RAJA – YouTube No. 4

Free Will under spirit guidance.

“Freedom!” This is the banner under which Raja Arasa Ratnam, an octogenarian, bicultural, Asian-Australian author, has contributed to civil society all through his life, while adapting successfully, as a coloured, initially-unwanted person to White Australia. The trigger for this pre-occupation was his father, an immigrant into British Malaya from colonial Ceylon.

Later, partly from what might possibly be a soul-memory, and partly from the vision of a clairvoyant, Raja feels that he had been a Muslim warrior, wielding a scimitar, in a recent past life. This clairvoyant had been able, a few years ago, to see and describe Raja’s spirit guide, when the latter had complained to her that Raja had not been listening to him.

Each time he faced overt discrimination, Raja had to combat an instinctive twitch in his right hand – his need for a scimitar! His lesson in this life, he says, is therefore to work for, not fight for, justice. Since he is becoming increasingly intuitive, he wonders whether he has progressed from the throat chakra to the third-eye chakra.

Apart from a happy boyhood, which ended with the arrival of the Japanese military (and the associated semi-starvation), Raja has experienced a life of great turbulence. Yet, like the stability which prevails at the core of chaos, there has been a steady path of progress at all levels in his life.

Significantly, temporary stability had been provided, when needed, by much-valued individuals, who had each been dropped into his life and then been taken out, in a painfully clear sequence. Support, followed by emotional separation, seemed inevitable. Each hiatus, however, enabled further learning, he says.

He now accepts that it is on-going learning which defines his life. He has a need, not just for knowledge, but for understanding. Unexpected and unwanted change will, of course, be emotionally disruptive. This then feeds his search for increasing mental and spiritual peace. Raja now feels that he has finally achieved that peace.

What is abundantly clear to Raja is that he has been on a guided trajectory all his life, with pain and pleasure, or stability and disruption, being 2 sides of the same coin. His motto is to accept whatever happens, and move on – until his wings arrive!

He hopes that his books (refer amazon kindle) will provide both historical perspective and a societal beacon for the future; and that his articles and blog (all on the Internet) continue to stimulate thought on a wide range of topics.

RAJA – YouTube No. 3

Rear-vision mirror observations

The indomitable octogenarian author Raja Arasa Ratnam has more to tell us. He had published 3 books to meet his obligation to his spirit uncle and to the higher beings who had sent his uncle to counsel him about his spiritual progress.

To those who keep telling him what Jesus had allegedly said about dealing with spirits, his response is this. No sensible person can deny a real experience. And one should not assume that spirits – who are only former human beings – are evil. Cross the road with due care, he advises!

Having passed his use-by date, he wrote 2 books which he describes as rear-vision mirror observations. The first is a memoir. The other represents his conclusions about his country of adoption – or was it exile?

This memoir, ‘The Dance of Destiny,’ covers the life of his extended family, immigrants from Ceylon, in British Malaya; then life under a Japanese military occupation; and, most interestingly, life in colonial Singapore with his Anglo-Australian wife. The rare opportunity for the Indian community to socialise with a European woman enabled Raja and wife to enjoy a rich social life, and to acquire a couple of close friends.

The rest of the book covers his life as a settler in Australia. Step by step, he recounts his prodigious efforts to find a career. He qualified as a psychologist, and then as an economist, by studying at night, with minimum sleep. His first wife left him, as foretold by a number of palmists. His second marriage was a success, with 2 offspring in financial security.

When that marriage finally broke up, he realised where the trajectory of his personal destiny was heading. So, he included in his memoir his understanding of how one crafts one’s destiny through reincarnation.  The book ends on a high spiritual note. He now realises that, throughout his life, he had been paddling steadily in his frail sampan as his river of destiny had taken him where it had to.

Drawing upon his experiences, he then wrote ‘Musings at Death’s Door.’ It is a hard-hitting but fair assessment of Australian society, from the perspective of a bicultural Asian-Australian. When a senior academic said ‘There is wisdom here,’ he had it published.

The book covers religion and the Cosmos, the hegemonic US empire, national identity, racism and tribalism (Raja has suffered from both), the folly of multiculturalism policy which erroneously stressed the retention of imported cultures, the myth of Western democracy, the breakdown of family and its consequences for society, and so on.

In articles published elsewhere, Raja warns against those new immigrant arrivals who want Australia to change to suit what he refers to as a desert culture. It is the immigrant who has to adapt, he insists.

This octogenarian author is indeed fearless. He tells it as he sees it.

RAJA – YouTube No. 2

Awaiting the Family of Man while seeking the Divine

I present again octogenarian author Raja Arasa Ratnam. “You are a practical sociologist” said a senior academic after reviewing Raja’s first book ‘Destiny Will Out’ for Monash University’s Journal, ‘People & Place.’ This book set out the early bicultural shocks detonated by the arrival of a number of well-educated, English-speaking, confident young Asians into White Australia. Coloured people were then not permitted to migrate into Australia.

The prejudice and discrimination displayed was one-sided, and widespread. The Asian youth, according to Raja, were comfortable in their knowledge that they represented durable ancient civilisations. The oldest Australians had to die, he said, before the display of an imagined white superiority subsided.

Since this book was both a memoir reflecting his on-arrival observations, and a record of the government’s successful policies in assisting the great intake of post-war European immigrants to settle, it received tremendous reviews, especially from academics.

This led Raja to write ‘The Karma of Culture.’ 3 senior academics provided pre-publication endorsements, as Raja presented relevant settlement issues as both an outsider and an insider. Raja has his head in Asia’s communal cultures while his feet are firmly planted in the individualism of the West. He is bicultural.

This book also highlighted Australia’s position on the fringe of Asia. Indeed, a reviewer had pointed out that Asian spiritualism had already found a foothold in Asia through yoga and Buddhism.

It is easy to forget that, when one’s memory bank is spilt, many interesting stored-away thoughts can fall out. So, Raja wrote ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity.’ It focused on how immigrant communities related to one another; and their search for the Divine, their paths to God. He presented the reality that, below the divisive dogma that may present religions as competitive, the core beliefs of the major religions are indeed shared.

This brought him a wonderful endorsement from the Religious Affairs Editor of ‘The Australian’ newspaper.

Another editor pointed out that Raja’s hope for the future is the evolution of the Family of Man. Great progress in this direction has been achieved in Australia through the successful integration of culturally diverse immigrants through official policies. Raja had an important role in this campaign. Young Asians also displayed their ability to blend into the Australian community.

Even before his retirement, he could see that Australia had changed – from a supremacist white society to a cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic multicultural people. He commends the host people for their adaptability. He also commends the teachers who guided students to realise that skin colour, accents, and countries of origin do not matter – that they are now Australians!

He points out that today’s youth, with visibly diverse origins, speak with the same accent, and display the same values!

RAJA – YouTube No. 1

Surviving to contribute: age no barrier

Who would not be interested in a 87-year old whose mind is as sharp as a tack, and who writes in an interesting and clear style? Yet, he began to write only after a significant psychic experience after retirement.

“You could contribute to building a bridge from where you came to where you are” suggested the spirit of his uncle just before he de-materialised. Earlier, the clairvoyant involved had told Raja, a bicultural Asian-Australian, that the spirit world had experienced difficulty in getting him to Australia. ‘Why me?’ was his plaintive thought, in the light of his difficult life, over 6 decades, in his country of adoption.

Raja knows a lot about migrant settlement, both from his settlement experiences and his work as a director of policy on ethnic affairs & multiculturalism, citizenship & national identity, as well as refugee & humanitarian entry.

His settlement experiences included a woman shouting at him in a public place. She said, “Why don’t you go back home, you black bastard?” He happens to be light tan in skin colour.

Although qualified as a psychologist, he was denied a job because he was ‘too black.’ When he then qualified as an economist, he was told that the Australian worker in the private sector ‘is not yet ready for a foreign executive.’ This was White Australia, after all.

It was the public sector which promoted him rapidly. Yet, he was somewhat dishonestly denied permanent promotion in the Senior Executive Service. He obtained proof of that 2 years later.

To compensate, he channelled his surplus energy into civil society, where he made a substantial contribution in his spare time. He was chairman of a school board, the national president of an organisation akin to Toastmasters, the founder of a public speaking competition for primary school students, and a recipient of a meritorious service award from his union for his work on merit protection.

He achieved all this while the wheels of his life-chances cart fell off from time to time; and he kept falling into holes which were not there. Obviously, he does not give up!

Between 69 and 84 he published 6 books; 2 memoirs, 2 on migrant settlement, 1 on Australian society, and 1 on fiction. 4 of his non-fiction books were recommended by the US Review of Books. All the books received favourable reviews. Quite an achievement!

He then wrote 44 thought-provoking articles for ezinearticles.com. He has now completed about 1,000 daily posts on his WordPress blog, rajarasablog.wordpress.com, titled ‘An octogenarian’s final thoughts’ : a mind-exploring smorgasbord!

This octogenarian author is Raja Arasa Ratnam. I commend him to you as a most unusual person who, in spite of his travails, claims to be at peace mentally and spiritually. “At my age, I should be”, he says. “My wings await me.”

The benefits and dis-benefits of colonialism

A few years ago, www.ezinearticles.com published the following article of mine – ‘The pros and cons of British colonialism’. It has attracted attention continuously ever since. At about 800 words in length, it is easy to read.

It is, of course, strange to have an anti-colonial, a former British subject, acknowledge any benefits to subject peoples from colonialism. I instanced the English language as a significant benefit. It is now an international language. My relatives, by blood and marriage, are now well-entrenched citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore – as part of the Ceylon Tamil diaspora.

Regrettably, some of us have lost our heritage – except in our minds. Some of us speak only English, have no knowledge of our distant origins as Dravidians, and have little appreciation of the literary wealth of our distant forbears, the Tamils of India. These are the ‘cons’ of modernisation, offsetting the ‘pros’ derived from mastery of the English language.

Looking at the level of education experienced by my Australian children and grandchildren, I came to realise how well educated I was by the colonial British. I received a broader and deeper education than did my descendants! That the British people at home are significantly more tolerant than many (most?) of our colonial rulers in British Malaya was proven by 2 of my sisters who acquired valuable qualifications in Britain after WW2. As a schoolboy, I remember my elders referring to the ‘upstarts’ who ruled us.

Other benefits were British law and Western democracy. Codified law, drawing upon precedents, does offer a clearer path from the past to the present. However, I believe that the adversarial system in courts, and which allows lawyers to obfuscate issues and ‘play games’ (I write from experience)  diminishes prospects for justice. Pros and cons in balance!

Then, there is that so-called democracy. Every adult has a vote. Our political representatives (federal, state, and local government) are, however, not accountable to voters, and certainly never consult us. I write from experience as a resident in Australia over 65 years as an adult. At federal and state levels, political parties rule openly, their main objective being to hold office.

Today, we seem to be governed by Vaticanites. How so? Compassion is suppressed by Papal Bull, for example. Western democracy is indubitably a con!

The pros and cons offered by the hegemonic empire of the USA, based on indirect controls, await judgement.

Post-colonialism: Expatriate advisers

When the Board of the Central Bank in a small recently-decolonised Asian nation sought input from an appropriate international agency about an appropriate policy for the future, it was to convince an inexperienced government. The government was more likely to accept a suggested plan from an expatriate authorised adviser than one developed from within the Bank.

I was told the following story by a friend from that nation. The international expert sat down with each of the ‘Young Turks’ (overseas-trained, fast-rising, young economists). Obtaining their ideas about an appropriate development plan, he packaged into his report to the Board a consolidated version. Everyone was happy. The expert went home with a fat cheque.

Believing that what a European can do could surely also be done by an Asian, one of the Young Turks took off to advise one of the African nations for 3 years. It was lucrative.

He was not the first from that nation to become an expatriate consultant – on expatriate European levels of remuneration – to advise an African nation. As another friend of mine from that nation wrote to me, from his post as an expatriate consultant, the Africans were paying ‘white man’ fees to black consultants.

By the 1960s, there were quite a few economists from that nation in one or more international agencies. Perhaps appointments to such agencies did not involve the intangible, sub-surface, and allegedly flexible processes which were said to apply in nations in the developing world. Personal contacts and relative influence seem to have been disproportionately prevalent in these nations.

However, could even the most sensible, pragmatic, development plans devised by expatriate consultants overcome the stranglehold by the neo-colonial nations over the economies of developing nations? Then, there is the competition provided in the international market-place by developed nations such as Australia establishing themselves as growers of rice, tea, coffee, and tropical fruits, and thus damaging the much-needed export markets of the under-developed nations all over the world. As well, there is the confluence of the greed of some national leaders and the rapacity of the neo-colonial nations.

Add to that the foreign loans which have to be repaid; and the private charity monies which are reportedly deflected into non-development accounts in the receiving nation. In the 1960s, it was reported that, within 9 months, monies lent or given to certain Latin American nations would be back in U.S. bank accounts.

Expatriate advisers can only point the way forward.

Neo-colonialism (Part 2)

How neo-colonialism exploits former African colonies is covered in the following extracts from Neo-colonislism.com on the Internet. European nations, including the USA, are described as exploiting African nations through the purchase of cash crops, the mining of African minerals, and the manufactured goods sold to the Africans. I presume that this pattern of international transactions applies to other developing nations.

“According to Rodney and Amin, European countries, and increasingly the United States, dominated the economies of African countries through neocolonialism in several ways. After independence, the main revenue base for African countries continued to be the export of raw materials; this resulted in the underdevelopment of African economies, while Western industries thrived. A good example of this process is the West African cocoa industry in the 1960s: during this time, production increased rapidly in many African countries; overproduction, however, led to a reduction in the selling price of cocoa worldwide.

 Neocolonial theorists therefore proclaimed that economies based on the production of cash crops such as cocoa could not hope to develop, because the world system imposes a veritable ceiling on the revenue that can be accrued from their production. Likewise, the extraction and export of minerals could not serve to develop an African economy, because minerals taken from African soil by Western-owned corporations were shipped to Europe or America, where they were turned into manufactured goods, which were then resold to African consumers at value-added prices.

A second method of neocolonialism, according to the theory’s adherents, was foreign aid. The inability of their economies to develop after independence soon led many African countries to enlist this aid. Believers in the effects of neocolonialism feel that accepting loans from Europe or America proved the link between independent African governments and the exploitative forces of former colonizers. They note as evidence that most foreign aid has been given in the form of loans, bearing high rates of interest; repayment of these loans contributed to the underdevelopment of African economies because the collection of interest ultimately impoverished African peoples.

The forces of neocolonialism did not comprise former colonial powers alone, however. Theorists also saw the United States as an increasingly dominant purveyor of neocolonialism in Africa. As the Cold War reached its highest tensions at roughly the same time that most African countries achieved independence, many theorists believed that the increasing levels of American aid and intervention in the affairs of independent African states were designed to keep African countries within the capitalist camp and prevent them from aligning with the Soviet Union.” … …

This extract from Enclopaedia.com  shows how colonialism can succeed without the use of arms or OTHER COERCIVE MEANS. I recall an aid agency, one of the members of which required its aid money to be spent in its country. Charity can be materially beneficial to the donor.

 

 

Neo-colonialism (Part 1)

As a former colonial subject, I am naturally opposed to colonialism, but I am not anti-colonial as regards individual colonial administrators. Indeed, I had 2 good friends who had served the Crown in Rhodesia and Malaya. However, neo-colonialism seems more evil.

“Neocolonialism can be defined as the continuation of the economic model of colonialism after a colonized territory has achieved formal political independence. This concept was applied most commonly to Africa in the latter half of the twentieth century. European countries had colonized most of the continent in the late nineteenth century, instituting a system of economic exploitation in which African raw materials, particularly cash crops and minerals, were expropriated and exported to the sole benefit of the colonizing power. The idea of neocolonialism, however, suggests that when European powers granted nominal political independence to colonies in the decades after World War II, they continued to control the economies of the new African countries.

The concept of neocolonialism has several theoretical influences. First and foremost, it owes much to Marxist thinking. Writing in the late nineteenth century, Karl Marx argued that capitalism represented a stage in the socioeconomic development of humanity. He believed that, ultimately and inevitably, the capitalist system in industrially developed countries would be overthrown by a revolution of the working class; this would result in the establishment of socialist utopias. In 1916, Vladimir Lenin modified this thesis, claiming that the rapid expansion of European imperialism around the world in the last decade of the nineteenth century had marked the highest stage of capitalism. Presumably, then, the end of imperialism (which Lenin believed would be the result of World War I) would mark the beginning of the end of capitalism. However, neither imperialism nor capitalism came to an end after the war or in future years. European empires persisted well into the 1960s.

With the granting of independence to colonies, a theory of modernization took hold. This suggested that independent countries would begin to develop very rapidly, politically and economically, and would resemble “modern” Western countries. It soon became clear, however, that this was not happening. Postcolonial theorists now sought answers for the continued underdevelopment of African countries and found a second influence in dependency theory.

Dependency theory first gained prominence as a way to explain the underdevelopment of Latin American economies in the 1960s. It proclaims that underdevelopment persisted because highly developed countries dominated underdeveloped economies by paying low prices for agricultural products and flooding those economies with cheap manufactured goods. This resulted in a perpetually negative balance of payments that prevented underdeveloped countries from ever becoming competitive in the global marketplace. Economic theorists of postcolonial Africa, such as Walter Rodney and Samir Amin, combined the Marxist-Leninist concept of colonialism as a stage of capitalism with the concept of underdevelopment to create the concept of neocolonialism, which Kwame Nkrumah called “the last stage of imperialism.” “… …

(This is an extract from Encyclopaedia.com on the Internet. Of what use were the international development agencies, when imperialism could be continued so easily?)

Unclassified jokes (2)

There was once a blonde woman on a plane to Detroit. She was in the economy class, but after takeoff, she saw an empty seat in first class and moved there. An attendant saw her and said, “Excuse me, ma’am, but you have a ticket for economy class, not first. You cannot stay here.” The blonde replied, “I can and I will.” The attendant told the copilot, who came and talked to the woman. “Ma’am, we really can’t have you staying in this seat, your ticket was for economy.” “You can’t make me move.” The copilot told the captain, who tried to talk her out of the seat but it didn’t work. Finally, a man who had heard what had been going on told the attendant to let him have a go at getting the woman out of the seat because he was married to a blonde too, so he knew how to deal with her. After a quick chat with her, she moved. The shocked attendant asked him how he did it. The man replied, “I told her first class wasn’t going to Detroit.”

 

The words election and erection are spelled similarly. They both have the same meaning too: a dick rising to power.

 

Q: What do you get when you cross a fish and an elephant?
A: Swimming trunks.

Unclassified jokes (1)

Paddy and Murphy are havin’ a pint in the pub, when some scuba divers come on the TV. Paddy says, “Murphy, why is it them deep sea divers always sit on the side of the boat with them air tanks on their backs, and fall backwards out of the boat?” Murphy thinks for a minute then says, “That’s easy. It’s ‘cos if they fell forwards, they’d still be in the friggin boat!”

 

There’s a blond and a brunette in a car. The brunette is driving while the blonde is in the passenger seat. They’re going down a steep hill when the brunette realizes that the brakes don’t work. The brunette tells the blonde that the brakes don’t work and they will drive off the side of the cliff because they failed to stop. The blonde then replies, “Don’t worry! There’s a stop sign ahead.”

 

There were two cannibals who captured a man. They decided it would be fair if they started eating from opposite ends. After a few minutes, the one who started at the head asked the other one, “How’s it going down there?” And the other one replies, “I’m having a ball!”