Crime – the Privilege of the State

Whether the State is called monarchy or republic, crime will always be necessary to maintain and assure its triumph. This crime will no doubt change its direction and object, but its nature will remain the same. It will always be the forced and abiding violation of justice and of honesty – for the good of the State.  – Mikhail Bakunin

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In 1939, few days before initiating the invasion of Poland, Hitler gave a speech to his to military commanders where asked them “to kill without pity or mercy all men, women and children” and added “only this way can we obtain the living space we want.” He assured them that there will be no retribution and that they will enjoy complete impunity.  This month marks the seventy-seventh year of the invasion.

In 2010, the current National Security Adviser for the Modi administration, Ajit Doval gave a lecture in Hyderabad on Kashmir and described the Kashmir issue as ” the product of the ‘dysfunctional mindset’ of three parties: India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri separatists.” and strongly maintained that there is no “political” issue in Kashmir – a position which is shared by Dovish military and intelligence officials as well.

After presenting his distorted and fantastical analysis of Kashmir’s history and the ritualistic display of jingoism: “we are great fighters, we have a great religion …that teaches us self-sacrifice…”  he advised the then policy makers that: “Don’t overreact, don’t give in, don’t follow appeasement, it [2010 protests] will pass off. It looks big in the midst of it, they cannot sustain it beyond a point and even if they do there is a price that they have to pay.” And “In the game of power the ultimate justice lies with the one who is strong”.

The Doval doctrine has since been applied and the result has been 89 dead civilian, attack on hospitals and ambulances by armed forced, tens of thousands injured, hundreds permanently physically disabled and writers, activists arbitrarily arrested. The goal of this tactic is, as security officers tell us, to retake control over South Kashmir and its streets.

State violence = defense. A tautology.

The organs of state and its lapdogs – the media, tell us that the actions of Indian armed forces are of defensive nature, that they are keeping peace and the unruly protestors are disturbing the peace. The Germans invaded Poland to protect themselves from foreign aggression and to save Germans, just like every other acts of wholesale murder in human history been committed for some noble goal and to protect oneself from aggression of the enemy.

If one accepts this premise that the state has the right to put down revolts and protests, to gain control inside their national boundary by any means then, they are also accepting that Pakistan was justified in committing genocide within its national borders. But I do not believe there are many who will hold such a view. And if the people who attacked Uri Army headquarters and killed 18 individuals for political, strategic or economic advantages are terrorists then, the institution that has deliberately killed 89 people and injured hundreds, within last few months alone, for its ideological, economic and strategic advantages is also a terrorist institution.

Hypocrisy And The Indian Media

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It doesn’t behove Indian Media and intellectuals to criticize Pakistan Police crushing Pro-Indian protest in POK, when hundreds have been killed in the past decade by Indian Army during similar Pro-Pakistani protests in Indian occupied territories. Most of the times, these incidents are not even mentioned in Indian media, such as ibnlive, India Today and Zee News.

These outlets rarely bat an eye about the mass graves and thousands missing and other thousands of Kashmiris in Indian Prisons without trials, if in deed, ever! And they think they have any moral right to talk about Pakistan’s human rights violations, when at the same time they support the regime that has never let UN investigation team enter India to find the truth about much more severe allegations against it.

This at the moment, which Ahmed Quraishi, Executive Director, YFK described last week during a press conference in Geneva is as: “We could wake up any morning and find our selves engulfed in a full-fledged nuclear war in South Asia – between Pakistan and India”.

Just a few days ago, reportedly thousands of teachers were arrested in my home town, Bhopal, for demanding Equal Pay For Equal Work, a condition protected under UN’s declaration of Universal Human Rights, while instead of condemning this human rights violations most news channels either did not mention it, or mentioned it in passing or argued why the teachers do not “deserve” equal pay. If anyone doesn’t “deserve” any thing today, it is the media outlets, pundits and intellectuals to criticize Pakistan regime for their crimes when it supports the crimes committed by it’s own government with zeal.

Should We Ban The Intent Or The Content?

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India is one of the very few surviving democracies with such a huge and diverse population where Freedom of Speech/Expression is embedded in the culture. Obviously, this has been translated into reality in its constitution that was framed after independence in 1947. This freedom hardly served the artists/filmmakers within India filled with controversies right from the extent of protest against their work to a complete ban (needless to mention the vandalism of property of the artists). The uproar surrounding the documentary India’s Daughter comes as no surprise as India is known for its aversion towards anything that its polity/government is not comfortable with.

India’s Daughter stands apart for its intent rather than content with many questioning the prerogative of an outsider (British) to comment on India’s problem. It is further fuelled by its perceived stereotype of Indian males on the issue of patriarchy. When Mukesh Singh (rape accused of Nirbhaya’s case 2012) in the documentary says Girls are meant to stay at home and not to party or go out at night, without any slightest sign of remorse for the crime committed, even the conservative faction of the society is outraged. What is more worrying is the impression of India that ruins the reputation of NRIs affecting their normal life. For example, the recent case of a German professor refusing admission to an Indian student on the grounds of rape problems in India is atrocious.

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Of course, this was followed by a fitting reply by a German ambassador upholding the values of his country at the same time demolishing the prejudice of a professor.

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Staunch liberals of India who generally take a firm stand against the ban also went on to criticize the documentary for its providing undeserving attention to the rape accused and his lawyers—whose comments were even worse. Perhaps, it is due to the fact that BBC is known for publishing condescending news articles projecting an image about India that are far from reality. The following are some of the useless story headlines about India that have made it to BBC news for no reason but sensation:

“Snake charmer sparks office panic”

“Indian snake charmers ‘held photographer captive’”

“The cash machine with a free cobra”

“The bull whose semen is worth $3,000 a shot”

“Cow dung burning ban near Taj Mahal”

“India cow row settled by DNA tests’”

After reading these, I was wondering that the intention behind such headlines maybe is the key to unlock the world’s peace and prosperity. 🙂

There is no denial by Indians about the content of the documentary and its veracity, but the questions asked are, “Why is a rape accused the main focus of the documentary? Why does BBC malign India and its prospects through such works? Despite having one of the lowest rape per capita in the world (taking into account the unreported cases), why is India projected as the rape capital of the world?”

The Indian Government was also unintentionally baited into this issue creating a sensation through the ban. Indians would have probably just overlooked the documentary as yet another one from BBC if not for the undue publicity by its own government. Proponents of free speech including me are baffled about this on how to handle such works that are true but give rise to unpleasant consequences leading to the question, “Should we ban the intent or the content?” —maybe neither. Whatever it may be, it is disheartening to hear the stories of direct victims of the documentary.

On Budget 2015-16

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The general attitude towards this year’s budget has been quite similar to that of over the past few years: corporate enthusiasts are excited, middle classes are uncertain and puzzled and rest of the population is apathetic to varying degrees.

The underlying conclusion of this year’s budget is that of maintaining and extending the austerity measures, but to the magnitude that makes UPA look almost anti-capitalist. It proposes to abolish wealth tax and targets to reduce corporate tax from 30 to 25 percentage and also reduce direct tax by Rs 8,315 cr and increase the burden on “general public” through indirect tax hike of Rs. 23,383 cr.

I agree with Mr. Sitaram Yechury when he claims, commenting on the exceptions of budget’s gross tax revenues: “Expectations of ‘tax buoyancy’ by the financial minster is, hence, pure imagination”. But we are talking about corporate capitalism, Mr Yechury, “pure imagination” and fictitious capital is its live-blood.

There will be reduction in grants and loans to the states. Food subsidies will be sluggish. Health and family welfare will come down from Rs. 35,163cr (last year) to 29,653cr. Housing and urban poverty alleviation figures have dropped from Rs 6,008cr to Rs 5,634cr.

All this while the subsidies, “tax incentive” to the rich are more than the actual fiscal deficit. It should be quite clear that the deficit burden, for the most part, is due to subsidies to the rich, not the poor. In short, socialism for corporations and free market and its risks for the rest of the population.

It is also important to note that, “Taxing corporations and the rich would have consequences too, but they would generate far fewer social costs and fall mostly on those best able to cope with them.” (). Isn’t it quite obvious and why are all the measures that are being taken are exactly the opposite? And why can’t we do better than capitalism? Demand discussion, debate and democratic (in actual sense of the word) decisions – instead of being trapped by the invisible handcuff of capitalism?

Response To Remarks On Anarchism By Narendra Modi

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In January, during a poll address, India’s Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, in reference to Mr Arvind Kejriwal said, “Have you ever seen a political leader calling himself an anarchist? If so, join the Naxals. Naxalism cannot be brought to Delhi. Delhi can’t be surrendered to anarchy”. I will be examining and responding to this from a Libertarian-Socialist perspective.

First problem with this remark seems to be that it does not provide us with any background what so ever about Anarchism. What it is and what Anarchists believe, and as matters relating to anarchism are quite deliberately driven out of mainstream culture, it is easy to mystify and distort its meaning. Also as we will see that anarchism has many variants and this attack does not even provide us any clue as to which school of thought within anarchism Mr Kejriwal associates himself with. And as I tried to find out for myself what type of anarchist Mr Kejriwal might be, I soon realized he never made that clear (in interviews). I confess I have not yet read his book ‘Swaraj’, which should be the basic text for understanding his philosophy. But I’ll nonetheless try to examine his anarchism on the basis that it derives from pseudo-anarchist theory and even more so superficial practices of Mohandas Gandhi, who himself derived it from the works of Christian-Anarchist Leo Tolstoy, Thoreau and Chinese and other anarchist movements that were taking place at the time. And also Pacifism which is not exclusive to any particular anarchist philosophy but varies in practice from person to person and situation to situation.

Mr Kejriwal is a member of a political party and an electoral candidate (and now the Chief Minister of Delhi). Anarchists are exclusively against parliamentary government as a form of action for social change (the only exception to this that I can remember are four anarchists who joined the Marxist party [PCE] and the central government during Spanish revolution in 1937). It should be understood that there are no doctrines within anarchism, therefore, Mr Kejriwal can very well be an anarchist and be an electoral candidate, which evidently seems to be the case. But I don’t see him supporting Trade Unions or utilizing any other form of anarchist methods. I therefore doubt him being an anarchist, at least not an Anarcho-Syndicalist. And as for his stance on capitalism and neo-liberal policies, they are not very clear as well. As anarchists are very critical of and hostile towards it, his clear views would have been helpful. Yesterday, while addressing his supporters after his victory in Delhi elections he proposed that “Rich and Poor in Delhi will develop together”. He does not even seem to be conscious of the class conflict. He also proposes “women empowerment” by first empowering highly authoritarian and centralized Police forces and increasing surveillance on general population. An anarchist would have rather preferred educating women and men on feminist and sex studies and providing women with means by which they can defend themselves, instead of making them dependent on police force. And more centralization of power and police control is counterproductive to any democracy and for anarchist any cause as well. Hence, it is very improper to portray what Mr Kejriwal is doing as anything “anarchist”.

Second and maybe the most important point in this post – Naxalites are NOT Anarchists. Naxalites are Maoist-Communist guerrilla , which is a fragment of Maoist Communism (movement), which in itself is very different and contradictory to any Libertarian Communist belief like Council Communism, of that of thinkers and activists, like Anton Pannekoek and Rosa Luxemburg. Anarchists oppose all sort of statist, authoritarian forms of Communisms like Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, even more severally than we oppose representative democracy, as the latter is comparatively freer and desirable than any of the totalitarian State-Capitalism that call themselves communisms. The only similarity one can draw from Anarchism and Naxalism is they both are anti-capitalist in nature and oppose the state, but the alternative which both favor and the means by which they chose to bring the change about are polar-opposites.

Where Naxalites employ the use of violence and terror on the state and on civilians to remove the free market with state control over economy and representative democracy with totalitarianism. Anarchist favor trade unionism, peasants and workers movement, creating alternative economies to replace state control with federations of freely associating communes and capitalism with gift economies, participatory economies, mutualist markets etc. The difference between Anarchism and Naxalism is much more stark than that between the state and naxalists as both favor violence when population goes against their will.

I think it will be appropriate to draw out some of the key points on which anarchist and all Marxist traditions diverge. Both traditions emerge out of Workers movements and Socialist movements of 18th century. And both were part of the First International (International Workingmen’s Association) in late 1800s, where Marx was a leading figure. But soon the differences in strategy and aims grew deeper, where Marxist suggested a vanguard party should be at the front of revolution of emancipating the workers (it’s worth remembering that it was Marx who said “only workers can emancipate themselves”, but well…), the anarchists suggested the state and capitalism can only be abolished at the same time as state is very capitalistic in nature and the power of the state is corrupting. As Bakunin said, “Take the most radical of revolutionaries and place him on the throne of all the Russia or give him dictatorial powers . . . and before the year is out he will be worse than the Czar himself.” And either the State must be destroyed or one must “reconcile oneself to the vilest and most dangerous lie of our century….Red Bureaucracy.”
Some anarchists withdrew from the International while some were kicked out. Bakunin’s prophecy of red bureaucracy came true. Spanish revolution (a popular and widespread anarchist revolution) was crushed by combined forces of Fascists, Communists and Liberal democracies. In Russia Anarchists were killed as the Bolsheviks took power. It is quite clear that Marxists and Anarchists are not the same, neither believes in actions.

So the remark,” Naxalism cannot be brought to Delhi. Delhi can’t be surrendered to anarchy” is very misleading and aims to distort and provide a very violent image of Anarchism, at the same time belittling its radical yet humanist roots by associating it with Mr Kejriwal. I can almost appreciate the ingenuity of this propaganda. But in an already hellish environment for activists and social critics in this country, where student movements and activists groups are harassed and violently assaulted on regular basis (see [1][2][3][4][5]), labeling Anarchists as Naxalists and hence bringing them directly under the radar of Operation Greenhunt is devastating and, to me personally, threatening.

My appeal here is not to Mr Modi or Mr Kejriwal, but to the citizens of this country. It is something to be proud of, I guess, about this country that mass consensus still has some effect in decision making (at least when it comes to matters of Supreme Court) but this force can as easily be used by the state, which I would argue is the case, to form consensus based on misinformation and distortions and invoking nationalism and patriotism to repress the part of the population which does not agree with it. It is very crucial that the population has a clear understanding of the topics when the state (and corporations), for its own interest, want to keep them delusional about them, topics like alternative politics and economic theories like anarchism. When quite literally lives of activists depends on it.

No Country For Men

  • A girl is raped every 20 minutes in India.
  • Only about 1% of the rape victims report their crimes in India.
  • Of the more than 600 rape cases reported in Delhi in 2012, only one led to a conviction.
  • Sexual violence within marriage is common, with 20% of men admitting to forcing their wives or partners to have sex.

Shocked, are you?
But you might already be aware of these facts. You would have seen them floating around on the internet, because that’s where I’ve picked them from. I don’t know if they are true, but most of the sources seemed reputable, and given the news I read/see everyday, I’d go ahead and say that these stats still seem modest to me. But why am I blabbering about some of the many problems Indian women have to face in India, while the article’s name clearly suggests it is about men. Because the newspaper is full of crimes and inequalities subjected on woman, and that is necessary. But who will write about us? Who will write about the men, the men of India.

I try to look for such shocking numbers as the ones I started the article with, but this time they are about men. But they are hard to find, almost not there.  Why? Is it because gender inequality only exists with women?

No.
Do you know that 98% of the 498a cases filed against men are false?
Do you even know what the 498a is?
It’s a law to protect women against any forms of cruelty subjected on them by their husband or the husband’s family. Though the term cruelty is defined in the article, the definition can easily be twisted and turned to mean a lot of things. Read this. Anyway, what the law primarily protects them from, is dowry.

Do women need protection? Obviously.
Do women need a law which resides absolute power in them by allowing them to file a case of dowry based only on their word?

No. But that is what they have, because the way IP-498a has been devised, and the way it is implemented, makes sure that there is no room whatsoever for any doubt in judgment. And why are there laws? Or a court? Or lawyers? To make sure that a citizen is not branded guilty until there is even a tiniest bit of doubt. Even the Supreme Court has branded 498a as legal terrorism. Now why would the most powerful court in the country do that, unless obviously it is true? There has been improvement; recently the Supreme Court has decided that there will be no arrests under anti-dowry law without a magistrate’s nod.

Is that good news?
Partially. Because now atleast there is some theoretical protection being offered to men. But I’ll repeat, it’s ‘theoretical’, because before you reach the court, you have to face the harassment of society, police officers, lawyers and feminist groups. The society frowns upon you because that’s what it does. Lawyers and the police do it because they are looking to make quick money, and because they are under pressure to act quickly in cases of crimes against women. Because hey, who are we kidding, they don’t even register a rape case, much less get to the victims on time. So the pressure is justified. That brings me to the final group of people, who I personally believe is the most responsible for this negligent gender inequality. It is the so called feminist groups. Do not take me wrong, I’m a pro-feminist myself. But the feminist groups you see protesting in the news are not real feminists, atleast majority of them are not. They are pseudo-feminists, much like there are pseudo-intellectuals, pseudo-gamers, pseudo- ‘anything that’s in’. Feminism as an idea is growing, and it should, but what it is also doing is injecting ignorance and superiority in some women who fail to understand the true meaning of feminism. It is about equality, not giving preference to women.

For example, let’s consider the Delhi metro, something a lot of you can relate to. I understand the concept of having a woman’s coach in the Delhi metro, because apparently men can’t be trusted around women in India (no sarcasm intended). And personally, I’m not against the seats reserved for women in the other coaches. But what people, and more importantly women need to understand is that according to equality, why should I give my seat to a woman, who’s equally capable of standing as I am, unless I’m doing it because I should as a gentleman. But in today’s world, chivalry isn’t respected, or for that matter even expected. I, or any other man, do not mind giving his seat to a lady who deserves it. And by deserves it I mean- she is aged, pregnant, or visibly in need of a seat more than I am. But even then it is a case of humanity, plain manners. But anything other than that is not equality. Then it’s just basically women using the feminism tag to take what they want. I’m 21 and I in no perfect sense understand why I should give my seat to another 21 year old women. To this, one might argue, and infact a lot of people do argue, that women are physically less strong. Wow, way to go equality. Not any human, much less feminists should be able to say that. And feminist never will, it’s the pseudo- feminists who do this, because they are the ones who share random and fake Marilyn Monroe quotes on the internet. They are all about empowering women (Rahul Gandhi, anyone?), and mostly at the cost of putting men down. But even then, I and many other men get up from a ladies seat as soon as we see a woman around. And we should, because

1) It’s according to the law, and
2) it’s what we are taught, and rightly so.

And no, it’s not a favour. No one does it because you’re a women, and that’s what this is all about. You shouldn’t be treated differently because you’re a woman. It’s a random act of kindness, something that I’ve seen a lot of young women do for aged people (they’re the real feminist now). But when I see women shouting and poaching at men to get up and give them a seat, even while these women are infact in lesser need of a seat than the man sitting on the seat, it boils me up. And before you refuse it, it happens, and this comes from someone who has spent almost half his adult life travelling in the Delhi metro. So, where’s the equality now? But then again, there is no equality, it’s just pseudo-feminists, using real victims of gender (female) inequality to express their dominance in a country (world?) that’s already biased towards men.

But is the answer to a patriarchal society a matriarchal society?
No, you don’t fight fire with fire. It’s equality.
Feminism = Equality. Feminism != Women dominance.

Now to make my case a stronger one, I’d like to put forward a few more facts/statements:

  • As per Indian laws, while a man can be booked and jailed for adultery (IPC 497), a woman can NEVER be booked for adultery
  • Again, as per Indian laws, a man can never be a victim of domestic violence. All this, when in almost half the cases of actual domestic violence, it is men who are at the receiving end. Now that’s some equality.
  • When it comes to dowry, anything or everything the bride says she’s given the groom as dowry will be taken and returned to her. Even when she hasn’t actually given anything or some things (which is wrong).
  • Exploiting these laws has literally become a scam of their own , wherein women marry and divorce almost every other month. They harass the groom and his family by not registering a false FIR in return of huge amounts of money and obviously, a divorce.
  • When it comes to 498a, the word ‘cruelty’ is not properly defined, and even a case of a light argument can be considered harassment, and in turn cruelty, and in turn a visit to the police station at the minimum.
  • If a woman has consensual sex with a man, but the man later breaks up with her/refuses to marry her, she can easily say that she was raped. A man on the other hand, if dumped by a woman can do no such thing.

In conclusion, I’d like to say that yes women have it bad when it comes to gender inequality, and we should continue to protest and fight and better ourselves to make this country a better place for women to live in. The government might have been ineffective, but really if we have to bring in any change we need to accept that we are equally responsible for all the cases of molestation and inequality against woman. But what about the inequality against men. Who will protest and fight for us? Who will protect the men of this country? Frankly, ever since I’ve known about all these things, it has instilled in me a fear of marriage. I’m too young to worry about such things, but when you look at the absolute power given to women, it does something to you, something deep down.

What stops a woman from blaming and destroying my entire life? Almost nothing!

And men have been destroyed, and they will continue to be destroyed, until everyone is aware of the inequality men have to face.

P.S.- Some incidents I think I should mention-

  • I’ve personally seen women bargain auto rates over the pre-decided rate by threatening to file a complaint of eve-teasing against the auto driver.
  • I’ve had female acquaintances who would flirt with their teachers to get extra marks and to obtain other privileges and then come home and put Facebook status’ claiming all men to be “horny desperate pigs”
  • A friend has a friend (okay, this already looks questionable) whose girlfriend’s parents called the police on him after they caught her hurting herself when the friend asked her for a breakup. The girlfriend’s parents blamed him for manipulating and taking advantage of their daughter and he had to pay the police a lot of money to avoid going to the police station.

P.P.S. – Just like all men are not assholes, the above article also talks about some women. Some feminists have been doing some great work out there, and this article is in no way intends to hurt them or someone else.
If this article has been an eye opener for you then please share it with others. Let there be equality, in the truest sense of the word.

#NoCountryForMen


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If you’re looking for some fun stuff to read about and would really like to know how paranoid some of the men are about 498a, read the suggested points here. Some of them are hilarious, and honestly I can not vouch for how effective or ineffective they are. This post was not to make men paranoid(okay,maybe a little) and i would please request all the men out there to not get too insecure, or they might have a tough time finding a suitable bride.