Sunday, December 21, 2014

'why samskrtam?' talk at u mumbai dec 23

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

how kungfu came to china's shaolin monastery

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Quick notes: Tejas milestone, Battery swap...

  • LCA: 32 years on, IAF to get Tejas fighters in March. The fighter IAF really wants, Tejas Mark-II, will be ready only by 2021-2022.

  • India to Sell Warships to Vietnam, Increase Footprints in South China Sea 

  • Tesla starts real-world beta testing of Model S battery swaps in California 

  • Paris mayor wants more 'pedestrianized' city, doubling of bike lanes, and diesel ban by 2020

  • Man tweeted his sister was troubled by drunk men, and look what happened

  • Ghee – good fat or bad fat? Grass-fed cows, Omega-3 and Omega-6 ratio

  • What is the blue light from our screens really doing to our eyes?

  • Quick notes

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quick notes: Vivek Murthy, Laser Cannon...

  • Vivek Murthy, the new Surgeon General, isn’t afraid to take a stand:

  • So who became a Muslim?: “Those regions of the most dramatic conversion of the population, such as Eastern Bengal or Western Punjab, lay on the fringes of Indo-Muslim rule, whereas the heartland of that rule, the upper Gangetic Plain, saw a much lower incidence of conversion.”

    (, the weak willed ones converted, while the strong-willed ones remained steadfast in the face of intense pressure and threats. There is a lesson for Bharat here: Ghar wapsi should see more success in Bengal and Assam, if Hindus are persistent).

  • India should learn: Qualcomm earned about half of its global revenue of $26.5 billion in China for the fiscal year ended Sept. 28, with a large chunk of profit coming from higher-margin royalties earned from the company's licensing arm. The China settlement is likely to include the imposition of fines, a significant reduction of licensing fees the company charges Chinese handset manufacturers and the termination of cross-licensing arrangements the company imposes on the manufacturers using its chipsets.

  • Watch the U.S. Navy's laser cannon blast two boats and a flying drone:

  • School attack has RoP sanction:
  • "The Peshawar attack is in complete agreement with the Prophet's teachings because when the Prophet killed the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, he put the same guideline, that only children who have hair below their belly button (pubic hair) are allowed to be killed. Killing of women and children is also in accordance with the teachings of the Prophet. Those who object to this claim can refer to Sahih Bukhari, Vol 5, Hadith 148"

LVM3-X Launch Successful

GSLV Mark-III was launched successfully on its maiden experimental test flight, carrying the Indian crew capsule on a suborbital flight trajectory:

The crew capsule was also tested, successfully returning and re-entering into the atmosphere, and deploying its parachutes before finally splashing down into the Bay of Bengal near the Andaman Islands:

As can be seen, the crew capsule was found quite un-charred, as it only experienced less than half the heat flux that would have been experienced on re-entry from orbit.

Furthermore, the twin S200 solid boosters did underperform slightly, due to slower-than-expected rate of burn, which means ISRO will have to correct for this in the future.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fwd: A Nation's Unpaid Debts to its Warriors

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jay Bhattacharjee



My article was published yesterday.

Some friends may already have seen it on FB ; my apologies for sending it to them again.  

Best wishes, 

Jay Bhattacharjee

Vijay Diwas – A nation's unpaid debts to its fallen warriors, DEC 17, 2014

Vijay Diwas is the day when the 'Instrument of Surrender' was presented by Lt Gen AK Niazi, C-in-C of Pakistan Army in East Pakistan before Lt Gen JS Arora, GOC-in-C Eastern Command of the Indian Army at Dacca (now ,Dhaka) with a request to accept it. Gen JS Arora, accepted history's greatest military surrender post World War II on December 16, 1971.

As the three Services chiefs and the Defence Minister paid their homage early yesterday morning at Delhi's India Gate to the country's soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the 1971 war, every Indian would have been moved by the dignity and solemnity of the ceremony. The immaculately fine-tuned event was performed with the care, finesse, and precision that only our armed forces bring to each and every task that the nation gives them.

Even at this stage of my life, I get goose pimples when I see how our armed forces pay their respects to the nation and to their own fallen comrades. It is the same when I hear Vande Mataram andJana Gana Mana when they are rendered with the appropriate dedication on any occasion. This is not blind nationalism; it is the primordial sentiment that any human being feels for his near and dear ones. The concept of the "nation-state" has, of course, been derided in the last century and a half by many rootless cosmopolitans ; yes, mindless nationalism has been the cause of many conflicts and problems in recent times, but there is a higher and infinitely purer form of attachment to one's own civilisational and cultural roots. This is what I subscribe to.

This is what the 16th December events signify for people who share my ethos. Yet, there is also a deep sense of unease that the magnificent remembrance ceremonies for our fallen warriors are still being held at a structure that was erected by our former colonial masters, however impressive that building may be. For nearly 70 years after independence, we Indians have failed to construct a National War Memorial (NWM) where such events should be commemorated. Every now and then, I have heard the netas and the babus promising a NWM at the earliest, but such promises have been routinely forgotten as easily as they were trotted out.

Worse, the excuses that have been made for not building the NWM are so egregious and over-the-top that I have often wondered whether we deserve to have one of the finest military forces in the world. Easily one of the worst subterfuges attempted was by the former Delhi politico Sheila Dikshit, who pontificatedthat building the NWM near the India Gate would "affect the ambience of the area and restrict people's movement at the popular hangout zone". If this doesn't call for "righteous wrath", nothing will.

There are some signs of future solace on this front. According to credible but unconfirmed reports, the Union Government has agreed, in principle, to construct a National War Memorial at the Chhatri next to India Gate, as also a War Museum nearby. This is the culmination of years of dedicated effort by former soldiers and admirers of the armed forces. Yet, I will not be assured until there is a categorical official declaration on this subject. The desi babus and netas have, in the past, sabotaged countless decisions that were laudable and desirable, for me to be complacent about this one.

This brings me to the sad and deplorable topic of how the Indian political-bureaucratic establishment has treated our armed forces and our warriors for decades, even after they have saved our bacon on every occasion that we have sought their help. The sheer brazenness of the egregious conduct of the babu-neta combine will take your breath away. For the last five decades, the political-bureaucratic combine has done everything possible to undermine the status and morale of the armed forces. Yet, it is to the same armed forces that they have turned to, when the nation was in peril. Whether it is Kargil or the Uttarakhand floods, or the latest J & K natural calamity, the civilian apparatus has sought the succour of the men and women in olive-green, blue and white. But when it came to giving them their legal dues, this same bunch used every trick known to the human mind to deny, delay or sweep under the carpet what the nation owed our sword-arm.

With the arrival of the new dispensation in Raisina Hill, there were lots of expectations that the scenario would change. But it is unfortunate to see that the babus in the Ministry of Defence (MOD) have egged on the Union Government (read the Defence Minister, a.k.a. the Raksha Mantri and the Cabinet) to file a slew of cases to deny the veterans their legitimate and rightful dues. In the recorded annals of democratic and so-called civilised, law-abiding countries, there will not be any similar instances of infamy. Yet, our former soldiers took it on their chins and carried on their legal battles in the courts with dignity and fortitude.

However, what took the cake was the Union Government trying to argue a woefully perverse point before the Supreme Court on the 10th December, just seven days ago, to deny disability benefits to former warriors. It was truly an instance of disgrace abounding. The Supreme Court, thankfully, rejected the Government of India's petition. Indian citizens who read the whole history of this sordid episode will cringe in shame and boil in anger.

Our country is indeed fortunate that it has defenders of the calibre and integrity that we have. Here, I must repeat the words in the funeral oration of Pericles:

"The greatness of Athens has been acquired by men who knew their duty and had the courage to do it, who in the hour of conflict had the fear of dishonour always present in them, who, if ever they failed in an enterprise, would not allow these virtues to be lost to their country, but freely gave their lives to her as the fairest offering which they could present at her feet".

The veterans of an institution that achieved this remarkable feat deserve infinitely better than what the politicians and civil functionaries are doing to them. Our soldiers, air warriors and sailors embody the resurrection of the "khatriya spirit", as the great sage, Sri Aurobindo advocated. These are the indomitable individuals who have ventured forth to combat "fearful odds for the ashes of their fathers and the temples of their Gods" as Horatius conceptualised them ("The Captain of the Gate").

NaMo and Manohar Parrikar – if you don't give these people what is owed to them, Vijay Diwas will always be an irrelevant ritual.


Jay Bhattacharjee 
Advisor (Corporate Laws & Finance)
Tele : (91-11) 4182-8165 / 2651-0174
Mobile : (91) 98102-39986

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

LVM3-X Countdown Commencing

ISRO is about to commence the countdown for the LVM3-X mission, the experimental test flight of the GSLV-Mk-III rocket, which will be carrying an unmanned crew capsule on a suborbital test flight:

With this experimental test flight, India will be testing some of the key components for the Indian Human Spaceflight program.

In related news, NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover has discovered a large surge of methane on Mars (methane being a possible byproduct of living organisms):

With India's Mars Orbiter being the only other spacecraft with a methane detector, it would probably be useful for ISRO and NASA to compare methane data.

Fwd: ISIS pamphlet on taking non-Muslims as captives and sex-slaves

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Praveen Pillai >

Harrowing personal accounts from women escapees of ISIS's sex labour have been issuing into a media over a final few months. This ISIS pamphlet confirms reports of thousands of Yazidi and other minority community women being taken into sex labour by the ISIS Jihadi group.

See the pamphlet's English translation by MEMRI.

Ghatotkacha's blog
Ghatotkacha's blog
ISIS pamphlet on taking non-Muslims as captives and sex-slaves by Ghatotkacha Nair
Preview by Yahoo

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: Caste law in UK

brits simply hate hindus, don't they?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sandeep
Date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 4:44 PM
Subject: Caste law in UK


lok sabha

This was contributed by IndiaFacts supporter Prakash Shah from the UK.

debate on poverty and caste discrimination in India took place in the British House of Lords onWednesday 26 November 2014. While the debate ostensibly brought together the themes of poverty and caste, its implications range well beyond them to encompass the issues of foreign interference in India, reservations and, above all, proselytization, one of the top current political and social issues in India. India needs to raise the matter at the highest diplomatic level.

 Who took part in the debate?

The following members of the Lords spoke in favour of the question during the debate:

  • The cross-bench Peer, Lord Harries, a former Anglican Bishop, led the debate. He has shown a particular interest on the caste issue in India as well as the UK. He was the protagonist in moving the House of Lords to pass an amendment to the Equality Act 2010 to include caste as part of the protected characteristic of 'race' for the purposes of the Act. Among his many dignified positions, Lord Harries sits on the Steering Committee of the Woolf Commission on Religion in British Public Life.
  • Labour Lord Michael Cashman, former Member of the European Parliament, who recently co-authoredan unsuccessful attempt to pass a resolution against caste discrimination in the European Parliament.
  • Lord Alton, a cross bench Peer, an avowedly Christian Peer who holds an anti-abortion position, has written previously on faith and religion and has been appointed to two Roman Catholic orders of chivalry.
  • Lord Griffiths of Burry Port, Methodist minister and life Peer in the Lords, where he sits with the Labour Party. He has previously served as President of the Methodist Conference.
  • Lord Collins of Highbury, who is also a Labour Peer, has a trade union background and since 2013 speaks as Labour's Spokesperson for International Development in the Lords.

cashman  harries

Three of these Lords have an overt Christian affiliation and agenda. Three of them are aligned with the Labour Party, while the other two are cross benchers. The Baroness Northover, a Liberal Democrat, who is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development, represented the government. Lord Dholakia and Lord Loomba, both also Liberal Peers, supported her in the debate.

The context of the debate

It should come as no surprise that this debate took place in the 'international development' context and the timing was chosen because decisions will have to be made about British development funds for India. The way in which British development funds are distributed to India comes up for decision next year. The House of CommonsInternational Development Committee's 2011 Report on The Future of DFID's Programme in India notes that funds sent for development in India are to be revised after 2015. The Churches and their allies in the Labour Party probably see this as an opportunity to make sure they have some say in how those funds will be distributed after 2015, and how the Department for International Development will spend its money on India was mentioned several times during the debate. The Churches have key areas of vested interest in India that they do not want to lose.

The Indian government has no way of keeping track of how development aid is being spent, especially if it is done through the NGO network. A recent report prepared by the India's Intelligence Bureau showed that parts of the NGO sector is known to act against development projects at the behest of foreign European funders, while the same Bureau has said that NGO's tend not to fulfil their financial reporting requirements.

In light of the associations of those behind the caste and poverty debate, perhaps the Indian government and society should be alerted to its further implications. The 2011 report of the International Development Committee already indicated that funds would increasingly be channelled to get around Indian government control.The lack of state monitoring in India evidently means that Indian society could be influenced in any way that the Church organisations wish to in potential alliance with Western state forces. Interestingly, the 2011 report also admits that monies for development cannot be tracked by the British government either.

 The caste provision in the UK's Equality Act

Caste is evidently among the key issues. Lord Harries' role as the protagonist in the introduction of the provision adding caste into the UK's Equality Act 2010 is already known. It is remarkable that as a person of cloth – he was then the Anglican Bishop of Oxford – introduced a measure that would most likely be used against people not members of his own faith, but which could potentially wreak havoc in diaspora Indian associationaland economic life. In 2013, the lobby that he and others orchestrated also succeeded in amending the 2010 Act's permissive power into an obligation upon the government to implement the law.

That the legislation has not yet been implemented, given the outrage since expressed by Indian Hindu, Sikh and Jain organisationsand critique of the case for legislation, has caused some anxiety to that 'pro-lobby'. Not surprising therefore that Lord Griffiths and Lord Collins used the debate to raise the matter of the British legislation not being implemented. Lord Griffiths said that "There is a diasporic presence of Dalits in the West – not as much as in the East but at least a significant presence – and the vulnerability of Dalits, as people without caste, to things such as trafficking, slavery, bonded labour and so on is a concern for all of us. Therefore, we should not limit our attention to the Indian Government". Acknowledging that the matter went "slightly beyond the remit of this debate" and that it was "not necessarily the responsibility of the noble Baroness", Lord Collins pointedly ended his statement by asking when the consultation period for the legislation would conclude, presumably so that it would be implemented.



Caste as a vehicle for raising the issue of poverty in India

Despite what Lord Griffiths said, the end game concerns what the Churches want to do in India. India is indeed the central reason for internationalizing the issue through UK legislation, within European Unionand United Nations fora. Ideas of the caste system were first generated in Christian accounts because of the non-conversion of the Indian population. Although there was no relationship between the economic circumstances of people and earlier accounts of the 'caste system', the social science accounts of that 'system' secularized the theological accounts by equating the morally degraded state of the Indian population (because they followed a false religion) to economic backwardness.

The caste system became theexplanation for economic backwardness. 1200 years of exploitation by the colonizing powers, first the Muslims and then the Europeans, seemed to slip into the background. This colonised understanding led to the passing of legislation in independent India setting quotas in government jobs and education places for Scheduled Castes and Tribes as well as for Other Backward Castes. Although meant to be temporary, they were kept on as election considerations outweighed considerations of disadvantage, and merit sacrificed for votes, leading to a currently dysfunctional state educational and employment sector in India. And people wonder why India is so badly run.

Interestingly,Muslims and Christians do not qualify for reservations in central government legislation. After all, as the Orientalists had led people to believe, the caste system was the result of and justified by the religion of Hinduism. As Lord Cashman mentions, without explicitly mentioning Hinduism: "we also have to deal with the tricky notion of religion as an excuse or a reason. No religion can be an excuse or a reason imposed on another -or on 250 million – to diminish them and rob them of their civil liberties and human rights." While Lord Cashman dares not mention Hinduism as the cause and justification for the caste system, it does not take a person of a great knowledge of India to guess what he has in mind.

 Links between Churches and Dalit organisations

Conversion to Christianity takes place disproportionately among those listed as Scheduled Tribes and Castes under Indian law. There are many stories of how people today hide the fact of conversion, even by retaining their original names, so that they can continue to benefit from government reservations. But Christian Churches are also aware that this understates the number in their flock and still acts as a block to proselytization. While the official term is Scheduled Tribes and Castes, the political usage refers to Dalits, although no-one will be able tell you precisely who a Dalit is.

LordsCashman and Alton, for instance, quoted liberally from the reports of various Dalit organisations in India and abroad, such as the International Dalit Solidarity Network, Indian National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, the Dalit Freedom Network and others cited in the Human Rights Watch report. Lord Cashmanmay be aware that the International Dalit Solidarity Network, with whom he expressed a "privilege and pleasure" to work within the European Parliament, is funded by a range of Christian bodies (including ComitéCatholiquecontre la Faim et Pourle Dévelopment (CCFD), DanChurchAid, Cordaid, ICCO, Christian Aid, FinChurchAid, HEKS (Swiss Church Aid)), the governments of Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands, as well as the EU. The Dalit Freedom Network, cited by Lord Alton, is described in its Wikipedia page as "an evangelical Christian organization".


Perhaps they rely on the gullibility of the British, European and Indian population about their real interests in India. After all stereotypes about Hinduism and its caste system have already spread deep into European common sense ideas of India. Perhaps that is why the unaccountable reports of such organisations, liberally cited by the Lords during the debate in November, continue to write as if the indices on poverty, exploitation and crime against Dalits have a direct correlation to caste status and are explained by the trope of the 'caste system'.

If indeed those Dalit activist organisations which act in India and which have pressed for the UK legislation are in essence Christian organisations, with proselytization in India being a priority for them, perhaps the British and Indian public has a right to know about it.

The UK and India's legal connection

It becomes clearer why the debate in the UK on the caste provision in the law is a proxy for a larger debate occurring in India. The Churches and their Dalit stooge organisations have to tread a narrow and contradictory path. They have to simultaneously maintain that the caste system, the cause of all their ills, is rooted is the false religion of Hinduism and yet also convince others that as Christians they should be entitled to reservations which reward them regardless of ability or merit.

The Explanatory Notes to section 9 of the UK's Equality Act, while linking the idea of caste to Hinduism also state that it exists beyond that to cover "the thousands of regional Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Muslim or other religious groups known as jatis".

In this way, the UK legislation can be seen as legitimizing the extension of the idea of caste beyond Hinduism. The implications for India should be evident. It can be argued that since the UK has extended its legislation to Christians, India should do so too. So we have Lord Alton saying the following:

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights insists that it is the right of anyone to hold the religion of their choice. Over the past several hundred years, many Dalits have changed their faith in order to come out of oppression and discrimination based on caste. Ironically, only untouchable Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists are considered "scheduled castes" and therefore registered castes with entitlements to state support, such as protective mechanisms under various pieces of legislation and quotas for places at university and for employment in government services. Freedom of religion is a value for society as a whole. It is universally agreed that the internal dimension of a person's religion or belief should enjoy absolute protection. Have the Government spoken with the new Indian Government about whether they uphold Article 18?

The message to India is clear. It if does not extend the system of reservations to Christians it will be in violation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights. And this more subtle indication by Lord Griffiths sweetens the pill:

The question of religion has been raised; indeed, three of us here have known religious affiliations. I think the last thing that any of us would want is for us to be heard, as members of the Christian faith, pointing the finger at people of another faith. I do not think that it is a question of faith at all. Certainly, I do not think that the Christian community is free of involvement in the problem that we are discussing, and we should recognise that.


The implication is that Christians are also subject to caste discrimination, thus justifying their claim to caste quotas in India. Instead of supporting the scaling back and dismantling of a system of quotas that has not worked for India's development, Christian (and Muslim) lobbyists are working to extend it by seeking rewards based not on merit and ability but on mere membership of a group. Such a system would not be supported anywhere in European legal systems but is thought fit to be further entrenched in India by British parliamentarians and their Indian clientele.

 Should Indians be concerned?

Indeed, Indians should be very concerned. The debate carries an extremely patronising and condescending tone towards the India's people and government, despite the occasionally sweet sounding words about how India is so "incredible" and "amazing". British members of the Lords cite Indian leaders of the past and present, including Gandhi, Ambedkar, Manmohan Singh, and PM Modi to justify the case they want to convey. This is a classic ventriloquist's technique of making the colonised speak the language of the coloniser even when the former have not intended it to be so.

The debate is based on the idea that India is a 'basket case', a legitimate object for development aid, and that she needs to be taught lessons in implementing laws. Age old tropes about India's 'caste system' which were created by European theologians continue to be invoked as if they are a true description of Indian culture, and all alleged 'facts' are to be explained by the persistence of a caste system. India's religion naturally remains at fault for transmitting the virus of caste.

It is amazing that in the 21st century a former colonizing power can still address a country like India in the manner the debate exemplifies. Above all, the debate represents the conviction among many in the West that India's age old traditions remain a legitimate target for vilification and attack, that Indians should be converted to Christianity en masse, and that foreign interference in India should thus continue by remote control from London, Brussels, and Copenhagen. While 'colonial consciousness' evidently persists in Britain, should India not be raising these matters at the highest diplomatic levels?

Best Regards,
Sandeep B

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: BAD MANNA - Christian Conversions in India

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: dharma next

BAD MANNA - Christian Conversions in India

An on-the-spot report on Christian missionary misdeeds in India

A film by Pia Skov

View Film:

follow us on twitter @dharmanext

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

isis manual for keeping female slaves and having sex with them 

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quick notes: Wahhabi visas, Covert operations..

  • India's Intelligence Bureau: 25,000 Wahhabi scholars visited eight Indian states to preach hardline Islamic doctrine.

  • Setback to our covert strike capabilities: National Security Adviser M.K Narayanan, met heads of all spy and security agencies individually to find out if they had the capability to attack home bases of terror groups in Pakistan and PoK. None had. Narayanan asked them to raise a team, if they could...

    Fast forward:
    “In the earlier instances, the covert strike capabilities suffered due to politicians. But, in this case, they have suffered due to military people who are supposed to order these people. Not only that, they have even resorted to leaking information about the operations carried out by such units, compromising the country's standing at the international level.”

  • Delhi air impurities far worse than level that won it the 'world's most polluted city' title

  • Femininity at its best: The sheer power of the bindi

  • Learn from those evangelists:

huffpost comes to india, and who's writing on it? diggy singh, brinda karat

so this is yet another assault on hindu india. 

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity