Supreme courts volte face on Constitutional Amendment

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Supreme courts volte face on Constitutional Amendment

  1. 1. Whither Globalisation? by Bal Patil* Abstract The world today is embroiled in an economic turmoil caused by the globalisation process. It is a veritable confusion worse confounded by the North versus South polarities of trading policies, developmental disparities and stark reality of opulence contrasted with destitution. These are increasingly brought in close encounters of an unforeseen variety in an inter-connected global environment with unprecedented, unpredictable and unnatural fusion of economic systems mixed in a strange brew of socio-ethnic and cultural cross-currents buffetted hither and thither by perennial human greed. An unprecedented global dilemma posed by the merciless process of globalisation with all its ostensible benefits and built-in evils. The natural resources of the earth are not inexhaustible. Oil is fast depleting. The last barrel of oil is not too far. A new energy future has to be worked out. Nearly 2.2 billion people in more than 62 countries, one-third of the worlds population, are starved for water. Global population has tripled in the past 70 years while water use has grown sixfold due to industrial development, widespread irrigation, and lack of conservation. It is feared scarcity of water may lead to third world war.1 To top it all there is a projected 3C jump in global temperature caused by global warming which in turn would include a loss of up to 400 million tonnes of cereal production and put between 1.2 billion and three billion people- half of the current world’s population- at risk of water shortage. It is a case of double jeopardy. This is a wake-up call for the developed industrial nations. ‘Oh, yes, the time has come, my little friends To talk of food and things Of peppercorns and mustard ... The time has come, as the Walrus said.2 Can the world really afford to hanker after opening this Pandora’s box? Isn’t this an appropriate time to think about the basic economic ideology of social justice? Equality is neither outdated nor is it the enemy of freedom. The voices of the voiceless, disadvantaged, the diseased and the destitutes, the less privileged in large parts of the world should not be lost in the clamouring sophistry of debates in the cloistered splendour of IMF and World Bank citadels. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the mostwickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” – John Maynard KeynesI am not a trained economist, but a free-lance journalist and writer. Iwas provoked to study economics by reading Gunnar Myrdals AsianDrama in the sixties, and also was inspired by the Keynesianobservation in his Essays in Persuasion in The End of Laissez-Faire: "Let us clear from the ground the metaphysical or general principles upon which, from time to time, laissez-faire has been founded. It is not true that individuals possess a prescriptive "natural liberty" in their economic activities. There is no compact conferring perpetual rights on those who Have or on those who Acquire.
  2. 2. The world is not so governed from above that private and social interest always coincide. It is not so managed here below that in practice they coincide. It is not a correct deduction from the Principles of Economics that enlightened self-interest always operates in the public interest. Nor is it true that self-interest generally is enlightened; more often individuals acting separately to promote their own ends are ignorant or too weak to attain even these. Experience does not show that individuals, when they make up a social unit, are always less clear-sighted than when they act separately."3This is the politics and economics of social justice. And hence it was naturalfor the Father of the Indian Nation, Mahatma Gandhi to give a dire warning: "Economic equality is the master key to non-violent revolution. A non-violent system of government is clearly an impossibility so long as the wide gulf between the rich and hungry millions persists.The contrast between the palaces of New Delhi and the miserable hovels of the poor, labouring class cannot last one day in a free India in which the poor will enjoy the same power as the richest in the land. A violent and bloody revolution is certainty one day unless there is a voluntary abdication of riches and the power that riches give and sharing them for the common good."4But, alas, even after more than half century of freedom the gulf is everwidening and with all the glitter of globalisation hunger, starvation andsuicide deaths are increasing amidst agricultural surplus, and sometimes fiftymillion tonnes of grain in godowns rots but cannot be sold at subsidisedprices for fear of pushing the market prices down. That is the harsheconomic reality!The spate of farmer suicides in the State Of Maharashtra, India is a pointer.There have been about 400 farmer suicides due to agricultural indebtednessduring the year 2005. Farmer indebtedness in Maharashtra jumped from29% in 1991-92 to 88.97% in 2003 against the all-India average of 87.64%.The extent of indebtedness (debt in rupees per household at 1986-87 prices)between 1991-92 and ’03 increased by 232%. All-India average rise 210%.(The Times of India, April 17, 2006)5Child malnutrition is rampant in Maharashtra and elsewhere in India . Notjust tribals but, 47 per cent of India’s children below the age of three aremalnourished. This is higher than in sub-Saharan Arica (30 per cent) whichhas a lower per capita income. More than 10,000 children are believed tohave died of malnutrition in this State in the last couple of years. And suchdehumanising deprivation occurs in the fastest growing State of India. Whatis ironical is the fact that children continue to die here not because ofscarcity of food but because of rampant corruption and theft in the fooddistribution system. 6 2
  3. 3. As noted by David Gordon, Professor in Social Justice in Radical StatisticsAnnual Conference Global Child Poverty 26th February, 2005 “The worlds biggest killer and the greatest cause of ill health and suffering across the globe is listed almost at the end of the International Classification of Diseases. It is given Code Z59.5 -- extreme poverty. World Health Organisation (1995)”7In stark contrast to this horrendous picture of poverty and starvation is theBBC News Published: 2006/04/15 as to how Britain is now eating theplanet by Mark Kinver “The UK is about to run out of its own natural resources and become dependent on supplies from abroad, a report says. A study by the New Economics Foundation (Nef) and the Open University says 16 April is the day when the nation goes into "ecological debt" this year. It warns if annual global consumption levels matched the UKs, it would take 3.1 Earths to meet the demand.”8Food wastage is also high: In the United Kingdom, “a shocking 30-40% ofall food is never eaten;” In the last decade the amount of food British peoplethrew into the bin went up by 15%; Overall, £20 billion (approximately $38billion US dollars) worth of food is thrown away, every year.In the US40-50% of all food ready for harvest never gets eaten;... (Anup Shah, http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Poverty/Hunger/Causes.asp.)9It is not a different story in America. Samana Siddiqui ( in her article“Statistics on poverty & food wastage in America” notes “According to theUS Census Bureau, 35.9 million people live below the poverty line inAmerica including 12.9 million children. This is despite abundance of foodresources. Almost 100 billion pounds of food is wasted in America eachyear. 700 million hungry human beings in different parts of the world wouldhave gladly accepted thisfood.”(http://www.soundvision.com/info/poor/statistics.asp)10Every third person will be a slum dweller within 30 years, UN agencywarns. Biggest study of worlds cities finds 940 million already living insqualor (John Vidal,October 4, 2003) The Guardian. 11The report, from the UN human settlements programme, UN-habitat,Nairobi, found that urban slums were growing faster than expected, and thatthe balance of global poverty was shifting rapidly from the countryside tocities. 3
  4. 4. The report found that some slums were now as large as cities. The Kiberadistrict in Nairobi, classed as the largest slum in the world, has as many as600,000 people. The Dharavi area of Mumbai and the Orangi district ofKarachi have only slightly fewer people, while the Ashaiman slum is nowlarger than the city of Tema in Ghana, around which it grew.But the authors roundly blamed laissez-faire globalisation and "neo-liberal"economic policies imposed on poor countries by global institutions such asthe International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation formuch of the damage caused to cities over the past 20 years.The authors conclude that as "cities have become a dumping ground forpeople working in unskilled, unprotected and low-wage industries andtrades... the slums of the developing world swell".In an Interview to Greg Ross, American Scientist’s, Managing Editor,(The American Scientist www.americanscientist.org/ template/AssetDetail/assetid/50434) Lester Brown of the Worldwatch Institute sees signs in thepresent global economy of what the ecologists call an “overshoot-and-collapse” mode in which demand exceeds the sustainable yield of naturalsystem which effect has toppled earlier civilizations and which is nowoccurring at the global level.12Is this globalisation a mad rush to serfdom? In his “Development asFreedom”, 1999, Amarya Sen sees development "as a process of expandingthe real freedoms that people enjoy." Hence, "development requires theremoval of major sources of unfreedom: poverty as well as tyranny, pooreconomic opportunities as well as systematic social deprivation, neglect ofpublic facilities as well as intolerance or overactivity of repressive states."13This perspective leads Sen to place special emphasis on basic health care,especially for children, and basic education, especially for women. Sucheconomic vision has an unmistakeable Rawlsian perspective of themaximisation of the well-being of the poorest member of a communitysubject to the preservation of liberty.The World Bank and the IMF are also targetted in Michel ChossudovskysThe Globalization of Poverty, (Zed Books Ltd. London and New Jersey.1997).14 Chossudovskys thesis is that-- that Bank and Fund loan programscreate economic strait jackets which feeds on human poverty and thedestruction of the environment, generates social apartheid, encouragesracism and ethnic strife. 4
  5. 5. This topsyturvy economics leads me inevitably to Herbert Marcuses classicindictment in his One Dimensional Man (ABACUS, Sphere Books, 1972)15of the modern technological society which is even truer today than in thesixties: That in a modern technological society so called "free" institutionsand "democratic liberties" are used to limit freedom, repress individuality,disguise exploitation, and limit the scope of human experience. One wondersif it would be ever possible to find a glimpse of light in this ever darkeningtunnel. Even Plato would be stumped for an answer.I doubt if there can be a straight answer to this trillion dollar question.Globalisation, oursourcing, the entire chain of deficit, scarcity, inflationsuddenly conjures up images of a horrendous global depression. Onewonders if the humanity is going in the right direction? Are we not all likethe tethered prisoners in the Platonic cave?16 The Platonic image of thetunnel can perhaps give a clue to the global dilemma we are confronted with.I am afraid the question :Should developing nations be allowed to ‘poach’skilled professional labour from countries who have helped pay for thisexperitse?” is not quite fair. Isn’t it the other way round? Hasn’t theWestern world imperialists and colonial powers indulged in it to their heart’scontent? Isn’t this a case of pot calling the kettle black?A glance at the devastating retail havoc let loose by the Wal-Mart and itsdecimation of the American manufacturing jobs and enslavement of thelabour abroad is enough to show how as a result of the Wal-Mart model,combined with the depression, more than 1 million manufacturingproduction jobs producing consumer goods have been lost since July 2000alone.“Wal-Mart Is Not a Business, Its an Economic Disease” by RichardFreeman and Arthur Ticknor the Nov. 14 issue of Executive IntelligenceReview.17“The Wal-Mart department store chain, ...is levelling economies of the U.S.,industrial nations, and the Third World...Not since the days of the BritishEast India Company as the cornerstone of the British imperial system, hasone single corporate entity been responsible for so much misery“Wal-Mart imports 10% of all Americas total imports from China. If Wal-Mart were a country, it would rank ahead of Great Britain and Russia in totalimports." Which reminds one of British East India Company as the 5
  6. 6. cornerstone of the British imperial system, as one single corporate entityresponsible for so much misery.The situation has became so outrageous, that it drew international attention.On Nov. 19, 2003 the Observer of London carried an article on thedestruction of the City of Buffalo, New York, mentioning the role of Wal-Mart. The article tells the story of Buffalo Color, a manufacturing plantwhere indigo dye for denim was produced. Once employing 3,000 workers,Buffalo Color lost business to plants established in China, which produce theindigo dye at half the cost that Buffalo Color does. Wal-Mart drove downthe price of the indigo dye used to color the denim for clothing.18On Nov. 18-19 2003, the City of Londons mouthpiece, the FinancialTimes, ran four articles on Wal-Mart, centered on Wal-Marts practices ofhiring and directing cleaning companies that employed foreign illegalworkers who cleaned Wal-Mart stores, seven nights a week, under hideousconditions.Ibid.Remember the Opium war of 1839-1842, the first of Chinese conflict withthe West precipitated by the Chinese Government’s efforts to stall theBritish traders from selling opium to the Chinese people? In thisunconscionable trade Britain was the major foreign dealer but Americans,French and others also participated. This eventually culimnated in warbetween China and England.The Chinese Commissioner Lin Tse-hsu vainly appealed to Queen Victoria:“Let us ask, where is your conscience. I have heard that the smoking ofopium is very strictly forbidden by your country;… Since it is not permittedto do harm to your own country, then even less should you let it be passedon to other countries- much less to China!..Is there a single article fromChina which has done any harm to foreign countries?”19Queen Victoria was unmoved. The war ended with the Nanking Treaty of1842 forcing China to cede Hong Kong and among other humiliating termspay an indemnity to compensate the British for lost opium and for expensesincurred in the war!!Aren’t the US, Europe engaged in similar economic trading and hegemonicwars with the rest of the developing world? The global economic problem,outsourcing to low wage countries or the brain drain and vice versa couldeasily turn out to be a Pandora’s box. Conversely it might let loose in the 6
  7. 7. open a veritable revelation like the dazzling light at the end of the Platonictunnel to the unfortunate humanity at large in the developing world tetheredto the hunger disease, starvation and death amidst islands of garish opulence.Such globalisation has been argued as the “pluricentral global order...Butthis apparent pluricentrality poorly disguises the global political hegemonyof the US government” as Barbara Harriss-White notes. (Globalizationand Insecurity: Political, Economic and Physical Challenges, p.6, ed.Palgrave, Wolfson college, Oxford, 2002)20 As explained by Harriss-Whitethis US hegemony “operates through appeals to liberal democracy as beingsuperior to other forms of political organization, appeals backed materiallyby conditions attached to loans from the IMF and UN economic institutions,which are dominated by US interests.” (Ibid.)Joseph Stiglitz has categorically pronounced that the IMF has failed in itsoriginal mission of promoting global equality. He calls the policies of IMFas anti-democratic., lacking in a basic sense of decency and social justice. …Those whose lives would be affected by the decisions about howglobalisation is managed have a right to participate in that debate, and theyhave a right to know how such decisions have been made in the past.” p.xvi,Preface, Globalisation and Its Discontents21The process of globalisation set in motion by such lop-sided institutionsbased on so-called Washington Consensus has degenerated in a devstatingcaricature of what Stiglitz calls “global governance without globalgovernment one in which a few institutions,-the World Bank, the IMF theWTO- and a few players…in which many of those affected by theirdecisions are left almost voiceless.”Ibid.The world is sorely in need of a consensus based in the least developedcountry. Only then it can realise “what the thoughtful rich people call theproblem of poverty, thoughtful poor people call with equal justice theproblem of riches” as noted by R.H. Tawney.22Keynes, godfather of the IMF, identified the market failures and whymarkets could not be left to themselves and called for global collectiveaction. That is why as far back as in 1933 in his essay The End of Laissez-Faire he declared: “Many of the greatest economic evils of our time are the fruits of risk, uncertainty, and ignorance. It is because particular individuals, fortunate in situation or in abilities, are able to take advantage of uncertainty and ignorance, and also because 7
  8. 8. for the same reason big business is often a lottery, that great inequalities of wealth come about.”23The trouble with globalisation with its inbuilt market system dictated by theIMF, WTO occasionally jerked into an unwelcome sharp brake and detouras in the case of cotton and sugar subsidies recently is that it is desperatelyin need of moral legitimacy. Market rewards merit is the common refuge ofits policies. But it is fatally undermined by the advantages gained frominherited wealth and windfall gains: an essential feature of the marketsystem. Remember Keynesian observation: big business is like big lottery?Market by its very nature is predictable so to say that those who go into themarket system with most are likely to come out of it with the most. Whichis what made Margaret Thatcher proclaim: that the godly prosper and thesinful go bankrupt. Perhaps Hayek may not wholly approve of this preceptbecause according to him markets allocate benefits according to only oneprinciple-unpredictability. But there is a makebelieve or a curious split in hiseconomic assumption vis-à-vis its political application.24I think the theme globalisation has a weird air about it of a new-fangledeconomic voodoo, just as there has been for long in operation in America ofwhat Senator Fulbright called in his Arrogance of Power “That there is akind of voodoo about American foreign policy. Certain drums have to bebeaten regularly to ward off evil spirits-for example, the maledictionsregularly uttered against North Vietnamese aggression” (p.32)25 In place of‘North Vietnamese aggression’ one can replace WMDs of Iraq andinternational terrorism. And there is no doubt that this too would prove incourse of time a Bushgate.Prof.Gunnar Myrdal was perhaps unwittingly more prophetic than heenvisaged when he conjectured a scenario that “Indeed, if the whole Indiansubcontinent with what will soon be a population of one billion peopleshould sink into the ocean tomorrow, this would cause only minordistrubance to the curves of international trade, production and consumption,wages and other incomes, values of financial stocks, etc., in the developedworld.” p.389, The Challenge of World Poverty, Penguin 1970.26In view of the aforesaid dismal context of globalisation one is notenamoured of copybook phrases like ‘globalise or perish’, but would ratheropt for the good old precept of Voltaire: Il faut cultiver notre jardin27 tillthe world at large, North as well as South is inspired en masse to engage in 8
  9. 9. economic activity in the age-old spirit of the ancient Indian maximvasudhaiva kutumbakam- world as a family.But when? One cannot help recalling wistfully Keynes’ EconomicPossibilities For Our Grandchildren (1930) wherein he perorates almost ina poetic vision: “But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at leastanother hundred years we must pretend to outselves and to every one thatfair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice andusury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only theycan lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.” (Essaysin Persuasion, p.372)28_____________________________________________________________References: Seriatim1 Roots of conflict : Dont blame environmental decay for the next warby Nils Petter Gleditsch and Henrik Urdal International Herald Tribune Monday,November 22, 2004,Ibid. Our water, Their Profits by Jonathan Leavitt Znet July 08, 2003,http://www.countercurrents.org/glo-leavitt090703.htmIbid. When the last oil well runs dry by Alex Kirby BBC News Online environmentcorrespondent, Monday, 19 April, 2004,2 Carroll Lewis, Alice in Wonderland3 Keynes J.M., The End of Laissez-Faire: in Essays in Persuasion, p.312 Macmillan 1933,4 Myrdal Gunnar, quoted in Asian Drama II, p.7875 Volume 3, No. 2, February 2002 Death, Hunger and Destitution Haunt the IndianCountryside by Arvind http://www.peoplesmarch.com/archives/2002/feb2k2/death.htmIbid (The Times of India, April 17, 2006)Ibid The Declaration of the Peoples Science Congress on Food and Agriculture Growingstocks and growing hunger, http://www.1worldcommunication.org/transgenics.htm6 47 pc of India’s children malnourished: UNICEF, Newsitem in Deccan Herald, December12, 2005,Ibid Sub-Saharan malnutrition worse than 10 years ago David Fickling, Guardian Unlimited,November 22, 20057 Gordon David, Professor in Social Justice in Radical Statistics Annual Conference GlobalChild Poverty 26th February, 2005 9
  10. 10. 8 the BBC News Published: 2006/04/15 as to how Britain is now eating the planet by MarkKinver9 In the US 40-50% of all food ready for harvest never gets eaten; (Anup Shah,http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Poverty/Hunger/Causes.asp.)10 Samana Siddiqui ( in her article “Statistics on poverty & food wastage in America” notes“According to the US Census Bureau, 35.9 million people live below the poverty line inAmerica including 12.9 million children. This is despite abundance of food resources.Almost 100 billion pounds of food is wasted in America each year. 700 million hungryhuman beings in different parts of the world would have gladly accepted thisfood.”(http://www.soundvision.com/info/poor/statistics.asp)11 UN-habitat, Nairobi, found that urban slums were growing faster than expected, and thatthe balance of global poverty was shifting rapidly from the countryside to cities. John Vidal,Saturday October 4, 2003, The Guardian12 In an Interview to Greg Ross, American Scientist’s, Managing Editor, (The AmericanScientist www.americanscientist.org/ template/AssetDetail/assetid/50434) Lester Brown of theWorldwatch Institute13 In his “Development as Freedom”, 1999, Amartya Sen sees development "as a process ofexpanding the real freedoms that people enjoy." Hence, "development requires the removalof major sources of unfreedom: poverty as well as tyranny, poor economic opportunities aswell as systematic social deprivation, neglect of public facilities as well as intolerance oroveractivity of repressive states." The Road From Serfdom: Amartya Sen Argues thatGrowth Is Not Enough, Richard N. Cooper From Foreign Affairs, January/February 200014 Michel Chossudovskys The Globalization of Poverty, (Zed Books Ltd. London and New Jersey.1997). Reviewed by Leo Vox, www.worldhunger.com15 Marcuse Herbert, One Dimensional Man (ABACUS, Sphere Books, 1972)16 Platos Allegory of the Cave by Plato, circa 360 B.C., Translated by Benjamin Jowett,The Republic, Book VII.17 “Wal-Mart Is Not a Business, Its an Economic Disease” by Richard Freeman and ArthurTicknor the Nov. 14 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.18 Wal-Mart `Eats More U.S. Manufacturersby Richard Freeman, November 28, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. Nov. 19,2003 the Observer of London carried an article on the destruction of the City of Buffalo,New York, mentioning the role of Wal-Mart.Ibid http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3046wal-mart_pricing.htmlIbid Deliver Us from Wal-Mart? by Jeff M. Sellershttp://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/005/17.40.html 10
  11. 11. 19 Fullbright, Senator, J.William The Arrogance of Power, pp.143-4420 Harriss-White, Barbara notes. (Globalization and Insecurity: Political, Economic andPhysical Challenges, p.6, ed. Palgrave, Wolfson College, Oxford, 2002)21 Stiglitz Joseph, Preface, Globalisation and Its Discontents, p.xvi22 R.H. Tawney, quoted in Choose Freedom The Future of Democratic Socialism, p.74, byRoy Hattersley, Michael Joseph, London, 1987,23 Keynes J.M., The End of Laissez-Faire Essays in Persuasion,24 Hayek Law, Legislation and Liberty, p.61 Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1982, vol.2,Ch.9, p.61 ‘Social or Distributive Justice’, p.74, quoted in Choose Freedom The Future ofDemocratic Socialism, p.74, by Roy Hattersley, Michael Joseph, London, 198725 Fullbright, Senator, J.William, Arrogance of Power p.3226 Myrdal Gunnar, The Challenge of World Poverty, p.389, Penguin 1970.27 Voltaire, Candide (1759), ch. XXX,28 Keynes J.M., Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren in Essays in Persuasion, p.372,Macmillan 1933,___________________________________________________________________________Whither Globalisation? By Bal Patil Published in Countercurrents.org 22 February,2007 http://www.countercurrents.org/gl-patil220207.htm______________________________________________________________________Secretary-General, All India Jain Minority Forum, New Delhi,Ex-Member, Media Expert Committee, Govt. of India,Ex- Member, Maharashtra State Minority Commission, Govt.of Maharashtra,Mumbai,Ex-President, National Society for Prevention of Heart Disease &Rehabilitation,Co-Author: JAINISM (Macmillan Co 1974). with Colette Caillat, (MemberInstitut de France, Paris,) & A.N.Upadhye, (ex-President, All-India OrientalConference,), Author:Jaya Gommatesa! Foreword by C.Caillat, Published byHindi Granth Karyalay Mumbai,2006, Jainism: An Eternal Pilgrimage By BalPatil, Edited by Manish Modi and Tony Whittington, Published by Hindi GranthKaryalay Mumbai,)Pandit Nathuram Premi Research Volume 23 2008, Mytranslation of Dr.Alsdorfs French Les Etudes Jaina, Etat Present et TachesFutures is edited by Dr.Willem Bollee as Jaina Studies: Their Present Stateand Future Tasks and published by ((Hindi Granth Karyalay Mumbai,) Mytranslation of Dr.L. Alsdorfs German Beitraege zur Geschichte vonVegetarismus und Rinderverehrung in Indien-(History of Vegetarianism and CowWorship in India) is presently being edited for publication (Routledge,London) by Dr. Bollee, Indologist. Participant and speaker in the 7th JainaStudies Workshop on Jaina Law and Jaina Community, Centre for Jaina Studies,SOAS, University of London, & Dept of Indic Religion, Centre for Theology 11
  12. 12. and Religious Studies, University of Lund. Participated and presented apaper on the Evolution of Sramanic Jain Tradition and Its Impact on IndicCivilisation & Religious Fundamentalism in the XIXth World Congress of theInternational Association for the History of Religion, Tokyo, Japan, 2005.Author: Supreme Courts volte face on Constitutional Amendment(Published byGovt. of Maharashtra, 1980)54, Patil Estate, 278, Tardeo Road, MumbaiI-400007, Tel: 23861068, Telefax:23893030, Mobile: 9869055533, EMail:: balpatil@globaljains.com, Website: http://jaina.in_______________________________________________________________________http://www.economist.com/member/BalPatil/commentsBalPatils commentsEconomist Debates: Too many people?August 22, 2009 01:26amDear Sir,As a journalist I have been a staunch defender of population planning since thesixties in India to stem the nightmarish Malthusian nightmare. The Government ofMaharashtra State in India had even proposed in the sixties a statutory control ofpopulation by enacting a statute incorporating concept of compulsion in plannedparenthood which I strongly defended. I also proposed that there should be astatutory provision to terminate pregnancy in case of failure of contraception so asto save such pregnancies falling into the clutches of illegal abortion centres.Eventually Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act came into force.Nobody disputes in India today or in the world the rigorous need for control ofpopulation. The natural resources of the earth are not inexhaustible. Oil is fastdepleting. The last barrel of oil is not too far. A new energy future has to be workedout. Nearly 2.2 billion people in more than 62 countries, one-third of the worldspopulation, are starved for water. Global population has tripled in the past 70 yearswhile water use has grown sixfold due to industrial development, widespreadirrigation, and lack of conservation. It is feared scarcity of water may lead to thirdworld war.1 To top it all there is a projected 3C jump in global temperature causedby global warming which in turn would include a loss of up to 400 million tonnes ofcereal production and put between 1.2 billion and three billion people- half of thecurrent world’s population- at risk of water shortage. It is a case of doublejeopardy. This is a wake-up call for the developed industrial nations.I therefore strongly defend the motion for a global population policy. I would like torefer to my article Whither Globalisation? with the url: Published inCountercurrents.org 22 February, 2007http://www.countercurrents.org/gl-patil220207.htmThe trouble with nuclear fuel: Struggling to hold up a bankAugust 7, 2009 12:45pmYour rightly begin by stating "PAVED it may be with good intentions, but there aremany twists and pot-holes along the road to a nuclear-free world" but you cannotforget a nuclear world was begotten in the original sin of the unforgivable dropping 12
  13. 13. of the only two atomic bombs-coincidently on this very date, 6th August onHiroshima and Nagasaki-sleeping peacefully.I think six and a half decades is quite a lot of time to have a sincere and honestretrospective look-back on the worst human horror committed by dropping the onlytwo atomic-plutonium bombs in the US military arsenal on Hiroshima and Nagasakiand wiping out those cities the radiation effects from which are still being sufferedby the survivors. What makes it particularly reprehensible crime against all canonsof human decency is the well-established fact that the Japan was at that point oftime according to the best military evidence available on the point of surrender.The myth which grew up later—that the use of the atomic bomb saved a millionAmerican lives—has no basis whatsoever in reality. The effects of the navalblockade were such that Japans raw-materials dependent island economy wasvirtually shut down, and its military situation was hopeless. Surrender was only amatter of time—within months, November or December at the latest—so long asreasonable terms were offered.The following statement of Stimson, the then Secretary of State to the then PresidentTruman published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Feb.3, 1947:The future may see a time when such weapon may be constructed secret and usedsuddenly and effectively with devastating power by a wilful nationor group againstan unsuspecting nation or or group of much greater size and material power. Withits aid even a very powerful and unsuspecting nation might be conquered within avery few days by a very smaller one...”Quoting this the most distinguished experimental physicist and Nobel prize winnerin 1948 P.M.S. Blackett says in his book The Military and Political Consequences ofAtomic Energy (1948): “The obvious result has been to stimulate a hysterical searchfor 100 per cent security from such attack. since there can be no such completeseccurityfrom such attack. Since there can be no such complete security for Americaexcept through world hegemony by America in one form of another...” p.128Officials and analysts in the United States have been warning that Al-Quaida orassociated groups are planning such nuclear attacks on American soil.Dubbed as American Hiroshima the plan apparently targets New York, Miami, LosAngeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Franscisco, Las Vegas, Boston and WashigtonD.C..Former US Defence Secretary William Perry says there is an even chance of anuclear attack on the US this decade. Renowned investor Warren Buffet haspredicted A nuclear terrorist attack isinevitable.”NOW THIS NUCLEAR TERROR HAS COME TO SUCH A PASS THAT ASNOTED IN A RECENT ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIANTerrorists could use internet to launch nuclear attack, says report | Technology |guardian.co.ukSource: www.guardian.co.ukThe risk of cyber-terrorism escalating to a nuclear strike is growing daily, accordingto a study The claims come in a study commissioned by the InternationalCommission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND), whichsuggests that under the right circumstances, terrorists could break into computersystems and launch an attack on a nuclear state – triggering a catastrophic chain ofevents that would have a global impact. 13
  14. 14. Without better protection of computer and information systems, the paper suggests,governments around the world are leaving open the possibility that a well-coordinated cyberwar could quickly elevate to nuclear levels.In fact, says the study, "this may be an easier alternative for terrorist groups thanbuilding or acquiring a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb themselves".In the aforementioned context it would be utterly futile to hope for a clean NPT or anuclear-free world.The inefficiency of markets: Slaves to some defunct economistJune 16, 2009 13:26pmThere is no need to labour the obvious. Keynes, the godfather of the IMF had neverany illusions about the market or the laissez faire economics. He declaredhis Essaysin Persuasion in The End of Laissez-Faire:"Let us clear from the ground the metaphysical or general principles upon which,from time to time, laissez-faire has been founded. It is not true that individualspossess a prescriptive "natural liberty" in their economic activities. There is nocompact conferring perpetual rights on those who Have or on those who Acquire.The world is not so governed from above that private and social interest alwayscoincide. It is not so managed here below that in practice they coincide. It is not acorrect deduction from the Principles of Economics that enlightened self-interestalways operates in the public interest. Nor is it true that self-interest generally isenlightened; more often individuals acting separately to promote their own ends areignorant or too weak to attain even these. Experience does not show thatindividuals, when they make up a social unit, are always less clear-sighted thanwhen they act separately."Permit me to give an url to my article Whither Globalisation?:http://www.countercurrents.org/gl-patil220207.htm Whither Globalisation?By Bal Patil22 February, 2007Countercurrents.orgEurope.view: Whos left? Whos right?April 25, 2009 02:44amA sensible article. But in a world where one child dies every three seconds theideology cannot be circumscribed by neat left-right compartmentsbut needs a globalsolution.The world today is embroiled in an economic turmoil caused by the globalisationprocess. It is a veritable confusion worse confounded by the North versus Southpolarities of trading policies, developmental disparities and stark reality of opulencecontrasted with destitution. These are increasingly brought in close encounters of anunforeseen variety in an inter-connected global environment with unprecedented,unpredictable and unnatural fusion of economic systems mixed in a strange brew ofsocio-ethnic and cultural cross-currents buffetted hither and thither by perennialhuman greed. An unprecedented global dilemma posed by the merciless process ofglobalisation with all its ostensible benefits and built-in evils.The natural resources of the earth are not inexhaustible. Oil is fast depleting. Thelast barrel of oil is not too far. A new energy future has to be worked out. Nearly 2.2billion people in more than 62 countries, one-third of the worlds population, arestarved for water. Global population has tripled in the past 70 years while water usehas grown sixfold due to industrial development, widespread irrigation, and lack of 14
  15. 15. conservation. It is feared scarcity of water may lead to third world war.1 To top itall there is a projected 3C jump in global temperature caused by global warmingwhich in turn would include a loss of up to 400 million tonnes of cereal productionand put between 1.2 billion and three billion people- half of the current world’spopulation- at risk of water shortage. It is a case of double jeopardy. This is a wake-up call for the developed industrial nations.Isn’t this an appropriate time to think about the basic economic ideology of socialjustice? Equality is neither outdated nor is it the enemy of freedom. The voices ofthe voiceless, disadvantaged, the diseased and the destitutes, the less privileged inlarge parts of the world should not be lost in the clamouring sophistry of debates inthe cloistered splendour of IMF and World Bank citadels.The politics and economics of social justice was well-summed up by Keynes: "Let usclear from the ground the metaphysical or general principles upon which, from timeto time, laissez-faire has been founded. It is not true that individuals possess aprescriptive "natural liberty" in their economic activities. There is no compactconferring perpetual rights on those who Have or on those who Acquire. The worldis not so governed from above that private and social interest always coincide. It isnot so managed here below that in practice they coincide. It is not a correctdeduction from the Principles of Economics that enlightened self-interest alwaysoperates in the public interest. Nor is it true that self-interest generally isenlightened; more often individuals acting separately to promote their own ends areignorant or too weak to attain even these. Experience does not show thatindividuals, when they make up a social unit, are always less clear-sighted thanwhen they act separately."And hence it was natural for the Father of the Indian Nation, Mahatma Gandhi togive a dire warning:"Economic equality is the master key to non-violent revolution. A non-violentsystem of government is clearly an impossibility so long as the wide gulf between therich and hungry millions persists.The contrast between the palaces of New Delhiand the miserable hovels of the poor, labouring class cannot last one day in a freeIndia in which the poor will enjoy the same power as the richest in the land. Aviolent and bloody revolution is certainty one day unless there is a voluntaryabdication of riches and the power that riches give and sharing them for thecommon good."Permit me to refer to my article "Whither Globalisation?":URL:http://www.countercurrents.org/gl-patil220207.htm 15

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