Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Development to Disaster – Kerala Model

Kerala Model became widely popular in UN economic circles as an ideal one for any developing state in the twenty first century. The huge appreciation and wide publicity it obtained as a desirable economic model for ideal development of human society in an atmosphere of ‘justice and fairness to all’ was mainly due to the efforts of stalwarts like Dr. Amartya Sen and Dr. K.N. Raj. In classical economics, the scenario of any state attaining the highest levels of human development with the lowest levels of per-capita income is unimaginable. And that was exactly what the state of Kerala in the Indian union achieved in isolation in 1980s and 1990s. A lot of known and unknown individual and collective efforts have gone into its making, including the vast influence of leftist ideologies in a society having easier access to education thanks to the mushrooming of Christian missionary schools. But the situation has taken a complete turn since the start of this century.

Rao’s twin social warheads of liberalization and globalization (l&g) have worked wonders with all states other than Kerala. The percentage of people who have benefitted from the goodness of unlimited market forces let lose by l&g is a minimum in Kerala. Atleast two generations of Keralites owe it to the Leftists led by Krishna Pillai, AKG and EMS to have revitalized the left side of their brains to dream of a society full of equality, justice and true secularism. People from all sections of the society listened to them and believed in their words and promises. The unbelievable surge in Kerala’s human development index was a direct outcome of the goodness thus created. But when the ideology itself has failed and its leaders have turned looters, how can the surge continue? The downturn has been equally swift and we are now left with a highly unequal and unjust society which is almost fully communalized into four equal sections – Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Communists.

Reasons for Development

In addition to the distinct influence of Communism in Kerala’s social and economic arenas, there are a couple of associated aspects that triggered the development indices in 1980s and 90s. Migration to Gulf countries in significant numbers and the vast remittance of foreign exchange was one of them. The other one was the large scale change in agricultural pattern from food crops to commercial crops. Surprisingly both the factors have been necessitated by or influenced the governments in power. Naxalism was gathering enormous clout in Kerala when the employment relief valve provided by Oil & Gas boom in the Gulf provided an alternative avenue of employment for the youth. And the pioneering land reforms by the government forced the agricultural pattern in favour of commercial crops as an easy way to avoid the land ceiling act. Both these unexpected developments had enormous impact on the social life of Kerala.

The full implications of such a paradigm shift in the social landscape of Kerala took many more decades to dawn. When we analyse these two trails in perspective, the combination of an air of progressive leftism that prevailed then and the new opportunities that opened up all of a sudden took the whole state into a totally unexpected (and undesired) direction. No doubt that there has been an undeniable elevation of social and economic status of a major section of our society within a very short span of time. The quantity and quality of services available in the educational and health sectors improved drastically in a short span of time. Sections of our society could easily walk into avenues of opportunities with the kind of money the two new sources could generate. But the best part of the development picture got over by the end of last century sooner than expected and the nightmare had started.

Reasons for Disaster

Just like the two associated reasons for development, there are some for the disaster as well. The vast employment opportunity in the Gulf was definitely a boon for the huge number of educated unemployed Keralites. But the influence of extraneous considerations started skewing the recruitment pattern very soon. The growing influence of Islam in everything (including even business) in the Gulf was the important factor that upset the growth of a healthy pattern of competition and development. Knowledge of Arabic language, which is again related to religion, was another factor that changed the recruitment pattern for the Gulf. The net result was the disproportionate opportunities available and the sudden economic bonanza for a particular section of our society. Another section of the population utilized a similar set of criterion to get most favoured status in the West. Thus two of the demographic minorities of Kerala suddenly became formidable financial powerhouses.

Another factor that upturned the developmental applecart of Kerala is the spurt in commercial crop cultivation. More and more people turned into plantations of rubber, tea etc., as an easy way to avoid losing land to the landless. It is said that the land ceiling act was sabotaged by the wealthy planters by manipulating the Communists to exclude commercial plantations from its purview. Most of the wealthy planters belonged to a particular minority community and that distorted the social landscape even further. The unorganized majority not only lost large tracts of land but also lost out in their efforts to gain employment elsewhere. Thousands and thousands of acres of food cultivation land turned overnight into plantations with rubber, coffee etc. Successive governments which went full steam with land reforms had no ready made plans for rehabilitation of those who lost their only means of livelihood. Minorities were made happy at the expense of the unorganized majority.

Several decades down the lane, the situation in Kerala state is now a complete disaster. It has become the epicenter of terrorism fuelled by Gulf money, control room for co-ordinated religious conversion through out India with the help of Western dollars and above all a completely unsafe place to live in. Roads are in shambles and infrastructure in lacking in almost all fields we can think of. Distribution of drinking water, electricity and public transport leave much to be desired. Food cultivation is minimal and all Keralites are at the mercy of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh for their daily food. Things have come to such a pass that a majority of educational institutions have minority status and even affairs of Hindu temples are controlled by a government that is dominated by non-believers and other religionists. The very same aspects that made Kerala model famous once have turned satanic - Gulf money and Commercial crops - thereby threatening to bring down the state from development to disaster. Kerala Model is now infamous and a laughing stock.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

No God, Only Godmen

Godmen is a derogatory word among the so-called Communist intellectuals in India and perhaps their cousins all over the world. One cannot blame anyone who truly believes in the absence of a superior logic to rubbish anything related to God. We should definitely respect true Communists, Marxists and Maoists when they ridicule God and Godmen based on their ideology. But then the question turns to the basis of their ideology itself. Communism has failed completely and what we are seeing in China, Russia and even among Indian Maoists are only dishonest and hypocritical attempts to push the secret agenda of a few in the name of Communism. We too had very many true Communists who were hardcore atheists in their younger days; but ultimately all of them failed in their pursuit and some of them even became prominent Godmen. So how can followers of a ideology that failed in the span of a century ridicule the rationality of our shastras that advocate Godmen and have survived many millennia. It is now proven that Man’s irresistible quest for a rational explanation about God cannot lead to anywhere else but to the spark of Godliness within him as demonstrated by many a Godmen.

The case of the two Semitic religions is no different when it comes to Godmen. Deriding the concept of Godmen has always been a prominent weapon of the two Semitic religions that are competing to convert the whole of India into their folds. Their foreign progenitors were inherently incapable of comprehending the Vedic signals from India that pointed to an all pervading logical entity that can be called God. Instead they believe in a God who lives in another world. All their techniques to convert the followers of Hindu Sanatana Dharma (PTBH) have an element that ridicules the concept of finding God within Man. The clever ones among missionaries and mullahs know that their own existence will be questioned if the truth of an all pervading entity finds any foothold among their followers who are trapped under an ideological slavery. They are hell bent on keeping God away from Man and operating their wholesale agency business. Little do they realize that the eternal truth shall always overcome the transient ones and the truth of Godmen shall be firmly established one day.

No Separate God

The concept of a separate God can hold water only when it is possible to provide proof for separate origins for God and others. Whatever little theology that could be built up by the followers of such religions has been completely shattered when Big Bang started seeing light of the day. So far prophets, messengers and godsons were having a good time formulating faiths with ulterior motives for domination and subjugation. Just the simple fact that their blinding books have many references to non-believers when their separate God is supposed to be all-powerful shows the hollowness of their claims. An omnipotent Creator should at least have the vision to refer to all humans as His followers. Instead the books containing His dictates’ are self-explanatory in revealing His diffidence and inabilities. How can any entity that cannot ensure that all ordinary humans believe and follow it be granted omnipotence? It is only as strong or weak as any of us are.

Another strong argument against the existence of a separate God is the present condition of human race in this universe after almost a dozen billion years of existence. There are religions and religions, each with a version of God of their own. Not all can be true. If any particular one is the real truth, all those who fully follow it should have succeeded in every respect by now. Extreme violence and misery in the Arab world, steady decadence of the Western world etc., points only to the lack of any substance in their beliefs of a separate God, which is all-powerful, compassionate and omnipresent. The utter failure of all Hindu schools in the past that advocated Dvaita and Visishta-Advaita in India also proves this point beyond any doubt. There is definitely a God but it cannot exist outside any of us. Like all forms of energy that needs storage or conductor, God is nothing but a logical energy that resides in each and every thing in this universe. It cannot have any human feelings like compassion, vengeance and benevolence as promised by the prophets and messengers.

Only Godmen & Godwomen

Where the concept of a separate God dies, the relevance of Godmen begins. Given the fact that God is present in all of us and that all of us are different, it is only natural to conclude that we all have different ‘quantities’ of God. The concept of Godmen (and Godwomen) comes in here. Divinity of the entire six billion people can be plotted in a graph and we are sure to come up with a clear bunch at the top. These are the people like Saibaba and Mata Amritanandamayi who have demonstrated their uniqueness without any doubt. A lot of us are confused between divinity and miracles. Most miracles remain inexplicable for those who consider it as miracles and it is not necessary to possess divinity to show miracles. A magician may be able to show it better. Divinity is nothing but the silent radiation of God energy. Even the most unbelieving will feel excited in the very presence of people like Ramana Maharshi, Saibaba and the Mata. I do not think anyone will demand proof for their positive divine capabilities when we compare their achievements to that of the rest among us.

Another equally important truth of evolution comes in here. In the broad spectrum of divinity pattern distributed among us there cannot be any doubt about the slow and steady process of spiritual evolution. Knowingly and unknowingly we are accumulating knowledge through our experiences. Those who have inborn qualities of radiating God energy and those who accumulate the same consciously during their lives go on to become Godmen. Many of their deeds and words point to only one thing – that they have much more of God energy than we have. The basic inequality of human beings is nothing but a reflection of the different levels of God within us. All other inequalities in terms of social, economical and even physical parameters can be altered. An individual’s divinity can be altered by only him (or her) and that too based on his (or her) individual efforts. The one and only way to realize the God within you (and become a Godman) is through strenuous hard work or prayers.

All of us have God within us, but to become accomplished Godmen there is the acid test of sustained acceptability. Many a Nityanandas and Premanandas have failed miserably in this regard. Truly accomplished Godmen in the past like Ramana Maharshi ( were highly indifferent to publicity. But the strength of divine signals emanating from such rare personalities not only overwhelmed the locals but followers from far and abroad. A list of devotees who fell for this seemingly unimpressive saint is truly astonishing. In contemporary times, the accomplishments & achievements of Mata Amritanandmayi ( and Saibaba ( need no further proof to establish their claims as genuine Godmen. Those among us who are wasting our time in failing to recognize their divinity are making the big mistake of searching for a non-existent separate God when Godmen are readily available in our midst.