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Vol. No. 20 Issue No. 10

OCTOBER 2009 Price: Rs. 15/-

A Journal of Proutistic Views and Neo-Humanistic Analysis

PROUT SWISS BANKS

n Nervous China May Attack India by 2012

n Mind over Matter

n Challenging Physical World

n Brain Damage from Mobile Phone Radiation


PROUT RESEARCH INSTITUTE OFFERING AN INTENSIVE COURSE The Prout Research Institute of Venezuela is offering an intensive course three times in December and January, called, "Venezuelan Reality and Tools to Change the World". The dates are:

December 6-19,6-19, 2009 2009 December December 2525 - Jan 3, 2010 December - Jan 3, 2010 January 9-2, 2010 January 9-2, 2010 Revolutionary changes are underway in Venezuelan society. As Noam Chomsky has written: “During the past decade, Latin America has become the most exciting region of the world. The dynamic has very largely flowed from Caracas, with the election of a leftist president dedicated to using Venezuela's rich resources for the benefit of the population rather than for wealthy and privileged at home and abroad...” President Hugo Chávez is calling for a Socialism for the 21st Century, but he admits he doesn't know what that means. Universal health care, subsidized food, free university education, houses for the homeless, participatory planning councils and 66,000 functioning cooperatives are suddenly transforming the country. Yet crime, corruption, pollution, and greed are eating away at social progress and feeding the opposition's accusations of dictatorship and ruin. The Prout Research Institute of Venezuela announces this course to see and experience the remarkable changes underway and listen to both sides of the debate. We will visit projects in the city and countryside, meet with leaders and analyze

government responses to social problems that plague the entire world. Using the Progressive Utilization Theory (Prout), which its founder, P:R. Sarkar, called “Progressive Socialism,” we will compare ideal policies that can practically solve these problems. Of course the challenge is not just to understand the world, but to change it. We offer a wide array of techniques and skills for social change, including startling discussion questions, cooperative games, street theater, community listening and interviewing, how to use the media and create eye-catching images, slogans, thought exhibitions and posters to impact large numbers of people. To change the world, we also have to change ourselves. We have to be the change we want to see, "to walk our talk." Prout lifestyle including meditation, yoga and vegetarian diet give tremendous clarity of mind and strength of will that all activists need. Of course the climate year-round is tropical. For more information and to see photos of past training courses, visit:http://www.priven.org/index.php?name= News&file=article&sid=168 For more information, see: http://www.priven.org/index.php?name=New s&file=article&sid=169 We will continue to offer this course at other times next year, so contact us if you are interested in a later time. Internships and staff positions at the Prout Research Institute of Venezuela are also available. See www.priven.org for more information.


Volume 20

Issue 10

PROUT October 2009

Cry of the Suffering Humanity

Editor A'ca'rya Santosananda Avadhuta Contributory Editor A'ca'rya Maheshvarananda Avadhuta Copy Editor Mitali Editorial Board A'ca'rya Krtshivananda Avadhuta A'c Vedaprajinananda Avadhuta Sohail Inayatullah Garda Ghista Mahesh Prasad Sarabjit Prakash Jayant Kumar B.S. Pawar Correspondents R.S. Anand Kanhu Charan Behura Rajesh Singh Dr. Gopal Shastri Nidhi Panwar Layout & Design Pranav Koul Amit Choudhary Head Office Prout Bhawan, JC-48, Khirki Extension Main Road, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi - 110017 Mobile No. : 09212199658 Email : prout.am@gmail.com

General Manager Ramkesh Choudhary - 9350860274

Business Manager Nishant Sharma - 09873189528

Rate (INDIA) Newstand Price Annual Subscription Two Years Subscription Three Years Subscrition Overseas (BY AIRMAIL) Annual -

Rs. 15/Rs. 160/Rs. 300/Rs. 420/US$ 30

Money or cheque to be deposited directly in any branch of State Bank of India in the name of Neo-Humanist Education Foundation, Saving A/c No. 30379188250 Also payment can be made online through Paypal using mail ID : prout.am@gmail.com USA $30 Others $35 Vishakhapatnam Dr. S. Gopal Sastry, 'Sitanivas', 48-9-16, P.O. Dwarakanagar, Dist. Vishakhapatnam - 530016 (A.P.) Mob. : 09440674910 Bangalore Prout Bhawan, Behind BTS Garage, Vijay Nagar, Bangalore-560040. Ph. : 080-23395317 Raipur Prout Bhawan, Avantivihar, Raipur - 92006, Ph. : 9424230656 Printed, Published and Edited by A'carya Santosananda Avadhuta on behalf of Neo Humanist Education Foundation

JC-48, Khirki Extension, Main Road, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi - 110017 and printed at Cyber Creations, JE-9, Khirki Extension, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi-17

contents contents 6 Discussion Is "Think Globally, Act Locally", Enough to Save Humanity 9 Analysis Nervous China May Attack India by 2012 12 For a Glorious Dawn From Magna Carta to Neo-Magna Carta 16 Success Story Challenging Physical World 18 Philosophy Three Forms of Economic Exploitation 24 Looking Ahead A New Social Paradigm Based on Spiritual Values 29 Research Mind over Matter 37 Approaching Epidemic Brain Damage from Mobile Phone Radiation 38 Modernity Back to Primitive Society 39 Finance Thoughts on the Global Financial Crisis: Imagining a Sustainable Future 41 Travelogue An Ethiopian Medical Research Expedition 45 International Politics Diplomacy and Universalism 46 Inspirational Never Forget a Good Deed Done

09

16

regular 3 EDITORIAL 4 LETTERS 5 QUOTES & STORIES 28 PRABHAT SAMGIITA 48 LIGHTER MOMENTS PROUT | October 2009 01


16

SIXTEEN PRINCIPLES OF

PROUT PROGRESSIVE

UTILIZATION

THEORY

Principles Governing Social Laws : 1.

In the flow of the social cycle, a class is always dominant.

2.

In the nucleus of the social cycle, Sadvipras control the cycle in order to liberate all.

3.

Evolution is the acceleration of the speed of the social cycle by the application of force.

4.

Revolution is the acceleration of speed of social cycle by the application of tremendous force.

5.

Counter-evolution is the application of force to turn the social cycle in reverse direction.

6.

Counter-revolution is the application of tremendous force to turn the social cycle in reverse direction.

7.

A complete rotation of the social cycle is called Peripheric evolution.

8.

Diversity is the law of nature and identical can never be.

Principles Governing Economic Laws : 9.

The minimum requirements should be guaranteed to all.

10.

The surplus goods and services after meeting minimum requirements are to be distributed among meritorious people according to the degree of their merits.

11.

The increase in the standard of living of the people is the indication of the vitality of the society.

Fundamental Principles : 12.

No individual should be allowed to accumulate any physical wealth without the clear permission or approval of the collective body.

13.

There should be maximum utilization and rational distribution of all mundane, supra mundane and spiritual potentialities of the universe.

14.

There should be maximum utilization of the physical, metaphysical and spiritual potentialities of unit and collective body of the human society.

15.

There should be a proper adjustment amongst these physical, metaphysical, mundane, supra mundane and spiritual utilizations.

16.

The method of utilization should vary in accordance with the changes in time, space and person and the utilization should be of progressive nature.

02 October 2009 | PROUT


From the

Editor's Desk How Humane Is The Price Rise

T

he agony of middle and lower income groups can only be felt by the people who suffer. There can be no doubt of the fact that the price rise of food items in India during the last six months has crossed 15%. With the financial meltdown already taking its toll where several industries and commercial establishments have to cut back salaries and perquisites of their workmen, the price rise of the commodities has come like bolt from the blue. From this price rise, it is evident that the producers (capitalists) are insensitive to the hardships of the common man. Their eyes are only on the profit. We have to create a society which has a humane face to it. Our governance must reflect this in every walk of life. Our concern is to ensure that the common man's essential requirements are met at reasonable cost which is in harmony with their purchasing power. The success or failure of our government whether central or state, depends upon the fulfillment of the aforesaid requirements. Thus the policies of our government must undergo continual change to ensure the availability of consumer items within the purchasing power of common man. Earning handsome profit should not be the sole criteria of fixing (raising) the prices. Feeling the need of the people is of paramount importance. It is apparently a lack of long term vision which is the root cause of shortages of various commodities and consequential price rise. The founding fathers of Indian Constitution had in their mind a welfare state where the interests of the common man receive highest importance. But this aspect has not received the serious attention that it deserves. The basic concept of good governance must be to guarantee existential value to the entire population. The index of a civilized society is reflected in its socio-economic system where the common man does not have to undergo any unnecessary struggle or hardship for survival. ยก

PROUT | October 2009 03


LETTERS A True Sadvipra In going through the feats of Hellen Keller (September 09 issue) is to experience great inspiration. She is a message that the Lord has created everything with exquisite beauty and benevolence. There is nothing in His creation which is not inimitable and which does not marvel the rest. The spirit and actions of Hellen does reflect the qualities of a Sadvipra personality. Her uncompromising stance and crusade against injustice and exploitation is an evidence that she is a neohumanistic model; and she shines with the glory of selfless and innate love for the suffering humanity. It is a moving account of a truly great personality and the author deserves all thanks and admiration to bring to us the story of a matchless phenomenon. - Sudhir Kumar Rai, Delhi

Minimum Requirements of Life Shyam Sundar has done a good job in penning on the availability of the basic needs of human beings (September 09). It's a great challenge before our civilization to guarantee the existential value to a life. We can not ignore any single life thinking it is insignificant and that it should acquire its own capability to survive. Such a psychology only indicates that we are yet to become a civilized person. The whole creation is the manifestation of the Supreme Entity. Nature has not bequeathed any wealth or property to a particular individual and therefore appropriation (or misappropriation) of any physical wealth by cunning and selfish individuals can never be supported or encouraged. It is antisocial, inhuman and unethical. 04 October 2009 | PROUT

Email : prout.am@gmail.com

We all are the progenies of the Supreme Lord and we all have equal right to exist. We have to create a social order which insures the survival of all. That is, there is no injustice, there is no discrimination and no body gets an opportunity to think that his life has become useless. Prout does offer such a vision in which a person can live with sound body and sound mind and always moves towards the spiritual goal of life. We must raise social consciousness so that the society sincerely opts for Prout and the administration feels compelled to implement Prout disregarding all the hurdles that come its way. - Ram Manohar, Lucknow

Capitalism -- the Bane Capitalism is the bane of our socio-economic order and it must be fought tooth and nail. The capitalistic form of economy and the social political order can not be supported since it does not recog-

nize the glory of human life. It insures and promotes all the cruelty and injustice to secure the vested interest of a few. It does not accord importance to the rational thinking that we all as the children of the same Father have to live here availing equal opportunities in developing our personality. Shrii P. R. Sarkar's essay on the "Capitalism in the three spheres" (September 09) provides a healthy reading and is full of useful thoughts. We have to end this era of capitalism so that the world becomes a blessed land to live and enjoy the worth of life. It has to be understood by the capitalists too that the human life is precious and it is not meant for amassing wealth and exploit others for the sake of one's own pleasure. Life must be lived with higher values as the nucleus of our thinking and actions must be such that it is harmless and is inspired by the ideation to serve all. - Vishwajit, Visakhapatnam

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

-Bertrand Russell

e following address : Please send them at th UT PRO , Editor hi - 110017 , Malviya Nagar, New Del JC-48, Khirki Extension 17533995 97 0 , 74 02 086 5 093 , Mobile : 09212199658 il.com Email : prout.am@gma


Quotes & Stories

Be Happy and Enjoy your Life Near seashore, under the shadow of a tree a fisherman was spending his time leisurely. Suddenly a rich businessman passing by approached him and enquired as to why he was sitting under a tree leisurely and not working. To this the poor fisherman replied that he had caught enough fishes for the day. Hearing this the rich man got angry and said: Why don't you catch more fishes instead of sitting in shadow wasting your time? Fisherman asked: What would I do by catching more fishes? Businessman: You could catch more fishes, sell them and earn more money, and buy a bigger boat. Fisherman: What would I do then? Businessman: You could go fishing in deep waters and catch even more fishes and earn even more money. Fisherman: What would I do then? Businessman: You could buy many boats and employ many people to work for you and earn even more money. Fisherman: What would I do then? Businessman: You could become a rich businessman like me. Fisherman: What would I do then? Businessman: You could then enjoy your life peacefully. Fisherman: What do you think I'm doing right now? MORAL : You don't need to wait for tomorrow to be happy and enjoy your life. You don't even need to be more rich, more powerful to enjoy life. LIFE is at this moment, enjoy it fully. As a great man has said “My riches consist not in extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants”. ¡

It has been said of the world's history hitherto that might makes right. It is for us and our time to reverse the maxim, and to say that right makes might. -Abraham Lincoln PROUT | October 2009 05


DISCUSSION

By John Bunzl

Is “Think Globally, Enough to Save T THE VERY IDEA OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE IMPLIES UNITY AND IS THEREFORE THE ANTITHESIS OF DIVERSE LOCAL ACTION; OF MANY INDEPENDENT SOLUTIONS.

06 October 2009 | PROUT

hink globally, act locally! That's the injunction the environmental movement would have us adopt to avoid ecological, economic or social collapse and to find our harmonious salvation. While no one doubts the injunction's good intentions, it may be worth unpacking it to fully understand its meaning and implications. Because if we're to find a way out of our growing global crisis, we'll only do so by thinking carefully. A concern that immediately springs to mind is the “act locally” part of the injunction. That's because, as human societies evolved and became steadily larger in size, they acted less locally, not more locally. The domestic policy of a nation-state, for example, acts upon a far larger geographical area than a Stone Age tribe ever did. So there's a disconnect and contradiction in the injunction. For if we're now to think globally, why should we act only locally? Doesn't global warming, after all, make the need for global action obvious? This disconnect reveals an unfortunate tendency of the environmental movement: an unhealthy bias towards the local; towards each of us having no more significance than mere localised strands, each entreated to 'think globally', but nevertheless expected to act only locally, as if confined to our own particular corner of the biosphere. That's perhaps understandable in a world apparently suffering from most things global, be it the global financial 'casino' or global warming. But it's also a rather flat, collapsed view of the world and our place in it: Gaia the biosphere is all and we, it seems, are nothing. What underlies this elevation of the biosphere to being, effectively, the highest of all values? At first, it might seem reasonable since we do, after all, depend on it. But that's to imbue the undoubted fundamentality of the biosphere with a far greater significance than it genuinely deserves. Let me explain: There is no question that the biosphere is more fundamental than we humans. That's why, if you removed the biosphere, you'd take away all humans with it. But it's equally true that the biosphere is less significant than humans. Indeed, the mere fact that humanity is capable of destroying the biosphere, through global thermonuclear war for example, is a strong indication of our significance, (even if that is, perhaps, not its happiest illustration). Starting with mere matter, then,


individual family, tribe or nation to act independently for the benefit of all. For, if thinking of the whole were sufficient, we'd never have needed collective institutions of governance. We'd never have needed to codify that thinking into enforceable rules, laws and systems of enforcement. But we do need that governance and human societies always have. Clearly, if beneficial global outcomes are what we now seek, then some kind of global action and governance will be necessary. But the very idea of global governance implies unity and is therefore the antithesis of diverse local action; of many independent solutions. This therefore reveals another of the environmental movement's taboos; a post-modern taboo often expressed in phrases such as “there is no single solution” or “many problems demand a diversity of solutions”. Such fears of uniformity, of a 'single solution', are, of course, perfectly understandable because they remind us of Hitler's 'final solution'; of

Act Locally” Humanity? evolution pushed forth life. Matter was more fundamental than life because life depended on matter, but life was more significant than matter: a deer is more significant than a rock. And life eventually pushed forth mind: the human mind. Again, matter and animal life, i.e. the biosphere, are more fundamental than the human mind, but they are also less significant. A rock, tree or animal is less significant than Shakespeare and all the highest that human civilisation has achieved. With each pushing-forth of a new level in the evolutionary wedding cake, then, each successive level was less fundamental but more significant than its predecessors. We should therefore rightly recognise the ultimate fundamentality of the biosphere, but to elevate it to being the highest of all values is quite another matter. For to mistake ultimate fundamentality for ultimate significance is to freeze out the human mind; to dismiss our problemsolving capacities: to dismiss, in short, our humanity. As a result, the entreaty to act only locally effectively denies our potential, as humans, for collective action in a good cause. For a philosophy that reduces humans to being mere local strands in Gaia's great web is hardly likely to elicit from us our true potential and our extraordinary capacity for cooperation; the very capacity now needed if we're to save us from ourselves. Moreover, to assume that simply thinking globally would cause us to independently moderate our individual 'local' behaviours, so saving ourselves and the planet, is surely rather fanciful. That's because mere knowledge of, and care for, the whole has never been enough to enable individual entities be it an

the dangers of monolithic rigidity. But there lurks, here, something deeper, more subtle and actually very divisive. This is the implicit message that no solution can be more or less important or effective than any other; that no particular form of action should be given precedence over any other. That everything must be flat, all solutions must remain equal, no perspective can be allowed to predominate. The effect, of course, is “you take your solution and go your way, and I'll take my solution and go mine”; an effect, in other words, that precludes any kind of unity at all. While this view of the world might appeal to our tolerant, egalitarian instincts, we urgently need to recognise its dangers. Because, if global problems now demand global action, that action of necessity implies PROUT | October 2009 07


WHILE MANY DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS MAY INDEED BE REQUIRED AT NATIONAL OR LOCAL LEVELS, ACTION AT THE GLOBAL LEVEL REQUIRES A SINGLE SOLUTION. BUT IF WE STICK RIGIDLY TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT'S FLAT, EGALITARIAN VIEW, WE DISMISS THAT POSSIBILITY FROM THE START AND SO QUITE POSSIBLY OVERLOOK THE VERY IMPULSE THAT MIGHT JUST SAVE US FROM GLOBAL COLLAPSE. global unity; it implies a solution that is super-ordinate to all the others. That's to say, while many different solutions may indeed be required at national or local levels, action at the global level requires a single solution. But if we stick rigidly to the environmental movement's flat, egalitarian view, we dismiss that possibility from the start and so quite possibly overlook the very impulse that might just save us from global collapse. In dismissing unity, the movement absolutises diversity, so failing to recognise that unity, too, has its proper place. Take your body, for example. If it wasn't 'globally governed' by all its three trillion cells each having the unity of possessing the same DNA, i.e. the same governance, your body could never have evolved. And if some of your body's cells now escaped that governance and started reproducing independently of it, what you'd have, as any doctor would tell you, is cancer. Likewise, if nations were not centrally, i.e. 'globally', governed and if individual regions or cities could instead make all their own laws, destructive competition between them would result: the nation would fall apart. The unity and governance of the whole, provided it is democratic, can thus be said to facilitate the healthy diversity of its parts. The parts are more fundamental than the whole, yes, but the whole is more significant than its parts. Unity and diversity, whole and part, global and local, are each complementary. Complementary, yes. But unity and diversity, rather like dance partners, take the lead at different stages in the evolutionary cycle. “All evolution”, as evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris reminds us, “is an endless dance of wholes that separate themselves into parts and parts that join into mutually consistent new wholes”. As parts diversify, that

diversity leads to competition between them. “As species encounter each other,” Sahtouris notes, “conflict develops in the competition for space and resources”. And if that conflict is not resolved and becomes critical, collapse is the result. But if the parts want to avoid collapse, they'll see, at that stage, that cooperation and unity are now suddenly in their vital interests and so “negotiations leading to cooperation prove useful to the competing species and they reach the higher level of unity”1. The paradox, then, is that diversity and competition are the factors that drive the need for, and achievement of, ever-higher levels of unity and cooperation. Likewise, human communities, too, evolved through alternating cycles of competition and cooperation: competition between families eventually led to their unity in cooperative tribes. Competition between tribes led similarly to their unity in MiddleAge small-states and now, after centuries of war, here we are today with still-larger nation-states and supranational entities such as the European Union. But today, the diversity of the world's 200-odd nations again threatens collapse. For competition between them for inward investment and jobs is highly destructive and is preventing them from solving global problems like global poverty, financial market volatility, and climate change. At this stage in human evolution, then, it is unity's turn to once again lead the evolutionary dance. Our world's nations now need the unity and cooperation of democratic global governance; a cooperative unity that lovingly and compassionately unfolds them in a single whole and yet facilitates the unfolding of a still greater diversity of human freedom and potential. Trustee, International Simultaneous Policy Organisation. www.simpol.org

08 October 2009 | PROUT


ANALYSIS

By Bharat Verma

'Nervous China may Attack India by 2012' KEEPING IN VIEW THE IMMINENT THREAT POSED BY CHINA, THE QUICKEST WAY TO SWING OUT OF PACIFISM TO STATE OF ASSERTION IS BY INJECTING MILITARY THINKING IN THE CIVIL ADMINISTRATION.

C

hina will launch an attack on India before 2012. There are multiple reasons for a desperate Beijing to teach India the final lesson, thereby ensuring Chinese supremacy in Asia in this century. The recession that shut the Chinese exports shop is creating an unprecedented internal social unrest. In turn, the vice-like grip of the communists' over the society stands severely threatened. Unemployment is on the increase. The unofficial estimate stands at

whopping 14 percent. Worldwide, the recession has put 30 million people out of their jobs. Economic slowdown is depleting the foreign exchange reserves. Foreign investors are slowly shifting out. To create a domestic market, the massive dole of loans to individuals is turning out to be a nightmare. There appears to be a flight of capital in billions of dollars in the shape of diamond and gold bought in Hong Kong and shipped out in end 2008. The fear of losing control over the Chinese masses is forcing

the communists to compulsorily install filtering software on new computers on sale, to crush dissent on the Internet, even though it is impossible to censor in entirety the flow of information as witnessed recently in Tibet, Xinjiang and Iran today. The growing internal unrest is making Beijing jittery. The external picture appears to be equally dismal. The unfolding Obama strategy seems to be scoring goals for democracy and freedom without firing a single shot. While George Bush unwit-

A pair of jawans manning take up positions in a bunker at a forward area in India's North East Frontier Area (NEFA) during Indo China war of 1962.

PROUT | October 2009 09


tingly united and arrayed against himself Islamic countries and radical Islam worldwide, Obama has put radical Islam in disarray by lowering the intra-societal temperature vis-a-vis America and the Muslim world. He deftly hints at democracy in his talk without directly threatening any group or country and the youth pick it up from there, as in Iran. With more and more Chinese citizens beginning to demand political freedom, the future of the communists is also becoming uncertain. The technological means available in 21st century to spread democracy is definitely not conducive to the totalitarian regime in Beijing. India's chaotic but successful democracy is an eyesore for the authoritarian regime in Beijing. Unlike India, China is handicapped as it lacks soft power- an essential ingredient to spread influence. This adds further fuel to the fire. In addition, the growing irrelevance of Pakistan, their right hand that operates against India on their behest, is increasing the Chinese nervousness. Obama's AF- PAK policy has intelligently set the thief to catch the thief. The stated withdrawal from Iraq by Americans now allows them to concentrate its military surplus on the single front to successfully execute the mission. This surplus, in combination with other democratic forces, can enable the Americans to look deep in to resource rich Central Asia, besides 10 October 2009 | PROUT

containing China's expansionist ambitions. To offset this adverse scenario, while overtly pretending to side with the West, the Chinese covertly ordered their other proxy, North Korea, to conduct underground nuclear tests and carry out trials of missiles that threaten Japan and South Korea. The Chinese anxiety is understandable. Under Bush's declared policy of being 'a strategic competitor' alongside the 'axis of evil', they shared a large strategic maneuverability with others of similar hues. However, Obama's policies wisely denies Beijing such a luxury by reclaiming more and more of the international strategic space ceded by the previous administration. The communists in China, therefore, need a military victory to unite the disillusioned citizenry behind them. This will also help market a psychological perception that the 21st century belongs to China and to underline their deep belief in the superiority of the Chinese race. To retain the communist party's hold on power, it is essential to divert attention from the brewing internal dissent. In an autocratic system, normally the only fodder to unite the citizenry is by raising their nationalistic feelings. The easy method for Beijing to heighten the feeling of patriotism and thus national unity is to design a war with an adversary. They believe that this will help them to midwife the Chinese century too. That is the

end game rooted in the firm belief of the Communists that Chinese race is far superior to Nazi Germany and is destined to 'Lord over the Earth'. At present, there is no overall cost benefit ratio in integrating Taiwan by force with the mainland since under the new dispensation in Taipei, the island is 'behaving' itself. Also, the American presence around the region is too strong for comfort. There is also the factor of Japan to take into account. Though Beijing is increasing its naval presence in South China Sea to coerce into submission those opposing its claim on the Spratly Islands, at this point of time in history it will be unwise for the recession-hit China to move against the Western interests, including Japan. Therefore, the most attractive option is to attack a soft target like India and forcibly occupy its territory in the Northeast. Ideally, the Chinese believe that the east-wind should prevail over the west-wind. However, despite their imperial calculations of the past, they lag behind the West, particularly America, by many decades. Hence, they want the east-wind to at least prevail over the other eastwind, i.e., India, to ensure their dominance over Asia. Beijing's cleverly raising the hackles on its fabricated dispute in Arunachal Pradesh to an alarming An India China Border Post


HOW WILL INDIA FACE AND RESPOND VIGOROUSLY TO REPULSE THE CHINESE GAME PLAN? WILL INDIAN LEADERSHIP BE ABLE TO TAKE THE HEAT OF WAR? HAVE THEY LAID THE GROUNDWORK ADEQUATELY TO DEFEND INDIA? IS INDIAN MILITARY EQUIPPED TO FACE THE TWO-FRONT WARS BY BEIJING AND ISLAMABAD? level is the preparatory groundwork for imposing such a conflict on India. A sinking Pakistan will team up with China to teach India 'the final lesson'. The Chinese leadership wants to rally its population behind the communist rule. As it is, Beijing is already rattled, with its proxy Pakistan, now literally embroiled in a civil war, losing its sheen against India. Above all, it is worried over the growing alliance of India with the United States and the West, because the alliance has the potential to create a technologically superior counterpoise. All these three concerns of Chinese Communists are best addressed by waging a war against pacifist India to achieve multiple strategic objectives. But India, otherwise the biggest challenge to the supremacy of China in Asia, is least prepared on ground to face the Chinese threat. How will India face and respond vigorously to repulse the Chinese game plan? Will Indian leadership be able to take the heat of war? Have they laid the groundwork adequately to defend India? Is Indian military equipped to face the two-front wars by Beijing and

Islamabad? Is the Indian civil administration geared to meet the internal security challenges that the external actors will sponsor simultaneously through their doctrine of unrestricted warfare? The answers are an unequivocal 'no'. Pacifist India is not ready by a long shot either on the internal

or the external front. It is said that a long time back, a king with an excellent military machine at his disposal could not stomach the violence involved in winning wars. So he renounced war in victory. This led to the rise of the pacifist philosophies. The state either refused to defend itself or neglected the instruments that could defend it. Any 'extreme' is dangerous, as it tends to create imbalance in statecraft. We saw that in the unjust unilateral aggression in Iraq. It diminished the American aura and recessed the economy. China's despotic regime is another extreme, scared to permit political dissent. This will fuel an explosion worse than the Tiananmen Square. Despite use of disproportionate force and demographic invasion of Tibet, Beijing's hold remains tenuous. Pakistan's over-aggressive agenda in the name of jihad haunts it now to the point of fragmentation of the state. Similarly, India's pacifism is the other extreme. 26/11s will occur on a regular basis as it infects

policymaking. Such extreme postures on either side invariably generate wars. Armed with an aggressive Wahabi philosophy, Pakistan, in cohort with China, wants to destabilize a pacifist India. India's instruments of state steeped in pacifism are unable to rise to its defence. In the past 60 years, instead of offering good governance, the deep-rooted pacifism contributed to the Civil Administration ceding control of 40 per cent of the Union's territory to the Maoists and 10 percent to other insurgents, effecting a shrinking influence internally, as well as in the 'near abroad'. India must rapidly shift out from its defeatist posture of pacifism to deter China. New Delhi's stance should modify, not to aggression, but to a firm assertion in statecraft. The state must also exclusively retain the capability of intervention by use of force internally as well as externally. If it permits the nonstate actors to develop this capability in competition, then the state will wither away. On the contrary, the state machinery should ensure a fast- paced development in the Red Corridor even it if has to hold Maoists' hostage at gunpoint. Only the state's firm and just intervention will dissolve the Maoist movement. Keeping in view the imminent threat posed by China, the quickest way to swing out of pacifism to state of assertion is by injecting military thinking in the civil administration to build the sinews. That will enormously increase the deliverables on ground - from Lalgarh to Tawang. Bharat Verma is Editor, Indian Defence Review and the author of the book Faultlines.

PROUT | October 2009 11


FOR A GLORIOUS DAWN

By Garda Ghista

Part III

From Magna Carta To

Neo-Magna Carta INSTEAD OF ALLOWING ACADEMICS TO SPEAK OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AS SOME KIND OF SACRED BIBLICAL TEXT, WE NEED TO SPEAK OUT MORE AND MORE ON THE CRYING NEED TO REVISE AND REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION, FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT PEOPLE TODAY ARE CLAMORING FOR ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY, AND THE FIFTH AMENDMENT IS ONE GLARING EXAMPLE OF HOW THIS ARCHAIC DOCUMENT DENIES ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN PERPETUITY. RECLAIMING THE COMMONS Interestingly, the United States Constitution guarantees the protection of private property in its Fifth Amendment, which states, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”[35] The Fourteenth Amendment expands this obligation to state governments. Something seems deeply wrong with this amendment, as it allows wealthy capitalists as far away as in Germany or Australia to own the natural resources in the ground under the land of Eastern Kentucky. Would it not make more moral sense for the people living on the land to own the coal, minerals and other natural resources under the land along with the air above the land, as under traditional common law? Should not the wealth of local resources be ploughed back into the local community and benefit the local people? In the interest of the common people, as opposed to the wealthy elite who originally wrote the U.S. Constitution along with their descendants to carefully maintain the document so as to continue serving their own interests, would it not be time to consider rewriting the Constitution to bring it into the 21st century? After all, numerous countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and other nations have done exactly that, in the processing making laws which are far kinder to the common people and also to the commons. Instead of allowing academics to speak of the U.S. Constitution as some kind of sacred biblical text, we need to speak out more and more on the crying need to revise and rewrite the Constitution, for the simple reason that people today are clamoring for economic democracy, and the Fifth Amendment is one glaring 12 October 2009 | PROUT

example of how this archaic document denies economic democracy to local communities in perpetuity. Another interesting point is that NAFTA regulations regarding property rights actually supersede or displace pre-existing laws enshrined in the constitutions of involved countries, i.e., the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The NAFTA “investor bill of rights” gives vast legal protections to capitalist investors while essentially ignoring the rights of the common people in these countries to liberty, equality, security and democratic governance.[36] The cunningness with which NAFTA regulations are written by lawyers serving the interests of corporations behooves us to cancel NAFTA entirely. In its place, a new agreement can be written by representatives of the common people of these three countries whereby they can collaborate on trade but never propertize the commons that enable the poor everywhere to survive. At a time in history when lives are becoming increasingly individualistic and self-oriented, due in large part to the capitalist economic model, we need to open a dynamic discourse on the commons and our legal right to reclaim it for the people. In the United States particularly, it is taken for granted that such things as equal opportunity and due process of law exist. Yet, with the Patriot Acts these rights clearly can no longer be taken for granted. The forests, the minerals in the earth, were once available to everyone. But again, under a free market structure, we see the rabid privatization of lands, pastures, and precious natural resources such as oil that lies under residential homes in North Dakota. We need to open discourse on


ideas such as public trust doctrine, the public domain Canada, Britain and Australia. (3) Create a trust fund and Internet vehicles. We need to go one step beyond that provides start-up capital for every child; (3) Create these physical resources and discuss our cultural a fund that provides every person health care; (4) heritage, open discourse on steps required to reCreate funds supported by copyright fees that supports establish our earlier cultural values and move forward local arts. (5) Place limits on advertising.[39] To move to higher levels of civilization via new, visionary ahead we face three entities: corporations, government values, which can never come from a free market and the commons. At present government and economy. Rather, they can come only from the growing corporations are all-powerful. We need to find ways to spirituality of the people. vastly reduce the power of government, eliminate the Issues that free markets regard as externalities power of corporations or eliminate corporations need to be moved to the center of our pre-occupation themselves as an immoral business structure, and issues such as the necessity of civic commitment to enhance the power of the commons. ensure a thriving political, economic and ecological THE GIFT ECONOMY democracy. We need to embrace dialogue around social Aside from the above physical strategies, we can equity along with cultural and aesthetic elevation. consider the idea of clashing economic paradigms, one Open space must be available so as to provide people being patriarchal capitalism and the other being the gift with the freedom to explore and experiment and economy born from the nurturing nature of women. process new ideas. This requires Feminist Genevieve Vaughan calls WE NEED TO GO ONE STEP moving away from propertization and these two paradigms “exchange' and BEYOND THESE PHYSICAL towards open spaces wherein visions “gift giving.” Exchange is the basis and dreams can become manifested as RESOURCES AND DISCUSS OUR of capitalism. One gives in order to breakthroughs and discoveries in receive, and the exchange is measured CULTURAL HERITAGE, OPEN myriad spheres of knowledge. and quantified to guarantee profit for We can ask the question: who dISCOURSE ON STEPS REQUIRED one or the other. The roots of owns the skies and what is their TO RE-ESTABLISH OUR EARLIER e x c h a n g e l i e i n p a t r i a r c h a l condition? Even the skies which once CULTURAL VALUES AND MOVE domination and the typical male belonged to the commons and was FORWARD TO HIGHER LEVELS OF characteristics of competition and available to us all has been wholly rationality.[40] polluted by invisible gases so ciVILIZATION VIA NEW, VISIONARY Capitalism is based on physical powerful that almost single-handedly VALUES, WHICH CAN NEVER or monetary exchange. A gift they are causing radical climate economy is in direct contradiction to COME FROM A FREE MARKET change in the form of glacial melting ECONOMY. RATHER, THEY CAN capitalism. In capitalism, people and the melting of huge tracts of attempt to accumulate and keep permafrost in Russia. Permafrost cOME ONLY FROM THE GROWING possession of as much wealth as they melting is further causing enormous SPIRITUALITY OF THE PEOPLE. can, and the more they possess, the quantities of methane to enter the atmosphere, thus greater prestige they have in the society. In a gift accelerating the process of global warming. economy, which is still practiced today by the Bedus of Is there something we can do to halt the the Arabian desert, prestige comes to those who give atmospheric deterioration of our skies? Peter Barnes away the maximum amount of wealth. A person's says there is. We can create sky trusts which would prestige and power in the society is measured by the charge polluters hefty fees every time they pollute the extent to which he gives to others. Clearly, it is a sky. The revenue generated would be so great that concept completely alien to Garrett Hardin, who could every American could receive an annual dividend. In not extricate himself from the capitalist model of 'take.' fact, this very idea of a sky trust did make political The gift economy is grounded in an economic headway for a time, and it needs to be revived. Barnes system that has been crushed by patriarchal values. A has more ideas for reclaiming the commons and what woman-based economy mothers and nurtures her should be our property rights and birthrights: (1) Create children freely, cares for her extended kinship freely, trusts that will protect the air, water, forests and plains. serves her husband freely. Patriarchy battles this gift (2) Create a mutual fund that pays dividends to all economy, replacing it with an exchange economy Americans one person, one share. We can compare this accompanied by rivalry and competition. This struggle to the idea of a National Dividend, originally between the two diametrically opposed economic promulgated in the 1930s in England by C.H. Douglas systems takes place at every level, from the individual and the Social Credit movement and promoted today to governments and corporations. For this very reason by financial analyst Richard C. Cook.[37] The same many economists have difficulty grasping the value of idea is promoted by B.I.G. the Basic Income the barter system, claiming that it cannot work on a Guarantee[38] movement, presently active in the U.S. larger, say, national scale because it becomes too PROUT | October 2009 13


difficult to measure and quantify the goods to be exchanged. When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez barters with Cuban President Fidel Castro to exchange oil for medical doctors, economists refuse to admit it can be done. They cannot comprehend that the arrangement between the two Latin American countries is based not on the patriarchal exchange system but rather on the gift economy, where precise measurements are not required. Capitalist exchange breeds ego and makes the exchangers adversarial. It separates the adversaries by definition, causing them to be indifferent to one another. They become atomistic as the only goal is satisfaction of self. No mutual caring is involved in transactions. To continue the economic system of exchange, scarcity is required; hence, we always find scarcity of certain goods, because without scarcity the need for exchange is gone and can be replaced by gift giving. With scarcity, gift-giving becomes difficult and exchange becomes essential for survival, thus the paradigm continues unabated. Even though at present there is ample food to feed everyone on the planet, and it would require just $20 billion to distribute that food, but it never happens. Scarcity is a necessary component for the success of capitalism. For capitalists, altruism is out of reach. Aid to third world countries by donor nations serves only to pauperize the recipients. Accumulation of goods also enables those with more goods to dominate over those with fewer goods. Exchange dominates our lives to such an extent that we fail even to question it, despite the fact that there is no caring in exchanges, while in gift giving it is an assumption that giving arises from caring for the other. The values associated with the exchange model, such as independence, competitiveness, aggression, risk taking and rationality are inherent in capitalism. According to Vaughan, it is the dominance of the exchange paradigm that has led to the victimization, subservience and oppression of women.[41] The free housework done by women is estimated to contribute 40 percent to the US GDP. The fact that it is free inside a capitalist model renders it then a form of oppression or exploitation by patriarchal capitalists. Furthermore, that free labor is subtly branded as inferior or non-work by significant others, which alone demands the enacting of Richard Cook's National Dividend for every citizen. The oppression can end, Vaughan says, if we change the paradigm to what is now known as the gift economy. The indigenous natives of America practiced many aspects of gift-giving within their economies, which were perhaps a natural result of their matrilineal societies. We can do this again. Nelson Mandela talks about earlier African societies where the land belonged to the whole tribe without differentiation among people. No one was rich or poor or held in servitude. [42] He said that this 14 October 2009 | PROUT

original African society should once again become the new African commons. The revolutionary freedom fighter, Steve Biko, also talked about the African commons, of the time when people in a community or a town owned the land collectively; they farmed it together. Labor was shared, produce was shared, and exchange was based on giving more than receiving. We can say that it was primarily a gift economy, and through mutual giving the society thrived. Today the invisible gifts of society and nature are being destroyed by both monopolization and monoculturalization. Privatization of nature and the environment have thwarted the gifts that would have been given to many, that would have made us feel that our giving society is like our mother. There is no reason why we cannot change the model from one of reciprocal indifference and selfishness to one of unilateral giving by many to many. The change in economic paradigm would lead to a cultural transformation that would be heralded by the common people. The commons and the coordinated cooperation of sharing and giving the commons would be returned to the people and usher a new and higher level of civilization. The enactment of this scenario requires that powerful men lay down their weapons and their vast accumulation of goods so that women of the world take charge and spread everywhere the paradigm of giving. Steve Biko puts it still another way: “Ours is a true man-centred society whose sacred tradition is that of sharing. We must reject, as we have been doing, the individualistic cold approach to life that is the cornerstone of the Anglo-Boer culture. We must seek to restore to the black man the great importance we used to give to human relations, the high regard for people and their property and for life in general; to reduce the triumph of technology over man and the materialist element that is slowly creeping into our society… We therefore need to take another look at how best to use our economic power, little as it may seem to be. We must seriously examine the possibilities of establishing business cooperatives whose interest will be ploughed back into community development programmes… We must cling to each other with a tenacity that will shock the perpetrators of evil.”[43] A GLOBAL COMMONS : JUS HUMANITATIS Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Professor and also Co-Founder of the World Social Forum, talks about jus humanitatis, or a global commons. He moves beyond nation states around which nearly all international law is based and moves towards the mindset of a global commons wherein natural resources including the seabed, space, Antarctica and the moon are viewed as vast entities that belong to the entire humanity, not to one or two countries or corporations. He defines jus humanitatis as: “the aspiration to a form of government


of natural or cultural resources which, given their extreme importance for the sustainability and quality of life on earth, must be considered as globally owned and managed in the interest of humankind as a whole, both present and future.”[44] In this regard, Santos says that jus humanitatus clashes with two fundamental principles of the existing global economic paradigm: the first is property, upon which the present capitalist system is based, and the second is sovereignty, upon which the interstate system is based. Hence the great delay in the manifestation of jus humanitatus on our planet. However, the concept of the common heritage of humankind has existed for several decades in international law, at least on paper. If implemented, it would not only destroy the existing economic and political paradigms of property and sovereignty, but would also destroy international law itself due to its being falsely premised on these two concepts. In 1967, Arvid Pardo, Malta Ambassador to the UN, first articulated jus humanitatus at the United Nations with regard to the oceans and seabed. He declared that the seabed, ocean floor and their subsoil are the common heritage of mankind and hence should be used for peaceful purposes only and administered by an international body for the benefit of all.[45] Since that time the idea of common heritage has been applied to other arenas as well. It transcends existing international law, which is invariably based on reciprocity or exchange, to use Vaughan's terminology, meaning one state grants advantages to another state in exchange for an equivalent return advantage. Common heritage of humankind, in contrast, does not involve reciprocity because it concerns the interests of the entire humanity and not nation states. Santos explains that the principle of common heritage is essential in enabling the world to move from the existing capitalist expansionism towards the concept of sustainable development, from private property and national appropriation to the idea of shared resource management, from the very limited mindset of nation-state sovereignty to the concept of the whole humanity as one entity. Common heritage can help transition us from thinking of moving from pursuit of power and ensuing wars to the more expansive notion of rational use and trust along with management of the earth's common resources by an international community or body; it is moving from the extant political economy towards the idea of equitable redistribution of the world's natural resources. This is a key concept of the Prout economic paradigm promulgated by Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, who defines Prout as progressive utilization and rational distribution of the earth's resources. Hence, Shrii Sarkar is also ahead of his time in proposing concepts similar to those of Santos. Both are far outside

the boxes of both capitalism and nationalism and move even beyond our planet into outer space and the common natural resources of other planets. What is remarkable, as Santos points out, is that proponents of the existing political-economic paradigm do not even have the vocabulary to articulate a more expansive paradigm that refers to the principles of community, including such phrases as 'global commons' 'global village', 'common heritage', 'world community'. These terms are both foreign and anathema to capitalists who support propertization and politicians engrossed in state boundaries another form of propertization. They have linguistic bankruptcy,[46] as they are incapable of incorporating words such as 'humanity', 'human condition' and 'global sustainability' in a sincere manner into their vocabulary. In contrast, those with deep love for humanity can move forward towards a Neo Magna Carta with the buoyant vibration instilled in them by the words of Shrii Sarkar. “None of the movable or immovable property of this universe belongs to any particular individual; everything is the common patrimony of all … All living beings can enjoy their rightful share of this property, like members of a joint family … As members of a joint family, human beings should safeguard this common property in a befitting manner and utilize it properly. They should also make proper arrangements so that everyone can enjoy it with equal rights, ensuring that all have the minimum requirements of life to enable them to live in a healthy body with a sound mind.” (Concluded) Notes: [35] U.S. Constitution, Amendment V. [36] Terra Lawson-Remer, “Values Under Siege: NAFTA, GATS, and the Propertization of Resources,” New York University Law Journal, Vol 14, 2006, p. 493. [37] Richard C. Cook, “Monetary Reform and How a National Monetary System Should Work,” Center for Research on G l o b a l i z a t i o n , M a y 1 1 , 2 0 0 7 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle &code=COO20070511&articleId=5615 [38] David Swanson, “What’s the BIG Idea? Basic Income Guarantee versus the Media,” Counterpunch, Feb 28, 2005. http://www.counterpunch.org/swanson02282005.html [39] Peter Barnes, Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 2006, p. xv. [40] Genevieve Vaughan, “Gift Giving as the Female Principle v s . P a t r i a r c h a l C a p i t a l i s m ” . h t t p : / / w w w. g i f t economy.com/articlesAndEssays/principleVsPatriarchal.html [41] Ibid. [42] Peter Linebaugh, “Remembering the Common Hood: Soweto and Runnymeade,” at Counterpunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/linebaugh06132004.html [43] Stephen Bantu Biko, “Black Consciousnessness and the Q u e s t f o r a T r u e H u m a n i t y , ” http://www.worldproutassembly.org [44] Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Toward a New Legal Common Sense, Edinburgh, Butterworths, 2002, p. 302. [45] Ibid, p. 302-303. [46] Ibid, p. 311.

PROUT | October 2009 15


SUCCESS STORY

By Devesh Charan

Challenging Physical World “

RAVI BRAVED THE IGNORANCE, INSULTS AND EMBARRASSMENTS AND REALISED THE HARSH REALITIES OF LIFE, BUT THESE REALISATION TURNED HIM INTO HARDCORE OPTIMIST AND HE VOWED TO TAKE ON THE REALITIES WITH EDUCATION AND PERSEVERANCE AND IT PROVED TO BE THE KEY OF SUCCESS FOR HIM.

H

e is a person who has changed everything around himself by s h e e r w i l l a n d a u d a c i t y. Visualizing innovative concepts and taking it to realization level…” Have we seen any one walking with legs and hands together as daring Lion to walk alone and tread a path to truth? Yes, he is a person who has changed everything around himself by sheer will and audacity. Visualizing innovative concepts and taking it to realization level in his DNA. Flawless execution of the conceptualized strategy is his exemplary strength. His dareness to dream and to bare the truth allowed him to challenge the physical world despite being physically challenged. Natar Ravi Subbaiah, Managing Director and Chief Editor of Navi Mumbai Television (NMTV) Pvt. Ltd, who got inflicted from polio at the very early age with the soul remaining unaffected. He turned adversity into opportunity and entered into cable and news business which was primarily a domain of powerful well networked people He is a teacher, a guardian, an inspiration, a motivation. His principle in life is 'Be slaves to nothing but duty, and friends to nothing but merit.' 16 October 2009 | PROUT

Ravi Subbaiah: Editor in Chief; NMTV

Optimist Black Friday is observed as an inauspicious day but Ravi was born on black Friday on 13th Janurary 1969. He was born to a poor South Indian family living in Dharavi slums in Mumbai. Initial happiness that brought fate to a family when his father got a permanent job turned into sorrow and pain when he got severe polio attack and resulted in the temporary loss of speech and hearing and permanent disability of both the lower limbs for the boy. But destiny decided against the fate and he was the only survivor of the 25 polio victims who were admitted to the Orthopaedic Hospital at Haji Ali, Mumbai.

Ravi braved the ignorance, insults and embarrassments and realised the harsh realities of life, But these realisation turned him into hardcore optimist and he vowed to take on the realities with education and perseverance and it proved to be the key of success for him. For consistent income for the family he started giving tuitions in early student life and later started Kaizen Engineering Classes.. …..He lost his childhood in struggle for his existence. Fighting odds His education was itself a great challenge He passed 12th brilliantly and opted for the stream of science. But again was told that his physical state would not suit the


long hours of standing and working in the laboratories. With no choice, he then opted for the stream of commerce at Rayat Shikshan Sanstha's Modern College situated at Vashi, Navi Mumbai and got first class degree in 1990.But the years of struggle and the passage of time had turned him into a young self-motivated man. Enterprising Soul The fight to survive and to carve out his own niche, Ravi chooses to be an entrepreneur and create job for needy and deprived. It is a great question one may ask that being physically challenged what motivates him to keep on moving. He said, “Early struggles in life due to my disability has helped me see the real meaning of life. I strongly believe that nothing is impossible and that I am as able as anyone else” Still under pressure from his family, once he went for an interview to get a job in NOCIL. But there he bluntly told his interviewer that he was not interested in doing job but to be a self employed person. When asked how he came in cable business in the world of many other business options, Ravi said, “I am an ardent cricket fan. In 1987 I went to get a cable connection to watch India Australia match. But all the cable owners asked for exorbitant price and refused me to get connection. Here I took the challenge of being a cable operator.” With the same grit, determination, courage, God's grace and this time support from not only family but also friends and wellwishers, he progressed and his busi-

ness flourished. Today Ravi is the Founder and Director of SSV Cable Pvt. Ltd., the largest cable TV network of Navi Mumbai. So what motivated Ravi to join media industry? “Being a person with disability, hailing from an economically weak background, since childhood I have seen the real issues of people up, close and personal. That is, I always wanted to do something for the people. So

when I got an opportunity I joined the media industry.” He replied. Initially he started a half an hour a day video news magazine And today NMTV became the most popular and trusted 24 hrs local cable news station He told, “NMTV is a news channel for solution, not for sensation. We strive to be the most trusted and reliable platform for the masses. The channel believes in the ideology of awakening and enlightening people with human values besides being informative and educative.” He wishes to make NMTV a satellite channel with local content. Cooperative Missionary Subhaiah's soul lies in people and working for deprived and downtrodden . He leaves no stone

unturned to bring out a positive and visible change in life of a deprived person. To convert his passion into reality he started “Handicapped Welfare Association”, the purpose of which was to provide support to these special people that they did not get prior to this. Awards and Accolades Despite facing a hostile world Ravi turned his dreams into reality. Now he is getting his due from the society .The Indian Merchants Chambers has conferred the “Jewel of Navi Mumbai” award to Ravi Subbaiah for his contributions as a media person in making a beautiful Navi Mumbai. Apart from that he was also awarded the International Galilean Award 2008 for community service from the platform of NMTV. For his work and research in the field of media, he has been honoured with an honorary Doctorate from the University of Jerusalem this year. Simplicity Personified Professionalism is most overrated virtue for him and he dislikes corporate virtues in others. He admires Nelson Mandela as a living legend but if he has to a take rebirth then he would like to be reborn as Ravi Subbaiah only. Ravi has achieved which he dared to dream. Now he wants to give back to society what he has achieved. He is definitely a jewel and ambassador of compassionate humanism. He is a model who taught the world that adversity is a challenge and at the same time an opportunity. “He is an ignited soul who ignites dreams in other deserving soul….” ¡ PROUT | October 2009 17


PHILOSOPHY

Three Forms of

Economic Exploitation ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION INVOLVES THE UNRESTRICTED PLUNDER OF THE PHYSICAL AND PSYCHIC LABOUR OF A PARTICULAR COMMUNITY TOGETHER WITH THE NATURAL RESOURCES IN THEIR LOCAL AREA. IN PROUT'S VIEW, EXPLOITATION IS NOT CONFINED TO ONLY ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION, BUT INCLUDES PSYCHIC AND SPIRITUAL EXPLOITATION AS WELL. - Shrii P.R. Sarkar

A

ccording to Karl Marx, the creation of surplus value is the source of economic exploitation. Capitalists convert the surplus value into money value and that is how they accumulate profit. After analysing the capitalist economy, Marx reasoned that all profit is exploitation because profit means the denial of the legitimate right of the working class to the wealth they produce. Consequently, profit is nothing but the exploitation of labour. Marx concluded that the creation of surplus value will stop only when economic exploitation ends. All communist states, including the Soviet Union, China and Vietnam, have rejected Marx's theory of exploitation. According to these countries, the creation of surplus value in the economy is an indispensable part of national prosperity. In repudiation of Marxist ideas, profit is not considered exploitation. If Marx made the first attempt to analyse and define exploitation, then it must be said that his work is not free from defects. This is because Marx tried to interpret exploitation only from the economic point of view. According to PROUT, economic exploitation involves the unrestricted plunder of the physical and psychic labour of a particu18 October 2009 | PROUT

lar community together with the natural resources in their local area. In PROUT's view, exploitation is not confined to only economic exploitation, but includes psychic and spiritual exploitation as well. Economic exploitation has various forms and includes colonial exploitation, imperialist exploitation and fascist exploitation. There are similarities and dissimilarities in both the principles and characters of these forms of exploitation. Let us examine each of these three forms of exploitation by taking the example of Bengal. Colonial Exploitation In the case of colonial exploitation, the exploiters first capture a market and then gain control of all the raw materials available in that area through monopoly rights. They produce finished goods out of the raw materials in their own factories within their own region,

and then sell the finished goods to the people in the occupied market. Thus, they get double the opportunities to misappropriate wealth the exploiters deceive the local population while procuring their raw materials at cheap rates, and then they sell their finished products in the same markets at exorbitant prices. By capturing the local market, the colonial exploiters succeed in totally destroying the local industrial system. The first part of British rule in Bengal was a period of colonial exploitation. The British capitalists, in order to capture the markets of Bengal, systematically destroyed all Bengal's industry and forced the local manufacturers and skilled labourers to work in British owned factories. The British East India Company used to collect raw materials by looting and intimidating the local people. It contracted a


pledge from those who worked in cottage industries that they would buy raw materials only from the company, and sell finished products only to the company. The company used to sell raw materials at high rates, and buy finished products at twenty-five percent below their actual market price. The manufacturers who refused to agree to the terms of the company were handcuffed and publicly flogged, and the thumbs of many weavers who resisted the demands of the company were chopped off to destroy their capacity to weave fine cloth. Because of this kind of oppression, the weavers of Bengal could not compete with the weaving industry which was being developed in Manchester. Within ten years after the Battle of Plassey in 1757, most of the important industries in Bengal such as silk, cotton, sugar, salt, colour dyes, machine parts and shipbuilding had been systematically destroyed. The manufacturers and skilled labourers who had been employed in various industries for generations were uprooted from their natural source of livelihood and pushed towards agriculture. The inevitable result was the catastrophic famine of 1770. Thus, Bengal was converted into a supplier of raw materials and a market for British products. This type of economic exploitation is called “colonial exploitation”. Even thirty years after Indian independence, the vestiges of colonial exploitation have not been obliterated from Bengal. Rather, exploitation by the Indian capitalists has been deepened and widened. These Indian capitalists are outsiders who have not identified their own socio-economic interests with the interests of the local area. Today they look upon West Bengal and its adjoining areas as merely a source of raw materials. These capitalists purchase the agricultural, mineral and forestry resources of Bengal at cheap rates

and convert them into manufactured goods in their own factories in Gujarat, the Punjab, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, and then sell the finished products in the Bengal market at high prices. Almost all items of daily use in Bengal are manufactured outside Bengal, but sold in the West Bengal market. At the same time, Bengal's own industries have either been paralysed or destroyed so that the goods produced in

THE MANUFACTURERS AND SKILLED LABOURERS WHO HAD BEEN EMPLOYED IN VARIOUS INDUSTRIES FOR GENERATIONS WERE UPROOTED FROM THEIR NATURAL SOURCE OF LIVELIHOOD AND PUSHED TOWARDS AGRICULTURE. THE INEVITABLE RESULT WAS THE CATASTROPHIC FAMINE OF 1770. Bengal can never compete with those of the Indian capitalists produced outside Bengal. This is the reason that West Bengal does not get the chance to establish new industrial enterprises. The Punjab and Harayana have been turned into monopoly centres for the leather industry, but strangely, in both these states, hides are scarcely available. Industrialists from these states procure animal skins from the forests of Tarai and Duars in North Bengal and the deltaic region of the Sundarbans in the south of the state, and sell their finished leather products in Bengal. West Bengal has no hide industry to supply finished products to its own market. Only a small percentage of the leather shoes produced in Batanagar is supplied to the West Bengal market, and the largest percentage is exported to foreign markets. The

same situation prevails in the sports goods industry. Needless to say, the owners of most of the essential industries in West Bengal are outsiders. To them West Bengal is merely a colony to acquire raw materials as well as a vast market for the sale of finished goods which are manufactured in their own regions. All these outsiders are guided by one psychology: “As we have come to a foreign land, let us try to loot as much as we can.” Imperialist Exploitation Next comes imperialist exploitation. In this case the exploiters fully exercise their political and economic power for their own economic exploitation. The second half of British rule in India was characterized by imperialist exploitation. In fact, the imperialist exploitation of Bengal can be traced to the rein of the Mughal Emperor Akbar about 400 years ago. There is a reference in the book Ain-E-Akbari [The Laws of Akbar] that Bengal had to supply 23,301 cavalrymen, 801,159 infantrymen, 4,400 ships, 4,260 cannons and 108 elephants to the Mughal army. Bengal also had to pay a large tribute to meet Akbar's military expenses, supply provisions to the Mughal army, and pay taxes to offset the losses incurred in Akbar's campaigns. And when Aurangzeb deployed a large Mughal army to suppress the Marathas in the Deccan, Bengal again had to supply a large part of the provisions and running expenses of his army. In the process, the economy of Bengal was completely drained and the people impoverished. As a result of the Mughal exploitation, Bengal was confronted by a series of economic disasters and famines, and the Mughal rulers, with the help of their functionaries, ruthlessly suppressed all local revolts. The Mughal misrule of Bengal was closely followed by the British colonial and imperialist exploitation. When Clive left PROUT | October 2009 19


A portrait depicting the Bengal famine of 1770

India, he took away millions of rupees in cash. The East India Company and its employees took a bribe of thirty million rupees to carry out the exploitation of Bengal, and the British officers looted and plundered a vast amount of wealth from the palaces of the indigenous rulers. As a result of the devastating famine of 1770, about ten million people died, including artisans, skilled labourers and farmers. Before India entered the nineteenth century, all of Bengal's important industries had been destroyed. Dhaka, a most prosperous city, was a famous weaving and commercial centre, but it lost its pre-eminence and the population declined because the people were uprooted from their traditional means of livelihood. The unemployed skilled labourers left Dhaka and travelled to the countryside in search of new occupations, and finally took to agriculture. Naturally, these new workers became landless labourers and the agricultural sector became overcrowded. This was how important industrial centres such as Murshidabad and Pandua lost their economic prosperity. Innumerable unemployed youth were created in the industrial sector of Bengal's economy, and they had no alterna20 October 2009 | PROUT

tive but to resort to agriculture. After completely destroying the industries of Bengal, the British capitalists turned their attention to the rural sector. In 1779 the British colonialists forced the Bengali peasants to cultivate indigo in their paddy lands because there was a great demand for colour dyes in the European market. The problem was that once indigo was planted it took two to three years to mature, and in this time no other crops could be cultivated. The peasants refused to cultivate indigo instead of paddy, and consequently they were subjected to inhuman torture and oppression. This continued for eighty years, then the people of Bengal revolted and the cultivation of indigo stopped. Along with the cultivation of indigo, the British merchants cast

THE PEASANTS REFUSED TO CULTIVATE INDIGO INSTEAD OF PADDY, AND CONSEQUENTLY THEY WERE SUBJECTED TO INHUMAN TORTURE AND OPPRESSION. THIS CONTINUED FOR EIGHTY YEARS, THEN THE PEOPLE OF BENGAL REVOLTED AND THE CULTIVATION OF INDIGO STOPPED. their greedy eyes on Bengal's jute and tea industries. In order to further increase their profits, they began to exploit these two commodities. In 1793 Lord Cornwallis tried to impose British feudalism on the rural economy of Bengal through the system of permanent settlements. According to this system, zamindars were armed with enormous economic power. They were given the authority to impose

revenue taxes on land, evict farmers, arbitrarily sell farmers' movable and immovable property, and if necessary prosecute farmers and sentence them to death. In exchange for all these privileges, the landlords had to pay a fixed amount of money to the British Raj at the end of each year. If that amount was not deposited in the treasury at the appointed time, the landholdings of the landlord were auctioned. Naturally no landlord wanted his land auctioned, so regardless of the climatic conditions or the size of the crops, he forced the farmers to pay the required taxes. Besides paying their government revenue, the landlords always tried to make a profit, so they collected more than the prescribed amount from the farmers. The landlords, however, encountered certain difficulties when they tried to collect tax revenues directly by moving from place to place. Consequently, the system of collecting taxes through agents was introduced. These agents gave the responsibility for collecting taxes to another set of people, thus between the landlord and the farmer there were agents of different strata. The agents at the lowest stratum used to deduct a certain percentage of the tax revenue and give the rest to the higher level agents. Thus, the farmers had to bear the brunt of this enormous financial burden. Moreover, the agents did not issue any receipts, so there was no limit to the exploitation and looting of the farmers who were impoverished beyond their means. Besides the landlords and their agents, another group of exploiters emerged who took advantage of the poverty of the farmers. These were the moneylenders, who lent money to the farmers at exorbitant rates of interest. The farmers were forced to take loans which they could never repay, so they mortgaged their lands. Eventually the moneylend-


Bengal was more advanced than any other state in India, and many Bengali industrialists had developed. The outsiders started to systematically eliminate the Bengali industrialists from specific areas of trade and Bengal famine a graphic from the Illustrated London News of April 4, 1874 industry. This methodical economic oppression of Bengal ers became the owners of the farmstarted immediately after India ers' lands, and the farmers were attained freedom. thus converted into landless During this period, West labourers. Such a huge population Bengal's paddy land was conof landless labourers was found verted into jute production in order only in Bengal. to earn more foreign exchange The complement to economic from jute. The farmers were losers exploitation is political oppreson two fronts. First, their income sion. British political exploitation from paddy was totally stopped, reduced the number of Bengalees and secondly, they were not given by dividing Greater Bengal into the market value of the jute they numerous fragments and annexing produced. The outsiders benefited those areas to adjoining states. The in two ways. They exported much people of Bengal were deprived of of their jute to foreign countries to the natural resources of those earn foreign exchange, and they regions which were later formed supplied rice to Bengal produced into Assam, Bihar and Orissa. The in their own areas. At that time ethnic Bengalees of those areas, there were approximately eighty after only a few generations, jute mills in West Bengal, all became separated from the main owned by outsiders who made a stream of Bengali life and culture. total profit of hundreds of millions The British did not apply this prinof rupees per annum. The central ciple of “divide and rule� to any government earned a similar other part of India. Just to perpetuamount by exporting jute, and ate their economic exploitation in another few hundred million Bengal, the British resorted to rupees as taxes, duties, etc., on jute political oppression. Bengalees products. About twenty percent of had experienced the tyranny of highly placed people, but they had never before experienced oppresJute fields in Nadia district sion that completely stifled their means of commerce and livelihood, and almost destroyed their very existence. In 1947, when the British left India, another era of exploitation by Indian imperialists started in the wake of the partition of Bengal. Despite the long period of British exploitation, in the initial phase after independence the state of

India's total foreign exchange came from Bengal's jute industry, but Bengal's indigenous jute farmers were deprived of any profit from jute production. West Bengal earns no percentage of the foreign exchange acquired from its natural resources. The central government sells cotton to Maharashtra and Gujarat at comparatively low prices, whereas the farmers of Bengal are forced to buy the same commodities at high prices. Naturally the cost of producing cotton cloth and hand-spun clothes is higher in Bengal than in other states. The same thing applies in the case of sugar. Furthermore, Bengal has to sell coal and iron ore to other parts of the country without making any profit, and it has to buy edible oil and other essential food items at extra cost. Due to this exploitation by outsiders, the economic structure of Bengal has been shattered and a large percentage of Bengal's population now lives below the poverty line. Tens of millions of rupees are drained out of West Bengal every month by outsiders, and many of Bengal's own industrial enterprises have been destroyed. The important industrial sectors together with trade and commerce are now in the hands of outsiders. Millions of able-bodied young Bengalees are unemployed, whereas the non-Bengali capitalists employ much of their workforce from outside the state. Fascist Exploitation The final and most dangerous form of economic exploitation is fascist exploitation. In order to canvass national support to justify their exploitation, the imperialists popularize the theory of nationalism. They portray their exploitation as rational and PROUT | October 2009 21


constitutional and based on the national interest. The British imperialists, in order to legitimize their exploitation, embraced nationalist theory. Following the example of the British, Mussolini of Italy and Hitler of Germany moved along the same path. When communist imperialism was established after the Second World War, the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin propagated the concept of the Slavic supremacy. Likewise, the Chinese leader Mao Zedong built up Chinese superiority. As soon as an imperialist power is transformed into a fascist power, it spreads out its tentacles to psychically and culturally oppress a vanquished people. To perpetuate unhindered economic exploitation, psychic exploitation starts almost simultaneously. Where psychic exploitation is used to further economic exploitation, it is called “psycho-economic exploitation�. At the very outset, the fascist exploiters select a weak community which inhabits a region rich in natural resources. The fascists socially and culturally uproot the victimized community by imposing a foreign language and culture on them. Because the local people cannot easily express their individual and collective feelings and sentiments in a foreign language, they develop a defeatist psychology and inferiority complex with respect to the exploiters. This defeatist psychology destroys the natural spiritedness and will to fight of the local people, and the fascists skillfully utilize this golden opportunity. The primary interest of the fascist exploiters is to gradually suck the vitality of the local community so that they can pillage and plunder their natural resources, but if necessary they will even obliterate the local community from the face of the earth. During the British rule of India, the Bengalees were the victims of various types of rapacious 22 October 2009 | PROUT

psychic exploitation by the British fascists. The British adopted several methods of psychic exploitation. For instance, the British exploiters, obsessed with crushing freedom struggles and national revolts, tried to destroy the revolutionary spirit of the Bengalees. To achieve this objective they also started psycho-economic exploitation. Besides this, in order to reduce the Bengali population, they divided Bengal into different regions and annexed them to the adjoining states. A large section of the population became separated from the mainstream of Bengali life and identified with the cultural heritage of the newly formed states. The same approach is being followed even now. The Indian capitalists followed the example of the British. Their exploitative psychology was clearly manifest in the refugee pol-

Ethiopian painting depicting the Italo-Abyssinian War. icy. By the end of 1949 the rehabilitation problem of the refugees who came from West Pakistan had been completely solved, but the refugees who came from East Pakistan were subject to an altogether different policy. The Bengali refugee problem was kept in abeyance. Many Bengali refugees, by dint of their selfconfidence, physical capabilities and hard work, still struggle for survival in Tripura, Assam, Bihar and Orissa, while millions of poor and

helpless refugees continue to live on the streets in the towns and cities of Bengal, wandering aimlessly in search of food and shelter. The plan to reduce the size of the Bengali population is being implemented through the systematic destruction of the vitality of the Bengali people. The most powerful means of expression of a people's collective psychic power is their language and literature. Hence, to try and uproot a people from their culture is a special form of psychic exploitation. The cultural suppression of Bengalees throughout eastern India is rampant. To undermine the morality and integrity of Bengal's national character, lewd films and books have been spread throughout the state like ulcerous wounds. In the factories and the rural production centres, the capitalist exploitation of India continues unabated, and the landholders, as the last vestiges of a feudalistic social order, perpetrate their exploitation in the villages. The capitalists and landlords carry on their exploitation hand-in-hand. The survival and social security of the landless labourers depends solely on the whims of the landlords, who can expel the labourers at any time on any pretext. The exploitation by capitalists and landlords is accompanied by the exploitation by moneylenders. In the rural economy they lend money to the farmers and rural peasants, and are present in nearly every village and hamlet of West Bengal. Where the landlords are not physically present, their loyal agents are very active. The moneylenders have nothing to do with the land they merely give loans to the poor farmers at high interest. Sometimes poor farmers cannot afford to procure farming implements, hence they are compelled to take loans from the moneylenders. If a moneylender gives one hundred rupees to a farmer, the farmer will have to repay two hundred (Continued on page 26)


rupees with interest, but the moneylender does not take back the loan in cash. Instead he realizes the amount in kind in the form of paddy, potatoes, etc., at cheap rates at the time of the harvest. The poor farmer, under the pressure of circumstances, has to accept this unwelcome system. He is a double loser first, he has to pay more than double the amount of the original loan, and secondly, this amount is paid in kind at the rate of the harvest price of the crop, which is naturally very cheap. This whole process is conducted through agents, who also take their profit. Thus, the peasants and farmers of India are deprived of all their agricultural produce in four to five months of the year to repay the moneylenders, so for the remaining seven to eight months they have to approach the moneylenders again for fresh loans. At first they mortgage their implements, and then they are forced to part with their land. When the amount of the loans with compound interest increases to the point where the interest and the mortgage is equal to the price of their land, the moneylenders confiscate the land of the farmers. Consequently, the farmers get evicted from their land and move from village to village, living on the streets as beggars. The direct representatives of the capitalist exploiters in the rural economy are the middlemen. They take advantage of the poverty and distress of the farmers and force them to depend on the capitalists for their production. For example, in West Bengal, Calcutta is the main centre of the capitalists, but of course they have subsidiary centres in various parts of the state. For instance, they have centres in Siliguri in North Bengal, Sainthia in Birbhum district, Purulia town in Purulia district and Midnapore town in Midnapore district. From these centres the capitalists, through their agents and middlemen, control the rural economy of

West Bengal. The farmers depend on these middlemen not only to procure farm implements, but also to sell their agricultural produce. They also take advantage of the illiteracy of the simple uneducated farmers, collect their signatures or thumb prints for a larger loan, and pay them less than the market value of their produce. Indian society is basically capitalistic, and the administrative system is a capitalist dominated

THE PROBLEM OF HOW TO REMAIN IN POWER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR EVERY POLITICAL PARTY THAT COMES TO POWER IN AN ELECTION. WHEN POLITICAL INTEREST IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE, NATURALLY THE GOVERNMENT WILL FRAME LAWS TO SAFEGUARD THE INTERESTS OF THE CAPITALIST EXPLOITERS. democracy. It is the capitalists who control and direct the social, economic and political systems of India. The problem of how to remain in power is the most important issue for every political party that comes to power in an election. When political interest is of paramount importance, naturally the government will frame laws to safeguard the interests of the capitalist exploiters. The responsibility of upholding the interests of the exploiters in the name of law and order devolves onto the bureaucracy and police. The political leaders merely engage in internal bickering over their share of the illgotten gains. India's peasants, under the enormous weight of the exploitation by capitalists, landlords, mon-

eylenders and corrupt politicians, together with the crippling burden of poverty, have been pushed to the brink of death. At any cost, the peasants will have to shoulder the responsibility of freeing themselves from the jaws of destruction. But what is the way out for them? Is sanguinary revolution the surest way of attaining freedom? Is there any other way out? In my opinion, if the path of bloodshed can be avoided by some means or other, and if the exploiters can be brought back to their senses, that would be the most preferable option. But to do this the following requirements would have to be fulfilled. First, a decentralized economy which replaces the current centralized economy must be introduced. Economic planning should be based on block-level planning and include every village. This is the only way to put an end to colonial, imperialist and fascist exploitation. Secondly, in every stratum of the economy, the cooperative system must be expanded so that no one can take an undue share of the collective wealth produced by the industrial and agricultural labourers. Thirdly, money lending by private capitalists should be banned and provisions must be made to pay loans in advance to the farmers through the banks. This will eradicate the exploitation by moneylenders and political cadres. Fourthly, the floating population of any state must be either settled where it is living, or made to leave that area and return to its original region. It will have to choose either option. The progress of history can never be reversed the current of destiny can never be resisted. The elevated and benevolent intellect is the solution to all human problems. ยก PROUT | October 2009 23


LOOKING AHEAD

By Dada Maheshvarananda

A New Social Paradigm Based on

Spiritual Values THE WORLD NEEDS NOT ONLY NEW SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC STRUCTURES THAT ARE JUST AND DEMOCRATIC; IT ALSO NEEDS PEOPLE WHO ARE BETTER, STRONGER, LESS SELFISH AND MORE COMPASSIONATE.

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he Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) is a new socio-economic paradigm based on spiritual values that offers the world a much brighter future than either capitalism or communism. Founded by Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar (1921-1990), it proposes the maximum utilization and rational distribution of all physical, psychic and spiritual resources, for the dynamic progress and equilibrium for all beings. In this essay I would like to assert why I believe

24 October 2009 | PROUT

that a universal spiritual outlook is invaluable for a future society. Dogma no more! First let me clarify that I don't support religious dogma. Dogmas can be defined as any intellectual barrier beyond which one may not question. Examples of religious dogmas include the idea that we are the chosen people of God and others are not, that ours is the only way, that we are going to heaven and everyone else is going to hell, that only our holy book is the word


of God, that men are spiritually superior to women. All of these are terribly destructive, dividing humanity by creating a mentality of Us and Them, superiority and inferiority. Yet fundamentalism and religious fanaticism are increasing in many parts of the world because of economic injustice. Unemployment, debt, insecurity, urbanization and westernization are marginalizing millions. When people feel they have no future, when they are alienated because they are not a part of the capitalist dream presented by beautiful, rich, happy American actors and models, they can turn to dogmatic religion as a way out. Religious institutions sometimes manifest structural violence, instilling fear, guilt, and inferiority. Through schools and popular education, we need to explain why dogmas are so dangerous, and why blindly following leaders without thinking for oneself is so dangerous. And yet I believe that spiritual values and a spiritual perspective that are free from dogmas have great value for an ideal society. Karl Marx asserted that the human being is an economic animal controlled by historical forces. However this definition of the human being is extremely limiting, for it devalues human life and ignores higher human potential. Vladimir Lenin said that the most essential thing in Marxism is “the concrete analysis of the concrete situation.” There is a principle of both psychology and spirituality that what you think, so you become. Focusing one's mind (the analysis) only on the material world (the concrete situation) results in the gradual crudification of the mind, like a stone. In fact, many Communist societies

seemed to have had that effect on people by rejecting the value of the esthetic, the subtle, the spiritual. Every human being is a manifestation of Consciousness. The goal of life should not be merely the improvement of material conditions, also to expand the mind with new ideas and experience higher states of consciousness. Universal Spirituality The mystical concept of a Supreme Being or Cosmic Mind is common to all forms of mysticism and religions, including the beliefs of indigenous peoples throughout the world. Mysticism is not merely a belief or an intellectual idea. Mystics and yogis contend that we cannot come to know this Supreme Being through any purely intellectual process, nor through external worship or rituals. Consciousness is already within us, the tiny voice of intuition that many choose to ignore, and the way to experience the Supreme Consciousness is to go deep within our own minds to the realm of a higher consciousness. Daily meditation and other holistic lifestyle techniques are very practical and can be done by anyone, anywhere. They are a key to personal transformation, because they are powerful tools to overcome one's negative instincts and mental complexes, while cultivating compassion, unconditional love for others and altruism. The search for spiritual truth becomes a journey towards the true self, for the innermost self is nothing other than a reflection of the Supreme Consciousness within our minds. Dr. Leonardo Boff, one of the founders of Liberation Theology, wrote, “The spiritual dimension is that disposition of the human being to link the microcosms with the Macrocosm, to perceive the totality, to discover the other side of all things, the message that comes from the greatness of the universe. It is the capacity to contemplate, to venerate and to dialog with the Mystery that the religions call God or the Force that guides the universe. By the actuation of this dimension, the human being turns into a cosmic being.” It is interesting to note that since the 1920s, when the world of science was revolutionized by the discoveries of Albert Einstein and his contemporaries, there has been an increasing convergence of views about reality between physicists studying relativity and quantum mechanics on the one hand, and those PROUT | October 2009 25


pursuing ancient mystical philosophies such as Tantra Yoga, Buddhism and Taoism on the other. Common to both are ideas of mysterious connections between all parts of the universe, a cosmic oneness and the physical laws of the universe being guided by some intelligent process. These seem to point to a greater truth. Dictionaries sometimes define God as that Supreme Entity which is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. To me, the implications of this traditional interpretation are staggering. The question I sometimes hear, "Which God do you believe in?" leaves me speechless -- how many are there to choose from? The Creator is both male and female, and also far beyond those human concepts. Infinite, within everything, both animate and inanimate. As the scientist Galileo replied to the dogmatic princes of Florence, "God is in people's hearts or He is nowhere!" Spirituality is universal, not sectarian. Godrealization takes place in the body and mind of any sincere human being. Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) was a universalist who described not the future expansion of the Catholic Church of which he was a member, but of humanity sharing a common spiritual goal. In the same way the Dalai Lama, Vivekananda, Aurobindo, Sarkar and so many other spiritual leaders from around the world have described their future vision of a united human family with love for the Supreme. Wisdom, and not mere intellect, is a very rare, timeless quality that the world desperately needs. A wise person understands the deepest truths of life and thus becomes a fountain of divine love and inspiration. There have been saints in the past who were illiterate, yet who were respected by all for their wise advice and counsel. Wisdom comes through knowledge of the self, through deep reflection and meditation. Neo-ethics based on universal principles of morality should be the base of economic activity and global peace. For example, the ancient yogic principle of "Aparigraha" is an ecological ideal of simple living, not accumulating unnecessary things. On the personal level it encourages the adoption of a humble lifestyle and donating money to charity. On the social level it is the basis of creating a ceiling on salaries and wealth that is robbing the planet of its resources. Self-realization and service to the universe are universal goals that all people can be encouraged to adopt. Service work is both purifying and humbling. Bo Lozoff's wonderful "Prison-Ashram Project" of the Human Kindness Foundation in the US is an incredible example of teaching ancient yoga techniques and sharing correspondence of love with more than 50,000 prisoners around the world (http://www.humankindness.org). The Chicago School of Theology was so impressed that they 26 October 2009 | PROUT

awarded the founder an honorary doctorate degree in divinity. It is only by taking the best from the East and the West, and by honoring the spiritual treasure at the heart of every religious tradition that we can make a better future. At the same time we must reject the dogmas and fight against injustice and exploitation wherever they are found. Cosmic Inheritance Sarkar extends the spiritual perspective of traditional peoples that we all belong to Nature. Asserting that Pure Consciousness and the Energy of Nature are two inseparable aspects of the Supreme Entity, he considers them to be our collective “Father” and “Mother”. Planet Earth, her wealth of resources, as well as the rest of the universe, are the common inheritance of all humanity. Prout's notion of ownership is based on this spiritual concept which Sarkar terms “Cosmic Inheritance”. He reasons that the Creator is not separate from the creation, but permeates and resonates in every particle of it. Even so-called inanimate objects are regarded as being vital with latent consciousness. Every living being has existential value in addition to utility value. Humans do not have the right to destructively exploit plants, animals, or the Earth, without regard for their wellbeing. The Creator invites us to use these with respect, but not to abuse them. Prout terms this Cosmic worldview as spiritual


and universal in nature, embracing the sisterhood and brotherhood of all humanity, and asserting that we are fundamentally one indivisible human family without distinction of race, color, creed, gender or other traits. Because of this spiritual outlook, Prout does not give the same importance to the system of individual ownership of property as capitalism does. Based on the ideas of the 17th century English philosopher John Locke, the founders of the United States, impassioned about personal freedom, asserted that it is one's right to accumulate as much wealth as possible. Yet this view, which dominates the world today, is quite opposite to the perspective and values of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australasia. They did not believe that the land belonged to them; rather they believed they belonged to the land! These traditional cultures were more cooperative by nature and usually treated most of the land as a common resource. Collectively, like brothers and sisters in a human family, we have a duty and a responsibility to utilize sustainably and fairly distribute the world's resources for the welfare of all. Another conclusion to be drawn from the spiritual concept of Cosmic inheritance is that the life and wellbeing of humans is society's first priority, and it must always take precedence over all other financial responsibilities. Hence a Proutist economy begins by providing the minimum necessities of life to all people in every region, and then it gradually elevates their standard of living.

Humanism and Neohumanism Humanism originated in Europe during the Renaissance period as a reaction against the illogical dogmas and domination of the Catholic Church's powerful clergy, who demanded blind faith and total obedience. Consequently, many Western humanists rejected the idea of a transcendent God outside of or beyond human experience. Instead they relied on logic, scientific enquiry and reason, trusting only what could be observed and measured. The rejection of God forced humanists to search more deeply and discover the personal and political significance of such concepts as freedom and equality. They struggled to find a more natural and rational morality. Quickly, however, they ran into the problem of relativism. “Freedom, equality and fraternityâ€? was the humanist cry of the French Revolution, yet with the ensuing Reign of Terror it soon became an empty slogan. Freedom from what? Equality in relation to what? A potential defect of humanism can be that the purpose of life is not clear. This can leave the humanist in a spiritual vacuum, without transcendent values or direction adrift on a sea of conflicting ideas. Humanism also has other limitations. When based on internationalism, as in the case of the United Nations, its adherents may be plagued with political differences and jealousies, just as that organization is. If it is based on the concept that there is no Divinity, that there is no higher consciousness within us, then it tends to become cynical and materialistic. The philosophy of humanism may also lead one to neglect other species, to consider them inferior and exploit them for profit. This attitude has been called speciesism or anthropocentrism. Sarkar's Neohumanism urges us to overcome this limitation by including all of life in our definition of what is real and important. Although human beings are clearly the most evolved species on this planet, our actions and conduct should demonstrate ever-increasing love and respect toward all beings and inanimate objects in the universe. Thus, an outlook based on universalism or Neohumanism is one that recognizes the spiritual family of humanity, a family which transcends nations and is rooted in spiritual ecology. Neohumanism is an expansive concept that promotes physical welfare and security, intellectual stimulation and encouragement, and also spiritual growth. It helps to free the intellect from narrow sentiments and established doctrines, as well as to create a shared sense of compassion. Viewing all human beings and the rest of creation as the children of one Supreme Consciousness, one feels that the world's sorrow is his or her own sorrow, and the world's happiness is his or her own happiness. ÂĄ PROUT | October 2009 27


PRABHAT SAMGIITA

By Shrii P.R. Sarkar

{Song No. 4764}

Jay jay jay tomári hauk jay Álokajjvala svaròim práte ke go ele cinmaya.

Victory, victory, victory let victory be only thine. In a dazzling golden dawn who came matchless O one.

Morá svapna dekhiyá jái, hala mádhurite bhará dhará, Duhkha-santáp nái, shudhu ánandadhárá. Taruò rakta jágiyá uíhiche, sareche shoshaòa-bhay.

We keep on seeing a dream, the earth filled with sweetness, there's no sorrow or distress only a flow of joy. Young blood awakened, gone is the fear of oppression.

Bháviyáchilám ámrá raciba nútan amará, Káj kare jába, gán geye jába, dháliba priitir pashará. Áj se din eseche, tamasá sareche, puvákásh álomaya.

Thought we would create a new heaven, shall keep on working, shall keep on singing, shall pour out loads of love. Today that day comes, darkness has gone, the eastern sky dazzles. (Translation by Arun Prakash)

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RESEARCH

Mind over Matter By Chaplain Jeffrey Zust, U.S. Army with Mirabai Bush, Center for Contemplative Mind in Society Major Robert H. Williams, U.S. Army (PART II)

THIS IS THE SECOND AND CONCLUDING PART OF THE INTERESTING SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF MEDITATION AND ITS EFFECTS ON AMERICAN ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL.

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sychological mechanisms. Mindfulness training provides powerful cognitivebehavioral coping tools (Kabat-Zinn et al., 1992; Astin, 1997). While sharing some similarities with other cognitive interventions, one significant difference is that mindfulness-based approaches focus on attending to and altering cognitive processes rather than changing their content (Orsillo, Roemer, BlockLerner, & Tull, 2004). Some authors have suggested that mindfulness training allows one to develop alternative paradigms and therefore interpret experiences in new ways (Shapiro, Schwartz, and Bonner, 1998), so that, for example, a stressful situation may be perceived as an opportunity rather than a threat. Roemer and Orsillo (2003) call this “cognitive flexibility.” Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is also thought to cultivate selfregulation, which may contribute to positive changes in both physical and psychological health (Shapiro, Schwartz, and Bonner, 1998; Coffey & Hartman, 2008). In a psychological and educational context, the term “self-regulated” is used to describe a kind of learning that is guided by metacognition, strategic

action (planning, monitoring, and evaluating personal progress against a standard), and motivation to learn (Winne & Perry, 2000; Perry, Phillips, & Hutchinson, 2006). It is this emotional regulation aspect of mindfulness that was found to be the most beneficial to patients with chronic depressive features, according to a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (Zautra et al., 2008). The study compared the group who received mindfulness training with a group of patients who received cognitive behavioral therapy or education only. In an effort to create a model of mindfulness that more precisely defines the construct as well as

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describes how it works, Shapiro, Carlson, Astin, and Freedman (2006) proposed three components of mindfulness which function in an integrated way: Intention: The practice is being done for a purpose that the practitioner consciously chooses, such as reducing one's stress. Attention: Paying attention in the present moment implies that one is able to maintain that focus, in the face of whatever may arise, including distressing internal or external experiences. Attitude: The way that one pays attention is as important as the act of attending. Kabat-Zinn (2003) notes that attention, in the context of mindfulness practice, will ideally have “an affectionate, compassionate quality…a sense of openhearted, friendly presence and interest” (p. 145). This implies that one develops the ability to pay attention without judgment. C. Measuring the Mindfulness Construct. Historically, the primary intention of meditative practices has been to cultivate insight, wisdom, and compassion. As Baer (2003) notes, these are “concepts that may be appreciated by many people, yet difficult to evaluate empirically.” Recent work has been done to operationalize these constructs and to develop reliable and valid methods of measuring them. Dimidjian and Linehan (2003) note that while clinical models that utilize mindfulness interventions have used variant terminology to describe key components, these descriptions have in common three activities: 1) observing, noticing, bringing awarness; 2) describing, labeling, noting; and 3) participating. Additionally, these activities are performed with three qualities: 1) nonjudgmentally, with acceptance; 2) in the present moment; and 3) effectively. Consequently, efforts to measure mindfulness have focused on these dimensions. In the past decade, several tools have been developed to measure the mindfulness construct, including: ¡ Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS Brown and Ryan, 2003) ¡ The Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills. Assessment (Baer, Smith, & Allen, 2004) ¡ Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale (Cardaciotto, Herbert, Forman, Moitra, & Farrow, 2008) ¡ The Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI Walach, Buchheld, Buttenmuller, Kleinknecht, & Schmidt, 2006) Of these, the MAAS appears to have been utilized most frequently in empirical studies. The MAAS is a 15-item instrument used to assess the frequency with which an individual is openly attentive to and aware of present events and experiences. Mindfulness of both internal states and overt behavior is assessed using a 630 October 2009 | PROUT

point Likert scale. One sample item: “I could be experiencing some emotions and not be conscious of it until sometime later.” Several recent studies that have used the MAAS to document the impact of mindfulness practice include Cohen-Katz (2005), who found that scores on the MAAS increased significantly over an 8-week MBSR program, and Brown and Ryan (2003) who noted that increases in MAAS-assessed mindfulness were related to declines in mood disturbance and stress. IV. REVIEW OF EMPIRICAL RESEARCH A. Overview of Research on Meditation and Mindfulness. Several meta-analytic reviews of nearly three decades of research provide significant evidence that meditative and contemplative practices can help to enhance physical and psychological health (Baer, 2003; MAMIG, 2006; Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, & Wallach, 2004; Praissman, 2008). Much of this research has focused on Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), but there are also indications that other forms of contemplative practice can be applied to a wide range of clinical problems with positive results. 1. Contemplative Prayer. Prayer, in general, can help to moderate or deter stressful reactions (Pargament & Brant, 1998), and people who pray frequently appear to suffer less psychologically or


physically after a major stressor (McCullough & Larson, 1998). A recent study found that for patients confronting a life-threatening illness such as cancer, religious coping can be an important factor influencing their quality of life (Tarakeshwar et al., 2008). Shadoan (2006a) and others (Finney, 1985; Treichel, 1992) have suggested that Contemplative Prayer (CP) can be an effective adjunct to Christian counseling. Richards and Bergin (1997) suggest that CP could be used in a range of clinical settings. Research indicates that CP may be effective in reducing anxiety and improving spiritual well-being (Levin & Chatters, 1998; Shadoan, 2006b), and in reducing depression (Shadoan, 2006b: Propst, 1996). It has also been used with problems of substance abuse, reducing risky behaviors, and increasing self-esteem (Larson, Swyers, & McCullough, 1997). 2. Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction. Studies on MBSR have been well developed over the past 25 years since the first study by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1982, with

increased levels of rigor in experimental protocol. A review of these studies shows reliable and reproducible effectiveness in reducing physiological and psychological symptoms, as well as developing positive mood states and behaviors. Follow-up and longitudinal studies indicate that MBSR participants often maintain significant improvements in physical and emotional symptoms and functional status after the intervention is over (Kabat-Zinn, Lipworth, Burney, & Sellers, 1987; Ma & Teasdale 2004; Miller, Fletcher, & Kabat-Zinn, 1995; Teasdale et al, 2000). Physiological benefits. Physiological changes among participants in the MBSR program have included: reduced chronic pain (Kabat-Zinn, 1982, Kabat-Zinn, Lipworth, & Burney, 1985; Kabat-Zinn et al., 1987); improved immune function (Davidson et al., 2003; Moynihan et al., 2004; Carlson, Speca, Patel, & Goodey, 2003); decreased symptoms of fibromyalgia (Kaplan, Goldenberg, & Galvin-Nadeau, 1993); and improved sleep patterns (Shapiro, Bootzin, Figueredo, Lopez, & Schwartz, 2003). Psychological benefits. In one study of the effects of MBSR on adults with a lifetime diagnosis of mood disorder, researchers found significant reductions in ruminative tendencies, specifically in the areas of brooding and reflection (Ramel, Goldin, Carmona, & McQuaid, 2004). Chambers, Lo, & Allen (2008) found that participants who completed a 10-day intensive mindfulness meditation retreat demonstrated significant improvements in self-reported mindfulness, depressive symptoms, rumination, and performance measures of working memory and sustained attention, relative to a control group. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), a form of MBSR that incorporates cognitive strategies, has been found effective in reducing relapse in patients with major depression (Teasdale et al., 2000). In a small study to measure the impact of MBCT on generalized anxiety disorder, Evans et al. (2008) found significant reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms from baseline to end of treatment. Yook et al. (2008) found that patients with anxiety disorder who received 8-week of MBCT showed significant improvement in sleep quality, and decreases in worry, anxiety, rumination, and depression, compared with baseline. Research indicates that mindfulness may help to enhance the skills needed for successful interpersonal relationships. Carson, Carson, Gil, & Baucom (2004) found that participation in MBSR can have PROUT | October 2009 31


RESEARCH HAS INDICATED THAT PRACTICING TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION (TM) TECHNIQUES NORMALIZES BODILY FUNCTIONS, INCLUDING REDUCING THE HEART RATE, BLOOD PRESSURE, METABOLISM AND VASCULAR BLOOD FLOW positive effects on interpersonal relationships. 3. Other types of meditative practices. Research has indicated that practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) techniques normalizes bodily functions, including reducing the heart rate, blood pressure, metabolism and vascular blood flow (Barnes, Treiber, Turner, Davis, & Strong, 1999; Barnes, Treiber, & Davis, 2001). Maclean et al. (1997) found that TM reduces the level of cortisol during nonstressful events, increases response during stress and quickens the return to baseline levels. Other forms of meditation have also been found to have a positive impact on physical well-being. Manikonda et al. (2008) found that subjects with hypertension were able to decrease their heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressure after 8 weeks of contemplative meditation combined with breathing techniques (CMBT). Hutcherson, Seppala, and Gross (2008) used a brief lovingkindness meditation exercise to find out if social connection could be created toward strangers in a controlled laboratory context. Compared with a closely matched control task, even just a few minutes of loving-kindness meditation increas ed feelings of s ocial connection and positivity toward others on both explicit and implicit levels. These results suggest that this technique may help to increase positive social emotions and decrease social isolation. B. Research on Mindfulness and Meditation for Care Providers. Several articles (Epstein 1999; Connelly, 1999; Connelly, 2005) note that the qualities developed by mindfulness practice critical (yet nonjudgmental) self-reflection, deep listening, and the ability to engage moment-to-momentare essential to good physician care and judgment. Epstein (1999) makes the case that mindfulness can serve as the link between relationship-centered care and evidencebased medicine. This natural affinity between mindfulness and health care has been the impetus for a number of initiatives to offer contemplative practices to care providers, including a program called “The Contemplative Mind in Medicine� which has been offered to first- and second-year medical students at 32 October 2009 | PROUT

the University of Massachusetts, Worcester, since 1985. The most salient findings are summarized here. 1. Reduction in anxiety and depression. Shapiro, Schwartz, and Bonner (1998) examined the effects of an 8-week MBSR program on symptoms of anxiety and depression with 78 medical and premedical students in a randomized, wait-list controlled study. They found decreased levels of anxiety and depression in the MBSR group as compared to the wait-list control group. These findings were replicated when participants in the wait-list control group received the MBSR intervention. Medical students at Thomas Jefferson Medical College have been offered MBSR since 1995 to help them improve their coping skills and reduce emotional disturbance. Rosenzweig, Reibel, Greeson, Brainard, and Hojat (2003) conducted a prospective nonrandomized cohort-controlled study and found that MBSR significantly lowered mood disturbance among second-year students who participated in the research. In a pilot study of baccalaureate nursing students who participated in MBSR course, Beddoe & Murphy (2004) found that students significantly lowered their levels of anxiety at the end of the 8-week training. This was a pretest-posttest design with no comparison group. The students also used guided meditation audiotapes at home and completed journal assignments. The findings of the study also suggested that mindfulness may help to decrease the tendency to take on others' negative emotions. A prospective, nonrandomized, cohort-controlled study examined the effects of a MBSR course on stress and mental health symptoms in students in a master's level counseling psychology program (Shapiro, Brown, & Biegel, 2007). This semester-long, 10-week course followed the MBSR program model and included weekly instruction in a variety of mindfulness meditative techniques and home-based practice. Participants in the MBSR course showed significant pre-post declines in perceived stress, negative affect, rumination, state and trait anxiety, and significant increases in positive affect, compared to to matched,


cohort control participants taking didactic courses. MBSR participation was also associated with increases in self-reported mindfulness. This enhancement was significantly related to several of the beneficial effects of MBSR participation, including perceived stress, anxiety, and rumination. Caregivers of children with chronic conditions were the subject of another study (Minor, Carlson, Mackenzie, Zemicke, and Jones, 2006). Forty-four caregivers participated in MBSR sessions, primarily mothers of children with special needs and various chronic conditions. At the start of the study, these caregivers reported very high levels of stress and mood disturbance. During the course of the 8-week program, these levels decreased significantly. There was an overall reduction in stress symptoms (measured by the Symptoms of Stress Inventory) by 32% and total mood disturbance (measured by the Profile of Mood States) was reduced by 56%. 2. Reduction in other burnout symptoms. Young, Bruce, Turner, VanderWal, and Linden (2001), using a nonrandomized comparison group, found that thirdyear BSN nursing students who participated in an MBSR course showed small to moderate effects in overall health, physical and psychological symptoms, and sense of coherence. Cohen-Katz et al. (2005) gathered quantitative and qualitative data on the effects of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for nurses. They found that MBSR group participants reduced scores on 2 of 3 subscales of the Maslach Burnout Inventory significantly more than wait-list controls. Within-group comparisons for both groups pretreatment and post-treatment revealed similar findings. Changes were maintained at a 3month post-treatment measurement. In a small, randomized pilot study conducted at a Veterans Administration hospital in California, health care professionals (including physicians, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, and psychologists) were offered an 8-week course in MBSR (Shapiro, Astin, Cordova, & Bishop, 2005). Compared with the control group, those who received the MBSR intervention reported decreased burnout, decreased distress, an increase in self-compassion, and greater satisfaction

with life. Qualitative data collected from participants reinforced these findings, and indicated that the MBSR program had a significant overall positive impact on their professional and personal lives. In response to the question, “What Effects Did the MBSR Program have on your life?” one participant wrote: “[It] opened my mind to the destructive thought patterns I have and to various ways of addressing them.” 3. Empathy, compassion, and self-compassion. In perhaps the earliest study to look at how meditation might enhance professional skills of the care provider, Lesh (1970) found that counselors could reduce stress and anxiety through the use of Zen meditation, which also lead to greater compassion and empathy. Echoing the findings from neuroscientific research on empathy described in the third section of this paper (see Lutz et al., 2008), three studies suggest that mindfulness training encourages empathic tendencies in health professionals. Shapiro et al. (1998) found that MBSR increased levels of self-reported empathy in premedical and medical students relative to wait-list controls. These results were maintained even during a stressful exam period. Another study examined the effects of mindfulness training on a number of psychological variables in graduate counseling psychology students, including self-reported empathy and self-compassion (Shapiro et al., 2007). Counseling students who participated in a 10-week MBSR-based stress management course showed significant pre-post increases in empathic concern for others relative to a matched cohort control group. This study also showed that increases in MAAS-assessed mindfulness were related to these increases in empathy. 4. Impact on professional skills. A recent qualitative study conducted over four years with graduate level students in mental health, school, and family counseling found that participants in the 15week MBSR course reported positive physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and interpersonal changes and substantial effects on their counseling skills and therapeutic relationships (Schure, Christopher, & Christopher, 2008). Many students

IN PERHAPS THE EARLIEST STUDY TO LOOK AT HOW MEDITATION MIGHT ENHANCE PROFESSIONAL SKILLS OF THE CARE PROVIDER, LESH (1970) FOUND THAT COUNSELORS COULD REDUCE STRESS AND ANXIETY THROUGH THE USE OF ZEN MEDITATION, WHICH ALSO LEAD TO GREATER COMPASSION AND EMPATHY. PROUT | October 2009 33


perceived positive effects on their relationships and stated an increased capacity for empathy and compassion. They also described an increased ability to be with clients in moments of silence or discomfort and not feel a need to control the situation because of their own anxiety. While care providers benefit from meditation training, there is also evidence to suggest that the populations whom they serve may also benefit. In a study of caregivers for adults with multiple disabilities, Singh et al. (2004) found that those individuals whose caregivers had received 8 weeks of mindfulness training had a markedly higher level of happiness when compared to individuals with caregivers who did not receive the training. Grepmair et al. (2007) found that the psychotherapists practicing Zen meditation had significantly higher evaluations on two measures of treatments results, clarification and problem-solving perspectives. They also demonstrated greater symptom reduction compared to patients of therapists in a control group. Meditation and Mindfulness with Care Providers. Summary of Selected Studies Table I: Reduction in Anxiety and Depression Author(s) Population Intervention Design Outcome measures Findings Shapiro, Schwartz, and Bonner (1998) 78

34 October 2009 | PROUT

medical and premedical students 8-week MBSR Randomized wait-list controlled study Decreased levels of anxiety and depression among MBSR participants. Rosenzweig, Reibel, Greeson, Brainard, and Hojat (2003) 140 second-year medical students MBSR Prospective non-randomized cohort-controlled study Profile of Mood States MBSR significantly lowered mood disturbance. Beddoe & Murphy (2004) 16 BSN nursing students MBSR Pilot study; pretest-posttest design with no comparison group Paired sample t tests to measure stress and empathy Significantly lowered levels of anxiety; mindfulness may help to decrease the tendency to take on others' negative emotions. Waelde, Thompson, and Gallagher-Thompson, (2004) 12 female dementia patient family caregivers 6-session manualized yoga-meditation program (Inner Resources) Pre-test, post-test Pre/post comparisons revealed statistically significant reductions in depression and anxiety and improvements in perceived self-efficacy. Participants reported subjective improvements in physical and emotional functioning. ยก Concluded


ECONOMY

By Shyam Sundar

Swiss Banks An Abode of Black Money

A BIG PARALLEL ECONOMY WHERE ALL TRANSACTIONS ARE DONE WITH CAST MONEY WHICH ALSO ULTIMATELY RESULTS IN GENERATING BLACK MONEY‌.'

E

very one is familiar with the term "Black Money" but hardly one is aware of the gravity of the problem affecting the economies of the developing countries. In all countries in the world the respective governments have imposed taxes on the income of people and on the goods produced and traded, to generate revenue for government expenditure. The taxes on goods vary from nil to hundred percent. By and large for most commodities it is around 20 %. The tax on income varies from nil to 33% in India but in some countries it goes up to 70%. Even in India the income tax rate was as high as 70% in the past. With such high rate of tax, one has a temptation to evade the tax and keep the money for himself. The income, on which tax is not paid, has to be hidden from government authorities, becomes illegitimate and called as black money. When one goes to buy goods at any shop, one is required to pay a value added tax, which was earlier called as sales tax, at the rate of 4% to 12%. Every buyer is tempted to save that 12% burden and buys the product without bill. The trader can not show that sale in books of accounts. Obviously he does not pay tax on the profit earned through such transaction. This has resulted in a big parallel economy where all transactions are done with cast money which also ultimately results in generating black money. Besides these two sources of black money in which, by and large, the entire population is involved, there is illegitimate siphoning of money by people who are in power. This is done in two ways : When any government officer is approving any person's or party's proposal, whether it is constructing

a house for residence or a school or a hospital, anything for that matter, lot of cash money changes hands. Besides, when any government department is procuring materials or awarding contracts for construction out of government budget certain percentage is fixed for the officers and the politicians. This also applies to the procurement being done or contracts being awarded by the public sector undertakings which are directly or indirectly controlled by government. In both these cases, the money that should have gone or remained in government treasury lands up in the hands of people managing the government which include elected representatives of people and officers appointed for serving the population. Our constitution allows businessmen to earn and accumulate wealth without any limit; whereas the salaries of ministers, elected representatives, officers and other government employees is far lower than the income of businessmen in the country. The government officers are tempted to make money by unfair means. Politicians are required to spend huge sums for election campaign even after election, to maintain good will among the people (voters). Where does that money come from? No Doubt! by unfair means. Where does one hide such wealth? Swiss banks have come to their rescue. The government of Switzerland made a provision in the country's laws, that the banks in Switzerland will not be forced to reveal details of account holders unless the government or the court feels it necessary in exceptional circumstances. With the result, all PROUT | October 2009 35


unscrupulous people around the world found safe place for their illegitimate wealth in Swiss banks. R e c e n t l y, w i t h t h e economic meltdown in US, and pressure by the US govt. on Switzerland govt. Swiss Banking Association revealed the details of bank deposits. The revelation was startling. India which struggles to get th 100 position in Olympic Games, which has never achieved top position in Asian games, Common wealth games, Nobel prizes or in any other activity, ranked number one in the Swiss bank deposits. The deposits in personal bank accounts of nationals from different countries are as follows: Country in ranking Amount in $ 1 India 1456 billion 2 Russia 470 billion 3 UK 390 billion 4 Ukraine 100 billion 5 China 96 billion

West since the mid 1970s. “It is further estimated by experts that one percent of the world's population holds more than 57 % of total global wealth, routing it invariably through these tax havens. How much of this is for India is anybody's guess. As a very conservative estimate if we presume that 50% of money is deposited in Switzerland and 50% is deposited in all other 69 tax havens together, we can estimate the total Indian money abroad is about 3 trillion dollars and that too in personal accounts.”

This amount is 230 times larger than the country's foreign debt5. If this money is brought to India, the foreign debt can be repaid in one day and balance can be used for national development. The amount comes out to be 140 lack cores. The interest income on this amount at the rate of 8% would be 22.2 lack crores which is more than the annual budget of government of India. If we estimate that ten core families in India are homeless and if each one is given Rs 2.0 lacks to build Shocking! How can India be a poor country on the a house the total amount required is 20 lack crores top positions? which is a small fraction (1/7) of the total amount As we all know there are several other tax havens deposited in tax havens. where people park their illegitimate income besides From India some 80,000 people travel to Switzerland. They would include Dubai, Singapore, Switzerland every year frequently. Obviously, these Hongkong, Mauritius, Isle of Mann, St Kitties, Virgin people won't be tourists. They must be traveling there Islands, Liechtenstein and many more. Some finance for some other reasons, It is very disgusting, that all experts and economists believe, tax havens to be a rich people in this country are so dishonest. Since the conspiracy of the western world against the poor news of Swiss banks broke out in the beginning of this countries. By allowing the proliferation of tax havens year. Several politicians made it an in the twentieth century, the western “IT IS FURTHER ESTIMATED BY issue during the campaigning. world explicitly encouraged the movement of scarce capital from the EXPERTS THAT ONE PERCENT OF Commenting on India's ambivalence, developing countries to the rich. In THE WORLD'S POPULATION HOLDS Transparency International (TI) said that India has maintained " a stoic March 2005 , the Tax Justice Network MORE THAN 57 % OF TOTAL silence over the issue and has not (TJN ) published a research finding GLOBAL WEALTH, ROUTING IT demonstrating that 21.5 trillion INVARIABLY THROUGH THESE TAX approached the German or Swiss dollars of personal wealth was held HAVENS. HOW MUCH OF THIS IS Government for this data." Swiss banks may have turned offshore by rich individuals across FOR INDIA IS ANYBODY'S GUESS. over client details to the US, but they the globe. The findings estimated that AS A VERY CONSERVATIVE a large proportion of this wealth was ESTIMATE IF WE PRESUME THAT have said India is not welcome there on a name fishing expedition. "Swiss managed from some 70 tax havens. 50% OF MONEY IS DEPOSITED IN law and even OECD's (Organization Further, augmenting these studies of SWITZERLAND AND 50% IS for Economic Cooperation and TJN,Raymond Baker __ in his DEPOSITED IN ALL OTHER 69 TAX D e v e l o p m e n t ) M o d e l Ta x widely celebrated book titled HAVENS TOGETHER, WE CAN Convention do not permit fishing ""Capitalism's Achilles Heel: Dirty ESTIMATE THE TOTAL INDIAN expeditions, in other words, the Money and How to Renew the Free MONEY ABROAD IS ABOUT 3 indiscriminate traveling through Market System' --- estimated that at least 5 trillion dollars have been TRILLION DOLLARS AND THAT TOO bank accounts in hope of fishing something interesting. This means IN PERSONAL ACCOUNTS.” shifted out of poor countries to the 36 October 2009 | PROUT


TECHNOLOGY that India can not simply throw its telephone book at Switzerland and ask if any of these people have a bank account here." a top official at Swiss Bankers Association told PTI from Basel. The government recently said that it has approached Switzerland seeking details about bank accounts held by Indians there. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told Parliament that the government was committed to unearthing black money within and outside the country. "Swiss authorities, I am told, have agreed for negotiations (on the issue). We have already taken it (the issue of black money) not only with Swiss authorities but other nations as well, "Mukherjee had said. Last week, the US reached an agreement with Switzerland under which top Swiss bank UBS AG turned over details to 4450 secret accounts to the Internal Revenue Service. Asked how India's request be handled, especially in the backdrop of the UBS settlement, SBA's head of International Communications James Nason said,"The key for the exchange of information in tax matters is Double Ta x a t i o n A g r e e m e n t b e t w e e n Switzerland and India." The official noted that bank client's confidentiality has never been 100% absolute and Swiss legislators have built in provisions for it to be lifted during criminal investigations and also in many civil cases. "No one not even the Swiss tax authorities has an automatic right of forced entry into a client's bank account without first satisfying the requirements and conditions stipulated by Swiss law" SBA said. It is very unlikely that the corrupt politicians and officers occupying top positions in the government and also owning the wealth deposited in Swiss banks will do anything to bring the wealth back to India. Awakened people of the nation must expose the corrupt politicians, officers and businessmen which alone can bring justice to the needy and deserving people of the country. ¡

BY ANTRANG

APPROACHING EPIDEMIC

Brain Damage from

Mobile Phone Radiation

A

collaborative team of international EMF activists has released a report detailing eleven design flaws of the 13-country, Telecom-funded Interphone study. The exposure discusses research on cell phones and brain tumors, concluding that: There is a risk of brain tumors from cell phone use Telecom funded studies underestimate the risk of brain tumors. Children have larger risks than adults for brain tumors. The Interphone study, begun in 1999, was intended to determine the risks of brain tumors, but its full publication has been held up for years. Components of this study published to date reveal what the authors call a systemic-skewâ, greatly underestimating brain tumor risk. The design flaws include categorizing subjects who used portable phones (which emit the same microwave radiation as cell phones,) as unexposed; exclusion of many types of brain tumors; exclusion of people who had died, or were too ill to be interviewed as a consequence of their brain tumor; and exclusion of children and young adults, who are more vulnerable. Ronald B. Herberman, MD, Director Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute has stated, “Based on substantial evidence, especially from industry-independent studies that long term exposure to radio frequency radiation may lead to increased risk for brain tumors, I issued a precautionary advisory last year to faculty and staff of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Since then, my particular concern about exposure of children to radio frequency has been supported by a report from Dr. Lennart Hardell. Some of my scientific colleagues have expressed skepticism about the reported biological effects, especially DNA0A damage by radio frequency radiation, because of the absence of a demonstrated underlying molecular mechanism. However, based on the precautionary principle, I believe it is more prudent to take seriously the reports by multiple investigators that radiofrequency can damage DNA and increase the risk for brain tumors, and for industryindependent agencies to provide needed funding for detailed research to ascertain the molecular basis for such effects.” Lloyd Morgan, lead author and member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society says, “Exposure to cell phone radiation is the largest human health experiment ever undertaken, without informed consent, and has some 4 billion participants enrolled. Science has shown increased risk of brain tumors from use of cell phones, as well as increased risk of eye cancer, salivary gland tumors, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia”. The public must be informed. PROUT | October 2009 37


MODERNITY

By Mahesh Prasad

Back to Primitive Society

T

here was no marriage system in the primitive society say- prior to Lord Shiva's advent came on this earth some seven thousand years back. In matters of sex males behaved like animals. They would mate whenever the urge arose and then forgot about it. Thus, the female had to bear the burden of bearing up the child. Male bore no responsibility. It was the state of 'happy go merry' and nothing else. This was the reason that woman became the center of social activity and, thus, controlled the clan or tribe, in which the society was divided those times. In course of time, she also became the source of strength and binding which placed her at the head and was called “God Mother” and thus matrilineal order of society was born. With the advent of Lord Shiva this system, loose as it was, had to be changed in the interest of evolution of a cohesive social system and thus, marriage was introduced for the first time. Man was made responsible for bearing the entire burden of family and both were to mutually share social, intellectual and spiritual pursuits. Thus, a civilized way of living started and the society was knit in an organized and congenial manner. This continues to date. Alas! The system is now challenged by “so called” liberalism or freedom. No doubt, the above evolved system was not strictly followed and different societies have observed it with 38 October 2009 | PROUT

variations according to their culture and tradition. For instance, in Western society sex is not a taboo and a sizable percentage of young girls are even having premarital pregnancies. Living together for pleasure without bearing any responsibility has also not been uncommon. Muslim society is not strictly monogamous and allows as many as four wives at a time to their males. It was India i.e. Bharat which had cultivated strict dos and don'ts about sex, marriage and opposite sex relationship. NOT NOW. The state of Maharashtra has stepped first to declare living partnership of male and female legal. Taking cue from the above and also borrowing the concept of liberalism, as prevalent elsewhere, the Delhi High Court has now

given license to gay marriage i.e. male marrying male and female marrying female. To say the least: according credibility to totally unnatural and perverse act. Thus, the social norms considered sacrosanct in Hindu society so far, are going to be torn apart. It appears that genie is sought to be out of bottle! Needless to say that there is a concerted effort to uproot

the value system ingrained in our ancient culture. The social as well as legal implications are going to be disastrous. In case of just living together without legal marriage, the status of the children born out of natural act of mating will be questioned. How the children will inherit name, gotra or even property? Will the relations accept such off springs as their own bond and blood? In the case of gay marriage, what will be their fate without children? Will they not suffer from solitude and confinement on being infested with some serious ailment or simply the pangs of advanced age with little succor from near ones? What will be the status of their property if either or both of them having separate wealth die without writing their Will? It is hoped that the Supreme Court will be alive to these staring questions and will provide a healthy solution while making a decision in the appeal pending before it filed by Swami Ram Deo and others. Nothing is beyond human ingenuity. Answers will be found out. Convincing explanations will be supplied. But, by such liberalism undoing the evolved and well settled system running through millennia are we not running the risk of moving towards the same primitive system which ran wild before it was superceded? ¡


FINANCE

By Marcus Bussey

Thoughts on the Global Financial Crisis

Imagining a Sustainable Future WE NOW NEED TO ASK OURSELVES: WHAT DO WE WANT FOR OUR GLOBAL FAMILY AND FOR THE WORLD THEY WILL INHABIT? IF WE WISH THEM TO LIVE DEEPLY CONNECTED LIVES BEYOND THE REACH OF CONSUMERISM AND THE HOLY POWER OF THE BANKCARD, THEN WE NEED TO PUT THESE YEARNINGS INTO ACTION TODAY BY IMAGINING BEYOND THE PALL OF CAPITALIST LOGIC AND CHALLENGING OUR CONTEXTS TO REVEAL CREATIVE AND LIFE AFFIRMING SOLUTIONS TO THE CRISIS AT HAND. We now need to ask ourselves: What do we want for our global family and for the world they will inhabit? John Lennon in his song Imagine presents his manifesto for a better world. Imagine there are no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people Living life in peace… We all have such lists and they all grow out of what we have experienced in life. A hungry child would dream of food, an orphan of parents, a soldier for peace. Such dreams are usually deficit dreams in that they are built around the negation of an existing condition. Thus to yearn for a better future is contextually defined by the absence of the thing desired. This is so because, as Jacques Derrida points out, there is a horizon beyond which we cannot see or imagine as it lies beyond what we have experienced. The end result is that imagination is context bound. This is an important realisation when considering responses to the current 'global financial crisis.' In this context governments are responding by

increasing their levels of spending and running the national bank balances into deficit. Imagining a solution to the crisis, in this case, is bound by the logic that spurned the crisis. The dominant assumption here has been that consuming is better than conserving, spending is better than saving: “Let the good times role on!” Imagination itself has been stymied by the dominant paradigm of growth and development and generally staid and restrained leaders are loosing their heads in imagining giant spending sprees. Einstein's much quoted adage is apt here: "The problems of the world cannot be cured with the tools that created them." We need to profoundly re-imagine the possible in order to escape from dysfunctional endgame scenarios. I am not a believer in catastrophe, this is a symptom of the linear thinking of modernity. Having watched a large number of community actions that display creativity, passion and resilience it seems PROUT | October 2009 39


Prout also argues that wealth and resources are not simply material but cultural and natural. The world is re-imagined as a range of contextual nodes that affirm according to context the physical, the intellectual and the spiritual as central domains that determine just distribution, individual expression and social evolution. This insight has been clearly expressed by Riane Eisler who has argued for the re-imagining of our world by introducing the concept of care physical, emotional, ethical and spiritual into thinking about wealth and social accounting.Thus she reframes Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and articulates a form of social capital that responds to human needs at both the individual and collective level. The global financial crisis is an opportunity to that human beings can, and regularly do, re-imagine rethink our world. The imagination of the past is worn their worlds. Individuals and groups can and do realign out and anorexic in nature. If we are to meet the needs their aspirations and their strategies for life. All that is of tomorrow effectively we need to rethink our social, required is an opening in their 'business as usual' world political, economic and existential frames. views. Imagination as both a social and personal tool is a Such an opening can be found in the sociopowerful resource. We just need to hone it through new economic philosophy of Prout. Prout as a system of lenses such as the concepts of Prout, social renewal embraces the local as natural capital and care. The world the place where tomorrow begins. It PROUT AS A SYSTEM OF has only ever been built through acknowledges the groundedness of SOCIAL RENEWAL EMBRACES human activity in dialogue with the action oriented thinking. Prout maps environment. I argue that though this out an approach to living that is THE LOCAL AS THE PLACE activity is what is tangible, it has been committed to the dynamic use and WHERE TOMORROW BEGINS. i n t i m a t e l y l i n k e d t o vision. distribution of resources. Paul IT ACKNOWLEDGES THE Imagination as both the source and Hawken and his colleagues have expression of human desire, hope and argued that mainstream economics GROUNDEDNESS OF ACTION yearning has driven all change. values only one component from a ORIENTED THINKING. PROUT We now need to ask ourselves: field of resources. It limits the realm What do we want for our global of action to the single resource of MAPS OUT AN APPROACH TO family and for the world they will capital while ignoring the human and LIVING THAT IS COMMITTED inhabit? If we wish them to live natural contexts that also constitute TO THE DYNAMIC USE AND deeply connected lives beyond the the economic field. Similarly Prout reach of consumerism and the holy argues that wealth should not be DISTRIBUTION OF power of the Bankcard, then we need concentrated in the hands of a few RESOURCES. to put these yearnings into action but instead should be distributed today by imagining beyond the pall of consciously amongst a community through the capitalist logic and challenging our contexts to reveal decisions of the collective. Excessive wealth creative and life affirming solutions to the crisis at accumulation can be harmful to the collective and this hand. re-imagining of the social process of accumulation Dr. Marcus Bussey is a futurist who lectures in Sustainable begins a novel social engagement with a distributive Futures and World History at the University of the Sunshine Coast, principle that has for centuries been accepted as the where he is also Research Fellow in Regional Futures with the sine qua non of development and progress. Sustainability Research Centre. Marcus is also an associate of Prout College www.proutcollege.org. ยก In line with Hawken's work on natural capital

40 October 2009 | PROUT


RESEARCH

By Inderjeet S. Sahota

Part II

An Ethiopian Medical Research Expedition AN INTERESTING TRAVELOGUE OF A VISIT TO THE HIGHLANDS OF ETHIOPIA BY A YOUNG POST GRADUATE STUDENT STUDYING CARDIOVASCULAR CONTROL

The Joys of High Altitude Our campsite in the Bale Mountains was desolate. At 4118 metres there wasn't much wildlife save some small shrubs and rocks. Having never ascended beyond 1000 metres before this trip, camping at over four times that amount was always going to be a problem. It didn't take long to become one either. Not heeding to the advice of the most senior member of our group, a geneticist named Otto, who kept telling me not to overexert myself, I soon paid the price as I developed all the wonderful symptoms of acute mountain sickness. With an ambient barometric pressure of approximately 460

mmHg at the campsite, oxygen levels were about 60% of that at sealevel. Consequently, my blood oxygen saturation had dropped to about 70% and my average heart rate floated around 130 beats/min (compared to 60 beats/min at sea level). A huge headache, nausea, fatigue, lack of appetite and wanting to vomit all welcomed me to life at high altitude. Thankfully, I was surrounded by doctors at the campsite who were able to keep an eye out for the more serious symptoms of the deadly pulmonary oedema and cerebral oedema. The rest of the teams all started setting up the equipment and testing subjects and given my condition the

only thing I could do was pump myself with acetazolamide (a drug that helps counteract the symptoms of acute mountain sickness) and try to sleep. Of course, even that is easier said than done at high altitude. Because of the low oxygen availability, breathing during the day becomes more conscious. Breathing at the normal sea-level rate would have you hypoxic and so you begin hyperventilating to try and compensate for this. At night, however, conscious breathing isn't an option. Consequently you adopt a pattern of respiration referred to as Cheyne-Stokes respiration. Cheyne-Stokes respiration is characterized by periods of PROUT | October 2009 41


rapid breathing followed by periods of no breathing at all. The rapid breathing removes carbon dioxide from the body which decreases the drive to breathe. When the carbon dioxide levels get too low, the body reacts by stopping respiration altogether until the oxygen content falls too low which triggers hyperventilation again. This means you wake up every minute-or-so throughout the night gasping for breath. Eventually with the azetazolamide and with acclimatization it gets better but the first couple of nights at altitude are generally a write-off and getting more than five hours of sleep is a veritable luxury. Researching on the mountains was hectic. Everyone was up at sunrise and we would be testing continually till sunset; about thirteen hours in all. We only had a few days to test eight to ten locals with each test taking about four to five hours. Every member of the group had something to do. Otto and Shewadeg took blood samples to measure gene expressions after exposure to various gas concentrations. Roger, Johnny and Mark were all measuring baroreflex control in a variety of situations. Finally, Victoria and I were performing tilt tests, measuring GTN (glyceryl trinitrate) responses and testing for cerebral blood flow reactivity to different gas compositions. On top of all this, Roger, Shewadeg and Victoria were also 42 October 2009 | PROUT

taking arterial blood samples to measure arterial gas concentrations and hematocrit. Dr.Nebiyu and Dr.Birrie provided medical and language translation support, as well as help in recruiting our volunteers and explaining the procedures to the subjects. The remaining members of Zelalem's team were running around maintaining the campsite. It was only up here that I realized how different field research is to that conducted in labs across the world. All the equipment has to be setup in the morning and taken down at night in fear of rain or animals ruining it. Generators become both our best friends and worse enemies as they often broke down leaving all teams stranded as no power means there is no way to collect data; and out here sticking to deadlines is hard enough as is. Maintaining clinical standards becomes a full-time job and passing on messages to a subject has to cross three languages beforehand. Nevertheless, it really is exciting. The idea that we're studying people that have probably never been studied before with the possibility of finding something revolutionary must be enough to excite any medical professional. The local villagers that we were testing were amazing people. The locals we were testing in Bale seemed, on average, taller than the typical Ethiopian. They had extremely thick skin on the palms

of their hands which made measurements difficult but probably suited their agriculture-based lives perfectly. There's a funny story about them too. We had noticed that on the first day of testing all the subjects would bring hunting knives with them. By the last day, however, none of the locals were bringing them up for the tests. Dr.Nebiyu later told us that he had spoken to one of the villagers who told him that they brought them in the beginning for self-protection in case any of us tried to harm them. If only they knew how difficult it is to get ethical approval for human research as it was. Another interesting sight was at the end of our tests in Bale. Some of the last villagers helped us collapse the tents and load the equipment onto the trucks. Anything that we didn't need and they wanted we then just gave away. One of the many things we had remaining was bottled water. We gave them boxes full and found it funny to watch as they spilled the water and walked away with the empty plastic bottles, which are valuable commodity here. After collapsing the tents we made our final preparations and made our way back to Goba. Never in my entire life had I been so happy to breathe richly oxygenated air. The drive down felt like ecstasy as the barometric pressure began to increase bringing more oxygen along with it. We arrived in Goba just before nightfall and smiled at the sight of a proper bed. The Simien Mountains Upon leaving Goba we now had seven days to make our way to the Simien Mountains campsite, perform a second set of studies and make our way back to Addis Ababa for our flights. Given that the drive up to Simien would take three days and the drive back down to Addis would take two, we were left with only two days to complete all the tests we needed to run. These experiments had to go perfectly with no power failures hin-


dering us in order to get the eight subjects tested in the two days. After the first day of driving we rested the night in Addis. Early in the morning we then set off to a place called Bahir Dar, a growing city situated on the banks of Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile River. The drive there also had us cross the Blue Nile Gorge where I got my first glimpse of the river itself. We finally arrived in Bahir Dar by early evening and took the opportunity to walk around part of the lake. The lake itself is enormous. At almost 90 km long at its furthest points it is the largest lake in Ethiopia. Walking around the entire lake probably wasn't going to happen in the four hours we had to spare, however, we did learn that there are many monasteries that have been built around the lake. Many of these monasteries, like Debre Mariam, were built over six hundred years ago after the arrival of Christianity in the fourth century. Given the amount of time Christianity has been in the country its roots are firmly established, especially in the north. Islam, which succeeded its arrival by about three hundred or so years also had sufficient time to settle, particularly in the south. From what I'd gathered from my trip so far, religious affiliation does not seem to be cause for division in Ethiopia as it is in many other parts of the world. Almost all Ethiopians that I met, whether they were from the village or from the city, seemed to define themselves as being Ethiopian first and their respective religion second. Zelalem told me that this is something that successive Ethiopian governments have all tried to reinforce on their population. We left Bahir Dar the next morning and made our final trip up to our campsite near the village of Chennek in the Simien Mountains. The day's drive to Chennek was rather non-eventful. Two things struck me though. One was the increasing number of people

that were carrying guns. At first I thought it may be for hunting but I was told later that they are probably for self-protection as the border region with Eritrea is still somewhat volatile. There were also far more soldiers speeding by as we headed further north. Although not officially at war, I was told that small skirmishes do sometimes break-out between Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers near the border. The second thing that hit me whilst driving to Chennek was the number of motor vehicle accidents you see on the roads. Given that there are barely any cars using them it was surprising to see so many accidents. Most of them involved trucks, and Zelalem and Dr.Birrie both told me that they are largely due to truck-drivers who drive through the night intoxicated on a local-grown stimulant called khat (pronounced chaat) to try and keep them awake. Khat is legal in Ethiopia but is generally disap-

almost cultural now and others argue that making it illegal may not make much difference. The Simien Mountains We arrived in Chennek before nightfall which gave us an opportunity to marvel at how beautiful this mountain range really is. A far cry from the desolate Bale, the Simien Mountains are magnificent. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site the Simien Mountains are a beautiful mixture of jagged mountains and deep valleys. It is also home to the highest mountain in Ethiopia, Ras Dashen, which I later learnt means the “top of the head.� Before we could get into the park, however, we needed to convince the park rangers that we weren't going to do tests on any animals in the area. They provided us with guard (armed with an AK47 of course) who was officially there to keep us safe, although I personally think he was there to make sure we didn't go within ten metres

proved of socially. Producing mild psychotic effects, almost like a watered-down version of the effects from cocaine, khat is illegal in most other parts of the world. Many people, especially youth, abuse khat and both of the doctors I was travelling with explained to me the dangers it posed physiologically. Many people in Ethiopia are calling for it to be made illegal, however, its use has become

of any wildlife. The campsite in Chennek is situated at 3622 metres, almost five hundred metres lower than Bale; and the difference in altitude is noticeable. Whereas Bale had me out of action for a day and out of arterial oxygen for half a week, Simien had me fit and healthy. It's because of this that I was able to give the other teams much more energy for the two day sprint we faced. The first morning PROUT | October 2009 43


Lake Tana, Bahir Dar

was spent waiting for subjects as Dr. Nebiyu and our scout went to meet volunteers from the nearby village. In the few hours we had spare I managed to meet a couple who were travelling from the US. Both of them were physicians and told me how there had been a little girl in a nearby village that had been bitten by a wild dog. Apparently the bite had taken out a sizable chunk of her leg and luckily the couple was walking by as the child's helpless mother screamed for help. They had painkillers and some bandages to quickly tend to the wound and upon hearing that we were carrying some basic medical supplies took a few more things to tend to it properly. A few days later before we left I managed to run into them again where they told me that the little girl had made it down to a local hospital and was apparently recovering quite well. For the first time in our trip things seemed to be going exactly as planned. By 5 PM of day two all eight subjects had been tested. Even after a few delays in day one meant we managed only to test three volunteers, we made ground the next day and somehow tested five. The generators never failed us once. The death of one of the ultrasound machines and the daily teatime arrival of hundreds of Gelada monkeys in the campsite were the only real delays. The odd Walia Ibex sighting would also be reason 44 October 2009 | PROUT

for a five minute tea-break. However, it seemed that in the evenings as we sat in the main hut discussing the day with the rest of the team members and watching the campsite members crack jokes in Amharic, we could all sense that things were finally going well. The evening of day two had us packing all our equipment up for good. The tents were once again dismantled, bottled water was once again spilled for the more precious commodity of the plastic bottle it came in and the trucks were finally loaded for their last trip. The remaining pens and paper I had left I handed out to the local village children who were more appreciative of them than any child I had given to so far. I said my goodbyes to the majority of the camp members and to my new little friend Fatela, a twelve year old boy who lived close to the campsite and who helped his older brother wash dishes in the main hut. Dirt roads, waving children and scorching heat once again greeted us as we made our way to Gondar and then onto Bahir Dar for the night. At Bahir Dar, now that we no longer had the stress of research looming over us, Vic, Mark and I managed a boat-ride to the island of Debre-Mariam. The small island situated in Lake Tana is a self-sufficient island of approximately five hundred or so inhabitants. It's something of a tourist hot-spot thanks to its six hun-

dred year old monastery. The monastery itself was relatively small but for what it lacked in size it definitely made up for in presence. While we were at the monastery the monk who lived there showed us a nine hundred year old bible that had been written on goat-skin in the ancient language of Ge'ez. After our twenty minute tour, and our small donation to the church, we made our way back. On the way I bought a model boat made out of papyrus that a little girl was desperately trying to sell to us and to whom I really didn't have the heart to say no. Another night in a hotel and then the next night would be spent in a plane; it was almost time to go home. Lake Tana, Bahir Dar Good Bye Ethiopia Our final day in Ethiopia was quite a marathon but no one knew we would face so many last minute difficulties. Despite the problems our friend Zelalem took us to this beautiful restaurant in Addis that served ethnic Ethiopian food. We ate our last meal in Ethiopia with front row seats to see an amazing dance performance at the restaurant. We arrived at Addis Ababa International Airport at midnight and found ourselves a comfortable piece of floor to sit on. As I drifted in and out of sleep I was left reminiscing about the whole Ethiopia experience: the people I'd met, the things I'd seen and most importantly, all that I'd learnt. Cold showers, altitude sickness, and sleepless nights all welcomed me here but the only thing I'd be taking back with me would be my warm memories of this place. Perhaps this experience won't be my last, for now however, it was time to go back home. ( Concluded ) The writer is a M.Sc. student Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. 778-885-7341 isahota


INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

By Amarnath Kumar

Sharm el-Sheikh

Diplomacy and Universalism T

he parleys between the Indian Prime Minister and his Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt during the NAM summit have stirred the hornet's nest in India. The allusion of Baluchistan in their joint statement has raised the hackles of the Indian diplomatic corps all the world over. Our Prime Minister is known for his guts as he is not unused to such controversies. He has faced such situations in the past and emerged stronger after much controversy. It was he who had started economic reform in the teeth of opposition from the left. Again he had faced critics' missiles by signing Indo-US nuclear deal. This time he has been pilloried for adding the B-rider in the joint statement at Sharm elSheikh. For this he not only invited the wrath of the opposition but also ignited the ire of his own party men. The PM, however, continues to stick to his guns. The foreign policy of independent India continues to wink at national interests from the very

inception of this Nation State. It began with the Kashmir dispute. Pandit Nehru was the author of the Kashmir imbroglio. His China policy had also come in for criticism from different quarters. A sentimental man as he was he had miserably failed to put his money where his mouth was.

The 1966 Tashkent agreement was another instance in point which led to the mysterious death of the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shatri. The Arcanum of his sad demise is yet to be deciphered. The top Indian diplomats hold the view that concessions should accrue into permanent political and diplomatic gains and should not whelp a status quo ante.

BALUCHISTAN IS RICH IN MINERAL DEPOSITS AND THERE IS A PLENTY OF GAS IN THAT PROVINCE. HAD THESE RESOURCES BEEN UTILIZED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LOCAL PEOPLE THEY WOULD HAVE BECOME AFFLUENT. THE THINK GLOBAL AND ACT LOCAL APPROACH WOULD HAVE MADE BALUCHISTAN A PARADISE ON EARTH

It is also pointed out that the victory in Bangla Desh war should have led to permanent political and diplomatic gains. Bangla Desh still pricks as a thorn in India's flesh. From this point of view the reference of Baluchistan at Sharma el-Sheikh is a diplomatic set-back for India as Pakistan has got one more arrow in its quiver to mislead the world by hurling allegations against Indian agencies that they are fanning the fire of terrorism in Baluchistan. The so-called dossier (though subsequently denied by India) presented by the Pak PM at SharmelSheikh named RAW as the agency which imparted training to the Baloch Liberation Army and supplied arms and ammunition as well as provided sinews of war to the rebels. In fact, the uprising in Baluchistan is a sequel to a systematic exploitation of the Pak province by the Pakistan Army. The current revolt is a consequence of Pakistan's efforts to settle Afghan Mujahideen in the pastures of the Balochs who have been stripped of their ancestral heirlooms and the PROUT | October 2009 45


INSPIRATIONAL

Never Forget A Good Deed Done Never Remember A good Deed You Did

T

he man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before. "Leave me alone," he growled... To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling -- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. "Are you hungry?" she asked. "No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president... Now go away." The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm."What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone”. Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked.. "No problem here, officer," the woman answered."I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?" lands where cantonment and commercial marts stand today. The Punjabi dominated Pak Army has perpetrated a perpetuated ethnic and economic exploitation of the Baloch tribes. Baluchistan is rich in mineral deposits and there is a plenty of gas in that province. Had these resources been utilized for the development of the local people they would have become affluent. The think global and act local approach would have made Baluchistan a paradise on earth. The paradigm of socio-economic groupification on the basis of same economic problems, uniform economic potentialities, ethnic similarity, and common sentimental and similar geographical features would have united not only the two Punjabs but also Kashmiris. The 46 October 2009 | PROUT

The officer scratched his head. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?" "See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile." "Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. "Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything.” "This is a good deal for you, Jack," the officer answered."Don't blow it." Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived. The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked."What is all this, Is this man in trouble?"

latter with Dogris and Laddhakhis along with the territory of Himachal Pradesh could have formed a bigger political unit christened KAJAHIL state. This paradigm will usher in the formation of entire South and South East Asia in a federation of several socio-economic zones. Such federations will constitute a confederation or world government rendering war or world war a passé. Though an individual should be simple and straight forward in personal matters, diplomacy can play an important role in the formation of a world Nation on the terra firma of cosmic sentiment and cosmic inheritance, Shrii Krishna had tried to use diplomacy; to unite whole of India in

Dharma Rajya. The western history provides a plethora of instances when diplomacy was used for a great purpose. Bismarck had united many a German state into an empire with a stroke of his diplomatic wand. Machiavelli had dwelt on diplomacy in his celebrated treatise "The Prince ", and Chanakya had given diplomatic advice in hors d' over " Arthshastra'. But universalism ingrained in Neo-humanism will unite the entire globe in a cosmic sentiment and the principles of cosmic inheritance. It will chaperon the world to cosmic brotherhood. Diplomacy can be used in establishing one and indivisible human society goaded and guided by Dharma on this war-weary planet. ¡


"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered. "Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business." Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady I told you so. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place." The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled."Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?" "Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms." "And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?" "What business is that of yours?" I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company." "Oh!" The woman smiled again.. "I thought that might make a difference." She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a laugh."Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?" "No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty." "Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?" "Yes, ma'am. That would be very nice." The cafeteria manager turned on his heel."I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer." The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said. "That was not my intent.... Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this." She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently. "Jack, do you remember me?" Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. "I think so -- I mean you do look familiar." "I'm a little older perhaps," she said."Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry." "Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry. "I was just out of college," the woman began."I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat." Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he

said. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy." "I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right." "So you started your own business?" Old Jack said. "I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. "When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr . Lyons. He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him

now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always open to you." There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you?" he asked. "Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. He led me to you." Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. "Thank you for all your help, officer," she said. "On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And thank you for the coffee." ยก PROUT | October 2009 47


LIGHTER MOMENTS

Humour & Wealth, Wisdom or Beauty? An angel appears at a faculty meeting and tells the dean that in return for his unselfish and exemplary behavior the Lord will reward him with his choice of infinite wealth, wisdom, or beauty. Without hesitating, the dean selects infinite wisdom. "Done!" says the angel, and disappears in a cloud of smoke and a bolt of lightning. Now, all heads turn toward the dean, who sits surrounded by a faint halo of light. One of his colleagues whispers, "Say something." The dean sighs and says, "I should have taken the money."

A Big Commitment Somewhat skeptical of his son's newfound determination to become the next Charles Atlas, the father nevertheless followed the teenager over to the weight-lifting department. "Please, Dad," whined the boy, "I promise I'll use them every day." "I don't know, Michael. It's really a big commitment on your part," the father pointed out. "Please, Dad?" "They're not cheap either." "I'll use them Dad, I promise. You'll see." Finally won over, the father paid for the equipment and headed for the door. From the corner of the store he heard his son yell, "What! You mean I have to carry them to the car?!" 48 October 2009 | PROUT

Wit Eye Illusions


PROUT

Cry of the Suffering Humanity

Progressive Utilization Theory

What is PROUT :

A Vibrant Magazine

PROUT is an acronym for the Progressive Utilization Theory. Conceptualized in 1959 by Indian Philosopher Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, PROUT is a viable alternative to the outmoded capitalist and communist Socio-economic paradigms. Neither of these approaches has adequately met the physical, mental and spiritual needs of humanity. PROUT seeks a harmonious balance between economic growth, social development and cultural expression. Combining the wisdom of spirituality, the struggle for self-reliance, and the sprite of economic democracy, Proutist intellectuals and activists are attempting to create a new civilizational discourse. PROUT newsmagazine aims at conveying comprehensive and visionary goals of PROUT theory. PROUT magazine invites scientists, economists, politicians, artists, intellectuals and others to join us in the creation of a new, spiritually bonded society by propagating and popularising unambiguous elevating thoughts. Through Proutistic views and Neo Humanistic analysis, it strives to serve as beacon for the benighted civilization of our times.

Main principles of PROUT & Neo-Humanism :

which Informs & Inspires

Neo-humanism expands the humanistic love for all human beings to include love and respect for all creation - plants, animals and even inanimate objects. Neo-humanism provides a philosophical basis for creating a new era of ecological balance, planetary citizenship and cosmic kinship. Basic necessities guaranteed to all : People can not strive toward their highest human aspirations if they are lacking the basic requirements of life. PROUT believes that access to food, shelter, clothing, education and medical care are fundamental human rights which must be guaranteed to all. Balanced economy : Prout advocates regional self-reliance, cooperatively owned and managed businesses, local control of large scale key industries, and limits on the individual accumulation of excessive wealth. Women's Right : PROUT encourages the struggle against all forms of violence and exploitation used to suppress women. PROUT's goal is coordinated cooperation, with equal rights between men and women. Cultural Diversity : In the spirit of universal fellowship PROUT encourages the protection and cultivation of local culture, language, history and tradition. World Government : PROUT supports the creation of world government with a global constitution and a common penal code.

For both civilization and science, intellectual knowledge is indispensable. Spiritual or intuitional development is possible through the happy blending


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ANDSLITE

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Pioneer in LED Torch Lights & LED Lighting in INDIA

Manufacturers of LED Torch Lights, Solar Lamps and Distributors of Ultra Bright LEDs

01-2000 AN ISO 90 Company LED Torch Light

LED Solar Lamp

103, FIE Patparganj Industrial Area, Delhi - 110 092 Contact No's : 91-11-22156913, 43012066, 43012068

visit us at : www.andslite.com


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