Vol. XLI No. 47 November 19, 2017

Sanghi “Princelings” Enjoy the Best of All Worlds

B Arjun

THE Wire story on the India Foundation and the impropriety due to conflict of interests has been buried by the corporate media. The RSS, intoxicated by power gives two hoots for propriety. BJP will continue to insult the Indian constitution and not ask its ministers to resign as directors of India Foundation. Arrogant BJP will not investigate the FCRA violations by India Foundation. It feels that it has successfully intimidated the media and enfeebled the ability of the masses to fight back authoritarianism by sufficiently polarising them.

What the RSS-BJP combine is forgetting is that people are now aware of the lies of right-wing populism. Their rhetoric of nationalism is hollow because they are making India more and more subservient to the digital financial networks from the West. BJP is echoing the Indian representatives of the 1 per cent global elite.

Shaurya Doval, son of Ajit Doval, India’s National Security advisor is intimately connected to the RSS and its political wing, the BJP. India Foundation, the think-tank that the “princeling” runs is directly blessed by Ram Madhav, RSS top ideologue and BJP general secretary, who is the prime mover in the organisation. India Foundation has the distinction of having four ministers of the Indian government on its board. Power swims with the military and India Foundation is no exception. The taut outfit is actively supported by a former Indian army general and a naval officer. Incidentally both were an integral part of Center for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), Indian army’s official think-tank. The presence of military men in his core team helps him draw the top military hierarchy in the country for participation in India Foundation’s functions and conferences. We all know that sponsorship of any conference is dependent on the number of top ranking decisions makers the organisers can gather; a job that Doval Jr’s team can perform at the drop of a hat. The India Foundation with its heavy weight directors is Track I and Track II diplomacy all rolled into one.       

The elite connections add to Shaurya’s net worth at the financial services business where he claims to spend his morning hours. His proximity to Indian decision making is definitely his biggest asset among his international friends. International business greatly values “princelings”. In 2016, JP Morgan paid $ 264m to settle a US government probe into its practice of hiring well-connected Chinese “princelings” to win business. It is for this reason that Doval Jr’s international network needs to be thoroughly scrutinised.

Enough has been spoken about the Doval Jr’s links to Dr Mishaal bin Abdullah bin Turki Al-Saud, from the House of Saud, the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia. Dr Bin Turki Al-Saud is closely associated with Saudi foreign affairs, and according to Bloomberg “has deep knowledge of the financial industry and is highly regarded as a leader in the international financial community.  He also advises his government on technology matters, which includes digitisation of cash. Any other Indian with links to the center of Wahhabism would have been easily linked to Islamic Statehood and persecuted by the RSS. However, Doval Jr is a trusted man of the establishment and is free to network at will. He enjoys the backing of the Indian state to hobnob with the rich. He is free to enjoy both the worlds – wear the label of a staunch Indian nationalist and also embed in the world of international finance that is mired in secrecy. 

Turki Al-Saud and Doval Jr, two powerful individuals closely linked to the power-centers in their respective countries are much more than mere business partners. They are the hub of the international networks in their respective countries that draw the rich and powerful within its fold.  

Doval Jr’s royal connections extend from Saudi Arabia to Sweden and beyond. Swedish count Erik Wachtmeister, “the 4th most influential digital man in Britain,” sits right at the top of Doval Jr’s firm, Gemini Financial Services. Erik is the son of Count Wilhelm Hans Fredrik Wachtmeister, a top Swedish diplomat who was tennis partner of Bush senior, the former US president and the founder member of Carlyle Group, the most powerful private equity fund in the world.

Erik’s 40-year-old wife, Countess Louise Wachtmeister, the former president of the Conservative Youth Party in Stockholm is actively engaged with husband’s entrepreneurial activities. Erik Wachtmeister is the founder and CEO of Best of All Worlds (BOAW), an exclusive social network for the global one percent – a secret society of the ultra-wealthy and the ultra-influential. The App’s aim is to enable “its members to navigate and leverage the relevant collective intelligence of the ‘trusted’ few. It provides an intimate and private web environment with the aim of targeting top global influencers and connectors who share common backgrounds, interests and passions.” It is for the “mature audience,” and not so much about parties and nightlife. Like other elite networks, it is a narrow pool that operates under an invite-only membership process. In a nutshell, it is a “Facebook for the few” that will not allow 99.99 per cent Indians (or ordinary global citizens) to enter its portals. Only ministers, billionaires and Dovals’ from India can be included in this network that is not likely to have more than 50,000 members from across the world.  

BOAW is as clandestine as the old secret societies that operate from halls and lodges. Such societies are bastions of influence and intrigue and their members are some of the most powerful people who exercise covert influence largely for the purpose of money laundering. 

The first and the only page on BOAW’s website shows a black and white picture of an old type-writer with the top of each key designed as a compass. The only symbol on the type-writer is an inverted W, with a B underneath inscribed on a square. The W is stylised to look like a crown, perhaps indicative of the ruling class! The square and compass make one wonder if BOAW is the new age masonic lodge where the present-day elite interact online.

Social, political and professional networks that transcend national boundaries are not a new phenomenon, introduced by the internet. Mainstream historians are now beginning to study these old and new networks and their impact on globalisation and revolutions. Networks spread across the globe are designed to disrupt the status quo. This is exactly what Modi’s networks are doing in India, rampaging through the Indian economy with their scatter brain ideas like demonetisation. Perhaps, Modi’s penchant to be the ultimate disruptor of the world may be coming from India Foundation’s network of international friends.

For too long RSS and its cohorts have donned the cloak of cultural-nationalism, masquerading their links with the international conservative movement and global finance that largely resides in tax havens. It is time that the Indian people understand the true class character of the Sangh Parivar and their motivation in keeping India divided.  

Shaurya Doval’s passion, profession and politics – are all judiciously mixed to give him maximum gains. The country’s most powerful princeling is bound to experience no dichotomy in running with the hare and hunting with the hound because he is tutored in the RSS school, where money is worshipped and religion is used to hoodwink the masses. Doval Junior’s confidence to board the white yachts comes from the same right-wing outfits.

The princeling’s power at the top is worrying because it represents the convergence of private wealth and State power. Shaurya Doval’s proximity to the power centers in India and his intricate links to the deep web of global kings and queens, bankers, robber barons, priests, and assorted subservient oligarchs and media representatives is a security hazard, which cannot be brushed aside.