Temples. Mosques. Hindus. Muslims.
Hindus. Mosques. Muslims. Temples.
Mosques. Temples. Muslims. Hindus.
Muslims. Hindus. Temples. Mosques.
Tensions. Tensions. Tensions. Tensions.
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This is the only debate scorching India’s heartland and hinterland these days.
From the power corridors of governance to sprawling airports to packed trains to crowded bus stops to late-afternoon village gatherings to cocktail parties to noisy multiplexes to glass offices to chaotic stock markets to roadside juice centres to shopping malls to regressive sweatshops to dirty jails to cacophonic newsrooms to busy courthouses to ration queues to parents’ huddles in schools to Covid vaccination centres to sports stadiums to the quiet privacy of your drawing room – the Great Indian Religion Debate has invaded everything under the hot Indian summer sun.
Ratna is a journalist with close to two decades of experience in reporting, anchoring and producing news shows in New Delhi, Kolkata and Muscat. As a TV reporter, she covered primetime news for many years. She worked at ABP News, Times of India and India Today Group. Nadim is an author, journalist, and columnist who spent his career collecting compelling stories across India, West Asia, Africa and Europe. He worked at Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, The Statesman and Muscat Daily. This article was originally published on Empire Diaries.
The topic has been hardwired into the average Indian’s brain by a combination of the corporate-funded press, so-called independent media outlets, and foreign-owned social media platforms.
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What’s the intention here? What’s precisely the game plan of these information sources? Why would your favourite news sources collaborate or be misled to act in a coordinated manner to do this incredible disservice to you? The disservice of bumping up the country’s communalism temperature.
What’s the hidden agenda?
To turn India into an Israel-Palestine-like quagmire? To instigate the masses to act in a certain way? To widen the divide among people along cult lines? To impose certain political leanings? To spark violence? To distract us from a deepening economic crisis? To keep stuff such as fuel prices, weakening rupee, food crisis, rural distress off the conversation?
Well, these are the immediate reasons why your information sources are trying to keep you immersed in the Great Indian Religion Debate. But the truth is, these immediate issues are only the symptoms of a deeper, bigger and more sinister problem that has gripped India like a silent cancer.
That cancer is the incredible acceleration of a foreign-led corporate recolonisation of the Indian economy.
Yes, you read it right. A long-term international business project to recolonise or recapture India’s economy and its vast financial wealth is underway on an unprecedented scale and at an unprecedented speed. And that is precisely what your trusted information sources are trying to keep away from your glare – hence the desperate need to manufacture the Great Indian Religion Debate.
Who Controls The Media?
It is not an easy task for the information mafia to keep all 140 crore Indians distracted from the single biggest act of foreign corporate recolonisation. But somehow, they’re getting close to achieving mass hypnosis, with fewer and fewer pockets of discourses left that haven’t been invaded by this manufactured debate.
It sounds impossible, but the days of the East India Company are here again. The disturbing difference this time around is that we’re not being allowed to notice it. The foreign colonising forces – which are corporate giants from abroad – are using their considerable powers to keep the targeted Indian public completely off this subject.
It is widely believed that international powers hold a considerable sway over our information sources. One, through direct advertisements and endowments, and two, through clandestine or ghost ownership of stake. So, it should not strike you as odd that the information cartel will go absolutely quiet on the neocolonial re-invasion of our economy.
If this sounds conspiratorial to you, it only means the corporate recolonisation of your brain has either begun or has already taken place. And if you find this piece of incredible disclosure worth exploring, then there’s hope – so read on to know the chilling reality of our times that popular news headlines won’t tell you.
Connecting The Dots
Before we dig deep into what this corporate recolonisation is all about, let’s look at some economy-related developments from recent times that were widely reported by the popular press:
- The Indian rupee crashed to all-time lows on the back of uncontrolled inflation.
- India quietly recorded its highest ever FDI inflows over the past one year.
- The country has decided to privatise its giant public sector banks, starting with two, and then moving on with the rest.
- LIC’s well-known privatisation will be followed by the lesser trumpeted corporate sale of other top national insurers.
- British football club Manchester United was on the brink of buying East Bengal club before the deal fell flat at the last minute.
- Cash-strapped ONGC is turning to foreign companies, offering them a stake.
- India welcomed foreign investment drive at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
- Japanese lender MUFG Bank to set up its sixth branch in India, this time in Gujarat.
- Bollywood offered incentives to foreign filmmakers to co-produce movies with Indian producers.
- India’s outward FDI crashed by nearly half in April this year, shows RBI data.
- Maharashtra signed pacts with 23 foreign firms; they will pump in Rs 30,000 crore in FDI.
- India’s Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal cleared 853 FDI proposals in the last five years.
If you follow these developments closely, you’ll easily realise that they are not unconnected events. They are not run-of-the-mill developments that we’ve heard about in the past and moved on. Yes, it’s an old pattern. But the new thing is that the unravelling or unpacking of India’s economic insulation is happening at a pace never seen before.
The East India Company left us long back (there were actually multiple East India Companies at that time). And so did the British monarchy. But modern-day foreign opportunists, now cloaked in invisibility to avoid detection, have landed back in India. They have their economic boots on the ground, and they are here with a chalked-out mission: to siphon off our financial resources and to reinvest them in their home countries.
In the past, when the uncivilised British powers ruled us on the pretext of civilising us, they showed us their faces and whips while snatching away our natural resources. This time, the new cabal of foreign corporates – hailing from West to East – are here in the avatar of highly polished foreign MNCs or transnational corporations, setting the stage for bottoming out India’s monetary wealth.
Overt Loot, Covert Loot
The foreign-engineered loot of India has moved on from natural resources being targeted to financial wealth being targeted, from overt tactics to covert tactics, from much lesser intensity back then to a much higher intensity right now.
Carrying out this operation of silent loot is a sophisticated network of foreign, profit-hungry companies a few of which are individually larger than the economies of some countries.
This bitter truth doesn’t come up in our daily discourse. It’s perpetually off the radar because it never makes it to: (1) everyday news headlines, (2) social media feed, (3) covers of journals, books and magazines, (4) influential research publications, (5) school books.
Of course, India is not colonised in the administrative or textbook sense. We have been joyously marking Independence Day and Republic Day since getting freedom from the parasitic British in 1947. We elect our own political leaders. Our courtrooms are run by people from among us. Our bureaucracy is indigenous. Our police forces are staffed with our fellow citizens only. So, physically, we are a free and independent country.
But the economic reality is entirely different, especially since the early 1990s. Since the early 1990s – when the doors of the Indian economy were thrown open to foreign corporates – we have unwittingly allowed thousands of international businesses to set up shop across the country. As a result of that move, we have gift-wrapped a large chunk of our economy and handed it over to these overseas empires.
Large sections of India’s economy – or India’s marketplace – are already colonies of foreign players. It’s difficult to get the exact number of foreign businesses operating in India. The corporate affairs ministry no longer puts out on its official website an updated list of international companies that have a foothold in India. But according to media reports and research in recent years, it’s estimated that there are well over 4,000 foreign companies with some form of presence in the Indian marketplace.
Who Are These Colonisers?
This list of 4,000+ foreign forces includes:
(1) Foreign companies that directly have operations on Indian soil.
(2) Foreign companies that have partnered with India’s indigenous companies leading to a breed of FCCs (foreign-controlled companies).
(3) Foreign companies that covertly operate in India using shell or cover companies that appear fully domestic but are actually not. It’s impossible to establish their official presence here through paperwork. The system is designed that way.
The companies that have a foothold in India are largely headquartered on the continents of North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
In some sectors of the Indian economy, the foreign players have moderate influence; while in some other areas, they run the whole show, dictating terms to the vast Indian consumer base as well as to local (read: political) administrations.
Take any industry, for example. From everyday confectionary stuff to fashionable clothes to defence equipment to social media apps, the recolonisation of India by foreign corporate players is underway full steam and in perfect sync.
The clout of the big cats of global capitalism in India is so ‘internalised’ in our culture and lifestyle that we hardly realise we’re being groomed by these external business interests to serve their interest, simply by turning into (1) devoted customers (brand fanatics) and (2) dedicated employees (loyal servants).
Note that our state governments and central government are free from any form of direct political and administrative control by foreign governments. But access to our economy – to our collective financial wealth – is still mostly in the hands of these MNCs that are here to recolonise us.
One might ask, what’s wrong if foreign companies do business in India?
After all, aren’t they generating jobs for Indians by setting up offices, shops and factories? Aren’t they bringing in investments from outside? Aren’t they giving us a wider variety of products and services to choose from? Aren’t they manufacturing their products right here in India using Indian labour? Aren’t they paying taxes to the Indian government? Aren’t they connecting Indians to the world around us?
Yes, these are contributions. But each of these contributions is completely outweighed by negative factors. These are well-trumpeted superficial contributions. It’s the equivalent of famous billionaires hosting the odd charity event for poor African children.
While these foreign players act as if they’re here to open our window to the world, they have silently prised open our economy and are minting a phenomenal amount of money from the business they conduct here.
The math is simple. Who gains from all this? What we financially gain from the foreign companies’ presence is by a long, long, long way outweighed by what we lose due to their business activities here. The minus dwarfs the plus.
The Cola Mathematics
To understand what is precisely going on, let’s look at any popular foreign brand as a real example, which can be multiplied a few thousand times over to get a sense of how we are financially bleeding from the overall impact of recolonisation.
Let’s look at global soft drink giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi, which are immensely popular consumer goods all over India, especially among youngsters, sports junkies and foodies, right from the urban space to far-flung suburbs and villages.
For every bottle of soft drink that the two empires, Coke or PepsiCo, sell here in India, they make a certain profit. Out of that profit earned per bottle, one part goes to the Indian government’s coffers as taxes. One part is reinvested by the company into its operations in India to sustain or expand its business. And the third part of that profit (which is suspected to be the largest part) is dispatched to the home countries of these two soft drink companies where they’re headquartered.
In the case of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, the money that they make here in India is sent all the way to the US, their home turf. Technically, the money travels from here largely to American banks and the rest of it possibly to various tax havens around the world.
Now multiply that ‘take-home’ profit from that one bottle by the lakhs and lakhs of bottles that these two American companies sell in India each day, each week, each month, each year.
The final sum of the profits that Coke and Pepsi transfer to their home country – partly to US banks and partly to tax havens – runs into millions of dollars annually.
It’s crucial here to understand what’s actually happening to India’s economy as a result. The two companies are transferring the wealth earned in India to overseas banks or foreign reinvestment hubs. So basically, India is ending up leaking financial wealth like a sieve simply by agreeing to consume these nonessential cola products. And that perpetual transfer or outflow of financial wealth from India is directly resulting in the country’s deepening poverty.
And because there’s a neat transfer of wealth from India to largely the US, there’s a resultant transfer of that same degree of poverty in the US straight to India. Wealth moves from here to there, and poverty gets transferred from there to here.
It’s not rocket science. It’s simple economics. Only that we are not told about this wealth-poverty swap in simple terms. Perhaps there are forces that don’t want us to know this incredible thing in simple words. That’s why it’s not there in our schoolbooks or in the media.
Boots On The Ground
Now, take a step back and look at the larger picture of the Indian marketplace to make sense of how much financial wealth gets drained out of our country every single day.
With 4,000+ foreign companies constantly carrying out this wealth-siphoning, poverty-offloading exercise – selling or dumping nonessential goods and services here and transferring the profits out – the total volume of financial wealth that we leak every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year is a mindboggling figure. It’s almost incalculable, and yet, it’s as real as flesh and blood. Finance drain is no concept or idea. It’s for real.
Some of the most prominent and celebrated foreign companies and brands that are deeply engaged in conducting business across India are: Microsoft, Google, P&G, Nestle, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Britannia, Cadbury’s, Sony, Panasonic, Apple, Hewlett Packard, Dell, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Intel, Twitter, Siemens, LG, Samsung, Amazon, IBM, Adidas, Nike, KFC, McDonald’s, Hyundai, Toyota, Volkswagen, Suzuki, GM, Nissan, Levi’s, Pepe Jeans, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Deloitte, E&Y, Bata, Unilever, Citi Bank, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered Bank…
The list goes on and on. There are too many boots on the ground.
When India Was Not Colonised
Let’s turn the clock back by a thousand years to the time when the Indian landmass was not colonised, to see how our independent economy looked back then.
In the year 1000 CE, several empires were simultaneously running the Indian subcontinent. It is well documented that for a 1,000-year period from around 1 CE to around 1000 CE, the economy of the Indian subcontinent was estimated to have been the largest in the world. In 1000 CE, the region’s estimated share of the global GDP was 28.9%, which is incredibly high by today’s standards.
Data shows that the region was indeed the wealthiest place on Earth at that time.
Seven centuries down the line, when the Mughals were in power during the year 1700, Mughal India and the Chinese Empire were jointly the two biggest economies on the planet – each region enjoying nearly 25% of the global GDP, and each one staying ahead of the global GDP share of the whole of Europe put together.
But the Indian subcontinent’s firm grip on prosperity began to drastically weaken when colonisers from the western world started to make inroads – first, through the East India Company over a 100-year spell from 1757 to 1857; and right after that, a 90-year misrule by the British monarchy from 1857 to 1947.
When India earned freedom from British rule in 1947, its share of the global GDP stood at an unimpressive 3% – testimony to the financial damage that India’s economy suffered under the British opportunists.
Right now, India’s share of the global GDP hovers at just over 3% – far below the bright days of a thousand years back. And India’s clout globally is negligible because of the negative impact of free trade on the country and the presence of thousands of foreign business players that are pumping away financial resources.
In simple words, the India of today is an economic giant only on paper and on TV debates. We are now basically a massive dustbowl of consumers and cheap labour.
The Meaning Of Freedom
The article intends to call on fellow Indians to realise, acknowledge and accept the bitter truth that this country’s freedom is limited only on the political and administrative fronts. Once this realisation sinks in, self-respecting people will be in a position to make the decision to go ‘desi’ – boycotting nonessential foreign goods and services and sticking with only fully indigenous products.
Once that happens, domestic businesses and entrepreneurs would be motivated to wake up and rightfully win back control of the Indian economy. The revenues made by indigenous businesses will remain at home, they will keep getting reinvested and recycled here itself, helping replenish the domestic economy. And that would eventually result in a drastic repair and improvement of our immediate broken physical environment – our roads, civic facilities, basic services, infrastructure, cities, villages, and so on.
If we’re flush with our own hard-earned money that doesn’t leak outwards, the country is bound to see real, physical growth. That is what is happening in the rich countries where the money looted from India is getting reinvested by the foreign corporates.
At the heart of this whole issue of India’s recolonisation lies a fundamental question: do we really know what freedom really means? A truly free country is one that has an economy free from any kind of external overcontrol. A truly free country is not one that sees foreign players pumping financial resources out of it. Going by that metric, freedom is as much out of our reach now as it was during the dark days of British colonialism.
The New Israel-Palestine
It was colonialisation back then. It’s recolonisation now. Only the pages of the calendar have changed.
Natural asset companies.
By whatever name you call them, they are the modern-day East India Companies that have enveloped much of India’s economic landscape.
You won’t get to see the hawks circling above your head because they’ve infiltrated and rigged our information sources well enough to keep us engrossed with intoxicating distractions such as the Great Indian Religion Debate.
History has shown us that the Israel-Palestine religion-centric crisis is a permanent one. Now, attempts are being made by outside forces to replicate that same religion-centric crisis model and superimpose it on India. The way the recolonisation of India is picking up pace, it seems the country needs nothing short of another Quit India Movement.
For that to happen, one has to be wise enough to first pull the plug on the Great Indian Religion Debate.