Friday 23 December 2005

Fixation with anglicizing native names

I was least bothered about recent controversy over change of name of Bangalore city to Bengaluru until i stumbled on a discussion in a internet forum. It made me to ponder about the mentality of some people, who oppose any such change because new official name does not sound cool and old name has historic significance since British times(only among english educated). This discussion reminds me of a event in my childhood, On my annual summer school holidays i went to my grandmother's village with my mother and brother. Villagers frequent my grandmother's house to meet my mother, since she visits her parents once in a year, on one such occasion, a person playfully asked, "what i was doing here, when my house is in Haidarabad?", another person objected to his pronunciation of Haidarabad and requested me to pronounce it for him, i proudly said its Hyderabad and instantly that person suggested to his companion, that he should utter the city's name in a way i did, otherwise people will think he is old fashioned.

This experience amused me and thought that as these people are uneducated, so don't know how to pronounce my city name. Only years later i realized my folly and our fixation with anglicizing native words. My village is in between Tirupati and Cuddapah, which is almost equidistant from Bengaluru and Chennai cities, people there and parents of my kannada friends call it by its original name: Bengaluru. Both names coexisted for all these years, Bengaluru is more popular in the country side and Bangalore among cities & english educated people, but when people say Bangalore sounds more cool, then it represents their state of mind( & perhaps lack of self esteem over ones culture) and standards which they are applying to judge, isn't compatible with the native culture and it is totally nonsensical comparison, same can be said when we apply native standards to judge foreign words.

When it comes to changing names of cities, What can i say about our state of mind, after hundreds of years of subjugation, In this secular nation still we let the city Shahada in India to retain its name, when Shahada is the central statement of Muslim faith and it means "There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his Prophet" and more to it, if you say with intent, then uttering this single word can officially make you Muslim!.

Thursday 15 December 2005

Wow, Flying 290Km in a second!?

I was astonished when The Tribune reported that Iran has tested surface to sea missile known as Silkworm, which has a speed of 290 kilometers per second and with a range of 110 kilometers. Only if i was not in my conscious, i would had considered it as a big news when compared to Russia's "super weapon", which is capable of both flying along ballistic trajectory at hyper-sonic speed(more than 5 times the speed of sound) and can also change both altitude and direction of its flight in the atmosphere, which analysts believe can overcome any future missile defense systems. What i'm saying is, here we have a missile developed by Iran which can reach its target in a blink of an eye, is it not amazing!?. Accepted, most of the Indian defense journalists have no clue in defense related matters as Kaushik Kapisthalam notes:

The report claimed, for instance, that the Indian Navy had to buy Israeli Barak missiles, because the naval version of the Prithvi missile was delayed. That is funny because the Barak is a Surface-to-Air missile while the Prithvi is a Surface-to-Surface missile. This was unlikely to be a one-off mistake because the report went on to call the Nag anti-tank missile a Surface to Air missile as well.

When i checked other Indian news sources (and few other foreign sources too), who had obtained Iran's missile testing news item from "Associated Press", all most all of them repeated same mistake blindly. As Kaushik states:

it is still a shame that much of the defense reporting in India is left to people who just reproduce what their 'sources' tell them, without doing any fact-checking. That their 'sources' could have an axe to grind seems to be lost with these people. And very rarely do these negative reports contain quotes from those who have an opposite point of view.

and in this case our journo/editor had proved that they don't even use their common sense before reproducing news item from their source!.

Tuesday 13 December 2005

Condom vending machines: Serious aberration?

In today's Deccan Edition it was reported, that on Monday women from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind held protest rally in Chennai against installing condom vending machines in public places. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind women's wing convener Fathima Jalal Said:

"The government is spreading condom culture through these vending machines under the pretext of fighting AIDS. By this our society will grow more permissive and our youth will be ruined"

People who express such ridiculous views need to take serious note of graveness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The fact that at least 5.1 million people are living in India with HIV refutes their claim, that the society will become more permissive, to the contrary, figures suggest that we are already more indulgent and its better to accept the fact & should take precautions than denying it. Since we are having world's second largest HIV infected population and considering that 20 million people had already died all around the world and 40 million are effected with HIV, we need to be much more sensible and be proactive in dealing with the crisis. Fathima goes further by announcing that:

"The rally today is just the beginning. We will not rest until all these machines are removed. We will involve all the women's organisations, not just Muslim, in our fight against this dangerous decision,"

Also Government-appointed chief qazi, Salahuddin Mohammed Ayub declares:

"Islam prohibited use of condoms. This is not a right move"

Protesters displayed placards, which states that:

Condom vending machines are a "serious aberration" and they condemn it. They also proclaimed that the only way to protect society against HIV/AIDS is "to fear God and change our lifestyle".

These machines are placed in public places for easy accessibility and to encourage their use. These religious fanatics have no business demanding anything in our secular, free & pluralistic society. Importantly, none are alluring these religious people to use them!, they can die their own death when contracted with AIDS but they cannot take away others right to have easy access to condoms, so they can safeguard against this epidemic!.

Miracles do happen in this world!

When residents of Kamsar refugee camp in POK were digging in search of missing bodies of quake victims, they found Naqsha Bibi, who was buried alive for 63 days in the rubble. Dr Abdul Hamid said that she was admitted in ICU and she weighed only 25kgs and when asked whether anyone could survive for such a long without food and water he said:

“Medical science will hardly accept it, but you know miracles do happen in this world.”

Yes they do!. In fact she is very lucky, just when residents of the camp were unable to feed her, German Team visited the camp right on time to handover vaccinations to Pakistan Islamic Medical Association officials and the residents referred Naqsha Bibi to the German Team.

These kind of unbelievable survival stories from disasters, be it quake or tsunami they indicate us untapped potential of human body and the mind.

Monday 12 December 2005

Operation Duryodhana

In Aaj Tak news channel 11 Members of Parliament belonging to different parties (BJP, Congress, RJD, BSP) were shown accepting bribes to ask specific questions in the parliament and this sting operation which was named as "Operation Duryodhana" was carried by Aaj Tak along with internet portal cobrapost.com. Repercussions of this revelation was swift, Lok Sabha secretariat has sent Show Cause notices to these MPs and in Rajya Sabha matter was referred to Ethics Committee. All parties had suspended their respective MPs without raising any questions on authenticity of those tapes or without indicating any conspiracy theory to defame them, which was not the case when Tehelka exposed way defense deals were done during NDA government or when Ajit jogi of Congress caught trying to induced MLAs with monetary benefits to form government. Since issue involves MPs from more than one party and none were prominent politicians at national or state level, therefore it was easy for political parties to take action against them.

At the end of the day, every politician is a gentleman & sincere towards serving people unless caught red-handed, err.. as long as he/she enjoys support of the public irrespective of his/her guilt!.

Sunday 11 December 2005

Exploitation of kashmiri people by pakistan's government

It has become ritual for Pakistan government to raise Jammu & Kashmir issue in their visit to every foreign country or in international forums, in which they participate and seek their assistance in any possible form, be it in expressing their support for so-called "cause" or drafting favorable resolution on J&K or petitioning them to get involved in facilitating dialog with India(but this point has been dropped since the commencement of peace process). On their return, in front of their people they victoriously emphasize their success in highlighting the issue before international community and reiterate that they are always committed to the kashmiri people. Recently, they have started equating Palestine issue with J&K and with a straight face, state that they condemn all forms of "terrorism" and on other hand they express their support for so-called "freedom movement" in J&K.

Recent summit of Organization of Islamic Conference(OIC) was no different for above reasons, despite OIC stating in the past, that the issue was bilateral, pakistan has repeatedly raised the issue in every summit. For this summit All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was a special invitee. Indian government has maintained that OIC or anyone else for that matter has no locus standi on matters relating to India's internal affairs and in the past, they refused to allow OIC's Kashmir Contact Group to visit J&K. OIC has showed their islamic solidarity towards pakistan in form of declaration (though nothing new there):

Toeing the Pakistani line, the 57-member Organization of Islamic countries has "extended" its support to the "inalienable right" of people of Jammu and Kashmir for "self-determination" in accordance with UN resolutions.

As i have pointed in my previous post, that it is the Pakistan who denied to implement UN resolution because of fear of loosing it and after decades of Pakistani sponsored terrorism, infiltration and ethnical cleansing of kashmiri Hindus from the state, UN resolution hold no relevance in the present context, importantly Kashmiri people have exercised their "inalienable right" by participating in free election and elected their representatives. According to UN and other international human right groups they were more free and legitimate than that of presidential election held in Pakistan. In 2002, on behalf of human right groups British market and public opinion research agency MORI had conducted polls in Indian Jammu & Kashmir state and it found that:

On the issue of citizenship, overall, 61% said they felt they would be better off politically and economically as an Indian citizen and only 6% as a Pakistani citizen, but 33% said they did not know.

When we talk about rights of people of Indian J&K state, then they enjoy more freedom and have more rights than entire state of Pakistan. This was revealed in Freedom in the World 2005 report, Pakistan & POK are classified as "Not Free" and where as Indian controlled J&K was classified as "Partly Free". To start with, people of POK don't have basic civil and political rights and all civil & police administrative posts are filled by Pakistani cadre who come on deputation. Free elections are not held in so-called Azad Kashmir and candidates who are in favor of Islamabad are rigged into office and As per Section 56 of constitution, Pakistan can dismiss any elected government in Pakistan controlled Kashmir irrespective of support it enjoys in the assembly. So-called Azad Kashmir government is completely depended on Pakistan government for its finances. Pakistani security agencies hound kashmiri people who demand their rights or independence or express their opposition to Pakistani policies in POK:

She said "life in PoK is worse than death and there is continued repression of people living here. We are hounded by agency people [ISI], especially as we have a consistent stand of independent Kashmir."

Mangla Dam in POK supply 65% of electricity needs of entire Pakistan state and Pakistan's Water and Power Development Agency(WAPDA) earns revenue of Rs 50 crores on electricity produced without paying much royalty to POK government. When we consider Pakistan's budgetary allocations of Rs 10 Cores to Kashmir government in Pakistan controlled areas then it is nothing when compared to revenues earned by WAPDA. Pakistan had ceded large portions of territory from Gilgit and Baltistan to China in 1963 without any mandate from Kashmiri people.

We should highlight grievances of POK people and rise of freedom struggle in Northern Areas. Exploitation of kashmiri people and violation of their basic human rights by Pakistan government should be consistently exposed in all possible forums and disclose their true nature of love for kashmiris.

Saturday 10 December 2005

Pakistan's Army sells quake relief material!

Rediff reported that:

UNHCR [the UN refugee agency] gave the Pakistan Army more than 2,000 winterised tents for distribution among the most deserving quake victims living at an altitude of 5,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level, the official says.

The army officers sold them in Islamabad's markets.

A farmer named Nizamuddin bought one such tent for one of his relatives living in PoK. The UNHCR checked the local markets and it was confirmed that its tents had been sold.

What is astonishing is:

"I would chase every helicopter hovering over the Neelam Valley hoping that it might drop a tent. I waited for two weeks and finally decided to come to Muzaffarabad. I hoped to get a tent from the army relief camps. I literally begged for a tent but no one took pity on me. I went to the mujahideen [jihadis] of Jamatud Dawa who provided me a tent immediately," says Ali ur Rehman, a Neelam Valley villager.

I wonder whether terrorists are well stocked than Pakistani Army, Specially when Pakistani army is responsible for relief work in the quake hit areas and providing information to international relief agencies?. Importantly does morality of Pakistan's National Army is lesser than that of jihadis(terrorists)?

Thursday 1 December 2005

Money which pakistan owes to india!

Today, Anil who i had met over internet sometime back, had forwarded me a link, which discloses, that since 1948 Pakistan owes Rs 300 crores to India on account of share of pre-partition debt. It also states that:

On an average rate of 8 percent interest, this Rs 300 crore would be over Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion) by now. But even now in the 2004-05 Budget this is shown as only Rs 300 crore.

Rs 300 crore was a lot of money in 1948. In 1950-51, our external debt was only Rs 32 crore (Rs 320 million) and had we realised this Rs 300 crore then, there would have been no external debt.

In the 2004-05 Budget our external debt is shown as over Rs 55,000 crore. Even this would come down by half if we can realise the Rs 20,000 crore now.

After partition Pakistan has attacked Jammu & Kashmir with tribal forces backed by Pakistani army, Therefore Indian government decided to deny Rs 55 crores, which was to be given to Pakistan as per pre-agreement made by the Partition Council. Gandhi went on hunger strike to extort Indian government to release the amount, many people like Sardar Patel had cautioned that this money would be eventually used by the Pakistan to finance war against India but Gandhi didn't listened to this reasoning and finally Indian government was made to release this amount. Thing which has to be noted is, then Indian government did not take India's interest seriously, they could have waited till they have balanced credits and debts of partition before releasing the amount. They succumbed to grandeur of a individual. It is sad to see that no political party has made any effort to recover this amount, which would certainly had made difference to Indian economy!.

Sunday 27 November 2005

Kushboo's controversy

I support kushboo fully and stand by her views. It is sad that other than couple of eminent people, none from Tamil Nadu dared to come forward in her support. I believe, to indulge in sex, marriage is not prerequisite and most importantly one should take necessary precautions, so they wont contract any sexual disease or virus. Certainly everyone cannot be expected to remain virgin until the time of their marriage!, In fact, in classical sangam poetry, In kuruntogai many poems discuss about premarital sex, so people who are protesting themselves are alienated from their Tamil culture!.

Every person is entitled to have their opinion and if there is any difference of opinions, then they could have expressed in mature fashion. What these people are doing on the pretext of upholding Tamil culture exposes their intention to torment her and cause emotional trauma. This cannot be done without having vendetta against her. My understanding for this vehement protest is, that her recent campaign against dalit director Thangkar Bachan for his derogatory remark against Tamil actresses in general, has irked some people and specially Dalit Panthers party and since then they are waiting for right opportunity to get even with her. It was said, that Thangkar was upset with daily tantrums of the actress, who he was shooting in his film. In frustration, he gave a statement which said, that "he knows what these actresses do, to excel their career and they almost prostitute themselves to reach the position they enjoy now". Kushboo has spearheaded campaign against him and made him to apologize publicly and also forced him to prostrate before group of actresses. Some felt that she had overdone it and humiliated Thangkar in this process, Specially when Director has already repented on his remark, So these people were waiting for right opportunity to teach her a lesson.

Whatever the case is, she certainly does not deserve none of these actions.

Saturday 19 November 2005

Narrow Minded Sania Mirza!

These are the remarks of our esteemed youth icon, the Sania Mirza:

"I would like to clearly say on record that I could not possibly justify pre-marital sex as it is a very big sin in Islam and one which I believe will not be forgiven by Allah," Sania, a devout Muslim, said in the statement.

"Attributing a view point that is totally contrary to what I believe in and what I stand for as a Muslim and as an Indian girl,"

She had also denied that her remarks at the summit that whether her dress was six inches in length was not made in the context of fatwa issued on the subject.

First, She has right to have her opinion but holding such primitive views raise questions to those people, who exemplify her as a youth icon. What kind of impression this would make on those people, who hold everything about her in reverence? and those who wish to emulate her?. Indian media needs to be careful with a person, who they choose as a role model for Indian youth and to represent her as symbol of indian sport.

Ps: I will resume my posting in the last week of November or first week of the December.

Can we learn from South Africans?

"Indian cricket team lacks discipline & attitude" this remark is not made by Rahul Dravid with regards to number of extras conceded in the Hyderabad game against South Africa but the observation made by people who are responsible for the team's arrangements. To these people, It took just few days to unearthed deeper malaise in the Indian team. These are the reasons for above deduction, which were reported in Thursday's issue of Deccan.com

  • South African team had regular meetings between 6pm and 7pm. Indian team members went to attend their respective sponsor programs.

  • South Africans moved together and ate together but Indian players sat in groups, while having their food. On the match-eve, South Africans had an exclusive team only dinner on the lawns and paid bill themselves.

  • South Africans went to bed by 9pm on all days, despite being accompanied by their wifes and girl friends on this tour.

In Friday's newspaper it was reported, that Indians, on reaching Bangalore most of them preferred to take rest and just two players ventured out for practice. All these symptoms show indolent attitude and lack of cohesiveness in their approach. For a team which has been embroiled in controversies, group politics and personal loyalties, it is difficult to overcome them in a night but they should make a beginning, first they need to realize importance of small gestures in nurturing team spirit & discipline, specially when our players come from diverse regions.

No matter who wins this series, Indian players need to learn lot from South Africans. Meticulous routines, team work and devotion towards the game will only bring us close to realizing the world cup dream and not individual talent or fame.

Wednesday 2 November 2005

When will we realize our deceitful enemy?

I was expecting some kind of strong response from Indian government after Delhi serial blasts but it appears, that as usual our efforts will be limited to finding terrorists, who perpetrated these blasts and ignoring their affiliated organizations and the country, which gives them all support & free reign to operate in their territory. Every country in this world at least tries to protect their citizens and advises them on impending danger to their lifes but our leadership makes loud noises about their resoluteness in their fight against terrorists but when it comes to hard decision making they are always shallow and reactionary. How many of us know, that there are waging jihad against us? and how serious we are in dealing with this?.

Our peaceniks and Pakistani sympathizers argue that there should not be any hindrance to peace process!. First, i would like to know what is the objective of peace? since there is regular killings & tortures of civilians, attacks on security forces & their installations in J&K and in the rest of the country too, they are continuing their terrorist violence unabated, last major attempt was on Ayodhya. Most importantly Pakistani authority is not even willing to accept the existence of terrorist training camps in territory controlled by them, even after ample proof provided by their own Herald Magazine and also by international agencies and satellite images provided by Indian government, with such dishonest and deceitful enemy how can we expect them to keep their commitments?. Musharraf has done very little in controlling terrorism, after attack on parliament, he had arrested some terrorists and their organization chiefs were put under house arrest but only to be released later, when people's attention shifted from this issue. Now, terrorist organizations were put in the watch list for name sake and given free reign in Pakistan to operate & recruit, as we can see from earth quake relief operations conducted by them with full support from ISI & pakistani establishment.

"We are very disappointed with the government. The mujahideen saved us. I am going to join them next summer since winter has already arrived," he said.

The stench of rotting bodies and the lopsided approach of the Pakistan government has given a fresh lease of life to the jehadi movement. The population of Pakistan occupied Kashmir has developed a soft corner for the jehadis.

The quake has strengthened jehad.

We are generously donating 25 million to pakistan government for providing assistance to quake victims without any accountability, I guess this will be eventually used against us. If we can't choke their support base and counter their propaganda in Pakistan controlled areas then how can we succeed against terrorism?.

Sometimes, it appears to me that our politicians are only serious about terrorism, when there is a direct threat to their lives, such as attack on parliament. There never has been any change in attitude of pakistani government but the change is in our mindset to ignore daily killings of our own people, in hope to encourage peace process.

Monday 31 October 2005

Yesterday's Events

Yesterday was grievous for two reasons, 1) 111 people had died in a train accident near Valigonda, Andhra Pradesh 2) Around 59 people had died and many others injured in terrorist attacks in New Delhi. Former incident is caused by accident and also due to lack of foresight of railway officials & bit of negligence too, that is, they constructed a bridge which can withstand flooding from one tank only and they haven't thought of the possibility of more than one tank breaching at the same moment. Railway officials had reached accident spot by 6am, when this incident has occurred around 4:30am and only at 8:30am they started shifting injured and it should be noted that at 10:30am, still some people were hanging(literally) to their dear life by holding on to the windows of train, ceiling fans and to the branches of trees so that they won't sweep away in floods.

Later incident is caused by some human animals who had lust for blood!. Afterwards, i will write more about this in another post.

Saturday 29 October 2005

Part 1: Applications which made difference to me.

For me, Reading anything on monitor is laborious task and needless to say, that it puts lot of strain on my eyes, due to glare emitting from the screen. Most importantly, it restricts me from doing any other tasks. All this changed, when i found CoolSpeech approximately 4 years ago, initially i was apprehensive, that it may sound like a robot but my doubt was put to rest when i tried it. It is a program, which reads out text that we copy to clipboard(it holds information between the copy and the paste operations) or it reads loud as we type anything/anywhere. It also does other tasks:

  • Scheduling a task, such as, reading from a file(text, docs, Htmls) at a particular time or reading news from internet(using urls) at a particular time etc.

  • Converting text file to wave(sound) file.

  • Announces time & date (half) hourly in different styles.

It is available with different male & female voices but among them, which sounds exactly like human voice and that i like most is "Adult Male 1, American English".

This program has increased my productivity and this voice has been my companion for countless insane late nights. I still remember, the day i got this program i downloaded Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen from Project Gutenberg site and listened to it nonstop(because i was fascinated with this story, since my school days) and then i had listened to one of my favorite book 'Underground' by Suelette Dreyfus, its a fascinating book must read by everyone, Even if you are not associated with computer world (hacker's in particular). I was so trilled, that i haven't slept for two days without finishing reading (listening) to these 2 books and next i had read all (i think) works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Considering my limited time, without this application i can't follow all blogs that i subscribe to or read journals i'm interested in.

Chess has been part of my life and love. Well this statement should not be interpreted as to think that my playing strength is at Master level but i'm just a club level player but one doesn't need to be a master to enjoy beauty of this game, in which we experience all emotions of life (trust me otherwise people won't stare at 64 squares for more than 6 hours straight). Problem was i didn't had human opponent to play with, i don't like to play with computers because they mathematically calculate moves and no excitement there, which we get, when we play against human. Internet has lot of chess servers, popular among them is ICC and yahoo but ICC is paid one and Yahoo has lot of cheaters and with poor rating calculation algorithm. Finally 5 years ago i found FICS and other than chess, it has many interesting things to offer me, like, channels on various topics to chat and i can meet people from all over the world, with different backgrounds, participating in team tourneys(which lasts months) where i made lot of good friends. Thing is FICS is telnet based server, so in initial days there weren't much options when it came to GUI interface(though there were decent ones like winboard & thief). For this reason, One of the member of FICS 'rraf' has wrote Babaschess and it is more flexible because of its customizability and its complexity has been encapsulated by its simplicity. It has been great help to me. You can see below, screenshot of my screen with Babaschess running. Click on it to enlarge.

Babaschess Screenshot

Saturday 22 October 2005

Appeasement or Honest Change of Heart?

Jammu and Kashmir Council for Rehabilitation of Militancy Victims(JKCRMV) has taken decision to widen their purview to accommodate terrorist dependents. Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretary and legislator Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, who had survived tuesday's terrorist attack has said that:

The destitute families of the killed militants could not live a condemned life. Militants do not take up guns after seeking permission from their families.

Well, Tarigami's association with this news and coincidence of this announcement with terrorist attack on him, wonders me whether they have taken this decision under compulsion to appease terrorists?. If purview of JKCRMV could be extended bit further, lets say to those people, who have lost their livelihood due to terrorism & their violence and struggling to survive, can we include them too?

I don't think following stringent policy as Israel's, which flattens terrorist's house with bulldozer will help us but clubbing families of these terrorist with terrorist victims perhaps causes resentment.

Wednesday 19 October 2005

J&K: Amusing Newsreader & Terrorist Attack

Today morning around 11:30am, i was watching NDTV's Hindi news, they were following terrorist attack in J&K. What stuck me is when the newsreader proclaimed that this attack discredits the security forces intelligence, which said that the terrorist training camps across the border were affected in the quake and that 700 terrorist had died. I wondered, how? does he mean that there are no terrorists already present inside J&K (If my memory serves me correct, then i remember army spokesperson saying that approximately there are 2000 terrorists operating in J&K.) or is he implying that those terrorists cross LOC just before they intend to commit terrorist act?. On serious note, This high profile attack may not have carried out without the knowledge of higher command and recent killings in the past few days reveal that the unilateral ceasefire issued by jihadi council to help earthquake victims is sham. Increase in violence only shows their desperateness to conceal losses in POK.

All news channels had given importance to this news & terrorism, it is understandable that this prominence comes from the fact that the Educational Minister Gulam Nabi Lone had lost his life but at the same time we shouldn't forget those 10 lesser souls, who are gruesomely murdered few days ago by these terrorists. At the same time, this should not distract army & administration from providing relief operations to quake victims.

Saturday 15 October 2005

Violence against women

UNFPA State of World Population 2005 report which was released on Wednesday has highlighted some shocking facts(at least for me). Here are some excerpts from a article in Deccan.com.

In India, 70 per cent of married women who have ever experienced domestic violence believe that “wife-beating is justified for at least one reason. Shockingly, 16 per cent of deaths during pregnancy in India have been attributed by the report to domestic violence.

In India, one survey showed women lost an average of seven working days after an incident of violence. The state of women in India was highlighted again in the report on the issue of missing girls.

Worldwide estimate reveals one in five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime; one in three will have been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused, usually by a family member or an acquaintance. Violence is killing and disabling women between the ages of 15-44 as cancer

This observation is not limited to India itself:

Even in a highly-developed society like Canada, a national survey on violence against women reported that 30 per cent of married women has to cease regular activities due to abuse, and 50 per cent of women had to take sick leave from work because of the harm sustained.

This is terrible news for two reasons 1) Acceptance/support to violence among women 2) High percentage of such violence exist in our society, i never thought that the problem is so grave. This emphasizes need to provide education and encouraging women to be financially independent to lead their own life rather than depending on others and they should exhibit zero tolerance to violence. When i think about it more, it comes to my mind that education & financial independence alone cannot reduce this violence against women and we need to bring change in the society and our attitude towards women. We need to have programs in schools for children, which teach about equal rights & respect for each other from tender age. These programs should be designed in such a way that it should discourage any display of superiority complex by males due to their physical strength.

Thursday 13 October 2005

Helping the enemy!

Yesterday, Indian media has reported that our army personal had crossed LOC and helped Pakistani army in rebuilding their bunker:

"Then our jawans crossed over (the LoC) and helped them reconstruct their bunker", Col Hemant Joneja of Army's 15 Corps confirmed to The Indian Express.

I was wondering whether our soldiers have lost their sanity!. How can they help our active enemy in building a bunker?, who till date continues proxy war against us and who aids & abets terrorist acts on our soil, despite our peace overtures. In the first place, whether our soldiers forgot the purpose & significance of a bunker?.

Well, my worries over our soldiers sanity was put to rest by clarification from our Indian Army:

"Indian soldiers did not reconstruct any Pakistani Army bunkers," an Army spokesman said on Thursday, clarifying that the soldiers had gone across unarmed to give Pakistani soldiers picks and shovels to clear debris.

"Our soldiers responded to shouts of help from across the LoC," the spokesman said, "in no case scenario can Indian soldiers help in rebuilding enemy bunkers."

Well, its another matter that our media went ga..ga.. over this incident, wrote about new hope or something similar. Perhaps its my naivety to expect our media to be sensible, Specially who doesn't know the difference between a militant & terrorist.

Saturday 8 October 2005

Our delight over Time Magazine's cover!

Wow, Sania is on Time Magazine's cover!. Wait a minute, How can i take pride in a magazine's publication, which has previously wrote unsavory article on our country's former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee?. I wonder whether people who get featured/mentioned in the time magazine's weekly cover, will they all take pride in similar way as we do?.

When i think about Time Magazine's prestige, this incident comes to my mind. In 1987, Time had published a story implying that Ariel sharon was directly responsible for Massacres in sabra and shatila, but later when Sharon filed libel suit in federal court in New York, he was exonerated by the jury.

Perhaps, i can't share euphoria of our general public & media! and for being too nationalistic i guess.

Thursday 15 September 2005

Humpy vs Sania

I've been following Sania Mirza's modest success in tennis with some interest, she has certainly done country proud, specially when she won against Svetlana Kuznetsova in Dubai Open in march this year. At the same time, i'm perplexed at the publicity she receives, as it is not proportionate to her success and how media makes anything trivial about her as news (particularly in Deccan Chronicle, where a day doesn't go by without news item on her) and overstating her chances of success in a game. This makes me wonder, whether we don't know how to handle success which we achieve once in a while, so that we exaggerate things? or we don't have enough sports stars to write about or cheer for (other than cricketers)?. When i ask myself a basic question that why our people prefer tennis in the first place, as many of us give damn for our national sport kabadi! or for that matter any other sport (except cricket)?.

I think answers for these questions lies in the role of media and glamour of Sania in attracting masses to this game. Our yearning media has found someone, who is marketable with her glamour( also other factors) and who has modest success under her belt. Generally for a person to take interest in a new game, either the game should be appealing to him/her or they should have interest in someone, who participates in the game and for our people its the later case, since many people just follow only sania's games due to glamour and patriotism and doesn't have much interest in other tennis players or bother about news relating to the tennis world, for that matter most doesn't even know rules of the game. If one thinks that the glamour has nothing to do with her publicity & popularity, then they are wrong, we have many athletics and chess players who have achieved greater heights than sania in their respective sport, but there are in oblivion.

Media has created inflated image of her which will overshadow other deserving players as Koneru Humpy. Sania's world tennis ranking is 34 and Koneru Humpy is a women grand master with world ranking of 6 (in 2004 she was placed in 3rd place) and she has distinction of being first indian woman to achieve the Men's GM Title at age of 15 years, 1 Month, which in itself is a world record for Youngest-Ever Women to achieve the Men's GM Title. With so much talent she is starved of resources. Both the players are from the Andhra Pradesh state, Recently Humpy has made a appeal to the State government of Andhra Pradesh for their financial assistance, which she desperately needed to be trained for the world chess championships coming up early next year. But shockingly, state government has rejected her request and allocated 20 lakhs to Sania for her performance in the US Open and also decided to sponsor her visits abroad to participate in tournaments and her traveling coach John Farrington, where as already in last 3 months she had received total about 60 lakhs and housing plot from the state. Sania has corporate sponsor and earns lot of money through her endorsements and more over she has declared that she wouldn't be needing any financial support anymore. Let us suppose, if something of this kind is done to Sania would our media and public remain quite? perhaps no. People may view chess as a game where 2 persons push pieces of wood on 64 squares, this perspective could be changed, if our media promotes sports instead of individuals and stop exaggerating significance of reaching 4th round of a particular grand slam.

It is not the public who takes interest but it is the media who creates interest!.

Sunday 11 September 2005

Pakistani propaganda

Pakistan's former chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Nur Khan's disclosure of 1965 war, that the Pakistan was the aggressor and not India as it was made to believe in pakistan by the pakistan's Army and following governments, which till date view 1965 war as their victory and celebrate September 6 as "Defense Day". This isn't shocking as it is to many who i know, Thing is pakistan's government has misled their own people and some gullible people in India & the world with their strong propaganda on various issues as related to India in general, J&K and spewing venom on minorities(specifically against Hindus) in its school text books as noted by UN. To start with, they accuse India for not implementing UN security council resolution of 1948, fact of the matter is that the resolution has precondition, which requires pakistani tribesman & regulars to vacate the J&K and subsequently allowing Indian forces to reduce their strength in the valley thereby creating conducive environment to enable plebiscite under UN supervision, as pakistan couldn't fulfill its obligation, India couldn't permit plebiscite in just its J&K territory, instead of entire J&K State(including POK). Here is excerpt from the article in Dawn(pakistani daily) by Irfan Husain, though bit old but quite relevant in todays time. In my opinion it is worth reading entire article, it gives insight into pakistani psyche.
"So far, Pakistanis have been brainwashed into believing that it was India who did not permit a plebiscite in Kashmir. But in actual fact, the resolutions clearly called for the withdrawal of Pakistani troops from Azad Kashmir followed by the 'thinning' of Indian troops as pre-conditions for a plebiscite. In the event, since Pakistani troops remained in place, the other steps could not follow."
List of UN resolutions on J&K can be found at here.

Friday 9 September 2005

Chinese influence and yahoo's duplicity

Few years ago, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under the Department of Information Technology has requested cooperation from yahoo in blocking/deleting kynhun yahoogroup, which is "promoting anti-national news and contained material against Government of India & State Government of Meghalaya." and yahoo's reluctance made Department of Telecommunications at the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology to issue an order directing ISPs to block kynhun Yahoogroup(it is another story that most of ISPs messed up by blocking entire yahoogroups website for some days since they don't had technical know-how to block specific yahoogroup), now it was reported that Yahoo provided chinese investigating organizations with information that helped link journalist Shi Tao's personal e-mail account and the text of the message to his computer. As per BBC report, Shi Tao was found guilty of sending foreign-based websites the text of an internal Communist Party message and sentenced to 10 years.
Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako said
"Just like any other global company, Yahoo must ensure that its local country sites must operate within the laws, regulations and customs of the country in which they are based"
It should be noted that earlier this month yahoo had invested $1 billion in china's firm Alibaba.com.

Wednesday 7 September 2005

Importance of infrastructure

A good infrastructure is important for economic development of any country, specially in the case of India which is like island, as it is surrounded by water, himalayas and hostile nations, which doesn't allow transit of goods. For this purpose India should maintain strong navy to protect its maritime interests. New seaports should be built and existing seaports need to be modernized, so that they can handle more unloading/loading of cargo per hour. We should improve and lay new roads and rail links connecting entire country extensively, this would improve & promote trade & commerce and attracts FDIs. This would assist growth of various sectors and provides mobilization of army & better management of supplies to border areas, and also reduces reaction/deployment time, it should be noted that at the time of 1962 war, every small need of the army has to be airlifted to the frontlines and in some events air dropped food & other things had landed in the enemy territory and depriving our army from those essentials, where as Chinese has laid extensive roads and rail links for sending supplies and reinforcements. This is very important with regards to our north eastern states for having poor communication and transportation links with rest of India.

Golden quadrilateral project is a good step but still lot needs to be invested in development of basic infrastructure.

Who am i?

I came across this fun site and out of curiosity took leader and Classic movie test and below are the results. I was amazed at the second test result but i was not sure of first result, therefore thought of taking more comprehensive test with more questions(45 qns) and surprisingly result was same. but... perhaps my intellect is best served to destroy the world. lol!!!.

What Famous Leader am i?

What Classic Movie am i?

Sunday 28 August 2005

NLFT

BBC has reported that NLFT is now making pornographic films by abducting tribal women for generating revenue for their activities. Way to go guys, Achieving your organization's objective ("Independent Christian Fundamentalist State of Tripura") isn't too far!

I wish i could remain impassive as our media and get back to my inane life!.

Sunday 21 August 2005

Our Savior: Jessica Simpson!

Sify reported that:
Dukes of Hazzard star Jessica Simpson says she wants to do missionary work in a bid to save the world.

"We'd still like to do some mission work, visit Third World countries - I have this whole plan to save the world," Fox News quoted Jessica as telling OK! magazine in an interview.
I hail our new savior Jessica Simpson!, She wants to save people like me(a pagan) in the third world countries from burning their soul in hell for eternity. I wish her good luck in harvesting souls in this third world, which is already crowded with evangelists and sincerely wish that she could manage to save enough souls(if not the entire world) for herself to secure a place in heaven!.

Wednesday 17 August 2005

Section 377 of IPC

There was a protest in Mumbai by human rights activists calling for a ban on section 377 of IPC. According to News source we have inherited this law from British in 1860 and we continue it even after British themselves had discarded it. As per the news item, this law terms:
homosexuality as an unnatural act and is punishable with life imprisonment. It implies that people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender are criminals.

They also say that what is considered 'against the order of nature' is actually just how some people express their love or sexuality.
I completely agree with the above statement. I believe sexual preference is one's personal choice and state has no business in interfering in it. This law may have been passed due to religious compulsions of british in those days and this explains such harsh punishment but this kind of primitive laws have no place in present society. There are few irrational laws in IPC as this, which have been inherited from the British, they need to be revised or scrapped.

Tuesday 16 August 2005

Neglect of North eastern affairs

Few days back, All Naga Students Association, Manipur(ANSAM) has ended its 50 days economic blockade of Manipur. As a result of this blockade, there was severe shortage of most commodities and it was reported that in the black market, single refilled LPG cylinder costs more than Rs 1600, this emphasizes the gravity of the situation. I'm shocked at the laxity of the central government in dealing expeditiously with the situation and it took them 45 days to order army to clear Highways No 39 and 53 from blockaders and also in taking decision on sending Union Home Secretary V K Duggal to assist state government & air lifting supplies to Manipur. Finally, blockade was called off temporarily after ANSAM leaders spoke to Prime Minister.
This economic blockade started with the Manipuri State government declaring June 18th as state holiday for celebrating "State Integrity Day". In the year 2001 Manipuri's had agitated on perceived agreement between Center and NSCN(IM) to create Greater Nagaland(merger of naga inhabited regions of Manipur into Nagaland) and to commemorate this event they have announced this holiday, which inflamed naga student groups in manipur. If Center has taken Manipur government & its people into confidence over talks with NSCN(IM) in 2001 then this situation wouldn't had arised in the first place.
Instead of getting involved in dealing with the complex ethnical-communal situation, Center has advised state government to take appropriate action through consultations with the naga students groups. At times, Indecisiveness of the center could jeopardize situation and reduces probability to find the amicable solution. Center should participate more actively than leaving things to follow their own course.
Political parties may not have much interest in this region due to few assembly and parliamentary seats but It should also be noted that this issue is not raised by national news media, in a way it should had and all this shows lack of sensitiveness towards issues concerning north eastern states.

Monday 15 August 2005

New anti hijack policy

Finally, cabinet committee on security(CCS) has approved anti-hijack policy which rules out negotiations with hijackers on their demands and stipulates that talks with hijackers can only be held with regards to preventing loss of life or ending the incident. CCS also gave approval to proposals, which include, death penalty to hijackers, reducing in bureaucratic hassles for getting permission for armed intervention to shorten reaction time, and also allowing shooting down of an hijacked plane in case there is conclusive evidence that it is being used as a missile like in the 9/11 terror attack.
Formulating a policy and implementing a policy are quite different things. It needs to be seen how government would react in a situation, where traumatic family members of a hijacked plane exert their influence for release of their loved ones. If we cave in to their pressure and accept hijackers demands then its implications will be worst than not having this kind of policy itself, but it will also confirm that we are a soft nation and we could be intimidated using terror tactics from implementing our policy and encouragess more such terror acts!.

Sunday 14 August 2005

Mangal Pandey The Rising

I had watched "Mangal Pandey The Rising" and i must say that i am disappointed, its too boring and poorly directed. It was said that the director had done lot of research on the subject, in spite of having only 2 pages of information on sepoy mangal pandey & worked hard for years to make this movie but the movie doesn't reflect on any established facts or does justice to claimed research or effort, they just used names of historic figures to create & narrate their own story. When it comes to depicting British East India company it seems they had their own agenda to follow. British East Indian Company weren't so naive as portrayed, if they were, then they wouldn't had ruled for 100 years. I'm almost tempted to write about fallacies in this movie but i wouldn't because there are so many, starting from the date of afghan campaign to the end decision of hanging mangal publicly. May be i'm too nitpicky on this incident, but i couldn't stop laughing out loud at the wisdom of a british captain, who orders sepoys carrying musket(with flintlocks) to charge against sword carrying hordes of men on horseback. It would had been nice, if the movie was at least tolerable, my unhappiness with twisting of facts is only secondary when compare to enjoying the movie. so much fuss about this damn movie, complete waste of my time!.

Friday 12 August 2005

The Inevitable!

Today, Pakistan had tested its first ever cruise missile called Hatf VII Babur with range about 500Kms and it can carry nuclear warheads. Many believe(are optimistic) that there never will be a nuclear war between India & Pakistan, and sheer destructive force of this weapon would act as deterrent for both nations to use them. Well, when we look at India it has "no first use" policy and we have nuclear command & control under civilian authority(PM), who is the elected representative of the nation, therefore we don't have any cause for concern, unless we change our policy or if there is accidental launch but our nuclear warheads are kept detached from delivery vehicles, so no danger there.
When we look at Pakistan, They have command and control of their nuclear weapons in the hands of their military. More over, current president of Pakistan, once ordered to mount nuclear warheads onto their delivery vehicles in effort to nuke India during kargil crisis and now he gives lecture on"how dangerous these weapons are!?" but the fact is, a man can not become a saint over night and the reason for his change in his attitude is that his hands are tied down due to circumstances for the moment. We need to understand psyche of Pakistani ruling class to know about impending nuclear danger, here is the excerpt from the article by Peter landesman in The Atlantic Journal (You need to subscribe in order to read entire article, or you can find entire article here on private site or excerpt from Times of India)
Writer Peter Landesman relates a hair-raising conversation he has with a retired Pakistani brigadier who was serving as an aide to Benazir Bhutto. On a visit to Brigadier Amanullah’s house in Islamabad, Landesman sees a landscape painting showing the Bhuttos with what he (Landesman) thinks is a rocket heading to the moon. He asks the Brigadier about it, and is told the painting is actually "A nuclear warhead heading to India". The rest of the narrative in Landesman's own words:

We both looked up at the painting in silence. "A rocket ship heading to the moon?" I asked.
Aman tipped his head to the side. A smirk tugged at the corners of his mouth. "No," he said. "A nuclear warhead heading to India."
I thought he was making a joke. Then I saw he wasn't. I thought of the shrines to Pakistan's nuclear-weapons site, prominently displayed in every city. I told Aman that I was disturbed by the ease with which Pakistanis talk of nuclear war with India.
Aman shook his head. "No," he said matter-of-factly. "This should happen. We should use the bomb."
"For what purpose?" He didn't seem to understand my question. "In retaliation?" I asked.
"Why not?"
"Or first strike?"
"Why not?"
I looked for a sign of irony. None was visible. Rocking his head side to side, his expression becoming more and more withdrawn, Aman launched into a monologue that neither of us, I am sure, knew was coming:
"We should fire at them and take out a few of their citiesâ€"Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta," he said. "They should fire back and take Karachi and Lahore. Kill off a hundred or two hundred million people. They should fire at us and it would all be over. They have acted so badly toward us; they have been so mean. We should teach them a lesson. It would teach all of us a lesson. There is no future here, and we need to start over. So many people think this. Have you been to the villages of Pakistan, the interior? There is nothing but dire poverty and pain. The children have no education; there is nothing to look forward to. Go into the villages, see the poverty. There is no drinking water. Small children without shoes walk miles for a drink of water. I go to the villages and I want to cry. My children have no future. None of the children of Pakistan have a future. We are surrounded by nothing but war and suffering. Millions should die away."
"Pakistan should fire pre-emptively?" I asked.
Aman nodded.
"And you are willing to see your children die?"
"Tens of thousands of people are dying in Kashmir, and the only superpower says nothing," Aman said. "America has sided with India because it has interests there." He told me he was willing to see his children be killed. He repeated that they didn't have any futureâ€"his children or any other children.
I asked him if he thought he was alone in his thoughts, and Aman made it clear to me that he was not.
"Believe me," he went on, "If I were in charge, I would have already done it."
Aman stopped, as though he'd stunned even himself. Then he added, with quiet forcefulness, "Before I die, I hope I should see it."

Because of all these factors, i feel nuclear war is imminent and its not matter of "whether" but "when"!. Even if there is attack or no attack, it is always good, if we acquaint ourselves to deal with the situation, Specially considering our nuclear neighbors. Indian Administration has given preference to protect its country's top political leadership but has made no effort to protect its civilian population, such as building large bunkers to take refuge during nuclear war, though practically it is not possible to save everyone but government should make comprehensive arrangements to protect eminent persons in all professions and should advise civilians on gravity of the situation. Most of the people in India are ignorant of looming nuclear war over sub-continent, people in general know that nuclear war is bad but has very less information to deal with its dangerous aftermath. We have to start educating people and government departments to conduct drills relating to relief efforts during/after nuclear attack. We can learn many things from experience of japan on this issue.
I'm not a supporter of "no first use" policy because its entire premises is based on righteousness & that we could survive first strike and it doesn't cause too much damage to us. Being righteous against a enemy who sponsors terrorism is not wise but suicidal. Policy formers fail to consider synchronized multiple nuclear strikes(with hundreds of nuclear missiles), which could destroy entire country, when Pakistan knows that there is no tomorrow, they would certainly use their entire arsenal at once than few at a time. It is not the matter of retaliation, we could use nuclear submarines which are difficult to detect but my point is what is the use of a policy which doesn't serve the purpose to protect a nation and its people but incur total annihilation?
Our nuclear policy reminds me a incident which happened few decades back, Our PM was briefed by intelligence agency about progress made by Pakistan in making nukes and how close they are in achieving it. Our security forces requested permission to bomb their reactor facility and what our PM does?. Well, no surprise here, he calls his counterpart and tells him that he knows what they are up to, in a hope that they would behave!. Surprisingly they do, by installing surface to air missiles and increasing their defenses of the facility!.

Why i read blogs?

I was participating in a survey conducted by blogger.com and had this question and here are my thoughts. Well, I like to read blogs because i find people's opinions & thoughts quite fascinating & stimulating. I spend lot of time in search of blogs, which captivates my thoughts. No, I don't live in cave and i do have social life but the thing is, people are much more open in expressing about themselves in their blogs and most importantly i can see their world through their eyes. This way, i could know about different perspectives of the people and learn about their culture and it's influence on their thinking. Only thing which disappoints me is, when a blogger tends to act obsequiously towards their blog readers in their writings, than giving importance to blogging honestly.

I need to find a way to organize these blogs and way to subscribe to them, Its too bad that too many bloggers don't provide xml or rss feeds :(. I'm bit lazy to update those blogs here to my list, may be i would do it in the future.

Thursday 11 August 2005

Our collective responsibility!

Few years back, i watched a program on discovery channel, regarding aborigines of Australia and it was a documentary film on their great heritage and how it is dying due to neglect of the new generation. There are around 500 tribals, each with their own territory, language or dialect with population of around 200,000. Though their appearance might look savage but their views on life and their religious philosophy are not at all primitive, they have many things to offer to our modern world, specially their knowledge of nature and how man can live with nature without causing ecological damage.
Sadly, new generation of aborigines despised life of their ancestors in the forest and have no or little interest in learning their ancestors customs & practices. As a result of this, situation is so serious, that in this particular tribe they are not having enough people to perform their rituals & festivals and for this reason, some people from another tribe had to come to assist them for the ceremony, when this being explained to producer of the show by tribal elder, we can see tears coming from his eyes. Honestly, at that moment, i wanted to volunteer myself for learning their ways but unfortunately, i'm thousands of kilometers away(kinda easy to get emotional, when we see 70 year old person crying profusely). Well, I can understand new generation's desire to have luxurious life but i fail to understand, why they aren't interested in their ancestors ways? and at least they can participate in occasional ceremonies, so they can keep their heritage alive. I think they aren't induced about the merits & importance of their own culture & heritage and therefore they look it as something inferior to ones which they hold in esteem, this isn't limited to aborigines, we see this tendency of inferiority complex in one form or other in societies around the world.
Even it is not our culture we should make sure that it doesn't die, just like that. After all, we all are one family and aborigines wisdom should pass on.

Sunday 31 July 2005

Is proselytizing violence against humanity?

Srivatsannin Kirrukkal wrote a sincere blog on intolerance of Islam and Christianity towards other religions and this was followed by Joseph's reply in his blog, this led to fervor in the debate on the issue & the proselytizing. There are many people who vouch that it is the people who are intolerant not the religion itself, they have their compulsions to say so, but when we consider the opinion of people who have profound knowledge of all religious text, they speak otherwise. Insecurities of Hindus & other indic religions against proselytizing is least understood and less debated issue, Usually people who raise these issues are labeled as Hindu fanatics or digress from the topic with irrelevant or personal remarks and this way they could discredit the person and their concerns and arguments, therefore they can avoid the discussion. In contentious issues as this, there is always a possibility of a discussion becoming a open brawl. It would help us, if we follow ancient Hindu tradition of engaging the 'other' using a technique called "purvapaksha" This means you must first study the other's viewpoint very seriously and become an expert in it, Only then can you debate against it. This helps us to understand each others viewpoint clearly and this allows us to focus on issue on the hand & its contention.
Many people think that the strife between Christians(missionaries) and Hindus & other indic religions is a recent one because of rise of right-wing extremism, but this is due to lack of forum to address growing insecurities of Hindus and other religions, which arise from fraudulent conversions and inability of the administration to control immoral missionary activities, such as inducements for conversions, making defamatory & false remarks against other religions, using violence to intimidate people to convert and protection/support received by Christian terrorists from the church, this approach is mostly used in North-Eastern States & tribal regions and providing charity to only those who are willing to convert, as observed during tsunami relief efforts. Missionary activities became more subtle when compared to their open protection and encouragement received during british rule, it should also be noted that conversion and social unrest was one of the cause for 1857 revolt along with other reasons.
Here is the views of Mahatma Gandhi on Christian missionaries in India, This was compiled by Swami Aksharananda (Track No. 010119.1, Jan. 19, 2001) and produced by Vidya Bharati.


I Call Myself a Sanatani Hindu
I call myself a Sanatani Hindu, because I believe in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas, and all that goes by the name of Hindu scripture, and therefore in avataras and rebirth; I believe in the varnashrama dharma in a sense, in my opinion strictly Vedic but not in its presently popular crude sense; I believe in the protection of cow … I do not disbelieve in murti puja. (Young India: June 10, 1921)
Why I am Not a Convert
Hinduism as I know it entirely satisfies my soul, fills my whole being … When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and when I see not one ray of light on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad Gita, and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of tragedies and if they have not left any visible and indelible effect on me, I owe it to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. (Young
India: June 8, 1925)
I Disbelieve in Conversion
I disbelieve in the conversion of one person by another. My effort should never to be to undermine another's faith. This implies belief in the truth of all religions and, therefore, respect for them. It implies true humility. (Young India: April 23, 1931)
Conversion: Impediment to Peace
It is impossible for me to reconcile myself to the idea of conversion after the style that goes on in India and elsewhere today. It is an error which is perhaps the greatest impediment to the world's progress toward peace … Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu to Christianity? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man? (Harijan: January 30, 1937)
No Such Thing as Conversion
I believe that there is no such thing as conversion from one faith to another in the accepted sense of the word. It is a highly personal matter for the individual and his God. I may not have any design upon my neighbour as to his faith which I must honour even as I honour my own. Having reverently studied the scriptures of the world I could no more think of asking a Christian or a Musalman, or a Parsi or a Jew to change his faith than I would think of changing my own. (Harijan:
September 9, 1935)
No Conversion Designs Upon Me
I am not interested in weaning you from Christianity and making you Hindu, and I do not relish your designs upon me, if you had any, to convert me to Christianity. I would also dispute your claim that Christianity is the only true religion. (Harijan: June 3, 1937)
Conversion
Conversion must not mean denationalization. Conversion should mean a definite giving up of the evil of the old, adoption of all the good of the new and a scrupulous avoidance of everything evil in the new. Conversion, therefore, should mean a life of greater dedication to one's country, greater surrender to God, greater self-purification. (Young India: August 20, 1925)
Aping of Europeans and Americans
As I wander about through the length and breath of India I see many Christian Indians almost ashamed of their birth, certainly of their ancestral religion, and of their ancestral dress. The aping of Europeans by Anglo-Indians is bad enough, but the aping of them by Indian converts is a violence done to their country and, shall I say, even to their new religion. (Young India: August 8, 1925)
Why Should I Change My Religion
I hold that proselytisation under the cloak of humanitarian work is unhealthy to say the least. It is most resented by people here. Religion after all is a deeply personal thing. It touches the heart. Why should I change my religion because the doctor who professes Christianity as his religion has cured me of some disease, or why should the doctor expect me to change whilst I am under his influence? (Young India: April 23, 1931)
Missionary Aim: Uprooting Hinduism
My fear is that though Christian friends nowadays do not say or admit it that Hindu religion is untrue, they must harbour in their breast that Hinduism is an error and that Christianity, as they believe it, is the only true religion…so far as one can understand the present (Christian) effort, it is to uproot Hinduism from her very foundation and replace it by another faith. (Harijan: March 13, 1937)
Undermining People's Faith
The first distinction I would like to make … between your missionary work and mine is that while I am strengthening the faith of people, you (missionaries) are undermining it. (Young India: November 8, 1927)
Physician Heal Yourself
Conversion nowadays has become a matter of business, like any other…India (Hindus) is in no need of conversion of this kind… Conversion in the sense of self-purification, self-realisation is the crying need of the times. That however is never what is meant by proselytisation. To those who would convert India (Hindus), might it not be said, "Physician, heal yourself." (Young India: April 23, 1931)
Missionaries: Vendors of Goods
When the missionary of another religion goes to them, he goes like a vendor of goods. He has no special spiritual merit that will distinguish him from those to whom he goes. He does however possess material goods which he promises to those who will come to his fold. (Harijan: April 3, 1937)
If I had the Power and Could Legislate …
If I had the power and could legislate, I should stop all proselytizing … In Hindu households the advent of a missionary has meant the disruption of the family coming in the wake of change of dress, manners, language, food and drink … (November 5, 1935)
The Only Begotten Son of God?
I regard Jesus as a great teacher of humanity, but I do not regard him as the only begotten son of God. That epithet in its material interpretation is quite unacceptable. Metaphorically we are all sons of God, but for each of us there may be different sons of God in a special sense. Thus for me Chaitanya may be the only begotten son of God … God cannot be the exclusive Father and I cannot ascribe exclusive divinity to Jesus. (Harijan: June 3, 1937)
Western Christianity Today
It is my firm opinion that Europe (and the United States) does not represent the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan's successes are the greatest when appears with the name of God on his lips. (Young India: September 8, 1920)
Western Christianity (cont'd)
I consider western Christianity in its practical working a negation of Christ's Christianity. I cannot conceive Jesus, if he was living in flesh in our midst, approving of modern Christian organizations, public worship, or ministry. (Young India: September 22, 1921)
Christianity and Imperialistic Exploitation
Christianity in India has been inextricably mixed up for the last one hundred and fifty years with British rule. It appears to us as synonymous with materialistic civilization and imperialistic exploitation by the stronger white races of the weaker races of the world. Its contribution to India has been, therefore, largely negative. (Young India: March 21, 1929)
No Room For Them
In the manner in which they are working there would seem to be no room for them. Quite unconsciously they do harm to themselves and also to us. It is perhaps impertinent to say that they do harm to themselves, but quite pertinent to say that they do harm to us. They do harm to those amongst whom they work and those amongst whom they do not work, i.e., the harm is done to the whole of India… The more I study their activities the more sorry I become… It is a tragedy that
such a thing should happen to the human family. (Harijan: December 12, 1936)
Outrage!
Only the other day a missionary descended on a famine area with money in his pocket, distributed it among the famine stricken, converted them to his fold, took charge of their temple, and demolished it. This is outrageous. (Harijan: November 5, 1937)
Let the Hindu be a Better Hindu
I came to the conclusion long ago … that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian. (Young India: January 19, 1928)
Welcome Them Back
If a person through fear, compulsion, starvation, or for material gain or consideration goes over to another faith, it is a misnomer to call it conversion. Most cases of conversion … have been to my mind false coin … I would therefore unhesitatingly re-admit to the Hindu fold all such repentants without much ado … If a man comes back to the original branch he deserves to be welcomed … in so far as he may deem to have erred, he has sufficiently purged himself of it when he repents his error and retraces his steps. (Collected Works: Vol. 66, pp. 163-164)

Wednesday 27 July 2005

Our craving for social acceptance!

Yahoo News reported that:
A woman who told police she wanted to be a "cool mom" pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges Monday for having sex with high school boys at parties where authorities said she supplied drugs and alcohol.
He said Johnson told investigators "she was never popular with classmates in high school and now began `feeling like one of the group.
Not her immoral acts, but her explanation which made me to ponder!. Why most of us crave for social acceptance? for being social animals? but why our desire for acceptance blinds our thinking? why this acceptance should have so much bearing on our mind?. Is this something to do with our genetic make-up or something else? I'm confused, i can't reflect my thoughts properly and my intellect fails me!.

Saturday 23 July 2005

Self delusion

I always wonder, why as a nation we are easily flattered by smallest concession and self-bestow honor, in reality which was not even granted to us and why can't we see things in a way they are? Well, i'm referring to joint statement released by India and USA in which they declared that:
The U.S. says it is now in favour of "full civil nuclear energy cooperation" with India, which it describes as "a responsible state with advanced nuclear technology". In return, India has agreed to "separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities and programs in a phased manner" and place its "civilian nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards."
And this significant declaration of understanding has been hailed by most Indian news media as virtual recognition of India as a nuclear power and officially it remains formality for us to join nuclear club. Well, i disagree to this interpretation because if this is the case, then why didn't USA allow India to ratify NPT(nuclear non proliferation treaty) as a nuclear state, in that way, it will not have hard time in persuading US congress to lift restrictions on India and the NSG to agree to adjust international regimes so that India can shop for civilian nuclear energy!. Instead, US government is still optimistic that, India would abandon nuclear weapons and ratify NPT as non-nuclear state. Mood in the white house is quite evident from US senior state department official's comment in the NY Times:
Excerpt:
A senior State Department official, giving a briefing under ground rules in which he could not be identified, said that the Bush administration still hoped India would eventually give up nuclear weapons, and that the administration rebuffed an Indian request to be recognized formally as a nuclear weapons state under the treaty.
"The discussions went through various permutations," he said. "We didn't feel we could somehow formally recognize India as a nuclear state. Ultimately, we hope they will elect to join the NPT."
Acquiring civilian nuclear energy is important to Indian economy, considering its growing energy needs. Agreement reached between both the nations is a climb-down from their respective positions and who benefited most from this agreement is subject of another discussion. This agreement should not be conferred additional importance than it require.
Update: Had interesting discussion with vatsan related to nuclear proliferation and other issues>

Petty politics of Madhya Pradesh

From rediff:
Claiming that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was included in a list of 38 terrorist outfits in an United States website, Madhya Pradesh Congress on Saturday demanded a high-level probe into it and said the party would raise the matter in the State assembly.
It is plain stupidity to give credence to foreign websites, so much that this issue needs to be raised in State legislative assembly. Well, coming to this news, it isn't new, Terrorism Research Center based in Northern Virginia, Washington, DC has listed RSS under terrorist organizations and the reason provided for this categorization has fallacy, which i'm sure RSS would exploit if at all this issue was raised in assembly. Moreover as per press release of Jitendra Kumar, Convenor of SIFI:
"I investigated the details of TRC; it is simply a paper organization with a website and no office. Neither this organization nor its directors are known to the U.S. State Department, institutions and think tanks involved with foreign affairs and issues related to terrorism."
Therefore i expect this issue to boomerang on to congress if they pursue seriously.
Congress Legislature Party spokesman Sajjan Singh Verma demanded the resignation of Gaur for his alleged links with the RSS.
Demand for resignation of a Chief Minister is uncalled for and it exposes their lack of respect for Indian judicial system. why should anyone resign, just because some site alleged that a organization is a terrorist organization and therefore he is guilty by association?. There are many propaganda sites on the net. We should take them with pinch of salt than making political issues of it, specially considering that setting up a site doesn't take much resources and even school going kid can afford to do it, if he has intention.
Devi and Verma accused the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and RSS of spreading communalism in the state for 'political gains'.
First, i think they should decide whether these organizations are terrorist or communal or both?

Sayesha's blog

Yesterday midnight i started searching for blogs on various subjects and after going through heap of interesting blogs, around 4am in the morning i found Sayesha's blog. I had read her blog entry on categorizing of commentators in blogsphere and it was kinda okay sort of a blog not much interest to me, then i went through her travel blog, which contained many pictures of her various visits and these pictures were interesting, hence i added her blog to my temporary feeds list, in hope to explore her blog later. Today night i had some free time, so i started browsing through her blog and i found her writing style to be captivating. Her skills to write about a incident or narrate a story is excellent, otherwise i wouldn't take time to blog on a blogger :-).
She blogged about crappy jobs she held in the past and the way she found a good job for her, well this isn't much and people can say, that every person has bad times and most of them find ways to get out of it. Yes it is true but how many can write about these events in a way that it fascinates their readers and which they can relate it to themselves? or should i say in a manner, in which readers can experience her emotions at different stages of their slump? Well, i think Sayesha has got a quite a character and very persistent. Or may be i just need some sleep and this insomnia making me over react!.
Her blog reminds me of Journeywomen's blog, Sayesha's writing are not as fascinating as Journey women's, but well worth to read regularly!
Update: Now i had read almost all of her blogs and she has good sense of humor and she utilizes her humor to make her blogs interesting. She takes Blogging 101 advices too seriously and that's good! :)

Sunday 17 July 2005

Unfriendly Bangladesh

Bangladeshi troops raided a camp run by Arakan Army at Alikong, 400km southeast of Dhaka. Arakan guerrillas are fighting for an independent state to be carved out of Myanmar. This operation shows growing cooperation between two nations with the influence of China, Myanmar is geographically important to Bangladesh, specially considering that Bangladesh is surrounded by India. When it comes to Indian North-Eastern terrorist groups operating from Bangladeshi territory, Bangladesh government is quite reluctant to accept their existence and let alone discuss about the nature of assistance these groups are receiving from them. They insist that there are no such camps in their territory, and recent border incidents shows current government's animosity towards India.

Wednesday 13 July 2005

Peace process with Pakistan: Can peace and terrorism coexist?

I feel that we lost the purpose of continuing peace process with the Pakistan. I'm saying this because before this peace process commenced, we had unequivocal stand that we will not engage Pakistan until they stop cross border terrorism but due to American influence and Pakistan's assurance that they wouldn't allow any of their territory to be used for terrorist activities and won't provide any clandestine support to them, we engaged Pakistan in a dialog to resolve difference over Jammu & Kashmir issue and to improve relations between two countries. Initially it appeared that pakistan was some what honest with this peace process because number of infiltration attempts came down, perhaps this could be attributed to the winter season which made routes inaccessible to these infiltrators, nevertheless number of infiltration attempts were less when compared to the previous year but as time progressed slowly they returned to their old ways. They made their stand inflexible and demanded more concessions from India and offering very little from themselves. It should be noted that number of terrorist attacks against civilians gradually increased and recently in the Herald magazine, it was reported that they have set up new camps and opened old ones, there are 13,000 terrorist to cross over to India, This has been denied by Pakistani government, even after Indians told that they can provide photographs of these camps.
My displeasure is mainly due to in a manner which Indian government had exonerated Pakistani government from the responsibility of these terrorist attacks and irrespective of these daily murders, they desire to carry forward peace process without having any accountability on Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism. Even Musharraf in his Australian visit had stated on one such terrorist attack, that even after reaching any agreement with India, we can't expect these incidents to come down. First of all, Pakistan started this low intensity terrorism to achieve its objective: J&K and what is the use of having a settlement on J&K but still continuing this terrorism?
Sometimes, I wonder whether we are getting used to this low intensity cross border terrorism because we seem to care less about the people who die on regular basis as it won't affect us directly and our condemnation only depends on cruelty & magnitude of the incidents. Perhaps, victims of not so significant terrorist incidents remain mere statistics for us!.

Tuesday 12 July 2005

Deal between Beijing-Moscow on the eve of China's 1962 invasion of India

A new book has just revealed details of a Beijing-Moscow dea on the eve of China's 1962 invasion of India.
Co-written by China-born author Jung Chang - best known for Wild Swan - and her husband, British historian Jon Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story (Jonathan Cape) is rated the ''most authoritative'' biography of the late Communist leader. It is an indictment of his domestic and foreign policies, one of the victims of which, the book says, was India.
In the chapter ''Maoism Goes Global (1959-64)'', the authors outline Mao's war preparations in 1962. He ended up promising to back the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles at America's doorstep - the Cuban Missile Crisis, as it came to be called - if Moscow supported his adventure in India.
The book describes the build-up to war in ''May-June 1962'': ''Chou (Chou Enlai) later told the Americans that 'Nehru was getting very cocky...and we tried to keep down his cockiness.''
Contrary to the most of the world's opinion, ever since the war, china has maintained that the India was the aggressor, even against the mounting evidence which indicated otherwise. Time of chinese aggression wasn't mere coincidence with cuban missile crisis but well thought out plan. This biography just vindicates this viewpoint specially considering that it has been rated highly by critics for its decade-long research and its meticulous footnotes. Chinese aggression has viewed by general Indians as back stabbing, specially considering popular slogan which says "hindi chini bhai bhai"(Indians and Chinese are brothers) to signify their relationship.
We should learn from our past blunders and be more cautious when dealing with issues related to national interest than being emotional. Its my view that Indian government should make Henderson Brooks Report & all other transcripts non-classified to let public know about the reasons for the failure in 1962 war rather than using rhetoric to cover up the facts, and also this would highlight our politician's foreign utopian policy and their understanding of world geopolitics. There shouldn't be any report classified for more than specific amount of time, since they won't have any relevance after that time period and citizens have right to know about what had transpired.
Note: It should also be remembered that at the time of war, Indian communist were openly in favor of the chinese position.

Monday 11 July 2005

Prime Minister's remarks on british raj

Mr. Manmohan singh has made following unfortunate comments on british rule in India and here is my reasons for disagreeing on this.
What impelled the Mahatma to take such a positive view of Britain and the British people even as he challenged the Empire and colonial rule? It was, undoubtedly, his recognition of the elements of fair play that characterized so much of the ways of the British in India. Consider the fact that an important slogan of India's struggle for freedom was that "Self Government is more precious than Good Government." That, of course, is the essence of democracy. But the slogan suggests that even at the height of our campaign for freedom from colonial rule, we did not entirely reject the British claim to good governance. We merely asserted our natural right to self-governance.
Claiming that British had provided good governance is preposterous and this is obvious from the social & economical revolts which they faced frequently and terrible famines, which were caused due to mismanagement & exploitation of peasant class with intention to destroy local agrarian economies and to help Great Britain to build its economy and industry. Elements of "fair play" which characterized their ways in India is quite evident in their history of conquest of India and later from their subjugation & racial discrimination of people.
Inconsiderate, harsh policies & taxation of British government to exploit Indian peasants had resulted in many uprisings and movements, such as:
Pabna movement in east Bengal(1872-76), indigo agitation of Bengal peasants(1859-60), deccan riots(1875), unrest of peasants in Punjab, khaira satyagraha(1918), Bardoli Satyagraha(1928) and champaran satyagraha in 1917 in which Gandhi himself took part. Gandhi presented 11 point ultimatum to British government before starting civil disobedience movement in 1930-34. Out of which first 2 points were essentially related to peasants and next 5 points represent grievance of bourgeois and rest were in general concerned to Indian people. Economic policies of British concerning trade, industry and revenue had adversely affected the interest of lower and middle classes and even in upper class of with vested interest in continuance of British rule such as native rulers , landlords, zamindars, village money lenders, there was some amount of resentment due to British racial superiority and discrimination. Though, British had implemented postal, railway and telephone services in India but primarily, this was to have effective control over it's expanding raj and to effectively curb uprisings in various parts of country. Ironically same services were used by revolutionaries & INC against British to spread their movement.
Well, these are some of the reasons, which led commoners to join national freedom movement and if it was only for self governance then there wouldn't be uprisings at local levels, which are more sort of social & economic in nature. Importantly we need to ask ourselves, how popular was this slogan among masses that"Self Government is more precious than Good Government."? and what made Congress to passed resolution in support of complete independence in 1927, in madras session and dropping their old "request" for dominion status?.
Gandhi being mahatma never considered anyone his enemy and not even his friend Hitler, as seen in his correspondence with Hitler.
To interpret events in the past, we need to look at the history in the context of those times and not through present political equations, Indian National Congress members were moderates and they were in good terms with britishers when compared to revolutionaries and extremists, so british generally are more inclined in dealing with INC than others, not that this was bad but using this as pretext to whitewash deeds of britishers in India and depicting their rule as beneficial is something else. More over this will give opportunity to historians in Britain to assert this viewpoint and their recent attempts indicate that they are more then happy to do so.
Today, with the balance and perspective offered by the passage of time and the benefit of hindsight, it is possible for an Indian Prime Minister to assert that India's experience with Britain had its beneficial consequences too. Our notions of the rule of law, of a constitutional government, of a free press, of a professional civil service, of modern universities and research laboratories have all been fashioned in the crucible where an age-old civilization met the dominant Empire of the day. These are all elements which we still value and cherish. Our judiciary, our legal system, our bureaucracy, and our police are all great institutions, derived from British-Indian administration and they have served the country well.
British never respected free press in India and this can be understood from following:
  • Lord Lytoon's Vernacular Press Act.
  • Section 124A of IPC was used to deal harshly with sedition.
  • Indian Official Secrets Act of 1904 to restrict the freedom of press.
  • The Newspaper Act was passed in 1908, was aimed at incitement of offences.
  • The Indian press Act if 1910 was aimed at keeping the press generally within the limits of legitimate discussion.
  • Together use of 1908 and 1910 Act caused the closure of several presses and newspaper.
  • Indian Press Ordinance of 1930 further curbed the freedom of the press.
  • The Indian press Act of 1931 prohibited the publication of any kind of congress propaganda, it was repealed after independence.
There was at least one or more indigenous school(s) for every village before british introduced english medium education. According to Adam's 1st report on Bengal reveals that there were about 1,00,000 village schools and there were approximately 100 institutions of higher learning in each district meaning approximately 1,800 such institutions and 10,800 scholars in them. Adam said that he found a number of genuine, qualified physicians in who analyzed the symptoms of the disease before suggesting a cure. In Punjab there were 3,30,000 pupils in 1850 as compared to 1,90,000 in 1882 as per Leitner's Report.These figures were consistent through out India and this had revealed in data collected from various British District Collectors. Sanskrit books were used to teach grammar, lexicology, mathematics, medical science, logic, law and Vedanta. Around 1802, the monitorial method of teaching used by Joseph Lancaster (and also by Andrew Bell, supposedly borrowed from India, Ibid pg 246, Note on Indian Education by Alexander Walker quote 'The children were instructed without violence and by a process peculiarly simple. The system was borrowed from the Bramans and brought from India to Europe'. (Ref: esamskriti)
It was noted in the Macaulay's minute on education that destroying indigenous education system was essential to spread British rule in India and Macaulay has stated that from new system would emerge a class who though Indian in blood and the colour of skin would be English in tastes, opinion, in morals and in intellect. This Macaulay syndrome still exists in India.
Present day civil service officers exert absolute power with impunity. This is due to our colonial framework, which still exists without much modification and this system has less chance for providing accountability and there is urgent need for reforms in this area. We have carried some laws and regulations of IPC from our colonial era without any alterations to their present day relevance. This colonial baggage has hindered us in providing speedy and effective justice to the people and this has given rise to various social movements in free India.
We need to remember that there are many nations in the world which aren't colonized, yet they possess these institutions and they serve them well. Do we need to give our colonizer such a high regard, specially when their intention was to destroy our indigenous systems to prevail their ways on us. Their actions should be examined in this context. Basis of any good relationship between countries should be based on facts and not on misinterpretations.