Saturday, May 28, 2005
so they are both jnu alumni, so what's wrong with them having a little alumni meeting?
what's wrong is that the nepali is an interpol-wanted terrorist criminal, and the indian intelligence agencies have no business escorting him around the place.
this reminds me of jaswant singh escorting the hijackers to kabul. what's worse is that karat is an extra-constitutional authority, who has no official position in government. jaswant singh at least had the authority to do whatever he did (even if i think he was wrong). what authority does karat have?
here's what reader jk sent me with a pointer to his blog. i have previously talked about this event in my blog too. here are the links, jk's and mine:
this is more evidence that some malayalis especially communists, socialists and marxists, are troublemakers in ways disproportionate to their small numbers. i pointed out once that the tibet debacle had been put together by krishna menon and k m panikkar, with m o mathai as the nehru dynasty person's private secretary. i got yelled at by various people for pointing this out. however, the very same fact has been pointed out by jairam ramesh in his 'chindia' book (i didn't buy it, a friend of mine did and i glanced through it) as evidence of the long-running ties between kerala and tibet!
now with tka nair, mk narayanan, hormis tharakan (pm's principal secretary, national security advisor, raw chief); vincent george (the private secretary of the reigning nehru dynasty person); all malayalis, too, i am concerned. i have no evidence one way or the other if these people are communist/marxist/socialist, but the coincidence is remarkable.
with prakash karat, a 24-karat marxist malayali added to the mix, it is clear that nepal is definitely going to go the tibet way. it will be a chinese territory soon, and will be exporting revolution to india in spades.
i despair sometimes for this poor country.
and everybody is in ecstacy over manmohan singh's 'strong stewardship' of the country. yes, with 150 districts now under the naxalite gun, widespread religious persecution of hindus (starting with the kanchi incidents) and economic growth heading south; not to mention the political games being repeated in goa, jharkhand, and now bihar: the idea is clear --
"one man, one vote, one time".
you got to vote the congress and marxists into power, and that's it: you've had your fill of democracy for ever now. no more change of government, ever.
Friday, May 27, 2005
from the financial times, may 16th:
the mufti of egypt, sheikh ali gomaa, on the alleged flushing of a koran down a toilet in guantanamo bay --
"it's an unforgivable crime toward the monotheistic religions which call for the faithful to respect the sacred values of other religions"
ah, i am glad that explains it. respect for other religions only applies to 'monotheistic religions'. that is why destroying the bamiyan buddhas was okay. this is why hindu travelers to saudi arabia will find their gitas shredded and their ganeshas ground underfoot (this first-hand experience was related to me by a diplomat's wife who said she was severely traumatized when a customs man calmly did this to her religious objects at the airport in saudi arabia).
but how does this explain the following in relation to a 'monotheistic religion'?
What about Bible desecration by Saudis? By Patrick Goodenough
May 23, 2005
A U.S.-based think tank critical of the Saudi government has added its voice to allegations that authorities in the kingdom routinely destroy Bibles.
"As a matter of official policy, the government either incinerates or dumps Bibles, crosses and other Christian paraphernalia," the Saudi Institute said in an article posted on its website.
i think it's simple. when monotheistic religions are powerful, they will trash the symbols of other religions as part of 'my monotheist god is bigger than your monotheist god'. muslims did this to christians in moorish spain. christians returned the favor when they kicked the muslims out of spain. now christians are powerful, so they will desecrate muslim objects. when and where muslims are powerful, they desecrate christian objects. par for the course.
the hue and cry over the koran incident is inducing liberal guilt in the west, which is a good stick to beat them with.
of course in the us, freedom of speech has allowed an 'artist' to display a crucifix upside down in a beakerful of urine, entitled 'piss christ'. this was a while ago, i wonder how people would relate to that today.
a bigger question: isn't the veneration of objects such as the cross and the bible a little strange considering the prohibitions on (graven) images? is a book a graven image? why not? it's a man-made object, isn't it?
happy memorial day weekend to those in the us.
an interesting critique from an insider. there may be some truth to it: the open source crowd needs to eat, too, and so they typically have a day job at some cathedral-type company and then do the bazaar-type work at night (refer 'the cathedral and the bazaar', the superb exposition of open source philosophy by eric raymond.)
there is another interesting question here on the nature of property rights. is the patent mechanism appropriate or absurd? how would it be if people put their innovations into the public domain? altruism vs. greed: would this reduce innovation. it's hard to say. ancient india saw tremendous innovation that was immediately put into the public domain, not controlled by proprietary rights, and did it make ancient india less innovative? i don't think so.
a prize-winning paper by MIT economist petra moser suggests that the existing european idea of a patent system isn't going to be helpful for a nation like india. see this link too.
so what is the right model to sustain innovation?
kazuo ishiguro is one of my favorite writers. in the space of a month some years ago, i read both his 'The Remains of the Day' and 'The Shadow Lines' by amitav ghosh, both brilliant and unforgettable first person narratives. i was moved by both.
i haven't read any of ishiguro's later works; and i have been disappointed by Ghosh's later books and also by his thoughtless and fashionable 'secularism'.
nevertheless, this book review suggests that ishiguro is back in action, doing what he does best: understatement as the world goes to hell in a handbasket.
the tyranny of science is no less a peril than that of religious fundamentalists.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: May 23, 2005 2:31 PM
Subject: Tirupathi loot
I am pained to write this. I find no option. Because I
am hurt at the way the Mandirs are silently being
stripped by christist Y Samuel Rajasekhara Reddy garu,
CM of AP and no body seems to care. I request your
immediate intervention and render justice to the
Hindus and Hindu institutions.
S V Badri
This was mailed to the following:
1. President of India – Shri A P J Abdul Kalam -
2. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh – Sri Y Samuel
Rajasekhara Reddy- firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
3. Endowment Minister of Andhra Pradesh- Sri M
Read my special request to the Hindus and Hindu
institutions/ organizations all over the world and
shoot your protests to the above three gentlemen. Our
institutions are seriously getting eroded. If you care
to have your great-grand child see them remain as
Hindu institutions, show your concern. NOW.
BANKRUPT AP ENDOWMENT DEPARTMENT
AND THE CHRISTIST CM- Y SAMUEL RAJASEKHARA REDDY
Give me an honest answer. You visit Bhagawan Tirupati
Venkateshwara's Mandir (Balaji Mandir) or any Mandir
in Andhra Pradesh .You have the devotion to make a
monetary offering into the Hundi. You feel it is your
private equation with the Bhagawan. You fulfil your
Prarthana as you make a humble drop into to the Hundi.
Some of you have saved this money painfully over years
and in several cases enduring pangs of hunger to make
this offering. That is the extent of your devotion.
Are you aware that till the last nano-second that the
money or the offering was in your hands, it was
"religious money" because your Bhakti veils your
eyes as you think that this money that is offered will
be sacredly used by the A P Government for Hindu
religious purposes like maintainence of the Mandir,
its' development and for propagation of Hindu
religious causes, payment of salaries of Archakas or
for the regular conduct of Pujas and rituals as per
the Aagamas and Sastras. You assume this is what the
AP Government is doing with your offering, because
this is a Hindu Mandir and you are a devout Hindu
offering the money out of total surrender to the
Bhagawan. You are painfully ignorant what happens to
this money once it gets into the Hundi. You just
assume that it is being used for a Hindu cause.
Perhaps you are one of those who just does not care
because your job is done and it is up to the Mandirs
to use it as they deemed fit. Yes Mandirs will use it
as they deem fit if they are out of Government
control. So if you think that your money is used only
for Hindu purposes, banish the thought.
Because, the moment the money slips into the Hundi,
the Government "converts" it into "secular money".
How can you explain why Mandir funds alone should be
the target of the Government to draw as they please
for other than Hindu religious purposes?
Money down the drain
Take for instance, the recent decision of the
Government and the Government sponsored TTD Board to
spend the Bhakta's "religious money" for "secular"
purpose of constructing the underground drainage.
Tell me if it is the duty of the Government to provide
the drainage or the duty of the Mandir? So your money
finds its way down the drain.
Or its diversion to the Veterinary College
development, not connected to the religious
institution? Whose responsibility is this, the
Government's or the Mandir's?
Will Lallu give Railway lands for mandir
The AP Government through the TUDA (Tirupati Urban
Development Authority) demanded from the TTD a sum of
Rs 6 crores towards property and other taxes so it
could have the money required to construct a Idgah
Maidan on the Railway lands abetting the Bhagawan's
lands. Obviously, because it is Idgah Maidan, secular
Lallu did not object. And the secularists rushed to
facilitate its completion. What if a Hindu wanted to
construct a Mandir on the Railway lands? Will the same
secularists come forward with such glee? Remember,
Lallu ordered removal of Mandirs on Railway lands?
Christist YSR unhappy with his Endowment Minister
I am told that the money was stopped in the last
minute after strong protests and the intervention of
the Endowment Minister, M Satyanarayana, who as I
understand, is fighting a losing battle against the
christist YSR. Well placed sources indicate that this
minister is likely to lose his berth unless he
"converts" himself from being a good Hindu to being a
"adorable-secularist" as the christist YSR wants him
to be. Meaning, YSR does not want the Minister to
raise objections to the usage of Mandir funds for
Monotheistic religious purposes. Knowledgeable circles
in AP confided with me that the christist YSR takes
joy in making the officials of the Endowment
Department to over-rule the Minister and to ridicule
him at every opportunity. People who were present
during the "Ugadi Puraskarams" functions this year are
witness to how the Endowment Minister was humiliated
and made most uncomfortable by the christist YSR. In
Bhadrachalam, where 12 acres of lands belonging to the
Sri Rama Mandiram was given away to a christist
organisation (apparently for the construction of a
school there), who ended up constructing a church for
converting the local tribals. The Minister was
apparently unhappy with this and was denied the
protocol honours during his recent visit for Sri Rama
Money for Idgah maidan- Yes; Money for Mandir
renovation - No
YSR found Rs 6 crores for the construction of the
Idgah Maidan in the Holy Town of Tirupati . But can
find no money when 10,000 Mandirs languish for funds
in the very backward areas of his State. He will not
give them Mandirs. As a true christist he wants them
to remain a fertile ground for the breed of new phoren
evangelicals to arrive and harvest.
Plant a church. Plant 50. Plant 100. Plant a
YSR's folks in the Adventists will give them churches
instead. Plant a church. Plant hundred. Plant a
thousand. After all, did he not ask the Adventists to
make a church on his farm land for the benefit of 300
converts? How can a Hindu trust this man who is more
evangelical in his mission than the Pope Benedict
XVII? And the worst, he does it masquerading as a
Hindu. Many would not even know that he is a
convert/born again christist.
Render the ground fertile. So the phirangis come to
With Mandirs and Mandir activity rendered
systematically extinct in backward areas, it is no
wonder that our Dalit and backward Hindu brethern find
themself spiritually bankrupt. Because christists like
YSR want them to be spiritually bankrupt so the
missionaries can come and take over their souls with
their brand of hatred of Hindu practices and Gods
disguised as love and social service. YSR is silently
making room for the imported evangilicals to usurp
the dalits and the backwards so they can bear the
cross for the rest of their lives. And he can bank on
their votes at the call of a Samuel. Shame.
Are Hindus incompetent to run their institutional
The recent decision to facilitate christian
infiltration into the TTD affairs through the Ugranam
material deal with the firm owned by a Syiran
Christian of Kerala and the tele-medical facility deal
he inaugurated, between SVIMS (Sri Venkateswara
Institute of Medical Sciences) and the christist
institutions like the Frontline / Madras Medical
Mission combo of Dr Cherian should also make the
secularits proud. Because for the likes of christist
YSR, Mandirs are for mad people while the creative
ones rush to the church. How can Hindus expect him to
be sensitive to their issues? Tomorrow, he will have
christian auditors, christian administrators or even
christian parishioners doing Yesu Sahasranama to
Bhagawan Venkateshwara. Who knows what my grand child
has to witness in this sacred Mandir years from now?
Mandir money for "secular sexual" use
A P Government had recently decided to construct guest
houses and rest rooms on various highways using the
TTD money. Bhagawan's money will be put to some
"secular sexual use" to create rendezvous for the
benefit of some unscrouplous ministers and bureaucrats
to sleep with the concubines.
Where is Hindu religious cause here? Why should one
permit the TTD to become the Government appointed
nodal agency to appease minorities or to undertake
projects other than the Hindu Dharmic ones?
Page 3 Chairman and the christist broker
Both The flamboyant Page 3 personality and TTD
Chairman, T Subbirami Reddy (Cong-I) and the christist
YSR Government owe an explanation to the Bhaktas of
Bhagawan Venkateshwara for betraying our trust. Join
me in my prayers to the Kaliyuga Nayaka, Sri
Venkateshwara (Bhagawan Balaji) to render the most
severe punishment on each one of these starting from
christist YSR down to the last peon who is involved in
this systematic assault, rape, plunder and loot of His
Mandir and its possessions.
Lessons from christist YSR Government on How to ruin
a prosperous Mandir:
Let us now examine the orderly way the christist YSR
government acts to make all our Hindu Mandirs go
bankrupt. Before one starts reading this, it should be
stored in our minds that the Government has taken over
the Hindu Mandirs as a Trustee. It has no right of
ownership. And you will come to the conclusion that
this A P Government is worse than the Britishers when
it comes to inflicting damage on our Hindu
institutions and the Hindus as a whole.
There are 370,000 acres of Mandir lands in AP. Of
this, the Endowment Department does not even have
records of lands to the extent of 100,000 acres. Does
this surprise you? The Hindu Religious Endowment
Department is infiltrated by christian administrators
in the guise of Hindus.
So we have a trustee who does not even have proper
accounting system. What should you do to him? What
would you do if your accountant failed you? Trash him?
Throw him out? And what are we doing to these trustees
who have betrayed our trust.
A Ministry that does not have annual budgetary
You might be surprised to learn that the AP Hindu
Religious Endowment Department is the only department
in AP which does not get a single Rupee as the Annual
Budgetary allocation from the A P Government. So this
Deparment has no Governmental source of funding. Then
how does this department manage to run its blasting
path of systematic destruction of our Mandirs? How
does it manage the vast empire of unwanted elements in
the garb of employees?
Simple. In addition to having all the Mandir resources
at its control, It collects 15% of total revenues from
Larger Mandirs like the Tirupati Mandir and 12% from
smaller Mandirs. In addition, it collects 3% uniformly
from all the Mandirs towards what it has called as
"common-good-fund". Anything that starts with the word
Common is just plain bullshit. You saw that in the
Common Minimum Programme, too. Didn't you? Now, the
Government, in addition to dipping its hands into the
Hundi collections can just can dip into this common-
good -fund also for any activity of its choice –
depending on if the CM was a christist or a muslim or
a commie or an athiest or just an anti-national bloke
who wants to cremate Hindu institutions and scatter
its ashes across the Vatican or the Mecca like the
Ghazni did of the Dwaraka's Murti of Bhagawan Krishna.
Check the AP government Website and show me the
Endowment Department there:
It might surprise you that the Endownment Department
is not featured in the Official website of the
Government of AP while even the minority welfare has a
link presented in the website. So our Trustee is very
secretive. Wants to hide from the public glare. And
least credible because he shuns the public domain.
What is it afraid of?
Known christists – unknown christists
Take a look at the number of known christists who
ruled the State since its formation:
1. Kasu Brahmhananda Reddy
2. N.Janardhana Reddy
3. Y Samuel Rajasekhara Reddy
Add to these three christians, sympathisers of the
variety of Chandra Babu Naidu, whose regime saw the
State-sponsored and facilitated upshoot of the
towering statues of Mother Teresa competing with
Ambedkar in every nook and corner of AP. There are
also strong rumours doing rounds that Chandra Babu's
wife, Bhuvaneshwari (daughter of the Late NTR)
practices christianity secretly and is in touch with
the seventh day adventist missionary. Readers should
also know that it is believed in certain circles that
Chandrababu Naidu has interests in an abattoir with
Saudi links that slaughters countless cows for export
of beef. If this is true I am not amazed why he was
the first to take the flight to meet Vajpayee and
"strongly" demand the dropping of the very idea of a
Prevention of Cow slaughter Bill, when BJP was Hindu
enough in its early days of governance.
Sanction for the repairs – Hindus get into debt trap
Days before Chandra babu Naidu of TDP lost his
elections, he sanctioned Rs. 75 crores towards repairs
and restoration of some Mandirs in AP. The Endowment
Department had no funds. The Government undertook the
work. And in many cases, the presiding deities were
dragged out into the open under the pretext of
renovation and left to fend for themselves, the
vagaries of Nature. In some Mandirs local bhaktas
formed groups to facilitate renovations. Such bills
ran up to Rs 48 crores. And the Government made just a
token re-imbursement, thus putiing various Hindu
Bhaktas into a debt trap. The Government still owes
Now, where does it decide to look for the money?
The Government has already started plundering the
Tirupati Balaji's wealth. Now, it wants to be seen as
being fair to Him. It does not want people to perceive
it as being selective in its destruction. So tells the
world that Tirupati Balaji was not willing to give
money for these projects so they have to scout for
another Mandir, to satiate their rapacious appetite
for systematic destruction of Hindu institutions. I
would like to call this as: The Secular chain reaction
to the deliberate distribution of destruction.
Simhachalam Narasimha Swamy – A P Government's new
target of plunder:
The Government has now set its eyes on Simhachalam. On
Simhadri Narasimha Swami. And His thousands of acres
of lands. These lands are in the Vizag district of
Andhra Pradesh. About 1500 to 2000 acres of these
lands are under illegal occupation. In most cases, it
is simply not traceable as to who sold these lands and
to whom, the registration has long since been done,
with the connivance of various ministers and
officials. Thousands of houses and bungalows have come
up on these illegally occupied lands. The current
occupants claim that they have been in the "enjoyment"
of these lands for the past 10 to 15 years and if the
Government comes forward to "regularize" the land
transaction and decide on the price, they are willing
to pay. Now, even squatters make the rules.
Can you give a honest figure, YSR?
Will the Government dare reveal how many practitioners
of other than Hindu faith who constitute these large
number of illegal occupants? Or publish the number of
churches / mosques that have come up on these Mandir
lands? In 1842 , in the whole of Madras presidency,
the number of churches were 847 and of Roman Catholic
denomination. A current estimate says that there are a
million churches in the same region. Where did this
growth and the money for such a growth come from? In
just 100 plus years.
A new Committee is born in the barn. Some have seen
stars and dollar signs
A few years ago a committee was formed for the express
purpose of "regularizing" these illegal occupations of
the lands belonging to Simhadri Narasimha Swami
Mandir. The committee lied low, perhaps taking time to
make its own deals by virtue of being given the
oppurtunity to officially deal with the squatters.
Now, the christist YSR Government has formed a new
Committee comprising of a few MLAs and officials to
look into this matter of "regularizing" the land in
favour of the illegal occupants. This committee is
expected to submit its report shortly, highlighting
its observations and recommendations. The price per
Square Yard is under consideration. The lands where
there are no constructions will be sold "as is where
is". They expect a inflow of Rs. 125 crores. Of this,
Rs. 48 crores will be disbursed towards works already
committed and in progress. The rest will be used for
the requirements and running of the A P Endowment
Department. This is as far as the 2000 acres of the
Simhadri Mandir lands, now concluded as in illegal
occupation by squatters, of whichever faith and
denomination they belong to.
Government decides to sell Over 100,000 acres of
Mandir lands in AP
In addition to the lands belonging to the Mandir of
Simhachalam Sri Narasimha Swamy, the Endowment
Department has decided to sell 100,000 acres of lands
belonging to various Mandirs in AP and which are
either under dispute or have been illegally occupied
by all and sundry. The Government has decided that a
committee comprising of all the MLAs will be
constituted for this purpose. This committee is
enpowered to decide the price. There are 370,000 acres
of Mandir lands under the control of the Endowment
Department. Of this, the department has no records for
Mandir lands to the extent of 100,000 acres. Of the
rest of 270,000 acres, thousands of acres are under
Who gives this christist Government the right to sell
the Mandir lands?
Why should the Hindu Samaj remain indifferent and
inactive to such naked aggression and rape of our
revered institutions by a christist? The kings of
yesteryears were the Trustees of our Mandirs in their
time. They were only keen to add to the Mandir assets
with each passing year. The current day kings, and the
born-again christist kings like YSR, seem to deem it
their duty to the church as they systematically strip
us to the last fibre and parade us as pagans.
Take a look hard look at few of these facts:
1. 10,000 Mandirs in AP alone are in the worst
possible state. There is no money for lighting a
single lamp each day. Nor is Nivedyam presented to the
Presiding Deity each day. In many Mandirs there is no
money to pay for the salaries of the staff and the
WILL THEY DO THIS TO THE CHURCH OWNED LANDS?
2. The church is the largest real-estate owner in the
country, next only to the Government and no single
Government dares to bring this under its control. Nor
can it ever dream of using the church lands for social
justice measures like giving it away to dalits or the
naxals or to Hindu religion for constructing Mandirs
or the much needed Hindu schools/ Patashalas, Informed
sources say that the naxal distribution of Mandir
lands in AP is happening with the very blessings of
the christist YSR. After all when it comes to Hindus,
the Government which is just a "trustee" will suddenly
assume "ownership" of these lands while bartering it
for vote-bank politics and for appeasement of
3. Let us assume that I form a Trust and do what the
AP Government is doing today as a Trustee. I would be
instantly prosecuted and hauled in for fraudulent
activity, betrayal of trust and would be ordered to
dismantle it, under the law of the land.
It is evident that The A P Government seems to
conclude that it is above the Trust laws. It can do
what it pleases when it comes to destroying Hindu
institutions. And the trust that the Hindu Bhaktas
impose on it to take care of its Mandirs be damned.
Can you expect YSR to be sympathetic to Hindu causes?
How can you expect this christist YSR to be
sympathetic to Hindu causes, its institutions and the
sentiments of its Bhaktas? It is a shame that the TTD
should allow him into the Hindu Mandir of Tirupati
without asking him to sign the mandatory declaration
of his allegiance to the Bhagawan. Worse still, he is
allowed to come alone and not escorted by his wife as
a Grihasta should do, when he visits the Mandir to
give the Vastram to the Bhagawan during the
Brahmhotsavam. I am told that she is a devout
christian and does not want perhaps to put up an act
like her husband, who is bound political and monetary
compulsions to deceive poor Hindus. I may be wrong on
this but I have not seen her with him during such
visits to the Balaji Mandir.
Hindus should understand that this AP Govenment is
headed by a rabid christian who cohabits with the
virulent adventists silently promoting baptisms by the
thousands in his State.
Sri Y Samuel Rajasekhara Reddy, Chief Minister of
Residence Address: 8-2-269/S/98, Sagar Society, Rd#2,
Constituency Address: D.NO.8-186, RAJAREDDY STREET,
PULIVENDLA TOWN, CUDDAPAH DISTRICT
Office Phone: 040-23455698, 23455205, 23452933
Residence Phone: 040-23608010, 23546195, 23545504,
EMail : firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com ,
Sri M Satyanarayana Rao, Minister for Endowments,
Government of Andhra Pradesh:
Office Address: Block-J, Floor-8, Room-811,
Secretariat, Hyderabad, AP.
Residence Address: Building No.9, (MB), Kundanbagh,
Constituency Address: H.NO.2-8-125, MUKURRAMPURA,
Office Phone: 040-23457113, 23453425
Residence Phone: 040-23414614
(Cell): 9849029008, 9848782024
EMail : firstname.lastname@example.org
And mark a copy to me to either:
Please circulate this to as many and urge them to
respond to these two ignoble men so they get to know
that Hindus are outraged with their betrayal of our
trust as Trustees of our Mandir affairs.
S V Badri
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: May 25, 2005 5:53 PM
Subject: hello Rajeev, it's very important.
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
Monday, May 23, 2005
i just love the title 'dharmavijayam'. what dharma? what vijayam? this thomas the apostle never came to india, it is a complete myth. 'adharma-kettukatha' would be a more accurate name: a fabrication about adharma.
|A tribute to St. Thomas |
By MIO Team
May 18, 2005, 10:57
| Printer friendly page |
Many movies have come depicting the life of holy people, saints and social reformers. Some of them have been big hits also. A story which tells about St. Thomas, a well known name in Kerala is being planned in the name of 'Dharmavijayam'. Dr. Lanka Palli hailing from Andhra is the director of the film. He likes to do the same film in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and English also, in future. The film is not into making sectarian remarks or causing harm to other communities. The film is made in such a way that, it spreads the message of love and humanity to one and all.
Regarding the cast of the film, Prakash Paul, famous for his role in the tele-serial 'Kadamuttathu Kaththanaar', plays the title role of St. Thomas. Jesus Christ's role is being played by Vommy Krishna who is from Andhra Pradesh. Renjini, who has acted in the film, 'Sasneham Sumithra', acts as Mary Magdalen
The other supporting roles will be given to the leading artists of Malayalam. Dr. Lanka Palli is carefully doing the script work and if all goes well, the film may start the shooting.
© Copyright 2005 by MusicIndiaOnLine.com
Friday, May 20, 2005
Thursday, May 19, 2005
thanks to reader siva.
DNA Study Yields Clues on First Migration of Early Humans
By NICHOLAS WADE
By studying the DNA of an ancient people in Malaysia, a team of
geneticists says it has illuminated many aspects of how modern humans
migrated from Africa.
The geneticists say there was only one migration of modern humans out of
Africa; that it took a southern route to India, Southeast Asia and
Australia; and that it consisted of a single band of hunter-gatherers,
probably just a few hundred people strong.
Because these events occurred in the last Ice Age, when Europe was at
first too cold for human habitation, the researchers say, it was
populated only later, not directly from Africa but as an offshoot of the
southern migration. The people of this offshoot would presumably have
trekked back through the lands that are now India and Iran to reach the
Near East and Europe.
The findings depend on analysis of mitochondrial DNA, a type of genetic
material inherited solely through the female line. They are reported today
in Science by a team of geneticists led by Dr. Vincent Macaulay of the
University of Glasgow.
Everyone in the world can be placed on a single family tree, in terms of
their mitochondrial DNA, because everyone has inherited that piece of DNA
from a single woman, the mitochondrial Eve, who lived some 200,000 years
There were, of course, many other women in that ancient population. But
over the generations, one mitochondrial DNA replaced all the others
through the process known as genetic drift.
With the help of mutations that have built up on the one surviving copy,
geneticists can arrange people in lineages and estimate the time of origin
of each lineage.
With this approach, Dr. Macaulay's team calculates that the emigration
from Africa occurred 65,000 years ago, pushed along the coasts of India
and Southeast Asia and reached Australia by 50,000 years ago, the date of
the earliest known archaeological site there.
The Malaysian people whom the geneticists studied are the Orang Asli. The
term means "original men" in Malay.
They are probably descended from this first migration, because they have
several ancient mitochondrial DNA lineages that are found nowhere else.
These lineages are 42,000 to 63,000 years old, the geneticists say.
Subgroups of the Orang Asli, like the Semang, have probably been able to
remain intact because they adapted to the harsh existence of living in
forests, said Dr. Stephen Oppenheimer, the member of the geneticists' team
who collected blood samples in Malaysia.
Some archaeologists theorize that Europe was colonized by a second
migration that traveled north out of Africa. This fits with the earliest
known modern human sites, dating from 45,000 years ago in the Levant and
40,000 years ago in Europe.
Dr. Macaulay's team says there could have been just one migration, not
two, because the mitochondrial lineages of everyone outside Africa
converge at the same time to the same common ancestors. Therefore, people
from the southern migration, probably in India, must have struck inland
to reach the Levant and, later, Europe, the geneticists say.
Dr. Macaulay said it was not clear why just one group succeeded in leaving
Africa. One possibility is that because the migration occurred by
continuous population expansion, leaving people in place at each site,
the first emigrants may have blocked others from leaving. Another is that
the terrain was so difficult for hunter-gatherers, who carry all their
belongings with them, that only one group succeeded in the exodus.
Although there is general but not complete agreement that modern humans
emigrated from Africa in recent times, there is still a difference between
geneticists and archaeologists about its a timing. Archaeologists tend to
view the genetic data as providing invaluable information about the
interrelationship between groups, but they place less confidence in the
dates derived from genetic family trees.
There is no evidence of modern humans outside Africa earlier than 50,000
years ago, said Dr. Richard Klein, an archaeologist at Stanford. Also, if
something happened 65,000 years ago to allow people to leave Africa, as
Dr. Macaulay's team suggests, there should surely be some record of that
in the archaeological record in Africa, Dr. Klein said. Yet signs of
modern human behavior do not appear in Africa until 50,000 years ago, the
transition between the Middle and Later Stone Ages, he said.
"If they want to push such an idea, find me a 65,000-year-old site with
evidence of human occupation outside of Africa," Dr. Klein said.
Geneticists counter that many of the coastline sites occupied by the first
emigrants would now lie under water, because the sea level has risen more
than 200 feet since the last Ice Age. Dr. Klein expressed reservations
about that argument, noting that people would not wait for the slowly
rising sea levels to overwhelm them but would build new sites farther
Dr. Macaulay said genetic dates had improved in recent years, now that it
is affordable to decode the whole ring of mitochondrial DNA, and not just
a small segment.
But he said he agreed "that archaeological dates are much firmer than the
genetic ones" and that it was possible his 65,000-year date for the
African exodus was too old.
Dr. Macaulay's team has been able to estimate the size of the population
in Africa from which the founders descended. The calculation indicates a
maximum of 550 women. The true size may have been considerably less. This
points to a single group of hunter-gatherers, perhaps a couple of hundred
strong, as the ancestors of all humans outside of Africa, Dr. Macaulay
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Friday, May 13, 2005
now for some theology and bioethics. i have been accused by christian fundamentalists of spouting strange theology, and i return the compliment. they do the same. here are some examples.
the whole premise here is that the human embryo/fetus is somehow blessed by god at the moment of conception. why only at the moment of conception? every egg and sperm cell also has the potential to become human, so they should also be considered worthy of the same respect, and so they must have souls as well. and so on, ad infinitum. each human cell is capable of creating a clone of the entire human, therefore it has a soul; so no human cell should ever be destroyed. does that include even cancer cells? or even the cells that you destroy, you bad person, when you brush your teeth? or when you smoke a cigarette? or just by being alive?
this also brings out a patent fallacy in christian theology: the raising of humans above all other creation. they claim only humans have souls. why are humans so superior? does god not think its other creations are worthy of having souls? i once posted an article on this blog on the secret lives of cows: they too exhibit various human-like emotions, including jealousy, anger, cliquishness, etc. how do you know they don't have souls?
and suppose we were to suddenly find, through the search for extra terrestrial intelligence, an intelligent alien species? do they have a soul? if not, why not? if they do have a soul, do they have a different god, the god of the aliens that gave them a soul? if the aliens are more intelligent than humans, does it mean the god of the aliens (let's say they are spider-like) is superior to the god of the humans? does it mean that the god of the christian fundamentalists (i referred to him as GOF, god of the fundamentalists, in an article i wrote years ago) is only the god of human christians, a tribal, limited god? after all GOF is supposed to have created humans in his image, and the spider-like aliens are not in GOF's image: GOF is an old man with a flowing beard. imagine the confusion if a spider-alien wanted to become a christian! how could he, since he has no soul, or his soul is tied to a different GOA, god of aliens?
what if, through a normal process of evolution, new super-human species are created? this comes up against the same soul issues.
so this whole business of the soul is shady. so is the exclusivism applied first to christians and then to humans: as if only they have some direct hotline to GOF. all of the others are second-class. ironically, this actually implies, logically, that the GOF is a second-class tribal god, not the One, the Creator of the Universe.
i personally think all beings have souls, and they are not inferior to humans. the Creator, the One, did create them all and its purpose was not to create slaves for humans. other beings are just different. so if one is willing to run experiments on rhesus monkeys and mice, and harvest their tissue, blood, whatever, then there should be no legitimate reason to oppose the same with human tumors or non-viable human fetuses either.
this whole fuss over human stem cells is pseudo-religious tripe. on the other hand, i do agree that a certain amount of respect needs to be paid. i wouldn't suggest the chinese method of wholesale abortion and consumption of aborted fetuses. that is simply nauseating.
i am also not a science fundamentalist, i hasten to add. there are dogmatists there too. i think a practical via media is possible where one respects religion (i am a deeply religious person) and at the same time recognizes the value of science. neither should put on airs because both are imperfect models for the universe. neither is infallible.
for instance, science could not satisfactority explain the tsunami, why it happened when it happened and when it will happen again. religion could not satisfactority explain the tsunami and why it was god's will to make it happen.
the church, in its finest traditions, is blocking stem-cell science as it always has blocked any new advance. this is how europe did not progress for a thousand years, until the s0-called enlightenment destroyed the deadening influence of the church. they do it just like the JNU blocks progress (yet again demonstrating that marxism is a semitic religion). the image of galileo recanting his theories under pressure is the symbol for these dogmatists. or that of giordano bruno being burned at the stake. or of leon trotsky being 'erased' from history books.
thanks to reader amrish for forwarding this excellent paper.
as amrish says, west bengal had the worst of all possible worlds: a nehruvian stalinist regime at the center, and a maoist regime in the state. no wonder they're seriously screwed. this is the nehruvian penalty, doubled.
here is the summary of the lahiri paper: the authors (economists with the federal reserve) compared the trajectories of the economies of maharashtra and west bengal, the two wealthiest states at independence, with roughly equal per capita income. between 1960 and 1995, west bengal managed to reduce its per capita income to only 60% of maharashtra's level! the authors show that a) low productivity, b) poorly functioning labor markets and sectoral misallocations are to blame. also, they show high correlation between factors a) and b) and the rise of the marxist vote share! this is a damning indictment.
quote: "west bengal experienced de-industrialization during this period." so much for the rights of the proletariat.
i suggest that this paper should be read in conjunction with the Survey of Chinese Peasants that has been banned in china, and which shows that almost a billion peasants have been enslaved and severely oppressed to provide the funds for the glittering coastal cities in that country. a google search will bring up a number of reviews, if not the text of the book itself.
simple conclusion: nehruvian stalinist/maoist voodoo economics will perpetuate poverty.
prediction: thanks to the nehruvian stalinists in power at the center now, we can expect india's GDP growth rate to head towards their comfortable 'nehruvian rate of growth' of 3% again soon.
the hill shrine of lord ayyappan in sabarimala attracts millions of hindu pilgrims to kerala. there has been a long-running demand to build a railway line close to the shrine, and the railways had agreed to it. kerala complains perpetually about not getting enough railway investment. and the pilgrims to sabarimala complain perpetually about having to get off in places like kottayam, chengannur and ernakulam (railheads relatively close to sabarimala, and which are all dominated by christians who form 50+% of the population in these areas). hence the idea of a railway line to the shrine.
however, the kottayam-erumeli railway line has been abandoned by the kerala government because it would bother christians! so much for christian cooperation with hindus (especially apropos the news that tirupati is doing a lot of business with christians thanks to christian convert cm reddy). i am therefore amused by the righteous indignation shown by an anonymous poster on this blog, whom i shall call 'george', who identifies himself as the drain inspector.
here is the news report. the kerala CM, oommen chandy, who is known to be particularly close to christian interests, personally intervened in this. i have the original news report in malayalam, it was the top front page item in the kerala kaumudi on that day. the translation is mine.
i simply love the sentence: "The line to Sabarimala would not in particular benefit those who lost their land." that is, christians will only do things that benefit them explicitly.
how about the hindu jawans who lose their lives protecting, among others, the christians of kerala? they should probably say, "no, i don't think i'll go to the front today, as i will not in particular benefit from losing my life today defending the country for oommen chandy's benefit."
how about the hindus who put their money into the hundi at tirupati, wouldn't they be justified in thinking, "my money going to some christian missionary hospital isn't going to particularly benefit me"?
Kottayam-Erumeli railway line abandoned
Kerala Kaumudi, April 27, Wednesday
State Government recommends the cancellation of the project
Trivandrum: As requested by the State Government, the Southern Railway has decided to abandon the construction of the Kottayam-Erumeli railway line.
It was Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who recommended this step in the wake of disputes regarding the acquisition of land. The proposed railway line from Kottayam to Erumeli would go through Christian-majority areas. If the line became a reality, the houses of several prominent people, as well as churches, would be lost. In addition, many plantations would be divided in two. The line to Sabarimala would not in particular benefit those who lost their land. The State Government decided to terminate the Kottayam-Erumeli line, which the Center had approved, after taking such issues into consideration.Railway Division manager Dr G Narayanan said in a press conference that the project has been terminated based on the State Government's recommendation.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
forwarded by a friend. i haven't personally verified the facts below (but why should that stop me? it never stops the 'secularists'. it's in fact more fun to make unsupported allegations and hope some of it sticks. i urge you guys to repeat this and post it all over the place, and it will become 'truth by repeated assertion' in the time-honored ways of the christians, muslims and marxists.)
but i wouldnt be surprised if this is true, after all there have been marxists and christians on the managing boards of the guruvayur temple as well. 'secularism' in action. when will we see some hindus on the board of the christian medical college, vellore or of the velankanni church in nagapattinam? answer: when hell freezes over, or when pigs fly. after all, they have to keep their war-room conversion ideas and large overseas funds flow secret.
incidentally cherian runs a hospital in kerala too with a very christian name, something like st. joseph or mar gregorios or something like that.
From: S V Badri (email@example.com)
Date: May 6, 2005 12:50 AM
Y \"Samuel\" Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR), the CM of Andhra Pradesh, is proving to be the greatest facilitator of Christian missionary work in Andhra.
Readers will recall that just a few days ago, he ensured the entry of JRG Wealth Management Limited, organization owned by a Kochi based syrian christian, G B Mathew, into the decision making and procurement process of Prasadam materials for Ugranam of the Bhagawan Venkateshwara Mandir in Tirupati.
And now, he has gone ahead in bringing in a deal between the SVIMS (Sri Venkateshwara Institute of Medical Sciences owned and run by the TTD) and the Frontier Lifeline and Dr K.M. Cherian Heart Foundation of Chennai. Dr Cherian is a christian and the founder of Madras Medical Mission, a true missionary hospital in Chennai. This telemedicine facility was inaugurated by YSR yesterday, with his interaction with Dr Cherian and his team through video conference.
While I do not intend to belittle the professional competence of Dr Cherian, I am amazed and deeply hurt that the CM could not pick up Hospitals owned and run by Hindus for a tie up with a premier institution owned by one of the most sacred Mandirs of the Hindus. And the money for which comes from common Hindu Bhaktas like you and me. There are at least a dozen or more institutions that can match up, rival and even surpass the facilities offered by Dr Cherian and his team.
Perhaps, YSR does not consider hospitals owned and run by Hindus as worthy of this alliance. Hospitals of eminence like the Apollo Hospitals (Incidentally, the Chairman, Dr Pratap C Reddy comes from Aragonda, about 40 Kms from Tirupathi and Apollo has a hospital facility at Aragonda also), Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Hospitals, Sri Sai Baba\'s wonderful hospital at Puttaparthi, Mata Amritanandamayi\'s Hospital at Kochi, Narayana Hridayalaya of Bangalore, the Escorts Hospital or for that matter any super speciality hospital run by Hindus in his capital city- Hyderabad, as worthy of associating with SVIMS.
YSR has also laid foundations for construction of Vasantha Mandapam in Tirumala, renovation and construction of a new building for the Sri Venkateshwara Oriental College in Tirupati etc., One should get into the details of which firm of contractors has been awarded with the contract for construction.
I will not be surprised if the study would reveal christians being the benefactors of such contracts. Cost of the projects- Rs 109 Crores.
The converts like YSR are under constant compulsion to prove their loyalty to the church.
What next Reddy? Affliliate the TTD Veda Patashala to the Vatican?
Go ahead. No body will raise their little finger in protest as you systematically siphon Mandir funds for proselytization.
I am sure that by the end of his tenure, he will annexe TTD to Opus Dei.
Perhaps, with Hindu passivity at such a peak, he might even manage to replace the Shanku/Chakra with the cross.
this: 254 Hindus, 790 Muslims, is what cedric prakash and the british guy robert young have inflated to 2000 muslim dead: 'truth by repeated assertion'.
proof? why, cedric prakash is an honorable man, entrusted by the vatican with conversion activites and lots of money for it, so what he says must by definition be true.
and the british of course, such honorable people, them lying about anything, for instance the $10 trillion they 'borrowed' from india? i am shocked, shocked at the very suggestion!
the indian muslim council usa said it was 5000 muslim dead. proof? of course there is no proof, it must be true because they said it.
here is the oh-so-secular upa govt giving the lie to these fantastic figures.
the hindus died either in police firing or in muslim attacks, and some of both hindus and muslims were policemen. so it's not as though peaceful, innocent muslims were being butchered, or that the government/police did nothing.
and all this is over and above the 59 hindus burned alive by muslims at godhra.
and another question someone asked recently: why is all the fuss only about modi protecting or not protecting muslims? what about modi not protecting the hindus in the train? or is it the case that only the protection of muslims is the job of the government? this must be that famous 'secularism' in action.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Was the United States justified in canceling Narendra Modi’s visa?
RAJEEV SRINIVASAN and S. GOPIKRISHNA, May 05, 2005
* No, it was an assault on India and Hindus
By RAJEEV SRINIVASAN
A century ago l’affaire Dreyfus rocked France: a Jewish army officer was falsely convicted of treason, dishonorably discharged, and sent to a prison island. In those days European Jews simply did not get the rights due to an average citizen.
Today, Hindus do not get any rights. The Hindu Indian is a second-class citizen: Muslims and Christians set up lucrative, state-subsidized educational institutions and suffer no government interference in their places of worship; whereas Hindu schools are taken over and Hindu temple funds expropriated by the Nehruvian Stalinist State.
In Narendra Modi’s case, 900 people (of which about 250 were Hindus and 100 policemen) are known to have been killed in Gujarat. Many of the riots were started by Muslims. The sheer fabrication that 2,000 innocent Muslims alone were killed was reported apparently by British diplomat Robert Young, citing Christian fundamentalist Cedric Prakash. By the way, the Indian Human Rights Commission has disowned the report cited as “proof” by the Americans. The 2,000 number has now become “truth by repeated assertion,” with no proof required.
Why isn’t the United States then canceling visas for all Congress politicians who stood by, and through inaction or in some cases alleged connivance, murdered 3,000 minority Sikhs (some say 10,000) in 1984? The Akali Dal is in fact demanding the same, if the United States were serious about human rights.
But we know they are not. They are not bothered about 59 Hindus whose burning alive by Muslim fundamentalists led to the Gujarat riots. Nor about 400,000 Hindu Pandits ethnically cleansed from Jammu and Kashmir by Muslim terrorists in 1989.
L’affaire Modi was simply an opportunity for the United States to kill multiple birds with one stone. Appease Muslims by directing their anger at Hindus and not at the United States. And help bizarre American Christian cults that target India. Since the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) appears to act as a front for these cults, it is pointless waving it about as a paragon, personalities notwithstanding.
The U.S. government is a serious offender in its treatment of ethnic and religious minorities at home, and of civilians abroad. Consider Japan (Nagasaki and Hiroshima), Vietnam (My Lai), Chile, Cambodia, Iraq (500,000 children died in 10 years of sanctions: this is true genocide), the Branch Davidians (100 people incinerated by the FBI, the Army, and the BAT) of Waco, Texas, the black group MOVE in Philadelphia (bombed by helicopter gunships), Japanese Americans in concentration camps during WWII, slavery itself. Many called Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon war criminals. With this track record, should the U.S. State Department sit in judgment on anybody?
The visa denial was an attack on the Indian nation’s legitimacy and should be treated as such.
Rajeev Srinivasan wrote this opinion from Mumbai.
* Yes, the visa denial was appropriate
By S. GOPIKRISHNA
Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, was scheduled to travel to the United States to attend the Gujarati-dominated Asian American Hotel Owners Association conference in Florida. On March 18, 2005, the U.S. government revoked Modi’s business and tourist visas and denied him a diplomatic visa, citing concerns over his alleged involvement in protecting criminal elements responsible for mass killings of Muslims in the 2002 riots.
The predictable brouhaha has seen a wide range of allegations, ranging from ostensible conspiracies about subjugating Hinduism to the U.S. government’s getting its facts wrong.
Let us examine the reason provided for rejection: Modi failed to protect the Muslim minority through his not preventing (and possibly promoting) hatred during the riots.
Can anybody dispute the above when the Government of India’s reports were cited as primary sources by the U.S. government? The protestors should fault the Indian government before the U.S. government.
Secondly, Modi’s invitation was issued by a group of self-proclaimed “influential” hoteliers who have delighted in exhibiting their political connections. Influential people can always reverse decisions through lobbying politicians; so why are Modi’s hosts so silent?
It is possible that impeccable evidence about Modi’s culpability prevents the group from flexing its muscle and forces them to adhere to the maxim that silence is golden.
It is important to note that both Modi’s diplomatic and business visas have been withdrawn. While the former kind of visa is granted solely at the pleasure of the government and can’t be challenged legally, the latter can be challenged and overturned by an immigration judge. It is surprising that protestors’ vehement proclamations about Modi’s innocence have not resulted in a legal challenge. Given the hotelier lobby’s deep financial pockets, can’t they retain a decent immigration attorney and get Modi’s name cleared?
The phenomenal reluctance to reverse the decision through political means or legal means constitutes prima facie evidence of the U.S. government’s decision being likely correct.
Lastly, there are rumors about the decision being inspired by groups of fundamentalist Christians frustrated at Modi’s thwarting their attempts to convert Hindus to Christianity. For the record, the USCIRF has publicly taken credit for influencing the U.S. government’s decision to withdraw Modi’s visas. Does a Bible-thumping, brimstone-breathing evangelist rule the commission? Well, it turns out that Preeta Bansal, an Indian American of Hindu descent heads the commission. Bansal’s active involvement clearly challenges the notion of the denial of visas being religiously motivated by Christian interests.
At the end of the day, nothing contradicts, let alone challenges, the State Department’s decision. In the absence of any concrete evidence, can anybody fault the U.S. government for its decision?
Toronto-based S. Gopikrishna writes on issues pertinent to Indians and India.
freedom of information act in action i suppose. this recently declassified set of papers shows the decisive tilt towards pakistan by war criminal duo nixon/kissinger in 1971. they loved pak as the conduit to china then.
there is a fine irony in the same americans now coming to india to be a counterweight to the chinese they thus propped up. if india were any good at this sort of thing, it would play the americans and chinese off against each other, wresting concessions from both but never really allying with either. make fine noises about friendship and cooperation, appear to tilt to one and then the other, but never commit to one. pursue self-interest single-mindedly.
now that is the ideal situation.
unfortunately in real life, there are plenty of fifth columnists for america in india, fattened by pat-robertson-type fundamentalist christian money. some of them rule certain states in india and will do anything for their gods and their demi-gods the americans.
similarly there are plenty of fifth columnists for china in india, fattened by chinese money. some of them rule certain states in india and will sell india down the river without a second thoughts. they also will (and in many cases have) sell their wives, daughters and sisters as well.
this is a problem.
not to speak of fifth columnists for saudi arabia and pakistan in india, fattened by petrodollars.
if i were a pessimist, i'd conclude india is in deep doo-doo.
Monday, May 09, 2005
liberalization is good for india. the planning commission is not. it had on it creeps like raj krishna, 'famous economist', whose only claim to fame was inventing the casually racist term 'hindu rate of growth'. as you know, yours truly is now a 'famous economist' because i invented the accurate term 'nehruvian rate of growth', that which the nehruvian stalinists imposed on india all these years, and ae well on the way to achieving again. they will shortly bring down the GDP growth rate to 3% again.
this is like goats. the natural environment for goats is dry, barren, scrubland. wherever you take goats, even if it's a lush meadow, they graze so destructively, by ripping up plants to the roots and hurting the soil with their sharp hooves, that they will turn it into dry, barren, scrubland.
similarly you give marxists and nehruvian stalinists a fast-moving economy, they will convert it rapidly into a 'nehruvian rate of growth' economy. that is the only kind in which they can perpetuate poverty and be the lords thereof. that is the only kind of economy they know.
and now for something less serious :-)
talking about IT in kerala. there is the interesting story that the former marxist cm of kerala, nayanar, used to insist on pronouncing "IT" as "it", that is, when discussing kerala's IT advantages with potential investors, he'd keep insisting on pronouncing it not as "eye-tee" but as "it", to the bemusement of visitors.
btw, some gratuitous errors were introduced by the copy editor :-)
Sunday, May 08, 2005
where are all the 'enlightened' 'secular' 'progressives'? why aren't they decrying this idolatry? clearly christian idolatry of graven images (including all those weeping madonnas) is okay with them, and so is idolatory of the one and only (tm) book in christianity and marxism.
an awesome critique of the foul-mouthed denizens of the english language media in india, the 'drain-inspectors'gumaste mentions: since they are looking for sewage, they find sewage everywhere, which actually implies that the sewage is in their eyes and their brains.
Miracle that's India, yet we demonise it
Growing up in the southern city of Bangalore in the early 70’s, I was appalled to see differing political factions of Iranian students indulging in open street fights. What an uncultured group these people are, I thought to myself. It was a classic example of washing one’s dirty linen in public in a different country. It evoked a sense of disgust in me. It is the same feeling that I sense, here in New York, when I view the local desi scene in the context of the denial of an US visa to Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
I do not wish to dwell on the pros and cons of the issue at hand but would rather like to analyse what such episodes do to our image as a nation and a people. How does it reflect upon of all of us – the secular groups, the nationalist factions or whatever (I hate these labels for they mislead). Is this the right forum to wash our dirty linen? Does it serve any purpose apart from demoralising us?
We as a nation appear to be excessively obsessed about how we are perceived. What will the world think of us is question that we often ask ourselves and is a mantra that is chanted again and again. Now who or what is this “world” that we keep referring to? Is it the Western governments? Is it the Western media? Or is it the lay public in these countries? And how is this opinion shaped? Does it stem from an independent judgment? Or is it a reflection of how we project ourselves?
During colonial times the British encouraged an unsavoury image of India in order to justify their rule; the natives are unfit to rule themselves was their premise. According to them, snake charmers, emaciated cows on the streets and ubiquitous dirt seemed to embody India, prompting even Mahatma Gandhi to dub such descriptions as nothing more than ‘a drain inspectors report’. Writing in Young India, Mahatma Gandhi said, “Katherine Mayo’s book Mother India is the report of a drain inspector sent out with one purpose of opening and examining the drains of the country to be reported upon… If Miss Mayo had confessed that she had gone to India merely to open out and examine the drains of India, there would be little to complain about her compilation. But she says, in effect, with a certain amount of triumph “the drains are India….”
As these stereotyped images of India conjured during colonial times fade away today, another one, uglier and more repulsive than the previous, is being created. Events are being exaggerated or blown out of proportion in order to sensationalise news items and thereby make them more appealing to a Western audience. However the culprits this time are not the West or Europeans. The detractors are our own homegrown writers enthusiastically misusing a newfound access to the world stage with each one trying to outdo the other in this calumny.
Pankaj Mishra is the author of the novel, the Romantics and is a regular contributor to the New York Times. On the eve of Clinton’s visit to India in March 2000, in a scene that conformed to a Nazi how to manual, 33 Sikhs are rounded up and gunned down in cold blood by Islamic militants. The hideous crime shocks the nation and reverberates throughout the world. But Pankaj Mishra chooses to see it differently. In an article titled, “Pride and Blood in Kashmir”, (NYT, March 22, 2000) he uses this barbaric act, not to castigate the militants for their brutality, but to censure the Indian Government for its highhandedness. He quotes a Border Security Force personnel who tells him, “I don’t believe in this human rights nonsense.” Pankaj Mishra concludes, “The military arms of all-powerful authorities in New Delhi have been used to suppress regional discontent.” In effect he is telling the outside world that Indian democracy is a sham.
In another article (Hinduism’s Political Resurgence, NYT, February 25, 2002), Pankaj Mishra goes one step further preferring Pakistan under the dictator Musharraf to democratic India under the BJP: “While General Musharraf strives toward a secular polity, the ruling politicians of India head in the opposite direction.” Imagine the irony when he surmises: “Oddly, the illiberal tendencies a military dictator seeks to expel, with popular support, from Pakistan seem to be finding a hospitable home in democratic India.”
These writers are at their worst or best (from their perspective) when they report on anything to do with Hindu nationalism. Reproduced below is a paragraph from Pankaj Mishra’s, “The Other Face of Fanaticism” (NYT, Feb 2, 2003). Referring to the Gujarat violence he writes: “The scale of the violence was matched only by its brutality. Women were gang-raped before being killed. Children were burned alive. Grave-diggers at mass burial sites told investigators “that most bodies that had arrived….were burned and butchered beyond recognition. Many were missing body parts-arms, legs and even heads. The elderly and the handicapped were not spared.” Is this the image of India that we wish to project to the outside world? Again am I saying: hush up these evil acts?
No. Use the right forums to seek redress if that is your real intention. Do not sensationalize events to garner personal glory.
A. Ghosh’s report in Time magazine is along the same lines. He speaks of how people boasted of the killings associated with the Gujarat riots and then adds:
“Some, if not all, of this was undoubtedly pure braggadocio. The stories sounded fake, or at least embellished for effect. "It was like a bunch of schoolboys boasting about imaginary achievements," said my friend. "But these so-called achievements were murderous." What was especially scary was the casual, matter-of-fact tone in which this conversation was conducted. "These guys seemed no more agitated than they would have if they were talking about the weather," said my friend. "It was like an everyday discussion."
If Ghosh realises that these incidents are not entirely true (embellished for effect) and suggestive of ‘pure braggadocio’ as he himself puts it, why does he feel the need to document them especially in an international magazine? Apart from netting him a by-line and falsely maligning Indians does it serve any function?
Look how Meenaksi Ganguly writing in Time uses one man’s words to denigrate the Hindus as a whole: “Another man, who claimed to have killed nine Muslims that day, offered this explanation: "I am just a Hindu. That is enough, because I was acting for all Hindus."
Their writing is graphic in a most negative way and is meant to portray the worst of India. Read this excerpt from Shashi Tharoor’s article, paying close attention to the words I have italicised (India’s Past Becomes a Weapon, NYT, March 6, 2002): “In 1992 a howling mob of Hindu extremists tore down the Babri Masjid, which occupied a prominent spot in a town otherwise overflowing with temples. The mosque had been built in the 1520's by India's first Mogul emperor, Babur; the Hindu zealots vowed to replace it with a temple to Ram. In other words, they want to avenge history by undoing the shame of half a millennium ago”. Such writings effectively conjure up an image of a country filled with bloodthirsty religious fanatics.
As these articles indicate, most articles about India appearing in the foreign news media are penned by Indians or people of Indian origin. During the months of March-April 2002, the Washington Post had 12 reports (most of them not complementary) on the Gujarat riots: six were by Rama Lakshmi, 5 by Rajiv Chandrasekaran and 1 by Salman Rushdie.
In the debate about Gujarat, Indian newspapers are extremely fond of referencing an ‘international’ organisation; the New York based Human Rights Watch. But do you know who authored the report on Gujarat put out by HRW? Smitha Narula, a person of Indian origin.
So an objective evaluation reveals that what we perceive as western opinion is really not so. It is in fact a veneer that has been deviously crafted by Indian political groups pursuing a narrow agenda.
What makes these Indian writers depict India in this fashion? There are two reasons for this. One is that the Western public (like the public everywhere) craves for melodrama which these Indian writers are ever willing to provide even at the cost of truth and honesty. In addition, the urge to ‘get published’ in the Western press drives these individuals to dramatise events. Secondly this is the result of an ideological warfare that is being waged by the Indian left against the Hindu right. Unfortunately, the so-called liberal wing in India has a large cadre of well-educated (not intellectuals, mind you) Westernised journalists who are able to interact with their counterparts in the West and thereby propagate their one-sided views.
Compared to the pessimism that pervades the writings of Indian authors, Western writers tend to be more fair and positive about India. Reproduced below is an abstract from an op-ed piece titled, Vote France Off the Island (NYT,Feb 9,2003) by the noted columnist Thomas Friedman: “Sometimes I wish that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council could be chosen like the starting five for the NBA All-Star team — with a vote by the fans. If so, I would certainly vote France off the Council and replace it with India. Then the perm-five would be Russia, China, India, Britain and the United States. That's more like it.
Why replace France with India? Because India is the world's biggest democracy, the world's largest Hindu nation and the world's second-largest Muslim nation, and, quite frankly, India is just so much more serious than France these days. France is so caught up with its need to differentiate itself from America to feel important, it's become silly. India has grown out of that game. India may be ambivalent about war in Iraq, but it comes to its ambivalence honestly. Also, France can't see how the world has changed since the end of the cold war. India can.”
In another article captioned, Where Freedom reigns (NYT, August 14, 2002) Friedman concludes: “The more time you spend in India the more you realise that this teeming, multiethnic, multi-religious, multilingual country is one of the world's great wonders -- a miracle with message. And the message is that democracy matters.
This truth hits you from every corner. Consider Bangalore, where the traffic is now congested by all the young Indian techies, many from the lower-middle classes, who have gotten jobs, apartments -- and motor scooters -- by providing the brainpower for the world's biggest corporations. While the software designs of these Indian techies may be rocket science, what made Bangalore what it is today is something very simple: 50 years of Indian democracy and secular education, and 15 years of economic liberalisation, produced all this positive energy.”
Reading this article made my heart well with pride. I made a copy of the article and had my American-born daughters read it again and again. Even when commenting about something unpleasant like the Hindu-Muslim riots of Gujarat, a foreigner like Friedman is willing to analyse the events objectively. His observations are tempered with good sense and good judgment. Though critical of the riots and the Hindu nationalist BJP; he is reluctant to demonise events. His keen journalistic eye observes that the riots did not spread to other parts of India as one would expect.
“No, India is not paradise. Just last February the Hindu nationalist BJP government in the state of Gujarat stirred up a pogrom by Hindus against Muslims that left 600 Muslims, and dozens of Hindus, dead. It was a shameful incident, and in a country with 150 million Muslims -- India has the largest Muslim minority in the world -- it was explosive. And do you know what happened?
The rioting didn't spread anywhere.”
So am I saying that violent crimes and brutal injustice should be hushed-up or swept under the rug? Am I suggesting that a foreigner’s view is more important than an Indian’s?
The answer is no on both accounts. My only grouse is with the forum that one uses for this purpose. Such type of exposure on the international front hardly serves any constructive purpose.
The world is not going to shower accolades on us for washing our dirty linen in public. They will only use this information to chastise us and imply obliquely that we are not yet ready to be granted a permanent seat in the UN. Further it tends to strengthen colonial notions of Indians as uncivilized natives incapable of resolving their problems in a sophisticated manner.
All said and done, India still boasts of an infrastructure that works. Our courts do hand out fair judgments. Our newspapers posses a degree of freedom that is unmatched in the world. That this freedom has been blatantly misused in recent times is another story. More importantly, we have a functioning parliament that allows every grievance to be voiced publicly. So if one genuinely desires redress without ulterior motives, these are avenues that can be tapped and should be. Recourse to the world stage is relevant only in cases of suppressed nations which India is not.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
i have had some email correspondence with prof katz in the past. he spent some time in india researching the cochin jews, and has written extensively about the fact that india has been very tolerant of jews (in fact it is the only country in 148 nations where jews live that they have not been oppressed).
please contribute to keeping this program alive. it is not even a huge sum. yes, i am sending a check myself.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [Prof. Nathan Katz]
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2005 11:15 AM
Subject: Is Sanskrit a dead language?
Is Sanskrit a dead language? Unless someone steps up to the plate, it is as
far as FIU is concerned.
We were able to work out a cooperative arrangement with Hindu University of
America to offer two years of Sanskrit online. The program is excellent in
my opinion, and the first year is up and running, and the second year is
ready to go.
Our arrangement requires a modest buy-in from the community of three
thousand dollars per year. We received a pledge of support from community
leaders. Under this arrangement, FIU carries the lion's share of the costs.
Unfortunately, the pledge has not been redeemed, and as FIU has to watch
costs so closely these days, this excellent program is about to be
This would be very unfortunate, as Sanskrit online benefits FIU, the local
Indian American community, as well as students and scholars globally.
This is the very last chance to save Sanskrit at FIU. We need the $3000
Thank you for your consideration,
Professor of Religious Studies
Florida International University
Miami FL 33199
Who Are the Jews of India? <http://www.khazaria.com/katz
Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies: <http://www.usask.ca/relst/jijs
Center for the Study of Spirituality:
Web page: <http://www.indojudaic.com> http://www.indojudaic.com
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
in case you've been wondering why you have become dumber than you were in the past, here's a good reason why :-)
at least, smoking grass is more interesting than reading email. (note: personally, i wouldn't know, i didn't inhale, as bill clinton would say.)
Monday, May 02, 2005
yeah, why would the pak prime minister want to talk to him? the sheer naivete exhibited by this fellow boggles the mind. why is shaukat aziz nice to him? it's because he's being used by shaukat aziz! was there also a small check in the mail to sandeep pandey at the end of the session?
and pray, who paid for sandeep pandey's, as they say in india, "airdash" to islamabad? was it the funds from AID, as usual?
and why, after this fulsome embrace by shaukat aziz, are the "peace marchers" languishing on the india-pak border (as last heard)?
and why isn't sandeep pandey asking china to unilaterally denuclearize as well so that we can all be one big happy family?
the more i read of sandeep pandey's own stuff, the more i am convinced that he is either brainwashed or very well compensated or a complete ass. i am inclined to think it is the second.
as in the case of other famous 'human rights activists' a scrutiny of his finances and of his associates' finances may be most instructive.
and yes, i directly accuse sandeep pandey of being anti-national.
The News International
March 21, 2005
Moving towards a durable peace
by Sandeep Pandey
Why should the Prime Minister of Pakistan be interested in talking to
an Indian activist about a proposed peace march?
My friend Karamat Ali, a peace activist and co-organizer from
Pakistan of the proposed Delhi to Multan India-Pakistan Peace March
(March 23 to May 11, 2005), was trying to include me in a delegation
of Pakistan Peace Coalition, which had got an appointment to meet
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on March 12, to discuss the organization
of the march and specifically request visas for the marchers from
India, who would cross over into Pakistan at Wagah on April 18. I was
amazed when got the invitation, just 48 hours before the appointment.
I had to literally rush to Islamabad after getting my visa and ticket.
That the office of Prime Minister decided to invite me to discuss the
peace march along with Pakistani activists clearly indicated that the
Government of Pakistan was viewing this march positively. The peace
activists of India and Pakistan, independently and jointly, have been
opposing the nuclearisation of the sub-continent and advocating for
peace even when the relationship between the two countries was very
Peaceniks on both sides of the border are often dismissed as a bunch
of idealists and accused of playing into the hands of elements
working against the interests of our respective countries, and
sometimes directly accused of being anti-national. The governments
aren't very supportive either. Hence it was a welcome surprise that
the Pakistani Prime Minister was full of praise for initiatives taken
by peace activists and hoped that more such initiatives would bring
about a lasting change in the situation in South Asia. He
acknowledged the role of peace movements in having a decisive
influence over the two governments.
Shaukat Aziz expressed the commitment of the Government of Pakistan
towards building an atmosphere of peace in the sub-continent and the
willingness to do whatever was necessary to achieve this objective.
He said that President Musharraf shared this vision. He was quite
candid about the contentious issues and hoped that through dialogue
they would be resolved. He claimed that no past Government of
Pakistan had been so open about this objective and for the first time
there was no fear about discussing the issues.
He was happy with the way the peace process was moving forward but
disappointed over the lack of progress on resolving the Kashmir
dispute, resolving which in his view is key to establishing permanent
peace between India and Pakistan. He was also disappointed at the
postponement of the SAARC meeting and said that Pakistan was 'hurt'
on the Baglihar Dam issue; water is emerging as a contentious issue
between the two countries.
I was impressed by Shaukat Aziz's forthrightness. He said that unlike
the past this government is not interested in merely containing
problems, but is actually committed to resolving the outstanding
issues. And this is obvious in his approach when addressing some of
them. He spelt out the position of the Government of Pakistan on each
issue and hoped that on bilateral matters India would respond
positively. He was full of praise for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
for his positive attitude towards settling differences.
Security, however, is one issue that makes the leadership of the two
countries nervous. During the exchange Shaukat Aziz pointed out the
necessity for Pakistan to keep arms for its security, and admitted
the compulsion of Pakistan to match India's capability whenever it
decides to procure any new category of arms, leading to an arms race.
There exists tremendous confusion regarding more dangerous arms
giving a sense of security.
If you think about the issue with a cool head, you realise the
relationship between security and more dangerous arms is inverse. We
become more insecure as we possess more dangerous arms.
Peace activists from Pakistan and India have been advocating the
unilateral, or with bilateral agreement, renunciation of nuclear
weapons and downgrading armed forces at the border. Only a border
free of army and arms can provide us with a sense of true security on
both sides. I hope our heads of State will eventually understand this
clear logic and move towards getting rid of weapons.
That is when the common people on both sides will be the winners, as
resources being diverted in the name of security today, will be freed
up for real development. In times of globalisation as economic
progress becomes more important than military security, the leaders
of the two countries appear to have realized the futility of the arms
race and pursue the road to peace. Times are changing. The concept of
jingoistic nationalism is going out of date and this is a welcome
development. The economic development of the people who comprise a
nation is becoming centre-stage on the political agenda, as it should
I still find it difficult to believe that I was allowed into the
office of the Prime Minister of a country that until not long ago was
considered an enemy country, and got to listen to his frank opinion
on pressing issues. His approach clearly reflects the commitment of
the Government of Pakistan to bring about peace and normalcy in the
Thank you, Mr. Shaukat Aziz, for making it possible for me to meet
you. If your government allows the India-Pakistan Peace March to take
place, your initiative will go a long way towards opening the doors
for normalising the relationship between citizens of the two
countries. This will help establish a durable peace, something that
appears elusive but which the people most definitely desire on both
sides of the border.