Britain Ran Markets, Now Markets Run Britain
The once mighty Empire now seems rudderless, confused and in need of real leadership. So desperate is its position that it has promoted a person of Indian extraction to bail it out of its seemingly bottomless hole. Without saying aloud, many of the older generation are uncomfortable with this but with the world money markets pushing Britain towards the well of bankruptcy, it seems it had few choices. Rishi Sunak, Punjabi of course, has become the most unlikely Prime Minister of Great Britain.
What happened? Britain decided that it could still revive its old glory and power and reinvent ‘Rule Britania, Britania rules the waves’ (sound waves now). So it went Brexit. It decided to ditch its European partners. Why be tied to restrictive Europeans! Be free and promiscuous with any country and even polygamous with many at the same time. ‘Plenty of Fish’ etc was the thinking.
Times change. Powers change. But fallen Empires take a long time to come to terms with their shrinking status.
Britain’s posturing and its actions are classic. It happened to Rome. It happened to Mughals and it’s happening to good old Britain. The psycho drama of imperial loss is the same irrespective of how many psychiatrists a country can boast.
Not only did Britain think that it could unhinge from Europe and become Global Great again, it even decided to reincarnate Victorian era economic policies under the ‘we can again’. The Victorian period were halcyon days when indifference to poverty, planet destruction, industrial pollution, cruelty and making the rich richer by any means had led the Empire to its zenith and every English man a master of the world. In came the bombastic goddess, Liz Truss, in a puffed up vintage tank of dreams.
But Prime Minister Liz Truss was tossed out within six weeks. She campaigned on the slogan of ‘growth, low taxes, low spending’. Her 37 days in power have been a spectacle of comedy and parody.
It was crazy and unbelievable 37 days. Liz Truss was running after the money men with bags of money shouting, ‘Here, I am giving all this and more to you, grow grow grow Britain with it’. Her grin was unbearable to the parents of children who barely eat one meal a day in Britain, or to the disabled dreading further squeeze on their support packages.
It was a case of robbing and bonding the future of the poor and being benevolent to the rich, a bizarre proclamation under the nose of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
But the money men were running away from dizzy Lizzy. Fortunately many of the powerful money men have grown out of the Victorian era. While the Oil giants and energy companies were counting imaginary trillions coming their way by squeezing the needy, the powers who control the market, the investments companies, thought otherwise about promised windfall taxes from the poor.
They knew that there is nothing to invest in Britain. It has decimated its once dominating manufacturing industry in favour of financial institutions. Britain’s labour force is far more expensive than that of China, India and South America. In fact it doesn’t even have enough of a labour force, having kicked Europe out and ill with immigrant phobia. What could money invest in, perhaps more Universities and Royal family outings?
The money men also know a country with a few enviable rich and the rest with deepening poverty, child hunger, pauperised wages and housing deficit will implode one day. Hardly a stable future for one’s investment. Not every country is like India with the ‘Ananis’ and ‘Amanis’ joining the world’s richest and walking indifferently over destitute people sleeping in the streets. Social scientists often say the marvel of India is that those with most expensive houses in the world live side by side with those who only have the pavement and sewers for home and yet no one thinks of a revolution! A marvel of contentment surely to promote along with yoga as Dharma Karma. Doesn’t work in most parts of the world though.
In Britain, Dharma Karma worked differently. The market took flight outwards. Grow Grow Grow Britain’s Victorian economic dream went into Blow Blow Blow Britain economy, blowing a hole the size of a continent in Britain’s financial health. ‘The Market’ told Britain, to get its act or look at the bottom of Mount Vesuvius crater.
Quickly the panicked powers that be, pushed the Grow Grow Grow Prime Minister and her Finance Minister out of Airbnb’s most prestigious potential temporary residence, 10 Downing Street, after only 37 days. Democracy be damned when it comes to money. She grew into the Guiness Book as the shortest lasting Prime Minister of UK plc whose tenure wasn’t shortened by death.
Britain once controlled the world’s markets. Now the markets run Britain. The markets told Britain’s Tory MPs to appoint Rishi, a money man with experience in Hedge Funds and handling money. From boisterous wannabe Churchill Boris to nationalist Penny Mordaunt, the Conservative Party bowed to the market. And so emerged the great Rishi Sunak, a thin wiry small man in a country that worships great warriors. This is Karma Dharma as opposed to Dharma Karma. Try work that out.
What next? The stony road of unBrexiting Brexit Britain.
Modi’s Achche Din Rainbow Glows Again
Modiji had promised millions and millions of jobs when he ran for Prime Minister. He promised every Indian family will have at least one member in a job and almost every graduate will have a job to look up to.
Achche Din (anyone remember that) also promised every person will have a house, lakh rupees in the bank, the cleanest streets in the world and world’s fastest train that would go from Mumbai to Delhi in 1 Modi hour.
To some extent this has happened with some political license on the dictionary. Every Indian does have a roof on his/her head. Those on the streets have a cardboard roof, those in the fields have leaves over their head and some lucky ones have tin roofs. Luckier ones have pukka roofs. One promise reached.
Every Indian also has a lakh. They have a lakh dreams in the Brain bank. When one has that, sometimes with help of ‘charas’ one has plentiful. Life is a leela. It depends on how leela is defined.
The streets are also clean. They have been cleaned off any remaining fresh air. Smog and pollution is everywhere and India has been cleaned off breathable air. The moaners can do yoga.
World’s fastest train is in fact faster. Sit on your laptop in Delhi and one can talk to another person in Mumbai within seconds on the zoom train. Whereas in the real iron train Modi 1 hour is different than Greenwich 1 hr. It’s how the hour is defined.
As for jobs, it’s the people’s refusal to take the one job Modiji has made available universal for all Indians. He has given them the slogan to chant, ‘Modi hai to mumkin hai’. This means that if ‘Modi is there, possibility is there.’ Unfortunately pesky uncontrollable democratic Indians don’t quite think alike and many have their own heroes other than Modiji. So very few are doing the job of Modi Simran, ‘Modi hai to mumkin hai’. And he didn’t say it will be a paid job.
Now Modiji is becoming realistic and promising just 10 lakh jobs (or 1 million) at Diwali. This 1 million is a promise to a population of 1.4 Billion, or 1,400 million.
Modiji hasn’t said whether this time he means the promise to be taken literally or is it still subject to political license.
Congress Divides, Congress Unites
The Congress party of India, called Grand Old Party (GOP) as Indian journalists like to copy western idioms (mimicking American word for Republican Party), has now embarked on gluing together the priceless vase it had wilfully broken into a thousand pieces during its rule.
For most of its reign, the Congress Party of India had engaged in divisive policies to ensure vote banks while bellowing the slogan, ‘unity in diversity’. It had pitched Muslim vote against Hindu vote, Hindu vote against Sikh vote, lower caste vote against upper caste vote and caste against caste, region against region, religion against religion.
This divisive tactic ensured Congress rule for over 40 years with communal violence, casteism, sectarianism, nationalism becoming a norm. The delicate fabric of thousands of years of a civilisation which was pluralist with enviable foundations of coexistence of polar differences, was shred apart by Nehru dynasty.
Now every broken piece has its own leader, its own party, its own agenda and its own political identity.
Having broken this priceless vase into a thousand pieces, the crown prince, Rahul has decided he will glue the pieces together. He started his Bharat Jodo Yatra. What cruel farce upon a civilisation that could have taught the world so much but was torn apart by this family. Somebody needs to show the family mirror to him.
A broken vase never recovers when glued together. The cracks are too visible. The legacy of Nehru family is a divided, sectarian violent India where coexistence is daily forced by draconian laws, police and armed forces. The politically blinkered still follow him.