Tagged: Indira Gandhi

Law 30: Police State and the Impairment of Reporting to Authorities

January 2023

Delhi: 200 African nationals attack after police detain Nigerians for overstaying.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube)

Unusual passivity of Indian police faced with a mob. Unusual because a few days ago, for instance, as a crowd had gathered in front of actor Salman Khan’s house for his birthday, at some point police started to bludgeon the crowd, showering it with a rain of blows. Police passivity, however, is to be expected with foreign migrants: if police bludgeon them, their state will complain to Indian authorities and it is embarrassing, whereas when Indian police bludgeon Indians, no foreign state complains, only, perhaps, NGOs. In India, bludgeon blows are for India’s children only. – Note that this police passivity was the cause two people escaped.

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The U.S. is waging a “microchip war” against China, which is strange since China is the uncontested export leader of raw materials for chips. When you depend on someone for going on with you production, you avoid boycotting them, in general.

If China depends on foreign know-how for chips, as the current U.S. block on chip exports assumes, how can this obstruction not accelerate China’s plans to invade Taiwan, given Taiwan’s acknowledged know-how?

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Police State and the Impairment of Reporting to Authorities

When police are feared by wrongdoers and law-abiding citizens alike, reporting of crimes is impaired. This is what happens in police states, where police misconduct is uncontrolled and people fear police arbitrariness as much as crime.

(ii)

A complement to the Delhi Car Drag Case (see Law 29).

Why do you, NDTV, insist so much on Nidhi’s behavior? (Nidhi is the victim’s friend, whose behavior, namely her failure to report the accident, has been questioned.) Nidhi’s reporting would probably not have saved Anjali, who probably died after a few moments of dragging. On the other hand, a male witness said he alerted the police but they remained apathetic. What’s the point of focusing on the side issue? Not reporting a crime is not as culpable as committing the crime. Instead of focusing on a report that allegedly remained largely unheeded, why this insistence on a poor girl’s escape, who may have feared for her life as a witness to a criminal hit-and-run? Are you afraid of the police? If you, a media, fear the police by not investigating in depth an unheeded report after you made news about it, why would Nidhi be braver than you and want anything to do with the police?

Six days ago, on YouTube, you made news with: “‘Woman’s body dragged, cop car didn’t even try…’: Eyewitness to NDTV.”  The witness is quoted saying: “I told the PCR (Police Control Room) vans and pointed at the car, but they didn’t even try to catch it.” You’ve got a case of unheeded report, but now you prefer to insist on a poor girl’s not reporting to authorities, even though your very information shows that reporting may have been to no avail, for why would the police take heed of her report while they didn’t heed the report of the man you interviewed?

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The Fondling Conspiracy and the Commission for Women

AAP, BJP [two Indian political parties: the former Woke and the latter Hindutva. AAP holds Delhi governorship, BJP is head of the coalition in power at the central government] Protest On Delhi Streets As Face-Off Over Mayor Poll Continues.” (NDTV, YouTube) There is a woman in the demonstrations. Most probably, in such unruly crowds her buttocks and nipples were fondled by greedy hands. We need a statement from the Commission for Women.

Delhi air pollution is also a big problem. The smog reduces CCTV cameras’ efficiency. Women will be fondled by perverts but camera images will be too blurry, too unclear to serve as evidence. We need a statement from the Commission for Women.

The smog is a conspiracy. Women will be fondled by strangers whose faces can’t be seen on CCTV cameras because of too thick a smog.

“Poor visibility.” A huge fog is expanding over Northern India and will make all CCTV cameras ineffectual because camera lenses function just like the human eye. The Commission for Women expects a big wave of fondling in the streets.

Women of all confessions are fondled daily in urban centers. Do you call that fondle jihad?

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Defence v. Smear

A Complement to “Breakup as Abetment to Suicide” (in Law 28). Actor Sheezan Khan was arrested after co-actress and ex-lover Tunisha Sharma committed suicide.

In court, what India Daily is calling a “smear campaign” by Sheezan’s team is legit defense. A smear campaign is something prosecutable under libel law. But as Sheezan Khan is tried, it is “No holds barred,” he and his lawyers have the right to “smear” as much as they wish in court, if they think it can clear him. Technically, this is no smear, no slander, no libel at all, but a legit means of defense, a most legitimate means, so the headline “smear campaign in court” is wrong. (A trial opposing parties is basically nothing else but parties “smearing” each other.)

Pay attention that a man placed under police custody and tried for abetment to suicide after a breakup is something unheard of. I believe this was made possible by love-jihad fantasies and prejudice and is plain wrong. Be that as it may, the unheard-of nature of the case needs an explanation. A rational explanation. Absent such an explanation, it looks like a case of prejudice: Because he is a Muslim and she was a Hindu, he was kept in custody and is tried on a frivolous claim. In a normal, functional political order, safe from love-jihad fantasies, a man would never have been kept in custody, but simply interrogated.

A mistake was made, a man’s rights have been disregarded, and my assumption is that the reason for this mistake is prejudice, not the principles or the laws in force. A first information report (FIR) cannot always have police custody as consequence. The present FIR is for abetment for suicide and the facts invoked are a breakup. This is no serious ground, with due respect to the grieving family. Abetment to suicide is a crime requiring mens rea (intention), but to suppose that the intent of a breakup is to make one’s lover commit suicide rather than the usual reasons why lovers break up, is unwarranted absent further elements hinting at the same, clues which the police themselves declared were nowhere to be seen (“no love-jihad or blackmail angle”). Therefore, this FIR from a grieving family should never have led to a man’s custody, even less to a 4+14 day custody, and denial of bail.

Police had two flimsy reasons to arrest Sheezan Khan: 1) the vague assumption that he had committed a crime (murder?) and 2) a vague FIR that should not have led to harsh measures, because there was no element of mens rea to support it. One flimsy reason plus one flimsy reason doesn’t add up to a good reason. Sheezan, therefore, should have been interrogated as a normal person, without custody. Some politicians publicly voiced their opinion on the case, suggesting a love-jihad angle. Lack of firm ground for arrest plus those kinds of hardly veiled political pressures plus a certain climate in the country where such concepts as “love jihad” can bubble up to begin with, lead one to question the reasons for the custody and trial. In this context, custody can be thought to be a way to obtain false confessions. If this sort of arrest is the normal practice of the country, then let me know; in that case, there would be nothing special about Sheezan’s arrest but my critic would become institutional, as I would oppose on principle a practice that allows this as a routine.

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RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, of Hindutva ideology] chief tells Muslims to shun ‘idea of supremacy’.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube)

If one praises the Sepoys of 1857, is it supremacism?

There is nothing wrong with holding one’s credence superior, and no one should be asked to think he doesn’t have better opinions than others. Indeed, if I thought your opinion were as good as mine, I wouldn’t even call my opinion an opinion at all, it would be like having no opinion. I guess you can call this supremacism. The very word “tolerate” implies disagreement. You disagree with what you “tolerate” but you tolerate it; if you didn’t disagree, you wouldn’t “tolerate,” you would “endorse.” This is the meaning of toleration: we are not endorsing each other’s opinions. This, not liberalism (which is mush), is the correct view.

(ii)

I think Brahmins don’t support RSS (prove me wrong). RSS lacking Brahmin support for their New Age ideology is like royalists in European republics who want to restore the throne and altar while being scolded by royal heirs and the Church alike.

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Austrian court drops accusation of terrorism against Professor Farid Hafez.” (Al-Jazeera English, YouTube)

Prosecuting authorities should be held accountable for their misconducts, but European laws grant them immunity. These authorities could place each and every one of us, Europeans, in the same legal limbo for years, and nothing could be done as far as law is concerned. This is despicable. Professor Farid Hafez has suffered duress for which he will never be compensated.

If there were no fairer authorities than these in the world, does it make my words less true? Would it be less true that, in these countries, which claim to be beacons of freedom, citizens can be subjected to such treatments without recourse and without compensation, and are asked to say “thank you” when after years of legal limbo, police harassment, all sorts of damages to their peace and reputation, a judge says they can be free? If this is a beacon of freedom, then any other place is just as fine. The hypocrisy of these regimes is as appalling as their disregard for citizens’ rights.

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Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards after the 1984 military assault on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest site of the Sikh community. The two bodyguards were her most trusted and favorite servants, they had never failed in their service. But she had ignored the bodyguards’ true personality, their devotion to their faith. Did she not have the slightest clue that she might have wronged the Sikh faith with Operation Blue Star? The turning against and killing her by two most reliable men suggests that the operation was more than a little harsh and inconsiderate. There was obviously some blindness, an almost unbelievable naiveté on Indira’s part, that she failed to perceive the two bodyguards as wounded men of faith.

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The Mukherjee Commission

The Indian government was asked by a court to have an investigation and report made on Subhas Chandra Bose, a.k.a. Netaji’s death, but as the report concluded that the known version (plane crash) was not true, the government buried the report.

The Mukherjee Commission was set up by the government following a court order. The commission worked from 1999 to 2005. In its report, it rejected the plane crash theory. The government rejected the report of the Commission, “just like that,” as they say in the film Gumnaami about these historical facts. I find no word to express my moral indignation at this, but in legal wording it is contempt of court and breach of constitutional duty by the Indian government. The government was constitutionally bound by the commission’s conclusions. Its rejection of the report is blatant arbitrariness, it is arbitrariness on the face of it and, to be quite precise, in your face, that is, a slap in the face of all Indians.

(ii)

The above facts are the subject of Gumnaami, a 2019 film by Srijit Mukherji, of which the opening and end song’s lyrics read, in the film’s translation, as follows:

Subhash, Subhash the heart of India is here
The hero of India who we’re all proud of is here

Subhash is the heart of India
Subhash is the pride of India
Subhash is the respect of India
Subhash is the dignity of India

He’ll lead a storm called India
He’ll bring glory to India
To the foreign masters he’ll be a terror
Subhash, Subhash…

Netaji Statue at India Gate, Delhi. Inaugurated on Sep 2022.

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Nudity v. Nakedness

Mumbai Police sent a notice to Bigg Boss fame U. J. [no need to publicize the actress’s name here] on BJP leader and Maharashtra Mahila Morcha [BJP women’s wing] president Chitra Wagh’s complaints for ‘indulging in nudity publicly on the streets of Mumbai.’” (India Today, YouTube)

“I am independent, will wear what I want,” reacted the actress. The truth is she wears what she is told by photographers. Obviously, the nudity took place during an outdoors shooting, so there should be several people summoned, as it is a conspiracy.

Someone then claimed to me there was no nudity. The actress was summoned for nudity not because, I assume, she was naked on the street, which would have led to her arrest on the spot, had she escaped assault by an angry crowd in the first place, but because of improper attire. Risqué attire is nudity plain and simple. If you cover your body with transparent plastic bags, you are nude as per the law, make no mistake about it. And the same reasoning applies to all risqué provocation to the law and to the peace of decent people.

Indian law makes a difference between scant clothing and obscenity, for the section does not apply, expressly, to sadhus who go around naked. Using Gandhi or sadhus in the argument misses the difference. (The difference is unmistakable but you know how people are.) Obscene nudity is not nakedness per se but rather clothing that appeals to prurient interests. I unreservedly agree with Indian authorities that public space must be kept free from such prurient attires.

Indian authorities apply the law. If you are not happy with the Indian Obscenity Law, then have it changed. We will see if people follow your reasons about “Taliban rule” and what not.

XXVI Le Prix Nobel d’économie qui n’avait rien compris à la pub

Le Prix Nobel d’économie qui n’avait rien compris à la pub. De nombreux détracteurs de J.K. Galbraith semblent n’avoir rien compris à la publicité, mais c’est d’autant plus remarquable quand cette méconnaissance d’une réalité économique si fondamentale est celle d’un Prix Nobel d’économie, comme dans le cas de M. Robert Solow, même si je ne vois pas bien, après tout, en quoi le jury du Prix Nobel serait plus légitime que d’autres pour distribuer des bons points (en même temps que pas mal d’argent). Je cite le point de vue de M. Solow tel qu’il est présenté par James Galbraith, le fils de John K. Galbraith, dans sa préface à l’édition 2007 de The New Industrial State : « Professor Solow also rallied to the defense of consumer sovereignty, a decisive point for the accepted view (…) He held that modern advertising – Hertz versus Avis – cancels itself out, and, accordingly, it does not affect basic consumer choice or the larger independent sovereignty of the consumer. » Prétendre qu’un tel argument met à mal la séquence inversée de Galbraith, c’est-à-dire le management de la demande par la technostructure dans le nouvel État industriel, serait assez dérisoire, mais il n’est peut-être pas inutile d’entrer dans quelques précisions concrètes sur le monde de la publicité pour montrer que l’argument ne peut atteindre son but.

La publicité telle que la décrit Solow, si j’en juge d’après l’expression Hertz versus Avis – deux entreprises de location de voitures, dont les dépenses publicitaires respectives seraient ainsi destinées à capter la clientèle de leur concurrente – n’est qu’un segment du monde publicitaire, connu dans le jargon anglo-saxon sous le nom de « pirating ». C’est le type de publicité qui vise à induire le consommateur à adopter une marque de préférence à une autre. Or, cette stratégie n’est généralement pas considérée comme rentable par les milieux industriels. Si notre législation autorisait la publicité comparative, une forme de pirating, peu d’entreprises, en fait, y recourraient, hormis quelques nouveaux venus sur le marché. Le pirating n’est pas rentable car, au sein de la clientèle fluctuante (une proportion, relativement minime, connue pour chaque marché, la liquidité de ces fluctuations étant également connue), les entreprises savent que ce qu’une marque perd et ce qu’une marque gagne en clients s’égalisent. Non, les stratégies publicitaires rentables sont 1/ celles qui créent de nouveaux consommateurs pour un produit et 2/ celles qui accroissent les quantités consommées ; des stratégies qui ne s’annulent pas les unes les autres dans la concurrence des entreprises entre elles, et qui contribuent au contraire à la massification de la consommation, étant l’un des ressorts les plus puissants de la séquence inversée de Galbraith. (Pour que la répartition des consommateurs fluctuants soit régulièrement égale, l’effort publicitaire ne peut, c’est clair, être réduit d’un côté ou de l’autre : la concurrence joue comme une course à la publicité selon une logique semblable à la course aux armements.)

Les professeurs d’économie d’inspiration étroitement néoclassique nient volontiers, à l’instar de M. Solow, l’importance de la publicité, parfois (comme dans le cas d’une réponse qui m’a été faite quand j’étais étudiant) en affirmant que « les gens croient que… mais » les sommes investies dans la publicité ne seraient pas significatives. Les dépenses publicitaires aux États-Unis s’élevaient à 215 milliards de dollars en 1999 (elles étaient de 125 milliards dans les années quatre-vingt). Le coût du marketing d’un produit dans ce pays représente entre 40 et 60 % de son prix de vente, il est supérieur au coût de production ! (Cf. Manuel de marketing de Kurtz & Brone, cité par W.B. Key, 1989) Enfin, et surtout, jamais l’homme n’a vécu dans un milieu aussi saturé de publicité commerciale, et la dynamique est vertigineuse. Que l’on compare seulement les deux chiffres suivants, que je rapporte dans leur citation originale :

« According to the industry house organ Advertising Age, the average North American perceives some 1,000 ads daily » (W.B. Key, 1989) ;

« People are inundated daily by an average of 10,000 sales messages » (Renvoisé & Morin, 2007).

Dix fois plus : une augmentation de 900 % en quelque vingt années. Et les méthodes — hypnotiques et autres – n’ont pas cessé non plus de se perfectionner. L’ampleur de la publicité commerciale est un trait distinctif de notre économie et de notre civilisation.

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Le psy se fait payer par les publicitaires pour qu’il leur explique comment rendre les gens cinglés (c’est « l’analyse motivationnelle »), et il se fait payer par les cinglés pour prétendument les guérir. Le plus intéressant peut-être est que le psy ne parvient pas vraiment à se faire prendre au sérieux par la société.

Les gens qui travaillent n’ont pas besoin de culture et d’ailleurs ils n’en ont aucune. Mais les artistes subventionnés, professionnels sans public, acteurs jouant devant des salles vides, leur coûtent cher.

Vous êtes des blaireaux et je vais vous expliquer comment vous le savez : c’est la pub qui vous le dit.

Rien de tel qu’un livre de marketing pour vous conforter dans le mépris de l’humanité.

Des zillions d’euros sont dépensés en publicité pour associer, dans l’esprit du consommateur masculin, le succès auprès des femmes à tel ou tel produit de supermarché, alors que tout le monde sait que, pour avoir du succès avec les femmes, il vaut mieux gagner plus d’argent que ce qui permet d’acheter ces produits bas de gamme.

Ce que le consommateur achète sous l’influence de la publicité de masse, c’est ce par quoi il évite de se distinguer des autres, alors que son rêve est justement de se distinguer. N.B. I’d say it pays the poor to distinguish himself from the poor surrounding him, in the poor women’s eyes, but it impairs the rich to distinguish himself, because then he’s just an eccentric in women’s eyes.

Le rêve du consommateur est de se distinguer mais sa tendance est au conformisme. C’est la clé de la manipulation commerciale.

Le noir se porte bien. La clé, pour vendre, c’est d’inventer des nuances de noir. – Plus les publicitaires délirent sur la libération des goûts et des couleurs, et plus tout le monde s’habille en noir. Haro sur l’original en gris !

La publicité promet au pauvre le même bonheur matériel que le riche, avec des produits bon marché, des produits cheap (le sens de ce mot est souvent péjoratif en français). Le problème, c’est que ça reste toujours mieux d’être plus riche que son voisin. Le produit bon marché apporte peut-être le même bonheur matériel, mais ce n’est pas suffisant pour être content de son sort, sans envier plus riche que soi. S’il était possible que les gens soient contents de leur sort, la publicité n’existerait pas. Pourquoi être riche quand on peut être pauvre ? Une société qui permettrait cette forme de sagesse créerait-elle encore des richesses ?

Invidia democratica. Platon explique qu’en démocratie même les mulets sont ombrageux (République, livre VIII, 562e, 563c). En comparaison, les vaches de l’Inde théocratique semblent très débonnaires. – Quand Indira Gandhi, qui fut plus tard assassinée par ses gardes du corps sikhs, proposa de chasser des villes indiennes les vaches sacrées, les sadhus, les ascètes hindouistes, sortirent des mitraillettes d’on ne sait où, apparemment prêts à en découdre. Le projet fut abandonné. Jusqu’à quand ? Chassez les vaches des rues et vous aurez, comme chez nous, des villes faites pour les voitures. Quelle place y auraient les ascètes ? – McLuhan analyse la violence du cinéma et de la télévision comme une conséquence du trafic routier dans les villes, une conséquence de la violence pour les sens d’un environnement urbain monopolisé par le moteur à explosion. Les gens qui aiment se promener dans Paris me font rire. Si j’en croisais un, dans la rue, je lui ferais volontiers la remarque, mais ma voix serait couverte par le bruit de la circulation.

Les jeunes sont très intéressants… à manipuler mentalement, disent (entre eux) les marketeurs. Ils sont si grégaires que ceux qui n’achètent pas les mêmes produits que les autres sont harcelés et se suicident. Ce grégarisme est la forme de leur émancipation vis-à-vis de l’autorité parentale. Les parents ne peuvent plus savoir ce qu’il convient d’acheter à leurs enfants ; ceux qui insistent pour exercer un contrôle font courir un risque grave – je le dis sans plaisanter – à leurs enfants, le risque d’être bannis du troupeau et persécutés. Ce grégarisme est d’ailleurs l’école du salariat et du fonctionnariat : pourquoi les parents s’y opposeraient-ils ?

Mars 2015