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Old 16th June 2008, 11:00   #61
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the problem is not at a single level.

there is a global level and a local level. At the global level I have mentioned the monetary hegemony of the west that forces countries to hoard dollars. You tell me why should we need to depend upon the currency of a foreign country to conduct trade and import stuff. Which means that the US and all the countries that have the meharbani of this one country (viz western Europe) can import as much as they like without a care in the world. Rest have to sell raw materials, and makes themselves of value to this one country and its favored cartel. Don't you sense a slight discrepency in that system? Have you ever given a thought on why such an unfair system has been imposed on countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America ?

then there is a problem at the local level. You have to go through the history of India to find that out. Indians had to be subservient to the Brits and before that were enslaved by the mughals. So if anyone had to prosper during those times they needed to serve this elite class. The Brits also encouraged those people with low morals and corruptive mindset to the high positions so that their interests could be taken care of and Indian interests could be ignored. This has left us with a corrupt legacy. This process in collective called 'McCaulayization' and 'dhimmitude'.
First of all, i wanted to concentrate on the "local level".
Secondly I do not agree with your "Foreign hand" theory.
There are myriad of reasons why I don't
1. Discrimination has existed in Indian culture much before the British. Even water wells were segregated(in some villages it still happens)
2. I have seen discrimination in India today where no westerners are involved(both parties are Indian
3. I know people in the US personally who have been adequately compensated(hundreds of thousands of $) for discrimination due to turban etc., but I do not know of any handicapped/socially or mentally challenged person in India who has been compensated by bollywood. Infact, inspite of repeated making fun of handicaps, mentally challenged and other people who are different, and passing that has humor, the govt of this country has not filed a single case, and no suit in the courts has been filed. No westerners involved here you see.
4. I have faced more discrimination in this country(talking about all that would be going very very OT), but not faced any in the west
5. Multiple people have quoted that there are many other groups like the Taj who do not discriminate.

So all this talk which you gave at the global level of western axis of evil blah blah, well I often read many journals published by Chinese govt, MCPI, CPI(M), etc., etc., They all talk what you are saying, and therefore your views and mine are ideological orthogonals.
So lets not try to find a common ground on world politics, and lets focus on the local aspect, i.e. this particular incident, and similar incidents.
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Old 16th June 2008, 11:14   #62
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I have always believed Indians by nature are not discriminatory. If they were the opressed 'lower castes' would never have grown in numbers or have gained influence. It is long periods of foreign rule, first by mughals and then by Brits that has exacerbated a class based system into a discriminator system. When the resources to share became lesser and the tribute they had to pay to their rulers made the native people of India retreat into their shells and they made closed groups. So much so that today the living memory in most Indians is full of negativity when it comes to India. More so the govt does not take any effort to dispel this notion in this regard.

Also do not be dismissive of the global level factors. Your gut instinct tells you what I am saying is communist, Chinese, maoist agitprop (I recall you studied in Kerala in the communist den of misgovernance) but you can't figure out why what is being said is completely incorrect. And that by default this has to be distrusted. Any group can hijack any issue .. but that does not make the issue go away or belittle it. Although they can discredit those who want to spread awareness of the same.
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Old 16th June 2008, 11:33   #63
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... the monetary hegemony of the west that forces countries to hoard dollars. You tell me why should we need to depend upon the currency of a foreign country to conduct trade and import stuff. ...
You seem to happily mix up too many stuff even if not entirely relevant. To answer your query on the why of the forex requirement for external trades, the answer is its not as simple as you make it sound. The governments have not fixed up the rule that you need to pay in such and such currencies etc. Well, not in the real sense.

The reason why international trade is mostly carried out in dollars is because
  1. Carrying out trade in 100s of different currencies is difficult. You need one common ground. That helps in uniform pricing, easier and faster trade settlements etc. The question is which one.
  2. Traditionally, US has been the hub of all industrial actions. There currency has traditionally been a stable one on the world charts. So it worked out to be a commonly acceptable one across the world.
Now why not the Indian currency? Well, tell me something. Today you strike a lucrative deal with an importer in Zuzube. Their currency is Fareng. They say that they will pay in Fareng for this deal. You look up the international currency values and then locate this currency. Based on that you work out the price of your product. So the deal is through. You ship the consignment and then soon enough you have the billions of Fareng of the deal value in your account. You are happy.

But are you? That fareng is of little use to you in this country. So you need to exchange the currency for the good ol' rupee. Surprise surprise. You now discover that the previous night Zuzube had a military coup from the rival guerrilla militant groups and they are in control. The country has declared bankruptcy and stopped all its payment commitments internationally. Their currecy has gone belly up. So what do you have in your account now? Nothing... nada. You have shipped the consignment and all your money has gone down the drain.

How is that for a reality check? I hope that tells you why traditionally a stable currency was selected for global trade. Having said that economic policies are great levellers. Recently when dollar was in a free fall most of the hotels and other businesses stopped quoting the dollar rates. They were happy charging all and sundry in the Indian currency. In fact the fall was being abetted internationally because big operators were dumping dollars and hoarding rupee (and other similar stellar performers) thus making the rise even steeper.

Got that? So please stop all your ajab theories on conspiracies, evils and whatever else that you seem to get into at the drop of a hat.


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I have always believed Indians by nature are not discriminatory. If they were the opressed 'lower castes' would never have grown in numbers or have gained influence. It is long periods of foreign rule, first by mughals and then by Brits that has exacerbated a class based system into a discriminator system.
What are you talking about? Check the ancient Vedas to understand how discriminatory we have been since ages. Our most ancient vedas will tell you about a class based system where Brahmins, Kshatriyas and even Shudras had their respective places in the community. Its an eye opener. Read the age old Kamasutra. You will realize that even there the discrimination is exasperating to say the least. We have always been the discriminators. Your brits and other rulers only exploited these dirty practices to the hilt to add to their advantages.

Last edited by Zappo : 16th June 2008 at 11:39.
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Old 16th June 2008, 11:46   #64
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Let me tell you the story of a hot headed consultant who decided to move to india on an indian salary to join a consulting company which had UK links.

We were asked to locate to mumbai to re-engineer a major tractor manufacturer. we are all to stay in the Holiday Inn Juhu. The foreign consultants were allowed anything and they begged them to take armada's for their own use!! It did not matter that they forget to check the water, note the temerpature levels and ruin the cylinder heads.

Us indian's - we stayed in the holiday inn for a month at a time but,,,, booze and laundry were not allowed. Were we going to wash our clothes in whisky and drink all the soap? And we were allowed only a trip back home once a month!

The hot headed consultant made a lot of noise to the british principals who did not give a "sausage" so he politely enquire with the client who rescinded the restriction only to find that we never really drank much in the first place and were not incontinent. It was also explained that if one worked 6 days on one week and 4 days during the next, one could take a long alternate weekend trip home and also reduce hotel costs

The consultant got his way but decided that working for a company that exposes its staff to discrimination did not cut it

Last edited by ajmat : 16th June 2008 at 11:48.
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Old 16th June 2008, 11:47   #65
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In the late 80s worked for a company in Troy Michigan. We had sold some equipment to India. To commision the equipment we had to despatch a technician. Since I was Indian, the management thought it wise to send me along (also since I was an Engineer). The technician wanted to fly Air India becuase he was fond of Indian food etc.. so we flew Air India. We got 2 seats with an aisle between us. Everythime the technician asked for something the Indian air hostess would serve him, I often had to ask 2-3 times before getting service and this was in Business Class. As we departed the flight the customs waved the white technican though but insisted my bag be xrayed. On the way to the customer the technician whispers "How do you Indians expect us to respect you guys when you dont even respect yourselves".

In short this happens all over India. I call it the "Gora Sahib Syndrome". It will take a generation or two to change. I reckon the current breed of 20 somethings and generations that follow them wont have these hang-ups.
This is pretty common with British Airways (London to Chennai). The air hostesses are Indians and the service to Indians is pathetic even in First class.

Last edited by jayguar : 16th June 2008 at 11:49.
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Old 16th June 2008, 11:50   #66
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[*]Traditionally, US has been the hub of all industrial actions. There currency has traditionally been a stable one on the world charts. So it worked out to be a commonly acceptable one across the world.[/list]Now why not the Indian currency? Well, tell me something. Today you strike a lucrative deal with an importer in Zuzube. Their currency is Fareng. They say that they will pay in Fareng for this deal. You look up the international currency values and then locate this currency. Based on that you work out the price of your product. So the deal is through. You ship the consignment and then soon enough you have the billions of Fareng of the deal value in your account. You are happy.

But are you? That fareng is of little use to you in this country. So you need to exchange the currency for the good ol' rupee. Surprise surprise. You now discover that the previous night Zuzube had a military coup from the rival guerrilla militant groups and they are in control. The country has declared bankruptcy and stopped all its payment commitments internationally. Their currecy has gone belly up. So what do you have in your account now? Nothing... nada. You have shipped the consignment and all your money has gone down the drain.

How is that for a reality check? I hope that tells you why traditionally a stable currency was selected for global trade. Having said that economic policies are great levellers. Recently when dollar was in a free fall most of the hotels and other businesses stopped quoting the dollar rates. They were happy charging all and sundry in the Indian currency. In fact the fall was being abetted internationally because big operators were dumping dollars and hoarding rupee (and other similar stellar performers) thus making the rise even steeper.
Which was the defacto currency of the world before the IInd world war.

the British Pound.

After the second world war what took the place of the British Pound.

the US Dollar

Please read up on the Bretton-Woods agreement post WWII. It was crucial to establishing the dollar as mandatory reserve currency. And it was not a bi-partisan decision, it was imposed upon the rest of the world by the victors of the war.

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What are you talking about? Check the ancient Vedas to understand how discriminatory we have been since ages. Our most ancient vedas will tell you about a class based system where Brahmins, Kshatriyas and even Shudras had their respective places in the community. Its an eye opener. Read the age old Kamasutra. You will realize that even there the discrimination is exasperating to say the least. We have always been the discriminators. Your brits and other rulers only exploited these dirty practices to the hilt to add to their advantages.
There was a class based system but it was not discriminatory. that is a myth that has been perpetuated by vested interests selectively quoting manu smriti and so on. Read up on books on Indian history by Francois Gautier.
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Old 16th June 2008, 11:55   #67
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Even today each "Varna" (not caste) has a place in the society
- A Brahman's place is temple / marriage hall / funeral
- A Kshatriya's place is the borders of India
- A Vysya's place is shop / board room of companies
- A Shudra's place is the desk where he works (automobile assembly / desktop computer ... )
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Old 16th June 2008, 11:56   #68
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Now why not the Indian currency?
Now why not ?

India had the biggest share in world trade pre-WWII. You are equating the Indian currency with Zuzube and then enthusiastically proceed to bash down Zuzube.

Ideally India currency should have been the defacto currency, but we did not win world wars and were colonized so our currency didn't end up anywhere.

Do you know uptil the 1960s the Indian Rupee was the defacto currency of Saudi Arabia.
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Old 16th June 2008, 12:08   #69
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You are equating the Indian currency with Zuzube and then enthusiastically proceed to bash down Zuzube.
No I am not doing anything of the sort. I am just telling you why a strong currency was needed. It's a risk if you deal in too many currencies. I need a currency that is globally understood and acceptable and is generally stable. And once it was agreed upon that the world trade needs a strong currency it was a matter of picking one up, the one which was the most resilient to the everyday chaos of the world and domestic politics etc.

As I pointed out, it has nothing to do with your war shwar theory. Thankfully not everyone thinks the way you do. Else, with so many countries and if everyone started thinking its their currency which should be the prima donna in the world trade market and the way to do that is to start another world war we would have had a smoked out planet by now.

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There was a class based system but it was not discriminatory. that is a myth that has been perpetuated by vested interests selectively quoting manu smriti and so on. Read up on books on Indian history by Francois Gautier.
I suggest that you do read up the ancient Vedas and even the Kamasutra. It will be an eye opener. Heck, a brahmin will not even step into the village of shudras. Kamasutra suggests doing unthinkable things (you know what things I am talking about) to a shudra woman. And you say its a myth.

Last edited by Zappo : 16th June 2008 at 12:12.
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Old 16th June 2008, 12:17   #70
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Have you decided on which currency needs to be the reserve currency Zappo ?
No. It was a decision made on your behalf.
Are govts today free to decide on which currency they wish to trade in ?
No. Iraq made such a decision and they paid a heavy price.
Iran currently trades in Euro.

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I suggest that you do read up the ancient Vedas and even the Kamasutra. It will be an eye opener. Heck, a brahmin will not even step into the village of shudras. Kamasutra suggests doing unthinkable things (you know what things I am talking about) to a shudra woman. And you say its a myth.
What religious sanction does kamasutra have saar ?
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Old 16th June 2008, 12:27   #71
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I have always believed Indians by nature are not discriminatory. If they were the opressed 'lower castes' would never have grown in numbers or have gained influence. It is long periods of foreign rule, first by mughals and then by Brits that has exacerbated a class based system into a discriminator system. When the resources to share became lesser and the tribute they had to pay to their rulers made the native people of India retreat into their shells and they made closed groups. So much so that today the living memory in most Indians is full of negativity when it comes to India. More so the govt does not take any effort to dispel this notion in this regard.
What is India? The Harappan civilization? The Aryan invaders more than 2000 years ago? The Dravidian's down south? The Orientals of north east?
India has always been the crossroads of civilization and no single entity or racial group has monopy. This theory of Mughal infleunce etc., etc., is like giving ownership of India to a particular group, which I think is a very racist view.
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Also do not be dismissive of the global level factors. Your gut instinct tells you what I am saying is communist, Chinese, maoist agitprop (I recall you studied in Kerala in the communist den of misgovernance) but you can't figure out why what is being said is completely incorrect. And that by default this has to be distrusted. Any group can hijack any issue .. but that does not make the issue go away or belittle it. Although they can discredit those who want to spread awareness of the same.
Hello brother? My gut instinct does not tell me all this. I was talking about my reading habits. Many of my views are extreme leftist, and thats why I read all these journals. I don't agree with everything they say, but I do agree with many of the views, and in some cases I am even more radical, but putting those views here would be politicising the discussion, and as is the fashion these days I may be accused of sedition too
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Old 16th June 2008, 12:30   #72
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I've stayed away from this entire healthy argument. Simply because I'm not entirely sure how to react to it because I do not agree with everything said.

I'm not saying what is being discussed is not true and does not happen. I'm saying that often, there is more to it than simple racism. Again, I do not mean to demean or dismiss any of your points, but I have often found that the world's biggest racists are people who are not white.
Allow me to explain.

It has happened often in many of our lives that someone has been served out of turn and you have been offered a disservice or made to wait unnecessarily. What we do is turn to check who is being served before you. If it is an Indian, we're less angry. (I'm referring to the "you served a foreigner before me" situation) if it is a foreigner, it drives us mad. We scream racism.

It happens. Especially in the hospitality industry. They prefer foreigners. Not always because they are foreigners. But because they treat them well, smile and say thank you for every fork and knife placed, a thank you for every plate of food placed on the table, a compliment for good service and an excellent tip.
The foreigners do this in their own country too.

It is not our culture to keep smiling and thanking waiters throughout the service. Many do it, but the percentage is much lower. We come from a country where it is common to call a steward by snapping your fingers or making funny sounds like chhh chhh or worse, a kissing sound. We tip horribly, often leaving tips of Rs. 100/- on a 5000/-+ bill in a 5 star hotel.
Anywhere in the world, at a 5 star, a 10% is expected. And yet if a hotel/restaurant charges us 10% service charge, we get all cheesed off!

In the hospitality industry, foreigners are easier to please, behave nicer and pay well with less fuss. It happens that an automatic preference is given. Please do not flame me for this, I am not saying it is OK, I am simply trying to make you understand that it isn't really a deal with who is superior and who is not.
A waiter/manager/steward will automatically drift towards a client who is easier to please, speaks well and politely and pays well too. On the other hand the typical Indian client is loud, aggressive, service-hungry and often very rude.

A waiter/manager/steward and so on is human too. All humans react differently to different treatments meted out.

We live in a country where the knowledge of English automatically classifies you as educated/ illiterate. It takes one second to judge a persons education, unlike anywhere else in the world (An uneducated American or Brit or German speaks the same language as the educated ones)
We always look up to Indian people who speak English in this country. It is then natural to assume that the foreigners who speak English natively would be worth looking up to, even at a higher level. More often than not, it is so sadly untrue. But it does happen.

My comments are generalized and not specific. I do not wish to make sweeping statements and/or aggravate those who feel the way they do. I am simply trying to make a point that it is not always about colour or race.

It is wrong, nonetheless.

I've never faced any discrimination in my life and this is why I was uncomfortable to comment on it. I've seen it happen and it bothers me too. Not having been on the receiving end, I am probably not qualified enough to comment on this issue and all my views may be completely wrong. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone, this was not my intention.
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Old 16th June 2008, 12:40   #73
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What is India? The Harappan civilization? The Aryan invaders more than 2000 years ago? The Dravidian's down south? The Orientals of north east?
India has always been the crossroads of civilization and no single entity or racial group has monopy. This theory of Mughal infleunce etc., etc., is like giving ownership of India to a particular group, which I think is a very racist view.
I am reading from BJPs book of history, Sir. According to them there were no Aryan invaders. It was a creation of the Brits to classify Indians into these groups. Ancient India or Aryavarta if you will, stretched uptil Central Asia. Please check up on boundaries of ancient Indian Kingdoms such as Kushana and Saka.
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Old 16th June 2008, 12:53   #74
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Never heard of a BJP book of history. But the Aryan invasion was just a theory made by some European guy (not even a historian) which found the fancy of lot of people and it spread. There is not even an iota of historical proof for the Aryan invasion theory.
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Old 16th June 2008, 12:54   #75
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I am reading from BJPs book of history, Sir. According to them there were no Aryan invaders. It was a creation of the Brits to classify Indians into these groups. Ancient India or Aryavarta if you will, stretched uptil Central Asia. Please check up on boundaries of ancient Indian Kingdoms such as Kushana and Saka.
Lets keep these political parties out of it. Every political party has its agenda. Due to my beliefs, I consider ancient kingdom's and ancient epics etc., "myths" and not fact. These religious cultural and ideological beliefs have been formed over almost 30 years, and no matter that you say they won't change.
Moreover discussion of politics and religion is against TBHP rules, so I will keep quiet about what I think about BJP and ancient civilizations and religion etc.,

Moreover I have worked enough with many organizations and seen the underbelly of the Indian society. I would not like to discuss all that, for the above mentioned reason(TBHP rules).

But I would love to hear experiences from people when they have been discriminated against. It could be due to any reason. For eg politeness of westerners(like Sam puts it), deep rooted feelings, British raj did some chemical experiments on Indians to behave like this, or anything else.
So please put forward your experience too. When you have faced this kind of "subtle racism".


And when we speak about racism, our govt is racist towards foreigners. For example they pay more when they go to see the Taj. I haven't been asked to pay more for tourist places in the US.

since my ideological mindset believes that every race or cultural group is responsible for whatever goodness or badness befalls them, I think whatever current mindset we have here is entirely our own doing and not somebody else's work.
Even when very dear people I know were fighting in the INA, they saw this subtle discrimination, and it was not the british influence. It was the mindset.

The British did not come to India and tell people to segregate the wells.
The Mughals did not come to India and tell temples to disallow certain casts.

Its very easy to blame the "foreign hand", and thats the reason 50 years after the WWII a battered country like Japan is sitting on the pinnacle of technology, and in India still thousands of farmers kill themselves every year.
If only instead of playing blame game people started doing something, things will improve.
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