Mohammad Bin Qasim , Charles Napier, Hoshu Sheedi and Sindh

“My ruling is given: Kill anyone belonging to the ahl-i-harb (combatants); arrest their sons and daughters for hostages and imprison them. Whoever does not fight against us…grant them aman (safety) and settle their tribute [amwal] as dhimmah (protected person)…”

-Al-Hajjaj in a letter sent to Muhammad bin Qasim

Kazi of Alor in Sindh wrote a book called Chach Nama, which is story of Chach, a King of Sindh. Chach was a high caste Brahmin who ruled over Sindh, he was succeeded by his son Dahir.  Dahir’s kingdom was attacked by 17 years old general called Mohammad Bin Qasim.

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When Mohammad bin Qasim started his campaign he had a small army, but by the time he reached Sindh, many joined him (not many in India were happy with Dahir esp. Buddhists) and soon he was leading a large army. So a 17 years old general was able to conquer whole of Sindh. Many centuries later, i.e on 14th of August 1947, citizens of Pakistan declared Mohammad Bin Qasim as first citizen of Pakistan. Mohammad Bin Qasim would have loved to know that it was he and not Jinnah who created Pakistan.

But Arabs were not interested in Indo Pak relationship dynamics, they were more interested in internal politics, so after conquest of Sindh, Mohammad bin Qasim was called back, arrested and killed.

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Also many centuries later, British decided to conquer Sindh. They decided to send army under 60 years old general called Charles James Napier. Task given to Napier was to put down rebellion by chieftains of Sindh. But Napier not only put down rebellion, he on his own decided to conquer Sindh. Thus conquest of Sindh was unauthorised and Napier should have been sacked, but British decided that now that they have already captured Sindh, they would keep it; it was made part of Bombay province.

“If this was a piece of rascality, it was a noble piece of rascality!”

-British on conquest of Sindh

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A 16 years old girl in Britain called Catherine Winkworth captured entire episode by using one word – Peccavi. Peccavi in Latin means “I have sinned” (here sinned= Sindh). While for Winkworth it was a pun, fit to be published in Punch magazine, but for another Sindhi Benazir Bhutto it was confession made by Napier.

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In one of the battles, Napier had to fight with a Sindhi General Hosh Muhammad Sheedi or Hoshu. Actually, Hoshu was not Sindhi in sense, he was Siddi, descendants of Africans who settled in India i.e. he came from Africa and not from Harappa or Mohenjo daro. Anyway, Hoshu considered Sindh as his mother land and fought bravely against British and died fighting. Napier was impressed with his bravery.

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“Marvesoon , Par Sindh na Desoo (“We will die but not give Sindh” )”

-Hosh Muhammad Sheedi

 

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Indo – Pak relations, Cooperation and William Faulkner

“When the players will never meet again, the strategy of defection is the only stable strategy.”

Robert Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation

Currently Indo- Pak relations are at its lowest due to surgical strikes, rethink on Indus Water Treaty and banning of Pakistani actors from working in India.

Indo- Pak relations keep swinging between collaboration and conflict (it is mostly conflict).

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Robert Axelrod has written book called The Evolution of Cooperation. Based on principles of Game Theory, he advices following steps for conflicting parties.

  1. Be nice, don’t be first to attack.
  2. Retaliate if other attacks
  3. Be forgiving, if other cooperates to back to cooperate mode.

Robert Axelrod

“Based upon the tournament results and the formal propositions, four simple suggestions are offered for individual choice: do not be envious of the other player’s success; do not be the first to defect; reciprocate both cooperation and defection; and do not be too clever.”

― Robert Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation

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India and Pakistan always follows this path ex.first Pakistan attacked our soldiers, so India retaliated with surgical strikes, now Pakistan wants to have talks with India, so Indians will forgive Pakistanis and soon we will have cultural exchange program. This will go on till Pakistan attacks us one more time.

There are two  books which reflect on impact of cooperation over conflict.

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Tony Ashworth has written a book called “Trench Warfare”, where he states that during first World War, the enemies ( Britain and Germany) got into cooperate mode and stopped killing each other, they exchanged gifts during Christmas and sang together. The superiors did not like this cooperation and they encouraged soldiers to stop cooperation and attack each other.

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William Faulkner, a Noble Prize winner has written a novel “The Fable”. The novel talks about Corporal Stefan, who stops soldiers from attacking Germans, in turn the Germans, too stop attacking them. The war comes to an end. Cooperation wins over conflict. But the General is not happy with this; he wants war to continue, so he orders Stephan to be executed. The novel won Pulitzer prize.

Karpman Triangle, Playing Victim and Coaching

“How would your life be different if…You stopped validating your victim mentality? Let today be the day…You shake off your self-defeating drama and embrace your innate ability to recover and achieve.”

― Steve Maraboli

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Dr. Stephan Karpman was student of famous psychiatrist Dr. Eric Berne. Karpman studied different roles that victim plays in transactions- Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer. Each role has its payoff. He presented relationship in form of an inverted triangle. The roles are not fixed, during interactions they keep changing ex. Victim can become Rescuer or Rescuer can become Persecutor.

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Victim feels that he is treated unfairly by others and he cannot do anything about it. The payoff of this role is you don’t have any responsibility to change the situation and you attract rescuers. He will keep complaining that he cannot do anything as he has no power and feels useless.

Persecutor feels that he is surrounded by useless people (like victim) who are bringing down his efficiency. The payoff of this game is you communicate to world that you are superior to others and your handicap is your useless team. Problem with this role is a person wants to do everything himself and don’t trust others, and soon he is overloaded with work as he becomes a micromanager.

“There is a fine line between compassion and a victim mentality. Compassion though is a healing force and comes from a place of kindness towards yourself. Playing the victim is a toxic waste of time that not only repels other people, but also robs the victim of ever knowing true happiness.”

― Bronnie Ware

Rescuer feels that it is his responsibility to resolve issues between Victim and Persecutor and jumps in to end fight. Payoff of this role is you feel you are morally superior and world badly needs your advice. But his entry is resented by others and no one wants his advice. Rescuer feels bad that no one values his help and soon shifts to role of Victim.

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As long as players stick to these roles, the conflict will never get resolved and the drama continues. To break this each should play a different role.

The victim should stop blaming himself and shift to role of creator- “I can do it”

Persecutor should stop labelling others as useless and encourage others to do better, he should play role of challenger -“You can do it”

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Rescuer should stop giving advice and shift to coaching i.e. encourage the person to find his own solution by asking powerful questions. The Coach resists temptation to give advice and encourages the coachee to come up with his own solutions- “How will you do it.”

Wicked Problem, Design Thinking and Aravind Eyecare

“Intelligence and capability are not enough. There must also be the joy of doing something beautiful. Being of service to God and humanity means going well beyond the sophistication of the best technology, to the humble demonstration of courtesy and compassion to each patient”

– Dr.G.Venkataswamy, founder Aravind Eyecare

Several managers admit that they are confronted with issues that cannot be resolved using usual techniques like gathering data, defining issues more clearly, or breaking them down into small problems.

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These problems are difficult to resolve because they are “wicked problems”, problems that cannot be solved using usual problem solving techniques. They need innovative thinking.

Wicked problem is a form of social or cultural problem that is difficult to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements.

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Wicked problems need what is called as design thinking to solve the problem.

Design thinking brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable.

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“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”

—Tim Brown, president and CEO, IDEO

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India has vast population which suffers from cataract. Solution by bureaucrats will be to build more hospitals, train more doctors etc. It will increase the burden on government as most people being poor cannot afford cost of surgery, but India being poor nation cannot allocate more funds for health sector. Providing health care for poor in India is a wicked problem.

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Aravind Eyecare used design thinking to solve the problem. Solution to problem came from McDonalds. The McDonald model of serving large population at low cost and high speed was used as model by Aravind Eyecare.

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There were two costs- Fixed costs ex. cost of surgery and variable costs ex. cost of lens. They reduced cost of surgery by accepting donations from charitable institutions, subsidies from government, surgeries on mass scale etc. This is achieved through high quality, large volume care and a well-organised system.

Secondly, they decided to manufacture the lens themselves, this reduced the cost of lens significantly.

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A bureaucrat could not have come up with such ideas, simply because he is tied up with rules and regulations and internal politics.

Polyvagal Theory, Fight, Freeze or Engage

The autonomic nervous system is a control system that regulates bodily functions, over which we have no control such as the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response etc. The basic objective of this system to keep us safe from dangers.

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The autonomic nervous system has two branches: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for fight and flight response when a person senses fear or danger, while parasympathetic nervous system consists of vagus nerve.

The vagus nerve has two branches – dorsal and ventral. The dorsal branch is older branch and in case of fear or danger immobilizes a person i.e. faint or act dead. Ventral branch is recent in evolutionary history as is found in mammals. The function of ventral branch is to put brake on fight and flight response and make person feel calm and safe and indulge in social communication.

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“There are actually two vagal systems, an old one and a new one- dorsal and ventral. That’s where the name polyvagal comes from.”

-Dr. Stephen Porges

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Dr. Stephan Porges came up with Polyvagal Theory to explain how we respond to fear. We follow a hierarchical pattern. We first start with the newest system (ventral vagus system), then move to older system (sympathetic nervous system) and finally to oldest system (dorsal vagus system)

“The hierarchy is composed of three neural circuits. One circuit may override another. We usually react with our newest system, and if that doesn’t work, we try an older one, then the oldest. “

-Dr. Stephen Porges

When we sense fear our first response is calm down and to engage socially (ventral vagus system) ex. cry for help, plead for forgiveness, try to clear misunderstanding etc.

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If this mechanism fails then we move to next level which is fight or flight ( sympathetic nervous system), if that mechanism too fails then we  get immobilized by fear ( dorsal vagus system).

“The limbic system “grabs” the sympathetic nervous to turn on defence systems including the fight or flight mobilization system and the freeze immobilize system. But the freeze response is totally different; where fight and flight are mobilization, freeze is immobilization, and immobilization is potentially lethal for mammals.”

-Dr. Stephen Porges

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Ideally we should keep our response to first level. We should calm down and try to resolve fear using social engagement. It keeps fight or flight response in control, but if social engagement does not work then it allows fight or flight response to take over ex. at times running away is must for survival.

Getting immobilised may be useful for other animals, but may not be useful for humans, there is very little you can achieve if you are scared to death.  Fight or flight is better response than getting freezed.

 

 

Socialism, Taxation and Hindustan Photo Films

Indian Prime Minister Nehru was impressed with progress made by Soviet Union under Stalin. He never tried to find out the reality i.e.  actual productivity, issue of human rights etc. He hired intellectuals who had certified themselves as leftist and declared India as socialist state.

As socialist he wanted to create a pro poor and anti-capitalist image for himself. For that he exempted agriculture from taxation. Idea was to encourage farmers to improve productivity.

Secondly he also wanted government to set up industries. So government was manufacturing everything from heavy engineering to bread.

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His daughter continued policies of her father when she succeeded him.

Leftist were now occupying all the important positions in government. Government job was ideal for leftist who are by nature status quoist and lethargic. Soon a university was created to employ such leftists called Jawaharlal Nehru University. JNU became intellectual centre which produces second rate/third rate studies/literature and keep advising government over cup of tea.

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So process is- sit in JNU canteen, have a cup of tea and with every sip give advice. Advice which is as useless and impractical as books and articles they write.

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Anyway, result is India remains poor and has very few tax payers and there is limit to which you can keep taxing them. The tax to GDP ratio is very low. To make up for shortfall the government keeps increasing indirect taxes. So we have a strange situation where a socialist government keeps taxing poor.

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Many public sector companies are making huge loss and manufacturing goods no one wants to buy, also, there is no hope of revival. But leftist and trade unions want these industries to continue and keep wasting tax payer money.

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Good example of this is company called Hindustan Photo Films. Situated in hill station of Ooty, they manufacture black and white films, under brand name INDU- product no one wants to buy.

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Every time government tries to close it, there is demand for revival, i.e. waste tax payer’s money on manufacturing product no one wants to buy. It was declared sick company in 2003, but continued operation, again in 2013 it was declared sick, but even today it is not fully closed. Workers and unions still feel that somehow they can make it profitable!

 

 

 

Streisand Effect, Dharmanand Kosambi, Leftist intellectuals and Wendy Doniger

“What exactly are you so happy about?’ Harry asked her.
‘Oh Harry, don’t you see?’ Hermione breathed. ‘If she could have done one thing to make absolutely sure that every single person in this school will read your interview, it was banning it!”
   J K Rowling, Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix

Barbara Streisand, an American singer and actress brought house in California. One photographer took photograph of her home and put in on a site to highlight issue of coastal erosion. Barbara sued the photographer to prevent him from putting photograph in public domain. But suppression lead to opposite effect, more and more people got curious about this lawsuit and more than 4, 00,000 people visited site to see the photograph. 

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Streisand Effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.

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Sometimes Streisand Effect can be used intentionally to get more publicity. Leftist intellectuals have mastered this game in India.

Modus Operandi is to first put some controversial content in a mediocre literature. Then ensure that only controversial content gets wide publicity and if possible do anything will result in large protests or banning of book or article.

Now all you need to do is just relax and wait for Streisand Effect to occur. People will buy your book just out of curiosity, go through few pages and throw away the book. But your purpose is served, book that otherwise would have sold few copies ( 2 digits) , will now sell in hundreds.

“The Hindu Right has denounced her writings as being lewd and vulgar and disrespectful. An egg was thrown at her during a lecture in London. Mercifully, it missed her, struck the wall behind her, and, thankfully, propelled her name beyond academic circles, enabling more people to read the delightful stories she unearths.”

Devdutt Pattanaik on Wendy Doniger

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Wendy Doniger, a so called expert on ancient Indian texts, wrote a book – The Hindus: An Alternative History. This book with mediocre content would have sold few copies in India, but luck was on her side. One Indian sued her and wanted book to be banned.

The person got labelled as rightist, since person who sued her was rightist, Wendy automatically became leftist. The leftist intellectuals then use their machinery to support her. As a result of controversy book became number one seller in non-fiction category.

Due to such cheap tactics used by current intellectuals, dedicated intellectuals are getting ignored.

“At an early age, he set off on a remarkable journey of austere self-education across the length and breadth of Britain’s Indian Empire, halting at places connected with Buddhism. He went to Sri Lanka to master Pali, lived in a Burmese cave as a bhikshu, and even reached Nepal and Sikkim after arduous, sometimes barefoot, treks. Over those itinerant years, Dharmanand acquired such mastery of the Buddhist canon that he taught and researched at Calcutta, Baroda, Harvard and Leningrad.”

Nivedan ( translated by Meera Kosambi)

One such scholar who got ignored was Dharamanand Kosambi.

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Dharmanand Kosambi left his home, his wife and daughter at a young age to study Buddhism. He went to Kashi to learn Sanskrit. Due to poverty he had to struggle even for basic needs like food and shelter. To learn more about Buddhism he learned Pali language and visited Nepal and Sri Lanka to study Buddhist literature. He also learned Burmese to read Buddhist literature in Burmese language. This dedication of Dharmanand Kosambi to learn Buddhism from various centers of Buddhism – Nepal, Sri Lanka and Burma, through various languages – Sanskrit, Pali and Burmese is worth emulating. Kosambi later developed interest in Marxism and he helped Mahatma Gandhi in Salt Satyagraha and was imprisoned for six years.

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Dharmanand’s son Damodar Kosambi was mathematician and Marxist historian. He used numismatics to analyze decline of Mauryas.

Unfortunately, the current lot of leftist intellectuals lack dedication and scholarship of Kosambis. They are more interested in secure government jobs, generating mediocre content and depend on Streisand Effect to somehow remain relevant.