Second Rant of The Day

Singhapur and Bharat

The second rant, goes back to my all-time fav –

So there is the regular, predictable, conventional post on Singapore.

Comparing Singapore to India from an Indian’s perspective is depressing: how did we–given all the advantages we had in 1950 compared to Singapore–squander it all and end up being a poor misgoverned over-populated country? That is the depressing bit.

Ok here’s the re-write:

Comparing Singapore to India, from any perspective is Idiotic: <Sarcasm>How did we, as a country with 5000 years of love and hate and bloodshed and wars and history and religion and culture and empire and 500 million people who could barely feed themselves not end up as “developed” as a teency-weency 4 million-strong authoritarian city-state?</Sarcasm>

Oh and one thing – am I to take it that India was NOT a poor misgovernment over-populated country in 1950? Were we a first-world country then?

Yes. It truly boggles the mind. When comparing development trajectories, our next comparisons will involve Ethiopia and Hong Kong. How did Ethiopia, with all the advantages that it had over Hong Kong in the late 9th century, end up being such a poor, misgoverned malnourished country, while Hong Kong has gone from strength to strength?

No wonder the World is the way it is today…

See, I’ll confess upfront – I’m a loud-mouthed idiot, with not much to show for brainpower. I didn’t figure out wave-particle duality. I’m lucky if I don’t get mated in chess in 3 moves(sigh…the one case where I DON’T want to get mated so easily….). But when the Brains of the World, who actually study Economics in depth come up with swill like this, one really begins to wonder.

policies — well thought out, rigorously implemented, and single-mindedly enforced — have the power to transform.


This is what I heard. A certain minister, very close to Lee Kuan Yew, in charge of housing (or some such) was involved in some kick-backs. The word went around that the guy will surely get off easy since he was in the inside circle. Lee asked the minister to see him. The meeting was brief. Two days later the minister blew his brains out. The message was clear: zero tolerance.

Ah, “This is what I heard”. Anecdotal evidence. The Best Kind. Now judging by this story, one can deduce many things.

Lee (Kuan Yew) is an expert hypnotist. How else do you think he convinced the minister to blow his brains out?

Lee Kuan Yew is a Mafia Don. He made the minister an offer he couldn’t refuse (cue Godfather Music).

The Minister was tired of being constipated, so he killed himself two days later, because he was..full of shit.

Or… The Minister was so shamed by his act he committed suicide.

None of them reflect very well on Lee Kuan Yew. Well, I would think the first possibility would make his being a leader much easier..but neither the second, the third nor the fourth possibility show what a “great leader” Lee Kuan Yew was/is.

That week they go out and catch a vandal, prosecute him to the utmost, and plaster his picture on the papers and in the write-up use the word “shame�? a dozen times.

O Glorious tactic of public disgrace. How I love thee. Not. Because in a country as small as India, with a population of only 1 billion, it would easy to capture all the vandals, and to plaster their faces in the papers, right? What a nice paper that would read like. What a lovely business idea! I can make yellow pages of all the people shamed! I’ll be rich! (*puts pinky finger tip to mouth, shaves head bald, and puts on a grey Nehru coat*) One BILLION dollars! Before you look up propesctive grooms on, you will check out their mugs in my Shame catalogue! And this system would be so foolproof. I mean it’s not the least bit prone to corruption or mistakes. And hey, if you got defamed accidentally, and weren’t really guilty, you can always make your reputation back in your next life, right?

Freedom of religion is guaranteed in Singapore but freedom to proselytize is not. Proselytizing essentially says that my religion is better than your religion and that if you don’t accept my god as the One True Savior(TM), you will rot in hell that my god has specially prepared for you. This sows seeds of discord in society and soon the newly converted start asking for special treatment and handouts and in the limiting case, when the bunch grows sufficiently large, ask for a separate state of their own because they cannot bear to live with the other people who are destined to go to hell.

Does anybody else sense a little bigotry here? No no, this is just general conversation…

o Singapore is strict about proselytizing. In keeping with their policy of discouraging that anti-social behavior, they caught a meek little Catholic lady who was going door to door peddling her religion and threw her into jail after she was found guilty by the courts. Then they publicized the event. This sent the message to all religious bigots who follow the dictates of their own hearts that bigotry is not ok.

This also sends the message that meek little old catholic ladies are the real threat to society. Not suicide bombers, thieves, or rapists. What a remarkable concept. I love it. Remember, don’t be caught with a religious book outside a strangers house. According to common law precedent, this treasonous, murderous act could get you in jail. But at least it would keep all the fundamentalists at bay.

They took care of the mullahs as well. Got them together and told them that if they even make a peep in their weekly religious sermons promoting killing and terrorism, they will have their butts in the sling. Live and let live was the message they got and as rational humans, the mullahs got in line. The last time they had communal unrest was sometime in the late 1960s.

What Neato Idea! Now I wish the kings of the 25 disparate Hindu kingdoms had thought of that 1100 years ago. India wouldn’t be in this mess. Then maybe even we wouldn’t have had any communal unrest since the 1960s. Live and let live. All this time. It’s been so simple. If we’d only said that to those Arab marauders with their scimitars. Then maybe us Hindus and Muslims would be living in peace now. Yes truly. Lee Kuan Yew. What a great man. What novel ideas Singapore has come up with.

No such luck in India, of course. We have Christian missionaries from all over the world having a grand old time converting heathens and soon enough you have the neo-converts pissing on Ganesh idols to show their new-found faith. News gets around and finally out of desperation and plain old brutality, a few missionaries get roasted and this gives the country an ill-deserved reputation of being intolerant. Madrassas funded by Saudi money flourish by the thousands where apparently the mullahs teach the young that killing kuffars is a pretty practical way of arranging society.

In reaction to this ocassionally, a few of the normally tolerant Hindus band together and retaliate. This hits the international press and India is tarred as a society full of murdering morons.

I notice that most of the commenters on that blog have let this comment fly. Frankly, this comment scares the shit out of me. Anybody who tries to justify these kinds of massacres, is a true disgrace to humanity.

And another thing – Hindus are NOT tolerant. We may not convert people to other religions and may let other religions be, but we are not tolerant. Don’t believe me? Ask any Hindu woman how “tolerant” Hindus are. Ask any Dalit how “tolerant” Hindus are. Yes members of other faiths may be even less tolerant. But please, lets not have any illusions about ourselves.

Every chronic persistent shortage you see around you in India is the result of a failure of imagination

Nope. It’s a failure of Socialism. I am pretty sure that some of the lalas sitting at their grubby desks imagined up precisely that some actions would lead to a shortage, thus causing hapless people to line up at their desks with bribes. That’s imaginative.

Not so the Singaporeans under Lee Kuan Yew. They learnt to use their imagination. They build capacity before they hit shortage. I hear that they have started building the third terminal at the airport even though the second one is not even up to full capacity.

Of course, that’s it. Build capacity before you hit shortage. Right. How foolish of me. And here I was, thinking, wait until everybody is dying, until every transformer blows a fuse before you replace it. Because of course, we have money to spare, and it’s easy to inject planning into cities that have existed since Jesus’ time. It is easy to buldoze 400 year old villages to make way for new highways. I mean there must be what – one or two of those in India at the most. Singapore must have also had 400 year old villages right?

I don’t know why but some people just draw good cards from the random draw that is life. Singaporeans are lucky. I am sure there are those who will immediately retort that the Singaporeans don’t have the freedoms that are normally associated with a liberal democracy. And I am also sure that the person making that statement is sitting comfortably well-fed in his nice office or home accessing the world wide web for knowledge and entertainment. For the average schmuck in a third world country, he would any day trade in his imaginary freedoms for a decent shot at a full stomach, a roof over his head, and a chance to get his children educated. After the average schmuck has achieved those basic necessities, he would ask for all sorts of goodies that a liberal democracy provides. And that is when the society should become a liberal democracy.

The sequence is important.

And here lies the greatest horror of horrors. Mr. Dey accuses people who champion democracy as being out of touch with reality. That we should all stay indoors in our airconditioned rooms….while he stays in his a/c room to tell us that Democracies should follow DICTATORSHIPS!!!!! This is it folks. The Path to salvation.

1. Create an authoritarian state.
2. From your pool of available dictators, pick one who has vision, knows how to read and write and is good at economics
3. Create country
4. Once your country is full of people with high living standards, transition to democracy.

*smacks hand on forehead*. EUREKA! The solution to all our problems are here! YAYAYAYA! *dances naked on the streets*

But, but wait. Didn’t America start out as a capitalist democracy first? And doesn’t comparing India against America make a teency bit more sense since they both were under the Colonial Yoke and had to fight for their freedom?
Hmmm, well more than Singapore, but America was just empty land before the Colonial times.

Oh – so we should compare against China. Ohhh, so China is the model for all to follow. Where they speak only one language, and follow mostly only one religion. And where their country wasn’t divided into two.

Hmmm…so that would mean, that just because something is good for Singapore, it’s not necessarily good for India?

But but, reducing crime and corruption aren’t bad things. We should learn those ideas from Singapore, shouldn’t we? Yes, but I think people in India do want less crime and corruption as a rule….so what is the new thing that Singapore is teaching us?

Hmmm… could it be…that it is more important for a country to be Economically free, than Politicially?

Possibly. Could it mean, that if your country is economically chained, the democracy would just end up re-inforcing that chaining?

For the most part, until the citizens of that country slowly wake up to other forms of Economics.


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