feds putting money where their mouth is. VCs also.
at the end of all this, there will be some alternative energy breakthroughs.
U.S. DOE to give renewable startups access to labs
In today's society, if you ask for equality, it is branded unfair & communal. Check out this link: http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/feb/29budget48.htm
Women have exemption upto Rs.1,80,000 while men upto Rs.1,50,000. Why the discrepancy?
Wouldn't men in a lower income in today's Indian society have much greater responsibilities to fulfill in terms of raising a family.
Equality please, for men & women everywhere... Even in taxes...
We Indians/Hindus have payed Jizya tax for a long time under the Mughals & the Deccan Sultanate. For the uninitiated, the Jizya tax is money paid by non-Muslims to Muslims under the Shariat.
Jalauddin Akbar briefly abolished the tax in his later years, but his son, Jehangir alias Salim prompty reinstated it when he came to power.
Details of 'communal' budgeting and the Jizya tax in doublespeak below, from the above link:
SC, ST, OBC and Minorities
42. Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, socially and educationally backward classes, and minorities will continue to receive special attention.
Development and Finance Corporations
43. Development and Finance Corporations have been set up for certain disadvantaged groups. I propose to contribute additional equity to these corporations in the following manner:
National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation 75.00
Three National Finance and Development Corporations for Weaker Sections comprising
(i) Safai Karamcharis
(ii) Scheduled Castes
(iii) Backward Classes 106.50
National/State Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporations 50.00
National Handicapped Development Corporation 9.00
44. In previous Budgets, we had announced a slew of pre- and post-matric scholarship programmes for SC, ST, OBC and minorities. All of them will be continued in 2008-09 with adequate funds as summarised below:
Scheduled Castes Rs.804 crore
Scheduled Tribes Rs.195 crore
Other Backward Classes Rs.164 crore
Minorities (post-matric) Rs.100 crore
45. I propose to allocate a sum of Rs.75 crore in 2008-09 to the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship Programme. As Honourable Members are aware, this programme supports SC and ST students pursuing M.Phil and PhD courses.
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
46. Following the practice initiated in 2005-06, I have included in the Budget documents a statement on the schemes for the welfare of SCs and STs. I have provided Rs.3,966 crore for schemes benefiting SCs and STs exclusively and Rs.18,983 crore for schemes where at least 20 per cent of the benefits are earmarked for SCs and STs.
47. The allocation to the Ministry of Minority Affairs will be increased from Rs.500 crore in 2007-08 to Rs.1,000 crore in 2008-09. Government has taken up the report of the Justice Rajindar Sachar Committee for speedy implementation. Apart from the schemes commenced in 2007-08, it is proposed to implement the following schemes/measures in 2008-09:
� a multi-sectoral development plan for each of the 90 minority concentration districts will be drawn up at a cost of Rs.3,780 crore. The allocation in 2008-09 will be Rs.540 crore;
� a pre-matric scholarship scheme with an allocation of Rs.80 crore next year;
� a scheme for modernising Madrassa education for which a provision of Rs.45.45 crore has been made in 2008-09;
� 256 branches of public sector banks have been opened this year until December 2007 in districts with substantial minority population. 288 more will be opened by March 2008 and many more in
� continuing the exercise started this year, more candidates belonging to the minority communities will be recruited to the Central Para-Military Forces.
48. I also propose to provide Rs.60 crore to enhance the corpus fund of the Maulana Azad Education Foundation.
"Wednesday marked the sixth anniversary of the deadly train fire in the town of Godhra which helped trigger the riots in the Hindu-dominated state.deleted
Fifty-nine passengers, most of them Hindu pilgrims, died in the fire, which broke out shortly after a scuffle with Muslim tea and food vendors at the train station. Dozens of Muslim men have been jailed, accused of plotting to murder the Hindu passengers. A central government committee ruled that the fire was an accident"
A book compiled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's daughter belittling characters of Ramayana has snowballed into a major controversy with the BJP threatening nation-wide stir against it for it "hurting Hindu sentiment".deleted
The book prescribed for second year undergraduate students of the Delhi University dubs Hanuman as the "henchman" of Lord Ram and calls him a "tiny monkey". At one place it portrays Sita as the daughter of Ravana and at another place it accuses Hanuman and Ravana of seducing Sita.
These "derogatory references" are contained in an article titled 'Three hundred Ramayanas: Five examples and three thoughts on translation' that forms part of the book compiled by Prime Minister's daughter, Upinder Singh, who is a professor of ancient history in Delhi University.
"The book has assaulted the religious sentiments of Hindus. This is not tolerable. We would like it to be removed from the course. Else, we would be forced to take it to the streets," BJP's deputy leader in Lok Sabha Vijay Kumar Malhotra said.
Maintaining that the BJP was not against freedom of expression, Malhotra said his party did not want the book to be banned, but only withdrawn from the curriculum.
The article that has agitated many Hindu outfits talks about Ravana conceiving Sita as a result of eating the fruit given by Lord Shiva, which was for his wife Mandodri. Eventually, it says, Ravana gave birth to Sita through nasal sneeze (Sita meaning sneeze in Kannada) and out of public shame left Sita in the fields of king Janak!
The $25-billion conglomerate Reliance or other deep- pocketed suitors may also be considering a buyout of ailing chip makers like AMD, say industry observers.
with Jewish leaders
Feb. 24 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio
By Ami Eden of the Jewish Telegraphic Association
About 100 Jewish communal leaders attended this
meeting. Whoever recorded the remarks was only able to
get Obama's answers, not the actual questions from the
For the most part, Obama sought to reassure the
audience on Israel, Iran, his church, his pastor, his
foreign policy advisers, his religion. At the
same time, he picked a few spots to push back against
some of his critics in the Jewish community.
Here are the key quotes:
WE NEED 'TIKKUN OLAM' IN WASHINGTON: "We need to
change how Washington works because politics shouldn't
just be about scoring political points, it should also
be about solving problems. We need to change our
priorities to make healthcare more affordable. To have
an energy policy that not only creates jobs and
secures our planet but also stops sending billions of
dollars to dictators and effectively leads us to fund
both sides of the war on
terrorism. We need a change in our foreign policy to
allows to end the war in Iraq responsibly and lead the
world against the common threats of the
21st century, terrorism and nuclear proliferation,
genocide, poverty and hopelessness in the world. These
changes are founded in a view of the world
that I believe is deeply imbedded in the Jewish
tradition. That all of us have a responsibility to do
our part to repair the world. That we can take
care of one another and build strong communities
grounded in faith and family. That repairing the world
is a task that each of us is called upon to
take up every single day. That is the spirit that I
expect to take with me to the White House."
STAND BY YOUR ISRAEL: "I will also carry with me an
unshakable commitment to the security of Israel and
the friendship between the United States and
Israel. The US Israel relationship is rooted in shared
interests, shared values, shared history and in deep
friendship among our people. It is
supported by a strong bipartisan consensus that I am
proud to be a part of and I will work tirelessly as
president to uphold and enhance the friendship
between the two countries. Two years ago I had a
chance to travel to Israel and it left a lasting
impression on me. I have long understood Israel's
great dilemma, it's need for security in a difficult
neighborhood and it's quest for peace with its
neighbors, but there is no substitute for meeting
the people of Israel. Seeing the terrain, experiencing
the powerful contrast between the beautiful holy land
that faces the constant threat of deadly violence. The
people of Israel showed their courage and commitment
to democracy everyday that they board a bus or kiss
their children goodbye or
argue about politics in a local cafe. And I know how
much Israelis crave peace. I know that Prime Minister
Olmert was elected with a mandate to pursue it. I
pledge to make every effort to help Israel achieve
that peace. I will strengthen Israel's security and
strengthen Palestinian partners who support that
vision and personally work for two states that can
live side by side in peace and security with Israel's
status as a Jewish state ensured so that Israelis and
Palestinians can pursue their dreams. I also expect to
work on behalf of peace with the full knowledge that
Israel still has bitter enemies who are intent on its
destruction. We see their intentions every time a
suicide bomber strikes, we saw their intentions with
the katusha rockets that Hezbollah rained down on
Israel from Lebanon in 2006 and we see it today in the
Kasams that Hamas fires into Israel every single day
from as close as Gaza or as far as Tehran. The Defense
cooperation between t he United States to Israel has
been a model of success and I believe it can be
deepened and strengthened."
IRAN : ALL MILITARY OPTIONS ON THE TABLE, BUT LET'S
TRY SOME AGGRESSIVE DIPLOMACY FIRST: "Now the gravest
threat as [U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.)] mentioned
to Israel today I believe is from Iran. There a
radical regime continues to pursue its capacity to
build a nuclear weapon and continues to support
terrorism across the region. President Ahmadinejad
continues his offensive denials of the Holocaust and
disturbing denunciations of Israel. recently referred
to Israel as a deadly microbe and
a savage animal. Threats of Israel's destruction can
not be dismissed as rhetoric. The threat from Iran is
real and my goal as president would be to eliminate
that threat. Ending the war in Iraq I believe will be
an important first step in achieving that goal because
it will increase our flexibility
and credibility when we deal with Iran. Make no
mistake I believe that Iran has been the biggest
strategic beneficiary of this war and I intend to
change that. My approach to Iran will be aggressive
diplomacy. I will not take any military options off
the table. But I also believe that under this
administration we have seen the threat grow worse and
I intend to change that course. The time I believe has
come to talk to directly to the Iranians
and to lay out our clear terms. Their end of pursuit
of nuclear weapons, an end of their support of
terrorism and an end of their threat to Israel and
other countries in the reason. To prepare this goal I
believe that we need to present incentives, carrots,
like the prospect of better relations and integration
into the national community, as well as disincentives
like the prospect of increased sanctions. I would seek
these sanctions through the United Nations and
encourage our friends in Europe and the Gulf to use
their economic leverage against Iran outside of the UN
and I believe we will be in a stronger position to
achieve these tough international sanctions if the
United States has shown itself to be willing to come
to the table. I will also continue the work I started
in the United States Senate by enacting my
legislation to make it easier for states to divest
their pension funds from Iran. As president I will
leave all options on the table for dealing with a
threat from Iran including the military options. But I
believe that we have not pursued the kind of
aggressive and direct diplomacy that could yield
results to both Israel and the United States. The
current policy of not talking is not working. It is
time to change that. I am running for president
because I believe that America can do better both at
home and abroad. I believe that we can do better in
our relationship with Israel through a more effective
foreign policy that reduces the threat of terrorism
and increase the possibility for peace."
I AM NOT, NOR HAVE I EVER BEEN, A MUSLIM
(ESPECIALLY AN ANTI-AMERICAN ONE): "Well, let's just be very
specific about what these emails have been. And
they have just been virulent and started very early.
And I have to say are not. I mean they are clearly
political in the sense that they go in waves.
And seem to track the next primary or caucus. Suddenly
they magically appear in great volume in whatever
state it is we are campaigning. And the emails suggest
A. I am Muslim,
B. I went to a madrassa
C. I used a Koran to swear myself into the Senate
D. I don't pledge allegiance to the flag.
There are all sorts of variations, but you get the
general gist. And our general view has been, that the
internet is very difficult, because it is very low
cost, it can just be churned out and you can't trace
it back to where it's coming from. What we have tried
to do is just make sure that we are flooding the
internet with the accurate information and pushing
back as much as possible. I don't think that we are
in an era anymore where you can just ignore these
things and not dignify them. There was a time when
they would be amplified as consequence of you
calling attention to it. I don't think that's the case
any more because of our media age. You know we saw
what happened with the swift boat situation
back in 2004. All you have to do is run the ad once
and then it gets repeated. And so what we've done is
try to lift it up and actively debunk it and encourage
stories about it. If anyone is still puzzled about the
facts,in fact I have never been a Muslim. We had to
send CNN to look at the school
that I attended in Indonesia where kids were wearing
short pants and listening to ipods to indicate that
this was not a madrassa but was a secular school in
Indonesia. Where I attended for two year prior to
coming back to Hawaii. If you look at Nicholas
Kristof's article today it gives you an indication of
where I got my name. My grandfather who was Kenyan
converted to Christianity then converted to Islam, my
father never practiced he was basically agnostic and
so other than my name and the fact that I lived in a
populous Muslim country for 4 years when I was a child
I have very little connection to the Islamic religion.
But these are the kind of things that you deal with in
politics. What is interesting is that is hasn't worked
because I haven't been voted off the island yet. Next,
I BARELY KNOW BRZEZINSKI: "There is a spectrum of
views in terms of how the US and Israel should be
interacting. It has evolved over time. It means that
somebody like Brzezinski who, when he was national
security advisor would be considered not outside of
the mainstream in terms of his perspective on
these issues, is now considered by many in the Jewish
Community anathema. I know Brzezinski he's not one of
my key advisors. I've had lunch with him once, I've
exchanged emails with him maybe 3 times. He came to
Iowa to introduce for a speech on Iraq. He and I agree
that Iraq was an enormous strategic blunder and that
input from him has been useful in assessing Iraq,
as well as Pakistan, where actually, traditionally, if
you will recall he was considered a hawk. The liberal
wing of the Democratic Party was very
suspicious of Brzezinski precisely because he was so
tough on many of these issues. I do not share his
views with respect to Israel. I have said so
clearly and unequivocally."
YOU CAN BE PRO-ISRAEL WITHOUT BEING PRO-LIKUD: "The
others that you refer to are former members of the
Clinton administration. Somebody like a Tony Lake,
the former National Security Adviser, or Susan Rice
-these are not anti-Israel individuals. These are
people who strongly believe in Israel's right to
exist. Strongly believe in a two-state solution.
Strongly believe that the Palestinians have been
irresponsible and have been strongly critical of them.
Share my view that Israel has to remain a Jewish
state, that the US has a special relationship with the
Jewish state. There's no inkling that there has been
anything in anything that they've written that would
suggest they're not stalwart friends of Israel. This
is where I get to be honest and I hope I'm not out of
school here. I think there is a strain
within the pro-Israel community that says unless you
adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that
you're anti-Israel and that can't be the measure of
our friendship with Israel. If we cannot have a honest
dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then
we're not going to make progress. And frankly some of
the commentary that I've seen which suggests guilt by
association or the notion that unless we are never
ever going to ask any difficult questions about how we
move peace forward or secure Israel that is
non military or non belligerent or doesn't talk about
just crushing the opposition that that somehow is
being soft or anti-Israel, I think we're
going to have problems moving forward. And that I
think is something we have to have an honest dialogue
about. None of these emails talk about the fact
that on the other side, members of my national finance
committee, like Lester Crown, are considered about as
hawkish and tough when it comes to
Israel as anybody in the country. So, there's got to
be some balance here. I've got a range of perspectives
and a range of advisors who approach this
issue. They would all be considered well within the
mainstream of that bipartisan consensus that I raised
or that we talked about in terms of being pro-Israel.
There's never been any of my advisors who questioned
the need for us to provide Israel with security, with
military aid, with economic aid. That there has to be
a two state solution, that Israel has to remain a
Jewish state. None of my advisors would suggest that,
so I think its important to keep some of these things
in perspective. I understand people's concern with
Brzezinski given how much offense the Israeli lobby
raised, but he's not one of my central advisers."
IN SEARCH OF AN UNROMANTIC PEACE PLAN:
"Well here's my starting orientation is
A - Israel's security is sacrosanct, is non
negotiable. That's point number one.
Point number two is that the status quo I believe is
unsustainable over time. So we're going to have to
make a shift from the current deadlock that we're in.
Number three that Israel has to remain a Jewish state
and what I believe that means is that any negotiated
peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians is
going to have to involve the Palestinians
relinquishing the right of return as it has been
understood in the past. And that doesn't mean that
there may not be conversations about compensation
issues. It also means the Israelis will have to figure
out how do we work with a legitimate Palestinian
government to create a Palestinian
state that is sustainable. It's going to have to be
contiguous, its going to have to work its going to
have to function in some way. That's in Israel's
interest by the way. If you have a balkanized
unsustainable state, it will break down and we will be
back in the same boat. So those are the starting
points of my orientation. My goal then would be to
solicit as many practical opinions as possible in
terms of how we're going to move forward on a
improvement of relations and a sustainable peace. The
question that I will be asking any advisor is how does
it achieve the goal of Israel's security
and how does it achieve the goal of sustainability
over the long term and I want practical, hardheaded,
unromantic advice about how we're going to achieve
THE PALESTINIANS NEED TO KEEP THEIR COMMITMENTS:
I have consistently said this, and I have said this to
Palestinians, I said this when I was in
Ramallah, that you cannot fault Israel for being
concerned about any peace agreement if the Palestinian
state or Palestinian Authority or Palestinian
leadership does not seem to be able to follow through
on its commitments. And I think the approach we have
to take with respect to negations is that you sit down
and talk, but you have to suspend trust until you can
see that the Palestinian side can follow through and
that's a position that I have
consistently taken and the one I will take with me to
the White House."
IF ISRAELIS CAN DEBATE THESE ISSUES HONESTLY, SO CAN
WE: One last point I'll make on this, in terms of
advisors and the kind of debate I think is
fruitful, one of the things that struck me when I went
to Israel was how much more open the debate was around
these issues in Israel than they are
sometimes here in the United States. It's very ironic.
I sat down with the head of Israeli security forces
and his view of the Palestinians was
incredibly nuanced because he's dealing with these
people every day. There's good and there's bad, and he
was willing to say sometimes we make mistakes
and we made this miscalculation and if we are just
pressing down on these folks constantly without giving
them some prospects for hope, that's not
good for our security situation. There was a very
honest, thoughtful debate taking place inside Israel.
All of you, I'm sure, have experienced this when
you travel there. Understandably, because of the
pressure that Israel is under, I think the U.S.
pro-Israel community is sometimes a little more
protective or concerned about opening up that
conversation. But all I'm saying though is that
actually ultimately should be our goal, to have that
same clear eyed view about how we approach these
SURE, SOME JEWS THINK THE GOP IS BETTER ON ISRAEL BUT
"Well look, the Jewish community is a)
diverse, b) has interests beyond Israel. There is a the
tradition of the Jewish community in America as a
progressive force that is concerned with the poor, is
concerned with the vulnerable, is concerned with
children, is concerned with civil rights, is
concerned with civil liberties. Those are values that
I believe are much more evident in our Democratic
Party and that can't be forgotten. I think
that what I've seen, and you would know better than I
would, is that to the extent that there's been
bleeding over into the Republican Party, it all has
to do with this issue of Israel. And what I would
simply suggest is look at the consequences George
Bush's policies. The proof is in the point. I do not
understand how anybody who is concerned about Israel's
security and the threat of Iran could be supportive of
George Bush's foreign policy. It has
completely backfired. It is indisputable that Iran is
the biggest strategic beneficiary of the war in Iraq.
We have spent what will soon be close to a trillion
dollars strengthening Iran, expanding their influence.
How is that helpful to Israel? How is that helpful to
Israel? You can't make that argument. And so the
problem that we've seen in U.S. foreign policy
generally has been this notion that being full of
bluster and rattling sabers and being quick on the
draw somehow makes you more secure. And keep
in mind that I don't know anybody in the Democratic
Party, and I will say this for Hillary Clinton and I
will say this for myself, who has indicated in any way
that we would tolerate and allow to fester terrorist
threats, that we wouldn't hunt down, capture, or kill
terrorists that haven't been supportive of Israel capturing or killing terrorists.
So it's not like we're a bunch of folks asking to hold
hands and sing Kumbiya. When Israel launched
its counterattack against Hezbollah in Lebanon during
the summer of 2006, I was in South Africa at the time,
a place that was not particularly friendly
to Israel at the time and I was asked by the press,
what did you think? And I said, if somebody invades my
country or is firing rockets into my country
or kidnapping my soldiers, I will not tolerate that.
And there's no nation in the world that would. So I
don't see this softness within the Democratic
Party on these issues. The question is, can we use our
military power wisely? Can we be strategic in terms of
how we move forward? And I think
that is profoundly in the interests of Israel and in
the interests of U.S. security."
WHAT HAMAS NEEDS TO DO: "Now again, going back to my
experiences in Israel and the discussions I've had
with security officials there, I think that
there are communications between the Israeli
government and Hamas that may be two or three degrees
removed, but people know what Hamas is thinking and
what's going on and the point is that with respect to
Hamas, you can't have a conversation with somebody who
doesn't think you should be on the other side of the
table. At the point where they recognize Israel and
its right to exist, at the point where they recognize
that they are not going to be able
to shove their world view down the throats of others
but are going to have to sit down and negotiate
without resort to violence, then I think that will
be a different circumstance. That's not the
circumstance that we're in right now.
LEARNING FROM INDONESIA: "Now keep in mind, Indonesia
is not the Arab world. So its brand of Islam was
always very different. Women were riding on Vespas
and going to work, and people weren't wearing
headscarves until very recently - that was actually an
import from the Middle East. But here's
what's interesting about Indonesia, it's a good case
study. It had had a very tolerant, mild brand of Islam
all the time that I was living there and
basically up and thru 97. And what happened was that
you'll recall the Asian financial crisis hit them
extraordinarily hard. Their gross domestic product
contracted by 30% - they had the equivalent of a Great
Depression, but this was a country that was already
extraordinarily poor. So, there was a direct
correlation between the collapse of that economy and
the rise of fundamentalist Islam inside of Indonesia.
Partly it was exported by Saudi Wahhabist schools that
were sent in and financing schools there, and
suddenly you started seeing head scarves on the
streets and Islamic organizations that were parroting
some of the fundamentalist and more fanatical brands
of Islam that we associate with the Middle East. And
the reason I raise that point is that although people
will often say, well terrorists are drawn from the
middle class and just being poor doesn't mean
that you're automatically ascribe to violent jihadist
tendencies. What is absolutely true is that in the
Arab world and in the Muslim world, I do think there
is a correlation between the degree to which those
communities function properly, give people hope, give
people a sense of direction, give children education,
and how vulnerable they are to these violent
I AM NOT NAIVE: "So what lessons do we learn from that
then? I am not naive.There is a hard core of jihadist
fundamentalists who we can't negotiate
with. We have to hunt them down and knock them out.
Incapacitate them. That's the military aspects of
dealing with this phenomenon. Now somebody
like a Richard Clarke would estimate that the hard
core jihadists would gladly blow up this room maybe
it's 30,000 people, maybe it's 40,000 people,
maybe it's 50,000 people. But it is a finite number.
And that is where military action and intelligence has
to be directed. So all the things I've
talked about in the past - improving our intelligence
capacity, improving our alliances, rolling up
financial support, improving our homeland
security, making sure that we have strike forces that
are effective - that's all the military, intelligence,
police work that's required.
"The question then is what do we do with the 1.3
billion Muslims, who are along a spectrum of belief.
Some extraordinarily moderate, some very pious
but not violent. How do we reach out to them? And it
is my strong belief that that is the battlefield that
we have to worry about, and that is where we have been
losing badly over the last 7 years. That is where Iraq
has been a disaster. That is where the lack of
effective public diplomacy has been a
disaster. That is where our failure to challenge
seriously human rights violations by countries like
Saudi Arabia that are our allies has been a
disaster. And so what we have to do is to speak to
that broader Muslim world in a way that says we will
consistently support human rights, women's
rights. We will consistently invest in the kinds of
educational opportunities for children in these
communities, so that madrasas are not their only
source of learning. We will consistently operate in
ways that lead by example, so that we have no
tolerance for a Guantanamo or renditions or torture.
Those all contribute to people at least being open to
our values and our ideas and a recognition that we are
not the enemy and that the Clash of Civilizations is
"Now, as I said, we enter into those conversations
with the Muslim world being mindful that we also have
to defend ourselves against those who will not accept
the West, no matter how appropriately we engage. And
that is the realism that has to leaven our
hopefulness. But, we abandon the possibility
of conversation with that broader Muslim world at our
own peril. I think all we do then, is further isolate
it and feed the kinds of jihadist fanaticism we all
|Tuesday, February 26, 2008 8:55:00 AM|
|Permission to reprint or copy this article or photo must be obtained from www.3dsyndication.com.|
|50 people looking for solar image of Mary lose sight|
50 people looking for solar image of Mary lose sight
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At least 50 people in Kottayam district have reportedly lost their vision after gazing at the sun looking for an image of Virgin Mary.
Though alarmed health authorities have installed a signboard to counter the rumour that a solar image of Virgin Mary appeared to the believers, curious onlookers, including foreign travellers, have been thronging the venue of the 'miracle'.
St Joseph's ENT and Eye Hospital in Kanjirappally alone has recorded 48 cases of vision loss due to photochemical burns on the retina. "All our patients have similar history and symptoms. The damage is to the macula, the most sensitive part of retina. They have developed photochemical, not thermal, burns after continuously gazing at the sun," Dr Annamma James Isaac, the hospital's ophthalmologist, said.
The hospital has been receiving patients with these abnormal symptoms since Friday. When the doctors found a pattern in the case sheets, they reported it to the district medical officer.
The health department has now put up a signboard at the hotelier's house near Erumeli, where the divine image is said to have appeared, warning people against exposing their eyes to sunlight.
Even the churches in the vicinity disowned the miracle during Sunday mass after health officers and doctors approached the clergy. The house in question has been the centre of local rumours for a few months. The hotelier, who has since moved to another house, had claimed that statues of Mother Mary in his house have been crying honey and bleeding oil and perfumes.
Though people have been flocking to the "blessed land" - hastily christened Rosa Mystica Mountain - for long, the mad rush for the image in the sky began a week ago.
There are quite a few people still seeking the miracle, despite the experiences of their unfortunate predecessors and strict health warnings against gazing at the sun with the naked eye.
"The patients show varying degrees of severity. They are mostly girls in 12-26 age group. Our youngest patient is 12 and the oldest 60. Most of them were looking at the sun between 2 and 4 pm, when UV1 and UV2 rays are harshest," Dr James Isaac said. He added that they could identify the problem as solar retinopathy because they were aware of the local sensation.
"Most patients may hopefully improve their vision. But there may be long-term effects on the retina," he added.
|At the cost of Hindus|
|Now, the Sonia Gandhi-dominated Centre and Congress State Governments are doggedly pandering to minority sentiments in a manner calculated to affront majority opinion. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Samuel Rajsekhar Reddy, a member of the evangelical Seventh Day Adventists sect, recently used the Governor's address to slip in a scheme to subsidise Christian pilgrims to Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The statement that the Andhra Government will "extend the Haj pilgrim scheme to Christian minorities also for their religious visits to Christian holy lands in Israel" is laughable as Israeli annexation has not been internationally recognised.|
|Moreover, the suggestion that Haj subsidy is being extended to Christians suggests Christianity is a sub-sect of Islam, though it is an older and distinct faith. A religious subsidy for Christians can only involve a fresh outlay exclusive to Christians; it is not cut out of the exclusively-Muslim subsidy. This raises questions about the perversion of Indian secularism, which was premised upon distance from religion, and the legitimacy of state funding pilgrimages for any faith. |
|Justifiable state intervention in the internal affairs of a religious community must derive from notions of higher justice and contemporary social needs for the good of a larger citizenry. The Shah Bano divorce and Imrana rape case show that the Indian state is incapable of standing up for poor and wronged Muslim women. Instead, it promotes obscurantist orthodoxy by extending the quantum of Haj subsidy which, ironically, is haraam according to the tenets of Islam. |
|In every religion, pilgrimage is a matter of personal devotion and not the duty of the state, not even a theological state. Islam enjoins the faithful to try to make the pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime from their legitimately earned savings. There is no compulsion for those who cannot afford it. The Prophet did not even imagine a non-Muslim state would steal the resources of its Hindu citizens to subsidise Haj - against the letter and spirit of his teachings. |
|It bears stating that the misguided attempt to placate Hindu opinion with a Kailash Mansarovar subsidy by some States is an affront to dharma. Nowhere in Hindu tradition is the state supposed to subsidise a pilgrimage, though it is duty-bound to provide civic amenities en route. Many facilities are provided by the pious and the authorities of pilgrimage centres. |
|The Mecca-Jerusalem subsidies are political, not religious, subsidies. Both Islam and Christianity are political religions with an agenda for world-conversion and world-dominion. Hindus suffer double injustice as rich Muslim and Christian nations promote conversions, while secular India funds pilgrimage to Muslim and Christian lands outside India. India's politico-religious subsidies thus reinforce both fundamentalisms at the cost of the native Hindu civilisational ethos. |
|Residents of small towns have already experienced to their dismay that Muslim neighbours return from Haj with a disconcerting degree of fundamentalism. Indian villages are already experiencing a forced cultural separatism practiced by converts to Christianity at the behest of local padris, and tensions can only rise with Indian Christians visiting the holy lands. |
|It is pertinent that despite massive funding for conversion, the social and economic status of converts remains unchanged, though a sense of grievance and separated-ness is fostered through intensive religious indoctrination. The lack of social and economic mobility for converts, indeed the perpetuation of old caste inequalities with the tacit consent of the religious hierarchy, has recently come to be admitted by both faiths, though ironically, as an additional grievance against the Hindu community! |
|As the UPA chairperson was keen to snatch the rights of depressed Hindu castes and pass them on to Muslim and Christian converts, the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities was created with a pre-set mandate. Last year, it delivered according to its brief and recommended extension of Scheduled Caste reservation benefits to Christian and Muslim converts. Justice Ranganath Mishra even suggested a quota-within-quota for OBC minorities.|
|Justice Mishra proposed 15 per cent representation for minorities in educational institutions and all cadre and grades of Government employment, of which 10 per cent would be for Muslims and five per cent for others (read Christians). Claiming that minorities are under-represented in Government, he argued that they should be regarded as 'backward' according to Article 16(4), but without the qualifying distinction of "socially and educationally backward". |
|This is deliberate mischief as Justice Mishra knows that minorities are not educationally and socially backward. Besides, this is constitutionally untenable as it tampers with the basic framework of the Constitution. Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 limits SC status to Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, as caste is a Hindu phenomenon and cannot be delinked from religion. To do so is to facilitate conversions. |
|The NCRLM mooted earmarking 15 per cent Central development funds for minorities, an idea being pursued by the Planning Commission. Actually, as Islam and Christianity promote conversion with the promise of non-discrimination between believers, both deserve punitive legal action for discriminating against 'low caste' converts. |
|What stands between India and the deluge is the sagacity of Mr Buta Singh, chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Castes. Mr Singh has cautioned State Governments against using the word 'Dalit' in official documents as it is "unconstitutional" and only 'Scheduled Caste' is notified under Article 341. The de-legitimising of 'Dalit' (meaning broken, crushed) is a blow to the evangelical industry which has been promoting the term to forge separatism among Scheduled Castes. Mr Singh rightly insists that Dalit converts do not suffer the same maladies as their Indic counterparts; hence, Christianity and Islam must prove they practice untouchability and that it exists in their religious theology, before claiming ameliorative measures. This is a timely warning against wilful appropriation of Hindu concepts. It is now up to Hindu India to resist minority aggression.|
Subject: Massive destruction of temples & cleansing of Hindus in J&K reflects state- sponsored Talibanization by the majority Muslim state: Indian Govt.'s silence on the issue is unforgivable - it encourages fundamentalism & defeats secularism.
Hon'ble BJP/ NDA Members of Parliament,
Herewith we are forwarding an important memo we have sent to the CM of J&K, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad on the "tactical failure" of the successive J&K governments in protecting the Hindu community of Kashmir. Now the Islamists, who drove the non-Muslims out of the Kashmir region, have embarked upon the illegal sale of Hindu temples and their properties. Our memo reveals that Hindu temples are being destroyed at an unprecedented scale and everything in the state is being talibanized. Government's indifference towards the temple security and their functioning has been termed as state's tacit support to the persecution of Hindus and denial of their freedom of religion.
What is difficult to understand is that when the Govt. re-built Cherar-e-Shareef why can't it re-build Hindu temples destroyed in the wake of ethnic cleansing unleashed by the local and foreign Jihadists? The Indian Parliament adopted a law in 1991 specifically requiring that –"the status of religious places, as on August 15, 1947 shall be retained". Under the present circumstances it is obligatory upon the Govt. as envisaged by the above referred Act passed by the Indian Parliament to maintain the integrity of religious entities as it stood in 1947.
Hindus as a minority community in J&K need & must get special protection: the Kashmiri Hindus shrines and religious places Bill must be urgently passed by the state to stop illegal sales and encroachment and other administrative measures taken, like formation of a Waqf- like Hindu Board for their protection, preservation and development.
The silence by Muslims in India, who are generally so vociferous on even minor issues concerning their community, could only be interpreted as their underhand support to Islamists in Kashmir. This raises a serious question: Why should they get preferential treatment and financial support from mostly Hindu tax payers for condoning/ supporting anti- Hindu, anti- national activities aimed at fragmenting the country?
As a party, representing the nationalist and Hindu segments of the Indian nation, the BJP bears a special responsibility for ensuring their safety and protection of their religious and human rights. Concern about these issues must be expressed in public, media and elected bodies. These issues deserve to be included as a plank in the electoral agenda of the party throughout the country and used as an instrument of unifying the nation to force the J&K Govt. to reform its uneven and discriminative policies vis-a- vis Hindus in keeping with a secular constitution.
Dear Parliamentarians: Kashmir, an historic place in Hindu ethos, has since been neutralized and is now speedily being talibanized. A) Hindus have been kicked out of Kashmir and now their temples are being demolished. B) In Ladakh Buddhist girls and women are being kidnapped and forcibly married to Kashmiri Muslims and new colonies of Muslim settlers from Kashmir with Govt. assistance have mushroomed. C) The treatment of Hindus in Jammu region, where hundreds of new Muslim localities and colonies over the years have emerged, is not any different. We must put an end to this persisting erosion and war of civilizations forced upon Hindus. Having already lost Pakistan and Bangladesh now is the time that Hindus and nationalists of India through their representatives, the BJP/ NDA, draw line in the sand and save ethnically the last frontiers of Hindu India which must include Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu. Please arise to defend the traditional ethnic excellence and integrity of Bharat Mata. This is the time for Action.
We are looking forward to your prompt action and a word in response.
Dr. Jagan Kaul
Hindu Jagran Forum (USA)
February 21, 2008
Letter to Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Chief Minister, Jammu & Kashmir State
THE HINDU JAGRAN FORUM-USA
3145 Gilbert Avenue, Roseburg, OR (USA) 97470
Subject: Massive destruction of temples in J&K amounts to state sponsored Talibanization of the state: These religious structures must be protected against the predatory & illegal Sales, demolition and Vandalism and a Waqf like Hindu Board be formed for their upkeep and governance.
Hon'ble Chief Minister Azad,
Through this memo we would like to express our deep disappointment, indignation and out right condemnation on behalf of a billion members strong worldwide Hindu fraternity about the self induced "tactical failure" of the successive J&K governments in protecting the Hindu community of Kashmir. Encouraged by the anti-secular, anti-minority and Mogul like discriminative policies of the state government. Now these Islamists, who drove the non-Muslims out of the Kashmir region, have embarked upon the illegal sale of Hindu temples and their properties.
All these criminal activities by the Islamists represent the extension of their foreign inspired "civilizational war" undertaken to remove all traces of the historical Hindu past in the vale of Kashmir. Massive protests by the remaining less than 5,000 Kashmiri Pandits in the valley against criminally altering the socio-cultural complexion of Kashmir has been of no avail. On the contrary these extremely vulnerable non-Muslim Kashmiris have been exposed to serious threats by a very powerful "Islamic Land Mafia" that if they do not stop protesting they would face dire consequences like the rest of the exiled Pandit community.
We have been given to understand that powerful interests in the Muslim dominated State Legislature including the Islamic Land Mafia, scuttled the legislation that was supposed to stop the illegal sale and/or destruction of Hindu religious structures. Despite the state government's "verbal assurances" to protect temples & their properties nothing has been done to save them. Even the promise to bring in legislation during the recent assembly session to prevent sale of such properties was not fulfilled and the legislature was allowed to adjourn sine die without the introduction of the promised bill (attachment A). Obviously the assurance by the state authorities has simply proved to be yet another tactic for buying time and doing nothing.
1) Govt. re-built Cherar-e-Shareef why not Hindu temples?
Chief Minister Azad when the Pakistani and indigenous Islamic terrorists burnt and destroyed the holy shrine at Cherar-e-Shareef responding to the public outcry the Indian as well as Kashmir governments agreed to rebuild the shrine. Thereupon a team of engineering specialists was detailed to visit some of the major Islamic states in Central Asian region for examining their mosques in an attempt to select one of the best of them as a model for building the new shrine at Cherar-e-Shareef. In the final analysis that is exactly what was done. Based on this experience the question that arises now is: if the officials could go to that extent for pleasing and or appeasing the Muslim community why can't they re-build Hindu temples destroyed in the wake of ethnic cleansing unleashed by the local and foreign Jihadists?
2) Govt. Talibanizing everything in Kashmir:
The former J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's public declaration describing Hari Parbat as 'Koh-i-Maran' in 2005 could only be termed as a shot in the arm of 'talibanization' by the coalition government. It is believed that the misguided Congress party has been extending its tacit and full support to the People's Democratic Party (of Mehbooba Mufti) – the political outfit that has been aggressively engaged in systematically destroying the symbols of historical importance, cultural pluralism and talibanizing everything in Kashmir," (attachment B).
3) Hindu temples being destroyed on at an unprecedented Scale:
The process of desecration, loot, vandalizing and destruction of temples has continued under the anti-Hindu Islamic rule through generations with intent to wipe out all traces of religious and cultural symbols of Hindus. These targets besides the temples included libraries, universities and ashrams. After India achieved freedom and Kashmir acceded to the Union of India in 1947 the destruction and desecration of temples under the new Islamic regimes wearing secular turbans received added impetus and acceleration. Temple lands, cremation grounds, etc. of Hindus were usurped and utilized for expansion of the Islamic populace. The famous Bhairavnath temple of Chattabal, Srinagar was locked up by the police. The judicial case pending in court concerning this temple was never allowed to be decided. Precious lands around Hari Parbat hill, Durganag temple of Srinagar and lands at several Hindu places of worship in the Valley were slowly and steadily turned into lands under occupation of the Muslim trusts (Maqboozai-Ahali-Islam).
In 1967, Shivala temple, Chotta Nazar, Srinagar was desecrated. Again in 1984 Shri Hanuman temple at Hari Singh High Street was damaged and in the same year Arya Samaj temple of Wazir Bagh, Srinagar was burnt down. In view of the Islamic fundamentalist conspiracy against Hindus in general and unqualified support for their plans from across the border, the law and order situation in the Valley since 1986 deteriorated progressively and temple desecration became the order of the day. Here are some of the glaring examples that defy and shred into a million pieces the tall claims made by the Muslim leaders of Kashmir about their dedication and adherence to nationalism, multiculturalism, secularism, Kashmiriyat and religious freedom:
A) In February 1986 some 39 temples were destroyed in Anantnag, Srinagar, Budgam, Kupwara and Baramula districts (attachment C).
B) From 1987 to 1990 at least fifteen temples were destroyed (attachment C).
C) Temples desecrated and damaged in Kashmir from 1990 to December 1992 (attachment C)
1. DASHNAMI AKHARA, SRINAGAR
2. GANPATYAR TEMPLE
3. RAGHUNATH MANDIR, SRINAGAR
4. SHIVA TEMPLE, JAWAHAR NAGAR, SRINAGAR
5. HANUMAN MANDIR, SRINAGAR
6. SHIVA TEMPLE, BARBAR SHAH, SRINAGAR
7. JAI DEVI TEMPLE, BIJBEHARA
8. VIJESHWAR TEMPLE, BIJBEHARA
9. SHIVA MANDIR, BIJBEHARA
10. RAGHUNATH TEMPLE, ANANTNAG
11. GAUTAM NAG TEMPLE, ANANTNAG
12. THREE TEMPLES OF LUKHBHAVAN, LARKIPURA, ANANTNAG
13. WANPOH MANDIR, ANANTNAG
14. SHAILPUTRI TEMPLE, BARAMULLA
15. DAYALGAM MANDIR, ANANTNAG
16. BHAIRAVANATH MANDIR, BARAMULLA
17. BHAIRAVANATH MANDIR, SOPORE
18. RUPABHAVANI MANDIR, VASAKURA
19. KHIRBHAVANI MANDIR, GANDERBAL
20. SHIVA TEMPLE, GANDERBAL
21. MATTAN TEMPLE, ANANTNAG
D) The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri M.M. Jacob disclosed in the Lok Sabha on 12-3-1993 that 38 Hindu places of worship were damaged in J&K state, 13 in 1989, nine in 1990 and 16 in 1991.
E) There are reports of further destruction of some 39 temples in Kashmir after December 6, 1992 for which FIR were filed (attachment C). Please note that FIRs on all destruction cases were not filed with the authorities in view of the complicity of the administration and warnings of retaliation against the complainants by the Islamic terrorists.
F) According to local eye witnesses accounts there were additional 38 temples that were vandalized after December 6, 1992 (attachment C)
These examples represent only a fraction of the systematic mass destruction of temples in J&K after independence of India when the Islamists assumed the total and unfettered control of the state.
4) The Indian Parliament adopted a law in 1991 specifically requiring that – "the status of religious places, as on August 15, 1947 shall be retained". This pre-emptive measure was taken by the national legislature anticipating possible dishonorable designs of trouble makers and anti- national elements in various administrations. A faithful implementation of these laws will require assuring the security and restoration of the community based management of Hindu temples and their estates.
Sayeed had on June 20 described Hari Parbat as 'Koh-i-Maran' and a ministerial colleague of his had called Shankaracharya Hill 'Sulaiman Teng'. Have these short sighted Jihadis ever imagined as to what might happen if the Indian nation, which is more than 83% Hindu, was to enforce similar communal, vindictive and religious based punitive policies in India and start undoing what the successive tyrannical Islamic regimes have done to the Hindu nation? From that stand point aren't these fundamentalist, irresponsible street politicians playing with the lives and welfare of the 140 million Muslims of India?
5) Mr. Chief Minister, government's indifference towards the temple security and their functioning has been termed as its support to persecution of Hindus and denial of their freedom of religion: Govt. must realize that the temples and their endowments have been built over the centuries by our forefathers and therefore, it is the community which is their real owner and which must have the final say in the management and utilization of temple resources.
Under the present circumstances it is obligatory upon the Govt. as envisaged by the above referred Act passed by the Indian Parliament to maintain the integrity of religious entities as it stood in 1947. Any deviation from that will clearly be violation of the national law and the will unambiguously expressed by the Indian Parliament. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Govt. to restore all the destroyed, vandalized, looted and desecrated temples and their properties to their glory as it existed in 1947 and hand them over to the Hindu community. Any thing less than that will be unacceptable.
6) Formation of a Waqf like autonomous Hindu Board for temples governance under the Hindu community's guidance: Mr. Chief Minister, we strongly believe that for social issues, religious affairs, community services and temple administration there must be a representative and an autonomous Hindu Board with full jurisdiction over temple governance and management. Accordingly we suggest that the representatives of shrines, temples, Hindu community and state and national religious leaders, be motivated to convene an assembly where they could be asked to take charge of clearly defining legal and religious framework for the community governance of temples and other religious places in the state. Since the universal right of freedom to manage religious places is available to the Muslim community which constitutes the majority in your state, there is absolutely no justification to deny it to Hindus?
7) The Govt. must make room for community's vital role in the interim temple management through Hindu Advisory Councils: Such Councils could play a role in oversight and decision making process of the endowments department and temple Trusts, where Councils elected or nominated by the Community and state and national religious leaders could shoulder these responsibilities. Additionally these Councils could also stop desecration and decimation of the religious infrastructure by bringing these issues to the notice of the Govt. and the public, and till an autonomous Board is constituted for taking over the charge, like the Waqf Board.
8) Hindus as a minority community in J&K need and must get special protection: In view of the internationally recognized ethnic cleansing and genocide of Hindus in Kashmir it would have been most desirable if the J&K Govt. had brought into play a policy of special protection as well as financial support to the Hindus who are in a minority - on the same basis as Muslims are allowed in the rest of India. We regret to say that Hindus have been effectively cleansed out of the Kashmir Valley, disenfranchised and now the focus seems to be on cleansing them out of Jammu as well. The calculated lack of action by the state in this regard seems to effectively contribute to the realization of the Jihadists objectives of the talibanization of the state.
9) Chief Minister Azad, for a starter may we request your urgent attention for protecting Hindu temples and Hindu community properties from illegal sales and encroachment by urgently passing the Kashmiri Hindus shrines and religious places Bill and take other administrative measures like formation of a Waqf- like Hindu Board for their protection, preservation and development. This will be in keeping with: a) high standards of ethics, b) norms and practices in all open and democratic societies; and, c) the secular Constitution of India.
Needless to say that inaction by the state and continuing demolition of Hindu religious infrastructure carries with it a serious potential for a backlash with possibility of horrific consequences. The privileges enjoyed by the Muslims as a minority community in India could also become a subject matter of controversy if Hindus are continually persecuted in the Muslim majority J&K state. It is also relevant to point out that most of the budgetary expenditures in the J&K state are gifted by the Indian Govt. with taxes mostly paid by Hindus. Surely these taxpayers do not fund the Kashmir Govt. so it could destroy Hinduism and achieve forced talibanization of the state.
Thank you Mr. Chief Minister and we are looking forward to your response and prompt action towards resolving this explosive situation.
Dr. Jagan Kaul
Hindu Jagran Forum (USA)
February 21, 2008
J&K temples being sold, allege Pandits
Statesman, Feb 11, 2008
JAMMU, Feb. 10: Kashmiri Pandits allege that the Muslim-majority government in Jammu and Kashmir is ignoring illegal sale of Hindu temples and other community properties in the state.
Less than 5,000 Kashmiri Pandits who live in the Kashmir valley say that their resistance to sale of temple properties has exposed them to threats from a very powerful land mafia. Pandits allege they have been warned against protesting, or face the consequences.
These Pandits say that despite the state government's "verbal assurances" to protect temple properties, nothing is being done to save them. A promise to bring in legislation during the recent assembly session to prevent sale of such properties was not fulfilled. To the disappointment of Pandits, the legislature was adjourned sine die without introduction of the bill.
The Pandits say there is more to the non-introduction of the Bill than meets the eye. They claim that powerful interests, including a land mafia, scuttled the legislation.
The ground realities in Kashmir are alarming. The Dharmarth Trust headed by Dr Karan Singh has locked up an ancient and historical temple Ram jee of Barbar Shah. This is the first time in its known history that the temple has been locked. Security forces living in the adjacent dharmashala have been told not to enter the temple precincts.
"For all these years, it was a routine with us, the few Kashmiri Pandits living in the Valley, to come here every Sunday for a get-together, make prasad and distribute it among devotees. But the trust management, with the help of the state government, locked up the temple and no one has been allowed to enter for the past month," said Mr Vijay Sas of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS), Kashmir.
Pandits allege that some in the Dharmarth Trust management want to sell off the property of the temple, valued at Rs 300 crore. In fact, some of them allege that the property will be sold to an influential Muslim living in the Valley. The property located just across the Rambagh Bridge and opposite the Metrological Department is at a prime location.
Inside the huge plot of land, there is an ancient Shiva temple, said to be around 1200 years old. The lingam is said to be more than 8.5 feet high.
The KPSS filed a PIL in the Supreme Court and was asked to file a fresh case in the concerned High Court. A case is already pending in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar Wing.
"Since January 2008, another incident of sale of our religious and community property has surfaced in Kashmir. It is the sale of DAV School in Rainawari by one Roshan Lal Raina who was just a teacher in that school but turned into a broker," said Mr Sas.
Pandits allege that the sale took place at the behest of an influential official attached to the Director-General of Police, J&K.
"KPSS has taken the legal course in the matter but we are worried," said a displaced pandit. But they hope the court will intervene and stay the sale of temples.
"The problem is that the national media is not interested in the story while the local Muslim-majority media does not care," said Mr Sas.
"If the government fails to bring a Bill in the ongoing session of the state Assembly to ban sale of temples and other religious properties, we will proceed on a fast unto death," KPSS president Mr Sanjay Tickoo said.
Mufti govt 'talibanising everything': BJP
Publication: Rediff on Net
Date: July 2, 2005
Taking exception to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed describing Hari Parbat as 'Koh-i-Maran', the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday accused the coalition government of supporting 'talibanisation'.
"The BJP is of the opinion that the Congress party is giving full support to the People's Democratic Party (of Mehbooba Mufti) that has been systematically destroying the symbols of historical importance and talibanising everything in Kashmir," state unit BJP vice president and spokesperson Hari Om told reporters in Jammu.
The BJP claimed to have 'definite information' that a few days ago, officials from the state and New Delhi held a meeting in Srinagar about a proposal to change names of some landmarks in the state.
Sayeed had on June 20 described Hari Parbat as 'Koh-i-Maran' and a ministerial colleague of his had called Shankaracharya Hill 'Sulaiman Teng', Hari Om said, adding that the BJP rejected outright Pradesh Congress Committee chief Peerzada Sayeed's assurance that there was no proposal to rename the two hills.
Destruction of Cultural Symbols :
Organiser, November 14, 2004