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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Thursday 01st of July 2021

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“No matter how the official narrative of this turns out," it seemed to Heidi

Thomas Pynchon in Bleeding Edge “No matter how the official narrative of this turns out," it seemed to Heidi, "these are the places we should be looking, not in newspapers or television but at the margins, graffiti, uncontrolled utterances, bad dreamers who sleep in public and scream in their sleep.”

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7 OCT 19 :: China turns 70 #CCP100 #CPC100
Law & Politics

“Longing on a large scale makes history.” wrote Don DeLillo and these words streamed into my consciousness as I watched the celebrations in Tiananmen Square, which were marking the 70th anniversary of Chinese Communist Party rule.
Xi Jinping and the party were seeking to project national power and confidence on a grand scale. Nothing and nobody was going to rain on this parade.

The pomp and pageantry included a parade that involved 15,000 soldiers and sailors, 160 planes, 580 tanks and other weaponry including what 

Hu Xijin [President Xi’s trusted mouth-piece] described as ‘’This is the legendary DF41 ICBM. But it is not a tale. Today it is displayed at Tiananmen Square I touched one about four years ago in the production plant. No need to fear it. Just respect it and respect China that owns it’’.
”No force can stop the Chinese people and the Chinese nation forging ahead”, he said.
The President for Life was seeking to project a sense of inevitable forward motion and a fulfilment of the promise that Mao Zedong made on the founding of the People’s Re- public of China on October 1, 1949 that China would stand up.
They have “stood up.”

Xi’s model is one of technocratic authoritarianism and a recent addition to his book shelf include The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos. 

Xi is building an Algorithmic Society.
“Chinese Dream,” the catchphrase embodying the party’s aim to be- come a global power by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People Republic of China. In a way, this is also nothing new.
But Xi has taken the propagation of ideology and the cult of personality to extremes not seen since the days of Chairman Mao. 

 “Unity is iron and steel; unity is a source of strength,” 

“Complete reunification of the motherland is an inevitable trend..no one and no force can ever stop it!” he added.
I am sure Xi sees Hong Kong and Taiwan like a virus and he is looking to impose a quarantine just like he has imposed on Xinjiang. The Chinese Dream has become a nightmare at the boundaries of the Han Empire.
The World in the 21st century exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential characteristics and feedback loops which only become obvious in hind-sight.

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They now turn to rule over the people by means of what could be dubbed "big data totalitarianism" and "WeChat terror." @ChinaFile #COVID19 #CCP100 #CPC100
Law & Politics

You will all be no better than fields of garlic chives, giving yourselves up to being harvested by the blade of power, time and time again. @ChinaFile #COVID19
[ “garlic chives,” Allium tuberosum, often used as a metaphor to describe an endlessly renewable resource.]
What is thriving, however, is all that ridiculous ―Red Culture and the nauseating adulation that the system heaps on itself via shameless pro-Party hacks who chirrup hosannahs at every turn @ChinaFile #COVID19

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05-MAR-2018 :: China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang #CCP100 #CPC100
Law & Politics

China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang where a combination of data from video surveillance, face and license plate recognition, mobile device locations, and official records to identify targets for detention. 

Xinjiang is surely a precursor for how the CCP will manage dissent. The actions in Xinjiang are part of the regional authorities’ ongoing “strike-hard” campaign, and of Xi’s “stability maintenance” and “enduring peace” drive in the region. 

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Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 29 June 2021 @WHO

The global number of new cases over the past week (21-27 June 2021) was over 2.6 million, a similar number compared to the previous week (Figure 1).

The number of weekly deaths continued to decrease, with more than 57 000 deaths reported in the past week, a 10% decrease as compared to the previous week. 

This is the lowest weekly mortality figure since those recorded in early November 2020. 

Globally, COVID-19 incidence remains very high with an average of over 370 000 cases reported each day over the past week. 

This week, the African region recorded a sharp increase in incidence (33%) and mortality (42%) when compared to the previous week (Table 1). 

The Eastern Mediterranean and European Regions also reported increases in the number of weekly cases. 

All Regions, with the exception of the African Region, reported a decline in the number of deaths in the past week.
The highest numbers of new cases were reported from 

Brazil (521 298 new cases; 3% increase)

India (351 218 new cases; 12% increase)

Colombia (204 132 new cases; 5% increase)

Russian Federation (134 465 new cases; 24% increase)

Argentina (131 824 new cases; 11% decrease). 

Over the past week, the highest numbers of new cases per 100 000 population were reported from Seychelles (708 new cases per 100 000 pop), Namibia (509 new cases per 100 000 pop) and Mongolia (491 new cases per 100 000 pop).


This week past we snapped a Trend of 7 declining weeks 

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''it would be dangerous to assume that SARS-CoV-2 can’t do much better, Katzourakis says.

“Anything that’s happened at least twice in evolution is part of a pattern,” he says. “I would be very unsurprised if we saw equivalent changes over the coming year or two.”

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This is the R values by variant calculated from a Poisson GAM fit to case data & multinomial fit to COG-UK lineage frequencies (using a generation time of 4.7 days). @TWenseleers

This is the R values by variant calculated from a Poisson GAM fit to case data & multinomial fit to COG-UK lineage frequencies (using a generation time of 4.7 days). Last flat bit is extrapolated so prob wrong. Plus Re plot for regions in England based on Sanger Inst data.

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01-MAR-2020 :: The Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19

What is clear is that the #COVID19 was bio-engineered The Science [and I am not a Scientist is irrefutable and in the public domain  for those with a modicum of intellectual interest. 

This information is being deliberately suppressed.

This took me to Thomas Pynchon

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.”

“There's always more to it. This is what history consists of. It is the sum total of the things they aren't telling us.”

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04-JAN-2021 :: What Will Happen In 2021
Law & Politics

Today only the Paid for Propagandists and Virologists and WHO will argue that there is a ''zoonotic'' origin for COVID19. 

It is remarkable that the Propaganda is still being propagated more than a year later. 

Those who have chosen to propagate this narrative are above the radar and in plain sight and need to be called to account. 

The Utter Failure to call these 5th columnists to Account is the clearest Signal that there is no external threat because it is already on the inside.

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Illusions of empire: Amartya Sen @AmartyaSen_Econ on what British rule really did for India @guardian @gdnlongread, H/T @CelestinMonga
Law & Politics

The British empire in India was in effect established at the Battle of Plassey on 23 June 1757. The battle was swift, beginning at dawn and ending close to sunset. 

It was a normal monsoon day, with occasional rain in the mango groves at the town of Plassey, which is between Calcutta, where the British were based, and Murshidabad, the capital of the kingdom of Bengal. 

It was in those mango groves that the British forces faced the Nawab Siraj-ud-Doula’s army and convincingly defeated it.
British rule ended nearly 200 years later with Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous speech on India’s “tryst with destiny” at midnight on 14 August 1947. 

Two hundred years is a long time. What did the British achieve in India, and what did they fail to accomplish?

During my days as a student at a progressive school in West Bengal in the 1940s, these questions came into our discussion constantly. 

They remain important even today, not least because the British empire is often invoked in discussions about successful global governance. 

It has also been invoked to try to persuade the US to acknowledge its role as the pre-eminent imperial power in the world today: 

“Should the United States seek to shed – or to shoulder – the imperial load it has inherited?” the historian Niall Ferguson has asked

It is certainly an interesting question, and Ferguson is right to argue that it cannot be answered without an understanding of how the British empire rose and fell – and what it managed to do.

Arguing about all this at Santiniketan school, which had been established by Rabindranath Tagore some decades earlier, we were bothered by a difficult methodological question. 

How could we think about what India would have been like in the 1940s had British rule not occurred at all?

The frequent temptation to compare India in 1757 (when British rule was beginning) with India in 1947 (when the British were leaving) would tell us very little, because in the absence of British rule, India would of course not have remained the same as it was at the time of Plassey. 

The country would not have stood still had the British conquest not occurred. But how do we answer the question about what difference was made by British rule?

To illustrate the relevance of such an “alternative history”, we may consider another case – one with a potential imperial conquest that did not in fact occur. 

Let’s think about Commodore Matthew Perry of the US navy, who steamed into the bay of Edo in Japan in 1853 with four warships. 

Now consider the possibility that Perry was not merely making a show of American strength (as was in fact the case), but was instead the advance guard of an American conquest of Japan, establishing a new American empire in the land of the rising sun, rather as Robert Clive did in India. 

If we were to assess the achievements of the supposed American rule of Japan through the simple device of comparing Japan before that imperial conquest in 1853 with Japan after the American domination ended, whenever that might be, 

and attribute all the differences to the effects of the American empire, we would miss all the contributions of the Meiji restoration from 1868 onwards, and of other globalising changes that were going on. 

Japan did not stand still; nor would India have done so.

While we can see what actually happened in Japan under Meiji rule, it is extremely hard to guess with any confidence what course the history of the Indian subcontinent would have taken had the British conquest not occurred. 

Would India have moved, like Japan, towards modernisation in an increasingly globalising world, or would it have remained resistant to change, like Afghanistan, or would it have hastened slowly, like Thailand?

These are impossibly difficult questions to answer. And yet, even without real alternative historical scenarios, there are some limited questions that can be answered, which may contribute to an intelligent understanding of the role that British rule played in India. 

We can ask: what were the challenges that India faced at the time of the British conquest, and what happened in those critical areas during the British rule?

There was surely a need for major changes in a rather chaotic and institutionally backward India. 

To recognise the need for change in India in the mid-18th century does not require us to ignore – as many Indian super-nationalists fear – the great achievements in India’s past, with its extraordinary history of accomplishments in philosophy, mathematics, literature, arts, architecture, music, medicine, linguistics and astronomy. 

India had also achieved considerable success in building a thriving economy with flourishing trade and commerce well before the colonial period – the economic wealth of India was amply acknowledged by British observers such as Adam Smith.

The fact is, nevertheless, that even with those achievements, in the mid-18th century India had in many ways fallen well behind what was being achieved in Europe. 

The exact nature and significance of this backwardness were frequent subjects of lively debates in the evenings at my school.

An insightful essay on India by Karl Marx particularly engaged the attention of some of us. 

Writing in 1853, Marx pointed to the constructive role of British rule in India, on the grounds that India needed some radical re-examination and self-scrutiny.

 And Britain did indeed serve as India’s primary western contact, particularly in the course of the 19th century. The importance of this influence would be hard to neglect. 

The indigenous globalised culture that was slowly emerging in India was deeply indebted not only to British writing, but also to books and articles in other – that is non-English – European languages that became known in India through the British.

Figures such as the Calcutta philosopher Ram Mohan Roy, born in 1772, were influenced not only by traditional knowledge of Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian texts, but also by the growing familiarity with English writings. 

After Roy, in Bengal itself there were also Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Madhusudan Dutta and several generations of Tagores and their followers who were re-examining the India they had inherited in the light of what they saw happening in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Their main – often their only – source of information were the books (usually in English) circulating in India, thanks to British rule. 

That intellectual influence, covering a wide range of European cultures, survives strongly today, even as the military, political and economic power of the British has declined dramatically.

I was persuaded that Marx was basically right in his diagnosis of the need for some radical change in India, as its old order was crumbling as a result of not having been a part of the intellectual and economic globalisation that the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution had initiated across the world (along with, alas, colonialism).

There was arguably, however, a serious flaw in Marx’s thesis, in particular in his implicit presumption that the British conquest was the only window on the modern world that could have opened for India. 

What India needed at the time was more constructive globalisation, but that is not the same thing as imperialism. The distinction is important. 

Throughout India’s long history, it persistently enjoyed exchanges of ideas as well as of commodities with the outside world. 

Traders, settlers and scholars moved between India and further east – China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and elsewhere – for a great many centuries, beginning more than 2,000 years ago. 

The far-reaching influence of this movement – especially on language, literature and architecture – can be seen plentifully even today. 

There were also huge global influences by means of India’s open-frontier attitude in welcoming fugitives from its early days.

Jewish immigration into India began right after the fall of Jerusalem in the first century and continued for many hundreds of years

Baghdadi Jews, such as the highly successful Sassoons, came in large numbers even as late as the 18th century. 

Christians started coming at least from the fourth century, and possibly much earlier

There are colourful legends about this, including one that tells us that the first person St Thomas the Apostle met after coming to India in the first century was a Jewish girl playing the flute on the Malabar coast

We loved that evocative – and undoubtedly apocryphal – anecdote in our classroom discussions, because it illustrated the multicultural roots of Indian traditions.

The Parsis started arriving from the early eighth century – as soon as persecution began in their Iranian homeland. 

Later in that century, the Armenians began to leave their footprints from Kerala to Bengal. 

Muslim Arab traders had a substantial presence on the west coast of India from around that time – well before the arrival of Muslim conquerors many centuries later, through the arid terrain in the north-west of the subcontinent. 

Persecuted Bahá’ís from Iran came only in the 19th century.

At the time of the Battle of Plassey, there were already businessmen, traders and other professionals from a number of different European nations well settled near the mouth of the Ganges. 

Being subjected to imperial rule is thus not the only way of making connections with, or learning things from, foreign countries. 

When the Meiji Restoration established a new reformist government in Japan in 1868 (which was not unrelated to the internal political impact of Commodore Perry’s show of force a decade earlier), the Japanese went straight to learning from the west without being subjected to imperialism. 

One of the achievements to which British imperial theorists tended to give a good deal of emphasis was the role of the British in producing a united India. 

In this analysis, India was a collection of fragmented kingdoms until British rule made a country out of these diverse regimes. 

It was argued that India was previously not one country at all, but a thoroughly divided land mass. It was the British empire, so the claim goes, that welded India into a nation. 

Winston Churchill even remarked that before the British came, there was no Indian nation. “India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the equator,” he once said.

If this is true, the empire clearly made an indirect contribution to the modernisation of India through its unifying role. 

However, is the grand claim about the big role of the Raj in bringing about a united India correct? 

Certainly, when Clive’s East India Company defeated the nawab of Bengal in 1757, there was no single power ruling over all of India. 

Yet it is a great leap from the proximate story of Britain imposing a single united regime on India (as did actually occur) to the huge claim that only the British could have created a united India out of a set of disparate states.

That way of looking at Indian history would go firmly against the reality of the large domestic empires that had characterised India throughout the millennia. 

The ambitious and energetic emperors from the third century BC did not accept that their regimes were complete until the bulk of what they took to be one country was united under their rule. 

There were major roles here for Ashoka Maurya, the Gupta emperors, Alauddin Khalji, the Mughals and others. 

Indian history shows a sequential alternation of large domestic empires with clusters of fragmented kingdoms. 

We should therefore not make the mistake of assuming that the fragmented governance of mid-18th century India was the state in which the country typically found itself throughout history, until the British helpfully came along to unite it.

Even though in history textbooks the British were often assumed to be the successors of the Mughals in India, it is important to note that the British did not in fact take on the Mughals when they were a force to be reckoned with. 

British rule began when the Mughals’ power had declined, though formally even the nawab of Bengal, whom the British defeated, was their subject. 

The nawab still swore allegiance to the Mughal emperor, without paying very much attention to his dictates. 

The imperial status of the Mughal authority over India continued to be widely acknowledged even though the powerful empire itself was missing.

When the so-called sepoy mutiny threatened the foundations of British India in 1857, the diverse anti-British forces participating in the joint rebellion could be aligned through their shared acceptance of the formal legitimacy of the Mughal emperor as the ruler of India. 

The emperor was, in fact, reluctant to lead the rebels, but this did not stop the rebels from declaring him the emperor of all India. 

The 82-year-old Mughal monarch, Bahadur Shah II, known as Zafar, was far more interested in reading and writing poetry than in fighting wars or ruling India. 

He could do little to help the 1,400 unarmed civilians of Delhi whom the British killed as the mutiny was brutally crushed and the city largely destroyed. 

The poet-emperor was banished to Burma, where he died.

As a child growing up in Burma in the 1930s, I was taken by my parents to see Zafar’s grave in Rangoon, which was close to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. 

The grave was not allowed to be anything more than an undistinguished stone slab covered with corrugated iron. 

I remember discussing with my father how the British rulers of India and Burma must evidently have been afraid of the evocative power of the remains of the last Mughal emperor. 

The inscription on the grave noted only that “Bahadur Shah was ex-King of Delhi” – no mention of “empire” in the commemoration! 

It was only much later, in the 1990s, that Zafar would be honoured with something closer to what could decently serve as the grave of the last Mughal emperor.

In the absence of the British Raj, the most likely successors to the Mughals would probably have been the newly emerging Hindu Maratha powers near Bombay, who periodically sacked the Mughal capital of Delhi and exercised their power to intervene across India. 

Already by 1742, the East India Company had built a huge “Maratha ditch” at the edge of Calcutta to slow down the lightning raids of the Maratha cavalry, which rode rapidly across 1,000 miles or more. 

But the Marathas were still quite far from putting together anything like the plan of an all-India empire.

The British, by contrast, were not satisfied until they were the dominant power across the bulk of the subcontinent, and in this they were not so much bringing a new vision of a united India from abroad as acting as the successor of previous domestic empires. 

British rule spread to the rest of the country from its imperial foundations in Calcutta, beginning almost immediately after Plassey. 

As the company’s power expanded across India, Calcutta became the capital of the newly emerging empire, a position it occupied from the mid-18th century until 1911 (when the capital was moved to Delhi)

It was from Calcutta that the conquest of other parts of India was planned and directed. 

The profits made by the East India Company from its economic operations in Bengal financed, to a great extent, the wars that the British waged across India in the period of their colonial expansion.

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Illusions of empire: Amartya Sen @AmartyaSen_Econ on what British rule really did for India @guardian @gdnlongread, H/T @CelestinMonga [continued]
Law & Politics

What has been called “the financial bleeding of Bengal” began very soon after Plassey. 

With the nawabs under their control, the company made big money not only from territorial revenues, but also from the unique privilege of duty-free trade in the rich Bengal economy – even without counting the so-called gifts that the Company regularly extracted from local merchants. 

Those who wish to be inspired by the glory of the British empire would do well to avoid reading Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, including his discussion of the abuse of state power by a “mercantile company which oppresses and domineers in the East Indies”. 

As the historian William Dalrymple has observed: 

“The economic figures speak for themselves. In 1600, when the East India Company was founded, Britain was generating 1.8% of the world’s GDP, while India was producing 22.5%. By the peak of the Raj, those figures had more or less been reversed: India was reduced from the world’s leading manufacturing nation to a symbol of famine and deprivation.”

While most of the loot from the financial bleeding accrued to British company officials in Bengal, there was widespread participation by the political and business leadership in Britain: nearly a quarter of the members of parliament in London owned stocks in the East India Company after Plassey. 

The commercial benefits from Britain’s Indian empire thus reached far into the British establishment.

The robber-ruler synthesis did eventually give way to what would eventually become classical colonialism, with the recognition of the need for law and order and a modicum of reasonable governance. 

But the early misuse of state power by the East India Company put the economy of Bengal under huge stress. 

What the cartographer John Thornton, in his famous chart of the region in 1703, had described as “the Rich Kingdom of Bengal” experienced a gigantic famine during 1769–70. 

Contemporary estimates suggested that about a third of the Bengal population died. This is almost certainly an overestimate. 

There was no doubt, however, that it was a huge catastrophe, with massive starvation and mortality – in a region that had seen no famine for a very long time.

This disaster had at least two significant effects. First, the inequity of early British rule in India became the subject of considerable political criticism in Britain itself. 

By the time Adam Smith roundly declared in The Wealth of Nations that the East India Company was “altogether unfit to govern its territorial possessions”, there were many British figures, such as Edmund Burke, making similar critiques. 

Second, the economic decline of Bengal did eventually ruin the company’s business as well, hurting British investors themselves, and giving the powers in London reason to change their business in India into more of a regular state-run operation.

By the late 18th century, the period of so-called “post-Plassey plunder”, with which British rule in India began, was giving way to the sort of colonial subjugation that would soon become the imperial standard, and with which the subcontinent would become more and more familiar in the following century and a half.

How successful was this long phase of classical imperialism in British India, which lasted from the late 18th century until independence in 1947? 

The British claimed a huge set of achievements, including democracy, the rule of law, railways, the joint stock company and cricket, but the gap between theory and practice – with the exception of cricket – remained wide throughout the history of imperial relations between the two countries. 

Putting the tally together in the years of pre-independence assessment, it was easy to see how far short the achievements were compared with the rhetoric of accomplishment.

Indeed, Rudyard Kipling caught the self-congratulatory note of the British imperial administrator admirably well in his famous poem on imperialism:

Take up the White Man’s burden –
The savage wars of peace –
Fill full the mouth of famine
And bid the sickness cease

Alas, neither the stopping of famines nor the remedying of ill health was part of the high-performance achievements of British rule in India. 

Nothing could lead us away from the fact that life expectancy at birth in India as the empire ended was abysmally low: 32 years, at most.

The abstemiousness of colonial rule in neglecting basic education reflects the view taken by the dominant administrators of the needs of the subject nation. 

There was a huge asymmetry between the ruler and the ruled. The British government became increasingly determined in the 19th century to achieve universal literacy for the native British population. 

In contrast, the literacy rates in India under the Raj were very low. When the empire ended, the adult literacy rate in India was barely 15%. 

The only regions in India with comparatively high literacy were the “native kingdoms” of Travancore and Cochin (formally outside the British empire), which, since independence, have constituted the bulk of the state of Kerala. 

These kingdoms, though dependent on the British administration for foreign policy and defence, had remained technically outside the empire and had considerable freedom in domestic policy, which they exercised in favour of more school education and public health care.

The 200 years of colonial rule were also a period of massive economic stagnation, with hardly any advance at all in real GNP per capita. 

These grim facts were much aired after independence in the newly liberated media, whose rich culture was in part – it must be acknowledged – an inheritance from British civil society. 

Even though the Indian media was very often muzzled during the Raj – mostly to prohibit criticism of imperial rule, for example at the time of the Bengal famine of 1943 – the tradition of a free press, carefully cultivated in Britain, provided a good model for India to follow as the country achieved independence.

Indeed, India received many constructive things from Britain that did not – could not – come into their own until after independence. 

Literature in the Indian languages took some inspiration and borrowed genres from English literature, including the flourishing tradition of writing in English. 

Under the Raj, there were restrictions on what could be published and propagated (even some of Tagore’s books were banned). 

These days the government of India has no such need, but alas – for altogether different reasons of domestic politics – the restrictions are sometimes no less intrusive than during the colonial rule.

Nothing is perhaps as important in this respect as the functioning of a multiparty democracy and a free press. 

But often enough these were not gifts that could be exercised under the British administration during imperial days. 

They became realisable only when the British left – they were the fruits of learning from Britain’s own experience, which India could use freely only after the period of empire had ended. 

Imperial rule tends to require some degree of tyranny: asymmetrical power is not usually associated with a free press or with a vote-counting democracy, since neither of them is compatible with the need to keep colonial subjects in check.

A similar scepticism is appropriate about the British claim that they had eliminated famine in dependent territories such as India. 

British governance of India began with the famine of 1769-70, and there were regular famines in India throughout the duration of British rule. 

The Raj also ended with the terrible famine of 1943. In contrast, there has been no famine in India since independence in 1947.

The irony again is that the institutions that ended famines in independent India – democracy and an independent media – came directly from Britain. 

The connection between these institutions and famine prevention is simple to understand. 

Famines are easy to prevent, since the distribution of a comparatively small amount of free food, or the offering of some public employment at comparatively modest wages (which gives the beneficiaries the ability to buy food), allows those threatened by famine the ability to escape extreme hunger. 

So any government should be able stop a threatening famine – large or small – and it is very much in the interest of a government in a functioning democracy, facing a free press, to do so

A free press makes the facts of a developing famine known to all, and a democratic vote makes it hard to win elections during – or after – a famine, hence giving a government the additional incentive to tackle the issue without delay.

India did not have this freedom from famine for as long as its people were without their democratic rights, even though it was being ruled by the foremost democracy in the world, with a famously free press in the metropolis – but not in the colonies. 

These freedom-oriented institutions were for the rulers but not for the imperial subjects.

In the powerful indictment of British rule in India that Tagore presented in 1941, he argued that India had gained a great deal from its association with Britain, for example, from “discussions centred upon Shakespeare’s drama and Byron’s poetry and above all … the large-hearted liberalism of 19th-century English politics”. 

The tragedy, he said, came from the fact that what “was truly best in their own civilisation, the upholding of dignity of human relationships, has no place in the British administration of this country”

Indeed, the British could not have allowed Indian subjects to avail themselves of these freedoms without threatening the empire itself.

The distinction between the role of Britain and that of British imperialism could not have been clearer. As the union jack was being lowered across India, it was a distinction of which we were profoundly aware.

Adapted from Home in the World: A Memoir by Amartya Sen, published by Allen Lane on 8 July and available at guardianbookshop.com

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09-MAY-2021 :: Benito Modi whose hyper incompetence even the Die Hard BJP ''Deadenders'' are finding it impossible to defend
Law & Politics

Benito Modi whose hyper incompetence even the Die Hard BJP ''Deadenders'' are finding it impossible to defend positively aided and abetted the “Kumbh Mela [which] may end up being the biggest super spreader event in the history of this pandemic.” Professor Ashish Jha

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1853
Dollar Index 92.485
Japan Yen 111.23
Swiss Franc 0.9259
Pound 1.3816
Aussie 0.7481
India Rupee 74.385
South Korea Won 1133.02
Brazil Real 4.9707
Egypt Pound 15.7008
South Africa Rand 14.27907

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China looks to East Africa for second Indian Ocean foothold @NikkeiAsia @kenmoriyasu

News that Tanzania will revive a $10 billion port project in the town of Bagamoyo has ignited speculation that China, the project's main investor, is looking to establish an additional dual-use foothold on the East African coast, a move that would greatly enhance Beijing's strategic aims in the region.
The main purpose of Bagamoyo Port would be to ease the congestion at the country's main port, Dar es Salaam, located 75 km to its south. 

Bagamoyo could also become a maritime gateway for neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, "the world's greatest untapped non-oceanic/polar minerals gold mine," according to Lauren Johnston, a visiting senior lecturer of the School of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Adelaide.
But the port could be tapped for purposes that go beyond purely commercial endeavors. It may also be used as a ship repair hub for China's People's Liberation Army Navy, or perhaps even more. 

China established its first and only overseas military base in northern Africa's Djibouti in 2017.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced on Saturday that Tanzania would restart the port project, which had been halted on concerns that Chinese demands about usage of the facility were too onerous.
Indian Ocean expert Darshana Baruah @darshanabaruah, an associate fellow with the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says East Africa offers China an easier entry point to the Indian Ocean than other locations closer to the Strait of Malacca.

"China has been looking at the Indian Ocean in a more cohesive manner than I think most other nations have been doing," Baruah said. 

"Any kind of an effort to build a facility or a port in the eastern Indian Ocean, whether it is Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Maldives or Pakistan, I think would have more of a reaction, or a pushback, than I think in Africa. Many nations forget to connect it, but Africa is still a part of the Indian Ocean region."

Baruah said that a second naval base in the Indian Ocean, following Djibouti, would help with China's "Malacca Dilemma" -- a phrase former President Hu Jintao used to describe the Asian country's dependence on the world's busiest chokepoint.  
"Even if something were to happen within the Malacca Strait, if they would have two bases or more facilities in the Indian Ocean, they can still continue their operations in the Indian Ocean region," Baruah said.
"I'm not talking about a war," Baruah said. "I'm talking about limited conflicts or competition. Even with the Strait of Malacca interrupted, from a grand strategy point of view, they could sustain their operations in the Indian Ocean region without necessarily having to make frequent calls back home."

While Beijing's main maritime focus is in the South and East China seas, it has poured time and effort into building relationships in the Indian Ocean. 

China has diplomatic missions in all six of the island nations in the region, namely Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros. Washington has three -- in Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Madagascar -- with plans in place for a fourth in the Maldives.
"No other Indian Ocean player -- India, France or the United Kingdom -- has a presence in all six island nations," Baruah noted.
Securing a foothold in East Africa would also allow China to prepare for contingencies such as the blockage of the Suez Canal, as was seen earlier this year. 

The Ever Given, the 400-meter-long container vessel, blocked one of the world's busiest waterways for almost a week.
"If anything were to happen in the Suez Canal, then the Mozambique Channel will quickly again become the alternate route, which was originally the key trading route," Baruah said.
The 400-km-wide waterway between Madagascar and Mozambique is an important route for shipping in eastern Africa. 

University of Adelaide's Johnston said that for Beijing, Tanzania was "much more trustworthy than Mozambique and Kenya, both of which are more likely to be security partners of the West." 

But Tanzania's independent-minded tradition could stand in the way of China's ambition to use Bagamoyo as a dual-use port. 

"It's not their style," she said. "They are neutral-minded, and they are trusted by Africans for that. Housing a Chinese security port or base would undermine what Tanzania is."
When Tanzania's Hassan announced that she would revive the Bagamoyo project, she said, "We are going to start talks with the investors that came for the project with the aim of opening it for the benefit of our nation."
At an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday, Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of the U.S. Africa Command, warned African countries to be clear-eyed about engaging with China.
"These countries ought to just go into these relationships with their eyes wide open. I think that it's possible to do business with China, but you better be on your game and have your eyes and ears open," he said.

 "China is bringing a lot of investment to the continent, and I would just urge our African partners: try to take advantage of that without getting taken advantage of."

At the same event, Vice Adm. Herve Blejean, director-general of the European Union military staff, warned of China's so-called debt-trap diplomacy. 

"China is tailoring its support to each country, answering immediately their expressed needs, but by doing that also trapping them in their net and establishing bonds for life that they would be unable to pay back."

There is a possibility that the world wakes up one day to find that "most of the resources of Africa, legally, belong to China," he said. "That should be a real concern."
Carnegie's Baruah predicts that bigger players in the Indo-Pacific will be competing to win the hearts and minds of small nations in the region. In that battle, geography will play a major factor.
"One example was during the outbreak of COVID-19, when a lot of countries were undertaking evacuation missions, bringing citizens back from Wuhan," Baruah said. 

"Indians were the ones who also brought back students for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and others. China sent an aircraft to Maldives to bring back their citizens but they did not offer those aircrafts to send South Asian citizens who were in China."
She praised India for actions during the pandemic "to show its presence, its investments and its friendship across the Indian Ocean region."

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6 AUG 18 :: The Indian Ocean Economy and a Port Race

The Indian Ocean Economy preceded the Atlantic Ocean Economy, where the Europeans only learnt how to ‘’crack the code’’ of the Atlantic winds [and a new ‘Western’ culture arose on both sides of the ocean] long after the Indian Ocean.

Professor Felipe Fernández-Armesto explains ‘’The precocity long-range navigation and cultural exchange is one of the glaring facts of history’’, made possible by the ‘’reversible escalator’’ of the monsoons. 
As we scan the Blue Economy it is worth appreciating that Maritime shipping is the lifeblood of Africa, with over 90% of the continent’s imports and exports transported by sea.
Today from Massawa, Eritrea [admittedly on the Red Sea] to Djibouti, from Berbera to Mogadishu, from Lamu to Mombasa to Tanga to Bagamoyo to Dar Es Salaam, through Beira and Maputo all the way to Durban and all points in between we are witnessing a Port race of sorts as everyone seeks to get a piece of the Indian Ocean Port action.
China [The BRI initiative], the Gulf Countries [who now appear to see the Horn of Africa as their hinterland], Japan and India [to a lesser degree] are all jostling for optimal ‘’geo-economic’’ positioning.
Overlay the Geopolitics and its worth noting that the Geopolitics has become much more fluid. 

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19-NOV-2018 :: The Blue Economy

Firstly, we need to define ''The Blue Economy'' 

The blue economy has ''diverse components, including established traditional ocean industries such as fisheries, tourism, and maritime transport, but also new and emerging activities, such as offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, seabed extractive activities, and marine biotechnology and bioprospecting''

Its always difficult to put a Dollar value on the environment but two years ago, economists put a dollar value on what our oceans are worth and came up with $24 trillion. If it were a country, the sea would be the seventh-largest economy on the planet.
More than half of the countries in the African continent are coastal and island states. Africa has a coastline of over 47,000 km and 13 million km2 of collective exclusive economic zones (EEZs). Yet, very little of the potential of the blue economy is actually exploited. 

It is estimated that Africa’s coastline currently hosts a maritime industry worth $1 trillion per year, but could potentially be worth almost three times that in just two years’ time. It is estimated that Africa is losing US 1.3 billion dollars every year. 

For the more than one-quarter of Africa’s population that lives within 100 km of the coast and derive their livelihoods there, climate change, rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification and rising sea levels, all present further challenges. 

Fast-growing African cities are at 'extreme risk' from climate change said Verisk Maplecroft last week.

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19-APR-2020 :: The End of Vanity

To quote a Chinese saying, "The ocean is vast because it rejects no rivers."

"The red rising sun will light up the road ahead." 

I am confident that the baton of China-Africa friendship will be passed from one generation to the next and that China and Africa, working together, will build an even more vibrant community with a shared future. 

China's Xi says funds for Africa not for 'vanity projects' Reuters #FOCAC2018

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2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit: Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the opening ceremony

In addition, for those of Africa’s least developed countries, heavily indebted and poor countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries that have diplomatic relations with China,
the debt they have incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due to mature by the end of 2018 will be exempted.

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Turning to Africa

We are getting closer and closer to the Virilian Tipping Point

“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street''

Political leadership in most cases completely gerontocratic will use violence to cling onto Power but any Early Warning System would be warning a Tsunami is coming

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10 NOV 14 : African youth demographic {many characterise this as a 'demographic dividend"} - which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic terminator

Martin Aglo, a law student from Benin, told Reuters: “After the Arab Spring, this is the Black Spring”.We need to ask ourselves; how many people can incumbent shoot stone cold dead in such a situation – 100, 1,000, 10,000?

This is another point: there is a threshold beyond which the incumbent can’t go. Where that threshold lies will be discovered in the throes of the event.

The Event is no longer over the Horizon.

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November 8, 2020 .@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

Ethiopia which was once the Poster child of the African Renaissance now has a Nobel Prize Winner whom I am reliably informed

PM Abiy His inner war cabinet includes Evangelicals who are counseling him he is "doing Christ's work"; that his faith is being "tested". @RAbdiAnalyst

@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

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Ethiopian army pulled out of the Tigray regional capital of Mekelle because it was no longer a "centre of gravity for conflicts", Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said,

Abiy confirmed the withdrawal from Mekelle.

"When we entered Mekelle seven or eight months ago, it was because it was the centre of gravity for conflicts," he told state media on Tuesday in a video posted on his website on Wednesday.
"It was centre of a government. A centre for known and unknown resources. But by the time we exit, there is nothing special about it except that there are some 80,000 people and those who loot people ... It has lost its centre of gravity in the current context."

On Tuesday, Getachew dismissed the ceasefire as a "joke", saying the TPLF would force its enemies "out of our territory". He was not reachable for comment on Wednesday.

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WHO regional overviews - Epidemiological week 21-27 June 2021 African Region @WHO

Many countries in the African region continue to see increases in weekly case incidence and mortality. 

The Region reported over 177 000 new cases and over 2700 new deaths, a 34% and a 42% increase respectively compared to the previous week. 

The weekly number of COVID-19 cases has been increasing sharply since 15 May. Since then, 76% of cases and 72% of reported deaths in the Region where from countries in Southern Africa.
Aside from South Africa (103 697 new cases; 174.8 new cases per 100 000 population; a 47% increase), 

the highest numbers of new cases in the Region were reported from 

Zambia (19 058 new cases; 103.7 new cases per 100 000; a 15% increase)

Namibia (12 944 new cases; 509.4 new cases per 100 000; a 71% increase) 

Mortality in the African Region continued to increase sharply with the countries reporting the highest numbers of new deaths per 100 000 population over the past week being 

Namibia (11 new deaths per 100 000) 

Botswana (7 deaths per 100 000)

Zambia (20 new deaths per 100 000)

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Egypt's first private sector minimum wage - is around $150 - which is roughly a quarter of the level in central Europe. @RencapMan

When foreign direct investors are looking at cheap countries to produce and export to Europe (& the domestic >100m population), #Egypt is a plausible candidate

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TPS Eastern Africa, the owner of Serena Hotels plans to issue 200 million new ordinary shares through a rights issue @tradingroomke
Kenyan Economy

investors passed the resolution to increase the authorized share capital from the current KSh200 million to Kes 400 million through the creation of an additional 200 million ordinary shares with a par value of KSh1.00 each. 

The new ordinary shares will “rank pari passu in all respects with the existing ordinary shares of the company,” said the company.
Serena Hotels, the leading hotel chain in East Africa, posted a Kes 1.2 billion net loss for the period that ended on 31st December 2020, the biggest annual loss in the company’s history. 

The hotel chain said that although the business environment remains highly unpredictable, it expects business to pick up in the third and fourth quarter of 2021.

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TPS @serenahotels share price data
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services

Closing Price:           14.00
Total Shares Issued:          182174108.00
Market Capitalization:        2,550,437,512
EPS:             -6.32
PE:                 -2.215

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Monday, June 11, 2012 The Serena @SerenaHotels
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services

MY memories of the Serena start in Mombasa years back when the managing director Mahmoud Jan Mohamed was the manager.
I was then a teenager and remember losing my heart to a girl, who would beat me at table tennis, in a bikini. That table tennis Table is still there.
The Serena brand has always been sprinkled with a fairy dust and reminds me of happy joyful carefree halcyon days of youth.

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Williamson Tea Kenya Ltd. reports FY 2021 Loss after Tax 146.138m Earnings here
N.S.E Equities - Agricultural

Par Value:                  5/-
Closing Price:           145.75
Total Shares Issued:          17512640.00
Market Capitalization:        2,552,467,280
EPS:               -8.31

Williamson Tea reports FY Earnings ended 31st March 2021 versus through 31st Marc 2020

FY Revenue Continuing Operations 3.743037b versus 3.036905b

FY Loss from Operations before Tax [163.199m] versus [20.650m]

FY Increase in Fair Value of Biological Assets 74.764m versus 62.552m

FY Net Finance Income 18.372m versus 60.291m

FY [Loss] Profit before Taxation [67.269m] versus 116.994m

FY Tax [charge]/credit [65.114m] versus 30.386m

FY [Loss] Profit for the Year from continuing operations [132.383m] versus 147.380m

FY [loss] from discontinued operations [13.755m] versus [10.178m]

FY [Loss] Profit for the Year [146.138m] versus 137.202m

FY EPS [8.31] versus 7.59

FY Dividend 10 shillings a share 

Cash and cash Equivalents at end of Year 756.225m versus 562.683m 

*FY 2020 restated on the classification of Williamson Power Limited as a discontinued operation


oversupply of kenya tea, insufficient demand for the over-supply

anxiety over the impact of the yet to be ratified Tea Act 2020

a complete change in how the majority of our Tea is sold from direct sales to establishing a reputation in an auction market we previously did not have a presence in

The audited financial statements and our report thereon
We expressed an unmodified audit opinion on the audited financial statements in our report dated 29 June 2021. 

That report also includes the communication of a key audit matter related to the valuation and measurement of biological assets. 

Key audit matters are those matters that, in our professional judgement, were of most significance in our audit of the financial statements of the current period.


Clearly an oversupplied market for this reporting Period.

The Balance Sheet is cash rich and hence the Dividend which produces a yield of 6.86%

noteworthy uncertainty around Tea Act 2020

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Kapchorua Tea Company Ltd.reports FY PAT 7.065m Earnings here
N.S.E Equities - Agricultural

Par Value:                  5/-
Closing Price:           85.00
Total Shares Issued:          7824000.00
Market Capitalization:        665,040,000
EPS:              0.90
PE:                 94.444

Kapchorua Tea reports FY Earnings through 31st March 2021 versus 12 months through 31st March 2020

FY Revenue 1.445640b versus 1.134302b

FY Loss from Operations before Tax [10.758m] versus [41.065m]

FY Increase in Fair value of biological Assets 21.030m versus 21.801m

FY Net Finance Income 23.842m versus 30.588m

FY Profit before Taxation 34.114m versus 11.324m

FY Tax [charge]/ credit [27.049m] versus 8.113m

FY Profit for the Year 7.065m versus 19.437m

FY Total other comprehensive income 130.545m versus 17.980m

FY Total comprehensive Income 137.610m versus 37.417m

FY EPS 0.90 versus 2.48 

FY Cash and Cash Equivalents 458.161m versus 352.800m 

FY Dividend 10 shillings a share 


The global Covid -19 pandemic,weakening economies ,an over-supply of Kenya tea coinciding with weak demand from certain areas all contributed to a difficult year.
The over-supply of Kenya tea resulted in very depressed prices throughout the year. 

It is however pleasing to record that Kapchorua out performed market expectations and achieved success,often outselling competitors and reaching new markets.

The future looks very difficult, with major buyers in and out of the market and with availability of tea remaining very high quantities may be purchased at leisure.

The audited financial statements and our report thereon
We expressed an unmodified audit opinion on the audited financial statements in our report dated 29 June 2021. 

That report also includes the communication of a key audit matter related to valuation and measurement of biological assets. 

Key audit matters are those matters that, in our professional judgement, were of most significance in our audit of the Company financial statements of the current period.


Dividend Yield is 11.76% 

Interesting comparison with Williamson 

''It is however pleasing to record that Kapchorua out performed market expectations and achieved success,often outselling competitors and reaching new markets.''

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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July 2021

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