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Re: Arundhati Roy on Juriprudence

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--- Ashish Hanwadikar <ashish_hanwadikar@yahoo.com>
> Hi Rajiv,
> 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

That's being dishonest. Gandhi-ji did not believe in
violence. He found it reprehensible and it was
unthinkable for him to take a position of an armed
revolutionary. It had nothing to do with India or
condition of the Indians. He'd have done the same
thing anywhere. I am not sure that we really
appreciate his passion for non-violence. It was the
core of his being. 
He did think in his early life that British rule was
somehow beneficial for the Indians. He changed his
position later. He was not impressed by the so called
materialistic achievements of the west. He saw the
industrial strength and prosperity of the
west with suspicion. I am not sure you can site him to
boost your argument on western superiority and
Gandhi-ji's endorsement of it.

>I think we share some responsibility of what
> happened to India.

I agree completely.

> 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?

Feudal Japan opened its door to western knowledge,
after a prolonged period of self-isolation, in the mid
19th century. Young Japanese men went to Europe and US
to study western science and technology. They came to
my locality here in New Brunswick, NJ to attend
Rutgers univerity more than 125 years ago. Many of
this men went back to Japan with this new found
western knowledge. Japan, in the beginning of the 20th
century, inflicted a surprise and heavy defeat on the
vaunted Russian navy. The only reason that they
absorbed the American way so quickly and so
effectively after WWII was the prior work already done
before WWII. 

> Come on! They fought against Hitler because Hitler
> attacked them.

That's true for US too. They came to the battle ground
only after Japan attacked US at Pearl Harbour. What is
your point?

> 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
> succession. 

If we are talking about appeasement of Hitler then why
are we not talking about Great Britain and France?

>It was the same "evil" speech
> by Ronald Reagan
> that took away moral legitimacy of Russians and
> Communist. 

I am not sure what your point is. Surely you are not
naive to believe that the 'evil' speech had anything
to do with the fall of Soviet Union.

>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. 

Those are not the only countries where people are
fighting for freedom.  US receives support from Turkey
on the condition that there will no question of a
Kurdistan. I bet you haven't heard of the people of
Western Sahara - a people who have been most unjustly
treated by France and Spain in the past, Morocco at
present - who are still struggling to have their own
country. Let's not cry selectively.

I read your argument on 'free market' and 'capitalism'
with interest. Your point is with democracy, securlism
and freedom a man has a chance of making a life of his
own choice. What you don't mention is in a
capitalistic setup I have to compete with you and beat
you.  Many of us have the appropriate level of
education, knowhow, street smartness, and skill to use
in such a competition. What do you propose the huge
unskilled population do? What skills do they have to
compete in this global village of capitalism? I'd like
to hear some proposals, at least in a macro level. We
can't just pretend that more than 80% of Indians do
not exist.

- Rajiv

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