Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rajnikanth, Chiranjeevi and the future of (I)nd(I)a !

Nope, its not the BJP's performance in the falsely-termed semi-final elections ( note: the Indian-English Language Media - the ELM - did so much more after the results than before it, you guess why !!) that makes me say this... and I hardly ever did election predictions on this blog.. but simple math tells me - the NDA in its present form , with the BJP and allies is NOT going to reach anywhere close to the "thoo-seventhee-thoo" mark in the general elections scheduled, mostly for sometime in April-May 2009 !!

And here is my nowhere-near-perfect, yet you-give-me-a-better-calculation chart. This includes the list of states where BJP or its current NDA allies ( ) have any significant presence.. So for example, Punjab is included because of SAD+BJP, but Kerala is not, u-know-why .. And the min and max are at best based on guess and at worst (!) based on recent elections/state anti-incumbency/local considerations, and the underlying assumption is that there is no Ramjanmabhoomi like wave favoring the BJP anywhere

(Ignorance is not always a bliss... that I donno how to put a table on the blog makes this chart a little worse than ugly, doesn't it ? )


Assam ........................ 14 .................... 5 ................. 10
Bihar .............................40....................10................. 25
Delhi............................... 7......................2....................3

Total.................................... NA ............... 112.............. 212

On a side note, its glaringly obvious that losing UP has been BJP's biggest problems ... with no hope of regaining lost ground any time soon

If its anywhere near the minimum, then one might simply see the end of BJP in a few years, unless may be "NaMo" takes the "center"stage ... Even in the best case scenario, it only adds up to 212 ...... May be some more smaller allies and a seat here and there and a few independents - add a 10 more, and its still only 222 ... Wonder where the bulk of the rest of the seats are gone ? Well, thats where AP with 42 and Tamil Nadu with 39 seats come into play .. It is quite obvious that whoever rules the center next , will have to have won the majority of seats in either if not both of these states ... Well, nothing new, for that is indeed the case at present u wud say with the Congress in AP and DMK and allies in TN... True, I am just stating that fact once more, with an emphasis that the NDA simply cannot think of ruling India without significant number of seats from these two states.... thats all

So now, what going on in these states ? Lets take TN first .. Quite likely the DMK and allies will continue with the Congress .... even otherwise teaming up with the DMK will be counterproductive for NDA due to state anti-incumbency .. AIADMK has already tied up with the left . So the only hope for BJP is if Rajanikanth ( Rajinikanth/Rajnikanth ) joins or actively campaigns for BJP ... Will he ?! Time is simply running out for BJP ....

And coming to AP , though Chiranjeevi (who, I am told will surely have an impact ) prefered the left ( "Allu Arvind wants BJP But Chiru leans Left" .) , the fact that he is strongly oppossed to both TDP and Congress, and that the left already went with the TDP means a PRP-BJP(-TRS) alliance is still a possibilty ... the big question again is, will he ? ... And unlike in the Rajanikanth case, Chiranjeevi has one more option of going it alone at first and supporting NDA from outside post-poll if it helps......

So, like it or not, here is a scenario, where the future of India will depend on what two super stars of South Indian movies will decide !!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Brahmin by Karma... vidyaa vinaya sampannee ...

Thanks Ranjith for sending this news item ..... For those who can't read Malayalam, the gist of the article is that Kerala Kshetra Samrakshana Samithi has trained 24 children , from all backgrounds and "castes" , including 7 "adivasis" (tribals) in being priests ... Well, not really a new thing as the news items at the end of this post would reveal ( readers are invited to post more such relevant links and news in the comments section)

Before that, a few relevant Gita shlokas ... { transliteration and translation c & p from net for ease :-) , so excuse the possible minor errors }

Gita 5:18

vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake capanditah sama-darsinah

The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater

Gita 18:41

brahmana-kshatriya-visamshudranam ca parantapa
karmani pravibhaktanisvabhava-prabhavair gunaih

Brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures in accordance with the material modes, O chastiser of the enemy.

( The next 4 shlokas talk about those qualities and natures)

Item 1: an old piece -

---------Youth from all sections of the society, particularly the scheduled castes, came forward in a large way to become temple priests and lead the Hindu masses. VHP organised special training camps f or them. Till now more than 1000 priests have been trained.

News Item 2 : ------------------ Sreedharan Tantri is the founder and chairman of Sri Narayana Tantrika Research Vidyalayam, a charitable institute in North Paravur, Ernakulam District that trains children, irrespective of caste and creed, in Kshetra Tanta Vidya.

News Item 3:
---------------------------- Forwarded message ----------To: / from:

A silent revolution is on in the Vayanad region of Kerala (Bharat), thanks to the Kshetra Samrakshana Samiti (Temple Protection Committee) functioning under inspiration drawn from the ideals of RSS. The Samiti has conducted Poojari training course for the vanavasi (Scheduled Tribe) boys of Vayanad. Of the 29 boys who participated in the course 28 were from vanavasi families. The Samiti had sent out an appeal to all major temples in Kerala inviting applications from boys of any caste willing to join the Poojari training course. Over 70 applications were received. 29 were selected with the permission of parents. All boys were given initiation and guidance in performing Sndhya Vandhanam to begin with. Their daily routine has ben designed so that they do the daily duties like any temple poojari. The boys on their part evince enthusiasm in abundance.

RASHTRA DEV, Hindi fortnightly brought out from Bareily, Meerut and Dehradun; dated September 30, 2007.

Monday, October 13, 2008

of predictions and reductions

By no means am I an economic expert, nor do I understand whats happening right now
And neither do I claim that the dip in oil prices is a creation of the US presidential election....

but what I do know is that I did predict a situation where the oil prices may reduce big time, around the US pres election time ( after a sharp rise a few months before that) - I had based it purely on my experience in 2004.

See my post

Whatever be the real reason, it seems to be heading the same way in 2008 too with just weeks left for the US election

Meantime, here is a video that has been circulating and in which the speaker makes some predictions about the US economy, and more importantly tries to put things in a common mans language... he is a columnist in rediff, and the video is uploaded feb 10, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

black cat or white cat ?

Tata says "tata" to Singur and West Bengal - I am utterly confused as to whom should I laugh at

* At Mamta Banerjee who is day dreaming that she can capture the erstwhile communist votes by doing what they used to do a few years ago ?

* or At the "ruling" CPM themselves, who responded to the pull out with their dogs-tail-never-gets-straightened strike call - Tata must be releieved

As ET reports that "Gujarat and Karnataka has emerged as the two top contenders" for alternate location, the situation is even more irritating for the CPM in Kerala. On the issue of SEZs in Kerala, in its slow but steady progress towards realizing "I don't care if it's a white cat or a black cat. It's a good cat so long as it catches mice" , the CPM faces its biggest roadblock from its supposedly less radical ideological counterpart - the CPI

It must the the great "revolutionary" training that our comrades receive that helps them have not even a pin prick on their conscience while practising the highest hypocrisy . Here are some samples

* While criticizing the central govt, the CPM govt in Kerala has recently hiked water price, milk price, auto/taxi price - God knows what not. In fact two years when I came to India, the minimum charge on bus was Rs 1.75, and now ist Rs 4/- in just 2 years ( not that it maked the Central govt any better, but right now we are just talking about the commie hypocrisy )

* The same commies who are now pained that the Central govt is making India lose its right to test nuke weapons, were the ones who oppossed it so much when India tested in 1998

* And guess from whom the Kerala CM is facing oppossition while he tries to oust the realtors who built resorts on encroached govt lands ? None other than the district CPM committee

Recently "Surya TV" apparently launched a Malayalam channel exclusively for comedy - but one has to subscribe to some Sun-Direct to get the channel. methinks that its a bad business move - who will ever pay money to watch comedy, when the commies have free shows running everyday

Friday, September 26, 2008

i am back

That I now have some one else in my life shall explain the long gap, I hope.. For reasons known to some of us - those who know her name and know Malayalam and Hindi, she shall be mentioned as "U2" on this blog

So, among our travels the week after marriage, was a trip from Shimla to Kalka on the toy train ( ask google mama for the curious ones) ... 2.20 pm from shimla was the passenger train, supposed to reach Kalka at 8.15 pm, more than enuf time left for our Kalka-Delhi train supposed to leave Kalka station at 11.55 pm

The narrow guage train had a few general compartments , two reserved second class, and a reserved first class- well the first class had one section with 3 seats and another with 5 .. Seeing the general full, I got our general ticket changed to first class ( which is the only place where the seats were left) - for the first time I was travelling Indian Railways on a class greater that II SL ... - may be thats why I was destined not to complete the journey

The route was scenic, the enthusiasm dampened only by the incessant rains that had been pouring for over 20 hours by then ( a record of sorts say the locals) - and thats the excuse I shall give for not getting nice pictures.....

Come 5.30 ( half way into the journey) , a big boulder fell onto the compartment right behind us with a big sound - to one of the II reserved ... Thankfully it fell onto the door, so none got injured ( the stone was big enuf to kill 1 or 2 ) ... 2 hrs they tried breaking the stone and letting the train move, but hearing that there were further landslides ahead on the route, the railway - yes the railway arranged for taxis for the first class passengers upto Kalka ... as we were leaving I heard them say "Let the first class people go first - we will take care of the rest after that". Leave it to u for ur own comments and conslusions abt IR :-)

Here are coupld of snaps I took of the stone - but with all the rain and the darkness by then, I could not do much justice ...

On the road trip too ( the taxi), at one stage there was a big tree fallen on the road and blocking traffic - the driver was smart enough that instead of waiting for the Army ( !!) to come and clear it which could have taken 2-3 hrs , he took us through an alternate route , and safely got us at Kalka an hour and half before midnite ... quite a trip that was !!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mission Kashmir ?

Bangalore and now Ahmedabad - the latter on the Kargil (Victory) Day (July 26) . Allah and a few of his "slaves"(footnote-1) alone know how many more to come soon !!

Off late the target has been BJP ruled states, perhaps either to prove that " BJP and even Modi can't stop us" or to put a fear in people's mind not to elect BJP in their states and may be even in the Center ... ( By the way Advani claims that BJP governments in Rajasthan and Gujarat has been waiting for years now for a clearance from the Center on a tougher terror law) ...

Lets not talk about the whole p-sec crowd that are going to come up with their usual nonsense - time for India lovers to ignore them completely, and focus on action ahead ... Time to make Hindus more aware of the dangers of Islam - just make them read the Qoran in the least, any sensible Hindu will be able to correlate the blasts to the book !! And then, for every blast in future, we should have atleast 10,000 Muslims in India leave Islam and embrace their ancestral religion . Sure enought that will provoke the Islamists to have even more blasts, and that should make 20,000 leave Islam - like it or not, thats the ONLY solution to prevent India from becoming like Kashmir in the near future

footnote1 - The root word for Islam is “al-Silm,” which means “submission” or “surrender.”
post script: from rediff

Following is a chronology of some recent major bomb blasts in the country:

  • May 13, 2008: Eight blasts rock Jaipur in a span of 12 minutes leaving 65 dead and over 150 injured.
  • January 2008: Terrorist attack on Central Reserve Police Force camp in Rampur kills eight.
  • October 2007: 2 killed in a blast inside Ajmer Sharif shrine during Ramadan, in Rajasthan.
  • August 2007: 32 dead, 35 hurt in Hyderabad 'terror' strike.
  • May 2007: A bomb at Mecca mosque in Hyderabad kills 11 people.
  • February 19, 2007: Two bombs explode aboard a train bound from India to Pakistan
  • September 2006: 30 dead and 100 hurt in twin blasts at a mosque in Malegaon, Maharashtra.
  • July 2006: Seven bombs on Mumbai's trains kill over 200 and injure 700 others.
  • March 2006: Twin bombings at a train station and a temple in Varanasi kill 20 people.
  • October 2005: Three bombs placed in busy New Delhi markets a day before Diwali kill 62 people and injure hundreds.
  • Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    after the circus......

    Cartoon courtesy: keralakaumudi . Caption in Mallu says something to the effect of the arc of Manomoha .. and Manmohan is saying, in Mallu :-) , what in French is the famous Apres moi, le deluge - after me, the deluge

    So what did the whole excercise achieve ?

    * Divert the attention from all of government's failures - price rise, a weak response to terrorism, Ram Sethu issue, Amarnath issue etc etc - quite a master stroke Mr PM

    * Now, the govt will try to show off some "reforms" and say that "we could not do all these because of the left"... oh yeah .... what a realization after completing more than 80% of its term

    * Open talk by politicians about money.. its like the public have gotten so used to it, that nobody is shocked when money of the order of 25-30 crores are offered to vote one way or the other - and MPs who openly admit they know nothing about the N-deal ... They know only about the M-deal. Who exactly is funding such huge amounts of money ? Atleast 10 MPs were bought to vote for the deal or abstain - so that 250 crores minimum ...

    * In comparison to open admissions of horse trading, statements like "My only interest is the development of my party" made by this JD-S "Member of Parliament a.k.a servant of the Nation" , can be pardoned

    Congratulations Mr MMS and the lady MMS ( Madam Maino Sonia ) - together you have achieved so many things with just one deal

    Saturday, July 12, 2008

    How my articles have been edited by Deccan Herald

    July 08 - what finally came -

    Nov 2007 - what finally came -
    ( They did put a picture of the Diwali mela poster in the print edition)

    Now given below are each of what I actually submitted - in both cases upon request from "Sunday Herald" and according to their guidelines on the number of words - not a word extra. For ur convenience, I have highlighted in red the portions in red that got edited out .. Upto u readers to draw any conclusions if u wish ... !!!

    July 08

    American View of India and Indians

    In 1911, the LA Times published a headline "A Hindu apple for modern Eve: The cult of Yogis lures women to destruction". In 2001, Time magazine did a cover story on Yoga, with an opening paragraph that read "Stars do it. Sports do it. Judges in the highest courts do it. Let us do it – that yoga thing. A path to enlightenment that winds back 5,000 years in its native India, yoga has suddenly become so hot, so cool, so very this minute"

    Perceptions change with time, people and events. For two Nations vast and diverse, it is difficult to summarize the "American perception of India" in a short article – this is at best a collection of thoughts and experiences on the topic. In general Americans treat its foreign population including Indians, with warmth and my experience has not been much different. Not to deny occasional cases of racial abuses, like against Sikhs perhaps mistaking them for Talibans due to their turban and beard, but such incidents do not make the general rule. Perhaps Indians are able to fetch greater respect than many of their Asian counterparts because of their relatively better communication skills, hard work, and most importantly the cultural values they have brought with them. It is not uncommon to see a good number of Americans – some out of curiosity, but some who have made it part of their lives – in Hindu temples, festivals and indeed Indian restaurants

    So what are certain factors that might be shaping the American opinion on India and Indians? As the adage goes "Strength recognizes strength", India's advances in the economic field in general and IT field in particular, has definitely contributed positively. How can one not take notice when say Tata Motors buys the prestigious Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motors for 2.3$B? Outsourcing and call centers in India will only add to the list of recognizing India's strengths, and even though there has been critics both in media and among the policymakers, overall the American public has not yet shown an animosity and "You people are taking our jobs" attitude towards Indians.

    The contribution of second generation Indian-American is no less – Dr Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief health correspondent for example, is quite a household name in the US. Talking of events, even though subject of major criticism from American policy makers at the time it happened, the 1998 Pokhran tests have for sure, made America take a fresh look at India and redefine its foreign policy. Among people, a big factor will be missing if mention is not made of the contributions of Hindu spiritual leaders like Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Mata Amritanandamayi, Sri Sri Ravishankar, and so on who regularly visit US and conduct Satsanghs.

    In a country where 4 out of 10 marriages on an average are believed to end in divorce, I have felt that Indian family values is another factor that evokes respect from a good number of Americans. In fact during a friendly talk with an American cop near my house, he asked me if I was married. Hearing a no, he said "I am telling you, marry a girl from India, not from here. My wife is Indian and she values family so much" It has to be mentioned however that most Americans find it hard to appreciate arranged marriages. I do not believe bollywood has much of an influence on American public due to the language factor, though English movies about India like "Indiana Jones and the temple of doom" could result in a good number of Americans get the wrong impression about India

    American public's general knowledge about India leaves much to be desired. Here are some samples questions and statements that have been thrown at me or my friends on various occasions- "So do you speak Hindu or Indian or Arabic ?". "So where in India ? Bangladesh ?". "In 1947 Pakistan won Independence from India". " I know Mahatma Gandhi and her daughter " - the last one, a reference to Indira Gandhi !! Interestingly it was not an American but a Chinese colleague of mine who once asked me "Do kids go to school in India on elephants?"

    Even though Indian Americans have started making a mark in politics, time alone will tell if the influence is positive or negative or neutral. Academics unfortunately is a field where some vested interests – unfortunately many of whom are Indians – are hell-bent on tarnishing India, may be in quest of money and promotions. Then there are some Indians who consider it their duty to talk about only the negatives of India, for reasons best known to them. Even in media sometimes– I stopped buying Washington Post because the India correspondent had only trash to write about India , perhaps thinking that will "please the boss".

    I am not averse to criticism, indeed positive criticism helps progress, but unfortunately some of these misrepresentations deserve the kind of remark that Gandhiji made about Catherine Mayo's book 'Mother India' - "If Miss. Mayo had confessed that she had gone to India merely to open out and examine the drains of India, there would perhaps be little to complain about her compilation. But she says in effect with a certain amount of triumph that the drains are India". Every Indian is an Ambassador whose duty it is to correct such mistakes.


    November 07

    Diwali ( Deepavali) at Maryland
    Being so far away from home, many times it is festivals like Diwali which connects you back with your roots and creates the home away from home atmosphere out here in the US. My experience being part of various Diwali programs in Maryland in the last few years have been no different - I cherish those wonderful memories.
    As a University student you would experience that the entire festive season starts pretty much with the onset of Fall semester - typically around end of August or early september. Some Universities have an Indian Independence day celebration, and for the freshers - well, those who are in US by then- that becomes the first social event. Ganesh Chaturtis, may or may not celebrated in Universities, the latter scenario partly because most student organizations like the Hindu students council would have just regrouped after the summer holidays and still in the process of planning their events. I do know of certain Universities like the NCSU where Ganeshotsav is a major event . At Maryland, most years, I have had to be satisfied with the events in the temple, or organize a little bhajan and dinner session with friends or even better get invited to some one's house - typically that of some Marathi families or friends
    The festive excitement on campuses kind of peaks around the Navatri times. Garba-Dandiyas , typically organized by the Hindu Students Council (HSC) or various Indian Students groups are common in almost every campus with a good Indian popuation. In fact the University of Maryland Garba organized by HSC pulls close to 1000 people. It must be mentioned that most of the participants in these are American born Hindu youth, and many times you can see them teach the dance to their Indian counterparts who just came to the US. Being from south India, I myself was totally new to Garba and some I did try to learn a bit from my friends (who were born and raised in US) with partial success . ( Some pictures can be found at ) It is also common practice that part of the money raised ( through a small entry fee of about 7$) is donated to some NGO, like the ekal vidyalaya ( )
    Diwali is sort of the culmination of this Fall festive season. The fact that it starts getting cold by November and that the homework and exam pressure would have mounted, only slightly reduces the Diwali festive mood.In fact at University of Maryland, both the HSC and the SCI (Student Council of India - organisation for the grad students who mainly come from India) have their Diwali celebrations ( A few years before both the groups came together and had a single big event) . Both the groups events are typcially on a weekday evening, either ON Diwali or one day before or after. HSC event usually has a rather elaborate Puja and decorations followed by a dinner, where as the SCI event has a Puja, dinner and some cultural programs. ( see some pictures at )
    These events also become an opportunity for you to explain a thing or other about Hinduism and Indian culture to a curious non-Indian. In fact these at these events you would typically find many non-Indians, some may be fascinated by Hindu-festivals, some simply love the Indian food. In addition to the weekday event on campus, many friends circles hold their own get togethers and Pujas in some ones apartments. In addition to these, there are also various community and temple events. In fact a noteworthy event in Maryland is the Diwali Mela organized by the United Hindu Jain temples of Washington DC area, which attracts anywhere between 5000 to 10000 peple every year ( see the website )
    All these efforts, have made Diwali a rather famous festival amongst Americans also -from your colleagues at to the US Congress. I remember reading an old article on how President Bush ignored the Diwali celebrations in 2004 ( ) and there was some requesting going on in 2005 for him to attend .. ( ) when Diwali was, I believe celebrated for the first time at an "official level" . I also happened to come across this resolution that was introduced in the US Congress on 14 March 2007 ( ) "Recognizing the religious and historical significance of the festival of Diwali" , and I may be curious to know what happens this year at the US governmental level.......
    But, fact of the matter is that beyond a point, these things do not matter to me, or in general to any Indian or Hindu in the US in as far as the pride and joy they have in celebrating Diwali, with all its cultural significance and symbolism

    Tailpiece: For the november article, I may been better of highlighting in green what came rather than what got edited out :-) .... May be they wanted it too specific to Diwali.. arrey, then why don't u tell me that my "first draft" is off the target ?! .. anyway compared to november07, the july08 is percentage wise better !! So may be a third time..... if at all ha ha

    Tuesday, July 08, 2008

    The victims of Islam

    Apparently the Muslims of India are unhappy - unhappy even with the parties that have made it their single point agenda to appease them .... So, what is that ? A case of pampered child continuing to demand more of what he is used to ?

    Consider this - in Kerala Muslim "minority" schools ( meaning salary for teachers paid by government, and the private management has the right to choose the students and appoint teachers, many times taking a "donation") has certain specials rules... They can start the school at 10.30 am , after all the brainstorming in the mosque is over . They have holiday on fridays and work on Saturday instead. And during the month of Ramzan, which falls in different months every year, the school goes on vacation, and that is made up later - exams are conducted specially for these schools

    Think about how it is taking a month long break right in the middle of the academic year - that too different months different years - for years this has been continuing, and finally........ recently some Parent Teacher Associations are realizing that this is adding to the backwardness of their kids... ---> and have been demanding that the schools be converted into "normal ones"..... Well, not quite, normal only in terms of the Ramzan classes, but the Friday holiday and the late opening should remain ! Well, whatever, like the Ramzan moonsighting, atleast some bit of light ...... though quite late...

    So yet another example proving that statement that my friend often quotes "Muslims are the biggest victims of Islam" !

    Saturday, June 21, 2008

    The "Maya" of Manmohan

    The "Congress may be bad, but we trust Manmohan" fellows can continue to defend the PM, but over the years it is quite clear to me that either the PM has been enough "Congressised" or that the real Manmohan was always hiding behind his thaadi ,... i mean a mask ( yes, "mukhauta" ) ........ or both

    So why exactly is there a possibility or at least a "hear it loud announcement" that Indian PM may resign if impasse over nuclear deal persists . That step, the PM perhaps is hoping, will achieve him a few things -

    a) Sympathy esp from the anti-left crowd b) The cause of his resignation ( and even possibility of the govt falling) would much more be "remembered" as failure of the nuke-deal, than issues like inflation, failure to tackle terrorism etc etc ... c) If indeed the general elections are to be ahead of time, and done together with the state elections in MP and Rajasthan, Congress may be hoping that atleast in those states, the state anti incumbency ( against BJP) will be more than the one against the center d) Indications are that inflation is likely to keep rising in the near future also, so holding on to power may just do more damage to congress

    Meanwhile India inflation rate rises to 11% and qouting another source "The RBI website, which gives average monthly inflation figures with the base of 1993\94, tells that the last time inflation was in double digit was in April-May 1995 when it ruled above 11 per cent. The mid 1990s saw a very high inflation and for 12 months in a row from June 1994 till May 1995, the rate of inflation was in double digits"

    Guess who ruled India at that time ? And guess who was Finance Minister at that time !!!!!! and yet " Congress ka haath gareebon ke saath" ( "The Congress' hand is with the poor" is their election slogan) , and Manmohan Singh is considered an "efficient" FM .... lol may be its his Cambridge and Oxford University degrees as oppossed to say, a "locally educated", Indian Administrative Services Yashwant Sinha ... ( after all Sinha titled his book "Confessions of a Swadeshi reformer" which would not have gone well with the Indian- English- Media )

    Meanwhile looks like Mayawati has jumped out of what she perhaps sees as a sinking boat .. the months ahead will be interesting to watch for those interested in Indian politics .. and I strongly tend to believe that the outcome of the next general election will indeed decide whether the 2020 vision will go anywhere or not ....

    Sunday, June 08, 2008

    Fishing in troubled waters

    861 females for 1000 males, and "ye to ho na hi thaa" ( this was bound to happen) - that guys in Haryana ( and some othe states in India too) have started finding it hard to find suitable girls...

    "If you are poor, without job and have small land holding then you get no girls to marry," says Ranu Bai.

    But unfortunately, instead of solving the issue some guys are busy exploiting the situation ....

    Like other areas where demand outstrips supply, illegal rackets start flourishing, with devastating consequences, as was the case with Sukhdev.....

    They showed Gurcharan Singh, Sukhdev's brotherin-law who had come to finalise the marriage on his behalf, the prospective bride, Guddi. She looked too good to be true. Gurcharan immediately agreed to the marriage proposal and paid some token money.

    That's when the racket unveiled itself. Kartaro and Charno demanded Rs 35,000.
    "They said the girl's family was very poor and needed monetary help to perform the marriage rites," says Ranu Bai.

    Sukhdev's family, who earn barely Rs 5,000 a month, could not meet the demand but relatives and other villagers pitched in. "We all gave whatever we could, after all it was the question of Sukhdev's life," says his neighbour Mukhiyaro.

    Kartaro and Charno were paid in two installments. The marriage was fixed for May 28 at Dabwali. When the baraat reached the venue, it wore a deserted look. On being confronted, Kartaro and Charno produced Rani, a middle-aged widow with two grown up children. She was not the girl Gurcharan had seen.

    Its heartbreaking to see such things happening ! If this business is allowed to flouish, it will only aggrevate the issue !

    Meanwhile, the Prime Minister himself is playing politics with the issue . In a recent conference on "Save the gil child", PM hits out at Punjab, Gujarat, Delhi for poor sex ratio ... . Note two things - Punjab and Gujarat are ruled by Congress' opponents. Not only does the PM base his accusations on the census 7 years ago, he quotes confusing figures ( if the above report is to be believed) .

    The census figures illustrate that it is some of the richer states of the country where the problem is most acute and these states include Punjab which had only 798 girls (per 1,000 boys), Haryana 819, Delhi 868 and Gujarat 883 girls per 1,000 boys in the 2001 Census.

    If this map is to be believed - - J & K , UP , Haryana and Sikkim have a much moe serious issue than Gujarat. quotes Gujarat's sex ratio as 921:1000 . May be the "girl: boy" ratio is different from "female:male" .. even then, the PM conveniently forgets that "In the decade of 1991-2001, the sex ratio of Gujarat has reduced significantly from 934 to 921" ( source: ) . A good chunk of that period was ruled by the Congress at the center and in the state.... Modi took over in 2001

    And as per

    With Beti Bachao Andolan—a term coined by Chief Minister Narendra Modi—gaining momentum, social mindset is changing in Gujarat, a state which had one of the poorest sex ratios in the country. From 802 in 2001 and 822 in 2002, the sex ratio has climbed to over 870 in 2007 in the state, against a national average of 933.

    No doubt the statistics is more confusing than what the PM quoted ( strengthens my feeling that there is a mix up of girl and female sex ratio ) - but one thing is clear.. Modi has initiated steps unlike most other states . In fact in one of his speeches he says ( slightly in a lighter mood) something along the lines of "The situation was so bad that if it continued then 20 in 100 guys will end up like me" , and then he details the step that were taken by his government

    Indeed, statistics are many times not perfect, but if the Man Mohan Singh's intention is indeed to use his economics brain power to quote the statistics as he wants and play politics with it, he is proving himself to be no better than the fake bride racket !


    Related posts:



    Sunday, May 18, 2008

    3 years 200 posts

    May 18, 2005 was the first post on this blog

    May 18, 2008 - this is my 200th post on this blog
    I would not deny that I kind of timed it so that these two coincide :) ... So far this year, I have maintained a steady 4 posts per month routine ... at times I go a bit crazy about maintaining some number patterns ..... Like in the other blog http// , it was an arithmetic progression of posts in 3 years ... 40 in 2005 , 30 in 2006 , 20 in 2007 .... want to do 10 more posts this year to make it 100 :-) ...
    Yeah the old Math-lover shows up every now and then

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    Are you sleeping well Mr Prime Minister ?

    Usually I tend to post something, write something on May 11 ....

    and so on.... This year being the 10th anniversary of Pokhran tests, I somehow felt like waiting till May 13 ( the date when the second set was detonated ) ... I wanted to write about "Pokhran not big for UPA, no celebrations planned" and "At DRDO meet, PM leaves out Pokhran-II from speech " - so characteristic of a spineless government ... I also wanted to write about how the former President still continued not to dissappoint when he said Pokhran tests strengthened India and Vajpayee displayed courage in giving nod to Pokhran II: Kalam

    Well well, all that has to wait... for looks like more than the spineless, lifeless UPA government, the Islamists seem to remember the date.. as they tried turning the pink city red . Hopefully, at last the esteemed "Prime Minister" of India is able to get some sleep for having added yet another feather to his cap !!! For those who don't know what I am talking about, read

    Well Manmohan may just be the tip of the iceberg, for the control of the UPA government is elsewhere .. And the PM has already earned the nickname Man-Woman Singh ... But I would not call the PM by that.. for Ardhanaareeshwara is an image of strength in Hinduism... He does not even deserve the word used by Krishna in Gita .. 2.3 "klaibyam ma sma gama ..... "

    Saturday, May 10, 2008

    Like Father Like Son

    5 years ago, I happened to hear a speech by Goutam Chopra, son of Deepak Chopra. Apart from being the son of a "famous" father, I am not aware of any other tails associated with
    Gautam which made him eligible to speak to a crowd of a few thousand, but never mind .....

    And in his speech, Gautam said something along the lines of .. "It is sad that religions are fighting with each other everywhere. Hindus and Muslims are killing each other in Kashmir, Hindus and Buddhists are killing each other in Sri Lanka .... " . Shocked at the utter ignorance of this chap, I took refuge in thinking myself .. "Puvar Deepak Chopda ... his son became a typical case of the son getting it all wrong .. like they mix up " so your religion is hindi and language indian ?"

    Now after reading the Father Chopra's interview in rediff, I have sympathies for Gautam. I am surprised the fellow did not abuse his parent religion as much as he could have, like his Father does Here is from Deepak Chopra's interview


    Do you consider yourself a Hindu at this stage of your life?

    No. I think if spirituality has to survive, it has to become secular


    Look what they are doing to the artist M F Husain. This shows the primitive, tribal nature of our Hindu fanatics. Unfortunately, they are becoming very popular in India. They are militant and have done so much harm. Hindu fundamentalists are as violent as other fundamentalists; the only difference is that they are vegetarian. After seeing the film, they will be worse.


    Praise the Lord, for I am not a vegetarian, and so escaped part of Chopda's abuses.... and mind you, in his interview, here and there he attacks the vegetarians.. Boy waaaattt crime did the puvar old can't-meet-his-ends priest do by not going against his beliefs ? What did the tens of thousands of even-though-not-born-Brahmin-but-vegetarian-by-choice Hindus do by deciding to spare the life of a chicken or a fish ?

    I do believe that being non-vegetarian does not one maketh any less Hindu - as Swami Vivekananda, himself not a vegetarian would say, one should accept the food habits that suit one's nature and temperament - but at the same time, I respect vegetarians , especially the "by choice" ones.... May be I am not as brilliant as Chopda. for I fail to understand the dude's going gaga over vegetarians.. May be some day he landed up in some vegetarian Indian restaurant and got kicked out for saying " I am Deepak Chopra, the man who can do anything he wants, so I want my Turkey well cooked " ( Interesting Chopra never played around with the "RoP" -Islam.... he he may be he knows it is indeed the "Religion of (make u into) Pieces"

    Our man speaks as though he is the only one who knows about "real Hinduism". He accuses Hindus of not having sense of humor while looking at pictures of his Goddesses painted in the nude.. Saaar, Mr Chopra "guru", let me tell you a small story. When I was five, an interesting incident brought Mother Saraswati to my life, and ever since She is my Guru . And I have a small black and white picture of her, since then till present, wherever I am. I must have been 10 or so, when I first heard about Husain paintings - I could not stop myself from crying that day ... Saaarry Saaar, I now understand that by birth, I lacked that sense of humour, for as per you as a true Hindu - never mind I was 10 - I should have laughed and shouted that news out from my rooftops ..... Saarry Saar . I am trying to improve. As a starting point, I shall hang up a picture of yours in my room, Saar, for looking at it I am reminded of cow dung, and I end up laughing .........

    And now, here is the strange logic, or the lack of it. He tells us what Hinduism is, should be blah blah, takes pride in his sense of humor ... sells all he could out of Hinduism and make money and fame ( even though I bet he can't even quote a verse properly from Upanishads or Gita) and finally at the end of the day, he says he is not a Hindu .... And laments that the elements he doesn't like are becoming more and more popular in Hinduism... Now saaar, if popular and "moderate" and perfect people like you are not calling yourself Hindus, don't you think it is natural that only those who are proud to be Hindus and willing to defend it against all odds ( whom unfortunately you hate ) will make up Hinduism .... Saaar, please advise , waaaatt shall we do ? You are our "guru" saaaar, sar sar saaaar , ammmmaaaaaaaaa


    Post Script 1:

    Criticism of upcoming Hollywood movie "The Love Guru" for its purported slandering of Hindu practices is stretching across various religions, professions, and age groups.

    Reverend John J. Auer, Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Reno; Andrea Forman, Founder of Shanti Shanti, only Sanskrit rock band in the world; Swami Pooja Saraswati, a well respected spiritual leader; Hindu Jana Jagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha, through their spokesperson Bhavna Shinde; Alison Pratte, a yoga leader; Father Charles T. Durante, a Catholic priest well respected in northern Nevada for his various community outreach efforts; Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, a well known Jewish leader in parts of California and Nevada; Right Reverend Gene Savoy Jr., Head Bishop of International Community of Christ; Reverend William Bartlett, a well known Buddhist priest and Interfaith Chaplain; Lonnie L. Feemster, civil rights activist and Religious Affairs Chair of Reno-Sparks National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Vidya Chaitanya, Director of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in Los Angeles; Paradheya Das of Sri Krishna Vedic Cultural Association in Sacramento (California); Rakesh Nagpal, General Secretary of Ramayan Pracharini Sabha; Lila D. Sharma, President of India Heritage Panel; and Dharam Loonaa, Executive Director of the Universal Society of Hinduism; have already issued statements in support of this cause espoused by Rajan Zed.


    Post Script 2:

    Going to where I started, Guatam Chopra. I would like Gautam to present a single case of Hindu killing Muslim in Kashmir ( and then indeed I can show facts of thousands of Hindus killed by Muslims ). Indeed the Indian Army kills Islamic terrorists in Kashmir, but if you call that Hindus killing Kashmir, you need treatment at NIMHANS .. may be your Father too

    Coming to Sri Lanka, LTTE being mistakenly called a "Hindu" group is not the first time... so I pardon you on that. Atleast some people know that the former spokesperson and strategist for LTTE was "Anton Balasingham" ( his mother was Christian, and he took a Christian first name... the tail Balasingham is simply because his father was Hindu, not Anton ) . But not many knows that their military chief who got killed recently was Shanmughanathan alias Charles , and even the chief Prabhakarans son's name is Charles Anthony .... so much for thei Hinduness

    Saturday, April 26, 2008

    tip of the iceberg ? or the end of it ?

    North Pole could be ice free in 2008 says the new scientist Environment.

    You know when climate change is biting hard when instead of a vast expanse of snow the North Pole is a vast expanse of water. This year, for the first time, Arctic scientists are preparing for that possibility.

    I am not an environmental expert, and so don't know exactly what this implies.. but the article goes on to point out
    What is more, the extent of the ice is only half the picture. Satellite images show that most of the Arctic ice at the moment is thin, young ice that has only been around since last autumn
    Despite its news value in the media, the North Pole being ice free is not in itself significant. To scientists, Serreze points out, "this is just another point on the globe". What is worrying, though, is the fact that multi-year ice – the stuff that doesn't melt in the summer – is not piling up as fast as Arctic ice generally is melting.
    Some factors could still save the day, though. In summer 2007, warm winds favoured melting. "If we have an atmospheric pattern like we had last year, we are going to lose a whole bunch of ice this summer, but if we have a cooler, more cyclonic pattern, that might preserve some of that ice," says Serreze.

    The article also mentions
    In September 2007, Arctic sea ice reached a record low, opening up the fabled North-West passage that runs from Greenland to Alaska.
    I guess thats what is mentioned here also

    The Northwest Passage, one that eluded famous explorers, may become a shipping lane because so much ice is melting in the Arctic. And now there's a race to see who will get rights to the melting area, where a U.S. study has suggested as much as 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas could be hidden.

    Talking about gas prices.. the hike in the last one month or so.... - I guess globally the prices are shooting up, but is it also a hike so that closer to the US elections in November it can be reduced - I vaguely remember a similar gimmick in 2004 ... but hey, Bush ws seeking a re-election that time where as there is nothing like that this time... still is that going to happen ?

    Well , like so many things in life, time alone can tell, I guess

    Saturday, April 12, 2008

    I wish my neighbour's son were a Bhagat Singh

    I would not call it a "scientfic poll" yet, this recent survey by India Today throws up some interesting results... The top two choices have a strong military way of working .... The champion of non-violence is pushed to a third place with just 13% !
    The poll may also be reflective of the "Young India" .... more than 50% of population being under 25.
    Its a different question how many of the people who really voted a Bhagat Singh or a Subash Chandra Bose are really willing to stand up and sacrifice for the Nation, when really put to test ? Or is it the same old "I wish a Bhagat Singh were born in my neighbour's house " ? .. Well atleast I am glad that the top two choices are men with such love for the Nation... India can look forward to its youth power in future
    And what about their "political ideologies" .. Yes Bhagat Singh was a self-declared atheist and influenced by Marxism - but if he were to see what the Indian Marxists of today are upto, he would have perhaps waged a war against them. Interestingly more than the Marxists its perhaps the RSS that considers Bhagat singh a hero - to the extend that it demanded a Bharat Ratna for Bhagat Singh - .
    What about Bose ? I believe he is a leader whose legacy unfortunately continues in perhaps not the best of the reasons.. One - theories about his death, which has become almost an obsession for many, especially Bengalis ! Two - The party that he found, "The Forward Bloc" , has removed the last word from its guiding principle of "Left Wing Nationalism" ...
    Interestingly Bose's open connection with Hitler has been much less criticised, say as oppossed to Golwalker's alleged "drawing inspiration" from the Nazis ( By the way, here is a detailed article by Koenraad Elst on " Was Guru Golwalker a Nazi" ? - ) .....
    And here are some interesting quotes from Bose ( I am not sure in what context he wrote this, except that this was during his college days)
    Vivekananda’s teachings had been neglected by his own followers-even by the Ramakrishna Mission which he had founded. We were going to give effect to them. We could, therefore, be called the neo-Vivekananda group, and our main object was to bring about a synthesis between religion and nationalism, not merely in the theoretical sphere, but in practical life as well. For the emphasis on nationalism was inevitable in the political atmosphere of Calcutta of those days. ( from his unfinished utobiography "An Indian Pilgrim")

    Wednesday, April 09, 2008

    revisiting the question of dowry - that is news about a survey conducted by a pro-left group in Kerala ( which has 55% Hindus) , a couple of years ago.. some relevant quotes

    While a privileged Hindu family owns only an average of 0.69 acres, a Muslim family owns 0.77 acre and a Christian family, 1.264 acre.

    The report published in September this year says only 80.1% of Hindu houses are in a livable condition, less than that of Muslims (89.7%) and Christians (83.6%).

    Even in matter of dowry, Christians lead the tally with 80% families following it. Muslims tag along at 76%. Though less, Hindus too are yet to rid themselves of the social evil with 52% still under its grip.

    Haaaa .... there goes the story of what the media and the academia and the intelligentsia and the westia has often termed as a "Hindu socal evil" !

    Having grown up for almost 18 years in Kerala - I am least surprised... for I grew up hearing stories of how my Mulsim neighbour's daughter was tortured and finally divorced for dowry deficit..... how my Christian neighbours daughter's marriage did not happen for a long time for they could not agree to the "rates" that the groom's families asked for...... I had chanced upon matrimonial advertisement-files on the desktop of the computers in the browsing center in my home town in Kerala of a Muslim girl which clearly mentioned "ready to pay xyz lakhs in cash and abc amount of gold".......

    and much less such stories and incidents when it comes to Hindus....... and yet as Mark Anthony would say "Dowry is a Hindu social evil" .......

    No, I am not denying dowry related crimes and the evil itself in Hindu families in Kerala or elsewhere, but just as the harijan-converts-to-christian-dalits and fast realizing in their new found religion that "dalithood" is not a Hindu something, the Hinduness of dowry is another myth that will be shattered inspite of all the **ias

    Well, I should not do a blanket blaming, for there has been such works as Veena Oldenburghs book - - Dowry Murder: The Imperial Origins of a Cultural Crime

    To quote: In this highly provocative book, Veena Oldenburg argues that these killings are neither about dowry nor reflective of an Indian culture or caste system that encourages violence against women.Rather, such killings can be traced directly to the influences of the British colonial era. In the precolonial period, dowry was an institution managed by women, for women, to enable them to establish their status and have recourse in an emergency

    Interestingly I chanced upon this Chapter in Kautilya's ( Chanakya) arthashastra

    Book III , Chapter 2 , lines 11 - 13 can be roughly transated as ...

    for it is they that receive the money paid by the bridegroom for their daughter. In case of the absence by death of either the father or the mother, the survivor will receive the money-payment. If both of them are dead, the virgin herself shall receive it. Any kind of marriage is approvable, provided it pleases all those that are concerned in it.

    So the boys family pays the girls family !! ( a custom I believe, still in existence in parts of India's North-east) ......

    also goes

    "vrittiraabandhyam vaa striidhanam" - Means of subsistence or jewelry constitutes what is called the property of a woman. ( 14)

    "tadaatmaputrasnuShaabharmaNi pravaasaapratividhaanE cha bhaaryaayaa bhOktum adOShaH" - It is no guilt for the wife to make use of this property in maintaining her son, her daughter-in-law, or herself, whenever her absent husband has made no provision for her maintenance. ( 16)

    So thats the real meaning of "striidhanam" which currently is used in the sense of dowry ( oh.. talk about blindly taking english terms into Indian context.... varna being equated to caste is another such blunder) ....

    Arthashaastra goes on....

    On the death of her husband a woman, desirous to lead a pious life, shall at once receive not only her endowment and jewelry, but also the balance of the marriage-price due her. If after obtaining these two things she remarries another, she shall be caused to pay them back together with interest on their value. . . If a widow marries any man other than of her father-in-law's selection, she shall forfeit whatever had been given to her by her father-in-law and her deceased husband. . . .No woman shall succeed in her attempt to establish her title to the property of her deceased husband, after she remarries. If she lives a pious life, she may enjoy it. No woman with a son or sons shall after remarriage be at liberty to make free use of her property; for that property of hers, her sons shall receive.

    All along it talks about the property originally that of the guy or the guy's father, but given to the girl or the girl's parents during marriage... and about the girls right to her husband's property....
    not the other way around !!

    The whole chapter ends with - If a husband either is of bad character, or is long gone abroad, or has become a traitor to his king, or is likely to endanger the life of his wife, or has fallen from his status, or has lost virility, he may be abandoned by his wife.

    Traitor to the King... or Nation in this case.. God, atleast half the politicians should have been divorced by their wives now as per Arthashaastra standards !!

    Thursday, April 03, 2008

    what is common to these ?

    I got these in email... looks like they were all taken from some website - whichever that website is, acknowledgements are due ...

    Saturday, March 15, 2008

    equality of mass .... err mess

    There used to be a time when SSLC ( Std 10) exams were a pride of the Kerala govt... Conducted meticulously the exam system had high reputation. While most other exams - especially conducted by Universities where a totall mess, SSLC (and the model exam that happens a month before) continued to enjoy the trust of the people..

    Not any more .. the commie govt of Kerala is steadily ensuring that SSLC exam too is as messed up as other exams.. no one exam shud be more equal than the others !! Last year ( or was it the year before ?) was the leak of question paper .. and now this year , the govt decided to be the champion of secularism by postponing the friday exam to saturday, to appease Muslims ( as far as I know, surprisingly no demand came from the Muslim side as such, but the govt itself wanted to score some points)

    And the moment it ws shifted to Saturday, 7th day advetists christians were up in arms ... and finally High Court had to intervene ... read

    Meanwhile, a recent US human rights accused Kerala and West Bengal as states with maximum human rights violations ... WB for Nandigram , Kerala for custody deaths and human trafficking..
    The same buffoons who quoted US human rights report on Gujarat, are now suddenly up in arms against it ...
    and among other reasons ..
    CPM MP Mohammad Salim said the US had earlier dubbed China as the biggest violator of human rights. “We do not think the US is a champion of human rights"
    True to their Nationalistic spirit , these Chinese Nationalists are more hurt at US report on China.....

    BORI incident- some facts

    Preamble: Any resemblance to any real life characters is intentional

    They say, drop a cat whichever way, it will land on four legs.... Argue with a psec, whichever way, the psec will repeat the same fantasy

    A month or so I happened to talk to one Mr X , on you know, issues which usually fill up my blog.. Knowing fully well that many times such "talks" are waste of time, especially if the person on the other end lives in his/her own fantasy world - I somehow still went for it ... may be 1 hour on the phone...

    I noticed that whatever I say about Islmic attrocities, and whatever I say about Quranic calls for violence, this person would say something like "But you see Hindus attacked the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute .... Hindus are equally bad as the Islamists " ....

    Some recent comments on this blog has prompted me to think that the attack on BORI seems to be an obsession with this person ... you see there is this old story .... The guy and girl are in love.. but families don't agree.. they decide to both comitt suicide .. in front of the train... girl jumps, guy can't in time.. girl dies, guy goes mad ... and there after he keeps on repeating "train cam , she jumped " .... "train came, she jumped" , ........ poor him .. and her ...

    Likewise, God knows who hit him on the head, but Mr X seems to be determined to keep on quoting BORI attack incident as proof that Hindus are as intolerant as the Islamists... even though Mr X as such does not seem to accept facts ( and wikipedia) and is never willing to have his facts checked or corrected, or get out of his world of imaginations, this post is for the unsuspecting readers lest, they be mislead to believe "Hindus - as a religious entity - attacked BORI"

    So here are some facts .....

    1) Yes, wikipedia, Mr X is free to not accept this -

    The group that attacked BORI .. sambhaji Brigade

    The outfit distances itself from the Hindutva organisations and considers itself as the ideological descendant of the Maratha Empire. The outfit's members consists of mostly Maratha youths from the rural interiors of Maharashtra. The organisation's ideology is directed against the Brahmins of Marathi society. The parent organisation MSS's founder Khedekar is alleged to have close ties with many Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders, although the NCP denies it.

    This group attacked some portions of the
    Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, to protest against the allegedly slanderous remarks about Maratha Empire founder Shivaji and Rajmata Jijau by American academic James Laine.

    The group's activists were also in the news for attacking
    Hindutva leader K. S. Sudarshan with footwear by Mahesh Chavan, when he was in Solapur, to protest against the policies of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

    May be Mr X will now quote a non-Indian non-British , but of his choice history book to still prove that "Hindus/Hindutva people attacked BORI" ... he he .. what can I do !

    2) Let us hear from the horses mouth .. the BORI website itself as to what happened ...

    News & Events

    “The Controversial Book by James Laine should be banned” - Appeals the BORI

    Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Rashtramata Jijabai and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj are the pride and inspiration of not only Maharashtra, but the whole nation. American author James Laine has made some highly objectionable and inflammatory statements about our revered deities in his book titled “Shivaji: A Hindu King in Islamic India”.

    The ban on the book is recently recalled by the Mumbai High Court. However, the Honorable Supreme Court, dealing with a case involving a different book, has recently given a Verdict to the effect - “In the case of foreseen threat to public harmony, the Governments of States are authorized to ban any book”. In the light of the same, the Regulating Council (RC) of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) has unanimously passed a resolution with an appeal to the Government of Maharashtra to ban the said book.After the book was released in September 2003, Dr. M. K. Dhavalikar, a Trustee of the BORI had brought the objectionable matter to the notice of the then RC of the BORI.

    The RC had passed a unanimous resolution of condemnation and an appeal to the Government of Maharashtra to ban the book in a meeting conducted on December 4, 2003. A similar resolution was passed by the current RC on December 2, 2005 under the chairmanship of Dr. Vijay Bhatkar.The honorable High Court had recalled the ban on the book on April 26, 2007. Dr. M. G. Dhadphale, the Honorary Secretary, BORI, had put an appeal to retain the ban on the said book to release in the Marathi daily ‘Sakal’ (April 18, 2007) and the English daily ‘The Maharashtra Herald’ (April 28, 2007) on behalf of the Institute.With a view to introduce the world to the contribution of the BORI to Oriental Academia, it had launched a website in 2003. In the vandalistic attack on January 05, 2004, severe affliction was caused to the rare books and manuscripts, etc.

    Numerous newspapers and journals had covered the event in the form of information and reactions. It has been found that some such coverage was mentioned in some links on the website. Unfortunately, the website was not edited thereafter. We wish to clarify that the links are not directly related to the BORI, and the BORI is not directly responsible for the matter in them. However, we are much thankful to the Shivabhakta Loka-andolan Samiti for bringing it to our notice that some of the links on the website mention some matter from the objectionable book. Immediately after the incidence was brought to our notice, Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, the Chairman of the Regulating Council, issued orders to close down the related webpage. This order has already been put to action.The Institute deeply regrets the confusion arisen due to this mere error of negligence. The BORI now plans to close the website down and launch a new one that would highlight our goals for the time to come. We are also pleased to announce that we wish to republish with English and Marathi translations, the Budhabhuushana, a work by Chhatrapati Sambhaji, published by us in 1926.

    The Institute also announces that the Institute will always be proud party to any righteous and peaceful undertaking to uphold the honour of the revered and legendary personalities like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj and Raashtramaataa Jijabai, who have truly maintained the glory of religious, cultural and historical legacy of the nation.

    Vijay Bhatkar,
    ChairmanRegulating Council

    Wednesday, March 05, 2008


    Nov 11, 2006 is when I put a counter on this blog, and it now reads 10,000+ .. It took ... ummm lemme see

    19+31+365+31+29+5 = 480 days .... to get there

    Thats an overall average of 20+ per day ... I think the peak hit on a single day was some 300 or something recently ... after the akbar-jo-thaa post , which incidentally also has the highest number of comments on it

    Interestingly, the search term that seems to get more people to this blog than anything else seems to be " meera jasmine family " or "shaji kailas annie" after the " mallu christian actresses " post .. thats funny .. considering that movie related posts are sub-ten percentae of this blog

    Well... things in life that matter to most, I guess

    And this, is the 190th post on the blog.. so soon, hope to hit the double century :-)... At this juncture would like to thank all those who have encouraged, commented and criticised this blog, directly or indirectly... including the many personal emails I got... from the very first post on May 18, 2005 , till now and in future as well.....


    Saturday, March 01, 2008

    youth are not useless they are used less

    AFAIK , the title is a quote from Swami Chinmayananda . Thanks to "mod" for sending this

    Click on the picture to enlarge.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    om sweet home

    missing my home :-( ...... pics, thanks to my amma for maintaining the garden , and thanks to my cousin for the snaps ! click on the pics to see them enlarged

    Saturday, February 23, 2008

    On the lighter side


    Thanks "M" for sending me this funny video....

    Talking about videos, thanks to reader "GS" for sending me this link to Modi's Chennai (English) speech videos -

    He raises some very interesting points - especially about the defeatist attitude.... and though he may not be the best in English, he has over all managed a good job..

    But indeed, his Hindi speeches continue to be a class apart .. see the one's where he addresses the NRI crowd via satellite .. Only thing I did not like abt the video is the background studio setting !! :)

    Saturday, February 16, 2008

    akbar jo thaa

    अक्बर् जो था !!

    At the outset, let me clarify that this is more about Akbar "the great" than the good or bads of the recent bollywood movie starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai

    In my school history texts, just like any other kid in India would have, I too studied about "Akbar-the-great", the proponent of Hindu-Muslim-bhai-bhai ( spoofed as goat-butcher-bhai-bhai in "Hey Ram" movie - a freudian slip from Kamala Haasan ?) .... and as example of his "reaching out to the Hindus" was given the example of his marrying Rajput women ....

    Interestingly as I used to read my text books at home, my mother - by no means a hindutva person, and who used to vote for Muslim League candidate simply because they had an alliance with Kaaangress - used to say .. " Oh well, Akbar, all he did in the name of Hindu-Muslim alliance was enjoy marrying Hindu women "

    That was one of those incidents where I have to admit that "knowledge from ancestors" or even intuitions are sometimes more factual than bookish knowledge.. for indeed, contrary to what the pseudo secularists may want us to believe , Akbar DID NOT allow his formerly Hindu - wife to remain a "kaafir".....

    Mariam-uz-Zamani née Hira Kunwari (born October 1, 1542), was a Rajput princess and was the eldest daughter of Raja BharMal, Raja of Amber, India. She was the wife of the Mughal emperor Akbar, and the mother of emperor Jahangir.

    .......For the purpose of marrying Akbar she was converted to Islam and was rechristened Mariam-uz-Zamani after marriage. The Mosque of Mariyam Zamani Begum in Lahore, Pakistan was built in her honour. She has been also referred to as "Jodha Bai" or "Jodhabai" in modern times, although she was never actually known as Jodha Bai during her lifetime.

    So is Jodhaa Akbar or Mariam Akbar more apt ? Indeed, the latter name does not play well with the pseudo secularists nor with the Islamic underworld that funds bollywood.. So there you go.....

    Also, the same wikipedia article mentions

    a similar sounding name "Jodh Bai" is addressed to Princess Manmati of Jodhpur, the wife of Jahangir and mother of emperor Shahjahan

    Its clear that yet another Hindu Princess was married into the Moghul family and her son too continued to be a slave warrior of Allah rather than being a Hindu .. How about the lady herself - i.e "Jodh Bai" ? was she converted ? well, I could not find an explicit mention of that ( I did not search much, may be readers can help) , but the wikipedia entry

    gives her name as Princess Manmati, Taj Bibi Bilqis Makani Begum Sahiba Jodh Bai

    So leave it to ur imagination ..... I guess at that time the Quranic injunction that a Muslim HAS to convert the non-Muslim into an Allah's slave warrior before marrying him/her was kept more faithfully.. Only recently has that rule been relaxed to a perhaps modified form of Al-Taqiyya
    ( read- compromise if it helps in the long term) by which its okay if the non-Muslim converts after marriage to the Muslim or in the worst case if he/she refuses to, atleast as long the kids remain slave warriors of Allah

    post script: whenever I used "wife of Moghul emperor" , I assumed that readers have the maturity and knowledge to understand that I mean "one of the wives" !! Some estimates say Akbar had 300 wives.. many of whom were Hindus... errrrrr formerly Hindus