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Message no. 1
From: BONNET Eric <ebonnet@*******.FR>
Subject: India(2/3)
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 18:25:21 +0100
Vaishyas are the merchants, the bankers, the big farmers, the corp
execs, in short the rich guys. Sudras are artisans, peasants or workers.
They form the largest caste. Dalits are outcasts. They take the worst
jobs that nobody else would even consider. They are impure and members
of other castes must undergo a purifying ritual if they touch a dalit.
Many are criminals or abandoned children or people refusing to abide by
the rules of their castes. Some dalits, the most deserving, can enable
their children to become sudras by giving them to special education
centers led by brahmans.
> These guys have an unbearable life. They are treated as pariahs, nearly as animals.
Cows are much more valuable than dalits. Hell, a brahman or a kshatriya could even kill a
dalit without being punished. And this guy talks about justice!
> Blade
> You mustn't believe that we are monsters. If they are dalits, it's because of the
crimes they committed in their last lives. They pay for it and that's right. You get what
you deserve. I know what you will say: as I'm a kshatriya, I don't know what their life
is. You're wrong and let me tell you one thing: if someone unjustly kills a dalit, he
risks to become one in his next life and that is justice.
> Sitala
In the last century, girls were considered as burdens so many women
preferred to miscarry if they knew they had a girl. In the countryside,
women were nearly slaves. If the family of the husband thought the wife
was not worthy, they sometimes even cause deadly 'accidents'. The
situation has greatly improved but it is still not a pride. Divorce is
permitted but despised. Marriages are often arranged by parents: the
parents of the wife have to bring a dowry, proportional to the situation
of the husband.
India, or rather Bharat (Indian Union) as we call it, is a federal
republic, with a bicameral system. India includes 29 states, 7
territories and 2 occupied territories without a clearly defined legal
statute (Myanmar and Pakistan). Each state or territory controls police,
justice, education, health and some parts of the economy. The occupied
territories are submitted to the martial law and controlled by the army.
The central government can take the power in a state or territory if the
situation is out of control. The President is elected by the two
chambers and the state assemblies (not the territory ones) for five
years. The President has no real power. The most important man is the
Prime Minister. He is elected for five years by the chambers and is the
president of the Council of States (Raya Sabha). He is responsible
before the People's Chamber (Lok Sabha). The Lok Sabha consists of 544
members elected by all the people, except dalits that haven't the right
to vote, for five years. Raya Sabha consists of 245 members elected for
five years by the state and the territory assemblies. Since the brahmans
took the power, the various religious parties are the leading forces.
- President: Rani Shaktiya
He is a kshatriya and a physad. He tries to be more than a powerless
puppet but it is not easy. He is quite charismatic but doesn't manage to
impose himself as an important man.
- Prime Minister: Mani Gandhi
Our Prime Minister is a descendent of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, two
assassinated Prime Ministers of the last century. Until now, he has
managed to avoid the common fate of his family but I think he will
certainly not last too long. He is a kshatriya but a mundane, a pure
political man. He is not very popular but is too efficient to be
replaced. He really enjoys the power and is ready to do anything to stay
in his place. He is the one who prepared the Night of Revenge for the
brahmans, even if he was only a PM at the time. He hates Moslems with
passion, since his father was killed in Kashmir by Moslem independists
during his youth. The moderates are forced to keep an eye on him to be
sure that his hate doesn't make him forget the interests of the country.
- Ministers:
The posts are shared between the various religions. Kshatriyas hold the
Ministries of Defense, Finances, Foreign Affairs and in charge of the
occupation of Myanmar. Brahmans hold the ministries of Justice (Varuna),
Education (Ganesha) and Cults (Shiva). Other religions hold the
ministries of Interior (Sikh), Culture (Buddhist), Environment (Jaïn),
Health (Parsi) and in charge of the occupation of Pakistan (Sikh).
Political parties
- Bharatiya Janata Party: 42.5%
This party was created in 1980 by Hinduists nationalists and quickly
grew to become the first religious party. When the brahmans took the
power, they made an agreement with the BJP, that became their legal
front. They allied themselves with the Janata Party Secular (9%), the
main Sikh party, and the Lok Dal (3.5%), an alliance of Buddhists and
- Indian National Congress: 20.5%
This was the first party ever created in India, in 1883. It led the
struggle against the English and ruled the country during the last
century. The lack of real leaders was their fall. They are a
center-right party.
- Janata Dal: 11.5%
This left-wing party has always been in the opposition. They ask for a
laic government and the separation of state and religion.
- Marxist Communist Party of India: 6%
These are the most determined opponents of the government. They still
believe that religion is the opium of people and want to discredit it.
Foreign relations
- Arab League countries
The relations are icy. No peace treaty has ever been agreed upon. The
forced truce is still resented by the Moslems. They haven't forgotten
nor forgiven what happened in Bihâr, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Riyadh.
- China
The warlords know that an attack on Tibet is always possible. The
relation are cold and important troops protect the Himalayan passes.
- Great Britain
India has not forgotten that the English greatly favored the Moslems and
forced the Hinduists to share their country with them. Most Indians
living in Great Britain are opponents protected by the government. The
only real relation is the exportation of tea.
- France and Portugal
These countries allied with Hinduists against the English and the
Moslems. They are thus regarded as possible allies, particularly France
that still has hate relations with the English.
Brahmans resent the attempts of the shamans to assimilate Hinduist magic
to their own.
Military forces
I don't really know the actual strength of the army so I hope that a
kshatriya will read this and add information.
> Well, I'm a captain in the army so I think I know the truth about our real power. It
is quite impressive as it is one of the priorities of the government, to pacify Myanmar
and Pakistan and to protect us from Chinese warlords and Moslem countries. I estimate that
the army represents more than three million people: it is huge but less in proportion than
some other countries. India has an important nuclear stockpile, with missiles threatening
the major Moslem cities: Riyadh, Tehran, Baghdad, Kabul… Moreover, 30 strategic submarines
and 400 bombers form the rest of the strategic forces. As for the rest, it divides as
- Land forces: 1.8 million people; 15000 tanks, 20000 armored transport
vehicles, 10000 cannons, 4000 anti-aircraft cannons;
- Navy: 500000 people; 15 aircraft carriers, 100 submarines, 40
cruisers, 70 destroyers, 120 frigates, 1700 combat planes;
- Air forces: 600000 people; 5000 combat planes, 400 helicopters;
- Special forces: 300000 people, mainly military police and commandos; I
won't tell you what the rest is.
Many officers are kshatriyas or Sikhs, mainly physads, or even brahmans
(Agni, Indra, Karttikeya, Shiva, Yama). Dalits are not accepted in the
army, as they are not worthy enough to represent our country.
> Sitala
Internal security
There are no private security services for cities. Only individuals and
societies can contract their security to a private. Police is headed by
kshatriyas, Sikhs and some brahmans. They have very large rights and are
particularly stern and expeditious. In the occupied territories,
military police deals with security and they scarcely take prisoners: it
isn't worth the while.
- Shadowrunners
We are not too numerous and we are much more discreet than you, by
force. The government would really like to find us and destroy us as it
considers us as betrayers of the faith.
- Tongs
Tongs were very strong in Myanmar and ruled the drug production and
transport. Most drug lords belonged to one or another Tong. They nearly
ruled the country in fact and chose confrontation with India. They
thought that India wouldn't dare to fight as the Moslems were
threatening it. They were surprised by the attack and fled the country
when our army managed to scatter their forces. They supported the
resisting generals but the last important one has been killed.
- Mafia and Yakuza
They're too easy to recognize in India so they are watched closely and
can't do real business. Anyway they still try to enter the shadow market
as it can be worth the while.
- Thugs
Thugs were originally Kali worshippers fighting the English invaders.
They used to strangle their enemies with silken garrotes. English
thought they managed to crush them but some leaders escaped the attacks
on their strongholds. They quickly evolved in a criminal society but
they still pretended to be freedom fighters. When the brahmans took the
power, the thugs reappeared, thinking they'd be considered as partners,
or even heroes. In fact, the brahmans hit them hard and managed to prove
their criminal activities. They were discredited and forced to return to
the shadow world. In spite of the strong police activity, they managed
to keep a strong presence in all the markets. They are considered as a
priority: between a Moslem terrorist and a thug, many policemen would
rather kill the thug.
Foreign corps
Foreign corps are permitted to act freely, except if a valid proof of
criminal activity is brought to court. In this case, the government can
limit the rights of a corp or even close all of its assets. Aztechnology
and Mitsuhama particularly suffered from this rule. The leading corps in
India are Ares (mainly for military equipment), Fuchi and Shiawase.
Indian corps
Most Indian corps are second or third-tier. There is no major corp as
smaller structures, that prove to be less dangerous for the government,
are preferred and favored by the law. Another Indian particularity is
the existence of important state societies, like Indian Railways or
Indian Airlines for instance. All the CEO and execs of the societies are
kshatriyas, brahmans, Sikhs, Parsis or vaishyas in some cases.
Getting in
- Immigration datawork
As tourism is an important economic activity, travel visas are quite
easy to get. You receive it in one week. All you need is a valid
passport. Rejection is rare except in the following cases:
- citizenship of a country member of the Arab League;
- criminal record (felony);
- religion: Islam is outlawed.
There are two kinds of visas:
- a three-month visa non-extendable. The three months begin after you
enter the country;
- a six-month visa extendable one month (for 1000 roupies). The six
months begin when you get the visa.
If you stay four months in India, you need a Tax Clearance Certificate
to leave (it proves you didn't work illegally in India to pay your
travel). Of course, you are required to license your weapons, cyberware,
cyberdeck, magical items and abilities. Some are illegal in India and
you won't be able to enter with some items. Legally, tourists are
considered as vaishyas. It is the middle caste. Some are even
kshatriyas, that is a high caste.
> These ones are the richest and some physads. That means they have a far better
treatment than the others and that they have much more protection and opportunities.
> Helba
- Travel
There are only five international airports: Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta,
Madras and Colombo. They accept suborbitals and semiballistics. Security
level is very high in these airports. Don't try to bring anything
unlicensed or you will discover the wonderful prisons of India. Travel
by train is not an option as no train crosses the borders. Travel by
road is nearly impossible. They are watched by the army. The Afghan
border is a no man's land and militaries shoot without warning. The
Chinese one is the Himalayas: passes are rare, difficult, often closed
by snow and really easy to protect. Southeast Asia is too unstable for
travel and, as Myanmar is still not pacified, army is always very
present. Travel by sea is strictly limited to cruising.
Travel inside India
There exist three national air carriers: Indian Airlines, Vayudoot (but
mainly for freight) and ATO (Air Taxi Operators). ATO is the only
private carrier. Every big city has an airport but Myanmar and Pakistan
accept only military flights. People under 30 years are granted a 25%
discount. For 1200 roupies, you can use planes as often as needed for
three weeks. There is a large bus network but most buses are overcrowded
and slow. Moreover, there is very little comfort. The only mean to have
a pleasant travel is to use a luxury bus, far more expensive. Only the
biggest cities offer such buses. The train is a very important transport
mean here. Indian Railways is the public company that manages the 60000
km of railroads, the 7000 trains, the 7100 stations and the 1.6 millions
people working for it. Every day, 10.5 millions passengers use trains.
Trains are even more overcrowded than buses but quicker. The main
problem is that the stoppings are long and very variable.
> The strangest thing is that you can forget anything in the train, even money, and
nobody will steal it. It will be kept at a station until you go to retrieve it. Buses are
more dangerous.
> Scythe
Boat is not a common travel mean in India, in spite of the great length
of coast. The canals of Kerala are used mainly for freight. Ferryboats
join Bombay to Goa and the mainland to Sri Lanka. The road network is
mostly in a sad state. Only motorways are well maintained but they are
expensive: 3 roupies/km. Garages are not too common outside towns and
can charge what they want for their services. You can rent a car for 500
roupies a day for 150 km (4 roupies/km further). You also have to pay a
deposit of 1000 roupies. Of course, luxury cars are far more expensive.
If you want a driver it will cost you 4roupies/km and you must pay at
least 200 km a day.
It is very variable due to the huge surface of the country: 5174669 km².
There are three main seasons.
The hot season begins in February. Temperature continually creases until
May. The average temperature in may is between 30 and 40°C. It is not
uncommon to see temperatures above 50°C. The northern passes are opened
in may after the thaw. Monsoon begins with the damp season near the end
of May (20th of May in Myanmar, 15th of July in Pakistan). It rains
heavily every day. Floods are very common, mostly in Bangladesh.
Monsoon ends in October and then begins the cool season.
Population and Demographics
Population 1325 millions
Human 60%
Elf 17%
Dwarf 2%
Ork 16%
Troll 4%
Other 1%
SINless population 25 millions (estimated)
Per Capita Income 150000 roupies
Below Poverty Level 20%
On Fortune's Active Traders List 2%
Corporate Affiliation 36%
High School Equivalency 45%
College Equivalency 30%
Advanced Studies 13%
Basic Economy
- Currency
The Indian currency is the roupie. The roupie is divided in 100 paisas.
Coins are available in denominations of 1, 2 and 5 roupies and 10, 20,
25 and 50 paisas. Plasti-weave bills are available in denominations of
1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 roupies. To this date, 6
roupies are nominally equivalent to 1 nuyen on the international
exchange market.
- Cost of living
A notable tradition is the one of baksheesh. It is different from tip.
You pay before to have a better service. If you don't pay, you will be
happy to be served at all.
India cost of living table
Item Cost Item
Weapons and armor (% of Seattle prices) Surveillance and security
Ammunition (a) 95 Communications
Armor (b) 100 Security Devices
Explosives (c) 110 Surveillance
Countermeasures 110
Firearm Accessories (d) 95 Surveillance Equipment
Firearms 100 Survival Gear
Melee Weapons 90 Vision Enhancers
Projectile Weapons 90 Lifestyle
Throwing Weapons 90 Electronics
Cybertech Magical Equipment
Biotech 110 Hermetic Library(g)
Bodyware 105 Magical Supplies (g)
Cyberdecks (e) 105 Magical Weapons (g)
Headware 105 Power Foci (g)
Internals 105 Ritual Sorcery Rituals (g)
Programs 105 Spell Foci (g)

Aircrafts 95
Boats 110
Ground Vehicles 100
Military Vehicles (f) ----

Cost of living notes
a only standard or gel rounds
b Light body armor is tolerated. Everything else is restricted to
security forces.
c this stuff is available only for legally registered users (not you )
d everything is accepted (except barrel-mounted grenade-launcher, no
e this figure is for legal cyberdecks, with a signature you can't beat.
f of course
g If you want one, you have to register and let ritual material. Only
kshatriyas and brahmans normally have these things.
Laws, Crime and Punishment
Indian laws are very strict. Each caste has its court that is alone able
to judge a member of the caste. Laws are much more generous with higher
- Weapons
Melee weapons are considered legal as long as it can be easily hidden
(in reality, it means anything except two-handed weapons). Bows are also
legal. Pistols and hunting rifles are tolerated but if you wear one
openly, you'll be considered as dangerous and closely watched.
- Magic
Use of magic is strictly limited to religious activity and self-defense.
> Well, of course brahmans tend to interpret this quite widely. You would be surprised
to know what can be considered as religious activities by some sects.
> Helba
- Brain-benders
Drugs are all illegal. Drug use, transport or dealing are all major
crimes. The army fight pitilessly with drug lords and tongs in Myanmar.
- Cyberware and bioware
It is strictly illegal for dalits and sudras, except simple replacement.
Vaishyas can only have class A with a license. Kshatriyas and brahmans
can have class A and B with a license. Class C is restricted to security
- Cyberdecks
It is considered as a religious activity and thus limited to brahmans.
Some kshatriyas and even vaishyas have special licenses to use them.
> What did I tell you? Each sect has his own interpretation of religion. Brahmans
serving Tvashtri and Ganesha consider technology as their field.
> Helba
Here's the skinny on fines and punishments (fines in roupies). You can
divide the penalties by two for brahmans and kshatriyas (if they're
tried at all) and multiply them by two for dalits.
Weapon Fines and Punishment Table
Weapon Type Possession Transport Threat Use
A small blade weapons --- --- 15000/2 months 30000/6
B large blade weapons --- --- 30000/4 months 60000/10
C blunt weapons --- --- 30000/3 months 50000/8
D projectile weapons --- 1500 30000/4 months 50000/8
E pistols 3000 10000 30000/5 months
100000/1 year
F rifles 5000 15000 50000/6 months
150000/2 years
G automatic weapons 30000 100000 300000/1 year 600000/3
H heavy weapons 60000 200000 500000/1 year 1000000/5 years
I explosives 40000 100000 300000/1 year 600000/2
J military weapons 150000/1 year 300000/2 years 1000000/5 years death
K military armor 50000 100000/5 months ---
L military ammunition 50000 50000 --- 100000/2
BA class A bioware 50000
BB class B bioware 100000/2 years
BC class C bioware 500000/10 years
CA class A cyberware 50000
CB class B cyberware 100000/2 years
CC class C cyberware 500000/10 years
EA class A equipment 15000
EB class B equipment 50000
EC class C equipment 100000/3 years
MA class A controlled 100000/1 year
MB class B controlled 250000/5 years
MC class C controlled death
Criminal Offenses and Punishment Table
Offense Sentence Offense Sentence
Arson 50000/1 year Murder 2 15 years-life
Assault 50000/1 year Murder 3 5-10 years
Battery 60000/1 year Negligence 1-5 years
Extortion var/2-5 years Rape 5-15 years
Forcible Confinement 5-10 years Rape (statutory) death
Fraud var/3-5 years Reckless Endangerment 80000/1 year
Illegal Entry 1-5 years Solicitation 30000
Kidnapping 2-8 years Trafficking var/5-10 years
(death for drugs)
Larceny (petty) var/1-4 years Treason death
Larceny (grand) var/3-10 years Vandalism 25000
Murder 1 death
Accessory 20%
Conspiracy 50%
India still uses its own calendar with lunar months:
Chaitra March/April Asvina September/October
Vaishaka April/May Kartika October/November
Jyaistha May/June Aghan November/December
Asadha June/July Pausa December/January
Sravana July/August Magha January/February
Bhadra August/September Phalguna February/march
The national holidays are:
Chaitra: Mahavir Jayanti is the anniversary of the birth of Mahavira,
founder of Jaïnism.
Ramanavami is the anniversary of the birth of Rama.
Jyaistha: Buddha Jayanti is the anniversary of the birth of Buddha.
Asadha: 10th of July commemoration of the Night of Revenge
Sravana: 15th of August Independence Day
Bhadra: Janmashtami is the anniversary of the birth of Krishna.
Asvina: Dussehra commemorates the victory of Durga against the
buffalo-demon Mahishasuva. It lasts ten days at least.
2nd of October Gandhi Jayanti is the anniversary of the birth of
Kartika: Diwali is the fifteenth day of the month and the main feast.
Govardhana Puja is dedicated to the holy beast, the cow.
Aghan: Nanak Jayanti is the anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak,
founder of Sikhism.
Magha: 26th of January Republic Day
Phalguna: Holi commemorates the end of the cool season.
There are many other religious days but they are nor official and less


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