Corporatist Rule for India? (India Blog 17)
Monday 10 December. 5:00 Morning. Kolkata (Calcutta)
There was a big argument going on in the street last night. One guy was just shouting to the top of his lungs for the longest time. It is a matter of live or die and I don’t think they have much to lose if they die. One sees these guys sleeping on the sidewalks in the daytime, wrapped up in some old rag of a blanket and it seems like they are just laying there and suffering. They are just living it out till they die literally on the spot and someone comes and picks up their body.
I saw one person, a man, wrapped up in a dirty blanket on the sidewalk just nearby the hotel yesterday. There were flies swarming around him. (Another call to prayer is going down now. They need more prayer.) Flies were sitting on that dirty blanket. I wondered if the guy was already dead. People usually walk in the road, anyway, not the sidewalk. There are so many obstructions. On the sidewalks, people just go around the wrapped-up bodies.
Well, people walk on the roads in Turkey too. I am very used to that.
Society is badly broken with that going on. Mother Teresa was just a sort of band-aid for the misery and poverty. I cannot say that what she was doing was not good and kind, but I can say that it is just a meliorative, a palliative that can do nothing to reach or address the root if the problem. Broken down society, broken down world.
At the same time, there is a lot of closeness in families, big families. Sometimes communalism emerges. And people try to put one in a box: Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, American, British, French, Bangladeshi. And sometimes there is hatred for what one seemingly is.
I get the idea that USA or American propaganda has worked here and I am embarrassed when guys (I have not talked to a single woman yet in this country in casual conversation), when people come out with big compliments about “America.” I don’t know if they are serious or just trying to please me.
I get the idea that they are much more favourable toward America than the Turks, who are just about one-hundred percent cynical, not believing anything that the USA puts out. Recent figures showed that the US image was the lowest in Turkey of any country in the world. Largely a result of the US screwing around in Iraq, Syria and Iran. Causing trouble everywhere.
I have to get a shower this morning before those Australians get up and use up all the hot water!
I noticed that the reviews of Calcutta that I have seen on Youtube never mention the huge mosque that is here. They usually talk about the two big Hindu temple complexes.
The Islamic sections of the city seem invisible to them.
Now the birds. I don’t know if they are crows, have suddenly come to life and are calling loudly. It is 5:21 in the morning.
I think that I saw one nice-looking dog in this city yesterday. And yesterday, there were two Dalmatians, hunting dogs, apparently, mean and ready to attack, at this hotel. The dogs on the street are miserable. There are a few cats. They too, are mostly miserable.
M.N. Roy, the Indian communist wrote about why Hindus hate cats. And wrote a book from the cat’s perspective. Autobiography of a Cat, I think. It is great. Very witty. He wrote it in an Indian prison, where he was kept for years by the British.
Strange thing is that I feel almost at home in this city.
People sometimes call out to one on the street, but it is best just to ignore them. Some women around the hotel are doing the milk powder scam. I just ignore them. That scam is overworked. There should be signs with a warning.
AVOID THE MILK POWDER SCAM WOMEN!
The last thing they want is milk powder!
And about the street vendors. I will say that they are trying to help themselves. They have found a way to survive and protect themselves by organizing and unionizing. That is far better than seeking charity. They survive through a very difficult struggle.
But when I look at the whole thing, my view has to be that only some sort of rule from the top could save such a society. Population growth must be controlled. Either left-wing, right-wing, Hindu fascist, or other nationalist ideology, maybe religious nationalism combined with Bharat, Indian nationalism.
Corporatist rule from the top. I am almost reduced to advocating it.
In Bengal, it could be Netijiism, from Subas Chandra Bose. Bengali nationalism, something that people could believe in and accept and impose strict discipline on society. There seems to be a complete lack of discipline in this society.
It might break down at some point, as in the Soviet Union, or in Turkey and Argentina, but it will have improved society and made things better for most people.
The historical model comes from Saint Simon in France. Science and engineering of society. Ataturk picked it up for Turkey. Stalin in the Soviet Union. A form of Jacobinism.
In Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan is the using the same model as Ataturk, as far as top-down rule is concerned. Jacobinism. Just different underlying ideas. It is top-down rule and the state can impose some discipline on society. I guess that India is the closest thing to anarchy in existence.
In India, the Nehru, Gandhi, Patel, model failed. A historical period of corporatist rule might have done wonders. Now, it may be too late. They missed the historical window of opportunity.