Poor farmers

Source : Google photo of a poor farmer in India

Synopsis : The poor and landless farmers are the hardest hit in India who are exploited by the rich land owners in many parts. Now the government of India has come up with measures to help them so that they too can get some relief from their hardship.

Yesterday a new bill was proposed in the lower house of the Parliament by the Indian government that for the first time introduced measures to stop the exploitation of the poor farmers of India by the rich farmers, give them the freedom to sell their produce anywhere they get a better price, a guaranteed price of their produce by the government, crop insurance policy, better opportunities to work in the rural sector, cheaper fuel and electricity for their farm, better road connectivity to the market and numerous other benefits designed to lift them out of poverty.

Most farmers cultivating land in India fall into the category of poor because they own less than 2 hectares of land or nothing and comprise of 86% of the total farming population. Among them the worst affected farmers are the landless farmers who are forced to work as share croppers for the rich land lords that barely keeps them alive so they move to cities to get work during off season to feed their family. They go back to their villages during the land preparation, seeding and harvest but they remain poor.

The rich landlords who own most of the land ask the sharecroppers to till their land and get the lion’s share of the produce. This has always been so. On top of that the poor farmers must sell their farm produce in the whole sale market where the middlemen give them a low price and sell the grains at a much higher price to make huge profit.

This system of whole sale grain market is prevalent in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that have the most rich agricultural land but where the rich farmers profit the most at the expense of the poor. These rich farmers belong to the land owning caste in India who also contribute to the political parties for their election so that once elected, they will serve the interest of the rich farmers and maintain the status quo.

So it was no wonder that the opposition politicians made a huge ruckus in the lower house when the bill was introduced and one of them tore up the rule book and tried to wrench the microphone of the speaker of the  house because they were elected to protect the rich farmers who contribute to their election coffer. They were not in favor of helping the poor farmers anywhere. If the farmers sell their grains or other products in the open market to get the maximum price, it will put the middlemen out of business so they are agitating the farmers and telling them lies that they will lose their land under the new law.

But the Government had the numbers so the bill was passed in the upper house in the parliament and later in the lower house as well and will soon become the law when the President of India signs it.

So I started to think of the huge injustice the poor and the landless farmers suffered for so long in the hands of the rich and saw the parallel in the US and in many European countries where the poor farmers suffer the most. You will see them dumping their produce, milk and fruits on the road because of very low price they get because they cannot store their farm produce in safe and protected warehouses until they can get a better price.

In India the poor farmers face the similar situation and often dump their harvest on the road because they do not have storage facilities for their potatoes and other crops so they have to sell it at very low price to the middle men who then make the most profit.

Now this bill gives them protection and the freedom to sell their produce directly to the highest bidders. Everyone has cell phone now so they can contact the buyers on the Internet and find out the best price which often turns out to be 4 times higher than what the middlemen used to pay. It is needless to say that the poor farmers are very happy with this new law and will hugely benefit from it. When they earn more money than before, they will have less incentive to go to cities to make a living during the hard times.

They will also be free from the loan sharks for the first time who exploit them with loans at high interest rate .Often these loan sharks are the rich farmers. It is the same here in the Philippines where the rich mill owners loan the money to the rice farmers at high interest rate that they deduct from the sale of rice by the farmer so the mill owners get richer and the farmers doing all the hard work get poorer. They can’t seem to get out of their debt trap. Many sell their land and move to cities but when their money runs out, they are back to square one with no land to cultivate.

There have been thousands of suicides in India where the poor farmers cannot meet ends and fall into the debt trap so now this bill will prevent such desperate moves by the farmers who will from now on be protected by guaranteed farm prices, free choice of selling their produce to the highest bidders and with crop insurance if something goes wrong during the season so I call it a landmark bill that for the first time has been passed to help the very poor.

The capitalist system is basically anti poor where the rich farmers or the big agricultural corporations reap all the benefits of farm subsidy and monopoly at the expense of the poor. This has led to the drastic decrease in the total number of small private farmers who used to own land and were able to feed their family but that has changed. Now only 3 % of the total population of the United States is engaged in farming as compared to a much higher percentage a few decades ago. Now big corporations own most of the land and raise crops in grand scale with modern machines and demand the price they get for the produce.

The big companies that sell chicken nationally and internationally sub contract their operations to the small individual chicken growers like in Arkansas and provide them with the chicks and feed to raise them and buy them at a low price when they grow big. After deducting all the cost of inputs, the chicken farmers are left with very little so they remain poor. If they protest and demand a higher price for their hard work, they are threatened by the big companies who may not buy their chicken saying they are of poor quality or are too small. They still have to pay back the cost of the inputs so the farmers see no choice but to agree to the terms.

I wrote about a private dairy farmer in Oregon who had a few cows and was selling pure fresh milk but the big milk producing companies could not tolerate this competition so they pressured the government inspectors who were in their pay roll to shut down this poor farmer. They found many faults in his operation and shut him down so the poor farmer sold all his cows to get money to fight it out in the court where he lost. Who can ever fight the government that protects the rich and ignores the poor?

Now the Farm protection bill introduced in India will protect all poor farmers in the country and give them better opportunities but it shakes up the entrenched system where only the rich farmers benefit so naturally they will be upset. The political parties that take their contributions will also be in trouble so they protest in the Parliament. No one really cares about the poor except the present government that is pro poor. The previous governments did nothing to help the poor farmers so maintained the status quo.

The curse of middlemen who come between the producer and the consumer is a worldwide phenomenon. Here in the Philippines the middlemen go out to sea to buy the fish from the fishermen in their boats, pay them a low price and sell the same fish at three or four times the price in the market often changing hands 2 or 3 times. The fishermen are not allowed to sell their catch directly in the market so after all their hard work, they still remain poor.

Once I wanted to buy a goat from a farmer in a market but the middlemen stopped me because they said that the farmer can only sell his goat through them so that they can make profit. I declined and returned without the goat.

Once a CNN reporter asked the poor cocoa famers in the Ivory Coast how much they got for the cocoa. They said that they got pittance and it even did not pay for all the hard work they did to produce cocoa. Then the reporter gave them a piece of chocolate and said that it was made from cocoa powder by big companies that paid a poor price for the cocoa and sold its chocolates at a high price. He gave them some to eat who had never tasted chocolate so they were surprised. The farmers now understood to what extent they were exploited so that they remained poor while the foreign companies got richer by selling the chocolates.

I feel happy when I see the farmers bringing their produce in the markets and sell them directly to the consumers. This way they get a better price and avoid the middlemen but the middlemen often threaten them with physical violence. May be if the farmers could organize themselves to demand a better price from the buyers, it would improve their lot.

I see it as the main problem with the capitalistic system. When a very great scientist called Nicola Tesla said that he could provide unlimited cheap electricity to everyone in the United States using his scientific methods, the capitalists were greatly alarmed because they had invested heavily in power generation plants and the distribution system so they did not want cheap electricity. They would lose their money and become bankrupt so they sidelined Nicola Tesla, stopped all the funding for his research so Tesla died in a poor hotel room, destitute and hungry.

The capitalists do not care about helping the poor and care only about how much money they can make from the poor. It is the same in India where the rich farmers exploit the poor and keep all the benefits to themselves.

Robin Hood fought for the poor because he saw how they were being kept poor. In India also there was a Robin Hood called Man Singh who fought for the poor, who protected the abused poor farmers but ultimately the police gunned him down with no less than 64 bullets one day. The policemen were protecting the rich farmers who called Man Singh a bandit who was hurting their interest.

My heroes are Che Guevara and Fidel Castro who brought independence to Cuba and freed the poor farmers from bondage to rich farmers who were exploiting them. Together they set up the best land reform program in the world where all the land less farmers were given their own land and were helped with modern technology to get the maximum production from their land. The rich land lords fled to Miami with whatever loot they could gather but Cuba has made progress where everyone is given free education and free health care of the best quality.  But the rich capitalist countries put sanctions on Cuba because it had hurt their capitalistic system and their rich businessmen. Even today the sanctions continue.

In India we now have a government that is helping the poor farmers and has come up with a bill to help them legally once it becomes the law of the land. There are those who oppose due to their own vested interests but eventually the poor will get the benefits from the law so that is what matters. A country cannot make progress until its elected government takes care of all the people, where everyone has a fair shake and where everyone can participate in the nation building process in his own way.

What the Indian government needs is to set up nationwide storage facilities in rural areas where the farmers can store their produce at a very reasonable cost until they can get a good price. It reminds me of the huge grain silos in the Lancaster county in Pennsylvania where the Amish farmers store their corn and other food grains. They built these silos themselves. I wrote a blog called A criminal waste that you should read.

In India the shortage of decent storage facilities in rural areas results in massive loss due to rain, rats and insects that amount to several millions of tons of food grain every year. The farmers need help in setting up such facilities in their villages where they can store and protect their harvest so the government must step in.

They have to make it easier for the poor farmers to get farm loans from the agricultural banks so that they can buy the inputs like fertilizer and seeds instead of getting into the hands of loan shark.

Some state governments have promised the farmers that their farm debts will be forgiven or minimized but it remains to be seen how it will help the poor. Their suicide rate is shameful in a country that claims to be a fast developing country.

Still I believe that the Farm bill introduced yesterday is a right step in the right direction that will help all the poor farmers of India tremendously in the future and will improve their financial well being. No country that wants to be a developed country can leave behind its poor and build malls and highways only for the rich.

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

les blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

My blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts    

Blogger.com

Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русскиu

Subscribe

 

A shameful secret

A victim of shameful secrets

Source Google photo of shameful secret

Synopsis : The movie world of glamour and glitter is not what it really is. It is an industry that is controlled by a few rich people who may have underworld connections. It is awash with drugs, sex and criminal activities that take place in remote private farm houses or resorts where they hold parties for a selected few and where anything goes. It is an industry where nepotism is the practice and where women end up paying a high price for even a minor role in movies. The blog looks at the sad story of two young actor and actress who were murdered in cold blood so read the whole story below.

There was a bright young man from an ordinary family who looked like Apollo . He had a dream that one day he will go to Bollywood and try his luck in the movie industry there. At first he was ignored by the industry but his looks, his height and his star like personality won some of them to take a second look at this young man and one director asked him for a screen audition. They were very impressed by what they found and saw in him great possibilities.

He was a rough diamond that just needed to be polished to shine in all his brilliance so now some people in Bollywood came forward to groom him , polish him and teach him the ropes of the industry so that he can someday become a great star. Women were terribly attracted to his good looks and his simple countryside charm and innocence because he had come from humble background and was not corrupted by the money and glamour of Bollywood.

His first movie role was a success and people loved him, his acting prowess and charm. Now the big time producers and directors woke up and started making a bee line to his house because they could sense that this young man will go far and make a great deal of money for them. The movie industry is a cut throat industry where big money lenders called producers are only interested in making mega bucks for their investment. They are not interested in any star that makes flop movies no matter how attractive he or she may be.

Mumbai is a city that attracts young men and women from all over the country who want to try their luck there. There are young aspirants who have talent in writing music, acting and other related abilities so they all go to Mumbai and try but they find out that the movie industry is a tough nut to crack where the outsiders are looked at with suspicion and disdain no matter how talented the person may be. You need a mentor to succeed in Mumbai who will introduce you to the important people who run the industry. It is the same in Hollywood or any other Wood in the world.

I have written about Naushad who came from a poor family but wanted to become a music director so he went to Mumbai and struggled for a long time and often went hungry sleeping on the sidewalk before he got a break. He would go on to become a great music director in the film industry .

Naushad was lucky but I suppose it was more due to his tenacity because he struggled on until a door opened for him. It would have been easier for him if he had a mentor to guide him through the swamp that is Bollywood so it was to his great credit that he became a great music director so people forgot how much he had to struggle to get there but he never forgot.

The new star in the making got his big break because someone noticed him and believed that he could become a great actor given a bit of help. Now his movie success was mainly due to his fans across the country who loved him and waited for his next movie. He then found his first love in a beautiful actress who had worked with him in a hit movie so their romance blossomed and they got married, moved into a big house and started living a blissful married life and bought all the comforts his money could buy.

But his blissful life did not sit well with some women who were also making plans on him so one of them started flirting with him causing a rift between him and his wife that ended his first marriage. The Bollywood temptation made him a victim although he was not the only one. Bollywood is full of women who constantly seek money and sex so it does not matter who their victims are. Women openly admit that they had to have sex with the producer or someone before they got a movie role no matter how short so it reminds me of the fellow in Hollywood who ended up in jail for exploiting young actresses sexually. Later these abused women started the Me too movement to expose the wrongdoers.

Bollywood also has casting couches that rival the ones in Hollywood in notoriety but no casting director ever goes to jail. Women are timid or too scared to come out to expose them.

Now a young woman who was flirting with the actor moved in with him and replaced all his staff like cooks, servants and guards with her own people to gain total control of his household. She gave him drugs secretly by mixing it with drinks so the star always felt tired and slept while this woman wrote checks with forged signature of him and drained his account of millions of Rupees. She spent his money lavishly on cars, foreign trips and luxury apartments she bought for herself , her parents and brother but mostly on drugs that she bought and peddled in the movie industry.

She cut off his family from him by deleting their calls and made his sister wait for hours and then told her that he is still asleep. He was now completely controlled by this woman although he realized what she was doing to him and protested but she kept poisoning his food with drugs so his health deteriorated, his work in movies stopped and he felt very weak and sick most of the time.

Now the woman brought in a fake priest who knew some black magic to give this star some of his voodoo potion to cure him of his “madness” so the crook took some money and disappeared because he knew that the star was not insane. All these people will be caught later on but I am coming to that part a bit later.

Now a beautiful actress who became his friend and manager through mutual contact came but was resented by the resident evil so she made plans for her. The star had a weekend farm house away from the city where he and his selected friends went to relax and swim in the lake nearby. The star was a health buff who liked to swim, jog and do a lot of exercise to stay fit and healthy. He never took drugs or alcohol .

One day he received a frantic call from her when she said that some people are threatening her life for some reason so he was very alarmed and stunned when few days later her nude body was found on the pavement with severe marks of abuse on her body. The police said that she had jumped from her 14th floor balcony so it was a suicide but could not explain why there were bruises all over her body and why she was nude when she jumped. There was no autopsy and the whole case was closed because the police said that it was suicide but the public was not convinced.

Now the star saw that his own life was in danger because he had figured out what really happened to his friend through his sources. They told him that there was a party at the apartment where drugs and sex was the theme and attended by a number of prominent people. They gang raped the actress and then threw her nude body over the balcony. He even knew their identity so he was worried about himself now. He asked for police protection but they ignored him.

He sent his live in partner home because he felt that she was poisoning him and draining his account of all his money but she secretly came back, gave him drugs secretly and let in four or five assailants who injected more drugs in his neck and in his feet so he became unconscious. Then they strangled him and hung his body from the ceiling fan to show that he had taken his own life. They forgot about his loyal dog that they had chained but the dog saw everything and growled seeing his master being attacked. Later this dog would identify all the culprits when their photos were shown to him. He would growl viciously and tear up the photos.

Then the criminals took out all the hard disks, CCTV footage and other things that could implicate them and had the room painted to remove all traces of the crime. They also deleted the messages from their cell phones.

The evil woman was a participant in the crime because she was the one who called the others because the drug mafia had ordered her to kill the star who knew too much and could implicate them.

The police again declared it a suicide and wanted to close the case but this time the Netizens nationwide who were his fans bristled in rage over this whitewash and appealed to the Prime Minister to let the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI ) to investigate and catch all the criminals. They cried for justice for their beloved star because they did not believe that he was depressed and committed suicide.

So under tremendous pressure the CBI team was ordered to investigate so they arrived with very senior officers, their forensic team and their mandate to solve the crime if it was indeed a crime.

The Delhi government also sent the Narcotic Control Bureau or NCB people who arrived to investigate the drug angle and started their thorough investigation. They checked the autopsy report but were not satisfied by the answers the doctors gave so a special team of doctors arrived from Delhi to investigate to decide if it was a suicide or outright murder. Their findings were made public when they all certified that the actor was killed. Now the forensic team got busy and started to collect evidences.

The nabbed all the cell phones of the suspects to down load the data , they checked the bank records of the evil woman and interrogated numerous people . The CBI team questioned them for hours and days until someone cracked under the pressure and started spilling the beans. They found finger prints, foot prints and blood stains. They found the cloth that the victim had supposedly hung himself with and they interrogated the evil woman for days until she broke and admitted her part in the crime.

She admitted that she was a user and buying drugs using the actor’s money and also supplying the Bollywood movie people so she named her suppliers who were promptly arrested. She named 47 Bollywood people whom she supplied with drugs . She was then arrested and sent to a jail for women where the female inmates beat her up badly because they were the fans of the dead actor. Her interrogation in jail continues because she has not yet accounted for all the millions of Rupees she stole but she did admit that her whole family takes drugs so her father is now in jail. With drug dealing charges, being complicit in the murder, stealing of money to buy properties and cars etc. and money laundering charges , she will stay in jail for a very long time or may face the noose.

Her brother was also a partner in crime because he was a drug user and peddler so he was arrested. The amount of information the suspects spilled under interrogation is astounding. They said that politicians, movie people, police and drug dealer mafia among others were all complicit in the murder of the actor and also the poor girl who was killed earlier. Now the CBI team found out that the two murders were connected so they arrested a number of people.

Now there is panic in the movie world because many big names have been spilled  and some have been arrested already while others are fleeing the country daily to escape the jail that awaits them. The Bollywood movie world is awash in drugs so they go to parties where drugs are taken and free sex with aspiring females is common. They also swap their partners after taking drugs and the females may have sex with many. This is how the first actress became a victim who was gang raped.

The Bollywood movie world is not all glitter and glamour. It is a vicious world of very rich actors and actresses, producers, directors and such who control the industry. It is a huge industry that produces over 1000 movies a year that are shown in many countries and all of India generating huge profit for them. It is also an industry awash in black money provided by the mafia that also supplies the drugs and decides who will become a star and who will not. The movie producers pay taxes on their profit so their black money funded movies become legitimate that turns black money into white money.  This black money does not pass through any banks but through an underground system so no one may know the provenance.

The Bollywood people are well known for their nepotism and promotion of their family members without an iota of shame so they do not like to welcome new comers who come from the provinces to make a name for themselves. This is exactly what happened to the star in this story who was murdered because he knew too much and also becoming a big star therefore became a risk that had to be eliminated. No new comer must outshine the Bollywood stars who have sky high ego but are basically very low class people who have underworld connections. If only their fans knew their true identity, they would stop watching their movies.

They gather in remote farm houses for such parties but forget to remove the CCTV footage so more evidences are being gathered. You will be surprised how much the guards or the servants know so they too have been interrogated to gather more names and evidences.

The Mumbai police is also under investigation to find out why they lied about the murder and why they did not file a case of murder, collect evidences and nab the suspects as it was their job so more heads will roll and some will end up in jail. How many politicians are involved in crime will emerge in due time so they too will pay a price and may end up in jail.

The Bollywood people pay the police to protect their interest in case some actors or actresses are involved in some shady activities. The combination of drug, booze and free sex is a lethal combination that produces dead bodies from time to time so the complicit policemen jump in to declare them suicides and close the case but not this time. This evil nexus of the movie people, policemen, the politicians and the drug dealers of the mafia has made Bollywood an evil industry not unlike Hollywood. Remember Black Dahlia and Natalie Wood who died so mysteriously there? The Bollywood and the Hollywood people all try to hide their shameful secrets but not for long.

Now such crimes will be investigated and the culprits will be punished so that the dead actor or his living relatives will receive justice.  


Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

les blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

My blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts    

Blogger.com

Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русскиu

Subscribe

 


 

Cries of Tibet

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is site_0707_0001-1200-630-20110920202629.jpg
Source : Google photo of Potala palace in Lhasa

Synopsis : A land is in agony and its people cry out in pain because they are occupied and subjugated by the Chinese. It is Tibet that is hidden away in the mountains north of Himalayas .It is isolated and its anguish is hidden from the world. But now there is a glimmer of hope that someday perhaps their freedom will come and once again they will be able to live in peace and practice their faith freely.

There is a land where the air is so pure and cold , it hurts your lungs. It used to be isolated from the rest of the world where people lived in peace and in harmony with the nature. They were Buddhist and took their faith seriously. They loved their chief lama called Dalai Lama who was their spiritual leader and their moral compass.

They were poor but happy. They lived simply but were generous to strangers in their sincere hospitality. Most of them were yak and sheep herders that provided them with milk and wool and sometimes meat. Their women wove beautiful rugs from wool and dyed them with natural colors. Their ruby cheek children were healthy and innocent.

Tibet Religious Month: Best Time to See Religious Rituals in Tibet
Source : Google photo of Tibetans in religious ceremony

But one day dark clouds gathered over their horizon so they looked anxiously and wondered what was going to happen to them and their peaceful way of living. They did not have to wait for long. Soon came stern looking Chinese soldiers with sharp steel bayonets attached to their guns who showed no mercy to the bewildered people of Tibet.

They herded them into camps , interrogated them for any sign of rebellion and harshly treated them into submission because they claimed that their peaceful country was now a part of China. Those who rebelled were killed. Many were jailed for redoctrination and their spiritual leader Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans fled to take shelter in India where they still languish for decades but still dreaming of one day returning to their homeland and to their beloved as free citizens.

Many went abroad to seek political asylum and have remained there with a glimmer of hope in their heart to someday return to Tibet. The whole world watched this take over of Tibet by the Chinese but did nothing. It seemed that Tibet was not their priority. It had no natural resources to get excited about and its people were primitive and backward so no country came to the aid of Tibet except India that sheltered a large number of Tibetans and Dalai Lama.

His Holiness Dalai Lama Begins 3 Days Teaching in Dharamsala - Tibetan  Journal
Source : Google photo of Dalai Lama in Dharmashala, India
Dalai Lama Temple at Mcleod Ganj Dharamshala Himachal Pradesh..!! |  Himachal pradesh, Dharamshala, Dalai lama
Source : Google photo of a Buddhist temple in McLeodgunj in India for the Tibetans
Tibetan Handicrafts, Handmade Art and Crafts in Tibet
Source : Google photo of Tibetan handicraft

Source : Google photo of a young monk in Tibet

Being cold loving mountain people , they preferred to stay in Dharmashala in India that is mountainous and cold where they have monasteries and where Dalai lama lives. They are tough and hardy but they cannot stand the heat of the plains so they like the cold mountain air of Dharmashala and they have never given up their hope to return home.

The Chinese in the mean time have taken over Tibet and have begun the process of diluting the Tibetan culture, their language and their faith by importing a very large number of Chinese to teach them the Chinese language and the Chinese way of doing things.

They have built a rail link from Beijing to Lhasa so that they can bring in Chinese goods to flood the markets of Tibet and a few tourists but mainly to transport military men and hardware to set up military bases from where they keep a watch on their enemy India. They have built landing strips, built storage depots and installed telecommunication facilities that helps the military more than the civilians.

They have built malls but the poor Tibetans can’t afford to buy anything there. The poverty and joblessness endures so the Chinese occupation of their country has not improved their lives. Slowly the Tibetans are losing their culture, their way of living and their identity because the pressure on them to become Chinese is relentless. They hear of the atheist Chinese who show no respect to their faith and even have started to destroy centuries old statues of Buddha in China while persecuting those who practice their faith in some way.

The portent of the dark cloud that descended on Tibet is indeed catastrophic so they silently sludge along with bitterness in their heart because they are powerless.

Now the Chinese have decided to claim a part of india in the north where they have sent thousands of troops and armory to fight with the Indian troops stationed there to guard the border but India does not back off. Instead it has built roads, tunnels and airfields where they can land their fighter jets , heavy transport planes and built up facilities to supply their troops with all they need to fight the Chinese. They have determined to regain all the territories occupied by China by aggressively chasing them out and destroying their base.

The Chinese did not expect it so they were very surprised and were pushed back by the mountain trained and well supplied Indian army, air force and others. The Chinese are taking heavy casualties daily while retreating while the Indians are steadily advancing. Many countries now support India to expel the Chinese and have put pressure on them by trade sanctions or outright ban on the Chinese goods to hurt them financially. They are together to fight the Chinese expansion in the South China Sea and have come out in support of the independence for Tibet and Taiwan. This is a terrible shock to China that has been blamed for the outbreak of a virus that has spread to many countries taking thousands of lives.

Now the Tibetans feel a glimmer of hope. They hate the Chinese deeply and have formed a mountain regiment in the Indian army to fight the Chinese and liberate their country. The Indian army has trained them, gave them modern weapons to fight and expel the Chinese so that too is a shock to the Chinese who thought that the Tibetans are docile.

The war is going on and the soldiers are dying on both sides but mostly on the Chinese side so they are retreating leaving behind their dead in the snow while the juggernaut of the Indian army is advancing toward Tibet. India is now a strong nation with a modern army that is well equipped to fight in the air, land and the sea so it is in the national interest of India to free Tibet.

A free and friendly Tibet will then become a buffer between China and India so India will not need to concentrate its military assets at the border. It will reduce the huge expense of keeping the army and the air force in Aksai Chin and Ladakh if there is peace and Tibet is free once again. India Tibet trade can flourish and tourism in both direction can increase.

The cries of Tibet are now heard worldwide so many nations are acting to curb the Chinese and their expansionism. Someday hopefully Tibet will be free and their revered spiritual leader Dalai Lama will be able to return to Potala palace in Lhasa. I also hope that Taiwan will also gain its independence that most countries now support. The South China Sea will once again become a zone of peace after expelling China from there so that the freedom of navigation to all countries are restored once again.

But it will come at a price. Many lives will be lost before the Chinese learn their lesson. The soul of Tibet is in torment and cries out in pain. What is a country whose soul is trapped in the morass of violence and subjugation? What are the Tibetans without their faith and their way of living ?

Perhaps the dark clouds on their pristine land will go away and a new bright shining day will emerge that will bring them hope and joy.

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

les blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

My blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts    

Blogger.com

Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русскиu

Subscribe

A nascent democracy

Sudan Activists Call for 'Justice' for Killed Protesters | Voice of America  - English

Source : Google photo of people protesting in Sudan

Synopsis: People everywhere want freedom. They want freedom to practice their faith, to choose their government through free and fair election and free to live the way they want. Most of all they want a stake in the development of their country into a free and a fair society where all people are given a chance to prosperity. But many are denied this basic freedom that is a birthright so they protest. This is now happening in Sudan where a fresh wind of change is blowing to clear out the debris of the past misrule and dictators to usher in a new era of hope and aspirations.

Recently a news item came from Sudan that is quite astonishing. It said that the Sudanese government has delinked the state from the fundamentalist hard core Islamists that had ruled Sudan for decades using its harsh Sharia laws to oppress its people. Sudan was called the Islamic republic where the mullahs decided what laws should be implemented and what punishment should be meted out to offenders of sharia code of conduct.

I know it from my own experience when I was stationed in Sudan as the project leader of a UN funded project and had to travel to various parts of Sudan where my staff were working. 

There was a war going on in the Darfur region in the west that is still going on and a big war in the south that finally seceded from Sudan to fight it out among themselves leaving nothing but a wasteland of death and destruction there. I had to get permission to go anywhere by road and had to pass through many check points where the military guards often treated my driver harshly while asking for the permission papers. They did not care for the UN although I did have diplomatic immunity but my Sudanese driver to them was a fair game. It was perhaps because of the war in Darfur and in the south.

Near Khartoum we could see an immense camp where thousands of war refugees were sheltered in make shift camps and under appalling conditions but I assumed that there were other camps like this elsewhere in Sudan that is a vast country. The fight in the south that finally seceded from Sudan was due to the oil resources there but it also was due to the fact that they were mostly Christians who did not like to be ruled under the Sharia laws so they fought long and hard to gain their independence. Now they are fighting with each other there is another story that I will skip for the time being.

All over Sudan one could feel an under current of dissatisfaction with the dictatorial Islamic government that treated people harshly and tortured people arrested over petty crimes or misdemeanor. No one was safe from them including the journalists and reporters who dared to write or speak about the terrible conditions, war or the widespread corruption in the country so they were jailed and beaten.

The self appointed president of the country was wanted by the International Criminal Court in Hague for crimes committed against the Sudanese people in violation of their human rights but the African Union protected this man so he could not be arrested anywhere except in Europe that he carefully avoided. People were angry and frustrated so they showed their anger by throwing some bombs in El Obeid where I used to stay. But it did not have the effect they desired so the bad governance continued.

But a wind of change started to blow recently meaning last year and it was spearheaded by a brave woman who spoke freely against the dictator and asked people to join her in the protest peacefully. Thousands joined her and protested throughout many parts of Sudan so the government acted harshly but it continued.

A 22 year old fearless woman started the movement to make Sudan a democracy where all could live without the rule of a despotic ruler and his sharia laws that had stifled its people for so long.

Sudanese Woman in Iconic Protest Images Reports Getting Death Threats |  Voice of America - English

Source : Google photo of an activist leading the protest in Sudan 

It’s a stunning image. A crowd of Sudanese protesters — mainly women — necks craned, phones held up to capture the moment, looks toward a young woman standing on top of a car. Her white thobe a sharp contrast against Khartoum’s evening sky, she raises her right arm as she leads the crowd in a chant, all of them echoing her words back to her. “Thowra!” the crowd shouts — Arabic for “revolution.”

For Hala Al-Karib, a Sudanese women’s rights activist with the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa, the photo, taken by Lana Haroun, sums up “this moment we have been waiting for for the past 30 years.”

The Washington Post could not confirm the woman’s identity, but Al-Karib said her outfit can tell us a lot about the message she was trying to convey. (BuzzFeed and some Arabic-language news outlets have identified her as Alaa Salah, a 22-year-old engineering and architecture student.)

Her thobe, a cotton robe, is traditionally worn by professional Sudanese women in the workforce. Al-Karib said, “It’s a symbol of an identity of a working woman — a Sudanese woman that’s capable of doing anything but still appreciates her culture.”

Her large, circular gold earring is called a fedaya, Al-Karib said. “Those are the traditional earrings that my grandmother has, that all Sudanese women have,” she said. “And they pass them to their daughters.”

Video footage published on social media gives us a clearer vision of the woman’s face, showing that she has an older version of the Sudanese flag painted on her right cheek. Al-Karib speculated that she may have drawn inspiration from celebrated heroines from Sudan’s past, such as Mihera bint Abboud, a poet and warrior who led men in a fight against the Turkish-Egyptian invasion in the early 19th century, she said. ( wikipedia)

Behind the sharia rules were the hard core Islamists headed by the mullahs who insisted that their way must continue so they became the power behind the dictator. There were cement monuments of Quran and gun in the public squares everywhere and the mullahs controlled the radio and the TV broadcasts spreading their message of intolerance and fear . They were particularly harsh on the minorities of other faiths like the Syrian Christians, Coptic Christians and Hindus so many of them tried to leave Sudan.

Mullahs criticized their European dresses and asked them to dress according to Sharia rules. I met with them at their club in El Obeid and found them to be delightful people but who lived in Sudan in fear of losing their culture and identity and who saw no future for them in a country ruled so harshly by the fundamentalist Moslems.

Then came the news that the dictator had been toppled and arrested by the progressive officers of the army who had seen the deterioration of their country, the economy and its isolation from the rest of the world due to gross human right’s violations that got the attention of the International court in Hague.

Since then the army led government has announced its separation from the Islamists thus separating the State and the religions. They have also promised to hold free and fair elections in the future so I can now see the glimmer of hope in that awful country where people suffer from poverty, lack of freedom and widespread corruption.

The same thing happened in Egypt where the Islamists tried to take over the government and even elected a fundamentalist president who was hell bent on implementing the Sharia laws but was over thrown by the Army officers who saw the danger of their country going the way of Sudan and world isolation. Now the Islamists are mostly behind bars awaiting trials while others have gone hiding or making trouble in the Sinai but Egypt is safe for now where people can breathe easier now. The current government may hold a free and fair election in the future when the time is ripe.

The wind of change started to blow with the death of a fruit vendor in Tunis who burned himself to death because he was not allowed to sell a few fruits to earn a meager living for his family by the harsh dictator who ruled Tunisia. This led to widespread protests in Tunisia and soon in other countries where people also wanted their freedom. The changes came in Tunisia and Egypt and now in Sudan that President Obama hailed as the start of a whirlwind phenomenon that will sweep aside all the tyrants and dictators and bring freedom and democracy everywhere. He chose Cairo to make his first presidential address to give it the importance it deserved.

When you cross the Nile in Khartoum , you will be in Omdurman where a violent Islamist called Mahdi set  up his army of illiterate but fanatic horde of rebels who called Mahdi their leader and vowed to die for him to get rid of the British occupation of Sudan. Gen. Gordon was a benevolent governor of Sudan who tried to rule without nepotism and corruption but was eventually overwhelmed by the rebels who killed him in his own palace near the Nile. He had asked for assistance from London but it came too late for him. When Gen. Kitchener arrived with troops later, he took terrible revenge for the murder of Gen. Gordon and dug out Mahdi’s bones that his troops crushed and scattered to jackals. Later Mahdi followers collected the bones again and put up a grand mausoleum in Omdurman that any one can see from a distance. 

Horatio Herbert Kitchener | Biography, Death, & Facts | Britannica

Source : Google photo of Gen. Kitchener

Mahdi had died but his successor Khalifa and his hordes were hunted down in the battle of Omdurman where thousands lay dead. They could not fight with the English troops equipped with modern weapons so died in large numbers. Kitchener stood on a hill watching the battle and later declared that ” I think we have given them a good dusting” . The Khalifa and his associates were hunted down near El Obeid and killed after which the British stayed in Sudan for another one hundred years or so. Only a decrepit railway and rotting telegraph poles still remain to remind you that the British were here.

But Gen. Kitchener and his later successors failed to curb the fundamentalists who had no love for democracy and a free society so they continued to regroup after their “dusting” and made life very hard for everybody who did not share their beliefs.

Sudan was once ruled by a Pharaoh who ruled Sudan as well as Egypt but that was a long long time ago. Over the centuries , it remained an impoverished country with very few roads or any infrastructure although there was some oil revenue coming from the wells in the south. This too stopped when the South seceded from Sudan to form their own country. 

So Sudan is now deprived of its oil revenue and has remained impoverished just like before. The dictator and his sharia laws did not gain him many friends overseas so the foreign direct investment remained minimal and what was invested can be seen in the derelict factories near Meroe that the desert has started to engulf. 

South of El Obeid one can see the plastic bins that the Italians had brought in for a project that failed leaving the decrepit bins in tatters. The corruption stopped a water line project to bring water to El Obeid from a distance but the pipes stopped at a distance of only 12 kms. One can still see the rusty steel pipes by the side of the road that the Yogoslavs left behind. Any other country would have long completed the last 12 kms but not Sudan.

sudan - Google Search | Map pictures, Sudan, Map

Source : Google map of Sudan . South Sudan is now separate

There are numerous examples of this sort of abandoned or failed projects of the past in a country that still has only two paved roads , one that connects El Obeid to Khartoum and the other connecting Port Sudan with Khartoum.

A third road that was started by a company headed by the infamous Osama Bin Laden connects only Kosti to Khartoum and may have reached Ed Damer in the north by now. The south and the west still has no roads where my vehicles used to get bogged down in the deep mud during the rainy season.

Khartoum itself is a depressing city that is utterly treeless and its rigid grid like layout with dusty roads , shabby hotels and shabbier private homes do not add to the attraction in any way possible.

But poor or not, everyone longs for freedom when people can elect a representative government that will give priority to its people’s welfare first. May be that change has come to Sudan after years of stagnation. May be now for the first time people will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and get busy rebuilding their tattered economy, their infrastructure and be able to fulfill their hopes and aspirations.

I hope so and wish them well. 

Please also read the chapter on Sudan in my biography here to know more about Sudan. https://storyofalifetimeofanil.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/chapter-thirteen-land-of-mahdi-sudan-1991-to-1994/

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

les blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

My blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts    

Blogger.com

Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русскиu

Subscribe