Time for a stiff drink

Satyagraha, Neoliberalism, CIA…we’re running out of ideas

It is perhaps a good time for newspaper editors to stop publishing any more polemical opinion pieces on the great currency transfusion (‘demonetisation’). When someone argues that people standing in lines to deposit and withdraw their own money after being compelled to do so by the government, are actually engaged in “the first economic satyagraha [using] their wisdom to articulate opposition to neoliberalism”, it is time to get off the computer and go get a really stiff drink.

It is abominable and grossly insensitive to suggest that people trying to cope with the currency shock are somehow engaged in a satyagraha. A satyagraha is above all a voluntary exercise. There is absolutely nothing voluntary about people standing outside banks and ATMs.

The subtitle of the article proclaims that “the demonetisation drive aims to cleanse the ills of neoliberalism”. That needs a sharp intake of breath and another stiff drink. Or two. The reason why there is a shadow economy is because of the absence of liberalism, neo- or paleo-. Corruption exists because of regulation, because economic freedom and liberty are stifled. If the demonetisation drive can claim to cleanse anything, it is the ills of statism, bureaucratism and the still-extant licence-permit raj. Demonetisation is a bad way to cleanse that, but that’s a different argument.

Last week The Quint had a report blaming a US aid agency and the CIA for demonetisation. Now that neoliberalism has been ritually savaged, the debate is truly over. Head to the bar, folks! They take cards.

The Roy of representation

People don’t need anyone to represent them…but she’s not just anyone

But you know that Suzanna Arundhati Roy, a writer of fiction, and a rebel of every cause, is anti-national, apologist, sympathiser and champion of armed struggle and all that.

But did you know that she suffers from multiple irony deficiency disorder too? She attends one big rally in Srinagar and declares that “People don’t need anyone to represent them; they are representing themselves.” And then she declares, presumably speaking for all Indian citizens “India needs azadi from Kashmir as much as Kashmir needs azadi from India.”

So since the good people of India don’t come out on the streets and represent themselves, choosing to deviously exercise their right to vote instead, they have to thank Mrs Roy for representing them.

Great powers need great papers

…and why Aadisht makes this blogger jealous

Today’s dose of excellent writing comes from New Indian Express (linkthanks Ravikiran Rao) where a disreputable broker praises India’s ‘National Newspaper’ for standing up for China.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Hindu was not always a great Chinese institution, but then neither were the Olympics. Things change. China is once again a great power. It controls oil and natural gas in Sudan, mines in Tanzania, ports around the Indian Ocean, and governments in Zimbabwe and Myanmar. It controls the weather near Beijing by shooting silver iodide shells at the clouds from anti-aircraft artillery pieces. It controls the American economy indirectly.

But even this vast portfolio is incomplete without controlling an Indian newspaper. And for a nation of China’s stature, controlling any old newspaper will not do. China deserves, nay, is entitled to control India’s National Newspaper[NIE]

The disreputable Mr Aadisht should make his unedited draft public. The world must comprehend the newspaper’s greatness in its entirety.

Update: Aadisht has published the whole thing on his blog.