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What’s happening in Saudi Arabia

THE UNFOLDING COUP IN ARABIA

By Simon Templar

Have you seen the ending of the 1972 movie, “The Godfather”? It brilliantly showed the bloody scenes of the “takeover” of the Mafia by Michael Corleone (Al Pacino).

One by one, all the bosses of the rival families are killed and removed until all opposition is gone and the Corleone family’s control over Mafia is complete.

Something very similar is happening right now in Saudi Arabia as I am writing these lines. In just less than two days, 49 influential Saudis have been arrested which include 11 members of the Royal family.

Among them is Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal who happens to be the richest Saudi prince and businessmen and also one of the top 50 richest and most influential businessmen in the world.

As if that was not intriguing enough, a helicopter carrying several Saudi officials, including Prince Mansour bin Muqrin Al Saud, has crashed in the kingdom’s southwest near the border with Yemen.

Prince Mansour was the son of the former crown prince of Saudi Arabia and was a very influential man in the Kingdom.

According to many, if things were normal, he would have been the future king of Saudi Arabia.

What’s going on? For that we have to go back in time, to see how the ascension to the Saudi throne has been working in the past.

The first King of Saudi Arabia was Abdulaziz ibn Al Saud. He conquered his ancestral region of Nejd (central Saudi Arabia) and Hejaz (Western Coast of Saudi Arabia that includes the two holy cities) and became the king of this newly created kingdom called Saudi Arabia.

After him one by one his sons became kings. This was a unique system in which the sons of the first king took turns one after another.

Everyone knew who will be the king and who will be the crown prince. It was a very stable system but only in a short term.

Because although the first king had a long line of sons, it had to end someday. It was inevitable that one day when all the sons of the first king will die or grow extremely old, then the question will arise that in whose family-line the kingship will be transferred?

As more time passed, more uncertainty and rivalry grew among the princes and family-lines of various former kings of Saudi Arabia.

The current official estimate of the members of the Royal house of Saud is around 15000 princelings, among them many debauche, deviant, cruel and abnormal.

In 2015, when the present King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud came to power, he was the 25th son of the first king and already 79 years old.

Like his older brothers before him, he appointed his younger brother Muqrin bin Abdulaziz as the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. It was understood that after Salman, Prince Muqrin will be king.

And it was becoming increasingly likely that after Muqrin, no son of the first king will be around or fit enough to rule the Kingdom. Hence the throne will most probably pass to Muqrin’s family and his son, Prince Mansour (now dead in a mysterious helicopter crash) will become the next king.

Everyone could see that possibility but suddenly something strange happened. Just spending four months as the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Muqrin was removed by King Salman on the pretext of the Crown Prince’s ill health whereas The King himself is ill and senile!

The King appointed his own mercurial young son Prince Muhammad bin Salman as the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

The writing on the wall was now clear that the transfer of kingship among the sons of the first king officially ended and the kingship will subsequently be transferred in the family-line of King Salman downwards.

But here is the problem. It was an unnatural transfer. The natural transfer was supposed to happen in Crown Prince Muqrin’s family-line, if he was allowed to rule.

There was this extremely uncomfortable, pregnant silence in the royal family but tensions were simmering under this ominous calm, in the wake of this unconventional power transfer.

Domestically, Prince Muhammad immediately started consolidating power by taking control of one institution after another.

There is hardly anything today in Saudi Arabia that can be done without his approval. His orders are that everything big or small will go through him.

But among Royalty, history teaches us that the silence of the royal family or control of national institutions is never enough to consolidate power in modern day Saudi Arabia.

Prince Muhammad also needed the approval and backing of America. Something that every Saudi King needs, specially after the Gulf crisis of 1991.

And for that purpose Prince Muhammad needed Yousef Al Otaiba , the current United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States and a charismatic and shrewd businessman from a very influential family of UAE.

Yousef Al Otaiba is like one of those people about whom you do not hear or know very much, but they are the real power brokers in Washington and other important capitals of the world and whose influence extends far beyond their apparent job specifications.

This alliance between Prince Muhammad and Yousef became very instrumental in sponsoring Prince Muhammad in the halls of Washington. Yousef Al Otaiba not only got important connections for Prince Muhammad but was also the key man behind the May 2017 US$350 billion arms deal between US and Saudi Arabia signed by President Trump.

It was a plain and simple deal based on crystal clear interests. President Trump needed Saudi money for creating jobs, under the banner of which he fought his election campaign and also to show progress after repeated domestic failures.

Prince Muhammad on the other hand wanted to show the Royal family that now he has the needed approval of Washington for his ascension to the throne will backing.

This new friendship with powerful people in Washington gave the exact kind of dangerous confidence to Prince Muhammad, the consequences of which we subsequently saw in the Middle East.

The ruthless bombing campaign in Yemen, the standoff with Qatar and the ever-increasing belligerence towards Iran are some of the apparent consequences of Prince Muhammad’s newly found alliances.

But the influence of Yousef Al Otaiba on Prince Muhammad went a little beyond that. The recent relaxation of laws like allowing Saudi women more freedoms etc are a manifestation of that welcome influence to modernize a hypocritical and archaic society.

Yousef not only convinced Prince Muhammad to pass these laws, he also peddled these changes in Washington to show that how much “moderate” Prince Muhammad will be as the King of Saudi Arabia.

But soon the backlash came. While Prince Muhammad was busy showing his “progressive” side to the west, the influential sidelined members of Saudi Royal family and many hardline clerics of the powerful Wahabi establishment were getting restless and vocal about Prince Muhammad’s legitimacy as the next king and his methods of ruling the Kingdom.

Washington was monitoring all these developments and gave Prince Muhammad a go-ahead signal through a recent visit to Riyadh by Jared Kushner, who is the son in law of and Senior Advisor to the President Trump.

Resultantly the political purge started with these high profile arrests in the name of crackdown against corruption, alongside a dead man in a “mysterious” helicopter crash who could’ve been the next king.

And for now it seems that the Mafia style takeover of the Saudi throne is underway by a young, ruthless godfather who seeks to dominate the landscape of Middle East for a long time to come.

Modernisation, privatisation and elimination of the power of the clergy are on the agenda. Instead of doddering old semi senile octogenarians ruling over a rigid narrow repressive ultraconservative society, an energetic young man has been chosen to revamp and reshape Arabia , giving it a place among the modern countries of the world.

Pakistan too needs to wake up, its sycophantic policy of verring to the right, pandering to wahabi ideology for handouts of dollars has driven it to the lip of the abyss and certain destruction.

Now that its masters are abandoning antiquated and abnormal policies to be in sync with the world, so should this nuclear armed impoverished nation of 220 million which lost its secular soul at the alter of jihad fuelled by petro dollars.

The world has been watching silently as the capital has been held hostage by a few dozen radical islamic fundamentalists. Great unease at this sight of the nuclear armed Government being helpless in the face of a rag tag band of mullahs is felt in the west and a decision has been taken: this will not stand!

Change is inevitable, Pakistanis can choose, they can initiate it themselves and start the process of normalisation, else it shall be imposed from abroad. For too long has the eorld tolerated the basket case of South Asia…the clock has run out! Bewarned!

The Author is a geo- strategist based in Brussels

Blindness of the elites

It’s beautiful for some
It’s romantic for many
Sipping a coffee
Reading a book
Staring by the window
Is the wish of the elites

Running Helter shelter
Trying to find a place to
Pass the night
Shivering in cold
Sharing the roof with animals

The rain shows two sides of the world too us

Yet we all are blind to the suffering of the poor

Privileged mentality

How will you know our pain?

When you’re scared to look at the nightmares we live in.

How will you understand what our kids go through ?

When you can’t see without your privileged glasses.

How can you empathize with what we endure every day ?

When you are blind and deaf to the cry for help, to the suffering of people around you ?

The voices of the downtrodden, the words about the suffering of those who suffer will always be negativity for the privileged

The psychology of Modi Bhakts

In the end scenes of the movie Schindler’s list depict Amon Leopold Göth ( the Nazi captain and commandment of the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp ) being hanged, his last words before being hanged would be ” Heil Hitler” even after Hitler being defeated.

Modi bhakts in India have the similar mindset, even after being proved that modi is a failure. promises have now become lies with no development in sight, prices of petrol and gas shooting up despite the fall in crude oil prices, Demonetization failure resulting in the fall of GDP and the implementation of GST which is a disaster, they are not willing to admit that Modis development idea is a failure.

Now with the fall in economy many people who believed in modi as a strong leader who can bring a change has given up on him. They are irritated by the lynchings and his minsters negligence towards preventing disasters that could be avoided. Negligence of his team of ministers after being pointed out by people on social media, his stand on not condemning the violence in the name of Gaurakshas with a strong note and following trolls who give abusive threat to journalists even after being pointed out by the global media disappointed the people who voted for him believing his dramatic gimmicks of development. Those who voted for modi believing in development have completely given up on him after burning their hands putting a hole in their pockets. Those who have inked their finger for voting modi for the development propaganda are now regretting the choice they made and we are witnessing it on social media.

However there are people who say

” I still see him as a strong leader”

what makes them think he’s a strong leader after being proved a failure?

It is the hindutva agenda he stands for that makes those people think he’s a strong leader. Ashamed or hesitant to say it out in the open these people hide behind the mask of development propaganda even when there’s nothing. Under the mask of development lies a blood thirsty face of the hindutvawadis. Their agenda is one nation, one religion and one language which is completely against the secular and diverse fabric of India. Anyone who doesn’t comply with that is an anti national. They do not care about economy, inflation and joblessness. These people are no different than jihadis who wouldn’t mind dying to kill others. The are saffron terrorists. Their goal is Hindu Rashtra and would do anything, and are willing to sacrifice anything for that. They are the neo Nazis of India.

So the next time you hear the word

I still see Modi as a strong leader, you know who they are and what they stand for.

Be aware and don’t be fooled by dramatic promises.

Fascism: The silent rise of the neo-Nazis

My article on the rise of fascism

Cafe Dissensus Everyday

By Arrow

While I was a student in a German institute, I was advised never to discuss Adolf Hitler with any German National, as it reminded them of the Holocaust. They despise Nazism, Nazis who followed Hitler, and do not want to be associated with any of that horrendous past. However, the results of the election in 2017 show a silent but salient growth of the new age Nazis or the neo Nazis. The Alternative für Deutschland (AFD) formed in 2013 has secured 13% of the votes enabling them to be in the Reichstag (Bundestag) for the first time in the last 72 years. History repeats itself. Neo-Nazis are far right ideologues like Hitler, who believe in racial superiority. They are anti equality, anti diversity and anti plurality. The tragedy is that the rise in these neo-Nazis isn’t limited to Germany alone. It has crossed borders, continents and is now…

View original post 734 more words

Did the British actually help Indians

Did the British help Indians in the field of education and medicine? Did they work to develop India ?

Before you disagree agree with me, if not for the British you and me wouldn’t be able to communicate in a common language.

Education in India

Shashi Tharoor in an questionnaire claims that India was a country with a good gdp before the British, the British exploited the country and they didn’t improve the educational system in India.

One can’t deny the fact that the British exploited India but was India actually rich and there was no one poor before they invaded ? Was everyone educated and rich irrespective of caste and Creed? The answer is no, India is a country where casteism has been rooted in our minds and society for generations.

Before the British era, women and dalits were denied education. Widowed women were burnt alive. Unmarried women were taken as devadasis. It was Lord William Bentinck who abolished sati in 1829.

Before the British invasion the education was commenced under the supervision of Guru in Gurukhuls and the medium of education was Sanskrit which on purpose limited it to the elites and excluded the lower caste people.

Yes, lower caste people of those days were denied the right to education. The medium of education in India before the British era was Sanskrit and Persian as we all know it is limited to people of particular set. It was Sir Thomas James Babington Macaulay who converted the medium of education from Sanskrit/ Persian to English. A language alien to all. There were people called Orientalists who argued the medium should be Sanskrit or Persian and not English. William Bentinck denied that and supported the English medium system.

The missionaries built Schools based on English medium with the idea of education to all. The educational policy of the British eventually increased the literacy rate. Literacy rates in accordance to British in India rose from 3.2 per cent in 1881 to 7.2 per cent in 1931 and 12.2 per cent in 1947.

However it wasn’t easy for the women and lower caste people to get their education. Women were still denied their right. Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy was the first women doctor in India. If not for the British we wouldn’t have Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy (the iron lady who abolished devadasi system in Tamil Nadu). I believe I don’t have to explain the hardships they would have undergone.

The British improved the educational system and made it to a global standard. You may say Indians built IIT and IIM that wouldn’t have been possible without Nehru who was educated in the English way of education. You wouldn’t be reading this what I write if we didn’t have a common language (English). Mr. Tharoor
You wouldn’t be able to give speeches in Oxford and Cambridge if not for the English educational system.

Medicine:

Secondly you were talking about the average life expectancy which was 27 by the time British left India. Well yes that was completely not the time of modern medicine our children are going and pursuing education in modern medicine because of the English educational system. Look back in history we would have migrated from town to town every time an epidemic broke out and if not for vaccines we wouldn’t have been here talking about it.

I am not saying that the British era was a golden age and they worked for developing India. Everything they did was for their selfish reasons and there was greater good in that selfish reason

Finally.. not everything can be stated in the name of facts and data. One has to learn to read between the lines to understand ground reality. Hope those who do the research for you understand and I hope that you would not base arguments without understanding ground reality of those times.

My tribute to Gauri Lankesh

Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to become a journalist, an investigative one. To me it was more than just a job. It was a dream. A dream implanted in my mind by those journalists whose writings inspired me, the way they exposed the corrupt politicians and officials. The way they brought to light a lot of scams. Things are never the same always, changed as I grew up and yes, I lost respect I has for a lot of journalists whom I adored when I was a child.

It was too late when I finally figured out journalism has turned into a money making business and nothing more. I understood the art of reporting isn’t just reporting it’s about fabrication, twisting facts, and giving importance to things what they feel is important, not what is actually important. It was about manipulation and the editors are the ones who decide what people should read and see. A few days ago I stumbled upon reading about an article on Martha Gelhorn. I was impressed. I wished, if only people like her still exist and gave us actual facts instead of fabricated ones. I didn’t realize there was one who still lived to be the ideal face of true journalism. Yes, I’m talking about Gauri Lankesh.

Gauri Lankesh as we all know was murdered in cold blood. Until her death I wasn’t aware of the fact that she was a renowned journalist. I honestly wish I had known about her and her ethics when she was still alive. Running a magazine without posting ads is something that surprised me, because today one can’t read news on the internet without closing a set of ads that pop up irritating every reader. One can’t finish reading a magazine or a newspaper without avoiding full page advertisements. The greed for money and fame has deteriorated the ethics of journalism I idolized. She’s the journalist I wanted to become when I was a child.

She was a rebel.
A nightmare to those who try to oppress others.
She didn’t walk in a garden of flowers;
She walked in a wild forest of thorns.
She wasn’t wearing fancy jewelry,
She was adorned with a crown of nails.
She didn’t sleep in a cozy room enjoying the moonlight through her window pane.
A knife hung above her head even while sleeping.

That’s the life of a warrior and she’s no different.

A fierce independent woman with the left ideology, unafraid, who rose against all odds in a patriarchal society and ran a weekly journal which solely relied on the money that generated by the readers. She didn’t write for the elites. She didn’t write for those who can understand complicated English. She wrote for the common man. Nothing impacts a reader as much as anything that’s written on his mother tongue so she wrote in kannada. Her focus was to reach out to the masses and she wrote in the language they could understand. Why did she reach out to the masses and not elites? The same reason people fight for workers and not bourgeoisie. Her articles was against casteism. Her articles were against right wing propaganda and fake news spreading via social media. She was against caste politics and oppression. The people who suffered because of her tired to silence her. She was pulled to the court. Defamation suits were filed. She didn’t stop. She resisted with all her might.

“Lankesh believed that publications succumb to favouring rich corporations or powerful government officials and politicians because they sponsor ads that are a crucial to a newspaper’s survival. Lankesh believed this would kill journalistic integrity. He decided that Lankesh Patrike was to run purely on circulation.”
Wrote on the wire writer, chaitanya.

That’s what Gauri Lankesh too believed and she followed her father’s legacy till her death.

Her finances mostly depended on the articles she wrote for other magazines especially the English. She wrote columns in English magazines to support kannada journal and her kannada translation of various books. She even made a deal with Rana Ayyub to translate the book she wrote (Gujarat files).

Gauri Lankesh ran out of money in a couple of months New India was born ( November 8 2017). Her bank balance confirmed by her friend was just a few thousands. The CM’s chief media advisor Dinesh Matto has said that he was told Gauri Lankesh has withdrawn her last insurance policy to meet ends. In a country where charlatans drive Benz cars and get into self promotion propaganda all she could afford was a Toyota’s cheapest version.

There are people who claim she would have been alive if she didn’t write against the right wing. I would say there is no point in living if you surrender yourself to fear when threatened. Yes, she didn’t surrender. She didn’t stop being a critic and that’s what makes her a warrior in real life unlike the keyboard warriors we encounter everywhere ( including the man in my mirror).

What’s the purpose of life if you can’t stand up and fight for the weak and downtrodden people. She stood for her fellow journalists who were brutally murdered. She joined the protests that demanded the government to take swift actions against those who murdered Kalburgi.

One may ask what’s so great about her that I idolize her, my answer is she has showed me what true journalism is. She has showed me what it takes to stand up for an ideology. She has showed me what’s having a spine actually is. She has showed me the ethics of journalism I believed as a child didn’t perish and there are people out there who don’t bow down to bullying. If I ever become a journalist it’s Gauri Lankesh I aspire to be.

Killed by the enemy
In the battlefield while
Standing up for the ideology
Is the true honour
A warrior could ever get

She was honoured that way. She’s a warrior. They have silenced her body, not her warrior spirit. Warriors fall, the war goes on and we will go on fighting till we win.

If they every tell my story let them say “this man lived in the time of Gauri Lankesh” . May my epitaph carry the words ” here lies a man who has seen a True Journalist in his life “.

She once said
“These intolerant voices find strength in our silence. Let them learn to argue using words instead of threats.” source : the wire

May the voices never stop .

What’s spirit of mumbai ?

Ghanta Spirit of Mumbai !

Mumbaikars don’t crib about what happens around them and ‘adjust’ themselves. To cover up for their failures to question those who rule & exploit them and those who converted their city of dreams into a nightmare, they call their plight ‘Spirit of Mumbai’ and move on..

For a city that contributes 30% of Income tax of the total collection from the whole of India, it is pittance the city gets in return towards infra development. But when Mumbaikars get out of the local train dripping in sweat and at times with their pockets picked, they call this ‘struggle’ as ‘Spirit of Mumbai’ and move on..

Mumbaikars get choked due to pollution. BMC let’s dumping grounds burn. Drinking water run through rusted pipelines. There are no open spaces left. There are no footpaths to walk. Dengue cases keep rising. Believe it or not, Mumbai has the highest number of Tuberculosis patients amongst all metros in India. Garbage disposal is pathetic. People keep falling off running trains & buses. Slums and slum dwellers keep increasing. But those who are not affected at that point of time, keep talking of ‘Spirit of Mumbai’ and move on..

Every time bombs have exploded in jam-packed trains, markets or in buses, everything was normal next day as if nothing happened and politicians with media in tow, saluted & celebrated the ‘Spirit of Mumbai’ and moved on..

Marathon traffic pile-ups, pot-holes, train delays, taxi drivers and auto rickshaw drivers refusing to ply – nobody questions anyone. Just cite the great ‘Spirit of Mumbai’ and move on..

Mangroves have disappeared, lands are encroached, skys-crapers are coming up, Builders-politician nexus has allowed the city to become one urban hell. Resources have depleted, green cover has disappeared and in a constant run to chase life, Mumbaikars simply don’t have time to think of anything. That insanity is sugar-coated as ‘Spirit of Mumbai’ and everybody moves on..

Yaaaar ! Pls tell Mumbaikars that there is nothing called ‘Spirit of Mumbai’ ! It is actually a celebration of their helplessness. Yesterday was no different.

This is a WhatsApp forward shared as received.. author unknown