am not saying that he is not genuinely interested about peace. The question is- what he has finally achieved? Nothing so far in peace process and even if he would eventually achieve anything, it would take years before we can see its ultimate result. Kao was not given Nobel Prize in 1978 because nobody that time knew what would be the future of Optical Fiber.

Alfred Nobel's will stated that the prize should be awarded by a committee of five people elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Norway and Sweden were at that time still united, and with Sweden responsible for all foreign policy, Nobel felt that the prize might be less subject to political corruption if awarded by Norway. However Nobel's best desire could not save the peace prize falling in hand of irresponsible parliamentarians of Norway.

Therefore Mr President, I would request you to decline the Nobel Prize-your personal achievement is much more than a Nobel Laureate and therefore, by declining it you will save the honor of Nobel Peace prize as well as your integrity to be an intelligent state leader.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

বাংলাদেশ এবং ইন্দিরা গান্ধী

এই নিয়ে লেখাত অনেকই যায়-কিন্ত আমি এই লেখা লিখছি ইন্দিরা গান্ধীর একটি ইন্টারভিউ এর পরিপেক্ষিতে। ইন্দিরা গান্ধী তখন বিদেশ সফরে-সবাই প্রশ্ন তুলেছে পাকিস্থানের আভ্যন্তরীন ব্যাপারে ভারত কেন নাক গলাচ্ছে? কেন বাংলাদেশ গেরিলাদের ভারত সাহায্য দিচ্ছে?

তার উত্তরে ইন্দিরা যে উত্তর দিয়েছিলেন, তাতে আমেরিকার মুখ সম্পুর্ণ ভোঁতা করে দিয়েছিলেন। বিশ্বের দরবারে প্রমান করেছিলেন বাংলাদেশের স্বাধীনতা যুদ্ধ নিয়ে আমেরিকা ও বৃটেনের দ্বিচারিতা।

আমার কাছে এই ইন্টারভিউটি একটি অনবদ্য মানব দলিল, যা জাতি দেশ ধর্মের উর্ধে উঠে মানবতাকে প্রতিষ্ঠা করে এবং মানবতা নিয়ে পাশ্চাত্যের মানুষের দ্বিচারিতাকে বেয়াব্রু বিচ্ছিন্ন করে।

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gandhism and modern biology

For a long time I have admired Gandhism, specially the aspect of self realization of truth as only mean to personal and social change. Experimenting with truth also consumed me a lot but the obsession paid off in my personal and professional life. Being an atheist, I had difficulty to assimilate how non-violence conforms to our survivability of genetic existence when we see only the stronger and fierce species survive in the nature and also in human society. Then recently while I was writing an article on Gandhism and Marxism, I came across several modern works on Gandhism exploring evolutionary cause of non-violence and altruism. Besides, neurological experience of non-violence also explains in great details how Gandhism works and will work better in the grand scheme of human evolution.

Before I explain in details, we need to understand whether we are altruist by social education or as a result of evolutionary inheritance? Is altruism embedded in our genetics?

The word "altruism" (derived from French autre "other," in its turn derived from Latin alter "other") was coined by Auguste Comte, the French founder of positivism, in order to describe the ethical doctrine he supported. He believed that individuals had a moral obligation to serve the interest of others or the "greater good" of humanity. Comte says, in his Catechisme Positiviste,

social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such notion rests on individualism. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. After our birth these obligations increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service…. This ["to live for others"], the definitive formula of human morality, gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, the common source of happiness and duty. [Man must serve] Humanity, who we are entirely.

Although in all the religions, altruism is the foundation of their very existence, in biology definition is tricky and at a time uprightly rude. My action will be under the definition of biological altruism if it reduces my reproductive fitness while increasing the same for the benefactors [1].

For example during the freedom struggle of India, all the freedom fighters risked their life as well as survival of their family so that fellow Indians can live in freedom and prosperity. The same phenomena is also observed throughout the biological kingdom-birds guard the eggs of the other birds risking their lives. Question that scientists always tried to answer- why the species, or we the biological beings tend to sacrifice our own reproductive fitness when from Darwinism it appears, we are nothing but a genetic survival machine? How would you explain this anomaly [2][3][4]?

Biologists came up with two possible explanations. Darwin tried to explain this as group selection-that is survival of a genetic group is more important than individual genetic mark-ups. But Richard Dawkins explained such group genetic explanation has problem with " subversion from within" [2].

Imagine that in a group of birds with altruistic genes, one mutant bird with a selfish gene is born. This selfish bird will be a "free rider" because it will have an advantage in reproductive fitness in virtue of the altruism of the other birds. Consequently, its selfish gene is more likely to be reproduced, and, over time, one would expect a selfish mutant gene to dominate over the altruistic gene. A counter to this model would be the consideration that if groups are benefited by altruism within the group, then a more altruistic group may well hold a selective advantage over a second group weakened by the individual with the selfish gene[2][3].

Therefore the second possibility is with kin selection and reciprocal altruism. This means, if I be altruist to your cause, you will be to mine as well- a simple game of favor exchange. Gandhism is based on reciprocal altruism. That is, if we be kind enough to our opponent and let them see through clearly that we are their friends and not foes and thus by doing so, if our opponents realize that our altruist behavior is to his benefit where as his oppressive nature is even against his own reproductive fitness, there is always a high possibility our enemy will turn altruist towards us as well.

Gandhi was not aware of reciprocal altruism but his sole thesis and life-long conviction to non-violent movement was based on it. When he emphasized to illuminate Godliness among our enemy by our own altruist deed, in reality he appealed to reciprocal altruism embedded in our genetics. That is the root cause of why Gandhism gained wide appeal across the whole world-because he has been able to extract one of our most important feature for biological survival to the best use of mankind's problem.

[1]Hamilton, W. D. 1970. "Selfish and Spiteful Behaviour in an Evolutionary Model," Nature 228: 1218-1220.
[2]Hamilton, W. D. 1972. "Altruism and Related Phenomena, mainly in the Social Insects,' Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 3: 193-232
[3] Maynard Smith, J., 1998. "The Origin of Altruism," Nature 393: 639-640.
[4] Sober, E. 1988. "What is Evolutionary Altruism?" in New Essays on Philosophy and Biology (Canadian Journal of Philosophy Supp. Vol. 14), B. Linsky and M. Mathen, eds., Calgary: University of Calgary Press. )

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Che Guevara and Kobad Ghandhi: Why do they mislead?

No doubt for last two days, arrest of Kobad Ghandhi, a politburo member of the Maoist rebel group rocked the national media. Definitely what stirred the most is his sacrifice of career and Persian family fortune which he and his wife inherited during 1970. After he was baptized in Leninism in London, he continued to serve oppressed rural people of India and finally joined Maoist rebels during 1980's. One may think that rebels are just trigger happy gun master fighting against either Indian military force or Salua Julum but BBC interview of Kobad in 2008 clearly speaks volume for his work among the oppressed rural people in Madhya Pradesh.

You will instantly fall in love with him after reading the interview. Here is a man came from England, sacrificed his family fortune and worked tirelessly among most backward section of Indian people. He toiled for them who have not tasted the sweet success of Rs 10 lakh salaried babus in global economy. Instead they was left to rot and worst the natural resources based on which they have survived generation after generation was encroached by greedy corporates who want to grab every possible inch of land in India if that is possible. So indeed he is a hero-champion of the common mass.

I am also sure millions of Indian youths who were disillusioned by wretched politicians now must breathe a fresh air that such a true lover of common people still exists even amidst such acute crisis of materialism. Like Nietzsche, all of us are searching for a true hero inside us from the childhood-for every sphere of life. And we found one in every sector-we have a Tendulkar for cricket, Mother Teresa for charity, Bacchan for acting-but who would fill the void in politics? Frankly there was none. Jay Prakash Narayan may be close but again VP Singh or his kind, at best proved their worth to be a politician and not a champion of common mass. We always lacked one who could match proverbial romantic appeal of Che Guevera. So called leftist like Jyoti Basu or Harkishen Singh Surajit will not even fit the bill of a decent socialist politician let alone a nonpareil hero.

But now you need to look critically at Kobad's life removing the veil of romanticism. Read his interview and you would immediately figure out he believes in a socialist heaven. A society without oppression, with respect and equality for all. Like Kobad, all of us are looking for a better world-magical political system. But Sir Karl Popper pointed out

"The belief in a political Utopia is especially dangerous. This is possibly connected with the fact that the search for a better world, like the investigation of our environment, is (if I am correct) one of the oldest and most important of all the instincts"

Because we know, attempts to establish communist heaven actually produced hell in which more than 100 millions of people sacrificed their life in political genocides in the last century-the largest in human history. And it is all because there was no democracy in heaven. It turned out a democratic hell of India is far better choice than undemocratic heaven of former Soviet Union.

Just take the example of Stalin. He too sacrificed his comfortable life and good career as meteorologist. Bur instead, he took to bank robbery to raise fund for Bolshevik revolution. He lost his first wife in poverty which he embraced to serve people. But what happened at the end? Once he captured absolute power in party congress of 1928, after which, he emerged as the greatest demonic figure of the 20th century only to match Hitler! And as much as I have gone through the details of his history, all the executions, genocides and forced labor camp of Gulag -every institution of prosecution was justified by his Utopian political system. And at the end, United States achieved far more for themselves and for the whole world. If you look today, every life saving medicine, every technology that we use-computer, Internet, TV, Radio were invented in America. Soviet Union could not discover a single life saving drug. They produced only missiles after missiles. This is despite the fact USSR at a point employed twice more scientists than than Americans.

What does that tell you? There is no alternative to multi-party democracy. There is no alternative to pluralist society. Yes you can create equality but you can not feed them because production system sinks under such Utopian political system.

It is nice to talk about people's revolution but it can not sustain on empty stomach. In all the socialist countries, production system completely collapsed in the absence of market. Quality of life of a Cuban or a North Korian is worse than a beggar in India. You imagine the rest.

Therefore sacrificing for Utopian political system, which we all admire, is also squarely a danger to our political system. It's a Trojan horse. You bring it inside with admiration and then you become a victim of it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Prakash Karat will decimate CPM

A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry.
-George Bernard Shaw

As EC finalized the polling date today, Prakash Karat announced he is still looking! Yes, he is still looking for a one or more secular partner for a live-in relation after all communism is so pure- permanent wedlock is out of question. And he is looking for a secular partner since the collapse of his failed attempt to discover Leninist imperialism in US-India nuclear deal. Sad that his prospective secular match in Mayabati or Jaylalita didn't materialize after all in Indian politics, secularism is a mere calmoflage to lure Muslim votebank. So this gentleman thinks he is at the helm of affair of the Indian lefts! His power and status is a result of hardworks of Bengal comrades whose dedication has given him recognition in Delhi or else his status would be no better than a commoner given his level of political maturity and wisdom. And when he spoke today that he is looking for a truely secular party to partner, I recalled Plato-Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.

Therefore, I thought it would be apt to remind Prakash Karat how his meaningless persuit of third fornt is jeopardizing CPM's future in India which is already bleak among the Indian youths.
Three decades back CPM would be certainly having at least one or more MPs from almost every major state where as now, they would not be able to fight even Panchyet election in many of those same states. We can take a look of how CPM is dessicating from Indian political map in last two decades.

This is overall situation:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Political literates versus Rahul Gandhi

Being raised in a leftist family of Bengal, I often stumbled across the two worlds of reality about Gandhi family. While Indian leftists assessed Rajiv and Rahul as politically illiterate emperor of Gandhi dynasty, I wondered why these "illiterate" Gandhis made far too less mistakes compared to so many political pundits of leftists put all together. More importantly I also failed to understand how power has corrupted and transformed CP(I)M into a fascist monster in West Bengal where as despite being in power in the whole country and for a longer time, Gandhi doyens have been able to maintain democracy in whole India-an unique feature among all third world countries, for which, India has been applauded in high respect all over the world. I travelled across Europe and North America. I noticed my westerner friends respect India for our ability to uphold democracy in this diverse and unique nation. But in a small state like West Bengal, democracy has been lynched to death by political pundits who are proud to be leftist and claim to have the best political knowledge of the world. Isn't that an irony? Or is there a science behind it?

To me, it was bizarre and absurdity at best.

Therefore I did thorough soul searching as to why Rajiv was more successful than his seasoned political rivals. Even today, Rahul Gandhi is also scoring high over his political counterparts in BJP and CPM despite their acclaimed political maturity and knowledge. I will not say that Rajiv Gandhi committed no mistake at all-indeed he did with Sahabanu case which paved the way for rise of Hinduvta and fanatic Muslim force. But overall, Rajiv was first to galvanize this nation with political and economic reform which catapulted India into center of the world both economically and politically after a long stagnation. Why then Rajiv was successful to transform this nation while political pundits could not? Even today, we see Rahul is propounding the vision of future while our old and the best political pundits are trying to extract water out of quagmire.

This led me to a deeper question about political theory and ideology. Does empiricism-attempt to formulate laws out of past political experience works at all in practice? In philosophy of social science,
this has been made extremely clear. Very few of the social observations can be said to be manifestation of laws of the society or history. To give you an example-let' s talk about historical materialism of Marxist school-a vision of history that formulates evolution of history and every social event as manifestation of class struggle. Or let say Leninist vision of imperialism-which he formulated as the highest stage of capitalism from famous work of British political theorist Hobson.

Now see the troubled part of this kind of empiricism. With technological evolution in USA, my housemaid, who cleans my house twice a month, drives an old Mercedes. She earns more than my wife who is a law clerk. By classical Marxist definition, my wife is a Bourgeoisie and my housemaid belongs to proletariat class! Yet this proletariat is materially better off because of technological revolution as she is no more an ordinary housemaid-she knows how to run the state of the art cleaning machines and works as a proud cleaner. As the more technological revolution would take place, robots would replace most of the works done by the proletariat and the proletariat would transgress into expert machine operators for which they will work as independent or skilled workers. Of course in democracy there will be conflict of different interest groups but by no means, in a functional democracy such conflicts can not be resolved through ballots. Bottom line-Marxist reductionism of class is at best a fuzzy suggestion and class struggle is even a furthest stretch of political fiction.

Now notice the peril of Leninist reductionism. Indian lefts opposed US-India nuclear deal citing imperialistic design of United States which undoubtedly resulted from Leninist theory of imperialism. But in reality, although US has a long history of imperialism, that deal was simply a civilian trade deal that India badly needed for her energy security as Nuclear energy would dominate the world in next couple of decades.

Last example would show political ideology is actually a hindrance than a help. West Bengal today is one of the worst state in India in terms of industrialization, education, public health and political violence. This all happened because ruling left wanted to run West Bengal according to obsolete Leninism and in process industries fled from the state. This state is a glaring example that political ideology does not work at all or worst, how political ideology can ruin a state. It didn't work for Russia or Iran-neither will it ever work anywhere in the world. Reason is simple. Any empirical political law is a kind of reductionism. We try to reduce some set of observations to laws and try to apply that empirical experience elsewhere. Like our communists tried to import Russian Bolshevik experience to India. It never worked in caste infested Indian society as admitted by CP(I)M times and again. Reason is simple. We can formulate physical laws of water because water consists of water molecules that are identical in its property and behavior. But society is composed of human beings where everyone of them is different in their aspiration and objectives. Therefore, no such statistical laws can be formulated around a society and at a given time, to solve a social problem, best alternative has to be adopted without any preconceived bias of ideology.

There lies success of Rahul Gandhi. He entered into Congress and observed perennial weakness of Congress organization in terms of nepotism and frustration of its grass root workers. He realized organization needs democratic reform so that grass root workers can select their own leaders. This is only thing CPM does perfectly about their party organization. Also it is extremely clear Rahul is resolved to take this country out of casteism and communalism. He has emphasized Muslims as human beings and Indians rather than alienation as Muslim. Even leftist leaders could not show this level of resolved courage fearing reprisal from fanatic Muslim community leaders who want to retain Muslim identity to benefit from their community leadership.

Overall, Rahul remains truthful to his own conscience and experience. This is the most important quality for a leader. Besides he also has truly western character of exploring the situation in person and he does not form opinion unless he investigates the incident by himself. This is an extraordinary scientific ability because as I said, instead of forming opinions swept by ideology, for a better tangible solution, a leader has to probe the problem like a true doctor-that is to inspect the patient by eyes and ears. That's where Rahul Gandhi stands as the best.

Unfortunately, Congress worker's off-balance enthusiasm about Rahul is harming his image. After Rajasthan election, Congress supporters were shouting about Rahulji where as true architect was Gelhot. Same happened in Delhi. This sent out a reactant message and insipid taste to majority of Indians who love Rahul Gandhi but is not fanatic to the extent that they would not spell out who deserves more credit. Such fanatic behavior of Congress supporters about Rahul Gandhi only exposes intellectual bankruptcy of Congress abrogating extensive hard work of Rahul to lift the party and the country.

One must be thankful to Gandhis to keep this nation on right path. If we would have gone to extreme left, we would be awarded with a West Bengal like situation-unemployment and tragic condition of economy. On extreme right, you may get a Gujrat where despite wealth, it's literacy rate remains average. Therefore, only a balanced approach to business and society or a harmonious vision between society and business where growth happens without disparity is the need of the hour. Right now, Rahul is the only sane voice for that delicate balance that India needs. He has rightly pointed out that future India lies in technological advancement in rural area. Best thing about him is always about how he investigates the problem being with people without being carried out by any baggage of ideology or pundits.

He is a traveller with a bag and without a baggage. That's the destination of a true traveller. Young India would certainly love to travel with him with a bag and without baggage.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Corporate Socialism for better corporate Governance

Amidst the maddening ruckus of Satyam episode, Indians got their fair share of growling-as if they are all but modern avatar of Gandhi while Raju is the only black sheep in IT fairyland of shining India. Even today we learned World Bank barred Wipro for offering bribes to their employees--which, although legalized in USA in the name of friendly share option, nevertheless a variant to influence contractual decision in favor. While thousands of words and blogs taking on ailment of corporate Governance in India, what we are missing here is a big picture of corporate Governance embalming traditional Indian culture of business-compromised ethics and reduced human values for employees. However there may be a better scoring point over their American counterparts-better job security.

While discussion on ethics is useless in business- as at the end of the day, ethics is also an integral part of the product offering. Falling short of good business practice purports to suicide by slow poison, I would rather reflect upon the second part-profit over people. Infosys, Wipro, TCS and Satyam-they all did one great thing-perfected art of exploiting their employees with gross disregard to US labor regulation. Recently Infosys paid a whopping fine of millions of dollars to its employees for unpaid overtime in US soil-I feel pity for their Indian counterparts who probably slogged even harder while law of the land could not ensure them any protection from exhausting work. Infosys human resource was even callous to the extent of not maintaining a proper guidance of sexual discrimination- as a result of which, their highest paid employee of 2000-2001 & VP of sales in USA,Phaneesh Murthy, was accused of sexual advance to female employees- a case Infosys was forced to settle out of the court losing a few millions while tightening their discrimination guidelines. All the employees of Infosys, Wipro, Satyam and TCS are treated like cattle in the matter of relocating them from one part of the world to another-company barely gives them a flight ticket and that's all. Rest of the relocation, coping up with adverse and alien environment-is all left to the employees. Even a week's hotel cost is not paid as relocation. Typically any standard US company would agree to pay $10,000 minimum for relocating from coast to coast in USA where as for any worker employed with any of these crown jewels of IT-India gets only a flying ticket to their client's office! One may argue, well, they are in the game of outsourcing-where the mantra is always about an operational model of cutting the cost. But I do not buy that argument when I see they declare quarterly result with billions of dollars of profit while their workers do not get any relocation and picks up TV /sofa either from dustbin leftover or thrift store for bare minimum survival. Still they do not complain because they are earning better than their parents and Indian counterparts. Also they are more loyal to their company as well since Indian companies guarantee a better job security. While visa frauds are highly common and under senate scanner now, as an Indian, I am more concerned about an Indian IT worker walking on snow in upstate New York's freezing zero because his company didn't give him proper accommodation while declaring millions of dollar profit for its shareholders and fat bonus to CEOs. I call that profit over people and that is the disease that has plunged Indian IT industry where as in Auto or conventional industry, profit is made and shared with employees -both in Japan and in USA.

The vulgarity associated with driving profit margins for inflating share price must be stopped and penalized or else we will see more of Satyam kind of scandal hitting our reputation and savings to rock bottom. I strongly demand a law to distribute any profit over 5% equally among all the employees to stop the management making profit over people. IT employees must organize themselves in unions to raise this demand in Indian parliament for a better India and better corporate Governance. Greed of corporate management can not be checked without laws that enforce equal distribution of profit among all of its employees irrespective of rank an hierarchy. Corporate socialism is the only way for better Corporate Governance.