Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #250 - The Crying Lambs
World for you is peaceful not because you are 'non-violent', but because the other hasn't gotten a taste of you - yet. Successful societies proactively engage to cancel their adversaries. Not respond!
“The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.” ― Johann wolfgang von Goethe
We all have reached this milestone as well today.
It has been a crazy journey through the worst crisis in modern times in the last year. Handling work, personal life, life changes, and fatigue sometimes we are today at some meaningful point.
It is not always easy to think of topics, research for them, and then bring those facts together coherently while meeting the deadline of time while handling several large projects at work and home. But whenever I would feel like calling it a day, one comment or an email or a generous contribution from one of you would re-energize and give me a sense of gratitude and purpose.
Without feedback and sometimes with complete radio-silence it is very tough to keep the juices flowing. So, please do comment on the topic at hand and have a conversation - add your own perspective or thoughts at the end of the newsletter issues (in your name or anonymously). It helps. More importantly to the overall dialog on topics that are important to us all.
In the last one year, one person who has really helped this effort to be what it is was Vivek Agnihotri. A director, speaker, thought leader, and communicator par excellence.
Most importantly, someone so humble and inquisitive. Always curious to know something new and more about things he already knew.
Very few people with influence want to know or do something new or different. After a while, the discussions, approach, and even the details become tedious to go through on social media.
That is why people like Vivek are so refreshing.
He was generous enough to share our work widely as well. He didn’t have to. His own team is strong and powerful enough to do great work. In this world of self-obsessed and all-knowing influence machines looking for ROIs, Vivek is a human being. My respect for him has grown with each passing day and interaction. This newsletter wouldn’t be here without his help and support.
There are many others who are not as well known but have worked behind the scenes to share our work with others in their own way. Many would send us their comments to keep us on track. Many more helped us with generous monetary contributions.
To everyone, we share our deepest sense of gratitude.
Here are 10 suggested past issues - in no particular order - that you may find insightful and informative even now.
When Lambs whine
The world being peaceful is great. You being peaceful within is absolutely amazing.
However, you trying to be peaceful when the world is out there rooting for your demise is nothing to write home about.
Indians, specifically Hindus, pride themselves in never having attacked any other country in the entire history.
Is it really something to be proud of?
For, it is not as if other countries were responding in kind. Whether it was from the East (British from Bengal) or the West (Islamic invaders) or South (Portuguese), the country and the civilization was attacked from every side.
So exactly what is so great about bearing the brunt of such attacks and yet not having the audacity to attack others?
Given how the world was at that time, it would have made sense to go attack the Islamic empires in Arabia and Central Asia. Later on, those were the areas from where those who routed India’s civilization actually came from.
Our forefathers were happy defending themselves while the attackers kept at it for centuries on end. One can defend oneself once, maybe four times, but one day if you don’t go and finish your aggressor, he will break through your defenses. And, that is precisely what happened in the end for every kingdom.
While Indians were playing the peaceful game, the aggressors were attacking relentlessly. And we wondered why these “evil people” were doing so?
Because “we tasted good.”
“There is nothing very odd about lambs disliking birds of prey, but this is no reason for holding it against large birds of prey that they carry off lambs. And when the lambs whisper among themselves, 'These birds of prey are evil, and does this not give us a right to say that whatever of the opposite of a bird of prey must be good?', there is nothing intrinsically wrong with such an argument - though the birds of prey will look somewhat quizzically and say, 'We have nothing against these good lambs; in fact, we love them; nothing tastes better than a tender lamb.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
The game of the world is about power. Too bad you don’t want to acknowledge that.
Now, one doesn’t have to act bad and cunning while being aggressive. Not everyone needs to do things as crudely as the Chinese do around the world with their loans and espionage. One can do things how the Western powers, taking their lessons from the intrigues of the Roman empire, do things.
United Nations was supposed to ensure a global level playing field and a way to make the world peaceful. But everyone knows how the UN has been arm-twisted to attack Iraq and use “Peacekeeping” veneer to destroy many societies.
That is the way of an aggressor who despite planning to colonize wants to look just.
As the Deputy UN Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown suggested in June 2006, the US has used the UN by stealth for its own purpose.
When Colin Powell delivered his address on February 5th, 2003 at the UN making a case for an attack on Iraq because Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass destruction (WMDs), he knew he was lying. Yet he made that case using the UN to get the legitimacy to attack Iraq.
While he called it painful and a "great intelligence failure.” The shock and awe and the terrible war that ensued destroyed the country. As if that was not enough, the US-led coalitions used the social differences that were, until then, not that big of an issue, to tear the entire society apart. This is how Raed Jarrar, who started an NGO for reconstruction work in Iraq described the Sunni-Shia mess that the US created in Iraq.
It started just by bringing up people’s sectarian divisions. I think making it a political identity was the first destructive force. And this happened right after the fall of Baghdad, when the US created the Iraqi Governing Council. The IGC was the first entity in Iraq’s contemporary history where people were selected based on their sectarian and ethnic identity. It had never before been the case that people were selected to serve because they were Sunni or Shiite or Kurdish. That brought it up to the surface. They started this quota system for political affiliations and then the ruling parties started playing on these divisions. So before people started seeing the changes in their neighborhood, they started seeing changes in the political rhetoric and in the news coverage and in the way that they perceived themselves. (Source)
For any social difference to become a force of ruin, make it important.
Just like the evangelicals and the urban Naxals have done in India.
While the US and the West created a global system to engage the world while it subverted the other societies using the UN and other multilateral groups; China isolated itself from everyone and then opened itself up consciously. Only to engage but on its own terms and later to plunder countries in Africa and Asia. (Loan diplomacy)
These are the two models for aggressors - (1) Stay connected while using joint institutions to wage the battle and (2) disengage with the world and create a barrier to defend.
The Terracotta Warriors in China were found near the grand mausoleum of Shi Huangdi (or Ch’in Shih Huang Ti) the first emperor of China and founder of the Qin dynasty. He was a powerful emperor who won over many kingdoms around him and created a powerful Chinese dynasty. However, he was the target of attacks. And, instead of engaging with the world and ensuring he built a good surveillance and counterattack system, Shih decided to go into isolation.
It was also under the guidance of Legalistic principles that Qin Shi Huang’s rule as emperor was carried out. For example, he abolished the feudal system that was in practice in China, and replaced it with a centralized, autocratic government. Additionally, laws were codified, and people were punished if they did not obey them. Moreover, the script used for writing, coinage, as well as weights and measures, which had previously varied from state to state, was standardized during his reign. Furthermore, the construction of the famous Great Wall of China also took place during this time. (Source)
Despite having done so much, including joining much of the Great Wall of China, he isolated himself. And ultimately died because of poisoning by one of the close confidants who would accompany him.
India isolated itself for most of its history. Until even now.
Engaging with the world is important. But even more important is to do so from a point of strength and power. But that comes only when there is enough appetite to use the power.
Those who represent the erstwhile political order in India still insist on a weak engagement by India. Even in Afghanistan, when we know from recent history, how that strategy turned out for us.
Nothing could be more disastrous.
In the 1980s when the Soviets had moved out of Afghanistan, Pakistan used the Islamic jihadis against India to create its own “strategic depth.” That has been their goal all these years. India’s goals were, however, defensive. The Indian establishment simply wanted to stop Pakistan from doing so.
Even when a much smaller nation was not afraid of being overtly and aggressive offensive, the larger nation - India - was content to just save itself. (Source)
The result was continued terrorism up to a point when there was an attack on India’s largest city by militia trained by Pakistan’s army - the Mumbai attack in 2008.
Even then India did nothing!
Until Balakot, the Indian establishment was pusillanimous. That has changed since that attack on Pakistan’s soil. It was a watershed.
But not enough.
It was still a response in defense.
That needs to change. No country or society which has not gone out to engage and dominate the adversaries - current and future - has succeeded to stay alive.
Most of India hasn’t either.
power of QUAD
We had discussed in our earlier newsletters on how Biden had started to diminish the QUAD’s main strategic plank of Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) - Issue #200 - The Obedient Poodle and Issue #184 - Biden = End of US Power = Chinese Global Supremacy even before he took office. Joe Biden did not realize that his hatred for Trump notwithstanding, the ex-President’s administration actually had worked with the world to fundamentally alter it. Issue #242 - Rip Van Winkle
A US President cannot simply walk in and dictate terms on behalf of another bully. The alliances against such an eventuality are much stronger now. That is why when the British and Japanese foreign and defense ministers met earlier this month - a little before the QUAD meeting last week, they reiterated the importance of FOIP.
In the so-called two-plus-two meeting, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi, and their British counterparts Dominic Raab and Ben Wallace were expected to discuss ways of ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region based on the rule of law, according to Japanese Foreign Ministry officials. (Source)
And, when the QUAD foreign ministers met, the result was that Biden’s own version of the region (Secure and Prosperous Indo-Pacific or just Asia-Pacific) were thrown out and Blinken was back to the same page as the rest of the QUAD.
This is the power of alliances. If used properly.
Biden and the coming administrations will have to realize that they no longer have the same influence and swagger that earlier administrations had over the rest of the world. And, it is not because of Donald Trump’s performance. But because the earlier administrations had created a rogue called China that no one in the world is willing to put up with. Trump, in fact, understood this and had put the US in a position to lead that alliance!
market corner: 10 quick bytes
World tops 200 million vaccine doses as G7 boosts funding - more
Govt working on law to regulate social media: Ram Madhav - more
Game-changing Mapping Policy: An industry estimate quoted by officers of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) says businesses in the sector are now valued at about Rs 30,000 crore and could touch Rs 1 lakh crore by 2029 - more
Startups in edtech, logistics, gig economy will drive the job market. Over 50 percent of the companies said they would step up hiring in the March quarter - more
Over 90% of tech industry workforce work from home: Azim Premji - more
The case for making India a hub for semiconductor manufacturing - more
Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) strategic sale: Govt makes security clearance mandatory for all bidders - more
5G is a $30 billion gold mine for Indian IT firms - more
The government e-market (GeM) portal expects procurement of over Rs 1 lakh crore in FY22 - more
According to depositories’ data, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) pumped in Rs 24,204 crore into equities and Rs 761 crore in the debt segment, taking the total net investment to Rs 24,965 crore during February 1-19. - more
Fake News Propaganda Busted: New CCTV footage has emerged that shows the brutal manner in which Rinku Sharma was murdered in Delhi. Furthermore, the video also captures one man, a part of the mob, carrying a knife with him in his hand. It further debunks the narrative employed by the secular-liberal media to whitewash the hate crime. Shekhar Gupta’s The Print had quoted the family of the accused to peddle the narrative that it was the Bajrang Dal activist who had brought the knife that was used to murder him. The CCTV footage clearly demonstrates that a member of the mob was carrying a knife as well. (Source)
Specter of Chinese Espionage: In a span of ten days, the intelligence agencies of three nations, Finland, Canada, and the Netherlands, have raised concerns over the Chinese espionage attack on government, companies, and universities. All three countries have said on separate occasions that collaborating with China can be dangerous for national security. The attacks may cover several sectors, including banking, energy, and infrastructure. Intelligence officers say that universities and other knowledge institutes are not only under threat of cyber-attacks, but Chinese researchers, Ph.D. candidates, and students in these institutes may be working as spies for China. (Source)
Height of Google Wokeism: YouTube's AI blocks channel after allegedly mistaking discussions about Chess pieces being 'black' and 'white' for racist slurs. YouTube's overeager AI might have misinterpreted a conversation about chess as racist language. Last summer, a YouTuber who produces popular chess videos saw his channel blocked for including what the site called 'harmful and dangerous content. YouTube didn't explain why it had blocked Croatian chess player Antonio Radic, also known as 'Agadmator,' but service was restored 24 hours later. (Source)
Pakistan in Greylist: Pakistan is unlikely to exit the 'grey list’ of the FATF as some European countries have taken the stand that Islamabad has not fully implemented all the points of a plan of action set by it, a media report said on Sunday, on the eve of the plenary meeting of the global watchdog for money laundering and terror financing. The virtual FATF plenary will be held in Paris from February 22 to 25 to consider cases of various countries on the grey list, including Pakistan, and a decision will be made at the conclusion of the meetings, Dawn newspaper reported. (Source)
Magnetic Pole Flip: A reversal in Earth's magnetic field thousands of years ago plunged the planet into an environmental crisis that may have resembled "a disaster movie," scientists recently discovered. Our planet's magnetic field is dynamic and, numerous times, it has flipped — when the magnetic North and South Poles swap places. In our electronics-dependent world, such a reversal could seriously disrupt communication networks. But the impact could be even more serious than that, according to the new study. For the first time, scientists have found evidence that a polar flip could have serious ecological repercussions. Their investigation connects a magnetic field reversal about 42,000 years ago to climate upheaval on a global scale, which caused extinctions and reshaped human behavior. (Source)
video corner: Sugriva’s Atlas
Very few people I know are doing something original. It is just sad that anything related to India and specifically Hinduism will not be taken seriously by colonial-minded Western establishment, despite its merit. If such racism was not so deep-rooted, then Nilesh Oak is one person whose work, in its full blossom and power could rival that of any Nobel winner.
Newer research and newer advances available to date the ancient events have pushed the antiquity of Indian civilization beyond 24,000+ years. Archaeology evidence demonstrates the presence of Human beings in India for the last 100,000+ years and the presence of agriculture for 20,000+ years. Astronomy evidence of the epics leads us to the 13th millennium BCE for Ramayana and the 6th millennium BCE for Mahabharata. However, we have scanty descriptions of what was happening in the other parts of the world and we know little of interactions between world civilizations of deep antiquity. Did our ancestors know of the areas outside Bharata and how much did they know of the world geography? Do we have reliable accounts of the knowledge of world geography in our ancient narratives and is it possible to test their validity? This presentation demonstrates an impressive knowledge of our ancestors of the world geography as early as 14,000+ years ago that not only is validated with empirical evidence but also corroborates what we know of the changes in ocean levels or the presence of human habitation in far off areas of the world.
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