Strategic leadership for the future of India

brihaspati
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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 24 Jan 2009 04:48

Karna_A wrote
That is true. It does not all have to be military. Rigorous Sports competitions inculcate as much. There is famous Wellington's remark about the battle of Waterloo having been won on the playing fields of Eton. But some amount of Martial Arts and weapon training is also necessary.


Yes, I support your suggestion about this being a comprehensive part of education and preparation for life. I think some of the more famous narrative descriptions of the "academies" like that in Takshashila (deliberately not using Taxilla) indicate that such an all round education included also military training, and work on the farms, and any other labour needed for upkeep of the place. Under a modern military setup, concentration will of course be on the military training. Making it too ambitious and widespread in reach may contribute to loss of focus, and beyond the immediate expertise of the army.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby SwamyG » 24 Jan 2009 04:50

Times are changing, and there is nothing wrong in forging different identities and naming kids as per the parents' wishes; keeping it consistent with current times. One of my kids name was made up by me. I took our kula daivam's name and massaged it to suit the way we liked it. In our minds, our kula daivam would come to our minds. It is so garbled that only my wife and I can really know how it was coined. And there is a back ground story to why I named him after the kula daivam. And my other kid's name is not a South Indian name at all, in spite of both my wife and I being South Indians - it is Indic though.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Karna_A » 24 Jan 2009 05:10

In my talks with high Indian officials who could actually implement this, the refrain is that the hand of govt. does not reach far and deep enough for this to be effective.
I guess some sort of carrot and stick policy is needed to prod people to take it seriously, like free/subsidized healthcare, admission benefits, Political Participation requirement, Loan APR benefits (Carrots) and 1% higher income tax, no admission benefits, Govt Loan/Housing less priority (Sticks) would be helpful.

You get the leaders you deserve and unless the public is more aware, there is all round problems. Strategic leadership is the Pyramid and unless the base is strong, the top is not firm.

During IC814, the relatives shamelessly forced the govt. hand, they said " Whatever they want give them, give them all terrorists, Give them Kashmir".

It would be a useful exercise to know what BR Forum members would have done if they had a relative in IC 814.


brihaspati wrote:
Yes, I support your suggestion about this being a comprehensive part of education and preparation for life. .

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 24 Jan 2009 05:46

Karna_Aji,

Compliance with enforcing the compuslory military training is somewhat a problem in all countries, even where occasional drafts are the norm rather than regular compulsory military service. A possible simple solution is to make this legally binding and enforceable together with some incentives - what about requiring to show proof of participation for getting jobs, higher education ? :) (lets not start talking about how that is going to contribute to the economy by so-called "left-handed" exchanges :) )

As for IC814, I would have agonized, but would not ask the GOI to give in. I would have blamed myself the rest of my life for this, but still would not ask the GOI to give in. You have to make a stand, at least that is my personal belief. I have had to undergo great opposition and strife because of this insistence on making a stand in political organizations, and I know the psychological prices you have to pay. But the "spirit" should never give in. :D

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Karna_A » 24 Jan 2009 06:06

The below is article on what happened during hijacking. The reason is, it looks like only military families show resilience, guts and nationalism. Rest of India has become too soft and self centered. It could work very well for a country like Canada or Australia, New Zealand, but given India's world famous neighbors :D , a new thinking is required. This is an excellent thread that gets to the root of the problem, Leadership or the dearth of it.. Rest all issues are like branches and leaves and unless root is strong, rest all is irrelevant.

http://rajeev2004.blogspot.com/2008/12/ ... ed-at.html

“We want our relatives back. What difference does it make to us what you have to give the hijackers?” a man shouted. “We don’t care if you have to give away Kashmir,” a woman screamed and others took up the refrain, chanting: “Kashmir de do, kuchh bhi de do, hamare logon ko ghar wapas lao.” Another woman sobbed, “Mera beta… hai mera beta…” and made a great show of fainting of grief.

...
On another evening, there was a surprise visitor at the PMO: The widow of Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, whose plane was shot down during the Kargil war. She insisted that she should be taken to meet the relatives of the hostages. At Race Course Road, she spoke to mediapersons and the hostages’ relatives, explaining why India must not be seen giving in to the hijackers, that it was a question of national honour, and gave her own example of fortitude in the face of adversity.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 24 Jan 2009 08:49

Karna_Aji,
it is possible that one of the reasons people do not make a stand is because their making a stand is not acknowledged. Social esteem is a powerful weapon. This widow of a brave soldier should have been publicly honoured consistently and continuously - kept in media focus as a recognition of her spirit. This creates examples and icons to be followed, to be highly "esteemed". Maybe, one day when we have a "proper" government we will be able to honour her - :D

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby ShauryaT » 24 Jan 2009 09:00

Karna_A wrote:It would be a useful exercise to know what BR Forum members would have done if they had a relative in IC 814.
Let me take a stab at this. If my kids are stuck in such a situation and there exists an "environment" that allows my fears to rule over my better senses then who knows, the heart may succumb.

- Who was shouting on top of their lungs that job number one is to secure the release of the hostages?
- What was the media saying?
- What did the all party political meeting say to the GoI?
- Who gave examples of Rubaiya Sayeed as precedent?
- What military or diplomatic assets exist?
- What help did our "friends" in the international community offer?

If an environment has been created, where we do not trust our leaders to do what needs to be done, then I may say hell to the nation, save my kids first, everything else later. Who knows?

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 24 Jan 2009 09:18

Shaurya_T wrote
If an environment has been created, where we do not trust our leaders to do what needs to be done, then I may say hell to the nation, save my kids first, everything else later. Who knows?


This is an important factor - lack of trust in institutions and leadership. If the perception exists that the "leaders" cannot be trusted to do their best, or that the "sacrifice" will have any value to the nation and duely recognized as so, or even the credibility and integrity of "leadership" that they would personally share in similar crises equally and respond similarly is suspect - it may be very difficult not to think of one's own. The much reviled "dictators" Stalin and Mao both lost a son in wars. Stalin had refused to intervene to save his eldest son captured by the Germans during WWII who was either executed or died in captivity.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby sreeji » 24 Jan 2009 14:42

Karna_A wrote:It would be a useful exercise to know what BR Forum members would have done if they had a relative in IC 814.


I would give up kashmir for my relative or even a friend.
I am also very well aware of the ramifications and the loss to the country. I hold self above country and I support the country only because of the selfish reason of self preservation. Whatever sacrifices I make for India are because the country's well being is directly linked to my well being. That is the cold, hard and ugly truth. At most, I will give up all my material possesions for the country but not my life or my relatives life.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby SwamyG » 25 Jan 2009 03:00

Ah human beings, how similar we all are. My American friend felt it was tough to be patriotic under George Bush (paraphrasing).

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 25 Jan 2009 18:42

I would give up kashmir for my relative or even a friend.
I am also very well aware of the ramifications and the loss to the country. I hold self above country and I support the country only because of the selfish reason of self preservation. Whatever sacrifices I make for India are because the country's well being is directly linked to my well being. That is the cold, hard and ugly truth. At most, I will give up all my material possesions for the country but not my life or my relatives life.

A very interesting viewpoint and reminds me of a very old behavioral dilemma in experimental games:

Robert Axelrod [The Evolution of Cooperation (1984) ] described a tournament he organized of the N step Prisoner's Dilemma (with N fixed) - where encounters repeated over a long period of time with many players, each with different strategies, greedy strategies tended to do very poorly in the long run while more altruistic strategies did better, as judged purely by self-interest.

The best deterministic strategy was found to be "Tit for Tat," (Anatol Rapoport): The strategy is simply to cooperate on the first iteration of the game; after that, the player does what his opponent did on the previous move.

Depending on the situation, a slightly better strategy can be "Tit for Tat with forgiveness." When the opponent defects, on the next move, the player sometimes cooperates anyway, with a small probability (around 1%-5%). This allows for occasional recovery from getting trapped in a cycle of defections. The exact probability depends on the line-up of opponents.

Axelrod's conditions necessary for a strategy to be successful.

• Nice :strategy will not defect before its opponent does ("optimistic" algorithm) -a purely selfish strategy will not "cheat" on its opponent, for purely utilitarian reasons first.

• Retaliating : strategy must not be a blind optimist, and must sometimes retaliate. An example of a non-retaliating strategy is Always Cooperate : "nasty" strategies will ruthlessly exploit such players.

• Forgiving: strategies must also be forgiving. Though players will retaliate, they will return to cooperating if the opponent does not continue to play defects. This stops long runs of revenge and counter-revenge.

• Non-envious : not striving to score more than the opponent (impossible for a ‘nice’ strategy, i.e., a 'nice' strategy can never score more than the opponent).

Axelrod's conclusion : selfish individuals for their own selfish good will tend to be nice, forgiving and non-envious.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby sreeji » 27 Jan 2009 11:32

Axelrod's conclusion : selfish individuals for their own selfish good will tend to be nice, forgiving and non-envious.[/quote]

That is something I always held to be true. Glad to see that it has been proved scientificaly.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Vikas » 27 Jan 2009 14:40

About IC814, I can understand where the relatives were coming from. Why is it that an ordinary citizen is asked to sacrifice while the politicians enjoy in their A/c comfy houses.
If terrorists could be released for one Rubaiyya Sayyed without Mufti having any trace of feeling ashamed, why should have been the passengers of IC814 be sacrificed without any tangible gains. After all bribery is now part of our national culture.
To most of us, this was also a sort of bribery without realizing its repercussions.
GOI might would have released Azhar Mahmood as part of some other grand strategy by some other no do-gooder prime minister. After all GOI is known to release prisoners, secessionist and terrorists in its pursuit of some grand strategy.We Indians are as patriot as anyone else in the world but pray look at what some people tried to do to Shaheed M.C.Sharma or the martyrs of Kargill.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Abhijeet » 27 Jan 2009 15:36

brihaspati wrote:Axelrod's conclusion : selfish individuals for their own selfish good will tend to be nice, forgiving and non-envious.


This is just a rephrasing of the "enlightened self-interest" principle.

http://learningtogive.org/papers/paper23.html
Enlightened self-interest was a concept that Alexis de Tocqueville discussed in his work Democracy in America. The notion he held was that Americans voluntarily join together in associations to further the interests of the group and, thereby, to serve their own interests.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Saral » 27 Jan 2009 18:16

Abhijeet wrote:
brihaspati wrote:Axelrod's conclusion : selfish individuals for their own selfish good will tend to be nice, forgiving and non-envious.


This is just a rephrasing of the "enlightened self-interest" principle.

http://learningtogive.org/papers/paper23.html
Enlightened self-interest was a concept that Alexis de Tocqueville discussed in his work Democracy in America. The notion he held was that Americans voluntarily join together in associations to further the interests of the group and, thereby, to serve their own interests.


Frankly, I dont see that Tocqueville anticipated Axelrod.. not even close.

There has been recent work on co-operation that links it to intelligence (IQ).. Students in universities that are more prestigious (read higher entry requirements) do much better at games of cooperation than do students who are less well endowed (in the IQ department).

So a supplementary problem, one with large implications, would be as follows: How does one maximize co-operation in a population that differs (across members) on at least 2 dimensions (i) impulse control.. this is turning out to be a rather important individual difference.. the ability to delay gratification seems to vary quite a bit and (ii) cognitive intelligence.. ability to grasp concepts etc. Its not that (i) and (ii) are orthogonal (they are positively associated) but sufficiently independent to consider them as distinct constructs. So given the bivariate distribution of IC and IQ, what mechanisms can foster co-operation.. American exceptionalism etc. developed in an era where society (or at least the people in the society that mattered) were much more homogeneous than today.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 27 Jan 2009 18:37

Both IC and IQ are controversial to a certain extent - mainly as to how much of all that is an effect of the nvironment (society/culture/family/social subnetwork) and how much is it inherited (the whole thing of family confounds it all). But both factors could be interesting to explore in the Indian context. I had these sort of departures from Von Neumann Morgenstern RCT in mind when talking of Axelrod's results, but did not want to bring them in because they could have "politically incorrect" contexts. In the fractured societies of India, some of which have formalized social distinctions and hierarchies - with distinct social subnetworks - can we really find any significant differences in IC or IQ? Do such differences, if they exist, explain the lack of cooperation?

I think a lot of the IC/IQ differences we may find experimentally in India, will not be directly traceable to inheritance. Even in the same homeogenoeus soical group, likely to have same environmental factors affecting IC/IQ we will find differences in those factors - but this group as a whole will cooperate more ingroup that with outgroup. What perhaps is relevant, and important for the Indian context, is the branch of "social construction of identity" or "social identity theory" (SIT). Constructions of social idenity are important to explore - for they can give us a good deal of understanding about how groups form over common purposes and objectives - crucial for any leadership question in India.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Saral » 28 Jan 2009 19:25

brihaspati wrote:In the fractured societies of India, some of which have formalized social distinctions and hierarchies - with distinct social subnetworks - can we really find any significant differences in IC or IQ? Do such differences, if they exist, explain the lack of cooperation?


political incorrectness is irrelevant, in this forum, I believe. IQ is solidly researched as a construct and IC is a relative newcomer. That these does not explain all of the variance or most is also irrelevant for it to be an important player or the issue what percentage is genetic (although current estimates say that most of IQ is heritable).

brihaspati wrote:I think a lot of the IC/IQ differences we may find experimentally in India, will not be directly traceable to inheritance. Even in the same homeogenoeus soical group, likely to have same environmental factors affecting IC/IQ we will find differences in those factors - but this group as a whole will cooperate more ingroup that with outgroup. What perhaps is relevant, and important for the Indian context, is the branch of "social construction of identity" or "social identity theory" (SIT). Constructions of social idenity are important to explore - for they can give us a good deal of understanding about how groups form over common purposes and objectives - crucial for any leadership question in India.


Without IQ, its pretty hard to explain how the gent from Orissa who operated on the PM achieved his skills and that his caste identity is entirely coincidental (coming from a small minority within Orissa). There is a person (who might be posting here on BR) who goes by the nick rec1man elsewhere that has a pretty decent estimate of the mean and variance of IQ across crude groupings in India (around 8 groups). I am guessing he tried posting on BR and got flamed and quit. There could be vast differences, on the order of 2 standard deviations, between the extreme groups (even if some of the specifics of his analysis are wrong). But yes, these groupings will be very broad based (more closely mapping to those that have had a consistent literate tradition vs. those that have not) and not what we understand as jatis.

By the way, genetics (via IQ and other factors that will come out in the next decade or so) influences culture in the medium term.. So the causal chains are multiple. And there is a new book by Cochran and Harpending on the 10,000 year explosion suggesting that groups have been diverging at an accelerating rate since the dawn of Agriculture (runs completely contrary to received wisdom that human evolution came to a full stop at 40000 years BP).

I agree that formulations of identity is important for these play an important role in how the individual relates to family, community and the state. And some of these are indeed constructed (Aryan vs. Dravidian is an outgrowth of German intellectuals search for a deep German civilization heritage that they lacked in comparison to their European competitors) in the very recent past and play a huge role in Indian politics. Its entirely possible and inevitable many of the groups that have very capable members are underperforming severly due to lack of cooperation and maybe there are a few groups that are overperforming. And maybe social identity has a big part in this. I also think that ingroup cooperation is important and a necessary condition.. if this is weak, the group wont be able to cooperate or compete effectively with outgroups.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby shiv » 28 Jan 2009 21:10

I have some completely racist and totally politically not correct views on the question of low IQ in India due to nutrition. I have spared this forum and the world of my views only because I have not been able to formulate my thoughts into words.

But I will make my first attempt now.

If you take any large animal society that is stable and adjusted to its environment, you will find that individuals of that society will hardly be uniform. Genetics, competition, nutrition, adversity and dumb luck play a role in making some individuals more or less capable than others in any way.

Human society, and specifically Indian society is exactly such an animal society. Reductionist examination of individuals of that society will definitely reveal differences in traits - be they length of penis or IQ.

The idea that improving the overall IQ of a population wil somehow improve the population is IMO unproven untested balderdash in which the parameters of one society are superimposed on another.

It is a different matter to say that poor nutrition should be avoided. But to do a "torn shirt vs open fly" and say that Indian IQs are down because of poor nutrition ignores the possibility that there is likely to be an evolutionary role for people with "poor IQ" in a society that has gone through famines for millennia and survived. If anyone accuses me of welcoming and attempting to preserve a society where many may have a poor IQ, that is fine. All the results are not yet in.

Just my cockeyed view, of which I have many

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby svinayak » 28 Jan 2009 21:25

brihaspati wrote:
I think a lot of the IC/IQ differences we may find experimentally in India, will not be directly traceable to inheritance. Even in the same homeogenoeus soical group, likely to have same environmental factors affecting IC/IQ we will find differences in those factors - but this group as a whole will cooperate more ingroup that with outgroup. What perhaps is relevant, and important for the Indian context, is the branch of "social construction of identity" or "social identity theory" (SIT). Constructions of social identity are important to explore - for they can give us a good deal of understanding about how groups form over common purposes and objectives - crucial for any leadership question in India.


Indian society has a social order and identity built it for centuries if not for millenium. Indian social order creates leadership as seen over centuries. Monarchy was the ruling elite in India and in the last 100 years India has transformed into broad based society.
Indian society has been subject to social engineering since the British landed in India 200 years ago. The manufactured social identities in India are still being propagated even when Indians have seen through it.

By creating artificial identity - Constructions of social identity - it cannot create a long lasting social order and stability.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 28 Jan 2009 21:32

The inheritance of IQ thing is more difficult to test in India properly, becuase both IQ and reosurces are found in the same family-genetic networks, which also have apparently maintained strict endogamy for ages. I would humbly suggest a more modest approach of keeping the genetic inehritance possibility open, but allow for a degree of chance that only a few in a generation from "IQ rich" parents will inherit the required genes and not all. Then there is the possibility of different types of "intelligence". My personal explorations and study indicates to me that yes, possibly language+mathematics+music abilities are inherited to a great extent. [I am speaking out of first hand experience - how only say one among 7-8 children inherit the "higher faculties" and the rest inherit what can best be described as "high amounts of the darkest/meanest/destructive side of Chanakyan faculties"]

However, for leadership, homogenization and group formation - if IQ does turn out to be important, then I would be very curious - as to why even historically, and now currently, the elite of India shows so much intra-group rivalry and lack of cooperation - and so much out-group cooperation? (Assuming that the elite have on an average "higher IQ" :mrgreen: )

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby chaitanya » 29 Jan 2009 05:14

brihaspati - Here is a wild answer to your question: it could be because of information asymmetry. In game theory, as applied to politics, groups can be boxed into what are called information sets where they are clueless as to what is going on to the outside. Within a party, people may know what other people are doing through a data collection network (spies, informants, etc) as it may be easier to collect information on other peoples actions within your own party or group (one is still not breaking loyalty to the party in this case). As such, it would be much easier for a player to maximize his utility by doing whatever is in his best interests - and thus lead to fighting. Since information on other parties' actions may be more scarce, it would make sense to act in a cooperative manner so as to gain predicted results, since there exist many options that the opponent could utilize (and being nice more than likely will result in reciprocity). An example of this could be the american political system and the relationship the americans had with the USSR.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 29 Jan 2009 05:59

Chaitanyaji,
This is a very good point. Only thing is that I am not so sure about the lack-of-information about the other party. My experience of the political system is that at the higher positions the leadership comes from common subnetworks of the elite distributed across parties. And these "subnetworks" do communicate across party lines, so there is not much difference between the intra-party and extra-party situation.

Game theoretically, even though informations sets can be non-singletons, crucially games are asssumed to have common knowledge by all players. That will imply that all the paths in the game tree represented in the extensive form are known to each player. For any equilibrium strategy - any portion lying in a non-singleton information set will therefore need solutions in mixed strategies. Thus there will be a greater diversity of moves countering moves by opponent parties leading to not only greater possibilities of cooperation but also non-zero probabilities for conflict. Within perfect-information sets, however we are likely to see less equilibrium moves leading to quicker convergence to cooperation in pure strategies. This is as per standard game theory. But as you point out we probably need to explore this more critically.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby chaitanya » 29 Jan 2009 06:19

That is true! I have very limited knowledge about how political systems work on the ground in India (i am more into the math side of things). Would anyone else be interested in a mathematical treatment of the situation?

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby shiv » 29 Jan 2009 06:35

brihaspati wrote:Game theoretically, even though informations sets can be non-singletons, crucially games are asssumed to have common knowledge by all players. That will imply that all the paths in the game tree represented in the extensive form are known to each player.


brihaspati - isn't this untrue for biological evolutionary games?

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 29 Jan 2009 08:46

brihaspati - isn't this untrue for biological evolutionary games?

Shivji,
not really. Actually most models known as biological evolutionary games are usually strictly speaking not games, but a dynamical system, where a given situation determines future behaviour. (current state determines next state possibly upto a random factor). Games would be setups, where players have choices even for a given fixed current situation - that is there are choices available between moves. Like in your game, if you had avaialble choices to say NM as to how to interact with say Fundoo that contributes to a score (thereby needing at least two distinct behaviours w.r.t. Fundoo to choose from) it would be a game in the strict mathematical sense. In fact for the model you have, we can make a continuous version of it and analyze stable domains or attractors in terms of a system of differential equations.

Chaitanyaji,
we can start with 4 players, two each in two parties, so it will be a 4 stage game in the extensive form. I guess it will become a version of 4-player PD, with special substructure.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby ramana » 29 Jan 2009 21:32

X-posted from the prespectives of global meltdown thread

Highlights are mine....

AshokS wrote:
Singha wrote:once the US is deprived of the right to print extra money, its geopolitical leverage will take a serious nosedive.


Be careful of what you wish for. India and Indians - amongst other nationalities - have benefited from the economic framework that has been in place for decades. You would agree that the economic face of India has changed in the past 30 years largely due to mutual economic interests with the US. These economic interests have been a source of immense wealth creation for PIOs/NRIs and Indians citizens alike.

Who will fill the void? Which BRIC economy has the means? Their total factors of productivity as a country is weak compared to the US, different ones for different reasons.

Russia? - A friend of mine that is an executive in a large Russian hospitality and casino company would not agree after his office was raided in Moscow for political reasons
China? - Sure, if you like the Gobi education camps for dissent and whitewashed statistics
Brazil? - Why are they in the BRIC list again?
India? - Lack of governance, poor academic institutions at large, a population unable to effect change in the government due to their own complacency, fifth columnist, journalists emaciated for integrity, leadership is truly "chickens with their heads cut off" as the Indian ambassador mentioned.... So this country will drive the new global economy? India has been fortunate with resources, with a strong and deep culture, bright minds, a sense of morality and a young population today. So India has the means, the resources, but poor execution. So India will somehow lead? The fact is that India today is closer to a banana republic than a leader. Lets acknowledge this first before we think about the next steps.

We need to be somewhat thankful that the US was the sole superpower. If India can't capitalize on her strengths, its the fault of India. Yes there were attempts to box in India with unfair regimes and such, but that is what you do in competitive situations. Game theory anyone?


Need to reflect on this. Its too bad the Tech Forum guys stick to that pond and even when stratigic issues are involved they stay there. One gap is the frequent ref to the Strat forum as hot air forum. I think thats complex which prevents effective participation.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 29 Jan 2009 21:43

Just a quick take before a darned lect - :mrgreen:

If India can't capitalize on her strengths, its the fault of India. Yes there were attempts to box in India with unfair regimes and such, but that is what you do in competitive situations. Game theory anyone?


No, you do unfair regimes in game theoretic sense, continuously if and only if the "victim" always chooses to play nice and never retaliates.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby samuel » 29 Jan 2009 22:09

Ahole drubs sweetheart in finite horizons.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby ramana » 29 Jan 2009 23:02

X-Posted...
Rudradev wrote:This thread has started me thinking about the nature of India's self-image, which thanks to our colonial history, is largely dictated by the three archetypes that centuries of psyops have contrived to shape and reinforce.

It should be noted that these three archetypes are not merely the foci of how we perceive ourselves when evaluating geopolitical circumstances and developing strategy. Psyops are a double-edged blade, honed by decades and centuries of mutual reinforcement... so that these archetypes have also shaped the lenses through which the originators of those psyops, themselves, perceive India and Indians!

Briefly, there are three major archetypes.

1) The brave, noble and faithful soldier of the Empire.

This is the archetype evolved over centuries of colonial rule when Indian troops provided manpower to British colonial expeditions. Of all the three archetypes it is the most flattering. It projects Indians (or at least, certain "martial races" among Indians) as doughty foot-soldiers, who when bravely led and strategically marshalled by Western commanders could defend the Empire's interests against its enemies from Benghazi to Shanghai.

This archetype was used to manipulate Indian royalty, and later (post 1885) the Macaulay-fashioned Indian political elite, to support British war efforts around the globe. The British regularly flattered their subservient Kshatriya Scions, Sikh Maharajas and Muslim Nawabs with military-sounding titles and medals... it became the fashion for such potentates to affect Western-style military uniforms and ribbons, even if they themselves were too fat or gouty to go to the bathroom unassisted. As long as they opened up their coffers and supplied manpower from among their citizenry, they were heaped with praise as brave defenders of the Empire's bastions.

The Pakistan army took this archetype to heart, as we all know, and strove to become simultaneously absolute rulers of Pakistan and faithful soldiers of the West. Only since 1990 have they sought to serve a new master in Islamism... and even in this effort, as the GUBO decade shows, their subscription to the "faithful soldier" archetype has undermined their whole-hearted participation. No wonder the West wants to keep Pakistan alive at all costs.

It should be noted that this archetype never envisioned the Indian rising any higher in the ranks than a private soldier, or perhaps an NCO. Those in command were always Western. Thus, even though the UN is never shy about asking India to commit its soldiers to peacekeeping missions, we hear about instances where blue-helmet troops from white European nations refuse to take orders from Indian officers. At another level, the challenge posed to this stereotype by white-collar Indian techies serves to aggravate the anti-outsourcing and anti-H1B outrage among white Americans today (in their mythology, Indians are supposed to drive cabs and pump gas, not write code). But I digress.

2) The Gunga-Din, or sufferer in a good cause.

This is the second stereotype of Indians created and reinforced by Western psyops since the colonial era. It is the image of an Indian who is fatalistic and superstitious, too weak of spirit to fight actively for any interest of his own, but with just enough strength of character to accept suffering on behalf of a "good" (read "Western") cause.

When, in order to finance their participation in the First World War, the British forced millions of Indian farmers to switch from subsistence to cash crops... they justified this genocide-by-starvation, in terms of the Gunga Din archetype. The Indians who died were too weak to fight wars, too primitive to forge a nation unto themselves, but suffered for the sake of the great and benevolent British Empire (starving to death so that its bills might be paid). Many "moderates" of the Indian National Congress at the time were content to accept such atrocities as Champaran, because they too accepted the Gunga Din archetype as justified.

Today, when the Hindoo is asked to "make concessions on Kashmir", to "restrain himself against Pakistan" in the face of terrorist attacks, to be passive cannon-fodder for the forces of Jihad so that the Pakistanis can concentrate on serving American interests along their Afghan border... it is the Gunga Din archetype (and self-image) that the Americans are appealing to.

In effect, we (India) are being asked to fulfill the Gunga Din archetype, sitting passively and taking it on the chin for the Western "team", so that Pakistan can be flattered and bribed to fulfill the Faithful Soldier archetype. It seems entirely natural to American strategists to expect that we willingly do this, because of these archetypes defining their views of the Indian subcontinent.

M.K. Gandhi was one visionary who turned this Gunga Din archetype on its head, to the astonishment of the British who thought that passive Indians would never suffer and die in any cause other than one dictated by their colonial masters. Today, the MoorkhMohan-Maino combine has brought our nation back to Gunga Din-hood with a vengeance.

3) The benighted heathen.

This is the third and least flattering (or most insulting, if you prefer) colonial archetype that defines the Indian image. It describes an essentially savage mass that is ruled by superstition and behaves no better than animals. Un-Christian, uncultured and unclean. This is the Indian archetype that was fostered by Bentinck's psyops about Thuggee and Suttee... and is continued today by the BBC and CNN psyops about Povertee , Untouchabilitee, Child Sex Slaveree and Slumdog Dharavee.

Christian missionary propaganda also uses this archetype liberally to justify their predatory conversion activities , connecting its allegations of hopeless, boundless misery with the "unsaved" nature of Hindoo souls.

The implication of this archetype is that India NEEDS to be subservient to the enlightened West if it is to survive at all. From this archetype stem all the most pessimistic and negative scenarios ever bandied about... Indians will perish in famine, Indians will never reach agricultural self-sufficiency, Indians are essentially poor and hopeless no matter what cosmetic developments may take place in their economy, the Indian state will fall apart because it is too weak to withstand internal divisions. Thus India needs a godfather... preferably a benevolent Western one... if we are to accomplish anything, or even to survive at all.

The Pakistanis have internalized this benighted-heathen archetype as the entirety of their image of India ... not realizing that in doing so, they are f*cking themselves, and entrenching their own vulnerability to being manipulated by Western psyops. Because for all their denial, the same archetype cuts equally in Pakistan's direction as well (now enhanced by images of gun-toting six year olds in Madrassas).


So... why am I bringing this Three Archetypes business up on this particular thread?

Because, fellow BRF-ites, I fear that we too are governed by these Three Archetypes far more than we should be. Even when discussing strategic options with regard to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

When we discuss our frustration at the current state of affairs, with MoorkhMohan showing "restraint" to Pakistan while our people are killed by terrorists, we are reacting to ongoing reinforcement of the Gunga Din archetype. Much of what we call "dhimmitude" is not merely "dhimmitude" to the ancestral memory of Islamic power... as our history shows, Islamic power on the subcontinent was all but extinguished by the Marathas and Sikhs through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Behind our compulsion to act as dhimmis with respect to Pakistan today, is a good measure of Gunga Din-hood (or vestigial dhimmitude to the West).

When we talk about deploying 120,000 troops to Afghanistan, we are effectively subscribing to the Faithful Soldier archetype. Yes, we imagine that we will be able to do this by maintaining supply lines via Iran, keeping our own independent command, choosing which regions of Afghanistan we will deploy in etc. etc. but this is all fantasy. We know fully well who sets the agenda for international intervention in Afghanistan today. Unkil will be in charge of dictating supply lines, deployments, doctrine, ROE, and for that matter making all political decisions at all levels. We will receive a lot of flattery, as our be-ribboned Maharajas did during the British days, but ultimately we will be supplying the faithful soldiers to accomplish the strategy of the West.

Lastly the benighted Indian archetype, which I think is finding its outlet on the :(( :(( of this thread. Oh, look at us, if Unkil gets defeated by Taliban and Pakistan what will we do? Without the West to protect us how will we survive? This is the *real* fear behind all the lame-brained theorizing that "if the Islamists win in Afghanistan/Iraq and America loses, Jihad will receive a shot in the arm for having defeated a superpower".

We have always fought the Jihadis ourselves and always defeated the Jihadis ourselves... and yet, we have this overarching fear of extinction if Unkil abandons his anti-Jihadi cause (as if that cause ever had anything to do with our own).

Friends, I can think of only three instances in the past century where Indian civilian leadership thought out of the box and broke through the perimeter of self-image (and outsiders' expectations) defined by these three archetypes.

One was M.K. Gandhi, turning the Gunga Din's capacity to absorb suffering into a force for political accomplishment against the colonial masters, such as nobody could have imagined.

The second was Indira Gandhi showing the world that we were nobody else's Faithful Soldiers, during the Bangladesh war. Our capacity was not limited to serving in the ranks of an army commanded by others. We could determine our own geopolitical interests, fashion our own military strategy to achieve them, and command our own troops towards the swift and decisive execution of that strategy.

The third was the A.B. Vajpayee government conducting the 1998 nuclear tests (though perhaps some credit should go to PVNR for making the tests possible). The Benighted Indian showed that he was as capable of protecting himself, and the integrity of his nation, as any of his former superiors. No wonder the enraged West responded with reams of psyops about how "India had ignored its millions of starving benighted heathens to build a nuclear bomb", etc.

These instances changed the rules of the game with respect to the world's treatment of India. They were tremendously effective, not only because our leaders managed to extend themselves beyond the three-archetype perimeter... but because the world itself had become so ingrained with a view of India and Indians defined by the three-archetype perimeter. They were utterly shocked, dumbfounded and clueless how to react when we "broke the mold". The initiative was entirely in our hands, against far more powerful adversaries.

And yet, apart from these exceptions, the bulk of our policymaking (and even the patterns of our political thought process) seem dictated by the above three archetypes. We cannot afford this.

Confirming to the Faithful Soldier archetype (sending 120,000 troops to join NATO in Afghanistan) is no solution to our frustration with the Gunga Din archetype (restraint in the face of Pakistani terrorism, peace talks on Kashmir). Nor should we be compelled to follow either of these ultimately Unkil-serving strategies by the blackmail of the Benighted Indian archetype ("nuclear flashpoint" propaganda, the Congress government's media assault on our armed forces, the Malegaon witch-hunts, or fear that Unkil pulling out of Afghanistan will make Jihad invincible).

Let's reject the perimeter defined by ALL these three archetypes, and think out of the box. If Unkil is defeated by the Pakis and Afghans... isn't it possible that this eventuality may present an opportunity, rather than a threat? Let's start from there.


All these are images of India made by the "other".

What is the image of India in Indian imagination?

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby chaitanya » 30 Jan 2009 02:11

brihaspatiji, what is your e-mail address please? It would be easier for me to do this via e-mail. TIA

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby ramana » 30 Jan 2009 05:06

The undermining of the image is in full swing

nation without the sub-altern

The guy sits in Canada and writes with commie slant!

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 30 Jan 2009 05:38

Chaitanyaji, you can mail at dikgajone at gmail dot com.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby ramana » 30 Jan 2009 06:25

No comments:

Image

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 30 Jan 2009 06:41

So secretary of agriculture makes a better president than the secretary of homeland security. A well spelled out succession rule - aha- it could work the other way round too! It could also mean a lack of confidence in the ability of "people at the top" to decide who can be the next best choice. The other countries cited could simply be much more confident of their own abilities. :mrgreen:

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 30 Jan 2009 07:42

Ramana wrote
All these are images of India made by the "other".
What is the image of India in Indian imagination?



what is India's own self-image?

This is a question of identity, and mediated by leadership. Every Indian belongs to multiple identities. But broadly speaking we can have two distinct identities
(a) the one created by the khaas for the aam : this changes according to the needs of the elite. Currently the dominant image sought to be imposed by the elite is that of a geographically and politically bounded region which has always and should continue to be a conglomerate of mulitiplicities, with no single unifying theme or basis rooted in the culture. Such unifiying focus can only be based in the present, needs to be constructed, and can have nothing to do with the past. Since the culture, even that followed broadly by the majority of the people, cannot be the unifying framework - it is the elite leadership, [preferably a single family which guarantees succession ("USA thinks of everything while others...") ] which alone can provide the national focus - the holder of the multiplicities tiogether. Thus it is so important for this image to disjoint the aam from and negate the culture and the past, so that the culture and the past can be replaced by the elite itself.

(b) the one created by the aam for the aam : a deep attachment and loyalty to the soil and the land, India as the land lived in and the soil which nourishes, with long and deep spiritual connections that has place for all the living experiences. In this image, almost all living things are part of life and to a certain extent sacred. Spirituality and the divine is tangible, attainable, personal as well as public, shared as well as private. Search for meaning beyond the mundane can coexist with, and in spite of, hunger, deprivation, exploitation and injustice. Some will call this mysticism or self opiation. In my experience, along the parikramana route around the Narmada, or the walk towards Gomukh, or the dark caves of Panchmarhi, or the gentle roar at Setubandham, or the countless village gatherings to celebrate a little understood astronomical phenomenon, or the memory of a saint, or some hardly comprehended divine entity - this is very much part and parcel of the aam world view. For the vast majority, India remains a land where "God" appears in all shapes and sizes and is ever present nearby. In this image, kingdoms and kings come and go, regimes change, clothes and habits change form, but the spiritual continues as before. One has to really walk the path to the aam hut to realize this. (No RG antics refs please :) ).

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby shiv » 30 Jan 2009 08:01

Rudradev wrote:This thread has started me thinking about the nature of India's self-image, which thanks to our colonial history, is largely dictated by the three archetypes that centuries of psyops have contrived to shape and reinforce.
<snip>
Briefly, there are three major archetypes.

1) The brave, noble and faithful soldier of the Empire.

This is the archetype evolved over centuries of colonial rule when Indian troops provided manpower to British colonial expeditions. Of all the three archetypes it is the most flattering. It projects Indians (or at least, certain "martial races" among Indians) as doughty foot-soldiers, who when bravely led and strategically marshalled by Western commanders could defend the Empire's interests against its enemies from Benghazi to Shanghai.

2) The Gunga-Din, or sufferer in a good cause.

This is the second stereotype of Indians created and reinforced by Western psyops since the colonial era. It is the image of an Indian who is fatalistic and superstitious, too weak of spirit to fight actively for any interest of his own, but with just enough strength of character to accept suffering on behalf of a "good" (read "Western") cause.

3) The benighted heathen.

This is the third and least flattering (or most insulting, if you prefer) colonial archetype that defines the Indian image. It describes an essentially savage mass that is ruled by superstition and behaves no better than animals. Un-Christian, uncultured and unclean. This is the Indian archetype that was fostered by Bentinck's psyops about Thuggee and Suttee... and is continued today by the BBC and CNN psyops about Povertee , Untouchabilitee, Child Sex Slaveree and Slumdog Dharavee.

Christian missionary propaganda also uses this archetype liberally to justify their predatory conversion activities , connecting its allegations of hopeless, boundless misery with the "unsaved" nature of Hindoo souls.


An excellent post to add thoughts that I have had.

The British instituted a system of "Public school education" in India. Many of these schools were set up
after 1857. My own school was one such Public school founded in 1864.

While mush has been made on this forum of the undoubted"Christian connection" of these schools - not enough has been said of how these schools made a tremendous contribution to nationalism, patriotism and the idea that one must be ready to pick up arms for the country.

Unlike the schools that my children attended which are new age Indian schools bent on creating mug pots to become software engineers or doctors my own school actively created a sense of pride in the nation. Yes there was a Christian overlay. There was a choir and we sang a hymn every morning and I as a senior prefect read out a passage from the Bible every day. But we also pointedly chanted the national vow or some such thing "India is my country and all Indian are my brothers and sisters. I love my country etc etc - I have forgotten the rest.

My own school did little to produce IITans = but it has produced a series of people who entered NDA.

In our flush of Hindutva we tend to forget certain values that both Christianity and islam inculcate as a matter of routine. Both religions recognize that a time comes wen one must be ready to fight an enemy. It is wrong to assume that Indians Convent schools and India Muslims are being inculcated to fight for Islam or Christianity. Someone please Google for the school that Major Unnikrishnan attended. That school had a memorial ceremony and a huge presence at his funeral. A colleague of mine is an alumnus.

Active patriotism and a sense of unity of the nation, an acceptance of all who form part of this nation and a recognition that arms and fighting are as necessary for the nation as doctors and software engineers should be an essential feature of education.

I went to the Lalbagh flower show around Republic day. Various flower arrangements were in place and prominent among them was one that read "Peace/shanti". We Indian are really so hung up on peace/shanti even when we are being attacked. This is completely wrong. To my knowledge it is only a Christian or Islamic bias in education that tells you that you must be ready to pick up arms and fight when you and your people are attacked. I can recall several Hymns that speak call upon God to help at the time of fighting and or defence.

The British did not do that to Indians. The Brits made Indians ready to fight and made them fight. Muslim did not invent the word "shanti" and they played a prominent part of the armies that were composed of "martial races" - even if they were tricked into believing that was true.

Shanti is Hindu concept that has been pushed too far by Indians, particularly Hindus. And Hindus look at Christians and Muslims and accuse them of being militant. Many of them are patriotically militant. Hindus need to acknowledge that and learn from that.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby svinayak » 30 Jan 2009 08:06

shiv wrote: Both religions recognize that a time comes wen one must be ready to fight an enemy.

Meaning other religions do not :lol:

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby shiv » 30 Jan 2009 08:16

Acharya wrote:
shiv wrote: Both religions recognize that a time comes wen one must be ready to fight an enemy.

Meaning other religions do not :lol:


Sikhism does. Are you trying to imply that Hindus are taught this as part of what passes as Hindu "religion"?

They are not. And it shows in India's psyche. It shows in the attitudes even on this forum where people alternate between expecting other nations to do our job and saying that we can't do our job because other nations will stop us or are stopping us.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 30 Jan 2009 08:18

Shivji,
will second your opinion of the "older" Christian missionary school. About the
Shanti is Hindu concept that has been pushed too far by Indians, particularly Hindus. And Hindus look at Christians and Muslims and accuse them of being militant. Many of them are patriotically militant. Hindus need to acknowledge that and learn from that.

: isn't it more fit a comment for Buddhism? The Geeta or the Survey of the Battlefield in the Mahabharatam, has no reco for "Shanti" at all! Many of the Vedic hymns indicate battles and wars. Even ladies are incited to violence - as in the inauguration of Chandika. Maybe it got dusty a bit at the hands of the British reconstructions of Indic culture - thats all! :)

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Yogi_G » 30 Jan 2009 08:19

brihaspati wrote:what is India's own self-image?

This is a question of identity, and mediated by leadership. Every Indian belongs to multiple identities. But broadly speaking we can have two distinct identities
(a) the one created by the khaas for the aam :

(b) the one created by the aam for the aam :


Brihaspati saar, you raised a very important point, that of Indians having an image of themselves...

How important this identity is, for this very identity can itself raise strong leaders but then again there is the problem of "too much identity" which can raise dictators and tyrants...

India has right now "a dime a dozen" identity. Too many countries in the world share this identity with us. The Americans, The Brits, the French, the Lankans, the Japanese --- All secular democracies, you can give and take a bit on the former but the concept of democracy trumps all else. The official identity of the Indian govt is that we are a multi-cultural secular multi-ethnic democracy and this is what is bragged upon everywhere, I am not saying this identity is bad or that democracy is bad or that it is bad to be grouped with the countries mentioned above, neither do I have a problem with Indian youth proudly brandishing this identity, indeed it espouses all that India stands for in short, unity in diversity.....

What I saying is that we can do even better and get a unique identity (did some database coding today :(( so please excuse)...

Look at it this way, India has the most contiguous identity in terms of its traditions and cultural practices....Europe fell to Christians, China fell to the Communists, Japan fell to the Buddhists (ideological takeover), Persia fell to the Muslims (political and ideological), the Mayans fell to the Spanish, hence all major civilizations today stand completely detached with their original identity. Their new identities may be nice to them and they may be completely at ease with them. Am fine with it no issues, but India with its lost Dharmic traditions still stands very much attached to its roots and remains the same in terms of customs, beliefs and traditions over many centuries. It is this identity we need to brandish, in terms of the millenia old Dharmic culture and its "Sanatanam"....

Let me put in a disclaimer that I am not geeting into the talk of India being for Dharmic people only, Muslims/Missionaries need to be kicked out etc etc....these folks can also help us in re-discovering our true identity....In this context I want to bring out what S Swamy said about encouraging all non-Hindus to freely declare their Hindu/Dharmic past (I dont like S Swamy much, I feel he is a chameleon but this one idea of his I like)...collective brandishing of millenia old Sanatan identity APART from the secular democratic one but the former comes first always! Do they contradict each other? NO! they complement each other, the very brandishing of Dharmic which encapsulates humanity's great output of Shramanic and Vedic thoughts and beliefs is by itself a great stamp of approval for the secular and democratic identity diffusion, an amalgam of identities all which essentially and without question originated here in India...

There will be trouble in getting the Abrahammic followers to assert their past Dharmic identity but this is not all that impossible to achieve, they only but have to see the Pakis blowing each other's brains out having gone down the road of intolerance and "Saudi" roots to convince them of the right path...This is easier said than done I know but I hope to analyze more on this and bring out my thoughts in future posts...

Down the road, this exceptional identity will help us regain the top position from the coalition of an ideologically bankrupt China and a degrading but somehow reasonable Wester bloc. Going about diffusing this identity and bringing about this ideology's pre-eminence will by itself will need great leaders and truly secular leaders...these very leaders will be the strategic leadership we are looking for, leaders who are not scared of revealing their strong Dharmic identity and at the same time intolerant to extremism from any quarter!!

We have to learn from the wester Judeo-Christian identity, it is in by no way taboo is it? Strong truly secular Sanatan identity for us will be the way forward and help us gain the confidence and a limited sense of arrogance(yes arrogance) to regain the top position....for we deserve it!!!!


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