2ndlook

How Britain ‘lost’ America. Really!

Posted in America, British Raj, European History, History, India, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on September 22, 2010
The Dutch Factory at Hougly, 1665 (Hendrick van Schuylenburgh).   Image source & courtesy - rijksmuseum.nl  |  Click for larger image.

The Dutch Factory at Hougly, 1665 (Hendrick van Schuylenburgh). Image source & courtesy – rijksmuseum.nl | Click for larger image.

The making of the modern world

The modern world has been significantly shaped by four historic events, in the 35-year period of 1765-1800.

One – The most influential of the four was the French Revolution (1789–1799) that released a secular spirit across Europe. This French idea tried to unite Europe under a Republican banner, in the personages of Napoleon and Hitler. The French Revolution also, for the first time, united anti-Republican monarchies of Europe like Catholic Spain, Protestant Britain and Prussia against Republican-Catholic France. In spite of being a colossal failure, the French idea of Republican nations finds takers even today.

Two – The event that inspired the most fear was the war of freedom by African slaves in Haiti. Events of 200 years ago in Haiti trouble and worry the West even today.

Three – The British loss of colonies in North America (now USA) is easily the most well-known of the four events.

Four – Events in India, during this 35-years period, as British power in India grew, are the least understood of the four.

Modern history ignores the complex interplay between these four events. What linkage could Tipu Sultan have with War of American Independence?

'Luigi van Beethoven had initially planned on dedicating the Eroica Symphony to Napoleon - till he crowned himself Emperor.

‘Luigi’ van Beethoven had initially planned on dedicating the Eroica Symphony to Napoleon – till Napoleon crowned himself Emperor. Click for larger image.

Where did the US get their gunpowder

British supplies of gunpowder were assured as they controlled India’s saltpetre production, the largest in the world. Where did the American leadership get the gunpowder to fight a war against the British?

George Washington and the other leaders of the revolt “called upon all Americans to boycott East India Company products (except saltpeter and spices).” Saltpeter was the most crucial element.

As war began to appear inevitable in 1775, the Continental Congress launched an all-out drive to stimulate gunpowder making. Its main focus was on manufacturing adequate quantities of saltpeter. By January 1776 these efforts began to bear fruit as 50 tons of saltpeter poured into Philadelphia and many more tons to New York. While some new mills aided in this production, the bulk of the saltpeter appears to have been produced by farm families encouraged by government bounties and instructed by many “how to” articles printed in newspapers and other publications.

Limited natural deposits of saltpeter were found in the USA, but the Spanish and French contribution was significant.

Powder was often very scarce, especially at the beginning of the war. Much was later imported from France, but though great efforts were made to manufacture an adequate supply in America, there was often a shortage.

Another writer confirms

Imports of both gunpowder and saltpeter had to be depended upon, principally from the West Indies islands of St.Eustasia and Martinique. It is estimated that 115000 pounds of gunpowder were manufactured prior to 1777 in America from domestic saltpeter. An additional 2152000 pounds of gunpowder was imported, captured, or manufactured from imported saltpeter. Although this sounds like an impressive amount, gunpowder was to remain in comparatively short supply at Ticonderoga throughout 1776. It was not until the French entry into the war in 1778, that an adequate quantity of high quality gunpowder was available to the Continental army. (from The American northern theater army in 1776: the ruin and reconstruction of … By Douglas R. Cubbison.).

Frenchmen like Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, worked on a commercial arrangement through a front company Rodrigue Hortalez et Cie (Roderigue Hortalez & Co. in English) to route American tobacco to Europe and buy saltpeter from France and Spain for fighting this war.

A Haiti Anthology: Libete By Charles Arthur, J. Michael Dash; page 28. Click to read book extract.

A Haiti Anthology: Libete By Charles Arthur, J. Michael Dash; page 28. Click to read book extract.

The French go with Haiti

Why would France sell gunpowder?

Behind this stratagem was the French fear that the stretched British would not attempt conquest of Haiti, a prized French colony.

After The Seven Years War (French and Indian Wars in American History) ended in 1763, the French chose to keep its sugar colonies of Haiti (and Gaudeloupe, Martinique). The French agreed to give away their Canadian colonies, parts of America, and were left with little of their colonial possessions.

Except Haiti.

The purchase of Louisiana

Obtained from Spain, Louisiana was retained by the French to serve as “a granary for this empire and produced flour, salt, lumber, and food for the sugar islands” of Haiti (and Gaudeloupe, Martinique). After Haiti’s successful war of freedom, by the African Slaves, the territories of Louisiana were of little use to France.

The sale of the remnant American possessions by Napoleon, bought by USA (1803-Louisiana Purchase during Jefferson’s presidency), limited European possessions in North America to a still sizable Canada (Britain) and Mexico (Spain). It is the freedom fighters of Haiti, who the Americans must thank for Louisiana, and not the foresight of Thomas Jefferson, who considered the purchase as one of his greatest achievements“.

Illustration shows burning of Le Cap, Haiti, and massacre of whites during Haitian War of Freedom. (Incendie du Cap. Révolte générale des Nègres. Massacre des Blancs. Frontispiece from the book Saint-Domingue, ou Histoire de Ses Révolutions. ca. 1815. Paris - Chez Tiger. ).

Illustration shows burning of Le Cap, Haiti, and massacre of whites during Haitian War of Freedom. (Incendie du Cap. Révolte générale des Nègres. Massacre des Blancs. Frontispiece from the book Saint-Domingue, ou Histoire de Ses Révolutions. ca. 1815. Paris – Chez Tiger. ). Click for larger image.

What was the British reading of this situation

Not just the French thought that territories of North America were less valuable.

Even the British thought so.

A highly influential British writer of the time, who wrote of these affairs was David Hume, the historian-philosopher. Hume’s most successful work was History of England. Initially a 6-volume work, written and published over 1754-1762 period, it became a best seller, with more than 10 editions over the next 100 years, with the 1810 edition growing to 12 volumes. Written just before The Battle of Buxar, and the American War of Independence, concurrently, during The Seven Year War, Hume wrote how

by the restoration of her West India possessions[Haiti], we had given her [France] back the means of a most beneficial commerce; and thus had put her in the way of recovering her losses, and being again formidable on our own element. …

France, by possessing a much greater quantity of sugar land, had been long superior to us in this lucrative branch of commerce. She had thus enriched her merchants, increased her revenue, and strengthened her navy: why then, after we had in a just and necessary war deprived her of such valuable possessions, should we restore to her the means of again annoying ourselves ? The retention of the considerable French plantations, was necessary to the permanent security of a peace. Besides, after so expensive a war, our victories gave us a claim to some indemnification ; in that view, the islands would have been the most productive of our conquests.

Our acquisitions in America might tend to our security, but it would be very long before they could lead to our indemnification. They neither increased in any important degree our commerce, nor diminished the commerce of France; but the West India islands, if retained, would have been an immediate great gain to Britain, and loss to our rival. The retention of the West Indies was farther necessary to the improvement of our acquisitions in North America, and also to our commerce with Africa.

In that event, it was argued, the African trade would have been augmented by the demand for slaves, and the trade of North America would have all centred in Britain; whereas, the islands being restored, a great part of the northern colony trade must fall, as it had hitherto done, to those who had lately been our enemies, and would still he our rivals. For these reasons, either Martinico or Guadaloupe, or even both, should have been retained by Britain.

The cessions made in Africa and in the East Indies would have fully justified the reservation to ourselves of our West India conquests. Provident policy required that we should have reserved those possessions, and our resources and resistless naval strength would have enabled us to retain them, in defiance ol the enemy. If in the negotiation, availing ourselves of our advantages, we had decisively refused such cessions, the enemy would not have adhered to the requisition, with the alternative of the continued war; or, had they been so obstinate, British force would soon have reduced them to compliance. (from The history of England: from the invasion of Julius Cæsar, to …, Volume 12 By David Hume; text within […] supplied.).

This reading of French actions dilutes current historical assumptions of mishandling and bungling of the American possessions by the ‘visionary’ George-III.

A Jamaican slave revolt, 1759. From Histoire d'Angleterre by David Francois. (Courtesy - Bristol Radical History Group.).

A Jamaican slave revolt, 1759. From Histoire d’Angleterre by David Francois. (Courtesy – Bristol Radical History Group.). Click for larger image.

Spain fights for American colonies

Much before Spain declared war on England 21 June 1779, Spain started hostile actions and support to the American rebels. This continued, till peace was declared in September 1783. The Spanish contribution has been ignored (was it due to subsequent Spanish-American War over Cuba). The actions of Spanish General Bernardo Galvez at Pensacola are rarely recalled today.

How long would have Washington’s mutinous troops fought against the British, without Spanish monetary contributions and gun-powder supplies, arranged by uncle-nephew-Galvez-duo of Jose de Galvez and Bernardo de Galvez? Can America ignore Don Francisco de Saavedra de Sangronis?

India – prized and essential

Portrayed by modern history as an uncaring and bungling despot, George-III had few choices. For 18th century Britain, forced to choose between their American possessions and India, was a no-brainer. The Indian prize was essential for the ‘emerging’ British imperial agenda – and more prestigious.

Essential because of India’s industrial capacity in shipbuilding, steel and gunpowder – all essential to Britain. Prestigious, no doubt, as India was the land that Semiramis, Cyrus The Great, Alexander, Rome, Abbasids, Aghlabids, Fatimids, Ummayads, Genghis Khan had failed to conquer.

We have seen in earlier posts, how historical characters like Semiramis and Alexander were portrayed differently – as was India. For Britain, the ‘conquest’ of India was vastly more rewarding. Economically rewarding and definitely more challenging than defeating some upstart ‘freedom-fighters’.

The rest, as they say is history.

After Buxar

Britain were still not in a strong position, even after cornering the saltpetre trade and the diwani of Bengal. In 1764, after Buxar, the British gained their first sense of the Indian ‘opportunity’, after 150 years in India. British rule through the East India Company, immediately sparked conflict across India.

The company, informed of the wars that had broken out in India, sent over lord Clive, with powers to act as commander in chief, president, and governor of Bengal. His’lordship arrived at Calcutta, on the 3rd of May 1765.

To deal with this, the East India Company turned to Robert Clive. To work with Clive a council of four empowered members was created.

An unlimited power was also committed to a select committee, consisting of his lordship and four gentlemen, to act and determine every thing themselves, without dependence on the council. It was, however, recommended in their instruction«, to consult the council in general as often as it could be done conveniently ; but the sole power of determining in all cases was left with them, until the troubles of Bengal should be entirely ended. (from Encyclopaedia Britannica: or, A dictionary of arts, sciences, and miscellaneous literature, enlarged and improved, Volume 11; Publisher A. Constable, 1823 edition).

This was the very same Robert Clive, who had earlier faced a prolonged investigation with his reputation in tatters. For the EEIC to turn to this very Robert Clive, whom they had hounded a few years earlier, must have been a bitter pill.

But, then the situation in India was grave.

Helmet taken from Tipu Sultan's palace at the capture of Seringapatam in 1799  |  Source & courtesy - nam.ac.uk  |  Click for image.

Helmet taken from Tipu Sultan’s palace at the capture of Seringapatam in 1799 | Source & courtesy – nam.ac.uk | Click for image.

Tiger, tiger … burning bright

First came the Mysore Wars.

Tipu Sultan was one of the first Indian rulers to see the irreversible decline of the Mughals and the rise of the Marathas.

The First Mysore War (1766-1769), saw the tripartite alliance of Marathas, Nizam and the British against Hyder Ali, the King of Mysore. Yet to recover from the enormous Seven Years War, the British and their Indian allies were dealt a significant defeat – just 7 years before the American Declaration of Independence.

The Second Mysore War (1780-1784) ran concurrent to the American War Of Independence. A Wikipedia entry enthusiastically writes how Mysore armies, “decimated British armies in the east, repelled a joint Maratha-Hyderabad invasion from the north and captured territories in the south”.

Surprisingly, there is an overlap between the First Maratha Wars (1775-1782) and the Second Mysore War. It seems strange that the Marathas were battling the English in part of the country and collaborating with them in another theatre. This colonial classifications of War and battles probably needs re-examination of the battles in these wars.

The British fighting a wars on two fronts at the opposite sides of the world, lost both the wars.

The Third Mysore War (1789-1792) On the eve of this war, we are told, “Cornwallis saw danger near and far, to all British interests in India, and in the wider international spheres of Europe and America. His experience had accustomed his mind to world-wide maps.” I am willing to believe that such a danger to the British Empire existed.

The end of the War in America had an impact in India. Relieved from pressures of waging a war in America, the British concentrated their military resources on Tipu Sultan. This 3-year war went badly for Tipu Sultan – and he lost half his kingdom. His sons were taken hostage by the British.

The Fourth Mysore War (1799) – A truncated Mysore kingdom, faced a resurgent Britain. Rid of their American War, with the French in disarray, the British were poised at the edge of initiating their imperial ambitions.

Tipu’s European allies, the French were in disarray. The Catholic Bourbons of France were out of power. The French Republic had became a danger to European monarchies. Catholic Bourbons of Spain allied themselves with a Protestant Britain to fight against a Republican France under Napoleon. The Marathas and the Nizam, the two major military powers were allied with the British.

Tipu’s Mysore kingdom came to an end.

Compare

The challenge in North America, was tame in comparison to action in India. At the Battle of Yorktown, where Cornwallis finally surrendered to the French-Americans troops, the total number of soldiers on both sides were 25,000. 17,000 French and American troops surrounded 8,000 of Cornwallis troops.

On the other hand, it has been estimated that “Tipu Sultan deployed as many as six thousand jurzail-burdars, or “rocket-men” during the battles of Seringapatam (1792 and 1799) against the armies of the English East India Company”.

The machinery for Tipu demonizing and British self-glorification worked very well: the London stage between 1791 and 1793 saw three full-scale shows produced on Tippoo Sultawn or British Valour in India, with subsidiary productions (usually with official sponsorship) offered in all the major cities of England, Ireland and Scotland. Countless satiric skits, newspaper caricatures, and crude engravings and prints (of Tipu clothed like a tiger and in a cage, feasting on raw meat, beating a young English boy, standing over a group of scantily clad and cowering Indian women) helped further establish the notion that an alien and illegitimate ruler in a distant, exotic land could be the British public’s Enemy Number One (from Indian Renaissance: British romantic art and the prospect of India By Hermione De Almeida, George H. Gilpin.).

Like Robert Clive in 1765, the British this time turned to Charles Cornwallis, the loser at Yorktown. The selection of Cornwallis by the EEIC to head its India operations, “by the singular caprice of circumstances, the man who had lost America was sent out to govern India.” After much persuasion, Cornwallis accepted.

Neither the government nor the English people blamed Cornwallis. His schemes had been admirable in a political as well as in a military aspect, and had it not been for the arrival of the French troops they might have succeeded. As early as May 1782, when Cornwallis was still a prisoner on ‘parole’ he was asked to go to India as governor-general and commander-in-chief …

Both Pitt and Dundas thought him the only man capable of restoring the military and civil services of India to an efficient state and of repairing the bad effect upon English prestige of the defeat experienced in the second Mysore war.

A subsequent British account points out how,

Lord Cornwallis was making the greatest efforts … It was the first time the British armies in India had been led by a Governor-General in person, who enjoyed the undivided exercise of all the civil and military powers of the state, and commanded the resources of all the Presidencies (from The history of India By John Clark Marshman.).

The British put everything they had, behind their military campaign against Tipu Sultan. Clive’s extraction and loot, or the loss of American colonies did not occupy their minds. Cornwallis defeat did not mark him out to be loser.

India – continuing wars

British problems did not cease after Tipu’s death. In 1799, Dhondia Wagh continued the war against British across Shimoga, Chitradurg, Dharwad and Bellary districts (soon after the defeat of Tipu Sultan). By 1824, it was the turn of the Kittur region, where Rani Chennamma spread the fire. Five years later, Sangoli Rayanna’s started his guerrilla war. Peasant revolts continued in Karnataka up to 1833.

Coinciding with the War in America and the Mysore wars was also a series of battles between the British and the Marathas – known as First Maratha War (1775-1782). Frequently, involving tens of thousands of troops, British energies were divided. After the end of the First Maratha War in 1782, the British held their peace with the Marathas for the next 20 years.

Till Tipu Sultan was dealt with.

From all sides

A significant opposition to the British misrule came from Indian forest-dwellers and migratory peoples. The Chotanagpur area (Surguja, Ranchi and Hazaribagh areas) passed to the British from Mughals in 1765. War and famine followed. The Bengal Famine of 1770 (1769-1773) was much written and analysed. The Jharkhand area remained on the boil for nearly 150 years after Buxar.

On the conflict side, the Paharia Revolt (1766-1778), by the hill-dwellers of Rajmahal Hills, soon followed. Santhals, opened a wide front against the British. One of the first of many such campaigns, started operations from the Tilapore forest against the British from 1781-1785 – led by Tilka Manjhi (also spelt Majhi). The dates of Tilkha Majhi’s revolt, vary widely – some continuing till 1799. The Tamar revolt (1783-1789) was another revolt in the modern Jharkhand area which occupied British attention in India – while they were fighting the American colonies. The Anglo-Santhal battles continued for the next 100 years. The Kol (also Khol, Khole) continued these insurrections in early 19th century.

Immediately after Buxar, in 1764 Major Hector Munro, who took charge of “the Company’s army, found the sepoys in a state of open revolt. There is no instinct of obedience in native armies in India …” complains the English ‘historian’. In 1780, the East India Company faced revolt in Benares from Raja ‘Cheyt Sing’ who was appointed to “furnish the company with three regular battalions of Seapoys” who instead ‘massacred , in cold blood, thirteen of Capt.Wade’s men, who fell into his hands in the Hospital at Mirzapoor’.

If this was not enough, there were the Sannyasi rebellions (1763-1800)

When the levee breaks

The Anglo-Maratha Wars, the Sikh Wars continued to plague British rule in India. This was apart from suppressing nearly another 200 revolts in India.

From the Sikh Empire, Britain could retain only the southwest areas. Having failed in capturing Sikh Empire’s north-east Afghan areas, Britain declared Afghan areas as separate from India. Britain could declare their conquest of India as complete only after declaring Afghan areas as separate from India. This break of Afghanistan from India remains till date, ‘official’ Indian history.

With the ‘conquest’ of India complete in 1840, Britain’s reign over India was short-lived. From 1840-1947. Slightly longer than the foreign rule by the Slave Dynasty-Tughlaq rule (1206-1290). With the end of African slavery between 1830 (Britain)-1865 (USA), the focus of slavery shifted. India’s indentured labour fed the sugar colonies and the building of colonial infrastructure across Africa (railways, telegraph networks).

An estimated 10-15 million Indians were shipped out of India by Britain. This transshipment of Indians picked up steam in 1830,and continued till 1917 – but most were shipped out during 1850-1900 period. This, from a population of some 3 crore men of prime working age of 20-35 (from a total population of 25 crores). The supply of Indian indentured labour dried up under the kaala-paani campaign, an ingenious ploy devised by Indian Brahmins. As the supply of Indian labour dried up, so began the beginning of the end of the British Empire.

No longer able to build imperial networks (railway, telegraph) on the backs of cheap coolie labour, British grip on their Empire weakened. A 100 years after Napoleon, Britain was challenged on European mainland again, this time by Germany. As the German challenge ended, in 1945, so did the British Empire.

The American response

The rich and landed American leadership, sensed the European stretch and exploited the ready-made opportunity to take-over Britain’s American possessions. They found a ready-made supporters in the European Bourbon royal family (Catholic rulers of France and Spain).

Adams went to work right away in drafting what would be known as the Plan of Treaties. He ensured the document was primarily a commercial agreement. Offering any nation the right to trade with the newly formed United States was thought to be sufficient for any foreign aid … The calculated maneuver by Congress to declare independence as a means to gain foreign assistance was risky. They had no assurance of knowing their calculated maneuver would be successful.(from Irreconcilable Grievances: The Events That Shaped American Independence By Patrick J. Charles.).

With this support, America could win against a stretched Protestant British Government – fighting many wars in India. Much like how Romans had taken over Alexander’s Mediterranean territories and expanded into Europe and Asia Minor.

Spain, France and Britain, the three main European powers derived significant benefits from the West Indies (the Caribbean), including Cuba, Haiti et al. Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, the French supporter of America’s cause, spelt out the rationale of French interest in this war. A worried de Beaumarchais wrote to the French king that the Frenchsugar islands have, since the last peace, been the constant object of the regrets and hopes of the English“.

The Catholic Franco-Spanish rulers from the Bourbon dynasty saw benefits of keeping a Protestant Britain engaged in North America to buffer their Caribbean territories from British expansion. Spain saw benefit when it loaned the American leadership, 8 million reales for food and supplies (military and medical).

The end of the Bourbons in France, overthrow of French rule by African slaves in Haiti changed this calculus. Modern narratives of King George-III as a blundering king, ignore the realities of 18th century, as also the other ‘achievements’ of King George -III.

Front Cover - Irreconcilable Grievances: The Events That Shaped American Independence Front Cover Patrick J. Charles

Front Cover – Irreconcilable Grievances: The Events That Shaped American Independence Front Cover Patrick J. Charles

The king who lost America was also the king who triumphed over Napoleon, oversaw the Industrial Revolution in Britain, and saw the birth of the successful expansion of the British Empire into India and Canada. (from Colonialism: an international social, cultural, and political encyclopedia By Melvin E. Page, Penny M. Sonnenburg.).

An interesting book on this period in American history is Irreconcilable Grievances:The Events That Shaped American Independence by Patrick J. Charles. Gushes a reviewer, “rare to come across a groundbreaking piece of scholarship about the nation’s founding”. The paperback version has 346 pages. How many times does this book mention India at all!

Nil.

Bharat-tantra – Prequel To Modern History!

Posted in Business, Current Affairs, European History, History, India, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on September 6, 2010
Communism - Another Western Political Construct. Same Difference. Image Courtesy - Wikipedia

Communism - Another Western Political Construct. Same Difference. Image Courtesy - Wikipedia

The one-eyed king

In the last 250 years, just 5 countries succeeded with Republican democracy without a significant breakdown in their first 50 years. Of the five, 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.

Global media in the last 12 months used Tiger Woods as a punching bag for his sex ‘crimes’. Hank Paulson, in the last days of the Bush regime, ensured the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent acquisition by Goldman Sachs.

Across South West India to the North-East, deep in the jungles of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar to Bengal, a swath of red terror is making life difficult for the Indian state.

Strange as it may seem, all these ‘events’ are related.

Indian transformation – from Saraswati-Indus to the Indo-Gangetic plains

Nearly 5000 years ago, the Saraswati River started drying up. In fits and bursts, over the next 1000 years, it completely dried up – coinciding with a global drought. Many cultures declined and some perished altogether. How could Indians sustain their culture over a period of 1000 years, while the Saraswati was drying up? And the Ganga’s riverine system was yet to develop!

Even mostly objective historians, find it difficult to understand how the Saraswati-Indus Basin cities could have been related to the later Indo-Gangetic cities. To allow that new sites, for so many settlements could be set up, without war or conflict! To Indians, this is something possible – at the most difficult. Western historians find it difficult to believe that in such trying times, spread over 1,000 years, India was able to sustain and grow its culture. This inability to comprehend is possibly why (some) Western historians deny the linkage between the Saraswati and the Indo-Gangetic cultures.

Behind this ability to transcend a 1000 year natural calamity, is the secret of Indian socio-political system – which I have termed as भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

Factors of production

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra, the Indic socio-political system, addresses three basic human aspirations. If humans are deprived of these basic ‘wants’, these aspirations, it is cause for war – as per India’s wisdom narrative. These aspirations are ज़र zar (meaning gold), जन jan (meaning people) and ज़मीन jameen (meaning land).

This makes the basis भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra different from Western politico-economic systems, that are based on four factors of production (land, labour, capital and enterprise). भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra treats these three elements as ‘aspirational’ while Western theory sees these four factors as ‘exploitative’.

Abandoned port city of Lothal - A big port in the ancient world. (Photo coutesy - travelguru.com)

Abandoned port city of Lothal - A big port in the ancient world. (Photo courtesy - travelguru.com)

Modern Western economies revolve around Veblen’s models – owner of capital (capitalists) own businesses that buy and sell businesses; businesses compete with widget makers (enterprise) who use land, labour and capital; or commandeer of labour, capital and enterprise (communists) who will annihilate both the capitalist and the entrepreneur. In all the four Western systems (viz. feudalism, capitalism, socialism, communism) the concentration of political, economic, social, intellectual power remains!

No difference, at all.

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra system works to deliver these three elements to all its members. For centuries भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra was known as dharma. Modern etymology has completely derailed the meaning of dharma - which has now been reduced to mean religion. Religion was something India never had – and has now made it an integral part of itself.

Neil Young can see it

One sunny afternoon, in a Delhi winter, I landed Neil Young’s album containing, Crime in the City. For the next few months, this album remained high on my play list. One part of the lyrics stuck in my memory – the part about the producer wanting a hungry and single artist.

The artist looked at the producer, The producer sat back

He said, What we have got here, Is a perfect track

But we don’t have a vocal, And we don’t have a song

If we could get these things accomplished, Nothin’ else could go wrong.

So he balanced the ashtray, As he picked up the phone

And said, Send me a songwriter, Who’s drifted far from home

And make sure that he’s hungry, Make sure he’s alone

Send me a cheeseburger, And a new Rolling Stone.

Why this producer’s preference for someone alone – akin to single? Was this an aberration? Or a trend! Looking inside out, from India, which has a strong bias towards getting married, this was a revelation. It raised a number of questions in my mind, when strangelythere are very few accessible cross-national studies that have data on both marital status and well-being at the individual level for the general.

The ideal of universal marriage

Measuring simple marital status of the broad population may give a crude confirmation of this social bias. At any point, 35%-45% of the adult population in the US and UK, for whom data is available, are unmarried. That is 1000% more than India’s unmarried population. How will it affect women and children when projections show that “the population of unmarried women will soon surpass the number of married women”.

Man is a social animal, said Aristotle. If that is true, why this anti-social bias then in the ‘Desert Bloc’? As Neil Young grimly points out. As we will see below, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra worked out a system of ‘negotiated’ marriages, which achieved near universal marriage for the population.

Given a choice between a slave and a wife, who would want a wife? In slave societies, daughters and sisters of only the rich and powerful could marry. To make marriage attractive, for the rich and powerful people, handsome dowries were given and taken. For instance, the site for current Mumbai was bought by the Portuguese king from Gujarati king, Sultan Muhamed Begada in 1534. Subsequently, it was given in dowry to the British Queen, Catherine of Braganza, sister of the Portuguese king, as dowry when she married King Charles II in 1661.

On the other hand, in India, even the poorest share the cost of stabilizing the start of a new family, formed after marriage.

Behind universal marriage is gold

Indian marriages are solidly anchored in gold. Every marriage has a significant amount of exchange of gold.

Rather an anomaly, since India has never in been, in its 5000 year history, a significant gold producer. Yet Indian citizenry has the largest private reserves of gold in the world – 500% of US private reserves of gold. Indian ‘despots’ could not control large gold reserves due to भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

Unlike the rest of the world, Indian rulers had less than 20% of the gross Indian gold reserves – instead of 80% in the rest of the world. Without vast reserves of gold, the concentration of wealth and power did not happen. As a result, Indian rulers could not create vast marauding, pillaging armies.

Yet, with huge domestic private-sector experts, made of armoured elephant corps, expert cavalry troops (inventors of the stirrup), largest producers of gunpowder, producers of the most-sought after Wootz steel, Indian rulers kept India free of foreign invaders – for most of history.

Iqtadari and Jagirdari System (from Our Story So Far 7 By Vipul Singh, Gita Shanmugavel, Jasmine Dhillon; page 44).

Iqtadari and Jagirdari System (from Our Story So Far 7 By Vipul Singh, Gita Shanmugavel, Jasmine Dhillon; page 44).

Junkers, Kulaks, Lords and Plantation owners

Europe started with land reforms between 1800 to 1900. German junkers, Russian Kulaks, English lords  resisted, many successfully, from giving up their lands. Spain was an early mover with land sales in 1798-1808. The rest of Europe followed.

With vanishing of slaves, serfs and tenants, in 19th century, mechanization of farming was introduced with State support in Germany. German Junkers could maintain their hold and power right upto the Weimar Republic. Britain dragged its feet on land reform till the end of 19th century – especially in Ireland.

Land rights in India

In India, centralization of power increased from Qutubuddin Aibak (1206) onwards and introduction of iqtadari system – when a king’s pleasure amounted to land title. The 200 years foreign, Islāmic rule in India, by Turko-Persian offshoots, changed Indian property holding patterns. The Mughals modified this system into the jagirdari system.

The British in India went a step further. They dispossessed crores of Indians and created a uniquely oppressive system – the zamindari system. The British introduced another strain of this virus – public purpose. Peasants and tribals could be dispossessed of their land for a vague ‘public’ purpose – a policy that the modern Indian government continues.

In India, till the 12th century, vested property rights with the producer, upto the advent of the Islamic iqtadari system. Manusmriti states that ‘land is the property of him who cut away the wood or who tilled or cleared it’. To prevent concentration of landholdings in the hands of the few, sale, resale and purchase of property was not legal. Combined with the absence of slavery, it set up a unique situation – a virtuous circle.

With abundant food supply, since slaves were not available, and as land was not for sale, what would drive greed? What would make people want more gold?

Modern political theory

Indian thinkers responded with unique mechanisms to systematize the achievement of these three aspirations – ज़र, zar (gold), जन jan (people) and ज़मीन jameen (land). Desert Bloc administrators and usurpers of Indian polity inverted many of these systems and vilified these mechanisms, opposite of original design.

One important mechanism to achieve these aims was the चातर वर्णाश्रम chatar-varnashram (which the English misrepresented as the caste system). The other mechanism was the Indian marriage system. As Indian society started seeing greater flux, family and community started arranging marriages. The father commits the bride with dahej, community commits the husband to the future of the family. An interesting third element is how Indians were empowered to buy gold by the establishment of lakhs of dharamkantas. Dharamkantas, set up by by gold smiths, fully subsidized the cost of assaying gold.

Even the swastika, is tie-in with भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra. A mnemonic (reminder) against collusion and collaboration by (any of the) three parts of the society (intellectuals, polity, finance and labour) against a fourth. Or how trade and logistics, was separated into two parts, to prevent collusion and exploitation. Trade was handled by the vaishya community and logistics handled by the Banjara community – of whom the Roma Gypsies are an off shoot.

It was Parag Tope, (a regular reader of 2ndlook; co-writer of Operation Red Lotus) who first pointed out to me the possible linkage between Swastika and भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra. According to Parag Tope,

The Swastika represented a four way split in how functions in an organized society were separated to maintain a balance of power.  This balance was maintained by preventing collusion or “collaboration” by any of the two or more parts of the society.  The four functions were 1. production, 2. retail, 3. defence and implementation of polity, 4. knowledge of polity. Agrarian output belonged to the production value chain and landownership was therefore associated with production. Retail was separated from trade and transportation, to prevent collusion and exploitation. The knowledge of polity was separated from the implementation to maintain the balance of power.

The rights of man

Indian thought saw access to ज़र zar (gold), जन jan (people) and ज़मीन jameen (land) as pre-conditions, means if you will, for social equity. After ensuring access to these three essentials, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra also defined four freedoms through these means.

These four freedoms are काम kaam (desire, including sexual) अर्थ arth (wealth), मोक्ष moksh (liberty) and धर्मं dharma (justice). Agnipurana mentions धर्मार्थकाममोक्षाश्च पुरुषार्था उदाहृताः Agni P.; H. Pr.35.-3 something which when done results in the satisfaction of the performer.

The power to tax was limited. Some of the common terms and methods were (from Vaman Apte’s Sanskrit Dictionary; search by Parag Tope) were: -

  1. बलिषड्भाग – the sixth part as a tribute;
  2. चतुर्थभाज् a. receiving a fourth part of every source of income from the subjects, as a king; (this is allowed only in times of financial embarrassments, the usual share being a sixth;
  3. षष्ठअंशः 1 a sixth part in general. -2 particularly, the sixth part of the produce of fields &c., which the king takes from his subjects as land-tax;
  4. प्रतिभागः – A share, portion (given to a king as a tax) of one’s income, generally a sixth part:
  5. उद्धारः – The sixth part of booty taken in war which belongs to the king; राज्ञश्च दद्युरुद्धारमित्येषा वैदिकी श्रुतिः Ms.7.97.

Modern Western polity promise different ‘freedoms’ that mean little. These ‘modern’ systems have made it either impossible (now) or unacceptable (earlier) to make money. Earlier, Christian ethics did not allow any economic activity. Except and unless it benefitted God, King and Country. Result, Jews captured vast sections of Christian economies. Now we have the capture of the economy by 0.5% of the population which makes all of us into employees.

Instead of real rights, काम kaam (desire, including sexual) अर्थ arth (wealth), मोक्ष moksh (liberty)and धर्मं dharma (justice), people were fobbed off with ‘free’ speech (in your drawing room, to yourself), ‘free’ press, (mortgaged to banks and advertisers), religious freedom,(subject to population planning), etc.

Say what you want! Does it matter? Mass media has always been under some kind of State control and direction. How free can any press be, anyway, if Big Advertisers control the business.

Witness, The Hounding of Tiger Woods. His crime? Sex with willing women.

What made Buddhism so attractive?

An early interpreter of this system was Gautama Buddha. In the Sutta Pitaka, Majjhima Nikaya, Book:2 (thanks for the link Parag Tope), Gautama explains to the novice, Asslaayana, the risk of dual-mode, slave-master societies, like Yavana-Khamboja (Greece-Cambodiya) compared to a चातर वर्णाश्रम chatar-varnashram society like India.

Taṃ kiṃ maññasi assalāyana, sutaṃ te: ‘yonakambojesu4 aññesu ca paccantimesu janapadesu dveva vaṇṇā, ayyo ceva dāso ca. Ayyo hutvā dāso hoti, dāso hutvā ayyo hotī’ti.

Assalàyana, have you heard of Greece, Cambodiya, and certain other bordering states. They have only two castes, masters and slaves. One becomes a master and then a slave, and a slave becomes a master?

Evaṃ bho sutaṃ me yonakambojesu aññesu ca paccantimesu janapadesu dveva vaṇṇā ayyo ceva dāso ca. Ayyo hutvā dāso hoti, dāso hutvā ayyo hoti’ti.

Good one, I have heard of Greece, Cambodiya, and certain other bordering states. They have only two castes, masters and slaves. One becomes a master and then a slave, and a slave becomes a master.

Till भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra became popular, the axis of Confucian-Platonic authoritarian, ‘wise’ rulers, who were not accountable, was (and again) the overwhelming model for the world. Property rights remained with less than 0.1% of the people.

Buddhism changed that.

Buddhism gained not because Buddha’s statues were prettier than the statues of previous deities. Or because Buddhist chants sounded better. If that, anyway, was the reason, the statues of previous divinities could have been prettified.

Resettling India – and law

In the post-Saraswati India, after thousands of cities were abandoned, and millions of people were resettled over a period of 1000 years, the principles of Indian polity were probably weakened. Buddha in India was one in the long line of many teachers, who continued the development of भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra – then known as dharma. Buddhism recognizes more than a 100 Boddhisatvas and Jainism recognizes some 24 tirthankaras. Chandragupta Maurya after his reign long reign, took vaanprastha and retired to a monastery in Karnataka as per Jain historiography.

Contextually, dharma itself was sub-divided deśadharma, dharma for different regions, jātidharma, dharma based on professional and social groups, and kuladharma, for different families and lineages. Many political and legal treatises were written. There are hundreds of original works, digests, compendiums, commentaries, expansions, developments dharmasutras, dharmashstras and nitishastra treatises in India. Major ideas of Āpastamba, Baudhāyana, Gautama (not Buddha), Manu, Shukra, Vasiṣṭha and Yagnavalkya were  developed and expounded. Shantiparva in Mahabharata, Chanakya’s Arthashastra, are well-known among the lay public.  Kautilya’s Arthshastra is hardly the most or even important.

Yājñavalkyasmṛti, the Dharmasutras of Āpastamba and Baudhayana (a part of the Kalpasūtra) are an important part of the dharmic laws. Various smritis were later hardened into written form – some of them being Manu-smṛti, Yājñavalkya-smṛti, Nārada-smṛti, Viṣṇu-smṛti, Bṛhaspati-smṛti, Kātyāyana-smṛti et al. Various bhashyas and nibandhas, tikas were written and used.

On Manusmriti by like Bhāruchi (of Bharuch, Gujarat, probably 7th century), Medhātithi, Manvartha-muktavali by Kullūka, Govindarāja, Nārāyaṇa, Raghavananda, Nandana.  Bālakrīḍā by Viśvarupa, Mitākṣarā by Vijñāneśvara, Aparārka, Dīpakalikā by Śūlapāṇi, Vīramitrodaya by Mitramiśra on Yājñavalkya Smṛti. Two related works on Naradasmriti are by Asahāya, whose commentary was further expanded by Kalyāṇbhaṭṭa. On Vishnusmriti, Nandapaṇḍita wrote the Vaijayantī.

There are extensive compendiums like Krtyakalpatara by Lakṣmīdhara, Smṛticandrikā by Devaṇṇa-bhaṭṭan, Dāyabhāga by Jīmūtavāhana, Caturvagacintāmani by Hemādri, by Caṇḍeśvara. Raja Todar Mal, one of Akbar’s navratna wrote the Ṭoḍarāndanda.

The offering of Sujata - Location: Fo Guang Shan 佛光山 Temple, Jenjarom, Malaysia (Photo courtesy - http://myloismylife.blogspot.com).

The offering of Sujata - Location: Fo Guang Shan 佛光山 Temple, Jenjarom, Malaysia (Photo courtesy - http://myloismylife.blogspot.com).

In the more recent history, from the Mithila school, we have Chandeshwara (also Caṇḍeśvara , Chandes(h)vara, Chandes(h)wara; early 14th century) who is most known for Rāja-nīti-ratnākara and Vivāda-ratnākara. From the same Mithila school, we also have Vachaspati Mishra  (also Vacaspati Misra) who wrote the chintamani series, Vivāda-cintāmani on 18 litigation-types. and a procedural text called the Vyavahara-Chintamani.

Two Deccani scholars, from Paithan, settled in Benares, rivals and cousins, one of whom was Kamalākara-bhatta (from 22 books), wrote Vivāda-tāṇḍava and Nirnaya-sindhu and his cousin Nīlakaṇṭha’s treatises (early and middle 17th century) Vyavahāra-mayūkha and Bhagavanta-bhāskara are the most known. Dattaka-mīmāmsā by Nanda-paṇḍita (late 16th – early 17th century) was used by colonial British authorities as Hindu law topic of judicial procedure.

Pratāparudra-deva, Gajapati dynasty king from Orissa, commissioned a group of brahmins and pandits to make a comprehensive digest of Indic Law, which came to be known as the Saraswati-vilasa (also Saraswati-vilasa). Vīrasiṃha, the king of Orccha (1605-1627) appointed Mitra-miśra (Early 17th century) leading to a comprehensive legal digest, the Vīramitrodaya.

Lessons in भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra are delivered through the twenty-five Vikram and Vetal case-studies; many Buddhist Jatakas; Panchatantra and the Hitopdesa.

The real battle

In contrast to भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra, under the cuius regio, eius religio, principle (meaning whose land, his religion; CRER) even the most personal religious beliefs of the individual were subject to State approval, as per law.

Population Density - Major Countries (7 of 10 countries are influenced by Indian culture).

Population Density - Major Countries (7 of 10 countries are influenced by Indian culture).

Why is the Chinese Communist Government afraid of Buddhist monks. Why does Lee Kuan Yew promote Confucianism. Or the Japanese are trying to revive Shintoism? Faced with a reality of ‘warm-bodies-shortage’ in the 19th century, the West invented  ‘liberalism’, secular’ Governments, Marxism, Socialism et al. It is these principles which accounts for the low levels of diversity in the West – and which also accounts for the shrillness with which the West proclaims its ‘liberalism’ – facts being otherwise.

Sterile asuric systems always looked to India for their illegitimate needs of ज़र, zar, (gold), जन jan (people) and ज़मीन jameen (land). When the African continent could no longer accept further population reductions, combined with slave revolts, the British turned to India for जन jan – people as indentured labour. When the British needed money to repay America for WWI debt, it is India which bailed out USA – and Britain.

The fruits of democracy

In ‘modern’ India, European thought dominates academic and intellectual discourse. One such example is democracy – which lulls us into a stupor of inaction, while it gives us an illusion of being powerful. Instead of being involved in our societies, localities and communities on a daily basis, it wakes us up once in five years at election time. After five years of stupor and laziness, this political device makes us talk loudly, rudely.

And we go to sleep again.

The device of democracy also corrupts our mind. Instead of focusing on the behavior of rulers and politicians, it diverts our minds to believe that the solution is to replace one bad ruler with another. It creates a collusive polity where bad rulers conspire with each other, against us.

This fruit of democracy is a strange poison.

Understanding भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra

The principles of भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra remain a part of mixed and corrupted, oral history. Over the last two years, many 2ndlook posts have identified the principles – but भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra has been never presented as a complete body of polity system.

That is now being done in the table below. Given below is a comparison table detailing how asuric polity from the Desert Bloc is different from भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra. Each point is linked to a post that further elaborates on the subject. Clicking on that link will open the post in a new window /tab.

——-

Law and jurisprudence

Description दुरातंत्र (duratantra) सुरातंत्र (suratantra) Remarks
Ideology Western political systems: -

  1. Feudalism
  2. Capitalism
  3. Socialism
  4. Communism
Indic political system

  1. Bharat-tantra
Judicial systems
  1. Distant courts
  1. Local justice
  • Accessible justice
Litigation Cost
  1. Expensive
  2. Time consuming
  1. Low costQuick
Last court of appeal
  1. ‘Fair king’ illusion used to create faith in justice
  1. No centralized judicial authority
  • No centralized manipulation
Case load Large volume of

  1. Crime
  2. Laws
  3. Practitioners
  4. Case bodies
  5. Precedents
  1. Minimal localized law
  2. Principle based
  • Low dispute society
Legal punishment
  1. Death
  2. Imprisonment
  3. Fines
  4. Police State
  1. No prisons
  2. Fines
  3. Exile
  4. Member Behaviour – Family & Community responsibility
Indians low on crime

————–

Economic arrangements

Description दुरातंत्र (duratantra) सुरातंत्र (suratantra) Remarks
Wealth Distribution
  1. Wealth and power concentrated with 0.5%-5% of population
  1. Wealth and property distributed in the population
Integration of Business Activity
  1. Vertical and horizontal integration encouraged
  1. Business linkage between independent producers allowed
Economic Domination
  1. Monopolistic tendencies
  1. Monopolization undercut by economic silos
Economic opportunities People given choice

  1. Slavery
  2. Employment
  1. Self employment
  2. Slavery absent
  • Steady growth economy
Currency and coinage
  1. State controls gold supply
  2. Fiat currency
  3. Legal tender
  1. Private coinage
  2. Gold stocks dispersed in the population
Property rights
  1. Land belongs to the State
  2. Property barons and Government collude to corner ‘prized’ lands
  1. Property belongs to the user.
  2. Non-use of property is an offence
  • High social equity
Entrepreneurial Structure
  1. State encouragement
  2. Corporate structure
  1. Private initiative
  2. No role for State
  • Quick rebound of economic activity
Trade and logistics
  1. Unified
  2. Monolithic
Split between (for insance)

  1. Vaishyas
  2. Banjaras
Ecological footprint Social design based on

  1. Eating meat
  2. Using leather
  3. State supervision
  4. Green movement
  5. Environmental activism
Built in ‘green’ agenda using

  1. Vegetarian food
  2. Natural fibre
  3. Community activism
To study and build on how Indians corporations: -

—————-

Social arrangements

Description दुरातंत्र (duratantra) सुरातंत्र (suratantra) Remarks
Population growth
  1. Weak family structure
  2. Single status is common
  1. Marriage is the norm
  2. Stable marriage and family structure
  • Fertile populations (see population density table above).
Ethnic Diversity
  1. Anti-diversity
  1. High diversity
Linguistic plurality
  1. Assimilation required
  2. Integrated essential
  1. Low cultural compliance
  • USA – Meyer vs Nebraska
  • France killed regional languages
Loyalty
  1. Central authority gets mercenary loyalty
Focus on

  1. Values
  2. Family
  3. Community
Marital possibility
  1. Marriage possible only for a small minority
  1. Marriage is a norm – not a possibility.
Marital economics
  1. Marriage based on ‘bride-price’ (meher; alimony, etc.).
  1. Marriage built on co-investment by both families in the new family unit.
Marital mechanics
  1. Family-‘arranged’ marriages seen as anti-‘freedom’
  2. Lawyer-managed marriages and divorce in West.
  3. Unstable marriages due to ‘compatibility idyll’.
  1. Mostly arranged.
  2. Swayamvars and self-selection as by Savitri also possible
  3. Compatibility expected to grow.
Marital systems
  1. Marriage difficult due to ‘compatibility’ idyll.
Commitment to marital stability

  1. In early stages by bride through dowry
  2. In late stages by husband with family pacts and transfer of wealth to the grih-lakshmi
Social identity Derived from The One

  1. Geography
  2. Language
  3. Administration
  4. Book (Bible, Koran, Torah).
  5. Race
  6. Currency,
  7. Law,
  8. God
Bharat-ah, Aryavart, were about shared values -

  1. Freedom
  2. Liberty
  3. Equity
  4. Anti-slavery
Food
  1. Standardized Food
  1. Non-competitive food behaviour
Social Interface
  1. Single-handed greeting norms
  1. Greetings with both hands
Sports
  1. Modern sport as propaganda
  1. Indian board games as learning and strategy
Sexual freedom
  1. Limitations on personal freedom
  2. Sexual behaviour criminalized – adultery, homosexuality, polygamy.
  1. Land of kamasutra
  2. Yudhisthira and Raghu Ramachandra were monogamous
  3. Polygamy allowed
  4. Polyandry too allowed
  • Wide latitude for individual choice.

******************

Educations, arts, science and technology

Description दुरातंत्र (duratantra) सुरातंत्र (suratantra) Remarks
Education
  1. State sponsored
  2. State directed
  1. Private sector
  2. Check on the political propaganda
Arts State commissioned projects Private patronage of arts
Technology
  1. Wealthy patrons fund R&D
  1. Private enterprise drives R&D
Technology & Innovation
  1. Restrictions on knowledge
  2. Patents & copyright
  1. Open-source system
  2. Non-copyright and non-patent system.
City and Town Planning
  1. Centralized
  2. Statutory town planning
  1. Decentralized
  2. Vaastu shastra in S-IVC
Healthcare
  1. State sector
  2. Subsidized
  1. Private sector
  2. Non-subsidized
History and Historiography Focuses on: -

  1. Day Date Time
  2. Place Temperature Climate Conditions
  3. Agenda is ‘narrative of superiority’.
Focuses on: -

  1. Learnings and lessons
  2. Characters and personalities
  3. Timelessness

******************

Military and defense systems and technology

Description दुरातंत्र (duratantra) सुरातंत्र (suratantra) Remarks
Military Preference for standing armies Volunteer armies
Armies Primogeniture funnels officers into armies Military markets
Government size Maximum government Minimum government
Head of State
  1. Conqueror /Emperor /King model
  1. Mahajanapada model
  2. Rajasuya yagna

For Pete’s Sake

Posted in Current Affairs, European History, History, India, Islamic Demonization, Media, politics, Religion, Satire by Anuraag Sanghi on September 5, 2010
Elin Maria Pernilla Nordegren, an Swedish model and the ex-wife of Tiger Woods enacshed on her insecurity. (By Mike Lester, The Rome News-Tribune - 6/30/2010 12.00:00 AM; ©Copyright 2010  Mike Lester.).

Elin Maria Pernilla Nordegren, a Swedish model and the ex-wife of Tiger Woods encashed on her insecurity. (Cartoon By Mike Lester, The Rome News-Tribune - 6/30/2010 12.00:00 AM; ©Copyright 2010 Mike Lester.). Click for larger image.

Iran in Stone Age

On the Islamic side of the world, in Iran, courts reopened a 2005 adultery case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. After the trial, it was decided that Sakineh would be stoned to death for her ‘crime’.

This would have been just another case of Desert Bloc justice, till the French First Lady, Carla Bruni sprang to the ‘defence’ of this ‘victim’. The case become more high profile, after Brazil’s President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, offered asylum to Sakineh – which Iran rejected.

Iran has reportedly sentenced Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani – the 43-year-old Iranian woman who faces execution after being convicted of adultery – to 99 lashes in prison for “spreading corruption and indecency” after allowing an unveiled picture of herself to be published in a British newspaper.

The claim, which could not be confirmed, comes from her family and a lawyer representing Mohammadi Ashtiani, based on reports from those who have recently left the prison in Tabriz where she has been held for the last four years. (via Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani to be lashed over newspaper photograph | World news | guardian.co.uk).

The "Free' Press had a gala time with a 'free' victim. Cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette - 4/16/2010 12.00.00 AM

The "Free' Press had a gala time with a 'free' victim. Cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette - 4/16/2010 12.00.00 AM. Click for larger image.

On the other side

In the USA, over the last 12 months, we have a modern-day spectacle – The Hounding of Tiger Woods.

His crime?

Tiger Woods had sex with willing women. With a lot of willing women. No pedophilia, no rape or forced sex, no violence.

Just simple sex.

OK. May not be simple sex. Maybe in complicated ‘kamasutra‘ positions, in unusual locations, with varied partners. But does all this, change the issue. Make it  any different.

Guys, he just had sex.

Nothing more than sex. How can consensual sex be a sin, immoral, crime, shameful, and all that baggage of guilt? If there is an injured party, I can only see Tiger. All those willing and able women quite ‘enjoyed’ both the kissing, and the telling. Not to forget the money they made for both the kissing and the telling!

What exactly is it that Tiger Woods did? Cartoon by Mike Smith from the Las Vegas Sun.

What exactly is it that Tiger Woods did? Cartoon by Mike Smith from the Las Vegas Sun.

Mebbe …

Coming from the land of kamasutra, where काम kaam (desire, including sexual) is my right, probably I am under-developed. Maybe these advanced, monotheistic Desert Bloc religions and societies are more advanced than the primitive culture I am from! Maybe, the social system of भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra has ‘corrupted’ me.

Who can object

Not Elin Nordegren.

She made US$400 million (or is it US$500 /600 /750 /1000). For her insecurity. That Tiger may abandon her and the children, while he is chasing all these women. A fear that is fair and legitimate. For a mother to two of Tiger’s children.

Not a bad deal. Or is there something more? Am I missing something?

Jesus tried, God knows! (Cartoon By John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune - 9/4/2008 12.00.00 AM; cartoon courtesy - politicalcartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

Jesus tried, God knows! (Cartoon By John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune - 9/4/2008 12.00.00 AM; cartoon courtesy - politicalcartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

What’s the difference

Now.

I really don’t see a difference between Iran’s stoning of Sakineh and the American stoning  of Tiger Woods.

Except that the stones are different. The US and world media has tried to kill Tiger with stones made of words, ill-will and smear, imputations, cans of tar and brushes. All of them, ganged up, against one man. One lonely man.

Just because a married man had sex with a few women!

Now Iran is doing much the same thing as the stoning of Tiger Woods. Only the stones in Iran are different. The Western world has made Desert Bloc ideals of shariat into Liberal-Christian dogma.

Did the world have to hound him for having sex? Cartoon by Christo Komarnitski, Bulgaria - 4/9/2010 12.00.00 AM

Did the world have to hound him for having sex? Cartoon by Christo Komarnitski, Bulgaria - 4/9/2010 12.00.00 AM

Although the West has become ‘educated’, ‘advanced’, ‘developed’, ‘civilized’, rich – they have not given up. Stoning people.

Jesus tried, God knows.

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