• ‘The First Amendment is a very qualified right.’ - Schreli





  • “Prime minister Modi's effort to dismantle India's democracy and install a racist Hindu ethnocracy in its place.” - Chompsky, on the head of the opposition party in India being thrown in jail.

  • "India will not be the next China ... It will be bigger"

    ... title of a vlog I saw.

    What were the preexisting weaknesses of China that it inevitably had to face? versus those of India?

  • Idiocy reversed?

  • $92b market for inexpensive ($150 usd) cell phones.


  • Any direct transactions will trigger Western sanctions. This is being called a 'hack' so India's biggest cement maker can buy from Russia. 157k tonnes worth $25m (172m yuan). The sale was arranged from Dubai, reportedly. The mechanism isn't known.

    Coal is the main fuel to manufacture cement.

    13% of Russian reserves are already in yuan. Indian companies must be trading USD for yuan in a Chinese bank in China or HK. There are no sanctions if you don't use USD.

    Yuan to Ruble trade has increased 1000% since the invasion of Ukraine.


  • Expanding the tax base. Sector is highly unregulated.


  • WTO requires unanimous support from members to pass deals, but in the current global climate it doesn't seem to be able to pass anything

    Most recently, India was the sole opposition to a fishing restrictions bill. India pointed to Europe buying of gas from Russia and Biden visiting SA, and how those are justified as 'national interest.'

    Recently, India and S Africa wanted vaccine formulas but were denied. Only a couple countries supported them in the WTO.

  • Will Russia continue to be a reliable supplier of arms to India, as Russia becomes involved with China?

    "A weakened Russia, with a degraded military industrial structure, is not going to be the major reliable, efficient partner we were counting on before the war." Indian congressman

    India is considering closer alliance with the US but is not impressed with the US's history of alliances (it hasn't always fared very well for the US's alliance partners, some say).

    Some say India is coming to resemble China and Russia more than it resembles Western democracies.

    2 months before the Ukraine invasion Putin visited India on a rare trip abroad.

    In 1971 both India and the Soviets were concerned about China and made a strong pact. Russia became India's #1 arms supplier (against China, India's longstanding adversary).

    Recently, the US threatened to sanction India for an arms purchase of high-tech Russia weapons.

    However, India buying arms from Russia seems to have been declining anyway over the past 10 years. India buys more now from US, Israel, France and other countries.

    Russia has historically voted against and even vetoed UN movements in support of India, particularly in India's sensitive issues like Kashmir.

  • India will be selling wheat to Egypt, it looks like

    ... instead of Russia and Ukraine, which formerly accounted for 80% of Egypt's wheat imports. They have a shortage, and have been importing from France, Romania, USA, and others. Prices have risen from $380 to $500 per ton.

    Egypt is the largest or second largest importer (12 of its 21m tonnes per year consumption) of wheat. India is one of the largest producers, and while it hasn't been big in exporting it, it seems India is willing to do so, although it seems unlikely India would be willing to produce and export THAT much. Right now India produces 110m tonnes and consumes 105m.

    They're meeting this week in Dubai. One thing they're doing (some Egyptian experts) is some tests to see what the quality of Indian wheat is, and how adequate it is for the Egyptian market. They found it is good enough, but commercial discussions which will come later will decide how much and at what price.

    Wheat is a strategic commodity, and every country has its own standards for wheat. Because it is strategic, Egypt is really considering whether to add India to its list of strategic importers of the food.

    Because Egypt is an important of wheat, so it can affect international prices of wheat. Not only a price taker but a price setter. That gives them the ability to have communications with several countries that export wheat, and to have some input on that trade of wheat on an international level. Exporters must respond differently when a big importer such as Egypt enters the market, compared with a smaller importer. (Big exporters also are price setters.)

  • "Globalization, which historically was viewed as a barrier to conflict due to the interdependent nature of global trade, has now become a new battleground." - Patrick Boyle

    China recently stated that the US's use of weaponization of global finance (sanctions on Russia [after doing it to Iran's central bank a few years ago]) would be the downfall of it's status as world reserve currency. Ie integrity.

    China has a version of Swift, and India is considering (so far just considering) doing a Ruble-Rupee exchange or working in barter.

    Most of the West is on side, sanctioning Russia, and that makes up the bulk of currency action, but there are still 100 countries or something that are not sanctioning Russia. Brazil is another country that might help Russia work around the sanctions. Boyle said the use of sanctions in the way the US is doing will have many countries wondering if they can still trust the US.


  • Delhi air pollution very high, and the city commands some work from home

    Schools go back online, construction work banned, government offices go remote.

    The air is toxic there most of the year (air quality around 500), and when temps dip like now it's worse. Farm fires in neighboring states has increased recently.

  • India's coal

    Coal is 70% of India's energy mix (most mined domestically).

    India keeps adding lower and middle class energy consumers, who are buying goods like fans, lights, and TVs.

    Mines were flooded recently by monsoon rains.

    There is only a few days of coal stores. But it doesn't look like there will be a power outage.

    It's more a fear for businesses than homes.

    India has some solar, but solar outputs are reportedly declining.

  • India up in arms over film

    'Padmavati,' a Bollywood film based on poem about a probably fictional Hindu queen called ani Padmini, who chose to self immolate rather than submit to a Muslim king.

    No one has seen the film yet, but there are threats and bounties for violence against the director and actors, and lawsuits to ban the film in the Supreme Court.

    Among the things they take issue on (it is the Hindu's taking offense, not Muslims, despite the Muslim king being 'portrayed as barbaric') is the romance between the Hindu queen and Muslim king.

  • Unknown creators made a website to take photos from social media accounts of Muslim Indian women and hold 'fake auctions' over them.

    ... including vocal journalists, activists, artists and researchers.

    The website is titled after a derogatory term for Muslim Indian women.
  • Facebook temporarily blocked anti-Modi posts

    When people tried to post such posts, they received a message: "Keeping our community safe ... Posts with #ResignModi are temporarily hidden here. Some content in those posts goes against our Community Standards."

    Over 12,000 posts calling for the Indian PM's resignation were later reinstated, and Facebook said it was an error.

    Twitter also recently deleted some posts critical of the Indian government after that government issued them a legal request.

    #India #Facebook