Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Fwd: Encouraging Entrepreneurship rather than Reservation--

may 31

from a professor at iim bangalore.

i have been following the 'merit' argument, and i think there is no more 'merit' among the forward castes than there is among the backward castes. it's the inevitable bell curve in action.

i believe there should be caste-based reservation, but it should apply across the board to all educational institutions. christists and mohammedans should not get a free ride. you cannot have equality in some areas and massive subsidies in others. otherwise, there will need to be separate everything, for instance, there should be a price for toothpaste for christists and mohammedans: that will be 20% over the price for hindus.

reservation is the discriminatory 'pricing' for the fact that lower caste people still face glass ceilings and so forth.

reservation levels can be kept as they are -- people are used to it -- and slowly reduced over time so that we can avoid the 'competitive backwardness' we see today.

but the real answer is to increase opportunities, get the stifling dirigiste nehruvian state out of the picture, and allow people to flourish, as they did in places like singapore, taiwan, thailand etc. the good professor has a point.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vaidyanathan R

You may find this topical--


Professor of Finance & Control
Indian Institute of Management

Monday, May 29, 2006

tragedy in indonesia

may 29th
i have been watching the TV reports about the devastation wrought upon java. i mourn the 5,000 dead, and also the cultural destruction.
jogjakarta is the cultural center of indonesia. borobodur and prambanan are in the vicinity and these are the great buddhist and hindu temples of java, respectively. i have been to both. borobudur is squat, massive and powerful. prambanan is tall, delicate and slender. or was. i think the major temple there, the shiva temple, which was the only one among the trimurti temples that was still more or less intact. there used to be 'ramayana ballet' performances under floodlights on every full moon night at prambanan.
like angkor wat, prambanan is also a remarkable part of glory of the Greater India of old.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


may 22nd
hi folks, i am running around, have too much to do and wont be getting access to the internet for a few days. please expect normal activity to resume on june 1. 
till then, take care.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

interesting: "minorities" support their guy arjun singh

may 16th

what do you mean, you have the right to protest? you guys are dhimmis
and have no rights. we 'minorities' run this country, and you better do
whatever we tell you to do.

see, arjun singh agrees too. that is, in between saying "i am the king,
so you cant question what i do or say, regardless of whether you are the
supreme court or the speaker of parliament or a mere citizen. l'etat,
c'est moi!"

in some circles, arjun singh would be diagnosed with megalomania. i am
told that his horoscope says he's become prime minister one day. yes,
he's pining for that one day.,001302220000.htm

Minorities Front warns medicos to call off agitation>
Press Trust of India, New Delhi, May 14, 2006

> The All India Minorities Front on Sunday threatened to take on the
> striking medicos on the streets unless they called off their agitation
> against the quota-hike.

marad and how it's been swept under the carpet

mar 16th

udf and ldf united on just one thing: apartheid against hindus.


*Marad memories haunt Hindus in Kerala
Congress, Left united in suppressing facts, shielding guilty
*/By S. Chandrasekhar/

Monday, May 15, 2006

[Fwd: [PINR] 16 May 2006: Militancy in India's Northeast]

may 16th

the neros of the upa create crises like this vexed reservation issue
instead of dealing with the real crises like nepal, northeast etc.

perfect diversionary tactics.

fiddling while rome burns.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [PINR] 16 May 2006: Militancy in India's Northeast
Resent-Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 03:41:44 +0000 (GMT)

Power and Interest News Report (PINR) <>
+1 (312) 242-1874

*Militancy in India's Northeast*
/Drafted By:/ Dr. Bibhu Prasad Routray

India's northeast is a geopolitically strategic region. It comprises
eight states -- Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura,
Mizoram, Meghalaya and Sikkim -- and is spread over a 262,179 square
kilometer (101,201 square miles) area. The eight states contain a total
population of 39 million. India's northeast connects with five countries
-- Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China and Nepal -- by a 4,500 kilometer
(2,796 miles) international border; the region, however, connects to
India only through a narrow and tenuous land corridor measuring merely
22 kilometers (14 miles).

A fact that further jeopardizes mainland India's links with the region
is the thriving militancy in most of the northeast states. The demands
of the different militant groups range from autonomy within the
provisions of the Indian constitution to outright secession. Such
militant movements started early with India's independence in 1947. At
one point, more than 120 militant groups operated in India's northeast.
In recent years, the Indian government has had some success in achieving
stability in the region, using tactics from negotiations to military
operations to root out militants. Nevertheless, the region remains a
potential tinderbox.


me on the rediff on why the need for reservations exists

may 11th

outright theft of ideas in china

may 15th

the germans are worried! and so they should be. this is from der spiegel.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Nabbing Know-How in China
Date: Thu, 11 May 2006 20:21:04 -0700 (PDT)

*Nabbing Know-How in China
*It used to be jeans and Adidas. Now, though, China is becoming adept at
stealing much more technologically advanced products -- like passenger
jets and magnetic railway systems. Is this the beginning of an economy
based on thievery?


How low will we go? Check out Yahoo! Messenger’s low PC-to-Phone call

[Fwd: Playing With Fire - Airbus in China]

may 15th

more western fears about chinese bad intent.

although in a sense, a case can be made that all inventions should be
made open-source and put out there in the public domain. china may
single-handedly force the abandonment of the patent system. there was an
interesting report in the nytimes that some clever chinese had 'cloned'
the japanese company NEC in china, creating a parallel set of channel
partners, suppliers, etc. all complete with authentic-looking business
cards and so forth. only it had nothing to do with the real NEC. they
had cloned the entire company!

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Playing With Fire - Airbus in China
Date: Thu, 11 May 2006 20:36:27 -0700 (PDT)

*Airbus in China
*The Chinese have long been working as subcontractors for aviation
giants including Boeing and Airbus. But as the country picks up know-how
from the Americans and Europeans, many fear it may use Western
intellectual property to compete on the global market with its own
aircraft in the future.*,1518,415039,00.html

Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. Make PC-to-Phone Calls
to the US (and 30+ countries) for 2¢/min or less.

chinese fraud in IPR

may 15th

first it was the korean guy with biotech; now it's this chinese guy.

china in particular has a very loose definition of property rights: it
boils down to, "what's mine is mine; what's yours is negotiable"

[Fwd: Varoda Temple Demolition Pictures On-Line]

may 15th

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Varoda Temple Demolition Pictures On-Line
Date: Sat, 13 May 2006 12:08:51 EDT

Varoda Temple Demolition Pictures On-Line


Varoda, Bharat, May 7, 2006: HPI note: Yesterday we
ran an item on the destruction of Hindu temples as
part of a road-widening project. Protests arose when
an Islamic structure was similarly slated for
demolition. At the URL above are photos of several
Hindu temple demolished in the process so far.

HPI on the web

Sunday, May 14, 2006

me on rediff on reservations

may 9th

i support reservations in general, but i believe they are now being used mostly as a political tool to divide hindu society.

Friday, May 12, 2006

amartya sen dissimulating

may 8th

amartya sen does not answer kagan's direct question about which muslim
identifies himself/herself as anything other than muslim. kagan does a
little dissumulation himself: fulsome praise of sen followed by a
damaging question that kills sen's argument. sen of course doesn't want
to answer the question because it destroys his "why can't we all get
along?" nonsense. we can't all get along because the semitic types and
the han chinese all want to run the world.

instead, sen recycles his usual pabulum. the man refuses to
comprehend that it is precisely *because* india is a hindu civilization
that it tolerates an italian christist and a mohammedan and a sikh at
the top of the hierarchy. christists and mohammedans (and han chinese)
are practitioners the tyranny of the majority and would never tolerate
such a thing in their civilizations. this is *one* of the salient points
in the clash of civilizations. sen has no idea how racist chinese,
mohammedans and christists are -- after all, he has managed to skate
around on the upper-class side of white society because of his skill at
snaring upper-class white women, including the super-rich and socially
very well-connected rothschild woman.

note sen with his usual, "india bad-bad", pakistan "good-good". he never
misses an opportunity to do this. why? i can only conjecture that there
are large amounts of saudi money somewhere in the picture. now that oil
is moving towards $100 a barrel, there will be more of said saudi money
available so there will be a lot more such statements, especially as sen
is actively campaigning to become president of india. oh, you didnt know
that? his sideys have started this whispering campaign. and the reds
would just love to have him; so would arjun singh. sen's vice president,
of course, will be teesta setalvad, arundhati roy, or romila thapar, or
better still, all three of them. who said we can't have three vice
presidents in india? let's amend the constitution if it says so.

sen keeps quoting the allegation that gujarat 2002 was such a great
issue that the bjp was damaged in 2004 because of it. as a judge edwards
in the us told a lawyer, "your asserting something doesn't make it so".
what proof does sen have for this? or maybe there doesn't need to be
proof, why, sen's a nobel prize winner, so whatever he says is by
definition true. the greater likelihood is tampering with the electronic
voting machines on a large scale got the congress into power in 2004.

-------- Original Message --------

Thought you might be interested in reading Amartaya Sen's response.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: TC
Date: Sat, 6 May 2006 17:54:11 -0700 (PDT)
Please see the line marked in red by me in Kagan's letter. It is not a
bad question. Sen ducks it.

From: Robert Kagan
To: Amartya Sen
Subject: Why Is There So Little Evidence To Contradict the "Clash" Theory?
Wednesday, May 3, 2006, at 6:48 AM ET
Dear Dr. Sen,

Let me begin our little correspondence by congratulating you on your
wonderful book. It is (with apologies for the following string of
back-cover-blurblike phrases) elegantly written, powerful, convincing,
humane, and necessary. No doubt our hosts at Slate will be unhappy to
hear this, but I agree with you about almost everything. I agree
entirely when you insist that to interpret the present era as a "clash
of civilizations" is both mistaken and dangerous and that it is
important to view people not by a single identity-as Muslim, "Western,"
or Asian-but as a bundle of identities. Your keenest insight may be that
we need to avoid falling into precisely the trap that Osama Bin Laden
has deliberately laid for us: to divide the world into Muslim and
non-Muslim. Above all, I share your conviction that liberal democracy is
not a cultural phenomenon but a basic human aspiration. I may perhaps go
even further than you in arguing that liberal democracy-which does not
separate peoples by cultures but unites them in common devotion to the
principle of equal rights-is the only durable answer to the present crisis.

I wish I were more optimistic that your arguments will have an impact on
the present discussion. You have restated the core of the liberal
enlightenment worldview, with its belief in the universality of human
nature and in the inherent ability of all peoples to transcend their
cultures and their histories-the conviction embodied in the American
Declaration of Independence. But these are not very fashionable ideas
these days. The metaphor of a "clash of civilizations" has taken hold of
the popular imagination, and once such metaphors take hold they are
easily reinforced by events-the fracas over the cartoons of Mohammed in
Europe, for instance, or the violence in Iraq-and even, as you argue, by
well-meaning efforts to ameliorate the confrontation by "building
bridges" between the cultures. In intellectual circles, meanwhile,
self-described "realists" are temporarily back in vogue arguing that the
attempt to "impose" democracy in places like Iraq (or Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Egypt, etc.) is doomed to failure. We are told that Iraqis and
other peoples are not "ready" for democracy. And even the successful
elections in Palestine are cited as evidence of the failure of democracy
because the "wrong" people were elected.

We would both dispute these claims, I think. You're right to argue that
the shortcomings of the democratic process in Iraq are less the failure
of the Iraqis-who have shown an extraordinary commitment to the idea of
democracy despite horrendous obstacles-but of an American intervention
that succeeded in ousting Saddam Hussein but then failed to provide
adequate security and stability to rebuild the country. And I would like
to hope that the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections can
promote the idea of multiple identities that you describe: that people
can be both Islamists and democrats. But I find very few people who
believe those two identities can coexist.

Certainly, one problem we face is that there often seems to be so little
evidence to contradict the "clash of civilizations" explanation of our
era. Why, for instance, do we not see more Muslims publicly insisting
that their other identities be given greater prominence? If it is true
that liberalism is not a Western phenomenon-and I agree that it is
not-why don't we see more Muslim leaders, intellectuals, and
opinion-makers pressing for it? You offer a good explanation for some of
this reticence: The non-European world, after a long history of
colonization, harbors resentments and "anti-Western" sentiments that
tend to shape identity. But when will we see more people break out of
this straitjacket? Or is that already happening, and I've just been
missing it?

In Iraq, for instance, you are right that there has been an increasing
tendency to treat the country as if it were nothing more than a group of
sects. But, on other hand, there does not seem to be much insistence on
the part of Iraqis themselves to be treated differently. At least this
does not show up very noticeably in the political process. No doubt the
United States is partly responsible for this: Because the intervention
force did not provide sufficient security, as Noah Feldman and others
have argued, Iraqis had to find their own means of security, and they
turned naturally to their ethnic groups for protection. And, as you
argue, our political policies may have reinforced the tendency toward
sectarian identity. But I wish one could see more evidence of a
countervailing desire on the part of Iraqis to transcend this
sectarianism. And in the Muslim world more generally, who is standing up
and demanding to be seen as more than simply a Muslim?

If there was one thing missing from your book, it is a deeper
explanation of this failure. Perhaps in your response to this note, you
can offer your thoughts on the dog that does not bark loudly enough to
be heard.

With great admiration and all best wishes,


From: Amartya Sen
To: Robert Kagan
Subject: Was World War II a "Clash of Nationalities"?
Wednesday, May 3, 2006, at 3:07 PM ET
Dear Mr. Kagan,

I am delighted to receive your observations, both because of your
extremely kind and generous comments on my book Identity and Violence
and because of the interesting and engaging questions you have put to me.

I am pleased, of course, that you do not disagree with my thesis on the
importance of a person's various affiliations and associations and the
resulting multiplicity of identities that any human being has, nor with
the need for reasoning and choice in determining the priorities over
them in any particular context. But you ask the powerful question of
who, in "the Muslim world," is "standing up and demanding to be seen as
more than simply a Muslim?" You point out that you missed in my book a
deeper explanation of this failure. And on the general subject of a
supposed "clash of civilizations," while you accept my rejection of that
thesis (I am very encouraged by your support on this), you also make the
extremely interesting point that "there often seems to be so little
evidence to contradict the 'clash of civilizations' explanation of our
era." I agree that it does "often seem" that the general thesis of
"civilizational clash" fits the ground reality very well. But does it

As you know, my book is very concerned not only with the multiplicity of
our identities, but also with the way the illusion of a solitary
identity, increasingly defined in terms only of religion, has been used
to cultivate violence in the world. The so-called Islamic terrorists
have used this weapon with great effectiveness. But to interpret that
effectiveness as proof that there really is an inescapable clash of
civilizations would be like constructing a thesis of an irresistible
"clash of nationalities" on the basis of the observation of the ground
reality of the two huge world wars of the 20th century. To consider
another analogy, to see in the supremely bloody Hutu-Tutsi violence of a
decade ago the "proof" of the inescapability of a "Hutu-Tutsi clash"
would be to ignore not only how that violence was deliberately
cultivated, and also ways that, with appropriate development of
political interactions and civil society, such fostered violence can be
resisted and overcome, as it increasingly is. Similarly, the ground
reality of the Holocaust is no evidence that the gentile Germans are
doomed to be inescapably Nazi.

Indeed, Western parochialists and Islamic extremists have, I fear, an
implicitly shared involvement in arguing for the primacy of a person's
religious identity, leaving a person no room for entertaining the
demands of other affiliations and associations. And yet other
commitments have flourished. For example, business has grown in the
world across the barriers of regions and cultures, wherever the
opportunities have existed and have not been stifled, focusing on a
different kind of economic identity. Interestingly, anti-big-business
movements have also grown across regional and cultural boundaries and
have led to one of the most global movements in the world, under the
somewhat deceptive name of "anti-globalization movement." Belief in
religious separation and the allegedly inescapable hostilities linked to
it has to come to terms with the existence of other powerful forces
related to other identities-economic, political, social, linguistic, and
many others. The theory of an overarching "clash of civilizations" not
only has to face the difficult problem of explaining so many different
types of movements in the world today, it would not be able to provide
much of an explanation for some of the most prominent political
developments in contemporary history, such as the separation of
Bangladesh from Pakistan, which happened despite the fact that they
shared the same religious identity (more than 100 million Bengali
Muslims supported-and fought for-the assertion of a Bengali identity in
addition to their Muslim identity).

Let me also consider my own country, India. Samuel Huntington describes
it simply as a "Hindu civilization." That description may seem a little
odd since India, with its 145 million Muslims, has more Muslims than
almost any other country in the world, including those that are firmly
placed by Huntington within "the Muslim civilization." But Huntington is
right that the vast majority of Indians come from a Hindu
background-more than 80 percent, in fact. And yet, if you look at the
three principal governmental positions in India, none of them is held
today by a Hindu: The president is a Muslim (Abdul Kalam), the prime
minister is a Sikh (Manmohan Singh), and the leader of the ruling party
(Sonia Gandhi) is a Christian of Italian ancestry. Not only is this
situation the result of a democratic electoral process, you will detect
no sense of the country being in a state of explosion for this reason.
This despite the fact that there have been systematic attempts at
cultivating the divisions of religious identity, often quoting
Huntington himself. There were even killings of minorities in the riots
of Gujarat in 2002, which ended up, in the Indian general elections of
2004, as a major vote-loser for the party that seemed implicated in that

But what about Pakistan, which is so often seen as just a hotbed of
Islamic militancy? The crucial issue here is the role that has been
played by the undermining of democracy, particularly secular democracy,
in Pakistan by a sequence of military leaders. It is also important to
see how the civil society in Pakistan has tried to offer its own
resistance through courageous pursuit of non-sectarian causes, such as
the development of a powerful human-rights movement, reliant largely on
the support of the civil society. One of the most significant recent
developments in South Asia is the emergence of bold and powerful media
in Pakistan. Not only do you hear very little about this in the Western
press: Reports of clash get priority over positive civil engagements,
despite the immensely larger number of people who are involved in
construction rather than in destruction.

Before I end, may I reverse our roles and ask you a question? We may
have taken, I believe, somewhat different positions on the wisdom of the
military intervention in Iraq (I was-and am-firmly against it). But I do
agree with you on the crucial importance of democracy in the world and
also on the ability of people outside to help the development of
democracy in a country that is currently deprived of it. (I am
convinced, for example, that the economic boycott of the
apartheid-dominated South Africa helped to pull that regime down.) We
also agree that after the intervention, the occupation forces "failed to
provide adequate security and stability to rebuild the country." I would
also argue that the neglect of the civil society and of the need for
public reasoning (with a free and inclusive media) has been one of the
major problems. But what about the military intervention itself? I would
be very curious to know how you see that question now.

Again, very many thanks for your very kind and extremely perceptive
comments and questions.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

economist on google

may 11th

fairly sensible article.

google is getting to be a serious preoccupation for computer industry watchers.

microsoft just took a big hit in price. may be a good time to buy some shares. so did dell. any comments by you guys?

agriculture: borlaug, shiva, Bt etc, from an agricultural scientist i know

may 11th

strenghtens my suspicion that borlaug is talking through his hat.

a nobel prize is no indicator that the person has any sense.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: P.G

Dear Rajeev,

I am very happy to see your mail and your  interest in the ongoing controvery on the GM crops.

Well, it is a highly controversial topic. Vandana Shiva is an ardent opponent of transgenic biotechnology in agriculture.

I fully agree on all points made out by Dr Borlaug in the write up except the statement that the GM plants are good for farmers, environment and the consumer.

The consequences of GM crops on human and environment are  highly debated at different levels and a blanket statement from a renowned scientist of Dr Borlaug's stature is not in good spirit. If the GM crops and produce of chemical intensive farming are absolutely harmless then why so much preference for organic farming and organic products worldwide ?

The apprehensions about chemical intensive agriculture and agriculture adopting genetically modified crops are not quite unfounded even though many objections have not been empirically proved. Vandana Shiva goes to one extreme. The reality could be somewhere in between.

I can give you a few scientific facts for the  widespread fear of GM crops

Plant transformation typically involves tissue culture/cell culture ( i.e. regeneration of an intact plant from a single cell that has been treated with hormones and antibiotics and forced to undergo abnormal developmental changes) and either infection with a pathogenic organism or bombardment with tungsten particles. So it is quite possible that plant transformation resulted in significant genetic consequences that were unrelated to the nature of specifi transgene being inserted. This is the major point against adopting GM crops often highlighed by Vandana in most of her talks. It is true also to a great extent.

The second major point against GM crops is that antibiotic resistant gene which is used as marker gene during the genetic engineering process to identify that desired foreign gene is incorporated into the transformed cell could pose devastating consequences to end users   particularly in raw vegetables.

Another consequence is for the environment. Major GM crops have Bt gene and weedicide resistant genes.   The Bt gene is isolated from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis The gene confers resistance to many  insects and pathogens. There is every possibility that these genes could get introgressed in the genome of the native species including humans and the consequences not yet known. The presence of transformation induced mutation poses a threat that is potentially very serious.

 Imagine a situation wherein extensive farming areas have been occupied by weeds having weedicide resistant genes in    the system. It could jeopardize the entire agriculture  in the area.

In transgenic plant breeding, it is very important that hazardous mutations are either prevented or identified and removed prior to commercialization. But sadly we have no technology to do that at the moment.

The tall claims that molecular engineering in crop plants would provide simple solutions to complex problems are due to the inadequate knowledge of the deep rooted underlying problems.

Best Regards






Friends of tibet: What Are You Doing This Summer Vacation?

may 11th

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Friends of Tibet
Date: May 11, 2006 2:41 PM
Subject: What Are You Doing This Summer Vacation?
To: undisclosed-recipients

What Are You Doing This Summer Vacation?
How about spending 4 days in Dharamshala and getting to know about

Meet with HH the Dalai Lama (yet to confirm the audience), officials
from the Tibetan Government-in-exile, political activists, former
political prisoners and many more people involved in the Tibetan
struggle for independence.

Friends of Tibet (Delhi) will be organising an exposure-trip to
Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh between 17th and 21st May, 2006 for
Delhi University students. There will be talks and discussions with
political activists, exiled-prisoners, film screenings, short-treks,
visits to Namgyal Monastery founded by the IIIrd Dalai Lama, Tibetan
Children's Village, Norbulingka Institute and the Tibetan Institute of
Performing Arts. You'll get to know more about Tibet's vibrant
history, culture, religion and people. Spend four action-packed and
intellectually stimulating days with twenty like-minded people getting
to know about the Tibet issue. Learn more about Tibet and how you can
contribute to it. If you're interested, please send a write-up (not
more than 200 words) on why you'd like to attend the exposure trip and
send it to

Please mark your emails 'DHARAMSHALA TRIP' and include you Name, Age,
Address and tel numbers in all your correspondence.

Note: 1. The trip is open to all interested college students in Delhi
2. Last date for receipt of write-up is 5th May, 2006.
3. Selected participants will be called for a short interview in Delhi
between 10th and 12th May, 2006.
4. Expenses of the trip will be borne by individual participants.
(Friends of Tibet will be making meeting, travel, food and
accommodation arrangements for all participants.)
5. Each participant will be awarded with a Certificate upon completion
of the program.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
To know more, call: Sushmit Ghosh at 9811426264 / email:
Friends of Tibet, PO Box: 16674, Bombay 400050, India.
Tel: +91.22.26409612 / Mobile: +91.9388465953 / +91.9418079832
Email: Web:
Friends of Tibet is a global movement to keep alive the issue of Tibet
through direct action. Our activities are aimed at ending China's
occupation of Tibet and the suffering of the Tibetan people. Friends
of Tibet supports the continued struggle of the Tibetan people for

Fwd: so, how did the IITians do ?

may 11th

i am not endorsing these guys, just thought this info was interesting.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: arun s m
Date: May 11, 2006 10:31 PM
Subject: so, how did the IITians do ?

Lok Paritran makes an impact

NT Bureau
Chennai, May 11:

        Formed just months before the elections, the Lok Paritran, floated by the ex-students of IIT, has indeed made an impact among voters in Chennai.

        The party which contested in seven constituencies managed to come a close third in Mylapore and Anna Nagar taking good share of votes.

        Santhanagopalan Vasudevan, Lok Paritran's Mylapore candidate , has secured the third place, even displacing the higher profile Chandralekha of the Janata Party.

        Santhanagopalan managed to secure over 7,000 votes while the difference between the winner S Ve Shekher (AIADMK) and the runner-up Nepolean (DMK) was just over 2,000 votes.

        Similarly, at Anna Nagar, Lok Paritran's Rajamany got a slice of the pie. In T Nagar too, the story was little different. In the remaining constituencies where they stood, Lok Paritran's candidates have put up a good show though they failed to bag the deposit.

        Talking to News Today, Santhanagopalan Vasudevan, says, 'I am really happy at the results. In a short span of time, our party has managed to convince so many. The results clearly shows that people aspire for transparency in administration'.

        Interestingly Lok Paritran has pushed back parties like BJP, DMDK behind at Mylapore.

        Going further, he said, 'it is just the beginning and we have reached the people and convinced them of our abilities in a short spa of time. A prefect learning experience, I am hopeful of putting up a good show in the coming days.'


on the dot, about china's strategy to contain india

may 11th

my very thoughts.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

[Fwd: A search for our lost cities: An open letter to Manmohan Singh]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: A search for our lost cities: An open letter to Manmohan Singh
Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 09:29:38 -0400

A search for our lost cities

May 7, 2006

Dear Dr Manmohan Singh-ji,

This pertains to a special project, which I had conceived when I was
working as Culture and Tourism Minister. The project, I thought, would
have enlarged the dimensions of tourism, provided new insight into the
origin of our civilisation, and attracted a number of scholars and
archaeologists to study the unexplored layers of our past.
Unfortunately, it has since been given up.

Through this letter, I am approaching you with the request to intervene
and ensure that the project is viewed in the right perspective and
revived. I give below a brief backdrop of the project and the course
that it intended to follow.

From the point of view of culture, the project was named as "A search
For Lost Cities, A Lost Civilisation and A Lost River", and from the
tourism point of view it was titled, "Travels Around Lost Cities, A Lost
Civilisation and a Lost River". The river was Sarasvati and the
civilisation was the one known as Harappan/Indus-Sarasvati.

There were five major objectives that the project sought to achieve: 1)
To undertake extensive excavations of the Harappan settlements in the
basin of the now dried-up Sarasvati, and build archaeological museums at
the sites. 2) Set up small tourist-centres nearby. 3) Establish
documentation-cum-multidisciplinary research units with attached
pavilions, showing 5,000 years of Indian civilisation through large
panel-photographs, 3-D models etc. 4) Make the newly created complex
attractive for residents of the neighbouring towns and villages. 5) Open
at each of the centres, a small window to the visitors.

The significance lay in the attempt to provide clear answers to some
crucial questions, which I will answer one by one:

*Was there an Aryan invasion?*

It has been propagated by Western scholars and their Indian disciples
that between 1,500 to 1,000 BC, there was an invasion of India by
light-skinned nomadic tribes, the Aryans, which gave birth to the Vedic
civilisation of India. But this hypothesis has no legs to stand upon.
The study of Colin Renfrew, a noted archaeologist at Cambridge
University, not only debunks the theory propounded by Mortimer Wheeler
but also points at the similarities between the Aryan Vedic civilisation
and the Harappan one. Nor can the theory of invasion/migration provide
answers to pertinent questions like: How come the 'Aryans', who showed
strong attachment to lands, did not carry with them the memories of
their previous homeland and nurse no nostalgia about their past? Is it
not clear that the Rig-Vedic expressions like 'sabha', 'samiti',
'samrat', 'ranjan', 'rajaka', which indicate the existence of organised
assemblies and rulers of different ranks, are relevant not to the
nomadic invaders, but to the advanced urban society of the Vedic Aryans
who were indigenous inhabitants of Harappan settlements? Was not the
evolution of chariot more likely in the flat lands of North India rather
than in the uneven terrain of the Central Asia?

The last nail in the coffin of the invasion/migration theory has been
hammered in by the recent genetic studies, conducted by scientists in
Calcutta with foreign scientists. They analysed the Y-Chromosomes of 936
men and 77 castes, and referred to the work of the international
research teams that found that the earliest modern human arrived in
India from Africa, trudging along the Indian Ocean coast about 60,000
years ago. They concluded: "Our findings suggest that most modern
Indians have genetic affinities to the earlier settlers and subsequent
migrants and not to central Asians or 'Aryans', as they are called".

*Nature of Civilisation*

When, in 1922, the Harappan civilisation was discovered, only two major
settlements — Mohenjo-daro and Harappa — had been excavated and that too
partially. On this basis, views were formulated about the origin of
these advanced urban civilisations. It was given out that its roots lay
in Mesopotamia. Subsequent excavations of more Harappan sites have shown
that these views and assertions were made without adequate evidence.

John Reader, a noted scholar of anthropology and geography, has pointed
out that emergence of cities and civilisations in six widely separated
places around the world — Mesopotamia, India, Egypt, China, Central
America and Peru — was spontaneous and none resulted from contact with
one another.

Excavations carried out by a French team, headed by Jean-Francois
Jarrige, during the last 15 years, at Mehrgarh, Pakistan, have
pin-pointed the beginnings of civilisation in India and shown that
Indus-Sarasvati civilisation had no moorings in Mesopotamia or any
civilisation outside India.

It has been rightly observed: "The people in Mehrgarh tradition are the
people of India today". There are similarities between the social and
religious practices of the Harappan people and the people of present-day
India. For example, the spiralled bangles of the type found around the
figurine of the Harappan dancing girl can still be seen on the arms of
women in Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, etc.

Again, as was the case with Harappan women, 'sindoor' is applied by
married women of Hindu families. Some other common features of the two
periods are: the practice of worshipping trees, putting of Svastika
symbol at the entrance of the houses etc.

*Did Sarasvati exist?*

There is ample evidence that supports the view that river Sarasvati once

Literary: The Rig Veda mentions the Sarasvati about 50 times, describing
it as "the best mother, the best river, the best goddess". The famous
Nadi-stuti hymn mentions a set of rivers, including Ganga, Yamuna,
Sarasvati and Sutudori (Sutlej) and places Sarasvati between Yamuna and
Sutlej. Its origin is indicated in the hymn that says: "Purest among all
rivers and vibrant, the Sarasvati moves on from the mountains to the
ocean, manifesting immense riches of the world…" She is also called the
seventh "Indus Mother". Ancient literature also talks of when Sarasvati
began to decline. The Mahabharata, the Aitareya and the Satapatha
Brahamana refer to its disappearance in the desert.

Archaeological: In 1872, C.F. Oldham and R.D. Oldham undertook a
detailed survey of the area where the Sarasvati and its tributaries were
said to be flowing in earlier times. They concluded that it was once fed
by the Sutlej and the Yamuna, and that it disappeared after the westward
movement of the former and eastward movement of the latter.

Geological: A group of scientists led by V.M.K. Puri and B.C. Verma,
made a detailed study of the areas from which Sarasvati could have
originated. They observed: "This river was in existence during the upper
Pleistocene period as it was fed by glaciers that had descended to much
lower limits in Garhwal Himalaya than the present day level due to the
influence of Pleistocene Ice Age."

Hydrological: After the Pokhran nuclear explosion on May 11, 1998, the
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre conducted tests to assess the impact of
the explosions on the quality of water in the area around. These tests,
interalia, revealed that the water in the area was potable, about 8,000
to 14,000 years old, came from the Himalayan glaciers and was being
slowly recharged through acquifers from somewhere in the north.
Separately, the Central Ground Water Commission dug a number of wells on
and along the dry bed. Out of 24 wells dug, 23 yielded potable water.

If all that I have said is viewed in entirety, this is the picture that
will emerge: the period 6,500-3,100 BC saw the growth of
pre-Harappan/Indus-Sarasvati civilisation, corresponding broadly to the
times when the Rig Veda was composed; that during the period 3,100 to
1,900 BC, the Harappan/Indus-Sarasvati civilisation prevailed and these
were the times when the hymns of four Vedas were composed; and that
1,900 to 1,000 BC was the time of the late Harappan/Indus-Sarasvati
civilisation which saw the decline and ultimate disappearance of the
surface water of the Sarasvati, forcing the people to move eastward
towards the Gangetic plain.

While the puzzles of archaeology and ancient Indian history cannot be
resolved with certainty, particularly with regard to Harappa where the
script has not so far been deciphered, it could be stated with a fair
degree of accuracy that the Harappan/Indus-Sarasvati civilisation was
born and brought up on the soil of India and its people and Vedic people
were one and the same.

A lot of additional work needs to be done to unravel a number of
features of one of the most significant civilisations of the ancient
world. Hundreds of sites in the basin of now the submerged Sarasvati
need to be excavated. It was this need that the special project intended
to meet.

This would also be of huge benefit to the tourism sector. I request you
to recommence the special project. I am confident that the project, if
implemented in the spirit it was conceived, would show new facets of
India's past, new initiatives of her present and new visions for her

Yours sincerely,


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

contrasting views

may 9th

norman borlaug may be a nobel prize winner, but a) he has no business bad-mouthing vandana shiva, b) naturally he would support artificial fertilizer and the Bt seeds, as he is from the reductionist western tradition that does not comprehend harmony with nature. they want to dominate nature, and they have screwed things up badly by doing this, for instance in the filling in of the florida everglades.

here's vandana shiva, thanks to reader meenu

and here's norman borlaug, thanks to reader benjamin

what do you guys think?


Ref. April 12, 2002, Business Standard


Why India needs transgenic crops
A letter from Norman Borlaug explains why

International Maize
and Wheat Improvement Center
Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de MaĆ­z y Trigo NEB-60

April 12, 2002 Business-Standarad.

To: Drs. M S Swaminathan, George Varughese, M V Rao, Mangla Rai, and R S Paroda From: Dr Norman E Borlaug, Senior Consultant


I was pleased to receive an e-mail message on March 26, from George Varughese and three days later from M V Rao, informing me that the government of India had finally approved the cultivation of Bt cotton. Congratulations!
Approval has been a long, slow, painful process, effectively delayed, I assume, by the lobbying of Vandana Shiva and her crowd. Now that the door has been opened for the use of transgenic biotechnology on one crop, I hope it will soon be approved for other traits and on other crops, wherever there is proven advantage within acceptable levels of risk.
The recent tactics in the use of the "precautionary principle" is a dangerous game plan, especially when a country is under heavy population pressure and continuing rapid growth.
As an enthusiastic friend of India, I have been dismayed to see it lagging behind in the approval of transgenic crops, while China forges ahead. I hope India's recent approval of Bt cotton is indicative of a change towards more progressive leadership in agricultural policy.
The benefits to Indian farmers of Bt cotton will no doubt be significant. Evidence from South Africa indicates that small-holder profits are increased by as much as $ 150 per hectare (ha), and six insecticide sprays are eliminated.
I do not agree with the critics of transgenic crops who say that there is no need for conducting such research because the world is now producing a surplus of food and fibre — and that the problem is largely one of distribution.
Oh, if only it were so simple! While improving the equity of food distribution is certainly a global imperative, we cannot forget that world population still continues to grow by 80 million per year. When I was born in 1914, world population was approximately 1.6 billion, at present we are approaching 6.2 billion.
Even with the reported slowing in global population growth, food production must be increased by 50 per cent over the next 25 years, just to maintain present, often inadequate, levels of food availability.
As a person trained in forest ecology, I was very supportive of the environmental movement when it began in the 1960s. However, in recent years, the movement has been captured and distorted by elitists, and has evolved more and more toward an anti-science, anti-technology reactionary force.
Too many of its leaders are opposed to high-yield crop production technology, including high-yielding varieties, chemical fertilisers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Yet these critics fail to stop and think what the world would look like today, had it not been for the widespread adoption of high-yield crop production technology during the last 40 years.
Had Indian farmers continued with the low-yielding pre-Green Revolution technology, they would have needed to plant an additional 67 million ha to equal current wheat harvests. This is extra land that India did not have to spare. It's hard to imagine all the consequences on Indian agricultural land use of trying to produce 75 million tonnes of wheat with 800 kg per ha technology!
On a global scale, world cereal production increased from 650 million tonnes in 1950 to 1,887 million tonnes in 1998. Had the world attempted to produce the cereal harvest of 1998 with the technology (yield) of 1950, it would have required 1,800 ha of land of the same quality — an increase in cultivated area of 1,150 million ha over the 650 million ha that were actually used.
Even in regions where land is more abundant, the adoption of high-yield agriculture has spared millions of hectares for other uses. How many hectares of forest would have been destroyed, how many species of plant and wildlife would have been pushed to extinction, had traditional low-yielding agriculture continued?
I continue to be astonished by the claims of some ecologists that the world can do without chemical nitrogenous fertilisers. To equal current annual consumption of 82 million nutrient tonnes of nitrogen, some 2.9 billion tonnes of cattle manure would be needed, which would probably require an eight- to 10-fold increase in the global cattle population. Imagine the feeding and environmental consequences of maintaining such a number of livestock.
Farmers by all means should strive to return organic matter and nutrients to the soil, through appropriate crop rotations, and use green manure crops and animal manures. But we should also heed the research of Professor Vaclav Smil, which indicates that without chemical nitrogenous fertilisers, only 60 per cent of our world population can be supported (given available technology).
Somehow, we have failed to communicate to the public that it makes no difference to a plant whether the nitrate ion it "eats" comes from a bag of urea or from decomposing organic matter.
The new tools of biotechnology will permit us to speed the development of improved cultivars with higher genetic yield potential, increased resistance to diseases and insects, and greater tolerance to drought, heat, cold, and soil toxicities. By incorporating genes for crop protection into the seed, production costs can be reduced, as well as the need to use pesticides. This is good for farmers, the environment, and consumers.
I believe that scientists who have been part of bringing the benefits of high-yield technology to the 20th century must speak up when pseudo-science is used to spread fear and misinformation about agricultural technology among the masses, including political leaders who consequently make disastrous policies.
T D Lysenko and his pseudo-scientific propaganda did enormous damage to individual scientists and to Soviet agriculture. Let us not be misled into believing that such a scientific "Dark Age" could never happen in India or Europe or the US, especially if those who know better do not stand up for a more balanced debate.
Let us remember the courageous decisions made by C Subramaniam that ignited the Green Revolution in 1966 — even when other Cabinet members baulked at the plan. Thank God, Subramaniam was not paralysed by the "precautionary principle," as seems to be the case today.
Look at the results — a six-fold increase in wheat production and a three-fold increase in rice production over the past 40 years. How would 500 million additional Indians have been fed without this great transformation in production?
As impressive as these technological achievements have been — and despite the fact that India is overflowing with buffer grain stocks — poverty and hunger continue to haunt upwards of 40 per cent of the population.
While inequitable food distribution is not a consequence of agricultural science and technology — but rather failed government rural development policies — we cannot rest until adequate nutrition and health care reach every citizen. I am convinced that the wise use of biotechnology will be crucial to achieving this goal.
Courtesy: Liberty Institute, New Delhi

Fwd: Mahajan: Man and myth by Sandhya Jain

may 9th

i believe mahajan's murder was a conspiracy; it was far too much like the king birendra murder in its modus operandi.

i am inclined to believe the chinese and the marxists were behind it. for mahajan had potential and he was no friend of china. vigilant observers would have noticed that george fernandes was recently humiliated by his own party, and he was no friend of china, either.

quite interestingly, a congress leader (who is also a lawyer) told me that well, mahajan was a person of loose morals, and who knows, maybe he had made a pass at pravin mahajan's wife or daughter.

this is how a whispering campaign starts, with absolutely no basis in fact. of course, via a few retellings, it will become 'truth by repeated assertion'.

the implication is that mahajan, well, he was a bad person, so he deserved to be shot and killed. lynch-mobs: i wonder what the courts are for, in that case.

i suspect the same argument is being made in the case of suryanarayana, the engineer beheaded by the taliban. why, suryanarayana was a bad person, he had a secret second wife and child, so he deserved to be beheaded.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: J
Date: May 8, 2006 5:22 AM
Subject: Mahajan: Man and myth by Sandhya Jain
To: J

Mahajan: Man and myth by Sandhya Jain

By Sandhya Jain
The Organiser
Saturday, May 6, 2006
Sunday, May 7, 2006

Even in his last cogent moments, Bharatiya Janata
Party leader Pramod Mahajan proved he was made of a
different mettle. Far from losing his nerve at the
unexpected dastardly attack upon him, Mr. Mahajan kept
his wits about him, directing his wife to call close
relations and take him to the nearby Hinduja Hospital.
Reports say he also wanted her not to involve the
police and implicate his younger brother; it is
possible he did not understand the seriousness of his
injuries and expected to recover and hush up matters
within the family.

In a sense, it was a perfect postscript to a life
lived king-size - managing difficult, even painful,
matters with leonine fortitude and rising above the
mundane world and its puny people. So when he took his
final call at the promising age of 56, Mahajan finally
achieved the status of 'hriday samrat,' which had
eluded him in an otherwise successful public career.

While we do not know the real motives or conspirators
behind the attack on Mr. Mahajan, it seems unlikely to
be as simple as suggested. BJP leader Vijay Kumar
Malhotra has hinted as much by comparing his departure
with that of Shyama Prasad Mukerjee and Deen Dayal
Upadhyay, who too, were struck down in the prime of
their political lives. For now, the identity of the
assailant has thrown the spotlight upon the former
Minister's tender years, and these give us a rare
insight into the real man behind the public persona.

Mahajan, the eldest of five siblings, had to cut short
his career as a sub-editor when his father died and
return home to Beed help his mother raise the family.
He assumed the responsibility manfully, becoming a
school teacher to provide for the family and joining
the RSS out of an ideological affinity. The most
striking aspect of this story is Mahajan's utter lack
of a sense of victimhood. Far from perceiving his
family as a burden that crushed his youth, he retained
the energy and individuality to pursue his own dreams
without compromising his duties. Over the years, two
sisters and two brothers were married and settled, and
Mahajan found his own life partner in a youth

The ability to shoulder responsibilities propelled
Mahajan into public life. But he was no ordinary
manager of men and money, no mere fund-raiser or
smooth talker. He has been unfairly projected as the
BJP's laptop-mobile politician, a kind of political
nouveau riche who knew how to traverse the treacherous
terrain of the corporate world, when he was equally at
home in the narrow gullies were votes are raked in.
Above all, he belonged to that rare breed of
politicians who did not shirk responsibility when
things went wrong; the second in command who did not
jump ship even if the captain did. This came out most
starkly when he was blamed for the excessive slickness
of the 'India Shining' campaign, which was indirectly
blamed for the BJP's defeat in 2004. Mahajan took the
call, even though the topmost BJP leadership avoided a
genuine introspection of the causes for the defeat,
which surely lay in the multiple sins of omission and
commission of the NDA regime.

Mahajan's apparent brashness, his devil-may-care
bravado when things went wrong, often concealed his
deep ideological commitment to his parent
organization, the RSS, and also his personal
discipline and loyalty to the BJP. While the BJP
teetered between ad hocism and incoherence in the
aftermath of its defeat, he observed party discipline
and accepted all public chastisement, taking the flak
for the Maharashtra defeat and playing second fiddle
in the Bihar elections. At the same time, he did not
hesitate to organize the party's national council or
silver jubilee celebrations, where he received the
cryptic sobriquet of 'Laxman.' I remember being asked
what I thought of it as other colleagues scrambled to
share the title; some dubbed themselves as 'Hanuman.'
My response was spontaneous: none of these epic
characters made it to the throne. Sadly, this was to
be true of Pramod Mahajan, though like others, I had
also envisaged him as a future leader.

During the unsavoury Jinnah controversy, Mahajan
rallied quietly behind the RSS on the issue of
ideological deviance. His statement that he was a long
distance runner and was not among those squabbling for
the top job helped the RSS clinch matters in favour of
Mr. Rajnath Singh. It was also his finest hour - the
surrender of position for an immeasurable elevation in

More significantly, it signalled the return to roots
and values by second rung leaders, the very persons
whose outwardly affluent lifestyles were used by an
influential section to proclaim the irrelevance of
ideology. In this context, it may be pertinent to
mention that if Pramod Mahajan was really killed
because his brother wanted far more advantages from
his position than were reasonable to expect, it
follows that Mahajan had not indulged in excessive
nepotism after initially helping his brothers to stand
on their own feet. It is a sobering thought.

Pramod Mahajan's myriad qualities were often submerged
in the politicking by his fellow politicos. Yet even
they could not deny him due credit - it was he who
conceived the winning alliance with the Shiv Sena in
Maharashtra, breaking the Congress stranglehold over
that crucial state. Indeed, he had the uncanny knack
of forging winning political alliances, and helped sew
up many of the deals that led to the formation of the
NDA. In the days to come, the BJP will realize the
true nature of its loss.

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

swami sandip chaitanya on DD malayalam on the gita

may 6th

for malayalam speakers:

the absolutely fabulous akhanda gita yajna by swami sandip chaitanya of
the chinmaya mission is available every night mon - sat on Doordarsan
malayalam from 9:30 to 10:00

this swami is incredible: so young and so knowledgeable and yet so
down-to-earth. never pedantic, but so engrossing! i would love to get
audio CDs of his satsangs to put on my ipod, but his previous program
was only made available on video CDs.

'friends of tibet' suggests boycott of 'The Hindu'

may 6th

this is especially for you, iamdemocracy.

for a change, you can actually *do* something -- actively supporting
this campaign -- rather than just whining about others not doing things.

i expect you to report back to this blog how many people you have
convinced to sign the petition, and how many of them are going to
boycott the paper.

i am still awaiting with bated breath your report on the number of
people you have convinced in february, march, april and may about how
badly hindus are treated in india. to refresh everyone's memory,
iamdemocracy had asserted that the problems of hindus were too widely
known to bear repeating. my suggestion to him was that he go out and
convince 10 people every week about the truth of apartheid against
hindus, and each of them would in turn convince 10 others, and so on.
pretty soon we'd have a minor revolution on our hands, as simple, pure
information reaches hundreds of people.

but i haven't seen any evidence of this yet.

makes me wonder, iamdemocracy, gasp, is it that you are just yet another
'little emperor' who expects others to do your bidding while you
pontificate at them?


From: Friends of Tibet <>

'Save The Hindu' Campaign

The Hindu, one of the most credible and trusted newspapers in
the country has many things to its credit. Chief among them is
the appointment of an Ombudsman or a Readers' Editor in a
newspaper for the first time in the history of Indian
journalism. This 127-year-old newspaper with 3.8 million
readers has a different story to tell ever since N Ram, who
describes himself as "An Indian who has no sympathy for the
Dalai Lama's separatist and backward looking agenda", took
charge as the editor-in-chief of the newspaper on July 1,

Friends of Tibet has learned that the editorial board of The
Hindu led by N Ram has instructed their centres not to carry
any 'Tibet', 'Dalai Lama' and 'Falun Gong' stories criticising
the policies of the Chinese government. Instead of depending
on reliable news agencies like PTI, UNI, IANS, Reuters, AP and
AFP, The Hindu has found a Beijing-based news-agency to fetch
stories - The Xinhua - world's biggest propaganda agency
belonging to the Chinese Communist Party. Probably The Hindu
is the only newspaper in the country to reproduce Xinhua
reports. Today The Hindu has virtually become a mouthpiece of
the Chinese Communist Party.

Perhaps unique in the world because of its role, size, and
reach, Xinhua reports directly to the Chinese Communist
Party's Propaganda Department and employs more than 10,000
people. The head of the Xinhua has the rank of a minister.
Successor to the agency, Red China that was founded by Mao
Zedong, Xinhua adopted its current name in January 1937. Since
October 1949, this state-run news-agency has been completely
subordinate to the Chinese Communist Party and remains the
voice of the sole party.

A card-holding member of the Communist Party in India who had
been to China and occupied-Tibet at least fifteen times in
junkets mostly arranged by the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, N
Ram is also the mastermind behind 'India-China Association of
Journalists', an embassy-sponsored organisation specialising
in arranging pleasure trips for Indian journalists. This new
strategy of Beijing has already won the hearts of some of our
best journalists. Ironically it is only when the Tamil Nadu
Police entered The Hindu office premises in Chennai, N Ram who
calls the killing of a million Tibetans by China's occupying
forces 'a myth', got enlightened about freedom.

We believe that it is immoral from the side of an Editor to drag
some of the eminent journalists to do ethically-wrong
reporting for The Hindu and Frontline and also to use a
democratic forum - freedom of the press - to advance the cause
of an autocratic regime.

'Save The Hindu' Campaign is an attempt to save the newspaper
and also to expose Xinhua - Chinese government's propaganda
agency to its readers. Let us use the opportunity to write to
the newly-appointed Readers' Editor about our concerns on The
Hindu policies on various issues including Tibet.

For a case study and to sign a petition online, go to:

(The Petition will to be submitted to the newly-appointed
Readers' Editor of The Hindu.)
Friends of Tibet, PO Box: 16674,
Bombay 400050, India.
Tel: +91.22.26409612 / Mobile: +91.9388465953 / +91.9418079832
Friends of Tibet is a global movement to keep alive the issue
of Tibet through direct action. Our activities are aimed at
ending China's occupation of Tibet and the suffering of the
Tibetan people. Friends of Tibet supports the continued
struggle of the Tibetan people for independence.

[Fwd: NGOs spreading disaffection]

may 6th

this is yet another purely political ploy by white christist
fundamentalists and their temporary pals, the marxists.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: NGOs spreading disaffection
Date: Fri, 5 May 2006 15:55:01 EDT
*US-funded NGOs spreading disaffection
*By Sandhya Jain

The American Academy for Religion (AAR) has sought data on the number of
major Hindu temples in India that are patronized by caste Hindus and
have ex-untouchable priests. This is doubly mischievous because if AAR
means OBCs when it talks of ‘caste Hindus’ as opposed to upper caste

Under the guise of human rights and freedom of religion, America has for
some time been promoting certain activists from weaker sections, who
regularly report to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom
(USCIRF) and the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights
and Labour, about India’s internal affairs. Now, American academics are
synergizing their work with the political concerns of their government,
seeking to aggravate and exploit differences in Hindu society.

The American Academy for Religion (AAR) has sought data of a number of
major Hindu temples in India that are patronized by caste Hindus and
have ex-untouchable priests. This is doubly mischievous because if AAR
means OBCs when it talks of ‘caste Hindus’ as opposed to upper caste
Hindus, then it would know very well that it is the OBCs who oppose the
entry of SCs/STs in temples. This kind of study by an outside agency is
dangerously divisive, and a combative Hindu intellectual has countered
that Indian intellectuals should in turn ask how many American churches
attended by White people have Black priests.

In any case, since the Hindu tradition is not centralized in the manner
that denominational churches are, it is unlikely that any such
statistics would be available in Hindu society, and the concerned
academics would certainly know this. They would also be aware that there
are several gurus and paramparas in India today that are training
SCs/STs as priests, should they desire to be priests. What is
interesting to note, however, is that SC/ST desire to have temples with
Brahmin priests, because they feel confident that they know the proper
way to conduct pujas!

Another question is how many formerly lower caste Hindu leaders have a
significant following among the other castes. Politically, Smt Mayawati
is way ahead of all leaders in Uttar Pradesh, and in Bihar, Shri Ram
Vilas Paswan has a certain following. In the spiritual tradition, one of
the most important leaders is Ma Amritanandamayi, a woman from the
fisherman caste, whose most loyal devotees belong to the upper castes.
Thus, the tradition of overlooking the caste of a realized saint is very
much alive in India. But I can’t think of a single significant Black
politician in the United States who would be cultivated by White people;
not even the late Martin Luther King, or a Hispanic or Native American
spiritual leader with a White Anglo Saxon following.

Becoming more overtly political, the American scholars want to know how
many SCs/STs figure on the VHP’s governing board. Here I think the more
pertinent question would be how many such persons figure in the Congress
Working Committee, especially as that party flourished for decades on
SCs/STs support, and is today headed by a White European Catholic, whose
Government is committed to such token affirmative action. Even more
pertinently, since the Church has long evangelized most of the African
continent, how many Black cardinals are there in the Vatican, and how
many bishops in the Baptist, Adventist, Methodist and other churches?

The American scholars wonder why former weaker sections form separate
sects of their own rather than with other castes; and whether they
prefer to call themselves Dalits or Harijans in order to gain the
respect of caste Hindus. It is obvious that the questions are more
political than academic, and such studies are intended to promote the
agendas of successive American administrations in interfering in the
internal affairs of other countries.

Hindu society does not have sects; by definition, sects are splinter
groups within monotheistic religions. I do not know if American Blacks
are a separate sect or not, but it is a fact that covert discrimination
even today compels them to have separate churches, and this apparently
applies to other ethnic minorities in that country. Moreover, those
minorities do not get respect by calling themselves Christian, but they
get a political value by calling themselves Black, Hispanic, Korean,
Chinese and seeking safety in numbers. Hindu society is a concentric
circle of jatis, which are cohesive social groups claiming descent from
a common ancestor, or some other common affinity. Thus, SCs/STs that
adopted the Sikh faith constituted themselves into the Ramgarhia
community, to distinguish themselves from their former Hindu brethren.
Proliferation and distinction go hand in hand in India, and do not lead
to disintegration or division.

In this context, it is worth mentioning that just as the dominant White
Christians have failed to assimilate other groups on an equal basis in
their own societies, despite converting them to their faith, so also in
India the church has failed to uplift the weaker sections despite luring
them away from Hindu society on the pretext of granting them social
equality and economic mobility. The church has inflicted grievous
injuries upon its constituents from weaker sections, forcing them to
build separate churches or to sit in segregated areas of the church,
take their dead to separate cemeteries, take holy water and communion

Christian activists of weaker sections estimate that church institutions
and Christian NGOs together receive approximately Rs. 2,500 crore of
foreign aid annually, but there is no intra-community transparency
regarding the utilization of these funds. Christian bodies earn huge
incomes from elite schools, colleges and hospitals managed by them, as
also from massive commercial properties they own in major cities. Yet
weaker sections which comprise the bulk of the community get no share of
its enormous wealth.

It is a travesty of justice that the church is now shifting the burden
of its responsibility to the Indian Government and demanding reservation
benefits for the weaker section Christians. The latter were misled away
from the Hindu fold and then betrayed by denying them a just share in
the church’s colossal resources.

According to Census 2001, there are 24.20 million Christians in India,
more than half of whom belong to the weaker section of South India. Yet
power in the Indian church is jealously guarded by priests belonging to
upper castes. The 200-member Catholic Bishops Conference of India will
never disclose the number of bishops or cardinals from weaker sections,
possibly because there are none. The UPA government has done the rich
Christian educational institutions a favour by exempting minority
institutions from the burden of reservation quotas that have been (and
are being) extended elsewhere, so they are literally without
accountability to their poorer brethren.

[Fwd: Ideology and race in India's early history]

may 6th

sensible, even-handed analysis by a history teacher.

of course, she will be called a 'race-traitor' by m karunanidhi and
other 'dravidians'. and what if she is a non-brahmin from tamil nadu? m
karunanidhi et al will have a fit.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Ideology and race in India's early history
Date: Fri, 5 May 2006 18:23:19 -0400
From: S. Kalyanaraman

Ideology and Race in India's Early History1

Padma Manian
San Jose City College

Probably without realizing it, World History textbooks often take
sides in an ideologically charged controversy over the role of race in
India's early history. Their account of the so-called Aryan invasions
may reflect nineteenth-century Eurocentric scholarship that privileged
lighter skinned peoples over darker skinned ones. Alternatively, it
may show a na¥ve endorsement of recent books by Indians and Westerners
that owe as much to ideology as to evidence. Certainly the facts don't
speak as clearly as most textbooks confidently represent them.
I have taught World History at colleges in the United States for
many years. When it came to the early history of India, I once taught
that "Aryans" invaded India in 1500 B.C.E., conquered the "Dravidians"
and then became predominant. This is what I had learned in elementary
school, high school and college courses in India. This is still what
is taught in most textbooks. About ten years ago, I became aware of
challenges to the idea of the Aryan invasion and decided to look more
critically at what World History textbooks were saying about this
topic. My study was published in the History Teacher.2 More than half
of the textbooks I examined stated that the ancient Harappan
civilization was "burned, destroyed and left in rubble by invading
Aryan-speaking tribes." These Aryans were "virile people, fond of war,
drinking, chariot racing and gambling" and were also "tall, blue-eyed
and fair-skinned." The defeated natives were "short, black,
nose-less." The victorious Aryans had a "strong sense of racial
superiority" and "strove to prevent mixture with their despised
subjects". Accordingly they evolved the caste system with the lighter
skinned Aryans at the top.
In fact, archaeologists have been aware for several decades that
Aryan invasions had nothing to do with the demise of the Harappan
civilization.3 In contrast, most of the textbooks relied on out-dated
sources and presented erroneous material.
Although there is consensus among well-informed students of Indian
history that Aryan invasions had nothing to do with the demise of the
Harappan civilization, there is a contentious debate underway both in
India as well as in the rest of the world regarding whether there was
an invasion of Aryans into India around 1500 B.C.E (that is, after the
end of the Harappan civilization). The Indians who favor the invasion
theory are largely of a progressive or leftist political persuasion.
They believe that the iniquities of the caste system are a result of
the Aryan invasion. For such Indians, questioning the invasion theory
would undermine the work of redressing the injustices of the caste
system. It would be akin to Holocaust denial. On the other hand, many
Indians who doubt the invasion theory view it as a matter of national
pride that their civilization is rooted in the ancient past on Indian
soil and is not a result of barbarian invaders a mere 3500 years ago.
Each side believes that ideological commitment blinds the other side
from seeing the true facts. Western supporters of the invasion theory
are accused of intellectual inertia. They are also diagnosed as
suffering from "the Liberal White Man's Burden" — the guilt that some
Western scholars and journalists feel for the sins of their fathers in
perpetrating racism and imperialism in modern times. This predisposes
them to believe in the idea that their Aryan ancestors committed
similar crimes 3500 years ago. It is argued that the desire of Western
liberals to atone for these sins inclines them to support uncritically
Indian leftist views on the Aryan invasion. As for Western scholars
who question the Aryan invasion theory, they are accused of being
sympathetic to the Indian right wing and, if they have no affiliation
with academic institutions, of lacking the credentials to justify
commenting on history. This debate can be followed on the Internet and
is interesting in its own right. 4
Recent advances in molecular genetics have opened a promising
approach to settle these questions, although the evidence at this
stage remains inconclusive. Bamshad et al. studied the DNA of people
from the Andhra region of Southern India and compared them to
Africans, Europeans and East Asians.4 The mitochondrial DNA
(transmitted matrilineally) of all castes was more similar to that of
East Asians than of Africans or Europeans. The DNA of the Y-chromosome
(transmitted patrilineally) of all castes was however more similar to
that of Europeans than of East Asians or Africans. Moreover the higher
castes were more similar to Europeans than were the lower castes. The
authors conclude that "Indians are of proto-Asian origin with West
Eurasian admixture" due to the Aryan invasion. The majority of the
Aryan invaders were men who transmitted their European Y-chromosome to
their sons born from the native women and placed themselves at the top
of the caste hierarchy. But the maternal lineage remains largely
"proto-Asian." The analogy, not explicitly stated in the paper,
corresponds to Latin American countries where the conquistadors mated
with native women to produce a largely mestizo population, with those
at the high end of the social scale having the highest proportion of
European ancestry. However, there are inconsistencies in the data. In
Table 3,5 the lower castes are closer to Asians than to Europeans and
the higher castes are closer to the Europeans than to Asians but not
very much so. But in Table 46 all castes are much closer to Europeans
than to Asians. Then in Table 5,7 the lower castes are again closer to
Asians. In Table 4, the upper castes have a "genetic distance" of
0.265 from West Europeans and 0.073 from East Europeans. This would
imply that East Europeans are closer to upper caste Indians than they
are to West Europeans! The one set of data that does not use a
calculation of "genetic distance" and which is therefore more reliable
is Table 2.8 This table shows that the upper castes have 61% Asian
maternal lineages, 23.7% West Eurasian lineages and 15.3% other.
However, the 23.7% West Eurasian number includes 16.9% from the U2i
lineage that the paper itself says is India-specific, and moreover is
50,000 years old.9 Therefore in calculating the fraction of West
Eurasian lineages that Aryan women brought into India with the 1500
B.C.E. invasion, the U2i component should be subtracted. Only 6.8% of
maternal lineages of the upper castes could have come with the
invasion. The invasion looks very conquistador-like indeed! 5
Another recent paper has looked at the genetics of the Indian
population: Kivisild et al.10 The authors state that "Indian tribal
and caste populations derive largely from the same genetic heritage of
Pleistocene southern and western Asians and have received limited gene
flow from external regions since the Holocene."11 They looked at some
markers on the Y-chromosome that are widespread among Greeks and other
Europeans and found that of the 325 Indian chromosomes of diverse
caste and geographical background, none had these markers. From
statistical considerations, this implied that the European
contribution to male lineages in India is less than 3%. Kivisild et
al. also suggest "early southern Asian Pleistocene coastal settlers
from Africa would have provided the inocula for the subsequent
differentiation of the distinctive eastern and western Eurasian gene
pools." Other researchers, such as Macaulay et al., take this
suggestion further.12 They claim to have found evidence that there was
only a single dispersal of modern humans from Africa and that this
dispersal was through India. According to this account, several
generations of the ancestors of all non-African people would have
lived in India. The ancestors of Western Eurasians (including
Europeans) would have spent several thousand years in India until the
climate improved to allow them to migrate North and West out of India
about 45000 years ago.
Let us go back now to how the commonly accepted date of 1500
B.C.E. for the Aryan Invasion of India was proposed. It is not based
on any archaeological evidence, but instead was based on Friedrich Max
Mueller's linguistic work in the nineteenth century explaining the
similarity of the Indo-European languages. In his view, the speakers
of the Indo-European languages are descended from Japheth, one of the
sons of Noah, the speakers of Hebrew from Shem and Africans and Indian
Dravidians from Ham, the least favored of Noah's sons (Ham and his
line were accursed because of Ham's disrespect of Noah). Since the
Flood can be dated from the genealogies of the Bible to be around 2500
B.C.E. and the Vedas were ancient scripture at the time of the Buddha
(around 500 B.C.E.), the Aryans (said Max Mueller) likely invaded
India and defeated the Dravidian descendants of Ham around 1500 B.C.E.
Around the same time, the Israeli descendants of Shem were defeating
another of Ham's descendants, the Canaanites. Max Mueller dated the
composition of the earliest of the Vedas to around 1200 B.C.E.,
allowing the Aryans a few centuries to get settled in India.
Those who challenge the Aryan invasion theory, however, believe
the Vedas to be much older than 1200 B.C.E. A key piece of evidence is
that the Sarasvati is the most important river in the Rig Veda but is
at present a small stream that gets lost in the desert. Proponents for
an ancient date for the composition of the Vedas argue that since the
river dried up in about 1900 B.C.E., the Vedas must have been composed
before then.
I expect that the question of whether there was an Aryan invasion
and whether it occurred around 1500 B.C. E. will be resolved soon by a
combination of genetic studies and by geologists dating the ancient
courses of dried-up rivers in the Indian desert. In the meantime,
teachers of history and textbooks would do well to present both sides
of the debate instead of ignoring the existence of the debate.
Biographical Note: Padma Manian received her B.A. from Madras
University, India and her Ph.D. in History from Miami University,
Oxford, Ohio. She taught World History for five years at the
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She now teaches U.S. History and
Women's History at San Jose City College, California.


1 The author would like to thank Professor David Fahey of Miami
University, Ohio for his valuable suggestions in improving this

2 Padma Manian, "Harappans and Aryans: Old and New Perspectives of
Ancient Indian History," The History Teacher 32:1 (November 1998),

3 See, for example, Mark Kenoyer's essay at: (1996).

4 Bamshad et al., "Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste
Populations," Genome Research 11 (2001), 994-1004. Also available at:

5 Bamshad, 998.

6 Bamshad, 999.

7 Bamshad, 1000.

8 Bamshad, 996.

9 Bamshad, 1000.

10 Kivisild et al., "The Genetic Heritage of the Earliest Settlers
Persists Both in Indian Tribal and Caste Populations," Amerian Journal
of Human Genetics 72 (2003), 313-332. Also available at

11 The Holocene refers to a period beginning approximately 11,000 years ago.

12 Macaulay et al., "Single Rapid Costal Settlement of Asia Revealed
by Analysis of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes," Science 308 (2005),
1034-1036. Also available at:

Friday, May 05, 2006

krishen kak on double standards

may 5th

Ghazis Hindustani

May 5, 2006

Thoughts on issues of current interest, including instances of some double standards of our public figures, especially in the construction of Hindustani identity (all those Macaulayan myths, and the hypocrisy that is Nehruvian secularism) - Krishen Kak

The previous Vicharamala showed how Aamir Khan, in reel life "Raja Hindustani", in real life is Ghazi Hindustani. This offering introduces to you some more Ghazis Hindustani.

Between 1986 and 1992, at least 93 temples in Kashmir have been documented as destroyed by Muslims ( Atrocities/Temples/index.html ). Neither the Government of India nor the Supreme Court of India nor any Nehruvian secularist felt any need to intervene and prevent the destruction of Hindu shrines and cultural symbols.

In early 2005,.in the historic temple city of Madurai, some 250 temples (including those a century old) were demolished, following a High Court order, by the municipal authorities ( ). Neither the Government of India nor the Supreme Court of India nor any Nehruvian secularist felt any need to intervene and prevent the destruction of Hindu shrines and cultural symbols.

In early 2006, following due notice and a High Court order, municipal authorities in Vadodara demolished 42 temples ( ). Neither the Government of India nor the Supreme Court of India nor any Nehruvian secularist felt any need to intervene and prevent the destruction of Hindu shrines and cultural symbols.

On May 01, 2006, as part of the same demolition drive, and following due notice and even an offer of land in exchange, a dargah was demolished, and Muslims reacted with an orgy of violence, including arson at the sessions court because it did not stay the demolition of the dargah. Four persons (both Hindu and Muslim) were killed. The Union Home Secretary spoke to the State Chief Secretary, the National Commission for Minorities intervened with the State Government, and the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs rushed to Vadodara to later declare that "the Vadodara administration could have avoided the demolition of the dargah in view of the people's sentiments". A few days later, though the local situation was under control and the Union Home Secretary said the State authorities "are doing their job", the Government of India filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court promptly stayed the High Court order and the demolitions. Among the government arguments that the Supreme Court found persuasive were that this is an "intrinsically sensitive" issue and "that the order if permitted to operate will result in grave and serious consequences on the law and order in the State and may have adverse repercussions on the 'secular fabric' of the nation as a whole". It is to be noted that the High Court order had been to "take immediate steps for removal of encroachment of religious structures on the public space without any discrimination" and this is exactly what the authorities had done. All affected religious communities cooperated, except the Muslim ( ; ; ; ; ; ; ; "Vadodara incident-free as Army stages flag march", The Hindu, May 5, 2006).

..... more

A day earlier to the dargah demolition, Muslims massacred 35 Hindus in J&K. The Prime Minister of India was concerned enough to issue a statement and the Union Home Minister said that such killings will not derail the peace process ( ; ). Neither the National Human Rights Commission nor the Supreme Court of India felt the killing of Hindus by Muslims warranted their intervention.