Our Children Will Live on Boats

Kerala flood 2018 Financial Express
People will live on boats. Very soon. And no such rescue would be necessary.

The only tropical rain forests and pristine nature in the Indian subcontinent are under an unprecedented, catastrophic flood. Most people still do not understand the gravity of the situation: massive man-made climate change, combined with out of control capitalism.

As I said many times, it’s profit before people. This American model that India adopted is great evil: it’s destroying America, and it’s destroying India.

Indian rulers are greedy, corrupt, fanatic, bigots, and have no regard for science. Just the same way Christian fanatics called the Connecticut and Florida school children killed by gun violence sinners, Hindu fanatics in India are calling the Kerala flood victims sinners and beef eaters. It’s not only ridiculous. It’s also cruel.

India’s BJP government also refused to receive foreign aids, adding more suffering to the marooned and hapless people. Their supporters are busy on social media, ridiculing the “Muslims, Christians, and communists of Kerala.”

Weather: Monsoon rain causes flood in Kerala
Of course, thanks to big media and corporate politicians, even today, cricket and Bollywood and such money-driven games are top news. One billion helpless people’s lives are at the brink of extinction. Those who are exposing the truth, and criticizing the greed and profit-only system — the people in power are trashing them.

Prediction is, in one generation, climate catastrophe will practically submerge Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bombay, Goa, Andhra, Orissa, West Bengal, and Bangladesh.

Read this World Economic Forum article: Why India is Most at Risk from Climate Change.

Our children will live on boats, fighting for food and water.

Kerala flood 2018 India Today

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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Photo courtesy (only for non-profit, academic use)

  1. Boat rescue — The Financial Express
  2. Rope rescue — First Post
  3. Boat and bananas — India Today

A Clarion Call to Brothers and Sisters

“If My Thought Dreams Could be Seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine” — Bob Dylan, “It’s All Right Ma”, 1965.

Bernie Ocasio Fox
Look at the picture here. This is Fox news. What does it say, and how does it say it?

The way fascist Republicans and Clinton-Lieberman-DNC Democrats have targeted new, young, elected leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is unbelievable! And even though CNN aired the interview with her (click on the link above), in general, corporate media is blasting the Bernie Sanders line of humanism, and without any objective analysis, making Democratic Socialism synonymous with communism.

And U.S. people are falling for that, because to them, anything remotely connected to socialism is “Godless communism.” For decades, since the Era of McCarthyism, American powers and media have successfully made the concept of equality, peace and justice an evil. They have cut off the global knowledge base, and made Americans blind and deaf about what’s going on across the civilized world.

So, what are leaders like Sanders and Alexandria talking about that’s so loathsome and repulsive to some working-class Americans?

(1) That unlike the rest of the developed, capitalist world, USA has an out-of-control wealth and income disparity, and we need to narrow the gap, to make the middle class stronger.

(2) Unlike the rest of the developed, capitalist world, American people pay an obnoxious, outrageous amount of money for health care and education, and we must make them affordable, because health care and education are rights and not privileges.

(3) Unlike the rest of the developed, capitalist world, American corporations have caused havoc to the environment, and we must clamp down on them — fossil fuel corporations in particular — to save the earth from destruction.

(4) Unlike the rest of the developed, capitalist world, USA’s three topmost industries are arms (and gun) industry, drug industry, and sex industry, along with the prison industry, and we must move away from these industries, to bring peace and sanity to ourselves and our children.

Democratic Socialism is not communism. And Fox and other such media are purposefully scaring the American people. Reject their fear mongering and lies.

I have worked for many years, intensely, first with the right wing and then with the left wing. After almost fifty years of activism in the two biggest democratic countries in the world, I am convinced that unless we work together — making a serious effort to bring the 99% together — on a common platform of equality, peace, social justice, environmental justice, and affordable education and health care for all, we can’t save the world from the clutches of neoliberal corporate pushers and Trump-Modi-type fascists.

Americans with intelligence and political acumen must wake up now, and seize the new opportunity, recognizing the groundswell. Stop fascists and neoliberal corporate politicians from destroying this nonviolent revolution that’s sweeping across America.

Intelligent and progressive people in India can follow this new, surging young America, if they want. It’s your call.
_________________

Partha Banerjee
Wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partha_Banerjee
Long Island, New York
August 11, 2018.

Trump and His “Shithole”

Donald Trump, Narendra Modi

#MeShitholeToo!

What would I do if Trump calls my beloved country India “shithole?” Or, for that matter, Bangladesh or Pakistan — two other countries I dearly identify with?

Yesterday, at a dinner, Amy Goodman — famed journalist at Pacifica Radio and DemocracyNow! first told me that Trump said Africa, El Salvador and Haiti were “shithole countries.” Then, I saw it in Washington Post and NYTimes. At an immigration meeting with senators at the Oval Office, Trump asked why the United States would accept immigrants from “shithole countries,” rather than people from Norway.

Clearly, a racist, if not white supremacist, statement. Historic too!

I was greatly disturbed, and thought, well if that is the case, then it makes him the first officially recognized racist president in modern history. I posted a status update on Facebook, and then quickly deleted it because I didn’t want to make his supporters explode, and hurt me. I thought, I’d rather go low key: why irk these people?

Plus, I thought, isn’t it a provocation by elite media and their elite personalities who single out Trump’s hateful one-liners and Tweets, and sell bigger on knee jerk reactions, yet keep giving him passes on the more deadly economic, environmental, and war policies?

Sure, Trump’s shithole remark is obscene and racist (and now he denies it and his supporters defend it), but don’t the elite and the illiterate bigots alike use such words all the time, and that’s why the country is so hateful in the first place?

Are most Americans sane and civilized? What is your experience at workplace, at family gatherings, at bars, and at baseball games? Racism and bigotry can be seen everyday, everywhere.

What about the all-pervasive Islamophobia? What about the anti-immigrant hate? What about the nonstop police brutality on blacks? What about the union bashing and corporate giveaways? What about force-feeding extremely unhygienic and toxic food and drinks to the ordinary Americans? What about the nonstop war across the globe — on supremacist doctrines?

Elite, liberal media and their Oprahs and Maddows and Steinems will cash in on such prized, racist statements, but will otherwise actively support a war, violence, bigotry, and class-warfare-based system.

Trump and his hate and bigotry did not evolve in a vacuum.

At the same dinner meeting with Amy Goodman, we made acquaintance with a young guy named Jordan from Ohio. He told us a story from his life’s experience. In the suburb of a big city in Ohio, the town was expanding its games and sports facilities for the youth, but it wouldn’t include basketball in the expansion. At public meetings, some of the town executives and citizens would ask, “Why bring in basketball? Why bring in the thugs?”

The above story exemplifies the deeply-ingrained mindset of the average American people. It is this mindset that helped elect a racist man like Trump to be the president of the United States — a country that was built on the broken backs of immigrants and slaves. White supremacists have hate and disdain for the “others,” — i.e., people who are not white and of European, “Aryan” descent. The extremist types are KKK and such groups, and we know what they stand for. Many Trump supporters belong to them.

So, to answer the first question I began this article with: how would I feel if Trump calls my country of birth India, or Bangladesh or Pakistan — shithole countries?

I know how I would react. But I also how most other Indians would react.

A large majority today would react in one of these ways.

(1) India is no shithole, but Pakistan is. All those Islamic terrorists!

(2) Bangladesh is major shithole: it’s Muslim and f… poor.

(3) Africa is shithole. And so is Haiti. Salvador…we don’t care.

(4) Blacks are thugs. We Indians don’t like blacks.

(5) Trump is right.

People across India and across the world either participate in racist discussions, or stay silent when such hate happens. It’s my lifelong observation. I’ve seen similar mindset among many ordinary Americans too. Very few people challenge it. Very few.

And knowing India and America — the two countries I’ve lived in all my life, I know that’s the reason America has now elected Trump — a racist man — to be its president. I know that’s why India has now elected Modi to be its prime minister, a man who is a lifelong, indoctrinated member of RSS the Hindu supremacist organization — an organization whose follower Godse killed Mahatma Gandhi. Modi and some of his closest associates have been implicated in major anti-Muslim, anti-“low caste” violence and bloodshed.

And that’s why Trump and Modi are two closest allies in this global politics of hate.

Shithole, indeed, and it stinks!

Sensibly writing,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York.

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25 Years of Babri Mosque and BJP

babri-masjid

Twenty-five years ago, on December 6, Hindu fanatics (who now support Trump) broke the law, conspired with police and politicians, and rammed through barricades to demolish an old mosque in North India.

They did not do it only to show their anger against Muslims, or to reclaim a piece of land they believed was the birthplace of Hindu god-reincarnate Ram. It was a political ploy to start massive violence and bloodshed across the country, and permanently polarize Hindus and Muslims to consolidate vote banks.

Thousands of innocent people were killed — mostly Muslim men, women and children — by RSS and BJP supporters and thugs. The incredible violence and mass killing brought back memories of horror that occurred during the 1947 British partition. A peaceful land was turned upside down.

BJP, along with their ideological mentor RSS, were not in the seat of power in 1992. The nationwide bloodshed and religious polarization since the Babri Mosque massacres, followed by a similar 2002 communal violence in Gujarat, brought them to the highest seat of power in India. They created and exploited hate. Just the same way Trump created and exploited hate.

Now, their leaders who were once implicated in the bloodshed have stopped talking violence, and media have done their best to make people forget about the history. Now these leaders have new ploys: demonetization (scrapping of currency) and destruction of a traditional, familiar economy.

Absolute, purposeful nonsense!

End result: India is now one of the most polarized places on earth. Hindus and Muslims are more hateful than ever before. The rich is now super rich, and the poor is now…poor. Bollywood stars, cricket players, corporate business leaders, and politicians are incredibly rich and powerful and celebrated by media, and are guarded 24/7 by special security forces, spending public money.

For the 99% in India, a man can be killed any time, a woman can be raped any time, and a child can be molested at school any time. It’s not only impossibly suffocating to breathe air in India. It’s impossibly suffocating to live your daily lives. If you don’t know how to be a part of this cruel, corrupt system, or refuse to be a part of it, you are doomed.

In twenty-five years, India — a place so close to my heart — has forever changed.

After the Saffron Storm in U.P.

BJP win U.P.

(Photo courtesy: The New Indian Express.)

BJP, Hindu fundamentalist party, won a landslide election in India’s largest state U.P. Here is my two cents from New York on their victory.

I have a lot of respect for BJP, and zero respect for Congress (and India’s caste politics). Although I would never support either of them, ever.

I have seen in my own life how BJP has evolved from nowhere to become the most dominant political force in India. I was with them for 15+ years, and my father has been with them all his life. I have seen their dedication and hard work for their cause. I have written a lot about it. My book In the Belly of the Beast chronicles my association and analysis with the Hindu supremacists of India.

I have absolutely no soft corner for their racism, hate, bigotry, and violence.

I have disdain for their distorting of Indian history that includes the assassination of Gandhi by one of their own. Or, their Ram temple or Padmini or Roop Kanwar (the “suttee”).

But I have every respect for them for their long-term planning, and sticking to the plan. Their united, militant, grassroots soldiers borrowed from their social-religious mentor RSS, religious wing VHP and student wing ABVP they use for election work, and various nonviolent and violent campaigns. Just like Tea Party or Christian Coalition here in the U.S. Striking resemblance across the globe. I’ve written about that too.

And just like far right wing and fascists here in the U.S., Hindu fanatics have won in India. They have now won big time in U.P., the most populous state.

This election has destroyed any hope for a progressive, secular comeback in the foreseeable future. States like West Bengal or Kerala, progressive and secular bastions in India, will need to make their plans right now. Or, their days are numbered too.

Liberals and left have failed the American people, and liberals and left have failed the Indian people. Far right took advantage of this huge void, and with their people power on the ground, corporate capitalism, and their media, money and think tanks have vanquished socialism and any economic concept of equality and social harmony — to an unimaginable level.

This is grim reality, and no New York Times, CNN, or NDTV can change it, distort it. Fascism — in guise of democracy — rules earth now.

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Remember December 6: India’s Trump-like Powers Rob the Poor and Reward the Rich

9 Kar sevaks enter the Babri Masjid. A group of volunteers even

Hindu supremacists destroyed religious harmony in India on December 6, 1992. On December 6, 2016, they are destroying the poor and rewarding the rich.
_________________

Well, it’s now so easy to hoodwink all!

I never thought I would ever have to witness the sorry plight of educated Indians hovering in such an intellectual void, including the erudite Bengalis. The economics of the entire country has just been completely jeopardized and at least fifty crores (five hundred million) of its people and their families have been robbed of any kind of finance, apparently in a drive to eradicate the black (illegal) money of the country. And when the target is “untaxed money,” can sentiments of patriotism be left far behind? No, a big no, if any debate questioning the drive is to be nipped in the bud.

Can’t we expect anybody who understands economics to speak out? Or, anybody who knows the rampant vandalism unleashed by globalization of a 1%-controlled economy? Does nobody know the game plan of IMF, World Bank, American and Western powers in the guise of India’s prime minister Modi, and billionaire businessmen such as the Ambanis, Adanis, Bill Gates and all the corrupt politicians who used money and media to execute their game plan?

Even the powerful Gandhis (descendants of Indira Gandhi) couldn’t go this far in their dubious pursuit of dynastic wealth! India is being looted in broad daylight. But educated citizens are all dancing to the tunes of Modi, finance minister Jaitley, BJP, RSS and their fundamentalist/racist organisations, who had been open supporters of Hitler in not-so-distant past. The infamous Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi belonged to these organisations. Gopal Godse, Nathuram’s brother, had boastfully told this to New York Times only a few years ago.

Remember December 6, 1992. — RSS and armed Hindu fanatic mobs storm through a mosque called Babri Masjid in North India, and destroy it to dust. Immediately, massive, bloody riots start across the country, where poor Muslims including women and children were slaughtered and raped, in thousands. Modi himself witnessed such a riot in Gujarat in 2002, when he was the chief minister of that state. We forget so easily!

That was the time to come to power, through mob violence. Now, it’s time for them to stay in power, through money violence. Fascism comes in various shapes.

Gold price in India has dived to the benefit of black money stockists who are conveniently purchasing gold to convert their blacks into whites. Same with real estate values. On the other hand, interest rates of bank deposits are being slashed to deprive a huge mass that has nothing barring some bank balances as source of day to day finance. This group of suffering people includes retirees and the older generation in general.

Nobody has the intention to analyze or to study all these happenings in depth. Those who dare to do it are automatically branded as anti-India traitors, especially by the pro-USA, pro-Modi high-tech, corporate-house generation.

Lately an aura of patriotism was created utilizing the pretext of military surgical strike against Pakistan, the neighboring country which had already been proclaimed as an enemy – no questions asked. Today it is being called another surgical strike targeting undisclosed money. Political parties in opposition seem to be ineffective to such an extent that one can easily doubt their integrity. Only feisty leaders such as Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal and Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi are vociferous in their protests, but they are now being subject to a hate campaign. Left parties have proved to be the laughing stock owing to their stupefied inaction. Trade Unions are equally clueless and madly in search of a workable policy, which seems nowhere to be found.

The need of the hour is to come out in the street and organize protests involving people. It is not my idea or even possible for me to suggest what to do to intellectuals, as I am living far away, being one who has left his homeland and therefore easily to be branded “anti-national” as per the latest trend of the ongoing hate campaign. Nevertheless I am pretty stubborn and persistent in my efforts of communication via social media. I get tons of likes on wedding pictures and such beautiful stuff. Yet, very predictably, when I write about economics, politics, equality of humans, falsehood of media coverage, or the high-noon robbery of Modi and BJP, suddenly all those friends vanish into thin air!

The time is out of joint, the time we live in now! A wonderful country is being vandalized and we the Indians and Bengalis, who never fail to eulogize Ram Mohan Ray, Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar and other sages and intellectual activists, are looking the other way.

P.S. – I have been writing and speaking about these issues for many years, particularly since I gave up my Ph.D. career in science, and switched to work in journalism, writing, and education in politics and economics. Earlier in 2016, I spoke at length about this catastrophic, global economic terror in various places during my India tour. One of my talks was audio-recorded, which you can hear at this link. I forewarned about an imminent economic disaster in India. The link is at https://soundcloud.com/…/my-talk-on-global-economy-with-spe…. I don’t belong to any political party. I only speak the truth. And try to inform and educate as much as I can, in my humble way.