ஐ.டி. ஊழியர்கள் / மாணவர்கள் அறிந்துகொள்ள வேண்டிய உலக / பொருளாதார நடப்புகள்

ஐ.டி.ஊழியர்கள் பற்றிய பதிவிற்கு வாசகர் ஒருவர் கேட்டுள்ள கேள்வி: தமிழக ஐ.டி.ஊழியர்கள் / மாணவர்கள் உலக நடப்புகள் பற்றி என்னென்ன தெரிந்துகொள்ள வேண்டும் என்று சொல்லுங்களேன். அவர்கள் கண்களில் படாத நடப்புகள் யாவை? ஊடகங்கள், குறிப்பாகத் தமிழ் ஊடகங்களில் வராத செய்திகள் யாவை? இவற்றுக்கும் சி ஜின் பிங் வருகைக்கும் என்ன தொடர்பு?
எனது பதில்: எனது மாநில ஐ.டி. ஊழியர்கள், மாணவர்கள் இவற்றைப்பற்றியெல்லாம் தெரிந்துகொள்ள வேண்டும். நான் புள்ளி மட்டுமே வைத்திருக்கிறேன். கோலம் அவர்கள் போட்டுக்கொள்ள வேண்டும். மேலும் விளக்கலாமே என்று கேட்கலாம். பயனில்லை என்று தோன்றுகிறது. தேடித் தின்றாலே சுவை. இதைப்பற்றிப் பல தமிழக நண்பர்கள் குழாங்களில் பேசியிருக்கிறேன். 5-10 மணித்துளிகளுக்குப் பிறகு யாரும் தாக்குப்பிடிப்பதில்லை. உடனே ‘இதனால் தமிழ் நாட்டுக்கு என்ன பலன்?’ என்று கேட்பார்கள், அல்லது ‘ஹிந்தி’ என்று ஜல்லியடிப்பார்கள். தற்போது இவைபற்றியெல்லாம் வாய் திறப்பதில்லை. ஆனால், மாணவர்கள், ஆரம்ப நிலையில் உள்ள ஐ.டி. ஊழியர்கள் தெரிந்து வைத்திருக்க வேண்டும் என்று எண்ணுகிறேன். ஏனெனில் இவர்களே நாளைய பாரதம்.
பின்வரும் கேள்விகளுக்கு விடை நேராகக் கிடைக்காது. கொஞ்சம் ஆராய வேண்டும். ஆர்வம் இருப்பவர்கள் மேற்கொண்டு ஆராயலாம்.
  1. க்வடார்(Gwadar) துறைமுகம், சபார்(Chahabar) துறைமுகம்.  இவை எங்கு உள்ளன. இவற்றைக் கட்டமைக்கப் பங்கு கொண்ட நாடுகள் யாவை? ஏன்?
  2. String of Pearls என்றால் என்ன? இதனால் யாருக்கு லாபம்? இந்தியா செய்ய வேண்டியது என்ன? செய்கிறதா? யார் செய்கிறார்கள்?
  3. String of Pearls ற்கும் Sagarmala திட்டத்திற்கும் என்ன தொடர்பு? சாகர்மாலா வருவதால் எந்த நாடுகளுக்கு பாதிப்பு? யாருக்குப் பலன்? எந்த நாடுகள் எதிர்க்கின்றன? இந்தியாவில் யாரெல்லாம் எதிர்க்கிறார்கள்? அவர்களுக்கும் எதிர்க்கும் வெளி நாடுகளுக்கும் உள்ள தொடர்புகள் யாவை?
  4. CPEC – China Pakistan Economic Corridor என்பது யாது? அது பாரதத்திற்கு ஏன் எதிரானது? இதற்கும் PoK விற்கும் என்ன தொடர்பு? CPECஐ நாம் ஆதரித்தால் விளைவுகள் யாவை?
  5. BRI – Belt and Roads Initiative என்பது என்ன? யருக்குப் பலன்? இதை ஏன் முன்னிறுத்துகிறார்கள்? இதற்கும் சாகர்மாலா திட்டத்திற்கும் உள்ள தொடர்பென்ன? சாகர்மாலா திட்டத்தை எதிர்ப்பவர்கள் BRI பற்றி வாய் திறக்கிறார்களா? ஏன்?
  6.  ஆப்பிரிக்க மற்றும் தென் அமெரிக்க நாடுகளில் சீன முதலீடுகள் சில நூறு மடங்குகள் அதிகரித்துள்ளனவே. ஏன்? அந்த நாடுகளின் இன்றைய நிலை என்ன?
  7. ஆப்பிரிக்காவிலும் தென் அமெரிக்காவிலும் சீனா கட்டும் துறைமுகங்கள் யாவை? ஏன்?
  8. இலங்கையில் ஹம்பந்தோட்ட துறைமுகத்திற்கும் சீனாவிற்கும் என்ன தொடர்பு? யார் தொடர்பை ஏற்படுத்தினார்கள்? இதற்கும் சாகர்மாலா திட்ட எதிர்ப்புக்கும் என்ன தொடர்பு?
  9. சாகர்மாலா திட்டத்தை எதிர்ப்பவர்கள் எட்டுவழிச் சாலையையும் எதிர்ப்பது ஏன்? இவர்க்ள் கூடங்குளம் அணு உலைக்கும் எதிராகச் செயல்படுகிறார்களா? ஏன்? BRI விஷயத்தில் இவர்களின்  நிலை என்ன? ஏன்?
  10. தென்சீனக் கடலில் இந்தியாவிற்கு என்ன அக்கறை? தனது அக்கறையை இந்தியா எப்படியெல்லாம் வெளிப்படுத்துகிறது? ஏன்? இதற்கும் ONGC நிறுவனத்திற்கும் உள்ள தொடர்பென்ன?
  11. இந்தியா வியட்னாமிடம் தனது ப்ராமோஸ் ஏவுகணையை விற்கிறது. இது எதனால்? இதனால் அன்னியச் செலாவணி தவிர வேறென்ன லாபம்? அதென்ன வியட்னாம் மட்டும்? விற்கவில்லை என்று இந்தியா சொல்கிறதே? ஏன்?
  12. இந்தியாவிற்கும் மங்கோலியாவிற்கும் உள்ள அரசதந்திர உறவுகள் எப்படி உள்ளன? மங்கோலியாவிற்குச் சென்ற இந்திய ஜனாதிபதி யார்? பின்னர் அங்கிருந்து இந்தியா வந்த தலைவர்கள் யாவர்? என்னென்ன உடன்படிக்கைகள் ஏற்பட்டன? எல்லா நாடுகளியும் விடுத்து மங்கோலியாவில் நமக்கு என்ன அக்கறை? காரணங்கள் யாவை?
  13.   சில வாரங்களுக்கு முன்னர் இந்திய ஜனாதிபதி பெயர் அதிகம் கேள்விப்படாத நாட்டுக்குச் சென்று வந்தார். ஏன் சென்றார்? என்னென்ன ஒப்பந்தங்கள் கையெழுத்தாயின? என்னென்ன நிறுவனங்களின் பெயர்கள் அடிபட்டன? ஏன்?
  14. Quadrilateral Alliance என்றால் என்ன? இதில் பங்குபெற்றுள்ள நாடுகள் யாவை? இவை ஏன் பங்குபெறுகின்றன? இந்தக் கூட்டணியை ஹிந்து நாளிதழ் ஏன் எதிர்க்கிறது?
  15. 2003-4ல் Trilateral Alliance ஆக இருந்தது தற்போது Quadrilateral ஆக மாறக் காரணம் என்ன? அப்போது வாஜ்பாய்-ஷின்சோ அபே கூட்டு. இப்போது மோதி-அபே+X+Y கூட்டு ஏன்? இரண்டு கூட்டணிகளிலும் ஷின்சோ அபே இருக்கக் காரணம் என்ன? இரண்டு கூட்டு முயற்சிகளையும் பா.ஜ.க.வே செய்தது ஏன்? முந்தைய மன்மோஹன் அரசு இதில் என்ன செய்தது? ஏன்? Quadrilateral Alliance , String of Perals, BRI ஏதாவது தொடர்புள்ளதா?
  16. மன்மோஹன் சிங் பிரதமராக இருந்த போது கியூபா சென்று வந்தது ஏன்? அவ்வளவு தூரம் சென்றவர் அமெரிக்காவில் இறங்காமல் வந்தது எதனால்? யாரால்? அந்தப் பயணத்தால் நமக்கு என்ன பலன்?
  17. பிரதமர் மோதி ஓராண்டுக்கு முன்னர் இந்தோநேசியப் பயணம் மேற்கொண்டார். நிக்கோபார் தீவுக்கு அருகில் உள்ள இந்தோநேசியத் தீவில் பாரதம் என்ன கட்டுமானம் செய்கிறது? அவசியம் என்ன? இதற்கு BRI திட்டத்துடன் என்ன தொடர்பு?
  18. டோக்ளாம் பகுதியில் சீனப்படைகள் இந்தியப் படைகளுக்கு நேரெதிராக நின்ற போது நிர்மலா சீத்தாராமன் என்ன அறிக்கை வெளியிட்டார்? பின்னர் சீனப் படைகள் விலகியதன் காரணம் என்ன?
  19. ஸ்டெர்லைட் போராட்டம், கூடங்குளம் போராட்டம், மீத்தேன் போராட்டம், ஜல்லிக்கட்டுப் போராட்டம் – இவைகளுக்குள் இருக்கும் ஒற்றுமை என்ன?
  20. சீமான், வைகோ, திருமுருகன் காந்தி, வேல்முருகன் – இவர்களின் பண வரவுக்கான காரணங்கள் யாவை? இவர்களுக்கும் 19ல் கேட்டுள்ள கேள்விக்கும் உள்ள தொடர்பென்ன?
  21. பணமதிப்பிழப்பு நடவடிக்கையின் போது மம்தா பானர்ஜீ, அரவிந்த் கேஜ்ரிவால், ஸ்டாலின் முதலானோர் அதிக அளவில் கூக்குரலிட்டனர். மம்தாவும் கேஜ்ரிவாலும் உச்ச ஸ்தாயியில் கத்தினர். ஏன்? பின்னர் தற்போது கேஜ்ரிவால் அமைதிகாக்கிறார். என்ன காரணம்?
  22. 1-19 வரையிலானவற்றைப் பற்றித் தமிழ் ஊடகங்களுக்குத் தெரியாதா? அவர்கள் அத்துணை முட்டாள்களா? இருந்தாலும் இதையெல்லாம் அவைகள் ஏன் பேசுவதில்லை? தமிழ் ஊடகங்களுக்கும் 19,20,21ற்கும் என்ன தொடர்பு?
  23. 20,21 ற்கும் தமிழ் சினிமாக்காரர்களுக்கும் உள்ள தொடர்பென்ன?
  24. மாலத்தீவுகளின் அரசாங்க நடவடிக்கைகளில் சீன / இந்தியக் குறுக்கிடல்கள் ஏன்?

இப்போதைக்கு இவை போதுமானவை. இவற்றுக்கான விடைகள் பல புதிய பரிணாமங்களைக் காட்டுபவை. சற்று முயற்சி தேவை. பல கேள்விகளுக்கான விடைகள் இணையத்தில் உள்ள நாளிதழ்களில் உள்ளன. முயற்சித்துப் பார்க்கவும். நண்பர்களுடன் விவாதிக்கவும்.

தொடர்ந்து பேசுவோம்.china’s-bri-saudi-arabia-and-the-confusing-game-inside-pakistan-1024x742

China – what it is, actually

When India bans a Chinese product, the English media is usually up in arms with’Stand with China’,’Freedom of Trade’ and similar sounding headlines. When it is common knowledge that China strangles freedom and treats its ethnic minorities in a wholly in-human manner, these very english media voices develop speech impairment and remain dumb. 

When India issued an advisory to her armed forces personnel on Chinese mobile phones, The Hindu, the so-called Índia’s National Newspaper’from Chennai issued an editorial on expected lines and periodically issued warnings like this.

NDTV, yet another English channel from India, has the habit of issuing ‘warnings’ disguised as óp-ed’pieces pontificating on the need for maintaining regional unity, read – acquiesce to Chinese demands and don’t grow a back bone. 

But when it comes to media suppression, minority rights curtailment, surveillance and lack of privacy in China, the Indian media, that would otherwise be shouting over the rooftops for ‘freedom of expression’, would plug all its human-rights orifices and act dumb. 

To remind the dumb Indian media on what China is doing with its digital dictatorship schemes, I hereby present some videos on the said topic from the BBC, The Economist and the Australian News Networks, and hence can’t be a ‘hindutva’ production. Enjoy these videos and form your opinion of what China really is.  

BBC Report on China – a surveillance state
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNf4-d6fDoY

Dystopian Digital Dictatorship in China
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eViswN602_k

When a Chinese billionaire accused the CCCP of corruption, the govt put his family members in jail.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkOsgh5kcgQ

Wall Street Journal details the surveillance state in the muslim majority Uyghur minority provice.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ5LnY21Hgc

The Economist’s report on China being a surveillance state.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH2gMNrUuEY

Are authors any good in contemporary analysis?

Ravi Velloor is the author of ‘India Rising’ – a book on India from a Singapore perspective. It is a well researched book and showed the author’s efforts.

But the author is also an Associate Editor with The Straits Times.

It was Doklan crisis time. Ravi Velloor wrote an extremely below-standard article that said the following:

  1. China would attack India.
  2. Pakistan would join China in attacking India.
  3. Singapore Air Force, that has its training facilities in India’s Kalaigunda Air Base, should look at other options for its training. 

None of the above happened. The article was under-researched, alarmist and lacked details. 

How could the author, who writes a great book, write such an article that reeks of arm-chair analysis and advertises lack of clear thought processes?, I thought.

I got the answer. Arun Shourie, author of many exemplary books, and importantly of a book on China that brought out how and why Nehru prostrated to China and allowed the 1962 disgrace to happen, said during the same Doklam crisis, that India was preparing to get yet another slap on the face. And we know what happened in Doklam.

I got my lesson – Authors are good at hindsight, but, are not pragmatic and not worthy of contemporary analysis.

May be I am wrong. Point me to journalist-authors who are right in both roles at the same time.

Here is the article that I had referred to.

'God who failed' – book review

51aymrwgool-_sx336_bo1204203200_Disclaimer : I hold Panditji in high esteem and in no way would write anything to insult his memory, for I am a product of the Nehruvian socialist secular educational system and still carry many of the ideals that I had been taught.

Madhav Godbole’s  book is a significantly incisive work on Panditji’s policies and their impact on India. The author, a former bureaucrat, has, in due course of the book, compared the personalities of Panditji and Patel. We get to see that, had Patel been at the helm in 1947, the fate of India would have been different.

The author does not dwell on Panditji’s life and history, but plunges into his administration and government. That is a welcome change from the maze of books that talk about Nehru’s early life and romanticize his leftist leanings.

Having been introduced to Panditji when he was an IFS probationer, the author has not been carried away by the former’s magnetic personality. Thus he produces a detailed account of what he saw of Panditji’s policies and administration.

Of particular interest are the Kashmir imbroglio and the China conundrum. The author treats us to various sources on the confusions around Kashmir and China. How Panditji despised Maharaja Hari Singh, how Sheikh Abdullah deceived Nehru and India, how Patel had judged Abdullah early on and had sounded alerts and how Panditji took Kashmir to the UN on the advice of Mountbatten and many more policy failures are laid bare in this book.

We get a feeling of ‘If only Patel had handled Kashmir.. ‘. Once into the book, we are drawn into this moment of truth when the sad reality of the present (2016) stares at us with a devilish smile.

Mountbatten repeatedly deceives Nehru on Kashmir. He hunts with the dog and runs with the hare. While being the Governor General of India, he still serves the interests of Britain and works to fulfill Clement Atlee’s wishes. In this process, he completely deceives Nehru into believing that taking the Kashmir matter to the UN would be in India’s interest. We see that Panditji is completely blown off by the personality of Mountbatten that he agrees with him after some initial murmurs of protest.

And we are left with a boiling Kashmir even after 70 years.

On China, the story is a case of extreme neglect and despair. Sardar Patel writes two very important letters to Panditji that caution him on China and her intentions. Patel is direct and explicit on the threat from the communist neighbour. He goes on to compare the imperialist colonials with the communist tyrants of China and even says that the former are a tad better as the latter are driven by an ideology and hence are more harmful. Panditji choses to ignore those and after 12 years, China gives India one of its worst defeats. If only Nehru had paid heed to the Sardar, the history of the nation could have been vastly different.

In the book we see many things that baffle us completely –  Panditji lies to the Parliament on the Chinese occupation, prevaricates on equipping the army, lies again on the clothing supplied to Indian soldiers, denies knowledge of Chinese road works in the Aksai Chin area, meets alone with Chou En Lai who comes with a team of officers for discussions, and the like. What is clear is that Nehru was willing to believe in Chou En Lai than in the Indian officers on the China situation. When Chou En Lai repeatedly lies on the issue of maps, Nehru acts like a docile pet and accepts whatever the former says.

We get to see Panditji repeatedly saying that the maps that Chou En Lai had shown were old maps of the Kuomintang and that China would amend them once the country stabilized. We also get to see Panditji often misleading the nation on the China situation.

We also find that Nehru’s foreign secretary didn’t have the nerve to approach him with clarifications. One could ask as to why India’s Foreign Minister didn’t meet with Nehru to apprise him. The answer : India didn’t have a foreign minister and Panditji played foreign minister as well.

Even considering that Nehru was overwhelmed due to his age and workload, what baffles us is that he never felt the need for a Foreign Minister. Could Rajaji have filled up that position? With Rajaji’s stature and intelligence- he commanded equal respect and admiration as Panditji – the situation would have probably improved. But Nehru didn’t deem it fit to assign the Foreign Ministry to a full time minister. In an earlier book by Walter Crocker, this is attributed to Nehru’s ‘all knowing brahmanical’ attitude.

Despite the callousness shown by the Chinese media to him and the intemperate words used by the Chinese officials, Panditji fights for a permanent seat for China in the UN. Even Khurushev of the USSR hints that the USSR would recommend India to be the fifth member in the UN Security Council, but Panditji turns the offer down and instead says that including China into the UN was the need of the hour. While even the US was not in favour of another communist power being in the UN Security Council, Nehru feels otherwise.

Panditji shows undue haste in de-recognizing the Chiang-Kai-Shek led Kuomintang government in Taiwan and recognizing Mao’s communist China, despite the fact that Chiang-Kai-Shek was a friend of the Congress and Gandhiji. Nehru gives an impression that he was employed by the PRC (People’s Republic of China) as its PRO (Public Relations Officer). He speaks of recognizing China’s nationhood in every international arena possible. Though he did all these to secure a friend in the Asian context who was anti-colonial, the results were not to India’s benefit.

In spite of all these overtures, China attacked India and humiliated Panditji and the nation. We also see that Nehru sent a series of desperate telegrams to the US seeking immediate military help. This, and the humiliation in the war, dealt a death blow to the grandiose prestige, international and domestic standings of Panditji and he never recovered from that.

Fast forward to 2016 : China uses its Security Council veto power to act against Indian interests and the border dispute with China still persists.

Panditji’s stand on the Uniform Civil Code, Constitutional Amendments and looking the other way when corruption occurred – all these bring down the stature of the first Prime Minister of India. The LIC Mundhra scam, the V.K.Menon episode etc bring down Panditji’s reputation. But, by any stretch of imagination, I don’t mean to say that he was corrupt.

Being a firm believer in democracy, Panditji is seen as striving hard to uphold the democratic ideals in all his actions so much so that he lends himself to be termed ‘indecisive’. In spite of being in awe of the Soviet Union and Communism, Panditji doesn’t believe in implementing the ways of the communist state in India. However, the central planning mechanism that he had implemented has been modeled on the Soviet Union and has proved to be a huge impediment to the nation’s progress. Thankfully, the current PM Modi has done away with the commission.

Panditji is seen striving hard to uphold the system of parliamentary democracy. His many and often lengthy answers to queries in Parliament are evidences to the fact that he believed in treating parliament sacrosanct.

Page after page spews out references to books of yore, written by ex-bureaucrats who had served under the first PM of India, some leading politicians of those times, historians et al.

If you read this book you would learn :

  1. Why some of Panditji’s policies failed.
  2. Who else could have done a better job.
  3. What are the consequences of the failures.

If you don’t read this book:

  1. You would continue to believe in what the CBSE text books would have taught you about Panditji and continue to live in utopia.

P.S.: The book is available here.

Thanking Nehru

‘The essence of a free press is the principled, reasonable, moral essence of freedom. The character of a censored press is the unprincipled aberration of un-freedom, it is a civilized abomination, a perfumed monster. I think, censorship of the press is based on the principle that the end justifies the means. But an end that requires unjustifiable means is not a justifiable end’. This was Karl Marx in 1842. But the communists who claim to follow him are the greatest censors of press freedom ( China is not communist any more though ). But Marx had a great follower in Pandit Nehru. He was an advocate of Press freedom. He once said,’I would rather have a completely free Press with all the dangers involved in the wrong use of that freedom than a suppressed or regulated Press.”

However he had his issues with press freedom. In the First Amendment to the Constitution, he brought in changes to curtail press freedom after a court ruled in favour of ‘Observer’, the right wing magazine and said “pre-censorship of a journal is a restriction on the liberty of the Press which is an essential part of the right to freedom of speech and expression.”. Panditji then moved the First Amendment and he said,”During the last fifteen months of the working of the Constitution, certain difficulties have been brought to light by judicial decisions and pronouncements especially in regard to the chapter on fundamental rights. The citizen’s right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by article 19(1)(a) has been held by some courts to be so comprehensive… In other countries with written constitutions, freedom of speech and of the press is not regarded as debarring the State from punishing or preventing abuse of this freedom… The main objects of this Bill are, accordingly to amend article 19 for the purposes indicated above.”

Except for this, he was a strong advocate of Press Freedom. He had encouraged Shankar when he had caricatured Panditji in various cartoons.

Yes, he goofed up on Tibet, lived in utopia ( as the left leaning politicians usually do ) and believed in the halo that he would be recognized as a statesman by China and chose to look the other way when there were massive incursions that eventually led to the country being slapped in front of the world, the J&K issue with Article 370 being introduced surreptitiously etc. You could add to this list.

But you cannot ignore the public sector that he assiduously helped build. And those served the nation at least for 40 years and some like BHEL and NLC continue to do so.

In our collective resolve to defame Panditji, let us not forget the founding father on his various other attributes that have helped nurture our democracy in its infancy.

Let us stop for a moment and thank the patriot for his service to nation that we call homeland.

Lesson birds taught me

It was a hot Sunday afternoon and this flock of small birds drew my attention as they sharing the leftover water from a spill. The birds took turns to splash themselves. When one was wet, it let the next. Thus no bird was left behind.

There was no jostling or scampering. A bird’s flight in and another’s flight out seemed to have been coordinated by an invisible hand.The communication among them was perfect though I didn’t get a bit.

The birds seemed to tell me something.

You stupid humans, stop fighting for resources.
Learn to share and be happy.
O, America don’t invade for oil and keep the spoil.
O Muslim States, don’t kill and impose your will.
The Sea of China is for all; so don’t create a free for all.
O Humans,
You claim sixth sense
yet behave with no sense
You want the world as your treasure
Yet never do you come up the measure
For the world is for all for sure
And you don’t understand for sure
O humans, learn from us’

The birds have learnt. Will we, ever ?

BRICS Bank- Yet another lullaby

Goldman Sachs coined the acronym ‘BRICS’ for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. They ‘predicted’ some years ago that these countries would be the growth engine. They just re-stated what everybody else knew already.

Now there is a talk of ‘BRICS Bank’. No, not the brick and mortar bank. But a bank exclusively for the BRICS countries in the lines of IMF and World Bank. Fed up with IMF and World Bank, there was an Asian Development Bank as well that came into being. But there is, as usual, the Western intervention and is pretty much useless for Asia.

India and China are spearheading the BRICS bank to help finance the BRICSs’ development needs. Noble thoughts, no doubt. With IMF and World Bank being the hand maiden of western vested interests (‘Refer Confessions of an economic hit man’ – John Perkins ) a non-Western world bank is welcome. But what are the pitfalls ?

Let us say, China wants money to help finance a port expansion in Sri Lanka, would India approve that from the BRICS  bank ? Likewise, if India wants to builds a bridge in Arunachal Pradesh, would China approve of the loan ? What happens if ONGC ( the Oil and Natural Gas Company of India ) wants to explore oil in South China sea and China wants to explore the Indian ocean area for some resources ? Would they mutually approve the loans ?

China has often blocked loans to India from ADB for the latters’ projects in Aurnachal Pradesh. Now ADB has stopped loaning to India for Arunachal projects. That is the reality.

Let us look at the funding for this bank. BRICS needs $100 Bn. Divided by 5 and you get  $20 Bn from each  country. With a budget deficit that India has, how could it fund the bank ? 20 Bn is not huge for a trillion dollar economy. But when you need to repay your loans from Japan and other countries, how do you fund an external bank ?  Is that the right way to go ?

So, what can a BRICS bank achieve other than make a face at IMF and World Bank ?

Alibaba's banking thieves

Hurray, banks have competition. No, not the shady money lenders, but technology enables lenders that are not banks.

And Alibaba is the new dragon from dragon-land that challenges banks.

Alibaba is the Chinese equivalent of e-Bay. But it allows customers to have a virtual wallet, have digital cash and allows them to transfer funds to their friends. It also has a Money Market account and allows customers to invest. Customers can also perform inter-bank transactions. So the banks are worried.

Have you noticed that Amazon provides suggestions in Google search even as you start typing a books’ name ? That, strictly, is intrusion. But we don’t protest.

‘When you allow Amazon to be intrusive and allow it to “suggest” products based on customer behavior, you need to allow banks to “suggest” their products to customer when they use these e-payment services’, say the banks.

‘I will lose my profit. I have to maintain a higher capital adequacy ratio but not Alibaba’, protest the banks. but they take care not to sound as a protest. Can’t afford to scratch Beijing at the wrong end, right ?

Looks interesting when banks are left to fend for themselves. Remember the ‘Lehman millionaires’?

Alibaba of yore had 40 thieves. Now there are banks.

Alibaba’s banking thieves

Hurray, banks have competition. No, not the shady money lenders, but technology enables lenders that are not banks.

And Alibaba is the new dragon from dragon-land that challenges banks.

Alibaba is the Chinese equivalent of e-Bay. But it allows customers to have a virtual wallet, have digital cash and allows them to transfer funds to their friends. It also has a Money Market account and allows customers to invest. Customers can also perform inter-bank transactions. So the banks are worried.

Have you noticed that Amazon provides suggestions in Google search even as you start typing a books’ name ? That, strictly, is intrusion. But we don’t protest.

‘When you allow Amazon to be intrusive and allow it to “suggest” products based on customer behavior, you need to allow banks to “suggest” their products to customer when they use these e-payment services’, say the banks.

‘I will lose my profit. I have to maintain a higher capital adequacy ratio but not Alibaba’, protest the banks. but they take care not to sound as a protest. Can’t afford to scratch Beijing at the wrong end, right ?

Looks interesting when banks are left to fend for themselves. Remember the ‘Lehman millionaires’?

Alibaba of yore had 40 thieves. Now there are banks.

Comical banking ?

You are stupid if you thought banks just do banking. They take part in politics.

That is what HSBC did. It ‘downgraded’ HongKong’s securities to ‘underweight’. That meant that the stocks in HongKong were not attractive to buy now. Do you know the reason ? A pro-democracy movement that was underway in HongKong.

Shocked world reacted and immediately HSBC went back on its analysis. Then it put ‘democracy movement’ as the final item in its many other reasons. How did the ‘new’ reasons come about just in a day ? Who was behind these ‘new’ reasons ? More importantly who was behind the ‘old’ reason ?

The truth is plain and simple. Beijing does not take kindly to the democracy protests. It sees such protests as harbingers of freedom in mainland China. Hence exerted pressure on HSBC to ‘downgrade’ its own region.

Later when the twitterati went up in anger, HSBC ‘revised’ the reasons.

I know P.G.Wodehouse worked for HSBC for some years. The bank need not become a comedy just because of that.