2ndlook

Indian Defence Industry – Backward? Non Existent?

Posted in Current Affairs, Gold Reserves, History, Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on January 27, 2008

Backward & Non Existent?

Backward? Yes. Existent?  Just about.

The entire business model of the defence industry is licenced manufacture from other countries. Fifty years ago that was a revolutionary step. Today it is regressive and raises many questions and does not answer any.

There are two schools of thoughts on this. One thinks that India is doomed and we just cannot do it. To support their position, they point to the budget over-runs, delivery delays and indigenisation. Under-budgeting explains both time-and-cost over-runs. The indigenisation levels are another subject. No one – but no one, in the world, makes everything indigenously. The decisive aspect is reliability of supplies during wartime. That is a matter of judgment and finances. This group’s motivations are doubtful – and they are frequently accused of acting for vested interests.

The second school paints a rosy picture – and the picture is definitely NOT rosy.

Easy Way Out?

India has been for the last 20 years the one of the top 3 armament purchasers in the world – along with China. India’ s defence purchases exceed US$10billion every year. In the next few years, India is expected to buy US$40 billion of armaments. After that kind of spending, what will India be left with – debt and aging pieces of scrap metal.

The Problem

One single issue. Poor funding.

Two thirds of domestic development budgets are taken up by wages and other set up costs. Development activity takes up only 1/3 of the budget. DRDO which is made up of academics and scientists have been a rather poor track record in getting the GOI to understand funding, costs, time frames and monetary elbow room to explore alternative development paths. What they need are good salesmen.

Frugal Engineering

Carlos Ghosn, the current chief of the Renault-Nissan combine used the term frugal engineering to describe India’s prowess in world class products at Indian costs. He followed up his talk with his walk. He has inked three deals with Mahindras for the Logan and other similar products; with Bajaj Auto for a below US$3000 car; and with Ashok Leyland for low cost commercial vehicles (in short, cheap trucks).

While other competitors had doubts about the Nano, and Osamu Suzuki and John Elliot, (is Elliot spelt like idi**) were doing a joint production of Nano comedy show, Ghosn was also (possibly) the only one who saw the threat of the Tata-Nano.

Defence Engineering

Speculative Drawing of the LCAIndian defence designers and scientists have also done a similar job in defence production.

The Akash missile development project cost less than Rs.500 crores – which is about US$100 million. For that kind of money, international arms suppliers do not give the timeLCA Photograph of the day.

The 126 aircraft procurement under process is a prime example. The estimate started at US$6.5 billion. Recently it was estimated to cost US$10 billion – and the final bill may cross US$14 billion. With the right (domestic and international) partnerships (for sub assemblies like engine, avionics, airframe, tooling, etc.) and adequate and timely funding, the development cost will be US$ 2 billion. Production costs will be less than US$4 billion. (my estimates). IAF /DRDO estimates for the LCA are lower (I think that is more due to eagerness overkill) than realism.

Arjuna MBTThe Arjuna battle tank development cost of less than Rs.350 crores – over a period of more than 15 years. That is less than US$100 million – over 15 years. What are we talking about? With (not so amusing) low budgets, what elbow room do those designers and scientists have to explore and develop alternatives? If they have delivered a working model, with production plan in place, it is the cheapest battle tank development in the world. With timely and adequate funding, these development cycles and design variations can be speeded up.

India plans to buy 6 numbers of C-130 Hercules transport aircraft at a cost of US$1 billion. The C-130 aircraft has now been in production from 1955, for morC-130 aircraft picturee than 50 years (yes, for 50 years, with technology refreshments). This C-130 aircraft has now been in production for more than 50 years. A clean slate development of such an aircraft, with frugal Indian engineering, costs less than 100 million to develop. Production cost will not be more than US$200 million.

Can India continue to starve our engineers, designers and industry of funds, orders, business – and lavish spending on foreign industry. These dual standards are costing the Indian tax payers big money – and more importantly, compromising India’s defence preparedness. And the the defence forces face the prospect of fighting a war with inadequate armament and training.

Can we do it

Fortune 500 companies entrusted the biggest software problem the world had, the Y2K problem, to the Indian software industry. We had it licked in less than 3 years time. The Indian Government trusts foreign companies – but not Indians companies with defence production. How much more short sighted and regressive can they get?Brahmos Missile Battery

The ISRO Antrix commercial space launch business is now beginning to challenge world leaders – and developed at Indian costs and world class technology.

The Brahmos collaborative development is another success story.

India needs to develop greater capability – in house, in time and based on global perspectives. This shopping around gets us the contempt (or the patronising attitude) that we deserve.

Half The World …

Posted in Business, Current Affairs, European History, Feminist Issues, History, language, Media by Anuraag Sanghi on December 21, 2007

Bodhisattva - Ajanta Cave PaintingEvolutionary vs. Revolutionary

Belief systems in the world can clearly be classified into 3 kinds.

First , are the pagan practices like Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Babylonian et al. These were eclectic and evolutionary religions with many layers and differences. Of all these evolutionary religions, none exist today.

Then came the second layer of religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These religions had an individual agent of change – and these religions trace their birth, growth and existence to that one individual (and his followers). These were reform religions – a response to oppression and exploitation in the respective societies. I am not including Zoroastrianism and Baha’i religions as these have minor followings (mostly in India).

Third is the dharmic system of India. Unlike the Desert Bloc, India did not have religions. What the West recognizes as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism are non-unitary systems. Jains recognize 24 Tirthankaras and the Buddhists have more than a 100 Bodhisattva. These more than 100 preachers were at the forefront of anti-slavery crusade between 2000BC and 500BC. Indic rulers (like The Hittites, Mittanis and the Elamites) confronted and had to compete with slave owning Asura societies – especially in the Middle East.

The Problem With Religions

The problem with religions

Religion

Historically, India had no religions. Modern religions are a construct of the Middle East – and given birth to the 3 major religions of the world. Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In India, the belief structure centres around Dharma – धर्म.

The difference between dharma and religion? Major!

For one, religion is about worship. There are many other differences also – in method of worship (how you worship), object of worship (what you worship), frequency of worship (e.g. every Sabbath; five times a day), language of worship (what you say, in which language), etc.

The cornerstones of modern religions from the Desert Bloc are One God, One Book, One Holy Day, One Prophet (Messiah), One Race, One People, One Country, One Authority, One Law, One Currency, One Set of Festival are the root of most problems in the world. From this Oneness, we get the One Currency, One Language logic  – a fallacious syllogism. Once you accept One, you will accept all others.

Indian worship practices are infinite. Even non-worship to is acceptable - for instance, the Charvaka school of Indian philosophy was atheistic and did not prescribe worship. Structure and deviation from worship practices are a non-issue in Indian dharmic structure. Dharma has no equivalent in the ‘Desert Bloc’ vocabulary of religions. Dharma is the path of righteousness, defined by a matrix of the contextual, existential, moral, pragmatic, professional, position, etc. Dharma is more than moral and ethics.

The really big difference is the holy books – Judaism, Christianity and Islam have one Holy Book each. No deviations. Indian dharma tradition has thousands which are more than 1000 years old – at last count.

The Desert Religions

Judaism, Christianity, Islam were all born within 500 miles of each other and share a common culture and history. Judaism can be said to have been born when Moses led the Hebrew slaves from the Pharoah (across the Red Sea) – to ‘freedom’, that is ‘free’ to enslave other peoples. This possibly happened around 500 BC at the latest to 1500 BC at the earliest. His earliest followers were the Hebrews and they were a significant part of the Middle Eastern history all through till today. The very same Hebrews and Jews continued with slavery.

The next major religious reformer in the Middle East was Jesus Christ. For the first 300 years, Roman slaves were the major believers in his teachings. Emperor Constantine earned the loyalty of his Christian troops and won the war for Roman throne by his win over Maxentius at Milvan Bridge. Prior to Maxentius, for the previous 30-40 years, Christians had been persecuted by “rule of four’ Tetrarchy reformists in Rome, headed by Diocletan. Hence, the Christian slave soldiers of Constantine were eager for victory – as the persecution under Maxentius would have been worse. Yet the biggest users of slaves in history has been the Western Christian world – especially from 1500-1900.King Constatine

Liberated slaves were the founders and rulers of Islamic dynasties, (in India, the Slave dynasty – builders of Qutub minar). Thus all the three “desert religions” were first adopted by the slaves and only after gaining significant numbers of adherents, these religions became mainstream and commenced militant proselytising, conversions – and enslavement.

Slave Religions Promote Slavery

The 3 ‘desert religions’ instead of reforming slave societies, just enabled the transfer of slave titles. Freedom meant old slaves became the new slave masters. Slavery (capture, kidnap, sequestration, transport, trade and transfer, re-capture of human beings) continued in the “desert bloc” till the 20th century.

When the followers of Mani (a teacher of Buddhist and Christian teachings) were encouraging the slaves to revolt and declare themselves free, administrators of the teachings of the “Lord of lords, and King of kings.” (Revelation 17: 14) at the Council Of Gangra, 325 AD, approved of slavery. Arabs slave traders were active in Congo – till they were replaced by Europeans.

Whats Going On Here

‘Caste systems’ (by different names) are prevalent all over the world, in all societies, based on colour, race, income, wealth, education, social status, political position, et al. Most such ‘caste systems’ have no force of the state behind it or are legal. They are the burakumin in Japan today and the African Americans in Europe and USA.

The most ‘respected’ caste system is the British nobility which exists even today – a caste system, approved by law. In India, colonial administration encouraged and increased divisions within society.British Lords Stole From The World

In order to ‘whitewash’ their own ‘dark’ history, the West is now (speciously) equating the Indian caste system with slavery. In 1919, under the Treaty Of Versailles, Western Nations set up the ILO – along with the League Of Nations. Post WW2, it was co-opted as a specialized agency of the UN in 1946. Western propaganda efforts using the ILO, have seen some success. This leading light of Dalit Christians blindly accepts Western propaganda that slavery was abolished 200 years ago in the West – and casteism is equal to slavery!

Slavery (capture, kidnap, sequestration, transport, trade and transfer, re-capture of human beings) continued in the “desert bloc” till the 20th century with the legal backing and the full might of the of the State.

In Indic territories, slavery was an inherited institution – and last seen in the Hittite rule around 1000BC. There is no record of sale and purchase of human beings in the last 3000 years in the Indic Bloc. Faced with West Asian reluctance to give up slavery, Indo Aryan rulers disengaged politically from West Asia and Middle East from around 1000 BC. Possibly, the slave revolt of Egypt by Moses itself was a result of the liberalising laws of the Hittites. Hence the fade out of the Indic rule from the Middle East – but the continuation of Buddhist influences, trade and peoples contact.

Competing With Slave Societies

After the slave revolts in the Middle East, India spearheaded major anti-slavery movements – like Buddhism Manicheanism, etc. More than a 100 Bodhisatvas and 24 Jain Tirthankaras were major figures in India’s anti-slavery reforms in the Middle East. Modern history, influenced by Western historiography, recognizes only the “ahimsa twins” – Gautama Buddha and Vardhamana Mahavira. Both of these were princes of royal blood – Prince Siddharth and Prince Mahavira.

Their first adherents were the rulers and their methods of proselytising was also aimed at the ruling class. Ashoka, The Great, sent missions with his daughter Sanghamitra to Sri Lanka – where Buddhism was established.Guru Nanak - First Sikh Guru

Guru Nanak Dev came from from the upper caste family and his focus was to end feuding on the basis of caste and creed. His first converts were from upper class families – cutting across religions (hence the opposition from some of the Mughal Kings).

Gandhiji was from the upper caste and the first item on his reform agenda was end to the “bhangis” carrying faecal refuse on their heads. His initial focus was social reform and less of anti-British activities.

Yet, from the time of Hittites to now, for 4000 years, Indic culture did not accept slavery.

The Two Halfs

There is a major difference in the Indic reform idiom compared to the Desert Bloc. Half the world today follows Indic dharmic systems and culture. The other half follows the “desert religions”. Our future lies in understanding both the halves. The development trajectories of these two halves has been significantly different. The motivations, behavioural and acceptable civilizational norms for these blocs are different – and mostly opposite.

Do we understand this adequately?

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