Monday, June 30, 2014


Whatever Became Of Western Civilization?

By Paul Craig Roberts
October 14, 2013 "Information Clearing House - Not that long ago government and free market proponents were at sword’s point, but no more. With little left in the private sector to rip off, the financial gangsters have turned to the public sector and put to work for them the free market economists’ advocacy of privatization. Governments themselves became part of the conspiracy once the politicians realized that looting public assets was an efficient way to reward their private benefactors.

We can see the entire picture in the David Cameron government’s privatization of the British Royal Mail. The prime minister has described the looting as “popular capitalism” even though the British public overwhelmingly opposes turning over the mail service to a profit-making enterprise.

The British government’s pursuit of policies opposed by the public shows the absence in Britain of the very democracy that British prime ministers, such as Blair and Cameron, are so anxious to help Washington spread with invasions, cluster bombs, and depleted uranium to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran.

Here is how the Royal Mail is being privatized or, rather, looted.

First Cameron’s government, guided by the financial gangsters, undervalued the assets of the Royal Mail and assumed mail delivery charges below those that will be charged. This fictitious accounting allows public assets to be transferred to the politicians’ private benefactors at a price below their value.

For example, all of the Royal Mail’s real estate is being transferred to the new private owners for less than the value of the Royal Mail’s London real estate alone. Neil Clark reports that one Royal Mail London depot is worth about one billion British pounds; but the entire real estate assets of the Royal Mail--public property--is being transferred to the new private owners for about three-quarters of one billion British pounds. The deal was so loaded in favor of the private purchasers that the share price rose almost 40 percent on the first day of trading. (This might have been some sort of nominal trading as the deal possibly has not been finalized.)

According to reports, many of the mail carriers are going to lose their jobs, and the public, not the private purchasers, is stuck with the liability of the Royal Mail pension fund, which is about $55 billion dollars. So the private looters get the assets but not the liabilities.

The purchasers are the financial gangsters in whose behalf economic policy is run in the US, UK, and Europe, and, you guessed it, Goldman Sachs made $33.5 million “advising” Cameron on the sale.

Wall Street and the City of London, the two world financial centers so beloved and misrepresented by free market economists as financiers of investment and economic growth, are in fact legal, government supported, Mafia gangs that loot. Their profits come from looting.

We are seeing them at work in Greece, where the sanctity of financial profits requires public assets to be sold at bargain basement prices to private interests. The deal requires protected islands of the national heritage be turned over to real estate developers, and public assets such as water companies, ports, and the state lottery be sold at lucrative prices to private interests consisting of the private banks and their clients.

In Italy government indebtedness is forcing the sale to private investors of historic castles and villas and the Island of San Giacomo in one of Venice’s lagoons. These national treasures will be turned into hotels, restaurants, and resorts for the one percent.

Are the British Museum and the Smithsonian next to be privatized?

In America prisons are privatized despite the incentive this gives to produce inmates.
Public schools are being privatized in the form of “charter schools.” Charter schools are a scheme to eliminate public sector teachers unions, and to convert their pay into private profits by bringing in contract hires to teach for a few years before they are replaced by a new group of contract hires.

Western civilization, to the extent than any civilization remains, is confronted with a total collapse of economic and government morality. Looting and exploitation rule, and the presstitute media does its best to hide the fact.

Western civilization has been reduced to remnants--historical artifacts, picturesque villages in England and France, German efficiency, joie de vivre and good food in France and Italy, and architectural masterpieces and classical music created before our lifetime.

In addition to Wall Street’s mechanisms for looting, America contributes technology for putting the entire world under constant surveillance, exploiting the information for economic benefit and for silencing dissenters.

Western civilization has lost its attractiveness. As nothing remains but a shadow of its former self, it will not be missed as it disappears into a bottomless pit of corruption.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Interesting article written by an Indian Economist
Japanese save a lot. They do not spend much. Also, Japan exports far
         more than it imports. Has an annual trade surplus of over 100

billions. Yet Japanese economy is considered weak, even collapsing. 

Americans spend, save little. Also US imports more than it exports.
         Has an annual trade deficit of over $400 billion. Yet, the American

economy is considered strong and trusted to get stronger.

 But where from do Americans get money to spend? They borrow from
 Japan, China and even India.
Virtually others save for the US to spend. Global savings are mostly
 invested in US, in dollars.

India itself keeps its foreign currency assets of over $50 billions in
         US securities. China has sunk over $160 billion in US securities.

Japan's stakes in US securities is in trillions.


 The US has taken over $5 trillion from the world. So, as the world
 saves for the US - Its The Americans who spend freely. Today, to keep
 the US consumption going, that is for the US economy to work, other
 countries have to remit $180 billion every quarter, which is $2
 billion a day, to the US!

 A Chinese economist asked a neat question. Who has invested more, US
 in China, or China in US? The US has invested in China less than half
 of what China has invested in US.

 The same is the case with India. We have invested in US over $50
 billion. But the US has invested less than $20 billion in India.

 Why the world is after US?

 The secret lies in the American spending, that they hardly save. In
 fact they use their credit cards to spend their future income. That
 the US spends is what makes it attractive to export to the US. So US
 imports more than what it exports year after year.

 The result:

 The world is dependent on US consumption for its growth. By its
 deepening culture of consumption, the US has habituated the world to
 feed on US consumption. But as the US needs money to finance its
 consumption, the world provides the money.

 It's like a shopkeeper providing the money to a customer so that the
 customer keeps buying from the shop. If the customer will not buy, the
 shop won't have business, unless the shopkeeper funds him. The US is
 like the lucky customer. And the world is like the helpless shopkeeper

 Who is America's biggest shopkeeper financier? Japan of course. Yet
 it's Japan which is regarded as weak. Modern economists complain that
 Japanese do not spend, so they do not grow. To force the Japanese to
 spend, the Japanese government exerted itself, reduced the savings
 rates, even charged the savers. Even then the Japanese did not spend
 (habits don't change, even with taxes, do they?). Their traditional
 postal savings alone is over $1.2 trillions, about three times the
 Indian GDP. Thus, savings, far from being the
 strength of Japan, has become its pain.

 Hence, what is the lesson?

 That is, a nation cannot grow unless the people spend, not save. Not
 just spend, but borrow and spend.

 Dr. Jagdish Bhagwati, the famous Indian-born economist in the US, told
 Manmohan Singh that Indians wastefully save. Ask them to spend, on
 imported cars and, seriously, even on cosmetics! This will put India
 on a growth curve. This is one of the reason for MNC's coming down to
 India, seeing the consumer spending.

 'Saving is sin, and spending is virtue.'

 But before you follow this Neo Economics, get some fools to save so
 that you can borrow from them and spend !!!

 It is very simple to be happy, but very difficult to be simple.

 Have a nice day !!


Perhaps India's history would have been different if Dara Shukosh, instead of Aurangazeb ascended to the throne of Mughal Empire. Dara was rare among Mughals. He was a scholar in Sanskrit and in Persian language which was official dialect in royal court then.He translated Upanishads into Persian. Because of this liking for Kufr sacred lore, Aurangazeb , having grabbed power through a military coup, charged his elder brother, Dara with blasphemy and had him beheaded while Dara was kneeling and offering prayers in prison. Just to be sure , to avoid counter coups from Dara's camp Aurangazeb gave his daughter in marriage to Dara's son. Such marriages would have amounted to alliance between brother and sister, but not uncommon  in their circles. Aurangazeb is one of the exalted personalities considered as peer in Pakistan and very much honored in secular India as well with streets in Delhi named after him.

It may be noted that official policy of India until May 26,2014 set by ruling Congress till then was to mollycoddle  fanatics like Aurangazeb but shun patriots like Dara. For instance Hamid Dalwai of Muslim Satyasodhak Samiti was never honored instead all sorts of emoluments and titles were showered on separatists and Jinnah acolytes. One of them even got Bharat Ratna.

Nevertheless patriotism because or in spite of official patronage remains among Muslims. Late Bismillah Khan, a famous Shehnai player, resident of Varanasi was one of them. When he was told to migrate to greener pastures from Varanasi, he replied whether Ganga will be there as well !

Here is another gentleman who took the trouble of translating Bhagvad Gita, while many Hindus themselves do not  even bother to read,  described as 'owners manual of soul' by a Christian web site, from Sanskrit to Urdu. Hope it gets read widely among Muslim Indians. 

                                                                                                                                                                                       G V Chelvapilla

June  28, 2014 | 20:53 IST

Translation of Bhagavad Gita into Urdu by Anwar Jalalpuri 
#Lucknow #Uttar Pradesh A noted Urdu poet and author, who has translated the 700 verses of Shrimad Bhagwad Gita into over 1700 Urdu couplets says, the sacred scripture is the biggest literature on worldly education in the country.
Anwar Jalalpuri's book not only translates 'shlokas' (verses) in chaste Urdu 'shers' (couplets), but also comes across as an effort to recapture the essence of the sacred text.
"The book is an effort to present the messages of worldly education of Lord Krishna in its spirit through simple Urdu couplets before the people," the author-poet said.
Jalalpuri said as part of an effort to spread the spiritual messages in 701 verses of Gita to the readers, these have been presented in the form of 1761 couplets in his book.
Poet Anwar Jalalpuri translates Gita into 1,700 Urdu couplets
The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide Lord Krishna.
Faced with the duty to fight his relatives and cousins, Arjuna undergoes a dilemma and inner conflict, to which Lord Krishna exhorts him to stop hesitating and fulfill his duty as a warrior.
Jalalpuri said while some verses were completed in a single couplet, others were spread in more couplets keeping in mind the "nazakat" (nicety) and "nafasat" (beauty) of Urdu poetry.
Referring to a Urdu couplet of shloka rendered by Lord Krishna to remove Arjun's hesitation in raising arms against his cousins and relatives, Jalalpuri said that probably Bhagwad Gita is the biggest scripture on worldly education in India.
"It preaches people not to leave the world, but to make it more beautiful and worthy through duty and talks about connecting the soul with the supreme power or God." he said.
Jalalpuri said his objective is to take the preachings of Gita to Urdu language readers and Muslims, who consider it as a pious scripture, but are totally unaware about what it says.
The book is published in Devnagari as well as in Persian script as both Hindus and Muslims have knowledge of the Urdu language.
"From this more and more people will be able to take advantage of the messages and preachings of Gita," he said, adding his objective is that people of both the communities should make some effort to know each other better.
Jalalpuri said he is deeply connected with the writings and incidents mentioned in the scripture.
"After resigning from the post of chairman of Uttar Pradesh Madarsa Board in 2008 I got free time during which I completed my passion (of working on the Gita)," he said.
Jalalpuri, who had no basic knowledge of Sanskrit language in which Gita is written, said he faced problems while translating it.
"To understand Gita and to convert it into Urdu poetry I had to work mentally and use research work," he said.
"Urdu Shayari mein Gita" was released by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav recently.


How Congress Brought the Measles Back

In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a stunning declaration: Measles — a disease that once infected 3 million to 4 million Americans each year, and killed 500 of them — had been eliminated in the United States. It was a victory decades in the making, the product of a highly effective vaccine and a strong public health system.

But today, measles is back. Just this month, the CDC reported more cases in the country in the first six months of 2014 — 477 — than during that same period in any year since 1994.
Public health has taken a giant, 20-year step back, and we have Congress to thank.

In 2000, I was a counsel for the Democratic staff of the House Government Reform Committee working on public health issues, including immunization policy. The committee was in its second year of hearings whose purpose on paper was to oversee various aspects of the nation’s immunization program. But in reality, these hearings had become a forum for spouting unproven, and eventually disproven, allegations, linking the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to autism.

On one side, the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics, to name a few, all argued — with data to back them up — that the evidence clearly indicated no causal link between the measles vaccine and autism.

On the other side were a few advocates, most notably Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist who subsequently lost his medical license due to ethical violations. In the face of mounting data refuting his theories, Wakefield continued to assert that there were still outstanding questions and that there should be just one more study — always just one more study — for the connection to become clear. The research that formed the basis of his theory was subsequently retracted by the journal that published it.

Wakefield was not the only witness to appear before the Government Reform Committee who was later discredited. There also was the self-proclaimed “expert” whose medical license was later revoked in a number of states when he treated autistic boys with hormones to suppress testosterone — a kind of chemical castration.
One by one, the committee summoned its witnesses. Wakefield and other anti-vaccine advocates told the committee stories about children who stopped speaking after receiving their MMR vaccines and spun complicated theories about how the vaccine could prevent children from absorbing nutrients, leading to neurological problems. The experts from CDC and NIH explained that the epidemiology and biology of autism and vaccines did not support what Wakefield and others were professing.'
It was difficult to watch the nation’s immunization program, a crown jewel of public health, responsible for saving so many lives, being attacked at high-profile congressional hearings — all on the basis of unscientific theories. And it was frustrating to see members of Congress giving equal weight to both sides of the argument when one was so clearly flawed. We staffers often talked among ourselves about the lives the committee was putting at risk.
Sarah Despres was a staffer for Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) on public health issues, including vaccine policy, from 1998 to 2010.

Read more:


The parable of Emperor has new clothes, with an Indian twist.

Author: Ashok Chowgule

Date: June 20, 2014

Publication: Hindu Vivek Kendra


One of the parables of Hans Christian Anderson relates to the story of an emperor who was so fond of new clothes, that he spent much of the state resources on expanding his wardrobe.  And he spent a lot of time in this hobby of his, rather than statecraft.

One day a couple of swindlers came to the Emperor’s capital city, and let it be known that they can weave a fabric so light that it is visible only to those who are fit for the office that they hold or one who is not unusually stupid.  Obviously the Emperor desired to have this magnificent fabric, since it will also enable him to weed out incompetent and stupid people from amongst those serving the state.

The swindlers asked for some of the finest thread as well as a lot of money.  They set themselves up in a spacious studio with a large loom, and pretended to make the cloth.  The Emperor sent his best ministers to give him a progress report.  They heard a lot of the noise of the loom operating, but no sign of any cloth.  But since they were told that the cloth was visible only to the competent and the clever, they reported that the work was progressing rather well.  And every time the observers came, they asked for more money.

The swindlers explained to the observers the pattern, the colours, etc., which the observers faithfully reported to the Emperor.  Finally, the day came when the swindlers announced that the fabric was complete and now the fit out had to be done.  They went to measure the Emperor, and a few days later came holding what they said were the new clothes.  And everyone gasped at the beauty and the style, and loudly proclaimed their admiration.

The Emperor saw nothing.  But how could he say so and announce that he is incompetent and stupid?  So he went along with the charade spelt out by the swindlers, who asked him to go out on a parade and show his subjects his new clothes.  The Emperor agreed, and as he set out to make the preparation, the two swindlers quietly slipped out of the town taking all the fine threads and money with them.

When the Emperor set out from his palace, the people in the town lined up the path since they wanted to see the magnificent fabric that they heard about.  They too could not see anything, because there was nothing to see.  But no one wished to be seen as either incompetent or stupid, and they all exclaimed the imagined beauty of the Emperor’s new clothes.

Until one little boy said, “But the Emperor has no clothes!”  And the whole imaginary edifice collapsed.

So where is the Indian twist to this tale?  Read the following article by Dileep Padgaonkar:


Dear Sentinels of the Republic,

We goofed. Every assumption we made during the election campaign has been savaged. Each one was premised on the values we cherish — freedom, justice and fraternity. Yet all that we did to promote them was to create fear in the minds of voters: fear of Hindu nationalists gaining control of levers of the state. It prompted us to clutch at the slenderest straw in the wind. That compounded our discomfiture.

We assumed, for example, that while Congress was fated to pay dearly for its follies, its tally of seats would allow it to be at least a bit player in the formation of the next government. That didn’t happen. We also reckoned that BJP-led NDA would fail to reach the halfway mark. This would compel it to rope in ‘secular’ non-Congress, non-Left regional parties to take a shot at governance. The latter, we took for granted, would extract their pound of flesh: deny Narendra Modi any role in the new dispensation.

Towards this goal we added our two-penny bit. We missed no chance to harp on Modi’s RSS background. Time and again we raked up the 2002 violence in Gujarat. We pooh-poohed the ‘clean chit’ the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team and a lower court in Ahmedabad had given Modi. We picked gaping holes in his much-vaunted development model. And when this was not enough to corner BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, we latched on to Snoopgate. On all these counts, we came a cropper.

Congress suffered its worst rout in history. So did the Left parties. Caste-based formations that wore secularism on their sleeves were flattened too. On the other hand, BJP got what it wanted: a 272+ outcome. No non-Congress party had secured a majority on its own since the first general elections in 1952. Add to this the seats gained by BJP’s pre-poll allies. That placed NDA in an invincible position.

So why did we lose the plot? The plain answer is that we misread the nation’s mood. We didn’t gauge the depth and sweep of the rage against UPA. The dread possibility of ‘communal’ forces coming to power, we believed, would override all other concerns of the electorate, including the lacklustre leadership of the UPA government and of Rahul Gandhi, Congress’s undeclared mascot. We drew a blank.

An equally miserable failure of ours was to underestimate the spell Modi cast on the electorate. Armed with a high-tech media blitz, he led an intensive, spirited campaign built around his personality. He tapped into voters’ dismay and frustration over the ineptitude and shenanigans of the Manmohan Singh dispensation. He pinned responsibility on the Gandhi family’s dynastic rule. He also tapped into voters’ yearning for a leader endowed with the will and aptitude to bring prosperity to the people, ensure clean and effective governance, provide security and instil national pride in citizens.

We made light of all this. The so-called Modi wave, we argued, was the handiwork of media that had been bought over by India Inc. Poll results showed how hopelessly we were off the mark: education, jobs, sound civic services and good governance mattered more to voters than narratives of victimhood replete with populist promises.

We still try to comfort ourselves with the thought that almost seven out of 10 voters didn’t cast their lot with BJP. Comfort can’t get colder than this. What we need is to acknowledge the flaws in our idea of secularism. Correctly or otherwise, it has been perceived as a hostile attitude to even the most uplifting traditions of India’s myriad religious and spiritual traditions. And, by that token, it has been equated with an indulgent attitude to Muslim extremism. A course correction is in order.

We also need to renounce our animus against economic reforms and modernisation of our armed forces. At the same time, we must not lower our vigil to ensure that casteist, communal, sexist, hyper-nationalist and regional chauvinist forces of all shades do not threaten the fundamental rights of citizens. These rights are the foundation on which rests the edifice of our Republic. And we remain its steadfast sentinels.

The article appeared in The Times of India on May 30, 2014, with the title ‘A missive to distraught liberals’.  It is available at:

Like the swindlers who pretended to weave a fabric for the Emperor, the sentinels pretended to weave a fabric for the nation.  And, like the swindler weavers, they said if anyone cannot see what they are weaving, the person is either incompetent or a fool.  Or the greatest abuse that they could hurl – you are a supporter of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

And like the Emperor’s ministers, many people in India and abroad internalised the imagery the sentinels created.  The swindlers in India, under the guise of being sentinels, spelt out their fabric in terms of imaginary ideas of secularism and pluralism.  They said that they had these wonderful plans which would eliminate poverty, and make the people, especially the religious minorities, secure in the nation.  And they grandly called it The Idea of India.

A large number of people in India knew that the sentinels were projecting an invisible idea, and one which was holding the nation back.  But the sentinels were carefully guarding the means of the flow of information – the media, the book publications, etc.

Until along came the internet.

The people found out that they could communicate with each other, bypassing the censorship of the sentinels.  And in the process they reached out to some in the circle guarded by the sentinels, who did not have the courage to speak out.  They were terrorised into believing what the sentinels told them.  The few who did, before the internet came, were thrown out of the circle into an intellectual wilderness, to serve as an example to others who wished to ask questions.

The little boys have spoken.  Let us hope that the sentinels realise that their swindle has been seen through, since the fabric they were weaving was actually non-existent.

(The author is the Working President (External) of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.)


Much is written about the leaders who were jailed in the Emergency.  This is correct.

But there were millions of others who suffered just as much if not more.  And these millions hardly receive much recognition.

And there is the additional fact that amongst these millions, nearly 80% were swaymasevaks.  Many of them were jailed because they were office bearers in the RSS, even at level of the jhilla.  Many of them were elderly and had to bear a lot of physical suffering.

The enclosed article, date December 4, 1976, explains the importance of the RSS in the struggle against the Emergency.



The Economist, December 4, 1976.

India’s underground movement has changed its strategy.  Until a few weeks ago it had tried to press Indira Gandhi - through mass demonstrations, clandes­tine propaganda and open petitions - into lifting her emergency rule.  But last month’s formal postponement of elections for yet another year - breaking explicit promises to members of the ruling Congress party - has convinced the underground leaders that the present gov­ernment is irreversibly authoritarian.  So their prior­ity now is to get Mrs Gandhi out.

Not by violence.  The underground campaign against Mrs Gandhi claims to be the only non-left-wing revolu­tionary force in the world, disavowing any bloodshed and class struggle.  Indeed, it might even be called right-wing, since it is dominated by the Hindu commu­nalist party, Jana Sangh, and its banned “cultural” (some say para-military) affiliate, the RSS.  But the platform at the moment has only one non-ideological plank: to bring democracy back to India.

The underground movement has become progressively bolder in the 17 months since the emergency was im­posed, partly because of tacit support from the forces of Mrs Gandhi’s law and order.  Last week sympathetic policemen helped one of its most wanted leaders, Dr Subramaniam Swamy, to slip out of the country through a major airport.  Sympathetic censors have passed politi­cal messages through the post and in and out of jail; agents in post offices have disconnected troublesome taps on telephones; civil servants have provided access to official files.

One of these files which was leaked to the opposi­tion provides an explanation for Mrs Gandhi’s unexpect­ed decision to postpone the election.  Several of her intelligence services are said to have told her that under present circumstances she would win only 220 to 270 seats in the lower house - at best 130 fewer than the Congress party won at the last election in 1971 and only a bare majority in a 520-seat house.

Communications have become so easy for the under­ground that its top leaders talk by telephone almost every day - sometime on international lines - using codes and false names.  When vulnerable urban printing presses are confiscated, clandestine newspapers are duplicated on hundreds of small local machines and de­livered by truck and bicycle.  Money is no object for the movement: 60,000 to 70,000 small contributions have been collected.  Underground leaders are given sanctu­ary in homes throughout the country, even when they are known to have high prices on their heads.  The movement claims that not a single activist has been caught be­cause of an informer.  Some 30,000 men on the wanted list are still at large.

The ground troops of this operation consist of tens of thousands of cadres who are organised down to the village level into four-man cells.  Most of them are RSS regulars, though more and more new young re­cruits are coming in.  The other opposition parties which started out as partners in the underground have effectively abandoned the field to the Jana Sangh and RSS, especially since the arrest last June of India’s most notable fugitive, the Socialist railway leader, George Fernandes.  The Socialists had been carrying out an independent campaign of railway sabotage: this con­tinues today as a freelance effort by disgruntled rail­waymen.

The function of the RSS cadre network - and of the thousand or so militants who are travelling throughout India at any one time - is mainly to spread the anti-Gandhi word.  Once the ground is prepared and political consciousness raised, so the leaders argue, any spark can set off the revolutionary prairie fire.

One likely flashpoint, according to underground strategists, would be a protest against forced sterili­sation.  There were 21 incidents this autumn in the state of Uttar Pradesh alone in which Mrs Gandhi’s cen­tral reserve police fired on angry crowds; 467 people are alleged to have been killed.

No oil to cook with

Another potential source of spontaneous combustion are the price rises and shortages many Indians are suffer­ing from despite the well-publicised stabilising effect of the emergency.  A disappearance of cooking oil in Bombay recently led to attacks on ration shops and obliged the government to rush in supplies from other states.  Mrs Gandhi conceded at the recent Congress party meeting at Gauhati that price control is weaken­ing - and blamed it on a relaxation of the emergency.

This claim about relaxation is hotly contested by her opponents.  True, some well-known political figures have been released from jail but an estimated 10,000 others are said to have been arrested since June.  About half of these were taken into custody in Bombay at the end of October during a visit by Mrs Gandhi’s son Sanjay, although most were released the next day.  Another category of prisoner, however, is still filling the jails  - such as the Times of India assistant edi­tor, Mr Sundar Rajan, who was recently arrested for a piece he wrote for a foreign newspaper.  He is one of some 270 imprisoned journalists.

Another index of increasing repression cited by the opposition is the number of prisoners who have died under mysterious circumstances.  These include a well-known lawyer and a smuggler who was an ally-turned-ene­my of Sanjay Gandhi.  The smuggler’s body was found in the Jumna river, 11 miles from Delhi’s Tihar jail from which he allegedly escaped.

Stories like these are grist for the underground mill which circulates news (and rumors) not fit to print in India’s censored press.  Underground papers also reprint critical foreign reports on India to con­vince the timid that the outside world cares.  One re­sult of 17 months of underground propaganda, say its purveyors, is that the timid are becoming less so.

They say there is a greater willingness to grumble in public; that people sometimes now hoot at Mrs Gandhi’s picture in cinemas, and heckle at political meetings; and that political posters have been defaced so that Mrs Gandhi’s 20-point emergency programme is amended to read 420 - the number of the fraud section in India’s penal code.  Another sign of anti-Gandhi feeling is a series of defeats for the Congress party in the few local elections which have not been post­poned under the emergency.

Still, the underground leaders do not delude them­selves that revolution is round the corner.  Public opinion, they accept, needs to be further prepared.  Another four key target groups must be mobilised: dis­sident Congressmen; dissident bureaucrats and police; students; and organised labour.  The Jana Sangh is not counting on the peasants as a revolutionary force in the Maoist style because it will not promise radical land reform.  But it is trying to educate the peasants - and solicit their money.

Students and labour, it claims, have already been largely won over: the Jana Sangh controls most of the important student unions, and in October three impor­tant trade unions - one pro-Jana Sangh, one pro-Social­ist and one pro-Marxist - combined forces to fight for a restoration of workers’ bonuses through a series of one-day strikes and petitions.  Bureaucrats and Con­gress party members are harder to draw into the opposi­tion camp because they have more to lose.  Corrupt and power-hungry civil servants and policemen have been the major beneficiaries of the emergency: the going rates for services rendered are said to have multiplied four to ten times.  But many officers and officials are un­comfortable in their new roles and play both sides.

Dr Swamy, who last month became the first member to be expelled from India’s parliament on political grounds, characterises the present system as a bureau­cratic dictatorship.  “If Mrs Gandhi had a party run­ning this country, I would have been apprehensive.  But by transferring power from the party to the bureaucra­cy, she has made it overbearing, irresponsible and cor­rupt.  This is our single biggest advantage.”

Names not on the list

Members of Mrs Gandhi’s Congress party have not been insensitive to this erosion of their power.  Some mem­bers of parliament now insist on police protection when they tour their constituencies.  Others have a more specific reason for opposing the new regime: their names are not on Sanjay Gandhi’s list of 250 new candi­dates to replace sitting members.

Until recently Congress discontent was expressed largely in private criticism, although some party men have gone so far as to offer support and hospitality to underground leaders.  In the last month more than 150 members of the Congress party actually took a public stand.  Before the recent constitutional amending ses­sion of parliament a group of Congressmen told minis­ters of their reluctance to vote for the amendment bill.  They were persuaded to support it - by 366 votes to four - in exchange for a pledge that the election would be announced soon.  When the bill for postponing the election was tabled only days later, the government vote dropped to 210 with over 150 Congressmen abstain­ing and the normally faithful Communist party voting against.

“What the Congress party is waiting for”, said an opposition spokesman, “is evidence that Mrs Gandhi is not all-powerful.”  This is what the underground hopes to provide.