Saturday, April 30, 2005

wsj: letter on j. ramesh's chindia idea

apr 30th

red salute to all on the upcoming may day. quite interesting how the marxists have taken over this age-old spring festival of the pagans and made it their own. exactly like christians took over the winter solstice festival of the druids and made it the alleged birthday of the alleged jesus.

jairam ramesh has written a book, a compilation of his essays on china and india, pushing this 'chindia' concept. i think it's hindi-chini bhai bhai, old wine in new bottles, and more self-delusional, because china is far more dangerous today than when they had a starving, rag-tag army.

i am all for inventing new terms. in fact i rather like the neologism 'chrislam'. meaning the unvarnished form of christianity that is exactly like islam: exclusive and warlike, the kind that ratzinger/benedict is likely to push. (heard the italian media is calling him 'papa razzi'. nice pun.)

but 'chindia' is something i instinctively distrust. it appears to me to the epitome of the sinophile's fantasy of cooperation, whereas from the point of view of the imperialist chinese, it would mean india as a colony of the chinese. chinese have a clear view of the world (dinned into them via ultra-jingoist textbooks from childhood) that they are Masters of the Universe, and had unfortunately been colonized by the brits (via opium) and the japanese (via force) in the 19th century, and therefore they have been horribly wronged.

once or twice i have written about the analogy between this and the german world-view during the nazi era: one of past glory (prussia as strongman of europe) and humiliation (after ww1). this led the germans to a heady cocktail of virtuous victim-hood plus imperialism. china is exactly like this: visions of splendor (when they were imperialists) plus visions of utter humiliation. china is the new nazi germany, and they are far more dangerous, as they are a continent-sized country, not one of several strong states in continental europe.

china clearly wishes to dominate asia, as though it is their birthright. but the reality of their past is that apart from the two river deltas (pearl and yangtze) their country, because of poor soil and water problems, has always had a hand-to-mouth, precarious existence for the majority of its citizens, which is they have always been so eager to migrate out: there has been wave after wave of chinese out-migration to greener pastures mostly in southeast asia.

the situation is not so different today. despite all the fuss about the booming coastal cities, the bulk of the rural population is living in crushing poverty. i'd recommend the recent book (banned of course in china) named survey of chinese peasants by chen guidi and wu chuntao. i haven't read it, but i have read several reviews. it appears the chinese rural poor are roughly as badly off as the worst-off indian rural poor. it is eye-opening.

here's a letter in the wsj contradicting what jairam ramesh had to say. ramesh's article in the wsj is here it is interesting now that economists in the us are standing up for india. this was forwarded by a friend.


jairam ramesh, congress MP in rajyasabha, wrote a piece in the WSJ,
extolling the virtues of "chindia" i.e. an updated hindi-chini bhai
bhai paradigm, the embrace sealed by a free trade agreement, never
mind lingering security, geography and water issues. the following
letter is a response to ramesh's article.

--- from the wsj ----

India Should Be Wary of the Chinese Dragon

How disappointing to read an Indian parliamentarian's views on the
recent overtures made by China toward India ("Sour Turns Sweet" by
Jairam Ramesh, editorial page, April 18). Mr. Ramesh states that a
Washington-Delhi partnership aimed at containing China would not be
in India's national interest. This is naïve at best, and quite
possibly dangerous. While China's economy has progressed rapidly over
the past quarter century, the same cannot be said of its progress
toward democratization. China's adoption of a new anti-secession law
that authorizes the use of force against Taiwan and Beijing's
encouragement of anti-Japanese riots illustrate just how little the
Chinese Dragon has changed.

As America leads the global war on terror, China's investment in
defense has been guided by a new strategic objective to create the
means to project a credible military force beyond its borders. It has
been developing a new class of attack submarine that came as a
"technical surprise" to American defense analysts. They have also
improved the expeditionary capabilities of the People's Liberation
Army. At upward of $65 billion, China's annual defense budget is now
the second largest in the world and is expected to expand fourfold in
the next two decades.

With China's rise as a military power looming over the Asia-Pacific
region and Beijing suffocating the voices of dissent anywhere under
its immediate control, the window of opportunity for democracy in
East Asia is shrinking fast. The United States' offer for significant
military aid to India is essential for eventually balancing power in
the region. Since India already has a large military, a technology
infusion would help modernize India's armed forces and make it a
formidable presence in Asia.

This is not to say India should not continue pursuing improvements in
bilateral relations with China by encouraging free trade and
resolving outstanding border disputes. However, India must realize
that a militarily powerful but non-democratic China looms as a threat
to peace and stability throughout the region.

After independence India chose non-alignment during the Cold War
instead of defending freedom and democracy. It must not make the same
mistake this time. A marriage of the world's largest democracy and
the world's largest power would go a long way in keeping Chinese
ambitions in check.

William T. Wilson
Managing Partner & Chief Economist

Thursday, April 28, 2005

moi on rediff: Japanese premier's visit to India

April 28th

this is an important event, as there is the possibility of something substantive coming out of it. of course, india's pathetic media which was so enamored of the political theater (nothing but show) coming out of the chinese and pakistani dictators' visits, is totally downplaying prime minister junichiro koizumi's visit. naturally, because this may actually get india some benefits.

in particular, as japan is fuming about china's state-orchestrated violence against japanese interests in china, as well as china's outright blocking of japan's security council seat, despite japan having given them over $10 billion in aid over time.

this means india looks a lot more attractive to japan at this time. it's time for a japan-vietnam-taiwan-india axis to contain the sino-islamic axis already in place.

but of course, the anti-national people in the english language media are only worried about china's interests, or saudi arabia's, or the vatican's, or america's. nobody is bothered about india's.

i am deliberately changing the date on this post to april 28th, the date of koizumi's visit.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

China's March on South Asia

April 28th

for all those who harbor thoughts about china's 'peaceful rise' this should be an eye-opener. peaceful my left foot! and oh, since it is not written by a 'communalist, divisive, fundamentalist' hindu it must be true.

----------- /publications_details.php?volume_id=408&issue_id=3311 &article_id=2369649


Volume 5 Issue 9 ( April 26 , 2005 )


By Tarique Niazi

China is steadily extending its reach into South Asia with its growing
economic and strategic influence in the region. China's current trade volume
with all South Asian nations reaches close to $20 billion a year. Its
bilateral trade with India alone accounts for $13.6 billion a year, a number
set to grow to $25 billion in 2010 [1]. Except for New Delhi, Beijing runs
trade surpluses with all other partners, including Bangladesh, Nepal,
Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. But China makes up for these trade deficits with
massive investment in the infrastructural development, socio-economic needs,
and above all energy production of its trade partners. Fast on the heels of
the U.S. offer of nuclear power plants to India, China has offered Pakistan
and Bangladesh nuclear power plants of its own to meet their energy needs.
Beijing also showers these nations with low-cost financial capital to help
their struggling development sector. The largest beneficiaries of this
economic aid are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal – in that order.

China's Growing Strategic Influence

In keeping with its economic expansion, China has deepened its strategic
influence in the region, especially with India's immediate neighbors –
Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Beijing has long kept a close
strategic partnership with Islamabad, but its overtures to the remaining
countries were hobbled by the 1962 Sino-Indian war and its protracted pariah
status as the "communist other," which it endured until the early 1970s.
China's entrée in South Asia gained momentum only after its conversion to
the market economy in the 1980s, which filled its coffers with trade and
investment dollars. Its resultant economic strength opened the path into
South Asia, beyond Pakistan. China skillfully deployed economic incentives
to draw Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka into its strategic orbit.

For China, Bangladesh is a doorway into India's turbulent northeastern
region, including the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, to which China lays
territorial claims. More importantly, Bangladesh is believed to be causing a
seismic demographic shift in another northeastern state, Assam, where Indian
leaders claim some 20 million Bangladeshis have moved in. Indian officials
fear the emergence of Assam as the second Muslim-majority state within the
Indian union, after the state of Jammu and Kashmir. [2] Above all, China
prizes Bangladesh for its immense natural gas reserves (60 trillion cubic
feet) which rival those of Indonesia. Bangladesh's geographic proximity with
Myanmar makes these reserves accessible to China. India's access to
Myanmar's gas reserves also hinges on Dhaka's willingness to allow a passage
for laying a gas pipeline – a fact not lost on Beijing.

Unlike Bangladesh, Nepal has little energy potential to tempt Beijing, but
its strategic location between China and India makes it just as important.
Nepal's borders meet China's restive western province of Tibet on the one
hand, and Naxalite-dominated Indian states on the other. [3] Nepal's Maoist
insurgents, who control the vast swath of the countryside, have cross-border
links with Naxalite Maoists in India as well. Almost 40% of India's 593
districts are, to a degree, under Naxalite influence. As a result, both
China and India vie for Katmandu's favor. Since the replacement of Nepal's
democratic government with an absolute monarchy in February of this year,
India has cold-shouldered Nepal's King Gyanendra, while China has dismissed
the seizure of power as an "internal matter". [4] In return, China wants the
new ruler to stay clear of any foreign (Indian or the U.S.) influence that
could make trouble in Tibet. To further the goal of status quo in Tibet,
China is integrating Nepal into the Tibetan economy, and laying a highway
that will connect the two.

In the same way, Beijing cherishes exclusive friendly relations with Sri
Lanka, which occupies a strategically important heft of the Indian Ocean
stretching from the Middle East to Southeast Asia. After 9/11, the U.S.
sought access to Sri Lankan ports, airfields and air space for its armed
forces under the Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA). The ACSA
is the first such agreement between Sri Lanka and a Western power since its
independence in 1948. (Though in the early 1980s, Colombo allowed a radio
transmitter on its territory to beam the Voice of America broadcasts into
China, Myanmar, and North Korea.) Both China and India would prefer Sri
Lanka to stay out of Western alliances, as they jostle for their respective
dominant positions. Sri Lanka's prolonged ethnic conflict between its
Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority has, however, strained relations
between Colombo and New Delhi. India, having a Tamil-majority state of its
own, treads cautiously in mediating the conflict, which makes it suspect
with Colombo. China, however, has no such concerns to balance, and as a
result boldly vouches for Sri Lanka's territorial integrity with little
regard for the national aspirations of the Tamil minority.

Of all these nations, Pakistan's strategic significance is, nevertheless,
priceless for China. Although a smaller nation, Pakistan rivals India in
unconventional weapons. It has long denied India access to western and
Central Asian nations, while at the same time literally paving the highway –
Karakoram – for Beijing's direct access to Eurasia. Above all, it has tied
down 500,000 to 700,000 Indian troops in the Kashmir Valley for the past 15
years. By keeping hundreds of thousands of Indian troops engaged in Kashmir,
Pakistan indirectly helps ease India's challenge to China's defenses on
their disputed border. More importantly, Pakistan emboldens the region's
smaller economies to stand up to India and seek Chinese patronage, which
hurts India's stature in the region.

China's Diplomatic Triumph

Besides these strategic gains, China has also benefited diplomatically from
its growing influence with Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Today, all of these nations affirm the "one-China" policy that views Taiwan
as an "inalienable" part of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Similarly,
they are aligned with Beijing on the equally sensitive issue of Tibet, with
the result that they all shun the Dalai Lama to Beijing's delight while
proclaiming that Tibet is an integral part of China. In view of China's
eagerness to join the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation
(SAARC), which presently represents the seven nations of Bangladesh, Bhutan,
India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, they speak with one voice
for Beijing's entry into the SAARC – to the palpable annoyance of New Delhi.

India, as the resident power of South Asia, considers the region its "near
abroad," and does not want Beijing to step on to its turf. What unnerves
India most is China's unblinking eye on South Asia's biggest prize: the
Indian Ocean. China has long been vying for access to this important
waterway – most recently by building a deep-sea port in Gwadar, Pakistan,
along the Arabian Sea coast. (see "Gwadar: China's Naval Outpost on the
Indian Ocean" in China Brief, Vol 5, Iss 4) As much as India would like to
push China out of its sphere of influence, it does not have the regional or
international clout to stem Beijing's march on South Asia or the Indian

China, however, does its part to calm the nerves in New Delhi. Prime
Minister Wen Jiabao's four-day visit this month (April 9-11) to India
attests to China's charm offensive on New Delhi. China's major goal behind
this offensive is to keep India from forging military and strategic
alliances with the U.S. against Beijing's territorial interests, i.e.,
reunification of Taiwan with mainland China. China, well aware of India's
historical concerns for its territorial integrity, deftly plays on its
nationalist instincts and its visceral aversion to foreign powers. Therefore
it comes as no surprise that Wen was able to convince New Delhi to agree to
form the "India-China Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and
Prosperity." The partnership has been touted in Beijing as "the most
significant achievement" of Wen's four-nation tour (April 5-12), which took
him to Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. [5]

Wen Goes to New Delhi

China's role in the treaty has been to offer New Delhi mainly symbolic
concessions. First, China accepted the long-disputed territory of Sikkim as
part of the Indian Union. Prime Minister Wen even presented Indian Prime
Minister Man Mohan Singh with cartographic evidence of his government's
changed stance: an official map that shows Sikkim in India. In response, New
Delhi has already backed off its long-held stand on Tibet, accepting it as
an integral part of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Second, New Delhi
agreed to accept the status quo on their border dispute until a mutually
satisfying resolution is found. China, however, wants to keep Aksai Chin, an
area of 35,000 square miles in Ladakh, Kashmir, which it seized from India
in 1962. Aksai Chin offers a rare strategic inroad into China's restive
western region of Xinjiang, which makes it even harder for China to let go
of it. Third, China agreed to India's bid for a United Nations Security
Council (UNSC) seat, without specifying its endorsement for veto power.
Fourth, China has softened its traditional commitment to Pakistan on
Kashmir. Part of China's change of heart on Kashmir also has to do with the
reported infiltration of Muslim fighters from Kashmir into the Chinese
Muslim-majority autonomous region of Xinjiang.

China, however, seems sincere in making these concessions, whatever their
worth, to New Delhi in order to forge a "strategic partnership." For its
part, India is willing to accept this arrangement to boost bilateral trade
and ensure energy security, which New Delhi views as a national security
matter. Moreover, China is poised to overtake the United States, with
bilateral trade of $20 billion a year, as India's largest trading partner
for the foreseeable future. India's giant appetite for energy resources will
soon rank it as the world's third largest consumer of fossil fuels after the
U.S. and China. New Delhi hopes its strategic partnership with Beijing will
help sate that appetite without bidding up global energy prices.

Besides calming India, another challenge for China is to keep Pakistan on
its side. Islamabad has a long history of military alliances with the U.S.
starting from CENTO and SEATO in the past to its present status as the
U.S.'s non-NATO ally. And unlike India, Pakistan always has been malleable
to Western influence. To staunch such possibility in the future, Wen has
drawn Pakistan into signing a "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Good
Neighborly Relations," which binds both signatories to desist from joining
"any alliance or bloc which infringes upon the sovereignty, security, and
territorial integrity of the other side" [7]. Gen. Pervez Musharraf,
Pakistan's president, kept the contents of the Treaty under wraps by
disallowing the release of its full text, which China's People's Daily had
published anyway. Nevertheless it is obvious which of the two will have to
avoid unwanted alliances, and whose interest of "sovereignty, security, and
territorial integrity" will be affected.


China has invested in South Asia's smaller economies of Bangladesh, Nepal,
Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to gain a strategic foothold and build a diplomatic
profile in the region. This effort has transformed the region from India's
purported "near abroad" into China's own backyard. Its strengthened position
in the region has enabled Beijing to make peace with New Delhi, drawing it
out of strategic partnerships with the West. As a result, South Asia is now
more likely to line up behind Beijing to defend its position on the Taiwan
Strait as its "inalienable part," while freeing up Beijing's diplomatic and
strategic resources to tame its apparently untamable Asian rival – Japan.

Tarique Niazi teaches Environmental Sociology at the University of
Wisconsin, Eau Clair, specializing in resource-based conflict.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

AID and Asha's hero, sandeep pandey, holds forth in jang (pakistan)

April 25th

this guy clearly has been seriously addled. all this talk of sub-nationalities is obviously chinese propaganda. why aren't tibetans and uighurs sub-nationalities who also deserve separate homelands? why is it that only kashmiris do?

this blighter's 'peace march' to pakistan has been halted at the border by pakistanis who refused these dipweeds visas! it would actually be better to let the mullahs have a whack at them. that may cure them of their rosy ideas about pakistan.

url courtesy sulekha:

Sandeep Pandey

As part of the ongoing Pakitan-India Peace March we came across the first resistance to our position on Kashmir when we reached Phillaur from Ludhiana. Our host here was Mr Johal, president of the committee which runs the Gurdwara where we were to stay. He registered his protest as soon as we arrived, rejecting our position on the Kashmir issue as according to him, it favoured Pakistan. He believed that Kashmir was an integral part of India and only Indians had a right to decide about the future of Kashmir. It was obviously a narrow nationalist position, shared by some other Indians too.

We were gathered at a Hanuman temple, and Mr Johal snatched our signature campaign sheet and started striking out the statement on Kashmir. He managed to damage two sheets by the time he was made to understand the people who had signed the sheets agreed with the position of the Peace March and did not share his opinion on Kashmir. The peace marchers tried to avoid getting into an unpleasant situation with their host for the rest of the evening. They tried to reason with him but he was not in a mood to listen to any other point of view.

At night after dinner at the Gurudwara he and his associates joined a meeting we were holding to discuss how to tackle such a situation in future. There was another round of discussions on Kashmir and we tried to reason with them that any possible humane solution to the problem must involve the people of J&K. We explained to him that the narrow nationalist view held by Indians from outside Kashmir, or for that matter Pakistanis outside Kashmir, was born out of a feudal mindset and in a world in which people were more sensitive to human rights violations and also a democratic way of thinking, the conventional nationalist Indian and Pakistani views could not be imposed on the people of Kashmir.

Also, in a world where economic policy of globalization is taking over, the concept of a nation state is weakening and even the two governments probably realize that staying ahead in economic development is more important than in an arms race; this will take away pressure from the governments to make a prestige issue out of Kashmir.

We also pointed out that a major section of our societies, including dalits, tribals, women, and other marginalized sections, do not share the traditional concept of nationalism as they are busy with more basic struggles for life and livelihood. For example, they are not likely to feel the same enthusiasm if India beat Pakistan in a game of cricket compared to people who were close to the ruling class. We don't know whether this discussion had any affect on the associates of Mr. Johal but he did come to see us off in the morning and seemed to be calmer than the previous evening. He may have reconciled to the differences in our points of view.

Our march in Ludhiana was shown on the national TV in Doordarshan news. As we were walking from Phillaur to Phagwara we were stopped by a buffalo-trader who recognized us and crossed the road to stop us. His name is Paramjit and he expressed his happiness that such a march was taking place; he confidently told us that we were sure to get visas to cross over into Pakistan.

By then, we had learnt that the Pakistani government was refusing to allow the marchers from Pakistan to cross over into India. But Paramjit's resolve reflected the opinion of the common people that people should be allowed to cross the border freely. Little did we know that two days later Pakistan's Interior Ministry would actually grant permission to some Pakistani marchers to join the march. This also opened the possibility of us going to Pakistan and realizing our dream of a joint march through the territories of India and Pakistan, and then together crossing the Wagha border.

As we walked out of Phagwara towards Jalandhar, a bicyclist crossed us, and got down after stopping next to me. Surjit Singh earns his living as a Tadi Kirtan singer; his wife is also in the same vocation. He congratulated us on the march and said that he had signed our signature campaign which my colleague Chandralekha from Hardoi District of U.P. was carrying walking behind me.

He then offered a suggestion that pleasantly surprised me, saying that the third point in the signature campaign, about allowing people from two countries to meet freely and, if possible, doing away with the passport-visa system, should have a higher priority than the first two points.

The first point states that both sides should resolve their disputes peacefully through dialogue, including the issue of Kashmir according to the wishes of the people of J&K. The second point is about doing away with nuclear weapons, land mines and reducing the defence budgets so that resources could be spent on development of poor people on both sides of the border. Surjit argued that the third point is closest to the hearts of the common people from India and Pakistan and is also probably the easiest for the two governments to agree to. It would also create an atmosphere in which the governments would find it easier to make progress on the first two points.

Surjit Singh is a representative of the common people. Only somebody like him could have thought like this because we intellectuals often cannot free ourselves from our preferences and biases. I'm glad I met him, and thank him for educating me about the priorities of the issues as common people see them.

I kept cursing myself on not seeing this simple logic while drafting the signature campaign text. Anyway, we're glad that we've collected over 5000 signatures on this statement and so far except for Mr. Johal, nobody seems to have any problems with the point of view that we're putting forward during the India Pakistan Peace March.


The writer is a prominent social worker based in Lucknow. He is among the Indian peace marchers currently camped at Wagah border waiting for permission to enter Pakistan


Monday, April 25, 2005

Terror AID ("Attack Inside Democracies"?)

April 25th

thanks to reader s. desai for this link. good stuff on that dubious entity called AID which is an overloaded name, just like FOIL.

Pacific News Service: Are NGOs saints or wolves in sheeps' clothing?

April 25th

this debate by sugrutha ramaswami and me in india currents has been picked up and circulated by pacific news service, new california media etc.


apropos of dubious NGOs, i am entertained to see that the sandeep pandey 'peace-march' has been stopped at the pak border by pakistanis. will the AID guys now ask for their money back or what?

Are Non Governmental Organizations Saints or Wolves in Sheep's Clothing?

Commentary, Rajeev Srinivasan and Sugrutha Ramaswami,
India Currents, Apr 22, 2005

Many NGOs Do Far More Harm Than Good


Graham Hancock’s damning 1989 expose, Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business, estimated that most of the $60 billion plus that comprised governmental, UN, and World Bank or IMF-type “aid” was siphoned off. Mostly by elites in poor nations, special interests (like agribusiness) in donor countries, but also, startlingly, the aid agencies’ own personnel budgets, which waste as much as 80 percent of the funds for lavish (first-class) travel, salaries, and perquisites.

Unfortunately, the same appears to be true of NGOs. Despite their saintly image in the media, some have connections to dubious groups in India. Some misuse their funds, for instance to pay for trips by their “volunteers” to India, boondoggle “lecture-tours” of the United States by their comrades-in-arms in India, and so forth.

In addition, the aftermath of the tsunami demonstrated what has long been an open secret: many NGOs are merely fronts for religious conversion. Yes, everyone loves a good tsunami. There were sordid tales about how certain “charities” refused help unless the targets of their munificence converted. Compare this to the sterling, selfless work done by, say, All-India Movement (AIM) for Seva.

But ambulance-chasing Christian fundamentalists are a known devil. Indian groups with deceptively appealing siren songs are more insidious. Most of them are started by well-meaning, idealistic, but naive individuals to “do something for India.” But over time, these organizations get hijacked, and become personal fiefdoms for self-glorification, or else unwitting tools in the hands of anti-nationals. In the end, you, the Indian-American donor, may find your hard-earned money either wasted on extravagant overhead, or funding groups you may not approve of.

For instance, Association for India’s Development’s (AID) collaboration with DYFI and SFI, youth and student wings of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), in tsunami relief raises questions about how their funds are used. Some AID chapters in the United States are also subsidizing Asha for Education cofounder Sandeep Pandey’s “peace march” to Pakistan. This is stretching the definition of development and education: these are political activities, which tax-exempt charities are expected to avoid.

These are the kinds of things that go on behind the appealing facades of NGOs. A word to the wise donor: caveat emptor, buyer beware!

Non-Indian NGOs too show bad faith. Amnesty International, headed by a niece of Bangladesh’s dictator, ignores daily atrocities visited upon non-Muslim minority populations there. Human Rights Watch worries about Muslims, but not about ethnically cleansed Kashmiri Hindus. ActionAid and WorldVision have been accused of covert or blatant conversion agendas. Hypocrisy and political games are par for the course.

All NGOs are not created equal: to separate the wheat from the chaff, ignore propaganda and look at track records, especially financial statements.

Rajeev Srinivasan wrote this opinion from Mumbai.


Properly Motivated NGOs Do a Lot of Good


My opponent’s criticism of NGOs is overly broad, though he gets support from an unexpected quarter: Arundhati Roy. “NGOs have depoliticized resistance, turned resistance into a salaried 9-5 job. Real resistance has real consequences. And no salary,” says she with the usual Roy theatrics and unoriginality. This point has been made time and again by critics of the World Bank-IMF consortium’s Structural Adjustment Policies in poor nations. Neo-liberal regimes actively used NGOs to defuse the anger arising from the disastrous consequences to the poor from economic “liberalization.” So there is some truth to the allegation, despite the red rhetoric.

Yet, to attack the very agency of NGOs is to throw the baby out with the bathwater. NGOs cannot replace the welfare state, but they certainly can enhance the provision of core social services, especially where the State has abdicated its responsibility.

In fact, “NGO” is new only in terminology. The term arose from the West’s vision of democratized societies, where, through volunteerism, a civil society is constructed vertically, cutting across kin and family networks. But NGOs as community-based organizations are not new: they fill gaps left by the State. Health, education, justice, economic development, and environmental protection have always been addressed by local communities, especially within religious contexts.

People in the Third World, especially the rural and the poor, retain a strong sense of community: individual achievements are measured against their contribution to the community, unlike in the individualistic societies of the West. This builds a collective consciousness and a sense of community ownership, the Commons.

When NGOs as external agents in such communities work within the parameters of the collectivistic culture, the rewards are enormous. NGOs that work with native ways of knowing succeed in getting the people to participate in determining their development needs and the processes required to achieve their goals. NGOs need to be humble enough to recognize that traditional knowledge systems often have greater utility than their new-fangled, urban-centric prescriptions.

Examples of such success stories abound in the areas of education, land and water development, forest husbandry, and health: the Ekal Vidyalayas that impart basic life-skills and rudimentary modern education within the context of the native cultures; the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh that provides micro-credit based on mutual trust instead of collateral; the Tarun Bharat Sangh that involves local people in forest and water conservation by reviving traditional community values of environmental protection that got alienated due to state ownership of these resources.

NGOs that facilitate development by combining native wisdom with modern technology and management provide sustainable long-term solutions. Motivations of political, religious, or ideological activism, or charity make not an NGO.

Sugrutha Ramaswami is an IT professional in New Jersey.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

how r thapar and k n pannikar write 'history'

April 23

this is absolutely hilarious. please plough through to the end.

this is pretty much the way most po-mo and po-co-po-co-po-mo (post-colonial, politically-correct, post-modern) stuff reads, and now we know how it is generated.

this is exactly how 'eminent historians' in india create stuff too.


Precultural Discourses: Capitalist theory in the works of Joyce

V. Charles Finnis
Department of Deconstruction, Carnegie-Mellon University

Anna Q. Wilson
Department of Sociolinguistics, Cambridge University

1. Joyce and textual theory

The main theme of Parry's[1] essay on capitalist construction is the bridge between sexual identity and reality. Several discourses concerning posttextual theory may be discovered.

If one examines capitalist theory, one is faced with a choice: either reject cultural socialism or conclude that truth is part of the fatal flaw of art. However, the primary theme of the works of Joyce is the role of the writer as reader. An abundance of discourses concerning the common ground between sexual identity and class exist.

"Sexual identity is intrinsically used in the service of hierarchy," says Baudrillard; however, according to Drucker[2] , it is not so much sexual identity that is intrinsically used in the service of hierarchy, but rather the collapse of sexual identity. Therefore, the subject is interpolated into a capitalist construction that includes culture as a totality. If capitalist theory holds, we have to choose between patriarchial narrative and neodialectic modernist theory.

If one examines capitalist theory, one is faced with a choice: either accept textual theory or conclude that expression comes from the collective unconscious. In a sense, the subject is contextualised into a capitalist theory that includes reality as a reality. Baudrillard suggests the use of textual theory to modify class.

In the works of Joyce, a predominant concept is the concept of predeconstructive narrativity. Therefore, the characteristic theme of Scuglia's[3] model of capitalist theory is not theory as such, but posttheory. Tilton[4] states that the works of Pynchon are empowering.

The primary theme of the works of Pynchon is a self-falsifying totality. But Foucault promotes the use of capitalist construction to deconstruct capitalism. Capitalist theory implies that academe is capable of intentionality, but only if the premise of textual theory is invalid; if that is not the case, the raison d'etre of the participant is social comment.

"Culture is part of the failure of truth," says Bataille; however, according to Brophy[5] , it is not so much culture that is part of the failure of truth, but rather the fatal flaw, and eventually the futility, of culture. Thus, the subject is interpolated into a capitalist construction that includes reality as a reality. Sontag's analysis of capitalist theory holds that reality is a product of the masses, given that narrativity is interchangeable with art.

The characteristic theme of Dahmus's[6] critique of textual theory is not discourse, but neodiscourse. However, many structuralisms concerning the postdialectic paradigm of discourse may be revealed. In V, Pynchon analyses capitalist construction; in Vineland, however, he affirms capitalist theory.

In a sense, the main theme of the works of Pynchon is the defining characteristic of capitalist sexual identity. Lyotard suggests the use of textual theory to read and modify class.

But subcultural materialist theory implies that the goal of the writer is deconstruction. The subject is contextualised into a capitalist construction that includes reality as a whole.

However, the premise of the neodialectic paradigm of reality states that language is capable of significance. Derrida uses the term 'capitalist construction' to denote the role of the artist as observer.

In a sense, the characteristic theme of Long's[7] analysis of subtextual nationalism is the difference between sexual identity and sexuality. If capitalist construction holds, the works of Pynchon are reminiscent of Smith.

However, Foucault promotes the use of textual theory to challenge the status quo. The within/without distinction which is a central theme of Pynchon's V is also evident in Vineland, although in a more structuralist sense.

In a sense, Brophy[8] suggests that we have to choose between capitalist construction and postdeconstructive capitalist theory. Sontag's critique of textual theory holds that the significance of the writer is significant form.

It could be said that if subconceptual discourse holds, we have to choose between textual theory and Foucaultist power relations. The primary theme of the works of Smith is the rubicon, and some would say the absurdity, of cultural class.

However, Derrida suggests the use of capitalist construction to read society. Baudrillard uses the term 'postpatriarchial theory' to denote a mythopoetical totality.

In a sense, the subject is interpolated into a capitalist construction that includes truth as a paradox. Bataille uses the term 'Foucaultist power relations' to denote not discourse, as Baudrillard would have it, but neodiscourse.

2. Consensuses of dialectic

"Class is fundamentally elitist," says Sontag; however, according to la Tournier[9] , it is not so much class that is fundamentally elitist, but rather the genre, and eventually the rubicon, of class. It could be said that Lacan promotes the use of textual theory to attack hierarchy. Capitalist theory states that discourse comes from communication, but only if Bataille's essay on textual theory is valid; otherwise, Baudrillard's model of capitalist construction is one of "cultural postcapitalist theory", and thus used in the service of capitalism.

In the works of Gaiman, a predominant concept is the distinction between creation and destruction. Therefore, Lyotard uses the term 'capitalist theory' to denote the bridge between language and society. The subject is contextualised into a capitalist construction that includes truth as a totality.

In a sense, an abundance of deconstructions concerning the role of the poet as writer exist. The characteristic theme of Pickett's[10] model of textual theory is the difference between consciousness and sexual identity.

It could be said that many narratives concerning deconstructivist neocapitalist theory may be discovered. Sartre suggests the use of capitalist construction to modify and analyse truth.

However, the subject is interpolated into a Derridaist reading that includes sexuality as a whole. The main theme of the works of Gaiman is the role of the artist as observer.

3. Gaiman and textual theory

"Class is part of the dialectic of consciousness," says Debord. It could be said that Long[11] implies that the works of Gaiman are an example of subsemiotic socialism. Baudrillard promotes the use of capitalist theory to deconstruct sexism.

Thus, a number of deconstructivisms concerning the futility, and therefore the stasis, of cultural narrativity exist. Sartre suggests the use of capitalist construction to modify class.

It could be said that the primary theme of Humphrey's[12] analysis of preconceptual sublimation is the bridge between consciousness and class. In Four Rooms, Tarantino deconstructs textual theory; in Pulp Fiction he analyses capitalist theory. Thus, an abundance of discourses concerning dialectic deconstruction may be revealed. If capitalist construction holds, we have to choose between capitalist theory and the subtextual paradigm of consensus.

4. Structural postdialectic theory and deconstructivist sublimation

If one examines capitalist construction, one is faced with a choice: either reject capitalist theory or conclude that the collective is capable of deconstruction. Therefore, Marx promotes the use of submodern nationalism to challenge class divisions. The main theme of the works of Tarantino is the role of the artist as reader.

In the works of Tarantino, a predominant concept is the concept of textual reality. It could be said that Buxton[13] states that the works of Tarantino are modernistic. If capitalist theory holds, we have to choose between capitalist construction and cultural pretextual theory.

The characteristic theme of Tilton's[14] model of dialectic theory is the dialectic, and some would say the futility, of neocultural sexual identity. However, in A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, Joyce examines deconstructivist sublimation; in Dubliners, however, he deconstructs capitalist construction. The premise of the materialist paradigm of discourse holds that the task of the observer is significant form.

"Art is responsible for capitalism," says Debord; however, according to Dahmus[15] , it is not so much art that is responsible for capitalism, but rather the fatal flaw of art. Thus, the example of capitalist construction prevalent in Joyce's Finnegan's Wake emerges again in Dubliners. Abian[16] suggests that we have to choose between deconstructivist sublimation and dialectic Marxism.

"Society is intrinsically unattainable," says Sartre. It could be said that if the postpatriarchialist paradigm of consensus holds, the works of Joyce are empowering. Bataille uses the term 'deconstructivist sublimation' to denote not, in fact, discourse, but neodiscourse.

The primary theme of the works of Joyce is the difference between sexuality and sexual identity. Therefore, Marx suggests the use of capitalist construction to read and analyse society. The subject is contextualised into a structural socialism that includes consciousness as a paradox.

"Sexual identity is part of the collapse of culture," says Lacan. It could be said that Hanfkopf[17] holds that we have to choose between capitalist theory and subcapitalist constructivism. Derrida uses the term 'capitalist construction' to denote the role of the participant as reader.

However, the destruction/creation distinction intrinsic to Joyce's Finnegan's Wake is also evident in Dubliners, although in a more self-justifying sense. The main theme of Werther's[18] analysis of deconstructivist sublimation is not narrative, as capitalist theory suggests, but postnarrative.

It could be said that the subject is interpolated into a prestructural cultural theory that includes reality as a totality. Several theories concerning the fatal flaw, and subsequent collapse, of postconstructive society exist.

Thus, Lacan promotes the use of capitalist theory to attack outdated, sexist perceptions of sexual identity. If the semanticist paradigm of narrative holds, we have to choose between capitalist theory and subtextual socialism.

It could be said that in Ulysses, Joyce analyses deconstructivist sublimation; in Finnegan's Wake he reiterates dialectic discourse. The subject is contextualised into a capitalist construction that includes narrativity as a reality.

Thus, Bataille suggests the use of capitalist theory to challenge society. An abundance of theories concerning Lacanist obscurity may be discovered.

Therefore, la Fournier[19] implies that we have to choose between deconstructivist sublimation and neomaterialist discourse. Capitalist construction suggests that culture is capable of truth.

Thus, any number of deconstructions concerning the role of the poet as writer exist. The subject is interpolated into a capitalist theory that includes art as a whole.

Therefore, if capitalist construction holds, we have to choose between Lyotardist narrative and the textual paradigm of consensus. Derrida's model of capitalist construction states that reality may be used to oppress minorities, given that narrativity is equal to consciousness.

1. Parry, E. Z. (1990) Capitalist theory, the neodialectic paradigm of context and libertarianism. Schlangekraft

2. Drucker, P. ed. (1978) Narratives of Failure: Capitalist theory and capitalist construction. And/Or Press

3. Scuglia, H. F. I. (1989) Capitalist theory in the works of Pynchon. Loompanics

4. Tilton, A. ed. (1997) The Circular Sea: Capitalist construction and capitalist theory. And/Or Press

5. Brophy, K. V. (1974) Capitalist theory and capitalist construction. University of Michigan Press

6. Dahmus, I. H. Z. ed. (1998) The Fatal flaw of Expression: Preconceptualist cultural theory, capitalist theory and libertarianism. O'Reilly & Associates

7. Long, H. (1972) Capitalist construction and capitalist theory. University of Massachusetts Press

8. Brophy, S. U. ed. (1990) Reinventing Socialist realism: Capitalist construction in the works of Smith. Schlangekraft

9. la Tournier, A. (1981) Capitalist theory in the works of Gaiman. And/Or Press

10. Pickett, V. F. I. ed. (1972) Contexts of Collapse: Capitalist theory and capitalist construction. O'Reilly & Associates

11. Long, A. E. (1986) Capitalist construction and capitalist theory. University of Illinois Press

12. Humphrey, M. Y. H. ed. (1990) The Fatal flaw of Sexual identity: Capitalist construction in the works of Tarantino. And/Or Press

13. Buxton, P. Q. (1986) Capitalist theory and capitalist construction. Panic Button Books

14. Tilton, I. G. M. ed. (1979) Deconstructing Surrealism: Capitalist construction in the works of Joyce. University of California Press

15. Dahmus, P. (1988) Capitalist theory in the works of Lynch. Yale University Press

16. Abian, M. R. ed. (1991) The Stone Key: Capitalist construction and capitalist theory. University of North Carolina Press

17. Hanfkopf, S. (1989) Capitalist theory in the works of Rushdie. And/Or Press

18. Werther, G. M. F. ed. (1975) Forgetting Lyotard: Capitalist theory and capitalist construction. University of Oregon Press

19. la Fournier, G. W. (1997) Capitalist theory in the works of Smith. O'Reilly & Associates

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

remembering kargil and capt. batra

April 21st

forwarded by a friend.


Kargil remembered, thanks to Parvez's visit.

At the NDA Khadakvasla an Instructor asked the Officer Cadets to list the
names of the other Officer Cadets in the room on two sheets of paper,
leaving a space between each name.

Then he told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of
their mates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as
the Officer Cadets left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the Instructor wrote down the name of each of the Officer
Cadets on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said
about that individual.

On Monday he gave each Officer Cadet his list. Before long, the entire class
was smiling. "Really?" he heard whispered. "I never knew that I meant
anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so much," were most
of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. He never knew if they
discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The
exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with
themselves and one another. That group of Officer Cadets moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed at Kargil and the
Instructor attended the funeral of that special student. He had so many seen
a serviceman in a military coffin before, but this one was special. He
looked so handsome, so mature, so young, so full of life & yet no more.

The town lost another young Army Officer in Kargil. Captain Vikram Batra
(23) was the son of Mr G.L. Batra, Principal in Government Senior Secondary
School. He belonged to 13 J&K Rifles and was on his first posting to Kargil.
Last week Captain Batra had succeeded in capturing 5140 Peak in Drass
sector. Just two days prior to his feat General V.P. Malik, Chief of the
Army Staff, had personally congratulated him for his successful mission in
capturing 5140 peak. His name was also recommended for Mahavir Chakra.

The news of the death of Captain Batra spread like wild fire in the town.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the residence of Mr Batra and raised
anti Pakistan slogans. The body of this young soldier reached the evening
after and the cremation was to take place on Saturday with full military

The place was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a
last walk by the coffin. The Instructor was the last one to bless the

As he stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to
her. "Were you Capt. Vikram Batra Instructor?" he asked. He nodded: "yes."
Then he said: "Vikram talked about you a lot."

After the cremation, most of Capt. Batra's former classmates went together
to pay their respect to Capt. Batra's parents. Capt. Batra's mother and
father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his Instructor.

"We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his
pocket. "They found this on Capt. Batra's when he was killed. We thought you
might recognize it."

Opening the wallet, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper
that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The
Instructor knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which he
had listed all the good things each of Batra's classmates had said about

"Thank you so much for doing that," Capt Batra's mother said. "As you can
see, Vikram treasured it."

All of vikram's former mates started to gather around. Manoj smiled rather
sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my
desk at home."

Amit's wife said, "Amit asked me to put his in our wedding album."

"I have mine too," Dev said. "It's in my diary."

Then Ajay Singh, another classmate, reached into his pocketbook, took out
his wallet and showed his worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this
with me at all times," Ajay said and without batting an eyelash, he
continued: "I think we all saved our lists."

That's when the Instructor finally sat down and cried. He cried for Capt.
Batra and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will
end one day. And we don't know when that one-day will be. Not this way, a
young 23 old gives up his life crying out "yeh dil maange more" when he
captured Peak 5140 at Kargil.

He did it for us, so that none of the Paki Jehadis sent by Parvez Musharaf
could come into India.
So please, tell our people & pass this message to all you think are Indians
by heart & mind, who love and care for our country, that these guys are
special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.
So, let's stop licking the arse of Parvez Mushraf (this is for the Yellow
Indian TV media). We are not here to redefine our original borders. Kargil
was an attack by the Pakis for which we lost some 600 patriotic,
disciplined, tough, dedicated handsome Indian.
And One Way To Accomplish This Is: Forward this message on. If you do not
send it, you will have, once again passed up the wonderful opportunity to do
something for India.

- PN

a catholic speaks on the scrubbing of the new godman's reputation

April 21st

received this mail from a catholic friend. see a number of articles at the end about ratzinger's views (he authored the assault) on yoga and hinduism and buddhism.


It is an outright lie. Thousands of Malayalee Catholic priests and nuns like
Daniel Acharuparambil (notwithstanding his status as the archbishop of
Verapoly Diocese, an establishment that accounts for the beginning of the
Catholic-cancer in India), provide the menial-service machinery in Vatican
and all over the Catholic institutions in Western Europe. And his statements
need be filtered with a fine sieve, as that of a senile old maid's tales
about her old master. By "reminiscing" (in the TOI article quoted below),
Acharuparambil is beginning the much-wanted whitewashing urgently required
for Benedict's junk-yard reputation among Hindu intellectuals.

But having quoted something that Bendict would not have ever dreamed of
saying, fearing retribution for sure given the Rottweiler's nature,
Acharuparambil goes on to say: "He was also very particular that the
uniqueness of Christ should not be compromised while making adaptations from
Indian culture."

There is nothing unique about Christ except his "going to hell before rising
to heaven" (quote from the Christian's most important prayer).

(name withheld)

in response to the following question:


outright lie, or "God's Rottweiler" had change of heart?

Is the following story an outright lie, or did the "God's Rottweiler" suffer
a change of heart after issuing formal warning that yoga causes 'MORAL
DEVIATIONS' and can degenerate into a cult of the body that debases
Christian prayer?

United Press International December 14, 1989, BC cycle
Copyright 1989 U.P.I.
By Charles Ridley, Dateline: Vatican City

The Vatican, in a letter approved by Pope John Paul II, warned Christians
Thursday against spiritual dangers deriving from Eastern methods of
contemplative meditation used in yoga and Zen Buddhism.

It said the symbolism and body postures in such meditation ''can even become
an idol and thus an obstacle to the raising up of the spirit of God.''

It warned that to give ''a symbolic significance typical of the mystical
experience'' to sensations of well-being from meditation can lead to ''a
kind of mental schizophrenia which could also lead to psychic disturbance
and, at times, to moral deviations.''

The warnings were contained in a 25-page paper, titled ''Letter to the
Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation,''
issued by the Vatican Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith with the
full approval of the pope.

The letter analyzed the history and significance of Christian prayer and
stressed the need to stick by its established methods.

''Many Christians today have a keen desire to learn how to experience a
deeper and authentic prayer life despite the not inconsiderable difficulties
which modern culture places in the way of the need for silence, recollection
and meditation,'' the document said.

''The interest which in recent years has been awakened also among some
Christians by forms of meditation associated with some Eastern religions and
their particular methods of prayer is a significant sign of this need for
spiritual recollection and a deep contact with the divine mystery,'' it

But while conceding Eastern methods of contemplative meditation have some
benefit for those who practice it, the document warned against attaching too
much importance to its symbolism.

''The Eastern masters themselves have noted that not everyone is equally
suited to make use of this symbolism, since not everybody is able to pass
from the material sign to the spiritual reality that is being sought,'' the
letter to the bishops said.

''Understood in an inadequate and incorrect way, the symbolism can even
become an idol, and thus an obstacle to the raising up of the spirit of
God,'' it said.

''To live out in one's prayer the full awareness of one's body as a symbol
is even more difficult: it can degenerate into a cult of the body and can
lead surreptitiously to considering all body sensations as spiritual

Los Angeles Times, December 14, 1989
Copyright 1989 The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times
Part P; Page 2; Column 1; Late Final Desk
From Times wire services, Dateline: Vatican City

The Vatican today cautioned Roman Catholics that such Eastern meditation
practices as Zen and yoga can "degenerate into a cult of the body" that
debases Christian prayer.

"The love of God, the sole object of Christian contemplation, is a reality
which cannot be 'mastered' by any method or technique," said a document
issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The document, approved by Pope John Paul II and addressed to bishops, said
attempts to combine Christian meditation with Eastern techniques were
fraught with danger although they can have positive uses.

The 23-page document was believed to be the first effort by the Vatican to
respond to the pull of Eastern religious practices.

Los Angeles Times, December 15, 1989
Copyright 1989 The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times
Part A; Page 22; Column 1; Foreign Desk
Religion: Meditation as Physical Therapy Is Distinguished from Spiritual
By William D. Montalbano, Times Staff Writer
Dateline: Vatican City

Urging Catholics to distinguish between spiritual form and substance, the
Vatican warned Thursday against substituting Eastern methods of meditation
such as Zen and yoga for Christian prayer.

In a 7,000-word letter to bishops approved by Pope John Paul II, the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made a firm distinction between
meditation as physical or psychic therapy, and spiritual enrichment.

"Prayer without faith becomes blind, faith without prayer disintegrates,"
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the head of the congregation, said in presenting
a document he said was intended not to condemn the meditative practices of
other religions but to reaffirm guidelines for Christian prayer.

Ratzinger's congregation defends doctrinal orthodoxy, and its letter to
3,000 Roman Catholic bishops around the world was apparently written to
answer complaints from some of them about the growing popularity of mixing
Christian meditation with practices common to Hinduism and Buddhism. It
apparently was the first time that the Vatican has issued a warning on this

The letter declared that "the love of God, the sole object of Christian
contemplation, is a reality which cannot be 'mastered' by any method or

Like the Catholic church, other religions specify how to achieve "union with
God in prayer," the letter noted. "Just as the Catholic Church rejects
nothing of what is true and holy in these religions, neither should these
ways be rejected out of hand simply because they are not Christian. On the
contrary, one can take from them what is useful so long as the Christian
conception of prayer, its logic and requirements, are never obscured."

Some Catholics, the letter noted, believe their prayer is enhanced by
techniques borrowed from "various religions and cultures." It said, though,
that such practices "can degenerate into a cult of the body and can lead
surreptitiously to considering all bodily sensations as spiritual

Attempts to integrate Christian meditation with Eastern techniques that use
breath control and prescribed postures like the lotus position can be
successful, Ratzinger said, but they are "not free from dangers and errors,"
and may boomerang.

"Some physical exercises automatically produce a feeling of quiet and
relaxation, pleasing sensations, perhaps even phenomena of light and of
warmth, which resemble spiritual well-being. To take such feelings for the
authentic consolations of the Holy Spirit would be a totally erroneous way
of conceiving the spiritual life. Giving them a symbolic significance
typical of the mystical experience, when the moral condition of the person
concerned does not correspond to such an experience," the letter continued,
"would represent a kind of mental schizophrenia which could also lead to
psychic disturbances and, at times, to moral deviations."

Some forms of Eastern Christian meditation have "valued psychophysical
symbolism, often absent in Western forms of prayer," the letter noted. "On
the other hand, the Eastern masters themselves have also noted that not
everyone is equally suited to make use of this symbolism, since not
everybody is able to pass from the material sign to the spiritual reality
that is being sought. Understood in an inadequate and incorrect way, the
symbolism can even become an idol and, thus an obstacle to the raising up of
the spirit to God," the letter asserted.

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (LONDON) November 25, 2001, Pg. 23
Copyright 2001 The Telegraph Group Limited
IS YOGA THE NEW RELIGION? After a vicar last week banned a class from his
church hall, Jenny McCartney examines the attraction of toned muscles with a
dash of spiritual serenity thrown in
By Jenny McCartney

The Reverend Richard Farr, the vicar of St Mary's church in Henham, took a
decision last week that has made him the talk of the Essex village and
beyond: he banned a 16-strong group of yoga enthusiasts from taking lessons
in his church hall. Yoga was, he said, an un-Christian practice: "I accept
that, for some people, it is simply an exercise. But it is also often a
gateway into other spiritualities, including eastern mysticism."

Tom Newstead, the yoga instructor ... said: "What they have done is
tunnel-visioned and I am staggered. Would Christ refuse me entrance to his
house if I am teaching people how to eat properly, keep fit and free of

Mr Newstead, who used to be an alcoholic and a drug addict, said yoga had
transformed his life: "If it wasn't for yoga I would probably not even be
here." He intends to return to the church, to press his case for use of the
hall. But Rev Farr - who says that he has received "hundreds of letters" of
support for his stand - seems unlikely to budge, to the quiet dismay of some
parishioners who were rather taken with the banned diversion. ...

Traditionalists within the Church argue that yoga is based on Hindu teaching
and is, therefore, incompatible with Christianity: this is not the first
time that it has been exiled from a church hall. Disquieted members of the
clergy, however, may find it increasingly difficult to avoid the sight of
their flock in the lotus position. ...
It may be the spiritual dimension of yoga, the way in which purists claim
that it "takes over your life", that leads some churchmen to be wary. There
is even, perhaps, a spark of envy in their condemnation: attendances at the
established churches in Britain are falling, even as people flock to
practices such as yoga with fresh enthusiasm. ...
Christianity offers a solution for the everlasting soul, but not the flabby,
disintegrating body. ...

Serious teachers of yoga, however, argue that the philosophy is no threat to
the Christian faith, and can actually enhance it. Simon Low, a director of
the Triyoga centre in Primrose Hill, London, said: "There is nothing in yoga
that suggests it should be practised as a religion: it is a science.
Patanjali, whose sutras are the foundation of classical yoga, had a concept
called isvara: it describes how the practice of yoga can take you closer to
whatever your God or spirit is. If you are a Christian, it could bring you
closer to a Christian God.

"I often read out a poem called The Shores of Silence in my class, which was
written by Pope John Paul II. Every time I read it, I credit the Pope and I
always get a host of people saying how much it helped them. Yoga teaching
draws on a huge number of writings and poems from different religions: what
they have in common is the fundamental human search for peace and love."

The San Francisco Chronicle, June 28, 1993
Copyright 1993 the Chronicle Publishing Co.
Section: News; Pg. A1
A Smorgasbord of Spirituality
Baby boomers eschew name-brand religion to create new rituals
Series: Religion a La Carte / Spiritual Wandering in the West
By: Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer
Although the United States has always been a spiritual melting pot, the
declining influence of mainline churches, along with the coming to power of
the '60s generation, has made the nation's religious expression more
eclectic than ever.

Organized religion has responded to rising religious syncretism in two
markedly different ways.

Some church leaders, especially those in fundamentalist and Pentecostal
churches, have attacked this trend as at best selfish, at worst satanic.

Other churches have welcomed Buddhism, yoga and New Age spiritualities with
open arms -- conducting workshops at Catholic retreat centers and in
Episcopal cathedrals that are barely distinguishable from those offered at
Esalen Institute and other ''growth movement'' spas.

Only last month, Pope John Paul II warned a group of U.S. bishops visiting
him in Rome about the dangers of the New Age movement.

''This religious reawakening includes some very ambiguous elements which are
incompatible with the Christian faith,'' the pope said. ''Their syncretistic
and immanent outlook (tends to) relativize religious doctrine in favor of a
vague world view expressed as a system of myths and symbols dressed in
religious language.''

But the pope's warning may be falling upon deaf ears, particularly among
baby boomers.

The Washington Post July 18, 2004
Copyright 2004 The Washington Post
Section: Outlook; B01
What Would Jesus Weigh?;
In the Church, the Body's Back in Vogue
By: Henry G. Brinton
Suddenly we have churches offering "Christian Yoga," which presents elements
of the Hindu practice of hatha yoga in an intentionally Christ-centered
setting. Others feature weight-loss classes ... and, yes, having sex.

While some of this is just a fad and a reflection of our weight-, diet- and
sex-obsessed culture -- and thus an attractive way to expand church
membership and sell books -- I believe it also reflects a very positive
development in religious thought. After 2,000 years of being largely
separated, spirit and body are finally coming back together.

Neither Jesus nor the Jews wanted this split to exist, but a group of Greek
thinkers in the early church introduced a dualistic philosophy that had a
negative view of the body and a positive view of the spirit. Later
theologians developed this theme: Saint Augustine believed that the soul
makes war with the body, and the Protestant reformer John Calvin saw earthly
human existence as "a rottenness and a worm." But recently, theologians and
religious scholars have rediscovered the value of the flesh. No less an
authority than Pope John Paul II has given a series of strikingly positive
talks on the theology of the body.

There's ample precedent for this. Jesus, like his Jewish colleagues, saw the
flesh as a good gift of God, and he rejoiced in the pleasures of touch and
taste and other bodily sensations. ...
The reunion of spirit and body carries with it the possibility of integrity
-- that is, the bringing together of different parts into a unified whole.
As human beings, we long to be complete and undivided, enjoying integrity as
physical, emotional, intellectual, sexual and spiritual creatures. ...
... Integrity of body and spirit is healthy, but idolatry of the body is
not. ...

National Public Radio (NPR) April 7, 2005
Copyright 2005 National Public Radio
Morning Edition 10:00 AM EST
Church in Europe to assess changing demographics of Catholicism
Anchors: Renee Montagne, Reporters: Sylvia Poggioli
Poggioli: ... I once asked a French bishop, `Where have all the Catholics
gone?' And he told me they've become kind of like religious pagans, picking
a little bit of Jesus, a little bit of yoga, a little bit of that. And you
know, while churches in Europe are getting emptier and emptier, more and
more makeshift mosques are cropping up as the influx of Muslim immigrants
continues. ...

terror manual by hindu convert to islam

April 21st

an example (one page pdf file) of how converts are the most virulent.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

sensible stuff on india-china

April 20th

someone doing some plain-speaking for a change.

china is india's number one enemy, period. let's not pretend otherwise.

India’s national interest and China

Nothing could have been more deceptive than what India’s Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said at a press conference in New Delhi at the conclusion of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s visit. “India and China are partners, and they are not rivals. We do not look upon each other as adversaries.”
Look at the Chinese activities in Pakistan, an all-weather friend — from financing the building of a deep seaport, Gwadar, at the gateway to West Asia to its clandestine contribution for developing nuclear weapons; building road links with Bangladesh; its surveillance station in Myanmar’s Coco Islands; and its efforts at trying to cosy up to Nepal after India, the UK and the USA denounced King Gyanendra’s high-handed action to snuff out democracy.
Nor should it have gone unnoticed China’s wishy-washy non-committal support for membership of the UN Security Council. The Chinese vague official statement that it “attaches great importance to the status of India in international affairs” and “understands and supports India’s aspirations to play an active role in the UN and international affairs” is a tongue-in-cheek attempt to get out of a definitive commitment.
One should take with a pinch of salt a pious sounding but diplomatically meaningless utterance such as, “Aware of their linked destinies as neighbours and the two largest countries of Asia, both sides agreed that they would, together, contribute to the establishment of an atmosphere of mutual understanding, trust and cooperation in Asia and the wo rld at large.”It reminds one of the pre-1962 Hindi-Chini “bhai-bhai” Nehru era, when Panch Shil was peddled as an alternative to the Cold-War’s hard-headed diplomacy.
India might put up a brave face and assert that it has overcome the feeling of betrayal but it does not have a definitive answer to the question whether Chinese intentions have changed. China is still holding a large chunk of territory in Kashmir, 38,000 sqkm (14,670 sqmiles) of Aksai Chin, which it seized after the 1962 blatant invasion, and claims more.
Another 5,180 sqkm (2,000 sqmiles) of northern Kashmir was given by Pakistan to Beijing as a price for an all-weather friendship pact signed in 1963.
China had already built a road through Aksai Chin linking Tibet with its Xinjiang province before it laid an aggressive claim on it. Now it seeks a political solution, not a technical one, to the border problem. In other words, since Aksai Chin highway helps China to maintain control over the region, it is politically more important to China than to India.
So India should give up its cartographic, that’s technical, claim on Aksai Chin in lieu of letting India keep what it already controls in the east, in Arunachal Pradesh.
That’s what Prime Minister Chou En Lai said in 1962 that India should accept “the present actualities”. So it is back to the future with the same old Chinese argument: Technically Aksai Chin may be yours, but politically it is ours.
The solution to the border problem, especially in Aksai Chin, interestingly, could be technical and political at the same time. For example, China could use the Aksai Chin highway on a long-term basis provided it recognised India’s technical and political claim on the region.
China must also withdraw other claims it makes on Indian territories. If the time is not ripe for a settlement along these lines, India should wait and watch. Trade and technological cooperation could continue to grow as they have been doing in the last few years even without a final resolution of the border disputes.
Much is being made of India-China trade relations. If China is now India’s second-largest trading partner, after the USA, with a bilateral trade of $13 billion, it shows how puny is India’s total foreign trade in comparison with that of China. In the fiscal year 2004-05, India’s total export amounted to $80 billion as against China’s global export of $593 billion.
What does India export to China? Mostly raw material for its construction industry and other semi-finished goods in exchange for Ganesha idols, toasters, television sets and so on. China sells value added goods to India, much as the British did during colonial times. Of course if you add to it “bitter gourds and grapes” (Wow!), the bilateral trade might jump to $20 billion by 2008.
Not to be scoffed at, true, because international trade helps create jobs and reduce tension in international relations, but pushing the expectations to the level of “strategic and cooperative partnership” is not only ridiculous but also dangerous. A free trade agreement would give China an unlimited access to Indian market, which would kill Indian manufacturing as it has done in the USA.
While the USA is a complex and dynamic economy and creates alternative jobs to replace the ones lost to Chinese manufacturing, India cannot mimic the USA. In the coming decades India would be racing against China: for energy, scarce raw materials, intellectual property, and outsourcing. While there are possibilities of cooperation, the competition between the two giants would be brutal.
India’s cooperative and strategic relationship with the USA, ranging from fighting terrorism and the security of the Indian Ocean to sophisticated technology sharing and building a knowledge society is too important to be sacrificed for another round of India-China illusory friendship. The USA has helped build Germany, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China into global economic powers. India should see where its national interests lie.

(ND Batra is Professor of Communications, Norwich University, Vermont. He can be blogged at http://

comment from a reader

April 20th

One of my friends sent me a link to your blog which had an article on how
India fought for China's permanent membership to the UN!
After reading the article, I sent him a reply, which could be of interest
to you. I am reproducing the email below:

Hello Kannan,

We as a nation, have little sense of history today and consequently, any
pride in our religion, culture and art / music. Nehru's legacy, combined
with our current educational system where Hindu religion is marginalised by
secularism, where Indian culture is largely ridiculed by adopting western
culture & values (Here, thanks to the media) and no awareness or sensitivity
for Indian art / music is developed through exposure to relevant works, is
creating a nation of youngsters with no backbone - forget they thinking
about what the country needs, they do not even have clarity about what is
good for them. Most of them are subliminally conditioned (by the
educational system,media, the functioning of the political system prevalent
in the country and peer pressure) into thinking that what ever they are
doing / going after, is what is good for them.

Witness the brouha and emotional outpouring by the media - first for the
Pope's death (we even had a three day national mourning for it!), for the
visit of the Chinese prime minister (the country which supplied all the
nuclear technology to Pakistan, is planning to do the same to Bangladesh now
and is claiming Arunachal Pradesh as its territory) and now Musharraf's
visit (The murderer behind Kargil). The Indian media has made Musharraf
look like a great statesman, instead of the tin pot dictator that he is.
Compare this to the total elation by all the media when the Sankaracharya
was arrested (ignoring the fact that you were destroying a spiritual
institution and that too on the basis of allegations) and no apologies from
a single source, so far, when it is clear that a defensible case against him
just does not exist. Our politicans (just as 1,000 years ago) will allow
foreigners all benefits of doubt since we have to be holier than thou, but
will plot the deepest conspiracies against their fellow country men, for
power. Witness the lack of any strong response to the killing (one is
almost dead, while the other was produced dead) of two jawans of the BSF by
Bangladesh (a country which will get wiped out if we open the Farakka
Barrage) Security Forces. On the other hand, we have China which has
provoked nation wide protests against the Japs for not correctly portraying
their invasion of China.

It is impossible to build a strong nation, if you do not have pride in what
you are (This is true of one's work as well). India has been tested out by
its neighbours for what it is - A soft state.

We not only treat Pakistani's kids for heart ailments and other major health
problems but also put together a nice fund for them on the way back (to be
used for other Pakistani kids) , while our kids lie dying in slums, go blind
in the countryside or keep begging at traffic signals in the cities.

Now, Manmohan Singh is promising IIT seats for Pakistanis! (While there is a
huge shortage for our youngsters, with the success ratio already at 1:100).
And we are talking of soft borders with Pakistan (a recognised hot bed of
terrorists), so that we can add to the Muslim population in this country, I
suppose. Why don't we start offering all our good looking girls to the
Pakistani boys and the well educated boys to the Pakistani girls.

We are also very concerned about Pakistan's economy and thinking of creative
measures to kick start their economy - Can we loan out part of our forex
reserves (which have been going up, of late), for Pakistan to invest in
their countryside, Can we get our VCs to provide risk capital to Pakistani
IT companies etc. But what about our backward states - UP, Bihar, North
East etc. These can wait guys. Peace at any cost - Welfare of Indians,
forget it. Haven\'t you imbibed good secular Hindu practices - Ancient Hindu
culture dictates that you should offer food to your guest, even if you go
hungry (This specific Hindu practice is adopted nowadays by the

Musharraf and Wen Noodles (or whatever he is), must be calling each other
and planning a secret celebration (venue could be a Dabba on the road
through which Chinese nuclear material was transported to Pakistan - the
Karakoram Highway. The road which China laid for access to Pakistan,
through land that Pakistan stole from India (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) and
gifted to China) of how India fools itself at every opportunity it gets in
the international arena. Soon, it will be your turn Mr. Bush, to screw
India. We expect to hear the media go ga-ga over the commonality between
the world\'s two biggest democracies! We are waiting for you, Mr. Bush.

Best regards

bobby jindal looking after india's interests

April 20th

forwarded by ram narayanan.

ask yourself why you gave money to jindal's campaign. as a zealous recent convert, jindal has to show his affinity to only one extra-territorial interest: the state of vatican.

A recent issue of INDIA ABROAD (April 15, 2005, Page A8) carries an Aziz Haniffa report on Congressman Gary Ackerman's bill to to prohibit the sale of F-16 fighter aircraft and other military assistance to Pakistan, unless Islamabad provides the US with access to scientist A Q Khan, who had publicly confessed to running a clandestine nuclear arms bazaar.
Rep Ackerman told INDIA ABROAD, the White House is yet to reply to a letter he and 19 lawmakers, including Congresswoman Ileana Ross-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, had sent to President Bush March 23 opposing the sale of F-16s to Pakistan. The lawmaker said typically, the White House took a long time to answer mail, especially mail the administration did not agree with.
"But we will do what we are trying to do and that is to get it up [his legislation] before our Committee [International Relations Committee], he said.
The Ackerman-Ross-Lehtinen letter was signed, among others, by Rep Joe Crowley (D-NY), Rep Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Rep Jim McDermott (D-WA), besides senior Republican members like Rep Joe Wilson (R-SC), Rep Ed Royce (R- CA) and Rep Mark Foley (R- FL).
Aziz Haniffa notes that a conspicuous absentee from the signatories list is Indian American Congressman Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Republican, elected for the first time in 2004.

SABHA report

SABHA - 4M Report Arvind Kumar, 20 Apr, 2005

Your regular dose of pseudosecularism

  1. Neuer Papst war in der Hitler Jugend!

    While the Vatican's school boyish behavior of using white smoke and black smoke to signal the election of a new pope has left people amused, graver charges have come out against Ratzinger who will be the new pope.

    According to The Sunday Times of London,

    Unknown to many members of the church, however, Ratzinger’s past includes brief membership of the Hitler Youth movement and wartime service with a German army anti- aircraft unit.
    He also participated in the genocide of Jews.
    He was sent to Hungary, where he set up tank traps and saw Jews being herded to death camps.
    In a clear example of hate-speech in 1997, Ratzinger who was then the head of what was formerly called the Holy Office of the Inquisition, used foul language to describe Buddhism ('autoerotic spirituality') and stated that Hinduism, which was based on a 'morally cruel' concept, offered 'false hope.'

    The smoke signaling system is also significant in the age of the internet, as it is a throwback to the barbaric times in Europe when signaling with smoke as a means of communication was common.

    Ratzinger replaces the pope who used medical science when he was ill instead of using Jesus to heal himself.

  2. American "scholar" calls for arming terrorists to solve terrorist menace!

    A "scholar" at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for "Scholars" and former ambassador to Islamic Republic of Pakistan, William B. Milam, has called for giving in to threats by terrorists in order to gain influence with the terrorists. In an incoherently written piece in Christian Science Monitor which he co-authored, he argues about such influence,

    If used wisely, this enhanced influence may move Musharraf toward a more democratic sensibility, get the US more information on what A.Q. Khan sold to whom, ...

    In a discussion thread on the Bharat Rakshak Forum, you can read the "scholar's" abusive response to an email listing the factual details about coups in Pakistan, unnatural terminations to its governments and the fate of various heads of the state of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Apparently, only "crazies" dispute that Pakistan is a stable democracy and all claims of coups, exiles and killings are made up!

    Former President of USA, Bill Clinton, seems to have preferred being a "crazy" rather than agreeing with Milam, who was the ambassador to Pakistan at the time of Clinton's visit there in 2000. He used decoys, doubles and other ruses to throw the terrorists off guard while visiting the "stable democracy." From a description of Clinton's visit,

    When Clinton arrived at Delhi airport, there was a large US Air Force C61 transporter standing on the runway, apparently waiting to carry him to Islamabad. Instead of boarding this aircraft, however, Clinton and his entourage, after their formalities, ducked behind it, where two small white executive jets were standing. One of these was marked with the US flag, the other was plain. Members of Clinton's guards and entourage boarded the marked aircraft while Clinton slipped on to the plain one, hardly noticed in the crowd.

    At Islamabad, the marked aircraft landed first and pulled up to the reception committee, limousine and other arrangements made for Clinton. Security guards disembarked, followed by a tall, burly blonde figure, looking like Clinton, but actually another security guard intended to draw the fire of any waiting terrorists.

    Meanwhile, Clinton's aircraft slipped into the airport, pulled up a little way away, and the leader of the most powerful country in the world slipped ignominiously into a second limousine, hardly noticed by the world's waiting media.

    However, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for "Scholars" seems to think very highly of William Milam. According to their Mission statement,
    The Center brings the highest quality thinkers to Washington D.C. for extended periods of time to pursue projects in a place and atmosphere in which they interact with the world of public affairs.

  3. Jihad quota in IITs

    Manmohan Singh, who is allegedly the Prime Minister in Sonia Gandhi's government, said that he is willing to offer seats to Pakistani students in institutions of higher learning such as the Indian Institutes of Technology and management institutes.

    A few months back, a minister in the Congress led government in Karnataka refused compensation to family members of desperate Indian students who were driven to commit suicide after failing to secure admission into professional colleges in the Nehruvian-Stalinist system that offers limited opportunities.

    "Why should the Government be blamed if the students have committed suicide due to dejection following their failure to secure admissions in professional colleges", he asked.

  4. Supreme Court says Sonia Gandhi is a Cambridge Scholar!

    According to the Supreme Court, Sonia Gandhi's course in English at the Lennox Cook School is sufficient grounds to consider her a Cambridge scholar!
    A Bench, consisting of the Chief Justice, R.C. Lahoti, and Justice G.P. Mathur, dismissed the petition after hearing Dr. Swamy, who alleged that by filing the affidavit, Ms. Gandhi had committed perjury and was liable for prosecution. However, the Bench said that she had not suppressed the fact that she had done the certificate course in English from the Lennox Cook School, Cambridge University, and declined to entertain the petition.
    Sonia Gandhi is not the only person who has inflated her credentials. A scholar (a real one) at Stanford University who wanted to conduct a seminar on environmental issues contacted the staff at University of California at Berkeley (UCB) after learning from an article by someone named Angana Chatterji that Asia Forest Network (AFN) was part of UCB. We reproduce the email he received in response from the staff at UCB (email addresses and name of the scholar at Stanford deleted).

    > From: "Stephanie McLemore"
    > To: XXXXX
    > Subject: RE: want to contact appropriate UC Berkeley
    > staff
    > Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 09:40:37 -0700
    > Dear XXXXX XXXXX,
    > AFN is not affiliated with UC Berkeley.
    > Good luck with your program.
    > Stephanie McLemore
    > Executive Assistant to the Chancellor
    > UC Berkeley
    > 510-642-7464
    > 510-643-5499 (fax)
    In a letter to the World Bank President, the author - who is also a minor activist and a somewhat popular person in some Pakistani and ethnic Indian Marxist circles in the US - claims to be a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, even though UCB's website does not list her as a member of their faculty.

  5. Latest gas guzzlers - 1.7 miles a gallon!

    Check the link above - Naxalite supporter Sandeep Pandey has asked for enough money to give him 2500 liters of petrol in order to travel roughly 900 kilometers in two vehicles. That is a whooping 1.7 miles a gallon. The wonders of technology!

  6. Outlook covers up link to Islamic group

    Writing on the denial of the American visa to the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, Seema Sirohi of The Outlook claims:
    Hard negotiations ensued to persuade the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest advocacy group of American Muslims, to stay out because of its overtly religious and controversial image. The idea was to maintain a largely secular profile for a more effective outreach.
    Funny, that is not how the statement of John Conyers, a sponsor of the congressional resolution that is seen as an expression of hate against Hindus, was described by the Detroit Free Press:
    Conyers said Thursday that he was urged to action by the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.
    Meanwhile, the founder of the Texas chapter of CAIR was found guilty of helping terrorists.

  7. Nobel Prize winning terrorist's organization has the right to kill Hindus

    According to the main story on this page (How 'kill Advani, Bal' plan fell through at Dawood's den), Palestine "Liberation" Organization, the organization of Yasser Arafat, the Nobel Prize winning terrorist who recently died, was involved in planning the Mumbai bomb blasts that hit the city in 1993.

    The reason for the attack?

    He, in turn, was countered by an Arab fundamentalist, who said that Muslims had the power to annihilate "non-believers."
    The news item mentions that the Mumbai High Court has prevented the release of a film based on the bomb blasts.