30 Dec 2012

Fawning over erstwhile opium dealers

There is an article out at Firstpost which has had a indignant reception: Parsis are right on top as the finest Indians

I have not come across such a blinkered, biased, sycophantic and downright divisive article for quite some time. The readers' comments below the article more or less sums up my personal view about the Parsi community.

But the article itself rankles... Here are some of the author's views - and my observations.

"If one is observant and looks around, the most civilised things around us are usually not our own contribution."

Interestingly, almost all these 'civilised' institutions - including the author's own school - were probably financed with money made from the opium trade that wrecked India's economy and devastated Chinese society between the 18th and 19th centuries. (Read about the Opium Wars.)

The author admits: "Parsis made much money on opium, and some still hold against them (I don’t)."

I don't hold it against the entire Parsi community but... prior to their despicable economic arrangement with the British East India Company (of forced opuim cultivation in India and forced import into China), India and China together accounted for about 50% of the world's GDP!

The author goes on...

Like Carnegie, like Rockefeller, like Gates, like Buffet, the Tatas knew to what end they were creating wealth.

To improve society.


If the creation of wealth has a purpose, as Andrew Carnegie explained it did in his writing, Indians haven’t learnt it yet.

I sincerely hope the Tatas (despite their opium-financed background) are not in the same league as the rest of those sinister High Priests of Mammon. (Read about the Dodd Commission that investigated nonprofit foundations in the US in the early 50s.)

The overarching influence of oligarchic agendas on governments is known all too well. Remember the Nira Radia tapes? That nonprofits, charitable trusts, think tanks and lobbyists are added to the list is not not something to crow about.

The author come across as an drooling imbecile - but if he is not - and there is another "purpose" that put him up to publishing the article, we have every reason pay very close attention. Indeed, he ends with the words that the "higher purpose is more secure in the hands of a Parsi."

Higher purpose. Civilised institutions. Improving society... I am not a betting man, but I am willing to wager that what the Carnegies, Rockefellers, Buffets, Gates or indeed the Tatas have in mind has very little to do with the general public's interpretations of those words.

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