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Re: Arundhati Roy on Juriprudence

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Hi Rajiv,

> Most of them were created for the benefit of the
> British administration. The price that we paid for it
> was too hefty. And, without colonialism, we could
> still have obtained all those things. Japan did it.
> Learning from the west is not a problem, learning from
> anybody for that matter is not a problem.

Yes it was created for the benefit of British administration. No doubt
about it. And the price we paid for it was too hefty. But the reason we
paid such an hefty price has lot to do with condition of our society
before British arrived. We were completly divided by religion, caste,
ethnicity etc. Morever, Muslim invaders had already screwed India
beyond recognition. People were ruled by various princes all over
India. There was no unity among them. And for all these years, we never
had any intellectual in India who thought about democracy, secularism
or capitalism. 

It was brilliance of Gandhi that he recognized that real problem in
India is not occupation by foriegn powers but its caste system,
ignorance of masses etc. So instead of hating Westerners for what they
did to us, he focussed on our internal problem. He organized people
using civil disobidience movement and not a revolution. Because he
realized that if we do that ordinary people will die in the revolution
and asshole dicatators will come to power. Common people will still be
divided by caste and religion. He was correct in this assessment as
shown by what happened after partition and continious caste conflicts
in the Bihar and UP or violent struggles during linguistic division of
states. I think we share some responsibility of what happened to India.
And had a leader like Gandhi born before we could have got independence
much much earlier.

Japan did it! Great! After what? After a bloody World War II? It was
only after their defeat in World War II that they were made to change
their system by US and other powers. China was not defeated in World
War II. Have they learned and adopted Western system?

> I am no fan of Russia but the fact is that it's them
> who fought the toughest against the German onslaught.
> Russia lost many millions of its citizens in World War
> II. I don't think they ever got enough credit for it.
> They just didn't do enough media hype and propaganda.

Come on! They fought against Hitler because Hitler attacked them.
Initially they had agreement between them not to attack each other. I
cannot forget the fact that it was appeasment of Hitler and belief that
after some time Hitler will stop the War that allowed Hitler to win
Poland, France and some other East Euroepean countries in a quick

This time there is no way person like Hitler can prepare such a huge
Military effort without the World noticing it. However, there are
weapons of mass destruction like Nuclear Weapons and Biological weapons
which are sufficient to destroy enough of civilization. Dictators have
learned from World War II but we haven't! We still continue the policy
of appeasment and continue to grant legitimacy to their claim that they
represent poor and opressed. Or worse we believe that firm language
like the George Bush used will give Dictators the moral courage and
excuse to attack us. It was the same "evil" speech by Ronald Reagan
that took away moral legitimacy of Russians and Communist. Geoge Bush
has done the same thing this time. We need to support him. We might
differ him in the ways we can achieve removal of this dicatators but
there is no question that these dictators are evil and need to be
destroyed by means possible. Because such a strong long language might
give excuse to these dictators but more than that it gives the people
who are fighting for freedom in those countries lot of encouragement
and promise of support. That's what we need. 

> It's a matter of conjecture. For most people on this
> planet, US doesn't make any difference. 

I know you believe that!

> Buzz words like 'capitalism', 'free market' are all
> very good. I personally prefer safety nets in the
> society. As long as 'capitalism' and 'free market' do
> not clash with it I am fine. My only worry is these
> things will only fill the pockets of rich and corrupt
> in India. Poor people will have nothing. And in India,
> majority is poor. I am not an expert on these issues,
> not even remotely. I'd love to hear from more
> knowledgable folks as to how 'capitalism' and 'free
> market' will work for everybody.

What expert opinion you need? Don't you realize that we cannot design a
system which can guarantee wealth to everybody? All we can do is to
design a system which allows us freedom to pursue what we want without
trampling on the similar freedom of others (which is democracy,
secularism and capitalism). What happens in a such system, whether poor
gets benefitted or rich cannot be determined in advance. Because of
danger of having a system which tries to gurantee a a particular
outcome (such a equal or just distribution of wealth) is that it is
incompatible with the freedom. The risk of certain asshole like say
Indira Gandhi using such an centralization of power to take away our
complete freedom is very real indeed. We cannot afford the possiblility
of another dictator or mass scale corruption. The system like
Democracy, Secularism and Capitalism regulate the use of force in the
society. It is up to the individual to use the freedom under such
system to advance himself or herself and also help others in any way
he/she can. We cannot use Govt. force to gurantee employment or social
security to everybody. Because if we do the lack the freedom that comes
with it will also destroy innovation and enterprenership. That will
reduced the final product of the society creating more scarcity and
more desperate dictators. 

Ashish K Hanwadikar

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