Justice without eyes


In developing countries such as India, there exist a variety of factors which negatively impact the administration of justice, not the least of which is the voluminous amount of legal cases clogging the judicial system. Given that there are embedded biases in the overall eco-system in favour of the rich, the famous and the powerful people, it has always been easy to skew the judicial administration, not allowing it to see the truth in its entirety. Witnessing the delivery of skewed and bad justice has resulted in the common man losing his faith in the judicial system’s effectiveness over the years. This has not been the result of bad judges, but more because of the ineffectiveness of the system which is easily liable for negative impact by powerful sources.

At the same time, over the past decade or so, the trust of the common man on the Supreme Court has vastly increased due to its interventionist and activist justices who often took suo moto cognisance of society’s victims. But then, such instances have been far and few between, and most people cannot anyway access the Supreme Court easily.

So, in a nutshell, the administration of judicial system has been found wanting in many developed countries. The victims often lose cases against powerful politicians. Even if powerful people finally get their day in court, they escape with a little knuckle on their wrist, and then go on to perpetrate the next crime.

Most countries assume that judicial systems are far better in the Western world, with more equitable delivery of justice. We have been influenced over the years by Hollywood movies and news sources on the fairness of the U.S. judicial system, and examples of legal cases where the justice has seen to be delivered.

However, there are plenty of examples wherein the Western system has totally gone astray and completely wrong. One example is the hugely disproportionate sentences meted out to different kinds of folks for the same kind of crime. In-built racism plays a huge role in the administration of the U.S. justice system, and it is not uncommon for a Black person to receive a sentence of 3 or 5 YEARS and for a White person to receive just 15 days in jail for comparable crimes. It is quite easy for a Black or Latino person to get shot by the police at a traffic stop, simply because the cops assume that Blacks and Latinos are, in general, criminals as compared to Whites. The Jury selection system is so skewed in the U.S. Courts of Law that it is almost impossible to get a fair selection of Jury and a fair evaluation of the criminal. The judges are constrained by the jury system so they have to play along, but the severity of the sentencing disturbs the social equity and equilibrium. We have seen consistently that the U.S. judicial system inflicts a far severe punishment on the Black and poorer sections of society involved even in petty crimes, and let go of the Whites for similar crimes, and further sentences Whites to less duration in prisons for even more egregious crimes.

So, why are we adoring the Western system of justice so much while denigrating our own? The problem is that most of us are ourselves racists at heart, and tend to admire our colonial masters because they are Whites with superior intellect? I do not have a clear cut answer, but it is apparent that there are issues with related lines of thinking. Whichever way you look at it, it is difficult not to conclude that the entire world is unfair when it comes to a uniform treatment of its denizens.

While I can go on and on, there is no escaping the fact that the justice system, in any country, is generally not blind. Or is it blind? Does it have eyes or no eyes? Think about it for a minute. Can we trust the system to deliver an equitable and fair justice? Or we cannot?

Things are complicated in any society. There is a hefty mix of power, wealth, racism, and corruption which colours the eyes of justice, making for a hugely non-uniform as well as non-linear administration of the justice system.

In my view, this unfortunate situation is not going to change much going forward. I do not have a prescription for betterment, but I do strongly think that we should stop aping the West and resolve our problems by ourselves. This applies to most developing countries, but does not apply to dictatorships.

Have a great week ahead,

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan

15th September 2019

The 65” Opportunity


Once in a long while, one gets the opportunity to replace……….yes, one’s TV! A TV is such a fixture in any home that we hardly ever want to tinker with it. The dominance of social media and news apps on the iPhone (for me!) means that TV time had already dropped significantly over the past several years. The past experiences of the entire family getting around the TV to watch a soap opera have long since vanished – it exists in rural villages of India for sure, because of the lack of other forms of entertainment, slow speed of the internet, and availability of the whole family at the same time, either before or after dinner. In urban societies, we miss that period of family togetherness, simply because of the irrefutable fact that interests have vastly diverged between the older generation and the millennial generation who seem to be totally immersed in social media and their phone world.

So, when there arises an opportunity to replace your old and tired TV, you do not exactly jump with joy about the technological possibilities embedded in advanced TV sets and the ultra high definition resolution that you have only dreamt of or seen while browsing through shopping malls. You do not start fantasizing on the huge technical advances made possible via OLED vs QLED. And so on and so forth.

On the other hand, one applies mathematical principles to the TV buying process. Yes, simple maths. It simply becomes an economic maths decision based on the minimum acceptable benchmarks for the key parameters. If adequate preparation is not done before your trip to couple of electronic superstores, you are sure to return home with some technologically sophisticated equipment which will not provide you with an ability to recover the huge investment and leave you confused with the nuances of claiming that you have got the best TV out there in the market today. Differences will be hard to establish unless you have the technical sophistication garnered from the entertainment industry.

So, I decided to apply maths and economics to the selection process. First however I had to establish the technical benchmarks. In this assignment, I was quite conservative – I decided that for viewing pleasure, I would need to fulfill just two parameters – size and resolution. After running through the specs of global TV manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, Philips, Sony and Panasonic, I decided the following: size should be 65″ (as against the 55″ that we had) and 4K UHD resolution on a LED TV. Thats it! No need for the most advanced specs. I also studied the customer reviews for such TVs on the Amazon U.S. website, which helped me to make a shortlist of brands and models (though the U.S. model numbers are different from the Asian models). I was surprised with the detailed feedbacks provided by U.S. home customers for almost every brand and model, such reviews are rarely available from Asian households.

Coming back to cost dynamics, I decided not to spend more than SGD 2,000 (INR 1,00,000) for a global brand which (a) meets my benchmark specs; (b) has good reviews with minimum 4 stars on Amazon; (c) possesses energy-saving rating of minimum 4 stars; and (d) has a good in-country support infrastructure with ability to extend service coverage up to 5 years (of course, for an additional fee). The more advanced models demonstrated that they are superior when viewed side-by-side with a normal LED 4K UHD TV, no doubt about that, but then the prices were double and sometimes more than double for a device on which my family spends something like 30 minutes a day.

After detailed investigation, I could shortlist only two brands and corresponding models that met my technical selection criteria. I am not revealing which ones are these, but I managed to buy a top-notch global brand with a 5-year service coverage for less than my budget! I was told by the service provider that in case they are not able to repair the TV on-site after couple of years, they will replace the same with a TV of comparable specs available at that time, and for that facility, I paid less than SGD 300 which covered an additional three years service on top of the first two years warranty coverage.

My maths analysis worked out. The economics of viewing even an hour of TV every day for the next 5 years worked out to approximately a dollar per day, and I am sure the TV will continue to work past the 5 year service milestone so the cost per day should drop even further. Of course, the electronics industry is such that every two years there is a technological revolution! And, for sure, there will always be a better range of TVs for the consumers!! But then I cannot chase technology for technology’s sake!!!

I enjoyed this process of selection – of dreaming, realizing, benchmarking, shortlisting, studying, investigating, learning, and then finally selecting and buying. It is exciting and always provides a strong dose of adrenalin rush in my brain – or whatever is left of it!

I can now claim that I am a temporary home consulting expert on TV selection. Of course, for a higher budget, I am going to recommend a totally different kind of TV. May be you wish to spend two or three dollars a day over the next 5 years via your TV investment. I will help in that selection, too.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan

14th September 2019

The performing authoritarianism


China is a great country with one of the oldest civilisations on the planet. But when you think of transparency as a virtue, the government of China falls short many a time (of course, China is not the only large country with the transparency problem…….ha ha ha). This is mainly because of the opaque system of governance as run by the Communist Party of China, it is not a democracy as we all know.

However, on one thing, we all have to give it to China – you know what I am alluding to, right? It is people-oriented, prosperity-focused, economic and infrastructure development. With a single-minded focus on uplifting hundreds of millions of people from the clutches of poverty. With an iron-fisted authoritarian hand which does not care about potential negative impacts to society otherwise. With absolute lack of judicial intervention or human rights concerns, or for that matter, environmental concerns.

The only objective of the Party and the Government of China is to push people shackled to poverty in remote villages so that they could relish the fruits of economic prosperity like what their urban counterparts have already been enjoying over the past decade or so. With a GDP per capita of USD 8,000 (for comparison, India’s is still less than USD 2,000), China lags far behind many of the Western countries. For example, the U.S. per capita income is in excess of USD 60,000, and so on and so forth. So, the Government in China is pushing hard with an urgency which has not been witnessed elsewhere on this planet to move China into ultra modern times with an infrastructure to beat even by Western standards.

The 5G mobile revolution is one such example where China is not only leading in technology, but also in rapid implementation. China views 5G as a revolution which could become a game-changer for its economy. China can virtually force all its mobile companies to work closely with each other and optimise their investments, while accelerating the joint implementation with technology providers such as Huawei. It is now a widely shared opinion that China will lead the world in 5G roll-out, with the maximum number of cell sites by end of 2020.

This also means that China will start experimenting in advanced research and development in almost all areas which could benefit vastly from 5G, such as robotic surgery, advanced manufacturing, the list is endless…….it could also mean that, for the first time the Western world would have to play catch up with China.

Coming back to my post title, my point is that authoritarianism does work, especially if it is for the benefit of the common man. This may not be a palatable observation that would be liked by the West, but the fact is that lack of democracy has not stunted China’s progress. In fact, it has accelerated China’s economic prosperity, decision-making, poverty alleviation, technological progress and scientific research. I am sure most people in democracies around the world do not like the idea that such an alien concept can deliver results, when they are struggling themselves to eke out growth in their own countries.

China has always delivered when it has set its mind to a huge task – a case in point is high-speed bullet trains. It developed the technology and implemented rapidly, so now has the world’s largest network of such trains. You can do 300 KMPH easily on China’s high-speed trains, and the only other country that they have to beat is Japan on this count. Similar examples abound around China, and it is hard to miss the gleaming buildings and efficient infrastructure in most major cities. Everything works, and that has been a paradigm shift for Western thinking – how did China accomplish all this in just one generation?

Authoritarianism does work and deliver benefits to the people. Democracy is not the only game in town. Not any more. Also, Capitalism is not the only way to generate wealth. There are other ways such as “controlled” socialism, as practiced by China (and a few other countries).

At the end of the day, people want growth, economic prosperity and good livelihood. Am I missing something? May be…….but I would go with what can deliver all these in good measure than with what just allows people to protest but go home empty-handed. Benevolence is of course required to go along with this system of governance.

Have a great week ahead folks.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan

08 September 2019

Dishonesty vs Fairness


As we all have come to know, our daily interactions with people from various walks of life allow us to experience a range of human characteristics which are on display for us to identify and feel. We can clearly see that people are not all the same, they have a million colours in their adaptation of human characteristics.

The most deplorable characteristic that I have come across is dishonesty and a totally ruthless lack of fairness towards others in a personal or business interaction. Dishonesty lies at the core of most human problems – in other words, it is a rotten lack of integrity, without any regard to the fact that it could easily imperil any future relationships or interactions. Such an approach towards human relations cannot be justified even if the offending party thinks there is no need for any kind of future relationship or interactions with the other party who has been so offended.

Fairness is another cornerstone for building relationships. Being absolutely fair in any transaction helps to cement a strong partnership, as we all know intuitively. However, there are many commercial folks and others who ignore this principle as they probably think that any future business prospect is not worth the effort at being fair.

I am writing about these very crucial topics not just as education for all my readers, but also to remind myself at how other people have treated me, in the context of applying the “principles” of dishonesty and lack of fairness.

I got reminded again of the above principles in what others would call as mundane incidence. I was living on a rented property. It is not that I had no prior experience, but the repetition of almost exactly the same behaviour in a place like Singapore was surprising. It appears to me that all landlords have jointly agreed that they must “milk” any departing tenant from their properties. Even if everything is as per the rental agreement, the owner or his appointed agent will scrutinize the property in such an extensive manner (which you wouldn’t have done when you had taken the property on rent), that his or her goal would appear to be a dishonest extraction of money for other applications such as preparing the property for the next tenant, or just sprucing up the apartment with the tenant’s money. I have seen this repeating several times that I have now concluded that there is some distinct pattern in their behaviour. The goal appears to be determining the maximum amount of money that they can deduct from the refundable deposit.

Dishonesty stems from a desire to seek pecuniary benefits or money which does not belong to one in a rightful manner. That desire, unsavoury as it is, leads people who are otherwise good and normal folks, to make decisions which ultimately impugns their own integrity which cannot be recovered once so damaged. It does not matter that the particular owner under question would never ever get again into a rental agreement with me – dishonesty does not depend upon the necessity to avoid replication! It is an inherent human characteristic which cannot be compromised based on specific situations – it is a consistent, constant human trait upon which people rely to make their judgement call.

Similarly, the issue of fairness is a critical one which is very damaging especially in a commercial transaction. Lack of fairness can easily be construed as “profiteering” or trying to cheat people who are otherwise unaware of a specific matter or item. It is like charging $75 for fixing a door lock when the cost of the lock is $12, and what one needs is a simple screwdriver to fix the lock anyway. It is also charging $200 by the owner of a rental property as a charge for removing a stain which can easily be treated as “fair wear and tear” as per the agreement. However, the hapless tenant is under pressure to settle and move out to another place, so finally gives in to the owner’s unfair wish or wishes. It is like saying that “hey tenant, remove the 10 nails from the wall before you leave, or else I will have to charge you $100”, and the tenant turns around and tells the owner “hey owner, those nails were already there on the wall when I took your property on rent two years ago”! But the tenant is pushed into a corner on matters such as these, and will eventually have to settle.

Such instances occur in other avenues of personal and business lives. I personally try to be honest and fair in my dealings with others, as the cost of being dishonest or unfair is just too high and not only that, it also affects one’s reputation.

That reputational risk should be avoided at all costs!

Have a great weekend folks,

Vijay Srinivasan

07 September 2019

The downward spiral


The Indian Economy was very recently at the top of nations growing at the fastest rates in the world – amongst the top 10 large countries, India was ranked #1 as late as 2018 – just a couple of quarters ago. India was doing something right finally, I thought and so did many others.

A resounding win for BJP in the May 2019 national elections was considered a big boost to the Indian economy. Analysts expected India to touch the 8% magic figure yet again – referring here to the annualized GDP growth rate, considered very crucial by economists to reduce unemployment by significant numbers, lift many more rural millions out of abject poverty, and cement India’s position as the fastest #3 economy in the entire world, displacing stalwarts such as Japan, the U.K., Germany, Italy and France. India would then officially be entitled to become a member of the G-7 elite club, and positioned very well to get into the UN Security Council.

What happened within a span of less than 6 months?

Evaporation. Yes, India’s economic and social ambitions evaporated. India has now become a laggard with economic growth barely touching 5% in the most recent quarter. The World Bank, the IMF and other multilateral global institutions are utterly disappointed. The IMF had called India as the “economic engine” of the world just in 2018. Not the case anymore.

There are many factors contributing to the absurd reduction in the growth rate. Some ruling party politicians would be prone to pointing fingers at the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, and the military tensions with Pakistan over Kashmir.

Do not believe them even for a moment.

India’s economic problems are of its own making, there is no external factor that can be attributed to the loss of economic momentum. I do not profess to be an economic analyst, but as a well-read person, I can see as well as anyone else what is going on in the Indian economy. And I am of course, willing to be challenged by the countless BJP supporters who even now, turn a blind eye towards bad and incompetent performance and mismanagement of the economy. Just ignore the Congress Party and the regional parties arrayed against the BJP – they do not understand how a large economy functions anyway.

In my considered opinion, following are the key reasons for the huge loss in India’s economic momentum:

1. Taking the eyes off the growth – the previous Finance Minister was sick (and died recently). He was competent though prone to fights with the Reserve Bank of India on monetary policy making.

2. Giving the most important role of Finance Minister to an economic novice like Nirmala Sitharaman (the earlier Defence Minister wherein she was working out well) in the new Government post the elections, who promptly went about making a series of policy decisions without any understanding on their market impact.

3. A complete failure of the “Make in India” policy, which was totally unsupported on the ground.

4. Allowing the government-owned banks to lend to large private corporations wh0 defaulted leading to huge Non-Performing Assets (NPA) problems. Also, the Reserve Bank of India did not closely monitor private non-banking companies which went into bankruptcy.

5. Antagonizing Foreign Portfolio Investors – who promptly downgraded Indian markets and withdrew most of their funds.

6. Cockiness that foreign companies are dependent on the huge Indian market, and so will accept arbitrary rule changes that the government can introduce and toy with at its will and pleasure.

7. Both real estate and retail markets are down so badly that consumers are totally averse to investing or even consuming ordinary things – Indian economy is largely dependent on domestic consumption, so even if inflation has been low, the huge drop in consumption has damaged the GDP growth rates.

8. No solution for the rapidly worsening unemployment situation, and disappearance of construction jobs due to real estate slow down.

All of the above and more have resulted in India recording the worst quarterly growth rate over the past decade.

Of course, the BJP Government is worried and taking actions as we speak, but it would be hard to raise the GDP growth back to levels of close to 8% even in the medium term. Public investments have to rapidly increase in order for the growth rate to accelerate, but that looks unlikely. Private investments are hobbled by slowdown in credit growth and corporate scandals. Public Sector Companies (majority owned by the Government of India, but could be listed in the stock market) need to be sold to private investors but that cannot happen in the current situation as well. The Labour Reforms have not happened as promised, and that is another big drag on private and foreign investments in manufacturing.

So the Modi government is in a fix and needs to do something drastic. Prime Minister Modi is the only PM in Indian History with the mandate only others can dream of, and he needs to leverage that totally. Foreign policy making can wait, other stuff can wait, but domestic growth cannot. Only he can achieve what the common man of India desires – this is the only chance to establish Modi’s legacy of long-lasting impact on the Indian growth story.

Hope he accomplishes this challenging feat in the coming days and months.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan

01 September 2019

Insecurity, Instability and the Nuclear Threat


Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has threatened the world with a nuclear catastrophe in his recently published Op-Ed in The New York Times. Please read the same at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/30/opinion/imran-khan-kashmir-pakistan.html and at the following site as well: https://scroll.in/latest/935714/imran-khan-says-india-and-pakistan-are-close-to-a-direct-military-confrontation-over-kashmir

Imran Khan lacks diplomacy and an ability to communicate in a diplomatic language. He also needs to show respect to political leaders of India (irrespective of who they are and whether he likes them or not). I am sure he has the basic intelligence not to expect a response from India when he has termed the Prime Minister of India as a leader with Nazi leanings. My guess is that India will totally ignore him as a mad man who is out to get at India by hook or crook.

Knowing that Pakistan’s mighty military would lose out to India in a conventional war (as it has happened three times in the last 6 decades), Pakistan has always reserved its right to respond with nuclear arms in a conventional war scenario. Pakistan’s military generals control the political leaders anyway, so executing the nuclear war is not out of reach for Pakistan at any time.

Imran Khan has now taken the dispute over Kashmir to the international media, by publishing an Op-Ed in The New York Times, which has a global readership, having failed to influence the UN Security Council with the help of its “all-weather” friend and ally, China. People and governments across the world will now start talking about the nuclear tinderbox brewing in South Asia, which would not be limited in impact just to South Asia. Such a threat would necessarily have global ramifications.

India has a well-established No Nuclear First Use (NFU) policy as its nuclear doctrine, with a commitment not to use its nuclear arms in response to a conventional attack on India. However, India’s nuclear doctrine promises an unacceptable level of destruction on a nuclear perpetrator, that is on the country which uses nuclear weapons to attack India. What this means is that Pakistan will be completely devastated, given also the fact that India has the capability to launch a second and third nuclear attacks on Pakistan in retaliation to completely destruct its nuclear capability once and for all. Pakistan is aware of India’s nuclear doctrine and India’s traditional reticence to “talk nuclear” in any diplomatic engagement.

Why is this nuclear talk not good for India (while India can ignore Imran Khan, it cannot ignore the possibility of a nuclear attack by deranged and emotional military generals who control politicians in Pakistan)?

Firstly, India cannot simply violate its NFU policy, though India’s defence minister has recently made a cryptic comment about reviewing it based on “circumstances“. India is not prone to changing its long-established policies at the whims of a Pakistani politician who is at the beck and call of its military. So, there will be the continued reticence in India against nuclear weapon use against an adversary, which secures India’s position as a responsible world power.

Secondly, India has more to lose than Pakistan in the context of a nuclear war. India is bigger with more population, and hundreds of thousands of potential casualties will scare off any decision makers in a war scenario. While Pakistan will come under huge pressure from world powers, there will also be enormous pressure on India not to retaliate against Pakistan with nuclear weapons (as we know, the U.S. pressurized India in all the wars that India had with Pakistan, including the Kargil mini-war). The only thing that should scare off Pakistani generals is the possibility that Pakistan will become a barren land for the next few generations under a nuclear attack. Further, the capability of the nuclear triad of India with its ability to launch second and third nuclear attacks from land, air and sea should provide more than adequate deterrence to Pakistan’s decision makers.

Thirdly, there are more sober voices on the Indian side encompassing social, political and military spectrum of influential people. These voices will play a crucial role in tempering India’s response in the eventuality that Pakistan prepares for a nuclear attack on India. India should use all its diplomatic leverage to dissuade Pakistan from even thinking nuclear, but unfortunately that chance is now gone with the Prime Minister of Pakistan throwing a nuclear gauntlet at India openly. Rational approach might no longer work with Pakistan, especially when you have an emotional kettle boiling with anti-India hate spewing out non-stop. Saner voices are sorely lacking on Pakistan’s side.

So, what should India do at this critical juncture in response to Imran Khan’s nuclear threat?

  1. Completely ignore Imran Khan even as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, do not respond to his nuclear threat;
  2. Prepare aggressively for a conventional war;
  3. Intensify the security partnership with Israel to strengthen the electric fencing along the Line of Control, irrespective of the investment needed;
  4. Respond aggressively with high powered military attacks in retaliation to Pakistan’s daily mortar attacks along the border;
  5. Execute militants who cross the border;
  6. Restore civil rights of Kashmiris immediately, accompanied by a campaign to communicate the greater benefits for Kashmiris if they collaborate and work with India;
  7. Release the pro-India political leaders under house-arrest in Kashmir;
  8. Warn Pakistan on the consequences of thinking and talking nuclear, and communicate to the United Nations about the total irresponsibility of such a talk – at a later date.

India cannot continue to be fixated on its Pakistan problem. Of course, Pakistan will keep needling India in all possible ways. But India needs to show who is the stronger power with a better maturity. This will be appreciated by the world at large.

Ignore Imran Khan!

Cheers, and have a great weekend!!

Vijay Srinivasan

31st August 2019

The Power of Ignorance


Ignorance is a total bliss.

If you don’t know about something, you truly don’t know.

You have zero thirst for unravelling the unknown. Even if the unknowns play an important role in peoples’ lives. And, by extension in your own life.

Man has been ignorant for centuries till the quest for awakening surfaced. Once that quest came about, man became an inquisitive being.

The discoveries and innovations we see all around us today are the result of man shaking up his mind, dropping the fear of the unknown, and investigating the unknown unknowns.

For mankind’s everlasting benefit.

But there are still millions of people steeped in antiquity and ignorance. Not because they are mired in poverty. Simply because they only believe in the known knowns, ignoring all the unknowns. Steeped in age-old beliefs which ought to have been thrown out long time ago.

The result is that even in developed countries of the world, we have millions of ignorant people – oblivious to what is going on around the world, believing in stupid and misleading campaigns perpetrated by cunning and self-serving political and religious leaders, and depending on fake propaganda by right-wing news channels.

Yes, finally I brought myself to mention the “right wing push”. The right-wing lobby of any society wants the proletariat to stay where they are, believing in what they do, wanting to keep the folks totally ignorant and subject to violent provocations and incitement. It is rather easy for right-wingers to play victim and provoke common people.

We have seen their behaviour time and again.

The conservative ideology differs from sheer right-wingism. Conservatives are more sober and thoughtful and try to stay committed to the long term impact of their ideology which they truly believe in. One may not agree with the likes of Mike McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader of the U.S. Congress – a true conservative and also a consistent one at that. People like him differ vastly from the folks who lead right wing movements on the streets.

Right wing philosophy has been the driving force behind keeping people ignorant of the larger life issues and embedding a deep fear of the unknown. In this sense, right wingers are the antitheses of exploration, experimentation and investigation to learn about the truth behind any matter. Right wing philosophy is also linked somehow to religious conservatism and racial prejudices. All combined, it has become a strong force to contend with, especially in semi-urban and rural areas. It has been successful in perpetrating a fearful vision of even moderate philosophies on the centre-left.

It is absolutely not correct to say that the Left Wing is anti-religious and based on fake propaganda. There could be extremism on both sides so I have chosen to remain a moderate liberal with left-wing leanings but also having some appreciation of conservative policies which merit discussion.

Overall, it is appropriate to say that the power of ignorance is bliss. Many people couldn’t care less about truth and opposing philosophical frameworks. Life is already very challenging, so where is the need to waste time on things which apparently do not matter?

My conclusion is simple: it is our responsibility to educate whoever we come across. I make it a point to have social discussions around things affecting this world, such as climate change, economic policy making, trade matters, political changes, et al. There should be openness and courage to discuss difficult things, which has not been that evident in the right wing approach to societal issues.

It is a complex matter requiring a sincere attempt to unravel the truth behind your beliefs. You might even get to throw out certain beliefs not consistent with a modern, interdependent world.

Have a great week ahead,

Cheers

Vijay Srinivasan

25th August 2019