Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Minimum Wage

I was thinking if a government decides upon minimum wage then it has to set Minimum Retail Price for the products of those labourers. Then I came across the following Wikipedia article;
Resale price maintenance

However, that law doesn't seem to be from the minimum wage angle. I don't know whether such laws exist in India too (We have Maximum Retail Price). I suppose Minimum Retail Price would ensure, the imported goods cannot undercut local goods with pricing war.

I guess developed countries need Minimum Retail Price whereas developing countries Maximum Retail Price.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Terror Attacks - II

According to this article there was an actionable intelligence about Pathankot terror attack. Now this is a different scenario from all the previous attacks where security agencies claimed they never had actionable intelligence from the spy agencies. I just hope this would be properly investigated and people would be held responsible if there were lapses.

Via Rediff

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Leftist extremists and belief in innateness

I wonder whether leftist extreme positions are borne out of their belief that many human traits are innate or overwhelmingly determined by the genetics. In that case, the group in power and dominant in commerce, science and technology is always the enemy as any kind of nastiness from genetically weaklings would matter little in the long run. The noblemen from the dominant group basically perpetuate the privilege for their group but conservatives from weaker groups always blindly refuse to accept any kind of magnanimity and thus negate that privilege. 

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Climate Change and India - i

Developing countries were exempt from the obligations. During the 1990-2012 Kyoto Protocol period, developed countries reduced their emissions by 16 per cent or 32 GtCO2e.

The twist in the tale, Dhara told IndiaSpend, is that emission reduction is fictitious. First, the emissions are accounted for in the country that produces goods and services. Over the past two decades, the developed countries countries have turned into net importers of goods and services from the developing countries, particularly India and China.

For one, developed countries emitted around 65 per cent of historic emissions, cumulative emissions since 1750, and their historic emissions, per person, is 1,200 tonne, 40 times more than every Indian, according to Dhara.
Even if you give the entire carbon space to third world countries, they are not going achieve living standards of the developed world, Dhara said. 

“If they decline to play ball with developed countries at COP 21 regarding their own emission cuts, they will be toast to the effects of climate change as they’re economically and geographically the most vulnerable,” he said.

“If they play ball with developed countries and accept emission cuts, their own development, as is popularly understood and touted, will suffer, and inequality and disparity between developed and developing countries will increase. Whichever way you slice this, you’re in a deep ditch.” 

Via Rediff 

I don't have the exact details so I would like to see some calculations which claims that even if you give the entire carbon space to the developing countries they are not going to achieve the living standards of the developed world.

I believe we do have technology in place to reduce the emission so the cumulative historic emission per person in the developed countries need not be the criteria. If properly managed with existing technologies it could be lot lesser. However, it all depends on the government's will.

If the choice is between development and avoiding the effects of climate change, I would prefer development at the expense of avoiding environmental catastrophe.

I would think continuing to be a poor country is a bigger catastrophe than anything else. Also, when there is no intent to harm but the harm is a side effect of our dream for a better life for every human being it shouldn't be criminalized.

Therefore, I would think the idea of reducing the carbon footprint by controlling human beings is flawed. Research and money should be spent on reducing the carbon footprint from the environment. If it fails, bad luck.

It looks like austerity measures whether during economic turmoil or in climate change strangle only the poor who make the least contribution to both in general. More over, when it comes to environment, the measures appear to be a permanent austerity.

If the situation is a permanent austerity what are the options for the poor?
- Remain poor

What if there is no climate austerity measures in place and technology fails to find a solution to reduce the carbon footprint?
- Remain poor and lose 10 years of life
- Have a hope of prosperity and lose 10 years of life
- Some prosperity and lose 10 years of life

I would think second scenario is far better.

As the author points out, when we don't have an alternative developmental idea without considering climate change as a variable, why should we even remotely consider we can do better by adding one more constraint? The concern for climate change shouldn't turn into rich man's fad.

Monday, November 23, 2015

India should send troops to fight ISIS - ii

I would think, the fight against ISIS must involve Asian forces or Asian forces exclusively. This is especially critical for India.

With a right-wing government in place and as of now showing little statesmanship in handling crazies in their flock, there is a danger that the radical Islam with its nihilistic approach would attract more and more Indian Muslims. There is no point blaming Hindutvites at the time (and rightwingers don't understand logical reasoning anyway) when Islamic crazies strike. The point is retaliation against the rightwing stupidity doesn't differentiate between rightwing or leftist so one has to be prepared for such an eventuality.

This requires Indian forces (both armed and police) having first hand expertise in fighting against the ISIS. This should also include developing scholarly understanding of their methods and popularity first hand. The goal of the fight against the ISIS need not be ending their tyranny but rather understanding and facing the radical and sociopath Islam.

I believe the best approach would be to create an Asian force similar to the African force. This Asian force should have mandate to interfere during turmoil in any Asian countries. The identity of this force should be completely Asian(even if the weapons are not).

Saturday, September 05, 2015

OBCs and Conversion

In my opinion, all non-Brahmin castes must convert to other religions which gives them non-hierarchical independent identities. Although, the caste identities didn't go away in Christian and Muslim communities in India, the present day India with its far open society provides genuine chances to people to get an independent identity and eventually may pave the way for individualism. However, the options are not all equal.

1. Islam: Converting to this religion would  hurt the manliness of Hindutvites. However, as things stand today, this religion is detrimental to both men and women part of that religion. Even though part of the ruling classes and had a literal religious background for so many centuries, the backwardness of people belonging to this religion in the cow belt shows it's not most suitable for the personal development of individuals in the present scientific era. So, I don't favour it.

2. Christianity: Converting to this religion would humiliate Hindutvites. It's a liberal religion owing to the development of rational society in European lands. However, the rise of fundamentalist Christianity in the USA would probably make the converts to look toward the US and not Europe. Even then compared to any Indian religions it's relatively open, so, I'm fine with it.

3. Buddhism: Converting to this religion doesn't bother Hindutvites as they think they are more virile than Buddhists. But the compelling reason for being a Buddhist in India is, at present it's the religion of Dalits. And the intellectuals from Dalits are some of the most level headed and rational people I've come across(except when some of them start talking about glorious Buddhist past at which point they start sounding more like Hindutvites).

However, one of the recent OBC conversion to Buddhism appears to have glorious Buddhist past narrative. But there are OBC conversion with better reasons like those from Koeri caste converting. As long as Buddhism doesn't degenerate into vegetarianism/veganism and OBCs don't try to keep a separate identity from Dalit Buddhists, I'm fine with it.

4. Jinaism: Even though this is a minority religion, Hindutvites probably consider it as one of the Hindu castes. At present, Jains are at the forefront in promoting casteism in India with their promotion of vegetarianism. As a recent survey showed they are only next to Brahmins when it comes to caste discrimination.

So, I'm not at all in favour of conversion to Jinaism (even less than Islam). However, previously, considering Jain theoretical concept of casteless society, their theoretical hardcore concept of atheism and most importantly their contribution to Kannada culture, I was seriously thinking about joining Jinaism. In fact, my plan was to start my own Jain, Cow Eaters Gana(cultto rationalize it completely. But as things stand today, I'm completely disappointed with that religion as I find myself completely helpless with their vegetarian onslaught.

5. Sikhism: Hindutvites have overawed reverence for this religion. Sikhs are seen as protectors of Hindus. I find this as disgusting as their hatred for Islam. I'm neutral about this religion. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

OBCs and Affirmative Action - iv

Creamy Layer
I suppose the idea of creamy layer is that these are the OBCs who have arrived both economically and educationally. However, the stronger indication is the income of the parents. I'm not sure how valid is that.

However, even though I find affirmative action in education is a must for OBCs, I'm not all that sure about jobs. I do agree with affirmative action in administration (as along with education, this was another area where many but not all OBCs disadvantaged because of the caste system). So, I believe there should be proper correlation between affirmative action and disadvantages the caste faced because of the caste system. Priesthood of course one of them, however, nobody seems to be really bothered about it. Because of these I would agree with affirmative action in education for dominant Sudras too.

Any argument for job reservation, apart from administration, because of lower quality of education, I'd think, can't be accepted. Low quality education is only because of the incompetency of the administration and not a policy like the caste system.

Previously, I had some misgivings about the creamy layer concept. However, the way reservations have been implemented, now I feel they aren't all that bad.

I've heard stories of how x% reservation for OBCs have been turned into (100-x)% reservation for the privileged castes. Even if the candidate had scored enough marks to be admitted under 'general' category, s/he would be forced take up reserved category seat because of their reserved category caste certificate.

So, creamy layer concept can mitigate such duplicity somewhat, in case these 'creamy layer' OBCs tend to do well academically.

However, I was told getting a caste certificate for an OBC is not all that difficult. There is hardly any income checking. You don't even have to bribe. So, there is some kind of cynicism in the official circles if they are from privileged castes and stupidity if they are from under-privileged castes.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

True Capitalist Society - ii

Anyone who has spent time in the US will recognise the type: strong, decent, honest, unfailingly polite and with a sense of right and wrong so highly developed as to take a terrorist threat as a personal affront. Combine that with the US tradition of can-do pragmatism and it was a safe bet that of all the passengers aboard, Spencer and his crew were the least likely to take this lying down. The key thing is the absence of any tendency to complain that “they” (the council, the state) have or have not done something. The downside of this commendable outlook is that it is used to underwrite the ideology of the free market whereby everyone, however powerless or disadvantaged, is left to fend for themselves.

When I read the above paragraph from this article, the immediate thought that came to my mind was Nikolai Chernyshevsky's "What is to Be Done?". Because I could recognize that ideal US male type in his Russian novel. However, what didn't match was that such a outlook results in mindless free market.

According to Chernyshevsky, in such a society the market is far more egalitarian and makes everyone owner of their produce. Or not just the brave men, the sense of justice exists among entrepreneurs too.

It has been speculated that Lenin was deeply inspired by Chernyshevsky's novel as his manifesto takes its name from that novel.However, when I went through the Wikipedia article, I didn't find much connection.

I suppose those Americans would have still fought the terrorist even if they had found themselves out of harm's way but others in powerless situation. If fighters have that kind of outlook, shouldn't the affluents in the society have that kind outlook towards their disadvantaged?

Let's say there were no 'saviours' on that train, wouldn't we expect the government to take proper security measures? If the US is so confident about its brave men, we wouldn't have heard about so many over the top security measures in the American state. If that's the case with security, shouldn't there be some considerations from the state towards the struggling population?

Just like brave men, there could be generous businessmen spending their money on the welfare of the poor. However, just as in the case of security measures even when a state have such brave men, it requires that the state to take care of its struggling population.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Vernacular Indian Media and Bigotry

It could be said that traditional literature in Indian vernacular languages is overwhelmingly castiest and sexist. So, I agree with some Dalit intellectuals' argument that fellow Dalits should embrace English to escape the castiest indoctrination of the vernacular literature. I suppose that should be true for most of the non-Brahmin castes too.

However, in the last century we have seen radical ideas becoming mainstream in India because of their success in European society, even though those ideas always existed in Indian society but losing out to the castiest ideas and leaving us in dark ages. And these ideas came to be represented in vernacular Indian languages too.

While I was growing up I read both liberated and bigoted literature in Kannada. If I look back, I feel, liberal literature was more mainstream than the bigoted ones. Of course, there were mainstream bigoted authors too but in sheer numbers liberal Kannada authors held sway. So, Kannada was becoming the language of Kannadigas irrespective of caste. However, now I wonder whether it's true any more, especially in newspaper industry.

In my region (coastal Karnataka), I would say there were moderate Kannada newspapers along with rabid Hindutva ones. However, over time, I observed that many of the Kannada newspapers were moderate in the sense they were moderately bigoted.

They show communal prejudices and promote conservative and pseudo-scientific (which in Chesterton's words represents true India) ideas. In fact, there was an attempt by Christians in that region to come out with a 'secular' newspaper to counter the parochial view of these papers (which are run by Hindus). However, I don't think it has been successful. A left leaning newspaper is not even a mainstream one. In fact, a columnist with Hindutva views became quite popular in some other region of Karnataka and got elected to Indian parliament.

I wonder whether a tiring liberal movement, which reads and watches mostly English media, has created a vacuum in the vernacular media to be exploited by bigots. I suppose this is true in Pakistan too. I've heard Urdu newspapers are generally bigoted there.

It appears as if native Indian languages once on the way to become the voice of reason have relapsed into becoming the tool of bigots.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

India should send troops to fight ISIS

Archaeological sites belong to major sections of human population part of different countries. The artifacts are mostly from an era when nation states were not created or the original population of those places now could be moved to different regions or some of them could be created by non-natives.