Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Indian chromosome

Happy New Year to you all. My first post this year at Think Pad is not my own but a article written by Farrukh Saleem, an article that bought a lump to my throat and made me swell in pride for being an Indian.

The Indian chromosome!

Sunday, December 09, 2007
Dr Farrukh Saleem

Twenty-five thousand years ago, haplogroup R2 characterized by genetic marker M124 arose in southern Central Asia. Then began a major wave of human migration whereby members migrated southward to present-day India and Pakistan (Genographic Project by the National Geographic Society). Indians and Pakistanis have the same ancestry and share the same DNA sequence.

Here's what is happening in India:

The two Ambani brothers can buy 100 percent of every company listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) and would still be left with $30 billion to spare. The four richest Indians can buy up all goods and services produced over a year by 169 million Pakistanis and still be left with $60 billion to spare. The four richest Indians are now richer than the forty richest Chinese.

In November, Bombay Stock Exchange's benchmark Sensex flirted with 20,000 points. As a consequence, Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries became a $100 billion company (the entire KSE is capitalized at $65 billion). Mukesh owns 48 percent of Reliance.

In November, comes Neeta's birthday. Neeta turned forty-four three weeks ago. Look what she got from her husband as her birthday present: A sixty-million dollar jet with a custom fitted master bedroom, bathroom with mood lighting, a sky bar, entertainment cabins, satellite television, wireless communication and a separate cabin with game consoles. Neeta is Mukesh Ambani's wife, and Mukesh is not India's richest but the second richest.

Mukesh is now building his new home, Residence Antillia (after a mythical, phantom island somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean). At a cost of $1 billion this would be the most expensive home on the face of the planet. At 173 meters tall Mukesh's new family residence, for a family of six, will be the equivalent of a 60-storeyed building. The first six floors are reserved for parking. The seventh floor is for car servicing and maintenance. The eighth floor houses a mini-theatre. Then there's a health club, a gym and a swimming pool. Two floors are reserved for Ambani family's guests. Four floors above the guest floors are family floors all with a superb view of the Arabian Sea. On top of everything are three helipads. A staff of 600 is expected to care for the family and their family home.

In 2004, India became the 3rd most attractive foreign direct investment destination. Pakistan wasn't even in the top 25 countries. In 2004, the United Nations, the representative body of 192 sovereign member states, had requested the Election Commission of India to assist the UN in the holding of elections in Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah and Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan. Why the Election Commission of India and not the Election Commission of Pakistan? After all, Islamabad is closer to Kabul than is Delhi.

Imagine, 12 percent of all American scientists are of Indian origin; 38 percent of doctors in America are Indian; 36 percent of NASA scientists are Indians; 34 percent of Microsoft employees are Indians; and 28 percent of IBM employees are Indians.

For the record: Sabeer Bhatia created and founded Hotmail. Sun Microsystems was founded by Vinod Khosla. The Intel Pentium processor, that runs 90 percent of all computers, was fathered by Vinod Dham. Rajiv Gupta co-invented Hewlett Packard's E-speak project. Four out of ten Silicon Valley start-ups are run by Indians. Bollywood produces 800 movies per year and six Indian ladies have won Miss Universe/Miss World titles over the past 10 years.

For the record: Azim Premji, the richest Muslim entrepreneur on the face of the planet, was born in Bombay and now lives in Bangalore. India now has more than three dozen billionaires; Pakistan has none (not a single dollar billionaire).

The other amazing aspect is the rapid pace at which India is creating wealth. In 2002, Dhirubhai Ambani, Mukesh and Anil Ambani's father, left his two sons a fortune worth $2.8 billion. In 2007, their combined wealth stood at $94 billion. On 29 October 2007, as a result of the stock market rally and the appreciation of the Indian rupee, Mukesh became the richest person in the world, with net worth climbing to US$63.2 billion (Bill Gates, the richest American, stands at around $56 billion).

Indians and Pakistanis have the same Y-chromosome haplogroup. We have the same genetic sequence and the same genetic marker (namely: M124). We have the same DNA molecule, the same DNA sequence. Our culture, our traditions and our cuisine are all the same. We watch the same movies and sing the same songs.

What is it that Indians do and we don't: Indians elect their leaders.

The writer is an Islamabad-based freelance columnist. Email:


Di said...

wow! I was reading and realised that i knew most of the facts stated...but then the end was just wow! :O

Alameen said...

Agree to all facts.. But I never felt proud to see that Ambanis are so rich that they can buy some nations...

Rather I would love to see the rich-poor division coming down..

Just my 2 paisas..


Pradeep said...

I have been mentioning in my posts how the two twins -- India and Pakistan -- have grown up so differently. It's a tragedy of sorts of our times. In 60 years, tidings have come a full circle, marked especially by 9/11.

Pakistan is in transition. One indication of this transition is the louder articulation -- like Farrukh Saleem's article -- of what Pakistan has been missing, the vote, the democratic vote.

Musharraf himself is not the Musharraf of 1999, when he captured power. Pakistan's polity is confronting the reality of having tred a path shown by some misguided leaders. (Now we realise, how lucky we were to have Nehru, Gandhiji and others.)

Hopefully, Pakistan is now on a different track. But for the society to transform to one where democratic vote will call the shots, it would take a radical shift on the part of its leaders. It would be a miracle if that happens even in the distant future.

I too am happy that we have the vote; but I only wish we had a better set of people to vote for.

| Balu | said...

ha ha democracy is not possible i pak as long as they have an army
their army is like a trojan in windows system.. just keeps attacking the system.. result system crashes way too often!
the the system admin (public) has to format the system and reinstall a new operating system who gets affected by trojan again!
and the anti-virus is not helping either(national intelligence - ISI)

mathew said...

agreed these are all feel good things..but probably it was not any government decision to create these 'success' stories..they were all due to individual brilliance of entrepeneurs..democracy did play a part but u cant attribute the give the full credit to it..and it would be turning your eyes away if we beleived that some of these 'successes' were all fair games..and ofcoz the 40-60 floor building the author talks about overlooks the dharavi slums on the other if we turn back from the arabian sea!!

It is both inspiring and at the same time sad that we have so many indian success stories abroad..

Nariyal Chutney said...

Anjali ,Along with the right to vote there were so many factors that contributed to the wealth creation in India .

1)Military never interfered in the affairs of the state
2)Judiciary always had an impartial role.
3)Strong leaders with a vision to create so many institutions (educational and government owned) that gave ample talent to a booming economy.

Once in a while these kind of articles are written making us to be as proud as an Indian for a few seconds and minutes and the sad factor is that the focus is always on a few individuals who are doing well for themselves. Allegedly Ambanis made all their wealth by manipulating democratically elected leaders to get license in so many basic industries . Rather than blowing trumpet to Ambanis I would have been proud as an Indian to claim that every person in my country is having two square meals every day . Unfortunately India and Pakistan are almost similar in these stats and may be because we have the same chromosome :P.

My Two Cents

silverine said...

DI: Yes it was indeed wow :)

alameen: Lets look at the bright side too. Ambanis have created wealth for many investors, employees,ancillary industries etc :)

Pradeep: Absolutely agree with you! When PTV was being aired in Blr, it sort of gave an insight into what Pakistan establishment was all about. The programmes were entirely anti Indian and even in political or social discussions any mention of India was cut short. I could not but be amused at the fact that while India was quietly chugging forward, Pak was busy mud slinging :)

balu: That was a neat description of the present scenario lol!

mathew: Despite a monopoly by the Congress for most part of our history, they gave due respect to the democratic institutions like the judiciary etc. Which is what sets us apart from Pak. We do have a lot to be proud of like Pradeep said. You are right that many Indian success stories are set abroad. But then these were people were products of our system.

NC: The writer is sincere in his intentions. And his article will obviously point to the positive aspects of the progress of people like Ambanis to drive home the point that democracy is vital for porgress :) On the other hand what you have pointed out in the beginning of your comment is very very true!

shruti said...

Though the end makes sense ..regarding the rest of the write up as I was reading it one thought continuously came to my mind that India stands amongst the last in terms of ethical coutires of the world ..

CarbonMonoxide said...

Wow and all that , but why are we still in the throes of a burning kashmir issue and a growing intolerance based on religion ?

Why isn't a fraction of all that wealth going into making means for poor people to live ? Why do we have roads that are more potholes and less roads ? ( Heck we don'thave pukka roads all over india yet ) i can og on

Why are the Indians in NASA working for NASA instead of ISRO ?

Yeah all that facts made me go wow , but sadly , i don't see all the economic advances reflected on day to day life of my people.

Adorable Pancreas said...

I some how saw that coming, but what the heck, hum rockthe hai!

mathew said...

I dont fully agree to the statement..

'Despite a monopoly by the Congress for most part of our history, they gave due respect to the democratic institutions like the judiciary etc. '

If you consider something that happened in the 80's..thought that is not the point of the post, i couldnt help reminding you that..;-P

silverine said...

AP: Chak de India!!! :D

Mathew: 80's or 70's? You mean Emergency? Well there were aberrations I agree. But on the whole as a third world country we were by far the more disciplined third world country. Now that was weird compliment :p

Confounded-Lady said...

Nice read. It has been a while..

Happy New Year! :)

scorpiogenius said...

peculiar the way we bark at our neighbors when at home and smile at them at a stranger's place. How often we see Indians & Pakis work, eat and play together, live under the same roof, marry and have each other's kids in the UK & US!

There seems to be one obvious reason for our divided minds at home: POLITICS. The religious divide is another head ache. But the world has exhibited examples for us to learn. Where is the rivalry b/w USA & Germany? The Koreans have sorted their problems out. Even the English & the French have now learned to speak the language of unity. So...can't we?

Am I dreaming too much?

Freespirit said...

That was one smart article that delivered the goods :).

We've done well and r continuing to do so for sure. There is no denying that we are by far one of the most successful democracies of the world. Yes, there are countless flaws in the system.
There's a long way to go.
The feel good factor maybe far from being a reality, but if the illusionary feel good factor can propel people to greater success and make them more compassionate, its only welcome.

All I am hoping for is that the youth of the country can participate more effectively in the system and keep this thing going, get more people under the 'feel good' umbrella :)