2ndlook

Republican Democracy – The Mirage!?

Posted in America, History, India, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on January 22, 2008

Post-British Raj India had a difficult choice - which political system to choose! (Cartoon by RK Laxman; courtesy - timesofindia.com).

Post-British Raj India had a difficult choice - which political system to choose! (Cartoon by RK Laxman; courtesy - timesofindia.com).

Is monarchy dead?

Why do Australia and Canada still acknowledge the British Queen as the head of the state? Even as Britain declined from a super-power at the end of WWII, to bankruptcy today.

Are there any real life monarchs left in any other ‘advanced’ countries?

Spain has Juan Carlos I as its king! Did you know that Belgium has Albert II as it King? And Queen Beatrix rules over Holland (The Netherlands). King Akihito is venerated by the Japanese – and is the head of the state. Sweden is ruled by King Carl XVI Gustaf. Luxembourg has the Grand Duke Henri as its equivalent to a King! King Harald V lords over Norway! Queen Margrethe II rules over Denmark

What role do these monarchs play? Will a modern country follow these monarchs? Surprisingly, Europe has not removed any monarchs in the last 50 years.

The world still has quite a few monarchies – especially in the OECD.

Why so many monarchs

After all monarchy is relic – an institution that should be dead! Right?

Monarchy is not cheap. Monarchs are expensive to maintain. Monarch’s can also be embarrassing – especially the family. Just look at Princess Diana! Her saga of bedroom romps and adultery became a reality show – before reality shows were born (Endemol, the Diana estate is coming after you!).

If they are figure heads, why waste time – and money!

The Difficulty Of Removing Monarchs

France removed and guillotined the monarchs – and they got Napoleon Bonaparte, as dictator! Russia tried – and they got 70 years of communist dictatorship. Italy asked King Victor Emmanuel III to go – and got Mussolini. The British exiled the Kaiser of Germany – and the Germans had to put up with Hitler afterwards. Spain reverted to monarchy after the end of Franco’s dictatorship.

After WWI, the Anglo-French alliance terminated the Turkish Ottoman Empire – and Turkey got a benign dictator, Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, and then not so benign dictators – and is yet to recover! After the demise of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, the Middle East was saddled with artificial kingdoms which have hot-spots of terror and instability.

East Europe (Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Albania, etc) promptly started fighting with each other, within and without – after the kings were removed. China became communist after the last emperor – and still has a communist dictatorship. Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, most of Africa, South America – same or similar story. The Nepalese have got their history wrong. Just look at Afghanistan next door – after the King Zahir Shah was removed.

This history is why Canada and Australia cling to the skirts of British Monarchy.

RK Laxman on the New Republic ...

RK Laxman on the New Republic ...

Republican Democracy

The modern desirable is Republican democracy – and every country wishes for one! Very few succeeded. A republican democracy does not have a titular king – hereditary or otherwise. The head of the state is elected – directly or indirectly.

In the last 250 years, just 6 countries succeeded with Republican democracy without a significant breakdown in the first 50 years. Of the six, Sri Lanka (pop. 200 lakhs) Switzerland (pop. 80 lakhs), Israel (pop. 75 lakhs) and Singapore (pop. 50 lakhs) are tiny countries to generate any valuable data, models, norms or precedents. In any other day, age and society, the republican-democracy model would have been laughed off – and not studied by millions.

America became one of the first successful republican democracies – from 1789, when George Washington became the first elected President of USA. 70 years later, the strains were showing – North versus South. America was on the verge of Civil War – the main cause of which was the desire of the Southern states to remain independent (due to tariff issues) or at best as a loose confederation – not a federal union (actually slavery was a side issue).

Israel, (propped up by massive US aid) is another country which has been a republican democracy for more than 50 years. Switzerland (with guaranteed neutrality from the European powers) is another in modern history to survive 50 years of republican democracy.

Sri Lanka has been another country which has survived 50 years as republican democracy – but just about. With a civil war for the last nearly 20 years, with a changeover from parliamentary democracy to presidential, has struggled along.

India is the youngest Republican democracy – and we have completed a historic 50 years as republican democracy – Jan 26th 1950, till date.

Gandhiji (Photo courtesy - Hindustan Times) Click for larger image.

Gandhiji (Photo courtesy - Hindustan Times) Click for image.

Gandhiji’s Conquest

But before the republic, came the unification of India – the crowning achievement of Gandhiji. Not the political union (achieved by Sardar Patel) – but the ideological union!

Garibaldi (united Italy), Bismarck (united Germany), Simon Bolivar (liberated and united South American countries) were unifiers who succeeded with the help of armies.

Gandhiji (armed with just his walking stick) unified a larger India (and Pakistan) without an army. An India and a Pakistan – bigger than what the largest empire in the history of the world, the British Empire could not conquer with its armies. It is unclear what exactly was Gandhiji’s country model for India. Though he talked of village-based Ram-Rajya, was it unique and different भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra or like the sanitised Western country model that India under Nehru finally adopted.

One Clean Break

To make a one clean break from the feudal-colonial past – and succeed! That is a dream – never in the history of the world. India made history – by surviving for 50 years with a republican democracy.

Famine, War, Religion, Language - Could India survive? Cartoon by Illingworth; source and courtesy - cairsweb.llgc.org.uk). Click for larger image.

Famine, War, Religion, Language - Could India survive? Cartoon by Illingworth; source and courtesy - cairsweb.llgc.org.uk). Click for larger image.

In 1947, India was a ‘feudal’ society with more than 500 Kings and (some) Queens at the time of Independence. (No, the British did not rule over all of modern India). Large parts of India also had to change from a colonial mindset.

The language conundrum

However, no other country has 15 official languages. No other countries even had the courage to think of that.

Various US state governments outlawed all languages – except English. This was finally set aside after the matter reached the US Supreme Court (read Meyer vs Nebraska). The USA gathered some courage to start timidly with more than English only after seeing India’s success with 15 languages.

Switzerland has only four. Sri Lanka’s Sinhalas do not want to accept Sri Lankan Tamils as full and equal citizens – hence the 20-year-old civil war.

Leadership

The British Colonial administration tried to take control of India by removing an entire generation of royalty – Bahadur Shah Zafar, Tipu Sultan, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Tatiya Tope, Rani Ahalyabai et al. This should have left India rudderless, with a vacuum at the top – based on European history.

But what was unprecedented in the modern world history, was a new band of first-generation political leaders who cut their against the British. Balagangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal, Subhash Chandra Bose – and of course, Gandhiji.

And after 1947. After the departure of the British. Gandhiji was assassinated in 1948. Sardar Patel was no more by the end of 1950. Ambedkar in 1956 and in 1958, Maulana Azad passed away. Thus apart from Nehru, the entire leadership of India was no more, 10 years after Mountbatten’s departure.

Universal Suffrage

In India, universal suffrage in 1950 started from the very first election in sovereign India.

Universal suffrage came to the USA, Britain, France, Belgium, Canada, Australia after a long struggle. The USA had to pass the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920; Italy in 1945; Canada in 1940; France gave women the right to vote in 1945; Switzerland in 1971 gave its women the right to vote in all elections. These “advanced” countries, gave women the right to vote after a long struggle. India’s respect for its female citizenry is best demonstrated by universal adult franchise from the very first day – without any feminist activism.

How could India manage this?Social Equality

Black emancipation in the USA is a 1970s phenomenon, 30+ years ago event – and not 200 years ago as this article in New York Times seems to make out.

It took non-violent protests (Martin Luther King, inspired by Gandhiji) and violent threats (Malcolm X) for some kind of real emancipation and equity to come in. In the Cold War scenario, under international media glare, during the Little Rock School stand-off, Eisenhower (a Southerner himself) reacted.

Reluctantly,in 1954, he sent in the National Guard to Little Rock, Arkansas for some kind of de-segregation. The Mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas closed down the school rather than de-segregate. The eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation during the Kennedy years produced the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For a 100 years after the American Civil War, the Black people in the USA were still subject to 2nd grade treatment – any measure of liberty came only after 1964.

But Gandhijis’ first step, after his return from South Africa, (many decades before Independence, Unification and creation of the Republic) was to undo the social calcification (resulting in untouchability) due to 200 years of colonialism .

Enforcement – or Help

India and America, created their own constitutions without external enforcement. Republican democracy in Germany was externally imposed – by the Allied Powers. Singapore has used extreme laws to disallow any other party and leaders to pose a challenge to the ruling party and get elected. When Japan took the first step away from LDP rule, with a non-LDP government, after 45 years of LDP rule – it took Japan 20 years to recover.

How long would India last ...?

How long would India last ...?

Religious Divide …

India has the world’s second /third largest Muslim population. The Indian Christian population is equal to that of most majority-Christian countries – excluding just a few big one like USA, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, etc. Buddhists number nearly 50 lakhs. Sikhs, Parsis (Zoroastrians), Baha’is, follows their own religion. Iranians, Armenians, Jews, Chinese have come to India – when persecuted in their homelands.

Racism, anyone?

No, thanks!

India has the Caucasoid stock – spread over the North and West India; Australoid stock spread over South India and the Mongoloid stock spread over of East and North East. There is also a very small sprinkling of the Negroid stock – less than 1%.

Hence, to have a functioning republican democracy without a break for more than 50 years puts India in a different league.

The Challenge Ahead

The challenges ahead are defence and economics.

India‘s defence unpreparedness is beyond comprehension. Worse, is the lack of threat perception. Indians (sadly and truly) limit their threat perception to the Pakistanis – and the Chinese. With the world’s largest private reserves of gold India is a target – all over again. The resultant global and emerging threats are unrealised.

The second is economics. The world trade systems, financial agreements, currency management continue to drag down India – and many other countries. Navigating these uncharted waters successfully is the other.

Does India have the intellectual leadership and strategic intent to create solutions?

Divide et impera (Cartoonist - Paresh). Click for larger image.

Divide et impera (Cartoonist - Paresh). Click for larger image.

Divide et impera

The disturbing thought is fact that the Western ‘nation’ model has been such a huge failure. How many countries have been successful in this quest for ‘nationhood’?

Vietnam suffered from a prolonged war (1956-1976) – and finally peace had a chance after 20 years of war. Korea remains divided. The Cyprus problem between Turkey, Greece and the Cypriots has been simmering for nearly 100 years.

The role of the Anglo-Saxon Bloc, in Indonesia, the overthrow of Sukarno, installation of Suharto and finally the secession of East Timor is another excellent example. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict (1935 onwards) will soon enter its 75th year. The entire Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a creation of the Anglo-French-American axis. The many other issues in the West Asia and Africa are living testimony of the Western gift to the modern world.

The track record

Closer home is the Kashmir problem. After 60 years of negotiations, India-Pakistan relations have remained hostage to the Kashmir issue. Similarly, between China and India, the border issues remain 60 years after the eviction of Britain from India.

The Anglo-Saxon habit of partitioning countries is a disaster!

  1. Cyprus between Greece and Turkey
  2. Israel between Palestine, Jordan and Syria
  3. Chinese Singapore in Malaysia
  4. Northern Ireland out of Ireland
  5. Two Koreas
  6. Taiwan and China

and of course a Pakistan out of India.

With a benign, ‘democratic’ dictator like Lee Kuan Yew, in the frame, the Singapore out of Malaysia is too small and too short-term a success to make any impact.

Post Script

Interestingly, Arun Maira, wrote in Times of India, on 20 Feb 2008, one month after this post, ” Our Constitution gave the right to all adults, regardless of race, religion, sex or income to vote. It was a very bold step. Blacks in America got their rights later, and women in India got the right to vote even before women in some Western European countries did.” He continues, “Therefore, we must give thanks to those who brought us safely from independence to 1991 and built our foundations.”

Unfortunately, he goes on further to say,The only inclusive national party we have perhaps is the Congress party, which helped create the country we now celebrate.” His advice is that one party, the Congress, should give India a vision. It does not matter, which party he selects. India’s vision, my dear, Mr.Maira I thought was made by all of us.

8 months after this post, another writer, whose usual inclination is Westward, Jaithirth Rao, an MNC-banker, examines, the entire monarchy and republican debate – without once talking about modern India’s success. As above, he talks about the Afghan history. Further, he says,

“societies which have multiple fissures and fractures along ethnic, religious and social lines are far better off with a constitutional monarchy where the sovereign is a convenient and comfortable symbol transcending different groups within the country and providing a unifying symbol. ”

So, Mr.Rao, would you like to examine, question and understand how India is the longest surviving republican democracy – with its fissures and fractures.

Gurcharan Das, comically asserts, that India’s democracy and the Republic “is a British legacy. Before that we were a collection of communities and kingdoms.” The concept of Bharatvarsha in the Ramayana and Mahabharata are also British. Chanakya’s ‘aryadhwaja‘, Shankaracharya’s ‘chaar dhaam‘, are all a British legacy.

While Britain has been unsuccessful in creating a national identity for itself, (it may break into Scotland and England) is of no relevance to Shri Das. The fact that no other British colony was successful in becoming a republican democracy is also irrelevant for Monsieur Das. But, for Shrimaan Das, banging his head at the altar of British Greatness is an act of faith. Your multinational roots show, Das Mahoday!

18 Responses

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  1. sparrow said, on January 22, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I’m sorry, I’ll try to be as polite as possible. If you really, honestly believe that America is still a democracy, you must be deluded.

  2. Anuraag Sanghi said, on January 22, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Thanks for your comment. To add to what you are saying …

    What does democracy achieve? Peaceful change of governments – that is all. Without bloodshed. And that you will agree, happens in America.

    Equality, liberty, prosperity, peace, justice – these are other desirables. They have little (or nothing) to do with democracy. Theoretically, benign and absolute rulers like Ashoka The Great or an Akbar the Great (sorry I can give you some Indian examples only) may not be democratic – but they could give us some of these desirables.

    Democracy promotes and enables easy pursuit of change and movement towards the desirables.

    Getting equality (before law), liberty, prosperity, peace, justice – those are moving targets. Maybe they are not as far or as difficult as we imagine.

  3. Republican Democracy - The Mirage!? said, on January 22, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    [...] Republican Democracy – The Mirage!? Is monarchy dead? Are there any real life monarchs left in any ‘advanced’ countries? What role do they play? Will a modern country follow these monarchs? Surprisingly, Europe has not removed any monarchs in the last 50 years. Why do Australia and Canada still acknowledge the British Queen as the head of the state? Spain has Juan Carlos I as its king! Did you know that Belgium has Albert II as it King? And Queen Beatrix rules over Holland (The Netherlands). King Akihito is venerated by the Japanese – and is the head of the state. Sweden is ruled by King Carl XVI Gustaf. Luxembourg has the Grand Duke Henri as its equivalent to a King! King Harald V lords over Norway! Queen Margrethe II rules over Denmark. The world still has quite a few monarchies – especially in the OECD. Why so many monarchs After all monarchy is relic – an institution that should be dead! Right? Monarchy is not cheap. Monarchs are expensive to maintain. Monarch’s can also be embarassing – especially the family. Just loook at Princess Diana – her saga of bedroom romps and adultery became a reality show – before reality shows were born (Endemol, pay up royalties to the […] [...]

  4. Harold said, on January 23, 2008 at 1:17 am

    Your praise of “a functioning republican democracy without a break for more than 50 years” seems to forget the Emergency, when Indira Ghandi ruled India as a dictator. Ask George Fernandes or L.K. Advani how it was in jail, when she locked up political opponents.
    Ghandiji may have paved the way for India’s independence, but after his death it was Nehru who used the army to force the Nizam of Hyderabad to join the Union. Staged political unrest gave him the excuse to send the troops and the Nizam’s dream of an independent state was no more.
    You did not mention the dynasties that ruled your “republican democracy”. The fourth generation of the Nehru/Ghandi-Dynasty is now old enough to aim for the driver’s seat.
    A Monarchy is a natural and human form of state. I do always prefer it and I am sure the Monarchy will return to many countries that now have a republican government (of sorts).

  5. Anuraag Sanghi said, on January 23, 2008 at 8:16 am

    Harold – While I am impressed by your tracking of the Indian Republic, sadly you are recycling old western propaganda. It is old wine in an old bottle.

    Your comment ignores 2 aspects – history and state-of-the-nation which I would like to draw your attention to (apart from the fault of nit picking).

    On emergency.

    1. In 1947, the colonial rule left India in shambles. The 1943 Bengal Famine was recent memory. The 1944 Bretton Woods agreement had left countries like India in a disadvantaged position. Morarji Desai’s ban of Gold imports (Morarji Desai was allegedly on CIA payroll) allowed the sham of Bretton Woods to continue for 20 years.

    2. In early 1970s, Pakistan, an Anglo-Saxon client state, was wreaking mayhem in Bangladesh – at a cost to India. The Oil crisis took a heavy toll. The inequity and poverty of the colonial rule gave little options but a socialistic path – with a stagnant economy.

    3. Social unrest – fanned by JP, Advani, Fernandes and company further complicated the matters. Would India have broken up! Possibly. Did this require drastic actions. Most definitely, YES! Was emergency the only answer! That is nit-picking, as Indira Gandhi’s subsequent behaviour and management showed. Please click on this link to read what VR Krishna Iyer, a Supreme Court judge, in the thick of things, recalls that period.

    4. Much as I did not like the emergency (a teenager then, I campaigned, as a ‘humble party worker’, for the Janata party in 1977), the emergency was constitutional. The Army did not take over. The Parliament ratified pre-emergency laws. The constitution worked. Indira Gandhi’s call for election was “much against the advice” of her coterie – supposedly also her son. She did not “manage’ the elections thereafter. And she gracefully stepped aside – after the electoral defeat.

    5. Her one big mistake was to follow motivated western advice on population control. In India, where children are a divine gift, to force people to accept stupid western advice was bad news.

    On the Nizam.

    1. The then Nizam, Osman Ali Badshah was a rare ruler – frugal, non-partisan, development oriented. But he was living in the past. The Indian Union had already happened – which he did not know. The Nizam’s son, who was overlooked as a successor, was a good argument against monarchy.

    2. The political union managed by “police action” was not a war – but a show of strength. It had popular backing – and the subsequent merger was smooth. The political union had to follow political logic.

    3. For the ideological union of India, Gandhiji alone can be credited. However, a political union, without an ideological union (like Pakistan) is an artificial construct.

    On the dynastic democracy.

    1. The one and only qualification favoring democracy is bloodless change in Governments. All ‘absolute’ systems make change a very difficult and torturous exercise. Democracy allows simple, systematic, predictable change in Governments.

    2. The voters may elect, select and remove anyone – including dynasties.

    Like George Bush and family in modern America or the William Pitts in earlier British history. Not to forget the adoration by America of America’s ‘first’ family – The Kennedy’s (whose wealth came from bootlegging, crime, fraud; remember the RSO (was it?) or was it RKO films share scam); or the next “great family, the Roosevelts whose racist record is possibly unparalleled. It is the Joe Kennedy who was contracted for a kill by Frank Costello (a mafia boss) – and Joe Kennedy sold the US presidency to the mob to save his life. This deal was brokered by the legendary Sam ‘Momo’ Giancana.

    Not to forget the dynasty of father-son duo of John Adams and John Quincy Adams (in all this family accounts for 40% of all US presidents) and their endless cousins (Millard Fillmore, William Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, James Madison, Zachary Taylor, Roosevelts, Nixon, Rutherford Hayes, etc).

    3. Don’t see anything unusual or different. Thankfully, the India voter did not choose a bootlegger’s son, like JFK, as a Prime Minister or President.

    4. Figure head monarchy as practiced in Europe, Australia, Canada is regressive – and meaningless. Neither cheese nor chalk. Either have a sultan like Oman – or have a republican democracy.

  6. senthil said, on May 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Anurag,

    I differ with you.. so far, the republican model of democracy works only because majority of india was rural.. Right from ancient days, village republics are the basic units of indian civilization.. the kings are just placed at second layer of these village units.. a king would set up an administrative unit, and link all surrounding village republics to his kingdom.. a larger kingdom would consists of many smaller kingdoms..

    That’s how indian polity has been.. the society was always detached from the polity.. because of this independance, no kings dared to touch them..

    In case of muslim invasion, they just replaced hindu kings and then the tax income coming from the numerous village republics and smaller kingdoms are too tempting to destroy them..

    Why British faced so many social issues were because they destroyed these village republics in their directly ruled regions, and imposed jameendari system.. the native princes still retained the older social setup..

    And after independance, instead of replicating native indian societal model, the anglicised india did the other wise.. to destroy the native indian society with european land lordism.. the difference, that earlier large tracts of land were under one person.. now, in the name of land reforms, individuals own small pattern of lands, and the lands were made as a saleable commodity.. this kind of individual property rights were unheard of in pre-british india..

    For eg, i traced my community history, and there was a system called “Kaani” prior to britishers.. each kaani will be owned by a family, and different jaathis will live under him.. like carpenters, blacksmith, washerman etc.. when there are two or more sons for this ruling family, the eldest son takes over charge, and other sons, either work under him, or move to create other kaanis..

    A kaani is equivalent of a village.. it may not be a republic.. but there was no concept of dividing lands, as kaani is NOT individually owned.. a collection of jaathis had a stake in it, and the ruling family just governed it..

    After british collapsed this system, and introduced individual land rights, the kaani land got divided to sons , and other jaathis depending on them became detached from it.. within few generations, even 100′s of acres, became divided and became small bits of 5 acres.. this impoverised the entire community, both ruling and supporting communities..

    So the indian constitution was as alien as that of the british administration.. it is totally against the bharatheeya society, and india had so far developed only INSPITE of this indian constitution.. the reason why we function as a republic for all these years, is because much of ruling class has been destroyed by britishers, and remaining ruling families have conceded to india.. so there is no challenge to indian constitution.. and indian constitution for the past 60 years had been systematically breaking bharatheeya society, in lot of ways.. Western kind of urbanisation is just one of those ways..

    While the situation has degraded to the point of no-return, i wish intellectuals do study the pre-british political and economic structure from indigenous perspective.. Urban indians cannot even imagine the pre-british part of indian history.. i wish, those who come from rural side, take this initiative..

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on May 31, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      Senthil -

      By 1920, the British had begun to realize that their time was up. The first piece of evidence was the nearly nil investment that Indian Railways started getting. Over the next 20 years, Indian Railways had become a huge disaster zone – and British /Indian Colonial managers found ways to blame the man-at-lowest rung of the ladder for every disaster.

      Indians also realized that the past is over, ahead was a grim future and the present is what they had in their hands. A difficult position India and Indians found themselves in. One must not forget, (if one knows), that the price for independence was CIA assassination or a regime change by USA. Remember that there are real solid stories about how Nehru was targeted by the CIA in 1955, which is why Nehru probably became so friendly with Eisenhower. No easy choices there

      That is when India came up with a 5-point Compact (short URL – http://goo.gl/fPQGb ).

      To confront the Desert Bloc, one will need ‘modern’ industry, all that steel and weapons. No choice there. The old Indian defence model, which protected us so in the past in now no longer relevant or useful.

      • Alkesh Desai said, on September 20, 2011 at 8:29 pm

        Anurag :

        “To confront the Desert Bloc, one will need ‘modern’ industry, all that steel and weapons. No choice there. The old Indian defence model, which protected us so in the past in now no longer relevant or useful.”

        Indians were never THAT much interested in ‘stuff’. They have realized that real value is CREATED by humans, though culture and Dharma. They didn’t worry much about the looting of precious metals or ornaments, since a dedicated civilization can easily regenerate them.

        India had conquered the world culturally. Lot of that is happening now, again.

        Has anyone considered that the recent treasure discovery in Kerala is enough to entice an armed foreign invasion? To most Indians, defense is an unnecessary concept. Why else would they tolerate repeated plundering and looting of places like the Somnath Temple?

  7. senthil said, on May 31, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Another aspect of indian kings is that the are NOT monarchs.. in the case of european kings, the lands belong to land lords.. in case of india, the raja is the owner of entire kingdom.. ie, he can change the head of a village republic, and the villages were NOT individual property..

    Almost all kings have a kula deivam, and hence bound by dharma.. European kings dont have this.. ie, they dont have any one above them..

    So there is no feudalism in india, before mughals.. and even during mughals, there is no feudalism in south india, as they did not dominate here much..

  8. [...] in the West, there are more Pakistani players, each jockeying for power, differently. According to ‘modern’ political standards, in a very messy [...]

  9. admin said, on April 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm

  10. admin said, on May 14, 2012 at 11:05 pm

  11. kanav said, on July 3, 2012 at 6:34 am

    i love r.k laxman cartoons but i do not find them ,i find them hare

  12. admin said, on August 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm
    1. Lloyd Hargrove
      Monarchy has been supplanted by Oligarchy. Perhaps this soon will become a world-wide Oligarchy, but that does not rule out existing monarchs from having their natural roles in such an Oligarchy.
      Tue, Aug 14 2012 12:08:37
    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on August 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm
      Oligarchy has been an everpresent factor in Desert Bloc polity. In Monarchy, Feudalism, Capitalism, Socialism. So that is neither new nor surprising.

      What is sad is to see the enormous energy of the West spent to eliminate the Church as a repressive force is now being wasted. All that power taken away from the Church is being handed back – with great pomp, honor and righteousness to the State.

      • Lloyd Hargrove said, on August 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm

        I guess that depends upon how one defines both “the Church” as well as “the State” in light of the initial recognition of Oligarchy. Excellent links, by the way, with your “Desert Bloc” and “neither new nor surprising”.

        What is truly sad to see is that perhaps for the most part such a discussion as this is only to be fully appreciated by elites, most of whom are quite invested in the Oligarchy – one way or the other.

  13. admin said, on August 15, 2012 at 4:35 am


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