Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #190 - Arbiters of Credibility

Having a voice is important. But your voice having credibility is far more important. Voice shorn of credibility is no voice. Arbiters of Credibility are in the business of distributing just that.

(Photo by Yunming Wang on Unsplash)

“But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more.” ― Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid


You have a voice, that may be the most fundamental freedom available to you. But that your voice has credibility should be the natural consequence of that freedom.

When someone takes away the credibility from your voice because they, not you, are the arbiters of who or what is credible, then your voice can be buried and silenced with impunity.

It does not matter anymore what facts you bring along, how forceful your argument is. That the voice comes from you is enough to discount its credibility.

The usurping of credibility is the most sought after prize of any enemy with a serious geopolitical worldview.

That is what the Tech companies have done in the US and Western world, and indeed around the globe. They have become the sole arbiters of credibility. They choose whom to question, whom to amplify, whom to call “fake” and whom to suspend from even having a voice.

What happened in a more diffused way via carefully nurtured media houses, think-tanks, and ideologues by the enemies of a state, now happens in a more concentrated manner.

It is important not just to have a voice. But to be the arbiter of credibility. Or you have no voice.


arbiters of credibility and the political war

Hugo Grotius, one of the founding fathers of modern international law, had said in 1625:

‘There is no intermediate state between peace and war’

A legal threshold is a tool that those who indulge in Hybrid warfare use. (Source)

For example, under the United Nations charter, the use of force in self-defense is permissible only if an “armed attack” occurs.

Also, war units can only take over from the law enforcement units if an “armed conflict” exists.

What the various lawless states do is work in that grey zone.  They undertake subversive activities where the force they use remains below the intensity of an armed attack, thereby negating the need for use of armed attack by a law-abiding country.

The fight between India and Pakistan is just that.  Pakistan works under the legal threshold.  And, that is why it was a big mistake to call 26/11 a terror attack, as opposed to an act of war, which it was.  That characterization took away the moral right of India to strike back militarily.

The objective and the ability of the non-state actors and groups within a society to upstage state actors for political dominance is an art that strong and smart intelligence agencies deploy.  Communists have been masters at this for a long time.

The Communists within any society were used to infuse elements of public opinions that could soften, neutralize, or even undermine the target state’s public policy.

For this, organizations in Human Rights, Non-profits, and Think-tanks are used extensively.

Something that India’s erstwhile regimes used to undermine the Hindu/Dharmic ethos within the country and to dissociate the state alignment from the US while justifying India’s dependence on Soviet Russia in an ambiguous non-aligned countenance.

Press and media, as the gatekeeper of public opinion, is a powerful ally.  The importance of new tech companies that have usurped that role in a big way, while they align themselves with Islamist ideologies should be a worrying matter for most of the Western agencies.

Others are more sceptical, arguing that various elites, through the press and mass media, have always shaped public agendas by editing down, channelling, selecting or even censoring the stories that reach the public. As a journalist, Matt Taibbi (2018) puts it in his interview with Noam Chomsky: ‘It is like the parable of Kafka’s gatekeeper, guarding a door to the truth that was built just for you’. Often performed in tacit collusion with powerful think tanks, lobbies or even the elected representatives, such strategies have been deployed to manufacture dissent about issues that are comparatively unimportant in order to prevent real dissent about issues that matter.(Source)

For most of the West, the Leftists/Islamists combine has won the battle against an ethos that was created for Western dominance.

This should be worrying because when the levers of public opinion in Western democracies has been so overwhelmingly overpowered by a certain ideological group, any military option in the future for countering a national security threat will be well-nigh impossible.

Many times, a military war can be won by winning the political one.

And, for all practical purposes, the Leftist/Islamist combination has ensured the victory in all the future political wars that one can perceive in the near future that may be required to be undertaken by the Western democracies to even survive.

The authority to even assert credibility for one’s narrative has been progressively lost by the ideological lobby of Western dominance.  Forget about distributing that credibility to the franchises of choice amongst think-tanks, media houses, and lobbyists.

For, the electoral loss of Trump in the 2020 elections and the manner in which his side’s narratives were silenced and buried showed how the authority to assert credibility had been monopolized.  

Fox News and the aligned media outlets have lost the authority to impact any national narrative.

And, the other side of the media has subliminally become the sole arbiter of credibility in any national debate.

This ability to be the sole arbiter of credibility goes to the heart of a civilizational war.

This is precisely the reason why the Hindu scriptures were characterized as ‘mythology’, rituals and worship as regressive, and historical narrative as non-existent.  This is why even when RSS was not involved in Gandhi's assassination, in the larger public narrative it was. And any organization that put forth the Hindu voice in public policy debates was mocked and silenced.

Hindus - who entered the debate as ones - were not arbiters of credibility in India anymore.  That privilege had been forcibly taken away from them during the colonial era and later rulers post-independence.

An instance of the dominance of anti-Hindu forces in the political war against the Hindus was most visible after the Gujarat riots.  Anyone who would even as much as utter Narendra Modi’s name was looked at with derision, suspicion, or disbelief.  Modi’s battles were lost when the civilizational battle was lost by Hindus when they were dethroned as arbiters of credibility in national narratives.

It is to Modi’s credit that he could claw his way back in the larger national mindset despite the hole he had been buried into.

The lack of any action in this arena of public credibility, however, has been largely been ignored in the strategic vision of BJP’s political machinery.  Unlike how Congress has it as its priority.

Congress-mukt Bharat may be the choicest sentiment in India today.  But the arbiters of national narratives - the “secular” press - have not lost their mantle.

For, their place on that perch is underwritten by the vast reserves of political power that the like-minded forces enjoy globally.

India’s civilizational war is, therefore, highly dependent and intertwined with the larger global battles to decide who will be the dominant arbiter of credibility in the future.  

Beyond the global battle, will be the national battle of handling the entrenched forces of credibility that will be very difficult to upstage.

Our voices create narratives.  And, narratives make or break a civilization.

the reality of Thanksgiving

Everyone in the US is celebrating Thanksgiving. Turkeys are being cleaned up and people are meeting their families for feasts that are supposed to mimic what the Pilgrims and Native Americans did many centuries ago.

Let us look into this tradition with a view of the facts from history.

When Mayflower came to the American land, they anchored near Cape Cod and after a month they crossed the Massachusetts Bay and settled in a village in Plymouth.  They went through the winter here.  During Spring in March, they met an Abenaki Indian who talked to them in English.  Not only that, he brought another Native called Squanto (Pawtuxet tribe) who had been kidnapped and sold in Europe to return back.  He taught them to fish, to collect sap from maple trees, and cultivate corn.  And helped create an alliance with the Wampanoag tribe.  Then in November 1621, after Pilgrim’s first corn harvest, Governor William Bradford celebrated the first Thanksgiving feast.

That is the popular story of Thanksgiving.  A lie – deceitful one at that – that has been propagated by those who committed genocide to feel good about themselves somehow!

Now, what people often miss is that these Native Indians who were talking in English with the Pilgrims and working with them had themselves been slaves!  Who was the real Squanto?  That is an interesting story of how these settlers were in for only gain.

The story of “happy Pilgrims and friendly Indians” is not quite the truth.  So let us understand what was the REAL story of “Thanksgiving”.

For the start, let us go back to the origin of this story in 1614 (six years before the Mayflower visit).  In that year, Thomas Hunt – an Englishman – kidnapped Tisquantum from his village, Patuxet along with scores of others from the Wampanoag area and sold them to slavery in Spain.  Some say that people didn’t approve of slavery at that time, and Tisquantum escaped.  He somehow made his way back to American land in 1619 to what is now known as Massachusetts.

However, during Tisquantum’s absence from his homeland, a French shipwreck near Cape Cod had brought a French sailor carrying an infectious disease to this area and most of the Native American population was wiped out.  So, when Tisquantum returned back to his village Patuxet, he was the ONLY living survivor of that place!

Since the Native Indians did not like Europeans coming and stealing their lands, the white men had a fight on their hands in most of the places.  However, in Patuxet, they found the land cleared of all native people.

The Pilgrims called this mass decimation of Native Americans – a sad event – “God’s providence”!  The evil god had found a way to let them stay in this land.  Tisquantum’s (aka Squanto) village Patuxet came to be called Plymouth!

Paula Peters, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and an expert on Wampanoag history, says on her website“The graveyard of [Tisquantum’s] people became Plymouth Colony.”

By this time 75 percent of the Wampanoag population had died due to the infectious disease brought by the Europeans.  Massasoit, a local Wampanoag leader – didn’t trust Tisquantum (Squanto) on his return from England and put him under house arrest until the Pilgrims showed up.  That is when Squanto suddenly showed up to meet and greet the Pilgrims in English!!   As Peters says:

“While it was by far not the first occasion of human trafficking conducted by European explorers to the new world, the capture of Squanto and his fellow tribesmen would forever alter the course of history for people on two continents.”

What I find rather disconcerting and disingenuous is that somehow the Americans go about their lives during Thanksgiving – celebrating and feasting – as if this is somehow a glorious tradition.  Is it really?  From a normal humanistic perspective, it may actually represent the worst that mankind has had to offer.

legacy of sorts - Param Bir Singh

Param Bir Singh, the Mumbai Commissioner of Police, has had a legacy that is of a certain kind.

From the current role in the spat with Republic TV and Arnab Goswami to the torture of Sadhvi Pragya and Lt. Col. Purohit, he has used his power to subjugate innocent victims using often shaky pretexts.

Opindia shares his role during the 26/11 events in Mumbai as asserted by Hasan Gafoor, the then Commissioner of Police in Mumbai.

Hasan Gafoor, who was the Mumbai Commissioner of Police during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, had accused senior police officials, including Param Bir Singh of not taking on the terrorists. Gafoor had said Joint Commissioner in-charge of law and order K.L. Prasad, Crime Branch Additional Commissioner Deven Bharati, southern region Additional Commissioner K. Venkatesham and Anti-Terrorism Squad Additional Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh “did not appear keen on responding to situation”. (Source)

A petition was filed against Param Bir Singh and other officers for “charges of dereliction of duty during the Mumbai terror attack.”

market corner - 10 quick bytes

  1. Nearly four thousand listed companies reported combined profits of Rs 1.5 lakh crore in the fiscal's second quarter July-September, which is the highest profit made by all listed companies in any quarter - more

  2. Reserve Bank governor Shaktikanta Das says Economic recovery stronger than expected - more

  3. Record Kharif sowing to lift farmers’ income, Agri economy - more

  4. State-run NTPC Ltd plans to acquire at least 1000 megawatt (1 GW) of operational wind power projects to add to its green energy portfolio - more

  5. Non-basmati rice export likely to double this year - more

  6. The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) is pushing for necessary reforms in the marine products act by states to lift US ban put 2 years ago - more

  7. OTT industry and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) to jointly draft an implementation tool kit for a proposed self-regulation code - more

  8. Government tweaks the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and shares FAQs - more

  9. HDFC CEO Keki Mistry says NPAs in real estate will inch up in short term before settling. Markets are distinguishing between strong property developers and weaker developers unlike in the past - more

  10. FC Kohli, founder, and first chief executive officer of Tata Consultancy Services - father of India's software industry - passes away - more

nota bene

Hafiz Saeed lounging at home: Hafiz Saeed, the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder sanctioned by the UN Security Council, is not serving time in jail but at his Johar Town house in Lahore from where he runs the terror group, according to people familiar with the matter. (Source)

Palghar accused go scot-free: A special court here on Thursday granted bail to 53 persons arrested in the Palghar mob lynching case, in which two sadhus and their driver were killed at a village in Maharashtra's Palghar district. District Judge P P Jadhav in his order granted the accused bail with a surety of Rs 15,000 each. (Source)

Another terror attack: Terror attack on Army patrol near Srinagar; two jawans martyred. Jammu and Kashmir Police SOG and CRPF Valley QAT rushed to the spot to cordon off the area. Operation is underway to nab the attackers. (Source)

Pakistan celebrates 26/11: Twelve years after the 26/11 attacks, Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the political front of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) responsible for the brutal strikes, has planned an event in Sahiwal city in Punjab on Thursday to commemorate the Mumbai massacre by asking its cadres to organize special prayers for the 10 terrorists who carried out the terror attacks. (Source)

Ballistic Missile to blast satellites: Russia has tested a terrifying new 9,000 mph "star wars" ballistic missile capable of destroying US satellites in space. The rocket was launched from the Sary-Shagan test site in Kazakhstan and wiped out a dummy target, according to the Kremlin. (Source)

Calling out large Tech’s bluff: France is going forward with its plan to tax big tech companies. The government has sent out notices to tech giants, as reported by the Financial TimesReuters, and AFP. Many economy ministers in Europe think tech companies aren’t taxed properly. They generate revenue in one country but report to tax authorities in another country. They take advantage of countries with low corporate tax to optimize the bottom line. (Source)

Cynicism and Heart Disease: Researchers from Baylor University in Texas say those with more cynical hostility have a poor time responding to stress, making them vulnerable to the world’s number one cause of death. “Cynical hostility is more cognitive, consisting of negative beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes about other people’s motives, intentions, and trustworthiness,” says lead author Alexandra T. Tyra, a doctoral candidate in psychology and neuroscience, in a university release. “It can be considered suspiciousness, lack of trust, or cynical beliefs about others.” (Source)

the truth of Tipu Sultan

One of the jobs of the secular brigade in the past few decades specifically has been to normalize those who unleashed a reign of terror in the name of Islam on India. That is why Babar, Aurangzeb, and also Tipu Sultan have been eulogized in deceptive ways.

Here is an absolutely brilliantly done video about Tipu Sultan. Please do watch it.

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